Friday, May 27, 2011

Yeah, it's been 4 years.

Chris and I celebrated four years of marriage yesterday.
By putting on a tux and my wedding dress and posing for the above impromptu photo.  Okay, not true.


But we did enjoy a late dinner of . . . wait for it . . .

CHIPOTLE.

Chris answered pages from the hospital intermittently and I fell asleep listening to him discuss lab results with an ER doc.

No worries, my friends.  We soon will celebrate in style with California sun.  More to come on that development soon.

I am thankful for this man.  I could go into a very gushy and thought felt list of reasons why he is the greatest husband in the whole world, however, Chris hates it when I
a. drag him into blog posts
b. get unnecessarily sentimental about him in front of others
c. over share

So in light of that I will say he is literally the best husband I've ever had.  That is all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Someone Special Has a Birthday Today

And it's this guy!
May your day be filled with minimal work, inside jokes, and time spent devouring delicious hospital food.  I wish you a million Chipotle burritos this birthday!  Keeping my fingers crossed that it's buffalo chicken salad day in the cafeteria.

Love,
Your Wife

Correction

It's Pintrest.  Not Pin Interest.

That was kind of like calling Panera Paneras or mispronouncing Chipotle.

My bad.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

. . . and I'm OBSESSED

What's that?  You were wondering how to piddle away several productive hours of your day?

Check out Pin Interest.  Start pinning.  You will be sucked in so fast you're head might spin right off your body.

Last night I was up unreasonably late pinning items to my boards.  I just couldn't stop following the rabbit down the hole.

If you're like me, and you probably are, otherwise you wouldn't find this blog all that interesting, you probably see wonderful ideas everywhere you look.  Magazines, blogs, books, all provide oodles of inspiration but when the time comes to actually find that source and recreate that fantastic idea, you can't find the tutorial, picture, or original inspiration to save your life.

I used to tear pages out of magazines only to leave them scattered about the house and throw them away before I could get them in a binder.

Well, friends, binders are so 2010.  Pin Interest is an online place to store all those great ideas.  You create boards, or categories, that you can pin images, articles, and links to so that you can easily sort and locate them later on down the road.

Like the DIY fabric chandelier but your day job is keeping you from hopping to it that moment?  Pin it, and come back.  Want the yummy J.Crew pencil skirt that costs an arm and two legs?  Wish you could find something similar elsewhere?  Pin it and start hunting.

Pin Interest is very exclusive.  It involves an invite (which you yourself can initiate by visiting the site and requesting one) and a wait period of a few days until you're finally in.  I'm not sure if they're checking you out to see if you're worthy of pinning or what.

Once you get started it will be very hard to focus on anything else.  I'm just warning.

Oh, and you can follow your Facebook friends, twitter pals, and gmail chums.  They will even search your connections for you and let you know who else is pinning.  From there you can creep and find out what beautiful things your friends are viewing and repin anything that looks super duper awesome to your own boards as well.

Let me know if you join, I'll want to follow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pagers. Who needs them?

Last night Chris' pager was going off like Rebecca Black's cell on a Friday night.  I felt for the guy.  He missed dinner with friends, spent the evening at the hospital and then fielded phone calls for a few hours after he got home.  As he would answer one page, another would go off.

I realized, I could never be a doctor.  (You've probably already come to that conclusion but last night I ruled out any chance of going to medical school in my future.) I would have grown really frustrated and probably thrown the pager across the room the umpteenth time it buzzed.  Several passive aggressive comments would have been made when I called back the hospital staff and I'd feel silly and foolish the next morning.  That's kind of how I roll under pressure.

Chris keeps his cool.  He does what needs to be done.  He never complains.  He is calm and collected when talking to frustrated consultants, harried nurses, and worried patients.  He's on call every other night this week.  But, then, the pager will be silent for an entire seven days.  Ahhhhh!  Freedom.

You have no idea what the buzz of a pager can do to kill the party when a bunch of medical families get together.

Filed under: Pagers are lame.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dinner FAIL

These are Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  They were my new meal last week.  They look okay.  In reality, they left much to be desired.  I will not even post the recipe because I'm certain there is something better out there.  You win some.  You lose some.
Here's what Lakin was doing while I cooked.  Thank you Hulu.com.  We've seen the same missing Birthday Wizzle clip I don't know how many times.  Never gets old.

This one's for Miss Cathy

Miss Cathy is on vacation.  I think the expression says it all.

Overalls.  Too much?

Whoopsie

Lakin is pseudo crawling.  She's moving from Point A to Point B but it's anything less than conventional.  Her latest predicament is getting stuck under everything: the Leap Frog table, the kitchen chairs, the couch, her crib.  She just backs herself in and then can't quite get the momentum to move herself out.
Don't mind the serious bed head.  That's pretty normal these days.

We had our 9 month appointment this week.  Our "biggie smalls" is weighing in at a healthy twenty-one pounds.  She charmed the doctor with her high pitched squeals and crazy nonsense talk and we left with little to report.

Someone has a birthday just around the corner.  We're working on some minor details to celebrate the big day.  More to come. . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

in case you were wondering

I celebrated my birthday with a McDonalds' cheeseburger extra value meal.

I spent all my birthday money on summer clothes from Target.

I fully suspect Target will take over the world.

I am no longer allowed to grocery shop at Target due to lack of control and unnecessary purchases.

If they were good for you, I would eat a McDonalds' cheeseburger a day.

They're not.  So I will refrain.

Target and/or McDonalds did not pay me to write this sad attempt at a blog post.  But, if they wanted to be my corporate sponsors I would gladly take their offer and find a way to mention both companies in my posts from now on.

That is all.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Best of 30: Week #2

I spy my dad outside mowing the lawn!
 Oooh, I found something I'm not supposed to touch!
It's cool to wear a meat beard.

If we could tap into the mind of Monstie, it might be something like this.

On another note: only three quality pics from thirty!  Really?  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Four!

Four new teeth make someone very needy and sleepy.

Good thing I don't mind extra snuggles.

let your toes breathe in style

It's time.  Time to bust out the sandals and walk around like you just don't care.  It's been in the eighties here the last couple of days and this heat wave has me busting out some of my favorite sandals.
Wore my pair to work today and got a whole slew of comments.  




These are no ordinary sandals.  These babies have straps that are interchangeable, you know, to suit your mood or complete your outfit.  


They can also be tied in a multitude of ways, oh, the versatility.


The best thing about these sandals is that they are making a difference.  That's right.  These sandals are made by some incredibly special Ugandan women who are working for a future, working to make some money for university.  

These shoes are a product of Sseko designs.  My friend, Liz, and her husband, Ben, started the company and have grown it from the ground up.  


"Sseko Designs is a not-just-for-profit enterprise that recognizes the power of business and responsible consumerism to support sustainable economic development, which in turn affects a country's educational, justice, and health care systems. The goal of Sseko Designs is two-fold: provide university tuition for these promising young women through a sustainable monthly income, while also contributing to the overall economic development of Uganda."




There you have it, Sseko sandals not only make your feet happy but your heart too.  Check out their website and grab yourself a pair today!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Best of 30: Week #1






In an effort to grow as a budding photographer, I've decided to take at least 30 photos a week.  I guess to get better at something one must do it thirty times a week  a lot.  No surprise, these pics are mostly of Lakin.  I'm learning to use natural light to bring out the beauty of my subject.  I'm trying out new angles and throwing out photos if they're out of focus- no matter how cute they could have been.

One of the middle pictures might not be great by photography standards but it is evidence of a fantastic evening spent with friends and their family.  Steph and Bill were great company and their sweet twin girls were a joy to watch sleep throughout the visit.  Charlie and Lakin had quite the mouth fart competition going.  Giggles were heard round the night.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Can I Get a "Hey, yeah" for All the Moms Out There?

Happy Mother's Day! (a day early)

On this special day we celebrate two women who have played a great role in shaping us into the people we've become today.  Through their tears, prayers, sweat and toil these women have sacrificed a lot to give their kids the very best.

Allow me to introduce you to the Moms I love.

Geraldine Jaeger (but you should probably call her Geri)
- Raised two boys that were 15 months apart!
- Played Michael Jackson and let them run out their energy in the basement.
- Been known to laugh and play games while on family vacation.
- Dealt with a toddler who "gave up naps" at an early age.
- Left a promising career to be home with her boys.
- Endured the "middle years" filled with all the awkwardness that only two middle school boys can muster.
- Taught her boys the joys of cooking with Yummers and Octopus Juice.
- Received the classic stuffed animal inside of the balloon for every gift-giving holiday and did so with joy and feigned excitement.

Barbara "the Craft Monster" Lakin (okay, I added "the craft monster" but I thought it was a nice touch)
- Likes to take photos with her eyes closed.
- Has the most patience of anyone I know.
- Dealt with some fierce hormonal years known as middle school-and lived to tell about it.
- Just about the most sacrificial person in the world, second to maybe Gandhi and Jesus.
- Introduced me to the world of soap operas and picnic dinners at a young age.  (We no longer dabble in the world of daytime drama but enjoyed a few years of Days together thanks to a week of being home sick with pneumonia in third grade.)
- Can make something pretty fierce on the sewing machine (with or without a pattern).
- Hands down, one of the world's best Sudoku players
- Willing to visit 20 stores and spend three entire weekends in order to return to the first place we looked so that I found the perfect school dance dress.
- Can pack a stocking or an Easter basket with the most perfect and personalized gifts.
- Juggled Momhood and full-time work with so much grace and poise; in fact, my mom is the one behind my desire to be a working mom.

There's not enough flowers in the world to tell these women just what they mean to us!  Happy Mother's Day.  You da best.

Friday, May 6, 2011

currently

eating as much as my mom and dad at any given meal time

looking like an adorable little sausage when wearing my swimsuit

pooping in the bathtub . . .  every. single. time.

greeting friends with a hello, or a "hesho"

choosing the most inefficient way to move about the room rather than crawling on my hands and knees

totally uninterested in being fed, but rather, looking to hold the fork myself, thankyouverymuch

considering starring in a music video in the near future

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some "Summa" Time Goals

So summer is slowly approaching here in Minnesota.  I did open my windows yesterday afternoon so that's a step in the right direction.  


As a former teacher, summer meant loads of time to read, lounge, hang out by the pool and work on a sunburn.  This summer as the Camp Director (yes, you read right) I will be putting in more hours than my regular day job during the school year.  It will be busy and consuming but so fun.  Not everyone gets to do a job like this.  I just ordered a bajillion craft projects from Oriental Trading Company.  I booked a field trip for our campers every day of the summer and I get to plan out weekly themes like "Super Splash" and "Drama-Rama."  Playing Four-Square is part of my job description.  Score!


AS of late, I have developed some interests that I have want to give more time and energy.  I acquired a DSLR camera from my parents about a month ago and have since wanted to work on my photography skills.  I also found a stash of old Rachel Ray magazines that has renewed a passion for cooking that I thought I lost after my first year of marriage.  So while I know this summer will be packed with all kinds of work and fun, I really wanted to make an effort to develop some mad skillz in these two arenas.    So, in my infinite nerdiness, I created some goals.  


GOAL #1: Cook one new meal a week.  


GOAL #2: Take 30 pictures a week with new camera.


My plan is to record my progress for you on the blog.  (I'll bet you were hoping I'd share with you.)


Without further adieu, I give you my first new meal.  


I know, I need to work on the photography skills.  Why did I leave the fork and knife in the picture?  How come the plate is off centered in the photo?  Yes, it's a touch out of focus but I only took one shot of the finished product SO, you'll have to bear with me.  What better starting point for honing my photography skills than a really crappy picture of food?  
Rachel Ray's Lazy Baked Greek Chicken


Ingredients:
2 T EVOO
1/2 medium onion, finely shopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I used fresh spinach and wilted in the microwave in a bowl with a little water...just drain it well after)
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (didn't have, so didn't use)
3 T butter
1 c panko breadcrumbs
1 t dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese (mine was a garlic and herb kind)

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Heat 1 T EVOO in small skillet over med heat. Add the onion and 2/3 of the garlic and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
-Transfer to a bowl to cool, then add the spinach and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
-Melt the butter in the same pan, turn off the heat and add the panko, oregano and remaining garlic; toss.
-Drizzle baking dish with remaining 1 T EVOO. Split each chicken breast across (but not all the way through) and open like a book. Stuff with the spinach and feta, letting the stuffing overflow at the edges.
-Place chicken pieces in the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.



We thought this meal was mighty tasty and would most definitely serve it to friends if they came over.  Isn't that the ultimate test?  It moves to our family's home run meal list.  It's easy, healthy and delicious.