Sunday, January 30, 2011

sick time necessities

it is sick time season and as i have been sick in bed since last tuesday (miserable stupid non-flu but same symptoms as flu virus) i thought i would give you a list of necessities for surviving the nasty sick times.

i went through and numbered the things in these pictures but as i am drugged up and it is past midnight i did not do it legibly.  You may be able to read it.  may not.  oh well.  also--this is not a sympathy request, i just thought my sick nest was funny looking and wanted to share it, and i may be making bad choices due to the copious amounts of drugs in my system.  as such, please ignore errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and the like.  I'm a bit loopy.

First and most importantly:  kick your spouse out--into the guest room.  no shared germies please.  This can be lonely, but hopefully will save him from misery.  I have barely seen my husband in a week :(.

Alright, this next picture is your necessities for surviving (really just things that are on my right side)

you will need:
1. a trashcan close to the bed.  mine is 100% full of tissues (and one cough medicine bottle...make that 99% full of tissues)
2.  a humidifier.  helps w/the sore throat & dryness and the whirring makes it easy to sleep
3.  magazines.  they make for entertainment
4.  laptop--keeps you somewhat connected to the real world.
5.  nice comfy shoes for those rare occasions when you leave the bed
6. mouse for the laptop--encourages laziness
7.  giant  water bottle--gotta keep hydrated!
8. neosporin.  maybe not a thought for everyone, but it helps heal the cracked nose from all the blowing (see #1)
9.  i like ayr saline gel--put it in your nose and it helps you breathe
10.  contact case...just because sometimes i like to see
11. cell phone: another means of communicating with the outside world
12.  glasses...mine only have one ear piece.  this is why i still prefer contacts even when i'm sick.  maybe i should get new ones.
13.  dosage cup for cough medicine.  IMPERATIVE!!
14.  music.  needed to keep spirits up (and a clock so you don't completely forget what time/day it is)
15.  pillows.  lots of pillows.
16.  nighttime cough medicine.  daytime cough medicine would probably be a good idea too as taking nighttime cough medicine during the day contributes to the confusion of day/night.  (and don't even get me started on how miserable i am that i had to get sick during a recall of my beloved blue medicine!!!!)
17.  bowl w/extras: chapstick, fingernail clippers, ponytail holders, matches...wait, why are there matches??  not really sure.  other stuff is good  though.
18.  box of extras: lotion for hands & face, ibuprophen, vitamins, sleeping pills, ink pens, whatever you need
19.  pop tart wrapper on the floor...huh.  guess i was too delirious to throw it 12 inches to the left into the garbage can.  ok.  we fixed that.
20.  scentsy warmer & scent bar.  well, this was a nice thought until i realized that i couldn't smell.  so you may not need that until you're better.

Now to image #2 (which contains the most important supply of all)

and please ignore the bat leaning against hubs' dresser (of course you will now that i've pointed it out) that is his weapon in case someone breaks in...the vaccuum on the other side of the dresser is my weapon for terrorizing the cat.

okay, back to the list;

1.  purple cooshie pillow.  important for hugging since hubs is quarantined in the other room.  nice & comfy...but it can't be washed so i'm not quite sure how we will sanitize this once i'm better...
2. fleece bulldog print pants belonging to husband.  good for staying warm during the chills.  bad during the feverish sweating times. (which is why they are crumpled on the side of the bed)
3.  Harry Potter books.  VERY important sick time reading.  I had started the series again before Christmas & read the last two over the first few days of sickness.  Then felt lost & depressed that the series was over and started again.  definitely my favorite sick time books--i read them for the first time when I got mono in 2007 so they are my go-to comfort books
4.  tissues.  also VERY important.  I have gone through nearly 2 boxes.  I would recommend getting one box of the lotiony kind though.  I didn't have any b/c I hate how greasy they feel when I'm not sick, but when I am sick the regular ones feel like sandpaper
5. Twilight books.  Haven't started re-reading these yet but have them for an option...another fun guilty pleasure read when my brain is tired & sore.
6. Jen Lancaster books.  LOVE HER.  hilarious...maybe too much so to read now when laughing throws me into a coughing fit.
7.  extra socks.  because your feet might get cold.
8. various & sundry blankets for piling on during chills and then throwing off wildly during sweats.
9.  MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!!  a cuddly lazy bulldog to remind you that you are still loved when the rest of the world can't come near you!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Short post today--things have been crazy over the past few weeks.  My poor dear Mom broke her ankle in 3 places and has been in a wheelchair and had surgery on it yesterday, so I'm kinda running between her house & mine.  Thankfully, this is just the kind of thing that she loves so I was excited to make them for us to share!

I was super thrilled as well to find meyer lemons at Walmart last week, so I used those for these instead of regular lemons.  I also reduced the poppyseeds by half b/c 2 tablespoons just seemed like a ton to me.
These were great--thanks so much to Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness for choosing this week's recipe.  Check out her blog or page 10 of Dorie's Baking from My Home to Yours for the recipe, and check out the TWD leave your link post to see who baked along!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Ever since I quit my office job last July and have worked so hard to make lifestyle changes to better my health, I get this idea that I am "better" (i wonder what it means that the first time i typed that i typed "butter" instead of "better"  Yeah, I still have little flare-ups: lymph nodes swell, low-grade fever, body aches, etc.. but it's nothing like before.  So i think & wish in my heart that I'm coming through this and that all those dreams for my future will come true. 

And then there's a day like yesterday.  On Friday night at 8:30 I got a call f/m my Scentsy director that she was not going to be able to make a women's show the next morning but I could go.  So I said ok--it is a great opportunity to build business and all that.  But I was scrambling that night trying to find what I would need and running to set up my table--went to bed at one and couldn't sleep until after 2...didn't sleep well at all... And then a day of being "on" all day and giving sales pitches from 9:30-3 the next day just wore me out.  I came home w/a sore throat & headache and a full-blown symptom flare up and spent the rest of the day in bed. 

Today I am hurting and ever so fatigued. I have so much to do, my house is a mess, next week is the last week before classes start back for the students.  I'm not prepared. And I feel discouraged. I've wasted time over my break and haven't accomplished what I wanted to.  But more than that, days like this scare me.  Will I ever really be able to have kids if I get worn out so easily?  I'm not so sure.  I'm not good at staying on top of what needs to be done anymore.  My heart hurts. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles

Woohoo!  Starting off on the right foot this year by baking and posting in time for the round up! 

This week for the TWD 3-year anniversary, the founder of our fabulous baking group: Laurie of Slush and her amazing helper Julie of Someone's in the Kitchen chose the Midnight crackles from p 74 of Baking from My Home to Yours. 

With the new weight loss goals, I halved the recipe, and only baked 2 cookies to try for some built-in portion control.  I think I'm going to go ahead  and roll out the rest of the dough into balls and freeze them so I can have a cookie or two when "needed" but not worry about a huge plate of cookies tempting me!

These cookies are really quite easy to whip up--I always like anything that doesn't require waiting for butter to soften (I always go too far when trying to do it in the microwave).  But I had a bit of a goof when adding the dry ingredients to my mixer, I accidentally turned it to high rather than low and had a flour/cocoa/spice explosion all over the place!
Oh well, it's not like the kitchen was super clean so it just inspired me to get to cleaning a bit faster!!

I baked up my 2 cookies this morning, and either did not let the dough soften enough or baked them for too short a time b/c they were not exactly crackly...  Oh well.  They were still good.  I don't know how I feel about the chocolate/spice combination either.  It confuses my mouth I think but I really enjoyed my 2 cookies warm from the oven :). 

Happy anniversary to all my fellow TWD bakers, and thanks so much to Laurie & Julie for all your hard work managing this book, and of course to the incomparable Dorie Greenspan who has made all of us better bakers!

(go here for the recipe)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals: 2010 vs. 2011

Last year I had some really good goals and worked hard at holding myself accountable by posting about them on the blog regularly.  Some things I actually did well on, some not so much.  So to start this year I figured that it would be good to evaluate how I did last year and set some new (or more defined) goals for 2011.

So first--the goals of 2010:

1.  Improve my Overall Health.  Mostly a fail, with some postitive changes made.  I really did start last year w/good intentions but constant illness really hampered my progress.  I think the best and most consistent change that I made was started my water aerobics class which gives a guaranteed 2 days/week to exercise.  I'm still fatter than I was at this time last year though :/

2. Be a better steward of our money.  I can confidently say that I greatly improved in this area!  (well, I kinda had to with the whole dropping to only one primary income...).  I severely cut back on shopping and have made a conscious effort to consider things before buying them, and also to return things if I get home and realize that it was a bad purchase.  And I let most of my magazine subscriptions lapse! woohoo!!

3.  Let things go.  Much improved in this area as well. We had a yard sale in October and got rid of lots of junk--and the things that didn't sell went to consignment or donations: not back into the house.  I've also purged a lot of the magazines that I had saved.

4.  Waste less time.  I still have a problem w/computer games!!  I unsubscribed to a lot of blogs though and have honestly been more busy during my evenings to the time wasting isn't as bad.  Still could use progress though.

5.  Read books.  Another success!  (though I have fallen back into the Harry Potter series again rather than reading new books...).  I should have kept a list but I know I read at least 10.  Much better than previous years!

6.  Organize/cleaning.  Eh...i've done better about having a cleaning routine for our common areas, and have purged a lot of junk, but I am just never going to be a neatnick.  Some progress, but much more room for improvement.

7.  Spend more time w/hubs. comes and goes in spurts.  I don't know how well we did about quantity of time together, but I think we did a little better at quality time together when we could have it.  Still needs work though.

8.  Spend time with God daily.  Much improved over the previous year--I actually read through the whole Bible this year!  And with my job now being ministry, making it a priority has been much more important.  I did not do it every day, but am doing much better!

Alright, so to my goals for this year.  Much of the same, but this year I want to add a new focus to several of them:  must accomplish/work on goal before we can start a family.  We are not ready for kids yet, but are getting emotionally closer to that point and several things really need to happen before my body can handle pregnancy (if God blesses us in that way) and before our housse will have room for a child!

So here are the goals for 2011:
1.  Lose at least 30 pounds.  I've just got to do this.  I would like to lose more but want to be realistic (and that is still a big number to me).  I am no longer working at my old job so I have time to devote to eating well & excercising.  There is no room for excuses!  And I need to take care of my body in order to be physically able to handle potentially carrying a child and also caring for one.  It's not just about how I feel, it's about our future.  

2.  Eat a salad for at least 4 meals each week & exercise at least 5 times a week.  (and mayonnaise based chicken & tuna salads don't count...nor do jello salads ;) ) I feel like these are realistic steps that I can take to mindfully work towards my goals.

3. Focus on quality time w/hubs & a focused dinner at least once a week.  We are bad about eating in front of the TV and when I did our candlelight dinner on Christmas I realized how much just moving into the other room changes things.  Even if his work keeps him too busy to go out on a date each week, we can have an in-house date at the dining room table.  And I need to focus on him when he makes the time to be w/me rather than trying to multi-task.

4.  Give myself freedom to throw things away.  I've talked about my hoarding tendencies, and part of that is that I really struggle w/throwing things in the trash that are not food products or packaging.  I recycle ALL accepted plastics & paper products and even recycle any plastic grocery bags from when i forget my reusable bags.  What this means is that I have kept broken things b/c I couldn't find a way to recycle them...and that I have a HUGE bags of socks, undershirts, and underwear with holes in them b/c I feel guilty to throw away cloth products.  I've even contacted pet shelters to try to see if they would take them for pet beds! (they said no)  It's a little bit absurd.  So this year, I'm allowing myself to throw away the broken fan, the bag of holey undergarments, and Butch's toys that she has pulled the stuffing out of!.  No reason to clutter up my life with garbage right??

5. Declutter & organize.  Despite progress that we've made, we still have too much stuff and I need to continue to work on the house.  At this point, though we have a decent sized house w/3 bedrooms, there is room for no more stuff!  If we ever want to have a child we need a place to put it lol!  and I've heard that babies come w/a lot of stuff too ;)

6.  Start a cleaning schedule for non "common areas".  I'm pretty good about cleaning our living room, dining room, kitchen, and guest bath each week since I have the Bible study girls coming to motivate me.  Our bedroom & bathroom and the craft room however, are a nightmare.  I need to get a schedule for doing that, even if it's rotating areas every other week or something.

7.  Time w/God daily.  A continuation from last year.  Something that I have an inward battle over is idolizing what that time has to look like though.  I tell my Bible study girls all the time that a marriage or isn't defined by having romantic dates every day, but instead living our lives together day in and day out--some days it is a quick kiss in the morning and a few minutes to chat before bed, others are really focused on each other.  In the same way, our walks with the Lord shouldn't be a formula of a one-hour quiet time with reading/journaling/prayer and then we're done, but instead learning to intertwine our faith into every part of the our lives.  In that analogy we give ourselves the freedom to some days have more intense study while in other times it is mulling over a verse as we go about our day, but all the while keeping connected to the Lord through prayer. This balance is something I need to work on, and I also feel it is the only way to prevent ourselves from having an all or nothing attitude about it (aka, I don't have time to spend an hour with the Lord, therefore I'm gonna skip it altogether).  My goal for the majority of the year will be to read a chapter of the Bible or work on my Isaiah BSF study, and also to read from the Oswald Chambers devotional from my dad.  Then journaling as I see fit. 

8.  Do the 90 day Bible challenge again.  Maybe that sounds like it's in opposition to the last point, but I realized that doing that (though I did spread the last bit over a few months) was a great exercise in discipline for me and also really helped me to know where things are in the Bible and to increase my understanding.  My goal is to do this over the summer months when things are slow, but also not to beat myself up about it if I don't complete it in 90 days.  Reading the bible is a reward in itself!

9.  Learn to coupon!  Money is tighter than before and I have a ton of friends who save really big w/couponing.  I won't go all out crazy like some of the people, but I really want to do this to help cut the costs of feeding all the students and to even out the baking expenses...

10.  Catch up on my scrapbooks.  I am working on the book for the summer before college...8 years ago.  I really want to get my pictures done before having kids b/c I'm sure that then I will only want to do albums of them!  And if I can at least catch up on the printed photos, I can do digital albums for the rest. round it out to match the year:

11.  Cook from my cookbooks.  I have a RIDICULOUS amount of cookbooks (which I need to be thinning) so when I am looking for a recipe I need to look to the cookbooks before the internet.  And maybe thin my collection a bit as well. 

Alright, I think that is a good list for 2011.  And, as last year, I plan to post check-ins on here to hold myself accountable, or else I will ignore it all!  How about you?  Any big resolutions/goals?

Red Velvet Cake Roll

When one of the girls in my Bible study has a birthday, I let her choose her favorite meal for dinner and make her favorite dessert.  When Alyssa had her birthday I was excited to make something red velvet!  I knew that we probably wouldn't eat a whole 2 layer cake, so I decided to try this Paula Deen Red Velvet cake roll. 

Some people are really intimidated by cake rolls, and I was before I tried my first one, but they really aren't hard at all.  The main thing to shoot for is to have your towel laid out and dusted w/powdered sugar so you're ready to go as soon as the cake comes out.  Work quickly and everything will be fine!  I decided to do a step by step for this recipe so you can see this done for yourself :)

1. Mix the batter

2.  Fold in the beaten egg whites

3.  Spread the cake batter evenly in a greased parchment-lined jellyroll pan--then bake!
 4.  While cake is baking, dust a clean dishtowel with powdered sugar, approximately the same shape/size as the cake pan.
 5.  Dump cake (parchment side up) onto prepared dish towel.  Then pull parchment off back of cake.
 6.  Dust cake w/more powdered sugar (helps keep it from sticking to the towel)
 7. Starting from one of the narrow ends, quickly roll the cake and towel together as if you were rolling up a cinnamon roll.  Then allow cake to cool while rolled up (sticking it in the fridge will make it go faster)
 8.  While cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese filling.
 10.  Once cake is completely cooled, unroll cake, but don't press it flat, it should stay somewhat curled.
 11.  Spread the cake w/cream cheese filling, then roll back up (not w/towel this time) and wrap in plastic wrap (to help it hold it's shape, and allow to sit for at least an hour.
 12.  When ready to serve, dust w/powdered sugar.

Red Velvet Cake Roll
from Paula Deen's Chocolate Celebration magazine

Cake roll:
5     large eggs, separated
1/2  cup sugar, divided
2     tablespoons buttermilk
1     teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1     (1 oz.) bottle red food coloring
1/2   cup cake flour
1/3   cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1      teaspoon baking soda
1/4   teaspoon salt
1/4   cup confectioners' sugar
Cream Cheese white chocolate filling

1.  Preheat oven to 350'.  Coat a 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; line with wax paper, and coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.
2.  Beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick & pale.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, beating well.  Beat in buttermilk, vinegar, and food coloring.
3.  In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, adn salt; sift.  Gradually add to egg mixture, beating until combined.
4.  In a medium bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Fold eggs into chocolate mixture.
5.  Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center.
6.  Sift 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar in a 15x10-inch rectangle on a cloth towel.  Immediately loosen cake from sides of pan, and turn out onto prepared towel.  Peel off wax paper.  Sift remaining 2 tablespoons confections' sugar over cake.  Starting at narrow end, roll up cake & towel together; place cake, seam side down, on a wire rack.  Cool cake completely.
7.  Gently unroll cake roll.  Spread with Cream Cheese White Chocolate Filling. Reroll cake without towel; place seam side down on a serving platter.  Dust cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired.  Cut into 3/4 in. slices to serve.  Garnish with chocolate sauce and fresh mint leaves, if desired.

Cream Cheese White Chocolate Filling:
1      (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4   cup butter, softened
1      teaspoon vanilla extract
4      cups confectioners' sugar
1     cup coarsely chopped white-chocolate morsels (i omitted)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese & butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in vanilla.  Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Stir in white chocolate morsels.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in review

I'm blatantly theiving this from my friend Sabrina, but I thought it was a great way to sum up the past year and everything that happened--just a few days late...

January:  started the New Year with several goals (some I did well with, some = FAIL) and tons of blog posts (27 in January!?!?! where did I find the time??).  I baked and baked and baked, enjoyed a bit of snow, and then I was sick.  a lot.  Honestly not a great start.  But I ended the month with old friends celebrating the birthday of my bestest's little one

Favorite recipe from that month was the Coconut cupcakes f/m the MSC club (sadly no recipe posted due to group rules)

February: Started the month committing to the Five O'clock club (then failing), a reunion with  the lovely ladies in my first Bible study, and working really hard on all my resolutions.  Oh yeah, and I was sick a lot.  again.  The two first months of 2010 were really really hard on my body and were the catalyst to changes made in the year.  I ate a lot of quiche b/c I like eggs when I'm sick.

This was the favorite recipe:

March:  A  month of much introspection.  My parents lost a dear friend and for some reason it really shook me up, though I had never met her.  I began to question whether staying at my job was the right thing.  Discussions & arguments w/hubs about the future took place in the midst of more sickness.  But there were high points too--the beginning of spring, another visit w/my best friend, funny and encouraging things from hubs (celebrating 8 years together!), and some great food!

It was hard to pick a favorite for this month, but the one that has at least been the most repeated is the loaded baked potato soup.  It nourished me during sickness, wisdom tooth removal, and now--oh so much better--I get to feed college girls with it!!

April: A pretty good month!  I started knitting again, spring came for real w/beautiful flowers, found out that my mouth is too small for an adult toothbrush, met our next door neighbors for dinner, made my favorite craft project to date, and, as always, some delicious treats!

I couldn't choose between these two for this month:
Dorie's Berry Surprise Cake (served at Easter)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake (for dinner w/the neighbors)

May:  I turned 27!  No big celebration, but still a good time I think.  One thing that I never got around to blogging about (shame)  we had a big flood in the area!  Nashville got it so much worse which made national news, but Bowling Green got quite a bit as well.  Also big that month--we made the final decision that I was going to quit my job at Pediatric Associates, and I found out about the opportunity to serve alongside Campus Crusade for Christ at Western.  I still had to keep it a secret though...I also posted about celebrating Nurse appreciation day at my (now former) office which was a great time to honor some very special ladies who I miss greatly!  I also made my first ever stuffed animals--little bears for my soon-to-be new nephews.

Favorite recipes of the month came from the nurse's brunch:

June: A monumental month--our 4 year marriage anniversary, and I turned in my resignation at my office!  Hubs & I took advantage of warm weather to take our little girl to Brusters for her very own "pup cone" ice cream :).  I also started attending my church.  Some frustration occured when, after giving them a month notice I realized that my bosses were not on top of things and would not hire a new person in time for me to train them before my "last day" and I ended up agreeing to stay part time for another month.  But change had started and that was great!

Not a ton of cooking (or pictures) due to all the craziness, but my favorite from the month was Dorie's Tender Shortcakes:
July:  A big month! I switched to a part-time schedule at the office and then had my last day at the end of the month, went to Florida w/just my parents & sister (including a day-trip to disney & a visit w/my dear friend Diana), wallowed in down time and a little bit of guilt & pondering, and started water aerobics w/the old ladies!  Also, at the end of the month the new twin nephews Connor & Logan made their entrance into the world!  Love the little guys :) 

 Favorite recipe of the month was Dorie's Lot's of Ways Banana Cake--so good!  I want some now!

August:  The month started in the best of ways--I was done at my job and spent a TON of time helping Christi w/the twins!  We had fabulous bonding time in the hospital and at her house--It helped us get so close and I loved being there w/the little guys so much :)  I also started the 90 day Bible challenge w/my friend Sabrina.  Sadly, I failed at completing it in 90 days, but I did do the entire Old Testament in 60, and finished the whole Bible by the end of the year.  It was great! Then, before I had time to stop and think about it, WKU was starting, I met my new Bible study girls and spent a CRAZY week on campus for freshman orientation.  And I got to feed people :)  I'll admit, I was scared, but excited. Favorite recipe of the month (though I didn't do a seperate post on or picture of it) was Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Baked French Toast--those students ate it up!

September:  The month was spent very wrapped up in my new routine and investing in the lives of the ladies in my Bible study!  We started with a bang and I had a new schedule.  Monday: clean, grocery shopping, maybe prepare dinner for next night, plan lesson for Bible study; Tues: staff meeting in the am, finish any cleaning/lesson prep, water aerobics, cook dinner for 9 people, dinner w/Bible study, lesson, clean up; Wed: BSF in the morning, meet w/girls individually all day, dinner w/hubs; Thurs: meeting w/girls all morning/early afternoon, water aerobics, dinner for 15 & leadership meeting every other week; Friday: staff meeting 10-2, down time, then often a fellowship w/the students; Saturday: crash; Sunday, laundry, church.  It was a bit of a crazy schedule but there is something about doing what you love that makes it so much easier!  I had instant bonds w/all the girls in the group and knew that God is working!  Also, I got to try a new recipe every week and serve it to 8 hungry ladies. Oh yeah, and the air conditioning broke was it was 90-100 degrees outside, and I had a bit of a meltdown over that...but other than that it was good!

Favorite recipes (can't choose just one):

October:  It was an emotional month.  We did our family yardsale which was good but tiring, and I just had a lot of things on my heart.  At one point I really struggled about not having kids--for a few weeks I sobbed during every staff meeting that we had!  It was hard.  But a great month too.  Hubs turned 27, ministry was fruitful, and I hosted my first CRU women's fellowship and had 30+ college ladies crammed into my house carving pumpkins and baking.  It was wonderful!  I've got to say that very few things make me as happy as sharing my home & food & time with people like this.  It was also my first Halloween in several years that I didn't have to work late to do the month-end close down.  That was nice :).

Favorite food of the month (that i remembered to post):

November:  Another good month in ministry and tons of joy with the girls!  We did a women's panel event at a local church, and I got to make Thanksgiving dinner and do my family's "thankful leaves" tradition w/my Bible study girls.  Thanksgiving was stressful trying to fit both families into one day, but still good, and it was nice to have the weekend after to rest. I felt so thankful this year for all the changes and to be doing exactly what I had always dreamed about!

Favorite food:
Dorie's All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie (I made it at least 4 times)
The family also loved the Cranberry shorbread cake from the same post

December:  I had big plans for this month.  As my first Christmas not working at the office since I was 16 years old (and with students leaving after the first week)  I was determined to really lazy it up--relax and bake new things, read those Christmas magazines I've stockpiled over the years, spend a ton of time w/my family, and just enjoy my very favorite season. didn't turn out that way.  It was still good, just more stressful than I imagined. It started great.  I did Bible study Christmas parties both for the CRU ladies (around 25 people in my house that time), then for just my group, and then as a staff team, and then w/my old office.  They were all fun and wonderful.  Then all of the sudden I had a TON of food orders (a good thing, but still hard work).  One day I baked 8 kinds of cookies, brownies, cake, & a pumpkin roll, the next day I did 9 loaves of bread, another cake, 2 pies, and about 6 or 7 dozen muffins--and then my dishwasher broke and I collapsed in a sobbing dirty mess!  Then we had several houseguests during the month of December  but the house never got clean for them.  However, Christmas day was perfect!  Hubs & I took the day for just us and actually spent the whole day together playing games, watching movies, and with a candle-light dinner and he got me a gorgeous necklace and my own GPS :).  It was lovely!  We had great times w/the families as well, but sadly I didn't take any pictures over those 3 days. Oh--one of the best things of all--we had a white Christmas!!  Woohoo!!


Favorite recipes of the month are:


2010 had some definite hard times, but was a year of wonderful changes and joy!  I'm so excited about what the next year has in store!