Gratitude

14 11 2011

A bunch of my friends on facebook are daily making their statuses something they are grateful for. For whatever reason, I did not join that bandwagon. Probably because I’m typically ungrateful. So here is my attempt at getting up to speed with them. A list of 14 things I’m thankful for and why (in no particular order):

1. I’m thankful that I get to experience life in Barranquilla. It has been challenging and difficult at times, but I know I am the better for it.

2. I’m thankful for my mom and Billy. Without them. I definitely would not have survived my transition into life as a grown-up. They have been there for me emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I owe them an unpayable debt.

3. I’m thankful for my awesome sisters. All four of you mean more to me than I can express. I love that we can laugh together and that we can celebrate each others’ successes and support each other through the “failures.” I love you all!

4. I’m thankful for my mutt Abelard. He has been my little shadow for three years. It’s been a difficult few months without him and I’m sure he’ll have some trouble transitioning back into my care. But I love that crazy dog even when he poops in the house and eats things he shouldn’t and gnaws on my dresser. He makes everyday a little more interesting.

5. I’m thankful for my nieces and nephews. These kids light up my life. I’ve watched some of them grow from adorable little babies who just wanted to curl up on my chest and go to sleep to amazing young adults. And for the younger ones, I’m enjoying watching you grow and learn. All of you make life worth living. I’m so blessed to be your aunt.

6. I’m thankful for my brothers. Ryan, I have some great memories of when we were kids. I hope that we can make more now that we are adults. Jason, I’m so thankful that we were finally able to meet! It’s been a great two years getting to know you and your family. I love you!!

7. I’m thankful for Monica and Alvaro, my Colombian parents. I’m constantly amazed by their generosity and hospitality – not just to me, but to everyone that they encounter. May I learn to be that gracious.

8. I’m thankful for Divine Life. I’ve been a member of this particular community since the summer of 2004. This community has been there to support me during some of the darkest moments of my life. They have also been there to celebrate with me through my successes. I’ve learned more about grace and forgiveness and hope and love from you all than you will ever know. I miss you all and cannot wait to be back amongst you. (fingers crossed that you are missing me, too!)

9. I’m thankful for my dad. He and I are a lot alike in that we are both very hardheaded and stubborn. It is this that makes us argue so much. But I’m grateful that I get to hear his stories a hundred times and that we have a good relationship. It has taken many years on my part to get to this point, but I’m thankful that I won’t have any regrets about our relationship when all is said and done.

10. I’m thankful for Colombian style hotdogs. Seriously, they are delicious. I’m going to learn how to make them before I come home.

11. I’m thankful that I can at least understand some Spanish, even if I can’t speak it yet. It definitely helps that I can figure some things out on my own.

12. I’m thankful for the way God has provided for me to get to Colombia and while I’ve been here. I still need a few hundred dollars to get me home, thanks to a passport issue, but I’m confident that God will handle that.

13. I’m thankful for good friends. I’m thankful that I can laugh until I cry with you. I’m thankful that you forgive my stupidity and let me be myself. I’m thankful that you stuck with me when I was difficult to tolerate. I miss you all!!!!!!!

14. I’m thankful for Skype. Without it, I would be very limited with my contact home. I’m so grateful that anytime I’m homesick, I can call my family or friends and speak in English really fast!

So there you have it, up to date gratitude 🙂





I love a good list

6 04 2011

 I enjoy a good list. So my blog today is going to be a list of random things I’m thinking:

  • I bought some dang good honey peanut butter at the farmer’s market.
  • The Arts Festival is this month!!  I’m excited about listening to the music.  It’s times like this I wish I had someone to dance with.
  • That last line sounded sappy and pathetic.  I’m keeping it.
  • I am taking Friday off work to have a whole day for my thesis. 
  • I’m considering a visit to my dad’s in October.  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen him and I like Phoenix.  Anyone want to join me?  Free food and lodging.  Just have to get there.
  • Today I began looking at schools for my PhD in Biblical Studies. I’m excited.  Maybe next year I’ll be starting 🙂
  • I’m craving a snow cone like crazy!  yummy.
  • Started my first to-do list for the 30day Push Goal Challenge.  I’m super excited.  Hopefully I’ll accomplish what I set out to accomplish!
  • I cannot wait for the state fair.  Why can’t it come twice a year?
  • Maybe I’ll hit the strawberry festival in Stilwell this year. 
  • I want to go overseas again.  MUST. TRAVEL.
  • The thesis will be done in 25 days.  PRAISE JESUS!!!!
  • I love my puppy.
  • I am hitting the hot tub tonight or tomorrow night.  my back needs it.

Today in History:

1930:  Twinkies are introduced.  Ew. 

Sorry, wrong “Twinkie.”

Years later, the state fair would up the ante with the abomination “deep-fried Twinkie.”





I’M ON A BOAT!

29 03 2011

Abelard:

Abelard is doing much better. When I got home from the library last night, he went berserk! He was not only back to normal, he buzzed right through normal and was making a second lap. EN-ER-GY! I’m glad he’s better. He may drive me nuts, but he definitely adds a little something special to my life.

The Thesis Chronicles:

In other news, my thesis is due in 35 days. I had a pretty significant breakthrough last night. Hopefully the momentum from that will carry me through the week. I’ve got to get through another 40 verses of exegesis by Sunday to stay on target. I know I can do it! It’s just a matter of discipline. There’s that word again!

 

TurboFire:

Finally, I don’t think I’ve told you about my get my life healthy plans. First, for a little over a year now, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be a vegetarian…well, pescatarian. I do alright.  I have had my occasional lapse.  More often, it is the occasional “people think I’m weird and therefore only offer beef items for the three days I visit them.”  Anyway, I’ve done pretty good all-in-all.  It’s not always easy – I crave Chick-fil-a almost hourly, but I resist. 

On top of that, I’m doing TurboFire.  I’ve been consistently working out for about 3 1/2 months now. They say after about 2 weeks, something becomes a habit.  Not true.  I still dread the exercise everyday.  Somehow I make it through.  I’m able to do an hour of cardio at this point (never thought that would be possible) and I’m down roughly 14 pounds.  It’s a whole lot easier to gain weight than lose it.  This is me stretching for my big workout:

Finally, I’ve been doing calorie counting since January. I think that has contributed exponentially to my weight loss.  I have to be much more selective on which snacks and meals I can have.  It’s been beneficial for me to think before I eat.  And I find that I’m enjoying healthier, whole foods more than I ever did before. 

I’ve got a few goals I’m working toward: 

1. To weigh roughly what I did when I first moved to OKC.  It’s possible.  I just know it.

2.  To fit back into my awesome jeans with the hole in the knee.   I’m really close!!

3. To feel more comfortable in my summer gear this year.  I’m planning on getting a white water pass (to cure the paleness) and go on a couple of float trips.  I don’t want to sink the raft!!  Currently, this is me on a boat:

I’M ON A BOAT!!!!!!!!!

I will continue to keep you up-to-date on my journeys – whether it be puppy parenting, thesis-ing, weight loss-ing, or anything else. 

Until next time…





on yummy breakfasts, the Thesis Chronicles, and the joys of puppy parenting

24 03 2011
Yummy breakfasts:
 
This morning I went to my very first “professional breakfast.”  It was for the Edmond Chamber of commerce and it was delicious!  I’m pretty sure I can’t eat anything else today if I’m going to stay within my calories.  Eh, who am I kidding?  I’m still going to eat!

The guest speaker was one miss Jennifer James.  She spoke on social networking and blogging.  She is a public relations consultant and she talked about some of the ways that social networking has driven her business and made her name known.  She talked about how she is unafraid of posting her opinions on her blog  and the risk she runs of losing business because of it.  I appreciate that honesty.  I’d much rather read the blog of an honest, heart-felt person than a dried-up, tired old business agenda written by an overworked, underpaid, burned-out administrative assistant.   So, I suggest you follow miss James’ blog.  It’s www.jenX67.com and her twitter is @_jenniferjames.  She’s saavy, engaged, and honest….sounds a lot like me, actually 🙂

Thesis Chronicles:

T minus 38 days until it’s due.  I spent last night game-planning how I can realistically acheive this goal even when I can’t put in more than 30 minutes on some nights without losing too much sleep.  It’s going to require extra work on the weekends and some get-the-heck-off-facebook-no-one-thinks-you’re-that-interesting-anyway discipline.  Ah, discipline.  I’m learning a lot of it lately. 

So, keep me in your prayers.  I know how stress can tear up my body, so I’m trying hard to stay calm and focused and rested.  It will be worth all of it when my degree is complete and I have something to show for all my loans and suffering!

The joys of puppy parenting:

Oh, Abelard.  You are insane.  I haven’t talked much about him lately, so I shall get you up to speed.  Abelard is my insane rat terrier/shih tzu mix.  He’s black with a white soul patch and a white man patch on his chest.  He recently got a hair cut and his ears look HUGE right now.  I mean, yoda-style.  It doesn’t help that he keeps them sticking straight up most of the time.

I recently learned that he has pancreatitis (spelling????).  Basically, he’s on a special dog food diet (special = expensive) and can not have any people food.  It’s linked to high fat foods, so he’s on a low fat diet.  I never gave him people food to begin with, but at least now I don’t feel guilty when he begs.

We have a stand-off in my living room almost daily. It usually starts with him trying to get in the trash or nose through my purse or chew on something he’s not supposed to.  When I tell him to stop, he’ll growl (aka: talk back).  Then I really get onto him for sassing me.  At which point, the lines are drawn and who is top dog in the house is, again, up for debate.  It usually ends with me, spray bottle drawn and ready to shoot, threatening his life and him, butt in the air, staring me down like I’m the cat he hates at my mom’s.  One squirt with the spray bottle, and he’s finished!!  I’m top dog.  Usually.

Lately, he has been going through my purse to find new things to chew up.  He likes pens and pencils, thermometers, etc.  If it is shaped like a stick, he thinks he can drag it under my couch and demolish it.  Fortunately, he hasn’t busted open the actual ink portion of the pen. Trust me, if I end up with an ink stain on my carpet, Abelard is getting dropkicked.  PETA can just deal with it.

In all seriousness, I love my dog.  I would be terribly lonely in that medium-sized apartment all by myself.  He’s extra sweet in the mornings when he’s sleepy.

sweet puppy, sleepy Jill

The mornings definitely make the rest of his insanity bearable.  Maybe someday he’ll get trained.  And maybe someday I’ll wake up with my eyebrows on fire.  Neither one is very likely.





Sir Abelard Thomas Nelson, Earl of Puppydom

30 12 2008

As per Shannon’s instructions, I invite the world to meet my Abelard!