Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Randomness

Hello friends, 

Today I am going to write about a few random things that I have done in the past week :)
But I am going to start by writing some of my favorite lyrics by Gary Allan because everyone goes through some rocky roads in their life and I would like to share some of the ways that I pick myself back up when I fall. "Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day
But the struggles makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin' it sweet time
No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride"

I love that song. So true. I like to meditate on Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength".

Often times I have to remind myself to be strong and to remember that I am not in control of my life, GOD is.

Now for some randomness:

I got to meet Tim for dinner last week when he wasnt working overnights. Here is a picture of him in his Cargill uniform :) 
Cargill's Top employee :)

Last weekend I got to see some of my close friends from West St. Paul :) Bre, Laura Patty and Emily, but I didnt snap any pictures :(

I did snap some pretty pictures of Tim's cabin on Grace Lake however:

I put some new wall decorations up in the house:
Just ignore the ugly wallpaper, I want to take it down but it is a rental house so I think I'll just leave it for now 

I am going to paint these :)

I have been looking at a new blog lately 
You should all check it out, Julie is the girl behind the blog and she is awesome. I have been following a lot of her fitness tips and recipes. I made some stuffed french toast with sandwich thins. The creme part is cottage cheese and raspberries with some syrup on top. yumm

Also, I would like to confess that I too have a peanut butter addiction. I think Tim realized this last summer in Colorado when the peanut butter seemed to be disappearing quite frequently haha I think we went through about 3 or 4 jars in 3 months. oops

Well I hope everyone has a great night. I should totally be sleeping right now. off to bed I go. goodnight!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Job and Celebration Dinner

Well folks, I have some pretty good news....I am no longer unemployed! I accepted a job offer to be a special education paraprofessional here in Mason City! It's probably not most people's dream job but hey, I am happy with it and it will be a good start for me for the fall.

I was getting really worried about the job situation and my spirits were a little down but the principal called me at the right time and I was so excited I didn't know what to do. Nobody was home but I still did a little dancing and singing by myself in our house (can you just picture that) haha.

I start training in August. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I want to be the best teacher for these kids that I can be.

Tim works 10am-8pm this week so the days have been a little long. I have found some ways to stay entertained though. On Tuesday I went to a high school baseball game in Clear Lake and that was pretty fun to watch. On Wednesday I went with my friend Teresa to a Mom's group at a park where the moms talk and the kids play. I was the only one without a kid there but she wanted to take me along. After that we went to another friend's house to help her finish painting/arranging furniture. I love kids and she has 4 little boys so I was in heaven there. After Tim got off of work we went to the Surf Ballroom to watch open mic night, which was pretty fun.

Yesterday I went for an early morning run with Teresa. I got the exciting phone call at about 10:30. I met Tim at Pita Pit for lunch and then I went back home.
Did some laundry.....(exciting, I know)

Then I went grocery shopping and started crafting some ideas in my head to surprise Tim with a nice dinner since he has been having such long work days. 

I made his favorite chocolate chip cookies :)

 I have been diggin the Bud Light Limes lately. Tastes pretty good on a hot summer night
 I have been diggin rum and cokes lately too so I made a trip to the nearby liquor store and got a little treat :)

I LOVE candles

 Garlic chicken with broccoli, carrots, corn and pasta YUMM
and a side of our favorite: sweet potato fries :) 
 The hard worker enjoying some dinner 
 Then we ate cookies and played the best card game ever...SPEED! Its my favorite but I get a little intense, especially when Tim beats me like 10 times in a row! haha

Well, I better go get stuff done around the house and maybe go for a run. I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC weekend!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Video Memory Day: Love and College

Today marks 4 months closer to mine and Tim's 2 year anniversary so I thought I would share this little video  slideshow that I made him for our 1 year anniversary. After that I also want to share a video my good friend Zach Horan put together after college graduation. I miss Hamline so much!

Here is the link to the college memory video by Zach:

Take me back!! I miss all these people so darn much!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s day to all of the dads out there!

I want to dedicate this post to my dad! There is so much to say about him that I could probably write a 5 page paper but I will try my best not to make it too long.

What words come to mind when I think of my dad?
Awesome, loving, caring, fun, supportive, encouraging, athletic, smart, nice, and easy going
My dad has a kind soul, a love for life and a huge heart.

I am so lucky and blessed to have the best dad ever. Growing up, my brothers and I probably didn’t even know how lucky we were. My dad was and still is so kind to us. He would do anything for his kids. I have so many memories of great times with my dad. Whether it was listening to great music, watching movies, learning how to skate, going to hockey games, learning how to fish, eating his delicious food at the cabin, going to concerts, grillin out, playing catch, putting up Christmas lights, or even just hanging out with our friends and family. My dad is one of the most positive people I have ever met. He is almost always in a good mood and tries to see the best in everyone. Growing up a lot of my friends would say (and they still do) “your dad is so cool!”, and now a days I have college friends say “let’s go have a beer with Bob, he is awesome!”

One of my favorite memories is that every single year on the last day of school my dad would wake us up by playing Alice Cooper “Schools Out” really loud. At the time I would complain about it and want to go back to sleep but now when I think about it I realize how cool and funny that is. He even called and played it for me over the phone on my last day of college!

I look up to my dad…I see how he likes to have a good time and how he is very thankful for everything he has in life. I rarely heard my dad complain about anything or wish we had things that we didn’t have. He taught us how to be thankful and how to be polite and nice to everyone we meet. He also taught us to try our best at everything we do and to work hard and never quit. I see how hard he works at his job and how much his fellow employees love to be around him.

My dad is the one who encouraged me to talk to the track coach at Hamline and I am so glad that he did. Another funny memory I have is that when I joined cross country, my parents had never been to a cross country meet or knew what they were like or anything…so the first meet that my dad came to he missed the whole race but I didn’t care I was happy that he came. He also brought me a present and a card that said “I am proud of you” and that meant a lot to me.

Also, when we were little my dad told us that it was against the law to turn off a Beatles song. Lol. And I believed him…now I know it isn’t a real law but if the Beatles ever come on the radio I listen to the whole song and I never turn it off in the middle of it.

Here is a song that I think everyone should listen to on father’s day. “Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris.
It's only for a moment you are mine to hold 
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold 
So many different prayers I'll pray
For all that you might do 
But most of all I'll want to know 
You're walking in the truth 
And If I never told you 
I want you to know
As I watch you grow
[ Lyrics from: ]
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings 

Also, I can’t wait to dance to this song with my dad on my wedding day.

May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

I would like to thank God, my heavenly father, for blessing me with such a great earthly father.
Also..I am so blessed to have found Tim because he honestly is pretty similar to my dad. They have a lot of the same values, interests and attitudes about life.  How lucky am I??!

Thanks so much for all you do dad! Love always, your daughter Amber Diane!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Hello Friends! Here are a couple of things you could do during the week to improve your fitness :)

25 jump squats. Rest for 1 minute. Do 25 more.
Try to keep your back straight like you are in a chair and make sure your knees are not way over your toes.

After that, do the leg workout from 2:05-2:25 of this video. If you don’t have ankle weights its okay. I like to do 30-35 of these for each leg. 

Working Those Pins
As well as doing high-intensity cardio, including kickboxing and running, at least three times a week, Carrie Underwood does a series of strength-training exercises – like jump squats and lunges to keep her pins in peak physique. She also strengthens her core with torso twists and stability ball exercises. “My favourite thing is cardio,” says Carrie. “It helps the pounds melt off and it gives me so much more energy. Now when I’m performing and running around the stage, it’s no big deal, whereas before I was gasping for breath. Working out has really paid off on stage.”

 Try Carrie’s Signature Leg Workout

1. Back Lunges with a Bicep Curl

From a standing position, step one leg backwards into a deep lunge, then come back into a standing position, while also doing a bicep curl with free weights. Do 15 for each leg for two or three sets.
2. Front Lunges with a Torso Twist
Holding a medicine ball in front on you, step forward into a front lunge, then twist sideways in the direction of the lunge (if you lunge with your right leg, twist towards the right). Do 15 for each leg for two or three sets.
3. Jump Squats
From the squat position, jump into the air as high as you can, landing back into the squat position. Repeat for 20 to 25 reps.

Have fun!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Short and Sweet

Dear camera, 
I wish your batteries weren't dead because I left the charger in St. Paul and was unable to take good pictures at Spencer’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful and I am glad we went. Here are the couple pictures that I took of the four amigos that attended. I wish I would've had a working camera at the ceremony so I could share some pictures of it. 

Dear Mason City, Hampton, Sheffield and Clear Lake,
Thank you for the many opportunities and possibilites for jobs this coming fall. I have had 3 interviews in the past week and I have 2 more coming up in the next two weeks. I am trying my best and I hope the plan God has for me becomes clear in the next couple of weeks.

Dear Cargill,
You are a great company but your training schedule makes Tim's sleep schedule very wacky. This week he is working overnighs so it is a bit lonely and weird being alone at night and having Tim come home and go to sleep in the morning when I am about ready to wake up. But it's all good, it will all work out. Next week he is back to working days though so the poor guy might be a bit tired.

Dear Blog,
I am sorry I havnt had time to tend to you lately but I am studying my butt off for my HOPEFULLY LAST MN state teaching licensure exam. Let’s hope I pass and finally receive that license in the mail!

p.s. my glasses came in today. I might look a little dorky but at least I can see the road signs when I am driving now :) 


Friday, June 8, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Who doesn’t love weekends?!

Well today for High Five Friday I will share my 5 highs of the week :)

  •  I have an interview today at a preschool/childcare center (just for a summer position) which is good because I love having time off but I also like to keep busy and I think this would be good for me. I also got an exciting call from the superintendent of West Forks School District which is only 8 miles from where I live. He wants me to get a credit audit by the Board of Education Examiners to see if I can get endorsed to teach middle school Language Arts even though my license is in ESL. I think there is a good chance they will endorse me which would be awesome and he also mentioned that they need a high school track coach for next year as well. 

  •  I have an interview next week at a school in Mason City. I would be an educational assistant for students k-8th with special emotional/behavioral needs. I am really hoping and praying that this would work out because I feel that I would absolutely love and do well at this school.

  • Tim and I are going on a little ROAD TRIP to Illinois this weekend for Spencer Anderson’s wedding. We get to see our good friends Katie and Dom! I LOVE road trips and I LOVE weddings, so I am really looking forward to having a great time!

Katie! I miss her and can't wait to see her and Dom

Katie, Dom, me and Tim at the hockey banquet 2012
  • This week I ran with my new running buddy Teresa. I met her at church. She is awesome. She ran cross country and track throughout high school and college and I think we have a lot in common. Not to mention she has the cutest little baby boy ever, his name is Isaac and he is so chubby and smiley and cute :)  (I LOVE babies). We are planning on running together at least once a week this summer. I miss my cross country teammates so much so it is nice to have someone to run with here in Iowa to keep me company while Tim is working.

  • Tim and I made it to Bible study last night with Pastor Mark and his wife Cassie. We read John chapter 5. It was amazing. I learned so much and we are so blessed to be able to fellowship with such great people.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Take some time this weekend to realize how blessed you are. 

"Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace"- Romans 8:6

Also, here are some more reminders that you are loved and that even through hard times, you can know that everything will be ok.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."-Romans 5:3-5

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
- John 16:33


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Workout Wednesday is just a day each week that I am going to give some type of workout/healthy living tips. I am no expert but I have a passion for fitness and I think I can give some pretty trustworthy advice ;) If I could have a side job I think it would be a fitness/weight loss trainer.

I like to do some type of active activity every day. I like to get my heart rate up as often as I can throughout the week and I like to sweat and know that I am burning calories. However, I don’t necessarily do I full blown workout or run every day of the week. Lately I have been running about 4 days a week, averaging about 20-23 miles per week.

What I like to do other than run is abs/core, lower body, some arms (you will see very quickly that I am pretty weak in the arm area...oops) :)

I usually start out my day by eating breakfast. I find that working out or doing any type of physical activity is easier if I have some food in me. I will go into my breakfast habits in a later post but for now lets just say I am addicted to yogurt. And for a not-so-healthy side note…I am also addicted to diet mountain dew :/

After breakfast, on days that aren’t crazy busy/hectic with work or school I like to do some abs and jump squats almost every day.

Here is an example of a quick but effective ab workout: It’s called pick six

1) Lie on your back and put your feet in the air. Reach up and touch your toes 25 times

2) Iron crosses: lay on your back, bend left knee 90 degrees and bring your right elbow to your knee, crunching your stomach, do this 20 times and then switch knee and elbow and do 20 times on that side as well

3) 30 regular crunches...get your back all the way off the ground and focus on keeping your abs tight 

4) V-ups: lie on your back; bring your legs and arms up so your body looks like a V shape. Repeat 25 times

5)  Leg switches- lie flat on your back. Lift one leg off of the ground about 45 degrees and hold for 3 seconds. Switch legs back and forth 25 times.

6) Mason twists: sit on your butt, put your legs up at 90 degree angle, twist your body and touch the ground to your side with both hands, switching side to side quickly 50 times.

This ab workout is short and sweet. Do it every other day or whenever you have an extra 5 minutes. Enjoy and feel the burn!


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