I have a dream…

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I can remember the first time I learned of King, I was amazed by his reaction to evil. I was just a teenager, but as I started learning more about other equal rights activists in our history I began to see a commonality. Peace and Love! I hope that as I continue to help to fight this war in our country that I would follow these fine examples:-)

I have a dream…a dream that all children everywhere will live to breathe their first breathe, that men and women would stop using violence and rage as the answer….that LOVE and PEACE would prevail:-) the end. xo~Tam
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happy birthday tami’s table!!!

2nd-birthdayo, i can’t believe it has been 2 years since i took the plunge and started this blog. to be exact it was on january 9, 2011, um yes i’m late for my own party! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SWEET LITTLE TAMI’S TABLE!!!! hehe- i do generally run on the tardy side and am constantly working on that:) please forgive!

but even before i sat down and claimed my own personal wordpress address, i did what wordpress suggested i do….i mapped out my ideas, reasons and goals for it. it was fun and really did help me get moving in the right direction. i still have my rough drafts, he he he, i keep EVERYTHING! if i have kids of my own, i am pretty sure i will be a scrapbookin momma AND my walls will be covered in children’s art projects. if you ask my sister what my house would look like if i had children she would probably say that i would have tables covered in ongoing arts and craft projects. and i would be happy! yes sir re bob, it would be a clean house, but always ongoing projects. (scrapbooking would be something i would have permission to not have finished!) I i will most likely be working on finishing what i’ve started, ALL my life!:) at my age i have been realizing there are just somethings that may not ever change about me. it’s a sad reality i must face.

you may have noticed that i am not capitalizing words, good eye!

let me explain: in my masters program i have to write A LOT. besides reading and going to class i have to write, there is barely any quizzes or tests…no worksheets or homework questions, just essays, papers and literature reviews galore. some students are required to take a 1 credit writing workshop if the program director thinks you may need extra help with writing. I. Do. not. know. how. i. skated. through. that. one. (well yes i do) if i had not had some peers edit my 11 page personal statement paper that helped me get me into the program, the program would have defiantly required me to take this class. my grammar and spelling is far from good. it has major issues, but i have learned how to perform for my professors. (even with bad grammar and spelling, i am a person who when given clear and concise directions can follow them well.) as long as i focus and don’t get distracted (ha!). however they did not require me to, so upon finishing my first semester in the program i suggested i needed some help writing at a professional level, i don’t want to go through my entire professional life begging and bribing my co-workers and friends to edit my work- nor will i have the time. i will need to be able to write on the spot. write clear and concise documents that can only be read from one perspective MINE! i have to get a handle on writing in such a way that there is no way my words can me misconstrued. so this semester i chose to take it as an elective. all that to say…..in my 2nd day of class we talked about the many ways a person writes and the different audiences. it got me thinking about how i let myself make some grammatical errors on here and although i am aware of them as i do it, i just allow myself the permission. so, i decided that i would let myself break the capitalization rule and see how that felt. so far so good, at first it was challenging to start sentences and to not capitalize my name, well that was hard. but i’m going to see how i like it and how it looks. it’s not going to be a hard rule that i can’t break, i’m just going to be creative and bend the rules a bit. cause i can. and honestly i think it will be good for me. i have to wear so many different hats on a daily basis that letting myself break grammar rules on my blog may serve to be therapeutic ?? cause after all, the main reason i started this blog was to document the different ways that i am creative and creating things acts as a respite for some folks. for me especially i know this to be true. even as i sit here writing i am at rest, i am enjoying myself! ok so onward to some highlights of the last year and goals for the following:)

i would have to say that in 2012 i was not an avid blogger, from october 2011-2012 i did not blog one post- i know this is so very sad. but what can a girl do when she is trying to finish her undergrad work and make her family and friends proud by finally graduating from college??? in May 2012 i graduated with my bachelors in social work and had been accepted into the masters program to start the very next semester. i was exhausted to say the least. burnt out on any kind of work that had to do with reading and writing! I had also just finished 2 internships back to back equaling 740 hours!! i think i may have lost my mind towards the end. but i found it, or at least parts of it, hehe. what i had not lost was my desire to help people in need. my passion was still strong and i was ready to get back in and continue the good fight. quitting college was never an option for me in my undergrad and now in my grad program i would have to say that i’m still subscribing to this. it would be so easy to throw the towel in, because it is so hard, but i know i can’t. i couldn’t live with myself if i did. its my dream, and no one can take it away from me:) all along this journey, in my conversations with God, i have said i will do this if i am single still, i will do that if i don’t have any children, i will do that other thing if i’m still single…..and He has held me to it. I can’t let Him down. and i am so excited for what is in store for me when i do get my masters degree and am looking forward to opening that next door to my future.

what i didn’t know is that He would use me to start a baking club, it has been fun and i am learning so much. it is such a practicle way to be in women’s lives and do something meaningful at the same time. in the last few months i have been faithful to blog after each of the sessions. i’m happy with that and will continue to make that a goal!

something else i have done is facilitate a mug swap that i first saw on instagram. it is fun to participate, but i would say that making it possible for others to join in is also delightful. i really like making things happen. i don’t mind the work involved, i’m fairly good at planning and working on being better at delegating. in fact i need to email all my swappers and make sure everyone sent their mugs out and see if anyone needs help. i have made some great new friends, that i wouldn’t have met otherwise!! i will probably do another one in 2013, just depends on a few things in my life.

i would like to do more crafts and post how to’s, but that is really time-consuming. when i did my egg drop soup post in november, it was lengthy. i had to remember to take many more pictures too! egg drop soup isn’t a craft of course but i didn’t post any crafts in 2012:( mostly baking and that one cooking post. so i would like to make it a goal to post my next craft project…and the funny thing is, that will have to do with this birthday post!!! details coming very sooon:)

when i started this blog i really wanted some place besides facebook to go to keep track of the different things i was interested in or involved with. many of my friends would want a recipe of something i made and i really like the idea of the foodie blogs and i followed a few already, but i knew mine would have to be more than just food and more than just artsy….i have so many different things i do. and one of those things is journaling, no, i didn’t want this to be a place where everyone could read my most intimate thoughts. however, i wanted to be able to talk about some topics and gain feedback, because really i am quite puzzled by so many things in this world, i have so many questions, ideas and theories… i love taking photos with my iphone + instagram, but this does not make me a photographer!!! i love all colors, beauty, nature, stillness, children, people, animals, words, food and more………. taking pics helps me remember how i felt and what i was thinking at that exact moment. so how do i combine these two to be a part of tami’s table? do i have to have any rules on this blog? i don’t really think so. i guess because of how i’m wired i like to know my perimeters is all it is. i want this to be a place where people are inspired to think more, to do more…. to love more. i want to bring God glory through it all.

The end of the 2012 was especially hard for me as I watched one of my dearest friends lose her only brother. Cory was like a brother to me, I knew him since I was 11 years old. i knew i had to go back to Paradise and pay my respects. this is not something i’m very good at. i haven’t had to face many deaths in my life and i really don’t know what to say to people and i don’t really know how to be supportive when people are going through a loss of a loved one. and i still don’t know any better having gone through it. and i don’t know what to do with my own grief. i found out about his death on the day i was supposed to have surgery on my rotator cuff, i hadn’t planned anything for my christmas break because i was going to have surgery. i had to cancel it and postpone it till i had insurance in place. this now seems like it was a divine plan; insurance denied me, county aid hadn’t gone through, my letter of urgency was mistyped….. God knew Cory was going to leave us and if i would have had surgery i wouldn’t have been able to be there for my friend. i’m not sure if i was the best support, but we all work with what we have. i came down with a cold while leaving Las Vegas and arriving in California…it turned into Pneumonia. i stayed longer than anticipated and came home the day before my next semester started. Sometime on my trip I read this quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”….. I keep thinking about this. I can’t wrap my head around it. We will all have pain, we can’t avoid it really. Does it say we have control over suffering? we have control over enduring the pain? Is it more like, how we deal with the pain? For example, as bad as it hurt me to miss my friend, to think i will never hear his voice or see him again, as bad as that hurt, this quote tells me i can control how i choose to deal with the pain i’m enduring. I can either grow from it or let it set me back. What do you think it means? (subconsciously i started capitalizing i’m not going to fix those sentences). The bible says to rejoice in your sufferings (eph 4:13). So when I think about joy being an option while enduring pain, I kinda think that, that would take your mind off of your pain because you would be focusing on all the other great things in your life…..I think this may be something that is difficult to grasp for most of humanity. When you are in pain, whether it be physical or heart, you can’t see past your own pain when you’re in the middle of it, it just hurts to bad. I know my friend is going to hurt for a very long time as the days go by…..i myself want to learn how to be a joyful person even among trials and tribulations so that maybe i will be able to be a comfort to those around me in the future.

Which leads me to the topic of changing my focus concentration in my masters program. I began with my track being Management and Community Planning and really was feeling no peace at all while taking those classes. It was so dry to me and I was not motivated by the assignments. I didn’t recognize it at the time but I wasn’t following my passion, i almost got myself off of God’s path i believe. everything was all wrong. thankfully the program director asked me if i was happy in the program, and i was able to be honest with her. she gave me a few options and i spent nearly 2 weeks praying (not the entire 2 weeks in a desilet village or anything) for some guidance from the Lord. I decided to change to geriatric/medical social work. i am in my 3rd week of classes and my oh my, what a difference this change has made. when i am in class i catch myself dreaming of what life will be like out of college and all the great places God is going to take me…. I GOT MY HOPE AND DREAMS BACK!!! Yea:) how simple that was!!!

In honor of celebration of Tami’s Table, I want to offer the FIRST 10 people who comment on this blog a BIRTHDAY GIFT from me!! This won’t be just any gift ya’ll…I’m going to make it with my own 2 hands:) and post the project on here. Happy Birthday Tami’s Table!!!!!!!! Thank you dear readers, without you i wouldn’t have a blog:) xo, Tami

Tami’s Table’s FIRST ANNUAL MUG SWAP!!!

Hi all! I recently participated in my first mug swap and I LOVED IT!! A friend of mine Melanie Anderson, had just been in one and I saw her post on Instagram. Funny enough another swap had just opened up and I joined through Heidi at Mustache Mama and Ashley Marie over at Little Willow Tree. It was great and I am grateful that these women facilitated this at the perfect time for me!

more than a mug swap

I was blessed beyond belief by my mug swap partner Shannon over at www.sassylemonade.com!!! She went above and beyond for me, I am happy about the swap and my new friend! She is a very talented wife and mom!! She couldn’t have picked any better items for me than my own sister. ūüôā

So having said that, I would like to offer to host my first mug swap!!!!! So here’s what you do:

-Email me at: tamimcafee(at)me.com and tell me that you want to sign up and I will send you a few questions to answer. 
-Sign ups close November 27th.
-You will receive your partner information on November 30th and then you can get to know your partner through email, instagram, facebook, twitter, or blog. 
-Shop for your partner and mail off their mug by December 12th. You can add other little gifts to your mug (but it’s not manditory, just FUN!).¬† If you are crafty, it’s fun to include something you have made.¬† But purchasing items is just fine.¬† Since it’s the Holiday season you might want to find out what your partner celebrates and include something seasonal OR send your favorite holiday item:)¬† It’s COLD already here in Idaho so I sent some frosting sprinkles in snowflake shapes when I did my first swap. <—just an idea!¬†
-Come back to either my blog to link up on January 10th, 2013 with pictures and a little bit of a story to share:) 
Don’t forget to post your mug and any goodies you receive on your blog and/or instagram (don’t forget to use the hashtag #tamistablemugswap/ #mugswap¬†and tag @tamilenn) !!!!! Fun!!!!
(borrowed and adapted from www.mustachama.com)
OK, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???? Email me at: tamimcafee(at)me.com to sign up today!!!! Let’s have some holiday fun mug swapping!!! ūüôā I’m looking forwarding to mugging you!!
xo, Tami

my cute mug from recent mug swap!!

Happy Belated Auntie’s Day!

Yes, there is a special day to celebrate those of us who are Aunts or ¬†Godparents! It’s today (or yesterday- cause I’m late completing this blog…just know I started it the 23rd) ¬†July 24!! I’ve been following a blog called Savvy Auntie¬†by Melanie Notkin, Melanie has created a community where those of us who are aunting can get ideas for fun, practical advice and share about the children we love so much. ¬†She has a book out also and it is called (you guessed it) Savvy Auntie!!! ¬†What I like best about following Melanie and other Aunts is most of us don’t have children of our own, so we share that same commonality that I don’t always find in life. ¬†Did you know that nearly 46 percent of American women through age 44 are childless, whether by choice or by circumstance? Some will go on to have children of their own, and others will pour all of their maternal energy into the children of friends and other family members.¬†There is something special about being just an Aunt and not a parent to your own children. ¬†I find that I think of my nephews and niece as if they were my own!!! ¬†I believe this is because I don’t have any of my own so I make time to think of them, visit them and let them know how much I adore them! ¬†So here I go with my story on how I became an Aunt!

from left to right, Tony (Anthony) 7 and Jesse Jr 10

I have been taking care of and loving other people’s kids for as long as I can remember….but around 2001 my sister met a man who had two amazing little boys. I was so thrilled when I heard that her boyfriend Jesse, had children already…..¬†She was living in Las Vegas (where she still resides) and I got the honors of meeting them and being named Aunt Tami:) It was music to my ears….becoming an Auntie to Jesse Jr. and Tony was and IS so fun!! ¬† They were about 7 and 4 years old when I first met them… and then she married their father on June 6, 2006.

my sister Jeni aka Roxie and Jesse Sr. pre altar

In 2007 my sister came to Idaho to go on a family camping trip to Oregon… she said she was going to try to get pregnant after this trip!!!! ¬†11 months later this little baby man Gibson Felix changed our lives on 8-12-08.

Oh look how his big brother’s adore him!! ¬†I got to meet him for the first time when he was 3 weeks old…

momma and baby boy

He will be 3 next month….

Jesse 11, Tony 8, Gibson 1-3 months (ages approx.)

young Gibson with Mommy and Daddy....

snow day in Vegas

snow day in Vegas

I'm 8 mnths old and I WALK!

I'm ONE!

Jesse off to 9th grade...

Tony well done!!!

SUMMER TIME!! Boys+ brothers= best friends!

That was so hard to just pick a few photos from their lives…. but I hope you enjoy!! ¬†Next I will tell you about how I became an Aunt to lil Aubrey Anula McAfee…..

born may 31, 2011

brand new

momma and baby:)

momma and baby:)

Just like with Gibson I continued a tradition (for me being an Aunt) I went back to my place of growing up in Paradise, California….. to visit my brother and his lady Alexis and to meet Aubrey at the fresh age of 3 weeks! ¬†I stayed 12 days and we had so much fun! I have lots of pics, I will pick my top two!

#1

#2

#3 Dad and baby zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

OOooooo sorry I said two but had to go with the third!!! ¬†So precious!!! ¬†It’s really amazing to watch your siblings be such great parents!!! ¬†I look forward to watching these families grow….. I’m excited for what God has in store for each of these children…and the children to come after them….:)

I was thinking of including all the children from my life….but that would cause this blog to be more than just one day late!! Happy Belated Auntie’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

day 7: bowl in the car

Yesterday I had one class and then I spent the day at a local elementary school where I intern. I have 125 more hours to fill this semester. I managed to wash my coffee cup and even put away a few of my dishes that were clean:)! The soup I made the day before is what I took for lunch! But what I have to admit is that I left it in my car- on purpose! I actually thought “what should I grab out of the car, my lunch bag– no cause then I have to wash it”. This is a bad choice I now realize! Cause guess what I have to do now?? yep- wash it!!

Day 6: even when I’m tired?

Yes- even when I’m tired……I had my 4 classes today so I was in and out of my apartment all throughout the day. ¬†I was really tired and took a nap, and some time between all of that I remembered my Mom gave me some ham that I had in the freezer so I put some beans and veggies in the crock pot and defrosted the ham. ¬†Guess what this means happened next, yes you got it, I had a sink full of dishes. ¬†I just got off work at the phonathon at the University and I don’t feel like doing dishes….but I did them:) ¬†After all what if I am someones wife someday and I get too tired??? Shouldn’t I learn now to push through and do things I don’t want to…even when it’s hard? And just because I live alone , am I only accountable to myself, no I’m accountable to God who sees everything! ¬†So for now God is my husband and I will keep my kitchen (and the rest of the place) clean for Him!

“She watches over the ways of ¬†her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” proverbs 31:27

Potential Sabotage

I¬†apologize¬†for skipping day 5….there was nothing to write! I only had coffee before church and I washed my mug:) ¬†I went to church and then ordered a pizza to go and ate it on the way to work. ¬†At work for dinner I ate a Waldorf¬†salad¬†(yum!). ¬†I came home and went to bed, so I didn’t have any dishes.

 

Day 6 Monday- Today before I went to work I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and bread for a little boy with severe food allergies! ¬†He can’t have soy, dairy, wheat, or eggs… I have learned how to make the most perfect sweet bread for him. ¬†The challenge lies in substituting eggs in a bread that is already complicated because of no wheat. ¬†For every egg I mix up 1/2 a banana with 1 tsp of baking soda AND it’s MARVELOUS!! ¬†His family go to my church and they are the sweetest! ¬†They just recently had boy and girl twins which makes 5 tots total! ¬†I really enjoy giving Ollie a special treat that his mommy can freeze and have on hand. ¬†This order was 2 weeks overdue…. having said that- I individually wrapped them and cleaned the dishes right away. ¬†This procedure could have been a snare for me. ¬†There was a possibility that I would have left the mess for tomorrow. ¬†Yay! ¬† Knowing your weaknesses is half the battle, right?

Kitchen is clean and sinks are empty! ¬†Until tomorrow…..

Day 4: Work

Today, yesterday rather, I put together the egg dish for Stephanie’s baby shower and I cleaned it up right away. ¬†I got ready to go to work at Jabbers and I was on time to both the shower and work! ¬†After work I picked up my 2nd cousin Natalie and we hung out together….I came home at 11 and since I didn’t dirty any dishes….I had none to clean:) ¬†Success! ¬†Below is a picture of the “Produce Stand” that I continually organize and clean when I work:)

Day 3: Its a dirty job but someone has to do it.

10 am-What’s this??? It’s a dirty mug that’s about to be clean:)

11 pm- I was gone all day working at Jabbers, so only water bottles came home with me:) ¬†I went to the laundry mat and did 5 loads of laundry. ¬†I warmed up some leftover Veggie Curry and Rice, I took the bowl with me to the laundry mat and instead of forgetting it in my car I brought it into the house! ¬†A friend of mine is have a baby shower tomorrow so I am dropping off a Biscuit, Egg & Veggie Bake…..I prepped it so I could toss it in the oven in the morning. ¬†Even though it’s late…..I cleaned up my kitchen!!!

day 2 clean sink

I’ve been thinking I should blog about this task of doing dishes. it might not be real fun to read about but I think it will be helpful for me:)

I woke up and drank a cup of coffee and I washed it when I was done. That wasn’t that hard… I ate fruit & veggies while at school so no dishes there! I came home to make food and put my dishes away from yesterday! 16 STARBUCKS MUGS… I know that’s ridiculous! I made veggie Thai curry and rice, vegan stuffed mushrooms, and goat cheese & basil stuffed peppers… I cleaned up afterwards!!

Now off to small group with my delightful healthy snacks:)

stay tuned!