Easter Weekend: Hobbies

What else do you title a post about how you picked up three freaking hobbies in one week?! I feel like superwoman. I mean…the perfectly average, bloated version, but still.man.

Roger and I had one of the craziest weeks, fo sho. It was one event after the other for work, and come the weekend, we played hard, cuz: work hard, play hard, am I right?! To reward ourselves after such a long week, we had a date night at the movies and picked up 3 perfect springtime hobbies: bicycling, photography, and gardening. Let’s just say it was an expensive week.

Here’s a few Easter Weekend snapshots:

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Azaleas are a big thing where I live, and this weekend there was a festival to welcome them.

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We are also known as the rose city, so…there ya go.

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The next few pics are from my favorite stall at this small craft/arts fair.

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Loved this stall so much, I had to get some flowers from them!

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Because people should take photos with their flowers like they’re a bridesmaid!

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The awesome enchiladas I made this weekend…Roger approved! Recipe here.

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Roger took this epic spider shot during one of our bike rides this weekend.

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Dexter came along for the bike ride in a ghetto rigged basket (not shown), and he was adorable (shown…lol).

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And then we gardened…

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

John 11:25-26

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The WeightWatchers Post

I posted my before and “after” on FB the other night…ya know, the one from the last post?

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Well…

I am super encouraged and blown away by the support of loved ones, and even the people that I only sort of know. It’s cool to think I am inspiring others, as I’ve received FB messages, comments and even the newly introduced “love” reaction on my post.

And now I can’t mess up.

Well, crap.

I mean, if somehow I gain the weight back, or stop doing well on WeightWatchers, I will feel the burn of eyes upon me, assuming they are all wondering what happened to me.

And after the week I’ve had of bad eating, I wonder what’s happened to me, too.

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Yeah. I know.

I think what is important in weight loss is to keep going, even when you have weeks like this. So that weeks don’t turn into months, and then eventually years as in my case. It’s a mental game, like most endeavors, and success in some way will either be won or lost on the battlefield of your mind. That’s how it goes.

So, just a little encouragement post from me. Don’t give up! If you’ve made a positive change in your life…to lose weight, or workout more, or go back to school, or pursue your goals. Whatever the change, you may have known when you made it that change wouldn’t come easy but that it was necessary. You may have known that, but knowing it…really knowing it and struggling through the process of making that change is a lot harder than you may realize.

That’s not a reason to give up or quit. Keep going, because one day you will look back at where you started, and you will see just how far you’ve come. Sure, there will be setbacks. Sure, things will happen or come up. But it’s not about the messup. Messups will happen. It’s about how you handle them once you do make them. And I say, get right back on track!

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Hello Again

I have been gone for months. Literally months.

I went through a Christmas season that was hectic to say . Late, late nights and long hours of dealing with news media and stressors. In short:

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For a long time, I have debated about writing again. Sharing life again. I’ve felt a lot of things about picking back up this blogging endeavor: it’s no one’s business what I’m up to or what I have going on; it’s too much work; no one reads it.

BUT, I like to share. I have more time to share now. And I feel like it’s important to have this record to look back on, if only for me. No one else may care what I write. No one else may read. But I have some things to share, I think it’s about time to learn how to share regardless of the page views.

So, what you missed: In October Roger and I basically went on a second honeymoon…to Greece. It was epic, and far too short for my taste. But it was nice to spend time together before everything got crazy at work.

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Christmas was great, we spent it with Roger’s family in San Antonio. But I got a sinus infection and thought I might die. (It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been sick!) We took some much needed family pics while we were all in one place at the same time.

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January 4th, Roger and I embarked on our Weight Watchers journey.

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And March 7th, my brother became an official Doctor of Mathematics. Like…my mind is still blown, and I’m so proud of him!

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More on all of this later. For now, hello!

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The Roaring Twenties

Or the roaring 27, to be exact.

Roger’s 27th birthday was on Monday..appropriately, blogging was put on a hiatus to focus on him. Yes, I’m one of those people who is horrible at scheduling blog posts week in advance!

Roger has mentioned on occasion that he only remembers 3 birthday parties from his childhood. Well, being from a family where birthdays were perhaps OVERdone, I was sad for Rog. I mean, I’ve had a horseback riding party, chuck e cheese parties, and one year, my mom turned a warehouse at her work into a skating rink party for me!

So the plans to throw Roger a cheesy, 90’s style bday party began. The choice of theme was easy.  He loved dinosaurs growing up, and just like Roger, his 2 year-old nephew was also obsessed. Being that our nephew’s party was supposed to be around the same time as Roger’s, I thought I’d do the same theme he was having at his party, so that Roger’s sis could have the leftover decorations. I may love to be cheesy, but I’m also very practical! Pluuuus…in an effort at 100% transparency, we were going to get Dex man a costume for our nephew’s party–a raptor.  If it was the same theme, at least we only had to get one costume! (But alas, the darn thing was too large for him!!!)

It was a surprise party. Somehow, even though the party was at our house–Roger was completely oblivious that the party was for him.  His sister and her family came over the night before the party.  And that didn’t tip him off.  

His sister and I decorated while he was coming in and out of the house cooking hamburgers on the grill. And THAT didn’t tip him off.

He walked past his cake, and THAT didn’t tip him off.

I had to make him read the cake before he understood that all of these people gathered were there for him.  That the reason his sis and fam came was because of him.  It was a priceless moment.

When it dawned on Roger, he immediately ran to the bedroom to find and don his Jurassic Park shirt. Perfect for the party!

We had a great time with everyone, and it was nice to have a party for him.  Last year, it was just a dinner of warmed up freezer lasagna for him.  We were in full wedding mode at the time, and it was the best I could muster, embarrisingyly enough. And I like to celebrate people, so I knew I had to redeem myself this year!

He’s now had two parties, two cakes, a root beer float social, an edible arrangement, a trip to buy shoes, cologne, a birthday breakfast AND a birthday dinner of hibachi to celebrate his birthday.  More than he expected, or honestly even desired.

What makes me happiest is knowing that he knows he is loved, cherished, and celebrated!

Happy birthday, baby!

Celebrate Recovery–that awkward post

Every Thursday night here in my corner of the world, I participate in a church service called Celebrate Recovery–it’s a church service and small group time aimed at helping those with hurts, habits and hangups. Yes, it’s for those struggling with staying clean, but if we’re honest, you don’t need to abuse chemical substances in order to have an addiction.  Some of us love our food a little too much. (As I awkwardly look around the room and raise my hand for that very same bad habit.)

I don’t want to use the word addiction lightly as I’ve come into contact with many throughout my lifetime who have lost everything to an addiction–their jobs, their family, their savings, and even their lives.

I’ve not struggled with an addiction like this–so apparently debilitating.  My addiction was much more inwardly abusive, attacking my mind and my spirit. The addiction no one likes to talk about: pornography.

It started innocently enough when I was younger. And then as I tried to convince myself I had control over it, the more I realized it controlled me. And it’s affected a lot.

It affected how I viewed sex. It was so easy to see the women in the videos as objects. As a very-near feminist, this is hard for me to admit.

In addition to this, I can admit that my past obsession with porn and masturbation has to a degree affected my own sex life as a married woman (marriage being the proper context for sex…in my humblest opinion). Because I was impatient in waiting for love, because I didn’t trust in God’s perfect timing, I got hooked on something to try to take the place of the loneliness I felt. I lost out on God’s best for me for a long time.

He showed me that my obsession with sex was an idol that was keeping me from all that He had for me. It took a while, but within a couple of months of this heart-to-heart with God, I finally made the decision to stop viewing porn–Cold. Turkey.

In God’s infinite grace, He allowed me to meet my amazing, God-fearing husband about 6 months after I cut porn out of my life.

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Roger takes me as I am and loves me more than I could ever deserve. He treats me like a queen. In his earthly love for me, he shows me just a glimpse of the love God has for me.

Tonight, I will be giving my testimony, and this addiction will be included.  Even though I truly believe God has broken this addiction in my life, there are still times where I have to guard myself doubly against attacks of wanting to view it again.  Your mind truly is a battlefield, after all.

I may not know what it’s like to lose my job or my family over my old addiction, but I do know what it is to miss out on God’s best by chasing what I thought was best for me. It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not something I share lightly. But maybe if you’re reading this, and you’ve struggled or are struggling with pornography–maybe this will help you to know you can change. Things can be different. But it takes a reorientation of your thoughts that can only be done by God. Lord knows I didn’t have the strength to do it myself!

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Life Goals

I’m feeling the need to reflect on life, so sorry if this is where my brainstorming is taking place.  Basically I want to lead a better quality of life. Here is my lofty list of goals.  I’ll check-in in a couple of months to see if I’m making any real-life improvements!

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GOALS:

  1. Go to bed intentionally–this sounds weird, but sometimes I get caught up on the couch watching netflix instead of being intentional about getting ready for bed, and then actually going to bed. I won’t set a time.  That would lead to disaster.
  2. Don’t eat out more than twice a week.  This is for the budget, and for health reasons. Two birds, one stone.
  3. “Workout” 5 times a week. No excuses.  Walking counts.
  4. Intentionally seek out time to spend with God in prayer and bible study–I can’t minister if I’m empty.
  5. Create a “blessings” cushion in our budget–to be able to give generously during the month when we see our neighbors or friends in need.
  6. Blog at least 2 times a week. Not that I can’t do more, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure come the busy fall and winter months ahead.
  7. Empty the kitchen sink every night.
  8. Keep the house in order–and stay up-to-date on laundry. (Meaning, make sure my husband is good to go. Not that he can’t help, but not letting him get down to his last pair of drawers! lol insert crying laughing face.)

Well I think those goals are ambitious enough. We’ll see how they go, and what I’ll need to adjust in the future to reach and maintain these goals!

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Don’t forget! Today is the last day to enter the Target giftcard giveaway.

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It’s really simple! Me and my friend Kathleen from Katscript are hosting a giveaway for a $50 Target Gift Card. All you have to do is:

  1. Follow me AND Kathleen on instagram (follow the links on our names).
  2. Like this photo on both of our profiles.

That’s it! I hope you’ll take a moment to enter the giveaway!

We will announce the winner late Wednesday night (8/26).

Traveling Tuesday

My husband and I have a trip to Greece coming up to celebrate our one year anniversary.  For those of you who keep up on current events, yes we are slightly worried about Euro availability and the state of Greece in general. But we are still excited.  It will be my first international travel with Roger, and that makes me a little nervous but I suppose if I’ve chosen him as my life partner, I should trust that he’ll make an incredible traveling partner!!! lol. Mostly we’re just too busy to even get too excited about it, which is sad.  But I know we will have the best time once we are there.

So to get me and the hubby pumped, here are my top five Greece photo picks:

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Ok, so the pics aren’t in a particular order, but I am more excited for Greece, now! Pinterest is the best for top traveling tips and must sees for the different islands we’ll be going to in Greece!

Don’t forget Kathleen from Katscript and I still have our $50 Target gift card going on! To enter for a chance to win, simply:

1) Follow me and @katscript on instagram

2) Like the original giveaway photo (pssst, it looks like this!)TargetGiftCard_Giveaway

That’s it! We’re announcing the winner Wednesday evening!

Life with the Dex Man–& $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Who knew that adding a 4 pound dog to our lives would bring such a large change?

In the last post, I introduced you to lil Dexter.  Our dachshund, chihuahua mix. Here’s a little more of his story:

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I wanted a dog.  The hubby wanted one too, he just doesn’t like to show his excitement.  I think part of us wanted to wait to adopt a dog until we were well adjusted to our schedules in our new city and new jobs.  But the bug to own a dog had bitten me long ago, and I was growing impatient.

First, we stopped by the SPCA shelter near our house.  They had some nice dogs, but none that captured our hearts. There’s a dog for everyone, but ours wasn’t in that shelter!

So we pressed on to another shelter.  And there was Dexter in the puppy aisle.  Roger and I didn’t want a pup. We didn’t feel we’d have the time to train him with our busy schedules.  But he was the first dog at the second shelter that we spotted, and I think we both knew he’d be ours.  We looked at every single dog there just to be sure, but we came back to Dex.  A shelter volunteer at Pets Fur People in Tyler, Tx handed him to us, and he licked my face. And that was that.  We marched up to the front counter to adopt the newest addition to our family.

(Pic snapped during the adoption process.)

We’ve learned a lot about him since then. What kind of toys he likes, where he likes to sneak to poop in the house (even though we’re trying to break him of that…any tips are appreciated!), and that he was apparently abused as a wee pup.

Dexter is 8 months young today. According to his adoption papers (but really, how can they tell?!lol). He has marks on his fur from a harness bound too tightly on him.  The fur under his front legs has been rubbed raw. The evidence of this can be felt in his spine. And our heart breaks. How could someone abuse such a precious dog?

At the shelter, they named him Sailor.  He had a brother (more chihuahua than dachshund) named Captain. We couldn’t adopt both–well, we chose not to.  We are one dog type people. I don’t know what happened of him.  I don’t know why these little ones were abandoned, but I’m happy that we were able to show love to such a sweet pup. He’s changed our lives and stolen our hearts! He even comes to church with us every Thursday night as we minister to those struggling to stay clean from addiction.  They love on him, and he loves on them. We are so happy he’s in our lives! (Even if he does poop on our rugs at times!)

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And now for the Giveaway!

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It’s really simple! Me and my friend Kathleen from Katscript are hosting a giveaway for a $50 Target Gift Card. All you have to do is:

  1. Follow me AND Kathleen on instagram (follow the links on our names).
  2. Like this photo on both of our profiles.

That’s it! I hope you’ll take a moment to enter the giveaway!

We will announce the winner Wednesday night (8/26).

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I’m baaaaaack!

Ok, so maybe I was off the radar for, oh I don’t know…three months now, I guess.  But let me tell you, moving half-way across country will take it out of you!

I’m gonna start off small today, but trust that there will be some bigger stories down the line.

What I love so far about Texas:

  1. A place called Rounder’s.  When Roger and I were planning our move to Texas, one of the questions I asked in all seriousness was: are there any good pizza places.  This is the place we went to the very day we moved here.  And I’ve eaten there, I don’t know, 10 times in 6 weeks (the struggle is really real). Soooo good! 
  2. TRAFFIC!!!! For those of you who may know, I moved from Atlanta, GA to a mid-size city in Texas.  There are no overpasses anywhere here.  Well, ok.  There is technically one.  ONE OVERPASS! I used to have to take 2 highways to get to work everyday.  The closest interstate now is 25 minutes away. And I NEVER need to use it….well, to get to work.  To get to Dallas? yes–the interstate would then become necessary.
  3. The manners.  I have found what people call southern hospitality here.  I grew up in Southwest Florida…arguably not the southern-est place in the south—considering all of the snow birds there.  And I think some readers will agree that Atlanta isn’t the most hospitable, either.  But here they have that southern twang, and an over-abundance of politeness and niceties.  Feels like home–well, like how home should feel.
  4. OUR NEW DOG! More on this for sure, but we rescued a 7 month-old dog in Texas…dachshund chihuahua. His name is Dexter. Dex for short.  And no.  We did NOT name him after a serial killer.  We named him after a short, fat cartoon character! lol. “DeDe, what are you doing in my laboratory?”
  5. Shopping. This is bad, but Ross is within walking distance. I live a 5 minute drive from all major retail, and I must say I’m loving it. 
  6. Ministry. Moving here, I knew my husband and I would be more heavily involved in the ministry of our new church than we were at our old church in Atlanta–well, at least that I would be more heavily involved than I used to be.  The thought of this really scared me because, well, I really love my free time.  But somehow or the other, I am really, really enjoying it.  God’s asking me to take down a lot of barriers that I’ve had up for a long time.  And he’s me not to be so afraid all the time.  It’s safe to say that Roger and I will be growing a lot in this season of life. 

So, more stories and things to come, but I wanted to give you a taste today. Don’t worry–updates on Dex, the house, and life here in Texas will be forthcoming. Thank you for hanging in there with me, lovelies.  Good to be back!

Embracing your body at any size

Your homegirl is a plus size.  I’ve come to accept this fact.  And while this hasn’t always been the case, and while I hope it won’t be the case come this time next year, it is my current reality.  Sometimes I get really down on myself about it.  Since my honey moved to the ATL, I’ve packed on the weight (not that I was every a skinny-mini, but I’m certainly at my heaviest).  I guess I’ve had a lot of stressors over the last year! But anyway, instead of just ugly crying over it, I decided to embrace it.  I hit up my wedding photographer and asked for some photos.  Alli from Photography by Alli did an amazing job! Thank you for making me feel beautiful at any size! PBA2015-Lindsey-4 PBA2015-Lindsey-5 PBA2015-Lindsey-6 PBA2015-Lindsey-9 PBA2015-Lindsey-13 PBA2015-Lindsey-14 PBA2015-Lindsey-15 PBA2015-Lindsey-20 PBA2015-Lindsey-28 PBA2015-Lindsey-62 PBA2015-Lindsey-34 PBA2015-Lindsey-37 PBA2015-Lindsey-40 PBA2015-Lindsey-44 PBA2015-Lindsey-46 PBA2015-Lindsey-48 PBA2015-Lindsey-57

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