Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Case Of The Mondays

Oh man I need to do something about this whole waking up after 6 hours of sleep and then reading and trying to nap for the next 2 hours. It's killing me when I'm trying to actually wake up. Plus that dang snooze button-- "5 more minutes" turns into 30. Well, it's Tuesday. That three day weekend was entirely too short, but this week is pretty much going to whizz by with our event this Friday.

It's been hard for me to be motivated at work lately. We just did this "culture" survey about how we feel about the organization, and after filling it out, it made me really wonder whether I want to stay where I'm at. Don't get me wrong--I love the Club where I'm working. I love the people, I love the kids (most of the time), and I love the atmosphere that has been built up over the past five years of working there. I don't trust the organization as a whole, and when filling out that survey and writing in some of my answers, I realized how discontent I am. I keep hearing "things are changing," and I believe it; I just wonder how I'm going to put my trust in an organization that mismanaged and didn't hold people accountable, and then let it's employees suffer for it. I don't know, maybe that's an oversimplification, but it's the way I feel. It's hard for me to even want to go to work some days. But maybe it's just this crazy weather we're having. It's almost June. When is the sun coming out?!?

On a lighter note, I had a mini getaway to Portland two weekends ago, did a little remodel of my bedroom and now--you can see floor woohoo, and tackled the backyard to prepare for summer bbqing...and a whole lot more. I unfortunately am still not done completely dominating my apartment into a clean, organized, beautiful living space, but it'll get there soon! And Portland. Portland was so empty! We were there and the downtown area(s) were totally devoid of people. Nobody really walking around on the street (except homeless and they were nice), but other than that it just seemed so barren. We found people at the Saturday Market, and then encountered a small bustle of people near Powells, and oh my goodness had a great breakfast at By The Way Cafe, but other than that, I wasn't really digging it. Maybe I need to go with a local next time? Who knows.

Last thing on the whole catch up list--I'm going to start doing my 100 Days of Weight Loss blogging over at my other page Dynamic Leap It's where I started this whole weight loss adventure, and I don't want this blog to turn into a weight loss journal. So, if you're digging that type of stuff, you will find it there.

Welp, I'm off to get ready for work. Weekend come quickly!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blue Wednesday

Do you ever have those kind of days when you just want to curl up in your bed and hide from the world? Today was one of those days. I don't know if it's the rainy weather, my general discontent with my work life, or just a blah mood--but all I wanted to do was go home. I figured I should check in and say I'm still alive...stagnant on Day 4. I'll get back on track...just need to get rid of these blues :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I've been away for far too long. I have a lot to write about but alas I shall have to finish absorbing the weekend then write about it later this week. What a weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 3: Frustration!

I was awoken at 4am this morning by some irrational, angry tenants. I don't want to relive the details, but everyone knows how much I hate having empty apartments, and I want their apartment to be empty right now--that's how frustrating they are! But, there were some pluses to waking up early. I cleaned all of the common areas in my apartment, and I cleaned the entire apartment building. I got some filing done, and I'm feeling caught up and good about life in general. I think the BFF and I are going to take a spontaneous trip to PDX this weekend with our bikes! I'm super stoked!

Today's 100DOWL topic was "Do it anyway." It talked about how we get all stoked and motivated, but at some point or another we're not going to FEEL like exercising, or cooking a healthy meal, or staying away from the sweets, and the book's advice--do it anyway. This is one of my favorite chapters because it reminds me that there are plenty of things that I don't want to do all the time--but I do them because they're important. Am I important to myself? Is my health important? If so--I stay committed and "do it anyway." Yoga-check. Eating healthy-check. Mostly staying away from sweets--half check. Ate two unplanned cookies today, but stayed away from other sugar temptations :)

Today I read the first part of Matt 6 (1:18). I stopped at 18 because I feel like there's so much to say about the last half of the chapter, plus these first verses have so much in common. The basic message is if you do good things in order to get recognition from people, that's all the recognition you're going to get. If you give to the needy and shout it from the rooftops, pray to be seen by men, or fast so people KNOW you're fasting, all the props and admiration you get from said people are your reward. If you do these things discretely, God rewards you. I think it goes back to the fact of letting your light shine so people can see your works and praise God. If you're doing things purely to bring attention and admiration to yourself, you motives aren't pure and you just don't get it.

There's always that question of--if you're doing good, what's the difference anyway? I kind of think about it in the way of kids doing good only because someone's watching. When people aren't watching, they don't behave, but when they know an adult's watching, or they get a prize, they behave. They don't do it because they understand it's the right thing to do, or have the right motives--they do it out of fear of getting in trouble, or because they only want props--but 99% of the time in their downtime they're doing something completely OPPOSITE of good. God wants us to give, and pray, and fast, because we understand his heart behind it. We give so that others can feel his love and compassion. We pray so that we can hear from him. We fast so that we can be more in tune with him...something about pushing aside our physical wants to become more connected to the spiritual. Anyway, if someone's doing these things for props or to avoid hell, they're not really getting it. The behavior lasts for a moment, but isn't true...and that's not what God wants.

He wants us to understand love, compassion, generosity, and the amazing feeling of giving up what we want and getting something so much more amazing in return. His motives are good, and what he has for us is amazing. I pray that I will not do things because it's "what I'm supposed to do," but because I understand and believe in the motives behind it. It's good to be reminded :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kicking Butt

Today, was a great day personally for me. After talking about being interested vs. committed, I realized there were 3 things that I was merely interested in but not committed to: tracking calories, staying away from unplanned sweets, and exercising consistently. Today, I did all three--and I ran 4 miles again and shaved off 2 mins at 46:32. So I'm at an 11:38 mile. My goal is to get to an 11 minute mile whenever I run.

I feel so much better about myself when I am eating healthy, exercising, and saying no to things that aren't so good for me. Better choices make for a better life. It makes sense, but sometimes it's hard to get in the groove :)

Day 2: Committed vs. Interested

"When you're truly committed to achieving our goals, you have an entirely different outlook. Unlike being interested, where it doesn't take much to detract you from your goals, being committed means you stick with it, no matter what." 100DOWL

Today the book talked about the difference between being interested vs committed in this journey. If you're just interested, any little thing will throw you off. I admit that as I've restarted this thing, I'm been easily distracted by snacks, chips, cookies, and donuts brought into work. Of course I say "whyyyy did you bring these?" but then commence to snacking on them--way more than I should. This time last year--when I was truly committed to losing weight, I either wouldn't have touched them, or I would have had a small serving--then tracked it.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day and she had a quote that said "Goals that are not written down are just wishes." I feel like one of the biggest differences between me last year and this year was the fact that I was desperate to prove that I could lose weight, but also that I had really specific goals and I stuck with them. I've now proven that I can lose weight, and the pressure is off now that I'm in a size that I'm pretty comfortable in. I'm back in the interested phase, and I really want to move into the commitment phase, but I'm not sure how to get there. And the biggest thing that's hurting me right now is my eating habits--eating junk food at work and not tracking my intake. So, hm. One of my goals will be that I track my calories at least 4 days a week. Hopefully getting into that small habit will keep my on track and remind me that that 300 calorie donut is NOT worth it.

Whenever I read Matthew I marvel at how much Jesus calls us beyond normal response and behavior. He says things like "anger is like murder, looking at a woman with lust is like adultery in your heart, turn the other cheek, and love your enemies." He calls us to a sort of righteousness that is seemingly impossible. It's interesting, because he asks us not to respond like everyone else would respond, but to take it to a higher level. I admit that I struggle with lust, anger, revenge, and dislike for people who aren't like me just like everyone else. This call to have a better response is pretty radical, and it makes me aware of just how good God is--because he wants us to love and respond in the way that he does. He wants us to respond with the unexpected, to show what his love is like--full of grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness. Is this not why it says at the end "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." This is his character coming out, and it's good.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 1: Salt

FYI this is the book I'm referring to when I write 'the book' or '100 DOWL.' It's a great tool, and even when I'm restarting it for the third time, it's still relevant.

"Rather than being fearful that you'll repeat the past, build a new way of thinking." 100 DOWL

Today the book talked about not letting your past failures get in the way of your future success. I feel like that is some kind of quote--I swear it just came to me like that haha. When it comes to weight loss, it's easy to say "oh, I messed up by eating that donut, I might as well eat this piece of pizza, and also these cookies" and then to get on a spiral of self loathing and ultimately giving up. The book talks about changing that cycle by saying 'I used to be that way, but now I'm different.' It encourages us to make new patterns in our life, by saying and thinking positive things about ourselves rather than negative.

Words bring life and death--and our words to ourselves are so important in living healthy successful lives. If I told myself I was ugly, stupid, and would never achieve the goals I set I am 100% sure I would live those words. The opposite is absolutely true. I've seen this in my life, and am blessed to somehow have realized this at the ripe old age of 17 when I realized that everything that I didn't like about my appearance and my differences were beautiful, unique, and wonderful. I don't know what brought about the change, but when I believed it, I began to be more confident--and you could see it in the way I dressed, talked, acted...it was just so apparent. So, lesson for today--speak positively of my future success and of myself. Don't focus on the failures of my past--learn from them, and move on.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Matt 5:13

Salt--it flavors food. It makes things taste better. So I'm supposed to be the flavor of the earth. I'm supposed
to make this world taste better. How am I doing that? How am I making the world a better place? It's a good reminder for me. It's easy for me to go through the motions and say 'oh I give, oh I volunteer' but forget why I'm doing these things:

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." v. 16

It's to show how awesome God is. It's to reveal his love, his compassion, and all the goodness he offers and brings. It's not because it's the right thing to do--it's because he gave. It's because he volunteered. It's because he fed, and healed, and loved. He did these wonderful things, and inspired them in me. He was the example. Why do I do it? Because he did it for me, and I want others to experience the same love and goodness that has been shown to me. It's not about me, oh thank GOD it's not about me. It's about revealing real love and truth.

100 Days

It's hard for me to commit. I'm just one of those people who always has to have other options, or the ability to choose something different. I think a better way to describe my fear of commitment, is to say it's an inability to make a decision or feel satisfied because WHAT IF I find something better. Also, what are the lifelong ramifications of my decision? I can seriously remember all of the fear and conflicting feelings once I finally got a dog that I had 'planned' for for 6 months. I was terrified. I had this life, this other being that I had to care about. Commitment is the beginning of the end of selfishness and just thinking of myself. And that, ultimately, is why I think commitment is hard for me.

The end of selfishness. I live my life for me. I love my friends, and family, and cat. But ultimately, all my decisions are for me--my desires, my health, my happiness, my image. Now, a large part of my happiness and contentment comes from my relationship with others. I'm not so fully engrossed in myself that I don't recognize and appreciate that and put aside some of my selfish desires for the good of others. But I'm mostly selfish. I have to be honest.

I got a big smack in the face yesterday when I realized that I've been selfish and consumed with money recently. It was so subtle and had just enough elements of generosity and good deeds that I didn't even realize it. I thought I was doing well. Well, if I'm honest, I knew I was dissatisfied, but I didn't realize it was because I was obsessed with money--I thought it was because I didn't have enough. ha, ha, ha. So here I am, working through this issue.

My goal by the end of this week is to take my wonderful budget, tweak it a bit, and actually follow it. I don't know if ya'll know, but I have a kick-ass budget. I just never follow it exactly how it's written. Annnnd, I think I should cut down on my personal spending line. Sure I pay down my credit cards, bills that I can't avoid, rent, and student loans, and allow 6% of my income to go to worthy causes, but after that it's pretty much a big muddled mess. Savings? Yes...it goes auto into my account...until I need it because I've overspent on clothes. That other 4% that I want to give? Yea...that also gets thrown in the pot. So that's goal number one. Re-evaluate my budget, and commit to that budget.

My second commitment--I want to read my 100 Days of Weight Loss book & either a scripture or spiritually edifying article/book/whatever. I think I got through 70 days on my last jag with the book, and it really helped me stay focused on my healthy lifestyle goals, and it also helped me identify and work through food issues. What better thing to pair it with than spiritual health. Right? Right.

I was going to pair this with "working out 5 days a week" or some other such goal around that. But, I feel like getting my head and heart in line will get the rest of me in line. I still am training for a 10k. I'm still trying to eat healthy. Those go right along with these other commitments. So, August 23rd is 100 days from now. I was able to commit to 30 days of wearing the same clothes--more if you count the days I pretty much dressed in the same thing as the day before and was lazy around the house or town. I can commit to 100 days of spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Here's to a turn around in my thinking and overall living. Here's to me living a life of commitment. I'm going to seriously need help on this ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seeing Clearly

I went to church today. One of my new year's resolutions was making it to church 3/4 Sundays of the month. I have failed at that, but I'm always glad when I go, because I am always challenged by what Richard is teaching. Let me just take a sidenote and say that the reason I go to Bethany is not because of the people (I haven't fully connected yet), it's because they have a great leader in Richard. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't follow him blindly or think he's everything I need to get me through life. However, he is like no other pastor that I have "been under" in the past 10 years of my life. He is so well balanced, open to differing opinions, well traveled, intelligent, thoughtful, LOVING in word AND deed, as well as strong in his faith. He does such a great job of opening his arms to everyone while embracing his beliefs and living them fully. And he has a church that serves the community, houses the homeless, feeds the hungry, serves the needy, builds wells in Africa, gives generously, and is committed to their spiritual walks. It's not perfect, but it's exactly what my wandering, hopeful heart needs at this point in my life.

Today he talked about the kingdom of God, and how it is "now and not yet." How when Jesus comes, there will be no wars, no tears, no hunger, no oppression, reconciliation, and earth will basically be everything this it was created to be. He will come to fix everything. That time, obviously, is the not yet, because I don't know if you're living in the same world I am, but there is still war, tears, hunger, oppression, homelessness, poverty, and injustice all around. However, we have this opportunity to bring the kingdom now. We have the opportunity to wipe tears away, put down arms, feed a hungry child, stand against violence, and give all that we have. That is our job--to bring about this kingdom as much as we can.

However, we get caught up. We get caught up in three things: "Jesus...and," "waiting," and "power." Some people wait because they have this attitude "if jesus is coming back why should I do anything?" Why should I try to save the environment, be an educated consumer, etc. when it's all going to be gone and 'done over' when Jesus comes back? But that's not what Jesus did when he was here. He healed the sick, he fed the hungry, he raised the dead. He lived very much in a 'kingdom now' kind of world. And that's the same one we're living in. Some people think it's about getting power. They think "if I can align with the right people, then we can take over and MAKE everyone believe what we want." If I can bully them into believing it counts right? Wrong. So very wrong. And there are countless times in history that Christians have had this mindset, and many still do--and it's evident in our world right now.

For me, 'waiting' and 'power' are not big issues. It's just not been the way I've thought after living in this world, questioning my faith, and coming to my own conclusions. "Of course," I say to myself, "these are obviously not how we bring about the kingdom and people who think that way...fail." Oh, but then there comes the "Jesus, and.." and I am stuck with a big fat "F" on my head as well.

Richard talked about the fact that Israel's problem was never a rejection of Jehovah, it was always the fact that they wanted to have Jehovah AND another god aka an idol. They thought they could have Jehovah and Asherah but really, what they were becoming most like was Asherah. Their focus, was Asherah. Idols. Idols, idols, idols. We talk about them all the time, I've heard the speech before and identified idols in my life in my younger years (men, media, etc.), but it seems like it's something I needed to hear again because whoa do I have a big idol in my life: money.

It was surprising to me, because I pride myself on giving to worthy causes. I pride myself on being generous. But when I really look at money, and how I've used it, and how I focus on it, and how much I THINK about it and where it goes--I realize that it's a huge idol in my life. I thought it was clothes shopping--whoops back to money. I thought it was my job and getting more education so I can make more--whoops back to money. Everything that I've been thinking about and that my life is centered around is money. Shopping, job, clothing, eating out, travel, bills, tithe, giving. None of these are bad things. None of these things are inherently evil. But my focus on money has been eating up and taking over my life. It's been about Jesus...and what I'm doing with my money. Am I saving enough? Am I paying my bills on time? Do I have enough to travel? And in the end, really, it all just has been about money. Jesus, and the awesomeness of his message and everything he has been about has been pushed aside by my own personal Asherah--money.

Enough. I'm tired of my inner thought life being consumed by cash. Richard said "the kingdom resonates and offends." What the kingdom brings is so appealing, but what I have to give up to bring it about, what it throws in my face, is not so appealing. I know that I cannot end all war, and that I cannot feed every hungry person, but what am I doing to make the kingdom visible to people? What am I doing to bring the kingdom? And most of all, where am I "opening up the vicegrip of my life" so that I can see and experience the kingdom better? For me, I feel like it starts with money. It starts with me re-evaluating my budget. It starts with me tithing fully, not partially. It starts with me paring down my spending habits on eating out and clothes. It starts with me letting go of money as security, and opening my eyes to my role in this kingdom that God wants to bring to the world right now. 

I've been finding myself saying more and more these days 'I'm not perfect.' I'm starting to see very clearly that it's true, but there's hope. There is love, there is compassion, and there is life to fullest at the end of that realization. Awesome.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One Of THOSE People

I think I'm going to become one of "those" people. You know, the people you see bicycling around the city with their gear on, rain or shine? Yea. I think I might be on my way to becoming one of them. As you all know, I've been enjoying my bike immensely ever since I've gotten it. Usually it takes me 10-12 minutes to walk home (depending on how fast or slow I'm going), so if I needed to go back to my apartment to get something, it could easily turn into a 30 minute trip including me grabbing what I need and such. Today, it took me ten minutes to bike to my apartment, grab what I needed, feed and pet Shakira, and then get back. And of course I was so excited about that that I forgot to actually SEND the document that I went to my apartment to get until just now. I'm such a ditz sometimes :) It's just such an awesome and convenient mode of transportation--especially in a city like Seattle.

As I'm paying off my debt, I'm thinking of getting out of this apartment managing business and buying my own place. There are so many affordable condos out there, and now that I have a vehicle to commute with, living in Greenwood, Lake City, Shoreline, Maple Leaf, or any of the outskirts of Seattle proper doesn't seem so unappealing. It actually makes them more appealing because I think of how much healthier my body would get having a longer commute.

And when I think of all of the upkeep for a car--payments, insurance, gas, oil changes, etc.--and how expensive it can be, the bike tune ups, new chains, tires, and other gear I need to become a rainy day commuter don't seem as daunting. Sure, it's an investment at first, but having a bike will be easier on the environment, better for my body, and lighter on my pocketbook. I think that if I ever get married, and the situation would be possible, I'd want to be a one car household. It would be nice for myself or whoever I'm with to be able to bike to work, and use the car for recreational activities vs. everyday getting around.

This completely blows my mind because I don't think I would be on this side of this conversation even 6 months ago. I was scared of getting a bike because of hills, my weight, looking stupid, and now, I'm thinking of having a bike as my main source of transportation in the future. Craziness. My life, has changed. I am so thankful!

Gaining Life

I am so happy to have the life that I have now. I'm happy because I have chosen it--and it's full, happy, and good. A couple of years ago, you would have found me full of fear, waiting for other people to accompany me before I did anything else, and not willing to try new things. I can't remember exactly the moment (although if I read back into my blogs I could probably find it), but I do remember God pulling me out of my fear, and teaching me that there is nothing to fear when I have his love surrounding and supporting me. This quote helped me as well :"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live" Dorothy Thompson

I have done so many new things with my new life, and one that has absolutely changed my life is running. This time last year, I was in the beginning of my weight loss journey. I was working out at home, doing Jillian Michaels videos and DDR, and feeling pretty damn good. I was getting bored, and with summer coming around, I knew I wanted to get outside. So what about running? I have always wanted to be a runner. Here's a blog post from April 11, 2007:

"Now, as far as health, I really want to shed some pounds. And, honestly, I want to look even better in my clothes ;) Here's a goal: to bring out my inner runner. My dad was a runner. My brother was a runner...my mum was a runner. I've had dreams of me running and feeling so amazing and free...having that dull burn in my lungs and the tingling in my legs but not wanted to stop because it felt so good...I feel like my body is craving that. My whole family (including me) is/was athletic. So, I'm going to try to bring out my inner athlete. Who's my competition? Myself. Who am I doing this for? myself. I don't feel like it's even a situation of "i want to look on the outside like I feel on the inside" Because I feel great in general. I just want to be able to love my arms. I want to not have to suck my tummy in so much...I want to be confident all over. We'll see what develops eh? Yes."

I had wanted it for so long, and finally, I decided that I was going to do it. Cue the couch to 5k training and in July I started running. Now, let me tell you, I had NEVER run a lap around a track. I was the girl who walked the mile, who "ran the curves and walked the straights," but never a whole lap. I remember the feeling, running around the track and realizing that I ran a whole lap. A WHOLE LAP! Then I ran two, then I ran three. I couldn't believe it--but really I could. I've always wanted it. I've always known that I could do it, but fear held me back.

Now I'm here today, just recently having run 4 miles straight without stopping, and to be honest--I know I can run more. I've run a 5k for every month--except March when I climbed 70 flights of stairs--and I've seen my body change and grow leaner and stronger. I'm training for a 10k, with a goal of running a half marathon next year. A half marathon?!? I can barely believe it. But once again, I can. Because I'm a runner. I've always been a runner. It's been in my heart and my gut all these years and I just had to let go of the fear and do it. I am so, so, so, proud of myself and my accomplishments.

Project Finished

My 30 for 30 is finally done. I was going to post yesterday but OF COURSE blogger was down. It's all good. The last outfit it kind of anticlimactic, but it worked, and I felt pretty good about it. It was a great experience, now on to the rest of my closet! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Day 30: Sunglasses & Skirt-Ross, Shirt-ON, Belt-Jeans Wearhouse, Boots & Tights-Target

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Couple Of Things

Today is my last 30 for 30 day! Yay! I'm running a little behind so the picture below is my 29th outfit, but you'll see the last one in a later post. I'm so excited that I can finally have access to the rest of my wardrobe :) The pressure of taking pictures and making cute outfits is finally off of me and now I can just dress for me. That's another thing that I learned from this--I like the positive attention I got from this, but I felt SO MUCH PRESSURE when picking outfits, and I didn't like that. I like to dress for me, and when I was doing this, I felt like I was dressing for everyone else, trying to impress, trying to show my skills and not be boring. It would at times take me 45 minutes to choose an outfit. That's not cool. Sometimes, I have days when I just want to be boring, and that's ok. Sometimes, I dress super cute, and that's great. Mostly, I am thankful that I took this challenge, and am excited to take the things that I've learned and move forward.

day 29: black shirt-Ross, purple cardigan & jeans-ON, boots-target, necklace-forever 21

Another thing on my mind--why can't girls and guys be friends without people making a big deal out of it? I recommended this guy I knew for a job, and at a lunch a week or so later, I was asked by 3 people if he liked me, we were dating, or if I liked him. I was shocked, because he's just a friend--and I don't even know him that well as we've only hung out 2 or 3 times at the most. Great guy, fun, nice--all reasons I recommended him for the job--but it doesn't mean I'm in love with the guy. Now, I feel like I have to re-examine every little thing I do. I invited him to check out a restaurant--afterwards I second guessed myself because I wondered if he thought I was asking him a date. Or I invited him to check out a MF show--is he going to read into that? I'm donnnnnnnne. I just want to be friends. I just want to have fun. I just want to get to know new people. So there--I'm not going to let what other people think or assume shape how I act towards people. Because we all know that I can already be all sorts of awkward on my own....so let's just leave it at that :)

Lastly, I've been eating TERRIBLY for the past week. I feel so gross, I think I'm going to go on a fruit/veggie fast. Well, except I'm running so I know I need protein and carbs so I'm going to add a couple of pbj sandwiches in there, but other than that, I'm going to bulk up on the fruits and veggies. Hopefully that'll rebalance me and help me to feel better. Okie dokie, that's all I have in me. Gotta get ready for work :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Your Friends Who Make Your World

"Wherever you are, it's your friends who make your world." William James

I have this quote stuck up beside a picture of myself and my best friend, and I know it's simple, and pretty cliche, but it's so true. It's the people in my life who shape my world and make it fuller, richer, happier, and just better. The longer that I know my best friend, the more I realize how thankful that I am that I have her, and how grateful I am that we both stuck it out relationship-wise to get to the point we're at.  We talked about our careers, our goals, our futures, our strengths, weaknesses, faith...everything. It wasn't the longest conversation, but it just reaffirmed the fact that we know each other, and accept each other despite our many faults. I vaguely remember the ups and downs, the laughter and fights. What I know now is the comfort of our relationship, and how much we've each grown into the women we are today. I love my bff :)

Winding Down

I'm on day 28 of my 30 for 30 and I'm not only feeling super happy, but a little sad that this adventure is almost over. I've loved and resented the challenge, but feel great that it's something I've followed through with to the end. Kendi actually posted this entry about 30 for 30 and losing sight of her goal, and I thought it was really pertinent to me as a person doing this for the first time. I realized that I have to have my own goals, and that I have to figure out what works for me. Changing out some pieces midchallenge, being able to shop, looking forward to my future wardrobe were all things that were essential to getting me through this 30 for 30. Shopping while on the 30 for 30 helped me to be way more conscious of WHAT I was getting in terms of what would be versatile, or great to wear in the upcoming season vs. next season, etc. It also helped me not to despair about only wearing 30 things. I really enjoyed the journey, and am inspired in so many different ways.

Day 28: Teal Dress & leggings-Ross, White shirt, cardigan-Old Navy, yellow belt-Jeans Wearhouse, Tights & Boots-Target, Necklace-Forever 21

Monday, May 9, 2011

Orange Sherbet

I've been really into bright colors lately. If you know me, you know I like cool, subdued jewel tones, and you'll very rarely see me in a bright red, pink, orange, or any kind of citrus colors. Lately, I've been wearing bright corals, oranges, and have been contemplating some yellows. I don't know if it's because I'm yearning for summer, or am caring less about being all put together and "grown up," but I love it. I've been feeling really free lately--as if I have the whole world ahead of me. I don't know what it is, but I'm riding the train until I have to get off. Let's hope that's not anytime soon :)

Day 27: Blazer, jean skirt-ON, Grey shirt-Savers, Ring, nail polish, necklace-Forever 21, Tights & Boots-Target, Belt-Ross

4 More Days...

I have learned a lot of things from this 30 for 30 project. First, I don't need to buy as many clothes that I do. I know, I know, I can hear your collective 'duh' as I write this. But I just realize that there are so many pieces of clothing that I DON'T wear...and don't really want to wear. I've also realized that I love to shop. I don't think I can ever say "I'm not going to shop." But this project has made me to be more conscious about what I will buy, and it's helped me to say no to things that I can only wear one way.

I love variety, but I really do have pieces that are "go to" pieces. I've realized that my skinny jeans, cardigans, white shirt, leggings, and grey undershirt are GO TO pieces for me. Lastly, comfort is a big deal to me, and I've realized I could live in a big roomy shirt, a structured undershirt, and leggings everyday if I could choose. And belts. I love belts! Seriously, this leggings trend is amazing. I'll be very sad when it's over. I love my skirts, but almost all of them feel too short for work, which is why I didn't wear them as often--especially the jean and pink skirts.

Lastly, I'm thankful to people who supported me through this adventure by giving me advice, complimenting me as I was trudging through, encouraging me, and to my photographers: Jen, Adam, and Bec. I have really love doing this!
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
Day 26

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blogging Everyday

I missed blogging yesterday. I'm doing my duty right now, and then I'll officially post my 30 for 30 tomorrow :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Like...

Yoga. I've expressed this before, but I'm going to say it again--yoga rocks! There's nothing like the stretch and burn that you get with a yoga workout. I always feel limber, elastic, and warm all over after doing yoga AND I feel relaxed.

Shakira. Not the singer (although I find myself singing her catchy tunes every once in awhile), the cat. That's right. My cat Shakira. She is the sweetest, sassiest, cutest little butterball that I know.  I will eventually have a post dedicated to my little girl like the true cat lady that I never thought I would be, but I just have a couple of things I want to say that I like about her. When I come home, she's waiting at the door, meowing while throwing herself down waiting to be loved. She tries to swipe her food cup out of my hand when I'm dishing up her food. She curls up as close as she can to me whenever she can--whether it's right on my chest or nestled behind my legs when they're curled up behind me. She snores when she sleeps. She acts like I've abandoned her when I take a bath and will pace and meow until I threaten to put her in with me. When she fails to get her toy, or can't capture the laser, she walks away as if she doesn't care then gets back into attack mode. She is just the most wonderful, full of personality cat that I've ever met and I love her :)

Men with beards. I've said this before, and I'll say this again--I LOVE a great beard. I saw a guy today when we were touring another club, and I swooned a little as he had a nice scruffy beard AND he was teaching little kiddos. I can't help myself, I'm a sucker for a great beard. My (male) coworker told me I have a thing for men who look like Jesus, and I responded "Well I do love my Lord and Savior!" A little wrong? Yes. But I can't help myself :) Now don't get me wrong, there are awesome beards, and not so awesome beards. I know them when I see them, not all beards are created equal.
Clipboard Jesus? Yes please! Fuller trim, well kept.

Vom. Ratty, umkempt, full--but not in the good way, picture gives off the scent of patchouli
Yes. Just...yes.

Patchy. No thanks.

Oh yes, and after this beard search I was reminded that I super like Gerard Butler. The little girls from BGC asked me who my celebrity crush was a couple of weeks ago, and I was like, oh Gerard with your beautiful eyes, sexy voice, and perpetually scruffy face. He's so hot I can't even stand it :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm Not Crying, I Just Have Something In My Eye...

I remember when I was a kid, I made fun of my mom crying during the movie "Braveheart." Now I have to say that I was only 10 or so years old--far enough away from puberty that I'd never think of shedding a tear over some silly little movie. The memory is pretty fuzzy--I know we were all sitting down in my aunt's family room in Oregon, and I saw my mom wiping away tears with her eyes all red and I pointed at her and was like 'why are you crying over a movie- that's so silly' (or something along those lines). Almost immediately my aunt got on me, and I don't really remember what she said, but I do remember that she was really mad, and I felt pretty ashamed of making fun of my mother (but still in disbelief over the fact that she was crying over  movie for goodness sakes).  Well, as I sit here today, weepy over a DVD watched on a Thursday evening, I believe I am feeling the karmic justice of that moment in my adult life. Not just because I cried this time, but because I've found myself crying or holding back tears at every movie, event, or really emotional moment--happy or sad ever since I reached the age of 17 (or thereabouts :) )

The movie I was watching today? Rudy. The true sports story about an underdog kid who fought his way to achieving his dream.  I couldn't help but tear up. When the players all laid their jerseys down saying they wanted Rudy to take their spot, I got all misty eyed over the fact that they recognized his hard work and were willing to give up their own fame and glory for him. And then the finale just pushed me over edge. First everyone started chanting his name, then his parents and friends REALIZED what they were chanting and were ecstatic. That just got the tears rolling, and when he got on the field, I was already gone. The funny part about it is that I've seen this movie before and it STILL gets me. And I know that movies like this are made for suckers like me, with the swelling music and the moments of triumph, but my sensitive little heart doesn't care. It takes in every moment, waiting to burst with all of the emotions the actors are portraying on the screen.

Oh man, and kid performances--those always do it to me. A year or so ago we were watching my boss' daughter perform her Irish step dancing, and I had to talk myself out of bawling like a baby because they were so talented and awesome. Same with the Nutcracker--I was trying to hide the tears and the swell of pride in my chest over the performances of kids I didn't even know!

I don't know if it's working with kids, hormones, or just being a grown up/woman that makes me susceptible to crying at shows like 'The Biggest Loser,' or when I see kids perform. Maybe it's the talent. Maybe it's seeing people overcome obstacles. Maybe it's justice and mercy and self sacrifice. Or maybe it's all of the above. Whatever it is, I've realized that it's something that I have to embrace. I can't really control it, so I have to accept it right? Right. So if you see me with the end of my sleeve pulled over my hand, trying to secretly wipe away renegade tears at some random event, please don't be worried--I'm just my mother's daughter, being swept away in the wonderful emotions of the moment and taking it all in. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Only 8 More Days!

This 30 for 30 is getting really old for me. I love that it's encouraging me to wear new combinations, but I realizing that I have a lot of clothes that I don't like wearing...or maybe I just don't want to be creative with them? I haven't worn 3 pieces of my 30 for 30 and I'm more than 2/3 of the way through. I'm going to either switch out the pieces, or make an effort to wear them before this whole thing ends :)  Here are the past 3 days:
Day 20: Black dress-Ross, Boots & Tights-Target, striped shirt-Papaya, cardigan-old navy, Belt-Jeans Wearhouse
Day 21: Black cardigan, maroon shirt, skinny jeans-Old Navy, Grey Flats-Ross, Grey Undershirt-Savers, necklace-Forever 21
Day 22: Shirt/dress-H&M, Grey Undershirt-Savers, Belt-Jeans Wearhouse, Leggings & flats-Ross

Easy Peasy

I ran in 5k for the first time in a LOOOOONNNNG time. I actually ran a bit longer than a 5k--3.25 miles--and my time was 36:07. When I pace it out, each mile I ran was about 11:06; which is awesome! I really did not know if I would make it, but running with a friend and the fact that I KNEW I could do it, got me through. I'm not even worried about the 5k I have this weekend anymore.

This time last year, I could not even run one lap around the track. It's crazy to think that I would be out of breath before even 1/4 of a mile, and here I am running 3.25 miles straight. I know I could run more if I put my mind to it. I've grown leaps and bounds and am SOOOOO proud of myself. In September, I ran my first 5k--the IronGirl. This September, I will run my first 10k at the same event. Easy peasy right?

A coworker came into my office when I was looking for (fashionable) bags to wear when I'm riding my bike, and he was like "what are you trying to do get super fit and hard?" And I joked with him "Yea, I'm going to have a rock hard body." But I admitted after that that's not what I want. I want to be soft, and I think a better descriptor is curvy. I want to be shapely, and womanly, and warm. I want my kids to be able to wrap their arms around me and have a bit of a cushion to lay their heads on. I don't want to be overweight, and I don't want to be flabby, but I definitely want to be soft. Is that weird? I dunno what that weight is, exactly, but I think I'll know it when I see it :)

Man oh man, I am beat. I think I'm going to try yoga for the next two days before my run so I can be flexible and ready to kick but. Okie dokie, I'm gonna post my 30 for 30 pictures and then head to bed. Thank God the week is halfway over!

Plans For The Day

The sun is out! The sun is out! I'm so happy to see sunshine. This means, a smoothie for breakfast, biking to work, something light and delicious for lunch, foursquare after lunch w the coworkers, kiddos being able to run their energy out in the courtyard, and a run after work. It also means warmth on my face, yummy melting popsicles, water balloons, beaches, swimming, frisbee, bbqs, camping--basically the start of SUMMER! Can you tell I'm excited for the sun? Gotta make the most of it, it appears so intermittently around these parts.

And with those thoughts, I'm going to listen to Matt & Kim's 'Daylight' and dance around while I get ready :)

we cut the legs off of our pants
threw our shoes into the ocean
sit back and wave through the daylight
sit back and wave through the daylight

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sigh No More

Today was a rough day. Well, it started out fine. I biked to work, ate a ton of shrimp and fruits and veggies for lunch, beat my coworkers in Bump from the 3 pointer line (!!!), and just laughed a lot. Then I got hurt playing basketball, we were short staffed and the kids were INSANE, and then there was some kind of weird work drama between two of the staff and I'm still not sure what it was about. It just pretty much went downhill after the basketball incident. I just realized also that I'm probably not going to be able to do yoga because of whatever happened to my thumb. Bleh.

There's nothing like music to bring me back around, to soften my bitter little heart, and to remind me that love and forgiveness are bigger than all the petty bullshit that happens.

"Love it will not betray you, dismay, or enslave you--it will set you free...be more like the man you were meant to be. There is a a design, an alignment, a cry, of my heart to see, the beauty of love--as it was made to be." Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More

This is my all time favorite M&S song. That line in itself just makes it for me, and I love the builidup and simplicity of it all. Remembering love, how I'm supposed to love, and what it means to love brings so much freedom to my life. Even in this moment when I'm just emotional over small things, love loosens up the hardness in my heart and helps me to let go. It helps me to stop obsessing, to stop picking over the details over how so and so wronged me, how opportunities were lost, and it just leaves me with peace.

I want to be a person who is shaped and designed by Love. That second line, where it says there is 'a cry of my heart to see, the beauty of love as it was made to be' just hits me straight in the gut and makes me weep and hope for the day when Love will triumph. I want that today, everyday. I want it now, and I know that we can bring Love into the world through our actions and who we are as people, but sometimes it just seems like the world is so...hopeless. That people are so full of hate, anger, malice and jealousy, and that love is forgotten, thrown to the wayside. Sometimes I forget and I am so wrapped up in myself.

 I don't know what else to say, except that I'm glad that I have this moment and this day to say "I will love better." I can show love and be love to those around me, and that's all I can do. That's what I was designed to do right? Right. And I'm so thankful there are people out there who feel the same way. Alrighty, I'm going to get my tired mind and body to bed. After a little more Mumford of course ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Inside Play

It's raining today. How can it be so beautifully clear and warm one day and then pouring rain the next day. It's like the weather is taunting me. I'm starting to take it personally.

Well, we all know that I am not going to be riding my bike in the pouring rain, so it looks like a yoga day for me. I've tried a couple of yoga videos--some basic ones at my mum's house--but I really, really love Bob's Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga...or BBLWLY...or whenever I refer to doing "my yoga" that's what you can imagine. It has pretty much all of the perks of yoga, you feel stretched, relaxed, and strong, but you're working your butt of by holding yourself in poses for a good length of time. For the beginning it's definitely a workout, but after doing it for a couple of months, you find yourself getting stronger and fitter.

I especially love that there's 3 levels: basic, core, and weights. I can choose what I want to do based on how strenuous of a workout I want, and let me tell you, the weighted section is...strenuous! I love Bob's calm encouragement, and you can tell he's enjoying what he's doing. Don't get me wrong, I love Jillian's in your face, jokester, intense methods as well, but Bob's style is just suited for yoga.

I have my Settlers group tonight. I'm pretty stoked, although I haven't won a game in awhile :-/ Ok, I gotta get ready for work AND pack my lunch. 

Don't Stop Get It Get It!

I don't know why I love this phrase so much. I use it often. Way too often.  It does, however pertain to this post. May 1st was my unofficial first day of refocusing my life back on weight loss and healthier living. Don't get me wrong--every day of my life I think about the choices that I'm making and how I can be better. But, I've been on a kind of hiatus from actively pursuing weight loss. It's been great, but as I'm bicycling and feeling stronger and falling in love with my body as it is, I'm also desiring more. I want to be more fit, I want to run farther, and I want to eat better.

So, I'm going for it. Today I biked 15 miles and challenged myself by biking up harder, bigger hills. And I did it. I got myself up those hills without stopping and I am proud. It reminds me of how powerful I felt when I took control and actively pursued a healthier, fitter lifestyle. I have a few, simple, straightforward goals.

1) Exercise 5 days out of the week.
--This will mostly consist of running and cycling for cardio and yoga for lengthening and strength. On rainy days, I will do some other cardio video at home.
2)  Drink water.
--Copious amounts of water. Not diet coke. Water. Not 8 ounces. at least 80.
3) Track my calories
--Everything that I put in my mouth will be tracked on my trusty spark people page. It's a great way to see what I'm putting in my body, and it encourages me to think twice about those sugary sweets I'm so fond of :)
4) Eat more fruits and veggies.
--I can be really terrible about getting all of my fruits and veggies in. I want to eat at least 2 pieces of fruit and 1 serving of veggies per day. I'm not sure if that's the appropriate amount, but it's a start.
5) Curb my sugar addiction
--I love candy. I also love cake, pie, cookies, fruit snacks, brownies ala mode, ice cream. I love sugar. I was most successful and feel the BEST when I let myself have these things occasionally vs. everyday.
6) Blog daily.
--Blogging keeps me accountable. That's pretty much it. I also enjoy writing (most of the time).
7) Continue with my 5k for every month, and run the IronGirl 10k in September
--Run for your rights 5k, May 7th
--Susan G. Komen for the Cure 5k, June 5th (make up for no 5k in April :-/)
--Fremont 5k June 10th
--See Jane Run 5k, July 17th
--Run 4 Thier Lives 5k, Aug 21st
--IronGirl 10k, Sept 11th

Don't stop, get it get it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Looking Back

 As I was looking something up, I ran across this blog post. I wrote it almost 4 years ago. It made me smile, and it reminded me of the role that music has played in my life as far as faith. It reminded me how I seemed to be attuned to everything back then, so passionate, and nowadays it seems like that passion has waned a bit. And maybe not waned, but changed, evolved into something different. I love the person I was when I wrote this. I love the person I am today.

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Thursday May 31, 2007
"Clark Gable"

Some of you guys have been reading my blog since I started it. It's amazing to me that I've been writing on this thing for 2 plus years. A part of my life that has been consistent...not super consistent, but a place I could always come to. In my beginning writing stages there was this song called Clark Gable by Postal Service that really caught my attention. Well, pretty much the chorus caught my attention. It goes like this:

"I want so badly to believe that there is truth, and love is real. And I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd."

The absurd extent. The title of my blog. That's were I got it from. I thought that chorus was beautiful and expressed exactly what I wanted in life. I was at a point where I was looking for truth. I was looking for something real outside of what everyone was telling me was real. I was looking for something more, something better than I had previously experienced.

I feel that I am at the point of finally beginning to realize what I want and who I am. I find that before, it was so easy to point the finger at others. Now it's so apparent that I need to point the finger at myself most of the time. I guess I'm learning that I had been part of the problem all along...and that I had to readjust MY thinking before I was ever going to make real change in people's lives. I could SAY all I wanted, but until I truly changed, my world would never change.

So, back to Clark Gable. I actually listened to the song. I mean, really listened. And I found that that line is part of the bigger picture of a song that I didn't even realize was pretty amazing and...surprisingly SUPER relevant to what I was going through then. Here's the song...the arrangement is my doing....

Clark Gable, The Postal Service

I was waiting for a cross-town train in the london underground when it struck me:
That I've been waiting since birth to find a love that would look and sound like a movie.

So I changed my plans, I rented a camera and a van and then I called you--
"I need you to pretend that we are in love again." And you agreed to.

I want so badly to believe that "there is truth, that love is real"
And I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd.

I greased the lens and framed the shot using a friend as my stand-in.
The script it called for rain but it was clear that day so we faked it.
The marker snapped and I yelled "quiet on the set" and then called "action!"
I kissed you in a style Clark Gable would have admired--I thought it classic

I want so badly to believe that "there is truth, that love is real"
And I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd

I know you're wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the feel,
that your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by?

I was listening to this song on Sunday and I was like "Oh. oh, oh, oh." I got it. For so long, this guy was looking for love. He was looking for this perfect love. You know, the kind that they display in movies. The kind of love that happens like *that* You know, you meet someone, two dates later, you're together, you fall in love, and it's happily ever after. I think the happily ever after part is a big part of the "love" that we are looking for.

So, he goes to "make" this love. He find this girl that he used to love, and he makes this movie. This movie that is perfectly set up. This movie that had perfect weather...but "the script had called for rain" so they made it rain instead. They 'faked it.' I love the line that says "I kissed you in a style Clark Gable would have admired...I thought it classic." Suggesting that even that kiss...was fake.

Everything that we have been taught about love in the movies and books is...let's just say it...fake. We have been waiting and looking for this storybook romance. We have been looking for these men and women who "complete" us. We're looking, like Cinderella, for someone to rescue us from the mess that is our lives. Isn't this the theme of most Disney-esque movies? There's the main character, the main character's life is crappy, incomplete, whatever. They get into trouble, and then there's this person who swoops in and saves them from that trouble.

I know so many people who are waiting for a man or woman to fix their lives. To make it better than it is. I know so many people who WAIT for someone who is worthwhile enough for them to change. Change is inspired by the desire to impress that person...not necessarily improve yourself. And when that person doesn't "come through" all those changes disappear and you go back to the person you are.

Love...life...isn't a fairytale. We can't wait for somebody who will make us want to better. We have to choose to be better. We have to want to be better.

I know that there is truth. I know that love is real. But it's NOT what we've thought it was. Love is tears, heartbreak, loneliness, joy, peace, understanding, giving, taking...it's all those things. It's more than looks or a sexual connection. It's...ah I can't even describe it. But I know it's amazing. I know it's out there...I know I'm capable of it.

Of course, I can think of how this song can be an analogy of my life as a Christian. One day, it feels as if I woke up and realized that Christ (love) was exactly NOT who I thought him to be. And I had worked so hard to make him into this thing...and once I finally realized that what I was striving for wasn't real...I was able to find real love...real truth. The real Jesus.

But sometimes it's so much easier to go along with "the story." It's so much easier to go along with the "fakeness" because reality is hard. It's dirty and it comes with a lot of things that we would rather not deal with. It includes real change. I'm finding that living like Jesus is something totally beyond what I can do. But I know it's real. I read his words and I'm blown away by how revolutionary he is. There is truth. Love is real. And he has life in every word to the extent that it's absurd.

Couch Love

I am in love with my couch. There, I said it. There's a short story that accompanies this couch, and it's not very important except it is what I believe fueled and cemented my love of craigslist and bargain buys. It all started back in Spring 2007 when I decided that I didn't want roommates anymore. I had already purchased couches and various furniture off of craigslist before, but this time, this time, I knew what I wanted. I knew that I wanted something clean, classic and comfortable. What I really wanted, would have cost me $1,000 plus but on a BGC budget that definitely wasn't happening.

Anyone who has every perused craigslist knows that there are a lot of losers and very few winners. Not in terms of people, but it terms of furniture. People selling 80s couches, calling them "vintage" (when ratty and run down are more appropriate terms), and then asking $150 for them. People using the terms 'cute' (small), 'well loved' (beat up), 'several small spots' (only god knows where those stains came from). You get the picture.  Now there were nicer couches on there, but people wanted to get close to what they paid. I'd get so excited to see a normal looking sofa only to realize they're asking 800 bucks for that baby. No thanks, I can get a new couch for that much.

I had been looking for weeks, maybe months, but most certainly weeks. And anyone who knows me knows that when I'm on the lookout for something, I'm relentless. Every day, hour, minute that I could be on craigslist I was surfing around using key words and terms that I knew would find me the couch of my dreams. I have to say I was pretty hopeless. It was a week until I moved into my new place, and I was going to have to take that heavy, old, camelbacked couch that I had loved at one point, but was now an eyesore and a pain in the ass to move.

And then, I saw it. The couch that changed my life. The couch that made all of those weeks of searching, the worsening eyesight as I squinted at the screen day and night, totally and completely worth it. It was a small picture, and the text if I can remember something said that their cat had scratched the arms. But from what I could see, it looked promising. And, wait for it--it was only $50. They mentioned Room & Board (a company I had never heard of), and that they couldn't get it up to their room, so the wanted to get rid of it. A phone call to my dad, UHAUL at 8am in the morning, visit to the most beautiful home in Laurelhurst, and $50 later I was the proud owner of a $1,200 couch, with additional cover and pillows.

I was ecstatic, and as I sit here remember how blessed I felt that my dad would come out and help me at a moments notice, how lucky I was to have found this couch, and how blown over I was that someone would get rid of a perfectly good couch (for $50) because they couldn't get it up the stairs. These people truly didn't need the money, they just wanted to get rid of the couch. And I was the lucky gal who stumbled upon their ad.

Yes, I know that I just dedicated a whole post to my couch. But it's seen me through the past 4 years of apartment living. It's seen many bums, hosted friends over night, seen my brief career as a dogowner, been rearranged multiple times in two different apartments, and most importantly, has been a second bed to me. Whenever I'm sick, depressed, anxious, or if my bed is full of all my clothes, my couch is there. I don't know what it is about it, but it makes me feel better to lie down on it. I fall asleep immediately, comfortable, with the tv sometimes in the background lulling me to sleep, and I just feel better. I slept on it pretty much this whole week, and yesterday I felt ready to go back to my real bed, and face the world this morning with a fresh outlook.

I LOVE my couch.