Tag Archives: excercise

A Month of Thanksgiving

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Everyone seems to have done the “Month of Thanksgiving” posts on Facebook/Twitter this year – you know, where every day you say one thing you’re thankful for. Well, for half of this month, I was in Peru…and the internet is shotty AT BEST there. So here is my list of 30 things I’m thankful for :)

  1.  Jesus РWithout him, I would have no life.
  2. Chad – He’s the best gift God could have given me! He’s so loving, patient and kind. He’s a truly genuine person – something that’s hard to come by these days. He’s never fake, never spiteful, never arrogant. He’s humble, a great leader, and my best friend. I could go on forever!
  3. Toilets and toilet seats – I told you I’d been in Peru for half the month! I peed in a hole and toilet seats were very hard to come by. I’m telling you, it’s the little things!
  4. Family – Between me and Chad, we seriously have some of the coolest relatives EVER. Of course, I love my own mother and sister to death, but I feel the same way about Chad’s mom, sister, brother and stepdad! And of course Payton and Lilly have special places in my heart :) Not to mention our amazing aunts, uncles and grandparents!
  5. Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card – Not that we need a credit card, but we put our monthly gas, groceries and some other expenses on this bad boy in order to earn frequent flyer miles. We went to Vegas for free in August, and we’ve earned two more round trip flights already!
  6. The gym – It always makes you feel better, even if you didn’t feel like going!
  7. Homemade meals – I love to cook, and I really love trying out new things. I’m glad Chad is open to eating what I make! And it makes me feel really good to cook delicious, healthy meals for us :)
  8. Pictures of corgis and dachshunds – We WILL be getting these dogs when we get our first home. Mark my words!
  9. Christmas decorations and music – Christmas is my favorite time of year, and seeing all the sights, hearing all the sounds, smelling all the smells and tasting all the foods of the season makes me SO HAPPY!
  10. Laughing – Chad and I are ALWAYS laughing – and if you ask me, there isn’t enough of that in the world! We’re even able to laugh when the times are tough, which is always great.
  11. Fleece-lined tights – Seriously. These things are great! They keep me warm in winter (they wouldn’t cut it in Chicago or somewhere with a REAL winter), and allow me to wear something besides pants every.single.day.
  12. Mexican food – I really don’t think this needs an explanation.
  13. Cuddle time – There is really nothing better than curling up on the couch with your husband, in your PJs or sweatpants and fuzzy socks, and watching TV. Promise.
  14. Football – How about the Texans this year?! AWESOME. And the Longhorns did better than last year…that’s about all I can say about that. But YAY TEXANS!!!
  15. Employment – In a time where so many are jobless, I’m very thankful to have a job that allows me to use my degree, talents and passion. The paycheck is nice too :)
  16. My charity/cause-loving friends – Every time I turn around, someone is raising money for a cause that is near and dear to their heart. That is so great. THANK YOU, friends, for dedicating yourselves to such worthy causes!
  17. G-chat – Because I live in another state, G-chat enables me to talk to some of my best friends almost every day. Whether they’re in Texas, New York or somewhere in between, it enables me to stay connected to their lives, despite the distance.
  18. White sand beaches with turquoise waters РSadly, we did not make it to the beach this year. But that does not take the beach out of my list of loves! There is nothing like sitting under an umbrella with your toes in the sand, the wind  in your hair, and the waves crashing around you.
  19. All things pumpkin and gingerbread – Are there better cold weather/holiday season flavors? I think not. My first attempt at pumpkin bread went AMAZINGLY WELL, so that is going to be a new tradition. Gingerbread lattes are like Christmas in a cup, and how could you not like that??
  20. The Walking Dead – I know, a silly thing to be thankful for. But we really do look forward to it Sunday nights! Plus, it gives us cuddle time, since it’s filled with scary and cringe-worthy moments. See #13.
  21. Elf – My sister and I watch this together EVERY YEAR. We can quote the entire thing, and sometimes do so via text. Until I got married, when I’d go home for Christmas, Kourt and I would share her room/bed (because the kids are in my old room) on Christmas Eve night. We would always watch that movie and then wake up together just like when we were little kids. TMI? Get over it – this is my blog!
  22. Coffee – It’s delicious. It’s a great way to start my day. And it’s always made and given to me by my amazing husband – BONUS!
  23. Your prayers – We’ve had so many people praying for us this year, through some really tough times. I cannot tell you how much this means to us, and how much it has lifted our spirits. There aren’t enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you and your prayers!
  24. Blake Shelton – He’s hilarious. He’s attractive. He can sing. Need I say more? The bromance between him and Adam Levine is hilarious on The Voice, and I’ve been a fan of his long before he became the megastar he is today.
  25. Our church family and friends – We’ve been so blessed to meet so many great people here in Little Rock, who have really taken us in as their own. These are some really genuine, loving people with servant’s hearts – and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know them over the years! From inviting us over on a random Tuesday to letting us spend major holidays with you, we REALLY appreciate it!
  26. Immanuel Baptist Church – Our church is amazing. We unapologetically stand for what the Bible says and Jesus. My faith has been strengthened and I have spiritually grown so much, thanks to the teachings of Pastor Gary and the other leaders in the church.
  27. Loganberry Frozen Yogurt – It’s Chad’s favorite place, and I can always convince him that we need to go there for a guilt-free treat :)
  28. Old school Christmas movies – I love them all! Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Rudolph, Frosty…you name it! And I’ve scheduled them ALL to record this year. JOY!
  29. Pastor Victor and Pastor Roger in Peru – These are two extremely hard working men, who face incredible hardships in their work every day. It was a pleasure to get to know them while on my mission trip, and I pray that God continues to use them to further His kingdom!
  30. YOU! – I have so many amazing friends, who fill my life with laughter, pride and joy every day. Thank you for always being there for me – whether I needed a sounding board, a shoulder to cry/freak out on, or a room to stay in while in town :)
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3 Days in, 2 Pounds Down

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Well, I joined a gym. 10 Fitness to be exact. I said at the beginning of the year that I was going to work out regularly, and I did pretty well – until I completed my 5K (in 37 minutes, what!), and no longer had a goal.

Since then I’ve done very little in terms of working out. Sure, I went running a few times, spent a couple of hours on the elliptical and lifted a few weights, but really it was nothing to get excited about. With our Vegas Vacation less than 100 days away, I feel it’s time to get serious about the gym – and not just until August. I need to make this a habit. A good habit. A habit that will allow me to lose 10-15 pounds before I have to stand next to my super hot mother-in-law and sister-in-law in a bikini in Vegas.

I started going to the gym and watching what I eat on Monday. I’ve since lost 2 pounds! Which is super exciting, but I”m pretty sure it’s all of the cake and booze I consumed the week before purchasing the gym membership. But hey – you have to start somewhere. I have my complimentary fitness assessment and personal training session today, so hopefully that goes well (and I can move my arms and legs thereafter).

My friend Emily asked if I’d changed my diet, and in a way, yes. First of all, no more cake and wine every night. I know, sad. I’ve also started logging my food in CalorieCount.About.com. Rather than wildly guessing how many calories I’ve consumed (which is totally inaccurate and usually off by hundreds), I enter my food into the tool and it analyzes the nutrition (calories, fat, sodium, sugar, etc.). I know it’s not 100% accurate, but it gives me a good guide to go by. (And informed me that 70% of my diet is carbs…whoops.)

I’ve also started drinking 64 ounces of water a day. I didn’t think that was really a big deal, but Y’ALL – it is! Most people eat not because they’re hungry, but because they’re thirsty. If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink something, dehydration has already begun. So go get yourself some water! Right now!

So there you have it – my weight loss journey for the past 3 days. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not disillusioned into thinking I’m fat or anything. But there is definitely some weight that can healthfully be taken off, some inches I could stand to lose and some tightening/toning that needs to be done. That’s what this is about – getting healthier and feeling fabulous!

What a Difference a Year Makes!

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Wow! First of all, I have the most amazing husband, family and friends. You guys really know how to make a girl feel special, and your birthday calls, texts, tweets, FB messages, IMs, cards, gifts and food were all ACES in my book! You rock. Seriously.

As you know, yesterday was my 26th birthday, and I’m officially closer to 30 than I am to 20. But, like a fine wine, I get better with age, so BRING IT ON, life! :) I digress. This year’s birthday was one of the best yet – and a complete 180 from last year’s monstrosity.

Last year, my mom, sister and nephew booked flights to Little Rock for my birthday. We were all going to spend time together in the city I’d called home for 4 months – it was going to be a jolly good time, I tell ya. And my brand new fiance was going to be there too – what wasn’t to love? SNOW. That’s what. Snow was NOT invited to my 25th birthday party, but it crashed any way, dumping 7 inches of the powdery white stuff all over Central Arkansas, effectively shutting down all forms of transportation (including the airport) and forcing Chad to go to work. So what did I do? I sat in my apartment and cried, alone. I cried because I was in a new city, away from everyone I’d ever known and had no friends. I cried because this was my first birthday away from Texas and because my perfectly laid plans had been smashed to pieces. I cried because that’s what you do in a quarter-life crisis.

This year, however, was AWESOME! I woke up and started my 26th year with a nice run. I came home to find my birthday presents from my HUSBAND (yay for the first married birthday!) all laid out – he couldn’t wait until dinner to give them to me. Over the course of the day, I had countless messages in every medium possible (thanks again!), two delicious birthday meals, birthday cupcakes from my Junior League friends and even more gifts from family waiting to be opened. All in all, it was a GREAT day, thanks to all of you!

So the next time you think things are particularly crummy, I say “just give it some time!” Turns out that’s all I needed to go from one of the worst birthdays EVER to one of the BEST birthdays ever!

Love you all!

(And for those of you wondering, Chad got me two books and the Coach Poppy perfume I’ve had my eye on for months – thanks babe!)

My THINspiration

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Okay, so you all know about my New Year’s resolution to work out more/eat better/lose weight. And you’re probably aware that I’m training for a 10K in March. So it should come as no surprise to you that I’m doing well for the first few days…hopefully it will last!

To help keep my resolve, I’ve decided to enlist some THINspiration. In college, I used pictures of Victoria’s Secret Angels and other models as my THINspiration. However, I quickly became depressed because this was unrealistic and I didn’t have the unlimited budget they had for trainers, chefs and – oh yes – plastic surgery. This year, I’m using my real-life friends and family as my THINspiration – they’re living proof that I CAN do it, they have normal people lives (with jobs, kids and social commitments), normal people incomes and can be easily reached by Facebook, phone or email.

Here are some of my THINspiration people (and no, I won’t post their pictures – unless they come back and tell me I can lol):

1. Emily: Emily is super fit and beautiful. She ran her very first triathlon last year and placed FIRST in her age group. How awesome is that?! Awesome enough for me I tell ya! Plus, I have to look great in the bridesmaid dress she picks out for her September wedding! Such an honor to stand next to such a lovely lady on her wedding day :)

2. Aunt Kami: Aunt Kami has been working out like a mad woman (according to her Facebook posts), and from what the family told me after seeing her at Christmas, she is looking HOT! Not that she wasn’t hot before – Aunt Kami is one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out – but I hear she is a total knockout these days. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see her over Christmas, and she lives in Meeker, Colorado (that’s in the northwest corner of Colorado, WAAAAAAY atop a mountain), so I’m not sure WHEN I will get to see her again. But if she can find time to work out when raising an 18 year old boy, being married to my crazy Uncle Robert and living somewhere that routinely gets more than 2 feet of snow and the temperature is consistently below freezing, I can too! (I find it really difficult to work out when it is super cold…even though I work out indoors.)

3. Aunt Darla: Definitely one of the most fit women I know! Aunt Darla is one of mom’s best friends and practically raised me in the back of her Camaro in the 80’s (those were the days!). Now, she’s a mother of two girls and a wife, but she’s always working out – CrossFit, running groups, tennis, spinning, triathlons and more! She has a killer body that I wish I could have!

4. Mom-in-Law Lisa: Chad’s mom is definitely the most fit woman I know. She’s over 50 and probably weighs 108 soaking wet and has the world’s most perfect body. Don’t believe me? Find her in our wedding pictures. She’s the one you’re jealous of who doesn’t look a day over 30. She is CONSTANTLY moving and even teaches Zumba with her daughter Carly in Michigan (again, props to those who work out when it’s freezing and snowy).

5. Sis-in-Law Carly: Seriously – good looks run in this family! Thank God our children will benefit. Carly had to have her teeny-tiny bridesmaid dress altered to be made smaller than the smallest size they make. I know, you want to hate her, but she’s the sweetest person ever and the best SIL I could ever ask for! And she can totally out-eat and out-drink you. I dare you to challenge her.

6. Katie: This woman has had a tough year, but despite all the challenges, she ran a MARATHON! How awesome is that? She’s a sassy full-time communications lady with a crazy busy social calendar, but she has made her health and fitness a priority – and that, I definitely admire. She’s the one who inspired me to run the 10K! She even wants me to run a half marathon…we’ll see about that. I really appreciate her cheering me on for my “baby victories” right now – maybe one day I’ll be as confident in myself as she is!

7. Cheryl: Whether she knows it or not, I look up to this lady. I respect her in every way and have found our lives to be oddly parallel. From growing up just 20 minutes from one another (but not meeting until after college), to our love of all things Tex-Mex, holiday and home decorating, nonprofits, social media/PR/communications, travel and more, and meeting our husbands in the exact same way, just two days apart, we are kindred spirits. She is the whole package: smart, sassy, fun, a little OCD, a great wife and friend, and so much more. Despite being in Junior League, working full time, balancing a crazy husband schedule (she is one of the few who understands this unique aspect of my life) and a jam-packed travel and socialization schedule, she makes time to work out 4 days a week (according to a recent conversation and her blog). Seriously – she’s super woman. Hopefully I’ll be like her when I grow up :)

Wow – the ladies in my life are AWESOME! See – no reason to compare myself to unrealistic, often airbrushed standards. I have plenty of real-life, awesome women who have excellent bodies, minds and spirits. Thanks for inspiring me, ladies!

Light Up the Night 5K

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Yesterday was the first ever Light Up the Night 5K in honor of Jennings Osborne. Jennings Osborne was a beloved Arkansas philanthropist who lost his life to heart disease earlier this year, and his daughter Breezy is a friend of ours. For those of you who may never have never heard of Jennings, he founded the Osborne Research Center and played a huge part in the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences program. He was well known for his random acts of kindness, showing no discrimination to anyone and loving everyone. If you’ve seen Man vs. Food Little Rock, Jennings is the one who threw the giant BBQ for LRPD, LRFD and other emergency response and civil service workers.

Perhaps most famously, when Breezy was very young – around 5 or 6 I believe – she asked her father for Christmas lights on their house. In typical Osborne style, Jennings went over the top. After more than 1 million Christmas lights were strung on their house, neighbors complained about the traffic it caused and even sued Jennings. He fought it all the way to the Arkansas Supreme Court but eventually lost. However, Disney took note of Jennings’ display and contacted him about starting a Christmas light parade of epic proportion. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – or as you may know it simply as Disney’s Christmas light parade – started and has run ever since.

This man meant so much to so many. Even after his death, Breezy and her mom Mitzi found out about many acts of kindness Jennings performed but they never knew about. Things like paying for a child’s funeral when the parents couldn’t afford it, and so much more. After hearing all of this, it’s probably no surprise that more than 800 (I’d guess closer to 1,000) runners showed up for the first annual Light Up the Night 5K, which benefited two local charities.

I decided to run the race on a whim. No one wanted to run with me, but I decided it was going to happen. Did I train for the race? No. Could I tell you the last time I went to the gym? Nope. But I LOVE Christmas lights, and who doesn’t want to run 3+ miles in light-covered downtown Little Rock? Oh, and did I mention it was 40 degrees? Clearly I’m crazy.

Starting line!!

The race course was fairly simple and flat. The state capitol building served as the halfway point and there were people cheering you on the entire way. I did a mixture of running and walking with a goal of finishing in under 40 minutes (I thought, even without training or working out recently, that this was a “reasonable” time).

The capitol all lit up for Christmas - the half way point of the race.

My hands were completely frozen the entire time – they looked like claws that couldn’t be moved. After the sun set (just after the half way point), it got colder, despite all the running, and I just wanted to be near a heater. But I pressed on. Seeing the lights all around and the crazy runners in Christmas tutus and lights strung on their bodies was enjoyable and encouraging.

After what felt like forever, the finish line was in sight! There was a huge crowd of people cheering everyone on (I’m guessing the billions that finished before me…I am in no way a runner), and it was so fun to cross the line. After about 30 seconds it occurred to me that my Run Keeper was still going. After a bit more time, my frozen claws were able to type in the password to my iPhone and pull up the program. Even after all of that delay, I’d finished under 40 minutes! I’m subtracting 30 seconds from this as my “official” time, due to the frozen claws and memory lapse.

I did it!! Under my goal time!!!

I was really proud of myself, and after scarfing down half a banana, a cup of water and a chocolate chip cookie, I got in the car and drove straight to my Sunday School class’ Christmas party, where there was NO GUILT OR SHAME for eating like a crazy person. And I had a sweet new t-shirt to change into :)

PS – As I mentioned, I ran this race alone. Even though I only took three pictures during the race – starting line, half way point and finish, and then uploaded them to Facebook in real time – my amazing husband commented on them, providing encouragement that I kept with me the whole time. It really meant a lot to me that someone was cheering for me – even if they were across town :)

Perfect Day

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Today was about as close to perfection as a day could get, minus Longhorn football, getting engaged or getting married :) (I would know, I’ve done all three!)

Chad and I woke up at 9 a.m. knowing the weather was going to be gorgeous. (In fairness, we also know when it’s going to be not-so-gorgeous, but that is beside the point.) I went downstairs to whip up some banana walnut pancakes and turkey bacon – and of course, my morning coffee – and we headed outside to enjoy breakfast on our back patio. It was a glorious 66-ish degrees (Chad will have to tell you the EXACT temperature – that level of detail is far more important to him than it is to me), and the first time we’ve been able to enjoy dining al fresco in our new apartment.

Then we got dressed and headed to Pinnacle Mountain to meet up with our friends Danny and Laura Bauer (and Danny’s parents, who were in town from the Woodlands). It was Danny and Laura’s first time to Pinnacle, so Chad and I were happy to show them the trails (though there was an unexpected detour due to renovation of the path we wanted to take). Because it was the first day that did not include unbearable heat since who knows when, the entire state of Arkansas was also attempting to climb Pinnacle – but that didn’t stop us. Before we knew it, we’d made it to the top!

Looking west from the peak, toward Lake Maumelle

After saying our goodbyes, Chad and I headed home for lunch. He, unfortunately, had to work today (boo!), so I did my weekly ritual of planning our meals and shopping for them before I headed back outside to finish up my latest book, Starting Your Marriage Off Right. More on that later.

Now, it’s time for me to get dinner started for my hubby, and when he heads back to work I’m sure I’ll either start reading something else or watch Shrek – I’ve never seen it before, so I decided to DVR it. Who doesn’t love a good cartoon?

Hope you guys enjoyed your Labor Day as much as we did!

Wedding Weight Loss

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Like any bride, I told myself I was going to be obsessively devoted to diet and exercise from Engagement Day to Wedding Day. And like any bride, I’ve fallen off the wagon approximately 9,000 times.

My girlfriends (and of course the Weatherman) have been constantly supportive. From the “You’re beautiful as you are!” to the “Girl, you can do this! I’m with you!” comments, I’ve had the best people around me to keep me motivated and inspired. And yet…I’ve lost nothing. Seriously. Not even an ounce.

I’d be sad, but then I say to myself “Whatever. I’m pretty the way I am! Would I like to lose 10 pounds? Sure! Who wouldn’t? But you know what – at the end of the day, I am a classy, sassy, confident woman with an awesome job, great friends and the world’s best fiance – so what’s an extra 10 pounds? You can’t have it all, right?”

So to the haters – you can kiss all 150 pounds of my butt (because I’m pretty sure that’s where most of my weight is any way!) :) And by “haters,” I’m mostly talking to that inner negative voice to which we women so strongly cling.

But even though the scale really hasn’t moved, I can say I’ve noticed a difference in my body. I feel more fit/toned, and I recently bought some tiny bikinis that I never before would have felt confident enough to wear. VICTORY. Even if the only part of me that has actually gotten smaller is my ring finger (seriously, I have to get my engagement ring re-sized because it’s way too big now), I’m still happy with me just as I am.

And I think that kind of confidence is WAY prettier than a 135 pound me – it’ll look good walking down the aisle :)