Monday, November 26, 2012

A somewhat minor setback

Since I am the one who started this, I am going to change the rules a little that okay with everyone? I decided that the year I turned 30 (2012) would be my limit for accomplishing my list, instead of the year I am 30, which would be from April 2012 to April 2013. There has been a lot of discussion about this with my friends, but my intention was to accomplish everything in the year of 2012. As you can see from the last blog post, I am not going to finish in the next month. And things have come up which continue to disrupt my list.

I mentioned that I had been running, yes, that is past tense now. I say that with a little bit of a pride and a lot of disappointment. For the first time ever, I was dedicated to running. I was up to 10 miles! That is huge for me. I still wasn't liking it, but hey, I was getting it done, and I was really looking forward to running the St. Jude Half Marathon with my friends. They inspired me to do it when they all ran it last year, but 3 weeks ago I started having trouble with my heart. And I wasn't even running when it happened. I began to have palpitations, which I could only describe as my heart feeling funny. It was a constant flutter. After two days of that, I went to the doctor where we went through multiple tests, and I have had the palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue since. So I went from running 10 miles to barely being able to walk around the grocery store without losing my breath or getting chest pain, fun times. I saw a cardiologist last week and I have mitral valve prolapse. It's not dangerous, just annoying. I had to stop running when all this started and before we knew what it was, which was a bummer, not so much because I miss running but because I put in so much training time, and I am sad that I won't be able to run the half marathon with my friends. We are all still going and now I get to play "team mom," which is probably a much better role for me than "runner." But I am going to have to learn to live with the symptoms and fight through them to get back to working out. I am on medication and still struggle daily with the issues that come along with this, but the doctor says that there may be times when the symptoms go away, so lets pray for that! The doctor said I will just have to deal with it but can live life normally. So I am hoping to get back to that soon! 

With all that being said, I am extremely grateful. Though there have been a few different health issues I have to deal with over the last few years, God is still good. I am so incredibly blessed and in awe of who He is. Over the last few days, many of you have probably thought about all the things you are thankful for, but I heard a great message about how our thankfulness shouldn't come only when we are told to think about it—it should come from our persistent pursuit of the Lord.

Our circumstances are going to change—life gets crazy, things happen, pain comes, trials are there—but God is constant and never changing. There will be times in our life when everything isn't good, but in everything God is still good. Our circumstances don't define who we are, God does. So with that, I am challenging myself that no matter what, I have a heart of gratefulness. It's easy to ask God "why" we go through things but never doubt that He is sovereign over your life. He never leaves us or forsakes us. And no matter what, we are to give thanks. 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

 I want to encourage you to listen to this sermon from one of the pastors at Pinelake. I hope this can be encouraging to you and challenge you, no matter what is going in your life. 

Thanks to all of you who have prayed with me and for me as I walked in a season of the unknown the last few weeks. I am so grateful to have answers and look forward to getting back to normal. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yikes, it's been how long since I blogged?

For me to call myself a blog failure is a HUGE understatement. Luckily, I am not disappointing too many fans out there (hey, mom and dad). But seriously, my personal blog has been completely neglected. There are multiple reasons for that, but the two major ones are: 1-I blog every single day with my new job; 2- I haven't really been doing much blog worthy stuff.

Let me start with the first point...I LOVE my new job. I cannot even begin to describe how completely blessed I have been at my job at Pinelake. Believe it or not, I actually do blog every day for it. I think it takes all my brain power and my blog is left with nothing. Ha. But seriously, it's amazing that my job consists of talking to people about what God is doing in their lives and writing about it. Really, I get paid to do this? It's such a blessing and is amazing to see how God moves/teaches/challenges people. I am so blessed.

Next, the list of 30 things. Okay, this was a good idea and encourage every person to consider doing something like this, especially if you are a little worried about turning a certain age, whether 30 or 70. It was so fun to start a list and it gave me so much to look forward to this year. It also helps the issue of the age thing be a little subsided. However, I loved the idea of turning 30 and love being 30....we may have a problem when it comes to 31 though. But the list and the idea are awesome. My dilemma, however, is finding people to do some of this stuff with me! I get a lot of blank stares and silence when I ask stuff like, "who wants to go on a camping trip" or "who wants to go skydiving?!" I can't understand why those things don't sound fun to people. Come on now! 

So I have only a few months left in my year and a good bit of the list not completed. Don't worry though, I am determined to make these things happen. Life has just gotten in the way of enjoying do you like that. One of the things that I have been working on is preparing for the half-marathon. Yes, people, I have been running. No, people, I don't enjoy it. I have always enjoyed being active and working out, but I have never enjoyed running. I want to love to run and I want to be good at it, but neither of those things have happened yet. I will go ahead and tell you that I have run the furthest I have ever run in my life and that has been pretty exciting. But I am still waiting to love it. I am running four times a week and yesterday I ran 8 miles. I won't go into the pace I'm running (would hate to show anyone up...that's complete sarcasm...I am SO SLOW!) But I am running. I am afraid December 1 will get hear to quickly, but we will see how it goes.

I have also been eating at new restaurants, but when I took this new job, I lost my lunch buddy, so now I try new places by myself. It already looks a little strange that I eat lunch alone, I think adding a camera to the situation would get really weird. So for now, pictures of food are on hold. :)

Things not accomplished and now cannot be: 
#1-Go on a mission trip to Africa. This was #1 for a reason, it was the one thing I was looking forward to the most. I have been to Africa twice, but it's been years. I love it there. The people have incredible spirits and it's just an amazing place. Another reason I was really excited to go was to serve alongside one of my best friends who is living there as a missionary. I still hope it will happen.
#5-Audition for a role at New Stage Theatre in Jackson. I just slacked on this. All of a sudden it was June, and I had no idea what monologue or song to do. So it simply passed me by (poor planning).
#16-Go to a shooting range. You won't believe it but the shooting range in town closed! I drove by the other day and saw they were going out of business. Now, I am sure there is another one around, so I will still be working on it. If I can't go to the shooting range soon, you better believe me and my daddy will be having target practice when I am home for Thanksgiving (he knows I need it). 

For the most part, I think those are the ones that may not be doable. In the mean time, I will still work on the rest and try my best to keep you updated. No, really, I will try! 

Thanks to all those who have encouraged me through this journey. And if any of you would like to participate in these activities with me, come on! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life Change, New Menus and Home Projects

My life change is that I have left working for the state (MS Department of Transportation)and will now be full time at Pinelake Church.  I cannot even express the humbleness and honor that is on me as I take the position of Copywriter in the Communication Department at Pinelake.  This job came unexpectedly and only from the Lord.  A large part of what I will be doing at Pinelake is interviewing people within the church about life change that has happened with them.  What an amazing honor it is to talk to people about what the Lord has done or what He is teaching them and put that into words to share with others.  I am incredibly honored for the Lord to have put me in this position...and also feel completely unworthy or able.  
Thankfully, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, 
"He who has called you in faithful, He will surely do it."  
I can only cling to that promise as I move forward in this new position.  This can be nothing of me, only the Lord.  I start my first day tomorrow, July 16.  I am beyond excited, nervous, humbled and the list could go on.  All prayers are appreciated.  I can't wait for people to go on this journey with me.  I know that Lord has so much in store.  I'm looking forward to seeing all He does.

Now to address the fact that once again, I am a blog failure.  I must apologize.  Honestly, I wish I had more time to do this, but I'm trying to make time.  And I haven't forgotten about my list!  I just need to find time to do all those things as well!  

I took off a few days last week, during my last week at MDOT, to stay home a few home repairs.  I said this year that I wanted to do more projects around the home.  I really meant more crafty projects....that I haven't really done.  But I have always tried to do some do it yourself projects since I bought my house 3 years ago.  A few things to mention: I remodeled the master and guest bathroom, ripped up the carpet in the main area of the house and stained the concrete floors, put fixtures up, things like that.  I want to go ahead and admit I am not the best painter.  So when I remodeled my master bath and painted the walls brown, I managed to get brown paint on the ceiling as well, oops.  So I  FINALLY fixed those brown spots.  I also did some home repair to the kitchen.  Minor ceiling leak thanks to the air conditioner.  I like being able to do handy stuff myself, but don't let me fool you; there are many times I would love to have a handy man on speed dial.
Enjoy these few pictures of me being my own handy man!
Taking all the necessary safety precautions

I also decided to act like I was an electrician.  
These off-white switches really bother me.  So I went to the store and got dark brown to compliment the furniture and new fan in the guest room.  Even the small details make a difference!

I think it adds a little to the room.

I wasn't worried about setting the house on fire until I called my dad and he said, "don't burn your house down."  Thanks for the confidence, haha.  So I had this, JUST in case.

I also needed to go back and paint a small section in front of the entry ways to the bedroom where I had new carpet put in.  There was a small section of floor that wasn't stained.  I'd say I was pretty productive on my days off.
The ceiling without the brown paint!
Before my last days at MDOT, my faithful lunch friends and I went out to a few new places in the Jackson area....Jacos Tacos and The Cosmopolitan Grill (in Fondren).  Both get two big thumbs up.  Delicious!  Jacos Tacos isn't the traditional mexican place, but the food is cooked with incredible flavor.  I say try it for sure.


The Cosmopolitan Grill was an unexpected delight.  I believe they cater as well, which based on the dine-in experience, would have to be fantastic.  The food was so yummy.  The menu is limited, which is perfect for lunch, but everything was rich in flavor and delicious to the last bite.  We had a few different options from the table and we of course shared.  We wanted to try everyone's.  Each bite, rather it was from my own plate or someone else's was yummy.  If you have some time or are in the Fondren area, definitely give this place a try.  I will miss my lunch date girls from MDOT, but I know we will get together again soon!  Now I'll have to try all the places out in the Flowood area!

So fresh and yummy

I will definitely miss seeing all these ladies!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Turning 30

I'm 30!!  
I cannot even express the joy my heart felt on my 30th birthday.  My grandfather said it best at my birthday party, "the best present you could have is all the people here who love you."  That is so completely true.  I loved having all the people I love together.  God has blessed me with incredible family and friends and I am so thankful to all of y'all who were there to celebrate my birthday and missed all those who couldn't make it (especially you, BethAnne)!  Love you all!  

My wonderful friends Dana, Kyle, and Michael threw me a 30th birthday party and it was absolutely amazing.  I'm definitely a planner...birthdays, holidays, special occasions, beach trips...I love to plan.  So I gave up the reigns of my Type A personality and let them take it.  I will have to admit it was actually quite nice to have others handling the details.  
And they definitely paid close attention to all of them.  They had balloons on the mailbox and they had my name on them.....

Table decorations.
Everything was so wonderfully coordinated.  I mean, I might have said something about the cake colors coordinating with the plates, napkins, and decorations....maybe.  But really, they did more than I could have asked for.  This came after, of course, Michael and Kyle made fun of me at my 29th birthday for sending out my own invitations to my birthday party, that I planned.  They may recall this differently, but, and I quote, they said, "we are planning your 30th birthday."  I don't think they really thought I would hold them to it. I did.  And luckily Dana stepped in and made it happen!  

My sweet, sweet sister-in-law made my cake!  She does an amazing job on all the cakes she does.
I was sad she, my bro, and the kids weren't able to make it, but everyone loved the cake!
I also have the most wonderful parents.....the best mom and dad I got!  They came down the weekend before, they live about 3 hours north of me, and helped me get flowers planted, limbs cut, gutters cleaned and so much more.  Then drove back the next weekend for the party.  Dad got up early Saturday morning and smoked ribs, amazing ribs!  Mom took me to get a manicure and pedicure, it was a fun day of preparing for the party.  She even put a slide show of pictures together of me from the last 30 years.  Those of you who know me have no doubt that I loved it!  I can't thank them enough for all they did.  Your baby does turn 30 only once, right.  That is unless next year I decide I want to start going backwards when I can't bare to face 31, ha.  

Like my parents, everyone else in my family lives around the Memphis area so they don't get to come down much.  It was such a blessing that both sets of my grandparents came down for my birthday, to see my home, go to church with me and take me out to lunch.  I do not take for granted the time I get to spend with them.  I know how blessed I am to have them here, so for them to be at my birthday party and celebrate with me meant so much.
Papaw (dad's dad) and Pa (mom's dad)
Granny (dad's mom) and Gran (mom's mom)

Not only family came but my best friend from home Renee and her husband and parents came too!  We have been friends for well over 10 years.  She's more like a little sister to me and her parents are definitely like my 2nd mom and dad.  I can remember years of going to their house for dinner, spending time over there for special occasions (like every time Renee was on homecoming court), and her mom even packing lunch for me when we were in high school.  Love that family.  Renee got there and stepped right in helping with everything.  
Mr. Johnny and Mrs. Teresa (Renee's parents)
Renee!  Not sure how, but I didn't get a pic of  Renee
me and Tommy.  :(

And there is of course my roommate from college.  We lived together 3 years in college and a year after.  I like to claim her as the person who could live with me for four years and still love me, ha.  She and her husband drove from Chattanooga, TN.  They get the award for driving the furthest!  I definitely love these two and hate they are 5 hours away.  Not for long though :).  They will moving closer to me soon!  
The soon-to-be Boiko's made it from the MS Coast!  So glad these two came and I was able to spend some time with them.  They will be getting married in September and couldn't be happier for them!  Now if we can only get that last beach trip scheduled before y'all get married!  

A lot of people turning 30 freak out.  I was just excited.  Excited because I have had 30 years of incredible life.  Not because of anything I have done but because of Jesus.  He saved me years ago and everyday I can look at my life and know exactly where I would be without Him.  His grace and mercy that He has extended to me is beyond my understanding because I know I'm completely undeserving.  But He loves me.  

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heave for you..."  1 Peter 1:3-9

I have had a lot of incredible experiences over the last 30 years and continue to look forward to the 30 things I'll be doing throughout this year.  Thanks for going on this journey of 30 with me!  

Here are a few pictures from the party