Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Biggest Loser


It's no secret that I love watching The Biggest Loser. I stuck with it this season, even though the contestants were whiny and multiple people cried during every episode. We're (Mr H and I) are a day behind on our tv due to work schedules, so we just watched last night's show. It was while I was eating my Chic-fil-A dinner (while watching the show - horrible!) that I realized that the show is supposed to motivate you to lead a healthy life, not encourage you to consume more fast food. Am I the only person that does this?
Mr H and I cannot wait until the finale. Neither of us were able to vote (Go Amanda!) because it was closed by the time we watched the show. After next week, we plan on resuming our quest to be healthier.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Recent Happenings...

So I know that I said nothing has happened since I last wrote, but that is oh so wrong. Many things have happened, some of which will have to wait until later, but part of the reason I need to write again is because my mom has recently been diagnosed with cancer. I just need to get so much out that I've been holding in for awhile now.

About a month ago, my mom went to the doctor for a routine screening not expecting anything. The doctor came back with purple bracelets for the American Cancer Society. There is no family history for this, so everyone was completely shocked. Words cannot even describe the wave of emotions that I felt. Why my mom? Why now? She is a healthy person, works out, eats right. Why? How could this have happened? I was hysterical to say the least. I even cried in front of one of my clients because I just could not keep it together.

She is doing much better now. They think that they caught everything early, and she only needs screenings for the next few years. But, this raises a whole new set of questions: Why did God let my mom be 'lucky' while others are not? I am extremely thankful, but it makes me feel bad for other daughters going through much worse than me. I only hope that I can be there for others the way that some of my friends were there for me.

Cancer is a horrible disease that catches you off guard. But, the optimist in me refuses to look at the negative. Instead, I have to be thankful this holiday season, realize how blessed I am, and continually thank God for all that He has given me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Blogging Hiatus

It's been quite awhile (about 2 months, I think) since I last blogged. To be honest, I needed a break from something in my life. As much as I blog to relieve stress, it was the first thing to be cut. I was not handling the pressures of living my life in limbo (since we still are not sure when/where we're moving), starting a new job, keeping up with the house, and many other things going on. But, I not only am ready to blog again, I need it. There are somethings going on that I just need to get out, and there is no better way than write/blog.
So, what's new? Nothing much. Really. I know, in 2 months things are bound to be different, but they're not. We're still living in Smalltown, USA, working, and trying to figure out this thing called life.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

Eight years ago today the worst attack on US soil occurred. Who can forget that day? Seeing all of the images of buildings burning and that feeling of pure shock. I remember sitting in my Senior English Class watching as everything happened (not to date myself) and thinking, "This is not really happening." We will never forget all of the loved ones that were lost, or the tragedy that was September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday


This is my absolute favorite time of year - I love football, but especially the Steelers. It gives me a connection to home that I do not have during the rest of the year. This was especially important on a day like today when I am missing home soooo bad. Seriously.
So, this Thankful Thursday goes out to all of you that love football, the Steelers, or your family.

1. Today is the NFL season opener.
2. We are going to the Tennessee v. UCLA game this weekend
3. My car broke down. Again. BUT, I was only 10 miles down the road, so I was able to make it back take Mr. H's car to work today.
4. I had a HUGE breakthrough with one of my clients today. I can't give out too many details, but it was HUGE.
5. Our house is clean! Woohoo, it does not happen too often
like this!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Empty.

As I posted yesterday, our house has been devoid of food for a few days. Seriously. Here are a few pictures of how little we had.
Fridge? Unless we ate a liquid/mandarin orange/condiment dinner on Saturday, we had to order pizza. Said pizza is the only thing of sustenance we in this picture. Sad, I know.
I promise that we eat. A lot. We just both eat two meals per day at work, and had not made anything with left overs in awhile. Plus, Mr. H is on this kick where we eat everything in the house before buying more.


I agree with that philosophy; however, I enjoy having more than this in my house. This picture of the freezer does not even do justice to how little we have. Most of the 'bags' are frozen vegetables and cheese (I know, most people do not freeze it, but it keeps well enough for casseroles and cooking. And, it keeps for longer). Yes, I do have freeze pops. They're great, and can double as ice for a cooler.





Here's our 'pantry'. Keep in mind that there are only two of us so we don't need as much as families. But there is not a whole lot that we can use to make a meal in here.












So now that I've shown how barren our house has been (a little embarrassing I must admit), here is how the same cabinet looks now.

Much better. Unorganized (it's usually better than this, but we just kinda threw things in for now), but better. The fridge and freezer look much the same. It's nice to be able to plan actual meals and not have to scrounge when getting home from work.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I heart days off

I have one word for this weekend: productive. We had so much fun relaxing and watching college football, but we accomplished so much around the here. Don't you just love those weekends?! Mr. H's car needed a whole bunch of routine maintenance which we have not had the time nor the money to do until now (we're talking brakes, rotors, transmission fluid, oil change, rotate tired, alignment, etc) so we spent most of Saturday morning doing all of that. Then we cleaned out the house. Ah-mazing! Clean kitchen floors? Yes, please. Move the furniture to vacuum in all rooms? Check. I think you get the point. We even made time to get rid of our massive amount of cords near the TV (it was heinous).
Most importantly, I finished the quilt that I have been making for Mr. H (it was supposed to be for his 21st birthday - 4.5 years ago). He loves it and promised to stop teasing me about it. It's even long enough to cover his entire body (he's 6'2'').

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

We finally went grocery shopping yesterday (post to follow on how little we had in the house), and we are ready for a week full of awesome meals. The total price for the entire meal is listed as well (keep in mind we always buy on sale, and combine with coupons).

Monday: Fried, Oven Chicken*, stuffing, green beans ($5.00)

Tuesday: Tacos, corn ($6.50)

Wednesday: Salad with almonds, mandarin oranges, and raspberry vinaigrette ($4.00)

Thursday: Calzones (me = lots of veggies, Mr H = lots of meat) ($5.50)

Friday: Homemade Subs, carrot sticks ($3.00)

Saturday: Tailgating food with Carolina Couple before the Tennessee v. UCLA game :) (???)

Sunday: Whatever we feel can find, but keep it lite

Total Cost: approx. $24.00**

Our week will be a little crazy, but we have the game to look forward to (hopefully I can keep the food somewhat healthy while we're there)

*We make fried chicken, then bake it on a cooling rack in a cookie sheet for 30 - 45 mins to let some of the grease drip off (it's actually good)

**This is an estimate based on what we have spent on our food. We usually do not eat everything that is planned because our schedules are crazy, plus there are always lots of left overs for the 2 of us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wake me up when September ends...

Today was a rough day. You know, the one where you're already tired and nobody is cooperating with you (funny how the two always seem to go together?) Instead of having a 'whoa is me' post, I though that I would share a couple pictures that I took with my phone on my drive today (I did not even look down at my phone until I got to work. Don't worry, mom). Since it's cold and the highway is higher than the valleys that the farms are on, I'm above the fog and it's absolutely gorgeous. Please excuse the quality is not that good - it's a phone camera, the car was moving and my windows are really dirty. It makes the drive even better. :) These pictures don't even do the view justice (the fog doesn't really show up/look remotely close).






Happy September!

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Usually I would post about what we're eating for Menu Planning Monday, but I think that I can make an exception today since I've been so MIA lately. Mr. H and I are going crazy trying to figure out our holiday plans. Our families live at opposite ends of the east coast, making it complicated on how to divide our time. We usually go see my family before Christmas and leave the day after to drive and see his family through New Year's Day. It seems easy, but I don't get off from work until Dec 23rd which would only give us a few days with my family. If we stay longer, there is no point in driving all that way for a few days. We could spend the whole time with his family, but it's different. My family is together for about 36 hours straight, and it's awesome. Mr. H's family tends to spread out (from my understanding), and we've decided that it's no way to spend such a major holiday. We like family time. A lot. Especially when we both feel like we're part it.

SO, do we crunch a trip to see his family for Thanksgiving, spend Christmas with mine (which we're not budging on that one), and New Year's by ourselves? OR do we try to visit both families over the Christmas holiday? I know this is early, but we need to make plans soon so his sister knows when to take off work, and so everything is settled with no more worrying.

We're also getting ready to start buying presents for everyone. Even though I have a job this year, we're keeping a really, super tight budget so we can save money for a house/grad school/two cars/furniture/retirement. We're trying to decide what to get for everyone. I'll post pictures as we find stuff. I cannot wait until Black Thursday, regardless of where we are.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

#21: Fold All Laundry for 1 Week

If anyone out there is even remotely like me, then laundry is one of the worst chores invented. It's amazing how much laundry multiplies when you're doing it for more than 1 person (I give all mothers a lot of credit because of this - and many other reasons). Mr. H claims that he used to only do one load per week; I did two every month or so. How we end up with about 4 loads of dirty clothes per week is beyond me.

Anyways, Mr. H and I have a deal that I do the laundry and he folds it. It works great, but he is in need of a serious break (he's been working 60+ hours/week lately). So, I decided to fold the laundry until his work schedule calms down a bit. It was 5 loads worth (and that doesn't include towels and sheets) - I wasn't exaggerating before. The time is longer since our dryer does not dry in 1 cycle (crazy, right?), so it's been some late nights here combined with early mornings. Fun times. At least I can cross something off of my 85 in 850!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Week's Menu

I had such a crazy time with my family, details on the shopping and whole weekend will come later (after a little rest). It is time again for Monday and for a little menu planning (is it really another week already?!).

Monday - Grilled Pork Chops and Broccoli

Tuesday - Crock Pot Roast (with lots of veggies)

Wednesday - Chicken Quesadillas

Thursday - Out to eat with some friends :)

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Soup and Sandwiches

Sunday - Hamburgers with Tater Tots and Carrot Sticks

Sorry, no recipes this week since we're eating simple food. More planning will go into next week (along with prices). Happy Planning! :)

For more great recipes, visit Orgjunkie.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week was hard to narrow down to 5 things that we are thankful for. After conferring with Mr. H as to what to write, we've decided on the following (and that we are extremely blessed):

  1. Mr. H is spending tomorrow night hanging out with a friend from work whom he has not seen in awhile (they no longer work together for various reasons). I don't think that he has been this excited for something in awhile.
  2. My first paycheck is tomorrow, and I get to go shopping.
  3. My sister is bring the nephew out to my parents' house this weekend. I haven't seen him since he was 2 weeks old and he looks so different in pictures now.
  4. Happily-ever-after pooch went up to someone at the park. He is a rescue dog that usually avoids any and all people he does not know at all cost; this is especially true when he's outside of our house. This has taken going to the park at least 2x/week for 3 years to get to this point.
  5. I have today and tomorrow off from work, and did not even had to go in to organize my room. I was able to 'sleep in' this morning until 7 and ran some errands. We haven't done a few things, like buy milk, this week because of work.

We hope everyone else is having a week full of blessings!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now that I'm in the "real world"

Not that anyone cares whatsoever about my plans for this weekend, but I just had to post it. I am going to my parents' house to see family (my sister and nephew are coming out, too) and see my younger sister perform at a local baseball game. BUT I am so excited to receive my first paycheck and shop with it. I really shouldn't shop since we want to save our money for a house and have some fun; however, this is my first real paycheck so I think we can spare a little bit of money. What am I going to buy?

How about these jeans (or something similar) since I have the hardest time finding jeans that fit me well and I can wear them to work.
And these, which I have had my eye on for a long time. Much more expensive than I usually spend, but I can get them since it's my first paycheck, right?

This wallet (since it's a wristlet/purse all in one). I usually do not go for Vera Bradley, but love this pattern and the concept (no more lugging a purse around everywhere.
Maybe I'll find a few other things as well. I'm thinking that some scrubs (pants) and plain shirts may be a good buy, too, since I can wear it to work (plus it's so comfortable!). I absolutely cannot wait to actually be able to shop and not feel completely guilty. I will still look for deals (and probably will not buy anything pictured here since it's all more expensive than what I usually spend).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Menu Planning Monday


This week's menu is a little crazy since I'm not really sure if I have to work on Thursday and Friday or not...If not, I plan on going to visit my parents/family while Mr. H works and fends for himself (he's a really good cook, and will be alright!).

Monday - grilled chicken in italian dressing with green beans

Tuesday - Homemade pizza with easy to make dough

Wednesday - Crescent Chicken with carrots

Thursday - Teryiaki Wings (wings tossed in teryiaki sauce)

Friday through Sunday - Mr H's choice :)


Recipes:

Crescent Chicken

Chicken, cooked and cubed ( 3 chicken breasts)

2 cans crescent rolls

1 package cream cheese

chopped green onion

garlic salt (a dash or so)

Melted butter

Bread crumbs (Panko with seasoning added, or whatever desired)

Combine cream cheese, garlic salt and green onion

Add chicken to cream cheese mixture

Pull crescent rolls out of can, press 2 triangles together to form rectangle

Place spoonful of chicken & cheese mixture in the middle of crescent roll and fold sealing sides (Make sure triangles are still sealed, as they come apart sometimes during this step!)

Coat outside of roll with butter and cover with bread crumbs

Cook on cookie sheet according to directions on crescent roll package




Easy Pizza Dough (from Cooks.com)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oil
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. water (warm)
Mix yeast and warm water; let set 5 minutes. Mix into first 4 ingredients. Let rise in warm place for 20 minutes. Press into 10 x 13 inch pan. Add favorite sauce and topping. Bake about 20 minutes or until done at 400 degree oven.




Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anything Goes!

We had such a crazy weekend filled with a visit from my brother, catching up on rest, and much to do with cars. You see, it all started when I pulled into the parking lot after a long day at work and saw my brother on his cell phone near his car with the hood popped. I thought, "this can't be good." And, it wasn't. His transmission went (we think, won't know until tomorrow) right as he got into town. What a way to start the weekend?! So, we got it towed and squared away. Then spent most of the day Saturday figuring out how he was getting back to Pittsburgh and getting my oil changed and changing my spark plugs (Mr. H did a wonderful job changing them). We also researched cars and crunched some numbers since my car is getting up there in age and miles (it's a 2000 with 127k - and has been driven all over the US). I am afraid that I may need a new car within a year (hopefully not, though!). My head is spinning just from thinking about it!

My car is the car that both my brother and I learned to drive on. It has dents on the driver's side from a run in with a dump truck on a side street and all kinds of crazy quirks (like you have to turn the AC off if you want to accelerate really fast or go up a steep hill with more than one person in the car) but, I love it. I'm not even close to ready to part with this car due to all of the memories. A new car means that I am growing up (which I am still in denial about) and moving on to the next stage in life.

It means that I am a real adult (not that paying bills and having a job have not shown me this already), and have to do real world things like haggling over a price and making some larger investments. Not ready for that. Nope. I have Peter Pan syndrome, and don't want to grow up. I still love talking with Mr. H about what we want our future house to be like, how we'll decorate it, kids, etc. like it's really far off (not right around the corner). I mean really, who wants all of that responsibility? I much prefer not worrying about it, at all. Which is why we are doing a TON of 'young' things this fall (like going to multiple college football games and tailgating like pros) instead of being completely responsible (and maxing out Roth IRAs).

It's okay to do this now, right? I mean, when else in our lives will we have a chance to be this irresponsible again? Yup. I much prefer this at the moment because I know that the years of doing the responsible thing is not far off. Once kids and a house and life happen there is no turning back. Everything will be planned - braces, college, retirement (if that is even a possibility for our generation), mortgage payments, home repairs, the list doesn't end. So, we're going to live it up while we can (while still being quasi-responsible and saving some money) so we don't look back on this time in our lives and think, 'why were we in such a rush for all of this?'

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's been a week full of adjustments for us, but a good one. Here's why we're thankful

  1. I started my job this week, so I'm not waiting at home for Mr. H all day and then decide that the moment he walks through the door is the best time to talk.
  2. My brother is coming to visit (mostly with Mr. H) this weekend. So fun - I have not seen/hung out with him in such a long time!
  3. Mr. H's xbox came back from being repaired. This gaming system does amazing things for our marriage (like time to clean without being interrupted)
  4. Traffic on my way to work has not been bad at all.Tomorrow night is date night.
  5. Mr. H is leaving work early and driving to the town where I work for a fun dinner - so exciting!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Move-in-iversary

Okay, so I tend to make up words, frequently, even though my profession as a Speech and Language Pathologist tends to frown upon this in clients. But, today is the 2 year anniversary of when Mr. H and I moved in together (after we were married). You see, we planned the whole wedding before I moved to Nashville, then found out that my program ended in August, not May. So, we kept the date and plans, just not the honeymoon and living together for the first 6 weeks part. It was tough, but in the end it helped us keep the focus of the marriage during wedding planning (we did not care so much about the small details as long as we were married at the end of the day).

In honor of this day, I thought I'd share a few pictures of our favorite things to do together.

We always love the holidays, mostly because we spend time with family (my family spends over 36 hours together during Christmas, and we both love this time). While our tree looks like Charlie Brown Christmas meets A Christmas Story, it was one of the first major compromises we made (Mr. H thinks tinsel is the best decoration...I'm more of a modern, ribbon person) - I get to pick the decor for a big tree someday. :)

Snowboarding. It is such a stress reliever during long semesters. Plus, we make complete fools of ourselves and it's okay. Mr. H really wants to master a jump and I a black diamond next season (we've only 'hit the slopes' maybe 15 times each).

Making fondue, especially in the fall during football games. We make a pot of pizza fondue and eat all day while watching games with the windows open and the cold air coming in.


Lately, we really enjoy taking walks at the park. It gives us a lot of time to just talk and get away from all of the distractions at home. We leave our cell phones in the car so it really is just us (an the dog).

So many more, but I'm worn out. Happy Wednesday, half way there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

She Works Hard for the Money

I can't believe it's already Tuesday night! It's funny how quickly the week passes when you're a working woman (i.e. have more to do than sit at home all day). I started work yesterday, and while I'm still a little scared to actually start I love it. They have training for a week and a half due to how involved working with this population is, but it really has not been too bad. Even the drive has not been as bad as I had originally thought (ask me in a month and I may have a different answer).

Although, I have not kept up with housework so far (nor do I see myself staying on top of it!). Any thoughts on how to manage a 9-10 hour work day, working out, cooking, AND housework?! It's too much for me to wrap my mind around since I've been exhausted at the end of the day and don't want to be up until midnight (or later) every night. I mean really, too much.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Wedding Reception & Honeymoon

The theme for the blog tour from Kelly's Korner this week is wedding reception and honeymoon. We wanted a unique reception site that was not your typical hotel-type wedding. Since a destination wedding was out of the question for many reasons and we couldn't find a barn or other rustic-like setting, we 'settled' for a historic hotel south of Pittsburgh. The ballroom was absolutely beautiful: wooden floors, huge windows, beautiful fireplace, balconies (which I wish our photographer had used for more shots). The day was perfect! Here's what half of the ballroom looked like set up.

Of course it would not be a Pittsburgh wedding without a cookie table


We had a traditional cake topper and had pictures of our parents cutting their cakes (not pictured) on the table.


Our immediate honeymoon consisted of driving back to Nashville and hanging out for a few days before Mr. H had to come back for work, and I finished my master's. We did take a cruise for our 1st anniversary, though, and count that as our real honeymoon. We spent 7 days aboard the Carnival Liberty, such a treat and sooo relaxing!

Our first stop was in Key West, FL where we visited the southernmost point in the continental U.S., shopped, and did a bar tour.

Next was Grand Caymen Island where we went scuba diving (sorry - no pictures, I forgot my camera on the ship). Our last stop was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We climbed Dunn's River Falls, shopped a bit, and swam with the dolphins (one of my life long dreams!). They also had a walking trail with exotic animals (we both held an iguana that was bigger than my head!).

Our honeymoon was so much fun that we're planning another trip for (hopefully) next summer!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Couch to 5k Review

I have gotten into trying to become a better person as a whole: mind, body, and spirit. Well, my mind is about full from going to school for so long, and I have been on a spiritual journey since I was a child (which is continuing to grow each day). However, I had let my body go since I was unable to swim anymore (after my senior year in high school). I had always hated running, with a passion. So I dabbled with other forms of exercise, but never really stuck with one.

I had decided last summer/fall that I needed to get back into shape since the 'married 15' was creeping up on me. So I caved and started running. Originally I did the C25k program to ease my way into the world of running, and found that even the 1st round of running for 1 minute at a time was difficult for me (yeah, I was that out of shape). I was making awesome progress until my hip started killing me every time I ran (and even when I wasn't running). I had to stop. Boo, hiss. Upon returning my hip was still killing me...I turned to yoga, wii, and upper body workouts for awhile before giving everything up around the holidays.

Recently, I have been motivated to begin working out again. I started with the basic level of the C25k to get myself acclimated with running again. This time, to prevent further injuries, I stretch after a 5 minute brisk walk (and I know when I've skipped this or not stretched enough after about .5 mile). It seems to do the trick. I have veered away from sticking to the plan and loosely follow it (I run 3 or 4 times per week and do the warm up and cool down), but instead I follow my own plan. I started running as much as I could, walk for about 2 minutes, then run the same amount of time, repeat for about 30 minutes. It works wonders! I'm up to about 5 minutes at a time right now (not bad for the person that could barely make 1 minute before). I've learned that following the program is not as important as getting to the destination, and everyone has her own pace.

Now if only I could find more motivating songs for my ipod....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

This is my last week at home. I start my first real job next Monday, and have not been this nervous in a long time. What if I forget how to do therapy? What if I cannot manage my time effectively? sigh. Once I get started, everything will come back to me. Anyways, I want to make this week productive so that everything is in order around the house and I do not have to come home and clean (at least for the first few weeks).
Here's my list of what needs to be done:
  • scrub kitchen floor
  • wash walls
  • clean bathrooms
  • create mail organization system
  • do all laundry
  • dust
  • tidy all rooms
  • clean closets
  • vacuum hardcore (move all furniture)
  • finish Mr H's quilt
It doesn't seem like much when it's written, but i swear it takes me longer than most to clean (motivation has something to do with it). Wish me luck!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Show Us Your Life Friday - Wedding Flowers

Kelly at Kelly's Korner has a great blog carnival called Show Us Your Life. In the past the themes have been about showing your house, and my house is not anything to show. All of our furniture has been free (except a $20 bookshelf from Target), and nothing goes together yet. Oh, the life of a grad student. Well, this week is wedding attendants/flowers/ceremony. I've included some pictures of my dress, too, since I did not participate last Friday.

My attendants were my two sisters (Maid and Matron of honor), Mr. H's two sisters, and my college roommate. Sorry, no pictures since I do not even put pictures of myself, I do not want to put a picture of someone else without her permission. The girls wore black dresses that pulled to the side (my dress did the same). They all carried multi-colored Gerber Daisy bouquets (daisies are my favorite!).

I had white roses (that ended up not being so white) and Stephanotis (which is similar to the white violet - my sorority's flower). The flowers were dried and framed and now hang in our bedroom - a great way to remember the day.

Here are my flowers with our rings. Look how much larger his hands are than mine (makes me wonder what our children will be like!). Mr. H. used yellow gold for the engagement ring because my wedding band was my great-grandmother's wedding band. I absolutely love my family and family traditions being incorporated into our lives, so I was thrilled when everything worked out.

One interesting attendant that we had and most wedding do not is a sign language interpreter. My undergraduate and 1st master's degrees are in Deaf/hard-of-hearing education, and wanted to incorporate this part of my life into the wedding. (Mr. H even learned how to sign in order to know what my PIC and I were talking about in college. That and there was a large Deaf population/culture on our campus, so most people learned at least a few signs.) My friend, Joy, did a wonderful job. Since we were the only 2 that graduated from the D/hh program our year, we signed in each other's weddings (so fun!).


Here is my dress. It's from David's Bridal because I could not see myself spending a ton of money on a dress that I was only going to wear once (I fought with my mother over this fact on so much for the wedding - I just wanted to be married at the end of the day and did not get too wrapped up in the details). It originally had cap sleeves, but I did not wear those because it was too much on me. I would like to have my dress made into Christening gowns for our children some day.

There's my veil (wish I had a better picture) it had little details on it that matched my dress. And that is my dad hiding with me before he walked me down the aisle...such precious moments.

My Husband Rocks!

My husband rocks just because he is a great teacher. Last week we stopped to see Carolina Couple on our way home from Florida and hit some golf balls at the driving range. Ms. CC and I had only done this a few times in our lives. We needed a bit of teaching to say the least. Mr. CC tried teaching his girlfriend, but could not get through to her (sometimes the best teachers are those that you are not in a relationship with). Mr. Happily-ever-after spent no less than 30 minutes teaching and helping us (enough time for me to hit a small bucket of balls). He even put down his club at one point to watch us and help make sure we were hitting the golf ball exactly right. Seriously, what guy would do that?! I often tell him he is in the wrong career and would make a great teacher (especially early childhood teacher).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is back...
  1. I am going out to dinner tonight with a friend from school (we haven't 'hung out' since graduation).
  2. My car broke down. on the side of the road. 50 yards away from the dealership while I was on my way there. but at least it is this week and not when I'm an hour away from home.
  3. We had time to go hiking, and the views were beautiful.
  4. All of our papers (i.e. bank statements, bills, etc) are neatly filed away (finally!).
  5. We get to go visit my family this weekend! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Divine Intervention

I have been writing this post for a few days now, and still don't feel like it's quite right, but not sure how else to put emotions/feelings into words. As a psychologist once said, "Emotions are something you feel, there are not always words for them." So, bare with me.

We have been married for a little over two years now (about 25 months to be exact), and we still love one another more than when we first met. The Brad Paisley song Then comes to mind when I think about this. Our families and friends acknowledge this, and have even asked how we maintain overall happiness with such hectic schedules. Our response is usually the sugar coated answer, "When it's right, you know." Most people accept this and move on; however, a few have inquired further.

Personally, I truly believe that God wants us to be together. Really, it was a fluke and a stretch that I ended up attending the college where we met. An even bigger fluke that he was behind me in line to sign up for a bank account (I still remember waiting with my parents, turning around, seeing him, and thinking 'college will be good.' Even though I did not say anything to him, and he barely remembers this). We were friends throughout that year and my boyfriend at the time accused us of having feelings for one another...at the time we both just thought that we would never be more than friends, ever. We started dating at the end of the year, and it was so right from the moment we first held hands. A friend even told me, "I saw the two of you and it's like he's a totally different Mr. H and your a different Mrs. H. But, it's a good thing. A really good thing." I cannot deny divine intervention when I think about moments like those. That is why we say when it's right, you know.

My relationship with Mr. Happily-ever-after has brought me closer with God because through this relationship I have seen the closest thing to the perfect love that He (God) has for me. I could go on about his habits that get on my last nerve, there are plenty of those. And, I know that I do my fair share of bothering him. But no matter how mad we get at one another, it never lasts long. And it's not even anger, disappointment most of the time. Anger arises because I do not always express my disappointment in the best ways.

This has been a lot of babbling, I know, but these feelings are important to get out for others who are looking. And this is so not where I thought this post was going when I first started writing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

In an effort to become organized (a goal that I have struggled with for years), I have decided to participate in Menu Planning Monday from Organizing Junkie. I've been meaning to do this for weeks, but have been too unorganized to get it together in time. ha! Another goal (which I'm better with) is saving money/living as frugally as possible. Our goal is to only spend $200/month on food for the two of us, for everything - including going out to eat.

Weekly Menu:

Monday – goulash, spaetzle, and cooked carrots $9.00

Tuesday – grilled cheese and tomato soup $2.00

Wednesday – ravioli with marinara sauce and peas $3.50

Thursday – grilled chicken and green beans $4.00

Friday – salad with grilled chicken $3.00

Saturday & Sunday – whatever we eat with my parents in Pittsburgh!

Weekly Total: $21.50 (not including the weekend) I was liberal with all of my costing (meaning that most of my meals probably cost less than the estimate) so my total is most likely less than this. We also need to add in $2.19 for a gallon of milk to go with our dinners. This is not the overall total for the week since we eat more than dinner everyday nor does it include fruits/veggies/snacks which usually cost about $10-15/week. Keep in mind that we only buy what is on sale (Sundays tend to be the best days for meat/produce at our local supermarkets), so this cost is based on what we find.


Goulash Recipe:
1 lb roast (cut of choice)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans water
1 package dry onion soup mix

Directions:
preheat oven to 350, cut roast into cubes (about 1 inch), place all ingredients in cast iron or other oven safe dutch oven, cook for 2 hours


Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm Baaaack!


Mr. Happily-ever-after and I arrived back at home last night after a great trip to see his family. We spent all of yesterday driving back home. We stopped in South Carolina to eat lunch with my grandparents (I wish we could do that more often!). Then we went to see Carolina Couple a little further down the road. We brought subs from Publix (Mr. H and his friend's favorite) for everyone. We then went to the driving range to hit a few golf balls. Although we did not get in until 1:30 this morning, I love breaking the trip up like that.
We have the post trip hangover. You know the one I'm talking about, you walk into your house and look around and realize how much you have to do to catch up from being gone (this especially happens once everything is brought into the house). It hits like a brick wall. Every time. The amount of laundry that needs to be done, all of the small things (that really add up) that need to be put away, the mail, e-mails, etc, etc, etc. Sigh. It's almost worse than a real hangover because it will take an entire day (maybe more) to catch up on everything and a nap/tylenol/water will not cure it...and it will still be around if avoided.
So, today is going to be spent coming out of the fog and back to reality. With lots of fun music for motivation (can we say 80's?) and maybe a DIY show or two (to motivate Mr. H). AND knowing that we get to go out to dinner tonight after everything is finished...for free!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Remeber these?


Mr. Happily-ever-after and I are in Florida visiting his family. We're enjoying some time hanging out and relaxing. Since we've been here we have played board games from childhood, especially after dinner. I had forgot how much fun Life can be...especially with a 5 year old (I kept thinking that I'm still trying to figure out 'Life'). OR Uno? Remember that one? I haven't played it since I was younger. It is still so much fun, especially now that we're older and have strategies on how to play (like saving all of your draw 2's for the person with 1 card left....or who ever won last time). Seriously, these games were so fun...I think tonight might include Clue. That is, unless my niece convinces everyone to play the Candyland DVD game (somehow I don't think that will be quite as good as the real thing, but we will see).

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Husband Rocks because....


I know that I've skimped on this subject, but it is still an important topic since a marriage needs constant maintenance to stay strong. So, without further adieu:

My husband rocks because he has the most patience out of anyone that I have ever met. ever. I have a tendency to get caught up in the moment and hot-headed. He usually has an even temper about everything and keeps me in line. If something goes wrong, he looks at the situation and thinks of what would make it better. Seriously, I usually get frustrated and upset thus making the situation even worse.

Mr. Happily-ever-after has stayed extremely calm with the whole we're moving, oh wait, no we're not...maybe we are after all. During all of that, I debated starting a job or waiting it out...or finding a job that is not in my field to help pay the bills....I was a wreck and didn't know what to do. He just held me and made my worries melt away.




For more information on MHR Fridays, click here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

I must admit that Wednesday is quite possibly my favorite weekday for two reasons: (1) the name still gets me when someone says "happy hump day" and I'm not expecting it from them like a boss or casual acquaintance (juvenile, I know, but it's the small things) and (2) if you make it through the day then you're more than half way through the week. #2 is mostly the reason because I'm a bit of a list maker (even though I rarely make it through my whole list). I always have been, probably always will be. I even counted down the minutes of every single class from high school through my last course in grad school.

Makes me sound organized, right? Yeah right is more like it. I am quite possibly the most unorganized person on the planet. My mother still tells me that I would lose my head if it was not attached to my body. I try. Seriously, I've been working on getting better; however, the thought of cleaning often holds me back. You know, looking at a pile of stuff to organize, the piles of mail, half finished projects. They kill my life. I get so overwhelmed and do not even know where to begin. (If anyone has any advice on how to overcome this cleaning anxiety, I welcome any and all ideas!)

Well, lately I've begun to turn a new leaf. I've decided that waking up to a sink like this outweighs any negative feelings that I have toward cleaning. I mean really...who wants to wake up to grimy dishes that need to be washed before you even use them? Dawn doesn't go well with coffee.


Instead, I make sure that my kitchen sink is clean before I go to bed at night. It looks more like this. I wake up every morning with one less item on my daily to-do list and a lot less avoidance of my kitchen. One of my mom's other famous lines from growing up was 'It will only take 2 minutes' to try to motivate my siblings and I to get something done. And she is so right with this one (don't you just hate when you realize your mom is right...or worse, that you are becoming your mother...scary)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Growing Up and Cleaning Out

One of Mr. Happily-ever-after's friends says that you know you're getting older when your buddy tells you that he got his girl pregnant and instead of saying, "What did you do?" you say, "Congrats, man, that's great." I was shocked, too, the first time that I heard it...But it is so true. We are getting older. Friends are getting married and having babies and we are so happy for all of them (not that we were not happy for them when everyone was younger, it is different now)

I had another one of those experiences today while shopping (shh, Mr H does not know that I went, yet). I went to the normal stores - Old Navy, Kohl's, Target, the mall (which only has about 25 stores in it, I kid you not). I was in the mall and about to walk into American Eagle to see their sales when I saw a group of girls that looked like they were still in elementary/early middle school going into the store talking about 'how cool' their clothes are....I even think one mentioned her first kiss in the conversation (not really, but they were talking about boys etc)...At that moment I decided that maybe I'm getting a little to old to wear the same clothes as these girls. It's not that I'm too old, I got to thinking about how they are cut, etc. Will my body look flattering in this, if it is not made for people that have curves? I mean, some of them aren't too bad, but really I get nervous that I'm trying to hold onto my youth too much.

So, I skipped the stores of my middle and high school days (AE, Aeropostale, Holister) and moved on to the department stores....I must say that shopping in the women's section at these stores does not mean that you cannot find cute clothes. I found a TON that I loved, but settled on a few since I don't start work until next month. I still plan on shopping at the 'young' stores every now and again (you never know when you'll find something cute and grown up, right?)

I also came home to clean out everything that is faded/does not fit so well anymore. I love purging my closet of everything that is taking up space and making my life more cluttered. (If only I could accomplish this with the rest of my house/life) And, it feels good to donate everything that I know will not be worn to Goodwill.

So what did I buy, you ask?
I got all of this

And this

And spent less that $60! I know, I could not believe it either. But when you have tags like this, it is hard to say no.
That's right, I got one shirt (it was a plain, but still) was $2.97...and others for $7.20 and $4.99...I love finding a good deal on clothes! I plan on going back to Kohl's to get a pair of jeans on Wednesday when their sale begins. I hope Mr. H does not get too mad at me for spending some money. After all, I did pick up a few things for him.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If you can't take the heat...

...don't try the spiciest wings on the planet! Mr. Happily-ever-after and one of his friends from college decided to do a food tour of the state this weekend...we started my meeting his friend and girlfriend about two hours away for a burger - the place was closed by the time we got there (who only stays open until 4:00 on a Saturday?!), so we grabbed a bite at a local pub before going to see The Hangover. The movie was absolutely hilarious....I highly recommend it. We came home, watched the UFC fight and finally went to bed at about 5 (how I used to pull all-nighters is beyond me....seriously, I felt so old this morning when I couldn't get out of bed).
Today we went to a wing place about 2 hours in the opposite direction. The challenge is to eat 10 of their spiciest wings to get your name on the wall of flame, a t-shirt, and an ulcer. I did not try this since I have been having reflux issues and decided that anything in which a waiver is required before eating is not worth it. Mr. H. and his friend, however, decided that the benefits/bragging rights outweighed the risks. Mr. H barely finished all 10 of the wings...he scratched his leg after wiping off his hands with a wet nap and his leg started to burn. His friend made it through 3....I have no idea how either even ate one!
One of the waitresses showed us the basic sauce - it is black AND the main ingredient in pepper spray (if that gives any indication as to what they were up against). She said that they mix this with their hottest 'other' sauce to make in more mild. Seriously, who would willingly do this?!
In the end we have a lot of good memories and pictures of the event (sorry I still can't post pictures)....Mr. H got a t-shirt and his name on the wall.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update

Everything went well on Wednesday. The Dr said that I'm still recovering from c.diff (I haven't had it since early March!) and my nerves in my GI tract are still on edge. He gave me some medicine to help ease the constant pain I've been having. AND I got pictures of my vocal cords....I would post them, but my computer won't let me upload pictures from my camera or scanner right now. That, and if you have ever seen pictures (I suggest using google if you haven't), they kind of look like another part of female anatomy and I don't want blogger coming after me for posting explicit pictures, even though it's innocent enough.
Since I've been home and taking it easy since I still cannot eat a whole lot, I've been working on a baby gift for a friend of mine from college. It's an adorable lion quilt that looks similar to the one below, but not exactly (darn camera!). I hope she and the baby like it!

This weekend friends from undergrad, Carolina Couple, will be visiting. We're going to various places around the state/area because Mr. H and his friend are obsessed with the show Man v. Food on the Travel Channel and they have to try these wings and a burger and hot dog...I'll be taking pictures and enjoying the company.
Happy Weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's been awhile...

I know that once again it has been awhile since my last post....I'm horrible! But, I've been getting everything in order in my personal life. I ended up taking the job, and cannot wait to start! The job is a about an hour away, so I'm thinking some books on tape/CD may be necessary to help pass the time. Any good suggestions? It is amazing how everything has fallen into place. In this post I reported that Mr. H would possibly be transferred. Turns out that his HR director asked him to commit to the local university for another semester (or year) depending on openings at other schools. Seriously, everything is working out.
I've also been making sure that I have a clean bill of health. I was really sick this past spring with C. Diff, not fun. I still have some abdominal cramping and pretty bad reflux, so I have seen a dr and I like his style...he actually communicates what is going on, is scientific about his practice, and actually has experience (I know I sound picky, but feel that I can be when it comes to health concerns). Anyways, on Wednesday I will be getting my entire g.i. tract scoped to make sure that everything is okay (TMI, I know). As much as I am dreading the whole process, I made my doctor promise to take a picture of my voice box and I should have some answers. I hope there aren't any major complications and I can start working out again by early next week.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crazy Week, huh?

This has been one crazy week in the media! First, Ed McMahon passed away. What a legacy to leave behind...I don't always pay attention to celebrities' lives because I'm a firm believer that they need their privacy as well...but, I had no idea that he was not doing well/sick.
Then, yesterday Farrah Fawcett passed away yesterday (I actually knew that she was not doing well).
The real shocker was the passing of Michael Jackson. I think the whole world is completely stunned by this. His recent actions are more than a little questionable, but his legacy on music is unforgettable.
These three have left impressions in the media that will never be forgotten.

In other news, this may sound like it contradicts my previous statement about privacy, but they put their business out there on reality television (versus playing a character in a movie/t.v. separate from you're personal life)...Although, I haven't wanted to play into the paparazzi spectacle so I've stopped watching. But, have read the headlines on CNN/MSN in passing and can't believe that Jon and Kate are getting divorced!
It was less than one year ago that they renewed their vows because (and this is the general quote) 'It is important for the kids to see that their parents are going to be together forever.' It just goes to show that a lot can happen in a year...and what happens when you put fame and money above family/marriage.
It also makes me realize how lucky I am to be married to Mr. Happily-ever-after. You see, divorce is not an option for us. We've discussed it (even recently with all of this going on) and would only divorce if every single option is exhausted (including lifestyle changes). We know that marriage is like tending to a garden...you can't plant the seeds and walk away...it takes care and upkeep to be successful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What to do in the off season?

With summer in full swing, I can't help but think about snow. What?! I know, I never used to like being cold...at all. I would count down the days until summer. Now I am the complete opposite - I find myself dreading the heat and looking forward to cold weather. The football, sweaters, wrapping myself in blankets, and most of all snowboarding.
I never thought that I would actually find going down a mountain at a fast speed fun, much less missing it during the off season. I like to be in control and know exactly what is going to happen next. That is not always the case when you're going down a mountain that you've never even seen before. Add in other people doing the same thing, and there is almost a recipe for disaster. But it's so fun. I find that it gives me time to think and let go. For a short amount of time, my life is somewhere else and the only thing that matters is having fun and letting go. It gives me complete clarity.
Right now, I miss that time away to think. So, I do what any avid fan would do - play Shaun White on the Wii almost every night. It's great - I use the balance board and go around the world to snowboard. I'm much better here than I am in real life, too.


It's not the exact same as the real thing, but it is the closest thing that I have found so far. And, since we cannot afford the time or money to travel during the off season, this is a close second. Plus, it is a work out. Mr. H and I have been running and eating healthy, etc, but we are both really sore after we compete against one another on this game. Weird, huh?
When our snowboards are not in use, we have them on the wall in our guest room. It adds a more personalized flair to decorating and gets the boards off the ground/out of the way. I love this picture because it shows how much shorter I am than Mr. H (it's about a foot difference in height!).


This picture doesn't show the height difference as much, but shows our boards. I was really lucky because my parents bought mine for me for my birthday a year ago (they got my bindings for me, too!). We bought Mr. H's snowboard after doing a TON of research. (He needs a wide board because his feet are so big and hang over and drag on a regular board).

Oh, how I miss winter!

Monday, June 22, 2009

#1 Find a job that I love

So before I went home and to visit my sister/brother-in-law/nephew, I had a job interview. The interview went really well, and was so right. It's a school for children with severe/profound disabilities that's about an hour away. They offered me a job, so I can officially go by Mrs. Happily-ever-after, M.S., CF-SLP. It is a pretty sweet deal...but, Mr. H. just found out that another university in another state is interested in him. So, what to do. Take the job and only work for a week or two (maybe even a month) or don't take the job and it doesn't work out in the other state?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What to do...

Sorry about the lack of posts as of late...my life is that boring that I literally have nothing to post about...seriously. I do have a few job prospects (and hopefully will be employed in the near future). As for the move, we're not thinking it's going to happen any time soon. Mr's company does not have a lot of openings with the economy (people aren't moving/leaving their jobs so much) and they lost a couple of big accounts....SO hopefully something eventful will happen in the near future...even if it's only the completion of a craft....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

85 in 850 Update

I've completed a few items from my 85 in 850 list.

#4: Keep Track of my Phone for 1 week
My family and friends will tell you that I am notorious for not keeping up with my cell phone. They typically call Mr. Happily-ever-after if they need to talk to me (he's the one that is glued to his phone). Since this is often my only line of communication (we don't have a land line), I thought it was a good goal to set. I have successfully kept track of my phone for 10 days now....I didn't lose it once!


#9: Begin a couple's devotion with Mr. Happily-ever-after
Going to church has always been part of my life (Mr. H. grew up much the same). During our marriage counseling it was recommended that we do a couple's devotion because it helps to form a strong marital foundation based on faith. We use Devotions for Couples by David & Teresa Ferguson. It is a one-year book and goes by date. We started on June 1 (the date we started), not at the beginning of the book. Admittedly, we have missed a few days and just picked up with the current date instead of back tracking. This book is a great way to end our day with reading on faith and reminding ourselves of the little things that make a good marriage into a great one.




#21&40: Fold all laundry for 1 week
Oops, I made the same goal for 2 numbers! Anyways, folding laundry is the bane of my existence (as is most cleaning). Mr. H. and I usually have laundry folding parties to split up the work, and make it seem like it might be fun. Part of the dread is the shear volume of laundry we have...we usually have at least 4 loads/week. I have been washing and folding all laundry for about a month now (since graduation), just haven't documented it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Husband Rocks Fridays....and an update

My husband rocks because: he insisted that I go see my new nephew this week....He asked me if I was going on Monday morning like it was even a question...even though we really can't afford a trip like that right about now since I'm still a stay-at-home wife not using my very expensive degrees...He knows how important my family is to me and how close we are to one another.
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Here are some pictures of the baby:


We (my mom, younger sister, grandmother, and I) decorated the mailbox...We also printed some pictures from after he was born and filled some empty frames for when they got home and made my older sister's favorite meal so she didn't have to cook.


Here's a picture of my nephew, *Paul. As with all of my pictures, I'm not posting any pictures of faces for his privacy.


His feet are so small! (He is only a 6.5 lb baby!)


He had a head full of hair.


*I've also changed his name for the family's privacy.

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It's been quite a week, I'm sorry that I haven't really posted...It's crazy when you're last-minute traveling and don't have your own computer with you. I had planned on Menu Planning Monday along with some other stories. Fail. I need to get back on the creative blog train...My friend, Lexi, and her fiancee are visiting this weekend. I hope that I'll get some inspiration from the weekend.