OAIJ x 2 …and other matters

Before I get too far (well, before I get anywhere at all), let me just tell you all how HORRIBLE I feel about not blogging in like, FOREVER.  It’s not that I’m wracked with guilt (except that I am), but I just enjoy blogging, and I miss it.  What can I say?  I’m a writer.  Alas, time is not my friend these days…  I honestly don’t know how Kath does it…three times a day!  I know her posts aren’t long or eloquent, but it still takes time to take, download and upload photos, in addition to writing a snippet here and there.  I find myself saying, “I don’t have time for (fill in the blank), and I don’t even have kids yet!”  Seriously, how does one fit them in?!?!  I suppose children are just like any other top-priority item; you just do.

All that to say, I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile.  No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth (although it sometimes feels like I have) and yes, it’s good to be back.

And, as usual, I have lots to say!

(I’ll use bullet points to avoid the number-conundrum…my OCD tendencies make it hard to end on anything other than 10.)

-Check out my Maple Syrup post for the co-op.  The maple-bacon cupcakes (muffins if you want to sound “healthier”) are the perfect brunch item and will send the eyeballs of everyone to whom you serve them rolling into the backs of their skulls.  Make them this weekend!

-We went to Ohio this weekend to visit our friends, Emily and Dan, and Dave and Jen, and their new baby, Aiden.  I also got to see Susy, another dear friend and running-mate.  We had a fabulous time, although I didn’t take enough pictures (I never do).  I’ll be posting about our trip soon.

-I’m officially on “Easter Break” right now.  Except that I still get up at 0-dark-30 to drink coffee/eat breakfast/workout.  And I have school work to finish.  In fact, I’m going to the chem tutor this morning.  Oh, and I have tests in all my classes when I get back next week.  Not to mention the mile-long list I’ve made of stuff to bake.  So, really, I’m not taking a break at all–I just don’t have to go to class.

-A miraculous thing happened the other day:  I finished off not one, but TWO jars of nut butters!  If you don’t know already, this means I get to enjoy a rare treat TWICE–OIAJ!

-I made oats in the Smucker’s jar (left) yesterday for lunch: oats, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, flax seeds, a splash of strawberry kefir, dehydrated strawberries, cottage cheese and granola on top.  (Thanks for the granola, Susy!)  Of course, all that with a little peanut butter swirled in.  This baby filled me up for hours! Yay for having another one (Crunchy Barney Butter) in the fridge.

-Andrew and I fasted last night while praying for some friends who are going through a rough time.  I’ve never fasted before.  I’ll be honest, food is kind of a big thing for me (as I’m learning through the Made to Crave Bible study–more on that later–I’m doing with Emily), so when Andrew first proposed the fasting idea last week, I was pretty against it.  But, God totally changed my heart and by yesterday morning I was pumped and ready to go!  I had my last snack at about 4:45 (we haven’t been eating until 7:30, so snacking at that time is normal for me) and we prayed together in two sessions.  God totally provided (I thought I would be in agony; my tummy was growling, but I–obviously–made it through) and not only was it a great time of prayer and bonding with Andrew, but it also helped get me off my sugar-kick from this weekend and take one step further in my journey of leaving my food issues behind me.

-Speaking of food:  I made Pioneer Woman’s Simple Sesame Noodle salad with Beef the other night and it was wonderful!  This is something I saw on her blog ages ago and is included in her new cookbook.  Andrew also really liked it, but I thought it was way too oily, so I’ll be reducing that next time.  I added the beef to make it more of a meal (it’s a variation in her cookbook, not sure if it’s in the online recipe) and bell peppers for more color and nutrition.  Topped with chopped peanuts–yum!

-I’ve come to the (sad) conclusion that I need a cup of coffee to get me through my T/Th Statistics class (1-3 p.m. yikes!) without my eyes uncontrollably closing on me.  Guess that’s what happens with a 5 a.m. wake-up time and swim practice.  I’ve done recent “taste tests” and I’m not a huge fan of Tim Horton’s (unfortunate since they are EVERYWHERE around here) or the cute little local place here in the Orchard Park village, Orchard Perk, (although they may have more than one roast…).  I’d make some at home, but at the moment have no good coffee thermos with which to actually transport the coffee.  To-do for this weekend: find one!

-Easter is this weekend and Andrew’s grandma is coming for a visit!  SO EXCITED!  I’m running in the Bunny Hop 5K, which goes right by their house (neat!  I might have a cheering section), and I’m hoping to spend as much time with everyone this weekend as possible = get as much work done as possible before Friday night, and what in the world do we do with Hadrian??

-Did I tell you all I’ve officially gotten into the Dietetics Program at Buffalo State?  Well, I have.  I have one summer class before I start full-time in the fall.  I’m a little anxious about scheduling my fall classes since I schedule last (as a new transfer student) and the classes I need are small with only 1 or 2 sections.  I think the professors will provide an ‘override’ if I can’t get into something I must have, but I’m still nervous.

-I’m making steakhouse mac and cheese today from Cooking Light. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Whew!  I think that’s about it… Or at least a good start getting caught-up!

Alright, sun’s coming up and I have dishes to put away and a hubby to wake up! Happy Wednesday/first day of Easter Break/day I get to bake 🙂

still blue

Actually, I’m wearing blue today.  How appropriate.  Except that most of my wardrobe IS navy blue, so I guess it isn’t so coincidental…

I wish I could say things looked better in the morning.  They don’t.  Not one bit.

In fact, they look worse.  I had thought we were completely at the end of our rope a week ago, before we found the house.  We were depressed, hopeless, upset, discourages and fatigued with the house-hunt.  And then we saw ‘our house.’  Now, it feels like the bottom has dropped out from under us–not only do we have no prospects for a house; we’re faced with an ever-hastening deadline and fewer new houses on the market.  We don’t know what in the world to do.

But God isn’t in the business of giving us every little thing our hearts ‘desire.’  All He promises is His love, and all He wants is our joy.  And that thought has been going through my mind since yesterday morning, BEFORE we found out we didn’t get the house.  Go figure.

And after doing my first day of my new Beth Moore study, Living Beyond Yourself: The Fruits of the Spirit, this morning, in which it talked about Paul getting stoned and Christian martyrs all over the world, I got a little perspective.

Are we still terribly disappointed and completely unsure of what to do next?  Certainly.  But I am trying, desperately, to keep my chin up look on the bright side.  We are happy, healthy and we will be taken care of.  We will figure something out.  God WILL open a door.

And I’m trying NOT to analyze it.  It’s such a trap to fall into…  Maybe we weren’t supposed to spend that much, maybe something better (my pessimistic side says that’s doubtful) is just around the corner, maybe we have to move in with Andrew’s parents for a month and we’ll all grow spiritually and emotionally because of it and we won’t know it until five years later…  I don’t know!  And we can’t really know for sure.

All we know is that (as my wise, WISE friend Emily Wilhelm says), God has us exactly where he wants us.  (I love her.  Her words of wisdom are often just what I need to hear in times like this.)

We are so thankful for all your prayers (here’s a special shout-out to the Simones, Wilhelms, grandma and both sets of parents) and well-wishes.  We love you all so much.

In other news, I treated myself to half a blueberry bagel and cream cheese for breakfast this morning.  I LOVE blueberry bagels with plain cream cheese.  (Unfortunately, the hotel bagels leave a little to be desired, but it was something.)

whew! glad that’s over…

…at least the worst of it!  What a difference a day makes!

Who WAS that strange person who hacked into my WordPress account, masquerading as me?  I didn’t even recognize her…

A HUGE thank you to all of you who were here yesterday and left sweet comments.  They truly warmed my heart and confirmed two things: 1.) my topic really wasn’t COMPLETELY horrible and inappropriate, despite Andrew’s thoughts to the contrary, and 2.) I have wonderful friends and family.  (But I already knew that!)

Yes, Andrew was pretty horrified, but there was just no way around it yesterday.  It was a doozy!  I do, however, promise not to make blogging about such things a habit.  (Insert collective sigh of relief here)

Before I get too far, I’ve been meaning to announce my first “Eat This” post for the East Aurora Co-op.  It’s kind of a grocery-store ‘how-to’ and you can read about it here.  If you’re terribly interested in seeing all of my food posts for them (I plan on doing them about once a week), you can subscribe to their blog as well.  (I don’t necessarily think that any of you are, but just in case.)  Next up: figs!  I had them with blue cheese and honey yesterday for lunch, came up with a salad recipe for the post and am having them on my overnight oats this morning!

Again, thank you for reading, for your comments, and especially for your prayers.  This is a very trying time for us (being in a hotel, full of uncertainty and having to make a decision on a house, on top of me jumping into school), but also full of blessings.  We have found a fantastic church, made some friends and I’m starting a Beth Moore Bible study this week with some women from the new church, so I’m excited for that.  We have seen God work and He has truly blessed us in so many ways during this move, despite some of the less-comfortable “growing experiences” He’s allowing us to go through as well.

Please please PLEASE pray!  The next five days or so will certainly be challenging for us as we try to make the best decision on a house.  Specifically, please just pray that Andrew and I would be sensitive to God’s leading in terms of housing and that He would make it CLEAR and give us peace about the right decision.  That may be a new house, one we’ve already seen or even the apartment option.

Thank you so much 🙂  We have felt your kind thoughts and prayers and are anxious to be able to announce our next step of the move!