Monday, April 25, 2011

first birthday invites

Sniff. My baby is officially 11 months old! I can't believe it! I can't believe how far he has come as a little man and how much I've learned in the short months I've been a mother.

It's time to prepare for his birthday now!
(as I explained to my brother, who wondered how big of a deal his birthday was to me--Me: "It's like my wedding only for my baby...minus the budget" Slight exaggeration. But only slight.)

We're doing a teddy bear picnic theme, as he is known to many as little Bear--and I'm started the prep now.Of course I promised myself I would just order invites instead of making them myself, but I'm such a perfectionist and couldn't find EXACTLY what I had in predictable of me. But it was fun & not as time consuming as I thought it would be!
Here they are: (Please excuse the TERRIBLE pictures...two blogs and fifteen hobbies keep me too busy to work on all my pics are taken in 2seconds with my iphone... lame, I know)
Envelopes with paw-print&teddy stamps

So the first layer of the invite looks like above photo (tried to include a picture for every month, but it was too hard to decide!)Second layer:

and third layer (RSVP info) tied with ribbon (blanked out my info!)

So that is done! Now for party prep....I'll let you know how THAT goes!
Also, thanks to those who prayed Sunday, the performance was something that was hard but I was grateful for. It is not easy to cry on command that many times in a row&mean it! Actors are amazing. But I was humbled to get to 'be' this person for a short time. I will post a video of it soon. I had found out the week before, that the woman I was playing (see previous post) had passed away this January. What an amazing woman she was.

Much love!

PS I still use vinegar to condition my hair, and it's the only thing I clean his toys with!

Monday, April 18, 2011


So as I've mentioned, I'm playing a role in the Easter production this year at Gateway. It's a live performance on stage (I'm at south campus). I've been reading through the script all week, trying to memorize my lines, trying to get my monologues right....but I can't lose vision of the importance of what and why I am portraying the person I am portraying this Sunday.

This is the person I am playing, and here is her story

Really puts things in perspective this Easter. Talk about a hard role to play. I pray I give God glory in on Sunday at Gateway. (warning: this post is link-happy)

On a lighter note, aren't these cute?
Here's the link
&thanks for the suggestion, MB!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Decorating for Easter; No Time, No Money!

So, Easter this year wasn't going to be a big deal. Justin is working like crazy for the next week and I'm in the Easter production this year so we were just low-keying it this year.

Then, Thursday I find out I'm hosting Easter this year. For both families. Yikes!

Plus, I kept telling myself, this is baby's first *have to do a 'lil something special

So, on no time here's my quick&VERY inexpensive Easter decor 2011...
I used these two little pieces from PaperSource ($1 each),
Added a little: decoupage (paper and glue--paper from clearance section @Hobby Lobby, 10cents!), ribbon laying around the house, $1.19 butterfly also from the Hobbster (normally $2, used a 40%coupon)
And printed on some white cardstock, and tadaaa my wreath-less doors have a 'lil somethin' somethin' now

                                         Total cost: $2.29 each door.
                                         Total time: 2 hours (includes allowing glue to dry, so actually it takes 15 minutes where you're ACTUALLY working...)

Best part-- I can switch out the lettering and it will double for Spring decor&even summer decor! (I chose a versatile pattern)

Like I said, I'm short on time before Easter, and I like a little simple accent once in awhile, so...

Cardstock+ Little Label Sign
Uh, that's it folks.
Total cost: $1
Total time: 1 minute 

Now, for Easter tree. I wanted something cheap, quick&something meaningful

 So, I spray-painted branches from outside white (I had already used these mini-trees for decor for baby-dedication), bought some egg ornaments ($4 at Hobbster & $1 at Dollar Tree ($1 for 4))

Typed out some verses on resurrection to hang on the tree.
**Sidenote: I decided starting on Good Friday every year, as a family we will read the verses aloud together then hang verses on the tree every day. Friday will be verses on His death, and Saturday& Sunday, His resurrection. ****

So then, I found a pot from the backyard, and some mardi-gras-lookin beads from my decor stash--and

This is so much cuter in person.
Total cost: $5 (I had the spray paint already)
Total time: 30min-1hr (waiting for spray paint to dry, otherwise 8min work-time!)

Now for the flowers.

 I splurged and bought a kit like this one --only mine was only $10 at PaperSource

                             You can make your own paper flowers for cheaper, though. The uses? Endless!

                                                Total cost: $10 plus tax
                                                 Total time: 15 min (the speckled eggs, I found at the Hobbster (my favorite store of all time) for $1.50 (50% Easter decor as we all know :)--they are PLASTIC which is awesome when you have a baby ((and hard to find eggs that are both cute and plastic))

Finishing touches? Hide eggs in random places in the house for guests to find! :)

So, that's it folks! Overall, I didn't want to decorate with eggs&bunnies too much  because I'm trying to keep my decor versatile& storage minimal. These items I can use for Spring decor, Summer decor, and Baby's birthday decor! (the typed cardstock I intentionally didn't scha-lack to their pieces)

My Easter prep is done in a day--which is good because I have SO MUCH to do this week!
Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

legs are still attached to my body; my first marathon

Well, I didn't die.

Can it be possible? Not only are my joints not popping, not hurting, not sore--but I didn't have a heart attack, either!!

At mile 1, I was REALLY scared. As everyone had to wait in line to turn corners (the half&full started together for 4 miles so it was crowded), I thought, "This is going to be a long, long day". The humidity, (it was supposed to rain), the heat (at the end it was almost 90 deg), and my hamstring strain from the day before made me really anxious beforehand.  But, as it turned out, as I ran I got used to that tight feeling in my hamstrings and I got used to running with "pain". (Not a shooting pain, more like a 'sore' pain). I focused on how hydrated I was from the day before (mentally), and, let each gust of wind mimic the wave of the ocean over my body.

Poetic, right. Ha.

I did forget to thank a couple people who helped me along the way--Jason C.&Kelcey who gave me training tips (because I wasn't able to train with a club). Also, John whom I met at the race around mile 19...he has run 60 marathons and he gave me encouragement the last 6 miles! (He had run a marathon the day before!)

 (Yes, we made shirts. I figured, if it ends up being my only one, I'm going all out)

Overall Cons:
--I loathed this particular race. Not the course, although a friend told me it was harder than the Austin course because of hill amount& placement? Well, thank you God for Brushy Creek Trails for training! My problems: the dis-organization, the LACK of water stations (people were fainting, puking which always happens but really?), lack of adequate medical stations, and Oh Yeah, Let's start a race in late Spring at 8AM! Even winter races start at 7!
--It was hard? I use a question mark because this is both a "Con"& a "Pro". It was challenging, and I had to push through at parts. But, I was never 'breaking'.
--Training was hard on me physically and was time consuming, though I chose to train for 4 weeks. (Training is the hardest, hardest part. It is the only deterrent in keeping me from going at it again)

--I 'beat' my goal time
--I never hit the "wall". I perhaps could have gone longer? Which I know is CRAZY to say. That last stretch was not my favorite.
--I was able to thank God during my run for where He's brought me over the year--which is why I ran it.

Which brings me to making a long post even longer. The reason I *really* ran this race was a thanksgiving to God for my body.

I've had a rough year in terms of dealing with my body--in terms of body image, hormones, extreme wear. I went from being a stick figure (pre-pregnancy mind you!) to gaining almost 45 pounds in my pregnancy, to nursing the baby and the extreme stress that was on my body, to losing some weight, and back to a healthy place again--all within a year. It all is a normal human thing to go through (obviously) but it was difficult mentally and physically. My hormones were hard on me, I had extreme nausea and fatigue--to the point I couldn't go to work during my 3rd trimester. Torture for someone who loves staying active.  I had days I would cry out to God in such anger, frustration, helplessness over my body--"Am I stuck in this huge fat-suit glued to my bed forever??" I seriously thought that was it for me. Even post-pregnancy, I thought, this is it for me. I'm stuck here.

I couldn't even finish decorating the nursery, and decorating's my FAVORITE.

Thought I would never be able to be my 'old self' again. So, when I started running for the first time, it was a huge celebration in my heart to God. I knew He had given me back something I didn't deserve in the first place. I realized the health I had experienced my whole life pre-pregnancy--was something I had taken for granted for 27 years. God has given me my life back now--and it really IS more abundant! The more he teaches me the MORE abundant my life gets. And having my baby here now---Oh, Lord. Oh my gosh oh my gosh, God is better to me than I deserve.

So, that is why running a marathon was such a big deal to me. If you would have seen how sickly I was a year ago, you would not have believed I could move again, much less run a marathon at 10months post-parptum. (Yes, I used the word "sickly" past 1892). God created my body, in every stage, and I finally understand what it means to "lift up your body as a living sacrifice". I run because I CAN. And when I do, it's me saying, "See, what I can do with what You gave me, God? The possibilities are BEYOND what I realized, You made a miracle in me".

P.S. Oh and Labor is Harder.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

welp. this is it

So, I kindof feel the way I did about having a baby. You know, the way you feel right before you're about to go into labor: I have no idea what's about to happen to me/my body, but I know it's going to hurt and I know it will probably last at least four hours.

My first (and probably only) marathon is OFFICIALLY in 3 days. It's supposed to be 85degrees. It's supposed to rain thunderstorm. I'm already tired.

Let's do this!
(and I will let you know how it compares to labor. I really feel like I've already been through the worst a woman can physically, right, so here's to my Personal Running Slogan:  "This isn't as bad as labor"...(which, is the phrase I will repeat to myself the last 13 miles)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

okay okay I'm not really dying

Okay so after my last post I received numerous emails/phone calls from my mother.
No, I am not only eating pizza and chick-fil-a the *entire time I marathon train. I'm eating yogurt and almonds every five seconds as well and fish and chicken here and there. But, yeah, the past two weeks, I *have been chowing down a loooot more than usual.....

And, no, apparently, marathon training is NOT the reason I am fatigued. Doesn't this completely negate my previous post?? Ha, I don't think so. It might be some nutrition, but the fatigue we discovered is *definitely hormonal. I am getting blood work done this week to check for anemia just in case. So, maybe marathon training isn't my problem? I definitely don't think I'd do another one with a baby in the house though.

Back to food--Is it me, or is it SUPER hard to stop eating like you're pregnant???
I say this 10 months post-pregnancy. Old habits die preeetty dang hard. The irony is, I have always usually been fairly healthy in eating habits, until I got pregnant and started eating for two. (Although, technically, you only really need a couple-few hundred calories more a day when pregnant, which is like a measly slice of bacon but nevermind that). So, I am re-comitting myself to good nutrition again. Starting today, I purchased three tubs of cottage cheese, which I loathe.

So there, mom.

Here are some past "Nutrition Notes" I took during one of my nutrition courses last year (Yes, I'm a nerd and keep all my notes). Am in Definite need of being reminded, so I"m posting here:

Top 11 Interesting Nutrition Facts I Learned in Grad School (keep in mind, this is verbatim ha)
1) Vitamins&Mineral supplements are not regulated by FDA whatsoever. Prof recommends we not take any at all, unless pregnant or in a severely poor state of health. If you feel like you *have* to take vitamins, generic brands usually have less chemicals and are healthier than name brands (she recommends HEB brands)

3) 60% of our produce comes internationally, and we inspect only 1% of this imported produce as of 2007. Do more research, and be mindful of fresh produce.

4) Frozen vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh, sometimes healthier, depending on when the vegetables were frozen. Be okay with buying frozen.

5) Microwaving vegetables with water preserves more nutrients than steaming or boiling many times, so it's better for you. Be okay with microwaving. (I will probably still steam broccoli)

6) Females especially need to be weary of dietary intake. We are supposed to eat similar nutrient %s as males but can have a fraction of the calories because of our higher body fat to maintain healthy proportions. So women need to really curb empty calorie intake ((guys too)) such as any sodas, table sugar, hard candies, molasses, brown sugar ((white coated with molasses)), butters ((though butter is healthier than margarine((I wrote this in 2009, might be different now because it changes every two seconds)), alcohols, even orange juice provides a ton of calories ((two oranges have the same amount of calories as one cup of OJ ((as in a CUP serving size not a glass-full)) and the two actual oranges provide 5X more calcium, 3X more riboflavin, 3X more iron with same calories. So women should eat *low energy foods, but dense foods.

7) You should switch brands of foods frequently. Just like shampoo with hair, using the same brand repeatedly can build up contamination, since each brand comes with its own contaminants ((this is FDA approved regardless of this))

8) A child's size meal at McDonalds is an actual adult serving size for foods. (and 1 chocolate shake at Mcd's =2 big macs, isn't that odd?)

9) 30min of exercise a day to maintain...60min to lose. However, does not have to be at once, walking to parking space, taking stairs, the exercise can be throughout the day. (This is different if you are nursing, and this is for adults ages 30-40)

10) UV exposure and stress significantly cause premature aging because it keeps telomerases (enzyme that elongates DNA after replication) to stop working and the DNA to shrink! DNA shrinking happens with age but we can shrink our DNA faster by stressing and being out too long in the sun.

11) Breads are NOT empty calories, they are great calories. Carbs are actually very good for you, depriving yourself of carbs is terrible on your liver, and typically those who lose weight on atkins gain it back right afterward, and are susceptible to gaining even more weight. Overall, don't stop eating carbs!
Well, this was a random post. But, perhaps if anyone reads this, they will get good use out of  thousands of dollars wasted on grad school. Ha. Bitterness, much? :)

Truth is, I'd trade it all again in a heartbeat:)