Saturday, January 31, 2009

ok, so maybe it really is a weapon...


{John emailed me this one from his iphone right after I did the previous post.}

I really miss him.

absence makes the heart grow fonder...

He comes home in 27 hours! I can't wait. It's been too long and I can't wait any longer! I've missed him like crazy!


And speaking of crazy..look at this icicle! I love how he is holding it like a soldier holds a weapon. Although, it could be used as a weapon..yikes! 

(Camille..these look like those deathcicles you talk about!)

Hurry home babe! I love you!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fresh Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Fresh Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Using leftovers to create a new meal is sometimes hard for me. But right after I made the Stuffed Pork Chops I knew exactly what I was going to do with the leftover spinach and goat cheese. These little pizzas turned out so good. And of course, you don't have to make the pork chops before making these.

Fresh Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Lindsay's Fresh Tomato and Spinach Pizza

5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
1 ounce goat cheese
1 clove garlic minced
2 whole wheat tortillas
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 roma tomatoes, thickly sliced
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute garlic in 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat. Watch it closely so it does not burn. Add spinach and saute for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add cheeses, kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.

Brush tortillas with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil each. Bake at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and top each with 1/2 of spinach mixture. Place about 4 slices of tomato on top of each pizza. Season tomatoes with kosher salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tortilla is lightly toasted.


(I'm not sure why my background is showing through some of my pictures. I've tried to fix it a couple of ways and no luck. That is why if you subscribe you have seen this post a few times. Sorry! If you click on the picture you can actually see it without the annoying background problem. If anyone else has ever had this problem and knows how to fix it I would love help!)

No, not referring to that fabulous place at the Gaylord. Although, I would love to go there.

I'm referring to what took over Waco last night. And by took over I mean it took over and shut us down! I have today off so it has been nice not to have to go out and brave the ice and cold. I've been inside looking real cute in my cowboy boot slippers, yoga pants and a hoodie. Cute may not be the right word. But that's not what I was going for. I've been uber productive and already cleaned out 1 closet, and 2 underthesink bathroom cabinets.

But back to the ice. Here are a few pictures I snapped before it all melted.



You can see it melting!



No, that's not the leftovers of a car that was broken into. It's the ice from our neighbor's car. He scrapped for about 20 minutes this morning and you better believe I heard it all! It was a horrible sound.



And the random bird was really struggling with sitting in this tree. I found it amusing early in the morning. It's not funny anymore nor does he look like he is struggling in still pictures.

Please note: I do realize there are a few northerners who read my blog and I'm not saying these icicles are anything great. These icicles have nothing on northern icicles.


And this last picture was taken with John's iphone. It's the snow he's enduring up in G.R.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



My man leaves tonight for Grand Rapids, Michigan for a conference for the rest of the week. Last night we spent a good hour packing and picking out lots of warm sweaters and making sure he had all the appropriate cold weather gear like gloves, scarfs, and Under Armour because, well, it is going to be SO COLD there! I just checked and right now it is -2!

And speaking of cold weather, Waco got it's fair share of a cold and wintry mix and it's only supposed to get colder and icier as the day goes by. But I'm not going to lie, I am enjoying the cold. It's better than the 83 degrees Waco had last week. I mean, it's January!
I'm definitely going to miss my man this week but I'm hoping to have a total organization transformation by the time he gets home on Sunday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

Sometimes when preparing a meal it is very nice to have a fantastic, yet simple side dish. Roasted asparagus is just that. Simple, fast, and SO GOOD! Roasting the asparagus, just like roasting anything, gives the vegetable such a great carmalized, brown, toasty uh, yumminess that cannot be achieved from another cooking method.

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon

Trim the ends of the asparagus to get rid of the woody part. Place asparagus on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Squeeze half of lemon over the asparagus. Roast at 450 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Nobody likes soggy asparagus. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the asparagus right before serving.

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Pork Chops Stuffed with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love sun-dried tomatoes, I love spinach, I love goat cheese. So what's not to love about Giada De Laurentiis' Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach? I have never tried a recipe of Giada's that I did not love and I know several people who agree. I've made these pork chops a few times before and they have never disappointed. They are fabulous!

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach
adaped from Giada De Laurentiis

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
3 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1/2 (10-ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ounce goat cheese
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
¾ cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.

Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/2 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork chops. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Strain the sauce and spoon some sauce over the pork chops before serving.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Seriously? Really?

My first blog award? Wow! Like so many people I blog because it is a way to share, remember and document all the exciting things that happen in our super exciting life. I love our life and wouldn't change it for the world even though we are sometimes boring. Also, like so many other people, scrapbooking isn't for me so I feel like blogging is a great way to capture little bits of our life.

So thanks for the award Natalie! It is nice to know that other people besides me enjoy my blog. And also, Natalie is another reason I love blogging. We were able to reconnect through our blogs and I love that about the blog world! So, without further ado, here are the blog rules.

Here are the steps:
1. Say one nice thing to the man in your life: John is my best friend. We have been together for 6 years, married for 3 1/2 and I can't wait for the rest of our lives. He is smart, loving, handsome, caring, passionate, godly, FUNNY, and seriously encouraging. I don't know what my life would be like without him. And the man can make me laugh like no one else. He's my favorite and I love when I can make him laugh. Ok, so that was more than one!

2. List at least 6 ways you measure success in your life:
To love Jesus and show his love to all those around me.
To love and be loved by my wonderful husband.
To raise wonderful and amazing children one day.
To be have wonderful friends and family that I love with all my heart.
To be genuinely happy in life.
To allow God to use me where I am, no matter where I am.

3. Assign 5 other blogs this award:
2. Ashley @ Eppers Family .
3. Courtney @ The Broaddus Family .
4. Lauren @ The Neaves' .
5. Beth @ El Ojo Mágico .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Green Chicken Salad

Green Chicken Salad

So you may or may not know that the hubs and I have been doing the South Beach Diet. We have both been very successful so far and it has not been difficult at all. I love chicken salad..all kinds. One of my favorites involves grapes, walnuts, and dried cranberries. However, on phase 1 of South Beach we were not able to eat fruit so I had to adapt my recipe. I made this during phase 1 and again now that we are on phase 2 (and are able to eat fruit) and I love it.

Green Chicken Salad

Green Chicken Salad

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon seasoned pepper
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 bay leaf
4 stalks celery chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
3 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
1 teaspoon garlic (this is the only time I use pre-minced garlic in a jar. Fresh is too overpowering.)
3/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Place chicken breasts in a medium pot and cover with water. Add the seasoned pepper, seasoned salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pot and discard cooking liquid. Shred or chop chicken and put in a large bowl. Add celery, bell pepper, chives, garlic, mayonnaise and white pepper. Mix well, chill and serve!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm Lost that is! And tonight is the 2 hour season premiere. I'm so excited, and confused, and not really sure what to expect or really remember what happened last season because this show is getting pretty complicated and they need to tie up LOTS of loose ends. (whew, that was a long run on sentence.)
Anyway, the DVR is set and I'm ready to catch back up with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, John, and the rest of the gang. And to see if Jin is dead or not.
What in the world is going to happen?!? And did I mention that it is a 2 hour premiere?!?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Pre Inaugural Obama Celebration
Photo credit here

For those of you who are stuck in your office today, go here to watch a live streaming of the inauguration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

happy blogiversary!

Birthday Cupcakes

photo credit here

One year ago today I created this little ol' blog not really knowing what it would be and one year later I'm still going strong! And it worked out well that I had a day off to celebrate this blogiversary. Ok, so not really. I would never take a day off for a reason like that. But it is nice that today I'm capping off my nice, long 3 day weekend.

I'm looking forward to a 4 day work week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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I love butternut squash. It is my favorite squash and it is perfect in the winter. This morning I went to breakfast with a friend so for lunch I wanted something light. I happened to have a butternut squash in my fruit/vegetable bowl so my first thought was, I'll roast it and just have that for lunch. Then it got even better...after roasting it..turn it into a soup! This soup is delicious, thick, comforting and HEALTHY!

Roasting the butternut squash instead of steaming or using another cooking method adds so much flavor. Cutting the squash into smaller cubes allows it to cook faster. And we are all about food being fast apparently.

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This is one of my favorite things. You should try it..seriously. I typically only use it on butternut squash and sweet potatoes. And's colorful!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1-2 pound butternut squash; peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Place the cubed butternut squash and onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and seasoned pepper. Toss together to make sure each piece is coated.

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Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes use a spatula to flip the squash. Turn heat down to 375 degrees and continue roasting 25 minutes or until tender.

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Puree squash (either in a food processor, blender or using an immersion blender) and add to a medium saucepan. Add broth, half-and-half, and nutmeg. To serve I like to ladle into a bowl and top with a little sour cream and a sprinkle of seasoned pepper.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

the fever

Baby fever that is! John and I both had it a little tonight. We went to visit some friends in the hospital who just had their second daughter this afternoon. She is absolutely precious and so sweet. When I saw John holding her it made my ovaries jump! He admitted it too..he had the fever!

But don't get the wrong idea, it won't be any time soon, but we sure can't wait!

On another none baby note..I am really looking forward to this long, 3-day weekend. It gives me plenty of time for some good house cleaning which is so needed!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the last first day

Today was John's LAST first day of class! Because he only has Truett classes left (and not very many for that matter) he had Monday off. I insisted of snapping a quick pic of his last first day, however in my quickness to snap a photo I didn't get a very good one. I wasn't thinking, it was early in the morning, bad location in the house, bad lighting, weird shadow. It sort of looks like a mug shot, but it documents the occasion nonetheless!

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Here's to a fantastic last semster of grad school!

Monday, January 12, 2009

El Santuario de Chimayo

At the end of our first full day in Santa Fe we traveled north about 25 miles to Chimayo to see an old mission that was built between 1814 and 1816. It was absolutely beautiful. We got there about 3:30 and as we were leaving the sun was starting to set over the mountains. It was so tranquil, peaceful and quiet up there. I could see why so many people make the pilgrimage every year. This sanctuary is also known for it's healing sand. In the back of the sanctuary there is a very small room with a hole in the ground full of healing sand. Many people flock to Chimayo to get some healing sand to rub on their ailments or as I was told by someone there, some even used to eat the sand. It was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad we made the trip up there. Here are some pictures from our time there...

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ski Santa Fe!

2 days after Christmas John and I packed up and drove across Texas and half-way across New Mexico to Santa Fe. Santa Fe is one of our favorite places to go. The first time we went together was the summer of 2006 so to see it covered in snow was so beautiful. While we were there we did lots of sightseeing, shopping, eating, spending time with family, and some skiing. We were there for 3 full days and the first day and last day were spent shopping and sight seeing. The second day was full of skiing. This was John's first time skiing. He did great! For me, it had been 10 years since I had put on a pair of skis but it was just like riding a they say. The weather was perfect and we had such a wonderful time.

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Our first day down at the Plaza. It was very cold, very sunny, and very fun!

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First, this is a horrible picture of me but we took it very fast because as you can see, I'm standing in the middle of the street! One of our favorite places in Santa Fe is the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. Unfortunately while we were there it was in this giant plastic bag. I understand old buildings need work done on them, but it doesn't make tourists very happy.

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Sadly, this is the only picture we took together when we went skiing. See the huge piles of snow behind us?!? How fun!

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Funny story. So for Christmas my dad gave my mom a GPS. She graciously let us take it with us on our trip and it never failed us. It actually saved our marriage. No arguing over which exit to take or if you are reading the map wrong. It was glorious and it will be our next purchase to have one of our own. Well, it actually did fail us. Once. And it seems like GPS and Google Maps have failed a few more people. Enough for them to put this sign up. We were downtown, put in an address for a restaurant and it took is 10 miles outside of town, down a scary road and to a dead end. We were with John's cousin and her husband that night and we were all laughing. Well, I was a little nervous. John went back the next day to snap a few pictures because the sign is priceless!

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Please please please excuse our messy windshield. Like I said, we drove across Texas, half of New Mexico and endured slushy, dirty street snow. I'm surprised it looks this good!

There was another fantastic place we visited while we were there but it will have to be a post in itself. It was incredible. So stay tuned!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Weekend with Ash and Izzy

Back in December (wow, over a month ago) I went to visit my one of my oldest and best friends, Ashley and meet her precious new baby, Isabelle. Isabelle was six weeks old when I got to meet her and so sweet. Ashley is such an incredible mom!

We had such a fun weekend. Most of our time was centered around staring at Miss Izzy! We did venture out and do a little shopping and found this precious bow for her.

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It was so amazing to see Ashley as a mom. So amazing and still so surreal. Sometimes it feels like we are still in high school where we spent the summer driving around in her Explorer listening to Dave Matthews in our bathing suits. Good times.

I can't wait to see Isabelle again and love on her more!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

119 Degrees

Baylor has a tendency to crank up the heat in the colder winter months. It's sort of a joke in our office to see who has the hottest office. Well today, everyone won. You know it's bad when you have to open your windows to let in the 37 degree chill from outside. Our office manager called the physical plant who controls our building (why can't we control our own building?) and they said, "Yes, it is a little warm over there. It's blowing 119 degree heat!"

Ridiculous. I'm glad I didn't dress super warm today.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

say goodbye..

to Christmas! Unfortunately, with Thanksgiving coming so late this year and our 2+ week vacation we didn't get to spend a lot of time at home with our beautiful Christmas decorations and now they must come down. Here are a few pictures of our home at Christmas. I probably should have done this a while ago but let's stretch Christmas out a little more. These are a few of my favorites.

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This is a nativity we got when we went to Kenya in May of 2007.

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My snowman candle on the coffee table. I love him.

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We got this nativity in Santa Fe the summer of 2006.

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And this nativity is hand carved out of an old wooden spool of thread. Amazing. The man who carved it is Tom Blunt.

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This is my new super spikey garland that cut my finger a couple times while I was putting it up.

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And last, my Willow Tree nativity. Notice a trend here..I collect nativities. There are more that we didn't put out this year b/c we don't have the space where we live.

Usually the Christmas decoration tear down comes on New Years Day, but this year with all of our travel it came down yesterday. We got home yesterday and I immediately started tackling the decorations. Then came the cleaning. Next, it's the organizing. I'm about to implement Organization Party 2009. And I'm starting with my closet. John will be SO happy to read this. I may even be vulnerable enough to share before and after pictures.

Last night we had a nice relaxing evening. It was our first evening home in 2+ weeks (if you don't count New Years Eve which I do not because we got home at midnight from driving all day, crashed in bed, did laundry and left again. I don't count it.) But I'm getting distracted. Anyway, last night after all the decorations were put away, the house was clean, John watched Star Wars Episodes 1 and 2 on tv and I started reading Ana's Story and it is compelling. I have a feeling I will finish it before Wednesday.

Tonight John and I went to go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If you have not seen it yet..GO. It is probably the weirdest, yet the greatest movie I have ever seen. It was just fabulous. It was the perfect way to top off our Christmas vacation.

Back to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll get snowed in..

maybe not.
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