Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Right now it is -1, with a windchill of -24.
On Friday, there was a wreck on the Interstate and it took me an hour and 15 minutes to get home from work.
We're supposed to fly out on Wednesday, and it's going to be sleeting/snowing.
We're going to Texas for Christmas! And we will eventually get there!
Highs range from the 50s to 80(!) while we're there.
I don't care at all if we miss our flight coming back. :)
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Saturday, I did some Christmas shopping. Every year I vow that I will never do Christmas shopping in December again. The crowds are too crazy, traffic is horrible, and I end up getting stressed out. And every year, I do most of my shopping in November, but I always leave some to the last minute. When will I learn? It doesn't matter whether I have to do a little shopping or a lot...I will still have to fight the crazy crowds. And this year, I had to do it with a bone-chilling wind practically blowing me from store to store. So, for real, next year NO SHOPPING after Nov. 30! When I got home, I worked on my Christmas cards some. I'm through with the first batch, and hopefully will get the second batch done this week.
Sunday, my friend Katy came over and we baked sugar cookies. We were a great team. I made the dough, she rolled it and cut it out. I baked the cookies, she made the frosting. And we both decorated. Our husbands entertained themselves with Wii while we made a huge mess in the kitchen. Here's some pictures of the process:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
2. The label on my Clementine that said, "Kid-Sized Cutie." I don't know why, but I just find that adorable.
3. Seeing the epidsode of Saved by The Bell where Jessie gets "addicted" to caffeine pills on TBS this morning. That is classic television. "I'm so excited, I'm so excited...I'm so, so, scared!"
4. The ad for this that popped up on my Facebook account:
It's from Zales, just in case you want to get it for me for Christmas. :)
5. Knowing I have potato chips to eat with my lunch. I normally eat very healthy at lunch (to make up for the dessert I know I will eat every night), but I had some chips leftover from dinner at Jimmy John's, so I decided to treat myself today.
Sometimes it's the small things that get me through the day.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
One thing I have not gotten used to yet (and I'm not sure I ever will) is driving on ice. I slid twice on my way to work, saw four cars that had run into the guardrail on an overpass, and saw the aftermath of two wrecks. They only salt major roads here, and not even every time it's icy, because the state doesn't have enough money. Great! I just drive super slowly and try not to brake unless absolutely necessary. By the time I get to work on icy days, my hands are sore from gripping the steering wheel and I feel like I need to lie down. I think Texans have the right idea; just stay home when the weather's bad.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
On Thursday, mom and I finished making the meal, and I set the table. Everything went smoothly, except the turkey. I just bought a fully-cooked frozen turkey because I was too scared to cook a turkey myself. I let it thaw in the refrigerator for three full days, but it was still frozen on the inside! I didn't realize this until my Dad was trying to carve the turkey. We ended up having to cut off the thawed parts and reheat the rest. It was a little frustrating, but it all worked out. Here's a few picture of our table and food (well, half the food...the rest was on the counter.)
I ended up getting Friday off of work, which was awesome!! My sister and I went shopping. We ended up only getting clothes for ourselves. Whoops! Here's the matching puffy vests we got at Target for nine bucks!
That night, our friends Jon and Katy came over, and we all played Nertz and Outburst. I think Jon was a little shocked at the combined volume of the Anderson women. :)
Of course, we spent a lot of time playing Wii. Here's the four "kids" playing Mario Kart. I love how Hannah and I look really into it, while Darby and Matt are playing it cool. Typical.
It was such a fun few days! I'm so glad that my whole family gets along so well and has so much fun together. And Darby just fits in seamlessly. He enjoys having my brother around as his "Wii buddy." It was a little cramped with six people in our house, but not too bad. I'm glad that we were all able to stay together and some people didn't have to go to a hotel. Now, I can't wait for Christmas!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
1. Of course, the number one blessing in my life is Darby. He is an amazing husband and friend. We were extremely blessed to have a smooth transition into married life, and it's only gotten better. We just enjoy being together. Almost every day one of us will say, "I can't believe this is our life. It's so great." I am so proud of the way he has handled the pressure and stress of graduate school. He has been so careful to protect our time together, even as the demands on his time increase. I can't even put into words how much I love him and how lucky I feel that he is mine. I have been blessed with so much, but even if I only had him, I would have more than I deserve.
2. My job. It is so nice to be doing something I enjoy and am passionate about. For the past week, I've been proofreading a Children's Literature textbook. How awesome is that?
3. New friends. We have been so blessed to make friends with another young couple, Jon and Katy, at church. They come over every Thursday to watch The Office, and we try to get together at least once per weekend. They love to eat and play games (my two most important requirements in friends!) We've also enjoyed spending time with another couple from church, Dustin and Aubrey. They are fellow Texans, but sadly (for us), they are moving back to Texas soon. I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet them before they left, though. Our church has a Young Marrieds group that gets together once a month, and we've enjoyed getting to know people through that, as well.
4. Two loving families. I think most people are grateful for their biological families, but I am doubly blessed in that I can honestly say that I am grateful for my in-laws as well. One thing that I've come to appreciate more and more the older I get is how generous both mine and Darby's parents are -- with their money, time, encouragement, etc. They are great examples for us.
5. Free time. I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a lot more free time than I did in Abilene (even when I was only working and not in school). It might be because I don't have as many friends and because we don't go visit friends or family on the weekends anymore. I always enjoyed spending time with friends and family, but I'm also enjoying this period of relative quietude. I know that this stage of my life will be short-lived. (It will be over as soon as I have kids, if not sooner.) So I want to really appreciate it while it lasts.
6. A large kitchen. I always enjoyed cooking, even in my extremely hot Cedar Crest kitchen and my extremely tiny Cimmaron kitchen. Now, I cook so much more, though. It's great to have room to spread out. I hope I continue to enjoy cooking and baking as much as I do now.
7. Being a bridesmaid for the fourth time. I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet! My "frousin" Amy is getting married to Matthew on July 11, and I have the honor of being her bridesmaid. She was a huge encouragement to me during my engagement and wedding, and I am so excited to be a part of her special day. After I got married, I realized just how important good bridesmaids are. It made me wish I had done more for Whitney and Kalyn when I was in their weddings. Amy was an amazing bridesmaid even before being married, though. I have a lot to live up to!
Well, I could keep going, but I guess I'll wrap it up here. I haven't even mentioned my old friends, my health, nature, and tons of other blessings. I am so glad that we have this season to remind us to thank God for our blessings. I do not do it enough.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Anyway, I haven't felt like cooking anything complicated for dinner lately. I think it's mainly psychological. I feel like it's already so late when I get home that I don't have time to make anything. It's totally ridiculous because it's only 5 p.m., but I can't seem to get my mind to grasp that. Last night I made one of our favorite dishes, and it's incredibly easy and good. I hate it when cookbooks or magazines have recipes labeled as quick weeknight dinners but they still involve lots of chopping and/or peeling. In my book, that's not quick. This recipe involves no chopping and can literally be on the table in 15 minutes. And it has spinach so you can feel like it's healthy. :)
Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta Toss
From: Kraft Food and Family (Can you tell I like this magazine? Just to warn you, most of my recipes are from the older issues. They've switched to mainly advertising for their pre-packaged foods in more recent months.)
2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
1/2 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 bag (6-8 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained (Or you can just use regular diced tomatoes and add basil, garlic, and oregano yourself)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup or so grated Parmesan cheese
Cook and drain the pasta. While the pasta's cooking, in a large skillet, crumble the Italian sausage and cook until brown. Drain. Add the tomatoes, Italian dressing, and spinach. (Don't do what I did and forget that your bottle of Italian dressing is not a squeeze bottle. I accidentally dumped way more than 1/2 a cup in the skillet. It still turned out good, but it's a little tangy!) Cook until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Toss with pasta. Stir in cheeses.
I made a quick cheesy bread to go with the pasta. Just cut a store-bought French or Italian loaf in half. Spread butter or margarine on top. Sprinkle on some garlic powder (or minced garlic, if you're not lazy like me), and a handful of cheese. I like to use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella. Broil 5-7 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. Mmmmmm... And since your pasta has spinach in it, you don't have to worry about the calories from the cheesy bread. It's all about equilibrium.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Yoga is awesome! I've been going to a class at the U of I rec center on Saturday mornings for about a month now. It is seriously the hardest workout I've ever done. The day after a class, I am sore in places I didn't even know I had muscles! My main reason for wanting to do yoga was to improve my flexibility (which is horrible!). I think it's working. I can now touch my toes! (Yes, sadly, I have never been able to do this.) I don't really buy into the whole spiritual aspect of yoga, but the instructor does. At the end of class, we spend about 15 minutes doing relaxation exercises (which actually do work), but then she has us fold our hands in front of our hearts and thank ourselves for coming to class and thank our bodies for allowing us to practice yoga. I usually take the opportunity to thank God for creating my body and giving me the ability to exercise. Even though the instructor's a little New Age-y, she's really nice. If you are doing something wrong, she comes over and very gently corrects you. I hate it when teachers call people out in front of the whole class (bad memories from middle school), so her approach really works for me. And she never makes me feel bad that I'm the only one in the class who can't do a handstand. I think a lot of my problem is fear because there are these really thin little girls who are able to support themselves with only their arms. I'm not very strong, but I think I have more muscle than they do. I've been practicing some at home, so maybe I'll get it eventually.
If you haven't ever tried yoga, give it a shot. Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can. If you have cable, you might even be able to do it for free. I just found out about ExerciseTV on OnDemand cable. They have all sorts of exercise videos you can download to your TV for free, and they put up new ones every month. It's awesome! Plus, this will help me justify keeping cable even after our promotional year ends. "I have to have cable for my health." :)
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
Adapted from: Kraft Food and Family
1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
5 TBSP butter, melted
Mix crumbs and sugar. Add butter and stir until combined. Press in bottom and one inch up sides of 9-in. springform pan.
4 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and a dash cloves)
Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined.
Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Remove 1 1/2 cups batter and place in a small bowl. To remaining batter, stir in pumpkin, 1/4 c. sugar, and spices.
Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into the crust. Top with spoonfuls of plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through layers with a knife to swirl.
Bake for 55-60 minutes (or until top of cake is barely set) at 300 degrees.
To prevent cracking, do not remove cake from oven immediately. Turn the oven off, open the door, and let the cake sit for about an hour. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I redeemed myself on Saturday by baking a pumpkin swirl cheesecake. It was the best-looking cheesecake I've ever made. It only cracked a little! Forgive me for bragging, but I just have to post a picture. Darby said that the cheesecake was "a much better use of pumpkin" than the pumpkin ravioli.
I took the cheesecake to a Halloween party on Saturday night. It was for our young marrieds group at church. There only ended up being three couples who came, but we had a great time! Darby and I wore our King and Queen of Hearts costumes that we've worn about three times before. (Hey, these people hadn't seen them!) I didn't get a picture of us on my camera but here's some other pictures from the party.
The weather was PERFECT this weekend. Highs in the lower 70s and sunny. I managed to get a picture of one really pretty tree. There were a lot of people out walking and I started feeling self-conscious walking around with my camera. This picture doesn't do it justice. It's amazing to see all of the bright colors.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On a totally unrelated note, I have a sitemeter for my blog. It basically records how many people visit each day, how long they stay, and what their location is (city and state). It also tells me how people found my blog (i.e. through a link on another blog, through a google search, etc.) A lot of businesses use site meters so that they can tell how effective their advertising is and try to improve their visibility on search engines. I just do it because I think it's interesting to see where people are coming from. I've had visitors from France, Indonesia, the UK, etc. Probably my favorite thing to look at is what Google searches people do that lead them to my blog. By far the most popular is "nerdy Halloween costumes," which leads them to this post. Ha! I think that definitely fits in the category. Maybe some people will actually copy our idea. Another search that made me laugh today was, "Should I have my toe amputated?" I hope whoever was searching for that found some sound medical advice. :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Okay, so it's no secret that I read A LOT of blogs. And I'm trying to get more people to read more, so I don't feel so bad :) So, here, in no particular order, are just a few of my favorites. (Now, obviously, I enjoy reading my friends' blogs to stay caught up on their lives, but I'm just including "theme" blogs in this post...ones that appeal to a wider audience).
1. Unclutterer - This blog was pretty much the catalyst for my extreme purging of "stuff" in the past year. It has a lot of inspiring tips for keeping your home and life uncluttered. Sometimes it can be a little extreme. The writers are very against "baby-clutter" and suggest that you think about whether your child actually needs a mobile. Another suggestion for clearing closet clutter is to wear only neutral colors so everything goes together. I'm not that clutter-phobic. And, really, if you have so little clutter that you can start worrying about your baby's mobile, you're probably in pretty good shape. But, all that aside, the blog is pretty awesome. My favorite feature is "Workspace of the Week" where they feature a readers' desk area.
2. Get Rich Slowly - This is a fairly new find. It's a personal finance blog with a focus on living frugally in order to save money for the future. The author's goal isn't really to "get rich" in the way we normally think of getting rich, but rather to have saved enough to retire on time and not worry about money constantly. There is also a focus on giving money to charity. The writer's financial goals really match up with mine, and he and the readers give great advice for saving money and keeping track of finances. Because of that blog, I've started using Wesabe, which is a free online service for tracking your earnings and spending and setting financial goals.
3. Smitten Kitchen - Deb's recipes are amazing, and the photography is drool-worthy. If you can look at any of her desserts and not want to make them immediately, you have more willpower than I. (Of course, I guess that's not saying much).
4. The Pioneer Woman - Another great cooking/photography site. The Pioneer Woman has actual recipes that real people would make (you know, that actually contain things like, gasp, shortening or canned biscuits). It is refreshing in the world of all-natural, organic food blogging. Plus, she is absolutely hilarious. She has several different sections of her site. I also enjoy the "Confessions" section where she writes about her life on a ranch in Oklahoma.
5. The Kitchn - Okay, this one kind of falls under the "all-natural, organic food blogging" category, but the sheer number of posts (close to 10 per day!) makes it a worthwhile read. I really like the product features and posts where they tell you what to do with all kinds of weird produce. They also do a roundup of the most popular food posts from other popular food blogs, like Serious Eats. So it's sort of like reading two or three blogs in one. (It doesn't get better than that for me!)
A couple other sites I love that don't fall in the blog category:
1. Martha Stewart - Organizing Tip of the Day and Craft Tip of the Day...awesome! Hey, if you can't be crafty, the next best thing is reading about being crafty and imagining all of the things you could do if you had talent!
2. Supercook - You put in the ingredients you have, and the site searches all sorts of recipe sites to give you recipes with those ingredients. Be careful. It's addictive. This also appeals to my frugal side. I have been known to spend hours on this site looking for something I can bring to our small group that doesn't require me to go to the grocery store. Yes, I know, it would be quicker to just go to the store, but where's the fun in that?
So, if you have a few free minutes (or hours), go check these out.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Okay, on to more normal aspects of my life. This weekend Darby and I went to see Kalyn and BJ in Farmington, Kentucky. We had a great time! The Gensics have a cute little house, and we had a lot of fun talking, playing Risk, and eating Kalyn's yummy cooking! She made an apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust that was heavenly. It sounds kind of weird to put cheddar in a pie crust, but it was really good! It was so nice to see some friends from "home," and to get to lounge around someone else's house for a change.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Memorable quote: "I am still convinced that one day (possibly decades in the future, but still) I will have a husband who is WAY hotter than any of yours!" ---This was written recently in an e-mail to all of us girls, and I almost died laughing when I read it. It is so typically Carolyn.
Funny memory: Brittany, Erin, Carolyn and I got lost in the country around College Station. It was very late, and we were almost out of gas. Finally, we spotted a gas station in the middle of nowhere. The pumps were on, but the station was closed, so Erin had to pee behind the building. (I think Carolyn did, too!) :)
Memorable quote: "But Darby's so much more than just a brain." (This quote actually made some sense in context, but Brittany will NEVER live it down).
Funny Memory: Kalyn, Brittany, Carolyn, and I took an aerobics class together our sophomore year. Kalyn and I embarrassed ourselves daily with our lack of coordination and flexibility.
Funny Quirk: When Emerald does not know what to say, she blinks. A LOT! With Em, a blink is worth a thousand words.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
1. The curtains and pillows Darby's mom made for us came in the mail!!
2. I got a job! I will be working as a production editor at Omegatype Typography. They specialize in producing textbooks (mainly college-level social science books) from Pearson, which is one of the largest textbook publishers in the nation. I am very excited about the opportunity to do something I'm passionate about. I won't be writing much about my job on this blog because I don't think that's appropriate, but I'm sure those of you I talk to by phone or e-mail will be hearing all about it. This job is definitely a blessing for me; so many people have been praying about this, and I am grateful that God answered all of our prayers in this way. I start next Wednesday, so my homemaking days are coming to an end. :)
3. The Office starts tonight!!!!! I cannot wait! Darby and I got Season 4 last night. It was kind of a treat for getting a job, or at least that's the reason we used to justify the purchase. Plus, I found $15 in reward certificates to Best Buy that I had kind of forgotten about. If you have not watched this show, you must start! And don't judge it based on only one episode. It takes a little while to get into the characters, but once you do, you will be hooked. If you're not sure where to begin, here are a couple of my favorite episodes from various seasons: Health Insurance, The Convict, Business School, Money, The Fire, The Injury, Conflict Resolution. I think most of those are available on iTunes, so what are you waiting for?!?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Double-Decker Butterscotch Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
Homemade Chocolate-Filled Donuts
Zucchini Bread (This doesn't sound too bad, but I thought the bread was dry, so I added cream cheese frosting...ummm, yeah...I need help)
Cottage Cheese Cheddar Bread
Blueberry-Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake
Peanut Butter Brownies
Now, most of this stuff has been shared with others, but I definitely eat my fair share during and after the baking. Thankfully, it's looking like I will have a job very soon. (If you want more details, call or e-mail me). It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm about to go up a jeans size!
Monday, September 15, 2008
1. Lost - I know we're a little late jumping on this bandwagon, but Darby and I started renting the first season disc-by-disc on Netflix, and we are hooked! We only have the most basic Netflix plan, so we only get two discs a month. We figured it was going to take us a pretty long time to watch all of it, but then we realized that all of the old episodes are available online. Woo-hoo! I'm a little bit afraid how many episodes we'll watch in a row now, though.
2. Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal - I know the name is a little off-putting, but this cereal is seriously sooo good. It tastes kind of like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it's much more grown-up and healthier (I think!)
3. Top Design - I had never watched this show, but I happened to catch the first episode of this season, and I am hooked! The interior design assignments are extremely hard; the designers are all prima donnas; and the judges are horribly mean. It all combines for great TV!
4. My Kitchen Aid Cake Decorating Set - I got this as a wedding gift and had yet to use it. I finally pulled it out this weekend to pipe frosting on some cupcakes. Oh my gosh...I am NEVER frosting cupcakes without it again. It seems like it takes forever to spread the frosting with a spatula, and it never turns out looking good. I spent literally five minutes frosting 2 dozen cupcakes with this thing, and they looked WAY better than usual.
5. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - It's baaaack! We've been having lovely fallish weather here, so it's perfect timing. I enjoyed one this afternoon. Yum!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Before I show you the long-awaited pictures of our house, I have some exciting news. Darby got a Teaching Assistantship for this semester! That means he gets a full tuition waiver and a stipend. We are so excited! We were able to cancel all our loans for this semester, and, more importantly, we got to go out to dinner! :) We are so thankful that God provided for us in this way, and it definitely takes a lot of stress off both of us. Now, on to the pictures...
The Living Room
Here's the view as you walk in the front door. We just got the couch and chair from Ashley. The chair is a glider recliner. It is soo comfortable. We are going to get an end table to go on the left side of the couch eventually. On the right-hand wall is a big window. I will post pictures once we get the curtains that Darby's mom is making for us. The living room opens up directly to the kitchen. I like the open-floor plan. The door you see in the background leads to the garage.
Here's the other side of the living room. Darby got the TV with his graduation money. It's awesome having such a huge TV and cable. We probably enjoy it a little too much :) The shelves were already on the wall. which is why it appears there's a vase on top of the TV. Oh well!
The table also belongs to the owners. It's not my taste, but it was free. The door in the back leads to the laundry room. I love having a washer and dryer! Laundry doesn't even feel like a chore any more. There's a big sliding glass door on the right that leads to the backyard. We have a nice patio and yard. I didn't take pictures because the lawn is pretty overgrown right now. Eventually, I want to get patio furniture, so we can actually enjoy sitting outside. All in good time.
This is the centerpiece I made for the table. I combined a couple of ideas from Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart. I have to be pretty creative to decorate with almost no money.
Here's a closer view of the cabinets and appliances. There's a Lazy Susan cabinet in the corner. which is awesome! I have so much more storage space than in our old apartment. I love cooking in this kitchen. I could probably still fill up a kitchen twice as big, though! Most of the decorations on top of the cabinets were already there, but I added a few of my things.
This is the view as you walk in the door.
In between the bookshelf and the desk is a window. I need to get a valance for it, so I didn't take a picture of it. Darby mainly uses the desk for his schoolwork. In exchange for the desk, I got...
A scrapbook closet!!! There was a nice-size closet with built-in shelving that was perfect for my little workspace. I just set up a TV tray as my desk, and I move a chair in when I want to work. I love it because I can leave stuff that's in progress out and just shut the doors.
Pretty much your standard bathroom. We do have A LOT more counter space than our old bathroom, which is nice.
This is the view as you walk in the door. Both dressers belong to the owners of the house. We really don't need that much clothing storage, especially with the...
Giant Closet! You can't really tell from this picture exactly how big it is, but it could almost be another room. It's awesome!
Here's our bed. We have basically the same set-up as our old apartment. I still love it!
Here's a close-up of the "art" I made. It's six pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper in a Wal-Mart Frame. Take that, HGTV!
I did not include pictures of our guest room because it's still kind of crazy. We have an inflatable Queen-size air mattress that we get out for guests. When we don't have guests, Darby uses the room to play his guitars, so they stay out most of the time. It's a good arrangement for us, but I haven't found a way to make the room look like it's not just a junk room. I'm working on it.
We both feel so lucky to get to live in such a nice house. It is definitely a HUGE step up from our apartment in Abilene. It actually feels like a real grown-up home. There are definitely some things we would change if we owned the house, but overall we love it. This spring, we're going to concentrate on improving the flowerbeds and yard. I'll post pictures of the outside once we get it in somewhat decent shape. I'll also continue to change the inside, especially once I have money to decorate. Having a house is so fun!
Friday, September 05, 2008
I just have to brag a little before our freezing temperatures start and all you Texans are laughing at us!
I promise I am going to post pictures of our house pretty soon. We've been a little lazy in getting all of the last details done. I have a real aversion to hanging things up, but I finally sucked it up and got most of the frames up this week. Darby's mom is making curtains for our living room, so I'm going to wait until we get those to take pictures of that room. (Not that there's any rush, Debby! We're just so grateful you're doing that for us!) We're having a couple from church over tomorrow night, so that should encourage me to get the house in perfect shape. Some pictures to come next week!
Monday, September 01, 2008
He came in, used the bathroom, came out quietly, got in bed, and turned his lamp off. I said, "Uhhh...why do you always have to be so loud when you come in!" He said, "What? I wasn't being loud." I said, "Yes, you were. You always come in here flushing toilets, slamming doors, and turning on lights." At this point he just started laughing because while he had flushed the toilet (obviously), he had not slammed any doors and definitely had not turned on the bedroom light. I said, "I'm always so quiet in the mornings when I wake up before you." So, of course, he had to tease me this morning when I was getting out of bed and accidentally woke him up. He said, "I don't know why you have to be so loud - putting your glasses on and getting out of bed. Uhhh..." I guess I deserved that. I have no idea why I said that. It definitely does not bother me that he comes to bed late, and I always go right back to sleep when I wake up. Maybe I have some unresolved anger. Hmmm...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
BUT, our wonderful church has rescued us from our sentence of eating at home. Two Sundays ago, a couple took us to Noodles and Company. Wow! That might be my ideal restaurant. All of the entrees are pasta of some sort (macaroni and cheese, stroganoff, Italian dishes.) Definitely not for those on the Atkins diet. I think it's a chain, but I've never seen it before. Do they have those in Texas?
Darby went to a wedding in Abilene last Thursday and left me alone for several days. :( Our church really stepped up, and I had three different invitations to lunch and dinner while he was gone. Plus, I worked at the "Great Giveaway" (basically a huge free garage sale) at church and ate breakfast and lunch while I was working. So I only ended up eating 5 of 10 meals alone while Darby was gone. I really appreciate the kindness of everyone at church. They turned a weekend I was dreading into the best weekend I've had since we moved here.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
In June I got dental insurance, so I decided I'd get it checked out after we moved. I made the appointment and right after that my gum swelled up A LOT! Darby was shocked when he looked at it, as was the hygienist. The dentist here did 18 different x-rays, which is torture for me because my mouth is so small that it really hurts to bite down on those separator things. But, the x-ray clearly showed that the tooth that had a filling seven years ago was dead. So, I get to have a root canal next Wednesday! I'm not looking forward to that (the procedure itself and the cost), but I'm glad that I finally know what's wrong and hopefully I won't have any more problems. I just don't understand how two different dentists couldn't see that there was a problem earlier.
Monday, August 18, 2008
View of the skyline and Lake Michigan
We got passes to go to five different attractions: the aquarium, the planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Hancock Observatory. All were definitely worth it. The aquarium was probably my favorite. It was HUGE and had all sorts of cool fish! Plus, there was a dolphin show in this beautiful amphitheatre with a view of Lake Michigan, which was awesome.
We did all that stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday with Darby's parents. We also ate really good pizza at Pizzeria Uno, one of the cities' oldest pizza places. It was so nice of Darby's parents to take us and pay for everything! We were planning on going to Chicago anyway, but we definitely wouldn't have gotten to do as much if we were footing the bill! We had a great time with them, and they were troopers about me and Darby dragging them all over the city looking for restaurants we had read about in our guidebook. We all definitely got our walking in!
On Thursday, Darby's parents headed out for Wisconsin and Darby and I went back into the city for a little more sightseeing. We went to Millenium Park, which has tons of cool statues. One of them is called "Cloud Gate" and is basically a giant bean-shaped mirror that you can see yourself in:
Darby and I are the big dorks taking a picture of ourselves in the center.
Then we went to the Art Institute of Chicago. Wow! That place was HUGE!! There were tons of paintings from all different eras. Probably the most famous one they have is "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." It was cool to get to see it up close. After we had about as much art as we could take, Darby and I headed to lunch at Heaven on Seven, which is a Cajun restaurant. It tasted authentic to me! After that, we got on the train back to Elmhurst (where we were staying) and drove back to Urbana. It was a great break from doing nothing and we're excited to go back and explore more.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I'm starting to go just a little stir-crazy. I've been watching a lot of TV and spending a lot of time on the Internet. Part of it's my own fault. I could do more productive things, like reading, organizing, or scrapbooking. I just let myself get sucked in. But, the church that Darby and I have been visiting is having a young marrieds get-together tomorrow night, so we get to interact with other people! We are both SO excited; it's pretty funny. It is kind of nice how much we look forward to church now, though. I always enjoyed going in Abilene, but I never got excited about it like I do now that it's our only opportunity to talk to people and meet potential friends.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Me: "Well, um, I'm looking for a job."
Woman: "Okay, but I still need to put something down."
Me: "Should I give the title of my last job?"
Woman: "Well, is there a general field that you'll be looking in?"
Me (racking my brain for a word that describes a job suitable for an English major who doesn't have a teaching certificate): Uhhhhhh...
Woman: "Why don't I just put homemaker?"
Me (laughing nervously to disguise my complete humiliation): "Sure."
I really never dreamed I'd be a homemaker before I had children, but I guess that does describe my occupation for now. I have put some applications in for some pretty promising jobs, so hopefully this will be a very temporary occupation. But, hey, so far homemaker involves watching a lot of Olympics and reading, so maybe it's not so bad. :)
Friday, August 08, 2008
I am watching the Opening Ceremonies as I type this. Wow! Those drummers were amazing. I love the Olympics. And the timing couldn't have worked out better. Since I'm still looking for a job, I'm home all day to watch the events. My favorites are gymnastics, volleyball, and diving. But I'm going to try to branch out this year and watch some different events. Maybe badminton? :)
We had a great time in Chicago with Darby's parents. I'll post more about our trip when I get pictures from Darby's mom. Naturally, I didn't take many. (That seems to be quite a theme with me).
Monday, August 04, 2008
No Blue Bell ice cream :(
No parking around campus (where a lot of the good restaurants are)
Darby and I went up to UI today. Whoa! It is huge. I thought, "I'll just go up with Darby to the Science Building; then I'll wander over to the library." Ummm...no way was I going to be able to find the library. As far as the eye could see were science buildings. And of course I hadn't printed out a map beforehand. I could have wandered around for a while, but it was too hot. Luckily, I spotted a Starbucks :) We did get to go in the Engineering library, which was about as big as the ACU Library, which serves the whole campus, not just one department. We're not in Kansas anymore!
It's a very beautiful campus, though. I wanted to take some pictures, but seriously the humidity made me not have the energy to lift my camera (well, that and maybe the fact that I was inexplicably alert from 4:30-6 a.m. today.) Plus, I didn't want to be the country bumpkin taking pictures of the big college!
We're going to Chicago with Darby's parents tomorrow. Woo-hoo!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
We are settling into our new house in Urbana, which we love!! The house is only two years old, and it's just so cute. Plus, it's so much bigger than our apartment, and there's plenty of storage space. I just keep walking around saying, "I can't believe we live here!" I'll definitely post pictures once we have everything set up. We've made a lot of progress, but we still have a lot of work to do. Luckily, we live about 1/2 a mile from Wal-Mart, so our frequent trips don't take up too much time :)
We went out to eat last night at a really good pizza place near campus. They have Chicago-style stuffed pizza. It was huge! I could only eat one slice, which is very strange for me. Right now we're at the Urbana Public Library using the Internet. Our Internet is going to be hooked up on Wednesday. Urbana is a cute little town. There's some really pretty old houses downtown and lots of parks. Illinois is much, much greener than Texas. And everyone was right: there's A LOT of corn. There's a huge cornfield right by our house. It reminds me of when I was little because there was a cornfield by our house in Hewitt, too.
Well, I better get back to work. We miss all our friends and family in Texas! I'll post more on Monday when we have Internet.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
My mom came in today to help us finish packing and cleaning. It's so nice to have her here. She and I watched 27 Dresses tonight while Darby was hanging out with a friend. A chick flick and pints of Blue Bell ice cream with my mom...pretty fun night! Both of our dads are coming in tomorrow night. It's really happening!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here's a couple pictures of the mess that is our apartment. (I took these pictures several days ago, so it is MUCH worse now).
The holding area. We now have about 25 boxes stacked in that tiny area of our living room.
The Goodwill pile. It has also grown considerably. I just want to make one trip, so I'm waiting until the day before to make a Goodwill run. (If you see something that you gave us in this pile, please do not be offended; we are pretty brutal in our paring down!)
The mess is kind of stressing me out, but I know it's only temporary. We're actually doing really well on our packing. We packed up almost the whole kitchen last night. That's always the most difficult room, so I feel good about our progress.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Google Maps definitely failed me on this trip, though. Erin, Em, and I were riding down together, and I looked up the directions for us. I thought some of the roads looked kind of small, but I figured it would be fine. Well, we ended up on this tiny country road for about 25 miles. Erin was driving, and she has a big fear of getting stranded on a country road, so she was really nervous. It was getting dark, so that added to the tension. But, we made it out, finally. The map was correct, but we looked up another route for the way home. It was a much better road, and MUCH faster. So, lesson learned...if the road looks tiny on the map, it is tiny.
Em, Kalyn, Carolyn, and Erin
Carolyn at the Austin Museum of Art. They had a little family room where kids could make their own art projects. So naturally, we had to participate.
Me, Erin, and Carolyn being dumb at the State Capitol.
Me, Erin, and Brittany at The Oais.