Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kari Jobe

I was so excited to get to go hear Kari Jobe in concert. I have heard her three times before, over the past 5 or 6 years, and always for just like 20 minutes before someone spoke. To go to a night of worship with her as worship leader... well, i was very excited about it.

It is so funny, because i kept saying "kari jobe concert" and every time i would use the word "concert", it just felt wrong. I mean, she's a worship leader. Not an entertainer. She is there to lead you into the presence of God. At some point during worship, she kind of addressed this by encouraging people to press in to God, to seek Him, to really listen to the words & sing them to Jesus, and she said something along the lines of, "I mean, we can try our best to entertain you, but that will be NOTHING compared to what Jesus will do in your heart if you meet with Him tonight!" So very true.

I love Kari Jobe. She is an AMAZING passionate worship leader, and she is adorable. She is just a doll. So sweet. She is engaged & i love that God gave her a man who tours with her & also leads in worship! Awesome! His name is Cody & they get married a month from today! (I know this, because she said so on Facebook. Ha.)

Kari & her fiance Cody...yes, i was on third row. :)

Warren Barfield opened for her, and y'all. I LOVE his style of music and his voice, but also? He's HILARIOUS. Hilarious!

Here are pics from the "concert". :) I went with two of my friends from my infertility support group, Heather & Mary Claire. But i also ran into about 29504094 people i knew...including some of my bestest friends in the whole world! Ha! We had a wonderful wonderful time! Wish i could go again!!

 Me with Heather & Mary Claire

 Me & Ashley

 Me & Mary Claire...who has lost like 40 pounds, by the way! She's doing so good!

 Me with Ashley, Amanda & Ellie! :)

Me with Beth (infertility support group leader) & her daughter, Lexi.

Me & my best friend since 5th grade, Sarah. Had no idea she was gonna be there! :) 

At one point, Kari started talking about trusting God. She said we can trust Him. He is trustworthy. And then she started saying how if your "truster" is broken, that's not a very good place to be, for a believer. But that sometimes trials and situations can cause our truster to become  broken. And i was like, "uh, yeah". That's me. My truster is broken. I have been so hurt by miscarriage & infertility that i have even gotten to a place where i do not know if i can trust the Lord. And she's right ... that is not a good place to be.

The truth is, though, I CAN trust Him. I may not feel like i can, but i can. He is a God i can trust. He is not a god that is going to let me down. He is faithful, and he has proven that to me time and time again. So right now, i am working on trusting Him again. I want to be somebody who believes God, and trusts Him no matter what trials i face. 

So anyway. That's the short version of what God spoke to me that night. :) Awesome time of worship!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


First things first, y'all...

Sarah at Life of Love got hitched. But it wasn't your typical wedding. They eloped...on the beach...in Hawaii...and oh my goodness these are the most romantic wedding pics I think I've ever seen. Seriously. Go look! GORGEOUS! (Congrats, Sarah!)

Okay! Couldn't let another minute go by without sharing that! Haha.

Moving on... let's catch you all up on what's been happening...

Last weekend, I had a photo shoot with this gorgeous girl. I absolutely love her. She and her husband were having a "marriage blessing ceremony" in the catholic church, and i was asked to capture it. It was held at a beautiful church here in town. It's full of stone and natural light. I can't wait to go through the pics...hopefully i got some good shots!

When i got home, though, i wasn't feeling well at all. We had a family reunion but had planned to miss it due to a friend's wedding reception, but we ended up not doing either. I felt awful. Sad-face. However, it did give us time to finish catching up on The Walking Dead. Haha!

So, the Walking Dead. I am IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW! I can't say that enough. And no, i'm not a zombie person either. The first few episodes made me literally sick to my stomach haha, but i guess i got used to it, or got so into the characters that i didn't care? I don't know. I still look away every once in awhile! Anyway... Season 4 came out on Netflix on September 28th or so, but we couldn't watch it until we got internet at our new house. Season 5 premiere was going to be October 12th, and the plan was to watch it at our friend's house... so basically we squeezed all of Season 4 into a  week and a half or so.

We almost gave up. Because we had things to do with unpacking & organizing! But we didn't. We held strong. We hung on. And on Sunday evening, we went to our friend's house & watched the premiere with them. On their giant movie screen size TV.

It was worth it. Best premiere EVER, of anything!

 Selfie with the whole gang!

The girls! (Sorry it's blurry!)

We had a great time! But i started feeling bad again & ended up staying home from work Monday & Tuesday with a sinus infection. I did the obvious...caught up on Parenthood and watched some of this season's The Voice. Duh. ;)

Fievel was the best snuggle buddy while i was sick.

He also has a new spot in my office. Finally unpacked and sat down to edit in there. Next thing i know he is making it clear he wants to see out the window. Grabbed a photo prop, put a blanket on it... there ya go. My baby has a spot in my office. Haha! He doesn't look that happy, but trust me... he is. (He is more perplexed about why i'm taking yet another picture of him!)

I got this candle. After awhile  i had to blow it out because it seriously smelled like pancakes up in here. And i wanted to eat them.

Thursday i went to the Kari Jobe concert, and y'all. That gets a post of its own.

Thank you thank you thank you, to all of you who took the time to comment on my last post. I really appreciate it, and i will writing again about all of that very soon! :) 

Today my mom is coming over to help me finish hanging pictures! Haven't done much of that in two weeks! I can't wait to have them all on the walls and everything. Yay! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting Back on Track... & a whole30 dinner party.

I have been meaning to tell you about this really awesome dinner party i went to.... but, first. We have to talk.

So, many of you know that i have done a whole30. Two, actually. And honestly, it turned out to be the best thing for me as far as losing weight. It's nothing weird. Some people have very confused ideas about what whole30 & paleo are. But it's not anything as weird as people make it out to be!  It's eating fruits, veggies, healthy fats, lean meats. It's cutting out sugar, grains, legumes, dairy.

When i first heard about all of this, I did think it was kind of ridiculous for them to cut out legumes & dairy. I mean, those things are good for you, right? But the thing is, they aren't saying you can never have them again. For whole30, it's more about them getting rid of ANYTHING that is known to be an allergen or that is known to give you digestion issues. That way, when your whole30 is over, you can slowly add it back in & see if it was a problem for you. Many many people that don't realize something is a trigger for them, realize it was after doing a whole30 & reintroducing certain foods into their diet.

Unfortunately, after both of my whole30s i went straight back to old ways. I hate telling this part of my story, because people often assume that means the diet wasn't a good program. But that couldn't be further from the truth. First of all, whole30 is not meant to be a diet. It's just a 30day detox - a HEALTHY detox, mind you - and a chance to get all the gross stuff out of your system before you continue it on as a lifestyle. And second of all, it is a GREAT program. It is the perfect program (in my humble opinion!). And most people do continue on with paleo as their lifestyle once they are done with whole30. I've had MORE than a few friends do this. So no...the problem isn't the program. The problem is me.

I don't know why i turned back. I realized i was my highest weight of all time in June of 2009, after my first 6 months of marriage. Since then i have pushed, i have pressed on, i have fallen down & gotten back up so many times, just in an effort to get this weight off & be a healthy person. I have done ideal protein, plexus, weight watchers, strict calorie-counting, the insulin resistance diet, sugar busters, & some of these included exercises like intense bootcamp classes & serious calorie-burning zumba classes. I have tried a LOT of the things. I have lost and gained and lost and gained. I have eaten well, given up, and then gotten back on track. But i am always pretty disappointed in myself, because i fail constantly. I let myself down constantly, I am ruled by food, mostly in the form of cokes and m&m's. And I love the comparison game. You know that game, right? Yeah. I am pretty much a pro at comparing myself. And, it's like, "so-and-so did ideal protein and it changed her life!". Or "so-and-so did a whole30 & she is losing weight like crazy...and she hasn't cheated once! So what is your problem!?"

The thing is, whole30 is right for me. I know this. It has been the best thing i have done. And that isn't to knock other programs, because i know how much weight watchers is helping one friend, and i know how much ideal protein is helping another. You have to find what works for you. I do believe in whole30 because it's all real whole clean foods. But i'm not knocking other programs because i know what it is to have to find the right thing for YOU & your body. This is just my story.

So my lowest weight was last year after my first whole30. I got down to my smallest, finally, in five years of pursuing weightloss. But now? Well.

This morning i had to go to the doctor. (Sinus infection = BOO.) They weighed me. I hadn't weighed in forever. Not since moving. Because i KNOW i have been a fast food, sugar-eating, lemonade-drinking JUNKIE. And i KNOW i've gained. And it is infuriating... but not enough to make me stop.

So they weighed me & i was sad but not surprised to find that i have gained a lot & that i weigh far more than i ever did in 2009 when i reached my highest weight. Far, far more.  How is that even possible?! It makes me so mad at myself. And it's okay if you are thinking, "GOD, how could she do that to herself?!" It's okay because i think the same thing, and the answer is - i don't know. I just don't know.

The thing about paleo is... even though i am not hardcore... as in, i don't think it is the end of the world if i can't get grassfed beef, and i don't think  a little cheese is gonna kill me... I BELIEVE IN IT. I believe in the program. It is an awesome way to eat, and many many people have been healed of their diseases because of eating this way. I know that if i did it and stuck to it, it could help me get rid of my insulin resistance, PCOS, and... yes...infertility. PCOS isn't the only reason we don't have kids...there are issues on both sides... but i can do my part by trying to get healthy. You know?

Even writing this, i tremble in fear, because i fail at this ALL THE TIME. But i really don't want food to control me like it does. I recently was thinking about my potential. I have always wanted to go as far in life as God & my potential would take me. But my potential is taking me nowhere because i am lazy, i am inconsistent, and i love to give in to my every whim and desire.

I am afraid to say tomorrow i am doing whole30, because i always fail, and as soon as 30 days are up, i return to eating the worst food ever made. So maybe i will just say... tomorrow i start paleo without the paleofied treats. Ha. I don't know. But tomorrow is the start of this new plan. It has to be!

I am actually thinking of saying tomorrow is day one of Whole15. And then when that's over, I'll do another one. Ha!

I just have to do SOMETHING

I really think about this a lot. I think about how i love pro/con lists. And how if i did a list on pros & cons of doing another whole30 (or something similar), it would be a no brainer.

So i made one. And i was right. It's a total no-brainer! 

I should've also included "to be free from the control food has over me". I mean, come on now. There are a million reasons to DO IT, and there are no good reasons to not do it! I mean, seriously? So what is my problem then?? Honestly, there is no reason to NOT do it. But i think about this all the time. I have all the reasons to do it, and i still give in to the food.

So there you have it. That is where i am with this. And i need help.

And please... no negative comments here. I understand if you don't agree with no sugar or no grains or the whole30 program or the paleo way, but i disagree with a lot of diets & yet, i keep my mouth shut when it is what someone believes in. Also, please don't comment that you have the perfect program for me, because when you do that i feel like you weren't even listening. I have the right program. I just need help to actually DO IT! And really - i would have that same need for ANY program! 

But i do need your help. And that is in the way of prayer, support, encouragement.

              *    *    *    *    *    * 

Now for the fun part... I've been meaning to share this with you!

Recently, my friend Ali, who has done AWESOME with the paleo lifestyle, decided to have a whole30 dinner party, where everyone brought a different meal that is whole30 compliant & we would share.  She invited her sister and her sister's friend who both were starting whole30 that next week, she invited me and another friend, Amanda, because we both have done whole30s and are trying to continue in a paleo type of lifestyle. Because i was smack dab in the middle of moving, they let me off the hook with cooking, (And a good thing... i wore two different pairs of earrings... Ali caught that halfway through our meal. I was a disheveled mess. i said, You're lucky I showered! Haha! Really glad i got off the hook with cooking...no telling how i would've messed that up! Probably would have grabbed sugar instead of salt!

Anyway, the dinner was a SUCCESS & the food was SO GOOD, y'all!! OMG!

This is a GREAT idea to do with some of your whole30 or paleo friends! 

So here are some pics from that evening. I hope we do it again! What a great idea to get together, share your stories & recipes, and motivate each other! :)

 At one time, these were my roommates! Amanda & Ali.

All whole30 approved. green bean casserole, buffalo chicken wings, a chicken asparagus meal, coleslaw, zucchini poppers, meatballs. YUM!

Shrimp & Grits!! Y'all. THIS WAS AMAZING! And quote of the night while serving up our plates:

Me: I don't know how i feel about paleo grits...
Jess: Girl, it's cauliflower!
Me: OH! I feel so much better now!


 Me & Jess! She is ali's sister & also a roomie of mine at one time! :)

Me & Amanda. And where i can see that i have gained SO MUCH WEIGHT! :( 

Me & Brad are also going to start walking &/or bike-riding in our new neighborhood! 

Okay, so. Just wanted to share where i am with weightloss these days. And it's not good, is it?! Please pray for me & send a little encouragement my way! Thank you!! 

P.S. if you leave a comment that needs a reply, please leave your email address with it! :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

New House Fun!

So, continuing from my last post. After two days of painting & a day of flooring being put in, we made the move!!! The flooring was still being done, so we just moved what we could. For the next day or two, we were still going back to the trailer to get stuff! Ahhhh!! The trips back & forth - i thought they would never end!! But finally they did and I took some pictures on my way out.

Goodbye, Trailer 28. You were good to us for the first 5 1/2 years of married life! :)

I left the trailer for the last time, and headed to our new house...

We love it & we are so happy to be here. So crazy, too, I know four people in the neighborhood that i didn't know lived here! Pretty cool! :)

Our furniture was delivered, and i began to get everything set up. Here it is starting to look more like home. :) 

And the master bedroom i had envisioned finally came together! Just need pictures on the wall, but you get the idea! I really wish i was not too lazy to grab my good camera & take some pictures, but i am! Haha. These pictures don't really do the color justice. I promise i'll get around to real pics (& maybe a video tour!) soon! But the black furniture against the lilac walls in our bedroom is just gorgeous! I love it.

That week (the week we were off to move!) held a lot of fun surprises, too. My friend, Laura, mailed me a little housewarming gift, and my friend Ashley dropped one off!

And yes, i already hit up target for a few things...

Got another kitchen rug, a frame for my "Great is thy Faithfulness" print, and (duh) a coffee mug.

The letter "V" that my mom ordered for me from Etsy came in too! It is so cute!! It is going in the wall gallery. :)

In our house, we have the beginning of a wall gallery, and my canvases made it up, too! Love it all! Again, excuse these pics, and know it looks pretty awesome in person. :)

Last weekend (or so? My days are running together now), our friends Adam & Katie (& Natalie) came by to see the house. That was fun! They brought me a gift card to a place called Red Stick Spice Company... it's to buy spices for cooking...I've never been but it sounds cool. I'm kind of excited about it!

As soon as they left, my friend Mary Claire dropped by to see the house. She brought me the CUTEST "V" for our front door... will show it to you after i hang it!

Mary Claire & I were talking, and Fievel was laying between us on the couch. All of a sudden, he flipped over on his back, just as comfy as could be! It was hilarious!! For anyone concerned about how my dog is doing at the new house, well. He feels right at home here!

From Mary Claire's angle, this was even funnier. She took a pic for me. I think i will frame it! 

Hahaha! Love that dog. 

Well, there's another update for ya! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paint, Floors & Moving in!

So, the last time i posted we had just closed on our house, and i cannot believe I haven't updated you since then! Well, nothing to worry about... we are LOVING our new house SO MUCH! We've just been really busy unpacking and painting and organizing and so on and so forth. But everything is coming together the way i had imagined & pretty much everyday i say, "I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE!!!"

So, to catch you up, I'll do a sort of timeline.

Friday, September 19th - We closed on our house!

Saturday & Sunday, September 20th & 21st: We painted. And painted. And painted some more. (I personally hate painting. I dread it & dread it, but once i get started, I'm fine. Especially when it is in our new house & I know it will be so worth it!) Thankfully, my parents came to help with the painting, and Brad's dad did a lot of carpentry work for us. Brad's mom's shoulder is messed up, so she couldn't really paint, but she made sure we were fed! Haha! :)


My friend, Mandy, came to help paint on Sunday!

The painting is almost done... we are HAPPY HAPPY!

Nothing but joy! And maybe a bit of delirium!

I am so glad the colors i picked turned out EXACTLY as i had hoped! The gray looked blue at first, and i was kind of scared... i love blue, it's my favorite color, but it's not what i wanted! Haha. But once we put on a second coat, and once it dried, it was clearly gray. It's Silver Leaf by Valspar if you are wondering. Here are some before & afters...

The Living Room BEFORE: 

The Living Room PAINTED - oh, yeah, and we ripped up the carpet.

Here is the living room from another angle...

The Kitchen, BEFORE:

And the Kitchen, PAINTED:


That would be shoe mold we are painting in the middle...we had to paint it before our floors would be put in on Monday. Speaking of floors!

Monday & Tuesday, September 22nd & 23rd: Floors!

I did that gray color throughout the house, except the bathroom, laundry & our master. For our bathroom & laundry room, i wanted a fun color, so i went with a mint color called Aquatic Edge. No pictures of that... will get those to you in the next post or so! :) 

For our bedroom, i wanted a pretty romantic color. Originally i was going to do gray, but then i decided to do a gray quilt or comforter, and put color on the walls. I ended up going with Brushed Lavender, also Valspar. It is GORGEOUS & exactly what i had in mind! I cannot wait to get my good camera & take pics of everything (this post is all iPhone pics), but it will at least give you an idea! :) So here it is... our bedroom, BEFORE: 

(That's a new back door on the floors in case you are wondering! Haha. Termite damage ruined the other one!)

And our bedroom, painted! (But not finished, and carpet not removed yet! But you get the idea!) 

On Tuesday we started moving in, even though the floors weren't quite finished. he finished around 4, and we continued moving everything in. I don't remember much about that week... it is all kind of a blur. I just remember every part of me aching, but being SO EXCITED about everything coming together! I do remember at one point i decided i had worked hard enough to earn another swim in my parent's pool! :) (Probably my last for awhile - as of today it's too cold for swimming!)

On Monday our fridge was delivered, on Tuesday our new couch was delivered, and on Wednesday our coffee tables, end tables & TV chest were delivered. I LOVE IT ALL! I will have pictures for you of all of that really soon! But hopefully this one will hold you over until then! :)

But yes... we love our new house, our neighborhood is quiet, and our little town has EVERYTHING we could possibly want. The drive to work takes awhile, but seems to be smooth flowing, as long as i leave on time. The drive home doesn't take near as long which is surprising to me! There are so many positives about being where we are now... We are thrilled.

Alrighty... that's about it for now. I'll get some pictures of the place with furniture in it for you soon! It's looking good in here! ;)