Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Stuff

This is my post introducing my 'new blog'.  It's obviously the same, but since I'm done with college, I can't exactly have a college blog! Lol.  

I decided to name my updated blog "Moments to Live For".  Life isn't about waiting for great things to happen. It's about pursuing those great moments and making memories on purpose.   I have had amazing things happen to me lately and God is really working in my life so I'm excited to start sharing again!   

I've made a big move to Florida (officially this time, not just a college dorm) and I'll be sharing pictures and such in a bit!  

Thanks for reading my blog :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

No. More. Excuses.

     If I were to be completely honest about the toughest thing going on in my life right now, I would say my weight.  Now, it's not some incredible, life altering struggle that I have and I do realize that I am healthier than many people struggling with weight, but it's a different struggle with each person.  I'll try to explain why I feel my particular struggle has been so challenging for me.

     Around this time, just last year, I was in the best shape of my life, and I don't just mean thinner.  I was thin, I had great muscle tone, I could squat way more than the average guy, I was really proud of my body and my hard work (I was a thrower for my university track team), and best of all, I could go shopping for clothes and literally fit into anything without having to worry about hiding certain parts of my body (such as love handles, chunky legs or arms).  I will definitely say that being on a team and having to work out about 2 hours a day (some cardio, a lot of lifting, and a lot of technique for throwing) had a very significant part in getting me into shape.  Team motivation is irreplaceable.  I lost about 30 lbs or so and it was AWESOME!!! 

     I am a totally open person about this kind of thing, so I'm not going to be embarrassed!!  I've struggled with weight pretty much all my life because I TOTALLY love eating, and I have a habit of OVEReating.  When I started working out for track, my appetite pretty much stayed the same and the intense exercise got me working off a majority of the calories I took in. Here's a collage of me during track season:

     Now, once track season began and our hard workouts got easier, (over working during the week wasn't good for competitions on the weekends) I slowly started to gain my weight back because I wasn't really exercising as hard and my food intake was still the same. By the time summer came a long, I wasn't exercising at ALL and worse, I was at home all the time, snacking ALLLLLL day long.  I went to Wyoming on a summer internship and I tried to get a workout routine going to lose the weight I'd gained back. The altitude is crazy high in Wyoming making breathing a bit harder (ESPECIALLY for working out) so I ended up giving up on that, all the while still gaining weight.  I started school again and thought about doing track, but because it was my senior year, I decided not to because I wanted to aim for a 4.0 GPA and I knew I wouldn't have the time I needed to dedicate to school if I did track.  So, I didn't do track and I was still eating the same, still gaining weight. 

     Since I'm being so vulnerable, I might as well tell ya like it is.  I have ended up gaining more weight than before I even started track. It is a scientific fact that 80% of women who lose weight, gain all of it or more back within 2 years or so of losing it.  We all know how I like to fight the crowd, but I fall right into this statistic.  I'm at the heaviest that I've ever been and I'm also at a jean size that I've never been in.  (Thankfully they are actually a little loose, so I haven't FULLY grown into them... lol!!)   I'm not trying to hide my struggles, so here is a collage of me workin' what I call, "The sexy chunk" look. :P

Note the strategic hand placement over the love handle... you totally didn't even know it was there ;) hahaha

     The hardest part about this whole thing, is how FAST I gained the weight. Like, literally in one year, I lost 30 lbs and then gained like 50!!  To make it a little more real for you, I went shopping at the end of the school year and bought about 4 tops, but I literally gained too much weight before I could even wear them!!!  So right now they are just hanging in the closet, and my beautiful size 12 jeans are chillin there too...  Like, I am STILL not used to being this size!  I still shake my head when I look in the mirror or I try to put a pair of shorts on or a shirt that I'd forgotten were so small... Cuz I had been that small.  I will get moments of complete dissatisfaction with myself because I know it was literally a year ago that I was in fantastic shape. Now, I'm not saying I hate my body or that I hated myself.  I'm saying that I was NOT and AM NOT satisfied with the state that my body is in at this moment in my life.

     Alrighty, so I've laid it all out there for you.  Here is the reason I've decided to post this on my blog and also link it to Facebook for all my friends to see.  Most people might think it's nuts... I mean, the only GOOD collage is a before and after with weight LOSS for the 'after' part... As you've noticed... my weight GAIN and current status is the 'after' part.  Stay with me... there IS a reason.
     We are surrounded with images of boney, skinny, flawless women who make it seem effortless to be exactly how they are.  And there are countless articles written by women who stand up against this ridiculous cultural view of beauty.  These are women who speak up and tell us that we don't have to be skinny to be beautiful.  And I'm here to say the same thing!!!  I definitely ain't skinny and I know I'm still pretty!!  YEAH I SAID IT!  I'm downright good lookin' and you know it.  But here's where the plot twist comes in...  Women are always telling other women to never settle for a guy.  We say that you should want someone who is GREAT for you and who treats you better than anyone ever has.  Not settling means you wait for the BEST to come, to make you feel confident and satisfied.  Well, call me crazy but, shouldn't we hold the same standard when it comes to our own bodies? 
     Hear me out.  If you are content with the way your body is, whether you are a little overweight, a lot overweight, or even a little skinny or a lot skinny, and you don't feel the need to change, then that's fine!  Live it up!  But I'm taking a stand for my body because I know that I am most definitely NOT content and I know there needs to be a change.  I don't want to sit around and be content with 'just the way I am' when I KNOW I can be better. I HAVE been better.  I can't keep sitting in dissatisfaction.  I have to DO something.  I'm not settling for an unhealthy, unfit body when I can make it better.  And when I get to a point where I am truly satisfied again with my body, then I shall work to maintain and take care of it.

            Ladies, if there are any of you reading this blog post, thank you for bearing with me.  If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you are sick of settling with the way your body is now, remember these things:  1)  You are beautiful no matter what.  2) It is WORTH the work you put in to feel greater than you have ever been.  3) We often underutilize our power as women to be supporters.  I mentioned before that team motivation played a key part in my weight loss and healthier living.  Get with another chick who wants to get in better shape too and ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT each other through it.  More often than not, we are pitted against each other in competition.  But let's be honest.  We ALL struggle with self-image.  This isn't about what looks good on the outside or what other people think looks good.  This is about what YOU feel looks good for YOU and how YOU feel in your body. Don't try to look like women on tv or in magazines or some 'flawless' girl you see walking around school or work.  Aim to look and feel like the best YOU.  You don't have to settle.  It was only a year ago that I was 40-50 lbs lighter and BELIEVE me when I say that even 20 lbs less feels amazing.  And if you aren't trying to lose weight, you just want to get in shape, BELIEVE me when I say that 20-30 minutes a day, after a week or two, starts to feel amazing and you seriously start to feel the results that quick.  Magazines don't lie when they say that exercise makes you feel better, clearer, and more confident. 

I'm done settling.  I am done pining over the size 12, absolutely adorable, floral pants that I still haven't gotten to wear yet.  I'm done looking in the mirror wishing I looked like I did last year. I'm done putting of the exercise with excuses such as: homework, feeling tired, have other things to do, its too late...  I'm done eating everything in sight and every time I feel a little hungry! 

It's time for me to work my butt off 30 minutes out of a 1440 minute day.  It's time for me to start eating healthy and with control and discipline!!  It's time for me to realize that it's okay to have 2 cookies instead of 4 and to stop eating BEFORE I feel like I ate an entire cow.  It's time for me to stop settling, to put the work in, to encourage others who want to do the same and to ask for some accountability.   Ladies, let's fight for ourselves!!!  I know I am.

I'm done being a wannabe. I'm a GONNABE.
Too much? NEVER! lol

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Taking Care

My last post was about a resolution to help boost people's self-confidence and self-esteem.  I listed a few things to help do that.  This post is going to be about taking care of your OWN self- confidence and self-esteem.  If you feel good about yourself, you can be contagious in helping others feel good about themselves too!  Isn't it true that when you are around people who are in good moods, that they tend to boost your own mood?  Confidence is the same way.  

I want to share how I have been working on boosting my self-esteem and confidence on the physical level. I think that if you can feel good in your own skin, you are taking a HUGE step higher in confidence. 

There are BILLIONS of products out in the world that aim to improve your appearance and all you have to do is google "ridiculous beauty products" and you'll see how crazy people get!  The products I'm gonna post aren't expensive and they have all worked for me better than I expected.

I love wearing makeup, but I am also a strong supporter of going as natural as you are comfortable with.  These products have all helped me to become more comfortable with my skin without a heavy foundation or really without a lot of makeup at all, and have gotten me to really enjoy wearing my hair down, because as most people who know me know, I will put my hair up into a bun or ponytail as soon as I get annoyed. 

Here we go! :)


This first product ^^^ is by Mary Kay.  It is an everyday cleansing system for acne-prone skin.  There is a cleansing gel (step 1), a toner (step 2), a moisturizer (step 3), and an acne treatment gel (for sudden those sudden blemishes that you need to get rid of).  I LOVE this product set!  It's so easy to use and my skin feels and looks fantastic after every use.  If you are interested, and you live in Ohio around the Middletown, Dayton area and you don't have a Mary Kay Consultant, my friend Megan is one and I'm sure would love to have new clients!  Click HERE for the link to her Mary Kay page to order if you are interested! 

This next product is also Mary Kay.  It is an oil-free, eye make-up remover.  All the years I've been wearing make-up (since I was 14) I've never used a make-up remover. I rarely washed my face before bed. I'd usually just go to bed with it still on and if there were some still on in the morning, I'd scrub it off with a paper towel.  My Mary Kay consultant was having a sale and so I decided to go ahead and try it.  HOLY CRAP! WHERE HAS THIS STUFF BEEN ALL MY LIFE???  If I wear eye make-up during the day, I take it off with this stuff.  It is so soft on your skin and it doesn't sting your eyes with fumes like some stuff does.  I've noticed that my eye lashes have gotten a little thicker of the couple weeks that I've used it.  Probably since I'm not scrubbing them off with paper towels! Haha!

If you are interested, click HERE for a link to Megan's MK page.


I've just started using this product because it was recommended by my sister.  I recently noticed that her hair had gotten a TON thicker since the last time I had seen her and she said that she used this product.  So I looked it up and all the reviews were fantastic and the results are real.  FAT HAIR makes your hair feel fuller and thicker and makes it stronger as well.  I've been using for about a week, and I've seen immediate results of my hair looking thicker and stronger. It's not drastically different (YET), but I've only used it a few times. Many of the reviews were saying that their pony tails had thickened a good inch over time!!  THATS A LOT OF THICKNESS!


I have been biting my nails since before I can remember, and I've been trying to quit for about that long too! I usually try to get acrylic nails so that I can't bite them.  This gives them a chance to grow, but it also weakens them when the fake nails come off. This plan usually doesn't work because even though they are longer than usual, I can't help but bite my nails again because they are flimsy and they feel gross.  Well, this last time I was determined to fight for my nails.  If I get engaged in the future, I don't want to have to take a picture of my ring with my bitten nails (not attractive).  So when the acrylic nails came off, I took nail clippers to the flimsy ends and cut them short.  Then I started using nail hardener thanks to Kelsea from school who showed me how awesome it works. This is the product I use:

It's been almost 4 weeks without me biting my nails. I've been clipping them once every week and they've gotten way stronger.  I think it's safe to say.... I've finally CONQUERED my nail biting habit.  Which brings me to my Christmas gift that I can finally use whenever I want and actually keep it on because it looks good:  Nail Polish!!

All of these products, (minus the nail polish because it isn't an improver, just an enhancer), have helped me become more confident in my skin.  My skin is clearer, softer and just plain awesomer; my hair is getting longer and looks healthy and thick; and my nails are strong and unbitten which of course, makes everything better (unless you are a vampire. lol).   I would recommend any of these products to people who want to improve their natural beauty.  Better looking skin, brighter eyes, gorgeous hair, and pretty nails are all a perfect recipe to get the jump on self-esteem and image that you may need to feel better about yourself and to also help others feel better about themselves too!  

When you know of a good product that works for you, TELL SOMEONE! They might be looking for something just like it!  

This is my first step in my resolution.  I know some things that make me feel confident, so I want to share them so others might gain confidence in themselves if they wish to try these products! 

Happy 9th! aka my favorite day of every month! Along with 19th and the 29th....   :D

New Years Resolution

         Ok, yeah I know I'm like 9 days late for this, but I'll blame it on procrastination.  No, that's got nothing to do with my New Years Resolution.

         New Years Resolutions are typical and commonly revolve around personal improvement: weight loss, getting fit, cutting out crappy foods, being more grateful, spending less money, etc., etc. 

         Well, I'll be the first to admit that I have goals to lose weight, to get fit, and all that good stuff, but those are things I've been trying to do for years and things that I'll keep trying to improve.  I've decided that those things aren't good enough resolutions for this year (for me at least, if you have a resolution that's similar to those, don't let me stop ya!) This year, my resolution is gonna be something that focuses on, not myself, but on others.  It's time to make the world better and although it's gotta start with me, that doesn't mean it needs to be about me.  

         My New Years Resolution is to do my best to build up the self-esteem and confidence of those around me whenever I get the chance and opportunity. 

         People deserve to be loved and shown that they are cared for and are valued.  There's always a reason that someone lashes out, has an attitude, treats someone badly, or whatever it is that makes the world gloomier than it should be.  If I can do my best to make the people around me brighter, I will.

If you haven't got a New Years Resolution, or perhaps you think this is just a really good idea, then let's go!!! Join with me for 2014 and hopefully every year after, to make people around us feel more loved, more confident, and have a better self-image!

There are SO MANY ways you can help build someone's confidence.  If you need a boost for ideas, here are some that I thought of, and the asterisks at the end of some of the points are side notes at the bottom!

* Ok, this is a huge pet peeve of mine, because I feel like it ruins the authenticity of a compliment.  When I tell someone "I really like your shoes!" and they return with "I really like your face!", it just really makes me want to never compliment them again.  The proper response, regardless of what's popular to do right now, is smile and say thank you and appreciate what was said to you.  If they have to come back with this face comment, or another  compliment that probably wasn't really a thoughtful compliment, I'm not sure they really accepted your compliment. Whatever the case, I'm just telling you that I don't believe it really shows that you appreciate a compliment when you have to have a comeback other than "Oh thank you!" 

**Alright, this one is a proven SCIENTIFIC, (not Si-intistic... Thanks Duck Dynasty) fact!  When you use a persons name in addressing them, it gives them a sense of importance and as you give other people that feeling, you yourself will end up feeling confident as well!

"Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language."
                                        -Dale Carnegie, "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

*** As I said in the point, be engaged in conversation with others!! When someone knows you are focused on them and what they are saying, it shows them you care about what they have to say.  Also, after you've had conversations with people, when you have another conversation, refer back to other conversations that you've had with them to prove that you really did pay attention.  Doing this boosts their self-esteem and it also helps you to actually really care and get interested in that person's life!  

Let me know if you think this is helpful!! I'd love to take part in your experiences in building up other people.  People need support.  It doesn't matter that America is an individualistic society.  People need other people.  Show those around you that you really do care.  Next time you ask someone "What's up?",  do something different. Stop and ask them, "Seriously, how are you doing? How is life?  Is there anything I can pray about for you?"  I can't stress enough how important this whole thing is guys. So I'll end with this verse:

 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
                                                           Ephesians 4:29 ESV

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Future Plans

         As most of you who read my blog know, I am a senior at Warner University and if all goes well and I pass my classes, I'll be graduating in May!  I am super excited but also a little scared.  I think that's a healthy thing though.  So, if you were wondering, here are the things that might be coming up in my future. 

         Since the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I have known that I am going to be doing something ministry related with my career.  I finally figured out what exactly that would be just last year.  I am going to be a psychologist.  More softly put, a counselor.  I hope to be employed in a church, or organization, and maybe someday even have my own practice!  Because I want to become a psychologist, I am going to have to be licensed.  And in order to be licensed, I must have a master's degree.  This means another 2 years or so of schooling.  It is a little aggravating to feel that a lot of other people are moving right into their careers after college and I'm moving right into more school, but because I feel such a passion for what I'm being called to do, I am not too worried.  (Liking school doesn't hurt either.) 

         So, in order to pursue my master's degree, I have to go to a graduate school.  I really want to live in Florida after I graduate from Warner, so I have decided to apply to Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL.  I have applied and I am now in the application process. 

  Now, whether this actually works out or not is dependent upon quite a few things.  These are the things that I ask anyone who reads this to pray about with me.  Ok.  In order for this to all work out, I must find a job, an apartment or living arrangement, and a car.  The hard part about all of these is that I have no idea which should or will come first.  It's like a big ugly circle of needs that all depend on each other.  I need a car to go to my job.  I need my job to get a car.  I need an apartment or somewhere to live while I work at my job. And I need a job to afford that apartment or living expense.  See my dilemma?  I have no doubt that everything will work out how it needs to, but right now, it causes great anxiety when I think about it. Haha
Anyhow, this is what's going on right now, gotta keep y'all updated!! :D  Please keep this whole thing in your prayers and if you find any free cars, bags full of money, or anything like that, send it my way ;) Lol!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

A girl's bestfriend

         That one person that loves you no matter what... who, even if you leave them outside accidently, they won't mind...  Who loves you even if you forget to take the tomatoes off of the taco brought home for them.  That person who tries to jump up on you and won't stop even as you are yelling at them to, because they can tell you think they are adorable. That person who poops in front of your bedroom door as a symbol of favoritism (at least, that's how I'm taking it), who really does eat your homework, who constantly steals your sandwiches that you spent a good 5 minutes making, who helps clean the dishes, who helps dirty the house up a mere 10 minutes after it gets cleaned, and who waits patiently for you to clean off all the mud from their legs once they get done doing whatever they does outside.  

         Lilly, the gorgeous German shepherd-collie mix that my family has had for a good ten years, is who I'm describing.  A few days ago, she hurt her back really bad, and wasn't eating her food (not even a taco!!!!) so my parents decided to take her to the vet to get her checked out.   This morning, Lilly died at the vets suddenly.  I miss her already. 

         She was one of my favorite things to come home to during a college break.  I loved seeing her as I walked in the door and she would come over to me and be all happy to see me.  I'd always leave my door open when no one else was home during those breaks so she could hang out with me.  I remember before I left for college, my parents would joke around and tell me that I had to take her with me.  I said I would do it happily!

         When she was around 3 or 4 I taught her how to growl on command.  It was awesome.  Mom didn't think so though.  Every time after that, whenever she growled, I got blamed for teaching her bad habits. I denied this, of course. I trained her to do it on command.  If she's doing it not on command, it ain't got nothing to do with me!!! lol.

         I remember times when I was sad, or depressed, or heart, or broken, or just needed someone to talk to (or at) lol, Lilly was my main man.  She would lay down on my bed and I'd lay beside her and pet her and talk about everything.  Call me weird, but through high school, she was one of my best friends.  I'll always love my little Lillers

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What it takes

        Warner University's first football season is almost over, and it's been rough.  We have zero wins under our belts, there have been injuries, some have been out for the season, a lot of players have gotten discouraged, a few have even left, there have been both good and bad attitudes seen on and off the field, but through it all, there have been an exceptional few that have been pretty positive throughout, and those guys are the ones that are making our team better. 
        Shout out to Drew, our QB.  No matter how hard it got, and will be, he is guaranteed to play his butt off for his team.  Another player that I happen to be pretty close to is my handsome man, John.  I still get surprised at how unbelievably hardworking he is for his team and sport.  Call me biased, but I'm pretty sure he is among the top players when it comes to dedication, skill, and hard work.  Because of all these things, his teammates chose him as a captain.  I firmly believe his consistent good attitude has earned him that spot.  That pretty much makes me famous, right?! Haha Just kidding!!  But basically, he has what it takes.  When people can tell you really care and are willing to put in the work, you are a leader, publically chosen or not.  That little bit of insight is free.  You are welcome America.

Anyway, here are some pics of my bf during his first game as a captain:

Coin toss

John, #55, and one of his besties, Travis

The most adorable fist pump ever.