Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Not today.

Some days, I feel completely sound. On top of things. Like I can manage all the things in my life. Maybe even take on more.

Other days…not so much. I feel overwhelmed. Apathetic. Hopeless. Drowning.  Always on the verge of tears. Ready to run. To escape.

Today is one of those days. The off days.

I’m consciously putting off things I know that should wait till a better day. Avoiding opening my mouth, texting anyone unncessarily. No doing performance reviews today. Or making big plans or decisions or commitments. At the same time, trying to figure out WHY.  Why does my mind let me down (or bring me down) some days? Is it circumstantial? Chemical? Hormonal? Spiritual?

The best thing about today is that I KNOW.  Instead of just feeling crappy, I know it is “temporary”.  I know that today is one of “those” days and that tomorrow might be better…clearer.  And I TRY.  I try to replace the lie with truths.  I try to think on “these things”…things that are true, lovely, right, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy. I try not to hurt people with my words or lack of words.

Know. Try. Figure out Why. That’s what I’m doing today.

Who The Heck Am I?!

I am a relatively self-aware person. In the organization I work for, development and growth are highly valued and frequently discussed. Growth and development BEGIN with self awareness. I know who I am.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to the store and bought a Christmas wreath for our front door in early November!! Me! The one who does not get excited about Christmas things. And then I heard someone playing Christmas music a couple days after that (still early November mind you) and did NOT HATE IT!!! What the heck is happening to me?! If you know me, you would be shocked. Delighted, perhaps, but most definitely surprised by this new attitude towards all things Christmas.

Actually, I became most concerned when, just today, I was looking closely at a picture of a cat and thought “I really want that cat.” A CAT?! Since when have I ever wanted a cat?!?! NEVER. Never. Never. So strange, because it was so sincere inside me.

Leading me to ask the question, “Who am I?!”

My dreams are often very vivid, a little odd, and can be very revealing about what is going on in my head…or not. There was the dream about designing a new Mace with regenerative cells so the burning effect wouldn’t wear off. Or the one where I had to coach a basketball team. Or the one where I was walking around carrying a big wad of cash. My dreams are not dull.

Twice this month I’ve dreamt that I discovered hidden, forgotten rooms in a house we lived in. What does that mean?! Am I the house? Are there hidden and undiscovered things in me? I am taking on lots of new responsibilities at work and learning new things so that is probably where that comes from. ??

But the cat? And Christmas? I don’t know what that is all about. Somebody tell me what’s happening to me!

Prayer Brings Peace

It starts with a nagging thought.  A worry. A what if.  It can be something really BIG or something very small.

I can go so quickly into a downward thought spiral…a hint of worry leads to sea of raging anxiety! Oh my, sometimes I can’t even sleep, or even breathe, I get so worked up. But God says it’s as simple as presenting our requests to him, and letting HIM bring the peace.

Phil 4:7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The sweet peace of God is what you get when you bring everything to God (as stated just before in v.6). Oh, how often do I need the peace of God to guard my heart and mind??!!  Too often.  Much too often.   Which brings me back to my previous post…PRAY!!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ya Can’t Please Everyone

Isn’t that the truth?  Sometimes I feel like I can’t please anyone.  Galatians 1:10 says  Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  I really don’t think I’m a people pleaser, but daily I feel like I let someone down and it bothers me, so maybe I am.  But, really, I don’t think I live for the approval of people…but I do like it.  Who doesn’t?

When I read Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas were speaking in the synagogue and a “great number of Jews and Greeks believed”.  But at the same time, another group of people was stirring up trouble.  Of course, they didn’t stop sharing the truth because some people didn’t like it, they just went on preaching boldly and then went somewhere else.

Maybe because they were confident in what they were doing it made it easier for them to go on preaching.  and maybe I’m not always confident…for example, I know I don’t always say the right things, or if I do say the right thing, I don’t say it the right way or at the right time.   Yeah, I must have voices in my life telling me what I’ve done wrong….well, hey, at least they are honest and share how they feel–it’s better than not, I suppose.

and I wish I could blog more like my cousin and just say what I’m trying to say instead of dancing around topics and speaking in generalities.  But I’m always afraid my “feelings” will offend someone, so I don’t say just what I mean.   There I go again, people pleasing.




And here’s something else new for February!  Look familiar?  A month ago, I posted a pic of the word that is my focus for 2013.   Grace.    I wrote it down, stared at it…and wanted to make it a permanent part of my life–a part of who I am and what I’m known for.  So I had it scratched into my skin with ink.  It hurt a little, but I’m really happy with it, and it’s original, it’s mine, no one else has anything just like it. It’s permanent.

I’ve always been a conservative person—not to the extreme like I’ve seen on some reality tv, but conservative–believing strongly in right and wrong and absolute truth.  This conservative nature can lead to a judgmental attitude.   I don’t want to be known for that attitude.  I want to be known as someone who loves and accepts people exactly where they are.

Perfectly legit concept, right? So why a tattoo? It’s a lil bit of irony I suppose.  There was a specific time that I did not show grace to someone really important to me. So, its sort of my way of making amends.  Admitting I was wrong.

When my firstborn was 18 (just last year), he decided to get a tattoo.  Actually, he probably decided before he turned 18, but couldn’t get it ’til then and until he moved out of the house.  He went big and a little eccentric–a phrase written in elvish across his chest.  Elvish–like from Lord of the Rings.  I would be lying if I said I loved it or even agreed it was the right move at his age…but that’s not the point.   I know he felt judged, he felt my disapproval.    He is such a great kid and I know that he cares and, like most kids, strongly desires the approval and acceptance of his parents.    What he got instead, was disappointment and disapproval…judgment.  I was wrong.

So….GRACE.  Believe the best in others.  Accept and love without question. Do not place your beliefs and expectations onto someone else to see if they “measure up”.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought… Rom 12:3

Twenty Twelve in Review

The year 2012 in the life of CariKelley was the same as most…with its ups and its downs.   Here are some highlights and lowlights and firsts in no particular order of importance or occurrence.

  • Learned how to drink my coffee black–while this is not exactly a great feat in the grand scheme of things, it is notable in my life.  and to say that I “learned” is really not accurate–more like forced. Since I decided to “clean up” my food intake and because the creamers that I like and were using did not meet the minimum standards for health, they are out. Coffee, however, is necessary, so henceforth and hereafter, it is black.
  • Lost that last 10 pounds–finally. My weight loss/fitness progress had plateaued for about a year.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to make any forward progress.   In November I heard about the Whole30 and decided to give it a whirl (mostly to deal with a nagging neck pain that remains unresolved).  30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no legumes, and no grains (NONE!) and that did it.  Wow…it wasn’t easy but it was life changing.
  • Found out I live in a money pit…my house is broken.  Foundation, plumbing, and other random crap.  Approximately $25G’s to fix it to make it sellable.  So…I guess we’re stuck here for a little while longer….or a lot while longer.  I can think of 3, maybe 4, solutions to this “problem”–1. a $$ windfall, 2. a destructive house fire (not wishing for this, but if it were to happen…), 3. Jesus comes back, or 4. we borrow money to fix everything and then slowly, gradually pay it back over the next 10 years. Only options 1 and 3 sound attractive at the moment.
  • My oldest child left home at 18–with some time I’ve come to realize this really is a good thing…no matter how painful it is, it’s good for him and good for us.  Wow…really hard though.  But he needs to grow up and what better way than the “sink or swim” method?  I know he has a strong faith foundation and I believe in him.  I hate to see him go through rough times, but he’ll be stronger and wiser in the end.
  • Shot a gun for the first time–lots of different guns as a matter of fact…my dad has a collection and a passion to teach.  =)  Lucky me!  Rifles, automatics, revolvers of various shapes and sizes.   It was very, very fun and I was pretty darn good at hitting a stationary target. (not exactly real-world applicable 🙂 )
  • Had my first drink–I have some really really great friends that may or may not be a corrupting influence. 😉  They took me out for my first alcoholic drink, a frozen Margarita…and then my second, another frozen Margarita…and then a third, again with the frozen Margarita.  I can’t seem to venture out from that one yet.  I like ’em~they are very lime-y and very yummy.  Yes, yes, this is a fairly dramatic shift in attitude and belief for me.   I’ve NEVER been a drinker of anything alcoholic.   Just didn’t see the point.  and then my kid left home and I wondered what it would be like to use alcohol to “relax” and, dare I say it….numb the emotions.  Not exactly a healthy thought process, but I can definitely see why some people drink. That being said, I don’t plan on getting ridiculously drunk ever…if you need reason why, just look to Cassio in Othello “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
    my reputation!”   Need I say more?

I’ve already got a list of firsts I’m going to do in 2013.   Take a Zumba class.  Take a Yoga class.  Try a different alcoholic drink other than a Frozen Margarita. Get a tattoo (this one is another massive shift in attitudes and beliefs I should talk more about later).   Maybe I’ll do one brand new thing a month–wouldn’t that be something to type about!?

What’s Going On?

Mother, mother…

Oh, how I hope you sung the title to this blog post to the tune of Marvin Gaye’s epic hit from the 70’s!!

So much going on in my life right now.  Fasting, new experiences, planning a new year, etc.

God is using experiences (some painful) to teach me about judging, accepting, loving…you know, some basic do’s and don’t’s of how to be a person.  As soon as things solidify in my mind, I’ll dedicate a post about it.  It’s all still forming. Verses I’m meditating on– Mark 7:8-9, Gal 5:14, Col 2:22, 23 in case you want to try to anticipate me.

I’m a week into my 2nd Whole30 (or maybe more like a Whole21).  I do a 21 day fast at the beginning of every year with staff at the church where I work.   I decided to fast sugar, legumes, grains, and dairy…essentially the Whole30.   Of course, the emphasis this time will be on the spiritual, not the physical.   It’s been MUCH easier this time–partially because I’m surrounded by people that are also fasting and partially because my body is functioning much better and I’ve kicked the sugar and bread addiction. No weird dreams or detox symptoms like before.

In other big news, my family is hosting 2 exchange students from Korea this month!  This is a first for us!   They are here as part of a language program with other kids from their school, we have two 15 year old girls who are very sweet.   They’ve only been here for 2 full days and nights so we still really aren’t past the awkward stage and they haven’t quite gotten past the jet lag.   Today I taught them how to pour cereal out of a box.  It’s gonna be an interesting month.  haha!

Whole30 Finished–update

I did it!

Actually I finished 5 days ago, but I’ve been having trouble getting around to this blog post.  30 days with absolutely no added sugar, no legumes (no peanut butter!!), no grains of any kind, and no dairy!  No processed foods at all. The first 3 weeks were a challenge, especially with Thanksgiving in there, but the last week was easy-breezy.   Once I got the hang of the menus, the cooking routine, and past the cravings it really seemed almost effortless.

Even now, five days after Day 30, I’m still eating generally the same things.  It’s just a relief to be ABLE to eat other stuff, even if I don’t WANT to.  I have added one or two things back a day–in very small amounts–with no ill effects.   I’m watching my face like a hawk, checking for hints of a oncoming break out…nothing yet.  But there is a lot still to “test”…peanut butter, soy, wheat, for example.

Sorry to say that my neck still hurts…it may be a smidgeon better, but still hurts, tweaks, and twinges.   My head definitely feels clearer and my energy level is excellent.  I had been at a weight loss plateau for months, but I lost a total of 9 pounds in 30 days, putting me at 121…I don’t remember when I last weighed 121—maybe when I was a teen?! It is nice to be able to SEE the muscles I’ve been working on at the gym for the past 2 years. 🙂

The subtitle to the book It Starts with Food is “Discover the Whole 30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways”.   Well, it’s waaaaaaaay to early to tell if I’ve changed my life in the long term, but things are definitely different in the short term!  I’m so excited to be off of that daily acne medicine!!

Was it easy? NO.  Was it worth it?  YES. A hundred times YES!

Live in the Moment

Darn, Netflix.  You steal so much time.   But I love watching tv shows–back to back episodes with no commercials.  Season after season, without waiting for months to pass.

I recently watched  a series I had never heard of before called Life. Based on my enjoyment of crime dramas, Netflix recommended it, and they were right…I liked it.

The main character was a detective who was released from prison after being wrongfully convicted and serving 12 years.  He had to constantly be reminded to stay present in the moment. His mind would wander…

How often does that happen to me?  A LOT.  In addition, I know I’m not the only one who whips out my iPhone when I see a beautiful sunset or other picture worthy scene.   My effort to capture the moment for future enjoyment, prevents me from living fully in the moment NOW.

So, I’m trying to be more intentional about taking time to just live in the now…to pause and enjoy today.  Which would probably involve less Netflix watching.  *insert eye roll here*

Friday Foto Fun

So maybe I’m stretching it a bit on the “fun”, but it is Friday.  and there are fotos….well, photos. We begin today with the obligatory self portrait that we are all getting used to now, or should be….I wanted to show you how ridiculous my hair looks in the morning. Today I had a rooster tail thingy on top.    and yes, I often go out in public–well, the gym–like that.   No shame.  No pride.  Clearly, since I just posted it on the interwebs.


Today, though, I headed straight into the living room to see Shaun T! (I don’t know why he’s called “Shaun T”—is his last name a secret?! Hey wait, Shaun T sorta rhymes with insanity…maybe that’s it)  Insanity is crazy, awesome hard, and I love it, love it, love it! Max interval training. Intense. Funny thing is, if I don’t vacuum the living room carpet before I start, there’s enough dog hair down there to keep me from collapsing onto the floor.  It’s the only thing that keeps me not dead.  Now, granted, I’m only just starting week 2, but I’m already feeling a difference.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  Here’s a shot of my tv with Shaun T already jogging it out.


As soon as Shaun T was done yelling and encouraging me in the living room, Cam breezed out of her room, ready to go to the gym, with Abbey waiting at her house to be picked up. Ahh! But I’m a champ so I grabbed a some water and a chocolate protein muffin and headed out to find a beautiful sunrise.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice though.  Did you remember that Friday is my day off work.  Yeah.  No rest for the weary.   and remember that rooster tail from earlier??  Oh dang, it’s crazy now.


Enough of that business, Cory looks a little different now. He got a trim.  Haha. That was a LOT of hair.  Look though…same shirt.  Somebody wanna hire him??  Please??


I made this Snickerdoodle cookie dough dip out of chick peas, almond butter, oats and a few other ingredients.  It’s yummy amazing. Delicious.  Plus protein, fiber goodness. Great with apples, crackers, a spoon.  There’s also Chocolate Chip Cookie dough dip from the same website that’s killer.  You should seriously try this.  Seriously. Now. Try it.


Then what do you after a morning like that and a whole day of shopping with your teen-aged girl???  Go to Smashburger! More yum.


Friday is almost over and I’m trying to watch a DVR’d episode of the Finder with Cory, so I guess that’s enough for now.  I think maybe I’ll start calling these types of posts, “Slice of Life”.   Or maybe “Food I Ate Today”.  Perhaps I’ll put it to a vote.  Later.