Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cooking for Your Own Basketball Team

I have a really great friend named Mandy. Yes, the same Mandy who set me up on a blind date with someone I already know. But I totally don't hold that against her.

Mandy and I went to college together for only one year but have become so much closer as we have grown older embraced our 30's. Our lives could not be more different: she is happily married with five adorable children. I, on the other hand, am happily/begrudgingly/complacently/wonderfully single with one adorable nephew. Yet somehow, we never run out of things to talk about.

A couple of weeks ago, her hubby Brandon asked me to come over and teach him how to cook.

Let's just stop right there and give this man a round of applause.

He had said that he wanted to learn how to throw together a few meals to feed his family of seven. I considered this a fabulous opportunity to hang out with my friends while also trying to figure out how to feed a family with their own built-in basketball team (some of them still do not know how to walk).

Here is a glimpse of the dinner table. For dinner, Brandon and I whipped up a couple taco pizzas and a huge fruit salad.

Brandon and his twin girls, Sarah and Maggie. I could eat them. They are so sweet and cuddly.

And here is Shawn.

There is something about him that makes me melt. Literally, I would give him one of my kidneys if he asked. You should know that Shawn likes to eat. A lot. So much so that he wanted to take a slice of his taco pizza to the bathtub. You have got to love a boy who knows how to multi-task.

Mandy and Shawn. He is still eating.

And here is my girl Katie. She is so passionate about everything. I am such a huge fan of this one.

After the big kids had been scrubbed and tucked-in (somehow I missed getting a picture of James), Brandon, Mandy and I made skillet lasagna. We mixed all the ingredients you would use for a regular lasagna in one big pan and then poured it into a baking dish to freeze. Super easy and fast, all the great taste of lasagna without the layering.

This is exactly what I had in mind when I created Gourmet Girl to Go. I saw it as a way to be with friends, both old and new, and de-mystify the process of cooking and baking. And it was a total bonus that I had five sous chefs to help out.

Of course it didn't hurt that they made me peanut butter pie for dessert. They totally know my love language.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Non-Blind Date

So, it is Sunday night and I am here to report that the blind date did not happen. I can almost feel a collective sigh of disappointment and relief from you. Disappointment because I know you were cheering me on, waiting to see if I had met my future husband or had met another mouth breather. Relief because you know how unbelievable horrible and wretched blind dates can be.



So here's the scoop: he had to cancel because he got stuck up in the mountains because of the snow. Totally lame excuse, right?

Actually, I was totally fine with it and do you know why? It's because, after a bit of Facebook stalking and a long chat with my friend Mandy who set me up with him, I actually ALREADY KNOW HIM!!

People, do you know what this means? It means I HAVE COME FULL-CIRCLE in my dating life! I think I have either dated, met, talked to, looked at, scoped-out, Facebook stalked or online dated (or avoided) every single guy in Denver. And now I am RECYCLING!!

Good grief.

This guy and I used to hang out years ago with a group of my friends. We even went salsa dancing a time or two. I remember him being nice and funny, although at the time I was not thinking of him as more than a dance partner. However, at this point, he still doesn't know it is me. He just thinks I am some random Sarah. But oh no, I am the Sarah. The one who maybe even dipped him while we were dancing.

So, it is still undecided if we will go out. I am sure at some point I will let him know that we go way back. I was thinking today's date was going to be more like a reunion than a romantic chat over coffee. I am sure if nothing else we will get a good laugh out of it. And big kudos to Mandy for thinking of me. She's a pretty fabulous friend.

And that brings me to you. You are pretty swell yourself.


You guys are really, really great. Thank you for the cheerleading, prayers and overall general encouragement when it comes to my love life.

Or reunion tour, whichever.

Ah, dating. There is no way around it: it sucks to high heaven. But here's hoping for a good laugh, a brave new attitude, and a bit more hope for the future.

And maybe someone new in town.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back in the Game, Hopefully

So...I have a blind date on Sunday.

Just writing that out makes me nervous.

I admit that dating has been the farthest thing from my mind these days. And after my small jaunt through the dating cyberworld, I have been a bit hesitant to jump back in there. But alas, I do want children someday and it would be really great for someone to know what that particular rattle is in my car, so I guess I had better get back in there.

However, I have decided on a new approach: hopefulness.

You see, I have this phenomenal friend who calls me out on the things that I tend to ignore. She does it with such grace and compassion, always affirming and caring. But she is also firm and unwavering, like two solid kicks to the gut. You got to love friends who hold your hand and slap you around with the other. Truly, that is my favorite kind of friendship.

Anyway, this friend called me out on something I had never realized about myself: I have a hopelessness about dating and marriage. I quickly told her that I am content in my singleness (at least today, anyway) and totally excited about the future. But down deep I knew that she was right. I have given up on it. I have given up on God doing it. And I have definitely given up on the single male population.

This is kind of a big friggin' deal.

She challenged me to find time to sit and pray with God about this. And for me to have a big ugly cry about it. We both agreed that it is really hard to jump back into the dating world when you are expecting it to fail. And it is not fair to my blind date for him to be the means to a free cup of coffee. The poor chap.

So, I am going to give this a shot. I have no idea how it will go on Sunday. I have no idea if I will get nervous and speak in a southern accent or if he will be a big fan of tigers or texting. But I could use some help with being hopeful. Prayers (and cookies) are appreciated.

And I promise to keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As Of Late

Last week, I felt like death warmed over. It was only a matter of time before the DEMON COLD OF HADES settled into my head and chest, but I was hoping to avoid it all together this year. Although I will say it makes for some good drama, or at least in my head anyway. Small things, like walking or sitting up, are monumental. I feel like people should applaud if I actually shower. And if I can wear anything besides stretchy pants, an award should be in my immediate future.

However, I am happy to report that I am now upright and mobile and my hair has been washed. And I can sneeze without feeling like my head is imploding.

I am also now completely addicted to Alias. Yes, I know I am a decade late to this one too but holy cow, I kind of want to be Sydney Bristow. I love everything about her, except for the completely dysfunctional spy family and the little evil man named Sloane that NEVER SEEMS TO GO AWAY. But Michael Vartan? Yes, please.

Over the weekend, I found myself elbow-deep in cookie dough with two of the most charming young men this side of the Platte River. My friend Emily had me come over to teach her five and eight-year old how to bake. It was a blast! And I will have pictures to prove it.

On Saturday night, Treehouse Sanctum had a show downtown. It was fairly magical.

Sam and Danya busting it out.

That's Sam's buddy Jon singing with them. I have known him since I was seven years old. Or in other words, he has seen me with a perm. Their album is coming out soon and I am pretty sure they are dedicating it to me! Although if they chose to dedicate it to their respective children, I guess I could understand that.

And in other news, it is the last day of winter so can I get a "HECK YES!!?" I am so ready for warmer weather and flip flops and fruit, in that order. And now that I am officially almost cured of my Daylight Savings hangover, I am loving the longer days.

Sunshine brings so much hope, don't you think?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Breakfast Club

Someone stayed home from school today with a bad cold.

But at least he is among friends.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Dusty Brain and His Holy Presence

"Where is God in the midst of this season, Sarah? He could easily make things different for you and your family."

I got this question and statement yesterday. In the midst of this season with my dad and all the many things that are impacted by his indefinite detainment, I have often asked the question myself: Where is He?

There is so much weight behind that plea.

In my mind, I can picture myself having coffee with Jesus and asking question after question, being enlightened, intrigued and humbled by his patient answers. And in some ways, I think He does that with us: slowly enlightening us on who He is and how He works.

In other ways, He remains silent because there are some things that my dust-made brain cannot comprehend. His plan is too big, too involved, too complex to fathom. And knowing that, He uses these seasons to show me that faith is not simply a formula (there was no formula for him crawling upon a cross for the sake of the world). Nor is faith dependent on getting what you want, like some celestial game show in the sky.

Faith is believing in what is not seen. And right now, I do not see God.

Sheesh. That is a big statement for me.

However, as much as I want to stomp my foot and throw a gigantic toddler fit (toddler fits are not pretty when you are 33), I either simply believe that He loves, He fights, He knows or I don't.

The complexity of my emotions are not that simple but the act of me choosing is.

Simple does not equal easy. Yet it does mean that all the extra stuff, extra fluff crowding my mind can fall away. And all I am left with, all I need to be left with, is whether or not I believe in a Jesus who has never left me.

Some days, I wholeheartedly do.

Other days, it takes me a while.

But at the end of the day, my hope is that I not only choose to believe it, but I wallow in it.

So, when the next person asks me, "Sarah, where is God in all of this?" I can simply say that I do not exactly know.

But I am choosing to believe that He is there, working, waiting, planning, perfecting. And my dusty little pea-brain can only hope that I see Him soon.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear Daylight Savings

Dear Daylight Savings,

I would like my hour back. You are ruining my life.

Warm regards,
The FC

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Now That's A Cool Dad

You guys, I have been in meetings all week. Like really long, important, productive meetings. And as much as I want to tell you all about the power point slides I created for these meetings, I am bringing you another video instead.

You're welcome.

This makes me smile, big time. Big thanks to my friend Liz who posted this on Facebook last night. Thanks for spreading the joy!

Way to work it, dad.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days that started with bacon and ended with brownies. In other words, I reached culinary perfection.

Today was one of those days when it actually felt good to work out.

(Sorry, that must have been a typo.)

Today was one of those days that I listened to a song from Boyz II Men and it made me think of my 7th grade boyfriend who I dated for approximately 38 hours. I totally had game in 7th grade.

Today was one of those days when I could not stop talking. You're welcome, colleagues.

Today was one of those days that I was able to find and actually pluck that stray gray hair. Take that, sucka. I am coming after your friends tomorrow.

Today was one of those days that I used a horse analogy as a way to explain fundraising development. Trust me, it seemed right at the time.

Today was one of those days when I didn't have enough time to get it all done. But sometimes you just have to make Netflix a priority.

Today was one of those days when my sister texted me quotes from Napoleon Dynamite and it seemed completely normal to me. And it made me want tater tots.

Let's hope tomorrow is just like today, except make my brownie a double.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What if Wild Animals Ate Fast Food

This video was sent to me by my brother who got it from Noah who received it Giovi whose mama is Danya.
And I laughed so hard when I saw it.

This almost makes me want to give up Chick-fil-A. Almost.

FAQ's for the FC - Part 2

Occasionally, I get a few questions thrown my way. Most are by friends or cousins, but sometimes I will run into someone who reads this blog and wants to know a little more. As you may have noticed, I am a bit wanting in the news department, so I am dedicating today's post to everything you never wanted to know about me.

Stand back, people.

1. Have you cut your hair yet?
No. I have chickened out for the moment. I think that is largely due to the fact that it acts as insulation during these frigid winter days. And also because I am not quite ready to part with it. It is curling rather nicely these days.

2. Do you have any trips coming up soon?
I wish! At the moment, I have nothing on my itinerary. A trip to Oklahoma may be in order soon but I won't need my passport for that. I think.

3. Are you dating anyone right now?
[Le sigh.]

No. Are you?

4. How is Gourmet Girl to Go going?
GGtG is going great! I have a couple of catering events coming up and few cooking classes on the calendar. The website is almost finished, which I will be happy to share with you once it is complete. The only problem I am facing is what to do with all of my baking experiments, besides, you know, eating them all.

5. How is your dad?
My dad is doing very well. It has been 17 months. Can you believe it? I am planning on visiting him this weekend and taking him a gift: my taxes. I am just trying to do my part in keeping things as normal as possible around here.

6. What were your favorite dresses from the Oscars this year?
Oooooh! Tough question! Since Vicki and I were "stranded" in Philadelphia and were "forced" to watch the entire four-hour show plus the red carpet arrivals, I would say that I was particularly fond of Charlize Theron's dress, followed closely by Jessica Chastain's. To round out the top three, I would have to pick my girl Jennifer Garner. I loved the purple ruffle in the back. And no, I did not think she looked like a dinosaur. What were yours?

7. Have you ever thought of writing a book?
Yes, and I would call it "Awkward" because that is exactly what it would be. Honestly, I have never truly thought about it. I have very funny family stories and a few crazy traveling stories but I have no idea what I would actually write about, as evidenced by this blog. But thank you for the question, your esteem of my writing abilities is humbling, although completely delusional.

So there you have it. Enlightenment running amuck! Happy Tuesday to you.