Friday, June 29, 2012

I Believe

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. We are better than this. God is a God of love.

I believe birth control should be free. End of story. 

I believe that it is our responsibility, 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're not. The majority of people are good and 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 issues 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 okay.

I believe that minimum wage is impossible to live off of. Statistically, we know it is. And even though I know this, I have no idea how we can actually solve this problem.

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

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.
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 and we were told he had a few weeks to a few months.

Early on Saturday morning he passed away much sooner than anyone thought and I am so glad we went to visit him sooner rather than later.

All of my grandparents passed away when I was younger. My last living 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 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 their children, and then 12 great grandchildren.

I love listening to J tell me stories about his grandpa. I love that he got to see us get married and dance at our wedding. I will always always remember the way he said, "Hi Shug."

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, but it doesn't quite feel like "home" yet. Hopefully the more stuff I get put away the more cozy it will become.

At 2:00am, after we unloaded the second U-HAUL truck, I was exhuasted and over it all. I started thinking about why this move was so dang bad. I realized this was the first time I had ever moved myself. I have always had movers move my stuff so 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. As for all the other moves throughout college and early adulthood my parents didn't want to have to shelp all my stuff from one place to another to they hired movers for me.

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 just to have someone else do it.

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. Booze and pizza is always a good form of payment.
4. If we decide to move again, I am hiring movers. Or getting knocked up.
Monday, June 18, 2012

Love You To Pieces (DIY Anniversary Gift)

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 wedding anniversary. If you know me you know I love a good reason to celebrate and this little one month anniversary was the perfect occasion. I was actually out of town for work on the 5th so I planned a little surprise for J. I didn't want to do anything super big or expensive so I decided to make a puzzle and attach each piece to a little gift. I then hid the gifts around the house for J to find throughout the day.

I started off by creating the "puzzle." Make sure it takes up the entire page.

I cut the paper into 10 different pieces and there was no method to my cutting. 

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

I tried to get things he could use/eat all throughout the 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 the everyday routine to do something special.
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Strawberry & White Chocolate 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 easy dessert that I decided to make for a baby shower at work.

What You Need:
-1 box brownie mix and mixing ingredients (egg, water, vegtable oil) 
-1 bag white chocolate chips
-1 small jar all natural strawberry jam

What to Do:
1. Pour the jam into a small sauce pan and heat on low, stirring occasionally. You want the jam to become warm and pourable.
2. While the jam is heating up, mix the brownie mix according to the package and pour into a 9x13in. baking pan. 
3. In a seperate sauce pan, double boiler, or in the microwave, melt 1 bag of white chocoalte chips.
4. Pour the melted white chocolate over the brownie mix. Don't worry about how it looks.

5. Next, pour the heated jam over the white cholocate.

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

7. Bake according to the directions on the brownie box plus an additional 15 minutes. 

Let cool before cutting and serving!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Honeymoon in Italy (The Pantheon)

Our last day in Rome we headed 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 the 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.

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 in Italy, 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:)

I'm sure some of you are dying at the thought, but it was perfect and laid back, and we still laugh about it to this day. I think we waited almost 2 hours that night but after almost 14 meals of Italian food and pasta we needed something different. 

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

In case you missed the other recaps:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Honeymoon in Italy (The Spanish Steps & Venice)

After a full day of sightseeing at the Vatican we wanted a day to sleep in, relax, and not have anything we had to see. I picked up these pastries for breakfast from a place near our hotel.

I don't think we even left our hotel until 3:00pm this day. We walked around, picked up a few gifts for people, and then decided to head towards the Spanish Steps. We got there right as the sun was setting and it was beautiful. Our first night in Rome when we got lost walking around, we actually walked down the stairs not even realizing it was The Spanish Steps.

The next morning we got up early and headed to the train station to catch the train to Venice. This was our view from the train heading into the station.

Venice was a beautiful city. There is something about a city completely on water with no cars, buses, or taxis. The buildings were bright and colorful and the city was actually bigger than I thought it would be.

A trip to Venice isn't complete without taking a gondola ride! There were lots of gondola stations all along the main canal.

We chose to do a single person gondola sine we wanted to be able to enjoy it just the two of us. I will warn you gondola rides are not cheap. Our "driver" was telling us there are different price levels depending on what company you go with and what you want. Single riders are more expensive than riding with a lot of people. Singing "drivers" are more expensive than ones that don't. You can also chose to do the short or long route. We choose to do the long route and it was 200 euros. Yes, that is a lot for a 40 minute boat ride, but you're only in Venice once for your honeymoon. Our wedding guests and family were very generous with their gifts and we knew we wanted to spend some of that money on experiences instead of things. We took in every minute of the ride and I was so thankful this is something we were able to do. Of course the one picture our guy took was blurry. 

We ate lunch by the water and the food was less than stellar. If I had to do it again I would pick a place away from all the tourists where the food tends to be more authentic and delicious. 

After the gondola and lunch we walked around and managed to walk all the way to the end of the island.

This also means we of course got lost on our way back. One down side of Venice is all the canals and walkways. We would go down a street only to find out it ended at the water and have to back track. It was also incredibly hot and humid inside all the little alley ways. 

The train we were taking back to Rome was also the last train of the day which meant if we missed it we were stuck on the island overnight. I may have started crying at one point when we got to another dead end after walking for almost an hour. In the end, J managed to navigate us back to the train station and we caught our train on time. 

In case you missed it: