Happy Greetings!

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King JR

Happy Greetings!! Today marks my first day of absolutely no holiday celebration.  I hope you all as much time to spend with your families as I did mine.  I feel so fortunate that Eric and I were able to travel to see the majority of the people we wanted to.  My family and friends are in Iowa, Eric has friends in Iowa and family in Tennessee and Illinois. For our off time, we certainly kept on the move.  

  Eric’s family took my dairy allergy to heart when preparing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  I so appreciate that, considering heavy cream and cheese are staples in any American meal.  I surprisingly made TWO pies this year.  I can’t say I am a baker.  The best cookie I make is a no-bake oatmeal peanut butter cookie.  So.  That should tell you something.  One year my only job was to unroll the cookies onto a baking sheet, put them in the oven and pull them out once the timer dinged.  My lovely Aunt and Uncle choked down some hockey puck looking dessert with a smile and a large glass of milk that year.    I will say that my blueberry pie turned out incrementally better than I thought it would.  I didn’t do that egg yolk glaze thing most people do (I’m lazy) but added extra sugar.  I was satisfied.  I also made a pecan pie, that one was my favorite.  I mean brown sugar, am I right? 

 Eric’s sister made an awesome vegan mac and cheese, she provided the website she used for me. ( http://www.isachandra.com/2013/10/roasted-red-pepper-mac-cheese-video )  Her mac and cheese was packed with flavor.  She even added vegan shredded cheddar cheese on top and baked that on there so it got all metly.  It was the best!  She has a real vegan friend (not one of those accidental vegan people like me) that came over and devoured it, due to it’s deliciousity.  However, our opinion of food might be skewed.  We don’t eat the real stuff, so anything that compares often exceeds our expectations.  

  My Dad kept it classy on Christmas and did a big beef roast.  He is a meat master, well actually he is a certified BBQ sauce judge, well even more actually he is a Firefighter.  So all of that adds up to being excellent in the kitchen.  Everyone had their contributions, my sister made a delish ratatouille, her husband made this cheesey corn casserole (which I heard sucked, cheese, gross).  Eric made his garlic mashed potatoes.  The dogs got their leftovers.  We had a Wii Bowling Tournament, that I lost, some how? My mom took a nap and we all played for her….she got second place.  Eric won the tournament, and the endless game of spoons we played, and the Trivial Pursuit game.  So we welcomed him into the fold, let him feel good about himself.  Next time I think we’ll be meaner to him, make him remember his place.  🙂

  We both got to spend time with our friends.  It felt so good to recharge.  Eric is from Dubuque, Iowa.  I hadn’t ever experience Dubuque, the first city in Iowa, the best thing to happen to America, according to Eric.  We got to bar hop to Paul’s Tavern, which I guess was in a Ryan Reynolds film, once? (Big deal) and Lot One.  We sang karaoke at Exxtreme Pub, Eric is kind of a diva when it comes to his microphone time.  It was quite the time, those Irish bastards can drink.  The next day he gave me a tour of historical aspects of this Mississippi River town.  The truest thing I saw was the genuine pride he had in the place he grew up, we stood out on the tip of Julien Dubuque’s monument, he put his arm around me, and life felt good.  Felt right.  

  Ultimately, I hope you had moments like this on your Holiday.  Between my family, his, my friends and his friends, time can slip away but if you can hold onto it just for a moment, you’ll get to keep it forever. 

After this post, I am going to dive into some of the medical issues I have been having.  I have a difficult time writing about it, because it is so personal.  However, throughout all of the holidays I was battling some of my Ulcerative Colitis sickness.  I tried ignoring it, and ended up in the hospital for four days.  I hope you have an open heart when you read my next few posts.  Until then, Keep Wandering! <3afk


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