3/27/2013

I've Never Told Anyone

 
Sitting here typing this post through bursts of tears and an aching heart. I'm choosing to share this so I can heal. I've kept it inside too long. Now I release it and give it over to God.

It had been a long, hard week. All I wanted to do was escape this sudden reality I had been thrown into just weeks before. My heart hurt, my faith was shaken. It felt like my whole world would soon cave in around me. Day in and day out, I was there. We all were. We stayed by your side. Waiting and watching, but most of all praying. Praying for God's intervention. Praying that a miracle would arise out of this nightmarish predicament. Praying for strength and for peace of mind.

We stayed there as the hours clicked on. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. All we could do was wait. You had stopped talking days before. But I will never forget the last thing you uttered to me. I had leaned down to kiss your forehead, ran my hand over your soft grey hair. I told you I loved you, I'd be back the next day, goodbye. I'll hang on to those final raspy drawn out words. I love you too, baby girl.

On June 12th, 2012 we all gathered around you, Dad. But I got tired and my heart was so so heavy. I felt as though I needed a break. All I wanted to do was curl up into myself and stay there until all of this was over. I left early that night, Daddy. Something deep down told me I should have stayed, but I ignored it. I didn't have a chance to say bye to you that night. I will see you in the morning, I thought. Garrett drove me home and the guilt began to rise. I tried my best to push it away. I fell into our bed wanting desperately to drift away to dreamland. I just needed a break. I was hurting so badly.

The next morning, the doctor called to tell us that your breathing had changed throughout the night. She said that we should all make our way over, as soon as possible, to say our final goodbyes. I can't do this, I thought to myself. But I managed to pull it together. I had to speak to him one last time. I had to tell him goodbye since I didn't get a chance the night before. I had to make it up to him. I had to whisper the words in his ear so he'd know I hadn't forgotten about him.

But I was too late. The doctor called again as we were pulling into the parking lot. I was too late. All I remember are flashes of what happened next. My Mom screaming, people looking at us with empty eyes and quickly making our way to the room only to find your worn out body laying, breathless, in that hospital bed. My uncle was sitting beside you, sobbing into his hands. I was too late. I didn't make it. I didn't get to tell you. Those words never had a chance to grace my lips. I'm sorry, Dad.

GOODBYE, FOR NOW.

3/20/2013

Irish Soda Bread


This post is a bit late, but better late than never. We celebrated St. Patty's Day with my family on Monday night and I was in charge of dessert. I knew I wanted to make something authentic and from scratch. After looking through tons of recipes, I opted for Irish soda bread. Now, traditionally this is not a sweet bread. So, really, I put my own twist on it and surprisingly it turned out well. This would be a great breakfast bread. Looking forward to having some with my coffee.

Ingredients:

½  teaspoon baking soda
 ¾ cup sugar
1⅓ cups buttermilk
 1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup raisins
powdered sugar
½  teaspoon baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350°. Mix all of your dry ingredients together well, then stir in the raisins and the milk. Keep mixing until it forms a sticky dough. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. I'd say about 10 times. Make sure not to over knead it. I would also recommend putting oil on your hands before kneading. It is something I failed to do and it made it very difficult. The dough kept sticking to my fingers. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and add the dough, making sure that it's spread out. As you can see, I used silicone bakeware and it came out nicely. Score the dough with a large "X" on top and place it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. You can make sure that it's fully cooked by sticking a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, take it out. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat within 1-2 days after baking or it'll go bad.

3/18/2013

Influences

Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

In life, people come and people go. Some help us, some teach us, but most influence us in some way or another. Looking back on 23 years of life, it wasn't hard to notice the two individuals who have influenced me the most. My Mom and Dad. Like all good parents, they helped mold me into who I am today. Through their ups and downs, through their victories and failures. They have both been such an important part of my life. The way that they both chose to live their lives will never cease to inspire me.

celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in 2010

My Mom is the most gracious woman that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her faith in God, her sweet and gentle spirit, her wisdom, her modesty, her strength. She gives without hesitating and expects nothing in return. If there's a need, she'll bend over backwards to see that it's met. She has a heart of gold, I tell ya. I'm honored to be her daughter and I can only hope to be half the woman she is.

Sadly, my Dad passed away in June of last year. I'll always remember the things that he taught me. Like my Mom, he had a heart for people. He was always taking people under his wing, helping them out and showing them the love of Jesus. He would reach down into the lowest places and pull people out of their messed up lives. He would brush them off and give them hope. A hope that could only be found in God. Out of all the things I've learned from my Dad, one thing sticks out the most. He never gave up. If he fell down, he would get right back up — even if it took a few tries. He knew he needed God's strength to push through his weaknesses. He had seasons where he struggled with his faith, but he never walked away completely. That's one of the most valuable lessons someone can learn.

I love both my parents so much. They'll never know how much wisdom they've imparted into me.


3/11/2013

A Valuable Lesson

What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned this year so far?

Each day brings a new lesson, but God has been teaching me this particular one for quite some time. I am learning not to worry. God is in control of each and every circumstance I will ever face. It's taken me too much time to realize the importance of trusting Him. Not just trusting Him for our provisions, but trusting in His timing. I need to have faith in Him no matter how hopeless a situation may appear. He will always provide in His timing. He'll never leave us stranded.

photo via Pinterest

There have been numerous times, just this year, when I've been afraid things won't work out. Be it with work, family situations, etc. Just when I feel like giving up completely, He steps in and works everything out. If I've seen Him do it a thousand times, why do I still get stressed over things? Just like Matthew 6:27 states. "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" It's true The whole Bible is, lol. Worrying about something only makes things worse. I have decided to turn my worry into faith. Every single time a new obstacle arises, I'll thank God in advance for working everything out, because I know He always will!

3/08/2013

Recent Finds No. 5

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

1. Really liking this firepit. Hoping to recreate one in our backyard in the future.

2. Buddha bowls. Wish these weren't so darn expensive, because I'd buy a few.

3. Arrow industrial bar. How cool is this? Actually found a similar one via Amazon.

4. A cucumber margarita recipe. Can't knock it until I've tried it, so I would give it whirl.

5. Beautiful painting. Too bad the person who uploaded it failed to link back to its source.

3/06/2013

This Place We Call Home


23 years. I've lived in the same house all my life. You see, G & I decided to live with my parents after we were married back in May of 2010. We had planned to move out once we were on our feet financially. They had a big house on 3 acres of land and loved the fact that we would be staying with them for awhile. In late 2011, we began pricing apartments in hopes of moving out the following year.

Well, in March of 2012 my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed away on June 13th. You can read more about that here, here and here. In that moment, our hopes of moving out instantly dissolved. I knew in my heart that if anything were to ever happen to my Dad, G and I would stay with my Mama. My husband wouldn't have it any other way. My Mom is the only Mom he has ever known since his Mom was barely in his life. He kept reassuring me that we were making the right choice to stay put. We pulled together to support her. My Dad would've wanted it that way.

This place we call home is over 50 years old. My Dad poured blood, sweat and tears into turning  this old house into a spot where we could live and thrive. These four walls hold so many memories. I don't regret staying, but some days it's hard to be content where I am. I always pictured us moving into a house and turning that house into a home together. Every once in awhile I long to have a place to call 'ours', but I try to force those thoughts away as soon as they appear. I should be happy, right?

We have a roof over our heads, we're saving money and we're helping my Mom out at the same time. I feel it's selfish of me to be anything but content. I guess it's just human nature. I know someday we will have our own place and God will always take care of us. Moving out just isn't an option right now.

I like living here though. It certainly has it's perks. When hubby is away, I'm not alone. When I'm out, my Mom has someone here to keep her company. When we decide it is time for a baby, my Mom will be here to help me out and there's plenty of space for a little one. So, all in all, it works out well for us! We have plans of slowly remodeling and redecorating different areas. Like I said, the house is older so there are certain things that need to be updated. I'm looking forward to the projects we have in mind.