Friday, October 26, 2012

last friday night

There weren't 'too many shots', but there were good times with friends. (and there was a new delicious wine I liked, I'm pretty picky, but muscato --- yum!)
Last week Jill and I had a dinner/game night. I have all kinds of different friends groups: college, the first church I went to, the church I go to now, and then a few randoms. We invited a mix that we thought wouldn't be too many for the tiny condo and had them come over last friday. I made tacos and got to use my new platter thing for all the toppings
We made taco meat, and chicken for fajitas and black beans. I also made an apple crisp for dessert and these amazing chocolate chip cookie bars, with icecream of course.
Someday I hope I have a really nice big kitchen and hang out area so I can invite as many people as I want. We'll see, maybe when I'm making the big nurse bucks...
You can't tell from these pictures, but we really did have a great time playing Catchphrase:
This week has been busy with school. I'm feeling like all I do is study and I still am never caught up. I am looking forward to a lazy weekend (but still with studying, always studying) and a Tiger's party.
Yesterday marked 3 months divorced. Still not quite done with the name change business. They make it so hard, and I've had to do a couple things twice which is irritating. Makes me really think twice on if I would take another last name again. Well, that'd be IF I get married again, and if new husband would want me to take his name. Who knows.
Mostly I have been feeling a lot better, which I can say is ONLY because of the work Jesus has been doing in my heart. But even still there are some days of sadness just as bad as the beginning. This week has actually been a rough one. I heard something that I felt like was a complete opposite answer to prayers I've been praying for months. A teary phone call to my mom helped. She always reminds me that God IS working, we just don't know how. And she reminded me, "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
My divorce class has been on 'depression', I got this email: Guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness may be an integral part of your daily life now. The emotions themselves are not wrong, but the questions you need to ask yourself are Where will I let these emotions lead me? Will I let these feelings bring me down, or will I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus no matter what? Jesus loves you regardless of what you have done, what you look like on the outside, or what you look like on the inside. You can never do anything that will cause Him to love you less. That is amazing. That is God.
So true.
They talked about depression not being bad, or a 'sin', but a natural response to loss. And one that drives you back into Jesus' arms.
"I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss" (Lamentations 3:20 NLT).
"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us... (2 Corinthians 1:8b-10)
And shared this bible story: In the Bible, the prophet Elijah felt so depressed at one point that he wanted to end his life. "Elijah came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, LORD,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep" (1 Kings 19:4-5). But God had other plans for Elijah. God first cared for Elijah's physical needs and then directed Elijah along a new path for his life.
I kinda feel the same way. God is directing me along a new path for my life. And I keep reminding myself that even though this isn't what I wanted for my life, it happened. God can still use it, and can still use me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

things I made lately

I finished this little pumpkin hat for my friend's baby boy due anytime now. I hope he likes it!
Last week I made one of my favorites crispy chickpea bites with my friend Liz's jalapeno cilantro hummus and sweet potato fries. Everytime I make these I rue the day I gave Andrew the food processor. It was a blender/food processor combo, and I had just got my new blender so I didn't want to be piggy and keep them both. But he probably never uses it, at least the food processor part I'm sure, and now I have to use Jill's crappy mini chopper. Oh well. Maybe I'll start saving up for a food processor.
Last night I made stuffed peppers and they were SO GOOD. I found a recipe where you don't have to brown the beef first, bonus! So I just parboiled the peppers, stuffed in a meatloaf type mix, topped with sauce, and baked. They had to share a pan with some of mom's garden beets to roast, but they were amazing.
This is the recipe I used, I just used canned sauce, no need to bother with making your own. Plus it says 10 mins for prep time, no way would it only take that few minutes with finding and opening all those jars and plus you have to boil the peppers and mix the meat too. Anyway, delicious.

Friday, October 19, 2012

hard day's work

So my boss just called me at work and asked me to look up movie times for his son who is off school today. I told him his options and then (jokingly) said that he should come in and work and I'll take Nick to the movies because I wanted to see that Hotel Transylvania movie and he said I should come meet them there. I said, 'um, shouldn't I stay here and work?' and he said 'no, come meet us.'
Um, ok!
Then later tonight after work Jill and I are having a dinner and game night. That is something I really like doing, and wasn't sure how it'd be now that I'm not 'in a couple', but it seems like it's going to be fine. I'm looking forward to it and it should be fun!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Day of School

Back in April, a few days after I got the worst news of my life, I got some pretty good news. After years of wanting to get it, applying to get in, taking classes to up my gpa to get it, I got in.
I'd wanted to be a nurse probably pretty close to when I first went to college a long time ago, but I fought it. My mom is a nurse and I was worried that I was just doing it for her, or to be like her, or something. But when I kept returning to it time and time again, I decided I was really doing it for me.
I didn't tell anyone in my family that I was taking the pre-reqs or repeating a few classes to get my grades up. They weren't too bad, but a few c's makes a difference when you are competing against 4.0s. I'd heard stories of 800+ people applying for 120 spots, so I didn't want to tell anyone and then not get in and have them be disappointed. Actually my plan was to just go to school secretly the whole time and then invite them to my surprise graduation. I thought that sounded so cool. However, that was a little bit crazy, and as my bf Liz accused me of- 'double life-ish'. Plus then this year was turned upside-down and I needed more support and help with everything!
So today was my first day.
I got to class and saw a girl that I liked from my micro-biology class, so that was nice. I'm praying for a Christian friend in my program. I was talking to my sister last night and just saying how hard it is to make friends as an adult. I am a quieter person and it sometimes takes me weeks to open up, and usually by then people have written you off. I will be spending the next 2 years with this cohort of students and I'd like to walk away with some good friends and memories.
Anyway, I sit down and realize I forgot my notebook. But luckily we had handouts to write on and watched videos and practiced with sterile gloves and gowning up.
I survived my first day! Only 2 years minus one day left :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

weekend update

What a good weekend. Book club Friday night, my friend Courtney hosted. She is becoming famous for her cupcakes and they didn't disappoint. Chocolate malt cupcakes. Usually I don't like malt, but they were good. The frosting was uh-mazing. Saturday I went for a run, hadn't done that since the triathalon but it went good. And enjoyed some Red River for breakfast.
Little buddy wanted some.
But he didn't get any.
(LOVE those fall colors!)
In the afternoon Jill and I went and met my cousin to go contra-dancing. I guess a group of students at U of M host a contra-dance each month. It was Jill's first time and she loved it, I knew she would. I haven't met anyone yet who has tried it and not liked it. Then saturday night we had tickets to the theatre, we saw Haunting of Hill House.
It's about a house that is itself haunted. Jill got me season theatre tickets for my birthday, and the last one we saw was a rollarskate musical Xanadu which was really entertaining and funny. Now, I don't want to say this one was terrible. But.. I knew I wasn't going to really like it pretty much from the beginning where one actress was like "my name is Theodora, just Theodora" (but annoyingly pronounced Theo-DOOR-uh) as she swaggered and swayed all over the stage. One thing that bugs me about the theatre is everything is so exaggerated. I guess that's the whole point really. So, maybe I am a more movies person. At least those people act like normal people not so dramatic all the time. Maybe I'm just not 'cultured' enough - we'll see at the end of the season if I've changed my mind!
Sunday was church, cleaning the condo, and cooking. I made a lot of stuff on Sunday. For lunch I made more butter chicken
With broccoli and peppers. So good. As usual. I also baked a batch of Red River muffins for work snacks. No use posting the recipe since no one else probably even has Red River. But they are good. My mom says my dad fell in love with her for her Red River muffins. And for dinner I made another favorite Crispy Chickpea Bites with sweet potato fries. Yum.
Jill and I finished our Downton Abbys. Nooo! Now we have to wait till January for season 3 to start. But I have really liked this show. Good times.

Friday, October 12, 2012

easy day

Yesterday was a super easy day at work. My boss took me out to lunch at his favorite Mexican restaurant, aka my new favorite Mexican restaurant. At least my favorite one in this state. My #1 favorite is 3 Margaritas in CO, and my #2 favorite is Guerro's Taco Bar in TX... anyway, it is nice to finally have a favorite in my own state!
We got back to the office and pretty soon he called me into his office to watch youtubes. Ok, if you want to pay me to watch and give my two cents on your favorite U2 songs that's fine with me. Haha.
Then it was back to work, but it is really nice having a fun relaxed boss.
Last week I was supposed to host the girl's Captivating book study. I got stuff in the crock pot in the morning before work and stayed up the night before to make cookies for dessert. Salted Mudslide Cookies. These cookies were a group effort, they needed coffee liqueur, and I mentioned at work I wasn't sure what that was. One of the other girls, after teasing me, said she could bring me in some so I didn't have to go buy any. How nice!
the dry ingredients
the wet ingredients
all mixed up
pretty tasty!
I didn't end up hosting the next day because one girl got sick and we decided to reschedule. So instead Jill and I ate the dinner and some cookies ourselves and watched some Downton Abby :) and I took the cookies to work and small group. It all worked out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Laaast cousin's wedding (of 2012)

The trip to Rhode Island was to celebrate my last cousin getting married, this year anyway. There is only 1 planned so far for 2013, but we'll see! Everyone is getting to 'that age' so I'm sure they will be rolling in fast. I always wanted to try and make it to as many cousing weddings as I could. I'm glad I went to this one, I was the only cousin representing! But it was a really good time with my mom, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. I love my family.
Another wedding, no tears, success. It was a pretty quick ceremony. Their pastor did things a little strange, he didn't even say, "I now pronounce you man and wife" which I specifically remember since our pastor made a huge deal of how that was his favorite part of performing weddings. He said he loved being able to speak something into being. So I noticed when this guy didn't do it, he just was like 'go greet your guests'... mmmmm... ok, but we clapped and cheered anyway and it was beautiful. Some pics from the day:
They had this reading during the ceremony, I expected bible verses but they read a passage by Anne Morrow Lindberg from "The Gift of the Sea":
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
I'm not sure how I feel about this quote. It's kind of nice, I think there is some truth to it. I did not like at all the second part of the quote so I left it out. Anyway, I definitely put more weight on what God says about marriage; that it's to make us holy, not necessarily happy (all the time at least). God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. Marriage is for the purpose of sanctifying one another, for mutual sanctification and becoming one with another.
I thought I was pretty prepared when I went into my marriage, it's a hard thing feeling like you did everything 'right' and it still ended up like this. I remember crying to my mom about that once, but I do feel that I can look back and feel that even though it ended anyway, I don't have regrets and I can be proud of doing things God's way. I have learned so much. And God has been faithful.
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself... O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you. Psalm 89:2,8
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rhode Trip

gah - puns.
Last weekend was the trip to Rhode Island to my cousin's wedding. I haven't been to Rhode Island since I was 18 or 19, so I was excited to get back there.
We left Thursday morning and went up through Canada, through New York, Massachusetts and then down thru Rhode Island.
I made one purchase in Canada:
My favorite hot cereal, Red River! Last year when we went through Canada it had been recalled for not listing 'possible soy' ingredients, but now it was back on the shelves. Yay! I've got to get a glass container so it's not vulnerable to pantry moths again with it's cardboard box flap top design. But I'm excited.
I worked on my hat project for my friend's new baby coming soon:
The fall colors were so beautiful through Michigan, Canada and New York. But they hadn't quite made it further east yet. I guess I didn't really get any good shots, my window pictures were blurry.
My uncle took us out for a sail the day before the wedding. Jamestown is an island so we sailed around the Narragansett Bay between Jamestown and Newport.
Mom: "I'm a sailor! I sail!"
We sailed around for awhile and then got lunch downtown and walked around the town:
fancy schmancy fire stations
Mom, Aunt Jeanne and I went to Newport and walked on the coast walk by fancy old expensive houses
It wasn't exactly how I remember it as a kid, but it was still beautiful and a good walk!