Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful Thursday 06-30-11

Nap Time Crafts: 4th of July Wreath

  • Buying $92 worth of stuff for just $17.  I love saving money!
  • Finding some old Christmas stamps in the bottom of a desk drawer.  They may have teddy bears wearing holiday sweaters, and only be worth 41¢ each, but I'm going to stick two of them on a graduation card and send it out...6 weeks too late.  It's coming Nathan!
  • Brian.  He did not hesitate when I asked if he could help Troy with a flat tire late at night.  The next day he took the time to get us a new tire and even put it on the car for us.  He somehow even found time to mow our lawn in between all the tire changing.  Thank you Brian!
    • We constantly struggle (emotionally) because we live so far from where we work.  Jobs are not easy to find, especially in a small community, and so we are still at our jobs 40 miles away from home.  We would be in a better place, financially, if we sold our house and moved back into an apartment in the city. This was a great reminder of why we give up so much so that we can live close to family.  They replenish our emotional tanks and keep us going.  We are so blessed!  Thank you Brian giving us many reasons to smile on a very stressful day!
  • We have always let Mya have free run of the bathroom while we are at work.  Yep, the bathroom.  She tore up the house if we let her have it all, and we just couldn't leave her in the kennel all day.  So she gets the bathroom with it's linoleum (just in case), some toys, and a heated bed to nap on.  This past week we decided to experiment with letting her have the whole house to herself again and she has surprised us and done amazingly well!  We feel much better knowing that she can roam around the house and soak up the sun as it moves from the back of the house to the front of the house during the day. 
  • Stuffed jalapeno burgers at church on Sunday! 
    • And those amazing baked beans!  I don't even like baked beans, but I went back for seconds!
  • The amazing group of volunteers that miss out on getting fresh hot food (or sometimes even getting food at all) so that they can be outside grilling, or in the kitchen organizing and refilling.  Every time we have a meal at church (which is often, because we like to eat) there are people busily working away while the rest of us sit back and enjoy.  I appreciate all of you!
  • Listening to the "quiet" at 6:00 in the morning while most people are still inside their homes.  I enjoy this time of day.
  • I am not organized in my personal life, but sometimes I pretend to be.  This week I did a good job at making a whole hearted attempt at organization.
  • Laughter.  Someone that tends to get on my nerves surprised me with a great reason to laugh.  I laughed way too loud in a place where I should have been quiet...and it felt great.  Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Speaking a Love Language

Today I am reposting one of my favorites.  Enjoy!

Physical Touch is one of the Love Languages  weheartit

The other day I experienced a sweet moment when I caught myself using Troy's love language.

Are you familiar with love languages?  I first learned about this concept in college and was interested in learning more about it as a way to understand and relate more effectively to the women on my hall.  I never got around to purchasing the book until after I met Troy and then I was drawn to it for the fun (for me) quizzes in the back to discover your spouses primary love language.  It was like a self help book and a  Cosmo magazine all rolled up in one...the book version of a home run!  I had high hopes of exploring this book together and learning more about how to fill each others love tanks.  Troy had high hopes of avoiding reading anything that did not include the latest sports scores.  He won and so I was left to figure out his love language on my own. 

I read the book and took the (fun for me) quizzes at the end; one quiz for me and one quiz for him.  I had an idea of his love language and no clue what mine was.  While I knew this concept would work if I stuck with it, I got frustrated because I couldn't find a clear cut answer and my "putting into action" phase was short lived.   Eighteen months ago I was ready to tackle the subject again.  I read everything again and once again got very excited about the concept.  I still could not figure out my own love language, and was not able to pin Troy's down to just one.  Time to experiment!

Troy became the guinea pig in my experiment as I played with his emotions.  Don't worry, I was only creating positive emotions!  I would spend a minimum of one day on each language and do my best to speak it to the fullest.  In order to get his true response I never told him I was doing this.  It was easy to spot his primary language because I received overwhelmingly positive responses from him when I used "words of affirmation".  Score!

I used to buy or make small gifts for Troy all the time just to let him know that I was thinking of him.  He appreciated them, but never expressed the level of excitement that I was hoping to receive from him.  Why did I feel like the bat boy instead of the star player when I putting forth so much effort?  It took quite a while for me to realize that while "receiving gifts" is easy for me to do, it is not one of his top love languages.  It's important to speak each language, but I needed to pay more attention on the one that spoke the loudest to him. 

I read the book, took the quiz, and experimented so that I could do a better job of letting Troy know that I love him.  I read articles and think of ways to make myself better at speaking Troy's love language.  I practice over and over so that it is becoming easier for me.  Someday his primary love language may change and if it does I will learn to speak his new language fluently.

I hoped that this would make me a better wife, but I was not expecting the rush of adrenaline I get in those moments that I unexpectedly catch myself using his love language.  The cheerleaders go crazy and the band starts playing the pep song as I rush around high fiving everyone I can reach.  I did this for Troy, but I'm getting just as much, if not more, out of it as he is.  It feels amazing to know that I am making the decision to show my love in a way that works for him, even though it requires a little more effort on my part.  It is not second nature to me...yet, but I'm making progress.  You have to show up to practice every day and give all you've got if you want to make the team.  I want to stay on Troy's team and so I keep practicing.

If you are not familiar with The 5 Love Languages you can read more about it here, and take an online assessment to find our your primary language here.  This concept is for anyone you love, or want to love.  The link includes online assessments for single people and for children as well. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday 06-23-11

Super cool watermelon turtle...NOT made by me. 

  • Summer has officially arrived and here in my part of the world we have been experiencing beautiful weather!
  • The soothing power of honey.  It makes my throat feel so much better and it taste good going down!
  • Enjoying a watermelon at the peak of it's perfection.  What a perfect summer fruit. 
  • Riding a choo choo train with Brylly.  There were many other activities for him to experience on our day out, but it was the choo choo train that brought the biggest smile to his face.
  • Pool time!  Lounging in a quiet pool, soaking up the sun, enjoying the kid free/splash free waters.
  • Really awesome compliments!
  • Being in the middle of downtown, surrounded by tall buildings, and noticing the beauty of nature scattered throughout the concrete jungle.
  • I go to bed way before Troy does, but sometimes he will come in and lay down and talk to me for a few minutes before I fall asleep.  I love those quiet moments in the dark.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to Summer

Summer Cupcakes!!

Is there a better way to celebrate the first day of summer than with summer inspired cupcakes?  The Sweet Tooth gave me a sneak peek at the new flavors that will be joining the flavor line up very soon, and boy-oh-boy do they scream SUMMER!  Typically Troy and I share and we get 1/2 of each cupcake so that we get a chance to taste them all.  There was no sharing this time because I insisted a whole one of each for myself. 

Creamsicle Sunrise

I don't know why I'm always scared of fruit flavored cupcakes because when I step outside my comfort zone and taste amazing treats like this one I forget all about chocolate.  This cupcake has fresh squeezed orange juice in the batter.  I don't even make fresh squeezed orange juice for myself to drink, let alone to put into cupcakes.  This is just another reminder that Trevor and Amy use only the best ingredients! 

Someone pass me a spoon!  That frosting is so ... creamy!  There is just no other way to describe it.  With every single bite I gushed about how creamy it was before quickly shoving another bite in!  I don't like oranges.  I don't like orange flavored drinks.  I love this orange Creamsicle Sunrise cupcake from The Sweet Tooth!

Key Lime Pie

This cupcake has a subtle flavor that actually caught me a little off guard.  Key Lime tends to be a very strong flavor, almost too strong most of the time, but they were able to scale it back into a nice subtle hint of key lime.  It's obviously key lime, but the flavor isn't going to punch you in the face and make your eyes pop open like I've tasted in other key lime treats.  It's topped with their silky smooth cream cheese frosting, this time with a hint of lime. 

There is a reason this cupcake is called Key Lime Pie and not just Key Lime.  Graham cracker crust!  It really is like a mini pie, crust and all.  I would have liked a little more crust, but I'll take what I can get!

Pina Colada

"If you like Pina Colada's and getting caught in the rain"  Good luck getting that song out of your head now!  I had my first pina colada while sitting on the beach in Jamaica and I had  many, many more before I left that beach.  During that vacation I discovered that I love pina colada's, so when I saw this cupcake I knew right away that I was going to like it.  It even has a little umbrella - what more can a girl ask for?!?!

The vanilla cake has pineapple in it, but it's the frosting that takes me right back to that beach.  They use coconut cream.  I'm not really sure what that it is, but I am pretty sure I love it and want to find more foods that have coconut cream in them.  As Troy was eating his cupcake he said he thought he was getting drunk, so I had to clue him in that it was non alcoholic rum giving it that authentic pina colada flavor.  It's pretty strong, so if you're not a fan of rum this may not be the cupcake for you.  Lucky for me on those rare occasions that I drink anything alcoholic it is usually rum (and I prefer coconut rum) so it's like this cupcake was made just for me...thanks guys! 

Troy disagreed with my statement about too much rum so (for research purposes) I decided I NEEDED to try another one.  Sure enough the second one was even better than the first and the rum flavor was not as strong.  YUM-O!  I guess my taste buds were just a little off last night.  Maybe I should eat a third one and see if it's even better than the second....

Troy tried to drink his pina colada cupcake

My initial thought when seeing the cupcakes was "boo - no chocolate".  Then I got to my favorite part of picking up a box of cupcakes - closing the car doors, opening that cupcake box, and smelling that splendid aroma!  One whiff of all those refreshing fruit scents and I forgot all about the chocolate.  It smelled like summer.  It made me want to eat a salad with fresh locally grown vegetables, drink a tall glass of water, go for a bike ride, and top the evening off with summer cupcakes.  They smelled like summer. 

Want to read more about The Sweet Tooth?  Click right here to read about my first taste of their sweet treats.  Or perhaps you want to hear all about their Spring flavors...just click on here.  What about that time Trevor "helped out" in the kitchen and the end result was the best oops ever?  Click here to find out about that happy accident. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Back to work

Office Supplies should always include chocolate...right?

Do you struggle to go back to work after a vacation?  I remember that I used to look forward to going back to work.  I'm not sure if that was because I was young and working was still new to me, or if it was because I enjoyed my job so much more.  Probably a little bit of both.  I am getting more and more grouchy as I get older. 

Yesterday was my first day back at work after a wonderful vacation.  I think it's harder because the vacation was amazing, relaxing, and left me feeling renewed.  I didn't want that feeling to go away.  All day Wednesday I was on a camp love high.  That's what I'm calling that feeling you leave camp with - "camp love" - and I have been on a major camp love high. 

I was worried about going into work and losing all that camp love that had filled my soul.  I tried to think of an excuse to get off at every exit I passed on the 40 mile trip into work.  Let me just tell you that there are a lot of exits in the 40 miles between Odessa and downtown Kansas City!  I tried to find positive things to focus on.  I even turned the radio down and did not listen to the tabloid gossip (gasp!) that I usually love so much.  I was trying to stay in my happy place. 

You know what?  The day wasn't that bad.  There are 250+ plus employees in my office and I was amazed at how many of them remembered and asked how camp was.  Before I left I felt like they were not really sure what to think when I told them I was going to a church camp.  I got a feeling they all thought I was going to ask them to drink the kool-aid with me.  I felt like everyone was being incredibly kind as they danced their way through the halls.  Were they actually being extra super duper nice?  Probably not.  It was just my interpretation of the day and because I was in a good mood I was focused on the positive things in the day instead of those few negative moments.  There was some dancing going on in the hallways though! 

I had a good day at work.  I had a lot of catch up to do after being gone for a week, but I never felt overwhelmed as I worked through it all.  I worked hard, but I didn't let it get to me.  I took time outs to visit with my coworkers and to check the (ever rising, but still a semi-safe distance away) flood level in southwest Iowa where Troy's family lives.  I remembered to close my eyes and pray for a friend of mine who is going through a difficult time right now.  I took the time to listen to a coworker tell me a story from her past and I gave her my full, undivided attention. 

I said thanks for a full time job and for coworkers that cover for me when I'm gone.  I said thanks because I was missed.  I said thanks for being back at my desk with mutli colored highlighters and hot pink post it notes (because I love office supplies like a baby loves it's pacifier). 

I was thankful to be back at work.  Even though I wanted to stay home for the rest of my life yesterday I actually appreciated being back at work and having something to do.  It was a great test.  I took that amazing feeling from my vacation and carried it through into my day to day life.  One day down, three hundred sixty-some a lot more days to go until we get to do it again.  Yep, I'm counting down!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thankful Thursday 06-16-11

This is a special family camp edition of Thankful Thursday since I spent 5 of the past 7 days there.  Sorry if you were not there, or not familiar with (or interested in) this camp.  Next week I'll be back with more completely random thankful moments. 

Welcome to everyone that is new to my blog!  Every Thursday I post a list of things I am thankful for from the past week and then I throw in another post or two sometime during the week.  There are no guarantees about what I will write about, but I try to focus on finding the positive and choosing your attitude

  • I am excited to tell you that Troy and I are working on a "he said / she said" blog about preparing for his baptism.  Troy has a great story to share about his decision to get baptized and why he is holding off on the actual baptism for a while.  To go along with it I am going to share my point of view, my thoughts on his decision and some of the discussions we had as we both prepared for his big day.  He is not planning on getting baptized for at least a couple months, so look for this special blog post to come out at a later date. 
  • Troy's first camp experience!!!
    • Check out his first (of several to come) blog about his camp experience right here!
  • Lake Doniphan is beautiful!
  • I did plenty of walking, but holy moly did I do plenty of eating to make up for it!  Three big meals a day and I cleaned my plate at every meal.  I needed to get my butt out of bed earlier and go for a walk each morning.  I had great plans of taking early morning walks, but never actually made it on one.   Thanks for the good food!
  • I am so glad that Levi and Issac can sleep through anything and that Troy learned to sleep with the light on so that I could work on writing after they went to bed and before they all got up in the morning. 
  •  I am deeply, madly, crazy in love with my home congregation.  I may share more about this at a later date, but for now let me just tell you that I have never been prouder to say that I am from Odessa. 
  • Levi and Issac are cuddlers.  They want to be touching me all the time, and since I am a touchy feely kind of gal, I loved it.  I have received countless hugs from those two adorable boys! 
    • Maddy gave them a run for their money in the hug race though!  She is such a sweet girl and for whatever reason I am drawn to her and think about her often.  I was so incredibly excited to see her at camp!
  • It was interesting to see that the kids I grew up going to camp with are not there anymore (for the most part - some were there).  I am sure most of them have moved, and it was not a large group to start out with.  It was interesting to see how the adults were the same people I remembered, but the people in my age group were (mostly) new faces to me.  I am thankful for the opportunity to meet new people. 
  • I asked the boys what they were most thankful for about camp:
    • Levi is thankful that he got to see all of his friends that he hasn't seen since last year.  That boy is popular! 
    • Issac is thankful he got to play with Joey!  I am thankful he got to play with Joey too!
  • My family came up on Sunday and spent the whole day.  They even stayed SUPER late so that they could see Elvis and Levi perform in the talent show. 
    • Thanks to the Meyers for staying late too!
    • I was so impressed by how comfortable Levi was performing in the talent show.  He wanted to be in one at school a while back but was too self conscious to commit to anything.  Performing in front of his church friends was easy. 
  • Already wishing the camp dates were announced for next year so we could put in for our vacation!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Minute of Sunshine

We just got back from family camp and I found so much inspiration for this blog.  I just hope I can write it all before I forget it.  Each morning of camp I stood up and presented what was called "A Minute of Sunshine with Misty".  This was my time to share the things I was thankful for from the previous day, similar to what I do each week with my Thankful Thursday posts. 

This was so much harder than I expected because there were so many meaningful things I added to that list before I went to bed each night.  I cried tears of happiness as I wrote down all of the things that touched me during the day.  What an amazingly blessed life I have!

I am sharing my daily lists so that I will be able to look back on them during the year.  When I get discouraged I can come back to this post and remember the feeling of peace and love I experienced and want to spread to others through out the year. 

A Minute of Sunshine with Misty
Saturday, June 11
Dear Lord, thank you for Edna, who recognized me right away.  Even though I haven’t been to camp in almost 15 years, she made me feel right at home.
Thank you for the man in the Mickey Mouse hat who took a group of children fishing.  He is a blessing.
Thank you, Lord, for letting me trip and fall right after I got here.  I already got my embarrassing moment out of the way.
Thank you for the couple walking hand in hand by the lake, for they reminded me how lucky I am to have my husband with me.
Thank you for the self-proclaimed “brats” who have grown into amazing adults and led us in campfire – my favorite memory of camps in the past.
Thank you for my very popular brother Levi, and for Issac, who has accepted me as his sister with open arms.
Thank you Lord for this sweet, sweet day.

Sunday, June 12
Dear Lord, thank you for everyone that admitted to crying with me yesterday.  They each touched my heart.
Thank you for the cold front that moved through and brought cooler temperatures to our campgrounds.  I can now walk to the restroom without breaking a sweat!
Thank you for Josh, who sat quietly on a bench and played the guitar.  He provided the perfect background music as I looked out over the lake.
Thank you for the many hugs I received in celebration of National Hugging Day.  I hope the celebration continues today…and tomorrow…
Thank you for the Dutel family.  From the smallest to the largest they each gave me something to be thankful for.  I am blessed to call them family.
Thank you for those that honor tradition.  We have many great things in our past that are worth repeating.
Thank you for those that bring new ideas to our camp.  You stretch our minds to think about what could be.
Thank you for the reminder that we are all a Sacred Creation.  I will go into today with a fresh new outlook.
Thank you for our first full day of camp.  It was a sweet, sweet day.

Monday, June 13
Dear Lord, thank you that my “hunka hunka burnin’ love” did not have any big injuries last night.  I love you honey, but that was a nasty fall!
I am not a fisherman – never have been and probably never will be; however, I am here with a little boy who wakes up every morning and asks me how much longer until he can go fishing.  Thank you for Keegan, Pete, Tim, and the many others who gave him a hook, bait, or put down their own pole to run over and help him reel in another big one.  He caught the biggest fish of the day and will use that as bragging rights all summer!  What an amazing family we have all found in each other.
Thank you for people like Norman.  I am in awe of his patience and quiet leadership on KP duty.  Thank you for the reminder that leaders are not always the most outspoken one in the group. 
Thank you for the “foo foo” girls and the boys who chase frogs by the lake.  Happiness is contagious, especially when it comes from children.
Thank you for a community where everyone’s talents are appreciated.  Magic tricks, animal sounds, and beautiful music are all reasons to celebrate.  I appreciate a community that has crazy loud applause for every single person. 
Thank you for the opportunity to witness a beautiful baptism last night.  My heart tells me that you have big plans for Felix and I’m excited to see how you use him and his talents.
Thank you for this sweet, sweet day.

Tuesday, June 14
Dear Lord, I have had a rough week at camp and actually considered leaving.   Thank you for the people that brought kind words, a hug, or a break from kids when I needed it most.  I know it was you that sent them to me in my time of need.
Thank you for the people who look out at a lake covered in icky green stuff and see beauty.  They remind me to look deeper. 
Thank you for the young adult class.  I may have sat quietly, but I am taking many things away from that class and you are all in my prayers.
My phone does not get service on these beautiful campgrounds – Thank you!  I have spent time with people, nature, and my own thoughts instead of texting, email, and Facebook.
Thank you for the reminder that the right thing to do is not always the easiest thing to do.  I need to take the hard road more often.
Thank you for the people that came up to me and started a conversation.  I struggle to initiate conversation and so I greatly appreciate those who make the effort.  My weakness is your strength – thank you for sharing it with me. 
Thank you for my husband who was willing to leave his church when we met five years ago so that we could attend church together, as a couple.  This week one of my dreams came true as we attended this camp together.  Later this year he will step into the cold font water at our home congregation and officially make this church his own.  Thank you for making him feel welcome and at home here.
Thank you Lord, for this sweet, sweet camp.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday 06-09-11

  • Preparing for family camp
  • Coffers came over for lunch on Sunday
  • Geocaching with friends
    • Anita loaning us her GPS
  • Finding foods I can put pickles on, because our friends gave us a jar of the worlds best pickles (and I don't even like pickles)
    • This morning I had a hot dog with pickles on it for breakfast.
  • Trying a new cupcakery
  • Attempting to convince my friends to leave their current homes and move into one of the houses for sale by me.  (It's not working, but I'm still hopeful)
  • It was fluffer nutter week at 3 Girls Cupcakes
  • Watching in awe as those brilliant kids spelled really hard words at the Scripps National Spelling Bee
    • and realizing my crush on Dr. Bailly just confirms my love of nerdy boys
  • Speaking of being nerdy....I got excited when I realized GoogleEarth has been updated to reflect that we have a deck and a fence at our house now!
  • Combining a sale ad with a coupon to get something for FREE!!
  • I am incredibly thankful for my husband, who has spent the past year learning camp songs in preparation for this next week.  I married the world's greatest man!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Questions for my own happiness

STAR petitie star charm necklace (gold)

Do you work on making yourself happy? 

Do you make a conscience decision to do more of the things that make you happy and less of those unpleasant activities? 

Do you  make a list of the things you are thankful for at the end of the day?

Does your list include the small things in life like running water, electricity, and soft cool grass under your bare feet?

Have you brought happiness to someone else's life recently?

Have you taken time for yourself, away from the rest of the world, just reflecting on your own life?

Do you look for the positive spin on the the things you used to view as a negative?

Have you set goals for yourself and worked towards fulfilling them?

Do you work on making yourself happy?  Would you give yourself a gold star for your effort?  Is it working?

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I control my own happiness and if I am struggling to find happiness then I need to review these questions and work towards more "yes" answers. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday 06-02-11

  • Spending the big bucks and going out to a real movie theater.  (ok, not big bucks, we saw the cheap $5 early show...but it was at a real movie theater and not just in our living room)
  • Lasagna oozing with melted cheese.  There is no such thing as too much cheese!
  • I did a craft project!  The picture above is an old wooden cheese plate that I redid to match my kitchen.  Yippee for arts and crafts!
  • The tornado's were kind enough to skip over me and my family.
  • The false fire alarm at work provided a much needed leg work out.  23 flights of stairs....  This also reminded me that I need to get back in the habit of using the stairs more often. 
  • We got the paperwork/booklet for Family Camp in the mail, and I have read it cover to cover more than once (ok, more than 5 times).
    • I typed up a pretty color coded schedule with pictures (for Issac, who can't read yet...and because I'm a dork), and included the menu for each meal on each days schedule.  No need to flip through the book for us - it will all be posted right by the door :)
  • Church family night
  • Patience.  I don't always have enough, but I am thankful for those time when I do.
  • Issac is back for the summer and is always a little shy until he gets to know us all again.  He did not want to talk to Troy or I when we first saw him last night, but by the end of the night he was snuggling up to me and mimicking Troy's actions.