Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Very Merry Thanksgiving

We had a lovely and restful Thanksgiving Break. Both of us were glad to be off for 4 days straight in a row. We couldn't believe it! Patrick kept saying, "Wait? I don't have to go to work tomorrow either??" It was great. We did a lot of sleeping, a lot of eating, and a lot of just sittin' around our cozy little house reading Twilight.

Well, that's what I did.

Patrick had to write 2 papers. And he is not showing much enthusiasm over vampires these days. ::sigh:: Someone has to keep up with modern day, 21st century, 9th grade girl culture around here. Might as well be me.

I got out of school early on Wednesday afternoon. Came home and took a gloriously long nap. That really set the tone for the weekend. Thursday, we slept in. I got up, made some sweet potato casserole, drank multiple cups of coffee wearin' my PJs and watched the parade. We went to my mom and dad's for my side of the family's Thanksgiving. Then we came home and took, you guessed it, another gloriously long nap. Then, in a thrilling and unexpected turn of events, we sat on the couch all night long and watched more TV than we have in ages. It was delicious.

I did make it out of the house on Friday to have lunch and browse some great consignment shops with one of my bestest friends. We had pizza at Grace's, which is the best dang pizza place I have ever been. I bought a great fitted vintage-looking fair isle sweater that looks as good as new at the consignment shop down the street. My friend bought a vintage black lace dress (it was awesome), a beautiful graphic looking pillow and some dish towels from the 1970s that were so cute. We managed to make it all the way through Black Friday without buying a single gift for anyone but ourselves. We're really good at that. Shopping is how we made it through college.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with Patrick's side of the family that night at his parent's. We finished up the night at the movies with good friends whom we hadn't seen in ages, and they had an exciting announcement to share!! (I'm not supposed to tell yet though, sorry. You'll have to be on the edge of your seats for that one. Don't you hate it when people do that?)

Today I did not get out of my pajamas. Like at all. Except to go eat dinner with my family before sending my brother back to D.C. At dinner my brother asked Patrick and I what we had done all day and we sort of looked at each other confused. Patrick said, "Did we go anywhere today? Do anything? I can't remember??" And I said, "I didn't. And you slept 'til 2." "Oh," he said, looking at Dave, "Nope, we didn't do anything. Just wanted to make sure." And so that was that. We watched the Vols beat Kentucky, laying on the couch, curled up with some cute kitty cats and full bellies. It was truly a restful and relaxing day. A restful and relaxing weekend!

We felt so blessed to have this time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lord help us when we have children...

...if we take this many pictures of our cats...

Sorry. I couldn't help it. He's so darn cute. Just be glad I didn't post the one of him snuggled up in our bed. Or rolling over on his back when Patrick or I enter the room. You would melt.
I mean puddle in the floor melt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look what I got!!

Ok so terrible picture and I know this is like the earliest made model of these things. It was such a beautiful day on Sunday and I wanted to run....are you ready.....outside....yes, where people might see me....scary. I talked to a friend at church who is a runner and she suggested a local park where it's pretty flat. The views of the mountains and the river are beautiful from here, so I couldn't resist. I called my dad and asked if he had a digital watch I could borrow so I didn't have to watch the secondhand go around and around, and he said, "I can do better than that!! I have this tells how far you go and it times you. I never use it! You want it?"
So he gave his Garmin Forerunner. Just like that! (I think technically I'm "borrowing" it, but he said he would just let me know when he needs it back. He tends to forget these things.)
I'm going to the beach this weekend with some of the girls in my family (so excited!) and I'm hoping I can take this little gadget and maybe get a run in at some point. We'll see!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My quest to become a runner...

So I'm on Week 2 of the program... and things are going well!! I waited until last week to start since cheerleading had finally slowed way down and I had more time after school. I have tried to make myself look forward to running, and have even caught myself in the midst of a crazy day anticipating jumping on the treadmill and pounding away the stress. I have also found that the key is to always keep a bag of gym clothes in my car. For example, today I was going to go to the gym. Then I went and did some errands and pretty much forgot about going to the gym (because I'm pretty much an airhead and just forget these things...), so then when I remembered about the gym, I thought, " I have to go home, change, and then come back out." But NO!! Lightbulb! I already had the clothes in the back of my car, along with my shoes (apparently I anticipated my airheadedness at some point this past week), so after my errands I drove my airheaded little self to the gym and jumped on that treadmill, feeling like a rockstar.

Please do not hear that I mistakingly think that I am a runner now.

I know I am not. But I am at least sticking with it. And that is far more than I can say about some other healthy habits in my life at the moment...

During Week 2, I have increased from running 60 seconds, walking 90 seconds (in Week 1) to running 90 seconds, walking 2 minutes. You are supposed to warm up with a brisk 5 minute walk, and then alternate these intervals for the next 20 minutes.

Today, after the 20 minute run/walk session, I was even fueled to keep running for the additional 5 minutes! (I always set the treadmill at 30 minutes, so after the intervals there is usually 5 minutes left to cool down.) I am starting to feel really great after my workouts, instead of just painfully exhausted and sore.

Next week is crazy though. Here's the breakdown:
1. Brisk walk for 5 minutes
2. Jog for 90 seconds
3. Walk for 90 seconds
4. Jog for 3 mintues
5. Walk for 3 minutes
6. Repeat #2-5.

Oh man.

Also, I would love to eventually run outside. However, these timed sessions prevent that from happening because I don't own a digital watch (and I REALLY don't feel like trying to keep up with a secondhand on a regular watch), nor do I own one of those cool little GPS thing-a-ma-bobs to track distance.

Maybe once I become a real runner (read: can handle more than 3 minutes at a time) I will treat myself to some running gadgets.

Yeah, I'll let you know when that happens.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Date Night With Dad

Tonight I went on a fun date with my dad! Just him and I. No one else. Just the like the old days. Patrick was (supposed to be) working on a paper and my mom is at the beach with some friends, so I called up my dad on Tuesday (ready for the weekend, eh?) and said, "Let's go on a date!" And he said, "Yeah! Let's go eat. Let's eat something that your mom and Patrick think is really gross and would never eat with us!" And I said, "I know! Indian food! Let's go eat Indian food!" And he said, "It's on."
My dad and I have always shared a love of exotic food. In fact, I attribute my love of exotic food to his love of exotic food. When I was in the high chair and my mom was insisting on mushing up some rice for me at the Chinese restaurant, Dad said, "No! Let the girl try some Moo Shu Pork!" And thus, it began. This girl has not met much food she doesn't like. (This is often my downfall. See here. And here.)
He called me today and said he'd been researching where we should go all week. We settled on Taaza. We'd never been but heard good food, good atmosphere. So off we went! I picked him up at 6:45, we jammed to some good tunes on the CD mix that Patrick has on repeat in his car, we ate, we chatted, we ate some more, and we chatted some more. We had fried califlower (which was great!) as an appetizer, chicken tikka masala, and lamb vindaloo (spelling?). Yummy! I love that we decided to get a couple things and just share it all. It was so much fun to have my dad to myself. Rarely does this happen anymore just because of the nature of our schedules and hurriedness of life lately.
When we left we decided we DEFINITELY need to do this more often. Such a refreshing time for both of us. I am thankful for the relationship that I have with my dad and how God has blessed our family. I'm thankful for a husband who said, "I think that's great! Go! Have fun!" And I'm thankful that my dad and I have things that only we share in common.
A good night all around and a great kick-off to the weekend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For Beth:

This is Cousin Beth.

Beth is a (probably the only) devoted follower of our blog.

She is one of our favorites.

When she comes to town, we drop whatever we are doing.

We took Beth to the Salem Fair 2 summers ago. She is forever changed, we think.

Beth is the only cousin who has shamelessly played our "dive for pennies and quarters in the pool" game, despite the fact that we are all well into our twenties.

Beth let my husband take copious amounts of pictures at her wedding with his new camera, despite the fact that she had hired a professional photographer. It was the only wedding Patrick has ever thoroughly enjoyed. Including our own.

When I have issues about my ability as an English teacher, Beth reminded me that I am a good writer.

Beth told me to blog for our unborn children, Lord help them. She insists that they will care at some point in their lives what Mom and Dad had for dinner before they were born.

Beth, thank you for reading!
It was so good to see you this past weekend.
We love you!!

(And please don't kill me for putting your picture on our blog. You were a beautiful bride!)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

slowly coming into focus

Life is getting back on track after the 2 month cheerleading hiatus. Patrick reminds me daily that it is only MY life that is back on track and slowing down. HE still has schoolwork and lots of it. As we speak he is "writing a paper." Is he actually writing? I'm not sure. He may actually be reading online articles, checking facebook, and sneaking in some Midevil Total War on the side. These are his "pre-game activities" so he calls them. They "help him get motivated to write." Please don't ask. I have tried. Trust me I have.

I've learned to let him be and a paper eventually makes it out of the printer sometime during the night. How do I know? Oh, because he married an English teacher and I have to proofread EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. (I feel like this is slightly cheating?)

Nonetheless, we had a VERY productive weekend. Here is the list of tasks that got accomplished:
  • cleaned the house (!!!!)
  • learned to fold in the windows and clean them on inside AND outside
  • put away clean clothes that have been sitting in the laundry baskets for weeks
  • filled said laundry baskets with more clean clothes
  • changed the sheets on the bed
  • water our unkillable plant
  • lots of groceries
  • made some chocolate chip cookies for my expecting sister-in-law

and finally....[drum roll please.......]

dun dun dun DUNNNNNNNN


You heard me right. We had the pool open until November 7. A record for even us. This is slightly embarassing but I will say this in our defense: the longer we leave that thing open, the less time it has to get green and murky before Spring. We are only making things easier on ourselves down the road. That's our story and we're stickin to it.

On another note, our neighbor has swine flu (sorry Jenn) and her husband Trevor came over tonight to bring me lesson plans to take to school for her sub (she teaches with me). Of course, I'm in pajamas that don't match. (Why don't I have pajamas that match?? What has happened to my life??) Seriously, polka dot blue pants and a cheerleading t-shirt. And huge silver dangly earrings still in from church this morning. I think I was even wearing a black bra underneath my white t-shirt. Sooo Joy on My Name is Earl. So tacky. Oh goodness. I digress. Anyway, I'm frantically cleaning the house in my weird outfit, screaming over the vaccuum cleaner at Trevor who is in my living room dropping out lesson plans. Apparently I looked pretty stressed out, because he looked at Patrick and said, "You know, I thought about getting a cleaning lady to help Jenn out. To take a load off of her a little."

Trevor, you are my new favorite person. Please keep hanging out with my husband.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How the Freezer is Saving My Life

Oh man how I wish I had known about this while cheerleading was in full swing. I took a night a couple weeks ago and prepared several freezer meals from this amazing book:

I went to Sam's and bought in bulk like we've been doing for a few months now. This is saving us a lot of money, especially since I mostly cook from scratch and therefore cannot use many coupons (they just don't make coupons for produce, flour, eggs, etc.). As soon as I came home, instead of dividing up and freezing the food like we normally do, I took about 2 hours to go ahead and prepare marinades and pre-packaged meals, all to freeze and just pull out and cook over the next couple of weeks. This is working GREAT for us!!! We are saving money, eating home-cooked meals, and not spending tons of time (which I don't have) cooking.

I made granola (4 packages), barbeque chicken (3 meals worth), cranberry-apple pork roast (2 meals worth), and vegetarian chili (4 meals worth).

On Sunday night of this week I pulled out a couple of different entrees and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. Last night we had veggie chili. I fixed some rice and shredded some cheese to go along with it. Tonight we had the cranberry-apple pork roast. It was so easy!! I literally pulled it out of the fridge, dumped it into a pan, and put it in the oven for an hour. I quickly sliced up and roasted some potatoes to go along with it and that's it!! Done!! It was yummy and very fall-like feeling. Mmmmm...

Tomorrow night we've having the barbeque chicken. I'm going to slice up some apples and sweet potatoes and throw 'em in the oven like my lovely friend Jenna suggested.

Two of my friends had this British professor in college who would always say, "Easy peasy like sugar candy..." in a nonchalant, happy, British-accentish voice.
I think it will be my new mantra.
"Easy peasy like....cranberry-apple pork roast from the freezer."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On this gloomy Sunday, I:

  • worshipped the Creator of the universe, who loves me despite my sinfulness

  • sipped tea cozied up on the couch watching Gilmore Girls reruns

  • baked fresh bread

  • did not have to clean up lunch dishes (thank you, Subway)

  • am happily catching up on neglected schoolwork from the past 2 months

  • am looking forward to hanging out with friends tonight that we haven't seen in months

  • am loving the cute kitty cat curled up at my feet

  • breathed--for the first time since school started.