Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeling Disconnected by Life Altering Change

 A note of being homesick, feeling disconnected, and memories of the homes built across the country.

Its 3:00 a.m. and I simply can’t sleep. I am overwhelmed with a feeling of disconnect and change.  It’s more than just being homesick. I feel like I have left pieces of myself behind and I am loosing the essence of what I once was in my younger days.  

I miss “home” which could be Indiana or Colorado depending on how you look at it. Indiana will always be “home” but now there are “stomping grounds” strategically placed by God’s hand throughout our country.  I don’t know if I will ever truly call Colorado or Maryland home but it’s where I live and now a new stomping ground becoming more familiar. 

Below is a list of memories of moments that I miss and thoughts that overwhelm my subconscious. The life changing circumstances and adventures laid before your feet leave a mark on your soul. The constant building and tearing down of life is part of being an adult and sometimes it makes me miss the people who have impacted my life in a positive way. 

I miss the farm and the simplicity of the cycle of life, the feeling of the creek water in between my toes, and the freedom of riding on a quarter horse going full steam ahead. I miss the open fields, the fresh air, and playing in the old barn at Grandma’s house. I miss the smell of Grandma’s kitchen, the cow bells hanging on the door, and home cooking the way only Grandma Barker could do it. I miss riding my red wagon down the old side walk past the wood working barn to the persimmon tree at the end of the lane. I miss picking veggies and de-weeding the garden with Grandma as the evening crickets came out to play. I have such fond memories of swinging on the tire swing hanging  from the big maple tree outside the kitchen listening to chicken being fried and looking forward to the peach cobbler in the oven.  I can almost taste it now. Many nights were spent playing by the old swing in front of the family garden where Grandma would sit and watch me collect lightning bugs with a cage that Grandpa Long had made for me.  I feel the memories of a simple life without the worry, responsibility and burden that seem to overwhelm me today. 

I miss the days of high school when I was young and na├»ve, a time when love hadn’t left its eternal scars on my heart. The carefree days of life before the weight of deciding my future were laid at my feet. The reckless abandonment of youth was setting in and feeling like I really could do anything.

I miss IUPUI and InterVarsity.  I miss the days of college when hope and ambition ran through my veins like fire. Anyone who met me could feel the ambition and leadership in my eyes and in my actions. My friends at InterVarsity changed my life. My minister, John Crowder, had a profound influence on my life truly taking me on as a disciple. I miss the feeling of Urbana 06 when my passion for Christ seemed to be at the largest mountain peak my heart could possibly handle. I left Urbana with a raw passion and courage of conviction, no longer ashamed of going to extreme levels in faith. New Years Eve in St. Louis that year is still to date one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I will never forget worshiping God in 10 different languages with 20,000 students from across the globe.  I miss those days. 

I miss Center Grove Presbyterian Church and my internship with them. The students taught me so much about myself and about the reality of ministry. My hope is that I was able to impact lives or at least plant a few seeds that will grow. None the less I miss the heart of that congregation, Pastor Steve Oglesbee and his family.

I miss CYA and my friends at the Second Reformed Presbyterian Church. They had an eternal effect on my heart and soul. They inspire me to be more than myself  embracing the life that Christ has given me and to continue to press forward in faith. Their devotion as a church helped me to see the world in a different light and that life can be different. That there is hope that I can feel complete in Christ and that he isn’t finished with me. 

I miss Grace Assembly of God. There really is no church on Earth like it. They pulled me out of the mud and called me family. I miss the charismatic passion, the generosity of the people, and the limitless ambition to reach the globe.  I have yet to experience something as fun and life changing as the Honor our Heroes and the Singing Christmas Tree. Pastor Wayne is irreplaceable. I miss his teachings and being in the sanctuary, feeling his passion for Christ. 

I miss Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. The people there in the Timothy Project and the friends that Michael and I made have left me changed. I miss them all so much and I feel so disconnected from them now. It is so hard to be so far away from a life that you started building and you want to be a part of it but physical boundaries make it impossible.  I want to be able to be a part of their lives again. The physical distance makes it so difficult. All of the social networking in the world can’t possibly do what a conversation over coffee can achieve. I miss waking up to Pikes Peak in the morning. I miss the sunshine.  I miss the view from 14,000 feet. I miss my friends from Bible Study Fellowship and the ability to commute 20 minutes to the study rather than an hour.  Someday Michael and I will make it back there, God willing.

I suppose that I made that long list of the things I miss to not forget these memories in the chaos of life. These are the people and places that have left me changed. I don’t want to become lost in forgetting who I am, how far I have come, and the important people that impacted my life.  So many of these important people have simply moved on with their lives, growing and changing as life circumstances and lessons learned alter the way they look at the world. 

Now I am here in Maryland outside of D.C. not a part of their lives, spiritual growth spurts, and life changing circumstances. I have missed out on wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, babies being born, birthdays and more. It brings me pain in my soul to be so disconnected with my friends and family. Although I am building a new life here in D.C. it doesn’t dismiss the pain of separation between who I was and who I am growing to be as an adult. 

I have never really been one to have such severe issues with missing parts of my life until I left Indiana and started building pieces of my life all over the country. Marriage changes you. Suddenly you have to think like a unit rather than thinking like an individual. Your wants and needs have to match up with your husband’s wants or needs in order for them to happen. Anything you want has to benefit him as well in order to keep the peace. The pure definition of want, need, and urgency has been severely altered in the context of my life. This has been the hardest thing for me to grasp and deal with as a newlywed. It is no longer about what is fair. It’s about what is the best thing for our marriage and our future. Any desire to fulfill an immediate want must be thrown aside. It must become a need that benefits both parties of the unit before placed into consideration. 

Another hard lesson that had to be learned was that I could no longer just make a decision off of my own judgment. All of my decisions affect Michael in some way and therefore I can’t make a decision that somehow affects him without discussing things with him first. This is exhausting.   Only in very minor situations can I do something on my own.  In an effort to keep my sanity I have had to die to myself and my independence.  

This death has caused many bad side effects.  My spontaneous spirit that probably made Michael fall in love with me is continually squashed and put in a box. The fire of ambition and hope that once ran through my veins is now barely heat. Every decision must be weighed before my husband and decided in a joint decision.  Since we are different people with different backgrounds with different upbringings we naturally go about things differently.  In order to keep the peace, if it’s not worth fighting for then I just let him have his way.  There are moments when he feels the same way to keep the peace. If it is something that I consider a need then I will fight to the death for it. 

This death to my independence has also caused many positive effects. Michael has brought stability to my life that I would not have had otherwise. This death challenges me to respect my husband’s decisions even when I completely and whole heartedly disagree with them. When my family doesn’t understand why Michael does what he does, I may agree with them but I have to stand by my husband and whatever call he makes. My only hope is that he will be gracious enough to listen to me and at least take my perspective into consideration, which he does most of the time. 

I have to remember that Michael has had to die to his independence as well. I have been following him all over the country, completely dependent on him. That vulnerability has been hard on both of us. He has had to adjust to having the responsibility of a wife and all that she brings to the table. Lord knows I am not perfect and can be hard to live with. He has had to be patient with me, compassionate, and generous as I have sacrificed my home to build a new life with him. 

Michael has been good to me. He takes care of me and makes sure that I have what I need. With the best of intentions he tries to do what is best for both of us. He has been faithful to always worship the Lord with me and welcomes studies and books that better our marriage and relationship. 

Life has brought such extreme change in 2011. I can honestly say that I am exhausted and I am looking forward to 2012. Hopefully the dust settles and our marriage can find more balance. More than likely God will throw a couple of monkey wrenches in the mix just to keep us on our toes and depending on him for our survival.  I just wish that I could somehow close the gap in the disconnected feeling between my friends and family all over the country and find peace in where God has me in the present. 

I am grateful for Seneca Creek Community Church for welcoming us into their family. Our new friends have been so instrumental for us. We are grateful for their love and support.  As more change and growth happen, I know that our family here in D.C. will be there for us. 

With that said…I finally got it all off of my chest. I think I can sleep now.  Until the next sleepless night….

Keep the faith, Love Others, Challenge Yourself,

Alison


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes

I made a few sides for our small group Thanksgiving gathering and I thought that I would post them so that others could enjoy them. =D


Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

1 (14 oz) Package of Corn Bread Stuffing Mix
1 pound Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and
chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz)  of or chicken broth or turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C).
2.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
3.
Pour sausage mixture over bread in a large bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into 13x9 baking pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes covered.
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients:
4 cups sweet potato, cubed  or 1 (40 oz) can of Yams
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. If you are using the can of Yams, just drain the syrup.
2.
In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes (yams), white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.
In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4.
Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Caring for Your Introvert

The habits and needs of a little-understood group
By Jonathan Rauch
From Atlantic Unbound:

Interviews: "Introverts of the World, Unite!" (February 14, 2006)
A conversation with Jonathan Rauch, the author who—thanks to an astonishingly popular essay in the March 2003 Atlantic—may have unwittingly touched off an Introverts' Rights revolution.

Follow-up: The Introversy Continues
Jonathan Rauch comments on reader feedback about introvert dating—and poses a new question
Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?
If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?
If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.

I know. My name is Jonathan, and I am an introvert.

Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from any number of damaging misconceptions and stereotypes. Now I am here to tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. It pays to learn the warning signs.

What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.
Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."

How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—"a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. "It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert," write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. (They are also the source of the quotation in the previous paragraph.) Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

Are introverts oppressed? I would have to say so. For one thing, extroverts are overrepresented in politics, a profession in which only the garrulous are really comfortable. Look at George W. Bush. Look at Bill Clinton. They seem to come fully to life only around other people. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. With the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, whose fabled aloofness and privateness were probably signs of a deep introverted streak (many actors, I've read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors), introverts are not considered "naturals" in politics.

Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, "Don't you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?" (He is also supposed to have said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it." The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)

With their endless appetite for talk and attention, extroverts also dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. "People person" is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like "guarded," "loner," "reserved," "taciturn," "self-contained," "private"—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.

Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain. We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking, which is why their meetings never last less than six hours. "Introverts," writes a perceptive fellow named Thomas P. Crouser, in an online review of a recent book called Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money? (I'm not making that up, either), "are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don't outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness." Just so.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it's not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation.
Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?" or "Are you all right?"
Third, don't say anything else, either.
This article available online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/
Copyright © 2011 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Easy Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad

At work, I have a lunch time challenge. I do not have a microwave nor a refrigerator accessible to me. Therefore, I have been eating a lot of lunch meat sandwiches. I can't take another slice of turkey and cheddar! I have to be creative in eating healthier and working around my lunch box's capabilities.

A friend of mine gave me recipe a while back and I have tried it a couple times and each time I love it more. So I thought I would share it with all of you out there who need to get out of your lunch rut.

 I have a delicious, healthy, and super quick black bean salad recipe that makes a wonderful lunch, either as the main course or as a side dish. If you are looking for a way to change up the everyday fare, this is it!
20101102-IMG_9400

Easy Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad

 The hint of lime and spicy kick from the cumin makes for an addicting and healthy salad full of protein, healthy fats, and flavour.
Adapted from The Kitchn.
Ingredients:
  • Two 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 lime, juiced (2 Tbsp lime juice)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 4 Tbsp dried cilantro = 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 small shallots, diced  (If you don't have any shallots on hand you can dice up a bit of onion and garlic)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces 
    • (If you love avocado as much as I do, you can up this to 2)

Directions: Drain the beans thoroughly and rinse. In a large bowl add the beans and toss with lime juice, cilantro leaves, diced shallot, and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Peel and slice an avocado, and serve the beans at room temperature, with chopped avocado on top or mixed throughout the salad. Note that I did not have any cilantro on hand, but it still tasted delicious! Makes 3-4 servings.
Notes from original recipe: The beans will last for several days in the fridge. You can easily take this salad for lunch and bring along an avocado to chop up just before serving.
The beauty of this lunch is that it is not only healthy, packed with protein and healthy fats, but it is whipped up in a jiffy, leaving you lots of time for life’s other daily tasks.
20101102-IMG_9369
Lunch rut, be gone.
I think I threw together this lunch in 5 minutes flat. It also makes enough for a few servings so the leftovers can be enjoyed throughout the week.
20101102-IMG_9377
I wasn’t sure how I would like the cumin + lime flavours together, but it was actually wonderful. I could not get enough of this dish! For those of you who are  in weight watchers this recipe is about 6 points a serving. You can lessen the points by lessening your avocado or olive oil. Although avocados have lots of nutrients and vitamins, they also have fats in them too.  I have tried it once without olive oil completely and it was still amazing.  Enjoy!


20101102-IMG_9409

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July in Washington DC 2011

Michael and I just got back from our first 4th of July in Washington D.C. Let me tell you what an experience! We started the day out early by taking a walk in the Great Falls area at the Billy Goat Trail. It was so great to have an awesome hike with Josh and Ariana Fisher and Sarah Klein. It was an exhausting morning but we came home and rested a little bit before going down to D.C. Check out more about our trail at

So after showers and some food, Michael and I watched Saving Private Ryan and chilled out till about 5:00. Then we headed into the city with our camping chairs and city survival gear. The metro did not stop at certain  stations for security reasons so we got off at Metro Center and headed towards Washington Monument. Words can not express the mass amount of people and organized chaos. We found a nice spot on the grass in front of the Washington Monument facing the Lincoln Memorial with Jefferson Thomas' Memorial to our left and the White House to the right. It was perfect. 

We sat down and enjoyed the live concerts and demonstrations on the main stage. Jo Dee Messina even stopped by to sing a few songs. I met a family to our left who seemed like they were from out of town with no chairs or a blanket to sit on. Luckily, Michael and I were more than prepared and we had an extra picnic blanket. I felt inclined to offer it to them for the evening and I could tell that they were grateful. When they gave it back to us we found out that they were from Ft. Wayne, IN of all places and that their son was in Purdue Engineering. They were just visiting some family in Bethesda. Michael and I wished them safe travels and we followed the masses to the metro center station. 

Getting to the metro station was a crazy experience, but getting to the train was a suffocating experience.  I can't even begin to explain the imagery of the  masses of people going to the same place...the metro stations. Michael pulled me along as he weaved through the people traffic. We had to pause quickly for some kind of cavalry of official vehicles but other than that...we just kept on moving forward. Once we got to the metro center station the suffocation began. It was such a slow, sweaty, claustrophobic process. Just to get through the pass reader took what seemed like an eternity. Once we got on a packed train, the chanting and energy continued. An entourage of  people intimidated people from getting in the train after it filled at the first stop. I was kind of glad in a way because it was just so packed. They all cheered when people got off and there was just the tiniest bit of breathing room. When they left it was so quiet that it was shocking. Michael and I eventually got some seats as we headed into Maryland. I was never so glad to get to our Shady Grove Station.

How wonderful it was to celebrate the 4th of July in our Nations capitol. It was almost overwhelming as you would hear thousands of people chanting "U.S.A." after the finale of the fireworks. I am so glad that I was able to check this experience off my bucket list. =D 
Till the next adventure,
Alison





Monday, May 16, 2011

Pictures of our Townhouse

So everyone has been waiting for pictures of our new place so here ya go.

Lets start with the outside....
There is a lovely Cherry Blossom Tree that welcomes us home each day.

The townhouse was built in the 1980's but it has a great deck and it is still pretty nice inside...



I am looking forward to getting a fire pit and comfy chairs to put out here.

We have awesome neighbors..they are the sweetest people.

Three levels and a finished basement =D



The first floor has the kitchen, dinning room, and a cute sitting area.
I would like to put a sleeper sofa in here one day soon. =D


Stainless steel appliances!

On the second level is the guest bedroom, the guest bathroom and Michael's office (aka the man cave).  The guest bedroom is ready for guests now that we have a brand new mattress for my grandmother's bed from the 1800's. It is so wonderful to have it out of storage. =D







The top floor is all master bathroom and the master bedroom










The basement is the family room for us and quite frankly it is where I spend most of my time.










So..there you go.. the 5 cent tour.  If you ever want to visit D.C. just let us know! We would love to have you! 

Much Love, Alison














Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Mushroom Meatloaf

So, I thought I would share with you all another successful meal from the Entringer Kitchen. Tonight, I was wondering how to make heads or tails out of the randomness in the refrigerator. As I googled recipes, I came across this one and decided to tweak it and see what Michael thought of the end result.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (You can substitute with oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (You can substitute with cream of mushroom soup)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, minced mushrooms, oatmeal, onion, ketchup, eggs, and salt and pepper. Mix well. I thought that I would post how finely I minced the mushrooms and what it looks like all mixed together.


All ingredients mixed together


Minced Fresh Mushrooms
I used my new pampered chef mini loaf stoneware. It was amazing because the portion size was perfect for two people and I was able to freeze the rest after it was finished cooking. If you are using your favorite meatloaf pan the recipe could probably fill two meat loaf pans.

 Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done. Using my mini loaf stoneware it was done in an hour. Internal temperature should measure 160 degrees F (70 degrees C) when done. I boiled some fresh corn on the cob and called it dinner.

If you have any recipes that you think I should try let me know. I am always up for new food ideas.



Friday, April 29, 2011

Introduction to My Pink Megaphone

My first blog….Where to start? 

Everyone has a blog. Why do I really want to start one myself? Well, I moved from Indianapolis to Colorado Springs in 2010 and then I moved to Gaithersburg, MD in the spring of 2011. At this rate, I can only imagine how many friendships I will gain throughout my travels.  It has really opened my eyes to the fact that I have friends and family all over the country.  Michael and I have been on so many adventures in the 7 months we have been married. I know that you are curious to hear about our adventures that we encounter on this grand odyssey.  So here is another way that you can hear the stories of our lives from the perspective of my pink megaphone. 

So you might ask how I came up with “My Pink Megaphone?”  Well, Michael and I recently went to the Love and Respect Conference in February of this year. You can find out more about the book and the conferences at http://loveandrespect.com.  Dr. Eggerichs introduced a new perspective on how men listen to women and how women listen to men.  I could go into detail and maybe someday I will do a book review on here, but let me get right to the point. So many times I might be “yelling” at Michael through my pink megaphone but he simply can’t understand me because he is listening through his blue hearing aids.  The situation can go vise versa as well with Michael trying with everything that is in him to communicate effectively to me through his blue megaphone but I simply can’t understand because of my pink hearing aids. Our perspectives and backgrounds are so different and yet we both have valid points to a certain degree.
 
In light of this struggle to communicate and get my words out effectively, I thought this media would be good for me.  It is life according to my perspective though my pink megaphone, but sometimes life just needs to be documented. We have to communicate our lives effectively in a way that we can see God working in our lives and how we have overcome stumbling blocks in our way. These stumbling blocks make us stronger and remind us to be careful what we ask for because we might just get it. Quite frankly, I need a way to get my voice out when the world hands me nothing but a bunch of listening blue hearing aids that can’t quite get the point. 

Being in a brand new city, knowing absolutely no one but my husband can get really lonely. He is great, don’t get me wrong, but I am a social being. I find my energy in being around people. Eventually, I will find some social circles to get involved with and a church home. Until then, I still have to deal with the time differences, lonely moments when no one seems within reach, and I feel like I am in a different country even though I am at the doorstep of our Nation’s capitol.  I need some kind of outlet. “My pink megaphone” seems like a great idea.

Now that we are officially in our new town home with the boxes unpacked; it is starting to feel homier. The Atlas people came today to pick up all of the cardboard and packing supplies. I don’t really want to store of all those boxes and blank newspaper. We haven’t finished putting up pictures and paintings, but I am sure that I will post pictures as soon as we get the place set up. 

Please continue to pray for us as we get settled in a new community and I continue on my job search. We miss everyone very much and hope to stay in touch.

Much Love,
Alison