Archive for June 2012

Workout Buddies

Sunday, June 24, 2012

After reading about my exercising at HPU and how much I love swimming, Mom decided she would become my swim/workout buddy for the summer at the Duke pool.  We started last Monday, and have tried to get to the pool every day.  She did better than I did since I took a day off for not feeling well.  Despite that, we made it to the pool every day except Wednesday (because of Church), and Friday because of the weather.  The first day was difficult seeing as how I haven't been in the water for quite some time.  I quickly noticed how much I had lost the stamina I'd worked so hard to build up last semester.  Regardless, it felt good to be back in the pool and I swam my thirty minutes! I'm trying very hard to get back on track with my weight loss goal.  I've lost 13 pounds so far, and as rewarding as it is to see those numbers on the scale dropping each time, I'm still not at the 20 pound mark like I had hoped.  Hopefully, this swimming every day routine will get me back on track and the pounds will start shedding off again!

I have to say, for not working out for such a long time, I thought for sure I would have put back on all of the weight I'd lost.  To my surprise however, I've kept it off! I've been using this great little app on my iphone that lets me track my food intake, exercise, and weight loss.  Having to visually see how much I'm eating each day, what the calorie intake looks like, and entering my exercise has really motivated me to eat better and exercise more. I feel so guilty on the days that I don't exercise and can't enter a workout for the day.  It's all a process that I'm having to slowly teach myself.  Breaking habits that have been in my life for 22 years now is difficult, but not impossible!

It felt very good today when I got back to my normal swim routine.  I usually swim 24 lengths of the pool aka 12 laps in 30-40 minutes.  Today was the first time I've been able to do that since I started back swimming.  I definitely felt the burn, and was breathing heavily at times, but at no point did I feel like I was gasping for air or about to die!  When we started Monday I had to pause at the end of each length to catch my breath.  Today I was able to get up to four lengths (2 laps) before I really needed to take a minute to stop and catch my breath.  I love seeing/feeling this improvement!  I'm finally getting back to where I left off when I was at HPU, and the only place to go now is up!  My goal is to add two laps or four lengths to my swimming each week. More importantly, my goal is to lose at least one if not two pounds a week.  Fingers crossed I can keep that goal a reality!  It definitely helps to have my workout buddy! Love you mom!  Thanks for doing this with me!

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Friday Five: Personal Growth

Friday, June 22, 2012

Over the last two weeks working at camp I have learned a few things about myself. Some of them I knew, I just never took the time to really acknowledge it. So because it's been so long since my last Friday Five post, I thought it was an appropriate topic to cover.

I've learned that:

1.  I am an organize freak. Now you're probably thinking, duh you already knew that! And you would be correct, I know how much I love organization and rely on it.  However I learned this week that I don't just rely on organization, I thrive off of it.  It keeps me sane, it helps me be productive, it relaxes me, and it helps me remain stress free.  I've noticed myself this week using organization as a tool to relieve stress, instead of expressing unnecessary emotions to my staff or campers.  I've always known this about myself, but I never really gave it any thought.  The more I think about it though, I realize that over the last few years organizing/cleaning has become a very therapeutic tool for me.  Whenever I have a bad day, am stressed out, or just frustrated I clean.  It seems to always cool me down making me feel much better afterwords.  However, I've also learned that it goes the other way. When things are unorganized or dirty, it makes me anxious beyond belief.  In my mind it's very simple to keep a space clean and organized, but to others it's not as easy.  That frustrates me.  And while I know it shouldn't, because I can't expect everyone to see things as I do, I still find myself flustered when I walk into a space that is not kept up to par (my par).  I have learned this week that I need to be more patient and understanding with those who do not see organization the way I do.  While I still don't believe there is any excuse to have spaces look chaotic or messy, I am learning to realize that my shiny, fresh, everything in it's place outlook is not realistic at camp.  While I will always hold our staff and campers accountable for putting things where they belong, and protecting our belongings, at the end of  the day if the games in the game cabinet, or the balls in the equipment room are not how I would choose to place them, I have learned to simply be pleased that they are put away and not destroyed.  Baby steps. I'm working on it!

2. I need to be more intentional in my efforts to praise, before judging.  This is a lesson I've realized needs to be applied to every aspect of my life, not just camp.  The other day I found myself  looking around in one of the rooms for things out of place or someone misbehaving.  Then I caught myself, and thought why on Earth am I doing this??  I should be looking for kids to praise or encourage.  I should look for the people doing what I've asked and take pride in those who are doing great.  I don't know if it was just a bad day, or if I've always done this, but I had a huge reality check with myself right then and there.  What a terrible attitude I create in myself when I intentionally look for the bad over the good. That is not a characteristic I want people to relate with me. I have tried very hard  since then to make sure I'm praising our staff, giving encouragement, and loving the kids rather than showing unnecessary judgement.  While part of my job still requires me to handle the more difficult or extreme disciplinary situations, I am trying to make an intentional effort to love, listen, and care even when I have to discipline. I think Cassie said it best:  "For every time you have to discipline someone, make sure you go out of your way to praise them twice later that day.  That way the child (or whomever I'm having to get on) feels love and encouragement from me twice as much as anything negative."  I wish I could take that moment back from the other day, but boy was it a much needed wake up call to myself!

3. I don't like criticism.  Ok, I've honestly known this about myself for a long time, I've just noticed it a lot this week.  Criticism makes me highly uncomfortable.  While it is easier for me to dish it out, than receive it, even having to give direct criticism is difficult for me.  I can easily point out faults when they are obvious, or potentially harmful to others or the camp.  However, when I have to really address bigger issues, I get uncomfortable.  I don't like making people feel bad about themselves, nor do I like to appear as if I'm judging them. This also goes the same way when the tables are turned.  I have a hard time taking criticism.  Not in the sense that I become overtly defensive or deny it, I just become very sensitive to the situation and begin questioning myself.  I will admit that I always try to defend myself when criticism arises, but it's more of a front I put on to protect myself and how I think others view me.  There is always a much larger internal battle happening than what I show externally. While I know constructive criticism is good and necessary, I simply do not enjoy it at all.   I don't like being the one to give harsh criticism, nor do I like to receive it.  I'm having to learn at camp how to balance all of this, and handle criticism correctly. I think it'd be safe to say we all struggle with this one a little bit!

4. I need to work on my patience.  This again is one of those things I've always known about myself, and something that I'm constantly working on.  This week I've just noticed a large testing of my patience.  While I can say I handled some situations with grace, I must also admit that there were others that I did not handle so well.  I was quick to respond harshly, rather than listen and respond appropriately.  I apologized in both situations, but that did not make my actions justified.  I've really been pushing myself to remain patient this week.  I haven't been feeling well, and had to deal with some difficult situations, but I tried to not let either of those become an excuse for a lack of patience on my part.  Camp is really testing what I've learned in this area, and I think God is trying to show me that while I've gotten better, there is still a large area for improvement.  I think changing my attitude how I mentioned in #2 will be a huge step in this process for me. Not only do I need to work on my patience when it comes to interacting with people, but I need to work on it in every area of my life.  My relationship with God, waiting on His timing not my own, while searching for jobs, etc.  This is a characteristic that I need to get down and keep!

5. Facebook is nothing more than a procrastination tool.  Yes I know this one is not nearly as profound or inspirational as the others, but a lesson I've learned this week nonetheless. I've noticed that I spent drastically less time on the computer, Facebook specifically, during the summer than I did while in school.  At school, my day at times would revolve around Facebook.  Updating, posting pics, etc.  However, now that I'm home I find myself checking it maybe once a day if that, and when I do there's nothing exciting going on.  I honestly think it was nothing more than a time filler and procrastination method for myself while I was at school.  I hope to keep the short Facebook visits going.  I don't need to spend nearly the amount of time I did in school on that website.

It's been a great two weeks, challenging, but great.  Maybe there are some lessons you learned?  I'd love to hear about them.  I'll try to keep you updated on how I do on each of these things.  I've learned some very important things about myself this week, and I intend to make it a priority to work on every single one.

Good night everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Friday!


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Oh hello again

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's been so long since I have written, I almost forgot about my blog.  Whoops!  Sorry about that!  For a quick little update on my not-so-interesting-life here it goes:

I have been working away like crazy at Day Camp.  Last week was our first week, and despite a few minor issues it went about as smooth as I think Stephen or I could have hoped for.  This week Stephen and Erin are in California, so my job duties have tripled.  I'm not feeling too hot this week so it has been a minor struggle, but I'm pushing through and trying to smile my way through it!  It's wacky tacky day at camp and I think our counselors enjoyed the freedom.  Here see for yourself:


We have great counselors!

Mom and I started swimming yesterday.  The Duke pool was a bit more crowded than either of us had hoped for, but we shared a lane so it wasn't too bad.  I was quite entertained watching mom swim for the first time in a while.  I may or may not have made fun of her once or twice :)!  It's all in love!!!  Faith is going to join us today, and then tomorrow I get to take a break since it's church night!

On another completely random note, if you are tuning into my blog about Haiti click here, here, here, here, and here for the posts I wrote during our trip.  Thank you again for all of your support!

Oh and one last thing, I'm still waiting to hear about the job in Charlotte.  Please keep it in your prayers!

That's about all I've got for you today!

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Job & Finances

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So far things are going smoothly with the job searching process.  One of the positions I applied for in Charlotte contacted me asking to see my portfolio, and informed me that after reviewing applications they would give me a call to either request an interview or to let me know the position has been filled.  I am still very hopeful for this job, and am praying that God will have it work out as He sees fit.  This would be a great opportunity, and I would love to take the position if it were offered, and if that is where God wants me.  For now, I am just waiting to hear back from them and praying every minute until I do.  I haven't heard back about the other position yet, but I am also hopeful for it as well.  I really need to find a job because come August 17th when camp ends, I have nothing lined up.  Please keep this in your prayers!

Also,  I started reading the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover book a few days ago.  After hearing about Erin's experiences using it, and some of the practices she and Stephen have put into place financially because of this program, I really wanted to read about it and give it a try.  I'm just graduating from college and this is truly the time to get my finances on track so that I can pave a smooth road for the rest of my life.  Saving has never been one of my strongest abilities, but I really want to get my school loans paid off and start saving up as much as I can.  After watching my parents and learning how quickly a job can be taken away, and what financial strains that can cause, I want to make sure that I have a safety net in place if that ever happens to me.  Everyone is going to encounter some type of large financial difficulty in their lifetime, and I want to make sure I am prepared when that day comes.  I also really want to get rid of my debt as quickly as possible and stay debt free.  I'm just into the first baby step of his book, and I'm really excited about the practices and tools he recommends to use for success.  My goal is to get all of my college loans paid off over the next five years.  If I can find a good job and manage my finances well I believe this is an attainable goal. All the more reason to keep praying for a job!!

For now, I am working away at day camp and saving every penny I possibly can.  We have a few more days before camp starts, and while there are still quite a few small things to do, I think we are just about ready!  It's going to be a great summer and I'm excited about the changes we are making.  I'm also ready to get these tedious administrative things behind us and begin investing in the kids lives!  After all, that's the whole point of camp!

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Burlap Giveaway

Sunday, June 3, 2012

One of my favorite blogs, Thrifty and Chic, is doing a giveaway for a $20 gift card to BurlapFabric.com.  If you read through her blog posts she has made some incredible items with burlap and I would love to win the gift card to make my own burlap inspired curtains like the ones she made below:


For an extra entry on her giveaway she asks that we post about it on our own blog.

Go check it out and enter for yourselves!

http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2012/06/giveaway-burlapfabriccom.html

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Too Random for a Good Title

Whew.  It's been a whirlwind of a weekend!  These last few days, while they didn't seem to busy in the moment have worn me out.  After getting back from Haiti on Thursday, I spent most of my day Friday cleaning, doing laundry, and getting my life back in order here in the states.  I washed more clothes than I ever wanted to, did some cleaning around the house, and organized everything back where it goes.  Saturday I spent the majority of my day on the computer downloading, editing, and uploading pictures from Haiti.  I didn't think I took nearly as many pictures this time, but I ended up with over 200!  It's crazy how quickly pictures add up on these trips.  Erin made me dinner last night at their place, which was delicious, and we did a little catch me up on what needs to be done for camp this week.  Since I've been gone for almost two weeks, camp has arrived quickly and there is still a lot that needs to get done.  Most of it is small tedious administrative things, but they are all very important nonetheless.  Today was graduation Sunday at church so I walked for that, did some grocery shopping after church, made lunch, and cleaned the kitchen here at home.  I also cut up a watermelon because I have been dying to have some!  I'm so glad summer is here and all my favorite home grown items will be here soon!

Tomorrow it's back into camp full force.  We've got parent orientation night on Thursday, counselor training Friday and Saturday, and then camp starts next Monday!  I can't believe how quickly it's gotten here.  I am very excited to step into my new roll as assistant director and get to work with a different side of camp.  I love the kids and working with them, but I also love the administrative side of things as well.  I'll get the best of both worlds as the assistant director.  It's going to be a great summer and I can't wait for everything to get started!

On another note, I have decided for now that I am not going to move to Haiti, but instead keep doing short term trips.  I did a lot of soul searching these last two weeks, and have decided it is not my time to move there right now. While I still believe I will do long term missions there one day, I don't think that time is now.  When Dorothy challenged me with understanding the difference between a calling and having a heart for the need, I really began to realize that what I'm feeling is more of a heart for the need than a calling at the moment.  I absolutely love Haiti, I love the kids, the country, and the way of life there which is why Haiti will always play a large role in my life.  For now however, that role is going to be short term trips so that I can truly explore God's calling for my life and determine exactly where and when he wants me there.  I hope to visit different organizations over the next few years to truly get a wide sense of what options are available to me and where I will fit best.  Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this long journey.

Because I have decided to put off moving to Haiti for a while, I am now having to start looking for jobs again.  I searched a bunch of different listings this weekend and applied for four positions.  Two of them are in Raleigh working for furniture companies, and two are in Charlotte as design assistant positions.  I kind of have my heart set on the two in Charlotte right now, as I believe they would both be perfect starting places for my career.  They were the first listings I've seen in North Carolina for entry-level designer positions, so my fingers are crossed that they are still available and I'll hear from them soon!  Please keep my job searching in your prayers!  I need to find a full time position soon!

Also on my last random note for the day, I weighed myself today and I have lost 12 pounds!!  While I did not successfully complete my graduation challenge on time, I am still pushing myself to lose the weight.  It is a difficult and long process, but I am up for the challenge!  Cassie and I are going to be work out buddies this summer and we will be getting a gym membership soon.  For now, I'll have to stick to my walks around the neighborhood and the last two guest visits I can make to the YMCA pool.


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