the prayer dare - husband edition

The month of love is coming to an end. During this month, I've participated in the Prayer Dare Amanda at A Royal Daughter created. What is the Prayer Dare (#PrayerDare on twitter and instagram)? It is a month long commitment to praying for (in this case) our husbands or other men in our lives. While I prayed for some specific things, I also followed the prayer cards created for our use.

Praying for someone else is... It's a selfless act. That's what it's meant to be. And what I realized through this last month is that often times I wouldn't just pray for him. Instead I prayed about him and about what I wanted from him or for him. In the past, I didn't pray over him or ask God what we should do in certain situations; I simply said how I though things should happen. And then I got mad when things didn't go the way I wanted.

Marriage is hard. Really really hard. It's work in every sense of the word. Ben Affleck mentioned that in his acceptance speech at the Oscar's when he told Jennifer Garner there was no one else he wanted to work with. That's how I feel about my husband. We're not perfect. Far from it. But there's really no one else I would work with or for the way I do with him.

We shared communion at our wedding. Just my husband and I. Our officiant, my husband's one time youth pastor, prayed over us. It was the first thing we did as man and wife, starting our marriage together in faith. I don't think that makes marriage any easier. It's still just as hard. Really... it might make it harder because there is so much more against us.

By praying for him, by praying for our marriage, I remembered the communion. I remembered our vows. I remembered why I married my husband and how much I want to work at this marriage and work with him.

I've written letters to my husband and posts about him in the past. I even wrote our entire love story out.  I also wrote two posts about different years of our marriage (two years and three years). Those things always stirred my affections for him, but those affections would eventually dissolve. By participating in the Prayer Dare, I actively sought to have affection for him - even on the days when I was exhausted and struggling. I had a lot of those days this month.

But he was there for all of them. Steadfast. Loving. Beyond patient. Kind. Sometimes frustrated but never mean. And it's not like I can blame him for being frustrated. I'd be frustrated to if I had to wait on him hand and foot as he did for me. Even through the frustration, he has stayed by my side and been my rock.

He's also been the primary caretaker of our dogs and our house - shouldering all the responsibility for the entire month of February. He's graciously put up with non-nagging (ha, yeah right) reminders to let the dogs in or out.

Like I said we're not perfect. He isn't and I certainly am not. We still argue. We've argued while I've been at home from surgery. I think it can be healthy to argue - to fight with one another and to fight for one another. Those arguments have brought us closer rather than driven us apart because they offer us a chance to get to know one another better.

And I've had more faith. By doing the Prayer Dare, I've spent more time in the word and more time going to God. I've remembered how important faith is - both in daily life and in marriage. I've seen God meet me.

For me, this Prayer Dare was perfect timing. It helped me to not worry just about myself but to be present for my husband. It helped me to thank him for everything he did. I thanked him for helping me get dressed. I thanked him for helping me get off the couch. For helping me get into bed. For praying over me. For bringing me dinner. For going to the grocery store. For buying me a MacBook Pro. For all the frozen yogurt from Braum's.

And the Prayer Dare made me see how much I need God. It reminded me of how broken I am. Of how imperfect I am. But it reminded me of God and how He is perfect when I'm not. It reminded me that I have a Father who loves me, and my husband, enough to listen to our prayers and answer them.

I'm so glad I participated this month. I'm so glad I spent the time to pray. I'm so thankful that I was able to get away from my injury, my recovery, my head and focus on my loving husband.

And I simply can't wait for this next Prayer Dare. I know God's got some amazing things up His sleeve for the month of March.

A Royal Daughter A Royal Daughter


weight loss wednesday (week 26)

Good morning! I hope you are having a wonderful start to your Wednesday. I'm back for another week of Weight Loss Wednesday. I'm going to preface this week by saying that while I have done better with my eating I am finding that I am frustrated. Rather than letting the frustration define me, I am hoping to use the frustration as drive to get stronger.

I'm still hard at work in physical therapy. But I'm tired of how slow a process this recovery is. Maybe that impatience will help me to heal faster?

Last week, I shared about a few friends who reached out to offer me support. I'm still very much working on the rules we set out, so I thought it best to share how I am doing with all the rules.

Honesty. I'm being honest. I'm also measuring out a lot of my food. That makes a huge difference. Shocker, I know.

Balance. This week, I ate a fruit or vegetable with nearly every meal. I also made sure to eat different kinds of things. Sandwiches with yogurt for lunch. Turkey bacon with a single piece of toast and several strawberries for breakfast. It was nice to see color on my plate for every meal.

Trust. I'm so glad I'm opening up. It makes such a huge difference.

Forgiveness. I'm still eating more than I should be. Specifically carbs. Things like bread, pasta, and rice. Those have a lot of calories and a lot of PointsPlus. I need to substitute things like spaghetti squash for pasta.

Consistency. I've tracked all week. Not for every single meal but every day I've at least tracked one meal. It's a start and much more consistent that I've been in the past. I'm going to do even better this coming week.

I'm more excited today than I have been in months. I still have a very long road ahead of me as far as physical therapy and rehabilitation of my knee is concerned. Which makes all these rules even more important. Accountability to myself with what I am eating and how much I am eating is the only way I will lose weight.

Starting Weight: 265 lbs.

Goal Weight: 155 lbs.

Today’s Weight: I'm still not weighing in this week.

Total Loss: 42.2 lbs. (as of three weeks ago)

Pounds Left To Lose: 66.4 lbs. (as of last week)

What I craved this week: I've actually been craving fruits! Things like oranges and apples and strawberries. So delicious! And of course, I've still wanted ice cream. That's one thing I don't think I will ever stop craving.

What I noticed was different about my body:  It's honestly very difficult for me to look at my body. I am so unhappy with it. And I am even more unhappy with the fact that I brought myself to this place. It is my fault I gained so much weight.

It is up to me to change my body. It's up to me to make healthy choices with food. It's up to me to stock my fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. It's up to me to keep track of what I am eating and how much I am eating. And once I am cleared to resume working out, it will be up to me to do it regularly.

Workouts planned for this week: Physical Therapy three times a week! I'm able to get around my house without crutches. When I walk, I'm being very aware of how I move. I think learning how to correctly walk will help me. I'm still a ways away from getting on a stationary bicycle, but I am getting there.

I also got the all clear from the physical therapist to begin doing some upper arm work-outs. I am still limited with what all I can do, so I am on the look-out for standing or sitting work-outs that utilize resistance bands. If you know of any, please send them my way!

Personal Goal(s) for this week: I have several. 1) I want to track everything I eat for an entire week - both on MyFitnessPal and WeightWatchers. I am interested to see how the PointsPlus coordinate with calories. 2) Start wearing my BodyMediaFit again. I am interested to see just how many (or how few) calories I am burning on a regular day at home. 3) Begin working out my arms. Just because I am limited in a lot of ways does not mean I need to limit myself everywhere else. 4) Start going out in public with one crutch. I did it today when I went to physical therapy, so we'll see if I can do it again over the weekend! 5) Drink more water. I need to set up a system for this because I tend to not drink a lot of water or any other kind of liquid.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week:

I wish every overweight person could step into the body of a fit person for one week, maybe just one day. I think it would be the catalyst for a new resolve. If you could "feel" the end, you would stay the course. -- Abby Rike, Working It Out

Healthy Train Tuesday


investing my life

Saturday was a big day in our house. One of the biggest since I had knee surgery in January. It left me excited for the future and utterly exhausted.

It started because I was bored. Beyond bored really. There's only so much Private Practice that a girl can watch until 10+ episodes a day gets to be too much. There's only so many different positions I can sit in over the course of a day.

We had plans that night to go out for dinner with an older couple from our church, but until then there were multiple hours to get through.

For some time, my husband and I have discussed the need for a new laptop or computer of some sort. Our plan originally was to purchase a PC a few months back, but then I hurt my knee and one of our dogs had to have surgery. We kept putting the purchase off and trying to make it with just my 7-year-old MacBook.

That all changed on Saturday. We simply couldn't do it any longer. Between overheating, the mousepad not working properly and a lot of first world frustrations, we knew it was time. Time to move forward. Time to invest in our future endeavors.

After some shopping around, and a lot of talking it over, we headed to the mall - me on my crutches and my husband excited that we got to park in disabled parking - and made one of the larger purchases of our married life.

I know it's an object. And that nothing is tied to it. I could have edited and written on my old MacBook. But something about having a new shiny MacBook Pro has inspired me. Rather than losing all understanding of how quickly the day passes while watching television, I've spent my time on the computer lost in the world of manuscripts and blogging.

During college, I wrote a lot. Most of it was for fun, but much of it was also for classes. I took courses in communication that demanded papers. My major was professional writing which meant I had to complete an entire novel in the course of a semester. While taking English classes, I wrote short story after short story. I also submitted pieces to an online publication.

I was committed to my degree then. I was invested in writing. And I always thought it would be that way.

But a funny thing happens when you graduate from college. At least a funny thing happened to me. The dreams I once had, while still very real, took a back seat to the life I saw in front of me. Rather than write stories, I wrote court reports. Rather than spend time working on submissions, I dedicated time to treatment plans. I still talked about writing as my dream job, but I didn't do anything to turn that dream into a reality.

It only got worse as the years passed. While I always felt more myself when writing, I simply decided I no longer had the time to do it. I chose to spend my time on other tasks... Tasks I deemed more important.

The time I've had off work has changed my thoughts. I've been drawn back into the world of writing and editing and creativity. I've realized how much a part of me the written word is and just how empty I have been without it.

So this purchase of a new Macbook Pro solidifies my commitment to writing and to myself. Once I'm back at work, I won't have the time to write as I do now. So until I return to work, I'm going to dedicate my days to writing and blogging and creativity.

We discussed our purchase over dinner. We also discussed my writing. I have a desire to write stories that mean something to people. I want my words to impact someone's life in such a way that they are left forever altered. I want my work and my art to point back to a Creator who is so much more than I ever will be.

Talking with our friends, I was hit by God's grace. They shared stories about their daughter who is a professor in theatre and how she has a desire to see more Christians on stage. How she has a desire to help Christians escape doing just Christian theatre. It hit me then how much I have a desire to write but not to write Christian fiction.

I want to write in a way that reaches the mainstream. I want the stories to be relatable and entertaining. But at the end of the way, I want the stories to remind people that they are not the end all be all. I want my stories to elicit a wonder in people that makes them think about things more important than worldly possessions and comparisons to others.

So that's what I've been doing. Working on one incomplete manuscript and editing another manuscript to send off to a beta reader.

Without this knee surgery, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have this time to dedicate to writer if not for an extensive surgery. Had I been able to go back to work after a week, as first (and stupidly) planned, I would still be living a life without actual words. There would be talk of writing but not actual writing.

We prayed about it on Saturday night. Me, my husband, and our friends. And in that moment, I felt it. This reminder that I've been given a dream of being a writer for a reason. This reminder that God is working to provide a way for me to just write.

These reminders continued throughout the weekend. Not just reminders about writing. But reminders of God's timing. His timing with my knee surgery, with our moving to a different church, with purchasing our new house, and with a few other things.

And I also remembered how important it is for me to be engaged. If I am not engaged in my life or my walk, then I can't grow. I won't see Him working. I'll miss all the beautiful things He does. I'll miss the future He is calling me to and instead settle for whatever I see in front of me at that time. I'll miss the provisions He is giving me.

There have been so many provisions during this time. Do I miss being mobile and busy? In a lot of ways, yes. Do I miss being independent? Yes very much so. Do I miss spin class and the elliptical? Yes. But when I had all those things, I also missed writing. I just didn't realize it until I had it back in my life.

The MacBook Pro is an object. But it is also an investment. Just like a gym membership is an investment and running shoes are an investment. And it's not the last investment I will make either. It's the first of many. Because from now on, I will be investing in myself and my life.

Linking up with Mercy Ink Blog for Heart and Home!


the girl behind the blog (a vlog!)

When I went to bed last night, I had no idea what to blog about. The majority of my day is spent inside my house right now, and while I can construct scenes and conflicts for fictional characters in my novel, I am finding it is becoming harder to talk about my life since it isn't all that exciting. I can only state that physical therapy is hard and exhausting so many times. And I'm guessing people are tired of hearing about my knee surgery in general.

I've talked some about weight loss, but that's also hard. I miss sweating at the gym. I miss going to spin class. I miss wearing work out clothes just to work out instead of wearing them all throughout the day.

Thankfully I stumbled upon a link up, so today I am joining forces with other bloggers and introducing myself, my blog, and what is on my heart currently in video (or as bloggers say vlog) format. In the vlog below, I share that this is my first vlog. That's only true if you don't count the Blogger Lip Sync video I participated in last year. Feel free to check that gem out. I'm the girl wearing a Santa shirt and singing my heart out in Starbucks and in downtown Oklahoma City.

You can also see a little bit of our house in the video. I have high hopes and plans to do a tour of our house once I'm able to enjoy our entire house instead of just hobbling or one crutching it from the bedroom to the living room to the kitchen and to the bathroom.

I am so glad you all stopped by today. Make sure to enter the giveaway for a $250 Visa Gift Card before leaving, and I look forward to sharing more about writing soon!


a $250 visa giveaway!

Good morning all! I am joining with several other wonderful ladies to offer a fabulous giveaway. It's a giveaway worth $250 in a Visa card! How amazing would be to have $250 to spend? There are over 100 ways to enter, so get to entering!

Now to turn it over to Kristine. Wishing you the best of luck with winning!

How many ways can you spend 250 free dollars??? 
I'll give you a crazy number of ways to win the $250 VISA and you figure all the ways to spend it!

Heart Shaped Sweat has grown so much over the last few months! It's amazing to see all that has happened here and I'm excited for all that's to come. I couldn't have made it this far without the support from each of you! I'm so thankful for you little loves of mine :)

Helping me celebrate are 24 beautiful ladies...we're giving away a $250 VISA to one lucky reader! The options and entries are endless. With so many wonderful ladies and all the ways to get to know each one of them, I wouldn't dare limit your options!

Sooooooo get to clicking, making friends, and crossing fingers for the winnings!


lovely lines (week 3)

"Rather than the words being in me, the words were out there. The inspiration was out in the world, and all I had to do was go digging for it." via Donald Miller

"But we must remember this one unchanging truth: our worth as bloggers is not found in how high our numbers go." via A Royal Daughter

"I’m trying to better allow myself to be real on those days, to shed false guilt. No, not to wallow. Not to pout. But to acknowledge that there is something lacking. This world is imperfect. It is broken and painful and troublesome." via Mercy Ink Blog

"He reminded me that He is still good. He is still loving. And He is still faithful to me." via Scribbles from Emily

"We obsess about making mistakes. We shoot for perfection. But God knows our limitations and He is able and willing to fill in our gaps." via Ordinary Women Live Brave at Mercy Ink Blog


friday's letters / dear friday (link up)

Dear Friday. You're here. It's been a long but good week. And I am so very excited for the weekend.
Dear Weekend. I'm hoping for warmer weather this weekend. It's the first weekend post-surgery that I can comfortably wear blue jeans. I'll be sporting blue jeans for dinner on Saturday night and to church on Sunday. I'm also looking forward to church on Sunday, cleaning out closets and drawers to give clothes away, and cooking some more.

Dear Writing. I've neglected you some, but I've also spent more time with you over the past week. I feel like we're finally getting somewhere. I promise not to let anything come in between us again.

Dear Hair. I've been neglecting you a lot recently. There has been no sea salt spray and no defusing. I've gone two months (and counting) since getting you highlighted. It's going to be a while longer, so we're going to pretend that I'm just going for an ombre look.
Dear Future. I'm a bit anxious about you. About the unknowns and the uncertainties. And there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties right now. But I know it will all be okay.

Dear Husband. You're my favorite. Thanks for making me laugh, for laughing at my man voice (even though it makes you uncomfortable) and for letting me watch countless episode of Private Practice.


this month is my month

Last night, after attending a 16-year-old's sweet 16, we went grocery shopping. $100 later and enough food to last us for a week-and-a-half, we stopped for dinner at Sonic. I ordered a double cheeseburger and tater tots. I knew it was bad for me. I just didn't know how bad.

There are 30 PointsPlus in a double cheeseburger. 30 PointsPlus. That's almost an entire days worth of PointsPlus. And the calories? There are 900 calories in the double cheeseburger.

At one point, I would have forgotten to log my PointsPlus. And my calories. But I made a promise to myself to be honest. So I logged all of it. The points on WeightWatchers tracker and the calories on MyFitnessPal. And I promised myself that the next day would be better.

I don't know I'll do with staying under 1550 calories every day or staying within 36 PointsPlus every day. But I do know that I want to make better choices. It's why I made a sandwich for lunch today and ate it along with an orange and yogurt. It's why I have Zesty Italian CrockPot Chicken cooking right now. It's why I can't wait to make my lunch and dinner tomorrow and the day after that.

I found out on Tuesday that it's going to be another month until I can go back to working my full-time job. At least another month. Hopefully just another month. Another month of physical therapy three times a week. Another month of being at home during the week.

Before the doctor's appointment, I was down. I felt defeated. But after talking with the doctor, and hearing him say I'm healing well, I feel excited. My quadricep muscles were worthless before the surgery. And now, with the surgery and subsequent physical therapy, there's a good chance that I will heal and be strong.

So I am taking this month for myself. I am taking this month to rest more. I am taking this month to write. I am taking this month to cook and track. I am taking this month to pray. I am taking this month to think about what I want. I am taking this month to enjoy the simple things.

I am taking this month instead of letting it take me.


weight loss wednesday (week 25)

Yesterday, I felt both defeated and determined. I wrote about it and then tweeted a link to the post with a single line: I just wish I had #JillianMichaels to talk to me and help me figure it out. And I meant it. How wonderful would it be to have Jillian Michaels there to talk to and push you?

I didn't get a response from Jillian, but I did get responses from two other Tweet-ers (@tweediem2 and @FatGirlvsWorld) and Bloggers (I go through life in inches and pounds and Never 320 Again). They agreed to walk along side me and help support me. The accountability will come from within. But the support? That's going to help me to be accountable.

We set up a few rules for this endeavor.  Rules that I think are essential for weight loss. Rules that I haven't necessarily followed in the past. And by not following them, I've hurt myself.

Honesty. I have to be honest with myself about what I eat and how much I eat. I also have to be honest with other people about what I am going through and how I am feeling. Lying does nothing but hurt me and keep me from my goals.

Balance. I am never going to be able to eat perfectly at all times. I have to allow for some balance. I can't overboard with documenting everything I eat or diminish the amount of calories I eat too severely. That's what can lead to eating disorders. And there are entirely many bloggers who suffer from eating disorders and/or disordered eating. I went down that road in high school and never will again.

Trust. I have to trust people enough to find support. And I have to trust myself enough to open up to others.

Forgiveness. If I make a mistake, or eat more than I should, then I need to forgive myself. By forgiving myself, I take away the power that the mistake has. And by forgiving myself, I also show myself that I care enough to move on. One day of poor eating is not going to result in me not losing weight just as one day of excellent eating does not result in losing weight.

Consistency. I need to be consistent with tracking. It all comes back to tracking. Tracking means I am holding myself accountable with what I am eating. I'm also going to in at least three times a week on twitter. I am also going to start taking pictures of my meals so that I can see what I am eating and so I can hold myself accountable. I am currently tracking on Weight Watchers and MyFitnessPal.

I'm more excited today than I have been in months. I still have a very long road ahead of me as far as physical therapy and rehabilitation of my knee is concerned. Which makes all these rules even more important. Accountability to myself with what I am eating and how much I am eating is the only way I will lose weight.

Starting Weight: 265 lbs.

Goal Weight: 155 lbs.

Today’s Weight: I'm still not weighing in this week.

Total Loss: 42.2 lbs. (as of two weeks ago)

Pounds Left To Lose: 66.4 lbs. (as of last week)

What I craved this week: A hamburger and french fries. Also ice cream. I always want ice cream.

What I noticed was different about my body:  I can tell I've gained weight and lost some muscle definition.

Workouts planned for this week: Physical Therapy three times a week! I'm supposed to start on walking without crutches as well. Here's to hoping I can go on walks soon and maybe start spending some time on the stationary bicycle.

Personal Goal(s) for this week: Track for a whole week! Remain positive! Stick to my physical therapy homework.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week:

Thanks again to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for this format. 


standing in front of me

At 10:30am today, I have an appointment scheduled with my orthopedic surgeon. Had you asked me on Sunday how I felt about the appointment, I would have said excited and hopeful. But after physical therapy on Monday morning, I'm not so sure.

I knew, going into the knee surgery, that I would need to be committed to physical therapy. I was hopeful and optimistic and sure of my desire to heal and my strength. I'm still committed, hopeful and optimistic, but I'm learning that my strength is not where I thought it was.

Granted, the surgeon changed the muscles in my left leg. So I know it's going to take time to heal and time to regain my strength. It's just taking more time than I ever expected. I think it's also taking more time than my physical therapist thought it would. At least that's what I took away from therapy yesterday.

They tested my strength of my quadricep contractions. On the first day of physical therapy, I was at a 5 on a scale of about 1-1000. Yesterday, I was only at an 11. Yes, it's twice as strong, but I still have a long ways to go. There are things I am able to do now that were nearly impossible the first day of physical therapy. I can use my own strength to lift my left leg up off the table (or couch) and into the air. It's not as easy as I would like it to be, and it still hurts more than I want it to. But I can still do it.

I'm also able to bend my knee a little bit more every day. On my own, I was able to bend it to 72 degrees. The therapist can bend it a little more - which makes me cry as I did yesterday. As much as therapy has hurt, I've never cried until I was forced to let me leg hang over the end of the therapy table bent. That was bad enough until my therapist started pushing on my leg so that it bounced.

He asked me during therapy if I felt like I couldn't do things mentally or physically. I said physically. And I do think a lot of it is physically. It hurts so much when I do certain things.

But there is also a lot of fear. A lot of fear.

He told me I wasn't going to tear anything. That I was going to be okay. I have to remind myself of that at all times. And it's going to hurt. Everything I do right now is going to hurt. That's what happens when you have major knee surgery and then start physical therapy. There might be good pain and bad pain. But it's hard to know right now because the pain is just always hanging around.

Now I just need to figure out why I am blocked mentally. Because there is a block. I didn't think there was yesterday - or I didn't want to admit that there was one. But there is.

I realized it late in the day yesterday when I looked in the mirror. And I saw the weight gain. I saw all the bad foods I've eaten instead of good and healthy foods. It's not just how I've eaten while recovering from surgery, but it's how I've eaten for the last several months. It's why I have gained, lost, gained again, and lost again the same 5-10 pounds.

So I have to figure out this block. I have to stop it from creeping into my thoughts. I have to stop it from  self-sabotaging myself into weight gains and healing slower. I know I'll be stronger at some point. And I know I'll lose the weight at some point. The question is when will that some point be. Is it going to be in just a few months? Or is it going to take me another few years?
The honest answer is I don't know. Because I don't know what the block is. But I do know I am going to figure it out. I just wish I had Jillian Michaels to talk to me and help me figure it out.

(title from "a thousand years" by christina perri)


not 1 but 2 liebster awards!

Upon checking my email today, I received notice that I was nominated for a Liebster Award. This is the second Liebster Award I've been nominated for. Due to other circumstances in my life, I've been a bad blogger and have not posted about the first Liebster Award. So I thought I would take this time to post about both awards.

Happy does not even begin to described how I feel about being nominated. Thrilled is probably a better word. Thank you so much Amanda and Jess for nominating me!

So what is a Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  “Liebster” is German for sweetest, valued, welcome and/or favorite.

I love the idea of lifting up other bloggers and helping them to gain more followers, so I am excited to participate on this beautiful Monday!

Each nominee must share 11 things about themselves.
Answer the 11 questions set for you and create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
Nominate promising new bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

1. I am horrible with dates. For the first two years of our marriage, I would look up my husband's birthday on Facebook because I never could remember it.

2. I've spent equal time as a blonde and as a brunette. I don't remember what my actual natural hair color is. It's a kind of brown; I just don't know what exactly.

3. I'm allergic to cats.

4. I absolutely love macaroni and cheese. I think it should be it's own (healthy) food group.

5. I can't eat a lot of pork without getting sick.

6. I always read the end of a book. Normally, I'll make it half-way (sometimes three-quarters) through before flipping to the back of the book and learning how it ends. If it doesn't end the way I want it to, I sometimes don't finish it.

7. I have two tattoos. One on my right ankle and one on the back of my neck. I'm itching for a third.

8. I've had 5 dogs in my life. They've all had some lab (or all lab) in them. Only one of those 5 dogs have actually liked the water.

9. If I could meet any person alive, I would meet Justin Timberlake. If that doesn't scream teenybopper, I don't know what does. I probably need to work on wanting to meet other people.

10. My physical therapist called me TMZ this morning because I knew all about the latest Hollywood gossip. I was a little embarassed. I used to keep up with all the gossip but I really try not to now. Apparently I need to try harder...

11. I'm more afraid of success than failure. I think it's why I haven't finished my novel. I want to, but I wonder what will happen if I do finish it and succeed. I'm not sure I can think up enough story ideas to actually continue to be successful.

(1-11 from Amanda; 12-22 from Jesse)
1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I would love to be working part-time. We'll probably have a few kids in our house. Our hope is to foster and/or adopt, so I'm not sure of what ages. Still married. At my goal weight and maintaining.

2. Who or what got you to start blogging? I love writing and felt like it was time to put my writing out there. I also wanted to document my journey to lose weight as well as to share my faith.

3. What is your guilty pleasure? Reality TV. All kinds of reality TV - Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, Catfish, Keeping Up With The Kardashians....

4. If you could pick anyone living or dead to have dinner with who would it be? I would love to have dinner with Jesus. I think it would just be awesome to get to sit down with him and audibly hear his responses. I would also love to sit down and talk with Julie Buxbaum. She is one of my favorite authors.

5. What is your favorite make up product? I'm not the biggest wearer of make-up. I buy my foundation and powder and everything else from CVS and Target. Nail polish is something I splurge on and own too much of.

6. What is your favorite meal to cook for the family? Turkey chili in the Crock Pot! It's easy and makes enough for several meals.

7. Winter in the cabins or summer at the beach? Summer at the beach! Even though I'm not a huge fan of being in a swimsuit.

8. Do you have a family tradition and what is it? I grew up going to church on Christmas Eve and then looking for Santa Clause in the sky on our way home. My husband and I have a tradition of buying gifts for children in foster care.

9. What is your favorite type of movies? Romantic comedies and chick flicks.

10. How did you meet your best friend? I met both my best friends in college through Sigma Phi Lambda.

11. If school and money didn't matter and you can just snap your fingers and do it what career would you choose? I would be a writer and a therapist.

12. What is your favorite book? The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank.

13. What's your favorite time of year? I love the Spring and the Fall. Anything that isn't too hot and calls for just a cardigan is my kind of weather!

14. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Suttons Bay, MI. I grew up spending summers there and have wonderful memories of swimming in the bay, walking to town for ice cream, kayaking to the library, having adventures in the creek, etc. I absolutely love it up there!

15. If you could eat only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be? Ice Cream! I have a pretty big sweet tooth - especially for frozen goodness!

16. If you could be famous for any reason, what would it be? Two things - a Broadway star! This is never going to happen in real life but a girl can dream. I would love to spend my days singing on Broadway and dancing on stage. The other more likely option is a writer.

17. Why did you start blogging? See number 2!

18. What is your dream job? See number 11!

19. What is your ideal way to spend a day off? (Nothing to get done, no work, etc.) I would sleep in until 8:30am and then head to the gym. Spin class, please! After spin class, I would head out for breakfast and then come home for a nice relaxing shower. Then it would be time to read or write. After that, lunch! I'd probably want to go out for lunch or have someone come to my house to cook for me. Then it would be time to go see an afternoon movie followed by a little shopping. Then dinner and dessert! I'd also find time to catch up on my DVR.

20. What is your favorite tv show? I really like How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon A Time, Glee and Big Bang Theory. My new show that I'm loving is Bunheads. I can't pick a favorite.

21. What is your dream vacation? An all-inclusive trip to somewhere tropical. I'm all about laying out by the pool or ocean and just relaxing. Even better would be if I was at my goal weight and felt comfortable in a swimsuit.

22. East coast or west coast? I have to go with the East Coast! I just love New York City too much.

And... apparently I need to find more new blogs. Most blogs have more than 200 followers. What newer blogs should I visit?

1. What is your first childhood memory?
2. What is your favorite comfort food?
3. If you could visit any part of history (ala a time machine), what would it be?
4. What is your favorite quote?
5. What is your favorite song?
6. If you could change your name, would you? Why or why not?
7. What is your favorite memory?
8. Backstreet Boys or 'NSync?
9. The Hunger Games or Twilight?
10. What is the best way to spend Friday night?
11. What is your favorite place to visit?

(PS: Make sure to link up with Meg for Mingle Monday!)


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