Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall

This is the first time I have ever been excited for less daylight. I've always loved fall- the wind, the storms, the leaves changing color and getting to pull my sweaters out but I've always hated the lack of sunshine and daylight. This year, I'm remembering how well Griffin slept 10.5 months ago. I know it was mostly due to being a newborn but I'm also hopeful that the return to early sunsets and late sunrises will translate into longer stretches of sleep for me. That and he got his 2 upper middle teeth finally! We've been waiting on those suckers for months!!

Who knows, maybe being well-rested is in my near future!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Leaving, on a jet plane

We're headed to Minnesota on Tuesday for Uncle Albert's funeral. My mom, my sister, Griffin, Makenna and me.

This is the first time we'll be separated from Ryan by more than a short drive for more than a day or two.

And I'm slightly panicked that a major natural disaster is going to happen and keep us from getting back to daddy.

Possible, yes. Probable, no. Still, I don't think I like this and I don't think we'll be making a habit of it.

Yes, Ryan and I can fight with the best of them. We both drive each other nuts occasionally but just the thought of not being able to come home on Saturday or being separated indefinitely is causing me emotional and physical angst.

Praying for peace tonight. And rest. And safe travels. And a husband and home to come home to as planned on Saturday.

In a way, it's nice to know I still love him so much that I can't bear the thought of losing him:)! 7.5 years and still going strong!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye

Tonight marks the passing of my Uncle Albert. He has been battling heart failure and a whole host of complications for a long time now and earlier today, he made the decision to take himself off life support. His family and many friends surrounded him with worship until he was gone. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
I actually only met my Uncle a handful of times. He lived in what I would consider rural Minnesota and didn't enjoy traveling much so I only saw him when we visited out there and a couple of times in Wyoming when he made the trip for family reunions. Despite how few times I met him, he is big in my memory. Both literally and figuratively. He was a big man of German decent and dwarfed me as a child. It's part of what led to his heart problems. But more than that he was a BIG man. He had a big faith, a big smile, and the biggest laugh. What I remember most about being around Uncle Albert is the laughter. He never took himself too seriously even though he took plenty of issues seriously.
He leaves a wife of 40 years, my Aunt Ruth Ann- my mother's sister. We are a close family and I ache for her as a widow. I know she loved her man and will miss his daily presence and leadership. His daughter, Marilee, is hands down my favorite cousin. I know it's probably mean of me to have a favorite but we are just 1 year and 18 days apart in age and even though we only get to see each other every few years, its like we've never been apart. She's like the big sister I never had and I admire her greatly. I hurt for her now and for lost dreams, her daddy won't be there to walk her down the aisle when that day comes. Or to hold her babies. But they will know their Grandfather because Marilee is every bit Albert's daughter. She is the reason I feel I knew him so well with so few meetings. He also left his son Nathan, wife Amber, and their two sons, Connor and Benjamin. At 3.5 years younger than me, I've never known Nathan like I have Marilee but I know that he too mirrors the best parts of his father and so his sons will grow up knowing their Grandfather.

Good-bye Uncle Albert, until we meet again. You lived well, loved well and will be greatly missed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pork and Cabbage

In an effort to waste less time on facebook, I'm in the process of simplifying my account. Removing pictures and information that don't really need to be there. I'm hoping as I waste less time there I can spend more of it here! Both on this blog, sorting through my thoughts that are clouding my head and on our family blog, remembering Griffin's milestones.

I worked my first day as a substitute this year today. Just a half-day in a remedial reading class. And I LOVED it. Every minute of it. Except the part where I really needed to use the restroom and I still had an hour to go until a break:)

I am SO blessed to have a job I love so much. It's incredible to look back over my life and the long and windy road I took to end up here. I see God's fingerprints all over it now but never would have guessed I would end up as a middle school substitute. And loving it!

Going back to the theme of simplifying though. If I'm going to add working outside the home on top of everything else I do, that's going to be the name of the game. In anticipation, I made a menu for the month and did most of the grocery shopping (except produce and a few forgotten items). Tonight we enjoyed a yummy crockpot meal, here you go!


Pork and Cabbage Dinner (crockpot)
2lbs pork steaks, chops or shoulder (I only used 1.5 lbs and it was just fine)3/4 cup chopped onion (I just used one large onion)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsely (I just sprinkled dried parsley in until I thought it looked good)
4 cups shredded cabbage (I just chopped and entire head)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp caraway seeds (I just eye-balled the spices)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 cup beef broth
2 cooking apples, cored and sliced 1.4 inch thick

1. Place pork in slow cooker. Layer onions, parsley, and cabbage over pork.
2. Combine salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and allsice. Sprinkle over cabbage. Pour broth over cabbage. 
3. Cover. Cook on Low 5-6 hours (We cooked it almost 8 and it was just fine)
4. Add apple slices 30 minutes before serving.