Life Updates

It’s again been a long time since I blogged. Exactly two months in fact. Oops. Now that life is a bit less crazy, I’m hoping to blog at least twice a month, if not more often. I’m putting that out in the world. Hold me to it. Anyway, I figured a good segue back into blogging would be sharing some life updates. A lot has happened in the Rosty household as of late.

First off, two days after my last post, I started a new job. I now work as the Communications Manager for The Blue Bench, Denver’s only sexual assault prevention and care center. It’s the coolest job ever, and despite going from working at home with Thor to a 45-minute commute and a full-time office job, I have never been happier.

What my organization does (because people always wonder!) is a few things. First, we help survivors of sexual assault connect with whatever resources they might need, whether it’s help finding a new place to live after being attacked by a family member or therapy services, which we also offer. Second, we go into schools, businesses, bars, and anywhere else that invites us and talk about consent, being an active bystander, and preventing sexual assault.

My job involves promoting all of that on social media, email, and everywhere else. I’m also in charge of event planning, which is new to me, and graphic design, which I absolutely love and could do all day, erryday. I’m learning, I’m growing, and I get to work every day with a group of boss women who are committed to creating a better world for other women. Like a friend put it, “You get to do a job that you like, using the skills you went to school for, and you’re actually making money doing it. That’s the dream.”

November-December 31 were insanity as I both worked my new, full-time job and finished up all of my freelance engagements. I didn’t want to leave my clients hanging so I gave them until the end of the year, which meant frantically working lunches at the Starbucks down the street from my office, trying to keep all of the spinning plates that were my life up in the air. I’ve now wrapped everything up and am excited to just be doing ONE job. This may be the first time in my career I’ve done that, hence the “now that life is a bit less crazy” comment.

The holidays were lovely. We had the good fortune of everyone coming up to Denver to see US instead of us driving to WY to see family. Christmas Day was spent eating prime rib in our pajamas and watching movies, and New Years’ was spent with Brandon’s family, exploring ALLL the kid things in Denver with our nieces and nephew.

Brandon and the nieces. Warms my heart.

Sidenote, Thor wore a Christmas sweater on Christmas Day. I know you want to see photos. Here they are.

Remember that awesome car God dropped in our laps earlier this year? It’s a goner. Already.

We started 2019 off with getting in a car accident New Years’ Day that totaled said brand-new car. Totally not our fault and totally devastating. Thank goodness that car was AMAZING and kept us incredibly safe despite hitting another vehicle at 35 miles per hour and having the airbags deploy. 10/10, would recommend an Acura.

As usual, God is awesome and provided us with the funds from our insurance settlement to get something different, but we’re still mourning the loss of Stella the Acura. Oh Stella, we hardly knew ye.

The start of 2019 has also brought a lot of heartache. I don’t feel ready to share details yet (and not sure I will), but if you have a quick sec, we’d appreciate your prayers. We’re doing okay, but it’s been a hard year already. As one of my best friends said, “Maybe this is 2018 getting in its last word.” Darn it, let’s hope so.

That’s what’s going on with us. Excited to get back to blogging more frequently. Thor is too, he says. He has a lot of thoughts about The Wall.

Look for more good stuff soon!

Pick Up The Phone

Pick Up The Phone

I used to be so afraid of making mistakes at work. One wrong move, I believed, and I’d be out the door. I know now that’s not true, in part because the last few weeks have felt like mistake after mistake and no one’s fired me yet. I erased a client’s website data, lost forever in the depths of the internet, and didn’t respond in time to a super-negative review someone had left for another client online.

Oops. Major oops.

From working in client services for 3 years now, I’ve learned a bit about how to handle the sticky situations that arise when you have to ‘fess up to making a mistake.

As I was sitting in my kitchen this morning, drinking coffee and trying to decide what to write about, I thought about sharing how exactly I handle mistakes at work. As I sipped my peppermint mocha (yes, it’s that season!), I realized that my way of handling mistakes at work is exactly how God calls us to repent.

It’s all laid out here:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

-2 Chronicles 7:14

And here’s how it looks in action:

1. Pray and seek His face by picking up the phone.

From one of my former bosses and now close friend, I’ve learned that the first thing you do when you’ve made a mistake with a client is to pick up the phone. Don’t email, don’t text, don’t pretend the mistake didn’t happen and pray the client doesn’t notice. Pick up the gosh darn phone and face the problem head on.

Last week, when I missed responding to a negative review for a client (part of what they’re paying me for!), my first step was to immediately call the client and explain the mistake I’d made. I HATE confrontation, but I knew it needed to be done.

When you sin yet again for the thousandth time after you told God you’d change, pick up the phone. Get in touch with God. Pray and admit what you’ve done. He wants to hear from you, and unlike a client, there’s NO way God won’t notice your mistake. He’s all-seeing like that.

2. Humble yourself by taking full responsibility.

When we are before God facing judgment, He won’t be looking for well-crafted excuses – He’s heard every one. He asks us to come before Him with humility and to be honest with ourselves and Him about our wrongdoing. Similarly, when I got on the phone with my client last week, there were no excuses. I explained what had happened and said the phrase “This is completely my fault.” And it was. I could have blamed my email or the fact I’m really busy or 100 other things, but the fact was that I was asked to do something, and didn’t.

Proverbs says it best:

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

-Proverbs 28:13

Don’t conceal your transgressions. Confess your wrongdoing to God.

3. Turn from your wicked ways by making a game plan for change – and taking the first step.

When I make a mistake with a client, I always make sure to lay out a game plan for how I’ll avoid the same issue in the future. It rebuilds trust between myself and my client and the exercise of thinking through a plan helps me ensure I won’t make the mistake again.

Before I got off of the phone with my client, I told her that in the future, I’d set up email alerts so that I’d see negative reviews as soon as they happened, helping me respond to them more quickly. I also emailed her later that day to let her know I’d not only set up email alerts, but that a review had come in that afternoon and I’d already responded to it.

I’m not saying you should make a game plan for how you’re going to magically overcome your sin – that’s not at all what the Gospel is about! Instead, I’m saying you should make a game plan for how you’re going to rely on God to help you turn from your sin. For example, let’s say you really have a problem with swearing. Maybe your game plan is praying to God every time you get frustrated and are tempted to swear, and also avoiding going to football games with your friends since that’s where you tend to swear the most.

Once you make a game plan for turning away from sin, TURN! Do something tangible as soon as you can to get things rolling in the right direction. Today, I felt really convicted about not giving my time to God. I repented like I’ve outlined here, and then what did I do? I yielded my afternoon over to whatever God had for it, instead of making plans for the day. A plan without action is nothing but words.

When I started freelancing as a marketer, I expected to learn a lot about life and about working with people – not so much about my relationship with God. It’s funny how He can use anything as a teaching opportunity. While I’m no pro at repenting, I’m hoping that you and I – by thinking about repenting in this way – can make some progress toward it. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll make less mistakes at work this week. Fingers crossed!

What does repenting mean to you?

A Day In The Life of Thor the Dog

A Day In The Life of Thor the Dog

Hi everyone! It’s Thor here. Mom’s letting me take over the blog again.

Last time I wrote about being made fun of about my lack of thumbs, but you know what else is a real pet peeve of mine? When people say it’s easy being a dog! Does anyone KNOW what I do in a day? I am an incredibly busy guy. To prove it, I’ll take you through a day in my life.

6:00am: Mom gets up. Why does she need to get up so early? I wonder. I consider getting up with her, but know that dad’s not getting up for awhile. I decide to stay snuggled in.

7:30am: Dad gets up. Sigh. I guess I better get out of bed. I get up and IMMEDIATELY start bugging Mom to go outside. When a guy’s gotta go, a guy’s gotta go!

7:32am: We go outside for our morning potty walk. I am deathly afraid of those convenient dog poop stations at our apartment, so Mom has to bring her own poop bags. I don’t care. She doesn’t know how dangerous those poop stations are, even though I’ve tried to tell her like 100 times. It’s hard to get through to her, you know?

7:40am: Now that I’ve pooped, it’s like I have ALL THE ENERGY. I feel like a new man, so I start running around the house chasing Ball, my orange ball/low-key best friend (besides Mom of course).

7:50am: Mom and Dad are eating breakfast, so I must also eat breakfast – they say family mealtimes are critical to healthy family relationships, and I believe that. I carry small mouthfuls of food from my bowl to Mom and Dad’s bedroom floor and eat them there. Idk, I think food tastes best eaten off of carpet.

8:00am: Tired. Naptime.

10:00am: Haven’t bugged Mom in awhile. I don’t really NEED to pee that bad, but I can’t have her forgetting that I exist. I make whining noises until she takes me out. SUCCESS.

11:50am: Dad always comes home around noon. I know this, so I start circling the door, listening for the sound of his car door.

11:51am: Where is Dad? I get antsy. He is probably dead. It’s over. I’m fatherless.

12:05pm: DAD IS HOME OMG HI DAD WOW I MISSED YOU WHERE WERE YOU AT WORK WOW THAT’S COOL GOSH I’M GLAD YOU’RE NOT DEAD HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII HELLO HI HI HI

12:20pm: Me, Mom, and Dad all eat lunch. You know, I’m starting to wonder if they feed me the same thing for every meal…hmm…

12:45pm: Dad goes back to work. I go back to napping.

2:30pm: It’s time for my afternoon check-in with Mom to make sure she’s paying attention to me. More whining, another walk outside.

3:00pm: Riding that post-poop energy burst, I get Mom to chase me and Ball around the apartment while I growl and snarl and sound super scary. I AM super scary, you know. That’s why Mom and Dad named me Thor. Duh.

3:20pm: Tired. Afternoon nap.

4:00pm: Mom went to get the mail, so I go snack on the vertical blinds in her office. So chewy. So fun.

6:00pm: Mom leaves for her workout class. I die inside. She is never coming back.

6:30pm: DAD’S HOME! I tell him about Mom and how she left forever. He doesn’t seem alarmed. What is wrong with him?? Obviously I love her more.

7:45pm: MOM IS HOME ALSDKJFALSJFLASDJFLAKDJF WOWOWOWOWOWOW HI MOM HI HI HI HI YOU KNOW WHAT I DID WHILE YOU WERE GONE THAT’S RIGHT I CRIED HI MOM YOU ARE SO PRETTY HI I LOVE YOU HI HI HI HI HI HI

9:30pm: This is my gosh darn bedtime and I don’t care what anyone says – I AM GOING TO BED. I go to Mom and Dad’s bed and flop down. No one is there to turn down the sheets so I sleep on top of the covers. It’s not that comfortable, but whatever.

10:00pm: Mom and Dad finally come in and pull back the blankets so I can get under and snuggle by their feet. I love snuggling with Mom and Dad. It’s the best!

12:00am: HI MOM. I shake my collar just to remind her that I love her and I am in her bed snuggling by her feet. She doesn’t look impressed.

2:00am: Repeat.

3:30am: Repeat.

5:00am: Repeat. Does she know how loved she is??!?!?!??

6:00am: Time to start it all over again.

Exhausting right?? And I don’t even have THAT much going on – imagine if both of my adult humans were home all day AND we had a cat to chase! Gosh, I don’t know how I’d do it.

I hope this makes you think. Next time you meet a dog, don’t just assume they’re napping all day because they’re lazy. Thank them for all of their hard work, making their humans happy and keeping them busy. We’re unsung heroes, you know.

With lots of treats,

Thor the Dog

There is Freedom

There is Freedom

Have you ever felt like you have every reason to be joyful – but just aren’t? That’s where I’ve been at lately. God’s been coming through for us in amazing ways (see my post about our new car) and life is good, but I’ve been struggling to feel okay, you know? I just feel like there’s a cloud over me, like I can’t quite pull it together in every aspect of my life, and it’s exhausting. 

I’ve felt this especially when it comes to eating. If you’ve known me for awhile or follow me on social, you might know that I’ve lost almost 50 pounds in the last two years, all through following Weight Watchers. While I am forever thankful for WW, I recently decided to move from Weight Watchers to eating a paleo diet, in the hopes of transitioning from weight-loss mode to sustainable-life mode.

Before I quit WW, I really thought I’d finally worked out a healthy relationship with food, and now it was time to take off the training wheels and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Not so much.

While I thought that quitting Weight Watchers and no longer tracking what I ate would help me feel less restricted and less stressed about what I ate, it’s actually done the opposite. These last few weeks, I feel like I’ve been thinking way too much about food: what’s in it, what I should be eating, what I shouldn’t have eaten, etc.

Because I’m not tracking points, I’m constantly worried about whether or not I’m eating too much protein or fat or sugar. This makes me automatically go into “Omg I’m going to gain back all of the weight I’ve lost” mode. Not a good place to be.

Lately, I’ve been on a worship music kick, primarily this playlist. (I’ve been exclusively alternating between listening to this, a Max Lucado book I’m reading, and The Best of Jason Mraz. Random, I know.)

Anyhow, when I was walking to the gym last week, the lyrics to the song “Freedom” by Jesus Culture & Kim Walker-Smith popped into my head:

Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom, there is freedom
Where the Spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom, there is freedom
Come out of the dark just as you are
Into the fullness of His love
For the Spirit is here, let there be freedom
Let there be freedom

I have this bad habit (I think many Christians do) of excluding myself from scripture that seems too extreme. I’m not wicked; murderers are wicked. I don’t need freedom; drug addicts need freedom. You know? That stuff is for people with real problems.

But as I walked and sang this song to myself, it hit me: I was feeling imprisoned by food and my relationship to it. But I didn’t need to be – I already have freedom!

Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

While I’m still struggling to work out what life post-WW is going to look like and what a healthy relationship with food is, the idea of freedom in Christ has brought me so much comfort and joy through this last week. I am not chained to anything in this world because my God has overcome the world, and with His help, so can I.

Whatever you’re going through, whatever you might feel is imprisoning you, whether it’s a relationship, an addiction, a temptation, sin, or something else, remember – there is freedom! God already kicked down the prison walls and set you free. You just need to leave the prison behind.

Why I Loved Weight Watchers – And Why I Quit

Why I Loved Weight Watchers – And Why I Quit

The year was 2016. It was Christmastime, and I knew I had to change something about my life. That past July, I had gotten married and moved in with my husband. I was completely, for the first time in my life, 100% in control of my life and of what we ate. And yet, I had only gained weight since we got married. I thought I was doing an okay job of eating healthy, but obviously something wasn’t working.

This wasn’t the first time I’d had trouble with my weight; I’d struggled with it all of my life. Never feeling completely in control of it, I’d resigned myself to a life of struggling with food, emotional eating, and maintaining a healthy weight.

After seeing a ton of commercials for Weight Watchers and knowing some people who had tried it, I bought my membership at the end of 2016 and started the program on New Year’s Eve. It was nothing short of life-changing.

I’m a very data-driven person, and so “eating healthy” always seemed too nebulous to me – how was I supposed to know what “healthy enough” looked like? Somewhere, there had to be a sweet spot between only eating kale and living on pizza; I just didn’t know how to find it.

Weight Watchers, if you’re not familiar, assigns, every food a point value. You’re assigned a certain number of points per day based on your weight, gender, and height, and you can eat whatever you want as long as you keep within your allotted points. Lean meats, veggies, eggs, and fruit are “free.”

The WW point system was exactly the guidance I needed. It taught me what balance looked like; I could budget my points for a night out by eating healthier earlier in the day, and feel good about a few cocktails or dessert because I knew I had the points for them. It also taught me what healthy eating looked like. I hadn’t realized how many of the “healthy” foods I was eating were packed with hidden sugars and calories.

The point system opened my eyes to living a balanced lifestyle, and with it, I excelled. I lost 40 pounds within about a year and a half, and felt amazing.

Before…

…and 40 pounds down. I’m the one in the floral (I know, we all look the same).

Fast forward to earlier this year. I’d been yo-yoing between the same five pounds or so for months. I was hitting a bit of a plateau, which is normal, but was also struggling with waning motivation and a schedule which didn’t allow for eating perfectly-prepped meals at home every day like I was before.

In addition, I’d been struggling with some skin and stomach issues. A friend of mine recommended trying the Whole 30 to figure out if the causes of my healthy issues were dietary, and I hoped that the program would not only give me some answers but would kickstart my motivation to eat healthy.

Whole 30, for those of you blessed souls who have not yet tried it, is an elimination diet that eliminates just about anything that could cause your body to be unhappy, including sugar, grains, beans, dairy, soy, and alcohol. You go without them for 30 days, then slowly reintroduce them to figure out which, if any, are causing trouble.

I went without coffee, spent way too much money on Whole 30-approved sugarless bacon at Whole Foods, and stuck to the program (I quit a little early though because I was moving and also was tired of not eating beans). At the end of the program, I learned that I needed to avoid dairy completely, and that beans probably weren’t my best friend (sadness! I love beans!). But the biggest wake-up call of Whole 30 was eating real food.

Because of how Weight Watchers calculates points, it tends to be of benefit points-wise to eat fat-free, sugar-free foods. Fats like oils, nuts, and dried fruit have high point values, so when I was on Weight Watchers, I largely avoided them in favor of fat-free vinaigrettes and other low-cal snacks.

Whole 30 was a refreshing change. I was eating fresh fruits and veggies, lots of nuts, real fats, and meats I normally avoided on WW, like pork and beef.

After Whole 30, I tried to go back on Weight Watchers while incorporating some of what I learned from the program, but struggled with consistency and motivation yet again. I was tired of counting points and constantly stressing about staying within my points limit even though I was feeding my body with good stuff. I felt like the point system had become a burden, not a tool.

I made the hard decision a few weeks ago to quit Weight Watchers. While I’d always thought I’d be a lifetime member (many people are!), I’ve realized that WW isn’t a lifetime solution for me. I want to be able to eat like a normal person, without tracking everything all of the time. I want to have a healthy relationship with food where I think of it as fuel, not as added stress. Most of all, I don’t want to feel penalized for eating real, whole foods

That’s why I’ve decided to go Paleo, or rather, Paleo-ish. Paleo means something different depending on who you ask, but for me it means no grains, soy, dairy, beans, and limited added sugars.

I know that sounds terrible, but so far, I’m absolutely loving it. I’m eating food that tastes good, fueling my body well, and still losing weight. When I splurge one day, I don’t seem to have a problem getting up the next day and getting right back on track.

They say the best diet is the one you can stick to, and I think that’s absolutely right. After almost a two-year weight loss and health journey, I think I may have finally found my perfect fit.

Don’t get me wrong; I still love Weight Watchers. I feel that it’s an amazing tool for anyone who is struggling to lose weight or has no idea where to start, and I highly recommend it to anyone who asks me how I’ve lost weight. I just feel like it’s no longer the right tool for this next season of my life.

Anyone else Paleo? Or a Weight Watchers fan? Tell me about your experience.