Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I know the time for New Year's resolutions was over a week ago, but I needed some time to really think it through. Resolutions are not something to be all willy-nilly about. They're serious business. I decided to go with eleven in honor of it being 2011.
For those of you who know me, if you see me straying from this list say something. No one would ever accomplish anything without motivation and people to keep them accountable. Well, maybe some people would but I am definitely not one of those people.

(I hope you don't mind that I'm going to be speaking directly to myself.)

1. Gossip less. Be someone who never says anything about anyone that doesn't come from a loving place. Don't be petty. Let go of your judgments and become more open, accepting and tolerant. Remember to be kind and generous with your thoughts and especially your words.

2. Start a new book every month, and make some of those books informative about cultures you don't know much about. The more you know, the more you grow. Remember to constantly be changing your worldview. It will make you a better person.

3. Teach Kiddo at least one new useful life skill and one new sign. Remember repetition. Don't get discouraged and keep at it.

4. Lose weight. Not just the weight you gained by eating too much dressing and pie, but a substantial amount of weight. And, lose it the healthy way; slow and steady. Exercise more and implement portion control. Do not set ridiculous, unattainable goals like losing 40 lbs. in 3 months. Remind yourself everyday that your weight loss has to be about a long, healthy life. Do not make it about vanity because when it becomes about vanity you give up. Don't give up. If you eat Taco Bell on Saturday it doesn't give you an excuse to eat poorly on Sunday.

5. Volunteer your time and resources to at least two local organizations. Just because you may not have a lot of money to give doesn't mean you can't give your time. Do not just say you're going to and let it slip your mind. Actually go out and make it happen.

6. Remember your word for this year. (My mother-in-law told me she thinks my word for the year should be "release", which I think is absolutely perfect.) Stop stressing over things that are out of your control. Don't obsess over your future and make so many lists (except this list, of course) and timelines. Release your anxiety and learn to relax. You and Matt will accomplish your goals when you do. Matt will get into school if he's meant to. You will have children when God gives them to you. Just stop and release. Everything will always be okay.

7. Learn to cook. I mean really and truly learn to cook. Watch Matt, find recipes and go for it. Try to think of it as fun instead of your preconceived ideas about how hard it is. Ina didn't get where she is today by sitting around and thinking about how she'd like to start cooking. Get in the kitchen, start out simple and learn it. Then get good at it, but that can be next year's resolution...

8. Knit, sew and paint more this year. Learn new techniques. Find patterns that challenge you.

9. Get closer to God. Remember that no matter what it does not matter what you do or don't believe. All that matters is that you give thanks daily to the One who loves you and created you. Do not let your confusion about religion discourage your spirituality. Remember how much better you feel when you pray. Put your worries into God's hands. He (or She) has it under control.

10. Try your best daily to be a better wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, granddaughter, niece, cousin, caretaker, and friend. If you fail one day, try harder the next.

11. Remind yourself daily of your blessings. Be thankful everyday that you get to wake up next to a husband you adore and go to a job that you love. Be thankful that you are capable of doing all the things on this list.

*Bonus Resolution:
This is more like a wish. Win the HGTV Deam Home. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holidays=Food, & Lots of It!

Hi everyone! School is out, and now I can hopefully blog a bit more often! How was your holiday season? We had such a blast! We spent a lot of in-between time meeting up with friends in from out of town and hanging out with our families. Much of our holidays were spent eating a TON of delicious food. I think I gained something like 6 lbs. in 6 weeks.... I have to say it was completely and totally worth it ;)

Matt and I spent Thanksgiving with his family and we cooked the whole dinner for the first time! Well, Matt's brother Danny did make the green bean bake, but we did everything else. We did it all from scratch; the turkey baste, the dressing, everything. I made sweet potato balls and some gooey butter cake that was amazing, if I do say so myself. Matt's sausage and pecan dressing was out of this world. Needless to say, it was a Thanksgiving where maternity pants would have came in handy. Mona has been making Thanksgiving dinner for 30 years so I thought she deserved a break. To all of you who cook these meals year after year: you are incredible! I do not know how you do it. It is so much preparation and work!
Pretty, huh?

We had a great Christmas too, which we didn't do any cooking for. My mom's dinner was amazing. She made a corn dish that was sooo yummy! I'll get the recipe from her soon and share it with you all:) My parents got us a new TV, which was totally unexpected and awesome! We have been using a large computer monitor as a television for a couple years now so having a real one is like living in another world. After dinner we did our annual dessert and game night at my aunt's. It was hilarious as usual, especially since we played a lot of Catch Phrase. I'm thinking next year we should introduce some charades into the mix!

My birthday, as you may know, is two days after Christmas. Matt and I didn't really do much. I'm always so tired by my birthday. I turned 26... I know to a lot of you it will sound silly, but it was pretty depressing. I'm getting painfully close to the dreaded "30" mark. Which, of course, means that I'm all too close to the "ticking biological clock" stage of my life. That's such a scary thing to say or type out loud, in this case. Matt and I are still no where near ready for children, but as Matt gets closer and closer to 29 I feel a little bit of a sense of urgency about it. It's still okay to produce offspring into your late 30's right? Has anyone ever frozen their eggs, or read anything about freezing them? I'm guessing it's pretty expensive and I'm not really sure at what age you're supposed to do it, or how effective it is. Lately we've been thinking we may want a larger family (3-4 kids) so the rush to get started has intensified. 

Moving right along... (Writing about freezing eggs is starting to give me high anxiety, ahhhh!) We had a nice New Year as well. We went to a friend's little party. It was relaxing and fun and sort of pajama party ish. I'm always stoked to go somewhere where real clothes aren't required :) Matt made 7-layer bean dip and I made these pretty and decadent little cupcakes. I got the recipe off of foodnetwork.com so the link to the recipe is under the photo!
Click here for the recipe! 
*Note: This recipe says to make these in a jumbo cupcake pan, but I made regular sized ones and they were still yummy.

For our annual Christmas goody-bags we did garlic pickles, strawberry jam, triple berry jam, and two types of candies. We made them for less people and I didn't knit anything so it was a lot less stressful than last year's. We printed out these super cute tags to label everything with too!
Well, I think that's about it! Here's a few more photos of fun, holiday-related stuff. Happy 2011 blog world!
Charlie's first Christmas ornament:)

I couldn't resist...
This was Matt's Christmas-time tee. Can any of you figure out what it means?? If you can't see it very well it is a basil, oregano, garlic, and rosemary saying, "What's new?" "Hi guys" and "How's it going?" (Mona & Mom- neither of you are allowed to guess.)