Crossfit Challenge- Day 2

I’m so tired. Today was so busy and I have a huge Bio exam tomorrow. I woke up with sore back muscles from yesterdays workout, but that’s OK 🙂 My legs are a bit stiff too, I must remember to stretch and massage after these exercises, I’m really bad about that! 

Here is today’s WOD:

WOD

8 rounds of:

  • Run 400 meters
  • Rest 90 seconds

That’s it! This is a total of 2 miles, so I went to the greenway with a friend and sprinted it out, going full speed for the 1/4 mile and then resting. We also did some ab exercises on the bench after the run. And later on in the afternoon I took Marley to the park and walked a mile. That dog never tires! 

I’ve felt so tired today. I hardly slept last night and I had to be at school at 8 for chem lab. But it’s the last day, so yay! I finished all of the experiments and am hoping for an A. I really enjoy chemistry lab, I think I learn more in there than in the actual lecture. Today was a bit scary though because we were working with nitric acid (highly reactive). 

So I’m working under the hood, and my TA is standing over me saying “Be careful, easy now..slowly, slowly..easy does it”. Give a sista some room! I turn around to look at him and the cap on the separatory funnel comes loose sending nitric acid down my hand! I quickly ran to the sink to wash it off, but it started burning right before I got it under the water. 

That’s a lot of chem excitement for one day 🙂 

Eats

Breakfast: multi-grain cheerios with almond milk, OJ, hot tea

Snack: dried apricots, almonds, iced decaf Americano with soy milk

Lunch: leftover stir fry, sour apple blowpop

Snack: blueberry toast with pb

Dinner: vegan mac n’ cheese (x2) with broccoli, dark chocolate square for dessert 

I’m so tired…I’m hoping for an awesome sleep tonight!

I leave you with some awesome C.S. Lewis quotes, see you tomorrow!

Xoxo, 

Stacey

thank God

C.S. Lewis Quote

C.S. Lewis quote

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand..." <3 ~ Psalm 139:16-17

 

our God is able

Every morning, the first thing I do is pee. Then I throw on my robe and go outside to thoroughly inspect our tomato and pepper plants. Our tomato plant, which we lovingly named “Hank” has two measly tomatoes on it. Sometimes I feel like I should stand out there and cheer it on: “You can do it! Go, Hank!”. Our pepper plant (“Dr. Pepper”) is doing quite well 🙂 We have about 5 peppers on there that should be turning red any day now. 

In other news, I put flea medicine on the pets this morning and Sophie has decided that she cannot tolerate liquid goop on her back. I’ve caught her several times trying to lick it off…silly cat. 

Last night, we finished Exodus in the Bible. Let it be known that I did not grow up in a religious household.   Before church, I never really knew anything about God or Jesus. I always had this view of God as a peaceful, kind, patient God. But in Exodus, I learned that He is actually a God that can get angry and jealous, just like you and I. 

I was surprised by that. I’m slowly learning that God has emotions just like we do, and that he understands the things we go through. It’s really fascinating to me. I loved the story of Moses and Noah. Leviticus isn’t as fun to read as the first two books, but I’m slowly making my way through it. 

I hate to think of what my life would be like today if I hadn’t finally given in and gone to church with my friend, Whitney. I was in such a bad place at the time. I tried to keep a distance from religion as I had always done, but one day I said “OK” and my life was forever changed. 

The second time I went to church (at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC) I burst out crying. It felt like God took the wall that I’d built around my heart, and crumbled it to bits in His mighty hands. And ever since then, I’m in restoration. He’s making me new from the inside out. Sometimes I still shed a little tear in church. I see all the amazing things He’s doing and how He is just moving through everyone, you can’t help but to feel overwhelmingly happy about it all. 

A few weeks ago, while in church, our band started to play “Our God is Able” by Hillsong. As we went sung it, hands went up into the air (including mine) and our voices lifted. There was a man- I don’t know if he was homeless or not, but sometimes we have people come into our church carrying all of their possessions with them..and I don’t want to assume anything about anyone, but anyway..there was this man that was a little rough looking. His clothes had holes in them, he had a long beard and just kind of looked like he’d had a rough life. 

Well, our church had already played a couple of songs and he stood motionless through them. Midway through Hillsong, when these lyrics came up:

Lifted up, defeated the grave

Raised to life, our God is able

In His name, we overcome

For the Lord, our God is able

That man smiled, lifted his hands to the air and started singing. I just love being able to witness Gods love in other people. Here’s the song if you’ve never heard it (the whole CD is great, by the way!)

 

See you next time 🙂

Come Thursday…

Hi there Smile

Guess what? It’s Saturday. It’s pretty outside. My house is semi-clean. I have no homework. Can you believe it?!! I know, I can’t either…

This semester is winding down, slowly but surely. Each day I feel my shoulders drop a little more. They are no longer touching my earlobes Open-mouthed smile I’m not going to lie- I really struggled with school this past semester. Like, more than I’ve ever struggled with anything…even my addiction to chocolate! (Just kidding. What we have is a ‘relationship’ not a ‘dependency’. Hehe)

So my schedule this past semester has looked like this, just to give you an idea of what life has been like…

  • Monday- drive hour to school-physics-drive hour home-homework-gym (if I can fit it in)-bed
  • Tuesday-drive-Calculus-get to BodyPump in 10 minutes- BodyPump-10 minutes to eat lunch- Liberal Studies class- rush across campus to find car- try to make it to work by 3-work-home-study for physics test
  • Wed-be at school by 8- Spanish-Physics (test)-go to work-home-study for calc test
  • Thurs- same as Tuesday, except we have a Calc test every week
  • Fri-work-home-try not to do homework-can’t relax because you KNOW you should be doing homework

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but by every Thursday morning, it took everything I had to get out of bed. By Thursday, I would want to shut the world out. It was always the morning where my first thought was: “I can’t do this anymore.” Often, I would come home from work and just cry. Because of the pressure and just the driving, and the constant feeling of always having to do something.

Two weeks out of a month, I will have a test every day at school. Those weeks are the. worst. My stress levels go through the roof, I have no free-time whatsoever. I become a mess.

Luckily, the studying has paid off. I’m making an A in Physics and I’m very happy about that! Calculus is another story altogether. From the get-go, I was really intent on making sure to make a good grade in Physics. Calculus sort of got put on the back burner. I didn’t realize how bad I was doing until my teacher e-mailed me to say that I was failing (Disappointed smile) and asked me if I wanted to drop the class.

Drop the class?! Are you kidding! I’m not taking this stupid class over again! I freaking HATE Calculus, and not because I don’t understand it. I understand it, it’s just so boring. Since that e-mail, I’ve improved my grade. Thank goodness. I’m not worried about making a B in there, as long as I make a C then I’m okay with it. It’s my last math class, so I’ve sort of mentally left it already Smile

It’s kind of funny, where we end up in life I mean…isn’t it? The other week, while thinking in bed, I had the sudden realization that in 2013, I will have been in college for ten years. TEN. YEARS.

I’ve literally spent my entire adult life in college. Literally. “But how can you have been in college for 10 years and not graduate?” Well, I wasted a lot of money and time when I first began community college…About 4 years worth, to be exact. It took me forever to figure out that working with animals is my calling.

Sometimes, I’m ashamed or embarrassed. I see my friends done with college and already starting their careers, and I feel like a slow poke. I get down on myself about that, but you know what? I wouldn’t change anything. Not a single dime wasted, nor a single class dropped. Those experiences taught me so much. I think God wanted to me to go through all that, because now I’m at a point in my life where I appreciate learning about new things. I have a passion for what I’m studying, and I’m also able to put myself through school without taking any loans out.

I think He has big plans for my life. Plans that I can’t even imagine.

Sometimes, specifically on those Thursdays where I’m feeling like I just can’t do it anymore, I’ll pray. I’ll ask God to please give me the endurance and mind-set I need to get through the semester. To please use me everyday to fulfill the purpose He has  for me. And sometimes, it’s like I can hear Him saying “You can do this. I wouldn’t have brought you this far if I thought you couldn’t.”

*This is a long post!* Sorry Smile I just like to write.

I try not to worry about things. Things that I know won’t matter in the end. Sometimes I worry about numbers…like: “Okay…so, I’m gonna be 28 or 29 when I finish school…that’s the ripe age to have a kid…except I don’t wanna”

No, I mean I want kids. But not after I finish school. Jason finishes around the same time and we’ll both be close to 30.

Sometimes we sit and day dream about being finished. We talk about what it’ll be like to come home and not have homework, or to have our weekends free. To not have to study for anything or plan our trips around exams…Gosh, it’ll be so nice. Graduation day is going to be one of the greatest days ever.

We both agree that after school, we want time to just be married and have our careers.

The other night Jason and I were sitting there, daydreaming together when he said “It’s nice dating a nanny. You don’t come home wanting kids everyday.” Open-mouthed smile Ha! He’s right! Thinking of having a kid seems so stressful and just more responsibility. Not something I want anytime soon.

But society puts this pressure on women to have babies, now now now. “By the time your 30 or you risk complications.” And I know that’s true, but it’s not a reason to have a child.

Personally, I’m fine with having a kid in my mid-late 30’s, but then I feel like a weird-o saying that. Because it’s not the norm.

But you know, come to think of it, my life hasn’t been “the norm”!

Not sure why I’m writing this post, it’s nice to have this time to write. And I know there is an end (of school) in sight, but I’m going to make the most of it while I’m going through it. I’ll try not to get so bogged down with the stress, I’ll keep praying, and before I know it, I’ll be done Smile

Hallelujah.     Hehe Open-mouthed smile

Weddings are Weird

Heeeeyyyyyyy Open-mouthed smile

I haven’t forgotten you, dear blog. You are always in the back of my mind, school is in the front, of course! BUT- I will have no summer classes this year, so I plan on blogging again. I’ve missed writing (to myself). Blogging is like talking to myself while driving in the car, only better. There’s some “finality” to getting my words out there, not like just saying them…the same thoughts always come back when I just say them. But when I write them, my mind has more peace Smile Cool.

Anyway, GUESS WHAT?!

I’M GETTING MARRIED! (*Throws heart-shaped confetti in the air*)Red heartRed heartRed heart

Weeeeeeeee!!!!!

I’ve been engaged for a month and five days (not that I’m counting or anything). First, I’ll tell you about the engagement, then we’ll move on to why I think weddings are totally weird. Mkay? Mkay!!

The Engagement

On Feb.18th, Jason and I woke up for our 4-year anniversary. We had planned a hike, but Jason woke up not feeling very well so I told him we could skip the hike and just hang out at home, but he insisted that we go hiking.

And so we went.

The forecast called for rain but the sun was shining and there was a beautiful blue sky for us to enjoy instead! Sun There was a brisk wind that was a bit chilly but other than that, it was such pretty weather. The trails were pretty busy. We talked on and off up while going up the mountain (with me doing more of the talking)…Jason was being kind of quiet, but I thought it was just because he felt bad so I didn’t push him for more conversation than he was giving!

About 4 miles later, we got to the top. It was such a beautiful view. There were a few hikers up there enjoying it as well. I found a spot close to the edge and sat down. I closed my eyes and had a moment to myself, a moment to take it all in…to thank God for such a lovely day when it could’ve easily been rainy…

Jason came to sit next me, he grabbed my hand. This is the moment I knew something was up. It was fifty-something degrees out and his hands were SO SWEATY Open-mouthed smile I put the thought of proposal out of my mind and blamed his sweaty hands on his sickness. But then I noticed he seemed distracted, he kept looking around at the other hikers and he just seemed real nervous…hehe Open-mouthed smile

When we were finally alone, I turned to him, kissed him and hugged him tight. I told him that I was so happy to have spent the last four years with him and that I was excited about the next four years…And he said “Me too, baby. I really love you……Will you marry me?

[Insert crying/laughing, a lot of “Oh my God”’s and “Of course I’ll marry you”’s here] He pulled a ring out of his pocket (his hands were sweaty because he had been playing with it the whole time!) and put it in my hand…I immediately put it on and started crying again…I felt overwhelming happiness (and still do) at the thought of marrying my best friend, the guy that loves me for who I am and for who I will be ten years from now, the guy that keeps me grounded and knows when to push me, the guy that has shown me what real love is supposed to be like…my Jason Red heart

I can’t imagine marrying anyone else.       

So that was an awesome day Winking smile And in the past month, I’ve begun thinking about how I wanted our wedding to be, the kinds of decorations, dress…blah blah blah.

This gives way to the second part of this post:

Why Weddings are Weird

Please take note that I did not write: “Why marriage is weird”. I wrote “weddings”. I think, especially in our materialistic society, that a lot of times people consider those two words to be one in the same.

Well, they are not.

Within the first week of planning for this wedding (that will happen next summer), I felt so overwhelmed. “I’ve gotta have flowers, a dress, decorations, catering, music, bridesmaids dresses, favors for the guest…”and on and on and on. I began pinning things on Pinterest like a mad woman.

Now, Jason and I try to live as simply as we can. So, of course, I started out with a view of having a simple wedding. I know some women that have dreamed about having a huge wedding from the age of 5 years old…that’s never been me. I’ve never daydreamed about having an extravagant wedding…I mean, of course I’ve dreamed about getting married, but I always imagined it would be something simple.

So I started thinking of DIY wedding projects to cut costs. I vowed that my wedding dress wouldn’t cost more than so-and-so dollars…things like that. But something in the back of my mind didn’t feel right about all of this, I felt like God was nudging me to really think about what the meaning of marriage is.

I began researching (me and my research! I can’t help that I’m a dork Nerd smile ) the idea of marriage and why it has turned into such a marketing scheme in America.

Think about it- It seems the norm that the bride does most of the wedding planning. Wedding companies (dress stores, jewelry stores, venues, etc.) know this, so the bride becomes the main consumer focus. You always see a woman being presented with some huge ring on jewelry store commercials, and some guy saying some cheesy thing. Or model-looking women posing in fashion-forward wedding dresses…I mean, it’s basically an advertisement focused on just the wedding. Not the actual marriage.

(My opinion) To me, weddings have become a day to play dress up and put on a big show to guests…not “show” in a bad way, like you aren’t in love or anything, but like a “show” when you decorate and spend thousands of dollars marketing your…what?….your love for each other?

After I started feeling this way, I began reading documents about what weddings used to be like. I also started reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tom Keller. Amazing book. And it isn’t just for married/engaged people, you can be unattached and still learn so much from it. Highly recommended.

In the olden days, according to my grandmother, weddings were…well, simple. They wore the nicest thing they had in their closet, it was usually done in a church, with close family and a few friends around, and the rings didn’t cost more than $200. There was no decorating, no $2000 dress, or photography…just family and a priest. (Think about it- what other situation would you ever drop thousands of dollars in one day? I can think of one– paying my school tuition.) And God. It was more about being joined before God back then…and I love that.

I read about a more recent family that wanted to have a simple wedding. They invited close friends and family. The woman wore a plain white dress and they signed the marriage certificate in front of their family. They also had their parents give them away to each other. I love that idea. The thought of having Jason already at the front and everyone standing like I’m the Queen of England as I walk down the aisle is embarrassing to me.

I don’t want all of that attention when there are two of us getting married. Not just a bride marrying herself!

I think the writer of this article says it nicely when she says:

"Weddings are really about two people getting married, not just the bride," Susie says. "There’s no need for the bride to be the sole focus of attention. The diamond engagement ring tradition implies that the bride is the only one who becomes engaged, which is indicated with an extravagant piece of jewelry that’s unaffordable for most people. There are also a whole bunch of issues related to diamond mining practices."
Read more: http://readperiodicals.com/201203/2609261701.html#b#ixzz1pzshypae

Lately, it feels like God has really been tugging on my heart strings. I’ve become so close to Him and have known more blessings and peace than I could’ve ever imagined. To have a wedding day that would not completely involve Him is something that makes me very sad. It’s something I don’t want.

In the book I’m reading, it says that we have gone away from the real meaning of marriage. That marriage is about leaving one’s family to become a “unit” with another person. In the Bible, leaving one’s family is a big deal. Back then, family was the strongest bond a person could have (before marriage).

It says that part of the meaning of marriage is that you are coming anew before God as one decision-making unit, and you promising the Lord that you will help shape your spouse into the kind of person that God wants him/her to be. And when doing this, you should realize that one day you will stand before the Lord together and He will rejoice in how you have glorified Him through your marriage.

The more I read this book, the more I feel ashamed for having looked at the kinds of rings I did…Don’t get me wrong, I love my ring, it is truly beautiful, but getting married isn’t about having a big ring, buying an expensive dress or making it “your day”…It’s about God.

Here is an excerpt from a couple that wanted to keep God as the focus as well:

The date of the wedding itself was a celebration of newness, Brandi says. "We didn’t want to have traditions for the sake of traditions, but we wanted to have a wedding that reflected Christ and his purpose for marriage, rather than what culture says…. We wanted to bring back the focus of bringing people together in simplicity, Christ-centred community and celebration."

"Our guests came around us and, as they were comfortable, they formed a massive circle, laid their hands on us and started praying for us," Brandi says.

Read more: http://readperiodicals.com/201203/2609261701.html#b#ixzz1pzyeBoKX

Having and feeling Jesus present at our wedding means more than anything to me. To know that His hand is over us and that we have His blessing as a couple would bring tears to my eyes.

And so I take a new direction.

We will have a ceremony and a reception, but it will not be “traditional” in the sense of what a wedding is these days. We are going to an awesome reception – dancing, eating, celebrating with family and friends…

As far as the wedding, well all I can say is that God’s presence will be felt, I will be marrying my best friend, and that IT WILL BE THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE Open-mouthed smile

Eleven Truths from 2011

1. My increase in love for all things nature and animals has caused my A.D.D to skyrocket. I now bird-watch while driving. Bird-watch. While driving. So far, I’ve spotted numerous hawks, two owls, and one blue heron. Someone help me.

2. Jason and I both agree that 2011 was our most tiresome/stressful year. We are both glad it’s over Smile

3. I completed almost all of my goals for 2011. Like running a marathon, doing well in school, blah blah blah. The one I didn’t complete or even start ? Writing the first part of my memoir. It isn’t for anyone else to see, just me. I don’t want to forget the first time I met Cocoa the drag queen (age 14). Nor do I want to forget the time my sister knocked me unconscious for tattle-telling on her. Good times, good times. These memories are precious.

4. I framed this picture of Jane Goodall and put it on my bedside table as a reminder of the kind of person I want to be.

Did you know that it took a three week boat ride for her to get to Africa for the first time? Craziness. And that she was the first (known) person to discover chimps using “tools” to get food? She also was the first known scientist to see chimps display some type of warfare in the wild…I find her completely fascinating. If you haven’t read her book  “A Reason for Hope”, go read it now please Smile

5. A few days ago, I noticed Sophie frantically chasing something around the house. After taking a closer look, I realized it was a teeny-tiny little mouse! A wittle itty bitty house mouse (excuse my baby talk), no bigger than my thumb. He was scared out of his wittle (sorry) mind.

So I scooped him up and put him in a shoebox out of Sophie’s reach. I went to check on Charlie yesterday and he was gone. So now we have a mouse in our house. Two things:

  1. I hope it’s a male.
  2. Don’t tell Jason I kept a mouse.

Thank you Open-mouthed smile

6. In 2011, I stopped watching shows that I feel desensitize me. That includes any show produced by Seth McFarlane, horror movies and even some reality TV crime shows. I think it’s working because I can hardly be in the same room with Jason while he watches ‘The Walking Dead’. Shows I am loving: New Girl, Glee, Parks & Rec, The Office, Raising Hope, and some Pawn Stars Smile

Yes, Zooey. You are adorkable.

7. In December 2011, Jason and I took food, sweaters, and blankets to three men living under a bridge. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but so worth it. It feels good to see the blankets spread across their “beds” as I drive by there on my way to work everyday Smile I hope they’re keeping them warm.

8. There were definitely some delicious recipes made last year! And some not-so-delicious. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes I make really horrible-tasting meals. Like the ‘Tofu Florentine’ I whipped up one time that made me (and Jason) want to vomit. Oh- and like time I made ‘Polenta Casserole’ using dry polenta. Except I forgot to cook the polenta before baking it…have you ever tried to eat sand?

9. I stopped keeping my cats indoors all the time. I was going to do a big post about this, but never did. I’ve read enough books to know that unless really old and lazy, cats probably want the opportunity to explore outside. To be cats. To poop in dirt and sharpen their talons on trees instead of furniture. I’m just sayin’. Might I even go as far to say that Sophie is a bit sweeter after being let loose for a bit? Winking smile

10. In 2011 I turned 26 and immediately began worrying that my most reproductive years are passing me by. Hang in there, ovaries! Just a few more years!

11. There are some fond, fond memories of last year, including:

  • Rocking out to Three Days Grace, Seether, Theory of a Deadman, and many more at an all-day concert with Jason Smile

concert

  • Finishing up at community college and being accepted into the Biology program at UNCC
  • Going on my first rafting trip through TN for my birthday!
  • Midnight dancing sessions with Jason to Bobby Browns “It’s My Perogative”
  • Becoming vegan and celebrating my veganniversary on January 1st, 2012 Open-mouthed smile
  • Adopting a third pet and learning that yes, my heart is in fact big enough to handle yet another pet in our home. Three is my limit though Winking smile
  • Two camping trips to Sparta, NC with Jason and Trixie. I heart camping.

camping

  • Running the Mud Run with Jason, Anitra, and Heath Open-mouthed smile SO MUCH FUN!!!

DSCN4473

And that’s only the beginning…can’t wait to see what this year brings!

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Being A Grown Up Means…

…you repot your plants after you realize that the roots are taking up the entire pot. It also means that you throw said plants away when water fails to “perk them up” anymore.

…you resist the urge to yell “Stranger Danger!” when an elderly man outside of your favorite deli asks you to go in and order for him.

…you immediately put all of your Christmas money towards your tuition, school supplies, and a new pack of socks. That sweater you’ve been wanting for a long time will just have to wait.

…you keep track of the last oil change in your car, and when 3,000 miles has come and gone, you get it changed again. Seriously folks- I’m just now learning to live this way. “Cars need oil?”

…you stop finding excuses to text and drive. It’s dangerous, people! Nothing is that important! Don’t do it.

…you feed your animals and boyfriend before feeding yourself. Why is it that they are all hungry right when my butt cheeks are about to hit the sofa? Weird.

…you resist the urge to cry out when a six year old asks you to read his Lego Star Wars instruction book to him  one more time. Patience, Stacey, patience.

…you stop being afraid to ask for what you really want. In any situation.

…you take matters into your own hands.

…you learn how to use a leaf-blower, food chopper,  and a caulk gun all in one month. And then brag about it to friends and family. “Give me something to caulk!”

…at the gym, you pick the treadmill in front of CNN instead of Nickelodeon. Wait, I still don’t do that. Never mind. Smile

…you learn to stop being so modest, and accept gifts when they are offered. Because “when someone offers you something, you take it.” <—wise words from my mother. Except drugs or candy from a stranger- don’t take those things.

…you get rid of “memorabilia” that never really meant anything to begin with. Yesterday I threw away a pen I had taken home to remind me of my first time eating at Hooters. Wow, what sentimental value that pen had.

…you learn to stand up for the things you believe in, no matter how different other people may feel about what you’re fighting for.

…you learn to take in every moment that you have with family. Never mind the fact that you only see them during holidays, it is still time together.

…going home with a sore throat because you gladly screamed your head off for your home team. 

…learning to control your whiny-ness when your boyfriend sits in the middle of the tool aisle at Sears for 30 minutes comparing the differences between two meters. “I have to make an educated decision.” *Rolls eyes and joins him on the floor*

…you live with an open heart and an open mind. You are always open for opportunity and education. You grow from where you come from, become your own person, and do anything it takes to make your dreams become a reality Smile

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