Monday, September 30, 2013

Fresh Produce

Ever stopped at one of those fresh produce stands on the side of the road?

Joe and I stopped by a stand at the gas station where we filled up.  This was really one of the first times I've ever picked up produce one the side of a road!  We wound up buying a basket of Georgia peaches, a basket of tomatoes, and a bag of honey-roasted pecans.
It's really encouraged me to eat more fruit because I don't want it all to go to waste.  I took two peaches to school for a snack and for lunch today...
...and we made tacos tonight with some fresh tomatoes on top!
We've both been snacking on the pecans throughout the day.  Everything is so fresh and tasty!

Question for you: How often do you buy fresh produce from a stand or farmer's market?
As much as I'm enjoying this fresh produce (and I feel it's encouraging me to eat more fruit and vegetables), I think I need to make regular trips to the farmer's market!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Georgia Weekend

Hey, everyone!  Joe and I just got back from a very fun (yet exhausting) long weekend.  I took a day off on Friday, and we headed up to Georgia to see some friends and some sports!

Our journey started Thursday when we drove up to Joe's grandparents' house in south Georgia.  We got dinner at Cracker Barrel, caught up, and watched the Virginia Tech football game (so glad the Hokies won!).  We had an easy-going morning, went to lunch at a delicious local restaurant, then made our way on to Atlanta.

We caught the Braves vs. Phillies baseball game in Atlanta on Friday evening.
We met up with some of Joe's friends Jake, Andrew, and Jacqui from his time at UGA and had a great time.  It was a quick game due to the pitcher's duel, but the Braves wound up winning 1-0 off a homerun!

After the game, we headed to Waffle House for some late-night eats, then we went to Andrew and Jacqui's house to spend the night.

Saturday was dedicated to some University of Georgia football!  We woke up rather early and drove the 1.5-2 hours to Athens.  We caught ESPN Gameday JUST IN TIME for the gang's picks!
The tailgating scene in Athens is pretty great, as you can set up tailgates all over the grassy areas of campus.  I'm not used to that, and I love that aspect of UGA football!

We met up with a few other friends and enjoyed catching up with everyone in the perfect weather.  When it was time for the game, we looked for tickets but couldn't find anything under $175 per ticket.  
We went downtown to watch the game on the big screen.  We went to one of our favorite spots in Athens and cheered the Bulldogs to a victory!
After celebrating the win for a little bit, we went to one of our favorite fast-food places Choo Choo before heading back to Atlanta for the evening.  Great day!

Today, we left early enough to go to church with Joe's grandparents.  The service included a great message about having no regrets in life by helping others and remaining true to yourself and your beliefs.  We ate lunch at a delicious catered buffet, then made our way back home.

As you can see, we had a wonderful weekend with friends, family, and our favorite sports teams.  Now It's time for laundry and catching up on sleep!

Well, once more, I had a rough week of Best Body Bootcamp.  It really was all about me not making my workouts and healthy choices a priority.

I think the main reason was that Joe was out of town for most of the week (he was on a school break), so I knew no one would know if I wasn't working out, wasn't eating well, and was just being lazy.  That shouldn't be an excuse, but that's my mindset sometimes.  Here's what my week of workouts looked like:
Monday: Workout A + 2 mile run in the rain
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: I did A LOT of walking around campus at school (way more than my usual day), so I'm counting that as a workout
Thursday: Another day of EXTREME walking around campus.
Friday: rest/travel day
Saturday: Lots of hilly walking around Athens throughout the day (seriously, if you've never been there, SO many hills)
Sunday: rest/travel day

As far as goals go, I did a lot better with filling my water cup.  I filled it twice 3 days this week, but also did well with drinking water today and Friday.  Also, I kept my alcohol consumption goal and met that almost every day this week (even in the midst of the tailgates!).

Wow, long post, but my BBB recap wasn't good enough for its own post.

Question for you: What sports did you watch this weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fitness as an Idol

How is your Thursday going?  I'm taking a day off tomorrow, so today is my Friday :)  Now that I'm a math coach, it's a lot less stressful to do so with no sub plans or worrying about my students!

When I was planning my post for today, my guest post on Prayers and Apples kept popping in to my head.  You may have read it when Jessica originally posted it, but I feel as though God wants me to post it again.  Here is the original post in its totality with my additional comments at the end:

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately: Is my commitment to fitness getting in the way of my relationship with God?  Am I committed in a spiritually healthy way, or is fitness an idol?  I know that a lot of people find that fitness and spirituality go hand-in-hand, but I think that there’s a fine line that can be crossed into an idolatry-type relationship with fitness.
This all came about back in September.  I signed up to run my first half marathon and began training for it soon after.  I also wanted to rededicate myself to making my faith a priority, as my relationship with God was not as strong as it had been in the past.
Amy H
 I thought that running would be a great time for prayer (which it is), but I started to notice that I would ONLY pray when I was running.  I would ONLY pray that God would be with me on my run and help me get through the workout.  That’s not what I had in mind when I wanted to make my relationship with God grow: my half marathon training was my first priority, and my “growing” relationship with God was solely based on running and working out.
One of the Ten Commandments states, “You should have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).  He also says, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them” in Exodus 20:4-5.  Now, I know that we don’t have an altar built in our home to fitness/healthy living, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an idol.
Golden Calf
The definition of idol, according to Merriam-Webster can be “a representation or symbol of an object of worship; a false god”, but it also includes “an object of extreme devotion”.  The definition of worship is an integral part of that definition: “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem”.  In other words, an idol is something that we love in place of loving God.
So, examine your own relationship with fitness.  Does it come before everything else in your life, including God?  Does your commitment to fitness take the place of your commitment to God?  Does it prevent you from truly loving God and following His way?
If this is something that you are dealing with, hear some good news from 1 Corinthians 10:13-14:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.”
You can flee from the idol you are worshiping and turn back to God.  I’ve been there, and it took some prayer and time.  I’m happy to say that I have a spiritually healthy relationship with fitness now.
What I’ve started doing on runs now is using that time to listen to God.  Growing in my relationship with Him requires two-way communication, and I use my running time as a time where I only focus on what He has to say.  It’s not the only time I listen for Him, but that’s what I needed to do to put God before running.  I also made reading and studying the Bible a daily priority, as well as continual prayer throughout the day.

I was reminded of this topic after completing some of my homework for the Breaking Free Bible study I'm currently doing.  This week focused on the obstacles in our way on our journey toward freedom in Christ.  One of the obstacles discussed is, in fact, idolatry.

Another Scriptural perspective on this topic is from Isaiah 44:6-23.  It talks about the danger of idolatry, but verses 21-22 provide a great reminder for us:
“Remember these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
    Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you.”

God is the only thing that can take His place in our life.  If we try to fill it with something else, we will still be missing something.  Turn to Him and you will be fulfilled!

Funny story about the original guest post:  When I was at Erin's wedding this summer, one of the bridesmaids Megan (I knew her during college through Erin) told me that she'd stumbled upon my guest post on Jessica's blog!  She told me that she and other women on the Army base she lives on were discussing the topic of idolatry in Bible study, and one of the women found my guest post!  She shared it with Megan, and Megan figured out that I was the one who wrote the post!  What a small world, but I'm so glad that my little blog post could reach out to a group of people so far away. 

So, please share your thoughts on this topic in the comments if you feel led!  I hope this was beneficial and that God spoke to you (even just one person who read this) in a new way.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIAW #16: Weekend Eats

Hey everyone!  I've got a late What I Ate Wednesday post for y'all today!
Thank you to Jenn for getting this whole WIAW party started :) And congrats to her on her newborn baby!

Today's WIAW focuses around things I ate this weekend!  My friend Kristie (the one I visited in Seattle) and her husband Joe came to visit Joe (my Joe, as we refer to our husbands when they're both around) and me, and we had a great time with LOTS of good food!

Breakfast both days this weekend was steel-cut oats with some chocolate chips in it!  Yummy!  Everyone else passed on breakfast, so I enjoyed my tasty bowls before everyone else got up.

For the Virginia Tech game, we decided to have our own little tailgate and grill out!
We made some yummy burgers, simply seasoned with a Steakhouse Seasoning Grinder, with macaroni salad and watermelon on the side!  The guys decided to have brats wrapped in bacon, and us girls got a good laugh out of how excited they were over this creation.

After the Hokie win (thank goodness), we went to the Wine Walk in New Smyrna Beach.  After plenty of delicious beverages, including some homemade sangria and frozen peach bellinis, we went to dinner at That's Amore.
We all shared the mozzarella sticks and calamari, which were awesome!  I ordered the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with the pesto sauce for my main course.  
We all raved about our meals, so we will definitely return there!

Lunch on Sunday was leftovers from the night before.  They were just as good the second time around!

For dinner, we ate at WingHouse.  Apparently, they haven't found many good wing places in Seattle, so Joe decided we needed to get them some wings!  I ate my usual wrap while we enjoyed watching football for the rest of the evening.
(leftover wrap I took to lunch this week)
And there you have it!  My food this weekend.  I've gotta say, it was filled with some yummy meals!  Great company too :)
Question for you: What's your favorite thing you ate this weekend?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lately

Well hey, everyone!  So sorry for the unintentional hiatus.  As I started my new job, things got a little crazy and I neglected the blog.  Seems like a perfect time to catch you up on my Life Lately!

Conveniently, that ties right in to today's Blogtember topic!  Head on over to Jenni's blog to see what Blogtember is all about, and check out other blogger's Life Lately posts.

-Lately, I have been seriously slacking with Best Body Bootcamp and training for the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon.  As in, I did not work out once last week.  No running, no lifting, no nothing!  I let the stress and busy-ness of life get in my way.
I'm already off to a MUCH better start this week, as I went for a 20-minute run before completing Workout A of Phase 2.  It was a great feeling to be working out again!

-I've also been seriously slacking on my one of my two health-related goals for BBB.  The filling up my water cup just didn't happen much.  I'm going to continue making that a priority over the next phase.  I did well with the reducing alcohol consumption, which I am pleased about.  At least I was successful with one thing in the BBB program!

-On Wednesday, I started my new job as a math coach.  I went to one of my two schools and got to observe some classrooms.  The administrators are great, and I get to work with Ashley again!

-I went to the other school on Thursday.  This school has a really interesting sculpture of a barracuda (the mascot) in the middle of the outdoor campus.

-I also did a few professional development sessions this week!  We unpacked some Algebra standards, as well as attended an all-day training for instructional coaches across the county.

-And, to make this weekend even better, Kristie and her husband Joe came to visit from all the way in Seattle!!  We had a great weekend with them catching up and showing them around the area.  Here are some things we did:
We watched the Virginia Tech game together.  THANK GOODNESS the Hokies pulled out a win!
We grilled some delicious burgers while watching the game.
We went to the Wine Walk in New Smyrna Beach and had some delicious beverages!
We ate dinner in NSB on Saturday night at a DELICIOUS Italian restaurant called That's Amore.  If you are in the area, EAT THERE.  You will not be disappointed!
We had some beach time on Sunday afternoon.  We also made some tasty appetizers for a snack, then went to WingHouse for dinner.  After that, we watched football.  Wonderful visit with wonderful friends!

-I've been adoring my Bible study: Breaking Free from Beth Moore.  Over the last three weeks, I've already learned a lot of things that I need to work on to grow in my relationship with God so that I can truly be free in Him.  I'll be sure to pass along the

And, I think that's about it!  I'm hoping to get back in the blogging groove this week, so I'll see you tomorrow :)

Question for you: What has your life looked like lately?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Only Photos (mostly)

Hey, everyone!  In case you missed it yesterday, today is my first day as a math coach!  I'm heading to one of my new schools to meet with the administration, introduce myself to the teachers, and get some information about the school and its needs.  I'll be sure to let you know about how it goes :)

Today, I'm taking some inspiration from Amanda and am going to participate in Blogtember!

Blogtember is a series of prompts to encourage blogging each weekday in September.  I've enjoyed reading Amanda's posts, and when thinking about what to post today, I went over to Jenni's blog to see what today's topic was.

It's a fun one!  Only pictures :)  I'm going to post some photos from my iPhone and give a minimal caption for each.  This should be exciting!
Math on ESPN College Gameday!
Sister-in-law's Birthday Dinner
Sister-in-law and me
Awesome Sink in Sabore (restaurant in Gainesville)
Foam-rollin' while watching the Braves
Current Bible Study
Go Hokies!
Birthday dinner!
Joe's birthday dinner
WWE Pay-per-view ON his birthday...perfect!
Unpacking Geometry standards
Cake/card from my Key Club officers on my last day...brought me to tears!
Question for you: What's the last photo you took on your phone?