29 November 2013

Steeped in Thankfulness

6:14 AM

A few nights ago, I literally had to snap myself out of the dark funk I had allowed myself to slip into. Circumstances weren't appearing as I would have liked them, and I allowed them to drag into the pit of worry and discontent.

I was stuck there. I was upset that I was going to be in this funk on Thanksgiving with all of our family here. I couldn't seem to shake it. My attempts at surrendering it were futile. I needed to snap out of it bad.

Then, late Wednesday night, I decided no. No this circumstance wasn't going to just happen to me. No I wasn't going to just sit by and let it drag me with it. I just said no.

Yesterday I decided to work on actively creating my happiness and even though I'm bothered by a situation, not giving any negative energy to it. Just let it be and love through it.

I'm grateful. I'm grateful that even through these difficult lessons of just being and trusting, I'm growing. I'm creating a happy, positive life even when it doesn't look like it. I'm blessed beyond measure. 

It is so easy to let our circumstances take us with them on the roller coaster ride. It's best to tell the director of the crazy train "excuse me, I need to get off".

Yesterday's Jesus Calling devotional really helped snap me out of it. To "seep" in thankfulness. I think about how my tea must seep in hotter water to get its full effect. So must a life must seep in His goodness and thankfulness to get its full effect. 

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. Elizabeth Gilbert

23 November 2013

La Tour Eiffel

5:20 AM


One of the things I cherish most about our trip is the hours B and I spent walking from place to place. We really didn't use public transportation unless our destination wasn't in eyesight and you know sometimes things are farther than they look.  It was great though. Walking. Laughing. Taking pictures.

We set out for the Eiffel Tower from the Musee de Louvre. It is a decent walk but I wouldn't change anything about it. 

Our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower was still when we were on the other side of the river. B said "look., there it is". Me: "Where"? B: "There". Snap picture. 


I'm one of those people who don't really believe all the hype. What's the big deal about this Eiffel Tower anyways? I mean its on everything. 

We walked and we walked. Through neighborhoods. We saw a mom and her two children stop to dig in the trash cans in one neighborhood. The look on their faces still sticks with me. Why is there suffering all over the world? We were walking. Walking and all of a sudden B said "look up". 


It was like magic! So majestic. It took my breath away. All I could say was "wow"!

We walked upon the Eiffel Tower from some side street. Who knows where we were. We entered through a quaint little garden with a few benches but no one else there. It was tucked away from the busy circle where most tourists enter. It was a moment I will never forget. (Until guards with semi- automatic guns walked by).


I do now believe in the wonder of this amazing landmark. It is remarkable. 


Majestic.


Magnificent.





20 November 2013

Paris

4:48 AM

Magical. In love. Total indulgence. Amazing.

I love Paris.

We rode the EuroTrain from London to Paris on Wednesday. When we arrived at Charles de Galle train station, it immediately felt surreal. The cultural differences between London and Paris were glaring. Not to mention there now existed a language barrier with the French. 

B navigated our way through the train station (the entire trip really), and I stood to the side with our luggage taking it all in. Such diversity in people. (The sociologist in me was so giddy). 


Once we figured out the metro, we were on our way. There weren't any lifts in the metro so we had to lug all our luggage underground. (Bless that man). We finally made it onto the metro during rush hour with all our luggage.


We walked from the train station to our hotel and noticed how booming the neighborhood was even on a Wednesday night. We stayed at the cute boutique hotel The Artus in the 6th quadrant (sounds like Hunger Games).  Once checked in we decided to hit the town!

Our first dinner was at The Germaine, a delightful Parisian restaurant. We enjoyed the freshest bread, scallops, pasta, wine, and beer. Indulge me.

We then hit the streets and stopped at another little place to enjoy some more food and wine. Oh my!



Our last stop that night was at a British pub (yes in Paris). It felt much like Kate's (our college bar/pub). It was such a sight to see some of the young folks celebrating. We even met some interesting folks like a young woman from Mexico who started college in the States but found out she could go to school for $400 a semester in Paris so she transferred. 

I'm a people watcher so just sitting back, observing the culture and its people was a total delight! 




18 November 2013

Insecurities

6:02 PM

I have them. They show up whenever I feel threatened or unsure about something. They cause my chest to tighten, my attitude to harden, and steal my smile.

They are ugly. They are usually unfair. Untrue. Yet they creep their way into the happiest of places, on the rarest occasions, uninvited. 

I have them.

They make me laugh the most fake of laughs. Trying to conceal their ugliness with as much made up confidence I can muster. They make me feel not good enough. Disposable. Less valuable. They are lies. They love to tell the story. 

Sometimes I listen. 

Then I come to and call them by its name, liar. I come to. Grasping for truth. Taking back the thoughts and words I let slip. Suffocating. Pulling off the cover. The lie I let live. It will fade away but its residue remains. Reminding me that it has no place in this beautiful life. It can't live here. It has no love. 

Insecurities. I have them. 

Friends in London

3:56 AM

Monique and I have been friends since high school. When she moved to England 2 years ago to marry her husband and start a new life there, I promised I would come visit before they were stationed somewhere else. It was even something on my "before 30" list. 

Her and her hubby Jeremiah came up to London on Monday morning and we spent the day sightseeing, laughing, eating.  


There are certain friendships that are timeless. We definitely don't talk everyday. We obviously haven't seen each other in awhile, but our friendship lasts.






Friendship is important. No matter the distance that separates you.  I am so grateful for our friendship that has lasted for nearly 15 years (wait, am i old enough to say that?).










17 November 2013

London Nights

3:26 PM
We stayed in a great little neighborhood while in London called Paddington. I was totally happy with our hotel accommodations and the proximity to local attractions and public transportation.

On Sunday night we made our way to the Soho district of town and ate at an amazing Indian restaurant. 


We also wandered the streets a bit and just enjoyed soaking in the local culture. 


There were musicians playing in the metro station and everything. The jazz club we were planning to go to had a full house, so we didn't get to experience the jazz scene as we wanted. 

We also experienced some super fun British pubs while we were there. 



I'm enjoying this so much I think we should start a travel, eating, and running blog!





11 November 2013

London Calling - Day 1

11:44 AM

It is definitely time I start catching you up on the magical adventure I am currently on! Friday afternoon I flew to Baltimore to meet up with my sir for the trip we've been anticipating for a bit now.

Saturday afternoon we set off to the airport to fly off to London for a week long holiday. I was a bit unexcited about the flight because I didn't know what to expect and how uncomfortable/tired/grumpy I would get being stuck on a plane for nearly 9 hours.

Surprisingly, the flight was not bad at all. We arrived at Heathrow around 7am and by 9am we were walking Hyde Park. 
There has been so much amazing here to see. 

Spending the day just journeying with no real agenda was the absolute best thing for us. We saw so many beautiful sights in our neighborhood. It was the perfect start to the trip.



We stopped at a cute restaurant located along the river in Hyde Park. Brian had the full English breakfast and says it was delish!


We also made our first English friend. He was quite delightful.


We have absolutely no shame in being the ultimate tourist. Luckily, Brian is a great navigator so I just walk wherever he says we need to go.


We trailed off from Hyde Park and walked in to a crowd unexpectedly at Buckingham Palace. Apparently, the Queen was in and so we were able to experience the royal hysteria of people waiting to get a glimpse of her in the car as she was leaving. (We ended up walking away but I swear we saw her driving out the back gate where no one else was). 



Ok. I have a ton of pictures and could go on and on. Ill leave it there for now and will post more later.

Good day!











07 November 2013

His Timing

4:14 PM
There are some days I just stop and thank God for His very essence. He is so good to us and often we're so busy being busy we don't stop to take in just how good He is. He thinks about us, all day everyday. He is involved in our affairs. He is working on our behalf and whispering in the Father's ear our spoken and unspoken requests. He amazes. Overwhelms. Loves me. 

05 November 2013

Random Draw

8:26 PM
I did it. Today I entered the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC random draw. 


So I followed the excitement of the 10th anniversary Nike Women's Half San Francisco and I knew I wanted to enter the draw for DC.

Today when I saw the post on Facebook that the draw was open, I honestly got a bit gun shy. Not only was I potentially committing a $175 registration fee, but I was also committing to training for 13.1 miles, something I've never done. 

After a quick text exchange..."should I do this", "yes you should", I clicked that submit button and retrieved a confirmation.

Ill have to wait a month or so to know if I've been drawn. I have no clue what the odds are, but gosh I hope I'm selected. I need something to focus on and train really hard for. A social media buddy I reached out to who ran it last year said its totally fun and I would definitely have a blast. Plus - finishing a half is on my before 30 list. Times a tickin'! 

04 November 2013

Food Diaries

4:51 AM
Do you love food as much as me? I seriously think about food all the time.

This past week, the weekend is a different story, I ate considerably well. Focusing on whole foods.

This salad was delicious. Leafy romaine lettuce, roasted chicken, tomatoes, turkey bacon, boiled egg. Yum.

One of the great things about social media is you get to share so much and learn new things even when you're not really looking for them. An acquaintance from college shot an instavideo on how he makes mini quiches. I made my own modifications and came up with this.

Ground turkey (cooked), egg whites, bell pepper, plum tomatoes. Yum. 

I also enjoy the simplest of things like homemade oatmeal with cinnamon, apples, and dried cranberries. Yum yum.


I finished the week, or started, with some comfort food. Cajun shrimp and grits. I honestly just threw this together with whatever I had and it was delish. 

I sautéed turkey bacon, onions and bell pepper in olive oil, then reduced some white wine and added the shrimp. Seasoned with a little Cajun seasoning. Grits with sharp cheddar cheese. Yum yum yum! 



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