…and this year!

4th of July this year was an absolute blast…and a total success! It couldn’t have been more different from last year, but it was wonderful all the same!  Last year we were on our honeymoon, just beginning married life together, and this year, we’ve just celebrated our 1st anniversary and we are spending our first summer in Grand Rapids.

We spent the morning doing some housework and cleaning (so fun, I know) but not of course until after sleeping in. Grin.

Then I attempted my first official recipe…I always have loved to bake and have perfected brownies, muffins, and even cheesecake, but I’ve never actually made a real meal.  After being married for over a year, I thought it was time I start feeding my husband. Ha. (For those of you who are worried about his well-being, I assure you, he eats plenty.) 🙂

Inspired by one of my summer resolutions, I attempted an easy and inexpensive first recipe.  I found this crock-pot sloppy joe recipe awhile ago on Pinterest, and was saving it for a day like yesterday.  It was super easy (only 3 ingredients – 4 if you count water as an ingredient) and once I got all of the ingredients in the crock-pot  I cooked it on high for 3 hours.  And that was it.  So does it really count as my first real recipe if it was that easy? I sure hope so, because I felt proud about handling raw meat!

Success with the crock pot sloppy joes.

Success with the crock pot sloppy joes.

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Jeremy was very excited and seemed to really enjoy the sandwiches.  I didn’t get fancy enough to make sides to go with them, but I’m taking this cooking thing one step at a time.

After dinner, we headed over to our friend’s house to claim our front-row seats to the fireworks in East Grand Rapids.

Family :)

Family 🙂

Roomies :)

Roomies 🙂

Love of my life.

Love of my life.

Our regal-looking, 4th of July-celebrating chihuahua :)

Our regal-looking, 4th of July-celebrating chihuahua 🙂

Optimus and I were slightly afraid of the fireworks being shot off by the neighbors, but we survived and saw some beautiful fireworks!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

So our first 4th of July spent in Grand Rapids was a success and we had a total blast.  Love the community that we’re a part of.  So where will we be this time next year? Your guess is as good as ours! We’re trusting God to lead us in the way He would have us go.  I guess my next year’s 4th of July blog post will reveal where that is!

Happy Saturday!

This time last year…

Last 4th of July, one year ago today, Jeremy and I were enjoying our honeymoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  It was wonderful and 4th of July was a complete blast as we got to walk outside of our resort, go down on the beach, take a seat and watch the fireworks.  Not before we got Rita’s on the boardwalk, of course. 🙂

July 4th, 2012

July 4th, 2012

Yummy Rita's water ice :)

Yummy Rita’s water ice 🙂

I love July 4th.  The summer is already so fun with beach trips, hanging out with friends, and barbecues, but July 4th is a day where our country puts politics and differences aside and celebrates as a nation.  And do I even have to mention how wonderful fireworks are? They’re my fave.

Watching fireworks on the beach with my love :)

Watching fireworks on the beach with my love 🙂

 

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A very happy fourth with my man :)

A very happy fourth with my man 🙂

For this July 4th, I currently have sloppy joes cooking (hopefully) in the crockpot… because I am attempting to learn how to cook this summer.  We also have plans to go watch fireworks over Reeds Lake later.  I love this holiday and I’m so blessed to live in a free country and have a day off of work to celebrate with family and friends!

Happy 4th to you all!

 

 

Summer Resolutions

I love lists.  I love making them and I love crossing things off them even more.  So I decided to make a list for my summer.  Things that I have time to accomplish, things that I hope to accomplish, and maybe even some things that probably won’t get crossed off.

So here is my list of summer resolutions:  (New Year’s Resolutions are a nice thought but make no sense.  Who has time in January to get things done?? Not me. So my resolutions start now.)

1. Learn to cook. (Okay, I know this is broad and big… I’d like to at least try a few new recipes, learn to master crock-pot cooking in time for the start of school in September and maybe even learn how to plan a weekly menu.)

2. Become more than just a “good Bible-study girl.”  This goal is based off this book that I hope to read this summer.  I want to dig deeper in my faith.  I’m craving growth, but I’m craving it now more than I have in awhile.  My soul is longing. And my soul knows that I have some time on my hands.  I want to be more than a girl who does Bible study.  I want to know God and be known by Him. Yes. Good stuff.

3. Eat better. (Not diet, by the way…just be more intentional with what I put in my body and how it makes me feel and function.)  My body is a temple. I want to eat better and exercise and strengthen my body.

4. Visit the zoo. Deep and thought-provoking, I know.  My husband is aware of this “to-do” item because I’ve asked him to take me to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids this summer (we’ve never been in the three years we’ve lived here.)

john-ball-zoo-sign

5. Spend at least one day at a Lake Michigan beach.  Sorry Michiganders, your “beach” does not compare to the Jersey shore.  Yep, I went there. Your water is not ocean and your boardwalk should not be called that.  But I’ll forgive you because the lake-shore in Michigan is beautiful and I’ll take it.  Yep, spend at least a day there. Check. (Hopefully.)

6. Take a trip to Chicago.  Hubby and I plan to do this later in the summer to celebrate our anniversary.  Really hope we execute this goal because there are some stores calling my name in that city!

chicago-skyline

7. Date my husband.  We’ve had a wonderful first year of marriage, but during the busy school year as two full-time students and each of us working 20+ hours a week, finding time (and money) to date can be difficult.  Now we have more time on our hands and a steadier income.  Let’s date! (We’ve already been working on this one – last Friday night was mini golf and shopping at the mall.)

8. Read more books.  I’ve been doing good on this one.  My goal for the summer is to read all the books that are currently on my Goodreads “To-read” list.  It’s a lot of non-fiction that I really don’t have the brain power to process during the school year.  Perfect summer resolution.

9. Be more intentional with my blogging.  I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really mind when I go forever without blogging.  It is okay in my book.  But what I do mind is looking back on the past few months and the many situations and circumstances that I’ve processed and realizing that they were not put into words.  That’s why I want to blog.  As a method of process and reflection. So I want to do more of that this summer.  And use the blog as a way to document my above resolutions.

I think my list of resolutions is good for now.  Edits can and will always be made.

Any summer resolutions on your to-do list? I’d love to hear about them!

Chicago image: http://nixietale.com/tag/chicago/

Zoo image: http://thewmeacblog.org/2012/04/18/earth-day-event-party-for-the-planet-at-john-ball-zoo/