April 30, 2012


I've been struggling with feeling discouraged for a while now. It's hard to move to a new place for your spouse's job advancement knowing that you will have to start over from scratch with your own career. I've chosen to substitute teach and have really learned a lot and grown. I've also found a wonderful place where I can throw pottery regularly.

Neither of those things have been as consistent as what I once had. I miss regular feedback, encouragement and meaningful contact with people. I constantly feel like I don't fit in anywhere and that I'll always be the "new" one. I know that this is just a season in my life and I'm sure it's for a reason. I've been given the gift of time & the ability to rest and recover from the two surgeries I've had this year.

It's still definitely been a struggle. I know that my value is not in a career. I know that feedback I receive from others doesn't really matter. My constant prayer has been for strength to keep my eyes fixed on where they need to be and to believe that I am valued not because of what I do but because I'm a daughter of the King.

I was particularly discouraged one day after leaving the pottery studio. Someone decided to negatively criticize a project I've been working on. I've been longing for any type of positive feedback and what I got really hurt.  I began to question myself and wonder if I've been wasting my time. I walked to my car down the same street that I always walk down and when I looked up I saw this.

I was so surprised. How could I never have seen this before? When was this sign placed there? Had it always been there? Was I seeing things? I snapped a picture with my phone. It was just the reminder that I needed at that moment. My God never ceases to amaze me! I'm so thankful for the encouragement that I received that day.

I edited the image with Instagram, an app I have on my iPhone. Do you know about Instagram? It's still pretty new to me. I've been having a lot of fun with it. My user name is creatingthroughlife if you click here you can see the pictures I've added so far. Let me know if you're on Instagram so I can follow you!

April 27, 2012

Rain & Water

This is week 4 of the Leap into Spring Photography Challenge and the theme is rain and water. Have you ever tried to photograph rain before? It's not easy. For this challenge I'm sharing pictures that I took when I lived in Colorado. This backpacking trip, to a place called Ice Lake, will forever be engraved in my mind.

The land was so full and lush because of all the water weaving it's way through it.

There were waterfalls around every bend.

It's hard to put into words how amazing this experience was. As breathtaking as I think my pictures are I still don't think it does this place justice.

 Water and mountains are two of my favorite things. 

Of course when your backpacking you can always plan on weather changes.

The storms always roll in fast. It's actually pretty scary to be the tallest thing around when there's a threat of lightning. 

The storms are necessary. 

In Colorado it was rare for them to last long. Which means you don't have to hunker down for long and can keep exploring.

I would love to know which photo is your favorite. Thanks for stopping by today and being a part of my little world!

<em>Leap Into Spring!</em> Photo Challenge

April 24, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday

Today's tidbit was submitted by none other than my husband. He went on a business trip last week and if he's lucky enough to have a little free time he likes to go to a local museum or attraction.

He was very excited to share this with me and was even more excited that I didn't already know this interesting fact. Well, do you know the origin of the terms?

Pretty logical huh?

Don't forget if you have a tidbit 
you can share it on my Facebook page or e-mail it to me.
 I look forward to featuring you and or your blog! 

April 20, 2012

Blossoms & Trees

It's week 3 of the Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge I've been participating in, the theme is Blossoms & Trees. Have you been experiencing blooming trees where you live? If you haven't I hope that my photographs can make you feel as if you have. Springtime is so rejuvenating. I've really enjoyed capturing this theme. I would love to know which photo you connect with the most.

I was snapping away with my camera when I realized what I was actually seeing. Cocoons! I've never seen them out in nature like this. Have you? It was amazing!

I have fond memories of raising butterflies with my 3rd grade class last year. I can remember them running to the classroom every morning to observe the cocoons. It was so exciting when they started shaking like crazy. We didn't want to do anything else but watch the cocoons. I sure miss my students.

                                                              <em>Leap Into Spring!</em> Photo Challenge

April 17, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (travel)

I'm looking forward to getting away in just a few short days! Did I tell you we had a trip to Italy planned and paid for? I've been to Italy before, it was wonderful, my husband hasn't though. We wanted to go somewhere special for our 5 year anniversary. We got an awesome deal on flights. The only problem was our trip was scheduled for just a couple weeks after I had a large cyst removed from my abdomen. We had to cancel the trip. I wasn't sure how recovery would go or if there would be any complications and going to another country didn't sound like the best of ideas.

Thankfully we got a full refund. We decided that we should take a more "local" trip instead,  just for fun, our anniversary is not actually until June. We're going to spend some much needed time with family in North & South Carolina. It's not Italy but it will be so good to be back in the SOUTH. We are really looking forward to it!

Now for the tidbit. I don't know about you but whenever I ride on a plane I'm afraid of getting infected by everyone's germs. Well the nozzles that are located above your seat that shoot out air can actually help. Instead of pointing the air away from you, position it so that it flows in front of your face. It should push those nasties away from the all important triangle (mouth and nose).

As a back-up I always bring Airborne or Emergen-C with me. Airborne sounds like it would be perfect for planes right? I actually have a few packs in my teacher bag too. It's always worked wonders for me. The moment I start to feel sick I mix some up and chug it. Apparently they make chewable tabs now, I've never tried them.

Do you have any other good travel advice? Make sure you stick around,  I have some posts scheduled so hopefully you won't even notice I'm gone.

Happy & Healthy Travels!

Don't forget if you have a tidbit 
you can share it on my Facebook page or e-mail it to me.
 I look forward to featuring you and or your blog! 

April 15, 2012

Chocolate Fire

I'm not sure how this happened or when exactly but somehow my husband has become the brownie master. I think it might have been when I was out of commission after my most recent surgery, things tend to be fuzzy after surgery. He loves baked goods, that's part of the reason I call him the Cookie Monster. At that magical hour of night I can often hear him raiding the cabinets and freezer in search of some type of sweet satisfaction.

Well there was none to be found one particular evening and I vaguely remember grumbling from the sofa, "why don't you make brownies"? I told him they were super easy to make and that we should have all the ingredients on hand. I rattled off a list of ingredients and he must have really been desperate because he actually made them and they were AMAZING!

We came up with the name Chocolate Fire because they have a kick to them.  Don't be afraid,  it's a good kick not a scary one. He's made these brownies many times and they always turn out the perfect combination of chewy and moist. Have you ever had a brownie with a kick before? You must try these, you won't regret it.

April 13, 2012

Easter & Eggs

Week 2 of the Leap into Spring Photo Challenge is to capture Easter and or Eggs.  In case you missed my capture of week 1 you can check it out HERE.

This year for Easter it was just me and my husband a.k.a the Cookie Monster, oh and Blanca of course. My parents sent me the most beautiful arrangement of flowers! It's a tradition of sorts...

The local florist that delivered them did an AMAZING job. As you can see I was trying to set up to get a picture and Blanca had to put her nose in the way. I think she loves flowers just as much as I do. When we take her for hikes or even just go for a walk, we always laugh because she literally has to stop at every flower and smell it.

The details they put into this arrangement were stunning. I could have taken pictures of these flowers all day.

 It's such a bright and cheery arrangement of flowers! Perfect for celebrating the resurrection of my Savior.


Of course Easter wouldn't  be complete with out some special Easter candies. The Cookie Monster and I were walking through the grocery store and he mentioned that he missed all the special treats that come out for the Easter season. So I decided to surprise him Easter morning with a bowl full of treats.

Are you a fan of Peeps? They are not the Cookie Monster's favorite so I've been enjoying them :)

Cooking brings me joy so no matter if we have visitors or not I love to cook a special meal whenever I get the chance.

We had Asparagus & Portobello Pasta Salad, Homemade Biscuits, Sweet Potato Casserole, Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs and Classic Ham. My husband said I went overboard.... On the bright side I won't have to cook again for at least a week!

I haven't made a classic ham before. It was yummy. I attached the pineapple and cherry with clove pieces and brushed it all with a mustard based glaze. The top caramelized wonderfully! 

I adore this tray! It was my great grandmothers. Most of my special dishes are packed away in storage because we don't have much space in this "temporary" place we've been living.

Even though most of my dishes are packed away. I have to keep out my deviled egg dishes. The one pictured above was my great grandmothers too! O how I love to own pieces like this. Even though I have a mismatched set of her dishes, it makes it fun and they mean the world to me.

Deviled Eggs are one of my favorite foods, it's a delight to serve them in such a special way. In case you missed my Smoked Salmon Deviled Egg recipe you can find it HERE.

I have another special deviled egg dish in the shape of a butterfly. I could probably collect deviled egg serving dishes. Aren't they too fun? This one is special because it was a surprise at one of my bridal showers in North Carolina. Since my mom wasn't able to make it to that shower she sent this dish and the recipe for her deviled eggs to my mother-in-law who surprised me with it.

I love how there are butterflies, bees and lady bugs hiding underneath the eggs, waiting to be revealed.

Did I mention that we had dessert? We are huge fans of Banana Pudding but I wanted to make something different so I made my first Banana Cream Pie.

It didn't quite hold together like a piece of pie should but it was scrumptious. Notice the little flecks in the filling, those are vanilla bean seeds. Using a fresh vanilla bean made all the difference.

Oh yeah and drizzling homemade caramel sauce over top. Are you drooling yet?

As you can see even though we weren't surrounded by friends and family this year we still had quite the celebration.  Let me know which picture was your favorite?

                                                          Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge