Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011 Goals Revisited - More Added

Summer is nearly over, life is flying by and it's time to re-evaluate my goals and dreams for 2011, since we're well past the halfway mark. Every year goes a little faster, doesn't it? Back in January, I came up with a bucket list and a list of goals for myself. I then shared these in a blog post. I want to revisit them and see if I'm at least headed in the right direction since I feel a little lost right now. I'm a doer but I feel like there hasn't been any success checking off my checklist. And that makes me question everything.

The thing is, I know what I want. I'm going after what I want, but I feel like nothing is happening. I'd be lying if I said life hasn't been crazy, busy and I haven't been working my tail off, but those big goals are a little harder to obtain and require a lot of work. More than I ever imagined. I see now why so many people give up. But I don't want to! I want to make my dreams a reality. And I really believe they can come true, but maybe it's not on my time? I don't know...

My 2011 Goals Revisited

1. Receive representation for my book Not yet... I queried a lot beginning in February. I also heard back from several agents who requested a full or partial. This was a huge step in the right direction. In the end, I revised my entire manuscript thanks to several positive suggestions from agents. And in about a month, I resent and have received a few more requests; however, I've noticed the summer months are a little bit quieter in agent land. So I'm back to waiting and querying and praying that something works out!

In the meantime I have started writing two new books. I started one awhile back before I revised my first manuscript, and then started another one more recently. Both have potential but I really want to see where my first book goes. So this makes it hard to keep going. Will I really become a full-time writer at some point?

2. Travel somewhere new
Check! My husband and I went to Riviera Maya, Mexico in February with his family. I have been to Mexico but never the Riviera. It was truly beautiful. A super fun family vacation.

3. Start a family
We're getting there... 

4. Start a recipe portfolio/blog
Check! Every week I've been uploading a recipe or two to this blog. I've received wonderful feedback from friends, family and strangers who have tried these recipes! So thanks! It's also really pushed me to eat even healthier. Love it.

5. Get an article in a magazine
Not yet... I wrote a couple articles this winter but no dice. This is definitely something I'd like to work on again and pursue.

6. Say "no" more and do things for me
Still struggling... This is so hard for me. I feel like I'm hurting people's feelings. But time is precious and the older I get, the more I realize how I want to spend my time - I don't want to use it toward something I'm not totally emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically invested in. When I do this, I get stretched too thin and I'm not as fun to be around.

7. Get organized
We're getting there...  We sold Karl's town home and are down to one place! Yeah!!! However, the basement is stacked floor to ceiling with boxes, collectibles and hunting gear, and the garage is getting tighter by the day. One Saturday, Karl and I sat down and watched Hoarders. That did the trick. The man with 2000+ rats was enough to send us in a cleaning frenzy and the next day we started tossing stuff. I need to do that every day though. It feels really great, but it's a lot of work. Baby steps here.

8. Stop biting my nails
That's a big no! What can I say? I'm an addict. But I'll highlight this on my new list as something I really need to work on.

9. Flush out the bad with the good
Check! I did a metal detox for a month. The first two weeks I felt like a total zombie, but once I got through the hump, I felt like myself. I didn't really see a difference so I'm not sure what to say about this? However, I do eat very healthy and have hired a trainer and really have noticed changes in my body and health. When I feel good, I feel like I can take on the world.

My new set of goals 2011
1. Receive representation for my book
2. Complete rough draft of book #2
3. Get an article published in a popular magazine
4. Start a family
5. Be happy in my career - find my niche so I can look forward to each day and stay focused
6. Let go and let God - STOP worrying so darn much
7. Start building our dream home on paper - kind of a fun project, though not expecting to move out of the townhome anytime soon
8. Find more time - (grocery shop one day out of the week, etc. etc. - find balance in all I do). I swear by the time I get home from work the night is already over.
9. STOP biting my fingernails

Do you have goals for yourself? How are you doing this year with them?

What Can I Make with Zucchini?

My mom's famous zucchini casserole
serves 6
(recipe found in Rockford Register Star)

2 lbs. (6 cups) of zucchini, sliced
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup shredded raw carrots
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon instant chopped onion
1/2 cup melted butter
1 package Pepperidge Farm herb crushed seasoned stuffing mix
1 cup shredded cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken
3 stalks of celery

1. Wash and slice zucchini and celery. Do not peel. Cook in boiling water 4-5 minutes, drain.

2. Combine soup, shredded carrots, sour cream, and instant onion. Fold squash and celery into mixture.

3. Add melted butter to stuffing mix. Reserve 2 cups crumbs and spread the remainder of crumbs in the bottom of a 12x9 inch pan. Spoon vegetable mixture over crumbs. Put diced chicken over vegetable mixture and sprinkle with shredded cheese on top. Top with remaining crumbs.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Karl's reaction: "I can't believe you haven't posted this recipe yet. I love this!"

My take: This is usually a hit with guests. They always ask for the recipe! I suggest you try it at least once!

Almost through Month Two - Month Two

written September 4, 2011
seven weeks

The ups and downs

Me again. Dealing with hormones. So mad at them. Nothing too crazy different going on here. Yesterday was a rough day where I was confined to the couch. I started off the day making homemade waffles and cleaning up clutter around the house and thirty minutes later my body told me to cool it. Before I knew it I was feeling worn out, nauseous and ready to hit the couch like my life depended on it. And that's where I stayed most of the day.
Karl's BFF Root and his girlfriend Missy came over to all go to the Minnesota State Fair and to see Weezer in concert. I stayed behind. I felt really bad about it because I'm usually up for anything. Karl calls me his social butterfly but all I wanted to do was relax on the couch. Again I felt like my skin was crawling as I sat- I'm usually up for a run or doing something fun, but nothing. I wish I was more okay with relaxing. What is wrong with me?
Last night I made sure to eat a lot of protein and this morning I woke up feeling really great. The weather is really cool right now (66 degrees and windy) and Karl and I decided to go for a nice walk. I've done more chores around the house in a long time so I actually feel like I'm making progress. Finally! I have my moments though. I get really tired and I want to take a nap. Friends ask me to hang out and I'd rather not. It just seems like so much work. Then I start worrying about it. Will my friends think I'm a bad friend? Will I gain more weight because I'm not working out as much as I used to?
Thankfully my awesome friend Jaymie sent me an email the other day that made me sit back and go, "ah ha!" I want to share just a little piece of it: "but, i just want you to know, everything is going to be just as it should be. and it will be wonderful. if your body tells you to lay on the couch and watch tv, honor it! your body will be constantly working its ass off day and night for the next 9 months. you are building a human. hello. if that's all you do all day, that is more than you've ever done."

Perfect words of advice. And almost one more week to go until our ultrasound!!!