Monday, August 27, 2012

A Quarter of a Century

I realize this post is over a week overdue but the past week has been nuts. My birthday weekend was one of the top weekends of my life. For real. Everything I could have possibly wanted. It all started Friday afternoon with a text from Ryan that read "pack an overnight bag." I could hardly contain my excitement as I shoved clothing into a bag and and patiently awaited Ryan's arrival to go to the surprise location. I just love surprises and I loved that Ryan planned out the entire weekend and kept it a secret!

We drove to OKC Friday night and checked into our hotel in bricktown. He planned for us to eat sushi at In the Raw and then we headed to see the Red Hawks play a game. Oh did I mention that our hotel was right by the stadium? So close we could actually watch the game from our room.

We're big fans of suishi... I even got a thing to make sushi for my bday!
From our room!
We did decide it would be fun to go to the game and besides, we already had tickets, so we grabbed some dessert in concessions and cheered on the Red Hawks.
See our hotel?
We left early so I honestly don't even know if they won- but we just had fun with the entertainment and the experience of going to a game but let's hope they won!

My actual birthday was great- I woke up to Ryan bringing me breakfast in bed with mimosas. He let me open some gifts- one being a voucher for some running shoes, that he planned out a place to go to purchase them. As we got to the running store, I saw a sign that said "Whole Foods" then below it "Anthropologie". Eeeeek! What more could a girl want? We went shopping and taste-tested, and oohed and awwed at our new tennies. We ate at Saturn Grill and I will forever crave that flat bread for now on. It's probably a good thing we don't have one here or else I'd be a carbivore. And 300 pounds.

That afternoon I had an urge to watch Hunger Games and since it just came out that day it was near impossible to find. We literally went to about 10 different Red Box locations to find one- but no luck. The places that "had it" were broken. But alas, Nicole's roommate just purchased it that day and kindly let us watch. We had reservations at a fancy restaurant downtown but I was craving some Thai Cafe in Stillwater and missing my furry baby so we headed back home.

We ate so much good food that weekend, went shopping, open gifts, celebrated, etc. Ryan made me feel so loved and spoiled me soo much!
Top: Thai Cafe, Bottom left- Saturn grill, Bottom right- breakfast in bed
Sunday, my parents, Amber and Corbyn came after church to celebrate with us. It was so great to see them and celebrate with them. I love my family so much and my heart overflows when I get to spend time with them.
We went to Mexico Joes and I ate probably 6 flour tortillas myself. I swear I could live on bread alone- (Not literally, Jesus...).

To being a half a century,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Mini-Heart Attack

After work Monday I went to Joann to pick up a few items for Sew Able. As I went over to my fabrics that I buy, I saw a little sign that read "Quilter's Show Case Print's 50% off."A little piece of me died inside. I was giddy and started piling all the fabrics I possibly could onto my shopping cart. I felt like I won a lottery! WIN! SALE! Be still, my heart.

As I headed over the cut counter, people started eyeing my cart and I got embarrassed. They started asking what I was making and I reluctantly gave in and told them. Maybe because I felt like I had to defend why I had so many fabrics, or maybe because I was proud. Either way, I was getting a good deal and was too excited to think straight.

After one hour , my fabrics are all cut. Two employees had to cut all my fabric because I had so much and I would get excited with each cut and say "Let's get more!!!". Little did I know how much it would cost...

I headed over to the cash register and as she rang up my bill I started to freak out. I am a frequent customer, known by name at Joann and my bill is usually between $1-$10. As she asked me if I had any more coupons as she knows I never buy one item without a coupon, I sadly said they were on sale and cannot be combined with my VIP discount.

As my heart raced, she told me my total was $130. WHAT!? How was I about to spend that much, on fabric? She kindly told me that I saved $147.13 and that somewhat made me feel better.
Now I have a heck of a lot of sewing to do to make up this order. I better use this 3 1/2 yards of all of these fabrics! I am excited that this should limit my many of times a week I go to Joann but then that makes me sad again. The employees all said they were sad because that means they won't see me as much but I proudly told them that I'll need some zippers or something and won't be able to stay away.

Sometimes you have to spend money to have a business. I just hate spending money. Why does it have to be so painful?

To freaking out at a cash register,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Easy Banana Bread

I love banana bread. I love it even more when we have 4 brown bananas that are about to get thrown away that turn into a yummy snack. I buy bananas every week for smoothies, but on those weeks where smoothies are not made, banana bread is!

Easy Banana Bread

  •  Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3-4 Overripe Bananas
  • Nutella
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, smash the bananas real good. Then add the cake mix and eggs. Whip the ingredients well and then prepare a muffin tin for the mix. I used liners but you can spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray if you don't have/want liners. Spoon in a table spoon of nutella in each cupcake. Swirl it with the spoon then bake at 350° for 22-25 minute.
 I put nutella in a plastic bag, cut the corner, and used it as a frosting! Delicous!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekend Review-Friends, Food, Family

This weekend was perfect. We got to see friends, family, eat some fantastic food, and relax. What more could you ask for? Friday, Ryan and I had a date night to Mexico Joes for their famous Margs and chips n' salsa. We enjoyed sitting right next to the Gundy's and me fighting the urge to go talk to him. I just don't want to be that person. Respecting their time? Maybe. Pride? Probably. So this was the second time we sat right next to them at a restaurant and said nothing. I justify it in my head to talk to him because I work with his players, so he needs to know me. No he doesn't. He really doesn't. Maybe if we run into them somewhere other than a restaurant. (Sigh.)

Saturday we met some of our friends in Tulsa for lunch then went to my parents house to swim and watch Gone Baby Gone. If you haven't seen it, go rent it. You'll be shocked it didn't get as famous as it deserves. It is heart-wrenching, leaving you asking what you would have done in that situation. I love suspense-filled, thought-provoking films. This is legit, people.

We did miss something very significant on Saturday, though. Saturday morning, my sister-in-law became a Kappa Delta! We made plans over a month ago to meet our friends in Tulsa, so we didn't cancel on them but celebrated via text message with Nicole and planned to reconvene on Sunday about the rush experience.

Sunday we went to church then did the usual get-ready-for-the-week thing, then had Nicole over for dinner and tell-us-everything-that-happened-during-rush conversation. I really don't feel like I was in her shoes 6 years ago (being a freshman, not going through rush). It feels like yesterday. It is so fun to be in Stillwater during her first year here at OSU. It's fun for me because I went to a university completely different than OSU and it is interesting to compare the difference. I am fervently praying her time here is enriching, empowering, and that it provides solid, faithful friends for her. I hope we can be an outlet for peace, confiding, and a piece of home for her. I'm thankful God as allowed us to be in the same place right now and I don't think it was a coincidence.

Me as a freshman and one of my still-best friends Kristie
 As a freshman, I started college with a nose ring, a tattoo on my foot, and a full heart to learn. I may not look much different than I did 6 years ago but I did leave college with three of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. I pray Nicole will be able to look back 6 years from now and say the same.

Back to the weekend. Sunday, after dinner, we took Kai to the dog park, because Nicole had never been, and of course she wants to see 30+ dogs playing together. We met our friend Chelsie there and one of the ugliest dogs kept sitting on her foot.
Nothing against pugs, but you had to see this pug's eyes. So so funny.

So thankful for a wonderful weekend, rest, and for the Lord's providence.

To His faithfulness,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blue Like Jazz-Confession

A couple years ago, I read the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I loved it.  I was challenged, stretched, and I grew spiritually through this book. Fast forward several years and the movie is out on DVD. I could hardly wait to get my hands on this movie as I heard it was at Red Box now. Last night, we planned a date night around watching Blue Like Jazz after dinner and swimming. I drove all over town trying to find it-only one Red Box had it in stock. The good news is I had this scene while I drove:

 I picked up snacks for each of us, because movies are more fun with snacks. Our choices: Ryan-Red Vines Kai-rawhide Me- Carmel-filled dove. Mmmmm.I personally think I win.

I honestly could not remember a lot of the scenes in the movie in the book, except the confession. At the end of the movie, there is a powerful scene of Donald Miller confessing. SPOILER ALERT (Skip this part of my post if you are going to watch it!). He had spent his entire first year of college running as hard as he could from God, only to realize he could not escape. He is elected the "pope" which is basically the head of the party-ers at his university, but when he sets up the confession booth for the party people to confess their crazy-doing, he says to each person that he needs to confess first. He confesses to them that he has not accurately represented Christ and asks for their forgiveness. This is powerful, people. It was hard to see him rebel, but almost even harder to see him confess, knowing how hard that would be on one's pride. The movie ends with this and you cannot help but to think about how you represent Christ. Am I representing him well at work? Around my friends? In my marriage? 

I confess that I can not say that I truly have represented Him. Fear of what people will think gets in the way. Why am I not sold out for Christ? My whole purpose here is to proclaim his goodness and bring others to Him so why isn't that my only and sole mission? Why do I care too much about what people would think? I confess that I have failed and I want to make this better. I need to care more about the nails that were in Jesus' hands and feet and less about how people will view me. My purpose should be proclaiming Christ's fame and everything else is secondary.

Thank you, dove.
To not letting fear in the way of representing Christ fully,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Review

Phew! I am exhausted. Can I have another weekend, please? Our weekend was fabulous, don't get me wrong, but it's going to take awhile to recover. This weekend my wonderful in-laws were here, moving my sister-in-law into her apartment. We love spending time with them and are excited for them to have even more excuses to make their way to Stillwater!

We spent Friday eating, chatting, and hanging out and Saturday was moving, organizing, shopping, etc to get her moved in. It was fun to see her room get put together, meet her new roommate, and to know how wonderful of a time she is about to have. Then Saturday the fires were so insane, and Ryan was on call so needless-to-say, we did not sleep much Saturday. Sunday we grocery shopped, cleaned, said goodbye to in-laws (minus Nicole) and even took a nap! We were lacking sleep and we ate and ate and ate this weekend that we could do nothing but sleep. Kai and Ryan napped together, cuddling, snoring, all of that. I took pictures and oohed and awwed because it was one of the cutest things ever.

We're so excited to have Nicole in Stillwater. I woke up this morning thinking that's crazy she's in the same town right now and I could possibly just run into her somewhere.I spent some time Saturday sewing her a curtain for under her sink and for her room. It's fun to be able to make things for people!

I also did do something somewhat bad. I went and saw Micky- Kai's potential brother. He acted, looked, and had the same characteristics as Kai. I was in love. I kept calling him Kai on accident. He is a little smaller than Kai but who has the exact same body shape as all their siblings? I was tempted, but my rational side kicked in and told me that wouldn't be a good idea. Mainly because of the cost. (not to buy him but to keep him alive). However, I do hope he goes to a great home, because he deserves it. He is precious.
Friday afternoon a mechanic fit me in their schedule to fix our air conditioner! It took less than 20 minutes to fix it. Apparently with the extreme heat, he's seeing the same issue all over the place. I'm just thankful it works now.

I'm thankful for family, cooler weather today, and for a new week.

To having great weekends,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sometimes God is very Funny

The Lord has a funny sense of humor. I woke up at 4pm in a complete sweat, fretting about what was wrong with me. I shuffled out of bed and immediately was convinced I was ill. I looked at the thermometer and it read 84 degrees. I was not sick. Our air condition is broken.
I checked the temperature outside when I read this and it was 84 degrees. I fear when it is over 100 degrees outside.
Remember yesterday when I blogged about being positive and looking for the good in things? As I worked out in a complete drench and showered only to not be able to stop sweating, I kept telling myself "be positive, look for the good." Nothing. I love that this was something I asked the Lord to challenge me in, and boy did he! I am thankful I am not sick, that we will possibly have some rain today, and that today is Friday. As I pulled into work I saw a beautiful image in the sky: one of those where there is clouds all around and a beam of light shining down. I felt like it was just for me, and I couldn't help but smile.

As I frantically called heating and air places this morning only to find that everyone is busy, I kept reminding myself that God is good. He is bigger than this. This is silly. There are people who do not even have a roof over their head, I'm going to live. As I wrote yesterday, it is all about perspective. It will get fixed and life will go on, but all I can do right now and work on my mindset to not be stressed and worried over something I cannot control.

I'm reminded that if I want to be challenged, I better be ready. I'm thankful for a God that listens, cares, and loves me more than I know.

To looking at the bigger picture,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday- Perspective

I can hardly believe that today is Thursday. Is tomorrow really Friday? How is that possible? I love when weeks fly by like this one has. As I was on my run this morning I was refocusing on being thankful.When I began my run I saw the moon, which was beautiful because it was full. Then on the end of my run I saw the amazing sunrise. Ah, so much to be thankful for.

Today I am thankful for:
  • Sunrises
  • Sprinklers to run through 
  • Family
  • A job that is indoors and is air conditioned
  • A job that I love
  • A puppy that makes me laugh every day
  • A husband that loves me and works hard to support our little family
So much of life is perspective. We get discontent when we are not grateful for where we are in life. I'm guilty of this so I am working on transitioning my mindset to being one that rejoices in the good and draws out the good things in life. I want to be light in the dark, I want to choose to always be thankful and not wish for things that I do not have. We live in a society where we are constantly wanting more and when we attain it, we just want more. It is a conscious choice to be thankful and I really want to be content even if it is 112 degrees outside and I long for fall. Even in those little things, I want to be content. I want to be thankful when I go on a morning run-instead of complaining about the temperature- be thankful that there are sprinklers that I get to run through. Oh and boy do I run through them. When I want to groan, I want to look for what positive things I can draw out. It is a choice.I want to make that choice and it all comes down to my perspective.

Tomorrow my in-laws are coming as my sister-in-law is moving in for college! We can hardly wait to have her in the same town as us. She better like hanging out with us because she has no option. We're thankful that she chose OSU even if we were not a part of that equation, we win because she is just that awesome. Stillwater=win. Osses=win.

To being thankful for today,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coconut Crusted Chicken Recipe

I absolutely love trying new recipes. I love the look on Ryan's face when he comes home and smells that I cooked something new. I find it extremely rewarding when he loves it. One of our all time favorite places to go out to eat is Thai Cafe. We went there on one of our first dates, the night we got engaged, and every time we can, because it is just that good. I have attempted to make coconut crusted chicken before, but it has never really turned out that well, but I was determined to find a new recipe so after searching pinterest I found this recipe and was sold. Try it for yoruself, it is definitely a winner, as is the blog. It is a frequent read for me now. Now, I did not make the chili sauce just becuase that does not sound that applealing to me, but next time I'm going to make a sauce like the one they serve at Thai cafe. My mouth is watering.

Coconut Crusted Chicken (adapted original recipe for two)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 large egg
2 TB milk (or coconut milk if you have it)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Cut off any extra fat globules from your chicken breasts. Gross. Necessary, though. Cut each breast into 3-4 strips, diagonally to prevent the end strips from being really short.
  • Prepare your breading station by gathering three bowls. In the first bowl combine the flour and salt. In the second bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Whisk together until well combined. In the third bowl, stir together the panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut. You'll definitely need to wash your hands after this. Yuck. 

  • Place half of the vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat over medium/high heat until very warm.
  • While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken strips. First, coat each strip in the flour and salt mixture. Then dip each into the eggs/milk and finally coat each in panko and shredded coconut.

  • Place about 3-4 strips in the pan at once. There should only be one layer in the pan and there should be about an inch between each strip. If you over crowd the pan it will get too cold and the strips will soak up a lot of oil instead of frying. Fry the strips for 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Place them on a plate with paper towel to drain and move on to the next batch.  Because the strips are thin, they should be cooked through by the time both sides are browned. You can tell by the texture of the chicken; it should be stiff when pressed. Use a digital thermometer to be sure.  If you cut your strips thicker, you will need to bake off the chicken after frying to make sure the insides are cooked through.I definitely had to bake them because I cannot seem to get chicken in a skillet cooked all the way through without burning.

  • Enjoy!
We loved it. I paired it with rice and green beans but meant to grab broccoli at the store but just forgot, so whatever you want with it will work!

The other new recipe this week is cheesy chicken and rice bake. I'm excited to see how it turns out!

To trying new recipes and loving them,