Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

Do you have big plans for Easter Sunday?  My parents have invited us for lunch after church -- and I'll be taking an awesome potato casserole to share.  (It's a recipe from a Minnesota cousin -- perhaps I'll share it with you sometime.)  <<<UPDATE: recipe shared HERE!>>>  We'll enjoy a great time with family, no doubt -- but I can already tell you what the best part of the day will be: having our security guard with us.  He works almost a forty-hour week, and misses most dinner meals with us.  We have learned to make the best of it -- but I can't tell you how glad I was when he mentioned that the mall was closed on Easter Sunday.  At long last... his place won't be empty at the dinner table!

I know my mom was especially happy when I told her too.  When we believed he'd be working, she tried to hide her disappointment -- but she was just making the best of it, as we've learned to do. When I e-mailed her a quick note to tell her the mall was indeed closed, she said she was HAPPY, and I knew she really meant it because she enlarged her FONT -- something I've never known her to do in an e-mail before!

Yep.  That's the way we feel when all of the ducks and ducklings (it doesn't matter which generation) are all lined up in a row.  Complete.  Whole.  Blessed.

I hope that Easter Sunday will be that kind of day for you too, my friends.

Happy Easter!  He is risen!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

I know.  This post has nothing whatsoever to do with Easter.  Well, here's the thing.  I've been wanting to share this recipe with you -- and since I just made Stuffed Peppers the other night... it was on my mind, and I actually remembered to take pictures, so... yeah.  Today's the day.

My mom used to make stuffed peppers when I was growing up.  I always enjoyed them, although it wasn't until I was older that I learned to appreciate the pepper part of the dish - LOL.

A pan full of yummy goodness!

It's only within the last couple of years that I've started making them for my family -- for no reason in particular, other than... the idea never came up.  I think it was my hubby who said, "how about stuffed peppers this week?" -- and I went to my mom for her recipe.  I've tweaked it and twisted it a little, and compared it to some other recipes, and came up with my own version.  It's become one of our go-to recipes, and I thought I'd share it with you.

For us, there are two critical points:
  • that the peppers are cooked and very soft
  • that the rice is not overcooked and mushy

That said, this is the recipe that works for me!

Stuffed Peppers

4 green bell peppers
1 lb. ground round
2 c. uncooked MINUTE rice
16 oz. tomato sauce*
1 ½ tsp. dehydrated onion (our preference)
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

* PLUS extra sauce to pour in bottom of dish -- or even just water to help steam-cook the peppers.  The size of your casserole will determine how much sauce/water to cover the bottom.  I use a 9x13 pan, and use 1-1 ½ cups of liquid in the bottom.  TIP:  If you use sauce vs. water, you can spoon it over your peppers when they come out of the oven!  (yum-O!)

  1. Brown ground round and drain.
  2. Prepare rice per instructions on package, but only let it sit to absorb the water for 2 minutes or so.  Drain the rest of the water.
  3. Halve the bell peppers top to bottom, removing core and seeds.  
  4. To a large mixing bowl, add meat, rice, 16 oz. tomato sauce, onion, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.
  5. Place *extra sauce/water in bottom of baking pan.
  6. Add pepper halves, and stuff with meat mixture.
  7. Cover with foil, and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes -OR- until peppers are cooked to your liking.

Depending on the size of your peppers, you might end up with extra meat-mixture.  I freeze it, and it's ready to go for a small batch of peppers sometime!

And speaking of extras -- this recipe is more than enough for a meal for our family.  We have enough for another night -- or for several packed lunches!  My hubby and son like to take them to work for a "hot lunch."

Comfort food at it's finest!

  Life on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Dark Ages

Some would say I live in the Dark Ages.  Why?  Imagine in 2013, a household (with a twenty-year history) that exists without any hint of ever having had a food processor, or even... a blender!  Did you know that these naive households still existed?  What (for crying out loud) makes me think that I can exist in today's society without said tools?

Kind of takes me back to my college years... My family had never owned a microwave oven.  They were the latest and greatest thing to have.  My mom, however, was firm in her belief that a microwave oven should never pass over our home's threshold -- due to the fact that we knew a family who had one (real cutting-edge people) -- and one of their family members in particular gained a lot of weight.  No sir.  That was NOT gonna happen at OUR house, Mom said.  At that time, it seemed there was a lot of melting butter and cheese going on in microwaves -- hello extra calories!  I don't remember what finally convinced my mom -- but one day we DID eventually get a microwave.  And... all's well that ends well, as they say.  Everyone's still fitting through doorways and such.

Fast forward... When I married my hubby, he already had a microwave.  Everybody had them by then.  It died shortly after we married, but we replaced it -- about nineteen years ago.  (Yep, we're real cutting-edge, too!) Still, we've never owned a blender or a food processor.  Ever.  The closest we've come is a coffee bean grinder. Exciting, right?

And really -- I'm okay with our lack of "modern appliances."  I kind of feel about blenders the way my mom felt about a microwave.  I'm sure I'd make all kinds of "smoothie" type yumminess, and we'd gain weight.  Also -- I have limited counter space -- and that's really the crux of the matter.  (Nice that when push comes to shove, I'm more worried about my limited counter space than our waistlines... hmmmm.)

I've entered I don't know how many contests to win a blender, as if getting a blender for free would somehow be calorie free and take up less counter space.  I'm just biding my time.  Someday, a recipe is going to sway me -- and I'll actually buy that blender.  It might be THIS ONE from Susan Branch.  Just sayin'.  Also, I sampled a smoothie at Sur La Table the other day.  The sample-cup wasn't as big as a medicine cup.  They called it Orange-Banana-Honey.  It tasted like more.

I'm getting close people... getting close.  Still don't know where I'd put the darn thing, though.  We might have to put on an addition.  That's IT.

"H-O-N-E-Y... I've got an idea...."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Survey Says...

The other day as I was perusing Pinterest, I came across some Easter eggs painted with chalkboard paint.  A cute project for sure -- especially for a mom with young children who just can't seem to decide how to decorate their eggs.  Can you say "wipe off and re-do?"

However, I became increasingly alarmed to think that anyone would crack these eggs open to eat them. HELLO!  NOT food safe!  I posed a question in the comments, and the blogger assured me that NO, these were not for eating -- only for decoration!  Then she asked (surprised), "Do you eat your Easter eggs?"  It struck me funny because, yes -- we totally eat our Easter eggs, and also -- I've never entertained the possibility of people NOT eating their Easter eggs.

We do get steeped in family traditions, don't we?

At our house, if we decorate eggs, we DYE them with the old original food-safe Paas kits... sometimes writing on them with a white crayon first to leave a design or a message.  My mom, on the other hand, likes to use these plastic sleeves that shrink to the egg in hot water.  They peel right off, so the eggs are completely edible.  Both techniques were used by my gram before me, as well.  {You can read a little history of Paas HERE.  They've been around forEVer!}

As kids, we always received decorated Easter eggs in our Easter baskets, and they were always served with Easter dinner as well.  The following week, egg-salad was often made up from the extra eggs.  These days (with people much more aware of food safety temperatures and such), we don't put eggs in baskets, but they are still served with Easter dinner!  Egg salad isn't such a hit around our house, but nobody complains about eating the leftover eggs during the week.  There's never a problem getting rid of them!

So, yes -- onto the survey!

So, here are my questions for you:

  1. Do you color or decorate Easter eggs?
  2. Do you have a traditional technique like Paas, or do you try new things each year?
  3. And most importantly: DO YOU EAT YOUR EGGS, or do they strictly serve as decoration?
Please tell me.  I'm dyeing to know!  *wink

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Tale of Two Pretties

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..."
--opening line from A Tale of Two Cities (if you didn't recognize it)

I'll let you decide about the best vs. worst and wisdom vs. foolishness.  But I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty pleased with this little project.  Here's my story.

I have a set of crystal candlesticks.  I've used them here and there in my decorating, but not really all that much.  Turns out, taper candles aren't really my thing.  The candlesticks have been in the goodwill pile for a while now, but I haven't been able to actually part with them yet.  In addition, I had this beautiful Duchess bone china plate that my grandma had given me many years ago.  It's always been the "odd man out" on my china shelf that's filled with teacups and saucers.  It was decorative, of course -- but I never remembered to pull it off the shelf and actually use it.

A few days ago, I had a brainstorm -- and I came up with a plan.  My plan was simple, and my supplies were few:
  • the candlestick
  • the plate
  • E-6000 adhesive (found at Walmart)
  • some kind of marker

The steps were also few:
  1. Turn over plate, and center overturned candlestick.
  2. Mark around the candlestick so you know exactly where you want your glue to go.
  3. Look over your candlestick to see where it actually comes in contact with the plate, and lay your glue accordingly inside your drawn line {You should know that I was working in my kitchen, and had my range-hood fan on.  This is stinky glue!  Ventilate, people!}
  4. leave upside-down to dry {the glue directions say: For maximum-strength bond, allow 24-72 hours for dry time}.

Some tips:
  • I noticed that my candlestick tended to "float" in the glue and would shift a little.  I kept checking back on it and re-positioning as it dried.  Finally, I could tell that the glue had dried enough that it wouldn't move.  If I hadn't made a mark for the candlestick placement, I probably wouldn't have noticed this movement (and it would've dried "off-center!"
  • For the most part, it was dry in a few hours, but I'll keep it out of the way and unused for at least 72 hours since I'm working with breakable pieces.
  • Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate.
  • I didn't worry about the marker lines.  There's age-old price sticker glue that has been baked on by the years under there too.  [Keepin' it real!]

I love it's beautiful silhouette.  And I'm tickled to be able to put two items that weren't being used together for a new purpose.

That's my story.  A tale of two pretties!

So, what's your vote?  Best?  Worst?  Wise?  Foolish?  Let me know.  I can take it.

p.s.  Yes, you TOTALLY have time to make one of these before Easter.  Also, if you're inspired to try a project like this, I would love to hear about your outcome!

~ The End ~

I'm linking up over at Whipperberry for the Spring Blog Hop // Link Party.

Pin It Tuesday

Monday, March 25, 2013


Our Palm Sunday service was special, and led by four of our young pastors.  It dealt with five scenes of Jesus' humility on his way to the cross.

They included:
  • a humble entrance on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-11)
  • the anointing (Mark 14:3-9 & John 12:1-8)
  • the washing of feet (John 13)
  • submission in the garden (Luke 22:39-44)
  • carrying the cross (Mark 8:34)

I added the noted scripture passages in case you're interested in reading more about those points.

I think the point that spoke to me the most was the idea that one pastor shared of Jesus' humility versus our humility.  Oh, you and I have surely faced humility -- but how so?  He shared about the 2011 downsizing of our church staff.  When the remaining staff was called into the "survivors" meeting, he realized that he had been "demoted," and that his name was much further down the list than it used to be.  He was humbled.  BIG TIME.

But.. that humility was THRUST upon him.  He didn't choose it.

The same is probably true of you and I in many of the situations in which we experience humility.

Besides that, our human nature tends to lead us to use humility to "get ahead."  For sure THAT's not humility in it's purest form!

Jesus' humility was different in that HE CHOSE to be humble.

Philippians 2:5b-8
"...have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death -- even death on a cross!"

I am sobered by his humble obedience
-- even to death on a cross...
for me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Downton Distraction

It's been a frustrating "can't believe it's this cold and snowing" week around here.  The weathermen say spring is still weeks away.  We've all been a little down.  The kids have been bundling up to walk to the bus-stop as much this week as any week all winter long.  Depressing.  I'll leave it at that, but that's the state of mind around here.  Not great for blog-post writing.

Our around-the-corner friends lent us(me) Seasons One and Two of Downton Abbey, and so I've been catching up, and doing my thinking in a British vernacular, so to speak.  A bit of this, and a bit of that, and out of sorts, and oh, Lady Violet -- do you really not know what a weekEND is?  I actually pulled my ironing board up to Season One yesterday, and got quite a lot of ironing done -- and quicker than they get it done in the laundry room at Downton, I daresay.

This stew that I've been in has put me in such a state that I am laughing out loud one minute, and sobbing the next as life unfolds at Downton Abbey.  But, as Lady Violet would say, "Sally dear, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability.  Stop whining and find something to do."  (Is Maggie Smith not BRILLIANT in that role?  Brilliant, I say!)

my daughter spotted these at Anthropologie and snapped a picture

In other business, the Time has come to stop accepting "anonymous" comments.

I hate to do it because some of my family and friends use anonymous commenting.

However, in the last week or so, I have fielded several comments... some of them leaving links to ?business? websites or blogs.  I don't click on them because they seem a bit sketchy.  Others are wildly inappropriate and link to things that I wouldn't click on in a million-trillion years EVER.  Nor would I want any of my dear readers to be subjected to them.  Some of these comments have gotten through the s*am-guard, and that's what really worries me.  This type of comment does not come from a blog-follower, but rather from somebody who is posting things for ?personal gain? -- things that don't have anything to do with my blog or the subject matter. It's a warped sort of thing -- and I'll just leave it at that.

From now on, you will have to be signed in with Google (or one of the other accounts listed) in order to comment.  Most of those who know me and comment regularly have my e-mail address anyway, but if you don't know it, it can be accessed by clicking on the "Contact Me" tab near the top of the blog, or by clicking the envelope icon in the sidebar under "Visit Me Here."

Thank you for your understanding.

And now, for Season Two.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Please Excuse the Delay

A friend posted this on Facebook the other day, and I just had to share it.  I know there are some of you out there who are waiting on God for the next thing in your life.  Aren't we all at some point?  Think about this:

"Sometimes you are delayed
where you are because God
knows there's a storm where
you're headed.
Be grateful."

Wow.  Think about that for a minute.  You know that feeling of being "stuck" -- and trying to trust God for what's coming next?  And not understanding why he doesn't hurry up and speed you along to the next great thing?  Speaking for myself, I can be pretty impatient about the whole process.

Have you ever had this happen to you?  :: You have someplace to be, and an order of events all played out in your mind.  But something ends up happening and you don't leave the house on time as you'd planned.  When you're finally on your way, you get held up, and as you inch forward in traffic, you realize there's a bad accident.  If you'd left five minutes earlier, who knows if YOU would've been involved?  I typically breathe a prayer of "thank you Lord for slowing me down today."

It's happened to me -- and I don't mind telling you... more than once.  Probably not a good indicator of how often God has to slow me down and get my attention, I admit.

How often do we race ahead assuming we know what is to be, rather than waiting on God?  How often do we orchestrate what comes next out of our impatience?  In our limited view, we can't fathom that God is thinking of us... always... and always has our best interests at heart.  Even when we feel like he's not looking... he is in control.

Knowing there might be a storm where we're headed next puts a different spin on the waiting, brings a new perspective to contentment with the here and now, and gives the word "delay" whole new meaning.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So Proud

In February, our son participated in the local DECA competition.  DECA (formerly known as Delta Epsilon Chi) is the International Association of Marketing Students, and prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

He and his teammate participated in the "Financial Services Team Decision Making Event" and came away with a 1st Place trophy, qualifying them to participate in State Competition in March.

Last weekend our son, four classmates and their teacher traveled to Columbus, Ohio for "States."  He and his teammate made it into the top ten for the first round of "financial services" competition, which earned them a spot in the second round.  Unfortunately, they didn't "place" in the second round -- but he came home with this "Top Ten" medal.

We are so proud of our son and his endeavor.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Anthropologie... Finally!

It all started on Thursday when Melissa @ The Inspired Room, posted about her visit to Anthropologie.  I was drooling.

Then on Friday, Patty @ Lemon Lane Cottage asked: "You have one hundred dollars in your pocket that you have to spend (guilt free, of course) and the whole day to yourself, where would I find you?"

Well, of course, I was dreaming about Anthropologie.

*In store photos are with iPod -- a little "grainy."  Thanks to my daughter for taking them, though
--since in my excitement, I forgot to bring my camera!
This box of treasures could make a bowl collector hyperventilate!

My introduction to Anthropologie was via Pinterest, of course.  The closest "Anthro" to us is about an hour away -- and not in a direction that I ever head, so I had never actually been to a store.

Here's an interesting connection, though: one day I spotted a mug... in a Splenda commercial.  {I have found more beautiful dishes and mugs that I love in COMMERCIALS of all places!}  I was really admiring this mug, and so contacted the Splenda people who said that their marketing agreements did not allow them to know the source of that mug (or some such thing... I deleted the e-mail, so I don't remember their exact words.) Hmmmmpf.  Dead end -- but they're sending me coupons, and so, you know... it's all good.  Then, a few days later, I heard from them again.  This time with good news.  The mug in question was from Anthropologie! {Wanna bet one of their employees just recognized it from an Anthro store?}  Turns out it was a monogram mug.  I hadn't noticed that in the commercial.  Of course, the mug in the commercial was Splenda-yellow (sort of a buttery color that I love), and that color only came monogrammed with "h," "p," or "y" -- none of which apply to our family of four (unless you count the fact that one crazy sister-in-law calls our daughter Penelope... totally not her name).  Oh well.  There's still that chunky white monogrammed mug that I love -- or so I thought.

Received one of these sweeties from my sis for Christmas!

On Friday night, my sweet hubby came home and handed me some mad money. (No joke)!  He wanted me to spend it guilt-free.  I thought that was pretty sweet of him, since he knows I'm usually worried about buying something for someone else in the family.

When Saturday (adventure time) rolled around, I had an agenda in mind... Anthro!  So off we went, hubby driving, and our daughter as the designated (*if tentative) navigator.  (She was still in a *quiet mode, recovering from a few "sick days," but she manages her dad's iPhone well for travel directions.)  As we drove, I worked on a shopping list in my head...

  • colorful latte bowls (like I had first purchased at Target a few years back)
  • a pretty and unique monogram mug to add to my bottle-drying rack
  • and maybe another guilt-free surprise?

This may be the final cut... nope, what about that mug?

When we walked in, I walked right past the clothes.  I was not there to shop for those!  This girl loves her pretty dishes and mugs.  I don't have a lot of extravagant pieces, nor the place to store them -- and so I like to have pretty every-day things.

Well, I was like a kid in a candy shop!  How on earth is a girl supposed to choose between all of those COLORS of latte bowls, I ask you?  My husband and daughter stood there, staging various groupings of bowls on a table for me to consider.  I'm sure the salespeople were highly entertained.  I finally told myself I was over-thinking the whole thing.  [In reality, my husband and daughter were threatening to leave me.]

I finally settled on five latte bowls, and also picked out two mini latte bowls that my girl fell in love with.  (You can see them in the first photo.)  They'll probably get used for ingredients when baking.  We'll see.  They'd make a sweet jewelry bowl on the back of the sink, too.  Hmmm.  My girl says they're also perfect for holding a few spoons of sugar to roll Molasses Sugar Cookies in before baking.  [No, we weren't trying to justify our purchase.  I don't know what you're talking about.  This was guilt-free spending!]

As for mugs, the "Splenda" mugs were beautiful -- even the "k" that I would've chosen ultimately... but the handles were tiny and awkward, and so I decided against purchasing one.  The chunky white monogram mugs were not available in "k."  So, I went another route, and selected a pretty mug in a similar style to others I'd gotten at Target -- just a different color scheme (not the one I am holding in the photo :: see final photo).

 Hubby said that mug was too similar to one that we have at home,
so I chose a different color scheme.

[Hmmm, interesting to note the copycat styles between Target and Anthro.  Both my bowls, and my mugs! Also, since our little trip, I spotted this little Anthro knock-off project at At The Picket Fence.  I've seen these at Target as well!]

Anyway, the icing on the cake was that when the salesperson rang up my purchase, she made the comment, "Wow, you found some good deals today!"  Turns out everything that I had picked out was 15% off (latte bowls, mini latte bowls, and a pretty mug).  I was pretty excited (but I don't think too excited to miss that sale sign -- and my hubby NEVER misses a sale sign, so... I think somebody had run off with it!)  Anyway, I was pretty happy.  I have a set of 8 bowls now... the new ones perfectly matching the three that I had previously from Target!

And now I can say I've been to Anthropologie!

What did YOU do over the weekend?
Are you an Anthro shopper?  If so, what's your favorite Anthro find?
Have you noticed other Anthro-like "finds" at Target?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hippity Hoppity...

... Easter's on it's way!

It'll be here in about two weeks.  I'm hoping that it will really be spring-like weather by then.  There's something that's just not right about snow and such bitter cold for Easter... no matter when Easter falls.

So, I've decorated for spring, and it has snowed since then.  Not much, mind you.  My knickers were a little in a twist, but I got over myself.

The daffodils are peeking way up, and must be getting anxious about this NEOhio cold.  [Yes, it was just in the 60's on Sunday!]  It always amazes me that the daffodils survive what inevitably are some pretty cold temperatures AFTER a nice warm-up.  Those daffodils seem to be able to take whatever is dished out for them.  They are much heartier than I give them credit for.

The other night, my hubby went to help a dear friend with a computer problem, and came home with this sweet little Easter Egg from her.  Thank you Donna!  I love it.  It is safe and sound on my china shelf --up and out of harm's way with all my other pretty treasures.  I admit, I keep taking it down to look at all of it's details.

Donna is a "drinking-from-my-saucer" kind of lady.  She is always cheerful and so thoughtful -- and my husband and I so appreciate her [and her husband's] kindnesses towards us.  We are blessed to have them live "just around the corner."

I hope that you are feeling cheery today, no matter the weather.

Keep smiling friends, and encourage each other.  Spring is coming!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like These

Recently, our daughter injured her knee in PE class.  At least, we think that's what happened -- perhaps while running -- or it could've been while lifting weights.  At any rate, elevating and icing wasn't really helping, and it was becoming painful, so we finally made an appointment with the Doc on a morning when she had a "late start" at school anyway.

Our plan was that she would stay home from school in the morning, we'd go to her morning doctor appointment, and then I'd drop her off at school afterwards.

Aah, the best laid plans.  Hallelujah for God's perfect timing.
Not a minute early or late.  Right on time.

This was how my day went:
6:40 alarm went off, made hubby's coffee and lunch
7:20 kissed hubby out the door, made lunches for kids, ate breakfast, read e-mail
8:10 woke son, got dressed
8:50 woke daughter
9:00 took son to school, arrived home to daughter in tears with knee pain and a headache.  Warmed a rice-sock to soothe behind her neck, and she laid down until time to leave for doc.
9:45 rec'd text from son saying he was having stabbing pains in back
9:50 rec'd call from son in which he could hardly speak to me for the pain.  Grabbed his muscle-relaxer Rx, called doc to tell them we were running late and to see if they could fit dear son in as well.  They were running late too, and said, "Bring everyone, and we'll figure it out when you get here!"  (Our doc's office is the bomb-diggity, I'm just sayin'!)
9:55 out the door to pick up son at school, raced to doc's office across town.
10:30 arrived at doc's office to receive diagnosis of inflamation in knee w/ Rx for daughter -and- (severe) back spasms w/ (strong) Rx for son.
11:22 drove daughter back to school, then to pharmacy to drop off Rx, then home with my son.

Thank God for our dear doctor and his staff.  They are so accommodating!

I'm so thankful for God's timing -- that my son called right before my daughter and I were headed to the other side of town.  He was in no condition to wait.

I'm SOOOO thankful for that "mother's intuition" -- that waves a red flag in your head when your child is at his or her limit.  (In this case, a pain limit.)

I'm so thankful for answers.  What a comfort to leave the doc's office feeling that things are under control and being managed, and that we are on our way to recovery of some kind.  What a comfort to know that somebody who really "gets" these mysterious bodies of ours knows what's happening... has been informed... and has given us the best advice on how to care for ourselves.

I've gone to our family doctor as a tween, teen, college student, new mom, and not-so-new-mom.  He has given me two positive pregnancy test results, delivered two healthy children, and weighed them on the very same baby scale that was in the examining room with us on this day.  We don't know our doctor on any other level socially -- and yet, he is a most trusted friend.

Next time we visit him, I plan to tell him that he cannot retire.  It's not open for discussion.  I hope he takes the news well.

p.s.  God bless the man who brings home pizza after a day like this!  Thanks Babe!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quotable Quotes

Sometimes when I read a blog post, there is one sentence that speaks to me.  Sometimes it is an original thought from the blogger.  Other times it is a quote shared.  Either way,  I like to collect these thoughts and read over them from time to time.

Here is my most recent collection:

"I walked through her door, and the room felt like a hug."
~from Shannan @Flower Patch FarmGirl.

"Where there's tea, there's hope."
~ Sir Arthur W. Pinero

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize
how good things really are. "
~ Marianne Williamson

"First impressions and parting words matter.  Every time. "
~ Tricia Lott Williford

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tie a Knot

Every once in a while, I think it's good to write a post that unashamedly gives readers a picture of the real you... the real ME -- as the case may be.  Why? you ask.  Well, think about the blogs that you read.  You know, the ones that you really FOLLOW.  Can you bring up a mental image of that blogger, or who you imagine them to be?  In your head, are you are picturing a perfect all-together person who lives a charmed life?  Because really -- most bloggers bring you their best stuff, and it's easy to believe that nothing ever goes wrong at their house.

Well, lest you think that everything is always peachy and rosy and happiness and light around here... We ARE a real family.  We do get sick, and fail, and have generally yucky stuff happen to us.  SOMEtimes, I share it here because I think somebody out there might be able to relate, and would be helped by knowing other people go through the same things, and feel the same feelings.

This is that post.

In spite of the fact that my son was at home sick for four days last week, it wasn't a bad week -- but I wouldn't say it was a productive week either.  Rather than doing some of the things that needed doing (like laundry), I was busy doing things like figuring out meds for my son to take, buying and preparing food that I wished he'd eat, and making sure he didn't sleep so much during the day that he wouldn't be able to sleep at night.  (Yeah, wish I knew that magic formula!)

On the surface, things seemed to be rolling along on an even keel -- but because I get emotionally "zapped" when our kids are sick, I wasn't all that surprised when the bottom fell out suddenly.

Since our son rarely gets to eat dinner at home with us (due to his work schedule), I decided to make homemade pizza, knowing that he would finally be at home to enjoy it.  I put ingredients for the dough into the bread maker, prepared the sauce, grated the cheese, and had all of the toppings ready.  I was feeling pretty organized really -- and the dough came out of the bread machine all poofy and pretty, so I was psyched!  I pre-baked the crusts, and checked with each family member to see what toppings they'd enjoy.  I started to put the personalized pizzas back in the oven.  One made it, but the second?  Not so much.  Somehow it shifted in my hand, and before I knew what was happening most of the toppings were on the floor.

I was DONE.  I jammed the pizza in the oven, scraped the toppings off the oven door, and slammed it.  [Thank you God for not allowing my oven door to come off it's hinges!]

My daughter ran to see what the commotion was.  I sent her away, and walked away myself to do some out-of-control crying.

Toppings remained all over the floor, and my sweet hubby [God, bless him!] got down on his hands and knees to scrape pizza toppings off the floor like a pro with his bench scraper.  And all I could do was cry.

In the busy-ness of the week, I hadn't tied a knot at the end of my rope.  So... when I got there (to the end of my rope), I naturally slid right off, so to speak.

It wasn't a pretty thing people.  The "big ugly cry" never is.  But then, my hubby hugged me, and we laughed about how that second pizza with only half the cheese would be perfect for our daughter who is somewhat lactose intolerant.

It wasn't about the pizza at all -- but I suspect you ladies knew that.  Why do we moms think we can take on the weight of the world, and not suffer at all for it?  The stress of the week had finally caught up with me, and the falling pizza was the last straw, that's all.

So, now I've laid it out there for all to see.  I'm human.  I have limits, and you all know it.  I am NOT unlimited. This ad has been staring up at me from a magazine pile for the last couple weeks.  It makes me mad.  What it's advertising is irrelevant.  It's a sign of our times -- the idea of NO LIMITS.  We are supposed to have unlimited hours in our day, unlimited money in our bank account, and unlimited resources at our fingertips.  That's what the world wants us to subscribe to... if not in reality, in concept.  I'm not buying into it folks.  I have limits.  Only twenty-four hours are in my day -- and a very precise set is put aside for sleeping, so you figure out the rest.  On and on it goes...  Anyone else out there with me?

I am not unlimited.

Give yourself permission to have limits.  Keep it real.

And, you know... tie a knot.  Just in case.

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