Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mass Amounts of Thankful

I'm pretty sure it's evident that I am absolutely terrible at this posting everyday thing. I wish I could find time to squeeze in a post on a daily basis, but I can barely squeeze in a decent dinner on a daily basis. Thus, the name of this post...we have a lot of thankfulness to catch up on. Like 7 days worth of thankfulness. I will say that I have thankful thoughts everyday after starting this challenge and write them down, so I'm not just randomly trying to come up with things. Lets get started...

November 9th - Coffee but not really coffee. I'll just get it out there - I HATE COFFEE!! I wish so much that I liked it because there are so many days that I think that it would really help me out if I liked it or at least just make me feel better, but I inevitably get the gag reflux every time I try and choke it down. YUCK! I can definitely do lattes, but even the hot variety leave me with an aweful taste in my mouth. Of course, I like the very fattening drinks, but I just can't justify giving up anywhere from 300-600 calories in liquid form. I like food way better. Ok, I'll get to the point. I have found a form of coffee that I adore! HALLELUJAH!! Bring out the singing angels! I have found that if mix 1 cup of coffee, I use the single serving packets, and 1 packet of diet hot cocoa, I am one happy camper! I look forward to this drink every single day now. Success!

Can't control my excitement!

November 10th - "This is country music and we do, so turn it on, turn it up and sing along...." Yes, I am so very very thankful (I would add a lot more verys in there, but don't want to annoy you) for country music! Last Thursday (Nov. 10th) I went over to a friend's to help her make strawberry cupcakes to take to a baby shower and it just so happened her and her husband had taped the CMA's. Oh I could not have been more excited! I missed them on Wednesday and wanted to see all the outfits, hear all the songs and of course, be envious of Carrie Underwood's legs. Country music just makes me happy and 99.9% of the time it makes me wanna dance. I'll let you in on a little secret....I secretly wish I could be one of Luke Bryan's back-up dancers for "Country Girl Shake it for Me." I daydream about going country dancing and breaking out those dance moves. Ok, enough of my embarrassing thoughts...I just love country music!!

I even broke out the red boots for my wedding reception

November 11th - Group fitness classes. I haven't been to a class in what feels like ages. Since I started training for the White Rock Half Marathon, I'm either running or cross training and with my work schedule + all the things Ben and I are involved in, there are never any classes at the times I can go. Before training started I got really into spin class, but I think I got a little burnt out on it. I was going 3-4 days a week and just started feeling like I wasn't getting the work out I wanted. On Friday, Ben was out of town, so I opted to work out after work and what do you know, my favorite Body Works (very much like Body Pump) teacher was teaching a class at 5:45 pm. I got in a little cardio before and then went to the class and loved it as usual! I wish I could go to this class more often. 

Get Pumped! (ps- this was my Jr year in college & that's my sister on the right)

November 12th - Seesters!! aka sisters Since Ben was out of town all weekend hunting (I'm a widow from November to January), I went to Dallas to see my family on Saturday and Sunday. Although I didn't get to see one of my sisters, I got to see the other two plus my beautiful nieces and their relationship makes me all the more thankful for my fabulous sisters. Relationships between sisters just cannot be explained. When Ben and I, or other males for that matter, have had discussions about kids, and they are all "I WANT ALL BOYS, OH OK MAYBE 1 GIRL," I've tried to explain that a girl needs sisters and that there is just no relationship quite like it. Now, keep in mind I've never had brothers, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Take for example the above picture. A few days prior to this, my boyfriend of a year had broken up with me and I was heart broken. We had a sorority function that weekend and I had no idea what to do. I didn't want to ask someone else and it just so happened Christie's boyfriend was out of town that weekend, so she offered to go together. Yes, my sister and I went as dates and it was glorious! That is what sisters are for. This post is going to be forever long if I go on and on about my sisters, which I could, but I just want to say that I am so thankful for each of them, Katie, Christie and Martie, and for each of their uniquely fabulous personalities. Love you! 

At my Bachelorette Party

November 13th - My parents. Being home over the weekend meant spending lots of time with my parents and it was so wonderful. There are just some times that it feels so perfect to be back at home. Words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for my sweet parents. They truly are the most amazing parents we could have ever asked for. I have never in my whole life had to doubt how much they love me and they have always supported me 110% in everything I do. Going home is just so special because my parents are so unbelievably good at making me feel welcome.

The year before Ben and I got married I was kind of my parent's little sidekick. Whenever I was home from college or when we were on vacation, the majority of my time was spent with them. Some people might complain, but I loved it! Again, I could go on and on about my parents, but I'll leave you with two of my favorite memories from my mom and dad. These are just examples of how loved and beautiful they have always made me feel. 

Memory of my mom: My mom would pick me up from softball practice my sophomore year and at that time we had an amazing coach who made us work hard. I loved it! One particular day we had had a really hard practice and after getting in my mom's car super sweaty and tired, before pulling out of the parking lot, my mom turned around to tell me something and just said, "Natalie, you are so beautiful." It was so sincere and unexpected and I think of that moment often. 

Memory of my dad: The day my parents took me to Baylor was an emotional one to say the least. I dated a guy in high school for about 2 1/2 years and it ended up not being the healthiest relationship and after the break up, I was left with some real self-esteem issues. My dad knew this and always offered words of affirmation to me. As I gave my parents a hug goodbye in the Collins (my dorm) parking lot, the words my dad left me with, through tears, were "Don't settle for anyone who doesn't treat you like the jewel that you are." He's a pretty amazing dad! 

Aren't they cute?!?!

November 14th - These last 2 can be short and sweet since this is the longest post EVER...I am thankful for libraries. Thank you especially for the Flower Mound library because I am always late returning my books and they do not charge a late fee. WOO HOO!!! 

November 15th - I am very very thankful for sports! I got to go watch some of my Young Life girls play basketball last night and it made me miss sports so much. I am so thankful that I grew up playing all kinds of sports and that it enabled me to have a very loving relationship with physical activity. I love working out and staying fit and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that it makes me feel more athletic. Since girls don't commonly have pick-up games, at least I can stay athletic through running and the gym. 

After my final game senior year...I know my uniform is sexy. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 7th & 8th

Thankful thankful thankful! This thankfulness thing is really helping my attitude. I feel like I have more energy and am just really happy when I think about all that I am thankful for!! 

November 7th - Young Life

Ben and I started volunteering for Young Life in Flower Mound about a month ago and although it can sometimes be a little overwhelming, I am so thankful for it. I love all of our leaders and all of our kids. I feel blessed every Monday when I see everyone and every Thursday when I see all my girls. 

November 8th - Kale 

Yes you read that right, I am thankful for kale. I tried making roasted kale chips for the first time tonight and I am officially obsessed. Holy yum! I highly recommend making them. Even my meat and potatoes lover of a husband loved them! 

In other news --- yesterday's workout was a super schweaty one and it was fantastic! Extra bonus, I wore my new shorts and shirt and loved 'em! 

Awkward look-away due to someone walking into the locker room

Lovin' my new Under Armour shorts! I'm in the market for more workout shorts if anyone has any suggestions I'd love them. I've always worn Nike shorts, but last weekend while I was trying to find some new ones they were all super baggy. 

Here's the workout I did: 

Elliptical (resistance/cross ramp)
0-2: 5/5 
2-4: 6/9
4-6: 7/11
6-8: 8/10
8-10: 9/13
10-12: 10/8
12-14: 11/9
14-16: 12/7
16-17: 11/9
17-18: 10/10
18-19: 9/13
19-20: 8/10

0-2: Level 8
2-4: Level 10 
4-8: Level 12
8-10: Level 10

Ab Burner
Frog Crunches - 25
Plank - 45 seconds 
Pull-Over Crunches - 25
Plank - 45 seconds 
Stability Ball Crunches - 25 
Plank - 45 seconds 

And this is what it this shirt! 

AND We're Back

Back to a semi-normal schedule and back with lots of thanks! While I was out of town for the weekend I did not even touch a computer. I won't felt good! But now I'm back and full of thankful thoughts and even some fun pics to share!

Like this!

First up was good 'ole Waco. This weekend was Homecoming at Baylor and I was not about to miss a chance to hang out with the ladies! Unfortunately, we only had one night there because of a wedding in Austin Saturday night, but it was still fabulous as always. Have I mentioned I love Baylor? That brings me to my thankful thought for November 4th - Baylor. I am beyond thankful for Baylor and the friends it provided for me throughout the 4 years I was there. There are no words to describe how much I love my Baylor friends and for that I am thankful!

Don't mind my fashionable ensemble...after going to bed around 3 AM, I woke up at 7 AM before the parade to get in a surprisingly fabulous 9.5 mile run. Above is the aftermath. 

After enjoying the best college pararde ever, I headed to Austin with these 2 fellas. Ben had already headed to Austin for an early morning hunt, so we met him there. After an A-MAZING lunch at The Grove in Austin everyone else arrived and we started getting ready for the wedding. 

The wedding was beautiful, but even more beautiful was Austin, TX. I could SO live in that city! Which brings me to November 5th's thankful thought - Austin. Why oh why do I not live in Austin, TX?? What first intrigued me was last weekend's run. I was just running along with my head all in the clouds daydreaming about all of the beautiful houses and scenery I was running past. Now, this weekend I was able to stay at a friend's house who has the most fabulous view of the city. Anyway...I want to live in Austin, TX and I am thankful for how beautiful it is!! Thank you God for your beauty! 

Sunday was a day full of traveling. First, Ben lost his wallet out in Marble Falls where he was hunting, so we had to drive an hour outside of Austin before driving the 3 1/2 hours home. And this brings me to my thankful thought for November 6th - my husband. I have a feeling another day will also be dedicated to him, but I just have to say that I am thankful for his quirks. Although I was a little annoyed at having to drive out of the way, he never fails to make me laugh when this stuff happens. I just have to laugh at how opposite we are and I am thankful we are opposite. If we were both like me we might, no we would kill each other. I am also thankful for the fact that he ALWAYS drives. I literally feel sleepy about 2 minutes after I start driving a long distance and I am so thankful that when we are together I never have to drive. 

I love this man!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 2nd & 3rd Thankful

Since I'm posting this pretty late in the day I will go ahead and post yesterday's and today's thankful thought.

November 2nd -- I am so so thankful for an amazing Home Group. Ben had been attending the Village Church in Denton prior to us getting married, but I attended a very small church in Dallas. After we were married we started attending The Village in Flower Mound. There are not enough amazing things to say about this church, but it was a little overwhelming for me because I went from attending a church where I know EVERY SINGLE person, so attending a church where I would walk in and out without knowing a soul. Needless to say we were both really wanting to join a smaller group to have a sense of community within the church. Lets just be real honest here....small groups can be hit or miss. We have both had our fair share of interesting/not-so-positive experiences with small groups, but definitely wanted to give it another try. We joined our Home Group right before the summer and could not be happier. It is absolutely the perfect fit and I could not be more thankful for such an amazing group of people to share my life with! Every time we meet this feeling is reinforced and last night was no exception.

November 3rd -- Today I am super thankful for my amazing mother-in-law, Karen! Both her and my father-in-law, Tony, are some of the most generous people you will ever meet and they have been so wonderful to me over the past 3 years. My thankfulness for Karen has just increased over the weekend and week because of her amazing willingness to go out of her way to help me. Thank you so much Karen for all you do! I will never get tired of tortilla soup, thrift store finds, protein bars, starbucks tea or any of your other fabulous gifts!

Karen and me in Grand Cayman!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be Thankful Challenge

November is such a fabulous month!! For starters it is my birthday month! It is also the month of crisp Fall days, Starbucks Christmas cups, deer hunting (hopefully a trip to Paducah, TX), the Turkey Trot and one of my very favorite holidays and time spent with family...THANKSGIVING!!

Yesterday Tina started the "Be Thankful Challenge" and I'm going to join. I've always been an overly optimistic person my entire life, but ever since I entered the "real world" I have become a little bit pessimistic and I don't like it. Hopefully this challenge will help me to look at all of the things I should be thankful for and turn me back to the super positive person I used to be.

I'll be posting something at the end of each day. I'm a day late, so I'll post something now for November 1st. 

November 1st - After a weekend trip to Austin to run the Run for the Water 10 mile race (recap to coming soon), I am beyond thankful for the legs God gave me to run and run well.

My 1st Half Marathon