Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Published Wednesday, November 27, 2013 by with 3 comments


     It's hard to think that the picture above was taking just a year ago. Thanksgiving of last year to be exact. How so much can change over just a year. Last year Matthew and I got to celebrate our first Thanksgiving as Mr. & Mrs. with our parents and this year is the first without my mom.
     One of the books that I’m reading says I should brainstorm some memories or characteristics about my mom. I've been putting it off because, well, because remembering hurts. I know it’s important to remember those good times, but it’s a double edged sword. It reminds me of what I have lost and makes me angry because 28 years is not enough time with one of the most influential people in my life. I’m grateful for every moment I had with my mom, but I’m human and selfish, so I want more time.
     I feel like there is so much more that she could have taught me, but it doesn't do me any good to focus on that. So instead I will remember what she did teach me. She taught me the basics of how to prevail in life, how to walk, talk, tie my shoes, the color wheel, how to read (and my love for the written word) and to write. She gave me my love for mathematics and numbers. She lived her life in a way that showed me what faith looks like, how serving others is serving God and how you can reach many people that wouldn't normally be open for hearing about God with food. She let me experiment in the kitchen and even ate my awful productions but told me how to improve them so that I can prepare edible meals for my family now. My love of the outdoors and adventure comes from her and the time she sacrificed to be my Girl Scout troop leader, insuring that we had awesome excursions. She opened my eyes to the beauty in the world even if it meant waking me up in the middle of the night to see a meteor shower or taking me out of school early so she could show me the huge waves that were being produced by El Nino. She taught me that parents aren't always going to be your friend growing up, they are there to make sure you have the skills to do well in life and to keep you from making stupid decisions. And that no matter how old you are, you still have growing up to do. She showed me retail therapy and that sometimes you just need to go to Target and buy a basket full of items that you don’t really need. She demonstrated how to be a good host and throw a great party.
     I think the hardest lesson she taught me was how to be strong and have faith, even while looking death in the face. And that being strong does not always mean that you have no fear, but having courage to face those fears. It's this lesson that will get me through the holiday season and as I learn how to live my life without her.
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Published Sunday, August 25, 2013 by with 0 comment

Chocolate-Covered Cherries

Matthew and I like to make these chocolate covered cherries every year to give away around Valentines Day. We actually didn't get to make them last year because we were busy with wedding stuff. So this year we may have gone overboard...

Start with a jar of stemmed cherries. We just happened to get ours from Sams.

Set cherries out on paper towels so they can dry.

Leave out for a few hours if necessary. You really don't want them to have any residual cherry juice on them.

Combine light corn syrup, butter and powder sugar until smooth. Chill if mix is too difficult to work with.

Wrap a small ball around a cherry and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

Melt your chocolate. mmm chocolate.

Dip cherries in chocolate and set on wax paper or silicon sheets.

Sometimes when pulling them off the chocolate gets messed up.

Easy to fix though.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Letting them sit for a week or two makes the powder sugar mix all ooey and gooey and super delicious.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

60 Maraschino Cherries, with stems
3 Tablespoons Butter, softened
3 Tablespoons Light-Colored Corn Syrup
2 Cups sifted Powder Sugar
1 Pound Chocolate Candy Coating

1) Drain cherries and set on paper towels for several hours to ensure they are dry.
2) In a small mixing bowl combine butter and corn syrup until smooth. Mix in powder sugar and knead until smooth. Chill mixture if it is too soft to handle. Shape about a 1/2 teaspoon amount around a dry cherry and place stem sides up on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill wrapped cherries for about an hour.
3) Melt candy coating according to directions. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Then, holding the cherries by the stems, dip one at a time in the candy coating let excess chocolate drip off and set on wax paper.
4) Once the coating has hardened place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. This allows the sugar mix to get all gooey and yummy.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Published Thursday, July 04, 2013 by with 1 comment

Brace yourselves

     So I'm writing a blog update about this rather than just doing a Facebook post since this will probably be too long for a status update.
     On Monday morning my mom stumbled out of bed. By the time I got over to her house at ten a.m. to pick her up for her chemo appointment, my mom had called her neighbor, and sent a text to my brother's girlfriend that scared the crap out of her. My mom's neighbor was trying to help her get off of the floor, but she was too weak to get up (she had been ill the few previous days because of chemo).
     After I had been there 3-5 minutes the cops showed up banging on the door. My brother's girlfriend (who lives in California and who didn't have any contact information for anyone here and was unable to get a hold of my mom since her phone was dead) called the cops. The police then contacted the paramedics so that they could come and help my mom. Once the paramedics showed up, they were able to get her off the floor, down the stairs and put her in the passenger seat of her car since she didn't want to ride in the ambulance.
     She wasn't hurt from tumbling out of bed, but because she was disoriented and had trouble answering questions like what day it was, how she got on the floor in the first place, she needed to go to the ER. At the ER they discovered she was severely anemic, dehydrated and showing signs of infection. She was put on an IV to receive fluids and antibiotics. My mom also received blood transfusions to help bring up her white blood cell count. The anemia put a lot of stress on her heart and her blood work showed an enzyme that is normally only found in the bloodstream after a heart attack. She did not have a heart attack, and her levels of this enzyme were on the low end of the scale. It just shows how much stress her heart was under because of the anemia. She was moved into the ICU later in the evening and she was ordered to have another MRI on her head (she just had one last week).
     Tuesday morning, her oncologist came in to talk to us about her MRI results. Now this is where the bad news comes into play. Her cancer is still in her brain. The radiologist came in to talk to her and he can do radiation on one spot of her brain, but not on the others. On Wednesday her oncologist again came in to talk to her realistically about her options. Even with the radiation, her life expectancy could only be a few months and it would be best if we were to put my mom in a hospice program. My mom has been moved out of ICU as of Wednesday night, which is good news.
     As you can imagine this has been very difficult for my family to deal with. But praise God that my family is close (both geographically and relational) and we have an amazing support system of friends. Obviously we are still praying for a miracle, but ultimately for God's will to be done.
     I know my family and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers through all of this. I also want to apologize for not being able to call and talk to many of you to inform you what has being going on, but it has been a hectic and stressful few days and honestly it's difficult to have to repeat what has been going on. Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers and I will try and keep you updated as we get more information.
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Published Sunday, June 23, 2013 by with 0 comment

Back in the swing of things

Things have been busy the past few months. But I feel that everything is finally starting to settle down. Which means new posts! I'm hoping to get caught up on old projects including putting in the garden beds, making chocolate covered cherries for Valentines Day, and our anniversary trip to California. But for now, cute animal pictures.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Published Saturday, April 06, 2013 by with 1 comment


So I just realized that I haven't made a blog posting since February  It's not as if I don't have stuff to post (garden stuff, recipe for chocolate covered cherries, and our new favorite meal, chow mein). I've just been busy with so much other stuff. And I should be studying for my test on Thursday but instead I'm looking up information on metastasized breast cancer, turning myself into more of a mess. For those of you who I haven't told yet my moms cancer has spread to her brain. It's scary as hell and honestly I'm not sure how I'm dealing with it. There is so much running through my head that I don't even know where to start. I am so grateful to have an amazing man for my husband that stands by me and holds me up when I don't have the strength to hold myself up anymore.
I have also spent a lot of time reasserting that God is good. God IS good. My God is mighty and powerful and this did not come as a shock to him, like it did the rest of us. He has a plan and I trust in Him regardless of what happens.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Published Monday, February 25, 2013 by with 0 comment

Addition to the family

Matthew and I have been talking about getting a cat for awhile now. After looking a various adoption centers and we didn't have any luck. So I started looking at craigslist, and we found a cat that fit our criteria. Welcome the newest member of our family, Walter!

He is eight months old, up to date on his shots, neutered and declawed in his front paws. His owner had a busy work schedule and felt like he wasn't getting the attention he deserved. We're happy to take him.

Walter is adjusting well to our house. He is very much a lap cat and though he is curious about the dogs, he still doesn't want the dogs near him. But as I am writing this, he is stalking Angelina around the house and Angelina is freaking out about it (of course).

Walter also likes to talk, a lot.

But I sort of have forgotten what it is like to own a cat. He woke me up this morning staring at me and the dogs from my bedside table.

And then there is the typical cat...sitting on my laptop while trying to post this.

He ended up deleting a lot of the post and adding his own flare. Thank goodness for the undo button. 
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Published Saturday, February 16, 2013 by with 0 comment

Our first Valentines as Mr and Mrs

This Valentines day Matthew and I agreed to not spend much money on it. We bought some bowls that goes with our china as our gifts, so I wasn't expecting much. But Matthew being the amazing man he is had other plans.

When I woke up I found chocolate in various spots around the house. This was next to my purse.

Then I got into my car and there was a bag of Valentine goodies in it, including these oreos that Matthew made into heart shapes. Talk about feeling loved!

Then when he came home he surprised me yet again! He made the 'bouquet' for me at work!

For dinner we make some Italian baked chicken with cauliflower and tomato basil risotto.

And I surprised him with some cheesecake that looked like those conversation candy hearts for dessert. It was so yummy that Matthew and I ate it before I could take a picture of it. But if you really want to see what it sort of looked like you can look at the blog I got the idea from
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Published Monday, February 11, 2013 by with 0 comment

Sick puppy

My poor Milton was sick yesterday. He spent most of Sunday in the following manner:

stealing the covers, curled up in a ball.

Angelina was not happy that Milton was taking all of the blanket, so she laid on me. 

She also kept looking at Milton like he was going to explode. It's not like he threw up on her, but she kept her distance.

But by evening he was feeling better, yay!

And he wore himself out playing. Look at that face!
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Published Monday, February 04, 2013 by with 1 comment

Cross and infinity lariat

So I saw this cross and infinity lariat on etsy and I fell in love with it. I love crosses and I love infinity. So I then thought "I could make that". My mom happens to have lots of tools for jewelry making and I had the items I needed for the lariat, so why not?

Here are the starting products, the cross was a Christmas gift from my mom actually.

First was to take off the fastenings on the necklace. I used that chain that the cross was on for the lariat.

Next I used these little guys to fasten the cross and infinity to the chain.


Now to take of the pesky little loop on the other side of the infinity.

These cutters had a warning printed on them to wear proper safety glasses when using them. I'm a rebel, I didn't use safety glasses.

And the finished product!

Just slip the cross through the infinity loop.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Published Saturday, January 26, 2013 by with 4 comments

Pre-Baby Bucket List

EDIT: See updated list in this post Baby Fever
Pre-Baby Bucket List

     Before Matthew and I got married we discussed when we thought we would like to have children. We felt that one year was a good amount of time. A year would give us plenty of time to enjoy being married, and learn how to be married, right? Well, Matthew and I have been married for eight months now! It has gone by so fast and I know our anniversary will be here before we know it. I don't think I'll be ready to start trying for a child in four months. So after having a freak out about being old, pregnancy in general, saying we would try after a year, not being ready and other inconsequential stuff I talked to my friend, Marlee, she said she was having the same problem and suggested making a list of things that we would like to do before we have a kiddo.
     I love this idea. Call me selfish, but I love my husband and want to spend as much time with him as possible before we add to our family (right now pets are enough for us). So having this list 1) gives us an opportunity to do things we have always wanted to do together 2) while working toward a future goal 3) preparing our hearts and 4) plays into my love of lists (see what I did there).
     Now I understand that having a kid is not the end of the world, and that the stuff on this list can be done even with children so I don't expect to cross everything off (that's why it's a bucket list). With that being said, these are things that I think would be nice to do without children in tow and we might have an easier time planning/doing them without having to think about the kids and some of it is just plain practical. Here is what Matthew and I come up with:

  • Wine tasting tour
  • Road trip
  • Spend all day in pajamas watching movies
  • Have a boozy lunch with friends
  • Spontaneous weekend get away - and by spontaneous I mean less than a week's notice. I do like to have things somewhat planned
  • Stay out late - this one is accomplished anytime I hang out with my friends. So I intend to enjoy it every time it happens
  • Go out to eat - again, Matthew and I do like to go out to eat, so we plan to enjoy the luxury of getting to eat our food and not worry about feeding kids as well as getting to spend alone time with each other  or having to find a babysitter. 
  • See lots of movies that would be inappropriate for children 
  • Surprise romantic dinner for Matthew
  • Surprise romantic dinner for Katie
  • Go on a cruise or travel to Europe
  • Stay at a bed-and-breakfast
  • Get healthy
  • Purchase a SUV
  • Learn to sew / take sewing class
  • Be a tourist where we live (Dallas)
  • Get life insurance
  • Build up an emergency fund
  • Pay off student loan
  • Pay off Matthew's car
  • Go hiking (preferably in Colorado)
  • Get more pedicures

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Published Friday, January 25, 2013 by with 0 comment

Books # 1, 110 and 151

So I have been reading a lot of books off my challenge, at least it seems like a lot to me. I know I have about a billion to go. But it has been fun, daunting, and a challenge like it should be. Although I am not sure what to do about the books that my library does not have.

I finished Gone With the Wind on January 9. I genuinely enjoyed the book. I could not stand Scarlett, but that is probably the point, otherwise you would feel bad for all the things that happen to her.
Next up was 1984 which I read in high school but I don't remember a thing about it. I found the book to be okay. It definitely was interesting thinking about the possibilities society could face.
Then there was Kite Runner. It was my least favorite of the three, but it could have been a draw with 1984.

Right now I'm reading lots a Shakespeare and it is making me want to watch 10 Things I hate About You. I'm also currently reading Emma (#76). Then I'll tackle Sophie's Choice (#290) and The Shining (#276). Wish me luck!
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Published Sunday, January 20, 2013 by with 0 comment

Attempting Art

 My dear friend Jesica have been talking about doing one of those BYOB painting classes for quite some time now. So when we saw a deal for one we snatched it up. We had such a great time together that we have already purchased another deal from groupon to do another painting class. Anyways, in this class we painted a cute scene with some birds.
Jesica and I

Kind of excited, yet nervous about the painting. 

Got my glass of delicious moscato.

Intimidating blank canvas. At least it's intimidating to those with no artistic skills like me. Probably why the wine is a must.

First step - blend base color with white.

Second step - add more base color to the white.

Third step - add yet even more base color to the white (this was where I had to get more brown and Jesica need more red as well).

Then take a break with chocolate and more wine!

Now to add the moon.

Branches for the birds.

Now the difficult task of adding the birds. This was terrifying to me. Everything else so far was relativity easy to do.

I thought he turned out pretty well.

Birds done, now to make the trees pretty.


I know you're jealous of our awesome paintings. I ended up hanging mine up in my master bathroom.

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