Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Need A Home Ec Class

The housewife in me is filled with *shame* as I type these words.

Your eyes are not playing a trick on you. That is my husband sewing a button back onto his pants. Why, you might ask? Because I don't know how to sew. Not even a silly button.

I think I'm missing that gene. The crafty, skilled with your hands, woman can make anything gene. My mom has it. Lord knows my Mema had it. My sister is even pretty good with domestic affairs such as sewing - but not me.

I think it's time I enrolled myself into a Home Ec class. Maybe a "Domestic For Dummies" tutorial of some sort might do the trick.

I watched last night as Steven skillfully sewed a button back onto his pants and my womanhood cracked just a tiny bit. Even Bauer wondered what was going on! I swear he shot me a look that said, "This is woman's work mom!"

To make matters worse, Steven kindly offered to iron my dress pants after finishing up with his pants. He wasn't being a jerk. He simply offered to iron my pants because he knows how much I hate ironing and he was willing to do this chore for me.

Needless to say I went to bed feeling like a fraud. I'm a wife, and I own a house. But I'm nowhere near the housewife my Mema trained me to be.

I woke this morning with the urge to bake a pie or crochet a blanket. I'm pretty sure I dreamed about becoming a domestic goddess last night......

PS - Those aren't Steven's glasses. They are mine - he was just trying to thread the needle and needed a little help.  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So I've Been Thinking....

If I have some important news that I want to share, I like to start the conversation with, "So - I've been thinking." This statement is an indication that what I am about to say is of the utmost importance and I expect hubby to drop whatever he is doing and listen intently. I don't like to just come out and say what's on my mind. I make my intro statement, pause and wait for hubby's full attention.

Unfortunately, the phrase, "So - I've been thinking" is generally met with an immediate, "Here we go again." I swear Steven eagerly waits for me to announce my latest revelation just so that he can mock me.

It really is quite annoying. I don't understand why he won't take me seriously. For example......

Me: So I've been thinking.
Steven: Here we go again - what have you been thinking?
Me: I want to live in a place with mountains in the background. Not actually in the mountains - just where I can turn around and see the mountains. You know, like how you see snapshots of all those college stadiums with mountains as a backdrop. Let's sell the house and move some place like that.
Steven: You realize that you are physically, deathly afraid of the mountains right?
Me: Yes - I *hate* being in the mountains. But I like to look at them - they are pretty.
Steven: Do you think that if you lived that close to the mountains there is a really good chance you will have to go into the mountains often?
Me: I just said we should consider it....

Me: So I've been thinking.
Steven: Here we go again.....
Me: I think I know what I want to do with my life!
Steven: What's that? (With an 'I can't wait for this grin on his face)
Me: I want to make designer, orthopedic shoes for women with knee/foot problems. You know, shoes that are fabulously trendy but supportive. I could make a fortune!
Steven: How do you know those don't already exist?
Me: Because I went to Southpark Mall and couldn't find anything like it!
Steven: Well honey shoes exist in places other than Southpark Mall. Have you googled designer orthopedic shoes?
Me: No.
Steven: Okay. Well do you know how to design shoes.
Me: Of course I don't! I'll pay someone to design them for me.
Steven: Where will you sell them?
Me: the mall??
Steven: Where will you get the start-up money?
Me: I don't know.
Steven: Haven't thought this one through have you?
Me: You're always brining me down.....

Conversations such as the above are a weekly occurrence. Obviously I am talking about life changing important issues and hubby should get on my page!

Perhaps if I spent my energy thinking about more practical things such as meal planning, scheduling workouts and chores I might be much more productive and the hubby might take me a little more seriously.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

True Life: I'm Bipolar

One thing has become blaring apparent to me over the past three weeks. I am bipolar.

For some of my closest friends, this comes as no surprise.

But I have been quite surprised to discover that I have two distinct personalities.

Allow me to introduce Skinny Amber. She's a no excuses, eat well and train hard kind of girl. She likes to try new Zone/Paleo recipes and keeps a fridge stocked full of fresh fruits, vegetables & lean proteins. She thrives off the endorphine high she gets from an early morning workout and has no problem rising at 5:00 am every morning to hit the gym before work. She lives for calloused hands and sore muscles. She can stare a Snickers bar straight in the face without blinking. She's got conviction. She's got guts. She's a size 4 with six pack abs and a smokin' hot booty.

Fat Amber is a different story. She's a sit on your butt wearing sweatpants while stuffing your face with double stuffed oreos kind of girl. Her favorite foods include salt-n-vinegar chips, Snickers candy bars, McDonald's Big Macs and peanut butter fudge milkshakes. Her idea of a good workout is a leisurely stroll through Target while sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Her favorite past time is sleeping and she will stay in the bed until the latest second possible every morning in order to avoid starting her workday. She is lazy. She is a whiner. She's 300 pounds with bad skin and cankles.

Every morning there is an epic battle between Skinny Amber & Fat Amber. The alarm clock goes off at 5:00 am jolting me from a deep sleep, and suddenly I hear two distinct voices in my head begging me to make a decision:

Skinny Amber: (In a confident, optimistic voice that sounds something like Monica from Friends) Good morning! Get up girl! It's a new day. It's time to meet our goals. Time to rehab that knee. Time to better yourself. Let's do this!
Fat Amber: (In a deep, dreary voice that sounds something like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh) Don't do this to me! It's too early! Unplug that God awful contraption and let's go back to sleep. Rehab is for losers!
Skinny Amber: Don't listen to her. She's fat and sad. She wants you to be just like her. You need to get out of bed. You need to start your day right. Do this for your health. Do this for yourself. Do this for your skinny jeans!
Fat Amber: Why do you allow her hang out with us?? She's obnoxious! Being skinny is overrated! And who honestly cares about their health these days? Go back to sleep and I'll treat you to a sausage biscuit on the way to work. Now that's a way to start your day!
Skinny Amber: Allow me to hang out with you? Listen here fatty - if it weren't for me there would be no going to work each day. Amber would be so big that it would take a crane and crew of six men to get her out of the bed if you got your way! Amber...for the love of all things holy....Get.Out.Of.The.Bed!
Fat Amber: Oh no she didn't! Are you going to let her talk to us this way? What's the point of being skinny if you're too exhausted to enjoy it? Skinny people are angry people. You need to give Skinny Amber a cheeseburger.
Skinny Amber: Okay - I really didn't want to have to do this. But I can see that you aren't getting out of this bed. So here it's the truth. And I only say this because I care about you.
Fat Amber: This should be interesting. She "cares" about you. I care about sleep!
Skinny Amber: Your husband looks better than you do naked!!!

And just like that.....I'm up! I can't believe Skinny Amber dropped a truth bomb like that at 5 in the morning. Fat Amber's got a point. Skinny Amber really can be such a........

Monday, October 10, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} I survived my first close at the new job by myself. For those of you who don't know - I'm an accountant for an international company headquartered in Charlotte. And month end close is always a very busy time of the month for me. Last month was my first time closing my portion of the books by myself. It wasn't pretty - but I survived. :)

{two} I'm on my second cup of coffee already this morning. I feel utterly exhausted this morning. I'm not quite sure why. I have glaring bags under my eyes and my skin just look sullen. Am I possibly catching an early case of the winter blues? Maybe I need a power nap.

{three} I really want to see Footloose this weekend. Does that make me a total teeny bopper? Footloose was one of my favorite 80's movies and I'm so *pumped* that they have remade it with a modern day spin. I may be planning a girl's night to see this one....

{four} I'm so ready for the holidays. I think I'm mainly just excited to have a few days off from work. This year has been pretty tough on me. Three different jobs in one year is a little overwhelming. I haven't had a day off since June and I'm kind of beat. A tiny part of me wishes Steven and I could just lock ourselves away for the holidays and not go anywhere or see anyone. Just light a fire and curl up watching holiday movies for an entire week with nothing to do and nowhere to go. But I know that's never going to happen. Maybe one of these years we will sneak away to Jamaica for the holidays. We keep saying that we are going to do it before we have kids - but it hasn't happened yet!

{five} I've mentioned this a few times on Twitter - but seriously, what's all this buzz about Pinterest? I have received multiple invitations, but haven't joined yet. I'm not sure if I have time for another social media distraction in my life. But apparently it's all the rage!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gospel Of Blogging - According To Amber

Can I start today's post by saying - HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Whew...I feel like I've been waiting on this day all week. I'm very much looking forward to relaxing and watching football this weekend. I also have plans (fingers crossed) to clean my mess of a house - but we shall see how much success I have.

As promised, I thought I would share a few more tips that I have found useful in my experience as a blogger. Again, these are my personal opinions and I am sure many bloggers would disagree - this isn't the Gospel of Blogging - just the Gospel of Blogging According to Amber.

Choose pictures carefully.
I think this is a sensitive subject. Some bloggers post 10+ pictures a day. Other bloggers rarely post pictures at all. I try to land somewhere in the middle. If I am writing a post about a particular event, I will include a few pictures of the event. If I am writing a post about a product that I love, I will include a picture of the product and possibly a link to the product. However, there are many days that I do not include pictures at all. It's important to keep your readers engaged visually and to keep your blog appealing to the eye - so fun pictures & cute artwork are definitely a positive. I believe it's better to use your own pictures rather than "borrowed" pictures from other sites. When I stumble across a blog that is 80% motivational pictures from WeHeartIt or nothing but fashion shots from Vogue, Elle, etc., I move on. I need more content than that. Like I said yesterday, most people want to see your real life - not what you wish your life was.

Shake things up a bit.
Try to write varied posts each week. Product reviews are great. Sharing recipes - awesome. Tips on budgeting and couponing are extremely helpful. Hysterical stories about mishaps as a newlywed, new mommy or career woman are always a plus. But writing about the same thing every day can make you and your blog somewhat predictable and people may be less likely to visit you every day. There are a few blogs that I love for fashion do's & don'ts, recipes & budgeting tips. But I only visit them when I want advice on fashion, food & budgeting - because I know that is all that I will find.

Take advantage of social media.
Twitter people! Twitter - Twitter - Twitter! Many women who blog - also tweet. And we tweet to each other - all day long. :) Developing those friendships outside of the blogland creates a true interest in your life among your readers. Sharing links to your blog on Twitter and Facebook is also a great way to draw new people to your blog. I've also found that many bloggers will actually share a link to your blog on their Twitter page - which draws their own followers to your blog. I'm telling you - if you want to get the word about your little old blog - then tweet it.

Be a considerate member of the blogging community.
This is a pet peeve of mine. If you want others to read and comment on your blog - then do the same. I know that life gets busy - hello I took a 6 month sabbatical! But make time to keep up with other bloggers. If you see that new readers are visiting your blog and leaving comments, be courteous and do the same to them. I am not saying that you have to visit every single person who comes to your blog. That's not possible. I'm also not saying that have to follow everyone who follows your blog. I'm just saying that if you see a blogger visiting your site time after time and genuinely enjoying what you have to say - then at least make the effort to do the same. If you visit their blog and truly don't like what you see - no harm no foul. You certainly don't have to love everyone - but you can at least try.

Live your life.
This is probably the biggest struggle I have as a blogger. Balance. I swear to you I could spend hours a day blogging. I could visit 100+ blogs a day and leave comments. And when I do spend a great deal of time visiting other blogs and commenting on other blogs - that is when I see the most traffic to my blog. It's like a drug. I love sharing with other bloggers and I want them to share with me. But I work full time. I have a husband who would like to eat dinner with me every night. I go to church and help out with our youth group. It's difficult to devote hours upon hours to blogging. This is the main reason that I took a 6 month break recently - I just became too wrapped up in blogging. I felt guilty if I couldn't comment on every one's blog. I felt bad if I didn't respond to the 50+ emails I got a day. So I just quit blogging completely. That obviously wasn't the answer. The answer is balance. If you need to take a day or two off to focus on things at home or work - do it. You will be missed. If you can't respond to every email or visit all your favorite blogs each day - it's okay. Catch up when you can. Most active bloggers share the same time restrictions that you have and they will understand. Like I said - it's all about being a considerate member of this community.

Okay - I think I have shared enough for now. I hope this helps to all of you who are trying to get your blog up and running. Thanks for following along with me. And if you're thinking about joining Twitter - feel free to find me HERE.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Write About What You Know

During my blogging vacation which may or may not have been induced by a quarter life crisis, I received many emails from new readers and new bloggers asking for tips and suggestions regarding creating a successful blog. First I would like to apologize for not responding to many of you. I really do believe in sharing insights and helping other bloggers and it was incredibly rude of me not to return emails to those of you who asked for my help. With that being said, I figured it might be time to do my first ever post about creating a successful blog.

I have seen countless posts regarding the do's and don'ts of blogging. Everyone has their own opinions and the truth is - you ultimately have to find what works for you and your audience. But if there is one thing that I have learned to be of the absolute highest importance it would be this.....

Write about what you know.

When I first started blogging I wanted to be this super chic, fabulous, classy blogger. I wanted to write about fashion, grand adventures and ultra hot topics. In essence, I wanted to be a modern day Carrie Bradshaw. I wrote for posts for months and months with very little success and gained very few followers. I was so frustrated until I realized something very important. My knowledge of fashion is limited. Although I love to travel, my time and budget restrictions don't exactly allow for the grand adventures I want to write about. Most importantly - I am nothing like Carrie Bradshaw!

So I began writing posts about what I know. Essentially, I began blogging about my life as a newlywed. I wrote about my adventures learning to cook and taking care of my mischievous puppies. I wrote about my struggles with my weight and trying to development a positive body image. I wrote about the every day moments of my life: funny, sad, exciting, boring - all of it. And it worked. Suddenly people were commenting on my stories. People wanted to hear more and they began to follow.

The truth is - people can tell when you are being fake. Most bloggers are bombarded with fake every day - fake TV, fake celebrities, fake hair, fake friends, fake romance. Fake. Fake. Fake. People want to read real, true writing.

There is *nothing* more annoying to me than a blogger who always writes about rainbows and sunshine. The last thing I want to do is read a blog where everything is perfect every single day. If you have time to make the bed every morning, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and keep a perfectly clean house all while looking fabulous, getting in a workout every day and having sex 5+ times a week with your smoking hot husband who brings you flowers every night - then I really don't like you. Chances are you are lying, and if you aren't lying then you are rude for making the rest of us real people feel bad about ourselves.

My life is messy. Being married is work. Creating a successful career is stressful. Balancing friendships and relationships can be complicated. Dinners get burned, pantyhose get torn and sometimes you fall down and bust your butt in front of everyone in your office. Such is life.

So my suggestion to those of you who are creating a blog or trying to revamp your blog is really quite simple. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" Take a long hard look at your life and determine what you should write about it. If you truly are a fashionista who knows all things trendy and fabulous - then write about fabulous trends. If you are a young mother struggling through dirty diapers and sleepless nights, write about the joys of your experience as a new mom. If you are in college dating tons of guys and living it up - write about those crazy nights on the road to becoming an adult. Whatever stage of life you are in - write about it. Write the good, the bad and the ugly.

Because people can identify with truth. If you can get readers to relate to you, then you will get them to come back time and time again. You will be surprised at the true friendships you will develop with bloggers across the world as you share real pieces of yourself with this community. It really is easy.....just be yourself!

Tomorrow I will share a few more obvious, cosmetic tips that I have found useful for those of you who have asked specifics. But I really do believe the key to any successful blog is finding your voice and personality as a writer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fight Gone Bad

So even though I am a useless Crossfitter these days (thanks a lot stupid knee) - my husband is still going strong. This past weekend, Steven along with 16,000 Crossfit athletes across the country participated in the annual Fight Gone Bad competition to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. Over $1M was raised for the foundation.

Although I was bummed not to be able to participate, it was such a blast watching Steven and many members of Crossfit Charlotte kill it for such a good cause.

There is something super hot about watching a man sweat......

Warmed up and ready to go.

Great form on the push press.

Elbows high for the Sumo Deadlift Highpull.

Steven and I have finally convinced one of our closest friends Jim to join Crossfit and after just one week of WODs - Jim participated in Fight Gone Bad and killed it!  Great job buddy!

Jim laid out after giving it his all - and me enjoying a pumpkin spice beer.  Something wrong with this picture??  :)

Congrats to all the Crossfit athletes who competed and raised money for this amazing charity.  Just another one of the many reasons that being a Crossfitter is about so much more than just throwing down at the box each day.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To Baby Or Not To Baby

Is it just me, or is everybody pregnant these days? Maybe it's just my neck of the woods - all my friends and family. But I kid you not, I counted and fifteen of my friends and family are pregnant. I'm not talking about people that I sort of know. I'm talking about people I actually keep in touch with and know personally. I feel as though every time I turn around another friend is announcing her pregnancy.

And with my recent "comeback" I have been shocked at the number of tweets & emails I have received inquiring if I was pregnant.  Apparently many of you thought I took a little vacay from blogging due to an unannounced pregnancy.  Well I hate to disappoint you ladies - but this is not the case!

Steven and I have been married for over three years now. We were the first of all of our friends to get married. When we were engaged my girlfriends joked with my that I would start "popping out babies" immediately. I swore to all of them that I might have been the first to get married - but I would be one of the last to get pregnant. Turns out that is true. Most of my friends who are pregnant got married after me and they have beat me to it.

As you can imagine, this has lead my over analytical, type A, freak-out-about-everything self right into a tail spin. Over the past two months figuring out every detail of my soon-to-be pregnancy was of utmost important. I found myself googling words like Egg White Cervical Mucus & figuring out what an OPK was. I determined what month I want the baby to be born and calculated what month that meant I should conceive. And then came the horribly troubling thoughts - what if we have difficulty conceiving? What if my biological clock really is ticking and I wait too long and miss my opportunity to have a baby? What if I've waited too long and I am no longer able to get pregnant.

Why did I torture myself with all this panic & worry? I have no idea!

Before I found out everyone else was getting pregnant I didn't feel any deep urge to get pregnant. Of course I want a family someday, and I've known for about a year now that "someday" is quickly approaching - but I haven't been quite ready to start trying.

But suddenly I saw babies everywhere, and I wanted a baby.

A few weeks ago after discovering another pregnancy via Facebook I burst into the living room and screamed at Steven, "OMG. SoandSo is pregnant!! EVERYONE is pregnant but me!" Steven calmly replied, "Sweetie - do you really want a baby? Is that what you are ready for? Cause if so we can have a baby." I was on the verge of tears when I replied, "I don't think so. But you know me - I just don't want to be left out." To which Steven immediately burst into hysterical laughter and said, "There she is - my crazy wife!"

Which of course - I am crazy - but that's another topic entirely.

So I've decided to put the baby topic to rest for a few months. With recent job changes and other unnamed events, it seems like we could use a few more months to catch our breath and get a few things in order. I'm not saying this means we are going to start trying soon or that we are putting baby making on hold. I'm just taking a moment to realize that starting a family shouldn't be this stressful.

I'm so blessed to have the life that I do. I have loved being a newlywed with my husband. I really cherish the years we have had together - just the two of us. I hear so many women in their 40's with kids who say they wish they had waited a few more years and really enjoyed time alone with their husbands before starting a family. I don't want to look back on life and feel like I rushed into anything.

So for the time being, I'm focusing on loving my husband. Enjoying these moments because I am starting to realize that at some point in the near future we won't have the freedom and flexibility that we have now. I'm telling the control freak in my head to take it easy and allowing the carefree Amber (yes - she does exist - even if she rarely makes an appearance) to drive for a little while.

And until I have a baby of my own, I can always love on these cuties.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Finally Here!!!!

I cannot begin to tell you how long I have waited for this day. The past two months of boring, weekday summer nights have lead me to this day. This night. The night that Prime Time television premiers the Fall TV Lineup!!!!

Can you hear the choir of angels? Can I get an Amen or Hallelujah?

I'm kind of ashamed to admit this - but I spent my lunch break last Thursday mapping out our evening TV schedule. We recently switched from DirectTv to Time Warner Cable which means that we lost all the programming on our DVR and it will need to be reset. So I spent an hour visiting NBC, ABC, Fox & CBS online to see what their fall line-up looked like and mapped out our DVR schedule. Don't judge me......

I'm not going to tell you all the shows I will be watching, because it would be a little embarrassing. But I figure, I wake up at 5:00 a.m. every morning and get my workout in before work. I work from 8-5 and have an hour long commute home. If I want to relax in front of the TV Monday-Thursday evening for a couple hours, that's my perrogative. Plus you know me, Little Miss Frugal loves some free entertainment!

I will however share a few of my favorites and a few new shows that I have high hopes for:

Grey's Anatomy

Hands down all time favorite show. I can't believe Meredith gets fired - I'm sure that won't last long because what would the hospital drama be without Meredith??

Please, please, please can they just get together??? Will Beckett remember that Castle said the L word??
Modern Family
ABC Comedy Wednesday is my favorite night of the week largely in part to this fabulous show! Congrats on all the Emmy wins last night!

Criminal Minds

JJ is back! :)

I'm also adding a few new shows to the mix:

New Girl
I love Zooey Deschanel and this new show looks hilarious.

Have you seen the promo where she says, "I don't get why guys have to wear jerseys while watching a football game. It's not like they are on the team. That would be like me dressing up as a hooker to watch SVU." Bahahaha.....

Is anyone else as excited about their shows coming back on as I am? Feel free to share your favorite shows!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Love It When My Passions Collide

So as many of my long term readers know - I'm what you might call frugal. Some might even say a penny pincher. My husband likes to call it plain cheap. Whatever way you spin it - I love saving money!

When Steven and I decided to start following Zone, I immediately thought of the cost of eating healthy. I worried that we would not be able to stay within our allotted monthly budget for groceries if our entire diet consisted of lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and dairy products. I had a preconceived notion that eating healthy was expensive.

I'm glad to say - I've been pleasantly surprised to find out that notion was wrong!

It has been rather easy to find cost effective healthy lunch and dinner options; however, I found myself spending majority of our grocery budget on balanced snacks.

I love Greek yogurt. It's packed with protein and offers a conservative amount of carbs. One cup around 3pm each afternoon is enough to hold me over until dinner every night. I'm especially in love with the Key Lime flavor. I swear, if I close my eyes, it's almost as if I'm eating real key lime pie. And who doesn't like to snack on key lime pie??

One tiny problem with Greek yogurt is it can be quite expensive. The average single yogurt pack runs about $1.25. Add that up over a week and you've spent $6.25 just on afternoon snacks!

Thankfully my mother turned me onto couponing. Our local grocer, Harris Teeter, doubles coupons up to $.99. About every six weeks they will triple coupons up to $.99. So I save my Greek yogurt coupons until a special comes along and when it does - I stock up on healthy snacks at a steal.

Harris Teeter is running the triple coupon special this week and they have Yoplait Greek yogurt on sale 10/$10. I had 5 coupons of "Buy 2 Get $.50 Off". I purchased 10 yogurts for $10 on the VIC special. I had 5 coupons for $.50 off which was a total of $2.50 in savings. Triple that savings and I save $7.50 in coupons! I purchased $12.50 worth of yogurt for $2.50!!! I paid $.25 a piece when the yogurt was normally $1.25 each!!!

Call me crazy - but knowing that I saved 80% makes this key lime yogurt cup taste that much better!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Back!

It's official ladies - after many not so subtle hints from many of my followers, friends and even my husband - I've decided to come back to blogging.

For the first time in a long time I'm started to feel like myself again - and let me tell you, it's a good feeling. Now that my schedule has slowed down slightly and I've been able to catch my breath, I have the itch to get back to blogging!

I've experienced a bit of a whirlwind the past six months though. I'll spare you the drama and give you the high lights:

-Knee injury has completely derailed Crossfit efforts. After 5 months of a vicious cycle of rehab for a week then working out for a week, I've finally committed to staying off my knee and rehabbing it properly. I'm two weeks in and not seeing much improvement - but I trust that within another 4-6 weeks I will see signs of improvement and be able to return to Crossfit.

- Remember that big girl job that I was so excited about in April? Turned out to be a BIG fail. Out of respect for my friends who still work there, I won't go into any particular details. Simply put - it was not for me. After four months, I made the difficult decision to explore other career opportunities and the Lord quickly blessed me with a new path.

-I've been at my new job three weeks now and already I feel a huge weight has been lifted. The schedule is much more reasonable and I truly see opportunity for long term growth and happiness. Thank-you Lord!

-I'm finally a blonde again!!!! After 8 long and difficult months, my hair has regained it's sparkle. Although, not without a lot of damage. Lesson learned - I will never go dark again - ever.

That about sums it up. Thank-you SO much to all of you who have checked in on me over the past six months. It makes me feel so great to know that my absence has not gone unnoticed and that there are people out there (even if you are technically strangers!) who care for me and my while being.

I'm done with the pouting and poor me stories. I can't wait to jump back on the wagon and see what everyone has been up to!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's About So Much More Than These Current Struggles

I’ve stared at this blank computer screen for weeks now planning my blogger comeback.

I’ve searched for witty quips, inspirational stories or heartfelt words that could somehow explain my absence over the past four months.

There has to be some grand explanation for why I have been silent for so long.

But the truth is, there really is none.

Arguments could be made that I am going through a legitimate quarter life crisis. Or I could point to the 55+ hour work weeks coupled with a 45 minute commute and multiple weekends worked over the past four months. There’s also the fact that I’m still struggling through a knee injury. Or maybe I’ve felt too guilty to blog – my house is a mess, I’m gaining weight again and I have felt like an utter failure as a wife for the past four months – so why should I spend time blogging when I obviously have so many issues that need to be addressed?

The last time I blogged I referenced some 30 Days To A Better Me. Seriously? What was I thinking? I’m not sure where I got that. Maybe too many articles written by Bethenny Frankel or Dr. Phil? Either way – that challenge was an epic fail.

I’ve learned some seriously difficult lessons over the past eighteen months. And through each of those hardships I have put unnecessary pressure on myself to overcome with perfection.

And I’m flat out tired.

I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and I don’t recognize the woman staring back at me.

Where did these bags under my eyes come from? When is the last time I actually fixed my hair? And what’s with this chipped finger nail polish? Or the fact that I haven’t shaved my legs in days? Why have I felt nauseas for weeks?

But there are signs that are more troubling than the physical. Where has my passion for life gone? Since when do I let fear control me? Why can’t I sleep? Who am I and how do I get the real Amber back?

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I’m not depressed. I’m not on the verge of doing something stupid. I’m just not me. And I don’t know how or when this happened. Somehow I’ve slowly become jaded over the past eighteen months and I’m so tired of it.

And I think therein lies the truth about why I haven’t blogged in so long. I hate admitting weakness. I hate admitting fear or sadness. I want to be bubbly, funny, encouraging & inspirational. I want to write words that bring a smile to someone’s face or a tear to their eye. I do not want to be this.

There’s enough sadness & drama in this world without another blogger going on and on about feelings of insecurity.

But I realize if I am ever going to find myself again, I’ve got to be honest about how I got here. Writing is a passion of mine. It’s an outlet for happiness, truth, pain, fear, serenity & comfort.

And I have to believe that there are other twenty something women going through the same issues – how do I balance career & a family – how do I maintain a positive self-image – how do I foster my faith and witness to my lost friends – how do I manage expectations from my parents, husband and friends?

So there is no plan. I’m removing the pressure. My Type-A personality is begging me to sit down and write a list of 10 Steps To A Better You. But that’s bogus and I know it.

So I’m just going to write. I’m going to share my insecurities and pray that the Lord will bless my honesty. I’m going to share words of encouragement that have moved me over the past eighteen months. I’m going to find the woman that I once was and I’m going to gain an appreciate for the challenges I have been through.

Because ultimately life is not about success, money, accomplishments or ambition. Life is about relationships. It’s about sharing the best and worst of yourself with others and allowing those moments to change you for the better. It’s about having faith that Christ has a purpose for you and actively seeking His will and following as He leads.

It’s about so much more than these current struggles……

Monday, May 23, 2011

30 Days To A Better Me

It’s time to buck up ladies. Not you. Me.

After reading all your positive and uplifting comments on Friday, I felt somewhat ashamed of myself.

Tsunamis, tornados, Bin Laden is dead and Michael Scott left The Office. Real stuff is going on in the world people. And I’m crying about a bum knee.

Shame on me.

Sadly, I am pretty sure I have said those words on the blog before. Shame on me.

Anyone who has read my blog for a while can tell you, I may have a tendency to be a little self-involved. Perhaps a tad dramatic.

There’s an increasingly good chance that I may be bi-polar. If someone studied me they might hit the jackpot of all psychotic patients – because I’m serious a *hot Southern mess* over here.

One minute all is well in the world. I’m eating my TCBY on a date night with hubby and feeling immensely blessed and grateful for my life. Two days later I’m sobbing on my couch during the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy telling my husband that Meredith Grey and I both need to get our $#%& together like whoa.

Seriously somebody call Bravo……

It hit me this weekend that it’s time for me to buck up. Yes, the past year has been difficult. No, The 5-Year Plan According to Amber isn’t exactly going according to schedule.

But oh freaking well.

So it’s time to gain control. Control of what, I’m not so sure. My eating habits? My workout schedule? My physical therapy? My disaster of a house? This list could get pretty long…..

I’m taking the challenge. The “30 Days To A Better Me” challenge. No this isn’t a book or some hot internet challenge. It’s just something I’ve come up with to give me a goal over the next 30 days. I’m too much of a control freak and OCD to believe I can just “think happy thoughts” and suddenly this negative cloud will pass me by.

I’ve identified four main areas that I want to work on over the next 30 days. It’s not rocket science….this is pretty basic. But I truly believe if I can spend time each day addressing these four main areas, I will gain some much needed balance and perspective during this next month.

I won’t bore you with the details of my plan – but if it works, I’ll be sure to share.

All I know, is I can’t keep making excuses for myself. I can’t keep waiting for something extravagant to happen that will change my outlook. The truth is, I’m incredibly blessed and far too spoiled and self-absorbed.

That trend has to end.

So begins Day 1 of 30 Days To A Better Me.

Oh and I’m not stupid. I don’t expect to be a completely changed woman at the end of this 30 days with everything I could ever want from life. I do however, believe if I can focus on four small areas and see true growth and development in those areas I will find the strength and discipline I need to make a positive change in my attitude towards all of the challenges I have faced over the past year.

PS. Sorry for the melodrama around these parts lately. I know this may not be the rainbows and butterflies so many of us are accustomed to from our favorite bloggers; however, I’ve got to be real with myself. I need a reality check and blogging all these issues so openly forces me to address these issues head on – and that’s exactly what I need.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Need To Get My $&^% Together

I’m not in a good place right now. For reasons that I can’t go into on the blog, the past year has been full of unexpected curve balls, surprise dramas and difficult decision after difficult decision.

I’ve had enough and I’m being a baby about it. One day in my memoirs I’ll provide full disclosure, but for the time being, I’m just going to be unreasonable and pout.

Notice how I haven’t been blogging? Yes, I am incredibly busy with the new job and don’t have a great deal of time, but if I’m honest that’s not the true reason for my absence.

Truth is – I don’t have anything good to say and I don’t have the energy to fake it.

I feel like I’m experiencing a quarter life crisis. I went full on Bethenney yesterday. (Anyone watch Bethenney Ever After? Bethenney Frankel - love her – but her meltdowns can be a bit much. I refer to these moments in my life as a “Bethenney” moment.)

So back to my Bethenney moment.

I was texting Steven about my issues with my knee. It’s still bothering me. I haven’t worked out in five weeks….that’s right five weeks. I rested the knee completely for two weeks and have now seen a physical therapist for the past three weeks. Per my PT’s orders I have not worn heels in four weeks….that’s right four weeks. I have spent over $300 on treatment for my knee and it’s getting worse……….

Steven and I signed up to run the Charlotte Metrodash with another couple from our gym on June 11th. I seriously doubt I will be able to compete. Steven keeps telling me to go see a doctor and get a cortisone shot and my knee will feel just fine for the race. He doesn’t seem to get that I actually feel a dull pain in my knee with every step that I take and the thought of running or jumping makes me want to cry.

And yesterday while sitting at my office…..I had enough….and the texting began……

After ten minutes of texting him about my research regarding techniques called scraping or augmented soft tissue mobilization or the possibility of seeing a chiropractor for possible relief the conversation ended with melodramatic tears streaming down my face and the following:

Me 1:30PM: I just don’t know what to do and I’m getting so frustrated.
Steven 1:31PM: Just relax and be patient.
Me 1:33PM: I’ve been $#%& patient for five weeks.
Steven 1:33PM: Ok
Me 1:33PM: I’m going to talk to Dr. Walker tonight and let him know I am not happy with this course of treatment. I’m going to ask him about scraping or other more intensive options that we can do.
Me 1:35PM: It’s getting worse. I know you think I’m exaggerating but I really cannot do anything on it and I have this constant dull pain.
Me 1:37PM: And now my left knee is bothering me and I think it’s because of the $*#!@ flat shoes I am wearing. I have never been able to wear flats. They hurt my feet.
Me 1:39PM : I can’t find flat shoes to fit me. I can’t wear heels. I keep spending money buying new shoes that are super ugly and even those $#@&! shoes hurt my feet which makes my knees hurt more. And I have spent $300 on PT that hasn’t done a #$^@& thing. I’m seriously worried all these flat shoes are making it worse. And I look super ugly walking around in flat shoes with ugly legs in the mean time.
Me 1:40PM : WHY THE #!@&$* AREN”T YOU RESPONDING TO ME?!?!?!?!

Somebody call Bravo…..I need my own reality show. Young, Fabulous & Needs To Be Sedated……

PS.  If someone sees my husband wandering the streets with a sign that says Will Work For New Wife please kindly send him home.  I promise to play nice from now on.....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Allow Me To Introduce....

My new blog design!!!!!

Remember when I posted about wanting new design?? That very same day I entered a giveaway for a blog makeover from Jenn at Munchkin Land Designs and WON!

I’m so thrilled with the results! As you well know, I’m not exactly a creative or tech savvy girl. So when Jenn asked me about my vision for my blog I basically said, “I love pink and I’m thinking Carrie Bradshaw.” I can’t believe that she was able to put this blog design together with so little instruction and direction. It was such a pleasure working with her and I’m just ecstatic about the new look for blog. If only I were this glamorous in real life!

My favorite part might be the header she created or the icons for Twitter/FB/Email.  Feel free to look me up!  :)

So as some of you may have noticed, I tweaked the title of my blog slightly. I started this blog almost two years ago as a way to chronicle my life with Steven and our journey as newlyweds. I never would have imagined at that time that my blog would have grown so greatly and that I would enjoy blogging as much as I do.

Steven and I are approaching our third anniversary (June!) and it’s becoming apparent in more ways than one that we aren’t exactly newlyweds anymore. Our marriage has blossomed and I feel as though we are entering a new phase in our relationship. So I want my blog to reflect this transition. Hence the cute little not so insert. We’re still as in love as ever…just not exactly as bright eyed as we were three years ago.

I hope you all are having a great week! I plan to spend some time catching up on blogs this evening before Grey’s! Can’t wait to read what everyone has been up to.

Be sure to check Jenn out if you feel the need for a little update as well.  I swear she's a blog design genius!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} I spent a couple hours catching up on my favorite blogs this weekend. It felt so good to be back! I seriously hate that I have had literally zero time to read through blog over the past two weeks. Here’s hoping I can correct this soon.

{two} I’m enjoying the new job. It’s slightly overwhelming, I won’t lie. But I truly think that once I get acclimated and have a better understanding of this new position I will really enjoy this job. It could turn out to be a great move for my career – so fingers crossed!

{three} I’m addicted to Twitter. I knew it was going to happen – and it did. Seriously. Check that thing like 20 times a day. Is it sad that I’m actually getting most of my updates on current events and breaking news on Twitter? I mean – I’m purposefully following key politicians and leaders to hear what they have to say –but still, I always learn something new on there!

{four} I won a blog makeover from Jenn @ Munchkin Land Designs and I’m so excited to be working with her. Jenn has been so amazing to work with and she’s a truly talented blog designer. She is really trying to create the vision that I see for my blog and I’m loving her ideas. Can’t wait to show you guys the final product!

{five} My little brother got engaged this weekend. Wow – I feel ancient just typing those words. I was his age when Steven and I got engaged (22) – but still, a part of me will always think he’s a little boy. Can’t believe how quickly he’s growing up.

{six} I hope everyone has an amazing week! I’ll be doing my best to make my rounds and catch up on your blogs. Be patient with me – I’m still trying to adjust to this new work schedule (50+ hours a week) and finish this semester of grad school. Lord please help me survive these next two weeks!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Much For Grey's Anatomy

As some of you (those who follow on Twitter or FB) may already know, hubby had a kidney biopsy and overnight hospital stay on Tuesday. No need to be alarmed, just running some tests to try and determine why his kidneys are currently underperforming. Doctors have told us not to be alarmed so far – and I’m trying very hard to follow that advice!

Unfortunately, with me just starting this new job I’m a little overwhelmed (noticed how I haven’t been blogging lately??) Thankfully, my wonderful MIL volunteered to take Steven to the hospital Tuesday morning and stay with him for the procedure. I went straight to the hospital after work and stayed with him for the night.

I must admit, hospitals aren’t exactly what they seem to be on Grey’s Anatomy. I was so excited as I entered the empty elevator on my way to the 6th floor. My heart skipped a beat every time the elevator cart stopped at a new floor. I was secretly hoping that Presbyterian’s own McDreamy or McSteamy would step into the elevator – sadly no such thing happened. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see a single hot doctor (male or female) the entire time we were there.

I felt a little jilted as I walked down the hallways of the hospital and didn’t see a single nurse or doctor sneaking into an on-call room for a little rendezvous.

I was also incredibly bummed when the nurses didn’t burst into song every time they came to check Steven’s vitals. (Still not so sure how I feel about the recent musical…..)

I didn’t even hear any juicy gossip as I purposefully strolled by the nurse’s station multiple times.

I figured if I was going to pay some huge hospital bill for Steven's procedure, the least the doctors and nurses could do was entertain me.  Apparently the doctors and nurses at Presbyterian Hospital actually do work. Imagine that…. 

And here I’ve been feeling like I missed my calling as a doctor….come to find out they are just as boring as accountants.

Thanks to all those who have offered well wishes & prayers for Steven. He’s doing just fine and we are praying that the results will come back positive early next week. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's A Big Day!

First day of the new job today.  Boy is my stomach in knots!  I was up super early this morning putting on my big girl face for the new corporate job!

Thanks again for all the well wishes.  I'm hoping this week will be the start of great new things in my career.

Here's a picture of me on my first day....almost like kindergarten all over again!

Excuse the camera phone quality.  You get the idea....

Have a wonderful Monday lovelies!  :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Confessional


So it's been a while since I've joined up for Friday Confessional - but I feel I'm feeling a doze of honesty this morning!  (Rissy this is the conffesional I link up with sometimes!)

I confess that I took a drug test this morning and I'm terrified that I might fail.  No....I'm not a drug user. In fact, I've never done drugs in my life.  I'm a little too paranoid for all the jazz.  But still...the anxious control freak in me is terrified that the lab might mix up my test results with someone else and my new company will pull my offer because I failed my drug test.  Yes...I'm the kind of person that worries about these things.  Plus...there were some *sketchy* looking people in the waiting room at the drug test center.  Oh and the name of the center I tested at is STD Testing Center.  (I kid you not!)  Fail.....

I confess that I'm a little emotional about today being my last day at my job.  I've had such a great 13 months here.  I've learned so much and been blessed with amazing mentors.  I've developed some true friendships.  It will be sad not to see these people everyday.  Despite the fact that I am thrilled about this new opportunity, I'm a little sad to walk away from my current employer.  I keep trying to remind myself when one door closes.....

I confess that I'm super nervous about my first day at the new job on Monday.  I've got my outfit picked out, got the quickest route to work mapped out, got my game face on - but still, I've never been great at change.  I have tried to kid myself my entire life that I can "roll with the punches" but the older I get the more comical that little white lie becomes. 

I confess that I do not have a perfect marriage.  GASP!  SHOCK & AWE!!! I know that comes as a surprise to many of you, but it is true, my marriage is not all rainbows and butterflies.  I feel the need to confess this for multiple reasons - mainly, just to be real.  I have had numerous conversations with bloggers lately ranting about those bloggers who just seem *so perfect*.  We all know the kind.  And I'm not judging them.  If anything, I'm jealous of them.  But I just truly wonder how some people can be so flawless.  Literally seems like rainbows and butterflies. 

After careful review of my blog, I realize that I tend to blog about the good stuff in my marriage and not the bad.  To be honest, I'm not a big fan of airing my dirty laundry for the world to see.  Also, there really is significantly more good than bad in my relationship.  Three years in and I'm still madly in love with this man.  He makes me laugh.  Makes me feel protected.  Makes me feel treasured.  I'm so blessed.

However, my marriage has it's imperfections, insecurities, and communication issues.  We don't fight often, but when we do, we bring the good stuff.  We often joke that we could sell tickets to our fights because they are definitely a "main event".  That's just a product of our personalities.  We are both incredibly passionate, emotional, quick tempered people.  We get pissed easily but we forgive even more easily.  It's a blessing and curse all in one. 

So there you have it.  I've been honest.  It may seem like rainbows and butterflies - but I've got my flaws.  I'm somewhat high maintenance and demanding.  I'm slightly neurotic and overbearing.  And I won't even get started on my husband's flaws.  :) :)  We aren't perfect - but we are 100% in love and committed.  That's as good as it can get folks!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time For A New Me

First I want to say (once again) thank you so much for all of the well wishes and congratulations regarding my new job and this exciting time in my life.  I'm becoming more and more excited each day and it's so encouraging to hear all the positive things each of you have had to say.

As you can see, I've got a lot of big changes going on around here.  New job, new wardrobe, new body, a general new outlook on life.

So I'm thinking it may be time for a new blog design.  I've loved my current blog design for the past year.  I got it as a present to myself for my 25th birthday.  I learned so many challenging and difficult lessons during my 25th year.  I would definitely say it was the most difficult year of my life to date.

I'm looking forward to seeing what 26 has to bring.  I feel like I'm getting better with age.  Learning how to appreciate my friends, family and husband.  Learning how to dress for my body, apply makeup and style my hair.  (I'm serious...I've never been fashionable or trendy.  I've made leaps and bounds in my personal style and appearance this year!)  My faith has grown immensely during this past year.  Most importantly, I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin.  I'm proud of the woman I'm becoming.  I'm proud of my accomplishments.  I'm even strangely proud of my failures because without them I wouldn't truly be able to appreciate my triumphs.

With all this personal transformation going on, I just feel like it's time for a blog design that accurately depicts the new me.  The move away from a young twenty something struggling with her identity into a mid twenty something gaining confidence with every passing year.

So that's where you all come in.  I need suggestions for great blog designers.  I'm a complete believer of referral business and I will feel so much better about working with a designer if I know someone who has used her (or if that designer is one of my readers!)  I don't have a ton of money, so please let me know if you are or know of an affordable blog designer that can help me create a blog design for this upcoming year.

Thanks again for all the support.  :) :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Many Reasons I'm Smiling Today

Do you ever just feel happy?  I mean like really happy?  A happiness that you can't quite pinpoint - but are so delighted to feel?  That's how I feel today.  On a random Wednesday I'm bursting with happiness.  It's a good feeling ladies....a good feeling.

I have been pondering the source of this happiness all morning long but can't quite determine where this is coming from.  So I figure I'll just list a couple of the many reasons I'm so joyful today.

The biggest reason would have to be this sexy man - the hubby.  He's just so good to me.  Tells me I'm beautiful when I'm feeling fat.  Reminds me of my talent and intelligence when I'm worried about starting this new job.  Knows exactly when I need a hot fudge sundae.  He's just good.  Like real good.  I'm kind of headsprung on his awesomeness these days.

I'm also pretty pumped about learning to shoulder atlas stones last night.  I got a 94 compact ball of concrete from the ground, to my lap then over my shoulder.  Kind of felt like a beast throwing around heavy balls with the big boys.  :)  Please excuse the fact that I look like a mountain woman in this picture.  I swear - I'm generally more attractive than this....but I was doing serious work!

I've been doing a bit of shopping this past week.  My current job allows me to wear jeans to work everyday so my closet is lacking in the business professional department.  My new job is going to be a more business professional environment so I've been collected a few key pieces this week.  I'm *super* excited about my outfit for my first day on Monday.  It's the pant and vest set from NY&Co above.  I have a lavender ruffled shirt to go under the vest.  Feeling like a big girl.  :)

My girlfriends.  Oh thank the Lord above for these women.  It's so nice to have three or four women in my life who I could call at the drop of a hat for anything.  To have friends who I can say, and I quote, "I need to vent.  I'm going to say horrible, hateful things and I need you to forget I said them when we are done with this conversation.  I need you to still believe I'm a sweet, nice person."  And they always do.  I feel so blessed to have women in my life who I can be 100% real with 100% of the time and know that they will love me despite of all my imperfections.  Love them.

So I guess it should come as no shock to me that I am so happy today.  For as you can see - I have much to be happy about!!!  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here's To New Beginnings

I guess it's time to spill as to why I have been such a sketch ball these days.  Please forgive me for my absence and mysterious explanations but you see, I received some rather shocking news on March 7th.

My boss called a meeting with our corporate staff.  Long and short of the meeting, our company is experiencing downsizing and corporate restructuring as a result of economic performance.  End result - my position was being eliminated effective April 8th.

Four days before my 26th birthday and one day before celebrating my 1 year anniversary with the company, I found out I was losing my job.  Wonderful.

Surprisingly, I didn't cry and I didn't panic.  I went home that evening, told the husband the bad news and promised him I wasn't going to lose my cool over this.  Got in a bubble bath and called the BF.  As I explained my situation to her, I began to feel the anxiety and panic sitting in.  Thankfully, she talked me off my ledge and convinced me that everything would be okay.

And that was the height of my panic.

The past four weeks have been spent meeting with three different recruiters, interviewing with five different companies, working full time to finish my current position and going to grad school.  Not to mention the countless hours of prayer I've spent asking the Lord to reveal Himself to me through this experience.  So as you can see, I've been a little busy.

I remember saying to Steven on March 7th, "God already has this worked out.  He already knows where I need to be.  I just need to get of His way and let Him do His thing."

And those words couldn't have been more true.

I accepted a fabulous offer with a new company last Thursday.  This new position will be a great step in my career.  I will be working as a senior accountant for a publicly traded company that is headquartered in Charlotte.  Such a blessing.  Such an exciting opportunity.  Such a God thing.

I had to cancel four interviews when I accepted this position and I turned down another offer.  Looking back, it's just so apparent how the Lord was working on my behalf through this whole experience.  How when I just truly trusted Him, he answered my prayers.  He didn't just give me a job, He gave me a great job and is already opening doors to new opportunities for my family.

So that's the story.  That's my panic.  Like I said, looking in the rear view mirror, it truly wasn't all that bad.  So amazing how the Lord has turned a bad situation into a huge blessing. 

**And just so you know, this isn't my style.  The "trust the Lord everything is going to be okay" has never been my strong suite.  I'm an anxious, overbearing, worry freak.  When things don't fit nicely into my little plan, I tend to go off the deep end.  I'm not saying that I didn't worry at all during this period, but every time I felt myself begin to panic I just focused my thoughts on prayer and asked for strength and understanding.  And BAM....less than four weeks later the Lord has this all worked out.  I know this was a God thing and not an Amber thing - because, well I'm just not that calm cool and collected!
I'm finishing up my last week at my current job.  It's definitely bittersweet.  I have worked with some amazing people over the past year and I have found valuable mentors in this position. 

But here's to new beginnings.  Here's to what the Lord has in store for us this year. 

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement.  I really appreciate it!  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This Is Why I Love Blogging

Thank-you blogger ladies for restoring my passion for blogging.  Cause as we have all seen - I've been seriously slacking lately.  Again with the personal issues and time constraints - but still, depsite all that, you still encourage and motivate me. 

Thank you to everyone last Friday for your well wishes.  The Lord is putting people in my path who keep reassuring me that "this too shall pass" and I will only be better for it.  He's working through  my control issues with me and I'm learning to rely fully on His grace to sustain me.  (I know...some of you are *shocked* that I have control issues - but yes, it is true.)

And don't get me started on the Twitter craze that exploded on my profile last night.  Hubby may be slightly jealous that in one day I have 60+ followers.  Whoops!  I quickly reminded him of all those times he made fun of me and my "blogger friends".  Who is laughing now?  :)

Yet another sincere thank-you for the friendships, encouragement, and general pleasantness I have found here in Blogger World.  I'm so happy to call it my cyberspace home!

And just in case you needed a pleasant reminder for your Tuesday:

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Bit The Twitter Bullet

I can't believe I am actually typing these words...but yes, I have taken the plunge and joined Twitter.  Well - technically, I joined months ago - but I actually have started Tweeting.

I struggled with my aversion to the social media site for months.  You see, hubby already considers me to be a social media whore addict, so I was a little weary to add yet another site to constantly check, update and obsess over.  I mean after all, blogging can be like a full time job sometimes.  Add keeping up with real life "friends" on Facebook, and I tend to spend a great deal of time on social networks.

But low and behold three weeks ago hubby started Tweeting.  And now he's all about some Twitter.  So I figure why not?  It's only time....I've got *plenty* of that.  Right!??!  :)

I have a feeling I will soon enough regret this decision.......

So for all you Twitter girls out there - feel free to look me up! 
Follow Amber On Twitter

Friday, March 25, 2011

How The Heck Have You Been??

Hello???  Remember me??  Little ole' Amber from NC?  Just in case you don't - allow me to remind you.

Formerly blonde, slightly neurotic, always obsessive, tad bit sensitive, occasionally sarcastic, CrossFit addict.  Ringing any bells???

Just thought I would pop by and let you all know that 1) Yes, I am in fact alive and well.  2) "Well" is a relative term.

Sorry for skipping out the past few (three - yikes!) weeks.  Life (or rather as I believe -the Lord) has seen fit to throw me a curve ball and we are working through it.  No health emergencies or life threatening circumstances....just another obstacle to overcome.

Unfortunately this obstacle is taking up a great deal of my time - hence the no blogging.  I promise - it's not you, it's me.  Don't believe that I'm insanely busy?  Here's proof:

I didn't go to CrossFit for SEVEN days straight!!!!  Gasp...sigh....sobs.....the whole nine......

So anyway, that's my story.

Or lack there of actually.  Not quite ready to blog about this one.  I feel as though once again I'm learning some valuable lessons and I will blog about this season of my life at some point - but just not now.  I'm finding that there is something to be said for the clarity that comes when your looking at your life in the rear view mirror - I just need to focus on getting to the road ahead for now.  Or more appropriately, getting out of the Lord's way and allowing Him to lead me to the road ahead.

So Happy Friday to you all - until next time know that I'm missing the blogging world dearly!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday Wish List

This Friday marks the big 2-6 for me.

Hubby and a few friends have asked me what I want for my birthday and honestly, I've had a hard time coming up with much.  I've really been trying to focus on being content with what I have the past few months.  I'm kind of tired of the "always need something new" mentality.  Tired of saving money for some big splurge or lusting after material things.  I've inventoried my closet and jewelry box and have noted that I have more than enough designer hand bags, shoes & jewels to last me for a while.

I find that today's culture of "bigger and better" can often tempt me to focus on what I do not have instead of focusing on all the many blessings that I have been given.  Mainstream media bombards consumers with hidden advertisements and promises of satisfaction based on material gain - but I'm learning that a new designer bag will not make my bad day better and it will not increase my status in life.

There is a big distinction between wants and needs.  It hasn't killed me to say no to a few of my wants in order to focus on what's truly important in this life.

I read the following verse often a reminder that the goal of this life is not to accumulate many material treasures - it is the live a life of quality and contentment - a life centered upon trusting in Christ to provide for my family.
I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13 
So I won't be making a birthday list this year.  I want to spend time with my friends and family and focus on what I have already been given - the treasures that cannot be wrapped in paper and topped with a pretty bow.

*I just want to be happy with what I have*

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, meditate on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Friday, March 4, 2011

And That's When I Had A Melt Down

I had a difficult day yesterday.

I got into a pretty large, we'll call it, "disagreement" with a friend yesterday.  Out of respect for this friendship, I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say it was the biggest argument I have had with a friend in over years.  I spent a great deal of my morning and lunch break resolving this issue and by 2:00 pm I was *completely* spent.

I was very much looking forward to my evening workout.  I've learned the channel my anxiety and frustrations in my workouts and use them as a means of therapy.  Last night's WOD consisted of double unders & kettle bell swings - I was hoping I would be so physically exhausted by the end of the workout that I wouldn't have the mental capacity to do worry or fret the rest of the evening.

To make a long story short, I hurt my wrist pretty badly two weeks ago doing a move called a "wall climb".  (See HERE for an example.)  I fell and tweaked my right wrist.  Ever since, it will randomly start hurting during a workout.

So of course, last night about half way through my WOD, my wrist started aching.  At first it was subtle and I tried to ignore the pain.  A few rounds later, my wrist was throbbing with every kettle bell swing.  It was impossible to ignore the pain, but I took a quick break and tried to push through it anyway.  I did not want to tap out of that WOD.  So I took another quick break and grabbed the kettle bell - but it was too much.  Each swing felt like my wrist was going to snap under the pressure and I tapped.  I quit - didn't finish - gave up.  Oh the shame......

I grabbed a bag of ice and stewed in my disapointment and anger while I waited for Steven to finish his WOD.  As soon as he was done, I begged him to take me home - icebag in tow.

On the drive home, I felt the frustrations of my day building in my chest.  Replaying the disappointment I had felt earlier in the day.  Throbbing pain in my wrist.  Frustration at tapping out of the WOD.  Stupid icebag that was leaking freezing cold water *all over my lap*.

And that's when I had a melt down.

The sobs started quitely at first.  I felt my bottom lip begin to quiver and I begged the hysteria to go away.  By my efforts were futile and within seconds I was in full on melt down.

Startled to see that I was crying, Steven asked, "Honey what's wrong??  Is it your wrist?  Do we need to go to the hospital??"

To which I replied......

I've....(sob) had.....(gasp) a....bad....(full hysteria) DAY!!!!!  I fought with my friend.  (Tears streaming down my face.)  I tapped out of my WOD.  (Voice rising)  I've broken my stupid wrist.  I'm never going to be able to workout again.  (Sob - gasp - sob) And that's going to make me sad.  (Tears)  And then I'll start eating my feelings again.  (Snot running down my face.)  Which will make me get fat again!!!  (Full on panic!)  AND this damn ice bag is leaking all over ME!!!!!!!!!

I could tell by the frightened look on Steven's face that he knew we had reached defcon 5.  We were quickly approaching a melt down which could rival the scuba incident of 2009.  I could see the wheels turning in his mind as he tried to determine the best way to talk me off the ledge.  (He later confirmed that he was trying to figure out where the closest fast food restaurant was with a good strawberry milk shake.  See even my husband knows I eat my feelings!)

After a minute or two of silence I regained composure.  Steven encouraged me that it was okay to tap during my WOD because I was hurt.  I need to listen to my body and understand when enough is enough.  That doesn't make me weak or less of a CrossFitter - it just means I need a break.

Thank God for a husband who is quick on his feet and can calm a girl down when she's at her worst.  :)

And yes, I fully realize that I may have been slightly melodramatic during this melt down - but during the moment all I could envision was myself thirty pounds heavier, with my wrist in a cast and stuffing my face with salt & vinegar chips for the rest of my life!

So I'm taking a rest day today and allowing my wrist (and my soul) a day to recover from our melt down.  I will leave you with this video - as proof (mainly to myself) that I'm not a total whimp and that I can push myself and should not be discouraged by one bad WOD or one fight with a friend.  Everybody has bad days.....

CrossFit Charlotte: "The Hill, A Team Thing" from Boomer Alred on Vimeo.

This is a video from our WOD last Saturday.  It's kind of hard to tell who I am since it's in black and white.  Got a ponytail and a gray shirt with black yoga pants.  I'm the one with the big grin while running with the sand bag - Lord only knows why!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'

Welcome back for another round of my weekly rants.  Thanks for the positive (or mostly positive, should I say) responses!  Feel free to link up and play along if you  like!

To the college girl I watched park in a handicap spot yesterday - you're not handicapped!  Yes, the car you are driving has a handicap sticker; however, it also has a nursing home parking sticker so I am assuming that either this is your grandparents' car or you are an aide of some sort that helps at a local nursing home.  Either way - you, yourself, are not handicapped.  I know this because I watched you bee-bop out of your car chitchatting on your cell phone and literally starting jumping up and down screaming "OMG! OMG! OMG!" at some news that you received from whomever you were talking to.  Other than the fact that you're an idiot for making such a spectacle in the middle of a university parking lot, you are obviously not physically or mentally handicapped.  How dare you take advantage of someone else's disability and use their handicap sticker to park in a spot closer to the building?  You, my dear, are the perfect example *exactly* what is wrong with college kids these days: self serving, ignorant, disrespectful & oblivious to those around you.  Snap out of it - or the real world is gonna eat you alive in a few years.  And I hope I'm there to witness it.  I'm just sayin'.....

To the producers of the Oscar's - thanks for waisting three hours of my life on Sunday!  I won't go through my rant of all that I found incredibly boring about your show considering that I've already stated it HERE.  I will simply ask that you step up your game next year.  If you were trying to reach a younger demographic, you failed miserably in my opinion.  I really don't understand what is so difficult about putting on an entertaining awards show.  You've got tons of money and the best of Hollywood's celebrities at your disposal - this isn't rocket science.  I'm just sayin'......

To the readers who keep leaving anonymous comments on my weekly I'm Just Sayin' posts - please feel free to leave your name!  I welcome your opinions - even if they are in contrast to my own opinions.  I think I proved with yesterday's post that I'm able to poke fun at myself.  I can admit when I am wrong (except for to my husband, because I am obviously never wrong when it comes to matters of my marriage!)  But if you're going to leave a negative or challenging comment on my blog, at least give me the opportunity to respond.  It's just common courtesy.  Anonymous comments are no way to make new friends.  I'm Just Sayin'......

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Just Sayin' Came Back To Bite Me In The......

Sorry for not posting Eat It. Work It. Blog It. yesterday.  I had another test this morning and my time has been seriously limited over the last 48 hours in preparation. Thankfully it's over and I'm back to blogging as usual.  :)

Remember this disclaimer below from my I'm Just Sayin' post last Thursday:
*I also feel the need to say that by no means do I intend to offend any of my readers. Please take these comments in jest, as they are intended. Just little pet peeves of mine that I choose to poke fun at each week. If you are guilty of the actions I mention, I don't think you are a horrible person and I do not mean to offend. I am *positive* that I am guilty of annoying people on a daily basis and I am sure there are plenty of people who have lots to "Just Say" about me. Again - these posts are truly meant as light hearted rants about my every day annoyances.
Well - I was right.  A reader left an anonymous comment stating:
Omg I know what you're sayin' about facebook!! I hate when my news feed is filled up with where people are checking in. Especially at the gym. Stop trying to make me feel bad! I don't care where you are. I should come rob your house.


I "check in" to CrossFit Charlotte  every time that I am there.  Every time.  In my defense - it's the only place that I "check in" at - but still, I check in there about 5 times a week.

I'm  not so sure why actually.  Something about it feels empowering.  Like I'm sticking to my goals, getting in my super tough workout for the day and I feel like sharing it with my 600+ friends on FB.  (Maybe the anonymous person who called me self absorbed was right??)

But apparently that annoys some people - and rightfully so I assume.

So now all of you readers who have been offended by one of my comments on my I'm Just Sayin' posts can have a nice little laugh because my rants came back to bite me in my own you-know-what.

Somewhat poetic, eh??

PS - I'm almost positive this "anonymous" reader is actually a real life friend of mine.  Possibly one of my friends I was talking about that use all lowercase letters and improper punctuation in their FB statuses?  Trying to even the score?  Calling me out on my own blog - how dare you!  :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sometimes Husbands Don't Make The Best Girlfriends

I convinced Steven to watch the Oscar's with me last night.  We aren't generally big on awards shows around our house, but for some reason I wanted to watch the Oscar's last night.  Thankfully, Steven consented to watch the red carpet show & award show without a fight.

I found myself eagerly chatting away regarding the red carpet event.

"Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman really are the best matched celebrity couple.  They get to go to all the awards ceremonies: CMA's, Grammy's, Golden Globe's, Oscars.  How sweet is that!?!?"

"That is such a girlie dream of mine.  To attend a red carpet event draped in a stunning designer gown and high end jewels.  To have an entourage of people fixing my hair, nails and makeup.  It's on my 'never gonna happen' bucket list."

And that's about the time that Steven interjected, "So am I supposed to be one of your girlfriends tonight?  Pretend that I actually are about 'Who Wore It Best'?  If so - that's cool, just tell me....."

I guess you gotta give the boy credit for trying.  At least he was kind enough to watch the red carpet show and awards ceremony without complaining.  He did comment on how much he loved Reese Witherspoon's hair (hubby's gotta a thing for big hair) and was very annoyed when I informed him that wasn't her real hair. "Why you gotta ruin my dreams", he begged.

So.....since I didn't have a girlfriend handy last night to discuss the best and worst of the Oscar's here are some tidbits I found interesting:

- What was with Anne Hathaway?  I understand that the producers were trying to draw a younger demographic - but she seemed way too flighty to host the Oscar's in my opinion.  She kept fidgeting with her dresses and touching her waste.  And she cat called as every presenter came on the stage.  Cat calling at the Oscar's - really??

- James Franco wasn't much better in my opinion.  I know he's all studly and cool - but he seemed much more like a statue than a sex symbol to me.  Yes, my heart melted on the rare occasion that he actually smiled or laughed - but again, that was rare.

- Since when did Gwyneth Paltrow become an actual country singer?  I know she did a country movie in which she sang - but seriously, she's no Carrie Underwood.  I love GP.  She's a bombshell and I think she's a fabulous actress.  But her performance last night was sub par and she looked like she was in pain while singing.....

- Mila Kunis & Justin Timberlake were my favorite presenters.  I think they pulled off the light hearted, but respectful demeanor The Academy was going for.  She was stunning.

- How painful were the acceptance speeches?  Gotta love Melissa Leo dropping the f bomb. *Classy*

- Am I the only person who didn't know about half of those movies?  I know that's how it usually goes with the Oscars - but seriously, I have only seen The Social Network.

Thanks for letting me share those few tidbits.  Really needed to get that off my chest.  If you watched last night - what were your thoughts???

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