Friday, April 30, 2010

trust & joy

My quiet time hit me this morning. i love days like these. when it's hard, the Spirit convicts, and you know you can't stay where you're at.

I've been struggling these last few weeks....maybe even months. I'm not joyful.

I'm thankful. I'm grateful. I know that i'm blessed. but joy hasn't been a constant companion.
I'm very quick to complain about how i wish things were, or what i want.

This morning both my devotionals really spoke to me. The first one had a prayer that talks about willing to let Father lead me. I had to stop while i was reading it bc i knew i HADN'T been willing to let Him lead me. I didn't feel like I was being led anywhere....I feel like i've been dragged. i say dragged only bc it's my choice if i walk with Father, or if I go kicking and screaming.

I remember a time when I honestly, truly asked Father to take me anywhere, do whatever He wanted with me....if it meant being used by Him and for His purposes.

I can't honestly say i've prayed that anytime recent, or even felt like it. but how i long to be back in that place!! a year ago i went thru one of the toughest times i've ever had. and for a few months, it was a daily battle. but it was amazing at the same time. I relied on Father daily....I soaked up His promises and was comforted that He had led me where i was. I was obeying Him. Even though times were difficult, He sustained me.

Yet He hasn't changed.

My second devotional said

"Joy is never touched my external circumstances."

WOW!!! go back and reread that.

I have only been focusing on my external circumstances. And I've been so focused on the temporary. consumed really.

and i've made myself miserable. I can whine with the best of them.

This morning was so eye opening. Obviously i'm still processing and trying to relearn seeking our Father. Seeking Him to serve Him and others. Seeking what plan he has for me. TRUSTING that He has me where i'm supposed to be.


I was very surprised this morning when I realized I haven't been trusting my Father. My perfect, loving, Father who knows me better than i know myself!!!!!! and i've doubted. UGH!!!! it makes me sick to think I could let doubt creep in.


I do believe that our external circumstances won't always be perfect. things will never be exactly how we want them. but I want to be filled with joy!!! i want to be able to be honest if things are hard. but recognizing things aren't 'perfect' doesn't mean i can't be filled with joy in serving Father where He has me.

I know i'm in for a fight. This isn't going to be a one time get-it-all-at-once kind of lesson.  and i'm okay with that.  but i want to learn and live in complete trust of my Father. I want His arms to be enough. I want to be consumed with living my life in a way that honors Him.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Family weekend

Ok, so i have WAY too much to put in one post. So there will be one post of our weekend, and another one about the 5k.! Sarah made me promise that the time it took to read the blog couldn't be longer than the time it took to run the 5k...ha

SO Sarah & Mike got here Friday afternoon. It was SO good to have them here and show them Oklahoma. It was mike's first time here. and sarah came once in high school (which has been a while for her) :)

We hung out for a bit then started on dinner. Our guests requested our dumplings that Daniel made a while back. We had a great time all taking turns in the kitchen. they loved it, which made us really happy! we love sharing new foods with our friends!

Then we played a mad game of monopoly. I was the first one out :( Mike schooled us.

Sarah wouldn't let me go to bed before 9, so we stayed up talking a bit. 

Saturday brought cupcakes and expos!!!!! This is when i caught Mike reading my Women's runner book....this happened twice.

Then it was time to introduce them to cupcakes and coffee! We went downtown and pretty much made ourselves sick....but totally worth it!

aren't they cute??

then came the expo!!! i had SO much fun and hit an adrenaline high pretty quickly!!! it was so fun to be surrounded by all the runners!! they had cool little booths and goody bags! i'm a sucker for anything free....which led to a free spine exam and foot arch thingy. i had a blast!!

sidenote: if anyone is in a lull in their running or not that into it anymore....hit up an expo!!! it totally rejuiced me!!!

we also met up with our friend Catherine, who we've known for about 20 years, but haven't seen in about 8 or 10. She was running her first marathon!!


here's me getting my bib!!! (sidenote, i didn't realize the 5k wasn't a competition, so i was a little disappointed that i didn't a time chip.) i mean, how will i know what place i got????

Seriously, expo was fun!!!!!

here's all my cool stuff! they even took a group pic of us! i love it!!!

In order to 'carb up' (ha!) we made chicken parm, pasta, and bruschetta!! yum yum yum

We ate this yummy meal and seriously went to bed by 9. We had to be up by 4:30 am the next day!!! now we usually get up at 4:45 already, but was rough. and plus all the excitement!!!!

next post: 5k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Racing day!

be warned: you are about to get a play by play of the race.....

I woke up at 4:30am, cos we had to leave by 5. We were worried about traffic and parking since there were 23,000 runners!!!! it was a record for the OKC Marathon. (i like to call it that so people think i ran the marathon, hahaah!)

Got up, had 1 cup of coffee, peanut butter toast and were on our way. Ok, so i was planning to wear this cute green shirt for the race with my new little headband (not sure how i feel about the headband actually, i can't decide if i look cool or like i have cancer). but then Mike was running in a shirt i had bought for him, and Daniel and I have the same shirt. so we all changed so we could match!

We called ourselves "Team Kidney" for Sarah.

here is mike's bib:

It was COLD this morning. this wind was whipping!!!!!

We got there pretty good, and of course had to go the bathroom. we waited about 20 minutes!!

here's the group photo:

this is about the time i got jealous of all the little time chips people had on their shoes. I realllly wanted one!!

we're ready to race!!!

not sure if i mentioned it....but it was freezing!!!! it was SO cold with the wind!!

We left Sarah behind the corral, and went and got in line for our race to start. The half and full went before us. We got to see them run past us at the starting line. It was SO cool to see thousands of people all running. so inspiring!!!

here's the breakdown:

Mile 1: my PR,  11:40. I felt great and my breathing was controlled. i was ready to kill this race!

then came the hills. i didn't know there would be HILLS!!!


I didn't want them to slow me down, so i attacked the first hill. i thought if i ran up it really fast i could still have a good time. but i was wrong.

after the first hill, my pace slowed so i could recover. but i refused to walk. i wanted to run this thing.

hill #2 came.

Mile 2: 25.00. not great, but oh well. I could feel myself slowing down. i was scared that there were more hills and i wouldn't make it. there was one point i reallly could've started walking.

Mile 3: the last hill. and almost to the finish line!!!!!

i SPRINTED towards the finish line. i actually was running so fast the last few seconds i thought i was going to fall bc i was SO out of control, ha!

finishing time: 38 minutes. not great, but okay. i was disappointed that i didn't run faster. but i blame the hills and am happy i finished. I let out a REALLLLLLLY loud scream when i crossed the finish line. twice.

i was SO thrilled that i had done it...and not died.

my running partners, Mike and Daniel, were great, and we had a lot of fun. we did miss Sarah though :(

then they gave us all medals!!! i wore mine so proudly!!!!

my cheerleader and trainer!!!

Just for fun: (and to prove that i did it)

love of my life:


I had the absoloute best time!!! thanks to mike & Daniel for running with me. For Sarah training with me, even though she couldn't run. And for the countless support and encouragement i've receive along the way.

so what's next??

Sarah & I are training for a 10k on october 31st in Texas. I joined a local running club that meets twice a week! I'm BEYOND excited about this!!! we'll be running outside!!!!!

here's a quote i saw today to encourage the runners. I teared up when i read it....

“A runner is a runner is a runner. Even if you’re a two-legged traffic jam, you’re still a runner. You can take pride in that. The important thing is you’re out there giving it your all… As a runner, you’re probably in better physical shape than most of the nonrunners you meet. That alone raises you into the ranks of the elite. Ultimately what matters is not when you cross the finish line but how you get there and what it means to you when you do. There’s an old saying: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Ditto for runners. A runner who finishes 5000th can show more heart, more pluck, and more gritty determination than the runner who finishes 5th. And that’s what so great about this arguably odd, sometimes lonely, utterly compelling pursuit. It’s very democratic. The joy of it is freely available to all.”


Friday, April 23, 2010

5k weekend!!!

yay!!!! it's finally here!!!! The journey started almost 4 months ago and it's time to prove i have become a runner.
Sadly, Sarah won't be joining me on the race :(

She has...... streptococcal glomerulonephritis.

Yeah, i'd never heard of it either. but basically she has strep in her kidney. so she's on good meds and can't do much for 2 weeks.

we're both realllllly disappointed. she's been a part of the running journey since the very beginning. the good news is that Sarah & Mike are still coming for the weekend, and will be cheering on me and Daniel.

I have to be honest, i'm a little scared about the run. mostly bc i ran outside at this new grassy park for the first time this week and almost died. i don't want to die on sunday.

we ran 2 miles with me breathing heavy and complaining the whole time and Daniel talking as if this was a walk in the park. it probably is a walk in the park to him. but it was a def wake up call that i'm not in the shape i would like to be or have fooled myself to be in.

apparently running on the treadmill is not the as same outside...hmmmm go fig.

anyways, i'm MUCHO excited about this weekend with sarah and mike. they're leaving the kids at mom and dads and we're going to eat, talk, eat run, and eat

can't wait to show you the pics from Sunday!!!! I'll be the one receiving the medal, hahahahahahaha!!!

p.s. i have lot 10 lbs since i've started running. go me.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

spoiled part 2

ok so this is in addition to my spoiled post from monday.

I did not know that when you get married (at least to Daniel) you no longer have to put gas in your car. For at least the last 6 months, i have not filled up my own car with gas. Daniel fills it up whether its 5am or midnight.

I haven't asked for it, but am still pleasantly surprised and delighted each time Daniel takes on this extra responsibility.

Which brings me to yesterday......

Daniel had to work the last 2 nights, leaving me to fend for myself. Well, my car was OUT of gas. so i had to fill up on my way home yesterday. Keep in mind it's been at least 6 months since i've done this....

I got out of the car, and then thought 'hmmmm, did i turn off the car?' I thought surely i did, esp since i couldn't hear the engine running.

I painfully pay $2.62 a gallon and see our life savings being sucked away from us.

Then i get back in the car and realize, yes, the car had been running the entire time!!!!! i'm such a newbie at this.

well my gut reaction was to turn off the car. but then i was afraid to turn the car back on!!!! you hear all these things about electric shocks starting fires, etc.....

So i prayed, then started the car! WHEW!!!! no fires or explosions.

I immediately called Daniel and told him what happened. just proof that i should no longer put gas in my car, no matter what the circumstances......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

i'm spoiled

Some people (aka my family) might say i'm a little spoiled. i would agree to a certain point.

I like nice things. I always have. Even in high school i would save up my money to buy a good quality shirt rather than buy 10 cheap ones. I like to say i'm a good investor :)

I'm not ashamed of this. I'm not a real whiner, demander, or brat. I just have preferences :)

One of the many WONDERFUL things about Daniel, is that he spoils me. he likes it. i remember him telling me when we were dating that he WANTED to spoil me. imagine my surprise when i realize he actually did. :)

Which brings me to my weekend......

Friday was spent working out, eating pizza (sadly, NOT homemade), and making a Starbucks run. We were actually going to hang out and read, but the comfy chairs were next to the speaker and for some reason they thought it would be better if we enjoyed our coffee while also deaf.

(i have huge issues with comfy chairs at Starbucks or any other coffee shop. i would borderline rather not go, than sit in a regular chair....i'm just saying)

sooooo we left pretty quick.

Saturday we did a few errands, worked out, and got ready for date nite!! We don't have an actual schedule for our dates, but our weekends have been pretty hectic lately so we take them when we can!

(not bragging, but i think we look ADORABLE here)

We went to Outback for dinner, and it was YUMMY!!! we actually received a free dessert too (due to lots of weird things happening to our meal).

this is just fun....what am i doing?!?!

THEN we headed home and Daniel laid out roses and candles. He had rented Blindside-which i have been buggin him nonstop about. Seriously, it was a daily convo.

We cuddled up and watched the movie all whilest crying and dabbing my eyes. I'm pretty sure Daniel didn't cry....

It was a wonderful date and a very much needed relaxing evening. times......

Then we had the family over for dinner last night, which was way fun. Baby J is for the most part walking now, which is always entertaining to watch!

I made lasagna, green beans, bread, and Daniel blessed us with a comeback of his Valentine's day tart. he mixed it up and added peanut butter to it this time. i'm not kidding, i wish you all could taste the HEAVEN that is in this little tart.

i just had one and am thinking about going in for a second....i mean it's practically healthy. he used sugar free jello, lite cool whip, sugar free grahams......again, practically healthy!!!

sidenote: the 5K is THIS weekend!!! SUNDAY!!!!! Sarah had some tests today and will find out tomorrow (hopefully) what is going on with her body. we're praying for something minor!!!

Sarah is a HUGE part of this 5K....she is my encouragement and my cheerleader. she is just as excited about this 'race' as i am. we both really realllly realllllllly want her to be able to run!!

i'll keep ya posted


Monday, April 19, 2010

life unexpected

Ya'll might remember a while back i talked about finances and how we were on the Dave Ramsey plan. While we may not be perfect at it like Sarah & Mike, we do pretty good.

Our marriage is much stronger and more enjoyable now that we are on the same page with our money. We got married without a lot of money, which made it easy to know how to spend it....bills! There are things that must be paid every month whether we like it or not.

But after reading the Total Money Makeover, we now have a budget, use cash for groceries, personal spending money, and any eating out. It's amazing how freeing it feels to pay for stuff in cash. I know using a debit card might feel the same, but i can't really describe the joy that comes with our little envelope system.

Which brings me to the point of my post.....unexpected finances! April was a killer month. I know it's barely halfway, but financially we're through. All of our bills have been paid, and we get paid this next week.

April almost killed us. We ended up paying MUCH more in taxes than either of us ever would've dreamed. Little things added to it, like going out of town, registration on a car, and having people in our home a few times. honestly when i found out about the taxes, i wasn't upset about paying. i mean it's pretty cut and dry if you owe or not. I was WORRIED because i had no idea how we would do it.

I instantly started praying daily that Father would provide. I mean, He KNOWS what our bank account looks like and the taxes weren't a surprise to Him.

I did our budget and realized we would be dipping into our emergency fund...aka savings. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal to use savings but we went to the bare minimum and our following Dave's instructions about it.

I have been tracking every dollar this month. On paper we should need to use a few hundred dollars from savings. But everything has been paid for this month and we didn't have to touch it!!!!!!

woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

We've seen Father's provision so many different ways this month. Little things like a friend unexpectedly treating to lunch, the lowest electric bill we've ever had, finding an extra $20 tucked away in one of the envelopes, getting a gift card from a family member. It's so cool to see how Father provided for us this month over and over, in little ways we weren't expecting.

To be honest, when i was praying for Him to provide for us financially this month, i was honestly just expecting a random cash envelope in our mailbox or something. no lie.

but He didn't work that way, and i'm very thankful. i'm thankful that He used other people to be a blessing to us. I'm thankful that it doesn't make sense at all that we were able to pay for everything this month without touching the emergency fund.

It really doesn't make sense. but that fills me with much more awe and wonder at how our perfect God takes care of us.

Another unexpected, is that Sarah went into the ER yesterday bc she was in severe pain and had a high temp. They did some bloodwork and said her white blood count was fine, so they gave her motrin and sent her home. She's still having a lot of body pain and is going back to the dr tomorrow.

i can't tell you the last time Sarah went to the doctor, if ever, the ER. She gets colds now and then, but i've never known her to realllly be sick. it's kind of weird.

She's planning on coming up this weekend to run the 5k with me. I'm praying that she'll be healthy enough. I'm really asking that all her pain will go away immediately and the fever will disappear.

i'll prob blog later this week about our weekend. we had a wonderful date last night and family is coming over for dinner tonight!

hope everyone had a good weekend and didn't swim too much in all this rain we've been having!!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

weekend rewind

As ya'll know, it was BFFE weekend. I kicked Daniel out, ever so politely, so I could get my girl time in. Daniel went camping friday night with 2 of his friends, leaving me with Caroline and Amy for some MUCH needed QT.

I RACED home after work on friday so i could do some last minute picking up and clean the floors. I was walking so fast to my car people actually started staring, no joke. ANYWAYS, after cleaning like a madwoman, i had a few minutes before they arrived. SO i started taking pics of myself. seriously, there is no better way to fill your time. I'll spare you, so i'll just give you one.

remember...bad haircut on monday. my bangs usually don't look this bad...

FINALLY, they got to our house and we hugged over and over. It was SO good to see them!!! We basically spent friday night eating choc. chip cookie bars and talking at the dining room table till midnight. yes, midnight, you heard me correctly. i'm SHOCKED that all 3 of us managed to stay up.

But we can talk nonstop forever. seriously. but our friendship is also solid enough that we don't HAVE to talk all the time. but we really can't help it.

Saturday morning brought homemade doughnuts and my MIL's famous breakfast casserole. Actually the doughnuts are from her too, so we had a MIL breakfast on Saturday. it was yummmmmmmmy!!!

(the first time i made doughnuts they were either still doughy or burnt. I have to say, i'm proud of how they came out. i loved them!!!!!)

We spent the day shopping and wandering all over the place. Well, we got hungry first, so we had lunch. shocking right?? but talking takes a lot out of ya. i'm sure it burns at least 2000 calories/hr. honest.

We also just goofed around, taking pics, and making fools of ourselves.

here's lunch at a new place in town:

After gorging ourselves at lunch we shopped a litte bit and then headed to the mall. Now Caroline always wears these headbands with flowers, and i'm like 'oh that's cute.' but never thought i could pull it off. I found one i loved, but it was $20, so i settled on one i think i like for $5. i haven't had the courage yet to wear it. i'll let you know when that happens.......

in the meantime, we found some headbands that i think were supposed to make you look like a dog, or are actually dog toys.

Shopping at the GAP:

We went home after buying just a few things, and met Daniel at the house. I started on dinner-stuffed shells, and we spent the evening enjoying good conversation.

One thing i realized after the girls left on Sunday, is that true friendship doesn't feed another's insecurity. not that my friends lie to me, but i mentioned something i was feeling weird/unsure/insecure about and instantly they affirmed me about the situation in ways that only they could. they speak truth into my life. it's rare to find friends of such value. i love them!!!!

p.s. i ran 3 miles tonight for the first time in a while.....i almost died.....


Saturday, April 10, 2010

BFFE time!!

Can i just say YAY for friends, and YAY for friends who are willing to travel!!!!! My BFF's Amy and Caroline are coming up for the weekend!!!!! I've been counting down the hours forever! We hung out in January, but we just never have enough time for it all.....

SO Daniel is going camping with the boys and leaving us to have our girl time tonight. Then we'll all hangout tomorrow night and Sunday.

I'll be racing home after work to clean clean clean for my guests. Don't worry between me and Caroline, you'll get your share of photos of the weekend!

p.s. Daniel just surprised me for lunch today!!! love surprises and love my man!!!

have a good weekend!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Texas Easter

Ok! So......let's just say that i have over 200 pics from this weekend. Most likely, other than Sarah, you probably don't care to see 200 pics of my nephews dying eggs. i'll try and narrow it down....

We left Friday afternoon and headed to Ft. Worth to my parents house. Sarah and the boys were already there; Mike had to work :(
We got there and immediately ate Papa John's...YUM! we've never ordered pizza as a married couple bc we always make our own. our homemade pizza is good, but Papa John's...delish!!!!

Grant, who's 3 now, wanted to make a Transformer Easter bunny cake. Since my mom didn't have the stuff to make that (shocking right?), they made a regular Easter cake, with Grant & Ethan's name on it.

p.s. my mom knows how to decorate a cake. she can do almost anything...

Then the madness started. We started dying eggs with a 3 and a 1 year old.....



Here are a few pics during....ummmm Ethan got a little crazy and had red hands for a few days...


my fave from this weekend-Grant on Saturday morning! SOOOO cute!!!!
oh yeah, we dyed eggs on Friday, the 'easter bunny' came on Saturday.

THEN...Sarah took Daniel and I to the gym and tried to kill us. not really, she didn't yell. but she pushed us for sure. she taught us a lot of cool stuff that we hadn't done before, and can i just say my abs are still killing me!! thanks Sarah!!

Here is a quick recap of the weekend:

we had so much fun just hanging out with the fam and relax. Daniel played leggos with Grant the ENTIRE time!! They made airplanes and flew them all over the house. Daniel's great with kids; it was so much fun to watch them.
Ethan is driven by food, so wherever food was, Ethan was there. We had a big Easter dinner on Saturday-ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls!! yum yum yum

Then Sunday we went to church then headed home. I reallllllly wanted to go to the Gap outlet on the way back, but it was closed. grrr! i mean, stores are open on Christmas, really?

Back to work on Monday, and also got a haircut. Now, i'm going to play my snob card here. I don't like my haircut and have decided i'll just drive to Dallas when i need to get it cut. I have an amazing lady there who has been doing it for a few years, and has yet to ever let me walk out her door not looking great.
i wish i could say the same for the new lady here....and i refuse to keep trying to find someone and take a chance. so haircuts in Dallas from now on!!!

that's my 'quick' recap, if you want more pics, just let me know :)

hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!!!!