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 (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 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.