Sing Me A Song Of A Lass That Is Gone….

…..say could that lass be I? Merry of soul she sailed on a day, over the sea to Skye. Billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun. All that was good, all that was fair, all that was me is gone.

~Robert Louis Stevenson‘s poem Sing Me a Song of a Lad That Is Gone. Modified Version From Outlander’s Theme song.

You may have noticed this is the opening theme song to the wildly popular Outlander Series by Dannia Gabaldon. It is true that I am a huge fan of the book series and the Starz TV series, and I believe the love story between the two main characters is better than the love story told by Fifty Shades of Gray. But this not a post about me being a huge fan of Outlander, more of a post about why this song is stuck in my head for the past twelve months. Am I the lass in this song? I could be.

 Being Walked Away From…..

I’m so sick of that same love old love, that sh*t it tears me up, I’m so sick of the same old love, my body had enough, that same old love. Feels like I’ve blown apart, I’m so sick of the same old love the kind that breaks your heart. That same old love. -Selena Gomez Same Old Love.

 It seems like ages ago when I last saw or talked to him. I believe it was never meant to be, and other priorities took the place of him after he walked out of my life forever. I had other plans with my life, and things I needed to accomplished for me without him being around to hinder the progress. Yet him being selfish was truly the best thing for me in the end. Looking back I realized I was not really putting myself first enough times in the relationship and he never full there for me. He was just passing through my life, and never really meant to stay long. Another lesson on the path to finding the person I meant to be with. Making the choice to not be friends after the breakup is and always be the best decision I have made after the breakup. I wanted to move on without him hanging in the background. As I said in a post, I wish him the best of luck in his life and that he find happiness along the way.

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 Finished A 5k Run…..

The best feeling as if you are invincible and breaking all the limitations you put on yourself come right off after crossing the finish line. Seeing the numbers of how well I did for a beginner still amazes  me. I did that? WOW! After this, there was no stopping me from enjoying running and participate in fun runs and other races throughout the year. Running has tough me a whole lot about myself and how to deal with life’s disappointments. I am thankful for a friend in telling me of this fun run. Made all the difference in healing. I am hoping to run my first half marathon soon. Will have to see!

Must Be Something In The Water….

In front of family, friends and a whole congregation, I gave my life to Jesus. After three years attending church I decided to be baptized and I thank a dear friend of mine who helped me see I was ready to do this. I will not lie it did change parts of my life for the better and paved the way for a very wonderful thing to happen later on in the year (scroll down to see what it was). A new life has begun.

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 Beautiful Smile Is Born Again…..

I have had braces in the past, and over the years my teeth have decided to move on their own accord. Now as I write this my pearly whites are now straight! Adult braces are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I believe it is starting to become more common for adults to have braces, and having them on even gives you better confidence then when a teenager. Not to mention the fact that I had to go through countless job interviews smiling with them. Thank goodness for advancement in braces since I had them as a teenager. Instead of two years of metal in my mouth, I had them for only eight months! Time to flash those beautiful teeth!

 Accomplished Whole30 and Began Paleo….

I think I fell off the wagon two times before the third time stuck with me (you can thank having braces for getting me to finish!). Just getting a hold of the book It Starts With Food from the local library and The Whole30 Cook Book spelled out more about how to be successful then just reading pins off of Pinterest. Just seeing other people’s results was just amazing to drop all that bloating weight on Instagram. In the end I managed to stay on the diet for thirty days on the diet and lost a lot of health problems I had after completing the program. Was not easy to do, but I am glad I stuck through with it for as long as I did.

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 One Career Door Closed, Another Will Open…..

You cannot make lemonade with rotten lemons. They are rotten for a reason!

There are times where you can no longer ride the roller coaster any longer. At the beginning of this year that was as true as ever. For the past three and half years I had been riding the ups and downs at a company that was struggling. One day it sold to another larger company that did not care about the people nor the product and so I had to do what was best for me. Walking into a job every day and not knowing what will become of you is the most stressful situation you could possibly be in. In the end I was laid off and in itself was a blessing for being let go, I was moving on was for the best. As heart breaking to leave people who became like family to you for three and half years, and knowing the team built through those times will never be the same. I will never forget what each and everyone taught me while working with them.

  Went Back To Finish My Bachelors Degree….

If you had asked where I would have been twelve months ago I would never had said I went back to school. After being laid off from Dendreon and going through a string of interviews that were going nowhere fast, I decide on a whim to apply to Northwest University’s biology program. To the surprise of me I was accepted to the University two weeks before classes began. In this a new journey began, and a new beginning was starting to take shape. I’m still amazed at what has transpired over four months studying, and learning what it means to realize a long-lost dream was about to be accomplished. Three years are going to go by fast, and judging by how fast time flew when at Dendreon, it means this too will past quick. Maybe this time I will continue to reach higher in my career with the completion of my dream.

Sophmore At Northwest University Fall 2015
Sophomore At Northwest University Fall 2015

Life takes us to unexpected places we never thought we would go. Plans we thought we had go to the wayside, while other plans are made. Dreams happen, old goals are reignited and most of all, things we thought would last forever or awhile come to an end. In one year everything in life changes and you are never the same again.

The more I reflect on what has all transpired over the last twelve months, there has been a lot of changes and a lot of new beginnings happening all at once. I never thought I would be where I am today as I am right now.  “For every new beginning comes from another beginning’s end” The Closure. I guess that is what being in your twenties is all about and learning to be the lass that is gone. Gone to become something more then she has ever been before, and new adventures to go on.

Spirit Of The Season

Christmas is the best time of year for me. Just seeing all the jolly lights twinkling through wet rainy nights is what living in the Seattle area all about. This year I have the best time spending my holidays with close family and friends.

Church Advent Celebration:

(C) Shoreline Community Church

Getting goofy with this dear friend of mine at the Church’s annual Advent party. Ashlee a snowman, me Rudolf. This year they brought back the traditional advent festivities with the kids choir singing in their oh so cute way, and having a brunch where we mingled with other members of the congregation to see what is happening in everyone’s world.

Children’s Choir (C) Shoreline Community Church

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party:

My first ugly sweater ever (well looks more cute then ugly)! Why now? Because I have never been to an ugly Christmas sweater party before until now. So off I went with my ugly-cute Christmas sweater to spend a night with new people and many laughs with a game close to Cards Against Humanity. Just the beginning journey of the ugly cute Christmas Sweater.

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Christmas Eve Candlelight Service:

This year was a quiet Christmas Eve service at the church then years past. Instead of candles with open flame, they decided to go with the plastic fake candles to light the church. The message this Christmas eve was Jesus is for everyone, and everyone who is an outcast because that is who saw the beginning of Christ’s ministry. Lovely message for the eve of Christ’s birth.

Christmas Came:

Christmas morning was a very calm gray day with on rain at all. To bad this year there was not snow in the greater Seattle area again,but there was snow in the passes and the foothills as well. Maybe next year there will be a white Christmas.

The Rice family came to celebrate Christmas this year with my family. We talked and laughed our way through the game of Pit and a wonderful Christmas meal. This year I decided to make a cheese platter for the meal, and the whole thing turned out wonderful. Cheese used was Celebrity’s Cranberry Cinnamon Goat’s milk cheese, Snowdinia Cheese Company’s Green Thunder Aged Cheddar Garlic and Garden Herbs, Alouette’s Brie cheese, and fruit. By the end of the night each of us were stuffed with goodies and went home very happy as well as loved.

Sad News On Christmas Morning:

Woke up to news of a historical landmark I grew up with as a kid was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours on Christmas day. The Butte Creek Mill in Eagle Point Oregon was the only operating 1800s water grit mill west of the Mississippi. Words cannot express the devastating loss this is on the community of Southern Oregon, and the historical landmark community. If you like you can donate to the mill fund.

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Butte Creek Mill Circ. 2014

Firefighters look over the scene of the burned-out historic Butte Creek Mill, which caught fire early Christmas morning in Eagle Point. Mail Tribune/ Denise Baratta

Butte Creek Mill 12/25/15 (c) Medford Mail Tribune

Last Book Finished in 2015:

The last book on my 2015 reading list is done. The last book was Laura Ingalls Wilder Pioneer Girl (The Annotated Autobiography) by Pamela Smith Hill. This textbook sized book is fascinating  because some of the stories she tells in her Little House On The Prairie series come from this manuscript she wrote about her life. You can see where the truth in her stories are from and what she embellished or changed to suit her target audience (children). A must read for those of you who were or are still fans of the Little House books.

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Another Christmas has come and gone. Seems like it keeps creeping up on me every passing year.

Happy New Year’s to all my dear readers!

Thanks(Friends)giving Week Adventures

What?! No cookbooks this year?! This is what my dear mother said at Costco on Black Friday when she realized there were no cookbooks to be passed out this year. Honestly Costco you could have announced it to all your members before Thanksgiving. So another Thanksgiving tradition has come to an end after a few years. RIP Costco Holiday Cookbook, RIP. And that is just be beginning of the Thanksgiving week of disappointments. Yep after only having a laptop for three months before the dark screen of death happened,and the laptop gave out. Now into the final two weeks of classes, what a suck this is. Then again you get what you paid for, if it is a $200 Chrome book, then yes it is going to be a piece of crap! So I bought myself a proper laptop this Black Friday, and it is a Christmas gift to myself (also can write it off for taxes since it is a school expense). The third thing as the cherry on top of the above happenings, the FDA has stopped all shipments of English fruit cake from Australia. WHY?! It was the only fruit cake worth eating! Not the American disgusting, radio active cherries on top and what the heck filling type cake! Seriously why? No go on the only fruit cake worth eating during the holiday season. Such a disappointing realization.

But the weekend was not all gloomy and depressing…..

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Beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

I don’t know what compelled me to do this, but I blame it on Pinterest and reading a post off of Anderson Ever After. I decided to propose the idea of Friends-giving for our church’s young adult group get together. This meant rounding up people to bring stuff for the dinner and to make sure we had a feast at the end. It was. We ended up with sweet potato casserole, turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, mash potatoes, stuffing, and all the other fixings. By the end the night we all where stuffed and ready to go home happy-full. Next year there will be another Friends-giving, and it will be epic (do they still use this word?).

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the whole group

Thanksgiving was a small affair since my Nana came up from Oregon to visit. Thanksgiving was at my parent’s house which meant we all chipped in to help with the small feast. Ham, turkey breast, cheese scalloped potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, rolls, and sparkling cranberry juice for a feast. But…. we celebrate Thanksgiving with English Christmas crackers! Yep during desert we open or more like pop, crackers full of paper crowns, cheesey jokes and some surprise gift inside. I love wackiness of wearing a brightly colored paper crown and eating chocolate! Not the typical American Thanksgiving at all.

I have posted before I do not do the Black Friday thing at all. After spending three Christmas seasons in retail, I no longer partake in this crazy tradition. Black Friday is spent going to Costco for their free cookbook (which as you can tell didn’t happen this year), hunting for the famous European fruit cake (another disappointment) and relaxing. I did shop for a new laptop in the comfort of home, and will be getting a Surface 4 Pro tablet for Christmas.

Saturday morning I rounded up the gang and went to decorate the Church for the Christmas season. Like the two years before, our group was assigned front lobby tree decorating duty. This time we out do ourselves again with the trees.

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Church Lobby Trees

After tree decorating, I decided to make a huge batch of Butter Shortbread Cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Oh my goodness the best homemade shortbread I have made and tasted! I will be using this recipe from now on.

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Homemade Shortbread Cookies

Later in the evening we all hopped into the car to stand in the cold to Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony to see the tree in the town square light up. I froze my butt off standing there waiting, and wishing I had stopped at the Starbucks on my way to the event. Oh well next time I will stop. Nice clear crisp day and evening made for a beautiful display for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone! Now on to Christmas and seeing what the end of the year brings. Two weeks until finals, and three and half weeks until Christmas!! Time has flown by!

Spider Webs For Eyes

I kept it all simple this year for Halloween since I would be volunteering at a local church’s Halloween carnival. While looking through Pinterest for ideas and came across spider webs drawn around the eyes as Halloween makeup, I thought what a great idea!

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Stick on spider web eye stickers

Then thought why not make it into a simple witch costume! I found this witches hat on a headband from a work group costume a few years ago and dressed in black to make it look simple. In the end it turned out really well and didn’t scare any kids at the carnival which is a huge plus since spider webs can be scary.

I was recruited by a classmate into helping her church in their annual Halloween carnival for the neighborhood. The whole night was spent helping with the younger children in playing games and handing out candy (which they all really loved). I had a blast playing the invisible fish that magically put candy and small toys on the fishing lines.

This young lady is a wonderful classmate and such a blast to be around! I had a wonderful time volunteering with her and she is an amazing person.

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Amazing helper at the carnival!

Halloween was fairly uneventful and peaceful this time. I guess I’m getting to the point where going out partying on Halloween night does not sound as fun as it did at one time. But I still had fun! Now it is time to prepare for the holidays and the new year ahead.

I Was There, I Saw, And I Will Never Forget

To this day I still cry when I remember the tragedy of September 11th. I remember being in the 8th grade in US History class when the principle announced to the whole school the tragedy of what happened. Our teachers tried to keep us from seeing the images on TV and the internet (back then we didn’t have smart phone like today to sneak a peek), but it was no use. Just seeing the news feed and the video was overwhelming to see. This was the first of many times I had a feeling of not being safe anymore in the world. War would soon come and a few years later another tragedy would come out of this again when someone I loved died in Afghanistan in the War on Terror. Today after fourteen years I pause a moment to remember all those who’s lives were cut short in this tragedy and the tragedy of what terrorism does to innocent lives. I was there, I saw, and I will never forget.