Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SoCal to the Hoosier State

You may or may not have already read that we're moving, but either way, here's the story:
Hubby recently accepted an offer for a job transfer to Northeast Indiana.
That's right...
We're moving from Sunny SoCal to the Midwest at the end of June.
Needless to say, we've been extremely busy packing & trying to get our home ready to sell.
You wouldn't happen to know anyone that wants to buy a house in the SoCal desert near Palm Springs, would you?
Didn't think so.

We knew that we wanted to move before Little Dudeman started school, but we honestly didn't think it would be this soon, & we were planning on moving somewhere with a comfortable climate all year round...
We didn't want any more 115+ degree convection oven summers, but we weren't looking for bitter cold winters either.
So why Indiana?
Well, the schools in the Midwest are great & everything kept pulling us back that direction.

A few years ago, we found out that the LDS church was building a temple in Indianapolis & we knew we wanted to go to the dedication once it was finished.

We went to Hubby's 10 year high school reunion a couple years ago.
That was my first time visiting Indiana & seeing where he grew up.
I could see us living there,
in the distant future.

He kept seeing job postings for Indiana, but ignored them since we didn't think we would be able to move out there at the time.

This is where it starts to get interesting...
A long-time family friend that he & his mom knew mailed us something out of the blue back in December.
She happens to be a realtor in Indiana.
They hadn't stayed in touch really.
In fact, they hadn't talked in YEARS.
She had no idea we were in California or that Hubby was married with 2 kids.
She just was thinking about Hubby & his mom and decided to try to contact them.
When we got the mail she had sent we were a little confused as to how she found us & why.
It was a cute calendar from the real estate company she works for.

When he heard that they were building a regional office for his work out in Indianapolis we thought to ourselves yet again, "Why have we seen so many things about Indiana lately?"

We received yet another real estate related letter in the mail from our realtor friend in Indiana.
We started thinking either she wants us to call her or she is desperate for business.
Turns out she didn't know if it was really us & was hoping we would contact her so they could catch up.
We still didn't get around to calling her, because things had been a little busy over here.

Then the job post opened up yet again, & we started piecing things together.
Maybe we were supposed to move there...
So we prayed.
Everything felt right even though we were confused.
So we started looking at houses online & got in contact with our realtor friend.
She's wonderful. (:
Then the company decided they wanted us in a different part of Indiana a couple hours away.
It was hard hearing that at first since we wanted to be near people we knew.
We wanted to be in a more familiar area.
But this would be a new adventure for all of us.
Although it was not where we had originally thought we would be,
we started feeling more & more right about where we were going.

Throughout this moving process, we've noticed a lot of hidden blessings:
Our Disneyland annual passes expired at the beginning of May.
We knew we weren't going to renew them because the prices had gone up $170/person
and we would have to pay for Little Dudeman from now on as well.
If Disneyland hadn't raised their prices that much,
we probably would have continued getting our annual passes every year & never moved away from SoCal.
So we set aside money to do Legoland, Knotts, & San Diego Zoo passes instead.
When we found out about the move, we already had that money set aside that we could now put towards moving expenses.

We found YNAB back in December.
It has helped us budget better & save more money for moving expenses
rather than going further into credit card debt because of the move.

We received a check from our insurance company out of the blue.
Apparently we paid too much when my wisdom teeth were removed back in 2011...
More money to help with moving expenses.

We have a bunch of wonderful Young Women in our ward at church.
We have been extremely blessed to have the help from a couple of them that are graduating this year.
One of them needed service hours to graduate early,
and both of them needed service hours to receive their Honor Bee charm.
I get their help & get to see their smiling faces multiple times each week,
they get service hours for watching my kids and helping me pack & clean.
Win-win. (:

I won't miss the excruciatingly hot summers or the high gas prices,
but I will miss a lot of things...
the ocean
warm winters
our big kitchen
DHS mineral water
our ward family
the office staff of our pediatrician & other doctors
all the other wonderful people I've met out here

Although I'm super stressed about how little time we have to get everything done,
and how we don't have a buyer for our house yet,
and how we don't know where we will live when we get there,
and so many other stressful little details about the move,
I truly am excited about our new adventure.

I'm looking forward to...
better schools
making new friends
Hubby being less stressed after work

I know it looks like I will miss more than I'm looking forward to,
but that's part of the adventure that comes with moving.

You never know all the great things in store for your future.
You learn them as you go,
enjoy them while they last,
and embrace them once they're past.

Update: We moved
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Dishes - Salads

I am so thrilled to be guest-hosting my very first link party today!

Saturday Dishes is a themed recipe link up that is co-hosted on the blogs of these lovely ladies:
- Savannah from Hammock Tracks -
- Paula from Call Me PMc -
- Linda from The Tumbleweed Contessa -

Check out their blogs & give them a follow or like in some way, shape, or form.
You'll be glad you did.
They're always sharing lots of great recipes & other fun things!

You don't have to follow my blog or grab my button,
but stay a while & check out my about section if you have time to see if we have something in common...
It makes me so happy when I find new friends (:

Last week's theme was Memorial Day...
There were plenty of yummy recipes that caught my eye,
but my taste buds were begging me to check out these three first:

Logan County Hamburgers (aka: Hamburger Grilled Cheese) from The Best Blog Recipes
How delicious would that be on sourdough?!

You really can't go wrong with mandarin oranges!

and this Classic Jello Salad from Yesterfood
I can taste the nostalgia!

This week's theme is all about Salads.
Lettuce salads.
Fruit salads.
Potato salads.
Pasta salads.
If it's a salad, please share it!
If you don't have a salad recipe to share, check out the list of upcoming themes to see what you may be able to share in future weeks, but sit this one out so that the link party can stay nice & refreshing!

On to the linky...
 Loading InLinkz ...

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cars Party

Little Dudeman turned 3 at the end of April...
I still can't believe how grown up he's getting!
Someone needs to slow time down a bit.

Things have been kinda hectic around here since we recently found out we're moving to Indiana...
Between that & his recent eye muscle surgery we decided not to invite any friends this year,
but we threw a little Cars party to celebrate with his Nani.
It was still lots of fun!

Cute right?
Here's what we ate:

Wheel Well pasta with Tow Mater sauce
(wheel shaped pasta with spaghetti sauce)

Fillmore's fruit platter & dip
(red strawberries, yellow pineapple, & green apples to represent a stoplight)

and my personal favorite...
the Cozy Cone cake (:
(ice cream cones & graham crackers dipped in orange candy melts as cake toppers)

We also were going to have...
Fillmore's organic fuel & windshield washer fluid
(organic apple juice & kool-aid)
Luigi's leaning tower of tires
(stacked chocolate covered donuts)
I bought everything,
but I forgot to make them.
We had plenty of food though, so it wasn't a huge loss.

For games:
We made some box cars with the kids so they could sit in them to watch Cars.
We were going to put headlights, taillights, & license plates on them & let the kids decorate them,
but we never finished since the kids were too excited to 'drive' their cars.
We didn't even get to watch Cars since Little Dudeman just wanted to watch WordWorld.
But hey, it was his birthday, so he got to choose what to watch!

I had planned on playing red light green light too,
but we ended up just running around our driveway as Nani was leaving.

I was also going to make party hats that looked like construction cones,
but that didn't happen before the party.
Ah well.
We still had a ton of fun,
& it was great spending time with Nani!

The following weekend I threw an Up party to celebrate Hubby's birthday...
Stay tuned to read all about it!

I'm guest-hosting the Saturday Dishes link party this weekend!!!
So make sure you swing back by my blog on Saturday if you have a yummy salad recipe to share!
I'm uber excited!!!
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life is Fantasmic

If you've ever been to Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Tokyo DisneySea
you may be familiar with my favorite nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic!
All three versions are different, but have the same basic outline.
Although I've never been to the Tokyo Disney resort, I would love to go someday to check it out!

So in Fantasmic...
Mickey is dreaming and his imagination gets the better of him.
It's an epic battle between good vs evil,
and as we all know,
good always conquers evil in the end.

Life is a constant battle between choosing good over evil or right over wrong.
and although evil may be enticing at times,
we will be much happier in the long run when we choose good.

My life is quite similar to Mickey's dream.
I have a powerful imagination.
I love to dream.
There have been times in my life where I have let my imagination get the better of me.
I have made wrong choices.
much like the power of Mickey's imagination that defeats the evil in his dream,
the power of Christ's atonement has helped me overcome the wrong choices I've made.
It has helped me become much happier & I am forever thankful for that.

Dreams can seem incredibly real while we are having them,
no matter how bizarre they may be.
I remember my dreams quite often & they are almost always bizarre.
When I tell Hubby that "I had a weird dream last night"
he always responds with, "You mean you had a dream last night",
because he already knows all of my dreams are weird.
"Some imagination, huh?"

Think about actual life for a second.
The exact moment we are in seems real, right?
Think back to your childhood,
last year,
last week,
5 minutes ago,
or even 5 seconds ago.
To me, those moments now seem like a dream.
They seem surreal.
We can never recapture that moment exactly.
It's weird to think about actually.

That's why it's so great to live in the now.
Enjoy the moment while it lasts,
because that exact moment will never happen again.
I want to be able to remember those great moments in my life before I forget them.
I want to be able to re-live them through my blog.
I used to be absolutely wonderful at journaling.
Writing every day about the silly mundane things going on in my life.
Writing about friends & boys I had a crush on.
Writing about my thoughts or even the weather.
For the most part, I enjoy re-reading my journals.
There are plenty of happy parts,
& also some sad parts.
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it, or... learn from it."
- Rafiki -
I choose to learn from it & hope my posterity can do the same.

I created this blog for that reason among many others.
We've been married almost 6 years & I have yet to write about our wedding.
That's how much I've slacked on writing in my journal.
I regret that entirely.
I hope to be better at writing on this blog much in the way that I used to write in my journal.
I want to remember the important things & learn from the tough moments.
I want to write about the fantastic but ever so surreal moments that happen in my life.

Because life is fantasmic.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch

Cheesy CBR.
Parmesan Chicken meets Chicken Bacon Ranch.
They fall in love.
So do my taste buds.
It's quite the love triangle.

4 Tbsp butter (melted)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 dry ranch packet
4-5 large chicken breasts
bacon bits
grated cheese (I use cheddar & monterey jack)

Melt butter in small microwaveable bowl. Combine parmesan cheese & 1/2 of a dry ranch packet in another bowl. Dip chicken in butter, then coat with parmesan ranch mixture on both sides. Place coated chicken into glass 9x13 pan. Sprinkle generous amount of bacon bits & grated cheese on each piece of chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

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