Friday, August 31, 2012

Gorgonzola Burger with Avocado Mash

So far our summer in Oregon has been amazing. We had a pretty hot week a couple weeks ago and I think that is going to be it. It got near 100 degrees and we don't have an sort of air conditioning. As a result we did NO cooking/baking inside and used the bbq. Most summers we do a lot of chicken kebobs, but this summer one of my easy favorites are gorgonzola burgers! I must thank my dad and his love of that delicious cheese because without that introduction as a young adult I don't think I'd be as big a fan. It has now become a staple in our household. Thankfully Costco stocks it in wedge form at a cheaper price per pound than already crumbled.

So, here is it:

Gorgonzola Burger with Avocado Mash, red onion and mixed greens

Gorgonzola Burger with Avocado Mash
Ground beef
Crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Mix it all together, form your patties and grill it up!

Avocado Mash
2 ripe avocados, pitted and diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (take out before eating or finely mince it to leave it in)
fresh lemon juice (1/2 to 1 whole lemon, to taste)
3 tbsp yellow onion, minced or diced your preference
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

fine sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and then season with the s + p to taste. I leave the avocado slightly chunky. I like the texture of it more chunky rather than totally smooth. There is a good balance of creamy and chunky!

I added some red onion and mixed greens to the burger this time and I of course couldn't leave out the mayo (I'm obsessed! No joke!). Use bread/bun of your choice. I love putting olive oil on this crusty bread and grilling it for a couple of minutes. This bread is a must for portobello mushroom burgers which were a new hit this summer! The bread absorbs all that yummy juice and gets so soft and crunchy at the same time.

I served the burger with grilled corn on the cob. We are obsessed with this grilled cheesy corn I found on pinterest this summer. On this occasion I left off all but the butter and s + p. Husk and soak the corn for at least 10 minutes and then put directly on the grill and rotate every 2-3 minutes for about 8 minutes total. I don't keep the husks on anymore after the first time leaving them on. Although I like them aesthetically speaking, I hated the mess the charred bits of husk made all over the dinner plate and meal.

FYI - (Avocado Mash appears to be a fancy term for guacamole basically. I thought I invented this term when I made it but I just googled it and nope, not original. :( It was the Gordon Ramsey in me coming out since we are watching Masterchef.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

my birthday + chico

I tried convincing myself that maybe I should try and go more than a couple of months in between visits home to my family in California. We moved to Oregon the end of February and our first trip home was in mid-April for my brother Brent's mission homecoming. Then G and I made a trip down the end of June to spend a week with my family and visit with Ryan's family as well (Ryan stayed home to pay the bills, bless his heart). So, two months later we are at it again, this time Ryan is making the trek with us. I decided there is just no way I can go until Thanksgiving which would be 5 months! This was part of the reason we looked for our new home where we did so we could still go home and have family visit regularly. Oh and did I mention my parents had just been out to visit the week before I drove to CA and Ryan's parents came to visit less than 3 weeks after we came back from CA. We love our family and I thank God regularly that we can be blessed with the work and opportunities we have here in Eugene and still only live 6-7 hours from family.

So, I am excited!! We are turning the labor day weekend into a 4 day trip to CA. It won't be easy getting there because we're gonna leave Friday night after work but it will be worth it. Saturday is my birthday. I'll be 31 and for some reason I was looking forward to 30 but 31 seems soooooo much older. Maybe its from all the "excitement" of this past year. I am still very excited for my 30's because I can't wait for my family to grow and experience life with my children. Its so much more fulfilling (note to self: remind myself of this when I have my tough days and pine for the first years of marriage when we could do anything and go anywhere). Thankfully those days don't come very often and they end quickly.

What's on the calendar for this weekend you might wonder?

  • My parents are hosting a birthday bbq and swim Saturday afternoon.
  • I coaxed my mom into help me sew a table skirt/cover for our dresser that is standing in as a media console. I'm doubling it as interior decor obsession and young women's personal progress project. 
  • Croquet (I have fond memories of playing it as a teenager and young adult with my siblings and I have been wanting to play all summer. This time around I'm gonna try and not cheat though and be a gracious loser winner. 
  • Lots of swimming in 90 degree weather (we have had only one solid week of 90+ degree weather here in Eugene. Great for all aspects of life other than swimming since my body requires both warm water and warm weather).
  • My sister asked if G could have a sleepover at her house Saturday night and after serious consideration I decided I would oblige her! :)
  • No G = DATE NIGHT!!! We have had a heck of a time finding babysitters here in Eugene (in fact have yet to have any luck, sucks!) and so date nights have been a rare thing for us. We are considering a food date where we'll hit up all our Chico fav's and eat our way around town!! Eugene is seriously lacking in the mexican food department like big time!!! It's a crime really! 
  • for G and date night for us (considering a food date night where we eat small portions at all our fav chico spots), more swimming, family, and 90 degree weather to make swimming enjoyable! 
  • Bidwell park and Caper Acres. G can't stop talking about going to the park with Grandma and Uncle Davin. 
  • Late night talks with the parents
Can't wait!! Can't wait!! Can't wait!! (did I mention I Can't Wait! ?)

So, what are you fav places to eat and things to do when you head back home to Chico?

Monday, August 27, 2012

mis niños

On our walk this morning I took a different route than normal and came across this most adorable hispanic grandma. She was a petite little lady with short curly hair and was sporting a big grin on her face. She came right up to us and was admiring G. I was trying to get him to say "hola" and use his few spanish words that he has learned from Dora. He was shy and wanted to leave. When she heard me prompting G in spanish she asked if I spoke spanish. Before I knew it I'd said "Si" and she was off talking a mile a minute and I could barely keep up. I'm still reasonably good at making out spanish if its everyday conversational and she used her hands to help talk which made a huge difference. I nodded my head and did my best to throw in a few words  or horribly crafted phrases in Spanish here and there. All I know is that she couldn't get enough of G's curly hair and she was confused by my double stroller but only one kid. She kept asking, "¿Dos niños?", while pointing to the empty stroller seat. It made me a little sad because I often wonder about that empty seat. I didn't have to words to explain miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. I said them in English but I don't think she understood because she asked me about it one or two more times. That empty seat is in a way a painful reminder of the challenges we face, but I won't sell that stroller because its also a reminder of the hope I have in the future!

When I was praying this morning I was realizing that some of my trials in life aren't going to go away quickly. In fact, at least one of them will be a lifetime challenge. I realized as I prayed that patience for me is even more important (and lacking) than I realized. I really want to come to the point that I can embrace these challenges and see the good and blessings in them instead of those things that are lacking or those things I feel I've been cheated in this life.

I have a friend who has a son with autism. He is in his twenties. She commented the other day that while helping a friend shop for clothing she was placing some items over the changing room door to her friend. Soon after she started doing this her son started imitating her and starting throwing clothes over the door as well saying, "Try this," just as she was doing. Eventually he started chucking sale signs and what not. I really admired how this friend was so excited to tell me and how she seemed to find so much joy and laughter in that moment. I know that was only one moment, one glimpse into her reality and the past 20 or so years of her life with a child on the spectrum, but I have much to learn.

Before I had even met this friend others told me about her. She was enthusiastic and had a heart of gold. They felt that she was blessed with a son with autism because she was such an amazing woman. Every encounter we have had since meeting has proven that all true. The spirit of Christ shines bright in her eyes and she does have a heart of gold. She is patient, humble, kind, giving, creative, and willing. I have yet to find a way to embrace this defining characteristic of my life and truly see the joy and good in it instead of always first seeing the negative and then being humbled to recognize the good.

All of this for me is essential in no losing hope, in patiently waiting with faith in the future whatever it holds for G and his autism and for our other children. Amo a mis niños!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Creamy Dairy-free Fudgesicles

Since G has this problem going on and in order to appease both myself and G's appetite for all things creamy, cold, and chocolatey, I decided to attempt making fudge pops as an alternative to chocolate ice cream. I'm even considering putting them on ice and taking them with us to the ice cream parlor. I'm that desperate. Who wants to wake up to a disgusting mess the next day? Not him, not me! Well, recently I found a reasonably healthy recipe on Pinterest for fudgesicles so I gave them a try. I'm not too sold on them, but I sure will keep them around and change up the ratios of ingredients in the future. The real test, however, was how this dude liked them and I'd say he didn't have any problems with it at all!

Here's the recipe I followed and here is how I altered it:

Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pops
(makes 10-12 small pops)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder (I used unsweetened, but you could use dark chocolate or some other type)
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (I only had low-fat so I used that, it was fine but I'd do full-fat next time)
  • 2 medium, very-ripe bananas (200g)
  • scant 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • sweetener of choice, to taste (stevia, agave, etc.) (I used agave, I think I'll try different sweetener next time)
  • optional: feel free to add peanut butter! (I did! I figured I'd get some more protein and calories in there for the kid with the restricted diet)
  • optional: what if you added in veggies like in a smoothie? spinach? I may have to try this. Gotta get them in that kid somehow!
Combine all items in a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja). I used dixie cups to make small fudge pops for G and then froze them for about 1 hour or so and then inserted popsicle sticks into them when they would stand up straight and then froze them for another hour or two until ready. The dixie cups pealed right off for me. G had more fun pretending it was a drum than eating it at first but once it was melting he couldn't keep it out of or around ( cue chocolatey Goatee) his mouth! 
Happy Summer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Kid is Lactose Intolerant

"Diarrhea, Diarrhea!"

There, I said it. I was trying to think of how to start this post, even tried coming up with some PC way of bringing up this topic but all that could come to my mind was the Diarrhea Song. Well, unfortunately for me any amount of respect I had from my mother I have now lost once she reads this post. 

So on that topic, we have been battling with this little problem for too long. I really want it gone because when G is finally ready to potty train it will be a NIGHTMARE!! I have to talk with the doctors more and probably take a sample. I don't want to do that, but the specialist said it should be addressed. My thoughts are it is either caused by dairy, tomatoes, or chocolate. We can get a solid poo out of the kid once in a while but it never lasts for more than a day or two. His diet is already so limited because he's a restrictive eater I don't want to take anything else out. We finally got him to eat pizza and I'd hate for that to be taken out since R and I love pizza. We tried a GFCF diet to help with it and saw some improvement but when we added gluten back in nothing changed so we have only kept out dairy products. G drinks rice milk exclusively. We stopped feeding him yogurt and have avoided cheese in his diet as well. The main problem is with ice cream. He loves it and we love it and you just can't say no to Prince Pucklers on a hot summer day! No way! And what about birthday parties? I can't make that sacrifice. If he was allergic maybe, but according to blood work done a year ago he has no milk allergy. We are assuming its an intolerance and I sure hope it doesn't stick around. Children with autism tend to consistently battle diarrhea. Some have opinions about leaky gut syndrome but I don't think that the research supports that. My doctor's take was that since I could get solid results from G on the BRAT diet (which I put him on when it was at its worst last summer and causing sores on his bum) that it was more of certain foods being the culprit. 

Any suggestions or experience with milk/lactose intolerances? How do you deal with having to avoid certain foods when you are dining out? Would/Do you give it up yourself for the sake of your child? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

bad mommy

The other day a dear friend posted a status update on Facebook about a mother and how she was talking/treating her children. It kind of hit a soft spot with me because I struggle at times to feel on top of the world and like I'm really getting this whole mothering thing and then other times I fail miserably. I guess I realized I could have been that mom. As soon as I read this friend's comment I thought back to my most recent moment of bad mommy experiences.

Recently, we invested in family bikes. I love riding around and we felt like it was a positive and realistic family activity with G's limitations and age. We have loved them. R has started biking to work and is determined to become a one-car family. I don't know about it. We'll see how he does during the long rainy winter. 

G and I have been riding around to our neighborhood parks and down on the river paths. It is so refreshing and fun! Two weeks ago we went on a ride that lasted a couple hours as we made a few different stops to play. It was fun, but by the end I was done. On our last stop I let him wade in the river with his shoes on. He wanted to so bad, but we hadn't come prepared and there was glass on the ground so I sacrificed his sneakers and let him wear them in the water. It was that good of a day that pretty much anything was okay because we were living it up! I think much of it was tied to this idealistic summer, the unforgettable summer I always dream of having each year, kind of like when it turns from summer to fall and you want to soak up those fleeting fall days and nights (only in Eugene its pretty much like fall during the summer so you get 4 months of fall weather!)

With each stop on our ride leaving and moving on became a little bit harder. Maybe each stop was just a little more fun for G and a little more exhausting for me, I don't know. We have our routine, our bag of tricks, that we use EVERY TIME + EVERYWHERE we go. It gets old, but at least with time and on most occasions he responds well. We give a few different warnings, sometimes one when we first get there if it is going to be a shorter than normal trip or different in any way, but always there is the "five more minutes then all done park," the "two more minutes then all done" and the "zero more minutes park". Even after those warnings our dialogue consists of "bye bye park" or "we'll come back soon" or "see you later park" or all of the above. This is not just isolated to parks, it includes any place that G loves or doesn't love for that matter (although the dialogue in the end would be more praiseworthy because he endured something he didn't want to so "Good job G! You did great! Thanks for waiting and being mommy's helper!" Something along those lines). None of this is innate within me. It was all taught by amazing intervention specialists who we would be lost without. Sometimes I forget the techniques and our days aren't as smooth or sometimes I let my frustration and temper get the best of me. 

Well sadly our picturesque day turned into a most unfortunate one. Getting back into the bike seat after wading in the river proved to be challenging! He did not want to end such a fun stop, but dinner time was approaching and I was ready to head on home. This was the farthest we had biked together and he had not napped that day. Eventually I was able to get him in the seat but it took running back after him as he escaped back into the river and carrying him to the bike up the hill, him crying and begging to stay. Typical toddler stuff probably. We finally got going again and he calmed down. I am sure I made many promises of returning, in fact, I recall saying we'd go get dad from work and come back. Oops I lied! We will go back someday, with dad so there are two of us to handle him. 

On the way back we had to pass "waterfall" outside of PF Chang's restaurant. Just a few days prior we stopped on a family bike ride and let G get out to walk around it and do his waterfall thing. He has a thing he does, the turning of the head, the angles, the sounds. I don't quite get it but someday I hope he can explain it. Well, today I didn't want to stop, however, G has this way of once he has done something a certain way he does it the same way every time and expects routines. Its good when you can control circumstances or when we want routines, but I don't want to have to stop and get him out of the bike seat for 5 minutes every time we pass "waterfall". I decided we could stop and admire it from our bike, but that wasn't good enough. When I informed him it was time to go he lost it. Kicking and screaming with all his might, I decided to ride on and ignore the behavior. It was very hard to ignore with him kicking my legs and back and the bike's balance becoming an issue. after 500 feet or so I abruptly stopped the bike and turned around. I regret what happened next and believe that it will forever be ingrained in my mind. I pointed my finger at him and told him he'd better stop. It didn't work and neither did my yelling and threats. In my frustration I resorted to what I would deem one of my most low points as a mother and human being. I wrapped my hand around his leg and dug my nails into his skin like I used to do to my sisters when we would fight as teenagers. It was cruel and it hurt him. I could see it in his eyes. It was one time in my life that I wished we hadn't gazed into each others eyes. It was horrifying. He seemed to submit to me in a terrifying way. What had I done? It is hard to admit this to the general mass, especially family and friends. My husband tried to console me telling me I'm doing my best or something, but is that really my best? I had hurt him. I had seen pain in his eyes. I knew it wasn't my best and I was horrified. 

Fast forward five days later and we went on a ride that passed by that same "waterfall". It is becoming such a common occurrence that any thought of succumbing to his desire is not realistic and my hope is that eventually he will accept that sometimes we stop and sometimes we don't. That has been the case with other obsessions usually the tantrums are done in a car where he can kick and scream and it doesn't physically involve me. Well, this ride five days later, I am happy to report went much better. I told him before we got to it that we would not stop on the way past but on our way back we would stop and look at it from the bike. He didn't get it but it is at least being vocalized. On the way back he knew we got to stop but the bike part he didn't get or didn't agree with. I walked him around the waterfall on the bike and then we said our goodbyes. He was upset. I remembered my tools this time and told him it sounded like he felt sad. I've been trying to help him realize what his emotions are and use words instead of scream. It didn't stop but he knew that kicking me wouldn't result in more waterfall so off we rode and singing a song to distract finally ended the tantrum once we made it through a couple of stoplights. 

Will he remember that day? I sure hope not for his sake and for mine. I want to help him to learn to remember the good and forget the bad. Somehow, some way I have to get to this point myself. Regardless, I will remember it (the bad) and hope to NEVER repeat it again. Needless to say I have become more consistent about seeking God's help to be more compassionate in those hard moments, something I had slacked at more recently. I wonder how I will look back on this time of our life together. I know there have been challenges, but it has been very rewarding too. My abilities as a mother have been stretched and I have been able to sacrifice and do more for G than I could have imagined. I have much more to learn though. Thankfully, despite my inadequacies and failings, the Lord has been there with us along the way and is taking sweet G into His hands and many miracles continue to happen. Goals that were established a few months ago are already accomplished. Hopefully the same can be said for me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

watermelon, watermelon, watermelon: choosing a good melon

Watermelon + Sea Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper = Sweet & Savory!

My first watermelon of the season was a disaster! It was mushy and plain gross. So I took to google. Don't you just love all of the information at our fingertips!

Here's what I found:

Tips for choosing an Awesome Watermelon
- Look for a yellow patch which indicates that it wasn't picked too soon and was given time to ripen.
- Look for a melon that is symmetrical. It shouldn't have any odd bulges or funky formation but generally be symmetrical so if you cut it in half both halves would have similar shape.
- Weight. Pick up a few of the same general size and go for the heaviest with the above characteristics, of course.

So far we are 3 for 3 with this method! Hooray!

Have you ever tried salt and pepper on your watermelon? I have become a fan, although I still often stick with this sweet treat in its natural state. I grew up with a dear grandmother who loved watermelon as a summertime dessert. We would slice off slabs of it and sprinkle on the salt and go to town on it all while watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy (sometimes a good ol' Western flick too).

Look at these tasty watermelon recipes (and check out other great food on my pinterest food board here):
Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

1.Watermelon Salad, 2.Cucumber Watermelon Salad, 3.Cool Skewers, 4.Watermelon Lime Frosty, 5.Watermelon Limeade.

Happy Summer! Here summer has just been getting good this past month and I'm looking forward to August and September. G doesn't start preschool until September 10th so we are gonna soak up this summer and milk it for every day we can!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Now I Get It: Toddler Language

Remember this post here?

G has gone in and out of phases referring to Jengaba Jenaba. Well, the other day we were watching one of his favorite videos dutifully name "truck show" by Mr. G, he said Jenaba again. It finally dawned on me. He means "Jennifer"! One of the girls on the show is name Jennifer and he interpreted her name to be Jenaba. I had thought of Jennifer before but we don't know anyone named Jennifer. It took me a few months to figure that out, but finally did!

G's fav show right now "tractor show".
As for this great "truck show", I'm guessing we discovered it while searching "truck" on Netflix. It's called "All About Trucks". It is LAME!!! It must have been produced in the 90s and on a ZERO budget by a trucking family or something. Anyway, G absolutely loves it! He is obsessed with all things truck (and tractor now). He has now become equally obsessed with other equally lame videos in the "All About" collection-- Fire trucks and Old MacDonalds Farm. Why don't you try listening to the most monotone farmer talk about a cow's tets (really teats but the way this guy says it it sounds like a New Yorker's "eh"). Did that make sense? Probably not! Well, it seems every day at dinner when he requests a show (its how we distract him enough to get him to consume some amount of dinner) it is "Tractor Show" as G calls it. Well Farmer Joe seems to come on right about that same time I am enjoying my gourmet (right!) dinner and talks about how important it is to milk this cow twice a day everyday and you grab her tets... you get the idea. Fortunately I've become immune enough to find it more hilarious than anything else, needless to say we don't have company come for dinner much.

G's favorite tractor these days = a combine harvester. duh!

Don't you just love toddler talk and how they interpret language! What's you kiddo been saying these days?

Do you use Netflix Instant Watch? We have a Roku box and love Netflix for G and watching TV Series. I just finally got rid of the DVD portion of our Netflix. We were just so horrible about watching the DVD first off, let alone sending it back. We also love Hulu Plus for getting or TV show fixes. We don't have cable or even DTV reception. We got it in CA but I couldn't get any stations to come in for more than a second and haven't tried since moving here. Kind of a bummer because we're missing out on the Olympics. I tried to watch online but NBC is requiring that you have a contract with a cable provider basically. Lame I say, LAME!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Unforgettable Summer, Part 1

In Eugene, Oregon when the sun comes out, we go out! I mean technically we go outside even without the sun otherwise we'd be indoors for 9 months out of the year it seems. Everyone warned us of the long gloomy and wet season, but they promised absolutely gorgeous summers. Boy were they right! So far it hasn't gotten about the low 80s and it cools down at night. If its a cloudy/foggy morning you can start off with a light sweater and bundle up and it feels refreshing. Then jump into shorts for the afternoon. Since photos are way more exciting, here's our summer so far in Instagram photos...
One of our toughest days at church. We had to pull all the stops out before church even began.
We tried to help him adjust to the organ music that gets him screaming by showing up early but all that did
was require him to endure an extra 10 minutes of it during the prelude. NEVER AGAIN WILL WE ARRIVE MORE THAN A MINUTE OR TWO EARLY! In fact, we've considered having a plaque mounted on a bench and reserving it as our spot so we can just come in after the opening hymn and avoid the worst point of the meeting all together!

the Mister turned 32!
G loves birthdays - candles, singing "Happy Birthday!", cake + ice cream, and presents!

G with his sweet little friend I. We found them in his room with the door closed the other day.
I was worried for a second :)

Birthday fun! We went to dinner at BJ's and then had ice cream cake as requested by the birthday boy!

My parents came to visit. We hiked Spencer's Butte with them. G is slowly learning to tolerate the backpack.
We had to give him my iphone on the way down. It works for us so we can still enjoy doing things we prefer.

I miss my family, but I absolutely love that we are only 6 hours away!

These boys are going to be best buds 4-ever!

Hiking down Spencer's Butte I spotted what I thought was a great
photographic perspective. I'm no pro though and all I had was my iPhone.

Grandpa + Grandma O'Dell!!

Ocean Air! We absolutely love only living an hour from the coast. Just a day after my parents left town, my sister Michelle came to town with Ethan. 

During their stay there was a sunny day and so we headed to the beach.
Gavin absolutely loved having Ethan here and I think E had a good time too. He was so patient and fun with G.

This kid loves the water, cold or hot!

Aunt Chelle!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Unrequited Love

I came across this quote on a blog written by another mom with daughters on the autism spectrum. I had to share it! I needed to read this on so many different levels in my life...

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, 
so as to have the life that is waiting for us" --Joseph Campbell

Kind of need to chew on that for a while. Really having to work on being patient with the Lord right now. I don't feel like I'm complaining, more wanting to give up on some things. Waiting is hard work! I know he is watching out for us and so I am really trying to find joy and not be consumed what I WANT for my life without losing the fire and passion I have for those things but still really live in and relish the life I've been given right NOW. It is really amazing, my life! I have an absolutely amazing husband who gives up everything he can for me and who is the strongest and most humble example I could ask for. I don't quite know how I got him, but I'm definitely keeping him around. No catch and release for you baby!

I have a son who continues to blow my mind (for the good and the bad). He is a sweet heart and I love getting to see his personality peak out a little more each day. I'm trying to find greater joy and have more appreciation for the small things. The single alternating step, the 2 inches he cleared from the floor while jumping in the "walk + stop" or "turning, turning, turning", his two favorites during circle time at school.

I have awesome family and friends who continue to pray for and support us!

I will say this. There are these tender moments when I just want to physically love my child. You know cuddle, kiss his face off, and stare into his beautiful eyes. I beg him to look into mine and if I do something silly enough he will. Its the only way I can get a glimpse into his. I tell him I love him and then have to prompt him more than once to say it back to me. It feels forced, like when you tell a guy you love him back after he tells you it first but you're not sure or not ready. You do it anyway. But this guy is my son. I have these tender moments when G and I are having so much fun rolling in laughter and my love for him oozes out. But then I wonder if its one-sided. Does he really love me? Do I rock his world like he rocks mine? I have to believe I do. I'm his mother for crying out loud! If I have to hold out until the eternities for that reciprocation I WILL! I think this is where my dependency on my faith in Jesus Christ comes in. I'm working on that too. This talk right here is something else we should all chew on. Thanks mamma for suggesting it! It will knock your socks off!! Love learning and realizing that even though I continue to fail miserably at some things in life there is still hope for me all because of my Savior! I can make changes and BE BETTER because of HIM! Elder Bednar is so awesome at helping us learn how!

Off to bed. G's eligibility meeting is in 8 hours. Darn Oregonians need a separate educational diagnosis from the medical diagnosis to provide services in school. Good news is that they include sensory as a portion of the eligibility and that is G's most challenging area.

I know it's been a while. So as not to leave you thinking I'm a sad soul, life is good! We have felt really really blessed in many areas, yes challenges still in others. BUT like I said, the Lord is watching out for us. We are loving Oregon, especially now that it is summer! Amazing weather. Its like fall in CA. Perfect warm (not HOT) days and perfect cool nights! Ryan's work is going well and making steady improvements, I'm busying enjoying the teenage girls in our ward and have some great friends here. G starts preschool 4 days a week in September and seems really happy 95% of the time! We are quickly becoming a biking family. We splurged on some new rides and are really enjoying the time as a family getting out and around Eugene. Ryan is determined to become a one-car family and bike to work. Tomorrow is Day #4!

I just came up with the title for this post and it got me thinking...I wonder if this is how the Savior might feel if we neglect our relationship with Him, if there is no reciprocation of those feelings and sacrifices he has made for us. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Chew on that!  (adj): not requited : not reciprocated or returned in kind

No talking with your mouth full peeps! Finish chewing and then share your thoughts!