Thursday, July 28, 2016

journey | consumption

this morning during my devotional i had a revelation. i found myself writing:

i want to consume good things. 
my heart needs it. 

and then i went on to write, but also for my body.
the truth is i've been struggling.
i recently chatted about how i'm starting a new diet (yay paleo!) to try to get back on the wagon. i honestly already eat paleo 90% of the time - but that 10% of not-good-for-me food i've been shoving in my mouth has been more and more consistent. and it makes me, physically and emotionally, not feel good.

but then i started thinking about how frustrated i am right now.
i freaking injured myself on my first double-workout day - i ran a mile in the morning (i have been running 2), and then did a workout routine during my lunch break. i felt GOOD and STRONG and HEALTHY. i had been running 2 miles every morning for like 2 weeks...and i just felt like "ok, maybe i can do this" and then SHUT DOWN.
i felt like monica, just screwed over in the prime of lime.
i know my body needs the rest - but my mind is over here racing 1,000x a minute telling me how much i need to loose, and tighten, and tone.

i know i shouldn't feel that way, but i'm just being transparent in what is in my mind.
and what is in my mind is - i've gained 10lbs, my stomach is so bloated, none of my clothes fit, and i'm getting married - soon. i narcissistically want to look good in my wedding dress - but maybe that isn't even being narcissistic, maybe that's just me being human and wanting to feel pretty on my wedding day. and i realize, my feelings of "pretty" shouldn't be tied to my jean size, but unfortunately - right now - they are to a degree.

the more i stared at those words - the more something began to slowly shift.
i think if i shift my focus - my purpose for why i'm doing it strength really will come from the Lord.

maybe i need to stop looking at this as "consuming good things to look good" and instead look at it as a whole. in general - i entirely need to watch my consumption; what i am listening to, reading, talking about, watching...and also what am i drinking, eating, snacking on, putting on my body.
i really believe those go hand in hand.

if my focus becomes - i want to consume good things - then let's do it right.
i think i will feel less pressure to "loose the weight" and to just trust that if i'm making the changes in all areas, the Lord will shift my focus and i will enjoy exercising again and i will enjoy making healthy decisions because my body is a temple.

so that is where i am right now.
writing out all of these thoughts before 630am on a week day.
just spilling my guts out in hopes that my focus can truly be renewed.

i want to consume good things.
my heart needs it.
and so does my body.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

monthly favorites | july

i'm nosey.
it definitely isn't my best quality - but i am.
i always love seeing what other bloggers and peeps are gravitating towards in their day to day life.
what's funny is when i was selecting these pieces the next day i realized i forgot like 3 things that i've been using daily - butttt that can just wait until next month.

1 | Hemsley and Hemsley Good & Simple Cookbook | delicious. nutritious. sustainable. so i'm kind of in love with this cookbook. it's written in three sections; part one is the getting started phase - telling you the basics, simple recipes, and essential grocery items. part two is broken into breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert recipes. part three is on-the-go meals, shopping lists, and lifestyle changes. there is a spinach and bacon tart with a nutty almond crust i am dying to make!

2 | clementine and honey apothecary jar candle | i found this little guy (and his brother) on one of my latest world market trips. i am IN LOVE with the smell - it's like opening a jar of fall in the midst of a brutal summer. and the amber glow from the apothecary jar just makes my heart soar!

3 | solid heart, strong body tank | this is one of my favorite workout tanks and i wore it recently to a big ol' group yoga class. it's super comfortable (a little see-through, but with the right sports bra and high-fitting pants, i feel amply covered) and fashionable. i LOVE it! (it's old navy, but i don't see it on their website)

4 | triangle necklace | i suppose this is a little shameless plug since i made this necklace, but i wear it almost every single day. it goes with everything and hits on the right part of my neck! <3 i love it.

5 | new morning mercies | y'all. THIS DEVOTIONAL. <3 <3 <3 show all the heart eyes and heart emojis you can! i went into my old stomping grounds of lifeway looking for a new devotional and must admit i was at first super underwhelmed. i felt like it was a lot of fluff and only a paragraph or so to help "feed your soul". umm no, my soul personally needs depth and challenge and a little more theological umphf. the moment i was feeling discouraged - it was like this book fell onto my lap; and i am so happy it did. this is truly awesome. so if you're looking for something new and something deep - check it out!

6 | my engagement ring | yeahhhhhhh. it's my favorite. and the fact that it comes from brilliant earth (which is a conflict free jeweler) just makes my heart soar. i'm still in awe with it, and blown away that we are getting married and starting a life together. when i have moments of doubt and fear and struggle - eddie has reminded me to look at my ring as it represents a promise from him to me - and from me to him. a promise "that i will love you. that i am to be yours and yours alone, and no matter what the struggle, we will walk through it hand and hand."

7 | scottish fine soaps - sea kelp hand & nail cream | my hands have been gross lately - super wrinkly and i feel like they look OLD. i picked up this cream at Marshalls a week ago and have been trying to remember to put it on my hands every night before bed. it smells amazing and seems to be working! <3


what are some of your favorites this month?

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Monday, July 25, 2016

my weekend | being still

human touch and being still is essential in our lives.
i re-learned this when i attended a yoga class put on by urban flow yoga at the cedar room.
if i am being honest - i was nervous to attend the class at all, let alone by myself.
i've never actually really done a yoga class and was unsure of how it would go.
how do i follow along, and will i actually be able to do the moves along with everyone else?

we started the class slowly - stretching into the moves and getting comfortable.
they walked us through certain cycles of different moves, and i just watched around me to see how each move is supposed to go. i felt a little creepy staring around - but i don't think anyone noticed. :)
there was a moment in the beginning when one of the instructors was walking around to people, and i noticed she was touching their heads - and i was like uhhhh you don't have to come over here in my head. but she did - and i was so thankful.
she lifted my head in her hands and began massaging my scalp.
that mixed with the calming position we were in - felt so incredibly nice.
having human contact in a way that was so personal with someone i didn't know - didn't feel weird at all.
it actually made me sad that we don't touch people more often.
shake hands, hug, or pat them on the shoulder.
there is something so essential in the human touch - and we often miss it.

i found that the yoga itself was really challenging.
it was a nice exercise and i found my shoulders burning half-way through the session. 
i found myself being so thankful for a body that has grown over the last 2 years of loosing weight and is able to move and bend and stretch in ways it never has been able to before. 
not only that - but it forced me to be still for a while. 
to let my normal thoughts and commitments stay at the front door for an hour. 
i didn't have to look at my phone, check emails, think about wedding stuff, or even about conversations i have had or need to have. 
i struggle with being present and being still, even when i'm sick. 
i always feel like i need to cross things off of a to-do list, be cleaning something, replying to some communication, or running errands. it's like - amy, calm yourself, and just BE STILL. 

p.s. that cinnamon bun protein powder is WHERE IT IS AT! <3
PPS - my blue hair is gone - i got rid of it (and cut off some inches - yay dead hair) this past thursday. gotta get my hair ready for a wedding hahhah
ppps. i miss the blue :(

what did y'all do this weekend?

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Friday, July 22, 2016

music | caroline glaser

i've found myself falling into music lately.
especially music that transports me to somewhere else.
this song reminds me of a chilly rainy morning.
wearing fuzzy socks, a big sweater, and shorts with a cup of something hot in my hand.
do you ever see yourself just moving to a song?
messy bun all over the place, glasses slipping down the bridge of your nose, and getting lost dancing without a care in the world.
this song does that to me - it just makes me relax and sway.
i think those are the best kinds of songs.
so if you need a moment to just take a break - this song will deliver.

take a moment to dance this weekend.
be wild.
be free.
be you.

by: caroline glaser

p.s. anyone just obsessed with the "haunted" sound this song has?
ahhh i love it.

what are some of your favorite songs lately?

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

thoughts | some encouragement

i was working through a she reads truth study a while back when a sentence stirred me.
it jumped off the page, enveloped me in a comforting embrace.
i felt known - like my struggle was felt, like i wasn't alone.
so today i want to share these few sentences with you.
hopefully you will feel comforted and understood.
and remember, i am always here to chat. <3

my friend, you are not forgotten. you are seen (psalm 139:2).
you are not under appreciated. you are greatly rejoiced over (zephaniah 3:17).
you are understood. God made you who you are (psalm 139:13-14).

find some solace in those sentences today.
allow yourself to relax into the words.
and to remind yourself - you don't have to have it all figured out.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

relationship | our engagement

it started out like a few of our mornings have when i have come to visit.
we grabbed some delicious sausage, egg & cheese bagels from bagel caboose and then started our two-hour drive to go hiking. eddie wouldn't tell me where we were going, all  knew was that we were hiking and it was a two hour drive.
it was a sunday, 7/3/16, and we listened to a podcast from the village church which was so good and we chatted about out thoughts on it. it was truly a beautiful drive to the white mountains in new hampshire. i kept commenting on how beautiful the water was, and the mountains, and how i saw a beaver AND a bear - unfortunately they were both dead on the side of the road! :( :(

the hike started off nice - easy terrain and a solid pace.
then we hit this point where i looked up and took a huge gulp of air.
the amount of rocks we had to climb was daunting.
we powered through for a while and eventually hit the "hut" where people can get provisions and take a nap/sleep while hiking the Appalachian trail. Eddie's map said it was a 1.2 mile hike to the overlook.
that map lied.
it was 1.2 miles that felt like 12.
i thought we had gone through steep rocks to get to the hut - but NO.
no, no, no.
those rocks were a challenge.
there were a few times where i felt like just stopping because seriously, we had gone so far and i couldn't see an end in sight. my legs, hips, and butt were burning from all of the rock climbing. we didn't pack anything to eat other than lara bars and kind bars and were starting to run out of water. to say i was tired was an understatement. there was a point where eddie said we could turn around - and i considered it, but i knew that he had planned this hike and i didn't want to let him down.

as we were creeping up this mountain eddie made a comment that kind of just sat with me for a while.
he pointed to the steep incline of rocks and said "you know, this path is kind of life my pursuit of you". there were easy parts but a lot of it was uphill, a struggle, and was painful. i looked at where we were - and where we have come to - and i made an outward joke of "so, you're going to put me through physical hell because i put you through all of this emotional hell." and we just kind of laughed and kept climbing.
but as my legs burned and my lungs were panting - i really, truly, wholly, came to terms with how much this man has fought for me. how much i put him through - and his relentless pursuit and fight for me. (you can read our story here)

(this was before he proposed, while we were taking a break - look at his smirk!)

we saw a few people coming down from the overlook and they kept encouraging us "you're almost there" - this happened a few times, and that "almost there" turned into another 30 minutes *cough liars, cough*. FINALLY we really were almost there and eddie bolted to the top and left me behind thinking "what the heck, are you a monkey?" and i was so tired from the climb. when i hit the overlook i saw him talking to a couple up there - and i'm not going to lie, my first thought was he has hired someone to take pictures of us getting engaged - and then the guy held eddies phone and was like "let me get y'alls picture up here, it was a hard hike!" so i kind of let that thought slide away. the guy snapped a few pictures of us and then they called their two sons up from the little cliff edge and i wanted to walk down there to look at all of it. eddie was walking behind me - and i had this feeling - like it just FELT right and like we were on the cusp of something great, i was shaking a smidge. i was looking at the mountains in front of me, and was putting my fingers through my hair to give my neck some air when i noticed movement to my left. my peripheral vision saw eddie getting down on one knee and my breath caught.

i always had this thought that i would bust into an ugly cry when this day came; and then the older i got and the more cynical and bitter that a relationship would never happen i thought crying was a little cliche and dumb (honest). so when i started tearing up i surprised myself, i saw him holding this beautiful wooden box with two beautiful rings (engagement and wedding band), and i heard him say "i know i'm not perfect...i love you....will you marry me" everything else got lost in the midst of my heartbeat rushing through my ears. literally i heard WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH as i shook and teared up. i looked into eddie's eyes, the mountains framing him, and it was kind of like everything settled into place, it just made sense. i saw how much this man loved me, how much he fought for me - for us, and how the Lord completely guided us together, apart for a while, and then back together again. i felt my hearts remaining walls crumble into dust and i just got lost for a moment.
the breath re-entered my lungs and i said yes, he slid the ring onto my finger, we kissed and hugged and just kind of held each other for a moment.
at that moment i really wanted to ugly cry.
but i held it together (i'm so proud of myself).

the lady who was with her husband was like "y'all should come on back up, we don't want you to fall and die, that would be unfortunate" and we just both kind of laughed.
later looking at the pictures - we realized that while it was a BEAUTIFUL spot, and we wouldn't change it, as eddie said "had you fainted, you would have died" hahaha. because there was NO barrier, and nothing but down on the other side of my right foot.
once we walked back up and away from the little cliff we sat down and just stupid grinned at each other.
i asked him if he had talked to my grandfather when he was in town in june and he told me about his conversation with my grandfather and my brother. we chatted about the ring, and about how he had kept it a secret, and how he had a video that he made and wanted to use to propose -but there was no cell phone service to show it.
he made me promise i wouldn't text or call anyone until after i saw the video - and then took my phone so i wouldn't be tempted, ha!

after our engagement - and during our hike down i paused for a moment, looked at him and said, eddie - i know that the Lord had you walk through that hard pursuit of me for you - but really for me too. i needed to know that you would push for me, that you would pursue me and draw me closer to the Lord and to yourself, that you would fight for me and find me worthy of so many things.
there has been so many lack-luster pursuits and promises in my life that i doubted the real thing.

when we got back to his truck and were in a place with service - he stopped the car and gave me his ipad to watch the video he made. he had the video set to one of our favorite songs, and had started with words like "why do you choose Amy" and then he had VIDEO from when he was in Iceland (back in april!!) where he was starting his proposal to me. (he said with all of his time alone to explore and think it was then he knew that i was it for him, that i was who he wanted to spend his life with). he said some of the most beautiful things and i totally started crying while watching it. when it ended i just looked at him, with tears rolling down my face, and smiled. i couldn't believe he had put so much thought into this moment, and i fell in love with him all over again.


now, for a moment to just show you how personal God is.
i debated on whether or not to share this part, but i think it just goes to show how satan tried so hard to bring such doubt into my mind the night before eddie asked me to be his wife. and it was in THAT moment that i knew how much i loved him, and how we were meant to be in each others lives for the long haul.

the night before our engagement we were cuddling before going our separate ways to sleep (him on an air mattress in the spare bedroom, me in his room just for the record! haha). and as his arm was banded around my waist i had this overwhelming sense of anxiety. it's been a while since something like that hit - but it was this moment of panic, of unfathomable doubt, and ridiculous suffocating out-of-no where fear that i knew it wasn't from the Lord. i was doubting eddie and our relationship. if he was who the Lord had for me, and if it was right to be with him.  and as i wrestled with the anxiety - thinking of how i could just get it to stop and i finally asked for eddie to pray for me, i didn't tell him what for (other than some anxiety). he started with thanking God for me - for creating me the way He did and drawing us together, and then he prayed for my anxiety - that the Lord would bring comfort and peace, and then he prayed for any doubts or fears i may be having that were not grounded in the Lord. i started weeping. God is so personal and this man who holds my heart prayed the exact words i was trying so hard to fight for. the doubt that entered into my mind was not of God and i truly believe it was satan trying to throw me off for the day the Lord had in store before us. while he was ending in prayer all weight, anxiety, and fear melted away. it was like my body just felt light, warm, and comforted.
God knows abundantly more than i ever could, and even when i have anxiety plaguing me - he instills wisdom, love, and grace within Eddie to so tenderly pray for me in the words my heart so desperately needs to hear.

/// in case people are curious - eddie got my ring from brilliant earth (i had never heard of them) - and he researched the company and made the decision to go with them because they are a conflict free diamond and engagement ring company. conflict free means (to take a quote from their website) "A guarantee that a diamond is “conflict free” is a guarantee that it has not financed a civil war. But many diamonds that are technically “conflict free” are nevertheless tainted by torture, rape, beatings, and killings committed by oppressive governments. Problems such as child labor, forced labor, pitifully low wages, dangerous working conditions, corruption, and environmental devastation do not prevent a diamond from earning a “conflict free” label. At Brilliant Earth, we go beyond conflict free to offer diamonds that are wholly free from ethical abuses. In fact, we guarantee that our diamonds meet the highest labor and environmental standards. No other major jeweler can offer a comparable guarantee."
Eddie knew that getting a conflict free ring would make it even more important to me.

p.s. this is NOT a sponsored post, nor did he get a discount because of my blog; i just wanted to share this company because i am so impressed with them; they have no idea i'm posting this haha.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

friday | links

helloooo friday!
i've got a fun but busy weekend ahead - and i'm hoping to do a little unwinding on sunday afternoon/evening.
can i have an honest moment?
i'm really, really not happy with my body lately.
i'm working on eating healthier and cutting things out and working out more (hence one of my july goals). i've started plugging my food back into myfitnesspal - and i use map my run which transfers my mileage and calories into the other app. but i still just feel SO BLOATED. i put in my latest measurements into myfitnesspal (the last time i did that was like february of this year) and really had to come to terms that in the last 6 months i've put ON about 10 inches in total.
that's a hard number to swallow when i worked so hard to loose it all to begin with.
i tried on 7 outfits this morning - and i hated every single one of them.
so, i'm really really needing to be transparent and have some accountability!


+ this print will be hanging on my walls at some point - i just need to buy it! <3

+ to help with kicking myself back into shape -__-

+ y'all, i walk by this house all. the. time. and to see a peek inside blew my mind!

+ peanut butter banana chocolate smoothie?!? YESSS

+ i think all home bathrooms need this ;) seriously how cute!!

+ roasted garlic and veggies hummus plate (yummm)

+ this diy floating frame is fantastic! <3

+ uhhhh i totally bought these shoes on clearance for $15 last night! (they are kids shoes, and i don't even care!)


have a lovely weekend!

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