Wednesday, April 30, 2014

moving on

As I mentioned before, earlier this month I had my last 'related to Andrew' counseling session, 2.3333 years later. It was bittersweet. While I have definitely, and for a long time now, completely accepted that that marriage is over- sometimes it still hurts. And I sometimes still feel sorrow over the ways I failed Andrew in our marriage. These past few days, thanks to my 5 year journal, I was reminded of the day 2 years ago when I came home to find his bags packed and of the pain when he left. How thankful I am for a God who gave me the strength to carry on when I didn't know how I would be able to. And here I am with new hope and beautiful things on the horizon.
Since Doug and I are seriously talking of a future together, we decided (with Stan) that it was an appropriate time to begin pre-engagement counseling. Stan said that we can continue to work on my fears of being 'unloveable' and 'do you really love me- and will you stay if you feel like you don't?' in the space of our pre-engagement counseling. He actually said that a 'single' person can't completely heal from that on their own; they need the context of a new relationship to be able to see and experience that trust. Stan reiterated again that God is my ultimate healer, but that Doug is a 'key' being used in the healing process. How amazing. It is amazing to me how much God loves me, and is so good to me. And it is amazing to me to feel so loved and accepted after feeling so rejected and thrown away. A lot of dreams and a part of my heart died with the death of my marriage- but God has mended my broken heart, and Doug is dreaming new dreams with me.
We've had one session so far. We shared the things we love about each other, and Stan talked about marriage as a covenant relationship. A day after day after day forever commitment. Stan said that this is not a 're-do' marriage, but a real marriage between two people who choose forever. Stan actually said that Andrew's name is not allowed in our pre-engagement, because "he does not belong here". Stan said all of our future meetings might not be so 'lovey-dovey', we are going to get into the rawness and realness that is true marriage. But that's what I want. I had a chance to talk to my dad a week ago about Doug and I and how the future was looking, and I shared with him how excited I was that I feel like I found someone who will actually 'do marriage' with me as God intended (or as close as two flawed humans can get). Someone who will fight with me and choose to stay. My dad said he was happy for me, and I know Stan is. He was practically beaming with pride when we walked out that day and shaking Doug's hand and saying nice things about him. So many times Stan would tell me he knew someone great would find me one day, I would always say I didn't believe him, but I'm so happy he was right!
Last month Doug bought us each this book
I have been reading it, and although I am not a book highlighter, I have been highlighting sentences and thoughts that have stuck out to me. There is so much good stuff in this book. Today's chapter was "Loving the Stranger" with the theme that "we never know whom we marry, even if you think you do, just wait awhile and he or she will change. The problem is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married". The chapter talks about something Jill would often talk about; how marriage is like a big mirror that you look in and see your true self reflected back to you. And it can be ugly. And scary. "Marriage shows you a realistic, unflattering picture of who you are and then takes you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to pay attention to it." The key is looking at yourself (and your spouse) truthfully, but with love, and to say "this is the real you, this is the real me, this is what God wants us to be, and this is what has got to go. And we've got to work together against it." The book likened marriage to a gem tumbler, "you put gems into the tumbler and they are brought into constructive, creative contact with each other. They knock the rough edges off of each other until each gem is smooth and beautiful. But if you don't put a special compound (God's grace) into the tumbler with the gems, the stones will either bounce off of one another without any effects or may crack and shatter each other." And the book talked about marriage having the power to show us the truth of who we are, "marriage has unique power to redeem our past and heal our self-image through love. And marriage has unique power to show us the grace of what God did for us in Jesus Christ." Because of the work of Jesus, we can say to a spouse who has hurt us: "I see your sin, but I can cover it with forgiveness, because Jesus saw my sin and covered it." The chapter ended with the author saying how he officiates at weddings and often wants to make a joke about how this is the best they'll ever look, but then says that isn't ultimately true. He says "if you and your spouse wield the power of truth and love with grace in each other's lives, and are committed to the adventure of spiritual companionship, to partner with God in the journey to the new creation; then, to the eye of God, as the years go by, you are making each other more and more beautiful, like a diamond being cut and polished and set." T. Keller (2011)
How beautiful. I hope for that.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gabe's wedding

This weekend my cousin Gabriel got married. They had said in their invitations if people wanted to give a gift, to consider making a vegetarian dish for their potluck wedding. I was super excited. I had always thought about the idea of a potluck wedding and I wanted to see how it went for them. Plus I loved the vegetarian potluck idea, whereas potlucks at church always ended up being 3 crockpots full of stinky sauerkraut and kielbasa. Ew.
Doug came to pick me up and I still had to fix my hair so I left all the ingredients out for him to help make the sauce for my Spicy Southwestern Tabbulleh. This was a recipe from my veggie friend Rachel, and it's super good.
so many spices!
I needed a bigger plate at the wedding!
My salad is the top plate 10 o'clock. Also I had some avocado/black bean salad, greek pasta salad, fattoosh salad, mom's ramen noodle cabbage salad, potato and rice curry, pasta pine nut salad, asparagus noodle salad, and uncle rays twice baked potatoes. SO GOOD. They had also made chocolate bundt cakes and one was on each table and they came around with icecream.
It was a beautiful wedding in the church, and the reception was in the basement which they had beautifully decorated. Here's a bad picture of these hanging lights I liked, but in the background you can see these giant tissue paper flowers they had made to decorate each table.
Us at the wedding
It was a great wedding, great food, fun music and dancing, and a great time to see and talk with cousins and family that I see far too infrequently.
Sunday we went to my church, then back up to Mom and Dad's. My aunt from out east was still in town and we wanted to visit some with her. We had lunch, went on a walk on the rails to trails near their home, came back for Dad's delicious pancakes dinner, and then I cut Doug's hair. Not bad for not cutting a bf's hair in over 10 years!
Also I finally was validated by this picture. For months now I've teased Doug that he makes this 'face of agreement' when he's listening to someone and he will frown and raise his eyebrows and nod his head. He was talking to mom and I was pretending to look up stuff on his phone, but secretly took this picture of him. Huzzah! Proof!
If this were a GIF file he would be nodding, but this'll have to do. Now back to homework!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

just one of those days

This day started out terrible. Every morning I lay there after my alarm goes off trying to 'finish up' my dreams. Then I'm rushing around paying for it later. I started my day with my ballet workout, which went good, and was mostly on schedule until I had only 10 minutes left to both start the dinner in the crockpot, pack my lunch (school from 10-4 so long day of food necessary), and blend up my breakfast. I pushed 'blend' and turned around. A second later I felt something wet land on my head and I saw the insert of the blender top had flew off and now my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie was flying into the air. I quickly just clamped my hand over it, but the damage had been done.
There may or may not have been some stomping of feet and yelling heard from the kitchen. But I'll never admit it.
So I quickly mopped it up, and flew off to school. The rest of the day was actually pretty good. First day of Pediatrics part B, and feeling good. Studied with my school friend on the lunch break. After school stopped to get a few things to make a dish for my cousin's vegetarian potluck wedding this weekend (how fun!!! super excited!!) and was very happy to see this returned to the grocery store!!
Sorry fellow shoppers, I bought every available packet.
Then came home and ate my delicious soup with a side of quickly made 5 ingredient biscuits.
this is a recipe from Liz that actually turns out as good as hers!
mmm.... carbs....
And now doing some homework.

Monday, April 21, 2014

He is risen!

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow
Lord, now indeed I find, Thy power and Thine alone, Can change the leper's spots, And melt the heart of stone
Oh, praise the one who paid my debt, And raised this life up from the dead. Oh, praise the one who paid my debt, And raised this life up from the dead
Thank you Jesus!!
This song was on my heart yesterday as we celebrated Easter. I went to my parent's church and celebrated Easter with them. I really like a traditional service on special services and it was a good one. I always love how the pastor says "He is risen" and everyone says back, "He is risen indeed!!" After church Doug's parents came up and had Easter dinner with my parents and us. Mom made super tasty food: cheesy mashed potatoes, asparagus, a standing rib roast, fresh garlic bread, I brought pineapple and this kale salad I made
Doug's parents brought wine and dessert. It was a really nice time. I was noticing our parents have a lot in common. They all sing in the choir, and they have similar faith upbringings. It was really nice. Doug's parents left and then Doug stayed with me, Mom and Dad and we went for a nice walk in this nature preserve area in our town. It was a great day.
And, the Easter bunny who hardly ever visited me as a kid, finally got his act together and brought me a basket!
Saturday was a really nice day too, after work Doug came and we went out on a bike ride. I had packed a picnic dinner and we laid on his snuggie blanket in a sunny field and ate and rested and talked. It was wonderful.

Friday, April 18, 2014

busy week

This week has been super tiring. Man, I am not made for full time work! I shudder at the thought of 12 hour shifts. All I do is walk around at work getting stuff, making beds, hooking up patients, running to the lab or to get blood, busy busy busy all day, but yet I gain weight. I don't understand. Anyway, when I got home today it felt really good to lay down on the couch. I laid there and read this mag for about an hour
I really like frivilous reading, and I liked this bachelorette so it was a fun read
Then I finally had some energy to do a bit of a workout. I got this new video a couple weeks ago. ($6 ebay!) I've mostly made peace about the fact that I will never have a long lean dancer's body. I mean, come on, I'm only 5'5 and have always been more towards muscular build. I have this picture of me when I'm like 3 or 4 standing by the beach and pointing at the water. In the picture you can see my little bubble butt and little kid muscular arms. It's funny because my body looks the same way now (well, plus boobs and hips). But anyway, this workout is pretty good. She has this 15 minute routine for 'swan arms' and who would think that just flapping your arms like a swan (with no weights at all) would be such a tiring thing, but it is. Anyway, pretty good video. And the butt routines are super tough too.
In the exciting world of Doug's facial hair, it has been undergoing some renovation. First he trimmed the mustache part off so it was just a big W. (no pic, sorry) and then he trimmed it again and called it 'the anchor'
Finally he cut it all the way off. He didn't want to shave it because he thought I might like it and then he'd have to do it all the time. His fear came true, I liked it. Sorry. Plus it's a huge bonus not being scratched and poked all the time by pokey beard hairs. Despite the 'beard conditioner' he bought, haha.
Also this week Doug and I went out for our official 4 month anniversary.
He took me to MEX, like an upper scale mexican restaurant where they have this kale salad I love.
kale, arugula, yellow beets, pepitas, goat cheese, avocado, honey-cumin dressing. Amazing.
my hot date
to many more!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend Update

This weekend we did a hangout with my friend Liz and her husband Mark. We went over and Liz made us delicious food, and for dessert we had cookies I made along with a smorgasbord of new Oreo flavors that Liz wanted to try: chocolate peanut butter, berry icecream blast, lemon, birthday cake (chocolate and vanilla), crispy marshmallow... I actually only tried peanut butter because I don't like all that other stuff, and it was good :)
After dinner Doug and I were facing the window and could see the sky getting darker and flashes of lightening. Then all the sudden it was raining and hailing like crazy! The power went out and we all watched the storm from the windows. Liz said she ran back from the windows afraid they were going to break and she thought Doug and I were following her only to look back and see us still noses pressed to the window in fascination. I couldn't look away! Their upstairs window screens were ripped off and flew by the windows, pieces of wood were flying off the deck, branches were crashing down off trees. The scariest part was when all the sudden the lake rose and started flowing towards the house. It was getting closer and closer bringing neighbors' boats into the yard, but it stopped a few feet from the deck. That was scary. Our best guess was the 3 inches of hail that we got so fast rose the lake level. Doug and I were saying that's probably why people get swept away in tsunamis and tornadoes, it is just amazing to watch, and then it's all the sudden too late.
couple inches of hail balls
poor Mark spent all winter building this shed only to have it blow away into the neighbor's yard during the storm and now it's ruined. It was pretty funny though when they looked out the window after the storm let up... "the shed is gone". Haha, sorry
Monday I had off from clinical for Easter break so I went to a matinee with Liz
We both liked it and had really liked the book when we read it for book club. I went to the library to get the other ones to remind myself what happens next and they were all gone, so it must be in high demand.
Liz brought in some delicious mediterranean cusines for us to dine on during the movie. This one was my favorite. So good! I wish I knew how to make it, but alas.
I would never be able to get the spices right. It was some sort of sweetness, but still a bit spicy. Yum.
And then I spent the rest of the day with Doug. Made him some dinner. I asked what he wanted and he requested "noodles and chicken like from Noodles & Co" so this is what he got
I never know quite what to do for sauces. This was pretty much olive oil, italian cheese and spices. It was pretty good. Doug must have liked it because I went to put away the leftovers and he had eaten it all. Then we watched a bad movie he picked at the library and he sat with me while I sorted my winter to summer clothes. A very nice night.
Today I had to go meet my clinical group for a service project. We thought we were making food for the homeless, but instead painted bathrooms. It was cool to see how much we got done with 8 people in just a few hours. This place had been a church, then turned into a nightclub (I went there once at 18), and now has been bought by an organization who is restoring it back into a church. It looked great!
It did always seem wrong to me that such a raunchy nightclub used to be a church, so I'm glad it has been redeemed!
but the sad part of today
The rest of today I made this super tasty noodle bake of my friend Lois
and will be doing some homework. Fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

quick catch up

This week has been emotionally exhausting at work. Not the best scenario while also trying to balance studying for exams and regular life, but thankful to have it I guess.
So just a quick catch up before I finish my exam cramming
Doug and I went out last weekend to Restaurant Week in a nearby city. Several restaurants were having a deal of get an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $25. We went on a double date with some of his old co-workers. We had a great time with them, and the food was good, but later I was wondering if it was such a great deal because I don't normally spend $25 on my food when I go out. But oh well, it was fun.
Also earlier this week I made one of my old favorites that I hadn't made in awhile, crispy chickpea bites.
So good, I missed these guys!

Monday, April 7, 2014


I totally felt like this today
haha, this picture makes me laugh!
I woke up mid strange dream to see I had 2 minutes left on the alarm clock. Then the beginning of the day went good, I had the-laaast-related-to-Andrew counseling session (only 2.25 years later!) ((but super worth all the time, money, tears, etc)) and went over to my study buddy's house where she fed me sloppy joes and we studied a couple hours. Then I started to get sleepy mid studying and it was time to go to clinical. Today was super easy, we ended up touring the hypobaric chamber at the hospital (very cool) and then toured the Ronald McDonald house (they let families stay there very cheaply if their kids are sick in the hospital, please donate when you see the box at McDonalds!) And we had a little meeting about theorists Freud, Erikson, Kohlberg and got to go home early.
But I still wasn't feeling super great. Just tired and headachy. So I made some tea, Doug stopped by and we talked a bit, then Jill came home and made some snacks for watching the bball game. And she shared with me, mmm
Yes sir, the end of the day turned out quite nicely indeed.

Friday, April 4, 2014

good eats

With some of my $1 for 3 colored peppers grocery steal I made stuffed peppers for lunches/dinners this week:
With a side of roasted baby carrots and garlic.
I can't find the recipe I used for the peppers, it was just one I googled. I like it because you don't have to cook the meat before hand, you just mix it up with some breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, an egg and herbs and stuff it in. Very good.
I also made this glorious breakfast of champions
Ever since I made breakfast for Doug a few weeks ago and I got those frozen tater tots I have been craving those freezer potatoes. Here they are baked up, topped with a fried egg, and too much cheese. Delicious.
But here's the worst part:
Stupid pans, so sticky even with butter.
Plz? i've been craving potatoes too..
And I've been wanting to make pb with my fancy blender ever since I bought it a couple years ago, but always have been too intimidated. Finally I used up the peanuts I bought round Christmas time, thinking I was going to be peanut brittle making queen, and got out the blender instruction book and went to town. It was actually pretty easy.
It actually blended it almost too smooth, it was like a pb shake, but I resisted drinking it! :)