Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A sad and a happy

I'm feeling blank this afternoon. Not in a bad way... I'm just not sure what to write. My life has been so boring lately ... well, not to me, but probably boring to everyone else. I love my routine. I love spending so much time in the kitchen. I love playing housewife during the week. I've even *gasp* taken great satisfaction in washing the dishes lately.

But there's not that much to blog about, right now. I'm usually one of those people who wants to DO something all the time. This occasionally poses a problem with Mark, because he says that you can't do something ALL time time. I disagree. Usually, I go-go-go. I guess lately, what I've been DOING is cooking :) It works out nicely for both of us.

I do have one thing that I'm pretty excited about (and not, at the same time), which is coming up pretty soon. Mark will be chaperoning an overseas mission trip with his brother's youth group next week. That's right, I said chaperoning. My husband, in charge of teenagers. What a scary thing to think about!! (J/k, baby, if you're reading this!)

That's the part I'm not super excited about, because I can't go. This will be the longest we've been apart since before we got married, and since it's overseas, we'll have very little contact with each other. Boo hiss. How very lonely, and not fun.

Enter: my sister! She's coming to stay with me most of the time that Mark is gone, and I am SO excited about it! We've made grand plans (per usual) that involve lots and lots and lots of cooking delicious foods, going fun places, and generally prancing around and having a merry old time. I can't wait to see her again ... I just wish Mark wasn't going to be gone :(

(P.S. A shameless plug for my sister - she's just posted a recipe for Paula Deen's cheesecake bars ... it looks delightful, plus there's the added bonus of seeing the widely-feared vanilla monster!)

Hope you guys had a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Personal Food Culture

I am so thankful that I have a mom who likes to cook. I was lucky, growing up, to be one of the few kids that I knew who sat down and ate with their family. We ate breakfast together every morning at the kitchen table, and we ate dinner together every night. I credit my mother for a lot of things, but specific to this, eating dinner helped keep me sane. It kept me healthy. It helped me develop a good relationship with food. That table was where we talked about our days, where we talked through our problems and issues, where I associate with comfort. To this day, when I'm staying with my parents (holidays, visiting, whatever), there's just something about having a cup of coffee made for you and set in front of you with all the love a mother can give. That kitchen feels more like home to me than does any other place in my parents' house.

My sister, still in high school, baking thumbprint cookies in my parents' kitchen

My mom, making fried green tomatoes for the Fourth of July the year Mark and I got married

I didn't really learn how to cook there. I was really spoiled when I was younger, so I didn't really learn how to cook/clean/do my own laundry very well until I went off to college. That's where I started, with my mom's recipes and a willing spirit. And then, after I got married, it was something I wanted to be really good at. So I tried hard to learn to cook both the things my mom made and new things of my own, and gradually developed my own tastes and ideas and beliefs about real things and fresh things and food that makes me happy.

On fall break one year, in Hannah's family cabin, making Chicken Noodle Soup group-style

Cooking with one of my roommates in our apartment my senior year of college

Now, I have the best memories in kitchens. Because while being cooked for is fantastic, cooking with someone you love is even better. Making pizzas on Christmas eve with our whole family, baking cookies and Oreo truffles with my mom. Making her scrambled eggs with greens in them. Cooking extravagant meals and trying new things with Elissa. Experimenting with Kelly. Exchanging recipes with everyone.

Mark and Matthew doing the dishes after Elissa and I made dinner

My mom, dancing and singing with our Christmas dinner this past year.

Pizza on Christamas eve

Tab, Elissa's roommate, with the blueberry brownies we made

Kelly slicing peppers in my parents' kitchen

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker the other day. I talk about food and cooking a lot at work, because it's something I really, really love and care about. I made muffins for everybody the other morning, and she said something along the lines of "Wow, you really do like to cook." Which started this conversation. She, apparently, doesn't. She says she doesn't know how to cook, doesn't cook very well.

In Nashville: good food, good wine, good friends

 Pizza fixin's on Christmas eve

My mom making cornbread ... and having difficulties

And I always wonder... what on earth do people like that eat? How can you feed yourself if you can't cook? Does your family sit down for dinner together? Do you eat fast food all the time? It always baffles me when people say "Oh, I don't cook." I'm thankful that I really don't have any concept of that "I don't cook" statement, but what does it mean for their families and their children?

So I'm posing the question to all of you. Do you cook? If so, what do you cook? Do you sit down and eat as a family (or, if you're single, did you when you were little?) And if you don't cook ... what do you eat??

Monday, June 28, 2010

Immediate Funk Eliminator:

The new HP7 trailer is now out.

oh. em. gee.
(P.S. This one has lots of potential spoilers, so if you haven't read the seventh book, don't watch the trailer. Or, do, and be maybe-confused and maybe-disappointed, because you just found out what happens.)

Harry Potter makes my heart happy.

(And it will always, always be better than Twilight.)


On Mondays, I always feel like I'm incredibly behind on blogging. Maybe it's because I just can't get to it ever on the weekends, even to read the blogs I'm following. But I always come into Monday feeling like I have to catch up.

Except, nothing exciting ever happens on the weekends. I work. I sleep. That's about it.

So I guess I'll tell you what I did today. The morning started on an unfortunate note, as I had to go see the lady-doctor (or, as one of my co-workers lovingly terms it, the Annual Invasion.) I can check that one off my list for another year, at least...
Then I went to a staff meeting. Thrilling.
Then I came home and Mark and I went to Panera.
(I know, you're all on the edge of your seats, right?)

And when we got back, I sort of fell into this funk. I've been in a weird mood all evening. I went grocery shopping which helped (is it weird that I really love to grocery shop?), and then came home and cleaned out and re-organized all our kitchen cabinets and made a complete inventory of all the non-perishable foods there, and that made me feel a WHOLE lot better.

And now I'm back in a funk. I'm not sure what's up with this. Maybe hormones...

Hopefully I'll be perkier tomorrow.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Getting up 30 minutes early (read: 5 AM) to bake Ina Garten's Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins?

(image found here)


Friday, June 25, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

It's Friday again! And this week - FOOD blanks!!

As always, if you want to play along, go see Lauren at the little things we do!

1.  If I could choose my last meal it would be        a toss up between lamb chops with mashed garlicky cheesy potatoes and veggies, and some sort of Asian-y ahi tuna salad with wasabi vinegarette  .

2.  My favorite person to share a meal with is       Mark, because I love him and he is so, so easy to please (he likes food, period.) and Elissa, because she appreciates food the same way as I do .

3.  The best meal I've ever had was       ...That is such a difficult question. There was a meal in Charleston that I had, involving the best tomato soup EVER, and some sort of salmon-y something, and I remember thinking "This might be the best thing I've ever put in my mouth." Also coming to mind is every time I've ever eaten ahi tuna. It's my favorite.  .

4.  The one food that makes me feel instantly better when I'm having a bad day is       a Baby Bite. From Pastry Art Bake Shoppe. They're these little mini-cupcakes turned upside down and drowned in buttercream. Oh. My. God. They're so good. And they make pretty much anything better  .

5.  My absolute specialty in the kitchen is     hmmm. Also a good question. I make a mean Strawberry Buttercream Icing. Pretty much any kind of icing. And cakey-type-thing. I like to bake. Oh, but I know - my absolute specialty is this AMAZING recipe for Thumbprint cookies. I don't make them very often, because I will literally eat all of them. But they're pretty amazing   .

6.  The city that has the best food is       Charleston. Or Savannah. Either one.    and my favorite restaurant there is        I honestly don't remember any!! There was this one seafood place we went to in Charleston that was PHENOMENAL... but I don't remember the names of ANY of the restaurants we ate at :( But Nashville also has some pretty rockin' food, and my favorite place there might be The Perch, which is this fantastic crepe place. SO YUM. 

7.  My favorite healthy snack is      fruit, namely oranges, strawberries, and the occasional nectarine      .

8.  In my opinion the nationality which has the best food is       a tie between Thai food and Italian food. How can I pick??     .

9.  If I could learn to cook anything in the world (and be really good at it!) I'd choose      something really impressive, like souffle. Although, I might die quickly if I cooked that very often, so maybe something healthier ... like curry dishes, especially of the Thai variety. I've still not quite mastered the art of curry (how much? what kind? paired with what? with a base of what?), but it is fast becoming one of those foods I love to eat, so being able to cook it and make it taste wonderful would be nice.       .

10.  The most outrageous dessert I've ever had was       I don't know about outrageous, but one of the most sinful and delightful desserts I've ever eaten (and made!) is amaretto pie. It is rich, and cold, and lovely. And the homemade crust with the crushed-up almonds, I die. Yummmm.       .

 I love food. Can't you tell?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Layout

After slaving all afternoon ... my food blog finally has a new layout!! (What a wonderful waste of time ... and, I can say that I accomplished something!)

After all my hours of work ... I think you all should go take a gander :) I love the way it's turned out ... very simple.

Basil and Buttercream: A Love Affair with Food


Well my friends, it's been an excellent and highly successful morning!

I woke up in plenty of time to make breakfast - I made Orange Bran Flax Muffins, possibly the healthiest muffins ever (that still taste good, at least.) If you want the recipe, it's posted at Basil and Buttercream. So Mark and I ate breakfast, talked through our plans for the day, and I sent him off to work with his lunch packed. (Wife win!)
Then, I cleaned the kitchen (of course, while rockin' out to my favorite playlists on my iPod...)
And then I did my morning workout. (Well ... I call it my morning workout. It's the second workout I've done in a LONG, LONG time.)
It went well. I think, for now, I've found a solution that works for me. Basically, I started with about 15 minutes of calisthenics to get me nice and warmed up. Then I ran, then walked, then dragged myself up and down the stairs for the entirety of Maroon 5's song "Harder to Breathe." (SO appropriate, right?)
And THEN ... I had my own personal dance party. For like 20 minutes! So exciting! I'm positive that I looked like a TOTAL goofball, cause let's be honest, I'm a really, really white girl, and I can swing dance and waltz with the best of them, and I've got rhythm (It seriously just took me about 6 tries to spell that word right) ... but I don't have much there to shake. So it was a lot of jumpy/bouncy/kicky stuff. But it was fun, and it's all my favorite up-beat music, and my heart rate was up for a good 20-25 minutes, so that's all that matters, right?

But still. I wouldn't want to have a PUBLIC dance party. I might invite my sister to join when she visits. But that's about it. Because (and I'm about to embarrass myself here), it'd be a lot of this (which was taken AFTER the dance party, not during):
And really, who wants to see that? (Besides all of you in BlogLand, of course.)

So anyway, all that to say I had a really great morning. I was pretty tired after my workout/dance party, but I didn't feel like I was going to die like I did yesterday.

So hopefully I can be at least semi-productive this afternoon, and then tonight is Girls' Night! So excited ... I haven't had a good girls' night in a while.

(EVERY night will be Girls' Night when Kelly comes to visit again though! Can't wait!)

Hope all of you have a fantastic Thursday! It's almost the weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Humble Pie

Okay, so I know this is my third post in like 4 hours, but I feel bad.

I just ate a pretty humongous slice of humble pie...

Let me explain. This morning, when Mark wouldn't get up to work out, I wasn't necessarily very nice about it. In fact, in my head, I was thinking he was a slacker. So then after he left, I decided that I needed the cardio as well, and I'd just head on downstairs, pop Tony in the DVD player, and do the darn thing by myself.

Well. Let me just tell you. I couldn't get through the first 10 minutes of the video - INCLUDING the warm-up.

A lot of times people think that because I'm skinny, I'm in shape. Sometimes I'm fooled into this illusion as well. But let me tell you, a fast metabolism does not an athlete make. I turned off the video and decided that I REALLY did need the workout, and made up my own (WAY turned down than the P90X version.) I ended up doing 25 crunches, 25 leg lifts each side, 25 bicycles forwards and backwards, and 20 reps each of bicep curls, lateral raises (where you have your arms at your sides, then raise them straight out where your body makes a "T" shape), and upright rows (for forearms, I guess, where you have the dumbbells in front of you and pull straight up), with 3-lb. weights. And then I ran in place for maybe a total of 10 minutes? And! I did 15 push-ups! Probably the worst form imaginable, and you can bet that my nose didn't come anywhere near the floor ... but I pushed my self up and down without falling on my face a total of 15 times.

Anyway, all that to say ... I was worn. flat. out. 30 minutes of basic calisthenics, and I was D. O. N. E. DONE. So, I feel kind of bad for lecturing Mark about "not being serious" about working out and being healthy. As soon as he gets home, I'm going to apologize, and I'm going to try really hard to focus more on MY lack of cardio, and let him handle it on his end.

I can't believe I'm that out of shape.


So much for that bright idea. Mark definitely was not waking up at 7:15 this morning.

Maybe I'll just go downstairs and do it myself.


Exercise has always sort of been the bane of my existence. I don't know whether it started in the seventh circle of hell gym class when I was younger, or because I feel like I'm just no good at it, or because I hate most conventional methods of exercise, or what. But I just don't like to do it. Now, put me on a dance floor and play some Big Band, and I'm all for dancing for HOURS. (And if you've ever swing danced, you know THAT makes a good workout.) I need to join a gym, but Mark doesn't really want to fork out the money while things are as tight as they are.

Things I have tried (or aren't an option...)
-Running. Ha! Do any of you guys remember when I was going to train for a HALF MARATHON back last fall? So do I. That lasted all of about 2 weeks. I hate running. Always have.
-Walking. This, I could do for hours. This, I love. But it's so gosh-darn hot right now, and I really want to walk with Mark, and he doesn't like the heat, and never wants to walk as far as I do. (I would happily walk five miles or more a day. Every day. Great exercise. But ... I don't wanna do it by myself.)
-Swimming ... well, I've not tried it, but I can't really swim all that well. I know, embarrassing, whatever. I want to learn. But I feel like I wouldn't get all that much of a workout because I'd be trying to keep my head above the water. That just makes my neck tired.

I want to try a spin class, or a zumba class. (That would require a gym membership, though ... see first paragraph.)

So all of this to say ... Mark has finally decided that he wants to re-start P90X. But I think we're going to do it a bit differently this time. I'm not following that stupid diet. (Not stupid. Sorry Tony. Just stressful, and I turn into a demon when I can't eat carbs.) Also, I think we're just going to do the cardio part (and any other video that is cardio-esque ... and hopefully the ab one, because that's something that I can do, and feel good doing, and Mark needs to do.) We're going to try for 30 minutes of cardio every morning. I'm not looking to lose weight ... I just need a good cardio workout in my life. And I honestly think that Mark would lose weight if he HAD a good cardio workout in his life. The full P90X program is just too intense, I think, and there's no possible way that I could do the upper body part. (I can't even do one real pushup.) So we're going to start over, a bit slower. And try to do it together. That's always a good motivator. (I hope.)

Wish me luck! Because I have to wake Mark up in, oh, about 20 minutes. And we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shameless Plug

To answer Kelly's question, I made Mark a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie today.

You can find this recipe, and pictures of the pie (and the pie-making process) over at my new blog about cooking.

Basil and Buttercream

Go check it out!

25, and grown up

I think I'm finally starting to feel like a grown-up.

I don't really know why it's taken me this long... Well, I do know part of it. During the 2 years in which I worked nights, I didn't feel like a grown-up. I didn't feel like much of anything, actually, except a zombie.

But now that Mark is working daily, and I'm making breakfast and sending him off and have a pretty sweet morning routine ... I like it. Working on the weekends gives me the best of both worlds. I'm a housewife during the week, and I've gotten into a really great routine of cleaning and cooking (we haven't been out to eat for dinner since Kelly came to visit), and I love it. I feel like a real person. With a real life. And I still get to do what I love on Saturday and Sunday as well. It's a pretty sweet deal.

I've discovered some interesting things about myself during this process...

I actually like washing the dishes (which has always been my least favorite chore)  - but only if I do it in the morning. And with my iPod playing.

Cooking makes me incredibly happy. Eating, even more so :)

I like it when my house is clean. Therefore, I clean it. I know, very basic concept ... but it's taken me years to figure this out. (More like years to actually get up the motivation to DO the cleaning...) I've probably still got years to go before it's always the way I want it. Actually, let's be honest. That will probably never happen.

Speaking of, I need to go and conquer some of that cleaning. And dish-washing. And cooking. I'm making Mark a pie today, and the kitchen needs to be cleaned (first, before I start the pie, and then again after the pie ... why oh why can't they invent a self-cleaning kitchen??)

What are your favorite/least favorite household chores?

Monday, June 21, 2010

This Just In:

My darling sister has started a blog! You should follow her, because she's pretty awesome.

(Also! I have new followers ... this makes me so happy! Hello to everybody!)
(And! For those interested in knowing... I did indeed drag Mark to the frozen yogurt place on Friday. I actually got frozen custard, which has to be terrible for you but is so, so rich and wonderful. I topped it with strawberries and granola. Yum!)

So much for sleeping in...

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. I was dreaming about a delivery (not an actual delivery ... one that my weird brain made up.) Supposedly the mom had a history of preterm deliveries. They rolled her back in the hall for the section, and for some reason, they did part of her prep out there, and I watched, and then had to put on all my OR gear. Apparently it took me forever (you know how things in dreams don't work with the natural rules of time...), and by the time I got in the OR, they had the baby out and they were coding it. Like, with paddles ... they were using the ones that you'd use directly on the heart, in open heart surgery. (We don't use on preterm babies in code situations. At all.) And for some reason, they had it strapped to a stretcher, laying inside a neck brace. And the weirdest thing of all? It was pink as could be, and crying. They were yelling at me to hand them blood (which we can't keep stocked anywhere...), and I did, and it was incredibly vivid and surreal.

So, anyway, I woke up from that and couldn't go back to sleep because it looks like daytime already outside. That's the nice thing about the summer when I'm working - it's super easy to get up really early. When I'm not working, sometimes I'd like to sleep in, but the sun won't let me.

Today is going to be a good day. I'm making Mark some French Toast this morning for breakfast,

and he'll go on his merry way to his internship

 source found here

and I'll try to get some laundry done. And maybe scrapbook a bit.

 source found here
 (Man, I wish 1. I had a laundry room, and 2. it looked like this...)

This afternoon, I'm going to the grocery store. Some people find this task annoying and obnoxious, but I love it. Seeing all that food, and its potential to become something amazing, makes me happy. I might bake something today as well ... we'll see what kind of fruit they've got at the store today. Cobbler might be in order...

source found here

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tired, but good

I'm exhausted tonight.

I miss Elissa ... it's been forever since I saw her.

I'm sad that I couldn't see either my dad OR Mark's dad on Father's Day.


We had bruschetta for dinner. We channeled Julie, from the movie Julie & Julia. You know that scene, where she cooks bruschetta in the beginning of the movie, and her husband is totally stuffing his face? That was us. It was FABULOUS.

On that note ... check out my food blog later! I kind of tweaked the look of it, so it looks a bit better (I think), and I'll have a new (actual) food post up soon. Not bruschetta, but almost as good :)

Hope everybody had a great weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Blog!


It's up and running!

I tried to go with wordpress, and it didn't work out so well, so I'm just sticking with blogger for now. Here's the site address:

You should go visit!

(And, as I said at the bottom of the post on there ... my layout is atrocious. If there's anybody interested in helping me fix it, let me know! I'm HTML and all things CSS-illiterate!)

Friday update

It's been a nice, productive-but-lazy couple of days in the Skinner household. I spent pretty much all day yesterday cooking and cleaning the kitchen/dining room, and also found time to get some scrapbooking done.

The food blog will be a go hopefully in the next week or so. Andy (Mark's best friend) is showing me some kind of something on Wordpress where you can get your own domain name .... or something. April = not tech-savvy. But apparently it'll let me have a bit more control over what my blog looks like and what it can do, and Andy's going to help me with all that. Look for the link in my sidebar sometime next week!

Also, new discovery:
Pandora Radio has become my new best friend. I've been rockin' out to the Glee Cast station while cooking/washing dishes all week, and really, it's the only way to do either. Don't Stop Believin' makes soapy water and prune-y hands about 50 times better. Never tried it? You totally should.

Mark should be home soon, and we will eat the DELICIOUSNESS that is Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes (from none other than the Barefoot Contessa, of course - I love me some Ina Garten...) To me, summer is tomatoes and basil.

Maybe I can convince Mark to come with me to the new frozen yogurt place that has opened up close to our house. We've never been there before, and I have high hopes for it.

Hope everybody has a FANTASTIC weekend!

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

It's fill-in-the-blank Friday time again ... to play along, go over and visit Lauren at the little things we do!
1.  The best thing about being in school was/is       choir. It was the first time I really ever felt like I was a part of something. (Think Glee ... that was my life in high school.) And this will sound nerdy, but I also just really loved learning. The best part of college was everything :)  .

2.  The worst thing about being in school was/is       being picked on/bullied. I was less than popular in middle school and high school, and it wasn't until college that I really came into my own. Until then, I was made fun of a lot... .

3.  My favorite subject in school was/is         in high school, it was American Studies, which was a combo class of U.S. History and American Lit. combined. I also really liked anatomy .

4.  One subject I wish I could have mastered/would like to master is       I wish I could have learned Spainish ... it would have helped so much with what I do now .

5.  I could never get tired of studying      Human physiology and pathophysiology. I told you, I'm a nerd .

6.  The most memorable teacher I had was       There are a lot. I liked my teachers better than my classmates in most cases. In high school, the most influential were my choir director, Mrs. Hamilton, and the teachers of that American Studies class, Mrs. Ireland and Major Dean. In nursing school, it was Mrs. Money, who always believed in my potential as a NICU nurse and encouraged me to puruse that specialty when no one else did  .

7.  If I could choose between going to school for the rest of my life or working for the rest of my life, I'd choose       Honestly, that is a really tough question. If I could go to school and have it the same as my 4 years in undergrad, then I'd probably go to school forever. (As long as I had a money tree growing in my front yard or something, to fund all my fun and expensive endeavors...) But I do love to work. I think I would miss my babies if I quit... But my perfect picture of life (that hopefully will be attainable someday) is to be a Mommy most of the time, and work prn a few days a month. That is the ideal :)     .

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poll for my lovely readers...

I am entertaining the idea of starting a food blog, in conjunction with this current one.

Here is your poll:

Would you read such a blog?
If so, what would you want to see on it? (I mean, obviously, food. But specifics?)

I want your opinions!

I forgot!!

In my long, detailed, picture-ful post yesterday, I forgot one important thing ...

Yesterday was my blog's first birthday! I can't believe I've been on blogspot for a year ... I had a livejournal for a really long time before that, but I made the change during the other major change in our lives. It's crazy how, a year ago, I was freaking out about not being able to find a job, I was still working nights, and Mark was still fairly miserable. But it wasn't all bad. We lived close to my parents, which was nice, and we had some really good friends in Chattanooga (who I still miss a lot), and I really really loved my job.

But it was the right decision for us to move to Birmingham. For a lot of reasons. During the last several months, I've felt hopeful about our future for the first time in a while. Not the future of our relationship or anything ... just, Mark's job prospects. And our home owning prospects. And our future child prospects. This master's degree (along with Mark's two internships) should (And I do say SHOULD, because it's still going to be a rough search, I'm afraid) provide him with a good job. Should. I don't know where we'll go, or what we'll be doing exactly, and that thought still scares me a little bit. But in a way, I'm glad it's all happened the way it has. Those 2 years in Chattanooga gave me some time to "get used" to being married, and made cutting the umbilical cord completely a little bit easier. It took me a while to get used to being part of somebody else's family, if that makes sense. Now, I'm ready. Ready to move wherever we need to. Ready to start our own family (in a few years). Ready to plant our own roots. SO ready for that. I want to settle. And hopefully I'll only have to wait another year to be able to do that.

I am so proud of Mark. He currently has a 4.0, he's holding 2 solid internships right now (which hopefully he'll be able to continue for the duration of grad school), he's a published writer (in fact, he showed me one of his college papers that is now in Samford's special collection! Crazy!), he was recently chosen to be on the board of editors for UAB's historical journal ... his resume is good. His credentials will be good, when he finishes everything. He has totally taken the initiative with this grad school program - and he wants to be an archivist really, really, really badly. I hope so much that he can find a job doing that.

(Or we may both have to be committed to some sort of institution, and heavily medicated...)

We've still got another year before we see all of this come to fruition, and that's fine. I have my days, but most of the time I'm content with what we're doing here. I like my job - in fact, I'd love to be able to stay in Birmingham. We have a great place to live, Mark likes school and his internships and all that academic stuff (which I still miss so, so much sometimes). I'm being patient. Hopefully in another year, when my blog has its 2-year anniversary, we'll either be in the process of moving for Mark's job, or he'll just be starting one here in Birmingham. I'm excited to see what happens.

But until then ... I've got him. And that's perfect for now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Week that Kelly Came

Good morning, blogland! It seems like everybody had a pretty nasty Monday yesterday, and I hope that Tuesday is much, much better.

I worked yesterday. Not good, not bad, just neutral. Which is what work has been a lot lately.

Before I get into the pictures and stories from last week, let me just say, I had some crazy dreams last night. Please note this disclaimer first: I AM NOT PREGNANT. I repeat ... I am NOT HAVING A BABY. End disclaimer.

So, the entire night, and I mean ENTIRE, I dreamed about having a baby. Well, first it was one baby. The second dream, I was having septuplets, which were all term, and yet my baby bump was seriously lacking in size. This had me worried. And I was dreaming about having a c-section, and looking up at the CRNA and completely freaking out ... and he gave me this gas stuff, and I was sure I was going to be put out and intubated, and I remember thinking that I did NOT want that to happen ... but I never went to sleep. And realized that it was laughing gas that he was giving me. And THEN I dreamed that I was still in high school, and had just had a baby, and was trying to do too many things at once, and this weird lady who I don't know was helping me with the baby and trying to keep me from breastfeeding .... and yeah. It was weird.

That's what happens when you attend deliveries (especially c-sections, a lot) and work with babies all the time.

Once again ... I AM NOT PREGNANT. Fin.

Now ... onto the fun stuff!

Kelly's Birthday Dinner:

I used my new china and my crystal and bought snapdragons to make a really pretty table :)

And we dressed up!

Love her :)

This is a GORGEOUS picture of Kelly, I think.

Colton came for dinner!

Me and my sweetie

Kelly's birthday cupcakes

Opening her birthday card from me

And her present!

Colton gave her an Arcade Fire CD, along with a song that he wrote and recorded himself. It was really ridiculously cute :)

After dinner, we played Battle of the Sexes!

Thursday, we went to Chez Lulu!

Lookin' cute :)

And Friday, we met Colton at the Botanical Gardens. They are so stinkin' cute.


They decided to have a skipping contest ... here they're plotting their path

And off they go! Oh, how I love this picture

I love the light here

Then we went to Starbucks for a "snacky-snack" for Kelly

In the car, after dinner at Cantina

Mark took us to the First Presbyterian church as a history lesson - one of the churches to whom Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is addressed.

I love my sister!

And then we headed up to the Vulcan, to try to look at the Birmingham skyline. The trees were in our way.

Silhouettes of the trees

We found a little hole! Birmingham is really pretty at night...

And there you have it - our fun week in pictures! I can't wait for her to visit again in July :)