Saturday, 30 April 2011

Women Who Lift

I did something this morning that I forgot how much I loved doing. Last year around this time, I won a “fitness” challenge at work which got me a membership to Extreme Fitness for a month and 6 personal training sessions. I decided to use these sessions as my intro into weight lifting. I’ve taught BodyPump for 2 years now, but I wanted to know how to lift like the guys do. Low reps, heavy weights as opposed to my muscle endurance training of high reps, lower weights. Well, with my intro to power lifting I also realized that  I LOVED it. I loved the challenge and the intense feeling of strength! Fast forward to one year later.

Today I checked out Crossfit Niagara. I took part in their open gym time and learned so much about lifting. Best part, there were two other girls training for a competition that I got to be inspired by! I think a power lifting competition might be a part of my near future.

Today’s workout included:

Back Squat – 40kg + bar  - 5 rep
Shoulder Pres – 13.5kg + bar – 3 rep
Deadlift – 60kg + bar – 5 rep

Now, as is typical with me and a new venture, I also obtain a desire to purchase items that are required. And what girl doesn’t need an excuse to buy new shoes!  Lifting shoes, that is!!  I didn’t even know that a line of shoes existed for this purpose. I’m so excited. 


As well, our home would do well to have a foam roller for personal use while watching tv. More online shopping!


 Side note: Everyone has a "somebody" that they admire, body features that they appreciate. Here's mine! "Crush" from American Gladiators!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Raid My Closet & Thoughts About Underwear

Do you ever have trouble throwing away old clothes? I do!!! I order 10 pairs of new underwear on La (Side note: BEST! way to buy can buy the style you the right size!!! No more going to the store and shovelling through barrells of ugly underwear left because the good stuff isn't in your size). So, my reasoning was, if I have 10 new pairs, then I had to throw out 10 old pairs. When I went to try and do this though...up creeps nostalgia. The "I remember when..." thoughts of the underwear screening process. Now I know alot of people have nostalgia over clothes, but I admit, I have it over underwear too. I think "Oh, those work perfectly under that dress..." or "I used to (yes, used to ) have a matching bra to these ones..." or "...they're so comfortable...even if they have gaping holes where lace once was."
This got me thinking about our annual event, Raid My Closet. For those of you who don't know, RMC is where a group of us friends come together to swap gently used clothes, jewellery, shoes, accessories that no long fit or aren't so useful in our wardrobe anymore. So as I was contemplating about my clothes and what I will fraction out for RMC, I thought about the following things that I love and I hate it all at the same time.
Things I love about "Raid My Closet"
- Being able to close my drawers after the purge!
- Seeing other people wear and enjoy great items that I can't enjoy due to size or lack of opportunity. (*Usually more the latter 'opportunity' issue than the former 'size' issue).
- Justifying more shopping
- Giving opportunity for other items in my closet to get more attention from me ("Oh hello silky blouse that got lost between bulky sweaters!")
Things I hate about "Raid My Closet"
- When a great "find" gets lost in the racks of clothes. This kind of makes me sad for that particular article of clothing. (Think of it like a clothes version of "Toy Story 3").
- When I have to be unselfish and not take ALL the jewellery that I love hanging up on the peg boards. (Blame the only child syndrome).
I was thinking about a grey sweater that I wore last week that last week I determined it's now time to give to RMC. It's had a good run with me, and it's time for someone else to enjoy it. Then today I was looking for a picture from our engagement photo shoot and came across a few shots where I was wearing my grey sweater. Nostalgia rose up inside of me and I thought, am I ready to give it up? Once this season is over and I start wearing summer clothes, it's likely I won't even remember this grey sweater. It's even more likely by the fall I'll find a new grey sweater that I love! But what if nobody finds it or wants it? What if it's left over at the end of the night? What happens to my grey sweater then? *cue dark eerie music*
Previously we've given all the left over items (and there were garbage bags FULL of them) to Goodwill. This year we'll be doing things a little different. Any items that are still deemed in excellent condition and are suitable for "career clothing", they will be donated to "Successfully Suited"! Check out the program at . It's a fabulous section of Goodwill that helps people who feel that their lack of interview appropriate clothes is a barrier to finding employment.  Following that, any clothes items that don't fit the "career clothing" criteria will be given to our church's SOS program who hands it out for free to those who need it.
So awesome great will find a home and someone will love you and run a de-fuzzer over you....and you shall be like new!
*nostalgic tear*
If you want to know more about our Raid My Closet event coming up on May 13...check out our Facebook Fan Pages.
As well, all proceeds from this year's event will be helping send a group of young women on a missions trip to Guatamela!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

An Easter Sunday Reflection

My husband is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to Christianity & the Bible (or sometimes what may seem like Christianity vs. the Bible). Last Sunday we were up at his home church where he grew up. He was speaking in the morning Palm Sunday service as well as at the Youth Service in the evening. Most of what I’m writing is out of response to Scott’s teaching on Sunday. So a lot of these ideas I cannot take credit for. But I wanted to talk about my response.

I’ve been reading the blogs and posts from my friends recently who have been mulling over the “What does it mean to be a Christian?” topic. Which got me thinking, how is it that we are to be known?

 “They will know you by your love.”

This verse in John 13  is often repeated in churches. It’s usually followed by the battle cry of  “We love people! We love people! We love people!”

Two questions that I’ve been asking myself concerning this:

1.) Do I really love people, or do I love the thought of “loving people”? Love is not an easy thing. And people aren’t always easy to love. But it’s certainly easy to love people who I don’t know.

2.) Can we really love people if we don’t know them, if we don’t understand their struggles, or who they are? I guess it depends on if you believe love is an action word or just a feeling in this case.

Growing up I always heard, “Well, our reactions are different.” Really? I’m not sure if this is true. Are we then saying we don’t get angry as much? We gossip less? We reach out to help people more? I don’t know if I believe that. I’ve met very many amazing people who didn’t consider themselves believers. And I’ll be honest; many times their reactions to tough situations, their ability to get along with people and their charity towards others far out matched mine.  Is it a good idea to have Christ work through us to make us better people? Absolutely!  But, if that is the measuring stick by which we are to know Christians, it’s not a very good one.

How was Jesus different?

“Jesus said things nobody else would say. He went places nobody else would go. He did things nobody else would or could do.” –Scott McIntyre (and I’m sure many other preachers)

He said things nobody else would say. With the woman caught in adultery, Christ said, “Let Him without sin cast the first stone.” As a church whole, do we do that? If we do, it’s certainly not publicized in the media. Often we see churches picketing funerals of fallen homosexual soldiers. We see them burning books of other religions. On a personal level, do I withhold judgment from those I see who don’t line up to how I’ve chosen to live my life? Or who falls short of what I believe the standard “good Christian” should be like? Do I help people when they are at their lowest or do I just assume their bad choices got them there and they’ll have to find their own way back?

He went places nobody went. Jesus wasn’t afraid of sinners. I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian private school, went to youth group, went to a Christian public school… My interaction with people outside the “Christian” circle was limited. If I met someone who I wanted to share Jesus with, I brought them to church. I never had the confidence to be able to speak to them myself.  I don’t think I would ever consider myself afraid, but rather, lazy. It’s easier to bring them into the comfort of the 4 walls of the church and make the pastor give them a good dose of Jesus theology, then it is to try to navigate those waters and speak the words yourself. We design our church services for visitors so that they feel welcomed and comfortable. Does this hinder our ability to speak to them directly since instead we’ve made it so easy to just “bring them to church.” The Bible said, “Go out into your world…” not “get everyone in your church building…”

Jesus did things that nobody else would do. This is where the revelation started for me. Did people follow Jesus because He was nice? Were thousands following him because he was a kind guy? Cause He loved them? I’m sure Jesus was all those things. The Bible said He was. But the only Biblical reference that explains why Jesus had multitudes traveling on the roads, up and down the hills of Galilee, waiting on the other side of the lakes for him, was because he performed miracles. He did things nobody else could do. In fact, the Bible says at one point after the feeding of the 5,000 that Jesus says to the crowd, “You are just here for the food.” And then he doesn’t feed them! He gives them the Word of God. He provides them with spiritual sustenance rather than natural sustenance (which apparently they all felt they needed).

The Bible tells us to go into “your” world, tell the Gospel story, and lay hands on the sick to see them recover. It’s the implementation of the great commission that sets us a part. Jesus tells us to tell His story, and lay hands on the sick. It’s the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to convict people on the inside, to make the Word come alive. And it is the responsibility of our Heavenly Father to heal. He just tells us – tell the story, lay hand on the sick. Are we implementing his simple charge?

So here’s my conclusion: Are we watering down the Gospel message and the power that comes with it in terms of signs, wonders and miracles, and instead stopping at or switching it with just being “nice”? Are we forgetting the power of the Gospel because we are afraid of what may happen? What if we lay hands on the sick and nothing happens? That, my friend, isn’t our responsibility or our concern. There is no more power in my hands, then there is in the foot of a rabbit.  But what I do have is the power of Christ in me, working in and through me. There’s the difference! The responsibility to ensure the healing happens doesn’t belong to us. The only thing that belongs to us is the obedience in implementing the charge, 1.) Go into your world, 2.) Tell the Gospel story, 3.) Lay hands on the sick.

Man, have I ever fallen short of taking part and sharing with ‘my’ world the power that is in the Gospel. When was the last time I asked a friend who was sick or hurting if I could pray with them? Of course, when I hear about situations, I do pray for them. But what about “with” them? There are so many opportunities to impact our world with the power of the Gospel.

I’m glad today is a new day.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Secret Confession

Ok...I'm going to admit it...*deep breath*. I'm not a very good reader. Well, let me rephrase that, my ability to read and comprehend continues to operate at a high level, my stamina for the activity...not so great.

I know! I know! This may come as a surpise to many of you as I do seem like a well-versed intellectual! *sarcasm*. What I do know, usually comes less from reading entire books on the subject, but more from "researching" ideas and topics.
I have every well-meaning hope in the world to read. After all, I love the idea of a warm summer day, a lounge chair and a book that stimulates my brain's electronic pulses. But the extent of my reading usually happens for about an hour to two hours every 6-8 weeks (which coincidentally is about the time and length of my hair see where I'm going with that!).

When Scott and I started dating we went to the Book Depot. We both picked up a copy of Malcom Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" as we are both fans of his writing. The idea was to read the book together to discuss it. If we liked the book, we'd keep a copy and give the other away to a friend who we thought would enjoy it. If we didn't like the book, we'd give both copies away, to people who we thought could use a good waste of time! *jokes*  Long story short. Two copies of "The Tipping Point" sit on our book shelf. One is in pristine condition with the pages slightly fattened, and spine lightly creased for flipping through them all one by one. The other has a stained, marked up cover from being shoved in bags, under the seat of a car, used as a coaster, and who knows what else....but, the inside is in pristine condition, with the pages still flat and spine hardly creased for the lack of actually "opening" the book past the 4th chapter. Can you guess which one belongs to me? :)

See my intentions are good! I take the book with me in case of a spare moment... I WANT to read them...I really do! Afterall if the topic wasn't interesting to me, I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. In fact, we just picked up another box of interesting thought provoking titles at the Book Depot's box sale a few weeks ago!

About 6-8 months ago I had a copy of "Irresistable Revolution."  A friend let me borrow it because she knew I would love it. I had it for 6 weeks and she asked for it back. I REALLY REALLY want to read it...but the question is, will I? Now everyone I know is reading that book and loving it! And I ponder the quotes I hear and soak up it's message, but always feeling slightly 'out of the loop' on the total picture.
So what kind of books do I get through? Well, let me tell you...I can fly through a Sophie Kinsella or Meg Cabot novel faster than you could cook a casserole! I will forgo sleep to finish it! But, unfortunately, figuring out whether the heroine will 'land the dream job and throw fabulous dinner parties' or 'how Shopaholic got rid of her credit card debt' isn't likely going to help me in the long run.

So here we are... 6-8 weeks later. And tonight? Well during my 1-2 hour hair appointment tonight, I'm going to try and crack open a "thinking" book. So what's on the shelf to decide between?

  • Tripping the Prom Queen, by Susan Shapiro Barer- The truth about women and rivalry.
  • Naken Consumption, by Anthony Russel - Retail trends exposed.
  • Leadership by Engagement, by Kathleen Redmond - Leading through authentic character to attract, retain ad energize.
  • 10-10-10, by Suzy Welch
  • Reading People, by JoEllen Dimitrius
  • Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell

and...hey look!...The Tipping Point!

Not sure which will be the lucky winner. Truth be told, I'll do my best, but if you want to make some extra cash,...hedge your bets that I'll get distracted on an US Weekly magazine within the first 15 minutes of my hair being in foils...

Hey! I'm nothing if not honest!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Our Story told by Scott & I...

This was posted on our wedding website. A good keepsake.

How We Met
Laura: Tell me how we met.
Scott: "I was working in the lab late one night..." just kidding.
Laura: No seriously. How did we meet?
Scott: Where do we begin?
Laura: My earliest memory is you playing basketball outside the church with a bunch of bible school students...
Scott: Yes dear, but that's not our story.
Laura: Fine you tell the story then.
Scott: Ok I will dictate - you type.
Scott: One day Laura had a great idea: a baseball team at Niagara Celebration Church. (You have to have a colon after idea, dear.)
Laura: I asked you to play because I remembered you being good at beach volleyball from our young adults camping trip.
Scott: I was on the team.
Laura: You showed up late for our first practice.
Scott: Were you watching for me?
Laura: Continue.
Scott: I was on the team. Laura was on the team.
Laura: I asked you to come for ice cream after our first game.
Scott: Was that our first game?
Laura: Yeah i think we lost. Ice cream was necessary.
Scott: So we went to Dairy Queen. The fix all.
Laura: Fix all?
Scott: It solves all your problems.
Laura: And I guess that's where it all began?
Scott: Seems that way. The next day Laura felt the need to email her apologies for talking so much.
Laura: I figured you thought I was crazy! Since you talked so little...
Scott: No. I just laughed.
Laura: And we've been laughing every since...
Scott: What does every since mean?
Laura: Shut up.
Proposal Story
Scott: Thanksgiving Day. On the couch at your house... I love popsicles. And that's really all I remember.
Laura: That's all you want to write?
Scott: Isn't that the story? Ok, maybe there's a little more to it than that.
Laura: It all started in the summer on a Saturday afternoon hanging out with my dad.
Scott: Oh yes, by the pool.
Laura: Dad decided that we should get married in May. Had we even talked about it yet?
Scott: Don't think so.
Laura: He figured if we waited any longer it would be too long a wait. Now that we are in the chaos of wedding planning, he was probably right. So then we started talking about reception venues.
Scott: And rings...
Laura: And wedding planners...
Scott: And then what?
Laura: We found the wedding planner, booked the reception venue, and bought the ring. Then we found out my dad thought it was necessary that you ask him for my hand in marriage...which I found odd considering that if he said "no" that he'd lose this $1000 deposit on the reception venue.
Scott: Ah yes, a Sunday afternoon truck ride with your dad back from the Golins.
Laura: Worked out well. Cuz we had picked up the ring that afternoon and I was pleading to wear it.
Scott: Exercises in patience, dear.
Laura: Technically it was my ring, I paid for it.
Scott: But I cut a fat cheque.
Laura: I know. I wanted the PC Grocery points on my credit card. I didn't have to wait to long though.
Scott: Not even 24 hours.
Laura: You would've lost your sanity with my relentless begging to have my ring.
Scott: Then came Thanksgiving Day. You wanted to watch Glee.
Laura: Glee is a fantastic show. But when you said not to turn the tv on...even if I muted it, I knew the conversation would be important.
Scott: It was time to talk about what we were thankful for. You went first.
Laura: I could tell where it was headed.
Scott: I should hope so. I don't remember what I said I was thankful for. But I was enjoying my popsicle and time with my girl.
Laura: Mmmm popsicles. We should have popsicles at the wedding.
Scott: Yes please. And while we were enjoying our popsicles, I shared what I was thankful for - one of the things And then...ohhh...and then...came the question...can I have another popsicle? I'm kidding. "Will you marry me?" You take it from here dear.
Laura: And I said..."Where's my ring?!?"
Scott: YOu said yes first.
Laura: But then I said "where's my ring!"
Scott: I had to go get it from the hiding spot in your room. And then you got your ring. And that's our story. Can we have a popsicle now?

My Latest Distraction

It took me a while to think of the word distraction, because I didn't want to use the word passion, or interest. My distractions, which are random at best, are not passions because they tend to fade with time, and they are greater than interests because I usually drive people insane with them. So distraction it is.

My latest distraction,...the TV show "Love It or List It". Scott and I are big fans of TV. Funny thing is, we rarely watch movies. I'm pretty sure if we had to be banished to a desert island that would  most certainly be the one item we would take. Most of the shows we watch we entertain a mutual interest for. Shows like House, Mayday, NCIS, Biggest Loser, Glee, Flashpoint, but most importantly ... Big Bang Theory. He doesn't like the reality TV shows that I get addicted to like Bachelor and Celebrity Apprentice but he will sometimes sit down long enough and complain through an episode of Grey's Anatomy or Gossip Girl. (I think this tactic is only to win my heart so I pass over the remote). Back to the distraction...

Most people know that I commute from St. Catharines to Vaughan for work each day. I'm looking for a new job as our company is... well,... let's just say there is a good chance my role may not exist in the near future. Given my career choice and where I want to be in 5 years, I resigned myself to the fact that I'll always be commuting to the GTA. I'm just hoping the next role I get I'm only going to Burlington or Oakville. Time will tell... (and so may another blog). Given the pending change in job locations, we've been considering (pipe dream perhaps?) moving to Grimsby or Stoney Creek to ease the commute. I dream of a decent sized home with an open concept kitchen and living area where we could host lots of people!... But, despite a "new home" dream...I find it hard to give up on our home right now. I love the location, the house is the right size...and there is a lot of potential. Another big "staying factor"...I love our mortgage payment.

Onto the distraction..."Love It or List It" finds couples who are trying to decide between renovating and staying at their old home or buying a new one. It's a fabulous show. I started thinking about the things I would want in a new home: a garage, bigger entry way, a walk in closet, an open concept/bigger kitchen, a living room that can host more people comfortably. Three of these things a good renovation could fix. For those of you who know my home, knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room and redesigning that area would completely change the space.


And if we were to make a half wall where the stairs leading up stairs go, that would completely open up our entry way.

We've just installed 9 ft x 9ft mirrored closet doors in our bedroom which made it look like a completely new room!

This past weekend we hung 6-panel doors in the upstairs as well, which gives a more sophisticated look.

It's my first's hard to give up on. ...And I love a challenge! I just need a designer to come and make "tweaks" so it can be everything we dreamed it could be!