Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Said...Drop & Give Me 50!

I love it. I really do. I might be crazy...but I love it!
I have not been tempted to join the army or anything but I am going to continue with this class for another 5 weeks! Am I crazy?! yeah. (it really isn't like what you may be envisioning....big guy in camo...walking back and forth....yelling in your face...if it were like that I would probably cry.)

Today was the official last day of the 3 week class. I improved in my timed mile, (I didn't stop to walk! woo hoo! That's huge for me!) pushups and plank, but did less situps. Overall I was happy with that stuff.
I was one of the 4 that had perfect attendance! That never happens.
The 4 of us then had to pick a number and whoever won got $20 off their next class.
I won!! That never happens.
And you automatically get $10 off your next that's $30 off! week is an accelerated class that is everyday for 1 week. Then I have a week off and then start a 4 week class 3 days a week. Which will be a bit more bearable...since I get to pick which days I want to go, the other days I will try to do stuff at the Y.
I LOVE it!! I feel so good! I honestly haven't really seen a difference in my weight or measurements, other than some muscle definition that I haven't seen before! But I'm trying to not care about that and focus on the fact that I feel good and I know that I'm helping my body by exercising! It feels like a huge accomplishment to be able to do the stuff that we do and not die!
And...that I am even able to get up at 5:00 in the morning! weird.
I may just be the next American Gladiator, but I would probably need a new name.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Lovely Ballerina

This totally made my day today. You can check out the full story here on my sister's blog.
She is lovely, isn't she!?! I can't hardly stand it! For some reason her tutu stands straight up! No one knows why! But she really likes to wear it! I love her.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Baby's Got Sauce

Last night Hilary and I went to a G Love and Special Sauce concert w/ Tristan Prettyman. It was A-mazing!!!
It was at Stubb's BBQ which is a BBQ place with live music. We were outside and the night was the high 60's! Perfect for an evening concert!
Before the concert I warned Hilary that there may be some questionable stuff and some questionable smells going on...(remembering back when I went to the Patty Griffin concert). I guess the security is not all that great!
Speaking of security...Hilary and I were waiting in line to get in and the security guards were coming by looking in everyone's bags and purses...making sure no one was bringing in drugs, alcohol, weapons, cameras...etc.
So the security guy comes up to me and I open up my "bagolita" And the security guard says...
"Ooo, I like your's cute!"
I smile and say "Thanks", then he says....
"Is it reversible?!"
I shake my head and say, "No, but that would be pretty cool if it was!".
Then he kept going. Hilary and I looked at each other and busted out laughing! The couple in front of us turned around and the girl says, "Did he just say your purse was cute!?"
"yes." The security guard thought my purse was cute!

So we get in. I looked at Hilary and say...
"Hilary if we're going to do this...we gotta go for it."
Second row baby! SECOND ROW!!! We ended up standing in the second row!
I knew this was going to be good. Loud and good. I wasn't too sure about Hilary...she didn't even really know Tristan or G Love! (This was also a Valentine's present from me to Hilary...she did choose to do wasn't just me making her go with me!) But she did know the song "Cold Beverage". I was hoping they would play that song and they did!

So the concert starts, it's a sold out show and it is packed.
A couple is standing next to me, an older couple probably in their late 50's. The guy has a tie-dyed shirt, long thin hair that's pulled back into a ponytail. Straight out of the 60's or 70's. The music starts and so does he. He is the most expressive dancer I have ever seen! I look over to Hilary to see if she sees what's going on...she is laughing...hard!

Then a little while later, I can't remember if it was still during Tristan, or if G Love has started, we smelled the smell. The smell I was hoping I wouldn't smell. I turned to Hilary to see if she was smellin' what I was smellin'. Sure enough we gave each other the look of agreement. It was pot. THEN...I turned and saw the old couple next to me totally smokin' doobies, and passing it around. I was glad that he never offered me any...but then would have made for a crazier story if he would have passed it over to me. ugh. NAST.
It was completely awkward...and I was wondering why the security guard that was just past the fence, did not see this going down.

Pretty soon the crowd starts getting "wild". Every once in a while there was a wave of people pushing to the front. There's a dude behind me that thinks he's going to get in front of me.
BUT...I take the stance. I spread my legs, put up my arms. There was no way anyone was getting past me. The hippie guy next to me was totally on my side, so we made sure there was no way anyone was getting through. I was already planning out what I was going to say if this dude behind me tried to get through.
"um...yeah...that's not gonna work. you're gonna have to just go back to where you came from because I'm standing here."
There were a couple of girls in the front row who saw what was happening and one of them told me to put my hand on the fence so that I had some support as they were all pushing. The other girl was wondering who and what she was talking about and she turned to me and said, "Her!" and pointed and touched my cheek with her finger and just held it there for a couple of seconds. Weird. It was a little awkward...I turned to Hilary and was like, "What in the world?!" We laughed hard! random! She was one of the girls smokin' doobies!

A chick fight almost happened when one girl was trying to get back to her spot in the front row, some other girls didn't like that and started talking smack. It could have been bad, but it wasn't. It was just intense for a little bit.

So G Love basically rocked the place. It was SO good. He sort of has a mix of looks between Elvis (he likes to move his hips a lot and all the girls go crazy. I screamed a couple of times. I couldn't help it!) and Johnny Cash (he wore all black and will sometimes play his guitar the same way.) There was one point where he came over and was giving people high fives in the audience...and I leaped...I really did...I leaped to try and give him the high five...but missed. Then...a little while later he jumped down onto the fence and everyone swarmed over to him...I thought...
"Here is my chance...I gotta go for it"
So I jumped in and reached through the swarm of people and touched something...not really sure what, but I'm pretty sure it was his leg! I'm hoping it was just his leg!
I totally felt like I was back in Jr. High. But it was fun!
Then towards the end of the night he went for the high fives again...I totally got him...and so did Hilary! We looked at each other gave each other a high five and screamed! Hilary made some comment about how she was never going to wash her hand ever again!
We laughed when we thought about how she didn't really know these guys in the first place and only knew the "Cold Beverage" song.
And we laughed when we thought about how ridiculous we were acting!

I can't remember what song it was, it might have been "Cold Beverage", but there was this girl behind Hilary who all of a sudden started going crazy! She just started jumping and dancing, but was RIGHT behind Hilary. At that point some people started to leave because it was the end and so it wasn't like we were short on space or anything, there was plenty of room for her to not be on top of Hilary!
I look over and see little Hilary standing there with this girl spazing out, basically on top of her! It was hilarious!!!

It was a great night. Very memorable! We left not being able to hear...smelling like pot...laughing at the randomness...and giddy from our 2nd row experience with "The Love".

Here are some pictures I took with my phone...
Tristan Prettyman. I love her.
Her drummer, who basically has amazing hair!
He sort of reminded me of Will Ferrell for some reason!

G Love, he's such a cutie!
I think he's looking at me and I think we have similar hair.
He is amazing on the harmonica!This was a random Austin dude that got to play the fiddle with them for one song.
Tristan and G.
Singing "Beautiful"
One of my favorite parts of the evening was when G Love beat boxed into "Rodeo Clowns".
It was pretty sweet. I loved it.
So to end our evening of randomness...I had to stop and get milk. :) So we stopped at our 24 hour Quix that is just down the street from our apartment. It's 12:30am...and we're stopping to buy milk! Everyone else at that hour is stopping to buy beer...but no...I'm getting my choice of beverage...Milk! Anyway, that evening I was wearing a very cute purple jacket with a purple necklace and a purple flower in my hair and I was wearing purpley eye shadow. So...I get to the counter to buy my milk and the Quix guy ringing me up says,
"ooo...I like your purple flower!"
I say, "Oh, thanks!"
Quix guy: "Purple is a really good color for you!"
Me started to feel a little awkward..."Thanks...!" not really sure what else to say...
Quix guy: "You've got the purple jacket, purple necklace, purple flower....purple eyeshadow!"
Me feeling even more awkward..."Yeah, purple is my favorite color."
Quix guy: "Yeah, I can tell! You look really good in purple, purple is a good color for you."
Me thinking, ok...this conversation needs to end! "Oh, that's nice of you, thanks!"
I smile, grab my milk and head out of there!
So we had to take a picture of the flower! Hilary nicely points it out...
Then we had to take a cute roommate picture...of course!
It was a fun night. Tristan was beautiful, G Love rocked, we got our fill of questionable stuff and questionable smells and we have some fun memories!
In the words of G Love: Peace, y'all...dig

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last week I started going to an intense boot camp exercise class with my friend and co-worker, Nicole. It's called Austin Adventure Boot Camp. You may be wondering..."Why in the world would you do a thing like that?". I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that question!
I just finished the 2nd week and have one more week to go! It's 4 days a week and it's from 5:30am-6:30am. You are probably wondering, "Why in the world would you do a thing like that?". I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that question as well!

The classes include different types of lunges, squats, crunches, arm exercises, ab stuff, lots of running, jumping jacks, pushups, situps, plyometrics, weight training.

Day One of the first week: I kept waking up throughout the night, afraid of sleeping through my alarm. I was actually able to get up right away at 5:00am.
During the warm up I thought, "I'm going to die...and this is only the warm up!"
A couple of times throughout the hour I thought was going to throw up everywhere!
I then started questioning whether I had some sort of mental problem that I would actually sign up to do something like this!
When I got home Hilary greeted me with her morning smile and cheerfulness! (she is a morning person. I am not.) She was like, "It's so fun having you up this early! I'm so proud of you!" I am thankful to have a roomie that encourages me!
The rest of the day I felt miserable with a headache and nausea...I then realized that I was dehydrated from not drinking enough water.
I had to babysit that night for my boss...
I felt miserable and felt like I was going to throw up a couple times throughout the night and thought, "Great. I'm going to throw up in my boss' house, nice."
Started questioning whether I would actually be able to make it for Day 2! DAY 2!!!

Day 2: After having a hard time going to sleep with my headache, I finally fell asleep and slept HARD, and actually got right up at 5:00 and felt GREAT!
Made it throughout the workout without feeling like I was going to ralph! Actually enjoyed myself and was glad that I signed up to do this.
The rest of the day was in PAIN! I had a hard time walking, sitting down, standing up, bending over, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, going up stairs, going down stairs, getting in my truck, getting out of my truck. It was ridiculous! I laughed out loud when I went down the steps at work because it hurt so bad! I contemplated using the elevator next time.
I wasn't really sure how I was going to do anything the next morning at class.

Day 3: I woke up again right away at 5:00, and wasn't in as much pain as I thought I would be.
I got to class and we had do our pre-evaluations. Which included the timed mile run.
OK so #1 We're talking 4 laps around the track.
#2 I'm not a runner.
#3 I'm out of shape.
#4 It brought me straight back to elementary school when we had to do the timed mile run in PE class, and I hated it. I was ALWAYS the last person, and it was really embarrassing!
I started to get really nervous!
I made it through. I wasn't the last person...but I did have to walk a couple of times. But I was just happy that I made it!
I kept thinking of all my friends who were running the half marathon that weekend and were going to be running for 13.1 miles. ugh. I can't even run for a mile. They are my heroes!
I was still in PAIN in my legs and booty and actually took the elevator at work! no joke.

Day 4 Hit snooze a couple of times. LAST DAY of the week.
Felt good, soreness was starting to go and was actually contemplating signing up for another class after the three weeks were done.
It was an intense workout
At the end of the class I thought that it couldn't really get more intense than that....

Day 1 of week 2: I was wrong. We had to do an "Indian Run" where you run in a group of 5 or 6 people and you run in a line and the last person in the line has to sprint to the front of the line. Then as soon as that person reaches the top the next person in the back has to sprint up to the front and so forth.
Ok #1....again, I'm not a runner.
#2...I'm running with intense people (even if they did have around the same timed mile as me)
#3...I like to stop and walk when I feel like I'm going to die.
#4...These people don't stop.
We had to go for a mile folks. That's 4 laps around the track.
Those of you who are runners you can go ahead and laugh. I'm ok with that. was really cold (we meet and work out in the courtyard of a middle school and then run on the track at the football field.) In the 40's. (Sorry IA can be mad it me for thinking that is cold.)

Day 2: We did a lot of work on the football field, going from one end to the other doing stuff like high knees, grapevine, big skips etc. We did one exercise where you put your legs out straight in front of you and you run down the field like that. It sort of reminded me of a drum major or something. But it also reminded me of the goofy stuff I do when I'm with my mom and sisters in the kitchen. (you guys know what I'm talking about! The stuff I usually do while you guys are cooking or doing dishes!! haha!) I had to laugh...then Nicole in the middle of it said, "Em, you're good at that!" I about died! It was hilarious!

Day 3: We did stations of different exercises including jumping jacks, squats, jumping rope, pushups, step ups, dips, bicep curls, front raises, side raises. It was intense.

Day 4: End of the second week! It was HOT! and HUMID! Everything was moist on top of being extremely sweaty. I don't think I've ever sweated so much. We did the "Indian Run" again. (I'm not a fan of that exercise) and then we had to run on the track for 45 seconds and then do whatever she called out...different types of lunges and squats and then run again for 45 seconds. We did that for a long time. Then we did an intense butt workout. It was painful.

BUT....I made it through the second week and I'm still enjoying it! I'm thinking about doing the next session of classes. There is something about it that is addicting. It feels good to be able to actually do this and to know that it is strengthening my body and giving me endurance and ultimately making me more healthy! I still need to work on my eating. I like food.

I'll keep y'all updated on how the last week goes! Hopefully I will see some good results!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lily & Grandpa Bill

Check out this post from my sister's blog.
hmmm....interesting! It brought tears to my eyes! I get sad when I think about my husband, whoever he is, and my kids, Lord willing, never knowing my dad until heaven. But for some reason, this post made me smile!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Greater Things Are Yet To Come

One of the things that my mom, sisters and I did while I was back in Iowa last month, was get together on my dad's birthday. My dad, William "Bill" Sherman Ward, was born January 17, 1945. He gave his life to Jesus, April of 1996 and he went home to be with Jesus, June 12, 1997.
The night we got together we went to eat at Texas Roadhouse. We joked about how much dad would have loved it! A big steak, a big glass of beer and peanuts! We each brought pictures that we had of him and shared them with each other and also told stories. I always love hearing my mom talk about how they met and how my dad "saved the day", the day my mom and her friend got in a fist fight with a couple of other girls. heard it mom was in a fist fight. Awesome!Here is a sweet picture of my dad holding Jack! So sweet!Yes. That's me when I was 15 years old!
My dad liked to be silly. We have several pictures of him doing silly faces!
My dad was an amazing photographer. I think that's where I get my love of taking photos! Here is an old picture of him with an old school camera!
I loved doing things with my dad. I remember on a trip to St. Louis my mom and sisters went shopping and I went with my dad to take photographs. On a trip to Chicago my mom and sisters went shopping and I went with my dad to a Cubs game!
I helped him dig a hole for a tree...(don't laugh at my hair or outfit.)
We went horseback riding! We don't really look like the horseback riding type...but oh well! (don't laugh at our huge sunglasses)He got me a puppy for Christmas when I was in 6th grade! I cried. HARD! I was so happy about that! Her name was Bessie!My dad left a sweet legacy in our family. He went to a conference with my uncle and cousins and that was where he realized that he needed Jesus in his life. It's sweet hearing from my uncle about what that was like that night that Tony Evans talked and how my dad jumped over the seats with tears in his eyes in response to the invitation to come and ask Jesus to come into his life with forgiveness, grace and love. To give him life and eternity. He came home a changed man. I remember his eyes. I remember his love. I remember his spirit. He was a different man and it changed my family.
It was only a little over a year later that he got sick unexpectedly and passed away within 2 weeks. His life in Jesus was short, but has impacted eternity. I'm so thankful for God's plan and that he used my dad to show us the love of Jesus through his life, his love, his actions, his words, his prayers. That even in the year he was living for Jesus he was leaving a legacy for us to continue on and share Jesus and do great things for Him, to leave legacy's in our lives.
As I'm writing this I'm listening to Tomlin sing "God of this City" from the newest Passion album. I have tears as I'm worshiping tonight.
"You're the God of this city, You're the king of these people, You're the Lord of this nation, You are
You're the light in this darkness, You're the hope to the hopeless, You're the peace to the restless
You are

For there is no one like our God There is no one like our God

God's purposes are still carried out, our time is planned, He knows the number of our days. He will use our lives in the time that we have and He wants us to live in such a way that we are proclaiming His name and shouting out His glory and leaving legacy'
s so that when we are gone, His name will still be proclaimed, His name will still go forward and do great things. He has GREAT plans and GREAT things are going to come!
I am in awe of how God has shown me that through my dad's life. My dad's life is not done. He is more alive now than he ever was. Alive in heaven shouting, singing and dancing with Jesus! His story is alive in us and in my sister's children, and in my children someday and their kids...and their kids...
Thank you Jesus!
I miss him, and I long for heaven. My soul is yearning for that day when I get to see Jesus and when I get to see my dad. What a beautiful, sweet reunion! Right after my dad passed away I wrote a song called "Homesick". I was 16 years old, trying to figure out life and God was filling me with these desires of heaven, but a hope for God's plan for my life and how I will get there some day. You can listen to a recording I did of this song here.
I came across this picture and a list of things my mom wrote out when I asked what things about me were like my dad.
Here is the list, I love reading through these things. I love that they are me, and I love that they were him.
"Full of lofty ideas, some almost too high for earth!"
"Can sleep anywhere!"
"Likes dogs"
"Strong, brave"
"Great sense of humor, never afraid to be silly"
"Freckles as a child-curly hair"
"Hesitates to find right words in explaining something:
He said, 'Uh...'
You say, 'Like...'"
"Creative, artistic, talented"
"Kind, caring"
"Adventursome spirit, try many things"
"Friendly, outgoing"
"Smart: figure things out and/or use resources wisely to learn"
"Soft-hearted, loving, affectionate"
"Cry easily"
"Strong opinions, convictions, not easily swayed or steered away from truth"

"I can sing with my last breath, sing cause I know, that I'll sing with the angels and the saints around Your throne!"

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Josiah Leming

I saw these videos on Zach's blog. Thought it was pretty cool.

(HT Zach)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Absolute Cuteness

I am a proud aunt. I just can't help it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stand Complete

This is an excerpt from an email I wrote to a good friend of mine and thought that I would share it with you all too...

"So a week ago Sunday...

Previously, I had been wrestling with that feeling of defeat and failure. I kept thinking about how often I go through these times of doing really well, being disciplined in getting in the word and feeling really close to God and then I fall back and get out of reading the bible and feel far from God...then it happens all over again...I think I mentioned this to you before...but it's just this cycle that I get really frustrated with, this last time when I was "down", I just really felt like I didn't want to get up again because I feared failing once again, and I felt like I just couldn't handle it. So...anyway...I was feeling heavy weight, feeling frustrated, having fear, feeling like I failed. Really beating myself up about it.
Then came Sunday and church time.
Satan does this thing to me on Sunday when he beats me down even further and makes me feel like I don't even want to go to church. So I was dreading going. (I hadn't been since before I left for Iowa...which was probably a good 3 Sundays of not having been at Austin Stone).
Andy led us in the song The Stand from Hillsong United. I've sung this song over and over, it's always powerful but not like that night.

We started singing....
"You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hands
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand"

As I'm singing, God turns a light on. He says to me, "Before creation I was. Before the earth I was. Eternity I am. My power is enough to create and move things into place.You stand complete"
I could feel the welling in my soul...

Then we sang...
"You stood before my failure
You carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand"

By the end of this verse the tears were coming! God was saying and piercing my heart with, "I have stood before your failure and I've taken it. I took it on the cross and carried it for you. All of your sin, all of your load is on me, the weight of it all, is on my shoulders. Now stand complete."

Then I sang....
"What could I say
What could I do
But offer this heart Oh God
Completely to You"

Complete humility of not being able to do anything but just stand before Him completely for Him and complete by Him. Offering my heart saying, here it is God. Here it is, in all it's pieces. God whispering again "You stand complete"

Then we sang...
"I walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand"

There was a sweet renewal as my heart was ripped open and I allowed myself to break, and as I did the Spirit moved in His power to fill me up and I couldn't help but smile and be filled with a joy that I hadn't felt in awhile. God was saying "This is it! This is walking in the joy of your salvation. My Spirit in you, you in Me. Remember this promise, declare it, stand on it, complete."

Then we sang this...
"I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I'll stand my soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours"

With my arms held high in the air (I'm getting tears as I think about it:)) There was this release, a sweet surrender as my heart and my soul let go of my failures, my fears, my plans, my desires, giving it all to Him, knowing that He gave it all for me. I heard Him say to me the words that I love to hear Him say, "You are mine".

My arms couldn't reach any higher, I just wanted more of Him. It was so amazing. My face was wet with tears and a smile was on my face, I didn't want to stop...I could have kept going!
Then it was funny because the transition from that song into Matt's preaching was very quick, so the song got done and the lights came up and Matt started. I was still wiping my face and trying to regain my composure, probably looking all blotchy and a mess! Whatever!"

To Dribble or Not to Dribble

I love being an aunt! But it's hard to be away from them. I miss things like this....Noah's first basketball games.
The guy doesn't like to dribble. He's focused on one thing...the basket. I would do the same exact thing. But I guess that's not allowed! Usually they let it slide a little at this age...but they had to stop the game!
Check it out here!
GO #7!!!