Monday, April 30, 2012

keep on keepin' on

Life doesn't stop. Even when you kick & scream, wishing it would just freeze, it doesn't. It just doesn't

& the same goes for when life doesn't go as planned. Then again, life is not planned. Nothing in life is a sure thing. As much as we stay organized, color-code our planners & make our lists, it never goes as perfectly as we would hope. 

It's the stuff that happens in these moments that we learn from. It forces you to look at the little things, big things, unimportant things, special things. YOU

It's in these moments that we are reminded what we believe in. The things we believe in that keep us fighting & trying to make happen. 

Never let go of these things (or goals, or dreams, or people) that make your life go round & keep your days worth while, even when things don't go as planned

Sunday, April 29, 2012

shine on

If I can take away one thing from today & learn from it, it's this:

Even though on the inside you might be dark & dreary, reflect your outer light & shine towards others. 

[ via Pinterest ]

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the boys

There are some days when technology is annoying, time consuming, addictive, & just plain frustrating (especially when it doesn't work). But then, there are some days when technology connects people. & this is my story of how my blog connected me with this (click "this") blog.

As I started reading her words over one year ago, I felt something. Not knowing what that "something" was, I went on with my day to day life, not knowing that our paths would soon meet one day. 

When you read blogs, you start to feel like you know the person, like you could call them up and chat for an hour. You get interested in their activities, families, triumphs, set backs, & as I mentioned in an earlier post, it gives us that sense of "comfort" knowing that no ones life is 100% perfect. 

I walked in to a classroom a couple weeks ago to teach. As the students came filing through the door, I saw him. As the day went on & the lessons were taught, I knew that something special was just beginning. He sat at his desk & I watched. I can't begin to think about what he must be feeling, what he must think, how he lives a "normal" teenage boys life, is he scared? As the day ended & I waved the students out the door, I walked out of the school & thought to myself, I have to do something. I got home & left Vicky a comment on her blog. I wanted her to know that her son was such a spunky (do people still use that word?) student, such a joy to be around, & that I had hoped that I would get to teach in his classroom again.

I got called to come back to that classroom 2 more times since that 1st "meeting", & will be teaching 2 more days there in 2 weeks. Going back there for the 2nd (geez, I must like the number 2) time, it was evident that this boy didn't mind me. As the day went on, I found him saying "Miss Stavenger, come here!" much more than the other students. As I would walk over, he would talk to me about life, not school. "What's your favorite sport? Where do you live? Do you have an iPhone? Can I play with it?"

When he asked me if I wanted to come over after school & play, that's when it hit me. 

"Mom, you know Vicky? That mom I was telling you about that has breast cancer? I had her son in my class today! You know that he has a younger brother, too? I can't begin to think about their day to day thoughts. I want to do something for them but I just don't know what. Maybe I could take them to a movie or something one night?"

As I thought more about this, my "movie night" idea turned in to "hang out with them a couple times a week during the summer" idea. As I will not (or can not) be a substitute teacher this summer, I had been trying to think of another job. With weddings, bridal showers, family reunions, & a handful of other things planned, I couldn't come up with another job that would allow me to be so flexible with time off. 

Bam. It was all clear.

 I e-mailed Vicky & told her my idea. Not going to lie, it was hard to construct that e-mail. I didn't want to  say the wrong thing, I mean I didn't know what their life was like. I didn't want to assume things or make it sound like they weren't giving their kids attention. So, after many minutes of typing, deleting, typing some more, deleting some more, I pushed send & away it went.

She loved it, her husband loved it, & most importantly, her boys loved it. The following Monday I was back in Nolan's classroom. The first thing he said to me? "When can we go to Thunder Road? Can we go tonight?" (Thunder Road is kid heaven. Go karts, mini-golf, a batting cage, & arcade games). I told him no but that I would talk to his mom & we would start "planning" some activities.

Last night was our first "hang out".  I picked them up and finally got to meet Vicky & Rick. I say finally because it seems as though I have known them for a year! After talking for a bit, the boys and I headed to the Fargo Force hockey game.

Advertise placement done right
Waiting for the blimp to come their way
Over here! Keep coming! 
Finally!  I told them to pop it & see if candy would come out. In the end... no pop, no candy. 

On the edge of their seats the whole game. 

The game didn't end the way we would have liked. We lost 3-2 in OT. I knew that the boys had fun (based on laughs & smiles, oh, and Colton's dance moves), but I was wondering if they were looking forward to hanging out again as much as I was. Then these words came out of Colton's mouth:

"What are we going to do next time? Let's go bowling!"

After I dropped the boys off at home, I couldn't help but smile.
Thank you, Rick & Vicky, for sharing your boys with me! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

my getaway

Long story short, I needed to get away. 

After finishing my morning run, I grabbed my "lake essentials": swim suit, magazines, & a book. 

& I set out on the open road. Windows down, sunroof open, & music up. Way up. So up to the point where I couldn't hear myself think. Which today, is a good thing. 

I arrived at the cabin & set up camp. 2 chairs for sunbathing, my water for constant sipping, magazines & a book for reading, & my iPhone for music.

Count your blessings I thought to myself as I took it all in. That is, until I heard men talking & tools working...

The neighbors were getting a new roof. A minor set back, sure, & I would be lying if I said it wasn't a little distracting. I somehow managed to zone out the noise of hammering & zone in the sounds of the lake (& the music of "Today's Hits" from my phone. Pandora, you are a life savor). 

After reading through my magazines & starting a new book, The Happiness Project, I swung my camera over my shoulder, set out on a walk, & snapped away.

Did I already say it was much needed "me" time? If it wasn't for my self-awareness I don't know where my head would be today. I knew I had to get away & knew where I needed to go in order to make my day worthwhile.

Thank you, Blanche Lake, for your hospitality (& free therapy session) today.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

my prayers have been answered

Well, one of them at least. I have been on the lookout for a root booster that works. & not one that works for 10 minutes, I need something that works all day. I have tried every teasing brush/comb you can think of & they all leave my hair flat within an hour. 

I read about Aquage Uplifting Foam on this blog. If you are on Pinterest, you know this girl has stellar hair tutorials & I may or may not want to shave her head in the middle of the night & glue her hair on mine (too far?). I found a salon in town that sells Aquage products & so I bought the uplifting foam.

Ladies, IT WORKS! 

The heavens opened up & the angels sang. It is a little pricey, roughly $22.00, but it is worth every penny!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

rinse & repeat

I'm kicking myself for the day I had. While parts of it were great, other parts were not. 

While I am heading to bed here shortly, I reflect back on the things I did, thought, my actions of today. Even though these things will wake up with me tomorrow, I know that with each sunset brings with it a sunrise. & with each new sunrise, there is a new day. 

A brand spankin' new day. It's refreshing, right? Knowing that tomorrow we can start all over & erase parts of today that we're not happy about. I'm crawling in to bed with a clouded mind, mainly because I'm a girl & I over analyze about 93% of everything that happens to me. 

I want you to try something. Before bed, take time for yourself. Call it meditating or call it talking to yourself (not sure either of them sound "sane", but you catch my drift). Reflect on the hours that are past. What can you change for tomorrow? What will you do again tomorrow that today made you so happy? Who will you reach out to? It's like the directions on a shampoo bottle: 

Remember the things that make you feel satisfied, overjoyed, fulfilled. Do those things. Repeat. 


Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. 
- Arthur Ashe

Monday, April 16, 2012

that's one way of looking at it

movin' on up

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my growing list of clients who helped me move from Distributor to Senior Consultant in just 2 weeks of signing up with Herbalife!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

busy tone


Hey you...up there...umm hello? Ok seriously, I try my best to get through to you but you must be ignoring my calls....


Hello! God here. I am unable to answer your call right now but leave your name, worries, problems, questions, uncertainties, & troubles after the beep & I will get back to you as soon as possible. 


It's Carrie. Again. I know you have a plan for me, something greater than what I am doing now, but please buy me some glasses so I can see what that is. I feel it inside my heart, my mind, I know deep down there is something I am set out to do during my time here but I can't put my finger on it. I've thought about it, prayed about it, envisioned myself in the future doing different things, but in the end, my hands are still gripped around the steering wheel, the map is still laying in the passenger seat next to me, & I still don't know which road to take. I know you are busy, I know there are many requests like mine, & I know there are people that need you far more than I do. I won't stop calling but I will keep trusting.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I'm writing my own story, doing things my way. I pick the jobs I want to work, I go where I want to travel, I decide who I want by my side, I choose the way I want to live. 

In doing so, in trying to be unique in my approach to life, I find myself parallel with others. Others who are on the same page as me, going through the same ups & downs that I encounter day to day.

There is a purpose for this. A reason that we find ourselves aligned with others. They are our net, our safe place to let us know that we are not alone. They listen to our questions, share their answers, and we do the same for them. 

Find someone who is walking the same path. When you get to that T in the road, deciding whether to go left or right, do what is right for you. But once on that path, find a walking partner. We simply cannot go through this adventure alone, & truthfully, why would we want to? 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

at the cross

Finally. A place I feel as though they are speaking to me, not just at me. A place where my mind doesn't wander off, I don't keep checking the clock, & I don't doodle on the handouts.

  The music. Ahh, the music. My sister-in-law has a voice that sends goosebumps all over & makes me wish she could sing me to sleep every night. We all know that Easter is a time of remembrance and celebration. A time to reflect on all that He sacrificed for us, took for us, & in the end (or the beginning), died for us. He took our extra baggage with him. Our fear, lust, jealousy, envy, debt, everything.

With everything you do in life, do it at the cross. Start & end, at the cross. Bring your worries, doubts, questions, prayers, excitement, everything. He brought it all there & we should too. 

There was a rather large cross on stage. I'd say at least 15 feet high. As the pastor was wrapping up his message, he told us to come to the cross and walk through it. "Take your time, think about what He was feeling, bring your baggage & walk through the cross." I thought that maybe a couple people would go up, give or take 5. As the music quietly started to play, a little boy was the first to walk up. As I was holding Kendall (because she liked me more than her dad last point Aunt Carrie!), I got up & started walking towards the front. As I looked around, I could see the whole church get up from their seats & head towards the cross. 

It was a feeling of calmness that came over me. A feeling of comfort knowing that I am in a place where we are all celebrating this sad yet beautiful thing together. One by one, people walked through the cross. It was silent, the only sound was that of music. 

It was our turn. With Kendall's head on my shoulder, we stood at the cross. "Thank you Jesus" I whispered in her ear, & we walked through. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

my story

We all wish for better things. We wish we had a bigger house, a nicer car, more clothes, straight hair, curly hair, a husband that looks like Brad Pitt. For some of us, these wishes can come true, but for others, these wishes are just that, wishes. 

My wish? To simply feel better about myself. To stop picking out every dang imperfection & to come to terms with how I look. I'm not a magician, I can't just point a wand at my arms and make them stop jiggling...forever. But what I can do is pay more attention to what is actually going in my body, control how much sleep I'm getting, & track how many days I make it to the gym each week. So I did

This is where my story of feeling better about myself starts. I didn't start really focusing on my health until I moved back home after graduation. I started by making simple swaps. For example, instead of a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast, I would have wheat toast with Almond Butter. Instead of having a Coke once a day, I would have one every couple days, and continually keep cutting back (I now have one every couple weeks). I began reading more articles, finding more healthy recipes, & running 5 days a week. The pounds slowly started coming off but I had hit a plateau. Mentally, I was not feeling any better about myself. 

My sister-in-law introduced me to the Herbalife shakes, teas, & aloe. I was skeptic at first. Very skeptic. How can this be healthy for you? Why don't we just eat healthy food? There is no way this is going to keep me full! After my first shake, I was sold. 

I have now been doing Herbalife for almost 3 months, eating the most healthy I have ever been for breakfast, snacks, & dinner (I usually do the shakes for lunch), & working out 6 days a week (training for the half-marathon in May). I have lost 10 pounds since December, my clothes are fitting again (some even too big!), & I overall feel so much better!

< --- Before                                               Now --- >

I am oh so very happy to announce that I am now a Herbalife distributor! I look forward to helping my friends & family start their Herbalife story. 

If you want to start using this amazing product or simply want to learn more about it, contact me at: or through Facebook

Head on over to the Herbalife website to read about our products!