Saturday, June 23, 2012

While I've Been Away

 I have been busy lately. Celebrating accomplishments (our younger(est) sisters graduated), working, soaking up the sun, going to the beach &/or pool, and crossing items off of my 100 by 30 list.
 I have completed:
 #20 Start a campfire all by myself.
#33 Run a mile without walking (actually 2)!
#37 Go to the gym 3x/week for 1 month.
# 44 Answer "50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind".- An interesting set of questions with no real "right" answers, but they do make you think.
#47 Pack lunch everyday for 2 weeks.
#Organize Recipes- I got the cutest recipe book at Barnes and Nobel in their bargain section for $7!
#80 Learn to knit something other than a blanket or a scarf.- I knit a baby hat and cacoon type thing that I need to add eyes and a few details as it is to look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. What do you think so far?
#91 Organize and set up craft room- Since we were not getting many visitors our spare room has been turned into a craft room. All of my hobby things are located in there in an organized fashion. I however rarely complete crafts in there as there is not a tv.

Now for the goals that are still in progress but at least making progress:
#52 Use reusable bags at the grocery store for 2 months.
#54 Start cleaning schedule & stick to it.
Here it is. I broke the house into four sections and wrote the tasks on colored notecards.
The notecards stay in a photo sleeve on the front of the refridgerator so they will be in plain sight and once that day is complete you move it to the back. Because it is broken up into four days, three areas are completed twice per week. I also put them in this exact order so laundry days are separrated. So far it has made quite a difference. It does not cover deep cleaning but that is more easily addressed as the daily things are already done!
#74 Read 30 Books: I have read three more.
4. The Scarlet Letter
5. The American Heiress
6. Mrs. Kennedy and Me
All of which I enjoyed and highly recommend.

#75 Try 36 New Recipes:
3. Shrimp Tacos
4. Strawberry buscuits
5. Home made pizza

#77 Learn 20 French Phrases:
2. J'ai chaud- I'm hot
3. J'ai froid- I'm cold
4. Jesuis Americane- I am American
5. Bonne jour/matin/soir/nuit- Good day/morning/evening/night
6. Ca va- How is it going/how are you doing?
7. Da rien- Thank you/ That's okay

#87 Scrapbook 2011- I have gotten the first two days of our DC trip done already!  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Five Years

It is hard to believe it has been five years since I waved at the guy looking at me across the bar and much to my surprise he walked over. That night instead of offering to buy me a drink he offered me water, thankfully my friend pushed me to give him my phone number and invite him back to line dance with us on Thursday.
 Two days later my best friend called me out for dressing up when I knew he was meeting us out. Exactly eight days later, after dragging him to all sorts of little outings with me and my 6 best friends (and getting their complete approval) I knew I would marry that man. We had had our first kiss earlier and spent four hours standing next to his truck talking about any and everything, and hoping for another kiss.
 Our relationship was a whirlwind, in two weeks we went from being total strangers to meant to be together. We spent most of our time together hanging out with the "Nyoh's Group" but I still vividly remember our first "just us" date. We went put putting and would have been tied except the course was not fully repaired for summer and Jim was able to knock a stroke off by taking advantage of a broken net. He quickly met my best friend Erin and my parents and sister during a trip to visit me in Columbus. We went to weddings together and were already discussing what ours would be like by August.

 Much to my surprise after just four months together Jim was planning a trip to take me home to Chicago to meet his mom and sister. We spent a wonderful weekend going to a to the Shed Aquarium, checking out down town Chicago, and hanging out with his family, and I got the opportunity to meet his Grandpa Bop and Grandma Sweetheart. (This was also the time I realized that Jim was the male cheerleader I had my eye on from my HIMS 500 class winter quarter freshman year.)

We then had our first holiday season and Jim got to meet my very large extended family.

 Then it was down to business and finishing school for both of us. We spent so much of our time together in Ohio studying and eating Chinese food. During that time I learned that Jim was a very talented omelet maker (I can barely fry and egg with out turning it into scrambled eggs). Jim promised me that in 50 years he would still be making me omelets, so I put in my order for a ham and cheese omelet 50 years in advance (I saved the order ticket he wrote it down on too, just to remind him).
 After my graduation and Jim finished paramedic school we made a giant leap and moved 12 hours away from everyone we knew and loved so Jim could be a full time firefighter. There were a lot of people that doubted us and it was a roller coaster. Getting to know new people, Jim's hectic schedule, me trying to find a job, sharing an apartment.

 But just like everything else we made it through and can look back and smile at how trivial some of those fights were. Shortly after we got engaged and little did we know a wedding would be even more stressful than recruit school. :)
 On the day we got married I remember thinking back to the other brides I had seen have a last minute freak out just before walking down the aisle. Patiently I waited for that moment when I would share those feelings but it never came. My work was done and I was finally going to be Jim's wife, that pastor (Jim's cousin) couldn't talk fast enough for me.
 It is a strange feeling to be with someone and feel like your relationship is still brand new but at the same time be unable to remember your life before them. I have been so blessed to have met someone who shares so many of the same hobbies, values, and opinions. I am so looking forward to the years to come and 45 years of omelets.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


It has been a busy few weeks. Last Saturday I was up at an unspeakable hour (5am) to prepare for a charity golf tournament. While I was sitting on the curb waiting to be picked up (because it was too nice to stay inside) I noticed that I was perfectly comfortable in shorts and a tank top, and that there was already a moisture in the air and my car had a layer of dew. This can only mean one thing... SUMMER IS HERE!

 It is time for flip flops and tank tops, piles of beach towels in the laundry room, beach bags and sand gathering in our entry way.
 It will be afternoons by the pool, hopefully with tanner toes and fewer lizards soon.

 Mornings drinking tea on the porch and soaking up the more gentle early morning sun.

 And on the best mornings I'll get to share them with him.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Look what I can do!

  I have reached another 100 by 30 goal today! I knitted something other than a scarf or blanket!

 A camo hat for a baby! What do you think? I mean other than it clashes with her ruffly pink top (it didn't look right just sitting there and Tucker isn't an appropriate model). So excited... next I will be working on the adorable caterpillar outfit I found on Pinterest.
And just for smiles a picture of my pets once again cuddling. Anyone else notice Scarlet always looks mad when I take pictures of her?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Always a Distraction

I was trying to be productive and get some work done early this morning. I leave the room for two seconds and here is what I come back to.

Doesn't he just look like he's saying "Don't work, pet me." ? He always does this if we have any type of paper, magazine, or book out. Come to think of it he tries this when I am trying to fold/put away laundry too. I just figured he liked how the clothes felt warm fresh out of the dryer, but maybe it's all part of his "Cuddle with Me" campaign.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Have you ever heard of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie ? Well there has been a similar situation in our home... but in our case it has been If You Give Your Wife a Bookcase.
She will gather all the books.
Clean out all the cupboards.
Rid out the storage space.
Set up a craft room.
Organize the closet.
And in general just start cleaning and organizing any and everything she can.
Tonight's mission was going through the growing "We are keeping this but it doesn't have a place" box, kitchen deep clean, and laundry. While putting away laundry I remembered an idea I saw on Pinterest. So I reorganized my t-shirt drawer.
 I fit two drawers worth of t-shirts in one drawer and I like that they are all visible. I will let you know how this works in the long run.
What gets you in the mood to clean? What are your cleaning/organizing tricks? 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

 For some reason lately I have been all about trying to cook new foods. One of my FB friends had written awhile ago about making shrimp tacos and loving them. Since tacos are a favorite of Jim's and I have had an aversion to them since I was pregnant (when I was "nauseous" I always felt like my whole stomach was full of taco meat) and I haven't gotten past that feeling yet.

I filled our small skillet with frozen (tails removed) shrimp, some water to cover the bottom of the skillet, and a tablespoon of taco seasoning and simmered. I also made 1 serving of rice with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Put on tortillas and add what you like (I added lettuce and Jim added cheese and taco sauce).

What are some good recipes that you love? I need some new and not too difficult ideas, although I am willing to try a difficult one if it is worth it (Have you ever had pumpkin chocolate chip muffins? SOOO worth making from scratch!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Book Nook

With the recent office move (and subsequent return to a shared and smaller office space) meant that I had to bring home the bookshelf that I bought for my office. It does however fit very nicely into our little nook in the living room. I do dream of the day when I will have a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves and a window seat and plush over sized chairs. For now I have a nook and a plush over sized chair that has a quaint window (which during sunny days is usually home to the most adorable kitty ever).

 Upon moving the shelf into the "perfect" location (sorry Jim) Jim and I hunted down all the books we had been stashing in various places throughout our home. It turns out that we were able to fill the entire bookshelf with books we already have (there is even a
 5th shelf hidden by the chair arm) and then some. We had to prioritize what books went on the shelf.  (Not quite as large or varied as Thomas Jefferson's library but it is a start).

Thomas Jefferson's Library in the Library of Congress (mind you the entire circle is surrounded by books, except for a small space to walk into the center, so I do have a little ways to go).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NCA Nationals/ Daytona Beach Trip

As many of you know Jim helps coach the CCU Cheerleaders. He really enjoys working with the girls and guys there. A few weeks ago just before leaving for NCA Nationals the All-Girl team put on a showcase for friends and family. 
They did a wonderful job and hit their routine beautifully
They also recognized the Co-Ed teams who won 1st and 3rd at Partner Stunt Nationals a few weeks earlier! :)
 NCA Nationals was in Daytona Beach and I followed later and got there after they had already had a day of competition. 
Here is Jim with the girls who are juniors and were freshman when he started helping with the team.
Jim and his favorite girl. ;)
 (They weren't supposed to get me on my tip toes trying to be taller)
The girls won the Challenge Cup and moved onto finals!
LOTS of smiles all around! (and one silly song)

This was actually the first time Jim and I ever stayed in a room with a view of ocean together. As amazing as our room was after the wedding we could only see the ocean if we looked past the building and some palm trees (however the full sized kitchen and living room was needed as it was used for preparing 3 bridesmaids, 2 brides parents, a slew of bouquets, various favors, centerpieces, and one bride prior to the wedding). I did enjoy waking up to this view.
Jim is not quite the morning person that I am and he opted to sleep in as I got up and took a walk on the beach. Beach walks have been a tradition for my dad and I whenever we are at the beach, we usually wander along and look for interesting shells or marine life that has washed ashore (once we found coral growing out of a clam). Another woman found a starfish. Seagulls are also one of my favorite things to photograph at the ocean.
I love the way the skim of water over the sand made such beautiful reflections.
And look at how wonderfully this seagull behaved and allowed me to catch him just starting to take flight. (If only I knew how to edit and crop this down to the bottom half of this photo but I get frustrated with computers when they don't understand what I want)
After my walk I found a perfectly positioned bench along the boardwalk, and these are great concrete/seashell type benches that have backs and arms. Perfect for sitting and reading my most recent book The Paris Wife (a novel about Ernest Hemingway's first marriage- so far very good).
Once Jim finally decided to join the waking world I convinced him to find and eat breakfast on a rocking chair on the front deck of the hotel. The weather was wonderful, a perfect mixture of warm with a gentle breeze and sunshine. On our way back inside we saw some of the CCU girls were also up and moving!
Did I mention that this team has had more than their fair share of injuries and illness this year? They started and ended the season with someone in a boot. Had multiple sprains, concussions, and an outbreak of mono in the last month prior to competition.
Oh and there was also a broken wrist, that has just recently healed. (I love this pic!)
But even with everything that happened they overcame and performed an awesome routine!
Chauncey is one of the best mascots. Such a great helper.
 Jim even got to see one of his Ohio Cheer Force girls who now cheers at Marshall! Although he is always a little unnerved about how quickly they are getting older as he remembers when they were this big. (Places hand at knee height.)

I enjoyed getting to watch and cheer for the girls very much!

C even got to stunt despite her recent ankle operation.I am so proud to have a husband who makes an effort to make others happy. She had been working so hard on partner stunts just prior to her injury.
I had such a great trip and enjoyed getting to spend time not only with Jim but also with some of CCU's finest student-athletes (16 of whom have a 3.0 gpa or above). It was such a relaxing weekend as my only responsibility was to enjoy myself. It was a nice break from reality, my computer, and any possible Googling. When Jim went to stunt fest I returned to the room and took a nap and read a little more of my book. I also watched a bit of the movie Charlie St. Cloud and Along Came Polly (neither of which I watched completely). I had such a peace even with all the tasks I left half undone.