Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beautiful Songs & Beautiful Family

 Ever think, "if _______ (song) wasn't here on this planet, I don't know how I would have gotten through _____"?

 I want to know what songs those were for you and if I may be so bold, what did it get you through?

 Sometimes the song's content has nothing to do what what you're particularly going through. It just helps you. You could listen to it ten thousand times just to get you through a day. Sometimes it's like the song found you, because every word is an exact description of how you feel. A description you could have never come up with even if you had all the time in the world.

 One that comes to mind for me is this:


 To get this all started I suppose I will start. ;)


 I was living in Philadelphia a few years back, for 5 years. Within which, I got married and had my daughter, Isabella. One particular summer I was missing my friends and family something fierce. We went for a visit. I had my daughter in tow this time around. She was 2 or so at that time. We stayed a few days. Even a month wouldn't have been long enough, really.

 This visit was a much more difficult one to part from. Having my family and friends around my daughter felt so.... absolutely perfect. Exactly how it should be. Needless to say the goodbyes were unbearable. I'm not one for goodbyes in the first place.

 I got "home" to Philadelphia and bought the new John Mayer album and I have to say the whole thing touched me in some way for the most part. I still love that album of his. But this one song. It was just exactly it. It all hit me. I already knew it. But this screamed it, "stop this train, I want to get off and go home again".

 I absolutely, 139% broke down. Listened to it over and over. Cried and cried. Put it on my iPod and walked and listened to it and cried in the peace of walking out in the middle of nowhere in my own place  out in the world to just..... cry.

 This one part would get me every time:

"once in a while, when it's good it'll feel like it should, and they're all still around and you're still safe and sound and you don't miss a thing 'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark, singin': stop this train, I want to get off and go (back) home again, I can't take the speed this thing is movin' in...."

 I mean, it was like a direct tap into my heart. I would visit home and see everyone and it all felt good and happy and love. It would help me get through 'til the next time. But not this visit. This visit was different. I wanted off this train. I wanted home.

 ..... and I did it. I was back home with Izzy by the end of the summer. If you've ever dealt with the ending of a marriage, a marriage involving children, a marriage involving different countries it sure as hell wasn't as easy as that sentence, "and we were back home by the end of the summer".

 I hope you never have to go through it. Never.

 But also, if you do. I want you to know you CAN do it. In any circumstance. You can start your life over again. Any time. Any day. It is possible and it is hard, but it's worth it. If it's what you know in your heart needs to happen then you trust yourself. Respect yourself and love yourself enough to give YOU peace and love and happiness. Know that you're deserving of it.

 Here I am 3 years later and I love my life. I love my family and I am so proud of myself for having the strength to come home again. I am still so grateful and feel so lucky to have the best friends anyone could have and getting to be with them again.

 Moving away did that for me. I love my city and all it has to offer and I love the luxury of getting to walk down the road to my mom's house. Getting to meet my friend for a drink if I'm having a bad day. I remember how it felt when I couldn't and I will never forget how good it feels still, today.

 So there, I did it. I spilled my GUTS. So now it's you're turn. What song helped you and how. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :)

 One thing that is so easy that everyone our house dies for is, Taco Night. It's fun and it's easy and everyone loves making their own taco.

 I don't want to sound like a snob but I just can't stand taco kits. I don't really want ground beef for one and there's so many other flavours that I look for in a good taco that I find lacking in the traditional kit recipes and instructions.

 So this is what I do:

Chicken Tacos

 1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breast
 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I like a mix of sharp cheddar and a mexican blend)
 2 cloves garlic diced
 3 limes (zest from one)
 3 avocados sliced
 1 bunch cilantro
 1 jar of good salsa (I use herdez, or make your own!)
 1 can refried beans
 1 small container of sour cream
 12 flour tortillas
 Salt & Pepper to taste


 Set oven to 350 fahrenheit. Cut the chicken into this strips and set aside.

 Chop up cilantro coarsely. Cut up 2 limes into wedges for squeezing onto individual tacos. Prep avocados for slicing. What I do is cut through to the seed and go all the way around the avocado with the knife. Then you just have to slightly twist and pull apart. Just take a spoon and put it between the pulp and the skin and bring it all the way around and scoop it underneath to separate it completely from the skin. This way when you're ready it falls right out and you can slice it up nicely. To keep it from browning just put it back together until you are ready to slice it just before serving.

 Put can of refried beans into a small pan and heat at low temperature, mxing every few minutes. Get flour tortillas prepped on a small plate and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and place in microwave.

 Get a large pan heating on medium heat. Dice up garlic. Juice one lime into pan, add garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add chicken, season with zest from one lime, salt and pepper to taste and cook through. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese over top and put it in the oven until cheese starts to brown and bubble.

 Add some of the cheese mix to the refried beans that are warming with a little salsa and just before plating add some chopped cilantro. (It makes refried beans so much more interesting).

 Slice up avocado and plate with lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

 Heat flour tortillas in microwave on high for one minute or until fairly hot. Leave the plastic wrap or damp towel on until ready to start making the tacos.

 Serve with the refried beans, sour cream, some homemade guacamole, salsa and tortillas and you have an awesome taco night!


 My perfect taco is: Take a flour tortilla spread some sour cream, few avocado slices, chicken, lime juice, cilantro and a little salsa. SO GOOD!