Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Monday!

This weekend, the Hubs and I enjoyed some much needed quiet time together on Sunday afternoon/evening.   After we rearranged all of our furniture in the living room, a genetic trait I believe I inherited from my mother, and we brought home our newly finished dining room tables (Thanks Hubs! Photos will come soon!), we settled in for a chill evening at home.

With Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Orange Julius in our bellies, we settled down for a good game of Ticket to Ride. Which then turned into another game of Ticket to Ride... Which then turned into our own variation of Ticket to Ride to accommodate our strategic sides and not so much the competitive side. If you haven't ever played this game but enjoy strategic games such as Sequence, Risk or Settlers of Catan, I HIGHLY recommend it! I'm absolutely addicted and haven't gone a weekend since Christmas without playing at least one and probably a couple of games of Ticket to Ride. Thanks Grama for introducing me to this game!!!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just Let Me Dream

If I had to dream of somewhere to live, it would be someplace with a view like this, with a table like this, with a cup of coffee like this. It wouldn't matter if I did my hair or if I wore sweats. All that would matter would be the beauty of the sunrise on the mountains as I looked over the view. All that would matter is the solemn stillness.

If I could dream, that's what I'd choose. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Real Maple Banana Muffins


1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup Pamela's Pancake & Baking Flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  Put paper liners in a muffin pan
3.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until there are no more chunks 
4.  Pour ingredients into muffin pan
5.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the top of the muffins are golden brown. 
Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin to test if finished.
6.  Let cool for 5 minutes
7.  Enjoy a fresh Maple Banana Muffin

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ready for the Next Season

I woke up this morning thinking of flip flops, sun dresses and tank tops. I love winter, and yes, this is what our winter has look liked until last Monday). I love winter, but can't stop thinking about summer today. Unfortunately, more snow is on the way. I guess, I just have to embrace it. I do love a good snowstorm where I get stuck in the driveway, my shoes get soaked and nothing tastes better than a cup of hot chocolate!

Bring on the snow!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where The Path Begins

Today is the first day of Lent. I found out that it started today when a friend asked me yesterday what I was going to give up. Somehow, even though this happens at the same time every year, I thought it started later on in March. Obviously, I hadn't given Lent any thought, let alone what I was going to choose to give up. Should I give up coffee? Sugar? TV? I had 9 hours to decide. At 9pm, I still had no idea. I wanted to give up something that would create more time to make space for God. I wanted it to be something that would require some sacrifice and not necessarily be easy.

So, what does a girl do when she don't know what to do? She googles it. That's right, I googled different ideas of things to give up for Lent. There are lot of ideas, websites and testimonies of what people gave up and how it affected them. One story talked about how a guy gave up wearing shoes unless he absolutely had to. He even went to the extreme of avoiding places where shoes were required. Giving up shoes was not exactly what I had in mind. After reading all of the ideas, I decided to give up two things:

  1. Hitting the snooze button in the morning.
  2. Eating sweets (desserts, candy or anything with unnecessary sugar).
First, I decided to give up hitting the snooze button to learn discipline. It's hard to get out of bed when the sun has not even woken up yet and peaked above the horizon. It's hard to get out of a warm bed into a cold bedroom. Yet, there is something peaceful about mornings. Something where being the first person up when everything else is still and quiet brings a peaceful calm. I know that I like to start my mornings early, yet often choose not to get up when my alarm goes off. Instead, I hit snooze until I simply cannot wait any longer and have to get up to get ready for work. That is not discipline. Choosing to get up the first time the alarm goes off seems small, but little choices develop habits. I want this little choice for the duration of Lent to be a habit that I choose to develop as I learn discipline.

Second, not eating treats or unnecessary sugar is hard. I have a sweet tooth and I like sweet stuff. Again, discipline plays a fairly significant role in this choice for Lent. Eating sweets is the easy thing to do. It's not hard to say, "Why, yes, I would love to have a piece of chocolate or cake or candy." Yet, choosing to say no not only is better for my body, as I'm sure I don't need sweets to survive, it also requires discipline. 

So, I am choosing to do two different things that are not necessary huge, yet have larger implications for my life. I am choosing not to hit the snooze button and start my morning in a quiet, peaceful way. I am choosing not to eat sweets and to make better choices for my what goes into my body. 

But why? Why I am choosing to pursue these seemingly silly habits? Why am I going to give up two things that most people really enjoy, sleep and sweets? Lent is a season of 40 days before Easter where Christ followers choose to pursue a season of soul-searching and repentance.  It is a time for reflection and often a time of refocusing. Some choose to fast, only eating one meal a day. Some choose to give up something that requires significant sacrifice, such as coffee or television. Regardless of what you choose to give up, through sacrifice and reflection, it is a time to refocus and reflection on Christ. So, I am choosing to give up sleeping in later and sweets in order to practice discipline, develop habits and allow more time for reflection and a bit of soul-searching. I am going to choose to be deliberate about setting aside time for God and not filling empty spaces in my day with activities, such as sleeping or munching. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Good and Bad

The Good
  1. I finally got a good picture of our house with the beautiful oak tree that towers above it! 
  2. Winter is finally upon us. We got several inches of snow last night and I woke up to a beautiful white morning! It's a heavy, wet snow and the pine trees were drooping because of the weight. The world looked so different even though it was only 3 inches of snow. 
  3. I watched the Bachelor [guilty pleasure, feel free to judge me] last night with some girlfriends. Even when life is busy, I know that I have stuff to get done around home or I would love to stay home and snuggle with the puppy and possibly Husband- it is so good to be with other gals. It's just comforting to process verbally emotions, thoughts and talk about other girly things. 
  4. I ran out of coffee yesterday and decided to try something new: Starbucks Blonde Verona. It's incredible. I am not a huge fan of brewed Starbucks coffee, but my taste buds just might be in love!
  5. Remington has been so great lately! He just runs and runs outside then complete crashes when he gets inside. I took him for a 6 mile walk on Sunday and he still had energy when we got home! 

Remy eventually crashes though. 
Yesterday, the Hubs was working in the shop and 
he heard Remy rustling around and found him like this on a pile of wood: 

Yup, cutest award to to Remington in the small Rubbermaid tote. 

The Bad
  1. The Hubs had to work all night due to the snow so I only had cute little Aruba in our huge comfy bed last night. Yay for work, but bummed it couldn't snow during the day!
  2. Since it snowed last night while I was out with my girlfriends, I had to drive home in slushy, slippery snow. I might not be the best driver in snow and to compensate for that, I drive slow. Like, on a freeway where the speed is usually 55 or 60 miles and hour, I drove 40. Yes, I AM THAT PERSON! But I made it home, safe and sound... an hour later. 
  3. With school & snow plowing, it doesn't look like I am going to the Hubs a whole lot this week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Might Like Valentines Day

What a wonderful week. Wonderful. 

Valentines Day...
4 day work week...
a trip to Caribou coffee...
warm sunshine...

I don't normally like Valentine's Day. I mean, it leaves a lot of people out. Everyone who doesn't have a significant other feels it somehow. Even though I have a wonderful husband who makes sure that I feel especially loved on February 14th, I still feel bad. Anyhow, even though I don't normally like Valentine's Day, this one was fairly awesome. By fairly awesome, I mean totally rad.

I started off my Valentine morning with Caribou coffee with my work Valentine, Kimmie. Caribou had a deal where if you buy one drink, you get the second free! Um, yes please! I'll take a vanilla white mocha, hold the whip!

As if the vanilla white mocha wasn't enough for my unhealthy, super filling and delicious caloric intake for the day, we also went out with the Hubs' family and good family friends for milkshakes at Snuffy's. We share a Coffee Fudge shake that was gone in record time! I swear, anytime you give me a straw with a beverage, it's gone in twice as fast. The company and food was incredible, not to mention being able to celebrate the day of love with family and friends!

The Hubs and I celebrated our Valentine's Day together last Saturday. We went to Outback and gave each other gifts. I made the Hubs a picture frame that I can update with reasons why I love every day. Except, the Hubs has been using his own present to write reasons why he loves me everyday...

to make: 
take a picture frame,
 print out whatever words you want on a piece of paper 
(like: i love you because...) 
put it in the frame
use a dry erase marker to write messages

He bought me flowers, but not the normal kind. They are bulbs that are blooming, so I can feel like I have Spring in my own kitchen AND when it gets warm outside, I can plant them to have them come up next year! Seriously, I love this man! It's the perfect gift.

How was your Valentine's? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Fur-i-day!

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Despite the sun shining in my window and the golden rays lighting up the room, it's incredible chilly outside. Watching the news last night, the weather lady said that arctic air was moving our way. Arctic. Burrr! BUT the sunshine makes me excited for the weekend even though I might need to actually wear a winter hat and maybe even some gloves (it happens rarely, even though I do live in the blustery-wintry state of Minnesnowta!). Lots of things happened this week, both good and bad, and I thought I'd just share 'em with you.
The Good

  1. All of my laundry is folded and put away. For those who hate doing laundry as much as I do, and dislike folding it even more, you know how awesome it is to start a weekend with no laundry. If you don't know what's that like and you actually enjoy laundry (you're crazy, by the way), let me just tell you how great and fantastic any weekend is without laundry. 
  2. The Hubs and I are celebrating Valentine's Day tonight. February 10th is close enough, right? We're doing it Australian style and going to Outback. Yum! 
  3. I went running 3 times this week, pushed myself really hard, even broke a sweat and I'm planning on going running today too (yes, before my hot date with the Hubs!)
  4. Remington made friends with 2 puppies, both are 4 months old and the most adorable things you've ever seen. It took him a while to gain confidence and he spent a lot of the playing time on the floor while they owned him- but you have to start somewhere, right? 
  5. I have 2 baby showers this weekend for by wee baby niece who is going to arrive in the next couple weeks. Yay for girls!!!! (Not that I'm partial or anything)
  6. The Hubs and I enjoyed a relaxing walk this week, read about it here: Every Day Prayer and I got the cutest sunset-ooie-gooey-kiss picture... (see the photo above, cute, eh?)
The Bad

  1. Had an emergency vet visit this week with Remy. His eye had been looking a bit rough since Monday, but we thought maybe it would pass (aka we don't really like paying an arm and possibly a leg for a vet bill if we don't have to). But, by Wednesday evening it was looking so much worse that he couldn't even keep his eye open or see out of it. So, Thursday morning we spent an hour and half at the vet which resulted in Remy being tranquilized so Dr. Chuck could poke and prod around his eye. Apparently he has something called moon eye which can be caused by a number of things like bumping it to a fungal infection. His iris (the colored part) is infected, his pupil doesn't dilate and there's a lot of greenish color around his iris. All BAD things... We have to give him 3 different medications through the day, 2 of which go right onto his eye. He just loves that, let me tell you. He refused to cuddle or sit within 10 feet of me last night once we had put the medication in. We are going in for a follow up appointment on Saturday to see if it's gotten any better. 
  2. I really can't think of another bad thing, except that I ate some marshmallows last night when I wanted some sugar and probably should have stuck to my grapes... but I'm not sure if that should really make the list of not... 
Happy Friday to all of you! 
I hope your weekends are wonderful and relaxing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Every Day Prayer

Isn't it amazing how quickly a calm peace can slip away? I wrote on Friday about peace, about purposely seeking and pursuing things, friendships, time in our lives. I wrote,

"We don't have all the answers, but on this Friday, I feel peace about where we are at. A peace that I want to revel and bask in. A peace that cannot be ignored and cannot be from anything else except from something that is much bigger than me, the Hubs or any situation we are in. I feel a Godly peace and I am so thankful for it." 

Well, after a fantastic week at home with my amazing Hubs, Monday rolled around. Monday brought a crazy day of not feeling well, rushing around work, trying to sort out things and overall a crabby-Kylie. The peace that I have reveled and basked in throughout the weekend quickly dissipated to feelings of anxiousness, worry and unsettledness. I wanted it, but I wasn't sure how to get it back.

So, I left work, skipped my workout and headed home in search of some quiet and time to be still. At home, I grabbed my rubber boots, the dog and the Hubs and I set out on a quiet walk through our woods and pastures.

Oh how it was good for my soul. The sun was beginning to set as it spread it's glowing orange fingers across the sky. On the opposite side of the beautiful clear blue sky, the bright orange moon was rising above our farmhouse. Both side of sky reassured me that despite my crazy day, the day would still end and the night would still come. How I ended my day would not change those constants in my life.

Together, the Hubs and I processed our day, talked about the future, and slowly I found peace settling around my heart again. How quickly I had forgotten Friday's prayer:

"Come to me, 
all you who are weary and burdened,
 and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28

Every day, I want to make this my prayer. Every day the sun will rise and set, the moon will run it's course. But every day, I have the opportunity to choose how I am going to respond. I have the chance to change my attitude. I get to choose to come and rest.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Come and Rest

I have shared my heart many times about the journey that the Hubs and I are on to discover what God has in store for us and where he is taking us. At times, it feels like it's already been a long journey. I can definitely say that it's been a hard journey. There have been a lot of ups and down and not a lot of answers- or at least not a lot of the answers that we were looking for, but God always seems to have bigger and better things planned for us.

Together, the Hubs and I are exploring where God wants us as a couple, how and where to be involved in our local church, which friendships to invest in, where we should choose to spend our money and where we should cut back. We are exploring future careers and he just started going back to school, pursuing his dream of going into Law Enforcement. We are exploring what it means to love each unconditionally and how we can love ever when times are tough. We are learning to have patience, which is quite often taught through Remington (the little stinker).

We don't have all the answers, but on this Friday I feel a peace about where we are at. A peace that I want to revel and bask in. A peace that cannot be ignore and cannot be from anything else except for something that is much bigger than me, the Hubs or any situation we are in. I feel a Godly peace and I am so thankful for it. Last night, I fell asleep with this replaying in mind:

"Come to me, 
all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28

Today, I am resting... Are you choosing to rest? It's not something that comes naturally. I think about all of things that the Hubs and I are exploring, learning and pursuing and I am amazed that peace is even something I can think about. There is always something to be done, always something to be improved and yet, I know it'll get done. God is good, all the time. I hope you can find time this weekend to choose to rest!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Being a Biggest Loser

I am working on being a Loser. I might not be the Biggest, but I am definitely a work in progress.

I'm currently in my fourth week of my Biggest Loser Competition. If you want to know where all this crazy loser talk started, read about it here: I am the Biggest Loser. I am into four week of being conscious about what goes into my mouth and when I need to be active. The choices I am making about how I am going to live my life are going to effect me for the rest of my life. Habits that I can establish now, will run the course of life with me.

It sounds all good and dandy, doesn't it? Well, let's just say when that piece of chocolate is staring me square in the face, it doesn't seem that dandy. When I bake a dessert or two, resisting the urge to only sample once is not easy and not anything in the world of being dandy. It's hard. It is hard to learn to say no when it's always been easier to say yes. Not only has it been easier to say yes, I've never ever had to worry about what I eat. Perhaps it is the dreaded metabolism rate drop kicking in since I did just turn a quarter of a century. Whatever the case, I'm into week four of establishing healthy habits and lifestyle.

Here are some things I've been doing to help me along the way:

1. Always have grapes handy. When I feel like a little sugary snack, I eat grapes instead. I do realize they still have natural sugar in them and all that jazz, but I'm not eating chocolate.

2. Cut up your vegetables. There are two reasons... First, if they are already cut up, it's a lot easier to pack them up quickly to take along in your lunch. Second, if they are cut up, they are probably about the right size for a munchie snack. A much healthier munchie than chips or something along those greasy lines.

3. Don't eat until you are hungry. Even when you feel hungry, drink a cup of water first. If you still feel those hunger pangs, then eat. BUT don't eat until you cannot eat anymore. Eat slowly and until you are satisfied. I feel like this one takes the most practice, but it's so much better for you!

Do you have any tips? Anything you do to keep life healthy?

Nutella Hot Chocolate

  1. Warm up your milk. You can either put it in the microwave and heat it up for a couple of minutes or steam it if you have an espresso machine. 
  2. Mix in a heaping spoon of Nutella. Make sure you stir it enough so that the Nutella melts into the milk.
  3. Add a dash of cinnamon and stir that in as well. 
  4. Drink and be merry!
If you are feel super crazy, I'd add a shot or two of espresso. It's so good!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shoot, I Broke It

A year ago today, I broke my nose.

Heres the story... The Hubs & I played in a broomball league last winter. It was my first time ever playing broomball AND we were in a "competitive" league. In other words, we were the worst team by far in the league but sure had fun playing!

One exceptionally cold Tuesday night, we were playing and losing. The team was very aggressive and not always aware of where people were. They would just plow through people or take hard shots regardless of who was around. A big guy had the ball and since I was not only super tired of losing, being scored on and looking like idiots, I stepped up to the ball. As I stepped up, his stick slid up my stick, up my arm and across my face. This completely knocked me, I hit the ice & woke up screaming. Blood curdling screams where some thought that I was just mad that the other team had scored yet again. But my wonderful and protective Hubs knew that was not a normal scream - even for me when I get a little carried away playing sports.

The Hubs stepped up to the plate asking people to give me space, had someone prop me up and talk to me to keep me conscious. He got coats to put under and on top of me and had someone call 911. That's right, I got my first ambulance ride.

With the amount of blood I lost, I got an ambulance ride to the ER. I won't go into details, but the drugs I got made me super loopy and sick. Then I had drugs to make me feel less loopy and sick which only made it worse. I don't remember a lot of what happened at the hospital. I know that I got a CT scan to see where the breaks were and we found out it was broken in multiple places. Gross. BUT on the bright side, Jesus was looking after us because I broke my nose on the same day that my insurance kicked in. Praise Jesus! AND I hardly bruised or got black eyes... wanna see? I thought so....

Please try to see past this nasty photo that was taken at the worst angle ever.
Just see the nose. It's broken. And the kind of black eye on the left side. It's not too bad!

On the downside, I had to have my nose rebroken. Major bummer! And considering how I reacted to the drugs in the hospital, I elected to not take anything. I probably wouldn't recommend that to anyone, ever, but after my nose was reset, the relief was almost instantaneous!

So, Happy February 1st everyone!
Hope it is better than mine was a year ago!

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