I’m Back! I think.

Okay, okay. I know. It’s way too obvious and almost pointless to say it’s been a while. Almost 3 months is, indeed, quite a while. BUT… in my defense… I was in the hospital and/or on drugs for 2 of those weeks and playing catch up for about 2 more (and still currently doing so). For the rest of the time, I must admit, I have no excuse. Life is busy and I lacked motivation or was lazy. I am sorry I neglected you my dear pretty pink blog whose name is Julie but was previously known as Mitch (Refer to Makeover Madness blog for name change story. And yes I know it’s weird that I name things, but we’ve previously talked about this too!)

First things first, quite a few recipes have happened since August 23rd. I’ve avoided updating you Julie, because I was overwhelmed with the overwhelming need to overwhelm you with recipes (who knew it was possible to use overwhelm 3 times in 1 sentence). But, I missed you! So I’ve decided I will give you (Julie and readers) a list of all the delightful dishes that have occurred and let you tell me which ones you want recipes for. Good thing I’m OCD and keep up with everything. My OCD is also contributing to this by organizing the dishes in easy to browse categories. Don’t you just love me and my crazy organizational tendencies? I’m certain my future husband will love (or be driven crazy) by it as well. So here is the quick list. Please do comment if there are any recipes you want. I will be more than happy to give any and all of them to you! And if I haven’t bored you to pieces yet, scroll down now that the handling business part of this post is over.

Appetizers:
Chicken Cheese Ball
Buffalo Chicken Dip

Main Dishes:
Gumbo Soup
Quesadillas
Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Spaghetti
Turkey Nuggets
Beef Kabobs
Mexican Shepherd’s Pie
Lemon Poppyseed Chicken
Hashbrown Casserole
Homemade Sloppy Joes
Crock Pot Taco Soup
Meatballs with Scampi Sauce and Pasta
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Crock Pot Country BBQ Ribs
Overnight Stuffed French Toast
Meatball Subs
Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops
Beef Stew 

Sides:
Hummus
Scalloped Potatoes
Roasted Chick Peas
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes
Stewed Cabbage
Rice Cooker Apple Risotto
Stewed Squash
Macaroni and Cheese
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Sauteed Apples, Pears, and Cranberries
Best Gravy Ever
Roasted Pine Nut and Feta Cous Cous
Potato Salad

Desserts:
Cream Cheese Buttermilk Spice Cake
Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Sauce
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Marshmallow Fluff
S’mores Bars

Whew. What a few months it has been. It amazes me how fast and busy things get when October hits. Homecomings and holidays and parties and get togethers. I don’t think I have had or will have a weekend completely free of something since October and until January. This time of year is full of things. Busy things. Good things. Hard things.

Holidays are a funny thing for me. My entire life I LOVED holidays. Sometimes holidays were the only time when fighting didn’t occur and when Crazyland wasn’t so bad. With changes in my family and in myself, and things that have happened in recent past holidays, the last two years have made holidays really hard and my insides are conflicted. I still have that magical draw to love holidays. I love the spirit. I love how everyone really is more giving, more loving. For the most part, aside from the additional busyness, people pay attention to those in need around them more. We reach out more and care more, it seems. But this year I’ve found myself dreading holidays. They hurt a little. My family situation is different and things aren’t always as magical as they once were.

Also lately, I’ve been trying harder to work on my relationship with God and to overcome things, to trust and love Him more. I’ve been trying to pray even when I don’t feel like, even when I don’t want to, even when I don’t feel like I deserve to, even about things I don’t want to pray about. He already knows. It’s silly to keep it in when he is there waiting to hear from me. I’m doing a Bible study on Ruth with two girls I adore. We’re going through it together. Last week we read about Ruth and Joseph (different parts of the Bible) and their desire to change and move forward. Their sole motivation was Christ. Their commitment to obey was rooted in their love for their God. Then this Sunday, our wonderful sermon in our Restoration series was about restoring our awe of God. As always, because God’s cool like that, both of these were things I needed to hear now. Because of trials and struggles and trying to get through the muddy mess that is my life, I have lost some of my awe of God. I’ve really been trying to pay attention to God in the small things. His beauty and wonder. I truly desire for my awe and love for Him to be restored and strengthened. I want my desire to change to be rooted in my love and adoration for Him. I’m working on it. We’re getting there.

Today I was listening to my new Taylor Swift Christmas cd. If you know me, you KNOW how much I love Miss Swift. I do believe we’re kindred spirits and that if a movie is ever made about my life, she should gain a little (or more) weight, dye her hair, and play my character. I mean… we have the same curls! It’s meant to be. But anyway, I loved her even more after listening to a Christmas song on her cd. I don’t know if she wrote it, BUT she sang it. My hopes are she has some belief in what she sang. Lyrics sites do say she did write it, which I hope is true! It’s called “Christmas Must be Something More.”

“What if ribbons and bows didn’t mean a thing?Would the song still survive without five golden rings? Would you still wanna kiss without mistletoe? What would happen if God never let it snow? What would happen if Christmas carols told a lie? (Kasia interruption: I interpret this to mean the Jingle Bells, Santa Claus type carols, not the Jesus one based on the rest of the lyrics.) Tell me what you would find?

You’d say that today holds something special, something holy and not superficial. So here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives. It’s something we all try to ignore and put a wreath up on your door. So here’s something you should know that is for sure: Christmas must be something more.

What if angels did not pay attention to all the things that we wish they would always do? What if happiness came in a cardboard box? Then I’d think there was somethingwe all forgot. What would happen if presents all went away? Tell me what would you find?

You’d say that today holds something special,  something holy and not superficial. So here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives. It’s something we all try to ignore and put a wreath up on your door. So here’s something you should know that is for sure: Christmas must be something more.

We get so caught up in all of it, business and relationships, 100 mile an hour lives. And it’s this time of year and everybody’s here. It seems the last thing on your mind.

You’d say that today holds something special, something holy and not superficial. So here’s to Jesus Christ who saved our lives. It’s something we all try to ignore and put a wreath up on your door. So here’s something you should know that is for sure: Christmas must be something more. There’s gotta be more.”

I sat in my car and just cried. It’s not profound. It is something we all know. We know why we celebrate the coming season. But don’t we get lost in it all? The presents, the parties, the food to bring, what to wear, who and what to buy for, the decorating, the stress of the extra money spent, the sadness of those we can’t be with for the holidays. This simple little Taylor Swift songs did two things for me. It gave me a reason to anticipate Christmas and not dread it. So maybe my family situations doesn’t looked like I want it to causing holidays to not look like I want. Yes, holidays are for family, but my holiday isn’t ruined and something to dread just because my family doesn’t look like what I wish it did. This cheery song also reminded me of one more reason to be in love and in awe of our Jesus. That baby boy was born on the day (or close to it) we celebrate for a purpose. He came to save our lives. He has saved my life. And He hasn’t just stopped with saving this life of mine. He continues to work and move in it. How can I not love him more? I don’t think the holidays won’t carry a little sadness for me. I know they will. They will and do for anyone who has someone to miss, some grief, some loss. But… I have a reason to celebrate. I have many reasons! But I have Jesus to celebrate. The baby Jesus who was born on that day to die for us. To live a life, a perfect sinless, hard life. And then die for us to save us.

Take a breath. Take a moment. Drink some hot cocoa or coffee with peppermint mocha flavor (or gingerbreand or egg nog, or pumpkin spice)! Think, reflect, remember. Enjoy your families and the traditions, don’t take them for granted. But don’t forget what and why you celebrate. Christmas is more. Life is more.

I leave you with my favorite holiday cookie recipe! You MUST try these (unless you hate pumpkin).

Best Pumpkin Cookies Ever!

The only thing I do different is I drizzle the penuche glaze and not spread it. It’s really sweet! A drizzle is plenty for me, but also the perfect compliment for the pumpkin. If you drizzle, there will be left over glaze. You can half the glaze recipe, or freeze it. It reheats fine for use again. It gets hard fast so drizzle fast and keep it over heat. Also pay attention that it says 1 cup of pumpkin not 1 can. I also spoon the batter into a ziplock to make perfect cooking rounds. It’s a cakey cookie but so good! Everyone that’s tried them loves them.

One thought on “I’m Back! I think.

  1. Nick Jones says:

    This is Sam!!! maybe you should just email them to me! hahah. I want these recipes:

    Appetizers:
    Chicken Cheese Ball
    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Main Dishes:
    Gumbo Soup
    Stuffed Turkey Burgers
    Turkey Nuggets
    Beef Kabobs
    Lemon Poppyseed Chicken
    Hashbrown Casserole
    Stuffed Chicken Breasts
    Crock Pot Country BBQ Ribs
    Overnight Stuffed French Toast
    Meatball Subs
    Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops

    Sides:
    Hummus
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Roasted Chick Peas
    Baked Sweet Potatoes
    Twice Baked Potatoes
    Stewed Cabbage
    Stewed Squash
    Black Bean and Corn Salad
    Best Gravy Ever
    Roasted Pine Nut and Feta Cous Cous
    Potato Salad

    Desserts:
    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream
    S'mores Bars

    Like

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