Four Things

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This is what happens when I get writers block!
SOOOO...purely for entertainment is "FOUR THINGS"...which I've seen on several different blogs, so I thought, hey why not?!

  1. Lily -- This was more of a childhood nickname, that I kept through high school, but stopped using in college. But the people who knew me back then still call me that.
  2. Em -- I do like this nickname, but you have to know me pretty well first before I give you license to use it :))
  3. Emmy -- Now this is pretty much just on reserve for my relatives. They are the only ones who have ever called me that. So I don't suggest you try ;))
  4. Lemon {or Le Petit Lemon} -- My dad's nickname for me.
  1. Makeup...always
  2. Wallet
  3. Notepad
  4. Pens
  1. The Anne of Green Gables trilogy {counts as absolute favorites! so i could never pick one!}
  2. Little Women -- the Wynona Ryder version. Another favorite. So sweet and so inspirational to me every single time.
  3. Pride & Prejudice -- for obvious reasons
  4. Titanic -- again...also for obvious reasons
  1. Sweetened Iced Tea -- possibly my favorite source of caffeine.
  2. McDonald's Iced Caramel Mocha -- the ONE THING with too much sugar that I just cannot stay away from.
  3. Pink Moscato -- I mean c'mon! It's pink, bubbly, and delicious!
  4. Pumpkin Spice Lattes -- It's one of the greatest things about Autumn!
  1. That I am SO DONE with this stupid computer I have...and I cannot wait until I can get an ipad!
  2. The internet in my apartment is being insanely slow right I have a slow computer AND a slow connection! So not working for me!
  3. I have A TON of choreography to finish, and dance class lesson plans to put together!
  4. That I have been trying to organize and decorate this bedroom for such a long time now...and I STILL have no idea where to even start! Ha!
  1. Grand Canyon -- Such incredible beauty that brought me closer to God!
  2. Disney World! -- Especially going on the African Safari ride in the Animal Kingdom! The giraffes came right up to us! I could have touched them! And the fact that I got to go with my dear friend and her kids. It is always more fun to go to Disney with kids!
  3. Seattle, Washington -- Very possibly my favorite city in the U.S. {Although I think I got very lucky while I was there, because it was sunny the whole time...which isn't always how it is, haha} I just loved that I got to experience both mountains AND ocean! My two favorite things!
  4. Napa Valley, California -- More mountains, more ocean! Could never get enough!
  1. Michiana Shores, IN -- My hometown, right by Lake Michigan
  2. Miami, FL -- Just for half a year...but it was a good experience for me. I'm glad I did it, even though it didn't work out.
  3. Mishawaka, IN -- where I currently live.
  4. New Buffalo, MI -- for about a year while our house was getting remodeled.
  1. Pretty Little Liars -- yeah, I kinda can't wait for the summer premier. Even though they've taken this show WAY too far, I can't help it! I gotta know what happens!
  2. Downton Abbey -- although I need to catch up. I'm so far behind that I don't even know where it's at...or even if it's over yet? I knew it was supposed to end soon.
  3. Gilmore Girls -- for the millionth time :))
  4. Dance Moms
  1. The new school year, teaching preschool!
  2. Meeting my goals for ballet...and getting performance opportunities.
  3. Writing a book finally.
  4. Losing weight.   


Monday, May 25, 2015

This weekend was GREAT!

And especially after this past week, which was hard, I needed a weekend like this.

first things first...i found THIS...

I discovered this when I was reading through one of my new favorite blogs...Jessica's blog, Forever Convinced, which I am so happy I discovered! {Jessica is amazing, and I really hope I can get to know her better soon!

My favorite part of this devotion is the part that says, " is so wrong to measure your energy level against the challenges ahead of you." 
Which is EXACTLY what I always do. Depression makes things very hard...and so does eating disorder recovery. I still don't have a very good relationship with food, and ever since my struggles with anorexia were at their worst, I've had constant health issues. {low blood sugar, and electrolytes, etc.} Between that and the depression, my energy level can drop all the way to ZERO and I have no way of knowing when that's coming. It makes my life very unpredictable, and makes it very difficult to plan on getting anything accomplished, because if my energy is too low, my plans will fall by the wayside. Usually, it takes twice as much energy for me to do HALF of what a normal person can do in a day.  As a result, I get very down on myself for not being able to do what I hoped I could, and THAT fuels the depression...

Can anyone say VICIOUS CYCLE?
Did that description make your head spin in circles? Because it certainly does mine.

But's the doesn't have to be this way. "When I gave you my spirit, I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength." My heart and body is so weak, MOST of the time. And I have always assumed that I was just always going to be like this...that I have this illness, and I'm going to have to learn to be okay with how it affects me. Which is still true...but I actually FORGOT that I don't have to fight by myself. That my strength alone isn't going to help me get through my worst days and the days I feel purposeless, which I still have...but God's strength can! 

Of course I already knew all of these things.
I just allow depression to be all-consuming and I get so caught in the darkness that I forget. I'm sure some of you can relate.
I want to be able to say that I CAN get out of bed, I CAN go run my errands, I CAN clean my house, I CAN put forth my best efforts at work. I CAN do the things I plan for my day, without completely wearing myself out. And I can, because God can.

Will I be able to hang onto this all the time? Probably not. It's going to take time, and it's going to be a learned habit just like everything else. It takes practice. But it's a discipline that I want to acquire, and it'll take daily surrender.

now...on to the rest of the weekend...

I was able to attend the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" with some of my dance students and their moms. It was an absolute BLAST! It's my favorite ballet, and it was such a inspiration for both me && my students! They are all very hard workers, but I think this opportunity motivated them to work even harder. Several of them even said that they want to audition for The Nutcracker this year! I was NOT expecting that! It made me a very proud teacher :))

I was so happy afterward, I couldn't stop smiling! There's nothing I love more than going to the ballet! I am planning on participating in a talent competition...part of a summer festival in my town this year...with a dance solo, just for the fun of it and to get back onstage. The ballet was just the right push of motivation I needed to really get me working hard to be in the best shape possible to perform. I'm excited!

And even after all of that, John-David and I drove out to my hometown to see my parents and some of my relatives for a Memorial Day Weekend cookout. It was actually a lot of fun! Great food and great conversation...and NO DRAMA. Which is kind of a rare occurrence ;))

But the fun didn't stop there!
On Sunday, our church service was absolutely wonderful and insightful, and it was followed by a day of beautiful weather, spent outside with John-David's family, playing Corn Hole on the lawn. We are all pretty bad at it, but we had such a great time and it just went on and on.

And that is why I'm linking up again today with Emily over at her blog Ember Grey.
Yes, I have a VERY Grateful Heart!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Leaving my Fear of Falling

Saturday, May 16, 2015

When I was little, I was afraid to try just about everything.

You couldn't get me to climb to the top of ANYTHING...even if it was a slide.

I wouldn't jump on a trampoline or in a bounce house if there was anyone else jumping with me.

The first time I tried skiing, I was so uncomfortable that I had to make myself fall sideways...and I just took the skis off. 
{even with sledding...which I actually enjoyed...I had to hang back for awhile until I was absolutely sure I was ready to go down the hill}

My cousins loved tubing on the back of our uncle's boats...while I just preferred to stay safe on board the boat itself.

Ultimately it all stemmed from a fear of FALLING.
I could never handle the idea of falling down or falling off of something.
Even more recently in ballet class, I fell out of a turn...flat down on the floor...SOOO not typical of me. Ever since then, I have not been able to complete that turn in class.

But I think the real problem was lack of TRUST.
Mostly in myself.
And lack of confidence in myself.

Anxiety and fear have prevented me from experiencing so many things! 
And I'm not just talking about potentially dangerous things like skiing or jumping off of a cliff...

I'm talking about anything that involves stepping outside of my comfort zone...because the result is always unclear...and I've never been willing to allow that to happen.
Being scared to trust my own emotions comes from having mood disorder. I have no idea what is real and what is not. I'm not a "wear my heart on my sleeve" type of person. I used to be, but I discovered people didn't know what to do with my constant up and down emotions, and eventually just phased themselves out of my life. 
Which is fine. I don't hold anger towards anyone for that. 
Most of the time, I don't even know how to handle them myself.
But I DO very much remove myself from my emotions now.  Because, as far as I know, if I allow myself to feel something, or if I allow myself to jump into something not knowing what the result is going to be, I'm just going to end up hurt. My heart is going to suffer.

but is that true??

I've been reminded recently that it's okay to just take a blind leap of faith sometimes. It's okay to allow emotions to actually happen...BECAUSE THAT'S LIVING!

My immediate thought is, "What if this ends up being terrible?" But, ohhh, what if it ends up being wonderful!!??

From here on out, I am hoping that I can learn how to step out of my comfort zone...
To trust myself, and even more importantly to trust God to do a great work in me. After all He does go before me && behind me. And He will be faithful to complete His good work in me.

It's ME, EMILY, who has to make the choices...
But there's no need to fear falling, because I have my Heavenly Father to catch me if I do.

And any new experience very well could be the greatest thing in the world!

It's going to take a very very long time for me to get there...
And especially on days when I'm not feeling great, this is going to be even more challenging.
But I'm certainly going to try.

OK,'s You and me. 

As easy as ABC

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I've really enjoyed seeing these floating around the blogosphere!
And since I'm still a fairly new blogger, I thought it might be a nice idea to do one too. 
Obviously, the only way to make new friends is to get to know them...and I LOVE making new friends. And through this blog, I hope that happens!

So this is me...from A-Z

Age: 25

Bed: Uhm...I am not sure specifically what type of bed it I know it's a full-sized IKEA bed, and really really comfortable! :))

Chore you hate: Washing dishes! Hate doing that! Seriously if my apartment hadn't had a dishwasher, that would have been my dealbreaker.

Dogs: My family dog is a yellow lab, and her name is Libby Rose. She lives with my parents still.  And my other favorite sweet puppy is Herschel! He's the boyfriend's dog, and I LOVE HIM soooo much! And then of course, I can't forget my best friend's sweetie pups, Barney, who posed oh-so-well for his picture :))

Essential start to your day: Coffee, coffee, coffee!!! {a la, Lorelei Gilmore}

Favorite color: Of course the ultra girly PINK! But I've developed a real love for Tiffany Blue...and that is quickly becoming my favorite color.

Gold or silver: ROSE GOLD!

Height: 5'5

Instruments you play: Piano, but I have not played in a long time. I still remember a couple of pieces, but it's been awhile. I'm a singer more than anything else.

Job title: Dance instructor...first and foremost.

Kids: I spend a lot of time around kids as a teacher! And I was born to be a mom!

Live: A sweet little apartment in Indiana...good ole Midwest.

Mom's name: Kaaren

Nickname: Em or Emmy {but ONLY IF I give you advanced permission to call me either of those}. And while I was growing up, most people actually called me Lily, which I kind of dropped after college...but people who have known me for years still call me that.

Overnight hospital stay: I was in the hospital for a full week after having surgery done on my back.

Pet peeve: Sickled feet!!! AHHH!! {It's a dancer means not pointing your feet properly and it drives me insane, ha!}

Quote from a book or movie: This one was HARD! There are so many great quotes out there! But I definitely think THIS one tops them for me. I've seen this movie so many times and yet this line never fails to make me tear up.

"I don't want sunbursts...or marble halls. I just want you."

oh my goodness, friends! seriously! i can't even handle it! :))

Righty/Lefty: Righty

Siblings: I am the oldest of three. I have two younger brothers.

Time you wake up: Oh, can we not even discuss this please?! Hee hee. I have the absolute hardest time getting up. I can't set myself to one time, because that never actually 

Underwear: Um...really?

Veggies you dislike: Most of them actually. I wasn't fed vegetables much as a child, and even as a baby I didn't like the vegetable flavored baby food. I will eat them if they are "masked" with something else though, like butter, cheese, or dressing.

What makes you late: Can we go back to how horrible it is for me to wake up? Yeah, that is what often makes me late.

X-Rays you've had: Several on my spine in the years before I had surgery. I had to get a new one every year.

Yummy food you make: I'm still getting used to cooking for myself...but I must say that I made a LOVELY strawberry banana cheesecake salad last week. And YES that's as yummy as it sounds!

Zoo animal: GIRAFFES!! I love them! I wish we had them at our local zoo, but it's too small. I absolutely loved seeing them VERY much up close and personal on the African Safari ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom!


Monday, May 4, 2015

I know I am still so new at this blogging thing. I absolutely LOVE doing it, but I'm still not used to writing more consistently yet. I'm okay with that for now...I'll learn as I go...and I'm looking forward to growing as a writer...

But also, I've had a ROUGH last couple of weeks with my mood disorder. And that's made it very difficult to accomplish anything, including writing.

But I'm back today, and linking up with another EMILY {who writes over at the blog Ember Grey} for her weekly link-up "A Grateful Heart".

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Here's what I'm grateful for this week...

Feeling better overall. And also the constant learning process of how to be okay with NOT feeling good. It certainly is a process, but it's good. Very good.

A promising job interview for a part time preschool teaching position. It's at a Gymnastics/Dance center that doubles at a preschool. Right up my alley! And the hours are perfect!

 My dance students performed in their Spring Showcase on Wednesday night. I could not have been happier with the results! This was probably the best group of kids I've ever had as a dance instructor. And I can't wait to start this upcoming summer session! 
I wish I'd had the opportunity to have some more photos taken...I was so busy that night I didn't have time to think about that!

Everything about that night made me so, so happy! I am so grateful for everyone who shared it with me! This is just one of many ways God is using dance to save my life, even now...which you can read about by CLICKING HERE!

I'm also very grateful that the month of May is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH! I am praying for, and eagerly awaiting, opportunities that God may provide as a platform for me to share this, that is my greatest passion in life.  And I am grateful for ALL of those who are willing speak up, educate, and end the stigma of mental/emotional health issues. 

So what are YOU thankful for this week?
Have a wonderful Monday and a blessed week everyone!