Sunday, January 30, 2011

i miss the rains down in Africa...

Kaz and I were talking a couple days ago about our trip in college to South Africa. I LOVE thinking and talking about that trip. Sometimes it doesn't seem real that we actually got to live in South Africa for 3 months...It was such a growing summer for both of us, but ALSO a crazy, fun summer. We got to see SO MUCH of South Africa and have memories that we never forget...Here are a few pictures I found AND some of the CRAZY things we saw! We used to sing this song while we were there....I'm singing it today....I miss the rains down in Africa:(

Our whole group...




 We all lived in one house! It got pretty interesting at times:)




the beautiful children.... 
 We camped out in Kruger National Park for one week. Hyenas would walk the fence at night beside our tents.....it was TOO CLOSE of quarters for me:)
 YES, we WERE this CLOSE! 
The boys used to play this game...They would line up just like this AND LET another person kick them in the rear end with a soccer ball! As soon as I find the video I have, I will post it! It's hilarious! 
I told you it got interesting:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

what I'm loving "right now"....



Oh BOY! These are addictive BUT OH SO GOOD! I was originally attracted to them by the color wrapping..I’m helping plan a baby shower and they were blue so I thought they would be perfect! When I got home, I just HAD to try them! Kaz and I ended up buying 2 additional bags to replace the 2 bags we ate:)
Not only are they GOOD, BUT perfect for baby showers, or any party with the theme of BLUE)


I don’t normally enjoy watching wedding shows. I’m not sure why-I’m around weddings ALL THE TIME! I guess I think most of the shows are cheesy, BUT I’m in LOVE with David Tutera: My Fair wedding. David comes in just 3 weeks before a brides wedding and completely changes EVERYTHING! His work never ceases to amaze me! I love watching this show:) Maybe I will meet him someday.....:)
I have found SO MANY GREAT deals on 6pm.com. They have so many items at a discounted rate(some of them may be one season behind). I recently found a pair of running shoes that I paid $130 online, for $80 on 6pm.com. They were the exact same pair of shoes! Kaz has ordered several things from 6pm.com but I’m just now on the bandwagon! Great website-Great prices!

Coupons...
I’m starting on the coupon train[to a certain extent]. My favorite website is Southern Savers. Southern Savers helps you to figure out shopping list at all stores[Publix, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, CVS, etc] with the best possible savings! There are tons of online coupons that can be printed along with updated deals all week! More on this next week:)

I also have started looking for coupons before going out to eat, etc. Kaz and I are going to Chili’s tonight for dinner so I searched Chili’s coupons! I found a lot, but my favorite was $5 off 2 entrees! Works for me:)
Coupons...Coupons....Coupons!

I guess the cold weather got me in a grits mood! I haven’t had grits in FOREVER and now it’s all I want for Breakfast, Lunch AND DINNER! I went a whole week eating ONLY GRITS for my meals! I’m slowly coming off of that kick and only eating them for breakfast but I LOVE them! So many flavors to choose between: butter, country bacon, cheddar cheese, etc.
YUM...YUM!
These are a few of the things I’m loving right now...What about you?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

easy, DELICIOUS, and healthy recipe....

Grilled Chicken Sliders
Ingredients
  • 1  1b.  skinless chicken breasts
  •   Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4    kiwi fruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1  Tbs.  chopped fresh mint
  • 1  tsp.  honey
  • 6    whole wheat cocktail buns, split
  • 3  Tbs.  honey mustard
  • 12    red apple slices
Directions
1. Cut chicken breasts into 6 pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink in the center, turning once.
2. Mix kiwi, mint, honey, and more salt and pepper. Spread bottom buns with honey mustard and add 2 apple slices, chicken, kiwi, and bun tops.

WHAT I CHANGED...
I didn't add mint. I personally think the apple slices are better if they are cut thin like potato chips! Regardless, this recipe was EASY, HEALTHY, and DELICIOUS!

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6 sliders

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 218
  • Total Fat (g) 3
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g) 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 44
  • Sodium (mg) 305
  • Carbohydrate (g) 27
  • Total Sugar (g) 11
  • Fiber (g) 4
  • Protein (g) 21
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 81
  • Calcium (DV%) 6
  • Iron (DV%) 9

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

in HIS hands....

I've been realizing A LOT lately...For MANY months, I struggled so hard with infertility...I felt alone, like a failure, like I was being punished, mad, sad, angry, hurt, bitter...the list could go on. I wanted nothing to do with prayer or the Lord BECAUSE I felt like HE was punishing me. I struggled HARD....
I've been realizing lately that satan had me exactly where he wanted me...HE WANTED me to believe all those things. HE CONTINUALLY threw them in my face...HE DID exactly what the bible says...
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:10-11)

Going through all the stages that I have, I NEVER ONCE REALIZED that Satan was trying to destroy me...He was trying to keep me down...to make me feel mad, bitter, alone, etc. It makes me mad to think that I LET HIM continually beat me up all those months...

WHAT I'VE ALSO REALIZED is that the Lord NEVER turned His back on me...It seemed like it many times. It seemed/seems like sometimes my prayers are hitting the ceiling...BUT the below verses, give me hope. I'm starting to see that all those months of feeling alone, were just a feeling...I'm believing that the Lord was/is, holding me so tightly in the grip of His hand...

Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:21-23)


some new pictures...

This past Saturday, we were in Columbia for a few things...We got to spend a little time with our friends Liz and Todd, and Baylis and Darrell! I've been wanting some new pictures for my header so I asked Todd to snap a few pictures of me and Kaz!  It was such a fun day! Below are a few pictures...

 Us being silly!



Sunday, January 23, 2011

MY weight loss plan....

A lot of you have asked HOW I lost the weight....Well, my plan hasn't been super strict...ACTUALLY I went in spurts. I've always "kind of" followed weight watchers. I usually eat a smart one everyday for lunch..Last year, I was so busy working at Seacoast and doing photography I didn't exactly have a lot of time to cook so it was usually smart ones for lunch and dinner. Running was really my only form of exercise and Kaz and I started juicing back in January 2010.
Now that I have more time, I'm going to follow Weight Watchers very strict for the next 2-3 months. I REALL REALLY REALLY want to loose those additional pounds and working from home I need a strict plan! I signed up for Weight Watchers online for 3 months[$53 for the 3 months]. It's been GREAT![Mind you, I typically follow this plan anyway JUST NOT VERY STRICT...] While I already eat smart ones, 100 calorie packs, etc I'm not very good at staying within my points range..SO THAT'S going to be the real trick! Being at home everyday, I have the flexibility to eat whatever I want...that's both a good AND bad thing. Keeping track of my points is really going to help me follow a plan. 
I LOVE that I can enter the foods I've eaten and WW online tells me exactly how many calories, grams of fat, etc I've eaten AND how much I am allowed for the rest of the day. I can also track my exercise and water intake. 
The way I've set my account up, is to weigh in each Sunday. WW online will show my progress from week to week!
I'm super excited about this AND ready to loose those few extra pounds!

I'm also starting back on the "NO SODA" bandwagon that I fell off of at Christmas:( It's a very hard addiction to stop! Everytime I try to stop, I do good for awhile AND then crash. So this time I'm doing something a little different....I'm allowing myself 2 diet cokes a week. THAT'S IT! To you, that may sound like a lot BUT when you are used to drinking just diet coke all day, it's really not...This way, I can cut down the soda, but still get a little fix:)

I'm still going to continue running BUT I'm going to add in strength training 2xs a week. AND Kaz and I are going to continue juicing.
SO, there's my plan. I would LOVE to hear your tips and tricks..OR your weight watchers experience!


Friday, January 21, 2011

M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N...

Since December, I really haven't had ANY motivation to loose weight. I've been running a TON so it kind of gave me the freedom to eat whatever I've wanted. I haven't gained any weight BUT haven't lost any either....I still have 8 more pounds to go to reach my "wedding day" weight. I would really love to loose a total of 23 pounds[including the 8] BUT my current goal is 8 pounds:) I'm starting back hard core TODAY...I'll be telling you a few things I'm doing next week but when loosing weight YOU HAVE TO CELEBRATE the little victories. Today I'm celebrating...I think the pictures speak volumes!
August 2009
October 2009
March 2010
June 2010
January 2011

 There MAY NOT look like a lot of difference in the last 2 pictures BUT BELIEVE me there are!
Since Jan 2010 I've lost 36 pounds, gone down 4 pants sizes, and 2 shirt sizes!!!!
For all who think loosing weight is not possible, IT IS!!!! Stay MOTIVATED!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a letter from a birthmom....

I just happened to find this video yesterday on YouTube. It’s a letter from a birthmom. I typed it all so you could read BUT if you have 4 minutes check out the video instead. Kaz and I have had the opportunity through Bethany’s meetings to actually meet birthmom’s and hear their stories. When I saw this video, tears streamed down my face. Kaz and I are praying everyday for our baby’s birthmom, wherever she may be....
To a beautiful young man...
Before I go any further, I want you to know that I love you very much..
You were born on Dec. 19, 1991at 12:35 am..
You weighed 7 lbs, 15.5 oz and you were 19.75 inches long...
You were the most beautifulist baby I had ever seen...
I had to have a c-section with you because your little head would not drop low enough for you to come out....
I was in labor with you for 10 hours before the doctor told me that I was going to have a c-section...
The doctors started working on me at 12:15am, and 20 minutes later, at 12:35am you were born....
You let out a little cry right after you were born, and that was the only time you cried...
I’ll never forget the first time I heard you cry...
It sounded just like a little whine...
I started crying my eyes out..I couldn’t believe I actually had a baby....
It didn’t seem real.
The first day I went on a nursery visit and saw you was on December 21,1991...
When the nurse brought you into the room, I started crying a little bit...
You were so cute...You just laid there in my arms and stared at me...
You kept grabbing a hold of my finger and squeezing it....
I sat and talked to you and told you that I loved you....
Those were the most precious moments of my life...
The next day Dec. 22, 1991, I went back and saw you again...
You had just gotten done being fed when the nurse brought you into see me...
She laid you in my arms and you stared at me again...
I had brought a pair of booties and a blanket to give to you...
I put the booties on your feet and then covered you back up and started rocking you...
Within 15 minutes you were asleep...After you fell asleep, I talked to you...
I told you that the reason I was placing you for adoption was not because I didn’t love you, but because I did love you...
You are the most previous thing in my life, and if there was anyway to keep you and raise you, I would...
I was only 16 years old when you were  born...
I was not married and your birth father left me when he found out that I was pregnant...
I couldn’t possibly raise you on my own...
My parents would have helped me, but you were my responsibility not theirs...
I wanted to be the one who raised you, not them...
Placing you for adoption was one of the most hardest things I ever had to do...
You were and are a part of me, and when you left you took my heart with you...
I don’t want you to ever think that I didn’t and don’t love you...
You will forever be remembered in my heart and my prayers...
I wanted you to have a great life, and I knew if I didn’t place you for adoption, you wouldn’t have a great life...
I hope one day you will be able to forgive me for what I did...
But if you cannot, I will understand....
I love you so much sweetheart...
Please don’t ever forget that...
Please...
I love you..
Love forever..
Your biological mother
My song to you from me is by Bryan Adams...It’s called “Everything I do, I do it for you”...
Please listen to it and try to understand
I love you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

i DID it!!!!!

Yep 13.1 miles!!!!! I woke up Saturday morning around 530am and felt just plain awful. My throat was killing me and my noise was running non-stop. BUT I was determined it wasn't going to stop me from running the half marathon. We left the house along with our friend Baylis around 6...Actually Baylis is the one who talked me into running this race. We both signed up and trained on our own...We never ran a day together in our life! Before the race started, we both said if one of our paces was too slow for the other person, to keep going! BUT it was really neat because we ran together the whole way! It was such a BIG encouragement knowing Baylis was there...It was actually kind of ironic because Baylis was not only my support through the race but also when Kaz and I lived in DC. Her and her husband Darrell lived there as well. We were both homesick and wanted so badly to move back to sunny SC! We ended up moving back within a month of each other:) It was really neat for both of us to experience our first half marathon together! We kept a pretty consistent pace of 11 minute miles and never stopped running! It was COLD, COLD, COLD, COLD! 
It was actually a lot harder than I thought....Around mile 7 my energy level just went downhill! These jellybeans saved me! Orange Jelly Belly Sports Jelly Beans! Within minutes, I could tell a difference in my energy level so I ate a few more around mile 9. By far, the last mile was the hardest for me. I felt like we would never make it to the finish line! BUT we did! Kaz also ran the half but finished a good 45 minutes before us. It was really neat to see him, my parents, and Darrell[Baylis's husband] at the finish line to cheer us on. Below are a few pictures they got!
















Running the race felt incredible BUT unfortunately I did get sick after:( It's ok though!! I'm so thankful for  Baylis asking me to run the race and encouraging me the whole way. I'm thankful for my parents who came down for the weekend just to watch...and I'm thankful for Kaz pushing me everyday to keep running no matter if I wanted too or NOT! 
Now, I have a little 2 week "simi break" before I start training again for the race in March....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

my little buddy...

Miley had surgery yesterday...We finally had her spayed:( We thought for a long time we would breed her but the thought became too overwhelming, NOT to mention it was no fun when she was in heat! ALTHOUGH, she loved it because she got to wear a blue jean diaper. If she saw that diaper, her tail started wagging! She wore it proudly and would prance around with her head held high!
She’s been really mopey and has slept since we brought her home yesterday. She had the shakes last night along with a fever so I slept on the couch beside her incase anything happened:( I guess I should enjoy this time but I hate seeing her sick!
Here are a few pictures I took with my iPhone.... 



 She hates the thing she has to wear around her head...She actually is quite mad about it. Yesterday we had to force her to lay down. She would just stand like this and fall asleep or either stare at you hoping you would take it off!



 In the car kennel after surgery!