Monday, July 1, 2013

Sugar Babies

Man, I needed this today.

This weekend has been hard. I tried to stay on plan the best I could, and I am pretty proud of how well I did. But today I took my "month #1 complete" photos, and I was a little disappointed.

While browsing Pinterest, I saw a pin that was about BBQ Danger Zones from the Skinny Mom blog (you can read it here). It was good advice, but this little fact is what totally blew me away:

I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. That really  makes sense. This was just the motivation I needed today to stay on track.

Remember, we're doing this day by day and meal by meal. This isn't a "quick fix" it's a long term lifestyle change.

Here's a quote from Made to Crave that I have printed on my fridge. It's a great reminder as we begin this 4th of July week:

Healthy Habits
  • God has given me power over my food choices. I hold the power—not the food. So, if I’m not supposed to eat it, I won’t put it in my mouth. 
  • I was made for more than being stuck in a vicious cycle of defeat. I am not made to be a victim of my poor choices. I was made to be a victorious child of God.
  • When I am struggling and considering a compromise, I will force myself to think past this moment and ask myself, “How will I feel about this choice tomorrow morning?”
  • If I am in a situation where the temptation is overwhelming, I will have to choose to either remove the temptation or remove myself from the situation. 
  • When I’m invited to a party or another special occasion rolls around, I can find ways to celebrate that don’t involve blowing my healthy eating plan.
  •  Struggling with my weight isn’t God’s mean curse for me. Being overweight is an outside indication that internal changes are needed for my body to function properly and for me to feel well.
  • I have these boundaries in place not for restriction but to define the parameters of my freedom. My brokenness can’t handle more freedom than this right now. And I’m good with that. 
Victory is possible, sisters, not by figuring out how to make this an easy process, but by choosing—over and over and over and over again—the absolute power available through God’s truth.  


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Friday, June 28, 2013

Clothes Hoarder

I seriously just sat for about three full minutes trying to come up with that title. I still don't think it does this justice, but oh well, let's move on.

My name is Jessica, and for about four years, I've been hoarding clothes.

I lost quite a bit of weight my sophomore year of college. I was 19 years old. About a year after reaching my goal, I started gaining the weight back because I didn't lose the weight in a way that was maintainable over the span of, oh you know, life.

I've been holding onto the clothes I bought at age 19 for four long years.

For four years I've gone to my closet each morning, looked at these "small" clothes, and had to reach for the "larger" ones instead.

I ran out of room in my closet(s) when Jason and I got married since I had to give one of my closets to him. Even then, I kept the clothes. I stuffed them under our bed or in the guest room closet. I thought that maybe if I didn't have to see them, it wouldn't be as hard to get dressed every morning without thinking about the fact that I couldn't fit into my "small" clothes.

But I still knew they were there.

I believed the lie that these clothes were motivation to lose weight. I thought that I'd eventually fit back into them, and if I just kept trying, I'd get there.

But it wasn't motivation - it was unhealthy.

Four years later, my clothes have caused me more emotional baggage than any inanimate object should.

A few days ago, I decided that I'd had enough. I'm a journey that is physical as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual. Why am I letting pieces of fabric stop that process? Why am I letting clothing slow me down?

To get to the point where I asked these questions, I had to go back to facing reality.

This is my reality:
  • I haven't fit into those clothes in four years. I may never fit into clothes that 19 year old Jessica wore.
  • I don't really want to wear clothes that I wore when I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college.
  • Most of the clothes aren't even in style anymore
  • None of them would be useful to wear to work.
  • I enjoy shopping. Shopping for new clothes once I reach my goal would be more fun then shopping through old clothes that I've been looking at for years and years. 
  • It would be more fun to throw out the "larger" clothes later and make room for new clothes.
So last night, I dug out all of my old clothes from the bottom of my drawers, the back of my closet, the guest bedroom, and from under our bed. It'll be tough to get rid of hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars worth of clothes, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.

My mom and I decided that it would be a good "reward" to buy myself a new quality piece of clothing every time I reach a milestone. I like that idea :)

Speaking of quality, I had some crappy  cheap looking juvenile clothes. From now on, I may not buy as much, but I'm definitely going to have a quality wardrobe over a large one.

What is holding you back right now?

What baggage do you have that is standing in the threshold of you really accomplishing a goal you have?

Get rid of it!! Don't let things stand in your way on your own journey! 

Our guest room last night.
Left side is going to be given away. Right side is going to be consigned.
My favorite store is having a big sale right now.
Check out LOFT if you're in need of some new, quality pieces!!!


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Numbers are Cotton-Headed-Ninny-Muggins

I'm not a numbers person. I'm really just not. In my opinion, number are better left in the hands of "numbers people" and I do not qualify as one of those people. By the way, the title is not calling "numbers people" Cotton-Headed-Ninny-Muggins - I've just really had an urge to watch Elf all week.

Going through this weight loss journey, my worst fear is gaining back weight that I've lost, not losing any weight, or really not losing "enough" at a time. If I'm eating right and working out but I am not losing weight on a scale or only like 1/2 a pound at a time, it makes me want to ask, "What's the point?"

Anyone else ever feel that way?

But if I lost 6 lbs. in 24 days, that means that I lost 2/3 of a pound a day. Over time, that adds up...it just may not look that way on the scale.

Before I began this journey, I read a book called Made to Crave. I totally recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is what she says about weight-in day:


Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale. The scale does help measure our progress, but it can’t tell us everything. It can’t tell us if the problem is too much salt intake that is making us retain a pound or two of water. It can’t tell us if we actually lost a pound of fat but gained more muscle from weight training. And (in my case this week), it can’t tell us what time of the month it is and then give us automatic credit for the extra two pounds or so those glorious few days bring to us.

So, I had to stop and ask myself the following questions:

• Did I overeat this week on any day?

• Did I move more and exercise regularly?

• Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last Wednesday?

• Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration?

• Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?

• Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week?

So, why oh why do I get so tied up in a stupid number? And why did I almost let it trip me up and send me to the kitchen for a 750-calorie binge? (Don’t worry. I had a yogurt and tea instead.) Sweet friends, we need to define ourselves by our obedience, not a number on the scale. Okay? Pinky promise? Good. We are all in this thing together. And we will get the weight off, even if it is 1.8 pounds at a time!

I've started a new tradition where I read this after I weigh-in - and it really does help. I also have the bullet points printed out and taped to my bathroom mirror. I asked myself these questions and give a verbal answer (I guess that means I do talk to myself after all).

If you struggle at all with what the scale says, do this, and make sure that you're stepping on the scale with a mindset of obedience rather than getting caught up silly numbers.

Now, onto something else -

I'm totally obsessed with some new music...well maybe not new, but newer and new to me.

The album I'm currently obsessed with is Ron Weasley's Ed Sheeran's "+". I totally jam out to it almost everyday on the way to work right now. Just a disclaimer, he's British, so you have to beware of the language. He doesn't use bad language in a demeaning or derogatory way, he just kinda slips it in there. I don't condone it, but I really like his music.
Buy Ed's album on iTunes here.

Little interesting fact: Ed has actually written songs for/with One Direction. He's a brilliant songwriter (image me saying the last sentence with a British accent).

That's about all I have for today, folks.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

24 Day Challenge Results

So here we are on June 25th. I officially have completed Advocare's 24 Day Challenge. I want to share my results with you in an honest, transparent, and practical way. So here we go...
My "start" photo from the first week of the 24 DC

Background:

I've tried SO many "diets". The summer before 9th grade, my mom became a member of Weight Watchers. Obviously, I didn't join, but sometimes I'd go to the meetings with her just to listen, and she definitely changed the way she cooked for my dad, my sisters, and me. As a result, I lost about 15 lbs. Before you get all freaked out about a 14 year old losing that much weight, I promise, I had it to lose. For the first, and maybe only time in my life, I felt skinny.

Later in high school, as my body continued to change, I gained some weight. In college, I was up and down and all over the place. I tried diet after diet looking for a "quick fix". I had a problem and I wanted someone to give me a solution.

This, paired with the fact that I'm insulin resistant, means that I've been on a very frustrating, and at times gruesome uphill battle for about 10 years. I'm the product of someone who is constantly worried about the way I look, how my clothes fit, and as I've said before on my blog, I always make sure that I mentioned my weight first (usually as some sort of joke) to make sure that people know I realize my own size.

What they don't know is how aware of it I am. It haunts me. And it has haunted me for years and years and years. But in May, on my 24th birthday, I realized that I was heaviest, most out of shape, and largest I'd ever been.

So, when I saw a friend posting stuff about the Advocare 24 Day Challenge on Instragram, we began talking about it. After talking to Jason, we came up with a plan to pay for it, and I began the challenge. Day 1 for me was June 1st, so it was pretty easy to keep track of where I was in the process according to the date.

My Expectations:

When I began the 24DC, I was still in "quick fix" mode. I saw how the weight fell off of my friend and I wanted to see the same results. After the cleanse phase, I'd lost about 4lbs. I promised myself that I would not measure until I completed the challenge because I was afraid of getting discouraged and giving up. So I celebrated my 4lb. loss and decided to keep going. And I did.

My Reality:

Before I give you my results, I want to point out a few things. If anyone reading this is walking through a weight loss journey, I want to be clear that most important thing to focus on is not the number on a scale or the notch on a tape measure - the most important thing is being honest with yourself about your reality.

So here's mine:
  • I'm 5 feet tall. 5 lbs. on me (either gained or lost) looks a lot different that 5 lbs. on someone who is even 4 or 5 inches taller than me.
  • I'm insulin resistant. I have to work twice four times harder than the average person to lose any weight at all because my body literally has a physiological irregularity. I'm not just an average person trying to lose weight.
  • I have a lot of encouragement and many partners in this. I already mentioned my friend who told me about the 24DC. She was so encouraging along the way and I know she will continue to be. We're shaped similarly, and it's been nice to have honest conversations about things we struggled with in college that we never really talked about. If I had to guess, we both just kind of stuck our head in the sand about our weight and pretended we were okay with the way things were.
    I also have Jason. He's been on his own journey with weight loss and just overall general health. Going from the "single guy" lifestyle of lots of meals out, fast food, and cooking easy and convenient things, to married life with a wife who is obsessed with trying to eat healthier, has kind of prompted him to find what foods are best for him. He's also allergic to milk, so he's been testing his limits and realized that his limit is much smaller than he previously thought.
    Last, I have my mom. A few weeks into the 24DC she texted me and said that she wanted to walk through this journey together. She joined myfitnesspal.com and we've been holding each other accountable to eat the right amount of calories, eat the right kind of food, and exercise. I cannot describe in words (without crying at my computer) how much it has meant to me, in this stage of life, to have my mom come alongside me in this.
  • I have a sedentary lifestyle. As much as I hate to admit it, I do. I work at a desk for 8 hours a day. I get up and walk around some here and there, but not enough compared to how much I used to walk around campus in college or activities that kept me moving in high school. I cannot change the fact that I have a desk job, but I need to be honest with myself about what that means for me and how vital it is for me to intentionally exercise each day in some way!
  • I REALLY love sweets. Like, it's bad. I will eat something that I don't even like that much just for the sheer fact that it's sweet and it satisfies my sweet tooth craving. That's something that I'll ALWAYS battle. I will never look at a cookie and say, "Eh, I'll pass. That just really doesn't look good." It can be the grossed looking cookie ever, and the only way that I'll restrain myself is if I am aware of my craving and talk myself out of it by making a healthier choice that will satisfy my hunger. 
  • I'm 24 years old. My body has changed over the years just in the ways it's shaped. I don't need to worry about fitting into clothes from high school or even early college. Those days are gone...and really...what 24 year old woman really wants the body of a teenager?

My Results:

I want to break my results into two parts. I know some of you may be thinking, "Oh my gosh, this is the longest post ever and there aren't any pictures. I don't care that much about your life Jessica!" I don't really blame you. This is long. But for someone who might struggle with the same things, it's important for me to write everything that I need to communicate.

For me, weight loss is WAY more mental and emotional than it is physical. I know, that's crazy and probably impossible. Some people say that it's all math. If you burn more calories than you eat. then you lose weight. Simple if/than statement, right? WRONG. For me, there is nothing simple about losing weight. My mind and my emotions get in the way and make everything way more complicated. I believe it's important to celebrate, pay attention to, and acknowledge the emotional side of this thing just as much, if not more, than the physical.

Physical Results:

I lost right at 6 pounds and 5 inches. Basically what that means is that my "big clothes" are fitting better. I'm not slipping into my "skinny jeans" - in fact I haven't even tried. The those that are the size that I was when I started the 24DC are looser, but they're not falling off. As I said before, I was hoping for a quick fix and I thought that at the end of this, I'd slip on my jeans and they would fall right off. Not the case, but hey, it's only been 24 days.

As far as my physical results in terms of how in shape I am, that's improved a lot. This morning I walked the fastest 5K that I've ever walked. My overall health is improving, and that's a win in my book!

Mental/Emotional Results:

Until last night, I didn't even think that I was going to write about my results because I was ashamed that I didn't lose more weight or shrink any more inches. As I was talking to Jason, he said, "So if you lose 6 lbs. every month, over the course of a year, that's 72 lbs. Wait, you don't need to lose that much...please don't do that!" It hit me that 6 lbs. is GOOD. That's about 2 lbs. a week. If I lost more than that in a week, I probably wouldn't be doing something that is maintainable.

Saturday night as I was getting ready for dinner I realized something; I felt more confident. I slipped into a little red sleeveless sundress that I bought back in May. I accessorized with some cute jewelry and a new headband I got from Target. I was the only one home, and I sat down for a minute and starred at my closet. I wear a cardigan of some sort with 100% of my sleeveless dress/tops. I stood up, and looked in my full length mirror. For the first time in a LONG time, I just looked at myself and thought, "I look really cute." (Usually, my response is more of, "Cute outfit, but oh my gosh my arms and my calves are hideous!") Then, I grabbed my purse and headed out the door  - WITHOUT a cardigan.

After that, I went to The Summit to pick Jason up from work. When I got there, I parked, and while I was waiting for him, I texted my mom and said, "When I eat healthy and exercise, I'm automatically more confident in the way I look. I know I'm not at my goal, or even close to it, but I know that there's nothing more that I could be doing. I'm living as healthy as possible, and that makes me feel good about myself." 

To me, that's a bigger victory than losing a pound a day or an inch a day. That text that I sent my mom is a more truthful result than any scale or tape measure can give me.

What Now?

The challenge is over, so what do I do now? Nothing.

I'm going to keep eating the exact same way. I've still got my booklet and I'm going to follow all of the food directions that come in it. I'm not going to do the intensive supplements and stuff because they're only made to do for 24 days every few months, but that doesn't mean that I change the way I'm eating. In fact, I love the way I'm eating now. It's basically my spin on clean eating - and it keeps me full, it keeps me satisfied, and I'm pretty sure it's helped my metabolism.

I'm going to give myself milestones along the way. Will I eat cake on Jason's birthday? Heck yeah! Will I eat dessert once a week because I'm really just craving something sweet? Nope. I've learned that it helps me to plan ahead. I can say no to a boxed cookie every day for a month knowing that in July, I will celebrate my husband's birthday with him and eat some delicious cake. I've chosen to be picky about my sweets. Quality must trump quantity when it comes to all foods. 

As far as exercising...I'm a walker now. I've fallen in love with it. I love a nice long walk in the morning or evening. One great thing about it is that it just gets me moving without having to think about it. Especially in the evenings when nothing is on TV, Jason and I can go walk for any distance or any length of time and have the same conversation we'd have inside sitting on the couch. I'm a horrible runner. It hurts, and not the good kind of hurt. It hurts my bones and my joints. If I wake up in the morning at 5:00 a.m. and know that I've got to go run, I'm going to press snooze until 6:30 every single time. If I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and know that I get to go listen to a podcast, wake up outside, and watch the sun come up over Birmingham while walking, I'm about 99% more likely to not press snooze.

I also love Zumba. I've come to realize that over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, my gym only offers it on Tuesday nights and Saturdays, but I plan on making those classes as much as possible. It's really fun and it releases a lot of nervous energy that I have pent up for working at a desk all day. It really just takes my mind off of anything stressful for about 55 minutes. Really, what more can you ask for?

Looking Forward:

My goal is to do this for a year. I began the 24DC on June 1st, and I want to make eating healthy and exercising my focus and priority for the next 11 months. My hope is that by June 1, 2014, I'll be at a weight and size that I'm happy with and that I can maintain. This is long a long term goal and there's nothing about it that can be a "quick fix". I don't need fixing, I just need to be healthy. 


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Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend Top 5 - Single Car Family

The Weekend Top 5 is back!!

Before I dive into my weekend reminiscing, let me just send out a warm thank you to everyone who read the first guest post that went up on Friday. We had almost 100 views, which is incredible. For anyone who was a first time reader, I hope you'll come back. For those of you who read somewhat regularly, I hope you enjoyed Jason's take on his favorite summertime song. We'll have more guest posts from Jason throughout the summer and I know that each of them will have just as good of a viewership.

Now, onto the TOP 5!

#5: One Car Family.
This really isn't a favorite thing about the weekend, but it's a big story for me nonetheless. A few weeks ago, Jason's car got hit. He wasn't in it. In fact, it was parked. But anyway, the door got messed up and so last Monday he took his car to the shop and was given a rental car. Friday, I took the rental car to work and was supposed to return it and pick up his car. Well, his car wasn't ready until the rental car place was closing, so I wasn't able to accomplish my task. So, Saturday morning I headed downtown and returned the rental car. I was worried I'd need some sort of paperwork or piece of info that I didn't have, but luckily the return went off without a hitch. Enterprise took me to the body shop and dropped me off. I was in my workout clothes and ready to pick up Dora the Explorer (yes, that's what I lovingly named Jason's car when we were dating), head to the gym, and get my Saturday-o-errands started. But guess what? The body shop was closed. So of course I called Jason crying my eyes out (I'm one of those awkward people who cries when I get really mad or frustrated), because I was stranded downtown at a deserted body shop. Poor Jason had to take his lunch break at 10:00 in the morning, rush downtown, and save me from the situation. So, on a weekend when Jason worked both Saturday and Sunday, we had one car. I drove The Summit a lot this weekend. There's always a silver lining, and this time it was the fact that I got to spend more time with Jason on a weekend that I wasn't going to get to spend much time with him.

#4: 24 Day Challenge Ends.
Today is the last day of the 24DC. I know that's not technically the weekend, but this was the last weekend doing the challenge. So far, I feel great. I'll measure tomorrow, but I do know that I've lost 6lbs, which is more than I've been able to lose in a month in a LONG time. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to jump start their weight loss. I'll continue eating the same, and I really like the Spark energy drinks and the meal replacement drinks. I'm planning on keeping those around.

#3: Flatbreads.
I'm obsessed with homemade flatbreads right now. I've basically got it down to an art.

Here's how I make them:

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Yields: 1 Serving
Ingredients
  • Flatout Spinach Flatbread
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 3 oz. cooked chicken, diced
  • About 1/4 c. of shredded, reduced fat cheese
Directions
  1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray cooking spray on the foil.
  3. Lay your flatbread on the foil and spray the top with a little bit of cookie spray.
  4. Put 1-2 tbsp. of BBQ sauce on the flatbread and spread around.
  5. Spread your chicken around on the flatbread. 
  6. Sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it. You'll want the edges to almost look burned. That's how you know it's crispy. 
  8. Enjoy! 
Sorry the picture is a little dark.

#2: House Hunters.
No, we're not going to be on the show, [yet] (I applied, although I really want to be on Property Brothers.).  Jason and I decided back in January that we're going to start looking for a house to buy in Birmingham around our one year anniversary. Well, Saturday marked our nine month anniversary, so that means only about three months until we get to start really house shopping!! I'm literally beside myself and my favorite pastime has become driving through neighborhoods to look at houses that are for sale. Yesterday, Jason and I drove around the Cahaba Heights area for about 45 minutes just looking. It's just really a lot of fun to dream together. We still have to figure out what kind of house we want and what part of town we want to live in, but the time to make all of these decisions is fast approaching and I couldn't be more excited!

#1: Welcome Home Lauren!
One of my best friends from college, Lauren, just moved back to Birmingham. I literally could not be more excited. Saturday night a group of us all met up at Jackson's to surprise her with a welcome home gathering (Jason was supposed to get a video of the surprise part on his phone but after the surprise ended, he realized he forgot to press record. Silly Jason). It was great to see her and other friends from college. We really have to get together like that more often. I am thrilled that Lauren is in Birmingham now and I can't wait to start getting together regularly...just like the ole days!
Pictures stolen used from Lauren's Instagram.


One last thing - 

If you're looking to make a delicious, healthy, cold treat this summer, look no further than right here. Saturday I made some chocolate strawberry popsicles at home.

Here's how:

Chocolate Strawberry Homemade Pops

Yields: 4 Popsicles
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Light Chocolate Silk milk
  • Handful of frozen sliced strawberries (make sure the buy the bag that has no sugar added)
  • Popsicle molds (Target has them for $2.99 on the seasonal summer isle in the back)
Directions
  1. Place strawberries in the molds.
  2. Pour milk over strawberries.
  3. Freeze overnight.
  4. Enjoy!!!
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Summertime.

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Turn on the radio.  Just kidding, you don’t have to.  But even if you’re someone who can say that the last time you listened to FM radio was when Justin Timberlake was sitting on top of the charts with 4 of his best friends known as ‘NSync, I’m sure that you would agree with my next sentence.  Music is a very powerful tool.  It engages the senses.  There are certain songs that, when I hear them, instantly transport me to the season of life and place where I first heard it.  Sometimes a song will make me nostalgic for my college days.  Other times, it will remind me of great times with my friends from youth group.  Often, a song can remind you of a sad memory or something unwanted.  To this day, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t hear Eye of the Tiger and instantly want to jog the stairs of a monument.   Colossians 3:16 talks about how music is a gift from God and can be used to praise God.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." - Colossians 3:16


Jessica and I were recently driving down the road without an iPod and Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” came on.  Neither of us had heard that song in half a decade but somehow were able to scream every lyric at the top of our lungs.  Lyrics and melodies get stuck so far down within our subconscious that we are able to access them when we least expect it, and in this case for Jessica and me, when we hoped no one else was looking.


Psalm 119:11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  I want to be someone that stores scripture so deep down into my subconscious that I can retrieve it at any given moment when necessary.  I wish I could reference the book of Romans as easily as Nickelback’s break out hit. 

One of my favorite bands during college is a band called MAE.  Their name stands for Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience.  That’s a lot of big words just to describe how music and sounds effect all of your senses to determine your experience.

Every year at the end of the Spring semester as I was about to leave college, the first song I would listen to after I packed my dorm into my car and headed home for summer vacation was MAE’s song “Summertime”.  It’s an upbeat song celebrating what’s ahead, and leaving something else behind.  Five years later, even when I listen to that song, I always remember that time in my life and am thankful for where God has brought me and the personal victories I have achieved since those days.  


Today is the first day of Summer. As one season passes and we begin a new one, I will be sure to listen to that song and reminisce over the memories it brings back.

Turn on the radio.  Just kidding, you don’t have to. But if you did, you might just find a song that creates some new memories. 
What songs will you listen to in order to celebrate past seasons today? 

To download the song "Summertime" by MAE, visit the iTunes store here. Or visit their MySpace page here.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Home

For years musicians have written songs about coming home. But sometimes words or lyrics just are not sufficient for a once in a lifetime experience. Today is one of those days and this is one of those times.

Today our friends Codie and Logan brought home their baby from Ethiopia. This cute little bundle of joy, Beckham, traveled a VERY long way to come home. It's been a long journey for the Gibbons Family to become a household of three, but today, it finally happened.

Even though words cannot suffice, maybe a few pictures can:

I spent the majority of the time trying to capture some video clips so that I could show Jason since he was not able welcome Codie, Logan, and Beckham at the airport. These were the best pictures I could find to share the joy of these moments with this special family.

It's been a couple of years in the making, but today, Beckham finally came HOME! 

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him." - 1 Samuel 1:27


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