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Interview with Gabs {20 months}

We didn’t know when we named our daughter just how appropriate her name would be- from sun up to sun down, this girl is talking about SOMETHING. I thought it’d be fun to catch some of it on camera (you know, for her future boyfriend or wedding video) but it was so adorable I had to share it with you guys too.

Planning on checking back in a little later with a couple new FAVORITE cookie recipes and a pregancy update!

~M

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Back to School

After a prompt from my dear aunt on Facebook reminding me that M and I do, in fact, have a blog- I decided that this could be a very good outlet for me to get back into. I’m going to be really honest though, there probably won’t be much cooking going on on my behalf! My wonderful husband has taken over the house completely so that I can focus on school and not stress about all that fun housekeeping stuff I’m usually so good about doing.

XD

So I started graduate school for social work in August, and I thought I was prepared. I was so excited to get going and have an awesome learning experience learning stuff I really want to learn, you know? I even bought different color highlighters because Office Depot is like Target to me. I could spend hours, people. Hours.

Silly little me with my highlighters.

The first day, literally, reality hits and I realize that undergrad is like kindergarten compared to this.
“I’m sorry, this is 12 page literary review is due when? Oh, next week? Awesome. That’s what I thought.”
“Ah, you know we have to sleep at some point, right?”
So help me, if another professor asks our class if we saw the ‘awesome’ movie that came out last weekend, the professor may need to hide behind the desk.
“You do know that you’re not the only class we’re taking, right?”

I do love it. I really do. My classmates are phenomenal, too- I don’t know if it’s because we’re social workers or if it’s just this unique group of people that is never silent. EVER. It’s pretty fantastic.

In all honesty, it has been a huge adjustment. There is very little room for a social life (I tried, okay? I tried to have a social life a couple weeks ago on the weekend and I think I almost broke.) because the whole ‘3 hours of studying per every unit you are taking’ thing is accurate.

But I am learning an awful lot of techniques and theories that I will use forever. And I’m forming more opinions, learning how and when to voice them, and learning to put my trust in God so much more.

The hard work is paying off! And I’m loving every bit of it 🙂

So…welcome back (to me? to you? both?) to Dutch Sisters. I’ve really missed this. Major props to Aunt Jodi for nudging us back! The only recipe I have today is 40% off pizza at Mountain Mike’s on Tuesdays…..I wish I was joking :/ I’ll have to start getting Curtis’ recipes so I have something original-ish to share.

Or I could just push the food stuff to M….

I’ll be back soon!!
~K

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(the above is courtesy of Pinterest and all its wonderful words of wisdom.)

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Long Weekend

I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off lately, and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling like this either. Spring always makes me a little crazy around my house, ‘spring cleaning’ everything (which drives Curtis nuts, especially when I try and do it all at once instead of room by room) as well as trying to get assignments and requirements done so I can graduate in precisely 45 days and 1 hour.

While it has been crazy for me lately, we just had the loveliest long weekend that was wonderfully rejuvenating because I decided to do nothing. I didn’t do laundry. I loaded the dishwasher one time. I avoided homework on Sunday. It was glorious!

Naturally, I spent my downtime reading for pleasure and watching the Harry Potter marathon that was on all weekend (I’m an admitted Harry Potter nerd, it’s why I have a Pinterest account). Again, glorious!

Anways, that was my weekend. I want to pass on a little phrase that caught my eye last week:

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

This really struck home with me because kindness is something I struggle with while working in customer service. Oftentimes I am on the receiving end of rude behavior from others, and I often find myself holding a grudge against that person and then passing along the rudeness unintentionally to someone else. I am not trying to excuse rude behavior by saying there is always a reason for it, but on the chance that the person in question is having a terrible day, I think that returning unkindness with kindness may change that person’s day for the better…and in the process it might just change the way I walk away from the situation. That whole, ‘Do unto others’ thing- 🙂 It really changed my attitude, which can get pretty crummy at work sometimes.

Anyways, have a wonderful week-

Read a book.

Relax a bit.

And be kind, even when you don’t want to be, and see what it does.

~K

 

 

 

 

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I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t!)

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“I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t!)” by Brene Brown. Here’s a quick exerpt “Dr. Brown writes, “We need our lives back. It’s time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection—the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives.” The book is all about shame- a strange thing to base a whole book on, but it really hit home in a lot of ways for me, which is hard to admit. Shame breeds disconnection from our friends and family, but empathy encourages compassion and connection.

As far as this blog goes, I intended it to be a pretty lighthearted and upbeat hobby for me. I never planned on sharing too much personal stuff, just a few everyday tidbits and recipes that I’ve gleaned and enjoyed. I feel like I’ve done that for the most part, but every now and then- I feel like I’m missing a little something. I don’t really know what. I try to guard against making it seem like “omg, I have this blog about my perfect life you should totally read it”. In fact, when people compliment me on recent blog posts they’ve enjoyed, I get embarrassed.

Who are we to have our own blog? That’s quite high and mighty of you, Monica. At least Katie shares crafts and good books she’s read. And that other blogger? She’s way more real. Here you are, acting like your daughter is perfect and you make amazing recipes every night from scratch <<(HA! If only.)

Shame shame shame. Truth is, I really do get a lot of joy from my life. I have been so richly blessed in so many ways. This week though, I’ve had a very short fuse and have been very on edge. Let me tell you the short version of a long story. We were robbed on Monday morning. Traumatic for me, yes indeed. Probably right when my  bathroom remodel post (which had been written and scheduled in advance) went up on the blog  is when the brute busted our door open- providentially, I had switched my work day this week so Gabby was at the babysitters and Joey and I were working and not home. I’m telling you, God had set in place for a long time that I’d switch days- and I’m so grateful!

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Our home has felt a little less safe this week, and I’m not sleeping very well. A little prayer and gratitude for God’s providence went a long way in that department. The house is a lot quieter because our TV was stolen- a welcome change, actually. I’ve quite enjoyed reading more books and not having the TV steal away valuable time- but the gaping hole in our living room does remind me that some criminal was in our ‘safe spot’ recently. It shakes me up and makes me feel fearful.

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In an effort to be more safe, I take the dogs with me when I run with Gabs, but that has made me even more short tempered because lately the dogs have not been listening to me- they wander in front of fast-moving cars (which resulted in me getting cussed out by an angry driver) and antagonize other country dogs. I lost it after the angry driver. I yelled at my dog, which made Gabs cry, and then I bawled in the middle of the road. Then I bawled more when I wondered if the robber had been as angry as that man- how would I have protected Gabby?

Love my Ghost, but he's giving me gray hair.

Love my Ghost, but he’s giving me gray hair.

 

In summary, this week I feel like I’ve had NO CONTROL over anything and it’s making me short of breath and a little claustrophobic. I cry pretty easily (that will pass soon) and I feel like I can’t get anything right. I quit the gym to save money and time, but can’t handle my dogs while I run with them. People can get in my house. I’m just spiraling a little.

But then, a compassionate conversation. An empathetic text. A hug. A “I felt that way when I was in your situation too.” A simple “It’ll be okay, honey”. “That guy was a JACKASS and you didn’t deserve that.” A tearful prayer. It just kind of melts away those feelings of always being one step behind, and you realize that everyone else is on the journey with you and those who love you want to help you succeed, not watch you sink.

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This is a big heavy post coming from a big heavy heart this week- and this heart feels a whole lot lighter after sharing. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope you read the book!

~M

 

 

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Weekend Wrap-up

Guys. I painted a room in our house allll by myself. I feel like such a big girl.

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I knew it was going to be a monster project (covering the darkest of red paint with the lightest of blue) and it was- but I’m super happy with how it turned out and the little bathroom feels twice as big as it used to be! There’s a couple spots on the ceiling that need to be fixed (I got a little excited with the extension pole roller) but other than that, I plan on hitting up Marshall’s for some decor to finish it completely.

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Shur- Line 1000. Best tool I bought for this project, hands down.

Shur- Line 1000. Best tool I bought for this project, hands down.

^^ that edging tool? That’s the reason I still have hair.

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The plan was to complete the project during Gabby’s naps throughout the week. She decided that wasn’t going to work for her, so I set her up in the pack’n’play and turned on Henry Hugglemonster. According to internet ‘doctors’, that choice means that Gabby’s IQ dropped by at least 4 points. Sorry babe, you seem pretty smart to me, but I’ll teach you a couple more words this week to make up for it.

20140324-085552.jpg20140324-085924.jpgWednesday- started project.

Thursday- worked. No project time.

Friday- looked into the project room, sighed, and ignored it. Still trying to get primer out of my hair.

Saturday- went for a run with SIL, then finished project in the afternoon! Still ignoring ceiling spots. Still ignoring. Also completely missed a patch by an outlet, but I already washed the paint brush, so… ignoring. If you come over sometime soon and you find the patch in under 30 seconds, you get a prize.

Here’s a few other weekend pictures.

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*sigh* I’m just… blessed.

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^^ much needed painting break. Thanks for covering my face, pumpkin sugar.

OMbre'd the Hair!

OMbre’d the Hair!

20140324-085510.jpg^^ only gloves we could find before an early morning run.

20140324-085940.jpg^^more painting breaktime.

20140324-085445.jpg^^ Liverpool gametime cuddles.

Enjoy your Monday!

~M

P.S. Ya’ll should make this for dinner tonight, it rocks my socks big-time.

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Virtual Coffee Date

Mmm how I love coffee dates. It’s been a reallllly long time since we’ve all had one, so this is how I’m easing back in to Dutchsisters. >insert coffee with just a tad too much creamer here<

Gosh, life has really been so sweet lately. Gabs is basically a toddler now (when do babies officially become toddlers??) and turned one last week. I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. She’s just a lot of fun and totally hilarious. It really makes spending the next couple decades together sound super awesome. Plus, she’s sleeping like an adult lately- a really good adult who values sleep. **AWESOME**. She looks just like Joey and acts just like me. Loves books, and playing with dirt, flour, and things that make noise. She talks all day long, and can kind of dribble a soccer ball. And sometimes stays quiet during prayer (its a start, right?).

We had her first birthday party last Saturday, and honestly, I just enjoyed the whole thing so much. Pretty much the only thing I enjoy about throwing parties is the actual party. I am not a planner, organizer, creatively minded person. It takes a lot of copying/website browsing and trips to Staples for me to even come close to being called ‘creative’.  I was worried about relaxing & enjoying the party because I get a little anxious before events I throw- just ask my slaves sisters. Here’s how events go for me:

Phase One: “I’m going to just get everything done 2 months beforehand, so it’s super relaxed and easy the week of.” (= do a few DIY things for decorations, plan party menu, guest list, fabulous creative touches, avoid pinterest because even THAT isn’t original anymore, etc.)

Phase Two: “I can’t believe I’m already planning this thing. She’s ONE, not a freakin’ princess.” (immediately desist all party planning activities, consider having NO party to teach humility (ha), figure all things will come together one way or another)

Phase Three (week of party): “OMG I haven’t done anything since 2 months ago and the party is this Saturday” and things get done FAST. I hear it’s pretty universal.

Despite the pre-party nerves, the thought that kept me {mostly} grounded was that the party wasn’t about me or how cute the decorations were. It was just a get-together celebrating that Gabby survived a year of our parenting, with people that we care about. I could spend an hour writing about how blessed we are with our community of family and friends, but I’ll just say this. It is a majorly AWESOME and unique thing to have a network of people who genuinely care about your family and kids. It’s something I thank God for daily.

The party was relaxed and fun, and I was (selfishly) super happy with how the decorations turned out. They seemed to match Gabs’ personality (and the fact that she IS going to be a world traveler this summer) but… the whole time, I was just thinking… too bad none of our other kids will ever have a party like this one. 🙂

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1794756_10151901637146493_1719182071_n~M

p.s. below I listed all the links to what we used for the World Traveler party- pretty cheap and super fun!

PARTY LINKS

Inflatable Globe Party Favors

Cake Topper- globe stress ball with printable glued on

Party Printables

Cake recipe

Party Layout

Map shower curtain (given to me by a friend)

PVC pipe backdrop stand- borrowed from a coworker

Earth Balloons

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Lunches Lately

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Am I the only one who feels like Christmas is next week? I’m frantically brainstorming Christmas gift ideas and we haven’t even sliced the Thanksgiving turkey yet. Well, we sliced the ‘Friendsgiving’ Turkey yesterday with a few of our close friends- a new tradition I’m adoring. A gal I love invited a bunch of people over and cooked us a feast complete with homemade cranberry sauce all while keeping a deliciously adorable 3 month old happy. Gabs can barely keep her hands off him. Gah! My baby is 9 months old!

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Later this week we are party-hopping to both sides of my family on Thanksgiving Day- the main feast with my husband’s side and then dessert with my side later in the evening. {Who am I kidding- we’re snagging pie at both feasts} it should be a wonderful day of family and focusing on all the good things in our life. It’s my favorite! Loving this idea from Pinterest for when I host my first family Thanksgiving.

I heard somewhere once that lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of your day- not sure what the science is behind that, but rarely is that the case for me, especially during Thanksgiving week! I like a hearty breakfast and a light lunch usually. Gotta save room sometime. Here’s what I’ve been having for lunch lately:

1. Whole Wheat toast // almond butter // my sister in law’s homemade (&home harvested) pomegranate jelly

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2. roasted sweet potato // hummus // low fat cottage cheese20131125-070711.jpg

3. beets // goat cheese // spinach // balsamic  {{ordered this by accident the first day on my honeymoon- then had it daily for lunch!!}}20131125-070602.jpg

4. whole wheat toast // peanut butter // sliced cukes // sliced tomatoes {{ another weird but DELICIOUS combo a friend discovered for me in college}} hey. living on a budget, okay?20131125-070549.jpg5. roasted sweet potatoes // roasted brussel sprouts // crumbled trader joes sausage-less sausage // spicy thai peanut dressing


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These are my easy go-to lunches – what are yours? Off to get owned at spin, yet again.

~M

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