Friday, November 28, 2014

Insecurity: a landmine of feelings

Sparkling water with raspberries, timeless pop rock hits in the kitchen, the smell of onions and garlic cooking away in the oven with chicken and's a girls weekend away in Victoria and I am feeling the restfulness. We're at a place that overlooks the Songhees in Victoria, BC, near Dallas Road and the Inner Harbour. Great friends, great conversations, lots of laughter and even more food.

It's amazing how insecurity can still pop up, even in the most ideal of settings. I often am amazed at the power that it has over us. At times you can see insecurity in a wave around the room - different reactions to it, of course, but still it engages us. Some get quiet for a moment, others lash out with a quick word, and still others talk louder and more confidently to beat it away. Even in these safe places, it plagues us, especially as women.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Austin the Trip, Part 2

Thank you all for your amazing and kind words of support and excitement yesterday; it has all meant so much! We are so excited! Now to pick up from where I left off the other day, the final section of our Austin trip!

Sunday we were up and off to Hamilton Pool.This is a sight I have wanted to see for ages now - it's less than a 10 minute "trek" down to the "pool" and it's definitely worth the parking fee ($15) and the walk. It's geographically really interesting, and just plain beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Austin the Trip, Part 1

So Austin, Texas. A couple weeks ago we were away in Austin visiting Paul's mom and it was a great trip. We started out on the Thursday by leaving work early and driving down to Renton to spend the night with Rebekah and Tony, which was LOVELY. They cooked us a great dinner and made a nice place for us to sleep. They drove us to Sea-Tac bright and early! That's true friendship. 

On the trip to Austin we had two flights, Seattle to San Fransisco, then San Fran to Austin. The first flight was short and easy, I read a book and a People magazine mostly. The second flight I was sitting in front of a very very unpleasant woman. Everyone around me was allowed to recline their seats but not me - when I tried (as I'm pregnant and have a bad back, upright seats aren't made for being comfortable) she shouted at me, and kicked the seat while shouting until I pulled it back up. So unpleasant. Being pregnant makes me way more emotional and I definitely cried. I tried not to, but there you go, I had no ability to pull it together. Paul was furious with how she was treating me and kept offering to switch seats but he's a big guy and the aisle seat is very much suited to him, sitting in my little middle seat was something I was willing to let him do for me. Why should we both be uncomfortable? Because actually he chose not to recline his seat since there was a baby behind him and he wanted to give the mom space. Anyways, the lady behind Paul (with the baby boy, Jake) was super pleasant and her baby was so great on the flight. We caught up with her at baggage claim and Paul pulled her bags off for her. Paul was so great to me on the flight - even though he was so angry with the woman behind me (who was rude to numerous other people while we were near her) he knew it would make me feel worse if he called her out, and so instead he spent his efforts making sure I felt loved and happy. We played games and chatted and I felt very supported! All in all the flights were smooth - we had great timing and I never felt bored.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, November 24th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
MondaySlow Cooker Creamy Chicken Taco's
Monday night we have a Deacon's Meeting at 7:30pm, so a quick and easy dinner is super important. I have ripe avocados just BEGGING to be made into guacamole, so that'll be a nice treat. 

Tuesday: Crockpot Pot Roast

Tuesday is a church wide meeting called Equippers at 7:30pm. I love having a chance to gather as a church so that will be really great. I'm making a Pot Roast in the crockpot - but not a regular roast - a deer Roast! I'm curious how this will go, it will definitely be a first for me. I think I'll be making mashed potatoes in my other crockpot as well and will just need to cook up veggies when I get home. 

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Toquitos
Wednesday night is actually a free night - meaning a time to work around the house. I'll try to tackle at least one item on my list at the bottom of this post, after dinner. 

Thursday: Creamy Crockpot Chicken & Broccoli
Thursday is my favorite vendor function of the year at work - Sutton Place Gingerbread Making Luncheon. This marks the start of my Christmas Holidays every year. Then after work it's my sister night, so I'll get to spend some time with my nephews and sister. Then I'll probably try to hit up one task from this list. 

Friday: Crockpot Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

Friday is Black Friday - I can't decide if I feel like hitting up the mall or not. I don't have a ton to buy, but I do have a few Christmas items I need to pick up. I'm not sure if it's worth venturing to Metrotown on a crazy day or not...I'm leaning towards staying home and tackling things around the house (from the list at the bottom of the page). Friday evening is our friend's birthday after dinner. 

Saturday: YOYO
Saturday morning we have a decorating time for my lovely friend Ana's baby shower, then I hope to tackle one thing on the list and then NAP, before heading out to a girls night since the men will be away at a Men's retreat for Saturday and Sunday. 

Sunday: Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

Sunday I will spend some time with my mom in the morning since my Dad is away at the Men's retreat, then will nap before church, get dinner in the Slow Cooker & hopefully get another item from the list complete. We'll see!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Austin the Trip, thoughts on wheat-free travelling

I have a couple blog posts about our trip to Austin coming up, it was pretty fabulous. But returning to normal life has been hectic so they've had to wait. Taking a trip 2 days later to the Island didn't help that either, but oh was it nice.

Healthy eating while travelling is certainly something to think about; probably could have used a lot more thought about it before going. As someone who doesn't eat wheat or rice (90% of the time) it's hard to know what will be available that isn't a sandwich or bagel, but also isn't continual salads (which can be pretty lame at airports). While my wheat-free/rice-free lifestyle is voluntary (I'm thankfully not celiac or anything like that) the choice is not without reason, and not purely for helping lose weight. The biggest reason I have made this choice is that I feel better in almost every way when I avoid these types of food. The moment I eat wheat or rice my eyes start to sag, they get sleepier and sleepier. My belly feels fuller than full and I feel sluggish. While travelling feeling these ways is less than ideal, especially over a longer stretch. I'd like an alert mind as I navigate airports and such. I can speak from experience as I forgot my lunch at home today and felt a huge craving for a subway sandwich, something I haven't had in over 8 months, actually since long before I cut out wheat. Having made the choice to indulge I can say that I don't regret eating it - the taste and flavour, texture, etc is so rewarding. BUT my eyes are now dropping, my stomach feels full to bursting and I feel so sluggish and tired, not a great way to set myself up for an afternoon of work. Generally, for me the alertness is worth the sacrifice (outside of the occasional craving, like this one), and the extra effort. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Menu Plan, November 19th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
MondayPotato Skins, half pulled pork, half shredded chicken. 
Monday night was an at home evening - I swung by IGA and Costco on my way home, and while at home I prepped potatoes for the following night, shredded chicken, put broth on to cook and did a bunch of other kitchen stuff, as well as put all the groceries away and make lunches. Busy but needed! We had a guest in town from Calgary so she helped me with my work, and it was lovely to spend time with her! I love spontaneous guests, especially from our sister EN church. 

Tuesday: Ham, roasted golden beets & sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes & side salad. 

Tuesday was lifegroup - I threw a ham into the oven (always easy), roasted some golden beets & sweet potatoes, heated up mashed potatoes, baked some other potatoes & pulled together a side salad. It was most tasty. Lifegroup itself was lovely - we were in small groups and it was such a sweet time. People stayed around chatting a while, and I prepped the next days lunches and dinner. 

Wednesday: Spaghetti, and a side salad. 
Today I am very tired, I need me some sleep! Thankfully dinner is partially prepped, so I can rest between dinner (after making lunches) and a meeting at our house at 7:30. At 7:30 we have our womens ministry meeting, which will be done by 9 and, I write this on the internet for all to see, I intent to go to bed then. Right then. 

Thursday: YOYO
Thursday we are out at John & Lindsay's place for dinner - it will be lovely. Thursday is my Friday so I will be feeling footloose and fancy free. We'll chat and play board games and it will be lovely. 

Friday: Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Friday we have friends coming over in the evening after dinner, and I have different productive things to do throughout the day. 

Saturday: YOYO
Saturday we have lunch plans in Langley with our friends Josh & Shannon, then we head to Surrey for a family dinner. 

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

Sunday we HAVE NOTHING TO DO. I am going to sleep in. Hear that body, let me sleep! I will lounge. I will rest. It will be glorious. I need it, quite badly at this point. Also after church in the evening I will decorate for Christmas with our two students Sam & Xiao, pumped!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Of Robin Mitchell, 60!

Posted December 2013 (blogger has hijacked it and reposted it November 2014 for unknown reasons)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, November 10th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Final Austin Day! Taco Deli, Maternity Shopping, State Capitol Building Tour and Rudy's BBQ!
Visiting the "Mean Eyed Cat" in Austin

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Travel Excitement!

And with that (that being a super busy week at work and at home) it is 1:45 and at 2:45 I will be leaving the office to skytrain to Paul, so we can leave in our car at 3pm on route to America! We'll be staying with our wonderful friends the Rivisto's overnight and then they will drive us bright and early to the airport for our 7:15am flight towards Austin, TX! I'm so excited. 

Austin is awesome. I have only been there once but I loved it. So much great food! Warmer weather! We're going to have Mexican, Chuy's & BBQ. We'll go to Hobby Lobby! On top of that excitement we're going to be seeing some of our School of Ministry friends from summer 2012, which is a treat! Not only are those things exciting, but to top it off we get to spend the weekend with Paul's Mom (Nancy) and her husband, Cris. We get to see their new place and enjoy time with them. I'm really looking forward to it. Nancy and I are going maternity clothes shopping (I've been putting off buying anything until this trip with her - it seems like something that is more fun done together, than alone). It's perfect timing really as my belly has finally started to pop - I had my first "are you pregnant" question since being pregnant. It took me a moment to realize I didn't need to be offended, that in fact I was pregnant. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I don't know what I'd do without you

I don't know what I'd do without you: An ode to my iPad mini

I LOVE my iPad. This has not always been how I have felt about the iPad. I recall a time when the iPad was first announced, a time where I scorned it's very existence. See, to me, this invention seemed repetitive. You already have a laptop and a phone - why would you need something in between them? Our friends Nick and Laura bought one the same day we were playing board games with them and as I watched Nick play with his, it still confused me. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mounted Menagerie in Gold

Last year I made something beautiful. Then I put it on my wall and meant to blog about it and totally forgot. Then part of it fell apart in the summer sun and I was glad I'd forgotten to blog about it. Then I found a better solution, fixed the issues and rehung the item and was reminded to blog about it. This is that story. 

I love gold. I love things that are random and look pretty but can also make you laugh (like my sister, she's beautiful but also is hilarious). I love to have a house with fun and random things. You can see the upstairs of our house here to get a feel for our style. Exciting; you can even see this project on the wall! When I first saw a similar project over at Harper's Happenings  I was smitten. It looked easy and fun. I bought all the items needed then didn't do anything for about 4 months. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


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