Monday, July 31, 2017

Birthday Recap

I didn't plan anything for my birthday until like 2 days before. There are multiple reasons why, I think. I'm crazy and emotional and don't always know what I want (or know exactly what I want...) But at the 11th hour, I decided I wanted at least a  little fanfare so I rallied the girls and we went out to celebrate. I couldn't choose where I wanted to go, so I decided to go to all. the. places.

We started out at Alchemy with drinks and a cheese tray, as well as lots of laughter. I also opened up my gifts at the first stop. So sweet and thoughtful and I definitely felt loved!

After the cheese tray, we moved on to Beauty Shop for round 2 of drinks and the guac, because it's my favorite! The guac was delicious- as always- and I got a drink called "I'll take Manhattan." It was great, but let's be honest, I got it for the name. :)

For round 3, we decided we might need some real food. One of the girls decided on Thai so we went to Jasmine for dinner. All I got was an eggroll, but we did take a break to drink some water...

Round 4 was dessert and we went to Sweet Grass for that. We talked about dessert, but didn't actually end up getting anything. So- we really just had another round of drinks!

Then we finished up the night at Railgarten.

By the time we got there, the live music was finishing up, but we had fun chilling and chatting and got some time on the tire swing. We also tried out the hammock for a second and it was very challenging! I'm pretty sure we should have signed a release or something before we got on the equipment!

It was a really fun night and we stayed up way past our bedtimes! We said our goodbyes and I came home and went straight to bed. Great night with wonderful friends! Cheers to 31!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Smiles

I stretch out my hands to you. My soul longs for you as a parched land.
- Psalm 143:6

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Capping off Thirty

Another year is coming to an end. Time is seriously flying by! It's hard to believe that 30 is almost over.

I wanted to write a post recapping 30 and what I have learned this year, but I don't even really know where to start. If I had to sum it up, I would say that 30 was the year of not giving a damn. I felt like I was more easily able to do what I wanted and not care about what other people thought. Not in a selfish way, just that I didn't have to live up to anyone's expectations or fit into someone's idea about who I should be and what I should do. It was pretty freeing in some ways.

So what happened this year... I was at the beach for my birthday and initially had mixed feelings about it, but ended up having a really good time. I went to New York with my best friend from college in September. It was a great time to just catch up with her, but I also decided (almost immediately) that I want to move to New York. That is still in the works. I'll post more about it soon.
I hit a mountain-sized bump in the road, but recovered more healthily than I have in the past and then got a tattoo to remember it and remember what God has done in my life. Then I nervously graduated from therapy...

I hosted Thanksgiving at my new house and then brought Molly home! I started running again more regularly and then took a much needed beach break. I continued to want to move to Manhattan, but talked about some of my concerns.

We celebrated my mom's birthday and then I started Whole 30. I built relationships with new friends and said goodbye to others. And then the year ended just like it started... with a trip to the beach!

Overall it was a good year. It was a year of change and growth. It was a year of continuing to learn about how I am and who God has called me to be. And I still have a long way to go! But I'm looking forward to the next year and what it has in store for me!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Beach Recap

I'm a little lot behind on blogging, so I'm going to try to catch up and just backdate some things. The tenses may be off too, because I have started some posts and then left them hanging. Just pretend like I'm doing this on time, k?

I just got back from the beach and it was a glorious trip! It was short- just a long weekend- but also the perfect amount of time for an introvert like me to be in a house with 9 other people. Ha! Thursday morning, I dropped Molly off at camp and did some last minute packing before Katie picked me up to get on the road. Then we went and picked up Christy. The 3 of us were in the first car. We had a fairly uneventful car ride. Stopped a few times for gas/bathroom/snacks and made it to the condo right about 4pm. We quickly unloaded the car, looked around the condo and headed directly to the beach. We sat out for a little bit and then dove into the ocean for a while.

After a few hours, we decided to walk up to the market and pick up a few things before the other cars arrived. Car #2 was scheduled to arrive around 8 so a little before, we started cooking some dinner. Christy brought tacos for that night so we made some guac to go with it. Then we opened some wine and sat on the balcony while we waited on everyone else to arrive. This was my first drink in 50 days! So I took it pretty slow. But then the second car got caught in traffic and was running late so we just kept drinking. We were a few glasses in and quite slap-happy by the time they finally arrived. But they made it, unloaded their car and we ate some dinner and hung out while waiting on the third and final car to make it.

Friday morning, I woke up about 6 (which is technically later than I usually sleep). Everyone started waking up not too long after me. Adults, right?! There were 4 or 5 of us that decided to head down to the beach for some early morning yoga. I'm not 100% on board with yoga. It was a nice morning stretch, but I just never really feel like I'm getting a great workout... Doing it on the beach was nice though. The ocean looked so calm and peaceful, and we saw a bunch of dolphins. After yoga, we went back up for coffee and breakfast. Around 8, it got really dark and looked like a storm was brewing. We all sat on the balcony watching and waiting for the downpour, but it never came. It sprinkled off and on and the wind got pretty strong. It also cooled down quite a bit, but then after about an hour, it was over. The sun came back out and everything was nice again. We changed clothes and headed out to the beach! We alternated between beach and pool all morning depending on our sand tolerance then went in for lunch.

We did quick and easy for lunch- sandwiches and fruit and veggies. Then we spent some time doing some encouragement for the group before heading back down to the water. More alternating between beach and pool. A couple people decided that they wanted to go see Dunkirk that night. I was decidedly not going to see a movie. I don't really know why. I'm not a huge movie-goer. They are expensive. And long. And I get bored. Anyway, at some point, the first group headed up to shower and eat dinner and go to the movie. There were 6 of them that ended up going. The other 4 of us hung out at the pool for longer than eventually made our way back up to the condo. We ate dinner and drank wine on the balcony while we chatted about life and then we ate some ice cream and played Code Names until the rest of the group came back. Once everyone got back, we played The Voting Game which is alway great for getting to know you (or getting to know what people really think about you...)

Saturday morning was another early morning for me, while other people were a little slower to arouse. I wasn't feeling great when I woke up. I was cramping pretty bad and I decided that I needed some routine, so I laced up my shoes and went for a run. It always helps to ground me. It gives me some alone time and a sense of routine when I'm away from home so I'm glad that I went, but it was hot! I got back to the condo and chugged water, ate a little breakfast, and got ready to go to the beach.


We spent the morning at the beach/pool again and then did the same encouragement exercise with the other half of the group during our lunch break. After lunch, it was back to the beach/pool for more relaxation and fun in the sun. That night, we were going out for seafood, so we slowly trickled in to shower and look more presentable than just swimsuits. Then we headed out to dinner. It was a good time all around! After dinner, we headed back to the condo for more games and hangout time.

We woke up Sunday and did a little bit of packing and then decided to go down to the beach for some worship time. We all grabbed coffee and watched the sunrise beachside while singing and praying together. Such a great way to end the weekend!

After our worship time, we finished packing up and cleaning out the fridge before hitting the road. My car listened to a book on tape to make the time go by quickly! I got home, threw some clothes in the laundry, and went to pick up Molly. I missed her! I took the next day off work so I had some time to get things together and run some errands before going back to reality...

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