Prayer Is Everything

Today, I learned that a dear colleague and friend’s wife was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I’ve been broken about it all day. I can’t even believe it’s real. I’ve been praying her to be healed all day.

My colleague, John, is the most amazing man. We worked at Michigan together for 6 years (two of those years was when I was an undergrad). I can’t say enough great things about John, but one thing I will say is, he’s the sole reason that I registered to vote. Here’s a little story:

Back when I turned 18, I was not one of those kids that was excited to finally vote. I really didn’t care at all about what happened in this country. I don’t know if you know anyone personally like that, but now you sorta do. I was that person. I didn’t think what the government did affected me. I don’t think I was unlike many 18 year olds though. Maybe some of you were like that. I just felt like, the government is shady and I’m not going to get involved by voting. (We clearly have people like this today and thanks to some of them, we now have the Orange Idiot in power.)

Well, fast forward to when I was working at Michigan. I don’t even know how the conversation came up, but John and I started talking and before I knew it, he was giving me the lecture of my life. Since my memory can be crap at times, I don’t remember word-for-word what he said. All I know is, he spoke to me in such a way that completely changed my mind about voting. I DO remember one thing he said and this is what got me. He said something along the lines of, “Think about your ancestors and how they fought for your right to vote.” He said, I should take every opportunity to continue what they fought for. John is white, by the way.

Now, those words might offend some of you. In fact, these days, if a black person heard that from a white person, I’m pretty sure that someone would be offended. #EveryoneIsOffendedAllTheTimeNow

But I wasn’t offended at all. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had NEVER thought about it like that. Like I said, I was young (then 22) and just didn’t believe that the government was ever doing anything that would affect me directly. I didn’t care what they did because they always seemed to go back on their promises, etc. I just felt like, “Ugh, why bother?” I’m just being honest. I didn’t give two craps about voting, the government, etc. But I had that talk with John… and he really changed me. I will forever be grateful.

Anyway… John is super great. Like, seriously one of the greatest human beings on this Earth that I know. Not only because of the story I shared, but just in general. I often would go to John to talk about personal things going on in my life. We talked about basketball a lot, too. (He went to Indiana for undergrad and grad.) We also took the same bus into work. 🙂

To hear this news today….I can’t help but think, “Damn, God, why!?” Yeah, I’m gonna say it: John doesn’t deserve this. Him and his wife have a 13 year old son. (I can’t believe he’s 13!) His wife had him later in life because they tried very hard to conceive but couldn’t until…well, until they did! Our office was ecstatic for them. Seriously, you would’ve thought WE were all having the baby! *lol* His wife would come into the office from time to time and she is just the loveliest woman. So cool and down-to-earth. They are just perfect people to me.

I know things happen as they should in life. But damn, I don’t understand why some things have to happen to the nicest, greatest people.

Thankfully, I believe in a wonderful God who can do anything!! I’ve been praying all day that he heals John’s wife. So if any of you pray, please send up one for me today. And if you don’t pray, send up all the love and light.

Thanks 🙂  And sorry this is a blog completely out of left field, but I had to write about them because John is family to me. And family is everything. Prayer is everything.

t

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Let’s Get Updated!

Hello again!

It’s been a MINUTE, hasn’t it? I’m always in the mood to blog and then I start doing something that takes my attention away from it. So, my bad. I’m really going to try to do better. (Where have we heard that before, hmmm?) 🙂

Lately, I’ve been working on my store and trying to come up with new designs, etc. My challenges right now are, coming up designs that men will wear. I don’t want to be overly girly/feminine, but I can’t help it because that’s who I am. Well, I’m not super girly, but my mind just tends to go to that place when I think of designs. Anyway, as I’m working on designs/brainstorming, I’m starting to come up with more inspirational designs. And that’s making me want to switch up my whole store. But I’m going to try and incorporate the inspirational designs with the original thought of my store.

To recap: I created my store,”Unidos” as a way to help people feel empowered in this crazy political climate. I mentioned before that while I’m not against protesting or anything of that nature, I’m not really the type to do that. Nor am I one to really get involved in an organization. BUT, I wanted to DO something. I don’t know… I guess in some cases, I want to just be a leader and start something myself. It’s weird, I know, but that’s just how I feel about this particular situation. So I thought about it and came up with the store. PLUS…bringing in some cash is always a good thing over in these parts, feel me? 😉

Anyway, if you haven’t checked out the store in a while, please do:

www.zazzle.com/unidos

I’ve got some cute stuff up there. And fellas…I’m working diligently on coming up with more items for you!! If you fellas have suggestions, I’m always open. Leave a comment below. That goes for you, too, ladies! Suggestions are always welcomed! You can comment here on the blog.

What else has been going on…

  1. Hair – Random hair update. I’m going to try and grow my hair out for a while. It’s so looooong and I can’t stand it. But I think I’ll try to grow it and see what happens. I need to color it BADLY! I have so much gray. Ugh. I’m up here looking like Barack after the first few years. It’s not cute. Too young to have this much gray hair! Plus, it just makes my hair look dry. 😦 I don’t know what color I’ll dye it. Probably black. I don’t know. I just need some color on it FAST!
  2. Moving – We’re going to be moving this year to a bigger apartment…or maybe a townhouse. We don’t know. We started hunting this past weekend (we’ve already been searching online though). We’ve literally seen so many apts. I feel like we’ve seen every apt in the NoVa area. I mean, that’s clearly an exaggeration, but we’ve seen a LOT. Most likely, we’re going to move further west of where we are now, so we can get the bigger space. Apartments are so expensive, even the further away we are from DC, which makes no damn sense. I sound bougie saying this, but we’re accustomed to a certain life now and it’s HARD to downgrade. But fingers crossed/prayers up, that we find something. The lease is up in July, so we are ahead of schedule.
  3. Passport – I FINALLY applied for a passport!!! YAY! I can’t wait to get it.  I just received it yesterday! I know, I’m nearly a 40 year old woman and I’m just now getting one. Well, it’s partly because I haven’t been in a position to travel abroad. The other part is due to sheer procrastination/laziness. So, yeah. It’s on it’s way and I’m excited to finally travel abroad. We are planning a trip for THIS YEAR! Details later, maybe? 🙂

I hate to end here, but I’m going to work on the store. I thought I had more to say, but I’ve seriously forgotten everything! Hate it when that happens. Oh…just kidding. I just remembered what I was going to say…

4. Fitness – Just wanted to update and say I’m still hitting the gym pretty regularly. I’m going about 4 days/week. Sometimes 3/days, but usually 4 days. I’ve switched up some things recently.

a. I’m doing more fasted cardio (fasted cardio = no food before cardio). I’m riding the bike and jump roping. I try to do that at least twice/week.

b. My next step is to incorporate some tabata a couple times a week. (Tabata is like a HIIT style workout, for those not in the know). I don’t enjoy HIIT, mainly because there’s always a lot of jumping. My knees aren’t the greatest and recently, I have been having heel pain. Ugh, there’s always something. I have to find a podiatrist and get it worked out. Anyway, I did a dance tabata workout last week and it was fun, so maybe I’ll do more of those. I just want to do fun workouts.

c. And I’ve only been weightlifting about once per week. I have to create a new lifting workout that will be more of a total body routine. I’d like to lift twice per week.

All of this takes my workout schedule up to 6 days/week. But…I’m only going to do 3-4 days for now. Reason for that? (Fellas, cover your eyes!!), but my monthly gets REALLY irregular when I start exercising a lot. And….I don’t want that to happen for a few reasons, so I’m just going to stick to 3-4 days. 🙂

My main goals – 1. More cardio 2. Less carbs. 3. BE ACTIVE.

Why less carbs? Well, I just started tracking my food again (which I HATE), but I need to figure out how much carb/protein/fat I’m getting. In my head (and on my plate), I’m eating too many carbs. I decided to track for a while to get a better idea. I’ve already started trying to eat fewer carbs though, so we’ll see if this makes any difference in my body. Remember when I did the 12wk program last summer? I posted pics on the ‘Gram if you want to see what happened (mrsbates78). Anyway, I DID see a difference in my body, but I think because I didn’t follow the program’s diet, I didn’t shed as much fat. The program’s diet was HIGH protein and very, very little carb. But I didn’t follow it because I’m a really good eater (for the most part). During that program, I tried to limit any treats to once a week (and I cut out added sugar too). But at the end of the program, I should’ve been a lot leaner. I know everyone’s body is different, but I’ve been seeing waaaay too many people do 12 week programs that start with a lot more body fat than me and they end up much, much leaner. So I think I should’ve followed the program’s diet, as it really cut down on carbs (starchy carbs, bread, etc…not veggies). Also (and I’m sorry if I’m boring the crap out of you guys), I’ve been reading up on fat loss and other related things and it really has convinced me to cut down on carbs. I’m not cutting them out, but just down. On a typical day, I can consume 200+ carbs a DAY! No bueno! A lot of the fat loss meal plans I’ve come across have about half that amount of carbs (or less). I’m going to shoot for 100g of carbs a day. I can do it. I don’t really eat the bulk of my carbs until after dinner. All of my snacks are carb-heavy.  So I’m replacing my carby (lol) snacks with protein/healthy fat snacks. As long as I pay attention to those after dinner snacks, I’ll be able to achieve this!

I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.

Finally, I’m cutting waaaaaay back on caffeine. It sucks. You all know I’m a coffee addict, so this hurts my soul. Well, it’s not that bad yet, as I’m drinking decaf coffee (it’s NOT THE SAME!!!) But when I finish this last bag of coffee, I’m not buying any coffee (to make at home) for at least a month! WOOO! We’re HARDCORE over here! (Honestly, I’ve been reducing my caffeine intake for months now. I’ve been drinking regular in the morning and decaf in the afternoon. Some days, I have only decaf.) I DO have a great replacement though. Chicory tea! Yesss…. have you head of Teeccino? O.M.G. It smells just like coffee. It’s so good. I love, love, love it. I got it from MOMs (Mom’s Organic Market). I’m sure the Wholest of Foods has it also. 🙂  I heard about this tea many years ago when I was reading an article on how to cut out caffeine. I’m so happy to have found this because this will surely get me through the withdrawals. But I think I’ll have a real coffee once a week (after I go a full month caffeine free). I’ll just have to go out to get it. After a month, I’ll buy decaf, but I’ll just make it occasionally. I’m doing this for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I don’t like relying on caffeine to keep me awake. I have to go back to the doc this month, but I’m hoping that my thyroid levels are ok. If not, then that could be the reason I’m always fatigued. It’s really, really annoying to be so tired all the time. I DO need to get more sleep, but on days when I’ve had a good 7-8 hours, I’m still tired. No bueno. I don’t know what the issue is…could be my body…or maybe it’s our mattress? lol! I don’t know, but I’m working on making things better. 🙂

Ok friends, I’m outta here. As always, check out my store and I’ll try not to be a loser and post more. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you say. 🙂

-t

Soy Elitista

If you’re like me, you’re beyond exhausted with all the Tr*mp news. I think I mentioned this already, but I had to break away from it because I had a serious stress headache for like 3 days straight! If you haven’t been as stressed, then you’re lucky. I’m the type that, if I see/hear of something that I want to fix, I stress about fixing it. I’m a solutions-oriented person. If I don’t like something enough, my goal is to solve the problem. You have NO idea how much I want to solve the problem that is Tr*mp. NO idea!!!!

Anyway, my headaches have subsided (thankfully), but I’m still upset about EVERYTHING this man is doing. Everything he thinks is good, I think is terrible. Never in a million years did I think he’d literally screw up every single good thing Obama set in place. But that’s exactly what he’s doing. From immigration to the environment, he’s taking the biggest sh*t on all the good that the Obama administration has done. Of course, there were things that Obama did that didn’t please people. I get it. But you’re a complete moron if you think Obama didn’t do great things for this country.

That’s harsh to call someone a moron, but I haven’t found ONE single Tr*mp supporter that has said anything smart. Not ONE. Everyone that defends him sounds like an idiot. And the biggest thing that gets me is, if Hillary or Obama had said/done ANY of the ridiculous things Tr*mp has said/done, every one of his supporters would’ve exploded! The hypocrisy amongst his supporters is unreal and infuriating.

So…do I sound elitist? Well…

if elitist means:

-wanting rights for all human beings
-allowing women the right to choose what they do with their own reproductive organs
-having stricter background checks for those that want to own guns
-fixing our immigration system so people can immigrate to our country
-allowing refugees/asylum seekers the chance to escape war and live at peace
-protecting our environment so it can be here for our future generations
-acknowledging climate change/global warming exists
not restricting people from certain countries from entering our country
-understanding that it is wrong to generalize an entire group of people
-wanting to maintain good relationships with our allies
-that the Press is NOT THE ENEMY, and finally

-that we should NOT trust anything that comes out of our so-called President’s mouth because our so-called President constantly lies and has been caught in a number of lies…

then, yes, I’m an elitist!! I’d rather be an elitist than a racist, xenophobe any day of the year!

I cannot for the life of me imagine living the life that Tr*mp’s supporters live. Hating people. Being fearful of everyone. Wanting to live only amongst people that look like them and think like them. That’s what they want. I don’t get that. That’s super weird. Can you imagine living only with people that look like you and agree with you on everything? It’s no wonder people like that are so fearful of change and of people that are different. I don’t want that life. I don’t want to live in a country where everyone is the same. Tr*mp’s America is one where they don’t think it’s worth it to know what we’re doing to the environment. They think the environment is fine. They agree that fetus lives matters, but yet, they all want to own guns because other lives don’t matter. (<–This blows my mind. That makes NO sense.) Many of them are Christian, but don’t act like it at all when they don’t want to accept people that are different from them. His supporters are so strange to me and now he is quickly changing our country to reflect this odd and hateful group of people.

[**Stop for a moment and think about what your life would be like if your parents taught you to hate an ENTIRE group of people. Stop and think what you would have to do in your life to hate an ENTIRE group of people. Just think about all of the places you’d have to avoid…all of the activities you wouldn’t be able to do…where you’d have to live…all because you were taught to hate an ENTIRE group of people. Just think about the energy it takes to hate an ENTIRE group of people ALL OF THE TIME. Many of Tr*mp’s supporters are these people. Marinate on that.**]

Seriously, what can be done about this man, I don’t know. But something needs to be done. I’m not even joking when I say I keep thinking about moving out of the country. No country is without its faults, but if Tr*mp is allowed to continue this madness, then I can say for sure that there will be many other countries that will be better and safer than ours.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox for the day. I didn’t want to write angrily today, but I’ve just been in this mood for so long. Every time I sit down to write, I just can’t seem to write about anything good. And I know that everyone is already bombarded with news of this guy as it is. So, I will end with something GOOD…

As you know, I’ve been designing some shirts and each week, I’m adding new products! So please check out my store, Unidos, at: www.zazzle.com/unidos*

Here are a just few things I’ve added (there are LOTS more on the site):