a night for cupcakes

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What a lovely day!

Ran errands, packed, cleaned & made/decorated beautiful cupcakes!
A friend came over and we decided to make cupcakes for our boys when they get home from the field tomorrow. We each made a basic vanilla cupcake recipe..and I added some raspberry extract to give it an extra flavor, to my batch. And, well, I love raspberries, so I couldn't help it! I didn't get any at the store earlier so this will have to do. Also, the frosting is white chocolate raspberry flavored...I used those Duncan Hines instant frosting mixes, and it made the frosting purple. I was so happy - these are beautiful! I also used pink food coloring for the different shades of pink frosting inside the heart. Also we used this cake decorating kit I recieved from my mother-in-law for Christmas 2011 {first time I've used it} so we had real decorating supplies and icing tips to work with! So much fun!
And they were delicious.
What I call the designs, in order, top to bottom, left to right:
{Aren't I artistic? So much fun to frost and think of different things to draw!}
*Small swirl, Christian fish, purple sprinkles*
*Cross, pink heart, kitty*
*Purple grass, white basket weave, smooth swirl*
*Funky smooth shell shape, purple waves, hot pink happy face*
At first I wanted to make the cupcakes say "Welcome Home" with a heart as the last cupcake, but as soon as we started looking into the icing tips, we just had to make something a little more creative, couldn't help ourselves! The boys have been in the field training lately and are coming home tomorrow, so we are so excited to surprise them!
{This was also a good way to make use of some of our ingredients like sugar and flour before throwing away what's not used when we move}
Excited for the weekend --- We are planning to go on a double date kind of thing for dinner tomorrow night. I would also like to go to the beach with Marshall maybe Sunday afternoon; The weather is really warming up lately and it will probably be our last time ever to see the east coast shores.
Celebrating this week!
The boys are also GRADUATING next WEDNESDAY! So proud of them! This school went by really fast... Much faster than TBS did. I cannot wait to finish packing our place up and head to Texas for a little bit :)
Much more than ready to trek across the country to our final destination after our time at home, with our sweet Scruffy puppy and Trigger kitty in tow {I know silly, but I can't help it with these two!}

our little weekend

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today we decided to have a yummy dinner inside, for Marshall will be in the field training the majority of this upcoming week. I was so excited when I found okra at the grocery store a few days ago {Marshall requested it so I searched for it} and decided to give it a go! I sliced it up, breaded it and fried it {The only way to eat okra!} and served it aside our yummy steaks. The steak was seasoned with a salt, pepper, and garlic salt mixture that my Omom {My dad's mother} sent us with a wedding gift - She is an amazing cook and sent us a recipe book as well!!
Has anyone else ever had okra??? Below is a picture of it sliced, not cooked yet....
It doesn't look too appetizing until you cook it!!

I also recieved this letter in the mail today {below}!
"Because of your academic achievements and for being such an excellent Liberty Online student, we are sending you this Liberty University USB flash drive. We hope that this will be something practical you can use as you progress in your studies."
The flash drive is really neat! It is 4GB, so pretty big for a flash drive, and has the school logo, advising phone number, website, and advising email address on it. It makes me so excited to start my Spring classes soon!!! I go to an AWESOME school!
I've also recieved a thermos mug from them for completing my Summer 2011 courses. {But that's packed in storage currently}.


 My plans for the week:

~Take a pile of old furniture to Goodwill {coffee table, kitchen table & chairs..}
~Finish reading The Story
~Catch up on my Gratitude Journal
~Catch up on my saved Netflix shows and movies
~Vacuum the dog hair out of Chip, my car, at the gas station
~Set up a cancel date for our utilities and cable
~Pick out a dress to wear to LogO school graduation
~Start packing!!!! {And ensure that everything will fit in our 2 little cars.}
~Hang out with fellow military wives!

What are your plans for this week???

Photo throwback :

{Because we were having a 90's throwback moment in our living room earlier, listening to 98 Degrees, N'Sync, Britney Spears, S Club 7, and The Backstreet Boys!!! We miss that music!!!}
Photo throwback... One of my senior pictures, taken August 2009.
I am planning on being that tan again by the end of this upcoming Spring!!
Back then my family lived in Houston and we had a pool, so I was outside 24/7. Hence, the amazing tan!

Spring Plans

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lately, the only thing that has been on my mind is preparing for our move! I've contacted realtors, figured out the general area we want to be in, decided on a rental budget, sorted out my classes for the Spring starting in March, cleaned/organized my study room, started packing, and planned our move/drive out west.

Since I've been focusing so much on my upcoming schedule for school, I decided on the classes I will be taking this Spring. We've agreed on me taking 15 hours in one 8-week term, which sounds like a lot {Rather than a 16-week semester}. But I also did really well juggling 12 hours for the one term this past Fall, so I feel good about it. And, I have 2 education courses and 1 elective, so seeing that doesn't make it sound like as much of a load to do in half the time as normal. I also looked at the textbooks necessary, and I already have a few of them from previous classes - which is great - meaning that the book voucher {for military-affiliated students} will cover all of the rest, including shipping! Well, hopefully shipping, since the books will be going from Virginia to California, literally across the country. {I am not registering/paying for classes until we find a new place --- the last week of February. That'll give me nearly 3 weeks to prepare for the term to begin and await books!}.

Another reason I am pumped to start the Spring is that I will be ORDERING my AGGIE RING in MAY!!!!!!!! {once my final grades are released} I talked to the Ring Office a while back, and basically I just need to get in touch with them right before the term is over to double check --- But I just need to get an official transcript from LU, along with my transcript from A&M, and send them to the Ring Office. And I'll need to go somewhere to get my finger sized and fill out an order form, and of course pay for it. I don't predict that we will be able to go back to Texas in September, when I would be recieving the ring, so it will just have to be shipped to us at that time. I have been waiting for this moment for so long ---- I only 4 short months I will be ordering my Ring, to recieve it within 8 months {from now}! Less than a year! This is the second most important ring that I will possess --- The first, of course, being my engagement ring {and wedding band}.

I can't wait to recieve my Ring, have Marshall present it to me, and celebrate with all our Aggie friends that are also stationed in the greater San Diego area. We can have an Aggie reunion/Ring ceremonial party!!! I'm planning on dunking it in either sparkling grape juice or milk {I can't have alcohol for medical reasons, but I still have to partake in the tradition!}. September can't come fast enough!!!!

Anyway, we are so relieved it is the weekend. We wanted to go to a movie tonight, but we've already seen all of the movies I've wanted to see that are out.....So we might just stay inside instead. I know Netflix recently added a lot of good shows. I was also planning on making this wonderful steak and mixed veggie dinner, but turns out that when I picked up Marshall today he had already been snacking, and we're just not that hungry. Maybe we'll have a later dinner then.

Back to the move - I realized today that we already have quite a few friends in the San Diego area {as noted previously} ! I am more than ready to settle in somewhere, and this will make it just that much easier when we see familiar faces. I am also excited to find a group of wives to hang out with, especially if I don't  get a job right away. It will be so nice to meet other young couples and have little get togethers and fellowship admist adjusting to this lifestyle and our new home......And finally being able to settle in to a new place for a few years!!

Essentially: Preparing for the Spring and recognizing what is ahead of us makes for a great day --- one of my favorite days lately. Hence, Winnie the Pooh!

P.S. If anyone hears about any scholarship/grant programs or applications that are opening, please let me know!!!! I'm searching for something to cover 18 hours this summer, for the Pell grant doesn't cover summers anymore {I've already applied to 2 but would like to have more possibilities avaliable!}. This is the only way that will keep me on track to graduate on time {May 2014}..Or else I'll have to graduate in either August 2014 {If I find a year-round school to student teach} or in December 2014. Which will be alright, just not what I'd prefer.

P.P.S. Did I point out that I also made the Dean's List for the Fall 2012 semester?!!!
{A 3.5 or higher GPA is required... And I got a 3.5 for the semester. I have a 3.77 overall!}

Today marks only 2 weeks until we move out!!!!

a trip to the mountains!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This past holiday weekend we made a little trip out to the Great Smoky Mountains near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee! We stayed on the NC side of the mountains, for if we wanted to see them from TN we would have had to drive 5 hours around the mountains to get there. That's a whole other trip for another day.

We decided to go last minute, packed up that night, and left the next morning for two nights in the mountains. We also agreed to dog-sit Mocha for some of our good friends here, so we asked and took her along with us --- And she loved it! She has so much energy, but doesn't realize her size yet for she still things she's a lap dog... That's how our Scruffy was on road trips too, though! We realized that if we had scruffy with us, these two dogs would be best buds - they both have an endless supply of energy and love the great outdoors. And they both love cuddling -- Mocha even slept between us in the tent. Granted, it was very cold at night, so that was away to keep us all warm, although she took a lot of the covers!

Anyway, it was beautiful!
A view of the Blue Ridge mountains from afar --- I've really been wanting to see this range up close but it's another 3+ hours from the Smokies.


Marshall & Mocha
We were all bundled up!!! It was very cold, and at night it got to around freezing.
Marshall posing on a nice little bridge over a creek.

We were just wandering with Mocha around the mountains...Obviously, no hiking gear involved. I had like 4 layers on top and bottom though --- But throughout our trek I was taking my coat on and off because of the tempurature variations, and getting too warm with so many layers on while walking so much. Don't we look good, though?

I really like this picture above Marshall took of me! I thought it made it look like my coat has shoulder pads...That's just how the coat is shaped! My favorite coat too!


Mocha had a whole lot of fun playing in the rivers we passed by. This one was near the campgrounds. Marshall found some perfect rocks to throw and skip across the water, while Mocha tried to chase them and catch them... He tried to teach me how to skip rocks too, but it's a work in progress!

Our little tent above, and below our fire at night. Marshall really enjoys camping and reliving his Boy Scout days, though I'd prefer to be more comfortable in a cabin in the woods. Luckily for me, in places like this there were a lot of cabins around, so I'm looking forward to next time we camp at another park out west to stay in a log cabin in the woods instead --- Being just that more comforatble is worth it for me! Especially if it gets below freezing at night!
Oh, and we stayed in the tent the first night, then got a hotel the second night.

Below are some amazing views of the mountains -- The bottom left picture you can see the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance! Isn't this part of the country beautiful?

It was still a lot of fun, and I'm glad Marshall came up with the idea a few hours before we left {seriously last minute}. It was really worth it to see this part of the country, for I don't think we are ever going to make it to eastern Carolina again. We both took some really cool pictures of the mountains, and even the tourist towns surrounding them. There were a few ski resorts in the area, for yes, it does snow in the mountains. And there were also a few Indian reservations and attractions that they have made, the biggest being a casino resort. Marshall tried going into the casino, wanting to try his luck, but ended up just coming back to the car with us. He has a thing for trying his luck with scratch off cards and the like...

And although Mocha refused to sit in the backseat and had to be in the front passenger seat {basically in my lap} making the trip a little uncomfortable for me at times {An 8 hour drive!!!} it was still a lot of fun having a dog with us again! It makes me all the more excited to see Scruffy in only a few weeks! I can't believe our moving date is coming up so fast... But that's also a story for another day!


We had a great holiday weekend!

coast to coast

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Now I realize this picture may look a little choppy, but I absolutely have to mention it on here. In just over 2.5 weeks we will be MOVING! We will be packing up our bags and headed to TEXAS! Ahh, I cannot even begin to explain how excited we are to be back home for a little bit, before continuing to our new home for the next 3 years in San Diego (Specifically in Oceanside, south of Camp Pendleton). I can't believe this moving date has snuck up on us so, and I still feel there is so much to do --- A lot to do with packing, that is. Since our stuff was packed for storage last October, we will be packing and taking what we have with us in Chip & Dale (my little car and Marshall's truck). Now it's a matter of , once again, decluttering for we are not getting a uhaul. And we don't have an SUV to fit most of our stuff in as other families may. My car is pretty little (an Eclipse) and Marshall's Ford has a small cab, although a nice bed which we will need a tarp or something for.
Basically we are leaving Jacksonville, probably stopping in Georgia and Mississippi for a night each, then headed to outside of Dallas to see all our family and spend some time with everyone. Then we will head to Tiki Island {Next to Galveston in the Gulf} to see my parents and go fishing for the weekend! Then of course spending another 2-3 days headed to Camp Pendleton, stopping in New Mexico and probably on the border of Arizona/California for a night each. I am really excited to be able to sightsee along the way, though to stay on track we will have to be driving for around 8 hours a day. A 45-hour vacation/move/trip is just exhausting. I know, I've done it before! Texas to Wisconsin was a lot, but only 3 days. And Texas to Virginia was also a lot too, also 3 days. Sure, it's not as extensive as moving literally coast to coast with 2 cars, a dog and a cat, and all of our stuff, but at least it prepares me a little bit for this crazy journey!
It is still a shocker that we will be driving -- quite literally -- coast to coast! From 30 minutes away the Atlantic beaches in North Carolina, to bascially right beside the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. What a great American road trip...Bring it on!
Recently I made a nice little moving out/moving in checklist to keep us on track. Basically it's just a reminder to cancel utilities/bills and then to set that up again once we find a place to live. And then of course to register for classes, order books, get doctors, get Scruffy a doghouse and us some new furniture, find a gym, etc... A nice checklist to have, though. If you are moving soon and are a little nervous, a great place to start is by making a moving out/in checklist!!
I also finished 4 books last week. So much reading, and I loved it!  Now I only have The Story left in my bookpile..I desperately want to go to the secondhand book store and pick out some more, but it's just more to haul with us, so that's something that's going to have to wait until we get settled in. Hopefully I can find another place like Half Price Books or 2nd & Charles out west to keep me occupied inbetween classes!
Obviously I'm just blabbing on here, but sometimes when I just type on this little blog it's a nice refresher of what we need to do in order to prepare for something, or something like that. I guess this is my way of reminding myself of our move without talking Marshall's ear off about what's going on!
Next up: Photos and a story from our trip to the Great Smoky Mountains --- eastern North Carolina, near the border of Tennessee!! {If only we could have gone around the mountains and seen Tenn. too, though!}

Chocolate Chip Pie

Monday, January 14, 2013

I realize that to most, the thought of crossing chocolate chip cookies and a pie may not be on their kitchen to-do list... but this recipe caught my eye the other day on the back of a  bag of chocolate chips and I couldn't resist. I needed to find different pie/quiche recipes anyway for all of the instant pie dough I got! And it also balanced out our dinner tonight...We had a giant strawberry and spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, along with this pie! Yummy!

The recipe is as follows:

2 large eggs
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

~Preheat oven to 325*

~Beat eggs on high until foamy.

~Beat in flour, sugar, and brown sugar.

~Beat in butter, softened

~Stir in chocolate chips/nuts

~Spoon into pie shell {does not have to be pre-baked, can be homemade or Betty Crocker mix as I mentioned the other day, which is much much easier!}

~Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean

~Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream, or anything you desire!

~I had it by itself and it was still simply wonderful... Love chocolate chip cookies, even in pie form!

Now it may look funny in the picture, but it is really scrumptious! And of course, as with the tomatoes in the quiche, the chocolate chips in this pie sunk to the bottom as it cooked. So you get a layer of crust, a layer of chocolate, then a layer of the cooked dough and a crunch on top. It is really too yummy!

I Love Mondays... {Pt. 3}

{I Love...}

A Monday series; What I have been lovin' lately!

We Bought a Zoo. I can tell you that from the moment I saw that Matt Damon was starring in a new film until the moment I began reading the book and real story behind it all, I've been hooked. Completely hooked. It's so refreshing to watch your girlhood crush Jason Bourne {Yes, I am serious..} star in a completely opposite role of a widowed father who takes over a run-down zoo, inspiring his children, himself, and the community in the process. It's also somewhat bitter once you discover by reading the book that there were many things changed for the film --- In real life, the story happened in England, his wife had a brain tumor and hasn't passed yet {As of chapter 4}, and he actually had a real background in wildlife studies. Why do movie producers have to alter the truth behind films inspired by true stories so much, just to make it marketable? It leads me to have less appreciation for the brilliant movie, and more admiration for the potent novel. Anyway, I just began reading the book and I can't get away from it for more than a couple hours, I love it that much.

Spring. Yes, I love the spring season! It is surprisingly starting to feel like spring, which is marvelous here in North Carolina. It's gotten up into the high 50's and the winter winds are far behind. I can't wait to jump headfirst into the season when we move to the west coast... I love warm weather so much. It makes me very happy that we will be settling into somewhere that is warm year-round for the next few years, rather than Virginia or North Carolina, which are both unpredictable and definitely not warm year-round!! Can't wait for the Spring :)

Sparkling Grape Juice. Goodness, I shouldn't have foods and drinks with so much artificial ingredients in them ,and especially corn syrup, but I can't get away from this one either. And ever since New Year's has come and gone, this stuff has been half price at the store. It's a refreshing drink and a wonderful alternative to adult drinks, which I can't have in the first place. I never could get enough growing up and celebrating New Year's... I love grape juice so much I drank the entire bottle!

Soufflés. I made a chocolate soufflé the other day, and it was magnificent. So fluffy and light, so moist, so much chocolate... So wonderful. I really didn't want it to go away! We went out to dinner and a movie the other night and I couldn't wait to go home so I could have it for dessert. I really do love baking and actually being in the kitchen now!

Favorite Things & a Soufflé

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I just finished watching Oprah's Favorite Things {Late, I know...It was on our DVR!} and let me tell you, although I was never into Oprah before, it just makes me so happy to see what she is still doing on her Network, each day. This special is where she shows the process of picking and choosing all of the wonderful items she dubs her "favorite things" which now, only show in the magazine {There was a special before on her show, when it was airing}. She picked everything! Shoes, bedding, food, clothing, mattresses, pet toys, spa treatments, nail polish, makeup, sunglasses, cameras, tv's...Literally everything!

There were so many cool items on the special, but the best part was this: A big chunk of it was where Oprah picked 30-odd number of military spouses from all over to give back in her own way. She picked women {and one husband} who.... were featured on Military Spouse magazine, who ran their own business, who wrote books about military life, who took care of their own wounded warrior at home, who did amazing, wonderful things for their communities. They were flown to 8th & I at the Marine Barracks to a facility they had set up for the occassion, being told that they were being interviewed, or something like that. They all sit down and the decorations are hidden, then in walks Oprah and the Christmas decor {since it was a Christmas special -- That's the time she picks her favorite things and airs the show} appears and everyone is seriously without words and full of shock {And there's a lot of screaming!}. She explains it all and then starts showing and giving them handpicked favorite things of hers that she knows they need.

Because that's basically what the segment of the show was, and I am
truly grateful for military spouses before me {my mom included} and now who
have endured so much at the homefront. It was amazing to watch!

For instance, one couple never had a honeymoon because her servicemember has been deployed for over half of their marriage thus far, so Oprah gave them an all-inclusive vacation to Fiji. Another couple was given a Tempur Pedic mattress that was sorely needed for medical reasons for the servicemember, but they could never afford it. They were all given shoes, nail polish, handbags, and little gadgets of course. It was just too touching --- Somehow, Oprah's team went behind the scenes to the personal stuff, and did whatever she could to give back to those families who put it all on the line when duty calls. It really makes me proud to be a part of that community, knowing that at this moment, my husband is studying all that he can to be able to help defend and protect our country when we reach his duty station soon. This part of the show was truly wonderful to watch, and yes, I am VERY proud to be a military spouse {and daughter, too!}.

Anyway, today I've been really craving something light, fluffy, and full of chocolate... And got an idea that I absolutely needed a soufflé! And boy it is amazing. I've been watching a lot of baking shows on Food Network like Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genuis, so it's no wonder this got in my head.

Obviously, by all of the baking/cooking I've done lately, I am trying my best to be more involved in the kitchen than ever before. And it is surely working... This food lately is just wonderful! I keep looking for more recipes just to try something else... I'm on a roll!


The recipe is as follows:

7 oz. finely chopped chocolate {semi sweet or bitter}
4 T. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large egg yolks
3 T. warm water
1/2 c. & 2 T. sugar
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting garnish

~Brush container with butter & powdered sugar and put aside in freezer {I used a smaller circular glass bowl to bake it in..Just a couple bucks from Walmart}

~Preheat oven to 400* F

~Stir chocolate chunks and butter over boiling water until smooth & add vanilla

~In large bowl, beat egg yolks and warm water until frothy {peaks form}. Gradually add 2 T. sugar until ribbons form.

~Fold yolk mixture into chocolate mixture

~Take container from freezer

~Mix egg whites with lemon juice and beat until frothy. Then gradually add 1/2 c. of sugar

~Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into chocolate mixture to lighten, then gradually add the rest to blend it

~Spoon soufflé mixture into containers and level surface

~Bake about 18-20 minutes or until top "crust" is golden and brown. The soufflé generally rises and inch and a half from the bowl by the time it is ready. Be sure to check with a knife or skewer in the center as well --- if it comes out clean, it is done!

~Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately!!

This recipe calls for 6 - 6oz. ramekin containers, but obviously you can make a larger soufflé if you want, which is what I did {I made two of the above size, shown - Perfect for us!}

the air i breathe

Friday, January 11, 2013

These past few days I can't help but think about what is coming soon on our horizon: doctors appointments, graduations, packing, moving, house hunting, job hunting, more school for me, settling into a new job for Marshall....
Finding new doctors, finding new grocery stores, finding a new home, updating our furniture, being reunited with Scruffy, taking 18 hours in only 2 months later this Spring, parents visiting, birthdays upcoming, getting used to life in sunny southern California...
There is SO much going on already in 2013 {though I will only touch on a couple}.
First of all, today is my daddy's birthday! Really missing my parents right now.
Secondly... As pointed out, In only a week and a half I will have two days full of doctor appointments. There is an MRI and a consultation with my cardio for the last time, then the next day I'm going to see my regular doc {both for the last time before I find new ones in San Diego}. Very very stressful. As you can see by reading about my recent dream {at the end of this post & on FB} it is always on my mind. I've had MRI's two times before: Once in 8th grade (2005), once during Spring Break (2011) of my freshman year at A&M. They just scare me --- Understandable, knowing that the first time I had one done, I also had to have open-heart surgery scheduled during Spring Break of my 8th grade year. And knowing that you are in a tiny, confined space, doing breathing exercises as told, sitting as still as possible for a number of hours... It's really crazy...
Besides, the doctor doesn't really scare me, it's more a matter of how Marshall will handle this. This is why it is so important for him to be at my MRI {which thankfully, because of MLK Jr. Day, he has the day off and will be there}. {Oh, and the doc is a 4 hour drive away..Best cardios in the state of North Carolina!} I know I've done this before, and also knowing that there is a high chance of being able to undergo the Melody valve procedure when the time does come -- in and out in one day without the weeks of rest necessary, waiting for the body to fully heal -- Makes it seem as less of a burden.
And I surely know that I won't have to do any of that for a couple more years, right now it's just being monitored. It's just the mental connection that the first time I had this done, surgery was the next step. I felt this way in 2011 as well when I went in. I realize this is more to update the records for my next cardio more than anything else, but I can't help but relate it to that.
I am tired of going to see new doctors basically every other month because of moving and referrals {In 2012 alone I saw 7 different doctors - specialist referrals and primary care both}. I am excited to finally be able to settle somewhere, only have one regular doc and one cardio, and not have to worry about getting three referrals, moving, and having to get another few. Although the turnaround {after getting all my information sorted out} was fairly quick, it's just a mess. A serious, stressful mess.
Anyway, I just wanted to point out that this specific song --- This Is the Air I Breathe by Michael W. Smith --- really touches me on these notes, talked about above. I have come to realize that no matter the hurdle I have before me, whether it is medical-related, moving-related, family-related, etc. I can endure and overcome, if I only hold steadfast to my faith. This beautiful, wondrous song is exactly what I need to step into these appointments and seasons of our life coming up with a cool head, driven by faith.
The song is so simple, yet so deep. It's amazing how such lyrics can evoke so much emotion:
And I, I'm desperate for You
And I, I'm I'm lost without You
{I can't help but have this song on repeat while I'm home, doing chores all day!!}

Written 1/9/13:

Today I am reminded of a dream I had recently, when I was extremely nervous to be going to a cardiology appointment the next day, completely by myself for the first time. In the dream, I went to Heaven during an emergency open-heart surgery and was blessed to have a long walk with Jesus, who calmed me, and led me to someone He knew I needed to talk to: our dear friend, Taylor Gillespie. I truly felt like I was there with you, sharing all of our experiences, while you were sharing with me about your experiences in Heaven and those of your buddies, all over the world, which you have been watching over. There were some things you told me about that I shared with your friends and family, as asked, and there are some things that I saw that, of course, cannot be shared with others until their day comes. Being able to talk with you in my dream and experience took my mind off of all the pain of the surgery, and gave me a sense of relief, for lack of a better word.

Taylor, although I only met you a few times, you have clearly made a great impact on my life, and those of everyone around you. I will never forget how I felt 2 years ago today, hearing the fateful news from Marshall, just home from vacation with family. I am looking forward to the day we will be free of the pain and memories and will all be reunited in Heaven!
Previous posts related to {my} health:
10.25.12: My Testimony
12.20.12: Forever Grateful

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