Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper that my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stonger in the presence of my Savior. 
- Oceans, Hillsong

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I'm off for a long weekend at the beach! I packed up, dropped Molly off at camp, and hit the road with a few friends this morning. The rest of the crew is leaving Memphis later this afternoon to head down. There are 10 of us in all so it should be a crazy time.

I'm excited about having some down time and being away from Memphis for a few days. I was ready for a break from work and ready for some relaxation. I'll be back on Sunday, hopefully rested and ready to dive back in to real life!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Goodbye, Jamie

Last week, my friend and old roommate is moved out of Memphis. She and her husband are both from Michigan and both of their families are there, so they are packed up and moved back home. Jamie and I met in 2009 and lived together for 3 years. I haven't seen her as much since marriage (per usual) but I knew that I would be sad when she left. Last weekend, they had a going away party at Railgarten (and I failed to take any pictures) but when I got there, I gave her a hug and immediately started tearing up. Sheesh! It was a good night and before I left we made plans to hang out again so that we wouldn't have to actually say goodbye.

Tuesday, after work, I went over to the house and helped load up the car before the movers came the next day. Then Wednesday, I headed back over and we ate pizza and sat on the floor in her empty bedroom reminiscing about the past and laughing at all the memories. Then we took some pictures and said goodbye. I held it together pretty well, but then cried on the way home. I thought that was the end of it, but then Thursday I got a text that they couldn't fit their plants in the car, so I went over one last time to get the plants and flower pots. I got to say goodbye one last time, take their final picture in front of the house, and watch them drive away for the last time...

Goodbyes are hard, guys! Friendships in general are hard, but there are certain friendships that just stick. Jamie and I are super different, but she knew me better than a lot of people. Living together for a few years helped with that too. It's hard to hide things when you live with someone- even if you want to sometimes!

But Jamie is the kind of friend that I could literally do anything with. We spent many a day curled up on the couch eating ice cream and watching hours upon hours of Netflix. We went through the entire Prison Break series in a ridiculously short amount of time! I'm pretty that I got drunk with her for the first time. (I was approximately 25...)

We had a few fun trips together- a spontaneous trip to Hot Springs for a spa weekend, that got cut a little short when my cousin went into labor, and a fun trip down to Miami cruising around in a bright blue convertible for the JT-JayZ concert.

We were part of the original Peter, James, and John. You know, other than the original, original Peter, James, and John. We set aside time for intentional conversation and book discussions and prayer together.

We spent multiple weekends getting all gussied up and going to bars for "husband hunting." We met some interesting people and got a lot of numbers, but there were no potential husbands. Until Jamie decided to try online dating AKA I entered in all the profile information and started all the initial conversations and questionnaires. Then once I had narrowed down some men, I passed them over to her for approval and actual dating. And that is how she met her husband!

Jamie- I'm glad that you are going to be closer to family. And get to be around your nieces and nephews. But I'll miss you. So thankful for your friendship all these years. Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next!

Monday, July 10, 2017

MTown Series

Through the past few months, some friends and I ran 4 races as part of the M-Town series. It was an interesting set of races. First of all, they were all at night which is not my favorite. I am much more of a fan of morning runs. I never know exactly what to eat before races. Or when. And then I don't feel like I run my best. Oh well.

The first race was Zoom through the Zoo. It was a 4-miler, not a 5K so that was a fun challenge. And it was on a Thursday night, so I knew that I would still have to work the next day. The race was hot, but we got to run by the elephants and giraffes which made everything better! But there were some hills at the end. No bueno! Dear people designing race courses, please don't put a hill in the last mile. Kthanks. After the race, there was barbecue and beer and live music so we hung out for a little while. The barbecue was delicious. The beer was light and tasted like bad water, so I decided that it wasn't worth the calories. Ha! Performance grade: C

After that was the Harbortown 5K. The weather was nicer. It wasn't scorching hot which was nice and I love running through the neighborhoods. It kind of reminds me of Seaside, minus the beach (the Mississippi River isn't quite the same as the ocean...). I felt okay while running, not super great, but it ended up being my fastest time so I'll take it! There was more live music after the race and some post-race food that I didn't eat because I was already doing Whole 30 by then. Performance grade: B+

Race 3 was the Gibson Guitar 5K. It was miserable! It was definitely the hottest race of the series. I hadn't been eating well so I didn't feel like it was a strong run. And the hill on Beale is a killer! Another race that ends with an uphill! This was seriously one of the worst races that I've run in a while. And I felt like I could throw up when I crossed the finish line. Blah! I held it in though, chugged some water, and started feeling better. Performance grade: D

The final race was the Stars and Stripes 5K. Races in July are always kind of a crapshoot, even at 7pm, but thankfully this one wasn't as hot as it could have been. It had rained off and on that day which cooled things off a little bit, but left things super humid! I'm pretty sure I was dripping sweat before I even started running. My only complaint was that the finish line was on gravel and it was really hard to give a final kick when I was having to concentrate on each step. But overall, it was a pretty good race! Performance grade: B

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Smiles

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--His eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
- Romans 1:20

Monday, July 3, 2017

I'm Finished

Final push! Here we go!

Day 29: I legit forgot to eat breakfast this morning. Not really sure what happened. I had my coffee while I read and let the dog play, per usual, and then I went about my morning. I realized it when I was sitting in my office and my stomach growled. Thankfully one of the docs is semi-doing it too and had some Whole-30 compliant trail mix in her office so I took a cupful of that!

I snacked on some grapes while working on notes and then ate chicken with roasted veggies for lunch. That has kind of been my staple this month. Roasted broccoli is one of my new favorite things!

After work, I hit up the greenline before I even went home. I got a little over 4 miles in, but it was HOT! I was, once again, reminded why I prefer running in the mornings.

Came home and grabbed an orange while I let the dog out. Then after I got cleaned up I ate shrimp and a banana for dinner. I'm kinda running low on food. I should probably hit up the grocery store this weekend!

I have lots of thoughts about this being almost over. I have said from the very beginning that I wanted pizza and wine on my first day finished. There are still times when I crave that, but overall I don't really have a desire for either. Which is crazy! My plan is still continue with it 90% of the time. I plan to do Whole30 at home, but not be as strict when I am going out to eat or hanging out with other people. I think that will be a good balance.

Day 30: This is it! It's a little bit bittersweet that this is the last day- even if I am going to continue it for the most part. I had scrambled eggs this morning for breakfast. Then snacked on almonds and grapes mid-morning. Finished off the fajitas for lunch. For dinner, I had some grilled chicken and guac. I surprisingly didn't end with roasted veggies...

Day 31: It's over! Weird! Woke up and drank some black coffee while I read. Typical morning. Then I went to the gym. Ran and lifted before heading to Kroger for my first post-whole 30 grocery trip.

Still got all whole 30 compliant food! Might as well! I wanted to get some more shrimp, but they didn't have the one brand that doesn't have any sulfates or preservatives or any of that stuff so I guess I'll have to try somewhere else. I made more grilled chicken and guac for lunch.

For dinner, I went out for pizza with friends. I was honestly super nervous to go. I was used to this Whole 30 thing and was worried about how it would make me feel...

The pizza was delicious. Although I did feel uncomfortably full, I didn't get sick. I had a few sips of their drinks, but didn't get my own. Overall it was alright. I'm glad I didn't feel bad, but I'm also kind of glad to be back on the Whole 30 train.

The next day, I went grocery shopping to get a few more things. And I did some cooking. I branched out a little bit. I cooked some chicken in the crockpot and the chicken broth had yeast extract. And I got some trail mix with sweetened cranberries. I also added some hash browns to my breakfast cups. I know that technically I could have had potatoes on Whole 30, but I just avoided them. So I guess in a way I am slowly reintroducing things. I'm still planning to do it 90% of the time- just a little looser.

Overall, I would 100% recommend it. I did it in an attempt to change the way I thought and felt about food. And partially to lose weight, because... And I feel like it definitely worked in some ways.

Warning: this is about to get deep (at least for me...)

I've mentioned that I have had some disordered views about food and I know that they are unhealthy, but the logic doesn't always translate to my actions and emotions, so I was hoping that this would strip all of that away and help me to view food differently. In that way, I think that it did. The foods that I cooked were still good, but food wasn't an event. Eating was just something that I did. It wasn't an activity. I ate when I was hungry. I stopped when I got full. I didn't continue eating because the food was good. I didn't eat out a lot so I wasn't overwhelmed by huge portion sizes. I didn't feel the need to control what I ate in front of people only to go home and binge later. I didn't have to feel guilty about what I was eating or how much or when. It was a good feeling. I'm hoping that it will continue.

I did have one moment during the 30 days that it came rushing back. I was talking to some friends about day 31. I mentioned that I wanted pizza and wine (and maybe fries). They saw it as a celebration. They all eagerly agreed to come with me. That we could all go out together for pizza. My immediate snap reaction (in my head, because I never say my immediate reaction out loud) was "absolutely not. I'm not eating all that in front of people. I'll eat in the comfort and privacy of my own home!" But I didn't say that out loud. I smiled on the outside, while silently freaking out. Maybe that's better. I was hoping that maybe going out with them would help me to continue to see food in a healthy way. After having some time to reflect on everything since the initial suggestion, I definitely felt better about it.

Other than my attitude and feelings towards food changing, I feel better and I have more energy. Also, my clothes fit better which is always a positive. I've been able to wear some things that I had hanging in the guest room closet and have pulled out a few things from my "wishful thinking" box. It's been fun, but it's also been hard. I've cheated and weighed. A few times. Confession: before Whole 30, I was weighing anywhere from 3-4 times a week to twice a day. So even though I have stepped on the scale in the last 30 days, it was better than it had been. And I did lose weight. For people that want the stats: I lost 12 pounds and about 8 inches.

I also hinted around the fact that I almost quit Whole 30 about halfway through. It was working. I was feeling better and seeing results. I got on the scale and was able to see just how much I was losing. And then I started thinking that I could do more. I could workout more and eat even less and see better, faster results. I skipped a few meals and snacked on as little as possible. I knew it was getting unhealthy though. And I was still trying to work out. I did a few workouts with other people and I could tell I was sluggish. I was tired and didn't feel like it was a good workout. As much as I want to be skinny, I would rather be strong. So I decided not to quit. I started eating more so that I could workout harder. My runs felt better (other than the heat!) and I felt better lifting. I also recovered faster since I was eating so much more protein!

Overall, it was awesome! I feel great. I have a better attitude about food. And I'm still going!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Whole 30: Week 4

Last full week! It's the final countdown!

Day 22: Typical morning. Black coffee while sitting outside playing with Molly. Breakfast cup on the way to work. Weird thing that I don't think I've mentioned, I have gotten into the habit of brushing my teeth at work now. After coffee and breakfast, I used to grab a mint or stick of gum before going to talk to patients upclose and personal, but since neither of those are options now I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash in my desk drawer. (Now that I think about it, the toothpaste and mouthwash both probably have sugar in them. Does that count since I spit them out?)*

Snacked on almonds and grapes while working and then had my shrimp and zoodles for lunch. Hey, I actually ate lunch! I also had a honeycrisp apple. Because. ;)

For dinner, I had some balsamic glazed chicken with roasted veggies. Roasted veggies are kind of my go-to side. They are quick and easy. And delicious. I also drank a lemon La Croix. I'm pretty sure I'm working my way through all the flavors. I know I haven't had sugar in a while, but this one legit tasted like lemonade. So good!

Day 23: I had big plans to run this morning, but Cindy had other plans. It was storming when I woke up, but I was determined so I went to the gym before work. Got a quick run in on the treadmill. I don't like treadmill running, but this morning was actually pretty good. Drank a huge glass of water while I got ready since I was still sweating after my shower then grabbed coffee and a breakfast cup to eat on the go.

Snacked on a honeycrisp apple. Didn't eat lunch again, but it was another super short day! Came home early and had some peel-and-eat shrimp (it was actually a lot more than I had originally thought!) Then I had some Asian glazed chicken and roasted veggies for dinner.

Day 24: Woke up and had coffee and a banana before heading out to the gym. I did a super quick treadmill run and then lifted. It was actually a really good workout and I felt strong doing it. That's always an added bonus! When I got home, I didn't want to eat a real meal, but I felt like I needed something so I had a Lara Bar. They are the only Whole 30 compliant bar and they say to eat them only in moderation, but this was my first one. And it was delicious! Highly recommend!

For lunch, I had Asian glazed chicken with baked kale before going shopping with some friends. And shopping wasn't the typical, miserable experience. Clothes actually fit better! Score! For dinner I had garlic shrimp with zoodles.

I went out with friends that night and felt a little punch-drunk. I had So. Much. Energy. Is this the tigerblood that everyone was talking about??

Day 25: Coffee and breakfast cup before church. Then ate some strawberries and kiwi during class. After church I ran to the grocery store to grab a few things. I think I made it out with only 6 things! It's easier to get just a few things when you go like every other day...

For lunch I had the rest of the Asian glazed chicken with some homemade guac. And watermelon.

I took a Sunday afternoon nap and took the dog for a walk then I realized that the fridge was getting a little sparse so I decided to do some meal prepping. Since I was going into the last full week, I basically cut up all the veggies so they would be ready to cook this week and marinated a bunch of chicken that I can bake or grill tomorrow afternoon.

Then I just snacked for dinner. Mandarin orange and almonds. And a La Croix, of course!

Day 26: Back to work... Bleh! Coffee, breakfast cup, and banana for breakfast. Garlic shrimp with zoodles for lunch. With some grapes and carrots.

After work, I cooked a little bit. Grilled some fajita chicken with veggies and baked some more Asian glazed chicken. I think it's my favorite! I just snacked for dinner again. Had some watermelon and sampled both of the chicken options when they were finished cooking. And I officially finished off my almonds. I'm pretty sure that I have eaten my weight in almonds this month!

Day 27: *TMI alert* My period was 2 days late. I know that may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I'm regular. My cycle is 28 days long. I start between 4 and 6 am. As I said... regular. So I can only assume that it is related to Whole 30. I have been eating (generally) organic with less hormones and no soy so I guess it just shifted things a little. I assume that if I continued this things would regulate to a "new" normal, but I don't know what will happen after this month.

Went for a good run this morning when I woke up. Came home and made some coffee while I was getting ready then grabbed a breakfast cup and an orange for the road. Had fajitas with lettuce wrap for lunch. With carrots and a tangerine La Croix. I went to dinner with friends. This was only the second time that I've eaten out this month. That's pretty impressive! I would think that I was saving money if I didn't feel like I had been to the grocery store every other day. Ha! I did eat an apple pie Lara Bar as a snack because I wasn't sure if there would be anything for me to eat. But I ended up getting a hamburger- no bun, with everything on the side. I ate it with a knife and fork and added onion, tomato, and lettuce. Instead of the house chips, I got a side of broccoli- with no butter. Pretty good!

Day 28: Had coffee and a banana while I read this morning. Then I finished my last breakfast cup. And this time I'm not making more. It's kind of weird knowing that I'm at the end and that as I finish things, they are just finished. Except not really, because I am going to keep doing this- for the most part.

Snacked on some grapes. Grilled chicken and guac for lunch. Had plans for dinner a devo that night. Wasn't sure if there would be anything that I could eat, but I decided to risk it and not eat beforehand. Wrong choice. I maybe could have eaten some of the meat, but I'm pretty sure it was soaked in butter. So I just skipped it. By the time I got home, it was too late to eat anything so I just went to bed. Oh well!

* I checked. They're okay since you aren't ingesting them. Whole 30 also recommends chewing on mint leaves. Hmm...

Monday, June 26, 2017


I've heard about Dietrich Bonhoeffer for a while. My previous pastor talked about/quoted him a lot so I was distantly familiar with him, but I recently picked up the book from the library and sat down and read it- over the course of a few weeks. It's a beast!

First of all I would say do not check this book out from the library. This is a book you want to buy and read and underline and make notes and revisit periodically. I'm actually contemplating buying it at some point so that I can reread it.

For those of you that don't know the story, the very brief version is that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Germany during World War II. He was a strong follower of God and saw Hitler for who he was. He ended up getting involved in a plan to kill Hitler. In case you aren't up on history, it didn't work...

The prologue ends with this: "The man who died was engaged to be married. He was a pastor and a theologian. And he was executed for his role in the plot to assassinate Hitler. This is his story."

The story is incredible and very intriguing from a historical point of view. I felt like I finished the book with a different view of the situation as a whole. Yes, Hitler was horrible. Yes, there were people that knew what he was doing and stood by and allowed it or just did nothing. But there were also a lot of people who didn't know what he was doing. Or didn't know until it was too late. Germany had lost WWI and the people were discouraged and wanted a powerful leader who would show the world once again how great they were. Initially he was charming and said all the right things. He worked his way in quietly, before anyone knew what was going on.

Isn't that how sin always is though? The devil presents something that looks really good. Something that seems like it could fill the exact void in your life. And before you know it, that things has been eating you away from the inside out. Sin is a sneaky little bitch!

Other than the historic aspect, Bonhoeffer was an incredible man of God who fervently sought after the will of God and truly led his life as an act of worship. Wow! He struggled and questioned (like all of us do) but he also clung to God throughout it all! It was super encouraging and very convicting! Some of the things he said were like a swift punch in the gut- in the best possible way, of course.

Bonhoeffer wrote a book called Life Together about what genuine Christian community should look like. I talked to some friends and we are about to read it and go through it together. I'm pretty excited about it. Also, I little nervous. I'm not great at the whole community thing. That vulnerability will get you every time... Ha!

But seriously, I 100% recommend this book to everyone. Read it. Then come find me and let's talk all about how much you love Dietrich and how challenged you are to step up your game!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Smiles

Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, Lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 139:23-24