Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blast From the Past

My alarm went off at 5:00am for my Saturday morning run. Why do I continue to do this to myself?

The plan was to meet with Ft Smith's running club at 6:00am, so I woke up extra early to have plenty of time to choke down some toast and peanut butter, take out Sully and Ajax, and arrive early for a little warm up jog.

Once everyone arrived at 6:00, we headed out for a loop through Ft. Chaffee, a military base close to town. I averaged a nice 10:21 pace for 5 miles, using the 4:1 run/walk method for the first 3 miles then kept a 9:45 pace for the last 2 miles. I felt strong the entire time and I could definitely have pushed myself a little harder.

Does anyone know how to find the individual stats of each mile on a Forerunner 305? I'd like to know my splits (hoping they were negative) but I can't figure out how to view them. The Garmin Training Center only shows the average pace. 

I felt especially sluggish during the first mile because the night before Josh and I were partying it up 90's style with Jacob and Jessi. The Leonards threw a 90s-themed party in honor of the recent Nickelodeon addition of The 90's Are All That. 
They put together a taco spread for dinner- just what I was craving! I stayed away from the meat and cheese and stuffed my taco with refried beans, black beans, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce.
Pic via Jessi
But there was NO WAY I was resisting Jessi's slime-inspired cupcakes. Seriously, they were moist and covered with green slime. I felt 11-years-old all over again! Holy yum!
Pic via Jessi
After chowing down, we sat ourselves in front of the TV and watched DVR recordings of Doug, All That, Melissa Explains It All, and Kenan and Kel. Blast from the past!!! When I wasn't crashing from my sugar high (yep, I passed out on my husband's shoulder at 10:00...I'm so cool), I was laughing my butt off! 

And for a little 90's flash back, here is one of my favorite skits from All That: Cooking with Mandy and Randy.
I may or may not have tried to recreate this scene with a childhood friend, thinking if we sent in the tape we could totally be their understudies. Who cares that we were both females, white, and were horribly not funny. We thought we were legit.

Did you grow up watching these shows in the 90s? 
Do you think shows for kids these days even compare to the shows growing up?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Snapshots {Week 6}

As I sit back and think about this week's events, it becomes obvious to me that I am a grandma. I am an OCD, schedule-loving grandma who loves Judge Judy, BlueBell Fruit Bars, and naps. 

Hi. My name is Alex and I am boring.

Curious that such a boring person has a blog to document all of her boring antics. And I am by no means implying that you must be super boring if you read a blog about a person as boring as I. I would never suggest such a thing...

But I digress.

My day typically looks like this:
6:15-Wake up to take out Ajax and Sully
6:30-Get ready for work
5:00-Gym with the Mister
6:30- Make dinner
7:30- TV/Hubby time

Hi. My name is Alex and I am boring times 234817739. 

At least I made some really yummy and healthy dinners this week.

And I really spiced it up by painting my nails. Oh La La. 
And I played with Ajax and Sully (Yea, I know, I'm an amazing parent). They'll do anything for a treat. They are addicted- it's like crack I tell ya!
Yes, I know. Sully is getting SO BIG! She is now 9 weeks old and it makes me want to cry.

Highlight of my week: I went to the eye doctor, who proceeded to dilate my eyes. But he gave me these cool glasses to wear since lights were too bright.
Yep. That is a shade under my actual eyeglasses. Live Long and Prosper.

And, of course, I'm continuing in my training. Apparently "thumbs up" has become a new thing of mine. Too bad my thumb is small and misshaped- please divert your eyes.

How was your week? Please tell me it was more eventful than mine!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy-Eating Recipes

When I embarked on my week as a vegan adventure, I was a little nervous about not only finding recipes that I would enjoy but also providing my hubby with satisfying meals as well. Seeing as how this was my choice to change my eating habits, I wasn't going to force the Husband to give up his meat or dairy intake.

The first resource I utilized was Shelley at Mile High Healthy, a friend who switched to a vegan diet seven months ago and hasn't looked back. Shelley gave me wonderful words of encouragement and the confidence I needed. Now, 2 1/2 weeks later I continue to eat a mostly vegan diet (with a few greasy indulgences of course).

But with 25 years of cheesy casseroles, burgers and chicken recipes under my belt, I was presented with quite a dilemma. What am I to eat? Thankfully, I have a plethora of healthy-eating bloggers at my fingertips who have mountains of wonderful, delicious, and versatile recipes.

I compiled a few of my favorite finds in hopes that you might get a little crazy this week and add a healthy dish to your cooking repertoire.

Healthy-Eating Recipes

One of my first vegan meals was a Tomato Basil Cream Pasta from Angela at Oh She Glows. This was yummy-deliciousness and the Husband had no idea the 'cream' was non-existence. Granted, I didn't go out of my way to fill him in...

I also utilized Pealightful Plans at Peas and Thank You. Mama Pea put together a full week's menu of vegan meals complete with a grocery list!! The only way healthy-eating could be any easier is if someone shopped and cooked for you. If I only have the money to hire a personal chef....

Veggie Burgers with avocado. Josh grilled himself some good 'ole beef burgers that left him happy and smiling- any dinner that lets that man grill is a-ok in his book.
Sweet Potato Pinto Stew. This was a little too 'fallish' for a summer dinner, but it was delicious nonetheless. 
Lentil Spaghetti. This may look like a pile of 'blah', but the lentils gave the spaghetti some extra texture and extra protein. Yum yum in my tum!
Stuffed Sweet Potato. The hubby just added grilled chicken to fill him up.

However, I didn't take one picture of my some of favorite meals via Mama Pea: Vegan Taco Salad and Veggie StirFry. Holy Yum! I was too busy scarfing these down to pick up my camera. Josh even devoured them without question, broccoli and all. *Gasp*

And of course I partook in some refreshing summer snacks in between meals...
My favorite smoothie combo includes spinach, strawberries, mango, unsweetened almond milk, and protein powder- nutrient packed and fully satisfying! 
As you can see, with a little planning healthy eating can be easy! If I can do it, you can do it!  So strap on your big girl (or boy) panties because you can do this. You can change your eating habits for the better. All it takes is one healthy choice at a time. Eat an apple instead of that bag of chips. Choose a salad instead of fries. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. All of your choices add up- it is all up to you and I know you can do it. And best part about it, you'll never regret choosing healthy.

Side note: You do NOT have to eat a vegan/vegetarian diet to be healthy! This was my personal decision to limit meat and dairy from my diet because it made my body feel better. All bodies and beliefs are different and your diet should reflect that; to assume otherwise is naive. Bloggers such as Tina at Carrots N Cake and Courtney at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life have been one of my long-time resources for amazing crowd-pleasing dishes. Plus, these girls know the importance of dessert :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Group Run and A Sign

This morning my alarm clock went off at 5am. My first thought was "No way is it time to get up; it's still dark outside!" But alas, I double checked my watch and the kitchen clock and they were both reading the same thing "it's time for your run!" (Yes, my clocks are pretty high tech and display time-appropriate phrases...)

I'll be honest, if I was running alone I would have turned off my alarm clock and would have continued to snuggle with my hubby. But I had running buddies to meet! Say hello to the wonderful men and women of W.A.R- Western Arkansas Runners, Fort Smith's local running club.
We all ran at different distances and paces, but it is always so encouraging to have friends to cheer you on.

My run was nice and easy, but more importantly I got to sport my new purple visor-I sure have my priorities straight this morning. Josh told me that no one has worn visors since the 90s. But I just told him to talk to the hand, then he proceeded to 'free-willy' (BAM! Junior High reference!).
And on a random note, I found this short film and it brought tears to my eyes. It is all about perspective! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Rules of Lifting For Women Stage 1 Recap

Almost 1 month ago I read and started the New Rules of Lifting for Women, an 8-stage weight lifting program designed specifically for women. My goal was to do strength training 3 days a week with the hopes of 1) getting stronger-duh, 2)increase my running speed, and 3) decrease running-related injuries.

I enjoyed Stage 1, but I'm glad to see it go. The workouts never took me more than 30 minutes, which rocks!, but I was becoming a little bored and I was ready for a change. Looking ahead at Stage 2, I can already tell there will be more core-work which I like.

10 workouts and 3.5 weeks later, am I stronger? Did I increase my running speed? Are there any new injuries?

I am definitely faster than I have been, but I think that is due to my increase in speed-works via my half-marathon training schedule. 
I have no new injuries. I continue to nurse my right hip to prevent my IT band from flaring up. But so far, I have kept this at bay.
Am I stronger? Let's take a gander...

Workout A:
Squats:   Workout 1- 50lbs; Workout 8- 90 lbs
Seated Rows: Workout 1- resistance 4; Workout 8- resistance 6  (I don't know the weight value on these pegs)
Step-Ups: Workout 1-30lbs; Workout 8- 50lbs

Workout B:
Deadlifts: Workout 1- 75lbs; Workout 8- 95lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Workout 1-10lbs; Workout 8- 20lbs
Wide-Grip Lat Pull Down: Workout 1- resistance 4; Workout 8- resistance 6
Lunge with Dumbbells:  Workout 1- 20lbs; Workout 8- 50lbs

As you can see, I definitely became stronger across the board, more than doubling in some areas. And I really surprised myself with the strength of my upper body. Go me! One thing this program has really given me confidence in the weight room. Move over big bulky boys, this strong runner is coming through!

Now for the nitty-gritty pictures:
Before on 6/23/11:
After Stage 1 on 7/21/11:
                                     6/23/11         7/21/1
Chest                             33in              34in  (<--How did those get bigger?)
Right Bicep                  11.75in         11.75in
Left Bicep                    11.75in         11.74in
Waist                            30.5in            27in 
Hips                              35in             32.75in 
Right Thigh                  22.75in        23.25in (<--gotta love those thighs)
Left Thigh                    22.5in            23in

I think I measured incorrectly on my waist and hips; I know I didn't lose that many inches because my clothes still fit the same. I made better notes this time around so hopefully I will have more accurate measurements. 

Luckily, I now have a week off to rest my muscles and prepare for Stage 2. And I won't lie, I like being able to have my entire week to focus solely on running and cross training- seeing how running is my first true love. Come back in a few weeks for stage 2's recap! You might not even recognize me by then....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A List

1. I finished Stage 1 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. I owe you an update on my progress.

Spoiler: I am stronger!

2. My pre-marathon training is going well. My mileage has been pretty consistent and I'm right on track. I owe you an update here too.

3. I want one of these. Badly. And no, I am not addicted.

3. I am eating vegan again this week. If you gotta know, I kinda liked it. Something about feeling clean, energized, and healthy. I guess you can call me crazy.

4. Sully turned 8 weeks old on Tuesday. My baby girl has been a live for 2 whole months. She is such a big girl.

She currently likes playing with her big sister Ajax, sitting for treats, and biting at mama's hair. PS. We need to invest in more carpet cleaner, if you know what I mean...

5. I've been slacking on my blogging this week. My apologies...but I've got some pretty awesome ones lined up. (See numbers 1 and 2)

6. I love my husband. He is my favorite.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wedding Flashback

This weekend I was able to watch two high school friends make a beautiful commitment to one another. Sarah and Aron are an amazing pair and their love for each other is radiant. 
Their wedding was elegant, tear-jerking, and a little reminecent of a wedding I attended about a year ago...
It was my first time to return to Albert Pike since our wedding last year and it brought back a flood of memories. It reminded me of the words Josh and I exchanged and the promises we made in front of God, family and friends; it literally brought tears to my eyes.

Weddings tend to do that to me. Don't they do that to you too?

But soon after the tears, the party started. If Sarah and Aron know anything (besides cooking and tattoos)  they sure know how to have a good time! Since we all graduated together, it was like a mini-high school reunion full of all my favorite people.
Best friends for 9+ years! How did I get so lucky?
 Me and the Mister
 Me and Shelley, the MOH and my favorite vegan blogger!
 Me and Jessi, my night's dancing partner. She got some moves!
Congrats Sara and Aron! 
I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Unexpected Hangover

This past Wednesday Josh and I drove to Fayetteville to eat with friends at the Mellow Mushroom and test our useless trivia knowledge. 

As far as trivia goes, I felt that we did pretty well as a team. We had a well-rounded group full of movie-lovers, sports enthusiasts, art aficionados, and then me.

I didn't contribute too much, except for some biblical knowledge and random dog knowledge; although I did answer a question correctly that my team decided against: 
What is the drink that the British called Arabian wine??

More questions from that night (answers at the bottom):
What is the capital of Montana? (I'm embarrassed to say no one on our team knew this!)
What creepy crawling insect did the ancient chinese believe was the cause of earthquakes? 

But we weren't there just to play trivia; this fine establishment boasted some amazing looking specialty pizzas on their menu. However, since the previous week and half I had not eaten meat or dairy, I was a little reluctant to give in. But once everyone was taking their turn to order, I quickly choose the Red Skin Potato Pie. Here is the menu's description: 

Olive oil and garlic based pizza loaded with red potato, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions. cheddar and mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with chives and drizzled with sour cream and spicy ranch dressing.

Holy yum! After my 'vegan week' ended, I said that I would start eating meat and dairy again if I craved it. Well boy let me tell you, there was no way I was gonna resist this temptation. I dove right into it, but two slices later I was stuffed. 

Since I had only had two slices + a gallon of water, I actually felt pretty good going to bed that night. However, when I woke up the next morning I had a pounding headache and was light headed, weak, and nauseous but starving. I felt horrible and I couldn't understand why. I didn't drink the night before...what had I done differently? 

Then it hit me. Apparently, when you spend 10+ days eating nothing but veggies, fruit, and whole grains your body is super happy. But THEN you dump a big 'ole greasy, cheesy pizza in your stomach and your body will rebel. 

So with the support of the kitchen counter, I slowly assembled my Hangover Smoothie. 
And since I've had quite a few emails and requests for my smoothie recipes, here is a loose description of how I made it:
one handful of spinach
5 frozen strawberries
1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
2 slices of watermelon
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/2 serving of protein powder

By the time I was finished getting ready in the morning, I felt SO much better. This smoothie was packed with the nutrients and hydration that my body was desperate for. Next time, I won't be so drastic in going from one extreme (wonderful healthy eats) to the other (a delicious greasy mess). Obviously, my body knows what it wants!

Answers to the trivia questions:
What is the drink that the British called Arabian wine? Coffee
What is the capital of Montana? Helena
What creepy crawling insect did the ancient chinese believe was the cause of earthquakes? Spiders

Did you get all the questions right? Are you a trivia master?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Snapshots {Week 4}

I say this every week, but I can't believe we are at {week 4} of summer! Where do the days go?! This week was crazy and stressful. Josh and I have some big changes on the horizon and daily pictures were the last thing on my mind this week.

This past week was "Vegan Week", an self-imposed experiment to overhaul my diet for 7 days. I didn't take any photos of my evening meals, but I did take a few of my snacks. After workouts I made sure to have a protein packed smoothie consisting of spinach, blueberries, mangos, strawberries, protein powder and almond milk.

Don't let the color scare you; you can't taste the spinach and it is delicious! Seriously, you must try this- a perfect cure for these hot summer days.

And for dessert most nights I snacked on peaches or watermelon. Nothing says summer more than a fresh slice of watermelon!

And breaking news! I forgot to water my plants on Sunday; shocking, I know. My once resilient flowers are now looking quite depressing. They were literally scorched in the sun-Poor flowers. I am trying to slowly revive them.

Our new addition turned 7 weeks old on Tuesday! She currently enjoys barking in her crate at night, playing with big-sister Ajax, and digging in her water bowl.

Here's to hoping things slow down this coming week and that daily photos take more of a priority!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vegan For A Week

As a fun experiment (and yes, you can argue my definition of "fun") I decided to go meat- and dairy-free for a week. I didn't do this for ethical reason, however I did recently watch Food, Inc. and since have been much more strict about where I get my meat. And I didn't do it for weight loss or health reason; I feel that I have a pretty balanced diet (with the occasional indulgence, of course) and I'm pretty happy with my weight. I did it merely to see if I could- to see if I had the ability to limit my intake to vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (which is basically a bean).

And to my surprise? It was quite easy! I don't eat much red meat, so staying away from beef, chicken, and fish wasn't too difficult. However, I'm a girl who loves her dairy and eggs!  But instead of craving milk, I found myself craving grilled asparagus. And instead of wanting chocolate for dessert, I found myself instantly reaching for watermelon.

The best part was that I ate all the time! Keeping up my caloric intake was very important to me because I'm still weight lifting and increasing my mileage; I have to provide my body with enough nutrients and fuel so it can heal itself and perform stronger the next day. Since the things I was eating were dense in nutrients but low in calories, I was able to eat all day long- quite awesome!

My typical day looked like this:
Breakfast: Overnight oats with almond milk; Iced coffee
Snack: Apple with peanut butter
Lunch: Salad with black bean burger; peach for dessert
Snack: Protein fruit smoothie, with extra spinach
Dinner: Bean and salsa wrap with grilled veggies.
Snack: Watermelon

I was literally eating every 2-3 hours and keeping myself constantly hydrated. I found myself having more energy throughout the day, pushing harder during my workouts, and getting a much deeper sleep. I loved that I could stuff my face yet not have the heavy-full feeling. I was full, but it was a clean-full; hard to describe, but I never felt "gross" -a feeling I often get when I eat a meal heavy with meat, diary, or loads of fat.

I don't want to belittle the decision that others have made in becoming vegan/vegetarian by saying it is 'easy' to choose this life-style. I suppose knowing that I was only doing it for 7 days gave me a finish line to cross. Those that choose this lifestyle due to ethical and/or health reasons are truly going against the American culture, something that I got a small glance at. Even though my husband and family were very supportive of my 'experiment', at times I felt others were being accusatory of my decisions and that I was constantly having to defend my choices. Why do people question your choices for eating healthy when no one questions choices for eating unhealthy?

So where does this leave me now? I still have not eaten meat or dairy because I haven't wanted meat or dairy. The next time I crave it, I'll eat it, but until then I'm happy eating only veggies, fruits, and whole grains. So am I a vegan? Definitely not, but I'd like to believe I'm a healthy eater!

Are you interested in looking a little deeper at your eating habits? I received inspiration and motivation by Shelley at Mile High Healthy and Angela at Oh She Glows.  They share yummy recipes, great fitness tips, and show how easy healthy eating can be!

And I also checked out Veganomicon from the library (the title makes me laugh so hard!). This gigantic cookbook is 298 pages of amazing vegan recipes that even Josh liked! And it also shows you how to cook every fruit, vegetable, grain, and legume known to man kind! (Okay, maybe not every type of food known to man kind, but it sure has a lot!)

Have you ever felt the need to defend your food choices? 

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Name Is Pride

My name is Pride, I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment because you "deserve better than this".
I cheat you of knowledge because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing because you are too full of you to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.
I cheat you of vision because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
And you like me because you think I'm always looking out for you.
I'm looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry...
If you stick with me you'll never know.
-Beth Moore

This may not resonate with you, but it resonates with me. Yesterday's sermon on pride and humility really hit home to me. I don't want to sound preachy, I just want to be open and honest. The following has been very heavy on my heart and I want to share it with you:

My life is consumed with vanities, stubbornness, comparisons, and boastings: Look at all I have. Look at all I have done. Look at all I have accomplished. I want the best house, the best car, the best job, and the best marriage. I want to be the best wife, best daughter, best sister, and best friend. I want all of these things because I need approval of others; I need others to look at me and think "Wow, she has it all. She must have it all figured out." 

I take the credit for all that God has given me. I look at my own life and I feel impressed with myself. I have the perfect job at age 25. I have an amazing husband that loves me. I have the best friends in the world. I have my health because of the healthy choices I make. I..., I..., I..., I... 

I have become enamored with the gifts, that I have forgotten the Giver. What do I have to be prideful about? What do I have that God hasn't given me? I control nothing. I know nothing. I am nothing, without Christ as the center of my life.

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

I want to choose the path of humility. I need to have the constant filter of "Not what pleases me, but what pleases Him. Not what I want, but what He wants." I imagine what my life would look like if I constantly put God and others before myself; I imagine what my marriage, my friendships, my career would look like if I served and exalted others with a pure heart. 

My prayer is to push aside all vanity and boasting and for God to give me humility in everything I do. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Importance of Speed Work

If you're looking to increase your pace, speed workouts are the key. While I was training for my first few half marathons, all my runs were the same effort and pace, mainly because I only cared about completing the distance and not the time it took me to get there. Now that pacing and time are more of a goal, I am incorporating speed workouts into my weekly training schedule. Speed work helps you run faster because it teaches your body to tolerate running at an uncomfortable pace for longer periods of time.   

Here are a few types of runs which I incorporate into my training schedule: 

Easy Runs:
Top coaches and exercise physiologists believe that most runners should do 80-90% of their weekly training at the easy run pace (this includes your long runs). Easy runs build your aerobic fitness and muscular and skeletal strength. They also help you burn more calories and recover for harder workouts. 

Isn't that a funny name? Fartleks is actually Swedish for "speed play" which is exactly what this is. It is an unstructured and fun way to introduce speed workouts into your run. Imagine being a child just running around, and then all of a sudden a burst of energy comes and you run as hard as you can- that is what fartleks make me feel like, that I'm a kid just running around with spurts of energy ever-so-often. While running at an easy pace, inject spurts of speed at varying speed and distances. The bursts can be anywhere between 15 seconds to 2.5 minutes long, and the speed should merely be harder than your easy pace. There are no rules, so it is hard to describe fartlecks- so just enjoy it and see how far you can push yourself!

Tempo Runs:
Tempo runs help you improve your running economy and your running form. Different from farlecks and intervals because tempo runs force you to hold an uncomfortable pace for longer periods of time; these are more endurance speed workouts opposed to sprinting. They are sometimes described as "threshold" or "hard but controlled" runs. Tempo sessions generally fall into one of two categories: steady runs of 2 to 6 miles; or long intervals with short recoveries. Here is an example: 4 x 1 mile at tempo pace with 2 minutes of recovery jogging between efforts. You should do tempo runs no more than once a week, and they should make up no more than 10-15% of your total training. 

Intervals or VO2-Max Runs:
With these runs, you are running at or near 100% of your maximum oxygen capacity, which scientist call VO2-max; this is a dead sprint! These runs help you improve your running economy and racing sharpness. Here is an example: 4 x 400 at max pace with 200 recovery jogging between efforts. The key during the recovery time is to not let your heart rate drop; you're training your body to sprint when it is uncomfortable. You should do interval workouts no more than once a week, and they should make up no more than 6-10% of your total training. 

Tips I follow for speed work:
1. I do speed training once a week and usually alternate between the different workouts, which keeps me from become burned out from doing the same workout over and over again. 
2. You may hate to hear it, but during speed training the track and treadmill are your friend. You'll learn to love them because of the predefined distances which takes away the guess work. 
3. If possible, I always do speed work with friends; having a running buddy keeps me motivated and always pushes me farther and faster than I would have normally gone on my own. I can always see a significant difference in my speed when I compare my solo workouts to those done with friends. 

Last note:
Are speed workouts necessary? No way! If you're the kind of runner who loves to just lace up and go and these types of workouts seem way too structured, then just get out there and run! By no means do you need to have speed workouts to be a runner; I didn't do them for years. However, if you want to improve your speed or endurance, doing some kind of speed training would be beneficial. 

Do you do speed work? What is your favorite type of training run?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Out Of Control

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane, 
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Why is it we don't like change? Is it the possibility of failure? The fear of the unknown? Or the chance we might not find fulfillment on the other side?

I resist change because I can't plan for it. I can't put the unknown onto a timeline or on a list to check off. It leaves me feeling frazzled, unnerved, and not in control. 

I hate not being in control.   

But I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not suppose to be in control. If I were then things would be in disarray, because honestly I have no idea what I'm doing. HE is in control. HE has a perfect plan for my life. I find comfort in HIM alone, not in my perfectly planned schedule or detailed timeline. I need to set aside all fears and anxiety and trust in the Master Creator.

Josh and I have some big changes in the near future and we are overwhelmed with emotion. Fear, excitement, anxiety, stress, anticipation, spontaneity- It can all be quite daunting. But I know (somewhere deep inside) that it will all work out in the end. 

Continuity gives us roots; 
change gives us branches, 
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
Pauline R Kezer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Snapshots {Week 3}

Wow. I can't believe it is already time for {week 3} of summer snapshots! This weekly post has made me deliberate in taking photos each day to document the summer; if you know me, you'd know that I have a horrible memory so this will be very helpful in a few months when I can't remember what I did on the 4th of July. This blog in general has helped in the memory department, especially in documenting my life as a newlywed! I can't wait to look back on these posts in 5 or 10 years and relive it all over again!
Thursday: Josh and I had date-night at a local mexican restaurant. We listened to some live music while Josh enjoyed a humongous beer and I sipped on some lemon water. A perfect night spent with the hubby.

Friday: Josh and I drove to Little Rock to spend the weekend with some family. My mom just put in a new pool this week and this was a great weekend to break it in! Fun was had by all.

Saturday: I got to meet perfect Miss Reagan, who was born 10 days earlier. She is incredibly beautiful, just like her momma. Josh even took a turn to hold her, and he looked like quite the natural. I'm slowly trying to warm him up to babies :)

Sunday: More fun in the sun! The day was spent by the pool and eating my body weight in grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and salsa.

Monday: I spent half of my holiday working, and the other half relaxing with the hubby. We went down to riverfront to watch the local fireworks; it was a pretty nice display. We mistakenly took Ajax who absolutely hated the noise and hid in Josh's arms the entire time.

Tuesday: We welcomed a new addition, Miss Sully Clark, into the family. We have already been laughing our heads of with this little girl; she is quite the character!

You can join in the fun too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our New Addition

The Clarks have exciting news! 
Josh and I have been wanting to grow our family for a while now and the time has finally come. 

"The time for what?", you ask...

A new puppy!! 
World, meet Sully Clark- our beautiful new golden retriever. 
She is perfect in every way and we are so excited to have a second fur-child. My apologies to those who were hoping for a human-child; that won't be for a few more years. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Happy July 4th
from the Clark family!
Ajax refused to look at the camera-such a diva!

We spent the weekend in Little Rock relaxing by my mom's new pool. A-mazing! Each day consisted of lots of sun, lots of laughs, and lots of food. 
 And of course, awesome karate kicks off the diving board. KEYAAAAH!
Josh can't resist pestering his favorite wife. I think the only reason he really didn't shoot me with water is because I had my fancy camera. Nikon camera saves the day!
I worked this morning and we are now off to enjoy fireworks along the river. Let's hope I don't melt away from the humidity.

How did you spend your holiday?