Monday, March 31, 2014

cultured weekend

This weekend Doug and I were very cultured and refined.
Friday night to the DSO with my parents and aunt, uncle and cousin that were in town. They did a wonderful job playing terrible pieces, we only liked the first and last songs.
And then Saturday we spent all day together (which is rare because I usually work and/or am studying)
Saturday morning started out with me making this breakfast fail for Doug. My favorite vegan blog girl described this carrot cake baked oatmeal as "almost thinking it was the real thing"... um, no. You have obviously never tasted my mom's delicious carrot cake, or I'm guessing any carrot cake at all. I didn't like it at all, and ended up making him toast and pineapple. Haha
Jill said she didn't mind it, but Doug said "thank you for not making me eat that".
Anyway, on to our day together. First we went to the DIA. I am much more a science girl than arts girl, but we had fun. I texted this picture to a girl in my nursing class of an example of a baby with microcephaly (small head):
oohhh, nurse humor
Then we went to Slow's again, mmmm
This sandwich is the meaning of true love
Slow's is right by the old train station
Doug thought the best picture of us would be from standing on top of his jeep
Then we went to visit a friend of his and her daughter's new baby. Very sweet. And then went back to the condo hang out a bit. I made him these very tasty pretzels (from Aldi in like a crescent roll tube)
And I had to stop him from eating my whole block of cheese
Sunday was church at Doug's church, then up to my parents for lunch with them and my cousin Amy who was still in town. We went for a family walk in the sunshine (finally!) and introduced Doug to the wonderful world of the Sound of Music. We also skyped with my brother, his wife, and gorgeous baby girl who is growing up so fast. It was a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

foods and cars

I've been in the kitchen more this last week since I just started a new semester and have either had the quiet before the storm, or the feeling of total overwhelmedness, that I just walk away and make dinner.
Made my favorite salmon recipe for Doug and I one night
I also made a big batch of banana flax oatmeal chocolate chip walnut muffins for work/school snacks, I just used a recipe I googled and they turned out pretty good
One perk of a dog in the home is help with accidental spills. The other day I was filling my oats jar and spilled a pile on the floor, and as I stood mustering up the energy to get out the vacuum, little Becks trotted over and took care of it for me. Thank you!
I gave girl whose blog recipes I'm on the fence about lately another try, and made her Chili Garlic Beef Stir Fry.
You know, cutting up beef is not nearly as gross as cutting up chicken to me for some reason
I didn't realize but it said to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.... how about 5 minutes and then fry in the marinade sauce?
(that pile of peppers? $1. Thank you poor-old-little bit-wrinkly rack!)
It was tasty. Not life changing, but good.
The real highlight of meals this week were these croutons I made tonight. Oh. My. Gosh. Heaven's streets will be lined with these. (My thighs) curse my friend Rachel for introducing them to me in their oily, garlic-salty goodness.
Warning, do not make these when you're home alone or you will eat the whole pan. And your poor little dog will risk 3rd degree roof-of-his-mouth burns when lunging four times at a spilled crouton.
So that's it for meals this week. I received that Oh She Glows (my favorite food blog girl's) cookbook as a gift, and I promptly bought one for my friend Liz for her bday. She suggested we do a Julie & Julia and take turns making all the recipes in the book. I suggested she cooks and I eat and blog about it.... she didn't go for it. Haha, but we will probably start doing some of those soon. Yay!
And in car news, on the 1 week anniversary of having my car....
Flat tire.
I was actually driving to school and hearing a strange fwaap fwaaap fwap sound coming from the back and thinking "what's wrong now?!" and get to school and see it's flat. Good thing I have the roadside assistance, the guy came and put on my spare for me. And also good thing I had 3 tires from my last focus, so the next day I just had one of my old tires put on.
And when Dad called me to ask how my tire situation was coming, I commented that I hadn't done a great job of checking out the car in the lot. There is so much stuff to think about and questions to ask, it didn't really sink in that the radio station wasn't really coming in. I just chalked it up to being in a different city and not knowing what their stations were. Turns out my antenna was broken! How does that even happen!? So I was telling Dad and the next day I get a call and he said he made a bunch of calls and had one on order from Ford. Then the next day he calls and says it came in and can he come over and install it. Yes please! What service! So today he came and installed the new base. (I still have to buy the actually antenna part)
Bonus: getting rid of that old crumpled up spider carcass from behind the light :)
Dad explaining where the things screw in to
There it is all ready for a new antenna and to start picking up some tunes!

Monday, March 24, 2014

baby thoughts

Today I go into clinical in the afternoon, and I stayed up late last night studying ALL DAY and updating my passwords with keepass so I don't get hacked (thx Joel!)- so this morning I lazed in bed a bit and read some blogs. I started to read my favorite food blog girl's blog, and see a pregnancy announcement. I was excited for her, I've been reading her blog for about 3 years now, and even though she blogs mostly about her delicious recipes and not so much about her life, I guess you still kinda imagine bloggers as your friends and you get curious about their lives. So I was excited to see that.
At the same time it just made me think about my life. I've wanted to be a wife and mom as long as I can remember. And while I have grown A TON in this aread and realize that's not my "purpose" in life, it's still something I hope for. I always dreamed I'd graduate from college, get married, have several years going on trips with my husband and establishing our marriage, and then have 3 kids. .... Instead my life has been very different from those young dreams. It's taken me forever to decide on a career, I'll now graduate at 33 and will still go right back for my RN -> BSN, I never ever planned on a divorce, and who knows if I will be even able to have children.
Before I start sounding too depressing, I do want to say I am thankful for the lessons God has taught me through this life. This life that isn't how I imagined, but it's surprising, and blessed, and beautiful to see how God has brought me through pain and sorrow and continues to lead me and show me how much He loves me.
(Read these verses while listening to this awesome song they played yesterday at my church baptism Sunday, (and praise God for 11 people who decided to give their lives to Jesus!!!))
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6-7
I was also thinking about the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 about how God has good plans for us, (which I know is true), but it one of the most often mis-used verses. That verse was specifically for His people Israel after the Babylonians sacked the city, and God promised restoration to those people - BUT on His timetable, not theirs, and probably not in the way they were hoping for. This is a beautiful verse of God loving and taking care of His people, but I need to be careful not to read it as God the vending machine doling out gifts. Please read this article which is much more eloquent and clear than I will ever be. And I will also quote a paragraph here:
With that in mind, it's noteworthy that God speaks in Jeremiah 29:13–14 and says, “You will find me, if you seek me with all your heart … and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you.” The blessing (the restoration) is directly tied to being in right relationship with God. And being in right relationship flows from seeking “with all your heart.”
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Thursday, March 20, 2014


(Doug... if you're out there... don't read this one)
So last summer, after waiting a year for the divorce to be final, and after months in my divorce class, hours and hours of talking with Stan over the year and a half, and after reading several dating/relationship/divorce books, (not to mention hours and hours of prayers!), I decided to try and start dating again. A friend sent me a link to something she had heard on Focus on the Family, I wish I could post the link, but I don't think it will work. (it is A Fresh Look at Dating parts 1 & 2 and aired on 8/13-14/13). Anyway, I listened to it several times actually, and read a lot of their articles on dating/marriage, and it did change some of the way I looked at dating. I shared this last year, and I'll share it again now as I can see it in action with Doug now.
"A New Standard"
What's needed is a new, objective standard for what makes a good match, because, for a Christian woman, there are some non-negotiables for choosing a mate. Thankfully we have a standard that's completely reliable.
- A man must be a believer. - He must be able and willing to provide for his family. - He must love sacrificially. - He must be honest, have a good reputation and strive for the qualities of a spiritual leader. (See Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.)
If you're measuring a man against that list, considering his aptitude for growing into full maturity in those areas, then marrying him is praiseworthy. Even if he is shorter than you. Or younger. Or bald. Failing to meet our worldly expectations — our romantic shopping list — is no liability if he meets biblical ones. That's the only list that matters."
Wow. There it was. A very short checklist - but so important.
I've never been much of a 'dating for fun' type person, because it's not fun to start getting emotionally involved and then have to break up with someone you now like, but never should have started dating anyway. Not fun at all. So I was super cautious getting back into dating. But within weeks of talking with Doug, I knew that he was someone I *could* marry based on the simple fact that he meets this list.
Yesterday he came with me to meet Stan. Stan said sometime last year that when I started dating again he wanted to meet that person. I was at the time thinking that I'd never date anyone ever again and would die an old lonely divorcee. I never thought I'd meet someone that I actually wanted to share life with again. So yeah, the meeting went good. I told Stan I was feeling really good about Doug and I, but not so good about what I'm thinking other people will think. He reminded me that only I know the journey I've been on, he said that he, and friends and family played different roles of being on the sidelines cheering me on, "come on Anne- you're almost there!" (I started crying when he said that), but that it was me walking this road. And again, oh my gosh, I'm just so thankful for where God has brought me and how good He has been. It's incredible.
But man oh man, being open and vulnerable is scary. Even if it is with someone safe. After the counseling we had a lot of good talks, but several times I was crying and having to sort through how I was feeling. It still feels kind of scary. I'm not going to share everything... but he prayed for me (inducing more tears), and it brought back a memory of him telling me a couple dates in how he was praying God would use him in my healing. And I remember thinking that was sweet, but unnecessary- God was healing me just fine and didn't need a helper. I still believe that, but actually, I can see now God is using him to heal me as well. It's pretty awesome.
And then I get home and see a note he mailed me
Gosh I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

food and bdays

I found this old celery in the back of the fridge:
Jill has a trick to wrap them (when fresh) in foil to stay crisp longer, but a bucket of water and capillary action also works wonders:
TA-DA!!! (a few days later)
The perfect studying snack
Apples and pb, and ants on a log (nevermind those ants are really chopped up valentines day truffles and not something healthy like cranberries)
Also this week I made beef stroganoff. It was the meal that almost wasn't. I'd been planning on making it for awhile, but when I was cooking I saw that I didn't have any frozen peas. (luckily Jill had some broccoli that needed using) and when I reached for the sour cream, I saw that it was really an old container filled with (now very old) lentil soup Rachel had made for me and stuck in a deceiving sour cream container. Nooo! But then in the far recesses of the fridge did I find some sour cream leftover from taco night (also kinda old, but still smelled fine!). So beef stroganoff cooking could continue.
Pretty much I just loosely go off of a recipe I googled.
I realize it may not photograph that well, but sooo tasty. (and thank you Doug for your pantry-cleaning-out-noodles!)
The last few years I have been unable to celebrate my parents March birthdays with them, but this year, I got to do both! Last week during the car craziness I was up at my parent's and celebrated my dad's, and then this week Mom invited Doug and I up to celebrate hers.
Dad grilled steak, we had salad, and one of her friends dropped off a very tasty pasta salad and carrot cake. And I made chocolate dipped strawberries, mmmm. We got to celebrate with her and watched the pilot episode of Season 1 Downton Abbey that she finally decided to join the rest of the world in watching and received for her birthday.
Also, I had another opportunity to practice on my pincushion, I mean boyfriend. So my boss at work told me I will never be able to start an IV while only a nurse tech, but I had already brought the needles home to practice and had a willing victim. And on my 5th try, I finally got some blood! Although I still failed because I think I hit a valve and couldn't thread the needle. And then when I went to take out the catheter it started gushing blood and I panicked and started yelling until mom just told me to remember to take off the tourniquet. It's very exciting these IV starts I guess. I better not ever work anywhere with gushing blood.

Monday, March 10, 2014

new wheels

Well finally money from Progressive and picked up the new car with mom today.
Gosh this has been such a frustrating experience. The guy at the used car lot told me that insurance companies always give you a bare bones total when they tell you how much they'll pay for your totaled car. Did not know that. He said they probably would have came up $1500. That would have been nice to know! So for anyone in the future who has a totaled car= don't take their first offer!
My new car is pretty similar to the old one, but was not nearly as nice inside, just spent an hour cleaning gunk off the windows and dash. There is no traction control, I think a bit worse gas milege, and no floor mats. But the good part is it has a working CD player (my old one had just quit) and it has 36k less miles so should last awhile. And it is in decent shape.
Worst case, come summer or when there are more cars on the market I could sell it and look for one more comparable to mine, but maybe this one will have grown on me by then.
We'll see. I'm thankful I can stop bumming rides for awhile and for all mom and dad's help!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A few of my favorite things...

No word from Progressive on my car yet, like my mom said, they may have low prices, but what really matters is how quick they are at helping you! Maybe should think about switching next time. So anyway, the ride sharing and sleeping at other people's houses continue. But I am thankful for people helping me!
It also has been nice to see my parents more and spend some time at home with them. The other day I went home and Mom and I exercised to:
I found this record at Goodwill like 10 years ago, then a few years later, I realized a book went with it (not just hopping around figuring out what she is describing), so I got that for my birthday one year. Pretty much you play this record while flipping pages detailing the exercises in the book and exercising along. But I love it! It's a good workout, I love the 70s music and I love Jane's encouraging voice. I really like her and she was the fitness queen of her day. Her book tells the backstory of her journey to health and I really like that too. Isn't she so cute and peppy in her little leotard?! I think she's like 40-something there, total fitness role model.
Other good things, I found this favorite childhood movie at walmart
Doug watched it with me and he bought me some icecream
mmm... moose tracks... a true test of our relationship: can he handle me digging out all the chunks?? Passed. Or at least he didn't complain :) I think it helps he told me his favorite flavor is vanilla, perfect, since the chunk-less vanilla portion of the icecream I buy usually ends up in the disposal.
Then I came back to the condo after several days I see a package for me, and it's this:
The cookbook of my favorite blog girl cook! (Thanks Jochelle!!!) Flipping through it doesn't have a lot of my very favorite (which is fine because they already were printed and made it into my favorite recipes binder) but it does have a lot of new delicious looking things which I am excited to try!
Also in my mail pile was this note
Awww! I really do feel loved!

Monday, March 3, 2014

my car :(

So Saturday I went up to my parents to have some quiet time and study, and Sunday morning I left to meet Doug at his church. It had snowed, but the roads were ok. I was not 3 miles from their house headed south when I could see one of the side roads and this SUV that was blowing thru his stop sign and headed right towards me not even hardly turning. I had a second to think about swerving, but there was really no shoulder, just a big snowy embankment, and then - WHAM he hit me. Next thing I knew I was tilted in my car, smelling some weird burning smell and saw that my side airbag went off. I got my phone off the floor and started to climb out when two arms were reaching over to help me climb out. There were these 2 young guys and he's apologizing to me and saying it was all his fault. What do you say to that, um, yes, it was. Thanks for not stopping at that stop sign. So I first texted Doug not to save me a seat at church and called the police.
I felt fine, and the boys were ok, but I was worried about my exam the next day and worried about my car.
The policeman came and could instantly tell what happened. He had me go sit in his warm car and when he came back, he asked me how many points I wanted the guy to get. I was surprised to hear that. I found out the guy was 20, so I didn't want his life to be ruined, but now a day later when I'm going through the headaches of endless calls with my insurance and being stranded and had to go get x-rays just to make sure ok so I don't get screwed later, I wish I would've been less nice about it. I mean, this all could have been avoided if he had just stopped. What the heck was he thinking?? I could have been really hurt.
So then it turns out that the boy was the son of a family from my parents church, they didn't recognize me, but I knew the mom when she drove over. The cop was like 'oh no, not this lady' so he somehow knew her. Small world.
Later my mom told me she checked that lady's facebook and she had posted "glad my son was safe from the accident early today... if that girl's car had been earlier or later... etc" and my mom commented "I'm glad they were ok too since that girl was my daughter". I wish she would have wrote the accident that HER SON CAUSED, instead of making it seem like it was my fault. That bothered me a lot. If I was a second earlier or later her dumb son wouldn't have hit me at all. OR if he stopped at stop signs, again, totally avoided. Irritating.
Doug left church and came to get me. Here was what he saw when he drove up:
There's my car way over on the embankment. The cop said there was no way the other guy hit me hard enough to push me way over there from a stopping position.
And here's the damage:
So yeah, now I'm stranded and my parents are carpooling to loan me a car to get to clinicals, and Doug's offering to take me to work 25+ miles out of his way, while this guy drove off in his parent's SUV and probably just got his xbox privileges taken away for a week. Well, and a 2 point ticket.
So today I'm kind of bitter about it.
BUT. I am healthy, a bit of a sore neck, but that's nothing compared to dying or being paralyzed. And in a few days I should know if they are going to fix it or total it, so all in all, it's not the end of the world. But very inconvenient, yes!!