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Friday, December 18, 2009

Updates Galore! (and a chance to win Lightroom or Photoshop!)

1. I went and came back from a week long all-girls vacation in Hawaii (Maui).
2. I have been setting up our house for Christmas, despite having two furry helpers (one of which I found sitting in the Christmas tree.
3. I have my Christmas shopping done!
4. I have had three interviews for a job that I would really really like to get. I find out on monday.
5. I am resolving to write on this more frequently. Whether that be recipes, random thoughts, complaints etc.
6. If you want a chance to win a copy of Lightroom 2 go here.
7. If you want a chance to win a copy of Photoshop Elements go here.

8. Watch for a shortbread post coming soon!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

You Capture

So I decided to try this whole thing out... I found this initially through my friend/fellow blogger, Allison (if you don't read her, you should. She is hilarious. And has an adorable baby).

So... Here is my first You Capture post brought to you by I Should Be Folding Laundry. (Which, incidentally, I should be doing, but instead I am watching my little nanny boy who has been home sick from daycare this week with the swine flu. Pardon. H1N1.) I figure trying this out when I have a free choice is a nice and easy way to ease into this.

These couple pictures are from a little session that my sister-in-law and I did for a friend of hers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Anyone who has Children...

go read that. It is AMAZING.

Friday, October 2, 2009

addition to our house!

no, not a pregnancy... we got another cat! Meet Miss Taggart aka Dagny aka Micro Cat aka Peanut aka Meowenator. ;l...................... (that was courtesy of our first cat, Fjord - not too bad for feline typing skills).
She is 2.2 pounds of fearless kitten. She thinks she can take Fjord on. Sometimes she is right (typed as Fjord skitters spastically from her door out to the living room). She loves people and love Fjord. She would play all day if we let her. Fjord groomed her this morning for about three minutes. That was all she could take before batting him in the face and taking off like a bullet.

Tonight is my sister's birthday party. At our house. My house is messy. Thus, I need to go clean it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

hot damn

Brett Favre is good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black Bean Feta Tacos and Photoshop...

Delicious, delicious, delicious! Even my meat loving husband thought these were swell. And he hates feta. I found these at Smitten Kitchen and modified to suite my tastes.

2 cans black beans
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. garlic salt
olive oil
juice of 1 lime
red pepper flakes
1/2 cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
feta cheese
Franks Lime/Chili hot sauce
flour tortillas

Rinse and drain the black beans. Place beans in bowl. Mix in cumin and garlic salt while slightly mashing the beans.

In a separate bowl, mix lime juice and oil oil until it emulsifies. Stir in a couple shakes of dried red pepper flakes. Add cabbage, carrot, green onions, and cilantro. Mix. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium heat with a little oil (I use coconut oil... whole other post on that). Place desired amount of bean mixture in tortilla. Fold. Cook tortilla on both sides until crunchy and beans heated through (approx 1-2 min/side). Remove from skillet. Add the cabbage mixture, feta, and hot sauce. Enjoy!

I promise these are tasty... my husband made fun of me until he ate one. Then he proclaimed (although not too loudly - he thinks vegetarians are a little odd) that they were 'pretty good and filling.' That would be a resounding 'Yes HONEY! These are delicious.' At least the way I read it. Low fat, cheap, and delicious!

Now he is hanging our artwork in our living room as we wait for our friend to arrive. He had to work late. Very late. And talk on the phone for 5 hours.

Here are some of the shots from yesterday's endeavor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weekend of Fun

So this weekend was very busy, but full of so much fun. Friday consisted of a coffee/house/banana bread/sandwich party with OBaby and Mrs. O. Then, my sister and I went and looked at paint chips. If you see her, tell her that the house won't look like sesame street if she uses bright colors. She is afraid of it always being a 'Sunny day.' I told her not to worry, but I don't think she is quite sold yet.

but this weekend was tremendously fun because we had GUESTS! My two girlfriends from wheaton came and visited me. I love my little Natalie (the manatee) and Jaime so much! We hit up the state fair - their first ever state fair - complete with cheese curds, malts from the dairy barn, mini donuts, and fresh french fries. Yum! After the fair, I introduced them to the gargantuan that is the Mall of America. Not too bad for a Saturday afternoon. It was a success.

Sunday was time for partying on Lake Minnetonka - courtesy of cousin Quinn turning NINE. Tubing, boating, fishing, swimming, and EATING (mmm zestar apples from the apple house!) lots of delicious things.

Monday the girls took off, and we played dinner hosts to Jon and his girlfriend (whom we had met once before, at our wedding... didn't really remember her all that much). After a terribly difficult round of extreme croquet, we all pitched in to make tacos for dinner. An intense game of NERTS followed. The evening was topped off with Apple Cinnamon doughnuts from a local apple orchard.

All in all, I would say the weekend was a smashing success - complete with dirty dishes and laundry that has accumulated. Now I need to get down to business about losing some weight... this weekend was a food hiatus. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meeting with Mrs. O

So today I met with the wonderful Mrs. O. It was so delightful meeting her for the first time, despite having gone to Wheaton together. And her small baby is darling! The chubby cheeks on that little man are so cute. It was very refreshing to see/talk to someone who was down to earth. Hoorah for being 'fun-employed.' The chocolate hazelnut coffee was pretty delicious (if I can say that despite not being a coffee connoisseur) as was the scone (which I can speak with authority). Maybe a little dry, but very lemon-poppy-y. Mmmm... Now I am inspired to bake delicious tasting things. But then I think of how it will go straight to my thighs and stomach, and then it seems slightly less appealing.

Yesterday I started in on the unenviable task of weeding one of the weed patches - but I wondered if it was really worth it since we are thinking of putting in a patio. Or maybe a deck. How ambitious. But then I was thankful that Spencer dealt with the two carcasses that had been in our lawn (a dead squirrel in the front found when he mowed the lawn) and a dead bird that was in our weed patch. I found that one on wednesday. Normally you would think that the bird would die by running into a window. But there were no windows there - so I suppose that would be natural selection at its finest: a bird that runs into the side of a house (no reflection) should die. According to Darwin.

Now I am sitting in my first fantasy football draft. Ever. And I have money riding on it. A lot. Could be interesting. I hope I win. Probably won't. It was pretty entertaining... Just finished. I think my brother thinks I'm an idiot. Oh well.

Well, off to Monticello where we will spend in the night, then hang with the niece and nephews.

Thanks, Mrs. O and OBaby for a wonderful morning! Can't wait until next friday.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Family and Photoshop

This weekend was full of family and food - can there be a better combination? Saturday we hosted, and on Sunday, we went up to my brother's. Here are some darling photos from this weekend. I promise photos of our house will be up soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

98% of the way there...

so close and yet so far... closing tomorrow. painting friday. moving saturday...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


my little nephew was born yesterday at between 10-11 am. Mom and baby are doing fine. 8 lbs 2 oz. Caleb Aaron!
I'm excited to see and meet my newest little one! :)

we ditched the table today, the chairs for our table have been purchased and are in transit. ah.. packing, how i long to finish you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

and so the packing commences... we close May 28th, my contract is up May 31, and we move in the weekend of June 6-8, with the wedding of one of my friends (and cousin!), Kara, on the 7.
Busy next few weeks preparing to have more 'major life changes.' I think they called it 'eustress' in 11th grade health class.

Congratulations to my friends who graduated this past weekend!

Congratulations to Lou, on the birth of her son, Gabriel.
Congratulations to Rachel, on the birth of her daughter, Micaela.
Congratulations to Danielle, on the birth of her daughter, Isabel.

Soon, I will be an aunt again... any day baby #3, Chuckers, will be born. Pray he has no food allergies and that the delivery will go well. Poor C. and S. will have some major adjustments coming - especially S.

Fjord is stalking around the apartment - I think he enjoys having boxes and piles of laundry out to hide/jump/play/sleep in.

mmm also made this delicious orange chicken recipe - I'll try to post it soon, but I'm off to do some pack/sorting before bed.

- M

Friday, May 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We bought a house!

That being said, it is contingent on a few things, but for the most part, we are homeowners. We close on June 30, and couldn't be more excited.

Our home is 2.5 miles from Spencer's work, so for most of the year, he will commute by biking. We were a little disappointed after our first house hunting excursion because we found a beautiful house - but it was the very first house we looked at. We said that we really liked it, but continued on and saw about 20 more houses in the same day. We went back to the realtor's office, and were seriously considering putting in an offer, but the house was bought literally 5 minutes before we called.

After that little bit, we were a bit nervous that we wouldn't be able to find a house in our price range with the things we wanted. We found one that we were going to make an offer on, but the website for doing comparable listings was down. (total God intervention). After sleeping on it for 24 hours, we were feeling very uncomfortable with moving forward, so we decided not to make an offer. As soon as we decided that, it was as if a huge weight was yanked off our shoulders. (that house is still on the market... and had been for 200+ days when we were considering buying it, nice but 'half-assed' updated).

We then came to 'the house' - cute little one story near the first home we had liked. We walked through it and decided we wanted to make an offer. We saw a few more houses before deciding to go back to the office and put together a deal. Our realtor called the seller's realtor to see if there was action on the house - there were 2 other couples thinking about putting in offers. We prayed that if it was God's will for us to be in the house that we would get it and at a price we could afford. After enlisting the parents as prayer partners, we sent off the offer. To complicate matters, our realtor was going to be at his son's play tonight, so everything (offer vs. counter offer etc.) would have to be done by text.
I was worried about the hassle of all of that considering there would most likely be a bidding war among the three potential buyers - a sellers dream. We made the offer at 4:30 and heard from our realtor around 5:15 - they had countered by moving the selling date back to May 31 - thus ensuring 2 months of rent in our apartment w/o living in it, and an extra $3,000 on the house. Our realtor thought that was a decent counter offer, but wasn't satisfied with the closer closing date - we could do it, but why waste 1 month rent? He countered by keeping the extra $3,000 added on to the price of the house, but keep the closing at June 30. The seller accepted and at 5:30 we got the call saying that it had been accepted. So much for a headache! Everything was solved long before our realtor would have been doing everything by text, and none of the other potential buyers hopped in!
Unless something major happens, we will be moving in during the month of July! We are so excited that God has led us to this home and are looking forward to meeting our neighbors. We hope that we will be a light for him on our block. God has been so good and blessed us with so much.

I'll actually try to link the pictures in when I have more time, but it is bedtime for me (especially since I am recovering from an unknown illness... swine flu? PANIC! no... probably not)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let's try this Again...

So I am now job hunting due to the necessity of my contract ending in May. Initially I was told that my contract would be renewed, no changes, no problem. So Spencer and I proceeded to continue on the mortgage application (more on houses later). About 3 weeks later, I found out that I would have to take a $100 pay cut per week if I wanted to stay on. Well, financially I couldn't do that, so I was honest and said I couldn't do that. Basically I was told that I needed to find another job. So I applied to work through a nannying agency. Found out yesterday that I got an interview with the agency (after having my application less than 24 hours!) so things were looking up. Then, today my boss informed me that they were turning down one daycare option, and that they hadn't heard from the other option they wanted. So now I feel slightly guilted into staying with my current family because I don't want to leave them in the lurch. However, I also have this new opportunity (assuming my personal interview goes well) to get matched with families that pay 50-100% more than what I make now. If i get one of those jobs, all our school loans and car payment would be paid off in 1.5 years. That seems amazing to me. I'm torn because I know that it is better for my little baby if I stay with him since the first 2 years is when he establishes trust. But, I would potentially be with a new family until we decide to start a family some years from now (I'm looking at an infant job). Also, I think that the mom is a little jealous that her son is so close to me - but I spend substantially more time with him than she does. Yesterday when she got home from work, Baby couldn't have cared less. He waved "bye bye" to her.
Opinions are welcome as are prayers.

Now onto the house!
We are going house hunting with a fantastic realtor in two weeks. We were told not to even look at houses or anything due to the stress buying a house can induce. However, I have to research EVERYTHING and every little aspect of everything, so I of course had to look at houses. We found one that was absolutely PERFECT - beautiful kitchen, 1.5 mi. from S. work, 4 bed, 2 bath, attached garage (2 spots) and rehabbed inside and out. Not to mention across the street from a small lake, and .5 acres of land in the back. Our realtor tried to schedule a showing for today, but the house had sold after being on the market for less than 3 days. As I said, it was perfect. So now, we leave things up to the realtor and up to God.

I'll try to post more updates on our lives...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

American idol round 2

Allison Iraheta #5: Alone
Definitely will make it through. If she doesn't this will be a travesty. She has a phenomenal voice that is so powerful, yet very controlled. She was amazing and Heart isn't easy to sing. 

Adam Lambert #12: Satisfaction
Also will make it through - range is great, although I would agree that his performance was a little "manic." Stones songs/performances often seem manic though, as do musical theatre boys. A performer's performer. 

Third slot will be a toss up... 
Megan Corkrey #7: Girl Put Your Records On
Good song choice, but seems extremely awkward and camera conscious. Pretty, but that can only get you so far.
Jesse Langseth #9: Bette Davis' Eyes
 have the 'bluesy' (to mimic Randy) voices... both single moms. I wish I could say I liked Jesse, seeing as she is from MN, but I couldn't understand half the things she sang other than "Bette Davis' eyes." Interesting voice but needs to work on her pronunciation.

Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle #4: Song?????
freaking hilarious, not a terrible singer, but shouldn't go on. Hopes he gets a job doing comedy somewhere. 

Mishavonna Henson #11: Drops of Jupiter
she has a very good voice, but is a little restrained and "forgettable." I really like her voice and I like the fact that she actually took the time between AI seasons 7 and 8 to work on her vocals - it goes to show she really wants this. I hope she makes it through, but it will be tough. Maybe in the WC round. 

Kris Allen #6: Man in the Mirror
I was surprised he chose a MJ song to sing, but surprisingly he did very well. I would agree that this is the most personality he has had. He's likeable and sang well. 

Matt Breitzke #8: If You Could Only See
Talk about a likeable guy. Both Breitzke and Michael Sarver (who got through last round) are just teddy bears. The problem I have with Matt is that this song sounded almost exactly like the Tonic version - impressive that he could do that, but last I checked, Tonic wasn't really in the market... ;) Also, I worry that he sounds a little too much like David Cook (winner AI 7) to win this year. 

I think the third slot will go to either Kris Allen, Mishavonna Henson, or Megan Corkrey. Personally, I'll be cheering for Mishavonna to go through. I think she has the best voice of the three and is the most 'marketable.'

As for the others... the performances were too heinous (Jasmine, Jeanine, and especially Matt Giraud... I was practically crying for Chris Martin.) or boring (Kai Kalama). 

My husband is telling me I'm a nerd for:
a) voting 
b) writing a blog
c) making that blog have an AI post

and yes, we are feeling better

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Skiing and Sickness

Considering my energy level is terribly low and the fact that I haven't updated in a long long time...

This past weekend (Th-Su) Spencer and I went to Colorado for some skiing in the mountains. It was a wonderful birthday present his parents gave us. While I did enjoy myself thoroughly, I must admit that skiing is a lot more work than people give it credit. It is not simply heading down a hill, letting gravity do the work for you, nor is it a matter of merely surviving the mountain. In the first part, if gravity is supposed to do the work, things don't go well. I speak from experience as I cracked my helmet going down the Mary Jane trail. Whiplash in the neck + broken helmet + overwhelming fear of death or disablement = a very terrible first day skiing. 
Friday things went better - I stuck to green runs and after skiing, I got a new helmet. (I noticed mine was broken in the morning so I wore Spencer's and he wore mine because, as he pointed out, "I'm not going to fall on a green run")
Saturday I got slightly more adventurous - took a few blue runs for fun in addition to the lovely greens. I hit a tree two times on Saturday. First hit was due to a slight miscommunication/misinterpretation: Spencer said, "Follow me" and I took it a little too literally. He meant to *generally* follow him... aka don't follow me in the trees. I took it literally and by the time I realized the grove of trees he went through was unfriendly, it was too late and my head (protected by a lovely new helmet that didn't crack) and a large tree branch collided. The second hit occurred as we were trying to take a picture on the top of the mountain. Trying to balance on skis while on the edge of the start of a trail is not very easy. I tried to regain my balance and stop skiing backwards, but it didn't work. My skis found some soft powder that had been clustered underneath a pine and I fell backwards underneath the tree. The guy who was trying to take our picture was laughing so hard. Spencer started laughing, and then I started laughing. 2 trees in one day... 
Sunday we skied some, I conquered my fear of Jane trail by forcing myself to go down it again. I didn't fall at all going down, but it was far from a fun experience. After skiing half a day, we loaded up the car and drove back to Denver. I slept the whole way. The flight back was pretty uneventful - mild turbulence. 
While Spencer and I waited for our bags, his dad (who had taken the trip with us) went to get his car. The car wouldn't start, (who knew it had been below zero while we were enjoying warm temperatures in CO?), he cut his hand, and then picked us up. We picked up the Mazda from the body shop (had some cosmetic repairs... don't ever ask me to back into a 1 car garage while there is another car parked close in the driveway and the garage is made of brick...) and got home around 11:15. Bedtime came after midnight, and work started Monday. 

Monday at work I felt very tired and sore. Got home from work and felt even more ill. Turns out I picked up a bug while on 'vacation' - most likely from the recirculated airplane air. Last night I was feverish, achey and slept in until after 1 today. Spencer called me to let me know he wasn't feeling well either and was coming home from work. 

We are now a very pathetic couple, both sick and lying in bed... hopefully tomorrow will be better for both of us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

bad jokes...

so don't ask me what a cat's banana is, but what do you call a cat's banana?

what happens when a rodent gets her menses?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

so far...

For the past two days, Caleb has been refusing to sleep. It gets a little old listening to him cry/scream for 45+ minutes when I know he is exhausted. Yesterday, when I went down into his room to pop his Nuk back in his mouth, he was standing up in the crib! Looks like it got lowered just in time. He also is crawling for real, instead of dragging his lower body around. 

Fjord has been very affectionate when I get home from work. He purrs and smashes his face into mine. He just can't get enough lovin. Last night, while I was watching American Idol (can't WAIT for Hollywood week...) Fjord decided to explore the newfound space in front of the TV (since we just got an HDTV on Sunday). It was hilarious to see him staring at the picture on the TV. I could just tell he was thinking, "Let me get at that girls face. Oh please, what is that noise!" He is currently lounging on the couch in his 'puffball' position. Such a little doll. 

Now I am sitting watching Wheel of Fortune while I explore Lucky's website and favorite links. I wish I had a "real" job so that I could look so cute and fashionable. However, it seems futile to wear anything nice when I know it will get spit up and baby food/slobber all over it. *sigh* Guess I'll just have to look cute on the weekends. 

We're having my parents and sister and brother-in-law over for the super bowl. My brother won't come. He claims it is because of his kids, but really, it is the cat. For being 6'4" and 250+ he really is a baby. 

Oh, and of the four temperaments (Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, Melancholic) I am Melancholic. I thought it was all going to be a load of B.S. but I was surprised to discover the accuracy. It gets it down to my cravings for food. Now if only I could just blame the extra poundage since I got married on those muffins and bagels I crave as opposed to laziness and lack of self control. 

Currently Reading: Natural Health Remedies

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Attempt

My sister and I went on a dress hunt. She is going to a wedding next weekend and had nothing to wear. After searching many stores and tying on numerous dresses, she decided on this Donna Ricco dress that is stunning. We then picked up some baubles at Express to complete the ensemble. She looks so classy in this dress, it is hard to believe that normally she is in scrubs. Thankfully, her job did come through so she is working in the ER. 
I think it would be terribly exciting to work in an ER, or potentially just terrible. Instead, I deal with a little baby who is growing and changing every day. He has taken this habit of making a 'bbbb' sound with his lips into a mealtime event. It is a habit that I am working on breaking due to the fact that every time he does that, I get sprayed with cereal and whatever the fruit/vegetable of the moment is. By the time I get off work, a shower is definitely in order - between diapers, mealtime, and spit-up during playtime (not to mention the fact that he is currently teething, and my knee a favorite chew toy to ease the gums) my pants are gummy and messy, and everything is in my hair. I do love my job!

Billy Joel and Elton John are coming here in May on their Face2Face tour. Tickets go on sale on Saturday and will be sold out with an hour or so of going on sale. I would love to go (especially because ticket prices are so cheap!) but I think I may have shot my wad on the Britney Spears tickets. April 4th can't get here fast enough! 

Currently Reading: The Four Temperaments
Currently Listening To: It's Britney, bitch!

Fjord's State: Sleeping stretched out on the couch.