Pineapples

This post is literally titled Pineapples just because I really love the new photo I found for my blog. Yes, it’s fairly springy / summery, but I don’t care, I love pineapples! Did you know they are the international symbol for hospitality? When sailors of old would come back from a long voyage on the sea, they would put a pineapple outside their front door when they wanted to entertain guests! I learned it in my first class in college, and immediately knew I was in the right field. I love to give my friends pictures of pineapples when they move into a new house 🙂 I have a pineapple in my kitchen (not a real one – like a pretty one), it’s the theme for my backyard entertaining space, and NOW it’s on my blog!!!!!! The rest of this post is just a life update because apparently I don’t know how to write about anything else…ever.

Update on New Years Resolutions?

  • Well – while the house has stayed fairly clean, Savanah & I have now completely made the living room a hot mess, and the kitchen isn’t super clean either. I have three loads of laundry piling up because I keep forgetting to buy detergent, and I still haven’t unpacked from my four day trip. I made my bed this morning though. Small victories.
  • I am on book #3 out of 31! This may be due in part to the fact that I spent five hours in an airport over the weekend, and I was on four flights – but it’s still a grand success. My friend Jeana is doing the challenge with me, and she’s fabulous, and far better at writing about books (or anything!) than I am, so check out her blog, The Drunk Quill, here. And can we just talk about how awesome that blog name is?
  • Down 4.8 pounds – still not back to lowest weight – weight loss challenge starts February 5!
  • First 5K is this weekend, and it’s going to be real cold. I’ll keep you posted, but I’m planning on wearing double layers.
  • I bought all the stuff for my bathroom renovation! The reading room is filled with tile, a vanity, vanity top…all the pretties!
  • The fitness is going well – I’ve successfully worked out every day this year! Included in those days was my first day of weight lifting. And now, I can’t get up after I sit down, I can’t lean over, and can’t lift my arms….but come Warrior Dash in June, I’ll be super strong! Right?

There you go, all. I hope if anything, you learned something about pineapples by reading this. Have a lovely day.

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Life Imitates Life

Here it is, 11:04 at night – I really should be in bed as I have a full day tomorrow starting with an early morning fitness marshall workout, BUT, as I was cleaning out my car (more on that in a second), I realized that I needed to write.

Honestly, I have the motivation to write quite often. But then life happens – which is exactly why I wanted to write.

I often find myself thinking to myself (or out loud) that life imitates life. This seems like such an easy concept, but I think when it happens, we sell ourselves short and don’t remember it. For instance – have you ever felt guilty about not making your bed even though you didn’t make it because you woke up late after getting to bed too late the night before. Yeah – me too. This morning, in fact.

Yesterday, I cleaned my entire house. I was suddenly that much more motivated to come home tonight, take the trash out, and keep it clean.

Earlier tonight I was taking my trash out, I decided to finally clean the trash out of my car, because people, it was getting embarrassing. An entire trash bag full came out of my car. But you want to know why?  I’m incredibly busy and half my meals lately have taken place in my car – or I’ve been trying to clean my glasses in the car – or my sunglasses broke – or a whole other host of reasons.

I told myself to take a picture every day this year of my exercise so that I can hold myself accountable with my goal of exercising every day. I have found myself even more excited to exercise (even though that trying to figure out what to do for each picture is going to get real old, real fast).

Life imitates life! I could go on and on with examples, because life goes on and on, if we’re lucky. Some of them are harder and some are easier. Some make life the best and some make it the worst. Because that’s how it works. Overall, my 2018 life is pretty damn happy. Which means work is (mostly) happy (I say mostly because Bridal Fair is 17 days away), which means my home is happy, which means working out is happy.

Life imitates life…and right now, mine’s going pretty well 🙂

2017 Wrapped & 2018 Resolutions

It’s the end of 2017, so naturally a time when everyone reflects on the past year and makes goals for 2018. From year to year, sometimes I make them and sometimes I don’t, but this year I’m the former.

It’s also been probably my best year in recent memory. 2017 was a year where I felt like I came into more of my true self, had opportunities I never thought I’d be able to be a part of, grew in my faith, have more stability in my life, and truly feel like I’m in a place I could be for years to come – I feel like I’m home when I drive into Topeka.

I logged my exercise from June 1 – December 31, and it’s been truly a neat thing to go back and look at my accomplishments and what I’ve done in the last seven months.

Here are my Fitness Best of 2017

  • I exercised 133 / 214 days.
  • I ran on 64 of those 133 days for a total of over 176 miles.
  • My best run was 6.2 miles (twice).
  • Counting my most recent weigh-in, I’ve lost a total of 51 pounds.
  • My lowest weight was 182. My current weight is 191 (HELLO HOLIDAYS).
  • I ran five 5K races and placed in my age division in two of them.
  • I started the year a size 20 and am now a size 16.
  • I started the year a size XL t-shirt and now wear a size L.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of good things about 2017, not just fitness. Here is my Best of 2017 (in no particular order).

  • Getting my part-time job at The Brownstone.
  • Celebrating my dad’s retirement in July.
  • Being asked to speak at the St Jude Country Cares Convention when I go in a few weeks.
  • Being part of launching a new radio station (which I personally love – check out 98.5 JACK-FM!).
  • Being baptized.
  • Getting my tattoos.
  • Luke Bryan Farm Tour ❤
  • Making a plan to renovate my bathroom & kitchen.

2017 was a good year. I’m moving forward with that enthusiasm and completely plan on making 2018 even better.

A couple of years ago, this was my opinion on New Years Resolutions. While I don’t totally disagree with my former self, this current version of myself quite enjoys making goals and striving for them. So rather than a “resolution,” these are more just goals I have for 2018.

New Year’s Fitness Goals

  • Reach & maintain goal weight of 150 pounds.
  • Run 1 5K / 10K race per month (I already have 8/12 races identified!).
  • Run 1 10K in 2018.
  • Record all my exercise and weigh-ins.
  • Go on a running streak. I don’t know how long I want it to be, or when…but I know in 2018 I want to go on one.
  • Exercise every day. Even if it’s just a 15 minute walk on the treadmill, I will do something all 365 days.
  • 365 Day Exercise Photo Challenge – this ties in with the last goal. A way to keep myself accountable for every day is to document it. I got this idea from a FB friend – he has posted a photo per day this year, so I’m stealing it!

New Year’s Non-Fitness Goals

  • Read 25 – 36 books this year. I want to complete the Full House Reading Challenge this year, ANDDDD…
  • …Attend book club 9 out of 12 months. If I use book club books for the challenge, it’ll be 25 books. If I add book club books to the challenge, it’ll be 36. These two goals are pretty lofty – last year I read 19 books and this year I read 14, but goals are for improvement, right?!
  • Develop a cleaning schedule for my house. And stick to it.
  • Pay off my car (scheduled for February!).
  • Renovate my bathroom (scheduled for June or before!).
  • Save for kitchen renovation.
  • Continue with my no-soda habit. I haven’t had soda since May, and plan on continuing not drinking it!
  • Volunteer at the Topeka Rescue Mission once a month.

 

 

There you have it! My 2017 wrapped up and 2018 goals. The thing I need to remember is that I have all year to complete these. I think New Year’s Resolutions are hard because if February comes and you haven’t met them, the guilt sets in, which is true for me too. But these are all things that will improve my life past 2018 as well! I’m excited to get started.

Happy New Year, friends!

 

 

 

Full House Reading Challenge 2018

When writing my 2018 New Year’s Goals, it was initially going to be a goal of mine to read 15 books. It was on par with what I’ve read the last two years. I wanted to also complete a challenge, so I got to hunting for one on the internet. I sifted through quite a few that just didn’t really work for me, and then I found this!

Full House Challenge 2018

It was set up like a bingo card, which initially intrigued me.

2018 Full House grid

As I got to looking at the list, it seemed like not only one I seemed comfortable with, but one that if I try hard enough, I’ll be able to do! A few of them overlap for book club, but I will still end up with about 30 books read in 2018, if I read my heart out and complete it all! Here are the books I chose for the challenge! Those marked with a * are those that double for book club!

Mystery / Thriller: Inferno, Dan Brown
Historical: Hidden Figures*, Margot Lee Shetterly
Over 500 pages: The Host, Stephenie Meyer
Setting in a Library / Bookshop: The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan
4 word title: The Couple Next Door*, Shari Lapena
Last book added to your TBR: Capital Gaines, Chip Gaines
Classic: Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Fantasy: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Coming of Age: The Kite Runner*, Khaled Hosseini
Movie Adaptation: Under the Tuscan Sun*, Frances Mays
Holiday: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Plot Twist: We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
Humor: Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern
Self-Improvement: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey
Redemption: A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
Number in Title: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency*, Alexander McCall Smith
Under 250 pages: A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
New to You Foreign Author: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
From a Favorite Series: The Slippery Slope, Lemony Snicket
Dual Timeline: Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
Nonfiction book about a hobby: EITHER Running Like a Girl, Alexandrea Heminsley OR Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, Kristin Armstrong
Children’s Book: 
The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt
Random TBR: 
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green
Memoir or Autobiography: Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham
Reread: Ready Player One*, Ernest Cline

It’s very intimidating. But with 6/12 book club books working with this challenge, it makes it a little easier. Let’s go 2018 – I better get to reading!

 

November & More

Well, I can officially add November 2017 as another month of no blogging. I’m not going to lie, friends, life is pretty much non stop for me. You know you’re busy when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think is, “Which job(s) do I have today?” I’m definitely not complaining…I truly love both my jobs and my busy life – but it is busy. I am rarely home for much longer than to come home, eat (which as of late has been not good food – more on that below), shower if I have enough energy, and go to bed. So even though I hate writing posts for the pure sake of updating you on my life…that’s what tonight’s post is going to be about.

Baptism! On November 16, my church small group completed the Rooted experience and I took the step of faith to be baptized. I was blessed to be baptized by a friend of mine whose faith inspires me every day.

Tulsa! My mom, grandma, cousin, & I all went down to Tulsa & Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for a long weekend. We got some crafting in, ate some wonderful food, and most importantly, got to visit The Mercantile!!! The Merc is Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman’s store, and I AM IN LOVE. I absolutely love her, and going to her store & eating in the restaurant was a dream. Can’t wait to go back!

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Happy Thanksgiving from Rhea & Everett (grandma & grandpa) & the grandkids!

Birthday Weekend! I turned 27 on the 27th and celebrated in two ways – the first was by running my 5th 5K of the year – AND PLACING. I got my fastest time by 1:22 with 28:02 and placed second in my age division! Then I went home, put on my fancy dress, and partied…..and by partied, I mean played board games and was in bed by midnight…but I DID do it in that gold dress 🙂

 

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Chick Chat! At my radio station job, we are focusing heavily on digital initiatives – and this is one of them! A former coworker & I had the idea for a female-led podcast called Chick Chat, and now it is a real thing! She is no longer with the radio station, but my partner in crime Danielle is a great co-host. We are simply two chicks chatting, and I am so incredibly proud of our episodes. Click here to listen!

Those are the major things that have been going on in my life. In other news:

  • I’ve gained about five pounds and found my motivation to be at an all-time low with my sweets craving at an all-time high.
  • Christmas 98.5 & Bridal Fair: Major radio station events that are keeping me busy!
  • St Jude: I get to go to Memphis for St Jude again and I CANNOT WAIT.
  • New Years Resolutions: I’m making them again this year! Can’t decide if I’m excited about it or setting myself up for failure. Time will tell.
  • It took me over a week to decorate for Christmas this year.
  • Pumpkins are still on my front porch.
  • I ate five cookies the other night in less than two hours.
  • I took a ten minute power nap on my couch the other night instead of just going to bed.
  • I actually put “clean desk” as a to-do list item and then lost the list in desk that needs to be cleaned.
  • I have 24 things on my calendar….in the next 7 days.

As you can tell – good things are happening. And as you can tell – life is also kind of kicking my behind right now. But I’m focusing on the good, playing Christmas music (& new Luke Bryan <3) every chance I get, not sweating the small stuff, remembering that four consecutive days of family time is right around the corner (which YES is a good thing for me), and reminding myself consistently that Jesus has got even my crazy life under control – so sometimes it’s ok that I don’t.

Breakthroughs

So…I’ve had some setbacks lately. And most of them are because of my inability to stay motivated or stick to my diet. It’s October…and I LOVE CANDY. The fall has always been about soups, pumpkin baked goods, candy, comfort food, and definitely NOT about the green peppers that I have to crunch, crunch, crunch all the time. Last Wednesday, I put myself on a “NO SWEETS” moratorium until my birthday party. Then I ate two and a half small bundt cakes on Friday, one bite of a cookie Saturday, one bite of a cookie yesterday, and some muffin batter tonight. So I guess it starts again tomorrow?

So, anyway, I’ve been pitying myself as if I don’t have control when in reality I’m the only one who can take control. And motivation has been exceptionally hard lately. I’ve had two two pound weigh-ins in a month, I have the worst sweet tooth, and I just…it’s just been hard.

Lo and behold came this weekend! And it was a hell of a weekend. On Saturday, my goal was to run five miles. When I run five, I route six so that I can walk the last mile as recovery. Well, while on my run, I hit five, and decided that six wasn’t too bad. So breakthrough #1…my first unofficial 10K.

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This was absolutely incredible for me to be able to do. I never thought I’d be able to do it, and I didn’t die. Now I will say after Saturday’s run and this morning’s 3.1 run, I am a little sore, but that doesn’t downplay what I was able to do. AND I think I might want to run one – for real!

I have not been great with progress pictures during my weight loss journey. But Saturday night gave me an opportunity to have one. I went to my brother’s Halloween party, and out of curiosity, I brought up my Halloween picture from last year, and put the two side by side. I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

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Breakthrough #2? Being able to see what other people have told me they see…and letting myself be proud of it.

This morning I had my weigh in…and that was breakthrough #3. I hit my lowest weight yet, and officially at 58 pounds lost – and on my “weight thermometer,” I finally got to go into my next color!

I needed all of these this weekend. Motivation is hard, people. It truly is. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you let your head get in the way of what’s happened. But then, a few things come your way that remind you it’s the small victories that matter, and give you exactly what you need to push through.

 

I Love

I’m tired of writing nothing but life update posts. When you don’t blog much because of your crazy busy life, the last thing you want to do is continue to talk about that crazy, busy life…so if you wanted to know what’s going on in my life, tough.

For some reason, I’ve been taking extra time lately to really pay attention to what I love and the small things that make me happy. And you get to learn what a lot of them are because that’s what I feel like writing about.

I love…

…Papermate colored pens.
…leggings. Good lord, I never thought I’d say this, but they are LIFE.
…peanut butter with honey. I go through a jar a week, folks. It’s the healthy person’s junk food.
…Thursday nights, purely for Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
Snoozie slippers.
…plush blankets. I have over 20, and that doesn’t even count my holiday specific ones.
…the feeling after a run. People, go on a run. I can’t even explain the high you’ll feel after one.
…reading in my reading room in the fall with my windows and doors open.
…Sparkling Ices. This provides me the part I miss the most about soda (the bubbles!).
…Google calendar. I would die without the color coding simplicity of using this.
…the ease of checking my fitbit for the time when I wake up in the middle of the night.
…similarly, my ability to sleep like a rock. I’m so thankful that I sleep well.
…Chobani flips yogurts. LIFE. CHANGING.
…my Kicker wireless headphones.
…being moved to tears from a song or a message heard in church.
…Mary Kay cream eyeshadow.
…travel.
…decorating a home.
…baby laughter.
…dresses.

There you go! Some of my loves. ❤