My Favorite Things

I posted here about My Favorite Things.  I got a great response to that post, so I thought I would do it again.  To provide an update, I am still loving the Clearproof Acne System (so much so, I upgraded from the 7 day trial to the long-term system), My Favorite Bible, Robin, The Night Shift, and the amazing See-Saw.  Lately, a few other things have caught my eye that are worth mentioning:

1.  Brooks running shoes –

I didn’t really care about brands of shoes, until I started running.  Being that I have bad knees, I knew that having good shoes would make or break me.  Ed got hooked on Brooks shoes by a friend of ours who worked for a running store, and he swore by them.  So, I doled out the money (they cost quite a bit compared to other shoes) and I haven’t regretted it one day since.  If you have knee or feet problems and are thinking about running, invest in a great pair of shoes like these.  Yes, they are an investment – but a great one!  How did I chose which style/model to go with?  By the pink color, of course!

2.  “Addicted to Busy” by Brady Boyd

I did a really long post about this book here, but lets just say – long after finishing this book, it is still impacting me.  Do yourself a favor and read it now!

3.  Orgain Protein Powder

When Ed and I did the 21 day fix, a friend suggested this Protein powder.  She gave us a recipe to use it in and it makes the drink taste like a Wendy’s Frosty.  It is delish!  It makes having a protein shake fun and healthy.  The best part (besides the taste I mean)?  You can buy it at Costco and it is affordable (unlike many other protein shakes!)

4.  Our deck –

I know this seems like a weird one, but our deck is one of my favorite parts about our house.  I love when it is warm enough (or cool enough these days) to enjoy lunch or dinner sitting outside and/or entertaining friends.

With the bottom part extended, our deck is massive and has plenty of room for playing and entertaining.  Add in the woods all around us (we only have neighbors on one side) and it feels pretty secluded.  If you live near us, feel free to come enjoy it with us.

5.  Ice Cream –

What says summer like ice cream?  While I do love ice cream, this made my list but I specifically love my new favorite flavors, Waffle Cone (by Breyer Blasts) and Crumb Cake (a flavor made by Sunni Skies ice cream shop near us).  I enjoy ice cream, but I am not a big fan of trying new flavors – I tend to stick to Cake Batter, Cookie Dough, and a few others.  But, trying and loving some fun new flavors makes me want to branch out more.

On a side note, if you are near Fuquay and want to try an amazing ice cream shop that is cheap and has a million different flavors, try Sunni Skies.  It is that good.

Learning to Rest

Having a c-section with Blake in January was a real eye-opener for me.  Why?  One of the things that I kept being told was “You need to rest.” – over and over and over again I heard this.  But one of the things I quickly realized was that I didn’t know how to rest.

Blame it on having multiple little kids in our house.  Blame it on being involved in ministry where someone seems to want/need something 7 days a week.  Blame it on our fast-paced, constantly stimulated society.  All of these things were part of the reason I didn’t know how to rest, but when we knew we were going to have a sabbatical this summer, one of the things on the top of my list was resting and to actually rest, I needed to learn what that really meant.

Two books I heard great things about and had to do with this pursuit of finding out what it meant to rest were “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and “Addicted to Busy” by Brady Boyd.  Ya’ll, “Addicted to Busy” has rocked my world.  Like in a way that a book hasn’t in a long, long time.  I had lots of AHA moments and lots of “God has been telling me this for a while” moments. At the end of each chapter, there are a few challenges that you can use to apply to your life, and if you really do those, instead of glossing over them, I think the book can really hit home.

Here are some of the highlights of the book for me and what I am learning about rest over this sabbatical:

1 – Live with slow and wide margins throughout the day.  The opposite of hurry.  Speed is the greatest threat to a healthy life – we move too fast for too long in too many aspects of life.

2 – Rest, not by naps or sleep, but by sitting still with the Lord, undistracted, attentive to where you are, just being.

3 – Follow Jesus’ example – engage, engage, withdraw, engage, engage, engage, withdraw, etc. – rhythmic living.

4 – Know what brings you alive and pursue that.

5 – If you ask someone “How are you?”, more often than not you will hear “I’m so busy.”  Is our busyness a means to impress and make our lives matter?  We want to be important, but we are going about it in entirely the wrong way.

6 – The more rested you are, the less you are driven by what others think of you.

7 – Rest isn’t an obligation – its a gift.  Be thankful for it.

Ironically, Ed is reading a book called “The Rest of God” and it is essentially about, and saying the same thing, as the book I was reading.  It has been neat to be able to share with each other and to be learning the same things.

I am not going to lie, the first week of sabbatical was rough.  It is hard to go from doing, doing, doing to just being and to realize that sabbatical doesn’t mean a 40 hour week reading your Bible.  But, after we settled into a grove, it has been nice.  Ed is actually in the wilderness right now on a 2 day camping trip to just spend time with God and to reflect and refocus.  100+ degree heat days don’t sound like great days to me, but to each his own 🙂


When all else fails….RUN!

Some people are crazy.  Like those who climb Mt. Everest.  And those who swim with sharks.  Last week, I added to my list those who do half ironman triathlons.

Ed has competed in quite a few triathlons, and has discovered he really enjoys them.  Last year, he completed his first half ironman – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.  I cheered him on, brought the kids out to see him finish, and thought he was amazing for completing it.  This year, as I have been training to run a 10k, I realized just how crazy he was for doing it not only once, but twice.  Like why do you pay to torture yourself?  And who in their right minds is crazy enough to go all out for 6.5 hours straight?  And how do you even walk after you are done?

Last weekend, he completed his second half ironman, the Raleigh Ironman race.  He did amazing, especially running in scorching temperatures.  I am SO proud of him for finishing and am even more excited all the training is over 🙂

I am also very thankful to my neighbor and her son, Denise and Benjamin, for coming with us to cheer him on at the finish line.  It was quite a journey there and back with the kids (I will spare you the gross details but lets just say both parts of the trip involved poop…yuck!) and I am even more thankful they still love our family after it.

Then, this weekend, Kinsley and I completed our runs.  I did a 10k that our town hosts, Run the Quay, and Kinsley did a 100 yard dash fun run.  Granted, they aren’t anywhere near Ed’s big race, but they were an accomplishment for us!  It was really fun to run the 10k in our town, to run with a few friends, and to be cheered on by so many people from our church.

Kinsley “practiced” for her run the day before, and was relieved to hear that she didn’t have to bike and swim like daddy.  They had a 1 mile run, but we knew that the 100 yard dash would be a feat for her.  She was so excited that morning and thought she was big stuff with her number on her shirt.  She started out strong at the beginning of the race and had all smiles, but those faded the longer she ran.  Needless to say, she completed her run and “won” her metal.  Bless her sweet, sweet heart.  We love that our kids want to be active and get a chance to see mom and dad doing it and to cheer us on.

I would not say I am a natural runner, but it is a great stress reliever, a great way to burn calories, and a challenge.  I definitely see more races in my future, but definitely not any half ironmans….thats only for the crazies.  And you can quote me on that!