that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


starting week three…

So this cleanse has been fabulous.

It hasn’t been that difficult, either. Basically, I’ve cut out processed foods, specifically packaged foods and breads as well as limiting my dairy intake to almost nil… and maximizing on fruits, vegetables, and salmon. It takes a little be more planning but the results have been great.

I feel fantastic. Healthy. I am more alert (not that I am not usually but office work and school work are not the excitement-peaking things so when I am at it all day, I wanna doze off around 2:30).

Working out feels better, too. Like I am actually doing more than trying to fight the bad foods I am putting into myself but that when I’ve burned 650 calories on the elliptical machine I know that it’s a good thing, not the sandwich I had at lunch.

And I think in my mind, psychologically I believe this is a great step so I think that in changing my thinking and my diet into realistic things, my working out and end results can’t be anything but positive. And that is a good, excellent feeling.

I am firmer, too, but I don’t know if that’s the last 18 days of cleansing or just finally seeing results of working really hard at taking care of myself.

Also, I love coffee… in any form, but specifically Americanos or Starbucks latest thing, Double Shot on Ice… but for my cleanse I also gave up caffeine… well, more for the summer. What my ultimate goal is to be in a place where my love of coffee becomes a treat and not a dependency. Especially while going to school. So that I can sleep a bit more if I don’t have to make coffee, save more so if I forget to make it I won’t buy it, and truthfully, just to find the beauty in a cup of coffee with a friend or family as a delicacy and a treat that I love more than cookies or ice cream.

So even though I quit caffeine immediately upon my arrival here, it seems heightened-ly brilliant since I’ve been cleansing. It was really hard at first, I definitely had withdrawals and headaches and was tired earlier than I should be…but now I am great. So I recommend doing it, especially to students, during the summer versus the busy time of school because it’s a lot easier to justify falling asleep while writing a board report for work over sleeping through a final exam.

There you have it, this mild cleanse I recommend to anyone. The beauty of this situation is that the gent at the gym told me that I should not be discouraged by other people who are fitter than I am that work out as much as I do (5-6 days a week) or by smaller people than I am who never work out/exercise at all because exercise and eating well is very, very important to anyone… so I am becoming an advocate for that change.

And just the subtle confidence that I am doing something to better equip myself for my life. Period.

Very cool.

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eggplant, yams, and no processed foods

I am doing a thirty day cleanse.

No caffeine, bread, dairy, red meat, processed foods like condiments, pasta, watermelon, grapes, or sugar.

I’m doing it because I work out h-core and haven’t seen the results I want and my kinesiology specialist old roommate said I need to clean out because my body is confused by how much I am working out that it is overcompensating mumbo jumbo.

Basically, I feel like she is trying to prove how much I suck at life and am a chronic cheater, especially when someone says I can’t eat something as simple as yogurt for thirty days, my inner voice kicks in and motivates me to go eat it out of spite.

Kind of like when I cheat at Killer Bunnies.

But either way, I am cleansing.

It’s day 2 and I am ready to give Julie what-for.

I think it’s affecting my hormones because I’ve never felt so close to a total rage blackout as I do now. And it’s not even the caffeine thing. It’s the pills and instructions telling me I can’t that’s killing me.

28 more to go, think I can?


shaken iced green tea lemonade

So I love this drink at Starbucks in the spring-summer time. I thought I would try to imitate it by making my own iced green tea. A little of this and a little of that later, I had what tastes EXACTLY like the Starbucks drink! Yet another conventional way to save money…make it yourself:

1.5 L of boiling water

4 green tea bags

1/2 cup of sugar

Between 1/8 cup and 1/4 cup (depends on how lemony you want it) lemon juice.

Put the teabags and hot water in a pitcher. Add the rest right away, stir, and let steep/chill in the fridge for X number of hours.




flights are about 400$, I will keep checking for sales…

…to go back to Camrose. For real.

Honestly, I think God created Camrose and my sister and brother in law’s life there to be “my” place. I am kidding, as that is extremely selfish, but the last 7 days in Camrose, like every other trip there, has been so huge for me a in challenging way. See everything I am extremely stressed, hurting or broken, I find myself heading there…then leaving there with an entirely different perspective: On God. That’s it. I mean, I am quickly learning that my relationship with Christ can be deepened and fostered without going to Camrose, but this time, that’s what I needed from it. I will spare the “gory” details but my heart is soaring at what reading break brought for me.

I spent the week working at CLBI with Jes (and Mark) for the 75th Anniversary of the school’s existence. While it was tiring, and hard work, it also was the first opportunity for me to feel right at home… I love being at CLBI with Jes because it gives me insight into her world, particularly into her and Mark’s ministry there. While I marveled at the Norwegians and the Scandinavian food, I found a quiet comfort in the busyness of it all: they seem to like me here. 🙂 Coupled with some other special visits and connecting with Jes’ connections there…specifically her in-laws and old landlord, I really felt like I had come home. While, at this point in my life, home is anywhere someone will cook me a meal and offer some advice (I am kidding), I really felt like it was the first time I was able to talk in 3 months… about anything and everything. Which was unreal.

I also got to go horseback riding with Amy, Mark’s sister, which rocked. Many of you may have heard me say in the last couple months that I cannot compare Victoria and Alberta because they are completely different in every possible way. It’s true… because when I was riding the horse in the cold, wintry prairie winds, I realized how truly different the places are. And how much I miss being in Alberta. (I know what you guys are thinking…will she ever be content? But that’s not what this is about)

Simply put, I am blessed beyond words because a girl could only dream to find comfort in so many places, such as Penticton with Mom and the kids, Smithers with history, the island with family and friends, and Camrose Alberta with my sister’s world and God willing, maybe my future? But I am more blessed for these gentle reminders that show this girl the ultimate comfort is in God.

I don’t think how much I can emphasize how much of a wonderfully awesome time I had this past week. Or how much I already absolutely, completely miss it.

PS This was the verse at CLBI’s anniversary bash… while the skin-sagging part made Jes and I chuckle, I think it is extremely powerful:

“I’m still in Your presence, but You’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then You bless me. You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. . . . (Psalm 73:23-26 The Message).



Happy Anniversary to ME! It’s been one year since my kidney stone episode for Kate! I look back on this time last year in many a fond memory. Even though I battled it for about a monthish, I’ve decided today is the day! So I would just like to shout out to the people who I think I would like to commemorate this event with specifically for helping me through such a difficult time:

My roommate at the time – for putting up with my random bursts of screeching and stubbornly driving myself to the hospital.

Jes – for talking to me on the phone the night I got back from the hospital all high on pain meds.

Megan (and Steve) – for coming over to keep me company and giving me that gorgeous plant that I killed accidentally. Also for the football game that weekend at McMahon Stadium… man I miss football. Go Warriors!

Paul – my dear, sweet friend for your visit from out east… and your multiple huge hugs and “stone” jokes… and distracting me all the time from the pain by taking me to the game.

Jocelyn – for randomly being in town that weekend, for eating all of those Crave cupcakes with me and buying me that Tiger Lily that I also killed.

Drew – for taking me for sushi for a mock-Thanksgiving meal…only to have me go into a pain fit for eating so much and forgetting to take my medication.

To my dear family; Mom – for calling, putting up with when I couldn’t talk, the care package with the SCOOBY SNACKS, and making me feel like you were right there beside me. I know you wish you could’ve been.

And to my dear, sweet, wonderful Dad – who told me “suck it up kid, the pain can’t be that bad” and then, lo and behold, got kidney stones under a month later. And phoned to apologize about what he had said while he was in the hospital bed hopped up on morphine. Touché!

so Happy Anniversary to ME!! Bring on another uneventful year with tons of water to drink and so little dramatic and exciting things in my life that I can commemorate this day again a year from now on my blog. Providing I maintain an audience, anyways.