Monthly Archives: May 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks four years of marriage to my best friend, Bryan! Sometimes it seems like it’s only been a few weeks ago that I walked down the aisle. At the same time, it’s hard to remember life without Bryan. He is my completer! And I love him with all my heart! I can’t imagine life without him! He’s been so supportive with me going back to school. Thanks, babe!

We celebrated our anniversary with a nice dinner out last Friday night. Tonight we’re just spending a quiet evening at home, including me having to study a bit, but it will be nice to just take a breath and hang out after such a crazy week.

Educational Whiplash

What an interesting day! I started my Personal Trainer Certification coursework last night with my first Anatomy & Physiology class. Tonight was scheduled to be Lifetime Fitness & Wellness from 6-9:20P. So, I clocked out of work, changed into jeans, ate my dinner on the way, and arrived on campus at 5:40P. I walked up to the building where my class was supposed to take place and all the doors were locked! This is not good!

So I went over to the main building and checked my campus email. No email, but I noticed my enrollment list had changed and the Lifetime Fitness & Wellness class had disappeared.

I walked over to the front desk to talk to the ladies there and they confirmed that the class had been cancelled due to lack of student enrollment. Really!? We looked at all the other classes for my major and NONE are offered in the night track except for the one I’m already in.

They gave me the department head and my advisor’s phone numbers and email addresses. I left messages and emails explaining the situation. The ladies at the front desk mentioned that I might be able to get into the online Nutrition course but that I’d have to obtain a signature from my advisor or department head first. I came home and checked and there was only one spot left in any of the online Nutrition courses. I knew other people were in the same predicament I was, so I doubted this would happen, especially since I had to wait on responses from my emails and voicemails.

Well, as fate would have it, my advisor called me back at 7:20P! I couldn’t believe she was still in the office! She knew that I had taken Nutrition as part of my B.A., told me I had completed the prerequisites and enrolled me in the last spot in the class!

So, instead of going to class tonight, I completed the online orientation process and printed out all the info I could find on taking online courses. Then I finished my FAFSA paperwork for the next year. When that was done, there was an email in my Campus Cruiser telling me how to login to the Nutrition course. So, I logged in, went through the introduction and Chapter 1 and am ready to learn this stuff! Hopefully I will be able to get ahead and stay ahead in this one. Hopefully this will allow me to focus on A&P during the week and Nutrition on the weekends. It might actually be a blessing in disguise.

Time for bed! Tomorrow is class #2 for A&P. I need to make sure I stay on top of it. Fortunately, I think the two classes will go hand in hand quite nicely. Good night!

Tuesday’s Workout

I started with 10 minutes of yoga to warm up:

  • Warrior One
  • Warrior Two
  • Triangle
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Plank, Pushup, Side Plank, Plank, Pushup, Side Plank, etc.

Then I did some weights (10 lbs. per side, 30 reps each):

  • Alternating Dumbbell Bicep Curls
  • Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
  • Lateral Flys
  • Front Punch Boxing with Weights
  • Chair Pose with Pulsing Weights (straight arms toward the back of the room)

Then I do a short floor routine:

  • Crunches (30 reps), Side Crunches (30 reps each side), Crunches (50 reps)
  • Lying Abduction, Lying Adduction (30 reps each per side)

Then I got on the elliptical for 10 minutes: 2 miles at a 20 intensity.

I finished with some Straight Leg Triceps Dips (15), Decline Pushups (5, these are tough!), and Stretching. Ahh! That felt good!

Packing Lunches

The first night of class went really well. It’s a small class and I’m enjoying the instructor. I got a slight surprise yesterday when I took a closer look at my school schedule and realized that EVERY night goes until 9:20! At least it’s a consistant schedule. Last night was Anatomy & Physiology. We’re starting with the atomic level and building up from there. It’s pretty basic right now, but good.

After class, I came home and ate my snack (a bowl of Kashi cereal with blueberries and pecans) while catching up with Bryan on his day. Then I went to the kitchen and made breakfast and part of dinner for the next four days and packed our lunches for today. So, for the next four days, here’s what my meal plan looks like:

Breakfast: 1.5 c. quinoa with agave nectar, cinnamon, and blackberries.

Lunch: Bryan gets a roast beef and swiss whole wheat wrap with lettuce from our garden. I’ll be having a tomato wrap with lettuce, black beans, corn, avocado, and green beans with asiago cheese.

Snack: apple and almond butter.

Dinner: Bagel with cream cheese and 1/2 c. ricotta cheese topped with cinnamon honey butter and 3 figs (this is what Bryan gets for breakfast, but the quinoa will help me last longer through the day and be ready for class tonight).

Throughout the day, I also drink 2 cups of green tea, 1 cup of coffee, and at least 3 water bottles full of water.

After packing my meals, I went upstairs and did a little review of tonight’s lesson before heading to bed.

I hope to work out at lunch again today: it’s strength training day. Then it’s Fitness & Wellness for Life tonight!

Meatless Monday: Round 3

It’s my first day of classes, so I want to make sure I have plenty of energy. It’s going to be tricky packing breakfast, lunch, and dinner every Monday through Thursday.

So, here’s what I packed today:

Breakfast: 1 package of oatmeal, 1.5 c. seedless grapes, 6 oz. Greek yogurt.

Lunch: Veggie Wrap (tomato, cucumber, and lettuce on a sundried tomato wrap with homemade Greek yogurt-cucumber sauce).

Dinner: Zone Double Dark Chocolate Bar, Apple.

Snack after School: 1 c. Kashi Cinnamon Cereal, 1 c. milk, 10 pecan halves, 1/2 c. blueberries.

It’s going to be a busy summer! Pray for me!

All on a Sunday Afternoon

This morning’s service was wonderful. Pastor Brooks spoke from II Timothy 3 and other passages about the importance of the Scriptures in our every day lives. The Bible isn’t just a historically accurate, well-written piece of literature; it’s an authoritative compilation of everything we need for this life and it’s written by God Himself. And yet we treat it like just another book on the shelf that we’ve been meaning to read. I’m looking forward to Part II tonight. The fourth graders had fun with their sword drills in Sunday School today too.

After church, we came home for a quick lunch. Bryan made himself some hotdogs and coleslaw, while I fixed sweet potato hash for myself (from some of the veggies I got at the market yesterday). Here it is:

Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs

Recipe: Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet. Add 1 large (or 2 small) peeled, cubed sweet potato, and 1 small vidalia onion with salt, pepper, fresh sage and thyme. Cook 5-7 minutes, until onions are transluscent and potatoes are soft but not mushy. Meanwhile, fry up 1-2 eggs to serve on top of the hash. Delicious!

After lunch, we went upstairs and I organized the office in an attempt to be ready for school. I had put away my “desk” (a folding table) from using it with my Girls on the Run functions, and it was time to pull it back out, sort all the papers that had been piling up, and prep for school. My life is about to get really busy, starting with my first day back to school tomorrow, so I needed to make sure my space was neat so I’ll be able to be efficient. Here’s the results:

The Bookshelves

The Closet: Everything In Its Place

My Space

While I did this, Bryan folded all the laundry and I think he did the dishes too. 🙂 Now to head to evening service and maybe try to convince Bryan to go swimming afterwards. I love Sundays!

Notes from Katie Wuthrich Gerdt: Reflections on God, Beauty, Etc.

Katie is a dear friend and fellow believer at my church. She is a sweet example to me of God’s lovingkindness and beauty, always smiling and genuinely caring for those around her. Here are some notes she recently posted about what she’s learning. I couldn’t have put it better.

May 12, AM: “I Like Cool Stuff”

“Rich and savory food.
Beautifully tailored garments.
Sumptuous fabrics.
Sleek electronics.
Dazzling vistas.
Exotic flowers.
Gorgeous architecture.

“Beauty in every tangible form makes my heart leap.

“But for the past several years I have struggled with reconciling this love with another:
A love for the work of God’s kingdom.

“Does purchasing a good quality cardigan belie my affection for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering in poverty?
I know my love of beauty is the image of God upon my being, but can it coexist with an awareness of life’s transience?

“Recently I have been praying for the Lord to increase my understanding in this area.
To give me wisdom and distill my affections until what is left is a shimmering reflection of my God.

“One thing He is teaching me:
People who know Him are generous.
People who don’t know Him are covetous.

“That means, if I know Him, I won’t be primarily concerned about surrounding myself with beauty.

“I will desire to share my resources with others around me
more than I will desire to have the latest techno-gadget for myself.
I will be eaten up with concern for the needs of those in my local assembly
instead of eaten up by a desire to buy everything I want.

“But this isn’t the only thing I’m learning.
This is a multi-layered concept that my heart is grappling with.

“So stay tune.
More to come.”

May 12, PM:

“Another things God is teaching me:
He designed me to love beauty. To love beautiful things.

“Yes, He really did.
God is the original creator.
I don’t think you can look at the amazing universe around us and call God a conservative or restrained designer.
Colors! Textures! Varieties! Flavors! Shapes! Scents!

“Even in a sin-scarred world we stand in awe of His endless, extravagant creativity.

“And we are made in His image,
meaning to some He endows the skills and understanding to create in a similar manner.

“So, the fact that beautiful things (whether God or man made) pull at my heart and attract my attention
is not an indication of my “worldliness”.
It is an indication of being made in God’s image.

“God loves and makes beauty.
The same impulse in my heart reflects the imprint of the divine.”

May 13, PM:

“So, if God is a God of beauty, that brings me to another point:
We should grow in our understanding of beauty.

“This means educating ourselves and others to recognize and appreciate beauty…
in all its forms!

“Writing, music, fashion, food, art, theater….
These all find their source in God,
and the more we understand about them, the more accurately we can worship Him!

“So, it is good to learn.

“To appreciate well written literature and poetry,
rather than digest a constant fare of fluffy pop novels.

“To enjoy brilliantly constructed music,
even from other cultures and time periods.

“To understand what clothes are appropriate and flattering,
instead of just whatever is popular or cheapest.

“To cultivate a taste for nutritious and flavorful foods,
and ditch the habits of eating “as fast as possible” or “as much as possible”.

“To take in thoughtful art and meaningful drama,
rather than absorbing whatever is on TV at the moment.

“Just like we strive for accuracy in historical records or
wise use of finances,
we should learn to discern and enjoy what is truly beautiful.
What truly reflects Who our God is.”

May 16, AM:

“If beauty originates from God,
then not only should we appreciate it,
we should strive for it.

“My wonderful mother did much to instill in me
the simple ways of beauty:

“A clean and tastefully decorated home.
Fresh, nutritious, colorful home-cooking.
Modest yet flattering clothing, always appropriate (never too ahead of or behind the times).
Museum trips and concerts.
Beautiful flowers in the garden and on the table.
Thoughtful, lovingly written notes.
Reading the classics.
A contagious love for new and beautiful places.

“Mom taught me the important truth that
beauty is more common than we think.

“She taught me to look for it everywhere…
in used book stores and flower nurseries,
in the waves and sky at the beach (whether winter or summer),
in antique lace and old houses,
in a bowl of fresh fruit,
a walk in the park,
clean sheets,
clean self…

“And this awareness always produces contentment through thankfulness
over all the little ways
God’s beauty is seen and known.”

Who’s In Control of What?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future. I’m at the start of a new adventure and I need to stay focused. What’s the new adventure? I’m going back to school to become a personal trainer.

Problem #1: I like so many things that I get distracted easily. I love cooking, sewing, crafting, reading, exercising, and blogging, yet it always seems I don’t have time to do everything. So, I chose this one field of study to pursue and I must stay focused.

Problem #2: Rushing ahead and wanting to be in someone else’s shoes. It’s easy to think that so-and-so is doing such-and-such and why can’t I be there now instead of where I am? Well, the truth of the matter is that they are on God’s journey for them, and I’m on a different journey. Even though the two may have several similarities, I must not compare myself or wish away precious moments and learning experiences. God is teaching me this. The verse that keeps coming to mind is II Corinthians 10:12, “They that compare themselves among themselves are not wise.”

Eric Sipe, one of our pastors at Heritage Bible Church, spoke a couple of Sunday’s ago on “Who’s In Control of What?” He’s personally going through a transitional time in his life, as he moves to Ohio to take on a pastorate there. Check out his sermon notes here. Or listen to the whole thing on Sermon Audio here. It was quite the encouragement and exhortation to me. I hope it’s an encouragement to you too.

Saturday Market and Such

I love Saturdays in Greenville, SC! We started with a late breakfast at Panera (a tradition for Bryan and me). They ran out of Bryan’s favorite (spinach bacon souffle), so he got the four cheese souffle instead. I tried the jalapeno cheddar bagel; it’s new and quite tasty. I put some butter on it. Bryan taught me to like them like this. (Plus, the cream cheese at Panera is expensive.) We enjoyed our conversation.

Then Bryan went to practice his shooting while I went to workout. On my way in to the gym, I stopped by the Saturday Market just as it was closing up. From May to about October, the city hosts a Saturday Market on Main Street. Vendors pay a small fee to set up tents that stretch from the Wachovia Building down to the Westin Poinsett. It’s grown over the years and I hope it continues to do so! You can buy anything from Native Meats, to fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade breads and pastas, coffee, crafts, photographs, paintings, you name it! Everyone was in the midst of packing up and I found one lone vegetable farmer still packing up. I asked if I could still get a few things and they said sure. So I started picking up some tomatoes, green peppers, and sweet potatoes. Then I said, “Tell you what. I’ll give you $20 and you give me whatever you can for that price.” They agreed and proceeded to load up a crate full of veggies! Summer squash, green peppers, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers (which I might have to learn how to pickle because they gave me so many)…it was amazing! Check it out:

Beautiful Saturday Market Veggies!

I loaded the veggies in my car then proceeded to the gym. I did 6 miles on the elliptical at an increased intensity: 5 miles at 16, then 1 at 25 (maxed out). And I did it 30 minutes! I didn’t even think that was possible. Then I did the same strength/flexibility routine that I did on Wednesday. It took me about an hour this time.

I stopped by the Greek Festival one my way home. They didn’t have any veggie gyros at the drive thru and I was sweaty from the gym and didn’t want to go inside, so I ended up driving away with a plate of Greek pastries. I know, I know. It only happens once a year. I promise I’ll be good the rest of the day.

I also stopped by the grocery store on my way home and finished the grocery shopping for the week. Including the veggies from the local market, groceries this week only cost $80. I didn’t use coupons because I just bought produce, deli meat, and other items that I normally can’t find coupons for. Even without them, I think I got a deal! I’m definitely shopping at the farmer’s market again.

I came home and made a delicious veggie wrap with the lettuce from garden, tomatoes and cucumbers from the market, and a homemade tzatziki sauce that had basil, dill, and parsley from my herb garden. Then I had to taste test the pastries…with a hot cup of French press coffee. Now for a quick shower before heading to dinner at our friends’ house. Too bad there’s no time for a nap. I guess the coffee will have to do the trick. See you later!

Date Night: Early Anniversary Dinner at Devereaux’s

Our 4th anniversary is next week, May 20th! Since I’m starting school on Monday, I’ll be in class on the evening of the 20th, instead of a celebratory dinner with my man. Also, we have a friend staying with us next weekend and dinner plans with friends tomorrow night, so tonight really was the best night to celebrate.

For Admin Day, I got a $50 gift certificate from my team for Table 301 (a chain of restaurants in Greenville). We decided to go to Devereaux’s, an upscale dinner restaurant. It was wonderful!! After my workout, I got cleaned up, put on my cute new summer dress and met Bryan. We walked down to the restaurant, arm in arm, and they let us take our table early. When I made the reservation online, I commented that it was our fourth anniversary and requested to sit at a quieter table away from the bar. When we arrived, it was like the whole staff knew it was our anniversary. They brought us complimentary little samples of various things and made sure to say “Happy Anniversary” on our way out the door. The waiter was fabulous too!

I started with the Baby Artichokes, served atop fresh chick pea hummus, with house made olive flat bread, roasted red pepper oil, and frisee. Wow! It was absolutely delicious! I ate it slowly and savored every bite. Then they brought us each a small wheat roll and a small cheddar chive biscuit with fresh butter.

For dinner, Bryan had the “Lamb: Old & New.” It was a stack of creamed potatoes, braised shank, house made pastry, lamb tenderloin, and plated with mire poix (celery, carrots, and onion) and roast garlic thyme sauce. Okay, I cheated for one tiny second and tried the lamb, and it was delicious. And I doubt 1/2 oz. of meat is going to make a difference in a whole month.

I had the “Hawaiian Tuna.” And it was to die for!  Medium rare tuna steak, served atop Yuzu-moromi trophie pasta (creamy deliciousness) plated with tempura fried zucchini and squash and decorated with a carrot-ginger sauce drizzle. It was the best meal I’ve had in ages! Totally worth every penny! (Note: yuzu is a Chinese citrus fruit, muromi is a stage of sake, and trophie pasta are hand rolled and twisted into a flat shape with tapered ends.)

For dessert, I had a cup of house coffee and we split the Vanilla Creme Brulee with macerated blueberries. The creme brulee had really vanilla beans in it! It was perfect! (Note: macerated means that they’ve been sprinkled with sugar and allowed to rest and release their natural juices, thus softening the fruit. It makes the fruit soft and easy to chew.)

After dinner, we took a nice long drive with the windows down, listening to sappy love songs, before coming home. Four years ago, I married my best friend. And today, I love him more than then. Happy Anniversary, babe! I love you!