Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions

What a fantastic week ahead! I will be spending the rest of my evening baking pies, making salads and snacks for a fun-filled several days at the Turner household! There's just something in the air when the holidays are here. The anticipation is exhilarating!

The apple pie I just made for Thanksgiving!!

I can't wait to spend the rest of the evening cooking away, preparing for the weekend of eating, and I look forward to packing my bags and spending several days and nights with the Turners! What a great break from work and the normal pace of life it will be. Time to just relax, cook, eat, laugh and spend time together.

The holiday season is here. The most wonderful time of the year!!

An interesting thought I've had is.....why must we wait to have kids to start holiday traditions? I would love to start some Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions with my husband. It's important to make holidays special and memorable and I also believe that traditions and memories are so much more than food and recipes. So here are some ideas of traditions this Thanksgiving that I would like to start this year:

1. Make a "Holiday Notebook". Have everyone in both families write

1. What they are thankful for this year:

2. The best thing that happened this year:

3. What they pray for the new year:

People can bring photos from throughout the year of special events or significant times

they were thankful, and we can also take a picture of the whole family each year too. Making it a "holiday notebook" makes it so that we can use it from Thanksgiving to the New Year--to get both families involved. And what a fun memento to look back on down the road?

2. I love the tradition of standing around the dinner table before Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, holding hands as each person says one thing they are thankful for. I think maybe a more fun way would even be to use a video camera each year. Have someone go around and ask each person individually throughout the day what they are thankful for. How fun would that be to watch over the years?!?! And maybe everyone should say it again at the dinner table, so everyone can hear all the answers.

3. Hostess gift. I learned this from my mom and two grandmas the first year I was married, Josh and I hosted Easter dinner in our small apartment and I couldn't believe it, when all 3 of them walked in with a "Hostess Gift"! It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. From that point on, I've committed providing a small gift to whoever is responsible for hosting and cooking the dinner for that holiday when it's not at my house.

4. I think it would be fun to chose someone each Thanksgiving to express thankfulness to. It would be fun to choose someone in the family each year and that year everyone does something for that one person. Whether it's a small gift, a note, or just a verbal declaration of Thanksgiving, I think it would be so special to choose one person out of the family to really shower with Thanksgiving. Or if family members aren't comfortable with that, we could always pick a person in the military or pastor in a church and do something special for that person.

5. Thanksgiving Craft: I think it would be so much when Reece gets a little older, and other kiddos are added to the mix on both sides, to have a special Thanksgiving "Craft" that they can work on together that morning before dinner.

6. I would love to start making the Friday a tradition! Whether it's always "Black Friday" in the morning and family time that evening. Or a completely chill family day, staying in PJ's all day, watching movies, putting puzzles together, snacking on all the leftovers and desserts and candy from the day before and making a flag football field in the backyard for everyone to play. I don't know what I want Friday to become, but I would love if it became a tradition! (this one might have to wait until we have kids, right now we might just be at the mercy of whoever is hosting I suppose) :)

So, you see, you don't have to have 3 kids to start family traditions! From the moment you say "I Do" family traditions and special moments and memories can be made!

I'll let you know how much traditions go this year! :) I'd better get on it, since we leave tomorrow for Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hairdressers, Doctors and Dentists

Growing up in the same town from birth really had many advantages. One of those being that I had the same service providers for things like doctor visits, dentist appointments and hair cuts.

The one disadvantage is that you are not stretched, it's easy to get stuck inside a box and think..."This is the ONLY way I can cut my hair" and "this is the only way to get my teeth cleaned" and "I must not have anything wrong with me because this one doctor said so".

The major advantage is that...."this hairdresser knows my hair and my personality like the back of her hand, she will know what's looks best on me and what I'll feel comfortable with" and "this doctor knows all my medical history, I could call them up and they might even write me up a prescription over the phone!".

All that to say, until I actually got married and located myself permanently in another city, was I forced to make some drastic life-changing decisions! :) I don't think people realize how much of a pain it is to change the businesses you go to that provide services to you.

It started with a hairdresser. Living in a small town and paying $14 for a haircut was quite a bit different than $40 for a haircut (+that hefty tip!). Not to mention that they don't know the personality of my hair. They don't realize that even though you can make it full of body beautifully bouncy in the salon, 2 short hours later, my fine, thin and straight hair will be limp and lifeless, lying on the side of my head. And there I am, stuck with a haircut and style that I have no idea how to style (because I haven't changed my haircut since high school, remember). Who knows how it will look for the next whole year now because since I just got married, of course I chopped it all off. Is that in the marriage vows; "Every bride must chop her hair off completely after the honeymoon"!?! (well they do! Don't ask me why!) So there I was in my new city for 9 months of our newly married life, with short hair, that I couldn't control, and by now was on my 2nd hairdresser. Finely, I was starting to feel more comfortable with my hairdresser and style...after spending all that money on product and brushes and straighteners and curling irons, who wouldn't look good??

Then my husband tells me we are moving to Missouri! Excited for the adventure, we are off, but shortly after the move, I realize -- I need a haircut! So there we are, knowing no one to ask for a recommendation, I call and make an appointment at the salon 2 blocks away from our apartment. Holly. The first year with Holly was rough. She encouraged me to try the straight style, but I could never quite get it figured out and the color she gave me was never what I wanted. Then after a year, we found the groove! I started using the curling iron and asking for styling tips and she got the color right on and for 9 months, it was bliss!

Then back to Kansas we moved. Oh know. Here we go again! Luckily the same hairdresser was still around-although my style had changed and I loved it! It's taken 6 months now, and we haven't hit the nail on the head, but I'm confident in December at my appointment, it will be perfect!

To save you all the pain of hearing my unreasonably long stories about doctors and dentists, I'll just let you know that now, I've been back to Kansas for 6 months and I have yet to make an appointment with a doctor or dentist....it's SO hard to find the perfect one, especially when you loved the one you had in another city. I'm just thankful my eyesight is excellent, can you imagine the extra stress of finding an eye doctor too?!? :)

I need to do it though, I had a lot of dental work done last year and I need to get my teeth cleaned and get familiar with a dentist. And I need to get my cholesterol checked too (thanks to the terrific genes from my dad and grandpa, I have the wonderful gift of high cholesterol and need it checked at least once a year...really should get that done!).

All that to say, it's so easy to procrastinate, and be frustrated for at least the first year after moving to a new place as you try to figure out who you choose to provide services for you. So for those of you newlyweds, or oldlyweds, who are living somewhere new, it's ok to be frustrated as you find new providers, but don't procrastinate! Just take the bull by the horns and get 'er done! After all, if you end up with H1N1, you want to be able to easily call a provider and not have to give them your whole life's history as you pass out on the table, or let a toothache go on longer than it should as it causes the need for a root canal, or heaven-forbid, get split ends!!!

Ok, I've motivated myself, I'll call the doctor and dentist today.....ok, maybe tomorrow....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt

Ok, so as you all know, I'm still in search of my specialty food! The Pioneer Woman has an awesome blog that I love following and recently she had a recipe for Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt...one of my favorites! So I had to try it out! Maybe, just maybe, this could be my specialty.

It's starts of with 8 or 9 oz. of semisweet and 8 or 9 oz of bittersweet chocolate, placed in a double broiler, or just a glass bowl in a pot. :)

I melted all the chocolate.

Added the sweetened condensed milk.

Stirred until it was similar to a marshmellow consistancy.

Added the vanilla.

Mixed well, covered and put it in the fridge for 2 hours (although I think next time I will leave it in the fridge longer, it wasn't quite stiff enough).

Rolled it into small balls, put on cookie sheet and put in the freezer to set well before dipping in chocolate.

Melted chocolate and dip truffle balls into chocolate.

Placed on wire cooling rack and immediately sprinkled sea salt on top. I couldn't find a bottle of sea salt to sprinkle with, so I had to grind it up and then sprinkle.
I thought they were a success! Very delicious...extremely rich, but if you love chocolate, you will love these! Next time I will try to figure out a way to make them all perfectly round (I think if it had been chilled longer, it would have been easier). And I will try to find grains of sea salt, so I don't have to grind it up.
Maybe, just maybe, this is my new signature food! If anyone wants to try one and give me their opinion, just let me know, and I will deliver it to you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Nephew Reece

I had a beyond fantastic weekend last weekend when Blake, Carlin and Reece came home! I love more than anything when my brothers and their families get to come home! We have the best time together.

Since that amazing day on May 13th, 2009, Reece came into the world and all our hearts got much bigger because we all had a lot of love to give that little guy! We were able to drive out and visit the new arrival a couple weeks after he was born and instantly when I saw him, the tears started flowing and my heart started melting. He was so very tiny, and just watching my brother hold him and talk to him and be a daddy to him was amazing to experience. To look at little Reece and see all his features, some similar to Blake and some similar to Carlin is an amazing miracle.

All pictures from our 1st visit in May!

The reality hit me that while God is still the one in control of Reece's life and He will ultimately be the one to give and take away life, he has entrusted Reece's life to Blake and Carlin, for however long that may be and it is overwhelmingly incredible to think of the significance of that. I can't begin to imagine the physical and emotional struggles that would come with being 1st time parents, but they handle it with such ease and are such a "natural" mommy and daddy. I can't wait to watch, not only Reece as he grows and grows, but also Blake and Carlin as they will continue to amaze me I'm sure, as they juggle parenting, work, home, family, friends, church with such simplicity and ease.

All pictures from the week of Brett and Kavia's wedding in June!

I've had the amazing pleasure getting to see Reece 4 different times since he's been born! And each time I'm blown away by the changes. I remember in May I could fit him on my lap, his head on my knees and his feet up against my tummy...I remember saying, "I will never forget this, how tiny he is" and I have to admit, sometimes now, seeing his long body and cute baby rolls now, makes it hard to recall!

Auntie Amy and Reece in May!

Auntie Amy and little Reecie-piecie in June!

Auntie Amy and Reecer man in July!

Auntie Amy and Reece in October!

His physical features continue to change, although one thing remains the same, still no hair! :) And the little hair he has is very blonde. It's adorable!

Little Reecer man has really completed our family (that is, until Buhrman Baby #2 comes along, I'm trying to talk them into it soon, don't worry!)---there's so much attention on that little guy, every move, yawn, stretch, roll over, tooth, is carefully inspected and studied by each person in our family and now we are trying to remember what we did before Reece ever came along!! There are still fun card games had after Reecer goes to bed, but one thing's for sure, there's nothing quite like cuddling up with that sweet, snuggly baby!

Tickle time with mommy!

Reece and Grandpa Buhrman having a boot-scootin' good time!

4 Generations!

Bath time!

So big already!!

One thing's for sure, Reece is one loved baby, and I can say (because this is my blog!) that his Auntie Amy loves him the most!! :)

I love you SOOO much Reece and can't wait to watch you grow up and can't wait to be a part of your life!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Feels Like Home

"Feels Like Home"

by Chantal Kreviazuk

Somethin' in your eyes, makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself, in your arms
There's somethin' in your voice, makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts, the rest of my life

If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I've been so alone
And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong

A window breaks, down a long, dark street
And a siren wails in the night
But I'm alright, 'cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see, through the dark there is light
Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch
And if you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought that I'd love anyone so much

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way the back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong

These are lyrics to a song that I had the privledge of singing at the Brad and Kali Jantz's wedding, 4 summers ago. I absolutely love this song. Not only does it define the love we can have for another person and how we are made to "complete" one another, but also explains the correlation of love and "home". This song should be my blog's theme song or something! :) It makes the exacty point I'm hitting on and shows how it relates to a love relationship.

It's amazing to me how she compares her love for another person to "home" and how she knows she's completely in love because the feeling of love feels like "home". So I go back to my original question in day 1 of my blog; what does home feel like? And maybe another question, what does love feel like? Do they feel the same to you?

There are many different kinds of love that we can experience throughout our lives, love for parents, sibilings, extended family, friends, spouse and our Lord Jesus Christ. When singing this song my mind immediately goes to the strongest feeling of physical love I have on this earth and that is with my husband because it talks about physical affections of love such as being held in his arms, lost in his eyes, protected from crime and violence.
So as I compare my love for my husband and what "home" feels like to me, I have come to some amazing conclusions. When I think of the love I have for Josh, I get that same warm and fuzzy and happy feeling that I get when I experience "home". So I'm sure that warm feeling is one way that his love feels like "home" to me.
Just think about it, when you love someone you want them to experience "home" with you, so you can share those special moments together and can feel that deep connection and warmth with one another instead of alone. When I fell in love with Josh what is it that we did? We went to each others home, he met my family, ate my mom's delicious chili and monkey bread, played cards with my family, met my friends, toured my hometown, went to my homechurch, looked through photo albums, watched home videos, the list goes on. Josh loved me and he wanted to experience my home. I don't say all that to say that when you love someone they become a part of your past or present home, but what I'm saying is that Josh got to experience the things in my life that defined who I am today, afterall, there was 21 years of my life that I lived before starting to date him. But more than that, the point I'm very slowly getting to, is that Josh's love for me feels like "home", not because of the town we live in, the church we go to or the friends we have. His love for me feels like "home" because the way he makes me feel, because we have created "home" together and through our previous experiences of "home" we have learned how to love one another and how to incorporate those moments into our new "home".
Let me see if I can get the point I'm trying to make a little clearer....I'm confusing myself! This is just harder to explain than I thought it would be. :)

The experiences that define "home" for me....will now and forever define my love with Josh.

To give an example; Christmas, (we all know how I feel about this holiday!) was created as a warm fuzzy "home" feeling when I was very very young. The amazing memories I had growing up of Christmas, created a deep-rooted sense of happiness that I've taken with me throughout my life. But ever since I've meet Josh, Christmas has become even sweeter. I have memories of our first date in Kansas City ice skating on an outdoor rink with the Christmas tree lights turning on to start the holiday season. And making our first gingerbread house together and singing Christmas Carols in the car together and cuddling next to the Christmas Tree as our gaze got lost in the rythmic twinkle of lights and baking many yummy treats to enjoy together. And ever since we experienced our first Christmas together, Christmas, which is already "home" to me, now could never be "home" again without the one I love. It's a combination of new memories and old, but there's something about Josh's love for me that feels like "home" to me. Which amazes me when he wasn't even around during those defining "home" years. It's a deep-rooted connection that brings two "homes" together and creates a new "home" that could never be replaced.

Our first date in KC iceskating, and making our first gingerbread house!

Wow, that was confusing. Please help me out, how does your love feel like "home"?

Also I'm curious what everyone thinks about marrying someone who you didn't meet until later in life, someone who didn't grow up with you. I'm going to do a blog soon about knowing someone's history and how they became the person they are today. Do you think it's more beneficial to know someone growing up or more beneficial to not meet the person you marry until after they are an adult? If you don't meet them until they are an adult, how important is it to go and experience their life and "home" where they grew up and where their life was defined? Important or not at all? Tell me what you think!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall is here!

Ok, for fear of being ridiculed, let's take a step backwards. :)

With as quickly as the weather has turned cold, I feel like we might have skipped over Fall and moved directly into winter. But I have noticed, Fall isn't slipping by completely. Trees are changing all different colors and the leaves are falling to the ground. Josh's parents have a row of trees lining their driveway that turn a bright beautiful red color in the fall, and when I was there last weekend they had started turning red and were giving me a glimpse of what their breath-taking beauty would be like in just a short week or two more! I posted a few pictures below for you to see!

Meet Sable, she's the official greeter at the Turner household!

She kept wanting to take pictures, but I wouldn't let her, I know, I know, I'm so mean!

It's a beautiful drive in to their home with these trees paving the way!

We went to Staci and Layne's house for adult small group this week and Staci had the most delicious Apple Cider for everyone. It smelled and tasted like Fall...it was wonderful!

Every Sunday afternoon my parent's home is completely full of friends that come over to enjoy lunch and support the losing Chiefs. Maybe they'll win the Super Bowl...you never know! We have a great time, and I love living closer so that I can enjoy with fun fall days with friends!

A week ago, the high school small group that I help co-lead was able to get together for a fun afternoon of pumpkin carving! We had a great time hanging out and getting to know each other!

Ah, the pumpkin carving and cider drinking with fun high school girls!

So you see, Fall is in the air, and I haven't completely bypassed it yet. :) I'm enjoy every change and blessing that comes with a new season and a new Holiday time approaching! Thanking God that He makes himself known through the traditions and blessings of this time of the year.

Enjoy the colors, raking, playing in the leaves, smells of Apple Cider, wood burning, smore-making, football watching, sweater-wearing and chilly weather! IT'S FALL, it's HOME!