Love Story

Monday, February 22, 2010

Full circle

It never ceases to amaze me how funny life can be. The little things that always interweave and make us realize how connected everything is.

We haven't been watching much of the Olympics this time around. Truth be told our tv is pretty much controlled by the children these days. If they are up and the tv is on it is either something on PBS Kids, Qubo, or a movie. At night Jeremy and I have two or three shows every week that we watch regularly but other than that we prefer movies or old shows on DVD. So for whatever reason yesterday I decided to turn on the Olympics. I thought for sure the kids would just go do their own thing and find no interest in it whatsoever. But a few minutes in I hear Nathan saying, "Mommy I like this show, what is it?" So I told him it was skiing and went about cleaning up. He just kept talking and talking about how much he liked it. Then this morning first thing he asked if I would turn on skiing. It really amazed me that he had that much interest in it.

I got to thinking about it while I was getting ready this morning and it hit me. The irony of all of this. Four years ago when I was pregnant with Nathan the winter Olympics were on. Jeremy was working night shifts then so during the day I would be stuck entertaining myself and with no cable would sometimes turn it to whatever they were doing on the Olympics. At this time we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl but I was trying to narrow down names and would use any inspiration I could find. I literally watched all the credits at the end of movies because they provided lists of names all in one place. On one particular day I had the tv on for background noise as I was knitting and looked up to watch some skiing. It was men so I was watching as each one took their turn and of course they were displaying their names on the screen so I was reading each one to see if anything caught my interest. And then one name did. Nathan. Nathan. I just kept saying it to myself over and over again and thought, "hmmm, this could be good." And so it was added to the list. In fact, it was at the top of the list.

So this is how Nathan came to be named. And I had totally forgotten about it until today as I watched Nathan take such an interest in Olympic skiing. Everything came back to me, took me back to that moment in time. It is amazing how these things happen. How small insignificant events become so meaningful. That in life most things truly come around full circle.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

What a Surprise!!

 I was surprised and flattered this morning to see I had been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award!!

THANK YOU to Bonnie of Turds in My Kitchen for the nomination! Check out her blog, she always has something funny and insightful to say:)

As with anything, there are some rules...

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Copy the award and paste it to your blog
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. List 7 interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers.

Seven interesting facts about me:

1. I have used a bathroom in a Mexican prison. Yup. Wasn't that bad either!
2. I have been to Disneyland more times than I can count. I have even been in the parade! And no, I don't live in California. My dad just really, really, really liked Disneyland! Can't wait to take my kids there one day and pass on the tradition.
3. I had a boy cat named Susie (yes, a boy named Sue) growing up that lived to be 18 years old.
4. One of my best friends from high school married my younger brother. Pretty great to have a sister-in-law who is also your friend.
5. I still talk to my mom almost everyday. She is my closest friend and greatest role model.
6. I found my first gray hair yesterday...depressing.
7. I have had cats my entire life and don't remember a time that I had to change the litter box. Hopefully I don't become a crazy cat lady in my old age, I won't know what to do with all the waste!

1. Kelle @ Enjoying the Small Things
   *you have to check out this amazing blog, you will be hooked after reading one of her stories.
2. Courtney @ The Princess and her Four Princes
   *a friend of mine from high school who writes about her life as a mom of 3 boys
3. Jennie @ Though it is madness, there is method in it!
   *funny Christian mom of 3 who writes about her life. Also check out her 101 list.
4. Leah @ Simply Fabulous
   *first time mom-to-be writing about her newlywed life and pregnancy
5. Jenny @ J-ROD RAH RAH
   *another new mom-to-be writing about pregnancy and life in WI where they moved to help plant a church
6. Elisabeth @ A Back to Basics Kind of Mom
   *follow this mom and wife who is writing about living life in a more back to basics kind of way
7. Alanna @ Alanna in Suburbia
   *a mom who writes about giving up teaching to become a stay at home mom

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

What we had for dinner

We intended on making this recipe when we had friends over last week but at the last minute realized we didn't have enough ribs. So tonight we are enjoying this yummy meal all to ourselves!! I am not usually a huge rib fan but I love that they can be done in the crockpot and that they are falling off the bone by the time they are done. Any leftovers are great shredded up and made into tacos the next day.

Mexican-Style Ribs

*3-4 lbs beef short ribs
*10 1/2 oz can beef broth (I try to get low sodium since the taco seasoning is high in sodium)
*1 pkg taco seasoning
*1/4 c chopped green pepper

1. In a large frying pan, brown the ribs.

2. Mix beef broth, taco seasoning and green pepper together in a small bowl.

3. Place ribs in crockpot, pour sauce over them. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

When they start out:

When they are finished:

*Trust me, the picture doesn't do them justice!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I'm Reading

Millie's Fling  
What a fun book! One of the things I have realized I like after reading many a Sophia Kinsella book is that I love England based characters. So right off the bat I was taken by the characters in this book and their witty banter. I also will always be hopelessly drawn to chicklit. Maybe I shouldn't mention that since it doesn't necessarily make me sound very intellectual, but it is the honest truth. Throw in a drama filled love story full of crazy mishaps that make me feel better about my own life, and I am hooked.

In this story, the main character Millie Brady is being made the heroine of romance author Orla Hart's next novel. Orla is constantly trying to match up Millie with someone to help spice up the story. But the guy she finds on her own proves to make for the spiciest story of all. One that she chooses to keep from Orla.

Chalked full of interesting characters and not to predictable twists and turns, this was a lighthearted read that was right up my alley!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A prerequisite for marriage

Yes, I am writing this on Valentine's Day. No, it is not a sappy post about how much I love my husband. (See the post on his birthday if you are looking for something like that!) Instead I am writing about a revelation I had yesterday while putting together the boys' bunk beds with my husband.

Have you ever tried to build something with your spouse? Some piece of furniture or complicated baby item that has poorly written instructions and 10 gazillion pieces to it? If so then you probably know where I am coming from. This situation always turns into a nightmare in our house. My husband's temper is never shorter then when something isn't going the way he thinks it should which is always the case when we are putting something together.His anger quickly rubs off on me and pretty soon the whole project is abandoned mid-build. At least this is how it used to go.

We first experienced this when putting together baby cribs (have you ever done that? INSANE!) and ever since our system has been that if something is possibly a one person building job I do it because I have more patience for it. And I actually believe in following the directions. This has saved us much heartache and I have gotten quite proficient at assembling items. To the point where if I didn't hate it so much I would offer my services to others who have suffered in the same way we have. But every once in awhile there is that project that has to be done by two people. The bunk beds were just such a project. So as we embarked on what became a 3 hour journey, we knew that we were on rocky ground. This is a place in the past that has caused nothing but trouble. I am happy to say that we made it through fairly unscathed. One minor temper flair from hubby occurred but was quickly diffused and we were mostly able to laugh at ourselves and pass the time by making junior high jokes about "screwing." Hey, whatever it takes, right?

Having gotten through this felt like a milestone for us. Like we had accomplished something that all successful couples do at one point or another. We moved past one of those things that normally trigger chaos. It may have taken us nearly 7 years but we did it! This doesn't mean we are going into business assembling things with each other, and I will most likely continue to do this solo, but we now know that if the situation warrants it we can work together. This led me to the revelation that building things together should be a part of premarital counseling. On one of your sessions they should lock you both in a room with a gazillion piece project and see if you come out on the other side still wanting to get married. That sounds like a true test of a couples love! Having said that, we probably wouldn't have passed that test way back then so it's a good thing we weren't asked to. But we could do it now.  I guess that can be our Valentine's gift to each other this year.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A sigh of relief

The last 24 hours has been quite an emotional roller coaster.You see about a week ago we were able to pay off our car. Something we have been working hard to accomplish before this new baby comes so that we could purchase a second car that will actually hold all of our children. Not only did we pay it off, but with our tax return we had enough to put down on the next car. Talk about awesome, right? We thought so too and had been feeling so good about what we had accomplished. Until yesterday. Sunday night as Jeremy was driving home from work he heard a sound coming from the engine that concerned him so when he got up yesterday he changed the oil hoping that would help. I continued to go about my day driving downtown to Kindermusik with our youngest and noticing no problems whatsoever. But as I was driving home the car began to make a clicking sound. This sound got progressively worse so I called my husband and he urged me to get off the freeway immediately. I took the long way home hoping and praying that nothing would happen before I got where I needed to be.

Our in-laws arrived at our house shortly after I did and my father-in-law gave the car the once over deciding it would be best to take it in. He thought it would be something minor as did the mechanic at initial glance. Then we get the call. The call telling us it is the engine and the entire thing is going to need to be replaced. Oh and did I mention that it would run us somewhere around $3,800? GULP. That is unless we had receipts to prove we had been keeping up on our oil changes on our own as that would mean our 100,000 mile warranty on the engine would still be good. But of course, we didn't have those receipts. Now came the wait. Would the dealer honor the warranty despite the fact that we didn't have these tiny pieces of paper? This meant the difference between only paying a $100 deductible versus almost four grand out of pocket. This was one of those moments where the wheels in my brain begin to spin in overdrive playing out every possible outcome. Allowing myself to feel so sorry for us that we had only gotten a week of peace about the car situation before something was threatening to take it all away. Anger that a car that is only 5 years old with 55,000 miles on it was giving us this kind of trouble. Doubt that this could all possibly work in our favor.

But before these thoughts could completely consume me I began to call those closest to us just asking for prayer. Knowing that this was completely out of our hands (oh how I hate to have no control!) and that all I could do at this point was to give it to God. Last night as I tossed and turned I kept trying to pray for peace. For the ability to not look ahead but just take this one decision at a time. I don't think I got more than a minute in each time before my mind began to wander. Then this morning we got a call saying that they were sending out the inspector and hadn't even asked about the receipts. That if this person gave the thumbs up all would be well. But that we wouldn't know until tomorrow night. So we continued on our day just trying to push it out of our heads until tomorrow. Then Jeremy's phone rang around 12:30. It was the dealer. The inspector had made it and they were agreeing to honor our warranty. Not only that but they are paying for us to have a rental car for up to 10 days. All of this will be taken care of in a little over a week and is going to cost us about $100. This situation couldn't have turned out any better. And we give all the glory to God. We are so thankful that he heard and answered our prayers in this way. We are thankful to have such amazing family and friends who not only offered to help in anyway possible but who also lifted us up in prayer. I don't know another time that I have breathed such a big sigh of relief. We are feeling truly blessed.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't you hate it...

When you watch a movie after having read the book? Luckily, I rarely am a person who happens to pick a book to read before they make it into a movie. I can count on one hand the times I have done that. And of all those times, there was only one that I didn't feel truly disappointed after watching the movie. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was tolerable in movie format. They basically stuck to the story line and I loved all the actresses. I HATE, HATE, HATE (or as my mom would say STRONGLY DISLIKE) Confessions of A Shopaholic as a movie. It is so ridiculously not what the book was. Granted there are like 5 or 6 books in that series and each book is pretty lengthy so that would be hard to fit into a 1 1/2 to 2 hour movie. But still...horrid. In reverse, I am sometimes thankful that I watched a movie instead of reading the book. Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite movies and I imagine had I read the book first I wouldn't feel this way.

What has prompted this book versus movie rant? Last night I watched My Sister's Keeper for the first time. About a month back I read this very book. My sister-in-law read it first and told me I had to read the book before watching the movie. I really enjoyed the story line and after reading it she filled me in on some of the discrepancies between the book and the on screen version. But actually watching it, seeing for myself how very different they were; exasperating. First of all, they completely left out a character. The entire love story in the book. They bring up the fact that Anna's locket is gone but never reveal why. Jesse...dyslexic? Nope, not even close to what his problem's were in the book. I was actually starting to get excited when I watched the scenes with Taylor in them because they seemed to be getting it right on but then the scene at the dance was way more sexual then the book. I understand that makes for more enjoyable viewing for some people. I could go on and on but let's just jump right to the end of the movie. So completely different. And what I don't understand is why. The book's ending is way more dramatic and provides that twist that every good movie evidently has. That thing that makes you say, "wow...I didn't see that coming."

Mostly I feel sorry for my husband. I had originally planned to watch this with my sister-in-law so we could pick it apart together but he picked it up remembering that I had wanted to watch it. I am sure that he was unable to enjoy it because I kept saying, "WHAT! NO, that is not how it goes," and then would precede to give the real details from the book. I hate to be that person but you can't just sit and watch something like that without speaking up. I am learning my lesson and avoiding movies after books unless I am by myself or with someone else who has read the book. That means Dear John will have to be a rental on a night Jeremy is working because I am sure it will not satisfy and I will need to dialogue while watching it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What we had for dinner

Yesterday was Jeremy's birthday and his request for dinner was my Garlic Beef Enchiladas. This is a recipe I got from the Taste of Home cookbook and is by far the best enchiladas I have ever had. The homemade sauce is to die for!!

Garlic Beef Enchiladas

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp rubbed sage
1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
10 flour tortillas (7 inches)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheese (whatever you prefer)

1. In a saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the flour and seasonings until blended. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. 

(If only you could smell this through the screen!!)

Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 

Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings; heat through. 


3. Pour about 1-1/2 cups sauce into an ungreased 13 in. x 2 in. baking dish. Spread about 1/3 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 2 Tbsp cheese.

Roll up tightly; place seam side down over sauce. Top with remaining sauce.

4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

For my husband on his birthday

Dear Jeremy,
I love you with all my heart. I feel so lucky to be not only your wife but your friend. I constantly wonder how it is possible that you love me like you do. I know for certain that there is not another person on this planet that could see me the way you do. Thank you for being such an amazing husband, father and friend. It fills me with such warmth to watch you interact with the boys. It is so true that you fall in love more over time. How could I have known the depths of my love for you before I saw you with our children or before you became a provider for this family? I can only imagine the new things I will fall in love with as time goes on. I continue to look forward to our future and what each new year together will bring. But most of all, I appreciate today. What we have in this moment.

My promise to you is to continue to appreciate all that you do, big and small. How many women are lucky enough to have a husband who keeps up on the dishes on his days off? Or who constantly tells them how beautiful they are even when they are still in pjs and without make-up? These are the kind of simple things that make me feel so lucky to have you.

Happy Birthday my love! Here's to many more~~

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

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