Maple & Garlic Salmon

Hey there! It’s been awhile and I’ve been seriously procrastinating on sharing one of my favorite recipes with you.

A few updates from my last post:

Thanksgiving at our house was very different this year, but still just as wonderful. We crammed six college football players into our small living room, while also hosting my parents and my brother. A total of 11 people to feed, and we definitely did not skimp on feast. We had more than 10 lbs. of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (which I made for the first time), plenty of stuffing, corn, rolls, gravy, and 3 TURKEYS! My mom and I over prepared. There was so much food left over that we sent each of the guys home with a bowl of leftovers to eat for later that night. I felt like I had to force them to eat dessert, and we were still left with 2 whole pies.

It was great to have my family in town for Thanksgiving weekend. My mom and I were able to take the train into Chicago for our traditional Black Friday lunch with my best friend Elizabeth and her mom in the Walnut Room inside Macy’s. And we also enjoyed the last football game of the season. We are done for the year. The last game was so great and you can tell that everyone was playing hard. We lost by 14-12, but we had one heck of a season and I couldn’t be prouder of my husband for all of his work that he put into this year.

J’s birthday was the first week of December. I’ve been joking with him that I was throwing him a surprise party. This year, I thought that I would just surprise him by having one of his best friends and his wife over for dinner. That would have been a perfect surprise. We had everything coordinated. J would be getting home at 6:45, and our guest would arrive a little after 7. Tim texted me that the main road to our house was blocked by police officers so they were taking another route. So I thought we might as well start dinner, and they could join us soon after. I was by the stove putting the main course on our plates, when I heard my phone get a text, followed by my husband asking me “what’s in 7 minutes?” DANG! I left my phone on the kitchen table. You could instantly tell by my face that there was some sort of surprise that had just been ruined. I’m a horrible liar. So instead of Tim and Jen surprising my husband, J got to yell surprise when he opened the front door. We still had a great dinner, and enjoyed each others company.

Maple & Garlic Salmon - Tackling Life

Maple & Garlic Salmon – Tackling Life

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About a week ago, I had the privilege to volunteer in Garfield Park with some of my coworkers. We were working with an organization called Breakthrough Urban Ministries. One of the programs that this ministry puts on during the summer months is an event called Homecourt.

Emily was great at making the kids feel special!

They are in their six season of throwing these block party type events for a neighborhood that is poverty and violence stricken. A study has proven that by hosting these events, violent crime during the summer has dropped 52%! It’s amazing what a positive influence can have on an entire community

My brother, Steve, playing soccer with some of the boys.

My brother, Steve, playing soccer with some of the boys.

We spent the afternoon (after a torrential downpour) making crafts, grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, playing games with the kids, and just being a light in a neighborhood that sees a lot of darkness. I was shocked by how many kids were there without their parents. By the end of the night I was exhausted, and it looked like I had gotten into a fight with Tinkerbell (there was a LOT of glitter!). But afterwards I was just so thankful that there is a ministry in Chicago that is providing a safe place for these wonderful, and innocent children, and that their efforts are truly forming a better community.

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And so it begins…

I have been contemplating starting a blog for way too long now. I could never figure out just what I wanted it to be about, and always second guessed myself if this was something that I could pull off. Who would want to read about my crazy life anyway?

But after getting some confidence boosters from some friends, and my husband, I thought “why not?”, I might as well just give it a try. This could just be another page a year from now that I barely touch. But you never know if you’re going to succeed at something if you don’t take the effort to even try to start.

So here I am. And here we are at the start of the 2014 football season. We’ve been married for two months and are finally starting to adjust to schedules, and within the next week everything is about to change again. With training camp starting next Tuesday, I will see very little of J, leaving me with a lot of time to try and be productive. Hopefully I use that time wisely!

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