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Sunday, February 26, 2012



This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast , cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.  When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying! ,' so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And
you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the
kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City . Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan. 1, and finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'

This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

There are many times I'll get behind a really slow car and I will at least recognize that this may be my "angel" saving me from some terrible mishap up ahead, but I can't say I've ever been the angel.  Maybe I have but didn't know it :)

Have you recognized a time when you are the "angel"?  I would love to head about it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

finding joy

Most of us know joy.  But do you know how to intentionally seek it?

I sort of did but ever since finding Rachel at Finding Joy, I have been able to experience joy much more fully and on a daily basis by being intentional about it.  Her Favorite Things Friday link-up is a great way for me to revisit the things that brought me joy.  So not only do they make me happy at the time but documenting them in this way brings that happiness back for a second dose :)

Here we go...

*Can you find the.....?*
Reading with E before bed is sometimes a challenge.  He just has so many questions I can barely get through the actual story.  But this train book is perfect.  It has so many hidden details in the illustrations, we have more fun pointing them out and talking about them than we do reading the words.  He's one smart cookie I tell ya!

*Playing Madagascar Kart racing on Xbox*
It was L versus E and me versus Hubsy.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn't even come close to Hubsy but I laughed so hard my sides hurt.  Gotta love that.

*A glorious sunrise*
No one was hurt in the taking of this photo I promise;)  It does not do the sunrise justice but I WAS driving and it WAS taken with my phone.  Probably not the safest thing to do.  I was on my way to work listening to K-Love and reflecting on finding God's presence as I crested a hill and *BAM!* there was the sun all fiery and glorious in the sky.  Pure divine creativity right there in front of me. What a way to start the day!

*The simplest gift*
My Dad saved me this" letter from God" that was in a local publication.  It has beautiful concepts about how God loves us and lists each of the passages that they came from.  And to cap it off, it is signed "Your Dad, Almighty God".  He liked it because it was from "both my dads".  So sweet huh.  I absolutely love it and plan to frame it :)

*Trying something new*
Like this Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus from Giant Eagle *love*  
Practically ate the whole thing in one day.

*A health conscious kid*
The words "get healthy" have been swimming around our house a lot lately so it's only natural that the little ones are picking it up.   L wanted to try his hand at the treadmill, in his school clothes and socks no less, but he loves it and wants to get on every time he sees me on it now.

*This picture*
Precious praying hands 

*Blue Soup*
It wasn't supposed to be blue.  It's actually chicken noodle soup that me Hubsy made but we didn't have any regular noodles so he used some Michigan University themed noodles that he received as a gift.  They are shaped like the Michigan "M" and some were even dark Michigan Blue....hence it turned the entire soup a blue green color.  Not very appetizing for the eyes but it still tasted good and gave us a funny memory with our boys going on and on about eating "blue soup" :)

*Entertained kids = our time*
We don't like to use the TV as a babysitter but sometimes there just is no other option if you want a little quiet time together without the constant interruption of "I need a drink" and "look at this" that goes on in our house.  We threw a DVD in the portable player and bought ourselves an hour and a half to talk and watch our shows on TV.  The boys don't look like they minded ;)

What made you happy this week?
Take some time to reflect on all those little things.  They can add up to a whole bucket-full!
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Aromatic Mushroom Galette

Ok.  It's no secret that I am not a whiz in the kitchen.  I'm not terrible, just...inexperienced let's say.  So when I come across something that makes me look like I know what the heck I'm doing, I feel it my duty to pass it along for any other poor souls out there.  You're welcome.

I was gifted with The Dinner Doctor cookbook several years ago and as usual I marked several of the recipes but only ended up making one.  The galette.  It was a hit with me Hubsy so we added it to our repertoire.  Unfortunately the boys turn their collective nose up at anything mushroom so it became somewhat impractical to make if me and Hubsy were the only ones that were going to actually partake of it.
find it here
It became an out of sight out of mind kinda thing.  Until recently when I was revisiting some recipes I hadn't made in a while.  I think this one turned out the best yet.

Aromatic Mushroom Galette
1package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups (8 ounces) pre-sliced mushrooms (I used baby portabellas)
3 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press (I used pre-minced garlic)
2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter, melted
1/2 cup pre-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Unwrap the crescent rolls; you will have 8 triangles.  Arrange the triangles of dough on an ungreased baking sheet or pizza stone so that they form an 8-pointed star.  Start by placing one triangle in the 12 o'clock position, one at 6 o'clock, one at 3 o'clock, and one at 9 o'clock.

 Place the remaining dough in the empty spaces.

The edges should overlap slightly.  Work dough together with your fingers to seal the whole created in the center.
3.  Place the mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, and the parsley and oregano in a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.  Season with salt to taste.  Spoon the mushroom filling into the center of the star, then pull the tips of the dough up , and fold them over the filling to create a bundle.  (The recipe does not call for it, but I added an egg wash here).  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the galette. 
4.  Bake the galette until the crust is deeply browned and the mushroom filling bubbles, 22 to 25 minutes.  Remove the galette from the oven, run a metal spatula underneath to loosen it, then slice and serve warm.  Serves 6-8.

Use this as a sophisticated appetizer at your next gathering or pair it with a nice green salad and glass of white wine for an elegant and light dinner.

I think it's high time I revisit some of the other recipes I marked in this book.  What I love about it is that she gathers several recipes to use with one particular ingredient that you may have already in your pantry.  Check these out...yum!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Heart Day!

More love, I can hear our hearts cryin'
More love, I know that's all we need
More love, to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there's ever an answer
It's more love
-Dixie Chicks "More Love"

If there's ever an answer...it's more love.  I could not agree more.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

It has been WAY too long since I've linked up with Rachel for Favorite Things Friday.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the goings on of life that joy needs to be intentional.  I learned that from Rachel and her link-up is a great way for me to stop and purposefully find the little things that bring me happiness each week.  My blessings are many and I need to not only recognize them but be present in them and soak them up.

finding joy

*Me and the boys got our crafty on!
Remember the Valentines decor ideas I got here?  I'm awesome at getting inspired, it's the follow through that I lack a lot of times so I glad me and the boys actually took the time to make some of the decorations I liked. We made paper hearts and hung them from mini clothespins over our sliding door.  L drew the hearts and helped me with the glitter while E added his stellar scribbling skills for some lovely abstract hearts.  I'm usually pretty anal when it comes to art, I like it to be "perfect" and "my way" but I let that go and just enjoyed my boys' hearts.  They're perfectly imperfect and were indeed made with love and that's why I treasure them :)

I also made my own spin on the framed art decor idea.  So simple!  I used some scrapbooking paper fro the background and cut out my letters from watercolor paper I had.  I also used a stamp with the Chinese symbol for LOVE on it.


*Play On!
I do not do this enough and I know my kids need it bad.  We busted out the Handy Manny dominos.  L would much rather make tracks to knock down than actually play the "real" dominos.  Fine by me :)  We had more fun laughing at our inability to get them all lined up before one of us would accidentally knock them down than anything.  To laugh with them, that was definitely a true joy.

*Some sweet sales!
I brought a mini jewelry display into work this week. I'm lucky that they don't mind me bringing it in a few times a year.  Of course I had to take advantage of all the men I work with and Valentine's Day coming up....you have to make it easy for them ya know :)
Some of the girls showed themselves some love, oh yeah,  let's hear it for the independent ladies ;)
I love the interaction of a face-to-face sale.  Seeing people enjoy my creations is simply priceless.

*Working up a sweat!
Been making it a priority to get some workouts in every week.  Wish I could do more but a working mother I am and likely to be for a long time so I try not to be too hard on  myself.  I actually really enjoy pushing my body.  I was on the rowing team in highschool and also a competative dancer for 9 years. I like to run, just not in the cold weather. I found a great military circuit training workout online and have done it a few times since.

I use these light weights and a treadmill for the cardio part

20 Minutes Circuit Workout
(*choose light weights for max reps)
1) Bench press* or pushups - max in 1:00 (I do pushups)
2) Squats - max in 1:00
3) Pullups or pulldowns - 1:00
4) Bike or jog - 3:00
5) Military press* - 1:00
6) Lunges - 1:00 each leg
7) Bicep curls - 1:00
8) Bike or jog - 3:00
9) Tricep extensions.- 1:00
10) Leg ext - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat squats with weights) (I repeat forward lunges)
11) Leg curls - 1:00 (requires leg machines - or repeat lunges with weights) (I do backward lunges)
12) Situps - 2:00
13) Crunches - 2:00
14) Stretch

Let me tell ya' it will make you sore.  Feels good though, even if I can't get out of my chair without groaning!  There's a satisfaction to be had in pushing yourself.

What have you enjoyed this week?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spreading the Love

In honor of Valentine's Day (which is just around the corner in case you forgot) I am linking up with Megan at Mackey Madness to spread a little love.

I learned about the link up from Anna at IHOD and thought it was such a great idea.  Unfortunately I have this nasty habit of thinking of nice things to do for people and then never getting around to doing them.  I fall into that "I'm too busy right now, I'll do it later" trap.  This link-up was the perfect little kick-in-the-butt I needed to do it NOW and not delay.

I had some things on my mind that I was grateful for and finally let it be known to my loved ones.

1. My appreciation for the sacrifices my parents made to send me to Catholic School where God was a part of my every day. (I wrote a similar one to my mom too).
Hi Dad,
I just wanted to send you a quick note about something that has been on my mind.  It's Catholic Schools week this week and I've been thinking about how thankful I am that L is able to attend Catholic School.  If D didn't work there we likely wouldn't be able to afford for L to still go.  I started thinking about all the sacrifices you and mom made for R and I to be able to go and I just really wanted to tell you how grateful I am for that.  I really don't think I would have come back so strongly to my faith as an adult if it had not been such an everyday part of my life growing up.  I don't think I can truly express how thankful I am that you guys brought God in to my life....a heartfelt THANK YOU is all I know to give.
I love you so very much.
2. My appreciation for my Godparents who still get me an Xmas present every year even at 34 years old!  My Aunt always picks out the most lovely ornaments that I hang on "my" tree.
Hi Aunt Liz!
This note is long overdue but I just wanted to Thank You for the gorgeous Christmas ornaments!  I really love them, I have a whole tree dedicated to my special ornaments and it is mostly covered in ones that you have gotten me :)  Every year I enjoy taking them out and unwrapping them.  They have so much sparkle and beauty and I think of you every time I look at them.
Thanks again!
3.  My appreciation for the inspirational ring my sister gave me for Xmas.
Hi Nae,
I just wanted to write you a quick note to say thank you for my ring that you gave me for christmas.  I never really gave much thought to inspirational jewelry other than a "oh that's a cute idea" type thing.  But I have to tell you that I wear this one about every day and every time I look at the "nothing is impossible" it reminds me to keep going and not give up. Whether it be in regards to Behind The Moon, motherhood, seeking a stronger relationship with God, losing weight, whatever...it honestly helps keep me motivated.  And that is certainly worth a big THANK YOU!
I just wanted you to know that.
I love you!

These were a good start but I think I'll be spreading the kindness to strangers next.  I love the idea Megan had of leaving $5 and an encouraging note on a random cart at the store.  So cool.

So have fun, get creative, and Spread the Love!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Valentine's Day Sale in the shop!

Don'tcha just love Valentine's Day!!!

I'm spreading the love already....
I've put select styles on sale to help you celebrate!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Role Models

I recently heard that Rihanna received some criticism for being a poor role model to which her response was...
"See, people ... they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead. But no, I just want to make music. That's it."

I thought this response was rather disappointing.  We are all role models.  We are all examples of how life can be lived.  Now whether we are good examples or not can be argued.  But like it or not you are a role model simply by your very existence.  I often consider what kind of role model I am for my kids but don't often think about how I may effect others.  I was blessed to receive the following note from a friend and former colleague a while ago after a brief visit.

"Sooo glad I got to see you! Your hair is so long! I love it! I just wanted to tell you real quick that you are such a great person! Your so loving, caring, and friendly and I really look up to you! You are just the perfect role model to me of what kind of wife, mother, and friend I want to be!! You are beautiful inside and out! I cant believe how much I miss talking to you everyday and sharing our life stories and problems LOL! Well just wanted to tell you how I felt since I don't see you everyday anymore!"
I was totally humbled and floored at the same time when I received this.  Yes, there were some tears involved...I'm a crier what can I say?  I have NEVER received something so nice and will forever treasure this note and my sweet friend Kelly who wrote it ;) 

It was so cool that I received this note on the same day that I received a lovely one from someone I consider to be one of my role models....Miss Kelley from Kelley's Kids & etc.  Since meeting Kelley in blog world, she has quickly become a friend and someone I admire greatly.  She approaches life with humor, grace, and a whole lot of faith.  I love reading her posts.  She has also shared with me through emails and reached out to me in support of my desire to grow my faith. 

She gifted me with this lovely Bible and I can't tell you how much that show of support and all her prayers for me have impacted my life.  To reach out like that to someone you don't even "know"....that is the kind of giving heart I want to have.  She is such an encouragement to me as a mother, friend, and daughter of Christ.  She is a truly remarkable woman whom I hope to know for a long time to come :)

What role models do you admire in your life?

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