Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Children learn what they live with

I heard this today, and thought it was worth passing on. Wonderful insight. Choose what you want your kids to grow up like and treat them in the way that correlates with them learning those qualities.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generositY.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

by Dorothy Law Nolte

Merry Christmas 2012

Our cards have officially gone out, so it's safe to post here :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One week ago

One week ago today, I was given $1 in church. Yesterday the amount of donations reached $250!
$250 = 2000 meals for Americans in need. Absolutely amazing! I didn't have a limit in my mind as to how much I wanted to raise, but looking at all of the kindness I have seen this past week, the rush to donate via Paypal or sending it directly to my mailbox to be tallied in the grand total donation, I have high hopes that no matter how much more is raised, my $1 from church last week has grown considerably and with the help of all the kind donors, will make a great impact!

The time has not run out yet, so get involved! I am not making the donation until January 1st. I am asking for just $1, the goal is to see how $1 can grow into a lot more dollars and in turn help more and more people. The donation will be made to Feeding America. A solid charity that helps our fellow Americans have enough food to eat.

Feel free to visit the event I created on Facebook, Feeding America Facebook Event. All of the directions are there. You are invited to join the event and watch as the numbers (hopefully!) continue to grow. It's a fun experience and one that you will want to be a part of. It's a feel good experience and for once it doesn't take anything more than $1. It's not about how much you give, it's about the act of giving. You can make a big difference with just $1!!

I have a wonderful story to share, last night in the mail I received $3. With the donation was a little note, "Hi Karrie! I love what you are doing! I told my children what I was putting money in the mail for & they wanted to donate as well! I hope you have raised a bunch of money!" 
Nothing warms my heart more than children that see compassion for the needy and have the desire to do something. We are arming our future generation with the spirit of giving!! How wonderful is that?

If you do not have a PayPal account, do not be discouraged, you can message me or even just comment on this post, and I will email my address to you.

*All images in this post were from Google search "Feeding America"*

Saturday, November 24, 2012

No title

My niece turned 10 this past week. This is the niece that is 6 months older than Acilia. This is the niece that for many years was inseparable from Acilia. We have a great relationship with her because of all the extra time she has spend with us over the years. She is the projection of what we are in for with our own little Acilia and though they are only 6 months apart, there are quite a few noticeable differences that relate to age between the two of them. So, I've been watching my niece Ali as she is blossoming into a tween. It is subtle but the change is very real and she is just beautiful. She's growing up and as I watch her grow, I see little glimmers of what's to come with Acilia.
About the age of 5 Acilia and Ali
Attached like glue :)

About the age of 5
they did e v e r y t h i n g  together

I will admit, I get caught up in looking forward to the future. I've been this way my entire life and sometimes it's all that gets me through dark times. I suffer from Seasonal depression and with the dark winter months creeping in, November is a tough time for me.

About the age of 7,
getting their ears double pierced together

The age of 9, this past Fall at a wedding.
Growing so fast, but still buddies!

Ali's party was yesterday, overall, it was a lot of fun. We socialized and ate and the kids had fun, Ali was simply glowing as she enjoys getting some extra attention in honor of her birthday. She's double digits now! I can't wrap my head around it. That means my little Acilia will be double digits in a few short months. It goes by so fast. I hold on to that as I struggle through winter.

This winter especially. Our house is going up for sale in March. March, 4 short months away. 4 short months, that feel like a lifetime away! I've been waiting for this day for easily 5+ years! I've grinned and bared my way through these years of bad economy and tight finances during Al's dialysis and kidney transplant days. Almost 2 years ago, I sat my husband down and put a deadline on us. It was to be 2 years from that date, we would be selling this house and moving to a place more suitable for us and more importantly my husband's business. He needs more property so he can grow his business and I pinpointed the perfect area for us to move. It's actually where I grew up. It's an unincorporated area, with various sized homes on various sized lots, smaller lots are about 3/4 of an acre, larger lots of 5+ acres. Being that it's the same area I grew up, my parents still live in the same house and I am there frequently. Each and every time I am there, I ache to have my family living there. We are getting so close to making it a reality, yet it is still not close enough. I see homes go up for sale and would love to look at them, but I know deep down that there is a chance they will not be available to us when the time comes that our house has the "SOLD" sign.

As we were driving to Ali's party last night, I got excited considering how our new address will be much closer to my brother's family's house (my brother lives pretty close to my parent's, less than 2 miles away). I dream of the kids being able to ride bikes to each other's houses and us being able to walk to my parent's house. It's so exciting as I drive in, but then the drive home is always a little bittersweet. We are a 10-15 minute drive away right now and each minute is agonizing for me. My heart aches. It brings me back to my word for 2012 which happens to be Patience. I can't help but think that word is completely appropriate for this time in my life. There have been many many MANY times throughout this year that I have wanted to rush into the move. We have gone that route before, trying to look at houses before we sold our house, trying to sell the house at the bottom of the market, wanting to put the house up for rent just so we could move and get on with our lives. It's maddening! Here we are though, 4 months from putting our house up for sale and it's full steam ahead. I have the confidence in me to say nothing is holding me back. I have put my faith into this, jumping in feet first and I can't even comprehend the thought of it not happening. I won't allow it to not happen. That may be completely bull headed of me, but I feel like I have tested my patience and I just have to believe that it will happen for us. That we will be able to move and that my ache in my heart will be fulfilled with what I've allowed myself to dream for. I have to believe through this faith filled leap that it will happen.

Side note: I can't help but giggle at the fact that this post started with talk about my niece and her big 10th birthday, and it led to my deep desire. I must admit, most of my day is consumed by thoughts about moving. I have been  obsessed for quite some time now. If I talked about it as much as I thought about it, I would surely have some people thinking I am crazy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I was given $1 in church today. They handed $1 to each person who attended this weekend. We were encouraged to do something good with that $1. Clearly, it's a fun challenge and I wanted to excel. I wanted to make my $1 grow into a hearty donation because to be honest, $1 on it's own doesn't amount to much. I started looking up ideas on how to spend $1. I found a fun little list that was titled 101 ways to spend $1. There were some funny ones on there, clearly not all of them were charitable ideas. Then I came across one that stated I could feed a whole family in India for $1!
I did a quick search for donating $1 to feed families in need and came across Feeding America! Right on their home page it states "$1=8 meals!" Well, that's pretty cool! I didn't feel right about only donating $1 though, afterall, I thought if *I* could donate $1, who else could? The idea for a donating event was born!
I popped onto Facebook, and created an event!

I would love for you to join me by donating $1 or at the least, follow along and see how much I am able to donate on January 1st which is the date I decided to "send the donation" to Feeding America!

Go to the link below to see the progress!
Feeding America Charity Event

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I am at an emotional crossroads. Blogging is very much about being real for me, but there are some things you just don't "blog" about, they are more "private journal". It's been easy over the years to know what to blog about. I get messages from God or I have inspiration I want to share. I would like to think I've built my blog on that. It's a very real part of my life and I find it thrilling, which is why I choose to share it.

To be real and honest though, there are sides of my life that I do not portray here and that is a bit unsettling to me. When you put yourself out there on the Internet, it's calculated. You have choices as to what you choose to share and what you choose to keep to yourself. After all  there are a lot of eyes that read these pages and with sight, comes potential judgment. I follow numerous bloggers who are authentic and really put themselves out there, only to be criticized for what they say or what they do in their own life. I don't like being criticized, it hurts my feelings and I am relieved that so far this blog has not met criticism. That could be a good thing. But, let's be truthful, my husband criticizes me quite often, and he's the person who lives with me. So I am left asking myself, am I being my real self to the outside world? Or am I being myself with my husband. To be further and brutally honest, I don't like who I am with my husband. He brings out things in me that I work to tuck deeply away. Things I would say and do as a child, where the intention was to hurt others. I am not that person anymore. I want nothing to do with being a person that hurts others on purpose.

I am pretty sure these feelings are still coming from my last appointment with my therapist. She went "there" with me, and really touched a nerve that I haven't quite worked through yet. I found truth in what she was saying, but it left me really wondering who I am! The "me" I know is selfish by nature and will say hurtful things to win an argument  The "me" I know stopped at nothing to get what I wanted and would bend the rules to make things work with my comfort. No concern for others. That was me as a child. Now, I would like to think I've grown and matured over the years and as an adult, those things wouldn't describe me anymore. I am not a spiteful person, but I like control in my life. It's my comfort. After many many many MANY years of suffering from anxiety (It started in 1st grade) I have found that I've made many habits to control my ANXIETY, when in turn, I am also accustomed to some habits that by default control those around me too. Prime example, I am usually the driver when we go places. Why? Because it's comforting to me to be behind the wheel. I've spent many years trying to work through those habits and to let go of the control a little bit more. It leaves me in a place where I am comfortable giving in to allowing others to have their say in what makes THEM comfortable too. This change occurred when I really was awakened to having a relationship with God. I've been a believer all of my life, born and raised Lutheran. I went through the motions as a child, never quite "got" it until my daughter Acilia was in Kindergarten. The light bulb went on and I gave my life over to the One and ONLY God. It was a whirlwind from the start. My whole life changed, my feelings about things changed, standards I set for myself have changed, the way I treat people has changed. I whole heartily believe I have grown to be a better person. There is a part of me that is still me though, that selfish, defiant little brat comes out once in a while and though I do understand that is my "root", it's also what I am trying NOT to be. It's easy to be kind to people in the outside world. It's easy to smile at someone who's action has just inconvenienced my day, because I don't have to see them again and we can both go on with our day. That person possibly knowing what Grace looks like, me knowing that I handled myself in a Godly way. It's a feel good type of experience.

Then, I come home. My home, my intimacy, where I strip away the "look" of the day and get into my "ugly" self. This is the person my husband sees. He sees me when I am relaxed and unguarded and vulnerable. I take what he says so literally and that is a thorn in our relationship. He's a joker, he says things to ruffle feathers and to get a rise and to push buttons. I know this about him, and I still can't control my reactions. That bothers me to my CORE! I am a put together person, I thrive on being my best and then at my worst, my husband is the first person that brings out my roots. The selfish, the stubborn, the ugly words that hurt.
I loathe that side of me, and I loathe that my husband sees it in me. I loathe that he thinks that's who I am, when I so desperately try to genuinely change and have been successful at it with everyone, BUT him.

Who am I? I so naturally can be graceful out in the world, dealing with thousands of people each day and smiling the whole way, and then I come home and the one person whom I said my vows to, I can't be my changed self. I am broken because of it. It eats away at my soul. I would love nothing more than to be the person I am to the outside world, it comes 100% naturally in that setting. Why can't I naturally reveal that to the man I am married to? My husband is my trigger. He pushes me to my limit of patience most times and when I break, I either take it out on him, or I distance myself. I find that distancing myself atleast helps me to not say things I regret, but it also does not fix things either. Double edged sword, lesser of two evils.

I realize that these are feelings I could probably keep to myself. Infact, they are feelings I've kept to myself for years. However, when something spends a lot of time in my mind, I am a firm believer it's probably on someone else's mind too, which is precisely why I am sharing this. If my words can help even one other person, I am fulfilling my calling to encourage others.

Enjoy your weekend Friends!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe time!

Well, we tried a new recipe tonight. I get SO excited when it's a good one, also, it's no coincidence that Kelly is doing a SUYL link up of main dishes, so I must add this to her rapidly growing list!

It's called:
I will post the recipe, but before I do, I must add, I never follow a recipe word for word. I like to personalize it to match our family's likes and disklikes. I will start by saying, I couldn't find spinach fettucine! Too bad, so sad right? I got tri color penne instead and it tasted just dandy, and I couldn't help but think, we added a few veggies with the different color pasta right? :)

Also, I didn't get the oil packed dried tomatoes, why? Because well, I will admit, I don't know what those are and I didn't want to search for them! :) Poof, be gone! Ha!!

Ok, moving on, here is the recipe:
Lucky for me, it's one I can look up online, instead of typing it all out from the one I printed! VOILA! ENJOY!


Trattoria-Style Spinach Fettuccine

Makes: 4 servings
Start to Finish 18 mins


  • 9 ounce package refrigerated spinach fettuccine
  • tablespoons chopped shallot or green onion
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • red and/or yellow tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)
  • medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and snipped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese or peppercorn feta cheese (2 ounces)


Using kitchen shears, cut fettuccine in half crosswise. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain; return pasta to hot pan.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook shallot in hot oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir in fresh tomatoes, carrot, and dried tomatoes. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring once. Spoon tomato mixture over cooked pasta; toss gently. Sprinkle each serving with feta cheese.
Trattoria-Style Spinach Fettuccine

Clean teeth!

My kids had a dentist appointment today. 

Acilia has gone many times, but Miles, this was his very first time. He was anticipating it and mostly excited. My kids don't fear the dentist at all, because they haven't had any pain to associate with it yet. So, for them, it's a fun thing to do. Miles has gone with us a few times for Acilia's visits and last time we went, I informed him, he's going to be a big boy and gets to go too! He was so cute, we walked in and he was showing everyone his teeth.

He sat in the chair and anticipated what was next.

He looked so sweet, and enjoyed the ride his chair provided as the dental assistant positioned him for his cleaning. She was gentle and kind and patient and I remember her from Acilia's first visit too. A true blessing when there is someone that can take your child and keep them at ease as they experience something new. 
Miles giggled through the whole cleaning. It was so cute. His little feet were moving around a bit too, but overall, he sat nice and still. It was precious and I am glad he enjoyed his first Dental Exam!
Painting his teeth purple to see how well he brushes

Looking at his purple teeth
When she told Miles that she would be cleaning his teeth with strawberry flavored paste, he was thrilled! That's the same flavor he uses at home :) :) :)
He held that little mirror the whole time, as he giggled, he would close his eyes and then open his eyes to look in the mirror.

We were sent on our way with a clean teeth bill of health, some stickers and a new toothbrush!

Acilia's pearly whites!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


When I was a kid, my parents used to watch the news to catch the weather. I thought they were SO weird, I mean, why did they have to look at the TV to check the weather? I couldn't figure out why they didn't just walk outside, if it was raining, they would get wet, if it was snowing, they would want gloves, if the sun was out, bring your sunglasses, etc. etc.

Now, in my 30's, I get it. It's weather madness and I have fallen victim! Every morning, when my alarm goes off, the first thing I do is check the weather for the day. I check regularly, I even look at and am fascinated by all of the thermometers on signs and in my car. I can't get enough!

It affects my mood too! If the sun is out, I can pretty much guarantee it's going to be a good day. My whole mood is lifted and I have a skip in my step. If it's cloudy, forget it! I feel like a slug!

Illinois is the WRONG state for me. I will tell you why, prime example: Sunday, it was a beautiful, almost record breaking day of 68 degrees. In the matter of a few short hours, we were facing rapidly dropping temps and fell into a low, bitterly cold 27 degrees. All in a matter of 24 hours. Oh, and there were said to be some snow flurries that night too. REALLY? That's just wrong. Not the 68 degrees part. I didn't mind that part at all. I am talking about the bitter cold and the temperature change.

Now, we are back to temps a bit higher than average and though the people that follow how mild temps in the midwest affect nature seem bothered by this weather, I can't say it bothers me at all! Infact, I like it. Not the part about it potentially killing our trees, but the part about how it makes me feel. Warmer than usual weather=Happier Karrie.

Courtesy of Google images

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I never thought of 30's as old. To be honest, I don't even think 90 is "old", ok, well maybe...but I turned 32 this past week and 3 days later, I had a doctor appointment. My appointment consisted of being told my height, which is a full INCH shorter than in previous years! Am I shrinking?? Also, I went in for neck and shoulder pain. My neck is locked, has been since Tuesday, my left shoulder has a point in it that has a pressure point that sends tingles down my arm when it's touched, not to mention there are many points along my back that scream when you touch them. I am sick of chronic neck and back pain, so I went in to have it checked out. I was a little apprehensive, I was thinking she would want to prescribe meds or call for an MRI. Nothing of the sort happened. She suggested I go to physical therapy. I walked out quite content with the plan! I also walked out feeling OLD. How is it possible to have daily aches and pains when I am not even considered middle aged yet? It's beyond me! Also, worth noting, I thought I was going nuts. I've had a sort of uncomfortable feeling in my left side. Like I have "something" inside of my abdomen near my rib cage, it's been feeling that way since my nephrectomy, and one day a few months ago, I felt around there, and noticed one of my ribs is loose. I thought I was nuts, thought NO WAY that's possible, but it IS possible and it DOES happen and my doctor confirmed my suspicions by feeling around where I showed her. She said there is one  that does infact feel a little bit loose. That's a tad unsettling, but it's not painful and I am so glad I am not losing my mind! Life is interesting. Never a dull moment around here. We like to keep it real :)

Friday, November 2, 2012


It's November (WOW!) and I have had the joy of catching some thankfulness posts on Facebook. It's a great theory, to think each day about what you are thankful for. November is a great time to do that, because by the time Thanksgiving comes, you have a whole wonderful list of your heart's happiness!

I spent a good part of the day yesterday pondering how to put the thankfulness challenge into action, I could have jumped aboard the "thankfulness sharing on Facebook train" but I want my family to participate with me, so I was looking for a simple print out that we could calendar our thankfulness. To my surprise I did NOT find what I was looking for, which is rather unusual for the Internet world! I did however, come across a Gratitude Jar, which I thought was both clever and simple. I visited my favorite store (Hobby Lobby!) and picked up a few supplies: A jar, a paint pen, a little hair clip to add some pizzazz and some decorative sheets of paper. Came home with my materials and got to work!

I think it turned out really cute and we have already started filling it. My plan is to leave it out until Thanksgiving, we will write on squares I cut out of the decorative paper and fill the jar with our thankful thoughts and then share with each other on Thanksgiving!

A new tradition may have been born!