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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Starting Over

Have you ever wanted a clean slate?

If you are anywhere near being a human being, I bet you've made mistakes- or maybe not the BEST choices-and wish you could go back an have a re-do.

But where's the fun in that? >insert smiley face here<

Everything that has come our way has been there for a purpose. If it wasn't meant to be that way than it would have been different. I guess you could say the real challenge is figuring out WHY it happened that way.

For example: why was I not more consistent with this blog?

Perhaps because life, itself, is full of inconsistencies.

There is so much that I love that it ends up all coming out in a jumble of information, strewn across whomever chances to find it. I love food, dancing, artwork, writing, spending time with family, and children to name a few.

I should be asleep right now.

Have you ever been so unsettled, that in order to figure it all out, you must write what ever you are feeling and thinking to make sense of it all?

I think there are many moments in life where God gives you that small moment of piece and quiet to figure it all out. For some that may be sitting on the toilet contemplating what it was that you ate last and how your probably should exercise  more. Or maybe you're the one in the shower singing to a crowd at your own personal American Idol audition or getting hit on the foot with the conditioner and a great idea for a story just popped into your head. Maybe you're the one walking down the street admiring the world around you and the creator who made it and how if your could photograph that one moment and frame it for the world to see that you are happy; that you are you in that one moment. Not the crazed looking, always going, full of stress person that everyone might see you as.

If there is anything that can show you what that is, it's a loving Father in Heaven.

There is so much in the world that is telling you which way to go and what they think is right for you.

There are people that tell you how to be, dress, act....and that, THAT all matters.

That's not me.

If there was that one perfect moment to detail who I really am, it would be the one's unseen. The moments when the sun not only reaches and warms my skin but my heart. The moments when I am pouring out my soul to God and sharing all the bitter and sweet things. The moments when I cry when no one is looking because I am just having a bad day. The moments when I look upon the world and see all the good instead of focusing on the negative. Those moments when others may think I am ignorant, selfish, or stuck-up when really I am just open to listen.

I'm listening to them, to me, to anything.

I'm trying to find that next step. That next part of my journey, and unhappiness will not dwell there.

You are beautiful. You can dream. You can make it.

Even if I were not to have faith in you, he does. Because HE made you, and loves you.

I plan to follow through on promises, complete goals, and live my dreams.

What are you going to do with TODAY? Please comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here's to a clean slate.


M.E.G.
     

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blessing Bags

I spend a lot of my time on Pintrest.

A LOT OF TIME!

However there are many wonderful "blessings" that come from such devotion to this wonderful world of pins.   At KWAV's (Kids with a Vision) blog Ali B. posted her idea for "Blessing Bags".

Have you ever been at a gas station just minding your own business when a stranger walks up to you asking for some change? Have you ever lied and told them you didn't have any change because you were afraid they would spend that money that you worked hard for and then graciously give away, to buy alcohol or cigarettes? Have you ever told the truth that you didn't have change but truly wished you could help them? Have you ever just been so full of love that you wish you could help anyone you crossed paths with that seemed to need a little pick me up?

I have......

SO when I ran into her blog via pintrest I was more than thrilled to be introduced to the loving blessing bags, because everyone in this world needs just a little something to brighten their day.

I was so excited to do these, I just needed to DO IT!

When I went shopping a few weeks ago I had the full intention of buying things for others. I went to the dollar store and loaded up my cart with TONS of items, being giddy the whole time. When I was ready to check out I let others with only a few things go in front of me. One of the girls I had a nice conversation with. She asked me questions and told me stories of her own: are you doing these through an organization of some sort? That's cool. When I lived XYZ my family did something like this. I think it's really awesome that you're doing this. I told her that I wasn't doing it through and organization I was just doing it because I wanted to because I love people and want to help them out. There were a few other people behind me that seemed a little grumpy and I couldn't blame them. It was a dollar store for cryin' out loud and here was this crazy lady with a cart full of stuff while they held one or two things. It made me realize that I shouldn't judge others on the amount of things they have in their carts because it might not even be for them and I need to be more patient also. When it was my turn I told the cashier that it might be awhile and that I had separate transactions (I was also buying things to do birthday bouquets  which I will do in a latter post- for a friend and the little boy I babysit.) She was super patient and bubbly and I was SO grateful. We also began talking and I explained to her that everything I was buying wasn't for me. I told her it was for some birthdays and the majority of it was for helping with the needs of others. Taking care of the basics for a few days. I thought she was going to cry. She thought that that was the coolest thing she had ever heard and she was even more caring while checking out my items. I was so blessed to have such a wonderful cashier! I walked out of that dollar store feeling like a million bucks and little did I know that my first opportunity would arise that very same day! I continued my grocery shopping, ending the long day at Wal-Mart. Soon it was time for me to go and pick up my sweet husband after his classes and there was a older women outside on the corner of the street with a sign saying something along the lines of "Any Help Appreciated". I thought about my unorganized blessing bags and felt that I needed to give one to her. "But I don't have it put together." "She needs one." "But I'm so tired from the day of shopping." "Why did you buy these things? To help." I pulled off on the side of the road after having driven past her and through together a Blessing Bag as quickly as I could. I then drove back to her pulled aside again to not cause an accident or anything and then I ran towards her feeling like a super hero. I was so full of love for this woman I never met that I had to give her a hug. I handed her the bag and asked for her permission to hug her. She didn't really respond, she just kept saying thank-you. I hugged her and told her I hoped it would help. Then I walked back to the car and got  in. On my way to pick up my husband I sobbed the whole way. I felt so much love surrounding me and I knew in that moment that I had done what my Father in Heaven wanted me to do. Even if it meant nothing to her, it meant a great deal for me. I got home and for awhile the bags of things just sat there and I knew from the moment I wanted to make them that I was going to do a blog post on my own blessing bags, I just haven't yet, I wanted my husband to help, <enter lame excuses here>. Finally I just took an hour or so and put them together and I LOVE the way they turned out! No more awkwardness, no more obligation; just lots and lots of LOVE. After I finished the bags I still didn't write the blog post, no excuse, I just didn't. And now I AM! YAY! I have already had three people come into my apartment and see and question the blessing bags. They loved them so much that they wanted all the details! So here you are! Dedicated to my good friend Liesl, my grandma Jones, and my grandma Gunnel! May you have as much fun as I did making these!
Blessing Bags:
*Note* I loved one of the comments on Ali B's Blog that said to think of food items that are soft. A lot of these people have little, rotting, or no teeth!
-Band-aids (I did band-aids that were weather proof and some that had antibiotic already on it)
-Cough drops
-Trail Mix
-Crackers
-Vienna Sausages
-Apple Sauce
-Pudding
-Toothbrush with cap
-Travel Toothpaste
-Soft Breakfast bars
-Comb
-Chap-stick with SPF in it
-Expandable Washcloth
-Dried Apricots 
-Deodorant ( I did arm-n-hammer for the guys and Secret for the ladies)
-Lotion ( I did an unscented for the guys and a coco butter for the ladies) 
-Travel Tissues
-Water Bottle
-Breath Drops (or travel sized mouth wash and/or mints)
-Plastic Spoon
-To Go Wipes
-Light Pads (For the Ladies.) 
-A Plastic Sandwich bag (For their trash or dirty pads, etc.) 
-A bag to put them all in! ( I just did grocery bags! Or you could do gallon zip up bags)


Blessing Bags all wrapped up:
Since I put them all in grocery bags and I did some for guys and others for ladies I had the thought to tie the bags with pink or blue ribbon so I'd know which are which. Each bag came out to about $10 bucks for me (maybe a little bit more for the band-aids, toothpaste, and wipes that I didn't find at the dollar store) I also wrote a note of encouragement and the local food banks and shelter in case they needed more long term help and didn't know where to look because they were stranded from some other city or state or just because they didn't know.

Note of encouragement:
"Hello! We couldn't help but notice that you could use a little "pick-me-up". Inside are all the things we thought you could need or use such as food, water, and sanitary supplies. You ARE being looked out for and you're not alone. You are a child of God and he loves you. Don't get discouraged! Do not lose hope. Remember "you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem  and smarter than you think"-Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh. Have A Wonderful Day!"
Then underneath the message is the name of the food center, their address, and their phone number in case they have change or you wish to provide enough for a call in the bags. 

Have fun blessing and being blessed!

M.E.G
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo



 
  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This is Fact...

Just a few minutes ago I was told by Dax that we should create a website called "This! IS FACT!" Due to the amount of ridiculous things that we claim to be fact.

To understand this weird fad in our home you will have to understand that Dax and I have a lot of inside jokes that you may not understand. Also I happen to be a comedian in my house because Dax thinks I do really funny things such as running up to him when I had toothpaste foam around my lips and yell at him: " I AM A CRAZY RABID SQUIRREL! I WANT MY COOKIE!" It's a lot a fun and it makes him laugh.

However if you are not currently laughing this is what I mean by Dax and my inside humor.

SO to honor him slightly in his request I am doing a blog post on the statement: This is Fact...and will compile things we claim to be fact.

Where did this start you may be asking?

Well there was one day when Dax and I were having a harmless argument about who was more sexy or whatever and in my frustration I raised my pointed finger to the roof and yelled "THIS IS FACT!"

My husband laughed for a long time and that phrase has now become law in our home. It isn't legitimate if the first finger isn't pointed up in the air accompanied by the statement: "This is fact." In FACT it has gotten so ridiculous that if one were to exclaim this argument silencer the other party of the argument must be able to see the pointed finger.

Ergo they then win the argument.

A few FACTS that we have come up for you today 5/1/2013:

  • Pizza is the tastiest food on the planet- this is fact. (Dax) 
  • "Ice cream should always"...(Dax) "Should always replace cake"...(Megan)- THIS is fact.
  • "Ice cream should always be used to celebrate birthdays. This is Fact."- (Dax) "Instead of cake?"-(Megan). "Yes."-(Dax)-This is fact.  
  • James Earl Jones the guy who does the voice for Darth Vader and Mufasa has the coolest voice...ever.- THIS IS FACT. (Dax) 
Well that's all we have for today. Maybe I'll keep updating it if/when we come up with some more.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines Day- Passport to Love

For the real and true version to the "Passport to Love" please visit "The Dating Diva's" Blog by clicking here. They have SO many fun date ideas...I LOVE their blog! LOVE IT! They were actually holding a contest on the Dating Divas and the winner was Rebecca. All hail Rebecca for her GENIUS date idea.

I know I immediately fell in love with it and so will any other travel-wanna-be-organized dates for a year-kind of person.

I wanted to do it SOO badly, but I didn't know when I would make it for Dax and when to give it to him.

The opportunity arose in a random role play that Dax and I were going through one night. (See other blog about role playing).

You see I was a doctor and I found out that Dax had a serious case of the Meganitous disease. Not extremely  contagious, so don't worry you won't become obsessed or fall in love with me or anything, there isn't really much of a cure, and it's very serious.

Anyway, he was obviously worried and asked me if I knew of a specialist with Meganitous.

Of course I did! However, this specialist was kind of crazy and she lived in a magicalland and worked from home. (Sounds a little iffy doesn't it.) She only goes by her first name, ALWAYS changes her number (because she doesn't want anyone to know), and she's really A-specious (as my younger sister Ruby would say Suspicious. Of course the word is probably more amusing to me because when I heard her say it for the first time: "hmmm" She said on the phone. "What Ruby?" I asked and in reply she said "My toe jam is A-specious. I still can't stop laughing. )

So Dax thinks he has this specialists number and he tries to text it. A reply comes back saying that it wasn't the person he wanted to reach but that she knew where Doctor Megan lived and could him him the exact adress. She suggested he write her a letter seeing if she could see him and then meet up with his travel agent.

LIGHTBULB!

If I was Dax's Travel Agent that would be the PERFECT opportunity to give in the lay out on all the great deals for all these awesome destinations.

He sent Doctor Megan a letter leaving his number and she called back using the *67 to keep her number secret.

This specialist is kinda creepy if you ask me...

She can see him but before they make an appointment he better see a travel agent to get all the arrangements for when he was going.

The travel agent just happened to be the person he text in the first place! (Weird coincidence)\

They made a appointment for the following Tuesday at 3:30pm.

During this whole time the idea started off as just coping what was on the blog and it grew until it became this:

On the original blog about this "Love Passport" You receive a card:
A travel Itinerary:
A passport:

and the link to the passport.
Passport stamps(Seen above, kind of) and the link to those.
and airline tickets:

and THEIR link
WELL I couldn't just stop there. 

This idea welled inside of me and I went crazy. 

The Travel Agent had to cancel for a WEEK because "some people she was receiving things from was REALLY busy. She was out of brochures and the LoveBrochureCompany was really behind in making 13 brochures for cryin' out loud.

....I couldn't just be simple could I....

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

I made A single pricing list, a packaged plans and deals list, a passport application, AND a Love Security Application (not to be confused with a SOCIAL security number. Completely different.)  


Needless to say I was very busy for a week but I loved it...and now I'm kind of sad since it's all finished...so I'm sharing it!

I felt pretty professional yesterday with my heart shaped approval stamp/seal and all of my know-how.
It was a lot of fun having him fill out all these forms and look at the different brochures and helping him plan which country he wanted to go to in which month for the whole next year!

I told him I would send in his applications and get him airline, hotel accommodation, and other activities all set up and that he should be receiving it all in the mail shortly. 

Mail= his backpack while he is at school on Valentines Day (aka Tomorrow). HEE HEE!!! 
How it will look when he opens the envelope

So yes it took me forever and no you don't have to do this and I won't be offended or think less of you for taking the easier shorter route (heck I might have even done it if I knew it would take this long!) I'm really glad I did all of this because it gave me something to do while Dax is gone at school or work and I learned a lot about the different countries which makes me even MORE excited to be traveling to them all, all this next year with the love of my life! I love the fact that dates are more-or-less planned for every month for a year...usually it's: " I really want to do something," "me too" "What should we do" -one hour later after complaining about how going out and doing ANYTHING (especially in winter) is going to cost money we don't have)- "I guess we'll watch a movie...again..." With this I pretty much know what we're doing and when and it gives me more to look forward to when the word "date" is mentioned. Also it'll all make a great keep sake for when we're older. 

We can say we traveled the world for less that 300 bucks. (That's about 20 dollars per date allowance for a year. Dax and my deal has been "20 dollar dates" if it's anything more it better be once in awhile or else TOO BAD.)

I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as I've loved creating it. 

XOXOXOX
-M.E.G
P.s. If you ever do want any of the brochures or anything I can figure out a way to give them to you! I mean I did spend all the time on it and then you won't have to!

Update: 2/8/2014
It's been almost a whole year since I did this post and we've maybe done 3 months out of the 12. Maybe due to busy schedules? The few that we did do I didn't really enjoy all that much anyway. The definition of a date to me is keeping it simple. Not spending all my time trying to make the apartment look like a country and spending a ton of time in the kitchen. I don't want to do that! It's a date, I want to be spending time with my hubby and enjoying one another company. So overall this was really fun to create and could be great if revised, but it just didn't work out for Dax and I last year. 





 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Tribute to "Da Man"

My husband and I like to role play...

A LOT.

In fact saying "a lot" is a bit of an understatement since there isn't a day that goes by that we are not being super silly.

Sometimes we pretend we're Russians and if my husband isn't too shy or put on the spot when asked to give some examples of accents that he does- you'd know he is really REALLY good at them.

Sometimes we pretend we're part of the mafia. We look around suspiciously and then lean into each other and ask if the other "gots da money" or "gots da stuff".

Sometimes we pretend that we don't like affection. We over-exaggerate by becoming stiff and making silly faces as though we were completely revolted by the amounts of kisses! When "Da Man" first started this I will honestly tell you I was a little offended. however this is not a surprise since I find myself unfortunately easily offended. And then I found myself doing it back to him and found out that it was extremely fun. Why? Because the other person adds MORE kisses and saying like "oh come on! How do you know you don't like it if you won't try it."

...

I think I have way too much fun with this. :)

Sometimes we even pretend we're two people that have never met before (this actually happens all the time!) Sometimes my hubby is my doctor, sometimes he's the paramedic that is giving me CPR when I've "passed out". wink wink. hahahaha. Sometimes my hubby is my private massage therapist. Or sometimes it's the other way around completely.

If all this role playing was real life I'd have some serious health issues.

Most often with role playing it makes intimate life more interesting but still clean and pure the way God intended it.

I've realized that role playing has helped the hubby and I in so many ways. It helps us to have fun.

But even with role playing, the laugh's and the fun there are times where I just don't feel myself somehow.

I'll say mean things and then think that I already did this that and the other thing, I guess I can't be a good wife anymore" just because I had said those few mean, awful and hurtful things.

I couldn't stop, either.

Whenever I would try to be a little nicer my hubby would just do something that would irritate me. OR at least those WERE my thoughts.

And then I would say mean things again.

I would let all the dishes pile up because I just didn't feel like doing them.

My hubby after working all day with me -as we clean a large house for a part time work- having to listen to me complain the WHOLE time. I even snapped at him because I wanted to finish moping the dang floor! He only needed to walk on the floor for not even a minute to grab a few things and then I could mop that part.

But I didn't let him...

And why not?

It seems so simple and harmless and yet I wanted to rip into him for disrupting the thing I was hating to do at the moment.

Then we go home and he does the large pile of dishes.

I kept slipping. Just letting him do things and then getting mad at him for doing them. I wasn't sure how to stop in my tracks and start over and be a wife he could love.

I then read.

A lot of things coming from Pintrest. All of the things you should do for and with your hubby so that you can be a more lovable wife. There were lists of advice to do, but I wouldn't remember any of that! Either that or I would try too hard to remember and to do it right that my heart wouldn't be in it.

Then I read two very important things that I believe changed my perspective practically overnight.

1. Drops of Awesome- by "Daring Young Mom" Katherine Thomson
 I found it on Facebook. One of Da Man's aunts had shared it and I read the whole thing and even cried (an activity I've been doing a lot lately).
It's humorous as it talks about deep and serious thoughts that I've had. I read the whole thing thinking "wow. I really needed this right now".  She talks about how instead of focusing on all the things we didn't do in the past like letting the dishes sit in the sink until your husband does it and letting it ruin our now by continuing to wallow in self pity and play computer games instead of the nasty said dishes- we should force those thoughts out and just try to do something good to add a drop to our buckets of "awesomeness".

I've already caught myself saying "drop of awesome!" to myself whenever I do something good.

She even did an object lesson with a Church class that she writes about and just hit me over the head with a "duh" moment.

2. Dax's Journal.
My hubby wasn't ENTIRELY refusing to let me read his journal. It started last Sunday during church that I read one of his entry's. After Church I asked him if I could read more and I finished the "up to now" in 2 days. At first I would read some silly things he said about the girl he was infatuated with at the time and we would laugh (mostly me) and I would read his words in a mocking tone. He had told me the whole story between him and this girl so nothing was really a surprise when I read it.

 I got to a point where it began to mean something to me.

Something sweet and special.

These were honest and true feelings coming from the heart of the one I love.

He had had a long day and was sleeping next to me as I finished his heartfelt words.

When he wrote that she had hurt him badly and he was miserable- so was I.

When he wrote that he was nervous to pin her corsage on her- for prom- because he didn't want to touch her inappropriately;  I fell in love with him all over again. He must have thought I was teasing him since he rolled his eyes and did his half shoulder shrug I'm all to familiar with. I told him I was serious. This was his journal and if he wrote something like that, it shows his true character.

I'm not saying I ever doubted his character, just that reading his words from before he even knew I'd be reading them made it even clearer to me that I married a wonderful man who respects women.

He could have written something like "I was so nervous because of how close I had to pin her. Even though I secretly would want to I would never do something like that".

BUT HE DIDN'T.

That's just the person he's always been.

What kind of person did my journals say about me?

After this girl broke his heart, in a way, I read as he grew up into the man I married. The man who has a strong enough testimony in his savior Jesus Christ and what our brother has sacrificed for us, to say in the midst of the worst pain he would ever feel: "You know what? I know I'll be okay. I'll be okay because I know that Christ went through this same exact pain that I am feeling right now. He went through it just for me."

wow..

That right there is a moment I will remember forever. Through his pain, tears, and clenching teeth he was able to udder these words of amazing testimony.

Who does that?

I doubt I would have. I probably would've just cried and thought "ow ow ow ow ow! I wish it would go away".

He taught me a very special part of the atonement. Not only did "God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son"-John 3:16 But the son so loved the world that "11... he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions andbtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccorhis people according to their infirmities." -Alma 7:11-12 (taken from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Website but can also be found in the Book of Mormon).

He, Dax, has always been and will forever be an example to me. He has such amazing faith and I enjoy having an eternity to learn from him.

After I read his journal a thought occurred to me. "He's a real man with real and true feelings. He may not show them or speak of them very often but they're, there." Have I given him anything that would cause him to write in his journal about how much I've hurt him? I don't want to even give him that opportunity!

I'm not perfect, but I am trying to get better.

Dax is the best husband I could ever asked for and I am so grateful to have the title of his wife.

xoxoxoxox

M.E.G

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Gifts

Christmas was an overall not so very Christmas-y day for me.

It is unfortunate, to say the least, that I was a perfect Grinch or more perfectly accurate Scrooge.

There were many times throughout the day where I just wanted to say "humbug" and go back to sleep and wait until the Christmas Day was over.

I woke up Christmas morning with a huge headache and a very irritable mood. I partially blame my irritable mood based on the irritable mood I was in Christmas Eve. To save hurt feelings among family I will just simply say the way I viewed Christmas Day activities was different than others, and it bothered me deeply.

My hubby and I had a long conversation before bed and I concluded that since Christmas was about love and Family I would forget what bothered me and go to sleep.

Apparently I didn't have any messengers during the night to remind me of the good things I had going for me.

I started dinner in the crock-pot which as you may have guessed I got from Pintrest. It just may become one of Dax's and my first Christmas traditions!

Crock Pot SWISS STEAK

 
See how this meal is Christmas colors?
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
1.1-oz pkg.Lipton beefy onion soup mix
3 c. onion, sliced
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. water

Arrange steak in a crockpot. Sprinkle soup mix over steaks; arrange onion slices all around. Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or on high setting for 6 hours. Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. Mix together flour and water; add to slow cooker and stir until thickened. Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
The meal above is from Crokin' Moms: Crock Pot Blog
I used my moms recipe and just applied it to the crock pot method. :) My mom's recipe is below:
2 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cut into 6 serving pieces
 onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
Seasonings

Tenderize steak with the back of a knife and then brown in a skillet on both sides. Season. In an electric skillet  arrange onion slices all around, Top with tomatoes. Cover and cook at 200 degrees for 2 and 1/2 hours.  Remove steak and vegetables from crock pot; set aside. . Spoon gravy over steak to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servin
gs.
My mom always served this meal with mashed potatoes and I think it's a perfect complement. To get the green color into this meal I did another recipe from Cassie's blog "Back to her Roots"
  ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH APPLES AND BACON
ooooo SOOO yummy! 
My husband and I loved these! The apple offsets the slight bitter taste to the Brussels sprouts and the bacon adds a contrast texture to the side...plus anything with bacon is it is an automatic "must try".  From Cassie's blog:
Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and like most cabbage, contain sulfur. The longer the Brussels cook, the stronger the sulfur smell and taste become. Not good eats for kids (or adults). Avoid the dreaded kid spit out by roasting these babies until they are just tender and brown.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large tart apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a large bowl, combine sprouts, apple and bacon and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Pour olive oil mixture over sprout mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Pour out the sprout mixture in one layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, or until sprouts are tender and brown.

 Anyway, back to my Scrooge Holiday...

So I had tenderized my round steak for browning and I coated them in a little flour with salt and pepper and then added them to the hot oil in my frying pan. As they were browning I reached to get my tongs and they weren't there! I looked for a little while and in panic asked my husband where he put it (bad move on my part- never start anything with an accusation!) He said he didn't remember even washing it. 
I didn't believe him because if they weren't  where they usually were he MUST have washed them and did what he usually does: puts items away but where they don't belong. 
I grabbed a spatula and flipped my steak over. 
A light bulb went on in my husbands head. He remembered (unlike me) that we had left our tongs in the salad bowl when we went over to a friends apartment for dinner. He took it out, washed it off, handed it to me, and then went back into out bedroom.
I felt awful. 
After I finished browning I added the steak into the crock pot and went to apologize to my sweet husband who only is ever trying to help and I tried to bite his head off with my accusations. 
Like always he forgave me instantly and I still felt awful since he is so good and I am so...spoiled rotten to have him. :)
I went back to slicing some onions, adding the tomato sauce and dices, rinsing out the cans into  the mixture as well to get every pennies worth of the sauce that clung to the sides of the can. After I set the crock pot on low for 8 hours I went to get ready. 
I was having a bad hair day. 
No matter what I did with it, it turned out horrible. Tried putting it in a pony tail, tried a twisted pony tail, tried curling half of it, and ended up washing out the hair spray angrily and putting on the hat my sister had made for me for Christmas. 
For sure at this moment my husband could tell there was something wrong. 
On the ride to his families house he asked me what was wrong and I said that despite it being Christmas I was just having a bad day. 
He told me not to have a bad day. 
Huffily I said "Well I'm trying not to but nothing seems to be going right today and I already started off in a bad mood because of last night,"
Then we forgot all the presents I made his family.
We turned back to get them and continued on. 
 For the most part, in silence the rest of the way. 
His family only lives a few minutes away from our apartment, so it wasn't much of a drive. 
They had already opened all their presents and most of them were having seconds sleeps. They had breakfast all ready to dive into when we got there and my sleepy mother-in-law on her way to give me a hug scratched my forehead. 
It was actually quite humorous since she was sleepy. She only had one eye open and was swaying like a drunk person. It was probably the first time I smiled that day. 
We ate and then I gave out Dax and my presents to those who were "present". For all the brothers I gave them shirts with animals I had bleached on with a Clorox bleach pen I I forgot to take pictures of them before I gave them!) Which I got the idea also from pintrest
(Go to Dora's blog for more details: click here
They were quick and easy and super fun! 
And then for all the sisters I made them bags! Just like the one I made for myself on a previous blog post
Ronnies Outside

Ronnies Inside

Jades outside 

Jade's Inside

Tess's Outside

Tess's strap! I loved how it turned out!

I loved how all of my bags turned out! I made one for my sister Ruby and my best friend Tylene but these are my favorites by far! By Ronnie's bag I became a pro bag maker ;)

I made my sister a large queen blanket. It's green and has a soft fuzzy lining! 

After giving gifts and receiving a few I had a much more calm attitude but I also gained a headache. 

The problem I saw Christmas Eve ended up working itself out, I got to lay around all Christmas at my second home and then I got to end Christmas with the most wonderful man eating awesome food and watching the "Miracle on 34th Street."

So overall fretting over the little prickly things don't really matter but being apart of the little sweet things do. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy almost 2013! 

Where did the year go?
xoxoxox
M.E.G 
   



Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Hard Lesson to learn

Hey all!
On the last post I said that I was going to be more grateful and spend more meaningful time with my family during the month of Thanks and Giving. I got to about day 5. Everyday I added something new to what I already wanted to do. Examples were:
Day One: Spend More Time with family. Day one didn't work out so well seeing as the instant I woke up I got on the computer and spent most of my day on it doing a super organized outline of Dax's classes for him. It ended up being longer than expected, but on the bright side I was grateful for the gift of creativity I have been given to use.
Day Two: To be more creative. Day two was a pass and fail. I had an amazing dream the night before and ended up typing out quite a few pages. I resisted the urge to check Facebook when I was bored. I tried to spend more time with Family but unforgettably in this day-in-age everything is being transferred to electric devices: work applications, shopping, and even family time with things such as movies or video games. While all of  these the aforementioned are useful and enjoyable I just wanted to spend pure time with my family in the month of November.
Day Three: Service. Dax and I had the opportunity to watch his 3 youngest siblings while his parents went to his moms high school reunion. I had so much fun with them! We went and saw "Wreck It Ralph" which was a really cute movie and I would recommend seeing it sometime in the future! I made them super tasty  BLTs with a quick way to make Bacon that I learned from Pintrest.

Baked Bacon
 Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F if you're cooking thin, or regular-cut bacon. If you want to bake thick-cut bacon, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with sides with heavy-duty foil. Arrange the bacon on the pan, side-by side, being sure not to overlap the pieces.  to give the bacon that pretty 'ridged' look he wads and unfolds the foil first so it is wavy, then arranges the bacon on it. That gives the fat somewhere to go so the bacon isn't sitting in the fat as it cooks. This method also shapes the bacon while baking.
Bake the thin-cut bacon for 12-17 minutes for thin-cut, or until desired crispness. I myself like my bacon very crisp, so I bake it 16-18 minutes.
For thick bacon, bake for 10 minutes, then turn the bacon with tongs. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 12-17 minutes longer or until the bacon is browned.
And then you remove all the bacon from the oven and it's suggested to use paper towel to pat off any extra oil but since I baked it there wasn't a whole lot. I used extra sourdough bread, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. I made sure not to toast the bread as I like to do with most of my sandwiches since I was already going to have a nice crunch with the bacon. 
I loved making bacon this way especially for family dinner! I didn't have to cook bacon and make individual sandwiches for everybody so that there bacon wouldn't get too cold. I just cooked it all at once, already had the bread slices prepped, added the bacon, and we all got to sit together and eat!
Day Four: Stretching my Comfort Zone. Today just happened to be a Sunday. Quite a few Latter Day Saint families try to exclude electronic devices unless they are Christ centered or gospel related to keep the Sabbath day holy. Other family may not do this and that's alright as long as we are trying to keep the Sabbath a Holy Day. Dax and I have decided that this is a tradition we believe will help us stay closer to Christ on this special day of the week. Also as I have seen, by doing this, we get closer to one another and the spirit as well. Dax's family just happens to have the same tradition and so it was easier to spend quality time with them. Dax, Tess, Brent and I played the game "Scum" . I was having so much fun it was coming out my eyes. I haven't laughed that hard for a while it seemed. I was "President" at least 3 or 4 times in a row and I would make Tess and Brent laugh by the silly things I would say I would do as president. Later that evening I tried another recipe I found from Pintrest which didn't turn out as good as I would have liked. It was way too spicy. 

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

Serves 4-6
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake


Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic


1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes ( I think with the chili powder I might just eliminate this, especially for those who don't like much or any spice. It was a little too spicy, and if you happen to taste it before letting it cook and it dosn't taste spicy enough don't add more. The flavors will all be brought out as it cooks for a few hours during the day!)
2 tsp yellow mustard

Hot dog or hamburger buns
Butter

Directions
1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off most of the fat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
2. In the crock pot, combine all remaining ingredients except buns and butter. Add the ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. When beef is ready to serve, butter buns. Broil until tops are golden brown, about 1 minute.
4. Spoon the ground beef onto the buns and serve. Enjoy!
Since this Sunday was the first of the month it is what is known as "Fast Sunday". Not because Church goes by faster or anything but because of the sacrifices we are willing to make to feel the spirit more and to gain more blessings. It is also a day to share your testimony, if you wish or are prompted to do so. (To learn more about Fast Sunday/ Testimony Meeting  click here). Today I bore my testimony. I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared what I believed in in front of the whole congregation. I felt that it was what I needed to do: to share my gratitude for the savior and what he has done for me. 
Little Did I know what was to happen next...
As life always seems to go when things seem almost right and perfect in the world a storm comes. 
What I am about to share is extremely personal and may make you feel uncomfortable. If it does please fill free to stop reading or to just skip the next couple of paragraphs. 
Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, whatever you may want to call him doesn't want us to have all the most beautiful and precious things of this world. And he'll do anything to stop you from getting them. He'll even drag that old sin that you put in your closest with a big "DO NOT TOUCH" sign. That sin that you packed away carefully and signed a contract never to look at again but it will always be there every time you open the door to remind you of how much it hurt and how much you don't want to go there again. 
When you begin to improve and get closer to God doing the things he wants you to do; when you are patterning your life after Him, alarms sound off. Satan becomes frightened because your dormant attitude about the Gospel and Jesus Christ is developing. So what does he do? He goes to your closest, dusts off that sin you've sworn never to touch, cleans it up, and wraps it in a very eye catching, thought provoking package and presents it to you. 
Satan knows just as well as God the things your heart desires most. The difference: Satan distorts what is your pure desires and makes them ugly and distasteful  so that you no longer want to go there. God will bless you with a high calling encouraging you to go forth and develop.
I want children more than anything. 
I've been trying the past couple of months to eat healthier  exercise, and spiritually grow so that when the time to have kids is right I am prepared. I will be able to give them every physical and spiritual thing they need. I can teach them of the atonement and what it means to me. I can teach them right from wrong and how much Jesus loves you even if you think you don't deserve it. 
One day Satan drug out my old sin from the closest. It wasn't on a computer but on my phone. It was photographs but literature. It was the same sin, but in a different package. I have no desire to seek these things out, but with idle searching they seek you out. I was simply researching how to refurbish a hard couch into a nice fluffy couch when a headline of a story stuck out to me. There was nothing about couches and two links down was this story. 
My fault: clicking on it to satisfy my curiosity. Could there really be a story like this? Is this true?
As I read I was horrified, shocked, and disgusted, and yet I still read. 
I read a few paragraphs before I ended up closing it all and feel the dread and hopelessness seep in. 
It was about a little girl. The thing I wanted most was twisted and distorted. I felt dirty, ugly, and as though I had committed this horrendous crime myself. 
I instantly grabbed my scriptures and began reading but every two words the words of the awful story popped into my head. I had to read 3 or 4 chapters before I began to even feel slighlty better. I still felt gross. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and then I turned on the tabernacle chior and prayed and listened and prayed again. The moment Dax came home from work I burst into tears and told him everything I could at the moment. 
How could I have done this to him?
I made special covenants not only with God but with him. I could I betray him like that? Why was I not showing him the love he shows me every day? And he still showed me more. 
The sweetest words a wretched soul could here is "I forgive you" with all their heart and soul. Of course that made me feel even worse and I kept apologizing over and over, and all he did was hold me and tell me he forgave me. 
My husband is one of the most Christ-like examples I have ever met. He teaches me so many things about love and Christ. His forgiveness made it possible for me to believe that Christ could forgive me also, but could I forgive myself? 
Throughout the day I would be happy and then sad when Satan kept shoving those words into my head. 
"You won't be a good mom." He'd smirk. 
"You can't be a good mom, now. Look at what you have done."
I then asked my husband to use his priesthood to give me a blessing and that helped out the most, I believe. 
By the end of the week I had told all of my family and even the bishop. I have put that sin carefully away with the others with a big sign that says "BEWARE OF COPIES". I cannot and will not allow myself to simply "browse" the internet. Not even to look up harmless things unless someone is near me. I will not even quickly look up something on my phone without extra support. I will be aware of those copies lurking around the corner and attempt to avoid those temptations of curiosity, because as we all know the saying "curiosity killed the cat." 
Two things that I found uplifting to me during this time was the song: "Redeemer of Israel". Especially the third verse which reads: 
How long we have wanderedAs strangers in sinAnd cried in the desert for thee!Our foes have rejoicedWhen our sorrows they've seen,But Israel will shortly be free. 
Also I found on Spotify a whole album I fell deeply in love with called Hymnalisms by Stephen J. Anderson.
Here is a sample of his genius art:
I just want to leave you all with a bright note to this "Hard Lesson To Learn". There is a up for every down and a light for every darkness. Sometimes we have to fall far enough to know what we really need to get out, to know what we really need to ask for. When we do what is right then the pieces of our puzzle just begin to fit and work out. We need an example to know what are puzzle is supposed to look like, otherwise we are just trying to fit odd pieces together while getting frustrated in the process. Christ is my example followed by my sweet husband and all the other beautiful people in my life.

Dax and I now live in our own apartment which we decided to get on a sporadic job and faith. The day we were moving in our neighbor asked if he could help and began talking to my dad about how he had an awesome job that he needed to give to a really good hardworking person. If my dad knew of anyone, he was to let our neighbor know. He said "as a matter of fact I do".
Dax now has a reliable job as a medical sample courier that works well with his schooling and pays pretty well.

Oh the blessings we are promised when only we are ready to receive!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ! 
xoxoxo
M.E.G