Crossfit Challenge- Day 3…Wedding Stress Workout

Today was pretty good…I’m so exhausted and really did not want to get out of bed when my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I made the trek to school and was given a pop quiz in Chemistry. I think I did OK on it! I’m starting to understand the reactions and mechanisms that we’re doing, but last exam I was at a complete loss. My professor covers 3 chapters in the span of four classes. He’s a bit ridiculous in that aspect…but oh well! This is semester is almost over and then I can have a week to relax on the honeymoon :)

I also had a Bio exam today, and I think that went pretty well too. Hoping for a good grade! 

Changing gears…

I’m getting married in less than four weeks. I have a mile-long to-do list for the wedding, things are starting to go wrong…people in the wedding are cancelling, I can’t find my sheet of payment due dates, and there are just so many small things that need to be done…nevermind the fact that, as of right now, my dress doesn’t fit. 

Whew. It’s stressful…Jason and I are ready for this to be over with. Sometimes it seems so silly to me. To spend a year and a half planning a big party that will only last a day. To pay attention to all these details that won’t matter later on, but I guess it will be worth it on the actual day. 

So despite my exhaustion and soreness, I had enough frustration to pound through todays WOD:

Warm-up: WOD movements, then with your bar only 2 rounds of:

  • 20 DU
  • 10 Push press
  • 20 DU
  • 10 SDHP

WOD

2 Rounds of:

  • Broad jump burpees, 60ft
  • 30 Push press, 95/65lbs
  • Broad jump burpees, 60ft
  • 30 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

After bash: max pull-ups in 2 minutes

Here are my modifications:

Warm-up:

  • 40 “jump ropes” a la Jillian Michaels 30-Day-Shred (couldn’t find a jump rope at the gym!)
  • 10 push press (40 lbs.)
  • 40 “jump ropes”
  • 10 SDHP (sumo-deadlift high pulls, 40 lbs.)

WOD (repeated twice):

  • Since there wasn’t a number given, 30 burpees
  • 30 push-press (40 lbs. first round, 30 the second)
  • 30 SDHP (40 lbs. first round, 30 the second)
  • Pull-ups were done on the assisted pull-up machine with 50 lbs. added..so I was lifting 70 lbs. of my body weight. 20 completed in 2 minutes (hoping to improve this by the end of the three weeks!)
  • Crunches

My legs are so sore. It feels weird going into the gym and not spending at least in hour in there. After the first WOD, I was sweating bullets. These workouts are tough, so exhausting. My whole body was shaking! I can’t imagine using the 65 lbs. initially set…insanity. I was so glad to be done with the workout once it was over…

Challenging myself physically really teaches me a lot about myself…Like when I ran a marathon and had terrible knee pain on mile 8, I cried, limped to the side and texted Jason…but I never stopped. 

Jason said that when I sent him texts about the pain, my mom (who was with him) was wondering if I’d quit..Jason says he responded “She’d never quit.”

I was thinking about that today during the second round of this workout. I definitely got slower, my muscles ached, my arms were shaky, but it never crossed my mind to quit. If I’ve learned anything about myself it’s this:

I’m not a quitter, just a reducer.  

If the ache is too much for me, the speed too fast, I’ll slow down or lift lighter…but I never quit. 

I also learned that heavy workouts become mental for me. I know my body can do it, but I have to make myself push through that barrier..I think it’s this way for a lot of people. Despite the exhaustion, I’m glad that I went. I’m hoping to really get some rest tonight..maybe sleep in a little later now that my exam is out of the way :)

Food:

Breakfast: 3 med. whole wheat blueberry muffins with pb and syrup. OJ and hot tea

Snack: dill Triscuits (my fav!)

Lunch: (kind of random) green smoothie, last of the stir-fry, handful of almonds, chocolate square

Dinner: leftover vegan mac n cheese, broccoli, and snacked on grape tomatoes, chocolate for dessert

I’m feeling snacky so I may raid the cabinet later. 

Tonight is my laid back night :) I wanted to paint my toe-nails but I’m too tired, hehe. Just waiting on Jason to come home so we can watch Friends on Netflix! 

I’ll leave you with Marley’s favorite thing to watch:

Image

Nature…

That’s my kind of dog :)

See ya! 

Xoxo,

Stacey

 

Crossfit Challenge- Day 2

I’m so tired. Today was so busy and I have a huge Bio exam tomorrow. I woke up with sore back muscles from yesterdays workout, but that’s OK :) My legs are a bit stiff too, I must remember to stretch and massage after these exercises, I’m really bad about that!

Here is today’s WOD:

WOD

8 rounds of:

  • Run 400 meters
  • Rest 90 seconds

That’s it! This is a total of 2 miles, so I went to the greenway with a friend and sprinted it out, going full speed for the 1/4 mile and then resting. We also did some ab exercises on the bench after the run. And later on in the afternoon I took Marley to the park and walked a mile. That dog never tires!

I’ve felt so tired today. I hardly slept last night and I had to be at school at 8 for chem lab. But it’s the last day, so yay! I finished all of the experiments and am hoping for an A. I really enjoy chemistry lab, I think I learn more in there than in the actual lecture. Today was a bit scary though because we were working with nitric acid (highly reactive).

So I’m working under the hood, and my TA is standing over me saying “Be careful, easy now..slowly, slowly..easy does it”. Give a sista some room! I turn around to look at him and the cap on the separatory funnel comes loose sending nitric acid down my hand! I quickly ran to the sink to wash it off, but it started burning right before I got it under the water.

That’s a lot of chem excitement for one day :)

Eats

Breakfast: multi-grain cheerios with almond milk, OJ, hot tea

Snack: dried apricots, almonds, iced decaf Americano with soy milk

Lunch: leftover stir fry, sour apple blowpop

Snack: blueberry toast with pb

Dinner: vegan mac n’ cheese (x2) with broccoli, dark chocolate square for dessert

I’m so tired…I’m hoping for an awesome sleep tonight!

I leave you with some awesome C.S. Lewis quotes, see you tomorrow!

Xoxo,

Stacey

thank God

C.S. Lewis Quote

C.S. Lewis quote

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand..." <3 ~ Psalm 139:16-17

3 Week Crossfit Challenge- Day 1

I can’t fit into my wedding dress. I saw this coming though. That’s why I left it in alterations two weeks past the date that I was supposed to pick it up…deep down I knew the stupid thing wouldn’t zip.

And Jason would argue that I’m more muscular then I was three months ago when I had my first fitting, but I know what it really is. The cookies. The banana bread that I eat for every meal/snack of the day…Arg! Why must I be cursed with this sweet tooth?! It’s my fault really,  I’ve let it just take over my mouth. Like it’s in charge. I used to be satisfied with one dark chocolate square after dinner, but know I want the whole darn bar. Someone help me.

Anywho, I was thinking of my workout plan for the week yesterday when an idea struck me.

  1. I’m getting tired of my usual 3 days cardio, 2 days weight-lifting schedule
  2. I need actual measurements and numbers to achieve to really get my butt into gear
  3. I stalk all of my Facebook friends that Crossfit and seriously long for that type of workout.

I. love. challenge. I thrive in challenge. The worst thing someone can tell me is that I can’t do something…just watch me! :)

As I was thinking over all of these factors, I thought: “Why not do Crossfit? It’s not like their workouts are a secret, they post them on their website daily!”

Um, great idea, self! And so I am :) For the next three weeks, I will be doing the (Charlotte) Crossfit WOD’s (workout-of-the-day) with one day of rest. Of course, being at my gym and not theirs, I will have to modify, but I will record that in my daily record.

I plan on blogging every day, not only the workouts but the things I’m eating and how I’m feeling. I will also keep track of my measurements and weight. At the end of the three weeks, I hope to have lost the 3-5 lbs. I need to lose to fit back into my dress (comfortably!).

I also created a fitness test before starting this so I will have some way to test strength/speed at the end of the 3 weeks. Here are my starting-out numbers:

Fitness Test (1min)

400m run

Burpees

Pushups

Situps

Time

2 min 37 sec

12

28

25

Beginning weight and measurements:

Weight

Bust

Waist

Hip

121.6

35.5 inches

31.5 inches

39 inches

And a before pic just for comparison later on:

DSCN5971

 

Going into the Crossfit workout, it seemed very short to me and I initially planned on doing more cardio after the exercises. Um, yeah right! Today, I realized they are short for a reason. Oh my word, it was tough. Here is the WOD:

Capture

 

It was kind of a hassle to do this at the gym. I kept having to walk to the different areas for each exercise, and 2/5 times, there wasn’t a squat machine available so I had to modify. I tried to keep it as close to the WOD as possible. Here is what I ended up doing, modifications and all:

5 rounds of time of:

  • 15 Back squats (3 of those completed with 90 pounds on squat machine…the other two times completed with 90 lbs. on seated leg press)
  • 15 Hanging leg raises
  • 15 Kettleball swings, using 10 lbs. the first time to make sure I could lift it..then 15 lbs. the other 4 turns.
  • 2 mile speed work- alternating between sprinting and comfortable pace every 1/4 mile. Completed in 19 min 55 sec.
  • 4 minute plank hold, 20 second rest between each minute

I spoke with my Crossfit friend and she said the workouts are typically completed in 15-20 minutes. I completed the workout (minus the two mile run, which I accidentally had written down from another WOD!) in 23 minutes and 54 seconds.

I hope my time improves as I continue on! I can’t believe how hard the kettleballs were. The first round didn’t feel hard at all, I was actually thinking of increasing the weight. The second round is when it started to burn. I walked as fast as I could to the other areas and used that as my “rest” period. This workout was awesome though! I’m proud of myself for finishing the swings on the fifth round, by then I was so exhausted! And and I squatted 90 pounds today! That’s so awesome! My usual squat weight is 45-50! I’m so proud :)

Eats

Breakfast:

Green smoothie (spinach, almond milk, banana, vanilla extract, ice, 2 tbsp. pb)

Snack:

Handful of almonds, two dried apricots, more almonds during Bio

Lunch: 

Leftover baked beans, leftover veggies and dip, dark chocolate square

Dinner:

Stir Fry! (mushrooms, zucchini, squash, asparagus, brown rice, soy sauce, kidney beans, other seasonings…) Dark chocolate square to top it off :)

DSCN5969

 

I’m stuffed, super tired, and feel like I may be extremely sore tomorrow or the next day, but I love it. It felt so good to do something different and to have other workout motivation factors today. I went into that gym with a mission, by golly! Mission accomplished :D

Here’s to tomorrow! 

Xoxo,

Stacey

i-should-be-studying musings

  • I’m sleepy. Darn those high fat desserts I had at the school cafeteria today. Which brings me to my awkward moment of the week (and it’s only Tuesday): That awkward moment when you are sitting at a huge table by yourself with a large plate of desserts in front of you and a school tour group comes by and stops right by your table. And the newbies are all looking at you like “Awww, what a pity. This girl is eating all that chocolate because she’s so alone.” And you’re all “It’s OK. I like to eat chocolate by myself…” Yeah, that’s awesome.
  • I need new yoga pants. I’m down to one pair now that I’ve spilled hot peanut oil on them this morning. Just…don’t ask.
  • The guy in front of me is picking his nose and then typing on the keyboard. Ewwwww!
  • I wish 3:30 would hurry up. I bet my teacher isn’t even doing anything right now. Office hours are stupid. 
  • Still feeling awesome from the 1,600 salvations we had at church this past weekend! I love how we celebrate with a dance party :) One of the best days of my life, for sure.
  • Marley had better not be chewing up my slippers.
  • I’m sleepy. I wonder if it would be weird just to lay my head down in the computer lab and sleep for a bit? Yes, probably. 
  • 5 more weeks until I get married. Meaning- it’s almost hyperventilate-into-a-paper-bag time…but not quite yet. 
  • Chemistry book is desperately calling. Time to answer it..

XOXO,

Stacey

Happy Things

Boy, did I wake up in a foul mood. Yesterday’s disappointments still lingering in my mind. I was in a sour mood while driving to school, in lab, and even up until lunchtime. But after having one my favorite extra large salads from my favorite small-town deli, I wasn’t that frustrated anymore.

“It is what it is.”

I can’t change anything about what I’m doing. I feel like I’m giving my best at school, and I’ll just have to take that for what it is. For some reason, my teachers and I don’t click this semester. I can’t seem to give them what they are looking for, but I’m done with it. And I can’t lie and say that I haven’t wanted to quit, because I so have. I think of it almost every hour on the hour. But I’m not a quitter. And if I have to take these two classes again, then so be it.

Moving on!

So after I inhaled my ginormous salad, I started mentally listing things that are making me happy right now. And I wanted to share that list with you :)

1 -Good music to listen to while making the trek to school:  Langhorn Slim’s CD “The Way We Move”, any and all Avett Brothers CD’s, She & Him 

     

(source)   This CD is so fun! There isn’t any banjo but that’s OK. Langhorn Slim has a really unique singing voice and I love it. Jason introduced to me his music about a month ago, and I’m so glad he did. Since I spend most of my time driving it’s definitely a necessity to have good music on to make it less of a chore. Especially since it takes me an hour to get to school! Avett Brothers are still, by far, my favorite, but it’s nice to have some new stuff. And She & Him? Yes, please!

2- Less gloss, more stain

Lip gloss and I have just not been getting along lately. It stays on my lips for maybe 10 minutes and then is gone. I’ve been looking for a more permanent lip color for the wedding, one that would last even after our first kiss as husband and wife, and hopefully into the night! I found it!

NYC LipStain in Champagne. It is da bomb. It’s almost like a marker, but for my lips :) I can put this on early in the morning before class, and it will still be on my lips at 5 when Jason comes through the door! It also is a naturally pink color too, nothing to dark. I appreciate a natural-looking color without any color, my lips tend to get a bit bluish looking. The only hangup I have about this product is that when it’s on- it’s on. It doesn’t rub off easily. The first time I tried it I was in a moving car. Not a good idea. I accidentally went outside of my lip line and it didn’t come off easily. This stuff dries super fast!

3- I finally spotted a female Eastern Towhee at the park yesterday! 
(It looks like this)

Adult female

Towhee’s are not easily seen because they like to stay hidden in branches and undergrowth. In my short bird-watching “career”, I have seen a few male Towhee’s…they are easily identifiable because of their dark, contrasting colors:

Adult male

Both male and females are not usually out in the open like cardinals and robins are (in this area). I did get lucky this past winter though! I was sitting on my couch drinking tea and bird-watching. I had learned the birds feeding schedule in my area, and knew they would be out scratching in our yard any minute. It was 9 a.m. Finally, one by one they come until there is a whole group of them fluttering around. There were the common, everyday birds, and then Jason said “What’s that one?”. It was a male Towhee! Right there among the cardinals and wrens! That was the second time I ever saw one. I also spotted a few chickadees and a brown thrasher the next day! That was kind of weird..it looked like a shore bird in my front yard but after doing some research, I realized it was just stopping by on it’s way to a warmer state…

Speaking of birds…

4- These cute bird clips I found at Dollar Tree!

DSCN5917

Our wedding is bird-themed and my original use for these clips was this: We have about 25 photos of use as kids and teenagers and babies, etc…that we want to display at the wedding. I was going to get some strong wire or thick twine to create a sort of clothesline photo album and use these birds to clip the photos in place, however, we don’t have a table to put this on or post to hold it up. Suggestions? We also have recycled wine bottles that I’m sure I can do something with!

5- Mar-dog: Learning her personality 

DSCN5912

 

It took a week for Marley to eat or walk somewhere without having her tail stuck in between her legs. The first time I took her to the park, she would cower down to the ground at anyone who would walk past…she would then try to make a bee-line back to the car as quickly as possible. Now that it’s been about 3 weeks, her personality is starting to shine through! This dog loves to cuddle. She is the cuddle-queen. She will jump on the couch, nestle in right between Jason and I, and put her head on my lap. Also, when I sometimes lay down in the afternoons, she’ll run into the bedroom, jump on the bed and lay right up against me with her head on my shoulder. I love her. She also loves to play ball, chew on her toy sheep and eat only when someone is in the room with her. She’s an awesome dog.

Speaking of dogs…

6- This painting of my late dog, Trixie.

DSCN5886

My friend, Denisse, was with me when I got the news that Trixie was dying. She offered to paint a portrait of her and of course I said ‘Yes!”. I can’t believe how much I love the finished product. Not only is it one of the sweetest things that anyone has ever done for me, but every time I walk by it, I think of Trixie when she was a happy dog. She spent her last week with us in a sickly state and I don’t like to think of her like that. This painting shows the happy, smiley dog that I want to remember. It’s one of the most treasured items in my house.

7- Daydreaming about our wedding and saying our vows to each other. 

Another thing I do on the drive to school! Wish I could share my wedding dress and all that, but we shall keep that secret until the big day! Only 6 more weeks!! Yippee!

8- David Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds” documentary

(source) It’s available on instant Netflix! There is also “The Life of Mammals” on instant. I’m watching that next :)

9-My church peeps.

They are always there for me, speaking encouragement to me..listening to me whine about all things wedding or school, ready to give me a hug when I need it. And they all love God. Their hearts show it. I love having them in my life and consider them my family!

10- Jason.

DSCN5757

I can’ t wait to marry this man. He makes cookies when I don’t feel like baking. He cleans up after dinner. He reads marriage books with me, and does the exercises without complaining. He gets takeout when I don’t feel like cooking. He asks me what I’m reading. He holds my hand while we watch Big Bang Theory together. He puts fake bugs in the bed to scare me. He’s the icing to my cake, the cheese to my macaroni, the fork to my spoon. He’s the best!

I could be his wife All. Day. all DAY. 

Yeah, son.

moments & sleep

hi.

I thought of something yesterday that really made me change my upside down view about sleeping. Actually, it wasn’t really a thought per se, but an action. Let me start by giving you a little background-

I’ve been an insomniac for 12(+/-) years now. It started in middle school, with me not being able to sleep if the clock wasn’t facing the wall or had something draped over it to block the light it exuded. The faucets had to be turned off. Completely off…so much as a drip and my bat-like ears would perk up and I would be awake for the rest of the night. The room had to be dark…can’t-see-hand-in-front-of-face dark. You get the idea…

As I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve decreased my caffeine intake drastically, my insomnia has gotten a little better. But I still suffer through week-long episodes of not being able to sleep.

I can honestly tell you that since the age of about 11, I have been in a constant mental state of go-go-go, do-do-do, be-be-be. (Having insomnia also makes me babble like a baby :D ).

A couple of posts ago, I told you guys about how every time I sit down to study I end up falling asleep…and then feel guilty for falling asleep and not studying. I am the type of person that even if my mind and body are exhausted, I will still go to the gym, still stay awake at all hours of the night worrying and letting my brain run 50 miles per hour.

Yesterday I volunteered at church. It was super rainy and super cold. Most of us got soaked through our shoes and pants. I went home and took a hot bath and was in my jammies by 4 p.m. I grabbed my Bio textbook, sat on the bed with Mar-dog snuggled up next to me and began to read the next chapter.

When I woke up about two hours later, the light was turned off. The curtains were closed, the blankets were over me. It was clear Jason had been in the room! And of course, my first thought upon waking up was:

“All that time wasted with sleep, you could have read that entire chapter and then some!”

And then something happened..I don’t know if it was God showing me something about myself..or if Jason’s simple action of turning off the light for me caused me to stop, but that’s what I did.

I realized that I am burdened by worry and anxiety. I have the type of personality that always wants to be “on”. Always going and doing…I feel the constant need for exercise and for learning. I can imagine that this only feeds my inability to slow down. 

And Jason… Gosh, Jason. I love that man so.

preconcert

Just the simple act of him turning the lights off for me, closing the curtains for meputting me under the covers and making me comfortable, closing my Bio book for me...Sometimes there are things that we cannot change about ourselves. Or maybe we are in a process of change and are not quite there yet…but God is so good to us. What we can’t do for ourselves, He can always do for us. He can give me those couple of hours of amazing sleep. He can turn off my mind. Better yet, He wants to. My weakness of not slowing down is nothing to God. I just thank Him every day for sending me a great man to marry. One that he can prompt to take care of me in the right ways. I love that when I’m not quiet, He is the one to quiet me..for my own good.

He’s taught me that I don’t need to be “on” all the time. That I can stop thinking and things will be OK. I don’t have to worry about everything. It’s almost like He’s just wrapping me up in a big bear hug and just holding me. I can always sit in the Father’s love. Always. 

This is a growing process for me…being able to trust in God more and learning to let go. I’m so glad that He is showing me the way.

There are other moments of this past week that were pretty note-worthy:

  • I had a meeting with the undergraduate coordinator..after being in his presence for maybe 15 minutes he says to me “You know, I can truly see you becoming a great international leader for animal welfare.” -!!!!! I don’t know about an international leader, but I would love to be a leader someday. It’s so awesome when a complete stranger sees those qualities in you!
  • We found out our new pup, Marley, has no serious health problems…thank goodness!

DSCN5876

  • Akward moment of the week- walking through Student Union at 8 pm and finding that it transform into a break-dancing club…? Oh, the awkward part? Having no where else to walk but straight through the break-dancers…spinning on their heads, poppin’ all over the place…Please don’t kick me in my shins. Thank you.
  • That moment when your soon-to-be husband shaves his beard off. I don’t know what it is with men and their facial hair, but Jason had a serious attachment to his ever-growing beard. I told him I don’t care how it looks on the wedding day, as long as he is there to marry me (!), but he trimmed it down anyway. He said something about how it resembles the time he spends on his senior design project? …..I guess it’s just one of those things I will never get. I, personally, think it may be all the Avett Brothers YouTube videos he’s been watching…..

(Source)

‘Tis fine with me! I love those guys! Top favorite fo’ sho’. Also- they are freaking awesome in concert.

Love ya.

xoxo

Stacey

answering your calling

I once stopped traffic to remove a (what-I-thought-was) dead snake from the road.

When I was 11, my then cat,Spooky, caught two small field mice and left them on our porch as a “gift”. I frantically searched the house for some sort of medical item to fix them. I came up with medical tape and a gauze patch. I taped the gauze patch around their wound and slowly waited to see if that would restore them to their lively health. I watched as their small, teeny-tiny stomachs slowly stopped moving. 

In the summer months when Jason and I leave the door open way into the evening, I spend a good portion of my time trying to get the bugs that came in back out.

I allow extra running time on rainy days because I know there will be worms on the greenway that need saving.

When Sophie started going outside, she became an excellent bird-hunter (much to my dismay). Though I never scolded her for it – it’s her nature to do this! – I totally and completely hated it. Especially when she would sneak a dead bird by me and into our house to play with! That  I would not allow. Jason and I buried these birds on the side of the house under our hydrangea bush.

I once found a wounded mourning dove at work and took it home with me in a shoebox to see if I had the right medicine for it. That bird is also part of our bird cemetary.

 

My college career has been confusing (to me, never to the Lord) at times. When I began the Biology program, I felt led there. I felt like I had a calling to go into it and come out with a science degree so that I can work with animals. A few months ago I tried to change this. In having a hard time with school and making a few bad grades, I decided that I was going to switch to the BA program instead.

“It’s easier. I will get done faster. Maybe I can become a teacher with it? Or, I’ve always loved Nutrition, maybe I’ll become an R.D.” These are the things I told myself. And the plan was set. Forget my calling! Getting there is just too hard, I’d rather take the easy way thankyouverymuch. So I began planning and contacting Winthrop about their Nutrition program…setting up meetings, thanking God that I wouldn’t have to go on to Organic Chem II. Less labs! Hooray!

Then one day I’m sitting in Biology and my friend is talking about an internship opening at the Raptor Center. And I swear to you, my heart dropped, I felt such a strong urge and conviction from the Holy Spirit there was no denying it. And then the Lord gave me one word: Go.

That’s when I began an arguement with God. “But I don’t want to do that! It’s too hard and I’m not smart enough! I’ve already planned on getting back into Nutrition after this. God, I don’t want to go through that program!” Have you ever argued with God? Well, you aren’t going to win. That night I went home and cried to Jason, telling him the whole story and how I’d never felt any conviction like I had right then.

Your calling is not something you can deny about yourself. 

Does I seem like a weirdo to the person sitting in traffic that I’ve stopped just to move a dead snake? Sure.

Did my mom think I was crazy for bringing mice into the house? More-so, did she think I was crazy for trying to save them? You bet.

But that doesn’t matter to God. From the time I was that little girl staring at a garden snake kept in a mason jar at my uncles house, till the traffic-stopping woman I am today- God has been preparing me for something.

feeding

 

He’s put these qualities in me. There is no denying them. I’ve felt like he’s got something great planned for me. That’s he’s going to us me in a great way. And greatness is only measured by Him, not by this world. Therefore, it can be defined in many ways…in ways that don’t fit our definition of “to be great”.

This past week, I’ve had more of a peace in my heart about my grades in Chemistry. Our veterinarian told me that he took it and failed the first time. Other students have told me that it’s the hardest class at the university. But God tells me “You won’t even remember this obstacle once you see the great things I’ve prepared for you.” .

So I’m choosing to believe Him. I believe that He’ll make a path for me to get to the calling that I’m supposed to fulfill. I believe that He’s going to use me. I believe Him when He tells me not to be ashamed of my tender heart.

I’m going to be keep being “weird”. I will keep trying to save and help animals that are suffering. I will keep feeding and pouring into this passion of mine because it is God-given.

I will keep believing Him for greater things that I cannot yet see.

 pig2

xoxo

Stacey

off.

I just can’t get with it this semester. My brain is on any and everything else other than schoolwork. I’ve been struggling a lot with focusing and not beating myself up if I make a bad grade or if I don’t meet the expectations I set for myself. It’s a constant battle.

It seems like this whole semester I’ve been in a state of guilt for not doing this or failing at that.  Maybe I never fully bounced back from the confidence-crushing meeting I had with my Organic Chem professor? I dunno. Something switched off the second week of school  and it hasn’t come back on. I still care about my grades, but I’m also tired of caring about my grades.

And maybe it’s just that a lot has happened this semester and it’s just become an off semester. I struggled with work, my grades at the beginning were terrible (with two mid-term F’s staring back at me on my transcript), Trixie passed away (it felt like I never really had time to fully grieve the loss of my dog because of all the other things I needed to focus on), the wedding is getting closer and closer, we inherited another dog (a 9 month old puppy) and so it never ends.

I sit down to study and end up falling asleep for an hour. And then I wake up feeling guilty and figure “What’s the use?”. But I know I can’t continue to think like this.

I’m so glad I went to church today. Our pastor talked about the story of Peter walking on the water, and how it wasn’t really about Peter, but about God showing who He really is. And how Peter called out to Jesus and asked him to prove that it was He by asking him out on to the water. And Jesus said “Come”.

He talked about how Jesus knowingly sent them ahead into a storm. And how Jesus only stopped to help after Peter cried out to Him. And when Peter did, Jesus immediately saved him. And just because you are going through a storm doesn’t mean that it’s of the devil. Jesus sent them into a storm, but he also pulled them out. It’s all about God’s glory and His compassion for us.

Maybe I need to do a little calling out to Jesus. I often wonder if my praying life needs re-tweaking. Along with the other aspects of my life, it hasn’t been given much attention to. I mean, I know He’s there and that He will see me through this because that’s His promise to me. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t fail…and if I do, then the Lord is there to pick me up again…and He doesn’t love me any less if I fail or succeed. His love for me is constant and great.

And I can trust that even when there are times when it’s hard for me to focus, or times when I feel like giving up in all aspects of life, that the Lord has got me. He loves me the same when I’m quiet towards him as he does when I’m singing at the top of my lungs at church.

He loves me. 

He loves me.      No matter what…

xoxo

Stacey

 

birds and baking

There are a few things that I cannot stop thinking about.

And the first is this:

So, I spend a lot of my time watching birds, thinking about birds, listening to birds…and in my down time, I like to learn about them too. Which is why, on a Friday night, you can catch me watching “The Life of Birds” documentary produced by BBC. I know. I’m totally living it up. My life is just so super ca-ra-zay. 

A couple of weeks ago, Jason and I were watching an episode about how different types of birds store their food. And wouldn’t you know they showed a woodpecker pecking holes in a giant tree and stuffing acorns in them. Maybe I’m just a huge dork, but this blew my mind away. I sat there in awe of these hard-working birds…going “Oh my gosh! Can you believe that?! Do you believe that?!!”

You know what is so great about these birds? This is a 24 hour job for them. Not only do they have to peck the holes to get the acorn in (that’s what she said?) but they also have to constantly manage their acorns. As the acorns stay in the holes for a few days, they begin to shrink and become too small for that particular hole and have to be moved to a better-fitting hole. These woodpeckers have to go all around the tree constantly checking and replacing acorns that no longer fit into the holes. I applaud them. If I had to do this, I would starve to death. My acorns don’t fit? Oh well. Guess I’ll just die.

I also learned more about the hummingbird species (I can just feel you leaving my blog right about now! :) Those poor birds have such a tough life. I never knew how hard their lives are. They have to pretty much eat all day when preparing to go south for the winter. If they don’t get enough to eat, they perish over the ocean. Because their journey is 500 miles over nothing but the ocean. I’d call that a non-stop flight (harharhar).

Enough about birds.

Jason and I have a serious problem.

It began a few months ago. Jason and I had just finished up dinner and I was rummaging in the cabinet for the dark chocolate bar I usually keep to satisfy my sweet tooth after meals (I have a major sweet-tooth). It was gone. Nothing sweet to eat. That will just not do.

So I cracked open my cookbooks and looked for a simple cookie or pie recipe to suffice until I could get to the store again.

Yeah…I haven’t had a dark chocolate bar for dessert in months. 

We are now in a full-blown homemade dessert obsession and my three vegan dessert books are not helping. I’m making about two desserts for us a week. I have to say that it is fun learning how to make vegan toffee pudding with just a few ingredients, but it’s become an addiction!

Here is a list of all the desserts we’ve had in the past 3 or so months:

  • Banaoffee Pie (a mix of toffee pudding, coconut cream fluff topping, bananas, and graham cracker)
  • Banana Chocolate Chip Bread x3 (also eaten for breakfast, snack, and dessert..this lasts about 2 days in our house). We’re sad. We know.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cowgirl Cookies
  • Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Fig Hand Pies (eh)
  • Oatmeal Chocolate Health Cookies (we love chocolate)
  • Lazy Samoas (Er.meh.gerd. Out of this world)
  • Lightened Up Snickers Pie
  • Double Chocolate Coffee Cake

Help us.

I just can’t. stop. baking.

And I have my last dress fitting in two weeks. But homemade desserts are just so much better than store bought. I don’t care what anyone says. I can totally tastes the love when someone gives me a batch of cookies.

I have a pie crust sitting on the counter right now. It’s about to be filled with chocolate pudding, strawberries and coconut whip cream.

Yes, we have a serious problem…

xoxo,

stacey