When in Doubt, Cook it Out

Good Monday morning, bloggers! After the Week of Gratitude I had to set my computer down and take a few steps back from the e-world and enjoy the people I’m thankful for!

I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous, as mine was! I had some much needed quality family time and learned something new. What’s that you ask? Girl can make a sweet potato pie. A couple of days before Thanksgiving the boy had told me he really likes sweet tato pie, and the next day I had a recipe delivered to my inbox from allrecipes.com for sweet tato pie. Coincidence? I think not! I just have to say that it smelled divine (and was devoured)!

And here I find myself on this Monday morning, slightly stressed, facing the music of migrating everything I have electronically from my sweet ol’ PC to the Mac that I bought last week. Too stubborn to pay the Geek Squad $100 to do it for me. Along with this stress, I have three overly-ripe bananas and a neglected container of quick-cooking oatmeal.

You know what this means. Time to bake!  Have a happy Monday!

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I. Love. Cooking.

Which could be why I am awake at 12:45am on Thanksgiving day, just having put 5 hours of work into the kitchen, with a 5k to run in t-minus 8 hours.

But seriously people. I can’t really describe with words how much I enjoy cooking. Last year was my first year doing Thanksgiving all by mah’self and it turned out surprisingly well, and I’m doing it again this year! Because I think it’s fun.

Tonight I accomplished:

  • brining my 16-pound butterball
  • baking cornbread for the dressin’
  • maple pumpkin pie
  • sweet potato pie
  • banana nut bread (for breakfast)

I just love cooking. Hey you, yeah you. Ever need something cooked for you? Please ask me! (I’ll look for any excuse to cook).

Now for your viewing pleasure, my activities from the evening:

(please excuse the strange lighting on this one) yes that is my hand in the bird.

More photos displaying my family’s fun-filled get togethers will follow…now for sleep…Turkey Trot here we come!

the Week of Gratitude: day 7

This is the final day for the Week of Gratitude on faith/food/fitness, and I’m ending with two things which I am utmostly grateful for: my faith and my freedom.

Each day it is important for my to let my Creator know how grateful I am for Him and all of the things I have shared with you this past week; my family, friends, education, health, food, freedom…I would have none of these things if it weren’t for Him. Unfortunately, no matter to what degree I show gratitude, none of it can compare to the sacrifice that was made for my life.

I am grateful to be free, practice my faith, love my life,  be with my family and friends…and I am grateful that Kayla challenged us bloggers to participate in this Week of Gratitude because this was something I needed; to step back and think, “Gee, I sure have a lot to be grateful for…” and has caused me to shift my outlook on life to the countless blessings I have.

the Week of Gratitude: day 6

I am so grateful for my friends! I love all of my friends, and know we all have a distinct purpose in one another’s lives; whether it be to support, challenge, laugh with, or cry with, we’re all together for a reason!

Growing up I had ‘best friends’ who would exit my life as quickly as they entered it; I had falling outs with other friends, and some friendships are just harder to maintain than others. Except for this one very special friend I have in my life.

We met in Mr. Visser’s geometry class in ninth grade a Prairie Trail Junior High. We had both come from different schools the year prior, and I don’t quite remember exactly how we became acquainted, but nearly seven years later we are best friends. We survived junior high, all of those (good, bad and ugly) years in high school, and now we are surviving college together.

Aleeza, you are the best friend that I have ever had.

This girl is amazing, seriously, people. She is supa-smart, determined, loving, fun, supportive and just all around amazing. She has supported me so much through the years, she’s seen my way ups and my way downs, we laugh, we vent, talk about food, drool over basketball players athletes…everything I could have ever wanted in a best friend and then some. Aleeza inspires me, challenges me, and accepts me. Can we get this girl ‘Best Friend of Life’ award or something??

Everyone needs an Aleeza in their life.

Question: Have you told your best friend how much they mean to you lately?

the Week of Gratitude: day 5

Day 5: I am grateful for each morning.

This morning I laid sleepily in bed, in the exact same spot I fell asleep in. Without having even opened my eyes I said, “Lord thank you for this day, for this new morning, for this fresh start.”

I had never thought about it before, but I am so fortunate to go to sleep in a big, cozy, warm bed and wake up in the exact same spot in my big, cozy, warm bed every morning, safe, sound and well rested.

Lamentations 3:23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

I wish you sweet dreams and a fabulous morning, bloggers!

the Week of Gratitude: day 4

Let’s recap on the Week of Gratitude thus far:

day 1: family
day 2: health
day 3: education

Which brings us to day 4. FOOD.

I bet ya couldn’t guess that was coming up!

Let’s just take a moment for some photos:

As you can see (and probably know) I have turned into a foodie. At age 7 my mom planted the seed and taught me how to bake cookies and I’ve been going ever since. Grilling, baking…especially baking…concocting, sauteeing, brewing…I love it all. 

(But things weren’t always like that. There was a point when I ate and ate and ate…ate myself over the edge. I ate Lays chips dipped in ranch for goodness sakes!) I was addicted to food in a very unhealthy way, I ate emotionally, out of boredom, and out of habit. I ate but I didn’t taste. I didn’t know what I know now. Having overcome that addiction to food, I am who I am today and still love food. But in moderation and balance.

 I am grateful that I am able to buy food, cook and create meals that are healthy (and/or delicious) for myself and friends and family…that’s something I don’t think about often and do take for granted. The ability to hop on up to the grocery store any time, day or night and have money in my pocket to purchase food to nourish my body with.

This Thursday as you are celebrating Thanksgiving with whomever you celebrate with, give thanks…eat, drink and be merry!

the Week of Gratitude: day 3

All those years spent having a love/hate relationship with school from ages…oh let’s say 6-18…have come and gone. Now in my third year of college (geez…where has time gone?!) I must say I am very grateful for my education.

I am thankfull to have grown up in a community with excellent schools which provided me countless opportunities to see the world outside four institutional walls. Just the opportunity to be in college right now is a blessing that I have easily taken for granted.

I am an aspiring nurse (I say aspiring because this stuff is a lotta work) and can only dream of the day when I graduate and get to do what I realllllly want to do with my life! Regardless, I am enjoying every step of the way and soaking it in; this is an opportunity to enjoy!

Despite 8am math classes, dissecting human remains and becoming an expert procrastinator; school, I am thankful for you.