Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tasty Tuesday

This is such a great side dish and is packed with veggie-goodness!!!!

Vegetable Rice Skillet

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cups cauliflowerets
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
salt & pepper to taste

1) In a large non stick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter until tender. Add carrots; cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cauliflower, broccoli, rice and garlic. Add broth; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Long time no talk....

It's December already. And almost a month since I last posted. How does this happen?!?!?!? Nonetheless....hello again friends...

How are you? Getting into the holly jolly of it all? There is something about this time of year that still makes me feel like a little girl. The glow of a Christmas tree still does something to me. Honestly? I hope it always does.

I am trying to be very intentional this Christmas season. Intentional with my time, last year I remember 3 days before Christmas becoming panic stricken, and feeling so far behind that I wanted to curl up in the fetal position yelling make it stop!!! Really, it was pretty bad. This year I am starting early and trying my best to stay organized...hopefully this will end better for me this year.

More than that though, I am trying to be intentional with my mind...my heart. Trying so very hard not to get swept away with the crazy-ness of the constant party planning, party attending, gift buying, gift wrapping, cooking, Christmas card sending, Christmas program and plays and everything else that tends to go along with this season. Is it just me, or does it seem to be an attack from the enemy? No no, not originally. Originally we probably INTEND these things to be good, honoring the true reason of the season of our Savior's arrival. But in the end, when we get so consumed with all the "fluff" that goes on around it, can't we so easily forget? And wouldn't Satan love that? I'm not suggesting that every Christmas activity is bad...not in the slightest. I am however suggesting that we are still human beings, even in the midst of this season, don't forget this. We cannot do everything. We cannot be everwhere. And most importantly, we cannot lose sight of why this season is so beautiful.

So some practical ways that I am trying to keep my eyes on Jesus...especially during this season.

-Advent. While I was raised in a Christian home that was taught that Christmas was about Jesus from day 1, it wasn't until I was in my 20's that I even heard what advent was. It was while my husband and I were engaged that we declared that our family would pause for a moment each day to reflect on the holiness this Christmas season brings that we so often overlook. Some great resources I would suggest are easily found at

-Party Less. Okay this is a tough one...I was never and never will be what one typically considers a "party girl" as most would imagine. However...give me a party to plan any day and I will stay up all hours of the night planning menus, decorations, little gifts for the guests (home made if possible), activities, and making sure everyone I ever met is invited. Give me a party to attend and I will stay up all hours of the night to plan what to bring, a gift for the hostess, my outfit, my hair, my nails, my make up, along with back up plan A, B, and C. So as you can see, I don't do party's simple. If you can...please teach me. I for one obsess over every possible detail. So because I have this issue I have decided to party-less. I've determined that a lot of the time (read me...NOT all of the time) but a lot of the time, we plan parties around the Christmas season with friends because we don't take the time to see them throughout the year. So I've decided to spread the fun throughout the year. Why hold it all up for Christmas time? More specifically, in January when we're all bored and cold...why not party it up then?!? And you can have any theme you want! My favorite was my "Back-to Kids Night" that I had a couple of years ago. A group of young 20 somethings gathered together to be a kid again. Everything was in bright basic colors. I served cotton candy, pb&j sandwichess, ants on a log, Jello Jigglers in fun shapes, giant chocolate chip cookies and milk, and TONS of candy, and we played kid games, colored in coloring books, and watched old Disney classics all night. Funnest. Night. Ever. There were even treat bags with fake tattoos. Party less is just an idea, but I'm going with it. It's allowing me to still have all the fun planning parties I want, without taking the attention and focus I need this holiday season.

-List, list, list. I'm not even attempting to remember things. The "notes" section on my phone is full of random-ness. Even getting a piece of gum means finding small folded up notes in the gum package. Any time I think of any gift idea for anybody, I make a note. Any time I think of something I really want to do this Christmas season, I make a note. At the end of each day, I take 15 minutes and go through my notes for the day. Act on them then if i need to, or write it down on my calendar for the next day. Something else I'm sure everyone else probably does but is my first year to try (I really am trying to the organizational thing...), writing down EVERYTHING I purchase for EVERY person in my life. No matter how big or small, I write it down.

So with all this said...Happy December friends. I love this time of year, I love the hope this season brings me through the birth of my Savior.
I am humbly in awe of Him.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Confession time....I am a complete political nut. Election day is like another holiday for me. Tomorrow my sweet friends will feed this side of me by sending text messages of...Happy Election Day! The Mr. and I have spent days talking about this. I even plan an "election day" outfit. I have a dream of volunteering for a politician someday, unfortunately I've hardly ever heard of one that I could support 1000% that I would be willing to put my name on. Tonight feels strangely similar to the night before my birthday-that's how excited I am.

Beyond that, I won't go all political on you. I won't tell you who to vote for. I will urge you to pray for the guidance to know who to vote for. The wisdom to know who should hold this role in our country. But at the end of the day...I take my comfort in knowing that God is still God. No matter what the outcome of tomorrow may be, that will not change. What peace. What comfort. Even for a political nut like me.

This is what the Lord says-Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
Isaiah 44:6

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays

I don't know about you, but I love my crockpot every day of the year, but especially Halloween. It's always a crazy day around here and with all of the sweets and treats going on, it's super important not to skip dinner. So with that said, here's today's recipe for Tasty Tuesday!

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

1 30 oz. bag of cubed frozen hash browns
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 pkg. cream cheese
3 Tbsp. bacon drippings

In a crockpot dump in all your ingridients except the creaam cheese. (PS-I've never tried this, but I've heard using fat free won't work...so try the real stuff!)
Cook on low for about 7-8 hours. One hour before serving add the cream cheese. Keep it on low until it melts into the soup. Top with cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream, or crumbled bacon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting Real

As I settled into my office this morning with my coffee at hand to check my email, I had no idea the day that was about to unfold before me. Looking back, it was nothing short of divine intervention that He led me to that one email with this quote in it...

"Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." -Billy Graham

That right there, slapped me in the face. It was a wake up call to my Monday morning. The rest of the day....well it was messy. I hate to be negative, honestly I do. I want to be a light, I want to bring joy, but if I'm not genuine, then I'm nothing. Today was just a bad day. In fact, when I got off work I sent a quick text to my best girl friend that said..."have you ever had one of those bad days that seem to just gain speed with a thousand little things?" I spent my day dealing with health emergencies, people needing help, requiring my patience. I spent my day dealing with angry patients, yelling at me over circumstances out of my control. I spent my day listening to one particularly angry lady who is well known as a very "Godly lady" in our community, a pastor's wife actually, scream and yell at a coworker of mine. A coworker who's salvation I'm unsure of. I felt my heart crumble as I thought of her perception of Christians be tainted by the second. I wanted so badly to intervene and take the lady by the shoulders and scream stop stop stop it's not worth the damage!! By noon, I was ready to crawl back into bed. But instead, God reminded me of this quote. At the end of the day I can have a good cry if I want (and don't worry, I absolutely did. Ugly cry face and all.) but I cannot go back and treat people with the kindness I should've shown. I cannot rewind time and erase harsh words said out of frustration. God has called me to more than that. And praise God, He never calls us to do something that He doesn't give us the strength to do. So I promise, I will not become Negative Nancy. I will not turn this blog into a depressing complaint story. But in light of being real and genuine with you, here was my day. It wasn't so great. But...the greatest news of all, was my God was my strength. Even in the midst of tough circumstances, unexpected bad news, and difficult people, my God was still God. He was still on the throne. Thank You Jesus.


To say I was raised in church is an understatement. I was not a preacher's kid, but I was the deacon's daughter. If the doors were open, we were there. But even if they weren't, we had a key. While my sister expressed her rebellious bone and wasn't always crazy about this part of our growing up, I loved it. Honestly. The people there were my family, family that I only got to see once a week. Unless they were in my age group, then I saw them on Wednesday's too. Or the church office, which I saw almost daily. Nonetheless, I loved them. From young to old.
The girls in my age group were my best friend's growing up. They still are today. We were a group of 5 who went through everything together. We arrived early each Sunday before Sunday School to sip coffee and chit chat and giggle over our dates the night before. We spent every birthday together. We cried over mistakes together, grieved over the sins of our youth we were so ashamed over. We mourned together over losses, including one of our own who suddenly and very unexpectedly lost her life. They all stood by me as my beautiful bridesmaids as I promised my life to a wonderful man. Without church, I wouldn't have had them.
I also wouldn't have had the sweet old ladies in the pews a few down from me who insist on being my surrogate grandmothers since mine are already in heaven. They are the sweetest ladies I know, I hope to be like them one day. They truly love me, and showered me with such genorosity the weeks leading to our wedding. My favorite being the precious one who handed me a pink tool box full of tools with a note that said...Honey, a husband should share many things..but not his tools...so here are your own. It was probably one of my favorite gifts.
I never had a brother either. But the men in the church filled in there as well. When I started bringing a nice young man with me to church, I can't count the number of them that gave him a stern "talking to" in the hallways after service. Its a wonder he ever stuck around long enough to get on one knee and ask me for forever. It's something we both look back and laugh upon.
So yes, Sundays have always been my favorite. I suppose they always will be. It's the day I get to seek my Father and linger in His Presence. It's the day I get to see my extended family within those church walls. They always shower me with hugs and ask me how the newlywed life is, and I get to gush over how dreamy I think it is. These days are a blessing. Consider me grateful.

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. -Ephesians 5:1

If you live on the east coast, please know you are in my constant prayers as Hurricane Sandy draws near. He is bigger. Always.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Meal's

Confession: I have a slight obsession with my crockpot. If there was anyway to make every meal, every day of the week in a crockpot...I probably would. Growing up my mother NEVER cooked in a crockpot. I hardly knew what one was until I met my mother in law. Everytime I cook with a crockpot my mother gives me the same look she does when she finds out I made a cake with a cake mix, or a pie with a pre-made crust.
My housewife pearls are obviously fake.
But the recipe I bring tonight is one of my all time FAVS. Not only for it's crockpot beauty, but because it's pure deliciousness. It couldn't be easier AND you probably have the ingridients in your kitchen right now. Nothing weird-y going on here. Just amazing. I hope you love it has much as we do.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

3-5lb rump roast
3 cans of beef broth (You can get by with 2 here, but I've always been a more is best kind of gal. Plus, I like to have extra broth to dip the sandwiches in)
2 packets of Italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon oreagano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the 3 cans of beef broth with the dressing mixes and all the spices. (Confession #2...I never measure with this recipe. A sprinkle here and a toss there. That's how it goes.) Stir and bring this mixture to a boil. Place the roast in your crockpot and pour your mixture on it. Pop the lid on and turn it on low for 4 hours, then up it to high for another 4 hours. 1 hour before you plan to eat, remove the meat and shred with a fork, then return to the crockpot to let it finish soaking in the flavor of the broth for the last hour.
You can easily stop right there and grab a fork. But my favorite way to serve these sandwiches is on slightly toasted sub rolls, with mozzerella cheese and sauteed
green bell pepper and onion. Be sure to serve a small side of dipping broth on the side. Pretend to look the other way as your family drinks it up...it's too good not to. (Confession #3 right there.)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 months down...1000 to go.

I have officially been a "Mrs" for 3 months now. Leading up to our wedding, I was terrified. Seriously, beyond terrified. It wasn't until about 10 minutes before I walked down the aisle that my nerves were at bay , and I finally felt truly "in the moment". After so much rushing around and chaos and being surrounded my the ones I love so much, I was all alone. I was put in the backseat of a vintage car that would drive me a block to the location of our ceremony, and my family and wedding party headed on ahead of me. I was alone. Completely alone. After months of planning, stress and fears, it was me and my God, and all I could do was thank Him. For everything He had carried me through, protected me from, tear He had dried, and hurt in my heart He had healed within me that had brought me to this moment. I was overwhelmed with the most humble gratitude I've ever experienced. My mind raced back far beyond the past year of planning. Suddenly I didn't care what my hair looked like, if my flowers fell out of my bouquet (thank You Lord, they didn't), or if anyone showed up to our wedding. I was suddenly 13 years old again in my bedroom with my girlfriend daydreaming about the boys we would marry some day. Did we know them already? Were they gorgeous? What were we kidding of course they were gorgeous. Then my mind flew to being 16 years old, and dealing with my first heart break. Being a freshman in college and finding myself feeling absolutely stuck in a terribly verbally abusive relationship that was destroying everything within me, and sobbing with my face pressed into the carpet of my bedroom begging God to help me. Somehow. In between all of these memories, I spent an hour each holiday writing a letter to my future husband, praying for him, and wondering about our life together. And here, surely by the grace of God alone, He had finally brought me to this moment. All I could do was weep under my veil and say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, You are so good to me. A few minutes later I grabbed my daddy's arm, and gazed into the eyes of my beloved while committing the rest of my life to him. So 3 months later...here we are. I spent a lot of time before the wedding wondering about the after part. You know...after all the guests left, the presents started breaking, and all we had was each other and this new life to figure out. What would it be like? What if I didn't like it? Would I feel safe, or trapped? I layed awake for weeks with these questions racing though my mind. I had never been one of those girls who had to get married. In fact, in my early college years I had often told God boldly, I either want a good, Godly marriage, or I simply don't want one at all. So when God brought me my husband, I knew it. Without a doubt. I had many fears and reservations, but I knew...this was it. However, the life we would create within our family and our marriage, was up to us. It would be our choice to have a good Godly marriage. Nobody else's. The weight of that responsibility nearly overwhelmed me. About a month after we were married, I found myself wide awake next to my sleeping darling. I wandered into our living room and just sat and took it all in. I thought about all the fears I had carried with me, I thought about what a good man I had in the next room. Even on the bad days, it beat any day before him. I picked up a journal that we often write back and forth to each other in and simply wrote...You will always be the greatest risk I ever took. It's true. I hope to meet other young marrieds-or not so young marrieds thought this blog!! I beg you, pass along your tips! What's worked for you? I also hope to document all the little moments in this new life of ours, I don't want to miss a thing.