Monday, May 28, 2012

Healthy(er) Sweet Popcorn

Okay, so last night I wanted popcorn and I didn't have any butter. A TRAVESTY! I know. So anyway, I got to thinking and had a saweeeeeet idea! I had a feeling it'd turn out, and it DID. Even more so than I'd imagined!

Healthy(er) Sweet Popcorn

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil
1 1/2 TBS agave

Put 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in brown paper bag, fold down twice, and tape. Microwave for a minute and 35 seconds (I do this everytime I make popcorn. It's the best). Put coconut oil and agave in cup (or something) and microwave until coconut oil is fully melted. Sprinkle the concoction on popcorn, salt, mix. Sprinkle, salt, mix. Sprinkle, salt, mix. Taste, does it need more salt? You be the judge.

YUMMO! Even Clay ate some of it and he is NOT a popcorn guy! Yipee! It has a hint of kettle-corn taste with a hint of a coconutty twist and its all very subtle and not overpowering so it's kinda perfect. I love it when I have an idea and it turns out! (Which happens maybe once a year if that).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gloomy Saturday

Today is gloomy, and cold. It's like 46 degrees and raining...I say raining with some hesitance because it always just kinda....sprinkles around here when it "rains". I just wish it would POUR if it's going to be like this...I think it's poured rain here (like in Oregon) like...less than 5 times since I've lived here. So, it makes it kinda just...gloomy. I do love the smell after it rains! Reminds me of home.

So whenever it's gloomy in a time when I feel like it should be warm, I get all antsy for Christmas. haha. Seriously! This usually happens around July. I get excited for Christmas. It's come early. I just went and pinned a bunch of stuff on my pintrest board for Christmas. I'm working on this advent calendar that I'm so excited about. It's already so cute! I just can't wait to share it. And Clay and I have decided on a couple of traditions we want to start. Although, Clay doesn't like that I am calling them traditions already, cause we haven't even started them. And he thinks for some reason, traditions need to come about naturally. Like...we do something one year, then the next year we are like, "lets do that again!" and thus, the tradition begins. I disagree. I think that YES, that can be a way traditions start...but I think that it's fun to say, "I want to do this every year at Christmas, it will be our little tradition". Like, I told him I want to go to Perkins to get peppermint hot chocolate and breakfast the first Saturday of December. A tradition. Of course he liked this idea because the last time we had peppermint hot chocolate we both about died of how glorious it was (I know Clay will be rolling his eyes right now thinking, it wasn't that great was just good). But he wants the tradition to come naturally. So he says, "Don't plan it! it will just come" so I roll my eyes and say, "Okay, it's not planned", though I'm mentally planning the first Saturday of December at Perkins.

I made a goal to read Les Miserables in 50 days. July 9 is the deadline. This all started when I decided I want to get into classics. I mean, I love my teenage drama/dystopian/love triangle novels I've been reading...but sometimes it becomes like, woah- these are all the same story with different names. I think I overdosed on these genres. So at first I was like, okay- I'm going to read some Jane Austin. I really wanted to because I have this GORGEOUS book with all of her books in it. Oh, it's beautiful. But then I remembered how a few years ago I read about half of Les Miserables while on a school break (of course it's abridged, but still about a million pages), and I really loved it! But then school started again and it was impossible. So I kinda forgot about it. Until I remembered it last week and how much I loved it. So I decided to start over and read it again. It's definitely not one of those books that I'm like DYING to get through. But when I do read it, it's wonderful. It makes me feel warm and uplifted, spiritual. I have definitely skipped a few days so I am going to have to read more than I figured for a few days. That's okay. Anyone with me? A dive into classics? Oh- and you know the great thing? You know how a lot of people have seen Les Miserables as a play or movie or something? So they know the story? I haven't! So I have no idea how this story plays out so it's pretty exciting.

Did I tell you I'm visiting my sister in Washington DC? Next week! I'm so excited. We are going to do a big long day in DC site seeing and stuff, and then relax and hang the rest of the time. It'll be awesome. I've never traveled further east than Idaho...isn't that the saddest? Not to my recollection anyway. I'm excited to be a bit more traveled and see some of those historical awesome things. AND I'm excited to see my sister! Haven't seen her since Christmas and I probably wont see her for a long time. She isn't going to be at our family reunion (SAD) and probably sometime within a year or so they'll be shippin out somewhere crazy. I'm just excited to spend time with her and her CUTE cute little girl.

Speaking of our reunion. I seriously think of it I'm so excited. I can't wait to kiss little Maddie's cheeks and see all of my nieces and nephews and sibs and parents! Not to mention the beach and coast and everything. Home. I'm just so excited. I love the Oregon coast SO MUCH. Everytime I go there I think, "Can't we just live here?". It's just got such a different feel and energy than anywhere I've been. Everyone is so laid back and nice and if they aren't, they are probably a tourist. Everything feels earthy (which I love) and raw and natural. Most places you go you can see the ocean and smell the ocean and really feel it. It's just the best. I feel like it always recharges me in a way.

Alright, time to see what's on my list for the day. Thank goodness Monday is a holiday! I can split up my list :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life lessons learned in the shower.

I am worked out, showered, lotioned, and ready to sleep. Not quite yet though.

 I feel like I learned a really important lesson today on balance. Life is seriously all about balance. This week I have done pretty much nothing but watch times I felt a titch guilty or something. But then I realized I'm okay. Last week I made a list of stuff to do and promised I'd get a reward if I did it all. Well, I did get a LOT of it done, not all, but a lot! So, I did one extra chore of vacuuming the dreaded stairs and then spent all day Saturday watching Season two of downtown abbey. So good. This week I had no list and didn't get anything done. I mean I did essentials. But not much more than that! And you know what I realized? Heavenly father doesn't want us to live in guilt. He doesn't want us to be sad or unhappy if we aren't perfect or doing things the best way ALL THE TIME. it's a balancing act. So when I thought, oh man I have done nothing all week, I respond, it's not a big deal, you did a lot last week, you need breaks, it's part of keeping up your health.

Another thing I relearned. My life will always feel out of balance if I'm not reading my scriptures. Sometimes I feel like my life is spiraling out of control. Then I remember to read my scriptures and what do you know. My life comes back together! I swear to you...striving and putting effort towards getting closer to our lord brings blessings of security and balance!

 Tonight at Zumba I had another flash of perspective of when my body didn't work right. Talk about guilt. "why can't you handle this?" my brain would say to my body. "why is it so hard for you but so easy for others?" I'm so grateful. So grateful to have a working body again. I can make dinner and do dishes. I can get ready in the morning. It's wonderful. And I'm so grateful for the lessons of patience I've learned. Mostly patience with myself.

Well, time for bed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This week I promise to....

1. Do a form of exercise every's my plan. Monday zumba, tuesday walk dog, wednesday ride bike, thursday zumba, friday walk dog, saturday zumba.

2. Watch Bachelorette, Idol, Revenge, and Greys. Easy. I know I'll get this one done.

3. Eat a salad everyday for lunch.

4. Take my herbs and supplements twice a day.

5. Clean the kitchen at least two times in the week.

6. Try one more time to get Joanns to take back my fabric...even if it means being stubborn and asking for the manager. I SHOULD get the right color felt I want for my advent Calendar. And Joanns employees are stingy and snobby and I know there are "Dishonest people in the world, unfortunately", but fortunately I'm not one of them! I deserve my rightful return.

7. Clean the kitchen cupboards on Friday.

8. Turn in all our medical crap to insurance and pay bills by Friday at 5.

9. Make some solid goals for the summer, documented and organized with estimated dates of completion.

10. Read scriptures every morning.

I solemnly swear that if I can do everything on this list by Friday night then I will spend all of Saturday doing whatever I want! If that means reading an entire book in one day, or watching an entire season of Downton Abbey (like I did on Saturday- HELLO- inlove with this show), then that is what I shall do! If I don't get this list done...I have to do some sort of horrid chore. Like...vacuuming the stairs. Bleh.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


 I think if you are lucky, which a lot of people are, you are one of those people that say, "My mom is the best mom in the whole world, no seriously- she is". I'm one of those lucky ones! I literally can't imagine a better mom- for me at least. It's so true what they say that you don't realize how much your mom does for you until you are away from her! I was lucky in that through my high school years, my mom was my very best friend. I never had too much luck with girlfriends. I had a couple that were good friends, but not really true best friends. Come to the rescue- mom! We shopped together, talked together, watched movies and tv together, planned my future together, every memory of my life before I moved away has my mom in it. Even when I moved away, that first semester. I remember after my first class I was terrified, and I called my mom. She helped me through it, which now I realize must have been very hard since she probably wanted to tell me, "Oh you know what, you probably were too young to go, come home!" My mom taught me so many things in my life- really, I feel like she shaped me to be the woman I am today- but I feel like the most important, amazing, wonderful lesson that she has taught me...starting from when I was so young...was her love of Christ. I don't even remember huge talks or testimonies she shared with me...I just know I can always picture her reading her scriptures, kneeling on the floor praying, and ALWAYS without fail having faith that the Lord has a plan and it might be hard, but He will help us through this life. She still teaches me these things. I have never EVER personally known someone with more faith than my mom. It makes me happy when she comes to me with problems (rare) and I can say to her, "did you pray about it?" or remind her of all the things she taught me. She says I am so wise, but the truth is- I am just teaching her what she's taught me. My mom ALWAYS has my back. Always. And I love her so much for it.

When I got married, I'd heard horror stories of "in-laws", so I was pretty nervous. Honestly, my most important fear was that my husband's mom wouldn't like me. Add to that my husband is the oldest, and only son in the family...I felt a lot of pressure. When I first met Patty, I was so intimidated. I literally wondered if she was perfect. She volunteered at the schools, volunteered at the Red Cross, read a billion books a day, knitted socks and hats, made a wonderful dinner, had an impeccably clean house, and seemed to be always serving others whether it be in her calling, her family, or just random people. I thought, "how am I ever going to live up to this woman?!". After some time getting to know her and being around Clay's family a lot...I realized that I had a second family. Things were comfortable, and I could see that they saw me as a family member. Not an in-law, but a daughter. When Clay and I were dating, not even engaged! She got me a birthday present, and an easter basket. I think the best gift Patty has ever given me is her acceptance of me into her family as I am, and unconditional love. If Clay and I are in an argument, she is way more likely to take my side and say, "Son, listen to your wife". She understands me in ways others don't and comforts me when I am discouraged and aching for motherhood, as she had to wait a long time herself. She understands how important my sisters are to me and asks me about them often...she sent Amy a care package when she had cancer, which she probably wont ever know how much that meant to me. She is so full of love and kindness and I love her so much for it! 

 I always tell people that I loved being the youngest growing up because I observed all my siblings and noted their mistakes and didn't make them. haha. But what I don't think they realize is that I am so grateful to be the youngest so I can learn their strenths too. My sisters are all amazing mothers and I've learned and continue to learn from each of them. Rebecca has taught me how cool learning and teaching can be with your kids. She teaches her kids so many things and it doesn't even seem like teaching. Lizzie to me is the ultimate example of patience...finding alternative ways to tell a child they are doing something wrong than getting upset with them. Megan has taught me to enjoy the present, and not let outsiders let you feel bad about spending your day playing with your child. Even if that means nothing else got done. Amy is the newbie mommy right now :) And I think that she has taught me patience for myself. Amy too, had health issues, had to wait, and watching her has helped me realize that I too will have my turn and it will be so worth it. They all continue to teach me things, and I am so grateful for their good examples.

Can't you see why I'm so excited to be a mom now? 

Last night I was thinking...if I could be anything in the whole world what would it be? And I seriously couldn't think of anything that I wanted more than to be a mother. There was some point in time that all of a sudden I felt like something/someone was missing. I had some sort of clarity that I have children, and that they just haven't come to me yet. I am a mother, I just don't have the physical proof of it yet. This is what keeps me going and fighting. If I am doing Zumba, and I feel tired or achey or worn...I try to imagine my children and it gives me a boost. They aren't here in my arms yet, but they help me in this life so much. They motivate me to keep fighting for my health and working hard to get them here. I already love them so much...and I can barely stand it waiting for them. People say that once you have kids, they take over your life. That's it, no going back. Isn't that kind of the point? That's exactly what I want. I've lived the life of self-centered only about me. It's not as glamorous and wonderful as people make it out to be. My children are already the center of my life. I think of them EVERY day. All the time. I miss them, I love them, and sometime soon hopefully, they'll start coming to join me in this crazy life :)

Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A little update on life

On the drive to Boise Airport

So, we had our Seattle appointment last weekend...and it was great! Guess what? I'm OFF antibiotics! I am going to take herbs (liquid drops that taste like cleaning products and muddy lake water put together) for a few more months and then hopefully I'll be done! Woohoo!!!

Clay is doing well. He still has a ways to go, but he is still making huge improvements and is definitely on the right track!

Can I just say? I HATE TICKS! Oh my. I have heard 3 stories just in the past month of ticks being found on people, dogs, PILLOWS. Three different states too. And not ONE of these people were hiking or in the woods either! I committed to going to girls camp for 2 days...and after my appointment and realizing I'm pretty much done with this disease (crossing my fingers), I realized....I have spent over a year of my life on antibiotics and FIGHTING hard to get rid of this stupid Lyme Disease. Do I really want to risk going into the woods for two days and getting it again? One, ticks are more attracted to those who have been infected with Lyme...two, ticks are CRAZY everywhere this year because we had such a mild winter. I've already basically decided I never want to go camping again in my life, simply for the reason that I would have anxiety the entire time that I'd get at tick! So, it's pretty much official. I already told the camp director of our ward that I'm backing out...I feel bad, but its just the way it is for me. Even if people think I'm a freak who is overly anxious, I'll take it...if it means protecting myself a bit more from this danged disease. I definitely am a freak who is overly anxious cause I honestly think that they should cancel girls camp and do something else. Church wide. There are TOO MANY TICKS. How many girls will get Lyme disease this summer? I mean really. I don't mean to freak people's just truly an epidemic and people need to be aware!

I've been trying to eat really good. Even better than normal. I have had a salad for lunch 3 days in a row now, which is pretty fantastic. Spinach, carrots, tomatoes, kidney beans (i prefer black but didn't have any). That's it! So simple and easy and tasty. I've been meaning to cook up a batch of quinoa so I could add that to my salads as well. I will do that tonight!

 In Seattle, I did cheat! I had blueberry pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream on top. And I had hot chocolate. YUM! I don't regret it. And it is so hard to stay eating good when you are out of town.

Tomorrow I am getting my hair done...I am so excited! I've never gotten this style before, so it'll be awesome. I will post pictures long as it turns out :) I'm also getting my eyebrows waxed...which is just wonderful because I HATE plucking. It's just such a drag.

Overall, life is going pretty good. I am done with tax season, so work is a LOT less stressful...I am done with school...oh yeah! I will be a CPA in July. I could get my license sooner, but in Idaho you HAVE to renew your license every July, and pay a license fee, and so it doesn't make sense for me to pay a fee NOW and then pay again in less than two months. SO, I will just wait and get my license in July. Woohoo!

I've been reading some books. The Giver was good- a titch slow, but had some pretty cool symbolism and interesting plot. I started Water for Elephants...and couldn't finish it. One, it was slow...two, there was a part that was SO NASTY and I kept thinking, okay it will be over in the next paragraph...but it kept going and going till finally I was like OH my gosh I need to skip I'd skip skip skip and then finally it looked like it was over...and I was just so disturbed by it, and it was still just such a slow start for me...I decided I just wanted to be done. So I turned it back into the library. I am now reading Delirium, which so far is really intriguing.

Alright...tonight is Idol, and REVENGE! YES! Have you not started watching Revenge? Seriously- its the best. And Idol...I love Phillip...Colton and Elise were two of my fav's...but they are gone. And Joshua Ledet is good but the judges are WAY TOO OBSESSED WITH HIM. Why do they give him standing O's EVERY FREAKING TIME? My oh my.
Dante is still the sweet little/big light in our lives. How grateful I am we have him. He's such a big baby, big goofball, and really just such a fun doggy. We love him. We've been taking him to the new dog-park in town. It's just a HUGE fenced in area that dogs can play together. One side is for small dogs, the other for big dogs. It's separated. Anyway, he's been having some fun there. I think he enjoys going and greeting the humans more than the dogs.