Tuesday, April 30, 2013

College at a Glance {Freshman Year}

With graduation vastly approaching, I wanted to reminisce on the past four years of my life. SO MUCH has happened and changed, it's hard to even explain without starting from square one.. freshman year.

I started off my college career at the University of South Carolina. I was born and raised a Gamecock fan. I moved into South Tower, an all girls dorm, and lived in this corner room - which was actually much bigger than I ever expected a college dorm to be.

My freshman roommate was Jennifer, we hung out a good bit when school first started. Making friends started off slow, but we slowly transitioned into college living. It's funny now to think back on how afraid I was to step out and meet new people. I made a few friendships by living in the dorm, but one really stuck - and that is with my sweet friend Sara who will now be in my wedding!

I went to every Carolina home game, always dressed in my garnet and black. If you would have told me that I'd end up at Clemson, I would've laughed. I loved being close to home and I loved being with a good many of my friends from high school. It was comforting and it was what I knew, no real change. 

I went to the SC State Fair with a few of my best friends at the time. I spent the majority of my time with the same group of people, some from high school and some who were new friends of my friends.

Some home games were graced by the presence of my best friends from high school. We all seemed to go separate directions. Marlie went to PC, Lauren went to Clemson, and Tay ended up in the upstate as well. I always loved when they'd come to games, because we would always pick up right where we left off. 

I trained for a half marathon during the fall semester. I spent many days a week running with a group at Strictly Running and my sweet friend Krista. Krista and I spent many afternoons running that the river walk, she definitely pushed me and helped me to become a runner, when I clearly was not. We made it up to 8 miles one Saturday morning, and later that week it was all I could do to walk on my foot. Turns out I had a baby stress fracture.. so I sported this fashion statement of a shoe.. I've got to mention though, my mom made fun of my grandma shoe, and soon after she fell and broke her ankle. It's funny now when I think back on it, but having a broken foot was no joke!

I may have never missed a Carolina home game, but when USC's games were away I would make my way up to Clemson to a few games and to visit. I hardly ever wore orange.. but I wasn't opposed to the idea. The game atmosphere was vastly different, and I always loved making the trip up to Clemson.

I mentioned earlier that I spent most of my time with the same group of people. Well, these are the people who were my best friends and my tailgating buddies. We always went to the games together, and always managed to sit together. They all made my game day experiences so fun! 

Fun fact: I played on a co-ed intramural volleyball team! I seriously don't think we ever won a game.. not a single one. Well.. We may have won one, but that was it! I learned that volleyball just wasn't my thing. But hey, you win some and you lose some. We had fun meeting once a week to play teams who were much better than us.

I threw my mom a surprise 50th birthday party with the help of Paige. That night Paige, Lachlan and I went on a spontaneous trip to Charleston to put our feet in the ocean. That was probably the most spontaneous thing we did that year, definitely one of my favorite memories! We spent the car trip up there and back jamming out to 90's music and telling stories. Side note, Lachlan forgot to wear shoes.. so he walked around the beach in the beginning of January with no shoes!

Another fun fact, I was on a co-ed basketball team. I only went in a few times, but our team ended up making it to the championship game! I was more of the team cheerleader and photographer, no surprises there haha.

I went to my first Carolina Cup experience. I had to borrow a dress and hat, but I was so excited to go with Lachlan. We spent the day walking around and hanging out with random people. I made quite a few friends that day. We ran into a lot of old friends from high school and repped our '09 graduation date, we were so cool I know!

Later on during the spring semester I realized that maybe Carolina wasn't really for me. I talked to Paige and she wanted to try somewhere new, too. We took a trip up to Clemson and the rest is history. We both decided to give it a try, and we also decided to be roommates. Who would've ever known that this would've been a huge turning point for my life's path!

Soon after school ended, I turned 19. I celebrated with my best friends from home, we always made a point to have big birthday dinners and I always looked forward to them.

 Freshman year went by extremely quick. College was what I expected, and then it wasn't. I made a few friends, but I didn't make a substantial amount of new ones. However, the few friendships I made at USC have lasted. I wouldn't trade my freshman experience at USC for anything, I learned what I truly wanted in a college experience, and just had to accept that I was going to get that somewhere else. It was a huge step for me, especially moving away from home, but I am so thankful that I decided to transfer to Clemson.

Be on the lookout for a recap of my sophomore year in college. Let me just preface by saying my sophomore year was my biggest year, maybe even one of the biggest turning points in my life. Do I have you hooked now? Haha, I doubt I'm that interesting, but that year was truly one of the best ones to date. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wedding Festivities and Crossfit Community

I've been blaming my lack of blogging on the fact that I have very little time.. well, I'm graduating in 13 short days, and then I'm not sure what my excuse will be! It's hard to believe that graduation is just around the corner. No more classes, no more tests, no more being a Clemson student. I'll be an alumni, I hardly feel old enough to be in college period. I'm constantly blown away at how fast time really does fly. It's so cliche, but when you sit down and think about it, where on earth have the past few years gone?!

I won't get sentimental about Clemson (yet), I'll save that mushiness for another week or two :)

Let's back track, shall we? Wedding planning takes a lot of time and energy. Some aspects are stressful and some are so fun that you want to do them again and again. Finding a venue for the ceremony and reception have been our most stressful aspects so far, mainly because the fall months are so booked with other weddings and events in the upstate. Once that got crossed off the list (woohoo!), we have been able to enjoy the smaller details of the wedding.

Cake tasting.

I must admit, cake tasting has been my favorite wedding "chore." Our wonderful wedding planner recommended Kathy and Company, located in Easley, SC. On the day of our appointment we couldn't find the place because it is tucked away behind Kathy's home. The building is nothing extravagant, just a little house built behind a normal house, sounds silly right? We were welcomed with the happiest of hellos and they took care of us our entire time tasting. They offered water and coffee, and we were served with a plate full of flavors!

We tried everything. The wonderful women at Kathy and Co also provide homemade frostings, so we had our fair share of those with each of the cake flavors, too. Our favorite was the strawberry & white chocolate swirl with strawberry icing. For those of you coming to our wedding, you're in for a real treat - our cake has over 5 flavors, but I'll keep those a secret!

I loved every moment, and I loved every bite!

And so did he :)

I'm jumping around here, but I have a few weeks to catch up on!

July is our official "Crossfitiversary," which I will be posting all of my own personal improvements. I'm pretty excited about that post! However, I thought it was appropriate to brag on the wonderful people at our Crossfit gym. Since day one, we were welcomed by some of the sweetest and most encouraging people. We have made great friends during our 9 months at Crossfit Proverb. We've been spending more and more time there, and our friendships have grown!

I've made my way to two competitions to watch Braden compete. When it comes to building relationships, Crossfit competitions are a perfect way to get to know those at your gym. You spend a day watching your friends do work on some tough workouts, and you get to fellowship with all of those who are there to spectate.

I would say it's not all fun and games.. but it is!

I look forward to going to workout every day. The days I don't make it I feel like I've missed out on all of the fun. Crossfit builds such great relationships because you're surviving through tough workouts with everyone around you, you've accomplished something, and you've done it alongside others who were right there with you the whole way. You can usually hear someone say "this sucks" during a workout, and as soon as it's over "holy cow that was an awesome workout!" Isn't it funny how that works?

When we do silly things such as supermans, which I like to call penguins, it turns into a laughing matter. I mean come on, how ridiculous do we all look?!

We also spend time together outside of the gym. Braden, Alex and I have made some wonderful friendships that have extended past our daily workouts together. Our wonderful gym owners and trainers have become some of our great friends, and we've found ourselves spending more and more time with them. I don't think that this comes as a surprise in any circumstance that puts Jesus in the center. Crossfit Proverb is built on a foundation of Christ, and it shines through the way our trainers treat their members. 

There are occasionally some perks involved.. like free smoothies for CFP members :)

I'm looking forward to the upcoming summer months. I will be spending a good amount of my time at CFP, and I am sure that I will be spending even more time with the wonderful people who train there. We have an upcoming lake day on May 4th and I'm already pumped!

I mention Crossfit a lot, but that's because it has become something I enjoy and love. I wouldn't advocate something if I truly didn't believe in it. My fitness capacity has changed exponentially, you'll see that when I write about my successes in my Crossfitiversary. I think everyone should give it a try, especially if you find a gym that is built on a foundation of the Lord. If you're growing spiritually, you're also growing physically. 

That's all for now!

"For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."
- 1 Timothy 4:8

Thursday, April 4, 2013

As Much As I Hate Defeat...

Let's just say that my paleo sugar detox did/did not go according to plan. I completed week one of the detox a few days shy of 7. You know how things go.. snack attacks while studying, road trips, and Easter didn't help me stay on track! For the 5 days that I did stay on a strict sugar detox, I felt incredible.

I felt so sluggish the few weeks prior to the detox. It took a lot of will-power to get off the couch and get moving, especially when it came to working out. I would get tired by 8pm, but still couldn't fall asleep until well after 12. My body was out of whack.

I never really craved sugar during the first week. As a matter of fact, I felt great without having any sugar. My body had been craving lean proteins and vegetables. A week of giving my body what it wanted did wonders for my metabolism, mood, and motivation (I love alliteration). Although numbers aren't super important, I went from 122.2lbs down to 118.6 after those 5 days on the sugar detox. For someone of my size, I'd say that's pretty significant in a 5 day period.

I've reintroduced artificial sweetner with my morning coffee. I'm a personal fan of Stevia and sugar free hazelnut creamer. I have also only been having one serving of fruit a day, not because of a detox, but because I really have not craved fruit that much. For those of you who know me, I'm a fruitaholic, so this is pretty out of the ordinary for me.

I hate to admit defeat.. but I must say, 5 days of the detox were plenty to recharge my body! I would still recommend the detox to anyone who is looking to jump start eating Paleo, or even those who just want to jump start eating healthy period. You would be surprised at how much your body craves meat and vegetables.

I may do a week sugar detox once every other month just to put my body in check, but I am not looking to do anything outrageously crazy in the next coming months. I plan to eat mostly strict paleo, with an occasional treat now and then - we all deserve that!

Hope you all are having a great week!