Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Happy Easter!  Christ has risen!
Image Source
Two things really struck me at church this morning.  First, we sang "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," an Easter hymn classic, and one of the verses really struck me.  Here are the lyrics:

"Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!"

It never really crossed my mind that without Jesus dying for us and being raised from the dead, we would not have victory over death in Him.  I am so thankful today (and everyday) that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to give us eternal life (John 3:16).  Praise Him!

Another thing that stuck out to me (along the same lines) is something the preacher said during his sermon.  He mentioned a recent Time Magazine article about Google trying to solve the problem of death.  Well, no need, Google!  Jesus already took care of that!  His resurrection gave us all victory over death, as we now have eternal life.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter celebration!  Let's try to be an Easter people throughout the year, not waiting until this day to remember what Jesus did for us over 2000 years ago.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stream of Consciousness Saturday 4

Hey, everyone!  I hope you are having a great Easter weekend so far.  We are enjoying spending some time with Joe's family, despite the fact that it's been raining and dreary yesterday and today.

My mind is bouncing all over the place today, and so I thought it's a perfect time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday post!  I seem to do these about once a month and just talk about whatever happens to come to my mind.

1. I don't know what it is, but I have been really in to iced coffee this week.  Between Wendy's on Sunday and DD throughout the week, it's becoming a trend around here!
Maybe it's me making up for the sweets I'm not able to eat...(one more day!)

2.  I received my first NatureBox (<---referral in="" link="" mail="" on="" p="" the="" thursday="">
I decided to receive 5 surprise snacks, and I've gotta say, the ones I've tried so far are fantastic!  I'm going to do a full review once I try everything, but an early favorite are the Honey Macadamia Pretzel Pops.  Yummy!
Use my referral link to receive $10 off your NatureBox (I get $10 off, too).

3.  The Lake Minneola Half Marathon is next Saturday, and I'm freaking out a little.  I didn't do a very good job of sticking to my training plan, other than strength training 1x a week, a short run 1x a week, and bikram yoga 1-2x a week.  Sometimes I'd do more, but I don't really feel prepared for this race.  More to come on what I'm planning on doing!

4.  Having a puppy is so much fun!  Tequila is so much fun to play with, and I am definitely missing her this weekend so far.  She's in good hands, though, so I'm not worried about her too much.

5. Joe had a job interview yesterday, and it went pretty well!  I'm excited for him that he's getting closer to being finished with school and getting out in to the working world.  I'm definitely in prayer for him over where God will have him work, and we'd love to have your prayers, too!

6. For some reason, I've been feeling really busy yet out-of-it this week.  I feel like I've done so much, but at the same time done nothing at all.  I'm hoping this coming week will be more productive and I'll be more motivated to do stuff.

That's about all I can come up with at this time (and my computer battery is about to die)!  Check out past SOCS posts:
SOCS March
SOCS February
SOCS January
Have a fantastic Easter weekend!  Let's celebrate the Lord's death and resurrection to save the world!

Question for you: Tell me something random about your week/day/life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

neVer forgeTting, but not defined

As I shared last year, April 16th is more than just another day on the calendar.  It's the day that my beloved alma mater, Virginia Tech, become known at a global level for a tragic reason.  Seven years ago, the Hokie family lost 32 of our own in a horrible way.
This is a tough week for everyone associated with Virginia Tech.  It hurts to remember that dark day in our past.  But, we have to.  We can't forget the lives of those 32 Hokies that were lost.  We can't forget how fleeting life is.  We can't forget the importance of living life to the fullest and telling those that mean the most to us that we love them.

However, we DON'T let this act of violence define our school.  There is SO MUCH MORE to Virginia Tech and the Hokies than this one event in our school history.  I was reminded of this when I saw this quote from Michelle Obama's address at the VT graduation in 2012:

"And that is why, when you all are out there in the world and you meet someone and you tell them that you’re from Virginia Tech, and they say, “Huh, isn’t that the school where” -- I want you to interrupt them right there and say, “Yes, it is the school where we have some of the best academic programs and professors in the country." That’s what you tell them. You tell them, "Yes, it is the school where students are passionate about serving their country and supporting each other. And by the way, which also has the best campus food you’ll ever eat." Who can say that? You tell them, “Yes, it’s the school where we produce graduates who are leaders in their industries, and pillars of their communities, and who carry their Hokie pride with them every day for the rest of their lives." You say, “Yes, that is the school I attend. That is Virginia Tech.” 

If anything were to define Virginia Tech regarding the shooting, it should be the spirit of giving and the evidence of Hokie pride that the world saw immediately afterward.  That spirit and pride in our university continues today.  Each year, I'm amazed at all of the things I hear Hokies are doing to remember the tragedy in a positive way.  One of the shooting victims wrote an article recently about his experience and how he now works to keep illegal guns out of dangerous hands (read this is incredible the strength Colin has!).  Alumni groups across the country get together for a day of service around this time of year.  Individuals choose to remember the victims in their own ways, like trying something new and out of their comfort zone each year on April 16th.  Even the sibling of one injured in the shooting want people to know that Virginia Tech is more accurately defined by things other than this event (I read that article after typing my post--great minds think alike!).

Yes, April 16th, 2007 is a day we will never forget.  But, the Hokie community is not going to let the tragedy define us.  What Virginia Tech will be defined by is our spirit, our love, and our living out the university motto Ut Prosim (that I may serve).  I bet the shooter never intended his actions to bring the Virginia Tech community closer together and become stronger than ever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Recent Recipe Reviews

Hello, and happy Tuesday!  How has your day been?  My work week has been good so far.  I especially loved yesterday when Joe sent me the CUTEST picture in the middle of the day.
Tequila and Kitty haven't quite gotten along yet, and he said when he turned around after washing dishes, he saw this!  They're still getting used to each other, but I think this is a good sign that they were that close without Kitty swatting and hissing at Tequila :)

Lately, I've tried some different recipes.  Instead of doing an individual post on each of them, I thought I could review each of the recipes in one post!

Let's start with the Easy Honey Mustard Mozzarella Chicken.
I found this recipe thanks to a Google search when Joe and I wanted to use some local honey we bought.  I found this recipe very easy to make.  The ingredients were all things that were around the house already, so it didn't take a special trip to the store.  The bacon and cheese probably made this a little bit unhealthy, but those parts can be skipped and still be tasty.  This will definitely be a recipe we make every now and then when we want something a little different for dinner.

Next, I tried a new breakfast: overnight oats!  I used Julie's recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Dough Overnight Oats.
I've been following Julie's blog for a while and knew she had a lot of overnight oats recipes.  When browsing through her recipe list, this one caught my eye.  Again, this recipe was very easy to throw together.  I loved that breakfast was ready for me in the morning!  This was very peanut-buttery, and I liked it pretty well.  I was left wanting something...more but I can't put my finger on what.  I will make this recipe again and experiment with some additional add-ins.

Last, in an effort to incorporate more veggies into dinner, I made Santa Fe Zucchini Boats.
Image Source--isnt' Kim a great food photographer??
Kim's blog has a TON of delicious, healthy recipes.  When she posted the recipe for these zucchini boats, I knew I had to try them!  I was nervous about what Joe would say, though.  I modified the filling to be canned salmon, so I skipped the section of the recipe about cooking the meat and sauteeing the vegetables.  This recipe is involved and takes a while to make.  BUT, the results are fantastic!  Even Joe raved about them, and he's not as in to the healthy recipes as I am.  These will definitely be something that we make again, particularly on the weekends.

***I just wanted to take a moment to remember those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing on this day last year.  I pray for the families of those injured and killed in the blast, those running the race last year, and everyone that was effected by this tragic, tragic event.  Tragedies like this one are so hard to understand why and deal with the evil of this world.  I am thankful that, in the wake of this tragedy, God has used and continues to use people to inspire others.***

Question for you: What's a new recipe you've tried lately that I should try?
I love to cook new things, but I have to have a recipe.  I'm not one to just wing it in the kitchen!