Monday, December 27, 2010

The Beauty of it

A reflection from the author Mark Nepo:

"If all I have is Now,
where will I look for Joy?"

Without hope for the future, without hope that things will change, with no hope of finding what's been lost, with only the risk to crack open all that has hardened about me, what will I do with what I have?

At first, this might seem scary or sad, but as a tired swimmer comes ashore surprised to find pearls washing through his legs, I lift my tired head again and again to find all I need is right where I am.

But being human, I stray and dream of lives other then my own, and soon I am busy wanting something else, somewhere else, someone else, busy imagining something just out of reach to strive for.

It leads me to say if you are unhappy or in pain, nothing will remove these surfaces. But acceptance and a strong heart will crack then like a shell, exposing a softness that has always been, exposing a soft thing waiting to take form. It glows. I think is the one spirit we all share.

This is from the book, "The Book of Awakening:Having the Life You Want By Present With the Life You Have" It has daily meditations and exercise to help bring you back to the present moment. I really liked this one about how the things you have are the things you should want. Makes me chuckle a little because when I get frustrated about the situations in my life I have to remember that this is what I wanted at some point, my life right now is the life I always said I wanted....Taking time to ponder this, helps you return to your true self. It is a good reminder of how to be thankful in the present moment. The things I have are the things I want...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Music

I have really been enjoying Christmas music this season. It is basically all I listen after Thanksgiving, it never gets old to me and I never get sick of it. In the mornings on the way to work or at home by myself all day I LOVE it. We always had Christmas classics playing in our house growing up such as Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, and Frank Sinatra...I would wake up on Saturday mornings to these carols playing throughout our house.

This year I feel like I can't get enough Christmas music....It is really the only thing that has helped my Christmas spirit...It has helped quiet my crazy whirlwind thoughts and offered me an overwhelming feeling of peace. The 3 most played CD's in my house this year have been

1. Josh Groban Noel...My mom bought me this...when I listen to it it makes me feel close to her

2.  Sugarland...of course!

3. My Favorite this year is Jackie Evancho...She is a 9 year old that was on America's Got Talent....Her voice is what I think the Angels in Heaven must sound like....amazing! Check it out!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Well here it finally is...It took FOREVER to get my acceptance letter in the mail. I was told the latest I would get it would be the end of November, so when Dec 1st rolled around I started getting slightly nervous. But it came...with a big fat Congratulations!!! I was so excited to see these see my student ID number, log on and enroll in classes. It makes it REAL! It's not just me saying "yea I wanna be a Nurse Pracitioner one day" it is me saying " I will be a Nurse Practitioner in 2013...a Pediatric NP" That feels AMAZING to say. Back in the summer is when I started to get serious about these boredom of the everyday go to work, come home, repeat x a million days...I just felt like something was missing. I needed some challenge, I needed something to work towards. By no means do I know everything about Neonatal nursing, how could you ever? It is ever changing, but it was time for a change for ME. I want to be in charge in my career! When I started exploring, I noticed the deadline date was Sept 15...I panicked. After a few weeks of deliberation, asking millions of people millions of questions, a few tears and some very meaningful words of encouragement (Thank Tiffany) I submitted my application! Next came the about nerve wrecking. They asked me numerous questions I had no idea how to answer, but I pulled something out of rear made some educated responses and kept my fingers crossed because they only take 20 people. And here we are...Starting January 10, I was on Campus today doing numerous tasks, I had my binder in hand, 3 pages of notes and directions because I had no idea where I was going, trying to act like I belong...and I was so lost...I just had laugh and remind myself that I wanted this! What a sight to see! It is going to be an adventure, it is going to busy and stressful but it will be so worth it! Here I go...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Dinner

We had some of our closest friends over this past Saturday for a Christmas Dinner. It was nice to sit around a table and share a meal, relax, drink and laugh. It was a nice reminder for the great people Mark and I are surrounded by. I'm thankful my husbands college friends picked such wonderful spouses!

Bailey getting in the Christmas Spirit

Tree and mantle all lit up!

The Boys! From Left to right...Tommy, Michael, Dave, Scott, Mark, and Conrad.
Mark and I in front of the tree, with Bailey of course!

The Girls! Ashley, Lauren, Me and Katie! Love these girls!!! Heather left before we got this picture!!

We had a great time...hoping we can make this a new tradition! I finally have some free time this week...I am hoping to start finish my Christmas shopping, start wrapping and get our Christmas cards sent.  I'm feeling slightly anxious about all I have to do, but trying to give myself small reminders about the real meaning of the season...I find some small moments of peace when I do this. Hoping your Christmas season is going peaceful and stress free....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Decorating the Tree

We got our tree this weekend and I LOVE it. Our house smells so good! I decorated the tree this afternoon. Turned up the Christmas tunes and went to town! The best part about decorating the tree is that last year my mom gave me own box of ornaments...let me explain... Every year since us kids have been born, my mom has given us an ornament with our name and the year written on it. Each year we would decorate the tree together and get our new ornament. Last year, my first year with my own house, my mom gave me box of ornaments. So today, I went through all the ornaments, remembering the years I could and looking at my favorites. They made me feel nostalgic for the past, but reminding me of good times. This is a tradition I look forward carrying on with my own kids.

My very first ornament 1985...
We loved this one! It had a glass of milk on it but it has since broken off!
Obviously I was in "Brownies" this year!

We got this one last year for our first Christmas as a married couple!

Mark's Dad got us the collectors edition of Ball State ornaments

Here is our tree, I have no idea why it is blurry...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guess What....

Is out on DVD FINALLY....

I have been waiting for this( In case you have forgotten I'm pretty cool)...I rented it on Red Box tonight and hoping to find this in my stocking Christmas morning, if I can make it that long without buying it.....I'm in love! I think I am going to read the books again and then watch the movies and then become obsessed me, don't ask me about them unless you want to hear my gush...I feel like a teenage girl all over again and I love it! Ok going to swoon....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leftover Turkey

I made this for dinner this week..using my left over turkey from Thanksgiving. I didn't have exactly everything the recipe called for so I used what I had and it turned out just fine. I used frozen vegetables and mixed in some fresh I had. I didn't have any pastry dough so I used biscuits and it was just as good. Mark enjoyed it and I had the leftovers for lunch the past 2 days.
Courtesy Picky-Palate

Cheesy Turkey Pot Pies

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 Cups white onions, finely chopped
1 Cup finely chopped carrots
1 Cup celery
1 Cup frozen peas
1 Cups steamed broccoli
2 Cups baby red potatoes
2 Cups cooked shredded turkey breast
1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1/2 Stick butter
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3 1/2 Cups chicken broth
1 1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Sheets Puff Pastry Thawed for individual pies, or 1 sheet for casserole style

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in medium dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, saute onions, carrots and celery, for 8-10 minutes or until softened. Add in peas, broccoli, and potatoes. Stir and cook for 5 minutes then add in the garlic; cook for 1 minute then add turkey breast. Reduce heat to low.

2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium high heat; whisk in flour salt and pepper for one minute. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Once thickened, stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Pour sauce over turkey and vegetables.

3. Divide filling into 6 2 Cup ramekins for individual pies. Cut puff pastry into 6 rounds and place over ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. You can also pour all filling into a 9×13 inch baking sheet and lay whole puff pastry sheet over top for casserole style. Bake time is the same.