Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mini Vacation...

...ahh, yes, I feel like I just returned from a mini vacation! We spent 3 days in Cape and I got to catch up on sleep, friends and family and do a whole lot of nothing-it was fabulous!!! I posted yesterday about our Thanksgiving. Friday we got up early and went to visit my aunt and cousin in really Small Town USA. Here's a pic of my cousin Jona, although I call her Joan and her labradoodle Ava. Ava reminded me of a famous movie star but for the life of me I couldn't figure out who. My best guess was Harrison Ford from the beginning of "The Fugitive." What do you all think?
Friday afternoon I met up with my sis and H. They were getting their haircut so H and I were on a mission to find shoes. I got a cute pair of gray and brown flats which were exactly what I needed for the upcoming season so I don't have to wear tennis shoes every day to work. Then Friday night, a bunch of the "step" fam came over after golfing all day and had a bonfire. Shadow was loving it because he cleaned up all the dropped marshmallows and when I saw him come in the house, he had mallow on his neck and leg! Oye! He was a mess!!!

Saturday morning we woke and Santa had stopped! My mom is in Florida over Christmas so we do it at Thanksgiving. It's actually really nice for Matt and I because we only have to split our time between two places instead of one. Santa left us our annual apple & orange for good health and $1 for wealth. I also got a couple cookbooks, a duffle bag and money to "blow on myself!" Matthew got some lottery tickets from Santa and won a free ticket! He cashed it in later that day and didn't win anything.
Around lunch time, I met my friend Laura and her son T.J. at My Daddy's Cheesecake. They have a location in Clayton so you should stop by and visit them. I had the, surprise!, Peanut Butter Swirl cheesecake. It wasn't quite peanut buttery enough for me but it was still delicious!
We headed back to the house for our "feast" of shrimp, salmon, chicken quesadillas and baked potatoes. Yum, yum and lots of peeling shrimp for everyone else. Then we headed to church where I got to visit with an old friend's parents which was nice. Then Matt and I headed down to Jess & Matt's in Sikeston for some "Buzz Word." It was really a lot of fun! We played Girls vs. Boys (Girls won-of course!) and then we played Couples, Matt & Jess beat us. I told my Matt (yes, when the hs girls get together we have to refer to our husbands at my Matt because 3/6 of us are married to Matts!)that I loved him but we really suck at games! Why? Well maybe because he told me the buzz word was "spine" when it was really "spin" Either way, if we suck or not, it was still a lot of fun!
After the games, Jess decided it was time for a little blackmail and pulled out the photo albums from high school. As you can see here, everyone is very serious as we look through the photos.
We got back to Cape around 11ish and wanted to go through the Christmas lights but the park was closed. I always look for the Darla Pannier Memorial when I go through the lights. Funny the things we remember about our hometowns, huh? When we got home, Jo and my mom had majorly messed up a quilt so they were unstitching everything. Yikes! Matt and I escaped so we didn't get sucked into the unstitching too!
Sunday we had lunch with my dad, his wife, her daughter and her fiance at Port Cape. My dad kept telling me that we would meet at 12:15 at Port Cape Girardeau...okay, dad, got it-I don't plan on going to any other port!?! We'll spend more time with that side of the family at Christmas.
After dinner, we headed back to the STL. Now it's Tuesday and it's going to be a LONG week because this is the first and last full week of work I've had since the beginning of October-December. So thanks for letting us take a mini-vacay to your house mom!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Recap...

...whew! What a great Thanksgiving! At the end of the day, my stuffed belly was a reminder of how thankful I was for the great cooks in both our families, yummy food and good laughs. Here's just a few pics to commemorate the day.

We started off the day at Grandma G's. Here are the women of the family finalizing the meal before we sat down to eat, L to R: Aunt Jan, SIL EB, MIL Star
Before we left I snapped a picture of the G Fam. Funny story, I was trying to herd everyone into the room for the picture. Grandma G walked into the foyer and then suddenly let it rip. I looked at my SIL and said, "Did she just fart?" EB looked at me and said, "Yes, yes she did." We broke into hysterical laughter and my MIL kept asking, "What? What's so funny?" The G Fam from L to R: Grandma G, Matt, MIL Star, SIL EB, FIL John and BIL Daniel
Then we headed down to Cape for the weekend. We walked into my mom and stepsis Jo working on their new toy...a longarm AKA quilting machine. They were addicted to it all weekend!!! If you ever need anything quilted, just let me know!
After dinner, Jo and my mom went back to their addiction while my mom's husband David, Matthew and I cleaned up the kitchen. David loaded the dishwasher, Matthew carved the rest of the turkey and I put all the leftovers in containers. David accidentally put Dawn in the dishwasher, yeah we definitely had suds coming out of it! After we cleaned up, Matthew and I pulled the wishbone and I got the big half! WOOHOO!!! Let's hope my wish comes true!!!
After dinner and clean up, Matthew got assigned a project to put together a bookshelf, the girls quilted and I tried to stretch out my stomach to make more room for my momma's delicious chocolate pie!
OH! I kept a secret! My good friend Stevie got engaged last Monday night and she stopped by my work to show off the bling. I snapped this pic of her but promised not to put it on FB because she wasn't telling her extended family until Thanksgiving. I'm so excited for her. She's planning a fall wedding, my favorite!!! Congrats Stevie and Brett!
So there you have it, my Thanksgiving Day recap. Oye! I think I still have turkey hangover!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Elvis Has Left the Building...

...yes my dear friends, it's that time of year that Silky's wipes off the counters and shuts up shop for the year. They will be closing this coming Sunday. Last weekend, Matt was out at the farm trying to get deer #2 so I decided I'd say good-bye and enjoy one last Elvis Pretzely of the year...as my dinner for Saturday evening! So long Elvis, I'll see you in the spring when you return until then I'll have our sweet (and salty!) memories to get me through.
Hope everyone is having a good Black Friday and had a great Thanksgiving! I don't know about you but I'm stuffed to the gills, good thing I enjoyed my Elvis last weekend because there's no way I have room for it this weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day to Be Thankful...

...Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today I'm going to share a story with you all to let you know what I'm thankful for...

Last week, an emotional me posted on the wrong blog about "Non Stop Tears." As soon as I realized it, I quickly deleted it but some of you were still able to read the post in Google Reader. If you read it, you were probably confused to all get out-what in the world is she talking about?!?! So now it's time that I come clean...Matt and I have been trying for "only" a year to have a baby but at "only" six months, we were titled with infertility. Please click on that link for a wonderful video that will help to explain just a little bit of what we've felt, been through and what's ahead of us. I've cried, I've been angry, I've questioned why more times than I can count and I've screamed many times that "It's not fair!" but it hasn't helped or changed the situation. I've seen many babies enter the world and watched the proud new mommas only to have my heart break a little each time knowing that I might never have that feeling. I've heard every single ridiculous comment out there that could be made, some coming from our family and close friends.

Matt and I have pushed each other away only to pull each other back because more than ever we need each other now. He's held my hand during doctors appointments where tears just streamed down my face, he's listened to my crazy rants and raves, he's injected me with shots and told me he's proud of me and how brave I am. He's gotten his hopes up with me, only to have them crushed but through it all he's loved me. In our anniversary card, I wrote something along the lines of this journey really sucks but "I wouldn't want to go through it with anyone else." Today I am thankful for having him experience this with me, I'm thankful for his patience, I'm thankful for the way he knows how to hold me and take care of me. In my eyes, he's an awesome husband-I love you Pretty!

I'm also thankful for all of my amazing real-life and blog friends. When I accidentally posted, I had at least 4 emails in my inbox asking what was going on and if I was okay. If I replied and was snippy, I apologize because I was in a really bad place last week in this journey. I had friends calling to check on me, inviting me over, sending me cards, praying for me, and I even had a friend stand in a bathroom stall with me holding all my meds while I shot myself in the stomach. Girl-thank you and I hope I didn't traumatize you for life!

So even though we're going through this crazy journey called infertility, I still have so many things and people to be thankful for and in the long run, that's what ultimately matters. Thank you for being such awesome, rock star people! I have a separate blog that documents our infertility journey if you'd like to read it. It's not a happy one but it's written for me and to help other women out there going through this same thing know that they aren't alone and if I can help one woman or couple then it's worth it to put my story out there. I've met some really amazing women through that blog who have offered me support, guidance and knowledge through our journey. I don't plan to discuss our journey or treatments on this blog but please feel free to leave me any questions you might have and I'll do my best to answer them or point you in the right direction. My only words of wisdom are that everyone's infertility journey is different, we all have different diagnoses, different treatments, different doctors and we're ulimately all different people so how I feel, think and react to things may be different than someone else going through this.

Thank you for being who you are, you are the best! I hope you have a safe and thankful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What We Do On Our Day Off...

...yep, this is the pups and I do when I have a day off. Lounch around in our pjs, chillin' out together snugglin' and catch up on blogs. As you can tell Shadow is very interested and reading over my shoulder. Emma can't believe what she just read and wants to know more. Sometimes they try to type and I have to tell them I'll comment for them.

And when I'm not there to translate for them, then they just take a nap.

FYI-I broke down and joined Twitter. I don't get it-LOL! I feel so not hip and with it because I don't understand. I probably won't have too many exciting Tweets since I don't have a cool, fancy phone. Guess I'll spend my Thanksgiving break (feel like college again!) trying to figure out the Twitter!

I hope everyone has a safe and thankful Thanksgiving-gobble, gobble!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Meals: How Do You Do It?

...How do you all do Thanksgiving? Does one person cook everything? Does each person bring a dish?

At my family, my dad or mom makes the entire meal but the non-cookers have to clean up the kitchen. My mom also typically doesn't have the typical holiday meal because she always figures that Matt and I are "turkeyed-out" by the time we make it to her house. We're having the official Thanksgiving/Christmas meal on Saturday which will be boiled shrimp and chicken enchiladas for me. I am not a fan of shrimp but I always help peel and in return my momma always makes one of my favorite dishes for me although I usually end up eating after everyone else since I'm busy peeling away.

With Matt's family, the person hosting usually provides the meat and then "everyone" is supposed to bring a dish. Maybe it's because we never did that with my family but sometimes it drives me bonkers! They try to coordinate but it doesn't always work out that way so we'll end up with like 4 different desserts, turkey and 2 side dishes plus not everyone has to bring something. Last year it really stressed me out because we drove to Cape for lunch with my dad then back to STL for dinner with his fam and had to bring mashed potatoes...I stressed for a couple of days about when I was going to make these potatoes, how I was going to keep them warm and what if we didn't get there in time!?! I ended up making them at like 7am, dropping them off at his aunt's driving to Cape where my stepmom made an extra pot of potatoes for me to take and then we headed back. Needless to say, we had plenty of potatoes.

This year, I volunteered macaroni-corn casserole because it's easy...you just throw everything in a pan and bake. Matt and I's actual Turkey Day plans are still up in the air so Matt might have to make this on his own, I have faith in him.

I would love to host a holiday at our house but it's WAY too small. His family is ginormous so no way and with my parents being divorced, we can't have one and not the other so until we get a bigger house (HA!), there will be no holidays at our house. The only ones we've hosted before has been Fourth of July and Father's Day where we could have people inside and out so it was okay then. I'm thinking about having a 31 Purse Party but I'm really concerned about where everyone will sit plus put the food and the purses-ah! Okay, I'm off on a different tangent-sorry!

So, tell me...how does your families do holiday meals???

Monday, November 22, 2010

St. Jude 5k Walk of Thanks...

...this past Saturday, Jen, Aimee, Maggie, her husband Steve and my running husband Trent all headed down to the Mills Mall for the St. Jude 5k Walk of Thanks. Here is Mandy Murphy from Fox 2 News thanking the sponsors. I had no idea who she was-oops! I'm a channel 4 gal.
Here's the team in action! Sorry so blurring, I was walking backwards and taking this picture.

Did you know they sold Proactiv from vending machines???

The whole team of Runners 4 Luke (L to R): Jen, Aimee, Trent, Me, Maggie and Steve

Thanks for supporting Luke! I love getting awareness out there about his story and drunk driving. The race was a little...chaotic? It started late and they said three times around was a 5k when it was actually 4. Trent pushed me, he just doesn't get it that his legs are twice as long as mine!!! It was a fun morning with friends and then I went home and took a nap. Being a mall walker, really wore me out!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Cards!!!

...okay, I know I posted last week that I'm WAY behind on Christmas shopping but I'm at least trying to get a headstart on Christmas cards. I absolutely LOVE photo Christmas cards. It's like impossible to get one good photo of Matt, me and the dogs so I always end up having to pick a card that has 2-3 photos so we can all be included. There are a LOT of different companies out there that make photo cards but this year I'm checking out Shutterfly. I would love do a Christmas card with just one photo like this (insert Matt, me, Emma and Shadow though):

However, I will probably be doing something like this with multiple photos (again insert my family instead of these sisters). I do love the chocolate color too:
Know what else is awesome? There are 8 different cards to pick from that were designed by the American Lung Association. What's that mean? Well, "Shutterfly will donate 10% of net sales from each American Lung Association card purchase back to the organization." I will definately be picking one of those cards. Remember Master the Met that I do where we climb 42 flights of stairs? Well, that event supports the American Lung Association. Right now our team is in first place for fundraising and we're holding a Trivia Night in January to raise even more funds for them.
Shutterfly also has address labels, gift tags and a ton of other super cool items! Oh yeah, and if you're a blogger, which I know all of you out there reading are, they are giving away 50 free Christmas cards to all bloggers! Click here and go check it out. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Roli-YUM!!!

...have I mentioned before how much I love All Recipes? I get an email daily from them. Last week, I received an email for Chicken Broccoli Roli. I checked it out and it didn't look too tough so I decided I'd give it a try. Here's the recipe:

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
2 cups fresh chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls

1.In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, onions, bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix all together.
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3.Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a glass upside down in the center of the cookie sheet. Roll out crescent rolls around the base of the glass, with pointy ends away from the glass; when you're finished, the arrangement will look like the sun. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the thick part of each crescent roll. Fold the pointy end of each roll over the top of the mixture and tuck in the middle. Remove glass from cookie sheet. Arrangement of rolls will now look like a fluted tube cake.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.

I actually followed this recipe to a T minus the whole make it look like a sun thing. I tried it and was so confused. So I just took two crescent rolls (like in a rectangle) and stuffed them then folded them in. My final products:

The only bummer thing about this is that it took a little longer than a quick dinner because I baked two chicken breasts first then baked everything all together. Luckily, I was off work so I just baked the chicken at lunch time and then mixed all the stuff together and stuffed it at dinner time. Oh and I'd read the reviews that said there was a TON of mix left over so when I was at the store, I'd picked up two packages of crescent rolls which made 8 "packets" of chicken broccoli. This was enough for Matt and I because we each had two for dinner and then we had enough for lunch the next day. But I still had some mixture left over but Matt snacked on it throughout the night (and he wonders why he can't lose weight!). Anyways, it was very yummy and we'll definitely be making it again!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Already!?!

...is it just me or has this year, especially November just flown by? I can't believe it's Thanksgiving next week!?! I usually have ALL my Christmas shopping done by now and I've got nothing. I just got so far behind this year. Oh well, as long as I'm with my fam, that's all that matters? Where's everyone else at with their Christmas shopping?

Milk Mom...

...everytime my mom comes to visit, she brings us goodies. Sometimes its her homemade manicotti, soup, brownies, groceries, books...you name it and she brings it! The newest thing she brings us in cartons of milk. She works at a middle school and each student that buys a lunch is required to take a milk. If they don't use it, they have to put it in a crate back in the cooler. The state can't resale it so they have to give it away. They offer it to the teachers first so my mom loads up for us. Her last visit, she filled our entire fridge. No, I'm not kidding, our entire fridge...LOOK! I'm sure you're thinking what do we need all that milk for? Isn't it going to go bad? If you're asking this, then you obviously haven't met my husband who would drink a gallon of milk a day if I let him. I'm not lying! We go grocery shopping on Sundays and buy 2 full gallons of milk, they are usually gone by Tuesday...Wednesday at the latest. Know what he always does? He'll leave not even a SIP of milk so that he can say, "I didn't drink it all! I left you some!" Grrr...hopefully we'll avoid this problem for awhile! Then again, he drank 5 cartons the first night! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"The Guy Not Taken"...

...I FINALLY finished my book that I'd been reading all summer and now this fall. It was "The Guy Not Taken" by Jennifer Weiner. I think it took me so long because it is a collection of short stories. I'd read one here then set it down, read another one there then set it down. Since I had some time to myself in the deer stand, I finally finished it up. It was just so-so, a lot of the stories were about divorce or fathers leaving which got a little old, story after story. I'll just give you a little summary of my favorite stories.

This was about a girl who was a writer. She met with students and helped polish their college essays. I thought to myself, hmm...what a cool job but I would totally suck at it. While she's inbetween clients, a guy comes up to her and ask if she'll proof his online dating profile. The story also tells about her broken heart and how she basically used swimming as her therapy.

Buyer's Market
This one is short and simple. A girl puts her awesome NY apartment on the market to help her realtor lover make a sell. The whole time I read this story, I wanted to scream at her-he's just using you!!! Grrr...made me so angry! But that's what a good story does, it makes you feel emotions, right?

The Mother's Hour
This one is about a group of women that meet at "Mother's Hour." They're all rich, upscale moms in the city then there's the 19 year old tattooed/pierced mom whose child is better behaved than most. This story goes to show you that it doesn't matter what a person looks like, the difference in ages...you can find a friend in people that you seem to have nothing in common with.

Oranges from Florida
This is the only story written from the male perspective. His wife leaves him and he's having a hard time dealing with it. His phone number is just one digit away from the local radio station and when he's waken up at midnight asking if the caller won, he says yes, oranges from Florida. The story goes on about how he delivered the gift and the meeting with the winner. In today's world, where you can't trust anyone, it's a little creepy (in my opinion) but in fiction, it's a sweet story and tries to make you remember to see the good in everyone.

I just got another Weiner book that I'll be reading sometime soon (who knows when soon is). Who else has read this book? Which stories were your favorites?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meat in the Freezer!!!

...well, everyone, we made it back safe and sound AND with meat for the freezer! Don't worry, I'm not posting any gory pictures although it was kind of a gory weekend and I did get some gory photos but they're for ourselves. This was the first year that I got to go in the woods and see the deer after they were shot and watch them be field dressed. It is all very interesting and kind of like a biology lesson as Mattie pointed out different body parts to me.

It was amazing how warm it was on Friday night then while we were sleeping it totally cooled off as the rain came in. I never go out on opening morning, I let Matt enjoy the thrill of the morning without having to worry about me and I don't mind sleeping in and spending the morning chatting with my MIL. Plus it's usually warmed in the afternoon than the morning. I headed out Saturday afternoon, here's Mattie and I (FYI, or in my opinion, warm hunting gear adds 10lbs to the camera):
I didn't see one single deer but then again, I probably only looked for an hour before I got out my J. Weiner book (don't worry, review coming later this week). Last year, I had told Matt that if I got a deer, I would caw so he would know to come to me (think caw like Ellen does), like he would really hear me cawing on the 100+ acres that's at the farm but in theory it was a good idea. I got out of my stand before dark though, nature called, and I saw him in a stand close to me. I cawed as I walked out so he knew I was down. As I was chatting at the house with him mom, his dad came to let us know he got a deer!!! I ran back down in the field cawing like crazy for Matt to come but he'd already left the stand and didn't hear me. It was pitch black by the time we got to my FIL's deer and I was getting yelled at for blinding them with the flash from the camera. Geez, it's my first time everyone, give me a break! When we got back to the house, Matt squirted me in the face with deer milk which is definitely NOT the grossiest thing that I saw all weekend and it was really funny. We both laughed and agreed that we had the humor of j-highers!

Sunday morning, Matt came back to the house around 9:30 asking for his dad to come help him track his deer. Every year when we go, I'm always cheering inside me, get a deer! Get a deer! I know how happy it makes him and how disappointed he gets when he doesn't so while I'm excited that the freezer gets filled, I'm more excited that Matt is super happy! They found the deer and came back to the house to get the tractor in which Matt came to find me telling me to put on my orange, I did and walked outside and realized it was just me and him going to get the deer. I was so excited...it was an honor!!! When we got to his doe, he was looking for something and I saw beside her petting her. She was so soft. I told her she was pretty and I apologized but let her know that she was going to good use. Then came the gory part and the biology lesson.

We, as a family, spent a good five hours Sunday afternoon cutting the meat and packaging it up. I sliced my finger on the bone...that stuff is sharp! We ended up with an entire cooler and a half and Mattie is going again next weekend so hopefully he'll get another one and we should be set for awhile! I know not everyone is a fan of deer meat but we love to make chili with it and hubs makes the best steaks with them...don't ask me how he does it, he just does!

Of course, what's a farm post without pics of the pups? My Shadie Adie...
My precious Em Dog...
I always feel bad taking them out on deer weekend. I mean they love the farm but when it's rifle season, we can't let them out because 1. we don't want anyone to shoot at them (esp Emma because she kind of looks like a very small deer) and 2. they'll sniff everything out and try to get into it! They were great pups though, only whining a bit and I even snuck them in Saturday afternoon for a little nap snuggled up with me.
Great job Mattie! I'm so very proud of you! Thanks for letting me learn a little more every year. Maybe next year will be my year...
Matt is planning on having the heart for dinner tonight. Me? I'm going to dinner with Amy-thank goodness for blog friends!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cleaning Out My Closet...

...last Sundy, Matt and I went to church then headed home for a day of NOTHING! Well, that didn't last long after I was getting antsy and bored so I decided to clean out the pantry. UGH! Take a look at the disaster, everything was just shoved in here and there, no rhyme, no reason which resulted in spilled herbs and like multiples of certain products such as oatmeal, sugar, flour, kidney beans, etc...
I took everything out and put it on the floor. I swept out the pantry and cleaned each shelf. I threw away expired items and merged multiple items if I could. Um...we had FOUR big containers of salt and three containers of cocoa! Oops! Here is the final product...TADA!!!
I'm really hoping you can tell the difference. Some stuff is still buried and other items will have to be removed to find them. The most exciting part though is that I made room for Matt's lunchbox (cooler) to be stored in the pantry making the kitchen look bigger!
We're off to the farm this weekend for opening weekend of deer season. I've got my books packed, my warmest clothes in my bag, and my gun waiting by the door. I'm sure I'll have book reviews for you in the next few weeks and hopefully I'll be able to tell you some successful deer hunting stories too! After Vee's post yesterday, I must admit I'm a little worried about this weekend although I know that you can't live your life in fear so we're still planning on going and being super careful. Please continue to pray for her and her family. Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayers Needed!

Please everyone pray for Vee at Everyday Kings. She's pregnant with her third baby right now. This past Tuesday, her husband fell from his tree stand and died. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it, so I can't even imagine how she's feeling. Please send prayers and positive thoughts to her and her family.

Pumpkin Soup...

...last week, Sarah posted on FB about Squash Soup. I decided I would give it a try but I was going to use pumpkin instead of squash. On our honeymoon in Jamaica, we stayed at Couples Negril. We ate at the five star restaurant one night and they served pumpkin soup. At first I was really skeptical but then I was licking the bowl! Every since then (two years ago!), I've been craving it so I figured this was a great opportunity to try it out.

So I looked at Sarah's recipe, bought what I needed then came home and started only to realize I didn't have any sage-grr! So I went to my go to All Recipes and found this recipe. It said to make it in the crock pot but I, obviously at 4:30pm and looking for dinner that night, bypassed that.

Here is the list of ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 pounds cubed fully cooked ham
3 (29 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth
2/3 cup cream
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary

You were supposed to cook the onion and garlic in the skillet then basically mix it all together and simmer. WELL...let me tell you what I did...

1. I didn't have an onion or garlic so I used onion flakes and minced garlic (like from a seasoning bottle).

2. No ham.

3. I read the reviews on the website and they said it needed more cream than the recipe called for so I added the whole pint of cream.

4. I didn't have any pepper so no pepper at all.

Then I made grilled cheese sandwiches with American and mozzarella cheese-yum! The final product was pretty fab! Matt said he didn't like all the onion flakes but he kept saying how good it was, and he NEVER does that and he even asked for some in his Thermos for lunch the next day!!! So woohoo-we had a winner!!!

The final product with my orange Gatorade!

I had called Matt and asked him to bring home the cream. I was a little worried but once I added it in, I think that made all the difference. Definitely a yummy, fall dinner!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Post About Shoes...

...my post last week inspired this post. This post is all about the wonderful, unique and different shoes that I have. For someone like me who is as un-fashionista as they come, I do have a thing for shoes...even if I only wear them once or sometimes not at all! So here's my, fairly, organized closet of shoes:
This is our guest room closet where I keep my dress clothes and even MORE shoes:
Now let's go pair by pair, shall we? This pair here our is my first pair of Doc Martens...that I got in 7th grade!!! It's funny how in middle/high school, they were my dress shoes then in college, my going out shoes then in my married days, my farm boots. These shoes have seen a lot and been through a LOT of laces. One night after a long and late night out in college, I was too "tired" to deal with the laces so I just cut them off! They are a bit difficult to put on esp in the winter when I have big 'ole wool socks on. The little tag on the back is broken so I have to wiggle wiggle my foot until they fit. I heart these shoes and they'll stick around until they fall apart.
Then I met hubs and he figured if I was going to be a farmgirl/hunter that I needed some real outdoor woman boots! He bought me these Red Wing boots for the farm. So far, I've only worn them once...don't they look shiney, new and oh so pretty???
UGH! These are the ugliest shoes in the world! They date back to my banquet server shoes and I refuse to get rid of them because I never know when I might need them again. See...just two years ago I used them at my PT job schlepping lotion and then they got all strict on us saying "No laces! No laces!" Grrr...anyways, they'll stay in the closet for awhile...
Okay while I was doing this fashion show of shoes, Emma got a little jealous. She wanted her feet photographed too so I let her join in the fun. Here's Emma showing off my favorite brown flip flops and my "lingerie" flats. The brown flips are ones that my sister bought, wore like twice and said it made her feet stink. She gave them to me and every time I wear them around her, she gets so mad!!! LOL I think it's because they're really super cute and can worn with a casual or nicer short outfit (does that even make sense?).
The black "lingerie" shoes I bought at Payless about 5 years ago to wear at work. My old boss used to make fun of them so much saying they just needed clip on heels and they could be stripper shoes. Either way, I love them and they're cute and I usually get lots of compliments when I wear them.
Now on to my brown boots! The ones on the left (light brown) are my favorite winter boots and I always try to wear them when I go out. Now the ones on the right (the dark brown cowboy boots), my Mattie gave them to me our first Christmas together. What a sweet, sweet boy! They are a snug big so I don't wear them too often but I love them because after all, it's the thought that counts.
Now on to the shoes in the guest room, typically my dress shoes with my dress outfits. Let's go left to right...my blue Fergigilous heels! I bought them for a bachelorette party and don't wear them often, I usually refer to them at my Top Model shoes.
Now the brown ones in the middle, my bestie Stevie gave me and they are WAY too big! Seriously, she has ginormous feet which means she has a big heart! She'd bought them because they were on sale for like $5. I needed to borrow them to wear with my dress for my rehearsal dinner then I gave them back. About a year later, I was at her apartment and she brought them out to me and said, "Merry Christmas!" I was the only one that had ever worn them so she let me have them. Thanks Stevie-you're the best!
The black shoes on the right I bought to wear on New Year's Eve in NY. Eh...that trip was interesting to say the least but at least I got some sweet heels out of it! I wear them all the time to weddings and any other dress up occasions. I must admit that a little long in the heels and I get some major blisters and some sore little feetsies!
Now, what about the other non-heel shoes? Oh those are my soccer cleats from high school...yes, high school. Why do I still have them? Well, I keep telling myself at some time I might take up soccer again although let's be entirely honest, if I were ever to try to run down a soccer field right now I would majorly be sucking wind! I have worn them since high school when I coached high school JV soccer and pee soccer out in SC so see...I did need them!!!
At this point, Shad was interested in what Emma and I were doing and apparently my shoes must have smelled kind of funky. Anyways, this are my first "real" pair of running shoes. Asics Gel Cumulous 11s. I LOVED these shoes, they got me through my training for the half and helped me cross the finish line for Hospital Hill Half Marathon last June! They kinda lost their "sole" with all the miles I put on them so I bought an identical pair but in blue. However, I just never fell in love with them and they didn't ever feel the exact same. Now I wear these as my every day shoes and wear them on walks.
Last but not least...a girl can't have a real shoe collection without an awesome pair of flip flops!!! These things are seriously the MOST COMFY flips EVER! I got them after finishing the half in June and they were just MADE for my feet. That's the race course on the main part of the flop.
So there you have it, a step inside my shoe collection. I may wear tennis shoes every single day and stick to the basics but I've got choices! It just usually depends on my mood which is NEVER the same!!! What about you...what's your favorite pair of shoes? Which shoes do you REFUSE to get rid of?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fro Yo Yo Yo!!!

...last Wednesday night, we had a Blogger Supper Club at Granite City Brewery. I'd been there before but this time I got the Bock and Cheese Pasta-O.M.G! To die for!!! It was basically an adult version of mac-n-cheese with chicken, bacon and...BREADCRUMBS! SOOOO GOOD!!! I didn't snap too many pics but I did get this one of Angie using a straw to give Nick a drink, he was not a fan.
After dinner, a few of us went over to Fro Yo, good thing there's not one close to me or it would be giving my Elvis Pretzely a run for it's money!
So the concept is you go in and pick out your flavor of yogurt, there's like 10 to choose from. I, of course, picked the Reese's Peanut Butter one. Don't mind the girl in the pink, I have no idea who she is.
After you get your yogurt, you go to the topping bar where they pretty much have any topping you could think of. Mine? Cookie dough, Reeses's, Heath, peanuts, chocolate sauce and whipped cream...what? I never said it was healthy!
Then you pay by the ounce and enjoy! It can be kind of pricey but it's TOTAL worth it!!! There's one on Olive and one in the Loop for those of you in the STL, I highly recommend it!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Surprise on my Doorstep!!!

...last Tuesday, I came home from work and saw a package on my doorsteps. Hmm...what was it? I couldn't remember buying anything online any time soon. I picked up the package and set it down as I went to let the dogs out and forgot about it. Once I got settled, I saw the box and decided to open it. As I started to open it, I saw the white tape and warning and thought, "Uh oh...is this a bomb?" I held it up to my ear and didn't hear any ticking so I proceeded with caution... What was it? MY NEW BALANCE SHOES!!! Aren't they pretty???
I'd won them at the New Balance/Big River Running Train-n-Them night back on September 20. The funny thing about receiving the package on Tuesday is that I had been emailing back and forth all afternoon with the owner of Big River because it'd been 5 weeks since the original event, I was told they'd be here in 3 and when I contacted the New Balance lady she never responded. Ben, the owner (which I'm pretty sure he's the one that looks like Apollo Ohno), had said he would get it taken care of ASAP. And ASAP he did, as in less than 2 hours later they were on my doorstep!!! So what do you think...how do I look in them?
I'd asked for them in blue but I'll go with pink, pink is actually kind of growing on me. I actually love New Balances, I used to have them as my every day and workout shoes before I got into running. Then when I went to the running store, I bought Asics which have treated me well. I'm excited to get some new good New Balance running shoes to see how they'll do. I'm looking at races for the spring and I'm going to the Indy 500 Mini Marathon (which is a half marathon) in early May. The race ends on the Indy 500 track which is TWO MILES LONG! I'll start my hardcore training in January after a few months rest. I hope these shoes treat me well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Celebrity Visit...

...last Friday, my dad was majorly bumming. Why? Here's why, this is his office/desk...for those of you that have no idea, that's Whitey Herzog sitting at my dad's desk!?!

Whitey was a MLB manager and player among many other hats he wore. For us St. Louisians, Whitey led our Cardinals to the win the 1982 World Series! Apparently, Whitey's college roommate lives in Cape and the friend's daughter works at my dad's bank. They stopped by to say hi to her and Whitey happened to glance in my dad's office and saw all his Cardinals and baseball memorabilia. He just walked right in and started looking around at all the stuff hanging up in my office (Whitey Herzog saw my wedding picture!!!). One of the girls in the office asked if he'd sit at my dad's desk and let them take his picture. Then she sent it to him and I got an email from my dad with this picture saying, "Look who's sitting at my desk!"

My dad was pretty bummed but he was gone for a good reason. My grandma, who'd been in the nursing home since early/mid-August was finally released to go home! She broke her hip and was on bed rest for 3 weeks then she did rehab and is getting better. Her 72nd birthday was this past Monday and I know the best gift for her was being able to be home! My dad said this is like the fifth time that he's missed Whitey while he was in town but at least this time he got a pretty awesome pic!

PS-Good luck to Beth who is running the Bass Pro Marathon this Sunday! She was on the fence about whether to do the full or the half. After a little heart to heart with her and telling her to "just do it," she decided to run the full. What did I tell her to convince her? If I can do it, then she definitely could! She told me that I was the main reason she decided to do the full, I can't even express what a huge compliment that is. I can't wait to see how she does but I know she'll totally rock it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pappy's Smokehouse...

...last Wednesday, I had to go to go downtown (where all the lights are bright!) for some training. My boss suggested we have lunch at Pappy's Smokehouse which was featured on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. We had to wait in line about 10 minutes but as soon as we ordered, our food was almost immediately ready and O.M.G...is was some good food! Don't mind me in the reflection there...
The Adam Bomb for Adam on Man vs. Food
T-shirts for sale, the one on the far right says, "There's no such thing as too much butt!" Agreed!
While we were waiting in line, we saw this man with a broken foot and a scooter...I've never seen that before! Whatever happend to just plain 'ole crutches?
Anyways, it was great food! They don't have a closing time, its just when they run out of food, they're out. It's also VERY off the beaten path as in, if you didn't know it existed then you wouldn't know it was there.
I can't wait to take my dad there because he LOVES bbq. I hear it's kind of crazy on the weekends though so I'll have to make sure we get there early. I give it two thumbs up!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trick or Treaters...

...Sunday night we had the trick or treaters come!!! We really didn't have too many this year. One little toddler told me he didn't like what I handed out and I think his mom was about mortified. She kept apologizing and I just told her, no worries! Just more treats for her! They were all pretty well behaved, I was just really disappointed by the turnout...probably because I had so much flippin' candy to give out!

While we waited for it to get dark, I took this pic of the inside of Matt's pumpkin.
Shad was really bummed he couldn't try out the new Snickers...I gave him a dog treat instead!
Here we are goofing off with the camera waiting for the trick or treaters. Don't mind the dog hair that he just shed as we were playing around.
EB, my SIL, walked over with her roommates and their son and dog. Here's Chase and Rebel, I loved Rebel's costume! It's a pumpkin, I got a better picture but you get the idea here.
Here was Shadow waiting patiently at the door for some trick or treaters. Matt had to work so I was stuck handing out candy by myself (BORING!). I had the dogs in the bedroom then brought Shad out first. He was really good. He laid right in front of the door then he'd perk up when someone was coming to the door. He never barked and he only tried to nose his way out once. I was very proud of him. Emma on the other hand...well, she wouldn't stop barking and wouldn't go to bed!
So all in all, pretty successful although I do have quite a bit of candy left over. Guess my co-workers will be happy!