Tuesday, June 26, 2012

sunshine & smiles

I took Nolan & Colton to Thunder Road on Friday. If you are not familiar, Thunder Road is kid heaven.

I figured we would only be there for an hour or two, but after 3 rounds of mini golf, 2 times in the batting cages, 2 times driving the go-karts, 1 time doing bumper cars,  & 1 time doing laser tags, & 3 1/2 hours later, we were in the car headed to Subway for lunch.

If I haven't said it before, I'll say it again. I love hanging out with these two. They make me feel like a kid again. Watching how excited they get when their golf ball almost goes right in the hole, hearing their screams as they go round & round on the go-kart course, watching their smiles widen as they reappear in to my sight after playing laser tag.

As we were chowin' down at lunch, I told the boys that we should make a Summer Bucket List. In between bites of our sandwiches & sips of our drinks, we compiled our "to-do" list.

 I look forward to checking each of these off one by one!


Sunday, June 17, 2012


I have always been indecisive. Do we eat here or there? What are you wearing to the game? Should I wear my hair up or down? In all these questions, in a sense, I'm asking others to plan my life for me. I'm a game piece and someone else is moving me through the game board.

I've struggled with this concept of really thinking about what I want, what I need, what I feel will make me most comfortable. I have always been one to be what some would say a "people pleaser". Doing things that won't necessarily make me happy but will make others lives easier.

If you would ask me what is one word to describe my current days, it would be stuck. Stuck in translation, stuck with relationships, stuck at home, stuck with friendships, stuck with my feelings. I know what I need to do, yet I am stuck in a phase where I resort back to what I know is my "comfort zone". A place where I color inside the lines and don't stray too far away from the ordinary (although I did order salmon last night at dinner, a 1st for me).

Whether it be moving away or moving on, I am terrified of all these new beginnings that are about to take place. How do I know if this is good? How do I know if this is how my book is suppose to be written?

I had an ah-ha moment today at church. A moment where I realized I need to start & end with ME. Do things for ME, make decisions based on MY happiness, go where I want to go. I have been surprised (& at times disappointed) by most peoples reactions when I tell them I'm moving to Denver. I have heard these lines multiple times:

You are going to get homesick.

Aren't you going to be lonely?

Do you honestly think this is a good idea?

Why move away when there are job opportunities here?

You are going to miss out on this & this & this.

My response to these?

I went to college out of town. There are things called planes, trains, & automobiles that get you from one place to another. For example, Denver to Moorhead, Moorhead to Denver.

Lonely? You know, there are boys, girls, men, & woman that also live in Denver. Crazy!

Good idea? I think it's a great idea & I am beyond thrilled for this next chapter in my life.

Opportunities are everywhere.

I am going to miss out on that & that & that while I am doing this & this & this.


While horseback riding through the Rocky Mountains, I closed my eyes & took it all in. The smell, the fresh air, the slight breeze on my skin. As I re-opened them, I felt reassurance that this place, this state is where I'm suppose to be. I know that deep down there is a reason I am "gravitating" towards those mountains & blue skies.

I look at my current stance as a challenge. One that will challenge ME. Within the last month, I have discovered a new sense of independence that I have been wanting & waiting for. A sort of "screw you" attitude, I'm doing what I want to do [insert finger snap in a z formation] (I put that nicely, didn't I?).

Readers, I challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone. I'm not saying pack up your house & move across the country (although a roommate would be nice...). Start with little changes like:

Not a runner? Sign up for a 5K.
Not a cook? Make 3 new meals this week.
Want to make a career change? Start looking at your options.
Looking to make more friends? Join a book club.
Want to lose weight? Get a gym membership & set weekly goals.

YOU just do YOU, & I do ME.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

recipe: quinoa broccoli chicken casserole


1 10 oz. can condensed broccoli soup
1/3 C reduced fat mayonnaise
2 T milk
1 1/4 C reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc.) *I used cheddar*
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash freshly grated nutmeg
2 C broccoli *I used steam broccoli from the bag*
1 1/2 C COOKED quinoa -- see note
freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 chicken breasts


To cook quinoa:

3/4 C quinoa
1 1/2 C water
1/4 tsp salt

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, water, & salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & cook for approx. 15 minutes. During this time, dice chicken breasts & cook in a separate saucepan. 

Preheat oven to 350* & spray a shallow 8x8 casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, sugar, pepper, & nutmeg. Mix well. Add in quinoa, broccoli, & chicken breasts. Spoon mixture in to the casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg

For original recipe, click here.


Friday, June 8, 2012

makin' a list: colorado

It's here! Today, Meghan & I head out to Denver for a couple days. This has been a long anticipated trip & the excitement is nearly boiling over inside my body (if that is humanly possible). As spontaneous as this trip is going to be, I've decided to create a mini bucket list that I will try & "complete" while there.

  • Eat something not on my "plain Jane" food pallet
  • Do one thing that is out of my comfort zone
  • Talk to a stranger (preferrably one who is tall, dark, & handsome)
  • Document the trip with pictures
  • Laugh until it hurts (no doubt this one will still be on my list when I return)
Alright folks, I better shower & hit the road. Enjoy your weekend!

Have to give a little birthday shout-out to my sister-in-law, Jamie! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

breakfast at tiffany's

Ok, so maybe it was Perkins. 

Monday morning I had a breakfast date with Brianna. We laughed, ate, & bitched about how awesomely awesome & terribly terrible our lives are. Isn't that what best friends do? 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

my anthem

I don't know how he did it, but somehow John Mayer peaked inside my mind & wrote this song for me.

John Mayer : Age of Worry

Close your eyes & close yourself
Danger hiding in all the world
Soothe your tears, your innocence
While you do everything wrong

Don't be scared to walk alone
Don't be scared to like it
There's no time you must be home
So sleep where your darkness falls

Alive in the age of worry
Smile in the age of worry
Go wild in the age of worry
& sing worry, why should I care?

Yours is with your timing
Dream your dreams but don't pretend
Be friends with what you are
Give your heart then change your mind
You're allowed to throw it
Cause God knows it's been done to you
& somehow you go through it

Alive in the age of worry
Rage in the age of worry
Sing out in the age of worry
& sing worry, why should I care?

Rage in the age of worry
Act your age in the age of worry
& sing worry, get out of here!

Monday, June 4, 2012

makin' a list: week 1

After reading Kelle Hampton's blog, I was inspired to construct my own mini bucket list. Whenever people have asked what is on my bucket list, I always found myself saying the typical, cliche things like skydiving, going to Paris, running a marathon. While these are all things that are do-able, they are not all do-able right now.

As mentioned in previous posts, I keep focusing on the future. Yet sometimes the future seems so far away, that I lose focus of the present. What is going on...today. Where I will be...today. Who I will see...today. What I will accomplish...today. What I will enjoy...today.

Presenting, drum roll please...my mini bucket list for WEEK 1

1. Do something out of the ordinary.
2. Notice & embrace the color yellow.
3. Splurge.
4. Lend a hand.
5. Go for a run in a new neighborhood.

What will your mini bucket list be this week?

Friday, June 1, 2012


When I think I am fine, when I think the scars have healed & the heartache has passed, when my life kinda-sorta-maybe makes sense, I retreat back to the old me. The me who could cry on command, lay in bed all day, for-go social gatherings, be & do everything that I have tried so hard not to. 

I know why I do this, why I am feeling this way. It's not all about the things I have lost, it's about the total uncertainty of my life. It's about the millions of unanswered questions I have floating in my head, the search for the "blessing" that is coming from this "curse". 

I have been told that life never does make sense, that we are never suppose to have all the answers. I get this. But I literally have no idea what my purpose is right now. As friends are accepting jobs, getting married, moving in to houses, I can't help but be completely, over the top jealous of them. Why can't that be me?

I have good days, really good days, & then I have bad days (or weeks). & this week is one of them. Like always, in the midst of this storm, it too shall pass. Years from now I will look back on these times & thank God for bringing me through them. Whether I see it now or not, I am learning. I am learning to fight through my insecurities & keep moving forward because gosh darn it I deserve it.