Wednesday, March 13

let's be frank

This morning, I woke up and looked at my window, expecting to see even more green grass than yesterday. Instead, I saw the complete opposite-- another six inches of snow. Just when I thought spring was on the horizon, another lake effect snow party arrives. Needless to say, I was less than assumed. I followed up by my typical morning routine: coffee, breakfast and email checking. Recently, I have been holding my breath each time I open my email. Hoping for some activity that shows my job search is finally bearing some fruit.

Sigh, nothing.

For those of you who need updating, I left my prior job when we relocated. When we first moved north, I didn't expect much job activity because it was the end of the year and near the holiday. I didn't figure many people would be looking to hire at that point, so I didn't fret much. I had a couple bites, a few interviews, but nothing panned out. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago, that the word "frustrated" began to surface.

Let's be honest, job searching is tough. I knew it would take some time, but I also thought it'd have had a little more activity than I've had. Maybe I am being naive about the situation, but I've been to this frustrated place before and at that point, I blamed it on the fact that I was a new graduate. I'm out of excuses this time. One of the hardest parts is that most jobs come from having connections, and we're pretty unconnected here. So, my wonderfully patience and understanding husband has suggested that maybe I change up my approach. I met his remark with much resistance, because I didn't want to admit that he was probably right.

Although, it may sound like it, I'm not unhappy with all my free time. I've been able to do a lot of things that I couldn't if I were working all day. Our house is probably the cleanest it will ever be and I've had lots of opportunities to try out new recipes or DIY projects. I love being able to do things I enjoy, but a part of me also craves to be back in the working world. To be contributing to something outside of myself. And that is where I am today.

But job searching is kind of like the weather. You just have to wait and trust. Wait and trust. Wait for it to warm up and trust that the seasons will change. Wait for the flowers to bloom and trust that new life will soon appear. Wait for the right opportunity to come across my path and trust that God will provide it in His timing. Wait and trust. Wait and trust. Wait and trust.

Friday, March 8

high five for friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk for High Five or Friday.

I'm not sure where you're finding yourself today, but here it is beautifully sunny and bright outside. A much needed day without snow fall. This morning, I have been busy making travel plans. We have a lot of fun trips coming in the next few months. In just twelve days, we will be traveling to the sunshine state to visit with some of my family. Later this summer, we will be traveling back to Florida to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary and then Texas for our first anniversary and a wedding! After all this snow, I am so thankful to be traveling to places with lots of sunshine. But as for now, I will be enjoying some gruyere and fresh berries and share my top five favorites from this week.

1. i got to spend a whole afternoon with my childhood best friend and her sweet (soon to be) one year old. I just love that little girl and it was so great to have some quality time with them both.

2. i'm not actually sure if this is high five worthy -- but I finished the third season of Downton Abbey. I fell in love with the show and have spent the past couple weeks watching all three seasons. (let us not forget...I'm "in-between" jobs currently.) But to be honest, I'm not happy with the final episode. That's all I'm going to say.

3. yesterday, I explored the antique shop downtown. I will be returning soon.

4. the hubs and I have recently been playing lots of Yahtzee. I found it at the store for four dollars. seriously! we've been playing regularly and it's always a good time, especially because this is one game where I actually win.

5. i finally got back into a zumba class and i am loving it. i've even managed to meet some people. yay!

happy friday to you all. I hope you enjoy today, wherever you are!

Friday, March 1

food & family: part II

As you recall, I began telling you the story of how our family cookbook came into existence. It all began with a simple dilemma: wanting to have the recipes that our family has come to love over the years. So my cousin Laura, the same creative genius who threw this shower a few weeks ago, came up with the idea to put together a family cookbook. Side note: if you don't know my grandmother-- she is one of the best cooks ever-- seriously. ever. A lot of the recipes were foods we share together at her house. We talked about this cookbook every time we were together; and finally, two years ago, we decided it was time to stop talking and start doing.

The family began compiling favorite recipes and sending them to my cousin, who soon ended up with over 100 recipes. We like food, obviously. This is where the family cookbook idea turned from a collection of our favorite recipes to a masterpiece.

My cousin Laura works as an art director for an ad agency in
downtown Chicago. She is wildly talented in design, photography and baking. Her plans for this cookbook became something we could only dream about. And she took this project on full force.

Along with my grandma and other family, Laura baked, cooked, tasted, tweaked and photographed each recipe. She spent a couple weeks over the holidays working side by side with our grandma learning the secrets to each recipe, because its usually hard to make anything as good as grandma does. (And we've learned, more often than not, the secret is real butter!) Regardless, she spent hours upon hours ensuring that each recipe in the book was understandable and photographed, so each cook would know what that end product would (hopefully) look like. She also threw in some tips, facts and sections of helpful secrets to achieve success with each recipe.

It became quite the project and we were all so anxious to see the end product. Little did we know the treasure we would end up with. After two years of many hours dedicated to this family project, the day came when we each got our own copy. And what we ended up with was far greater than any cookbook could ever provide.

Yes, it had our favorite recipes but it also included the story of how our family came to be, with pictures and short stories, which so beautifully encompassed who we are as a family. It's so much more than we could have asked for and we are all so thankful for Laura's eye for perfection and detail and her endless desire to make a great family keepsake for all of us to share.

To be honest, I used my cookbook at least once a week, cooking and baking foods that I love. My favorite is when each time I open it to see the faces of those I hold so dear. At least for me, it allows me to keep a bit of home with me wherever I go.

If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out on Blurb. You can even order your own, available in both soft and hard cover. Just click here!

**Right now you can also save 25% through Monday. Just use the code WINTER25 at checkout and you're all set.

Thanks for sharing in my family story and if nothing else, enjoy drooling over these photos!