Thursday, February 27, 2014

Less Than

I remember the first time I felt that way.  The very first time that I noticed that everyone is different, the first time that I felt like I was less than anyone else.

I was in third grade.  I would say that I was a pretty average kid.  Average in every single way, with my brown hair and eyes, with my A-B grades, with my simple personality.

But then there was Amy. I remember thinking that Amy was so pretty.  She has blonde wavy hair that she wore in half pigtails.  Her eyes were blue and her body was thin.  I remember then, at even 8 and 9 years old, that she was prettier than me, that boys found her pretty and adults saw her as cute.  I was non of these things.  I was not pretty like Amy was pretty.

I don't remember dwelling on this fact.  It was just something that I noticed in my young mind.  But I started noticing other things as I continued through elementary school.  I was bigger than all my friends.  All of them.  Now, I have no idea if they noticed that I was bigger than they were, but I did.  I was always that kids with some meat on my bones.  Not fat.  Not overweight.  But bigger than my super skinny friends.  And they were all skinny like that.  I felt like the odd man out.

Even being that young it wasn't always about size and looks.  I didn't really have a best friend either.  Sure, I had friends.  I had girls I hung out with. But within that group each girl had their own selected best friend.  No one wanted to choose me.  That's a sad feeling to have.  I was allowed to be part of the large group but never in the smaller, more close knit groups that developed within it.

And that right there is how I've always been.  Now there were moments where I was skinnier but not as skinny as most.  There were times that I felt like I had a "best friend" but looking back they were still at arms length.

High school was more of the same.  I was bigger.  Even as an active cheerleader I was still "big."  Never as thin as anyone wanted me to be.  Not as thin as I wanted to be.  And I had lots of friends but still felt like I was standing on the outside of being truly close to someone.  None of them wanted to be close to me.  There was always someone better and I was just not good enough.

I still struggle with this at times.  I still struggle with being the big girl in a sea of those that are smaller than me.  I struggle with feeling of being left out.  I struggle with feeling like I'm not close to anyone.

Even though I know I have people who love me.  I know I have people who want to be close to me and are.  I know that I am not left out.

But there are still so any times that I feel like I am that little girl that thinks she's less than everyone else.

I know that I am not alone and so many people feel this way.  I just want to be noticed and loved by those who I love.  I don't want to be less than, I want to be more.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review: Wither

What would you do in a world where everyone only lived until they were 20 years old?

Seems like such a short life.  A life that can't be lived fully right?

This is how the world is in Lauren DeStefano's novel Wither.  Girls live until 20 and boys 25.  There are one set of people that were lucku enough to live past this age.  They are known as the first generation and they are well into their 70's now.  But every generation sense has died by 20 or 25.

But this story is about Rhine and what happens to her as she waits for certain death.  She is sixteen years old and kidnapped away from her twin brother and forced to marry a man she has never met and far away from home.  He also marries two others when he weds Rhine.

All Rhine wants is to run away.  She wants to find away to escape this life that she has been forced into.  But there were many things that she did not plan on, becoming friends with her sister wives or falling for one of the household servants.

Wither is part of a trilogy and I honestly don't thing I will venture beyond this first book.  There were times that the story was beautifully written and kept my interest.  It started off so well. It caught attention and made me want to keep reading, but then suddenly it slowed down.  It was like reading the same thing over and over page after page with no change or progression in the story.  And then it abruptly ends.  I know this is to make you want to move on to the next book but for me, I have no desire to see how the story ends.  It will be forever left as a simple cliffhanger.

I do recommend this book for teenagers.  It is a perfect young adult novel.  I think I may just be too old for this trilogy.  Oh the joys of 31.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Color Run

I was able to cross one of my goals for 2014 off of my list!  I completed my first 5K!  Woot-woot!

I was pretty stoked!

The week before the race I had been losing motivation in my daily runs.  I wasn't pushing myself really anymore.  I was getting on the treadmill each day but I was doing the bare minimum in my mind.  A quick half mile and I was off.  That mean I was only on the treadmill for 7-9 minutes depending on my laziness for the day.  So I knew that I was not going to be running very much if at all.

My only goal was to finish it in under an hour.

Which I did!  I rocked it!  We finished the race in 55 minutes.  In my time on the treadmill I haven't even come close to 3.1 miles so I was happy that I was able to do it.

I walked it with Michael, my mom and my step-dad and poor them.  I'm shortest one in the group so my stride isn't very long so they had to slow down so I could keep up while speed walking.  Especially Michael. I take 3 steps for his 1 step.  But he was great and stuck with me the whole time.  He could've ran off and finished the race in almost half the time, but I really liked that we stuck together!

Next year we are going to have the kids because The Color Run was just that awesome!

He's handsome!

The sun was very bright and I forgot my sunglasses.

Before ( I borrowed Mom's sunglasses because I couldn't open my eyes.

Mom and Chris before

After.

After




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's for Dinner?- Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks

The other night I make some chicken drumstick goodness.

We were getting ready for the Super Bowl and we had planned on having sandwiches and chips.  A really easy night.  But Michael was in the mood for a little something more.  He wanted at least something to be hot.

So, it's Pinterest to the rescue!  I found this recipe at foodloverr.com

I changed it up a bit but the end result was marvelous!

For my seasonings I used garlic salt, cajon seasoning, oregano and pepper.  Loaded that up with some flour in a freezer bag.  I threw the drumsticks in a shook it all together.  Put some butter in a couple of 9X13 dishes and put in all in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  I flipped them and cooked for another 30 minutes (they were really big drumsticks) and flipped one more time for 10 minutes.

The end result was delicious, moist chicken drumsticks that added just what we needed to watch some football!


What a sad blurry picture.  It was a last minute after thought to take a quick picture.


Michael approved!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Five Minutes

Yesterday I got on the treadmill for the 22nd day in a row.  It's a HUGE deal for me because in past the most I've gotten on the treadmill is maybe 22 times in the last 10 years.  I'm not a big fan of running.  But now my opinion my be changing.

Everyday that I get on I am surprised on how far I've come.  Twenty-two days ago I struggled to get up to a half a mile.  I could only run for 30-45 seconds at a time.  My lungs would ache and my body was uncomfortable.  For this past week I've been able to get up to a mile (baby nap permitting) without completely dying.

Three weeks ago I struggled to do a half a mile in 11 minutes and 37 seconds.  It was hard.  I hated every minute of it.  I didn't even feel like I accomplished anything when I got off.

Yesterday I ran 1/2 a mile in 8 minutes 27 seconds.  In 3 weeks that is 3 minutes that I cut off my time.  And to add to it I ran 5 of those 8 minutes.  In a row.  Without stopping.

WOW!

Three weeks ago 5 minutes was unheard of.  I went from running 30 seconds to running 5 minutes.

I'm seeing progress in my endurance.  It's going to be long running journey but I'm getting better every single time I step on the treadmill.  I have a personal goal of running every single day for 100 days.  I have 22 down as of right now.  88 to go.  When I decided that it felt like it would be forever for 100 days to go by but these last 22 have flown by.

If I stay consistent I'll be able to run a full 1/2 mile in no time.  Quickly followd by running a full mile without stopping.

I can do this.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What's for Dinner?- Creamy Marinara Chicken Pasta Pasta

I love when I can make a meal on a whim that feeds a large group. Our kids had friends over the other night and it added three extra mouths at the dinner table.  After searching my cabinets to try to find something yummy for all of us to eat I finally decided to try my hand at my own concoction.

I had read on other blogs on how mixing alfredo sauce and marinara makes an easy creamy sauce.  So that's when my mind started working.

First I chopped up 4 chicken breasts and sauteed it in a little oil with salt and garlic.

While the chicken was going I boiled some pasta.


After the chicken was cooked through and the noodles were drained I added two cans diced tomatoes, one package frozen spinach, thawed, 1 jar alfredo sauce and 1 jar marinara all into a 9X13 dish that was lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  I cooked it in an oven on 350 until bubbly, about 45 minutes.


I then served it up and topped with a little shredded cheese.


And you know it's good when the baby gobbles it all down and asks for more. 


It was a hit and left tons of left overs even though we were feeding 8.  The leftovers were awesome as well.

Recipe

1 lb pasta
4 chicken breasts, chopped
garlic and salt
1 package frozen spinach
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 jar marinara sauce
shredded cheese, as desired.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: Legend

Another distopian novel.  Big surprise here, huh?  But really, it's just most the most fun subject to read right now.  I love seeing different authors take on when society will break down.  Kind of creepy, right?

Well, let's get down to business (cue Mulan...)

Legend by Marie Lu started off slow but quickly became a page turner for me.  The story is told from the views of Day and June.  Day if a criminal from the wrong side of the tracks.  His family thinks he is dead and he is doing his best to hide while still taking care of them.  The Republic is after him but they also know nothing about him other than they want to make an example out of his unruliness.

June, in the Republic's opinion is practically perfect.  Perfect test scores and athletic.  She is smart and crafty. She is sent to find Day after the death of her brother, the last relative that she has.  She quickly succeeds.

This is a book that shows a governments need to control their citizens.  What it will do to keep its people in line and what they do to those who defy the system.

I enjoyed reading it.  The story was interesting and makes me want to move on the the next book in the trilogy.