2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Uncategorized

5 Years Ago Today

This time 5 years ago we were headed to the hospital to finally meet our little girl. She is fierce, loving, imaginative, creative, and full of life. We were the only two people who knew her name but, I believe, one day the whole world will know it. Daddy loves you!

Published via Pressgram

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Fitness Friday: Week 5 – Well….

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Well, as you can see I gained a pound this week. I know why, I ate a bunch of junk and I’m lucky it was only one pound.

Eating is the most difficult thing for me to get under control. I can make myself get up at 4:45 AM and go to the gym, but can’t say no to frozen custard and cookies.

Gotta buckle down this week and keep on moving.

Categories: fitness, life, Men, running, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: , , , ,

Fitness Friday Week 4: Keep On Moving

I know this is a day late, but I may or may not  have fell asleep in the recliner last night and forgot to post anything. Sorry.

This past week has been good and I am just continually reminded that sticking with logging your food and your activity and burning more calories than you eat is the always the most effective way lose weight. It sounds simple, but it is the most difficult thing to stick with.

I at some decent most of the week but did have a blizzard and some pizza after the baseball game on Monday. However, I still got in 3 runs at the gym this week and met or almost met my goal of 10,000 steps everyday. So when I weighed in this week I was planning on somewhat of loss, but was not expecting the amount I lost. This week when I jumped on the scale I lost 3.6 lbs! I know every week won’t be like that but it definitely keeps me motivated to continue to do what I’m doing.

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Well, that’s pretty much all for now. I’ve signed up to run a 10k on October 27th here in town, so I’ll keep training for that and keep plugging away.

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Fitness Friday: Week 3 – Flexing It

Here we are, three weeks into this journey. Well, that’s not true – I’m 32 years into this journey, this is just the third week I’ve blogged about the recent travels on this path. That sentence sounded really cheesy, but I’m too tired to go back and change it. Deal with it.

This week I have included in my routine a Fitbit Flex – which is just a band I wear on my wrist 24/7 that has a little tracker in it that tracks my activity and sleep habits (or lack there of). Having it on my wrist seems to help me remember to get up and move throughout the day and try ways to include some more activity in my day. It’s a lot harder to reach the goal of 10,000 steps on the days that I’m not a the gym running, so I just have to find reasons to get up and walk or stay active.

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Also this week, I’ve been a lot more intentional about what I’ve been eating. I’ve been trying to make wiser choices about the foods I pick for snacking and to try and control my portion sizes. I have been tracking almost everything – I have missed/forgotten a few things, but I would say I’m tracing close to 90% of what I eat.

All that to say, the combination of staying active and tracking/monitoring my eating habits really showed on the scale this week. Last week I had only lost 0.2 lbs, but this week I dropped by 2 lbs! I am very happy with those results and hope that this continues down the road.

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What about you – what are some of your struggles with eating and staying active? What do you do to make sure that you stick to healthy eating and activity habits? Is there something you would specifically like to hear about here about my own struggles/successes? If so then please tweet, Facebook, or email me!

Categories: fitness, life, Men, running, Updates | Tags: , , , , ,

Fitness Friday: Week 2 – Zombies Ate My Willpower

Here we are, one week later, 7 days of decisions and countless calories.

I think the past week went decent as a whole. I made some better food decisions (not eating late night snacks every single night) and some not so good ones (2 BBQ Chicken Flatizzas from Subway for lunch). I tried to be somewhat active everyday, whether that was running at the gym or walking outside on my breaks at work.

Speaking of, I learned last week that I’m going to be working from home full time starting in a few months. That means I’m going to have to be a lot more intentional about staying active throughout the day instead of sitting on my bum at my desk all day doing nothing.

One thing I learned this week is that old habits die hard, especially when they come back as zombies and want to eat the brains of your will power. It’s all about being intentional and diligent, two of the most difficult things when you know there’s ice cream in your freezer. I really have a thing for ice cream, in case you were wondering.

My weight went down this week. Only by .2 lbs, but it’s still a loss none the less. That’s what I keep telling myself. It might be slow, but as long as it’s faster than those bad habit zombies, I’ll still keep my will power.

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P.S. Tomorrow I am running the Color Me Rad 5K, so be on the look out for pictures of me appearing to have wrestled a rainbow, if that’s even possible.

Categories: fitness, life, Men, Uncategorized, Updates | Tags: , , ,

Fitness Friday: Week 1 – In The Beginning

I’ve been going back and forth with myself with exactly how I was going to do this. How honest am I willing to be? How vulnerable am I going to be? What do I want to get out of this?

Well, here we go….

I know that I have shared some on here about my struggles with my weight, eating right, and being active. Growing up I was never really active – I didn’t play sports (not for lack of trying) and I pretty much stayed to myself reading books and writing. Not really activities that get you up and moving. My weight has always gone up and down throughout my life, peaking sometime after our youngest, Makenna, was born at around 230 lbs. Since then I have lost weight and haven’t really gained much past the 200 mark and have gone as low as 175.

My problem is I like food. No, I LOVE food with a passion. I love good food, great food, any food. I have a huge sweet tooth and will eat almost any dessert that is placed in front of my face. I am also an emotional eater. I will turn to a huge bowl of ice cream as medicine for stress, hurt feelings, depression, doubt, etc. If it’s an emotion, I can find a reason to justify eating food to coincide with it. I also eat out of boredom when I’m not hungry, just to have something to do.

When I first lost the majority of my weight about 4 years ago I discovered that I loved running. I took it up and went with it full force and ran my first half marathon that fall. Then I trained the next year for a half marathon again and during that time discovered all the running had caused a hairline fracture in one of my vertebrae and I had to ease up on the running. So I started gaining weight again, stopped going to the gym because I got bored and frustrated, and got back up to around 215 lbs.

Then around April of last year I started attending Weight Watchers meetings at my work. It really clicked and I started shedding weight again. I got down to a respectable 175 lbs and was almost to my goal weight. Then life got busy, it became harder to attend the meetings, I became tired and burnt out and started slacking again. And here I am today, gaining weight again, losing all the good eating habits I had formed, and become frustrated and irritated with myself for getting to this point again.

But I finally figured out what it was that I was missing, what was the factor that was causing me to get burnt out, bored, and frustrated with everything. Lack of community. I felt like I was doing this on my own, no accountability, no one at the gym with me to push me and make me go farther and harder, no one to ask if I’m eating the right things and watching what I’m shoving into my face. I discovered something I really thought clicked with what I was looking for, Crossfit. If you don’t know what this is I would suggest googling it and finding it, it’s much easier than me explaining it. But what a CrossFit box (gym) offers is smaller groups of people working out together (albeit hardcore working out) who encourage each other, push each other harder and farther, and keep each other accountable.

So I looked into it and it’s expensive and, honestly, scares the crap out of me a little bit – but I knew it was something I needed, at least the community aspect of it. However, around here anyway, there really isn’t anything that works with my crazy schedule that will start before 6 AM, so it’s still out of the picture for now.

But this is where the blog comes in: I am making my own community right here. I know that there are a lot of you that struggle with similar issues when it comes to weight, eating, and activity. I need you. I need you to push me, to challenge me, to hold me accountable, and, yes, to encourage me along the way. Here are a few things that I’m doing so that you know:

1. I’m now using My Fitness Pal app to log my daily food and activity log. I will also eventually purchase a Fitbit device or something similar to help me set goals and keep me off my rear and moving.

2. I’m going to keep cardio in my schedule at least 3 times a week – whether that’s the treadmill, elliptical, or a bike.

3. I’m going to start using an app again called Gorilla Workout to help me to do some of the workouts that are similar to CrossFit, using my own body weight, to do some strengthening. This is something I can do at the gym or at home.

4. I’m going to weight in on the scale at the gym every Friday and post my weight online as part of this weekly post. Hopefully it will be in the form of a picture – but depends on the day and how weird that looks in the gym locker room (ha!).

If you want to join me in this, fantastic, but I’m not asking you to do what I do or how I do it, but we can support each other and encourage one another along the way. Call me out, email me, tweet me, Facebook message me – I need you to do this.

This is a really long post, and the preceding weeks shouldn’t be like this, but I just wanted to lay out what I’m doing and hopefully you can help me reach my goals!

As stated, here’s my starting weight from today:

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Categories: fitness, life, running, Updates | Tags: , , ,

We don’t homeschool and that’s OK

Recently I have seen several articles posted on Facebook by friends about homeschooling – the pros of doing it and debunking misconceptions – and I usually have trouble handling these articles emotionally depending on the approach the author takes. One article came from an approach stating that homeschooling their children was the path that God led them down for their family, which was refreshing take because, honestly, that’s not how some families who homeschool come across with their decision to do so.

See, we don’t homeschool our children and we made the conscious decision to send them to public school. That wasn’t a decision that we made lightly, it was something we contemplated and prayed about for a good amount of time before we came to the decision that it was what we wanted to do. Then, we made sure that we were getting them into the best public school in our system that we could so that they could get the best education possible. We have stayed in contact with teachers, read everything that is sent home, have daily conversations with them on how school is going and what they’re learning, go over their homework with them and make sure they are grasping concepts, and look for teaching opportunities in everyday life to help enrich the education they are receiving at school.

As parents who have decided to send their children to public school with friends and acquaintances who have decided to homeschool their children, there have been and will be times that we have to work through standing firm in our decision and move past some of the emotions that come with some of the misconceptions that we also feel are placed upon us because of our decision. Just like families who homeschool have misconceptions they have to deal with (jean skirts, weirdos, no friends, your mom is your principal….etc.) we have to not let those motivate or define us.

We realize that we are losing time with them that we could have if we were to homeschool, we realize that we are entrusting teachers and other educators with the education of our children when we’re not at home, and we know that they will probably grow up faster than we want them to because of the things they may hear or be exposed to that will bring up conversations earlier than we expected. It’s already happened in kindergarten and 1st grade.

Here’s the thing though, we feel – no, we know – that this is the path that God has directed us down for our family and our children. We know that the time we do have with them outside of the school year is precious and need to take advantage of every moment we have. We know that we have to do everything in our abilities to instill a faith in them that will carry them through difficult situations in school and life. We also have to trust God and put our faith in Him that He will protect, guide, and speak to our children along the way and that they will also put their faith in Him. It’s scary and it requires a lot more faith and trust than I’m sometimes willing to give.

You know what? I believe with all my heart that every family is called down a different path. Sometimes due to the lack of quality education in your area or because God has called you to for whatever reason, families will choose to homeschool. Maybe a family will choose to send their children to a private Christian school because they feel that is what they need to do for their family. And there are families, like us, that know that God has led them down the path of sending their children to public schools.

I know that the public school system is a dark place that the enemy roams around rampant in and our children can be bombarded with a multitude of temptations and devices that can hurt them and take them down wrong paths, it’s scary. But I also know that God has called us to be a light in the darkness, a city on a hill, and that included the darkness in the public school system. If every Christian family homeschooled their children or sent them to private Christian schools who would be the light to go into the darkness of public schools?

I realize there are Christian teachers, I know many of them, that do many things to shine the light of the gospel in their schools. However, I will not minimize the callings and impact that my children and other children can have in their schools when God works through them and uses them. I believe and trust that God is going to use Brayden in his school. His name, Brayden Kristopher, means “Christ bearer to the dark valley” and I believe that is what he will be in his elementary, middle, and high school and beyond. I believe the same thing about Makenna Lorene “wise leader crowned with laurel” that she will have wisdom to speak truth into the lives of her peers.

So, before you have misconceptions about me pawning of the education of my children on others or that we don’t want to spend every minute possible with our children or that we are willingly sending them into battle unprepared, know that God has led our family down this path. Let’s partner together to walk down the paths that God has directed us toward and prepare our next generation to be used by Christ both now and in the future.

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Categories: culture, faith, family, life | Tags: , , , ,

Power Thief

This week always has me thinking and reflecting on Christ and His death and resurrection. It’s hard not to if you are a believer and even just somewhat involved in your church. It’s everywhere. One of the things that I have been asking myself lately is “Am I living my life in a way that reflects what Jesus did on the cross?”

I realize that is a very open ended question with a lot of different ways it can be answered, but let me explain what it means to me right now.

1. Do I stand firm on the freedom that was afforded to me through His death?
Do I rely on His grace, mercy, and freedom that came through the shedding of His blood or do I constantly struggle with the same thing repeatedly because I try to control and “fix” things on my own? I don’t even think we have began to scratch the surface of the freedom that came through His death.

2. Am I living in the power of His resurrection?
Seriously. Am I? The God of the universe came to earth and, not only died for our freedom, but He rose from the dead and defeated hell and the grave. Do we really, honestly, truly live in the power of that? Death has no victory any longer because of His death and resurrection but do I believe that through the way I live out my life?

3. Am I bringing that freedom and life giving power into my everyday life and those I come into contact with?
The short answer to that one is no. I’m not and I don’t. I can come up with excuses and reasons as to why I’m not or why I don’t do it, but the short of it is that I am robbing those around me from the life giving, resurrecting power of Christ by not offering that to them through my words and actions. Essentially a thief and hoarder of His promises and power. So either I don’t believe it enough to live it out in my own life to share it with others or I am so afraid of offending other I keep them from the freedom of the Cross. I think it’s a combination of both.

This is where my mind is now. I want to begin to fully tap into the life, power, and resurrection that Christ brought us so that I can see promises fulfilled in my life and in the lives of those around me. Will you commit to doing this with me? To do even greater things than He has done while we live out this life on earth.

Categories: church, faith, life, ministry | Tags: , , , ,

Second Chance

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As we start this week most of us are thinking about what it is leading up to this Sunday. The day that Christ defeated death and the grave by rising from the dead three days after being crucified. There is power, life, and freedom that came from the sacrifice that Christ made that is available now, but so many of us still live in the defeat and death of our sin instead of relying on the victory and power of what Christ did through his death and resurrection.

This past week, even now still, there has been a song that has just gutted me. God uses music and lyrics to speak to me, He always has – I believe he knows what reaches me since He created me so that’s what He uses. The song is by a group by the name of Rend Collective Experiment (who you should check out if you haven’t yet) and the song is called “Second Chance”. There is part of the song that I could just listen to over and over that states “Countless second chances we’ve been given at the cross”. Countless, innumerable, beyond our comprehension. No matter how many times we screw up, veer off course, or mess up there are countless second chances available through the shed blood of Christ.

This doesn’t mean that we have freedom to do and act however we want without consequences or that we are free to keep on sinning as if it doesn’t matter – what this means is that we have been set free from the oppression, guilt, and shame that comes with sin and that the act of Christ dying on the cross has given us countless second chances to continue to keep getting up and continuing on this journey to holiness.

So watch this video for the song, think about this week and the cross, and about the power that Jesus has brought to our lives through his death and resurrection.

Categories: church, faith, life, ministry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

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