Welp. I am officially done with graduate school…. pending the massive five hour exam I took last Saturday. AND my licensure finality which may take until the end of the summer, but that leaves me with lots of decisions and avenues I need to consider. Which seemed scary at first because all I wanted was to be a therapist, but in some ways I already am. I utilize my therapy skills with the children I am with everyday and have practiced therapy as an intern over the last year. Let’s seriously pray I pass that exam, though.
As I’ve finished up graduate school, I’ve sadly realized how alone I am sometimes. I have been studying and writing papers for so many months now that I have left my social life behind. Not because I wanted to, but because I kind of had to and after the dating experience I had last fall in the midst of everything going on with my Uncle Moof (love you, buddy), I kind of needed a break from dating. I have this curse and a blessing of being too nice. Yep. Happens to me pretty often. “You’re great, no really, you ARE, how are you even on the market? You’re so joyful and pretty…..yadda yadda.”
You’re right, I AM all those things, I am pretty lovely, so stop being fearful of what could go wrong and imagine what could go right! I’ve really put my heart out there since I became single in October 2012 and I continue to, especially lately, I mean the worst you can do in life is not try and we all know, I wear my heart on my sleeve. Kindness is the only way to live. Because I figure no matter who you are, or how you feel, if someone sends you a text telling you they hoped you had a great day and that they think you are pretty great….. you’d smile. So that’s what I try and do, make people feel good about themselves because its what I feel like I was put on this earth to do, heal and make people smile.
Which is something I am learning to do for myself. It’s a slow process and I used to count it as being extremely humble, but I’ve realized that I don’t see what others see.
Yesterday I was told that I have a beautiful heart, a beautiful soul, a beautiful personality and am also physically beautiful, but I don’t see it. I guess I just see myself as a normal gal, which takes modesty to a whole new level apparently ha!
Now that I am done with graduate school, I have time for dating again and for making or repairing friendships. However, I don’t think you should drop your friends because they are trying to finish up graduate school so they can achieve their goals and dreams. I mean heck, I still have quite a few hoops to jump to go into Developmental Therapy with infants and toddlers with special needs, but I have worked my ass off and made sure that the people in my life I care about, always knew I cared, I just couldn’t always be there (or out at the bars in River North) because I had to finish up my capstone and these last exams. These last couple months have been a hermit hell with all the studying and writing and working. My entire degree is riding on this exam I took June 7th. But, finishing up graduate school has made me a lot more aware of what I want and what I don’t want in people in my life.
I want love. All kinds of love because I try to put out there the love that I want. I am extremely sensitive (shocker, haha!). But I am. My friend the other day told me I am the “Ted Mosby” of the real world….oh, and a girl. Ever seen “How I Met Your Mother”? Ted is the hopeless romantic who is crazy sensitive, loves his friends so much, is just an all around nice guy, just wants to be accepted and just wants nothing else but to find the person that is right for him so he can fill THEIR life with joy.
Enter Natalie Brooke Kellogg. Since I can remember, I’ve been wanting to find THE guy that is right for me, or at least give me a chance to see if we are right. Now, more than ever, I feel like I have that chance. I finally have a chance to train for the marathon I want to run, read the books I want to read, look the way I want to look, do the work I want to do, go out when I want, have the time to take care of myself and have the time to take care and really put even more effort into the people in my life…. which hopefully will include someone to share my life with. I deserve a successful, ambitious, caring, funny, smart, attractive guy in my life. Someone that is everything I want because I am everything someone else should want. Heck, I’m finally asking the universe for it! At 32… wait, shit, I’m only 31…. close to 32….I’ll be 32 in September, I’ve learned so much over the last couple years and that the people in your life really matter. That how can a life be so amazingly great if you have no one to share it with?
That’s what I think anyways. So, single dudes… I’m ready to date again. Bring it on. However, don’t bring it on if you’re a douchebag….you know who you are. (Just a friendly disclaimer) Haha.
Also, I know how to cook. BOOM.
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 (28 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 2 zucchini chopped into one inch pieces
- 1 yellow zucchini squash chopped into one inch pieces
- enough water to round out the pot
- 8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
- 12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
- 1 cup of frozen sweet peas
- 1 bag of container of power greens (these essentially are kale, spinach, frise, etc.)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) of cayenne pepper
You can make this in the crock pot or a regular pot. If you make it in a regular pot (I used my Le Cruset for the second time around to cut the cooking time), it won’t take as long, maybe about an hour and a half/2 hours. Below is the crockpot recipe.
Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.
About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, and peas. Cook the pasta separately so that you can either have it or not have it, but you want it al dente and cooking it separately will make sure it always stays nice and tender and does not get mushy. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes. It’s soup, you really can’t mess it up. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels you have in your vegetable stock. You can then serve it in bowls with more cheese on top, or leave the cheese out! Leave the pasta out as well. Either way!
This soup tastes absolutely amazing the second and third day. The veggies get a little mushy, but the flavors really meld together.