Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday - We Are Family

Who's the person in your life you call the minute you have any kind of news?

For me, that person is my mom...who then relays whatever news I have onto my dad (they live in an RV so they're always close by each other!).  One of the great things about this is, "news" doesn't have to be something big.  Sometimes when I call the so-called "news" is something funny the cats did or a recipe I saw in a magazine.  I call my mom EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  

Thanks Mom (and Dad, too!) for always picking up the phone... :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Blueberry Bonanza!

Last week, I went blueberry picking for the first time!  My friend, Laura, took me to this beautiful little farm right nearby, and I came home with 10 pounds of blueberries!  

What does one person do with TEN POUNDS of blueberries?

1.  Bake a pie.  YUM!

2.  Make some Blueberry Brunch Cake

3.  Freeze a whole bunch

4.  Try a "Savory Blueberry Steak Sauce" (tasted kind of like blueberry barbecue sauce - it was yummy!)
(with a side of grilled romaine and quinoa)

5.  Eat lots and lots and lots by the HANDFUL and possibly end up turning into this:

Have you picked your berries yet?  Blueberries? Strawberries? Cherries?

Sharing this blueberry madness at Beauty and Bedlam!

Monday Melody - Airplanes

Yesterday would have been my 2nd wedding anniversary.  Having never celebrated our first anniversary, there's no "last year we were____" associated with the day.  There's just a feeling of "I wish we had at least been able to celebrate one anniversary". 

The song "Airplanes" by Chasen is today's Monday Melody selection.  The first time I heard this song I felt like it was something I could've written myself.  And I know I'll make it through, and Isaac will be waiting for me...where the clouds of rain and the airplanes will never go.

Have you ever lost someone that you loved?
And you only want to hear their voice again
Have you ever fallen to your knees begging for the memories you've lost

Have you ever tried to love again
But you found yourself feeling the hurt
And you only want to live again
With him with her

You want to know He's there give me a sign
You want to hear Him say

That I'll be, waiting for you here
And I'll be your memories of love
I'll be, waiting for you here where the
Clouds of rain and airplanes will never go

Have you ever tried to escape the pain
But you dug yourself deeper in it
Have you ever tried to run away?
But it brought you back to the very same place
You want to know He's there give me a sign
You want to hear him say

Now don't you worry you'll be fine and I'll be there by your side
You're going to make it through
The mistakes you've made behind you now its a brand new day and a brand new hour
You're gonna make it, you're gonna make it through

I'll be, waiting for you here
And I'll be your memories of love
I'll be waiting for you here where the
Clouds of rain and the airplanes will never go


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday in the Word - Isaiah 26:3

The word "peace" has been in my mind a lot lately.  My friend, Bethany, pointed this verse out at our Bible study  and it spoke so clearly to my heart.

If there's one consistent feeling that was present in my life throughout everything with Isaac, it would be PEACE. Sometimes I find myself questioning that peace.  I wonder if it's okay to have felt, and still feel, so much peace surrounding such a sad and difficult time in my life.  But, peace doesn't mean happiness.  It doesn't mean that I don't miss Isaac, or that I'm never sad.  Peace is a whole separate feeling. 

When you know Christ, and spend time with Him and His Word...peace comes into your life.  With Jesus, peace can be felt even in the strongest storm.  HE keeps the peace in my life because I make a daily choice to TRUST IN HIM. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - {easy} Very Berry Pie

Very Berry Pie

 8 cups (2 pounds) mixed frozen berries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 9-inch refrigerated pie crusts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1.  Toss the berries with the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice until well coated.

2.  Unroll one pie crust and make sure it comes up to the edge of the pie plate.

3.  Fill the crust with berries, then dot with butter.  (the original recipe called for 2 tbsp of butter, but I'd cut it down to 1 tbsp next time)

4.  Unroll the 2nd pie crust over the top, pinch the crusts together (make it look fancy, or make it look like mine haha), cut slits to vent

5.  Bake the pie at 375 for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.


Sharing this at Tasty Tuesdays, hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Monday Melody - Good Life

For the first "Monday Melody", I've chosen the song "Good Life" by OneRepublic.  
Take a listen:

This song has been playing on repeat in my car lately.  I love the "summery" beat (is it possible for a beat to sound like a season?), the fun feel of the song, and the reminder that it gives me.

"This has gotta be a good life."

In an effort to turn my focus more towards gratitude and less towards complaining, this song, reminds me that life really is GOOD and I really am so BLESSED.   One of my favorite parts says:
Sometimes there's airplanes you can't jump out
Sometimes there's bull$h!t that don't work out
But please tell me what there's to complain about.

It's a good reminder that yes, there are things in life that don't go the way we want them to or don't work out the way we think they should.  But, with such a good God, amazing friends, and supportive family...really, what is there to complain about?  This is a good life!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Fun: As of Late...


  • I've been listening to Justin Bieber and I love it.  And yes, I am 30 years old.
  • I finally packed away my Winter clothes.  And yes, I am aware that it has not been winter for many months.
  • I made a 4th of July wreath for my door.  Does this surprise you?  Probably not.
  • I was anxiously awaiting the premiere of "Pretty Little Liars".  And yes, I am still 30 years old.
  • It's summer vacation!
  • God has been speaking LOUDLY to my heart.  As in:  I started the "Breaking Free" study with the idea of 'breaking free from weight struggles' in my mind, and then the Reshaping It All challenge started, and then my pastor started a sermon series on temptation.  Ok God, I'm listening!
  • I may or may not be jumping on the iPhone bandwagon.  I held out for almost 2 years Android!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I told you on Tuesday that I'd explain a little more about why I'm participating in "Thankful Thursdays" this summer.

This past year was full of challenges - to say the least.  Outside of still working through grief, the school year was a challenging one.  Overall, this was one of the most difficult groups of students I have had in 8 years of teaching.  For the most part, I really did have GREAT kids this year.  But some of these poor young people, are going through some really rough things at home - it's no wonder they don't care about their homework. 

As the year wound down, I found myself getting more and more grouchy.  It was harder to get out of bed in the morning, it was harder to put a smile on my face, and it was a whole lot easier to complain.

Enter "Thankful Thursday"...because I can't take the grumpiness anymore!  I need to get myself back to focusing on the positive!!  Each week this summer, and possibly after, I'll share something or someone that I am grateful for.  

This week, since school just ended, I have to give a big "SHOUT OUT" (complete with spirit fingers) to my amazing team.  The people I am blessed to work with every day were absolutely the reason I DID get out of bed every morning.  Eric, Gary, Carissa, Ange, and Kim - 5 people who are some of the most dedicated, professional, intelligent, caring, and FUN people I know.  These people would do ANYTHING they could to help the students we work with.  I couldn't have made it without you guys!

And so I dedicate this song to my team:

Wildcats everywhere
Wave your hands up in the air!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

It's been a long time since I've spent the time to create a "graphic" for a verse that has spoken to my heart.  This one has special meaning for 2 reasons.  First, it was the theme verse for the Girlfriend Getaway conference I was on the team for this year.

Yesterday in my quiet time, I was working on my homework for "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore.  The focus of the homework was on being satisfied with God.  Oh, how I needed this message!  As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I have been feeling so spiritually hungry lately.  

I sat this morning just soaking in this promise God gives.  It doesn't say "I might" or "If you ___, then I will".  It says I WILL.  Simple as that.  No list of things we have to do before God refreshes us, no questions about His intentions.  This verse promises He WILL refresh and satisfy us.  Granted, I can't expect this satisfaction and refreshment to just come from nothing.  I do have to seek it.  So, to start off my summer I prayed for God's refreshment.  I asked Him to take my very weary, running empty of joy but full of complaints, feeling dissatisfied heart and breathe new life into it. 

Yesterday, after a good night's sleep, a lazy morning, and extra time in His Word, I looked up at the blue sky, felt the sun on my skin and the breeze blow by me, and I started to feel refreshed. God is refreshing me.  He is satisfying the empty place in my heart.  He is filling me up with His love and His grace and His peace.  He is restoring my joy.  And it feels awesome!

(do you like the new Choose Joy? I do!)

Coming Soon...


Today was the first official day of summer vacation!  It's one of many reasons I love being a teacher - heehee!  To celebrate the first day, I slept in late, went for a walk and then spent the day reading.  It was fantastic!

So, now that it is summer, I have more free time to devote to getting things done. Here's my list of "big" summer projects to do around the house:
  1. Curb appeal makeover - including a new front door, painting my porch, and actually taking time to decorate it.
  2. Completing my office/craft room makeover - gray walls, black and white accents with pops of bright pink - CAN'T WAIT!
  3. Clean out my basement (ahhhh - DO NOT WANT TO DO, but I must.)
  4. Paint my kitchen table (an antique handed down from my awesome Mom)
  5. Painting my bathroom (which currently has linoleum walls.  Who does that?)
I also want to get back to blogging regularly.  I have so many things to be writing about and I haven't had the time!  I'm planning on blogging with more of a "schedule" that includes:

  • "The Monday Melody", a new series I'm starting.  I love to write about songs and share the songs that mean something to me, so I'm going to start this up this summer!
  • "Tasty Tuesday" - I have so many new recipes to try and share!  Can't wait to get back to this favorite.
  • "Wednesday in the Word" - I'll link my Wednesdays posts with "Word Filled Wednesdays" at Internet Cafe Devotions and the Women Living Well Wednesday link up.  These posts will focus on passages in Scripture that God is using in my life.
  • "Thankful on Thursday" - I'll explain a little bit more about this on Thursday, but I'm just really working on gratitude a lot more this summer.
  • "Friday Funday" - the day to share whatever I have to makeovers, craft projects, book reviews, whatever!
I'm so glad it's summer and I can't wait to get caught back up with my blogging!! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Snapshots of Life Lately

It's almost that wonderful time of year that teachers everywhere dream about...SUMMER!!!  I've been blog-absent because of all the craziness getting grades and assessments and end of school stuff done.  Plus, my fantastic parents have been town for the past 3 weeks so I've been busy!

I wanted to share some snapshots of my 30th birthday events!  I'm not one for big parties or even making a big deal about events in my life (I almost didn't even want a bridal shower because I hate being the center of attention like that).  But, 30 is a pretty significant milestone and after the last 2 years of my life, it was fun to have things to celebrate!

The big 3-0 included:

Ice cream sundaes and "13 Going on 30" with some of my gal pals:

Dinner, cake, and ice cream with friends: (though I only got pictures of their kids!)

And New York City with my Mom to see Sister Act on Broadway!  (Which was AWESOME!)

Oh, and my dad also bought me a new weed trimmer, but I didn't take a picture of that - haha!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In my next 30 years...

Today is my 30th birthday.  
Didn't I just turn 21?  
Wasn't college college graduation just last week?
Where has the time gone????

A whole lot has happened in the past 30 years.  In fact, the most significant events in my life have happened in the past 10 years, including:
-college graduation
-my first job
-moving out on my home
-coming to know the Lord
-getting married
-buying my first house
-losing my husband
-buying my first car
-changing jobs
-getting my Master's Degree

There's probably more I'm forgetting about.  When I look at that list of major life events that have occurred in the past 10 years (actually over half in the last 3 years alone), I can't help but look ahead at "my next 30 years" with excitement.  If all of those amazing, life-changing, faith-growing things can happen in just 10 years...I can't imagine all of the things that will happen in the next 30.  

So, here's to my next 30 years.  I'm not a country music fan, but I think this particular song says it best.

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life.