Monthly Archives: February 2010

perspective.

I guess we’ll never see the world completely through someone else’s eyes.

I find myself judging people at times.

I wonder why they complain/boast about certain things, when clearly their words don’t match their actions. You know, why they say one thing and do/live another.

The irony of stories not matching up to the reality as I know it. And that’s where the problem comes in. Reality as I know it. I.

I’m constantly trying to keep myself in check. What I see and what’s in their reality are two different things. Distinctly different. But it’s not about my perspective, because it’s their life.

Maybe it’s my sense of perspective that’s skewed. Now that’s something to think about.

It’s why I take everything with a grain of salt, try not to dwell, and don’t rely much on what other people say. Again, it’s all in my bag of insecurities, faults, and not so great bag of tricks. Like I’ve mentioned before, I have serious issues with trust.

Awesome, huh?

It’s a matter of perspective, and it’s mine, the outsider’s, that doesn’t count. I can dig it. I just have a really hard time trusting people whose stories don’t “match.” I have an equally difficult time opening up my heart to them for fear that I’ll be let down by their inconsistencies.

Yet I’ve found lately that I don’t even have to open up my heart to be let down, because it happens anyway.

A lot.

This whole judging thing really stinks. I’m tired of watching people paint different pictures depending on the audience. Why can’t we all just be who we are without worrying about what people think?

I say all of this about others, but certainly it’s true for my life, as well. I’d like to think that I live my life regardless of the opinions of others, but that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth. To many, I’m highly secretive and very quiet. I’ll admit, too, that I’m a conformist. There are so many things people don’t know about me and not because I want to keep them secret, but because I just don’t talk. Fortunately, that list of unknown “things” contains both the good and the bad, so it’s not like I’m hiding only the bad and promoting the good.

And is there harm in being highly confidential? It’s not that I don’t want people to know things about me – honestly. I’ve just found over the years that I’m a much better listener than talker. And do people really want to hear about me and my successes and failures? It takes a lot for me to tell people things – again, good and bad. (Sounds like trust issues again? Uh huh.) Instead, I listen to people’s problems, worries, joys and successes. And I keep their information to myself, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when someone confides in you. That’s what makes me such a good listener, right? I don’t spill anyone else’s beans. So many times though, I bear the burdens of others, and those burdens bring me down while they feel better getting it off their chest.

But no one else bears my burdens, and I certainly don’t trust people with things about me because I fear they’ll tell others. Right … this makes no sense at all. Instead, I end up with my burdens and those of others – whether it’s right or wrong.

Fair enough, I guess. I mean, it is my choice to listen and not speak, right?

But does anyone really know me?

And back to listening. It’s not even like I use people’s “confidential” discussions as points upon which to pass judgment because most of the time, it’s well-known things in which I find inconsistencies. Hmm …

Does this make any sense? Sometimes I feel like I’m talking in circles. That I can’t explain things well enough. There’s the doubt again – the confidence issue.

I guess the moral of the story is that I need to worry about me, and not other people. It’s certainly not my place to pass judgment. Maybe if I stopped that, I could focus more on fixing my issues – Lord knows I have enough of them. It’s just not that easy … ya know?

Please tell me that I’m not the only person dealing with these things, only the crazy one who shares. I’m hoping that maybe it makes you feel a little better to know you’re not alone and helps me to think through things a bit. I’m hoping it makes us both better people in the end.

But maybe I really am alone in these ridiculous thoughts …

confidence? what confidence?

You probably don’t know it (Or maybe you do – I don’t know.), but I have major issues with confidence. I’ve always been strong-willed, and certainly think in my own highly unique way, but I often find myself trying too hard to please others and going with the flow for the sake of the happiness of my friends and family members. Not good.

At times, I’m certain I am capable of great things. But most of the time, I find I’m doubting myself. Oddly enough, I like to imagine I’m more of an optimist than a pessimist, yet I just can’t feel amazing in who I am, what I believe, and my capabilities.

Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I rarely worry, nor do I dwell on things I cannot change. I honestly think that’s one of my most awesome characteristics, one that’s come in handy oh so many times. That’s one of my few positives.

But back to this confidence thing. I am terrible. In an effort to tackle the things I doubt in myself head-on, I wrote them down. I’m going to attempt to reflect on each one of them and list things – how I can improve upon my fault, why it’s wrong, what others say, etc.

I’m hoping that in the process, I see just how wrong I really am.

Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

At any rate, here’s my “list.” If you didn’t know it before, you know it now – I’m a highly visual person, and don’t do traditional lists well. This is my graphic version.

Before I go any further, it’s been terribly difficult to get to the point of posting this for all of you to see. It’s revealing. I guess I’m just telling things I think you can already deduce about me, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you see me differently. You probably don’t care, and that’s cool, too. It’s not about you, per se, but it may be beneficial to you in the long run, right?

Eh, enough. Here they are … my faults, doubts, and insecurities. Argh.

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Now, if I find the strength, I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I’ll update you on how things are changing, whether good or bad. If I find the strength. It won’t be easy – this was bad enough.

But I’ll try.

recipe: crock pot mac & cheese

.:| crock pot mac & cheese |:.
(Note: This is my adaptation of a Food Network recipe by Paula Deen. Her original recipe can be found here.)

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As promised here, below is the recipe for the mac & cheese I made in the crock pot during Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse 2010! Thanks, Paula Deen!

What you’ll need …

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (just over 8 oz)
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I did half with four cheese blend shredded cheese.)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream (I ended up using more like 3/4 c.)
1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. whole milk (I never use whole milk, but I splurged on this recipe – worth it!)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper

What you’ll do …

Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain. In the meantime, combine butter and cheese in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the cheese melts. In the crock pot, combine melted cheese/butter mixture, beaten eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, dry mustard, and pepper. Stir well; add in drained macaroni and stir again. Cover and cook on low for 3+ hours, stirring occasionally.

Note: I did this in a 1.5 qt. crock pot, which was filled to the top. Seemed to me to be the perfect size, but if you like a little breathing room in there, you might want to go with something bigger.

blizzard #1 preview.

Here are a few of my favorites from this weekend’s crazy snow. Plenty more to come …

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blizzard = food.

What do you do in 30″ of snow? Well, besides shovel … er, unless you’re lucky enough to not have to. Oh, and stay warm, of course.

Me? I love to cook. When I learned that we were in for more than 2′ of snow, I planned a full menu and shopped it up.

What did I make that I’d be delighted to share with you? How do macaroni & cheese and beef stew sound? I also managed to make homemade bread and cucumber salad, but the bread isn’t all that exciting and while making the cucumber salad, my daughter was into just about everything (Including discovery of the dog’s water bowl … argh!), making pictures a very bad idea.

But … if you want the recipe for the cucumber salad, it’s by Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa and can be found here. I could have used a bit less onion (for my taste) and I did add in some extra white wine vinegar, but otherwise, it’s perfect just as it is.

(Note: I’m a Food Network junkie. While the beef stew recipe didn’t come from Food Network, the mac & cheese did.)

I’d say that just about everything I made this weekend falls into the category of comfort food. Homemade bread, mac & cheese and beef stew are givens, but cucumbers happen to rock, in my mind, so that counts for me, too.

So … stay tuned – the recipes are coming! Until then, here’s a snapshot of our crazy weekend. We ended up with somewhere around 30″ of snow, and there’s another storm on the way this afternoon that’s expected to bring another 10 to 20″.

Oh. My. Gosh.

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chaos.

The past 24 hours have been chaos. Well, not really, but things become a bit crazy when there’s major snow on the way.

I decided to hit the grocery store last night. We would survive if we needed to without last night’s grocery run, but I’d be far happier with the appropriate ingredients for some awesome meals – more on that later. Anyway, I was rather impressed. Yes, there were tons of people in the store, but most of the checkouts were open, and there was barely a wait. The parking lot and drive home were the worst of it – people were driving like they were crazy!

So, what did I come home with? Ingredients for the following, among other things:

  • homemade bread
  • beef stew
  • homemade macaroni & cheese
  • cucumber salad
  • black bean hummus

I’m psyched, now let’s just hope the snow brings the energy for all of that! I also sat down last night and wrote a to do list for each day. Have I mentioned the fact that I’m so excited about being snowed in!? Two full days in with Peanut – what could be better?! I have plenty of projects to work on. I know there’s no way I’ll get to all of them, but a girl can dream, right?

Lily is, here and there, saying ma ma ma. It’s awesome! She started on Wednesday night and my mom heard it over the phone last night. I know it doesn’t mean anything yet, but it’s still cool!

Are you guilty of this? I just finished something and went to cross it off my to do list, only to find that it was never on my to do list. So … what did I do? Wrote it on there, and then proceed to cross it off, of course! Have you ever done that? I felt so silly when I was done, but I needed that sense of accomplishment. Yeah, I’m goofy.

Well, if you’re in the path of this weekend’s mega-snowstorm, be careful over the weekend. From what I hear, it’s already started here, and it seems like it’s going to be quite messy out there by the time it’s all said and done!

Stay warm!

play.

And a few more from our “please stand in your crib so I can get some pictures” playtime last weekend …

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