Monday, June 27, 2011


One of my very dear friends just moved away… for good.  We have known each other for about 7 years and we have become very good friends in the last few years.  I have never really had a friend move away, even as a kid.  I grew up in one house, in one town.  And, most of my friends did too.  In college you expect people to go their own direction and “leave” after school, either to return to their home towns or take a job somewhere else.  My best friend from college went on to graduate school while I got a job.  We are still in touch (she is even coming to visit this summer!) but we have never really lived near each other (unless you count our dorm rooms).  So this is really the first time someone I am close to has left. 

It is strange.  I am excited for my friend's new adventure and what it means for her family and her personally.  But honestly, I am nervous and sad.  Nervous that our GNO group will fall apart… that I will not continue to challenge myself to grow in my faith… that I won’t have someone to give me an honest perspective on Little Man and his challenges… that I won’t be connected as much… that I won’t have someone who wants to get together with me and my kids.  And I am sad that she will not be in my life on a regular, personal basis.  She is a Facebook friend, but it is just not the same. 

I know I am responsible for my own growth and for making and keeping friends.  But my friend is really good about finding something for me to step up to (reading the bible in a year, memorizing verses, reading, having a conversation on a deeper level than just “kid talk,” etc.).  Something of these things I would never do on my own.  My friend steps out to make play dates and initiates getting together with people.  She is the first one to call (or text actually!).  I love doing those things, but I do not take the initiative.  I guess I make the assumption the other person does not really want to get together and is just being nice or they are too busy with their own lives.  I am afraid with my friend not prompting me, I will shrink back into my little world because I am not stepping out.  And I am a little angry at myself for not taking her example and being more responsible for my own connections to people and growth. 

So, I am going to honor my friend:

I will be the person who initiates things. 
I will be the person to read for the pure pleasure of reading, despite the distractions of life.
I will be the person to get involved in things that mean something to me on-my-own, without being asked. 
I will be the person to keep our GNO group organized. 
I will be the person to organize the book club several of us have talked about. 
I will be the person who, in the heat of the moment with Little Man, will remember my friend’s words. 
I will do these things, not because she wants me to.
I will do these things because she helped me discover that I want these things.

So my friend, cheers to your next chapter.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you.

friend, faith builder, reality check and tequila shots
You mean the world to me.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have come across the topic of marriage from many different directions over the last few weeks.  I posted about being on guard with my own marriage and how I want to protect it.  That very same day, I read this post at We are THAT Family.  I think this post is a beautiful summary of what I want my kids to know about marriage and what it means to be committed.  What is God telling me with all these prompts?

And, if you haven't read Kristin over at We are THAT Family, you should.  She is one of my daily reads… very insightful, challenging, funny and honest.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pasta Salad

I found this recipe here a few years ago.  I made it for my niece's high school graduation party and it was a big hit.  I just made it again this passt weekend for our Girl's Night Out group wine tasting day lunch.  Again it was a hit.  I adapted the recipe a bit from the original.  It is super easy, but you do need to start it the day before so it can sit overnight.  It is a great party salad because it is not a mayo based pasta salad so it can sit out.  Enjoy!

Antipasto Pasta Salad - Serves 12

1 pound pasta shells (I use bow tie)
1/4 pound salami, chopped
1/2 pound Asiago cheese, diced
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
1 (.7 oz) package of dry italian-style salad dressing mix
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain, and cool under cold water.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, Asiago cheese, black olives, bell peppers and tomatoes.  Stir in envelope of dressing mix.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  (the original recipe says you can refrigerate for an hour, but I have never done that).

3.  To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Taste the dressing to make sure the flavor is right; I have added more balsamic so it is not too olive oily.  Pour over pasta mixture, stir to coat well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

On Guard

A few weeks back I was talking to someone about the divorce statistic like one in five couples end up in divorce.  Don’t quote me on the statistic, I haven’t Googled it or anything; but it is something like that.  I said you look around our neighborhood and of the 70 or so homes; divorce has had to impact some of them.  At the time, I didn’t know of anyone.  I speculated in my mind who might be “one” of the five (purely based on rumor or speculation).  Well yesterday, the “one” was identified.  A neighbor’s house around the corner had a new For Sale sign out front.  Another neighbor’s daughter happened to be in the car with us when we saw the sign.  When I commented on the sign, she said they were getting a divorce (according to her mother who knows the family).  What a life changing event.  The mom has gone back to work, the kids have lost their stablility, the Dad is not involved on a day to day basis… now they are losing their family home.  I do not know them well other then an occasion wave or quick conversation.  But, my heart just aches for the two of them and their kids. 

Just yesterday I ran into another statistic on the internet that about 65% of divorces are not the plate throwing messy splits your read about.  That 65% of divorces are because the couple just fell out of love, had a mediocre marriage or just drifted apart and wanted different things. 

These few promptings really have put on me how much I need to guard my own marriage.  Chief and I have a wonderful marriage.  He is my best friend and can make me laugh like no one else.  We work well together… we can bounce ideas off each other and usually come up with a good plan.  My heart still skips when I think of him; not every time (heck we have been married for 14 years), but it does still skip!  But, with the busyness of life, I think we take for granted how well we like each other and we take for granted that we will always like each other.  If we do not guard against the distractions of the world, we could wake up to find we are the “one in five”; not the plate throwers (I will want to take my dishes with me!), but one of the 65% that just drifted apart. 

Disclaimer:  Our marriage is not in trouble!  Please don’t read this as a foreshadowing of an impending divorce.  Far from it.  We have a wonderful relationship… not without bumps like any marriage… but a wonderful one.  This has just got me thinking that divorce could happen to anyone (even to those that say divorce is not an option) if you do not guard yourselves and your relationship.

Ok back to my thoughts… So as Chief and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary in a few days, I am going to guard my marriage.  I am going to protect what we have.  I am going to put our relationship on the top of the list and I am going to edit things out to be able to do that.  My marriage is a precious gift to me.  I love you Chief.