An Emotional RoLleR-coAsTer of a Week and So.Many.Updates.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Halloween weekend and start to your week! This past week has had so much good with a side of a bit of bad.

Shall we?

Wednesday– I had a rough day. Ya know- one of those hump days- where Wednesday disguises itself as Monday. I couldn’t shake the cobwebs from my head and I felt like I was moving like a snail. Three cups of coffee and counting were NOT doing the trick.

tired dog.gif

But once dinner rolled around I got to sample out another Blue Apron meal! If I am having a bad day, usually cooking and having a solid dinner can turn it around for the evening. 


This was so simple. I think it’s probably the easiest meal I have made yet from this company, and I will definitely be recreating it. The homemade tartar sauce was too good, and I never knew endives could be so tasty?!

Wednesday after dinner we went to our first session of the Winter group meetings through the church. You all know how thankful I am for the people we have met through this church, and if you live in the Bay area and need somewhere to call home PLEASE contact me! God was tugging on my heart to share during one part of the discussion. I was NOT intending to “get deep” on the first night with mostly strangers. But naturally, like He always does, He pushed me out of my darn comfort zone. May I get an Amen?! I know this group is going to be such a blessing, it already is, and I can’t wait to see where it goes!

Thursday– Chores & Such. Totally necessary to waste your time by writing that- huh? OH, I did find out that I passed my nursing exam on this day and received my license in the mail! Thank you a million for all the sweet words on the last post. They seriously touched me <3 <3

Friday– I wanted to Fall. It. UP. Since I had been studying most of October, I didn’t get to go into full on fall mode besides eating massive amounts of candy corn. Which is fine, it’s probably the best part, but regardless, my pumpkin-laced-female-DNA was screaming “get yo self to a pumpkin patch!”

We started the day in San Pedro Square at the Farmer’s Market. I love Farmers’ markets, and every time we pass this one I say I want to go. Finally! I love all the fresh food, produce, unique gift ideas, and general atmosphere of a good Farmers’ market. This isn’t necessarily DJ’s idea of fun, but one of those things he will do with me because he knows it makes me happy. San Pedro Square is a happenin’ place and a foodie’s paradise. We wouldn’t know any foodies, now would we? 😉 DJ and I have exhausted Main Street Cupertino and Santana Row, so I think this will may be our new Friday Night date place for a while!


That afternoon we saw a vibrantly contrasting rainbow against a gray backdrop outside the window of our apartment. I haven’t seen a rainbow in a while, so naturally, I had to snag a picture of it.


We also headed to pickup our box springs for our bed for the master bedroom! It’s coming along! While we were waiting for the pickup we messed around on Snapchat.



** Side note: DJ gave me permission to announce he is no longer doing law school. He was originally doing the JD-MBA combined track, but now is just sticking to the MBA which starts this Spring. I am truly proud of him for doing what he knows is best for him. Plus it means I get to see my man more often!

Friday night I got out all my pumpkin patch wiggles. This place had abounding options for the average pumpkin picker. There were pumpkins here like I have never seen before!


Fun fact: My step dad’s name is Pete, and his best friend is Tom… Mom- can you show him this? I bet he will get a kick out of it. So cute, so corny. Had to share. I tried picture messaging it, but my service is  glitchy- as you know.


Friday night we decided to take it easy. I whipped up some Blue Apron meals. For myself I had Roasted Acorn Squash with Couscous Salad and Dressed Pea shoots. This and the coconut curry catfish are my two favorite meals so far from Blue Apron.


For DJ, I made the Spiced Pork Burgers with a “side” of coleslaw. The “side” took two leftover large Tupperware to fit it all. But I don’t mind- we love us some ‘slaw!


After dinner I received a call from the credit card company that my purse had been found at the pumpkin patch. I went into full on panic mode. While carrying my pumpkin from the patch, I must have dropped my purse on the way out. I called the cell number of the people who had found it (and currently had it). They were the SWEETEST couple in the world. I thanked them profusely for their integrity and kindness. I heard a little, young voice in the background go, “Is that Mackenzieee?!”. “I want to talk to Mackenzieee!”. The mother put the cutest little girl on the phone and she innocently, but matter-of-factly, inquires, “Hi Mackenzie- why did you leave your purse at a pumpkin patch?” Through nearly previous tears I started laughing and replied, “Great question! I think I was just too excited to carry my pumpkin and get home to carve it, so I dropped it without noticing!”.

We planned on a public meeting spot (Peet’s because where else?!), and I ran out the door with DJ. We tried offering them compensation for their troubles, but they refused. They said they just wanted to do the right thing. Then the husband asked, surprising us, “Are you believers?”. We quickly exchanged information about which churches we attend and a bit more small talk. Then we parted, perhaps never to see them again (well not never again 😉 ). What started as a traumatizing, panic ridden moment turned into an heart-warming experience. I still have no idea what led them to ask us if we were also believers, but how stinking cool. She messaged me that night to let me know her sweet daughter had prayed that I wouldn’t leave my purse at the pumpkin patch next time! Lol.

After this crazy day, DJ and I decided one thing was necessary: Cookies.

Break and bakes to be specific: What is your favorite brand/type?!? DJ loves the Pillsbury Chocolate chip ones and I love the Pillsbury S’mores (but they are hard to find). I firmly believe in cooking 1 minute under the recommended cooking time. We decided to save the Pumpkin Carving for another day.


DJ is the chocolate milk KING. Like he knowwws his chocolate milk. One time we had a blind taste test of about six different brands of milk. He nailed each one of them. He has a list of tiers on his phone where he rates the best of the best. Shamrock Farms is at the top! DJ probably would be embarrassed if he knew I wrote this… so quick read it before he makes me delete it!  Anyone else love a certain brand? Milk and cookie discussions are paramount to life.

NOW: Here is the meat and potatoes of this post!!!! To celebrate the NCLEX, I wanted to do something CRAYYY! So I looked up “Haunted places in the Bay area”. I don’t believe in “haunted”, but still in lieu of this time of year I thought this would just be interesting… I want to say “fun” or “festive”, but when you hear what happened to lead to this story, those words do not seem to fit. We contemplated touring the Winchester house, but I recently went through it, and it takes a while for the tour. We decided to save that for another time. I found a haunted road, Marsh Rd., and a haunted restaurant, The GrandView, that were within twenty minutes of one another. I made reservations at the restaurant and planned out so we would have enough time to explore the road.

Time for the spooOOooky stories:

Marsh Rd: “It’s become almost a rite of passage for Milpitas high school kids to seek out the ghost of murder victim Marcy Conrad, who was killed by her boyfriend on Marsh Road. Unlike the back stories of most urban legends, this murder was real and well-documented.” –

They actually had to close the road for a while because it was getting a bit out of hand with people going to the bridge and ravine where the ghost supposedly wanders.

While DJ and I were driving down this road, all we could talk about was how stunning the mountains and scenery were. It was probably one of the most charming places I have been since living in California. And yet, still it felt strangely unsettling. Now, knowing the background of the story and what actually occurred here, my heart was beating a tad faster than it should have been. I think the fact that we felt so isolated was what made the drive eerie more than anything. There was no one in sight. Nothing in sight. Then all of a sudden something stepped out into the road. My breath caught in my throat. A big pitbull-terrier mix type dog was giving us an ominous stare down with eyes outlined by dark circles. DJ slammed on the brakes, and we waited for it to get out the way. My breath started coming back to me slowly and my heart rate slowed. I calmed myself down. DJ laughed at my reaction, and we kept going, further and further down the road. Finally we came to the bridge and ravine… My stomach knotted thinking about the story surrounding this place. We turned the car around after taking a quick look around and began driving back up the road.


As we drove back up the road, DJ made some quick remark about the puppy coming after us. As soon as he said this, the same dog ran out into the road again, way further along than where we originally saw the beast. He stopped and stared at us just like before with large, dark knowing eyes. I was like, “Ok that’s it, let’s get out of here!”

Next stop: GrandView Restaurant.

The GrandView: “The lights have been known to flicker or even come on by themselves at this restaurant, even when no one is in the building. Also, the ghost of a young girl has been reported standing on the balcony that looks out over Silicon Valley.” –


Okay, despite the stories, and the alleged “haunting” of this venue, I felt like it was nothing but magical. Even the bartender that greeted us laughed at the notion of it being haunted. The view of Silicon Valley was ….. well even now… it’s leaving me speechless. We came at the perfect time to witness one of the most incredible sunsets. It was beyond romantic and DJ and I dined over delectable halibut and lobster carbonara. I probably do not even need to describe the flavor. Ya’ll need to come and experience it yourself.



I felt like we were dining in heaven. It was surreal. I could not have imagined celebrating any differently. Also–I begin applying for jobs next week- YEEK! 🙂

Sunday was a bit of a whirlwind, in the best way! We have have begun volunteering at church in the mornings, so we get there around 7:15 (DJ) and 8:00 (myself). It has only enhanced my whole feeling of belonging, relationship with Christ, and perspective of the body of Christ. Right before the first service, I received a message from a friend I went to college with. DJ and I have been wanting to get together him and his wife for a while, and I suggested they come to our church sometime. They have plans to move back to Indiana, but I recommended they swing before they did! Sure enough, they said they were on their way for the 11:30 service! I was both shocked that they were coming, but also thrilled. They drove two hours to us from Modesto and we grabbed lunch at the Farmer’s Union together afterwards. It was fantastic to catch up with them and see how God is moving in their lives. They said they felt like the message was tailored for them- it even led them to make some pretty big life decisions.

Because my blog tends to just run on food fuel as much as we do, and this post is a lengthy one, it needs a snack! A smoked Mozzarella & Cabbage Pizza with a Romaine and Apple Salad should do the trick… (And ya’ll didn’t think I could get any dorkier).


Monday was a SAD day. DJ gently woke me up to tell me that our dear, beloved Spanky had died. Guys- I was a mess. I loved that freaking fish so much. And it was just a fish?! How could such a little guy take up such a big piece of my heart?! DJ was also certainly upset himself. We were both pretty down the entire day. Cyranny certainly helped me feel better with her helpful blog counseling, hehe. She is a GEM. Anyway, we just kept busy, as you will see. We don’t have any idea how this happened, but we hypothesize it had to do with the water. We followed what the people at the pet store told us to a T, but I think they very clearly missed some instructions (no I’m not pointing the finger, OK maybe I am, I am a mother in mourning!). When we looked online they said they should have at least a 5 gallon tank, it should be 1/3rd original water, and it should be 78-82 degrees. They told us it was fine with the tank I bought and recommended to keep the water at room temp.

Our other guess precipitating the tragic event is Clinton or Trump took him out because they caught onto our #SpankyTomforPresident hashtag. I don’t know which it was, but gosh dangggg it was rough. People with beta fish- care to share some tips?! Anyways, I was going to do an update post about Spanky- how he was becoming more brave and spending less time in his barrel, how he loved me more than DJ (but DJ says Spanky was warming up to him), how we joked that he was too good for us….Perhaps he was and that’s why he went to fishy heaven.

We may get another in the future… but for now.. we are certainly not emotionally ready </3. (yes, I have a fancy for the melodramatic).

Naturally, I did what any normal girl would do to feel better: Retail therapy. Usually I don’t care for shopping all that much, only when the shopping bug really bites, but I always loooove thrifting. I went to a thrift store on Monday and went in for sweaters, but came out instead with this gem. I actually do not have a big purse, so this was great and had a Kate Spade-esque look to it! It was only $22 and it’s a Kenneth Cole Reaction. I think that’s a good deal?! I know I have some fashionistas out there- is this a good deal?


Had to share this beet hummus because it’s super unique and you just can’t beet it!


Once again, I attempted my pumpkin cheesecake with an oatmeal crust. I seriously love it, but it’s not quite perfect yet to share. No worries- third time is a charm. I am determined to per-fect this little boogar. I also plan on making my Pumpkin French Toast this weekend- and so stay posted for that sometime next week!


Monday night DJ and I decided to carve pumpkins. Keeping with theme of the night, I made a pumpkin pie. *The crowd all groans*.


I also tribed, I mean tried, my hand at chief Wahoo. Please don’t remind me how that one ended 🙁


DJ’s pumpkin was being stubborn. We won’t talk about it. 😉

Pumpkin seeds are always a must. I made cinnamon sugar, ranch, barbecue, and plain salt and pepper.


Tuesday morning I went running on my favorite trail- San Antonio Open Preserve. Due to the recent rainfall in this area, Thank Jesus, the trails have such whimsical beauty about them. Moss climbs the trees, the rivers are purring again, and the dampness of the mud adds a little spring to each step. It was an incredible run. Each breath was deliciously filled with the taste of nature and it reminded me greatly of Ohio.





Tuesday night I whipped up a grilled cheese with mild cheddar&muenster cheese for DJ with tomato soup and cilantro (I try to make things “normal” but it’s just so hard when there are so many herbs- OK?!), and then I made a giant garden salad for myself to finish up the produce.


Today (Wednesday), I met with a friend for Lunch and we had the MOST wonderful conversation. Later, DJ and I watched the game with the fam. 🙁 🙁 :(. If you are a Cubs fan, I am glad that billy goat curse is broken, just not at our expense!

Also- did you guys see that tweet?


Like come on. That’s freaking crazy. We were losing our minds over it!!!! It predicted exactly what happened… Minus the apocalypse. Lol.

On another note, it’s November already- can you believe it?! We have family coming in town tomorrow, and we are PUMPED!!!! Hope you all are doing so well. I’m thankful for this community and although I began this blog to update fam and friends and have a place to write down our memories, I treasure each one of you here and the friendships that are forming along the way <3

Wishing you a weekend CARVED with joy

xo <3


41 thoughts on “An Emotional RoLleR-coAsTer of a Week and So.Many.Updates.

  1. Ohh Mack I’m sorry about your fish. I have fish too so I know how that goes. I like the pumpkins you carved…even the Cleveland Indian. They played great last night even though it was a loss. I also like the way that restaurant you went to looks! You took lots of great photos!

    1. Thank you, Lisa!!!! It was such a good game- a historical game!! Truly if anyone had to take it home besides the Indians, I’m glad it was the Cubs. Well deserved after sooooo many years. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Enjoy the victory 🙂

    1. Aww thanks girlie <3 And isn't that feeling the WORST?!? I immediately am like, "Never again will I let this out of my sight!" and inevitably I find myself in these situations farrrr too often. I'm so glad that you found your card too! I hope you are having a lovely week, dear!

  2. I loved reading about your week! Sorry about your fishy!! When we lived in China I had fish and turtles for pets, kept me from missing my Abby girl too much. It’s so easy to get attached. 🙂 The difference with Canada and USA…after Halloween we are finished with our pumpkin everything and everyone really starts to think Christmas( especially after Remembrance Day) Since your Thanksgiving is later in November, I guess November is still very much pumpkin. I wouldn’t mind that. All your food creations were making my mouth water!!! Yum!! You’re so BRAVE! I wouldn’t go down that Haunted road…I don’t even like haunted mazes at Halloween. But you guys are young like my kids and they do that sort of thing for fun haha. Have a great weekend with your family.

    1. Aww thank you, Anna <3 It is so so easy to get attached! It took me off guard a little just how attached I really had become!

      And how interesting! I never thought about that with Thanksgiving being early for you all! Also I am a bit late to the game anyway since I had to put my fall festivities on hold with the studies 😉 I bet many others are pumpkin-ed out… but I'm just getting started! Lol.

      With the haunted road- I did not expect to be so freaked out!!! I thought it would just be a leisure drive, but my heart was racing!!!

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope your week has been absolutely wonderful and you have a beautiful weekend 🙂

  3. I love when you post! You need to more often!!! Here’s my two cents (or a lot of cents 🙂 ) 1. This is why I love California- I see you with your flip flops on in middle of Oct pumpkin picking! *Sigh* 2. That meme of the dog!! I swear that’s me every morning upon walking into my office without coffee ha, totally funny. 3. So glad and thankful you got your purse back I would for sure have extreme anxiety over that! But it’s heartwarming to know that there are good people in the world such a silver lining- also total fab on the new purse its definitely Kate Spade-ish and I love it, the white & lock and all! 4. You’re way too pretty to be self conscious over a beauty mark BUT I do love a good collar, choker, turtleneck too your outfit was perfect! Anyways I could just go on and on but your pictures are so delightful and I’m sure we’re all looking forward and rooting for your first job as a nurse! YAY!

    xo, JJ

    1. Jenny, your comments make my day e’eryday. Thanks for reading this lengthy little guy! I think the weather difference between the midwest and here is finally hitting me for the first time…. It is crazy being able to wear shorts in November!

      And for real- that dog is so accurate. Especially before coffee too 😉 Actuallly I may need to find a zombie gif for the before coffee one LOL.

      I’m so glad you like the purse! WOOHOO. Coming from you- that is huge! You know your stuff, girl.

      And you are the sweeetest. Thank you so much. I don’t know why it’s always bothered me– kids use to call it a hickey when I was little and even as an adult I have heard it. So your words warm my heart. Thank you <3

      Excited to catch up on all your happenings too and read alll about DC! I love that place.


  4. Talk about a crazy week! Did you sleep at any point or do you somehow have more hours in a day? 🙂 I’m glad that you got your purse back and I was sorry to hear about Spanky. It’s amazing how places often have similar ghost stories since we have a few haunted roads with strange lights in Ontario. Spooooky

    1. LOL – you are not the first person to ask me that 😂 I’m such a weirdo and I actually don’t like sleeping much- I do sleep just maybe not as much as an average person 😉 and that is seriously soooo interesting!! I want to visit Ontario sometime soon !!! If I ever make it there you better believe I’ll be searching those roads 😉 hehe. Have such a good weekend ! 💕

  5. I’m sorry about your fish! I have fish too and get sad when one dies. Sounds like youve had a great few days. Im loving all of your funny puns in this post and the fact that you did a pumpkin pi hahahaha!

    1. Hey Heather!!! Ahh thank you so much for your sweet words! It makes me feel better that other people feel the same way too AND that other people enjoy puns as much as I do 😉 <3 Hope you had a great weekend and have a wonderful week to come. Look forward to reading your posts always!

  6. Loved reading this post sweet girl!! Felt like I was talking to a friend at a coffee shop! So sorry to hear about your fish 🙁 he is in a better place now! Sounds like you were a great mommy to him! <3 I loved all of your Blue Apron posts! Adam and I actually made the SAME pizza last week but yours looked way better than ours HAHA! We didn't have the right pan and it was looking all kinds of cray BUT it tasted good!! I love how it makes extra so that we were both able to have some for lunch the next day. 🙂 I hope you have a great week ahead!! Xoxo

    1. Awwww this comment just made my day!!! I love that you felt this way reading this. I know they are super long-winded so I appreciate you taking the time to peak into my little life! That’s so funny that you guys made the same recipe!!! I am such a Blue Apron advocate, but only when there are deals going on 😉 Otherwise we are back to the ole’ cookbooks. Hope your week was absolutely wonderful. Love hearing from you always, Sarah <3 xox

  7. Sending you huge hugs! I am sorry about your fish:( Pets no matter how big or small have the power to impact our lives. Hugs. <3
    Congrats on passing! And good luck with the job search!
    Haunted or not that Inn looked amazing! And the views! Your pumpkin carving also looked like fun. I love all the different varieties with the pumpkin seeds! They looked so yummy! I hope you have a great weekend! <3

    1. Thanks, girlie!!!! I was truly surprised at how sad I was over that little fishy <3
      And it's seriously so sweet of you to take the time to read. I know these posts are LONG. Hehe. DJ loved the bbq ones best for the pumpkin seeds, and I liked the cinnamon sugar ones the best. SO GOOD. Hope you had a great weekend, dear. Always so so good to hear from you!

      1. I love reading your posts! They are always so uplifting and positive! And the food!😍 The only down side is I read when I am hungry and then want to order everything on Seamless. Uh oh! Lol awe thank you so much I hope you are having an amazing weekend 💗

      2. You are the SWEETEST! You have no idea how encouraging that is to hear 💕 and I hadn’t heard of Seamless but just looked it up- and it’s a meal delivery system?! How neat! I wonder if they have it in these parts! Hope you are enjoying your weekend immensely! Xoxo

      3. Awe sending you huge hugs. I am glad! And yes! As long as the restaurants are on their website you can order from anywhere with in a reasonable distance. There are nights that the boy and I will be craving different things and Seamless makes it possible for us to order from two or three different restaurants. You might. It is in most if not all major cities. Thanks love. <3 <3

    1. LOL! Girl, daylight savings saved my life. Haha. And there is nothing at all wrong with being lazy!!!!! We all need to veg. now and again. I actually had a pretty lazy day after church Sunday believe it or not ;). I’m about to start working on a post from the weekend. It’s crazy how much happens in just a few days! Hope you are having a fantastic week. <3

  8. Whenever I get rough weeks (or times!), I always remember that the universe does not send you anything that you can handle, and like tea, we work to our fullest in hot water! I am so glad that you managed to get your purse back, and it was picked up by such wonderful people! It is SO sweet that little girl prayed for you!

    That purse is VERY cute, it definitely reminds me of the Kate Spade Wellesley or the Kate Spade Maisie! Have a GREAT WEEK, you and DJ both! I love reading your posts, and love the updates!

    1. I love that- about we work to our fullest in hot water- so good! I have never heard that but will have to remember that. And yes- Thank God about the purse… that would have been trouble. I still take a deep breath when I think about it. The little girl was just darlin’. That family was the sweetest. And YAY! I was hoping you would comment about the purse 😉 I’ll have to go check out those real Kate Spade ones to compare! And you have a great week yourself, girlie. Always sooo good to hear from you xox.

  9. So sorry about your fish :(. Isn’t it wonderful how nice some people are?… My purse was stolen a few years ago when we were out at a bar and the police found it a few weeks later and called me and I just couldn’t believe it. I just love all your pumpkin pictures!! so pretty! And your blue apron meals… YUM!!!!! xoxox

    1. Thanks Taylor! I went through my stages of grief and doing a bit better this week, lol 😉 And that is crazy! Was everything still in the purse? Sometimes I lose faith in humanity, but occasionally someone will do such a nice deed like that and it’s restored somewhat. But now these elections are making me doubt people once again- LOL. Goodness gracious. Thanks for stopping by- and seriously if you have never tried Blue Apron- sooo worth it! Hope you are having a beautiful week after SUCH a great weekend <3

      1. Yes! Everything was still in my purse… camera, wallet, keys, etc. I couldn’t believe it. Oh I hear ya… I have been waiting for this election to be over for a LONG time. Today is finally the day. 🙂 I definitely will be giving Blue Apron a try after seeing all your yummy meals! Have a great week!!

      2. That’s crazy but I am SO glad it was all there. How nuts! Whenever you do try them let me know what you think 😊💕

  10. Your photos are so pretty, especially the pumpkin patch ones. So happy to hear about the good people who found your purse, and the little daughter is so cute! I once found a wallet on Bart with, get this, $1,500 cash in it. I did not want to turn it in the train operator because sadly many people cannot be trusted so I tracked down the owner myself. She was a young college girl about to take her first solo vacation. She came to meet me at the Ferry Building and was crying and hugging me and kept saying “God bless you”. It was a wonderful moment as a Christian woman.

    Congrats on passing the nurse boards! I know you will make a wonderful nurse.

    1. Oh my goodness Susie! Thank you for stopping by. Those pumpkins were the perfect subjects to photograph 😉 Made my life easy with all their gorgeous colors! Thanks so much. And that is NUTS! That says so much about your character too that you didn’t even just return it to the train operator. Good for you. It’s amazing how God’s got our backs in crazy situations like that… that YOU of all people or the people that found my purse would be such decent individuals. Thank you for the encouraging words about nursing! I have officially submitted my first application as of yesterday. Have such a great week! xo

  11. I love your Snapchat pout! SO much sassiness I can’t even.

    DJ studying only for an MBA: Give him a hug for me please!! That kind of decision takes an incredible amount of self-awareness and strength!

    Those WeeBee Mini Pumpkins made me squeel! I’d be a bajillion dollars poorer if I were there.

    “WHY did you leave your purse at the pumpkin patch?” HAHA So precious.

    Thanks again for sharing your week! I love your humour, even if it makes me groan sometimes. :p

    1. Haha, I go a little overboard with the snapchat filters and subject DJ to it too. And oh my goodness, thank you so much Afrilly! I passed that onto him and he said to say thank you.. That’s truly so encouraging!

      If I could grow a weebee mini pumpkin patch I would! Truly the cutest things in the world.

      And thanks for putting up with my humor 😉 Poor DJ has to live with it. HA! I hope you are having such a great week! Sooo good to hear from ya!

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