Uncategorized

Happy Holidays

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It’s tough to take nice pictures of Christmas trees with an iPhone, but I had to try!

This is our first Christmas tree, three of my favorite ornaments (a Precious Moments one with my birth month & stone, a sushi one, & a Starbucks one!), and Christmas cards written and ready to be sent. It’s amazing to think that a year ago tomorrow, we were on our way to Thailand. (That can also get depressing to think about when I look at the cold snow outside, so we’re not going to talk about that anymore right now.) Anyway, I’m looking forward to the holidays next week, and I am REALLY looking forward to my best friend visiting from Japan! What is something you’re looking forward to in the coming week?

 

P.S. This is my 100th post! Time flies!

Learning

Empathy

I mentioned I had a good conversation with a friend the other day, and I still can’t get it out of my head. I keep replaying it over and over, because I am amazed my his grace, and by his love. I was able to open up to him, and he didn’t judge me. He loved me. Empathized. And his love for me brought the strangest mix of emotions. I felt weak, but strengthened by him, guilty and desperate, but loved and understood. I felt scared, but relieved. Sad, yet joyful. I felt the need to look for God in my life again, despite skepticism and doubt.

I don’t know if it’s fate, or luck, or karma. Maybe it’s something divine. But I have met three people recently who are amazing and who have really made an impact on my heart. I’ve met so many religious Christians who never practiced what they preached, who were tremendous hypocrites, and who always let me down. And yet these three don’t ever “preach.” They listen and love. And when they love, they love unconditionally, without judgement. They don’t claim to be good, they just are. They don’t put themselves on pedestals, they just hang out and are real with people. They give me hope, and make me want to search for a faith I left behind. To get answers to questions that bother me, instead of being completely dismissive.

Who knows what will happen. I don’t know where I see myself three days from now, so I can hardly guess where this all will lead. What I do know is that true empathy is hard to come by, and I am incredibly grateful to have found several people who seem to get it. As I was thinking about empathy this morning, I happened to come across a tweet with a really great video (more fate/luck/karma?). Hope it resonates with you like it did with me.

Food & Cooking

Fruit Cuties & Blueberry Pie (recipe!)

I was really missing summer today because the weather in Michigan was hideous. As I longed for the warmer season, I decided to look for some pretty pictures I took back in August when I went blueberry picking with my mom and nephew, and to share them with you here!

….Then I remembered I lost nearly all of my pictures from the summer *cries*

Here is the bright side to horrid weather and losing pictures: I had an amazing conversation with a friend who I am very lucky to know today, as well as a day filled with shopping fun. Also, although I don’t have my pretty blueberry picking pictures, I discovered Fruity Cuties!

167-cartoon-blueberries-jokesI started off looking for images of blueberries and summertime on google, and then I wandered off into a land of cuteness. I found Fruity Cuties, a website with cute games, wallpapers, a shop and even a blog!

asian-pear-wallpaper-preview

radish-santa-xmas-wallpaper-previewAren’t these two wallpaper examples above adorable?

Cute things always make me feel a little better, but sweet things do, too. With all of this talk about blueberries, I thought I’d share our family’s blueberry pie recipe (with permission from my mom, of course!). I’ve always been told that this pie recipe is “the best” because it isn’t runny like many blueberry pie recipes. We luckily had frozen blueberries left from picking back in August, so I felt like I was bringing a little summer out in the midst of the snowy winter when I used the recipe on Thanksgiving ๐Ÿ™‚

Too-Too’s Blueberry Pie Filling

1-1/2 cups blueberries
1-1/4 cups water

Boil 1 minute. ย Add:

1-1/2 cups sugar
3/8 cup cornstarch stirred into 1/4 cup water until smooth
3/8 tsp salt

Boil until thick. ย Add:

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 cups blueberries

Pour into crust. ย Bake at 375ยฐ for 35 minutes. ย (For two pies, it’s an exact double of all ingredients.)

blueberry pie

Although I didn’t take any pictures of the filling, I did manage to take a picture of a completed pie I made using this recipe on Thanksgiving. What sorts of things cheer you up on gloomy, bad-weather days? Hope this delicious pie filling brings a little cheer, at the very least! ๐Ÿ™‚

Monday Matters · Projects

Easy Vintage DIY

I’ve always really liked vintage-style prints, and I knew that someday I’d like to use some to decorate our future home. A few months ago, I came across the easiest DIY ever for vintage prints here, and I decided to give it a try over the weekend to snazz up our living room.

20131209-105754.jpgI chose three vintage prints from a nearby paper shop in Grand Haven, bought wooden dowels and twine, and set to work. First, I measured the dowels to be slightly longer than the width of the prints, and then I sawed them to size. After that, it was as easy as hot-gluing the dowels to the tops and bottoms of the prints, and hanging them with the twine!

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I hung them in a group of three because I’ve read that grouping things in uneven numbers is more stimulating to the eye. Chad thinks two would look better, though. What do you think?

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I love this new addition to our decor, and I think it turned out great! Yay for easy, pretty DIY projects!

Friday Five

Friday Five: Songs I’ve Been Loving

Lately I’ve been listening to some songs over and over and over and…well, you get the idea. Here are 5 I’ve really been loving:

5. Ghosts – The Head and the Heart

4. Exit Music for a Film – Radiohead

3. I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today – Guster

2. Daredevil – Fiona Apple

1. Home – ZZ Ward

What songs have you been enjoying lately?

Learning

One story, three ways

So I had my second-to-last Spanish lesson yesterday, and though I’ve been struggling with the language since Japanese always pops into my head (and I haven’t been studying very much), I was able to write a short “story,” on the spot in class, without any notes! That was kind of encouraging. I may not be fluent, but I can understand more than I could before! So, without further ado, here is my story in Spanish, Japanese, and then English. (Note: My Spanish is far from perfect, and my Japanese is very much out of practice! Also, I promise this is not going to become a cat blog, even though it might look like it’s headed in that direction! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Yo vivo en mi casa con mi esposo y dos gatos. Mi gato corren y comen todos las dias. Uno gato llamo es Comet. Uno gato llamo es Curry. Curry es naranja, y Comet es negro y gris.

ๅคซใจ็งใฏ2ใญใ“ใจ็งใŸใกใฎๅฎถใซไฝใ‚“ใงใ„ใพใ™ใ€‚็งใŸใกใฎใญใ“ใŒๆฏŽๆ—ฅใฏใ—ใŸใ‚Šใ€้ฃŸในใŸใ‚Šใ—ใพใ™ใ€‚ใ•ใ„ใ—ใ‚‡ใฎใญใ“ใฎๅๅ‰ใŒใ‚ณใƒกใƒƒใƒˆใงใ™ใ€‚ใปใ‹ใฎใญใ“ใฎๅๅ‰ใŒใ‚ซใƒชใƒผใงใ™ใ€‚ใ‚ซใƒชใƒผใŒใ ใ„ใ ใ„ใ„ใ‚ใงใ™ใ€‚ใ‚ณใƒกใƒƒใƒˆใŒใใ‚ใ„ใ‚ใจใ‚ฐใƒฌใƒผใงใ™ใ€‚

I live in my house with my husband and two cats. Every day, my cats run and eat. One cat is named Comet, and the other cat is named Curry. Curry is orange, and Comet is black and grey.

So there it is! Next week is my final Spanish lesson, so we’ll see what happens from there. I’m not sure if I will continue or not as the Intermediate class starting in February might be held in a different city that’s a bigger commute. In any event, I’m happy that I got some Spanish basics! Hasta pronto! ใพใŸใญ! See you soon!

 

Uncategorized

Meet Comet & Curry!

A couple weeks ago, Chad came home holding two kittens in his arms! After much deliberation, we’ve chosen to name them Comet and Curry (though Chad has another name for Comet I am choosing to ignore haha). 20131202-075849.jpg

Curry is a snuggly, sweet-hearted, orange female kitty. She often follows me around the house, and she usually tries sleeping on my head for at least part of the night!

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Comet is Curry’s brother. He’s already getting really big, and his tail is especially long! He can be really snuggly, too, but he also hangs out by himself a lot.

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Curry and Comet are best friends, and love chasing each other around, sneaking up on each other, playing together, and sleeping next to each other.

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They also LOVE trying to eat people food!

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I’m so glad these little friends could become part of our family!