Monday, August 31, 2009

a quick, nutshell recap post about the recent happenings in our lives

It has been a really great few days. First of all, as you know...I accepted a position on Friday as the Program Coordinator for a non-profit here that addresses educational attainment in the region. I am very excited about this job.

And here is our weekend in a nutshell... accepted a job offer, dinner with friends, relax, watch LOST, laundry, clean, baked cookies, pizza and hang out with friends, church, lunch, SUNDAY AFTERNOON NAP*, Bible study, hubby playing Beatles tunes on the guitar while we both sing at the top of our lungs. Great weekend!

Today was my first day at my new job and I loved it. There are so many great things happening and I am very excited about being a part of it.

And um, hello... tomorrow is September?!? How did that happen? There has been a lot of talk in Blogland and Twitterverse that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is gracing us with it's presence on Thursday. Thank you Starbucks for this incredible gift! I think this means that fall is around the corner and it is okay to go ahead and bake yummy pumpkin and gingerbread and spice things...right Ash!?!

* SUNDAY AFTERNOON NAP - The reason this is such a big deal to us is because John and I have never fully been able to appreciate this, seeing as our church for the past 4 years was an hour away. Now that we live less than 2 miles from our church we truly appreciate this!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Celebrate we will. Cuz life is short, but sweet for certain. ~Dave Matthews

And that's just what John and I will be doing tonight... CELEBRATING!

I have a job! Today I accepted a position with a non-profit here as the Program Coordinator. The organization works towards educational attainment and reducing the dropout rate in the school district here. It is such a great organization and I am so excited to get started! My first day is Monday!

It's been great being a housewife for a few weeks but I am also starting to get a little bored. I am constantly caught up on laundry and that's just not right! ha!

So that's my big announcement...sorry, not pregnant! A little suspense is always fun!

but WAIT, that's not all!

John came home on his lunch break today and had been given a ShamWow! and of course, we had to try it out.

To test the ShamWow! you start by pouring water on your countertop.

Get your ShamWow! ready and soak that water up!

And look, no drips!

(this is John's, "THAT'S AMAZING!" face.)

that's some high quality German engineering!

PS: There might be a BIG announcement coming soon! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

i just realized...

today was the FIRST TIME in 21 years that my husband is not starting school!

I am so thankful that he did not have to go to school today and now has a job that he loves.

I love you babe!

Vacation with the Broaddus'!

Our first weekend here in Victoria The Broaddus' came to visit. We had discussed the weeks before our moves (they recently moved to Sugar Land around the same time we moved) about taking a vacation before all the jobs started and after bringing ourselves back to reality we decided to save the money and just visit each other in our new homes. Patrick and Courtney came in town and we had a great time. We played many hours of Mexican Train Dominos, ate way too much, spent several hours at the beach and had so much fun spending time with our sweet friends.

Port A

Port A
Patrick and Courtney on the Ferry Boat on the way over.
Port A
John and I... apparently I didn't get the blue shirt memo...
Port A

Broaddus Visit
Patrick and Courtney before heading to dinner.

Back home playing Mexican Train Dominos
Taking a break!
Courtney and I post-sunburn!

Broaddus Visit

Broaddus Visit

Broaddus Visit
The results of Port Aransas on Patrick...see the thumbprint???
Broaddus Visit
Broaddus Visit
A couple days later we all headed to The Broaddus' new home in Sugar Land. It was so fun seeing where they are living now and of course played lots of games again.

Living in Sugar Land means living around a lot of great shopping so we spent a day doing that! We started with lunch at a favorite, The Black Walnut and we all feasted on very large yet tasty salads. It gave us all the energy we needed for those fabulous Sugar Land shops!

Sugar Land
John and Patrick in Garden Ridge
Sugar Land
Garden Ridge was John's favorite had couches that turned into beds!
Sugar Land
John and I waiting on our fabulous dinner prepared by the Broaddus'!

Like I said, we played games again! Monopoly (somehow I won and I'm not even that good!) and Trouble were our games of choice!

Sugar Land

Sugar Land
John and Patrick combining their wealth and of course no game is complete without some IBC Root Beer, cake and ice cream!

And bringing back the old classic..Trouble!

We had a great time with our friends and are so thankful that we still live close after our moves from Waco!

Friday, August 21, 2009

life lately

So I know I said that I would post house pictures next but I am still working on a few things. Great things! The house we are renting came complete with it's own window treatments and we just got permission to take them down and put up our own. So sometime this weekend or early next week I will get some new pictures up. I want it to look perfect!

In the meantime, we are loving it here. One of our favorite things to do is go to the beach. It is so close and before we hit our 2 week anniversary of living in Victoria we had already gone twice.

John has finished his first week in the office and loves it. Sunday will be our first Sunday to worship at our church and we are both looking forward to it.

So, because posts are always more fun with pictures, here are a few I took on our first beach trip.

Port A
I'm not sure what it was about this bird that caught my attention.

Port A
And I became camera happy and kept snapping pictures of this guy.

Port A
If I had to be any bird, I would want to be a beach bird.

Port A
There is just something about being able to float around in the air right there at the ocean.

Like I said, come visit us. There is no doubt that we will be going to the beach.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Risotto with Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onions and Greens

I love risotto. I love that is is a blank canvas that can be embellished with just about anything. Once Lady made one with vanilla beans and butternut squash. Yeah, so good. I had been eyeing this recipe for a few months now and made it for our first meal in our new house. It was my first time to cook in my new HUGE kitchen and it turned out great.

Risotto with Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onions and Greens
adapted from Cooking Light

5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped sweet onion (about 1 large)
2 teaspoons sugar
4 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups baby arugula (may substitute spinach)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sugar to pan; saute 7 minutes or until onion is golden. Place onion mixture in a small bowl; set aside.

Removing casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; saute 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add chopped shallots; saute 2 minutes. Add Arborio rice; saute 30 seconds. Stir in white wine; cook 45 seconds or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup hot broth; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total - be patient, it is worth it). Remove from heat; stir in reserved onion, arugula, and remaining ingredients. (Serves 4. 1 cup per serving)

Nutritional Information
Calories: 390
Fat: 10.3g
Protein: 21.1g
Carbohydrate: 53.1g
Fiber: 4.4g

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

moving day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 = Moving day. Not as stressful as it sounds! Tired, yes. Long day, yes. Carrying lots of stuff, not really!


this is going to be very long. read it if you want, but it is mostly for me to remember the day. and all the pictures were taken with my iPhone so they aren't the best quality.

They did show up about 3 hours late. We hired movers from the DFW area (yes, we were in Waco) but they were a local company and we got a better deal with them than any other larger company. So they did have to drive in from Dallas to Waco. But they did say they would be at our apartment at 8:00 am and did not arrive until 11:00 am!
Moving Out
But we were so thankful for the movers that we did not complain {too much} and let them do their work when they arrived.

In fact, when the movers arrived at our apartment we headed out! John and I had a few last minute errands to run so we did a few things and had our last lunch in Waco at Schmaltz's.
Last Lunch
Last Lunch
It was fun to tell people that we were moving but not there! We enjoyed our lunch, reminisced about one of our favorite Waco restaurants and talked about our upcoming move to Victoria. Needless to say, that day was very exciting for us!

This goes without saying, but we have a lot of stuff! (see here and here for examples.) The night before our move I finally confessed to John something I had been worrying about all day. "I sure hope their truck is big enough." I really thought John would say, "Oh of course it will be," and reassure me. Unfortunately, he said, "Me too." UGH!

Monday, August 3rd was our last full day of packing. Unfortunately, we had a few visitors (Dinah B and the Broaddus') stop by and I did not take pictures. I'm kicking myself now. It was a sweet time and I will always remember our last visitors at #264. Anywho, we stayed up so late Monday night trying to finish all the last minute stuff that really doesn't fall into any normal packing category. Those are the really fun boxes to unpack. You know the ones, a Tupperware container, a flashlight, Season 8 of Friends, light bulbs, paper towel holder, and yarn that you bought when you thought it would be a good idea to teach yourself how to crochet. Or was it knit?

So Monday night we took apart our bed and ended up sleeping on our mattress on the floor. We wanted to make it super simple for our movers to take everything out and not have to take anything apart or wait for us to pack more boxes. We wanted to be completely done! And we were except for a last clean of our bathroom after our showers that morning and last minute cleaning after the rooms were cleared out.

Moving Out
Moving Out
Moving Out
It took the movers about 5 hours to load the truck!!! Holy cow! And our cars were completely loaded down also. Remember when I asked John if all our stuff would fit. It barely fit...we crammed a lot of stuff into that 900 square foot apartment in 4 years! The movers were actually a little nervous that it wouldn't fit. Yikes!

So they got there at 11:00 am and loaded the truck for 5 hours. That means we rolled out of Waco around 4:30 once we finished cleaning, prayed and thanked the Lord for all of our sweet times in our first home, I cried. We turned in our keys, and got on the road.

Apartment 264
Apartment 264
Our home from August 15, 2005 - August 4, 2009.

We arrived in Victoria around 8:30 after stopping in Georgetown for dinner. It did not take them as long to unload as it did to load. We were so excited to be in our new home for the first time.

And we were in bed by midnight!

Up of our new place!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

last days

Our last days in Waco were very bittersweet. Our last full week was busy! It was my last week of work at Baylor (Thursday July 30 was my last day) and John was in Hamilton doing Summer Music Camp. SMC is something that John started doing in Hamilton our first summer there, summer 2006. It was an instant hit and I was never able to be a part of it due to work. I always saw the performance on Friday night but I was never able to see all the fun yet hard work that went into the week.

SMC 2009
With this year being John's last SMC at FBC Hamilton I knew I wanted to see at least one day so I was there all day on Friday and it was so much fun! Friday looks a little different than the other days of music camp, but it was fun to be a part of no less.

The SMC workers gave John a framed picture of all the SMC participants (kids and workers) that everyone had signed. It is proudly on the shelf in John's new office!

SMC 2009
SMC 2009
One very sweet woman, Shirley, has made John's life so much easier and less stressful these last 4 years in Hamilton. She has been a huge help during Summer Music Camp and we will miss her so much! Shirley and I were talking the last day of music camp and we were joking about how well she knows John now also.

SMC 2009
After the last day of music camp and the performance that night we headed back to Waco for a going away dinner with good friends. It was a great time to talk and laugh about our years in Waco.
Going Away Dinner
Going Away
And dinner at Siete Mares is always wonderful! It is one of our favorite Waco restaurants. Thanks friends for a great dinner!

stay tuned for lots more!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

behind the mirror

When John and I moved into our apartment in Waco 4 years ago we knew that there was a good chance we would be there for a while. I really don't think either of us thought it would be there 4 years but still. We knew he had 4 years of graduate school ahead of him so after living in our apartment for about 3 months we knew it was time to paint!

We painted and painted and painted for 3 or 4 days! Every room of our apartment (it was a 2 bedroom/2 bath) was painted except the laundry room and hallway. I spent a lot of time going through Pottery Barn catalogues to pick out my color and then we went to Wal-mart to have our colors matched. One of the last rooms we did was the master bathroom. It was small and we painted it a dark chocolate brown.

Fast forward 4 years and it is time for this paint happy couple to move out! If we wanted to get any of our deposit back we would have to paint the rooms back that would not be able to be covered with one coat of the apartment's white paint. So we had our apartment office manager come by and tell us what rooms had to be painted by us first. One of those rooms was the master bathroom.

(I'm sorry this is so long!)

So while John was busy with Summer Music Camp (a post that will come soon) I set out to start painting the master bathroom back to white. And when I went to take down the mirror I saw this...

And of course it made me tear up and get all emotional about leaving our first home together.

It wasn't my last time to be emotional about that either...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Favorite Vacation Spots

This week at Kelly's Korner we are showing off our favorite vacation spots. I have 2! Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City!

John and I went to NYC on our honeymoon and have traveled to Santa Fe twice since we've been married, once during the summer and once during the winter. I loved seeing that beautiful city in two different climates and can't wait to go back! I'll just show you Santa Fe since you saw NYC last week. Click here to see those pictures again!

Santa Fe 2006
In front of the Loretto Chapel
Santa Fe 2006
Inside the Loretto Chapel, this staircase has no supports!
Santa Fe 2006
Loretto Chapel
Santa Fe 2006
One of our favorite places in Santa Fe. The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi
Santa Fe 2006
Lots of shopping! and it was HOT!
Santa Fe 2006
Taking a break
Santa Fe 2006
beautiful ceilings in the cathedrals
Santa Fe 2006
another view of the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi
Santa Fe 2006
one of the things we love about Santa Fe is all of the art. There are tons of local artists in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe 2006
Santa Fe 2006
I love the downtown square plaza and the street vendors who set up all of their beautiful creations! Tons of silver and turquoise!
Santa Fe 2006
Downtown on the square
Santa Fe 2006
Big turquoise!
Santa Fe 2006
This is the Guadalupe Cafe. When you are in Santa Fe be sure to visit this place! It is one of our favorite restaurants! Their food is incredible but we love their green chili mashed potatoes and corn pudding!

Here are some pictures from our most recent trip in the winter...
Santa Fe 2008
down on the square
Santa Fe 2008
The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was under construction...bummer!
Santa Fe 2008
Going to Santa Fe in the winter means skiing!

Go to Santa will love it!

And go to Kelly's Korner to see all the other vacation spots!
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