Friday, September 27, 2013

On Health Insurance and Conservative Politics.

I've been a political conservative since the moment I told my mom I thought it was dumb to pay taxes to the government at the age of 7. Admittedly my worldview was quite small at that age. My moms only response to me was "Honey, you'd make a good Republican". And believe me, I still am a Republican today but have a much more well-rounded reason other than not liking taxes :).

Being conservative in the Bay Area means I stick out like a sore thumb amongst my peers, but hey, I've dealt with it just fine. Being a Christian in the Bay Area means I stick out like another big sore thumb against our entire society, so I'm pretty much set up for disaster everywhere I go. But the beauty of this country is the freedom we have, the freedom to speak and think as we want without fear of government oppression is something we Americans take for granted. That's a blog post for another day.

Here's how my people feel about ObamaCare - not like you didn't know this already. 
A big looming topic myself and many in this country today are facing is health care. One year ago my unmarried, under 26 self was safely taken care of my parents health care plan -- and I could have cared less about the health care debate because it had no impact on me personally. I stayed safely to my conservative side of the debate proclaiming Obama care was a recipe for disaster and more government control, because thats what I was "supposed" to think as a conservative. Today I see things a little differently.

When Seth and I got married and moved to Gilroy, I got my first big-girl job with a large corporation that provided health insurance to it's employees. YAHOO! Why not take advantage of that? We both decided to drop our parents insurance, and sign up with this new fancy one from work. Me being completely uneducated about how to find the right plan picked the highest deductible with the lowest monthly cost, we were both healthy and had no reason to think anything catastrophic medically would happen for a while.

Fast forward to March 2013. I had been waiting for months for my substitute teaching license to be approved by the state -- and that opportunity finally came. After a stressful 5 months at my current job, I decided to pursue part time teaching while staying on 2 days a week.  After making the decision to go part-time at my other job, I knew we both would be dropped from that insurance policy because I was going under the 32 hour/week limit. No worries though, we were still healthy and had some time to shop around for private insurance policies that couldn't be that expensive, right?

March 21, 2013: I went part-time.
March 27, 2013: We found out we were pregnant.
March 28, 2013: I spent 3 hours in the ER because of said pregnancy -- and ended up 6 months later with a $10,000 bill. (That is a blog post for another day)
April 1, 2013: My insurance was gone. 

See the big problems here? That high deductible policy meant that we were stuck with a HUGE portion left to pay for that ER visit. An ER that was not "in network" with my insurance so therefore it triples the cost of my care. Additionally, here I am pregnant with no insurance policy in sight. And who in their right might is going to give new insurance to a pregnant lady?

I quickly consulted my mom who found out I was able to get back on her insurance because I was still under the age of 26. Phew. That gigantic bullet had been dodged. Signing up Seth for insurance should be easy, because he's still healthy and obviously not the pregnant one. WRONG. Seth was denied health insurance because I was pregnant. No, I was not trying to sign up with the same insurance with him....no, I was not planning on signing up the baby after he was born on Seth's insurance. Seth was denied because of me. A medical situation that he was not physically connected to. Yes of course connected by me being his wife and him being 50% of the blame in the pregnancy...but you get what I'm saying.

We have the help of an awesome insurance agent who scoured the disclaimers and small print to see how we could get around this mysterious rule against husbands who have pregnant wives. We got lucky with Kaiser -- the wording of the particular question about spousal pregnancy provided a loophole for us and we are grateful. While Seth has not had to use his insurance yet, the protection alone makes us able to sleep at night.

As our shocking pregnancy set in, we started asking the basic questions about how we would afford everything and what the insurance would cover. I found out that the baby would only be covered for 30 days after he was born on my moms insurance, and we would once again be searching for coverage while simultaneously trying to figure out this new parenting gig. That sounds like fun.

Is it though? Should we see if this works before we attempt to bar it from having the chance to work?
---------------
I have spent the last few months safely protected by my mom's insurance, but also looming above my head is what we will do when this baby is born. State medicaid & state funded baby care is available, I think, but is my perfect little baby going to get sub-par care because he has state funded insurance? The industry that I work in has given me a lot of insight into what state medicaid & medicare buys you and it isn't much. The county hospitals are frequently crowded with long lines, full waiting rooms, and sick, crying babies.

Here I am puzzled by a few things.
Why can I stay on my moms policy, and not the baby?

Why is state funded insurance the only option financially for us? Further, is it even an option or are we going to be barred from getting it because we make too much money?

Where did we get the idea that our jobs should be the one providing health care? Most countries don't work that way.

Why does health care cost SO much money? Remember that $10,000 bill? We are stuck with $2,000 and will be paying it off for the next 3 years. Can I tell you what they did? They sat me in a room, took my blood, did a quick ultra sound and told me to go see my regular doctor.

Why aren't health insurance companies and health care corporations called out for their behavior? Why are they allowed to deny my husband because of my pregnancy, or a woman for a non-cancerous mole on her back, or a young man that has athletic induced asthma? People are denied for things that are extremely simple to take care of -- or for things that have nothing to do with their physical condition.

The thing about this health care debate that has me most frustrated is that healthcare should have NOTHING to do with politics. I think the reason the politicians, particularly Obama, are stepping in is because the insurance companies are gigantic, greedy corporations who deny and refuse coverage for ridiculous reasons and people are left out in the cold. Obama is stepping in because the people he is paid to protect aren't getting adequately cared for.

 State Medicaid programs are not an answer to the problem. They provide only the basic, and sometimes not even the basic medical needs for people. They often times don't give people a primary care physician who can provide preventive care to possibly avoid the expensive procedures that they will refuse to pay for anyways.

I'm fairly certain that Obama's intentions in creating ObamaCare were not to screw us over fiscally. Or to create sub-standard care. Or to swell the deficits. Or to make himself look awesome. Obama wouldn't need to step in if we were able to figure out a system where people could get high quality, affordable health care without having to have a fancy corporate job to supply it. Because lets face it, many small business workers or just plain old blue collar workers can't get health insurance from their jobs, because their jobs just don't supply them. That does not make them lazy people who don't work and therefore are trying to feed from the system -- it makes them normal humans living in America trying to make a life for themselves.

If conservatives stopped putting the uninsured in a box labeled: lazy, unemployed, freeloaders and instead labeled them: your mother, your sister, your friend, your pizza guy, your paper boy -- we might begin to level the playing field and see that this is not an issue of what side you are on, or how much money you make, or what religion you are, or if you fly an elephant or donkey flag on voting day.

----------------

I learned recently that ObamaCare is coming to California on January 1, 2014. Our baby boy is due November 30, 2013. That means that 30 days after he is born he will be dropped from my mom's coverage -- and on that same day he is dropped he could get picked up by ObamaCare.

Obama gave himself quite the mountain to climb when he chose to tackle our health care problem. The system he has created isn't perfect, but there is no perfect solution to the gigantic problem. I'm thankful that he is trying to tackle it, and I'm hopeful that what comes out of it in the next couple years is more accessible coverage for everyone.

 My heart has been softened by my clients at work stuck with bad insurance and even more by my little baby growing inside me who I want the absolute best care for. I'm going to make an effort to stop demonizing Obama for the decisions he makes regarding his health care plan -- and see that he is trying to create a solution to a gigantic problem that no one else is willing to solve.
------------------------------------------------
So there you have it. A very long rant on where I'm at as a political conservative in this mess we call Obamacare. I am not claiming to have it all figured out. Heck, I don't even know everything ObamaCare has to offer or not offer because I haven't read much of the specifics. What I do know is that we could all benefit from bridging the gap between the two poles of democrats and conservatives and working together to tackle an issue that will continue to grow before it disappears.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

30 Weeks. 67 days until D-DAY.


Taken @ 30 weeks + 3 days.

How far along? 30 weeks

Baby size? Size of head of cabbage - 16 inches and 3.5 pounds!

What's he up to in there? kicking - A LOT. This week he has been super active, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep. He also is hiccuping!
As of last week little man was transverse so we started praying for him to turn head down...
and yesterday at my appointment it looked like he has! Also, from where he is kicking most (up towards my right rib) it seems that he has turned his little self downwards. YAY!

Total Weight Gain?
Just as I predicted I have officially gained 25 pounds.
I'm not too worried about it.
And I told my doc to shush up about it too.

Stretch marks? I am officially a tiger.
Whats white with pink stripes all over?
ME.

Sleep?
  What is that you speak of?
Sleeping has been rough. I seem to cycle through terrible bouts of insomnia and nights of hardcore sleep with crazy dreams where I sleep for 10 hours straight.

Best Moment?
Baby is moving more than ever before which is really fun. Also getting to see his sweet little face on the ultrasound screen. I got to see him yawn real big, and to see his sweet cheeks! He has good chubby cheeks already.

Also,
We got to meet the beautiful new addition to the Johnson family, Holland Joy.
It was Seth's first time holding a baby -- ever, and my heart nearly exploded.
I seriously cant believe we will be in the same position in just a little while.
Miss anything?
Being able to do basic things for myself. The belly gets in the way of everything! Even just reaching over the counter to grab something or up into a cabinet is very difficult.

 Movement? 
Oh yes. Little man is a mover and a shaker. 
  
Cravings?
Still the same.
Burritos & Sweet things.
Yesterday I got to have both.
It was awesome.

Queasy/sick? 
NADA.
PTL

Gender? B-O-Y

Labor signs? 
none!

Belly button?  
Still inny! I'm waiting....and waiting...and waiting for it to turn out but I don't think it's gonna happen. 


Wedding rings on/off? On most of the time. I caved a couple days ago when I woke up & was particularly bloated. They are on now, but they feel tight towards the end of the day. I am going to try and up my water intake to be less bloated but some days it is just inevitable.


Mood?
Overall good. 
Our new place is working out really well, I'm really excited how it is all coming together.
Here are a few pics so far..



The crib will be coming soon, and I will eventually decorate our bedroom walls.
Everything is kind of squished together right now...
I'm looking forward to my two days off this week to get stuff moved out and looking how it should!

Penelope is also adjusting well to the new place.
She loves the carpet. I love that the carpet is quiet -- so I am annoyed with her about half as much as I was before. She is still determined to knock over everything and eat off the counter which we are working on with the spray bottle. 

Looking forward to?
Our baby shower is coming up.
It's a big BBQ event for men & women alike, we are super excited!
Little Baby Van Nuys has tons of extended aunts and uncles already who love him, we are overwhelmed actually by all the love already. 

You guys...
Less than 10 weeks until he is here. (hopefully)
There is SO much to do in that time, so much to prepare for, so much to learn.
And then life will forever be changed as we know it -- and we will roll with it and learn as we go. 
We trust that God knew what He was doing when He gave us a baby -- and we will laugh and cry together along the way as we figure it out.



Monday, September 16, 2013

One to Remember

This past weekend Seth and I had our one year anniversary. I was determined to make it special, not that it wouldn't be special all on its own, but extra special considering how much our lives will be changing in the next couple of months. 

Being the total sap that I am, I decided to start with something that would make me cry if I attempted it. A couple months ago while driving in my car listening to the radio, the song that we shared our first dance to as a married couple came on. Jason Mraz's "I won't give up" played and I got all emotional thinking about our wedding night. Then I thought, how about for our anniversary I learn how to play the guitar and sing that song to Seth? Well, my growing belly quickly nixed the idea of me learning to play the guitar -- but I had a better plan. Our worship leader and friend Colin is an awesome guitar player, and he so happens to be dating my amazing friend Sonja. Now, I know Sonja is a total sap too -- so if I convinced her to help me carry out my plan than surely she could convince Colin to learn the song and perform it with me. It didn't take much convincing for either of them, thankfully. I cried through writing the text message telling Sonja about my master plan -- I cried for the two months prior just thinking about it and singing it to myself in my car. I cried every time I tried to write out my little spiel for Seth at the beginning of the song. I cried trying to tell people about the plan. I cried in the middle of the song when I sang it too him -- but only because he was crying first. 

Our good friends Chad and Karen happen to own a coffee shop that does open mic nights every month. I thought this would be the perfect location to bring Seth to, he would have no idea what was going on and we would be surrounded by people that we love. On Friday night before our anniversary the next day I told Seth that we had dinner plans but that Colin had written a new song that he was performing at Open Mic night and wanted some moral support. Genius. He had no suspicions whatsoever, at least none that he vocalized. I decided a few hours earlier that I couldn't get up and say anything before the song without crying, so I let Karen introduce Colin and I. Seth just so happened to be sitting front and center, which would have been great if he wasn't so attractive; but I was distracted by him the whole time which made me watch his face, which made me absolutely fall apart when I saw the tears. 


I almost made it to the end of the song.
Almost. 
On the final verse I broke -- which was ok. It was perfectly messy and beautiful. Just how it should have been since it was probably the mushiest and most daring thing I've ever done for him. 
I continued to cry for the next 20 minutes. Because hey I'm pregnant and have the right to cry all the time, and I was a little overwhelmed at the idea that I just pulled that off. 
After we stayed a few more performances Seth and I left for dinner. 
We went to our favorite Italian restaurant in Morgan Hill called Maurizios.
Seriously people, it's the best Italian food in America you will ever eat in your life -- do yourself a favor and drive from wherever you live to eat there. You won't be sorry. 
I may have given Seth this insanely funny card. 
It was particularly fitting for our lives this past year with my job. 
I had a serious card too -- just incase he didn't get the seriousness of my love for him with this card. 
:)

On Saturday morning, our actual anniversary we started with cake. 
I had the top tier of our wedding cake re-made by our baker in the flavor that we didn't get to try from the wedding. 
White chocolate, peanut butter, roasted peanuts and fudge. Yum, yum, yum and yum. 


We both ate a slice as Seth gave me his card. 
Seth is anything but traditional when it comes to card giving and I was sobbing after reading the dang envelope. Mostly out of laughter, but also at the fact that I married the sweetest man for me.
By the time I got through the actual card I was a legitimate mess. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though, sometimes a lady needs her husband to remind her of how much he loves her and make her cry her eyes out. It was beautiful and funny -- a pretty accurate description of the way that he loves me. 

After cake & tears we packed up and headed down south. Our plan was to head to Hearst Castle before checking into our hotel in Pismo beach. 
Hearst did not disappoint -- it just didn't impress as much as I'd hoped. They were setting up for a big fundraiser that day so people were rushed and distracted, we also somehow missed seeing the outside pools in our attempt to find our way back to the bus which is the most advertised part of the castle. I'm pretty bummed we missed that part as we probably won't be back there for many years. Here's the only snapshot I got of one of the ceilings in the grand room. I love old antiquey things like that, all of the rooms that we saw were eclectic and unique -- totally my taste!

After Hearst we were both exhausted and headed to the hotel.
We checked into our beach front hotel right around 5. It was foggy all the way down, and stayed foggy the entire time we were there. It made me a little sad. I thought about writing to the hotel to see if we could get a foggy discount on our stay. Fat chance, right?
The best part of the hotel was definitely the jacuzzi on the porch. Our very own private jacuzzi!
I dutifully turned down the temperature so it was safe for baby and me right when we arrived so it had time to cool off for after dinner.

We relaxed for a while and then went to dinner at an Italian place in downtown Pismo. The wait was over an hour long, so we hung out at the bar & got an appetizer before our meal. The food was super yummy, and my company was even better. 

I wish we could have stayed longer in beautiful Pismo beach. 
The next morning we slept in, hung out in the jacuzzi again, and spent a little time on the beach before heading home. 
Here's a view of our hotel from the beach. 


It was a great little trip. A time to relax and forget life for a day & a half.
Because we started moving the following Monday - and then life got all chaotic again. 
Right now I'm typing from our new place.
It is cozy and awesome. Also FULL to the brim with stuff. 
I will slowly be going through and getting rid of furniture in the next few weeks, which is hard to do...but there is no other way to make this place livable than to get rid of some furniture. 
My favorite part is that it is free of spiders...and mice. Did I mentioned we had a mouse problem in the last couple of weeks at our old place? Yea, that was a fun discovery. 
It is also a great place to build community, we have already met a few of our neighbors and they are fun. We also have a pool, hot tub, workout room, working internet (trust me it's a novelty to us), and we are within walking distance of a ton of stuff. YAY. 

I'll be back to tell you more about our new place soon.
Once all the crap is cleared out of the way and has a home. 
But know for now that we feel incredibly blessed.
Blessed to have each other -- and to be married. 
Blessed to have friends and family that helped us move.
Blessed to have a really awesome new roof over our heads. 
God is good. 





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

28 weeks - hello discomfort, you're here to stay aren't you?


How far along? 28 weeks.

Baby size? Size of large eggplant or head of lettuce. 2.5 pounds!

What's he up to in there? kicking. Gaining weight. Listening to mom and dad talk. Sucking his thumb. Probably giving a thumbs up too. 
Oh yes and hanging out on my round ligaments...
pressing on my back.
making me want to crawl around so I don't have to be in so much pain. 

I entered the 3rd trimester and all the sudden am constantly uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure it's going to stay like this from now on. 

Total Weight Gain......
Not sure at this point - probably close to 25?

Stretch marks? oh yes. big sad face.

Sleep: Still sleeping pretty well minus some nights with insomnia. I Started sleeping with my body pillow on most nights so my hips are more comfortable. Most nights I only have to get up once to go to the bathroom!

Best Moment: Moving into our new place this week. 
I have baby stuff galore that I want to put up!! Oh how I can't wait to start that 

Also, our anniversary this past weekend was a really sweet time for us. I'm so thankful for a loving and incredibly supportive husband! 

Miss anything?
My comfort. Everything hurts. From walking, to sitting, to getting up out of a chair..I'm hurting. I'm plagued particularly by round ligament pains that are so strong they knock the wind right out of you. 

Movement? Very active. Good thing he is low...no problems yet with him on my ribs or anything!
  
Cravings:
sweets.
It doesn't happen that often, but when it does it comes on strong.

Queasy/sick? No sickness still! No heartburn either - equally awesome.

Gender? B-O-Y

Labor signs? Nope. Hoping it stays that way for a little while longer!

Belly button? Still inny -- I have a feeling its not going to pop but we shall see.

Wedding rings on/off? On! But getting tighter, need to find a replacement soon! 

Mood?
 Frustrated. I've been struggling with my OB for most of my pregnancy. Every single appointment  she is at least 45 minutes behind. She worries about my bp even though I tell her it's because she checked my weight gain right before and that makes me anxious and nervous. Why? Because she's telling me I've gained too much weight. We do this back and forth every single appointment. 

She's also not very supportive of our decision to pursue natural childbirth. A decision we are not backing down on and are preparing for in advance. We wouldn't make that decision blindly yet she acts like I'm clueless! 
Finally, 
After being encouraged to switch to a midwife instead, I became hopeful that a medical provider might actually care about my decisions regarding my child... Until my insurance decided to be crappy and made it impossible to be covered. 
I think I'm going to have to let it go at this point. I'm running out of time to worry, baby boy will be here by the time I'm done complaining about the money hungry corporations of medical insurance and health groups. 

Looking Forward to: being settled in. The move has begun, but my back has rendered me useless. With a lot of help from family and friends this weekend we will soon be settled. 

Update with pictures of our new place coming soon!! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

1 Year.

One year ago today Seth & I were joined in marriage.
It was and still is my favorite day of all time. 
We had 200 of our closest friends and family, a beautiful venue, perfect weather -- and the best dance party you can imagine. 

This year has been a great time of growth, maturity, and humility for the both of us. We have certainly been through some challenges, and I'm happy to say that we are happy and look on this past year with a lot of gratitude. We hear so often that the first year is the hardest, I feel so blessed that ours has been really great. 

And that leads us to being asked quite often why our relationship works so well... Seth and I laugh a lot, and that was my favorite part of our wedding day -- we got to share how much we laugh and how that is our secret for being so happy together all the time. Ok, a big part of our secret. Great chemistry helps too. 


Other than laughing a lot, having tremendous respect and love for each other is a huge part of our marriage. We are careful to protect each others hearts, listen to each others needs, and try to understand the other as best we can -- even if sometimes that means nodding your head and smiling to thinks that are just plain crazy to me.

I am thankful for the way Seth challenges me. Thankful for how loving he is towards everyone he meets, how he is always giving them the benefit of the doubt and is always thinking of how he can make others happy. I want to have a love for people like he does. That part was evident in his guest list for the wedding. It far exceeded mine - but he couldn't fathom leaving anyone in his life out. It only added to our running joke that Seth knows everyone in town. 

I am thankful for the way he romances me. It is those small things that mean the most, like making home cooked meals and eating them in candlelight when I get home from work late and rushing to clean the house before I get home because he knows I'm dreading it. How he surprises me with ice cream, with breakfast in bed, or a special adult beverage concoction.  How he loves me when I don't deserve to be loved. 

That really is what marriage is all about -- forgiveness. Loving the unlovable parts, and I have plenty of those. Loving through the pain and disagreements -- and knowing the love is not based on how that day is going or the conditions I place around him - but based on a choice I have made to love him regardless. 

I'm thankful that we waited. 
Four years was long and people thought we were crazy. 
And maybe we were. 
But, God. 
But, God gave us strength. God gave us courage to go against what society said about sex and we waited till our wedding night.
I'm so glad we did. 

I am thankful for this year and all that has happened.
This year I have learned to like tolerate oldies music. Ok, sometimes I actually do enjoy it. 
This year I have learned to make my own puns and corny jokes.
This year we prayed for a new sense of home in the South Bay, He gave us a church family that is irreplaceable.
This year we prayed for boldness, He gave us a baby.
This year we prayed for friends we could minister to and disciple, He has given us ample new friendships and opportunities.
This year we prayed for peace in this next season, He gave us a notice to move and a new place to live.
In this next year I pray that we continue to cling to Jesus first in our marriage, and to know more deeply the sacrificial love of God and to love each other with that daily. 

Seth,
You are the better part of me. I truly feel like people can't get to know me until they've met you. Life with you means constant adventure and silliness. I think of who I was before we got married -- high strung, too serious, and emotionally vulnerable. It's not that you have changed me, it's that being married to you has humbled me and shown me that my crap doesn't matter so much. It has shown me that glorifying Jesus matters most in our marriage and in my life; that means letting go, trusting God with the tough stuff, forgiving you always, and knowing that it is my joy to love you, to honor you, and to uphold this sacred covenant. 

I get all kinds of emotional when I think about you. I still get excited when you come home from work every day, if I had a tail it would definitely wag. I still get emotional when I remember our love story and all that we've been through. I'm excited for all the years we still have, all the life we still have left with each other. 

I'd choose you all over again. 
I'm excited to be old and cute with you - you know wearing suspenders and using a cane - rocking in chairs side by side. 
I love you and love being your wife.
Happy one year anniversary.





Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mama White's Epic Granola

My bestie Melissa frequently raved about her mama's special granola when we were in college.

All granola in her eyes was subpar in comparison. And I kind of rolled my eyes. Because it didn't have added sugar. And I was am an added sugar kind of girl. 

But you guys. You don't need the added sugar with this stuff. It's that good. 

When I was visiting a couple weeks ago I got to have her mama's granola as much as I wanted, it was glorious. She happily printed out the recipe and I finally got to make it last night.  And I must say over the years I've really come to appreciate Melissa and her families clean way of eating, I even tried her super crunchy nut whole stuff bread which I thought I would automatically hate, and now I can't wait to buy it at Costco the next time I'm there. 

I know I'm kind of breaking the rules, because this isn't from Pinterest but it will be going on Pinterest as soon as I hit publish -- because the world needs to know how good this stuff is. 

Here is the original recipe, and my not so clear or well staged ingredients shot:


8 heaping cups of old fashioned oats
2 T cinnamon
4 cups chopped nuts & seeds (I used almonds, pecans & walnuts)
2 cups of flaked or curled coconut (I couldn't find curled so I went with flakey) -- and by the way, I HATE coconut but you cannot taste it in this at all, it just adds texture!
1.5 cups dried Cranberries (craisins)
1.5 cups fresh Dates (I could only find dried so I went with chopped & dried)
1 cup Molasses
1 cup Honey
2 T Vanilla

Disclaimer: You can honestly add whatever the heck you want in this recipe. Melissa's mom uses pumpkin seeds which is super tasty, you could also add different types of nuts like pine nuts! Try raisins, dried fruits like blueberries or raspberries, or make it extra healthy with flax seed or chia seeds...or whatever healthy bird type food you people eat these days.

Preheat your oven to 385*

 Grab a large bowl, and I mean LARGE -- combine all dry ingredients. 

Get slightly overwhelmed at how much  stuff you just added to said very large bowl...
and then add your wet ingredients.
I mixed all the molasses first, then the honey and finally the vanilla.


Spread into a 9x13 baking dish..
or two. 


Bake for 24 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes.
Let the smell of Christmas hang throughout your entire house,
and let cool on a cookie sheet or parchment paper until ready to package up. 

If our kitchen stuff wasn't in boxes right now I probably would have used an airtight jar or glass container, but 2 gallon ziplock bags will work for now.
You will have granola for days. 
And all of those days will be happy. 
Because this granola is bomb.com


Now go and pin this. Then make it. 
And shout a big thank you to Mama White. 
Isn't this family the cutest?




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mug Swap 2013

Kim's annual mug swap should probably be made into a national holiday - that's how big it is getting. 
It has been so much fun swapping with people over the last couple years.
My first mug I ever sent out was very special to me -- and it went all the way across the pond to England. How fun is that?!
I love that I'm one of 17 original mug swappers. I'm an OG ya'll. 

This year the mug swap fell in a really busy time for me - so I couldn't give it as much attention as I really wanted. But I still found an awesome mug to send to Allison.
I also included some awesome peacock napkins to go with it. 

My mug swap arrived yesterday and it was literally the happiest mail I've gotten in a long time.
Carina sent me so much happy in one little box. 
Not only a cute mug. A mug I almost bought for myself when I was buying Allisons mug. 
But earrings, a necklace (which I am wearing today), a crocheted coaster, some tea, and even a little crocheted hat for our little baby!


I also got to send out a second package to a lovely lady named Sue whose mug swapper didn't follow through with getting her a mug.
It's a fun little mug, I won't reveal it just yet incase she's reading.
But she has a sense of humor -- and I like that. 
I picked her something goofy which perfectly matches the kinds of mugs I like.

Thanks for hosting this awesome swap, Kim.
It's my favorite one of all time.
And apparently the favorite of 876 other people too. 
Let's keep this one going forever.


Mug Swap!