Monday, January 24, 2011

Holding On

This weekend, a friend from high school lost her fiance, only a few months before the wedding. I'm beyond heartbroken for her, and can only send my thoughts and prayers her way right now. Words can't express how much sorrow I have for any woman in this kind of situation.

It was a shock to me. They were both my age, in their mid-20's, and about to start their life together. The idea of death was probably the last thing on their minds. And yet it happened.

What would I do?
What would I do if H died tomorrow? How would I handle it? How could I possibly, at 24, plan a funeral for a man who I imagined I would grow old with? How could I say goodbye to the only future I can see myself in? My world would come crashing down, and I would have no idea what to do next.

I'll admit it--I take things for granted. I don't think or worry about the fact that H, or anyone I love and hold close, could die tomorrow. I don't worry about losing my job. I don't concern myself with the fear of not having a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, or clothing on my body...but what if the house burned down? I take these things for granted every day, and reading that a friend my age has had a loss like this at such a young age has really been a wake-up call. I need to stop taking things for granted, remember my blessings, and thank God each morning for granting me another day on His wonderful creating with the people that I love.

Friday, January 21, 2011


What does it mean to be strong?

Does it mean that you don't give up on a situation, no matter how difficult or disagreeable it is, because you are going to finish what you've started?

Or does it mean that you refuse to do something that you don't agree with, even if it means giving up on something that you started when you're only halfway done?

And how do you know if you're strong when sometimes being strong can feel like being weak? When you feel like you're being strong because you're finishing something you started, but in reality you question if you're weak for not standing up for something you believe in just so you can finish what you've started.

I used to feel strong. I felt like I knew what I was doing and that I was doing the right thing by following my heart and where God is leading me. But now, I don't know. Did God put me here to teach me how to be strong by pushing through and finishing what I've started no matter how big the struggles are (and maybe teaching me a little something about faith in the process)? Or did God put me here to teach me how to be strong by standing up for what I truly believe in and saying "enough" to things that I know aren't right? I don't know anymore. I'm confused and I'm torn and I don't know what strong even means at this point.

How can I have strength when I feel so exhausted from trying to figure out what strength even is...?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow days and sunny days

We got a surprise snow day today. It rained a lot yesterday, but that was about it. Today, I woke up to a 2-hour delay and then a full day off. Apparently the rain turned to ice and froze up all of Northwest Ohio last night. My car windows look like stained glass right now. H seems to be under the (wrong) impression that I'm going to drive him to campus for his classes today. I told him goodluck getting the car cleaned off in time...haha

The winter blues are really not making my seasonal affective disorder (affectionately known as "s.a.d."--oh the irony...) very unhappy. I'm so blah and mopey, not because things in life are bad but because this weather just does it to me. To try and fix that, I've started planning a vacation for H and me this summer. Nothing major, but since it's our last Army-free summer I wanted to go on some kind of vacation since it's the last one we're guaranteed for a while. So we're planning 5 days at Put-In-Bay. We're going to lay by the pool, go wine tasting, rent jet skis, and just have fun together in the sunshine. Planning it is making me feel excited about summer, but it's not a total cure for the s.a.d. To do that, I need to go somewhere sunny now :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby Carter!

Carter Dennis
Born at 6:41pm on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.
7lbs 6oz
21 inches
Happy, healthy, and handsome!
Mom and baby are both doing amazing. The birth was healthy and went flawlessly. Mindy was strong and so focused throughout the entire delivery. I am so proud of her, probably more than she'll ever know. Here are just a few pictures:

All cleaned up, right after birth

My handsome little nephew

Momma and baby

Feeding time!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

4 days in!

Well, I'm 4 days into my new healthy eating and exercise plan for this year, and I'm feeling great! I worked out Sunday (day 1) and went a little too hard, got a build-up of lactic acid in my leg muscles and had to let that break down a little before I could push myself again, so I didn't workout Monday or Tuesday. (Also, I don't workout on Tuesday or Thursday because those are the days I work until 7pm, so I wouldn't even be able to get to the gym until 8pm and I'm usually in bed around 10pm. It was just too much, and I had to pick 2 days each week to not workout, so that just made sense.) Today, I went and ran on the elliptical. Because of my bad knees from ballet, I can't run on a treadmill or outside on the pavement, so I only run on the elliptical. I actually really enjoy running; it's a great way for me to get my frustrations and stress out. So I ran today, and did my first mile in just under 7 minutes and my second mile in just under 8! Pretty darn good, especially since the last time I was on an elliptical was in January and I ran 1 mile in 13 minutes! I feel so good and confident now, and that's exactly what I needed to keep going!

The dieting has been pretty good, too. I've had the opportunity to cheat (ugh, it seems like there are ALWAYS goodies in the teacher's lounge!) but I've been pretty good about it. Granted, I'm only 4 days in, but just on the food alone I feel healthier. I've had to play around a bit with the menu and pick some foods that work best for me, but so far so good. Tonight was french onion soup and paninis :) I just feel good. I'm feeling confident about all of this, and I'm not feeling like I want to quit or cheat--something that's very different than it has been in the past! I'm not going to lie, though: I pray for strength and support a lot, because I see this as something I can't do without God's help!

4 days in, and I'm still feeling confident. 2011 will definitely end 50 pounds lighter than it started!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And it begins

This will be a short post because I'm exhausted from today and because I still need to get my stuff together for going back to work tomorrow, but I wanted to record my first day of working out.

My legs feel like mush and standing up/sitting down (the process of) and using the stairs are my worst enemies right now! But I'm feeling confident and I refuse to give up just because day 1 was hard. It was hard, and exhausting, and my body hates me right now, but when I can fit into that size 8 dress at the end of the year then it will ALL be worth it! Just got to keep going and not give up.

I can do this!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Promises to Myself

This year, I'm going to try making promises to myself instead of resolutions. I hope that maybe I'll be less likely to break a promise to myself, and therefore maybe I'll actually follow through with them for an entire year!

I promise to work on improving my credit card score and being more financially stable by working on getting out of credit card debt.

I promise to treat my body better by working out and losing the 50 pounds that I've gained over the past 3 years, and to improve my self-confidence.

I promise to expand my boundaries by trying at least 1 thing every month that I've always wanted but have been afraid of trying (either a food I've been skeptical about, an activity that I'm scared of, or even an art class or something where I would normally be overly self-conscious).

I'm starting on the first one next month by starting to make double the minimum payment on my credit cards. I hate that I've got 2 credit cards (okay, one is canceled so I can't use it anymore and the other one is an AE card with a $150 limit so it's not like I'm shopping with them or anything) and that they've put me in debt, so I'm going to start trying very hard to get out of that.

Tomorrow I start my new membership at the Community Center and H and I are going to work out. I've also got a Fit Coach from that has set up an exercise and eating plan for me and I can't wait to start getting back in shape! I honestly feel so excited and ready to start all of this, and I am really looking forward to being able to wear my cute clothes again and feel confident about my body!

I haven't figured out what new thing to try this month yet, but I'm working on it. Last night I tried my hand at making sushi for the first time, but that wasn't really a "new" experience--H likes to make it, and we love to eat sushi so it wasn't totally new. Maybe I'll take a fitness class at the community center--normally I wouldn't because I'm too self-conscious that other people are judging me while I try to go through the class, but I think maybe that would be good for me. Get me out of my comfort zone while at the same time working on getting back in shape. Hmmm...

Hope that everyone had a great and safe New Year's Eve and that God blesses your 2011!