a weekend away

are you guys not totally entertained by the number of posts this last week??! i am!! i’m trying to make more of an effort to keep up with this little baby. we’ll see how long it lasts…

this last weekend we had the awesome privilege to stay at a cabin in northern MN with our small group (minus one family, but they had JUST had a baby, so i guess we will forgive them for not coming. this time.) we stay here a few times a year, and each time it is so fun and relaxing. we eat delish food, have awesome conversation, play outside, watch movies, and unplug from life for a few days. it. was. perfection.

thank you morrow’s the letting us use your beautiful home! we look forward to it each year and always have the best time!

cuddling with cute kiddos. a great start to any weekend trip.

cuddling with cute kiddos. a great start to any weekend trip.

cheers to our group!

cheers to our group!

yes. the cabin has pinball machine. and yes. there is an honest-to-goodness plaque displaying proudly the current high scorers.

yes. the cabin has pinball machine. and yes. there is an honest-to-goodness plaque displaying proudly the current high scorers.

and yes. the 'big boys' play it more than the little boys. it's really serious. like...funny how serious it is to them.

and yes. the ‘big boys’ play it more than the little boys. it’s really serious. no no. like...funny a little ridiculous how serious it is to them.

and they have foosball! i told you..best place ever.

and they have foosball! i told you..best place ever.

lovely girls. missing one. also: i didn't shower. ( i feel the need, in life, to always acknowledge things i feel self-conscious about. like "yes. i know i look like i didn't shower." i just don't want anyone ever thinking.."oooo.. does she know she looks like she didn't shower?" ya know??

lovely girls. missing one. also: i didn’t shower. ( i feel the need, in life, to always acknowledge things i feel self-conscious about. like “yes. i know i look like i didn’t shower.” i just don’t want anyone ever thinking..”oooo.. does she know she looks like she didn’t shower?” yes. i know.

such a great weekend! now back to the grind. :) happy hump day!

how is my gut? i’m glad you asked.

it’s been a while since i have posted about my journey with ulcerative colitis (UC)….so i thought i would now….at the beginning of my blog i wrote a few posts about my background with UC, my journey thus far, and my new road of healing myself through naturopathic medicine. you can remind yourself of that journey here and here if you would like :) i just thought i would give a quick update on things and also start the conversation about what specifically i have been doing lately to take care of myself.

first of all, i am OVER JOYED!!!!!!! to say that i have been completely symptom free from my UC for over a year now! and i have done so entirely through naturopathic medicine. i won’t go into the oh-so-pleasant details here….but let’s just say, everything is running reeeeeeeeeeeally well. in addition to being symptom free, i have also found great peace around my battle with this disease. it is a beautiful feeling knowing that natural, God given, foods and vitamins and minerals actually can and DO make a difference in how we feel and how our bodies function. i am living proof.

a few food updates: well. i did it. i actually gave up caffeine. NO MORE DIET COKE OR COFFEE. since last february, you guys! i guess this is only truly miraculous if you really knew me prior to my bitter break up with these delicious nectars… but just trust me, it was ugly for a few days. lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth, but since giving it up i feel better, sleep better, don’t snack as much…well….not as much…. and i know that i am not putting any harmful, and/or at least non-beneficial chemicals into my system. i now enjoy copious amounts of green tea (unsweetened), and la croix water by the costco crateful. baby steps.

i have been trying to post more recipes on this little blog-o-mine too. these are our biggest ‘go-to’ meals, and the ones that leave both pauly and i feeling full and healthy at the end of dinner. in the next few weeks, i am going to post my daily meal plan just so you can really see what happens in a typical day for me….buuuuut…i might wait till after halloween……let’s be honest…..

so this is a start of what’s been up lately with all things my intestines. i’m sure you are all so glad to know.

really, honestly, though, i am so so thankful for the freedom i am having with my disease now, and am forever trying to find new ways to treat my body right. i’m not perfect (hence all the peanut butter cup wrappers in my garbage can right now….) but i am trying and i think that is all any of us can ask of ourselves. ABT. always. be. trying.

house updates: the first snag…

so things have really been clicking along with the house lately…lots getting done, loving all the additions…and then…..(cue dramatic music here…) the outside trim went up.

the SECOND i saw it my stomach dropped. (and yes, i FULLY realize the phrase “first world problems” completely applies here..) but it was NOT the right color. we wanted a slightly off-white trim to counter balance the gray siding…how nice, right? yes. and… it would’ve been awesome, had we been given the right color…but we weren’t. we were given..what was is called again? oh yes: “gross cream-yellow pee-tinge”..by sherwin williams.

so after MUCH (let me be clear: MUCH!!!!) back and forth with the production company, our project manager, and sherwin williams themselves, we finally have a decision: maybe they will repaint it. maybe. they will let us know “soon”.

so, fingers crossed everyone! i know that these things are normal and probably should be expected when home-building, but things have been going so well thus far, and this was just a giant hole in our balloon of excitement. oh well. again, “first world problems..” it will be worked out, and if not, well, then, no one say anything to me about it ever when you come and visit.

but other than that, really great things are happening! check it out! oh! and november 13th is our close date!! so close!

SO....here's the trim as it stands now. yeah. not white right??!! yellow, right??!! yes. i am right.

SO….here’s the trim as it stands now. yeah. not white right??!! yellow, right??!! yes.

but our floors are in!! i am LOVING the color and the wide planks! it's covered now so they can paint the walls.

but our floors are in!! i am LOVING the color and the wide planks! it’s all covered now so they can paint the walls.

all the door knobs and hinges are in! we went with oil rubbed bronze finish for these and i LOVE it.

all the door knobs and hinges are in! we went with oil rubbed bronze finish for these and i LOVE it.

counter tops are in! this was the one part of our house i was the most anxious about. and i really like them! it's called 'india copper brown' and it's great..dark but doesn't streak easily or show water stain. win. win.

counter tops are in! this was the one part of our house i was the most anxious about. and i really like them! it’s called ‘india copper brown’ and it’s great..dark but doesn’t streak easily or show water stains..so.. win. win.

our chandelier! a little smaller than i was expecting, but i think  we can make it work!

our chandelier! again…smaller than i was expecting, but i think we can make it work!

island lights! smaller than i wanted, but love the style of these.

island lights! smaller than i wanted, but love the style of these.

our kitchen sink! we opted for the single sink for more room to wash dishes.

our kitchen sink! we opted for the single sink for more room to wash dishes.

we actually didn't have the option for just one oven..how strange, huh? but i am really enjoying the idea of having more oven room...you know...for all the baking i do....

we actually didn’t have the option for just one oven..how strange, huh? but i am really enjoying the idea of having more oven room…you know…for all the baking i do….

stay tuned! we’re almost there, people!

house update: kitchen progress!

first: this is my 100th post! boom. so….thanks for reading!

now to the good stuff: our house is really starting to take shape! the siding is almost finished, the kitchen cabinets are in, and tonight they were starting to lay flooring all over the place! i can’t believe we will be living there soon! it doesn’t seem real!

here’s the progress today! eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

the kitchen! dark granite will be added soon..i hope...but we are really on our way!

the kitchen! dark granite will be added soon..i hope…but we are really on our way!

welcome to our house! a view from the front entry

welcome to our house! a view from the front entry

pauly by our railing. i'll just photoshop myself here and it can be our christmas card.

pauly by our railing. i’ll just photoshop myself here and it can be our christmas card.

master bath cabinets! we are adding a tall cabinet in the middle, dividing the mirrors as well...(i'm sure you were wondering/care.)

master bath cabinets! we are adding a tall cabinet in the middle, dividing the mirrors as well…(i’m sure you were wondering/care.)

testing our our pocket door to the master closet....it works...

testing our our pocket door to the master closet….it works…

not a great pic...but this is the flooring in the guest bath...it's white..

not a great pic…but this is the flooring in the guest bath…it’s white..

all the siding is done on the back!  a real live house!

all the siding is done on the back! a real live house!

the front....still a work in progress....

the front….still a work in progress….

so stay tuned! things are changing so fast now, i’m sure i will be posting more often!

spicy stuffed green pepper soup

the weather has officially turned chilly, my fall boots are out loud and proud, and my neck is sufficiently toasty with an outfit matching scarf. in short: it’s fall, baby!

minus my HORRENDOUS allergies at the beginning of each fall season, i LOVE fall…..as does every girl with a pinterest account, no doubt. the colors, the warm drinks, the dressing in layers, but mostly the FOOOOOOOOD. fall food is the best. soups, stews, pot pies, all things pumpkin….i love it all.

so in honor of all things fall….here is a new soup recipe for you to try! my mother-in-law first introduced me to this little baby when we stayed with them a few weekends ago. after a little tweaking, here is my interpretation of this delish meal:

stuffed green pepper soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans drained black beans
1 small onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 can (29 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup (or tomato sauce)
1 (14 oz) veggie broth
2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
1 tbsp. agave
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar cheese, for topping, optional.

HOW TO:
in a large pot saute diced green peppers, garlic and onion over medium-high heat.
add in diced tomatoes. add in veggie broth. then add in can of tomato soup or tomato sauce (whichever you are using). give it all a good stir. then add in rice or quinoa. stir again. then add seasonings; agave, garlic powder, salt & pepper and red pepper flakes (to taste).

cover and let soup simmer on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes to let all the flavors blend. enjoy!!

happy. fall.

happy. fall.

this is the soup a few days after making it. the rice really starts to soak up the liquid, so i would maybe even add a little more liquid than it calls for if you want to maintain the soup consistency. personally, i like this way. kinda stew-ish now.

this is the soup a few days after making it. the rice really starts to soak up the liquid, so i would maybe even add a little more liquid than it calls for if you want to maintain the soup consistency. personally, i like this way. kinda stew-ish now.

life lately: the pursuit of gratitude

besides building our house, traveling, having company, working, and trying to hang with friends, here is what’s been happening :) (you can pretty much bet on the fact that most of these pics will be of food. let’s be honest..)

but before that, here are some random thoughts that i have been pondering…so go with me….*ahem* i really want to try to incorporate more true gratitude into my thinking/living/writing… i am hoping these ‘life updates’ serve as that gentle reminder of all the good in my life, and that i carry that recognition throughout my day. i want to always be looking for places to be thankful and grateful.

listen. i KNOW it’s super annoying to see people who constantly post like…random trees with #blessed on them, but if i step outside my ULTRA cynical self, there is something to be said about finding beauty and thankfulness in the small things. the normal, every day, and otherwise mundane. i feel like it is so easy (too easy) for me to find something in each day that i wish would’ve gone better. and that’s fine and real and honest, i understand….but i want to have more moments of reflecting on the good, rather than the frustrating.

at this point, it is going to take me being very intentional about being positive and grateful for those thoughts to win out…. because here’s the thing: i can list right now 100 things to be thankful for…but that’s not what i am going for….instead i want to cultivate a grateful attitude in life. i want that gratefulness to come from deep down.

so. not sure what else to say about that…gotta think more about it….but right now i’m at a coffee shop and the two guys next to me are having an interesting convo about the merits of Buddhism and i want to eavesdrop. :)

happy tuesday!

 we found a new pizza place by our new house. it's DANGEROUSLY good.

we found a new pizza place by our new house. it’s DANGEROUSLY good…the easiest place for me to be grateful is with food.

me and my friends working on projects

me and my friends working on projects. thankful for the help :)

i think we can all be thankful for this picture...sweet tyson...ugh! that face!!

i think we can all be thankful for this picture…sweet tyson…ugh! that face!!

house update: we have been ROCKED!

sheet rock is IN!! it’s strange not being able to ‘walk through the walls’ now, and it’s definitely starting to feel like a real live house! we are thinking they will begin the siding process this week sometime, too! i am SUPER anxious for that, because i fear we won’t like the colors we picked!! :/ i mean, we went with light gray siding, with darker gray accents…so…not like its gonna be bright purple or anything…but still..

i think i have been THOROUGHLY driving pauly nuts during this process, fyi. i CANNOT seem have an excited/positive thought without also quickly finding something to feel anxious and worry about. so our conversations usually go something like this:

pauly: oh cool! our deck is in!
me: (not really listening/actually muttering to myself, pacing each room): what? oh..yeah..oh! yeah! i love it! do you? really? do you? there’s no chance we may end up hating it, right???
pauly: ………………….. (*blink..*blink…….) no.
me: yeah. yeah. me too. for sure. we’ll love it… (i walk out of the room, biting nails, muttering to self..)

so yeah…say a prayer for him. i am loving the house for reals, though. i am just so impulsive in life, that all this time to sit, and stew, and mull over details is not so great for me….

so….*throat clear*….on that positive note…..here’s our house all sheet rocked! ( i didn’t too many sheet rock pics…honestly..especially in pictures, it all looks the same..)

we signed the door frame above our room door before they sheet rocked. our love is buried deep within these walls. haha! can you imagine if that's how we talked??! barf. :)

we signed the door frame above our room door before they sheet rocked. our love is buried deep within these walls. haha! can you imagine if that’s how we talked??! barf. :)

in addition to our love for each other being in our walls....pauly's love for the vikings is forever behind our tv wall. keeping it equal.

in addition to our love for each other being in our walls….pauly’s love for the vikings is forever behind our tv wall. keeping it equal.

our kitchen!

our kitchen!

living room windows! and just think..you know a little secret now about this tv wall!

living room windows! and just think..you know a little secret now about this tv wall!

if you build it, they will come

first off, lets all just take a moment to agree on the fact that ‘field of dreams’ is one of the best movies of all time. okay? great.

last weekend pauly and i traveled to fargo (endearingly referred to in the plerg household as ‘f-town’) to help his parents with some projects around the house. pauly was very excited to stretch his workshop muscles and build something with his own two hands. i was excited to have pauly’s mom cook amazing food for us, watch movies, and not change out of my pajamas all weekend. we both got what we wanted.

so thank you al and terinne for a great weekend of relaxation and workshopping. we loved it!

lights, camera, power saw!

lights, camera, power saw!

safety first.

safety first.

they're smiling because no one has lost any fingers.

they’re smiling because no one has lost any fingers.

hard at work.

hard at work.

don't be fooled. he's only sharpening a pencil.

don’t be fooled. he’s only sharpening a pencil.

this is what i did all weekend.

this is what i did all weekend. eating, fyi..not making..

putting the finishing touches on the entry way

putting the finishing touches on the entry way


ta-da! well done, men. well. done.

ta-da! well done, men. well. done.