Monday, August 29, 2011

When did my life get interesting?

This last week has been SO eventful. On top of receiving news of both a birth and a pregnancy on the pruning crew, on Wednesday I officially moved into my new apartment with the loves of my life!
"If anyone crosses us, we should bitch-slap em with this!"
By the looks of things, we're the first ones to clean the lint trap in about 2 years

Thursday was the last day of my cleanse. For lack of a "before" picture, I'm going to use this one:
3 weeks of misery and 13 pounds later, I look like this:

Where'd my butt go? I dunno. It figured out I wasn't serving food anymore and it peaced out.
It's kinda depressing cause I know I'm just gonna gain all my weight back, seeing as how I've been binging on junk food ever since. Still, I can't say the cleanse wasn't worth it. I feel accomplished and satisfied, and it gave me a sense of peace in my life. It has been a great experience. It feels good to have energy again though.

Saturday, Caroline and I got up bright and early to shop for decor. We started by getting ever-so-classy cinderblocks to raise our beds.
Caroline had some trouble steering.
After much debate and clearance-picking, we managed to accentuate the horrid couches that came with the apartment.

I apologize for the hasty closing; I'm a little short on time these days. Long story short, it's basically going to be an incredible year.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another sentimental post.

As the school year creeps closer, I've been contemplating how different I am now than I was a year ago. I think about the experience I've gained, the lessons I've learned, the relationships I've formed or strengthened, and those I've discontinued.
I can honestly say that I have grown and changed more my freshman year of college, especially this summer, than any other period of my life. Many of my experiences have been painful. Many have been difficult. But I'm so much stronger and I understand so much more because of them. I can attribute the bulk of these changes to the following:
  • The beautiful, talented, sweet-spirited girls who have taken me in as their roommate and loved me unconditionally, even though I say awfully dumb things and have made so many mistakes. Knowing that I'll be living with them for at least the next 9 months, I have so much to look forward to that I can hardly even stand it. They are such a blessing.
  • The D&C class I took taught by Matthew Clayton. I think he only teaches spring term, but if you ever have the opportunity to take this class from him, do it. I have such a better focus on life from the eternal perspective because of it and it has, without exaggeration, altered my behavior and the type of people I choose to associate with.
  • Challenging myself. I'm a firm believer that what you do is who you are, so this summer I was determined to do something that would make me the kind of person I could be proud of. So I ran a half marathon, and I surprised myself with how considerably well I did. That would have been enough, but I also got swept up in this cleanse. Dang I thought I was gonna be able to get through this post without mentioning the cleanse. Well I've completed 19/23 days of my cleanse to the best of my ability. I've lost at least 10.9 pounds. It's been kind of miserable, but I'm almost done, and I'm pretty sure now that I can do anything. It's done wonders for my confidence.
  • My job. Pruning shrubs all day, although repetitive and somewhat boring, is the perfect environment for talking. And the people I work with are some of the most incredible people to talk to. I spend so much of my time with them that they have become a bit like family to me. They've been supportive and understanding and protective, and my interactions with them have been (maybe this is a weird word to use but it's how i feel) nourishing. Because of their example, I've come to realize what is really worth making a priority in life. It's not making tons of money and having expensive things; it's not getting laid; it's not dating the most attractive or prestigious person you can convince to like you, or having a big expensive wedding that you have to save up for a year or two just to afford. It's living with integrity. It's living frugally, without debt and therefore with minimal stress. It's filling your life with knowledge and truth and inspiration. It's finding someone who you can call your best friend, who you can trust and share everything with, and marrying the heck outta them. It's having a family and teaching them to be the very best that they can be. There's a number of married couples on the crew, and it's given me an idea of what marriage really is about. It makes me sad that most of the world sees marriage as confining and stuffy. Cause to me it looks wonderful. It looks challenging but secure. And I've grown to look forward to it with eager anticipation. Not too eager. DON'T worry.
The point is, in the last year, I've been through a lot.

A little over a year ago, I was this girl:

Now, I'm her:
Can you see a difference?
A little tanner; a little blonder; but it's more than that. She's infinitely happier..
I love this girl. I'm so proud of her. And I look forward to finding out who she becomes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A cleanse can do crazy things to a girl..

I've never been big on preparing food. Usually it takes a brownie (batter) or cookie (dough) craving to motivate me to bake or a lack of access to any microwavable foods to stimulate my putting any more effort into food preparation than sticking multiple substances between two slices of bread. Partly this has to do with the fact that for the last year I haven't had the necessary cooking equipment to do anything fancy, nor the energy to shop for ingredients.
Since for the past two weeks I have had to deprive myself of all things worth eating, I fantasize about food a lot. It's probably very unhealthy. Still, it has somehow catalyzed my domestic female gene. I guess it took 14 days of sugar deprivation to for me to realize that I secretly have a passion for baking. Suddenly, I just wanna bake everything. Even though I know I won't be able to eat it. I've realized how much food makes me happy. I was googling a recipe for peanut butter banana bread and I stumbled across Joy the Baker whose blog contains so many delicious-sounding recipes that I almost died looking at it. On my sudden baking impulse, I accepted an invitation to go to Ryan's house to make peanut butter banana bread for him, but he only had wienie ingredients, so i had to use this lame recipe instead. Warning! Even though the recipe says 70-75 minutes, that's entirely too long. I'd go with 60. Tops. Anyway, here's how it turned out:
According to Ryan, it's delicious. I wouldn't know, because I'm still torturing myself with my cleanse. It smelled awesome though and it was definitely tempting. 9 days until I can bake something delicious for myself! And my roommates!!!!! I can't wait to move in :D

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"In this age...

which believes there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest." -Henry Miller

 On Tuesday, I started a 17-day cleanse. Counting pre- and post- cleanse, it's probably closer to 25 days. I'm limited to deep leafy greens, raw vegetables, cooked beets, watermelon, herbs, and rather unpleasant shakes which are expected to scrub out my colon allowing for better digestion in the future. I don't feel a need to lose weight, so the only thing really keeping me motivated to stick to it (and I have, with the exception of skipping a salad here and there, thank you very much) is the fact that this opportunity to do this cleanse has been graciously and generously provided by my parents who funded it. Still, ask any of the people I work with, and they will tell you how unsavory my attitude has been. I'm really grateful for their sympathy and support despite my constant whining and cranky retorts. For example, Marcus encouraged me to eat my beets (Sorry the vid is sideways. I'm technologically challenged.)

The cleanse hasn't been too awful, considering all the fuss I've been making about it. And I am pleased to report that I already have noticed it's easier to get into my super tight jeans that I'm not willing to admit are too small for me, and I think my fingers look less chubby (yeah, I didn't need it. But weight loss doesn't suck.) Besides that, I have noticed that although the sun still makes me feel lazy, I don't feel like I need a nap after lunchtime the way I used to.

The other thing I felt the impulse to blog about is the documentary I just watched on Netflix. It's called I.O.U.S.A. and it's about the alarming rise of the national debt. I've been really interested in finances lately because working full time for the first time in my life, I'm making considerable amounts of money and I haven't been managing it well. This documentary really alerted me to the ignorance of Americans in terms of finance and reminded me that you can't always have everything you want instantly. It was fairly politically unbiased, which I appreciated. I strongly recommend it.

Basically the theme of my week, which I'd like to share, is not to be afraid to do hard things. In the long run, it builds better character and reaps greater rewards.