Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Game Day!

On the first day of Christmas vacation my true love gave to me....tickets to the Packers/Steelers game at Lambeau Field! Ok, well actually we bought the tickets months ago, but I couldn't pass up the chance to make that rhyme.

When we woke up the morning of the game, we prepared as if we were going off to battle in Siberia. In a way I guess we were, I'm usually an under dresser for weather. I would prefer to wear flip flops year round, and sometimes I do. So at first, I thought Adam's mom offers of scarves and hats to be unnecessary. But I decided I should take them just in case. Thank Goodness I did, it was something like 10 degrees and it never stopped snowing!

We visited Lambeau field last year, but did not get to go to the game, so we were super excited. When we first got to the stadium, we donned our snow boots, coats, hats, mittens, and hot hands. We enjoyed some delicious hot chocolate and "Pac N' Cheese."

When it was time to take our seats, the cold didn't seem so bad, even though people were still shoveling snow off the bleachers! I thought, "I can handle this." We were just so excited for the game, and watching the team come out of the tunnel was one of the highlights of my entire Christmas week. 

Soon the game got underway, we loved being part of the crowd. Yelling when we got first downs, trying to throw the Steelers off their game, and going rabid when we needed the coach to challenge a play. 

By half-time, the chill really started to set in, and by the 4th quarter Adam and I had to go inside and count our toes to make sure they were still there. Luckily, I lost no toes. Because all my toes are precious to me. 

Ultimately, we lost the game, which was a big disappointment. But I had so much fun, so it didn't hurt as much. Plus we went on to beat the Bears this past weekend, and so we make it to the play-offs anyway!  

Next year, we are hoping to catch another Packers' Game, maybe one on the road here in Atlanta or Nashville.  But we will just have to see when the schedule comes out, but for right now, I guess we just have to focus on the games in front of us.

Go Pack Go!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

In The Week Before Christmas

It is Christmas night and the festivities are over, and I am coming to you from a balmy, snowy, 14 degree, Wausau, Wisconsin night. There are so many things I need to want to tell you guys about. The Packers Game! Pack Attack! Christmas in General! Heck, we are even headed to spend some time in Chicago tomorrow. But really I don't have time for all that! Dr. Who is about to start, and the Doctor is regenerating.

But I wanted to share a few, select pictures from this last week, without giving the big stuff away! First up, was my final pre-operation appointment before my surgery, I was given a car full of information to go over and learn, and they took viles and viles of my blood. Which is overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. I am excited though because Adam gave me a weight loss surgery friendly cook book, and I can't wait to learn a new way of cooking.

The day after my appointment, we hopped in the car and drove, I don't know 1200 miles to Wisconsin. Passing through six states, including Indiana and their wind farms & and the million tolls through Chicago. We took a little car selfie before departing. 

We have spent a lot of time with family this week. We went to a beautiful Christmas Eve service with his mom & co. And Adam's dad had these cute little beer bottles made into reindeer. I cooked up some broccoli and cheese casserole, which was my grandmother's recipe. It made me so happy to do this because I'm missing her so much this Christmas.  But I think she is with us all in spirit.

My niece said when she was driving past the graveyard today, where she was buried, and an Elvis Christmas song came on the radio. Grandma always played Elvis songs at Christmas.  I'm sure she was just saying hello. 

I hope you all had the happiest of Christmas with your families, or friends who have turned into family, or all alone if you so prefer.  

Goodbye Christmas. See you again in 364 days. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ice! Ice! Baby

Anyone who really knows me probably smiled at this blog post title, because they know that one of my stupid human tricks is the ability to sing Vanilla Ice's, Ice, Ice Baby with the utmost precision and not missing one word whatsoever.

Saturday, My mom and I headed up to Nashville to attend the ICE! attraction at Opry Land hotel. The theme this year was the classic movie, Frosty the SnowMan! We donned our over sized parkas, and headed into the pavilion.  I was in love with all the huge ice sculptures, especially the sculpture of the "bad guy!" Then, some reason it really cracked me up to see Frosty as a big, melted puddle.

And it was cold in there, invigoratingly so. I guess I really like being cold, remember the Ice Bar from Amsterdam?

The hotel also had a NYC attraction. I really, really loved the taxi. Some reason I'm obsessed with New York City Taxis. I had so much fun hailing them in New York.

After the ICE! event, we headed over to Opry Mills Mall for some much needed grub and some very important shopping! We decided to have lunch at the aquarium, the restaurant that obviously has tons of aquariums. I love watching all the fish, and the sharks, and the string rays. but I have to wonder do the sharks really never eat the fish as our waiter said? I highly doubt it. You know they grab themselves a snack sometimes. 

We did a whole lot of shopping afterwards. And that is all I have to say about that. But am I alone in loving all the holiday decor at malls? I don't know it just makes me happy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Weekend Report

I have to say this weekend was darn near perfect. It started with getting up early on Saturday, hitting up the local Starbucks for peppermint mochas, and driving up to Nashville for the ICE! show and shopping at Opry Mills and Opry Land hotel with mother dearest (more about that to come later). But I will say, I bought some very much on sale Vera Bradley luggage and a cosmetic bag that I'm obsessed with. 

Adam says I have a luggage fetish.  He may be right, and God Bless Him because I can't tell you how many times he has been stuck carrying my luggage, which has been decorated with polka dots, zebra stripes, or red lips.

I came home from the day trip to a clean apartment thanks to Adam, who soon went to bed and left me up to watch several DVR'd episodes of The Carrie Diaries (my guilty pleasure). It is soooooooooo bad and oh soooooo good.

Today was Christmas with my side of the family, since we will be in Wisconsin with Adam's family for Christmas. I made up the most delicious cheese and sausage tortellini (recipe here), and I put out cheese & crackers and hummus for snacks.

We watched the Dallas Packers game, which was amazing. I would not have believed the Packers could have come back like that if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! Even better is next Sunday we will be at the Packer game!

We all exchanged gifts, even Carlee got a gift! I bought her a baked good from our local pup shop. We got a lot of wonderful gifts, some of my favorites being some new pairs of pajamas. I love pajamas! And I figure I will be spending a lot of time in them while I'm recovering from surgery in a few weeks.

I am so excited to start this work week and get it behind me, so we can start our Christmas vacation. I hope you guys have a good week this week! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's Finally Friday

This afternoon when I was driving home from work, George Jone's song It's Finally Friday came on the radio. This little, somewhat hokey song makes me so happy when I hear it, at least on a Friday. Although, I don't think I have ever heard it when it's not a Friday...but man wouldn't that be depressing to hear it on a Tuesday.

When I was doing my internship at Hope Place in Costa Mesa California, I would hear that song every Friday, while I was stuck in traffic headed back to Long Beach. It was always one of the best moments of the week. But I leave at such random times now on Friday, I don't always catch it. So hearing the song, seems like a good omen for the weekend.

Speaking of work and such matters, I happen to work near one of the most beautiful neighborhoods. I love that little neighborhood. They are filled with older and gorgeous homes that have the most beautiful lights. Plus, it has a roundabout for no discernible reason whatsoever, I love that. 

Now that it is dark so early (OK, it would be dark regardless with how late I've been working lately) the lights always catch my eye. So Thursday night I stopped to grab a photo, and hoped I wouldn't get caught and look like a total creeper.

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays when I was a kid, was to drive around and look at Christmas lights with my mom & grandma. I always liked to wonder about the people's lives in the houses. Like the house above for some reason, I would bet that this family is a sophisticated type of family. I can see them hosting Christmas parties with perfect wine and cheese pairings. They are probably homemade Christmas card kind of people with an extensive and enviable Christmas Village collection.

But who knows? they could be a totally dysfunctional family who just really like Christmas lights. Or a rich, childless widow who has 50 cats and hires a decoration service.

All I know is I can't wait to be a homeowner that can decorate my house so pretty that people will want to stop and take pictures too! But I don't think we will ever be Christmas Card type of people, some reason we always fail at being Christmas Card people.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Excited About: I don't know if I should say excited or apprehensive. But I have booked my date for my weight loss surgery on January 8th. I am worried about being put under. I am worried about missing two weeks of work. I am worried about missing food. I am worried it won't work. I am worried I wont be able to keep the weight off. I am worried I am taking the "easy way out." I am worried about what people will think of me. I can't turn it off. Just gotta jump then fall I guess.

Watching: I have been engrossed with the Bonnie & Clyde mini series on the history channel. It kind of excites me because I saw their ambush site a few months ago! I'm such a nerd. 

Listening To: I have had my own personal holiday mix playlist on heavy rotation this week. I swear I love every song on that CD, and it never gets old. I love Britney Spears new song, Perfume. I love when she does the dancey songs, but I love when she puts that raspy sound into slower songs also. And I have also been into the song, Let Her Go, by Passenger.

Reading: I have been on a non-fiction kick lately (which is typically for me). I read two books from two different sisters who lived and escaped the FLDS church under Warren Jeffs, Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wahl and The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser. They were riveting and heartbreaking memoirs. Those ladies had so much courage. I have also recently started Elizabeth Smart's new book.

Eating: The other day I stopped by Isom's Orchard and bought some fresh apple cider. It is the most delicious apple cider I have ever had in my entire life.  I was at work today, thinking about how much I wanted to get home and have some apple cider! 

Working On: A project I am working on for my 2014 resolutions. All shall be revealed soon enough. 

Loving: My Christmas tree. Wrapping Presents. The video game, Lego Lord of the Rings, which I'm playing with Adam. And I recently watched the most beautiful documentary, The Stories We Tell.  

Recent Buys:  We really haven't made any awesome purchases lately. We've mostly been saving money for our big Christmas trip to Wisconsin and our day trip to Chicago we have planned. We of course have bought a lot of Christmas gifts lately! But one thing that was given to me was the botanical effects set from Mary Kay and I love that!

Thankful For: Cozy socks. Peppermint Mochas. Fleece Pajama Pants. Having a few extra minutes to warm up the car in the morning before I have to climb inside it. Nachos from Moe's Southwest Grill. My Kindle, which reads to me while I do my paperwork. Pandora Holiday Station. And my totally supportive friends, both near and far.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Deck the Halls

Today after my heavenly afternoon nap (I swear I felt like I hadn't slept in ages), we finally got out our Christmas decor. And now that it is done, it looks so festive in here. We even rearranged the furniture to open up some space for the tree, and the simple changes just made the room feel so fresh. Not to mention we had to organize our living room closet which makes me happy. It was mess.

I love pulling out our ornaments because to me every one of those ornaments makes me nostalgic because they hold so many memories. I know where I received or made all of them. Every year we pick up a new ornament to add to the collection, and this year we picked up the Dr. Who Tardis ornament to honor our mutual affection for Dr. Who. I'm lovin it.

We also put out some other decorations of course. I have two fun Christmas scentsy warmers. And this is the first year we have used an Advent Calendar, and we bought the annual Lego one. We have been having a lot of fun opening the little windows of our lego Calendar and building them.We take turns every night.

I'm so into the holidays this year, and all the decorations and music are just bringing me so much cheer!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Galaxy of Lights Fun Run

Every Christmas that I've been in Alabama that I can remember, involved a trip to The Botanical Gardens to see the festival of lights. I think it might just be my favorite Christmas tradition! It is just such a festive way to ring in the start of the holidays.

When I was younger, we always drove through the garden. Last year, we walked through the gardens, and this year we decided to do the Galaxy of Lights Run. Ok, we still walked it, and I took my sweet time so I could take bucketloads of pictures. But it was fun regardless.

The highlights of the night included watching a lovely couple get engaged (he had the gardens play the song I think I'm going to marry you by Bruno Mars, and then he proposed to her in Santa's chair). I just stumbled upon this by happenstance, I was just honestly on the hunt for Santa.  But I was so excited to see this because the couple looked so happy.

We took our own pictures with Santa, once he returned to his seat (I informed Santa, Adam only wanted legos for Christmas). They also had a tacky sweater contest, I wanted to burrow one of my mom's Christmas sweaters for the race, but I totally forgot (I'm sure she would have had one I considered, "tacky." They even had a caroling contest, if you were seen by the judges singing Christmas tunes you were entered into a drawing for prizes.

Adam was a real trooper because he did not feel well at all, I would have told him to stay home had I known. But I was happy he came anyway. I think he enjoyed it too, even if he couldn't stop sneezing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Weekend Report

Despite the reason we were in Texas, there was a lot of positive things to love about this weekend. We got to spend tons of time with our nieces Cassie & Kayla, that we love more than life itself. We ate delicious meals of Mexican food and one at Chili's. I was so excited to go to Chili's because Adam doesn't like Chili's, but I love Chili's, so we never go there! It truly honestly doesn't take much to please me. I'm a simple girl who will preach on my love for all things  Chili's, Olive Garden, or Red Lobster. 

We took a few minutes to drive by our wedding venue, a place that obviously holds good memories for us. The top three pictures are of the two historic homes with the courtyard between, where we were wed. 

Spending time with my family this weekend, reminded me of one bitter family member that once told me this would be my, "starter marriage." He played it off as a joke, but it was a really hurtful statement. Not to mention, this was the night before our wedding.

But spending time with Adam there this weekend almost 5 years later, reminds me of how so much not a "starter marriage" this is. If I don't say it enough, which I probably do to an annoying amount, I adore my husband.  

On the way back from Texas, we were able to see our nephew Caden, who lives with his adoptive family in Arkansas. He is 4 now, and he is growing like a weed. He has the sweetest and funniest personality. He is all boy.

My mother kept teasing him, telling him he was going to grow pink teeth, and you could tell he didn't know whether or not to believe it. At one point, he even had to go check his teeth in the mirror. I love seeing the little boy he is growing up to be. Unfortunately, we so rarely get to see him, so that half hour was a true blessing.

When we finally made it back to Alabama, we dropped my mom off at her house, and played a little fetch with her dog, Carlee. She is such a sweetheart, and she is fun to play with. She understands half the concept of fetch. She knows to retrieve the bone, but she does not know how to return it.

We wrapped up the weekend by continuing to catch up on series 7 episodes of Dr. Who on the DVR. We finally saw the last episode with Amy & Rory, and we both almost cried.  It is amazing how attached you can get to TV characters. We are so into Dr. Who right now.

I am also happy to be able to sleep in our own bed tonight, as our hotel beds have been of questionable quality these last few nights.   

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed about getting back to my regular working schedule because this has been a whirlwind of a week. Frankly, I'm exhausted. But hopefully, the next three weeks will fly by and it will be Christmas break. I just can't wait to spend some time in Wisconsin with Adam's family!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In All Things, Give Thanks

I am somewhat obsessed with taking pictures of the road. I don't even know why, they are not that spectacular of shots or even that different from one another. But one of the many things I love about living in America is the freedom to just jump in the car and go. There is just so much to see from the passenger seat. I am a fan of the great American road trip.

I remember when my friend Jana and I were on our road trip to move me back to Alabama, I would tell her she didn't have to stay awake for me, she could sleep if she wanted to. And she said she didn't want to sleep because she didn't want to miss anything. That is a beautiful sentiment, and one I share.

This thanksgiving has been a little weird. Being that we are on the road, traveling to Texas, to attend a funeral, instead of spending time relaxing as a family. And at times, I have felt very jealous and very sad when I've have read other people's post about what they are grateful for.  I haven't felt very grateful this week, when usually I'm bursting with gratitude. But I wanted to make a list of things to be grateful for anyway. 

So here it is.

I am grateful for my husband, my closest and truest friend. I am grateful for living closer to my family and friends, I know what a blessing that is, after being in California for so long. I am grateful to be employed in the field that I wanted to be a part of since I was 14 years old. Second to that, I am so happy for the people I get to help every single day.

I am happy that we are able to muster up the funds needed for me to have baraitric surgery in the new year,  and I am hopeful for all the opportunities for good health, and a new start that losing weight will give me. 

Most of all, I am grateful for my faith, which gives me such a peace and comfort about all the bad things that happen in life. 

And I'm thankful for this little blog and my own little corner of the internet. Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging, but then I can look back and read about a day or an anecdote that I had forgotten all about, and I can't see a future where I won't want to keep track of these memories. Big or small.

Lastly, I'm grateful for my friends that I've made through this blog, and a big thank you to all that continue to read along.

I hope your day was blessed.

P.S-I am not grateful for the sorry showing of the Packers today vs. Detroit. What the heck Green Bay?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili


Sometimes I think I should try to cook more meals that don't involve my crock pot. But I love my crock pot, it is sooooo easy and it makes food taste sooo good and it makes my house smell soooooo lovely. So then I think whatever, I'll just keep cooking in my crock pot. 

Last week, I pinned this recipe and couldn't wait to try it. And it was the perfect thing to throw together while I was getting ready for our trip to Texas. It was soo delicious. I thought I would share the recipe with you guys. 

By the way, I brined the chicken first, I never put chicken in the crock pot without brining, because I feel like the chicken dries out so easily in the crock pot.

  •  2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes (with green chilies)
  • 1 can undrained corn kernels
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese

  1. Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to mix in the cheese.
  2. Shred the chicken and serve over rice (if desired). 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello Dolly & Ol' Heidelberg Cafe

My mom and I had bought tickets to see Hello Dolly a few weeks ago, and we decided we should still go. I'm really the type that doesn't like to sit around and feel sad. I like to do something. And I'm so glad we went. It was just the perfect thing to do. Hello Dolly is just such a happy and upbeat play. I don't like I could have seen something heavy like Les Meserables. It would be too much.

I loved the 1840's costumes and all the dancing. It was funny and the songs were catchy. And best of all it starred Sally Struthers!  I have loved Sally Struthers since I was a little girl watching All in the Family reruns on Nick & Night. But my favorite role she has had would defintely be Babbit on Gilmore Girls. 

She was so funny, and so perfect for the role. There was one scene in the play that was the funniest scene I have ever seen in any Broadway play. And I've seen tons!

After the show, we went to Ol' Heidelberg Cafe for some delicious German food. We started our meal with a fruit & cheese plate, and then we had schnitzel & German potato salad (my favorite) & sauerkraut. We finished with a fresh strawberry & cream cake. Which I'm not sure is particularly German? But delicious never the less.

When I got home, Adam and I nerded out by watching the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special. It was awesome. It even featured Tudor England, my favorite period of history ever! 

 It so nice to be finding these simple little joys.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So Long, Farewell

Tonight, November 22nd, 2013, my grandmother, Martha, passed away. It was not unexpected, it has been coming for a couple of weeks now. But being ready for it, and wanting it to happen, so she could be in a better place, doesn't make it any easier.

Today I went to lunch with my mom after work, and we did a little Christmas shopping. We had no idea that tonight would be the night. But we spent the whole time reminiscing about grandma and the silly things she said. Nothing but the best memories, it was like subconsciously we knew. It was a healing talk. 

Earlier tonight, when I was sitting on the couch with Adam playing Lego Lord of the Rings, I heard my phone chime. And I knew. It was just a simple text, "She's Gone." I cried while Adam held me for a good 30 minutes, and then we picked up the game controllers, and played. In silence, but we played. Because what else was there to do? Grandma wouldn't want me to cry, Although I'm sure there will be plenty of times I will cry in the upcoming weeks.

I no longer have grandparents and that is a tough truth to swallow.

My grandmother loved golf. She was a socialite, who was known by everyone in town. We could never go anywhere, where we didn't run into someone she knew. She loved Mexican food, a trait she passed on to my mother and me. She was funny without ever meaning to be. And the last time I visited her, she kept telling everyone at the nursing home that I was a Psychiatrist, and after a while I stopped trying to correct her, because it made her so darn happy. 

She introduced me to my favorite movies, Gone With The Wind and The Sound of Music.

I miss her already.

Rest in Peace Grandma, you blessed my life in so many ways.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Weekend Report

This weekend we ate cracker barrel to go for dinner, while alternating between first season episodes of the West Wing (his choice), and The Gilmore Girls (my choice). We went for haircuts, I took off a few inches, and waxed my eyebrows, which were threatening to overtake my face. Adam managed to accidentally steal the hairdresser's phone (being that we have near identical cases).  We then thought about how stealing someone's phone, would be a really awful start to a romantic comedy. We returned the phone of course.

I spent a few hours at work catching up on paperwork (blah), while Adam got the oil changed in the car. But most importantly of all, we managed to finish the second installment of our Lego City collection (here is the first).

It is something like 2,000 pieces, and it took us two days and numerous hours! I love it so much. I just love all the little touches in the pet shop and apartment buildings. I think my favorite thing is the flowers in the window boxes. If I lived in a NYC style apartment, I think I would have to have flower boxes. Plus a fire escape outside my window, where I could star gaze or sing Moon River while strumming a guitar ala Audrey Hepburn.

Building legos started as Adam's hobby, but now I'm so into it too. We even put lego sets on our joint Christmas list. Now if only Adam could learn to love my hobbies. But I just don't see him watching reality TV, cooking, and taking up 5ks for fun.