In the Middle

I've started casually looking at the candidates that are popping up for the Presidential race next year and I am reminded of how angry political campaigns can make me.

For example this sentence from michelebachmann.com- "Congresswoman Bachmann developed a reputation as a "principled reformer" who stays true to her conservative beliefs while pushing for real reform of the broken ways of Washington." stirs me up. When I read that she "stays true to her conservative beliefs," I think about how politicians are forced to be either liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. They can't be in the middle because they will not seem like they are true to their party.

I think there is no black and white in life but that there is a lot of gray area. I am in the middle and find value in both conservative and liberal ideals but I see that both sides also have their faults too. I see value in both the beliefs of the Democratic and Republican parties but believe that neither side has it completely together. Neither side is completely right or completely wrong.

As frustrating as political campaigns can be, I'm excited to see this next one unfold!


Presidential Experiences

I was looking back through my photo albums tonight and I found these two photos from when I got to live in D.C. for a semester in 2007!

The pic with Obama was from a campaign rally, I actually shook his hand.

The bottom pic is me on the south lawn of the White House waiting for George W. to come out for a speech.

I love D.C.!!


Awesome Lightning Photos

My husband and I love thunderstorms! We took these pics two nights ago from our back porch! The lightning was far away so we were safe.


I Love Cute Little Animals

I really have a thing for cute little animals, I just love them.

This little guy was being shy outside of my office today, how cute.

It is a baby Opossum BTW. Why would you spell Opossum with an O as the first letter?


Left Over Wedding Craft #2

I got crafty again this weekend and used some more wedding leftovers that are too pretty to get rid of. I posted not too long ago about the wreath I crafted out of the left over wedding programs which you can check out here.

One of the gifts we got was wrapped in this beautiful paper. I have been saving it in case I needed to use it in my scrap book which I did but, still had a ton left over.

I saw a cute chalk board on Pinterest that somebody was using as a weekly menu in the kitchen and decided to decoupage the border of a chalk board with the pretty wrapping paper. Now every time I look at our weekly menu I am reminded of our wedding.


Eyes on the Sky Weekend

We had a theme this weekend of keeping our eyes on the sky. Saturday, we made a rocket!

Check out one of our launches-

Then we went to an observatory to look through a giant telescope! Unfortunately it was too cloudy so we instead sat in the parking lot and watched this beautiful lightening storm-

You may be thinking, they had a somewhat nerdy weekend. I agree that we did but, I quite enjoyed it.

How was your weekend?


Story Time

One time, my friends Tracey, Dawn and I accidentally took the stairs up the Eiffel Tower!

It was quite a climb and is really funny when we look back on it.

A couple of years ago we got to spend about 24 hours in Paris on our way home from Africa (we went to The Africa Mercy, which is the ship we supported as recruiters for Mercy Ships).

We wanted to make the most of our 24 hours because Paris is amazing and beautiful!

About an hour before the tower closed we arrived and were eager to ride the elevator up! There were a lot of people in line and the other two people we were with said, look that line over there is shorter! We were like, heck yes, we will go to that line. Another bonus when we arrived at the other line was that it cost less on that side of the tower than in the line we were first in. We paid and walked through looking for the elevator.

We quickly realized the reason it was cheaper and lineless. We decided we could handle the stairs and we did but it was not easy!

Once we made it though, it was of course worth it!


Ray Lamontagne & Brandi Carlile Concert

Last night I got to go to an awesome concert with one of my college roomies! I love how we can get together after not seeing each other for several months and it is like no time has really passed. It is great to have friends that are comfortable to hang out with.

We had a great night enjoying awesome music from "The Secret Sisters", Brandi Carlile and Ray Lamontagne.

The theater we went to was outside, the weather was perfect, the stars were shining and there were fire flies!

All three acts had incredible vocals. Everyone's voice was so pure and powerful!

What I didn't really know about Brandi and Ray is that they are heavily influenced by classic country artists like Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Maybe that is why I have always liked them so much! I love good old country music. It just gets right to your soul.

Brandi was funny and really engaged the audience.

Ray didn't say much but his voice is just so unique and beautiful!

The Secret Sisters were really good, they have a very classic country sound and I'm so glad I got to hear them last night! They joined Brandi and Ray for a few songs throughout the night. If you like country music or people with great voices you should check out The Secret Sisters (they are 2 sisters from Alabama and play the guitar).


I Love Summer

My favorite fruits! Cherries, Strawberries and Blueberries!

Our first tomato is growing!

Our garden is flourishing!


The End of Overeating- By David Kessler

“The End of Overeating- taking control of the insatiable American appetite“, is not the type of book I typically read, there is a lot of scientific studies and stats quoted but the subject really interested me and I learned some good info. As the title suggests “The End of Overeating” is a book about how to stop overeating. The author starts off by telling the reader why we overeat, what makes overeating so easy then tells us how to not overeat and why it is so important not to overeat.

The info that I got out of this book boils down to this-

Our bodies love sugar, fat and salt A LOT.

The food industry (i.e. restaurants and food producers) know this. Because people love sugar, fat and salt so much, they take it to the extreme in their foods to give our bodies what we are craving most. Also, portion sizes have gotten enormous because they sure don’t want you leaving their restaurant feeling at all hungry.
Over time people have started thinking they need to eat everything on their plate and end up overeating.

It is not your fault that you overeat. The food industry knows how to get you to eat their food and serve it to you in very large portions. Restaurants know how to make good food, know how to combine flavors to they are irresistible to us and then market them so that we are always thinking about them. HOWEVER, just because something delicious, huge and unhealthy is on the menu does not mean you have to eat it! This is difficult for most of us because if something looks good to us, we want it and we want all of it!

There is no magical way to avoid overeating, you just have to use your brain. Remind yourself that just because the food is there, it may smell great and taste great does not mean you need to eat it. Food is great and you can enjoy it but only as much as you actually need.

Will power is not enough. You have to remind yourself of the consequences of eating certain things (or too much of those things). You have to make a decision to have rules in your life (this stinks I know). Rules are decisions that can keep you healthy in the long run though.

It is tough that there are so many temptations out there. It would be so much easier if all food sold was good for us and exactly what our bodies needed. It is not your fault that restaurant owners choose to sell donuts instead of fruit. This makes it harder to make good choices when the temptations are out there but it is up to you to avoid temptation.

When you are in the moment and you are deciding if you will eat a certain thing or not, a good thing to keep in mind is, if I do not eat this now, I will feel better about myself later and that will be totally worth it.

Food is instant gratification and pleasure for us but if we remember how good it feels to be thin and healthy we can overcome the strong desire for instant pleasure and instead make a decision that is good for us in the long run.

Proper calorie consumption looks like this for most people- 300 calories for breakfast, 400-500 for lunch and 500-700 for dinner.

The book had some great info. It just reinforced for me that health and weight management are not complicated. What you eat is directly correlated to your weight and health. There is just no getting around that!


John Adams HBO Series

Matt and I have been loving the John Adams HBO series! You can check out the website here.

If you want to watch a great historical and entertaining TV show about America around the time of the Revolutionary War this is it! As you can tell, the show is centered around John Adams but Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin and many others are also regular characters!