my iPhone life || April 2015

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April was pretty wonderful.  Kasey, Jon, and I went to the lake house (previously blogged about, at length) for Easter weekend with their friend Kevin.  I am dying to go again.  Maybe this post will convince the fam jam to make a trip?  One can hope.

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Coco and I were very very excited about the lake house.

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Can you blame us?
How to make me happy: buy me coffee, make me coffee, be coffee.

“Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward.” -Drew Houston

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The lake house has a lot of very large windows, meaning that the natural light inside is killer.

IMG_5413Coco butt hates having her ears cleaned.
IMG_5450Among other things that month, we also went hiking and got inked.  I already posted about both of those things, but here’s a fresh photo of the tattoo, in case you forgot how beautiful it is.
IMG_5830Jon also stole my phone at one point and took HUNDREDS of selfies before I even noticed it was happening.
IMG_5810IMG_5852Sonic has half priced milkshakes after eight pm.  Just FYI.
IMG_5884I took this photo of Coco after she tackled me and pinned me to the couch so that she could nibble my ears and walk all over me.  Doesn’t she look innocent?
IMG_5895IMG_5900Sometimes when I am in my room working on a blog post, sister will text me and say “tea time in ten,” and have some delicious baked treats to go with it.  She is a quality human being, that sister of mine.
IMG_5929IMG_5953I adore this pup, my Cocobutt.  She’s super ridiculous, still nibbles you like she’s a puppy, and thinks she is a lap dog.  If she 7448717958_dbf40e806f_ocan’t join you on the couch it is the biggest injustice.  She is also terrible at finding her ball if she doesn’t see where you throw it.

Until next time,

Jamie

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the parents in north carolina, part 1

My family came to see me!
In June my parents came out for a good long(ish) visit. I hadn’t seen them since December, which is the longest I have gone without seeing them. Ever.

We did a lot of fabulous things.  Today I will share a general overview of the trip. They were here for ten days but I didn’t take off any time from work. We squeezed as much in as we possibly could, starting with a trip to the beach their very first full day here!

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It was a great day at the beach, despite the fact that the wind and surf was crazy. I tried to go swimming with Jon at one point and it was a struggle the whole time. After several hours of wind, sun, and family, we briefly went into town to try a local (favorite) donut shop that was seriously delicious. I will always recommend Kure Beach.

 

The next night we went to a coffee shop in town that has an acoustic night every week. I found a Jeep in the parking lot with some top notch decals.

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Later in the week we took my parents to a pub that we like. I have never been disappointed with their food, and their beer sampler is a serious bargain. Two thumbs up all around!

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This night was the beginning of a glorious weekend. The men grilled kebabs for us (one of the best meal inventions ever), Kasey and I accidentally dressed alike and took some quality photos because of it.

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Thanks for these shots, mama.

We ended the night appropriately, especially for my birthday weekend, with Jurassic World.
What. Even. The Heck.
Pause for a mini-rant. Jurassic Park is my favorite movie of all time. Believe it or not, the third movie is the one that got me. I was a fresh-teenager and my sister got the DVD from the library. I found the kid, Eric Kirby (played by Trevor Morgan) incredibly cute and became OBSESSED with the Jurassic Park franchise as a result. It isn’t an origin story to brag about, but the results are quality so I don’t care. I have been waiting for YEARS for the fourth film. It has actually been in the works since I was in high school, so the fact that Jurassic World is finally out is pretty phenomenal, not to mention the fact that the next Jurassic World film is set to release in 2018. Where do I sign up?!
Okay, I’m sorry. Back on track.
Jurassic World was hilarious, nail biting, and appropriately epic. The characters were good, the special effects were up to snuff, and while the soundtrack was lacking the epicness of the original, I appreciated the filmmaker’s understanding of the nostalgia a lot of the audience would have for the original music, as well as the aesthetics of the first park. I’m dying to see the film again.

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That Monday was my birthday. I don’t really appreciate getting older any more, but my coworkers were serious rockstars, so it was actually pretty fun. My boss got me a cake and a book about North Carolina (clever girl). My buddy also got me an E.T. for my desk. Hooray for inside jokes!

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My parents left the next day and it was sad to get back to normal life, but we got to do a lot of things while they were here. We went to Asheville for a weekend so stick around for those blog posts! Asheville is seriously gorgeous.

Until next time,

Jamie

my fitness journey

Today we are going to get a little real and we’re going to get a little vulnerable.  It’s time to practice what I preach.  If you make yourself vulnerable, you might just change someone’s life.  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that the trials that make us stronger aren’t all about us.

I want to talk about my fitness journey from this past year, and for some reason I have been terrified to share it.  We tend to hide our weaknesses.  We sweep them under the rug and try to pretend that they don’t exist.

I’m not talking about the fact that I’ve always been small and that I’ve always had a fast metabolism.  I’m not talking about the fact that I cannot stand running and it’s probably the last thing you will ever catch me doing.

I am talking about mental health and its link with exercise and physical health.

Most of you know that this has been a really hard year for me.  Starting around this time last year, my marriage began to fall apart. I slowly got to a place where it took everything in me to maintain my mental health.  My body suffered and by the time that K and I separated, I was in a bad place.  I sold most of what I owned and packed up the rest.  Packing a single box left me winded and my mom and dad had to do most of the work for me.  I couldn’t sleep, and once I got to North Carolina in December I realize that I couldn’t even do a single assisted pushup.

I set some goals.  Celebrate Christmas.  Apply for three jobs a day.  Get a job that pays more than minimum wage.  Be able to do a pushup again.

Your goals are stepping stones.  You can have the big picture of where you want to end up, but if that’s all you focus on, you can get overwhelmed.  Set an attainable goal, with your final destination in mind.  Work on one thing a day.

My first fitness goal was a pushup.

I kind of left it there, hanging in the back of my mind.  My sister and I started going on walks, but once I got a job, I had to figure something else out.  If I had a bad day, I would come home and turn on some music in the bonus room and dance it out.  I would also do yoga.  It wasn’t consistent, and it was hard.

In May, my work took a day to volunteer in our community.  We spent the day at a soon-to-be park clearing a section of woods for a trail/walking path.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know where I was at physically.  I knew where I had been a few months before and I was scared of still being in that place.  I worked with these people every day, but a lot of them didn’t know my story, and they certainly didn’t know this side of it.

The day was hard.  It was intense work.  There were things I couldn’t do.  But you know what, there were a lot of things that I could do.  I worked hard and listened to my body.  By the end of the day I felt pretty spent, but then I came home and while talking to my sister, I decided to try doing a push up again.

I did nine.

I set a new goal.  Be able to do a handstand again.  Last year, I tried to do handstands a couple times and pulled my back every time.

A few weeks later, my sister told me to try to do a handstand.  If I could do it, we would go see a movie (at 10pm on a Friday, which is a huge deal getting my sister out of the house at night).

Again, I was nervous.  I didn’t want to hurt myself, because since when is pulling your back fun?  At least I would only embarrass myself in front of my sister this time if I failed.

I cheated and did the handstand against a wall.  I took a couple tries, and even though I still used the wall to get myself up there, I was able to pull back and balance for a few seconds with no third-party support.  No pulled backs here.

Since then I haven’t set any more goals.  I still want to work on the handstands and my core body strength.  Setting up a pool in the backyard has really helped me fall in love with working out again.  It’s kind of all I have wanted to do this week.

Just twelve months ago, I felt like I was done being young.  At twenty-six years old, I was pulling muscles left and right and my body felt like it was betraying me.  I had a bad back and tendonitis and I was resigning myself to the fact that I was becoming an old fart.  I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to have my body back.  I’m still far from graceful and super awkward–hooray for not playing sports in high school!–but this girl who worked out two days in a row, went to the beach and swam for a couple hours, and then came home and did ten pushups and worked on my handstands, is freaking pumped.

Taking care of yourself is super important–mentally and physically.  If you’re going through a rough time, set some goals for yourself–some small stepping stones that will get you closer to your end goal.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with a to-do list.  Keep it short and sweet.  You will still have bad days and hard times.  Everything won’t be perfect and you will still have flaws and weaknesses.  Admit those things to yourself, but don’t let them define you.  You are awesome.  Every day is a new opportunity to grow into the person you are.  No one else gets to be you.  We need you.

Until next time,

Jamie

IMG_6059Photo credit: Melissa McKinney