Friday, July 26, 2013

The Funk

Here is a little Friday stream of consciousness for you... Happy weekend! :)

It is funny. All that time spent in graduate school has given me a new perspective post-graduation. While I am SUPER grateful to be done with homework, late nights reading articles or textbooks, or group projects, I am finding that this time after graduating has been fun and relaxing, but different. While life and work and normal responsibilities still are moving at a fast pace, I am finding that all the things I thought about doing post-graduation, I am lacking the routine or discipline to actually do them. I had projects GALORE I wanted to do once being done with school. All those nights I was writing or meeting virtually with group members on projects, I had a list of "man, I wish I was doing [insert some form of fun that doesn't involve schoolwork here]". I even wished I had time to clean...like clean your whole house clean. Now that I have that time, I am having a difficult time making a routine. Scheduling my days to accomplish something outside of normal work hours. Once I get home, I just want to watch tv. I have never been a big tv watcher, but now, that's much of what I find myself doing. My books I have from the library even remain unread. What is going on?!  I need to get myself back on track and find a good rhythm. When you are forced to do hours of schoolwork, you just do it. It is hard, not fun, but it forces productivity. I can't handle not doing something productive. Just sitting is so foreign to me it makes me feel almost guilty for doing it. I guess, like in all things, I need to find a balance. I need to balance sitting watching tv time with doing projects or other household activities. I mean, I have been keeping up with routine cleaning, etc better than when I was in school, but the extra projects seem to be just waiting to be addressed and I keep putting it off. I am not a procrastinator, for the most part. Why am I suddenly doing this? I need to get out of this funk. This "wanting to be lazy" funk. I need to get on a schedule...you know I love a good list:) looks like it is to the drawing board on "being productive post-school".

I'll let you know how this all turns out... :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee: Which are you?

I saw this on facebook and I couldn't pass it up and not share. This story is not my own nor is the picture. I don't know where original credit it due, but it is fabulous. A great read.

Enjoy!
~AMK

*************************************




A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose. 

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Watermelon Salsa

Image from here.

Ok, don't be scared. My aunt introduced this recipe to me.  This salsa is incredible. It is sweet but has a little kick to it too. This is great for keeping it healthy and it isn't as acidic as tomatoes. Light and refreshing, you will LOVE IT. 

I have made this recipe many times now, and most people are stunned after trying it to find out that the "red" they see aren't tomatoes! This is a sure crowd-pleaser! 

I hope you find this is a fun alternative to regular salsa and enjoy changing things up for your summer cook outs!






Watermelon Salsa

2.-3 cups diced seedless watermelon
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion (I used red)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix and serve chilled with tortilla chips!

Enjoy!

~AMK

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Break Up Update

So a few weeks ago, I declared that I was going to make some changes. Some healthy changes. Eat healthier, stop drinking soda, exercise more. Here's an update on breaking up with old habits and the new habits I am trying to start.


Eating. My eating has gone up and down. I use the calorie counter and it helps, but sometimes it is hard to remember to enter everything or find what I am looking for in the searches. But, I am finding that even if it is a "close enough" search to what I have been eating, it makes me much more aware of how much and what I am consuming.

Moving into our house has made eating healthy much more difficult. When your trips to the grocery store become few and far between, it makes keeping fresh ingredients at home difficult. I am glad we are getting settled in and will be able to unpack all our cooking stuff so I can start making meals at home. Pizza and hot dogs for several days in a row are not exactly part of my eating-healthy plan. But, I have been able to make a couple quick trips to the store to get some fruit and salad stuff so I am making it happen the best I can in the interim.

One of my biggest things I am trying to work on is not to give up on this goal. It is discouraging when you can't eat healthy because of time constraints or because you don't want to overbuy right before/during/after a move while you are getting settled. It is so much easier to eat out or get something quick, like pizza. So, I am trying to keep a mindset of not getting frustrated. It is ok and it is only for a time. I am trying to monitor my portions, but if my current meal isn't ideal, don't worry, and don't fall off the bandwagon. You got this. I will try again the next time. I find that if I can't do something fully and completely, I tend to push it to the wayside. So I am working on that.


Soda Drinking. It is funny because I used to not be a big soda drinker at all. Times change, but I am doing pretty well with it. I have had some soda, especially with moving, etc., but kinda like with my eating, I am not going to fret over a soda I may have. Because I haven't been eating as healthy and the stress of moving and still going to work every day, my stomach has been giving me issues. Sometimes, you just need to drink a soda. Sugar and carbonation can help sometimes. So, what I decided was I should try and not have soda as much as possible, but if I am really craving one or am feeling not-to-great, try to just have 1 soda for the week. This goes back to the don't-fret-and-don't-fall-off-the-bandwagon mantra. Just have to keep plugging along and do the best you can.



Exercising. Packing boxes. Moving boxes. Unpacking boxes. This totally classifies as a workout. So the gym can wait. :)


So there's the low-down and update of my big declarations. I haven't found the scale yet in unpacking, so I guess that's probably a good thing for now.

:)

Here is to breaking up with old habits and keeping up with your new goals and sticking with them...but not fretting if you slip up now and then!

~AMK

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A House, A Home

So the Third.Big.Thing.

Life has been madness lately. But a good madness. The crazy that makes you sleep so hard each night and then make up dreams with sirens and alarms in the morning because you are still so tired that you incorporated your alarm sound into your dreams. It has been nuts, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

KGK and I just moved into our first house! We could not be more excited. Apartment living definitely has its perks, and we were happy to be in an apartment until the right house came along, and it did! We are thrilled.

So now, the packing, unpacking crazy cycle is in full swing. We have everything moved in and we are now trying to find everything. We went a few days already with just the basics. Food was scarce. We have been living off of hot dogs and left over pizza because we are still digging through our mounds of stuff and need to find our pots, pans, plates, etc. It is amazing how much stuff you can acquire in so much time and how much you actually use your stuff. So now we get to figure out where everything is going and where everything is hiding.

A few things I am especially excited about now that we are in a house:


*Having a garden.*
*Salvaging some of our older furniture, nicknacks, and other decor that have been in boxes and try giving them fresh paint, and giving 'em new life.*
*Making my own curtains*
*Finding a spot for everything and keep it clean and neat *


So these are just a few of my hopes for this new house of ours. I look forward to making this house of ours a home we can be in for a long, long time.

Stay tuned!

~AMK

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Right to Silence

Dear Current & Future Self,

So today is a slightly different letter to myself. One that doesn’t fit much of the tone of other posts here. Sometimes I have a hard time writing on topics that may cause waves or hurt others feelings. While I may be a strong-willed (ok, opinionated at times), my intentions are not to hurt others feelings or try and change another person’s mind. Very few people have ever heard me say who I vote for, my views of gay marriage, my views on parenting (especially because I don’t have kids to even know anything about this), or what I even believe in the religious sense. Not because I don’t have strong beliefs and not because I won’t tell you if you ask. The reason I don’t blurt these things out or post proficiently on social media outlets my views on these very sensitive topics is not because I don’t have an opinion. It isn’t because I do not want to talk about it or I don’t have good reasons backing up my beliefs. The reason I don’t blurt these things out is not because I am afraid to speak my mind nor am I downplaying to right to free speech. I wholeheartedly believe in these things. However, some people blurt these things out without thinking of other people. They don’t consider the struggles others are going through and your intentions are not always shown as clearly in a facebook post or a tweet. 

Some people may not like this. That’s fine. You can post your thoughts and there is nothing wrong with that. But just know, that if you can be as bold to post those kinds of controversial thoughts, you need to be prepared for others to respectively decline to delve into a battle with you over that idea or issue. Just because I do not humor you into agreeing or disagreeing with you publically doesn’t mean I don’t have a strong opinion. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the raising of blood pressure over arguing. And many times, there can be disrespect thrown out when it wasn’t intended to be that in the first place. So if you decide to share those thoughts, that is awesome. But you need to respect those that don’t want to throw out those same thoughts too. Some people don’t want to create enemies over a simple disagreement. So when you post something bold on facebook, twitter, instagram, or whatever, or decide to ask very personal questions to someone, be prepared if that person respectfully declines to comment. It may have nothing to do with you or everything to do with you. Just know that if you get to be bold and ask, I get to be bold and be silent. That is my right too.


It is funny. This is something that I have thought of strongly over the years. My right to be silent. I am a talker and I am very open person. However, when it comes to things that could hurt others feelings or if I am being insensitive to the struggles others may be going through and my opinion would only hurt them more in their struggles, sometimes it is better to be there for someone then tell them what you think. We all fall prey to this "quick-to-respond-reaction". I know I do, but just as it is my right to freely speak, it is also my right to freely remain silent. All growing up, my parents said to think before I speak. When you are a fast talker, that is hard to do. But it is something I am constantly striving to do. There would probably be a lot less hurt feelings and oppression if people would actually think how their message will be received than just how is sounds coming out of their mouths.

Do I always follow through with this? This right to remain silent. Most definitely NOT. I am quick to fill silence and quick to say something that probably isn't the right thing to say. However, it is something that I am trying to train myself to do more. I think many people really do try to be careful. I don't think that most people are out there to hurt others. Not at all. I think we sometimes forget how the other person may receive our comment and that is something I want to continually work on. My right to silence is something that needs to be practiced. It is not something that comes naturally to me, but I have thought about this a lot over the past few years. Something that I think others can benefit from too. Sometimes, it just isn't worth the argument for hurt feelings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Habits & Rabbits


Ok, so this post really has nothing to do with Rabbits. I just liked how it sounded. I am not a poet, but if I get a chance to rhyme a word or two, I feel like telling my high school self that it will turn out ok that you can’t master writing a haiku or other poetry types. (Confession: yes, I have been laughed at, by a teacher, with how poor my poem-writing-skills were, in front of the whole class). But that is neither here nor there…I’m beyond my need to write poetry. Doesn’t really suite me anyway, just not my thing. 

But ANYWAYS, back on track. Reeling it in.

Habits. I googled “define: habits” and this is what pops up:



Pretty straight forward and applicable. Minus the taking of drugs part. Just say no.

Anywho, I have gotten into a bad “regular tendency or practice” of not eating as healthy as I should, and not exercising regularly. I blame two things: I started dating KGK and I became happy, so why work out?; and I started grad school.

So now, I am more than 2 years beyond the start of KGK and I starting our fun-filled journey together and my grad work is behind me. I have gotten into quite the slump and extra humps (graphic, I know, how do you think I feel?!). So it is time to get myself back into better shape. I will never be within my ideal weight/BMI range for my height. Never have been. And even when I played sports with morning and evening practices and constantly on the go when I was younger, I was NEVER within those ranges. I was always like 20 pounds more than those. Not sure how they come up with that stuff, but I had two things going against me: big hips (even in middle school when those suckers started spreading), and big boobs (even at my lowest, these suckers are just big).

So now that I have gotten extremely personal and said things on the web that my mother would probably freak out over (sorry mom, but just being honest about the girls), I have decided to get myself into a workout routine and making healthier eating choices.

Now first, let me explain. I am not an expert. I will mess up. I love beer and wings, so those will still be in my food consumption every so often. However, I am making small choices to ensure I am feeding my body what it needs MOST of the time, and having those “fun” things only some of the time. My some and MOST have been flip flopped for the past couple years. So it is time to flip flop them back again. Get myself back on track and be a better and healthier me.

Ok, next. Working out. UGH. Say it with me…UGH. Well, time to get that kicked into high gear too. I am not planning to start going to the gym 5+ days a week. I will not spend more than an hour or so there at a time. Because let’s face it, if I place too big of a goal, I have more room to miss it and fail. So, I am starting small. I plan to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. If it doesn’t happen, I will try to do it the next week. Life happens. You can’t always be a machine and stay on schedule or keep to regimens as we hope we can. So I am allowing myself to be flexible, but not be lazy. I am going to force myself out of bed in the morning to go to the gym. I will be sure to go to classes or get a workout in even after long days at work. Enough forcing and it will be an easier push eventually. I will get in the habit of it again. I used to frequent the gym 4 times a week before grad/KGK happiness entered my life. Now, with more going on, I expect 3 times a week for myself. I want to be healthier and fitter so that I can be active for more years of my life. I don’t want to have a family and not be able to go outside and kick around a soccer ball or not go for hikes. I want my kids to see their momma as active and going on adventures. They need to see me making the time to take care of myself so that they will do those same things too. 

So now starts the hard part. Getting into the habit. Habit making is hard, habit breaking is easy and so much more fun. But once something is a everyday practice, it becomes easier. Making my coffee every morning is a habit. I enjoy it. Being healthy can be the same too. I just have to get over the initial work to get it brewing.

Received this gem from a friend today.

So my goals are to get some poundage off and be healthier. I will need all the help I can get, so any encouragement or words of advice/wisdom are greatly appreciatedJ

~AMK

Monday, May 20, 2013

Second Big Thing

Sunshine and butterflies. That is how things are right now. The sun is out (I thought it was suppose to rain all day??), spring and summer are in the air and it is glorious. I am loving this nice weather and wishing I was back on vacation. 



Oh, yeah. I went on vacation:)  KGK and I went on our honeymoon! That was the second big thing of the few exciting happenings this start to summer. 



Post-Grad life is Good :)
  

Back in the fall when we got hitched, we decided to take a shorter honeymoon (our “mini-moon”) because I was in school and we wanted to be able to take a longer trip with vaca time reset for work. We also wanted to use our big trip as a way to celebrate me being done with school too. So, last week, we had our honeymoon. We rented a beach house, which was just perfect. We went surf fishing almost every day of the trip, morning and then back again just after dinner. Our trip started off with some rain, but it didn’t stop us. We still went out and battled the chilly drizzle to try and catch some fishies. As the week progressed, the weather got warmer and sunnier and was awesome. We ended up catching several fish, but they were fairly small, so we decided to let them go and fatten up for the next time they get caught:) However, we did catch one “keeper”. 



Our one "keeper". Sheepshead
This is a sheepshead fish. KGK reeled this bad boy in. The skin on this sucker was crazy tough so we decided to freeze it and clean it once we got back so we wouldn't make too big a mess at the rental. Looks like we have a project to do now that we are home. We hear these are fairly hard to catch but that they are great eating, so we are excited about that.


Perfect evening on the beach.
We also went out to eat a few times to some yummy spots. There was this one restaurant that looked over the ocean where we could watch fishermen on the pier or surfers in the waves. It was great. And to top it off, they had some of the best fried shrimp either of us have ever had. YUM.







Needless to say, the trip was awesome. A much needed time for the two of us to get away from the normal routines and enjoy fishing, getting some sun, and relaxing.  It was glorious and I am ready to go back, like, right now. Who wouldn't with sites like these to enjoy...















*******************************

Some more vacation fun:


Fishing boat docked right outside our window as we had lunch.




Slightly inappropriate holding of the fishing pole (wasn't intentional, promise!) :)




















































Lots of reading happened on this chair.























And Lots of Rummy and Uno!




























Needless to say, vacation was wonderful!

~AMK

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The first big thing.


So how’s it going? How’s life? It is May, you know! That means summer is RIGHT around the corner. WAHOO! AND big things are happening in May. I am excited:)

The first big thing happened yesterday.  For most, this would not be so big. But for me, it was awesome. The rest of the big things will be shared later...how do you like that for suspense? :)

So yesterday, I went to the library and checked out a few books.  Yes, you heard me. I went to the library to check.out.books….not read journal articles, do research, or write a paper. But I looked at the fiction, autobiographies, mystery and other “fun” sections.  This was a momentous occasion! Finishing school means I can read again.  Didn't I read during my entire time in grad school, you ask? Well, yeah. But research isn’t as exciting as a good novel. So I am PUMPED. :)

photo from here



As I browsed the shelves, I found some books that I am excited to read. I looked for some that others had suggested, but I couldn't find them. So I decided to go through and see what was sitting there, waiting to be picked up and the cover read. I decided upon three books to last me the next week or so. 

Here's the breakdown:



photo from here. 
The first, was the third book in a trilogy by Allie Condie called Reached. I have been reading this trilogy since last summer. I read the first one just before the fall semester began, then read the second one over Christmas (before the stomach plague of Christmas 2012 hit), and I am now able to read this third one. To me, there are similar to the Hunger Games in that they are easy to read, they are so creative with a futuristic type society, like in the Hunger Games.  It is really a good read if you are looking for a couple books to get sucked into on a lazy Saturday.

 
photo from here




The second book I picked up was called  Into the Wild by  Jon-Krakauer. It is about a man that hitchhiked to Alaska and left everything he had behind to live in the wild. I have heard that this book is excellent, so I am pretty pumped to start this one. AND, they made this into a movie…so it looks like I have another movie to add to my list of “need to watch”.

photo from here

And the last book I got was Jodi Picoult’s book that she co-wrote with her daughter called Between the Lines. From how understood the description, a teenage girl has been reading a fairy tale story but the characters are actually real. It shows her interactions with the characters and their struggle living in a fairy tale when they don’t want to be living it. I am excited to start this one!



So I have some reading ahead of me and I couldn't be more excited! I’ll be sure to fill you in J

What have you been reading lately?
~AMK




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Future Self: WE did it!

Dear Future Self,

I want you to remember today. This moment. This last night. You have been working so hard to get this degree finished, and you are here. You have made it. You just have one presentation left, and you have your Master's degree...GO YOU!

Future Self, I want you to remember what this feels like. The excitement, the anticipation, the I-CAN'T-BELIEVE-I-MADE-IT feeling. It has been a hard couple years. There has been less sleep, more stress, lots of reading and writing, too much snacking (which in turn lead to gaining the grad school 15...yeah don't be fooled...it is not limited to college freshmen...UNFORTUNATELY!), and not enough exercising. But, it is worth it! You made it. You got through working full time, starting to date your now-husband, got married, had a mini-moon (our short honeymoon because of being in the middle of the semester), and many fun events having to be turned down because I had homework to do. No more turning down working out, or going out with friends, or watching a moving with the hubs. I get to be a normal adult! Well, let's be honest. Normal will never be a word that accurately describes me, but I can at least attempt to be normal:)

I can't believe I made it and I now need to do a round of thanks...picture it like at the grammy's or another award show, except I am sitting at home, in PJ's and the audience I currently have is my dog watching to see if I drop a morsel of a snack to him. But I really am grateful for all the support my friends and family have given me during this time. SO here it goes:

First.....KGK...well, you rock! You met me just a couple weeks before I started this graduate school journey and you have been with me through it all. You have only known me to be a grad student. I am excited to show you who I am without homework and other school stuff to do. I can't wait to have more time for us.  I am glad I can now pull my own weight when it comes to normal life stuff like cleaning and errands.  During this whole process, you would walk the dog, do errands or chores, or just sit there and tell me I could do it when I needed to hear it most. You are the most supportive person I have ever met, and I am so grateful for you. :)

And to my friends...thank you for not giving up on me with all my "I can't hang out" or cutting fun short because I had to do more homework. Thanks for still being my friend even though I was so busy and I didn't give you a lot of my time. Well now, I have more time! Let's celebrate! :) Beer? wings? let's make it happen.

And to my family, y'all have been awesome. Listening to my rants and raves, and ups and downs about my various classes, scheduling issues, and whatever else it was at the time. You listened. I talked. and talked. But you still listened. You had no idea what I was talking about, but you still listened. So thank you for that! :)

So future self, as life gets busy with other things, because we know it will, just remember this moment just before the finish. Remember how it feels to have 2+ years of late evenings, lots of papers and group projects, and all that hard work paying off. And remember that you didn't do it without the support of your family and friends. They made it happen as much as you did sitting doing those assignments....

So basically....

CONGRATS Y'ALL. We made it!

:)

I'm off to do my last presentation of grad school...here goes nothing EVERYTHING! :)

~AMK


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Future Self: Spring & New Beginnings


Dear Future Self,

This spring has been a crazy whirlwind for me. I am finishing up my last couple weeks of graduate school, working with a new system at work that is actually working quite well (woot woot!), a new little nephew on the way, and am loving having more free time now that the bulk of my capstone work is wrapping up. I haven't had free time like this in a while. It is NICE:)

A couple weekends ago, I helped host my SIL's baby shower. We made the felt letters, and they turned out so cute! (I will post a follow-up to that...it was quite a fun craft!)  It was great to see family and hang out with the mom-to-be!  Gotta love all those little baby clothes and gifts and showering the new little family with some much needed goodies.

In my last few weeks of school, I am really enjoying extra time spent with family and friends. I love having plans to do things on the weekends that do not involve getting up at 6am to do homework, but instead sleeping in a little, actually cleaning our home, and doing fun things with friends. I am very much treasuring this spring weather and time spent doing "fun" things.

Also, KGK went to a baseball game recently and thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the warmer temps while enjoying a hot dog, people watching (at least that's one of my favorite parts of going to the games!), an ice cold beer, and not having to wear a bunch of layers to tolerate being outside. I am loving spring!





Happy Spring!

~AMK

Friday, March 22, 2013

Heartstrings

We humans are quite amazing. Very complex, yet very simple at the same time.  We are so uniquely woven into these intellectual beings that has reason, emotion, spirituality, humor...

I always find it interesting how we all can view situations, a conversation, or even a show on tv as so very different from the others point of view. I never understood how people could cry at a commercial or laugh at certain types of jokes. We are all so very unique in this way, and it is quite amazing, really. 

Well, for those of you that know me, or have been getting to know me through this blog, I am quirky and loud. I love to make people laugh and yes, many times it is at my own expense. :)  I am not a big crier. There are certain things (and certain times of the month, eh hem) that of course tug at my heartstrings more than others. I am not very sappy, but I do tear up at a good movie sometimes. But I am not one to just cry throughout my day over various things. I have known some that are like this, and I just don't understand. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate it, because I most certainly do, but my tear ducks just aren't connected in as many ways as others I guess. But there is one thing that always gets me...those stinkin' commercials about the puppy dogs that need homes, or the facebook posts about a dog that was left stranded and was found without food, water or shelter and needs a home. BREAK.MY.PUPPY-LOVIN.HEART.

So stop it. I mean, don't stop, but stop it. All those posts, those stories and commercials about these dogs that need a good home...don't stop because we definitely need to get the word out that these animals are being mistreated and they need help, but stop doing this to ME! KGK has to turn any commercial that has a sad puppy to another channel because I will FREAK the HECK OUT. We can't go into pet stores, and I have had to stop looking at the local rescue organizations for animals because I want to adopt every single one of them. I mean, come on, why on earth would anyone want to leave this poor little guy behind..?????









He is one of the best things in the world that has come into my life.

Love this little guy!


~AMK

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Riveting Mundane

Oh the mundane. Filled with all the daily commotion and routine. It is funny...when I try to think of things to write on this little blog, I feel like I need to come up with something so special and creative so I can remember all the great things in my life for years down the road. Well, honestly, for all of us, most days are just filled with normal day happenings.

So why write about it?

Well, our normal day things change over time. Right now, my days are filled with getting up, going to work, coming home, doing homework, making dinner (most nights), and spending time with KGK and Buddy. Sounds pretty boring, but really all is great. It is nice to be busy with these things. It is fulfilling to have a job I love, a dog I couldn't imagine my life without, and a husband who is the best gift ever bestowed upon me. I am very blessed, and I love my simple little life.

Do I wish I had more adventures?

Sure, but sometimes life doesn't guarantee that those adventures won't be harder than they are fun. So sometimes these days and weeks of mundane are not so bad sounding or so boring to read. But rather they are worth writing about, worth remembering, worth treasuring.

So why don't I write more?

Fear, I guess. And time.  Fear that what I write won't be catchy enough or exciting enough for my limited following. The lack of time to do fun or catchy things or the fact that I didn't cook a share-worthy meal in few days, ok a week, ok a couple weeks.

But what writings am I most drawn to?

The mundane. The ones that I can most relate to. The posts and articles that I can read, and then think, "man, that is so me right now."

Is it fun to read exciting stories about lives that seem so different than mine too?

Of course. Those are the stories that help expand who I am. Make me realize that other people's stories are mundane in their own ways, and we all just share little pieces of the internet to share how we view the world through our own eyes. May seem boring to us at the time, but to others, it may be riveting. You just have to work at it.

Have I felt bored with my life lately?

Not at all.  My life feels very exciting, actually. I guess I just think the mundane isn't worth writing about or I don't make the time to document for myself. I really should be better about that.


Do you ever feel your life is too mundane that it isn't worth sharing? Because you shouldn't. :)

~AMK

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My future kids will eat dirt, and I'm ok with it.

This past weekend, KGK and I went camping with his Dad and a friend of ours Heidi. KGK loves cold weather camping. And when I say love, I mean, he is disappointed when it gets too warm. TOO WARM. He wants it to stay below 50 degrees during the day and down in the 20's at night. And if it snows--bonus. Yeah, I don't understand it either. I like warm. No, correction: I LOVE warm. Warm is a wonderful thing. Why would you want to be cold when you can be warm? I married a wonderfully strange man:)

Well, the weekend was actually a tolerable cold. It was chilly, but it was easily remedied by a large fire, hot coffee and plenty of layers. Whenever we have one of these chilly trips, KGK and I have a deal. I will go camping in the cold as long as I do not have to move from my parked spot by the fire. I do not have to gather firewood, do extensive cooking or do anything that will require me to leave my warm spot by the fire. I get to be lazy. He thinks this is great because I will at least go, even if it means I won't venture far from the radius of the flames.

Don't be mistaken though, I am an avid camper. I love all that is involved with camping. I am not typically a lazy camper. The preparations of packing just the right clothing and equipment to make the trip just right is fun to me. I love going out and gathering firewood, using my hatchet to split the larger pieces into kindling for the best fire starting, and setting up the tent so that your stuff is in just the right spot in case you need to grab anything during the middle of the night and you don't want to emerge far out of the cocoon of the mummy sleeping bag. All of it. It is fantastic. I like being a part of it all. But when it comes to the cold, warm wins. :)

Now that I am married, and getting a little older, my mind now dreams of trips KGK and I will take with our kids one day. They will get to experience the great outdoors just like KGK and I like to experience it.

I didn't do any camping growing up except for once in a great while when we would setup the tent in the backyard. But to me, that's semi-fake-camping. True fake camping is setting up your tent indoors (yup, been there, done that too).  Those are not real camping.  My parents weren't big on real camping. My dad would take us on all types of hikes and do a lot of projects outdoors. So I definitely got a LOT of fresh air as a kid, but we just didn't do the roughin' it camping. This is something I am excited to do with my kids. I want them to know what it is like to turn off all cell phones, tablets, computer, video games, and just be outside. Enjoy the day and be creative--talk by the campfire and play 20 questions while you cook hot dogs over an open flame on a stick that you twiddled down yourself. I want them to accidentally eat dirt from their hot dog they drop on the ground and have a couple days where they have to go to the bathroom outside. Yes, I really want these things. They should know what it is to be roughin' it! They will know a comfortable life, I am sure, but I want them to know the glory of being outside. Of relaxing and just taking in the quiet and adventures and possibilities that come from being in the woods. I can't wait to share this one day with them.  Oh, and I want them to go camping with their Auntie Heidi too. Heidi and I have been camping together for years now. They need to go camping with her. She always goes on fun little adventures, and they will love that too.

I am so glad that I started participating in that outdoors club in college...it is now so worth being able to love the outdoors even more than when I was a kid. Thank you college clubs:)

It is funny, I always want to take pictures of our outdoor excursions, and I have had people ask me why I don't have more pictures on fb from these trips. Honestly, I think about taking pictures when I am out there. I want to document all of it. Every minute. But, being outside, in the woods, by the fire, huddled with my camping coffee mug, and breathing in the fresh air, I want nothing to do with electronics. And, why leave the fire to go get your camera that you stowed away in your bag, which is in the tent, when you could be soaking up all the warmth from the fire?

Each trip, the ones where it is chilly, and I don't leave my post by the fire (I told you I love warmth).  After these trips, I come back with a glow about me. Not a glow like, wow, the woods did me so good that I am beaming with happiness. Well, maybe some of that, but really, I actually get pink, like sunburned from being by the fire. It is glorious.

Camping takes a lot of prep and a bit of roughin-it spirit, but it is so worth the mounds of laundry after and the disaster of your home with all your gear to put away from that short weekend trip into the woods. You should try it if you haven't ever done it. What's stopping you?

Happy Camping!

~AMK

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dear Future Self: Time & Valentine

Dear Future Self,

For the past several days, I have been basking in a lesser homework load. However, that lighter workload couldn't have come at a better time as work got kinda crazy all at once. So having a little less to work in the evenings after some very busy days has been great.

Valentine's Day was a nice, simple day for us. We ordered food and brought it home and watched a movie. I don't watch many movies while in school, so sitting a being able to watch one was fantastic. Nothing too extravagant, but it was just perfect. I had my husband-valentine and my pup-valentine...I am one blessed and happy lady:)

Other than that, things are just plugging along. Amazing how life's days are so filled yet there seems to be little going on, all at the same time. But I am trying to treasure these days of just normal busyness because as we all know, crazy happens so quickly. So I am trying to enjoy the feeling of "what do I do" because I am so used to having a to-do list that is so long I don't know where to start.

Well, I guess cleaning should be happening, since that is an ever-present need that always is on the list. Maybe I'll start on that...maybe :)

Happy Weekend!

~AMK

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crock Pot Meatloaf

This recipe is probably one of the easiest things to do...ever. honestly, making a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato is about the same amount of work once you spread some mayo, slice the tomato, wash the lettuce and assemble.  AND the best part, it is unbelievably delicious!

So easy and delicious, what's the catch? NOTHING. It is cheap too!

Here is the goodness:

Meatloaf served with a veggie and potato.
Original recipe found here.

Ok, stop drooling all over yourself and let's get started:)

Crock Pot Meatloaf

What you'll need:
Aluminum foil
2 lbs round turkey or beef
1 packet of dry onion soup mix or savory herbs soup mix
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs (I left out eggs and used 1c. milk and it worked great too!)
3/4 c. bread crumbs (I use Italian style)

Crock Pot Setup:
Unroll some aluminum foil so that it is one long strip, and put into your crock pot so it comes up the edges and forms down into the dish so it makes like a harness shape or "U" shape. It should be going from one side of the crock pot, down the edge, along the bottom, and back up the other edge. You will use the foil to lift out your finished meatloaf later and having the foil come all the way up the sides (one long strip under the meatloaf) makes for easy removal.

Meatloaf & Cooking:
Mix all ingredients together until all the turkey has seasoning on it. Then dump your mix into the crock pot and form the meatloaf into a brick shape so no sides of the meat touch the edge of the crock pot (If you have an oval crock pot, it will be in rectangular brick shape. If in a round crock, make into a circle). The key is the edges shouldn't touch the sides of the crock pot. Then, cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve with baked potatoes and asparagus for a hardy meal!

Enjoy!

~AMK

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ABC...easy as 123!

Yes, I am currently rocking out to this gem...


I THINK I LOVE YA!...

yes...this is happening:)

Well, here is why...I am helping plan my S.I.L's baby shower, and I have been deemed the game/activity planner for the shower. And for those of you who know me, I like to try and find something a little different than the norm if I can. So, I found a really cool idea for a craft (THANK YOU PINTEREST!) that we can do that will also make another useful gift for the soon-to-be parents. Don't worry, I'm not spoiling anything...she knows about this:)   We are going to make felt/fabric, magnetic letters to go on a frig or a chalkboard. Cue the baby being occupied while she is doing stuff in the kitchen, and the babe is learning all at the same time!...woot woot!

Here's what I mean:

Got the idea from here. 
When I was looking for a craft, I wanted to have something that any size crowd could do. They seem pretty straightforward to make, so I am excited to try these out at home first, that way I know how to instruct the crowd, but also so I know how long it takes and have a sample for everyone to see. I will share how they turned out after the shower!!

So back to my groove and rocking to an oldie but a goodie....

Happy Hump Day!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear Future Self: It is no longer a stream. It's a flood!

Dear Future Self:

Here is my stream flooding of consciousness, in an effort to give my brain a break at thinking. It is amazing how simply writing things down makes it feel like it is no longer swirling aimlessly in my brain but has a place, a definitive space in my life and gives me comfort to know I have recognized that thought and it is no longer clouding my brain and my thinking.

Working Out. My stinkin' knee lately has given me trouble for a couple weeks! boo.... I love going to the high aerobic type classes at the gym, but with a recent knee twist, it has set me back in my work out patterns. In hopes of getting back into the work our groove, I tried a class last week. Not a good idea. My knee was still giving me trouble apparently. So this week, I am being lazy filling my time with other things I needs to be doing, and not hitting up the gym. The knee is much better, but still needs to be rested a bit to ensure it is all better. Then, I am back at it!! :)

Eating Healthy. Trying...but so much easier to each unhealthy foods sometimes. Keep on keepin' on...

Homework. Where to begin. This semester is kicking my butt with group projects, my individual projects and trying to do a book review. My planner is my best friend lately, and I STILL feel like I am missing stuff. No laziness allowed this semester, that's for sure! While it is not allowed, it still happens. Enjoying those bits of lazy times and enjoying it while it lasts:) I just keep thinking of May and all the glory that comes with being DONE.

Life in general. Life is great! :) I feel like every moment is taken up with doing something, but let's face it, if I weren't busy with work, school and all the normal life stuff, I'd most definitely be looking to fill my time with something. I am a glutton for busyness...my mother will attest to this and me being a very active, into everything type of child. Thanks Mom for putting up with me:)

Weather blues. PICK A TEMPERATURE... preferably warm:)

Thanks for listening to the rants and ramblings of one head-spinning-with-busyness chick.

I feel better already! :)

Hope you are having a good Monday! :)

~AMK