Saturday, February 9, 2008


I love this video. We watched it last semester in one of my education classes that was supposed to be teaching us about how diverse our future students would be. It amazes me that our world is changing so problems and my victories always seem so important to me, but when you put them up against some of the facts in this video, they aren't!

Greg and I are doing really well. We have been faithfully going to the gym and working out to the point where I feel like I'm going to break ;) On Thursday night we did free weights for upper body and I am so, so sore still! I love doing free weights, but I always get so intimidated going over there because my 15 pound weights look so tiny compared to the 90 pound weights some guys bench!

I told our COM group about my last post and they're all praying for me. And I can honestly say that I feel like I'm making progress. I knew this wouldn't be an overnight thing, but I feel God making changes in the way my mind works. A couple nights ago, I was running on the treadmill, and I actually thought my legs looked GOOD - muscular and strong. Which is definitely not something I've ever thought before. So change is happening in my brain :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I never realized what a complete control-freak I am until it came time to plan my wedding. I've always known that I prefer to be in the driver's seat when it comes to doing things (I mean, who else can do something as perfectly as me?), but when it came time to plan my wedding I became a to-do list freak. I timed, down to the second, when my bridesmaids would walk down the aisle. I made an itinerary that was at least 5 pages long for all of our wedding party...and I still agonize nearly a year later that I told the ushers to be in the wrong place at the right time and they ended up missing out on our formal pictures. I was such a control-freak that when I left to get my hair done on the morning of the wedding, my loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and bridesmaids were panicking asking Jen whether I wanted pink AND green jelly beans on all tables, or just one corresponding color. And then there was a near meltdown when they ran out of jelly beans. And guess who didn't even realize there were jelly beans at the reception until she got professional pictures back? Yep, that's right, the control freak BRIDE!

I think this control issue has only gotten worse since the wedding. And now it's started to apply to my relationship with God. I'm not sure why I think it's okay to be in the driver's seat when I'm riding in the car with God, but for some reason, I've come to think this. Today, Jeff did a sermon called "Chase the Lion." It was about doing things that are destined to fail without the help of some divine intervention...and it really got me thinking. I have some serious issues in my life that need to be surrendered to particular thing that will never be resolved unless God takes a hold and shows me how to let go.

Ever since 5th grade, I have had horrible self-esteem and self-image issues. Do you know how sad it is that a 10-year-old thought that she needed to lose weight? That makes 12 years of me hating myself, the way I looked on the outside, and the way I felt about myself on the inside. This issue is so big that I really don't remember a time when I wasn't thinking about my weight. I know there has to be a time when my little, carefree mind wanted nothing to do with the reflection in the mirror, but I honestly can't remember a time like that. I rate every picture I see of myself on how "skinny" I look in it. If I don't live up to my own impossibly high standards, then it's a bad picture. This "issue" has even pushed me towards anorexia and doing stupid, stupid stuff to make myself look "better." And to be honest? I'm never going to look like Heidi Klum or any of the other Victoria's Secret models. I'm athletic. And I have my dad's calves (Lord, please help my children!). And I rode horses and swam for years. I've got some muscles!

So this morning, I decided to pass this problem of mine over to God. I'm so tired of living life this way. I'm so tired of constantly thinking that I need to be better; that I need to be prettier, or skinnier, or taller, or faster, or stronger. There's never going to be a number on the scale that is "perfect" for me and I'm never going to get to a point where I'm thin enough...unless God takes control. And I can't describe the terror that runs through me at the thought of letting go. That seems so silly too...why should I be scared to let my GOD take control? One part is fear of the unknown...What happens if I stop constantly finding something to improve on; what if I spiral out of control the other way and end up incredibly overweight? The other big part of my fear is because I don't know how to let go...I don't know how to take a step forward. I have spent so long hating myself that I've forgotten what is involved in loving myself.

This morning Jeff talked about how there are two parts to learning - one is taking in new information and the other is "un-learning" all the wrong information. I've got 12 years worth of un-learning to start...I have to un-learn that every time I get in front of the mirror is a time to critique my appearance. I have to un-learn that the numbers on the scale matter. I have to un-learn that a dress size matters. I have to un-learn that a six-pack is what matters. Most importantly I have to LEARN that my husband, my family, and my GOD think that I am beautiful, inside and out.

Please, please pray for me. I've always thought that I was always going to have to deal with this problem; I never thought that it could be gone. I need God to show me how to let go, how to love, and how to accept the way he created me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's February?

I can't believe it's already February...time is really flying by so, so fast!

I started classes a few weeks ago and they're going well. I only have class on Mondays and Tuesdays, but those are LONG days! I work Mondays and Wednesdays, which means I have Thursday and Friday off completely. That has been so nice - I'll take a busy first half of the week any day if it means I get a four day weekend! I can't express in words how ready I am to be done with school though. It's gotten old and I'm bored with learning the same thing over and over again in my education classes. I'm sure if I wanted to I could get something else out of them, but I've gotten to the point where I want to take my certification tests and just be done. No more tests, no more hour long drives, no more humongous reading assignments, no more stupid projects, no more laminating! Okay...well, I guess being a teacher I'll be doing lots of laminating...but no more PAYING to laminate Dolch Word Cards that are geared towards Kinder-3rd graders (I'm certifying to teach 4th - 8th graders...makes a LOT of sense, right?) Basically, I'm just done. Thank the Lord I only have this semester left of classes and then I get to be in the classroom all the time student teaching.

My mentor teacher this year is something else...I won't go into it fully, but let's just say that this is going to be a huge lesson in what NOT to do with your kids. It's also giving me a chance to show some military kids what a teacher should act like...teachers should definitely love their kids (why else would you do it??) and that's what I'm trying so, so hard to show these poor little fourth graders in the two hours that I'm there every week. :(

On a happy note, Greg and I joined a gym last week! It's not a huge gym, which means that there isn't a huge price tag on it (yay!) and it's really helping us in our goals. We've been doing awesome on working out, not eating out, and cooking really healthy meals at home. I joined a free website to help me track what I'm eating and how much I'm exercising and that has been so motivating to see all that in black and white. I feel so much better now that I'm really only putting healthy food into my body...I'm back to running, though it's only about 2 1/2 miles four times a least it's something! It's the one part of working out that I really look forward to, and I'm taking full advantage of that!

Other than that, there's not a whole lot more that's new around here. Sammy is finally starting to understand how to tell us when she needs to go outside (thank the Lord!!) and she and Riley are really starting to love each other. They were even sleeping in the same bed the other night when we were getting ready to go to bed! :) I'm so glad to have both of them, although you couldn't imagine two dogs with two different personalities than the two of them. Sammy is a lot calmer than Riley, but way more skittish. Unfortunately, as I found out last week, this really applies to new people who get in her face. We are really going to have to work on that while she's still young.

I hope 2008 is treating you all well. I miss you guys and love you :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I miss it...

...running, that is. I was reading back through old blogs tonight and I got really, really sad that I'm not training for the marathon anymore. I know I had to make a choice, and I'm 100% positive that I made the right choice by choosing photography over running. But it doesn't make me any less sad that I've essentially backed out on one of my huge goals in life. I will run a marathon just won't be this year.

I'm sad that I gave up when I'd come SO far. I went from running 3-4 miles at a time to running 11-13. 13 miles...that is SO far. And now I'd be lucky if I could run 5 miles.

I miss the feel of it...and more than all, I miss the feel after it ;) The feel during it is not reliable. Sometimes it's great and other times it's awful. But the feeling after a long run is always exhilarating. It always provides a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of pride.

I miss the unforgiving black asphalt, the cool of the morning, the sound of feet pounding on the pavement. I miss the sweat, the rush, the gatorade, the iPod. I miss the empty downtown streets. I miss the sporadic conversation with other runners. I miss watching the street lights turn from green to yellow to red (and I miss running through those red lights). I miss Will's encouraging words before a long run and I even miss getting lost in downtown Austin (kind of!) I miss the commitment that I felt to all those other people in the group. I even miss my alarm going off at 5:00 in the morning on Saturdays (kind of)...because that meant that my run would be completely finished by the time most people got out of bed.

I think what I miss most is the calming, relaxing effect that running has on me. It's cheap therapy. It's time alone with God where no one can interrupt me. It is my quiet place and my sanctuary.

I miss it. A lot.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I think I've got/am getting the flu. But I hope not :( I've been trying to take things slowly and get better, but I'm really not.

My mom thought I was pregnant and it made me laugh really hard. (I'm not by the way - and I'm 100% sure about that!)

I'll put more Christmas pictures up later, but I wanted to let you guys know why I haven't been posting over the past few days! Keep me in your prayers.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My girls

I couldn't resist posting these pictures of Riley and Sammy :) Enjoy!

I don't think she has enough you?

And finally, a preview of the Christmas photos to come!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas, Part One

I really want to post all my Christmas photos, but there are too many to put in at once! Here are all of the decorations at our apartment (plus a few of Riley thrown in for cuteness sake). I'll post ones from Kansas sometime this weekend. I really wish I had a great photo editing software (like Lightroom), but since I don't, I'll make do with what I have :)

I made tons of sugar cookies (and gingerbread men too...but I got lazy and didn't take pictures of them, even though they were SO cute!)

I loved these little toy soldiers!

Of course you have to have snowmen!

This is Riley's "perch." She sat here for ALL the baking staring out the window at the non-winter weather.

Big yawn.

I love this neat! I really like how you can see her little brown eyebrows.

Probably one of my all time favorite pictures.

Our first Christmas tree! Unfortunately, I never got a picture of Greg and I in front of OUR tree...but that's another story entirely ;)

Favorite ornament.

And this one too.

Tons of pretty presents!

Grandma gave us this gorgeous Willowtree nativity scene for our wedding present. I love it SO much. This shot (though not very good artistically!) shows everything pretty well although I love...

...this one much better. Dark and moody ;)

Mary with baby Jesus...Joseph looking on in the background.

Shepherd with a lamb.

One of the three wisemen.

I think that's enough pictures for one post. Have a great evening!