Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Hearts...

...Tuesday night I went to dinner with fellow blogger, Amy at the Fountain on Locust. One-I heart that place and two, the company was great! I'll be seeing her again at our STL Blogger Dinner on August 13 so any STL bloggers interested in joining us, leave me a note and I'll email you. While we were enjoying dinner, somehow I thought of this story and as I was telling Amy, I thought hmm...this might be a good Friday post. So here goes it, my story titled "Our Hearts."

I remember when I was in middle school, we were on vacation in Texas playing in a river. My mom found this heart shaped rock and showed it to David, her husband. They brought the rock home and it's been in their flower bed ever since.

Fast forward to summer 2008...Matt is in the backyard tearing down the pool (so sad but totally worth it in the long run...remind me of that on really hot days though!). I walked out and said, "Matt! Look this looks like a heart!" I gave him strict instructions to keep it and we'd put it in our garden. A couple months go by and I'd totally forgotten about it. Fast forward to our honeymoon and my sweet hubbie had brought me a gift for every day! One day was peanut butter M&Ms (mmm!!!), one day was my honeymoon ring and one day was this:
Yep, Mattie had taken the heart shaped rock we'd found in the backyard and painted it. It sits on our nightstand/dresser in the bedroom. One day we'll move it to our yard...

Sometime after we got married, my mom was in town and Matt and I were showing her around town. We went to Matt's nursery, for trees not babies, where he works at. Matt was explaining something to my mom and I was digging around in the rocks (sometimes I act JUST like a child!). Suddenly I found a rock and exclaimed, "Look Mattie! It's a heart shaped worry rock!" It's nice and flat and, best of all heart shaped!
This past weekend, I stopped by the nursery on my way home from work to pick up some potatoes for dinner. Now anyone that knows me, KNOWS that I'm not just going to pick up a couple "regular" potatoes, right? Nope! I brought home this baby:
I didn't say anything when I got home with it but then the next day we were discussing the potatoes (I actually cooked a different one a little too long in the microwave making it hard as a rock).

I said to Matt, "Did you see that one that was kind of weird looking?"
Matt: "Yeah, it kind of looked like a heart!"
Me: "OMG! I thought so too, that's why I picked it!"

What can I say great minds, or shall we say hearts in this case, think alike! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jalapeno Poppers!!! I had all those jalapenos and nothing to do with them, right? Well my bestie from college (oh I miss those days!) sent me a recipe for jalapeno poppers. Works out perfectly because this past Monday we had our end of camp dinner (yes people we're down to 7 days...SEVEN DAYS!!!). So I decided to try this recipe out. Here is everything I started with:
The recipe was VERY easy. Cut them in half and clean up that way. Then spread cream cheese inside the half and sprinkle shredded cheese and wrap in a half piece of turkey bacon. Cook it at 400 until it's bubbly and the bacon looks done (about 15-20 min). Finished product:Couple of notes...
1. I wore plastic gloves! Cutting and cleaning took quite a bit of time.
2. I prepped them the night before so I could just pop them in the oven.
3. Should have used more bacon, as you can see, as it cooked, it no longer wrapped the popper.
4. SO glad I put the foil down instead of putting it directly on the pan, super easy clean up. Should have sprayed the foil though so they didn't stick as bad.
5. I mixed the cream cheese and shredded cheese in a bowl and put the mixture in the jalapeno instead of sprinkling the shredded cheese over the top.

Everyone liked them and as much as I hate spicy stuff, I tried one. It had a little kick to it but it wasn't that bad. Matt is on his annual "vacation" AKA the St. Charles County Fair so I didn't have a taste tester or a leftover eater so that kind of made me sad. I'm definitely going to have to make it for him when he comes home.

One of my staff made white chocolate popcorn which is my absolute FAVE and she brought me my very own bag...she really knows the way to my heart! This stuff will surely get me through the last seven days...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My October Adventure... I have officially signed up and registered for the Lewis and Clark FULL Marathon. Yes, you read that correctly, I said FULL as in 26.2 one time, as in I will be running/walking for probably 6+ hours at one time. Am I excited? Heck yeah! Am I nervous? Heck yeah! Have I lost my mind? Heck yeah!
So far my training has been really tough due to camp, the weather and a training schedule that was a bit too advanced for me. After making a couple adjustments, like deciding to use the original training plan I'd found and deciding to do my long runs inside on the treadmill (major boring) until it cools off, I feel like I'm back on track.

This past Friday, I was shooting for an 11 mile run but because of the heat I only made it 7. As I was walking part of the run and sweating out all the liquids in my body, I got to thinking about my running, life, this year and I decided that I didn't care how fast I finished this marathon, I just wanted to finish because when December 31st rolls around this year, I *need* to look back and see the accomplishments I've made throughout 2010 (more on that at another time but just roll with it for now, k?).

The marathon is October 3. Seriously could it have been on any worst day??? This is the day after the double weddings that Matt is supposed to be in both and I'm DOC in one. BUT I picked this one because it has a 9 hour time limit which are 20 minute miles. Currently, when the heat isn't above 100+, I am running between 12-12:30 minute miles. I completed my half marathon in 2 hours and 47 minutes so if I run that first half and even walk the second half, I should still be well under the 9 hour limit (of course I'm hoping I can run more than walk). PLUS the best pacing partner in the world, Sherrie (who I met on Daily Mile) is coming all the way from Kansas to stay by my side the entire 26.2. Here we are after the half, pigtails and pink were our signature so we'll have to come up with something for this race too.

Want to know how even more awesomer (yes I just made that word up) Sherrie is? As though coming all the way from Kansas to run at a MUCH slower pace than she's used to, this woman is running ANOTHER marathon just two weeks later which classifies her as a marathon maniac! She's set a goal of running a marathon in all 50 states before she's 50 and invited me to join her in some of her races which sounds really awesome but I've got to get through this one first!

Another side note is that I just read an article about splitting your long runs. This article was suggested by an ultra marathoner (this is a person that runs any distance longer than 26.2 miles at one time), Greg-you might remember him from my half, he runs with the American Flag (a HUGE one) at every race he's in and gave me some great tips during the half to help me finish. Anyways, it basically said that for slow-pokes like myself (10 minute or longer miles) that you really shouldn't be running for longer than 2.5-3 hours at a time during your train because you're just putting more strain on your body and putting yourself in a position to injure yourself due to overuse.

Here's an excerpt from the article with the point I'm trying to make:

"In other words, no one single run is what prepares you for your race. It is the effect of training your body over weeks and months — and the ability to focus that fitness on the big day with your race execution — that will give you the results you seek. Your can reap the benefits of a 45 mile run week by splitting that long 20 miler into two efforts without suffering the consequences of putting 50 percent of your weekly mileage into one session and overwhelming your body."

The article also suggests the best way to split your long runs. After reading this article, I am not nearly as overwhelmed with the long runs coming up for me in September (17, 18 and 20 miles three weeks in a row!). As I've said before, I heart Daily Mile-it's full of great people who encourage you, help you out, explain things to you and some of them even drive across the state to run in your first marathon with you.

Okay, so this post is a little all over the place but I'm excited (if you can't tell). So for the rest of the Saturdays from now until October 3, you know where I'll be...running!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Letting Go... you all remember my post back in February about October 2? Well to summarize, we have two weddings on that day. I'm the DOC in Matt's cousin's wedding which his family is not on good terms with and Matt agreed to be an usher in that wedding. The other wedding is our best man's who did some real shady stuff before, during and after our wedding to both Matt and I. Matt was supposed to be the best man but through the grapevine, we found out that Matt no longer is but is apparently in the wedding as something. Last time Matt and BM talked was June 2009 and no talk of the wedding. Here's the update three months out...

The Monday after the Fourth of July, BM calls Matt to discuss the wedding. The Saturday after the Fourth of July, BM calls me!?! Matt and BM play phone tag for about a week until they finally caught up with each other a week ago Monday. Matt talks to BM and basically told him (this is summarized in my mind of "dude talk"), "Look man, I never heard from you and I heard your cousin was your best man so my cousin asked me to be in her wedding as an usher..."...wait for it, we all know Matt can't say no and doesn't like to upset anyone, "...but if we can work it out, I'd really love to be in yours too." WHAT!?! Do tell Matt how the hell you're going to pull that one off BUT moving on to the next part...

Matt walks upstairs and hands me the phone, I stare blankly at him with an "are you kidding me" look. I sigh and take the phone knowing that this has to come at sometime so let's just do it now. So BM and I get on the phone and I think he felt that the bigger words he used, the more sincere his apology was.

After he said his bit, I told him exactly what I thought and how I felt and confessed that he wasn't entirely to blame. Yes, he "started it" with his actions but it was Matt and I's reactions that continued it going. I also told him that he doesn't know the "whole story." That he just sees me as the one "keeping Matt" from him but the honest to goodness truth is that Matt's a big boy and he makes his own decisions. Many a moon since our wedding, I've encouraged Matt to put everything behind us and call BM but he chose not to. Any time I see that BM has emailed or FB-ed Matt, I tell him and encourage him to respond. When BM asked Matt about the hunting in MO and I found an article on the Post's website, I sent it to BM from Matt (of course I told Matt that I was doing this). I also told BM, you obviously don't know Matt very well to think that he reads the Post online much less sends articles to people. BM laughed and said good point and thought it was "very cool" of me to pass that info on to him.

I also told BM that I don't care that he hurt me and bad mouthed me because for all the ways he wronged me, the thing that upset me the most is that you were supposed to be my husband's best friend. You were supposed to encourage and support him and laugh with him and help him relax and chill out on his wedding day but you didn't. I'm the one that sees how upset Matt is that your friendship is broken and that's what hurts me more than anything. We ended the conversation with a couple laughs, a quick "life update" and a promise to try to make things get back the way they were (both of us agreeing it wouldn't take over night but as some point down the road, hopefully it'll be what is used to be).

This past Friday night, Matt looks at me laughing and randomly out of no where says, "Know what you and BM have in common?"
Me: We're both in love with you? *laughing at my own joke*
Matt: No, he was telling me the other night how they moved into their new house and his fiance keeps yelling at him for not keeping the bathroom clean.
Me: *biggest eye roll you've ever seen*
Matt: I laughed when he said that and told him that he has something in common with you.
Me: Gee dear, thanks for pointing out that we're both slobs in the bathroom. Next time I see him, I'll be sure to bring that up.

My Mattie always makes me laugh. I think he's been spending too much time with me because he's *almost* as random as I am these days.

So there you have it, almost two years of built up frustration, aggravation and many tears and worries and I'm trying to just, deep breath, let we just have to figure out the whole double wedding drama so in a way we're back to square one but once again, deep breath and just...let it go...

UPDATE: I wrote this post over the weekend. On Monday afternoon, Matt's aunt called me and when I called back, she kindly offered for Matt to not be an usher in the wedding. No drama or hard feelings...basically they were having issues with the other usher and she didn't want Matt to be out two tuxes so she just figured she'd save the hassle and just have the groomsmen do double duty because it's a very small wedding. So they're happy, Matt's happy and me? Well, I'm trying to let it go...just letting it all go...

Monday, July 26, 2010


...I know it's weird but I love mowing the yard. Last year was the first time I'd EVER mowed and I absolutely LOVED it! Growing up, my sister and I were not allowed to mow because we lived on, well, basically a vertical hill and our uncle lived on a similar one and his mower flipped but luckily his watch saved his hand...SO long story short, we were never allowed to mow. Probably a good thing because if I had, I probably wouldn't like mowing so much.

Last summer, I mowed once a week and Matt mowed once a week. This year, I was not so much into mowing. I think I've only done it once or twice this year. Here's a picture of Mattie Mo mowin'...
Not only do I like to mow but I like to watch him mow. Sometimes I sit backwards on the couch in the living room with a dog on either side of me watching from the cool inside and sometimes I sit on the steps in the backyard watching Mattie go back and forth and back and forth....

I think it's therapeutic for me, just the steady hum of the mower and being able to see a difference in the grass length (I think that's the OCD in me that loves that part). I think I just get in a trance, forgetting about the worries of today and tomorrow...just watching the tall grass get shorter and shorter while the mower hums loudly enough to keep any thoughts away.

Funny as I started typing this post, my neighbor started mowing...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lia Sophia Review...

...okay so for those of you that know me, you know that I'm a minimalist. I don't wear make up, the jewelry I wear I never take off (wedding ring, necklace that matches wedding ring from hubs and my cartilage earrings), I prefer to wear jeans and a get the idea, right? So keep that in mind because this fact just ties into the whole entire annoying issue.

So back on April 1, my friend had a Lia Sophia jewelry party. My friend was really just doing this party as a favor to the girl because she'd given her this sob story (I'm new in town and don't know anyone) and she figured she could at least have her friends over for a girl night. So all of us girls show up and are having a good time chatting and munching on the snacks when we look at the clock, it's 30 minutes past the time and the Lia Sophia consultant hadn't shown up. My friend calls her and the girl FORGOT! Yep, she begged my friend to have this party then FORGOT ABOUT IT! Red flag number one...

So she finally shows up and we get the jewelry part of the party started. Cute jewelry, very pricey. Now let me clarify, I don't wear much jewelry but I LOVE chunky jewelry. Similar to my shoe obsession, I really just like to buy chunky jewelry and shoes but I hardly ever actually wear them. I'm flipping through the catalog and I know that my friend spent money on the food for the party and that if she were to get like ONE free item, she'd need a lot of credit so I decide I'm going to buy this ring. Please excuse my chubby fingers, I never said I was a hand model and yes, my fingers are always this chubby no matter what weight I'm at.
So I place my order and wowser-that shipping and handling really adds up. I write the girl a check for $46 and some change and go on my merry way. On April 15, my check cashes. Sweet, I should get my ring in about two weeks. Now let's fast forward to mid-June and still no ring (I'd actually forgotten about it). I call my friend who hosted the party and she informs me that the entire thing turned into a fiasco, the consultant had lost my friend's order, only myself and one other girl placed an order and the other girl called and asked what was up and finally canceled her order. The consultant kept telling both those girls our products were backordered. Um...I'm going to call BS and say you just wanted/needed my money and never ordered the stuff.

Okay, so I call Lia Sophia myself and tell them what happened. They wanted to give the consultant a chance so they'd follow up with her and then call me in 3-4 days. Give her a chance? She cashed my check two weeks after the show and it's three months later and I got nothing!?! Three-four days go by, nothing. I have to call them back and they need a copy of my order and cashed check. Done....waiting, waiting, waiting, nothing. Then suddenly out of no where, my order arrives in the mail!!!

So if I had to rate this experience on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 2. The actual consultant a zero but the fact that they didn't question me and gave me my stuff I was happy with. I'm irritated that I had to keep following up with them and they never updated me to let me know what was going on. I wouldn't say the company is bad or ran poorly because I know this all fell back on the consultant who I don't think ever placed the order.

Lucky for me, it fit so I don't have to deal with them any more. Have you ever had an experience like this or have you ever ordered for Lia Sophia?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mmm, Gimme Some Cheese!!!

...this past Sunday, Angie, Nick and I met up at the new Chees-ology in the Delmar Loop for lunch. First off, I love the Loop, so many cool restaurants and great people watching! Anyways, this restaurant is all mac-n-cheese and it wasn't too bad. Angie had the chicken scampi and thoroughly enjoyed it. I ordered the philly cheese steak to go for Matt and OMG, I tried it when he ate it later that night and it was SOOO good. I hadn't cooked him dinner in 3 nights so he was fending for himself (TH-work, F-Cape, Sat-Girls Night). When I told him that I was meeting Ang for lunch, he got kind of pouty so I agreed to bring him some home.

I had the chicken cordon bleu. It was okay but had this taste I couldn't quite pinpoint. I think it was the dijon mustard, I'm not a huge fan of that stuff but in most chicken cordon bleu items that I've had you can't really taste it. Maybe next time I'll for it without the mustard. Here is a picture of what I ordered-the Canadian bacon (ham) was the best part of mine!But the best part of lunch? Angie and Nick! It was great to visit with her and love on Nick some. Here's a pic of me and the lady's man.
I'm sure I'll go back although it's not on my top restaurants of all times that "I just have to go back." I would probably give it 3.5-4 stars on my rating. Any body have any suggestions of yummy places to try out?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holy Jalapenos!!!

...apparently the only thing that can grow in our garden is a TON of jalapenos, a couple very cherry tomatoes and a couple banana peppers. I came home Saturday night to this bowlful of Matt's fruits (or vegetables) of his labor.
The next morning, when I asked him what was he going to do with all those jalapenos (I mean I am not a bread making machine here!), he informed me that he was going to sell them in the front yard. Luckily, it rained that day so there were no jalapenos being sold on my front lawn. I try to sneak them out to friends because I'd rather someone use them then they wilt and go bad. I know a few of you bloggers out there have gotten a few from me.

I did take a gander at some of the jalapenos and holy hot tamale-look at this one!We'd better have a fire extinguisher present when someone eats this one!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Covering His Bases...

...I called Matt one day after work and asked him to stop at the store and get some sugar and flour on his way home. When he got home, this is the contents of the bag:
Yes, my husband is finally learning. He picked up every kind of sugar they had at the store so he wouldn't get in the dog house. Only 3.5 years and he's finally picked up on either find out specifically what kind of sugar or just get them all!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Great Girls Night...

...this weekend was crazy busy but it was topped off with a fab girls night at Angie's house. It was supposed to be a game night but you know what happens when four friends get together that don't see each other that often...yes, you guessed it, major gab fest and catching up! Not to mention we had Nick, the lady's man, to entertain us.

L to R: Randall, Angie, Nick, me and Heidi
We all brought a dish and the food was wonderful. Being that I'd just gotten back in town 2 hours before, I did the quick and easy pre-made dip from Dierberg's-sorry girls! I promise next time I'll put some more effort into it. My only thought from last night-let's not go this long again before getting together!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Truly One of a Kind...

...I mentioned earlier that my good friend Katie lost her one of a kind brother, Colin. He was truly a kindred spirit who was always up for an adventure. Katie and I went to high school and worked together during summers in college. After college, we kind of each took our own path and when I moved back to STL, we'd get together here and there. This past December we went to this crazy craft fair and had lunch and we've been hanging out and emailing a lot more here lately.

Every time we'd get together , I'd ask how her brother was doing and you could just tell by the way she talked about him how proud she was of him. He'd been in DC working for non-profit research group then he decided to go to law school.

This past March, he made a debut on "Jeopardy!" How cool is that!!! She blogged about it and again, you could tell she was very proud of her little brother. I had my sister tape it for me and his little clip for the local station was, "Hey Cape me, 'cause I'd watch you!" I was cracking up because that's just "so Colin." "So Colin" is a term that has been used a lot lately.

Then this past May, he headed to Mongolia for a law "externship." Once again, Katie proudly told me what her brother was up to and she posted cool pics like this on her blog of her little bro. Then last week, she emailed me to let me know she was going to be with her parents because Colin had gone hiking and had been missing for over 48 hours. Later that day, she emailed me again to tell me they'd found him but it was too late.

My heart is aching for this family because they lost their one of a kind brother/son and had to wait for over a week to get him back. I have watched them be so strong this past week as they have taken it all in and figured out how to deal with this situation. Today is the visitation and a chance for all of Colin's friends and family to say their goodbyes and remember all the good times they'd had with him. I know that Colin's sister and parents were so proud of him and everyone who knew or met Colin thought he was a fantastic leader and person. Colin truly was one of a kind and will not be forgotten. Please continue to pray for Katie and her family.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Tidbits...

...just some randomness...

*My eyelid is so sore! I think it's a little puffy but nothing obvious. When I rub it though it's like ouchie!!! I've been putting a cold washcloth on it and it's helping a little.

*Headed to the Cape G tomorrow, more on that tomorrow...

*I am peeling like CRAZY from this past weekend. When I got to work yesterday, my boss was like oh your forehead is peeling and by the end of the day she was saying, every time I see you, there's less and less of your forehead. I'd been putting lotion and aloe on all week so I don't know how its peeling...any ideas or suggestions for the future?

*17 days left, I'm in survival mode, they can't go by fast enough!

*Since getting back on track with my training, I've felt good and haven't missed a run. Of course, I'm doing almost of the running inside since it's so flippin' hot out. I figured it out and I've put over 270 miles on my running shoes that I bought mid-April. I'm going to try to hold out until the end of August before I buy another pair. Blogger Stephany has decided to run a half marathon so I'm sure she'd appreciate some support and you girls (and guy) are definitely supporters!!!

I guess that's all for now, please feel free to send me some tidbits about you, your summer or anything random!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mean Life of Bees...

...Sunday after we got home from the float trip, Matt was outside working in the yard. Emma and I would go outside and check on him and carry in what he told us to. Once when we went out, Matt was talking to the neighbor so I sat down on the front porch to wait to talk to him and Emma was nosing around in the yard. I glanced over at her and saw a big swarm of bees around her and she was trying to bite them!!! I had to yell at her, "Emma! Get away from there!!!" She ran under the carport while Matt and I inspected.

Sure enough, those bees built an underground nest and were attacking the water hose. We called Em back over to check on her, she seemed fine and was just rubbing her nose and biting her leg so we figured she'd gotten stung. Matt and I both went on about our chores and about 30 minutes later, I noticed that Emma's nose was swollen!!! Poor girl!

I'm not sure you can really tell in this photo, I know I can but I also know what I'm looking for. So look at her nose then go back about an inch or two, and it's the slightly darker and round area on her nose. It was puffed up about an inch or so and she kept rubbing her paw over it. I felt so bad for her.We didn't give her any medicine but I did sit in my red chair and cuddle with her while watching "Scrubs" and icing her nose with a frozen water bottle.I think the icing really helped a lot with the swelling. So watch out for those bees not just for yourself but for your furbabies too!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


...I need your help! Matt and I were invited to a wedding and the RSVP card is like a Mad Lib! How great is that??? So here's a picture of the RSVP card:

If you can't read it, it says: Please take a moment to fill in the blanks. Then you're supposed to fill in an EXCLAMATION. We could go with the typical, boring, "Congrats!" or "Woohoo!" but I want something fun (and funny). Some thoughts: "Exclamation!", "Don't do it!", "To who?", or "'Bout time!" (yes, these people will think those statements are funny, not rude). I think this is a great idea because I know I looked forward to the mail every day when we were getting married. Whenever I RSVP, I usually try to write some kind of note so the bride/groom/parents have something to read.

So please, leave me a comment with your best exclamation to fill in the blank!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Floatin' 2010...

...well, we made it home and survived another year of floating on the Niangua River. I love this float trip! It's an annual one with some of my sorority sisters, their spouses, friends we've met along the way and all the other random people on the river. It's now turned into the once a year we see this group which makes me sad but it just makes us enjoy every single moment of the trip.

Here are the boys on Friday evening hanging out at the camp site, Matt and Jason (both landscapers so they always have something to talk about):
The float trip is always a great time but you have to be sure to pace yourself, otherwise you'll wake up like this (Happy birthday 'Cole!), this is my sorority sister/girl that raised me in college on Saturday AM:Random info about the float trip:

*We were on the river at 9:30am and didn't get off until 7pm. It is safe to say that I am fried as in bright, neon red.
*I got ice cream from an ice cream truck! Yes, the ice cream man drove down to the river to make some sells. He was even up for some bartering...Jello shots, beers, you name it and he'd bargain.
*The orange shirt group whose shirts said, "Emergency Services Annual Float" were there again. I found out they are from Lake of the Ozarks. If I'm ever in Lake of the Ozarks and I see one of them, I may very well have to kick their behinds. They are the most obnoxious group of people...EVERY YEAR!!! They buy this huge water guns and spray people. Okay, ha ha, funny the first time or two but ALL day when I don't even know you-stop! Then when you start spraying inside my canoe/raft and trying to tip it-not cool!
*Always interesting sites on the river, this year's most interesting: a couple floating down the river on their blow up mattress...

Matt and I got home, unloaded the car and started working around the house once we got back. I was on the phone with my friend Candace when she started freaking out and told me she'd call me back. About five minutes later, she calls me and she'd somehow scraped/cut her toe and it was bleeding nonstop. Poor girl was home alone with baby Colin! She was trying to load him up and go to the hospital to have it looked at. I called our friend who was closer than me to meet her at the hospital to help out with the little man and tried to get a hold of her husband for her.

Man, it was a crazy's been a crazy much crazy, random stuff going on. I REALLY need a weekend for my weekend! Hope yours was just as much fun as mine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Recipes from Other Bloggers... Fourth of July weekend, Mattie and I were both stuck working. Since we obviously weren't going out of town, I decided I would try out some recipes that you fabulous bloggers have been posting. First up, Cheesey Jalapeno bread from Julie over at The Ordinary Days, and it turned out awesome (or so Matt tells me because I don't do hot stuff so I didn't actually eat any of it).

I think she got the recipe from her local newspaper but here it is:

Jalapeno Beer Bread
Victoria Advocate
3 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. chopped pickled jalapenos (that means chop before you measure)
1 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
12 fl. oz. quality beer (Bud Light is considered quality, right?)
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in jalapenos, cheese, and beer and mix just until everything is incorporated. Pour the dough into prepared loaf pan and smooth to edges of pan. Pour entire stick of butter over the dough. Yes, the entire stick - do it. Bake 1 hour. Let rest in pan 10 minutes before turning out.

I used fresh jalapenos from our garden and 1/4 of a cup only turned out to be two good sized ones. Note to self though: wash hands thoroughly at least five times before rubbing eye-ouchie!!!

I also attempted to make the so-called "easy" Key Lime Pie from Hilary over at The Tale of this Newlywed. Here is the recipe:

Easy Key Lime Pie
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 8 oz container of Cool Whip, thawed
3 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1 4 oz. lime gelatin package
Boil 2/3 c. water. Mix in lime gelatin until it desolves. Add lime zest and lime juice. Add in cold water and ice cubes until you have 2.5 cups. Mix lime concoction with thawed cool whip until blended smooth. Poor mixture into pie crust, sprinkle lime zest on top and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Mine was a big fail...well, kind of. I'm pretty sure I know where I messed up. See where is says "...until you have 2.5 cups"? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I probably botched the measurements and when I poured it into the crust it overflowed!!! I had Key Lime all over my counter (good thing Matt was still at work when I made this!!!). So I poured it back into the bowl and put it in the fridge for a couple hours. It finally jelled and then I stirred it putting it back into the pie crust. It tasted good, just wasn't pretty to the eye. Luckily, I took it over to Tom's on Saturday and when everyone was finally ready for dessert, they were all outside shooting fireworks so no one actually SAW what they were eating but they all commented how fabulous it was!

So thanks ladies for passing on this great recipes!!!

Got a phone call from Dusty at 2:45am-he's officially back in the USA!!! WOOHOO!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where I'm At...

...where am I at in life? That's a good question...We'll we're officially half through the summer which is a good thing because-woohoo, it's half over but it's also a bad thing because we still have another half to go. The stress level is only going to increase from here but I'm trying very hard to remain calm. I brought my first Mountain Dew to work on day 24 of camp so I'm pretty proud of myself for that.

After the half, I'd decided on my "October Adventure." Sherrie and I were going to run the Lewis & Clark Full Marathon. Week 1 of training went great, week 2-major el sucko and week 3, not good, not bad but I didn't stick to my training plan. I'm not sure if it's the weather, work or I'm just getting burnt out but I need a break from running. After running the Macklind Mile this past Sunday, I realized that I really love the hype and excitement of the races and while I was about to give up on my October Adventure, it got me motivated again to get moving.

I think part of the problem too was that my training planning was just really overwhelming me. Yes, I know I need to get longer miles in but at the same time, I don't plan on running this to "race" or "beat someone." I'm running to finish it, to complete it, to say I ran a marathon. Plus there's a 9 hour time limit so I figure if I can run a half in 2:47 then surely I can do a full in 9 hours, even if I walk the second half, right? So I found the original training plan I had and started this past Tuesday on it and so far I'm feeling great and having fun, which is the most important thing.

I'm the swimming part of a tri team in August. So for my cross train and even shorter run days, I'm going to add in some swimming. I also registered for the CHADS Coalition 10k in September. I'm running with the team Runners 4 Luke. This is an awesome race, I have a connection (like 5 degrees) with Chad whose parents started the organization. It's awesome because it has something for everyone...1 mile walk, 5k and 10k run and even a 3k walk with your furry friend! I'm hoping this race will be redemption for my awful 10k back in the spring and I'm sure it will be because I'll have a lot of friends there supporting me.

For those of you that are my friend on FB or DM, you may have noticed a post that a week ago Monday, some little doggie was my running partner and tripped me (only during rush hour on the busiest road by our house so EVERYONE saw it). I trekked it back to the house with my bloody knees and called it a day. Here is a picture of my knees the next day and the tripper. So that my friends is where I'm at...where is everyone else at right now with your exercising? Your summer? Your job? Let me know!

Oh, I don't ask for this too often but please send up lots of prayers and positive thoughts for my friend, Katie. She lost her brother this week in what can only be described as an awful tragedy, my heart is aching for her and her family. They have a long journey ahead of them so all the prayers they can get would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Family Occasion...

...some of you might wander how us Groetekes celebrate birthdays (okay, so you probably really don't but just go with it for the sake of my introduction okay)...Well, we usually grill it up or cook some type of family dinner...we also let the birthday person eat off the birthday plate. And on Daniel's birthday, we made...SAUERKRAUT! Well, actually Daniel was playing volleyball with his friends while EB and Star made dinner and John and Matthew started canning the 'kraut. Matthew works at a nursery (for trees not babies) and besides the normal landscaping stuff, his nursery also makes home-grown produce (which one of the local restaurants buys from them and uses it at the restaurant). So Matthew brought home seriously like TWENTY heads of cabbage!!! He was the shredder:It seemed pretty easy. Shred the cabbage, take 5 lbs shredded cabbage and add like 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Then squeeze as much into a quart jar as possible and seal with a zink lid (these are like impossible to find any more). John was the salter/squeezer:Store in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks and then you've got your 'kraut. It was a fun, family affair and something different. My job for the evening was runner (take the jars from outside to the garage) and dish dryer after dinner. When it was all said and done, they'd made ELEVEN GALLONS of sauerkraut!?! Now, it's just too bad that I don't like the stuff!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mackland Mile...

...Fourth of July morning, I drove over to Sarah's house and we headed to her first ever running race, the Macklind Mile. She was nervous and the fact that we'd thought we'd lost the car key, didn't help at all. She called her hubs and left him a VM telling him she'd lost her key and we might need him to come get us after the race. Luckily, right when the race started, it fell out of her pants!!! We called him after the race to let him know that we'd found the key and he hadn't even gotten the VM-how funny is that!!!

Okay, so back to the race...we rocked it! Sarah ran this thing with a STRESS FRACTURE, a stress fracture people!?! Can you believe that??? I passed on my running wisdom of the "Leap Frog" approach where you run to a certain point then walk to a certain point etc, etc, etc...I picked the first couple points then I told Sarah she needed to pick since she knew her body best. After the 3/4 mile mark, I pointed to a stop sign and I told her, when we get there, we give it all we holding back! I also pointed out a lady in white spandex shorts and told her our goal was to catch her because I mean, seriously, who wears white spandex shorts???

We did catch the lady in white spandex shorts and when we passed the clock time it said 12:30. Sarah's goal was under 15 minutes so she was pretty happy. The official time was 11:59!!!

Here we are at the finish line: After the race, we each got a Bloody Mary (one of the bars was giving them away to runners, one of the benefits of running races=free stuff!) and watched the elite runners. Seriously, these people were crazy fast...4 MINUTES people, the guys were running a mile in 4 minutes and some change and the fastest girl was 5 minutes!

It was a great race and a good way to start my Fourth of July! Awesome job Sarah and any time you want to do a race, call me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Fun...

...we spent our Fourth of July weekend like we do every Fourth of July...working! It's part of our jobs, we know it so we just deal. We try to make the best of it that we can, some year's we just chill at home and are in bed before fireworks go off, other year's we make an effort to see fireworks and this year, we spent Saturday evening hanging out with some friends.

We headed over to Tom's house where the boys bbq-ed some chicken-yum!!! Kim and Tom had a nice spread for us and we were sooo full!We played some which the girls DOMINATED!!! (at least in the first game!)Mattie and I chillin' and waiting for dinner (FYI-I stained the stairs that we are sitting on and I have to comment how good they look every time we go over to Tom's!)Tom was very excited about this roll of 4,000 fire crackers......and I didn't have to heart to tell him that there were really only 3,999...So it was a pretty fun evening, nice and relaxing. I told Matt that I had a lot of fun because unlike other times when we hang out with large groups or his family, I actually got to play the games and talk! Sometimes it's hard to get a word in or to call next game, so it was a lot of fun to hang with just another couple and enjoy the Fourth of July! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

And OH! Dusty will be stateside for GOOD this Friday, July 9 then back in MO for good the last week of July!!! We're so excited to have him home. Thanks for protecting us Dusty!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yummy Recipe from Randall!!!

...last week Randall posted this delicious recipe which was basically a pasta salad with chicken in it. It was a great recipe because you could add or subtract whatever you wanted. Here is a picture of how mine turned out: The recipe:

Lucy's Chicken
(who is Lucy? I have no idea!)
1/2 box of pasta (any kind)
2 Chicken breasts1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
(picked these fresh from our garden)
1 small tub feta cheese (we heart feta cheese at the G house)
1/4 cup salad dressing
1 small hand full chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta as directed, drain and cool. Cook chicken. Move to plate to cool. Toss pasta, chicken, feta, tomatoes and salad dressing together until coated. Serve room temperature or cold.

The recipe Randall had also included 1 can black olives which I followed Randall's lead and left out because I don't like them. I think you could probably also add any other veggie that you wanted but with just everything above, it was very filling. We grilled the chicken but Randall sauteed hers. As far as the dressing goes, Randall used Caesar, her friend used honey mustard and I used a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette.

I knew before I tasted this that I'd want leftovers so we grilled three chicken breasts and cooked the entire box of pasta which feed us dinner Sunday AND Monday night plus lunch for me on Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks for sharing Randall!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two Graduates, One 50th Birthday and a Partridge in a Pear Tree...

...Saturday we headed out to Aunt Jessie's for Katherine's high school graduation, Timmy's 8th grade graduation and Uncle Phil's 50th birthday...whew, I was tired thinking about that before we even got there!!!

They live out kind of by Troy so we stopped by Warrenton first to visit the outlet mall. I wanted to go to the Nike outlet to look for a two piece athletic tankini swimsuit. BUT they didn't have one. I think I'm going to just have to mix and match for the race in August. Anyways, I did get FIVE items at Gap for $21 including a pair of jeans for $3.70!!! I don't really need jeans, they aren't super cute but who can pass up a pair of Gap jeans for under $5? Not me!!!
So we get to Aunt Jessie's, I stayed inside to visit while Matt went to "play nicely" in the pool with them which resulted in him losing one of his contacts...we'll spend $80 on Monday to get another one-boo! Once the boys got out of the pool, Elizabeth and I headed down to catch some rays. I did get some sun but not too much...I'm sure I'll get PLENTY of sun on the float trip in a couple weekends.

We then headed over to their other old people (Matt, Elizabeth and I) with the kiddos (four ages 18 or under), to do some fishing. Once we got over there, I decided I would stay in the truck and read because I did NOT want any poison or chigger bites. There was a nice breeze and everyone was quite content...once they all had working fishing poles.

Here is Jenn about to jump off the truck and start fishing, that's Joe in the background trying to get his pole to work.
Matt was the big winner bringing in two fishies!!! Jenn (above) caught one. We released them all back into the water. As we were getting ready to leave, Katherine found an empty turtle shell...TURTLE POWER!!!We always have a great time when we hang out with them and we're always on the go go go! They keep us young! So congrats and good luck to Katherine and Timmy and Happy 50th Uncle Phil!!!