Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winning At Losing

We had our first check-in weigh-in for the Biggest Loser two weeks ago.

And I am winning at losing! 5% down, with my sisters close on my tail....

Two weeks ago I was already at my goal for the end of February, so that was very encouraging. I was halfway to my goal for our entire competition, and we definitely weren't at the halfway point yet. Again, encouraging.

But the last two weeks have been strange, and I am still where I was two weeks ago.

Even so, I am very happy that I am at my goal for the end of these two months - vacation and all. Now I just need to kick it into gear again - especially with my race three weeks away...


I've missed a few weeks of sermons while I was helping with children's ministry, so I was "catching up" a bit today online.

Here's what caught my attention in particular (studying James 1):

Rick Gamache: "External enticements only have power over us because of our internal desires. In other words, every sin is an inside job."

Or, as Calvin puts it: "James' goal is to teach us that there is in us the root of our own destruction."

So....we're gross.

Thank goodness Jesus purchased for us an escape from every temptation (1 Cor 10:13).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Serve Food and Serve Using Food

I love my church.

One thing I love about my church is how when people have babies or people are sick, lots of people pitch in and bring food to those families. It must help a lot for new moms (or moms with a couple kids and a new baby) or families who are fighting cancer to not have to worry about all the groceries and cooking for a few weeks.

Usually the meals get organized with a stream of emails, going back and forth. Though this process seems to work fine, a friend who moved out of state to another church that also does 'the meal thing' said that the women at her new church took care of things online. She loved it because she was able to put any food allergies or favorites right on the website. It also helps with delivery scheduling and meal planning (you are prompted to enter what meal you plan on bringing so that the receiving family has a better chance of not eating chicken for weeks on end). Also, those contributing to the effort of feeding a family aren't inundated with emails in the inbox, but rather are directed to one website. Pretty great. I ran across the website, and thought I'd pass it on: Food Tidings.

I hope this is helpful for anyone who is usually put in charge of things like this. Or maybe it will inspire you to be in charge of a thing like this. It is an awesome way to serve a family.

I Love the Heartland

Not the Heartland as in the Midwest, although I do love that as well.

I'm talking about omelets here, people.

This morning I had breakfast at Perkins (paid for by my boss) and I was really craving an omelet. I always just order my own version, but I realized how expensive that is when I choose to get seven ingredients. I had never really looked at what is in the omelets that are already on the menu (assuming I wouldn't like them anyway) but today I did, and I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN HAPPIER.

Let me tell you about the Heartland Omelet. It has HAM, BACON, SAUSAGE, cheese, and onion. Some are probably tempted to call it The Meat Omelet. And those people wouldn't be crazy. There was so much meaty deliciousness going on. And I was so happy.

I was also treated to Caribou today. I only treat myself to Caribou on Sundays and I always get a White Chocolate Mocha. Earlier this week I saw a new drink advertised at Caribou - a Vanilla White Chocolate Mocha. I knew my boss would buy me Caribou today, so I had been waiting all week to try the new drink. And I wasn't disappointed! YES! I LOVE new favorite drinks (though I highly doubt it is a "new" drink, but they simply are advertising it now)!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Red Letter Day*

Today was a Red Letter Day.

Every spring there comes a day when I no longer have to wear a coat to work. And it has to be a very nice day for me to not take a coat, since I am in and out of my car all day. It's not like I just run into the building and run back out at the end of the day.

Yesterday afternoon I actually started SWEATING while wearing my coat, so I left it in the car for the rest of the day. And after taking one look at the forecast for today I LEFT MY COAT AT HOME (although I was wearing a suit coat, so there's that).

I don't think I've ever done that in February in my four years at this job.


It won't last long, however. Supposed to get hit with anywhere from four to ten inches of snow tonight (does anyone else think that is an awfully large margin of error...???).

But I definitely enjoyed the 40 degrees while it lasted and I will miss it until it returns.

*I had no idea what Red Letter Day meant, but I knew I was using it properly. Even so, I was curious enough to know it's original meaning that I Googled it. If you are curious as well, you can see for yourself.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blessing in Disguise?

I was wondering what was going to happen next. Bad things come in threes, right? So first there was the stolen GPS, then the speeding ticket, and then....[holding my breath....]


Pretty much my phone is my life line. In my work life and my personal life.

If only you all knew me personally and knew how COMPLETELY OCD I am about making lists and keeping calendars and sending texts and checking email and.....OCD.

And it is ALL IN MY PHONE.

So I rushed to the Sprint store where they replaced my phone, but I had to make quick decisions (I don't do QUICK DECISIONS Y'ALL) on what color I would like (since they didn't have any black Centros at the store....does anyone else think that is SO STRANGE?) and I frankly sorta HATE the color I ended up with. Ugh. Also, they were only able to transfer some of my many lists and pics and contacts, so I am left recreating some of that stuff at a time to be announced later, I guess.

But it could be a blessing in disguise. I had a MASSIVE to do list that I had come up with over the last few months that is now lost. And since I never remember anything (that's why I WRITE IT DOWN) I guess the only things that will get done are the things that I know are urgent. And that's fine. It saves me some of the anxiety of having a list that never gets done. A clean slate for me.

Anyway, it's definitely not the end of the world. I just hope those were my three things for the next while.

Broken Record

I hadn't been pulled over for speeding in three years.

That was a record.

And now it's broken.

Broken as in it no longer stands.


The most annoying thing is that I wasn't speeding because I was in a hurry at all - I was just spacing out and there was no traffic and I was just driving in my own little world. But yes, I was most definitely speeding after all.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stimulate the Economy

I'm definitely doing my fair share to stimulate the economy, what with replacing my stolen items and all.

Earlier this week I bought a new shoulder bag for work. I am VERY pleased with it thus far. It is cute and practical.

On Friday I had plans to do a pizza/movie/slumber party night with a friend, but her grandpa passed away (very sad) so my plans turned into having dinner with some other friends and then putzing around at Target for TWO hours. I realized that I'm always rushing in and out of Target, but I really liked having no schedule and just roaming the isles aimlessly. I finished all of the errands I was going to do on Saturday morning (bought a shower gift and food for the shower) and I also bought sunglasses to replace the (SUPER CUTE) ones that I busted in Hawaii. Other than the sunglasses, though, I restrained myself from the many other purchases I contemplated.

I planned on getting a replacement GPS today, but I stayed late at the shower and I had to get to the gym to run eight miles for my training (I only made seven thanks to the pain in my hip, but better to end early than get injured a month before the race. Plus, I would have put money on me not even being able to make seven at this point, so that's something). So I'll have to get the GPS some other day. Like before Monday when I'll have no idea where I'm heading for work....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pick A Team

Scenario: Joshua has led Israel across the Jordan. They have finally arrived in the Land and they know that they have enemies to defeat and drive out of the Land. The second generation has been circumcised, Passover has happened, the manna has ceased, and Joshua finds himself by Jericho. And then I'm struck by this interaction:

"When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" And he said, "No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come."" Joshua 5:13-14a

People who are much smarter than I am have debated, and will continue to debate, whether or not this was a theophany or "just" an angel, so we won't even touch that here. We'll just take it at face value that this was the "commander of the army of the LORD (ESV)" or the "captain of the host of the LORD (NASB)".

Here's what stood out to me: the question Joshua asked was "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" and the answer was "No". Ummm...excuse me? That wasn't really a yes or no question. What gives? I suppose it's not a matter of if God is on our side or not - it's a matter of if we are on God's side or not. God doesn't need to be on "our side" because....well, He's God. There's that whole sovereign, all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent thing, you know. But we definitely need to be on God's side. Again....that whole sovereign, all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent thing.

Another thing that struck me in these verses is that Joshua was in a situation where he knew that enemies were present, yet he approached a man with a drawn sword ("Joshua went to him and said") BEFORE he knew the answer to "are you for us, or for our adversaries?" Uh, that would be intimidating. What if that guy was an ENEMY?! But Joshua was told FOUR times in the first chapter of Joshua to "be strong and courageous". So, I guess he was just giving us a good example of following instructions. Israelites don't always follow instructions well, so this is encouraging!

That's all. Just interesting to me. I like studying Joshua.


Dearest GPS,

I am so sorry that I didn't protect you better. I should have kept you with me. I shouldn't have left you in the car all by yourself to be snatched away in the middle of the night.

We had so many good times together. You always knew when to tell me to turn and you continually put up with me being a scatterbrain and needing a detour. I remember all the times you gave me a phone number I needed or told me where the nearest McDonald's was (BLESS YOUR HEART). You even put up with my constant refusals to buy the map updates. Those were the good times.

So last night when the dog woke me up with crazy barking, I had no idea that a stranger was breaking the window of my car to take you away from me. I'll be okay for the rest of this week, but I'm pretty sure I'll be rushing to replace you this weekend, seeing as I'm going to some of my new clinics next week and I will be lost otherwise.

But don't worry. I'm heartbroken for the time being. Pizza and ice cream are easing my pain, but all I really want is my GPS back (and a few map updates).

I hope you at least go to a nice person on EBay.


Monday, February 16, 2009

No Sleeping In

Sleeping in is like my favorite thing EVER.

But I didn't do any of it this weekend. And that was okay.

On Friday babysat overnight for some friends who went to a marriage retreat. I actually was woken up that morning by my dog (who I had with since I was also dog-sitting for my roommate) and I had to wake the baby up myself at 8:30 - seeing as it was only an hour and a half until her nap time! I had tons of fun babysitting NB and she is THE BEST BABY EVER. Well, she isn't really a "baby" anymore, but still. She was great!

Saturday was Valentine's Day [spoiler alert - for those of you who didn't know that it was. Little late now, I guess]. I just went to a friend's house with a few girls and we ate and chatted and called it an early night.

Sunday was church and then I went to my friend's house for their 5th Annual Nascar Hootenanny. They throw a party every year for the Daytona 500 and everyone has to come dressed as a hick. Also, the food was Twinkies, nachos (Doritos w/ squeeze cheese drizzled on top), chicken strips from a microwave meal, chips, chips, chips, and ding dongs. Everyone picks a driver to cheer for and you win if your driver wins the race or if they get into a crash. There were a ton of people there and it was really fun/funny. But it turns out that Nascar races take FOREVER to finish, so I left early. Still fun, though. You should have seen some of the outfits....

Today I have off for President's Day, but I still had to get up at 6:15 for my Monday tennis league. Too bad I forgot to check the schedule last night so I didn't realize that I have a BYE today and I could have slept in after all! UGH! I'm trying to focus on all the things I can get done now with my "extra" time - like uploading my pictures to Facebook. So productive.

A good weekend, all in all. Even without my precious sleep.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fun Game

How well do you know your states?

My sister put this on her blog and I got sucked in (because I wanted to beat her).

My first try I got 90%, 16 miles average error, in 557 seconds.

I played again and I got 94%, 8 miles average error, in 178 seconds.

I will say that it DOES matter the order you get the states in because the states that border the ocean are easy to place. I got Missouri as my first state on my first try, so there was really no point of reference to put it down, so I just put it down in the middle somewhere and was already off by 276 miles. Had to dig myself out of a major hole there. And it isn't really fair to judge by anything but your first try, because once you've played the game, you sort of remember where everything is and you can just buzz right through.

However, the second time I played I actually MISPLACED ALASKA. I was in a hurry and I released the mouse too quickly. LAME.

Anyway, now that I've wasted 15 minutes on this game, you should too.

I've Been Gone...

....on the BEST VACATION EVER!!!!

Oh man. Nine days in Hawaii. It. was. so. great.

I'm probably about to write the longest blog post of my life because I want to share every wonderful minute of my trip!

My sister wrote a very clever haiku about our trip.

I'm going to copy it over to this post and add explanations-slash-comments between the verses. I think that will give you the best overview of my last (glorious) week-and-a-half!

18,000 feet,
I saw a whale from the plane.
Everybody laughed.

[Just as we were starting to land in Hawaii, we were looking out the plane windows to see the wonderful scenery and EB says "Oh! I just saw a whale!" AB and I immediately burst into laughter, considering we were still at about 18,000 feet and it would be impossible to see a whale from that high up. Unless the whale was four miles long and jumping out of the water. Which it wasn't.]

Up the volcano
to see a summit sunrise.

[Since our body-clocks were "off" anyway, we got up at 3:30 AM on our first day to drive to the highest point in Maui (over 10,000 feet) to see a BEAUTIFUL sunrise. Although, the brilliant night sky that we saw when we first arrived at the top of the mountain may have been my favorite sight of the day.]

The luau was fun.
The fire dancer licked the
flame. It made me squirm.

[Indeed, the luau was fun - and I did my obligatory "get on the stage and learn the hula".]

Did two 4-mile hikes
to beautiful waterfalls.
Un. Be. Lievable.

[We certainly weren't sedentary during this vacation - which was great. Not only because I didn't come home feeling like a total sloth, but also because the reward on many of our hikes was AMAZING scenery and waterfalls! Loved it so much!]

Crossed swinging bridges
Just like Indiana Jones.
Ain't your momma's trip.

[One of our hikes was seriously Indiana-Jones-esque. There were literal swinging bridges, muddy slopes, and hiking across calf-deep streams. We started to say that this was not your momma's trip to Hawaii. It was adventurous, to say the least.]

Blue water rafting
on the choppiest day there.
Totally. Crazy.

But it was fun.
Swells coming over our heads
and spine-jarring jumps.

[Again, not your momma's trip. The raft ride we went on was EXTREMELY crazy on a very overcast and choppy day on the ocean. In fact, toward the end of our trip, the Coast Guard had a helicopter and plane flying close to the water searching for a lost kayaker. We were told to keep our eyes open for him as well. We then headed in, and found out that we were basically the only boat (actually it was more of a raft) still out on the water....]

We saw whales breaching
and swimming by the resort.
They. Were. Everywhere.

[We could lay at our pool, and see whales all over in front of the resort. It was awesome. The closest we got to a whale was on our raft ride - there was a mother, calf, and their "escort" within about 100 yards of us.]

Highway to Hana
Another highlight of mine.
Beauty beyond words.

[My highlight of the trip was hiking into the jungle along the road to Hana and swimming in a natural mountain spring beneath a waterfall. I could have spent the WHOLE day there! Also, there was a 400 ft waterfall at the end of the road to Hana, which was also amazing. On most all of our hikes I felt like I was on the show LOST. Loved it.]

Thought we blew a tire.
It must have fixed itself. A
Maui miracle.

[We seriously thought we had blown a tire on the way back from Hana. There is a much longer story to this, but it is better in person, so we'll just leave it at that. It really was a miracle that we hadn't truly blown a tire. Although, there may be a dead goat along the road somewhere in Maui...]

In my attempt to
remember the cross-street, I
got called autistic. :-)

[Again, a long story. A funny, long story. Oh, EB is very, very funny.]

And then there was the
"Hall of Hawaiian Heroes"
with Stacey Santa,

the bus driver guy
who only hit his brakes four
times up the mountain,

the fire dancer,
and Aaron and Mike - the guys
who kept us alive.

[We ran into so many great people who helped increase the enjoyment of our time in Maui - so we started to call them the Hall of Hawaiian Heroes. The manager at the Alamo gave us a huge upgrade w/o charge, which was so wonderful. Aaron and Mike were the workers on the raft that kept us alive on the ocean, the fire dancer at the luau was basically amazing, and the driver of the bus is another long story....]

We laughed a little.
I mean, look who I was with.
They're funny people

[We laughed A LOT]

I've never liked fish
but I ate Mahi Mahi
and Monchung. So. Good.

[I DO like fish, and the Monchung was the GREATEST MEAL I'VE EVER HAD. If you are ever in Maui, you HAVE to go to Cafe Ole in Keihei. So worth every single penny (and more). Even with all the GREAT food we ate and yummy ice cream drinks I had at the pool (every day, multiple times a day), I only gained two pounds, which is worth noting - I consider it a huge accomplishment seeing as I was out of state for nine days and out of my routine for more like twelve days.]

And of course we had
pool time, sunsets, snorkeling,
and I read three books.

[I got a great tan, which should more than get me through February (a month that I have long thought of as the UGLIEST month there is...) thanks to time at the pool. We saw a sea turtle while we were snorkeling, and I also read three books. All very good things. Another highlight was watching the end of the Super Bowl - which had an AMAZING ending - in my swimsuit at the pool bar. Definitely a first.]

Best trip of my life.
I'm not exaggerating.
Pictures to come soon.

[It seriously was the best trip ever. I'm not putting any pics on my blog, but if you are reading this you are more than likely my friend on Facebook, so you can see pics there! We ended our trip by EB and myself taking bumps for free airfare - so that is always great! The Phoenix airport has free wi-fi, so we wasted the hours online and the ten hours weren't too bad overall. EB ended up taking another bump to get sent to Las Vegas for the night, but I really felt like I needed to get home. I wish now that I would have taken the bump for more free airfare and a night in Vegas. After all, ten years from now I won't be telling anyone about all the laundry I got done on Monday, but I definitely would have been able to tell about a free night in Vegas with my sis. I need to remember these things when I'm feeling really OCD and and Type A at the end of a trip. Laundry can (and will) wait. Vegas is not always free. So...lesson learned.]