Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank You, Thank You!

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last blog post! I feel much better. :-)

I hope it didn't come across as me begging for more comments. Because that's really not what the whole thing was about. I was talking about how I feel awkward in life, in general, because I'm baby-less. Haha!

It is so great to know that I am not the only one who feels this way! And I appreciate what some of you non-mommies said: that we need to appreciate THIS season in life. Lately I've been so focused on the next season, that I haven't really been savoring this one. It's like rushing through a favorite meal to get to the dessert: you miss a lot of great flavors! :-)

The other day I saw a link to this post (check it's one of my new favorite blogs) and read it. I thought it was sweet, and I let a few tears escape, and then I kind of forgot about it.

But then the other night at church (just a few hours after I wrote my last post), the band played "He Loves Us." One of my favorite songs. A little girl caught my eye during the song. She was probably about 4 or 5 years old, and she was dancing as if no one was watching. She was twirling and jumping and it was just one of the sweetest things I have seen. As I watched her dance, I thought about that post (read it and you will see why). In that moment, I knew that in God's eyes, I am that little girl. I may mess up; I may be insecure; I may be in a not-so-fun spot right now, but God sees past that, and loves me anyway.

As she danced, I thought about the verse that is referenced in that post: "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

It was a special moment. God wants to watch me dance through life. He takes delight in me. He wants to quiet my fears and my crazy life with His love.

In that moment at church, I felt more loved than I think I ever have before. It was amazing. I could just feel the Holy Spirit working in my heart, letting me know that I don't have to feel awkward in this place right now.

I don't have to be jealous because others have what I want so badly!

I don't have to be worried about my future.

He loves me more than I can even comprehend. I am His daughter, and He loves me so much, He died for me.

Nothing else matters when I dwell on this. I don't feel left behind anymore.

I've been struggling lately because it frustrates me so much that Satan seems to know us so well, and can so easily and sneakily get in our life and destroy it like a cancer, without even being noticed until it is too late.

But God knows us better, even, than that. He knew that I needed to hear from Him that night, and He spoke to me through a blog post, and a little girl dancing.

How is He speaking to you today?
This was a total stream of consciousness post, so I hope you were able to follow it! But Monday night was the kind of experience that I never want to forget!

Monday, September 27, 2010

That Seventh-Grade, Insecure Feeling

I may be a little paranoid, but I have this silly fear in the back of my mind...

I feel like people are bored with my blog because I don't have a baby, or a baby on the way.

My sidebar is not plastered with ultrasound pictures or tickers counting down to when a little one will arrive.

I don't have nursery pictures or pictures of cute things that I've ordered on Etsy.

A lot of the blogs I read are written by people who are pregnant or new mothers. I call myself Good Luck Chuck. Mostly because it seems like the majority of women who are friends with me, even in blog-land, seem to be becoming pregnant rapidly. So if you don't want a baby soon, you better steer clear of me. And if you want a baby, then we should hang out sometime, because I promise, you will be pregnant in no time.

All kidding aside, I guess I'm feeling a little self conscious. Something akin to the feeling I had in seventh grade when I first got my braces, and chose neon pink for my rubber band color (what was I thinking?!)

I'm at such a weird place right now in my life. I never dreamed that at 25 (actually, a few weeks from 26), I would be one of the very last of my group of friends to not have a baby. I can slowly feel people losing interest in me because I am not a human incubator (hehe...that term was stolen from a friend). I'm talking about my real friends and my blog friends.

My self-esteem is directly related to how many comments I receive on my blog. Ha! And there is no denying the fact that commenting has been down around here lately. Maybe I'm just getting boring and people are sick of hearing about my newest favorite recipe or the fact that I love fall. But I have this sinking feeling that it wouldn't be this way if I had a baby.

Is anyone else feeling the pressure to have kids just because it feels like everyone else is having them right now? I think we're having another baby boom! That, or my Good Luck Chuck theory really is true :-P

This is not an easy stage of life. I feel like I am one step behind everyone else. I feel like I'm the only one at my junior high who doesn't own a pair of platform sneakers.
Or bibs
Or Flannel
...To wear with the bibs, of course.

(Okay, so I'm obviously referencing what was cool when I was in junior high. Again...What were we thinking?!)

Anyway, I guess I will have to find ways to fit in, even though I have an empty uterus. It is painful to be the one on the outside, especially in this case. But I was an outsider in school, and I can deal with it now, too.

Someday it will be my turn :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week in Review

Sunday 9/19 - We went to church, and then had a family reunion right afterwards for my mom's side of the family. We stayed for a little while, visited, and ate some delicious food. Later that evening, we had calling hours for Luke's great, great uncle. We rode with Luke's parents, and they stopped on the way home for ice cream at Handels. I got chocolate-peanut butter-brownie ice cream in a cone, and it was so good! I got home and tried to use my sewing machine once more because I was feeling creative, but ended up breaking the needle. I guess maybe I am just not cut out for sewing! After it broke, I was so determined to make SOMETHING, that I created this cute little rosette. Without the help of the sewing machine. I've been obsessed with these fabric flowers lately, and have wanted to learn how to make them for a long time.

Monday 9/20 - I had another down day where I didn't have any motivation once I got home from work! I guess I am still having a hard time adjusting to the school year. I cleaned the house in the evening and decorated more for fall. Later I watched dancing with the stars, and fell asleep early. Pretty boring stuff!
Tuesday 9/21 - Tuesdays are my long days at work, where I have no breaks. And after my crazy day at work, I went straight to the church to work on the campaign newsletter for about three hours. Yikes, I didn't realize how much work this was going to be! But I'm really enjoying it! After that, Luke and I quickly ate some pizza for supper, and headed to our connect group. We are doing a video series on God's view for marriage, and I really think it's going to be great!

Wednesday 9/22 - I took a half-day off of work for a {frustrating} doctor's appointment. I went to the church afterwards to finish up the final copy of the newsletter. It was a relief to finally have it finished! Later, Sarah came over for dinner and to watch a movie. She had never seen 50 First Dates. We decided she needed to watch it, because one time I said "no worries," and Sarah thought it was hilarious, and I told her I picked it up from that movie because I love Drew Barrymore's character, Lucy, in it, who says that a lot. That was quite a run-on sentence. We ended the evening watching She's got the Look, because we were too lazy to change the channel and it happened to be on, and somehow we became hopelessly sucked in. We will be watching the finale next week!

Thursday 9/23 - I went grocery shopping after work and found some amazing fall-colored mugs while I was shopping for $1 each! I'm going to grab some more next time I'm there, I think! I am currently memory card-less, or I would share a picture. After that, I made a quick dinner, and then Luke and I headed out to a birthday party for his little cousin. It was a good time. We made sure we were home before 9, though, because it was the season premiere of The Office! Our neighbor's/friends/cousins, Rachel and Jared, came over to watch it with us. We ended up watching Outsourced afterwards, which was pretty funny as well. And even after that, we sat and visited until about 11:00. It was nice!

Friday 9/24 - I felt completely burnt out after my long, busy week of working plus spending so many hours on the church campaign newsletter and other various things. I unfortunately came home from work in a pretty bad mood. (It seems like I always have at least one day like this, unfortunately). Luke and I picked up Subway for dinner, watched all the shows we had DVR'd during the week, and I fell asleep on the couch sometime between 8 and 9. Not a very exciting night.

Saturday 9/25 - Luke and I worked on things around the house all morning, and then Sarah came over. We went to the mall to shop for some clothes. We then came back, hung out, and took a walk. It was such a gorgeous day! We decided to go to Hot Dog Shoppe for dinner. Sarah had never been there, and I knew I just had to take her! She loved it :-) We stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home for donuts. I got a pumpkin one! It was good, but barely tasted like pumpkin, and definitely not on the same par as White House donuts. Anyway, when we were out, we saw a Mini Cooper. So we came home and watched The Italian Job, because Sarah is obsessed with Mini Coopers. It was fun to have a girls' night since Luke was out with some guy friends!

Milestones: I completed my first campaign newsletter to be sent out this weekend or next Monday! (the first of many that will be done this year). It was a LOT more work than I had anticipated, but I absolutely loved doing it!

Movies I watched this week: 50 First Dates (B+), The Italian Job (A)

Books I'm reading this week: The Bible (Judges...LOVED reading the story of Samson this week. I don't think I had ever read it directly from the Bible). Still no time for any other reading. I SOOO miss having the time and energy to read!

Songs I'm loving this week: Desert Song - Hillsong (again...can't get enough of that one), Why Wait - Rascal Flatts, You're Not Alone - Meredith Andrews

Things I'm looking forward to next week: A bridal shower for a friend, connect group, and the beginning of October! (October, November, and December are my favorite months!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Show us Your Life: Master Bedrooms

I am joining Kelly's master bedroom tour this week.

Unfortunately, my camera is not working at the moment, so I will have to show older picture from about a year ago. Our bedroom isn't very big, but it is cozy, and we like it!

Here is one half of our bedroom. I really love the bed! Can you believe I found it at a garage sale for just $75?? I thought that was great! It also came with a canopy, and I hope to have high enough ceilings to use it in our next house!
I would love to put a picture or wall decal above the bed in all that blank space. I'm still looking for just the right thing.

Here is the other half of the room. It's so hard to get a good picture! I love all the neutral colors in this room. We have been looking (for the past two years :-P) for a bigger dresser, so we can trade the two of ours in for just one pretty, large one. Also, the book shelf is now in our dining room, which I think makes the bedroom look much better and less crowded.
If you look very closely, you can see Ellie hanging out beside the bookshelf! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On Doctors...

I had a doctor's appointment today. Going to any type of doctor's office is not an enjoyable experience for me. I get very nervous and uptight every time I go, even if it's just for a routine check up.

I think this nervousness somehow induces emotional hypersensitivity in me, as well. I think it has something to do with the fact that I know the doctor has gone to school for a zillion years, and is a lot smarter than me. It's intimidating.

I had never seen the doctor who saw me today. She was a very nice lady. But I could tell that her time was valuable to her, and she seemed to be in a huge rush. She talked so quickly, I got very confused. When she was done speaking to me, she asked if I had any questions. I hadn't even had time to process what she had said, so my mind went completely blank, and no questions would form. I left feeling so confused and short-changed.

And that's not the worst part. While I was there, she made several flippant comments that hurt my feelings very badly. She wasn't trying to be rude, and most people probably wouldn't have been bothered by what she said. But I'm a sensitive person already, and in that situation, her words really got to me.

Anyway, long story short, I cried the entire way home. And it was a 45-minute drive. Ugh. And 4 hours later, I'm still feeling really down.

Am I the only one who has a hard time dealing with most doctors? It's not that I have a thing against all doctors, it's just that I haven't found many that I really like.

The doctor certainly wasn't aware that she had hurt my feelings, and she definitely wasn't overly mean. But I'm finding myself wanting to find a new doctor who I click with a little better, and who will be willing to give me the time of day.

Does anyone else feel intimidated and even stupid around doctors? Or am I just being way too oversensitive??

Sorry, this was kind of a vent post.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Come on Over!

If you visited my house...

You would be greeted by pumpkins on the landing
You would walk inside and smell pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, or maple
You would eat candy corn
And drink a pumpkin spice latte
or some cinnamon apple spice tea

And you would see all of my fall decorations
We would make fall cutout cookies together!!

And later we would take a walk around the neighborhood in the crisp air, and I would wear my new favorite scarf!

Yes, tomorrow is definitely the first official day of fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Day Trip

I mentioned briefly in my "Week in Review" post that Luke and I spontaneously headed down to Columbus for the Ohio State game on Saturday. Luke somehow scored some great tickets online on Friday, so we couldn't pass them up.

I woke up at 5:00AM on Saturday, and we were on the road by 6:00. Way too early for a Saturday! But I guess for an Ohio State game, I can make an exception. We got there around 9, and the place was already teeming with people.We headed to the Skull Session first, as we always do. It is basically a pep rally where the Ohio State Marching Band plays, the team walks through, Jim Tressel gives a little pep talk, the visiting band plays, and they invite a high school band to play each week, too. The Ohio State Band is basically my favorite part of the game, so I always love the Skull Session!
The high school band played Poker Face! I got a kick out of this, because {little-known fact about me} I love Lady Gaga's music. Although I do not like Lady Gaga.

After the Skull Session, it was time to walk to the stadium! I always love seeing it get bigger and bigger in the distance. It's so huge!We were eight rows from the field close to the end zone. I had never been so close before, and it was great! Although I did miss being able to see the band do script Ohio. You can't see it very well from that close to the ground! But it was fun to be that close to the players, band members, and Jim Tressel!The game itself wasn't the most exciting one ever. We were playing Ohio University, which is just a little school. So Ohio State won pretty easily, and some of the second team players got to play for most of the game, too.The halftime show was amazing! This week, the band did a cartoon songs halftime show. They did songs from The Jetson's, The Flinstones, Scooby Doo, The Simpsons, Bugs Bunny, etc. They made all kinds of formations, from Fred Flinstone's face, to an anvil, to the words "That's All, Folks!" And lots more. They even had a little Flinstone car and "The Mystery Machine" from Scooby Doo drive out during the show. It was too cute, and I loved hearing all those songs from the classic cartoons!
After the third quarter, Luke and I decided we were tired, hot, thirsty, and oh, so hungry. So we skipped out early, something I never thought Luke would do! But it really wasn't much of a game, and I think Ohio State was up by 36 or so when we left.

The only bad part of the game was the fact that I got the worst sunburn of the year there, I'm afraid. The forecast had called for a mostly cloudy sky. Well, as you can see, that was absolutely not what happened. So I look like a lobster now.
Not a cloud in sight...

We stopped at Raising Cane's before we left Columbus for some chicken fingers. I refused to spend my money on overpriced food at the stadium, so I was starving! It had been about 10 hours since I had eaten my piece of toast for breakfast. So I ate a huge dinner, and then fell asleep almost the whole way home. Poor Luke, I don't know how he stayed awake that whole time to drive!
It is always a fun time going to the Ohio State games. I know this is probably something we will do once every year or two for as long as we are able. I found myself looking at all the families with little kids, knowing that that will be us in a few years!

Oh, and I got a new favorite picture of the two of us while we were there, too!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week in Review: Busy, Busy, Busy Edition!

{My blog had a face lift yesterday! So if you are reading this from Google Reader, you should stop on over and check it out ;-)}

Sunday 9/12 - After church, I came home and spent a lot of the afternoon trying to use my new sewing machine. While I was doing that, I got a phone call from my aunt saying that she and my cousin were downstairs visiting my grandma. So I grabbed Ellie and we headed down and visited for the afternoon. It was great to see everyone! Later that evening I made chicken alfredo and Luke grabbed a quick plate during a commercial...he watched football for about 10 hours straight on Sunday :-P Sarah visited for awhile in the evening, and then the day was over already! I can't believe how fast Sunday and the entire weekend went! Time flies so much faster during the school year when I'm working full time.

Monday 9/13 - As soon as I walked in the door after work, my mom called and asked if I wanted to go to White House Farms with her. Of course I said yes! So we headed out on that beautiful, sunny day and bought lots of delicious things. Although they were out of doughnuts, which was NOT cool! After that, we went to Giant Eagle for a few more things, and I then went home, made dinner, and tried to stay awake all evening while I watched the finale of Bachelor Pad. I have mixed feelings about Natalie and Dave winning, but mostly I'm just glad that Elizabeth and Kovacs didn't win. Bleh.
Tuesday 9/14 - Sarah came over for awhile in the afternoon. We ate tacos for dinner with Luke, and then walked down the street for some ice cream! Later that evening, Luke and I went to a new connect group (basically a Bible study). Since it was the group's first week to meet, we mostly just hung out outside by the fire and talked. It was nice! Next week we will really dig into the content. We are doing a video series on "Experiencing God's Dream for your Marriage." I'm excited to jump in next week! When we got home on Tuesday night, we popped in a movie. Luke watched it all, and I made it about 5 minutes before I fell asleep. I was so far beyond exhausted on Monday and Tuesday, it's not even right!

Wednesday 9/15 - Sarah came over when I got home from work, and she came grocery shopping with me. We made pizza for us and Luke for dinner. Then we went on a really long walk and we even stopped at the park for a little while. We talked about everything under the sun, and it was so nice! After our walk, we came back to my house and watched Julie and Julia. It was still good the third time watching it ;-)
Thursday 9/16 - This was not one of my better days. I had a bad day at work, and unfortunately, I brought my bad mood home with me. I basically moped around all night and didn't do much of anything. Except make a tasty fall harvest soup, which cheered me up a little bit. Leave it to food to do that to me... :-P
Friday 9/17 - As bad as Thursday was, Friday was the complete opposite. I had probably the best day of work yet this school year. I know God was blessing me all day through my students, and I felt so comforted! When I got home, I went over to the church to iron out some last minute details about the newsletter that I'm working on. My Aunt Beth was there, and told me that some of our friends were selling pumpkins to teach their twin daughters about saving, spending, and giving money. I rode to their house with her, and I got two white pumpkins, one regular pumpkin, and 6 small gourds, all for $5 total! You can't beat that! What a great idea to teach their daughters and also bless others! Anyway, after that it was time for date night with Luke! We went out to dinner at Smokey Bones where Luke had fish and I had a salad. We then made our way to TJ Maxx: Home Goods and I spent such a long time in there, Luke had to go to Best Buy next door to entertain himself while I finished! And I spent most of my splurge money from this week and next week there. I am dangerous in that store with a wallet full of cash! But I did get a lot of great clothes for work and the cutest scarf ever made for fall. P.S.: I have decided that this year is the year that I will FINALLY jump on the leggings bandwagon, so I bought some of those as well. Anyway, I had a really great night out with Luke!
Luke and his Root Beer at Smokey Bones...he sure does love that stuff!

Saturday 9/18 - I woke up an hour earlier on Saturday than I do during the week for work! The reason is that Luke had bought last-minute tickets to the Ohio State game the day before. The game was at 12, so I was up at 5, and we were pulling out of the driveway at 6. But it was such a good day, and I'm so glad I went! We went to the skull session and then straight to the game, where we roasted under the hot, HOT sun all day! We actually ended up leaving right after the third quarter because Ohio State was killing Ohio University, and we were just too hot and tired and thirsty to stay. And I was getting a severe sunburn! But like I said, It was so much fun!! After the game, we headed to Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers for lunch/dinner. There is a little story behind this. Last year when we came to an Ohio State game in October, I was very sick. I was having major stomach problems and hadn't eaten anything fried in about a week. We all stopped at Raising Cane's before we left for home, and I couldn't eat anything, because it was all fried. But it looked so delicious! It's been in the back of my mind for the whole year, and I knew the next time I was in Columbus, I HAD to try it! Luke made no arguments, because he had loved it last time. And it did not disappoint. Even after secretly craving it for a year, I was not let down. It was so good! Anyway, after the long ride home, I went to my parents' house to work on the church building campaign newsletter. I had to use my mom's computer, because she has Publisher. When I was done with that, I finally relaxed at home for a little while!

What a busy, busy week!!

Milestones this week: We took a day-trip to Columbus for the Ohio State vs. Ohio University game. Also, I redesigned my blog's look.

Movies I watched this week (+my rating): Julie and Julia (A)

Books I'm reading this week
The Bible (Judges). No time for anything else!

Songs I'm loving this week: Born to Fly - Sara Evans, Desert Song - Hillsong, Love Me - JJ Heller

Things I'm looking forward to next week
: A family reunion, completing and sending out the church building campaign newsletter, and watching the world transform a little more each day from summer to autumn!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Show us Your Life: Living Rooms

Last time Kelly did the Show us Your Life tour of houses, I did not participate. I have decided that this time I will join in!

Our living room went from being a man cave/Ohio State room, to being a relaxing living room. We redecorated the entire thing last year, and I love it so much now!

We live in the top floor(s) apartment, and our living room fills up the entire third floor of our house. It is nice and big, and we love it that way! But it has a strange shape to it, and therefore, we had a terrible time deciding how to arrange the furniture! The way we have it now is the best we could come up with. Here are some pictures:

You will find birds in just about every corner of my house
Maybe someday we will look into getting a giant wrap-around couch for this area
This chair was transplanted from the Ohio State room (note the color). It is insanely comfortable, and it is my cat Ellie's Favorite place to sleep.
This sign was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law, and it came form Pier 1. I absolutely LOVE it!
This was also from Pier 1 and it's hanging on the wall by the stairway leading up to our living room.

And this, which is hanging on the wall opposite of the Pier 1 picture frame, is my favorite piece of artwork in the house. It was made by my sister, and was a Christmas gift the year we got married. This will always hang in my house.

My husband made this railing because the old one was falling apart. I think he did a great job! Our house is chock full of do-it-yourself projects.

Our living room is the room in our house where we and other people spend the most time. I love it. This is our favorite place to relax and just be together.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Recipe Series

In the fall I love cooking and baking so much more than normal. I love soups, breads, apple crisp, hot mulled cider, doughnuts, and anything that tastes like pumpkin or cinnamon. I find myself busy in the kitchen a lot more during September - December than any other time of year.

I decided to share all of my favorite fall recipes throughout the following weeks and months.

I already wrote about the potato soup I made the other day.
It is not as good as my mom's, but I haven't had a chance to get her recipe, so here is the one I used. It was much better when I ate the leftovers the next day. I think from now on when I make potato soup, I will make it and just let it sit in the fridge for a day. The flavors come out so much more when they have had a chance to marry. :-)

Today I'm going to share another soup recipe. Well, sort of a recipe. I bought this harvest soup mix at White House Farms the other day.
I'm not sure of the amounts of ingredients in it, but I can tell you that the mix was about 2 lbs, and it had the following in it:

brown rice
green split peas
yellow split peas
wild rice

You let 11/2 cups of the mix simmer in 4 cups of water for an hour. Then you add:

1 c. carrots (chopped)
1 c. celery (chopped)
1 c. diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp. chicken broth mix
1/2 lb. cooked chicken, turkey, or ground beef (I always use ground beef).

And you let that all simmer for another hour. And that's it! This would obviously be easiest to make for someone who lives near White House Farm and could buy the mix. Ha! But if you don't, you could probably easily make the mix yourself.

It was so perfect to eat on a rainy, chilly, fall day like today. It's one of those soups that "sticks to you bones" as my mom would say :-)

Luke is not a fan, because he doesn't like the texture. Funny, because that is my favorite part. It is just so hearty! Luckily he is nice enough to choke down a little bit of it once or twice a year when I make it. And since he doesn't eat much if it, there are tons of leftovers, and I can bring them in my lunch for the next week or so. After eating some of this, I feel like I don't need to eat another thing for two days. It is so filling! Mmmm, just look at all that good stuff!

It was "one of those days" for me at work today due to a perfect storm that was brewing in order to totally mess up my day, pretty much. I came home and maybe, possibly had a good cry. I felt melancholy and down all evening, but this soup made it better! It's such a comfort food. Now Luke and I are staying in for the evening, I can hear the rain pouring down outside, and I have gone from a day full of stress to a time of peace. I'm telling you, this soup has healing powers.

In all honesty, the soup doesn't offer much in the flavor department. It is almost borderline bland. But you just feel good after you eat it, because it is so hearty. I personally love it. Eat the potato soup if you want something with a little more flavor!

Hopefully next week I will bake something apple-y and delicious. Like apple crisp, or apple dumplings. And sometime toward the beginning of October, I plan on having another fall cookie-baking day. Maybe I can recruit Sarah to help me this year, and it won't take such a loooong time.

Anyway, stay tuned for some delicious stuff in the weeks to come :-)