Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Re-Cap!

Yes, I'm lame and I haven't posted in about 3 months.....I was doing SO well!! Yet, I do know that there are at least a few of you out there that have told me you at least enjoy reading what I have to say, so I'm making a goal (not NY Resolution, we all know how those work out!) to get back and track. I honestly like writing, it keeps me sane. Anyhow, I'm breaking form a little bit today, and I'm going to recap my year and write goals for the upcoming year....adding and "accountability" factor to it all! :) Here goes.....

January 2010:
Not a bad month, really!! Sean and I rang in the New Year as an engaged couple and we got to spend a good half of the year planning. Kelly, Leah, Drake and I launched BodyJam at LifeQuest. What a party!! We had a great time and got a pretty good response. Attendance waxed and wained over the year, but we've got a pretty regular following. With around 5 releases under our belt, it's getting easier and easier to lead a class, especially an hour class, by myself. A week later, Sean and I made the trek to Baker for one of our favorite events....Robbie Burns Night!! We love celebrating this guy's birthday with our parents and the Baker Celtic Society! During this dinner, Sean and I heard the band that would later be the string band that played our wedding ceremony. We also had dinner in the room that we would be getting married in. This year, Sean and I are hoping to find a place to celebrate Robbie Burns, as unfortunately, Baker has disolved it's Celtic Society, and will not be doing a dinner this year.

During this month, Sean and I were well into our Pre-Marital Counseling with Jason Strickling. Let me say this for Jason....he was a wonderful choice for us because the dynamics of his own marriage are very close to what our own relationship dynamics are like. This made counseling a pleasure, and we got a lot out of it. This was also the month that Sean got to cash in on one of his Christmas presents from me -- tickets to see Josh Turner at Snoqualmie Casino!! We drove up and got a SHADY motel outside of Seattle in North Bend. But North Bend, what a BEAUTIFUL backdrop!! We had a great time! We discovered the reason that we don't really go to Casino's...just not our scene. However, Josh Turner was AMAZING!! Afterward we had a great time at a local pub eating pub food and drinking good beer. I love the times when Sean and I can get out of town and really spend an evening together talking and finding that "closeness" that resembles the first months of dating. It's a special feeling, and I feel very lucky to have that feeling still.

March 2010:
March kind of just came and went last year. The spring months really started to fly by as our wedding started to get closer and closer. This was a month that Sean and I made a pretty big decision. We decided to buy a Hayden Home. We hooked up with a real-estate agent and picked out our lay-out and interior decor. We picked out a lot, put down a deposit, and found out that we did NOT qualify for the 0% down-payment, so we tried to put together a plan to come up with a down-payment ready by June. Overwhelming.

April 2010:
In April, Sean and I had our final pre-marital session with Jason, where we got to plan the ceremony. That was really fun, because it was the time when we got to talk about the type of language we wanted in our ceremony, the special readings, and let Jason know how we wanted to be introduced...Mr. and Mrs. Sean Mitchell!! Apparently, Jason rarely gets requests for something so traditional. What can I say, mama raised a girl who still believes in traditional values!!

May 2010:
Hello my first Briday Shower!!! My friends Brandie and Treva did a wonderful job planning a shower that was a perfect time for my family and a few friends to get together and celebrate this next phase of my life. We also followed up the shower with my Bachelorette Party.....and can I say this, men LOVE Bachelorettes!! Not that this was the REASON for the party, obviously we just wanted to have a night of fun with the girls, but it sure makes the night a lot cheaper! We also got to celebrate the month that Sean settled comfortably into the mid-20's and turned the clock to 26! Still young in a lot of ways, but when it's staring you in the face....whew! When did that get here!?! Sean and I also started looking at the BP oil spill, and found that going to Miami for our honeymoon may not be in the cards. This actually had NOTHING to do with the oil spill itself, but we found that weather in Miami in June is crap. Especially this June. So we changed our flight plans for Miami to San Diego!

June 2010:
WEDDING MONTH!!! But can I say that besides out wedding, we closed on our house, moved in AND went on our honeymoon. Sean and I were more than frazzled by the end of it all!! We closed our house by the 11th (not without it's stresses, I thought my poor husband-to-be would keel over before I actually got to marry him!) and got most of our big furniture moved in. Then began Wedding Week!! My bridesmaids Jessica and my sister Julie flew into Pasco, and thus began the actual reality of becoming a bride.....whoa. Work-outs, pedicures, and family meet and greet's went by in a veritable blur. My sisters, Jessica, and my cousin Ashlee did a WONDERFUL job planning another bridal shower for me, and I had a great time with my family and friends that I hadn't seen since graduating from college. All of the obligatory activities were followed through on and our wedding went off without a hitch!! We danced the night away and heard for weeks afterward, from everyone, how fun it was and what a great time they had!! This made Sean and I all sorts of warm and gooey inside, because the only thing we really cared about in the end was that everyone who came could have a good time and feel comfortable celebrating with us. In the end, it was a success. Immediately following, Sean and I took flight (Sean's first) to San Diego for our honeymoon. San Diego was great, the weather was wonderful, and the size of the city overwhelmed my new husband a little. We went to Catalina Island and immediately made a vow to go was amazing and likely the highlight of the trip. We spent time at the San Diego Zoo and in Balboa Park, ate at the Hard Rock, had some mexican with my sister, and tanned on the beach. Even with sun screen, Sean got a little TOO much sun, and had a fairly miserable flight/drive home. June was most definately the highlight of the year.

July and August of 2010 flew by in a blur. Sean and I went to a BBQ virtually every weekend and spent a lot of time in our yard trying to make it look inhabitable and functional for our dog. This project inevitably will be carrying over into next spring.

September 2010:
I had the privilege of paying back one of my bridesmaids by being a bridesmaid in her Colorado wedding. Mrs. Jessica Bach Slattery and I made a pact five years ago in South Africa to be bridesmaids in eachothers weddings, and I can't believe that within 4 months of eachother, we were able to follow through. Jessica's wedding week brought back memories of June and I was happy to see what it was like to watch the bride, and my good friend, experience one of the happiest times of her life. Sean and I were also able to compete in our first golf tournament together, along with my dad and his friend Ben. We took 3rd and vowed to come back the next year and beat one specific team -- my mom's!!

October 2010:
OMG, I turned 26 this year. Refer back to statements reguarding Sean's 26th. People still call me a "baby" when I tell them my age, and I'm quite content to believe them. The aging process is still an experience and I'm enjoying every benchmark. Sean planned a suprise birthday party for me, well, tried. I spoiled it a little, but was still very moved by the thought, and let him carry out his plan as first intentioned. We had a great time BBQing at a friends house and catching up with those close to us. The next weekend, Sean, myself, my dad and his girlfriend, along with a couple of their friends, made the journey down to Pullman where Sean REALLY got his first whiff of DUCK FEVER!! We watched the Ducks v. Cougs game and had a wondeful time of it! The next goal will be to make the journey to mecc....I mean Autzen to watch the Ducks at home. As any Duck fan knows, you can't experience the full magic that is the Ducks until you see a game at Autzen. On Halloween, Sean and the idea of the year, and dressed up as Dexter in his "lab" get up. It was definately a hit! I faithfully went as Rita....not knowing her fate....that we would soon discover.

November 2010:
Sean and I tried putting some finishing touches on our house. The living space at we hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. It was great! I said a prayer for my turkey as it went into the oven, and about four hours later, we were enjoying a family meal together (Sean's family and mine) that was one of the first real chances everyone had to interact and get to know eachother without "wedding fever" being a stressor for us all.

December 2010:
Finally, we come to the end of a very busy, very quick year. We celebrated my dad's 50th birthday AND our first six months of marriage. (Not so much of a party as an acknowledgement that it's already been 6 months of wedded bliss.) We celebrated Christmas as a married couple, on our own in the morning, then with Sean's side of the family (mine too, now)! It was nice not to have to drive over the break, but a little bittersweet not spending the holidays the way I have for the last 26 years. However, we are creating a tradition that will stick with us for the rest of our lives, and there is something quite comforting about that.

And we are literally on the cusp of the new year. The big goal will be to get our yard into a livable condition and take a trip to Europe! As you all know, I love to plan in advance, especially for these things, and I have been a busy little bee planning a trip that I HOPE Sean will die for!! We are looking forward to our tax-return and the feeling of not being broke all the time and getting back to the summer. I hate to say it, but the Tri-Cities has climatized me!! I can't hardly stand anything under 40 degrees anymore. But I've decided to embrace it!

My wish and prayer for all of you is that you would do the same! Obviously, I am not speaking in terms of embracing your own weather. I mean to embrace the new year and the things that life has brought to you. My prayer would be that God would provide for you all. If you've had a less than stellar year, I pray that you would be able to wipe the dust off and find a way to make it through the coming year. I pray you would find a way to trust in God and understand that sometimes, we NEVER understand his process, but that it is always a part of his beautiful, master plan. If this year, you have been as blessed as I have, and have had a truely wonderful time, I pray that God would continue to provide for and bless you!! I pray that you would trust in God and continue to embrace and pay forward his blessings. Thanks everyone for hanging with me....hopefully I'll be a little better this year about posting more frequently. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bleep My Clients Say

Sooo....there is this new show called S#!$%(Bleep) My Dad Says, and you know, that fits quite nicely into my life. Every week, if not every day, I walk out of a meeting thinking to myself, "Wow, was that really just said?" But we'll get to that soon enough!

I made this delicious cake for my brother in laws birthday. It's super delicious, and not at ALL good for you ;)
Oreo Cake
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
4 Squares Baker semi sweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup of butter
8 oz softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed Cool Whip (I used the whole tub)
12 Oreos (to start with, haha) crushed

Cook the cake as directed on the box, making sure you use two round pans. While the cake is cooking, mix up the sugar, Cool Whip, and Cream Cheese. Add in the crushed Oreos. Once the cake is cooked and cooled, spread the cream cheese mix over the top of one of the layers (I like to cut the top off so I have an even surface to work with) and then cover it with the other layer. Then, according to melting directions, melt the Baker chocolate and butter together. Drizzle it over the top of the cake, and add additional crushed Oreo's, if desired (in this case, I desired). Keep the cake cool, when you aren't digging in :)

1 Corinthians 13:11-13
For when I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish was behind me. Now we see but a poor reflections in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is what I operate by, so of course I love any verse or passage that states that love is the greatest of all characteristics to possess. Obviously, love being the characteristic that relates most directly back to forgiveness, and Christ like behavior. Always a good lesson.

And in the nature of love....I shall now divulge you all with the thorough humor that sometimes comes with being a case manager. If you so choose to take it this way. You will notice, that in a group of case managers, or other mental health professionals, the sense of humor can become a little bit odd. It's a coping mechanism that we all develop, so please don't confuse it with cruelty. What brings this up, and has caused me to think of this today, is a conversation I had earlier with one of my clients. This is an adult that I work with, and they can be just as entertaining as the kids at times. Now, the conversation at hand was surrounding his current dilema with his live in partner, and housing. Apparently at one time, the partner threatend to call me, and let me know that my client may be out of housing, to which my client found it appropriate to tell her, "Go ahead and call Kaila, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. In fact, Kaila told me to leave you!!" I didn't. I told this client that if he felt that his relationship would interfere with his treatment, then I supported him in that decision, LIKEWISE, if he felt that having her around would be beneficial, I would support that too. It just seemed like he was leaning the other way. I quickly made sure to clarify this with him, and asked him not to say this in the future, a the last thing I need is an enraged lover knocking on my door wondering why I am encouraging her boyfriend to leave her.

I've had a few other very interesting conversations in my day. One of these happend as I first started working at Lourdes, and was meeting with a client for one of the first times. This child is a very concrete thinker, which means that he takes things VERY literally. We were having a conversation about my travels to Africa. My client asked me if I had seen a lion while I was in Africa, and I explained that I had not been so lucky. My client asked if I had seen a tiger, and I explained that this was an Asian cat, so I had not seen a tiger in Africa. Thinking about this, the client very seriously asked me if I had seen a Liger. I didn't know what to say, and so I chose silence (while I was dying inside) while I processed this. A few seconds later my client says, "A liger is a cross between a lion and a tiger." I politely explained to my client that, while I knew what he was talking about, the animal is not real. Turns out, I am wrong, they have successfuly bred a liger. However, I had to explain to my client again, this is not something that would naturally occur in nature, and so, No, it's not something I came across on a safari.

There are conversations I could go on and on about, but frankly, I can't think of them all at this time. So I will leave your mouth watering, and promise a part two, when I can give you a little more.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wrapping Up Summer

I kind of refuse to believe that summer is over, only because I feel like it JUST got here. We went from coooool weather and rain to HOT heat, and barely got the in-between, beautiful spring days that make my heart skip a beat (maybe add a beat?). Now, really...Autum is my favorite time of year. I'm a school nerd, so it always reminds me of the beginning of the school year. And it also means, as my neighbor so perfectly put it, football, pumkin spice latte's, and boots!! And my birthday. It's a time of year that I look forward to ALL year. Except where work is involved. The kiddos really pick back up in the autum, what with school meetings and all, but I'm not quite important enough yet to blow school off for, in the "appointment" sense of the word. Although I believe some of my kiddos would BEG their parents to differ. Which means, I have no excuses to when telling my boss that "I can't see adult clients right now", because I have a full day open while kids are where they naturally should be. And I do NOT like working with the adults. But....there is only so much a person can control, unfortunately. Ok, enough babbling, on with the structure!

Our featured recipe today is Peanut Butter Banana Bread, that I found on LOVE it. I take the cook-time way down, because I cook in a gas oven. But I also took it way down the first time I made it in an electric oven. Just watch the bread, because it's not delicious all dried most things are not.

1/2 c butter

1 c sugar

2 eggs

3/4 c peanut butter (chunky is fun)

2 c flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Ripe bananas (I normally use 3 regular sized ones)

Cream butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the bananas (smashed) and peanut butter. Ad in flour, salt, and baking soda. Bake at 350 for 70-75 minutes. CAUTION: I normally check this at about 25, and judge from there, all ovens are different. I have never used the recommended 75, or even come close. Also be warned, the batter is excellent.....don't say I didn't warn you of it's dangerous powers.

Matthew 9:10-13

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, man tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees (note: religious leaders of the secular world) saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hear this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." -- This is a good illustrative point on how Christians are to treat fellow man. A Christian is a representitive of Christ, and is supposed to carry out His will on earth. Christ did not come to the earth to be with righteous men, and commune with them. He came to spread the love of God, and we can only do this by opening our arms to those who do not neccesarily agree with our way of life or beliefs. It is these people who need God. And so we have a responsibility to reach out to those in need of a God, and show them His love.

Soooo......wrapping up the summer. It's been SO busy, what with the getting married and all. But Sean and I have done pretty well. We managed to get our yard pulled together and get some seed laid, in hopes that we wouldn't have to dish out major money for sod. And today, we were blessed with the most beautiful site in the world....our first blades of perfectly green grass. YAY!! Hopefully we have enough of a grow season left to get a good mow or two in, and have a pretty good start for Abby; we don't want her digging up our perfectly green grass! This also means that we have to start thinking pretty seriously about building our fence....oy. It's so expensive!! But we've managed to establish a good relationship with our "normal" neighbors, and are in agreeance that, at least one side, of the fence should go up in the next couple of weeks. Our "normal" neighbors are actually kind of rad, and have season tickets to the Seahawks, and told us that we are able to buy the tickets off of them that they are not going to use. However, Sean got into a bit of an arguement with them about Pete Carrol vs Holmgren. So they might hate us now.

We had a great time wrapping up this, "Last Weekend of Summer", with my good high school friend, Jenna. And we did it in true "end of summer" fashion. We went to Silverwood, and rode the roller coasters. We had full intention of hanging out at the water park, but of course, it was 65 degrees the day we managed to get there....not exactly water park and floating margharita bar weather......bummer. Let me tell you about the roller coasters. We started off with the run of the mill, high-intensity corkscrew roller coaster. WHOO!!! Jenna was the "odd man out" on this one, but was lucky enough to pick up a stray. What I mean by stray is weirdo. A weirdo who started off normal, but then started talking about "coasters", and I'm pretty sure she talked through the whole ride. Jenna was a good sport. I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be getting motion sickness on the roller coasters, but I was wrong. Getting of the cork screw, I felt faintly neausious, but decided to push through. On to Tremors! A super fast "jarring" wooden coaster that dives down under ground three times. After waiting in line for over an hour, and debating on whether or not one really WOULD stand up on the coaster and risk decapitation, or if losing a hand might be a bigger risk (hands up), we got on this little terror coaster, and proceeded to show our age by not only screaming the whole way, but also by saying things such as, "Oh my head, oh my back, oh my stomach" on exit. So we had lunch. We also rode the log flume, which is what it is.....but had a good time pretending to be the US bobsled team. Hey, mellow ride, had to spice it up somehow. And then Jenna proclaimed, "Ok, time to ride the blue and green one!" The Aftershock. Pretty much what I imagine riding a crashing plane would feel like. We get in, strapped in, and about the time they blow the semi-truck horn and drop the floor.....I start to rethink my decision. And about the time we were hanging 150 feet in the air, and a 90 degree angle, with all of my body weight on the harness holding me into the seat (this is a roller coaster than you ride hanging under the track) I KNEW that this was a really bad idea, and I needed off. But, my wish was not granted. Rather, I was dropped straight down, and through three inversions before they sent us STRAIGHT up the other side, looking straight into the sky, not to our delight. This little devil doesn't stop.......once you've hit the peak, you do all three inversions again.....backward. If we take out the terror factor, we're left with nothing but PURE neausea (I don't know how to spell this word) and a feeling like I had no legs (ok, that is terror related). And I'm pretty sure that my hair was standing on end. But, not to be defeated by fear, we decided to go ahead and hit one last "coaster", the Panic Plunge. A 140ft tower that drops you 120 feet from the big deal, right? That's what I thought the entire time I stood in line, and watched every group slowly climb to the top, then drop. After the Aftershock, quite honestly, it was child's play. Not really. The thing you don't realize while you are watching from the ground is that while you are in the seat, climbing up the tower, you don't see the top, therefore, you don't know when you are going to stop. For all you know, the tower DOUBLED in height from the last ride. As the ground got further and further away, and my seat felt smaller and smaller, and my harness was less and less reliable, I felt absolutely certain that I would die. Irrational, maybe.....but quite real. And the drop. Oh the drop. I'm pretty sure that the minute the ride started the drop, my butt left the seat and didn't hit it again until we were slowed down a mere 20 feet before the ground. After that, feeling particularly old and fragile, we left. And proceeded to eat nachos and drink 3 rum barrels EACH at Ceders. If that's not the way to wrap up a summer folks, I don't know what is!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blow off Friday

So, I totally blew off my Friday, which has been my plan since Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, let me rephrase, I dutifully went to my scheduled appointments and TOOK phone calls. But when it came to making calls that I had planned....well, let's just say they got pushed to Monday. I love being boss of my own schedule!! But on with blogging business as usual....

Sean and I are pretty good with what we eat, at least 75 to 80% of the time, and one of the best books we have found for this is Cook This, Not That by David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding, who have also written the very popular Eat This, Not That. What is awesome about this book is that it takes popular resturant dishes and breaks calories and nutrition facts down (SCAREY!!), and then shows you how to make the alternative at home, and shows you how much better it is for you. Not sure how it works, but it does. And the food is delightful! I made this particular sweet treat for Sean on his birthday last year. Warning: This is involved, don't start it unless you have the time to finish it.
Ricotta Cheesecake with Warm Blueberriers (inspired by Cheesecake Factory's Strawberry Cheesecake):
8 oz graham crackers
6Tbsp butter, melted
1-12oz container par-skim ricotta, drained
2-8oz packages ligh cream cheese, softened
3/4C + 2Tbsp sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1-16oz bag of frozen blueberries
Cover the size of a 9" springform pan with tin-foil
Grind the graham crackers up and add the melted butter (whiz it around in a food processor for a few minutes, or something else to get it mixed up good, it's your crust). Pour it over the bottom of the pan (not up the sides). Bake for about 15 min, or until golden brown.
Blend the ricotta, cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and lemon zests until smooth. Add eggs and blend again.
Pour the micture over the crust. Place the pan in a baking dish, and pour enough hot water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake about 1 hour, until golden brown and center of the cake moves slightly when gently shaken. Cool for an hour on the counter, then refridgerate for about 4 hours.
When the cheesecake is ready to be cut, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, and remaining sugar in a saucepan. Simmer 5-7 minutes, until the blueberries begin to pop and become syrupy. Cut the cake and serve blueberries generously over the top.

Proverbs 31:31
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
This is on my Facebook because I love it so much. It's the end of Proverbs 31, that talks about the Ideal Woman. We studied this chapter in my Women's Bible-Study this fall/winter, and I very much enjoyed it. I recommend the chapter to any woman who wonders how God pictures man's perfect mate. Going through this chapter while going through my engagement was really nice, because I think it allowed me the time to prepare myself to be Sean's partner in the most Godly way (or at least on my way to being Godly) that I can be. And I just love how it's wrapped up. In the end, people will see through your charm, and your beauty will fade; but loving the Lord is always something that will perservere (one would hope) and will keep you true and accountable.

Soooo.....back to this blowing off of my Friday. Oh, and what a perfect day to blow off work, you know?? It's been so BLAZING hot lately. And it wasn't as super cool today, but it also didn't reach the 90's by 6am either, like it at least seems like it has been doing the last few weeks. SO I hit the gym, as planned, because I did have a 10am. But, my appointment was with a 14 y/o girl that loves animals. So what did I decide to do? Load up the lab, and take her and my client to the park. Can I say that one of the best parts of working with kids is that most of them LOVE animals (duh, the unconditional love that some of these kids are lacking is personified PERFECTLY through animals), and my dog loves to go; so naturally, I mix business and pleasure, and Abby becomes part of the "therapy" I do with some of these kids. Let me say I am not a licensed therapist, nor have I got the degree/qualifications for it, but I'm human. I understand what other humans need. So there is a certain amount of implied therapy that happens when you work with kids and families....that's just how it goes. And, it a job that isn't ALWAYS the most relaxed, it's good to have my buddy with me sometimes, too. And I don't have to worry about HIPA with her. Nerdy. So we take my dog to the park, and she's playing in the water, and running and running and running with her tongue hanging out, and what looks like the BIGGEST smile on her face. Sometimes as she comes galloping across our path, she stumbles just a little. Animals really DO fit the disposition of their owners at times. And she behaved perfectly, which is always a relief, as with any 3 year old. After taking my client home, and proceeded straight back to my house, where I turned on John and Kate Plus 8 (that persective thing) and took exactly two phone calls before I had a 3 o'clock transport. From there, I got to go to my dad's house and assist him in buying tickets to the Ducks/Cougs game on Oct. 9th. Hello, front row of the Ducks side, right by the band. WOOO!! My dad found it appropriate to tell me that Jan will be wearing a Cougs shirt. And I found it appropriate to tell my dad that Jan can sit elsewhere. Now, really....I love Jan. I would never tell her to sit elsewhere. Except in this case. NO COUGS ALLOWED! She's not sitting by me, anywhow. I'm going to buy her a Ducks shirt as a pre-emptive strike. Dad says she already has a Cougs shirt....but again, I don't care. No. Cougs. Allowed.

Sean and I have also chosen this blown off Friday as the opportune time to seed our yard. Which means pulling the massive amount of weeds that has consumed our giant sand box in the back of our house in the last 2 months that we've been here. If grass grows like weeds, then we are in business. I started this project on my last lonely Wednesday, but burned out when my older sister called to "spoil the Christmas suprise" (ok that she did, I already knew what it was, or at least I THOUGHT I knew, turns out I was right) and I became consumed with talking to her. Welcome end to an evening of weed pulling. So we finished up tonight. I haven't had allergies all season, but spending an hour, give or take, upside down, pulling weeds, brought them on like magic. At least I know they'll clear up by morning. And now Sean and I have a giant pile of weeds in the back of our yard that we are not sure how to get ride of (too many for the trash can!). So we've decided that it would be fun to call the sheriffs department to ask if it's legal to burn the massive "weed pile" in our back yard. Imature jokes. So fun. So we've got the rest of the weekend to rake up some rocks, wed the sand down, and then seed the thing. Hopefully we'll have grass for the puppy to at least sniff around in a few weeks, and then be able to get her home SOON.

As for now, Eat, Pray, Love is calling my name, and I'm suseptible to the distraction.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Being Greatful

Hey hey all!! Let's just get down to it, eh?

Recipe: Awesome Turkey Burgers (recipe created by Sean and I) For two people
Start with 1/2 to 2/3 of a pound of ground turkey (leanest cut you can find)
Add Italian bread crumbs, enough to make the meat thick enough to stick together
From there, add either BBQ sauce (we like Stubs Misquite BBQ) or Warstechire Sauce
I think that Sean normally adds a few more seasonings, like Ceyenne (weird, right?) or other spicy seasonings. Then pat them out into the patty size you desire, using the Racheal Ray technique of leaving a little bit of a thinner center (will keep your patties even when cooking) and throw them on the grill. We generally throw a slice of pepperjack on our burgers, and then dress to our specifice desires. I love putting avacado on mine! There are no portions on here because I don't know them, we wing it. But if you've made burgers, I have faith you can handle it!!

Again, I have no Bible verse today. I mean, I have a parible that I could use, but I want to use the quotes that I heard in church this week. There were two that really stuck with me.
"Forgiveness is a radical act of courageous obedience," - Pastor Matt
"We are never more like Jesus than when we forgive," - Pastor Matt quoting Pastor Bob
Obviously the theme we are talking about here is Forgiveness. Oh forgiveness....I think something that everyone, of Christian faith or otherwise associated, struggles with. I know I do. And sometimes, over really silly things. But I liked what we talked about this week in church, because we really go into what forgiveness is, what it's NOT, and the power that forgiveness has to set YOU free. Not the person that you are forgiving, but YOU. As Matt and his wife Jana talked about, forgiveness is NOT reconciliation, as to reconcile a relationship takes two people, but to forgive only takes one. Forgiveness is NOT excusing an act. Forgiveness is NOT allowing a person to continue to hurt you. Forgiveness is NOT saying that the action was ok. Forgiveness is NOT taking responsibility for the action (I deserved it....). Essentially, forgiving a person does not mean that you are telling a person that you are ok with their action, and going to let them back into your life. Sometimes it does. A lot of times it does. But there are times in our lives when a sin is committed against us that effectively ends a relationship. But as Christians, we must chose to forgive them, because God forgave us. Ah heck, I may as well give you the Bible verses anyway, so you get the context of this. Matthew 19:21-35:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had to sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me' he begged, ' and I will pay back everything.' The servants master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when the servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happend, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happend. Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I cancelled all the debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he whould pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
Kind of long....but I think it's a pretty clear illustration. The last part of this just being, forgiveness is NOT for the other person. It's for us. It's to set US free from the things that keep our hearts in chains. If we are holding grudges, and are unforgiving of others, it only hurts us, and damages our hearts. But if we ask God to help us set ourselves free from our own inability to forgive at times, and truely let him work in our hearts, we are the ones that benefit. No longer are we eaten up by something that the other person may truely not care about, but we are free from that bondage, and no longer have the unpleasant task of carrying this heavy burden with us. And we are acting as Jesus, which is really the point, isn't it? just love lessons like that, that can be found in the Bible, and that are so relevent to today and the everyday struggles we all have. But shifting gears, I want to talk about the things that I am incredibly greatful for in my life. Of course, one being our Heavenly Father, and the Word that He gives us. I'm greatful for my husband and my beautiful house, and silly dog. I'm very greatful for my job/s, especially in this economy!! And, I'm greatful that my boss' are as amazing as they are. Now, before everyone gets all "Suck-up/brown noser" on me, neither of my boss' are aware of my blog, nor do they read I'm not writing for their benefit! I'm so greatful for my boss at Lourdes because I have never felt SO backed up and supported by a manager in my life. Whatever problem that I come to her with, she can communicate a solution to me, or help me come up with one. And one that I can use! And it's nice to know that I can walk into work, and know that if I have an issue, I can normally address it with her at least within 24 hours. I also have full confidence to know that when other agencies are attacking me, whether she believes I am right or not, she will defend me (and the rest of her team) to the attacking agency, and then take up issue with me at a later time if at all needed. And it helps to have a boss, that on a normal basis, says "Thank you for all your hard work." I have a job that is incredibly stressful at times, and just hearing, "You are doing well" or something to that effect, makes all the difference in a day.

I also have another job, I teach BodyJam at a local gym, one to two times a week. Our aerobics instructor is what I like to call.....intense. Especially when you just meet her. She cares a LOT about group fitness, and the reputation of the quality of group fitness classes in our club. Which is what you want, right!?! Sometimes, that means that I hear about a class that I did, and mistakes that I made, that I need to work through. Performing is hard. And I already know my mistakes, so the last thing I want to hear is what I did wrong from a person that I feel I need to impress (she's my boss!!). But....she is always very forgiving, and is trying to be helpful. And now that I know her better, and we have developed a relationship, I know the support that I have from her, and have experienced the "Thank you for all your hard work," on her side, as well. She's another person that I can learn a lot from, and I am thankful to be able to co-teach with her, and glean from all of her experience.

Soooo.....there it is. My thankfullness/greatfulness of my boss', and the support that I get from them. It makes working day in and day out, not only tolerable, but a true joy, and something that I, quite often, look forward too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Family Reunion

Heeelllloooo friends. To be honest, I didn't even know I had a little bit of a following, but I've heard from enough of you, that I now feel a little more obligated to write. And so tonight, I do. In a small amount of pain. I fear that I have sustained a, self-diagnosed, "over-use" injury to my left foot. I have yet to go and get X-rays to confirm my suspicions, however. I gave myself about a week to rest, away from the gym and high impact activities....but all that came to a screaching halt when I went to weigh-in for the weight loss competition at work. Up one half of a pound, folks. Not awesome. So tonight, not only did I hit it, I hit it hard, throwing in a little teaching of the BodyJam after I took pump from Torturous Tiffany. So I've iced and reclined....and settled in to give you an update.

This weeks recipe came from the inspiration for my blog: Sean's Family Reunion

Black Bean Cilantro

3 - 15oz cans black beans, rinsed

1 cup corn (frozen or canned, but drained/rinsed)

1/4 cup tomoato, diced

1/4 cup pepper (any color, or mix and match!) diced

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 Tbsp jalapeno, minced (or more, for the daring)

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

Juice of one lime

Throw it in a bowl, mix it up, and serve it!! It's delicious, and a dish I went back to a time or leau of desert :)

And instead of a Bible Verse, I've got something else that inspired me. I've just finished reading The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble, and I liked the quote he used to finish the book. He quotes C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic...or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonesense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

I've not read a lot of C.S. fact, I haven't read ANY C.S. Lewis, but I do know his story. That he was a man who went on a quest to somewhat disprove the existance of our Saviour, and ended up finding Salvation and a Lord. And of course, I'm a fan of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I'm not sure if I spelt that correctly. It looks funny. ANYHOW....I do believe that he has a FANTASTIC point here. Jesus obviously had some amazing and incredibly moral things to say. However, he would be classified as a bit of a mad man by any standard, if he were anyone else. I just think that this is good food for thought.

Sooooo.....the latest big adventure for Sean and I was Mitchell Family Reunion 2010...wooo!! I got the pleasure of spending five relaxing days in a cozy, comfy little cabin at Wallowa Lake. This is the first family reunion I've been to on this side of high school. As a kid, it was always about running around, exploring, and finding all of the most exciting hidden hiding places within a 1 mile - if you were lucky -radius of all the adults. So you had NO idea what family reunions are really about: wine, potlucks, and NAPS!! I got a TINY bit of reading in.....but seriously. Food and naps. How did this never occure to me before?! Of course, it wasn't ALL complete sloth and gluttony, we WALKED to the ice cream shop and back. And it must have been a quarter of a mile up to the horse pens so that I could pet and feed them (some things never change, guys). There was a fair amount of laying in the sun, which feels REALLY good after a dip in a freezing cold lake. When Sean and I got in, I believe the conversation went a little something like, Sean: "Ok, I think I'm used to it now." Kaila: "Are you used to it, or are you numb?" The lake is crazy, because it's SO clear that you can see the bottom, and you assume you can touch....only to have that all too slightly terrified feeling when you go to set your foot down, and nothing is there to catch you. But swimming around with the kids was a blast. We also rented a kayak (<-----PALLUNDROM) one day and played around swimming in the middle of the lake, and induldging in a little bit of that childish innocense, exploring untouched shore line and pointing out hidden waterfalls. Of course, the typical marital conversations ensued..."Why are you turning us so much?" "Why do you assume I'm the one with the inferior rowing skills?" Yada yada. Marital bliss, in the truest form! We also took some time to go into Joseph, and were able to check out the Joseph Museum, where Sean's family is highlighted as one of the original settlers of the town. A quick trip out to the grave yard to see some of the family tombstones, and I got a pretty conclusive feel for the family history in the area. However, the last night, as most family reunions go, was the icing on the cake. The night we all got together, and finished off the incredibly random meal that was made up of three days of left overs, and tried to finish up all the excess booze hanging around. Good fun, good conversation, and good ideas. After...MAYbe a drink or two over the line, brilliance struck. GO KARTS!! Sean and I took two turns, each of us getting to drive once. I don't know if this is better as a child who can't drive yet.....or an adult who is OVERLY competitive, and concerned about beating all the little kids on the track. We had such a good time, and left with a committment to go back again next year, family reunion or not! It was very relaxing, and I think the first vacation we've taken where it wasn't go-go-go the entire time.

We've got a lot of vacations planned for the next year or so, and it seems like we've been off to a few very good starts. So I'm really looking forward to blogging about more. But for now....the short pause in my day is over, and I'm back to reality.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


 I've been a TOTAL slacker this week. It's not something I'm proud of, but I've recently gotten into.......The Hills.....dun dun dun......and it consumed my free time for about 5-6 days. However, seasons are done now, and I can resume normal life. That being said....I didn't get my time to read the Bible in the mornings the last few mornings......and all for The Hills. Don't feel like His Holiness is so impressed with that one :) LUCKILY.....I have a miriad of verses that I can fall back on. But I DON'T have a recipe for you :( But I made almond poppyseed muffins from a box!! Such a good wife. lets get started.

Matthew 14:25-31

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the deciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why do you doubt?"

--I really like this passage, it speaks to me. And I think it is because it shows that I am not alone in my own journey of Faith. There are many times when I am not necessarily feeling like God is there, and that I can trust him to really take care of me.....when even in my heart of hearts, I KNOW that He is. But sometimes....... It's so easy to be walking along, seeing God, having conversations with God, and fully trusting in God....and all it takes is one little test of faith, and we so easily begin to doubt the full power and abilities of our Lord. I find this to be a HUGE challenge in my life, and it gives me a bit of comfort to know that not only is this something non-specific to JUST me, but to those who were at the right hand of the Lord as He walked on the earth. And it also lets me know that.....even when I am the slightest, or largest, bit untrusting....and Jesus is looking down on me saying...."Why do you have little faith?" He is simutaneously picking me up out of the storm with both hands, and pulling me to safety. I LOVE this about our God.

Sean and I went to church on Sunday, and it was a great service. The first that we've been to in about 5 weeks, I think. Low and behold, a pastor that neither of us are fond of listening too was speaking. But you can't walk out of church. And I'm glad we didn't. Pastor John spoke about Missions, and it was like he was speaking directly to me.....and Sean, so it would seem by our conversations later in the day. But the Pastor did mention a new mission coming alive in our church that would focus on being a mentor to high school kids at Chiawana High who are in danger of failing out of school. It's like God was looking down on me asked me where you could serve, and here I am, giving you a spot. This is what I want to do with my counseling positions, encouraging and helping people find ways to succeed....and under the blessing of a position that is given to me by God, I can hopefully find the strength and courage to be a spiritual mentor as well! I've had such a great example in Treva, and I only hope that someday, I can inspire someone in the same ways that she has inspired and led me. So here is hoping that I can start one cynical child at a time ;) I've got age and air of awesomeness on my thinks! Sunday was just an amazing day, and I'm so thankful to have been there.

Keeping in the spirit of changes, though......I've found a position that has come open in the community....and for the first time since I've gained a "professional" job, I'm thinking of maybe applying to another agency. SCAREY!! It's a position that would start me out at $1,000/mo MORE than I make now...which is a chunck of change. And it would put me into an actual counseling position, rather than case management. I love my job, but at the two year mark, I think it's natural that I am looking toward the "next step". What stinks about this job is that it would start out with some shift work....and I'm not sure ENTIRELY what that entails at this time....other than that I would be working SOME nights and weekends, if not the majority. And that would be rough, especially as a newly wed. And I would have to leave my current agency....which has an incredible environment on it's side. Not to mention, the most supportive boss I have EVER had. And this doesn't come with just ANY job. So it's tough! Do I leave a position that I like working, and really like my co-workers and boss, in order to move up? I do know some of the people that I would be working with....and they are all people I wouldn't be opposed to working with.....but how do I know that I'd have the same support? Do I sacrifice this for the opportunity to give myself more range, and possibly expose myself to more opportunity?? With shift work comes more open days.....which I could devote to online school and earning my Masters. It's such a heart-twister....and I think that my best option is to actually....again, dun dun to my boss about it. As a 30 year old woman who has risen through the ranks in a rapid way....and knows the career minded path....I think she would be able to give me valuable advice. But do I take the risk of letting her know I'm thinking this way?? Oooooh, it's so hard sometimes.

Well.....Sean and I are looking forward to the next few weeks....we have a few trips planned, including his family vacation AND a trip to Silverwood with one of my oldest and dearest HS friends....Jenna Renna!! Looking forward to it. That are some really great wedding pics for all to see!! (Top of the page, cuz I haven't quite figured this out yet!)

Friday, July 9, 2010


Again, from my Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition cook book:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 Tbsp Sugar
Honey (optional)

In a saucepan, melt butter and add in milk. Bring to boil. Add flour all at once, stiring vigorously -- makes for a great shoulder work out! Keep stiring over heat until you have a big dough ball that keeps its form. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 min. Add in eggs one at a time, and stir in for about one minute each. You'll know when you are ready for the next. Devide the dough evenly into a greased 12-muffin pan. Sprinkle sugar over the top; then bake for 30 minutes at 375. Best served immediately, and with honey! Makes 12 servings at 137cal each.

These pastries are light and fluffy. We liked them, but I made them with whole wheat flour. Not terrible, but I'd probably make them with regular white flour next time. Sometimes, you just have to take the enriched route! Sean liked them as well, especially with the honey. If you could figure out how to get some kind of fruit filling into them, they would be really good as well. But I'm not sure how we'd go about this, though.

Matthew 18:8
If your hand or or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and thwo it away. It is better for you to enter LIFE maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
-- I like this because it kind of puts earthly things into prospective. I know that sounds a little "crazy" to some, but really, you can apply it to all parts of life. In this parable, Jesus is talking about taking the things that cause you to sin out of your life, because the Kingdom of Heaven is so great. And entering into the Kingdom of Heaven is far worth getting rid of the things that cause you to sin, no matter how valuable they may seem to you, rather than holding on to them for the short amount of time we have on earth, only to miss eternal life. I guess....the very basis of it is not holding on to the things that hold you back, or keep tripping you up, in order to obtain a better relationship with our Savior.

Soooooo.....on to what's going on in my life! Well, first thing....I'm not proud of this....but with the SLOOWW work week, I've pretty much sped through seasons 1 and 2 of The Hills. Oh my gosh, Sean would divorce me if he knew!! doesn't have much for TV picks on it's instant streaming list....and most times, I don't have the patience for a whole movie. BUT....when I haven't been watching the show, I've been Disco-ing my little tale off!! I'm a BodyJam instructor, for those of you who didn't know, and it's part of our new release. We launch on Monday, and the three of us girls split the sections up, and I've got the Disco section. SO. MUCH. FUN. It's pretty much EVERY dance move I ever did secretly in my room, and ALL the cheese that I could ever ask for. I'm so excited to present it to everyone in class on Monday. We've got it all from a move called the Travolta, to actual pelvic thrusts. And I work up such a great sweat with it. It's not the greatest release we've ever had, so I feel it's super important to really get the energy up, and I'm so excited to have this section, because I feel like the members can get caught up in the nostalgia of the music, feel, and choreograpy....and will just have a great time. Plus, this is the best peak I've seen, and I feel like my excitement will really show through and encourage others to get into it. Yay!

In other news....I've joined a "Losing It" competition at work. Not that I think I need to lose anything, but....winner gets a $350 gift card to JCP. It's not my FAVE store, but far be it for me to turn down $300+ to shop with....HELLO NEW SHOES AND WORK CLOTHES! Sean and I are broke right now....and it's getting hot. PLUS....hello, if I DO win because I've "lost it", then I'll need new clothes anyway ;) So, anyway, it's a partner competition, and I feel kind of bad, because my partner emails me saying she has brought a delicious salad to work for lunch. And I've just made a pan full of rice krispy treats topped with mini chocolate chips. SORRY LISA!! I promise, that's the only thing I'll eat all day, haha! But I'll keep you up to date on how it goes. I'm re-combing through all of my healthy eating books. Sean enjoys healthy food as well, so it's good to have his support at home. And I've got a fairly rigorous gym schedule that keeps me in check. I just got my new heart rate monitor in the mail, as well.....and it has a calorie-burn feature....SCORE! I can't wait to see what I scorch in Pump as opposed to RPM and Jam.

I'll keep you up to date on the progress. Love you all tons!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lonely Wednesdays

Well, I suppose that it's time to add a little form and follow through to my blogging. It might take me awhile to get the format and the habit down, but I think Wednesdays might work out for me, as my beloved is out golfing, and I sit lonely!! So here are things I would like to make consistents.....a recipe that I have recently used, and LOVED...or HATED (warnings are only fair) and a Bible Verse that I've recently read and been inspired by. Not to prothelitize (I think thats the right spelling, and also it's verbage stolen from our wedding officiant), but to just let you all know what inspires me to live the way that I do every day :) So lets do this!!

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens "New Cookbook: Bridal Edition"
2 1/2 - 3 lbs meat chicken pieces ( I just used boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped green sweet pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cooking oil
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

In a large saucepan cook the onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in black beans, tomoatoes, tomato juice, corn, rice (uncooked), and chili powder and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Transfer to a baking dish, and arrange your chicken on top; sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Makes 6 servings, at 355 cal per serving. Warms up great!!

Sean added a few of his own spices, because it's not SUPER spicey, so I think we'll play with this one. I also added some fresh cut avocado on top of mine. And I warmed in up about 2 days later and it tasted great as well. Let me know what YOU think!

Matthew 7:1-2
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -- I think that's pretty much enough said.

Soooo, to the real, meaty stuff. Married life is great so far. I really enjoy having our own house, making decisions together, and generally "taking care" of him, as much as he takes care of me. Let's face it, he did most of the hard work when it came to buying the house, so I've made it a bit of my mission to make sure it stays looking good. It's weird....I find myself taking on some of the traits of my over the sink until he's done eating breakfast (that I've cooked) and then rinsing his dishes and putting them in the dish washer. This AFTER I've unloaded in from the previous night....what!?!? I've also noticed myself purusing a little through cookbooks, and finding things to cook for my fella....I just love it when a I get a "Good job, baby. We'll make this again," from him. And I'm loving finding new things to bake....which is REALLY what I love to do :) Both of us are just working our butts off right now, making sure we stay ahead of the game and keep our finances in line. We have a lot planned for the summer, and thank goodness most of it is around our house. I love being here, and I can't wait to get our puppy back here. It's sad when I don't have someone to great me at the door that jumps all over me and gives me a little bit of a tongue bath (well, besides Sean!!). That is when it will REALLY feel like home. We are looking forward to our first BBQ, after Sean puts our BBQ together, and another upcoming vacation to Wallowa for his family reunion.

More to come soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Welcome!! I really another person out in the blogosphere!?! I think I am!! For those of you who don't know (which really, you should) I just married the man of my dreams, and I wanted to keep a tab of our lives together!!

So, first thing is first. A good friend of mine told me to keep a journal of all of the pre-wedding stuff....and....since I didn't.....she got a journal FOR me, and encouraged me to start going, and KEEP going. That said, I'll back track a little, so that we can talk about the things that happend prior to "My Life As A Mitchell".

Sean and I have been dating since December of 2008. We met through the typical, romantic, boy-meets-girl , bar story. Well, maybe not so much romantic. It took a little while for Sean and I to actually sit down and talk, and get to know eachother, but once we did....boy howdy, try and keep us apart!

Sean proposed to me in September of 2009, and in June 2010 we were married! During the process, we also decided to buy a house....what we were thinking, I truly do not know! But, we are now married, and IN the house, with couches, plates, cookbooks, and bedding....among other things! Moving into a house and trying to keep it looking nice is REALLY tough, I am finding out. But today, I was able to finish my "to-do" list, which involved getting the house looking halfway decent again.

I am just starting the blogging, and so there will be lots and lots to come, but I just wanted to get in and get introduced and let everyone know what my goals are here, which are to basically outline experiences as a newlywed couple with everyone!! More to come soon!