Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

1. I only have a home phone for my security system. I only have that because I get a discount on my home owner's insurance. So, if you want to actually reach me on the phone, call my cell.

2. I lived in Germany when I was little so I can't give blood now (mad cow disease and all).

3. I love to play almost any game, that is, except Cramium.

4. I can remember all sorts of random trivia but have trouble remembering useful everyday information.

5. I like to organize, especially at work, though it doesn't often translate to the house.

6. I've always wanted to write a book. I recently fulfilled my dream, check it out: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/476603

7. Now that my nephew is speaking, I'm continually amazed by the things he comes up with! (My sister told him the other day she had to go on a tiny trip but would be back the next day. He said, are you going in a tiny car too.)

8. My sister has become one of my favorite people! We always have so much fun together; usually laughing until we cry!

9. I absolutely LOVE my body flow class at the YMCA! It kicks my rear every time, but I feel so strong and relaxed after.

10. I'm teaching myself to jog. I decided I needed more of a challenge in the cardio room; boy did I get one.

11. God gave me a unique and creative view on life, which reflects itself most in the pictures I take. I think my next book project will be totally pictures I've taken.

12. I'm stealing one from my sister: I'm happy for the benefits that the Air Force afforded our family but wish I had a place to call home/a decent answer when people ask where I'm from.

13. I'm adventurous in the kitchen. I like to experiment and create dishes; sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't.

14. Speaking of adventurous. I want to: skydive, bungy jump and parasail just to name a few.

15. I went on a mission trip to Novosibirsk, Siberia the summer after I graduated high school.

16. Someday I'd like to visit: Ireland, Australia, Scotland and New Zealand, just to name a few.

17. I love to read. I just finished the Twilight series, around 2800 total pages, in just under two weeks.

18. I've always been a picky eater, but recently I've been trying new things... like tomatoes, only thinly sliced and hot though.

19. Whenever I'm reading a magazine and a recipe looks good, I'll tear it out in hopes that I might make it one day. But somehow, they just end up in a pile of "to be filed" and nothing much happens. I need to work on that.

20. While on a mission trip to Seattle, WA, I jumped feet first into the hotel's swimming pool. I didn't stop to check how deep the pool was.... 5ft. I'm 5' 10". Immediately, I heard a loud "pop" under the water and knew that I'd broken something. I actually only fractured my ankle.

21. I'm pretty accident prone. I play hard and often get hurt.

22. When I was little, I wanted to be a mommy and a teacher... Neither of those have panned out, so I'm finding new dreams.

23. Perhaps I'm over thinking my answers, but this is taking me entirely too long to fill out. I think it's just that I've filled out a few of these over the years and wanted some new and exciting things that you might not know about me. Ok, this didn't count as a random fact....

23. I've always struggled with depression and my self-confidence, but through God's healing and me becoming a Y addict, both of those have drastically changed.

24. I have A.D.D., so I'm just naturally a pretty random person.

25. If I could afford it, I'd drink a non-fat peppermint mocha fom Starbucks every morning on the way to work. Yum!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Woes of Reorganizing

Why oh why do these things always happen to me?

I was inspired to do some organizing tonight. I have a box in my pantry that I put all my important papers in (bank statements and paid bills and such). Well the box was getting out of control and I couldn't stand the mess anymore. I bravely pulled it out and brought it to the den. I got my file folder out and started putting things in their correct slots. Not necessarily caring about the order, just so they were in the right spot.

I really should have taken a "before" picture (it was a sight to behold) and actually thought about it, but I didn't expect to get as much done as I did. While I organized, I was watching/listening to NCIS (which I've never seen before and now must rent all past seasons on Netflix) and Jon & Kate Plus 8. Finally after around two hours (and I didn't completely finish), this is the finished product!

There are 24 different categories... each containing something vital. At one point, they were alphabetized, but then I kept leaving different items out and got tired of redoing things. Wayyy to anal for my own good. So there's everything from AT&T to recipes I want to someday make. Isn't it pretty?!

I double-check that the latch, was well latched before I pick it up by the handle. I even do a few shakes up and down and it seemed really secure. But on my way to it's stow zone, the unthinkable happened...

My first reaction? I yelled, some might call it a scream, "CRAPPPPPPPP!" While I realize that's not a very lady-like thing to say, it just fell out. I'm actually trying to curve myself of that word, as little ears (Grant) likes to repeat what people say. I was really ready to be done, but I decided to persevere and finish the job strong. Plus by this point, I knew I'd be sharing my "adventure" with you now. I semi-calmly sat down and reorganized everything.

It was then that I realized the poor thing succumbed to too much weight and folded under the pressure.... actually, the side seams ripped. I guess I need a better way to keep everything organized. Ideally, I'd like a file cabinet. Hmm. I'll have to look into that.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Amy Tagged Me

My fellow bookwom friend Amy, who introduced me to the Twilight books, which I've devoured as quickly as I got my hands on them and the only reason I'm not reading now, because I'm almost at the end and I don't know when or where I'll get the 4th and final book from, so I'm delaying the completion of the book by finding fun bloggy things to do, though I will finish before I sleep tonight..... tagged me on her blog. I'm a sucker for a good blog game, so here goes!

The Rules:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

People collect many different things. I collect pictures, ones I've personally taken as well as ones I find interesting. I honestly can't recall where I found this one. But I immediately pictured that hand as God's hand. I took the picture into Photoshop and found the verse you see there, Isaiah 40:12a, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow in His hand..." I often imagine this is what God does, when He protects us from the storms in life.

I tag:
1) Rachel, a recently new friend, who's post are always very entertaining!
2) Jennifer, a faithful friend of mine since junior high!
3) Melissa, who's friendship I've cherished since the day I met her!
4) Amanda, who just found out she's pregnant with a baby boy! Congrats!

Finding Balance in a Runner's World

I have a problem. Often what my brain deems attainable and what my body actually can accomplish are two completely different things. In my head, I'm a runner. I run with the grace and agility which only a seasoned runner possesses. However, when I make the conscious choice to get my rear in gear a few things happen. One, I have to concentrate to stay in the middle of the treadmill, least I fall off. Two, I'm pumping my arms as I jog/run and my iPod cord keeps hitting me in the face (very distracting). Three, I continue to push myself just a little bit further and longer than I think I can go.

Tonight I decided I would try to jog at a lower speed for a longer amount of time (like my friend Melissa suggested.) I warmed up a little and when I thought I was ready, I bumped up the speed to 4mph (not much, I realize) and began to jog. I was completely amazed that for a good solid three minutes, I felt no pain and was incredibly proud of myself for going that long!! It even crossed my mind that I might be able to keep it up for a longer amount of time. However, that's about the time I hit my first wall.

Now realize I'm only three days into this new routine. While my head really wants to do more, I need to find some kind of balance and allow my body to slowly catch up. Perhaps one day down the road, I'll be ready for more. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm just starting out. It's not often you hit the ground running out the starting gate, so I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Alas, I'm my own worst critic.

I decided I would then do a rotation of alternately jogging/walking quickly. Every few minutes, I'd bump the speed back up and go for as long as I could; sometimes a little more. And then, just when I thought I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, my legs turned into tree trunks. I had shooting pains in my lower back and my feet felt as though they'd just been sunk into cement blocks. Unfortunately, my cardio for tonight was over. But really, I think I did well, regardless of how it might sound. I did .81 of a mile in 16 minutes. Not bad at all.

I then met up with my friend ARV who was doing weights. I didn't have much left in me, so I wanted to just hang out with her while she worked. Though, I ended up doing more than I thought I could. We just started working on this new ab machine. You climb onto it, kneel on the pad, then roll/slide back and forth only using your abs for momentum. I did three counts of 20 on each side (left, middle and right).

And then, just for fun, because I fully believed I couldn't do it, I was going to show ARV just how inept I was at this exercise. It's kind of hard to explain.... but it's the one where you are only supported by your elbows and you gradually bring your knees to your chest or bring you legs straight out in front of you. Once I saw that I could do it, I ended up doing around 25 in all. Wow. I shouldn't ever not try something for fear of how it might make me look or if I believe I can't do something. I'm learning that I'm stronger than even I know and I can do most things, especially once I set my mind to do it!! Geez, there's no stopping me then!! (In fact, the lady at the front desk, Jan, who always checks us in was there again tonight. I said, "Jan, you're always here." She smiled at me and said, "So are you.")

So the key that I'm looking for is balance. I have to figure out my speed, endurance and ability to power through whatever pain I might be in. Any runners out there have any suggestions on how to get started? Please leave your comments. I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"You're Life Is An Occasion... Rise To It."

Tonight I did something I wasn't sure I could do, until I did it. You see, one of my favorite shows on TV is The Biggest Loser. Check it out sometime, if you've never seen it. Time and time again I see how people's lives are literally transformed before my eyes. Oh, they are so inspiring to me! Well, on last night's show, one of the contestants, a teenager who weighs something like 500? pounds was able to RUN at 7 miles an hour for 30 seconds. Wow. If he could do it, then so could I!!

All day long I'd been thinking about my strategy for my cardio tonight at the Y. I was annoyed that there were no open machines in the cardio room, so I had to do my weights first. Darn it! But once I was done, I went back.. yeah, open treadmills. I know what I listen to makes a huge difference in my overall workout. Usually I listen to Christian music, uplifting and encouraging... Toby Mac, BarlowGirl, 12 Stones and the like. But I knew tonight was different and needed a different approach. I found that Linkin Park (clean) did the trick.

I decided that I would walk briskly at 3 mph for a total of 30 minutes. But every five minutes, I was going to RUN as fast as I could for as long as I could, then take it back down to 3mph until the next five minutes came around. Wow! My first bout of running, I actually superseded my own expectations and actually ran around 1 minute to a minute-thirty seconds. I was shocked, believe you me. My fasted speed topped out at 6.3.

I can't tell you how proud I am of myself!!! I think next time, I'll either start faster and gradually back off the speed. Or, don't try to do so much at one time and just jog for a bit at a lower speed instead of booking it on a faster speed. Regardless, I'll figure something out. And who knows, I might just become a runner. Stranger things have happened!!

"You're life is an occasion... rise to it."
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Meredith's Flop

What have you done today to make yourself proud?!? Stop and think about it for a minute. If something doesn't come right away, then either you're being too hard on yourself. Or maybe you need to find something to make yourself proud. For me, I went to the Y tonight even though I talked myself out of it all day long. Whew. It was a long day and the last place I wanted to be was at the Y. Strangely, on my favorite class day too. A friend of mine was supposed to come, so I didn't want to let her down. Once I finally got to the Y, it was all good. I got to see my good friend ARV and even read Eclipse a bit before class.

Let me just tell you. This. class. is. amazing! I'm always soo proud of myself after completing an hour of this class (Body Flow). We may not be moving very quickly, but let me tell you this, we sweat and breathe heavy. We had a sub tonight and she was so good. She brought us to another level, physically, which many of us didn't know we could go.

Sometimes I look around when I'm hanging upside down doing downward dog or other such moves or sometimes I just close my eyes and breathe. But tonight, I noticed a lady in the back watching me, copying what I was doing. Perhaps it was happenstance, but it made me feel good. "Self," I said, "You've come a long way and you should be proud of yourself!"


The Biggest Loser comes on Tuesday nights. I spend the whole two hours alternately crying and getting motivated. Tomorrow I'm doing cardio and weights and I can't wait!! I get so inspired watching this show. I look at those contestants and think, if they can do it, why can't I? I've added more speed to my cardio training. That might mean less time, but overall, I think it'll be a better benefit. I wish it was tomorrow night already, but alas, I must go to work.

However, I'm off to read a bit of Eclipse by Stephenie Myers a bit before bed. Ohhhh wait, I forgot to share something with you. OK, so my coworker's birthday is tomorrow and I told her I might make her a cake with my new pan I got for Christmas. Everything was going well, until I tried to take it out of the pan. Apparently I didn't wait long enough for it to cool? I don't know, but this was the result.

Thankfully, I'd already decided not to bring it to work tomorrow, so I didn't really care. It's just interesting is all. Oh well. I guess I didn't wait long enough for it to cool? I'm still learning how to bake.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cadence: Achieving the Seemingly Impossible

You'll never guess who really likes cardio now, maybe even more than weights?!!? Yep, you're looking at her! Well, at least, reading her thoughts, or something like that. When I read a book, I have to walk a little slower so I don't fall off and kill myself, which is what I nearly did (twice) the first time. Now, I've gotten it down to a science. I can actually walk at 3mph as long as I put the book in front of me and still can see my feet. When whoooosh 45 minutes flies by like 20!

When I'm not reading, I created a play list on my iPod which songs match the beat/rhythm of what my feet might be doing. It's a lot easier with faster songs to find cadence. Oooh, one day I found cadence. (Do you know what that means? If not, leave a message and I'll let you know.) It was perfect. I've heard about it, usually referring to spinning, but I found it on the treadmill. Since then I've tried to find it again, and although I haven't reached the same level of "perfection", I've found I'm actually getting in shape. Shocker, I know.

This is the beginning of my 5 month and I still haven't lost any weight -- though I haven't gained any either -- but my clothes are falling off of me. This is how I measure success. Plus, I feel really good about myself after a hard and sweaty workout. Tonight, I walked 2.5 miles at 3mph for 45 minutes. Then lifted 10 of 12 machines and learned a new one, which my abs might regret in the morning. Ha, soreness is alright. I'm determined this is going to be my year to really find that skinny (healthy) girl inside of me. I'm excited.

Off to get a really good night's rest. Happy trails.

Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple, Open it up and see all the people

What a busy life I lead. I've been meaning to write for weeks, but alas, life just got in the way. Honestly, that's not a bad excuse. Much better than "I just didn't feel like it" or perhaps "I was too tired", but no, I was just busy living life. It wasn't that long ago when I literally lived behind the camera's lens. I don't think I necessarily missed out on life, but I didn't experience things first hand. Well, I did, but not in the way that actually puts me in my story; rather than capturing what others are doing. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE to take pictures, but perhaps, I now know when it's time to become a part of life.

Christmas was great. I was off from work and hanging out with family. Ever since Grant entered the world, we rarely watch TV when he's around. At first, we just marveled at him. Last year we watched him toddle all around the house. This year, I RAN after him. I think one of his favorite things to do at Grandmother and Pops' house is to run in circles... through the: kitchen, den, sun room, hallway and start all over again. I'll say "Ready, Set, Go!" and we both take off. I love that kid. I marvel at the way he changes from week to week. Recently, he's begun to pretend; which is too cute. The boy LOVES McDonald's french fries, so it's only natural that he'd pretend to have a McDonald's restaurant as well. We ate many hamburgers, fries, apple pies and chocolate milkshakes. Pretend, of course. I asked my sister once, "Do you want a small or regular?" "Since it's pretend, I want a super-sized-size. Why not?" she said. Why not indeed.

Seems to me there's a bit of life application there in this story. Maybe I'm reaching, I don't know. And of course, I was going to talk about completely other things than I actually am, but you should be used to my random tangents by now. I'll get back to McDonald's, but first I wanted to share something with you, my readers. (I found out today I have six readers, which let me just pause and say, "woohoo!") But I never know who might stumble upon my site. My blog is listed many places, so you just never know. Which is why I think it's completely necessary to be completely real. Why pretend?

I'm both ashamed and proud by what I'm about to say. I went to church on Sunday. Are you asking yourself why I'm both ashamed and proud? Well, I honestly can't remember the last time I went. No judgements, please. It's not that I don't have a good church home, because I do. I LOVE Church of the Highlands! It took me so long to find a church that fit me, so I don't take that lightly. This past year.... was.... I don't know how to describe it. I went through a lot, internally. I figured out a way through many of my fears and although I should have run to my church; instead I tried to do it on my own. Which, we all know that doesn't work out so well. But regardless of my reasoning's for not going, that's done with.

I walked into church and immediately my Spirit whispered, "Welcome, home. What took you so long to come back?" I unfortunately missed the praise and worship - who knew it would take 25 minutes just to get TO the parking lot!!! Wow, the word has gotten out about Highlands and people's lives are changing!! It was packed! Four services on Sunday alone.

I was blessed enough to sit close by to a man who gave his heart to Jesus on Sunday. I heard his husky whisper as he spoke the prayer from behind me and immediately started to tear up. In all the years I've attended Highlands, never has one Sunday gone by without someones lives being changed; mine included.

I just reread what I've written this far and now, have no idea where I was going with the McDonald's analogy! I should have ran with it while it was still fresh in my head. Oh well. I guess I had other things to share instead. Just know that I never claim to be perfect or have all the answers; quite the opposite is true. But I know one thing:

I know that my Redeemer lives
And now I stand on what He did
My Saviour, my Saviour lives
Every day a brand new chance to say"
Jesus, You are the only way"
My Saviour, my Saviour lives

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Irony of Commitment

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” -- Anne Morriss. Starbucks customer from New York City. She describes herself as an organization builder, restless American citizen, optimist.