Next Steps

Remember when I said I’ve been keeping things on the quiet side? Well…. there has been one more aspect of my life that I’ve been keeping from everyone. (Sorry) For all who thought I’ve been sitting in my house since the move, no job, just twirling my thumbs…you are (oh so!) wrong.

Over the last six months I have been studying for a personal training certification through Ace. Monday through Friday was spent going to ‘school’ for hours on end, teaching myself through two full textbooks, online webinars, studying, stacks upon stacks of notecards, memorizing, studying, identifying diagrams, more studying, and everything in between. Last weekend I took the test and am thrilled to announce…

I passed!

You might be wondering why I kept it a secret, as only a few people knew. Literally, probably under five people. The truth is, I kept it a secret because I didn’t think I could do it. I never liked anatomy or science, I couldn’t learn body kinesthetics to save my life in school, but it has always been something in the back of my mind, something I’d entertain for a second and then disregard. I’ve had a very personal health journey over the past four years and it has changed my life. Now, I want that for others, and if I could help others become the best they can be that’s all I could ask for.

So what’s next in my life?

This actually might surprise you: I’m going to have a baby. That’s right, I worked really hard for a certification that I’m going to sit on for a while. With everything that has happened in the past few weeks, finally taking the test and passing, I really haven’t thought about all the things I need to do to prepare for baby. Yet here we are, in the third trimester, and this little miss doesn’t have a thing. Guys, we haven’t even registered. So…game on! I’m going to focus on this next step of being a mom. Prepping for her arrival, getting all the essentials, starting to research what to expect over the next few weeks/months. And I can not wait!

Onto the next…

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Let Me Apologize

As life always does get in the way, the past month (2 weeks in particular) have been insane and sadly not in the best way. Greg, baby, and I have hardly had a chance to breathe and we are now in the process of trying to get back to ‘normal’ life.

So please accept my apology.

I know I haven’t written in over a month and trust me by Monday I plan on shooting posts out more regularly. Stick with me, give me a second chance and stop back next week.

All my love,

Me.

Grace Changes…

…Everything.

Grace. Changes. Everything.

Let that sink in for a second.

I came across that saying through a random Pinterest search and it actually stopped me mid-scroll. It has been on my mind and my heart ever since, and I am going to go a bit outside of my ‘normal’ posting to express some things I’ve been feeling recently.

Grace. Changes. Everything.

How true is that? Grace changes the way you think, the way you speak, the way you react or don’t react. Grace changes your view of circumstances, your view of others, your view of yourself. Grace changes people. And yet it is truly one of the hardest things (for me at least) to give away.

Over the past few months I have noticed a change in myself. I tweeted that I had the humbling reminder that if all my relationships are struggling, the one thing all my relationships have in common is me. If I’m arguing with Greg, and ‘off’ with friends, mad at my mom and frustrated with some stranger who did me ‘wrong’ that day…… the chances of all those people being in the wrong are slim. However the chances of my mind and heart being in the wrong are great. I made this thought public, and am again now, because I wanted to show that sometimes it isn’t an action that needs to be done but a look inward. Check my own heart/motives/desires and figure out what isn’t aligning; there I may often find the root of my frustration. Often times, it’s being selfish. I’m thinking of me, my feelings, my day, my plans, and the other person is just “getting in the way.”

In light of another school shooting, I have found myself even more broken. In a world where we could all agree what happened was devastating and awful and should never happen again all we want to do is fight with each other. We all want a solution, yesterday, and yet we can’t even agree on the things that need to change. We aren’t on two separate pages; we are reading two completely different books. Social media has quickly become (or always has been) a place to fight. Someone posts their opinion and everyone else has to state not just theirs, but that the original is wrong. Others’ words and thoughts are suddenly invalid and a disgrace to even be thought about. We move from opinions being shared to character being defamed in the second it takes to post.

We are no longer living in a world of ‘treat others as you want to be treated’ and we treat other humans as if their lives mean nothing if they don’t agree with yours.

If we could all take a second, step back, and take an inward look at ourselves… maybe, just maybe, our words would turn slightly sweeter. The nasty comeback comment wouldn’t be submitted. Who knows, maybe someone else could make you think about why you believe the things you believe or even give you a second thought.

Bottom line: There is no right or wrong to others’ feelings. They simply are what they are.

The way someone feels is valid. The way someone feels, agree or disagree, matters. You can not tell someone the way they are feeling is wrong. Actions to those feelings can be.

I have found myself stepping back from all social media over the past year or so for a few reasons:

  1. I have become more private- I don’t feel the need to post my every thought/emotion for the world to see. Really, I’m not that important or funny.
  2. People can be really mean- I have found myself writing a post and deleting it because I don’t want the judgement or the backlash. I am fearful of the hurtful words I might receive back. If something great happens, I’m scared people will be jealous and will immediately think I don’t deserve things to go ‘so right’ in my life. If something bad happens, I am nervous that someone might think I had it coming.
  3. I continue to second guess myself- and I’m not sure that is a bad thing. I truthfully believe throughout life God is changing and growing all of us. We have separate journeys and I am finding myself being open to reevaluate my heart/mind right now. When something challenges my thoughts, I no longer push that aside, but I mull it over in my head. Think about why that is different than my gut reaction. If something they said could make me change my mind or at the very least reconfirm what I believed in the first place.

I want to live in a world with less hate. I also have to be reminded everyday, this world is not my final destination. Thank God for that.

Grace. Changes. Everything.

I want to strive to give it out, just a little bit more. See how much grace can change the world, because right now, we don’t have much to lose.

Go Team!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you should be aware that Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday.

(It’s the Eagles vs.  the Patriots)

(You’re welcome)

Anyway, I understand I may not be ‘typical’ because I do enjoy football, and this year – due 99.99% to the fact I have a Fantasy Team – I have been even more invested than normal. YET, this is not the main reason I am excited. It’s not about the game (per se), it’s not about the teams (although I am rooting for the Eagles), it’s not even about the commercials (or how many times I will cry watching the puppies/horses on the Budweiser reruns)…..

It’s. All. About. The. FOOD.

I am treating Sunday as a re-do of New Year’s Eve. I can not make this up. I’ve made a complete list of snack foods I’m excited to make throughout the day, because there are too many to remember. New recipes, old recipes, recipes I am making up in my head.

Best part? We don’t plan on having company.

No one to share it with, my dear.

So excuse me as I go salivate over my list and my ingredient shopping, and eat myself into a wonderful carb-filled coma. Unapologetically.

Cooking: Stuffed

As promised, I will continue to post ‘regular’ type content, including all things kitchen related. Food for life! Ummm, what? Anyways… for a few weeks months if I wasn’t in bed, I was in the restroom; now if you can’t find me, I guarantee you didn’t look in the kitchen.

This meal was important for me to gain a little bit of confidence in the kitchen. I know I can cook through a recipe but I often struggle with ‘whipping up a meal’ that is more than just tacos or spaghetti and meat sauce. But, if I don’t try, I can’t know. So I tried.

Cooked jalapeños? Yes please.

Jalapeño flavored popcorn? I’m in.

Chips with a jalapeño spice? Give me all of them.

Raw jalapeño? Oh.Yeah.

That’s right, lately it has been everything spicy for me. I’m usually the one craving anything chocolatey, iced, or sour, but of late, if it makes my mouth burn and my stomach feel as though it’s engulfed in flames I want more.

Online I have seen a lot of stuffed chicken recipes, which seemed fairly easy. Really anything you want to stuff it with is allowed. Cheese, other meats, pickles, vegetables, sky’s the limit; so I made my own.

I butterflied a plain chicken breast, seasoning it with only salt and pepper. I stuffed the inside with diced raw jalapeño pieces and sharp cheddar cheese, pinched the sides of the chicken slightly back together and grilled that sucker on the George Foreman Grill. After it was completely cooked through, I added a little more cheese on top.

This could be made every week and I would be a happy girl.

It was simple and easy: 3 ingredients (not including spices) and yet very flavorful!

Love your own stuffed chicken? Hook me up!

To Be the Best I Can Be…

…at being a……

MOM!!!

(Insert time for you to gasp, cry, scream, laugh, or any other emotion you might have)

That’s right readers, Greg and I have been keeping a pear shaped secret from you for a while now! We’re expecting!

Everything I have posted over the past few months has been true, but it’s all been only part of the truth. Now, I want look back and give you a glass door peek into our lives throughout this journey so far.

Remember the post about my high school reunion? (Yeah, let’s go that far back) Greg and I  decided to start trying with the thought that we would love to have our first child around the time of our second anniversary (July 2018) and while there were some symptoms as of early September that I was pregnant I wasn’t completely sure. We met with friends up in Indy to go to a Colt’s game and I specifically remember cramping and thinking okay it was a false alarm, clearly it wasn’t supposed to happen this month. Greg then traveled that week for work, leaving me to my own thoughts and Google (a decidedly dangerous combination). By Wednesday, on the phone with him I stated “When you get back we are either taking a pregnancy test, or taking me to the hospital, because something is up.” On a side note, Greg had asked to be apart of the whole process, he didn’t want to be surprised with a pregnancy, he wanted to know when I thought it was a possibility and to be there when I took the test. He arrived home late that next day and we rushed upstairs. No joke, I couldn’t even come out of the bathroom before both lines were clear as day. “We’re pregnant!” I exclaimed before combusting into a puddle of tears in my husband’s arms. Insert two very long weeks of pretty much ignoring all of our friends and family. We decided it would be best to go to the doctor, confirm the baby was safe and healthy before starting to tell family, so I literally spent 14 days hardly responding to texts, ignoring many of my family’s phone calls and living in this secret world with Greg. It was incredibly hard, and yet incredibly sweet. Heck, I went with my best friend and her husband to our high school reunion, at a bar, and didn’t drink…. please observe Hint #1.

Our first baby Dr appointment was on a Friday and we wasted no time. By Saturday afternoon Greg and I were at the airport flying to FL to grab a rental car and surprise my parents and family. This was not easy. If you know anything about me, you know I can’t keep secrets, so texting my mom while knowing I was currently sitting at a Culver’s less than 5 miles away from her was torture. Greg’s parents are snowbirds in FL 6 months of the year so within 48 hours we went from being the only ones who knew to surprising my parents, my sister, her husband and kids, and his parents with our wonderful news. Looking back on that weekend I am still to this day amazed we were able to pull it off and exhausted by how much running around we did in such a short period of time. Note, those of you expecting or wanting to get pregnant soon, take my advice, nausea at 6 weeks pregnant and flying do not go together well.

From there we told my other sister and Greg’s brother and soon after close friends. We didn’t publicly announce the baby on social media until I was into my second trimester to be safe. I knew I wanted to tell those who would stand beside us and mourn with us if something were to have happened before that.

Oh yeah, remember Thanksgiving? That’s right, I was well into my morning all day sickness at this point, but thankfully was well enough to pretty much handle the meal. Yes, the sight of the turkey had me running for the bathroom, and the smell of the garlic at 9 AM wasn’t the best, but I was incredibly blessed to say that there was another one joining us for the celebrations.

So now what? Is this ‘marriage’ blog suddenly going to be filled with anything and everything pregnancy/baby? No. At least, thats my hope. I want to be honest (as always) about what is happening to me and to us throughout this journey, which will include a lot of new changes. But I want to stick to my original plan. I want to talk about the challenges and even hardships that a baby will bring about in our marriage, or unexpected battles we encounter to fight against.

As we close I want to ask a few things of you (I know, I know, it’s like homework, but bear with me):

  1. I ask for prayers for me, for Greg, and for this baby.
  2. I ask you to stick with me. I’m not sure where you are in your journey, you might be a single teenager, half of a married couple trying to have kids, a mom living in the thick of the new stages I will be coming into, or someone who has raised their kids and is an empty nester. I believe that no matter where you are, stories can connect us.
  3. Give me feedback/criticism when you feel fit. I have been slacking on food posts like I promised and I will probably slack on marriage posts too. If you feel I am too ‘baby-centric’ please feel free to gently tell me. I promise to listen and to take your words into consideration.

I am so grateful for this platform to share our story and everything that is still to come!

 

Eighteen

Two Thousand Eighteen.

Goodness, writing it out like that makes it seem unreal. I can’t believe another year has come and gone. What a year 2017 was! For me personally, as you have read, I can sum 2017 up with one word: change.

New house. New city. New career path. Everywhere I turn: Change. 

Yet, here we are. No longer looking back, but forward. Butterflies in our stomachs trying to think of all the possibilities this new year will bring. A brand new opportunity for a new start. As for me, these are my New Year’s Aspirations:

  1. Continue to grow: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. In the midst of trying to settle into life as it is, I want to continue to see myself grow in all aspects. Even though I don’t have an ‘end goal’ or really a picture in my mind of what that looks like, I want to strive to keep pushing.
    • Separate but along the same lines, I would like to continue to grow with the intentionality of my relationships. I have talked about this before, and have seen growth but I’d like more. I want to invest and be invested in. I want to strengthen the close relationships I have and push for the lukewarm friendships to become deeper.
  2. Step out of the box a little more. Relating to #1, I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. Try new things, talk to strangers, feel uncomfortable.
  3. Nose in the books. My goal for 2017 was 12 books, which I quickly surpassed. This year I want to complete between 12-15 books. Why, you might ask? Reading for me is my time. For those 30 minutes, or however long I can get, I leave this crazy busy life and fall into someone else’s. I would like to say I am always reading books that further my growth or make me think, but really sometimes I just want to read a book that takes my mind off things for a while. And, for me, that is okay.
  4. Fitness. Per a new switch at the gym, I have laid off cardio a bit and picked up strength training. While I want to keep that up a bit I also need to focus on stretching. Embarrassing confession: I can’t touch my toes. I hate even writing that. So maybe in the next 360 days, I can stretch my muscles enough to do so.
  5. And…I think #5 should be a post* of its own!

What are some of your aspirations this year? Any we can work toward together?

 

*Be waiting for the next post, friends. It definitely will be one for the books! 😉