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Wife, doggy-mother, Jesus follower, CANCER FIGHTER! Just enjoying each day as it comes and remembering what is really important - family and GOD.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Childhood... 30 Things: Day 20

Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

Yikes. This is hard for me. I don't really know what to put down as "significant." I had a very wonderful childhood, and was very sheltered.  I really didn't know that bad things happened. And I think most of the significant points in my childhood happened when I was very young, so I don't really have a true memory - more like a memory formed from the various stories that have been told over the years.


I vaguely remember my Papa, who was my mom's father. I was only three when he passed away. But I can still remember him sitting in his chair in the corner of the living room, and the LOVE that radiated from him. I always felt so safe and happy when I was at my Nanny and Papa's house. He would let me sit in his lap and play for hours. I think I remember him sitting me on the kitchen table and letting me eat icecream out of the gallon Schwan's bucket. I say think, because sometimes I can't tell if I actually remember that, or I have just remembered people telling me that.  But what I DO remember is the feeling of pure JOY it was to be with them both. I was fortunate enough to have my Nanny until about two years ago - and I can say the same for her. She just radiated LOVE for me.

I also remember kindergarten. I was really scared to go and leave my Mom. I had terrible, terrible separation anxiety to the point where I was convinced something would happen while I was away and I wouldn't ever be able to see/get to my Mom in time. But - I remember something happening. I quickly came out of my shell and was the bossiest kid EVER. I would sit on my teacher's lap and do lunch count and the calendar and word of the day. Every. day. And I loved it. I gained so much confidence! Kindergarten was good for me.

The last significant memory I have is when my little brother, Zach, shot me with his BB gun. It didn't even break the skin, but I remember the look of absolute panic on his face. We were down in the neighbor's driveway (where I am almost positive we shouldn't have been - there was a line my Dad spray painted on our road we couldn't pass, and the neighbor's was WAY past that!). I have no CLUE why he had his BB gun OR why/how he shot me. But he did. And he ran as fast as his little legs would carry him to go get our parents because I was crying. I knew then, that he would always be there to save me - even when he was the cause of the trouble!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back on the Wagon

I am going to veer from my normal blog material. I am by NO means writing a healthy eating/living blog. I mean, most of my meals are centered around dessert. But, after feeling bad about my body image for the last few weeks, on top of being miserable in my pants, I have decided to change things up. Again. :)

I actually GOT UP AT 6:00AM to work out! This is a freaking miracle people. I don't do mornings. I don't do working out. And to combine the two.... Wowza. It helped that J decided to get up and go with me. Granted - he can come back home and nap :) But I needed the moral support to get my lazy hind-end out of bed. I got about 45 minutes of work-out time in. Started with a walk/jog interval on the treadmill, did some crunches on the balance ball, and worked my thighs and arm flab. I just want to feel good about myself - so I know this will help.

Also, we have started "meal planning" each of our main meals during the week. On Saturday, I went through a list of some recipes - new and old. Actually, for a wedding gift, we got a subscription to E-Meals. It is a meal planning service that gives you 5-7 meals per week AND a grocery list. We used this as our base. But, some of the meals we just won't ever like - so I substitute in. We also have a subscription to Cooking Light which I love. And I own about 500 cookbooks :) So between all the resources, we came up with a pretty healthy, summer inspired menu for the next seven days!

The recipe we made last night was AWESOME! So awesome, that I am going to include it below. I am not going to give exact measurements, ect - because I don't know them. I am the type to use a recipe (unless I am baking) as a "guide" and just kind of go with the flow. I even took pictures to share :-)


Warm Chicken Salad with Grilled Onions
(adapted from E-Meals.com)


Ingredients:  (Serves 2)

  • 1 large chicken breast, filleted and pounded or 2 small pounded to uniform thickness
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil/vinegar salad dressing (we used a Greek inspired)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes/ halved
  • 1 medium purple onion, sliced thickly (do NOT separate rings)
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • romaine lettuce

Directions:
  1.  Marinate the chicken breasts in 1/2-1 cup salad dressing (enough to cover) for 2 hours in fridge
  2. Chop cucumber and tomatoes, marinate in 1/2 cup salad dressing for 2 hours in fridge
  3. Grill chicken breasts after marinating until done
  4. Spray onion rings lightly with cooking spray (we used olive oil base) and grill until tender
  5. Chop romaine lettuce and place on plate; top with sliced chicken breast, tomato/cucumber mixture and grilled onions
  6. Drizzle with remaining salad dressing if needed

We served ours with grilled corn-on-the-cob and fresh, grilled asparagus. For the asparagus, we used our Armatele grill pan and lightly coated the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.

This meal was outstanding. It will definitely be making a rotation in our weekly line-up. You could do all types of variations on this too. Just marinate the chicken/protein in a different flavor and add grilled veggies to fit the "theme."

I also lucked out to some spiffy dessert. Strawberries were on sale for $0.99 a container (bushel? peck? pound?), so I stocked up on three. Along with some light cool-whip and the tiny, round pound cakes. J kept telling me that when I wanted dessert, to let him know because he wanted to fix it. Here is what he brought me:


Oh yeah! I am a lucky girl!

Oh - we do all of our grocery shopping at Aldi's. For this week - which included seven nightly meals, plus stuff for breakfast and lunch, and all produce was fresh, our grocery total was about $100. Not bad at all. I also had to grab a few pantry staples that won't be on the list next week - so this is on the higher end. But, I don't consider this figure to be high for two people, with ALL fruits/veggies fresh. Nothing was canned or processed when it came to produce or meats.

Hopefully I will get the vacation photos uploaded soon - I haven't even looked at them!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm Baaaack

Made it back from vacation and finally settled down. We had such a great relaxing time, for the most part. I hope to upload and edit the photos soon to share. I'm feeling a little unsettled tonight. I can't put my finger on it. Just uneasy and unhappy. I think part of it is knowing I have to go back to work Tuesday. It's sad really, how I start dreading it so early. It's just that I don't realize how stressed I am all the time until I leave it. Then I can breathe again. I decided that while we were on vacation I was going to enjoy it. I didn't take my temperature or chart. I drank alcohol!!! Moderately, but that's still big. I drank caffeine. I enjoyed my husband without worrying I was drinking the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, messing up my already over-sensitive body. It was amazing. For both of us. I finally just relaxed. That rarely happens for me. I'm hoping this feeling tonight will go away..... Maybe I just need to shower and go to bed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vacation Update

We are having such a wonderful and relaxing time here with some of Justin's family. It's been such a nice get away. We've been laying on the beach, and I've actually had time to read for pleasure! I don't think that has happened since before law school.

I'm definitely going back on a diet upon return to the mainlands. Too much good food and snacking!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Updates

Well, we are headed on vacation as I type! Looking forward to a week at the beach.

Last night was our county Relay For Life. Justin walked as a survivor for the 3rd year :-) I had to stay all night because I was co-chair of the event, but he went home at some point and got some sleep. Around 4am we ended the event because most everyone was gone. But - for a small community, wr raised over $36,000!

As I watched Justin walk his survivor lap, my heart almost burst with great-fullness to our Lord and Savior.

I'll try to update this week with some pictures! Until then:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thirty Things: Day 19

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Hum... I am honestly not sure about this! Quite frankly, I am pretty content right where I am.

I know I DON'T want to live in a big city. Been there, done that (college + law school) and I was miserable.

I have always dreamed of owning a large lot (lots of acres) with a huge cottage-style home plopped right down in the middle. Maybe a lake or pond close. Lots of open room! Somewhere peaceful, quiet and serene.

I love my town. It has it's downfalls, of course. But bottom line - it is an amazing place to grow up and raise a family. That is what I want for my children.

Maybe I just need a vacation home!! Somewhere on the beach I do believe. Still quiet, serene and peaceful but with the ocean in the background. Oh! And then I need a vacation home in the mountains. With lots of snow. YES!

That is entirely possible. HA!! I am sure my husband would agree!

But you know what? I don't really care where I live, as long as I am living with him. God will provide a way for us, whatever is His will. So for now, I am content in my tiny little town, with my cute house and small pasture (but an acre lot is still pretty big), with my husband by my side. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To All the Moms

Today was one of those awesome, awe-inspiring days when I felt God speaking directly to me. I do not know why I am surprised - He has done this many times. Yet, each time I hear His voice and His message resonate exactly when I need it, I am taken a little by surprise.

As Justin and I were headed to church this morning, I told him I felt it may be a little emotional for me. Obviously, the focus today was on mothers. And obviously, I am not one, although I long to be. I just felt this tiny wave of sadness because things haven't happened as fast as I want them to.

God reminded me, though, that everything is in His timing. His perfect timing.

The preacher's message today focused on two mothers from the bible. Two mothers who, prayed and longed for a child. Two mothers who turned to God for salvation, but each reacted differently to His answers.

The first was the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah was very old - too old to have a child. Yet, God had promised Abraham that he would have a son. The Lord appeared before Abraham along with three men.

Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "There, in the tent." He said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year, and behold; Sarah your wife will have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now, Abraham and Sarah were old,  advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing years. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have the pleasure, my lord being old also?" And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?"" Is anything to difficult for the Lord? ~ Genesis 18:9-14.
Sarah laughed in the face of the Lord. She totally mis-perceived God's abilities.  She giggled behind the tent, and did not hear what the Lord her GOD was telling her. I don't want to be a Sarah. I want to be a Hannah.

Hannah prayed for years to be blessed with a child. The Lord had closed her womb. (1 Samuel 1:5).  She was praying feverishly for a child, and one day was at church praying when Eli saw her talking, seemingly to herself, and accused her of drinking too much. She told him no, she was just praying for the Lord to open her womb, and so Eli blessed her. But - in due time, the Lord remembered her, and she conceived, giving her first son to the Lord to do his will. (1 Samuel 1:12-20).

Hannah praised the Lord. She never gave up. She always believed that the Lord would open her womb and bless her with sweet children.  Hannah prayed a song of Thanksgiving, saying in part:

My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, my moth speaks boldly against my enemies; Because I rejoice in Your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord,, Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. ~ 1 Samuel 2:1-3
As I sat on the pew today, I felt like God needed me to hear these stories. Our time is coming. We will be blessed. I have faith. I have the faith of Hannah - and I know that God is capable of the completely unimaginable. So I can't wait to see what He has ready for us.

After church, we celebrated with our families. We went over to Justin's grandma's house to spend time with her and his Mom and family. Then we came home and I cooked a big meal for my mom and dad. It was a very nice day filled with family, love and fun.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms, Moms-to-be, praying to be Moms, fur Moms, and the next best thing to Mom (aka - Aunts!). My sweet Sam always says if he can't have his Mom, his Baba is the next best thing!

 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Musings

I have nothing interesting to say. I am still pretty darn sick. I pulled myself up and went into work today for a few hours. Of course, I had a million calls to make and NO VOICE. Which, I am gonna guess, was not the smartest thing for me to do. But duty calls.

I now have some sweet cough syrup + allergy medicine to add to my antibiotic and Mucinex. Hoping it works miracles overnight, or I am back to the doctor in the morning.

In other news, my heart is heavy tonight. For reasons I am not at liberty to discuss. But it is. I am praying that those in need fall to their knees and call out to our Father for shelter.

Friday is my "Friday off" from work. Happened in a good week. So if I can just make it through tomorrow at work, I will have a three day weekend to fully rest and recover. Then, a full week at work and VACATION!

I'm excited to be on the beach for a few days. One bonus of coughing continuously: my abs should be rock hard. Although unfortunately, this has done nothing to effect my appetite!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pomp & Circumstance

So, I finally pulled myself off the couch and uploaded pictures from this weekend onto the computer so I could blog. I apparently have every "itis" disease you could possibly catch at one time. Major fail immune system. I am not quite sure HOW that happened considering I am taking every fricking vitamin under the sun.

Anyway, on Saturday my baby brother graduated from college. This was a big day for everyone! I know my parents are very relieved (and proud, of course! but relieved) to have their last child out of school. My mom said on our way there, her and my dad have had a child in school for 30 years. That's a hella long time.

He graduated from a small liberal arts college in Fulton, MO. Val Kilmer (otherwise known as Doc Holiday from Tombstone and BATMAN) was the guest speaker. He did a really good job!



I am so proud of Zach. He's grown into such a kind, gentle hearted, sweet spirited, crazy young man. I can't wait to see where life takes him. I can't wait to see him marry a wonderful girl (she's gotta be out there somewhere!) and have a family full of little kids. I can't wait to see him be an Uncle to my children, because he will be the best.

If this picture says anything, it is the quintessential explanation of Zach's personality:



We also had to take a few family portraits:




After the ceremony, we suprised Zach with a sweet cake. He is petrified of clowns, and Justin & I just couldn't control ourselves.....





We went into Jefferson City to eat lunch, and then headed on to the outlets in Osage Beach. Both my momma and my husband indulged me in some retail therapy.

I snagged this awesome swimsuit for our upcoming beach vacation for WAY under retail value:










Score! Now, back to the couch before I get in trouble from my hubby. He's taking AWESOME care of me. I kinda want to stretch this out... Except I feel like poop. That part sucks.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Forgiveness.... 30 Things: Day 18

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

I can't really say that I've had to face any huge challenges with forgiveness. I have lived a very blessed life full of kind and loving people.

Of course, there have been plenty of minor occurrences that have needed forgiveness. Both forgiveness of myself, and forgiveness of someone else. I am FAR from perfect. I ask for forgiveness every day of my life. Both of others around me, and of God. So I am careful to throw out that someone has wronged me so I can't (or won't) forgive.

There have been a small number of persons in my life that I have a hard time letting go of some of the comments, thoughtless actions or rude remarks they have made. I think what makes that "the most difficult thing to forgive" is the fact that these particular people tend to re-offend quite frequently.

There is always that one person who will forever remain a thorn in your side. I work daily to let it go. To quit harping on the past and live in the present. But sometimes, there is just something you can't quite forget about.

There is always that one person who, no matter what you do, will always find some fault. The person who makes snide remarks that make you feel about an inch tall. The person who refuses to see you as the good, kind-hearted, loving, spirited person you are - but, instead, a threat. An obstacle to what they really want.

This is the person I find the most difficult time forgiving. The person who uses me for what is convenient and then discards me like a dirty towel as soon as I fulfill whatever commitment they wanted from me. The person who REFUSES to treat me like a human being most of the time, but instead, a pesky fly who won't quit buzzing in their ear.

I can think of one time that someone has truly offended me so that I almost couldn't forgive. The time that, the remarks were so cold hearted, mean spirited and full of contempt that my heart was crushed. I can recall sobbing uncontrollably. Calling my best friend and being unable to really explain how badly I was hurt.

I don't know if I have ever forgiven that, really. Which is very unhealthy, spiritually and emotionally. God calls us to forgive. He forgives ME every day for my sins. So I strive for that. I pray for that. My relationship will never be complete with any person until I can just forgive and realize we are human. We make mistakes.

Each day, I think today is the day. Today is the day I just let it go. Start over. Forgive.

Maybe that will happen today. Or tomorrow. It will happen. God has a plan. He's heard my cries and He's working on me. I just need to open up my heart and listen to Him fully.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Wish... 30 Things: Day 17

What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

I think there are a lot of things in life I wish I were great at. Cooking, sleeping, smiling, laughing, sewing, painting, crafting.... The list could go on and on. However, I believe the thing I MOST wish I was great at is living a life that is free of constant worry - to just learn to "go with the flow" and stop second-guessing myself.

Justin is very much this person. He rarely stresses or worries. He has this since of calmness and peace. I wish I were great at that. I  am so uptight most of the time! Seriously. It's beyond my control. Ha!

Between my job and other stresses, I just have a hard time letting go. But when I do - whether it is through prayer, a massage, or just having fun - I am a completely different person.

I need to laugh more. I need to smile more. I need to giggle and tickle and wrestle and roll around and play fetch with Oreo and appreciate the little things in life.

I need to remember this day and WHY I have a million reasons to let it all go:

THIS is the look of pure JOY. No worry or stress here!


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PS: If you are visiting from Kelly's Korner SUYL Friday - hello :) If you want to read more about my beautiful rockstar of a husband and I, start here and check out our wedding posts telling you about what happened before the first look, when I saw my husband the first time that day, walking down aisle, the ceremony, the biggest after-party ever, and the little details. If you are interested in the 30 Day Challenge, start here to read from the beginning. This blog is a mis-match of thoughts, pictures and life. Poke around and hopefully you will enjoy a little glimpse into our world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So You've Had a Bad Day

Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to gray
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee you go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You fall into pieces every time
And I don't need no carryin' on

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You hurry back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day


Wow. This has been a day. Actually, it has been a string of days. Sometimes, I don't know. This job. It really, really gets to me. I am over stressed. Over worked. Over tired. I worry constantly. I feel sick at my stomach more days than not from pure nerves. I am so fed up with it. I kept hoping that I would get into a groove. That it would be easier. But it seems like just when I get the hang of it. BAM. Something else. I am just hanging on because I love what I do. I believe in what I do. I am just so tired. I need some help sometimes.

 Last night I had an interesting conversation. I obviously haven't been shy with the fact that Justin and I would love to have a baby. Soon. And it may be difficult for us. Which is really, really scary. I know I shouldn't "worry." That it will "happen when the time is right." I KNOW THAT. But it doesn't make the wait any easier. When someone non-chalantly comments, "Oh, you don't need to worry. It will happen when it is right," I want to punch them in the face. I can worry. I have a right to worry. And when YOU didn't HAVE to worry because getting knocked up was as easy as the wind blowing in the right direction - don't tell me what to do. I know that sounds harsh. But what I want to hear is, "I'm praying for God to bless you with a baby." Or "You have every right to worry!" Or "Keep trying. I have faith."

So add these two major stressors, and it is no wonder. My body is probably freaking out and going into hibernation mode trying to save itself from being eaten alive by stress. No biggie. Really :)

Maybe I just need some perspective. Some time spent with God. To remember who my creator is. To know that I have prayed without ceasing. To be reminded that He is in control. Because bottom line - my husband is here, healthy and happy. We get to spend every day together. I see his smiling face in the morning when I wake up and at night when I go to bed. And he's enough to make my heart happy every day for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Disney World Recap: Epcot

We really enjoyed visiting Epcot as well. We ended up going to that park twice. We went one evening because we had reservations in "Japan" for sushi. We both agreed it was not something we would ever want to go back to again, because it wasn't very good.

We did however love walking around through the World Pavillion. We managed to hit EVERY country there, I think :) We also caught the super cool light show that evening, and managed to get on some very popular rides.



Justin really was interested in all the space rides, so we rode Mission Space: Orange, which was a simulation of taking off and landing in space. I was spazzing out the entire waiting time, because they kept making announcments that if you had motion sickness you didn't need to ride. I have serious motion sickness. When we got on the ride, they even had barf bags! I got one out and open just in case. Thankfully, I didn't barf, but if you watched last week's Grey's, it was only because I put mind over matter!

All in all, it was the best vacation. We can't wait to go back!