Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Kim!

Tonight, we celebrated my step-mom's birthday! We had fun chatting, and eating, and chatting, and eating. I actually made a lot of "firsts" tonight: Pork and Apples in a Wine sauce (by Chaddsford Winery), Spinach Gratin (by Barefoot Contessa), and Tiramisu (from Gourmet Magazine). We also had Tastefully Simple's beer bread. We love that stuff -- it's so easy and always a hit. Any other beer bread fans out there?

Dad and Kim
The Tiramisu
Now you can call us the braces sisters -- or not. Poor us :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In the nick of time . . .

In the nick of time is right! I drove by our old house today, . . . and here it is . . . oh, wait . . . it's not there!

It just got bull-dozed today. Wow. As much as we love our new house, it's sad to see our old house go. We had our first year of marriage there, and lots of memories. I had a ton of flashbacks as I pulled into the driveway. (The picture above is from the driveway, even though it doesn't look it a bit). I remembered little things like hedging the bushes, planting the flowers, having devotions and breakfast with Brian every morning, having friends over, sitting outside, watching sunsets over our "wheat field". (The tree on the left of the picture was the big tree in our back yard).

It reminded me that a house is just a house; it's all about the people in it. They make the house a home. And, as I looked at the rubble of our old house, it made me so thankful for how God provides, and for the new house we have over our head.

Just for old-times sake, some pics of the old house . . .

The old house, when we moved into it (I couldn't find a more recent picture -- we tore out that huge bush-tree)
We miss that 2-car garage Our old front flower bed Our old living room

And for our NEW HOUSE . . . which we really do love.

Coconut Chicken

I must say this was yum. I know coconut is not a favorite among some, but not in our house. As we were eating it, I said the Brian, "I'm so glad you like coconut, . . . because I love it. We might have problems if you didn't like it."

Coconut Chicken

2/3 cup Bisquick
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cut them smaller)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix Bisquick, coconut, paprika, and salt. Set aside.
Mix milk and mustard
Dip chicken in milk mixture; coat with coconut mixture.
Place in ungreased pan/dish and drizzle with butter.
Bake 35-40 minutes.

*I made a dipping sauce for it too: apricot jam and dijon mustard.
*I served with Carribean rice, mangos, and salad.

My little corner on the world

My desk. I like it. It's a happy place.

AC, Apes, Beebs, Jenna, Mer, . . . your pics are there. AC, notice the little red Bible you gave me -- I use it all the time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Teeth are overrated

Well, I guess that’s an exaggeration, . . . I really do care a lot about teeth . . . but, honestly are these braces worth all the pain and tears? Tears? Yes, today it was tears. So, some of you know I got oral surgery last Saturday. The above picture Brian took before we left for surgery. Thankfully, it ended up being less intensive than anticipated.
(For those who like a visual - this is the outside one)
I got temporary anchor devices (TADs), which look like little metal nobs in my gum – both on my top right gum, one on the outside gum, and one on the inside gum (like where my tongue is). Novicane is a wonderful thing, and it did the trick. I did feel a good deal of pressure though (because the TADs screw into the bone, like a normal screw), which led to headaches for a day or two.

Ok, so today was the trip to the orthodontist where they planned to chain from the brackets (on my teeth) up to these little TADs. Splendid, simply splendid (can you sense the sarcasm?). So, I get my old wire off for starters. And, you must realize that the wires I have are super heavy-duty and have all sorts of bends in them (to speed up the process). So, getting the wire out takes at least 10-15 minutes. Then, on with the new wire, which ends up requiring the doctor to come over and do some major tugging and pulling (because these wires don’t like to go into my molar brackets). So, whenever the hygienist (I guess you’d call her, who is wonderfully nice) does anything near my top right gum where my surgery was, I flinch because that area is really sensitive. She had to do lots of wire snipping in that area (which jerks the wire). After about the 9th snip (of heavy-duty wire, mind you) tears start streaming down the corners of my eyes. I hit the brink. I held my composure pretty well, until she asked, “Are you doing okay?” By, now a few more tears come, out of embarrassment. And, then I realize I need to ask to have a break and go to the bathroom. (Thankfully, she was almost done). After giving myself a pep-talk in the bathroom and pulling myself together – not so well – I headed back out. We then went to a separate room where I had the joy of learning where and how to put on my rubber bands. The hygienist was really so nice, and she got me some Motrin after giving me a little pep-talk. I suppose is really could have been worse.

I knew today was going to be a tough visit . . . but, not that tough. I’m living on pain-reliever and I think I can feel almost every nerve in my teeth. These teeth better be worth it . . . :)
Did I mention I have a wonderful husband who knows how to cheer me up?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day

Today, we enjoyed the afternoon with family friends. My (Mary's) family would vacation with these other families and always celebrated New Year's together growing up. It was great to see them all; we don't have a chance to get together very often. We chatted, ate, did a gift exchange, and reflected on the last year together. There are quite a few in the group my age who now have children. Ashley is one of them: she and her husband have Cady and Emily. Pete is another one of them: he and his wife have Ryne.
(Above: Brian, Me, Cady (I'm holding), Joy, and Emily

Me, Cady, and Joy
Ashley and Me

Our First Anniversary

We can't believe our first anniversary has come already! It feels like we've been married forever in many ways, and then it's also crazy to think about all the wedding planning that went on this time last year. God has faithfully brought us through a year of marriage, and it was fun looking back the past year. We honestly just keep growing in our love for each other more and more . . .

We stayed a night down in Philly for our anniversary night. We stayed at the Radisson Warwick -- it was so great! And, we enjoyed some museums, shopping, lots of walking, good food, relaxation, and great time together! There's so much fun stuff to do in Philly! I could talk a lot about the Rodin Museum and all the spiritual imagery in the sculptures . . . but, that's for another time.

The hotel lobby
Our room
The strawberries and cheese platter that Brian's dad had ordered us
Our wedding cake, champagne, and flutes we just received from Brad
A view of the city from the Art Museum steps
There was a Renoir exhibit
The Rodin Museum
The Thinker
The courtyard of the museum
The Gates of Hell, by Rodin

Christmas Morning Brunch

We had such a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends! On Christmas morning, we had a brunch at our house for Brian's dad, my dad, my step-mom, and my little sister. We of course had far too much food, but it was great! Brian made his belgian waffles and home fries, and I made a sausage pepper quiche and some bacon. Kim brought a fruit salad, and we had some banana bread too. And, what's Christmas breakfast without eggnog -- so, we had some of that too. Then, we opened some presents, and before we knew it 4 hours had passed!

After our brunch, we hurried to my mom's parent's house for Christmas dinner. We were actually going to have Christmas dinner at our house in addition to brunch, but since my grandma was back in the hospital with pnemonia, they needed it closer to their house. So, we enjoyed a great Christmas dinner there, and then some time visiting my grandma at the hospital. Family is such a blessing -- it was wonderful!