Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feta and Pesto Stuffed Basil Chicken

It's a very descriptive title isn't it?  Lol.
I found this recipe in my 5 Ingredient WeightWatchers Cookbook, and it has quickly become a favorite around here.  The best part?  I modified the recipe to make it SUPEReasy instead of just easy.  The other best part?  Only 5 ingredients!

Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat, approx. 1 pound
Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, 1/2 cup
Basil Pesto, 2 Tablespoons
Black Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
Dried Basil
The first step is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
While the oven is preheating, trim the icky stuff--ligaments, fat, that slimy "skin" stuff--off the chicken breasts.  Then, if you're trying to be a good little WeightWatcher like me, trim one of the breasts down to 4 ounces.  Sometimes, if you get three big enough breasts, you can just cut one in half and have two 4 ounce breasts.

Next, measure out 1/2 a cup of feta cheese and place it in a small bowl.  Add 2 Tablespoons of the basil pesto and the 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.  Using a fork--yes, a fork--mix these all together in the bowl.  I've found that, since the feta cheese is so chunky, the best way to mix these ingredients is the actually smoosh them together using the tines of the fork, only occasionally stirring to fully combine everything.
Once the mixture is done, set it aside.  Get a sharp and small knife and cut a slit in the thick part of each chicken breast.  DO NOT cut all the way through the breast, nor cut all the way along the side.  Your goal is to make a pocket in the chicken breast, being careful to avoid puncturing the top or the bottom.  Once the pockets are made, fill each breast with approximately 2 Tablespoons of the feta-pesto-pepper mixture.
Now, get a large baking dish and spray it down with Pam.  I prefer Olive Oil Pam myself, but that's because I've only recently discovered how AWESOME Olive Oil is for you, and how yummy it makes food taste!

Once the baking dish is well oiled, place the chicken breasts into the dish, spacing them evenly.  Next, sprinkle the top of each chicken breast with dried basil.  How much you use depends on how much you like basil!  I like it quite a bit, so I used about 1/4 teaspoon on each chicken breast.  That amount gave nice coverage plus great basil flavor and tingle!

The next-to-last step is to pop the dish in the oven, which should have long finished preheating by now.  Bake the chicken breasts for 45 minutes.  I checked on mine at 40 minutes, just to make sure they weren't getting over-done, but they took the full 45 minutes to finish baking and still maintained excellent moisture and flavor!

The very last step is to serve and enjoy!  I served mine with green beans and corn, mostly because that's all I had on hand lol.  I definitely recommend your favorite veggies as sides, and my hubby enjoyed it with a Sierra Nevada Kellerweis!  I hope y'all enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

So, funny story.  All day today I've thought it was Tuesday lol.  I'm not sure why, but I woke up this morning thinking we still had three days until Friday.  I just realized about an hour ago that it is in fact Wednesday--so I threw dinner in the oven and grabbed the computer to write my favorite post of the week!
If you want to share what you're loving this Wednesday, or see what everyone else is loving, link up here!

1.  I'm loving our freshly mulched flowerbeds!  
My hubby worked so hard on them this weekend and they look fantastic!

2.  I'm loving that I finally freshened up the pansies and that my bougainvillea is starting to grow again!  On top of that, I've transplanted the ivy from my water jar into the pot AND cut up and moved the ivy from the pot into the water jar!  That way, the new sprigs can grow roots and I can buy a bigger pot and plant all the ivy together!

3.  I'm loving InuYasha: The Final Act!  
I finally finished the first InuYasha series (LOVE IT!) and have started the second.

4.  I'm loving knitting!  I'm excited to have started my third project AND I'm loving being a part of the knitting community on

5.  I'm loving (once again) my 5 Ingredient Weight Watchers cookbook!  The recipes are so yummy and have cut down on what I need to buy at the store with their limited ingredients lists!
6.  I'm loving and the fact that it's allowing my hubby and me to rewatch one of our favorites--Naruto!
7.  And, of course, I'm loving my hubby!  
He's such a hardworking, loving guy who takes such good care of me!

Gotta Hate It When My Doctor's Right

I realized the other day that it's been quite awhile since I've posted about the whole RA thing.
The last time I addressed it was in my guest post for Arena over at The Nerd's Wife.  Partly that's because I don't like dwelling on my disease, and partly because life has been so busy lately--which in itself has been shocking lol.  Since being on disability, "busy" is not really a term that's applied to me!  Which is probably a good thing.  Anyway, February marked three months since my last dose of Remicade and hydroxychloroquin, and four months since my last does of methotrexate.  I'm also off of my NSAID.  

Why?  Am I suddenly cured?  
Far from it, actually, BUT Bryan and I are trying to make a baby!  And all of those medications are SUPERbad for babies.  My doctor cleared me to try to get pregnant, which of course was very exciting.  Of course, his reasons for clearing me weren't all that encouraging.  In no particular order, they were:

1)  With the stress from teaching removed, going off all of me meds probably won't cripple me.
2)  I'm home full-time, so I can rest and take it easy when the flares hit.
3)  My disease is so active and so far progressed that I will probably never be stable enough for there to be a good time to go off my meds.  So, we might as well do it now, get it over with, and hope that it doesn't cause things to get really bad on the other end of the pregnancy.

Obviously, Number 3 was my favorite reason *sarcasm*.

But regardless of the reasons, I'm glad he agreed to let us try, especially since we're only planning on having one kiddo.  That said, going off of the meds has been quite a challenge.  The fatigue and the flares are all back.  I'm sleeping at least 10 hours a night--which is supposedly normal for someone with an unchecked autoimmune condition.  If I overdo it--like this weekend--it's taking me 2-3 days to really recover.  The morning stiffness is lasting at least an hour, and some days my hands don't loosen up at all.

The amazing thing?  All that said, I'm still doing better most days than I was when I was teaching.  My doctor was right when he said stress was a huge part of the RA equation!  Who'd have thought?! Maybe I should have listened better--after all, the man did go to medical school and then SPECIAL medical school to do what he does lol.

Of course, I'm sure the fact that I can sit down most of the day--until I get to achy to sit--also helps.  The ability to sleep 10+ hours a day might also be contributing to the doing better, not to mention I'm isolated from sick people and so I'm not getting sick as often any more.  That sucked because every time I got sick--at least once a month--I had to go off of my meds anyway, and then I had to deal with the whole readjustment period when I was healthy enough to start them again.  
And THEN I'd get sick again before they'd really take effect.  

I still hate being on disability.  I get lonely, and still miss my students and teaching terribly.  However, I have to (and hate to) admit that my body is just not able to handle an actual job.  At least with the job of housewife, I can accomplish things in small increments and rest enough in-between tasks, and the continuing severe mechanical damage to certain joints can be minimized.  Disability seems to have proven itself to be the right answer.  It's making it possible for me to actually live my life--if in a more limited fashion than I ever foresaw--instead of just suffering through it, AND it's made it possible for us to try for a kiddo.  From what my doctor has said, if I had continued teaching, my disease would have rapidly progressed to a point where I would have been in a wheelchair by 30 and where parenthood would have no longer been an option.

You gotta hate it when your doctor's right...and when it turns out the decision you hated is the one that actually helps you the most. :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting Projects 2 and 3

Hello.  My name is Kristen.  And I am KNITTING!
Not to mention, to the wonderful feeling of yarn!  I even have set up a profile on!
When I decided to learn to knit, I never thought that it would be this much fun, this soothing, or this addicting!
After finishing my first project--my beautiful, soft blue scarf seen above--I launched into my second.
I have mentioned it a couple of times, but this second project is a birthday present for one of my best friends.  I won't get to give it to her until April, so I haven't posted any pictures yet--it's going to be a surprise!
That said, I have finished that project and had some yarn left over.  So, I'm going to take a chance that she won't actually read this post, and share a picture of the beautiful shiny yarn that I used for her gift!

Isn't it shiny?!  I think she'll love the gold color, and the fact that it has a subtle gleam due to the metallic yarn strand woven through the gold.

So now that two projects are done, I can take a break for a bit, right?  HA!
Before I had even finished my second project, I had already purchased the yarn for my 3rd!  This project does not need to dwell in secrecy, because I'm making it for my Dad and he already knows lol.  I'm knitting a dark navy blue scarf that he can wear with his uniform during the winter months.

I haven't gotten very far on it, but I'm loving working with the soft yarn!  For this project, I'm using much smaller needles than I did on my first scarf.  Instead of 10.5 needles, these are 7!  The smaller needles mean tighter stitches, but they also mean that I have to take more breaks--gripping the smaller needles means more aches in my hands!  That's ok though--I used these 7 needles for project number two as well, and love the look of the finished product!  I'll probably use these needles for my next project too--Bryan wants a motorcycle scarf for the winter!


Menu Planning Monday! On Tuesday!

Whew this weekend was rough!
In a fun way, of course, but I'm still recovering.  Bryan and I undertook the task of remulching the flowerbeds.  And by "Bryan and I" I mean Bryan lol.  I weeded as I could, but even just that has me out of commission for a few days.  At least the flowerbeds look beautiful!  And this week we'll put up the picket fence border!

Other than that, my beta Mr. Fish died.  I cried like a little girl.  I know he was just a pretty swamp fish, but I'd had him since 2006, when I rescued him from Kelyn, Bryan's sister.  She was tired of him and was going to flush him to that great swamp in the sky.  I stepped in and took him home with me.  I figured I already had Rurouni and they could share food easily enough.  I dubbed him Mr. Fish, and ever since then he had lived on the counter in my bathroom.  To be specific he had lived in four bathrooms--Aggie Station, WUGA, The Landings, and here at the house.  He loved to swim in random circles and to surge up from the bottom with his bent tail in order to chomp two or three food bits at once.  I never expected him to make 5 years, but he did--and now that he's gone I will miss him.

We also joined our church Sunday evening at the Church 101 class--I'm super-excited about it, and Bryan is happy and a little excited that we've joined as well!  When you join a UMC, you pledge to uphold the church with your prayers, presences, gifts and service.  Prayers and presence are easy enough and we're going to fill out our donation commitment card and our service surveys this week, once we discuss the budget and time commitments.  I'm hoping to be able to volunteer with the youth--but we'll have to see which opportunities are compatible with my RA and disability.

Bouncer and Alicia came over for dinner Sunday night, and we girls had our own mini Sit&Stitch while the boys bottled and kegged one batch of beer and brewed a second.  I finally finished my second knitting project and it was fun, even if it did go entirely too late.  1 am is really late/early, especially since they all had work on Monday.  As for me, sleep is the best thing for preventing/controlling flares, and not getting enough after this weekend has made recuperating a bit of a flary bitch.  But that's ok!  Now that I knit, I can feel productive even on days when all I can do for the most part is sit around.  Like today--today is a sit and watch InuYasha while knitting day, with occasional standing/walking around to keep me from aching too much from sitting and to do laundry and dishes.

Yesterday was much the same, except I did go to my Weight Watchers weigh-in!  I lost another .8 pounds, which made me happy!  I didn't actually go to the meeting--instead, I sat in my car in front of the meeting place for thirty minutes talking on the phone with my little brother!  I hadn't talked to him in a couple of weeks, so it was good to catch up!

Speaking of catching up, it's definitely time to plan out this week's menu.  So, here we go!

Breakfast:  some combination of egg, toast, fruit and/or yogurt with cottage cheese with milk
Lunch:  turkey and cheese sandwich for me, leftovers or buying for Bryan
TUESDAY:  Sit and Stitch=Taco night!
WEDNESDAY:  Since I didn't actually make this last week--Feta and Pesto Stuffed Chicken
THURSDAY:  Coconut Shrimp
FRIDAY:  Bryan will be out of town, so I'm thinking a large salad is in order--or maybe some Chinese takeout!
SATURDAY:  Pita Pizzas!
SUNDAY:  Honey Glazed Tilapia

Friday, March 25, 2011

Faith Fridays: Natural Disasters

Originally, I wasn't going to write a post about the earthquake in Japan.
It's a devastating natural disaster, one that has destroyed countless lives as well as critically injured Japan's economy.  It will take years for that beautiful, interesting country to completely recover.
I wasn't going to write about it because, honestly, no words of mine can do justice to the situation or to the pain and devastation being felt by the Japanese.
So, what exactly changed my mind?
Some fairly obtuse statements made by certain individuals in the Christian community that have been circulated via Facebook status updates.  Quite frankly, they pissed me off.  Yes, there will be a bit of personal ranting in this are warned.  I'm not going to go into every statement in the linked articles that made me say, "Wait, now WHAT?!" but I am going to deal with they two that seem to be the most pervasive.

The first statement that royally pissed me off is that "natural disasters are the result of the Fall and the sinful nature of this world."  Now, this isn't the first time I've heard this.  Someone tried to tell me this back in high school as well, and even at fourteen I realized something didn't quite add up.  Why?
Well, let's start at the beginning.  The beginning of what?  Everything.
(Earth rise over the Moon, photographed by Apollo 17) 
If you adhere to Christian theology (or several others), God created the world.  According to Genesis (and common sense) the Earth came into existence before mankind.  Looking back at my 8th grade science education, the world is divided into four parts--the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core.  Furthermore, the crust is divided into tectonic plates.  These plates rest on the semi-molten mantle and sort of float around on it.  Because there is motion involved, there is friction where the plates meet--also known as fault lines.  Depending on the type of fault, the friction can cause mountains, valleys--or earthquakes.

Seeing as many of Earth's mountains and valleys were formed prior to human existence, I think it's pretty safe to say that earthquakes--and thus tsunamis as well--were also taking place before human existence.
Having established that, how in the heck can you say that natural disasters are a consequence of human sin?!?  That's pretty dadgum arrogant if you ask me.  The earth simply continues to operate the way it always has, and since humans live on the crust--and live at fault line sites--we have to deal with the consequences.  This goes for weather patterns and those of us living in hurricane pathways as well.

A second statement that has been irritating me concerns all of the "prophecies" that show that we are living close to or in the "end times"--many of which point to the recent natural disasters as hallmarks of the beginning of the end.  I'm not about to get into whether or not I believe that there are current, legitimate prophets in the world today--that's a whole can of worms that I'm not about to open in this post.

However, I am going to point out that everything that is happening in the world now has happened before--to name a few, economic collapse (hello Roman empire), wars (take your pick!), and climate change (yes, humans have lived through it before).  This list also includes natural disasters.  In ancient times there were plenty--two of the most famous being Vesuvius erupting and Atlantis flooding (yes, I think there was a real Atlantis and recent archaeological findings back me up on that).  Anyone who has taken a World History class knows all of that.  Another sticking point from the theological side is the statement made by Jesus that no one, not even He, knows when the end will come--only God the Father possesses that knowledge.  What that tells me is that whatever the current guesses of today's "prophets" are--yeah, they're wrong.

Anyway, I understand that natural disasters and the suffering they cause are hard to wrap our minds around when we believe in a loving God.  I just wish that people would actually use the brains God gave them to think through what they're about to say before issuing any grand pronouncements on why God "did" this or "let it happen" or, in regards to natural disasters, how humanity "brought this on themselves".

Here's the link to the AmericanRed Cross Donation Page in case you can/want to donate to the Japan Earthquake fund, or any of the other funds listed:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

What I'm Loving Wednesdays make me so happy!  
I love thinking about all the things that I'm really enjoying this week, and it's always fun reading about what everyone else is loving too!  To see their WILWs and link up your own, go here!

1.  I am LOVING my yarn shop!  Two weeks ago I took my first knitting class at Park Avenue Yarns
and have been back several times for sit-and-knits and for help--they have been so wonderful and helpful!  Oh, and did I mention I get to go around petting the pretty, pretty soft yarn?  Because I do ;-).  I have SO MANY IDEAS for new projects--but first, I need to learn some more lol.

2.  Speaking of projects, I am LOVING that I'm almost done with my second project!  It's a birthday gift for someone, so no pictures here yet!

3.  I'm LOVING!  It's such a neat online community for knitters and crocheters!  And I'm loving that I finally set up my profile!

4.  I'm loving Weight Watchers!  I'm loving that, thanks to that program, I am 11 pounds lighter than I was in January!  I'm loving that I'm 7 pounds away from losing 10% of my original weight!

5. I'm loving that I've gotten to spend so much time with friends the past couple of weeks, and loving that I have plans with lots of them coming up next week too!  Here's a picture of Kim and me at her Sunday brunch shower!

6.  And yes, I'm still loving InuYasha--only 24 more episodes until I can start the Final Act series that I haven't seen yet!!!

7.  And of course, I'm still loving my husband.  Even when he drives me crazy, he always manages to make me laugh.  I'm so blessed to have a true partner for my mate--I love him so much!
P.S. In this picture, I think he's wondering who drives who crazy lol.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Planning Monday! (and new blog layout!)

Howdy howdy!
I've got to say, the last couple of weeks I have felt as if some unseen force was sucking all of the drive and productivity out of my system!  I've had a ton of fun hanging out with friends and celebrating big life moments with them, but when I look around the house, I realize that we haven't been accomplishing a whole lot on the home front.  Well, that's enough of that!

This week it's time to get life back in gear.  And we've already made a good start!  Yesterday, Bryan and I happened to stumble across the perfect wall decor to hang on the living room wall above our couch!  Of course, I need to find a couple of little things for either side, but that's the easy part!  We won't be hanging it until after we've finished painting the downstairs, so pictures will have to wait until then.

We also picked out and installed (well, Bryan installed lol) our new bedroom ceiling fan!  It's very much a beach-feeling ceiling fan, so it looks a little strange in there right now.  BUT once we've painted the walls the really cool blue color we've selected, changed the drapery, and I've gotten the decorating going, it's going to be PERFECT!  And again, pictures have to wait until then too.

The other thing I've been neglecting the past couple of weeks is my Weight Watchers.  I haven't been going to meetings, and I've only been guestimating on tracking--a very dangerous habit to get started.  I was convinced that I had gained weight and so was avoiding going to meetings until today.  I figured it was time to suck it up and face the music, and then get back on track.  Well, I went in today and guess what?

I've lost 2.6 pounds!!!  That makes my total weight loss around 11 pounds!!!
I even got another 5 pound star sticker for my little book!

I felt as if I had been granted a reprieve!  And I also felt guilty when I got my star--I sure don't think I've earned it!  That said, I had a wonderful time at the meeting, and it's given me the impetus I need to get back on top of tracking my points and getting my butt to water aerobics regularly!  It also gave me a good excuse to go to Old Navy and spend too much money on summery clothes heehee.  Don't worry, I stayed within my monthly discretionary money...barely.

In the spirit of getting things back on the right track, I'm also making it a goal to post more than just two times this week lol.  In that spirit, here is our menu plan for the week!

Breakfast:  some combination of egg, toast, fruit and/or yogurt with cottage cheese with milk
Lunch:  turkey and cheese sandwich for me, leftovers or buying for Bryan
MONDAY:  Spaghetti with a salad and garlic bread
TUESDAY:  Sit and Stitch=Taco night!
WEDNESDAY:  Garlicky Baked Shrimp
THURSDAY:  Feta and Pesto Stuffed Chicken
FRIDAY:  Pita Pizzas!
SATURDAY:  Left-overs or out to eat.  This weekend is "Mulch The Yard Weekend!" combined with "Paint The Walls Weekend" so I'm pretty sure I'm not going to want to cook. :-P

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Repost: Forgiveness

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about forgiveness, which was the topic of today's sermon at church.  When we got home, I reread my old post and realized that my thoughts on forgiveness are still the same as they were last year.  So, instead of writing a whole new post, I'm revising and reposting!  Here are my thoughts on forgiveness--hope y'all enjoy reading!

I was reading a random post earlier today. The person was worrying over their inability to "forgive and forget". They were linking it to a Christian belief structure which, in their interpretation, requires that "good Christians" (what does that even mean anyway?) completely forgive those who have wronged them and to put the deeds against them out of mind. In other words forgive and forget. I honestly think that's a load of malarky.

First, to deal with the forgiveness part. 
I do believe that humans can truly forgive one another. That said, I think that there are two main types of forgiveness: forgiveness after repentance, and repentance-less forgiveness. Now the first type is by far the easier of the two. When the person(s) who wronged us truly feels bad AND tries to make amends (repentance is as much an ACTION as a frame of mind), then it is easier to forgive. It can still take a lot of time, and a lot of soul searching, but knowing that the other party truly regrets their actions and the hurt they caused helps. 
The second kind of forgiveness is a much more difficult and self-oriented thing. If the person(s) doing the harming don't repent--or even acknowledge that they perpetrated hurtful acts--it becomes much more difficult to feel forgiving towards them. I think this type of forgiving takes a lot longer, and is done more for a personal benefit than for any other reason. Not forgiving someone who hurt you means those hurt and angry feelings stay...which eventually will hurt your life and growth as a person. So at that point forgiveness is much more a self-oriented thing than an outward expression.

Now to deal with "forgive and forget". 
I understand that Christianity does put a great emphasis on forgiving others' "trespasses against us" as Christ/God forgive us for ours; however, the only place in the Bible that I (in my admittedly non-extensive Biblical knowledge) remember dealing with memory and trespasses is where it talks about God putting our sins as far as east is from west upon repentance. I can only think that this is where people get the "forgive and forget" stuff from. That's understandable, because let's face it, East from West is just about as far a distance as you can get in the world of metaphor and conceptualized distances. However, nowhere in all of that is "forgetting" mentioned.

So, here's my issue with the expectation of "forgive and forget" as expressed by certain interpretation of Christian doctrine.  God is the ultimate, perfect being and (according to the Bible) we were created in His image. Humans have memory, albeit imperfect.  If we are imperfect mirrors of God, then it stands to reason that God is the perfection whose image we reflect. So, take our imperfect memory--presumably, God has a perfect memory (which He'd have to to accomplish a variety of other actions attributed to Him and His abilities). Which means, that He CANNOT forget. Even with the whole East from West thing, nowhere does it say "God accepts your repentance, forgives you, and forgets about it." He just puts it far away.

So transpose that onto humanity. God, with His infinite mind, has the ability to mentally push things as far as East is from West. Yeah, humans?  We ain't got that (:-P). Which means for the really big hurts and wrongs, we won't ever truly be able to forget them. We can choose not to dwell on them, we can not think about them often, etc, but they never truly go away. Big hurts leave scars on our souls, hearts, and minds. They are a huge part of the process that makes us who we are (of course a bigger part of that process is how we react to those hurts, but that discussion is for another time). Which means that while we might be able to forgive the person(s) who cause these wrongs and hurts, we'll never forget that they hurt us.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why "forgive and forget" is such a load of crap. Forgive, definitely. Don't expect it to be an overnight process, and don't beat yourself up if it takes time. But forget? Don't expect to forget about the big hurts and don't beat yourself up about not being able to. Especially since no one is actually asking it of you.

Anyways, I was just thinking :-).
On another note, Bryan and I are attending a membership class next Sunday to decide whether or not to place membership at the church we've been attending!  Bryan's enjoys the church and is happy with the idea of becoming members, and I'm super-excited!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Keyword Chaos!

In the Stats portion of your blog, there's a section called "Traffic Sources".
At the very bottom of this section, the subsection "Search Keywords" tells you what searches led people to your blog.  It's interesting to see what searches people have used that brought them to your door, so to speak.
These searches can be silly, interesting, or just plain weird, and the fun part is responding!
I got this idea from my friend Lauren over at Pineapple Pizza today, and thought I'd join in!
Here's the top three keyword searches for my blog, and my responses!  Enjoy!

Baby Orange Tree?
Why yes, I have one!  It is tall and pretty and not dead!
Hooray!  You made it!  I told you it wasn't that hard to find!

     Mom's best lemon pie?
Why are you asking me??  Isn't that a conversation you should have with your mom?  I don't even know your mom!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback Friday

I really should apologize.  Only one post this week?  That's pretty bad.
I wish I had an interesting and exciting excuse--space aliens abducted me, I got (very) temporary amnesia, I finally got stir-crazy enough to hop on a flight to Costa Rica or the Caribbean with only a carry-on, etc.  But I don't.
Though I have to say, that last one is EXTREMELY tempting.

So, to make up for a lack of posts, I'm doing a Friday Flashback--where I take the highlights of the week and relive them as I share them with y'all.
As I posted, Monday was originally going to be a recuperation day from my friend Kim's wedding festivities this past weekend.  However, it ended up being much more exciting than that!  I spent the day cleaning in preparation for Andy and Iman, Mark and Alicia, and Brandon and us to have dinner at our house!  Andy and Iman made this AMAZING chili, and we had a wonderful time hanging out together!

Alicia had surgery on Saturday (don't worry, she's fine now!) and still wasn't feeling 100%.  Mark had to go back to work on Tuesday however, so Alicia came and spent the day with me at the house!  We had yummy Chinese for lunch and a Sailor Moon marathon!

Bryan was home on Wednesday--silly allergies were making him feel pretty icky.  So, we got to spend the day hanging out together, which was nice.  Also, our friend Amber is in town for Spring Break!  She called us up and we grabbed Freebirds for lunch...yummm.  We came back to the house and played with the pups and caught up.

Amber and I met and got pedicures!  This is generally a tradition for the two of us whenever she's in town.  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, my toes are an awesome shade of green!
Other than that, I worked on my knitting project--it's a surprise for someone, so no pictures here until after I've given it to them--and I made Coconut Shrimp for dinner!

This is the first day this week I haven't had something planned or randomly pop up!  I need to run to my wonderful yarn shop, but I'm thinking I'll put it off for a few hands are awfully achy, and if I have no yarn, there is no temptation to overdue and knit!  Today has been cleaning Haley's ears, hanging with the puppies--Tiberius and Abby go home tomorrow :-(--and watching InuYasha!
Sure, there were plenty of ways to be productive today, but those ways will still exist next week!
Tomorrow afternoon/evening Bryan and I are going to go to my Aunt Cindy's 50th birthday for a little bit.  We probably won't be able to stay long since Lindsay and Ben are going to come get the pups, but it will be good to see everyone.  Oh, and I might go to the yarn store :-D.

Church!  I really missed going last weekend, which was a weird and unexpected feeling.  I haven't missed going to church in YEARS.  I think it's probably the wonderful atmosphere of the church we're attending, the laid-back feeling to it all, and the welcoming people.  Unless something weird happens, I think Bryan and I are going to place membership there by the end of the month, which I'm really excited about!  Which, again, is a weird and unexpected feeling lol.

I hope y'all have had a wonderful week, and that your weekend looks great!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Old Friends' New Beginnings

Apparently this is the time to celebrate old friends' new beginnings!
Kim, one of my good friends from back in high school, is getting married next month, and this weekend was her Spring wedding showers (yes, plural--there were two) and bachelorette party!
The showers were very different from one another--the first on Saturday was more formal at an adorable tea room (I still wore jeans lol), and the second on Sunday was more laid back at a yummy Mexican restaurant (margaritas and fajitas...yummm!).
Saturday night was the bachelorette party--and obviously, I'm not going to divulge any of the going-ons here!
Suffice it to say it was a BLAST and, even though I was DD, I'm still recovering!
After all, it's been years since I could run for 48 hours on 5 hours of sleep--so today I slept til noon!
Of course, the best part of the weekend was getting to catch up with Kim, but a very close second was getting to see and catch up with Lori and Megan, whom I haven't seen since graduation back in 2003!
Oh. My. God.
It's been almost 10 years.
 It was also a blast meeting the other girls--all of whom were Aggies! WHOOP!--and getting to go out and live it up in celebration of Kim's upcoming wedding!
On top of all of that, Andy and his fiancee are in town from California!
Andy was the one who performed our wedding ceremony and who, along with Mark, happens to be one of Bryan's best friends from all the way back in 5th grade!
Tonight, Mark and Alicia and Andy and Iman are all coming over to the house for dinner and hanging out!
It's going to be so much fun!!!

That said, I was gone all weekend, which means my house is a wreck!
So there's definitely a lot to get done today, even if I did sleep until noon.
I didn't mean to--we have Ti and Abby back this week, so I was sure that Haley and Annabelle would wake me up by 10 AT THE LATEST to go play with their best friends.
My puppy-alarm did not go off lol.
 Now, the pups are all passed out in their favorite places in the living room.
Which makes me feel back for what I'm about to do---which is kennel them all up and pull out the vacuum!
 Bring it on, messy house!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things I'm Loving Thursday!

Also known as my What I'm Loving Wednesday when I'm running a day behind!

I look forward to this post every week--it has such a positive, upbeat focus AND let's me share events and things from the past week that I am absolutely loving!  I'm so glad that Jaime started this up and that I stumbled across it!  So, on to what I'm LOVING this week!

1)  I am loving the awesome glass teapot Mama Lynn bought for me!  The tea that comes with it is in little nugget-like balls.  You place them in the bottom of the glass teapot and then pour boiled water over the top--and the tea BLOOMS!  Into a tea FLOWER!!!  It's beautiful AND the tea is super-yummy.

2)  I am loving knitting!  And I'm loving the fact that I'm almost done with my first project--my blue scarf!

3)  Again, I'm loving InuYasha!  I only have another 55 episodes in the first series, and then I finally will watch The Final Act!

4)  I'm loving the weather outside!

5)  As always, I'm loving my handsome husband!  I can't believe May will be three years since our wedding day!  He sure is wonderful!


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