Monday, October 22, 2012

Thankfulness in the wake of tragedy

Yesterday's tragedy was something most people watched unfold on the news. The horror of what happened yesterday affects everyone because as humans our hearts break when something so sensless happens. For me thought, this hit home. I have worked at Azana on and off for 10 years. I have many friends that work there, have celebrated a lot of my life's major events with them, and have considered it a second home. We have been through marriages, births, divorces, sickness but up until yesterday never death. Although I have not worked in the salon for the last two years I still know almost everyone who works there. It is a close knit group of amazing women so when something like this happens there is not one person who remains unshaken. Everynight when I pray with Stella before bed I start by saying "Dear Jesus, thank you for this day.." Well last night I began the prayer with "Dear Jesus" but then could not get the rest of the words out. The three women who I knew personally's faces flashed before my eyes and I could not get the words "thank you for this day" out of my mouth because I thought, "how can I be thankful for this day?" But, in my pause Stella looked up at my face and said "thank you for this day...thank you that Ms. Lauren and mommy's friends are ok." And in that instance God spoke and reminded me that amongust the horror and tragedy that happened that He was there. That there were many miracles that happened yesterday. I was reminded that this was an evil act done by a man who was acting in a evil way. The emeny is out to steal our joy, he is out to make us bitter and angry. And, if we allow ourselves to be consumed by this anger, thi bitterness that he is winning, evil has won. The world lost 3 precious women yesterday, they were mothers and one even a grandmother, there is nothing that will ever take the pain of that loss away. We just need to trust that they are in a place now that is better than anything we've ever known on earth, they are in no pain, and there is only joy. I think it is so important to thank God for every single person who made it out yesterday, ever person who wasn't there that could have been. Often times when we experience such a tragedy it makes us realize how much we have to be thankful for. Please continue to be in prayer with me, for the victims family, mostly their sweet children, for the survivors who made it through a nightmare, and the rest of the azana girls who a suffering such a great great great loss.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Today is a day to be celebrated

In my own little world I would declare today a holiday and the name of this holiday would be "The Day I Could Fit Into My Old Jeans Day" I am so happy I could scream...which I actually did...and then I did a dance...and made up a song which went "I can fit into my old jeans! I can fit into my old jeans!" My kids even joined in, clapping and dancing, it was quite an ordeal. Now when I say fit into I don't mean squeeze into where all my fat it just pushed up and over the top, I mean actually fit into where you don't have to suck in to button your pants fit. I still wrestle with working out every day but today I will not because today I know that it's working, that all the pain and the constant state of being sore is paying off.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why am I doing this?

I have just started my 8th week of the Insanity workouts, I only have 11 more workouts until I have completed the 60 day challenge. This is the first time I have committed to doing something to better by body and have actually followed through, that in itself makes me happy. When I talk about it most people ask how much weight I have lost or want to lose. This question made me start thinking about why i was doing this which again made me think about my constant internal struggle with my body image for the past 5 years.

So I would like to share why I am doing this as honest and as crazy as the reasons might be this is why I am working out.

Well before I started this I would spend most of my days with an internal struggle, I hated the way I looked but was not doing much to change it which in turn made me even more upset with myself. Now that I have started and even more importantly following through I do not have that constant self loathing and that is a great feeling.

We live in Wisconsin so luckily for a good portion of the year we can cover a lot of our body up but there are some nice months here where you do need to wear warmer weather clothes and the thought of that used to make me want to lock myself in my bedroom and cry. Ever since my first baby I have become best friends with spanx and spanx and warm weather do not go well together. I will admit that I have worn spanx in the middle of summer just to try and feel a little better about the way I look. I DO NOT want to do that anymore! Its super hot and really uncomfortable! I know it will take quite awhile to get my stomach to wear I am even remotely happy BUT I hope that by this summer I will not have to wear spanx and look ok and I think I am getting there.

My parents also have a pool and for the past 2 years I have only invited very few people to come over and go swimming because I am so self conscious about how I look in a swimsuit. I want to be able to invite people over and not feel like throwing up. I want to swim with my kids around other adults besides those in my "inner circle."

About 8 weeks ago it clicked that I could do something about these things, that there was a very simple answer. I have just started this journey and I am expecting it to take a long time and a lot of work but I will get there one day.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day

So I am one of those people who LOVES February 29th. I'm not sure when it happened but to celebrate I am going to tell you why I love it. To me it is a time to both reflect and look forward, the fact that this day only comes around once every four years makes it special. I think my intrigue started when in 2004 I found a letter I had written to Dan on February 29th 2000. It said "Happy Leap Day! Just think the next time this date rolls we might be planning our wedding" And, in fact on February 29th 2004 we were engaged and planning our wedding for that September. I remember thinking in 2004 as I was planning my wedding "I wonder where we will be in 4 years? I wonder if we will have a baby?" Fast forward 4 years to the next leap year in 2008 and we in fact had welcomed our first beautiful child into the world. This year that 8 month old baby who was just beginning to crawl is a 4 1/2 year old beautiful, sweet, hilarious girl. We also have a 2 year old crazy man who is so handsome and hilarious even though he doesn't talk near as much as his sister did at 2. This year I can't help but reflect on my past but also think about where we will be on February 29th 2016. This much I know, my sweet girl will be 8 1/2 and my baby boy who just turned 2 will have just turned 6 and will be in kindergarden. This is enough to make me have a panic attack but then I thought about how both my babies will also be in school full time, and now I really can't breath. I think about Carter who only says 2 words together today and how he will be a full grown kid, older than Stella is now! It's so crazy but also humbling. It makes me realize how precious this time is and how fast it will be gone. It makes me want to live in the moment and makes as many memories as I can during these crazy years. So Happy Leap Day friends cheers to the past, present, and future!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

FAQ about Insanity

So, since I talk about my insanity workout journey I have had a lot of people asking me about it and I LOVE it! I love to talk about it and answer any questions. I thought I would write a FAQ post about it incase anyone else wants to know. So here it goes...

Q: what do you think of insanity?
A: this is a tricky one to answer for me, let me state once again that it is the hardest thing I have ever done, it is pretty brutal in my opinion BUT I want to make a big change and I know without a doubt that sticking to this exercise routine will do that. So it's truly a love/hate relationship, lol

Q: is it really hard?
A: YES! But it is definitely "doable" I also like the fact that I have something to work on and I have been able to see my improvement.

Q: how much weight have you lost?
A: I am not weighing myself until I am done with the program. Personally I am more concerned with my size and how I look rather than my weight. When I started I couldn't even do 1 push up, now I can do several at a time. I know I am building muscle so if I am not losing a ton of pounds I do not want to get discouraged because I know I am building muscle.

If you have any other questions please ask, I really do love it. This is a journey for me and talking about it to others make it so much more fun.

Monday, February 13, 2012

One Month Down!

I have successfully completed my first month of the insanity workouts. I have never worked out so hard in my life, I am constantly sore and have now starting icing my legs at night. I feel like I am actually almost an athlete, lol. I always remember reading articles about losing weight where they say you need to work out 5-6 days a week and I would always think "that is crazy! who would/could do that?" Well now I have, yes I have worked out 6 days a week for the last 4 weeks. This alone is a huge accomplishment for me. I want to write about this journey to encourage everyone who has been where I was, in a constant state of being sick of how you look but not doing anything to change it. Trust me, if I can do it, you can. I hate working out! Even after a month I still hate every second of it. Every day I think "I don't want to do it, maybe I will just skip today." But I made a decision when I started this that for once I am going to actually give working out all I have. And although I hate every moment of it once I am done I feel great, not physically, physically I want to die BUT I am proud of myself that I can check one more day off the calendar.

Here's a little picture of me at the end of a workout, I sweat like a man, it's not pretty.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 7

After we left and was done with our ministry time we had the complete blessing of being able to go and stay in a hotel for our last night in India. I didn't realize until we got to the hotel how completely exhausted I was. It was so nice to be able to decompress a little before we made the almost full day of travel back home. The rest of the trip was pretty smooth sailing...except when they almost didn't let us in the airport to go home...and then when one of our team members got very sick :(. God shined down on us again on the way home and once again almost all of us got a full row to ourselves on the plane ride home. When we arrived to Chicago I think it was possibly one of the best feelings ever. And then to arrive back home and get to hold my sweet babies in my arms, I could have not been any happier. I was then in a comma for about 2 days just constantly sleeping. I think once I was in my own home my body finally relaxed and I crashed. Dan said he was actually worried about me because I was sleeping so much lol.

The trip was an amazing experience, I feel so honored that I was able to go and spend time with these wonderful people, that so many of them just lovingly welcomed us into their lives. I will forever be in awe that God called me to go and the journey I was taken on from start to finish. This trip stretched my faith and I was able to see and feel the presence of God like never before. I will forever remember the faces, sights, smells, and emotions of that trip. Thank you so much to everyone who supported me in this great adventure, it would not have been possible without every one of you and I will never be able to thank you enough. xoxo

Here is a picture of me on the plane ride home

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Beginnings

2011 was a life changing year for me, I was tried, stretched, and blessed to much. I believe I grew a lot as a person and gained back some of the confidence I feel like I somehow have lost over the years. I am discovering who I am as a person again. I have come to realize we are always learning and always growing. This year I want to challenge myself and actually accomplish things.

Something I have struggled with since having kids is my body imagine. I spend a lot of time thinking about it and being upset. I have worked out before and become discouraged after not seeing much results. This year with the encouragement and support of Dan we have set out on a body changing journey. We bought a very intense workout program called Insanity. It is a 60 day program where you work out 6 days a week. I am starting my 4th week this week and I have to say I am proud of myself. It is pure torture and I hate every second of it BUT I am doing it and sticking to it. I have set a goal to complete the 60 days and I am going to come hell or high water.

Another change I have made this year is to really try and start cooking and by this I mean making real dinners, not just tacos, sloppy joes, or something out of a box. I am trying to make at least one new recipe a week and this will be my 3rd week of doing this. A couple haven't turned out as great as I hoped but most of them have! I am feeling a great sense of accomplishment from making a meal from scratch and not just throwing packaged ingredients together.

So these are some of the challenges I have for myself this year, have you all made any and if so how are they going?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 6

Friday was our last day of ministry in Kolkata. We woke up and got all packed up to leave the BMS. It was such a nice place to stay and I considered myself blessed to be able to stay at such a nice place.
Here are some pictures of the grounds.

After that we traveled fir the last time to the jewelry unit, which again was in "china town" here are some pictures of our ride there.

We got to spend some time with the ladies and then said all of our goodbyes.

After saying our goodbyes we headed downstairs to wait for the bus. The floor level of the building is used for the slum school and when we went down Therese got to see all of the school children. They were the cutest things in their little uniforms. They came up to us and wanted to shake our hands. We didn't realize we would get to spend time with them but this was another unexpected highlight of the trip. The kids were so precious and so happy. They were so happy to be in school learning. It made me realize how vital these programs are, how an education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty. By this one child getting an education, it will create a snow ball affect and change the course of the whole family and especially the generations to come. It was a true a blessing to be able to spend time with the

These picture are of where we stayed

Here are some pictures of the beautiful children from the slum school