Brain Fried Eggs

I never thought my brain could be so fried without having a full time job. It amazes me how much stress you can incur in a day of being mommy, piddling in side jobs like tutoring, venturing out into new things, and waiting for a doctor phone call. I think hormones may be getting the best of me, because I seem to get overwhelmed and upset by things a lot easier recently.

Today began well enough with a good workout. I simply did some light cardio at the gym mixed between the stepmill, elliptical, and treadmill. My James Patterson book accompanied me and I was even able to finish it during my workout. If only the rest of my day could have gone as smoothly.

When I got home, I was getting Makenzie situated for her snack when she decided she wanted to push buttons instead and try to stand in her highchair. After many times of telling her no, her giving me a mischievous smile, and then ignoring me, I decided if she is old enough for those games then she is old enough for time out. We experienced our first pout session. Poor girl had to suffer 2 minutes an eternity sitting in one place and staring at the wall. She looks like she is suffering greatly, huh?

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Then, I got brain fried throughout the day with too much computer time. Surprisingly, very little of it was spent blogging. I had to take a good chunk of time to come up with tutoring lessons to help the students I tutor prepare for the final exam. There is a lot of grammar and vocabulary to review. The remainder of my computer time was spent fine-tuning and adding to a little something special I am working on. I have been getting some quality writing practice and support the past couple of weeks and I won’t say more.

Amidst all that, I got the phone call from my doctor. The blood test I had Friday confirmed the pregnancy, but my hormone levels were low. They want me to come in again tomorrow to take another blood sample and check for the hormone levels to be increasing adequately. So good news, but not completely in the clear yet. Although nothing is ever really in the clear in pregnancy. But I trust God is doing good things here and it will be okay.

I have now just inhaled the perfect dinner for such a day. When I arrived home from the mammoth tutoring session, the hubs had just what I was craving. Comfort food in the form of breakfast for dinner.

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Fried eggs, potatoes with ketchup, and some strawberries for sweetness and color. Now my tummy is happy and I can relax with some trash TV. Desperate Housewives season finale = pure trash but just the mindlessness I need right now. I guess I didn’t really fake it til I made it, huh? How did you do?

  • What is a dinner that can always help calm your nerves?
  • What is something that can set you off in a frazzled frenzy easily? For me it is suddenly having more on my plate than I expected. Totally had things sneak up on me today. I had NO CLUE their final exam was for the entire year instead of this semester. So I was only half prepared for tutoring and had to cram cram cram preparation in.
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Evidence of Commitment

The last six weeks our church has been involved in a series of group studies, sermons, and daily readings all focused on how to recognize our commitment to our faith and how to grow that commitment. It was a really motivational and inspiring six weeks. I found that the things discussed that show our commitment in faith and ways we can further our devotion can also apply across the realm to our commitment in any of our passions. For myself, I hope my devotion to God is evident in everything and is the #1 commitment I have, but it is interesting to see how the life lessons from our sermons can be related to many other areas of interest as well. What ways do we know we are committed to something and how do they help continue fostering that commitment? Read on to find out.

1. Regularly Be Involved. We discussed the value of presence – showing up and regularly taking action.

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It makes sense. If you are committed to something, it is part of your life and you will make a point to not go too long without it. In relationships, you thrive when you are committed to spending a lot of time together. In fitness, you reach your goals when you have regularly scheduled workouts and training. While working towards a goal, you should be taking active steps almost daily to continue progress in them. With God, you are fulfilled through worshipping and recognizing his blessings more often than just Easter and Christmas. It is difficult to achieve anything if you aren’t involving yourself in it frequently.

2. Make connections. One way to help ensure we are developing our commitments and to keep our drive going is to have others we know are supporting us.

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If you have someone to share a passion with and that you can depend on, it is harder for the flame to die out. In faith that means building relationships with other Christians, but more importantly strengthening your relationship with God. Prayer is a vital part of this. We have to know God in order to be more like Him and live in the example of Jesus Christ. The only way we can know Him is to be connected to Him. That connection is prayer. While prayer is, in my mind, vital to all things, the necessity for connections reaches beyond faith lessons. Imagine the strength you can get from training for a race with others cheering you on. Or the feeling of success at work when you are in a helpful environment. Or how you don’t feel silly for a particular goal and want to give up when you have friends encouraging you that it is possible.

3. Share the love. When you are passionate about something, you can’t stop the love of the sport, hobby, person, beliefs, etc from pouring out of you. You want so tell others about it. You want to help others achieve the same things. You want to see people grow in new ways. You want to watch others open their eyes to new possibilities and share that excitement with them.

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As bloggers, I believe we can all readily understand this. We have a strong desire about a number of topics and we openly share those on our blogs. I think many of us want to help others and be able to encourage someone the same way someone else may have helped us. The same goes for any passion we have. As a Christian, you are committed to giving back because you are so thankful for the blessings God has poured out on you that you have to share out of pure joy and love. As advocates for healthy living, we can know how much more enjoyable our lives are with the energy and strength we get through our lifestyles that we want everyone to feel the same way. As friends or lovers, we want the significant people in our lives to know just how much they mean to us by showing them love and kindness. You can’t lock a passion for something up in a box. It thrives on being shared openly with others. The cool thing is, when you share with others, it also reaffirms your devotion and starts the cycle all over again. You will want to share more, be more involved, and make more connections. It is a never-ending process that continues to thrive because of these aspects of our commitment.

  • What things are you committed to? Do you recognize these 3 areas in them?
  • Is there something you would like to be more committed to that you think these actions could help?
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A Winning Catch-Up

Are you playing catch up from the weekend? A good bit went down here on Faith, Fitness, and Fun. Nothing quite as exciting as last weekend, but I still rambled plenty. Which you would never be able to tell from how much I ramble in my catch up. Ha!

  • I discussed being nervous after my confirmation of pregnancy visit on Friday. I’m hoping for a good phone call today. I have had two more positive tests of a different brand ($ Store brand…yes, they make preggo tests) and symptoms keep getting stronger so I think all is well. Won’t stop me from praying though! The first trimester is the big “scare zone”. I’m thankful I told you all early (aka the day I found out) so I have the option to share all my feelings here. I would spontaneously combust otherwise. And we wouldn’t want that now would we. You can appease me with kind comments. 😉
  • I showed a beautiful side of me – some pictures of my bloating belly and begging. Although to the eye the bloating may not be something you want to look at, I thank all of you for your encouragement and letting me know I’m not the only one. I fully embrace it. Any part of pregnancy I love and I know my body is doing it’s thing the right way. I’m actually excited that you show sooner and more with the 2nd pregnancy. I love having the belly bump. And as for my begging for guest posts…I will email you sometime today or tomorrow to confirm with each of you that commented your interest. The more, the merrier so if you would like to do a guest post for me coming up shoot me an email and check out the details here. Thank you so much to all of you already willing to help a girl out!
  • I partied it up and shared some frustrations I have been having with a friend. I’m already feeling much better about the situation and I do believe it was an honest mistake from her being caught up in the excitement of her shower. Even with a changing friendship, she is still a quality friend so I trust it was nothing intentional or hurtful. I do have some thoughts still floating around on all that which I may share later.
  • Lastly, I updated the layout of my blog so click out of your Reader and let me know what you think.

I will be back a little later with something new and exciting, but I know it’s hard to keep up over the weekend so there you go. And now for the winning part of this catch up…The Winner of the CSN Stores Giveaway!!!!! (roars, whistles, hoots, hollers from the peanut gallery)

***************drumroll*******************

#16 (using random.org) of 60 qualified entries gives us….

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Congratulations Kate! Send me your first and last name along with the email address you wish your gift certificate to be sent to. Then I will get it to the representatives from CSN stores as quickly as possible. Thanks to everyone else for their support of the giveaway.

Also going with the winning portion of this post…please help my friend Mandy win this contest to shoot a photo cover for a local wedding publication. All you have to do is enter your email and you can only vote once so it’s simple and quick. I know she would appreciate it! CLICK HERE and vote for MANDY LEONARDS PHOTAGRAPHY! Thanks!!!!

Happy Monday! <— We can fake it til we make it!

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Party People

Last night we went to an “Around the House” shower for my friend. She is getting married at the end of September and I’m very happy for her. It’s funny because we always expected her to be the first of us to get married. She was always the girl that wanted to be married so badly and I was the girl claiming I would never ever ever do so. Interesting how life works out, huh? And I gotta say I’m happy my plans don’t always go as expected since it tends to lead toward greater things. I adore my life now!

Upon arriving to the shower, I got a quick moment to say hello to my friend.

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There was some strained feeling conversation. I admit that part of it could be mental on my part because I wanted to share my good news with her but didn’t want to do so on her special night. But I also was a little disappointed because she knew I would have tested by then and that I had called her a couple times during the week, yet she didn’t even ask. I basically got a brief hello and all the details of getting her makeup done before she flitted off to talk to other guests. I also felt like she was avoiding me the rest of the night because every time I went up to her she walked off immediately.

I’m not too upset about that because I know part of the responsibility as guest of honor is to visit everyone. And there were a lot of people at the shower…many of which I did not know. I know my friend’s family well, but it was so crowded I didn’t even get to be around them much. Normally I would mingle and make new friends, but we had Makenzie with us and had to keep an eye on her the entire time. We are used to attending kid friendly functions and there was nothing on the invite to let us know this would not be a kid friendly place. Makenzie tried to entertain everyone and was still welcomed though.

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And there were some yummy snacks to keep me happy. Guacamole, raw veggies, and pita chips (unpictured) are a girl’s best friend when the remainder of the food is very subpar.

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We left after only a couple of hours. I was getting tired, Makenzie was starting to act up, we were bored with all the cliques, and I still felt a little hurt by my friend’s cold shoulder. I might be over reacting, but I’m a little surprised she didn’t think to ask when I told her a week ago I would be calling to let her know the results. Also surprising since she has no problem pointing out how hard it must be for me to be heavier (while being sure to sneak in her weight) and wondering how pregnant I will be for her wedding….because after all “she picked the bridesmaids dresses specifically because I was supposed to be pregnant” (something she said not even 2 weeks ago). And it might also be in light of the many questions, supportive comments, and emails from others that I received over the course of the week. Wouldn’t my supposed best friend be more on top of the game?

Okay I’m finished. I don’t like being negative so let’s talk about today. Today was another day of festivity. It has just been a party kind of weekend. This party was more up our alley though. It was our friends’ daughter’s 2nd Birthday. Elmo, a bunch of tots, balloons, and friends from church can make a great party. Trust me.

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The atmosphere was much more laid back, we were surrounded by quite a few friends and even the people we didn’t know well were so nice to talk to. The excitement and laughter from the kids just overflows to put smiles on every face in the room and makes for an all around fun afternoon. It’s nice to feel like you are a valued friend and that your company is appreciated, but I digress. I think that is almost as negative as you’ve ever heard me get on my blog. I don’t like it. I will say though it helps to vent frustrations. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and just recognize some of those actions are just part of who she is and I have to accept that. I also need to consider her perspective of maybe she sensed I had news to share, but didn’t want it on her party night, which I understand. So I feel better and am actively going to move on now.

  • Are there things you face with any of your friends that can drive you crazy? How do you deal with it? I try to focus on the positive aspects of the friendship, trust there are reasons behind the person’s actions, and just move on. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re hormonal more strongly emotionally invested in what is going on, but I believe you have to trust someone who has been a friend for so long.
  • What is something you never foresaw yourself doing, but couldn’t imagine your life without that part of you now? Marriage! And then having a kid not even 2 years into it. The saying “when you know, you know” definitely applies to both of those. I just knew it was right, trusted it, and won’t ever look back.
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Wonderfully Unattractive

Sometimes things that aren’t the most attractive have a wonderful side to them as well. It’s never good to judge a book by it’s cover, after all. Which is why I’m okay with the below unattractive, yet wonderful things.

Numero uno: the bloating I currently am experiencing by the end of each day. I wake up with a fairly flat stomach. Sure it doesn’t start off as lean and defined as I like because of the extra weight I had to put on for conceiving, but I still am happy with it and believe I look good enough. But by 5:00 pm that all changes when my stomach seems to explode. I look like I put on 10 lbs over the course of a day and get even more soft and poochy looking. It’s not attractive, but since it’s part of those crazy pregnancy things that happen early on I will not complain. Oh, I cannot believe I am posting these! This is pure honesty and love for showing you guys everything right here!

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Numero dos: food that looks like puppy chow but tastes like heaven. I made the recipe for Almost Meatless Sloppy Joes that Katie posted on her blog the other night. Soooooo good! They taste just like sloppy joes, but have veggies, beans, and other good stuff in them. They are hearty, healthy, and tasty. I enjoyed leftovers for lunch today. Not too easy on the eyes, but very easy on the palate.

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Numero tres: our kitchen. Right now it is in disarray and I am not loving it. The house came with this huge block of cabinets that just made the kitchen and dinette area feel extremely small. Peter decided enough was enough and took them down today. We have some cleaning and organizing left to do, but it already feels so much more open and I love it. Now I just have to wait for the hideous tile to leave.

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Numero cuatro: begging. Begging and whining are two things I find horribly unattractive…which is why I am hoping you won’t make me do them. I will be heading out of town a lot during the month of June – to Indianapolis June 10-13 and then to Daytona Beach June 18-26. I am hoping that some of you wonderful ladies would be willing to do guest posts for me during that time. I don’t need anything long or fancy, unless you have a more thorough topic you want to discuss here on Faith, Fitness, & Fun. I was thinking guest posts with things like the following:

  • a favorite recipe
  • a favorite workout
  • a quick Q & A about you and your blog (I will send you questions if you want)
  • a favorite book
  • your music playlist
  • any topic you want to discuss (well, that I approve…I won’t have you talking about your granny’s panties on here!)

I was also thinking of putting together a few motivational pieces that just have inspiring quotes, song lyrics, pictures, etc in them. If you don’t want to do an entire post, but have a quote you love or some other inspirational picture/song/etc you want to share shoot me an email with it please! Okay…I’m going to get unattractive now. Please please please please please please please please please please!!!!!!! But see, it’s wonderful too because it is helping a blogger friend out! And I’m even giving you a few weeks to decide and get something to me. How can you say no to that kind of thoughtfulness? 😉 Sooo…drop me an email if you’re interested!

I’ll be back tomorrow with the shenanigans from tonight. A wedding, engagement, heck I don’t even know but some kind of shower for my friend. She is having like 10 so I don’t know what this one is called. It should be a good enough time though. Peace!

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Fretful and Forgetful

It’s Friday! And I have checked out for awhile now. I had an extremely busy day that had some good and not so good parts to it. I won’t say bad times, but not the best. I’m going to get this post up quickly so I can vent and then just veg the rest of the night. I need at least some chill time every day.

I started the day with some light cardio at the gym while putting a big dent in the book I am currently reading. I finished Harlan Coben’s Caught a few days ago (GREAT suspense novel!) and now I am reading James Patterson’s new book The 9th Judgment, which is another good suspense. I’ll try to get some reviews of these up eventually…but in case I don’t, I’ll go ahead and say check them out because they will be worth your time.

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After my workout, I rushed home and took 30 minutes to shower, get myself ready, get M some food packed up, give her a snack, and get some directions for later in the day. It was a mad dash because I had a doctor’s appointment to confirm the pregnancy at 10:45. Unfortunately, I had my first moment of forgetfulness and didn’t grab a snack in the mad dash. Did not help me out later in the day.

Back to the doctor visit. I did the pee in a cup thing for them to try to confirm the pregnancy. Um, nope! It wasn’t showing up on their tests. I had to have blood drawn so they can test that way and I will get the results on Monday. Then, I went back to a room to be observed by the midwife. She told me not to be nervous because it’s still early and just to keep taking my prenatals and taking care of my health. Then she checked me out, told me my uterus is enlarged already (I TOLD you there would be TMI at times ;)) and that things look good. Then they scheduled me for a visit about 2 weeks from now to redo blood work, get an internal ultrasound, and a general workup.

I would be lying if I said the test not showing up positive right away didn’t freak me a little bit. Increasing levels of the HCG hormone during early pregnancy is important and I did have thoughts of “What if mine isn’t increasing? Is this a bad sign? I KNEW I should have kept it to myself!” I laughed at myself on the last one. My mouth wouldn’t have stayed shut if I glued it. Besides, I wouldn’t have the ability to share here if not for sharing early, but that’s besides the point.

For the most part I know the logistics and have faith everything is just fine. I was shocked they wanted to see me this early (about 4 weeks along) and I know that doctor’s test strips often times aren’t as sensitive as some at home pregnancy tests (since most women in an office visit are further along and don’t need the lower sensitivity), which explains mine not showing up yet. I also know there is no such thing as a false positive and the few at home tests I have taken are distinctly positive.

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I know that I am experiencing changes I only experience in pregnancy – easily tired, super sore tatas, BLOATING beyond your wildest imagination, and of course the lack of period. Most importantly though, I also know to trust God. I mean, I just have to think about the past week and all He has done to know that. And I know this isn’t uncommon and was told by the midwife herself not to be concerned. BUT that doesn’t completely get rid of the tiny niggling, fretful feeling that is lurking inside. All I can do is pray and trust, so that is what I’m going to do. Oh, and take another test tomorrow to be sure my tests aren’t changing on me. 😉

Enough about all that. After my doctor appointment I headed out to meet Lindsey for a lunch before she flew out to see her friends in Ohio for a wedding.We were planning to meet at a restaurant close to the airport, but neither of us could find it. We were on the phone with each other both flustered and lost, so we just ended up going to the airport and eating at a restaurant there. We actually had our first meet-up here at Houlihans and it’s sad to think this will be one of our last since she moves back to Ohio soon. This was the most enjoyable part of my day to sit and relax with her. We spent the time talking and eating up the delicious food. Sadly, I had another forgetful moment here and when I went to take pictures of my gorgeous fish tacos I realized I left my memory card at home. 😦 I guess this Google Image search photo will just have to do.

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Although mine had broccoli and it tasted as delicious as it looks. I ate it all. Remember my missed snack? I was h-u-n-g-r-y. Yum! Nothing much has happened since then. I headed home, got stuck in traffic, got M down for a nap, and crashed on the couch, which is where I am now. I guess I need to get into gear to make dinner, get M to bed, and enjoy a movie night with Peter. Thank goodness this weekend isn’t busy!

  • What are your weekend plans?
  • What’s something you have forgotten or fretted about recently? Let’s help each other forget the fretful and not fret over the forgetful. Oh, I’m so wise with my words. 😉 HA!
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Fake Iron & Real Italy

Happy Friday! Did this week pass by in a blur for the rest of you? It sure has gone by fast for me. Today will be quick too, because as you are reading this I am likely at the gym, at the doctor for a confirmation of pregnancy visit, or at lunch with Lindsey of Cardio Pizza. I’ll be back later with an update on all of those. Right now though, it is time for a flashback and something I saw that bothered me earlier in the week. We’ll get the irksome out of the way first.

In recent celebrity “news” articles, like this one, there has been discussion of Gwyneth Paltrow working out with her beloved Tracy Anderson in order to get in shape for her role in the Iron Man 2 movie. There are claims that Tracy Anderson’s special method helped Gwyneth put on 10 lbs of muscle…with “aerobic dance moves” and a leg workout similar to the following:

I’m sorry to be such a cynic…but a bunch of leg lifts, kicks, and funky body twists accompanied with “aerobic dance moves” will NOT make you gain 10 lbs of muscle. Especially while also leaning down. You would have to eat a great surplus of calories and do more concentrated weight lifting to gain muscle like that. I’m not saying that Tracy’s workouts won’t leave you with a good “burn”, because contorting your body in weird ways or kicking your leg out a 100 times will likely hurt, but it is not in my mind a quality workout that will extraordinarily change your body composition. Completely fake in my mind.

What isn’t fake is the gelato, gondolas, churches, and art in Italy. For this Flashback Friday I will share some of my visit to Venice & Florence during my Europe vacation.

Venice and Florence came at the perfect time of our trip. There wasn’t as much to do in these cities, so we really got to just enjoy the scenery, the culture, and the towns. In Venice, we sat in awe of the little water town and eyed the gondolas in the Grand Canal since they cost an arm and a leg we weren’t willing to lose with 1/2 of our trip remaining.

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We shopped farmer’s markets for food and tourist markets for Ciao Bella shirts in the piazzas.

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We traveled by water taxi when we otherwise would get lost in the confusing road setups that end in canals.

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We viewed beautiful churches such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and the Duomo in Florence.

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We climbed the Camponile Bell Tower in Florence to take in the views of the town and even a little hint of Tuscany-esque views off in the distance.

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We visited museums where we got to see all sorts of amazing Italian sculptures. I feel like I should have some tiny black rectangles strategically placed below.

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But the best part? Getting real Italian gelato! It makes Italy that much sweeter to visit.

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  • What do you think of Tracy Anderson’s workout for Gwyneth Paltrow? Do you think she is credible?
  • If you could go to Italy what would you be most excited to experience? If you have been, what was your favorite part?
  • Do you enjoy the flashbacks? Would you like me to switch it up and do trips some weeks and other things in between? Or do you like the trip flashbacks in the order I experienced them? Or none of it and flashbacks bore you?
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