Friday, June 29, 2012

My Political Beliefs-Sort Of

What better time to do a little post about "politics" than the day after the Supreme Court upheld the health care mandate.

Don't worry, this isn't going to be a post in which I rant about one party or the other. This isn't a post about the President or how I think he's running the country. This is a post about what I believe fundamentally. You may or may not agree. And if you disagree I would love to hear your thoughts. After all, how do we grow as people if we aren't able to listen to other's opinions, soak it in, and then make a decision. Your beliefs might just change mine...

I believe that everyone, even if you can't afford it, should have access to quality healthcare. Is the new healthcare mandate the way to do this? I don't know. But no one should ever be denied coverage because they have diabetes or cancer or are pregnant or can't afford it. I am fortunate to be offerred healthcare through my job and be able to pay for it. I am also willing to pay a little more so that others may have insurance as well. Maybe the first step is to start with coverage for children. I don't think any of us would disagree that all children should have this right.

I believe that our country is better than how we act sometimes.

I believe that almost every President has done/is doing the best they can. To truely see a President as a person, father, husband, etc is hard. You may disagree with the beliefs and policies of the President down to your very core and that doesn't mean they are evil or a bad person. I think George W. Bush's book is a prime example of this. By reading his book you may just realize that he doesn't hate black people, but instead may have made some poor decisions and took bad advice. And to do this is to be human.

I believe that no one deserves to be told that God hates them or they are going to hell. Especially in public. With the whole world watching. We are better than this. God is a God of love.

I believe that the way to decrease and end abortions is not to stand outside clinics with signs of hate or make abortions illegal. Instead of changing laws we should focus on changing people's hearts.

I believe birth control should be free. End of story. Maybe, even in a small way, that would help with the issue above.

I believe that it is our responsibily as the human race to take care of one another. The "why should I have to..." attitude goes against everything this country is about. It should go against everything a caring, moral human being is about.There will always be lazy people. Accept it and move on. Be grateful you are not. Many people are just doing the best they can.

I believe that there is rarely a news story that is unbiased. Be educated. Watch debates. Don't base your beliefs off of Facebook posters or what your friend heard on the news.

I believe that people are way more than a political party. Wouldn't it be great if we voted on an actual issue instead of a party name.

I believe it is everyone's job to live within their means. If you can't afford that house, don't get a loan for it just because you can. Even if the person approving you for it tells you it will be ok.

I believe that minimum wage is impossible to live off of. In fact, statistically we know it is. I have no idea how we can actually solve this problem.

I believe that in the United States of America, no one should ever go hungry. I believe that everyone should have accress to running water. And a refrigerator. And the opportunity to do better than their parents.

I belive that if everyone had a little bit more compassion, understanding, and tolerance, many of the "big" issues we face today wouldn't seem so big.

I believe that having faith in people and believing in the best of people is a much better way to live than thinking I don't owe anyone anything.

I believe that if people saw immigration issues as a form of flattery, it might lighten the mood surrounding it. Are there "bad" people trying to invade our borders and do harm? Of course. But this is nothing new. Many hard working, honest, decent people want to come to our country. Our country, filled with the possiblity of opportunity and a better life. Our country, where we once prided ourselves on diversity instead of being fearful over which ethnicity is "taking over." Our country that many of us living in only seem to complain about. How lucky we are.

I believe that even though are country is great, we still have lots of work to do. Both as a nation and as individuals.

I believe that no party or President will ever have all the solutions. I belive there are many ways to approach an issue. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But doing something is better than doing nothing, which is better than wasting energy arguing over who is right.

I believe in our country, in our President, and in God. We are nothing without hope. Hope that thing's will get better even if we aren't sure how to make them better. Hope that we can do and be whoever and whatever you want. Hope that we will leave this world a little better than when we entered it.
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pintrest Project {Mini Fruit Pizzas}

I made these delicious and oh so cute mini fruit pizzas to take to my in-laws for Memorial Day. We ended up not going so J may have eaten almost the entire batch by himself.

I would write out the recipe but we are still finishing moving the last bit of stuff from our old house and the link from Pintrest gives a much better tutorial anyway.

I used strawberries and blueberries because it's what we had and
 to stick with the patriot theme, but you can use whatever fruit you happen to have on hand.

Yummy, light, and a perfect Summer treat!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Paw Fish

A little over a week ago we found out J's grandpa had cancer. The cancer had been undiagnosed for a while. We were told a few weeks to a few months.

Early in the morning on Saturday Paw Fish passed away much sooner than anyone thought.

I am so glad we went to visit him.

All of my grandparents passed away when I was younger. My grandfather passed away when I was a few months pregnant with Ben. I am forever grateful that being part of J's family meant I suddenly had grandparents again. They've never once treated me as anything but their own.

I am most grateful that Paw Fish lived to be 80 years old. He saw his children grow up and have their own children. And those children blessed him with 12 great grandchildren.

I love listening to J tell me stories about him and his grandpa.

I love that grandpa got to see us get married. I love that he got to dance at our wedding.

I will always always remember the way he said, "Hi Shug."

I know what it's like to lose a grandparent. I pray that J and his family will have a sense of peace and comfort.

I wonder if my grandparents have met Paw Fish yet. Heaven's a pretty big place.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moving's A You Know What

Does anyone else HATE moving?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our new house. It doesn't quite feel like "home" yet, but the more stuff I get put away the more cozy it becomes.

But, at 2:00am after 2 U-HAUL truck fulls later(mind you the biggest truck they have), exhuasted and over it all, I just wanted to be back at our old house with all our stuff.

Since I did in fact the survive the move, I started thinking about why this move was so dang bad. Then I realized this was the first time I had ever, cough, moved myself. I have always had movers move all my stuff. No wonder I was freakin tired. When J and I moved into our last house I was 9 months pregnant, PRAISE THE LORD, which automatically meant I couldn't lift or move anything. I tried to tell J that it also meant I wasn't allowed to unpack boxes. Damn Google told him that pregnant women can in fact do more than lay on the couch. Google can be such a tattle tale. As for all the other moves throughout college and early adulthood? I think my parents just didn't want to shelp all my stuff from one place to another. The solution? MOVERS!

J kept remidning me we were saving over a thousand dollars by doing it ourselves, but during my breakdown (where I may or may not have cried) carrying our CALIFORNIA KING MATTRESS through the house at 1:30am I would have paid any amount.

So what did I learn?
1. As it turns out, I am capable of moving, I just don't like it. At all.
2. Movers deserve every penny they make. And then some.
3. Always ask people for help. Even if you don't want to inconvience them. Beer is always a good form of payment.
4. If we decide to move again, I am getting knocked up.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love You To Pieces {One month anniversary}

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom today! We celebrated yesterday since her birthday and Father's Day were so close this year.

On June 5, J and I had our one month anniversary. It seems weird to say considering we're going on 6 years together, but anywho...

If you know me you know I love a good reason to celebrate and this little ole one month anniversary was no different. I was actually out of town for work on the 5th so I planned a little suprise for J. I didn't want to do anything big or expensive, remember June is the month of cleansing. I decided to make J a little puzzle and each piece would be attached to a little gift. I then hid the gifts around the house for him to find throughout the day.

I started off by creating this little note in Pages for all you Mac users or you could also use Microsoft Word. Make sure it takes up the entire page.

I cut up the paper into 10 different pieces. There was no method to my cutting. I tried to do a mixture of curvy and straight lines.

I collected my goodies and taped a puzzle piece to each one. I hid them around the house after J went to bed.
For the goodies I used:
-Hershey bar
-Coupon to see Men in Black 3
-Coupon for a Free Grass Mow
-Red Bull
-Casey's gift card (Saturdays are Casey'd donut days)
-Coupon for a massage

I tried to get things he could use/eat all throughout they day. For example I put the donut one in the kitchen so he could eat them in the morning for breakfast and the funyuns in the pantry so he could have a snack in the afternoon.

Even though it was simple and easy to do, it's nice to take time out of our everyday routine to do something special.

What fun and in-expensive things have you done for your loved one?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there and especially to my dad, FIL, and of course my baby's daddy:)

Ben is pretty lucky to have such an amazing dad and grandpas.

Source: via Shaun on Pinterest

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pool: An experience

J's aunt has a beautiful pool that all the kids love swimming in. Everytime we go, the first thing Ben asks is if he can go swimming.

After much reassuance from me, and watching his younger cousin one up him with her floaties, Ben decided he would give in, get in the pool by himself, and trust that his floaties would in fact keep him a float.

Let's just say we didn't make it off the wall. Bring on the swim lessons!

*Just to clarify, when I say "get in the pool by himself" he was still in the 3 foot end. I also helped him back out right after I took this picture. Maybe.
Thursday, June 14, 2012

White Chocolate Strawberry Brownies

A few months ago I was flipping through the channels and came across one of Giada De Laurentiis' shows. She was making a super super easy dessert. I mentally book marked it and decided to make it for a baby shower we were having at work.

What you'll need:
-1 box brownie mix and mixing ingredients(egg, water, vegtable oil) 
-1 bag white chocolate chips
-1 small jar all natural strawberry jam (you can use whatever flavor of jam you like)

Pour jam into a small sauce pan and heat on low, stirring occassinaly. You want the jam to become warm and pourable.

While the jam is heating up, mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. Pour into a 9x13in. baking pan. Make sure you spray the pan first.

In a seperate sauce pan, double brolier, or in the microwave, melt 1 bag of white chocoalte chips.

Pour the melted white chocolate over the brownie mix. Don't worry about how it looks.

Next, pour the heated jam over the white cholocate.

Take a knife and gently drag it through all the layers creating a swirl pattern. Lick the knife.

Bake according to the directions on the brownie box although I left mine in for an 15 extra minutes. You want to make sure the insides of the brownie are cooked all the way.

Enjoy! Super easy and no one has to know it involves brownies from a box:)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!!

Sorry it has taken me so long to post the winner of the giveaway. Our nights have been filled with packing boxes getting ready to move. So without further adieu.....

To pick the winner I wrote down everyone's name who entered. Those who also posted the giveaway on their blog got an extra entry.

Into the bowl they went...

And the WINNER is.....

Congratulations Megan and I will get the prize to you!

Thanks to everyone else who entered the giveaway and hello to all the new followers!

The Pantheon aka Our Last Day

Well if you've made it this far hat's off to you.  It's been a long recap, but I must say going back through the pictures reminds me of what a great time we had.

Our last day in Rome we headed out to the Pantheon. The Pantheon is one of the best preserved buildings in Rome.

The dome of the Pantheon. The circle is open to the outside and never covered. When it rains the rain comes in and drains through drain holes in the ground. 
The drain holes in the floor. Everyone was looking at these and taking pictures. J and I had no idea what these were at the time so we took pictures in case they were something really important:)

A little egyptian in the middle of Rome.

J and I ate lunch at a restaurant in the piazza right across from the Pantheon.
Yummy drinks.

Lasagna for me.

Spaghetti for J.

After lunch we walked back to the hotel, rested, and got ready for dinner. We had planned on going to a really nice restaurant for our last night, but the thought of eating any more pasta was too much to handle.

Instead we did what any good American would do and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe:)
J and I have always thought Hard Rocks were over rated. I think we waited almost 2 hours that night but it was well worth it. After almost 14 meals of Italian food and pasta we needed something different. The food was great, the music was great, and it was the perfect laid back dinner for our last night in Rome.

J and I both agree that besides the birth of our son, this time was the best time in our lives. There is nothing better than spending time in a beautiful country with the person you love.

And in case you missed the other recaps check them out: