I paddle my own canoe

For as long as I can remember I have been someone who has done my own thing. I am not exactly a rebel, but I like to chart my own course, find my own answers, and do not love to just follow someone else’s lead. That does not mean I cannot follow directions or stay the course as needed, I am just less interested in following others. I am not usually one to read a book that everyone is reading. Instead, if the right person shares a nugget that resonates with me — that is when I decide to read the book. Not because everyone else is doing it. I like jewelry that is a piece of art and potentially very few individuals have that piece.

Having been a fan of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed I was eager to read her next book: “Brave Enough.” Until I learned that it was basically a book of quotes. I am not usually one to sit down and read a book of quotes, and then I thought, it is a small book, it will be a quick read — and it was. She also shared some great ideas. One particularly resonated with me, it is not hers but a proverb of sorts that she shared, and it was the first time I had heard of it. It made me realize that I have always been one to “paddle my own canoe.”

“Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.” page vii

Later on the same page she says:

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” Page vii

Right on sister. I know I think about that often. Yesterday Chris and I were chilling on the couch while the turkey was cooking away in the oven, and I came across an email between my sister and me from 2010 about my mom, and whether I was mothered. As I read it to Chris I was getting choked up. My sister and I were remembering the good, bad, and ugly from our childhood on the anniversary of my mom’s passing. The beginning of the email my sister says: “Thinking about you tonight – and about mom and how she has been gone for half your life.” That was five years ago, and my mom has now been gone for 21 years, and yet all that I have been through over the years only serves to allow me to see the light.

I have definitely seen darkness, but I have also seen years of light and love. Thank you, Cheryl Strayed, for the reminder that I paddle my own canoe, and that I live in the light.

Thank you, thank you…

Gratitude is on the mind — and not just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I just finished reading “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. She spends an entire year focusing on gratitude in her life (her marriage, work, children, money, etc.) It gave me a lot to think about and was especially appropriate for this time of year, the holidays, Thanksgiving, and being at the home stretch of this pregnancy.

I thought I would share a list of things that are especially appropriate right now to me:

  1. My husband: I wrote about him last week so you know all the good stuff, and if you did not read it take a peek at last week’s blogs. Yesterday I randomly said I do not know what I would do without you. His response was: “yes I am not sure what you would do.” So I started listing off all these things that would make my life miserable and he said: “You could just live in a hotel.” Ha. It is so much more than that my better half. So much more.
  2. My health: It is not perfect — but I am making it through each day, and look forward to meeting this little man and taking the tests to find out how I am after delivery. If all goes well, then I look forward to getting back to my running and feeling like myself again.
  3. My future son: I am just so excited that we have made it this far together. Your dad and I are ecstatic and cannot count the days to meet you. That and I would love my body back.
  4. My family and friends: So grateful for each of you. Thank you for being a support to me, a listening ear, and an inspiration. I miss you mom, dad, and Granny Smith.
  5. My team at work: You work hard and play hard, keep it fun, funny, and real. Thank you.

For all of you reading my blog I appreciate you too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Cherish each moment.

Random Recipe: Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

This was damn good soup. I am not a fan of leftovers, and this soup not only was good the first night, it was good the second night. Rarely will you catch me eating leftovers. You cannot tell the difference between Day 1 and Day 2. The only caveat to this recipe is it says preparation time is 10 minutes, but in actuality you are actively doing something for the entire 30 minutes. It requires constant stirring, but it is worth it.

You will not be disappointed!

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup of cooked chicken, cubed
1 4.3-oz package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice (w/seasoning packet)
½ cup butter
¾ cup flour
2 cups half and half


In a large sauce pot over medium heat, saute celery and carrots in the olive oil for about 6 minutes..

Add the chicken broth, water, and chicken to the sauce pot. Bring to boiling, and then stir in rice (saving the seasoning packet for later). Cover and turn heat to low.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and then stir in seasoning packet until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in flour, tablespoon by tablespoon, until it makes a thick paste. Slowly whisk in half and half until completely smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until it starts to thicken (about 5 minutes).

Stir cream mixture into the broth mixture and cook until heated through (about 10 minutes).

Is mini Conk an artist?

I often feel like my belly is the inside of a bouncy castle, or a trampoline. This ‘lil man inside me is one active guy. There are days when I love it and think about what he must be doing inside there, and there are other days when it drives me nuts and all I want is a bit of peace, quiet, and less jostling happening inside. This past week has felt like an incredibly active week!

So when I saw this I thought, maybe I should have mini Conk make his first painting later this week when we have a bit of downtime over the holiday and when he has a particularly active span of time. I am a fan of abstract painting and there is something slightly surreal about having the movement of your unborn baby paint their first painting. I am curious!

We are looking forward to meeting the ‘lil man!

I am not a morning person.

I recently read an article in Elite Daily titled: “People Who Sleep Late Are Actually Smarter And More Creative” – and immediately thought “Hmm…I wonder if that makes me smarter.” Now I am nothing like Chris, that man could sleep all day if you let him. I just like to sleep in when I cannot. Somehow on the weekends I am raring to go and during the weekdays, I just want to sleep a bit longer, and hit snooze just one more time. Well maybe more than once.

I never used to be this way. Somehow over the years, Chris has messed with me. He is chronically prone to stay up late, and I find I sleep better when we curl up next to each other, so I stretched myself to stay up late with him until I too became a late-nighter. With the exception of during this pregnancy, where he has pushed me to go to bed early and for the most part I comply — even if he is not there next to me. Probably because I am so tired I can fall asleep in minutes. Hopefully that will continue when this little man joins us as I know my sleep will be changed for years to come.

In any case, the article is interesting. Every once in a while it is a stroke to the ego to read something that tells you that maybe something you thought made you seem lazy shows you to be intelligent or creative. An excerpt from the article:

“According to research published in The Huffington Post, those who deviate from the normal sleep schedule are considered more intelligent. This finding is supported by research suggesting that those who create new evolutionary patterns (compared to those who stick with the normal patterns developed by our ancestors) are the most progressive.”

It is a good article that states near the end that it all really depends on your outlook on life. I do like to think that all those hours that I am fast asleep, I am really evolving inside, coming up with new ways to take on the world!