Monday, January 17, 2011

The Enchanted Teacup

I got a teacup for Christmas:

Cute, huh? You could say that I love it. Mark makes tea pretty regularly here at the ole Johnson household - probably at least once a day. Whenever I request "my most special favorite teacup", this is the one he brings.

Apparently I am not the only one who loves this Anthropologie teacup. Little Melvin has a love for this quaint little piece of porcelain that rivals mine.

It all started on Christmas day. We were buzzing about the house, Mark had the tea kettle on the stove, and all of the sudden, it began. Exhibit A:

No, this was not staged. He was not trained to love the teacup. We thought the attachment was bizarre, but as we all do, we moved on with our lives.

About two weeks later we had friends over and we were chatting in the living room. I heard some commotion in the kitchen and asked Mark if he would go check to see what Melvin was making all that fuss about. Mark went into the kitchen and then said, "It's the teacup". The teacup that was now on the windowsill. The teacup that I wouldn't have thought would have been visible for a little dog. We moved the teacup into the living with us, and here is what transpired:

Yes, I was trying to show Melvin the teacup so that he would know it wasn't magical, and it wasn't made of meat, in case that's what he thought.

We then put the teacup back in the kitchen where it belongs, and the following went on for probably close to an hour:

And there you have it. I have a dog that should apparently have been born in Britain, where he could have high tea daily, with scones. And that is the story of The Enchanted Teacup.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Haircut Day!

Me, Melvin, and Bella all got our hair cut yesterday! It is so fun to get a haircut, and it is so fun to have the dogs looking all fancy. (-:

Here's my haircut, with Melvin's:

And here are the two poodles: (Sorry that Melvin is too black to really see, and yes, Bella's ear is flipped inside out. Have you ever tried to take a picture of two dogs?! ha)

Anyway, we all looked pretty fancy.

I am also getting my wedding rings refurbished, so they will be all shiny next week, and as an update, I am becoming pretty ripped to shreds and am really enjoying my workouts.

I guess that's all for now. Just a short post with some pics for the weekend! Happy Saturday!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Embracing Accusation

Sometimes, life just really stinks. I’ve had one of those weeks. I usually don’t blog about it, but I just kinda need to put it out there. Plus, I feel like the Lord is trying to use some of these situations (yes, there have been multiple) to try to refine my character, and so sometimes it helps to articulate some things.

Without going into detail, I’ve had quite the string going lately where I’ve put my foot in my mouth pretty severely, or I’ve messed up. You know, those times when you ask yourself, “Why did I do that?” or “Why didn’t I do it this way instead?” There’s also those times when maybe it wasn’t completely something you did, but a terrible situation came about anyway, involving you, so you still feel pretty rotten about yourself. I’ve been sitting there on and off for a couple weeks now. One thing has  led to another. I haven't been able to get a break yet.

So, instead of continuing to wallow in my own self pity (believe me, I’ve done enough of that for all of you in the last few days, and still am fighting it), I’m trying to learn from it. I’ve been convicted of and taught several things. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it all since I’m still working through it all.

The first thing is my tongue. This little bitty body part has always gotten me in trouble, and it has just had a mind of its own lately. Perhaps I’ve let my guard down. Perhaps I thought I had improved enough that I didn’t need to constantly be cautious. Whatever the cause, let’s just say, I am definitely not controlling my tongue. It’s so interesting, because James talks about how we can control wild animals, but we can’t contain the tongue. How our whole being is steered like a boat is steered by a rudder with our tongues. I know all these things, and also know James says it shouldn’t be that way, but I have been miserably failing in this area. Hurting people, hurting myself, and just hurting. So I’m working on it. James chapter three and me have had some serious quality time and are continuing to have some more until we know each other inside and out. And until then, I continue to pray for my tongue, and pray for those people that tend to draw the worst of my words out of me.

Second of all, due to the complete disaster area I have been wrecking with my tongue and with my lack of thought before my actions, I’ve been feeling really lousy. Like a lousy human being. Just sinful. Unworthy. Unloved. Unliked. You name it, I’ve felt it. Again, terrible. This time, it wasn’t a scripture passage, but a song, derived from scripture, that brought about a bit of peace. It’s a song by Shane and Shane called “Embracing Accusation”. (Seriously worth checking out here.)  It talks about how Satan talks to us, how he tells us, even using scripture, that cursed are those of us that don’t abide. That I have sinned and gone astray, that I cannot gain salvation, that the penalty of that sin is death, and that death is mine. This is not about doubting my salvation, but about Satan reminding me of my sin, of the weight of it, and making me feel so unworthy that I am paralyzed in my faith and self-focused. Yet, through this song, I am reminded that these words that Satan is speaking about my unworthiness and being unlovable are all true. Yet, he has conveniently only been saying the first verse of that age old song, leaving out the refrain. What’s the refrain? Jesus saves. He saves, you guys! He sees my sin and self-pity and my sadness and my stupid actions and hurtful words – he sees all of it. In spite of all of that, he saves.

And the third thing, oh yes, there are three things. I’m telling ya, this has been quite a week and a half, and then some leading up to it. My mind. My mind is such a constant battlefield. And I’ve seen how it is also a battlefield for so many people. A sweet friend of mine was being encouraging recently and shared with me how a verse that I have been praying for myself for so long was a verse she has also prayed – but over other people. Why hadn’t I thought of that? The verse is from 2 Corinthians 10:5 where we are commanded to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” So for those people that I have hurt, whether intentionally or not, and those that have hurt me, Satan is assuredly trying to get them to dwell on that hurt, to get them to assume the worst, to bring in doubt, fear, anger, etc. etc. And again, bringing about that constant reminder in my mind of my mistakes, my crummy situation, and telling me I’m not loved. But those are thoughts that I have not made obedient to Christ. And what an encouragement to know that scripture itself commands us to do that – recognizing the challenge as significant – taking something captive isn’t usually an easy chore. It requires a game plan, lots of effort, and sometimes more than one shot. But I can pray over this verse, and I can pray it over those that are also hurting, and I can experience some peace in knowing that if they are making their thoughts obedient to our Lord, then everything will be fine.

Those are some of the things that have been swirling in my head and heart, especially the last few days. (That and the big fat headache I’ve been dealing with for a couple days – gee – I wonder why? Ha.) It’s been so overwhelming that I haven’t even really been able to articulate it or talk about it. It’s just so much and so heavy.

I am thankful for my salvation, and for the love and peace that only comes through Jesus.


My First Day at the Gym

 I did it. I worked out. I put on my little workout outfit, filled up my pink Klean Kanteen with ice water, found an ipod arm band holder that fits an ipod version much older than the one I currently have, and got in my car. Did I know where I was going? Well, no, but I knew I was going to “the gym”, and I was going to workout and join. All in one. I don’t mess around.

I knew the gym was about two miles from my house, but I realized as I approached said intersection, I had no idea where it was. Great. So I started looking and realized there was a good chance I was going to have to turn around… and then I saw the little gym sign. Bingo. So I pulled in and found a parking spot, and looked for the entrance.

Might I add, this whole experience happened while I’m trying to maintain “image”. You know, I don’t want to be the obvious “New Year’s Resolution Gym Girl" who clearly hasn’t worked out in over a year (do NOT judge me) and just stumbled into the gym to occupy a few machines for a couple weeks so the regulars can get frustrated. So I go in, all confident, and I tell the girl I want to join. So another girl takes me to a computer and gets me all set up and she’s like, “have you ever been here before?” and I’m like “no”, and she’s like “do you want to look around?” and I’m like “no”. Ha. I had done my research and I knew I wanted to join there, and if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t signing a contract so I could quit at any time. Brilliant.

So I signed my name on the dotted line and she proceeded to give me the tour, including the locker room where I can use my gym card as a key to get a free locker while I work out. Pure gold. So I put my stuff in a locker and continued to follow her around.

Then she left me. Just like that. Gone.

I was alone, trying to look cool, in a massive gym and I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t even really sure what I was going to do for my work out, but I knew I needed to do something. Good thing I had such a specific game plan. Ha.

So I reverted back to my training sessions at my old gym and I thought, “well, I’ll get on the elliptical and warm up for a few minutes, you know, get the blood flowing.” So I scope out the ellipticals and I hopped on. This is where it gets tricky. I have been on similar machines before, but not all machines are created equal, and with each passing year, it seems that about ten buttons are added to workout machines, making it increasingly difficult to hide my New Year’s Resolution Gym Girl status.

Awesome. So, I’m all about the “quick start” button on those machines, so I hop on and start going. Then it starts asking me all these questions and I’m totally confused about how to answer them. I have my earphones on (listening to Tal and Acacia), but I can hear the machine beeping. Pretty obnoxiously. Then I realize I definitely need to put on some resistance to make it a workout. The resistance is on a scale of 1 to 100, with intervals of ONE. What?! So here I am…. Beep…beep…beep…beep…. I figure if I hold down the button it will start doing intervals of ten. Nope. It just beeped faster. At this point I realize I have been on my machine for approximately 30 seconds and it has probably beeped a thousand times. Surely, I think, other people have on headphones, too, and they aren’t hearing this. So, I very non-chalantly look around and see that coincidentally, the people around me are, in fact, NOT wearing headphones.

Image crusher number one. Dang.

So I warmed up for about twelve minutes, and then, I’m sure to the pleasure of everyone around me, I got off the machine and moved on.

I did some pretty legit stretches and a super legit ab workout before moving to do some free weights. My gym has “complimentary towel service”, which I was pretty stoked about, even though I’ve been informed that’s pretty common. I don’t care. I like it. And I will brag about it. So, I had grabbed a complimentary towel during my stretches to put on the mat, and then I took it with me to do some arm weights. You know, because my arm workouts were going to be pretty intense with my ten pound dumbbells, I figured I would need a sweat rag. (sarcasm.)

So I did my arm work-out. By the way, there was some other chick there, all tan and in her workout clothes, who didn’t understand that when someone smiles at you, it’s generally polite to smile back. She was probably just jealous of my complimentary towel.

Anyway, so I did some arm stuff. I’m not going to try to put names on it. Let’s just say I just asked Mark, “is it called dumbbells if it’s two separate ones?”. I’m not going to pretend I know the lingo. I just want to pretend that I look like I know what I’m doing in the gym. (-:

So after the legit arm workout, I decided I would finish up with some pretty intense squats and lunges. I walked away from the arm workout area and about halfway to my destination I realized I had left my complimentary towel. This was quite a dilemma. I mean, there are LOTS of complimentary towels, so I could get another one, yet I’m not one of those people that leaves stuff everyone – I throw things away, I generally try to not make a mess places. But then I realized if I went back there, everyone would know I forgot my complimentary towel and they would think, “Stupid New Year’s Resolution Gym Girl – using all the complimentary towels and just throwing them around.” So I left the towel and pretended like I meant to.

I did my hardcore leg workout, finished with some stretches, drank almost all of my Klean Kanteen, and even worked up a small sweat and got up the ole heart rate. Definitely what I would call a good workout.

So, like a pro, I went to the locker room, gathered my things, walked out the door and hopped in my car and drove back home. 

And that folks, was my first workout at my new gym.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Healing Waters

If you have had acne problems and can't figure out how to deal with them, you should definitely read this.

I have finally solved the mystery of my skin problems. I'm guessing you didn't know that I even had skin problems, because well, it was pretty terrible and I if I talked about them without light at the end of the tunnel, this blog would get really depressing really quickly.

So here's the dealio. In the beginning of October I started having facial skin problems, of the pretty serious acne variety. Now, I've always had skin problems, and have pretty significant scarring, but it's always been relatively manageable, especially might my awesome make-up skills. But this... this was different. This was like my skin declared an all out nuclear war on my face. I mean, I couldn't believe it. It was painful. It hurt to touch my face, it hurt to change clothes, and sometimes it hurt when I talked. My Prescription for Nutritional Healing book tells me that acne ends at 24. Well, folks, I'm 25, and I had never had anything like this.

So what did I do? Well, first things first, I tried a new face wash. That didn't work. So I tried a hair, skin, and nails vitamin. That didn't work either. So I got microdermabrasion done. I bought skin masks. By the way, while I'm trying all of these things, my skin is getting progressively worse. My mom suggested perhaps it was stress - you know, recent pneumonia, new house puchase, opera busyness, etc - I was stressed. But I didn't feel stressed now. And my face was still getting worse. I switched to an acne skin care set - nothing happened. Then I thought, maybe I'm gluten intolerant. So I tried a gluten free diet for a couple of weeks. Nothing.

The acne was spreading all over my face and so I thought, what in the WORLD could be causing this? So I talked with Mark and I was like, okay, this started right after a haircut I got at the end of September (weird that I know that, but I know) and I was like, what else happened then? Hmm... we moved into our new house! And so I thought, "What if I'm allergic to something in the house?"

So I got on the trusty 'ole world wide web and looked to see if environmental allergies could cause acne. Crickets. (Not the insect, like the www was completely silent.) Then I typed in "I just moved and now I have acne" and tons of stuff came up. I wasn't the only one. So I was very intrigued. It was people just like me. People in their 20's and 30's who had only ever had slight acne had terrible acne since they moved to a new place. What was the common denominator?

The water.

Yes, folks. H2O. The stuff you WASH YOUR FACE with. The stuff you SHOWER with. The stuff that contacts your face a lot. The water.

So after some further research, I bought three water filters, one for each of our shower heads and one for a sink faucet. And I started washing my face out of the sink facuet and showering with the new filters.

And lo and behold, my face started getting better. Every day it improved. It was miraculous.

I took before pictures, but the problem is that even though my skin is now WAY clearer, I have some pretty significant new scarring all over my face and so from a picture you probably wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference. But there is such a difference. It's not perfect yet, but it never was, and it is definitely SO MUCH BETTER. We eventually plan on installing a whole house water filtration system, because I don't want to have to be replacing external shower head and sink filters every three months!

So that's my story. The story of my skin problems and the mystery behind it. I just got the new filters a couple weeks ago, so I'm really hoping it keeps improving. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and I totally worked out tonight. (-: I think I'm going to be way sore tomorrow. (-:


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Goal Post

**Disclaimer: Don't let the title fool you - this is not about sports**

Everyone's doing it, and so I will too. Sometimes I wonder if everyone jumped off a bridge if I would. Although, I think I probably wouldn't, not because of the "everyone's doing it" factor, but because of the fear factor. I was at a bridge one time and all my friends were jumping off into the river and I didn't. Because I was experiencing sheer terror just thinking about it and I was NOT afraid to admit it. I'm a chicken. A pansy. A fraidy cat. Wuss. Whatever. So, no, I wouldn't jump off that bridge (nor will I ride roller coasters, bungee jump, sky dive, watch really scary movies, or do something because someone dares me too). I'm okay with being skurred. (Plus, my friend that jumped off the bridge totally got bruises all over her body.)

Now that I have COMPLETELY digressed, I will move on to my goals for 2011!

My first goal is one I REALLY want to make happen but I'm not sure it if will. My goal is to pay off my student loan this year. Mark and I each have one remaining loan. Mine is the smaller of the two, but it's still pretty dang big. I would really like to pay it off. But, there are some other things that I also need to think about, like the potential of having to purchase a new car, so I'm sure if it will happen. But I've worked the budget and we should come pretty close!

I am joining a gym. I've decided. I know, I know, everyone does this, and then quits. But I have a tangible goal of working out 10 times a month for at least 30 minutes each time. That's not bad, plus, the gym I am going to join is very close to our new house, and is nice. That makes a difference. AND, I have always loved working out, but when we were in that little bitty apartment and had a big dog, I felt bad leaving the dog in one little room every time I left, so I didn't leave that much. Now that we have two little dogs, and one big house with a big yard, I'm not concerned about that. This gym also doesn't require a contract. I HATE gym contracts. I've been burned by them before. I'm going to wait a couple weeks after the rush to join. I'm giving up my go out to each for lunch once a week money to get a gym membership. I just feel like I'm not getting any younger and I'm not muscular at all so I need to shape it up! (-:

My third goal is to keep my car clean. I confess. My car is a total disaster area. We're talking, an atomic bomb went off and then a tornado followed closely thereafter. And the remnants were left there for a few years. Don't even try to put your feel in the floorboard without kicking a random cup or book or whatever is down there. It's really terrible. And the thing is, it kinda drives me crazy, yet I'M the one that makes it that way. How does that work? So, this year my goal is to keep my car clean, by picking up a few things every time I get out of my car. (-:

I haven't tangible goals yet for this next one, but I'm working on it. I want to memorize scripture. I'm not sure how much. I thought about doing a verse a week, and then I thought about doing something more, like the book of James. It only has five chapters, so I could memorize one every two months. So we'll see.

Those are my goals for now. (-:

What are YOUR goals?

Blog Design by Sweet Simplicity