Monday, March 29, 2010

1 month from today

I will be 27!!!!!!!

Okay... actually one month from last Saturday, which makes it a little worse.

And I can tell you for certain that I have not even attempted anything else on my list.

There just isn't enough time in the day!

In fact, I'm passing up getting enough sleep to put up some pictures from this weekend :) I miss the days when I blogged every day and had a life!
Well, this weekend was my college roommate's wedding!

Here are the 4 of us:
We actually lived in an AMAZING house! It was a duplex that the landlord let someone cut a gigantic walkway in the wall between the two houses, so it was essentially a 4 bedroom house w/ 2 kitchens, 2 bathrooms, 2 dens and 2 front doors, but we all still got to live together.

Someone actually caught Ben off guard enough to capture his smile AND his eye's open!
The bride & her amazing dress:
The groom and his uh..... hat:
Then, things started to get a little out of hand.

It was a great weekend! Friday night we visited with my grandmother who came in town for a few days from Florida, Saturday I worked and went to the wedding. Then Sunday, I even taught Sunday School all by myself! (Something a few years ago I was frightened of!)

Also, we had another SWEET pup find her loving home.
I took her to meet her new family Sunday!
(She wasn't exactly living WITH us, but more on our street,
it took about 2 weeks to find her a home).

Updates to come: my new internship placement & a few job openings?! Yep.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I think this is a first for me, although I have been thankful before for sure, I'm just now giving it a fun picture that I borrowed from Katie, since it is a Thursday!

I have been SURROUNDED by negativity today. Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but I have bumped into it a few times today and managed to shake it. So in honor of all the negativity, I'm going to counteract it with what I am thankful for today.

- a feeling of significance because I am a child of God.
- the opportunity to intern for 3 entire semesters!
- the relationships I have with mentors.
- a garage to put my car.
- the opportunity to shower every single day.
- fresh produce & whole foods Mediterranean dressing (amazing!)
- that I led two small groups today with some wonderfully crazy children.
- that I do not have head lice like the rest of the itty bitty kids at my school.

I do believe that being an optomist is a skill & a learned behavior that takes practice. Its good to remind myself to practice. Its hard sometimes and sometimes I fail miserably, but I get to pick myself up the next day (or two or three days later) and try again. We are the only ones in control of our happiness, and what a blessing that is! Can you imagine if someone else got to choose our attitude!? Or if we LET someone else decide our attitude? What a waste of precious little time. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so why waste today being miserable?

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Life is back in full swing!

Internship, Class, Filthy House, Laundry piled to the ceiling....check!!

I have done something to my back though and it is killing me! I've never had back problems, but I am a self-diagnosed horrible sleeper. Seriously, I need some directions on how to sleep peacefully, because it just doesn't come naturally like you'd think it should. Well as of this weekend, I had that feeling in my back that I really needed it to crack. I came home Sunday and begged Ben to pop my back (very good for me I'm sure) and it didn't go away. It has since gotten worse. So I'm sucking up some of my $350 major medical deductible (good excuse to go and have a few other things done while I'm at it) and going to a chiropractor tomorrow! First chiropractic experience. I have to say, I'm rather excited. Maybe he'll teach me how to sleep :)

While we're talking about exciting wonderful things. I left my cell phone at home today and around 2pm it dawned on me that it was on the reach of my Sierra dog:
It is now in pieces.... unanswerable.

Sierra is a rather tricky little thing. She is very mild, timid, won't even take a toy from you. BUT... leave her alone with an electronic device... its over. TV remotes, cell phones, cameras... apparently she has expensive taste and $1 walmart chew toys just don't cut it.

This could be the push I needed to just give in and get an iphone, but I'm still 3 WHOLE long months away from my contract allowing me to buy one at a decent price! GAH! So back to Ben's old flip phone from 2006. I am extremely thankful I have that option though. I may have actually been upset about it if I didn't have other options. :)

But really, things are wonderful. The weather is 75 and sunny, which just makes life better all around. How can you complain on days like today? You guys in Florida, must be some seriously happy people.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome Spring

I'm home!!

The beach was VERY fun! It was a co-ed bachelor/bachelorette party for my college roommate Beth and her soon-to-be, Scott. 22 people slept in a house that normally held 16!!!! There were 7 people in my room alone. Tight squeeze!

We had the right side of this house and it was wonderful that the left side was tied up in a foreclosure, because I'm pretty sure they would NOT have been happy to have our group as neighbors. Thank goodness for ear-plugs!!!

It wasn't quite as warm as we hoped, but we played a lot of frisbee and botchiball.

and Jenga!
This picture is hilarious.... Look at Heather and Ashley's faces!

I ate crab claws and WAY too much junk food.
I think I came home w/ almost as much food as I took. Not a good sign.

Some people drank too much ^.

And then their wife may or may not have gotten his car stuck in the sand and left the window down over night with 30 mph winds and rain. That could have happened.

It was VERY windy Saturday and Sunday.

It was so much fun and sweet Beth and Scott are getting married this Saturday! I am very excited for them. They are one of those couples that when we found out they were dating a few years back, it was like, "Why haven't ya'll done this sooner?!" They are just perfect for each other in every way. They make sense.

But, now that life is back in full-swing: This is my first week interning full-time and it includes testing (where everyone and everything is chaotic) and hopefully 4 small counseling groups for K-2nd graders. I am not looking forward to driving back to class though this week. I am not working in downtown Birmingham anymore, so it means I'll be interning 20 minutes west of me and then driving an hour east to school twice a week.

Last week was so nice that I almost forgot that going back to internship meant going back to class too!!! I'm VERY ready for class to be over. 5 weeks left! I think I will really appreciate my first semester without class come August.

Let's just pray I'll be too occupied with a new job to notice ;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day before the beach recipes!

I am going to the beach tomorrow (!!!!) and am SO not bathing suit ready.... but decided to try and cut down on the grocery shopping while there (and save my precious pennies), so I cleaned out my cabinets and made anything google could think of.

Here is what ensued:
Raisin Bran Muffins (I have a TON of cereal since I'm not drinking milk)

These are REALLY good, but I would add more raisins next time. I also tried this recipe because these are really good at a local restaurant, but I don't have buttermilk, so I used skim milk.... not such a wonderful idea. The raisins sank to the bottom and they didn't exactly rise like a muffin should. First batch of Kellogg's version is much better. But here is the thing, when I've had these in the past they are a very brown muffin. My version? More white. I don't get it.

Cheerio Breakfast Bars

These look awful, but they are FABULOUS and dairy-free! Although, not so much sugar-free. I followed the recipe for the 'healthier' version. I also attempted one WITH chocolate that I was making for Ben for his weekend, but they didn't turn out at all. They are VERY crumbly. Not real sure what I did wrong, but I'm pretty fantastic at not being able to reproduce recipes. Even with it all written down.

Cookie mix that was B1G1 at Publix today = 48 cookies for $2. I'd say that is a deal!!

And if you are thinking, "NONE of that is on your diet...." I know. It sucks. I did have a muffin and a cereal bar. I'm doing good on the cookies though!

These are for the other 21 people going. For me, I plan on taking a cooler filled with: Lettuce, celery, carrots, dressing, sunflower seeds, strawberries, apples, oranges, bananas and 1 cantaloupe! That should get me through Sunday and if we happen to eat out I have been ordering grilled chicken salads with oil and vinegar hold the cheese.

Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ava 7 months old

Ava (my niece) is 7 months old already and almost has 2 teeth!

Melissa showed me how to make a very fun collages:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Funday

Today was a good day. I have been having some serious stress over internship issues, but have really been trying to completely hand everything over to God and stop stressing about it. In turn, today has been a great day minus the hour of sleep.

Ben's mother came to church with us this morning, our service was about Love. Loving one another, no matter what. We then taught Sunday school which didn't go as well as our service. (We are still waiting on a curriculum, so in the meantime, do you have any good middle school Sunday school related material?)

I also went to a bridal tea for my first college roommate, Kim, and it was SO much fun. It was such a surprise to see our other roommate, Jessica, there too because she lives in Nashville! I haven't seen Jessica in at least 5 years and it has been 3 years since I have seen Kim.

Clearly I need to get out more often.

Everything she got was from Pottery Barn! I think that is a huge benefit of getting married after a few others have done it. You get much better presents :) I feel bad for my friends who were the first to get married. None of us has any idea how to do things appropriately.
It did make me want to save up and buy everything in Pottery Barn though.

For instance.... All of this:

Or their amazing quilts:

I love this so much and it is on sale right now, but since "All sales are final" I'm a little scared to ever buy anything or ask for it for my birthday. What if its awful?


Anyways, time to play Keely's Getting to know you Sunday, because I love the first question so much.

1. What's your favorite Easter candy?

Hands down, Reese Pieces Eggs. If you have not had these, go buy them immediately.

They are amazing.

2. Who do you think is or women?

Women, of course.

3. Which do you prefer..wordy blog posts or ones with pictures?

I love pictures, but if it is a wordy blog I need it broken up into different sections, otherwise I have a hard time reading it.

4. Were you popular in highschool?

I was pretty involved so I think everyone knew who I was, but I was not in the 'popular' group. I was part of the normal people group.

5. What's your bra size?

Thankfully I am a C. I had a reduction a year ago. Best decision ever. If you are thinking about doing it, I highly recommend.

6. How many states have you lived in?

3: Florida, New Jersey & Alabama

7. What's one blog you read every day?

Single Infertile Female

8. Peanut butter or Nutella?

Peanut Butter. I've never had Nutella.

Also, the diet is starting to pick up. I came crashing off the wagon on Thursday because of my going away party and have struggled to climb back on since. Today has been better, but my skin is showing my lack of will power today. I still have no idea what exactly is causing it, but I think my skin was showing an ever-so-slight difference. At least enough to keep me eating like this for a while longer.

Happy Spring Break!

Sunday Stealing

I love when Melissa does Sunday Stealing, so I decided to join in on her fun!

1. What were doing 10 years ago?
I was 16 going on 17 (yes I just sang that out loud to you sound of music style). But really I was. I had just lost three very close friends and was about to lose a 2 more along with my future sister-in-law's father. It was a weird 4 months to say the least. It was a year that brought my friends and I very close and took us through a time that no one should have to experience.

2. Five snacks that you enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world.
1. Grape Salad that my friend Haley makes. It is FABULOUS!
2. Peanut-Butter & Graham Crackers
3. Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
4. Chips & Salsa/Cheese Dip
5. Spinach & Artichoke Dip.... seriously, I love dip.

3. Five things you would do if you were a billionaire:
1. Pay off my student loans!
2. Sell our cute little house and buy one that is just a little bigger with a detached shop for Ben to work on his vehicles and a flat yard for all our kids & dogs to play in.
3. Fix/spay the stray dogs that roam my neighborhood.
4. Travel! Ireland, Australia, take Ben to the Redwood Forest, Alaska, Grand Canyon, Hawaii! (That is more than 5).
5. Buy my bedroom furniture.

4. Three of your habits:
1. Putting my makeup on in the car. (I know this one is awful. Every single morning I try to NOT run out of time, but it never happens.)
2. Chapstick. I am complusive about it. I will stop in the middle of nowhere if I cannot find a chapstick. Thankfully I try to have one in every pocket of my purse/car/jackets/etc.
3. I get water every single night before bed and take maybe 3 sips. Its my 'in case of emergency' water that Ben doesn't understand.

5. Five jobs that you've have had:
1. Dry Cleaners - customer service, not an actual cleaner or presser.
2. Day Care/Preschool Teacher
3. Server/Waitress at many places
4. Mortgage Loan Officer
5. Office Manager

6. Five places that you've lived:
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2. Ponte Vedra, Florida
3. Holland Township, New Jersey
4. Auburn, Alabama
5. Tuscaloosa, Alabama

7. Five things that you did yesterday:
1. Slept in.
2. Took my nephew to see The Wizard of Oz at the local theater, so cute!
3. Took him to get a hair cut because he looked like a homeless man.
4. Drove 45 minutes to my parents house and back.
5. Saw 2 rainbows next to each other while Austin tried to convince me to follow just one of them so he could find the leprechaun. I think he was pretty serious too.

8. Five people you would want to get to know more about:
(Does this mean I get to meet them? If so:)
1. The cast of The Office
2. Martha Stewart (I really need her skills to rub off on me a bit).

9. Abortion: for or against it?
Against it.
But I don't think it is a black or white issue. I am NOT a fan of abortion used as a form of birth control, but I cannot tell you what I would do if I was a teenager, raped and pregnant... But people who carelessly get pregnant and continue to have abortions... make me very angry.

10. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?
World? That is awfully dramatic. No... but I have not found a woman that I personally would vote for.

11. Do you believe in the death penalty?

12. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?
Uh... no. I really couldn't care less.

13. Are you for or against premarital sex?
Against, although I wish I could say I stuck with that.

14. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?

Apparently I should have read ALL the questions before committing to this post, wow.

I'm on the fence. BUT, my thing is if there is a separation of church and state, why can't the state just recognize the marriage and then they could get the tax benefits and insurance benefits, but the church wouldn't have to perform ceremonies or recognize it.

15. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?
No, but we do need regulations so the Hispanics who want to become citizens, live & work here honestly can do so without all the problems. Then we could have a better handle on the illegal aliens who are criminals and need to be deported. We definitely need a change in the entire process.

16. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?

17. Should the war in Iraq be called off?

18. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
I'm on the fence.

19. Do you believe in spanking your children?
Yes, although I can't tell you if I will do it or how often. I don't see a problem with it though. Do you know that many schools here in Alabama still paddle children? (I think that is another southern word).

20. Do you worry that others will judge you from reading some of your answers?

Okay, that one was rough, I'm going to need you to link up or post your answers in my comments immediately.


I received a question on my new fun question box on the side!! I don't know how to tell who asked it though, so I can't link up.

"What made you decide you wanted to go into psych/counseling?"

Honestly, I graduated my undergrad in Public Relations. I really LIKED PR. It was fun, it makes sense... but I wasn't passionate. I graduated and found a position that lasted 5 months. I KNEW I needed to go back to school to get a more specialized degree, but had NO idea what I wanted to do. I love helping people and I love kids... For whatever reasons, I had NEVER considered counseling as a career. I was praying and praying about what on earth I was supposed to do. I was watching 7th Heaven (of all shows... I really couldn't stand that show) and there was a school counselor on the show. I literally paused it and yelled to ben, "I'm going to be a COUNSELOR!"

I had no idea what that meant or how it would work, but we prayed and it has obviously worked out. While I've been in school I still really lacked confidence. I didn't really know what counseling was when I got started (everything I thought it was was very wrong) and I never thought I'd be a qualified counselor outside of the school setting. I especially NEVER wanted to counsel adults. But as the semesters went by and mostly last semester, I gained my footing. I saw myself becoming the counselor that I never thought I could be. (Don't get me wrong, I still need a TON of training and will always benefit from supervision and learning more about this field.) I finally felt confident enough that I could counsel adults or children with any issues. My passion will always be with children because I feel like they are in such a criticial period of their lives. By helping them become a successful child with healthy relationships, a healthy view of themselves and be able to learn, they can be a successful adult!

The reason I want to be in a school setting now is because I think school counselors are a first line of defense. Without a good school counselor, all the trauma, tragedy and problems kids go through can be overlooked and they'll fall through the cracks. A child cannot learn if they are in a state of crisis. It is my job to help them get out of survival mode and develop coping skills and life skills so they can gain an education.

I have seen and heard of the repercussions of sending a child in crisis back to class or not having time to get to them, and I don't want to be that counselor.

Some school systems view school counselors as teachers who are good at paperwork and added a degree, but others view school counselors as mental health professionals (whether or not they taught first) who work in a school setting. THIS is the counselor I want to be.

I'm not dead set on a school system either. If I cannot be a therapeutic counselor in a school setting, then I will certainly look in agency/community settings. That is the reason that I am pursuing my licensure along with getting my school certificate.

There are a lot of hard feelings towards school counselors who do not have teaching certificates. On one hand I do see where they are coming, that you won't get into the field with educational experience, but also have any of you ever gotten a job where you didn't learn 80% of everything you needed to know on the job?? And on the other hand, there are school systems that need mental health well over anything else.

Anyways, that was a really long answer to how I decided I wanted to become a counselor, but I know now that it is who I am. I LOVE counseling. I'm really ready to be there and have a job helping kids already!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Food for Thought


Ben came home telling me about this presentation he saw and how it was crazy the amount that we, as Americans, used to spend on good, nutritious food and how little we spent on health care. It seems that it has completely flipped in recent years though, and it makes sense that there is a direct correlation of course. The more pennies we spend on twinkies and potato chips, the more we'll have to spend in healthcare for our heart attacks & high blood pressure.

I always think it is very interesting when Dr. Huizenga on The Biggest Loser tells each contestant how much money they will spend/save on healthcare at their current weight or after they lose weight. Its in the millions! Now, we know each person won't likely directly be spending it, but the rest of us will pay for it in healthcare premiums and price hikes, but still... we could all save so much money if we'd just eat better!!!

Between this and Dave Ramsey's bible studies, I have upped our budget allotment for groceries each month (I HAD to on this new lifestyle). I have really been eating a TON of salads, but I notice that if the lettuce is in there, Ben will eat a salad every day too. If there are nectarines, he'll take one over a bag of chips. Chips are usually much cheaper, especially with my coupons, but maybe the nectarine will save us from diabetes later! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

A new addition

No, its not a new dog or a baby on the way :) Although either would be a lot of fun!

I have copied this fabulous idea from one of my favorite bloggers: Melissa @ Little Miss Married! (Be sure to check out her other blog too.)

We now have an 'ask me anything' gadget on the side over there! How fun!

See it?

Not that you guys have asked me a ton of questions, but I do LOVE reading other's Q&A posts. Some people come up with some fabulous questions to ask! And I thought it would also be a fun way to keep me posting about stuff other than school for a change.

Words of Wisdom

I'm avoiding closing my eyes and spending time alone with my brain right now.

Instead... I'm catching up on blogs:

"Faith is believing the Word of God and ACTING upon it. (Even the devil and the demons BELIEVE in God's not enough to just believe)." - Kelly's Korner

Acting on my faith is so hard sometimes. It brings me to tears like today. But, I can't lose sight of knowing that God has prepared this path for me. His plan is so much better than mine. I've tried to do it alone before and it is way too scary of a place without the Lord.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4 - Made in Secret

I know God continues to show me his plan. Its my job to open my eyes and see it. God happens around me every second of every day, but I don't always recognize it. Sometimes I don't notice him in the person at the grocery line who lets me in front of them, or in the restaurant manager that helped me to my car with the food, I let those moments happen and don't even realize the blessings or lessons that God is bringing to me. Its the little things that slip past me sometimes that God has placed in my path, but if I will place my fears in him, confess and give them to him, I know he will take them and provide for me a plan that is perfect.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update from Boot Camp

My parents received a 3-page letter from the little brother in boot camp! 3 pages is A LOT to for him.

My mom called me and read it to me and just a few updates:

It is getting warmer in Columbus, Ga., so he's not as miserably cold. (He has said that they do not turn the heat on in any of the buildings and its been VERY cold lately).

He hasn't 'tasted' food since January because he has 2 minutes to eat. He gets pizza on Sunday! Hah! He said he doesn't know why they are getting pizza, but he's not questioning it. :)

And, my favorite part: He said to tell me he has been going to church every Sunday, sometimes twice on Sundays because it is his free day, and he was getting baptized this past Sunday!!!

I'm thrilled for him and have been praying my heart out for him. I have sent him several scriptures that I thought were very fitting for his situation to hopefully give him some hope and motivation to get through this very tough time. If you have any other ones that you love and would like to share, PLEASE send!

Please keep the prayers going his way!!


This day went by way too fast.

It was wonderful. They threw me a going-away party and all their wives and kids came and even their parents (it is 4 brothers). I went off my diet beyond belief because we all ate lunch together. I was able to see a few of my favorite contractors and tell them how much I appreciate and will miss them.

But, as I'm sitting at the office right now after everyone has gone, waiting to go to class, knowing this is my last time to literally be sitting here in 'my' office. (It really hasn't been only mine for awhile now as I was training an incredible person to take my place, but for a long time it was just mine.)

I'm sad.

Actually I'm pretty heart broken to leave.

I've cried a lot today and everyone has said, "You'll be back", "You can come and visit", etc. etc, and I know I will. I know I will come visit and I do have to come back for a day or afternoon in April to help out with taxes, but still. Its not the same. I won't see these people every single day anymore. I won't know everything about them anymore. In fact, a lot of stuff will happen and change and I won't be a part of it and that just makes me very sad.

Change is so hard.

You know how they say 'work-husbands' & 'work-wives'? Well these guys were my work family. I have spent more time with the 5 of them than I have my actual family for years and its really hard walking away from that.

Anyways... I know it will be fine and that there is a reason that I am leaving, but I'm still very upset and heartbroken over leaving.

I'm going to miss this.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All good things come to an end

Tomorrow is my very last day of work. Its hard to even think about. I've been at this job for 3.5 years and it was truly a life-saver. I got this position 3 weeks after I walked out of my previous job at a mortgage office. I didn't have anything lined up, but I knew I could not survive at that place for one more minute and I had to leave. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

I was referred to my current position from a friend and started working the day after my interview as their office manager. At the time there were about 20 employees, all men. Its hard to believe that I've spent the last 3.5 years working with only men and probably talking their heads off, but I had always gotten along with guys easier than girls. Its been a fun and random few years to say the least!

We've had a few meltdowns about life, one over tampons (that was awkward!), but they've been right there, handled my tears and hysteria and loved me anyways. The company is owned by two brothers and they've known the entire time I've been in school that there would be an end date one day, but it still never seemed like it would really arrive. Then, 6 weeks ago when I decided I needed to intern fulltime and put in my official notice, I cried and cried and cried. Needless to say, these past 6 weeks have flown by. I've dreamed about my last day 6 or 7 times since and it often ends with no one caring that its my last day and they've even hired lots of women to replace me.

Well, my last day has arrived and it is tomorrow. Its hard to imagine not being there and someone else being in my place. It was the one place in my life that I was comfortable and pretty good at what I needed to do. I don't want to be replaced. I don't want to leave. I wish I could stay there AND pursue counseling.

I want my cake and to eat it too.

Rant of a blond

I have a pet peeve.

Actually I have approximately 739 pet peeves, but I'm going to share just one with you.

I cannot stand it when someone tells me that someone is "such a blond". Today a woman repeatedly told me about a child who she apparently perceives to be an idiot and how she was "just such a blond". (Maybe this irked me because she was yelling and I was all of 2 feet from her, or that I've heard her talk bad about other people/kids frequently before.)

Don't get me wrong, I can laugh at a dumb-blond joke or two, but I cannot stand when someone tells me that someone is an idiot/blond in a serious manner. Do they think that is funny?! Do they think it is helping any children to hear that from an adult?! Do they think that I just happen to dye my hair this color and therefore it is okay to tell me that natural blonds must be idiots?!

Because its not funny... it harms kid's self-esteem to hear it... I do not dye my hair... and I do take it offensively.

Anyways... seriously. How would she handle it if I was like, so and so is such an idiot... but then again they are _a loud negative person like you_.

Some people need a 10 second delay from their brain to their mouth.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women's Retreat

I checked my email yesterday when I got home from school and saw one from my aunt Treecie. She has invited to host me and two of my cousins (we are very close) at a women's retreat in Sandestin, Florida for the weekend before my birthday in April!!!

What a wonderful birthday present!

It is the weekend of April 23-25 and the speaker will be: Jani Ortlund. She is the author of the book Fearlessly Feminine. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”! Proverbs 31:30.

I'm thrilled because this is something I've wanted to do for such a long time. I really loved retreats when I was in high school. I always felt completely refreshed and ready to take on everything again. Its been YEARS since I've been on one though. (It also sounds wonderful that it happens to be in Sandestin!) :)

I am really glad it is only women too. As much as I love learning and growing spiritually with Ben, he and I have two completely different learning styles. (I've learned this the hard way by signing us up for the Financial Peace University Bible Study). I take notes and come prepared ready to learn and stays focused for all over 4 minutes and then starts kicking my chair or tapping my arm every couple of minutes (ADD anyone?)...

This is such a fun surprise and wonderful blessing. I'm SO excited!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Update on the finely tuned machine.

My dad asked me Saturday how my diet was coming along. I was explaining to him that my skin was surprisingly clear (not spot-less) for the first time in several months and telling him what I was not eating (or rather the few things I was eating) and he said its hard to believe that the body is such a finely-tuned machine. He said he was more like a garbage-disposal that can handle anything except green things... This would be where my love of all things carbohydrate comes from.

I have now been on this new & revised 'diet' for 2 whole weeks and I have to say that most of you were right (of course!) and if I could make it through the first week, it would definitely suck less. I am glad to say I'm there!! Its really not all that bad at this point. (Rather expensive, but not horrible.)

I'm still feeling very overwhelmed by even starting to figure out what may be possible to add back in and what I may need to write off the list forever (I'm really sad about queso dip lately), but I've had a surprisingly good skin week.

I had a chemical peel two Thursdays ago and thought it would just speed things up a little. Which it did. Then it stayed pretty clear (not normal). I was also taking a 10-day cycle of progesterone, so I wasn't quick to think it would stay clear because I thought it could be that pill... and it still could be, but that ended Thursday. (Anyone have any experience with progesterone and clear/unclear skin?? Or maybe wanting to eat everything in site??!?)

So get this though... my skin is actually dry today. This is a rare occasion to say the least.

I had a mild 'reaction' on Saturday. I washed my makeup off as soon as I felt my skin acting up. Ben came in and asked, 'WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?!" Because it looked that bad. He said it definitely looks like an allergic reaction rather than a breakout. Thank you very much! Just having another person agree that it isn't a normal break out makes me feel a little better on this journey.

Makeup off, clindamycin on, things calm down.

So then I went through the list of what I may have eaten/used....

wheat/grains? nope...
dairy? nope... unless Whole Foods tricked me with their dairy-free chicken salad....
honey? YES.... can you be allergic to honey?
nuts? YES.... the salad had walnuts in it...maybe 3 whole walnuts, but still... I ate them.
lotion? yes... I did put a lotion on my forehead that morning because of this unusual dryness... could be the lotion...? I did use regular lotion that morning too....Hmm... could that be it?

Nothing makes sense!

We're still at square one, but comfortably hanging out here. I have been in a research kick today reading about other people's diets and found a few other PCOS women who live a paleo life-style (the hunting/gathering idea) and they are very successful on it. (Can you imagine living this way forever? Could that be healthy???)

My mother in law is horrified that I'm even cutting dairy right now. She's worried about my calcium intake. So I looked up what I could eat veggie-wise that has calcium and its pretty much the grossest food ever (I'm an unfortunately picky eater).

Think boiled greens of any kind.

Ben said it was like spinach dip.... but spinach dip has sour cream....
spinach dip without sour cream is more just like.....

Boiled Spinach.

Or we could do boiled: kale, collard greens, beat greens, bok choy, plants from your backyard (seriously, dandelions was ON this list)... or Wasabi!! I don't even know what this looks like unless its in the form of green mustard on the sushi plate and I can't imagine eating enough of THAT to get a decent calcium intake!

I am going to the beach in 2 weekends with 22 people for a bachelorette/bachelor party. I am SO excited!!! I am very much looking forward to some sun and warm weather, but I have been trying to plan and prepare how on earth I am going to keep this diet up for 4 days with 22 people in a rental house that sleeps 16 comfortably. I'm quite anxious about it. Pre-cooked turkey bacon?? 4 days of apples for every meal?? I have no idea... I'm going to need suggestions.

Alright... way too long of a post about diets... I'll try to think of something much more blog-worthy to follow this so you don't disappear forever!

Workout Class

I love workout class. Step, aerobics, kickboxing, cardio-burn, ab-class, yoga, Jazzercize... I love them!

I do not love Bosu. This is the half-ball looking thing that you stand on and jump or can flip over and do push-ups, etc. I mainly just feel like I'm going to break my ankle while standing or jumping on this piece of equipment and therefore don't feel like I'm working out too well.

I haven't tried Zumba yet, but my friend Emily loves it. There is also a trend of hula-hooping around here. Hula-hooping in the park, at the gym, etc. THAT sounds like fun!

Then I found this on youtube:

Wow! It looks like they are jumping around with ski boots! I'm pretty sure it would kick my butt even if I didn't wear those kangaroo shoes, but look how fun it looks! I think I'd rather just bounce around on a trampoline and not risk falling over quite so easily.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Do I sound more sophisticated?"

Is what Ben said to me yesterday as he called me on his shiny new iphone. (No, that is not bitterness you are sensing.) I love apple. I love my mac. I love my ipod. I want an iphone.

However, we're on a budget. I don't have a steady job. I am interning. I am in school. I'm on an expensive eating plan. I have no iphone.

Remember Ben's enormous blessing of a promotion? (Still in awe of that one) God granted us another GIGANTIC blessing when his company also took over his cell phone line two weeks ago! Woo! (Saves us hopefully $30-$40/month!!!) Well his company's standard phone is a blackjack. But who wants a blackjack?!?!?! NOT BEN!

Ben kicks and screams begs and pleads and gives me his usual puppy dog eyes that win him buggies & lots of camping trips with the boys and an iphone was on its way... See we had to pay for the iphone, since he technically could have gotten a blackjack for free.

I have now not talked to my husband since the iphone fell into his precious little hand over 24 hours ago. Instead all I hear are gunshots & farts coming from his sweaty little palm.

Thanks iphone.

I'll take that money, thanks.

As much money as WE are spending on marketing for people to mail the census back, couldn't we just keep all that money and put it into our debt or maybe education???

I mean really... how many commercials, print ads, radio spots, signs, billboards, posters, fliers have you seen telling you to mail the census back?!

Seriously... this one gets stuck in my head and its not real cool to explain to people that you are just singing about mailing back the census...

But maybe it was their plan to annoy the crap out of us and get me to blog about it... so now all of you who are living under a rock know to mail it back. You are welcome.

5 Question Friday

My Little Life

What a fun Friday! I went to my internship today and an hour in we were told that we were going home because there was no water! Yay! It is bittersweet though because I NEED HOURS!!!! I needed to have the two small groups that I was going to do and the 3 whole-group lessons I had planned... Ugh. It is a beautiful day though so I'll enjoy it!

In the meantime: Happy 5 Question Friday! Link up and play along.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Can I have 900? I could eat a bag of Robin's Eggs during Easter... or peeps?! Love them.
However, these are off my menu, so my current guilty pleasure is: Way too much television. The whole time I am watching I'm thinking I should be working out, I should be cleaning, I should be studying, I should be reading... so yeah I'd say that is guilt.

2. What is your favorite TV series?

Just one?! LOST.

Biggest Loser, Grey's Anatomy, Flash Forward, Army Wives, I could go on.

3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

Nope. 3 classes of Spanish and I worked at a mexican restaurant for 3 years... and I'm down to Yo quiero una cerveza porfavor.

4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Probably about 22. Ben says that is WAY too many and constantly tells me I have to throw some out, but he just doesn't get it. I cannot wear brown cowboy boots with every outfit!

5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?

The kind on top of a sugar cookie. Yum! Or, peanut butter... or almond.... or peanut. Maybe just all of them!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dissappointment at the end of the tunnel

Have I mentioned before that there is no commencement ceremony if you graduate in August from UAB? I am so sad.

I wasn't big on walking in undergrad. In fact, I almost didn't, but one of my best friends told me I'd regret it if I didn't and she would have been very right. Plus, I'm always a fan of a good photo opportunity, so at the last minute I signed up and walked at the end of my 5th-year for a 4-year degree.

That day I NEVER in a million years thought I'd go back to school. It only took a few short months (maybe even weeks) for me to change my mind though.

Then when I decided to go back to school, I never imagined how hard it would be! I was told there was an interview process to be accepted into the program, which I was fine with. In fact, I didn't think twice about it. I dressed fairly business casual and didn't really even think about what I would say because I thought, no big deal, we'll just talk and all will be fine. Well, it was much more intense and intimidating than I ever thought.

My grandfather was ill that day and minutes before my name was called my mom called to tell me that he had suddenly passed away. I literally said to my mom, "I can't hear that right now, I'll have to call you back." Deep breath... and I went into a room with 5 professors. Deep breath. They began asking me questions like, "What are some experiences you have had working with diverse populations?" Uh... diverse? Hmm.... my answer: "I hiked 12-miles to the bottom of the grand canyon to spend a week with the Havasupai tribe." Yep... that was about it. (Maybe if I had planned I could have come up with more activities, volunteer projects and extraordinary things I had done.) Throughout the interview I was told I was prejudiced, inexperienced and very sheltered. Keep in mind... my grandfather had JUST passed away also. When I was told I was prejudiced I remember taking a HUGE deep breath and saying to myself... just don't cry in front of these people.... DON'T CRY. Amazingly enough (every emotion I have comes out in tears)... I didn't.

I left the interview (convinced I would never be accepted and needed to find a new plan for life) and a professor that would later become one of my favorite stepped out with me and asked me if I was okay. Open the floodgates.... (I can hold it in pretty well until you ask that question) I bawled about my grandfather and probably blubbered a few other random things before telling him "Thank you for this opportunity."

Well, after all that I was surprisingly accepted into the program.

Sorry, I got a little side-tracked.

Back to graduation.

So this degree has been a huge growing experience for me. I have really learned to stand on my feet during all of this and have become passionate about something that I actually feel I am good at. A feeling I did not have when I graduated the first time.

I was REALLY looking forward to graduation.

(Not so much the green cap and gown though.)

So now that I have learned that there is not a graduation ceremony for summer graduates, I have a few options: Walk the semester after I graduate (which will be when a very close friend of mine is also walking) or don't walk at all and rent a cap & gown of a more flattering color and go stand by our very fun 'Blazer' statue that also happens to blow smoke for a picture or two.


I have also told Ben a trillion times once or twice that he needs to plan a huge graduation party for me because I am not planning my own (or probably will and just sign Ben's name to everything... I've never been a fan of planning my own parties to celebrate me). This party is even MORE important now that there will be no actual ceremony!

Well, today Ben received an email from his company asking to please let them know if they, their spouses or children have graduated/will graduate this year so they can be recognized in some form or fashion that Ben thinks will be with a party. (WOO!)

I said, "SIGN ME UP!" Ben is a little shocked and probably embarrassed that I want to do this. I don't really know anyone at his company since he and I have worked over an hour apart for 3 years and they haven't had any company functions since the economy went to crap.

But, I have worked very hard for this degree and I'll take any recognition I can get (or any excuse to go to a party)!

So what would you do? Walk late? Not walk? Rent a cap & gown? Give the 'Blazer' a huge hug?!

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm in love with whoever combined two of my favorite things (& old posts): THIS and THIS.
Thanks Annie! :)

Music is a little off at the end, and I really wish it was the entire song... but I love it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Do you watch LOST???

Are you obsessed???

I'm so glad that Claire is back (Have I ever told you my obsession of all things Australian?) However, she definitely could use a bath and maybe a dose of sanity. Just bring back Charlie and I'll be happy.

I'm so lost this season though.

What on earth is with the flashes to the non-island reality???

And tonight... it said we were supposed to have some questions answered? I received no answers. Just more confusion. With only 10 episodes left, I hope they don't just wait until the last one and be like, Okay... here is what's up.

Did you get any answers? If so, I'd love for you to share!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

I saw on the news last night that only 33% of 16-year-olds are getting their license at 16. It said this was down from 44% in 1988. Well, somewhere between 1988 and now I'm pretty sure (maybe say about 10 years ago) that number must have been 99.9% because I only knew two people in my class that did not get their license the DAY they turned 16.

Can you imagine?!

2 years before I turned 15 I started planning to get my permit, which was just a must so I could finally DRIVE!

I'd even carry my parent's car keys around when we went to the grocery store, you know, so all those hot grocery boys would think I could drive. I was so cool.

Well, 15 was the slowest year of my life because all I wanted to do was drive. The DAY I turned 16 I think I woke my parents up at 4am like it was Christmas morning, telling them we had to hurry and get in line at the DMV. We drove all the way up there only to read a sign on the door that said, "Closed for Confederate Memorial Day."

Do you think I'm kidding?

I'm not.

Confederate Memorial Day definitely shuts down the banks and state offices here in Alabama.

This year it is April 26. My birthday is April 27, so somehow it fell on my birthday or the first business day after my birthday 10 years ago.

Talk about disappointment.

So my question to you is, did you wait to get your license? and why? or were you in line camping out the night before like the rest of us?

The reason the news gave last night that only 33% of 16-year-olds were getting it?

The economy.

Of course.
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