Blogging News & Book Reviews

In case you missed it on Facebook, or haven’t seen the button on the bottom of the page, I just joined a group of bloggers (Triangle Area Bloggers)! I’m now listed in the directory, and pretty super stoked about it. I was processing some things with Josh, like the fact that I was looking into getting my own blog domain. Suddenly, I felt so… lame. A million thoughts flew through my mind… am I trying too hard? I barely have any readers, why would I actually invest money in this? Is this even worth while? These are my thoughts… no, I’m not trying too hard. I don’t feel this way about my crafting, my sewing, my baking, or my cooking. I’m not “trying too hard.” I’m expressing myself, enjoying it, and the blog was for me in the first place! I’m excited to share it all, but I need to remind myself that this blog was for me to enjoy.

I used to think that if I knew something I didn’t have to keep repeating it… like… the Gospel. However, something that I absolutely L-O-V-E about my church is that they repeat it all the time. The Gospel is the reason that we live. I think that’s a good thing to repeat and recount. Maybe it has gotten old to you readers (PS I don’t care- see paragraph above 🙂 ), but I have been rehearsing daily truths, and have greatly benefited from it. (See examples, below.)

I must admit things, because this is a place where I do that. All those wonderful ideas I had painted for Monday night… they just did not happen. We didn’t have enough alfredo for the three of us (I really should have opened that deceptively full container and looked before I made plans), so one of us had alfredo, one of us had sandwiches, and one of us had a quesadilla. I didn’t feel good, sooooo I basically went from watching American Idol on the couch, to watching Grey’s Anatomy in bed. The laundry remained in a pile.

A funny thing happened the other morning. I have a few pairs of pants hanging in the closet, two of which I can currently wear, and two of which I really can’t. Well, on a day I was particularly sleepy and bloaty (go with it, it can be a word) I pulled the wrong size of pants out of the closet…. but I thought I pulled the ones that fit. I WAS SO VERY CONFUSED. Not upset, not distraught, but confused. I figured it out, laughed at myself, and went on with my day. Later, I shared the story with Josh and I could tell, from his response, that he thought I was really beating up on myself. I assured him that I wasn’t. I have gotten such a confidence boost from just eating better, drinking more water, and meeting my step goals. I told him I want to be the healthiest, best version of me… not the skinniest. I have learned, over the past year plus of marriage, that I am really good at taking care of other people… but I am really bad at taking care of myself. I don’t say nice things to myself, I don’t put on nice clothes for fun, I don’t treat my body like it’s worth taking care of. So, that is all stopping. Instead of saying, “I’m not sure I can pull off the chambray today…” I said “you know what? THIS is what I want to wear… and I may think it looks better on so-and-so, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel good wearing it.”

There are two things I have really been enjoying lately: one is a book and one is a game. The game is Carcassonne. You may recall that I downloaded it for free last week on Kindle! I LOVE IT. It is just so fun to play the game whenever I want, and wherever I want!

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Now, I am a self-proclaimed book-worm…. but if I’m honest, it’s been a long time since I have actually finished a book -the last book I read was “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling and it was hilarious…. I highly recommend it! I don’t think that will be the case for long… I have been lost in the book “One Last Thing” by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue. It is a tough subject, but a really good read. If you don’t know, I have been a huge fan of Rebecca St. James… since forever. I know every song, my walls were covered in RSJ posters, and I thought I was going to pass out from excitement when I got to meet her (twice). I have so much respect for her, and I still love her music… and now I’m enjoying all things RSJ on a new level: fiction. The book is set in the South, and the main character is around my age, and finds out a few weeks before her wedding (in December) that her fiance is addicted to pornography. All those details make it so easy for me to put myself in the main character’s shoes… and it is absolutely heartbreaking. Knowing Rebecca, this is going to be such an awesome story of God’s healing. She has been a huge advocate for purity (bash her songs all you want, but she’s my hero)… and this book advocates for it in a whole new way. This isn’t Rebecca’s first fiction novel, but it’s the first I’ve read… her others are on my “to read” list. What are you reading? Any suggestions?? We have a loooong road trip coming up in May, so I’m trying to gather some new options!

Tonight is date night, and we haven’t decided where we’re going. We will either use a giftcard, or we’ll go to Panera. (As you gathered, I am the indecisive one here.) Our March budget was a little tight, which is fine- we have a lofty goal for paying off some student loans. This morning I’m pretty set on Panera…. so we shall see! Otherwise, we’re hitting Target to do that return and watching some Parks and Rec. We have another date on Saturday, and that one will be a little more adventurous!

 

Dear Josh,

Thank you for supporting my blogging hobby. It’s been so fun to be excited about it with you, and to have you proof the posts. I know you’re biased, but it is so encouraging that you think I’m a good writer and that you enjoy my posts. I have loved reading this book, as you know, and I have been filled with thankfulness that you have striven for purity. I am so proud of the man you are, and so thankful our future children will have you as their example.

I’m excited about our date tonight (and glad that I’m not zoned out on allergy medicine this week)! Can’t wait to eat some yummy food, have some good conversations, and snuggle up for some Parks and Rec.
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Thinking Positively

Just 5 minutes after I published my last post, I was crying because I was so tired and felt so mentally blocked. Then I googled stuff about allergy medicine, and apparently only 10% of the population is affected by it like I have been. So that’s fun… or something.

Thankfully, I work with some awesome people who I can call and say “my brain isn’t working, can you double check my work?” And they DO. And they’re nice about it.

I have realized it’s really easy to focus on what I’m not doing.
-I’m not eating Paleo, which sounds awesome but is just not realistic… but I AM finding new creative sides and meals that are enjoyable AND nutritious!
-I’m not getting a long walk in every single day, but I AM getting steps in!
-I’m not able to wear what I want every day (between sweating, having to wear work clothes, and some clothes in my closet not fitting)… but I do have clothes that I LIKE, and I feel good about myself!
-I’m not doing my exercises every day… but I AM running a house, taking care of my family, and working hard!
-I’m not loosing weight as fast as I’d like… but I AM making healthy lifestyle changes!
-I’m also not giving myself much grace….

WHY WHY WHY is it so easy to beat myself up, and so hard to accept my husband’s encouragement?

I got home safely, and crashed for a good hour. Eye drops made my eyes feel better, but I was still super drowsy. We decided to go to Walmart and get what we forgot what I added to the grocery list, and patio furniture… no, it’s not fancy just the cheap plastic chairs, and I’m cool with that! I’m really excited about having company this weekend… and my newest venture in the kitchen, homemade fries. Since we’re grilling out, I wanted some fun sides and thought this would be a good time to try out the fries! Anyway so we went to Walmart, and picked up some Chick-fil-a. I was a pretty boring date due to my drug induced state… we ate and watched Parks and Rec, and I cried because it was the episode when Ann moved away. We played Carcassone on my Kindle (it was the free app of the day a couple of days ago, and it’s one of our favorite board games– but we don’t actually own it) and I blame the allergy medicine, but Josh won.

Thursday, the madness began. I finished my bracket around 11:30 am, and things were immediately off to a rocky start. I’m glad I decided to join the madness two years ago; this could be such a discouraging couple of weeks for us if Josh was totally into the games, and I was totally not. No, I am not the sports-loving wife all year, but I am thankful that we can share the madness. (Also thankful we have plans to sit on the back porch and eat cantaloupe and burgers.)

If you were wondering, yes the three of us got pizza (with a coupon AND a deal, so it was an extra large for 10 bucks) and watched basketball. My picks are going strong, though the games were reaaally tight. It is just… madness. 😉

This morning is cold and rainy, but the weekend promises fair weather and sunshine. We have Chicken Alfredo cooking away in the crock pot at home. I have never made this particular recipe (it’s not that healthy… it involves cream cheese and cream of chicken soup), but I’m hoping it’s delicious because it was SUPER easy.
Dear Josh,

I’m so excited about spending this weekend with you. It is almost like a dream, really. One of our favorite people is visiting, we have March Madness going on, a FANTASTIC menu, a trip to the Zoo, new outdoor furniture to enjoy, and hours on hours together. I love you. I’m so thankful we are able to open our home to our family and friends. I LOVE hosting people with you- we make such a great team.

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