Friday, October 9, 2009

Follow Friday

Number of Reasons you should be reading : 587,954,328 [at least]
Number of minutes I have allotted myself to write this post on a break at work: 16.25 [at most]
Number of Reasons you should be reading that I will be sharing with you: 7 [Can it be done?]

Seven Reasons why you should visit According to Nina:

1. Recipes – Nina features “stories on a plate” which share a recipe and a story/memory from said recipe. She also often shares easy, but DELICIOUS (trust me, I’ve tried) recipes that help her in a time crunch. Everything she shares is impressive.

2. what’s in my inbox – my favorite blog posts by Nina include information she receives by email. Coupon codes, great quotes, ideas, simple sweetness, bits of info. Everything she shares is valuable.

3. Target Tuesdays – anyone who tells you they don’t like target is a LIAR or in need of help. [ok. Maybe I’m just bias.] Nina shares her love for target by taking weekly trips and spotlighting some of her favorite finds. Everything she shares is on my Christmas list.

4. Bergdorf's To Bama by Leila – Nina has two regular contributors; the first is Leila. She has all the charm of a southern belle (born&raised) and all the sharpness of a chic city gal (where she recently departed to head back home to the south). Everything she shares is fabulous.

5. Jennifer's Kind Finds – the second is Jennifer. Jennifer finds something absolutely fabulous, and way out my price range, and scopes out a similar, nicely priced alternative. Same style, different price tag. Everything she shares is a steal-of-a-deal.

6. 3 C’s- Nina is classy, creative and clever. Scroll through the past posts and you will soon see what I mean. Everything she shares speaks of her character.

7. Ideas-a-plenty- Whether its home décor style, fashion finds, great gift picks, party decorations and menus, what blog to check out, or what to order at starbucks- it matters not. Everything she shares is an idea I want to try myself.

What are you waiting for? Go check out what Nina has to say.

to follow Nina on twitter: go here

Inaugurating Peace

When I was going through my notebooks the other day, I came across this letter I had written to a future love of my life. I had scheduled to post this on Sunday, but seeing as today is an extra special Friday, I figured I should go ahead with it.

A little history:
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. He is the third seated President of the United States to win the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. When Alfred Nobel wrote his will, he made sure to include that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” All of the other Nobel Prizes are awarded by Swedish institutions; but the Peace Prize is awarded by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. (this is because at the time of Nobel’s death, Sweden and Norway were united under the same parliament.)

I know there will be discussion and debate over the warrants of this award, President Obama’s deserving it or not, what he has done, what he has yet to do, what each of us personally would do if we were in his position. But the truth is, we are not in his position. He is our President and I put my trust in the office.

Then Heather said, “Congratulations, Mr. President.”

A blurb from Heather’s personal journal:

January 20, 2009

Today is historic.
I suppose all days are historic, in theory, but today is a day we will look back on in our old age and say “remember when” “I was here” and “I felt this”.

Today reeks of change.

I pray that one day, I have babies.
I pray they are brilliant.
And I pray that right now, you, my beautiful, wonderful, most perfect child, are reading this with eagerness to know your mother and who she was “back in the day”. To learn more about her growing up, her thoughts, her experiences, and the world that surrounds her.

And let me continue to tell you, TODAY IS SPECIAL.

Barak Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of these United States of America.

The first African American president.
The first President to be born of two parents of different races.
The first President whose election was made possible by the voice & votes of young America.

[by the way, my child: your vote. Your voice. Your life. Matters. ]

Today I worked my simple, yet splendid, office job.

At 11:45 AM, I joined my coworkers in the break room to watch ABC’s coverage of the inauguration. It didn’t matter who we voted for, it was a moment in history to remember, and so all of us, registered or not, democrat, republican or independent joined together to witness the celebration and ceremony of it all.

After President Obama placed his hand on the Lincoln Bible and swore to be the best President he could be…

[and who could ask for more, really? You, my child, take his lead, and be the BEST you can be, in ALL things.]

I listened to President Obama give a terrific 17 minute speech. And afterwards, I printed it off from the internet and highlighted the parts that gave me chills and made me shed a tear. In order that I could document this here…

Here is my most favorite part:

“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

I pray, tonight, over your life. That you know what freedom is in your life. And I pray that you respect freedom. And celebrate freedom- both in the large and the small. In the outrageous and the common.

Tonight, I will watch DVDs of The West Wing with friends – to laugh, and dream, and learn with loved ones as I continue to let the truth of today seep in.

Beyond today, the truth is: I love you. Already. and Always. and Forever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


the number of times I walk into walls, doors, tables and the like is really quite ridiculous.
I think my co-workers are starting a pool regarding how many times I say "ow!" throughout the day.

my elbow hurts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The last few weeks I’ve been taking some walks down memory lane.

After I shared the story of the romance between myself and the elusive green books, I found myself flipping through them, remembering memories of making lists and living experiences to list about.

During a phone conversation with my dear friend Megan, a story of high school sparked a debate that only a yearbook reference could solve. Once I found an answer, I spent a little bit of time flipping through the pages recording my senior year, and wondering a few things about my experiences in a tiny little high school in a tiny little farming community in the rural mid-west.

This past weekend I decided it was time to get out my Halloween basket and jack-o-lantern candle holders. This took a bit of effort. It would seem that in my brilliance, I put all the holiday decorations together, meaning Halloween was stored with Christmas. It would also seem that I decided to build my leaning tower of belongings with a strong, sturdy base; which, of course, would be my box of Christmas decorations. In order to get to said holders of candles and basket, I needed to deconstruct the great pyramid-o-storage space and get to the bottom of things; which in this case, was quite literally, getting to the bottom of things.

During my great expedition, I came across a box of old journals and notebooks. You would think I put them in a safe place to come back to later and continued on to the holiday-decorations-treasure-chest, finding what I needed, and put everything else back in it’s rightful place so that I could get to my bedroom without pretending I am an Olympic hurdler. Well, if you did think that, you would be wrong. [which is probably why up until yesterday morning, I had six piles of boxes, papers, and “stuff” in my dining area.]

Instead of following through with my plans of getting what I needed, putting humpty-dumpty back together again sans the King’s horses and men, and going about my weekend to-do, I sat on the floor in my kitchen and flipped through journals, notebooks, and sketchpads of the last 8 years.

One of the journals in the box was from the beginning of 2009. The first page starts, “1-1-09: Happy 2009.” It was a new year, I was in a new region, and I just signed a new contract for work. It was all new. And on the third of January, I wrote a list. (I know you are shocked.) Apparently, “Today I read about an awesome idea on a blog. 101 in 1001. make a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, which is about 2.75 years. Here I go: 101 things to do in 1001 days. [10-1-2011]”

As I read over my list I realized that a few of the items made the cut because they were planned to happen; Get married, visit Disneyworld, etc. Other items on the list I had totally forgotten about! So far, I’ve completed 10 items on the list. And if my calculations are correct, I have 735 days to complete the remaining 91 items; roughly this is one every 8 days.

Now I know that some of these items may never get accomplished and I shouldn’t try to push them along to have them done in time (for example: get married sure looked like a sure shot in January when I made the list…now…not so much.) However, I think it would be an entertaining and worthwhile challenge to try to accomplish one of these items each week or so for the next two years. It will take some planning. It will take some enthusiasm. And it will damn sure take some documenting for this here blog.

So the list ( things I’ve done are bolded & italicized ) :

Then Heather Said, "101 in 1001"

1. visit Disney World
2. get married
3. get a new cell phone
4. buy a stranger coffee
5. get a pedicure
6. go to a wine tasting
7. leave a $20 tip on a meal less than $20 in cost
8. get a passport
9. push a baby in a stroller
10. fund a Roth IRA
11. go to a karaoke bar
12. watch My Fair Lady
13. drive my own car
14. knit a scarf
15. bake a real apple pie from scratch
16. have a homemade Christmas
17. take a class/lessons
18. wear a tie
19. find a doctor to call “my doctor”
20. send a card to a random address from the phone book
21. go to a MLB game
22. vacation at the Nation’s capitol
23. make Isabel a blanket (Isabel is my friends’ baby, whom I adore)
24. spend a full hour in silent meditation
25. catch a fish
26. get a personal computer
27. make a necklace
28. make homemade ice cream
29. see a live comic show
30. visit a zoo
31. wear red lip color
32. see off-Broadway musical
33. eat sushi
34. go to NY State Museum

35. go skiing
36. create secret handshake
37. go to a reading by a published author
38. stand in Times Square
39. visit PCC
40. play bingo
41. toss a football
42. feed the homeless
43. make fresh salsa
44. 10K
45. dance the night away
46. buy self a decent piece of jewelry
47. go hiking
48. get a raise
49. make a wreath
50. drink wine & read the Bible
51. get a bed
52. volunteer to decorate
53. sleep under the stars
54. see a 3D movie
55. re-memorize the US Presidents in numerical order
56. watch Gone with the Wind
57. read Catcher in the Rye
58. paint on canvas
59. visit orphanage in Mexico
60. learn to fold a fitted sheet
61. bob for apples
62. eat fresh cotton candy
63. kiss on a Ferris wheel
64. decorate Christmas tree with paper
65. eat jiffy pop near a campfire
66. find a local best girl friend
67. take Michael to Vegas (hmmm…about that.)
68. send “something” to “someone” (specifics hidden as “someone” reads blog)
69. wear pajamas to the movies
70. tie dye
71. share Jesus with a stranger
72. mix fresh lemonade
73. see another Badger game live (it’s been WAY too long)
74. play euchre
75. carve a pumpkin
76. give a toast
77. jump on a trampoline
78. donate blood
79. have a picnic in the park
80. read Captivating, again
81. read Wild at Heart, again
82. wear a ribbon in my hair
83. chew watermelon Bubblicious
84. go sledding
85. have a water balloon fight
86. buy a GOOD pair of shoes
87. make fudge
88. drink a milkshake with two straws
89. subscribe to Martha Stewart Living
90. Drink Jamba Juice
91. make a snowman
92. go a month without eating out
93. ride a horse
94. paint a wall
95. make truffles
96. pick berries
97. wear a smoky eye
98. watch a parade in person
99. play hopscotch
100. participate in benefit run/walk
101. fly a kite

What’s on your list? Anyone want to volunteer to do any of these things with me? Anyone want to volunteer for #66? How about #2? [just kidding]

Lessons from Mother

My mother taught me a lot of things. She still does teach me a lot of things.

My mother has taught me how to be kind and see the good in people.
She taught me how to strive for honesty and work hard, always giving my best effort to any tasks.
She taught me that I deserve to be loved and adored, by others and by myself.
She taught me the best place in the Chicago suburbs to get an italian beef sandwich and how to make ribbon curly.
She taught me how to cook a burger patty on the stove top, and how to tell when brownies are done.
She taught me to love and live and cherish and thrive.
She taught me these things and so. much. more.

Today, she is teaching you how to make Potato Soup.

Then Heather Said, “My mom is so cool and hip - she wants to be part of the Super Internet Soup Swap.”


2 (10 1/2oz.) cans of chicken broth
1 soup can water
2 cups diced potatoes
2 scallions, chopped
1 soup can milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine broth, water, potatoes and scallions in a large saucepan; bring
to boil.

Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Blend smooth in blender (sometimes I just mash potatoes with old fashion masher in broth); return to saucepan.

Stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce; heat.

Stir in sour cream.

Can be eaten hot or well chilled.

I'm waiting for YOUR email! Send your Super Internet Soup Swap recipe (along with experience & picture if you'd like!) to me soon-

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Tale in Forgiveness (& accolade, & giving up, & following your heart)

Why my weekend was awesome;
a tale in forgiveness, accolade, giving up, and following your heart.

Friday night: I was scheduled to work at the mall, but they called and told me not to come in. so I didn’t. Instead, I finished the last disc of One Tree Hill Season 6 that I had been waiting to watch. It was good. The whole thing led me into a spinning web of thoughts and re-evaluating life. The entire last episode discussed getting what you wished for. And the closing voiceover starts with something like: “When you look into the mirror, who do you see? Is it the person you’ve always dreamed of becoming?” And goes on to talk about looking at the person you want to be, and the person who is living their dream, etc.

So of course, I started thinking about this. Who do I see when I look into the mirror, etc? What are my dreams? I was thinking about Jenna and Caitlin and Tina and Angela who are all apparently living out some sort of their dreams RIGHT NOW and taking their steps to get to where they want to be. And I don’t know where I want to be, or what I want to be, or who I want to be. I mean, I do. I know little pieces, but do I really know? Or am I just pretending to know?

Let’s take running, for instance. Last week I ran once. One time. I say I want to be a runner, but do I really, or is that just something I think I want. Or something I think I should want? Or something that I think others think I should want? And why would this all matter, what others think I should want? [answer: I am human and have not yet mastered the “not caring what others think.”]

So Saturday morning comes.
I wake up.
I turn on ESPN.
I make breakfast.
I do the dishes.
I make tea in my Wisconsin heart mug.
I fold the laundry.
And I watch College Game Day.
And I cry a little- during all the Mark Herzlich stuff. They spot lighted him, and different athletes and coaches had prerecorded all these messages for him and they would play them before and after commercial breaks. And the Boston College community was all supportive with their BC “beat cancer” shirts and cheers and signs and face paint. It was all very touching. Then Mark came on with the guys, and he told a story of how early in the week the Doctor had told his dad that he was 99% sure the cancer was gone. And so I cried some more. It was beautiful.

Then, right after college game day, the Badgers played.
So I watched them win.
It was a big game- Wisconsin and Minnesota have the longest standing college football rivalry in the nation. The Battle of the Axe. Sixth year in a row that Wisconsin has won the axe. So it returns to Madison, another year (unlike me). And it was wonderful.
This brings the Badgers to 5-0; currently undefeated. They have a BIG game this week- they play OHIO state which is arguably the best team in the conference but I have FAITH that Bucky will pull through. [I always have faith in the Big Red].

After doing a little “we are keeping the axe” victory dance, I went for a run. I decided that I had to go. I had to get out there. I had to try.

While I was out, a few things happened.

I started thinking about why I suddenly wanted to quit running.
I started thinking about how I always quit everything. How I quit school. I quit trying in high school at some point (junior year, maybe?) and I did graduate in the top 25, but I never put in much effort. I was too focused on extracurricular activities and never focused on studying or homework or anything even remotely close to academics. I was a student director for the swing choir and musical, I was in the 3-act plays, I was the publicity manager for student council, I was the drum major, I was the yearbook editor, I was the host of some pep rallies and worked in the CRC. I planned our annual eagles nest leadership retreat. I was EVERYTHING I wanted to be- but I failed Trig and got a C in Spanish. And I could have learned Trig. If I would have tried. But I didn’t. instead I staged and choreographed shows and led rehearsals and stayed at the school until 2 AM decorating things.

I quit basketball after sophomore year. I quit soccer twice. I went to college- I left Edgewood after 2 years. And then, after a semester at LC – I quit. AGAIN.

And I moved to Texas.
And I became a youth pastor.
And I quit one church.
And I became a youth pastor again. At another church.
And I quit.
And I moved to New York.

Now- where there many, many reasons why I quit all of these things – of course. But I quit. I quit them all.
I am a quitter.
And I don’t want to be a quitter.

And it didn’t stop there.
Another thought cycle I went through is why am I running.
There was a point in my week where I remembered thinking that I didn’t want to see my former fiancé yet because I wasn’t skinny enough, and couldn’t run far enough yet to shove it in his face.
And then I realized how stupid that was.
I want to run; I want to keep running, for ME. Not for him. Not to prove to him. Not to do better than him.
First of all, I deserve better than that. Secondly, he deserves better than that, too.

The truth of the matter, which I very clearly see and have for a few weeks now, is that we are NOT meant to be together. We make great friends. We make GREAT partners in projects, and ministry, and getting things done. And I’ve never had anyone support me in my goals and dreams the way he does.

But we were never meant to be.

He needs someone that isn’t afraid of downhill skiing, and gets excited for surprises, and knows a thing or two about music, and can stand on her own without feeling like she is becoming just an extra limb of his in the grand scheme of ministry. He needs someone that will put him in his place, and will LOVE his family and will share salmon burgers with him.

I need someone who lets me be the star of the show, and who plays soccer or basketball or touch football. I need someone who pursues romance- not candles or flowers – but collecting bottle caps from our first few dates and keeping them in a jar, or framing a napkin from the place we first met for some special anniversary: Cheap things that mean something to a girl. I need someone who wants to vacation the way I want to vacation and always carries a notebook and likes to be sporadic with me but understands my need for a plan and is moved by song lyrics and movie lines and the relationships in television programming.

I need someone who is NOT allergic to peanut butter and who loves parts of me that I can’t stand and who will do whatever it takes to provide time in front of the TV for every Badger game. I need someone who wants to teach me things and likes to play trivia as much as I do and who won’t allow me to get in a rut.

It’s not that he wasn’t some of these things for me. It’s not that I wasn’t some of these things for him. We learned the art of compromise in our relationship. I planned to go skiing. He loves the Badgers. I now have a large affection for drum corps. He made homemade cards, and puppets out of brown paper bags and went out of his way for me every day. And I know that every relationship either of us are ever in again will need compromise and we will probably never find the person who fits each of these silly, dream-about characteristics that were written about in the elusive green book years ago.

He was a lot of things that I can never stop being thankful for; he believed in my dreams more than I did and helped me to hold on to the them when I tried to let them go. He pulled out the best in me and always spoke highly of me, even and especially when I wasn’t around. He tried things for me over and over again. We had the best intellectual conversations and shared so many favorites: coffee, The West Wing, NPR, John Maxwell and Andy Stanley and Robb Bell, and just time together.

But so many of these things are things I share with other people. And things I can find in a best friend and not necessarily my boyfriend, fiancé or husband.

Maybe it means I was wrong for the last six years.
Maybe it means I was foolish.
Maybe it means everyone else was right, and I have to stand up to my pride and humbly accept that I was trying to force something that was never meant to be.
Maybe it means we almost made a horrible decision.
And maybe it means I am the luckiest girl in the world. That this man cared so much about me to know that we were not meant to be and call it all off. Even though it was scary. Even though it hurt. Even though it could mean that a lot of people would be saying mean things about him and he may lose his very best friend.

But that’s okay. Because I am still going to live happily ever. And not in spite of him. And not with him or without him. But because of him.

Then there was another point when I was running.
I was thinking about me wanting to give up.
I had planned to run two full miles non-stop.
But I couldn’t. I hadn’t run in days and I had to stop and recover a handful of times. And each time I had to talk myself into running again. And it was fine, and it was good.
But I started to think about it, and why it was.
I was thinking about me running by myself, training by myself, logging miles by myself. I was thinking about the bloggers in Florida who have a running support group. And I was thinking about my not having anyone to run with, and running my first 5K, and no one being there. I pictured myself crossing the finish line, and leaving. Not talking to anyone. Not celebrating. Not hearing anyone say they were proud of me.

And I started to think about lately. I think perhaps that I don’t feel like anyone is proud of me, and I don’t feel like I am proud of me. I become upset with myself for not running, but I’m never proud of myself for running. I may feel good, I may feel happy, but rarely, if ever, proud.

So then I had a huge debate in my head about needing to please people. Needing to hear “I am proud of you.” How when I do hear that from people, and especially certain people, how much it means to me. And how I haven’t heard it in a while. And how that hurt me. And why did I allow that to hurt me. Why did I care so much. And how my former fiancé told me he was proud of me all the time- but not in a false, having to tell me that, but in a genuine way about different specific things. He always made me feel GOOD about what I was doing and reminded me of why I was doing them and that I should be proud of myself too.

So I started to realize that the reason I didn’t run much last week is because I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I wasn’t pleasing anyone. I wasn’t hearing anyone say they were proud. And so, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to prove it. I didn’t want to even try. I got offended easily throughout the week when comments were made about my lack of exercise. I allowed myself to be selfish and stubborn and bitchy. But I didn’t run. I pouted, I got mad, I got sad, and I sat in self pity. And that was WRONG. And rude. And just silly.

So, I was coming to the conclusion of my lack of running coming from a lack of hearing that someone was proud of me, and I had just stopped for a 15 sec recovery before my last little jog.
Two men on bicycles zoomed by me while I was walking.
I caught my breath, and i started running.
And the last quarter of a mile I pushed it hard.
And I really sprinted the last 100 yards or so.
All the time thinking about not making people proud.
And the oddness that was my desire to make people proud.
And not feeling loved and cherished and all these things we as women long to feel.
And I just kept running faster.
And when I crossed the line, and started my walk back to my house, I past one of the bikers who was now loading his bike to his car.
And he said “wow- for walking, you really did go fast.”
And then heather said “well, I jogged a bit too.”
And he said “well, still. That was really quick. Good job! You are doing great.”
And then heather said thank you, and not two steps away from him, started crying.
[I was out of breath and red faced and now crying which made me look hilarious I am sure.]

And I thanked Jesus for sending that man to tell me “Good Job.”
And I thought about my former fiancé being proud of me, some more.
And about him setting me free.
And about my going to live happily ever after.
And about him doing the right thing, but being treated like he was doing the wrong thing.

And I thought about this all the way home.
And when I got to my apartment, cleaned up, and refueled, I sat on my bed, crosslegged, and said a little prayer.
And I sent a text.
“just wanted to say hi. And I hope you are well. And congrats on the job at the church. And thank you.”
And he responded.
And I responded
And he
And i
And he
And then heather said, “thank you, truly, for so many things.”
And he said “how so, though? What for?”
And then heather said, “ For letting me go. For not marrying me out of fear or false obligation. For doing the right thing. And for believing in me. Mostly for that. For believing in me.”
In which case he apologized, again.
And we texted some more
Before deciding to meet for coffee.
And talking for some time.

About fear and dreams and life and love and right and wrong and how much we missed each other- but not our romance or our relationship, but our friendship.

And he is moving out of the apartment this week and found some of my stuff, and he wanted to get it to me.
And he offered me some furniture for the living room.
And we shared with one another. Open and honest. Honest to each other and honest to ourselves.

And we talked again.
About how life will be if we are friends. Not best friends. Not too close. Not too fast. Not too soon. But friends.
And how life would be if I started to go back to that church (which I miss so much) where he now works.
And we talked about how it was done in the past, us existing in the same circle of people and working together in ministry. And where we went wrong. And why this is different.
And how we need to remain honest.
And we discussed how dating other people will go. How it will be for each of us. And more importantly for the people we end up dating.
And we discussed how before, during break up times, when we were together and friends and working together, we always thought there was going to be more.
But this time I didn’t feel it.
And nor did he.
I didn’t want to kiss him.
I didn’t want to marry him.
I didn’t want to hold his hand.
I didn’t want to hear him say I was pretty or that he was impressed or that he wanted me back.
And he didn’t want to kiss me. Or marry me. Or hold my hand. He didn’t want to hear I was lost with out him or beg him to stay.

But I did want a hug. And so did he.

There was this point, where I fixed his cup of coffee.
And he said, “don’t give up on the writing. It’s who you are.”
And I predicted what he would say.
And he knew what I was thinking, more than once.
And I asked him how he knew, and he said “because you were my best friend. And I know you. And I understand you. and that’s how we are.”

And I know that all of my protective friends and family are going to yell.
They are going to tell me im not strong enough, that I’m vulnerable, that it’s too soon and that I am being foolish.
And to be careful.
And that he doesn’t deserve my friendship.
But I think I can make that call.
And not just because it feels different.
And not just because it is different.
And not just because I think im a bit of a different person than I was before this whole things went down.
And I know that it sucks that it happened.
That he asked me.
That I moved here.
That I had a ring.
That we planned a wedding.
That he had sucky timing.

But he saved my life.
Someday I will marry someone so much better for me.
And someday he will marry someone so much better for him.
And who knows if we will be in each others lives at that point in time.

What I do know as that I haven’t felt this GOOD in a long time.
My heart feels full and happy.
I feel like I can face the world.
I feel like I am strong.
I feel like I am me, but better.
I feel like I can run for days.
And I want to run. Not for him. For me.
And I feel like I am getting somewhere.
And I feel proud.

And what I do know is that he is going to be at the finish line on Halloween.

I know some of you are yelling. Or angry. Or frustrated. Or think I’m stupid and should have learned my lesson. But I don’t care. Because this is my life and I can live it how I want. And this is what I want.
I don’t want to see him every day.
I don’t want to see him every week.
But I do want him in my life.
And that feels so good to say.

So- Sunday I went to church at a DIFFERENT church.
And I tried it out.
And I evaluated the service.
And it was good.
And they played my break up song.
And it was good. (thanks, Jesus.)
And I started thinking about a lot of things.
And I missed the church where I became a member not too many months ago.
And I filled out my visitor’s card.
And the pastor taught on forgiveness.
Which fit right in.

And I sent out some mail.
And I watched a movie.
And I went on a walk and did some yoga.
And I read a bit.
And I cleaned a bit.
And I got out my fall holiday decorations.
And I wrote.
And I wrote.
And I wrote.

And I feel like I’m back.

Top Ten Tuesday

It's Top Ten Tuesday

1. You know my love for Operation Beautiful. Well you should definitely take some time to check it out today. Caitlin is collecting stories, experiences, and inspirations for the book now, and would love you to submit your POV. Tons of cool swag is available for some lucky submission contest winners. GO NOW.

2. Your thoughts on this? I’ve been doing some thinking about offering some free advertising to some internet businesses I truly believe in and support. There are a few internet friends (and some real life friends, too) whose work I really love and would love to lead some traffic their way. [if you have a product/service/business you think I may be interested in, please drop me an email] SOMEHOW, In the last few days, Then Heather Said has received almost 300 page views [this is quite shocking to me, but good shocking - I’m quite excited about it.] And I would love to be able to offer some good friends some name praise. Opinions on this?

3. Breakfast this morning was so yummy I just have to share it. I’ve been trying to add different things to my oatmeal each time I make it and this morning was definitely a winner. ½ c oats, ½ c water, ½ c vanilla soy milk topped with maple brown sugar granola, diced honey crisp apple, & cinnamon. It was perfect with my pumpkin spice coffee- such a delightful fall breakfast.

4. I am so thankful for my friends. On so many levels. I just received the SWEETEST email ever from my friend Stef. Thank you, dear. It warms my heart to know that I have such great, lovely, kind, gentle, AMAZING people in my life.

5. I want to know your favorite movie of all times. I was recently in a conversation with a group of co-workers and it was brought to our attention that I hadn’t seen ANY of their favorite movies. I, of course, have started a list of movies to watch – apparently I am missing out on some great cinema. Leave a comment with your favorite movie!

6. Things that Make Tuesday better: ordering fun new post-it’s for my pop-up dispenser, knowing I get to work with my dear friend Garielle at the mall tonight, wearing my hair in a new way (half back in a bow with cute polkadots), my pants being too big, lighting candles at my desk, knowing my BF is going to be here in just 9 sleeps (single digits, baby!), @chad_arnolds tweet about Brett Favre, peanut butter, and feeling ALIVE.

7. I’ve recently been struggling with the idea of God being just. 2 Thessalonians speaks of it. Some song I heard on the radio yesterday evening sang about it. We hear it in church, at bible study, on tv. And I am wrestling. I talked to an old friend about it last night, through tears. If God is just, that means my hurts, my pain, are justice for SOMETHING. What did I do? And how can I avoid doing it again? I don’t understand. And I am scared.

My beautiful, darling friend Rachel sent me this; “God does not explain himself. God reveals himself.” Not to get too preachy, but this blew me away. This is an attribute I remember aiding my falling in love with God, and I mustn’t turn away from it now.

Of course, this led to a-whole-nother thought process cycle of “didn’t God design me to be the kind of girl that wants to understand, that thirsts for knowledge, that would like an explaination? Or is this a sinful nature? Or both? Or neither.”

8. This Thursday, US Shipping is available at Glo Bakery. You know what this means? You could send me a Glo Bakery care package ;) Check out all of Angela’s delightful products and get ready to order yourself something wonderful.

9. This morning I’ve been listening to String Quartet Tribute to Dave Matthews Band and LOVING IT. I haven’t listened to this is several months and it is the perfect lobby music.

10. Just a reminder, the Super Internet Soup Swap is still looking for entries! Email your soup recipe to me at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Super Internet Soup Swap 2009: Featured Recipe Numero Uno

Let me start out by saying that I am so very excited about the SISS [Super Internet Soup Swap.] I’ve been hemming and hawing over what kind of ingredients I am going to experiment with as I try creating my own soup recipe I hope takes over the world far faster than when Crocs came to town.

You know what I’m talking about; when you first saw someone at the mall, no doubt, walking around in the plastic, non-slip, apparently-“comfortable”-but-really- how-comfortable-can-a-pair-of-plastic-slippers-really-be, defiantly-unattractive-yet-still-made-you-go-“Hmmm”, unfancy footwear you may have shuddered, and went on your way- but then it happened. Soon, they were EVERYWHERE; Crocs had taken over the world!

This Soup of Wonders I have been brainstorming over is going to do the same. [or something.]

Ok- enough about my dreams of conquering the world by way of warm liquid dish. It’s time to deliver the first soup of the swap!

This soup recipe comes from one of very best friends, Bridget. Bridget and I met back in 2001 when we both started our college careers at Edgewood College and became fast friends. Our friendship grew stronger as years (and distance between us) grew, and I am so thankful to have her in my life. She is such a source of joy for me, and never ceases to make me laugh, and remember our times together fondly. I love you lots & miss you masses, Bridge-O!

Bonita Bridget’s Mexican Chicken Soup [Bonus - It is a crock pot recipe!]

1½ lb chicken breast, cubed
2 tsp canola oil
½ cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 32 oz can V8 juice
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 10 oz pkg frozen corn, thawed
Topping suggestions: shredded chedder cheese, sour cream & tortilla chips.

1. In a large, nonstick skillet sauté chicken in oil until no longer pink.
2. Add water and taco seasoning; simmer until chicken is well coated.
3. Transfer to a slow cooker and add V8, salsa, beans and corn; mix well.
4. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until well heated through.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

I love love LOVE easy recipes like this- and I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to make it. The only changes I plan on making, of course, are getting low sodium taco seasoning and V8: But wouldn’t it be fun to make this with Tofu, Veggie Crumbles, or just extra beans for a vegetarian take on the soup?

I’m thinking this recipe has inspired me to have a Happy Hour Fiesta in few weeks with some friends from work. How fun would this soup be served mini-style with chips & salsa, tiny burritos, and lots of Margaritas? Of course, I will be sporting a sombrero for sure- Then Heather said, “Ole!”

Don't forget to email me YOUR Super Internet Soup Swap recipe at!!

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