Thursday, May 31, 2012

She Reads Truth

Those of you that follow me on Twitter (NattyB711), may have seen a few posts followed by #shereadstruth. I am super excited to share with you where this came from and what it means, especially to me!

About a week ago I saw this hashtag popping up on Mama Pea and Jenna's twitter and wondered what it was all about. I've never met either of these women, but after reading their blogs for over a year or so, they are both women I look up to in the blog world and in their faith. A couple days after my curiosity began, Mama Pea did a post with a #shereadstruth excerpt at the bottom. I followed her link and found out how it all got started and was immediately excited to join in.

In short, #shereadstruth is a challenge/plan that women are sharing in together. It's an opportunity for us all to grow together, challenge each other, hold one another accountable and share in truth. For about a year now, I have been stuck in this place where I am yearning to grow, but didn't really know what that meant or how to get started. I often opened my Bible and closed it due to the frustration of just not knowing where to start. Lets face it, it's a pretty large book! I just didn't know what passages to be reading and got caught up in trying to perfect my quiet times.

With the Soul Detox plan on my YouVersion app, it's all so easy, yet so refreshing. I love being able to follow a plan and even better see others going through it with me. I love getting on Twitter in the morning and seeing others #shereadstruth posts. Everyone is always getting different things out of it and I am constantly learning from them.

This morning was probably the perfect morning! I woke up at 5:00, got a great workout in at the gym, was ready in time to stop at Starbucks before work and before turning my computer on, complete Day 7 of #shereadstruth.

Today is Day 7 of the 35 Day Plan. I'd love for you to join me! Please leave a comment on this post if you need more information or instructions on how to join.

Have a fabulous's almost the weekend!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Graduation Party!

I still cannot believe that my little sister, Martie, is graduating in a little over a week! I can vividly remember the day we brought her home from the hospital and all took turns fighting over who got to hold her. My sisters and I had to make a chart when Martie was a baby that would tell us whose day it was to get her out of her crib. It was either get her out of  her crib or get your hair done by mom. Martie was and still is so precious to all of us. 

Where I grew up and went to high school, most senior girls have "teas" to celebrate their graduation. Lets just say that the Berry girls aren't really the "tea" type. When it came time to think about Martie's graduation party, we were super excited with her idea to celebrate! 

Last year my dad became the President of the Grand Prairie Airhogs. Going to the games is probably our families very favorite summer activity! We have always been a baseball family and have a blast at all of the games! Martie mentioned to me and my other sisters that she wanted to have her party at the field. Brilliant!! 

We had dinner in the back restaurant, set up a concession stand with drinks, popcorn, peanuts and cookies for the girls to take home and played a game of softball before dessert. It was one of the most fun nights ever! 

Buckets filled with baseballs and pictures of Martie throughout the years, plus mason jars filled with pom pom flowers 
Host - Katie, me and Christie
Martie and all her friends before changing into softball gear
I love my sisters! 
All the girls with the Grand Prairie Champions trophy! 
I think the best part of throwing Martie's graduation party was just knowing how much fun she had. I saw some of her friends tweet or facebook the next day about how it was the best "tea" they'd ever been to! I'm so glad that she was able to have a fabulous night before graduating with all of her best friends! 

I won't lie, I thoroughly enjoyed getting back on the softball field too! I got to bat once and hit a triple! After the game was over and all the girls went back to the restaurant for cake, Ben and I stayed on the field and he hit to me while I took infield. I started out at my usual position, short stop, but eventually moved to left field to let Ben rip a few to the outfield. I miss softball so much! 

Any night that I get to spend with my sisters, our husbands, my parents and nieces will always be a good night in my book! I think we're going to go back out for a family softball game next week when my aunt and uncle come in town. Can't wait!! 

Martie and some of the junior girls
She is a mess and definitely loves her uncles, Ben and Taylor

This picture always cracks me up! Katie is holding Charlotte to be in the picture but she did not want to cooperate!
Moments after!
Katie and her girls

There is no one like sisters! I hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. If you can, add a baseball game to your always seems to brighten this families plans!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fun Run

Does anyone else get really excited and just wait all day to go to the gym when they decide on a new workout? OK, I realize that I am probably the weird one here, but I was so excited to get to the gym yesterday. I'm sure it also had to do with the 4 1/2 hour meeting I was in. It was a fabulous meeting, but sitting down for that long is torture.

 I read Julie's post in the morning and was immediately set on what my evening workout would consist of. It's so odd how my mind and workouts fluctuate from week to week. Last week, I mostly wanted to be on the elliptical with Bodyrock incorporated. This week, all I want to do is run! I have seen such great results with Bodyrock and weights that I want to do that everyday too, so I've been hitting the treadmill for more intense runs combined with Bodyrock or weight circuits. If you're looking for a way to conquer the treadmill sans boredom, I highly recommend this workout. I followed Julie's lead pretty closely, but traded out some of the off-the-treadmill exercises plus added one extra set.
The * means that all of these exercises were done off of the treadmill. I would turn the treadmill back down to 4.0 speed before getting off, so I could hop back on and start walking. I'm pretty sure most people thought I was a crazy person, but I'm kind of used to that. I just stick my headphones in and act like no one else is at the gym! This does wonders for my social life! Another factor that made this workout so Ben Rector playlist! I love him! 

Happy Thursday Everyone!! 
Finish out your week strong, so that you can enjoy your weekend to the full! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Back At It

After a fabulous weekend away with friends for a wedding, it felt great to get back in the gym yesterday. I snuck in a quick and hilly four miles before we left on Friday, but that was about it for my weekend workouts. Unless you count lifting lots of chairs and tables for wedding set-up. I don't do a very good job of relaxing while we're at home, there's always something that I could be doing, but it was pretty nice to get away and relax for a couple of days.

The wedding was on the lake right outside of Emory, TX. We all stayed at Lake Fork Lodge and absolutely loved it. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner followed by lots of shenanigans and Saturday we woke up, Morgan and I went to the grocery store to hunt down something other than donuts for breakfast, came back and set up the chairs, explored the town a little (the 3 shops), got a pedicure and got ready for the wedding. The last time I got a pedicure was for our wedding...does that tell you anything about how often I relax?

The wedding was simple and beautiful! The reception and more shenanigans followed and Sunday after the drive home, we filled our day with relaxation in the sun and a Mother's Day dinner with Ben's mom and family. I definitely enjoyed the slow, easy pace of the weekend, but was due for a hard workout.

Morgan, me and Amber before the wedding
The groom (Jason) and me
I adore him! 
The setting 

The goal for my trip to the gym was to really push myself. There's nothing wrong with taking a couple days off, but I was ready to feel the burn and really sweat. GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!! I was a hot mess when I left the gym and felt amazing for the rest of the night. It's amazing what a fabulous workout can do! Here's the breakdown: 

10 Minute HIIT Run 
0-1: 6.0 
1-2: 6.5
2-3: 7.0 
3-4: 7.5 
4-5: 8.0 
5-6: 6.5
6-7: 7.0 
7-8: 7.5 
8-9: 8.0
9-10: 8.5
Miles = 1.33 

10 Minute Stairmaster 
0-2: 8.0 with leg lifts 
2-4: 9.0 
4-6: 10.0 
6-8: 11.0 
8-10: 12.0 
Floors Climbed = 56

Bodyrock Circuit 
(50 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 2 rounds)
Push Up + Toe Touch + Burpee 
Pike Jumps 
Alternating Lunge Kick + Tuck Jump 
Push Up + Toe Touch + Burpee 
Pike Jumps 
Plank + 2 Jumps + Weight Drag 
Tuck Abs 
Weighted Straight Abs 
This can all be found on 

Bodyrock Sculpt 
(50 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 1 round)
Bicep Curls + Shoulder Press 
Shoulder Press
Around the World 
Upright Row 

20 Minute Elliptical Intervals 
0-2: 7/10
2-4: 8/10
4-6: 10/10
6-8: 8/10
8-10: 10/10
10-12: 8/8, backwards
12-14: 10/10 
14-16: 8/8, backwards 
16-18: 10/10
18-20: 7/10

I think this workout took be about an hour and a half. I'm usually done after an hour, but the extra push was worth it. I'm excited for a healthy week ahead! I plan on pushing myself in the gym everyday because.... WE BOOKED OUR VACATION LAST NIGHT!! Grand Cayman and Punta Cana here we come!! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a success! We got lots done and were also able to spend tons of time with friends and family. We started the weekend right by heading to Dallas for a much needed trip to NorthPark. Ben and I can sometimes be major procrastinators and we still had quite a few things to return from Christmas. Yes, you read that right...CHRISTMAS!! Whoops! 

With Brenda and Landon along for the ride, we headed to Dallas after work and first stopped at Fireside Pies. I love this place!!

We somehow majorly scored with only about a 15 minute wait, plus it was a nice enough night to sit on the porch. Doesn't get much better than that! This meal was a major milestone for Ben and me...we SHARED our ENTIRE meal! We started with the salad that was the special for the night and it was only ok. It wasn't much of a salad, more prosciutto with peppers and goat cheese and a little bit of arugula mixed in. Definitely not our favorite, but the pizza made up for it. We got the Balsamic Roasted Chicken Pizza and loved it!

After dinner we hurried over to NorthPark where Ben returned some work pants and talked the manager into letting him return the pants despite the 30 day return policy. We were clearly past that, but he can be pretty convincing! I tend to shy away from arguing, so thankfully, I was able to return a couple shirts without a problem. Plus, I left with a new pair of wedges from GAP!

It wouldn't be a complete night without ice cream, so in 40-60 mph winds we headed back to Corinth and stopped at Beth Marie's. I tried another new flavor, salty dog - a mix of carmel and sea salt, delicious!!

I woke up Saturday knowing that Ben didn't have to work, but a little unsure of our plans. We talked about doing yard work and house projects, but you never know when he'll get called for a showing or something. I was so excited when he woke up around 10:00 and said, "are you ready to go to Lowe's?" I may be weird, but I love Lowe's and I love a day outside in the yard! 

We pulled weeds until our hand were raw and then we planted lots of flowers. We got about 30% of what we need to do to our yard done, but we are making progress and I love it already. Ben also did more work on our headboard before running out of wood. We will get that done one of these days! 

My adorable sidekick!
There used to be a little porch here and we (Ben) tore it out and we planted those bushes. Next, we will put chairs there!

Too bad you can't see my awesome tan looks like I'm always wearing a tank top!

One Z on, one more to go! Then, only staining is left!

We ended our grueling day with a fabulous dinner at Green House in Denton. Ben's dad was out of town and I wanted his mom to see our flowers, so we invited them to dinner and had a great time. Dinner was followed by an immediate flop on the couch, followed by a flop into bed. We were exhausted! 

I woke up early Sunday to enjoy a wonderful 4 mile run. It was pretty humid, but the temperatures were cool and the scenery was beautiful. This particular route around our neighborhood is mostly hills. I haven't been running much long distance lately, but I do enjoy shorter, harder runs for some reason. There were about 3 roller coaster rolling hills and 2-3 other uphill climbs. I was drenched! 

The calm before the rolling hills

Hill #1 - I kicked it's butt! 

I had to immediately get started in the kitchen after I walked back in the door. I volunteered to bring dessert to our Home Group BBQ after church and needed to get going. After that it was a quick shower and change before starting a packed day of activities - church, Home Group BBQ, grocery store trip and Graduation Party. 

I made this Mountain Dew Cake and it got rave reviews. It is so so easy and great for something you need to whip up quick. 

The BBQ was a blast! The women mostly sat around talking and adoring all of the kids while the men played corn hole and washers. About an hour after we arrived, our leaders got there with their brand new twin baby boys. They were asleep for a while and then they had to be fed, but afterwards I was first in line to hold them. I held Oliver (his brother is Owen) for the rest of the party and I totally fell in love! 

After a quick trip to the grocery store, we ended the weekend by celebrating a friend's graduation from OSU and headed home to get ready for this crazy week. Bring on next weekend!! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Smoothie Heaven

Just dropping in before I recap the weekend for you. I have some news that is imperative for you to hear/read!! Something so delicious that you would be absolutely CRAZY not to drop what you're doing and go grab one of these immediately!

Smoothie Heaven!
This my friends is what brings joy to my life one Wednesday a month! My LA Fitness finally filled the cafe spot with this NrGize smoothie shop. I don't usually like to buy smoothies because I am perfectly capable and enjoy making smoothies at home for a fraction of the price, but about a month ago I stopped by and grabbed the Peanut Butter Cup smoothie and was hooked. 

Our church has something called Elder Led Prayer the first Sunday of every month and our Home Group always tries to participate. All other Wednesdays, our Home Group meets at 6:30 PM and whoever is hosting provides dinner, so I never have to think about dinner while rushing out of the gym. First Wednesdays though, start at 7:00 PM and we are on our own for dinner. I take this opportunity to get in a little extra time at the gym and now utilize NrGize Cafe. This smoothie may not be the healthiest thing I could put into my body, but it is definitely good for me and absolutely delicious. It is on the "meal replacer" list and has about 530 calories with 47g of protein. Not bad if you ask me! 

Moral of the have GOT to try one of these! I have to consciously pace myself not to slurp the entire thing down in 2 seconds! YUMMMMM!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weekend Recap

With Ben away at a Bachelor Party, I headed home for a mini vacation. Isn't that exactly what going home is? I feel like it's just a time when I don't have to worry about anything else other than enjoying my family. It was oh so glorious not worrying about laundry to be done or a house to be cleaned. It all hit me smack in the face on Sunday afternoon, but oh well, I'm more than okay with playing catch up this week. 

I left work a little early on Friday to beat the rush hour traffic and headed to my parents house. Once I arrived, we didn't waste any time and headed back out the door for dinner. There's a fun town center about 15 minutes from my parents called Firewheel and we ate at the Cristina's there. I had never been there, but it was delicious. I had some sort of tilapia with veggies that was very yummy. Slightly more nutritious than two bowls of cereal! My sister, Christie, met us there too. Her husband was out of town for a wedding so we both enjoyed the weekend with my parents. We then made our way (the very very long way) to Wylie East High School for the Lake Highlands vs Sachse Varsity Softball Play Off game.

I wish you could have been a fly in the car to hear my family try to navigate our way to the middle of nowhere! I was the director of navigation if that tells you anything. My iphone didn't exactly help us out. We ended up having to stop and ask the Schwan's man at someone's house where the field was. It was definitely an adventure!

It's kind of hard for me to watch softball sometimes because I miss it so much. I played from when I was 6 years old until I graduate from high school and sometimes regret not playing in college. I had fun at this game though. It was close the whole time and in an extra inning, Lake Highlands (my alma mater) won!! So happy for them and the coach! 

On Saturday I hit the gym early before we headed out to go Prom dress shopping for my little sister. She found the prettiest dress at Nordstrom! I love it! I cannot believe she is about to graduate and go to Baylor. She is six years younger than me, so I still remember bringing her home from the hospital and how my sisters and I used to fight over who got to hold her. Time flies! 

We spent the majority of the day shopping and meeting my oldest sister, Katie, her kids and husband for lunch. The highlight of the weekend may have been the running jump hug I received from my 3 year old niece, Annie! 

After resting up a bit, my mom, dad, Christie and I changed and were off to Arlington for the Rangers game. GO RANGERS!! I love that it is now baseball season! Can't wait for opening day of the Grand Prairie Airhogs, May 21st! 

The Rangers won and we had a blast! Perfect weather and the most adorable group of little kids in front of us only added to our enjoyment. We also ran into some friends from high school and I always enjoy seeing people I know. We tried our best to hurry home so we could catch the end of the MAVS game on tv and ran through the door just in time. Unfortunately, they lost by 1 at the very last second, but I guess you can't win 'em all. All in all it was a great weekend for sports! 

Sunday morning started pretty early for me with a 6:30 AM run. I love running at my parents because I get to run around all the neighborhoods that I grew up in and this particular run, I even ran past my old high school. Oh how I miss the memories of Lake Highlands! I had to get my run in super early before church because I was determined to go to the "bagel shop" (aka Einstein's) with my parents for one of, if not my very favorite, breakfast. 

I added the apple for extra staying power, but I cannot get enough of their Everything Bagel Thins with egg whites. The seeds on the bagel thin are amazing!! I have got to remember to buy these at the grocery store to recreate at home! 

Usually I just meet my parents for second service at their church since they work in the nursery during first, but I could not pass up the chance to play with my niece, Charlotte. We had a couple of babies this Sunday and they were all adorable. Charlotte is a little peanut and there was another little boy, Nathan, that will totally be an offensive lineman. They were hysterical to compare! 

I'm pretty sure I could have worn Nathan's shoes! 
Little peanut, Charlotte
One things for sure, neither of them ever miss a snack! Look at the difference in their legs!

After church we all headed to Taco Diner for Katie's 30th birthday lunch. It was an absolutely fabulous weekend! I headed out right after lunch to get my grocery shopping done and enjoy date night with Ben. We went out for sushi, saw The Five Year Engagement and enjoyed bowls of ice cream on the couch while watching Smallville. A perfect night to end the weekend if you ask me! 

If you haven't already, check out today. My story is featured on today's "No Fat Talk Tuesday!" It was so great getting to write my story down. I am so glad that Madison did this and hope all of the stories can inspire many to stop the fat talk. 

A miniature photo shoot occurred after church...I just cannot get enough of these two!!