Sunday, December 30, 2012


Do you ever feel like if one more thing in your life goes wrong, you will blow up?

Do you ever feel like punching somebody in the nose even though they didn't do anything, but just because you are having a bad day?

Do you ever feel like it's not just your day that is going bad, but your entire life?

Do you ever feel like everything is just spinning out of your control?

I heard something on the radio a while back. The announcer and his guest were talking about how in the Bible, it talks about shouting for joy. Now I don't know about you, but when I am in pain I normally shout with pain, not for pain. So maybe what God is trying to tell us is that we need to be searching for joy. Shouting for joy.

I think that joy is a choice. No, it's not an easy choice, but it is a choice. There will always be times in your life that it's gonna be seemingly impossible to choose joy. Times that it seems like nothing good is happening in your life at all. Times when maybe some things are going well, but there is something that makes those good things hard to see.

But even during those times, you can still choose joy. You can still find things in your life that are good. Things that will make you joyful if you focus on them. Maybe it's something as simple as a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk. Or a stranger's smile. Or maybe it's something bigger like the fact that you have a God who loves you beyond anything you could ever imagine.

I'm not saying you have to ignore a problem, but you don't need to dwell on it. I think most of the time, we focus on the bad things and occasionally think about the good things. Instead, we need to be focused on the good things, and occasionally think about the bad things.

The moral of this story is that joy is a choice. So today, I'm challenging you to choose joy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 I had an amazing Christmas. I think Christmas time is my favorite time of the year because there are so many family get-togethers and such. Family is really important to me, and the combination of celebrating our Savior's birthday and getting to spend time with family is just beyond awesome.

Our family might be a tiny bit redneck.

(L-R) Jennifer, Rebekah, Sessha, Gretchen,
Jessica, Natalie, Holli, and Jordyn.

All the girl cousins except for Lindy who is in Germany as a nanny. 
We missed that girl so much!

(L-R) Craig, Brian, Kevin, Matt, Merritt, and William.
Caleb is the one they are holding up.
 All the boy cousins. These guys should open a comedy act.

My Dad, sis, and I made a run to Pizza Hut for Christmas Eve dinner so Mom 
wouldn't have to cook. (Isn't my sister gorgeous??)


Christmas morning!!

The aftermath.

Matt gave me Duck Dynasty. I may or may not have jumped up and down with excitement. 

Playin Risk. 

Drinkin Peppermint Tea from my new mug (from Jen) and watchin Duck Dynasty. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Christmas Eve Workout

I got my workout in today. And I'm pretty sure I will be sore tomorrow. I haven't been eating very good the past few weeks (tonight we had pizza for supper) or getting many good workouts in, so it felt really, really good to go whole hog today on my workout. Hopefully my eating will begin to improve soon too!
I watched "Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too" while I rode our stationary bike.

Here's the workout:

10 miles on the stationary bike
5 bicep curls (each arm with 20lb dumbbells)
10 cross body mountain climbers
15 tricep dips
5 ten second backward bridges
10 frog crunches
5 bicep curls
10 bicycle crunches
10 push-ups
15 in-n-outs
50 squats
Merry Christmas everybody!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snow and Comin' Home

Third and final installment of trip pictures.

Daniel, Matt, and Mary

Superman Caleb.

Am I the only one who thinks that my brother is really, really, really handsome??

Picture perfect.

My brother's boss of a truck.

Watching "The Toy That Saved Christmas" after being worn out in the snow.

Piggy back ride!!

Can't believe that I am posting this.......Dan and I were kinda tired.

Tricep dips at the gas station. What else?

I think right about at this time they were singing a Taylor Swift song. 
And like murdering it. On purpose.

Well, that's all for now, folks. Now go do some tricep dips!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lovin' Life

Here's the second installment of trip pictures.

Reading was kinda a big hit with these 3 sweethearts.

Matt and Caleb. At one stop on the way home, they were asked if they were twins. 
Wonder why.


Pure joy.

They really, really didn't want to hold still for a picture.

Me and my buddy!

Love this picture.

Sooo....I was a little bit nervous about driving in this snow, but I did it anyway, 
and it was awesome.

Daniel fell asleep in my arms.

Christmas with my cousin's in-laws = wrestling matches and princesses.

I'm gonna miss that little guy.

Beka, this is for you ;)

His smiles and giggles make me so happy.

Road Trip!!!

We went on a trip this past week. Me, my brother, and my cousin. It was awesome. I took more pictures than you would ever care to I am only going to post a few. In 3 installments. My sense of "few" might be twisted just a tad bit. 

We left around 7am.

The sunshine was (blindingly) gorgeous.

Spending 9 hours in a truck with these two was slightly interesting.

Our pile of junk.

Me and my brother Matt.

Matt's cover with a reflection in the window of the Act of Valor soundtrack. 


SNOW!!!! (I love snow)

Caleb throwing snowballs at the air.

I love these two weirdos. 

Caleb took this picture and I actually really like it.

That was our trip up there. Stay tuned for more!!! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blast From The Past

I honestly don't remember when this picture was taken, but I remember almost everything that happened within half an hour of when my Mom snapped it. I remember taking her out to the field behind our house. I remember her walking through the snow like it was nothing and being slightly disappointed that she didn't run and play. 

I remember saddling up and hooking the sled behind her. I remember sitting down in the sled. And then that beautiful moment when I told her to walk on, and she started off. That was the best 10 minutes of my life, I think. Why didn't I have her pull me around longer you ask? (insert smile here) Well, Missy was a slightly stubborn mare, and since I had never done anything like that before and wasn't sure how she would react if I pushed her, I decided to stop. 

About the time I did, Mom came out to take a picture. And then I hopped on Missy and rode her around a bit. I remember trotting away from Mom while she took a video, and then that moment when Miss tripped (okay, more like went down on her knees) and I almost fell off. And the bad part is that we got it on video. Oh well. 

Then we went for a ride down in the woods. And a tree grabbed my hat and pulled it off and we had to go back for it. I really don't remember anything else about that ride, but it was truly one of the best rides I have ever had. Now every time that I see snow, I wish that Missy were still here so that we could go for a ride. Missy might have been stubborn, but she was also the calmest, sweetest, most loving horse I have ever known.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way.... 

Monday, December 17, 2012

White (almost) Christmas

This is the view that I woke up to this morning. Have I ever mentioned that I love snow?? I am up visiting my cousin and her family this week with my brother and other cousin. And I'm havin a blast! I've taken about 10,000 pictures (okay, actually not, probably more like a couple hundred) but because of the slow internet, I'm gonna wait to post more pictures till I get home. In the meantime, here's a quote for you. "We're twins except for the fact that you don't have curly hair" says Mary the 3-year-old. Hmm. I was always under the impression that I did have curly hair. Ya learn somethin new every day I guess. And as I am sitting here typing this, I hear Mary say "I'm putting on my vest cause I'm gettin a little hot." and her older sister Ruth (5-years-old) replies "Mary you put on a vest when you're cold not hot!"

Off to throw a snowball.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Scale: Friend? or Foe?

"Weigh yourself every day!" "Only weigh yourself once a week!" "Don't ever weigh yourself!" "It is incredibly important to know exactly what you weigh!" "Only weigh once a month!"

Does anybody else ever get tired of all this? The constant battle of people arguing about whether weighing yourself is a good thing or a bad thing? For a very long time, I was of the mindset that I had to know exactly how much I weighed to be "healthy/happy". The scale became an idol in my life. I didn't weigh myself every day, but I lived in constant dread/anticipation of that certain day of the week when I would step on the scale.

The day before I would weigh (I usually weighed mid-week) I tried to be so "good". To not eat as much, to get in a good workout, etc. And let me tell you, when I stepped on that scale, my heart was beating pretty fast. I let that chunk of metal decide whether my day (and sometimes week!) was going to be good, bad, or ugly. And I let it define me. 

Let me just say, that I am not going all "you're-beautiful-no-matter-how-you-look-so-you-can-eat-anything-you-want". I believe with all of my heart that God gave us our bodies to take care of. And that means (in my opinion) eating healthy, and being fit. But I don't think it means that you have to be a slave to the scale. What if I told you that you actually don't even need a scale? You would probably look at my like I lost my left eyeball.

Wanna know a secret? I haven't weighed for 2 months. I have found that my clothes tell me everything I need to know. If my pants aren't fitting right, I know I should cut back on my carb intake. And not only do my clothes tell me, but just the way I feel tells me what I need to know. And can I just say how freeing it is to not be prisoner of the scale? I'm not saying that you shouldn't weigh yourself. I am just saying what I have found to be the most helpful in my life.

What's you're opinion of the scale? Have you thrown it out? Or is weighing something that you do religiously?