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Missing in Nepal: Choosing Faith Over Fear

{My brother (pictured on the right), husband, and I climbing a 14er this past fall}

If there's one word that describes my younger 21-year old brother it's, adventurous. When we were kids, he wouldn't dare ride the roller coaster at Elitches, but if it involved mountains, he was out the door quicker than you could put your shoes on. He's the rock climber, the one who climbed a 14er (a mountain over 14,000 feet) in the dark, and is happiest with a camera in his hand and hiking boots on his feet. He's got a God-given gift for photography (see some of his beautiful pictures here  ), a sarcastic sense of humor, and a really severe case of wanderlust. 

It was really no surprise when he told us that he would be taking off for a year long adventure to Thailand and other undetermined destinations. He left December 22, 2014 and has been keeping in contact with us via social media and the occasional text. His travels have taken him from Thailand, to Malaysia, to a million other places I can't remember, and most recently, Nepal. 

My brother has been in Nepal for a couple of weeks, but we have not heard from him since the massive earthquake struck Nepal Saturday night.  Thursday night was the last time anyone spoke to my brother. He said that he and his Canadian travel companion, Casey, were in Pokhara, Nepal and headed out on the Annapurna circuit (a famous Nepali trek) on Friday morning. 

When we heard the news of the earthquake early Saturday morning, we knew nothing about my brother's whereabouts nor plans, aside from the name of the trek and the name of the last town he was in. Casey's (Isaiah's travel buddy) family have done some excellent research and have discovered that Casey and Isaiah need to check in every couple of days at different points along this trekking circuit because they are not traveling with an official guide. We are trying to get a hold of the next checkpoint to see if they have checked in but have not been successful thus far. We are guessing that the majority of this trek is without internet and or phone service. At this point we are hopeful that Isaiah and Casey are okay, and it's more just a matter of them having access to phone or internet to get a hold of them.

That is the update. That is the black and white, that is what we know for sure. What I can tell you that is more than black and white is that the Lord is using this. Using this scary circumstance to grow my faith, and using this as an opportunity to grow the faith of those around me. 

I was working night shift at the hospital over the weekend and was the first out of friends and family to hear about the earthquake because I was awake during what is daytime in Nepal (they are 12 hours ahead of Colorado time). I NEVER EVER check the news, but decided to hop onto CNN early Friday morning. When I saw the headline stating that an earthquake had hit Nepal, I sat stunned. 

Immediately, my gut reaction was fear. At this point, I didn't even know where my brother was in Nepal. I had no clue if he was in the capital city, near Everest, or somewhere else. I had 8 hours left in a difficult shift at the hospital with sick kids that needed my focus and attention. 

I realized Friday night at 2 in the morning that I had a choice. I had a choice of FEAR or a choice of FAITH. 

There is no feeling more helpless than being halfway across the world watching the death toll rise in a country that is currently home to one of your best friends. But that was it- I was (and am) helpless. No amount of worry, panic, or scenarios created in my mind was going to help me find my brother. So on Friday morning, mere hours after the quake hit as I sat in a hospital thousands of miles from the devastation, I chose faith

That night, I trusted that my God was walking with my brother- before, behind, and around him. That night I chose to believe that God knew (and knows) right where my brother and Casey are. Two days later, I am still trusting that my brother is resting in the hand of the ALMIGHTY GOD, and that's really what matters most. 

Now, lest you think, this choice  of faith has come easy, let me take you back a few years. Fear has been one of my biggest struggles. My junior year of high school, I began having nightmares of my parents and brothers dying. I remember talking to my youth leader at the time about it, and wondering how on earth I would ever not be afraid again. Would I always fear? 

The problem continued through college- I remember weeping in front of a sweet lady at a college retreat as she stood at the altar ready to pray over me. Through tears I explained how every day I was panicky with the fear my family dying. She reminded me of the sovereignty of God and that He does not want us to live in fear. Over and over I heard things that I KNEW, yet couldn't wrap my mind around enough to eliminate my fear. 

In 2013 I started my job as a pediatric nurse, and began to see horrible, tragic things on a daily basis. And interestingly enough, that is where my healing began

I began to see that I could choose to live in fear, or I could choose to live in faith. I could worry and fear that one day when I have children that they will be born with many disabilities, or worse, not survive past birth. I could live in fear that should I deliver a healthy child, that 8 years later they would be diagnosed with brain cancer and be given months to live. I could live in fear that my brothers, friends, or future children would one day be in a car accident, and their lives would change forever as they lived their life out as a paralytic or in a vegetative state.

Or I could choose to live in faith. I could choose to live in faith that the Lord counts my steps and walks alongside me during my days. I could choose to believe that the Lord would send his angels to protect me and my loved ones from harm and tragedy. I could choose to believe that even if tragedy befell my family, that Jesus would be carrying me, holding me, and never letting go. 

And I realized- I wanted to choose faith. But I also realized that faith will always be the harder choice. 

The choice of faith requires self discipline, prayer, and steadfastness of the mind. A choice of faith requires diligence, requires focus, and most importantly demands reliance upon the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. 

The choice of faith was and is still hard. Each time I pull up Nepal on Google and feel my heart start to beat quicker, I have to choose faith. Every time I see the death toll rise and my palms start to get sweaty, I have to choose faith. 

The most important thing I can do is pray and choose to believe. Choose to believe that God is with my brother and Casey. Choose to believe that God is holding each and every one of the beautiful Nepalese who have witnessed their mother, father, child, or brother die in the last 48 hours. I can choose to believe that in the midst of chaos and disaster and tragedy that there is Jesus and there is peace. 

I am playing my Jesus music as loud as I can, reading my Bible as much as I can, and reminding myself over and over of the promises of God. I am meeting with friends, laughing, and going about my day. Because it is in these things that I am reminded that I have a God who is looking over my brother and all those who are missing. It's not my job to worry and fret because I know that they are in the best hands possible. 


Today, in what do you need to choose faith over fear? I pray that you have the courage to do the hard thing- to choose faith, and to not give Satan the victory of trapping you in worry and anxiety. Choose Jesus. Choose peace. 

** APRIL 27th UPDATE: We heard from Casey's parents (who were able to message Casey this morning) that he and Isaiah are safe. We don't know much else but that they are safe in the mountains. Thank you for your prayers!** 

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My First Half Marathon- A Recap

I shared last week in my reverse bucket list that I ran a full marathon in 2010. I was a freshman in college at the time and was so scared of gaining the "Freshman 15" that I decided I would train for a marathon and then I could eat whatever I wanted. The plan worked brilliantly, but I haven't been motivated to run further than 3 miles since. 

I've done my fair share of at-home workouts over the past few years including a lot of Jillian Michaels and P90X3. Last November, Alex and I decided to go for a spur-of-the-moment run around our new house. It felt incredible. I remembered how much of a release running had been for me freshman year, and it brought me back to the days that I spent training. For the next couple of months I started consistently running, and around January decided that maybe I should train for something. I've always wanted to do a half marathon, so I decided that would be my goal. But I decided that I also wanted to shoot for an under 2 hour half marathon. This averages to be 9:09 per mile. I am NOT a fast runner- my marathon was 11:15 or something like that per mile so cranking it to 9:09 was a pretty lofty goal. But since I had started running in November, I had been consistently running around 9:30 a mile so I figured it was a doable goal. 

I chose the half marathon I did because the course didn't look terribly hard, but I mostly chose it because it coincided on a weekend that my family was coming up to Denver to watch my brother play lacrosse. I had my family and a couple of friends at my full marathon and it made the biggest difference in the world. My husband, my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my in-laws, my brother in law and his girlfriend, and one of my very best friends all showed up to support me. Let's just say that I had the best cheering squad at the race. Now, onto the race.


{This was at the starting line... I was SUPER nervous}

I was nervous, you guys! Like really nervous! I wanted my goal time so bad but was nervous about achieving it. I didn't particularly like being nervous, but it was kind of cool to feel that nervous/competitive energy that I hadn't really felt since playing tennis in college. Several days before the race we had had freezing rain and snow, and I knew the course could potentially be really muddy. The forecast that morning was cloudy around 35 degrees with a chance of rain. This was actually perfect for me- I run way better in sub-50 temperatures, I was just hoping it wouldn't actively be raining through the race. I woke up at 4:45 the morning of the race, tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 6. Alex drove me to the race and after 45 minutes of warming up and trying not to get too nervous, I lined up and waited for the starting gun to go off. 

Miles 1-4
My strategy was to go a little bit slower than my goal pace for the first 2 miles of the race so that I wouldn't get tired and hit a wall later in the race. My goal pace for the first 2 miles was 9:15 or 9:20 and this had been really hard for me to do during my training runs (I always started running way quicker). The first quarter mile of the race was seriously muddy despite the race organizers best efforts to put bark down. The mud helped me start slower and I was able to keep a 9:20 pace for the first two miles. I actually kept the 9:20 pace (unintentionally) for the first four miles which started to be a serious mental challenge because I started worrying that I wouldn't be able to make up the time later. 

{This was about mile 5 and I felt good}

Miles 5-9
This course ran alongside a beautiful lake that was absolutely stunning, and had I not been so worried about my time I would have stopped to take pictures because it was gorgeous. This particular stretch of the race was mostly concrete which was a huge deal for me. I had done the majority of my training runs on concrete and prior to hitting concrete I was running on a trail that was fairly muddy in spots. The mud had slowed me down and so I was able to crank up my pace on the concrete (my fastest mile, 8:22, was during this concrete portion). There were a couple of ladies that I kept passing then kept passing me so the little cat and mouse game helped me keep a quick pace. 

Miles 6-7 got a little bit tough because I kept wondering when I was going to turn around. This was also the stretch where I didn't see my cheer squad for about 4 miles, so I just kept thinking to myself "just a little bit further until I see my people". 

{This was mile 10 and as I'm sure you can tell, I felt like death}

Mile 10-12
This was the hardest part of the race for sure. I saw my people at mile 10 and knew it would be the last time that I saw them before the finish line. After the race, they made sure to let me know that I looked like death at mile 10. Thanks guys. There was a lady in front of me that I had passed forever ago and all of a sudden she passed me again. I kept up with her but she was crankin it out at a 7:40/mile pace, and I eventually lost her after a mile or so, but trying to keep up with her meant that my 10th mile was a quick one (8:37). 

I felt really gassed at mile 11 (probably from going way too fast in mile 10), but a lady that I had been running either right in front of or right behind  most of the race passed me and yelled "we're almost there". That was exactly the boost I needed, and a perfect example of why the running community can be so dang awesome! 

The rest of mile 11 and 12 all I could think was "If I ever get the idea to do this again, someone shoot me." I also started counting down from 100 to distract myself from my misery. 

The Finish 
The race organizers didn't put a "Mile 13" sign out (for you half marathoners- is this normal??) and I kinda got thrown for a loop. I rounded the corner and realized I was closer than I thought so I started picking up my speed as much as I could. I glanced at my watch and saw that I was at 1:58 so I told myself "Go Sarah go, you're going to make the 2 hour mark!" 

I sprinted as fast as I could towards the finish line but the last quarter mile (right before the finish line) seemed muddier than when I had started and I felt myself getting stuck. I was focused on trying to get through the mud without twisting an ankle and just felt this incredible frustration as I felt myself slowing down. 

I crossed the finish line and glanced down at my watch and saw 2:00:06 (2 hours, 6 seconds). At this point, I could care less. My husband, family, and friends were all at the finish line and all I could do was bend over and catch my breath. I got really super dizzy and it took a good several minutes before I caught my breath and was ready to smile for pictures. 

{"All About That Bass"- one of my favorite songs during training}

{My in-laws with the funniest sign}

{5280 is the feet of elevation of Denver... that's my beautiful momma}

I smiled for my fair share of pictures as the elation of finishing my first half marathon set in. I was happy with my time- it wasn't the 2:00:00 or less that I had hoped but I just knew that if the last part of the course hadn't been so muddy, I totally would have reached my goal. Since then I've had my moments of "if only I had run faster here...", but for the most part I've been content with my time. I knew that if the weather conditions were different, my time probably would have been different too. 

I finished 51st overall (out of 163 runners), 7th out of 30 in my age division (Females 20-29 years old), and 17th out of 97 females. I felt pretty proud of how I finished considering it was my first half marathon, and my stats leaves room for improvement in my next half!  

{Most of my people.... from top left clockwise: my hubby, one of my closest friends, my brother in law and girlfriend, my brother's girlfriend}

I stood around chatting with my friends and family and just enjoyed being done with the race! My people were awesome you guys. I guess someone along the course that was running close to me said, "Man I wish I was Sarah!" Someone else said, "I guess Sarah must be about to pass me!" And one lady said with desperation in her face, "My name is Michelle" and my squad started cheering for her by name. Having all of them there with their awesome signs made the race so much more fun and made all the difference in the world. 

It's been two days since the race... will I do a half marathon again? Probably. Will it be anytime soon? Probably not. Towards the end of my training I was getting tired of how much of my time it was taking, so for now I think I'm just going to enjoy running whatever mileage I want at whatever pace I want.

Oh yeah, and after the race one of the booths was giving out a fitbit to whoever could hold the longest plank. You were also entered in a drawing for a gym membership and some pretty awesome other prizes. So even though I was exhausted, I had to try. My brother's girlfriend beat my mom and I, and none of us were close to the longest time that won the fitbit (7 minutes something). 

{Check out our form! ;) }

If you're wondering, I used this half marathon training plan. I have an upcoming post explaining why I chose that plan, and some of my tips on how to avoid injury while running. 

In case any of you were wondering, my splits (according to my GPS) are below. 

Mile 1    9:23
Mile 2    9:15
Mile 3    9:15
Mile 4    9:18 
Mile 5    8:58
Mile 6    8:22
Mile 7    9:13
Mile 8    9:18
Mile 9    8:29
Mile 10  8:37
Mile 11  9:03
Mile 12  8:56
Mile 13  9:11

Final Time: 2:00:06
Average Split: 9:11

{All my people minus my Dad and brother who had left already for my brother's lacrosse game}

Would you or have you ever run a half marathon? If you have run one before, what's your strategy for running it? 
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Using the Changing Seasons to Simplify Your Closet

rotate clothes, use the change of seasons to simplify your closet

Twice a year, my husband and I rotate our clothes out. A lot of you may do this as well- you pull out your summer clothes when the weather starts warming up, and then put them away when it's time to bring out the winter jackets. We live in a small one bedroom apartment that has a single closet that holds everything from our camping gear to board games to Christmas decorations. This means that our actual space for clothes is limited and we've had to come up with ways to simplify our closet.

Rotating our clothes out each season has become one of the main ways that we keep our closet streamlined and efficient. Below are some of the ways we use clothes rotating to our benefit; I hope you'll find some of these ideas useful and contribute your own ideas in the comments below! 

Ask yourself three questions with each item of clothing that you are storing.  
1. Did I wear this item this season? This question is the main way we simplify our closets at the end of the season. If we haven't worn an item at the end of the season,  we put it in a pile to donate to the thrift store. If you didn't wear it through an entire season, what are the chances you'll wear it when you bring it out the next season? Sometimes if an item has particular nostalgic value and I didn't wear it that season, I'll keep it one more season and if I still haven't worn it after that second season, the nostalgic value has worn off and I can put it in the thrift store pile. 

2. Does this item still fit well? We all go through stages where our body may fit into clothes differently. Keeping maternity clothes around because you're planning on having more children is one thing; keeping clothes that are too big because you've lost weight and no longer fit into them is another thing. If I no longer fit into something or like how it fits on my body, it will go into the thrift store pile. 

3. Do I still like this wearing this item? I know that I go through seasons where I like different styles and my style changes a little bit. If there are items that I've had since college and feel like no longer fit my personality or style, those will go into the thrift store pile. Be honest with yourself- if you like the item simply because you wore it on a special date five years ago, but don't actually like wearing it now, then maybe it's time to simplify your closet and get rid of it. 

Utilize creative storage options to keep seasonal clothing out of the way. 
This obviously looks different for different people, but what we've found that works great for us are these under-bed storage containers.

 My husband and I each have our own that hold our seasonal clothing and stay out of sight and out of mind during the off season. The garage can be a great place to store seasonal clothes or perhaps an extra closet in a spare or guest bedroom. Getting creative and storing it in a place that's not normally used will help free up more functional space in your house. 

Don't replace everything you've discarded with other non-functional items. 
If most of us are honest with ourselves, we only wear a handful of items in our closet. Another vital component in doing this seasonal purge of clothing is having the self restraint to not go out and replace everything that you've just gotten rid of. I try and pay attention to the clothes that I wear on a consistent basis and try to buy clothes based off of that. I also keep in mind the clothes that got donated to the thrift store, and I try to remember why I no longer wore that item of clothing. Buying clothes out of impulse often leads to overcrowded and dysfunctional closets. Pay attention to the things you wear often and this will help you make better clothing purchases. 

By doing a seasonal purge of clothing and buying clothes according to what you often wear instead of what you like in the moment will really help to simplify and add functionality to your closet. 

What other ideas do you have to simplify your closet? 
Does anyone else do a clothing purge when rotating their clothes out? 

{This post first appeared over at The Simple Kind of Life Blog}

Dirt Bikes & A Reverse Bucket List

So most of you have probably heard of a bucket list- a list of things you want to do before you die. But have you heard of a reverse bucket list? That's the theme of this month's Circle link-up and it is such a fun idea! A reverse bucket list consists of things that you have ALREADY done. Cool right? 
I'm going to start you off by listing off the top three coolest things I've ever done. 

1. Sky dived. I peed my pants. 
2. Bungee jumped off a hotel in Las Vegas. I think I have permanent whiplash. 
3. Married a millionaire 

Actually haven't done any of the above. Except pee my pants. Sorry to bum you out. I can't even say any of those things are on my real bucket list. I just thought I would start with something interesting. 

Alrighty, for real, let's talk about some things that I've already done in this little life of mine. I broke them up into three categories for your viewing pleasure. 

- Random Things -

1. I was almost a homecoming queen nominee. I lost in a tie. Does that even count? 

2. I've been dirt biking. Multiple times. It's kind of a requirement in my husband's family. 

{Ignore the weird bulge around my stomach. The pants fit me weird.}

3. I've lost multiple breath holding contests. I have the lungs of a rat. In fact, a professor in nursing school asked me if I had asthma after performing a test on my lung function. I don't have asthma. Just really small lungs (according to my self-diagnosis). 

{I can hold my breath for approximately 10 seconds.}

4. I lived in Guatemala for two months teaching English and tutoring in Science and Math through an amazing organization called Education & Hope. It was a super challenging, yet meaningful experience and I've been trying to figure out how to blog about it. 

{This is me hand washing my clothes at the end of the week. If you do this even once, you'll forever love your washer.}

- Things I am not proud of -

1. Flipped over a board game and stormed off in a bout of truly unsportsmanlike conduct after losing a game. This may or may not have happened multiple times. I'm working on it. 

2. I've worn white shorts after Labor Day. That's a no-no right? 

3. I've eaten food off the floor without washing it off. Probably 300 too many times. 

- Things I am proud of -

1. I ran a marathon in college. I was terrified of gaining the Freshman 15 so I figured if I ran a marathon I could eat whatever the heck I wanted and not gain weight. The strategy worked great and I don't plan on running a marathon ever again. 

{Shiprock, NM. May 2010}

2. When I was a junior in high school, a cake and a loaf of bread I baked won the top two prizes at the Colorado State Fair. As a result I got to send the cake and bread (freshly baked of course) to Washington D.C. where it was served at the Capitol for a breakfast for all the senators and representatives. Funny thing is at this point in my life I don't really like cooking or baking. If I had a dispensable income I would spend it on restaurants. But I still get peeved if someone disses my cooking skills. One day I'll get back into the kitchen and enjoy it. 

{This is the same recipe that was served at the Capitol}

3. I sang throughout high school and got chosen for several honor choirs and got to sing a solo in the Colorado All-State Choir Concert. I've also been playing the piano since I was 6. 

So there is all that. Bet you never ever wanted to know that I've peed my pants before. 

What is something on your reverse bucket list that I may not know about you? 

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Spring 2015 Goals

I've always been about the goals in life- they keep me focused and help me get things done. As I explained in last week's winter goal recap post, sometimes I'm too hard on myself and goals leave me feeling burnt out instead of energized. I originally wasn't going to even write a spring goals post then realized that in my mind I have a couple goals set so I might as well put them down on paper. 

Get PA school applications submitted. 
Many of you may (or may not) know that my hubby is applying to physician assistant school for 2016. The application opens next week and we are hoping to have all the applications submitted by early to mid May. There are essays that have yet to be written and edited, transcripts and letters of recommendation to be gathered, application fees to be paid, and most importantly lots of prayers to be prayed. It's gearing up to be a busy month but we're excited and have been looking forward to getting the ball rolling on this for two years. If we come to mind, we would love and appreciate your prayers in this area. 

Slow down and sit in the presence of Jesus. 
Last week, I had a sweet sweet time with Jesus during my morning quiet time. I'll admit that I tend to crank through my quiet time- read my devotionals, journal a bit, and say a few quick prayers. Rarely do I take time to just sit and meditate. This post and this book have really been encouraging me to be more consistent in my time with the Lord, and let my closeness with Him provide the wisdom I need to make decisions in daily life. 

Last week I sat and meditated for about 20 minutes and it was so so so life-giving. Not only did the Lord speak some much needed truths to my heart, but the rest of the day I felt at peace and had energy for my tasks. Perhaps the best thing of all was that I gained some incredible clarity on some important career decisions that I am making. 

As Alex and I head into a season of decisions, waiting, and ultimately changes, we will need wisdom and clarity that only the Lord can give. Last week it became clear to me that being still, even for a few moments, is absolutely vital to my walk with the Lord and discerning wisdom. 


Those are my only two goals for this season. It's a lot less goals that perhaps I'm used to but they're two really important things. I'm looking forward to having these guide my spring yet not feel overwhelmed with a long list of self imposed goals. 

What are your goals for this month/season? I would love to hear! Are you good about meditating/being still in your quiet time? If you have tips I would love to hear them!

{Joining Sweet Little Ones Blog for Tuesday Talk!}
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Winter Goals- A Recap

recapping winter goals

Back in January, I posted about my goals for winter. Now that I'm out of school, I've found that sometimes I feel lost without any papers to write or deadlines to meet and setting some goals for myself has really given structure to my days off (a good thing!). That being said, I'm a person who NEEDS to accomplish their goals, even if it leads me to feeling burnt out. My goals this winter left me feeling a little stretched thin, so I think my goals for spring are going to look a little different (stay tuned for a post next week). I think goals are a great thing but can be detrimental if you put too much pressure on yourself (like I do). So here's to a little bit more relaxed spring! Without further ado, this is how I did this past winter. 

Increase blog posting frequency to 3+ times per week. 
I did pretty good with this up until the past couple of weeks. I switched to night shift in March and I've had a hard time keeping up with life/blogging while adjusting to an off schedule. If you've wondered why I've been off the grid lately- that's why. I also felt like shooting for 3+ posts a week kind of burned me out on blogging a little bit. That's a feeling I don't like, so I'll probably go back to posting around 2-3 times a week. Major props to all you daily bloggers! 

Consistently run 3 times a week
This was probably my most successful goal (see below). I'm actually running my first ever half marathon in just a little over a week and as excited as I am to run it, I'm also really excited to get it over with. I've been really consistent with my running, doing a training plan that only has me running 3 times a week and cross training two days a week (for me that means once a week because I'm terrible about working out on days I'm at the hospital). Being on a strict training plan for 4ish months has burned me out a little bit though because some days I wish I could just run 4 or 6 miles or whatever distance I feel like instead of having to do a tempo run this day and a 12 mile run on this day. I'm looking forward to just being more relaxed about my running in a couple weeks. 

winter run in colorado
Invite at least 5 couples over for dinner. 
To be honest, I didn't count the number of couples we had over for dinner. It was probably something like 3-4 couples but the number doesn't matter to me. The main thing is that we opened our doors, and have had a great time with family and friends coming over. I am consistently praying for the Lord to show Alex and I more ways to be generous with our time and money. It's been fun to see the ideas and opportunities He has given us.

Finish 5 pages of my wedding scrapbook
I think I have a mental block against this. This Instagram post basically sums up how I did with this goal. I will say though with all my extra blogging and running I sort of felt like I didn't have time to work on a scrapbook. I've also realized that it's not something I particularly enjoy, and with the abundance of Shutterfly gift cards I have, I'm debating going that route. 

Complete a weekly challenge outlined in "Power Thoughts" by Joyce Myer
This goal went great for about a month! I happened to have a Sunday/Monday off consistently and would read my chapter for the week and put sticky notes of related Bible verses all over my house. It was a great practice that stopped when I started working Sundays and Mondays (which is no excuse, I know). I hope I can pick it up again because it was really making a difference in my spiritual life. 

chat over coffee

Memorize at least one scripture verse a week.
This was also a goal I was great with for awhile but have been inconsistent with for the last month. Like reading the book, I need to pick it up because it was making such a difference in my spiritual life! 

Get involved in one way at church. 
We've been wanting to do this for awhile, and this season it happened! We connected with the director of our kids' ministry, attended an orientation, and I taught my first class (Alex was sick that day). It was a great experience and I am so thankful to be more connected to my church. 

How did you do with your goals this month/season? I would love to hear about it! Do goals ever leave you feeling burnt out? 

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Project 12: March

Project 12 posts have become some of my favorite to write and read. It's a really fun way to recap the month and I look forward to looking at all of them at the end of the year! I don't know about you guys, but March flew by! I had just gotten used to writing "3" on date stickers at work when before I knew it it was April Fool's Day and I had NOTHING planned. March was a fun month and I'm thankful for all we were able to do. For the record, this was the first month that we took a picture on the first day of the month. Enjoy a walk through our March. 


1. We finally went out and did what I had given Alex for Christmas. A date to this local comedy theater. They put on stand-up comedy much like "Who's Line is it Anyway". It was super fun to be part of a smaller audience because they used suggestions that we would shout out. It was affordable, entertaining, and we will definitely be going back. 

2. Five Guys. This is probably one of the two best local places for hamburgers and we got to enjoy a little bit of the deliciousness this month.


1. One should not eat a large fatty Chik-Fil-A meal after fasting for 12 hours. I worked Monday night and had to fast from 4AM until my doctors appointment at 2PM. I got home from work, went to bed without breakfast, and drove an hour to my appointment. Nothing sounded better than Chik-Fil-A after 12 hours of not eating. I indulged in my regular sandwich + fries but decided to add on a milkshake since I had fasted. Three hours later I was running sprints and almost threw up on the sidewalk in front of some high schoolers. I think my body got confused as to why I was feeding it in the middle of the night, then not feeding it at all, then feeding it a ton of fatty food, and then sprinting. Needless to say, I haven't had Chik-Fil-A since.

2. That David's Bridal can't ship to a different store than the one you purchased the dress in. While we were on spring break in San Diego I got the dress I needed for a wedding in September. Unfortunately they said they couldn't ship it to Colorado, but thankfully offered to send it to my house at no cost. Just an FYI for all you bridesmaids out there.

3. Blog life becomes a lot harder when I'm on night shift. I haven't done a rotation of night shift since I got more consistent about blogging, and it's taken me a little bit by surprise this time. My days and weeks are all messed up and before I know it and I have no posts planned. If you're wondering why I'm a little quieter these days, blame it on the fact that I'm kind of a vampire. 



You guys. I actually read some books this month! Mostly because I was on vacation and had 40 hours of driving time (round trip) to devour some pages! 

"Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker. I had been on the wait list for this book for months at the library and finally got it! I loved this book, but I'll be honest- I had a hard time getting into it because the first few chapters are uncomfortable. They're uncomfortable to read because they are so true. The second half of the book was wonderful and inspiring as she gave tangible examples of how to live out Christianity in a radical way. This book only reinforced our yearly goal of being generous, and I'm continually praying for the Lord to present us with opportunities. I highly recommend this book to everyone- just know that you need to stick with it through the first several chapters. 

"Stroke of Insight" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. This was a book that was recommended to me by a friend at work. It is about a neuroscientist that had a massive hemorrhagic stroke in her left hemisphere. It's something that probably should have killed her, but thanks to her extensive understanding of the brain, she was able to orchestrate her own rescue and fully recover in 8 years. Though it's not written from a Christian perspective and she mentioned nirvana one too many times, it was absolutely fascinating to read her account of the morning of her stroke and how she responded to different nurses and caregivers depending on how they treated her. As a nurse who deals with patients following strokes and traumatic brain injuries, her insights have become invaluable to me in my job. She also gave a lot of perspective into the fact that we can get stuck in our own negative loops of thinking and it takes practice and perseverance to change these loops but they can be changed. If you can get past her nirvana talk, this was a fascinating book. 

"One Day at a Time" by David Sloan. Alex works part time for a home healthcare company, and has recently begun taking care of a man that has debilitating multiple sclerosis. This book is his autobiography that talks about the quick progression of his disease and how he has managed to stay hopeful throughout it all. It was a really inspiring read and cool to get to know the man that Alex has been working with a little better. 


Divergent. Alex had told me that I wouldn't like this movie very much so I hadn't ever seen it. After watching The Giver and enjoying it, Alex decided that I might like Divergent so we watched it one night. I totally enjoyed it- in my opinion it was the more interesting version of The Giver and I'm excited to see the new one that came out recently! 


1. Alex came down with the sniffles one night and woke up with a full blown cold the next day. I guess he must have been feeling generous because when I woke up with a sore throat the following morning, I knew it was game over. We both spent the next couple of days pounding vitamin C, water, soup, and we bought our first humidifier. Next time Alex is sick I think I might sleep on the couch because he clearly has the superior immune system. 

2. Spring Break! We had planned to go on vacation with my family a couple of months ago because Alex's, my brother's, and my mom's spring breaks all happened to land up being the same week. My Dad and I took time off from work and we headed out as a family. My family, being the planning family that they are, decided that San Diego would be our destination about a week before we left. We had a blast, and I hope to write recap post soon! 


Miles run: 67

Miles driven: 2,268 (to San Diego and back)

New recipes tried: 1. These oven-roasted fajitas were super flavorful and will probably land up on our menu again. 

In N Out burgers eaten: 5. This number would have been closer to 7 if it weren't for my Dad who doesn't seem to understand why daily In N Out visits are important. If I ever move to a place that has an In N Out close by, I'm going to need an accountability partner and a rehab program to help overcome my addiction. 

How was your March? What exciting things did you do? 

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