Month: March 2013

I work out.

Some of you might not believe it by looking at me, but I’ve been undergoing a strenuous exercise regimen for the last… oh, month or so.

The results? Incredible. No, seriously, I’m incredulous every time I step on the scale, having sweated more than I wanted to sweat during a few days of workouts, and see that I haven’t lost a pound.

Every time I step on the scale, it rewards me with the same number I saw last time. Incredible.

It’s just the motivation I need to keep plugging on. Sometimes I reward myself with an extra glass of water to celebrate.

I might have noticed improvements in muscle tone if I wasn’t preoccupied by sore hamstrings, which protest about halfway up the three flights of stairs on the way to my third-floor classrooms every weekday.

I have a secret Pinterest board of fitness motivation. It’s awesome. It makes me want to persevere even though nothing has changed. 

The amazing thing about this new venture? It’s incredibly humbling. The whole In shape? Psssh, I can hike fifteen miles without even beginning to feel it the next day brag doesn’t stand up so well when I’m dying at the digital hands of a Jillian Michaels workout video.

What gives?

So, humility. And a number on a scale that doesn’t change, accompanied by a new-found respect for all the things I’m learning my body will not do… 

Oh, yeah. I feel empowered.

*keeps plugging*

Military Wives

ImageIt occurs to me that, in saying “yes” to the man who asked me to marry him, I agreed to more than just matrimony.

Suddenly I’m becoming this weird kind of civilian participant of the same branch of the U.S. military I once talked to a recruiter about joining.

I’m sort of joining the Air Force anyway. Ish.

A Google search for “military wife” returns about 109 million results, including a plethora of resources welcoming me to the “cult” and to the “subculture” of military spouses and families. They’re very supportive.

Lessons my Google search taught me:

  • It’s not as romantic as it sounds to be married to a military man
  • It’s far more romantic than it sounds to be married to a military man
  • It’s worth it
  • It’s painful
  • It’s hard
  • It’s rewarding
  • It’s good for relationships
  • It’s terrible for relationships
  • It makes you strong

They write poetry about how amazing military wives are. Before I agreed to marry an airman, those poems always seemed a bit tacky, a little over-romanticized, a sort of over-the-top coping mechanism.

But, given my newfound propensity to feel tears in my eyes upon hearing certain songs come on the radio, hearing stories of military families who are living through it all…

…I think I might be the one writing sappy, tacky poetry within the year.

I grew up with short, flexible roots. Soon they’ll be very well-traveled, stretched roots.

Dear military wives, I never understood how amazing you are. Still don’t, but I’m getting there. 61 days!

Sleepless 1,447 miles

UPDATE: I am aware that Triton is not a tropical storm, and that tropical storms are not generally found in the Minnesota-Iowa region. I might have still been suffering from sleep-deprivation at the time this post was written. Don’t judge.

Last weekend, I flew up to Minnesota to spend six hours speed-vacationing on the Minnesota-Canada border with my good friend Rissa. Then we piled in the car and spent thirty hours driving back, getting to know Tropical Storm Triton.

I’m sure it was an amazing trip. I don’t remember much about it, except that I didn’t sleep. At. All.

Also, I received this email from Rissa sometime after we became blissfully turned-around somewhere outside of Waterloo, Iowa:

We are in Iowa! And in Iowa there are crops! And where there are crops there are crop circles! And where there are crop circles there are UFO’s! And where there are UFO’s there are aliens and possessed people riding bicycles around strange miniature castles!

Not enough coffee.

Dear Stephen Jones:

I’m writing to request that a treehouse be constructed in a centrally-located corner of the Bob Jones University campus. The payback period for such a structure is estimated at 2.5 weeks, though costs might be curtailed by the 2014 Bible Conference offering.

While I realize a 2.5 week payback period is a stretch for the university’s current economic policies, the increase in student morale would more than merit the investment of materials and staff work hours.

A survey of a diverse segment of the student population yielded suprising results. 26.4 out of 28 students agree: a treehouse on campus would make their stay at BJU a more optimistic experience.

One prospective student stated that such a feature “would make  all the difference in my decision to start my academic career at The Opportunity Place.”

A treehouse would contribute to the university’s mission by encouraging student fellowship in an ideal atmosphere for relaxation and enjoyment.

Because well-established, thriving trees consistently symbolize the healthy, deeply-rooted Christian life, the Bob Jones University Tree of Growth (appropriately decorated with aphorisms by Dr. Bob Jones II) would remind all its visitors of the importance of strong, stable roots.

Transporting a tree from back campus to the Glory Garden, near the “rivers of water,” would incur additional costs but has the added benefit of contributing to the atmosphere and symbolism of the Tree of Growth, carrying the Psalm 1 symbolism to its fruition.

Because God’s creation is meant to be appreciated even more than fine arts and drama, an unnamed faculty member has suggested that every student complete a mandatory 2 hours per semester enjoying the leafy recesses of the Tree of Growth.

Demerits issued for non-compliance would encourage students to fully appreciate the beauty of the university campus–a campus they are working assiduously to be able to afford to attend.

Classic, conservative treehouse designs feature split-level accommodations, boards nailed up the tree’s trunk, and a rope swing for quick descent. Because this would be impractical in a skirt, I recommend allowing female students to wear appropriately loose-fitting pants or jeans for their Tree of Growth time.

An accompanying lemonade stand with both traditional and raspberry options would be a welcome addition. Income would defray the costs of the treehouse’s construction.

I will contact you again, pending potential designs and detailed estimates on the costs of this project, and I look forward hearing your thoughts on this proposal.

Thank you for your time.


Steffani Russell

Senior University Student