What Speaks to You?

More often than not, if you ask people what speaks to them, they’ll say music, art, or films. Recently, I have been having a difficult time finding what speaks to me. Music has always been my go to; however, my music has become a bit clouded by memories of people. It’s funny when you share the things that speak to you with others, they then become these things that are no longer yours. So, what I’m going to try and do for the next few weeks is to work on finding what speaks to me. I don’t want to share these new things with anyone.


The guy that I had been dating for a few months told me once, “there are some things that need to be just yours; no one else gets to know them.” While we didn’t agree on a lot, I have to say that he’s right about this. It’s okay to have something in your life that you don’t share. It’s okay to have things that make you smile; you don’t need to tell everyone every detail. And having things that are ‘yours’ doesn’t make you selfish. What does more damage? Keeping some things to yourself or revealing everything to the wrong people? I’d encourage all of our readers to find just a few things that speak to them and them alone.

Happy searching!

And I’m feeling…good

This past month has been a whirlwind of emotions. I have had some great highs and incredibly dark lows. I decided, after much worry, mornings spent vomiting bile, and nights spent tossing and turning that I needed to see a doctor for anxiety.


After my visit, I began diligently taking my medicine believing that this small little white pill was going to be the cure for all that had been mentally taxing me.  The heartburn medication I’m on has been helping, but the anxiety medication…not so much. I’ve spent countless nights with a mind on  overdrive. Finally, I decided to pray. I had been journaling with God for some time, but I wasn’t really trusting him To help me. When I finally really looked at my issue, I realized that I was banking on guarantees that don’t exist. I mistakingly thought if I could just get x to go right then nothing else will go wrong but that’s not true. The minute that I realized that getting x doesn’t ever guarantee that y and z will follow, I finally felt myself relax a little. Now, maybe I could have waited a bit longer for the medication to “work” but it’s there if I really need it. Hopefully, I can silence my own thoughts by resting in the assurance of never being alone; I may not have many guarantees in life, but I do have God.

Mom’s Famous Potato Soup

Fall doesn’t start until my mom has made one of her delicious soups. Today, I’m sharing her potato soup recipe. I’d love to say its healthy, but it totally isn’t, but one pot a year won’t kill yah.

5-6 Idaho potatoes- peeled and cut into chunks

2-3 stalks of celery rinsed and finely chopped

2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped

1/2 of a minced onion

2-3 strips of bacon

1/2 cup half n half

a few tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes

1-2 tablespoons butter

1-2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (to taste)


After you wash, peel, and cut the potatoes, place them into a large stock pot. Cover with water until you have water 2.5 or 3 inches from the top. Boil the potatoes until somewhat soft. Meanwhile, chop bacon into small pieces. Place into a sauté pan and cook (avoid crisping the bacon). Set aside. Drain off excess grease. In a separate sauté pan, place butter in pan. Once butter has melted, add celery, carrot, and onion. Cook until onions and celery are translucent. Add salt and pepper while the mixture is cooking. Add bacon to the mixture. Heat for 1 minute.  Add mixture to potatoes and water. DO Not drain the potatoes! Add in half and half and chicken bouillon. Stir. Add a few tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes to thicken the soup to your desired liking. Cook for 15 minutes or until all ingredients are pipping hot. This soup is great on day 2 and  3. It also freezes well too.



Back 2 School

As a teacher, it never ceases to amaze me how great it feels to go back to school each year. For those of you that left the school house behind long ago, let me tell you the reasons why Back to School is such an amazing time for me spiritually.

1. The nervousness and excitement of the chance to start anew is palpable during this time of year. I can feel it when I run my hands across the fresh sheet of paper, or when I crack open a never used before textbook.

2. I can smell the change coming. My mom told me that because the corn is ‘tasseling’ it puts this specific smell into the air. If you live in the Midwest, you know that it’s the smell of summer ending.

3. The promise of a new school year brings the hope that I can meet new people, grow in knowledge, and experience a new adventure.

4. While teaching may be stressful, there is always the assurance that if I screw up, there will be another shot to fix it. In the real world, we don’t always have that luxury; in fact, perfection is the standard.  It’s nice to know that if I botched a lesson in one class, I can always improve on it by sixth period. It’s a process that has fluidity. That’s not to say that I I can wing it; I can’t. However, I am at least given the grace to try again.

I love that I get to teach students everyday. It is such a blessing! More importantly teaching has taught me more about humility and tested my patience. These are two areas that have always been challenging for me in my walk with God. So it only makes sense that my vocation serves  to illuminate my issues while forcing me to confront them head on at the same time. Don’t you just love that? It is a job that encourages the development of my spiritual gifts and that’s pretty cool.

In the Land of Internet Dating

Recently, at the encouragement of my friend Cara, I decided to join Match.com. I have been single for a little over two years now. In that time, I have done a lot of “adulting”. I purchased a car, started paying car insurance, checked my credit history, considered buying a house, and ultimately decided to rent a place instead. So, now that my ducks are less crooked, it seemed like it would be a good idea this Internet dating thing. But let me tell you ladies, it is extremely difficult! Here are some things I’ve noticed and hopefully helpful tips about online dating adventures. First, lets talk about how sifting through profiles makes one feel like a horrible human being 90% of the time. I’ve always been a visual person. I’ll admit that I’m often more concerned about physical attraction than compatibility. So, imagine how I feel when I have to reject some of these men? I’m sure they are nice, but ultimately, if I don’t feel that spark then I move on to the next profile. My tip, visit these sights for no more than five to ten minutes in a given setting. The longer you’re on the website, the more pessimistic you can become. second, um ladies are you typically one to initiate conversations with men? yeah, me neither. But I find that I’m more prone to do so on Match. And while that may seem cool, yeah, for destroying gender stereotypes Emily!, it is also incredibly nerve wracking. Will he respond? It’s been 24 hours. How long do I wait to respond back? How do I phrase this? I want to sound flirty but not too flirty. Honestly, I can appreciate what guys must go through a bit more. My tip, talk it out with your friends in relationships before you respond…they did something right, perhaps you can learn a thing or two young dating grasshopper. Third, the actual dates are so awkward. Eventually, after the initial five minutes of playing awkward turtle, they go well, but those first three to five minutes of deciding how to open the conversation are just tough. Oh, and it’s especially more difficult if the guy that you’re meeting is much more tall, dark, and handsome than you could see on his profile picture 😉 and the end of the date is always just as awkward. This is especially true if you’re a lady that takes things slow. My tip be prepared for an awkward hug or high five. In the best cases, hope for a good night peck on the cheek…this seems most respectable and the least awkward of all options. That’s all I have so far, but tune in next week. I’m supposed to be going on date number two with tall, dark, and handsome? Did I mention he was Italian? Have a great week in dating land ladies 🙂