Friday, May 30, 2014

Follow your heart

Change: Nope, I'm not talking about the pocket kind...I have made some decisions recently that have surprised me. There are life changing decisions being made from this gal who is know for her preference and major planning skills and who's idea of gambling big would be to spend a maximum of $20 at the penny slots.

Ben has been in my life for over a year and a half now (how time flies when you are having fun!)...and it has all been long distance. While there have been hardships with the miles physically separating us, the blessing that have come from this distance have far outweighed any of the hardships. We have had to be inventive in our approach to stay connected and have been rather forced to develop certain communication skills faster than non-distance relationships might.
Anyway, we have been discussing the idea of living closer to each other...the funny thing about this whole moving topic is that Ben still has one more year to serve in the Military. This means that he doesn't have the "luxury" of relocating and thus makes our options pretty simple...if we were going to try to close this distance gap, I would be the one that would have to relocate.
So, you probably have guessed it...
 Ben and I took this lovely walk on his last visit. It was breathtaking when we turned the corner and were greeted with this stunning scene as we begin our stroll. Oh you beautiful Northwest how I will miss you!
I have put in my notice with all of my places of employment, have been working on finishing some improvements to my house, figuring out how to rent my home and starting the reviewing process of rental applications, all while trying to make time to visit with friends and family, fitting in last minute health appointments while I still have insurance with my job, donating car loads of random items I don't want to schlep across the country and let's not forget the ever thrilling process of collecting moving boxes (and the list goes on).
Over this last visit Ben was gracious enough to help me with a big project of repairing part of my back patio...a project that would end up being much bigger than we anticipated.
 How many building supplies and 6ft 7(ish) Bens can I fit in my car???

One lesson that I have learned through the home renovating or maintaining process is NEVER underestimate a project and its ability to grow...
What I thought would be a few boards to replace from dry rot turned out to be almost the whole deck and structural support beams. YIKES!!!

Good thing I had this handy guy volunteer his carpenter skills!

Didn't he do a nice job!?! And my painting skills weren't too shabby either if I do say so myself!

Doesn't that floor look shiny and new!! Yay for being able to walk safely on it!
I also finally cleaned the last section of siding at the back of my house! Looks SOOO much better and was a killer arm work out! Who needs a gym when you have a house!
Well as you can see this ball is rolling! I have less than 30 days before I am on the road saying goodbye to Washington and saying hello to an amazing adventure filled with unknowns...I'm so excited to begin this new season in my life, to take risks and take myself out of my comfort zone, to experience and embrace all of the love, joy that I can because in the long run that's what life is for right?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Press On!!!

Lots of good scripture reads over the last several days...Last week one of my favorite verses arrived in my e-mail (I even have it posted in my car). Although this verse has spoken to me in many different ways over the years...upon reading the commentary by Dave Whitehead, this scripture  once again spoke to my heart on a whole new level.
Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:15 PM PDT
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
– Philippians 3:14-15 (NIV)
Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

Christian maturity is not a life of apathy. If we expect to grow in our faith we must keep pressing heavenward, no matter what our age. In other words, if your Christian walk is best described in the past tense of memories your growth is stunted. Yet in our quest for maturity, we often make the mistake of thinking we need some new or exciting revelation to grow, but the Scripture places a much greater value on living in the light of what we already know.

"Living in the light of what we already know"... Pursue Him and trust in Him with ALL of your heart, "In all of your ways acknowledge Him [another translation uses the word, "submit "to Him] and He will direct your paths"- Proverbs 3:5-6 He will make it clear what you have to do...and I have found time and time again that He reveals this through me peace about decisions is often times how I know which decision to make. Do not mistake that with this peace means that He has called for you to walk an easy might get very rocky, very steep, but I do believe that anything worth having requires effort. Pressing on, means pushing ourselves past what we believe we are (and most often these limits are self-established) capable of...and to go beyond any limits that we have placed upon ourselves. How often is it that we restrict ourselves from accomplishing all that God has called and made us capable to do?

I love using the physical/athletic analogy for this... So let's use the example of muscle. I'm sure you are familiar with the saying "if you don't use it you lose it". You can't build anything strong without first tearing down the old muscle...making room and a foundation for healthier stronger muscles to grow and be replaced. This however requires strain and force...friction and resistance...and ultimately is a process. It isn't instantaneous but rather reinforced and repeated behavior and actions that then transforms into muscle memory.

With freedom comes responsibility...a responsibility to maintain a disciplined life. Freedom is anything but free...ironic as that sounds, but it's takes time, effort and energy. You get back what you put in...or "reap what you sow" is another very familiar verse/saying that you might also be familiar with. You have to eliminate or put up boundaries to unhealthy choices...and through establishing these "limits" and maintaining a disciplined life ultimately gives your more freedoms in the long run.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart" (Colossians 3:23). Regardless of the outcome or situation you can take pride in your work and effort and I don't think I can remember a time when putting forth my best work/effort hasn't paid off or taken me down a bad road, but rather it has opened more doors than I sometimes knew what to do with.
Now it's time to practice what I just preach...It's time for me to get back on the working out a bit more...I have slacked off and although I have been trying to maintain my spiritual and mental physical well being has been put on the back burner for longer than I want to admit... I'm going to change treadmill is calling my time...time to turn up the heat and PRESS ON!!! 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

50 Healthy Habits

I came across this list today of 50 healthy habits and had to share it. It felt really refreshing to realize that simple things/ways of taking care of yourself are often underestimated and have a HUGE impact on your well being. Thought I would share it with you too.

Monday, April 7, 2014

"Consider the Source" by Holly Furtick

Thank you Holly Furtick for such an amazing post! This is so good, I had to share it!
Follow her blog, The Preacher's Wife
Her most recent post:

"Yesterday we continued our series, Consider the Source, with a very challenging message. Last week Pastor Steven taught us, “Don’t forget where you come from.” This week he taught us, “There’s more where that came from.”
He gave us 4 questions to see if we have a MORE mindset or a SCARCITY mindset.
  1. Do I see myself as ENTRUSTED or ENTITLED? Duet. 8
    Any blessing I don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.
  2. Do I give out of RELATIONSHIP or RELUCTANCE? 2 Corinthians 9:7
    For God so loved the world that He gave! Love gives!
  3. Do I give out of OBEDIENCE or is it OPTIONAL? 2Tim 6:17-19
    It’s not a decision, it’s devotion. If you wait until the optimal time to give, you will never do it!
  4. Do I want to MULTIPLY or MAINTAIN? John 6:32-35
    When you bring the resource to the source, it becomes MORE!!
The message was so challenging I especially love the encouragement at the end that when I keep all the resources I have been given, that’s all it will be but everything that I give to God multiplies!
You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.
And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone." ` Holly Furtick: Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at

So, Do you have a MORE mindset or a SCARCITY mindset? I highly encourage and will even go as far to challenge you to either watch or listen to this sermon online.

Happy growing!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Is Here!

Yay!!! Spring is here!!

The temperature is rising, the sun is out later and later. What a wonderful time of year.


With all the new beginnings happening around me, this is just encourages me to be as healthy as's the simple things. I recently discovered that Mio water flavor enhancers have been giving me horrible I eliminated these, I saw a tremendous reduction in the amount of headaches that I was experiencing.

 I love the taste of water...but sometimes I find it's helpful to keep motivated to keep hydrating, if there is a refreshing taste to it and I love when it is free from artificial flavorings and calories...It's as simple as adding a few slices of fresh cucumber. Other alternatives are slices of lemon, lime, fresh mint, peppermint, fennel, fruit or a combination of these! The options are endless!
 I recently came across a recipe that was delicious and allowed me to use a delicata squash in a different way than I normally would. They are an amazing alternative to french fries or onion rings.
Delicata Rings:
Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Wash and cut delicata into rings about a 1/3rd of an inch and cut or scrape out the seeds.
In a small bowl add olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper and rosemary and wisk.
Spread out the rings in a single layer (no overlapping) onto the baking dish and brush the herbed olive oil mixture over the delicata rings. Bake 10-12 mins and then flip the rings over and bake for another 8-12 mins.
Dill Mashed potatoes:
Boil 3-4 whole red potatoes
Mash with a fork, add 1/2 tsp-1tsp of coconut oil
add fresh cut dill and black pepper to taste and ENJOY!

On another note Ben just informed me that he bought his plane ticket!!! YAAAAYYYY!
 Is it April yet???

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

30 for 30

It's hard to believe that I'm turning 30 this year...30!!! I suppose that this is hard to believe because I still feel as if I am in my early 20's...Perhaps this is partially due to my belief that one's spirit is ageless. So far though I am looking forward to it...I have been told that one's 30's are fabulous because with age, comes certain freedoms including that you stop caring nearly as much about what other people think and that you shed some need to fit in simultaneously embracing and accepting your true self and core values." I do know that this is a milestone that is quickly arriving...and I am wondering what I can do to symbolize this Right of Passage in my life.

What would you suggest I do, or what have you done to celebrate this milestone?

Well as a fun thing I thought I would tell you a little about me...30 things for turning 30...and if any of you know me you will also know how much of a lover and unintentional mental collector of random facts I am... so here are 30 about me! 

1. If it’s good coffee or tea I tend to be a purist
2. I have been mistaken for being a vegetarian numerous times…I just love my veggies but I will eat some meat.
3. I’m an excellent swimmer but have a hard time with BIG bodies of open water…
4. I have been called, “Ms. Holly” from multiple and unrelated people for my entire life…I don’t know why…apparently it must seem to “fit”
5. My 3 ideal dream jobs as a child were to be an ice skater, elephant trainer or cashier...needless to say I have achieved one of the three...I'm pretty sure you can guess which.
6. “Put Me In the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is one of the first books that I remember reading in it's entirety as a child...Funny how long it felt at the time.
7. I’m an introvert at heart who makes a daily effort to not be ruled by these tendencies
8.I prefer small group hang outs 1-3 people…as opposed to meeting with a larger group of friends
9. I find the term, “Take a listen” rather annoying…it just sounds weird to me
10.Give me tomatoes or mustard over ketchup(…or is it katsup?) any day
11. I have more scrap book paper than I know what to do with…but I’m working on that! J
12. I was called “Cousin IT” and Harry and the Henderson as a child because I had a LOT of hair.
13. Notorious for leaving things too long in my freezer…It could easily be considered a non-edible time capsule
14. Don’t end a sentence with, “Just Kidding”…we all know you aren’t.
15. Knock on wood but so far I have only had one cavity
16. I would love to participate and finish an IRONMAN (especially Ironman Hawaii!)
17. I love a good or cute pun or adorable knock-knock joke (I loved this cute design and fruit pun from Ashy Designs...she has a few more that you should check out.)
18. I love a good, dark beer…funny that often times the wait staff try to give the guy the darker beer. Haha nope surprise!!! That one is for me!
19. I’m definitely a crier while watching movies…sad, happy, moving…yup let the tears flow!
20. I seem to receive more compliments on my hair when I haven’t washed it in a day or two (unbeknownst to them)
21. Just the thought of bunnies gives me warm fuzzies!!! (No I didn’t plan for that to rhyme!)
22. I am definitely on the leave it end of raw cookie dough
23. What Kryptonite is to Superman, Dark Chocolate is to my willpower.
24. I get some of my best reading time in while on the elliptical machine...multitasking at its finest right? 
25. Some of my favorite work mornings are when I realize that I don’t need to touch up my makeup from the day before! Ha!
26. I have hated cooked peas since birth and this dislike is still going strong
27. Give me a cute pixie over longer hair any day!!!
28. My scary age…103!!! At which time I have promised Ben I will sky dive…I figure by that time I won’t have nearly as much to lose. lol
29. WONDER WOMAN!!!! Enough said. J
30. I would choose hiking and camping over an expensive night out 99.5 % of the time!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

For the love of cars! at Deluxe Customs

Here are some photos from my recent trip with Ben to pick up his 67' VW Fastback which is being restored. We arrived at Deluxe Customs in Tempe, Arizona and watched Ben as he saw his "Little Blue" be unveiled...literally like seeing a kid on Christmas.
We were warmly welcomed by all staff of Deluxe Customs, their work on this little vehicle was...stunning...immaculate and above and beyond.
 Matt talked with Ben about every aspect of this project, showing him in detail the work that was completed... but truly and I know Ben will back me up on this...the work speaks for itself.
 I was given free reign in their shop to take pictures to my hearts content...what an incredible opportunity to try and capture the moment, the atmosphere and the fun of this day.
 I can only hope that my pictures captured snapshots of this awesome day.
 Tools of the trade.
 Parts and other automobiles in various states of restoration at the shop.

 One of my favorite pictures from this session...I fell in love with this old rusted car hood.

 Ben and the full cast and crew of Deluxe Customs.
 Wheeling her outside to be loaded into the trailer.
 She's seeing the light for the first time since her paint job!

 I'm pretty sure she's smiling!

Thank you so much to all of the crew at Deluxe Customs for taking such care and pride in your work. Check out more of their work by following the link (You might see a picture or two of mine too!)