Monday, August 30, 2010

Chips, Salsa, Road Maps, destinations

Up until this point, my life has been like a bag of tortilla chips with a bowl of salsa. I've always know where I was going and what I was doing. My life was planned with a road map in front of me, pointing towards a destination.

Now, I have no destination, No map. I am wandering aimlessly trying to figure out my next move. I have always been the free spirit one. I could do anything at the drop of a bucket, but I am not sure where life is leading me at this point.

Drew is settling into his career and I feel very restless with mine. I know I was made for something, but what is that something? I love working with children and people... Just wondering if I can make a career out of something.. I have some life goals...

1) Write a Children's Book
2) Run Disney Marathon
3) Own a fancy sports car- Red Sky Saturn Roaster
4) Visit Hawaii
5) Snorkel with Sea Turtles
6) Become Debt Free
7) Work for Disney World ( Yes, I want a pin with my name on it... That is the best part)
8) Become an advocate for Pediatric Cancer
9) Own a house on a lake and own it DEBT FREE
10) Get a Speeding Ticket
11) Meet Martha Stewart or visit her show in NYC
12)  Talk to teens about God
13) Lead someone to Christ
14) Return to Africa
15) Have straight teeth.. ( Yippie for braces, not!)
16) Get a boob removal, totally not kidding.. would like smaller,
17) Lose 40lbs
18) Go on a tv series, i dont care if I play a small or big role..
19) Live in a different state.
20) Eat more fruits and Vegetables
21) Pray more, complain less
22) Gamble in Vegas
23) Work at a University
24) Play a lot!
25) Have blond hair!
26) Worry less, trust God more
27) Inspire people.
These are just a few of my life goals... At this moment, I have no road map or destination..  Just a head full of dreams and ideas.. Who knows if these are realistic, but they are mine..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

72 Beats Per Minute

Heart:
Often a word we associate with red, white and pink shapes. We think of it as a place where it stores our most deepest passions, hurts and a well spring of undying love.

The heart is not only something that love pours through, but a muscle that is taken for granted. The heart is the central circulatory system in the body. It is responsible for pumping blood through all the vessels.  Most hearts beat at 72 beast per minute, which is approximately 2.5 billion beats during a life span of 66 years of age. It's weight is about 300 grams, which is close to 1lb.

This heart is what keeps ones entire body moving forward. It physically keeps us alive and emotionally allows us to experience the depth of human emotions.  The Bible says it is "the well spring of our life" and that it should be protected. I know God intented for us to keep our hearts healthy; emotionally and physically.

: I wonder why in America we don't take care of our hearts?
: Why do we eat horrible foods?
: Why are we so obese that we do not exercise?
: Why do we carry around emotional garbage that could be easily resolved?
: Why do we carry anger and bitterness?
: Why are we so strong willed and stubborn?
:Why do we miss the "little moments"?
: Why do we not thank God for our working heart?

This afternoon, a cold splash of reality hit me in the face and I realized at any point my heart could stop. Each day is not guaranteed. A heart needs to be treated with the most exceptional care.



Have you listened to a loved ones heart beat recently? At any time, that heart could stop! You would never hear it again. Enjoy the sweet moment of listening to a child's heartbeat or a loved one.

Dear Grandma,
Thank you for teaching me that my heart matters. I pray that you will take better care of your heart. Thank you for inspiring me to take my health seriously and allowing me to sit in this moment and reflect on God's most precious gift. Praying that you will be taken care of and for a speedy recovery.
Love, Sarah
 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When the world is falling out...

I only become emotional when..

*A huge transition is about to take place
* Someone in my family becomes hurt whether physically, emotionally, spiritually,ect
*Being super busy and everyday is filled with meaninglessness "tasks" to complete
* Financial Stress
* Not being able to spend quality time with Drew..


This week I have been emotionally wreck for the following:
* I was offered a position in school district working with Emotionally Impaired Students (HA the concidence in being emotional). Most people would be excited about this! I am excited, but fear of the unknown and signficant transition tend to stress me out! The older I get, the more I hate transition!  Applying for jobs, sending a thousand resumes and cover letters and then going through interview is enough stress, but apparently not enough for me. I was hired through a sub-contractor, which allows for the school not to have to offer benefits and such.. This is cheaper for the school.. (Wasnt told the details of this, until I accepted the offer) If you live in Michigan, you know that their are not many jobs in the area, especially schools.. To sum up the story, I had to go through a bunch of hoops to get this job because of all the crap I had to go through with the sub contractor company.. (Fingerprints, modules, 2hr meeting, numerous phone calls, ect) Very frustrating..


*  A huge transition is about to occur for me, which leaves me feeling uneasy, fearful, frustrated , ect. I will now be transitioning into a work schedule that does not comply with my husbands... very difficult.. Drew works evenings, so I will work all morning and the time I come home, he will just be leaving for work.. Frustrating.. I will only see him on the weekends and that could change... He might be moving positions at Wood some point in the near future. I am all for him moving on and upward, but I hate the work schedules we have.. Transition has not been one of my strongest things and now that we will be on odd work schedules gets me all worked up.. UGH! At the same time, I forget to be thankful that we live in the same place and in the same state.. It is hard to be grateful in these moments.


* This week, I have had something going on every day. Monday I had another interview, had to fill out the paper work for this job position, go through the modelues (which took five hours), schedule finger prints, be on the phone all day. Tuesday I babysat all day and then we celebrated my brothers birthday . Wednesday (today) I had to go this stupid PESG meeting about being a substitute teacher because of the sub-contractual company that hired me! Two hours of nothing relating to me! How wonderful! Thursday we need to meet with our new insurance agent to discuss the details of new insurance. Friday we are meeting someone for lunch. I want a free day! ahh! I hate when days are busy! I hate mundane "tasks" of life! I want it to always be a party and fun ( I KNOW.. NOT REALISTIC)...

Sorry for my complaints, but I just need to unleash it all.. I have been an emotional basket case, which is very unlike me.. .These topics have brought on a lot of tears this week.




Although everything has been chaos, my prayer life has been better. I feel like in the craziness of it all, God is directing each step. In the midist of the storms, he lifts me up. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before HIM; God is a refuge for us.

On another note, I am starting to read the Sierra Jensen collection! ( I have never read this collection.. Always been a Christy fan, but I am branching out now) I am on book one right now.. Will keep you posted!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Fairytale Honeymoon

As many of you know, I share a love for the mouse! I am talking about the one and only, Mickey Mouse! If I was offered a job at Disney World, I would leave this DUMP ASAP! HA!

I am the biggest kid you will ever find. I love reading childrens books, coloring, eating fruit snacks, buying stuff animals ( I even had to have teddy bear therapy at Spring Arbor University), stickers and chicken.

Drew and I had to decide on the type of wedding we wanted.. No surprise! I wanted a Disney theme.. Then came the honeymoon.. It was between Hawaii and Disney. Disney won because it was affordable...

Yep, he must be as crazy too !




We made some excellent memories on this trip..  Let's talk about the time when some kids from a different country came up to us and asked to take our picture because they thought we were cute or random people coming up to ask us about our wedding and tell us how they visited Disney for their honeymoon. I will also never forget the fight that occured at the pool. Stupid people fought over a plastic nemo ball that cost $3.00..  People were throwing money at one another and it got nasty.. Just dont ask what happened when we went to see Fantasmic :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Other Half

When I was in third grade my parents told my older brother and I that they had a big suprise to tell us.. My first response was " Is it bigger than Chuckie Cheese?" My mom laughed and said " we have to wait till dad gets home." Little did I know that surprise, would be one of the best surprises of my life.. It turns out mom and dad were pregnant with my kid sister Rachel, who is my other half. I love my husband, but there is nothing better than sharing clothes and shoes with my highly adorable sister. I always tell her she is the prettier one between the two of us! So true..




When I was tweleve, my Grandpa Smith became very sick and I remember him being on oxgen because he was awaiting a lung transplant.  He and I had a conversation sitting at his dining table. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I told him, I didnt know what my talents or passions were... He pointed to a picture on the wall and told me " Sarah, I am good business man, but I love taking pictures, its a life passion I wish I would have pursued early on." He then passed 6 months later. I never forgot that conversation and even have the exact picture that he pointed to on the wall when he gave me the simplest words, yet astounding life lesson.


Since then, I always wondered if I had the eye for photography. I have always had a love and appreciation for pictures. I think it stems from my childhood and love for reading books. As a child, I judged a book by its cover and would not dare read an ugly book. I can say this with all seriousness..

I think, just maybe, I will pursue a life passion and goal that my grandfather did not get to see full circle. I am no pro at this stage in the game, but I hope to gain knowlege, capture the big and small life moments through a lense and aquire deep relationships along the way.

My favorite picture, by far.. You have to know this girl, but I feel like it captures her beauty so well, yet in the simplest form!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Christmas!

Christmas only comes one time of the year! This year, Christmas came a bit early. I have been itching for a Digital SLR since college.

Well, Drew and I registered for one when we got married, but we did not expect anyone to buy us one. It retails at $750. When we registered at Target, we secretly hoped people would buy us gift cards there.. And....they did!  (Notice Gilmore girls in the background)




We only had to pay $27.14 out of our pocket! We are so excited.. The battery is charging.. I canot wait to play with it..

Expect updates with lots of good photos now.. :) And Christmas will get better, when I have photoshop :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Fairytale Proposal

Drew orginally planned on proposing the weekend prior, during a trip up to Traverse City area. He, however, sensed I had winds of his plans, so he made other arrangments upon returning to work that monday. Working second-shift, Drew was able to get the following Friday evening off. As cover, he told me that one of his co-workers needed to switch shifts for a friday evening, giving him a rare evening off. In a not-uncommon move, Drew asked me if I wanted to go out to Holland to eat and see the sunset.
I, however, knew of his plans. I was on the phone with my Aunt Jill that day and I told her, "he never gets a friday night off, I think he is going to propose." She said, "well, act noncholant. Don't let him know that you think it is going to happen."


He had no idea that I knew.. I love it.. (It is very hard to surprise me).. Poor Guy! I am a toughy!!


While in Holland, we made a trip to Barnes and Noble. I always want to visit this store, so this day, it was no different. While there, Drew purchased a book of questions. The book contained hundreds of questions about relationships and specifically our journey..
We made the trek to Holland State Park and Drew began asking some of the questions out of the book. I could start to see Drew was getting nervous and he was acting funny about me wanting to walk on the pier.. He said, " well lets keep going through a few more questions" so we began to go back and forth answering questions. The sun began to set and the weather was starting to get cold. Drew sensed I was becoming Ansy, go figure! Drew convinced me we would only be there a few more minutes. Drew began to ask me an off the wall question.. no suprise.


And then he got on one knee and asked the important question: "Will you marry me?"


I confessed later on that I saw right through his story about getting working off.

Regardless, I was speechless and giddy in response.

Friendship is Nothing Fairytales and Storms can't Weather!

Our story starts us back in highschool, in 10th grade, over the book "The Great Gatsby"...


Both Drew and I had been in Amy Vandebergs 4th hour English. Drew had to switch classes and was now in my class. 4th hour was the hated class, if memory serves me correctly... One morning early on in that semester, before school began, Drew was working on some last minute homework about "The Great Gatsby". That morning in the library, I was working on the same homework. I didnt understand the book and I thought it was stupid, but I needed to get it done. I reconized Drew from class, but we had never met, so I introduced myself. At that time, I had no idea what adventure I was to embark on.

I asked Drew for some help on a question and he often refers to this moment as " I was cheating off him"..whatever...
Little did the two of us know that morning was jsut the beginning of a close friendship, and later a serious relationship.

In the Storms of Life, may Bargains be the Wind, Beneath Your Feet

When I was poor, in college, I learned the beauty of a good bargain. I became a "thrifter" and loved the thrill of finding a great steal. Often, when I feel the urge to have some retail therapy, I head to GoodWill or a local thrift shop. It allows me to get my adrenline all hyped up, in hopes of finding a great deal and not spending a lot of money.
I was pretty thrilled with my baragain that I found today. I found a Columbia Jacket, as seen above for $4.99. It is great condition. It looks barely worn. I washed it and it took a few small minor dirt spots, but it is spotless.. I was so shocked and excited. If you know me, I hate coats, espically winter coats.. I was thinking this jacket would be perfect for Winter and would be a perfect running coat in the winter. Under the armpits, it has zippers, which as breathable air vents. I cant wait for the first snowfall, when I can break this baby out!  Pretty stoked!
I was looking at JcPenny tonight and they have Columbia Jackets for $150! They are starting to break out the winter gear!
Thanks GoodWill for my AWESOME bargain!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In the challenges of marriage, may you be our ROCK!

Today marks our first month anniversary! We have already been through some difficult life storms and it has been only the first month of our marriage. Our patience has been tested with difficult people, stupid things that I do, and trusting God to help me find a job.

Now, to explain the stupid things I have done while we have been married. First, I cracked the top of my head open on a sharp edge of our new book shelf. .We didnt have health insurance on me yet, so I couldn't get stitches, but thankfully I didn't need them/
The second stupid thing I did, was get locked out of the apartment because the wind shut the door when I was taking out the trash. No keys, no cell phone or  money.. I had nothing on me.. And, noone in our apartment complex was home, so I resorted to walking 3 miles to my parents house to use a phone to call Drew.. He had to come on his dinner break to unlock the door. He was a little unhappy about it and I got some what of a lecture.. :) To be expected I say..

As far as the job search, I continue to apply. I am applying for a lot of jobs out of my field! God has something.. We trust that!

Oh, and the stupid people who have made things miserable, well, I can't openly talk about who those people are, but we have cut ties with them. For the first time in a while, I feel at peace.. Peace is good for the mind, body and soul!

Congrats Drew! May we live a life full of "Zoey" moments! May we never look back and regret, but look to the past as a learning experience and move forward with one step in front of the other trying to do things differently. Also, remember my mother was the one who said " why dont you stop telling that boy "NO" when he asks you out a date. He is very polite, young man and you should give him a chance." So, when you get mad at me, remember it was my mothers fault :)
Ps. Mom said " Mom & Dad are fine." Look's like you've joined the family SON!
HAHAHA! Best parents in the world!






“Marriage takes three to be complete. It’s not enough for two to meet, they must be united in love by love’s creator, God above. A marriage that follows God’s plans takes more than a woman and a man. It needs oneness that can be only from Christ. Marriage takes three.”



Sunday, August 8, 2010

In the Weight of the Deepest, Darkest Storms, may Running be your Light

My biggest life struggle is weight. Some of you get it, others of you may not. Weight has been a struggle ever since I was a teenager. I remember being teased or feeling like I was huge elephant in the room. I have struggled with weight, for as long as I can remember.  In college, I had the biggest battle with weight and food. I had gained "the freshman fifteen", but more like the freshman thirty. At my heaviest weight, I was around 180 and a size 15.

At that point, I could no longer love myself, nor allow other to look at me. I remember I took drastic measures to drop the pounds, which worked, but were not the most healthiest ways of losing weight. I had cut calories, skipped meals, meat only diets, ect. I had tried it all and felt so unfulfilled, until I started running.

At first, I couldn't even run for five minutes, without feeling winded. At Spring Arbor, the P-Loop was the big deal there. I remember during my first run, I couldn't even make half of the P-Loop without getting winded. I felt so terrible, but I remember feeling like I was on a high for a few seconds. I remember going running again, again and again. I started entering races, and continued to challenge myself. Running became therapy emotionally, physically and spiritually. As I continued to gain strength physically, I emotionally became so determined to lose weight. As long as I was running, I was eating and dropping weight. I remember feeling connected to God and often utilizing running as time of prayer, reflection and deep thought.

 The minute I stopped running, was the minute I became stupid about my eating patterns. If I was running, I was eating good and not have problems with my Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS). IBS is when the large bowl contracts and has spasms, which is caused due to emotional stress.

 Before the wedding, I hadn't had a flare up because I was running like crazy. In one week, I put in over thirty miles, but since we got back from our honeymoon, I have had a very difficult time finding motivation to run or workout. Inturn, I have gained a lot of weight because I have been drinking caffeine, which is a huge NO NO for an IBS sufferer. I have been bloated and look like a cow.. I am not joking or being dramatic.. I look PREGNANT!

I think this whole not finding a job thing is causing huge emotional stress. I have had huge flare ups and having been taking Miralax to ease the situation, but it still isn't helping.. This morning I went running and was winded after 10 minutes. I feel like I am the teenager in the 180 lb body again. I know that I am not and have maintained my size 10 figure, but I feel very bad about myself. I have found my self-esteem has been sliding because I am so bloated and feeling icky.. 

This mornings 2mile run was light to my path. It felt like all of the sudden, I was no longer falling apart, but being rebuilt back together again. All the sudden, I was on solid ground and running into God's faithful arms.

Their will be storms in this life, but with him, weight and body image can be conquered.
I hope to continue with training for a marathon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Life is "Better than Sex Cake"

Tommorow, my side of the family always gets together for a family reunion. As a child, I always knew when school was around the corner because our family reunion is the second saturday of every August.
Now that I am Married, we are expected to bring some kind of food. I can no longer bum off my mom.. Anyways, I looked in the cupboard and fridge to see what ingredients we had...
I found we had all the stuff to make "Better than Sex Cake."  I have never had it before.

Here are the instuctions for the recipe, which is quite simple.

Ingredients:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 cup Oil
8oz Sour Cream
1cup Coconut( which I omitted, i hate coconut)
1cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup water
4 eggs
1 package vanilla pudding
1cup chopped pecans(which i ommitted, hate pecans, yuck)
1 bar grated german chocolate

Directions:
Put Cake mix, oil and water in bowl.
Add eggs one at a time (use all four)
Add Sour Cream and Pudding Mix.
Stir ingredients, mixture will be thick
Add 1 cup chocolate chips, pecans, coconuts and grated german chocolate.
Stir last four ingredients
Bake in 9x13 pan
50-55 minutes
350 Oven

Before


You can see the chocolate chips and shredded chocolate bar..
After:
I added vanilla frosting and shredded chocolate on top.. Hope it tastes good and that it doesn't melt with all the chocoloate..

Friday, August 6, 2010

In the Storms of life, Goodbyes are the hardest...

This afternoon, Drew said goodbye to a dear and loved family member.. Riley the Cat! 15 Years of Age in Human years and 77 in cat years. The oldest cat is 34 years in human years.. Crazy? 
Drew and Riley have been buds and some of Drews fondest memories involve his cat, Riley. Riley has been sick for sometime. We knew it was a matter of time, but it doesn't make it any easier, to say goodbye to a childhood friend.
In Christ, there are no goodbyes, but see you later.. May you join Candy and all the saints who have gone before you! Hope you enjoy Heaven Riley! See you on the other side!  We love you! Ps. Sorry you didnt like me, I blame Drew for your hatred towards me. I have tears just thinking of you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life is a fairytale with Russel

While in Disney, I had a difficult time finding anything from Disney's "UP." I even called Disney merchandise and apparently "UP" merchandise isn't popular.. I love that movie! Doesnt anyone else? It makes me cry like a baby!


I couldnt find merchandise even online, but then, I check on Disney Movie Rewards site and found me a Russel! I love my new bobblehead Russel.. He has all of his wildreness buttons! It is beautiful.. Oh, my cute Russel!

A fairytale Day!

As many of you know, my husband and I went to Disney World for our honeymoon. Big shock there! I know right? Lol..  Well, when were there, we ran into huge international groups of students in the parks. These big groups ended up clogging the lines to attractions and restaurants. It was nuts. Drew and I got frustrated by this. As a result, I decided to contact Disney. I didnt think any thing would come of it, but here was my email and their response!



My Email to Disney:
To Whom it May Concern,
My husband and I were in Disneyworld July 12-19th. We arrived home this past Monday and were extremely disappointed with our trip.


We went to Disneyworld to enjoy all the rides, parades, food and activities Disney has to offer. However, we were very disappointed with our trip and did not get to enjoy many of the activites or attractions at the parks.

 
Every park we went to, their was at least 3-4 huge groups of international students. At one point, I counted 100 students in a group. These big groups took up all the fastpasses and also were a huge annoyance when entering the park to have bags checked, to eat a restaurant, purchase souvenirs or watch a parade.

 
My husband and I waited over two hours at Pizzafaria in Animal Kingdom due to huge group of international students. We only wanted to order a pizze and drink. Their were not many options in Africa and the line for Pizzafaria was out the door.. Not acceptable!!! Especially when guests have children!!!



In addition, we went to Hollywood studio's at 10 am to get fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, but were unable to get them because they were all given out for the day. I asked one of the workers and she told me it was because two big international groups of student leaders got all of the fast passes for the day, which I thought was ridiclious. She said they had been feeding their park tickets in the machines for two hours...

 
While we were in Epcot, I waited 1hour to buy souvenir from Coke- Cola shop due to large line of international students purchasing stuff.. I had one item and their were many other customers in line that were not students, who were very aggravated and ended up putting their stuff back on the shelf because they did not want to wait. This was completely unacceptable and the shop is not that big.



My patience came to hault when I wanted to sit and watch the Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom. We arrived two hours early so we could find a spot on mainstreet and sit.. However, three international groups were there and took up a major portion of main street leaving other guests to take the only empty spots( we couldnt find a spot to sit). Least to say, we didnt see the parade because were not allowed to stand beyond the roped line near the shops. I told a parade worker I was very disappointed that we could not find a spot and we left the Magic Kingdom.



Overall, I would rate my experience with Disney World as being extremely poor. My husband and I did not enjoy our honeymoon and were unable to enjoy many of the attractions because of these huge international groups. I know that were not the only guests who felt this way.
 
Disney's Email Response:
 
Dear Mrs. Smith,



Thank you for contacting us regarding the Walt Disney World® Resort.


I am very sorry for the disappointment you experienced while visiting us for your honeymoon. I wanted to personally assure you that your feedback has been taken seriously and let you know how much we appreciate your comments. Our Guests’ feedback allows for our continual growth and the preservation of the magic Walt Disney dreamed about.


I would like to fully review your situation, and need a copy of the front and back of the Theme Park tickets you purchased. Please also include your mailing address, telephone number and the best time to call you. I will contact you once I have completed my research.
 
Recieve a  phone call from Disney World:
Hello Ms. Smith,
We are sorry about the inconvience you experienced while on your honeymoon. On behalf of Disney, we would like to give you 2 4day park hopper tickets for a future vacation. They will not expire till 2030 and are valued at $500!!! Who knew that would come out of a phone conversation.