A-Z Thankful List

Friday, November 28, 2008

So my friend Vicky did this on her blog (which was inspired by one of her friends) and I liked the idea so much that I had to copy it. It's a little late, but I didn't see the post until yesterday. Here goes...

Art supplies
I love creating. Painting, sketching, crafting. I love visual representation of people's ideas. That's why it would be very hard for me to live without my art supplies.

I read all the time. The perfect day for me would be hours upon hours of reading. I couldn't live without books in my life. During one particular 6 month period in 2005, I read 170 books. I was in a job that basically gave me a ton of down time to do what I wanted and the best way to occupy myself was to bring along a book. I read almost one a day during that period

I think it's pretty obvious by now that I like to take pictures. It would be impossible to overstate the joy it gives me to see God's world through the lens of a camera.

Drama-free living
Drama sucks. I will not get pulled into it and consciously live my life in a way that has no room for it. I surround myself with people who act the same way and have very much purposefully removed sources of drama from my life. There is no need for it and I will not allow myself to participate in it.

I love checking out what people are making these days by logging onto etsy.com. I get inspired by their creativity and enjoy the eye candy.

They're great. 'nuff said.

I've been known to say that if I could marry Google, I would. I love their search capabilities, maps, documents, notebooks, and most of all Gmail! I ADORE all things Google!

Honeycrisp apples
Ever since March, I have been eating an apple a day. I used to hate apples but forced myself to eat them since they kept coming to us in our box of produce from the farm. I quickly learned to love them and when the honeycrisps came into season late August, I have been eating them solely. I refuse to compromise and will pay the extra amount of money for the bestest apple in the world! Jess and I have actually gone through an entire box of "seconds" from an apple farm and are starting on the second box. I don't know how I'll survive when they are gone!

I think I've mentioned this here and here.

The best roommie a girl could ask for. We're on our 7th year together and have our routines down perfectly. I don't know how we'll survive when we surely move apart some day.

I think I have made it abundantly clear that I love to cook. LOVE to cook. I would be super sad if I didn't have a kitchen to make everything in.

It's where the magic happens. Emailing, editing photos, researching recipes, blogging. My little lappy and I are great friends.

I love coffee. Mochas or a caramel latte are my usuals. I always have to do decaf though because my body doesn't handle caffeine well. And I always get an 8 oz, which is so small that most places (including Starbucks) don't even have it as an option on their menu. Those of us in the know however, order these little cups of heaven that are just the perfect size. Strong, bold flavor.

Nissan Sentra
My car, Arnold. He is currently in the shop (bad fuel pump) and I have been driving my dad's car for a week now. I really truly miss Arnie. He's the cutest and most reliable man I've got in my life right now. We'll be reunited on Sunday and I'm counting down the days!

Is it ok that I used him earlier for Inauguration? Because I really am that excited about him. I'm sorry if I keep talking about him, but he's totally my President crush.

I have basically taught myself Photoshop. I edit photos with it and have recently experimented with designing various print forms. I made my Christmas cards with it and will be sharing those with you soon.

I like to be funny. I like people who are funny too.

A wonderful color. Maybe my favorite right now? I can't be sure. But it makes me happy to have red around me.

It really is a blessing to be able to do what I want when I want. I am loving this stage of my life and the abundant blessings there are associated with it. Don't get me wrong, I want the marriage and kids too, but I am reveling in the great place God has me at the moment.

I think I talk about "The Farm" way more than a person should. But I love it. Our weekly box of produce is such a treat.

Ugly Betty
This tv show is quirky, fun, and makes me sigh inside. I have recently stayed up late the past few nights catching up on it and adore the way Daniel and Betty interact. Seriously, I just sighed. Out loud.

Vocal cords
I don't know how many of you know this, but I love to sing. I did various choirs throughout high school and also helped lead worship at my church. I haven't really done anything with singing since then, but am thankful that my church has a long worship time so that I can sing to my heart's content. It does my soul good.

I am blessed to have work. And moreso, a job that I like in a company that I like. Many people aren't so fortunate.

This was a total stretch, but my blog uses XML for the template. So I guess I have to be thankful for it.

I help lead an awesome group of high school girls! My GO Girls Only Group is seriously some of the most fun I have every week. I love listening to them and hearing what's going on in their worlds. I love my girls!

Zany antics
I am all about spontaneity and doing stupidly dorky things. I will freely admit that I am a dork, but will maintain that I have more fun than someone who is on the more proper end of things. Really, why would someone want to behave all the time?

What. Are. The. Odds!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So remember this post? The one just three days ago where I erroneously thought I woke up late? The one that made my heart start racing and my adrenaline flowing? The one I was so thankful was just a false alarm?

Well think again, because IT. REALLY. HAPPENED!!!

Yesterday morning I managed to sleep through not one, but two alarms! I always set two alarms (it's a system I have-- too long to explain) so that I am guaranteed to wake up. Apparently in my sleep I must have turned them off and not realized what I had done. I pried my eyes open a little after 6:20 and panicked when I saw that I had exactly 10 minutes until I had to leave. For the second time in several days, I jumped out of bed, running full speed around my room. I was almost doing laps in my haste to get ready. I decided to prioritize my needs and firmly believed a shower was in order. Again, the hair wasn't looking so hot. Generally it doesn't.

I will gladly announce here that I am quite proud of myself for being damn good at getting ready under pressure. I managed to take a shower, get dressed, brush my teeth, do my hair (minus drying it, which would have taken 20 minutes itself-- no joke) grab my lunch and breakfast for the road in UNDER 10 MINUTES! Yes people, I am good.

However, to be fair, one of my friends pointed out that this success may not count because I had a practice run just a couple days prior. I still maintain though that I did an excellent job. I may have known to not waste time throwing off my pajamas and putting them back on before exiting my room, but that small advantage didn't gain me more than a minute. I would have still been right at 10 minutes even with that penalty time added.

You may applaud now. I know you're dying to.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Framed Flowers

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I just found these in a random folder on my computer. Since the days of copious amounts of free flowers from The Farm are long gone for us, I thought I would share these to make the time until next summer a little more bearable. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE fall, I just wish we could still have fresh flowers every week. Where's a boy to bring me some when I need them?

Farm Flowers

Farm Flowers

Farm Flowers

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo

I know I'm getting a little wild with the posts this weekend. Is this my 5th? 6th? I don't know, but I don't care. I'm making up for the weeks of silence from me. I don't know why I didn't write to you all, I just didn't do it. But I'm back now. And wanting to grace you with a simple delicious dish that should make you long for days of picking cilantro at The Farm. Oh wait, that's me.

Anyway, pico de gallo is all things I love, especially the lime and cilantro combination. Seriously makes my mouth do a happy dance when those flavors hit it. If I ever ate this while doing my jog-walk, you'd better watch out. I might just win every talent show you've ever seen.

This recipe is extremely forgiving. I have adopted it as my own from a conglomeration of several recipes. No need to be exact by any means. It is great as a sala for chips, on eggs for breakfast, or with any sort of Mexican food. Or really any food for that matter.

Pico de Gallo

Typically, you can just use one part tomatoes (seeded) to one part onion to one part cilantro. Throw in some minced jalapeno and juice from a lime and you're done. Chill for several hours in the fridge for even better flavor. Or, if you're like me, dig right in because you're too impatient.

10 Roma tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 bunch cilantro
1/2-1 jalapeno
1 small lime, juiced

Cut each tomato in half widthwise. You will need to get rid of all of the seeds (my favorite part of the recipe). Just stick your finger in the hole where the seeds are and they will squirt out. Make sure you're wearing an apron or are very careful to not squirt yourself. After seeding the tomatoes, finely chop and set in a bowl.

Finely chop the onion and add to the tomatos. Cut the cilantro leaves from the stems and roughly chop, adding to the bowl. Seed and chop the jalapeno (you may want to wear gloves to prevent the oils from making your hands burn) and add to the bowl with the lime juice. Stir, and you're done! Chill 2-4 hours for best flavor.

Meatloaf Love

Meatloaf & Yams

I always feel somewhat ashamed to admit I like meatloaf. I don't know why I feel the shame, but it's always felt like a bit of a taboo food to me. I know it's all in my head. I know I'm being silly. I know meatloaf is normal and acceptable. But it still doesn't feel right to me.

Still, I luuuuuuurve meatloaf. If I could marry a comfort food, it would be meatloaf. So meaty and hearty and strong. He smells good too. And you can really craft him into whatever you want him to be. Meatloaf doesn't start out as one thing and ask you to love him as is. Oh no, there is plenty of room for experimentation and change. He does it willingly. He's a good food. Warm and tasty. That's why I'd marry him.

Still, until the day it becomes legal to marry your food, I think I'll just stick to eating him. And not in THAT way... get your mind out of the gutter. This is thus far my favorite way of crafting meatloaf. I don't think I'm completely done tweaking the recipe, but I'm going to post it anyway because I want you to experience the same love that I have. I'm really a lucky woman, you see, and want to share some of it with you all. Meatloaf love is a rich, heady, dizzyingly wonderful love. I wish you all the same happiness that I have.

I served this with cubed yams mixed with olive oil and Ras el Hanout spice mix (Moroccan) that I make myself. I put the yams in the oven with the meatloaf and stirred every 20 minutes. They were done when the meatloaf was finished.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
1 small onion
1-2 celery stalks
2-3 garlic cloves
2 eggs
2/3 cup ketchup, divided in half
1 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Worscestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
dash salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Finely chop onion, celery, and garlic. I use a food processor to save time. Mix all ingredients together with your bare hand, reserving 1/3 cup ketchup. Pat mixture into a loaf pan. Pour remaining ketchup over the top. Cook in oven for approx 1 hour, until no longer pink in the middle.

False Alarm

I wish you guys could be me for a day so that you could see how absolutely ridiculous I am. Until that is a possibility, I just have to tell you stories and let you imagine it.

This morning I was having a not so pleasant dream about a big storm and fire that were rocking the area. For some reason, I was with my dad and siblings and we had to evacuate the house. We went to some vacation rental/store that had a lot of couches for us to sleep on. We all fell asleep late that night. I woke up the next morning, looked at the clock, and realized that I was hours late for work. For those of you who know me, you understand that I am never late. Ever. I think it's plain rude. I panicked in my dream and started rushing around trying to figure out how I was going to get to work.

At this point, I woke up in real life and rolled over in bed to go back to sleep. That's when I noticed that my clock said 6:40, which is 10 minutes past the time I normally leave for work. My heart leaped in my chest and I lurched out of bed, running on pure adrenaline. I ran to turn on the light, threw off my pajamas and started scrambling in my closet for clothes for work, all the while rehearsing what I was going to say when I called in to say I was going to be late to work. I then caught a glimpse of my hair in the mirror and literally said out loud to myself, "Sh*t, I have to take a shower!" I start to dash for the door to my room when I realized that I had to put something on in case Jess happened to be in the hallway at that moment. I shot back to my pj's, quickly pulled them on, not caring that they were backwards and inside out. Fully covered at that point, I run back to my door and have my hand on the knob when I come to the realization that today is SUNDAY! Sunday! As in sleep in day. As in lay in bed all morning reading day. As in I don't have to set the freakin' alarm because I don't have to get up day!

There was no way I was getting back to sleep after working myself into such a tizzy. I crawled back into bed (after adjusting my pajamas) and have been reading and emailing all morning. I would also like to make a side note for those of you concerned about my apparent lack of church going. My church offers a Saturday night service in addition to several on Sunday morning. I tend to go to the Saturday night one so that I am able to lay in bed on Sundays. I love my lazy mornings. Assuming they aren't started at a freakishly early hour by my ridiculous mind. Don't you wish you were me?

So True

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I don't normally post many videos on here, but I saw this one and had to post my second for the day. Seriously true!

Oh. My. Word.

My favorite part is around 4:20 when they start really getting into it... Strip grandma, strip!

Freak of Nature

Thursday, November 20, 2008

That's me all right. Uncoordinated klutz who's everyday stories are ridiculous yarns spun only from the truth. Which brings me to last night...

I was up late working on designing my Christmas card for this year (more to come on that soon). I went to bed around 11:30, which anyone can tell you is definitely late for me. I fell asleep quickly but was woken an hour later by my body violently choking... on my own spit. That's right people, I somehow managed to inhale spit while I was sleeping and thank the Lord that he created a good cough reflex. I coughed and I sputtered. I sat up in bed and gasped for air. I reached for the glass of water always at the ready on my bedside (for such emergencies) and gulped half of it down. I calmed down some but my heart was still racing and I was still coughing, so I got up and made myself tea and watched an episode of Pushing Dasies. Which is actually something I might have been doing, thanks to my unruly spit. Lame joke, I know.

I went back to bed and fell asleep again. I woke two hours later with a sharp pain shooting down my leg. This was definitely no charlie horse. Oh no, it felt like my leg had gone past falling asleep, past any sort of cramping, and had decided to instead stage a mutiny from my body. Instinctively in my sleep addled brain I somehow knew that I had to get blood moving to my leg. I threw myself over the side of my bed, picked myself up off the floor, and proceeded to jog-walk in place next to my bed. My eyes stayed closed to allow myself the denial that I was truly awake but my racing heart told no lies. The more I jog-walked, the better my leg felt but the more my hope of sleep left me. I plopped back in bed and tried valiantly to slumber for the next hour before my alarm went off, but occasionally my leg would twinge up and I would have to shake it around in bed to get it to stop. That's right, I was like a sleeping dog last night who dreams of catching his rabbit and acts it out with leg twitches.

So I sit here in my reading chair right now, tired beyond belief, yet trying to delay the inevitable bedtime. I don't know what tonight will bring and I somewhat dread the stories I may have to tell you tomorrow. So until then, I bid you goodnight. I'm off to practice safe sleep.

Did I Mention?

Monday, November 10, 2008

That I'm going to the Inauguration?


Um, still really excited here.

In case you couldn't tell.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jess and I bought plane tickets tonight... to go to the Inauguration in January!

I'm so excited I can't sleep!

Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama won!

Jess and I both cried at McCain's concession speech. Heartfelt and class act.

Then we cried at Obama's acceptance speech. Trite and cliche, but for the first time in our lives we are actually proud to be Americans.

Obama is not the answer to all of our problems, but he is a start. God has provided and will continue to provide for us, our country, and our world. Regardless of who is in office. I am excited that he chose Obama this time. How great is our God!

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