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Long drives and bubble baths

Feb 26, 2015 by

Long drives and bubble baths

Audio Book Ap, Audible | www.lovetheeveryday.comThis is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links. If you click on the links and decide to order something or sign up, I do get credit for it…… but that is not the point of this post. The point is, I cannot believe that my book obsessed self is just learning about this Audible Ap.

I am a total book addict. I have boxes of unpacked books in my garage. I have some stored in my mother’s home still. I have two large bookshelves full of books in my home, and several in my classroom. I even have unpacked boxes of books in my class, waiting to be properly recorded and labeled and stuck with a library card….I’m obsessed. I suppose I could be addicted to worse things.

I have a kindle, which I rarely use, because I am much happier with a real book in my hand with pages to turn.

There is one exception. I really, really, really love books on tape. I drove across the country this summer, just me and my dog, listening to several novels as I drove. For me, it was blissful. I didn’t even realize I was spending hours and hours in the car because I got to check so many things off my reading list as I went.

One of my favorite books of the summer was John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Buy The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on Amazon

(The movie is not that awesome.) I loved the sassy, cynicism of the narrator. I would not recommend this novel while you are driving however, as it will most definitely make you cry!

I also like to listen to a good book while soaking in a deep, bubble bath. This is true relaxation to me. Seriously, pour me some wine and let me sink to my ears in happy sudsy literary wonderful-ness.

So, I just discovered the Audible Ap. WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT THIS?  You can immediately download audio books to your phone or your tablet or kindle or whatever, to listen at your leisure. You start with some FREE books, and then can either pay a monthly fee or buy just what you want to listen to. This is amazing. There are even regular opportunities to earn more free books. FREE. I’m super excited about this. I also like that you can cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel. I’m going to sign up for the free monthly trial now, and see what its like. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it.

Sign up to try Audible with Me!

 

Aside from all of that, I love to be able to use audio books for my struggling readers in my classroom. There is something about having someone read to you that is so relaxing and inspiring. Even my most reluctant readers will get excited when I say I’m going to read aloud. This ap allows me the opportunity to download the books I want them to listen to, and then then can catch up on readings that they may have missed while they were absent. I love that. Especially because I can get some of the books for free. What teacher doesn’t love free?!

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10-Minute Avocado Pasta Dinner

Feb 24, 2015 by

10-Minute Avocado Pasta Dinner

Easy Weeknight Avocado Pasta | www.lovetheeveryday.comSo I have an obsession with avocados. All that healthy fatty goodness and no-cholesterol-flavorful happiness. You can cut them in half and they become adorable little bowls just ready to be stuffed with tuna salad, or chili, or something with bacon, **God I love bacon**.

I have been on an avocado smoothie kick lately, too. I’m not kidding, chocolate protein powder, banana and avocado is so incredibly yummy. Try it! Seriously. Smoothies. Yes.

I’ve added avocado to brownies, and use it in place of mayo on my sandwiches. I’m addicted. I’ve been known to eat avocado-something for all three meals of the day. Can we just say that I get intense cravings for scrambled eggs with bacon and avocado… It’s also high in protein and keeps me from getting mid-morning munchies. Yum.
My avocado love runs almost as deep as my recent scallop obsession, which is a rant for another time. Long story short, I pinned this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago, and it has gotten like half a billion repins (or 239) since then! I figured I should probably give it a whirl myself given I love pasta and easy weeknight dinner ideas.

I used my nutribullet to blend the ingredients for the “sauce” and tossed it with hot angel hair pasta (because angel hair cooks so fast and also happens to be my favorite, but I suppose you could use any pasta.)avocado and spinach pasta Creamy weeknight Avocado pasta | www.lovetheeveryday.com
So, into the nutribullet, or food processor, goes:
1 full, ripe avocado
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Lemon juice (about half a lemon squeezed)
1 cup of fresh spinach
1/3 cup pasta water
Cracked black pepper, salt, basil to taste
(I added a splash of the white wine I was having for dinner too).
I then, simply, tossed the hot pasta with a tablespoon of butter and added the avocado mixture until fully coated, topped it with parm and mozzarella, and yum! I sat down to eat this with a glass of wine in under fifteen minutes. The longest part of this meal was boiling the water! So easy and so yummy! Creamy 10-minute Pasta Dish with Avocado | www.lovetheeveryday.com | This was so yummy and so simple. This will be a go-to meal in our house!
This was hearty and filling and so good! I’ll be making this regularly from now on.
avocado easy pasta meal | so yummy and so simple, this is going to be a staple in our home from now on! | www.lovetheeveryday.com
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House training woes

Feb 24, 2015 by

House training woes

We have been having really cold, windy days with lots and lots of snow. Deep snow does not mix well with tiny puppy legs. Being frozen solid is not something that the dogs were really thrilled about this week, which means they didn’t go to the bathroom outside very often, which is a nice way of saying they went to the bathroom inside a lot.

The problem is that every moment that we begin to make headway, something sets us back a few steps. The crate is helping. Several days off in a row is helping…. But yesterday we took the puppy to doggy-day-care, so that he didn’t have to be crated all day. Apparently at day care the dogs are allowed to go to the bathroom inside, at will. So now, because he went potty inside yesterday, he now believes that every day is go potty inside day.

Also, he has already learned to climb over the puppy gates. It is not graceful. It requires serious concentration and effort, a lot of grunting and whining and a large, belly flop once he makes it to the top in order to land on the ground on the other side. Then of course he is on the carpet, and carpet is his favorite place to poo. Yay! House training is so fun, said no dog owner ever.

But he’s cute…. I know god made puppies cute so you wouldn’t kill them when it’s 3am and you get up to take them outside only to step in a giant puddle of puppy piddle.

House training a new puppy | www.lovetheeveryday.com

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Why do you blog?

Feb 20, 2015 by

Why do you blog?

Why do you write? Reasons for blogging. | www.lovetheeveryday.com

Sometimes people I know in real life read my blog. That always brings me a moment of hesitation, a tiny twinge of embarrassment, and a fear of judgement. I obviously don’t write under a pseudonym or keep my posts anonymous, I’m not just Miss M and I don’t refer to my family members by their initials, or keep my picture off the internet. I choose to write publicly because I want to be real. I have real life struggles and real problems and real opinions that I want to share. But, every so often I worry what people think.

 

This is silly because I don’t write for them necessarily, I mostly write for me. I’ve written for years and years, mostly what is going on in my life or my thoughts on a day’s events. I have a stack of paper journals at home in my cedar chest dating back to when I was ten years old. As I grew up and went through college I had the typical online journals of the time: there was an episode of LiveJournal, and blogger, I’ve had a blogspot site and other trials in the realm of online blogging… but now, here on Love the Everyday, I write what my heart feels, I write to relieve stress, I write to become a better writer. Practice makes perfect right?

I also write for you, on a smaller scale, because I have important things to share, ideas that are worthwhile and I feel that maybe, just maybe, I can encourage others with what I have to offer. I think people always assume that they are alone in their struggles in life, that they are the only one going through what they are fighting with, and maybe I can share pieces of my life that others can relate to. God has really been working within my heart lately, shaping me into a better and stronger person, I think this is so that I can be a tool to spread God’s love, share support, encourage others to keep on keeping on.

Grace Cox, over at Hello Giggles wrote an article listing all the reasons why people blog. She says:

Is blogging just a way of letting go of whatever is on your mind, just blurting your thoughts out onto a (web)page when you feel the need, a la the early pioneers of blogging?  I love blogs like this, the ones where things aren’t shiny, posts aren’t pre-planned, and thoughts aren’t edited.  I think that people are so ridiculously brave to write like this…

 

I love that. She goes on to say that part of why she blogs is that she really just loves to write, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m a writer at heart. I have always been better at expressing myself in writing than I can orally. I’ve always loved to make up stories and elaborate on life. I’ve been a member of teacher-based writing clubs, and taught my students writing workshop. I’ve helped former students get published, edited countless papers as my graduated high school seniors head off to college, and written more recommendation letters than I can remember for kids who I know are going to make a difference in this world.

I love to share words. I love ideas that just spill out onto the page. I love to tell a good story. Whenever people ask me why I blog I always think “why not”?

But the truth is, it is scary to put yourself out into the spotlight like that. Sometimes people can be cruel and gossipy about bloggers which is why I am selective about what I share about my personal life….and I’m a little jealous of those bloggers who are able to just let go and totally be themselves. Maybe someday, with more experience under my belt, I’ll feel more free.

So, I write. I write when I’m bored. I write when I should be grading papers. I write because my 12th grade English teacher told me I’d never amount to anything. I write because I hope to inspire others to write. I write because it helps me to handle my anxiety. I write when I’m sad. I write when I’m happy. I write to share the word of God and hope for a better tomorrow. I write because there is something to love in every day. I write to keep from going crazy. I write because if I don’t put into words the story that is in my head I feel like I would explode! I write. I just write.

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Now serving Love: What it really means to love thy neighbor

Feb 17, 2015 by

Now serving Love: What it really means to love thy neighbor

www.lovetheeveryday.com  | Community Service: How I learned to Love my NeighborOn a Monday in March of 2013 we all filed into the Grant Avenue Street Reach Soup Kitchen along with a bunch of other volunteers and a long, long line of hungry mouths to feed.

I won’t lie, I had a bad attitude about this service project. I was tired and not at all in the mood to wrestle other volunteers out-of-the-way so that I could bus a table. They handed us aprons, and although Kathleen, who was in charge of the kitchen, greeted us with a smile, we were left with very little instruction. There were people everywhere. No place to stand in which we weren’t in the way, and not enough jobs for everyone to do.

I knew I should be serving with a willing heart, but standing in that crowded room looking at the faces of all those strangers, I felt like I was wasting my time. There were so many other volunteers waiting for something to do. It was truly unnecessary for me to be there, especially when I had things I could be doing for my own host site.

Then, as though God were giving me a swift kick in the rear end, (as he tends to do) I had a conversation with John.  He was a disheveled, minute, older gentleman, with a red hat on his head that was far too big for him and shifted uneasily over his eyes.  He was missing a front tooth, and his hands were cut and calloused. He carried a large grocery bag filled with random odds and ends, and balanced his food tray precariously in one hand as he fumbled around in his pocket for a well-used handkerchief. Without thinking about it, I offered to take his tray for him and followed him to his seat. He shuffled when he walked and had a limp that left him lopsided.

Lunch that Monday was spaghetti and BBQ pork sandwiches, with an array of various, mismatched side dishes. John had chosen fruit and salad to go with his meal, and as he sat down he began to carefully wrap his pork sandwich up in layers of newspaper.  “It’s for later.” He explained sheepishly, and I just nodded, as though I could possibly understand what it might be like to be him. “I’m John.” He said as he extended his worn and grubby hand to me. “Molly.” I said, taking it, and for the first time all day, I smiled.

He told me that he used to be an electrician in Michigan when he was a young man, and that he served in the Air Force for several years.  He proudly showed me a tiny American Flag pin that was secured to his suspenders.   I retrieved a hot cup of coffee for him and he continued to tell me little pieces of his life story every time I walked by; he was so eager for someone to talk to. His wife had passed away over ten years ago, and she was the love of his life. Her name was Margaret and she worked as an elementary teacher. John quietly told me that she had the most beautiful green eyes he’d ever seen, and he had fallen in love with her on the dance floor at a friend’s Christmas party. He stared wistfully away for a while, remembering to himself, and I felt like I was intruding on a private moment. He said they had been married for 45 years, and owned a little ranch house with white rose bushes. He doesn’t know how he got to Denver, doesn’t even remember, just that one day he couldn’t be in that house without her any more so he left.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen, doing dishes, making sandwiches, and organizing other volunteers that had never worked in a kitchen before. The head cook took me aside and thanked me for being so adept and not in the way. That moment should have made me feel acknowledged and useful, but honestly, I wanted to be back out in the dining room talking to those that were eating lunch.

As the afternoon drew to a close, and people started to clear out I noticed John was still sitting in the same place I had left him, nursing a cup of coffee. So I strolled over to see if I could get him anything else. He looked up at me startled, and as his eyes focused on my face he grinned, a lopsided, toothless smile. “I’m all finished,” he said, and he began to pack up his things and leave. But, at the last moment he grabbed my hand again, “Thank you for chatting with me today. Most people don’t want to talk to me…” He looked down, and when he looked at me again there was a tear rolling down his cheek. “And you young lady, your eyes, remind me a lot of my Maggie. Take care. God Bless you.” Then he ambled out of the basement.

Of course then I was crying.

It wasn’t the food that was important that day. Or the clean up, or making coffee. It was remembering that these people are human beings with hopes and histories and feelings. In that church basement, surrounded by strangers, I mattered for a moment to a man named John and that is really humbling.

This is what it truly means when God commands us to love our neighbor.

Mark 12:31
“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

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