Coming back…

Happy 4th of July!

Wow, sorry to say it has been quite some time since writing! Since March, two of my best friends have gotten married, I have been to Mexico twice, and have accepted a new position with my employer. It has been a whirlwind of events!! The first wedding was in Playa del Carmen which was the reason for my first visit to Mexico. It was absolutely goregeous and the bride was stunning!!!

Best Man(Nick) & Maid of Honor(Me) with Heather & Joey

They got married Friday, March 30th and the weather was perfect! We were able to capture pictures right as the sun was setting. Heather is one of my oldest and dearest friends, it was so sweet getting to stand up there with her on her special day. We decided to mark parasailing off her leap list the day before her wedding so…

we took a bus to one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and got to sore above the crystal clear water!

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Saturday, June 2nd another one of my  closest friends, Emily, walked down the isle to her other half, Richard. In less than two and a half months they pulled together a beautiful wedding where they had an adorable photo booth area crafted by Emily herself and hand made delectable desserts…

                         

My second voyage to Mexico was quite different. I went through an organization called Amor Ministries based out of San Diego, California. This organization coordinates trips for groups from around the world to come and build homes for families in Mexico year round. According to my resources, they have built over 17,000 homes in Mexico since they began in the 80s. It was humbling and quite remarkable to get to be a part of such a wonderful mission. I got to spend a considerable amount of time with the founders, Scott and Gayla Congdon, who both have a strong desire to see the needs of the poor met and have dedicated their lives to doing so. I can only hope that one day I can look back on my life as they can and say that I did all I could.

The trip I was a part of was called Family Camp. A group of over a hundred of us went out there, divided into four worksites, and completed four homes. Our site was the slowest… but we say that’s because we had the most fun:)

In the mornings we ran a Vacation Bible School at a local church for the kids in the community. The connections I made there were by far some of the most impacting parts of the trip for me. To the left is Rosa, Marisol, and Sandra. Marisol turned two while we were there and after bribing her with a few gifts I finally earned her affection!!! Their housing is in poor condition so Rosa also wanted to apply for a new home through AMOR Ministries.

During VBS we had the opportunity to sing, teach, put on puppet shows, make crafts, and play with the kids…

We held VBS Tuesday through Thursday usually 10am-12pm… of course that varied as we were in “Flexico” as Amy called it …meaning plans could always change and things may not run right on time but that’s ok… got to be FLEXIBLE!:)

There is so much more to write and pictures and thoughts to share but I will have to save those for next time. All I can say is I felt like I was leaving home…

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Beautiful.

It’s official… OUTDOOR RUNNING HAS BEGUN!!!!!!!!

Without fail I am amazed by the beauty of God’s creation every time my feet hit the pavement, Especially in His skys…

and yes, my Crackberry DID take that photo!!! Who knew that was possible!?:)

 

A little bit of this or a little bit of that?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

This is one of my favorite quotes! … As I reflected on my choices, all encompassing, this past week, I saw once again why I felt the need to trade in a fun night downtown with friends for a hard workout at the gym. Having been a crazy, hectic week and dealing with strenuous situations in my personal life, I found it more difficult to fit in as many workouts and much easier to reach for the comfort of a free cinnamon crunch bagel at the office;)… The funny thing is that the comfort of the less healthy food choices I made this week diminished within minutes while the ingredients of the fluffy goodness left a longer lasting impression decreasing my energy and affecting my health and mood. Normally, doing this only a select few times would have been fine as everyday is a balancing act as we all know, but this week it became a the pattern of my choices!

One of the many things I learned this week: CARBS DON’T ELIMINATE STRESS! ha… but it’s not the end of the world:) If we truly are what we repeatedly do then we can change who we are by changing what we repeatedly do!… In each moment what will you choose?? …this is applicable to all areas of life!!!

Foodwise, with each choice you have the opportunity to be a healthier person, the key is not to give up because you’ve made a few bad choices…. keep your focus on overall health and let that guide your decisions!

 

Really liking this…

Got to check out the new Zumba class again last night… seriously. If you want some booty shakin’ fun then you’ve got to check out a class in your area!

 Rach, Abbs, & I post zumba…

Loved spending some sweet time with my sis and fabulous friend Abby!

Moderation: The Key

Last night as I roamed through Target I got to talk with one of my best friends on the phone. Of course New Years resolutions came up and she told me how eating healthier was one of hers. She is very petite and absolutely adorable so weightloss was not her goal, but overall health was!

We discussed how crazy it is that when you attempt eating EXTREMELY healthy, a lot of times it backfires on you by causing you to crave heavy foods and eventually eat MORE overall a.k.a binge. You could go all day on a “perfect” diet of veggies, fruits, and protein only to find yourself scouring through the cabinets in the evening for something truely satisfying… say chips or chocolate anyone?

So what can someone conclude from this?

The key is everything in…      MODERATION!!!  wait what? … MODERATION!!!!!!

…This is going to be my second word of the year 🙂

Our bodies need a healthy variety of foods that both fill and satisfy while at the same time provide wonderful health benefits. So find some healthy foods that you find delectable! If you like fruit, maybe mix your favorite fruit with some greek yogurt and honey for a perfect snack that’s filling and satisfies that sweet tooth at the same time! Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Or switch out a large plain bagel and cream cheese for a mini whole grain bagel and almond butter or light cream cheese. Still have what you like, just a healthier version of it… be creative! You’d be amazed at how many delicious, HEALTHY options there are out there, it just takes some creativity!

Now this is REAL Zumba!!!

Last night I got to attend a different Zumba class with my sister lead by an instructor named Becca from Lifestyle Family Fitness . It was incredible!!!! For an hour we danced our hearts out to some fun Latin music! This class was much more intense than the first Zumba class I tried and produced much better results as shown by my super sweaty post-workout shirt…

Any dance class that can produce sweat like this is one I will be returning to for sure!!! She’ll be teaching the classes independently every Wednesday night now and I can’t wait to go again. Hmmm, I may become a Zumba junky after this!

The Day After…

Today got off to a late, lazy start… I slept in til 10am, spent some time reading, and ate a delicious breakfast of greek yogurt, honey, and blueberries. I thought it was going to be harder to get back into the groove of things after the holidays but because I never fell out of it this year, it was actually quite easy! Exercise and healthier eating has become a part of my daily lifestyle rather than a means of weight loss and that has made a huge difference!

I have learned that so much more of it is about conquering the battle of the mind and habit than the body! Some of the things that have helped me overcome my unhealthy thinking were food and fitness advice from such sources as books, magazines, and websites, wise words from others who have experienced a similar journey as I have with food and exercise as well as from those who hadn’t, and the Word of God. The key is balance, not the number on the scale and if you can come to this realization then your ahead of about 80% of the female population.

Sooo… again this afternoon I laced up my shoes! Knocked out a 6 mile run and came back in for a good stretch!

Refueled with an egg sandwich for lunch and continued with the rest of my day!

Christmas in the Air!

This morning got off to a great start as I laced up my shoes and headed outside! Got to enjoy a 4.5 mile run towards a gloriously open sky. Headed back inside to get ready, wrap presents, and begin cooking with the family! To get things started off I brewed a hot cup of pomegranate green tea!

Added some presents under the tree…

 And started baking!

My beautiful sis did a fantastic job smashing the pecans…

These were our finished products!!! Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Pecan Oatmeal Topping, & dad’s famous Sour Cream Potatoes …Yum!

A Delicious slice of mom’s Strawberry & Chocolate Jiggle Fluff Pie anyone?

Cornish Hens… we each got our own miniature birds!

 And of course some fresh spinach salad to top it off…

Read the story of Jesus birth, then the present opening extravaganza began!!! My family all chipped in and bought me this fun picture b/c of my love for cupcakes! So sweet!

 Sis ‘n I for a classic Christmas pose…

 Then we finished opening presents, tooks some family pictures, and gathered ’round to watch “The Help,” one great movie.

Wow, what a fun day!