Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Get Over It

Y'all, I need a lesson on forgiveness.

I. was. "wronged."
Gasp!
Say it isn't so. 

No, I was.  I actually feel pretty confident that I am in the "right" on this one, and that my feelings are justified.  But, I have made the decision not to bring it up because I don't think it's worth it in the long run. 

I sound so mature, I know.  The catch here is that even though good-me has decided not to bring it up, I still feel some bitterness and haven't really let the issue go in my head.

No, this is not my passive aggressive way of hoping said person realizes it is him/her and comes to me to discuss this.  It's not YOU! Well, it actually could be, but let's operate under the assumption that it's NOT you so that you take away my greater purpose here.  I really do not want to talk about the issue, because at the end of the day, it is petty and the logical part of me realizes that.  But since I am not going to make the uncomfortable call to discuss it, and I'm not going to send what I like to call "the roommate email" -- when one girl emails her roommates to talk about how the trash isn't being taken out, etc. and then nobody ever actually talks about the email except behind the girl who sent its back --

I have to just get the hell over it.

I'll try not to drain this and lose you in my excursiveness.  But here is what I am teaching myself:

1) Once you have decided how you are going to handle something, get on with it and get over it.  I made my decision and now the only person suffering from my dwelling is me.  Well, and Brian kinda.  And that's all the more reason to just move on to more important things -- like everything else.

2) If you are not going to share with someone how something made you feel nor enable them to know you think they owe you an apology, then you have to decide to forgive them on your own.  It's not fair for me to expect that they should just inherently know they owe me an apology (even though I always know think if the situation were reversed I would handle it differently).

3) If you do give them the chance to apologize, and they decide not to take it, then you still have to decide to forgive them on your ownFor yourself.  So that you can remain the person you are and not get lost in the loneliness of resentment.

Because let's face it -- resentment and bitterness is a lonely road.  No one else can experience your same feelings of negativity and it is a desolate path to walk.

I feel much better already :) I think forgiveness is probably the greatest gift we can give ourselves (and others) and I wish it came easier.  It's hard to give up what feels right at the moment (holding onto the anger) for something that doesn't yet feel right...but it always turns out to in the end.




Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend Gifts

The state of Indiana's gift to me was a tax refund. 
Thanks to Mr. Washington, Brian and I will be livin' it up this weekend.


Hopefully we don't spend all of this in one place.


My weekend gift to you is my new favorite less-than-15-minute workout.
Am I allowed to share someone else's YouTube video? Hopefully so.

I love any workout that can be easily done in a hotel room and give results. 
I just did it and then inhaled a King Size Kit Kat and had a nice big glass of water.


Her name is Janice and she owns a Pilates studio in Austin, TX called Hottie Pilates. 
She is 55 years old and the mother of 5 children.
This is worth watching, even if only to see what amazing shape she is in. 

You're welcome.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY & The Week Past

I don't DIY. 
In fact, I didn't even know what DIY stood for ("do it yourself").
I had to google it the first time I saw it.  I thought it was an exercise program.

It's not that I don't want to DIM, but the creative genes of my parents just decided to bypass their firstborn and hold out for Kate.  So I will live vicariously through the craftiness of others.

That being said, this is likely the only DIY post you will ever see here and all I can offer you is Easter egg dying (or perhaps it's dyeing?).


Step 1: Walk to drug store
Step 2: Purchase kit
Step 3: Walk home
Step 4: Follow directions
Step 5: Dye eggs

Brian and I had a great time; our experience went something like this...

B: "Are we going to do this before dinner or after?"
S: "We should probably do it before."
B: "Ok, well you aren't even ready yet and we need to leave in 30 minutes."
S: "Go ahead and get started and I'll be ready in one minute."



20 minutes later...



S: "The dye isn't staying on like it usually does...maybe they changed the formula."
B: "Maybe we shouldn't have bought brown eggs."
S: "Oh wow...we should probably tell people we used eggs we already had."
B: "At least they were free range."

(Always buy free range eggs/chicken if you can! They are pricey, but the chickens enjoy a free life and if we don't support these farms, cruel battery cage farming will continue to exist)



The result: Our egg family!
My brilliant supply chain friend, Casey, came up with this idea and I couldn't resist copying it :).
It was nice to have a reminder of home with us for Easter. 
Plus it made my decorating decisions easy.

Nevermind the cracked one blinged out in stickers...


Easter Sunday was absolutely BEAUTIFUL in the city. 
We went to church and then some friends hosted an Easter brunch on their rooftop.

I spent the week working in NC -- hanging out with my parents and touring one of our pharma facilities in none other than Wilson -- while poor Brian went kicking and screaming to New Orleans for a Bachelor party.  I had to remind him it was not his bachelor party -- that's how excited he was.
Coincidentally, my second sister happens to live in Wilson and we had a sleepover like old times.
Except nowadays she owns the house, cooks for me, and we each have our own bed.

On Friday, I spent quality time with Mom & Dad I.L. at dinner.
On Saturday, the ZTA ladies and I hosted a baby shower for Anni and Jay, who are expecting TWINS.
(Shout out to Master P for bossing planning everything so well xx)
And on Sunday, I listened to my dad's wonderful sermon about 'our personal timelines'.
Ahh personal timelines...what a distraction and source of discontentment you are.
  
It was a whirlwind week which seems to be the case these days, and I didn't get nearly as much time with family, dogs, and friends that I would have liked. 
But beggars can't be choosers, so I'll take what I can get :)

How was your Easter?
I hope it was lovely and that you were able to celebrate the forgiveness of your sins and the undying love of Christ.  And I hope that you felt the joy and peace of knowing God is always with you :)


A Bird Story

A story about our encounter with the Kea - a native bird of New Zealand.


Look at this view! Let's stop and take a picture or 100.


Oh my goodness.  Do you see that beautiful bird sitting there? I wonder if I can get close to him.


He's not afraid of me at all.


Look, he has a friend!


Hmm, his friend is walking towards me.


I wonder if I could take him home to Mom...

She's always wanted a pet bird.

Maybe I can feed him this plant...


Oh here comes another friend. 

Why did he bite my pants? 
(not captured on film)


Now he is chasing me.  I should distract him with food.


Maybe I should hide in the car?

On second thought...


He is inside the car.

Ok, let's coax him out and back onto the mirror at least.

And maybe we can encourage him to jump off if I tap against the window?

Free.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday & Good Things

Good Friday, y'all! And a good Friday it has been.  
No reason in particular, but the weather is beautiful and I love working from home. 


In lieu of an Easter egg hunt, I have decided to hide some of Brian's "favorite things" around the apartment.  And by favorite things, I don't mean sweet little presents I have been gathering for months.  I mean the basic necessities so that he has no choice but to go hunting around :) 
This is going to be so much fun for me Brian.

This Easter marks the first holiday I can recall that we won't be with our families.  
I will miss the beach service, our sweet dogs who are in Kernersville, and most of all, our parents and siblings.  But there is something exciting about holidays in NYC.  I'm looking forward to going to our own church this year and celebrating the day with friends afterwards.  I have even talked Bri into dying eggs with me tonight while we watch one of my all time favorite movies - Speed 2, which happens to be on TV.  If you have never seen it, you should treat yourself -- just look past the weak story line, bad acting, and amount of time they spend filming the musical performances.  
I don't exactly know why I like it?? 
I think because it reminds me of good times in my life when I would catch it on some random channel.  
It reminds me of happy moments and good things.

And speaking of good things...
Look past the fun stuff for just a minute -- Easter eggs, candy, egg hunts, candy, bunnies, candy, dresses -- and at the heart of it, is the best thing of all -- salvation.  What an amazing occasion to celebrate and be grateful.  Even if not looking at Easter from the religious perspective, one still can be in awe of the historical significance of what the day represents.  Unfathomable really, when you think about how much time has passed and how many have come and gone, and yet still people are united in thanking this man for sacrificing His life.  
Sacrificing His life for the very people who were persecuting Him.  
He could have escaped death, could have begged for His life, but He did not.  
He gave it up so that we would be forgiven for our sins.  
So that we would have eternal life after this temporary one.  
That we could know unconditional love, mercy, and forgiveness.
And that is a very good thing.

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Speaker on the Subway

I. love. the subway.

Those of you who see me commuting around the city know that I tend to fall into the trap of cabs.  But this is mainly due to a) always running late, b) my aversion to being cold, and c) not knowing my way around the subway. 

I should probably be a lot more comfortable with it by now, but it still intimidates me if it isn’t one of my usual routes.  And don’t ever expect me to just know which train I should be taking based off my destination.  I will guarantee that I don’t make it there without at least 1-2 wrong trains added in. 

But I do love the subway.  I love peering around the tracks to watch the gigantic rats crawl about the treasures people have discarded -- underwear, books, cups, the occasional jacket.  I even contributed to the collection a few months ago when I lost my shoe in the train door.  I had to wear my father-in-law’s glove on my foot to go up the stairs (thanks, Steve) and then Brian carried me to the nearest shoe store so we would still make it to the play on time.  Yes, everyone thought I was a tourist.  Yes, I know I deserved it by trying to get on the train after the doors were 90% closed.  But what can ya do?

My favorite thing about the subway however, is the guest speakers.  There are some crazies, don’t get me wrong, and you have to be cautious as to what you choose to listen to.  But every now and then, you get a good one.  And today was one of those days where I am so glad I took the F train at that exact time on this exact day.  I don’t know his name, but I wish I did.  I wish I had shared how much I needed to hear his words this morning, but I didn’t, so I will have to thank him through this post. 

He spoke about unconditional love.  He spoke about Christ's life, His love for us, and His death for us.  And on this Tuesday of Holy week, it was a great reminder of what is really important.  That even in the midst of our rushing around and panicking about meetings, bills, jobs, lack of jobs, children, appearance, etc., that we are loved no matter who we are and what we do.  We hear the message at church, but how often do we carry it forward into our everyday life? I know I do not do it enough.  I fall into the trap of worrying about things that simply need not be worried about.  What does worry get us anyway? Ulcers.  

I don’t know who else on the train was listening, and the crowd was diverse and I’m sure some beliefs did not align.  But even if just one person heard a sentence that the man was speaking today and feels like he/she is being led to explore it further, then God bless!  And that man will never know if his 10 minute monologue about Christ dying for our sins inspired anyone to seek Him, but that’s okay.  We often don’t know who is listening or watching us, but people do watch, and they do listen.  So why not make it count?

We worship God when we realize just how much He loves us; by seeking to understand “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is” (Ephesians 3:18 NLT).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pulling a Giada

Well I took a nice long break because I just didn't feel like writing this week.  Any time my fingers were itching to type, there was a freight forwarding contract that needed attention and it won.  But, I thought sharing my #1 chef technique might get me back into the spirit of blogging as well as perhaps, cooking?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves...one thing at a time.

#1 Chef Technique: “Pulling a Giada” 
Defined as the art of distracting your dinner guest from the food you prepared.

This technique can be applied to boyfriend, friend, spouse.
In my case...



...Brian, not Evie :)

Have you ever seen Giada DeLaurentiis on the cooking channel? I'm going to guess that you have.  And if you have, then you have also seen her low cut shirts and the way she describes her food as 'succulent' and 'seductive'.  And don’t pretend that you haven’t noticed.  The girl can cook but I am convinced that any male watching her show is not doing so for the recipe alone.   

When I see that something I am cooking leaves much to be desired, I will originally try to determine how to salvage it.  If it cannot be done, I begin to think of all the ways I can 'pull a Giada' and keep Brian from noticing too much about the food.  My options include but are not limited to:
  • think of a finance question to ask Brian right about the time I set his plate down
  • mention the word “baby” in any capacity
  • serve him alcohol before dinner
  • make him wait to eat until he's famished
  • wear a Giada outfit
It works.  You can use it on anyone -- create an illusion or distraction and then serve them dinner.  They will rarely notice much about the food.

This is a dish so easy it has never required me to pull a Giada, so as the first recipe I am sharing on here, you should rest assured knowing it is a winner.  We even tried it out on our guinea pigs, John and Kate, a few weeks ago.  It is healthy and can also be modified with whatever flavors you are in the mood for.


Super-Healthy-McSteamy
(it's really just Steamed Fish)

Ingredients:
  • 4 fillets whitefish (Tilapia, etc.)
  • white wine
  • 1 orange
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • butter
  • aluminum foil
  • guacamole (or whatever topping you want - salsa, hummus, etc.)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 or 375 degrees (we have an older oven, so adjust accordingly)
  • Tear 4 squares of aluminum foil (about 1 ft x 1 ft)
  • Thinly slice zucchini and onion and place on the center of each of the four sheets
  • Place a dab of butter and salt & pepper on top of the vegetables
  • Put 1 fish fillet on top of the vegetables on each piece of foil; add another dab of butter and salt & pepper
  • Zest orange evenly over the top of the fish
  • Crimp the edges of the aluminum foil to seal up the fish, but leave one end open a little
  • Add splash of white wine into the open end
  • Seal the foil tightly and place in oven (baking sheet not required) for 30-40 minutes
  • Unwrap (foil will be hot), top with guacamole (or whichever topping you choose) 
  • Enjoy!
And y'all, if it sounds hard it's because I didn't type it well.  You can't really mess this up even if you don't follow the exact directions!