Thursday, July 30, 2009
After some sightseeing, we have plans to go here Friday evening:
Saturday morning will include a visit here with a blogger we all know and love (sorry...you will have to wait until Monday to find out who!) for my very first bloggy meet up:
Saturday evening, Hubs and I will be enjoying dinner and dancing courtesy of this lovely couple after we watch them tie the knot!
And I get to love on my favorite God parents in the entire world:
The ceremony and reception are being held at the Riverwood Mansion. Check out the website...totally gorgeous!
I'll be back from Nashville on Monday...hopefully with lots of pictures of family, new friends, and great adventures!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The time: 7:30 p.m. A usual return from work time for my husband.
The scene: I'm in the kitchen making dinner. Matt heads out to the patio to check up on his garden and water the plants.
Matt: "Hey! Something is growing from the cantaloupe plant! It's long and skinny though. Is it supposed to be like that?"
Me: "I want to see!"
I walk outside on the patio and see this:
Me: "That looks like a huge pickle!"
Upon further investigation, aka Google Images, we discovered that we most likely have a cucumber plant growing in our garden...not cantaloupe. Um, what? We don't even like cucumber.
Maybe this is God's way of telling us that we need to eat more veggies.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday evening, we joined some of Matt's work friends at Bubba's! It's a BBQ joint here in Cleveland that is owned by a former Cleveland Browns football player. We actually got to see Bubba when we were there...so it was kinda cool :) Afterwards Matt and I headed out to try to find a movie to rent...but to no avail. We checked out the on demand channels when we got home...and discovered this!
We started Saturday out right with a trip to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. This was my first breakfast venture there and my chicken biscuit was quite good. We stopped by several garage sales on the way home but left empty handed.
Later on, I started to make a real dent in my new read, The Time Travelers Wife, as Matt whipped up some blueberry fried pies! I'm usually not one for cooked fruit...but I guess I'll eat anything that's fried! These babies were delicious!
Since I had already blown the day on such great food, I decided to host an impromptu fondue party for two! We made the Fiesta Cheese from the Melting Pot (which we get every single time we go) and had french loaf and tortilla chips as dippers! What a great dinner!
Sunday was filled with some serious cleaning and more reading. At first the book was REALLY confusing...but it's starting to flow a little more now and I am putting things together slowly but surely. Hopefully I can finish it this weekend when we are out of town...but more on that to come later...
Friday, July 24, 2009
The rules: "With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, a poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess. If you want to join in, tag six more blogs."
Ah, creativity, on a Friday? Hm. Here's my best shot!
This is Christmas 2007. It was our very first tree together and I forced Matt (and will continue to force him every year until we die) to get a real tree. I just love going out with him to find the perfect tree, bringing it home to string it with lights and ornaments, and enjoying that fresh pine scent! To say he was not into it would be an understatement, but for this one day, he put aside his own feelings and let me experience this little part of Christmas that reminds me of home. He even put the star on himself...and fixed it a bazillion times when I told him it wasn't straight. Oh how I love this man...
During the first few months of our relationship, Matt wrote me a haiku. Here's an example of a haiku if you aren't familiar with one:
God has lots of strength
God is a heavenly God
God is heart
I can't remember exactly how it went (I'm pretty sure I have it saved at home??), but it was something about me being amazing and beautiful :)
This was the very first song Matt and I ever danced to. It was one of those spontaneous dance sessions that just happens out of nowhere when you are playing music. We were at his parents house upstairs going through CDs and he put on this song. I had never heard it before and it was really catchy. But my favorite part was when Matt sang to me.
Although the song has no business being a wedding song, seeing as the couple breaks up at the end, it was ours. It was our song and I could think of no other one that would've fit that moment any better.
This has been my very favorite quote since high school. I even used it in my graduation speech...very appropriate!
My favorite piece of clothing I have ever worn has to be my wedding dress. I loved everything about it. When I first tried it on it definitely became one of those moments where you just know you will be wearing this exact dress when you walk down the aisle.
This is my favorite place to be...right in his arms.
I'm going to cheat on this one. Sorry! I'm not really into the princesses. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like them. But my very favorite Disney movies do not include princesses. So here is my favorite Disney character of all time from one of my favorite movies:
My six bloggy friends I will tag are:
Emily at From the land of cotton
Ashely Paige at I Love You More Than Carrots
Becca at Mrs. GI Joe
Mrs. Real Life at The Reality of Happily Ever After
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
So here are some pics from my backyard a few weeks ago! We had visitors!
One day we were lying on the couch and Matt said, "Deer, Deer!" I thought he was saying, "Dear, dear!" I was like, "What do you want???" By the time I realized there were deer in our backyard, they were gone :( And what's even funnier is that we never use the pet name "dear" so I have no idea why I thought that. We're more "honey" kind of people :) What about you??
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I've been blessed with skin that has never really broken out. I've never had acne problems or any serious skin issues. Sure, I'll have the occasional zit (what a weird word by the way...zit!) but that's about it. Plus, I'm lazy. I admit it. I already have to take out my contacts, pop pills, and brush my teeth before bed. What else am I expected to do? I need my rest people!
And you should know...I do wipe my face down with a Neutrogena Cleansing Towelette after my shower...but this is mostly to help remove the leftover eye makeup from the day before.
Although my routine scream simplicity, I'd love for my pores to be smaller and I've been yearning for that "fresh" feeling before bed and in the morning...so I've decided to put my laziness aside and have been on the hunt for a face wash. A couple months ago, I started using one brand (Clearasil, I think??) and in two days my face starting breaking out! How can a face wash MAKE your face break out?? Well, it happened to me. Not cool.
I took some time off and let my face return to normal. This week I started using Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Face Scrub as recommended by D.A.R.
It was pink and smelled so yummy I just couldn't resist! Well, two days later my face is dry as can be and really itchy! What is up face wash?
I'm thinking that my face has just grown accustomed to not being scrubbed for so long that when I do...it goes into shock. Maybe a moisturizer following my wash would help?? Any suggestions?? I've always felt weird putting moisturizer on my face right after I wash it though. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of cleaning it?? No??
Obviously, I have no idea what I am doing and my face is in desperate need of some help! What is your face routine? Any product recommendations for a struggling girl??
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I will say, I was pretty good at heating up Lean Pockets as well though....
But now that I've been cooking for two for a few years now...I believe I have made some significant improvements. I try new recipes every week, tweaking ingredients to make them WW friendly, and trying to find recipes with veggies Matt and I would be willing to try (or ones where I can cut them small enough that we don't know they are there). I'm more open to trying vegetables than Matt is....AKA: the husband that won't eat anything green...but I'm not too far behind him in the picky department.
However, last night I made a dish that both of us loved! It's called Weeknight Lasagna Toss. I find a ton of my recipes on Kraft Foods. You should definitely check them out!
BROWN meat in large saucepan; drain.
ADD peppers, garlic, spaghetti sauce, water and dressing; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover.
COOK on medium-low heat 10 to 15 min. or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.
I only used one pepper in this recipe because I didn't want it to overwhelm the meal...but that is obviously just our preference. You could definitely use two and it would work out perfect.
I will not pretend that this particular meal is super WW friendly, but I usually spend 8-10 points on dinner so it wasn't too crazy for me...and you got a lot of food for your points. The recipe was neither complicated nor time consuming and it made a ton of food. Yeah for leftovers!
Monday, July 20, 2009
So you may've wondered where the old Jenny went? The girl who posted about running, WW, and trying to eat healthy. Want to know what happened to her? Well, the Dr. told her to take a few days off to recoup...and she took almost two weeks! Yeah, I know! Bad Jenny.
However, you will be excited to know that I have started to run again (just not as far as I once could...imagine that!) and I am back to WW. And honestly, I didn't gain NEAR the amount of weight that I thought I did...so I'm actually feeling very motivated.
So I've been riding the Shred train for a while now...but I must admit...I never really committed to the program. I did it quite sporadically and it became more of an afterthought to my other workouts making it very easy to skip. Well, no more!
In order to attempt to remedy the fact that by the time I got home from the gym....I no longer had the energy or will power to listen to Jillian scream at me...I have decided to work out with her in the mornings. Now, for those of you who have been with me for a while...you know that I start work at 6:30 a.m. This rendezvous with Jillian is really cutting into the little bit of sleep I get. But...I have a plan (shocker!)
I'm going to try this out for 6 weeks...really commit to the whole 30 day Shred concept. So I'll be doing Level 1 for 5 days a week for two weeks, then onto Level 2, etc. In 6 weeks, I will officially be shredded! She told me this morning I was well on my way!
I'm hoping I can stick it out. This morning I was able to bound out of bed with no problem...pretty good for a Monday morning! I suspect there will be roadblocks ahead, but I am trying to remain focused and keep my eyes on the prize...the very, very skinny prize!
I'm planning on updating when I switch levels just to see how my progress is going. I think I'll take some measurements today as a starting point. That should be interesting.
Friday, July 17, 2009
May 12th-Headed to the OBGYN for my annual check up
1 week later-Informed of "abnormal" results...a conversation which included words such as 2% chance of cervical cancer, various procedures I had never heard of before which did NOT sound pleasant, and the urgency of the situation. Way to not alarm a girl Doc.
30 seconds later (and continuing for 2 weeks straight)-Frantically looking up everything on the Internet about cervical cancer and convincing myself that not only did I have it, I would not be able to have my own babies.
June 3rd (my birthday)-First Dr.'s Appointment at the Cleveland Clinic. Not a great birthday. As a girl who had a fear of never having her own babies, I was stuck in an OBGYN's office where 1/2 of her patients were pregnant, A Baby's Story was playing on the TV in the waiting room, and my actual exam room had an ultrasound machine in it. Frankly, I was a mess.
After completion of the first procedure, a colposcopy, which is basically a big word for taking a look, it appeared I had very little to worry about. Doc saw a spot of abnormal cells but they were only on the surface and localized so she assured me they could be removed easily if need be. She took two biopsies of different areas, which actually didn't hurt at all (total opposite of what I had read online...thank you), and I was on my way.
June 10th-Results are in! One of the biopsies came back abnormal with the same results as my Pap. Darn. Not free and clear yet! Scheduled another appointment...
June 24th-Went in to have a LEEP performed. This time they had to numb my "area" (which DID hurt!) and proceed to remove the abnormal cells from my cervix. They used some crazy loud vacuum that removed the abnormality by BURNING off my skin. Yeah. I know. But surprisingly, no pain. Again...unlike what I had read online. My advice: do not type into Google "does a leep hurt?" It will not leave you feeling optimistic about your upcoming appointment.
So I was off, walking around with a big open wound in my cervix...not so great. But Matt accompanied me to this appointment (thank goodness) and we got ice cream afterward...so that helped :) I mean when doesn't ice cream help??
July 15th-Results are in again! This time...great news! They were able to remove the entire area of cells AND it was not cancerous! Did you hear that ladies?? I don't have cancer! And I'm all healed! Best.Day.Ever.
Except the fact that this was "take your favorite medical student to work" day. You got it. I was stuck having my final appointment with a MALE medical student, clearly young, clearly male, clearly studying my parts. Not cool Doc. At least give me a heads up?? I mean, not that I would've denied this guy the right to see my, uh, assets, but I chose a female doctor for a reason, you know??
Anywho, she also let me know that none of these procedures should negatively effect our chances of conceiving so score! I am just SO glad it is over and I don't have to go back for another year! AND, there is an 85% chance that I will never get these results again. I am SO hoping for that :)
So thanks for sticking with me during this trying time and offering up your concern and prayers. They meant so much to me and I cannot thank you enough!
And by the way...it's Friday!! Love it!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Here it is. My very first shoe cake!
This cake is for a bridal shower this weekend. The invitation was black and red so I took my inspiration from that. I'm super excited about this cake and I really hope the bride-to-be likes it!
This project held a lot of firsts for me as a decorator. It was my first time working with gumpaste and luster dust, both of which I used on the heel. I also invested in Americolor gel paste coloring and it was fabulous. It completely blew the Wilton coloring away, no question. As you may imagine, turning white fondant/gumpaste into red or black can take a LONG time and a LOT of color! But this brand is definitely more concentrated and works so much better. Score!
But honestly, I couldn't be happier that it is done! Cakes have a tendency to stress me out and hang over my head until they are complete. I really enjoy doing it...but I'm not sure I'm up for making a career out of it. This little hobby suits me just fine :)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Anywho, I wanted to tell you about this book my aunt and lovely godmother (same person by the way) recently sent me called Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton.
The book is revolutionary in its thinking and describes the importance of focusing on your strengths rather than eliminating your weaknesses. Dear Tami gave me this book because she noticed how unhappy I was at my job (hard to miss!) and wanted to help me figure out what to do with my life. Well, this sure gave me some insight!
The most revealing aspect of this book is a Web-based interactive questionnaire that I took after reading it. It instantly reveals your top-five inborn talents. Now that I know mine, I can go forward in my career and try to use these to my advantage.
Want to know what they are??
I thought so.
- describes a constant need for achievement (very true...)
- must achieve something tangible by the end of the day in order to feel good about yourself
- possess an internal fire that pushes you to do more (I seriously can't sit still when there are things to get done!)
- able to work long hours without burning out (always has been true...late night/early morning studier right here!)
- challenge other people's theories (always!)
- insist other people's ideas be sound
- like data and search for patterns and connections
- thinking is objective and logical (clearly)
- take psychological ownership for anything you commit to and are emotionally bound to follow through to completion (I definitely try to follow through on everything I say I will do)
- restitution must be made if unable to deliver on commitments
- near obsession for doing thing right; impeccable ethics (Thanks!)
- utterly dependable
- world needs to be predictable, ordered, and planned-routine (duh, I could not live otherwise!)
- break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans
- not necessarily neat and clean, but you do need precision (so true...)
- must always outperform your peers or your achievement feels hollow
- other competitors invigorate you
- you like contests because they produce a winner; particularly those you know you can win
- you compete to win; you avoid contests where winning seems unlikely (100% true..and always has been. I never play games where I think I will look like an idiot.)
It was amazing how EXACTLY on this thing was. I would totally recommend reading this book. So worth it!
Hope you have a great Wednesday!! The weekend is inching closer :)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Well, I have got to confess ladies...although I did get spit up on my shirt and William most definitely pooped a huge, smelly mess while I was holding him...I just frankly couldn't want a baby more.
Matt and I have discussed starting to try for our family early next year. In reality, that is really not that far away. So here's my question. What should I do beforehand?? What I mean is, I was thinking...this September could potentially be the last anniversary Matt and I have together just the two of us! Or this Christmas! I mean...hello...reality check. There are definitely places I want to see and things I want to do before our family grows and I am feeling the time crunch already and I am starting to stress! And to make things worse, I feel very alone in this realization.
So to all of you mamas, is there something you wish you did before you had kids?? Or something you did do that you are so happy you fit in before you started your family?
And to my fellow baby-less friends...what would you do if your time alone with your husband was about to end? I would really appreciate the advice!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Early in my relationship with Matt, I didn't sleep for other reasons. Okay, now get your heads out of the gutter! Here's the thing. Because Matt lived in Virginia and I lived in Indiana, we only got to see each other for long weekends once every couple of months. I would literally lie in bed and watch him sleep all night. I didn't want to waste a single second of my time with him sleeping. I just wanted to be with him...to feel his arms around me and have him close. It was something I got so little of and wanted more than anything. This would be especially tough on my last nights with him. I would just stare at the clock, watching my time with him slip away until the alarm would ring and I would be forced to leave the place I wanted to be the most.
These days, things are different. I no longer experience the trouble I used to have getting to sleep. Sure, there are days when I'm not super tired, but it is no where near like it used to be. I'm comfortable. I'm where I belong. I truly believe this is the reason for my improvement.
I will admit, it is still a rarity for me to sleep through the night. Perhaps I'm just restless. I'm used to it by now and it doesn't really bother me. I'm also a constant checker of the clock. Except this morning...
I woke up, chilled by the ceiling fan...and reached for more blanket. I settled into a nice, warm, comfortable position closer to my husband and closed my eyes to continue sleeping away the night. In rare form, I didn't look at the clock seeing as there was no way it was even remotely close to being the time to wake up. My eyes had been closed no more than 2 seconds when the alarm clock rang.
Not cool Monday. Not cool.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I'm taking the time to start working on my next cake. I'm doing a shoe cake for a bridal shower that is due next week. I was looking at pictures online and trying to decide what to make. Do you think any of these would look good??
I'm kind of partial to the blue heel that looks like the car...or the flippies with grass in the soles.
These picture are from an e-mail my MIL sent me. Aren't they wild!?!
Anyway, I'm doing a red high heel sitting next to a white shoe box. It will be my first shoe so I hope it turns out well. I'm a little nervous...but I'm confident I can make it presentable :)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
My wedding dress...still at my parents' house...uncleaned...
In September I will have been married for 2 years.
Horrible, I know. But I'm thinking it's about time I do something about it. My poor parents shouldn't have to be keeping that huge garment for me anymore and I should step up and do something with it.
So here's where you come in lovely ladies! Where did you get your dress cleaned?? Did you get it preserved? Where do you keep it? What the heck did you do with the thing?
I'm not quite sure that I'm into selling it just yet...I think I'm still holding out for that chance I will be able to wear it one more time :) I just love it so much!
I'm not naive enough to think that my daughter will want to wear it...and I don't know if I want to chop it up for a christening outfit for her either. I am troubled.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Check out the before picture of the little garden my husband and FIL built over Memorial Day weekend!
And now...how is it doing today you ask?? Well...here's the big reveal!
Wow!! We have green onions growing EVERYWHERE! Anyone need any?? Ha! We are throwing them into everything these days!
That's our cantaloupe over there in the far right corner.
She has some flowers on her, but no fruit just yet. Apparently bees are needed to pollinate the flowers in order for them to grow fruit...so we'll see what happens.
But speaking of fruit...
Look at our little, baby, green strawberries!! They are starting to grow! Oh, I just can't wait to pick these babies!
Matt is also growing green peppers and jalapeno peppers in separate pots.
Look at those little guys! They are getting so big! Aw...they grow so fast, don't they?? :)
Besides the enormous amount of onions, these were the first babies to grow up and be picked.
Check out the size of that sucker! I swear it doubled in size with one good rain.
Now I must give 100% full credit to Hubs on this one. I am NOT a gardener. I tried to grow herbs in the house once and they all died. I have one houseplant and I hardly EVER water him. Luckily, he is resistant to my lack of nurturing and has been steadily growing for 5 years. I'll have to post a picture of him sometime. He is a rubber plant. His name is Durex. Clever...I know :) He used to have a brother that belonged to my roommate from college. Can you guess his name?? Give up? Trojan.
Anywho...Matt is out there every day watering those things and weeding. I am so proud of him! It is really sweet to see how much care he is putting into his work.
How are your gardens doing??