Sunday, January 31, 2010

prayers and action for ronel

i know we've all been burdened and overwhelmed by everything that has been happening in haiti after the earthquake. one story in particular has captured my heart and broken it all at the same time. go here to read ronel's story and then you must go here to find out what you can do about it. that's right, those of us sitting in our pj's in our warm living room surrounded by family on this snowy morning can do something about it. don't just sit back and be sad about something. now.

come on people...let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

weight watcher's wednesday

well hello there, blogland! apparently i took a one week blogging break {apparently, an unplanned break}. life has just been quite busy and honestly, didn't realize it has already been a week since i last blogged.

i have good news to share on the weight watchers front! i was a little nervous about our weigh in on saturday morning. i had worked so hard all week to make sure we were staying within our points but also eating all of our points {which is a bit of a challenge since hubs gets quite a few points}. i just wanted a little bit of movement on the scale to reassure me that i at least had an inkling of how in the world to plan our menus so that they were full of filling, yummy, and healthy weight watchers food. on to the good news...

hubs and i both lost 5.5 lbs!! i thinked i scared the little weight watcher lady because i was so excited about losing any weight much less losing 5.5 lbs! we were both very excited and felt ready to tackle this week. it's been a hard weight watcher's week simply because i've had 2 pampered chef parties and some other things going on in the evenings but we've both been tracking our points and i think we're doing okay.

fingers crossed that we'll have another success on the scale this saturday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

weight watcher wednesday

pics from last week's pantry cleanse...

this was everything that was tossed in the trash...ugh.

this is the newly cleansed/organzied pantry :)

weight watchers here in the alley household is going really well. hubs says he's down 4 lbs and i'm down 2 lbs {since weigh in on saturday}. i've been working very hard to plan meals that would be very ww friendly that we love AND that we're not going to get tired of eating.

hubs has quite a large number of points he has to consume every day {ww uses the points system and you must eat your points every day in order to lose the weight}and so it's been challenging to plan meals within my points range AND meals so that he can use up all of his points :). it's been a little adventure, i'm telling ya.

this was monday night's dinner...grilled chicken, spinach salad {with oranges, strawberries, almonds, and craisins}, half a sweet potato and grapes

i think we've both {hubs and i} turned the corner and are really committed to following through with this. we're ready to get healthy and oh. my. word. it makes a world of difference that we're doing this together. so, the first full week of ww has been a success, i believe.

see you next wednesday with more ww news....hopefully much lighter ;).

Friday, January 15, 2010

be still

true confession: i've really been struggling lately. there. i said it. on the blog and everything. have you ever been in a place in life where you weren't quite sure what was bothering you but you knew things weren't exactly right? yeah, i've been there the last couple weeks and it hasn't been a lot of fun. if i'm being completely honest, i'm not exactly the most introspective person in the world and sometimes, it just takes me a while to process everything to figure what in the world is going on.

i've been feeling quite discontent with some things in life...specifically, i've been feeling purposeless. {that's my "word of the month", apparently} i don't mean to sound whiny or ungrateful. please hear me when i say i know beyond a doubt that the Lord has blessed me with an absolutely amazing husband, an incredible home, awesome family and friends...i could go on and on. i think, though, that the realization that life, for me, is very different than it was 5 months ago has just now started to sink in. life was very busy for us in the months after i resigned from my job and since the pace has slowed down, it's more of a reality for me. i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord called joel and i to make the tough decision to go ahead and resign but when you're 6 months removed from that "mountain top experience" with God, sometimes the doubts can creep in. i've asked the Lord lately, "did we hear you correctly?" or {my favorite}, "are You sure You know what You're doing here?" it's a good thing that the Lord isn't afraid of our questions and our fears. His response to me, though.... "be still." my response has been the same, "really? be still? ugh. that does not sound like my idea of a good time." His reply, again? "be still."

so, that's where i am right now. i'm supposed to be still. now, factor in the breaking free bible study and a recent conversation with a good friend over a cup of coffee {where she, not knowing my current struggles, spent 2 hours encouraging me to make the most of my time at home while i'm in this waiting season. those were her words. i sat at her kitchen table in tears overwhelmed by the goodness and graciousness of the Lord that He would continue to speak to my heart through this friend when i have been less than agreeable with Him lately.} and i know i'm right where the Lord wants me to be. i'm in a new place that, quite frankly, is a bit uncomfortable because i'm not in control right now {funny that i think i ever was} but i know the Lord is going to use this time to change me, stretch me, and mold me to be more like Him and less like me {praise Him for that, by the way}.

my goal and my desire is while i'm in this season of waiting that i will make the most of my time. my friend so kindly pointed out that i'm in a very unique season in life where i am not committed to a full time job and i don't have children {yet}. i have an opportunity to focus on my husband, our home, getting healthy and in shape, and on my relationship with the Lord. so while this time of waiting seems uncertain and sometimes difficult, i am choosing to be thankful. i don't know what the Lord is going to do in this season of my life but instead of being grumpy, whiny, or complainy {is that a word?!} i'm going to be thankful. thankful that i have such an opportunity to grow and learn and be stretched in my relationship with the Lord with very few distractions; thankful that i can focus on my husband and the best way to support him as he leads our family; thankful that i have this time {without children} to establish our home.

i have always joked that since i was 15 years old, i knew exactly what i was going to do with my life and the direction the Lord was leading. in some ways, that's very true...i always had such a clear direction and focus as to what my next step was supposed to be. for the first time in my life, more things are uncertain than are certain and i'm okay with that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

weight watcher wednesday update...on thursday

i have to admit, i missed blogging yesterday. so, i owe you a "weight watchers wednesday" update even though today is thursday :). whatever works, right?

first things first, i lost 2 pounds this week. hubs and i did not make it to an actual weight watcher meeting last week but i weighed at home. we're headed to our first "official" meeting on saturday morning at 10:00. i also "cleansed" our pantry and ended up with 3 trash bags full of stuff. i also had a very successful trip to the grocery store where i replaced the not-so-good-for-us food with food that is good for us. tonight's dinner was made from ingredients purchased during the turning-over-a-new-and-healthy-leaf grocery trip and hubs actually really liked it. score!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


yeah, that word kinda sums me up today. truth be told, i've been grumpy for the past few days; i don't really know what's causing it or why i'm grumpy...i just am. i even considered not blogging today because really, who wants to read what grumpy amy has to say? but then i remembered i promised to not worry or care about what you might think about me and just blog freely. so, here i am. "hi, my name is amy and i'm grumpy..."

so here are a few of my pet peeves as of late (humor me, i'm grumpy...remember?):

-facebook. {gasp!} i've been onboard the facebook bandwagon for a long, back in the day when you had to be associated with a school to join and i've been a fb fan for a long time. i've really enjoyed reconnecting with friends from elementary school, junior high, high school, college, and seminary. lately, it has just bugged me that it seems as though people either use their status messages to declare how awesome their life is {been guilty of that at one point or another} or as a way to passive agressively judge other people. either way, facebook has not brought out the best in me lately so i've decided that sometimes with a status message, silence really can be golden. hopefully, i'll be feeling the facebook love again really soon.

-parents who refuse to volunteer: i've worked in children's ministry in some capacity or another for 12 1/2 years now and parents who refuse to volunteer still completely baffle me and frustrate me all at the same time. they freak out if their child's class has no teacher {or if the teacher is late, heaven forbid} but when you ask them to step up and serve they have a million reasons why they can't. now, i'm not a big fan of requiring all parents to serve {you don't want someone teaching your child who hates being in the room or doesn't really like children} but come on, people. step up and teach children about Jesus. my other related "soap box" is that parents have lower expectations for their child's sunday school teacher than they have for their own teacher but that's another rant for another day. it just baffles me that parents can hear that their child's class has no teacher 3 sundays out of the month and still seem indifferent to the problem.

-bad drivers: if you're a chronic breaker, forget to turn off your turn signal five miles after you turn, or you tend to drive slower than the posted speed limit, i'm sorry but you drive me crazy when we're on the road together.

in order to balance out the grumpiness, i have thought of a few things lately that really make me happy:

-my amazing husband: seriously...i'm not trying to be a sappy newlywed {because, newsflash...i just heard this week that if you've passed the one year anniversary, you're no longer newlyweds. that makes me so sad} but he really and truly is the sweetest man on the planet. i've been sick for several weeks and not only has he endured my whining, complaining, and all around wimpyness, he's been so sweet to me. there are about a million other examples i could give but just trust me...he's just awesome.

-my little paisley: i don't know what it is about her the last few weeks but she has been such a little cuddle bug lately and i love it! she loves to just snuggle up and chew on her {nylon} bone or lately she just lays down across my lap and settles in for some good snuggling. she also is such a fan of giving kisses {i never thought i'd be okay with that but i am}. example: the other day after she'd been outside to play for a bit {and it was pretty cold out}, i picked her up and she wrapped her front paws around my neck and nestled her head into my hair and laid her head on my shoulder. precious, just precious.

-a trip to dallas in february: i'm super excited about my trip to see some of my best friends in the world. i had some amazing experiences in dallas with some incredible friends and it always does my heart good to go back and visit.

thanks for enduring the grumpy amy today. hopefully, a happier amy will be back tomorrow :).

Monday, January 11, 2010

a little inspiration

my current movie obsession {i tend to get stuck on one movie that i watch over and over and over for awhile and then move on to something else....i never truly burn out on them because eventually, old movie obsessions rotate through the list again. it's weird, i know. don't judge ;} is julie and julia. i really love it. if you haven't seen it, you should.

so, i've been inspired to master the art of french cooking {well, maybe not master it but perhaps learn to cook a recipe or two}. i'm going to order the cookbook from amazon and take the plunge. now, i'm not sure how these french recipes are going to mesh with the weight watcher's plan but everything in moderation, right? i'll post a little update on the blog with how the first few recipes turn out. i have promised hubs that i will skip the aspic portion of the cookbook :).

bon appetit!


Friday, January 8, 2010

friday night goodness

sitting here staring at a big white box with a blinking cursor can be a bit intimidating, no? several topics have been bouncing around in my head all day but when i actually sat down to write the blog post...............nothing. i got nothing. so, i thought i'd give you a little random snapshot of today.

  • my visit to the nail salon today was less eventful than last time and even managed to make it out with just the basic manicure. i didn't give in to pressure to "upgrade" to a deluxe or chocolate or hot stone manicure and i resisted the offer to wax my eyebrows again. i assured her i was just fine with the plain old manicure today.
  • it was stinking cold today. seriously? this carolina girl has NO IDEA what to do with 32 degree temperatures during the day. i'm not even going to mention how frustrated it makes me to have to endure the cold temperatures with the absence of white stuff on the ground. if we're gonna be this cold i want something to show for it.
  • i love my sister...i got to spend the majority of the day with her and it just made me so happy. we enjoyed a yummy lunch of pimento cheese burgers and then spent some time shopping.
  • while we were out shopping, i scored a $50 sweater for hubs for only $15. yes, that's right...$15. i was super excited.
  • paisley and i had an eventful evening (before hubs came home from work) and let's just say that apparently she consumed something while playing outside that her little tummy did not appreciate and it had to come back up. enough said. ewwww. i am ashamed to admit that at one point, i called hubs and told him he would have to come home (it was already 5:30) to deal with this because i just couldn't. no worries...i did, eventually, man up and take care of it but it was brutal. ewwwwww.
  • i made a yummy lasagna recipe tonight that is literally called "world's best lasagna" and i can say, it does not disappoint. i'm not even a big lasagna fan and i love it. knowing that the kitchen cleanse is happening tomorrow, we're planning on sharing the lasagna love with my parents because who wants to throw away perfectly good lasagna? especially when it's called "world's best lasagna" :).
  • tomorrow is our first weight watcher's weigh in day. hmph. i'm not exactly thrilled about that appointment on my calendar (dreading the first weigh in) but it's worth it to get started! on a more positive side for tomorrow, we're potentially going to purchase a desk. i'm excited and i'm ready to start organizing!

so, with weight watchers, furniture shopping, church, and nfl playoff games....good bye until monday.

have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

breaking free

have you ever had a moment when you know the Lord has ordained your steps to a particular place, to do a particular thing? i had a moment like that last night. it was 5:00, dinner was in the crock pot (mexican yummy, so easy, and fairly healthy), i had been partially successful at taking down christmas decorations, and i had just sat down to check email as i waited on hubs to get home from work. all of a sudden, something i read online reminded me of a bible study starting at my church for the winter semester and i felt compelled to dig the email out of my deleted emails to find out when this bible study started...january 6 . wait, what was today's date? ....oh, it was the 6th and i noticed that you had to register for the class. having worked on church staff for sometime, i understand the reason for registration deadlines and i was hesitant to just show up. i sent a text to my friend who is leading the study...thinking it was a long shot that she would even see the text because i was sure she was hurridly trying to make it from work to church to prep for the study. i emailed our women's minister but knew the chances of her seeing the email before 6:45 were slim. so, i sent hubs a message and asked if he would mind if i attended the bible study at church that night and he encouraged me to go. we actually went back and forth for a while about me going because all of a sudden i had cold feet. what if the study was already full? what if i didn't know a soul in that room? i had almost talked myself out of going but something compelled me to take the get ready and just go.

can i be honest for just a moment? i knew, deep down inside, that the Lord had something big to do in my life through this study and last night before i took the plunge and walked into that bible study room that knowledge scared me. have you ever experienced that? it's such a weird thing to at one moment have such a deep longing and desire for the Lord to deal with you and take you deeper and then the other moment you know that times like that aren't necessarily easy or pain-free. sometimes the deeper the journey, the more painful it can be to get there.

but, i did it. i took the plunge and just decided to go for it. even though i hadn't registered, it wasn't a problem. i didn't know any one at all in the room but i've been talking about wanting to make new friends at church, right ;). most of all, as i sat in that room and listened to beth moore talk on the video, it felt as though we were the only two people in the room. i felt like she had been listening to the most recent conversations i've had with hubs because as i took notes last night, i saw myself all over the page. the bible study i'm doing is breaking free and the promise of truly understanding and living in the freedom Christ has for me in this journey called life overshadows all that will have to take place in my heart and in my life to make that a reality. Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full....and i'm excited to see where He's going to take me over the next 10 weeks.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

pantry detox

welcome to the first weight watcher's wednesday! hubs and i have penciled in our first meeting {yes, he is a saint....besides just being a saint because he's awesome....he has agreed to go to the meetings with me. total sweetheart.} for saturday morning and in order to set ourselves up for success, we're going to do as dr. oz suggests and "cleanse our kitchen."

cleansing the kitchen has nothing to do with actually cleaning it {although that is happening this week, too. recovering sick girl here can't stand one more day in my house without cleaning it} but throwing out all the food that isn't the best for us to consume. this is especially important since we are just coming out of the holiday season {because you know, holiday season = lots of yummy but mostly unhealthy food} and our pantry is currently housing foods that are definitely on the "don't even think about putting in your mouth" list.

hubs mentioned that he's less than excited about this little group activity i have planned for us this weekend but in the end, it will be a good thing...i just keep reminding him how good it will be for us in the end. i'll report next week how the "cleanse" went and i might even have pictures {i know...can you STAND the excitement? ;}

now, i'm off to clip coupons and formulate my plan of attack for harris teeter's super doubles this week. i know. could my life be any more exciting?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

love the bag, love the shoes, love everything...

so today i have to confess something to you. i love accessories...truly, i do. since i'm recovering from the apparent alley bubonic plague of 09/10, i've spent a lot of time playing online and have found some stellar accessories/shoes that i seriously heart.

now, i've always said if i weren't in the ministry i would seriously love to either be a personal shopper {hello, picking out clothes/accessories for people and spending their money and not my own} or an event planner. so, humor me today {remember, i said the new blog topics might is all about fun and DO you spell that word?...topics like bags, shoes, necklaces, and fashion} because i'm totally going to share {just a few} of my favorite things. by the way, i've informed hubs that if he needs ideas for future gifty holidays he should not feel bad AT ALL if he uses this list to shop from ;).
so, i give you my top 5 accessory picks from piperlime {well, really, i just stopped at 5...there's pretty much a zillion things on their website i love;}.

okay, let's seriously have a moment of silence for these boots. oh. my. word. LOVE them. i've wanted some cowboy boots for just about forever now and now that i've found these boots my shoe collection has declared it won't be complete without these boots.

love, love, love this bag. i just think it's beautiful.

don't you just love these heels? now, i admit that practically speaking, i'll never wear them but they're beautiful, nonetheless. {who are we kidding...i would completely either kill myself or in the very least, break my ankle.}

these are more like what you'll see me wearing and if you know me in real life, you know that i love a little animal print...just a touch.

i've totally jumped on the cocktail ring bandwagon and think this ring is fun and super cute.
{by the way...does anyone recognize the movie quote that i used as the title to the post? it's from one of my favorite chick flicks and definitely from one of my favorite parts of that particular movie. ;}

don't forget to check in tomorrow for weight watcher's wednesday...i'm going to talk about the kitchen cleanse hubs and i will be doing this weekend.


Monday, January 4, 2010

let's get real

i've always been the type of person who, honestly, refused to set resolutions at the start of the new year. something about the whole resolution thing just bugs me...maybe it's the fact that on january 1 everyone has great intentions and plans to totally change their life and then by january 8 or 10 most things go back to same old, same old. that's a positive outlook, isn't it? :)

now, while part of me {most of me, actually} is skeptical about the whole new years resolution thing, there is a part of me this year that is intrigued by the idea and promise that a new year can bring. so, {gulp} i'm thinking of setting some goals {still not calling them resolutions} for the new year. one of these goals will directly affect the blog and the other will have some sort of an indirect affect. {you're sitting on the edge of your seats now, aren't you? ;}

goal #1: i've decided that i am going to start blogging every day but you may see a bit of a different shift or change in the subject matter and sometimes the tone of the blog...not in a negative or a bad way but i've decided to stop worrying so much about what people may think about what i write and instead, i'm just going to write. what i'm saying is that for awhile i've worried about what people might think or perceive about me when they read the blog {yes, that's right...all 4 of you that read ;} and i've just decided that i'm over that. don't misunderstand me, the things i've blogged have been the real me but i've avoided the blog if things were sometimes difficult or less than perfect in life OR if i was perhaps not in the happiest, most cheerful frame of mind. all i'm saying is that it's time to get real, people. i might blog about what God is currently teaching me or i might blog about last night's episode of whatever reality tv show i watched. so, obviously, this is the goal that will have a direct affect on the blog.

goal #2: it's time to lose some weight, people. {i'm telling you i need to lose weight...not that you need to lose weight...just to clarify.} in line with the whole "let's get real" thing i've decided to share a side of me that i typically don't share with most people and that's the whole struggle to lose weight and be healthy side of my life. it's a struggle i've had as long as i can remember {way back into childhood} and i'm just done with it. for real. so, i hereby declare every wednesday on the blog to be weight watcher wednesday {this idea isn't original with me...i borrowed it from the mojito maven}. i'm not ready to get totally crazy and post my weight or anything on the blog {gives me the heebie jeebies just to think about it} but i am going to use the blog as a way to report what's going on with this part of my life as a way of accountability. since i've said i'm going to blog about it, the "type a" personality in me will cause me to follow through.

so, here's to being real and hopefully, weighing less in 2010!

see you tomorrow!