Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In This Recession, Who Can Afford to Be In Bad Shape?!

I felt my heart pump really hard the other day when I was doing nothing. It's really disturbing when that happens. I am completely comfortable with my body...until it does weird stuff like that. And then I realize that if I stay overweight, I have more of a chance of having so many health issues, it's not even funny. And in this recession, who can afford to pay for issues that could have been prevented by eating better and exercising?

I eat pretty well, so that is something I'm not going to focus on. So I've been quietly looking into 5Ks, when I proposed the idea to my friend Carolyn. I was being hush hush because I was a coward and didn't want any added pressure from my friends (in case I flaked out). Well...when I mentioned it to her she excitedly said, "I've been trying to do that, too! Why don't we keep each other accountable!?" And I said, "Sure!" So we're starting today...training to run a 5K. I'm actually excited about it. My heart will get pumping for the right reasons!

It's great to know that I can take charge of my health. I can do something about this before it's out of control. I am very excited about it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Always a Bridesmaid . . . Someday a Bride

In the past month, I've been in two weddings: Sara-Marie Kuntz and Laura Marie Barkley. I didn't know that being in a wedding could be so much fun, for either of these celebrations. I knew that we would be celebrating God's providence in bringing these women, who were like sisters to me, with men who loved them so deeply. And I knew they would be fun . . . but I laughed harder and longer than I could have planned.

Sara-Marie's wedding party was very goofy. We all were sarcastic and had funny things to say. Basically we were silly and found jokes to make about every single thing that happened. We laughed at each other and ourselves. We tried to find a way to convince SaMa to let us go and buy white flip flops instead of the dresses because of the wet ground we'd have to go through in heels (which in the end, was hilarious and focusing on not slipping into the grass helped me not cry). We found joy in everything. Some of my favorite memories were:
  • When I sung one line from High School Musical and Jenn got really excited about it before she realized her zeal
  • Shane dumbbell curled his jelly beans
  • How amazingly laid back and happy it was
  • Me and Stephanie “stealing” mom and dad's truck to fill the balloons with helium (the ULTIMATE partner in crime)
  • Judy swinging the cake cutting knife in Sara-Marie's face (also, when she had a personal story to tell about almost EVERYTHING that was brought up)
  • Putting pots of jelly beans on the tables and dropping them (sorry, Sara-Marie and Joshua!)
  • Standing in the kitchen giggling about boys that were less than 5 feet away
  • Me stripping down to nakedness in front of the girls that morning when it was time to get ready...and dropping my pants to put lotion on my legs (I'm almost sure there's a blackmail picture of that).

That's only a few memories...but it was a very amazing time.

Laura's wedding party was a whole different kind of goofy. I walked down the aisle with Ryan, who came in on Friday with a mustache and is possibly one of the most ridiculous (in a great way) people in the world. He nearly pulled me down the aisle during the recessional. Hilarious! Travis was a schmoozer who charmed every single woman there. I believe every grandmother wanted to take him home. And the truth is: he has that something special, something you don't find every day. He has charm and makes every woman feel like a queen. I hope that he understands how amazing he is!

The Barkley family has been my 2nd family for the past six years – I've been invited into every area of their lives and I hope their hearts, for they have a spot in mine. I loved spending time with them and the post-wedding brunch was one of the most amazing ways to wrap out the wedding festivities. I loved just hanging with the family and relaxing.

When the sing-along started at the rehearsal, I knew that I was going to have an amazing time. :-) We bonded over the fun church wedding coordinator. I won't say what we called her, but will just say that she was “in charge” and did what she could to remind us of that fact. Haha. I'm just glad that she didn't yell at me when I laughed hysterically at the end of the ceremony when Laura and Andrew Ward walked down the aisle as one. hehe

After the big party, the groomsmen, me, some of Andy's friends, and Laura's cousins went to the bar. We stayed out and just chilled. It was nice to catch up and discuss what we loved about the wedding.

Every wedding party bonds over different things and makes memories to last a lifetime, and I love being able to support my friends, my sisters, and my brothers. After paying a lot of money to rent tuxes, buy dresses, get shoes, and travel – none of that matters when you actually get there and you are with the people that you love and the people that love them.

One day, I will request that my friends support me in this special way. I know that they will do it exceptionally. They will have strange stories about my idiosyncrasies and craziness (they already have a good number, so that shouldn't be too difficult). Until then, I love celebrating with the people who have my heart. Congratulations to Sara-Marie and Joshua. Congratulations to Laura and Andrew. I love you all so much. :-D

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Time is a very interesting thing to think about. Like Old Man River, it just keeps rolling along. I can't believe I have almost been in Orlando for a year. In some ways, it feels like I have been here forever and in others, it feels like I just got here. I can hardly believe it. In one month and one week, I will have been here 12 months. I'll have to do something special to celebrate. It's crazy to think that the memories of the last year that I spent in Ann Arbor are almost 2 years ago. I remember New Life's fall retreat like it was nothing. I bawled like a baby during the sermons and when Jon Shah announced that he would be leaving to go to OSU. God changed my heart in many ways and prepared me for where I'm at now. I am sincerely amazed by it.

So much has changed. I have moved. Kim's traveling around the world. Laura's engaged. Sara-Marie is married now. Good times. Only time will tell what will come in the rest of 2009. :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sara-Marie and Joshua's Wedding

I read a prophecy somewhere that said 2009 would be a year of celebrations. And, wow, knowing at least 16 couples who will be married by the end of the year, I can see how that is very true. I am very fortunate to be able to attend so many, even though many of them are in Michigan. Weddings are so special.

Last weekend, I flew up to Michigan to celebrate the marriage of Sara-Marie and Joshua, two people who I dearly love. They are both people who I can honestly say, my heart feels completely safe in their hands. I was honored to be chosen by Sara-Marie to be a bridesmaid. When she and Josh picked me up from the airport, I hugged Sara-Marie and just cried. I was so happy to see her, so happy to be a part of the union that it was obvious that God ordained.

Us girls (me, Sa-Ma, and Stephanie) had a fun time getting our nails done (and Stephanie's eyebrows waxed ;-). I can't think of the last time I laughed so much or so hard. And watching Sara-Marie was inspiring. In the midst of things needing to get done, she was one of the most adaptable people that I have ever seen. When something wasn't working out, she humbly made a decision. Instead of freaking out, if it wasn't imperative to have, it was out. I loved watching her. Though there was the rush of getting things done, there wasn't a lot of the stress that I've seen. It was mostly excitement. They were both excited to unite with one another, to share a deeper bond of physicality, and to serve the Lord better together than they did alone.

I had so much fun in Ann Arbor. I got to see friends from the church I attended for five years during undergrad. I felt like ME again. I am grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to celebrate an amazing thing. :-)