Mother’s Day-Great Expectation:Great Depression

Every Mother’s Day I begin to see the commercials and blog posts flowing in, all reminding the husbands and sons, to not forget about getting a great gift for dear ol’ Mom. For years I dreaded Mother’s Day. Sad, right? I begin to have such high expectations of what the day would hold for me. I imagined being awaken by the smell of freshly made Belgian waffles with homemade whipped cream, strawberries and a light dusting of powdered sugar. It would be accompanied by my favorite hot tea in my favorite mug(or a new one). Then my son would bring me my favorite flowers…no red roses…preferably pink peonies (if you asked me last week it would have been pink roses)…or maybe even a cool succulent arrangement. As I admired my flowers so thoughtfully picked out I would then read my handmade card from my son, as my husband cleaned up the kitchen. Finally, my husband would bring me a gift, that he thought about months before, that had some special meaning, possible even got it from Etsy or some random site he had never been on before. Ahhhh yes….. expectations.

This is really going on in my mind!  Fortunately, once I had that moment, that my husband, son or anyone else involved in my life are not in my head, that is when I realized I had been setting myself up for disappointment. Instead of waking up with great expectation, I have learned to wake up with joy in knowing that my family does love me…in their own way. Then and only then was I not left at the end of the day with great depression.

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” -William Shakespeare

My love language is receiving/giving gifts. If that is your love language too you probably are right there with me on this whole idea of great expectation. Each year for Mother’s Day or my birthday I would put these selfish wants and desires onto someone else. I would make a mental note of everything that I wanted or wanted to happen days or weeks before. Ideas and things that no one would have any clue that I wanted, but I somehow wanted it to happen. I set those around me up for failure before the day began. My husband’s love language is NOT receiving or giving gifts, which I have talked about many times. He is the shop the night before or better yet morning of type of guy. For years I felt so unloved on special occasions. I didn’t understand why he would never plan anything or buy gifts early for me. I then realized he must have felt the same way. I would always buy super thoughtful gifts, with a special meaning behind them. He liked them but he would much rather spend the day with people. He would much rather cuddle all day watching a movie or have me show him some kind of affection. So, in essence, we were both wanting attention, Scott wanted physical and outwardly attention and I wanted thoughtful gestures.

Most of my friends and family do not have the gift of giving. In fact, many times I do not get anything from them…not even a card. That is rude but whatever…I know they do love me…they just aren’t very good at gift buying. It really is ok…we all can’t be fabulous! All joking aside I came to the conclusion that on Mother’s Day..my birthday or any event I am seeking some sort of attention. I need to be looking to my Father…my heavenly Father for that attention. He is the only one who is inside my crazy head and hears all my wants and desires and meets my expectations and guess what!!???!! He surpasses them! I believe the best thing to do is if we are feeling unloved or that our love tank is running low, just pray. I can’t tell you how many times I will have someone send me a card just when I need it or The Hubs will come home and make dinner. God will meet those expectations and give you far more than anything you could dream up in your head.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

shane and mama

Summer

Home Is Where My Heart Is


I love all things to do with the home. I remember as a young girl my family would bring my dad lunch at his job sites(he is a Carpenter). I would collect all of the nail gun droppings and any other hardware I found. I would walk around the freshly framed up walls and try to envision the finished product. I loved the smell of sawdust. It will always remind me of my dad. Once the homes my dad was framing up were completed, we would always visit the model homes and it was the best family outing ever.  I actually remember these times more than Disneyland trips! Home is where my heart is.

When I was old enough to have my own place, whether it was an apartment or a house, I continued  the love for all things home. Our wedding registry was another amazing moment in my life. I was choosing things that would fill up my home. Things that The Hubs and I chose together…or things I sneaked on the list without approval:). Our first place, like many, was a small space. It was filled with so much love though. It was the first time The Hubs and I could make our own stamp on a space. Apparently, our stamp was palm trees. I recently just got rid of the last bit of our palm tree items from almost 11 years ago!

The Hubs shares my love for the home. He is a Realtor and so we both geek out on going to Open Houses. We love seeing how other people live. It is so inspiring. A home is where your personality shines. It is also an indicator of what is going on. If you came over before this past 3 day weekend you would notice that I needed a three day weekend. I was a bit overwhelmed and the clutter was a dead give away that I have been too busy.

Yard sales and thrift stores always make me happy. An old painting can enjoy another decade in a new home. What once served a purpose in someones home can bring joy to another.

But, this is all just the physical stuff that fills a home. I appreciate the structure of my home and the items I have chose to fill my home, but the people inside and the memories we make are my favorite. We move a lot. I actually love it. It is a chance to fill a new home with our personality. I love the traditions that we make in our home and others home. My parents have lived in the same home for 25 years! So I can still go to my old bedroom and remember memories from age 7-21. Every Christmas we all pile together at The Hubs parents’ home. We wake up and make more memories. Now we share that with our children.

Home is where my heart is. It isn’t the wood that frames up my home, the newest decor or the old treasures found for my home but the traditions, memories and love that fill up the home.

                                                                      Home Sweet Home.

Summer

A Night In: Valentine’s Cooking Date

One of the passions The Hubs and I share is food. We love watching cooking shows. They are one of the few shows that we both enjoy watching together. We love going to new restaurants and old favorites. Good food, good ambiance and good company can’t be beat! As I mentioned before, The Hubs isn’t a fan of V-day so, we usually celebrate it a week later to avoid the crowds. To be honest we go out to eat a lot. So, this year we decided to stay in and cook dinner together. It was so fun and The Hubs did an amazing job. I went to Culinary School and I can get a bit robotic at times when I cook. I find my best dishes are those that I get creative with and put my heart into it. That is exactly what we did on Valentine’s Day…after all it is all about love! We took the time to prepare a few different dishes and they were all so good!

First up I had some artichokes steaming (we had to have something to fuel us for the long night of cooking). I just melted some butter and added in some garlic powder to dip the leaves and hearts in. I eat the leaves and I usually let The Hubs have the hearts. Just realized another reference to hearts!

 

The Hubs made his awesome mashed potatoes. We made these mainly for Shane as we made a lot of food Shane wasn’t too thrilled with.

 Next up was Gorgonzola and Honey Bruschetta. A super simple appetizer.
 

 
I began by cutting a baguette into a few slices and brushed them with olive oil. Then put the slices in a 400 degree oven and baked for 8 minutes.

 
Added a chunk of Gorgonzola to each little toast and put them back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Finally, I drizzled some honey on each one and yummmm..they were delish!

 
Next we started on the veggies. I showed The Hubs how to snap off the woody section of the asparagus. About 1 to 2 inches at the bottom of asparagus is where it will naturally snap off and you can remove the inedible section.
 
 
We decided to add a little of Gorgonzola in between the asparagus and prosciutto. Simply wrap a small chunk of the cheese as you cover the asparagus in prosciutto. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet…drizzled with olive oil… at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Then turn over each asparagus and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy. Our cheese melted out so we decided that wasn’t a great idea! It also added a bit more saltiness. The prosciutto is so salty on it’s own so, I think we will skip this next time. We will also use less prosciutto on each asparagus spear. Overall though… these were tasty.

 

 

 
I couldn’t pass up this heart shaped Brie!

 

 
I bought Shane his favorite “fancy”drink. Sparkling water. No joke, this kid loves him some Pellegrino!

 

 Last but not least, The Hubs made the most amazing scallops! He has never made scallops before and requested we make them. He has watched so many chefs on tv make them and seriously just took their lead and pulled it off perfectly! He seared them first in some  olive oil. Added butter and some finely chopped thyme and sage. He spooned the butter over it all until the scallops were cooked. He finished the butter sauce off with a squeeze of lemon and BAM! The Hubs can cook(I think he may needs to get in the kitchen more often).

 
Look at those scallops! So amazing! They were cooked to perfection, which we have found is hard to do. Many restaurants can’t get it right. So, we were excited that the main star of our Valentine’s dinner turned out!

 

 
I knew after all this cooking I wouldn’t feel like putting together a fancy dessert. So, I made a boxed brownie mix earlier in the day. I cut them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter and finished it with a scoop of ice cream. S.I.M.P.L.E <3 font="">

 



It was great cooking together and not having to deal with the crowds. It is awesome to enjoy something we both love. We were glad it all turned out as these were all new recipes. We tweaked them all a bit..but here is a link to each recipe:

Bruschetta with Gorgonzola Cheese and Honey
Asparagus Wrapped in Crisp Prosciutto
Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter


Summer

Jesus loves ME: Learning to love yourself so that you can love others

Nobody likes me…everybody hates me…I guess I’ll go eat worms.

I remember the first time I read this book in Elementary school and I so related.
As a young girl I should have not found a connection with this self loathing little boy depicted in, “How to Eat Fried Worms”, but I did. I was shy and not very happy with myself even as a child. So fast forward to year 31 of my life and I still can relate to that little boy. I thought one day the self-hate would switch off, but it hasn’t. I realized, very slowly, that I had to actually work at it. You see I thought if I just prayed, it would go away. At times that did work. I remember in 11th grade getting on my knees begging God to take away my fear. To make me not shy and guess what He did. He took away my fear, but I did not doing anything after that point and the fear began to creep back in.

Being shy stems from being fearful. It also stems from a lack of self-confidence. I grew up with a lot of rules. A lot of boundaries. I learned to be happy and safe in my little square. Never taking any risks that might upset the safety I felt. Unfortunately, I never took the time to figure out who I was. Never took the time to figure out who I was in Christ, because that was scary to me. I was afraid I would make a mistake. I just went along with what my family believed and mindlessly lived. I was living very unintentionally.

When you are younger and you are shy, it is cute. I was “Sweet Summer”. When you are older and shy/fearful you are seen as unapproachable, unloving and not someone most people want to be around. This breeds hate towards others. I thought, well they just need to accept me.People need to realize that I am shy and can’t carry on a conversation. That is where I was wrong. I was not engaging people. I was not asking people questions. I didn’t think anyone cared about me so, why would I care about anyone else. Sweet Summer….yeah she was long gone. I became Judgmental Summer and Unloving Summer. I was lost in my own mind many times. Without getting too personal(too late) I was falling apart. I am talking presently folks. I am trying to pick up the pieces and put myself back together.

The first step, God revealed to me was that I needed to love myself. At first I was like…this is selfish. But I began to read some sermons on loving yourself and how that turns into loving others. In Matthew, a rich young man asks Jesus, what good things he needed to do to have eternal life. I love Jesus’ response: “Why do you ask me about what is good. There is only One who is good. If you want eternal life obey the commandments”. One of those commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself. I can’t help but picture one of those funny pics with the phrase NAILED IT or the ones that show what you think you look like as opposed to what you really look like. Let me show you a pic, just in case you don’t know what I am talking about:

 

I thought I was “nailing it” as depicted in the top pic, when in reality I was totally wrong, looking like a  fool depicted in the bottom pics. What was happening was I was loving others as much as I loved myself…which was not at all.

As a Christian, we can be labeled as judgmental. I would say that was true of myself. I was so lost in being perfect. I could never measure up. I continually failed, because being perfect is only given to ONE, as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 19:17. Each time I failed at living this perfect life I felt worthless. I felt like I failed others. I felt like no one would like me since I sucked at life. Even at 31, after being married for 10 years and having a loving 4 year old(almost 5!!!) I still felt unwanted and depressed.

One day I woke up and was feeling especially unwanted. I felt most of my relationships were failing. I started the blame game and self-loathing. Why would anyone want to be my friend??…I am a mess! But, God stepped in. He is good like that. In my moments of despair He is always there. I have to say never once in my life have I ever felt unloved by God. Not ONCE! He has given me the strength to fight through my fears before. Most people in my life are a little tired of waiting for me to “grow up” but not God He is faithful and His love never waivers.

Through out this whole post…the enemy has told me I am not good enough. Nobody is going to want to read this. You are crazy(that may be a bit true). You are sharing too much. But………God has given me this life to do great things and I can’t be scared. I have to be me. I have to be who God wants me to be. Is this a struggle for you? I know daily I am faced with trying to measure up to others. Instead of measuring up… I want to be proud of others accomplishments. I want to work on my own strengths. Whatever I do, I need to give it my all. So, at the end of the day, even if I do fail, I know that I tried. I recently started working out everyday. Now it is more like 3-4 times a week but that is huge for me. I remember the first workout I did I was so weak, but I gave it all I had and when I was done I literally fell to the floor crying. One because I was in pain, but two because I did it! I accomplished something that I had told myself I couldn’t. Believing lies about yourself is dangerous my friends. Living an unintentional life is dangerous. Be confident in who God has made you to be. If you have fears like me, ask God for help. If you truly believe He is God then know that He’s got this. Whatever you are struggling with He will be right there along side you. These struggles even make us stronger. This isn’t the first time I have had to talk myself out of a dark place. This is the first time I have made plans though and am learning to love myself.

The day after I was having a dark day, I wrote this on my wrist. I don’t know if I will ever get a tattoo, but if I do I think having this wonderful reminder is a pretty great idea:

My plans are to get back to a place where I can love myself and love others in return. That my hardened heart would be made tender. I know helping others is where I need to start to focus. Doing selfless acts makes me love myself more..not in a selfish way… but in a way that I am proud to be doing what God has called me to. Getting off Facebook was one of those steps. I know some people really miss me…I feel really blessed, I really do. Many were bummed they wouldn’t be able to read my blog posts. Again I was so happy to read that. For me Facebook has so much good, but there were days where I would get so judgmental of people. I began to hate some of my friends and it just wasn’t healthy. So, Facebook has to go for a bit. I hope to be in a better place soon. I am so thankful to have a relationship with God and that He has made it very clear what I need to do. Yes, Jesus Loves me and you too!

Summer

Celebrating LOVE

I am so over Wednesdays! Do you feel me? I wake up already wanting a nap. I have absolutely no motivation. The Hubs can guarantee to get a text asking if we can go to dinner on Wednesdays. That mid-week hump is a hard one for me to get over. I actually think I enjoy Mondays more! Oh goodness! This post is not going to be about how much I despise Wednesdays, I promise. I just needed to blow off a bit of steam before I get going on what I really want to talk about.

Anyways….to the subject at hand. Valentine’s Day! I am not sure what feeling conjure up when you think about this day of L-O-V-E but, I for one, truly do love Valentine’s Day. The Hubs on the the other hand hates it. I know many men and women who share the same sentiment as The Hubs. Do I like that they mark up flowers 300%? No. Do I like that you have to make a reservation a month or so in advanced and have to fight the crowds of other lovers at your favorite restaurant? No. What I do love is that it is a day to take a step back and remember why you love your spouse or significant other. Just as I mentioned before, I love New Years for that same reason. It is a time to reflect on the new year and also the past year. It is a time to make changes and make new goals. I look at Valentine’s Day the same. The Hubs says every day is Valentine’s Day and to that I say..then where are my flowers dude?! Where are my love notes? Can you help a wifey out with the dishes then?

Can I get an AMEN? The Hubs is no romantic. Now, in his defense, he never was a romantic and I never wanted a super romantic man. I get a little weirded out at major moments of romance, but a little here and there never hurts. The Hubs and I joke about Valentine’s Day all the time. We joke about what a big deal it is and how it has become over commercialized just like everything else. The main point of this whole post is really to treat each day like Valentine’s Day in your marriage. As cheesy as that may sound, it really is the root to what the Hubs and I believe about this holiday to really mean. I can’t help but use this same thought process in my Christian life. Christmas has become so much about being busy and the gifts that we forget the true meaning, Jesus’ birth. I can say this is true about forgetting the real meaning of Valentine’s Day, LOVE. Being married is such a joy. I feel so honored to be a wife. I do take it for granted many days. I get tired(especially on Wednesdays). I forget to speak The Hubs’ Love Language.  That is why I want to use Valentine’s Day as a day to refresh and a day to reflect on what our love means and what we mean to each other. I love my husband more than I could ever write about here. He keeps me laughing, he is a hard worker, he cares for others and is always thinking about others above himself. So, instead of making Valentine’s Day “Let’s test my Husband’s love day” I want it to be a day to celebrate our love. I want it to be a time to reflect on what we love about each other and also what we need to work on. Love is work, but it is worth it. Marriage isn’t something to give up easily on. Too many times it gets rough and it may seem easier to give up. Love is powerful and can heal many wounds. If your marriage is one that Christ blessed you can get through anything. I deal with so many civil cases each day at work. When I see a divorce case, I stop and pray for that family. Divorce just breaks my heart. I guess I am a bit of a romantic. I just want to find each couple dealing with these civil suits and tell them to remember why you first fell in love. Remember all the great things you love about your spouse. Also, remember nothing is too great for our God. I have seen broken marriages be renewed. There was so much hurt, but love prevailed and healed. Maybe your marriage is great. I encourage you to still take a time to ask your spouse if there is anything you need to work on or if there is anything that needs to change. It may be something small, but personally I want my husband to be happy. I don’t ever want to be responsible for making my husband miserable. Too often I see couples in just an absolute pit of nastiness. They have lost that lovin’ feeling. I truly believe it can be found again. So, reignite that fire or keep that fire burning. Where ever your marriage is right now, take the time to reflect this Valentine’s Day!

P.S. Hubs if you are reading this…I love you and I still want flowers. You can’t get off that easy:).

This pic was done by my amazingly talented friend, Val check her site out…you will  love it!

Summer