Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I am LOVING that I'm hosting my FIRST GIVEAWAY!!  I am excited to share two of my favorite reads with followers! :)

I am LOVING that I have a LONG weekend awaiting....can't wait to just slow down and enjoy some time off with my handsome hubby!
I am LOVING that today was $PAY DAY$!!

I am LOVING that I have an appointment with my new doctor next week....getting a physical and all my blood work done. Thanks for the tip, Emily!

I am LOVING that is is September! The school year is flying by....and I am so looking forward to Fall. I am ready for cooler weather and all things Fall!!

I am LOVING that tomorrow is our pep rally and a jeans day~ yay!!


A few of my favorite blogs!!

I could seriously sit for hours and read blogs! I love hearing people's stories, seeing their life documented through pictures, reading about their adventures, their accomplishments, ideas, goals, etc.  The blog community really is very cool....and people who don't blog, don't get it.
I love to blog just as much as I love reading others' blogs. Writing is my outlet, and I love getting to share my life as a middle school teaching, marathon training, oatmeal obsessed, nutrition lovin', Jesus freak newlywed. 
Of course I love reading the blogs of people I know- my real life friends and family. I read theirs every day!  It's neat to catch up with them through their blog (if real life catch-up time isn't an option in our busy-bee world).  I also like to hear their "voice" though their writing and see pictures of their sweet families.

But, I also have a few other blog loves.  People that I don't know in real life, but feel very much like I know them because I stalk their blogs on a daily basis (in a totally non-creeper kind of way!).

Check them out!
Always Learning - This lady shares her wisdom....Lori is a Godly wife, mom and grandmother, who fed her children organic food and didn't let them fight growing up.  :) She talks about many of the life lessons she's learned as a wife and mom along her journey, and I always enjoy reading her little lessons.

This Kind of Love- Jamie is the sweetest southern belle; also a newlywed and teacher from Georgia.  Her blog is such a happy, feel good, positive place.  And her What I Love Wednesday linkups are always a great reminder to focus on the positives and be thankful.

Hungry Runner Girl- She's a marathon running foodie, just like me! (Although I haven't actually ran my first full marathon yet....but hey, I'm training!)  I love her sense of humor and take on life.  Plus, she's pretty inspiring.

Carissa Explains It All- Rissy is hilarious! Her posts, pics, and funny faces always make me laugh. She could totally be the next Sundrop girl (you have to see some of her dancing videos...)!!

Sunny Side Up- Erin and her family are just precious! I love all of her decorating ideas. And her blog is another happy, feel-good blog.

Fit, Fierce, & Fabulous- Cait is a newly engaged little lady who is sharing about her journey along the way. She is super sweet, honest, and encouraging.

And Everything Sweet- I just love to look at all the yummy goodies Kate bakes. She even knows Paula Deen! And, she made an awesome "Kentucky Derby" hat cake for one of my friend's bridal tea party I hosted.
Hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do!!

Link up with Kelly and tell us about your favorite blogs!!!!

P.S. Click HERE to enter my very first giveaway!!  Two of my FAVORITE books could be yours... :)

10 Day YOU Challenge: Four Books

1. Lies Women Believe and the Truths That Set Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss- I LOVE the truths in this book, and it was really eye opening for me to read some of the lies I allow Satan to use to deceive me.  This is definitely a must-read!
2. Becoming a Person of Influence by John Maxwell- As a teacher and leader in many areas, I love the lessons it teaches about integrity, nurturing, modeling, trust, and motivating others. 
3. So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore- I have struggled with some insecurities in the past. I think it's just in the nature of a woman. I really believe insecurity is one of Satan's tools to attack Christians and I am so thankful I went to Beth Moore's conference and read the book. I feel like I've finally got a grip on my insecurity and have become a more secure woman in the Lord.
4. The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno- This book totally taught me HOW to make clean eating a lifestyle and change many of my habits to improve my overall well being.  I love the way I feel now, and I reread it often to keep it fresh.
It's funny that none of my favorite books are actually stories with plots & characters....I read "self-improvement" books...haha! I don't suppose that is such a bad thing.

  There was only room for 4 books and I had a tough time even narrowing that list down, but the Bible is fo sho my #1!!  I really love to read the Bible, and no I'm not saying that to sound like a super Christian.  I'm the first to admit I don't read and study it nearly as much as I should.  But I do LOVE my Bible. I love that it is His love letters to us and instructions for how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. I love that every time I read  the Word He reveals something new and afresh....proving it really is the living, breathing Word of God.  I love that it is sharper than any double -edged sword and can bring conviction in simply reading a passage. I love how encouraged I feel after reading my favorite Scriptures.  And I love how it addresses any and every need we have.  My favorite books are James, Ephesians, and Genesis. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hair Product Recommendation: Wen

I have been wanting to try the Wen Hair Care System for awhile, so I finally broke down and ordered this kit pictured below ($29.95....not too bad).  I am a total hair product snob, which is somewhat ironic since I don't even wash or fix my hair every day (which is actually better for your hair!).  I LOVE these products and think it's totally worth the money. My hair looks & feels great, and all I did was wash it with the conditioning shampoo and sleep in the conditioner overnight. I have only used it once but already see a major difference. If you're looking for something new for your hair, I totally recommend this!

10 Day YOU Challenge: Five Foods

1. oatmeal! ohhhh how i love oatmeal! it is SO good for you too.
2. peanut butter. does that count as a "food?"
3. salad. for real- couldn't live without it!
 4. shrimp. boiled, peel & eat, or shrimp cocktail....YUM!
5. icecream. DUH.
YUM!!! (Not together though....yuck, what a weird combo! Ha!)

Monday, August 29, 2011


Job's story in the Bible is one of my favorites.  His patience, perseverance and faith are so inspiring to me.  Job's friends pelted him with unrelenting words- anger, guilt, idle chatter, and faulty conclusions.  Their harsh words kept him crushed instead of comforted during the most trying times of his life. 

Do your words rain down comfort? Love chooses to cover instead of condemn.  Some people provoke us to exchange blow for blow, gossip for gossip, curse for curse, and rebuke for rebuke.  To speak as Job's 'friends' spoke to him requires no wisdom or strength from God because that kind of speech comes naturally to us as humans.  But if we choose to use ours words to encourage and comfort, we will need supernatural strength that only the Lord can provide. God is ready when we are.
Encourage each other every day! -Hebrews 3:13

You have the ability with your words to make people stronger. You words are to their souls what vitamins are to their bodies.

The most precious gift that one person can bestow on another is gentle encouragement.

When you talk, do not say harmful thingsm but say what people need- words that will help others become stronger. -Ephesians 4:29

10 Day YOU Challenge: Six Places

This is REALLY giving me the itch to plan some trips!!!  Here are 6 places I would LOVE to travel to RIGHT NOW, but since I'm stuck at work, will have to put on our travel itinerary for sometime in the future.

1. Home! There is no place like home!!!  I feel like I don't get to spend enough time there. May sound cheesy, but it's the truth. I wish I was at home right now!
2. Hawaii!  Hawaii is by far my favorite place I've ever been, and I really want to go back with Jonathan. I love that it's a happy place....and everyone seemed to be so healthy. (Seriously, everyone was surfing, running, biking, roller blading, etc. throughout all the beautiful parks.)  I LOVED the perfect weather, and even the music was laid-back. We'll definitely have to save up because it is expensive...and we'll have to stay for at LEAST a week since the flight is so long! :)
3. Disney! I  haven't been since middle school, and I don't think Jon has ever been. I want to wait to plan it till we can allot enough time to go to all the parks and really take our time and enjoy the full Disney experience. 
4. NYC! I drove through part of NY once when travelling to Canada to go to Niagara Falls, but I have never been to the city.  This would be a fun girls' trip!
5. Mediterranean Cruise! I'd love to see some of the beautiful countries of the Mediterranean, but from the comfort of a cruise liner would make me feel MUCH safer! Have you seen Taken? I don't care HOW SAFE everyone says international travel is, I prefer the cruise.
6. Bora Bora! We are thinking about going there for our 5 year anniversary. I know it's a long flight, and I'm not really down with jet lag, but maybe we'll be able to do a long trip. 
Ahhhhh, and now I'm dreaming that I'm somewhere else....any of these places will do!

Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Day YOU Challenge: Seven Wants

I REALLY want...
1. To go on vacation. I could use some mountain air!
2. For no one to EVER ask me if I'm pregnant again....unless I'm actually pregnant! (Yes, a fellow teacher rubbed her belly yesterday and looked at my tummy and said "Are you pregnant?"  Ha...ha...ha...NO!!!! I really wanted to tell her I'm just constipated and bloated from being on my period, along with wearing layers, but thought that may be TMI- which is probably what you're thinking now! It would have been funny though, right?)
3. For my calves to stop being so tight & tweaking when I run....annoying!! 
4. To learn to be content in every situation and circumstance.
5. To sleep in!  I can't remember the last time I slept in. I wake up at 5 am three days during the week to go to school and run; 6 am the other two days; wake up early to beat the heat for long runs on Saturdays; and even go to 8:30 SS on Sundays. I NEVER get to sleep in!! (Is it just me or do I mention sleeping in every post? Ha! What can I say, I've been a sleepyhead my whole life!)
6. To go to the movies. I really love going to the movies & we haven't been in forever.
7. To feel like my old self again.  I've been in a little funk (it happens).... I know mastering #4 will help me with that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


This has really been on my mind lately, so I'm going to vent about it once and be done with it.

I am going to be a stay at home mom when I have babies. No, I'm not pregnant, and no, I don't know when it will be God's timing for us to have kiddos, but I do know I will resign so I can be the one to raise my kids.  In no way am I criticizing moms who do work, but it is a personal choice Jonathan and I have made for me not to have a full-time job once we have children.

I have expressed this desire to a few people and have already began receiving criticism form it.  I just DON'T get it!  I know that's what the Lord desires for my life, and what I feel as if he has commanded of me as a woman and mother in His Word.  He tells us our job is to keep the home, be a supportive, submissive wife, and raise our children in a way that glorifies Him.  I know that I will not be able to do those things to the best of my ability if I am trying to manage all of that on top of a full-time career.  I know many women can, but I can't.  I just heard on the radio this morning that many working mothers are depressed because they can't do it all (although they are less likely to show symptoms of depression).  I know from experience that I am not able to give 100% in all areas of my life because I am already stretched so thin and pulled in so many directions.  It is not a good feeling, and I do not want to feel that way when I'm a mom. 

I cannot tell you the number of teachers I work with who have expressed a desire to stay at home with their children, but can't because of financial reasons.  I get that, but Jon & I would rather go without some things to be able to pull this off.  We have set ourselves up financially in a way that will allow us to do this in the future. The only debt we have is our house, and we are planning to start saving as MUCH as possible until this day comes. (And I do plan on doing something to supplement my income for those of you who are SO thinking we're not going to make it....RUDE! Maybe jealous??)  I heard an inspirational story on the Fish the other morning about a family living just fine off of  the husband's teacher salary (of less than $40,000 a year). He wrote a book about it...
It IS possible, and thanfully I have a really hard working husband who is also willing to do what it takes.

SO....Yes, I am going to stop teaching, even though I have spent a good amount of time and money in the past few years on degrees.  Yes, even though I love kids and can "change lives" while in education.  Yes, even though we just bought a house.  My FAMILY is my first ministry, and I know I will feel the most fulfilled keeping the house the way I like it, planning and cooking healthy meals for my family, being even more involved in youth ministry at church, encouraging others, having more time to spend with friends and family, and possibly homeschooling.  I will not be bored....or be sitting on the couch watching tv all day...or whatever it is people seem to think stay-at-home-moms do. (I'm sure there are some who do this- but for the most part this is a HUGE misconception!!!!)  I will be fully devoting myself to the great responsibility the Lord blessed me with as a wife and mother.  And that is a HUGE job!!!

This is something Jonathan and I have prayed about, so I feel like if anyone has an issue with what WE are doing with our life, they can take it up with God.  We already have.

Okay, I'm done.  :)

10 Day YOU Challenge: Eight Fears

Well this was an easy one for me!!  I am scared of everything....I had a tougher time narrowing down to just eight!
1. snakes
2. dogs
3. guns/knives
4. marine life
5. fire
6. being a victim of crime
7. heights
8. falling

Geez...I feel ridiculous when I see it in writing!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am LOVING that the weeks are going by so fast! Not trying to wish my life away or anything, but I REALLY love the weekends!
I am LOVING that I ran 7 miles before work...
I am LOVING that the hubby and I have some Labor Day plans to head to the mountains.
I am LOVING that tonight is crazy socks and wacky tie night at church...and last week we had almost 90 middle schoolers in youth!!
I am LOVING I got to celebrate one of my sweet SS girls' 13th birthday with her! I love sweet Miss Madison!
I am LOVING that we are heading to the high school football game with our friends on Friday night. I haven't been to any since I've been teaching, and it'll be neat to see all my old students.
I am LOVING that I finally went to the gym yesterday.  I didn't do much because I ran yesterday morning, but I am a little sore in my triceps. :)
I am LOVING that my hubby eats all the random healthy foods I decide to cook for dinner.
And I am LOVING that I get a nap this afternoon- finally!! (Hey, I woke up at 5 am....I deserve one!)

10 Days of YOU: Nine Loves

I LOVE so many things it's hard to narrow down to nine, but here we go...9 loves!

1. The Lord.  My Rock, Salvation, and Savior. I honestly don't know how people make it through life without a relationship with Christ. 
2. This guy..duh! Jon is the man!!
3. My friends & family. They are the best- period. 
4. Working out! I do NOT understand how people choose not to work out...I absolutely LOVE the way it makes me feel, and I like knowing I'm taking care of my body.
5. Salad.  It really is my favorite food...I'm not just saying that.
6. Sleeping. I really love a good nap & good night's sleep. I get really excited when I know I get to take a nap.
7. My church. We have a great church family, and I am so thankful for Hopewell.
8. Hot tea. I drink at least 3-4 cups a day.  Lots of health benefits, too.
9. Saturdays. I have never lived for the weekends the way I am now....I look forward to Saturdays ALL week long!! I love getting a long run in the mornings with my friends, and spending the rest of the day relaxing & doing NOTHING (for the first time in FOR-EV-ER) with my hubby.