Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet Sarah

Be praying for Sarah and her family (I came across her blog while on another friend's blog and I spent all evening reading her story)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 1:1-12

I didn't know Sarah, but now I feel like I do. I memorized her face so I will recognize her when I get to heaven. I could definitely feel that you were a light here on earth and I can confidently say I know your light will never burn out. Shine bright firefly, shine bright... just some thoughts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too soon?

Am I absolutely off my rocker for wanting to by a stuffed animal for my kid... a kid I don't have?... nor I am pregnant with? I love it! And I dislike you Pier One for putting me in this predicament.

There's a new Chef in the House

One thing Matt didn't consider... if you show skill, get ready for more responsibility! His meal was so wonderful that I have asked him to cook more often. I was very pleasantly surprised with his culinary skills. Maybe he has simply be holding out on me all these years. We had shrimp pasta in a white wine cream sauce, caesar salad and ice water with heart-shaped swirly straws. After dinner, we continued the festivities on our sofa, watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and each eating our fav M&M's. The hubs also got me a wonderful card and a plant, which I am learning to love... "Hello, my name is Melissa and I have a brown thumb". Hands down the best V-day ever.

I am SO thankful for God giving me the love of my life, a great meal and absolutely ZERO expectations for yesterday.

Dessert! I would do anything for PB M&M's!
(we ended up getting one another very sweet and sensitive cards...
or squirrels talking about their nuts
and good 'ol cowboy lovin'... YEE HAW)

It might have taken us longer to clean the kitchen,
than it took him to cook the meal, but oh well.
We are making memories!

Monday, February 14, 2011

To all my loves out there

Currently, I am sitting with my footsies propped up, listening to sweet tunes, while my husband slaves away in the kitchen. My sweet hubs came home from work with a load of groceries, which is kind of a double treat (I am the primary grocery shopper and chef around here). As for the main course, he dropped the phrases "shrimp pasta", "wine sauce" and "Maggiano's take-out menu", so either way I know it will be okay ;) Having Matt cook is sort-of a catch-22 for me. I certainly am enjoying the view from the living room, but I cannot help but catch a glimpse over my computer every now and then to ensure my kitchen is not going up in flames or anything. Counting tonight, he will have cooked for me a total of 3 times in the last 7 years, one of which we ended up with PB & J sandwiches and chilled apple juice on a picnic blanket in the hills of Alamo Heights. The sandwiches and juice might have been simple, but the memory certainly is not! So far, I have only been called into the kitchen twice... Once, to show him how to pull and peel a clove of garlic (he was quite impressed with my "swift slap using the flat-edge of the knife" trick to make peeling that much earlier). And secondly, to see if the shrimp were done cooking.

But, now to post on the same topic from this weekend... FOOD!

Saturday, we enjoyed the company of some dear friends over a fine meal. Marissa, made some amazing red potatoes sprinkled with rosemary and lemon, while her hubs, Rob grilled some serious chicken. Matt and I brought a fresh greens salad with bleu cheese and pears, and proschuitto wrapped asparagus for an appetizer. And we ended the evening by sending our selves into a sugar coma with chocolate milk shakes, fudge and baked apples. My pancreas still hasn't recovered. I made the fudge from a new recipe I found on Mrs. Betty Rocker's awesome blog. It was Birthday Cake fudge (basically fudge with yellow cake batter added in... yes, another catalyst to sugar coma).

Not to mention, last night I made some delicious Buffalo Chicken sandwiches with bleu cheese crumbles and a side of carrot sticks.

Now that you all have gained 10 lbs. reading my post, I better sign off (I am being summoned to the kitchen again). I will be sure to update everyone on how the dinner turns out!

May your evenings be filled with love, joy and happiness. Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh brother, you rock this

Loving Andrew Bird's melodic cover of Bob Dylan's "Oh Sister"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I guess my warranty is up!

Anything that goes wrong with me medically is NEVER cheap and is ALWAYS coupled with two or three additional aliments. I have been scanned so much I feel like I should be glowing at this point. And I am seriously contemplating just donating my body to science so they would pay my medical expenses (given they would even want my poor body). This post is somewhat unexpected, seeing as I just posted early this year about my physical turnaround. And yes, it has been quite the turnaround, but that still doesn't mean I don't have trying days. The financial end of things seems to wear on me just as much as the sickly feelings of exhaustion. Matt and I are surviving on one income while I am school and we definitely experiencing what the rest of our country is in simply trying to stay afloat! I am so so SO thankful I had my car/first degree paid for, because we would truly not be surviving with debt from both Matt and I. And as much as my medical expenses are I am especially thankful for two things:

1. Health Insurance (our end of the expenses was probably around $6-7,000 just last year alone, but it's so small compared to what it would have cost. Let's just say the total would have equalled to a really REALLY nice car).

2. My supportive husband (he has been so joyful and strong through it. It is his job that provides our coverage and we have had to pay out for the more expensive coverage because we never know what I might need. I think he has only used it once, and he has never said anything but "I am sorry you are having to do this" whenever I rack up $100's upon $100's for scans, biopsies, consults, follow-ups or medications! I know I have no control over the procedures I need, but I still love him that much more for being who he is and never complaining once about it).

So, with my fresh needle sticks and glowing self I am annoyed, but thankful. I am worn down, but faithful. We are more broke, but we more closer with our sweet Lord because of it.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Place

I studied with a sweet friend from 9am-3pm today, ate Chipotle for lunch, walked around Pier 1 for a break, ran with the hubs and dog this evening and now I am curled up in his robe listening to the sweet sounds of Priscilla Ahn and reading my favorite magazine on the planet.

Great end to a great day... I am in my happy place!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Apparently I am stylin'

I have been slapped with a "Stylish Blogger Award" by two of my loves, Linz and Morgan. They are sisters, serious addicts of Dr. Pepper and two of my dearest friends. So thanks ladies!

With this award comes some serious responsibilities...

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you (see above)
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award to 10 great bloggers
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award

So, here we go... my 7 things!

1. I was just informed by my sweet husband that the word "blog" is a verbally condensed phrase that actually came from "web log" (say it 10X fast and you will get the idea) . So, I guess this officially makes me nerdy, or just married to a nerd :)

2. Now, I feel compelled to say something more uplifting about my hubs. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created my sweet husband and I know he had his attributes in mind when he created me four years later. He is strong is ways that I am weak, and great in ways that I often fail. He is ever so patient and possesses such a joyful heart and generous spirit. And he will contribute to some very beautiful babies someday!

3. I have an OCD obsession about water in the bathroom, or should I say, where water shouldn't be in the bathroom. I strongly dislike water around the sink, tube and especially toilet (if there's water around the toilet that probably means it 's overflowing annnd that would be gross). I probably spend way too much time wiping up water around the sink and I am exceptionally cautious about getting water around the bathtub when I shower... I even dry the bottom of my feet before I step out.

4. I am a lover of art! Both the hubs and I come from artistic backgrounds (Matt's grand-dad and every female on my side starting with my grandmother), and we love all things creative. I am proud to say that every painting/drawing displayed, or that will be displayed, in our home was either done by us, for us or is a relative of us (our count is now at 6 and will expand whenever we have more walls to show them off).

5. I do not have any vices per say, I mean I enjoy an occasional Starbucks or coke, but it is definitely not something I would have withdrawals from if I had to go without. However, there is one thing I cannot resist and I'm sad to say it is school supplies (this may or may not be the reason I will finish my second collegiate degree in less than 7 years). I mean who could resist a new package of Sharpie pens, a crisp stack of dividers or their very own Dymo Label maker!!!

6. I am jealous, a healthy jealousy be that as it may, of people who's gifts are so obvious and saturated with God's blessings that you look at them and know 100%, that position was destined for them! There are some people I've encountered or works I have seen that are so mind-blowing I cannot help but say to myself, "You were meant to be an artist... or an athlete... or a minister... or a teacher... or a mother, etc." I have always had a hunger for my gifts to be as prevalent as some I have witnessed, and whether they are already apparent or not I hope that eventually my ears, eyes and heart are open to whatever they may be.

7. Golly, this better be a good tidbit about myself, being my last one and all. So, I guess I would have to end by saying I could probably be classified as a hopeless romantic, minus the hopeless part. I live for moments, both in the present and the future. Moments like experiencing my first child's birth, window shopping with a Starbucks in hand (eek, maybe it is a vice), having picnics in the park, snuggling on the couch on a cold winter's day, etc.

And here's to some other fabulous blogger's out there...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Somebody call a Priest

If I had to describe my night last in one word it would probably have to be... unbelievable! Matt was sick all day with a stomach virus, i.e. he was in the bathroom all afternoon, and I really felt for the poor guy. I spent the day out and about, running errands and hanging out with my madre and then took our little buddy over to my mom and stepdad's for dinner. During our meal, our little buddy got into some cat poop outside, which I would like to think he mistook the cat poop for a Godiva truffle, but sadly that's probably not the case. So, upon returning home and trying to enjoy a movie with my sick hubs, our little buddy decided the cat poop was not a smart choice and proceeded to vomit (projectile, that is) all over our newly shampooed carpet (6 times to be exact). I have never seen so much fluid in my entire life, nor have I ever wanted to smell cat poop for a second time around. I wasn't sure if I should call the vet or call for an exorcism... to be fair Matt and I did pray over him and over our carpet :(

I had already been sweetly serving my hubs all day and now I was subjected to scrubbing 6 enormous spots on our carpet. Shout out to Woolite Heavy Traffic carpet cleaner! Out little buddy spent majority of the evening on our bathroom floor, minus our bathmats, until I surrendered control and let him into the bedroom at 3 am (not sure if it was more because I felt sorry for him or solely due to the fact that he didn't stop whining for 3 straight hours). So, I am thankful for a new day and thankful for some new revelations...

1. I am rethinking this whole nursing thing (Please God let me have a CLA, Clinical Nurses Aid, to clean up vomit, because my gag reflex really cannot handle it).

2. In the future I will NEVER HAVE CARPETED FLOORS! Hardwood floors, tile or stained concrete is the way to go!

3. Always have a surplus of Woolite around when you have children... or a dog that eats cat poop!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just like the carol says...kinda

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
(Well, today it was actually quite beautiful)
And the fire was so delightful
(I can't wait to have one of these someday)
So, since there's no place to go
(that's right, no school today)
Let it snow, Let is snow, Let is snow!

I prayed hard for snow last night, and not just because I didn't want to go to class this am. Sometimes, a day home with the hubby and snow on the ground is just what you need. I couldn't deal with snow everyday, but a couple hours of fun was all I needed. I woke up Matt at 5:30 am to first let him know both our schools were closed for the day and then to check for snow (yea, he wasn't too excited about the snow part, given he is from New Jersey and all). Then I insisted we all go downstairs to check it out. Again, he was less than pleased, but he followed me down the stairs nonetheless all the while grumbling, "the whole point in a day off is to sleep in Mel" while I retorted, "It's a moment, how often does it snow in SA and our buddy has never seen snow".

And it was worth it...

We were the first to crunch in the freshly fallen powder
(I think the crunch under my boots was my favorite part)

He couldn't stop sniffing it!
And while he didn't eat any "yellow snow",
he did make some brown snow :(

I know it's nothing compared to what my
Sis is getting in Dallas, but still exciting!

My snowmobile

Then we celebrated with Belgian Waffles
and snuggles on the couch
(after we went back to sleep for another 4 hours)

My tootsies stayed warm late into the afternoon

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I am not a lover of the cold. I enjoy the seasonal change. I look forward to wearing cute sweaters, boots and scarves. But, I am not a lover of the cold. I have technically never seen snow, but I have seen slush. Does that count? I do dream of a white Christmas at some point and being able to mark "making a snow angel" off my bucket list. But I know I could not handle it year round.

However, today I braved the frigid temps and took my pup trail running in Eisenhower park. I dressed as warmly as I deemed appropriate without looking silly. But, I was still very cold. I did run kleenex in hand and contemplated just stuffing it up my nose, but I am pretty sure that would fall under the no-no's of runner's etiquette (or any etiquette for that matter). Not to mention, near the end of my run the cold cold cold air had caused so much vasoconstriction (nursing term) and surface irritation that my entire lower limbs were incredibly itchy. I could have clawed my skin off... probably still a no-no. I am glad all the other running enthusiasts were sane enough to stay home this morning. Especially because I am sure I looked so ridiculous running with fists full of kleenex while scratching my entire back side!

Celiac Update Yr. Dos

When most people learn I have Celiac Disease their response is "Oh that sucks". Well, yes it sometimes does suck. It sucks not being able to utilize coupons to certain restaurants because I cannot eat their apps, entrees, or desserts. It sucks having to pack a separate bag for my food every time I travel. It sucks having to pay 5X the cost for bread. It sucks having to eat before I go to a party or celebration because I don't know if I will be able to eat anything there. But for the diet as a whole, it really doesn't suck all that bad.

I have been blessed with a problem that is curable with lifelong diet alterations. I don't have to be on medication, I don't have to worry about ever truly struggling with weight gain, and the best blessing of all is just having an answer. I was so so sick and in so much pain and the fear of the unknown was the worst. Every symptom seemed to point to Liver Cancer and my darkest fear was that it was true. But, God-willing it wasn't.

After being diagnosed I thought my pain, my nausea and my fatigue were behind me. I was wrong. My poor immune system was shot at that point and even altering my diet wasn't going to give me an instant turn around. I was catching everything under the sun. And not just a sniffle or a sneeze. A 24-hr stomach bug would leave me with projectile vomiting for over 5 days. Changes in weather caused full blown ear infections and severe bronchitis. I even tore cartilage in my ribs during all this. I had some form of debilitating illness for 10 out of 12 months in a calendar year. But, I knew God was faithful. I prayed for an answer and he gave me a diagnosis. And with that diagnosis I expected immediate results(which on my time-line of things didn't really come). But, I prayed and cried and endured because I knew things would get better.

So, as of year two things ARE better. I still struggle with nausea, seasonal allergies, and other complications that come with Celiac (IBS, joint problems and fertility issues), but I know they will all get better. I still have long road in front of me, but my God is good. My God loves me and wants good things for those who love him. I will continue to heal and become stronger, physically as well as spiritually. And I have never been more thankful!

"And He said to her, Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
Luke 8:48