Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mid-morning Thoughts on Time and Joy

By this time on Tuesday I had already taught seminary, cut Bret's hair, and cleaned the entire house. By noon I had also gone to the gym, gotten ready all over again, washed the dishes and made a dent in some of my work. I loved that feeling of just getting things done. I felt like an All-Star.

This morning I went to Seminary but didn't have to teach (one of the moms was a guest teacher today), went grocery shopping and took my sweet time perusing each isle, and spent an hour looking at friends' blogs. And do you know what, I don't feel even a little bit bad about it.

This new job and new schedule have been lovely. Lovely doesn't necessarily mean a cake walk though. On Tuesday I worked about 10-11 hours and my body ached by the time I was done teaching. I stayed up much later than I should have planning a seminary lesson. On Wednesday I taught a total of 9 dance classes. Yes. Nine. And only one of them involved students over the age of 8. (For those of you who have never taught children, the younger they get the more energy output is required of the teacher.) I think I totaled 12-13 hours of work. I still have lots to do and plan and accomplish, but the JOY of it is that I'm doing what I love. Those 9 classes were a blast. Tiring, but awesome! I feel so blessed for this change in my life. And since I only have three classes to teach today, I'm going to enjoy my sweatpants and Pandora and the sunshine coming into our apartment window. Maybe I'll make some muffins, maybe I'll get ambitions and start a sewing project, maybe I'll hang out with Dwight and Pam for a few minutes, maybe I'll read ahead for seminary. But I  WILL NOT do anything work-related until 1:30 today, simply because I don't have to.

Whether you day is going to be busy or boring or well-paced or frantic, I hope that you will find JOY in it. I know you won't find joy in every minute - that's a joke! But I hope you find little magic moments that make you remember why you do what you do and how lucky you are to be you.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Joyful January

Last week I deemed this month "Joyful January" while singing "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today" at church....

Week 1: SUCCESS!

This has been such a joyful week. Monday was a super successful seminary lesson, Tuesday seminary was cancelled because of SNOW and I slept in way late, Wednesday I had a great modern dance class with the level 3s, Thursday the bishopric made the seminary kids breakfast (they lost a competition), Friday had a blast teaching the Bhangara to a bunch of 3rd graders, Saturday got to spend time sewing with a friend, Sunday I made new friends and had them over for dinner. And these are just some highlights. I love my new job. I love my schedule and the control I feel over my life. I love my seminary students. I love my dance students and my coworkers. And do you know what I really love the most... Bret. (Okay - sappy, I know, but really does the giddiness and joy of marriage wear off at some point? I keep waiting for it to happen, but almost three years later I am just as excited to spend each day with him!) Of course no list would be complete without the Savior whose love for me is the reason I am able to feel so much lasting joy.

So how about you? I want to know if your January is Joyful. If so, why? Let's hear the small and simple things that bring joy to your life! If not, you've got some work to do. Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." If January hasn't been stellar so far, fix it! Can't wait to hear your joyful moments!


PS - If you need something to give you a laugh, here are some pictures from Christmas vacation. These kids bring me lots of joy!
Derek, Carly, Teague, Me???, Kami

 Kami, Derek

Carly, Kami and Cami, Derek

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New Job, New Recipes


I still have a bunch of pictures I want to share from our wonderful 2 weeks in Utah and Idaho for Christmas break, but we're working on getting those pictures loaded in an organized manner. Until then, let me share what 2012 has brought the Wardle family...

1. Bret and I didn't officially set any new year's resolutions, but we have been working on some personal and combined goals. (Doesn't the word "goal" sound less intimidating than "year resolution"?) Together we have been committed to eating more fruits and vegetables. Our goal is two servings of each a day. So far we've been doing great. We're really loving eating them - I think before it was just a lack of planning and desire. Yay for our bellies!

2. On Wednesday I started my "new job". I love it! I get to work at the studio or even at home planning lessons, coming up with ideas, creating publicity for the ballet, writing a newsletter, etc. All stuff that is fun for me! I hope the excitement doesn't wear off. I know I will always have days where I don't feel like teaching my classes of where I'm out of ideas for lessons, but I love that my schedule is mine to play with. There are times where I have to be somewhere, but if I want to go home and take a nap after teaching seminary and then work on publicity stuff all evening that's perfectly fine. Sigh. I love this!

3. Since I have a little more time and a little more motivation to eat balance meals, I have had the chance to cook almost every night this week (which didn't happen much last semester). Here's the recipe that happened (rather by accident, indecision, and experimentation) tonight. It was a big hit for both Bret and I. Enjoy!

Chicken Cordon Blue over Rice (easy-style)
* 2 chicken breasts
~ sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder and oregano (optional)
~ cook and dice into bite-size pieces
* about 12 slices of lunch-meat style ham (or leftover ham from somthing else)
~ warm in oven in a pan, remove and stack in one tall pile, dice into bite-size pieces (they won't stay in big chunks but that's ok)
* 1 bunch steamed broccoli, cut up (or use frozen broccoli)
* about 1 cup grated swiss cheese

Combine in bowl.
Serve over rice (brown rice is especially good) with this creamy sauce:

* 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom would work as well)
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* about 1/4 cup milk (depending on how heavy or thin you want the sauce to be)