Monday, September 27, 2010

Whoa.

Guess what?!

I'm married now!!! I'm sure most of you could have guessed that, actually.

Let's be honest - everyone who reads this was at the wedding.

Which was, by the way, incredible!

Seriously. It was such a great day... Not everything went smoothly and was perfect, but that's okay. As Bill continuously reminded me over the past few months whenever I was stressed, the only thing that mattered at the end of the day was that we would be married. And now we are! I have many pictures to post, both from the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon, and then ones of the wedding I'm stealing from people's facebooks. But right now, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone for making the day so special for the hubster and me. (I have to use that nickname here, just once, because said hubster didn't think it was as funny as I did when I used it the other day).

much love!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

First off, I applaud you if you recognize the blog title as a Bon Jovi song. And secondly, I'd like to state for the record that I never wanted to become what Michelle calls “a weekend blogger” (see here for her explanation), but it just can’t be avoided. Sadly, I’m not even that. I promise I’m trying, but life seems to have been increasingly gaining speed in the past month, and I am flying by the seat of my pants, just trying to keep up. But I do put a lot of pictures in most of my posts, so that counts for something right?

Labor Day weekend was great, though. We even had a houseguest (more on that in a few)! I had to work Friday, but having Monday off was just as nice. Especially since Bill had it off, too. And let me tell you – he put the labor in Labor Day. He and his good friend Josh replaced our attic door and ladder. This thing was in bad-with-a-capital-B shape. So bad that I had never actually been up into the attic to see it until after the new, safe ladder was in place. That’s right – I bought and moved into a house without checking out the attic. So here are some before and after shots (kudos to Bill for agreeing to be my model):
In the before picture, you can see some of the crap that fell out when we began taking apart the old ladder. I say we because I legitimately helped at the beginning, but then I moved on to food. Surprise! Anyways, some of the stuff that fell out of up there was crazy - including half of a piece of silverware.

Here’s a close-up of the nastiness that encased our old ladder:


And here’s what I found when I (finally, after 5 weeks of home-owning) poked my head up there the other night:



LOTS AND LOTS OF SPACE. And lots of insulation. But ignore the gray stuff right now and focus on the potential. Holy cow, is there potential! There are big plans for this area. By big plans, I mean storage. At least for right now. Bill (in his infinite home project wisdom) is going to floor the attic! Nothing fancy, but enough to make the space stable enough to keep Christmas decorations, camping gear, and anything else we want up there.

Now, you may recall that I mentioned a houseguest up above. Bill, Sensei and I played host to Buster this weekend. Josh (also mentioned above) and his awesome wife Fain are Buster’s parents. 


So happy to be reunited:


I was also able to (finally) use our new Liddle Griddle from Colleen! This thing is fantastic!



It’s the perfect size for just Bill and I, it fits in the dishwasher AND I have never before made such perfect pancakes. Please excuse the fact they are not made from scratch, but like I said, there is not enough time in my day as it is. We were out of syrup, so we made do with the next best thing: Nutella. This might actually be better than syrup, because everything tastes better with chocolate. And cream cheese. But I didn’t want to go overboard.

Two more exciting things happened over the holiday weekend – number one, I got to spend a night out in Chapel Hill with some of my favorite friends! I don’t have a group picture (and to tell you the truth, most of the pictures I have are actually not so blog-friendly), but I stole one from the resident photographer, Mallorie. I was the guest of honor (my last fling before the ring!) Here we all are at my fave restaurant in the Hill, Carolina Brewery:



And here’s Mallorie:



I just thought you should all know who she is. Because she's awesome. And so cute. She’s going to be the soloist at our wedding (IN TEN DAYS HOLY CRAP!) and I am very excited. She’s an amazing singer, and an even more amazing friend. She let me listen to her sing the song Saturday morning (“I Will” – the Beatles) and I cried. That’s how good she is. And that’s how emotional I am about everything.

The other exciting little event from the weekend was Bill’s niece’s first birthday party! I love this sweet girl so much, I am thrilled to become her official aunt in just 10 days. It was really great to be there for the celebration; it’s so crazy to think she is already almost one whole year! It seems like just yesterday I was visiting the days-old baby and gifting her her first Carolina apparel (pink socks!). And now she’s super-mobile, giggly, and full of personality. Of course I took a bunch of pictures - here are a couple of my favorites!

Blowing out her candle with Mom and Dad:


Discovering the joy that is cake (I plan on helping her fully explore this as she grows!):


She loved her birthday balloons:



Now, to warn you all, the blog posts may slow down even more (you’re probably wondering how is that even possible?!) since the wedding is SO soon (yippee!). I am trying to get all of my schoolwork done for the next couple of weeks so that I can be work-free on the honeymoon. That includes creating multiple activity plans, more reading than I care to think about, reflections and an article critique. I am really looking forward to having a week off from homework, job work, housework, and basically anything difficult and challenging and tiring. Plus Bill bought us tickets to see the Cirque du Soleil show LOVE, and I cannot wait!

I will promise at least one more post before the wedding. The SES department is having a faculty and grad student social Friday night, and I am planning on making cheesecake brownies (thanks to the urging of Megan). The recipe calls for making the brownies from scratch, but between all the appointments and errands I have to cram into my day off Friday, I don’t think that will happen. I promise to make the cheesecake part myself, and to document the process – and the result!

One last funny story before I run along to Sensei’s class. (Speaking of the wonder dog, this blog has been woefully lacking in Sensei pictures recently, so here’s one to satisfy the fan club):

This was taken at the USNWC earlier this summer. Poor baby was so hot, he panted like that the entire day.

Anyways, as most of you know, Bill is an instructor at a local karate school. There is a tournament coming up, where all of the schools compete to win the State Champions flag. The school where Bill teaches has won the past two tournaments, and if you win three in a row, the flag is retired and hangs in your school permanently. Today in my e-mail, I received the monthly newsletter from said karate school. Now imagine my surprise when I read the following…

Why is the tournament so important this time?  Because winning the State Champions flag this time will be the 3rd in a row for KI Lewisville. That means the flag is retired and we keep it forever.  When that happens, we're going to have a great celebration party AND Master Fischer is going to eat a bug! 


Bill is going to eat a bug? And I found out from an organizational e-mail? And he actually volunteered to do it? This is wrong on so many levels.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pop tarts

Today was glorious - I had the day off work! Sadly, I have to work this Friday instead, but since it's Labor Day, I will still have a 3-day-weekend!

The point of this post is not to tell you about how great it was to have nothing to do until class at 4 today (it was awesome, though), but to give a reason as to why I actually had some free time last night. I knew that I could do my reading for classes during the day today, so I decided to try out another new recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I'm telling yall, everything this woman posts looks so delicious to me! And most of it seems doable, despite my amateur status relating to anything not dessert in the kitchen. Last night, I gave in and finally tried my hand at her homemade poptarts. I have been wanting to make these for several months now, so I said "why not?"

Unfortunately, this was the first recipe I've tried in the new house that did not go smoothly. I  made the dough from scratch, but it was so sticky! I even added more flour than her recipe called for, and I put the dough in the freezer for a while, but nothing really worked. It was way too difficult for me to roll out and cut into rectangles, and I just couldn't take it. I will say, though, that I am SO happy to have a big kitchen with lots of counters! I had space to dust flour and roll out my dough, even if it didn't work.... Actually, I finally just gave up and made one large "poptart," filled it with a cinnamon-brown sugar mixture, put it in the oven, and crossed my fingers.

25 minutes, praise the lord, I had an ugly, but edible poptart. It was the size of 3 or 4 normal ones, but I cut it into rectangles after it was baked and they were a bit more presentable. And this was actually great, because I ended up with some that didn't have crust on the edges! (Everyone knows I eat the crust first, because it's gross and I get it out of the way!) I packed a few to take back to my parents house, and left the rest out for Bill to enjoy. I (happily) received a text later last night that read along the lines of "these things you made are delicious!" So score one for me for making things that taste like great homemade poptarts, and minus one for no one being able to tell what they were.

Of course I have no pictures of this adventure, because my DSLR is always at whatever house I am not, and my point-and-shoot's battery has been dead for about 3 weeks. Maybe next time.