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thoughts

17 Dec

I’ve felt such a need all day long to sit down and write…and now that the twins are napping and I finally have the computer in front of me I feel a bit paralyzed.  My instinct is to vent about all the feelings I’ve been having since Friday afternoon – fear, pain, disbelief, thankfulness – but the core of all those feelings is the concern I feel for the victims and families of the victims of the Connecticut shooting so it feels a little bit selfish to complain.

Just like every other morning, I sat on our bed with the twins this morning…but this time I just held them and wept.  I cannot fathom what those families are experiencing.  The thought of anything ever happening to Linc and Viv is more than I can bear, and I cannot understand how those moms and dads, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters are continuing on with life.  I once heard someone say that when something like this happens, you don’t heal from the pain, you just learn to live with it.  And I know that when faced with something like this, you must just do that.  But my heart just hurts so badly for them.

This past weekend we had our first Christmas celebration with the McCoy side of our family, and amidst all the excitement my mind kept drifting, and I felt so numb.  Since Friday I find myself feeling like life shouldn’t move on, but at the same time I know it’s not right or possible to dwell on the tragedy forever.  I just don’t really know how to deal with this other than to just pray.  Pray that God will continue to make his presence known as a comfort and a source of peace to the victims, the families, the children who survived.  And that God will make his presence known as our country moves forward and changes are made to help protect our people, especially our children, better.

Aside from living a life of prayer, I also hope we can all take this as a reminder to love each other better and to focus on what really matters.  We get so wrapped up in our own selfish desires and the things of this world, and we forget that one of the most important things in life is loving each other and looking out for one another.  I hope I can begin to do that better.  To go out of my way whenever possible to make someone’s day easier if even just for a moment.  We really have to watch out for each other, even when it’s not easy.

it's up to Him

6 Nov

Tomorrow might be the first day of life for our first sweet baby.

I am so far beyond excited.  And thankful.  And I would be lying if I said I’m not scared to death as well.

We are slated to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 tomorrow morning for retrieval.  The last few weeks have been such a challenging whirlwind.  We’ve given me shots while standing anywhere from the Whole Foods parking lot to a stairwell we snuck into during a Halloween party to the middle of the Colbie Caillat concert.  Life has carried on despite the ultrasounds, blood work, pills and needles…but it’s been different.  The anticipation of this IVF event has changed the tone of everything the last several weeks.  And it’s all come down to the next couple of weeks (no pressure).

I have never prayed harder in my entire life than I have in the last few weeks.  I’ve prayed constantly that God would enable my body to do what it’s supposed to do.  So far, He has.  Everything leading up to now couldn’t have gone better, and I couldn’t feel more confident going into this next phase.  Unfortunately that doesn’t make our percentage any higher, but I am so thankful that He has chosen to bring us this far.

I’ve also prayed that God will give me the courage to trust him first and foremost.  That whether our little babies survive and have the chance to develop or not, I will trust Him with our future. I will trust that He has a plan, and that plan will be carried out no matter what. This is my biggest request to my Heavenly Father.  I believe He is faithful.

So, please pray with us.  I’ve got needle marks all over, cramps in my stomach and emotions ranging across the board.  But I’ve got so much hope inside.  I’ve tried to figure out how to walk the tightrope of being positive, but protecting myself for so many months; this month I stopped trying.  I put my heart out there, and I’ve done every thing I could…

Now it’s all up to Him.

here i am

1 Aug

This weekend, for the fourteenth time, my heart felt as if it was broken into a million tiny pieces.

For the fourteenth time, I found out that once again, I will not become a mom this month.

Over the past several months, things have been pretty quiet around here.  I found out the hard way that when something difficult is going on in your life that you’re not quite ready to tell the world about, putting your everyday life out there becomes pretty tough.

Infertility.

A word that used to seem distantly scary…something that only happened to other people…has somehow become a constant in my life.   I wake up to it at 5:30am every morning, thermometer in hand, and every night when I go to sleep it’s by my side.  It tortures me in the most random moments of my day, reminding me that there’s something not quite right with me and leaving me in it’s dust wondering – am I worthy?

Every month is another identical path:  I attempt to walk the fine line between protecting myself from disappointment and staying positive and hopeful until the truth arrives.  Then, like the opening of a dam, all the positivity I had built up gives way as sadness, hurt and disappointment wash over me.  Back to square one.  Let’s do it all over again.

For many months I was so angry.  Angry at myself.  At God.  At the world.  But God is changing me.  In this fallen world, there is so much sadness, hurt and disappointment, but He walks with us through it all.  He calls us to praise him.  Whether in the happiest times of our lives or the darkest days, He is there.  And He deserves our praise.  And I am finally beginning to see His work in my life through this situation.  It has taken a long time, and my faith has at times been hanging on by a thread.  But He never leaves me.

I’ve come to a place where I can feel the tears soaking the sheets and grieve over what could have been – what I prayed would have been – but in the same breath thank Him that He loves me.  And thank Him that He has saved me.  Among so many other things.

For a long time I didn’t want to tell anyone about this.  I’m not sure why I wanted to keep it private….truly, I don’t have a reason.  Maybe I was afraid of what people would think.  Maybe it just seemed too personal.  But over the last several weeks, I’ve found so many reasons why I want to talk about it here.

First, I need to.  I need an outlet for the anxiety, doubt, guilt, fear…all the emotions that I filter through each month.  And as always, like a knight on a white horse, writing comes to my rescue.  Somehow writing and then stashing it on my hard drive just doesn’t feel the same as putting it out there to be read by real people.  Which brings me to reason number two.

Community.  I’ve said a million times that this community has been such a blessing to me.  When I read a blog post from someone who is dealing with the same things I am, there is a connection that somehow helps ease the pain.  It reminds me that I’m not alone.  It helps me feel a little less crazy.  If I can connect with other people though this and offer to someone else even a small escape from the loneliness, then it’s worth it.

Third…I want people to know my heart.  I want to have a child so badly.  I feel it as a deep ache all the way into the depths of my heart.  Every. Single. Day.  But on the outside no one would ever know.   I want to be a transparent person.  Someone who is open, who people feel as if they really know.

So, here I am.

I’m scared in so many ways.  I’m scared of who all is going to read this and what they will think.  But I’ve come to the point where this infertility is too much a part of my life, and I find too much joy in sharing my life through this blog to let it keep me away.

ChiaSeedMe is not going to become an infertility blog.  While my journey to having a baby is a part of who I am, so are all the things I’ve always loved – healthy living, food, fitness, photography and all the little things in life.  I will always write about those things.  But I need to write about this too.  I understand if some of you are completely uninterested – please feel free to just skip the posts about this topic if you’d like.  But I’m ready to include all aspects of my life in this little blog now.  And I hope you’ll all stick around.

So here’s to being real.  And here’s to fighting every battle in life with an open heart and trust in Him.  Seeking out the good in everything that life brings and letting the hurts soak through us, feeling them, and keeping on going.

it's not about me

12 Apr

Awhile back, after being inspired by a fellow blogger, I signed up on a website to receive daily affirmation in the form of email messages.  I usually would rather give my right arm than hand over my email address to anyone that wants to send me daily messages, but the encouragement I got from the one posted by my friend was just what I needed to hear that day and I thought it might be a good thing.  Since then there have been several days on which the message really hit home for me, and today is another one of those.

So often we find that our individual experiences in life may not have been as beneficial to us as they were for others.  Life works in such a way.

We all have our own journey to travel…an individual journey that is meant for us, but we also get to live through things that are not so much about us at all.  Sometimes our trials or our blessings or our lessons are meant for the people who we surround, or who surround us.  It’s important to remember that people are watching the way you handle things in your life, they are learning so much from you and your strength and your grace and your wisdom.  It’s important to remember how much we can help each other along their way because of what we have learned or what we remember.

It helps make sense of things too…when we can recognize our ability to be a miracle in the life of others…in a way that we never could have had we not traveled the path that we each have traveled.


The truth is that each and every one of us has our own crosses to bear.  I know that my life is so very blessed – I have my health, my marriage, a wonderful family, a home, an education, and so many other things that a lot of the world doesn’t have. I’m so thankful for it all, and I don’t take it lightly.

But I also have my own cross to bear.  And somehow, in the thick of things, knowing how blessed my life is doesn’t make that cross any less heavy…it doesn’t make it hurt any less.  I struggle daily with trusting that God has a purpose for this issue in my life and that it is ultimately for good, even though deep down in my heart I do believe it to be true.  And I long for the day when that purpose is revealed to me.

I truly want to handle everything that comes in my life with grace, wisdom and strength, but I honestly have never thought about doing so for someone other than myself.  As humans we have so much influence over each other – we impact other people in ways we never imagined we would, and I don’t want to let selfishness guide my actions and reactions to events in my life.  Even if the only person I influence is my sweet husband, that is worth the world to me.  A million times over, it’s worth digging deep, finding a way to respond with peace and faith in the midst of uncertainty.

And for me, it does help make sense of this seemingly purposeless thing that I’m going through – to think the purpose could be greater than myself and the way I handle it could make a difference for someone else.  I’m seeing it all from a different angle, and in the moments of deepest questioning and hurt, I feel a bit more grounded by realizing that it’s not all about me.

I really needed to get these thoughts out.  A times I worry about sharing some things here, but this blog is an outlet for me. It helps me process, and when I finish writing it’s like parts of me that once felt so heavy seem a bit lighter, and I see more clearly. One of the many reasons I’m so happy to have this space.

nine years later…

19 Jan

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?

goals for twenty eleven

6 Jan

So, I’m finally ready to talk goals, friends.

I realize that I’m coming in a little late on the 2011 goals discussion.  But I like to think of it as fashionably late.

It’s no fluke that I’ve waited until a week into the first month of the year for this.  The end of December is just so busy that I didn’t even start contemplating goals until the 1st.  And then I needed some time to really think about what kind of goals I want to make this year.

You see there are many strategies out there when it comes to goal setting.  Some people take the route of picking the same number of goals as the current year.  For instance, this year they would choose 11 goals to focus on throughout 2011.  Other people decided on a magic number, say…..3 for instance.  Lucky number 3.  And then I’ve heard of others who decided to fore-go goals altogether and choose a single word to represent their ambitions for the new year.

My goals sort of encompass multiple strategies.

I’m a simple girl, but when it comes to goals I get a little crazy.

For those of you who have been reading CSM for awhile, you may remember last August when I decided on 27 things that I wanted to accomplish in my 27th year of life.  Some of these things I’ve already accomplished – get certified to teach yoga, learn how to make great tofu, drink more fresh juice – and some of them I’m still working on – run another marathon, open up a CSM t-shirt shop.  Considering I am still working on at least half of this list, I decided that I probably have enough definitive goals in the works right now.  Oh sure, along the way I’m certain to set new goals, but as far as a specific goal list, I don’t think I can handle many more!

Even though I’m sticking to my existing list of goals for the most part, I really love the idea of choosing a word for the year.  It’s a great idea because this word can encompass every goal I have as well as every goal I might make as the year goes on.  It’s sort of like a mantra…an idea I can come back to day after day that will inspire and encourage me to grow in an area of character.  And isn’t that where it all starts?

So, I’ve been thinking through this for the past week, and honestly I’ve been pretty stumped. I’ve come up with several words that would be okay, but none that just seemed to fit.  Until yesterday.

I was standing in the bathroom blow drying my hair.  And as usual when I’m blow drying my hair I was thinking through a lot of things going on right now.  Things that Satan is trying to use to drag me down and cause me anxiety.  Things I’ve been dealing with for weeks/months now.  Things that make it hard to stay positive each day.  You get the idea.

And suddenly it all just seemed like too much.  I couldn’t keep it in for another moment.  I clicked off the dryer, placing it on the bathroom counter.  And I headed for the spot I always head to when I’m feeling like the world has just become too tough.  Laying down on our bed, I pulled Olive’s furry little body up next to me, and I began to pray. And with the first words that came out of my mouth I instantly knew what my word would be:

“Father, I’m really struggling with all of these issues going on right now…please just give me peace in my heart and let it spread throughout my whole body, from my fingertips all the way to my toes.  The peace that only comes from You.”


No matter who we are, where we live, how much money we have, whether we’re married or single, have children or don’t have children…there will be trials in our life.  It’s a non-negotiable.  So the questions is not  “will I  I face challenges, sadness or conflict this year?”  The question is “how will I react when I face these things?”  Will I shut off?  Will I yell and scream and place blame on myself or others?

Or will I turn to the Lord, who is the only one who can and will provide peace in my life?  Will I remain calm in my heart and continue to press on in my daily life?

I want to grow to become a woman who finds peace in all situations, be it the last 2 excruciating miles of a marathon, fear of life circumstances beyond my control or frustration over falling to the mat after just 1/2 of a tricep push-up.

So these are my goals for 2011.  I believe my life will be just as or more full than it was during 2010.  And my biggest hope and prayer is that I become a better person.  A better wife, friend, daughter, sister, granddaughter and child of God. And that I learn to be more thankful for the life that He has given me as I accomplish each and every goal.

Also, as a way to help enforce my word of the year, I’ll be posting a quote of some sort or scripture each day for the next month (today through February 6th) that relates to peace.  My goal is to memorize as many of them as I can (hopefully every one) so when I need a little inspiration or reminder I’ll have something to focus on.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

– John 14:27

On a lighter note – one other goal I’ve decided on recently (possibly during that same hair drying escapade:) is that I think I’m going to grow out my hair!  What do you guys think?  You probably don’t know that I cut my hair to this length only a year and a half ago.  Before then I was always changing it – the color, the cut, the style – I was a hair chameleon.  But when you really take the plunge and go this short, there really isn’t anything else you can do until you take on the challenge of growing it out.  I still like my short hair, but I’m just ready for a change.

Here are some past pictures to give you a frame of reference – they’re kind of random.

I also wear it pulled back like this a lot when it’s long

and some short pics


So I need your opinions – stay short or grow it out? You won’t hurt my feelings either way…promise.

I’d also love to hear one goal that you have for the new year.  I know you may be sick of talking about goals by now, but I’m just getting started…so humor me:)

God of hope

19 Dec

Boy, last night was crazy.

One of my students, Bomi, asked me the other day what is one of my bad habits.  I should really call her right now and update my answer.

One of my worst habits is procrastination.  For some crazy reason I didn’t even get started on finding recipes for dishes to take to Christmas until about 5pm yesterday evening.  The same thing happens every time – when I finally started researching, I got really excited and ended up with a list of 5 different dishes that I wanted to make.

Needless to say I had a hay-day in the kitchen until the early hours of the morning.

There was a lot of this.


And by 2 am my kitchen looked like this.

And I had done some cleaning up at that point!  Scary.

Honestly, I had so much fun – the husband and I downloaded some new upbeat Christmas songs, and I was jamming away while my garlic bread rose and little gingerbread men came to life (dishes and recipes coming soon!).  The only way it could have been any better is if it had been 2 pm instead of 2 am.  But you can’t win ’em all, right?

I finally stumbled into bed at about 3 am, and mere seconds after my head hit my pillow, I knew I was in for a rough time.  I just could not fall asleep!  I was so wired up and my mind was racing with everything I needed to do still and with thoughts about the future.  I get real deep when I’m delirious.

I tossed and turned all night long, not really falling asleep at all until about 5:30 am and then waking up again at 7.  Finally at 7:30 I hit the point where there was no going back to sleep.  It was all over.

So, I laid there in bed and again my mind started racing.  The lack of sleep was hindering any chance I had at rational thinking, and I started fretting over things that are going on in my life right now.  I began to analyze everything, creating “what if” scenarios in my head and then scolding myself for letting my mind run wild.

It was then that I turned to the one person I know is always there.  I started praying.  I started praying for joy.  I asked God to give me a peace in my heart because He is in control of my past, my present and my future.  He has a specific plan for me and He will work out that plan, regardless of how much I try to interfere and make it my own.  I asked him to embed that truth in my heart and to help me live by it every second of the day.  To help me give up my plans and my anxieties and hand it all over to him.  And just trust.

And suddenly, my heart was filled with relief.  It was as if I had taken a peacefulness pill, and the medicine was slowly spreading throughout my body reaching from the crown of my head all the way down to my toes.

And I felt His peace. And His joy.

And then I felt the husband’s steady breath on my shoulder.  And I felt Olive’s warm and furry little body curled up on my other side.  And I felt the coziness of my warm house and my bed.

And I was filled with thankfulness.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Rom 15:13


second time around

19 Jul

Thank you all for the wonderful comments this morning!  You guys totally made my day!  Well…you and Foodbuzz🙂  lol.

I really do appreciate your support tremendously.  ChiaSeedMe would not be the same without you.

After yesterday’s 7 hours of driving and 8 hour certification class, I just could not pull myself out of bed on time this morning!  I slept in until Jon left for world at 8am, then finally lured myself out of bed by envisioning a refreshing and energizing juice. mmm.

1 beet, 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 carrots

Totally did the trick:)

I also managed to make it to the gym and crank out a 5k on the treadmill.  It was a tough run…but I’m really trying to start pushing myself more.  Instead of focusing on the discomfort, I want to focus more on the satisfaction of sprinting that last mile….or running it 20 seconds faster. Whatever it may be.  It really worked today, and I felt so great!

Lunch was leftovers from the other night.

stir-fry veggies with bulgur, chick peas and chias

I had mentioned before that this stir-fry sauce I made was a total fail…but honestly, it tasted better today than it did the first time.  I kinda liked it!

Later on I snacked on a brown rice cake with natural pb, sliced banana a chia seeds – one of my favorite snacks:)

Dinner tonight was leftover enchiladas.  muahahaha.

Today when I met with Mohammad for our tutoring session, he had some bad news to tell me – he’s moving!  This was totally out of the blue.  Basically (we learned that word today:) he just isn’t happy with the classes he’s taking at the institute here, so he’s moving to OKC to attend a different one. Wednesday will be our last meeting together.  I’m really going to miss it because I’ve been enjoying tutoring a lot!

So, you guessed it.  That leaves me jobless once again.  And once again, I’m just trusting that God has something better for me. It’s not easy, but I’m turning away from lies and believing truth.  Something that I’m getting to work on a lot lately:)

In other news…

…this little guy left us yesterday.  While Olive certainly has a little more peace in her life, Jon and I are kinda missing him.

Well, I’m off to cuddle with the husband.  What a great day it’s been; let’s try to top it tomorrow!

And a couple questions for you guys because I love getting to know more about you!  What better way to find out more about you guys than hearing about your lovable fur babies? Or lack thereof;)

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Or neither?
What kind of pet(s) do you have and what are their names?

comfort food + chia giveaway winners revealed

12 Jul

Jon and I had great intention of running a 5k this morning, but we have a bad habit of chattin’ it up so much that our running suffers.  We ended up running/walking 2.54 miles in about 35 minutes .  Obvs. there was a lot of walking involved.  o’well…at least we were up and moving!

By the time we got back, I had to rush around to get out the door on time!

green monster to-go please!!

2 handfuls spinach, 1.25 cups soy milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, chia seeds, ice

Need. Bigger. Cup. (I’m hardcore like that;)

After my orthodontist appointment (hi, I’m Candice and I’m 13 years old) I ran through S-bucks for a decaf soy latte.  I have cut down on my Starbucks runs exponentially; it’s funny how much better it tastes when it’s a rare treat. Totally worth every last cent today.

After a quick stop at the mall to do an exchange, I headed home for lunch.  Sweet Jon had it all prepared for me

Sunflower sprouts make their debut!  hooray!

whole wheat pita with hummus, Morningstar black bean burger, broccoli slaw and sunflower sprouts

with a side of juicy watermelon that I picked up last night

one of my thousand new obsessions.

And several hours of work later I dug into this new container of Sabra hummus with baby carrots.  Does anybody know how baby carrots came to be?  Do they grow them that way?  Curious minds want to know!

love me some carrots and hummus

Tonight I was in the mood for some comfort food because I received some bad news.  The ESL teaching job I told you guys I landed last week fell through. She called today and said that there had been some kind of hiring freeze and that they weren’t going to be able to hire me after all.  Sad:(  It hit me pretty hard because I was counting on that being a sure thing when I resigned from my job.

I’m trying to stay positive regardless of what happens.  I know that God will provide, and I know everything will work out for the best…I just have to have faith.

Someone quoted the following on twitter last week.  Please tell me if you know who it was because I can’t find where I wrote it down!

“This week shall rock!  I’m going to hold steady and strong at not digging up in doubt what I planted in full on faith.”

This has been my mantra since I read it last week…I keep repeating it to myself every time I start to sink into doubt.  I can’t lose hope the second things don’t go as expected.

Onwards and Upwards!

So, back to the comfort food.  I’ll give you 1 guess as to what comfort food was calling out to me.

You got it

Our specialty: homemade enchiladas.

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • black beans
  • rotel tomatoes
  • soy cheese
  • Roll tortillas up and place in a baking dish
  • Pour canned green enchilada sauce over entire dish
  • Bake to perfection at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes

**We make six at a time because they are great for leftovers!

All jokes aside about our obsession with Mexican food...if you like enchiladas, you MUST make these.  They are like biting into a little piece of heaven.  No kidding.  You can make any variation – spinach, beans, cheese and onion or a mix of all three!  Let me know if you try them out, and I’ll post ’em on the blog!

In an effort to save money this month, I decided to make a big batch of homemade salsa since we eat it like it’s goin’ out of style.  Below is the recipe I came up with tonight, but I think it still has room for improvement.  Let me know if you have any ideas for alterations!

Place the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 jalapeno pepper, seeds and all!
  • ~ 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • small handful cilantro, chopped

Process until it reaches the consistency you prefer.  Eat up!

There are millions of different ways to make salsas – peach salsa, chipotle salsa, black bean and corn salsa, the list goes on and on…

Jon and I prefer just basic, spicy salsa – we’re not crazy about all the add ins.  I’m excited to experiment with this a bit more.

Okay, okay, now for what you’ve all been waiting for.  I selected the winners using True Random Number Generator from random. org.

Drumroll please.

The winners of the chia seeds so graciously donated by Monterey Bay Spice Company are….

Rhea from Happy Greek Feaster

and

Amber from SAHM’s Musings

Congrats Rhea and Amber.  Email me your information, and we’ll get your chias shipped asap!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  And a very special thanks to Monterey Bay Spice Company for being our lovely sponsor.  Hop over and check out their website when you get a chance.  Chia seeds are only the beginning of their amazing products!

That’s all for tonight, friends.  Hope you all had a fantastic Monday!

What kind of salsa is your favorite?  Any tips to improve my recipe?  I’m all ears!!

the whole story

30 Jun

It isn’t necessary to know exactly how your ideal life will look; you only have to know what feels better and what feels worse…Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than on how you think an ideal life should look. It’s the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of the Platonic ideal, that creates our best lives.” ~Martha Beck, life coach

I stumbled upon this quote on Angela’s quotes page awhile back, and I filed it away in my memory (and on my computer of course).  It sums up exactly how I feel about my life right now.

Today, I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.  I walked into my principal’s office, and I told her that I won’t be teaching again this coming year.

Let’s start from the beginning.

leaving for my first day of student teaching

Three years ago, I timidly walked into a high school English classroom.  I had been assigned to student teach junior PreAp English, and I had absolutely no clue what would lie ahead.  I fought hard that semester and finished with flying colors; I learned so much and grew immensely.  At the end of the semester, the principal interviewed me for a job, and I landed it.  A few days later I turned it down to go on a crazy adventure in Thailand with my husband.

A little over a year ago, I walked into that same high school, the same principal interviewed me yet again, and again I landed the job.  This time I accepted.  I became a high school English teacher.

leaving for my first day of teaching – Olive was not so excited to be losing her stay-at-home-mama:)

The past year has been intimidating, challenging, exciting, emotional, full of doubt, frustrating, rewarding and exhausting.  In all honesty, it has been the hardest year of my life. Teaching myself and then teaching my students all new material of two different subjects, learning the ropes of having my own classroom, putting in hours of overtime and driving two hours everyday to do it left me feeling drained and lifeless most of the time.  Through all of the difficulties there were moments in which I enjoyed being with the students.  I loved interacting with them on a personal level, and I felt rewarded when I knew I had made a connection with them.

While I enjoyed some aspects of teaching, in the end the stress and time involved paired with the commute chipped away at my spirit.  I have not been myself, and I have not been thriving.  I’ve been surviving.  And I don’t want to just survive anymore. I want to pursue my passions, I want to be around more to take care of my home and my family, I want to have energy and life and I want to be able to put more time into my relationships.

leaving for my last day of teaching

I have spent hours into days debating and praying over this decision.  I’ve sought advice from the people who know me and love me the most.  And while I still feel like I left a little piece of myself at that school, I have made the decision to move on.  I’ve decided to put my health and happiness first.  And that makes me feel strong.

So what will I be up to now?

I already have many projects in the works!

If you’ve noticed the ad on my sidebar, you know my husband has his own graphic design business.  He has worked so hard to build and grow, and he has!  His success is such a blessing, but in the last 6 months it has also become a bit overwhelming.  So, that’s where I come in.  I’ll be taking care of the administrative side of our business. I’m extremely excited about this role because our future goals include working alongside each other, perhaps focusing solely on our business at some point in the future.

But that’s not all!  About a week ago I started tutoring an international student, helping him with English conversation and vocabulary.  Mohammad and I have been/will be meeting everyday for an hour, and I will be helping him to improve his English so he can enter into the graduate program at our university. I have enjoyed teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) classes in the past, and I’m looking forward to a possible part-time ESL teaching job (I turned in my application a few days ago), as well as more tutoring opportunities.

Of course I am also stoked about being able to put more time and energy into CSM.  I love my blog – I love to write, especially about healthy living, and I love being a part of the blogging community. I’m excited to be able to focus more on my passion.

I’ve also got a few other exciting possibilities up my sleeve, but I’m not quite ready to spill the beans on those:)  Who knows what may pop up in the coming months?  Honestly, I’m ready for anything.  While I’m scared of the unknown, I’m also so excited at the possibilities that lie ahead.  I hope you will all continue with me as I start this new phase of my life.  There will surely be many bumps and detours, but hopefully many victories as well as I step out in faith, trusting that God has great plans.

So, here’s to another new chapter.