Friday, August 28, 2015

Expectations, Survival and Grace

Expectation- Often, expectations, a prospect of future good profit: to have great expectations. 

False expectations have left me feeling devastated. I have learned over the past 15 years and most recently over the past four months...that just because I am willing to repeatedly sacrifice for someone that I love, I shouldn't expect that person will sacrifice the same for me in return. They just may not be capable of doing so, even if they've tried over and over and wish they could. Learning that it's time to let go doesn't make the heartbreak any easier to bear. Why God? Expectation failed. I ran the New York City Marathon last year in November, and another half marathon just a few months ago. I am a triathlete, I love yoga. I juice, exercise regularly and take my vitamins. I expected to be the picture of health. On Tuesday I was diagnosed with breast cancer, small but aggressive they tell me...and no history of breast cancer in my family. Why God? Expectation failed.

Survival-The act or fact of surviving, especially under adverse or unusual circumstances. A person or thing that survives or endures.

Facing life again as a single mom very recently was a painful and sudden shock. But I realized quickly that I wasn't alone. Angels were all around me in the form of friends and family that love my children and I unconditionally. Friends invited me to their beach homes and on trips. I have never felt so alone yet so loved at the same time. Even in starting a new job, God placed me exactly where I needed to be. I am surrounded by the most incredible, understanding and encouraging work family a girl could ask for. Thank you God! Survival! For those of you who have asked me how I do everything I do, I won't be doing everything anymore. I will have a new normal. I don't know how I will fight this cancer or what it's going to look like in detail yet, but I know I will survive. I know this because the minute I told my friends and family about my diagnosis they showed up at my house when I arrived home from work with food for my children and I. They brought cards, flowers, gifts and of course wine. :) They took care of my children, folded my laundry and took out my garbage when all I could do was cry...and worry about how I was going to tackle another obstacle on top of what I was already going through. They cried with me. I am not alone, I am surrounded by angels yet again. God is loving me through this amazing community of people. Thank you God! Survival! 


Grace-The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.

I believe in the power of God's grace. I believe He will hold me tight through what has been most horrendous year of my life so far. He will do that with his power and through my friends and family. I may ask why a thousand times, but I will not stop praising him and acknowledging that he is still good. God...your grace is enough. I may get mad, yell a few curse words and not want to get out of bed some days, but God...your grace is enough. I may be going through hell on earth right now, but He has given me so much. I have four beautiful children, an amazing family, church, incredible friends and all of my needs are being met beyond my expectations. God...your grace is enough.


I am not sure how much of my journey I will share, or will feel like sharing as I move forward but the point of this post is to tell the truth so that my friends, family and accuaintances can hear this from me and not through the rumor mill. On the days that I want to scream, cry and not go on...I will play this song which has been on repeat. Even when it hurts, I am loved. Thank you for letting me share.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Famous Potato Fries


I love french fries. As a matter of fact, I will go to a restaurant just to eat their fries. I make these at home quite a bit, and my kids love them. Tonight they are going alongside grilled pork chops. Here is my super easy recipe:

Potatoes (Cut in half and sliced thin)
Olive oil or melted coconut oil
Sea salt
Pepper
Paprika
Fresh garlic (I grind mine on a microplane)
*Fancy optional ingredient: Black truffle oil

Place sliced potatoes in a bowl. Coat with a good amount of oil, I have no exact measurement. Sprinkle on sea salt, pepper, paprika and fresh garlic to your liking and toss. Spray a pan with cooking spray and arrange potato slices as evenly as possible. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes depending on how crispy you like them, we love them super crispy. If you really want a special treat, drizzle a little black truffle oil over them and toss before you serve. Enjoy!



Friday, February 06, 2015

The BEST Brownies


Say hello to the best brownies you will ever taste. This mix can also be made and given as a gift in a jar tied with a cute tag. Just add the wet ingredients, bake, and enjoy. Here is the recipe, you can thank me later. :)


Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar

Wet ingredients:
1 cup melted butter or margarine
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients together and place in a jar or container to give as a gift with a cute tag listing the baking instructions. OR, add wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread batter evenly and bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes or until done.

**Gluten Free** Use your favorite gluten free flour mix (I like coconut flour) in place of the all purpose flour and add 1 tsp xanthum gum. **Dairy Free** Use dairy free margarine or coconut oil.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

DAILYLOOK, Little Black Dress

Beautysets - Little Black Dress



Little Black Dress
with
DAILYLOOK, Miss Stone, Dolce Vita


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I was inspired by DAILYLOOK to style a little black dress for the perfect date night look. The little black dress is an important staple in my closet, and one that can be dressed up or dressed down. I chose to go elegant with this look, and in my opinion...it wouldn't be complete without a matte red lip. Dressed down, I would pair it with booties and a denim jacket. Take a minute and visit the links above to browse through a number of LBDs on DAILYLOOK's site. The hardest part will be choosing one. What's your favorite way to wear a LBD?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rejoice, I Remembered my Login Information!!






I finally took some photos, downloaded and edited them, went to the login page for my blog.......and drew a complete blank. I guess it's been a while. It took a minute, but it came back to me.

One of my resolutions for 2015 was to start blogging again. Maybe not every day or even once a week, but more often. After all, we should make time for doing things we love, and this little blog has brought much happiness to my life. I have met friends, talked out my feelings on its pages, shared my life...and even my struggles with you all. It really is therapeutic, and fun. 

I love sharing outfit ideas, and ways that I am utilizing things that may or may not have been in my closet for 10 years or more. ;) Exhibit A: This outfit.....old. So I threw on some new red pumps and red lips to add a pop of color. Oh, and the red pumps are on clearance right now for $23.00 at Nordstrom Rack. The red lips are my new favorite matte red, Eden by NYX. You can find it at Ulta. I really do hope to be connecting with you more often, here's to a great 2015!


Friday, September 05, 2014

"Maxi"mize

Sunnies: Marc Jacobs, Maxi: Lucca Couture, Necklace c/o Uncommon Goods

Well, the time has come. It's Friday! Today I decided to "maxi"mize my comfort by wearing this super soft and light maxi dress by Lucca Couture. It is available for a STEAL at Nordstrom Rack online for $20.00! Go get one, you will LOVE it! While everyone else is saying goodbye to summer, we are down here in Florida refusing to wear pants. Have a great weekend, and long live the maxi dress. :) 

Friday, August 29, 2014

I Woke Up Like This

My week, #nofilter


At times it takes more than an alarm to wake us up. For me, it took a virus that hit me like a ton of bricks on this past Sunday afternoon. Today is day 6, and I am finally making a slow comeback. This is going to sound crazy, but I am glad that I got sick. I am glad that God used this life sucking virus to slow me down because I needed to check myself.

I have been very angry on the inside for a long time now. There are some things that I have been holding on to, that needed to be released....maybe even for a second or third time. I suppose I hold on to anger because I think I didn't deserve the treatment, or I am afraid to let go and be hurt again. I also have mom guilt. I blame myself for things I could have done better, or continue to fail at. I put pressure on myself to say yes to everything, to please people. I'm training for a marathon, I have four children's schedules to juggle, I work, I help my friends, I cook meals for people in need, and I volunteer a LOT. All the while behind a smile, my insides are burning with anger and bitterness. My fuse is short at home, and I loose it with my husband and children frequently. As bad as I want to alleviate stress in my life, I am constantly and consistently adding more to myself.

Two weeks ago, a counselor told me that if I didn't let go, I was going to get sick. He was right, and I did. When you can't do anything but lie in bed, there is plenty of time to listen to God. There was time to read devotions, helpful books I have been avoiding or didn't have time for, and time to search my broken and bitter heart. One devotion that spoke very loudly said that most people today are living in a perpetual state of overload, stretching themselves to the limit. As a result, they are on the verge of collapse. Even the atmosphere seems to be charted with all kinds of stress, pressure, discouragement, and negativity.

Wake up CATHY! This is you.

"The right attitude opens the door for God to work supernaturally and help you. The right attitude is what allows you to be in the world but not of it, even when you're surrounded by it." -Joyce Meyer

So I let go. I turned that anger and bitterness over, again. I gave the guilt to Him too. I feel lighter (and not just from the lack of eating). I feel peace. The sad part is that I KNOW in my mind that I needed to do this a long time ago, but my heart just wouldn't let go. I know that it will come back again. It always does. But my prayer is that I will remember that I woke up like this....and take it immediately back to the one who's yolk is easy, and burden is light. Matt 11: 28-30.