here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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the mountains are calling my name

the mountains are calling my name

its MONDAY YALL

Praise the baby Jesus.

Thank the good Lord.

And all that.  I made it through another full week to MONDAY.

To be honest, these last 6 weeks have solidly kicked my ass.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, and for sure spiritually!  So to recap, I am in school full time (Macroeconomics, Business Communications, and Chemistry/Chemistry lab).  I work full time, teach 6-8 classes a week at Gold’s Gym and find time to kill it at Iron Tribe Fitness.  So.  There is a lot on my plate and I for sure have to practice to keep everything in perfect balance.  And it really is, as long as I stick to “the schedule” .  But the thing is.  I don’t like that.  I truly love being foot-loose and fancy free.  My old boss didn’t care if I took 2 hour lunches on Fridays, and I always appreciated that!  But now, I don’t get that luxury because Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have class on my lunch hour.  And Thursdays  I teach three fitness classes because that is what I want to do.

But readers, I really want you to know.  This is not a complaint.  I love my life.  I am doing EXACTLY what I want to do truly!  I want to be in school.  I want to teach fitness, and I want to have time to myself to workout on my own.  There are people who DON’T think I can do it all.  I have had a couple of people in the last week tell me that I am doing too much.  That I can’t possible be happy being this busy and something has to give.  And to those people, I say – Look.  I am doing what I want to. And when I am tired, I need you to say, you CAN do this instead of encouraging me to stop.  I feel that this year is going to be very rewarding because I AM putting in my time.  Being single allows me so much more to take advantage of without having to check in with anyone or schedule around two people.  Don’t get me wrong – I get lonely LOTS not having a partner in crime and most times at night for the 5 seconds before I fall asleep, but I have these really fabulous friends who share everything with me so those times of being lonely and left out are few and far between.

SO to update what has happened in the past month!

1) Sold my car (the excellent Volvo) and in the asking price, actually traded out for another car.  So.  I netted a few dollars, got out of a car payment AND got a cute car!  When I had originally tried to sell my car, I was sharing with someone that I wanted this EXACT transaction to happen.  Of course I was laughed at (its normal! People forget how determined I am) and it took about 6 months but I now own a Infiniti QX4 with 155,000 miles on it, one owner (who happened to be an attorney-father of someone I went to high school with). And – freed up some income.  Damn those car payments.  I am not sure that I will have one again!

2) I am moving (on Friday!).  Again.  Back to my side of town ;-)  Its actually about 2 miles from where I own a house.  But I am not responsible for land-lording stuff/house ownership stuff which frees me up to maximize my time for other things.  Plus my new roomies are REALLY cute – my age, one has a fashion degree, the other a marketing degree (so our brains work!).  One does CrossFit and understands that side, the other is in Marketing so I feel connected that way!  Plus, I just had a great feeling about the two.  And I have a front porch!

3)  I have had three tests in three different classes.  It’s a good benchmark for me.  I am not sure I am going to get the 4.0 I was thinking of – instead my goal is becoming more about the actual degree and graduating.  Like just physically graduating.  This will for sure be a year of learning!

4) I am finding myself more beautiful.  I know that sounds SO conceited   I get it.  But I am actively trying to be more positive about myself.

5)  I have been eating Paleo for over a year now.  Best.  Change. Ever.  But I must tell you.  This is not a damn diet.  I’m not cutting calories, I am certainly NOT counting calories, I don’t write down what I eat and I don’t eat all day long.  I have a longer post coming up soon about this.  But I don’t think you can call something a “diet” if its just a way of eating.  I don’t eat dairy unless I am at a restaurant and feel like ordering it.  I don’t eat grains, legumes and stay far away from the sugar demon.  And it has taken a FULL YEAR but I don’t crave sugar like I used to.  For instance, yesterday I had a piece of cake – it was from Gia’s and had some buttercreme- caramel icing on it.  Small sliver, ate some of the cake and most of the icing and then that was enough.  I swear that my body is running so well right now that I can hear when it is full and has had enough SO clearly.

 

So.  that is it.  That is what is going ON right now!  tumblr_mia5rots4B1r8fmpxo1_500 2013-01-22 11.30.28 2013-02-09 21.00.45 2013-02-12 09.20.41 2013-02-13 21.32.10 2013-02-13 22.34.44 2013-02-15 22.18.12 2013-02-17 07.07.16 2013-02-17 08.04.06

Pinky Chic

Pinky Chic

D&G chiffon dress, $645 / Brian Atwood high heel shoes / Christian Louboutin shoes / Marc by Marc Jacobs leather bag / Stella & Dot / Stella & Dot vintage cuff bracelet / Stella & Dot / Stella & Dot bib necklace / Stella & Dot twist jewelry / Stella & Dot stacking bangle / Stella & Dot feather stud earrings / Stella & Dot wrap bracelet / Cole Haan / American Apparel

inspiration in the smallest of places

As a fitness instructor and former one-legged crip, I hear people tell me on a regular basis that I inspire them.  And usually my response is, “really??  Little ole’ me?!” and THEN I think, “if they REALLY knew me, there is no way they could be inspired.”  It seems like that can’t be true, such a failure and a sinner on a regular basis!  But a sweet friend nominated me on her blog!  So here it goes!

inspiringblogaward

My job now to is to do the following for my fellow bloggers and friends.  I am going to follow loosely…

  • Display the award image on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites.
  • Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post.

7 rando facts you never cared to know, but now you do:

  1. I HATE onions.  Or do I.  I have spent 30 years and some change hating onions.  When I got my tonsils out at age 8? 9? (Mom? When was it??  Actually I don’t think my mom reads this….Let’s go with 9).  So.  When I got my tonsils out when I was 9, the anesthesiologist told me the gas would taste like onions.  It did.  It most CERTAINLY did.  So.  The taste was always associated with a not-so-great young memory.  And as I didn’t eat onions, I didn’t eat celery or water chestnuts.  (Think about it…SAME texture).  BUT they say your taste buds change every 7 years, right?  Or that your tastebuds simply die from old age.  BUT I find myself being able to add onions, IF AND ONLY IF they are cooked beyond recognition and I don’t have to chew them.  And they must be cooked in butter/ghee or coconut oil.  So yeah, I still hate onions.  And if its a raw onion – I won’t be eating whatever dish they are in.  Thanks, but no thanks.  I do have to tell you the best part about this – my sweet friends love me MORE than I deserve.  When they know I am eating with them, they take onions out of EVERYTHING – salads, dips, sandwiches, you NAME it.  The same people who will share a meal out to eat and make sure it doesn’t have onions on it.  Not even my own family will do that!  But it is one of those strange little things that means more to me than a birthday present.
  2. I love exercise   I mean LOVE it.  It took me about oh, say, seven years- maybe even 10 years, to realize that people really don’t love it like I do.  I thought for the LONGEST time that maybe they just weren’t doing the right things.  Maybe if they just TRIED ___________ (insert activity here – Yoga, spinning, ride a bike, hike, kick-box  BodyPump, Pilates, CrossFit…..) SOMETHING different, because SURELY there is something you like.  And yeah, there is – most people just like their couch.  AND then most people aren’t built like me – hit the ground running at 4:40a and schedule days like a BOSS. Using every minute possible to get as much done – including 10+ hours a week working out.  I recently added 3 workouts a week doing something for myself, instead of teaching fitness classes.  One of my friends called me crazy for doing MORE.  But – it is TRULY what I love to do.  Its the only thing that has EVER been consistent in my life.
  3. I hate to shower. Or wash my hair.  And I swear if I could live on a commune and be a hippie I could.  And while this fact probably grosses people out, I’m sorry – my skin and hair just cant handle it.  Plus, as a woman, have you EVER tried to dry long thick hair?  You did read that part above in where I state scheduling every minute of every day?  And drying my hair for 30 minutes a day just DOESN”T fit in there.
  4. I’m weird and crazy. and I am ok with that.  No, really I am totally ok with that.  There isn’t much in my life that embarrasses me or that I want to change.  Sure, some days I wish I had thought a little more about that statement I said out loud.  But those people who think I am too __________ just haven’t taken the time to really get to know me.  I am OK with that.  And if there is something I want to change, I do it.  Fortunately, I am in the segment of people that believe someone CAN change.  And have seen people do it.  Trust me, its usually NOT without God.  But I do think change begins with basic habits.  
  5. I know NO lyrics to ANY song.  And have no idea how to spell I*N*D*E*P*E*N*D*E*N*T when its in a song.  It usually comes out like I*N*D*E*E*E*P*E*N*N*T.  Or I sing lyrics that are KINDA like what the real ones are… (shut the door versus closing the door.)  I am much more into CONCEPTS when it comes to lyrics than the actual words.  I mean, seriously.  Ask my sister.  Well, actually ask BOTH of them.  I am TERRIBLE.  Oh, and ask me quote a movie?  Uhhh, no thanks.  I can hardly remember the name of the movie or the actor that plays in it.  Quoting it is WAY beyond me.
  6. I need sleep.   I wish more people would understand the importance of sleep.  I love http://www.whole9life.com because they are BIG TIME pushers that SLEEP comes before ANYTHING.  It is more important getting a workout in.  It is more important than watching your favorite TV show.  IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A DRINK AT THE BAR.  If you are looking for the one thing that will help you live a better life, it is sleeping.  Not sleeping by a glass of wine or medicines, but actually training your body to sleep better.  Turn off the electronics.  Purchase some dark curtains (or old-school foil your windows if you are cheap!).  And allow your body to tell you what is going on.  It makes a difference.
  7. I don’t watch TV.  Well not really in the way most people do.  It is part of the reason that I get so much done.  I generally catch up on shows from Hulu, etc when I am cooking, getting ready for work, or cleaning my room – half way listening to them, but not even really watching.  Last week, I watched Scandal while I julienned some zucchinis.  But as far are just sitting down and watching TV – i don’t really care to do it.  And if I do, I usually fall asleep.  There has NEVER been a show that I *HAVE* to make it home for.  And I never really understand that – when people say that they HAVE to be home to watch a show!  Why would you want to be at home watching someone else’s life so you can make a comment on Facebook regarding instead of actually making a new memory with friends!

I don’t have 15 local users that I want to tag….But I am going to list blogs that inspire me – to be a better version of myself!

Faith

  1. (in)courage me
  2. A Holy Experience
  3. Ni Hao Yall

Food

  1.  Chasing Delicious
  2. David Lebovitz
  3. Spoon Fork  Bacon

Friends

  1. Amelia Strauss, genius photog
  2. Indie and Chic, jewelry designer extrodinaire
  3. Family Snodgrass, makes motherhood of three look dreamy

Those I don’t know that I wish I did

  1. Eggton 
  2. PaleOMG
  3. Well Fed
  4. Whole 9 Life
  5. Nom Nom Paleo

you is kind

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. – Joel Olsteen
 
Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity.  Successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something and soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results. – William Jam

I am SURE this is hard to believe, but I am really hard on myself.  Like, harder than I should be.  Like, tell myself things that I wouldn’t even utter to my worst enemy.

Like:

You aren’t good enough

You aren’t smart enough.

You aren’t pretty enough.

You are damaged goods, no one will love you.

So many people have already given up on you, don’t you think God has too?

And it’s not just every once in a while.  I find that it’s constant white noise in the background.  This incessant dogging of myself isn’t triggered by something specific!  It’s just THERE.  Whispering things to myself that I wouldn’t ever say to an enemy, because they are the types of things that you can’t get back.  You don’t forget someone calling you fat, no matter how SKINNY you get.  It’s always there, especially when you don’t eat perfect or your pants feel tight one day.  And the older I get, the WORSE it gets.  Especially when you start to focus on any and all failures in your life.

BUT.

THIS YEAR.

It Stops. For good.  Not just for today, not for a month.  But for the entire year.  I promise myself that I will not be negative.  And despite the fact I don’t always believe in it.  I will be nice to myself.  Polite.  Respectful, even!

Goal 3 – Turn All Negative Phrases into Positive

Lord knows I am going to fail more times than I succeed in this practice.  Positive ANYTHING has got to be better than Negative Nothing, right?  So as most things in life, this is just about a habit.  I don’t believe in what I am saying yet.  But for example,

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. – Wade Boggs

I REALLY want this year to be a positive year.  I want to achieve some very big things, and in order to do that, my attitude has to start that journey.  So I have been telling myself the following things daily:

  • You CAN do this.
  • You work hard every day – you look great!
  • Chemistry isn’t that hard and you ARE smart enough to do this.
  • Your backside is not too big – its just the way God made it.

These are just the top 4 things I hear myself say over and over.  And let’s be honest – I totally do not believe it.  Yet. But positive attitude fosters more positive attitudes.  So, where this isn’t a life-changing goal, it might just change my life.

 

27.40

I am a numbers girl.  You may not know that about me, but it’s one of my FAVORITE characteristics that I inherited from my Mimi.  She was SO smart with numbers – able to add like 15 up at a time with no pen and paper.  She was a wiz when it came to financials and she read the stocks page every day (still to this day, I have NO idea how she does that!  Sorry, did that.)  But no matter how good she was, I am thankful that I got a little piece of that part of her brain.

I was texting with a friend a few days about about a VERY familiar subject of mine – being broke.  I said, “If I JUST had $10,000 I feel like my life would change.  Not $100,000, not $1M.  Just $10,000.”

That’s it.

That’s my dollar amount that if I JUST had $10,000, my life would be able to change course.  I could pay off my car, I could end my credit card debt (which isn’t much…but still there!), I could stop teaching ALL the time for money and choose to teach which classes I want.  And most of all, I would feel comfortable.  I would have savings, and options.  And in saying that, the fervent prayer and mantra for the past few months came FLYING into my head “What are my goals for 2013″.  Really God – this is going to be one of those ones that is hard to swallow right?  And here it is.

Goal 2 in 2013 – Save $10,000 in the bank account (completed by Dec 31, 2013)

So.  That’s a big goal.  That is a big lofty goal that I am going to have to sacrifice to make happen.  And yet, I continue to make life changes towards this goal without specific plans (renting my house out, downgrading certain “necessities”, etc.).  This is a goal that is going to stretch me mentally.  But let’s be honest.  I have a home.  I have plenty of clothes and Lululemon and tennis shoes and heels and Tervis Tumblers.  I have a car that is in great shape as long as I maintain it.  I have all the earrings and bracelets and makeup that I could really need.  And deodorant  I mean, I am STOCKED UP on deo.

Obviously I am not writing this down so you can borrow money from me.  Or know my finances.  But know THIS.  This is going to mean no big bar bills or eating out every weekend (I budgeted for like 4x a month).  This means I will have to say no to somethings due to money.  This is going to be a complete lifestyle change from the way I have been living for 5+ years.  I unsubscribed from EVERY shopping email I get.  I cancelled BirchBox and my fitness “monthly” expense.  I have resolved that I will not order supplements for performance other than food.  I will have to be content with the clothing that I have (umm.  plenty) and how I look in it.  And I am SO going to be ok.

But guess what kids – this chick is like freaky AWESOME at finding deals.  I have 5 “free” movie tickets to the Edge.  I have a $15 GC to Max’s and a $50 to my favorite Mexican restaurant for starters.  My birthday is coming up March 4th, and instead of asking for something that i just WANT, I will be asking for what I need at that point (probably money for books for the summer semester!  or tires.  Ugg.  always tires.)

So.  Here are CLEAR ways to achieve this goal.

1) Cash basis.  I budgeted out bi-weekly for gas and groceries with a tiny entertainment budget.  Anything I don’t use from one week will roll into the other, but if I don’t have the cash, I won’t CANT DON’T spend it.  The end.

2) NO shopping until the first quarter is over, which is March 26th.  At this time, I will re-evaluate if I have a) hit $2,500 and b) how the rest of my finances will look.  This is mostly about habits.  I generally wear the same thing for weeks on end (outside of work) and no one really cares are work.  Also, I have two additional closets of my sister and dear friend if something really does come up that I don’t have the correct clothing for.

3) Direct Deposit into a savings account that is not readily available or easy to access.  See, things these days are SUPER easy.  I opened up an account at another financial institution and then each pay period, it will just directly deposit it into the savings account.  I opted for NO WEB ACCESS so I just can’t see it.  I’m just going to pretend I got a huge pay cut.  Seems feasible, right?

4) Couponing/deals for the grocery.  Buying what is on sale, not letting it go bad and really paying attention to the grocery budget on a bi-weekly basis.

5) Selling my car.  This is a 50/50 shot.  It has been listed on AutoTrader for 5 months, I have shown it to 6 different families and it has not sold.  I feel I need to stay firm on the price so that I am able to purchase something STURDY with cash.  This is more of a praying for God to move on this type of thing.  And like my friend always says, you only need ONE person to buy it.  And I do believe that someone will.  In selling my car, this will give me a little wiggle room for paying off things while still achieving my goal.

It’s just $27.40 a day.  How about that.  

What is your big 2013 goal?