Friday, October 21, 2011


I am not a runner. In fact, I suck at running. But I'd like to change that. And I'm slowly working towards a few goals to make that happen. A common theme in the blog/twitter/facebook realm seems to be putting goals out there for everyone to read. This serves as a good motivation and is a great accountability method. I need all of that I can get so I'm following suit and putting my goals out there on the Internet so then I have to make it happen.

First up: My first 5K run on November 19th. I set this as a goal for myself around this time last year and never made it happen. This time? It's happening. And I'm lucky enough to be able to run it with some pretty amazing people. My husband, my mom, my coworker/friend Ashley, as well as two fantastic blogger ladies that have both been a huge inspiration for me throughout my Weight Watchers journey.

Training has been going well so far. Luckily for me my husband IS a runner. In fact? He can run lots of miles without stopping and his next goal is a half marathon... something I can only dream of (although it sounds like a bad dream to me right now). Shawn has been my motivator and my trainer, and I am so grateful for that. Slowly but surely he is turning his wife into a runner too.

Now for my ultimate goal. I am going to compete in the Tough Mudder in April 2012. I'd like to dedicate an entire post to this goal though, so in the meanwhile go ahead and take a look at the website and tell me how crazy awesome I am.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Come Second

This past few weeks in church, the sermons have been about loving people through joyful service. This past Sunday's lesson really grabbed a hold of me and spoke to my heart. It was about putting others first and putting yourself second.

This sounds easy, right? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. To me, when I heard it, I thought to myself "check, already do that." But then I started to think a little more. There are certainly times that I could do better. I mean, I'm sure we all could do better. Everyone has their flaws.

The Pastor talked about a variety of examples, including one as simple as holding the door for someone at the gas station and saying to yourself "you're first, I'm second". This began to start my mind juices flowing and now throughout the day I try and make it a point to stop, think, and ask myself how I can serve someone else.

How can I make their life a little easier? More importantly, what are my motives and why am I doing this person a favor... is it to help them, or to make myself look better? I'd like to say that it's always to genuinely help a person, but I'd be lying. I'm a sinner just like anyone else and sometimes my intentions and my motives aren't exactly pure. I want to change this. I want to be intentional and selfless. This also reflects back on my post about good deeds.

So, this is my new resolution for the Fall. No need to wait until the new year, this is a change that I want to and am ready to make now. Will you join me?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Someone Once Told Me...

If you are working harder for someone to change than they are working to change themselves, there's a problem.

Sometimes I struggle with letting other people's decisions influence my emotions. Especially if I have gone through a similar situation, it's so easy for me to jump the gun and say, "NO! Do it this way."

This piece of advice has really gotten through to me. Although it is still an every day challenge for me, it is now easier to remind myself that it's not my life and I cannot control other people's thoughts or actions. Mostly, it's a good reminder not to let myself get upset over something that is out of my control.

Is there a piece of advice that has really gotten through to you? If so, I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stolen Earrings

On my husband and I's first dating anniversary we decided to be fancy and buy each other some expensive gifts. A Movado watch for him and diamond earrings for me. It was my first real pair of diamond earrings and I was obsessed with them. I literally wore those earrings every day (including my wedding day) until he surprised me with blue diamond earrings on our first wedding anniversary in St. Thomas.

June 29, 2008 - Our first dating anniversary

May 8, 2011 - Our first wedding anniversary

Being the excitable man that Shawn is, he insisted I wear the earrings right!away! Who would argue with that? So I wore them the rest of our trip and put my old diamond earrings in the jewelry box of the new earrings which was then packed away in my suitcase.

Every piece of jewelry I wear was given to me by my husband and I do not accessorize according to outfits (I know. What kind of girl am I?). With this being said, I never have extra jewelry on trips since I always wear what I will be wearing the entire time. I thought nothing of packing jewelry and have since been scolded by multiple people since apparently, you shouldn't pack anything of value. My bad.

Fast forward to unpacking from our trip back home in Pennsylvania. The jewelry box was there, the earrings were not. I quickly and carefully looked through my entire suitcase and they were no where to be found. Also missing? A full bottle of perfume. AKA: the only two things of value that were in my checked luggage. I could care less about the perfume, although I would have preferred to keep it. But the earrings. My earrings. I was crushed.

One smart thing I did do? The earrings were insured. So I called the insurance company to file a claim and expected to get a check in the mail. Oh. It doesn't work that way? Damn. Next step? We needed a letter from the airline stating we filed a claim for the stolen earrings. Sounds easy? Think again. It took from May until the last day of September to get an email from the airline stating that they couldn't do a thing for us. This is after four phone calls and multiple emails. Almost FIVE months for them to tell us "sorry, we will try better the next time you fly with us". Yeah. Like that's ever going to happen.

So, the airline sucked. Really bad. I spent hours on the phone with them and many tears to get no help. BUT, the good thing? The insurance company did not suck. The email from the airline stating they were unable to help was enough. As of yesterday, I finally have confirmation from the insurance company to go ahead and get some new diamond earrings. They aren't the original ones that have meaning behind them, but at least we aren't out a lot of money. So one out of two isn't bad.

Alright. So now I know. Lesson learned. Do not pack items of value and do insure your jewelry. A nice shout out to Jewelers Mutual Insurance for being helpful and patient while the airline was a big pain in the butt. For anyone who does not insure their jewelry through their homeowner's policy or some other existing policy, I highly recommend them. (I am not paid by Jewelers Mutual and they do not even know I am writing a blog post about them. I am just genuinely grateful to have some real customer service for once!).

So tell me, have you ever had something of value stolen? What was your experience like?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good Deeds

I've noticed a trend lately. Good deeds.  I've also noticed the trend to brag about good deeds on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I've gotta tell you, I'm a fan of one but not of the other.

I love a good deed. Donating to a charity, giving food and clothes to the less fortunate, helping an elderly lady to her car. But why the need to broadcast it all over the Internet? Shouldn't doing what's right be enough for us?  I admit I too struggle with this sometimes. When I do something good, of course I want to hear "good job!", "you're such a great person!", and other compliments. But here's the real question: what actually makes a person a "good person"? In my opinion, the deed itself should be enough validation for ourselves instead of the comments on our public profiles.

It's hard with social media being such a huge part of our every day lives. We make every day happenings public for everyone to see. Weddings, babies, vacations. I get that. But I really think this is something we need to keep to ourselves and let our good deeds speak for themselves. After all, do you really need someone you graduated high school with 10 years ago or someone's second cousin that you've met twice to tell you that what you did was a good thing? Let's be confident in our good deeds without feeling the need to advertise them.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:1-4...

"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

THIS! This is what I'm talking about. Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying one cancels out the other by any means. It's just my feeling that we should do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, and not because we feel the need to prove anything to our Internet friends.

Am I alone is this feeling? Do you think good deeds should be made public for the whole world to see, or should we keep these triumphs to ourselves?