H2Ohmygoodness.

So, I like to try health/diet challenges apparently.

I’m currently doing a meat-free month. The idea was sparked by my brother who completed this challenge in January. He said he felt noticeably lighter and less tired after meals. I’ve also done research about vegetarianism and going vegan, and there are plenty of health benefits.

Please note: I am NOT against eating meat. Please. I live in a beef state. I don’t think D would let us stay married if I gave up meat permanently. 😉

Buuuuut, I have noticed that on a meat/egg free diet, I have less food cravings, and I do feel less (for lack of a better word) heavy after a meal. I have allowed myself to eat fish because where I live, it’s nearly impossible to eat at a restaurant and not order meat. Also, I conveniently (and unknowingly) coincided my meat-free month with Lent, so I have ready access fish as an alternative to red meat or chicken.

Another challenge I’ve undertaken is to drink one gallon of water each day for 30 days. There was an article circulating the web about a woman who completed this challenge. Her before and after pictures are crazy different! She looked ten years younger in the “after” picture.  I know that many people do drink enough water each day, but I consistently feel thirsty and even get that cottonmouth feeling a few times a week.

This has been a good challenge for me thus far. I’m 3 days in and I already notice a difference. I am eating much less now, because I feel fuller with a belly full of water! Combined with my cleaner eating habits, hopefully I’ll see myself slim down a smidge. They say that many people will experience acne problems in the first week of this gallon challenge because your body is being flushed of its toxins. I haven’t noticed a difference in my skin yet, but I hope that will improve, too.

I’m all for trying new things, and seeing what works for my body. I’ll keep you posted with this adventure and see how I feel when it’s done!

Lists are for Lazy People

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After prompting from my brother and (miraculously) our deceased dog, I’ve returned with more hodgepodge.

And, because lists are the laziest form of writing, and require no organization, originality, or connection to the reader, I’m going to jump back in with a world-class list of “thinks” for you. Here goes.

1. Small town life is exactly as inconvenient as it sounds.

2. Store closings mean 3 inexpensive cute chairs for our house.

3. Why can’t public schools in America look like schools in Finland? Also, college. And economy. Let’s move to Finland.

4. Even the best teachers don’t have a cure for lazy students.

5. There is a fine line between indulgence and gluttony.

6. I’m almost done with FRIENDS on Netflix. And can I just say, miscommunication is the general theme throughout the series. Practically every predicament, can be solved if someone would just have the guts to tell the truth. It would make for a WAY more boring storyline though.

7. Winter Blues is a real thing.

8. D has put a little work into the teal pickup, and I’ve only had to rescue a stranded husband twice. 😉

9. I don’t like my job. But next year I’ll be doing what I absolutely love, which is preschool!

10. I’m getting really good at using memes when I text. Test me. Text me.

11. It’s been over a year since I started shampooing with baking soda. Though now I’m alternating between that and store-bought shampoo, I still recommend it!

12. D and I are incredibly lucky to have what we have. Student loans are the most unnecessarily complicated things to deal with, but we have much more than many people, and we’re super grateful.

13. I’ll end on 13 so superstitious people can read into this.

 

That’s all she wrote.

Thanks ghost of my former pet, and Tom for bullying me into writing on a silly blog again. It is somewhat refreshing, and I’ll try not to leave you in the dark anymore. Love you!

Nuestras vidas!

Here’s an update on our lives in Southwest Nebraska!

D and I help every week with a college ministry connected with our church. It’s small right now, but will hopefully grow!

I’m teaching ELL in a town 15 miles from where we live. I don’t love it. But I don’t hate it either.

I recently tried spaghetti squash, and it’s fantastic.

D is loving his career teaching industrial technology. He is excited about what the kids can do!

I just turned 24. Yikes – that sounds old.

D is driving around a bright teal 1970 Ford pickup, and is slowly restoring it. Ahh… manly manhood.

We are going to Lincoln to tailgate with my family this weekend. It’s going to be so good to see them again!

D and I are on season 7 of The Office, and soon he will have seen every single episode. Woohoo! (We’ll likely finish just in time for Friends to be added to Netflix. Perfect timing.)

Our town is growing on me. Our friends here are great, and I’m somehow finding a way to cope with being so far away from my vices (Cold Stone, sushi, Target).

Overall, things are positive. We’re happy and we’re excited to both be bringing home the bacon this year.
…One step closer to getting a puppy! 🙂

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. We’re so lucky to be where we are, and it’s been great to share it with you!

Miscellaneous Musings

Hello there, Blogosphere. It’s been a while.
I’m finding that a little more time passes between each of my entries. It’s strange how time can get away from us so easily.

I thought I might entertain you with some thoughts of mine over the past 3 weeks. I’m trying to learn about myself a little bit, so lately, I’ve been keeping track of some of my thoughts.  When I have a thought that I choose not to vocalize, I jot it down. And here they are.

1. I wonder if Bo Pelini chews Big Red gum. I mean… if he didn’t, psh…. both ends of that deal are missing out on some prime advertising and pun-ery.

2. It’s 2014. Shouldn’t board games come in standard size boxes!? I can’t stand how they’re all different. They can’t fit anywhere!

3. Dang McFlurry Spoon! I think it’s a straw every time!

4. Am I the only one who gets clicking on YouTube, and one thing leads to another, and I end up watching a home water birth (or some other random thing)? How does that happen?

5. We were having ice cream at a restaurant, and a moth landed on our table. Without thinking, I grabbed the salt-shaker and use it to smack the moth. Then I realized that I a-salt-ed a moth. Assaulted.

6. That awkward moment when… you need to buy a plunger and you see everyone you know at the store. Calmly meander to the other aisles until they’re all out of sight, then purchase the plunger and run!

7. salsa = taco ketchup

What I’ve learned about myself thus far is that I am a weirdo. The data is conclusive.

This last one is a for-real dream that my brain decided was alright to give me:
D and I visited a tribe of aboriginal people. They were dancing around a fire in some ritual thing. Then they started stabbing each other in the back with long spears. And everyone was excited about it, and asking if it could be their turn next. Even little children! Apparently they believe that piercing themselves will allow spirits to enter their bodies. So then, D decides that since we’re guests, we should honor their traditions and join in. He gets stabbed in the back and tells me it doesn’t hurt (because it’s a dream and dreams are SO logical). I believe him, and a tribesman gives me a special spear that is for guests. I proceed to stab people in the back when they ask me to, and the head chief gets the honor of stabbing me. We all survive, and keep celebrating and they feed me some weird food for dessert. I am a psycho.

Anyway, I thought that perhaps you might find these thoughts as amusing as I did.
And if you don’t, welp, sorry I’m not sorry.

Babel

Hola!

I find myself thinking complete thoughts in Spanish nowadays. My five years of Spanish classes have paid off!

My job is the hardest job I have ever had. My five years of college education, along with my two student teaching experiences didn’t prepare me for how difficult this is. But it’s so rewarding! My students are absolutely wonderful!

In the beginning, everyone on earth spoke the same language. There was only one. Then, the people became proud, and decided to build an enormous tower that reached the heavens so that they could make a name for themselves. Well, God frowns upon pride, so He confused their speech and scattered them across the whole earth.
BabelJust like at Babel, God has humbled me over the past month too. He gave me a job with awesome coworkers, administrators, and super bright students! The majority of my time is spent with two gentlemen who prior to this school year, didn’t speak a lick of English. I want so badly to help them learn the language. They’re great kids and they’re diligent workers. They’re struggling a lot with missing home. Many of their family members are still in Central America.

I know God has placed me in this career so that I can encourage, strengthen, and educate these kiddos. I’m still figuring out my teaching style (it’s much different than teaching English-speaking youngsters).

My students have made leaps and bounds in the past month, and I am so excited about how much English they already know! They know survival English, 22 verbs in simple present and simple future tense. They also know vocabulary for clothing, food, calendar, and school supplies. In a month! That’s incredible!

I didn’t plan to be teaching this year, so I know that God put me here deliberately. I’m still figuring out why, but it’s been the most challenging slash rewarding educational experience thus far!

Thanks for your prayers and excitement!

My Classroom!

I recently took a full-time position as a K-12 teacher. I teach English as a Second Language. I work with kids who speak mainly Spanish, but go to an English-speaking school. Two of my students moved here this summer and spoke zero English prior to school. Now they know some English, and they’re taking risks with a new language! I love my job!

I was hired on 2 weeks into the school year, so I didn’t get to prepare my classroom before students arrived. It’s been a work in progress, but here is what it looks like right now! Also, note that I only work with 1-3 students at any given time. That’s why I don’t have a lot of desks. We have the whole room to work with!

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I am not a party-pooper.

Many opinions may differ, but I am not a party-pooper.

I just like to go to bed before 10.
And I think 5 hours is enough time to spend with someone at a time.
And I don’t like to get smashed at the bar on the weekends.
I enjoy having a plan.
I like to be with people who are kind, and considerate.

I am not a party-pooper.

People in this town drink. A lot. And that’s something I’m getting used to. I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I enjoy my Coors Light now and again, but
1. I can’t afford to drink beer like it’s water.
2. I don’t like the way I feel when I’m tipsy.
3. If I’m going to consume something bad for me, I’d rather have ice cream.

I get quite a bit of flack for being sober when we’re hanging out in a group. People assume I’m pregnant (I’m not!) if there’s no drink in my hand. What? Never have I seen people who are so concerned with what I’m drinking.

Also, I get up early now. I recently was hired to teach English as a Second Language at a school nearby. That means on weeknights, I don’t want to stay up all hours of the night. I want to come home, read my novel, and be in bed around 9:30.
Lame? Pssh. I don’t think so. I get up at 6.

I also don’t think it’s funny to joke about people getting hurt, racial slurs, or crude humor. I try not to curse. I want to be a woman of integrity. I want to honor my God and my morals. My actions and words should encourage others, not cut them down. I never have to censor myself if I think/speak PG all the time.

So maybe I’m a square. Maybe I’m a loser who doesn’t know how to “party.” Maybe I am lame.

But I am not a party-pooper.

 

 

Oh Happy Day!

Do you ever have those days where everything goes well?

Well today was one of those for me.

For the last few days, I’ve been working for a school nearby. They just got an unexpected influx of non-English speaking students. They asked me to assess the students, determine their needs, and point them in the right direction for an ESL program. They have also told me that my position may turn into a permanent one (Fingers crossed!), but they won’t make any decisions until the end of the month.

Today, I worked with two high school students who have been in the U.S. for less than a month. They don’t speak any English. My five (count ’em) years of Spanish classes are really handy at this job. I taught both of the students how to say some simple phrases in English. They can introduce themselves, ask to go to the bathroom, tell you they don’t understand, and ask for help. Also, with one student, I taught him the names of about 20 articles of clothing in English. He wrote them down with pictures. Then without looking at the cards, I had him point to the picture of the item that I said in English. HE WAS RIGHT 99% OF THE TIME. 

I love teaching! I love watching kids have that “lightbulb” moment! They’re sponges!

In addition to the success of my students, I impressed the administration with a report I wrote which summed up the results of all the testing I conducted. Isn’t it a great feeling to impress your boss?

To top it all off, I got in my car to go home, turned on the radio and…. got Rick-Rolled!

So now I’m at home, eating cake because I earned it, and I’m glowing. So there. What a wonderful, whimsical Wednesday!

 

The Michael Scott Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure

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Hello friends! I thought that I’d make everyone feel comfortable by talking about something we all love to discuss. Our bodies.
Yes, really.
I know that I don’t show my body the respect it deserves. My attitude about how I look paints a pretty sad little picture. I don’t think anyone can honestly look in the mirror and be 100% in love with their body. However, society has made it allowable – nay, normal – for us to critique ourselves harshly based our appearance. If we talked to our friends the way we talked to our bodies, nobody would want to hang out with us! I catch myself saying awful things to myself on a daily basis.
Why won’t your hair do that thing? Your acne is flaring up again. You’re a terrible person if you reach for that dessert. How can you make your boobs look bigger? This outfit makes your (insert body part here) look weird/bad/big/small.
It’s sickening! I don’t give myself enough credit.

While I do believe in eating right, and being active, I also believe in loving yourself for one reason and one reason only. You don’t belong to you.

Let me repeat that. YOU do not belong to YOU.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

My body, though it may not be what I think looks perfect, allows me to do incredible things! I can wrap my arms around my husband. I can eat incredible food from new places. I can try out the new toothpowder I created. I can smile at people, and give them encouragement. I can travel and explore. I can dance! I can (someday) become pregnant and feel the baby kick inside me. I can bring life to the world! I can push a stroller and hold hands. I can carry heavy loads, and cry happy tears. My body is amazing! And it allows me to be amazing!

It was hard for me to remember that today. I recently signed up for a 5K (3.1 miles) on September 5. That’s in like 2 weeks. So I figured… I should probably start…you know…. training.
So I went for a run today. I ran 1 mile and IT. WAS. HARD. Some people are able to run a mile without even breaking a sweat. I’m not one of those people. I struggled. Huffed and puffed.

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But instead of focusing on what my body couldn’t do (like the other 2.1 miles), I’m going to celebrate that my body allowed me to run 5,280 feet today. That’s quite a distance, and my body is amazing for getting me that far.

So I encourage you to allow yourself to love your body. It was a gift from the One who knows you best. You can’t return it if you don’t like the wrapping. So focus on all the things your body can help you accomplish. In the end, you’re not going to be proud of the vessel. You’ll care about the goods it carried.

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