A Weekend Adventure

Well hello!  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post!  Let me tell ya, I was up to HERE in homework.  So much reading.  SOOOO much reading!  But the good news is, I survived, got it all done, and had a good weekend to boot!  But this post isn’t about this last weekend…it’s about the weekend before.  Tricky, I know.

Part of the birthday gift for my roomie was a “surprise adventure trip” and we chose last weekend to adventure.  Marisa had no clue where we were going…only that she should wear layers and good shoes, and that we needed to leave at about 10:15 am.  Yay surprises!!!!!

So after getting some cash and some gas, we were off to our first stop: the ferry.

And now we know that our general destination is Whidbey Island.  Hooray!

Notice the sky: it’s blue.  Not gray, blue.  And there are no clouds.  And if we looked the other way, we’d see the sun.  Basically, God blessed us immensely with BEAUTIFUL weather!

The weather…I just can’t get over it!  We could have stood for hours just looking at the beauty and soaking up those rays! 🙂

After disembarking the ferry, our next stop was in Langley – a lovely little cafe called The Braeburn

This place…ADORABLE!  Delicate plates line the walls, and local artists’ prints (and originals?) are featured and for sale.  There’s an apple theme (refer to the name…) and every table has a little tub of apple butter.  SUCH a lovely place!  I would highly recommend it.

The spring-like weather must have affected my tastes, ’cause I craved fresh and light food.  Soft mozzarella, juicy tomato and fresh basil were accented by a balsamic mayo, all held together by a (locally made) light white bread.  The salad was pretty basic, but it completed the meal perfectly…so tasty!

Marisa felt a breakfast vibe, and went for the eggs benedict, which came with rosemary potatoes.  If you’re looking for a meal to stick to your ribs, this would do the trick!  I was fortunate enough to sample some of the potatoes, and man.  Let me tell ya…AH-mazing!  Salty, buttery, and perfectly seasoned.

After our delightful lunch, we were reading to head to our intended destination: Fort Casey!  Fort Casey features Admiralty Head Lighthouse, as well as trails, breathtaking views, rocky beaches, and, everyone’s favorite, WWII bunkers!

Take a look in Marisa’s sunglasses….totally accidental, but no complaints here!!

The bunkers are legit.  They didn’t see any battle, of course, but they’re well equipped, and perfect for fun!  Although I’ll admit…the darkness from the solid cement and no windows does get SUPER a mite creepy.  But we found a room with perfect acoustics, and sang eerie, pentatonic-scale songs, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  It was like being a kid again!

We wandered down to the beach and just sat on a log for a moment, enjoying the view.

And I couldn’t go all the way to Fort Casey without snapping a shot of my favorite lighthouse!

Even though this was the end of our Whidbey-exploring, the fun wasn’t over yet…we did still have another ferry ride, and plans for ice cream…

I saw this van behind us…and laughed for a long time!  They look all ready to head out……glad I’m in front of them 😉

One cool thing about being an adult?  I can eat ice cream at dinner time if I want to!

And so we did.

Two things:

#1. Ivar’s soft serve…SO good!  It’s thicker and creamier than Dairy Queen’s, and oh-so nummy.  But a word of caution…what I have there is the “child’s size”.  So order carefully!

#2. I realized a while ago that I don’t have any pictures of me eating.  Pictures of food?  Yes.  Pictures with food?  Yep!  Pictures eating food?  Nope.  So we were intentional to take pictures of me actually consuming food.  I think ice cream is a good first shot, yes?

That pretty much sums up the day!  A relaxing day spent with a lovely friend, enjoying God’s beautiful creation?  Blessings.

Take care, friends!

Beth

P.S. If you haven’t like Make Food Not [Body] War on Facebook yet, just click here

It Snowed!

Yesterday, around mid-morning, it started snowing.  Big huge flakes.  I didn’t think it would stick, but it did.  Then it started raining.  Then the sun came out!  And seeing as it was sunset and I was SUPER antsy from the endless pile of homework I’ve already accrued, I decided to seize the moment and go for a walk with my camera.

And then it snowed more today.  And kept snowing and snowing and snowing.

And after a little convincing, I decided I could actually manage to go play for a bit.  What fun!

Marisa had the brilliant idea to make a snow man doing a hand stand.

The third section fell off…so we went with it 🙂

What a lovely Sunday!  Tomorrow is a holiday, and with more snow predicted, well…perhaps this week will be even shorter than expected!  Which would be great for homework purposes since today the roomies and I watched a movie (Strictly Ballroom) and are in the process of making homemade pizza (rather than doing homework).  My first shot at making something with yeast!  Post will show up eventually 😉

And with that, I’m off!  Almost time to finish the pizza!

Blessings!

Beth

Two Years Ago Today…

Unbelievable.  Today marks the two-year anniversary of perhaps one of the most life-changing moments to date.

Two years ago today, I received the diagnosis of anorexia.

Two years ago today, I spent two days in the hospital, undergoing tests and exams.  All pride was removed.  Or shall I say ripped down.

Soon after leaving the hospital

Two years ago today, my life, under God’s sovereignty, was placed on a path different than I would have ever imagined, one that I never would have chosen.

And as crazy as it sounds, it’s been a blessing. 

I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and develop close(r) relationships with people that probably wouldn’t have occurred, had my life not taken this unexpected turn.  And I look forward to meeting more people and developing even closer relationships.

I’ve gained understanding of people.  I can empathize and sympathize better than before.  When a young and nervous girl tells me that she “doesn’t like eating”, I know what she’s really saying.

Thanks to counseling sessions, mentoring sessions, and more opportunities to have deep conversations with lots of people, I’ve been able to get to know myself better.  Ask myself the hard questions.  Figure out what I really believe and think and feel.  Make some decisions.

I’ve worked harder and dug deeper than I ever have before.  And guess what?  I had no choice but to rely upon and trust in God more deeply.  And if that was the only reason I could state as a blessing, it would be good enough.

See, I don’t believe that God does anything by accident, or “just because”, or because he likes to see us squirm.  God is love, and putting us through difficult times just for the sake of doing it doesn’t seem like a loving characteristic.  I do believe, however, that God allows challenging things into our lives in order to grow us; to refine us and grow us.  Growth is change, and change is temporarily uncomfortable at the least…downright painful at the most.

So this is my reflection today – remembering where I began, and celebrating where I am.  There is still recovery work to be done, but so much has been accomplished.

Today

I’ve learned that He makes beautiful things out of dust.

Blessings,

Beth

Home!

Well folks, I made it home!  Thursday, I hopped on a DEEEElightful little turbo-prop and made it home in about an hour and a half…beats the train any day 😉  I don’t mean to go hatin’ on the train, but seriously…would you rather spend 14 hours on a train or 1 1/2 hours on a plane?  Even though I don’t particularly enjoy flying, I can deal.

The whole process went smoothly – checking my bag (pre-paid baggage check, score!) and security….well, there was this conversation at security…I had placed all my things in the little plastic containers, taken off my shoes, and thought it was time to go through the metal detector…except the TSA guy didn’t act like he wanted me to come through.  I started to walk towards him, and the exchange went something like this:

TSA guy: You’ll want to stay with your stuff until it’s in the X-ray machine.

Me: (not realizing he was talking to me) uhhhh…. (and then I kept walking)

TSA guy: Is that your stuff?  Your computer?

Me: Yeaahhh…..

TSA guy: Do you care about it?

Me: Ummm…yes?

TSA guy: Then I suggest you stay with it until it’s in the X-ray machine.  Never trust strangers…my mother always told me to never trust strangers…..

So yeah.  That was a wee bit awkward.

But I made it through security with no true issues, and then set out to find my gate and my lunch.  I easily found my gate, then found Wolfgang Puck Express.  The new employee apparently didn’t know how to ring up a side salad with a bowl of soup, so I ended up getting the salad for free…lunch for less than $5?  Okay!  Scalding my mouth on velvety-smooth, slightly sweet yet delightfully savory butternut squash soup?  NOT OKAY!  But I survived.

My flight left on time, and I was blessed with a nice seat-partner.  He’s an older fellow from the Flathead, with a cowboy hat, a bright red button-up shirt and a long, white beard.  And he felt similarly about flying as I do.  I struck up a conversation during take-off (distraction, yo!) which lasted a good while.  The best pearl of wisdom he shared with me: When it comes to finding a job after graduation, is it more important to live in a particular place and take whatever job you can find, or is the job itself so important to you that you’d go anywhere just to have that job?  This fellow was pretty cool!   And yay for having meaningful conversations with complete strangers (safe strangers, of course)!

Before I knew it, the seat belt light was on, and we were beginning our decent into Kalispell.  And then my seat-partner and I were pointing out Highway 93 and the Stillwater River, and then “Oh look!  Airport property!” and then we landed!  My mom was kind enough to snap this shot of me:

So that’s that!  I’m here to stay for about 3 weeks…joy!  In those 3 weeks, I plan to catch up with friends, catch up on rest, and do ‘lots of cooking (with corresponding blog posts, obviously).

Hooray for a well stocked kitchen!  Hooray for mom and dad buying things with which to stock the kitchen!

Hooray for being home.

Blessings,

Beth

 

And Just Like That, it’s Christmas!

Hello, my loyal blog readers!  Can I just take a moment to thank you for reading?  Okay, I thought so….THANK YOU!!!!!  I really do appreciate you taking a few moments out to read my random and rambling thoughts 🙂  Enough with the mushy stuff, and on to the Seattle Tree Lighting!

The day after Thanksgiving, it’s my roomie’s family tradition to bundle up and head downtown to hit up a few quintessentially Christmas spots – specifically the Gingerbread houses, the Teddy Bear Suite, and the main event, the Tree Lighting.  Aaaaaaaand cue photos!

Here’s the gang at our meeting spot – the lower level of Pacific Place.  This is the “we-don’t-know-where-we’re-going-so-lets-catch-up” phase.  I love it 🙂

Our first stop was the ginger bread houses at the Sheraton Hotel.  Each year has a different theme, and this year, it was trains!  Everything from the main Christmas tree to the movies playing in the background has some relationship to trains.  Polar Express, anyone?

A train station in New Zealand.

Melbourne, Australia!

And a lovely Canadian Station!

There were a few more amazing gingerbread creations (Kings Cross and the Island of Misfits!) but these were my favorites.  By the way, the display is up all month if you want to check it out!

Next, we made our way to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel to check out the Teddy Bear suite!  Imagine a hotel suite – sitting room, bedroom and bathroom – completely decked out for Christmas with possibly hundreds of teddy bears…and I mean DECKED out!  A large, cozy fireplace with decorations and stockings welcomes you in.  A family of child-size (and I mean the size of children) teddy bears ushers you to the inner room, and trees, a canopy bed, MORE bears, and extra-big decorations dazzle you  instantly.  The lights are low and red-hued, while the green decorations bring a little contrast.  It’s quite lovely!

 

I wasn’t kidding about the child-size bears!

After much photography, and oohing and ahing over the beautiful trees in the lobby, we were off to MOD pizza for an early dinner.  SO YUM!  I was so hungry that I forgot all about pictures…but I didn’t forget to take a picture of a lovely window display:

 

I think I love everything about this display.  The plaid, the old fashioned record player, the classy suit…sigh.  And the gifts!  How adorable!  Anyways……

Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the TREE LIGHTING!  The program always begins with some music and short speeches – sing-along carols and professional performances.  They sounded quite good, but I couldn’t really see them…yay for being short…ha!  And there was this little issue of crowd smash.  It was chaotic.  Don’t get me started.  Just look at the pretty lights!!!

The tree (on the right) is slightly outdone by the super-bright Macy’s star and the fireworks.

But our smiles outshine them all…cheeeeeeeeese!  Couldn’t resist 😉

We waited till the crowd thinned out a bit, then walked across the block to Westlake Center.  Marisa and I were in serious need of chocolate.  Godiva to the rescue!

This is a creme brulee truffle.  Don’t tell anyone, but I paid *cough* $2.25 *cough* for this delicious little bugger!  But it was sooooo tasty!  This truffle – half milky chocolate, half white chocolate (or creamy something), dipped in white chocolate and dusted in sugar….ah-mazing!  Gotta live a little, right? 😉

This pretty well sums up the day!  After Westlake, we ventured to Macy’s to try on fancy, far too expensive dresses, and naturally, I fell in love with one.  What are the chances it’ll go on sale?  Sigh.  If you want to see it’s beauty, here’s the link.  So lovely!

All in all, I had an excellent Thanksgiving weekend.  And now, I’ll buckle my seat belt and take a deep breath…these next couple weeks are gonna be crazy!

I’ll leave you with what is perhaps my favorite verse of a Christmas song ever.

Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heavenly Lord

That hath made Heaven and earth of naught

And with His blood mankind hath bought.

Amazing.

Blessings,

Beth

 


 



A Happy Thanksgiving Indeed

I’m of the opinion that the holiday season (meaning Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years…not used as a politically correct term) are the toughest for college kids.  Not only are there projects and papers due, with finals looming, but many of us are away from our dear families during a time of year that emphasizes the joy and importance of being with your family.  This year, I’ve faced a particularly tough bout of homesickness which made me a firm believer that there really IS no place like home for the holidays.  However, the Lord is sovereign, and knowing how I would feel at this time, placed me right where I need to be.  I have family only about an hour away (although they were out of town for the holiday)  But also, I’ve truly been blessed with the most thoughtful and loving “Seattle Family”, and I had the joy of spending Thanksgiving with them this year!  Prepare for the photo montage with limited commercial interruption 😉

The beautiful table

Michelle on the right, then Nancy, Grammy, and Mandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The professional gravy-maker, and efficient dishwasher

And the roomie who proves you’re NEVER too old to cuddle up with mom 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place cards and abundant food…joy!

 

And the star of the show!

(Great job, Joe!)

Ok, commercial break time.  This turkey was AMAZING!  You know how turkey so easily gets dry and you can hardly swallow it?  Not this one.  Bland?  Nope.  Gravy?  A nice addition, but not necessary.  SO GOOD!  Aaaaaannndddd moving on… 🙂

We feasted on turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, fall vegetables, (and a few other things which I can’t remember) until we could feast no more!  I very much enjoyed both the food and the wonderful company.  Our hosts were pretty great amazing too!

After dinner, we rolled ourselves down to the family room to catch the Raven’s game and (if you’re me) read a few cooking magazines.  Oh, and eat dessert!!!!!!!!

Here’s the spread – from left to right – homemade chocolate truffles, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie (with whipped cream) and apple pie (with ice cream).  Oh man!

My plate…I seriously cannot pass up the pumpkin pie…but the apples looked sooo tasty…and ice cream!!  And clearly, the chocolate is a given.

So there you have my lovely Thanksgiving spent with my lovely Seattle Family!  It was definitely the best alternative to actually being at home.  I’m extremely thankful for each of these people, so strategically placed in my life.  It’s slightly overwhelming…but in a good way 🙂

I hope your Thanksgiving held just as much joy and relaxation as mine!

Check back soon for my Day-After-Thanksgiving shenanigans!  (No, I did NOT go shopping at midnight!)

Oh, and in other news, I head home for Christmas break in 19 days!  So exciting!  So much to do….such is life 🙂

Take care

Beth

 

A Lovely Evening

Hello friends!

Fun fact: you might be a college senior with projects and tests looming if…you take an entire week to get around to blogging your own birthday dinner, and even longer to blog your delightful “birthday-month” envelopes.  But such is life!  I’m hoping you’ll all forgive 🙂

I’m extremely blessed to have friends who have become family here at school.  During my sophomore year, I lived with my current roommate and her family in their home, which for me meant gaining a “Seattle Family”.  They’re wonderful!  They take me along on fun outings (Leavenworth!), invite me to share meals, and just LOVE me!  It’s great.  Why am I going on and on about my Seattle family?  Because they treated me to a delightful dinner in celebration of my birthday, full of delicious food and joyful surprises…have a look 🙂

Joce perfectly decorated the table!

Each place setting had been beautifully constructed

The theme certainly felt autumnal with charming leaves and rich tones of red and orange.

Beautiful.

And yes, I cut my hair 🙂  Do you like it?  Cause I do!

A little story from the evening: Marisa and I arrived a while before dinner, and it felt nice to just chill.  A friend, Megan, would be a bit late, so there was no hurry to get the meal on the table.  When the doorbell rang, I expected to see Megan…but I was in for surprise #3 of my birthday! (#1 – the “birthday-month” cards and #2 – the hockey game)  See, I had hoped a couple (another set of Seattle parents) would be able to come, but they already had plans to be out of town.  Except the plans fell through.  And everyone decided to keep it on the hush-hush.  So…..SURPRISE!!!!  I could hardly believe my eyes…but I was certainly happy to do so 🙂

A few minutes later, the lovely Megan arrived, and dinner was served!

Pork roast, sauteed apples, baked sweet potatoes, and roasted asparagus, with a salad on the side.  MMMMMMM!!!!!!

Sweet company plus delicious food is an excellent equation…I kinda like this math 🙂

After we could eat no more, Marisa, Megan and Joce cleared the table, then prepared dessert…with stifled giggles and mysterious sounds.  I pretended like a didn’t notice.  And then, this dish appeared before me….

Yes, that is a giant tower of fresh whipped cream.

Fresh raspberries, naturally.

And then, this.

This is a tower of brownies, with exactly 22 candles.  Which I blew out in one…ONE breath!  I kid you not!

All together!  Isn’t it splendid?  I forgot to mention the fudge sauce for drizzling…mmm!

Now that I was sufficiently sugared, the time had come for….

…presents!

A “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Martha Stuart Living”, Christmas editions from Marisa.  I ADORE magazines like these!

Between the cards, hockey game, and these magazines, I think Marisa truly outdid herself!  But I’m thankful 🙂

A bean-bag lamb (scented with lavender)…

…and a gorgeous scarf, both from Megan!

My surprise guests gave me a thoughtful gift card, and Marisa’s parents found the most beautiful lamp for my gift!  I forgot to take a picture of it earlier, and the lighting in my room is less than decent right now, so click this the link to see a photo of it!

This truly was a lovely evening.  I’m CRAZY blessed to have such a thoughtful “family” here.  Thank you Lord, and thank you Joe and Joce!

I’m off to get some work done…theoretically.  There’s always Sunday, right? 😉

Have a blessed weekend!

Beth