Friday, May 30, 2014

Gradumation- who can spell

My little sister has finally graduated!
The top picture was from ten years ago when I graduated! Crazy that 10 years later my baby sister isn't so little anymore!

Isn't she just darling? I can't believe how grown up she is!! 

               Isn't she funny??? 
      Or maybe I'm the funny one..... 
We had a good night at graduation! We even cheered for her, despite being told that cheering was not allowed. A lady in front of me was upset and let me know she was upset  and the fact that it was so disrespectful that people were cheering for their family memebers. I just ignored her comments... 

Graduation is a once in a lifetime event, which should be celebrated and people need to be relax. Our group had a blast!



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thankful Thursday

1) I'm thankful to slowly start feeling better. Tuesday night, yesterday all day and evening today I've been dealing with with some kind of stomach bug. I attribute it to something I ate over the weekend, whatever it is, it's relentless and killing my gut. Slowly, I'm on the mend and am thankful to have today off.
2) It's graduation for my sister!!!! I'm thankful she has made it. This has been a tough year for her district. They have lost two seniors and a sophomore. I'm so thankful she has just made it. This year I have been challenged to live life to the fullest.
3) I'm thankful my Grandma flew in from Texas to see her graduate! Can't wait to see her this evening!!! 
4) Despite being sick, I'm thankful that I didn't gain a lot of weight. Most people lose, but I gain.

How are you thankful today?


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

3 miles for a cause

Happy Tuesday! 

I hope you had a good weekend and were able to spend time with your loved ones. I also hope you were able to relax and celebrate Memorial Day remembering those who have sacrificed their freedom for our freedom.

Saturday and yesterday I was able to finally get out and run 3 miles! It felt like a huge accomplishment.  
Mile 1:
Yesterday, I dedicated each mile to someone different. My first mile was dedicated to #teamcambri, a 3 year old who is fighting cancer. Cambri is a sweetie pie. I spent my first mile thinking of her and her family, praying for their strength and for them to have an amazing summer.

             Isn't she precious??? 
Mile 2:
I was praying for #teamstorm. 
Two of Drews family members have been diagnosed with cancer and his dad has had heart surgery twice this year. My second mile was dedicated to them and sending good prayers, thoughts and that the next six months would show #teamstorm STRONG.

Mile 3:
My final mile and my fastest mile was for those who fought for our country, those who continue to fight and those who are battling the trauma after serving our country; PTSD, TBI's and physical injuries.

It was cool to run each mile with a different person in mind. It helped me stay focused, mindful and so thankful to be able to run 3 miles for each of these causes/ people. I'm glad to be recovering from injuries. The time flew and my time was faster than Saturdays 3 mile run. 



Q: Do you dedicate your miles to people or causes? 
 



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weight loss, sizes and what I've learned

Happy Thursday!

Boom! 137.2

Weight:
It comes on a lot quicker than it comes off. I'm being a very consciousness eater and I'm drinking tons of water. However, I'm slowly building my muscle back up, so I expect my weight to increase. Weight loss never happens over night. Don't compare yourself to where someone else might be at was the best advice someone gave me!


Clothing Sizes: 
I have never before experienced shopping the way I have as of recently. Currently, I'm fitting in a size 6 pants, but they are getting too big and I'm going into a 4! I haven't seen a size 5 since I was in middle school! I could stay right here and be completely happy, but my BMI continues to read over- weight. 
First XS skirt! SCREAMS!!!!!  I'm fitting into small shirts! Dresses are now size 6 & 8, depending on the dress. I just had to go buy new dresses for my sisters graduation! Honestly, sizes are sizes though-- remember, YOU'RE the only one who sees the tag.

What I've Learned:
Weight is a number on a scale. Clothes whether it be a size small or a size large, both sizes are equally frustrating to find. I used to be able to find a ton of clothes, but now as a smaller person, I'm having a difficult time finding clothes that fit my body. 

I've also learned, I feel healthy now and I'm not looking to drop more weight. I'm afraid I'm going to get "too skinny." I also can tell the weight loss has helped with my running and I hope it helps my pace because I don't have so much to carry. At this point, I'm happy because I feel HEALTHY! Health is important to me. Numbers on a scale don't matter, unless they reflect health. I was already BEAUTIFUL!



Q: When do you feel healthy?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wedding Ring Drama

After 4 years of being married, I don't expect drama with my wedding ring, but I guess it's a lot to ask for. Since I've lost a lot of weight, my ring no longer fits.
So, I went to the jewelry store where I purchased it, they didn't have a temporary plastic to put on it, directed me to a store in the mall where I could purchase one for the time being.

Me being a penny pincher thought--- maybe Helzburger where I have my pearl ring from will just go there and see if they have one. So, the guy says sure we can adjust your ring to fit your finger. Takes it to a back room and comes out with a medal adjustable holder on the inside of my ring. 
UM, not WHAT I wanted..... So, I asked him to take it off..

Took a chunk of the white gold out by doing that!

Seriously? I was in tears, but I didn't realize it had happened until I was at home. As soon as I did, I got on the phone with a manager and ripped them a good one. They said they would fix it, but my ring would be gone for three weeks.

HECK NO!

So, I called Fred Meyer where my husband bought my ring from, the manger said to bring my ring in and they would fix the white Gold for FREE!!! 
Way to go Fred Meyer! Talk about customer service. It just ticks me off! So, they fixed the white gold, but didn't resize my ring, which would need to be a 4.5... Yikes!!!

Should I resize it or wear the plastic thing I have from Claires? What if I get fat again  and then have to get it resized again? Ugh! Tell me I'm not the only one with Wedding ring issues??








Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weight Loss + Epilepsy Fundraiser Team Storm

After weeks of weight loss episodes, and the scale not moving, I intended for last week to be my final weigh- in. I imagined that I would just keep maintaining my Weightloss because I was happy with the work I had done, until I hopped on the scale this morning...

That's a two pound drop from last week. If my mouth could LITERALLy hit the floor, it hit the scale! I was shocked!!! I'm officially in the wonderland of 130's! Holy cow! My intention was maintence, but my body has other plans, clearly! 



This post was never intended to talk about weight, but instead I wanted to get y'all involved in something else. As you know Epilepsy is a part of my life. It's not who I am, but it's part of my battle. Four years ago I didn't even know what a seizure was, until I began experiencing them myself.



As you know, they have not stopped me from living my life the way that I want. If anything, they have inspired me to push farther than I could've ever imagined, to take me out of my comfort zone, and to dream even bigger.

June 7, 2014 I will have the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone, yet once again and I'm asking for YOUR support.



If you live in Grand Rapids, MI: 
Here is what that looks like. The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan is hosting a walk at 8:30 for individuals with Epilepsy at our local Zoo. The cost is $25 per adult and varying amounts for children. If you live in the Grand Rapids area and would love to be apart of my team that morning, I would love your support! I'm trying to pull a team of 20 people together. Your $25 includes the following:

+Admission to the Zoo
+Food
+Facepainting
+ entertainment
If you can't make it, but want to donate, please do! Any amount is awesome! Remember your supporting me and tons of others who battle these awful things!

If you don't live in Michigan:
However, many of you awesome readers, read from far away and there are ways for you to get involved too. Here's how and why you should get involved..

+ Financially donate any amount online, the team that raises the most, earns different level prizes.

 High Tops Fundraiser ($1,000.00 + ) 
$1,000 sends a child to Camp Discovery, a summer camp just for kids with epilepsy   Rewards: High Tops Fundraiser - Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™ t-shirt, two tier-1 prize items of your choice, and two tier-2 prize items of your choice.

Sneakers Fundraiser ($700.00 + ) 
$700 provides transportation for 20 to our Wellness & Epilepsy Conference   Rewards: Sneakers Fundraiser - Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™ t-shirt, two tier-1 prize items of your choice, and one tier-2 prize item of your choice.

Cleats Fundraiser ($500.00 + ) 
$500 provides seizure recognition & first aid training for an entire school’s staff   Rewards: Cleats Fundraiser - Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™ t-shirt, and two tier-1 prize items of your choice.

Sandals Fundraiser ($300.00 + ) 
$300 provides an hour long consultation for 15 people with our Education & Advocacy Specialist   Rewards: Sandals Fundraiser - Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™ t-shirt, and one tier-1 prize item of your choice.

Flip Flops Fundraiser ($100.00 + ) 
$100 provides a Learn and Share Conference call for up to 20 people   Rewards: Flip Flops Fundraiser - Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™ T-shirt - 


+ If you are unable to donate, encouragement, tweets, prayer for good weather and Facebook posts of encouragement are always welcomed!

 I'm nervous about doing this.. Please stand with me as I take a leap of faith and meet others who deal with this courageous battle daily! I'm one of the lucky ones!

Here is my team page to sign up to be a team member or to donate!! Your donations are helping to refund research, but to also educate and reduce STIGMA! Please help me and others in this battle! Join team STORM!!

http://summerstroll.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1097840&lis=0&kntae1097840=76BDE3D4378E46579344990C2107FC1E&team=5969568

Don't let another seizure take someone's life!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Caught up in a rain Storm

So, I'm trying this whole minimalist/ barefoot running thing to help with better form and I can tell it's working different muscles in my legs, feet, ect. 

It's putting strain on my Achilles' tendon, which is why you have to go super slow, which is frustrating as all get out! Yesterday, I went out for a run and was excited because I was going to be able to move from a half mile to 3/4 of a mile. I know, progress right??? It feels like a complete JOKE!

I knew it was going to start storming soon, but I thought I could miss it. I knew my run wouldn't be long, so I thought I
would get through it and back home before it got nasty.
The wind started to pick up and I knew I was in trouble. I only had a little bit to go, so I wasn't going to give up, so I just kept on going. 

The rain started to fall on my way back and I knew I was in trouble. I threw my phone in my skirt pocket and began hauling to save my phone. Who cares about anything else? Am I right? You SAVE the phone!
This is what I looked like after the rain . Thankfully, I had my minimalist shoes on or I would have a broken toe from all the crazy debris! Look, I even have a leaf on my face, not to be mistaken with a bug!

Q: what crazy weather have you been stuck in?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Husband's Second 10k!

Saturday was the annual Riverbank run! Its the largest 25k in the nation and it's here in Grand Rapids! I usually run this bad boy, but not this year. Sigh. They also have a 5k and a 10k race. Originally, I was training for the 25k, but this winter was brutal! I just couldn't put the mileage in safely and then I decided to go barefoot and now, I'm just slowly putting mileage in.. Injuries suck! Healing sucks! And learning new form, SUCKS! Oh, well.

However this year I got to be a spectator to my husband and that was kinda fun! I even saw a few other bloggers-a.k.a friends and other runners out there too! It was great to be able to cheer them on, especially where I was at. I was on the corner right before the finish line! Talk about LOCATION! Want to start to see people well up in tears knowing they are so close, well, that's the place to be! 



My husband was NOT super happy with his splits and that was due to a 5MINUTE bathroom stop! Yes, he had to wait 5 whole minutes at one line in the port-potty.. C'mon people!! I couldn't believe it when I was looking for him.... I knew he wasn't this slow... I thought maybe something had gone wrong.. I kept looking for him and watching the time knowing when I should expect to see him... Finally, I did see him and felt a sense of relief... wondering what did happen... You never know what can happen on a race course... 


At least when he got close to me, he was all smiles and that made me happy! Sometimes it doesn't matter if you have a crappy race or an awesome PR, it matters that you did it and who's there with you!! In the end, the weather turned out to be great, the races were fun and well, it's another race in the books! I had a great time cheering people on! 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day to thee Best!

To the one and only who has taught me to love others first, to extend grace always, to show kindness and compassion in a smile to a stranger, to place value on people rather than things, the person who started my love for the mouse house, the one who has always been at the finish line waiting for me to cross over at each race, the one who took me to the salon when I cried after screwing up my eyebrows terribly thinking they were beyond repair, and the person who guided my faith and then allowed me to figure my own path-  MOM, I wouldn't be half the human without you! You're truly a woman of grace and beauty that never ages! Happy Mother's Day to a one of a kind, that I am so blessed to call MOM!



Did you know mom spelled upside down is WOW? That describes how awesome moms are! They are wow factors!






Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sugar Creek, Ohio


Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. 

 Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio  -     By: Serena Miller
A mysterious outsider casts a long shadow on Ohio’s Amish country. Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel – Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts’ doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious.
Will she be able to uncover Joe’s secrets despite her aunts’ – and her own – growing affection for him?

About the Author:

Prior to writing novels, Serena Miller wrote for many periodicals, including Woman’s World, Guideposts, Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and The Detroit Free Press Magazine. She has spent many years partnering with her husband in full-time ministry and lives on a farm in southern Ohio near a thriving Amish community.


My Review: 
This book had my attention from page 1. Honestly, I couldn't stop reading it. From the beginning where we meet Joe Matthew and is his sweet son, Bobby- I knew this story was going to be good. The story starts off with a father and his son trying to leave a past behind for a different future. Only to find that in the middle of this their truck breaks down and they find themselves in Sugar Creek, Ohio surrounded by Amish folks who talk a bit different and have different customs, luckily for Joe and Bobby, a kind man helped them find a place to stay, which then turns into a place where Joe lives with three Aunts for a while and helps take care of their hope. He also meets Rachel, a cop who wants to know Joes story and won't let it rest until she figures out what he's all about and why he's running from his past. The three Aunts are funny and great women. The character development in this story makes the aunts likeable and very relate-able. Rachel however, is the hardest character to relate to, until Joe finds her back story about her why she is so closed and suspicious of trusting others. Will Rachel uncover the mystery of why Joe is really in Sugarcreek?

I truly enjoyed my visit to Sugar Creek and learned a lot about the Amish community, customs and culture. If you're looking for a book with an interesting plot, full of character development and dynamic twists and turns, this book will keep you turning the pages! Thank you to Guideposts and SummerSide Press for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review, but received this book for review purposes only.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Promise in Pieces


A Promise in Pieces

{MORE ABOUT A PROMISE IN PIECES}

A Promise in Pieces | A Quilts of Love Book
It’s been more than 50 years since Clara cared for injured WWII soldiers in the Women’s Army Corp. Fifty years since she promised to deliver a dying soldier’s last wish. And 50 years since that soldier’s young widow gave her the baby quilt—a grief-ridden gift that would provide hope to countless newborns in the years to come. On her way to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Clara decides it’s time to share her story. But when the trip doesn’t go as planned, Clara wonders if anyone will learn the great significance of the quilt—and the promise stitched inside it.
Emily Wierenga

{MORE ABOUT EMILY WIERENGA}

Emily Wierenga is a former editor, ghostwriter, freelance writer and staff journalist, a monthly columnist for “The Christian Courier,” and the author of “Save My Children,” “Chasing Silhouettes,” and “Mom in the Mirror.” Emily and her family reside in Alberta, Canada. This is her first novel.
Find out more about Emily athttp://www.emilywierenga.com.






My Thoughts:
This book wasn't what I expected it to be at all. I say this in a good way. Sometimes you have expectations in your head for a book and the author does something completely different with it. This is exactly what Emily Wierenga did with this book. Again, I say this in a lot of my reviews, I am not much for historical fiction, but I am loving the Quilts of Love series. Not all of these books are like, but I love the way history is intertwined with a story to tell in each quilt. What makes this book so unique is that the main character, Clara tells her story to her Grandchildren through the past and present in a unique way. It's like your living her story with her as she is going through WWII and then you're in the present moment with her though various points throughout the book as well. Its written unique. Of course, as her family is on the way to the Museum to drop off this quilt that has deep and rich history, her husband has a stroke. Does Clara, her husband and grandchildren here the story behind the quilt and do they make it to the WWII Museum in New Orleans with a quilt that only one can tell? You'll have to pick up a copy to read and find out yourself. I give this book 5 stars for details, intrigue and the unique written format. This book had me from start to finish. Thank you Abingdon Press for allowing me to review this book, I was not compensated for a positive review, but was provided a review copy of the book. 


qol-promisepieces-400-click

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hello, size 6!

Hello size 6, I've been wanting to see you forever! Today is the day! 
  Dear fellow readers, wow this week has really flopped. To say it has been anything but easy, is the furthest thing from the truth. I have so much pain to share, but in the midist of it, I have some great news of celebration! So, if you wouldn't mind doing a victory dance with me today, I would be thrilled!

Say goodbye to size 12 and 10 pants because this girl is in a 6! SHABAM!
Let's recap some weight loss points..


Where I stand today.  I can tell you I did not start at 153 either. That is when I started to think I could lose weight and I should document my weight loss journey. I actually started near 157 on my high days and 155 on my low days. Those numbers fluctuated very much with my hormones. Some days I was in the 160s. 

Never did I think I would go to stores and have to actually turn away shirts because they were Too big.. It's so WEIRD!

I've struggled with weight all of my life, so if you're trying to lose weight, don't give up! I did not lose this weight over night. It started in December and I'm slowly seeing all of those results. 

I just wanted you to celebrate my success of being in size SIX with me today because it's 75 degrees here and I'm busting out these shorts! FINALLY, I can finally fit into them! Squeals!!!


Q: What health or weight loss hurdle has been the hardest for you to overcome?









Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Meant to Be Mine


A book tour hosted by Prism Book Tours.

Welcome to my tour stop for
Meant to Be Mine
by Becky Wade


Meant to Be Mine
(A Porter Family Novel #2)
by Becky Wade

Christian Romance
May 2014 by Bethany House Publishers



 I just got through Becky Wades new book called Meant to Be. 
If you haven't read any books by Becky, I highly recommend it! She is a delight.  I loved Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart.




Meant to Be is the second novel in the Porter Family series, but can be read as a stand alone. Celia park moves to Texas before she starts highschool. Of course, she is upset to be the new girl, but with her father's job, she is always relocating. Ty Porter is a Sophomore and of course he thinks she is one of the sweetest girls. However, a relationship does not develop between the two of them during their high school career. After Cecia graduates high school, she moves to Oregon to follow her dream of opening a coffee shop. After finishing school, she and get friend Audra decide to go to Las Vegas for the weekend.



While she is in Vegas, she runs into Ty Porter.  Of course sparks fly and Ty proposes. She doesn't think he is serious about the ceremony but they actually do go through with it.  The next morning, Ty tells Celia he is in love with another woman. Of Course Celia is heartbroken by this..... When something unexpectantly happens, will she tell Ty or does he go the rest of his life not knowing a secret? Ooo... It's so good..



If you want to know where the rest of the book goes, you'll have to read the book. 


Thank you to the publishers for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review, but I recommend you reading this book. It's truly great and I give it five stars!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Sullivan's Wedding

This past weekend, two of our friends got married and their, wedding was cool and super unique. The theme was tailored around bicycles and pinwheels. 
How adorable!!! Loved the colors! So bright and cheery. Just lovely. It really put me in the Spring mood.

How can you just not love this? So cool! Made me just love it! I hate bikes and this wedding has totally inspired me to want to jump on a bike, except the groom is fixing my bike.
How adorable is my date??? Isn't he cute??? We were so excited for Tom and Mallory.  We couldn't wait to see the Bride and groom!! We knew they were going to look fabulous, plus be a crying mess....

         Photo courtesty of photogag
Here's the groom in tears as he's ready to see his beautiful bride. Of course not a dry eye in the room. He was a teary mes... 
Here is the beautiful bride, Mallory. It was such a wonderful and special wedding ceremony. It was very unique. I cried so much. It was just wonderful! Mallory could not hold back her tears and she was crying a lot too. Not a dry eye on the room.

 After the ceremony! Mr. & Mrs. Sullivan

Isn't she just precious? I think is just a beautiful inside and out! Love her so much. She's the kind of friend you'll have forever. She's a forever friend.
Had an awesome time dancing with these great girls! They were a blast! So much fun. They are Mallory's good friends. Laura came from Bolivia for the wedding! Bless her heart!
                Photo booth anyone?


I took a ton more pictures, we even jammed to Nsync, Hanson and Backstreetboys! It was great! They had a candy bar, popcorn machine, tons of fun games! It was just a blast;)

Q: What is the most Unique or best wedding you've ever been too??