Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I do love you more...

Mrs. Holden, there's no doubt, I love you more...

1.   I simply love you... yes, every single thing about you and about us
2.   I love the parts of you that you don't
3.   I love the way, and how often, you smile
4.   I love your mouth
5.   I love the way you smell
6.   I also love your cute smeller
7.   I love the color and gleam in your beautiful eyes
8.   I also love how you look at me
9.   I love your heart and how you pour it in all you do
10. I love your love for Jesus, His precious word and His people
11. I love your sweet and sacrificial spirit
12. I also love your free sprirt and love of adventure
13. I love how you cook... it's my favorite food in all the world
14. I love your taste in things, from food to people and everything
15. I love your sense of humor
16. I love that you hunger to grow and invest what you know in others
17. I love the way you are with people and how tenderly you serve others
18. I love your craftiness and artistic mind
19. I love that you always care
20. I love that you love and really enjoy being with our girls
21. I love that you treasure our grandchildren and delight to be their Honey
22. I love your frugalness
23. I love to hear your lovely voice
24. I love how you always honor me
25. I love that you are my bride and being the man you have loved so well the past 25 years

...today, than ever!

Happy Anniversary,
Nick

Monday, August 19, 2013

Losing to Gain....Who won?


Well honestly I've kinda put off writing this post. But inquiring minds keep asking so I will oblige as promised.

Some of y'all have been with us from the beginning of this journey.
Remember this?

It seems like a lifetime ago to me.  For so many reasons.
What started out as challenge that I wanted to win for selfish reasons has turned into something that means so much more to me than winning a beach trip.  So much more to me than looking nice in my mother of the bride dress.  So much more than being "skinny". 

When we embarked on this this journey we wanted a name to reflect what we were striving for...
losing to gain.  Losing weight in order to gain other virtues...feeling better about ourselves, getting healthy, self control, etc. etc. etc....

It sounded good and yes I knew those things were good but in the beginning what I really wanted most was to look better....to fit in my old clothes. To not look like I was 5 months pregnant.   To not have a double chin and chipmunk cheeks in every picture I  saw of myself.. All those things most ladies desire if we're honest. 

But somewhere along the way, my desires shifted. My aim changed. And my resolve grew stronger.
I don't know if it was the sobering fact of all the emails, texts and calls from y'all telling me y'all were inspired to join in and do the same  or if I was God working in my vain and prideful heart.  Probably both.  But I realized what a responsibility I had to make the right choices.  To take this serious.  That y'all were watching and ~gulp~ some of you were doing as we were. yikes.   Such a huge slap in my face that this is our everyday as believers...we should we living in such a way that others watch us and if they do what we do, it will lead them closer to Christ.   To be a "pattern" for others as Paul states in Philippians 3:17 and to able to boldly say "imitate me as I imitate Christ." Corinthians 11:1

With so many responses from y'all this became a huge wake up call of what I was doing with my sphere of influence I've been given.  And we all have one...you have one too.  It may be your pre-schoolers, or your co-workers or your spouse but someone is always watching us.  And they are  learning to do what we do in making choices and handling life.
So this went from a temporal competition with my girls, talking smack and all that stuff to a huge spiritual journey with eternal lessons for me.  
And for that,  I'm so grateful.

Losing to gain.

What I've lost:
28 pounds 
3 pant sizes
countless inches
 (I forgot to measure in the beginning.  bummer)

What I've gained:
self control!!
I became a RUNNER! 
I broke free from food bondage
(food is no longer what I turn to when I'm bored, depressed or happy.  
That is a whole other post in itself)
Discipline
Confidence
learned how to cook food that is delicious yet healthy
gosh....I could go on and on


It stopped being about winning the contest about 8 weeks in. I didn't really care about winning because as cliche as it sounds, I had already won. I've had personal food victories that wouldn't even make sense to y'all if I tried to explain it...But for me it was huge.  

Like discovering that I can say no to food and it not drive me crazy still desiring it.  But that I can also say yes to food and it not drive me crazy beating myself up that I ate it!  Discovering, as a dear friend put it so perfectly when she said to me,"learning that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial." 

But enough of all my talk talk talk....I know y'all want to get down to the neety greety..
WHO won?!!


 Me!!
The 42 year old grandma beat the bride, the newlywed and the baby lady.



 The before pic  was taken the day we started on April 15th.
The after pic was taken about 3 weeks ago in a t-shirt that was designed and given to me by a sweet girl  about a year or so ago... but I could never fit in it to take a pic and thank her.  (victory!)
But Nick likes identical before and after pics.  So here's me in the same shirt almost 30 lbs lighter.


All three of my girls worked really hard during the challenge and we all had obstacles along the way. I 'm proud of all us.
 Lauren was nipping at my heels the entire time and she lost about 18 pounds.  I wish I could share pics of her face beaming the day we went to have her wedding gown fitted.  You will just have to wait to see her hard work on her wedding day.  Which is less than 3 weeks away!! Say What?!?!


As far as the beach trip.  I forfeited it for a new pair of expensive running shoes.
(71 was the number of miles I ran last month)

But don't feel sad for me because of no beach trip...
I have something even better coming up that I will tell you about soon.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who have cheered me and my girls on during this adventure.  I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. 

For me, the adventure isn't over...
It's only just begun.


                                                                                              


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting dressed is fun again :: wiww


Well. what do ya know.....come to find out, getting dressed is something I enjoy doing again.
When nothing fits it's kind of a drag.  But lately I've been having fun making outfits.

Here are a few I've come up with...
 tank: Hello aparel
skirt: tjmaxx (3 years ago)
flip flops: jcpenny's (2 years ago)


Same skirt, different look...

denim shirt: stienmart
cuff: farmgirlpaints

This past year I bought my first cross body bag at a thirty-one party.  I don't know if I can ever go back to a regular purse now.  I feel so liberated!  Anyhow, I stumbled across this beauty and fell instantly in love.  The leather smells so good and the colors are perfect.  I found it a Burke's for a really sweet price.
 I moved into it 5 minutes after I bought it then took a pic in a dressing room to show my girls.   We do stuff like this throughout the day.  I love it. 



 top: dkny (but I got it at Dirt Cheap for $1)
skinny jeans: Old Navy
Sandels: Target via Dirt Cheap
Earrings: Target via Dirt Cheap

I love the detail of this shirt!


The occasion:  picking up Lauren's wedding gown from alterations in Shreveport with my mom!



 Maxi Dress:  Ross (last year)
vintage beads:  antique store
Shoes: Belk


....like wearing your favorite vintage beads and glitter platform wedges.


My new favorite thing to wear....
THESE PANTS!  
Besides making me feel super sassy when I wear them, they also are super comfy!

Top: Dirt Cheap for $1!
Pants:  Edna Grayce's
Necklace:  gift
Humungous ring:  Target via Dirt Cheap
 (I get more conversations started with total strangers when I wear this ring!)
Bangle bracelets:  Burke's

The Occasion: Lauren's graduation from the cosmetology program at Meridian Community College.
We are super proud of her. Not only did she graduate with highest honors, she was also asked to open in prayer for the invocation.  God's grace is amazing. 

 I'm tickled pink to tell you a little bit about where I got these pants.
 A talented and precious young woman in our church has started her own online boutique.
It's called Edna Grayce's.  She named the shop after both her grandmother's!  SO sweet.  It's such a delight seeing her pursue her dream after she graduated from college.  This girls got some great ideas and I can't wait to see how she makes her mark on the world. You can check her shop out here.
This awesome statement necklace Lauren is wearing is also one of her pieces.
I'll be sharing more about this shop real soon.  We've collaborated on a couple of wedding projects that I'm dying to share!  Eeep!




I'm stepping out and of my comfort zone and trying all kinds of new looks these days. I've totally fallen in love with skinny jeans, which I swore I would never wear. I had to eat my words. I hit jackpot at Dirt Cheap and was able to get several different colors that came from Target.
The other new look I tried today was the scarf wrap in my hair.  My girls do it all the time but I've never attempted it myself.  However, today I was running late and had no time to wash my supa dirty hair.  So I tried out their trick.  I loved it!

Shirt:  Target via Dirt Cheap
Skinny Jeans:  Target via Dirt Cheap
Earrings, braclets, and ring:  Target via Dirt Cheap
Sandels:  Target actually bought from Target. Gasp!
Scarf:  Talbots via Dirt Cheap

(this pic makes me look like an oompa loompa!  I promise I'm not orange.)


 Feeling like Lydia today!
And totally needing my eyebrows waxed!  wow. 

The occasion:  hanging out with our girl before she gets married one month from today. Gasp! Her daddy snapped this in the walmart parking lot.  I love that it was his idea and he is celebrating the little things right along with us. (and it only took us two tries!)



Now I'm off to finish up a wedding project!
Hope your Wednesday is wonderful.

                                                                                          


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Friday, August 2, 2013

The day I ran through a rainbow


Waaaay back in February almost a lifetime ago, Nick bought us tickets to participate in The Color Run.  It was my valentines present and I was beyond thrilled.  Two things though about signing up for something that is six months away....
  1. You have no idea what you're gonna be doing in six months...like being extremely busy and stressed out and that kinda stuff.   
  2.  I always wanted to do one of these just for the fun of it. Certainly not because it was a 5k.  But six months later and that changed too.



Back to the busy part.  This was the worst weekend ever to cram in a color run.  I was beyond stressed with wedding deadlines.  Lauren's first shower was the next day and tons of other stuff I won't bore you with.  Where the race was held was 2 hours from where we live which meant we would have to get up at 4 am to get there in time or get a  hotel which was not in the budget.  Thankfully, we have dear dear friends...the kind of friends you can call and invite yourself to come crash at their house even though they were in the middle of packing up to move to a different house.  I'm talking about my son-in-law's parents who are way more than that title.  They were our good friends first and then our kids just happened to fall in love and get married and give us amazing grand kids.  Bless their hearts....up until the moment I got into the car, I was still undecided if we go.  Needless to say, I 'm SO glad we went. So glad to see them and catch up and so glad to do the run.

Robin took this at 6am as she sent us off.  Thank goodness she is a morning person.


Now the other thing I didn't know would be so drastically different six months later was my health.  I had signed up for it back when I couldn't walk to our mailbox without huffing and puffing and getting out of breath so I could have cared less that it was a 5k.  Back then it was strictly just for the color and I was counting on the fact that we didn't have to run it...it was all about the fun of it.

But then I got serious about getting fit.  Me and the girls embarked on our "losing to gain" journey and I started C25K. At the time of the race, I had almost "graduated" from the program and was now wanting to run it!  Craziness I tell you.

So here we are in the parking lot.  I'm nervous and excited but mostly proud.
Proud of myself and proud of my man.
He is so supportive of my shenanigans.... and I have gotten us in some doozies over the years.
The night before, I asked for tips on instagram from those who had done a color run before and the biggest thing I was told was to cover up my hair.  Even though I've recently gone back to more of my natural color, its still so porous from all the years of bleaching.  I consulted "the girls" (my group of blogging besties who have become just besties...none of us make a move without texting the group for advice/approval/prayer.)  They said to cover the hair up.  So I did.   

 When our daughters saw the tattoos on our faces, they snickered and told us we would probably still be wearing them the next day for church cuz they don't come off easy. 
I was looking forward to the possibility of Nick preaching the next day in this condition. 
But they washed off with no problem.  Which was probably good since Lauren had her first wedding shower that day too. 


 There was a ton of people there. I was feeling a little claustrophobic about this time.


And then it started!  Woo hoo!!
First stop...to take a picture with a unicorn of course.



 Then on to all the colors!!
First up....PINK

 Then came BLUE



 Then  my fave......YELLOW!!




 And then ORANGE!





 The finish line!!!
Now for the record....I didn't run the entire thing. Come to find out, running on the treadmill, in the a/c, while drinking water and watching Netflix is a little different than running outside in the heat, with not much water and hills to climb.  Huh...what do ya now? Go figure. 
BUT.....I'm already thinking about my next 5k.  It's gonna happen.  And I'm gonna run the entire thing.




 Now the race was only half the fun....the after party is where the craziness takes place!


I stayed on the edge of the crowd the first time we all threw up our packets of color so Nick could get a few pics.....





 But this is what is was like smack dab in the center of the crowd...
Don't breathe in....I repeat.  Don't breathe in.




I caught a few of Nick...
We had to protect the beard of course.  That beautiful little white patch of his was vulnerable.















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The two hour drive back home was interesting.  We followed all the tips and put garbage bags on our seats. In case you're wondering, all the color pretty much came out of the t-shirts.  Nick's came out spotless...the only stains on mine was  under my arms from running through the color with my arms raised up.   The orange kinda left it looking like pit stains.  Kinda sad about that.

Gosh I love this man and they way he supports and encourages me.
I had always envisioned doing one of these things with my three daughters as a girl thing, but I'm so glad I got to experience this with him.  It was a perfect day.


This was taken later that day after my shower....you can  see all the stuff washed away.
Almost like it didn't even happen. 
 But it did happen.
  Nick treated me to a t-shirt to commemorate the day...my first 5k.
It tuly is the happiest 5k on the planet.



Now.  Go google it.  Find out when one is coming your way.  Sign up for it.
Then go run through your first rainbow.

                                                                               
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