Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!

Not that many of you are blogging right now. :)

But for me it's 9:00am on January 1st. The night went well, minus all the silver confetti I kept finding in my underwear.

I hope that you can keep your resolutions and that you are happy with the direction your life is going!!

God bless you always and every day of your life!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I. Can't. Concentrate.

Do you ever get so excited that you may as well not do anything?

That's how I feel.

Our flight to Hong Kong is tomorrow at 10:30pm and I KNOW that I should be working. I'm watching the Colbert Report instead.

Are you excited about anything coming up?! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh, New York

There are moments where I supremely love the city that I live in (or near, technically. I work here!). Last night was one of them.

I did it. I got THE SANDWICH. Steve didn't want to do it, but he loves me and lets me do things that I want to do...even if they're bad for my health.



The Something Different sandwich from Juniors. Yes. That is beef brisket between two potato latkes. HAPPY HANUKKAH TO ME!!! I wish I had my camera.

But that's okay. My friend Laurie and I are going to go together (soon, I hope!) and I'll be able to get a picture. Freaking. Awesome.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 Vials

That's how much blood they took out of me yesterday. That and I had to pee in a cup and then put it in a vial. Which kind of grosses me out, even if it is my own pee.

I met my possible...receiver? Not like football though. My friend (Sam) thinks God wanted us to meet. I was standing at the counter and they couldn't find my paperwork. They were saying, 'You're a potential donor?' And I said, 'Yes.' And they asked for my first name...and when I said 'Danae' there was a ruckus behind me! Turned out, A. (that's what I'm going to call her) was two people behind me. So I got to talk to her and meet her (same building, different congregation, but I'm sure I've seen her before).

She sent me this e-mail last night:
Don't be overwhelmed! Just take it slowly over the next few weeks while you give careful consideration to your decision.

Of course I would be thrilled to have you agree to be my donor but that is your decision which has to be made according to your various concerns. Please let me know if there is anything I can answer.


Which is RIDICULOUSLY helpful. Because I'm scared. I read an article about the 'downside of live donations' and freaked out. Because that's what I do.

Then I was secretly hoping that we wouldn't be a match (because then I don't actually have to decide). But A. sent me this today:
As a general rule, you must have a blood type compatible with the recipient or you will not be able to donate. Here is who can donate to whom:


Type A can donate to types A and AB.

Type B can donate to types B and AB.

Type AB can donate to type AB.

Type O can donate to types A, B, AB, and O.



Guess which one I am?! Yeah. I'm O. O+, actually.

But maybe it's why we're still in New York. Maybe I'm still here because God isn't finished with me yet. But I gotta say, I'm scared as hell to tell my parents about it if Steve and I decide to do it. I'm thinking about taking my mother's approach and waiting until I'm a 17-hour plane ride away and then bringing it up. I'm certainly not going to bring it up while we're in the Philippines.

Maybe you could say a small prayer? That God will lead me/us in the right direction with what needs to happen? Thank you :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Weekend


My favorite picture, but I guess I'm kind of partial.


Yeah, Lillian loves cream.


Rocky was REALLY thirsty. Even though his water dish was on the floor.


YOU SAID WHAT?!


Uncle Steve helping the child prodigy.


This is where we grew up. Steve wanted to take pictures.




She got the hang of it.


We bought her blocks as part of her Christmas present. The blocks we got her are braille/sign language.


Bourbon pumpkin cheesecake!! I didn't let it sit long enough though.


My blue mashed potatoes.


Lillian liked her doll too. From Baby Be Blessed. So cute!


This is totally what mommies are for.

_______________________________________________________________

All in all, we had a really great weekend. Tomorrow is my blood test and then we only have 4 days until Hong Kong!! Did you have a nice weekend?

Friday, December 11, 2009

To Ohio, We Go! (UPDATE)

We weren't going to go. Since bugs have pretty much eaten half of my blood and all of our resources, we told my in-laws, sorry, but we can't come.

We got a call a few weeks ago and they said that they'd pay for our plane tickets. Still, we couldn't afford Christmas gifts. So Steve had the idea that we'd make dinner for them!! I'm so excited!

Plus, I get to see my adorable niece. I haven't seen her since she was less then a week old. And now...look at her!




So we're off to Ohio today after work. Pray that the wind dies down, that LaGuardia Airport doesn't suck as much as it normally does, and that we can actually get there. If the wind doesn't die down...we may not be able to go. We're only going for the weekend and if we don't make it out tonight, I don't know if we can make it.

But here's a recipe that I'm REALLY hoping to use for dinner (except for my SIL and her boyfriend who are both vegetarian/freegan)

CHICKEN IN RIESLING

SERVES4

* ACTIVE TIME:30 MIN
* START TO FINISH:1 HR

MARCH 2008
Though coq au vin made with red wine is perhaps the best-known incarnation of the French dish in this country, most regions of France have unique versions that take advantage of local wines. Alsace’s dry Riesling lends a gentle richness to this creamy, comforting meal.

* 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 lb), backbone discarded and chicken cut French style into 8 pieces (see cooks’ note, below)
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
* 4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped (2 cups)
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
* 4 medium carrots, halved diagonally
* 1 cup dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling)
* 1 1/2 lb small (2-inch) red potatoes
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
* Fresh lemon juice to taste

*
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
*
Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and a rounded 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a wide 3 1/2- to 5-quart heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken in 2 batches, turning once, about 10 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.
*
Meanwhile, wash leeks and pat dry.
*
Pour off fat from pot, then cook leeks, shallot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks are pale golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken, skin sides up, with any juices from plate, carrots, and wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover pot and braise chicken in oven until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
*
While chicken braises, peel potatoes, then generously cover with cold water in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then return to saucepan. Add parsley and shake to coat.
*
Stir crème fraîche into chicken mixture and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then add potatoes.

COOKS' NOTE: A chicken cut French style yields 2 breast halves with wings attached, halved crosswise for a total of 4 breast pieces, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs. If you don’t want to cut up a whole chicken, you can use 3 pounds chicken parts.

I'm going in for a blood test on Monday. Could you please pray for whatever God wills? I'm excited and nervous and scared. If you don't mind? Thank you :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Best Gift Ever

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. -Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


I feel like I am a good gift giver. Most times (not always, mind you), I've been able to really pull it together and give a good gift. Not that I'm bragging. But there's something in my brain that makes me remember the weirdest things. Of all the things my co-worker has told me, I remembered that his favorite story is about the Monkey King (it's a Chinese tale about Buddha) and, while in Hong Kong, I bought him a Monkey King. Random, I know. But those are the types of things I remember.

One year, for my husband's birthday, I bought him tickets to see an Indians game at Yankees Stadium, 6 rows behind first base. I surprised my little brother (who is somewhat of a geek, like me) with tickets to Hamlet (sure, it was a gift for me too). It always excites me to give a good gift.

Now, obviously Jesus gave the best gift of all. You open up all the Christmas-wrapped boxes and you got...Socks, under shirts, an embarrassing book from Aunt Jennie and then you see that Jesus gave you eternal salvation. Hmmm. Which one are you going to return? I'm keeping that last one!

Right now, there is the possibility that I could...MAYBE...be giving a gift that I never really thought of. I don't want to go into too much detail because I haven't even cleared the donor questionnaire, but...it's a super big deal. And it's scary. And I'm kind of scared. And I e-mailed the woman (who I don't know) because I saw her sign at church. We share our building with another congregation and she goes to BUCC and I go to Advent. But I saw it and I just...felt like I should e-mail her. I still feel like I could lose my lunch when I think about it all. And I shouldn't even be contemplating it. Because almost everything is too far away.

But if I can do this and give this gift to her, could you imagine? They would say it's the gift of life, but...this life. A gift for this life, for sure. I think that's more then I really could ever have imagined giving and that is amazing.

I want to know: what is the best gift you've ever been given? Or what is the best gift you feel like you ever gave?

What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. -Eleanor Powell

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some Pictures

Sometimes, an all picture post is necessary...





Monday, December 7, 2009

The Prayer of Knots

Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.

Remove the have-nots,
the can-nots and the do-nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will-nots,
may-nots, might-nots that may find a home in my heart.

Please release me from the could-nots,
would-nots and should-nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the "am nots"
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.

Amen.

A Miracle


I just watched a video on adoption that calls it a 'miracle.' And I've always heard sports casters talking about 'miracles' on the court. And 'it was a miracle that the baby survived.' Those last ones...we know those are definitely miracles. The sports casters...eh. Not so much, in my opinion.

My husband and I were talking and I've been thinking about miracles. What defines a miracle?

This is what my husband said:
I think it's something that people can't control
I'd say when there's little/no hope but I think miracles can happen regardless of the situation
I think people take a lot of those little miracles for granted

I like the definition in the movie 'Pulp Fiction' (I also love to talk about it, if you couldn't tell): You're looking at this s*** the wrong way Vincent. Maybe God stopped the bullets, he changed Coke to Pepsi, he found my f**** car keys. Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.

So I won the first and second prizes for the November Giveaway for Baby Be Blessed. I told Tina that I didn't want the first place prize because (yeah, this will sound weird) I don't really have any white children that I wanted to give the prizes too. I've been collecting them for Ethiopia and South Africa and I wanted Mary Margaret dolls. She wrote back and told me that she would give the dolls away to some children on her church's Angel Tree. But what was more important was she said that God must have wanted me to win both prizes because He knew I would give the prize away.

It kind of hit me. I never thought of it that way. I kind of thought of that as a miracle.

What do you consider a miracle? Have you ever had a miracle in your life?

Friday, December 4, 2009

If I Only Had My Camera

Steve took me ice skating yesterday at Bryant Park. It's free (minus, of course, that you have to rent skates and a locker for your stuff), but at least they don't charge you to actually skate there (Rockefeller does). And it was great! Not as crowded when we first got there.



Then I got Chinese dumpling soup and we got hot chocolate and hot apple cider and walked home. It's hard for me to get in the 'Christmas Spirit' anymore. At least the kind that involves decorating and such. I still love the Advent season (though I don't get to attend church much in December because of traveling).

AND I won the November Give-A-Blessing giveaway. I actually won the first AND second place prizes, but I told them to keep the first place prize. I know this is going to sound silly...but I don't know any white children to give the dolls to. I KNOW! So weird.

I want to get a Mary Margaret doll for my friend's brother's family. (whew! a mouth-ful!) because they're going to be adopting from Ethiopia! I'm so excited for them!!! They're hoping to adopt a little girl and I know that they're just applying to home study now...I should wait a little bit. I know, I know. :-D But they're so cute! And I think every little girl would want a doll, you know?

ALSO. Go ahead. Call me ridiculous. BUT I bought a gift for my brother (and one for myself) in Lumberjack and Pirate (which are no longer available, it appears)



YES. THAT IS A COMBINED BEARD AND MUSTACHE HAT!!!!!!!!!!! And I hope it's in the mail. I joked about it with my brother, but I'm totally going to pull it out on the train between the airport and Hong Kong when I see him.

So what I want to know...what gets you in the holiday spirit? And how are you doing? I know, it's been awhile and I've been somewhat whiny (I do apologize), but God has been doing good things, whether or not I was recognizing it. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Few Jokes

So I'm just having a day where I'm a little bit down (even when it's happy, I get down when it gets colder) and I'm feeling some anxiety about things (this whole adult thing sucks sometimes) and where Steve and I are headed and kids and blah blah blah. You know. The whole nine-yards. All these things that I really don't need to be worrying about, but still am. I need a prayer jar or something.

So I'm just going to put some jokes up today. I hope that you're doing all right today. :)

__________________________________________________________________

Two robins were lying on their backs, basking in the sun. A
mama cat and her kitten were walking by.

The kitten complained, "Mama, I'm sooo hungry, what can we
eat?"

To which the mama cat, spying the two robins, replied, "How
about some Baskin Robbins?"

____________________________________________________________________

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. The next week the man realized that he would need his wife to wake him at 5.00 am for an early morning business flight to Chicago. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence, he finally wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5.00 am."
The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it was 9.00am, and that he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't woken him when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed ... it said... "It is 5.00am; wake up."

____________________________________________________________________

A couple was getting married, and it was only three days before the wedding. The bride calls her mother with some bad news. "Mom," she says, "I just found out that my fiance's mother has bought the exact same dress as you to wear to the wedding." The bride's mother thinks for a minute. "Don't worry," she tells her daughter. "I'll just go and buy another dress to wear to the ceremony." "But mother," says the bride, "that dress cost a fortune. What will you do with it? It's such a waste not to use it." "Who said I won't use it?" her mother asked. "I'll just wear it to the rehearsal dinner."

ONE MORE!!

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth to a woman and he takes his very life into his own hands.

This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other.

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.