Saturday, November 24, 2012


It was a beautiful day, and I got to enjoy it with my dear friend Joy catching up and walking around a beautiful park. There's something beautiful about every place I've lived in my life. I simply didn't realize how beautiful Kentucky is until I left. The crystal blue sky, clear air, and stunning landscape made me so grateful to be home. That, and it's great to be able to reunite with friends. It's been a long time!


Friday, November 23, 2012

{Thanksgiving in Pictures}

Old recipes, with some new ones mixed in, Lots of smells wafting, mixing, and setting an excellent mood that lasted throughout the day. We had an amazing dinner with some exceptional food served on wedding china, our first opportunity to use it. The rest of the day was spent grazing deserts, watching movies, and playing games. It was good to loose track of time, divvy up food, and go to bed full and happy.

We had a lot of good conversation, and the ability to enjoy our time together as a family. This year has certainly not been a conventional one, and has provided it's share of trials for everyone. It's been a blessing to have a balanced perspective, and to have been able to come home when we did. If there's anything I've learned in the past couple of years, it's that through all of the difficult trials, there is always the promise of good things to come, and that happiness is a decision, not a result.  I'm so grateful for the two wonderful, funny, supportive, and good men I have in my life.  They are my happiness. Well, them and pie.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1. Apple Pie
2. Grandma's Oyster Stuffing ( one without , for Jeff)
3. Flowers from a thoughtful husband
4. Pumpkins for Pie. No cans here!
5. Pinterest experiment of the night - cinnamon roll crust.
6. Creamy, spicy, and ready to be a pie!
7. Finished Pumpkin Pie. Yum!
8. Crust results. Not bad, eh?
9. Bananas waiting
10.  to be this
11. Fuel for the morning
12. Grandma's yeast rolls
13. Table setting starting to come together
14. Wedding china
15. Wealth of food
16 &17. Perfect company

Not Pictured: Jeff's 3 bean salad, green beans and bacon,, broccoli cheese casserole ( ALL YUM), and the best turkey I've ever eaten. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{Little Miss Sunshine*}

I am in a GREAT mood today.

For all you nay sayers of this progressively cooler weather, I am simply happy to be so far removed from the China summer. My arms and legs are bite free, I'm not currently driven crazy with the unceasing urge to itch or take a shower and I will gladly put on an extra layer, scarf and mittens to not go through that for a LONG time.

I am currently working TWO jobs. One is at the testing center I worked at a couple of years ago. I know the people well, we get along great, it's a mindless and conducive job for multitasking errands and to do lists that have been piling up on me as we work on getting re-established. For example, while doing my job (which I happen to be pretty great at) I also managed to research, call, apply, and get some really fantastic health insurance for Jeff and I - Something that has been a major stressor since before we got back from China.

The second job is what I'm even more excited about. Before we left for China I was working as a companion for an awesome woman who had Down Syndrome. During that time I fell in love with the area of work, and got to know the case managers and what they do. When I got back, I looked up some of those connections, had an interview and am currently working on getting established with a case load of my own. In the mean time, they are also letting me make money helping with billing and expenses, something I had already had experience with while working with them in the past. This is something I have been looking forward to, and honestly what I was really planning on doing when I got back. Everyone has been asking me if I plan on teaching again, and while I still love being in a classroom and working with children, I honestly am so burnt out ( or bitter , as Jeff puts it) with the education system. This new direction I'm taking will allow me to work with the same people that I wanted to work with as a teacher, but with less  different obstacles.  I'm very, very excited about this change.

While I'm not loving having less days off, I am loving being able to come up with enough time to run errands, unpack things around the house, and have dinner cooked before Jeff gets home. Almost every day this week we've been able to enjoy a home cooked dinner together, in our kitchen sitting at our dining table.

Finally, I'm SO relieved to finally have a place of our own that we see ourselves sticking to for a while. I hate moving OH.SO.MUCH. While our apartment still looks a little chaotic with boxes still threatening a hostile takeover, we get a little more done each day, and each day it looks a little more like home. Eventually, when I'm satisfied that it looks worth sharing, I'll give you a tour.

For right now though, I'm satisfied for the daily progress and the little things that keep me upbeat. Tonight, Spiral ham, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, parsley potatoes, and banana pudding.


*Also the name of my lemon of a car. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{So Here We Are}

I want to write something, and honestly, there's a lot of things I have to say and get off my chest. Unfortunately, a lot of it is inappropriate for airing in public.While I am happy to share select things about my life with others, and I know some are interested and inquiring, I firmly feel that conflicts that involve people that are close to you such as family members are not something that every Tom, Dick, and Harry needs to be bothered with, tantalized with, or polled about for their opinions.

So, I'll say this. We're back, in Kentucky. We've been busy little beavers hitting the ground running trying to make sure the most impulsive decision we've made thus far in our relationship leads to a fruitful end, and that we can continue to sustain ourselves as two adults should. It hasn't been easy. I'm starting to hate the metaphor of the roller coaster, because it has been so fitting. Still, We've had more ups than downs, and that's what counts. That's what we choose to focus on.

In a lot of ways, I think my perspective on life and how I treat and understand people has changed significantly. I'm learning to let go of grudges, prioritize my life, and surround myself in environments that are condusive to my progression as a person, and a child of God. It's made a tremendous difference to have my faith in this situation, and while I have never been one to push my beliefs on anyone, I will say that for myself, I have been able to find a boon of peace and understanding because of my knowledge of the gospel. This has been a testimony building experience on many different levels, and I'm grateful to have the ability to move on and live my life in a land that allows me to have my free agency.

Jeff and I were both blessed to be able to secure jobs the day after we landed, were able to find a nice, affordable, and safe place to live so that we could continue to be independent, and have had amazing support from some family members who have made this transition a less terrifying one. I've had some interviews for some promising new opportunities that I am pretty confident in, that will allow me to switch my career to something I have been looking into for a while, and will give us the income to save and pursue future interests in education and life.

In all things, I see a masters touch, lining up events, circumstances and decisions that make things happen in such a way that you can't help but feel blessed. I'm working up the motivation to keep the blog going, as there are still a lot of things we want to share, to document, and to remember from our wonderful adventure abroad, and the one that lays ahead of us.

As always, thank you for reading and keeping up with us. It means a lot to know that we have so many people standing behind us, ready to support and encourage when needed, or to share in laughs, tears and the wealth of emotions that come with life. I look forward to growing these relationships with you, and continuing to share life's adventures.

Have a wonderful day.