An Incredible Year… An Incredible Now!

Maybe my word this year will be journey! Or moments! Or NOW!

I’m such a daydreamer that often I forget about the now, about the daily journey, and often look to the journey ahead… but the journey is ongoing, everyday… now!

And do I love the now! I have missed this site this past year to other journeys and adventures, which I will catch up on over time. A couple of things that kept me away…

1. Other forms of documenting. I documented in a bit of a different way last year – with a paper and pen journal! Can you believe it! Do those things still exist! Yes, they do! My goal last year was 365 days of gratitude in photos documented in a journal. I may have missed a couple of days, but hey, here’s to the gratitude of letting go a bit!

2. Work! It’s been an awesome learning curve, and one I continuously strive to get better at! I am now teaching online and loving this opportunity. I also work with some pretty spectacular individuals! And hello, let’s not forget my favorite part – the students! So much fun! I can do without the lesson planning, logistics, politics and policies (all necessary, I understand), being in the classroom, virtual, is my favorite. Lucky me!

3. Over our head home remodel! This has occupied the better half of the year! No sink or couch to sit on for about 4 months! The gratitude here is endless and I look forward to sharing more on this! Looking forward to lots of giving back, and hopefully lots of summer BBQs.

4. Other – Yeah, this is the area where I just can’t exactly pinpoint what drew me in another direction or kept me away except to say it was a multitude of things and possibilities – even though this was always there… in thought and with smiles!

Happy to be back! Funny, I always am!

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Reading and Reading and Reading

I love reading.

Books are like my movies! However, I love movies too! Which is probably why I am trying to scarf some particular books up before they hit the movies. Recently, I have read, Serena by Ron Rash, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, and Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I have the last in that series on hold and just picked up Labor Day by Joyce Maynard that I am about to read. Someone also recommended Khaled Hosseini’s new book, And the Mountains Echoed (or maybe A Thousand Splendid Suns). I loved The Kite Runner, so I might have to give these a try as well. And I’ve actually never read or saw Gone With the Wind. I’m thinking on that too. My library card is wearing out. Love. 

Reading is awesome.

My son sits and reads Unbroken! As I write this. Smile. Really into the war tales. He also loves his graphic novels and anything information based. Guinness records or hockey stats have been known to suck him in for periods of time. However, he did express interest in Divergent, which I have placed on hold for him. Like his mother a bit, maybe. Stories of dystopian societies. I can’t get enough. 1984. Yes. Love. We will see what he thinks. His witty dry humor might find a place to suit him well if chooses a career in writing. 

My daughter sits on her bed as I write. Lost in a story. Oblivious to all else around her. She has flown through series quicker than we can replenish. From Harry Potter to Percy Jackson to many numerous tales in between. She can sit on her bed for hours lost in her books. Joy. Soon, she will be publishing her own tales. 

And I love when my husband falls into bed early absorbed in a tale. He often gives me a hard time for not interacting with the family when my nose is in a good book. But, he’s really no different. Ha. And I love it. 

Stories are treasures – like many have said before. The more I read the more I crave to read and to write. I do see this in my own talented kiddos. And enjoy every piece they bring me to read. 

Thoughts and smiles. 

Here’s to reading. Cheers. 

Ice Fishing

This actually happened about a month ago now… but I’ve been out a lap top for about 3 weeks! Which, is not a bad thing sometimes.

Back to fishing!

Who knew ice fishing could be such fun, other than all the folks, who, well, ice fish!

It was awesome! And, let’s be real. That could very well be due to an incredibly sunny day warming up the not so warm temperature.

And, we even caught fish. By we, I, of course, don’t mean me! But, I was there!

Take a look:

Thoughts and smiles!

Where’ve You Been…

So, you get a new job and the holidays come about and you disappear. Blog Sadness.

It’s been wonderful around here. Life full of awesomeness.

1. Kids rock! Almost all the time. Minus yesterday when new bats were swung in the house and favorite tea mug went flying. Other than that, kids rock!

2. Bidding on a house is super duper exciting. Even if it doesn’t work out, what an exciting process. Okay, will be more exciting if it does work out!

3. Solstice celebrations make me loopy in spirit! Either that or being at the hockey rink all day!

4. Creativity makes me smile. Every time. Really, every time! Highlights: my son practicing on his guitar, my girl gifting me a duct tape purse for the holidays, coming together as a family to make origamis suns for the solstice, cookies… hello!, designing hockey jerseys…

5. Activity is pretty awesome too! From puzzling to hiking or snowshoeing to sledding and gathering and inconsistent yoga and hockey and rock climbing — love!

6. Family: of course this list is in no particular order because this aspect is the most amazing! Crazy super lucky! And let’s note… awesomeness in friends is an extension of this!

7. Dreaming up our wildest dreams and dreaming of possibilities and realities. Thanks and gratitude for all our good fortunes.

8. Lights have to be one of my favorite parts of the season. They mesh old with new traditions and blend the solstice with x-mas and just shine with cheer.

9. Laughter makes my heart strong. I love all the silly moments of the season and year and to come!

10. I started this list with my loves and I’m going to end it with my other love. My man. He is the most amazing! Always sneaking in behind me for a kiss, always making me feel awesome, special, sexy, goofy :), and wanted and loved. I absolutely appreciate him (even through our grrrr moments)!

Happy holidays and many thoughts and smiles being sent to so many!

Drop Biscuits and Deer Sausage Gravy

Yum! Thank you to the generosity of friends for sharing in their meat. Yesterday was a gamey day in more ways than just football. Friends brought elk steaks, deer chili, elk burgers, and let’s not forget the awesome ice cream treats and apps! What a feast! An awesome afternoon! Thank you to all for a great day.

And they left us with deer sausage (from a family overcoming their own unfortunate circumstances, so giving and awesome) so……

This is what we had for dinner.

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Pretzel Dogs & Football Sunday

This recipe was totally awesome! And copied!

Mini Pretzel Dogs

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Now, I pretty much followed this recipe to a “T”… whatever that means! If someone knows the story behind that “T” thing, please let me know. Of course, it’s probably obvious, but whatever! I don’t know the obvious link, so please, share!

The only difference I made, yes, there is at least one difference to the recipe, was the cutting and rolling of the dogs! I cut them in half, but hen cut them in half again. I figured more is better. And I was willing to test if there would be enough dough to roll 32 mini dogs instead of 16 (a pack of 8 dogs cut in half and then sliced in half again down the middle – no longer round!). Ya know what, there was! Yeah! It was actually a perfect ratio of dough to dog.

As you can see, the kiddies took right to it. It could be the fact that I mentioned something about sharing and helping going hand in hand. They really wanted the dogs. They put forth the work! Worked for me!

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Notice that cute little pumpkin in the upper left? Stinkin’ cute! I just could edit it out. That time of year! And talk of cute. I love the rolls. Mini pretzel dogs ready to boil.

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Out of the oven! Some unraveled rolls. All good. This recipe, like I mentioned, AWESOME! They weren’t as crisp as I might have wished, but a very acceptable first go around. And delicious regardless.

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And yeah, this is what HE did while we baked. Not even football kept his eyes open on a cozy Sunday afternoon. Well, that and he did just work 7 days straight at about 13 hour days. Snnnnoooozzzzzzze!

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Happy Football Sundays

Thoughts -n- Smiles

Fall Hike!

After a nutty weekend of travel, overbooked hotels, an awesome gal hanging with my dog my kid and doing the hockey mom thang, chipped tooth, stomach yuck from yuck food (while traveling), all night-er, more hockey… I was happy to sit back and reflect on this:

Just a quick pic of the fam! That I love! With lots of crazy wild dogs! Not ours! Well, not all of them, at least. The big goofy one… that’s ours!

Happy fall hiking to all!

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Thoughts and smiles!

There it Goes

Saying goodbye! For now!

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Ught oh! There it goes! It’s something I’ve been deliberating for over a year now. And I just did it. Good bye long hair! Actually, this happened a few weeks ago. I’m still trying to let it sink in!

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Now I need to find somewhere to donate these little cuties!

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Do I love it? I love that it’s not a rat’s nest, that it’s not stuck in a shirt or being tugged. I love how it feels, light and free. I love that there are not long strands of hair stuck to my clothing. So, there are many things I love!

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And, of course, I miss some aspects too! Cute braids!

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Whisking it back! It is a bit easier just throwing it into a ponytail!

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…and waking up with short hair! Hoo-ah! Everywhere and straight up! HA! Good thing I don’t have a picture of that! Happy hair! Thoughts and smiles!