God is Love.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Did I just read that right?? 

I haven't blogged since May 2012 - almost two whole years ago??? 

I would say that can't be true - but I know it is! When people say "life happens," I totally know what they mean now.  Some days I don't even feel like I have time to breathe before I hit the bed to (hopefully) rest and do it all again the next day. 

Thomas and I have been married for about a year and a half now, and we went to our first marriage conference this weekend.  Our awesome Sunday School leaders, Scott and Dawn, told us about it, and we were the only ones from our Young Married class that went! It was a great little getaway, and we heard from some wise people about having the right balance of our mind, spirit and body and what that means for our marriage and for our relationship with Christ! 

(More on the conference later.)  

During the session on Spirit, we talked about the fruits of the spirit, and how they only come from being filled with The HOLY Spirit! The fruit that stood out to me was Self Control.  In so many areas of my life, I have been feeling out of control - eating, spiritual life, time, time with Thomas, housekeeping, etc.  And while I know that God is in control over my life and has His hand in everything, I need some discipline in my life! That is what I will be working on - discipline over my diet, my schedule, my time with the LORD, my time with Thomas, my time with family and friends, and my attitude at work.  These are all things that, with the grace of Jesus, will be infinitely better with some self-discipline.

Readers that I know and love and strangers alike, will you pray for me?  Pray that I will be blessed with the discipline and diligence from the Lord so that I can get my mind, spirit, and body in order the way God wants them to be, and work to listen to Him and figure out how I can bless others and show Jesus to them.  I hope to use this blog to share with you my journeys and use it as another measure of discipline - you can't argue with "Last post, May 2012!"  

One of my goals that I set at the beginning of the year was to keep a regular prayer journal.  I'm a much better writer than I am speaker, so I can get all the things out I want to say to God on paper a lot better.  So tell me, how can I pray for you?? I'm trying to develop my prayer life and my relationship with the best friend I've ever had, Jesus Christ, and I would love for Him to bless you along the way! Comment on here and I will add you to my prayer list! 

Galatians 5:22 - 23 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A HOMEOWNER 1/4 of the way through the 24 Day Challenge!

I'm sorry I haven't been updating each day like I said I would.  I promise, I have a good GREAT excuse....


We put our offer in on this house almost two months ago, and the process has been going on since then.  We were supposed to close on the 30th of April, but that did not happen.  Let me tell you what's NOT easy - securing a home loan when you are fresh out of college and your fiance doesn't have a credit score because he's been responsible and hasn't used credit his entire life!! Word to the wise that are still in college: get a credit card.  Don't go crazy with it and spend more than you can afford, but buy a couple of tanks of gas a month and pay it off.  You need credit to buy a house or a car - it's important! (Unless you have $100K lying around, in which case don't worry about the credit card)

We FINALLY got the call saying our loan had been cleared to close on Friday at about 11 in the morning.  They told us then that we were closing at the attorney's office in Cumming at 4:00 that afternoon.  I left school and flew up to Gainesville to meet Thomas, and we made it only a few minutes after 4.  We signed our life away, and left as HOMEOWNERS! While it is a scary feeling to owe someone tens of thousands of dollars, it is an amazing feeling to have a place to live that is your own.  We are so excited to not be paying rent to anyone, and to have all the space we have! 
I'll put up some pictures later, when we take some with the good camera.  I have some phone pictures, but they don't do it justice! :) 

With all the craziness that went on this weekend, I still tried pretty hard to stay on my clean eating plan for the challenge.  We went out to eat with my grandparents after the closing, and went to O'Charleys.  I chose what I thought was the healthiest option on the 2 for $20 menu.  However, I was wrong.  I could only eat about 1/4 of my grilled chicken breast and pasta because it was smothered in cheese and the pasta was soaked in butter.  After eating clean about 95% of the time for the past month or so, this did not even taste good to me.  I left all my leftovers with Thomas.  I also cheated and had a small celebratory hot fudge sundae :)  Other than that, I think I did okay.  I'm back on track now.  It's so much easier during the week because I'm in charge of all my meals.  When I'm away from home, I'm kind of at the mercy of what everyone else is doing.  Today has definitely been a good day, eating wise.  I had my Probiotic Restore this morning, and for breakfast I had two delicious hard boiled eggs.  I love them! I could eat them DO eat them every day.  My snack was some yummy strawberries and blueberries (antioxidants, anyone?) and my lunch will be some tuna with a touch of mayo and a chopped boiled egg and some baby carrots on the side.  I truthfully feel SO much better when I am eating clean and healthy.  

So far, I am down to 172.5 lbs! 2.5 pounds lost so far.  I put on a size 12 shorts on Saturday, and they were falling off all day! It was a great feeling.  Now that I'm back on track with my eating, and will have more time to exercise this week, I can't wait to report my halfway results on Day 12!!! 

Stay tuned! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

24 Day Challenge: Day 2 and 3

The Challenge is going very well!  I have been sticking to the clean eating (which I've already started, especially since my mom started the challenge 24 days ago!) - except for the miniature piece of cake at the Teacher Appreciation luncheon today! - and I do feel a lot better! I've been eating boiled eggs, tuna with a literal pinch of mayo, and TONS of grilled chicken and vegetables.  I have truthfully not missed simple carbs at all the past three days, which is pretty amazing.  I also already (believe it or not) feel a little bit smaller, too.  I will weigh on day 6, so we will see the progress then.  

Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

24 Day Challenge - Day ONE!

So today I began my challenge! Let's just say I didn't get started off on the right foot this morning due to oversleeping! Because of that, I didn't have ample time to drink my fiber drink.  The fiber drink is not.....hmm, how can I say this?...the epitome of deliciousness.  I also have a problem just swallowing things without tasting them, so it wasn't the best thing in the world.  I honestly could only drink half.  I then tried to drink my Green Monster smoothie for breakfast, but I didn't wait the full 30 minutes.  This made my stomach a little upset, so I'll know better tomorrow! 
I was in kindergarten today, so we ate lunch super early.  Therefore, I skipped my mid-morning snack.  For lunch, I had chicken, brown rice, black beans, and corn, and a bunch of water.  My afternoon pick-me-up was half a Spark drink and some carrots and cucumbers.  For my workout, I did the Lean Arms Pyramid (see below).  I truthfully haven't worked out in about 3 weeks, and it kicked my butt! I also did about 15 minutes on the bike.  My post-workout snack was 2 hard boiled eggs - yum! For dinner, I'm having grilled chicken and some steamed veggies, with maybe a little bit of brown rice.  I'm thinking this will be my nightly menu for the next 24 days! 

Let me know if you have any questions about AdvoCare or the 24 Day Challenge!! I would love for you to join me! Email me at cejack4420@northgeorgia.edu - mention my blog and I will give you a 15% discount! :) 

Lean Arms Pyramid:  Do these with minimal (10 seconds or less) of rest between each one! 

10 push-ups
20 tricep dips 
30 bicep curls
40 second plank
50 tummy tucks 
40 second plank
30 bicep curls
20 tricep dips
10 push- ups

Tummy Tucks - I got in elevated plank position on a bench and used my abs to alternate bringing each knee up to my chest 50 times - feel the burn for sure!

And the CHALLENGE begins!!

Tomorrow, I will be starting Day 1 of the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge!  After seeing my friends and family member's results, it is needless to say that I am VERY excited!!  I'm going to use this blog as my "Challenge Diary" over the next 24 days, and hopefully it will become a helpful guide if any of YOU want to join in and do the 24 Day Challenge sometime soon!  I'm going to put it all out there - my weight, my measurements, my before and after pictures - all of it.  Each day, I'll summarize what I ate and what I did if I made it to the gym.  One-quarter of the way through, I'll update you on pounds lost and any inches lost (Day 6). Halfway through (Day 12), I'll update you again and probably include some photos. This will be after the cleanse phase is done.  Three-quarters of the way through (Day 18), I'll do another pounds/inches update, and of course you'll get the FULL update at the end (Day 24).
I've been working out and eating a much more healthful diet since I moved back home after graduation in December, and I'm almost down to the lowest I've been since junior year of college. I've seen the Challenge work for people like Dana and Danielle, who have been eating clean and working out consistently for years, so I know that it's not one of those fads where you lose weight from an obvious, giant lifestyle change.  I really think it will work for me as well.  If nothing else, it will detoxify my body and make me feel better, as well as get me even more in the habit of eating clean and avoiding simple carbs!

Here's the thing: my wedding dress is scheduled to ship out on the last day of the Challenge, meaning I should have it a week after that.  I would love nothing more than to go try it on and have it be wayyyyy too big.  That would be awesome!

I hope you'll follow along with me! I will update on how I feel as well as how I look.  Please let me know if you have any questions about AdvoCare!

Here are my "BEFORE" stats and a picture (excuse my appearance, I had been at Six Flags sweating all day.)

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175
Body Fat %: Around 27-28%
Chest: 40 in
Waist: 32.5 in
Hips: 41 in
Thighs: 22 in
Arms: 12.5 in
Total inches: 182.5 inches
(These measurements are what I can remember - I will update if I find my more accurate ones!)
 I just noticed that I have terrible posture!! Add that to the list of things I need to work on!! 

Monday, April 23, 2012


Where has the time gone??? I finally figured out how to get into this account after battling gmail vs. google accounts vs. North Georgia email.  What a nightmare! But I figured it out, logged in, and the dashboard greets me by saying: "Last post: July 31, 2011."  WHAT??!! That was almost a YEAR ago! I want need to get back into blogging, especially with all the things going on in my life! 

Here are the highlights of what's happened since I last posted (in order of when they happened, not importance!)

1) I moved back to Dahlonega to finish out my undergraduate career.  I had a fantastic last semester, and I was so sad to leave the place I called home for four and a half years.  North Georgia offered me an amazing college experience, and I would not trade it for anything.  I made amazing friendships that I know will last a lifetime, met my future husband (more on that in #4!), and got a great education that will serve me well as I work to do God's will in my life. 

2) I changed my life plan! Well, when I say "I," I really mean GOD.  All along the plan has been for me to go to optometry school and become an eye doctor.  Sophomore year, I changed my major from Biology to Spanish.  Little did I know that that was a stepping stone in another direction! This past semester, as I was counting down the days to graduation, I was absolutely dreading the application process to optometry schools.  The more I thought about moving out of state (probably to Puerto Rico!), the more I was discouraged and disheartened.  I knew in my heart that what I wanted in life was not to saddle myself (and Thomas) with $200,000 in debt, and spend four more years of my life consumed with school, just to have a career that I was not sure I would enjoy.  Through a lot of prayer and talking with my loved ones, I knew that God had a different plan for me....TEACHING Spanish! I'm good at it, I have a passion for it, and I can use that position as a way to end ignorance and encourage students to open their hearts and minds to people from other cultures.  

3) I GRADUATED!! I walked across the stage on December 10, 2011, and became an alumna of North Georgia College & State University.  It was a pretty good feeling :) 

Papaw, Mom, Me, Mema, and Dad on graduation day! 

4) I GOT ENGAGED!!!! Thomas proposed to me on November 29th, the night after the very last day of college classes.  Talk about cutting it close for a candlelighting! ;) He made the proposal everything I wanted, including fireworks! It was so special and I will never forget it.  I LOVE HIM!!! We are going to be an awesome husband and wife.  We are getting married on July 6th, and I. Can. Not. Wait!! 

My beautiful ring! It is perfect! 
Engagement pictures by Steven Orwig
My candlelighting with my sweet sisters! 

5) I moved back home to Jefferson and have been substitute teaching.  I LOVE it...most days.  I am loving being at home with my family!! 

6) We are buying a house!! Hopefully.  We are scheduled to close in ONE week, provided we meet one last condition for the mortgage company.  I have been trusting God with this all along.  He has provided for us so far, and I know He will continue to provide! 

7) As of TODAY, I became an AdvoCare distributor.  I will be doing another post about that tomorrow! They have amazing products, and I have watched my mom, Dana,Aunt Mary, and Erin all use the 24 Day Challenge by AdvoCare.  They have all lost pounds AND inches.  My mom lost has lost 8 lbs so far, and she's only halfway through! Erin lost 10 lbs in 10 days.  It is not claiming to be fat loss, but I'll explain more about that tomorrow! I am starting my challenge in 8 days, on May 1st.  If you want to participate with me, get a free t-shirt, and the chance to win $300, email me at cejack4420@northgeorgia.edu and I will give you details! It is so easy, and will lead to a healthier YOU and a healthier lifestyle for you to enjoy life! 

I am truly going to start using this as a way to keep everyone updated on life, the home-buying process, planning the wedding, and my 24 Day Challenge and quest for healthier living.  

Love you ALL! 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adventures in Crafting!!

So after Erin got me hooked on Pinterest, my mom and I have gotten really inspired to get crafty! There are SO many good ideas on there! I have made some awesome new hair accessories, and Mom has made me 3 awesome new dresses! (Pics of those later)
So today I would like to share my latest creations:
(Sorry for the terrible photo, my camera is about 5 years old - which is TOO old these days!)
I also wanted to share some instructions on how to make these, because they are REALLY easy!!
I'll work on adding pictures, I didn't think of it until after I was done!

For the Pinwheel Clips:

You will need: 
  • two different, coordinating fabrics (you can also use just one, but two is more fun!)
  • Scissors 
  • Some type of adhesive - I used some Dry-Bond adhesive sheets that I got at a thrift store for 25 cents, which isn't the greatest for fabric, but it works okay.  Anything that will let you fuse your two fabrics together will work! 
  • A bottle of Fray-Check (glue like stuff that keeps it from fraying) 
  • Needle and Thread 
  • Some type of hair clip - snap clip, alligator clip, thick bobby pin, whatever you have! 
  • Embellishments - buttons, pearls, jewels, brads, whatever! 
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue
Okay now for the how-to:
  1. Cut out a square of each of your fabrics.  I used about 3" square pieces, I think. 
  2. Fuse them together using the method of your choice.  If you're using Dry-Bond, place on square of fabric face up on the sticky sheet, and rub it until all of the adhesive transfers to the back of the fabric.  Place your other fabric face up on the sticky side of the fabric.  Rub them together until they are good and stuck! Then iron them lightly to get rid of any wrinkles.
  3. Use the fray check along the edges to get rid of any frays.  I didn't have any fray-check, so that's why mine look a little shabbier than others I've made and posted on Facebook.  
  4. From the CORNERS of the square, cut a straight line towards the middle.  Don't cut all the way to the center, but you can get kinda close. You should now have four foldable "triangles" attached at the center.
  5. Decide which way you are going to fold the pinwheel.  Which way you fold depends on what you want your pinwheel to look like.  For example, for the seersucker pinwheel, I put the navy blue facing down and then folded in, so I had more seersucker showing.  
  6. Next, fold the corners in, one by one, and sew to the center.  Make sure you pick the same corner on each triangle to fold in so you get the correct pinwheel shape. As you fold the corners in, they will overlap in the center and be sewn together.  
  7. Hot glue your embellishment in the center of the pinwheel to cover up the threads.
  8. Hot glue your hair pin to the back. 
  9. Clip the pinwheel in your hair and get complimented!! 

The Flower hair clip is a little easier - No Sewing! And no fusing any fabric together.  Here's a picture of the materials you'll need: 
I used about 7 or 8 of the flower cut outs for mine.
Here's how I did it: 
  1. Cut 8-10 squares of the fabric you want to use.  It should be either a solid or a fabric that has the print on both sides.  Cut the little flower shapes out of the squares - they do NOT have to all be the same! 
  2. Cut a small circle out of felt.  The bigger your circle, the more flower petals you are going to need! 
  3. Take a flower shape.  Fold it in half, petal to petal.  Put a small bit of glue in the center (after it's folded in half) and fold in half again.  Repeat - it should now be a little cone shape! 
  4. Glue the tip of the cone onto the center of your felt circle.  
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with all your petals, working your way around the felt until it is completely covered.  You'll have to play around with them before you glue to make sure you like how it looks! 
  6. Add your embellishments to the center - I used the little buttons that come with button down shirts when you buy them! 
  7. OR - You can continue folding petals and adding them until it is more of a fluff ball hair pin.  I did one of these as well with solid fabric, and it is really cute! 
  8. Glue the felt circle to your hair pin. 
  9. Pin it in your hair and enjoy saying "Oh, I made it!" when people ask you where you got it! 
I hope these are helpful directions.  I feel like the next two weeks I have before I have to go back to school are going to be filled with crafting! If you don't have a Pinterest - go get one! Comment and I will invite you to it! Also leave any comments with any questions!