Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family. We are a family of tradition... so much in fact, that years ago we started a list of traditions. Each Thanksgiving weekend, we make it a point to continue the traditions. Some are obvious (e.g. eat turkey, give thanks) and some are more obscure. Some are from when we used to have Thanksgiving at Grandma's and some are new now that it's at our house. Some traditions are retired after they are no longer in effect and new traditions are considered an official tradition after taking place three years in a row. These are what make Thanksgiving special. Here is the list:

1. Going to the park and playing tennis, football and using the playground.
2. Giving thanks.
3. Using the ping pong table for the Thanksgiving dinner table (retired Nov. 1999).
4. Going to Rancho Grande on Friday night (it used to be Grandma pays, now is it Cindy pays?)
5. Fireballs after Rancho Grande.
6. Going to some kind of rec center and playing knock-out, half court competition, and swimming.
7. Playing electronic games.
8. Chili dinner on Wednesday night.
9. Mary bringing salsa or anything hot from Texas.
10. Swinging on the rope in the backyard (retired Nov. 2001).
11. Brother-in-laws and boys washing dishes and cleaning up at least one meal during the weekend.
12. Plugged up toilet.
13. Playing Nertz.
14. Sleeping in the pit or dungeon.
15. Playing Hearts.
16. Playing football in the backyard.
17. Dave reads the tradition list at Rancho Grande.
18. Going to the movies.
19. Shopping.
20. Exchanging Christmas lists.
21. Ladell carving the turkey.
22. Turkey dinner with ALL the family (34 people this year!)
23. Eating Chex Mix.
24. Celebrating Mary, Ladell, and Dave's birthdays.
25. Doing a piƱata provided by Mary.
26. Doing puzzles.
27. Giving out Christmas tree ornaments.
28. Coffeecake and cinnamon rolls.
29. Being with a wonderful, loving family.

I'm sure we have some more... but these are the ones that were on the list as of 5 years ago which is the most update version I have. Good times... I'm pretty lucky.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Day

I've been dogsitting for my friends the Crows the past week and today is the last day that I am watching their dog before I pass him on to some other people because our family is coming into town. I'm not going to lie... I haven't been the most willing volunteer as I've been dogsitting. Luckily my friend Jessie loves me even though I've been sending her e-mails with the subject "Your Stupid Dog" telling her all the crazy stuff her dog has been doing... Anyway, this morning when I went to let their dog out, there was the most beautiful sunrise and I feel like it put life back into perspective... (pictured above)

I was reminded of how tiny and meaningless so much of what I let consume my life is. There are greater, more worthy things, to be concerning myself with and the sunrise was a sign of how grand life can be. ALSO, it made me thankful for a new day. Things have been kind of hard in my house lately, so I'm thankful for new days. Especially new days that start with sunrises like today.

This last week, we sang a song at church by the Robbie Seay Band called New Day. I feel like the lyrics are fitting... (The whole song is great. You can read the rest of the lyrics here or watch/listen to it here.)

And it just might be
The prettiest thing that you'll ever see
It's a new day, oh baby, it's a new day
If you look outside
To see a beautiful sunrise
It's a new day, oh baby, it's a new day

Friday, November 20, 2009


I feel like my blog has been lacking lately. I was reading some of my posts from a year ago and I wish I was still writing posts like I was back then. Part of me thinks it's because most of the things that I noticed, I've already written about... and so I'm lacking new ideas. Part of me is fearful that I don't pay attention to those things as much anymore. I'm going to try harder... So starting now I'm turning over a new leaf, or going back to my old leaf... whatever.

Today I had Chipotle with my mom. I LOVE Chipotle. It's one of my favorite places to eat. I worked there in high school and even after working there I still love eating there. Here's what my burrito normally consists of: rice, black beans, chicken, "a lot of corn", "a little bit of sour cream", and some lettuce. Mmm... quality stuff.

I feel like what a person gets on their Chipotle burrito says a lot about them. (It's kind of like palm reading, but not... Ha, kidding. Basically it says if you're picky or not, like spicy things or not and are a vegetarian or not... that's al.) What do you get on yours?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last Day at Kaldi's...

As graduation is growing near, I have found myself having a lot of "lasts." Last time singing worship for Veritas. Last Veritas leaders meeting. Last time buying toilet paper (at least for a while until I move out of my parents house. Although, for the record, I am more than willing to pitch in for TP...) Anyway, today was my last day as a baker at Kaldi's.

It was a bitter sweet day. While I won't miss the 4:30 mornings and making scones (I hate making scones) I will absolutely miss working here. I have this horrible tendency to dread things... and with every job I've ever had (besides when I've worked in ministry) I would dread going to work. This job was different. I love(d) it! I love the people I work with. I love the actual baking. I love the free coffee. I love the atmosphere of Kaldi's. I love almost everything about it...

But it's time that I graduate and therefore it's time to move on from Kaldi's. It's been great..
(I bet not many of you are awake to see this...)
(My good friend Kate and I. One of my
favorite things about working here: Kate.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Top Chef: Veritas Edition

As many of you know, I am really involved in a campus ministry at MU called Veritas. Freshman year I joined a Bible study, sophomore year I started singing on their worship team, and junior and senior year I lead a Bible study for them. It consumes a lot of my time but I love it. MU wasn't home until I found Veritas... Anyway, every month we have a leader meeting for Veritas and last night was our last meeting of the semester, and therefore, my last meeting ever. (Unless God does something crazy and makes me decide to stay here for another semester... Doubtful, but anything's possible.) The Veritas staff decided to do something special for the last meeting so we were told to meet at the new Hy Vee in town and the rest was a surprise...

So we got there, and they told us we were going to play Top Chef: Veritas Edition! Top Chef is one of my favorite shows ever so I was so pumped. And then they split us into teams and I was put on a team with some of my favorite people so I was even more pumped! The task was to make an appetizer, entree, dessert, and beverage enough to give 25 people samples for under $50 in an hour and 45 minute time limit. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, especially since they gave me the dessert category... but it was hard! I have never been forced to think on my feet like that, and after yesterday, I've learned that I am incapable.

We decided on a fruit theme (later someone was clever and called it the "fruits of the Spirit") so we made this chilled kiwi/soup thing for an appetizer (still not sure what that was, but everyone liked it), canadian bacon and pineapple calzones, this cinnamon cake with fruit on top (oh man... was THAT a disaster) and our version of a virgin mimosa. We ended up taking too much time and spending too much money... we were even concerned that some of our food was inedible (especially my cake: my team decided to crank up the temperature and cook it for a shorter amount of time... Little do they know, baking just doesn't work that way.) Somehow it all came together though... and we actually prepared a pretty good meal!

We did not win the competition but we did win best entree. I had a great time. It was a great way to end to semester and my time as a leader with Veritas: Top Chef. Good food. Competition. Fun People. I mean... that's a quality time. (I had the intention of taking pictures to document the event, but things got so crazy that there was no time. Here are the few that I took.)
(Lauren and Addison hoping that we're under $50.)
(Bethany and Chris debating meal ideas. They're
acting... they're not really mad at each other.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recipe for a Good Late Night

I'm a night owl, for sure. My ideal schedule would be to stay up until 3:00 in the morning and sleep in until 11:00 or noon. Unfortunately... the world doesn't work on that schedule, but that's ok... Sometimes I enjoy being the only one awake...

Tonight has been a night of fun late night activities. Including:
-A bonfire (aka fire pit) after Veritas with smores a
nd hot chocolate.
-A trip to the new Hy Vee that just opened today!
-The purchase of some gerber daisies that Valeria spotted were on sale! (You know I love fresh flowers...)
-A quick stop by Megan's to drop off some things Valeria bought for her (the essentials: Peter Pan peanut butter and some toothpaste).
-Baking a new cupcake recipe: cinnamon cupcakes (which after they were finished I decided they are almost identical to the snickerdoodle cupcakes that I was obsessed with making at the end of the summer.)
-Watching some America's Next Top Model (Tyra Banks is absolutely insane, I don't know if I can handle watching that show anymore...)
-And now blogging...

All of the above occurred after 10:00 pm... What a great night! I love late nights...

Monday, November 9, 2009

City and Colour

I'm currently obsessed with this guy: City and Colour. (His real name is Dallas (city) Green (colour, he's Canadian hence the unnecessary 'u')... get it?) My friend Chris showed him to me the other day and I can't get enough. I bought his most recent album, Bring Me Your Love but I may have to invest in some of his older stuff because I just love it.

Give me a soulful male vocalist and an acoustic guitar and I'm happy. That is exactly what this guy is... He pretty much embodies everything I would want in a musical experience. Can you tell I really like him? Anyway...

Below is a video of one of my favorite songs on the album... A little different, but great nonetheless.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


My little brother Cory has recently gotten really into graphic design and he's great at it. Part of me really wants him to pursue journalism because he's a great writer and I want him to come to MU. But the other part of me wants him to pursue graphic design because he's so good and I love his work. I know... there has to be some place in the journalism world for him to pursue both but we'll see if that happens.

Anyway, he recently made this design of a tree. He says that it's not that impressive because he steals bits and pieces from other people to create his final projects, but I think it's great. If I were ever to record an album, I would want this to be my album cover. For sure.

Anyway, if you want to check out more of Cory's stuff, you can go to his blog. It's great!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fresh Flowers

One of the many things that I love about living at the Haslag's is that Sara almost always has fresh flowers around. Yeah, they're pretty, but flowers add something special to an atmosphere. I'm sure I've discuss my sentiments on flowers before, but I'll say it again... I love flowers because their function is to be beautiful. Sure, they're a bit frivolous, but someday when I have enough money to make ends meet and a little extra, I hope to don my house with fresh flowers like Sara does.

Sara brought me home my own personal bouquet of flowers yesterday because I found out some pretty heavy news that kind of brought me down. While no, flowers don't fix things, they do make life a little more beautiful while facing the tough stuff and I'm thankful for that.

(I was going to wait until I had some quality daylight to take some pictures of my flowers, but I decided to go ahead and take some tonight and see what happened. You can't appreciate the entirety of the bouquet but I really like how the picture turned out...)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Best Weekend Ever!

This weekend was top notch. One of the best I've had in Columbia... Friday my family came to visit! We went to Shakespeare's (you know, a must-do when you visit CoMo) and then played games the rest of the night. After everyone went to bed I headed over to the guys' place to celebrate Valeria's 21st birthday.

Saturday the fam and I had a tasty breakfast then headed over to campus to walk around a bit. We went to Kaldi's so everyone could see where I work, stopped by the Mustard Seed, then walked around campus a bit more. We came back to the Haslags were we had a yummy lunch and my family had a chance to get to know Joe and Sara. We helped Joe rake leaves then everyone headed back to KC. Then Saturday night some friends and I went to Encore to celebrate Valeria's birthday some more...
(Beautiful MU campus.)
("Helping" rake leaves. (Photo by Georgie))
(Happy Birthday, V/Audrey...)
This weekend was just a wonderful time of community with family and friends. PLUS the weather was beautiful... I couldn't have asked for a better time...