Saturday, June 30, 2012

anyone out there?

Well, I doubt anyone's reading this because all my loved ones (aka "readers") are currently in good ol' Millerville, MN....exactly where I would like to be right now. But alas, I had to go and grow up...I do get the 4th off, but it's nothing like being at the lake :(

Ah well...the good news is that I got to see one of my very best friends, Ryan, last night. That definitely helped to keep my mind off of the fact that my family was all together at the hotel last night. There was a free concert hosted by one of the Christian radio stations in town and the musician playing was Matt Maher!
He is one of my favorite Christians artists, not only because his music is fantastic, but he's also CATHOLIC. :))) I'm actually kind of disappointed in myself because I recorded a couple videos but neglected to video while he was talking before playing one of his songs...he talked for a couple minutes about The Church and how if anyone has been hurt or feels betrayed by The Church, he encourages them to come back because what do we expect? The Church is made up of us and we are all sinners, so of course we're going to get hurt at one point or another, but that's where we The Church where we can be healed.

It was just beautiful to hear him openly preaching about The Church...even if people don't know that he's talking about the Catholic Church. He's like a secret agent for The Church...breaking into mainstream Christian radio and then spreading the Good News of the Faith to the masses.

Here are some videos and pictures of the concert...I was really excited that Audrey Assad also made an appearance and SHE'S ALSO CATHOLIC!!!!!!!! She was fabulous and beautiful and is definitely one of my new favorite musicians :)

Matt Maher and band :)

Audrey Assad! She legit sounds like Sara Bareilles. Legit.

Ryan's first bar experience...we got the bracelets to prove it :)

you try to get a good picture...major fail.

Have a lovely weekend and a fun (and safe!) Fourth!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

you have failed me, Will.

My first week of work, I was pleasantly surprised to find that when I come home post-workday, I have nothing to do! It's taken some getting used to because I'm so accustomed to coming home and if not a meeting or event to attend, I always had homework or studying or paper-writing to be done.
So stay tuned as I figure out what my hobbies are...still a work in process.

But one thing that I've always enjoyed is watching movies.
I have my favorites, but I have a ever-growing list of ones that I have yet to see.
One of these such movies is I Am Legend, featuring one of my favorite actors, Will Smith.
I watched another one of his movies, The Pursuit of Happyness, last week and LOVED it. Cried. Totally cried.

And one of the benefits of having a lot of roommates who have lived in the house for a considerable amount of time is that we have a huge collection of movies....HUGE.
So perusing through them the other night, I found I Am Legend and threw it in...I didn't really know what I was getting into but from what I remembered of the previews, I expected a post-apocalyptic storyline of survival and adventure.

!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!  

I was misinformed.
Horribly misinformed.
Especially to watch at night, in an old creaky house...ALONE.

Aside from the factors that made me already prone to jumpy-ness, it was a horrible movie. I'm so sorry, Will...I wanted to like it! I really did! But I hated it.
When I kept hearing myself say over and over "oh no...this is horrible! oh my gosh I hate this movie! I DO NOT like this" I knew it was time to turn it off. I didn't even finish it.

If you haven't seen the movie and intend to at some point, do not continue reading.

From my understanding (and the help of good ol' IMDb) the plotline was that doctors thought they found a cure for cancer...the cure went terribly wrong...and instead of just killing people like most megavirus movies, the contagion turned people (and animals) into monster/zombie/killing creatures. 
Oh, and they also weren't able to go out into sunlight or else they burn...vampire, much?
And if you get bitten or something, you might catch the virus and turn into one of those things too...which is what happened to Will Smith's dog when she was attacked by some infected wolves...oh, and Will was an army doctor and so he was trying out a bunch of anti-virus drugs on some rats in his basement (creepy) and an infected woman he had captured (even creepier) he tried to reverse the effects of the virus on his dog but it didn't work and she turned crazy and tried to kill him, so he strangled her to death. With his bare hands.
Guess when I turned the movie off? 

Bad. Bad bad bad bad baaaad.

BUT. Never fear! I didn't go to bed right then.
Convinced that I would have nightmares about that horrendous movie, I picked out what seemed to be a feel-good movie and oh man. It was fantastic. And I cried.

If you have never seen Return to Me, rent it. Watch. Oh my gosh. SO GOOD.
Seriously. Watch it.
Definitely one of my newest favorite movies...I even "liked" it on Facebook, so it's official and everything.

That's all...have a lovely night :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

beautiful Belle

Can we just take a couple seconds (or minutes, or hours...) to revel at how incredibly gorgeous little Belle is?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

P to the ARTY

Before I begin my ramblings, I would like to ask for prayers for the Mead family, close friends of the family....they've had it rough on this ride we call life. Jack, the dad, died this Sunday from a motor-vehicle accident...a mere 6 years after the death of the their eldest son. 
Please pray for Gayle, that she can remain strong, as she always does, but also knows when to lean on others. 
Please pray for Lauren and Matt as they mourn the death of their father.
And please pray for the repose of the souls of both Jack Mead and Jack Mead, Jr.
Lord have mercy.


Alrighty, so I have a tad bit more of unsolicited advice: if your roommate ever asks if it's alright to have some people over and you say yes, make sure to clarify how many is "some".
Lesson learned.

Here's the story.
My roommate, KJ, is seriously one of the sweetest and cutest women I have ever had the pleasure to know. 
We haven't had a whole lot of time to get to know one another because she's currently in the midst of FOCUS Summer Training and she's living at the Newman Center for the time when she came home on Sunday afternoon and asked if I minded if she had some people over on Monday night because FOCUS had Monday off, I happily obliged. Especially since the 2 other women who are living here full-time are out of town this entire week...I was excited to have some other people around besides me, myself and I :)

So yeah. I agreed to having some people over and we went on with our nights...blah blah blah (I know my mom hates that lol)

I went to work Monday and afterwards ran to Hobby Lobby to pick up some paint (I have a craft that I'm working on...will post sometime this week!) and came home to freshen up and make sure that the house was relatively clean for our expected guests.

And this is what I found in my kitchen:
...I guess we're having a party?
I'll give you one guess what those coolers were filled's a hint...if you know my Granny Kay, it's her favorite beverage. ;)

I laughed for a good 5 minutes, completely caught off guard because in my mind, "some people" translates numerically to between 5-10 people max....thankfully, KJ came home soon thereafter and my face must have had what did you do?! written all over it because she let out a cautious giggle and 
" I probably should have clarified...." 
Luckily, she didn't invite all 400 of the missionaries...only the second years (missionaries who have one year of work under their belt and are set out to serve their second year)...which totals around 100 people. 

But it's all was really fun to have people around and to get to know a number of new people...75% of whom I cannot remember their names, but what do you expect when you meet upwards of 70 new people within a 3ish hr time-frame? Oh yeah...that's another thing...we estimated once everyone left that maybe 70ish people showed up...that's a lot of people! I knew that this was a party house! 

So it's safe to say that my week has been officially thrown completely off...I went into work today not really knowing what day it was and leaving thinking that it was Wednesday...nope. It's not like I didn't get a lot of sleep last night or anything...everyone had cleared out by about 11 (about half of them had an 8AM holy hour) and with the help of some nice peeps we had everything cleaned up by 11:45 and I was in bed by 12:15! Really though, when you have a Friday/Saturday-type party on Monday, it's really confusing that you have to get up and go to work at 9AM the next morning!

But yeah...I can tell that I'm becoming more and more incoherent in my thought processes and otherwise so I'll be done for tonight...point of post: I had fun. Yay me.


Oh and just a note about my posts...I've realized that while I enjoy using my blog to post about my daily happenings and unexpected crazy stories, I miss blogging about random things that I find interesting so I'm going to try to get myself to do that a bit more. I'll continue to post about what's going on with my life, but don't be surprised if you see that there are some random posts here and there :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

wicked weekend

wicked as in wicked awesome.
maybe that's slightly too enthusiastic, but I wanted to use alliteration so just deal with it :)

aaaanyway...I have some advice for ya'll...if you ever come home from work on a Friday night and think

"oh man. I am really tired...but I also really want to hangout with people tonight...aww I'll just take a little nap"

...set an alarm. 'cause the likeliness is that you'll just keep on sleeping and eventually wake up at 3AM bright eyed and ready to rock...but it'll be waaaaay to early to actually get up. And so you'll try to sleep some more, probably succeed and end up sleeping so much that you make yourself tired. It's true. I've got proof.

so that was my Friday night....sleeping.

But Saturday I got up at 8AM...crazy early for a Saturday, yes. But when you've slept 13's not that bad....and I went to lunch with some friends from ISU who just moved to Urbana to study for their Masters degrees at U of I...super cool.

And I had a crazy thing happen, which I've been getting mixed reviews on, so please tell me if you think this is normal or if you would do this as a parent.....

I was sitting at lunch, minding my own business (probably a lie...I like to people-watch) when a family sits down at the table next to me...and they have a baby. Yup. A BABY. I love babies. Love love love. So all three of us girls are oo-ing and ahh-ing at the little girl when the mom catches my eye and to not be awkward, this exchange ensues....

Me: "She's beautiful!"
Mom: "Thanks! Do you babysit?"
Me: huh?! "Yeah!"
Mom: "Do you have a business card?"
Me: "Not with me, but I have a pen and paper!"
Mom: "Awesome! Why don't you give me your number?"

Ok. Wow.
Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that this is slightly odd, but I would NEVER randomly ask some person if they babysit, simply because they mentioned that my baby is beautiful* do they know that I'm not some serial killer or drug dealer? Huh? It's possible! I just think it's a strange situation. But maybe I'm just crazy. Also, side note...the dad kept saying "you should pass the baby over to her!" which never happened but I was like whaaa? You don't know me!

And don't worry, fam...I'm not gonna just go over to someone's house and trust that they're perfectly normal...I'll definitely bring my mace and rape whistle ;)

Moving on...then Saturday night, I went to the movies with my friend A, who also happens to be my boss's fiance...and she told him that it was a date...I'm sure he's jealous ;) But we went to see What to Expect When You're was funny and I liked the ending, but definitely a movie that you can wait until it comes out on DVD to see...a lot of innuendos, lots of inappropriate scenes...but then also a lot of babies so it all weighs out :)

And today I went to mass at St. John's, which really has to be one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been's all marble and gorgeous. Really stunning. I'll try to remember to take a picture and post later this week. Went grocery shopping and got all the fixings for potato soup! So I made some of that and the recipe can be found here. I made about 1/4 of a batch due to the tiny tiny tiny crock pot at my disposal (I know what I'm asking for for Christmas!) but it turned out pretty good, I think...maybe a bit thicker than I anticipated, but the next time I eat it, I'll just thin it out with a bit of milk :) See pictures below!

just starting to heat up!

post-blender....yup. blender.

om nom nom...deliciousness :)

 That is all around!

p.s. please pray for me to have patience this week...I'm gonna need it :)

* because, duh. my kids are gonna be gorgeous.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

it's a fine fine life

have you heard this song?
they're my newest fav band...saw them in concert this past march? april?
and they signed my book :)

aaanyway. today was a good day, as you might have guessed from the title of this post.
let me walk you through the goodness....

1. I have a playdate on Saturday!
...aka I'm going to a movie with a friend on Saturday night and I'm excited to bond over our mutual love of The Bachelorette and other trash television shows :)

2. I sat with people at lunch!
...aka I got the guts to humble-up and ask if I could sit with some of the other staff members from SJCNC.
I just realized that while the FOCUS people are all great and it would be cool to hang out with people my own age, all 400 of them are going to be leaving at the end of June to serve at other campuses and I should probably get to know some of the people I'll be working with for the next few years...which, at the end of the day, turned out to be the best decision. I sat next to the nicest man...he's the Director of the Business office or something and was really easy to talk to and super welcoming! 2 of his daughters went to ISU, so we talked about that AND he and his wife met as a blind date! Just like my mom and dad! Awesome! He was really great and I look forward to many more conversations with him!

3. I got to see my chaplain from ISU!
...Father Peter was on his way back to BloNo and stopped in Chambana to see people he knows! Fr. PZ ( as I fondly refer to him behind his back) went to the U of I and so he knows a tonnn of people from the center...AND one of the priests here, Fr. Anthony, went to school AND seminary with him! So cool! But the downside is that he knows basically all of the I'm going to have to behave myself or else he'll know. No fun. But Fr. PZ was nice enough to take a pic of me in my new office :)

yes, we are VERY happy together...thank you for asking :)
4. A cute older woman came to my office today!
...I like old people. They're just cute. And this lady, Carole, is SUPER pro-life and SUPER Catholic, etc. And she likes to talk. A lot. So that was fun :)

5. I [almost] definitely have a place to live come August!
...I know that that sounds vague...and it is, but kind of not...see, I have been hoping to continue living with one of the girls who lives with me now...she's a missionary and totally wonderful and sweet, but as recent as this past Saturday, she was still unsure about how many rooms were in the new house...aka whether or not there would be room for me to live with her and the 3 other [new] missionaries. So yeah. But then today, she sent an email to all of us saying that she talked with the owners today and have planned to meet with them next Monday (6/25) to see the house and sign the lease....soooo I'm assuming that this means that there's room for me? I emailed her back to be sure, but I think that this is all a good sign...I mean, why would she include me if there wasn't room, right? So we'll see...but I'm relieved! Kinda.

So yeah! I had a great day! How was yours? :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

just to clarify...I was right :)

Not much to report today...except that I got a hilarious email from my grandma today. For those of you who don't know her, she is the sweetest, most grandma-like person ever. And she's also hilarious. Which is probably where I get that from ;)
So I'm not going to post the whole email (she practically wrote a novel) but since she said that she "would have been a little happier if there had been some broccoli or some other veggie on that plate", I am including a picture of my dinner from tonight....

***all food items pictured were purchased at Aldi***
and of course, no healthy meal is complete without a tall glass of milk...

Granny, I know that Busch is your favorite, but this was the only Grandma-esqe glass that I could find...sorry! ;)

While we're on the topic of family, I seem to remember a certain conversation I had with my mother and sister regarding a certain skirt that I loved and they called "frumpy"... believe I proved them wrong....

complete with my "I'm right and you know it" face ;)
*sigh* feels so good to be right :)

well, I best be off...there's a movie calling my name...anyone ever heard of Blood Money? I haven't seen it but expect it to be good...I'll let you know! Love all around!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ask and ye shall receive

Ok, so I know there's a whole hoard of you who are probably feeling bad for me and my friendless-ness...well, never fear! The Lord is good :)

So I was chatting with one of my coworkers today (he's on a hybrid work/vaca right now on the east coast, lucky duck) and he asked how the office was and I said quiet and lonely. Boohoo. He empathized since he is also a social-type but reassured that it would be alright...I begrudgingly agreed.
(in a good way, no worries, he knows I wasn't complaining or anything)

So anyway, I decided to use part of my lunch break to go to daily mass (right above my office, as I've mentioned before. score!) and prayed that the Lord would help me to appreciate this alone time and use it in whatever way He sees fit...and also threw in a little "but, you know better than anyone else how lonely I might get, so if you want to help me out a bit, it'd be much appreciated!"

The big man upstairs obviously heard my plea because when I went to the caf a half an hour later, I had barely sat down and begun reading a page of my book when a lovely missionary came up and asked if she could sit with me. And while I wanted to say yes, I told her that I haven't been getting any alone time...


I happily asked her to sit and we had a nice chat over our mutual salads :)
She was really sweet and it was so nice to have some human interaction.
I mean, Abe is a great listener and all, but after awhile, I feel like I'm just talking to myself...

So yeah. Good lunch.
The rest of my day went pretty slow but it was good overall...and my nice lunchmate gave me the confidence that maybe I could be the one to approach someone in the caf tomorrow...eek! It's so crazy to even think that I would be intimidated to talk to someone, especially maybe to some people who are reading this and know me as a person who can't. shut. up.
But I think the difference is that while I'm naturally an extrovert, it's super intimidating trying to break into a group of 400 people (literally. that's how many missionaries there are.) when they all know each other and I know maybe 3 of them.
So who knows, hopefully I can get over my fear of whatever it is that I'm afraid of (most likely rejection) and meet some new people. Stay tuned for more deets on that!

But so I came home after work and immediately watched the newest episode of The Bachelorette. I know, I watch trash tv. Get over it.
I'm a hopeless romantic and also enjoy drama (from the outside).
And somewhere near the end of the episode, I became hungry and was trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner...I knew I had a lot of frozen chicken but the most frequent way I cook it is with olive oil and lemon pepper on the stove...after 2 years of that as my main staple of protein, I'm sick of chicken cooked that way.
But for whatever reason, I got it into my head that some kind of ranch chicken sounded realllllly a breaded, ranch-seasoned chicken. Doesn't that sound great?!
I googled "ranch breaded chicken" and chose the first recipe...SUPER easy and DELICIOUS!

Here's how I made it...not much to it and I actually didn't really measure some/most of it, so if you hate figuring-it-out-as-you-go, then don't try this lol

Morgan's Breaded Ranch Chicken

4 chicken tenderloin things (defrosted...duh)
1 cup corn flakes, un-crushed
some sprinkles of that powdered parmesan cheese stuff...Kraft?
dash of garlic powder (whatever that means)
1 TBS Hidden Valley Ranch powder
2-ish TBS melted butter plus some butter for bottom of pan

1. Crush cornflakes in small bowl (I used my hands but maybe you veteran culinary geniuses have a better method)
2. Add parm, garlic and ranch powder to crushed cornflakes
3. Get a pan big enough for your chicken and grease the bottom with butter, Paula Dean style ;)
4. Sprinkle a little bit of the cornflake mixture onto bottom of pan (I don't know why, but one of the recipes I saw said to do this)
5. Take chicken, lather it up with some melted butter and coat both sides generously with cornflake stuff and place in pan

6. When all of the chicken is in the pan, take excess cornflake mix and throw it in the pan...on top of the chicken, on the bottom of the pan...doesn't matter.

Bake at 375 degrees until chicken is cooked through...I still haven't figured out timing and all, so I just wait around the kitchen, cleaning and whatnot, while checking the oven every now and again...and I forgot to time how long they were in there for but I would guess maybe 15 mins? 20 mins? I have no idea actually...

nommmm...everytime I opened the oven, my mouth would water hardcore from all the delectable smells :)))

nommin' on some of these bad boys while I waited...thanks generous roomie!

also, I think I know why you're supposed to have some extra breading on the bottom of the pan...
when everything is cooked, the extra breading is more baked than the stuff on the actual chicken and it is suuuper tasty

And it was DELICIOUS! Yum yum yum

Okeedokee...time for bed. Thanks for reading! Love you all!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I'm hilarious.

True story. Or at least, I think I'm hilarious.

Just put my bid in for baby names for the little girl my cousins J & A are having on are my top pics:


Yes, they all begin with "P".
For those of you who know the story of how J gave me the nickname "Master P", you'll also understand why I intend to call his daughter my Mini P.
For those of you who are confused, I apologize. However, I refuse to explain the story...ask me in person and I might just oblige.

Mini P is set to be born this Monday, 6/11 viz C-Section...please pray for her and Mommy for a safe delivery!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I love my life.

Today was the first day of my new job.
Wanna know how it went?
See post title.

I'm really tired and am planning to get to bed asap but it was great.
Honestly, nothing spectacular was mostly a day full of get-to-know-the-office-and-general-mission-of-the-organization but I loved it.
I love my coworker(s).
I love my office.
I love eating lunch with Monsignors...yeah. That's right. Msgr. Ketcham came and sat with us at lunch.
I love that my office is right beneath Jesus. Yup. My office is right under the chapel.
I love all of the awesome FOCUS missionaries who are in the midst of training right now.
I love it all.

So yeah.
It was great.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Welcome to family and friends who have found my blog for the first time!

Yes, this is the first time that I have announced that I have a blog, NO this blog is not new.

I've had it for awhile (as you can see from the sidebar timeline) but until now really didn't have much to say...well that's a lie, I ALWAYS have something to say :) What I mean is that until now, I didn't really see the point in sharing my URL because I never had a real focus or purpose for people to read it, I was mostly just posting random musings (feel free to check them out if you so desire!).
But now, I have officially moved out of my parent's house, am [relatively] financially independent, and have a life and "big kid" job that most will know nothing of unless I share that with them - hence the blog.

Soooo here we go! Proceed if that over-explanation of my intentions wasn't too much for you!

These past few weeks have been a total whirlwind and further understanding of how I was feeling can be found here, herehere, here, and here....I'm crazy, know.

Essentially, I was recently hired with Students for Life of Illinois! Dream come true. I'm really happy. I'll be working with college students helping them to bring a Pro-Life presence to campus! And my first day is Monday! Woot! I know how blessed I am and am very grateful to everyone who has been praying for me...thank you. Truly. Without your prayers, I may not be here so thank you.

It's crazy because I was offered the position a week following graduation and everything else has just fallen into place...and I moved down to Champaign yesterday!

Below are pictures of the house I moved into, I absolutely LOVE it. LOVE IT. It's so charming and cozy. I love it. Seriously.

the front of my house!
Black Betty made it!
enclosed front porch
door between front porch and foyer
stairs...obviously :)
entry to kitchen from foyer...the door on the R leads down to the basement and second bathroom
view of front room from foyer
front room/dining area
dining area
enclosed back porch!
front room
another view of the front room...complete with fireplace!
entry to kitchen from dining area
...and again!
view of kitchen from the back door
backyard! you can't see it very well, but there is a trampoline and in-ground fire pit back there!
more back porch
aaand again :)
upstairs now, bathroom!
view of my room from doorway
desk and misc things
another view of my room
(yes, it is blurry...I tried 3 times to get a clear picture without success)
my room from the closet
another shot from the closet
the view from one of my windows!

And a video tour of my new home can be found here, hopefully it's not too shaky for you, and if you can't hear me, just turn up the volume...I wasn't sure if some of my roommates were still sleeping or not so I was trying to be quiet lol

Love you all! Stay tuned for more updates on my life! :)

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