Saturday, January 23, 2016

Six on Saturday

1. I slept 9 hours last night. NINE. Saturday is my only day to sleep in but my internal clock doesn't usually cooperate. Today was the wonderful and rare exception. I'm actually still in bed, sipping on coffee and eating my favorite grain-free pancakes which to me equals Saturday morning perfection.

2. Will made it back to Arkansas and started his second semester at OBU. He FaceTimed us last night and I gotta tell you how grateful I am for technology. Texing and FaceTime definitely make the distance seem a little more manageable.

3. I got a lot of hiking in this week! A friend asked me the other day how I have time to go so often. I don't necessarily have time-- I have to take time. I think it's just like anything else that is important to you--if you love it, you will find a way to make it happen. One of my hikes this week was simply a spur of the moment, sanity-saver. It helped me clear my head and refocus...and work out a lot of frustration.
4. Remember me saying I really really really wanted a pair of snowshoes? Well I bought a pair. I found a barely-used pair on Craigslist and scored a deal! Now I'm just waiting for a big snow because the only place I've been able to try them out is on a snow drift in my backyard. I can't wait to try them out on a snowy trail. 
5. One of the things I'm learning about right now in my BioChem class is epigenetics and the mind-body connection. It is so fascinating to me. I've been acutely aware this week (after all of my reading assignments) of how people around me talk about themselves, either positively or negatively, and how that belief might shape their biology. I think there's a lot to it. I'll be honest, some of it scares me a bit because it feels new-agey but I also think it's a good thing to have your mind stretched every now and then. 

6. Last night I finally caught up on the new season of Downton Abbey. I find it hard to stay awake much past 9pm most nights which makes me extremely grateful for a DVR. That show is just so sweet. I'm sad it is ending, but I like how they are wrapping things up for each of the characters. 

I'm off to study--it's going to be a long day of that! Hope everyone has a nice weekend! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Deepish" early morning thoughts...

It's just after 5:30am. Usually I'm out on the trail by now, getting in my daily miles with my posse of neighbors who meet me each weekday morning. But not today. John is out of town and I need to be here to rouse the girls. I've been awake for awhile (thanks to the beagle) so I have some rambling thoughts...and one in particular I felt prompted to share here. 

I was reading this morning about Jesus and the last supper. It's a familiar text--one I hear parts of repeated weekly at church just before communion. Jesus breaks the bread, gives it to his disciples and says, "Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (I'm kinda paraphrasing.)

When I hear those words, my mind almost always goes to the word remembrance. I know that the word means to remember. But my mind almost always takes that word in a slightly different direction, with a  slightly different meaning. I break it down as "re" and "member". Let me try to explain.

The word "member" designates belonging. I can be a member of a family or an organization or in the case I'm presenting here,  a member of God's kingdom--his body of believers on this earth. Faith in Jesus and his sacrificial death upon the cross is what joins me together with other believers. We are all members of one body of believers. 

The word "re" is a prefix that means to do something again. I re-wash the clothes after I've left them in the washer too long (oops). I re-read the assignment. I re-set the alarm clock. I re-send the email. You're tracking, right?

So when I take communion each week at church, my mind always translates that act of re-membering as re-joining myself to Christ and his kingdom. I consciously choose to affirm (again) my place of belonging by re-aligning my heart, my mind, my will, etc with Jesus. It's an action verb. I'm being thoughtfully reflective (remembering) at the same time that I'm being willful in choosing to re-join myself to Christ (re-membering). Subtle difference, but not-so-subtle action. 

Like I said, I think about this almost every week when we get to the Eucharist part of our worship service. I don't know that I've ever written it down but I felt led to this morning.

I also like that in our church, we get up and walk towards the minister who is offering the bread/wine. For me, it affirms re-membering. I must actively move towards Jesus and all that he offers me. It's not passive by any stretch. 

Gotta get my girls up and moving. Thoughts? I'd love to hear any you have on this topic so leave me a comment. Peace out, peeps!

Friday, January 15, 2016

January ::: Currents

Current Read: Well, this is what I'm reading this week/weekend for my BioChem class. This assignment covers quantum physics, in regard to the mind-body connection. Ummmm, yeah, I feel like I'm in way over my head. It feels a little new-agey but it's also fascinating.
Over Christmas break, I finished The Martian, Fates and Furies, The Immortal Nicholas, Rising Strong, and I started H is for Hawk, but sadly did not finish. I was very happy to read for pleasure during those 2.5 weeks. 

Current Playlist: I'm a podcast girl...these are the ones I listen to faithfully.
Current Color(s): Red! I got a red, plaid flannel for Christmas that I love. Also found a great red sweater that is so soft and comfy. Most of my house has pops of red and I've realized red just makes me happy.

Current Food: I cannot get enough roasted broccoli. I hated broccoli until I discovered roasted broccoli and now, I roast a batch almost every day. So delicious. The only downside is that it makes my house smell like...broccoli...and my family lets me know that it smells bad.

Current Favorite Favorite: I've got a few to share.

I've been using this coconut argan oil on my face in place of my regular moisturizer. It's ah-mazing! It absorbs quickly and doesn't feel heavy or greasy plus it smells great. My face gets so dry in the winter and this oil has made a big difference in keeping it moisturized. I'm also loving this hand cream! I got it in my stocking for Christmas, probably because I left my family a LOT of hints. I found both at my local health food store.

I'm also digging essential oils + my diffuser. I felt like I was getting sick last weekend and I put some Thieves oil on my tongue (tastes horrid) and within an hour my symptoms were completely gone and never came back.

I'm LOVING this January scripture writing plan and I LOVE writing with these pens. They are the only kind of pens I buy. I'm *very* particular about my pens.


Current Addiction: LaCroix grapefruit carbonated water.

Current Wish List: I really really really want a pair of snowshoes. I've said this for years but I always talk myself out of buying them. They've been bumped to the top of my list again.

Current Need: I need to make some serious progress with my next BioChem assignment over the weekend.

Current Randomness: I discovered a new hiking trail a couple of weeks ago and I'm smitten. I love that it's close to my house, gets my heart rate up, and has gorgeous views in every direction. I went this morning with some friends and it was very cold, but so beautiful!


Current Triumph: I'm on track with my 2016 goals--at least with the ones you can measure.

Current Annoyance: I really hate washing/drying/fixing my hair. I've been pushing the limits of how long I can go without washing it lately. I have super thick hair (a blessing, I know) but it takes so long to blow dry it and then I still have to fix it. I've been rocking different hats this week.
This red (red! favorite color!) one I bought a few years ago is still my favorite.

Current Blessing: My husband. He's been so supportive of me going back to school. He's picked up a TON of my slack around here--laundry, grocery shopping, etc--and I am so grateful.

Current Mood: Sad. Will flies back to Arkansas in the morning. It was so nice having him home for Christmas break. Dreading having to re-adjust to it just being four of us again.

Current Excitement: I'm going to Austin in a few weeks for the IF: Gathering.  A few friends from church scored tickets and we are SO excited to be there in person this year.

Current Project: I feel like school is my never-ending project. It's pretty consuming.

Current Plans For The Day Evening: Earlier this evening, I made a yummy dinner for my family then made them play a board game with me. They obliged but I think it's because their dad warned them this afternoon that playing a family game was my one wish on this night before Will heads back to school. The kitchen has been cleaned, the board game put away and now one child has gone to a basketball game, one is painting at the kitchen table, and one is packing his suitcase. So I think I'm going to put on my pjs and make a grocery list then maybe watch a movie. Except I can rarely watch movies these days. I prefer television shows that are 40-60 minutes because that's about as long as I can stay awake once I sit down and sit still. Peace out, peeps.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Goals

I'm a big fan of goals. Not resolutions, but goals. I try to take some time every year and write down things I want to accomplish.

Here's the list I came up with for 2016, broken down by category...with my commentary.
Because I always have something to say. 

Spiritual

  • Follow a daily scripture writing plan for 365 days. I happened upon some friends who were following a December scripture writing plan and I joined them and LOVED it. Loved it so much that I want to do it for all of 2016. I found monthly plans by doing a quick Pinterest search (you can follow my scripture writing board here) and bought a cute notebook at Target and am all ready to go tomorrow. It's been a surprising way for me to really focus on what I'm reading. Reading + writing = win win!



Physical

  • Hike at least two 14ers. This is my goal every year. Happy to have completed it the past four years! 
  • Climb The Incline ten times this year. I finished 2015 with 8 climbs up. Proud of that.
  • Log 750 outdoor/trail miles. My goal used to be 1000. That was before I started back to school. 750 will challenge me plenty.


Educational
  • Take three classes in 2016 towards my nutrition therapy certification and keep a 4.0 GPA First up in 2016, BioChem. I start Monday and am slightly freaked out about the intensity of this class. 
  • Read 12 books that are not school-related. Ideally, this would be one per month but I'm not as much about the "how" as the "why". The "why" for me is that my brain needs a break from intense information plus I want to remember that I enjoy reading. I almost forgot that little fact after a semester of Anatomy & Physiology. Smile.

Financial
  • Pay cash for everything, including college. Gulp. We've been on a cash-only journey for 7-8 years. I'm beyond grateful for God's provision for us, but I'm not gonna lie--this goal stresses me out. In 2016, three-fifths of my family will be enrolled in an institution of higher learning. Ch-ching. Trusting God to see this one to fruition.
  • Increase passive income. I love brainstorming about creative ways to increase our earning potential. I have tons of ideas; I just need some implementation skills. 

Relational
  • Forgive readily. I'm slow to come around to forgiveness. I hold grudges. I keep the other person on the hook for awhile before I can let things go. Really, really asking the Lord to change my heart here. I know I can't do this on my own.
  • Engage. Be "all in" with my husband and children. The years are flying by. With our oldest in college and his sister following on his heels, I realize that the time I have with them at home is dwindling. If that means putting down my phone, turning off the television, listening and paying attention and asking questions and lingering around the table, then yes, that's what I'm after.

Personal
  • Keep it together when TWO children leave for college in the fall. I'm sorta kidding here. Sorta, but I'm going to need a lot of grace for myself next fall. Sending our first-born 1000+ miles away did a number on me this year. I'm already dreading sending two away at once. Definitely going to feel the impact of that.
  • Reserve one day each week for self-care and/or leisure. And use this time to do something I enjoy. Most of the time that is hiking, but other times it might be shopping, or meeting friends for lunch or just sitting in my pajamas and watching television. I tend to focus so much on the always-looming to-do list that leisure or fun gets nixed. My goal is to make it priority! 

That's all I've got but it's a good list! Here's to 2016. Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

December Currents

Current Read: Still plugging away at A&P textbooks but I am almost finished with the semester--hallelujah! I started reading The Martian while traveling over Thanksgiving break so I want to finish that as soon as my semester is over. It's very good.

Current Playlist: Kari Jobe Where I Find You: Christmas Edition is on repeat these days. The whole album is beautiful. Lots of other Christmas music is on my list as well.

Current Color(s): Gray. It's my favorite.

Current Food: I've had some pretty amazing Honeycrisp apples lately--that is my favorite variety and they've been extra-delicious the past few weeks. I'm also loving coconut milk--the kind in a can, not carton. I'd never bought it before my Whole30 but I love it. I've been putting some in my coffee every morning. I started drinking coffee again after a 6+ month break. Cold mornings + coffee are just too perfect together.

Current Favorite Favorite: Candy Cane Chapstick + tights with boots + peppermint tea + plaid shirts and puffer vests + LaCroix grapefruit water + the IF: Equip Advent study + trading clothes with my sister while in Arkansas last week.

Current Addiction: Can't think of anything right now. I guess that's a good thing?

Current Wish List: Love & Toast Sugared Grapefruit hand creme + some 5lb hand weights. I have 8lbs which are too heavy and 3lbs which are too light. #firstworldproblems

Current Need: I could use a day spent completely at home. I'm behind on pretty much everything in my life right now. I'm not usually this far off my game and it's kinda stressing me out.

Current Randomness: I took this photo on my hike yesterday. My week was busier than normal, but I wasn't about to cancel my Friday hiking plans. Nature is so calming for me.


Current Triumph: I finished my Whole30. It was such a great experience. I need to post about it in detail but I feel much lighter, clear-headed, have more energy, am sleeping well and just generally feel better. Sometimes you don't realize how "off" you've been until you feel really, really good.

Current Annoyance: Our garage door sensors aren't working properly and 9/10 times our garage door goes back up while trying to close it. Such a pain, and particularly annoying when I'm in a hurry to leave the house and it won't stay closed. Again, #firstworldproblems

Current Blessing: My church. I was at a meeting on Wednesday night followed by our Advent service and I was looking around the room, feeling incredible love and respect for so many of the people in the room with me. It's a community of imperfect people but they sincerely love the Lord and their lives bless mine in some pretty unique ways. I feel very grateful.

Current Mood: My family would probably not say I'm in a good mood. I'm trying but stress makes me crabby!

Current Excitement: Will comes home in less than 2 weeks and he'll be here for a month!

Current Project: Get our Christmas tree up and decorations out! I refuse to put our tree up before Thanksgiving--one holiday at a time, people--and we haven't had a free evening this week to get it put up. It will happen sometime this weekend, but honestly, it makes me a little bit sad since Will won't be here to help us decorate it. It's always been a family affair for us. #newterritory

Current Plans For The Day: It's a full day...but I'll survive.
Peace out, people.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Waiting...

I love the description of Advent as a season of "expectant waiting". As believers in Jesus, we expectantly await Christ's second coming, while remembering his first coming--as an infant in a manger. Our waiting and remembering give purpose to the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. I love celebrating Advent because it is a way to keep my heart and mind engaged during this season that has become so commercialized.

I came home from a beautiful Advent service at our church last night and turned on the television to catch up on the latest news from the San Bernardino shooting. My heart is so heavy over this. It's so close on the heels of the the Colorado Springs shooting. And Paris. It's so hard to make sense of all of it isn't it? Things just feel so heightened to me right now--all of the bad in the world is just so overwhelming.

I woke up this morning with the words "expectant waiting" on my heart. Just as so many Jewish believers were waiting for a Messiah two thousand years ago to come and rescue and restore, I find myself waiting for Jesus to return for those very reasons. I do not understand all that is going on in the world today, but I am grateful for a Redeemer and for the hope that comes from knowing He will return and set all things right. And so I pray...and grieve...and listen...and love...and hope...and wait. Expectantly.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Currently ::: November

Current Read: My Anatomy & Physiology textbooks are primarily what I read these days, but I did buy Rising Strong last month and try to sneak in a few pages here and there. I'm a huge fan of Brene Brown.

Current Playlist: I mostly listen to podcasts, but I've got a Justin Timberlake playlist that's back in rotation after his amazing performance at the CMAs (which I only watched to try to get a glimpse of Jen Hatmaker) I also really like Adele's new song and throw that one in there too.

Current Color(s): Gray, orange, green. Not together necessarily, but those have been some of my favorites this fall.

Current Food: Jalapeno-stuffed olives and roasted veggies, especially roasted broccoli. Y-U-M and Whole30 approved.
Current Favorite Favorite: Feeling like I have a new wardrobe now that I've pulled out my sweaters and scarves and winter clothes.

Current Addiction: Sleep. Can't seem to ever get enough.

Current Wish List: An immersion blender. I borrowed one from my neighbor to make a few things last week and what a timesaver! I'm keeping an eye out for a good Black Friday sale.

Current Need: A 2016 planner. Need to cross that off my list because I just ordered one on Amazon.

Current Randomness: Last Saturday I drove up to Denver for a cadaver lab. It was an optional lab we could take for Anatomy and Physiology. I was a little nervous going into it but ended up loving it. I'm a visual learner and it was great for me to be able to actually see things I've been learning about like the sciatic nerve, the brain, the small intestine, ovaries, etc. I was completely fascinated. I loved telling the girls that I got to hold an eyeball and a brain. It was definitely an experience I will never forget. I was VERY glad that I packed a salad for lunch though. Not sure I could have eaten meat after that lab--saw a little too much "meat" that day. Ha!

Completely unrelated, we saw this deer on our hike yesterday. He was so close to us and so pretty! As you can see, we still have a good bit of snow leftover from our mid-week storm.

Current Triumph: I'm 2/3 of the way through my class. I turned in my Module II assignments this week and got my grades back yesterday. So far I have an A and I'm pretty happy about that.

Current Annoyance: Excuses. Lying. Just own up to things and be honest!

Current Blessing: Today, I'm feeling thankful for a warm house, a fridge/pantry/freezer full of food, and money to pay our bills. Those are not small things.

Current Mood: I'm happy it's Saturday! But yesterday's terrorist attacks in France bring a certain somberness to today. It's so troubling and sad.

Current Excitement: We get to see Will for Thanksgiving!!! Gosh, I miss that boy. He's doing great and enjoying his first semester of college but we are SO ready to see him.

Current Project: I want to work on a blog post (or two) about my Whole30 experience. I'm trying to write down a bit along the way about why I'm doing this, what I'm learning, and how it's changing me. I just need to find time to put it in post format. I also need to put together a Christmas shopping list. I have a couple of things purchased but that's about it. Christmas is coming fast, y'all!

Current Plans For The Day: Study, gather a few things from the grocery store and watch a bit of football in between. If I can convince John to go to the grocery store for me, I may just stay in my pjs all day.