Posts Tagged ‘joy’

28th February
written by Michelle

Let me introduce my sister, Stephanie….more commonly known as Steph. She’s creative, funny and full of wisdom on a variety of topics.

♥  ♥  ♥

Part 2 of Tales from the Wedding is told in her in perspective. I guarantee it will make you laugh.

{bonus: inside look into my wonderful, slightly complicated family}

you can read it here.


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13th January
written by Michelle

I am not usually big on new year’s resolutions. It’s not that I’m against resolutions or goals per se, it’s just a self-protection mechanism because I know I can’t keep them. I’m the kind of person who writes list and actually enjoys it. And as would be expected I used to write lists of new years resolutions.

But last year, I followed my friend, Cassie’s advice and decided to choose just one; just one resolution. So, last year my one resolution was to floss. Yep, to floss.  my.  teeth.  E.V.E.R.D.A.Y.  I know, not very profound or character building necessarily, but sometimes I think resolutions can be small, simple, practical things. So, did I floss my teeth every day? Of course not. But I improved-greatly. I am firm believer that resolutions shouldn’t be measured on a pass or fail basis, but rather on a scale of improvement.

Which brings us to 2011. Area of improvement: Using (insert: following) recipes.

I like cooking, but I am far too practical and sometimes lazy to come home and cook every night. And when I do cook, I have a strange aversion to following what the recipes says. I mean, cooking is so much more fun when you can use a little of this or add some of that, right? However, this add-and-alter technique doesn’t always yield very good results. Not to mention, that I’ve been living without an oven for the past 6 months, and let me tell you there are only so many things you can make with a stove. All of these excuses only give further evidence that this is an area that I can improve in.

A few days ago Gerber stopped by my apartment holing a large, rectangular box. Inside: a new convection oven! I had been complaining about not having an oven and had looked at a few options, but they seemed over priced. So, either he is a very generous boyfriend or he got tired of eating avocado tomato toast when he came over to my house for dinner. (Maybe both : )

So, now I am the proud owner of  a mr. oster convection oven (see  first photo). I’ve already made bbq chicken pizza and garlic parmesan chicken and pumpkin bread. But I need more recipes. So, please please send me your favorites. And if I use one of your recipes I will reward you with a FREE photo and a blog post in your honor.

Here’s to new years, new recipes, and small improvements. Happy New Year!

(yes, I do realize it’s 14 days past New Year’s Day…but lets be honest, the whole month represents a new year, right?)

31st January
written by Michelle

Henri Nouwen is one of my heroes. His perspective on people, faith and life is inspiring. However, I often find myself experiencing this internal tension when I read something that he wrote- first there is pure amazement at the eloquence and honesty of his words, but then envy creeps in and I immediately become jealous and wonder why I can’t write like that? This is not one of my finer qualities.

So with that disclaimer, read this because he says it far better than I can or ever will:

“At first sight, joy seems to be connected with being different. When you receive a compliment or win an award, you experience the joy of not being the same as others. You are faster, smarter, more beautiful, and it is that difference that brings you joy. But such joy is very temporary. True joy is hidden where we are the same as other people: fragile and mortal. It is the joy of belonging to the human race. It is the joy of being with others as a friend, a companion, a fellow traveler.”

I find it humbling that in so many areas of my life I strive to be different. I think we all do. We all want to be unique or set apart. We want our writing style or our blog or our fashion sense to be set-apart and special. I like it when my friends compliment me on something that I’ve made or praise me for some random fact that I’ve shared simply because it was different or unique. It feeds some part of me that seeks to be known and viewed as one-of-a-kind. But in reality, I think Henri is right- these compliments and shorts boosts of self-esteem for not being different from other people only brings temporary joy.

And who wants temporary, or fleeting joy, right?
What I long for in life is real joy.

Perhaps this joy comes from admitting to each other and ourselves that we are all really the same?

We come as broken and fragile beings, who actually need each other. Maybe we should stop striving to be different and instead try acknowledging that there is joy in being the same.

Quote Credit (and basically all thoughts and inspiration goes to): Mr. Henri Nouwen.

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12th December
written by Michelle

Mornings are not my favorite time of day. My roommates and family can attest to this. For me mornings are usually accompanied by a consistent snooze button, some whining, and (I am embarrassed to admit it) some occasional moaning. Somehow I came to believe the fallacy that once you’re an “adult” you will naturally and happily just wake up, bright and early every morning. Oh, was I wrong. I feel like by most measures of adulthood I count as a “real” adult, but I have yet to figure out how to wake up early in the morning and enjoy it. I mean who really wants to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold?

Because I tend to sleep in as late as possible, this means that my mornings tend to be a bit rushed. I feel this looming pressure (i.e. the 1st period bell and 20 sleepy-eyed faces) to hurry. So I scramble around the house, leaving cupboards open, throwing clothes on my bed and using one hand to put on make-up and another to blow dry my hair (yes, I am an incredibly good multi-tasker : )

Finally, with my 2 bags slung over my shoulder, my keys in one hand and my to-go cup in the other, I make it to my car. phew. In a weird way sitting in my car brings a sense of comfort. I have almost no interruptions. I don’t talk on the phone. I don’t even listen to music. For those 12 minutes on the way to work I sit and think and pray and….my favorite part, drink my tea.

This morning I was in a hurry (no surprise) so I grabbed a tea bag from our smorgasbord of tea assortments in the cupboard and dropped it in my to-go mug. In a quiet moment once inside my car I noticed the little red tea tag dangling from my mug. It read the word “JOY.”

Hmm. I wish it were always this easy to have joy in the morning.

Tazo Tea makes a Joy tea that only comes out during the Holidays. I love it. I think it seriously increases my joy and happiness in the morning. Who knew?

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