Tag Archives: body

Citizen of the Year

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WARNING: Daily Bible Reading, Renewing of the Mind, Fresh Air, and Exercise Induced Endorphins will lead to Joy, a continuous state of happiness, and overall contentment regardless of the circumstances!

So I weighed today (and truthfully everyday)….I’m happy to report I am only up 2 lbs from all of the festivities and at least 1 of those 2 lbs can be attributed to the much higher than average sodium I’ve been consuming. I normally really do eat clean and at home. I’m not making that up, and because of that, eating out and eating salty/processed food really reeks havoc on me.

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This morning I woke up pretty pumped so I decided to throw an immediate party with several of my best friends. I invited Claritin, Chobani, Mrs. Banana, an entire pot of coffee, sunshine, my Garmin Watch, a hug from all 3 of my men, and a sunny outdoor 8 mile run/1.5 mile walk into my life and started the party early. The extreme pleasure evident from the above photograph has less to do with my pot of coffee, and infinitely more to do with the fact that I was able to run outside today. My 8 mile run today felt easier and was done at a faster pace than my miserable 4 mile run yesterday. While I only averaged 9:28/mile, I am in taper mode, which means taking it easy and no speed work, so I deemed the run a great success. My favorite part was the walk at the end of the 8 miles though. It gave me ample time to breathe pollen deep into my lungs and enjoy the side effects of a freshly mowed lawn on my eyes and nose.

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Below: Peace, Love, and Donuts (Sounds like very good philosophical advice)

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My clean eating is going super well. Between last night’s community event (more on that below) and my post run work lunch dates, I am managing to keep my calorie consumption well below the 9,000 calorie a day mark. I count this a great success on a birthday week.  The best Gyro you will ever eat is at a little hole in the wall in Lakewood, Ohio called the Greek Village. Their Chicken Gyro and Fries will definitely change your life. I definitely need to make a stop there this week in order to celebrate God’s goodness and another year of life. (At what point does the week long birthday celebration turn into gluttonous excess? I really don’t know the answer to this. I am trying hard to find out though and I will report my progress back to you.)

We made a pit stop on the way back at a place we’ve wanted to try at  Kamm’s Corner  called “Peace, Love, and Donuts”. This was a very unique spot with INSANE donuts. Gentry had a dirty worm. Jonathan had a M&M donut, and I couldn’t decide, so I just chose a basic powdered donut. These donuts were amazing. They are made right there on location and are consistently rated best donuts by Cleveland magazine. Everyone that lives in the Cleveland Metro Area should also spend their birthday week exploring local places. It doesn’t take long, and you are completely justified because it is your birthday. Also, be sure to sign up for all the free birthday coupons at all of these places. All of my celebrating has cost me very little $. Don’t let me fool you. I explore and have fun on like $1 a day.

In the middle of all of this goodness and partying and play, I have been doing lots of seeding and leading today. For example, we don’t just visit these places to eat and explore, but we plants seeds of the gospel and invite people to church with us. Today the lady at the Greek Village told me that I was a ray of sunshine and how she was energized by our encounter and how I uplifted her soul. We have invited them to church, in fact, my husband even preached about the amazingness of their Gyro’s, so we are believing that at some point the Seeding, Eating, and Repeating will result in harvest.

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So last night was super fun. We took the boys to karate, watched them name names and take prisoners, and my mom picked them up there from us so that we could network, lead, seed, eat, and repeat. We went to the Citizen of the Year Banquet with 400 or so of our closest friends. The food was predictable banquet style high sodium, high fat, medium taste, maximum bang for your buck, and maximum caloric content. I also ate a bacon wrapped water chestnut ( or 12). This was a first for me. I like water chestnuts and anything involving bacon is always a hit, so I figured it couldn’t really fail as an appetizer item.

In all honesty, it is an honor to live and serve in our community and God did some amazing things at the Citizen of the year Banquet last night. We went to represent the Bridge Church and continue to network with the officials and friends that we have made and be the “Johnny Appleseed’s” of the gospel that we are called to be. You wouldn’t even believe the doors that were opened and the conversations that we had. Great things are in store and God keeps laying bricks onto our foundation: Line upon line….precept upon precept…here a little, there a little. Serving God and living for him is the best. One person said “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet.”We sat next to and dined with the Director of Law and the Director of Finance for the city, as well as with a former citizen of the year. I’m pretty sure that was divine strategy. I also saw my friend, Reese’s best school friend’s mom, who serves on City Council and is up for re-election (friends in high places), the president of the women’s charitable league that I have been serving in, and hung out with the mayor again.

In addition, we dined with Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms) from the Office. We are bonafide celebrities now. His company was very enjoyable and he removed his face tattoo and black tooth to be in our presence.

How involved are you with your community?

Do you see value in investing in people even when you have no guaranteed return?

How much weight do you usually gain the week of your birthday?

I am voting for myself as Citizen of the Year next year. I deserve it because I keep trash out of my front yard and the lawn stays in a moderately pleasing state.

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Bikram Running

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There will never be a day when we wont need dedication,discipline,energy,and the feeling that we can change things for the better -GS

After a very late night, and the fifth night in a row that I’ve slept only a handful of hours, I unwittingly embarked on a round of Bikram running, or you could call it sauna city. If you are not familiar with Bikram, it is a type of yoga that you do in a room set to 2,345 degrees, give or take a degree or two, and is designed to detoxify you. Why anyone does this is beyond me, and when you add the fact that running is like increasing the external temperature 20 degrees no matter what the setting (they say to dress 20 degrees warmer when you run), and the fact I am just a salty sweatband wearing gal anyway, it was a recipe for disaster. I don’t know why the local YMCA thinks 80 degrees is an acceptable cardio room temperature, but my 76 year old work out buddies love it.
The above quote applied today in a huge way. I was on top of the world on my run yesterday, and today I felt like a beached whale plodding through quicksand. Today the dedication and discipline kicked in long before the energy did. Thank God I’m on the taper for the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio next week so all I had on the agenda was a 4 mile run and 1 mile walk. The good thing about short running is it is short. The bad thing about short running is that by the time you are warmed up and ready to sprint to your gold medal, you are done. I’m more of an endurance runner than I am a sprinter, so, as weird as it sounds, I prefer distances of 6 miles plus. (Depending on where I’m at in my training schedule) I do enjoy my 5K speedwork days though, when I’m not in a sauna, not hopped up on 45 pots of coffee, and not mentally/physically exhausted. (so basically once a year. ha. just kidding)

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Being forced to run on the treadmill when the sun is brightly shining outside always makes your run so much more enthusiastic. I mean, who wouldn’t be energized by this view?
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Glancing at Sophia Vergara while being stimulated with pop tempo beats helped me push through. I mean, I could look like her by pushing through to the end of my run, or look like Jessica circa 2010 pre-running. The choice is clear. Run towards Sophia!
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The husband was out of town, thus forcing me on the treadmill. I couldn’t get up early and get my run in and leave my kids home alone because he wasn’t there. Therefore, since Gentry had PM school today instead of AM, I had to drag him to child watch at the YMCA while I drug my pitiful self onto the treadmill. Notice how I piled up the pillows creating a fluffy husband so I could have the illusion of safety while I slept last night.

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The best part of waking up, besides being alive, Chobani and Starbucks.

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Continuing the birthday celebrations…..bye bye edible arrangement. We wiped that arrangement out in about 35 seconds. We are full time sugar seekers, but I like to make it sound healthy and say we are part time fruitarians. (Fruitarians will eat only what falls (or would fall) naturally from a plant). It has nothing to do with our love of carbohydrates.

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I could not be more proud of Gentry for choosing the chocolate covered fruit over the regular fruit. He is a smart cookie.

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A glimpse of last night’s quick dinner, the result of having to rush Reese right off the bus and into the car to attend an all evening event.

Notice, my husband returned home today bearing snacks. Between the Chick Fil A and the snack pack, the post birthday clean eating is going tremendously well. At least I’ll have well stocked glycogen stores for the Capital City Half marathon.

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Here is Gentry when I picked him up from school today. He is sporting his brand new Angry Birds glasses. I had to go to Target to pick up some essentials, and in staying true to what I know to be righteous and holy, I had to purchase something not on my list. I find it preferable, nay mandatory, to purchase extras every time I go into Target. I am still trying to witness this doctrine to my husband, but he is having trouble converting. In keeping with our Dave Ramsey lifestyle, I must disclose that Gentry really did need a pair of sun glasses that fit his head. Last year’s glasses were cutting off his vision and circulation.

The new sunglasses have nothing to do with Gentry’s top 3 quotes (unsolicited mind you) of the day today:

1) Mom, you can’t finish listening to our daily bible reading plan when I’m in school. Save the last chapter for when I’m done. (We are on day 105 of a You Version Read through the Bible program that we listen to together daily.)

2) “You are a Super Mom”

3) “Mom, your hair is so long and silky that I can’t quit touching it”

I am not exaggerating or lying about any of the above quotes. If you know Gentry, you know he’s a heart breaker.

For our comments section, have you ever been really proud of yourself? Besides the fact that I punched my run today in the face even though it was fighting back hard, I met a chiropractor last night in a social setting and did not ask him to crack my back. This is a sure sign of maturity. I really wanted to have him work his magic on me, even though he was a total stranger and we were in a large crowd. I am very proud of the fact that I resisted asking him to perform free services on me.

I am also proud of the fact that I have been such an amazing witness for Christ that a mom at Gentry’s pre-school knew it was me driving the wrong direction because of my “The Bridge Church” car magnet on my van. I’m letting my little light shine!

What are you proud of?

Are you a “fruitarian” too?

Live long and prosper

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Looking good for an old lady!

Yesterday, April 23, 2013, I turned the BIG 33. (Notice my super amazing hand signals to tell you that) I remember when 33 seemed very old. I remember when 33 seemed very far away. Now, I’m living it and embracing it! I absolutely was transformed when I truly got the revelation that life happens in seasons and you better stop, smell the roses, and enjoy each season as it comes because eventually that season will fade away. The 30’s have been very good to me and have truly been some of the most life transforming, God honoring years and seasons that I have ever walked in. Watch out world because Jessica hasn’t changed an ounce. I still am full of optimism, vitality, spunk, the Holy Ghost, and now I’ve got all of these things combined with a teeny tiny bit of maturity 🙂

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My day started out amazing with 3 homemade cards. Ok. This actually is a lie. In the interest of truth-telling while trying to maintain a vestige of privacy for my family all I will say is that at 3 AM someone came in our room and invited us to a party at their crib. Only their crib was a bunk bed and the party was the fact the bunk bed, sheets, blankets, mattress, pillows, and stuffed animals were covered in urine. Yes folks, I partied my birthday in with some fun PJ changing, sheet washing, febreeze spraying, laundry washing, and frustrated rambling.

Back to the cards……..Everyone of my boys made me a card, including my 31-year-old boy. This meant the world to me! My main man wrote me a love note with 33 reasons why he loves me and my 2 little men showed me their love with a Football themed card (literally EVERY woman’s dream) and a poem about playing games and naming names and how much fun that will be in repetition. I also had a gift that I love. It is the cutest little 26.2 marathon charm for my key chain or rear view mirror or any other place that I choose to show my love and adoration for the self flagellation and torture known as long distance running. The . for the .2 on the charm is a little tennis shoe. My men know me.

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The goodness of the day just kept coming. I got my free Starbuck’s Rewards birthday drink. It was a triple grande extra hot skinny peppermint mocha of which I drank outside on the patio at Starbuck’s because God showed me favor by giving me a day in the 70’s and sunny, of which we have seen maybe 2 such days in the entirety of 2013. I know God loves me more than he loves you if your birthday is today, because it is back in the 30’s and rainy today. Sorry, I’m just that amazing.

Also, that afternoon I got a call on my phone from Edible Arrangements that my neighbor had signed for a delivery for me. I was so pumped and told myself that I would have to put a serious smack down on my neighbor if she even looked at my arrangement with lust in her heart. That puppy was mine! I was super shocked and excited and couldn’t wait to get home and check it out. Turns out that my Bridge Church family, the greatest people in the world, chose to honor up, down, and all around by sending that amazing bouquet to my house and celebrate my big day. I also got countless cards, texts, Emails, and words of encouragement from these dear friends of mine. I am so #blessed!!! Every single comment meant the world to me.

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Before I could go on my birthday celebration run, I had to deliver my little men to school. I walked Reese to the bus stop and as soon as the driver pulled up, the entire bus stood up and sang “Happy Birthday” to me. My heart melted. Little Reese looked on with his friend Josh in delight because he had pulled off the surprise of the decade!

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My most handsome lunch date. Also at Melt with me were my husband and our church planting and strategy friend. Lunch was a church strategy meeting. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do on my birthday than discuss soul winning while elbow deep in french fries. God is good to me.

After taking the boys to school, returning home and running 6 miles/walking 1 mile for a total of 7, I showered and raced to get Gentry from school so he could go to my business lunch with me. Usually on a day that I know is going to be incredibly hectic and fast paced, I like to get up at 5 AM and get my run done before the morning madness and ahead of the day’s tasks. However, my sweatband twin hubby had an equally as hectic, if not insanely more hectic day on the docket than I did. Because of that I let him have the honor of the pre-dawn run while I tried to snooze an extra 2 minutes.

Nothing says LIVE LONG AND PROSPER like a deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich and 78 pounds of fresh-cut fries. Folks, that is what I had.  If you are ever in the Cleveland area, you must eat at “Melt Bar and Grilled”. It will change your life once you recover from the triple bypass surgery you need from eating there.

Westside Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese

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My night ended with a 2 hour church staff/strategic team meeting and one of the most adorable birthday cakes I had ever seen. Thanks to my mom for having them design an avatar on the cake that looked exactly like me. Hopefully since the icing girl was running hard, she ran all the calories right off of it before we dove in.

Full disclosure:

I know you are thinking I look crazy in all of my birthday pictures. I really did want to fix my hair nice and look good on my birthday, but I’ve found that maintaining a consistent exercise regime (read #runstreak, of which I celebrated Day 526 on my birthday and 527 this morning, strength training, and marathon training) while church planting, raising 2 kids, and saving the world takes a lot of time. I’m just grateful to have clean hair and smell like body wash and not sweat.

Disclosure:

Is there anyone else that eats horrible for a whole week around your birthday? I’m starting to feel the digestive negative side effects. The part-time vegetarian/want to be clean eater that is also embracing without remorse her love for ice cream as long as it is balanced with the reality of my terrible FAT GENES is coming back out swinging today. I’ll update you on that soon.

Does anyone else have it determined in their heart to embrace life, getting older, and to enjoy every season of life making each one amazing for what they offer?

Have you ever eaten at Melt Bar and Grill (It has been featured on the travel channel and Food Paradise. I’m not going to lie, it is my favorite Cleveland institution)? What do you order there?  http://meltbarandgrilled.com/

Hail Mary, full of grace……Again!

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Seeding and Leading (Set up at the Bridge Church)

As you can see, it’s been a full year since I’ve “wo-manned” my blog. I have started and stopped blogging consistently on several occasions, but I have  said my obligatory “Hail Mary’s”, I am confessing to you now, and on your part, it is time for the grace to flow, yet again.  I have always valued and enjoyed writing, and I am a prolific reader of numerous blogs. I just can’t in good conscience let the world exist without the deep insights that I have to share with it.

You can read some details in the “About” section, but in summary, my life consists of these components:

SEED. LEAD. RUN. EAT. REPEAT

In the vast resources of my brain, I will share with you all of these segments of my life. Here is my solemn, sacred vow:

1) I will blog consistently (In fact, I pledge to fall into a blog routine and a predictable schedule/habit of blogging that you can follow even if you aren’t on amphetamines. This schedule is going to organically take route and I will keep you informed of it once the voices tell me to.)

2) I will talk about running

3) I will talk about eating

4) I will talk about my family

5) I will talk about people

6) I will talk about God

7) I will talk about leadership

8) I will talk about health

9) I will vigilantly and adamantly contend for the fact that YOU/I are/am Mind, Soul, and Body and NONE of these items operate independently.

10) I will NEVER post pictures about cats with a caption stating affection or in any way claiming they are lovable/cute

I transported in all of my old posts from my old blog. If you are bored, scared, fighting insomnia, intrigued, or otherwise have no life, please feel free to scroll through these blogs and comment on them. You will find evidence of my on again/off again relationship with blogging and my need for public confession about it.

What about you………………..

Have you ever loved something but had trouble staying consistent with it?

Do you have an affinity to post pictures about cats and how adorable you think they are?