Tuesday, December 29, 2009

surgery for the cat

Our cat, Mimi, has had a lump on her right shoulder for about a year now. We did some research when it first appeared and found out that this was common for older calicos and thought nothing of it since it was fairly simetrical and it didn't seem to be bothering her.

Fast forward to now... the lump is much larger and she is constantly messing with it as if it's bothering her. She's even licked the top of it raw. She is also much more vocal than usual which, if you have ever met Mimi, you know that this means near constant yowling.

We took her to the vet and they told us she needed surgery. So, they took some blood work to make sure there were no underlying medical conditions that could cause complications with the anesthesia or proceedure itself. The results came back today and she is good to go. We are taking her in tomorrow around 9am to have the lump removed and then sent to an outside lab to be analyzed. With any luck it will be that simple and there will be no further complications.

Our vet is optimistic but, since Mimi is an older cat (15 years old to be exact) surgery in general is going to be rough on her. We should have her back Thursday morning. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

menu planning monday

I'm really excited about our menu for this week. All of it looks so good! I'm testing out a couple new recipes and combinations that friends have reccommended so I'll definitely let you know if there are any big hits or misses.

Sunday- lasagna
Monday- cajun style baked chicken, baked potatoes and peas
Tuesday- stuffed tomatos with chicken speedies and green salad
Wednesday- roast beef and cheddar paninis and sweet potato fries
Thursday- New Year's Eve at Steve's grandparents' house! - low country boil
Friday- pesto pasta with grilled chicken
Saturday- strawberry waffles and turkey bacon

I am also attempting a new cake recipe on New Year's Eve to take to the family party. It's a white cake with lemon curd filling that I found on my absolute FAVORITE cooking blog, vintage victuals.

In other news, this morning was our first day doing the couch to 5K program and it was.... interesting. Steve and I are definitely closer to couch potatoes than runners so between waking up at 5am and the running we are both worn out. However, we still plan to keep up with it even if we end up having to repeat a week here or there. Our goal is to be able to run a 5K in April.

We have also been dealing with some issues with our cat, Mimi, but I'll post more about that later.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

home again

Steve and I made it back to good old Port Wentworth this afternoon. We got all the goodies from Christmas up to the apartment and put away. The wedding certificate pictured below is now hanging in our living room and tomorrow preparations for new year's begin.

Our big suprise for the day was coming home to find that our cat had some sort of fit while we were gone and puked and defacated all over the place. You can't even really get mad at her because she's an older cat and things like that happen as animals get older. It took a while to get it all cleaned up especially considering that we were out of paper towels, rug cleaner and pretty much everything except air freshener. Add to that some other smaller issues and it wasn't exactly my favorite day this week.

I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Coming up this week: Steve and I start the C25K program and new year's eve!

Friday, December 25, 2009


It's officially Christmas! Everyone is home this year which is awesome in and of itself but I'm excited because this is my first married Christmas with Steve!

We actually did our Christmas gift exchange on Christmas Eve but I decided to wait and post about it until today.Steve and I got some great things that we will certainly use (clothes for work, a waffle iron and a panini press to name a few) and Steve actually bought me a beautiful diamond necklace. However, our favorite gift of the day was a suprise to both of us from my parents.

They took the Quaker wedding certificate from our wedding and had it framed with the picture we had taken of everyone who attended the ceremony. Check it out!
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It's beautiful and we can NOT wait to hang it up in our apartment!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and stay safe and warm wherever you are. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

home for the holidays

Steve and I made it to my parents' house for the holidays and it has been really nice being able to relax and spend time with family. My younger brother should get here late tonight and the whole family will be all together for the first time since my younger brother left for boot camp! While everyone is here we are also going to sit for a new family portrait. It's all very exciting.

Also this week, I found out that I am officially accepted to AASU for the spring! I wasn't happy about having to take a semester off of school so finally having the opportunity to get back to working on my degree is a big relief. So many people leave for a semester and never go back. I promised myself that it wouldn't be the case for me.... and it's not!

Finally, I got a confirmation phone call from my new boss. My official first day is January 5th! Woo hoo!

So... to recap... I get to see my whole family during Christmas and my in-laws during New Years, I'll be able to work on my degree again and I'm no longer unemployed. It's been a good week. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

my husband rocks!

This morning, as I went to make breakfast, I noticed that our salt and pepper grinders were full. Steve filled them without me asking him to or even mentioning that I needed to do it soon. Little things like that are why my husband rocks. :)

On another note... read your car's owner's manual when weird lights come on instead of taking it to the shop right away. The simplest answer is probably right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

magical cures

Finally, a day in December that I am NOT sick! It seems the Festivus miracles are abundant this year...

In all seriousness though, I have to give credit where credit is due. If you ever find yoruself with a bad case of food poisoning ask one of your healthy friends or neighbors to go get you some of this:

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I generally drink this when I feel a cold coming on or my throat feels a bit scratchy... or even if I'm having trouble sleeping. It works really well. However, the other day when I was curled up on the couch feeling like I was going to die, Steve suggested I drink some just to see if it would help. Low and behold... it did! I drank two cups then went straight to bed. The next morning I was infinitely better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

oh monday...

I had planned on posting the menu we have planned for the week since today is "menu planning monday". However, I managed to get food poisoning and the thought of eating absolutely anything is enough to make me feel violently ill. :(

The only thing we can think of that would have made me sick is the meat we put in the chilli yesterday. Everything we've eaten in the last 48 hours has been the same we've always bought except for that meat. Suffice it to say, I have more reasons to dislike Walmart and NEVER plan on buying meat there again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

well hello there!

It's been a while since I've gotten the chance to write! Ok, that's not completely true, for a while there I didn't have anything to say and then things got too busy to write.

Anyways... I'm here now to proudly proclaim that all of our Christmas shopping is done! Woohoo! The only thing left to do is mail a few things to those whom we won't see this year and wrap a couple items. Other than that we are all set!

With my extra time this week I'm going to make some Christmas brownies! Yum!

Since I missed MHR friday, I would like to take a moment to say that I truly lucked out in the husband department. He braved the holiday shopping crowds with me and helped me pick out each gift. For someone who loves shopping as much as I do it's really good that Steve isn't just a purse holder. He also finished his shopping for me over a week ago and has had my gift wrapped and under the tree. We'll see what he got me before I say whether or not I forgive him for taunting me for 3 weeks. ;)

Stay tuned for menu planning monday this week because I actually planned out a menu!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

shopping with the in-laws

I spent the entire day today out shopping with Steve's grandma, mom and aunt Rose... we had a blast! I was good and didn't buy anything except lunch but it was a lot of fun to just browse and get ideas for Christmas gifts.

My mother in law ended up getting me a super comfy pair of PJ pants because they were on sale and she swears she never gets to buy me anything. I'm not about to argue when cozy fleece pj pants are offered. :)

It was a really nice day and a lot of fun to spend time with my new relatives. I am blessed with pretty great in-laws.

Friday, December 4, 2009

my husband rocks

Right now I'm sitting next to Steve as he excitedly looks at all the options for the car he wants... completely geeking out over all the options. Ghost Busters 2 is on tv and life is good.

It is so nice to finally be feeling better and be able to cuddle with Steve without worrying about making him sick too. He's been a trooper though and even cooked dinner for me one night. This week my husband rocks because he takes care of me when I'm sick. :)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Every month our apartment complex has a "early bird" drawing. Everyone who pays rent before the 1st of the month gets their name entered into the drawing and whomever is chosen wins a huge basket of goodies and gets their picture in the next month's community newsletter. Well, this month Steve and I were the lucky winners! When Steve got home from work we went to pick up our prize and get our picture taken.

It was a bit difficult to see everything while it was packed in the basket so here it is a bit more spread out:
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This was also included but we took it out of the package before taking a picture of it:
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It was a really pleasant suprise!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thank God for alka-seltzer

The past few days have been awful. Thanks to my awesome immune system, I usually don't get anything more than the occasional sniffles and if it is worse than that, it doesn't last very long. However, every once in a while I catch something that renders me pretty much useless. This is one of those situations.

Yesterday I was so dizzy and congested that I didn't feel safe driving my car. My muscles are aching and no matter how much water and orange juice I drink my throat is all dry and scratchy. The constant coughing doesn't help either.

This is day 3 of being sick and, although I'm not really feeling any better, I am finally not feeling any worse. I attribute that to finally finding some cold medicine that actually does what it says it should:
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Yeah, alka-seltzer is my new best friend. Prior to getting some of this last night at the grocery store I had been taking nyquil and robitussen... neither one did me any good. I couldn't fall asleep because I couldn't breathe. It felt like someone was trying to smother me with a pillow every time I laid down. Now I can actually breathe and sneezing does more than make my nose and throat hurt. My temperature is coming down slightly and I'm hoping I can shake this thing soon.
The only positive thign I can think of is that the timing of this cold is convenient if nothing else... after Thanksgiving (parts 1 and 2) and before I start my job.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving dinner part 2

Last night my brother and his fiance came over for Thanksgiving dinner part 2. There was tons of good food, home made apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert and I actually used my crystal stemware for the first time! After dinner we all watched the Incredibles and the last little bit of the GA / GA Tech game. It was a great night!

In regards to the pie, I found the easiest, most delicious recipe for home made pie crust in my Real Simple issue from last month. It was so light and flaky... I will never buy pre-made pie crust again. You make it in the food processor and it takes less than 5 minutes... no joke. If you want the recipe, go HERE

Apparently I had too much fun last night because this morning I woke up with a cold! It's like a nyquil commercial over here... sneezing, coughing, sore throat... the works. At least I didn't get sick until after the holiday festivities.

Friday, November 27, 2009

mmm... bread

This morning Steve and I had to roll our sleepy butts out of bed and take his car in for service because the check engine light was on. Long story short, we were stuck there for four hours and left with a much lighter wallet and a fixed car. Thank God for Steve's bonus and actually being able to afford the repairs.

After that whole mess we pretty much wanted to act like veggies the rest of the day. However, Thanksgiving dinner part 2 is taking place tomorrow at our apartment and there my be a riot on our hands if there isn't fresh bread. In an effort to save the town of Port Wentworth from massive amounts of pouting (from my younger brother AND my husband) I set to work in the kitchen.

As soon as I started the recipe I started feeling more relaxed and by the time I got to kneading the dough I felt the stress from earlier slip away. If you have never made bread, I highly encourage you to attempt it in the near future. It is really easy if the promise of relaxation or the taste isn't enough to sell you on trying then do it for the smell... seriously, I can't think of anything better than the smell of bread baking in the oven.

Finally... I have to give credit where credit is due. Today is Friday and time for the weekly reason why my husband rocks. This week Steve deserves major kudos not ONLY because he has gone four weeks without a cigarette. That in itself is amazing and I am extremely proud of him. However, he also gets major bonus points for going to see New Moon with me on Monday! That's right, when I acted like a crazy 13 year old fangirl (the likes of which nobody has seen since my N'SYNC phase) he still chose to be seen with me in public. I am one lucky lady. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I heart the holidays!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Steve and I had a great day with family and ate some really good food.

After dinner was over and we spent some time relaxing at our apartment we decided it was time to start decorating for Christmas! We pulled out all of the decorations from storage, as well as our tree, and got to work. Here is the finished product:

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Our adorkable tree with all kinds of fun ornaments. We have everything from home made ornaments from my aunt Kim to vintage Star Trek and superman. The whole thing makes me smile because it is very much a blend of Steve and I.

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I had to point out our panda tree skirt. We found this in a box of Christmas stuff at the house the Christmas after we found out about the AOII colonization at CSU and I love it!

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Christmas village part one and our advent callendar.

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Christmas village part 2! I think the little church is my favorite because it's lit by an actual candle so the light flickers.

There is a wreath on the door too but I can't get a good picture of it...

Putting up Christmas decorations always makes me excited. Between the decorating, the excitement from Thanksgiving today and preping for the mini-Thanksgiving we're having on Saturday with Jed and Nicole I'm just about to burst!

Monday, November 23, 2009

our weekend in Columbus

Steve and I got home last night from our weekend trip to Columbus around 8:30 and pretty much just fell into bed and slept as much as possible. We had a BLAST and loved getting to visit with all of our friends (some of whom we hadn't seen since our move in August) but all the action and emotional highs have left us super tired.

Friday night we had dinner with a few friends at one of our favorite places. Saturday we woke up early and went to the day spa for (well deserved) 30 minute deep tissue massages (paid for with money I earned cleaning houses with Steve's grandma). That afternoon Steve went out to visit with people he used to work with and I got some much needed time with my twin! Finally, the day ended with a Columbus Cottonmouths hockey game. They played the Huntsville Havoc and, although we lost, there were a TON of fights... and we all know that the only reason I really enjoy hockey is because of the fighting. :)

Sunday was the annual TKE Wild Turkey event and a big reason why we visited the weekend we did. Every year, the weekend before Thanksgiving, Steve's chapter of his fraternity has an actives vs. alumni football game. Everyone brings a side dish and after the game everyone has a big meal together. It's a lot of fun to watch and also a great opportunity to meet the people Steve talks about in his fraternity stories.

This year it was incredibly cold and rainy during wild turkey. A ton of people still came and we had a blast... we were just huddled under blankets the whole time and the guys got really muddy. Here is the picture of everyone who played... taken after the game:
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

I know, I know, MHR is usually done on Fridays. However, yesterday I was driving across the state to come visit all of our friends in Columbus! My car is pretty awesome but it doesn't have wi-fi so I am doing my update today.

We made it to Columbus safely and have been enjoying the comfort of spending time in the city where our relationship began. You never realize just how much you miss someplace until you go back to visit. Last night we went out to dinner with friends, tonight we will probably try to make it to the hockey game and then Sunday is Wild Turkey so there is plenty to keep us occupied while we are here. At the same time though we made sure to fit in time to just sit back and enjoy the weekend and time with each other.

This week, my husband rocks because he is a really fun person to road trip with and vacation with in general. A four hour drive can be a lot for some people but Steve laughs and jokes with me the whole way... or sings with the radio... or we play dumb roadtrip games like the alphabet game. We have a lot of fun on our various trips and I'm grateful for that because I love road trips!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

O happy day!

Wow! This week has truly been filled with suprises and blessings... and it's only wednesday!

First off, for those of you who I haven't told yet, I have been offered, and accepted, a job! It is truly an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait until my first day. :)

As if that wasn't enough to be excited and grateful for.... when I checked the mail on Tuesday I found that Steve and I had gotten some presents!

I got a $15 off coupon at kodak.com (thanks to Hayley from deals, steals and heels) and used it to buy a beautiful photo ornament for our Christmas tree since this will be our first Christmas as a married couple. I used a picture of us from our reception and the whole thing came out even better than I imagined!

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It is white porcelan with a white ribbon hanger and I love it. I may even display it in the house year round! And, with the coupon, all I paid for it was the $2.98 for shipping. :)

We also received a suprise package from Steve's brother and his wife. They just had a baby and promised to send us some pictures of our neice once they got her portraits back. Well, not only did we get some wallet sized pictures to carry with us, but we also got this:

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That is a framed picture of our beautiful neice and her tiny footprint! I was so excited... we haven't gotten a chance to meet little Anastasia Leigh yet (since they live in Alaska) and seeing that cute little footprint just makes her that much more real. I cannot wait to finally meet her and spoil her in person!

Finally, I got the opportunity to earn a little spending money for our trip to Columbus this weekend by helping Steve's grandmother clean houses two days this week. It's not the most glamorous job in the world but it's a chance to spend time with my grandmother-in-law and get out of the house for a bit... not to mention make a pretty decent amount of money!

I can't help but feel thankful for such a joy filled week after spending so many weeks and months stressed out and frustrated.

Monday, November 16, 2009

monday, monday...

It's that time again... the start of another week. This week should be fun too because Steve and I are going to be getting things ready to head to Columbus for the weekend! Knowing we are going to be out of town this weekend made menu planning a bit easier than usual since there are less days to plan for and I think we have a pretty good line up:

Monday: tacos

Tuesday: zesty italian chicken bake with red potatoes and carrots (I might exchange green beans for the carrots)

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: ranch chicken casserole

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: we're in Columbus with friends! I can't wait!!

oh... and P.S. stay tuned for an exciting announcement later this week. Quite possibly even later today. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

my husband rocks

Just in case some of you have never had the pleasure of moving to a new city where you don't know anyone, let me go ahead and tell you that it is one of the least fun things you could do. Add in being completely broke, thus preventing you from being able to go out and make new friends OR visit your old friends, and it gets downright depressing.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that Steve did some special budgeting and planning with his bonus so that we can afford to visit Columbus next weekend!

For that, Steve's awesome financial skills are this week's reason why he rocks. He always manages to make things work out and I know I will never have to worry about going without the things we need.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

gift giving made easy

As much as I love Christmas, the gift giving aspect of it can get a bit stressful. We've all gotten gifts where you know the person was really thinking of you and trying to be thoughtful but the size was wrong, or they got your favorite team mixed up, or they had no idea you were allergic to wool. It happens and the gift in question either gets returned/ exchanged or tucked away in the back of a closet until the next yardsale comes along. While it is the thought that counts, it feels so great when you find a gift the recipient truly loves. You know that whenever they use it they will think of you.

Well, I've got some good news. This year the guessing game ends and the likelihood of giving (or getting) something destined for the yardsale pile has been significantly reduced.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Kaboodle.

This website has taken the idea of a wish list and combined it with the accessability and convenience of social networking sites. You create a profile and then, when you are browsing online, add things to your kaboodle wishlist with one click. You can even specify color, size and any other important details. Next, you invite your friends, relatives and anyone else you find yourself shopping for, to make a profile too and become your friend. You are able to look at all of your friends' wishlists and purchase gifts directly from there! Ta-Da! Guessing game over, confusion avoided.

What makes it even better, there is an option for you to list your favorite stores/brands within your profile. That way, if someone doesn't see something in their price range on your wish list, or simply prefers to give you a gift card, they know exactly what stores you shop at. Woo-hoo! no more wasted gift cards (read: no more wasted money).

I will be able to buy the latest geek-tastic gadget for Steve without getting a headache from the technical details and Steve can get me the beautiful vintage jewelry I love from Etsy.com without fear. It truly is a win-win situation. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

faith the size of a mustard seed

This morning I did something that three months ago, when I began my job search here in Savannah, I never thought I would do. I turned down a job offer. Even now, as I type it out, part of my brain is screaming at me to change my mind. This economy is rough and something is better than nothing, right?

I thought so for the longest time but then I got some very wise advice from my old sunday school teacher. After finding out I didn't get one of the jobs I interviewd for, she told me that God has a great opportunity planned for me and she is praying that I don't overlook it.

Those words really resonated with me and when I got the job offer yesterday they kept ringing in my head. The job was something that I enjoy and am good at, but in no way helps me build skills that will help me in my future career. It would have brought in a small paycheck that would have allowed us a bit of breathing room in our budget, but there was no real opportunity to leave if a better offer came along (at least not one I could feel good about).

When I took the time to really think and pray about the situation I felt convicted. It was as though God was calling me out for a lack of faith in him and his ability to provide for me. I had trusted him and thanked him when times were good but when I found myself back in times of difficulty I wanted to take back control instead of leaning on him. I wanted to hide in my comfort zone instead of allowing him the opportunity to push me forward.

My dad and I have talked a lot lately about having faith and trusting in God to give us what we need. It reminded me of a scripture we used to talk about in small group at church:

Matthew 17:20 - He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

That was the last little push I needed to make my decision.

As mentioned in the post below, I had an interview yesterday for a really great job. While I would be thrilled to be chosen, it is truly an amazing opportunity, I'm holidng onto my newly found little mustard seed of faith that no matter what, Steve and I will be provided for. It isn't easy surrendering control and trusting in a plan I can't see, but I have to believe that if he can keep me safe while my work group is being bullied by federales in Mexico then he can care for Steve and I in this economy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

menu planning monday... or not

I feel a bit lazy about not planning a menu this week but I know that even if I do I am going to end up eating ramen noodles most nights instead of whatever I have planned. I really don't like to cook when it's just me at home. Something about planning a menu and grocery shopping for only myself makes me a bit sad.

Instead of making a menu today I went on a job interview instead!

The job I interviewed for is, in a word, amazing. I'm not going to give any details, just to be on the safe side, until I hear back from them but really, I would be ecstatic if I got this job. Please note that I will be sitting at home with all my fingers and toes crossed until a decision is made.

Friday, November 6, 2009

my husband rocks!

Look over to the righthand column for just a minute... see that new ticker over there? That little beauty is all about Steve and his awesomeness. He ran out of cigarettes one week ago today and instead of running out to get more he chose to quit! He has been completely smoke free since Halloween. :)

Even more amazing is that he is doing it pretty much cold turkey. He's got some Nicorette gum that our health insurance paid for just in case he gets a bad craving but he hasn't needed it since Tuesday.

I am so proud of him. We had discussed him quitting a few times and agreed that he would do it sometime before we had kids but the specific timeline was up to him. I was completely shocked how quickly he made up his mind to quit after smoking for nine years but I'm so happy for fim!

This week my husband rocks because he finally decided to stop smoking and has been smoke free for almost a week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

all of my english teachers were right

This morning I had a job interview. I know, amazing right? I was really excited about it and I feel like it went really well. Now I'm just playing the waiting game for their decision.

It was a typical interview really except for one thing. They asked me to take a writing test. As in, here are my notes on what I want in the letter (some of which were in shorthand)... please sort through it all and give me back a professional looking and intelligent sounding letter that I can send out.

Granted, I have been writing professional letters for a while now but never under so much pressure and usually not without some sort of reference guide to make sure I have the technical aspects right.

The guy literally handed me a page of notes and told me when I was done he was going to go through it with a red pen to see how many mistakes I made. Uh.... holy intimidating skills test batman!

I pushed through it and I think I did well but all I can think about is how english teachers across the country have been vindicated. Yes, you really do need to know proper grammar and usage as well as how to write professionally.... you never know when you will be tested on it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

menu plans for this week

I meant to get this out earlier this week but, long story short, I forgot.

Since Steve has been home a lot more I have been trying to make meals that reheat well so he can take the leftovers for lunch. I've also been doing more experimenting with new recipes. Next week Steve will be gone on business so he has requested some of his favorite foods.

Sunday: we ordered chinese for dinner

Monday: echiladas

Tuesday: chicken pot pie

Wednesday: lasagna

Thursday: greek chicken

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: breakfast

Monday, November 2, 2009

remembering loved ones

Part of el dios de los muertos is remembering loved ones who have passed away. I have been thinking a lot about loved ones Steve and I have lost since this time last year and, as today is the last day of the holiday, I decided to share a little bit about them with you.

This past spring my great grandpa Smith passed away. I'm sad to say that although I loved him very much I don't know a lot about his life. What I do know is that he was head over heels in love with my great grandma Harriet and that we started losing him very soon after she passed away. I also know that he was in the army and served in Alaska during WW2 and my great grandma trekked across the entire country with a baby just to be with him. I miss him a lot but knowing he is finally with my great grandma again makes me feel better. Here are some of my favorite pictures of him:
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In looking through my pictures of my great grandparents I came across this one as well...
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Those are my great grandparents on the right but the woman between them and me is my great great grandma Smith, or as we called her, Grandma Nora. She passed away when I was in the 5th grade but I still think of her almost every day. She is in my thoughts today especially. I won't list out all of the amazing things about her here since that would make for a very long blog but I will say that she is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. I was named (my middle name) after her which is a huge part of the reason why I did not change my middle name to my maiden name after I got married. She is also a very large part of the reason that I am bound and determined to get my degree no matter how frustrating it gets. Education was incredibly important to her and if she knew I left school and didn't go back she would probably find a way to come back just to kick my butt.
Finally, as we remember loved ones who have passed on Steve and I find ourselves remembering his dog Spankey who passed away very close to this time last year.
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Spankey was a complete sweetheart. He was incredibly old for a dog (passed away when he was 19 and a half years old) but we loved him. The day we took him to the vet to be put down was the only time I have ever seen Steve cry.
These are not the only people I am remembering today... some of my friends have recently lost loved ones too and they are certainly in my thoughts and prayers today. However, I want to be clear that today, and this entire holiday, is not about being sad. El dios de los muertos is about celebrating life and remembering all of the wonderful things about loved ones who are no longer with us.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Adventures in baking: pan de muertos

Happy Halloween!

I must admit, Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays. I couldn't handle all the candy when I was little and I don't really like being scared so the haunted houses and such never appealed to me.

However, the two days after Halloween are called el dios de los muertos (the days of the dead) and it is a traditional Mexican holiday which I adore. It is basically a time to remember loved ones who have passed away and celebrate their lives. In Mexico families traditionally go to the cemetary for the day and visit the graves of the deceased with gifts of their favorite foods, marigolds, and other treats.

Pan de muertos (bread of the dead) is a traditional food eaten during el dios de los muertos. It is essentially a slightly sweet bread with an orange sugar glaxe on top. YUM!

Although neither Steve nor I are hispanic, we have embraced this holiday and look forward to celibrating it as a family through the years.

I've wanted to make pan de muertos for a while but was either too broke to afford making it or couldn't find a recipe I liked. This year I managed to get everything together in time and it turned out quite well in my opinion! I'm going to post the recipe on the July 2009 nestie cookbook for those of you who read that and if anyone else wants it leave me your email address and I'll send it to you!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Last night we were watching Ghost Whisperer reruns (our new favorite show) and in the episode the main character's husband died. Automatically I start thinking about how I would feel if something like that happened to Steve and the emotions were completely overwhelming. So... there I was bawling my eyes out two minutes into the show. When he realized what was going on, Steve turned to me and started tickling me and saying the most random stuff. At the time it was sort of annoying because I have been doped up on pain meds for my toothache and thus exceptionally grumpy the last few days. However, when he finally stopped I was smiling and laughing with him.

Today when I was thinking about what to use as my MHR for this week I kept thinking about last night and all the other times he has done everything he could to make me smile and laugh and be happy. Whether it's a tv show that hits a little too close to home or a real life tragedy or just something random that makes me mad/annoyed/upset.... he's there with funny faces and tickling and everything else to help me feel better.

All of that being said, MHR because he is always able to make me smile... even when I don't feel like I can.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

back to the drawing board...

As some of you already know, I had a job interview yesterday. I was really excited because, out of the probably 50 applications I have put in since leaving my job in August, this is the first interview I have gotten.

I went and met the family, had a lovely conversation with the mom, held the baby and felt like it went really well. However, this morning I received an email letting me know that they decided to go with someone else.

I'm more than a little bummed about it.

As if that weren't bad enough, I got a call this morning from the temp agency I talked to about a month ago saying they had a job for me and needed me to start immediately. When I asked for details the lady said she would call me back. Three hours later I call back and they tell me sorry but they filled the position already. WTH?

Now I am back to square one... looking for jobs and applying everywhere I can think of. :(

Monday, October 26, 2009

menu planning monday: 10/26 through 10/31

Many of my friends from the knot/ the nest have taken to posting their weekly menu plans on mondays. This gives all of us an opportunity to share recipes amongst each other as well as help ourselves get organized for making dinner during the week. With Steve being gone so much I don't really make dinner plans for myself but, since he will be home for a while I'm joining in the menu planning! Our menu for this week is:

Monday: breakfast (blueberry pancakes and bacon)

Tuesday: Steaks, mashed potatoes and sweet peas

Wednesday: tomato and chicken linguine and zucchini rounds

Thursday: BBQ chicken, baked sweet potatoes and corn

Friday: buffalo chicken pizza

Saturday: leftovers

Btw, today is world pasta day so I encourage all of my fellow carb lovers to celebrate as much as possible. :) I will be having pasta for lunch!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a big fat WTF?

I consider myself to be a very tolerant and accepting person. Although I may not agree with another person's beliefs I can respect their right to their own opinion and, in some cases, listening to their point of view helps me to define my own. It was in this spirit that I began looking into some books recommended to me on Feminism and Feminist theory.

According to the dictionary (yes, I looked it up) "feminism" is defined as "the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men". A feminist is defined as a person who subscribes to the ideals of feminism. Working with that definition, I consider myself to be a feminist.

That being said, I am beyond shocked at some of the so-called "feminist" ideology being published right now. I was in Barnes and Noble today browsing the women's studies section for the above mentioned recommended readings and I saw an entire shelf dedicated to books about "the trap of motherhood".

Upon seeing these titles I thought to myself, "how can motherhood be anti-feminist"? So, I pulled a few of them and scanned the introductions. What I saw shocked and angered me.

These books were saying that being a mother was detrimental to women as children become a "life long burden" and that women are "trapped" into a role of caregiver for the rest of their life. One book went on to discuss how a woman who has children will never be as successful as a woman who chooses not to and that by being a mother she is holding herself back.

To this I say: are you freaking kidding me?

I am not a mother but it is one of my strongest desires. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a mom and been fascinated by the fact that women have the power to grow a human life within their bodies. I understand that motherhood requires a great deal of sacrifice, time and energy but isn't that true of anything worth having? I didn't read enough of these books to see any statistics or facts to back up the theory of non-mothers being any more successful than mothers but I would imagine that this theory is heavily dependant on a person's idea of what it means to be successful.

Maybe my own views are keeping me from being able to see these ideas objectively, but it breaks my heart that there are women who are rejecting something so truly amazing for political reasons. It's not like this was one book out of thousands... this was an entire shelf of books with similar ideas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

major sad face... but ending on a happy note

For those of you who haven't heard, a water main broke in Savannah this afternoon and cut off service to the entire northern half of the city.... also known as the half of the city I live in. An hour ago everything was fine but when I got home from the store I turned on the sink to and got nothing... not a drip.

This is inconvenient in general but it's especially bumming me out today. I had planned to be "awesome wife" and suprise the hubby with homemade chicken noodle soup and apple pie for dinner when he got back from his business trip tonight. However, soup requires water as does prepping a chicken, and making pie crust... you get the idea.

Our maintanence people at the apartment said that city crews are working on the problem but nobody knows when the issue will be fixed. For now, it appears that I'll be busting out some pre-made pie crust for the pie and calling a hail mary for dinner. *keep your fingers crossed for a speedy fix to the no water situation.*

In other news.... My Husband Rocks!

Steve has been gone all week (again) on business this week. It isn't very much fun to be a newlywed and be constantly seperated from your husband. I seriously don't recommend it. However, the situation has brought to light a great quality in my husband that I probably never would have recognized otherwise.

My husband rocks because he always calls me every day he is away from me no matter how busy he is. That may not seem like much to some people but by the end of another lonely week being able to talk to him abotu random events of the day make me feel so much better. I also like knowing he's thinking of me too. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

random music rec

The upside to being home a lot is the opportunity to do things I don't normally have time to do... like check out all of the music recommendations people have been giving me for a while. I've been catching up on those quite a bit this week and I am in love.

Ladies and gentlemen.... I give you Halestorm.

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Words do not express how much I enjoyed their self titled album. I just want to sit here and listen to it on repeat until I have all the words memorized so I can sing along... this is definitely music to jam out to. If you like enjoy bands with a distinctive style and sassy lyrics then you will adore Halestorm.

Their official website is http://www.halestormrocks.com/ which is also where you can watch videos, hear some of the music an get much more info on the band. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A day worth writing about

Today did not start out well. In fact, by the time afternoon rolled around I was feeling pretty frustrated with job searching and the various other issues that have arisen since Steve and I moved here in August. However, as soon as I stepped out my front door on my way to the grocery store and the breeze hit me, my mood instantly improved.

It's the first truly fall-like day of the year here in Savannah. The weather is cool and crisp, the trees are just hinting towards their colorful encore and, for once, the air actually smells like something other than the paper mill and low tide... it's refreshing. Today is the type of day that makes me reminisce about apple picking and cider making when I was little and makes me want to bake bread and go on a hayride. Today is the type of day that I cherish because all of the warm fuzzy feelings I associate with the fall season come rushing in to cheer me up.

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, not the least of which being that it coincides with football season. Everything from the colors to the food and the holidays that occur during the autumn months make my heart smile. I was worried that I would miss the season completely being in a coastal area like this but today proves that my fears were unfounded.

In an act of gratefulness for the arrival of my favorite season, and the much needed warm fuzzies, I am taking the rest of the day to relax in some of my favorite ways. I am cuddled on the couch in cozy pajamas, cuddled up in my new favorite quilt (a wedding gift from my aunt Kim), reading and drinking coffee with gingerbread flavored creamer out of my favorite mug (it's green with a rocket ship on it and says NASA). Later, I am planning to chat with some dear friends. All the while I'm listening to my "cozy" playlist made up of all my favorite bluesy, indie, country songs. As I type this Bonnie Raitt is crooning out "Angel From Montgomery" so I lift my coffee mug to those reading this and send my warmest wishes for a happy fall y'all!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

My friends from the nest first let me know about "my husband rocks" a little while ago and now that I have a blog of my own I will be participating!

For those that aren't familiar with it, "my husband rocks" is a movement that seeks to highlight the sweet and loving things our husbands do each day. Too many couples get bogged down in the shortcomings of their partners instead of accepting them for who they are and loving them anyway. "My husband rocks" attempts to prevent that from happening.

So... each friday I will post something positive about my husband. I also encourage other couples to try it as well.

This week... my husband rocks because he bought me flowers just because he knew I would like them. Not just any flowers either, a collection of fall wildflowers with several different varieties of daisies! (For those who don't know, daisies are my absolute favorite flower in the entire world.) This means Steve rocks on more than one level... buying flowers just to make me smile is awesome but he also managed to remember my favorites too. :)

Here is a picture of the bouquet so you can all see exactly how beautiful the flowers are!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

working out: back on the wagon again

Today was day one back in the gym for me after a long break.... and it was rough.

I am not a runner... not by any means... and I have awful will power. So the idea of making myself get on a treadmill and do anything remotely like running for any length of time is not high on my list of things I want to do.

But.... fitting into my cute jeans in time for the big G2G in Boston most definitely IS on my to do list. So to the gym I will go. :)

To help myself get through each workout without dying I've put together a playlist of songs that always manage to get me pumped up no matter what I'm doing. Today I was really feeling "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado. I first heard the song on Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleaders:making the squad on CMT and I fell in love with it! The beat is nice and steady and the lyrics make me smile. Check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoVsi_bP7s

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

grocery shopping

Although menu planning is typically done on Mondays this week has been a little strange with the hubby and I being gone. So... that means that today was menu planning/ grocery shopping day.

I'll be the first to admit, I adore grocery shopping. It is an activity that combines two of my favorite things... shopping and food! Just like any serious shopper, I'm as picky with where I buy my food as I am about where I buy everything else. Not suprisingly, there are very few places in Port Wentworth, GA that I enjoy shopping for food at. Since I had to get some non-food items, today was a walmart day (one of my least favorite places on the planet) and it was.... walmart. Every aisle was crowded and it took me 30 minutes to sort through the produce to find stuff that wasn't wilted or bruised.

BUT.... I did manage to get everything I needed and stay within my budget.

I also got to try out my nifty new grocery gadget when I got home too! Behold, the One Trip Grip!

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It holds the straps of your grocery bags so you have one convenient handle and can carry more groceries at a time. Since I live in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment the less trips to the car the happier I am. Today I managed to get everything inside in one trip!

So... in about an hour I will be starting dinner (a new recipe from one of my nest friends). I'll post the results tomorrow. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

new beginnings

The last few months have held a lot of changes in my life both spectacular and frustrating. In July I married the love of my life. August brought a move across the state, unemployment and taking a semester off of school. September brought a change in career plans and some serious financial strain.

Some of these changes sparked a desire for more change in the very near future and the setting of some specific goals between the hubby and myself. In light of all of these changes (both actual and anticipated) I felt that a new blog was in order to chronicle our progress.

In case you were wondering about the title of the blog, it's actually a line from an Elton John song I love and have been listening to a lot lately, Warm Love in a Cold World.