10 December 2008

30 Years of Blessings

The anticipation of today has not been a joy. It's o.k. if someone else turns 30. They're not a day older to me then they were 5 years ago. I took no pity on Matt when he was unhappy at turning 30 and couldn't imagine that it would be "that big a' deal" when my turn came. Then it came a little closer and a little closer. I declared that there would be no cake today. No presents and no fanfare, to boot. I wanted my kids to be extra good and wanted permission to lounge around the house and shirk my responsibilities.

But, something interesting happened to me this morning and I felt to share it with you.

As I knelt to pray this morning I began to give thanks for this day. As I continued my prayer my memory was flooded with blessings the last 30 years have brought. Today has unexpectedly turned from a day of loathing maturity and normal gratification to a day to review the many, many blessings I enjoy.

I'm grateful for life. That it has been preserved for 30 years. That 10,957 times I've laid my head to rest and been kept safe and warm. That 10,958 times I've lifted my head from my pillow and experience something during that day. I am grateful for good days. I thank my God that I've had so many. I'm thankful for terrible days. I give thanks that I survived them and inevitably grew from them. I'm thankful that through the very hard times I've seen just what I'm made of. I'm grateful that during those hard times, and the good times too, I've been surrounded by so many good and gracious people. I am so very glad for friends who are righteous and friends who love me more then I deserve. I'm so grateful for people who have helped me yet do not know me. I am so overwhelmingly grateful for family. I thank God for family that went before me and smoothed some bumpy roads so that my way would be easier and I could go further. I love and give thanks for parents who gave everything for me, who sacrificed and loved me regardless of my faults and sometimes slow growth. I am thankful, so thankful for sisters and a brother who have stood by my side and been my loyal friends. I am grateful for my now family. I am so grateful for a husband who is loyal to me and faithful in everything. For standing by me and supporting me through very difficult moments. For sharing this life experience with me regardless of the test or lessons learned. I am thankful for the family that he brought with him. I thank a loving Heavenly Father for allowing me to have his precious children in my home. For allowing me a small taste of his joys and sorrows as a parent. I'm so grateful that my children are beautiful and healthy and free. I am thankful for country life in my youth. I am so thankful it taught me to work hard and live simply and to appreciate all of the Lord's beauty. I am so grateful for the time I have had to live in and see the busy east coast lifestyle.

Most importantly I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, my heavenly brother who suffered so I could be forgiven of things that would keep me from being with our Father in Heaven. I am thankful that he gave his life and took it up again, so should I die before I see 31 I will yet live again and be with my family the sealing power within the walls of his holy temples.

I look forward to another year of undeserved blessings and strength and pray the Lord blesses you with the same and the ability to see and feel all that you have also received.


09 December 2008

August 15, 2009 अगस्त १५, २००९

Yesterday I was in CVS and a little plastic stick asked me to take it home. Once I got home it told me a little secret.

This is what it said:

08 December 2008

An exhausting couple of wonderful weeks अन एक्स्हौस्तिंग कपल ऑफ़ वोंदेर्फुल वीक्स

I started to write up a new post the weekend of Thanksgiving and managed to draft one paragraph. This is how it began and ended: "At this very moment I am sitting on my couch very sore and unbelievably exhausted. Please, no pity. It was all very much self inflicted and throughly enjoyable." After hitting the period I promptly fell asleep on the couch (shoes, coat and all) and was woken up by a confused husband around 3:15 in the morning.

So, let me run through our Thanksgiving weekend and some of the interesting things since.

Wed PM: Seth arrives, preparing the feast begins. Now when I say it begins that means Seth and Matt sit down and create cooking tables, time lines, and spreadsheets. Please see picture for visual example of genetic neurosis. Of course, I can't mock too excessively. I got pretty excited when I was brining a laundry basket upstairs and my eyes beheld the splendor of their graphs! I actually caught my breath.

Thursday: Morning started with Turkey Bowl. Seth stayed home with the kids while Matt and I went and played a tough game of football. I was the only woman but I think I held my own o.k. We won all our games. Matt had some phenomenal plays and I didn't mess up to bad. No interceptions but I did manage to catch all the balls that were thrown at me and even quarterbacked with a football bigger then my head. Matt and I (and 3 out of 4 of our 'Elders'- I don't know what's so elderly about them!) we in what we considered excruciating pain by the time dinner rolled around. Seth and Matt slaved away in the kitchen all day and stayed right on track until the guests started to arrive. We were joined by 9 of our dear friends. We had our 4 missionaries. There was Elder Potter, Elder Juarez, Elder Mickelsen, and Elder Hess. The Mamet's also joined us for their first Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time and ate until we were in pain. After a while Seth pulled out his light sabers and the Elders had a great time reenacting scenes from Star Wars. They have all the photos and haven't shared them yet but I'll confiscate them sooner or later and post them when I do. At the bottom of this blog I'll write all the details of our menus.

(Thanks to Zohar for pinch hitting on the pictures. Lesson learned: don't leave your camera in the freezing cold car.)

Friday: If I thought I was in pain on Thursday I was so very mistaken. I nearly cried when I got out of bed. It was the best incentive for daily work out I've ever had. Have I actually tried to work out daily? No. Something to work on though. But, back to our Friday. We began the day by sleeping in and lingering around doing next to nothing. Just like Black Friday should be. No stores, crowds, or trampling for cheap things that will end up in the trash in 5 years for us! Matt and Seth seem to consider cooking relaxing because even after being cooking feens on Thursday they got right to work Friday creating an interesting Lobster Ravioli and Eggs Benedict dish. Friday evening our fabulous Oliva and wonderful Yvonne watched the kids while Matt, Seth, and I went on a date. Sadly enough, I was the 3rd wheel. We went to see Quantum of Solace which I entirely enjoyed and dinner which was very tasty. I spent the rest of the night making crepes for our correlation meeting the next morning.

Lobster Ravioli and Eggs Benedict

Making the ravioli

Saturday: Seth and I were busy preparing the fillings for our crepes while Matt retrieved the missionaries. We had a great meeting and amazing food. Some of the deliciousness we put into our crepes was chocolate and vanilla pudding, strawberries and bananas, eggs and bacon, and one more, my favorite which was inspiration on Seth's part. Sweetened smooth ricotta with raspberry preserves filled the crepe while nutella and whipped cream and a homemade raspberry reduction topped it. It was heavenly. The Elders then helped us rake some remaining leaves. The rest of the day was uneventful.

Elder Potter, always working hard!

Pretty Elder Mickelsen and matchy, match, match Lucy.

Elder Juarez offering his moral support.

It's autumn time, it's autumn time, the leaves are falling in massive piles all over our freakin' yard!!!

The gimp (Elder Mickelsen) putting his good knee into it!

Elder Potter... still working hard. (he was the elder that wasn't sore the next day)

Trying to keep up with the Elders.

Since then: Work on our little business venture has been going very, very well. Our friend, Nicole Head has decided to be baptized. I've been doing as much as possible to help Jen and Mo pull their wedding together and will be working on their wedding cake next Friday (Weez... wanna play with some fondant?) There is one other thing I've been working on but you'll have to read an upcoming blog to learn more.

Here's the promised Thanksgiving menu:
  • Appetizers
    • Lobster Ravioli dressed with brown butter and sage
    • Butternut Ravioli dressed with brown butter and sage
    • Fried Ricotta and Mozzarella Ravioli served with marinara
    • Homemade Roasted Sugar and Spice Pecans
    • Vegetable Platter
    • Pastry Blanketed Brie with Raspberry Preserves served with various crackers
    • Shrimp served with cocktail sauce
    • Deviled Eggs
  • Main Dishes
    • Whole Smoked Turkey
    • Smashed Potatoes
    • Haricot Verts sauteed with shallots and bacon
    • German Red Cabbage
    • Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing
    • Simple Stuffing
    • Homemade Cranberry Sauce
    • Gravy
    • 5 Israeli Salads
  • Desserts
    • Chocolate Mousse Pie
    • Chocolate Pecan Pie
    • Pumpkin Pie
    • Apple Pie
    • Lemon Meringue Pie
    • Chocolate Pudding Pie
    • Halvah (חלבה) with Apple Slices
  • Beverages
    • Martinelli's Sparkling Cider
    • Water served with side of lemon
    • Cold Apple Cider
    • Pepsi
    • Sunkist
    • Hot Chocolate
    • Herbal Tea
(Special thanks to Seth for providing all the not-so-standard ingredients!)