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happy to be back!

Hellooooo!

First.  Thanks so much to everyone for the sweet comments this past week.  They were such a highlight of my week, and I appreciate the support and encouragement from all of you so much.  I didn’t get to comment individually, but just know that it touched me so much to read your words. What would I do without my little blogging community?

Second.  I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news? I’ve set a new record on CSM!
The bad news? I’ve set a record for the most number of days I’ve ever gone without posting.

This week was a call for a little mini break from the blog – and really from the computer in general, aside from some mandatory Outbox work.  I missed everyone so much, and I’m happy to get back into my groove.  But first, time to do a little catching up.  I believe a situation such as this calls for some bullet points.

  • Last Saturday doubled as moving day and the husband’s 28th birthday.  My family + MIL came up to help, and we packed, loaded onto a giant truck, drove to my hometown, unloaded the giant truck and drove back to our house that night.  We are so thankful for everyone who gave up their day to come help – it made the process so much easier and faster!

Even though it broke my heart, I resorted to ordering a cookie cake from the grocery store.  I was set on making his cake myself, but on Friday when I looked around and my kitchen was all packed up except for the Vitamix, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.  The Vitamix can do a lot of things, but…

  • We spent the rest of the weekend sleeping on an air mattress in our empty house because we had to close on Monday.  It was kind of like one big long slumber party…I kind of liked it:)

  • I had one big find during the whole moving process – my Nike running pants!  I bought these back when we were training for our marathon a couple of years ago, and wore them every chance I got.  Then they disappeared.  I searched high and low…but apparently not low enough because when our dresser was being moved out I spotted them hanging from the bottom drawer.  I was ecstatic!

  • On Sunday we went to our Sunday school class for the last time *tear and then spent the afternoon napping, working and cleaning.  We had agreed to have dinner with some friends that night, but when we got to the restaurant realized they had planned a going away dinner with all of our sweet friends.  We were so excited!

  • Monday morning we got up early and finished cleaning the house before the husband headed up to his old office for a bit and I did a bit of work at the coffee shop before heading to closing.  Closing on our first sold house went great – seamless aside from a bit of sadness at handing over the keys:(

  • After closing the husband and I met up at our favorite little downtown cafe – Cafe Bella.  We have so many memories there, and it was an appropriate choice for our last meal in Stillwater.

I went all out with a falafel pita, jalapeno chips and an IBC.

  • Late Monday afternoon I headed over to my grandparent’s house to drop off Olive.  I spent a couple of hours there with her, visiting with my grandpa and grandma while Olive checked things out and made herself comfortable.  As expected it was difficult leaving her, and it has been difficult each night this week going to visit her and then having to leave her again every time.  It’s probably a lot harder on us than it is on her, though.  My grandparent’s are showing her a good time – loving on her, brushing her, taking her for drives and walks, and letting her sit and watch the cows out the window.  I just hope she doesn’t start loving them more than us!

btw – that’s not a cow, it’s my grandma’s dog, Maggie.  You can’t see the cows in this picture.

Olive and the husband – happy to see each other one night this week when we went to visit

  • Between working, commuting and going to see Olive in the evenings, we have been so crazy busy.  I’ve driven up to the city to see Jonathan as many days as I can, and we’ve enjoyed spending time there…trying to pretend that we’re already moved and settling into our new life.  One day for lunch, we tried a fun new restaurant that is only a mile or so from where our new house is being built called Cool Greens.  They specialize in build your own wraps, salads and flatbread pizzas…and most meals come with a serving of couscous on the side.  I’m in love.  There aren’t many restaurants like this in Oklahoma, so humor me for being so excited:)

  • We drive by our house whenever we can, which ends up being about once a week.  It can begin to drive you mad after so many times of driving by, hoping to see some progress.  This is a picture I took last Tuesday – the lot has been cleared, but no foundation poured yet!

  • Our first weekend after officially being moved we spent in the husband’s hometown with mom and dad McCoy.  You’d have thought it was Christmas eve with how excited we were to pick up Olive and head out of town on Friday night.  A whole weekend with our baby, hanging out and relaxing with MIL and FIL and getting some much needed rest was almost too good to be true.  We spent lots of time cuddling (with Olive and with each other:) and I even finished a book I started last summer.  Felt like a major accomplishment!
  • I’ve applied at several jobs around the city, but for now I’m going to try and make a little money substitute teaching while I figure out what I want to do.  I have to be honest – I’m not that excited about subbing.  But I also don’t want to rush into a job.  I want to take my time and decide what I want to do with this new start I’ve been given.  Even though I didn’t really ask for it, and I technically would have chosen to keep my old job…a new start can’t be a bad thing, can it?  I’m going to try and make the most of it, remembering that there’s a reason for everything.

So that’s pretty much it from my week-long hiatus.  I thought about all of you everyday, and I missed connecting – but all the changes made for sort of a tough transition and I really just needed some time to sort through things, keep up as much of a routine as possible and support the husband.  The adjustment process is still in full force, but I’m ready to start incorporating as much of our normal life as possible.  This blog is such an integral part of my life, and I realized that more than ever this week.  I’m so happy to be back!!

I hope you all had a great week and are enjoying warmer weather if you have it.  We’re almost to Spring, and it can’t get here soon enough!

Last thing – as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve agreed to do another product review for CSN stores.  I’m so torn between reviewing a dehydrator and a small food processor.  I can process some things in the Vitamix, but others are just so much easier in a food processor.  I’ve been wanting one for awhile now.  However, I’ve also wanted a dehydrator for a long time and clearly there is so much I could do with one!  I’m a little bit worried about having space for the dehydrator while sharing a kitchen with my mom, but I’m sure it could be figured it.  So, I need your help.  Food processor or dehydrator???

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valentine’s day + the weekend

Hello!

Happy late Valentine’s Day to all my lovely readers!  I took Sunday and yesterday off from the internet to love on the husband and pack.  In that order.

But today I’m back at it…and I’ve got lots to catch up on.

On Saturday we met the husband’s parents in the city to show them our lot and take them through a house that has our floor plan.  I don’t think I’d ever get tired of driving over to see our little piece of land, although if signs of an actual house don’t start to appear soon I may change my tune. Ha.  We should be breaking ground any day now, though, so it won’t be long!

Also on Saturday, we stopped by Jonathan’s new office to check it out.  Got to enjoy a pretty sunset while we were at it!

The husband surprised me with Valentine’s Day plans on Sunday.  Our weekdays are just impossible now between Jon commuting to the city and back and working two extra jobs in the evening.  Add on packing and we basically have no life outside of it all.

So our little celebratory day started off at a quaint little coffee shop in downtown where we shared some dessert and sipped on dark French press coffee.  We enjoyed the atmosphere almost as much as the food, lounging back on a modern couch with the sun streaming in the windows.  Love coffee shops.  And good conversation.

Afterwards, we set out in the Mini to explore around town a little bit – what we do best.  With the weather a nice 70 degrees, we cruised around with the sunroof down, admiring big old houses and taking pictures of color schemes that called out to us.  We drove and drove and drove.  A perfect sunny afternoon, just the two of us.  And of course, before it was all over we ended up sitting in front of our lot daydreaming.

Jonathan had made reservations for us for dinner, so after a few hours had passed and our hunger had returned, we headed to the restaurant.  It had a modern and somewhat eclectic décor that made us smile the minute we walked in.

We started off with the vegan nachos – cashew cheese (first time for this!), black beans and roasted veggies.   I’ve been wanting to try cashew cheese for ages, and it was just as tasty as I expected.  I got so excited about the vegan items on the menu as it’s a rarity here in OK.  So nice to just order something and not have to make a million changes and then be disappointed when it comes out wrong.

We then moved on to the main course – chicken sandwich for him and veggie burger with sweet potato fries for m.e  This was my first time to have sweet potato fries at a restaurant, and I was stoked.  They were so delicious, and the veggie burger did not disappoint.

While dessert looked very tempting, we were quite full already so we passed on ordering anything.  But it wasn’t just a few minutes and out came our server with a bowl full of cotton candy.

sorry  – kind of creepy

One of the most random things I’ve ever seen in a restaurant – so unexpected as it didn’t really match the feel of everything else.  But also so fun!  I love little randomocities like that.  I don’t even like cotton candy, but it was really fun to look at and play with.  And I didn’t take a few courtesy bites, so our server wouldn’t think us to be too high maintenance.  Sadly, my camera battery died right in the middle of dinner, so the rest of the night I had to use the iPhone.

By the time we chatted over the cotton candy for another half hour or so, we decided to head out.  There was still one last place on the list for the night.

105 Degrees.


One of the coolest places in OKC, at least for a health foodie.  I’ve wanted to go there for so long, but somehow had never made it.  105 Degrees is a raw restaurant, shop, juice/smoothie bar and raw culinary academy all in one.  It has a great, quirky modern vibe, and the service and food were excellent.

We sat at the bar and ordered dessert – one green smoothie and one green juice, yes please!

the Thai Green – mango, lime, young coconut, Thai chili, lemon grass, spirulina

Best green smoothie and juice I’ve ever had, hands down.  I don’t know how they did it, but it was divine.  We hung around, chatting with the bar tender for quite awhile and exploring the little shop there before deciding to head back home.

I’ll be so happy the day that we don’t have to drive an hour to get back home from the city.  It was well worth it, though.  A great night to celebrate our fifth Valentine’s Day as husband and wife – couldn’t have been better.  I know a lot of people think Valentine’s Day is silly and too hyped up, and I somewhat agree.  But there’s no way I can complain about an entire afternoon and evening being set aside for just us.  No distractions, no talk about work (well, almost)…just sweet time hanging out.

What was your Valentine’s like?  Did you celebrate?  What was the best part of your weekend?

This week I’ll be back to talk about some of the raw/mostly raw meals I’ve been enjoying (thanks, Kris Carr) and how I’m feeling as a result!

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nine years later…

One hot August day in 2002 the husband and I met on a volleyball court about one mile from where I sit right now.

And now, 9 years later we’re leaving our little college town to pursue new things in a new city.

And we’re really excited about it!

It all started back in October when Jonathan was approached with an offer for a job in Oklahoma City.  For the next three months we weighed the options, struggling to come to a final decision.  And then with the new year, everything suddenly became a lot more clear.

We took some time to really think about what our ultimate goal really is for the future.  I know I’ve talked about Outbox from time to time, but Outbox really is where we want our future to be.  Our plan is to hopefully launch our business full time in the next 3-5 years, and we feel confident that Oklahoma City is a much better place to do that than where we currently live – one reason being that it’s much bigger. In addition to that, it is closer to both of our families, which we are really excited about.

Part of what made the decision so difficult is that we really do love our little college town, and we’ve become so connected here and formed so many relationships.  Also, the husband has loved his job for the past five years, and as you know I love what I do as well.  It’s really hard to leave a place that you love and that holds so many memories.  But after about a million conversations of hashing out all the pros and cons, we realized that we can’t just keep holding onto the past because it’s what we know and love.  We believe that sometimes we must leave behind something great in order to achieve something even better.

So, upon arriving home after being gone for the holidays, we finally felt confident in our decision and ready to move forward.  Around the second week in January, the husband gave the final word at his current job, and so began the craziness of the last several weeks.

Fast forward to one week ago today.  We met with our realtor to talk about what needed to be done to our house to get it in shape to sell, and then two days later the sign went up!

The first time I pulled up to our house and saw that sign I cried.

Then I started cleaning.

And it was a good thing I started cleaning because less than twelve hours later we got a call that someone wanted to see it!  So, not only were we babysitting little Jinsol last Saturday, but we were also running around like mad getting our house as clean and as organized as possible in a four hour time span.

Less than 24 hours later, we got our first offer.  Our house had been on the market for 48 hours.  I just about died.  Turning to the husband I said “I don’t think I’m ready for this” and he pulled me to him, nodding in agreement.  We went through about 4 hours of negotiations, signing back and forth four times.  And then at 8:30 pm Sunday night we had just started grocery shopping when my phone rang.  It was our realtor – “we have a deal” she announced.

And again, right there in the middle of the frozen foods section the husband pulled me to him, and we hugged in disbelief.

I honestly still cannot believe we’ve sold our house.  If you had asked me last September where we’d be in six months, there’s no way I would have said anywhere other than right here in our little house.  It’s still beyond surreal, and even though we’re excited we’re in complete shock!

It has been a hard last few days for me.  I’ve loved having a handful of jobs – it keeps things exciting and fresh!  But it’s not fun when you have to quit five times, and every time is just as hard as the time before.  I’ve now told all of my tutoring students except one and yesterday I stopped by and told the manager of the gym where I teach yoga.  Sad times.

But I’m pushing through the sadness of it all, and trying to focus on the future.  We think this will be a great move for us, and I’m really excited for what’s ahead!  We close on our house February 28th, and we’re still looking at options of where to go next.  We are highly considering building a house this time around, and we’ve found a neighborhood we love and even a specific lot that we’re excited about.  If we move forward with it, our house would be completed around mid-June, so it’s just a matter of figuring out where to go between now and then.

I know one thing for sure – life is only going to get more crazy in the coming months!  While I don’t admit it, the husband can vouch for the fact that his wife loves a little spontaneity and excitement.  I hope you’ll continue to follow along in the coming months with me.  I honestly don’t know what they’re going to bring – but I’m trusting that God’s plan is the best plan and we are going to make the very most of it!

Have you moved a lot in your life?  Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever lived?

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happy birthday chiaseedme

Yesterday I mentioned that today would be a very special day in the life of my little blog.

One year ago today, I sat down and wrote my very first post on ChiaSeedMe.

I was beginning my second semester as a first year high school English teacher, commuting two hours every day, and in desperate need of something besides work in my life.  CSM provided that for me; it quickly became the highlight of my days.  With every post I fell more in love with food, writing and photography.  Now I can’t imagine my life without this little space.

One of the questions I’m asked most often about my blog is “why ChiaSeedMe?”

When I started this blog, I had been eating chia seeds for quite some time, and I loved so many things about them.  What’s not to love?  They are high in protein, high in omega 3′s and omega 6′s, help balance blood sugar, help keep you full longer, high in iron and so much more.  But chia seeds themselves aren’t the only reason why I chose the name.

I also chose it because of what chia seeds represent for me.  They’re tiny little seeds, hardly bigger than the tip of a pencil, but they pack a serious punch.  I try to focus my life around the little things that make a big difference, and the words I write here and photos I snap every day have brought to light all the little things in my life that make it what it is.  The way the light filters through the trees in our backyard just at the onset of evening, the way I can see the husband just perfectly through the space between our living room and office, and the softness of our down comforter when I pull it up over my shoulders each night – these little things bring me such joy and are a constant reminder of just how blessed I am to be living this life.

This blog has never been just about what I eat for dinner each night or which workout I choose each morning, although I do love writing about those things.  It’s about this all encompassing idea that this life we live really isn’t just about what we do each day.  It’s about really feeling our experiences.  It’s about seemingly unimportant moments that make a big impact by bringing a smile, focusing on the good, working through the bad and coming out better at the other end.  Moments that embed themselves in the very fabric of our minds and change us forever, one little thing at a time and sometimes without us even realizing it.  I believe these tiny little things matter more than we even understand.

And along the journey of this past year, I’ve gained one of the greatest things I could imagine.  Friendships with other people who not only have the same interests in life, but who are so thoughtful, caring and supportive.  Who reach out with comfort when I’ve quit my job and I’m feeling doubtful or help me decide whether to keep my hair short or grow it long.  And in the midst of it all, I can hardly believe how blessed and thankful I am.

So, thank you for coming alongside me this year.  Thank you for reading.  Without you all, my small corner of the internet would be awfully lonely…serving only as a space to bounce my thoughts into the air and watch them as they fade in the distance.  You are the glue that holds this little blog together.  You give it energy and life, and it truly wouldn’t be the same without you.

As a small way to show you just how thankful I am and to celebrate the first birthday of CSM – there is only one thing I can see fit to do.

Let’s give away some chia seeds!

Monterrey Bay Spice Company is a great source for not only chia seeds, but herbs, spices and teas as well.  They have been a great sponsor for ChiaSeedMe me throughout this year, and have kindly offered to send two readers each a bag of my favorite little seeds.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, January 15th to enter!  You can say anything you want…just make yourself known:)

In addition to that, I personally want to do something for you guys as well.  I will choose one more winner from the comments on this post, and you’ll receive a little care package of some of my favorite “little things.”  I’m not telling what will be in it, but I promise it will bring a smile to your face!

Because it’s the little things that matter most.

**Unfortunately, the contest is open to U.S. residents only.  International readers – I don’t love you any less!
**I will choose a winner using random.org.

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