what it's really all about

I've been MIA for a while here.  The largest reason has been because I have been trying to decide what this blog is to me and what I want it to become.  The other large reason...we moved, started new jobs, did a lot of renovating, traveling, and did I say started new jobs?  The last year has been a truly great one.  I love my job and finally feel like I'm in a real groove.

Over the last year, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the blog, but no actual blogging.  Which is unfortunate, because I designed this blog to be a place where I could hold myself accountable for living a healthy lifestyle.  I have kept a large part of my journey towards health very close to my heart.  I've never talked about it on here and would go as far as to say that many of my friends and some family might not even have a clue what I've been going through.
The last few years of my life have been challenging.  I love my husband, family, friends, and of course Hazel, but unfortunately, my health has hindered my full potential for some time now.  I've told you that I'm insulin resistant, but the truth of the matter is finding out that I was insulin resistant was the end of a very long road.

In March of 2011, I was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri.  Meaning--my brain thought I had a brain tumor.  Crazy right?  There is no real rhyme or reason for it.  I was blacking out for several seconds when I would stand up from sitting or lying down.  Many times a day, I experienced extreme headache pains that medicine was not helping.  An eye doctor made me aware of my intracranial pressure and partial vision loss.  I immediately saw a neurologist for a spinal tap.

I wish I could say that the spinal tap fixed all of my problems.  It did restore my vision.  For the next year, I was unusually tired, sleeping all of the time.  I gained weight with no real lifestyle changes.  The medication I was taking for my intracranial pressure is powerful and had nauseating side effects.  I was gaining weight, and was unable to lose it.  It was frustrating.  I tried so many different weight-loss programs and dieting plans--nothing was working.  It was disheartening and wore on me emotionally.

In January of 2012, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.  Suddenly, all of my medical issues made sense!  Gaining weight and not being able to lose it? PCOS.  Unusual tiredness? PCOS.  Anxiety and depression? PCOS.  The answer was simple,-- medication, diet, and exercise.  Once I discovered I had PCOS, I was recommended to see an endocrinologist.  She has been absolutely wonderful.  She informed me that I was insulin resistant (pre-diabetic.)  Again, the answer was simple, -- medication, diet, and exercise.   

For so long my pseudotumor cerebri, PCOS, and insulin resistance were the cause of my unhappiness.  Even with medication, diet, and exercise, I haven't always seen results.  I have still had moments of weakness (my poor husband and parents!).  For a while I was really angry about it.  Constantly asking God, why me?  Why do I have to deal with this?  Why do I have to think about everything I do and eat all the time in relation to my health?

I finally got my answer from God.... He simply said, "You don't."  And He's right.
He's already overcome it.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you many have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I have finally come to see the purpose in it all.  Fortunately, my medical issues do not define me.  They are not who I am, and they are not who I have to be.  There has been a much bigger purpose laid on my heart, and I intend to pursue it.

Hopefully there are some people out there that can identify with all of this.  Of course I've never been alone in all of this, I have a great support system!  But I’m finally in a place where I can choose joy every single day.  I will continue to fight these difficulties, and there will still be hard times, but I’m going to be doing it from a place of joy.  I will no longer allow these struggles to rob me of my joyfulness.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

One Year

I'm excited to be back at blogging.  It's been exactly one year since I posted here.  There are a lot of reasons I took a year off, and it wasn't entirely planned.  I would love to tell you more about that, but not just yet.  I made a list of the top ten things that happened this year.

1. Today is our 3rd anniversary!  Woohoo!  I love you David!
2. It's almost been a year since we MOVED!  It was a LONG process due to many different life changing events happening at once, but we finally finished!
3. I started a new job!  This year I made a huge transition, high school teacher to middle school teacher.  There are things I love about both, but the world of 8th grade social studies stuck to me like glue, and I loved it.  And those sweet adorable kids.
4. Husband passed the bar!! Woohoo, real lawyer status!  He also started a new job.
5. Husband and I did a lot of renovations on my grandma's house.  It took a lot of energy and time, but we got it done!  We also revisited the last four decades through wallpaper, it was an adventure.
6. We went to a lot of UGA games... GO DAWGS!
7. Husband and I bought a truck!  Merry Christmas to David!
8. We took a couple vacations this year.  We took our new truck on a winter vacay to Asheville.  It was a much needed and refreshing break.  And at the end of the school year, we went to St. Simons for a few days for some sunshine!
9. I went to Washington, D.C. with my parents for my spring break!  We had a great time!  We did a lot of walking, taking in the monuments. David and I are headed back later this summer.  We have had a lot of fun planning our trip, now we are just ready for it to get here!
10. I joined a special new little family called OrangeTheory Fitness, and it has been an awesome new beginning.  More on that another time!
I hope you will continue following my at SimplyIndecisive.  I look forward to sharing some new things to you!

baked buffalo wings

Today is David and I's two year wedding anniversary!  It has been an amazing two years married to my best friend.  We are looking forward to many more!  Our wedding was everything I could have ever wanted.  I have been looking back at all the pictures lately.  Such fun memories!
When I started dating David, I discovered the world of hot sauce.  I never knew it could be put on or added to so many different meals.  However, in a deal I made with him, I am supposed to try all things at least once.  I really have begun to love buffalo flavored dishes.  When we go to order wings, I always want buffalo, but I have to ask the question "are they breaded?"  And let me just tell you, ten out of ten times, the answer is yes.
 Well now I can tell you from personal experience, baked buffalo wings are just as good as, AND better than breaded buffalo wings!  Yes, they are amazing, and they have the husband's seal of approval!  These wings are an easy and fast dinner.
 Baked Buffalo Wings

2 1/2 lbs of chicken wings
3/4 cup of Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Spread wings out on a greased baking sheet.  Lightly season them with kosher salt and ground pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Then switch your oven to broil for about 5-6 minutes.  Flip the wings, and continue to broil for another 5-6 minutes.  When the wings look crispy, remove them from the oven.  Toss them in buffalo sauce and serve hot!
Happy Anniversary David!

planner love: help me choose!

It's that time of year again when I unnecessarily stress myself out attempting to choose my new planner for the next year!  I feel so conflicted.  There are so many positives and negatives about them all.  So I have collected my top 5 choices.  Below you can see a little bit more about them, and then take my poll at the bottom of the post!  Please help me figure out what to do!
I love all of the options that come with a Plum Paper agenda.  It can be personalized in so many ways.  There is plenty of room for all of my to-do lists.  You also have the option of adding notes pages and student check-lists!  I'm looking at getting a Family Planner and customizing the tabs.  As well as adding the additional notes and check-lists!
Of course I've always wanted an Erin Condren.  It too has many personalization options, and is extremely helpful in just organizing life!  However, they are usually pricey.
What can I say, her Day Designers gorgeous!  In the front there are several pages to help you organize your plans and goals.  It also includes many lists.  Unfortunately, it does not include personalization's options.  It also has a breakdown of your day hour-by-hour.
I have had a beautiful Lilly agenda before.  The huge positive is how beautiful these agendas are! If I choose a Lilly, I am between these two covers.  There is a lot of room to write inside and make your own lists.  However, it also does not include personalization options.
I have always wanted a May Design!  Maybe not necessarily the agenda though.  They offer so many different options: meal plans, lesson plans, notebooks, etc.  I love the ability to personalize the cover and make it your own.  I saw another co-worker with one of these agendas last year, and it was adorable.

This is when my blog's title becomes really telling right?  I do have a hard time making decisions.  That is why I need a little help from you!  If you wouldn't mind, let me know what you think?  Or just leave a comment!

What planner should Courtney choose?
1. Plum Paper Designs
2. Erin Condren
3. Whitney English
4. Lilly Pulitzer
5. May Designs
Please Specify:
Poll Maker

baked garlic parmesan wings

About once every other week, David and I get a box of baked wings from Publix.  We are partial to the mardi gras flavor, but settle for lemon pepper when they are low on our favorite.  Every time I want to order wings, I ask if they are breaded.  You would not believe how often wings are breaded, and you don't realize it.
 I told David that I was going to make my own wings, but I would need his help.  I was unsure of what kind of chicken legs to buy and how to cut them up.  He guided me through the grocery store and taught me how to butcher them at home.
 Then he went back to studying for the bar.  When he opened the door of his office, I could tell he was impressed with my mission to bake my own wings.  It smelled amazing in our home.  And these wings are delicious.  They are so good, I almost immediately made another batch of them to ensure we would have leftovers.  Seriously, these are amazing!
 Baked Garlic Parmesan Wings

2 1/2 lbs of chicken wings
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp seasoning salt

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Mix oregano, rosemary, cumin, and salt in a bowl.  Toss your chicken wings in the seasoning bowl, then place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake the wings for 25 minutes.  Then turn your oven to broil for about 5 minutes.  Flip the wings and allow them to continue to broil for 5 more minutes.  Until both sides are crispy.

While the wings are baking, mix the remaining ingredients together.  When the wings finished, toss them in the remaining mixture and serve hot.
 I know you will love these as much as we did!  There is no reason to go back to Publix for wings anymore when I can bake some at home that are better!  I also served this salad with them.
Let me know what you think!

my love for fitbit

My newest obsession, Fitbit.  I love it so much--I even looked into trying to work for them.  Unfortunately, they are totally based out of San Francisico, and I can't move there, at least right now :)  Recently, more than ever, I see people wearing them everywhere!  They are quickly becoming a trend.  Time Magazine said, "Fitbit makes getting in shape as addictive as checking Facebook and Twitter."  Here's why:

I have a Fitbit Flex.  I use a free app and online dashboard to track my progress.  It quickly became the most viewed app on my phone.  My Fitbit tracks my steps, calories (output), activity, and sleep.  My goal is to take at least 10,000 steps and five miles a day.  Other than my recent bout with a strep throat, it's been a very attainable goal!  It really opened my eyes to how much I move.  Below you will see one of my best days yet (and a view at the app)!
I am probably one of the most competitive people in the world.  Most people don't even know I'm competing with them, but in my mind, it's going in all the time.  On the Fitbit app, I have friends.  As each day passes the leader board changes.  It carries a running total of everyone's last seven days of steps.  There have been days when I've looked at that board and either worked out, run, or walked more, just to get in the lead.  It has motivated me to move and workout so much more!  I love being able to view my progress!

Another wonderful feature of the app is that you can track the food you eat and you water intake.  I have a great memory, it's just short.  My goal is to drink half of my body weight in water a day and the app makes it really easy for me to keep up with and remember how much I have had!  Lastly, it will also track your sleep at night.  Telling you how many times you are restless, wake up, and how you slept in general.  Really eye opening to me!
Overall, I have had great success with my Fitbit.   I just had to share how much I LOVE it.  And if you would like to get one too, here are a few places you can buy one.  All I ask is that you add me to your friend list :)

I was not contacted by Fitbit to comment or review the Fitbit Flex.  I just have an overwhelming desire to share something life-changing with you :) 

i'm back with black bean hummus!

It's been awhile, but I'm back!  Over the last few months, I've been a little overwhelmed.  However, I can officially say that I'm leaving the high school I've been at for the last three years.  It is definitely bittersweet, but I'm moving onto middle school--eighth grade to be exact!
David graduated law school in May.  He was the student speaker at graduation, and did an amazing job!  In other exciting news, David and I are moving to Atlanta towards the end of the summer!  So many big changes, but we are very excited!
As you can see, we have had a lot going on!
With so much going on lately, we've been sticking to the regular rotation of our staple dinners and snacks.  But now that summer is here, I have a little bit more free time to work in the kitchen!  Recently, I had some Eat Well Embrace Life Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Hummus.  I loved it! 
So I set out to make my own version.  I love homemade hummus so much more than store bought.  It turned out to be great!  Typically, hummus recipes call for tahini (roasted sesame seed paste).  I am not a fan of the taste, so I leave it out, and I don't miss it!
Black Bean Hummus
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lime, squeezed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Add a diced jalapeno.

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree.
Slowly add additional chili powder for more heat if desired.