Monday, November 30, 2009

short and sweet

So, we're back in Birmingham ... Gainesville was fun, Thanksgiving was yummy, and work this weekend was good :) So now it's three days here, two days in Chattanooga, and back to work again.

Can I just say that I love my schedule? I mean, seriously. I came home last night, and realized that once again, I'm off for 5 days in a row. Gone are the days of exhaustion, and one day off at a time, and sleeping all day - I'm energetic, I feel good, I'm doing what I love (but only 2 days a week!) How I landed this I still don't know, but I'm so very, very grateful. I hate missing church on Sundays, but come January and the end of the holiday craziness, I'm going to start attending a Bible study on Thursday mornings. (The only reason that I haven't yet been is that we have been GONE every single thursday since I started my weekends, save one.)

Life is good. This week (and last) Mark has been working like crazy to complete his papers and research and stuff - always crunch time for school around this time. Hopefully we can put our tree up in the next couple days, and I can get my Christmas wreath made and do some decorating. And cleaning. I just can't seem to get caught up with the cleaning - I think it's because we're always gone. Maybe in January....

I really, really, love this guy :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We're headed to Gainesville just as soon as I can get all our stuff packed, me ready, and Mark up and ready. Always a fun and interesting time, Mark's mother's side of the family. They're a large, loud, crazy bunch. And I'm already preparing myself to answer about 1,000 "So when are y'all gonna have kids?" or "Are you pregnant yet?" or "Y'all should have a baby!!" questions/comments. They came in droves our first Thanksgiving (at which point we'd not even been married 6 months...), so I'm sure they'll be in abundance this year again.

Mark's Nanny's house does NOT have wireless internet (at least that's what I'm assuming), so I'll be internet-less for a few days. So I'm posting my list now:

Today, I'm thankful for...
-my wonderful, amazing, sweet, too-good husband. The longer we're married, the more I love him, and the more mature our love is. Life is so good with him :)

-My awesome family. Seriously, they are awesome. I love them.
-Friends. Everywhere. The older I get (and I'm not saying I'm this old sage, full of wisdom or anything, but still...) I realize the value of people, and the love that pours out of my heart for relationships and the people that surround me, the people I love, is overwhelming. I am so thankful for them.
-My amazing, comfy bed. We're keeping this thing forever.
-Our ability to buy things, like a car, this year.
-My job. It has its shortcomings, but everytime I think of them, I remember - it's keeping me here, with Mark. And it also has the best schedule in the world.
-My kitty. Because she's precious.
-The privilege of taking care of other people's babies. It's sometimes an overwhelming task and responsibility, but it's worth every minute.
-My life. Because it is so, so, sweet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

happenings as of late...

It's been over a week since I posted last - lots has happened.

Nearly a week ago, I got up and headed to Nashville to spend the week with Lissa. It was absolutely lovely. I went to AFF, the libertarian/conservative group that Price leads (Price is lissa's brother) with the group Monday night. It was interesting - didn't agree with everything, but I was glad that I went. Then on Tuesday night, we stayed in and made White Lasagna! Yum! Also watched Pan's Labyrinth, which was beautiful and sad. Wednesday we cleaned out Lissa's bedroom and that night was Trivia Night at the Corner Pub - so fun! We (surprisingly) won (mainly because Lissa and Wesley, her other brother, are brilliant...) Then Thursday we met Mel for lunch, ate yummy crepes, and went that night to hear their friend Aaron Long sing. Which was also delightful. It was an amazing week, full of fun, which I needed badly. I love Elissa, and her friends :)

I got back on Friday, and then Saturday was work, and Saturday night was Thanksgiving get-together at the girls' house. Sunday was work again, grocery store today, and cook tomorrow - and then off to Gainesville for Thanksgiving with Mark's family! Should be fun :)

I can't believe Christmas is so soon. I'm both ready and not - I'm slowly but surely getting some ornaments painted, and decorations are going to come sometime next week. Mark is in crunch time with grad school, and has to read too much to be festive right now (not that he's particularly festive without school...) I'm trying to plan a Christmas party of some sort, maybe a cocktail party, but we'll see how that goes... There's always too much to do, with too little time. For now, though, I'm excited about Thanksgiving - my favorite food ever! I could eat turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce till I popped. Yummmm :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year...

It is a good morning.

I slept in until about 7:30 (hello, morning person once again!), and woke up with the sun. I read in bed for two hours. (I'm currently reading The Lord of the Rings, which is lovely and wonderful.) I woke Mark up half an hour later than I was supposed to (oops.) And I came downstairs, and made mini blueberry muffins, which just came out of the oven.

Last night was also fantastic, as Waranya invited us over to dinner with all the girls. We got to eat with all of them - Waranya, Hannah, Caitlin, Sheila, and Liz. Hannah made soup (yummy, yummy potato, ham, and cabbage soup ... sooooo good and warm) and Waranya did a salad and some yummy (and healthy!) applesauce muffins. I miss them. Their house is gorgeous, and their hearts are warm and welcoming, and it was perfect after my day of work. (A crazy morning, but it calmed down toward the afternoon, and was a really good day.) They also invited us to a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at their house in a couple weeks, which sounds AMAZING.

This week, I'm nursing for dollars on Tuesday, and then we may go camping Thursday and Friday. I work the weekend, and on Monday I'm Nashville-bound!! I'm there through Friday morning, and then that Saturday is the dinner at the girls'. I work that day and Sunday, have two days to wash clothes/pack, and then we're off to Gainesville for Thanksgiving with Mark's parents. Then I work the weekend again, wash more clothes and pack more, and the next Thursday and Friday will be Thanksgiving with my family. December will be full of Christmas stuff (obviously)... The next two months are just going to whiz by. I decided not to sign up for any extra work days in December, since I'm expecting to be busy or gone all month, but in January, I'm making up for that with 3 extra shifts that month :) I love this season so much - full of friends and family and lovely smells and food and decorations!

And speaking of food - time to grocery shop. Those blueberry muffins are the only food I have in the whole house, and I need to get stuff for this week. Busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

what a lovely day :)

After a really crazy, insane, horrible day at work yesterday, today has been exactly what I've wanted.

I woke up with the sun, but stayed in bed until 9:30 reading The Lord of the Ring, which may make me a nerd, but I don't care. Then I got up and ate some toast. Then Mark got up and cleaned the kitchen. And what did I do the rest of the day? I scrapbooked. With a few interruptions, for laundry, and some chips and salsa. The sun was out (most of the day) and Mark had the windows open, and a nice breeze of fresh air came through the house, and life was good. (But now it's cold, and Mark is gone, so I'm shutting them.)

And on the agenda for tonight? Andy and Suzie are coming over, and we're making pizzas and having drinks and watching a movie, and it will be grand. Which is a good way for a day to end, I think.

Monday, November 2, 2009

...And now, the post you've all been waiting for...

So, faithful readers, how did my epic bird battle turn out in the end?

I won. Wholeheartedly.


After the thawing process was complete, it wasn't so bad. The birds came out tender and juicy and the proper internal temperature (always a good thing), and the stuffing was good. I modified a recipe of my mom's, and in hindsight, there's only one thing I would have changed. The stuffing is made with a box of stovetop stuffing (yes, I know, that's cheating, and not nearly as good, but it's SO much easier) mixed with butter and water and orange juice, and then in the original recipe, you glaze the chicken breasts with OJ and honey before and after you add the stuffing on top. For this, I stuffed the hens with the stuffing, and then glazed their outsides during the last 15 minutes of cooking. I think I would have forgone the glazing and just added the honey to the stuffing before I stuffed the birds with it. But, regardless, it was good. So were the carrots and potatoes, despite the lack of roasted garlic and large hole in my finger.

Which is causing this post to take about twice as long as normal to type - try typing with no left index finger, and see how hard it is...

So anyway, success was mine, and I was rather proud. And I had some excellent leftovers for lunch today as well.

Things I learned from this cooking experience:

-Don't trust grocery store men to tell you how long a bird will take to thaw. Or do, and just add an extra hour to whatever they say.
-Don't try to cook something you've never cooked before for your husband's birthday and expect it to turn out like you want it.
-Don't underestimate the cutting power of a vegetable peeler.
-Cornish hens, while cute and pretty to look at, are really freaking hard to carve/eat.

Now. My tasks for the day (clean the kitchen, register Mark for his classes) are complete. I get to go scrapbook :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To be continued...

Round two of April vs. Birds has commenced...

The birds finally thawed, so I was able to get the nasty out of them, rinse them, stuff them, and rub them all over with butter. I also had to pluck a few leftover feathers from their wings ... that was not the most pleasant thing ever, but it was definitely better than eating them. They are cooking as we speak ... few minutes left now, so we'll see how they turn out.

I also cut a great big giant hole in my finger with a vegetable peeler while I was peeling potatoes... that was loads of fun. Just what I need - bleeding all over the rest of the food. But I got that washed and contained in a nice fingertip bandaid. The cut is pretty freaking deep, but it's on the very, very tip of my finger, and I'm honestly not sure what else any medical professional person would do with it ... I'll just have to wash it a lot, and keep it clean and dry (really difficult to do, unfortunately, when you're a nurse ... I think I might go get some tega-derms and some gauze and just totally wrap it up for work on Tuesday.)

Anyway, aside from the chaos/fiasco/whatever that this dinner has turned out two be over the last two days - I'll let you know how the final product ends up.

I'd better go - it sounds like my honey/orange juice glaze is about to explode in the oven. Lovely.