Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today is National Trail Mix Day

Bet you didn't know that...
I didn't either until we received a little challenge card in the mail from my parents.

Kahler and I have been challenged by my father (Mr. Trivia) to create a Trail Mix recipe... well, it turns out that yours truly apparently doesn't know the difference b/w trail mix and granola...

I made some kick-A *granola* this morning and in light of National Trail Mix Day, I'm calling it *trail mix*.

Trail Mix (that's really Granola)
3.5 c dried fruit (I used 2 c dried cranberries and 1.5 c coconut)
2 c nuts, chopped (I used pecans)
3 c oats
1.5 c sweet (I used white chocolate chips.  You could use M&M's, chocolate chips...)
1/2 c egg whites
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Pre-heat oven to 250.

Combine cranberries, pecans, coconut, and oats in a large bowl.  Whisk egg whites until foamy (or you can put them in a jar and shake).  Stir egg whites into dry mixture until thoroughly coated.  Stir in sugar until coated.

Spread evenly on a few baking sheets.  Bake at 250 for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.  When you take it out, you want the mixture to be golden-brown, dry and a little crispy.

Immediately pour mixture into a large bowl and add white chocolate chips.  Stir while the chips melt.


And here's a little trivia for my Mr. Trivia father...
*Trail mix has been eaten for hundreds of years- a yummy, energy-packed snack that's easy to eat.
*Native Americans put dried buffalo meat in their mix.
*Some countries call trail mix GORP (Granola, Oats, Raisins, Peanuts)

Happy Trail Mix Day, y'all! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

love and birthdays and stuff...

The first gift I received today was a bottle of wine... and at that point, I knew it was going to be a good day. :)

The rest of my day was followed with laughter, friends, cupcakes, a job that I love, and new running shoes.  My people know me well.

Birthdays make me wildly sentimental.  Every single Facebook birthday wish overwhelms me.  {And it's funny, because I don't usually wish people Happy Birthday on Facebook.}

Here's why I get all teary-eye'ed at every single "Happy Birthday"... I'm a big believer in seasons.  Every season of life has to be approached differently.  We thrive in some seasons, we must simply survive others.  I have been through seasons that I wanted to last forever, and I have been through seasons that I begged God to take me out of.

Even though in the moment I wanted some seasons to be over, I look back on every season I've been through in the past 27 years and thank God for it.  He has taught me different lessons through each season, always revealing His goodness.  And so often, those lessons have come through the people He has put into my life.

Now back to those Facebook birthday wishes... most of the people on who posted on my wall or sent me text messages today don't know each other, but each of them represents a different season, something that has contributed to this journey of mine.

So, if you were one of those folks who took time out of your day to reach into mine... know that it was so much bigger than that.  You took time out of your LIFE and you put it into mine.

God is good, y'all.
{And the people in my life are pretty fab, too!}

Alrighty... enough sentiment.  I'm off to open that bottle of wine!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adventures: Mother Neff

Earlier this spring, Kahler planned us a little woodland getaway.  
(Funny side note: His female co-workers questioned his idea of "romance" when he told them that he was taking me away to sleep in a tent, on the groung... they obviously don't know me too well.) 

We love the unknown.  This most recent move brought us to a new area of Texas, leaving lots to explore.  We spent the weekend at Mother Neff State Park, less than an hour from Waco.

We spent the weekend out of cell phone range, with nothing but the pup and each other.  (The pup, despite looking terrified in this picture, LOVED it.)

We stayed up late by the campfire, dreaming, scheming, and reminiscing.   Where we've been, where we're going.

Mother Neff is a great park for camping in the late fall/early spring.  Lots of trails for hiking and exploring, but nowhere to go swimming if that's what you're looking for.  (And in February, we weren't!)

Love this pup.
Love the outside
Love adventuring with my boy.
{Joy, joy, joy is what you see right here, kids.}

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Beauty from ashes

This past year has been one of the best.
The year before was one of the hardest.

While I was in Africa last summer, I prayed that the Lord would heal my broken spirit and completely free me from some things that were holding me back- bitterness, comparison, jealousy...  You know, those things that are WAY too easy to hold on to, even though He tells us (over and over again) to let them go.  (cue Frozen...)

God did some big things in my heart on that trip, but it's taken me the entire past year to fully embrace this freedom.  (Although I think this state of "freedom" is something that we all have to constantly be re-evaluating because there is SO much in this world that we so easily allow to hold us back.)

I'm so fascinated by the idea that life is a journey.  Where you are today is a result of where you were in the past and the decisions you made there.  Likewise, the decisions you are making today are going to determine where you go in the future.

I've learned that it's the not-so-fun seasons of life that make the sweet things in life even sweeter.  You learn not to take the good things, no matter how simple, for granted.  Those not-so-fun seasons can change you.  Let them soften your heart, open your eyes.

Here's my encouragement to you (and I speak to myself): embrace your season.  I realize that some things about it may be less than ideal, but if you let it, this season will make you a better person, better prepared for whatever it is that lies ahead.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

once upon a time...

there was a girl.
and she had a blog.
and it was oh, so neglected.

if you haven't guessed it yet,
that girl is me and that blog is here.

I kind of doubt anyone stumbles across this little URL anymore, but I'm here tonight.  I'm not committing to anything, but I do miss having a place to put down my thoughts... maybe I'll pop in a little more often.

My father-in-law is back in Rwanda right now and it's got me so homesick.  I'm updating some social media for him and it's just about to pull my heart right out of my chest.

Honestly, I have never been more content- in my job, my marriage, our life circumstances.  And yet there's this lingering discontent- an urge for adventure and culture, a longing to be uncomfortable.

I suppose that's normal.  We're all longing for more in some area or another, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I think it goes back to the surviving or thriving thing.  God calls us to contentment, but not to complacency.  We were created for big things- both in our contentment and our discontent.

The beauty is that He works in both.  He never stops giving us opportunities to follow Him, serve Him, glorify Him.  It's about taking life one day at a time, season by season, and embracing what He is doing in the now.

It's been a while since I've put my thoughts into words and I don't know where all this rambling is going.  Maybe it's a good thing that this blog is so neglected b/c I don't know if anyone could (or would want to) follow this string of thoughts.

It's a crazy thing, this life.


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