October 29, 2013

Embracing Your Place in Life

Ah - that age old challenge.  Knowing where you are and comparing it to where you had been before and where you had thought you were going to be.  Looking at where everyone else is (at least, where it looks like they are at from your viewpoint), and comparing it to your own reality that just can't measure up.  And somehow, you are supposed to be happy with that.  We are told time and time again that no one's life is as perfect as it looks so stop comparing.  You won't always be where you want to be but you can be where you should be, so stop wishing you were somewhere else.  Embrace your life and be happy about it.

It's a lot harder to do than it is to say, and much harder to tell yourself than to tell it to someone else.

Embracing doesn't have to mean you are happy with where you are at though, at least, you don't have to be happy with it all the time.  That's an impossible goal and does more harm than good to shoot for.  Yes, I am saying it.  You won't always be happy with where you are in life and will in all reality probably be unhappy with it more often than not.

You should, however, try to find some level of peace and contentment.  At the very least, come to an acceptance of the fact that this is where your life is at and it probably isn't as bad as you might think.  Are you happy every time you give someone a hug, no matter how much you love that person?  Anyone who has been told by their parents to "say your sorry and give your sibling a hug!" knows that happiness rarely accompanies that embrace.  You didn't have to be happy when you gave that hug, you just had to do it.

A few years ago, I was at a private college, on my way to a four year degree, exploring a new life and enjoying every minute of it.  I loved the school, I loved the people, I loved everything about that.  Then it all fell apart and while I could see that God was the one tearing up the papers I'd started to write my life's story on, to this day I still have no idea why.  I ended up with a different life that I hadn't planned on, and God was like my parents saying "okay, now you have to give it a hug".

I didn't want to, believe me, I did. not. want. to.  I dragged my heels and glared and pouted and refused to embrace the direction my life was taking.  I sat in a corner of my mind for a long time, with no desire to explore different options, no interests, no plans, no goals.  I got a part time job and said "That's it.  I don't want to do anything else and you can't make me."  God let me do that, with the occasional reminder that "Hey, you aren't off the hook - you still are going to have to embrace your life."

This past year I slowly began to realize that I couldn't stay in my corner pouting anymore.  I began to slowly uncross my arms from across my chest and look at what had been going on around me.  I was finally able to drive up to visit my friends at school without crying on the way too and from, and I knew that I could move on.  I didn't know where I was going to go, but I was able to finally make the first tentative move to embrace my life.

Now I am enrolled in my community college, working towards an associates in a field I am excited about.  I am finally embracing my place in life.  I wasn't completely happy about it when I did, and there are still days when I look at what other people are doing, when I think about the fact that I would have been a graduating senior this year and I think "do I really have to be giving this hug?"  But I do, because it doesn't matter if I'm happy about it all the time.  What matters is that I give the embrace anyhow, that I realize that this is my life and if I don't embrace it no one else will.  There are other areas in my life that need embracing too, and it's a struggle at times.

But the good thing is, when you give in and embrace your life, God will come up behind you with a smile and embrace with you, whispering "See, isn't this so much better?"

October 26, 2013

Teatime with Clare

Every Saturday the lovely Clare hosts a teatime.  This week she made a video to post, and so I decided to make one of my own, and then use it as a blog post on here as well. I'll say no more, and let my video do the rest of the talking!

October 15, 2013

Asking for some prayers

Hello dear followers. I know most of you in real life, so you probably know this already, but for anyone that I have not had the pleasure to meet in person... I just wanted to ask for some prayers this week.

My grandpa passed away after a sudden illness this past Sunday.  It's one of those things that came out of no where, so we are all still trying to deal with the shock and reality of it all.  I probably won't be blogging for a little while as we get ready for the wake and funeral and try to come to terms with this.

Please keep us all in your prayers as we try and deal with this difficult time.  Thank you.

October 11, 2013

The "E" Word

I am referring to, of course, that words that strikes guilt into hearts, that causes grief and sighs to be heaved from the depths of our souls.  I mean the word "exercise" (and the fact that this word may also inspire feelings of accomplishment or enthusiasm has been disregarded for dramatic purposes.)

Yes, exercise.  Getting in shape, staying fit, working out.  It's all become increasingly popular in recent times as people become more aware of the obesity problem in America and the benefits that exercising can have for your health and general well being.  In light of this, I thought that I might as well throw out a blog post of my own on the subject.

I've never been one for sports or other strenuous physical activity.  The first time I started to exercise on a regular basis was back in the winter of 2011.  My dad had decided to get in shape, so my mom and my sisters and I reluctantly agreed to give it a try.  We started out with the Supreme 90 work out video series and might have gotten all the way through. Maybe.  I actually don't think we did.  Supreme 90 is a good set of videos, but not the best for beginners. 

Then summer came, and we stopped.  By the following winter, my dad had obtained the P90X series and as a New Year resolution we decided to do it.  We actually stuck with it that time and against my will, I found myself actually enjoying it all.  Getting to see the muscles developing in your arms and feel yourself becoming stronger is a great motivator. 

You would think that once we completed the full P90X that we could continue.  After all, we were starting to see results in the strength and endurance department.  Well, my mom did continue a bit and my one sister is in dance so that counts.  I quit though, for a few reasons.  One, it was getting to be warm out again and for whatever reason I have 0 motivation to exercise in the summer.

The biggest reason though was the weight loss, or lack there of.  Losing the freshman 15 was the main reason I agreed to exercise in the first place, and it just wasn't happening.  It is so frustrating and demotivating to exercise regularly, try to eat clean and count your calories and have absolutely no change in the scale.  In fact, I gained a few pounds.  I'm told it was muscle building up and that you gain weight before you lose it, but the scale wasn't going back down.  So I said forget this.

I'm back in it this fall though, due in part to the fact that my dad is a physical fitness trainer now (read, sort of a guilt trip).  The other part is due to a small group of friends who have also decided to be more dedicated with eating right and exercising.  Together we formed a small community to share work out tips and motivate each other (read, even larger guilt trip).

Mostly though, I've decided to exercise again because I've finally come to the decision that I don't care how much I weigh.  I miss feeling strong, I missed how it felt to just feel good about yourself.   It's a strange phenomena that there are quite a few women out there who don't lose weight while exercising and counting calories, but as soon as the stop paying attention to counting (eating in moderation - yes.  Worrying about it or counting - no) the pounds started to drop. 

So if I lose weight, great.  If I don't, I'm okay with that too.  After reading some very inspirational blog posts and facebook statuses I've decided that what the scale tells me doesn't matter.  What matters is that I feel good about myself.  That I'm fit, and strong and that I am happy with who I am. 

October 9, 2013

Five Favorites - Yay YouTube!

Who doesn't love a good YouTube video?  (What qualifies as a 'good YouTube video' is entirely relevant...)  Here for your viewing pleasure, are five of them!
Note: Links will all open in a different window so you won't have to leave my charming blog!


First off we have a video of a Hog Calling Contest.  I had no idea there even was such a thing as a certain way to call hogs. Nor did I know that they had contests for it.  Now I'm curious... does this actually work, or do people just like to scream at hogs?  Video courtesy of my Knight!


This video.  Oh my word, this video.  If you love the themes for Game of Thrones, the Dark Knight or the Hobbit (any or all of them really), then you must watch this video!  (See, I've linked to it twice. It's important that you watch it now!)


For somthing equally entertaining, but much more annoying and likely to drive you insane, I present to you this brilliant commercial from Australia. You'll have to watch to the end to find out what it is actually for!


Behold, the trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In Lego.  Because we all know that everything is better in Lego.


Finally, I give you a very helpful and informative video on how to speak Christianese.  I am not completely fluent myself, but I did already know a fair amount!  Hmm... does that mean I'm not as authentic of a Christian as I thought I was?

Check out more lovely Five Favorites at MoxieWife.com!

October 8, 2013

When the Son shines

But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow.  Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when it does... the sun will shine out all the clearer
~ Samwise Gamgee, The Two Towers

Back in Brown Again aka Refashioning Part 2

Remember those weird elasticy gathered sleeves that I cut off the dress?  I tossed the scraps, but then today I saw that my youngest sister - typical to her creative ways - had seen the scraps and decided that they were too good to throw away.

 So she did this:

Ta-da!  A top and vest for Julie!



October 7, 2013

Back in Brown, or, My Second Attempt at Refashioning

I'd like to say up front that this wasn't a hugely in depth or complicated refashioning, but for someone who usually buys and wears her clothing as is, it was still a project.

The other day at the thrift store I found this cute and very comfortable brown dress.

In love with the beading and embroidery at the waist, not a huge fan of those sleeves.  Also, it had shoulder pads, which was the first thing to go.

Here's a closer look at those sleeves.  They just didn't do anything for me.  So I got to chopping.

After I got rid of that elastic business at the end, I used another dress as a guide to take in the sleeves a bit.

I did a little more trimming to make the ends even, then folded over a 1/4 inch seam and sewed it down.

See, so much better!  I'm a fan of 3/4 length sleeves and I like this hemming much more.

Now I'm all set for a fun day out in the leaves!  I wish... I'll be wearing it to work today.  But on another day, it's a great dress for going out!

October 6, 2013

Full of Fall

Chili cooking on the stove.  Apples being chopped for Apple Almond Bars.  Wax and crayons being mixed down for a fall candle.  Cornbread being mixed to go along with the chili for dinner.
Outside the weather finally feels like October and inside our kitchen is full of fall.

October 1, 2013

In case you didn't know yet, it's October now people

It's October people!  Pardon me while I run outside to toss some not quite yet yellow leaves!  Alright, I have returned.

Fittingly enough, today is a bit overcast and cloudy out, so while it is supposed to reach 80 degrees, at least it will LOOK somewhat like fall though it may not FEEL like it.

I love fall, I really do.  After many years of deliberation, I have decided that fall is my favorite season.  If I could move to a climate where it was fall for 75% of the year, I would.  There's something about the change in the air... that nip, the smell.... something about driving past glowing golden fields as they are harvested and dust swirls through the air.  It's hard on your lungs, but glorious for the eyes.

I'm a year round tea drinker, but there's nothing like sitting outside and holding a warm mug of spiced tea in your hands.  Throw on a lovely, cuddly sweater and a scarf around my neck and it makes it all even more perfect.

I am waiting impatiently for the next few days of 80 degrees to pass.... then it'll finally be lovely, wonderful temperatures that stick around for a good long while!

Happy October y'all!