Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment…but Marriage IS!

Marriage Accomplishment

Allow me to be more specific: a good marriage, that is.

I’ve seen this article titled “Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment” floating around Facebook and getting shared by various people for a few weeks or so now, and while it made some great points, it’s the reaction and comments of the readers that really got me thinking. 

The entire premise of this article is the getting married part.  The excitement and ritual leading up to the big day.  People are then taking this to mean that marriage is not an accomplishment. I say that getting married and marriage are two very different things, and I do agree that getting married is not an accomplishment. However…

I also believe that a marriage; a good, strong, loving marriage, is a huge accomplishment.

Read more

What is CMT?

WhatisCMT

As some of you may or may not know, I have a physical disability called CMT.  It stands for Charcot Marie Tooth disease, and contrary to many people’s first impressions of the name, it has absolutely nothing to do with my teeth.

As my blog following begins to grow, I’ve been feeling compelled to try and do more with it.  While I’ve been searching for ways to expand my content, I feel that one of the subject matters I need to touch on more often is life with CMT.  I know that CMT is more common than people realize, and the general awareness of it is rather small compared to other diseases of the same severity.  I’m sitting here, a blogger that is getting hits every day, talking about all sorts of things, and yet, I’ve really only touched on CMT once, and it was in my personal story of life with CMT.  It’s time I try to raise just a little bit more awareness.  For starters, I want everyone to know a little bit more about what CMT is. Don’t worry, I won’t go all “in-depth research paper” on you.  I just want to share a little bit of information. Read more

Monday Motivation and Weekly Goals

Happy Monday, friends.

Or maybe not so happy.. Since I’ve been snowed in since last Tuesday evening, my alarm going off at 7:00am was not at all a welcome event.  After nearly a week of being snowed in, being lazy, and being off track, my body and mind both know it is time to get my lazy rear in gear and get back to the grind.

 

You better believe the first grind I hit up this morning was the coffee grinds (haha..I crack myself up!).  I’m on cup number 2 as we speak.  It was a rough start..

 

Yesterday, for the first time in forever (if you get the reference, comment below.  You’ve earned your awesomeness points for the day) I actually tracked every single thing I ate AND managed to stay within my 26 Point Plus.  Ive been tracking, but I haven’t been staying in budget lately.  It felt so good to sit down with a 6 points plus epic sized dessert last night knowing that I still had the Points Plus left in my day so I didn’t even roll into weeklies.  Why is it that it’s such a difficult thing for me to do nowadays??  I always feel so accomplished and great about myself when I’m successful, yet for some reason random munchies have been outweighing the joy and satisfaction of staying within my Point Plus target.  *sigh* I mean, I wrote months ago about the struggles of being a lifetime member at goal, but this is seriously getting ridiculous.  Well, that changes this week.

Yesterday I sat down with my Erin Condren Life Planner and planned out my entire week, top to bottom.  Erik is pretty much jam packed and so rather than being upset about his unavailability, i decided I might as well make use of the time I have not having him available to me.  He and I have some pretty awesome plans for the end of this week, so I just have to be patient in the meantime.  

While sipping on cup of coffee #1, I decided that writing out some goals for this week and declaring them to the world would probably be an excellent motivator to actually do them.  So, here they are:

Week's Goals 217

  • Track everything- and I should add to that “stay within Points Plus range.”  I just feel so much better when I know I’m making the right choices, and BONUS: the scale goes down! and trust me..it needs to..just a bit..
  • Workout 5 days- notice I didn’t put everyday.  I’ve recently become aware of the mental awesomeness tom scheduling in rest days.  I used to feel guilty about days I took a day off, but I’ve learned that a day off here and there us good for me.  So I’ve started scheduling them.  5 days of working out, be it elliptical, Zumba, or something else.
  • Read at least a chapter a day- I’m currently in the middle of “Insurgent by Veronica Roth (book 2 of the Divergent series), an awesome book called “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine of the Money Saving Mom blog, and a blogging book called iBlog.
  • Work ahead-  pretty self explanatory.  I need to be better about this, especially if I want to do more with this little site of mine.
  • Travel plans- I won’t tell you what they are yet, but special occasions are often difficult to stick to plan through.  I will not let my special something ruin the rest of my week!
  • My attitude towards some things could really use an adjustment.  I get so caught up in things like my overwhelming work load or the fact that Erik is so busy it feels like we hardly have regular time together (and it makes me grumpy and negative) that I forget to remember that my heavy work load is a blessing because I’m working (many people out there aren’t) and that I need to appreciate things like being snowed in with my husband for two days, giving us time together we wouldn’t have normally had.  I like to think the snow days were God’s way of giving us a little bit more time together, as how little we’ve had has really has been breaking me slowly.  So yeah…generic attitude adjustment needed..

So that’s that!  I declare my goals to you, readers of my little blog.  What sort of goals do you have set for this week?

 

I leave you with a motivational drawing from a woman, Kim, who took her wonderful art skills and used them to create health and fitness motivational images for women.  Check out her Arthlete blog and see some of the amazing and inspiring work that she does 🙂

Have a great week! 🙂

This post contains affiliate links.

Happy 2014!!

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Hello friends-

 

This is just a quick note to wish you all a very Happy New Year!  I’ve been MIA for a few weeks, but I have a good reason: Erik and I get married in 3 days.  3 DAYS!!  We’re currently getting covered in snow in Illinois spending time with my family and getting final things done before the big day.  We have our marriage license ready to go and the to do list is almost complete.  This is such an exciting time.  Unfortunately, all of the running around, celebrating, planning and spending time with family (we were in Florida last week to be with Erik’s family) means that Diva and the Divine had to take a backseat.  Once we’re back from our little one day mini-moon things will start to run smoothly again.

One thing that will be happening is a whole series on New Year’s Resolutions.  I love the new year, as it’s always a chance to start over, set goals and get re-motivated to accomplish things.  I plan on talking about my goals and resolutions as well as some of the books and tools I plan on using to accomplish them.  I have high hopes for 2014.  I’ll be starting the year as a newlywed with a whole new chapter of my life unfolding and ready to be written, and I can’t wait to share my journey with all of you.

 

Until then, I hope all of you had a very happy and blessed holiday season full of love and joy.  Get ready to be excited about all that 2014 has to offer each one of us.

 

Love, the soon to be Mrs. E!  🙂

Countdown to “I Do”- 100 Days!

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100 days from today I will be walking down the aisle, saying “I do” and changing my last name by marrying my best friend.  Wow! Time flies when you’re as stressed out as we are right now.

It’s not even entirely wedding stuff that we’re stressed about, but life in general has gotten crazy busy and turned this apartment upside down. That being said, there is still a wedding coming and we still have a lot of little things to finish.

Invitations are out! We can check that bad boy off of our list.  I actually was more stressed about it than I needed to be, but while the process of the job took a significant amount of time, it still wasn’t so bad.  The small tasks like stamping the envelope with one stamp and the RSVP envelope with another, then making sure a registry card and RSVP envelope was in every invite, return address, address, etc etc.  All of the tasks weren’t daunting (except getting guest labels printed..that took the most time), but they added up to quite a few hours of Sex and the City while I did this job alone.  Now that the invites are behind me, I now can get excited ((sarcasm..) about  collecting RSVPs and turning them into seating charts and “who is eating what” lists.  Joy..

We think Erik found a ring he likes.  Since I am not a wife-to-be that is okay with the idea of her businessman, traveling all the time husband not wearing a ring, he’s finally come to terms with this fact and I think we found a great one.  It hasn’t been purchased yet, but hopefully this weekend we can check that one off of our list.  My wedding band was purchased a week or so after we were engaged, since Erik cleverly got an engagement ring that has a band available for its unique shape.

We booked a DJ!! We were given a good deal (again, thanks to my friend and wedding planner Mike) on an amazing company called Okyne MediaLab.  We did a Skype meeting with the owner late one night and he was incredible: very kind, very knowledgeable and made us very excited at the idea of having them at our wedding.  We are given access to online tools where we can not only choose songs for “must play,” “can play,”  and “DON’T play” lists, but we can write out and choose the musical details of every piece of the reception right from our online account.  This is a great tool, as we can also listen to clips of songs, and view suggested lists for various dances like first dance and the father and bride dance.  Erik and I haven’t really gotten the chance to sit and play with it yet (when have we had the time?) but we are really looking forward to using this tool to get our music organized and begin to truly envision our reception.  

I’ve now entered the stage where I’m having mild freak outs about the little details.  I have the dress, but I need undies/shape wear, shoes, and jewelry.  Ahh!  My bridesmaids need shoes and jewelry, but no one is here to come out shopping with me to browse.. AHH!  Do we have a guest book? Do I wait until after my shower to buy one?Little things like that.  On top of the stress of my jobs (which are blessings, don’t get me wrong), playing housewife because nothing would be clean if I didn’t because of my fiancé who is never around because he’s off doing some sort of school/business/networking activity until Heaven knows when every night, and emotionally coping with that situation (seeing how now would be a great time to have friends and family around, and while I do have friends, when preparing for your wedding day you want the people who have known you more than a few months) I’m finding that the littlest stress can sometimes sent me reeling, which sucks.  I never used to be like that.  I’m actually really looking forward to January, not only because of the wedding, but because the wedding will be over and there will be a lot fewer “little things” to turn me into a crazy person.  It’s hard when both of us are so stressed at the same time and we barely have time for one another.

So, 100 days to go!  At the end of October I fly home for my bridal shower and bachelorette party (what can I do when I live so far away from everyone else? Make the most of my time at home), since I’m pretty sure I won’t be back in Illinois until Wedding time!  Other than that, we keep on trucking along with all of the big pieces in place and all of the little pieces looming over my head waiting for me to accomplish them and/or crack under the pressure.

Until tomorrow (for my Friday 5 post), happy almost Friday from your trying-not-to-get-too-stressed Bride 🙂

August Round up: The good and the not so good.

Yet another month has come to a close.  How crazy is that?!  It’s officially back to school time, which is actually one of my favorite times of the year.  More on that in a future post.

Let’s talk about August.

 

The Good

Visiting Home

As you may have seen in my more recent posts, I started August off with a visit to Illinois to get some major wedding planning accomplished. It was a crazy busy weekend full of appointments and decisions, but just being home, seeing the puppies, being able to sing in Praise Team and seeing family (including Erik’s) was wonderful.  You can read all about my trip by clicking Part 1 or Part 2.

Weight Watchers At Work Leader

I’m officially able to be an “at work” Weight Watchers leader now, which basically means I have all of the materials to run WW meetings out of my house…  Over the past week I have gotten SO MUCH stuff sent to me that I have no where to put it.  I have a WW scale of my very own (like the ones in the centers), a bin or two of product and a ton of paperwork.  I’m putting this down as a good thing because if all goes well I may end up with some meetings to actually lead in the near future.  It’s a bit chaotic and I’m stressing about having no place to put this stuff, but at least it is a positive work opportunity.  Today was my last week of finishing out an at work series in North Raleigh.  Big commute, but at least I got to do some work for the company the last few weeks.  Mid September I also gain a meeting at a store near my apartment, which will be nice.

Voice Lessons

This week was my first week of fall term voice lessons at the Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts (CHSMA for short).  I already have 12 students and was asked to open up an extra evening in my schedule, which my boss is pretty sure they can fill up soon.  If WW picks up and I get another lesson or two, I’ll be able to drop Kohls, and hopefully that means no more retail for me EVER.  I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to teach music.  If I can’t get out there and perform for a living, at least I can make money inspiring others to do so. My owners are great, my studio is 5 minutes from my apartment, and my students have been wonderful so far.  What an awesome job to stumble upon when I started looking at the possibility of moving.  God does look out for me 🙂

The Not so Good

Laziness, Stress, and Negativity

Confession time: I’ve been super lazy about tracking, working out, and sort of in general.  Oh sure, I get to the gym almost every day, but the fire I used to have behind my workouts seems to have vanished, which makes them not as good as they used to be.  My coping mechanism for stress tends to be eating (since my love for the workout has seemed to disappear, which used to be my stress relief), which results in me being a bit more forgiving with what goes into my mouth vs. what’s on my tracker.. the result is a slight rise on the scale.  The amount is pretty laughable given how stressed I am by it, only a few lbs, but it’s more than it should be.  Enter the stress and negativity that makes working out a chore and all of the things that turn this into a vicious cycle that seems to have no end and has me feeling miserable.  I’m also stressing about playing housewife when I am in fact not one (not for a few more months anyway) and balancing 3 jobs, the fitness, the housekeeping, the fiancé the spends all of his time at home studying in his room, and this blog, which I love, but don’t have the time to give it what it deserves…oh yeah, and planning a wedding..  The result is this sloppy, stressed out mess of a person currently blogging in between voice lessons.  I already have several ideas on how to use the Back to School mentality to try and keep me from crumbling, starting with a WW Back to Basics challenge that I joined and will tell you about in another post.

That pretty much sums up the bad..  I don’t have any product favorites or anything this month.  Wow, August was a bit lame in the area of trying new things.  Hopefully September will bring more excitement, passion for life, and new things for me to try (and write about).

Happy Back to School season, friends.  How do you celebrate (or not celebrate..)this time of year?

A Thought on Forgiveness

Yesterday Erik and I were Skyping with his pastor from Florida for session two of pre-marital counseling.  It started with a discussion on giving and finances, which I’m sure usually takes longer with most couples, but since I’m marrying a finance man I am willing to let him manage our finances when we’re married; easy topic.  Then we started talking about making sure we know each other’s expectations, and after some discussion on that we got on the topic of forgiveness.

 

We all know that forgiveness is a really important thing for everyone.  At some point every person will have to forgive, and every person will do something for which they will need to be forgiven.  This should not be news to any of us. Pastor said that some of the most difficult words for a person to say are “Will you forgive me?” and I definitely do not disagree.  Those words hold an admittance of being wrong and it is quite likely an acknowledgment (both to the person and yourself) that you realize your wrongness has hurt that person in some way.  This puts us in a very uncomfortable and vulnerable  state, which humans hate. Never the less, it is crucial that we forgive and ask forgiveness.

As Christians, we ask the Lord for forgiveness often, and by his grace he forgives us all of our sins.  Why then is it so hard for humans to forgive other humans??  God has forgiven each and every one of us for something far worse than whatever you are holding against another person right now.  My “ah ha” moment during our session yesterday happened when Pastor called our attention to the words in the Lords prayer that I’ve said hundreds, maybe thousands of times in my life and gave this line a deeper meaning:

…Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…

 

AH HA!

Something I have always known but never really thought about.  The Lord will happily, graciously, and mercifully forgive us each and every one of our sins if we ask for it, as we forgive others.  We can not get away with sinning and getting forgiveness from God while refusing to forgive our family, friends, coworkers and whoever else has sinned against us.  That is not fair and that is not Christian.

Forgiveness and grace and things of the like have been things that Erik and I regularly are learning to practice with each other.  Posts like this are not me getting on a soap box and lecturing others to “be more like me” or declare my being better than the rest of you.  Quite the opposite actually.  I post things like this, and will continue to do so (both religious based and not) as almost a public declaration of “I just realized how I could be better and I wanted to put it out to the world to inspire you to do the same.”  When creating a goal, research shows that those who write it down are more likely to succeed, so I am not only writing it down, but putting it out there in front of the eyes of the world wide web.

Anyway, there’s my two cents for the day.  Forgive others as the Lord graciously forgives us.  Be happy 🙂

Happy Monday, friends.

Chapel Hill 101

I’m currently sitting in Cafe Carolina a mere 2 minute drive from my apartment to use their internet, as I don’t get internet at my place until tomorrow.  Around me are southern accents of a group of women discussing life issues or something (I overheard a few seconds of “it really changed me” as I tried to find a table with an outlet) and a family with small children talking about sweet tea.

As I want to take more time and be in the comfort of my own home before writing out my moving saga, I figured I’d start you all off with a few things I’ve learned about my new home.

-I have noticed a few things already.  I was warned about this by Dan from my church.  People are a lot slower here.  I notice this in terms of communication. Back in Des Plaines I send emails to my employers and if I don’t get a response within a few hours they are either on vacation or their devices are broken.  Here everyone takes their sweet southern time to get back to you.  I really wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact I’m trying to get my jobs rolling.  I sort of need to get an income flowing to my bank account..

-The second thing I’ve noticed is NC drivers are insane.  no regard for those around them, flying around corners at any speed they please, etc.  Perhaps I only notice this because I’m a born and raised Chicagoland driver, but really people…slow down and pay attention.  My father commented on how he’s never seen so many random fender benders pulled over on the side of the road.  I’m not surprised..

-After spending time waking around town (and having breakfast at an amazing waffle place) with Erik, my parents, and the future in-laws (the meeting of the parents went great, by the way, and I am very thankful for that) I also learned of the almost cultish feel of an actual University town.  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, walks around in Tar Heels blue up and down Franklin St.  I noted that being gear-less was a problem when this little old man walking down the street was even wearing a Tar Heels baseball cap.  Something had to be done(it required shopping, so of course something had to be done).  Becky (Erik’s mom) took us to the most popular Tar Heels gear store in town, the Shrunken Head,  where Erik and I both solved the issue of not fitting in with the crowd.  Thanks to his parents for buying me an adorable Tar Heels hoodie and to my mom for the comfy sweatpants and windbreaker jacket emblazoned with the UNC logo. Throwing in the cute shirt I bought for myself I can now rest peacefully knowing I can fit in to the big university way of life, wearing Tar Heels blue proudly as Erik and I live in Chapel Hill for the next two years.

-Bugs… lots of bugs.  Erik has killed several for me already, although my dad had the honor of taking out our first spider.  The scenery with all of the trees in our complex is amazing, but with all of the trees comes bugs.  *sigh*

-You can listen to the frogs at night. 🙂

– My new grocery store (Harris Teeter) has double coupons: EVERY DAY!  I have never experienced the joy of double coupons.  I can’t wait to plan ahead and play “how much can I actually save?”  No, I will NOT become an extreme couponer, but I will put forth my best effort to save when I can.

-Thanks to UNC MBA social event and the MBA partners program (a club exclusively for the spouses/significant others of MBA students) meeting new people and making friends won’t be a problem.  We’ve been out to two socials already, one of which was at the pool located right by my apartment building.  Last night we also ended up with our first house guests: a couple who we were swapping engagement stories with and decided to take the conversation inside before the bugs attacked.  Not bad for only being moved in a few days.

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I can think of off of the top of my head.  As I said, the moving story will come soon, complete with pictures. I’m excited to be on this adventure.  I’m not sure that it has sunk in that Erik and I won’t be separating anymore.  Ill give it another week or two before that hits us, but I will say this: even though it hasn’t hit us yet, I’m getting a huge amount of comfort knowing that fact.  We don’t feel pressured to fit in all of this time together or various activities like we usually do on our visits.  We have all the time in the world.  It is a wonderful thing. 🙂