Saturday, February 23, 2013

These Are The Days

Someone my age recently told me that they wish they were in high school again – “No worries, just fun”. Someone else jumped in and said, “No way! I wish I were in college again – independence without the burden of responsibility!” And of course, a third jumped in and said "I just wish I were married already. Married with two kids and settled into a cute little neighborhood." I just kind of stood there with a blank stare on my face trying to figure out how to respond without sounding completely crazy. Because that is the common conversation – wishing that you were in a different phase of life - most caught in a spiral of either wanting to “go back” or wishing their life away for what they hope will come in the future. 

But I don’t. 

I do love where I have been. I actually really liked high school. My teen years were fun and non-dramatic. 

 Senior Prom with my best gals, 2005

High School Graduation, 2005

And college? Please. Of course I adored it!

 Spring Sing 2006

 Graduation 2008

 First Big College Snow!

The Fund for American Studies, 2008

And some day I am sure that I will have a family of my own and be really, really happy. 

Cousins on the Farm, 2008

But what ever happened to right now? Because I really like it here. I like having fun and, call me crazy, but I actually like responsibility. 

I like having the responsibility of a job and a condo and – this just in – a new car.

President's Day 2012: I broke my arm
President's Day 2013: I bought a new car
President's Day is clearly making a bold, confident effort to redeem itself with me.

I like hanging out with my friends and taking last minute road trips and having lots of fun and doing my own thing.


 Halloween 2012

Downtown Concerts

 Hide and Seek with BFF's kids

 Valentine's Day Preds Game

A Friday Night with my Fave Girl

Seriously. We all need a little bit less "Those were the days". A little bit less "That'll be the day". And a whole lot more "These are the days". Because these are the very best days.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Things I Never Meant to Say

Today's blog post has also published on my church's young professional blog:
So this intern walked in to work last week with giant ear muffs on. I greeted him at the door and said “Hey! Sweet muffs!”.  He mumbled something like, “Oh. Um… okay.” and walked upstairs. About three hours later a coworker came down and said, “I hear you have a new name for our intern. He’s been telling everyone that you’ve been calling him ‘Sweet Muffs’.” So apparently when I said “Hey! Sweet muffs!” He heard, “Hey, sweet muffs.”
Awk... Ward...
This isn’t my first communication failure. It happens to me. A. Lot.
Another notorious blunder: When I was 14, I got really embarrassed in Spanish class – probably for something one of my classmates said to intentionally embarrass me. We were all laughing and I was having an “Oh My Gosh” moment when my Spanish teacher asked me what was going on. I wanted to tell him that I was embarrassed. I knew how to say "I am", but I didn't know the exact translation for "embarrassed". Doing what any 14 year old language learner would do, I took the English word and added some flare. I ended up exclaiming, “Estoy embarazada!” He was shocked. I said it again, but louder and more emphatically. “Estoy embarazada!!!”. To which he replied, “You’re pregnant????!!!?!?!?”.
Apparently, assuming that ‘embarrassed’ in Spanish is ‘embarazada’ would be an incorrect assumption. Also, the term ‘embarrassed’ could no longer cover what I was feeling at that point. Double whammy.
I say things I don’t mean. I mean things I don’t say. I misunderstand emails because I can’t understand the tone. Siri makes hilariously annoying mistakes when I try to text. You know what I’m talking about because the same things happen to you.
But here’s something that I never want to happen.
I never want my friends to forget that they are beautiful and treasured. I never want my sisters to question if I am thinking about them. I never want my parents to wonder when the last time was that I said that I loved them. I never want the 8th grade girls in my covenant group to forget that they are holy and dearly loved. I never want the people who have changed my life and my heart forever to not know how much I adore them. I never want a chance to go by where I don’t tell the lady in front of me at the grocery store that she is having an awesome hair day or the guy on the phone that I truly appreciate his customer service or – more importantly – the people who are in my heart every moment of every day that they are so loved and so treasured and so adored. I’m so grateful to know from experience how great it is to get a text or a call or an email from someone in my life just to tell me that I am loved. We all crave that. We all need that.
So speak up! And yeah, sometimes Siri might say “I loathe you” instead of “I love you”, but those are rare. Most of the time, it’s worth it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Popsicles in February

Sweet little snowflakes are currently falling outside my window. I’m wearing fleece pajamas and cuddled up on the couch under a warm blanket. And what am I eating? A popsicle.

I don’t know what has gotten into me, but lately I have been obsessed with popsicle recipes. I ordered a mold from amazon and have been blending fruits and juices together like it’s my job. Because of my weird "I don't eat sweets" quirk, I have a hard time finding things to eat that feel fun. Know what I mean? But ever since I started making my own popsicles with just fresh fruit and pure juices I can have something fun and know that they are good for me, too!

Lemon Berry Popsicles
  • 2 cups of strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries (I picked my own at a farm this summer and froze them. If you use frozen berries, partially thaw them before blending.)

  • 2 lemons, juiced

Toss the berries and lemon juice into a blender and puree. If it isn’t blending easily, add more lemon juice or a splash of pure orange juice. The Lemon / Strawberry combo is my favorite. The Lemon /Blackberry combo was a little bitter, so I added a tablespoon of agave nectar (pictured above) to cut the bitterness. They are all great!

Freeze in a popsicle mold. (Before I got my popsicle molds I would either drink these as a smoothie or freeze these in small bowls and eat them like Italian Ice cups.)


Strawberry Lemon Pop

Avocado Pear Popsicles

I eat baby food. Well, not exactly. But sort of. My coworker has a toddler that comes into the office sometimes and I – on many occasions – will grab a handful of these puffs. They are legitimately tasty!

And one of my favorite popsicle recipes from Pinterest is an Avocado Pear Popsicle recipe... for teething toddlers. There are no teething toddlers in sight here, but who doesn’t love avocados? And pears! See the original recipe here.
  • 2 Bartlett Pears, ripe
  • 2 Haas Avocados, ripe

Peel the pears. 
Slice them up and blanche them in warm water for about 5 minutes to soften them up a bit. They will be difficult to blend otherwise. 
Peel and pit the avocados. 
Toss the avocados and blanched pears into a blender. Puree.
If it isn't blending easily, add some of the leftover "pear water" from blanching.

These were made before I had the popsicle molds. I poured the mixture into a Rubbermaid container, put popsicle sticks in, and put them in the freezer. When they were almost frozen solid, I went ahead and sliced them with a knife so that I could break them apart later.

 Freeze and enjoy!

They are creamy and delicious. 

Baby food is not just for babies. And I hereby declare that popsicles are not just for summer! I mean, how great is it to be able to eat a popsicle outside without worrying if it will melt!