What does this dream mean?

well to put it nicely this past weekend was one of the toughest I’ve had in a while. just a lot of unexpected twist that I’ve learned to deal with…I guess. What I do know is I’m bad at hiding my emotions or hurts. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me these past two days and say they can tell I’m down. Which leads to questions I do not want to answer so I just say yeah I’m fine.

One thing that did happen this weekend that has kind of shaken me that I have not talked to anyone about was a dream I had. It was vivid, which happens to me sometimes but rarely do I remember them like this dream. The reason it matters so much is because my granddaddy was in the dream. Now my granddaddy is one of my favorite people … ever. I haven’t talked about him much on here because well I remember how much I miss him and how much I wish he could see me now. He was the kindest, most compassionate man ever. He set such a high example of what a man should be that I believe he’s given me the confidence to expect more. His smile could light my day up. He passed away 9 years ago and it kills me I can’t remember his voice. But I do remember his mannerism and I love that.

Back to the dream though, I dreamed I took a certain person, who recently hurt me, to my granddaddy’s house. I vividly remember my granddaddy hugging me. I remember feeling it was a little longer of a hug, like he lingered to let me know it was ok. That I was going to be fine. I remember his smile and his glasses.

I don’t believe the dream meant anything crazy, but I know he has been on my mind ever since. It’s not a bad thing because he inspires me to live a better life. Like he’s saying you’re loved. I think I feel more at peace because I remember his compassion and forgiveness. I’ve forgiven the person that hurt me. They didn’t do it on purpose but they knew what they were doing.

It’s all part of me letting these changes happen. Letting life happen. I need to stop fighting it because I can’t do anything to stop what is going to happen. I want to enjoy my life. I want to live like my granddaddy, I want to be remembered as a loving person. I want the positive to outweigh the negative.

I want to make this man proud:

 

#40!

So I’ve been staring at this computer screen for about 30 mins. waiting for this post to type itself. It hasn’t happened. I know what I want to do, what I want to write and I’m being careful to write it delicately. This is my 40th post. I want to celebrate reaching #40. So I’m going to do a list of things I’ve learned about life while writing this blog. It probably won’t be 40 mainly because I can’t remember that many things. Some will be funny, some will be random and some will be honest (bare my soul honest, like scary honest)

Here we go:

1. I’ve start blogs before but never have I kept with it. Not sure what about this one is different but I’ve been determined to write. No matter how small or ridiculous I just wanted to write. I wanted to give my friends a glimpse into what’s going on even if we aren’t near each other. So to reach 40 post is a milestone. Truthfully it doesn’t matter how many hits the blog gets. If one person can be encouraged and not feel alone that’s the goal.

2. “failure is not always failing” boy oh boy does this resonate. I am terrified of failure but sometimes our greatest accomplishments come out of our perceived failures. I have failed at a lot this year I think BUT I am stronger than I’ve been in a while. My heart is open. My faith is stronger. My belief in the good in the world continues to stand.

3. I’m tired of being alone. Simple as that. That hurts to admit.

4. I will argue I have some of the best friends around. They stand behind me, support me, cry with me, laugh with me, build me up and will even correct me when I’m wrong. Thank you. When you surround yourself with good people it’s easier to see through the bad times.

5. As for bad times. Life is messy. It’ll never be perfect and when I think it is perfect something knocks me right back down. But that is what hope is for. Hope that things will ok. To enjoy the journey because truthfully it could be worse. And maybe just maybe that bad time, heartbreak, messy end to a friendship leads to something so beautiful, a greater appreciation for life.

6. Weddings are expensive, but fun. That goes out to you Alyssa!

7. Awkward moments happen to me. It’s funny. I have to laugh. It doesn’t always have to be so serious.

8. I’ve learned I add too much un-needed stress to my life. I worry about worry about worry and then I worry if people are going to be unhappy about the decisions I make. I can’t please everyone and I’m truly sorry if you are someone I have made unhappy, I’m trying my best here.

9. Bad Santa Christmas parties are hilarious. Again, I love my friends.

10. Really I haven’t learned this recently just reaffirmed it. I love cooking and baking. Seriously.

11. I’ve learned making news years resolutions aren’t a bad idea. That I can accomplish what I set my mind too.

12. Fear of life. Fear of failing. Fear of being told no. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of a lot of stuff is a crushing thing. Sometimes. Most times its best to let go of fear.

13. Say what you mean and don’t be sorry for it. I am learning that I am a good person and worthy, contrary to what a couple foolish people have told me recently. That I can say what I need to, and those that love me will accept it. That telling someone what you feel, even if it breaks your heart is still the best medicine.

14. That perfect doesn’t exist.

15. I like living a healthier life but for too long I’ve let numbers, sizes and weights define me.

16. Grad school is lots of work. And it’s annoying.

17. Lexington, Oh Lexington how I love that city. It has brought joy, heartache, lots of lessons, and great friends. It’s a place I like to call home.

18. Honesty is the best policy. Sometimes it hurts but it’s good.

19. I love to write. I’m not great at it but I love it. Something about getting my feelings/words out of my brain is soothing. I over think things. badly. Writing it out makes me see those things.

20. At 25 I’ve started to discover what my faith means to me. What I believe. I’m discovering for myself instead of just relying what people tell me to believe. All I know is God’s will is perfect. His plan is perfect. He loves me. And He isn’t going to make my life perfect but He gives me the peace and endurance to deal with the trials. And today of all days that’s enough for me.

21. I am good enough. I am worthy enough.

22. Lastly. Smiling is the best gift to others and to yourself. I’ve smiled my way through a difficult day and I feel hopeful, not necessarily that things will work out how I want them to but that I will make it through anything. And sometimes a simple smile is all someone else needs to realize that it’s going to be ok for them too.

Friday Review of the Week

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way but I am so glad this week is over with. Something about this snowy/icy weather makes for long weeks. I get the mid-week/winter depression and it hangs over me. I hate it. I feel all out of sorts and confused. Honestly, I broke last night. I just cried and it felt ok. Sometimes we have to let go of being so strong and just let it be. Yesterday was the loneliest I have felt in a while and it wasn’t good. But as with my resolution I’ve looked at today as a new day and that I’m going to make it through this ‘season.’ In the spectrum of time 3 1/2 months isn’t that long and I’ve made it through worse. Also, just like usual something comes along that reminds me of the important things. That it’s ok and its a continuous growth in life. As Joyce Meyers puts it “I’m not where I need to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”

This week hasn’t been all bad though. I’ve been searching Pinterest as usual and found lots of ideas I love. Many I will never have the time or money to complete but nevertheless I love them.

I pretty much picked out the bridesmaids dress I want to wear at my sisters wedding, yes another wedding I know. It’s very pretty and I can’t wait to try it on this weekend. I can’t wait to go home and get a hug from my pops and mom. All of my life I’ve taken for granted hugs and how important they are, and how a simple hug can just make everything right in the world. (well at least most hugs can, not those awkward hi which way do we go hugs, but real I care about you and make you feel safe hugs) I’ve missed them. I also realized this point last night. I miss affection in my life when I’m in this city. I don’t have the safe feeling. So basically I miss being hugged. And this is one of the reasons I can’t wait to get home this weekend!

I’ve recently discovered the Civil Wars and for King and Country. They both have been on constant repeat this week on my computer. I need music in my life while I’m studying. Otherwise I get distracted. I can sit at a Panera with my headphones in and get so much done. If I don’t have my music I will people watch all day long. This is probably my favorite song with The Civil Wars right now (it’s off the Hunger Games soundtrack, which I can’t wait to see this movie and it features Taylor Swift) … (notice the theme of safe and sound, it seems to be reoccuring in my life right now)

I also found a new blog I really like called Iowa Girl Eats … if you know me you know that me posting anything about Iowa is funny. I feel like I can relate to this blogger in a lot of ways and I find it enjoyable to read. She’s inspired me with her Friday Favorites.

And the recipe for the week comes from….who else the Pioneer Woman! Who has a show in Food Network now…I just can’t get enough of how much I respect this woman. She inspires me too.

Sorry I got on the tangent about hugs…sometimes that happens. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I’m headed to the symphony for the first time on Saturday. I think I’ll enjoy it. If not at least now I’ll know!

Happy Weekend!

New cooking adventure!

I love to cook and bake. It is seriously the most zoned out thing I love to do. It relaxes me and I feel good knowing I’m made something from scratch. What makes it even better is that these two recipes I made is that they are healthier options. AND super filling. Two things that I love since I’m trying to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle. One that lasts!

First I made whole wheat and oat pancakes. Weird sounding but they are super good!

I put bananas on top but they are fabulous by themselves.

Here is the recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen! The only things I did different was use Plain Greek yogurt because it’s what I found at the store and I used soy milk because I’m allergic to dairy milk and never keep it in the fridge. Definitely worth a try!

Last week I got my new copy of Fitness magazine in the mail. Well they had a couple of recipes listed in the magazine to help accomplish your health related goals for the new year. So I decided to try the to help lose weight recipe.

It is a sweet potato and pork chili.

Here’s the deal. I thought I had pork loin in the freezer…because of my pops I have an almost unlimited supply of beef and pork … well I didn’t have pork loin I had tenderloin. So I used it instead. The pork wasn’t the important part of the healthy chili. It was about having protein, fiber (because of the beans), veggies and being a chili or soup is a more filling meal. So I was excited to make the chili for my week dinners!

All the ingredients! It is actually not an expensive dish to make if you have all the spices and keep diced tomatoes and beans in stock.

First things first is to chop the onion, celery, carrot, and the sweet potato. Now I have a confession…I HATE PEELING CARROTS AND POTATOES. It literally is one of my least favorite things but I did it. I knew it was important to the end result so I did it. Usually I avoid recipes that say ‘peel’ in them.

Cook them until tender … takes about 10 mins .

Next add the chopped up “pork” or in my case tenderloin into the pot.

Let the meat brown…takes about 5 or so minutes.

During this time I mixed all my spices into a bowl. That way I wouldn’t be measure them over the ‘chili’ and could add them all at once. I also used this time to drain the beans and rinse them. A choice I would later regret.

Next I added into the pot the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and the vegetable stock. Now take my advice on this…add less adobo sauce and let the person eating the chili add more spice if they want. This chili nearly lit my mouth on fire because I did not do that.

Now here is where I regret rinsing the beans early. Because you let the chili simmer for an hour now before you put the beans in the chili. Well I decided to start cleaning up my mess and accidentally knocked the beans off the counter.

I maybe cried a little because I didn’t have another can of navy beans. So I improvised and used chickpeas! I can’t tell a difference, maybe because I’ve never had it with navy beans but I digress substitute what you can and make due with what you have!

After and hour the apartment was smelling very nice and it was time to add in the beans.

   The picture doesn’t do this chili justice. It’s really good.

Also because I’m meal planning these days I went ahead and separated the chili into 4 containers, because it made 4 servings, so I could easily fix my dinner this week.

I would absolutely recommend this recipe. It’s a little spicy but definitely filling. Good option for a cold, rainy winter week. (well it’s not really cold today but it’s the midwest…tomorrow we could get a blizzard)

Enjoy!

Life of Purpose

When creating my goals I said I wanted to read more and to grow in my spiritual life. Slowly I’m figuring out how to do both of these with everything else that is going on in my life. My first plan of attack, that I’m still working on truthfully, is I’m going to bed a little earlier so I can get up earlier. I want to get into the gym earlier, then spend my time between waking up and work studying and preparing. I’ve also started leaving my tv in my room off. I’m finding myself sleeping a little better and actually spending my time before sleep praying and reading.

On recommendation I’m reading “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. So far I’m liking it and I find myself laughing. Today though I was waiting on my phone to be fixed I had read all my articles for class, in two weeks which means I’m actually ahead of schedule so far!, so I decided to read some more of this book. He’s is talking about people have “inciting incidents” in their lives. The incidents that move them to action, an incident happens that changes your life and there is nothing you can do about it. In this particular excerpt he is talking about his inciting incident:

“It’s true that while ambition creates fear, it also creates the story. But it’s a good trade, because as soon as you point toward a horizon, life no longer feels meaningless. And suddenly there is risk in your story and a question about whether you’ll make it. you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I’d be lying if I said it was all fun. I definitely lost a few hours of sleep imagining myself collapsing on the Inca Trail, but it beat eating ice cream and watching television. I was doing something in real life. I’d stood up and pointed toward a horizon, and now I had to move, whether I wanted to or not.”

Today this really touched me. I feel that recently I’ve found some ambition. I’m not sure I’ve had my inciting incident but I know that I’m pointing toward a horizon now. I’ve had some changes that I’m happy about, moves that I’m nervous about and just generally trying to over come this fear. I’m finding my faith again. I’ve talked about trusting in his plan and KNOWING that his timing is perfect. I find myself praying for specific things these days. I’m scared of having a broken heart but this book is reminding me that a life with a story has it’s up and downs. We don’t have answers as to why bad things happen but I know that God has a story to tell through me. And sometimes when I do not have the words to say, which is why I haven’t written all week, I force myself to figure out what is going on…and i make myself sit down and write.

Today I’m choosing to be present with these feelings instead of pushing them away. I’m hoping answers come soon but if they don’t I’ll be ok. I know there is a purpose and I was created to be great.

 

A New Year’s Eve Wedding.

I think since I started this blog I’ve talk about Alyssa. I talked about how she was engaged, about planning her bridal shower and dedicated a whole post to her general amazingness. Well the wedding finally arrived…New Years Eve….in Milwaukee. Now I’m thinking Milwaukee, end of December, it’s going to be tons of snow and freezing BUT they got lucky. The weather was amazing, only cold when we had to take pictures outside, and when I tell you she was a stunning bride I am not exaggerating. I don’t think she could have picked a more perfect dress, or more perfect bridesmaids dresses. I went up early to help her get some finishing touches on things and to hang out with my friend because honestly I’ve missed her, she’s been gone all of 2 weeks and our schedules were kinda crazy before that. Her family welcomed me with open arms and I am forever grateful for the support and love they showed me that weekend.

First let’s discuss the rehearsal dinner. It was fabulous and tons of fun. Note to any future brides that having activities for people to do during/after dinner is a great idea. They held the dinner and Rock Bottom Brewery downtown Milwaukee and had a pool table, dart machine and a wii set up for the guest to enjoy. And did we enjoy them! Not to brag but I may have a had a turkey or 2 during wii bowling! ha ha. I think the dinner set the weekend off with a bang. Everyone laughing and enjoying each others company. I got to know a couple of the other bridesmaids and their husbands throughout the night and I’m so grateful for that opportunity. I reconnected with an old friend and had so much fun!

I stayed with Alyssa again the night before the wedding and we woke up bright and early to get the day started. She was so calm and ready for this day, or she was hiding her feelings really well! The make up and hair dressers got to her house and started working on getting us ready for the day! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a wedding prep go so smooth. My hair and make up was done before 11 am and I had time to just hang out with everyone before we left for the church. The rest of the afternoon is kind of a blur but I do know we were ready early and the ceremony went off without a problem. Next came pictures, pictures and more pictures then the fun really began. The reception! I must say this is one of the best receptions I have ever been too. The bridesmaids and the groomsmen danced, laughed and partied the night away. We rang in the new year with the best of emotions and spent the night celebrating love. (which is something I’d like to do everyday)

The weekend ended with breakfast with a couple of the bridesmaids then a long trip back to Indy. What I can say in reflection of this weekend is that I am completely 100% happy and ecstatic for Jeff and Alyssa. I am just getting to know Jeff but he is a stand up guy and I love the 2 of them together. That my confidence in love and just in myself have grown so much over the past year. I just had fun, no worries of what others thought about me. The point was to celebrate and have fun so that is what I did. Lastly, I loved the family aspect of the wedding. I got to know both of their families a little bit more and the support these two have is amazing. I know I am blessed with the same type of support and it just brings a smile to my face to think of what future holds for us all!

Here are some pictures from the wedding!

This is Hannah, Lauren and Laura. Waiting for the ceremony to start

Alyssa and her bridesmaids!

Look at that dress! Amazing. This photo is from Kim White Photography! If you are in the Indy area you should check her out. She is a friend of the groom’s family and took great photos!

This was an effort to catch Nathaniel, our waiter, who was amazing and the best glider I have ever seen. I think we may have creeped him out a bit though.

Laura and I. Love her. I don’t think she even knows how much I appreciated her this weekend. Plus her husband might be one of the funniest people I’ve met and Milwaukee Casinos love him!

Last a picture of the night. Love her beyond words. Her friendship means so much to me and I don’t know what I would have done without her this past year.

To Jeff and Alyssa. Congratulations. I love you two.

Goals.

I wrote a post the other day and it included some of my goals for 2012. They’ve been on my mind and I’ve kinda delved further into what I want this next year to be about. But more than focusing on the year I’d like to think of having this new start everyday, a new day to try and practice these things.

1. I want to say I love you more to the people that need to hear it. That deserve to hear it.

2. I want to live with more love and more grace than I ever have before. To go further into my spiritual life and grow in my relationship with God. To trust his will and plan like never before.

3. I want to smile and laugh every day. Because honestly there is moment in every day that can make me smile or laugh. I’m blessed and I know it.

4. I want to continue to live healthier. To make healthy choices.

5. I need to remember that I can’t fix every situation. That I can start right now with where I am and move forward. Just be the best me and let the rest fall into place.

6. I want to say what I feel more when the time is right and not live in fear of what can happen. I learned at the end of 2011 the freedom that can come from saying what I need to.

7. I want to read more. I think finally deciding to become a librarian and go back to get my masters inspired me to continue reading books I love and discover new genres I didn’t know I would like. And that it is ok to be considered a nerd. I’ll wear the title proudly.

8. Lastly I just want to TRY to accomplish these goals. Every day is a new start to never give up on these things. (Thank you to my dear friend who inspired this one with her beautiful goals for the next year.)

So 2012 here is to you and to being a fabulous year filled with love, grace, laughter, changes and growing!