Monday, July 29, 2013

a wedding weekend...sort of.

Saturday was my bachelorette party...and it was so much fun!  My weekend started by some friends coming into town for a typical Friday night at a local bar with country music and of course, beer.

I wish I would have taken more pictures but I forgot  my phone at home and was sharing with Nick.

Saturday started out with a bridal shower on the Lake with lots of good food and drinks.  I got to see friends that I haven't seen in so long and I was so incredibly touched by all of their gifts and advice.  The shower games were fun, creative, and crude and I couldn't have asked for a better day.  (My Maid of Honor is THE BEST and she is one of the most creative and crazy girls I know and when you mix the two...good things always always happen!!

After the shower, we had dinner reservations and then it was off to the hotel where we played lots of games, got all dressed up, and mixed a lotttt of beverages yeeeesh!

Our limo arrived at 8:30 to take us to all sorts of places downtown, and that was that, one of the best nights everrrr!

It was loud and crazy and messy and everything that a bachelorette party should be.  It was perfect and we all survived!

And since it's the beginning of the week and it's back to real life again, here's a little Motivation Monday for you all.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

total body.

10 minute elliptical increasing the level each minute or so....  :)

super sets of the following:

single arm row 3x15
tricep dip on bench 3x12

kettlebell swings 3x20
kettlebell dead lifts 3x15

laying down chest fly with dumbbells 3x15
incline chest press with dumbbells 3x15

reverse lunges with barbell 3x15
shoulder raise with dumbbells 3x15

calf raises with barbell 3x15
push-ups 3x15 (regular or on your knees)

10 minute core work

5 minute stair stepper cool down and stretch

happy happy saturday!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

exercising my body, my mind, and my soul.

i sit here in my empty house.  it's finally clean and if you ignore the collection of college things it's finally starting to feel like an actual grown up home.  i spent the morning completing all of the things that i have continued to put off since we moved in.  it almost feels too clean and i believe the silence is playing a small part in that.  it's darker than usual and the rain seems to be creating a large painting on the windows.  i decided to rest and be proud of what i've accomplished for the day.  i poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to filter out my thoughts because some words were running through my head as i was playing maid.  i was thinking a lot about my thursday afternoon.  why wasn't i working?  why can't i seem to find a full time job that makes me happy?  questions continued to arise and before i could become frustrated with myself i started naming the things out loud that drive me.  i listed everything from my family to nick to my friends and suddenly i stopped the vacuum and realized i was standing in the one room of our house where we seem to throw everything we don't know what to do with.  it's cluttered yet empty.  its white walls were screaming inspiration to me and out of no where i listed the three things that i've learned that motivate me which are exercising my body, my mind, and my soul.  sometimes we don't realize what we were put on this earth to do until we accept the things that we were not meant for.  i am not meant to sit at a desk and calculate numbers.  i am not meant to be a sales person and i'm not meant to be a teacher and all of this has driven me completely crazy for so long because i've prayed and prayed to just want a normal job like one of those.  while i've always known that these are my interests they have never seemed to find themselves in the 'career' part of my heart which is a shame because i'm driven by creativity, words, helping others, pictures, design, and anything that's empty.  whether it's an empty wall that i can fill with photos, an empty page that i can fill with words, or an empty heart that i can fill with joy, all of these things make me feel complete.  once i accepted this and let go of every made up dream of desk jobs and traffic, i made a list of all of the jobs that will allow me to not only be successful but happy as well.  it's amazing what time alone in an empty house can do for you.  i have always believed that each person was made to do something incredible.  my parent's have provided me with what it takes to work hard, be disciplined, and set goals.  i have all of these qualities i have just been working towards the wrong goals; goals that i am not made for.  if we can take the hard work, the will to do right, and high goals and use them in a way that best fits us and no one else, our dreams will come true.  having dreams is a true sign of wanting what's right in your heart.  

do i mean dreams as in crazy, high up, far away, unique, creative, and completely heartfelt? 

yes, i absolutely do.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

every summer has a story.

every girl dreams of a certain time in her life and that time is when she meets a boy she'll never forget and a summer where it all began.  

let me correct myself.  every girl dreams of TWO times in her life and the second one is when she realizes that the summer where it all began becomes planning the day where their lives will begin together.  

my summer story started last year when i moved home from North Dakota and back to my home town.  i met up with some old high school friends one night and that is really the time when everything started between nick and i.  

we met, we went fishing at 4 am, and we spent almost every night together since.  nick has always encouraged me to be myself and he has taken me places that i've never been.  his laid back personality is calming to me yet he is always up for anything (dancing in the middle of a dirt road by the river is one of my favorite memories with him).  it only took me about one date with this boy to realize how thankful i was that i moved home.  

this past Sunday marked our one year anniversary and it was perfect.  he woke me up at 7 am and took me on a 15 mile bike ride!  it was beautiful outside and such a relaxing morning.  we made breakfast, i headed out to work for the afternoon, and we ended our anniversary at the place where our relationship began:  the lake.

annnnd of course some good old selfies for yaa!  ;)

building a relationship and keeping it strong:

one of the best parts of my relationship with nick is how strong our relationship was on day 1 and how strong it is currently despite the one year of time that has passed.  when i first met him and began my relationship with him there was nothing that fulfilled an emptiness in my heart like the 'first love feelings.'  it was new and exciting and different.  over time we got to know one another, we grew together, and one year passed and guess what?  it's still new and exciting and different.  of course relationships are about learning and accepting but there is absolutely no reason why they can't stay fun and exciting and strong.  

 here are some ways to do so:

 1.  set goals together
2.  dance together
3.  walk together
4.  always always always support him/her
5.  take lots of pictures
6.  travel 
7.  schedule dates near or on water.  it's relaxing and even the same view 100 times can always look and feel different
8.  say 'i love you' more than one time per day
9.  tell them they are your best friend more than one time per day
10.  let God be the center of your relationship 

i hope your week is going fabulous!! 

-elizabeth jane.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

catching up.

this week flew by!  i was reminded how thankful i am to have a job even though it may not be my 'dream job'.  i'm starting to wonder if that even exists for a person like me anyways.  i mean, of course it does...we were all put on this earth for a special purpose, it's just hard when i enjoy so many things!  i think i've started to narrow it down a bit, however, i'm trying to focus on one thing at a time.

which brings me back to here:  finding balance.

i believe that in each of us there lies a good and a bad.  a happy and sad.  a joy and a doubt.  a struggle and a success.  a light and a dark.  there are moments that i wish i could go back in time and remove all of the hard times in my life but i believe that if that were possible, the good things would disappear as well.  i do my very best to take things as they come (good and bad) and accept them and use them to learn and to change me and ultimately push me to the next page in my story.  i hold them deep in my heart as memories and visit them often but i also keep an open mind for the next things to come.  finding balance does not mean changing everything you do so you can be exactly like the next person.  it doesn't have to mean cutting out foods you love and juicing.  it doesn't mean keeping a diary or making lists.  and it definitely doesn't mean comparing yourself and your life to others.  finding balance is when you just take a couple of minutes to ask yourself what it is that makes your heart beat.  what on this earth makes you smile and bring positivity to your life and the people around you.  i try to treat every day as a gift to unwrap and while doing so i continue to ask myself if this day will be a life changing one.

i'm beginning to find that the days i set aside time to compare myself to nothing more than my thoughts about who i am are the days that do just that, completely change my life.

my favorites this week!

i have a new love for strength training.  i'll admit it, it took me awhile to reallyyy love it (i was the cardio queen!)  but after a month or two of really taking the time to lift weights and lift them properly, my body has never felt stronger.  my goal is to strength train 4 times a week for the next month (i'm at about 3 times right now).

my workout of choice before my work days this week (i walked and biked to and from work for some cardio).  It's amazing what nice weather and no gym can do for your soul..and your bodyy!

push-ups:  3x15
squats with 10 lb dumbbells:  3x25

tricep push-ups:  (as many as possible on knees 3x)
30 alternating lunges 3x

tricep dips on char 3x15
jumping jacks 3x60

squat jumps 3x25
lunge hold with bicep curl 3x15

front kicks 3x25
fire hydrants 3x25 each leg

core work to two songs.

 my go to snack...iced coffee with skim milk and cashews.  makes my bike trips a little more interesting!

 new hair cut gahhh i just wish i had someone to do my hair every single day.  i'm such a "hair thrown on top of head" type of girl.  put it up and go is my kind of style!

last night was great.  after a long week for both nick and i, we went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in town and  listened to a band on the patio.  we sat there and talked for over two hours and the night was perfect.  i'm getting married in a month and a half and everything is starting to feel so so real.  planning a wedding  can be extremely stressful and often times can get the best of my emotions, but it's nights like these that i'm reminded of what my wedding day is actually going to be about:  starting my life with the one person that in my entire life has made me feel complete.  my smile is bigger, my heart is fuller, and the truest part of myself comes out whenever he is around and to be completely honest with you, i actually adore who i am in those moments.  we drove home last night and took a walk around our neighborhood after 11:00 PM.  it was dark and quiet and even though there were a million stars in the sky above us, i felt like we were the only ones they were shining on.  we laid on the sidewalk and he held my hand and thanked me for a perfect night.  i closed my eyes and prayed because it is moments like these where God is blessing me, loving me, and making me never ever want to give up.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

let us be aware

Many people no longer feel emotions.  They have endured so much pain in the past that they simply turned off their feelings.  I was here once and learned that people who have refused to feel anything for a long period of time are afraid to begin to feel again because all they can remember about feelings is pain.  Pain.  One of the hardest words to comprehend because there are so many versions of it.  Physical pain, emotional pain, financial pain, and anxious pain can all come in to character at some point in our lives and not only do they create stress but they have the perfect opportunity to completely tear us down.  Eventually this pain must be dealt with in order to let godly emotions flow in our lives again.  Allowing ourselves to feel again will turn a hard heart into a tender one, but it requires patience and willingness to work with your deepest self to get those feelings turned back on. 

No matter what has caused your pain or how terrible it was, don't stay in the bondage of having a hard heart.  It will only treat the symptoms and not the roots of your pain.  It will not protect you from further pain but it will inhibit the ability to hear the sound of your own voice and the voice of God.  He did create us to have feelings you know!  Anytime you let yourself feel you are going to make yourself vulnerable to some sort of pain BUT it will be different when you are prepared and when you can accept that there is no perfect way to handle something, just God's way.  If you have turned off your emotions, much like I did in order to prevent yourself from feeling any sort of hurt, rejection, or anxiety, I ask that you take a minute and turn them back on because coincidentally all of those things will be your end result if you don't.  When you turn them off you have compromised your very own ability to hear the voice inside of you that's leading to you a long and healthy life, which is exactly what your fragile heart deserves.


Monday, July 8, 2013

be the light.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend and enjoyed family, friends, and lots of good food and lake time!  I wanted to a take a minute and share with you some things that really touched me over the weekend when I compared them to my life.  I heard a story about a young man who worked as a server at a resort in Mexico.  He was the kindest, genuine, and most outgoing person that all of the resort's guests asked to sit at his table every single day.  His section would often times be full and guests would wait in order to be served by him.  He didn't have much, he was just a regular man with a family at home to care for but the one quality that he did have was the one that made him who he was and successful at what he did.  He was a light.  Even in a vacation world that many people saw as pure paradise, they were still drawn to him each and every day because of his personality and smile.   Unlike resorts in Mexico, our every day lives can sometimes feel dark and it is during these times that you and me need to be bright.  People are automatically drawn to light in a dark room.  It's the one thing you can see and the one thing that holds your attention.

If you are still breathing, it means you are still here.  If you are still here it means that you haven't fulfilled your purpose in this world yet.  Maybe you have discovered what your call is, but you haven't pursued it yet.  Maybe you have pursued it, but the next chapter of your life hasn't occurred.  If you are still here, it means that the best days of your life are still yet to come.  Discovering what your call in life is can be one of the most stressful and defeating things you'll ever do.  You might change your mind.  You might get injured.  You might have a list that's 20 items long and you just can't decide.  While all of this is occurring it is good to remember that we all can share one same purpose, and that is to be a light.  Make every person you meet be drawn to your smile and your personal gifts.  Pass on positivity, confidence, and pay it forward.  If we can all learn how to be like the young man working as a server in our very own life, every single person we meet will want to sit in our section and further, they will want to be like us and do the same.  When I heard this story about him, I made it a goal to be a light in someone's life each and every day.

Some other fun stuff:

I recently started taking a Turbokick class at the gym and if you have never tried it, YOU SHOULD.  Such a fun way to work out and burn tons of calories and it completely knocked me out of my "running is the only thing that works" rut.  It opened the group exercise door for me and I am starting to lean on classes and the support of others rather than the treadmill.

I'm working on a new page for my blog.  It's about our wedding and includes everything from pictures to our engagement to step by step invitation making.  It's a work in progress.

Weekend Pictures:

I hope your Monday is marvelous and no matter where you are or what you're doing, smile big and light someone's day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

be contagious.

I haven't been writing much lately.  I really haven't had the courage to actually.  I have spent the past couple of weeks at a small war with myself and to be completely honest with you, the whole battle is revolved around love.  Loving myself to be exact. I am passionate for many things and have been surrounded by so much love that my heart just sparkles.  I reached a point, however, where those just weren't enough.  As humans our emotions can often get the best of us and that is exactly what happened to me.  I looked at my life and my heart was so full yet this feeling of emptiness sat in my chest like a heavy rock.  But why?  Believe me, I asked myself this many times and I only received some sort of answer when God showed me that I didn't love myself nearly enough.  I loved so many things and so many people except the one person that I'm with all of the time.  I think that recognizing this was the hardest part and I believe that often times it is any situation.  After reading and writing and digging into my own inspiration I used my own voice to defeat the voice inside of my head.  And let me tell you, once you can do this and realize that the voice that is telling you that you can't or that you're not good enough isn't you, your whole world will change.

The Bible teaches us to not be selfish and self-centered.  It never ever tells us, however, that we cannot pray for ourselves and even more, that we cannot love ourselves.  Maybe you can relate to me on this.  I know my life is wonderful and I know that I have so many things to be proud of, but it can be very easy to find myself in a situation where there is nobody to blame but me.  "If I would have done this, something better would have happened."  "If I just would have stuck it out, I wouldn't be in this situation."  Those are just some examples that identify how even words and sentences can put shame and negativity in our thoughts.  We are our own worst enemies and when there isn't a direct line between our minds and our hearts, we completely lose our self worth.  The beauty, the creativity, and the respect can disappear whether it be one negative thought or 50.  Because of this, I started paying attention to my spoken words and to the voice that spoke to me on the inside and I started noticing a pattern.  The more I listened to my own self, the more miserable I became.  Every single thought that entered my mind related to fear, doubt, or the incredibly annoying sound of that voice that said I wasn't capable.  This was true in regards to my healing, to my self-image, my financial state, and even my relationships.  I began actually believing that I wasn't worthy of anything and it made me start hating myself and this isn't anything close to who I am.  In reality, I don't hate anything and I believe that no one ever should.  I would like to fill you in on a secret that I wish I would have known years ago.  Failure is inevitable and this will always be true.  But every single part of failing is what will make you successful. 

My 'failures' happened because I wasn't totally and completely in love with myself.  Had I loved myself like I should, they wouldn't have been failures.  They would have been challenges, they would have been times to learn, and times to grow.  But because I wasn't comfortable with my very own self I only saw failure.  I was afraid to say even one positive thing about myself and because of this, I am now forcing myself to say 100. 

I'm not writing this for you to feel any sort of emotion toward me, I promise.  I just want you to recognize that when you feel your heartbeat, see your own smile, and become absolutely amazed by even the sound of your own voice, the feelings you have about everything, every single thing in this world, will be positive.  If you don't love yourself, you will be miserable.  You are the one person that you can never have a break from and when you can't even have a heart connection with the one and only you, success is going to be a pretty tough thing to come about.  Happiness is not found in a mirror or a wallet or inside make believe dreams.  It comes from accepting the person that you are and the qualities that God has given you in this very moment.  The nights I spend repeating the good things in my life, I wake up the next morning so hungry for the next day in front of me.  The darkness is completely lifted and in the smallest moment I am reminded that nobody is watching me but the world is watching me and if I ever want my love and my joy and my happiness to be contagious I have to not only accept, but truly love the person that I am.

As you begin to think and talk differently about yourself, your entire attitude toward your life will change and I promise you that you will do incredible incredible things.