Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy but Blessed

I would call this my usual Weekend Rewind post, but liked this title better.

Friday night we made homemade pizza and went to bed early. But after busy weeks we love going to bed and catching up on the sleep we've missed.

Saturday we actually set our alarm, because there was much to do. We went for a 5 mile run...which was also Daniel's longest run ever!! woo hoo!!! He wants to do the half with me in May, and i'm pretty sure he'll do just fine.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, so we loved being outside if even for just a short time.

After cleaning up we headed to Chick fil then attacked grocery shopping. I'm starting to menu plan a few weeks in advance, so my goal is to do the big shopping every 2 weeks, with just a quick trip to the store for the bare essentials on the off weeks.

Saturday afternoon we picked up our Chinese students that we host. They've been wanting to show us how to cook a few Chinese dishes, and we have been dying to learn! So we headed to the local Asian market to pick up the things we would need.

I didn't know what all the ingredients were, but i had no doubt that it would all be delicious!!!

They even let me help. It was interesting bc they used chopsticks for a lot of the stirring and cooking.

Dexin's first time to use a can opener. He was pretty excited!

It was REALLLLY smoky in our apartment from all the hot oils being used, which you can see in the pics. The fire alarm might have gone off and there might have been a few sparks in the kitchen.

Dexin is about to start making the eggplant dish. I'm not usually a fan of eggplant, but when it's cooked with oil, ginger, garlic, pork, green onion, etc... what is NOT to love? ha!

Daniel was pretty excited!

Group pic, ha!!

Here are just some random pics....

(look! there's my homemade bread!)

These are the HOTTEST peppers ever!! Hua Jiao!

 Don't be afraid of the Doufu!!! When cooked right, it's amazing!!

We had 9 dishes total...

From left to right:

Shrimp Doufu (tofu) -light colored dish
Kung pow chicken-SO spicy and delish!
Pork Doufou (big glass bowl in middle)
Green leafy vegetable (i only know the chinese name, ha!)
Seaweed/egg soup

The tortilla looking dish is called Bing, and is so amazingly delicous i can't even tell you. It's like a sesame crepe, that i could eat for the rest of my life. It was our dessert!

This one was probably my's the stalk/stem of what green peas grow on. I made sure this dish was right next to me, ha!

Kung pow chicken or Gong Bao Ji Ding

The entire time we were eating we kept making lots of yummy sounds and exclaiming how good everything tasted. Seriously, chinese food in america is nothing like true Chinese food. Ohhhhh the yumminess!!!!!!!

We were so grateful that our students wanted to cook for us and share their culinary skills. We had the best time learning how they cooked each dish and finding new foods and spices we didn't know about before. We love learning other cultures! Most of dinner conversation centered around culture comparisons and Chinese traditions. It was a truly wonderful night!!!!

We went to church today, came home and had leftovers, and have been busy cleaning and working on stuff that needs to get done. I mentioned menu planning, here is what this week looks like:

Mon: Tilapia, orzo pasta, vegetable
Tues/Wed: Zuppa Toscana (gotta get our kale!)
Sat: out

With running in the evenings it's too hard to come home, run, and try to cook every night. i try to make meals that will last us 2 nights so when we run we can just come home and eat!

We're expecting a good amount of snow/sleet/ice on Tuesday. If you know me, this warms my soul and brings a lot of joy to my heart! i l.o.v.e snow days!!! 

how was ya'lls weekend? what do you think of the food??


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday Random

First, I have no idea where i'm going to go with this post. I will either list the random stuff in my life or be transparent and share too much about me crying earlier this week.


I'm on twitter, this you know. I love it. It really is so much cooler than Facebook. I'm determined to make Sarah sign up for it. If I can't get her to blog, surely she can tweet.

Twitter has also made me want something. Something that i guess 90% of you all already have.


Deep breaths....

An IPhone.

I know, i know......

But i've been anti for almost always because i don't like what i see sometimes. (again, sometimes, this does not mean that if you are an IPhone user this automatically applies to you.)

But I don't like going out to dinner, looking around the restaurant and see people ignoring whoever they came with so they can use their IPhone. Again, you can use almost any phone, but i've noticed that people with IPhone's can become obsessed with it.

I've heard friends say that they really could (honestly) not imagine their life without an IPhone.
And then i secretly pray that God will take theirs away so they can find out that they actually will survive.

Ha, totally kidding! (or am i??? hahahahah)

But I HATE the idea of getting too attached to something like a phone.  I mean it's a thing for crying out loud. I like my phone now. It's not twitter friendly, but because it isn't i can put it on silent in the other room for hours on end because i know i'm prob not missing too much. I don't mind if i have missed phone calls, txts etc... Because if there is truly an emergency, someone will call Daniel. ha!

But i don't want to be against something that could possibly make my life easier. I mean.....look at how life changing the Chi is.

And i don't want to be anti just because. 
Anyways, i would like to blame society, and by that i mean Twitter,  for making me want an IPhone.

(okay we're just going to stick with random on this post)

- I want to decorate our daughter's nursery in a cupcake theme (no i'm not pregnant)

- we're making homemade pizza tonight, one of our faves. We put about 10 lbs of toppings but it's totally okay because they're mostly vegetables

-I started eating Kiwi to give me the potassium my body needs bc i hate bananas. hate. hate. hate.

- My goal is to run 10 miles a week when i'm not training for something. Other than being sick or the artctic weather, i've been able to do this.

-I start half-marathon training Feb 7th. I'm sooo excited!

-Tomorrow, our chinese students are coming over to teach us how to cook legit Chinese dishes. I might pee my pants from the excitement. no promises.

wow, i think that's all i have right now.....



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekend Rewind

We hardly ever make plans on Fridays. Mostly, because by the end of the week we're so tired that we're still in bed by about 9.

But I was having severe cabin fever. Which is weird because i had been at work all day and i rarely ever get bored at home. But my job doesn't involve a lot of interaction with other people, so by the time i see Daniel i talk for about 2 hours straight because i've been storing it up all day. So we decided to go to Starbucks and read for a bit. (thanks mom for the gift cards!)

Almost every time we read near each other, i end up interrupting Daniel non-stop to read him whatever i find interesting in my book/magazine. So far he has endured this annoying practice of mine. I'm hoping he finds it endearing, ha!

Saturday was spent sleeping in (8AM!!!!!) and running errands. We were planning on having a date night, and Daniel surprised me with Cheesecake Factory!!! CF is one of my faves. I always get the same thing: Louisiana Chicken Pasta. I got three meals out of it so i totally feel like i got my moneys worth, ha!
This is a picture of Daniel's man-sized burrito. As soon as it came out, I told him there was no way he was allowed to eat that all in one sitting. haahahahha

Surprisngly, we both showed some good self-control and brought home a good portion of our meal. It's always nice to leave a restaurant not feeling too full or uncomfortable. (at least that's what i say)
Then, we just walked around the mall for a while, admiring all the pretty things in the windows. It was a lot of fun. I'm not sure if we've ever just walked around the mall. So much fun! It really is the little things. And I love how doing something ordinary, but doing it with your best friend, makes it all that much more enjoyable.

Sunday was a busy busy day. After church we came home and had to work on a lot of stuff, and i made another loaf of bread for the week. We spoke at church on Sunday night about some of our overseas experience. We both have hearts for people overseas and love sharing whenever we can!

For dinner we tried something new, and made kale chips and saffron rice. Both were really good. I really wan to cook with kale more often. I'm hoping to try sauteeing it next time.

Does anyone have any good kale recipes they like???

Today (Monday) we met the fam for dinner to celebrate Grandpa's 96th birthday!!!! 96 years of life is so amazing, and something to be grateful for. We're so glad we could celebrate Grandpa and all he means to us and his family.

Hope everyone survived their Monday!



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

We woke up this morning to a sheet of ice covering most of Oklahoma. I got up, showered, dressed, did my hair, and about 5 minutes before leaving i found out work was cancelled.


I'm back in my sweats, drinking a second pot of coffee, listening to the news and soaking it all up!!!

(disclaimer: I don't like that people get hurt in car wrecks or falls during ice storms. My excitement stems purely from a love for winter weather and having a day off from work.)

I was home a couple days a few weeks ago because i was sick, but having a snow/ice day when you're in great health is SO much better! We really don't have a lot of snow, but enough ice to keep everyone indoors.

Plans for the day: read my Real Simple mag that came yesterday, read my Marathon book, watch a movie, clean out the closets, and clean up the house.

Daniel is at work so i have the house to myself. I am going to try and not call him all day with minute-to-minute updates of how i just folded laundry or saw a bird outside or something. no promises.

Random stuff.....

We ran last night. It was a GREAT run...temp was in the 30's but we both felt great and kept our pace.

I need to get this off my chest. I got VERY VERY angry with the ending of TBL this week. There was a lot of yelling, and i may or may not have scared Daniel with my choice of words, ha. kidding. What makes me angry, is that Dan & Don clearly did not want to be there, and threw the weigh in. It upsets me because they took the place of 2 people who would've LOVED the opportunity to be on the show and change their lives. If they didn't want to work out and change their own lives, then they should've just stayed at home. grrrrr.

This is from Sarah's facebook (Grant is 4)

Grant- Mom can you tell me all 50 states?
Sarah- Yes, why do you need to know the states names?
Grant- I need to teach them to daddy, I don't think he knows them all!

What makes is this extra funny, is Mike is a pilot, ha!

I think that's all i got for now. Hope everyone is staying warm!!

anyone else home from work today??



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marriage Moment

Monday night i slept realllllllly bad. I just couldn't turn my mind off, even though i was exhausted. I kept thinking of the word purple, and then was like "hmmm, should we name our daughter Violet?" (no i wasn't on drugs). and NO i'm not pregnant :)

So last night Daniel prayed before we went to bed that i would sleep well......

In the middle of the night, i'm laying on my stomach, faced away from Daniel. And I feel his hand on my back. I'm thinking "that's sweet, he wants to be close to me."

But then he keeps moving his hand around my back and pressing in hard. I'm now thinking "what the heck is he doing?" I knew i had been sleeping well and was starting to get annoyed that his sweet moment was going to wake me up and keep me from falling back asleep.

Finally, i turn over and say "what are you doing?!"

Daniel breathes a huge sigh and says "you weren't moving." (in a very worried voice)

me: "what??" (also thinking....i was sleeping, why would i be moving?!)

Daniel said he couldn't tell i was breathing and it didn't look like i was moving, so he started to panic.

Sweet, that he was concerned i might be dead, but I told him, next time if he thinks something is wrong he better shake a lot harder!!!  (or be more diligent about checking to see if i'm breathing so I can sleep without interruption)  :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Rewind Texas Style

The minute the 5 o'clock whistle blew on Friday, i was GONE!!! I got in my car and pointed south.

I got in by 8, and caught up with mom and dad. We stayed up till 11 talking. oh my poor body, ha! By the time i got in bed i was so out of it! It had been a really busy week, with little sleep. I slept till 9 am the next morning. i was shocked!!! I NEVER sleep past 7 on the weekends, but i was SO excited that i did.

One thing i love about coming to my parents house, is i get SPOILED! i lay on the couch, watch tv, drink coffee leisurely, eat really good food, and don't have to clean up. It's a great break from the normal routine of cooking, cleaning, and having to plan what the next meal is going to be. I soak it all up!!!!!

One thing i've been doing for the last few years is making letting my dad make my coffee. There's something extra special and enjoyable about someone else making and getting your coffee for you. And for some reason the way he makes it always tastes better than what i do.
(do i sound spoiled yet? ha!)

Saturday morning we went to Sams to look around. I'm always tempted to buy tons of stuff but usually leave empty handed bc it's nearly impossible to buy in bulk for 2 people.

Then we headed to Luke's Locker, a local running store. (they also sponsored our 15K and half marathon). I was looking for new running shoes.

Confession: my current shoes aren't running shoes at all.

They're like trail shoes. So Daniel and i have been saving to get me some actual running shoes. SADLY, when i showed the lady what i was wearing and asked if i needed new ones, she was like "there's not a huge difference in the shoes, so these are fine." UGH, i had already picked out the perfect pink pair! oh well, money saved!

I did scour the entire store. It's like an automatic drug high (for me) to just be in the store surrounded by things i want. I blame our materialistic society for making me want EVERYTHING! hahaahha j/k
But i did end up with a running tank that was on sale and a shoe pouch that i've been wanting.

Caroline and my aunt came over so we could all go to Buca di Beppo for dinner to celebrate my birthday. if you've never been to Buca, you aren't living. it is that good!!! it's immigrant family style italian, so you order as a big group and share everything. Family style is my fave. Throw in eating the food with your hands, and i'm in heaven, ha! Whether it's chinese food or italian, family style eating is just a bonding experience!

None of us had really eaten lunch that day so we were starving! From the moment we got to dinner, Caroline and i talked non-stop! I'm sure my aunt and parents had conversation too, but we were way too engrossed to even notice. So we ordered garlic bread, and bread came so we were devouring it. I had just finished my third piece and the waiter came back with a bread that looked completely different. We were like...what is this?? He was like, "didn't you hear me say that this was just the complimentary bread until the garlic bread came?" ummm no. We were self-abosrbed into our own lives so we just saw food and started inhaling. so I had 3 pieces of garlic bread to even it out. :)

We ordered the chicken parm and the quatro al forno-which is manicotti, canneloni, stuffed shells, and ravioli. i'm drooling right now.
I thought i was going to die, i was in so much pain when we left. I ate and ate and ate and then ate some more.
And just when i thought i was going to burst, he brought a birthday dessert. ohhhhh

Then we came home and opened presents.

(yes my mom is still decorated for Christmas.)

I had a little present for Caroline too.

A signed JJ Heller cd.

Caroline just got back from Israel, and brought me back a necklace with my name on it in HEBREW!!!!!!!!!!

And then.....cake......

We lingered around talking and talking. Strangely, we ended up talking about my nephews a lot, just sharing stories and little funny things they've said or done. Hopefully Caroline wasn't bored to death, ha!

We had church this morning, and then my all time fave meal, roast, potatoes, and carrots. love love!

I'll head home tomorrow and hopefully get a good run in. And i really miss Daniel. It's weird how just having a few nights or days away makes you miss someone so much. It will be good to go home and get some things done before work on Tuesday.

No big plans for the week or weekend, except for maybe a date night (hint hint). The weather is supposed to be nicer so i'm dying to get in a few runs!!!!! i'll let you know :)

did most people have a 3 day weekend?


Friday, January 14, 2011

Dallas Bound

After work today, i'm headed to Texas to celebrate my birthday with the fam. The boys won't be there, so there will be a lot less pics to post from the weekend, sadly. (hint hint..Sarah it's not too late to drive to Dallas!!!) Daniel was supposed to come, but needs to be here on Sunday for church, so he's a free man this weekend!

Just a small random post today:

- I get to see BFF Caroline this weekend and hear about her Israel trip, yay!!!

- I just started Praying God's Word-Breaking Free, by Beth Moore. I've owned the book for years but never felt like it was the right time to do it. I started it yesterday and already love the intro. I'm really excited about what i'll be learning!

-I joined twitter. I. love. it.  I'm hardly ever on facebook anymore, bc i feel like twitter is much more 'instant.' ohhhh our generation!!!!!! ha!

- It's been almost 2 weeks since i've ran. pathetic. But it's so hard to run in below freezing wind chills. I have my life to consider :)

have a great weekend!!! anyone have special plans??


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We tried...

So, i know everyone else is getting snow and ice and winter weather. We are not. We were teased, but other than 10 minutes of snow this afternoon that didn't stick, we're just cold here.

The wind chill tomorrow is -4. Notice the - sign in front of that number. yikes!!!!

But today the wind chill was only 18!!! So i was determinded to run. I get antsy when i go a week without running, and with being sick lately, i was dying to get out there.

I wasn't too worried about the cold weather, because i was just gonna go for 3. And my motto is, you can do anything for 3 miles. (hahahhahaha)

Daniel thought i was out of my mind, but being the supportive spouse he is, he put on his layers and we headed out.
To our suprise it had snowed/sleeted from the time i got home till we headed out. oh well, it won't kill us right?


Look at those 2 kids, so full of promise!

The cold didn't bother us, the biting wind did. We didn't/don't have any face protection when we run, so my throat honestly felt like it was being cut. The wind combined with the sleet stung and hurt.

We lasted about 5 minutes or so.


Ah well, now i know better. So i hit the Shred to get a bit of a work out in. I'm starting to feel/see the Peppermint Milkshakes from chick fil a and the Caramel Brulee Lattes from Starbucks. It's amazing how i can have so much self control over some foods, but throw me something yummy that is a holiday offer or limited time only and i can not help myself :)


I'm home by myself for probably the third time in our marriage and i'm living it up: blogging, House Hunters, and i'm about to make some hot chocolate. Yeah i go all out when i'm home alone, ha!


We just started sponsoring our first child through World Vision. We chose a little 8 year old girl in India. She has the same birthday as our anniversary, so we'll always remember to celebrate her at that time.

I made chicken pot pie a few weeks ago completely from scratch (except the pie crust)...and it was delish!!!!!

(this is the pie before i covered it with the pie crust) 

We also made this again and it was SO good. Don't underestimate the power of a grape tomato.

That's my Monday. I'm going to go get that hot chocolate before my fingers freeze off!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Birthday Week Recap

I turned 29 last Wednesday.

The day started with Daniel making me this...

Yummy french toast with not-so-secret ingredient: chocolate milk! yum!

At work, i found this...

My office...

This picture makes it look lik my phone/office is from the dark ages...

Sidenote: At this point, i have/had been sick for about a week. MAJOR sinus pressure/pain, congestion, the works. I'd been on OTC stuff for almost a week as well. NOTHING was helping any of my symptoms. Wednesday i felt pretty bad the whole day. It was a struggle. I looked like this...not sure if the puffiness/allergy is really captured, but i think i look all stuffy.

By the end of the day i was feeling so bad, i decided to go the dr the next morning. But keeping with our family tradition, I too ended up at Urgent Care. On my birthday.

I was told i had a bad infection, and was given drugs. By the time we got the rx, got gas, and got home, we rode thru Chick fil a for dinner. We were supposed to go out, but i was not feeling it.

But when i walked in the door, i found this.....

No matter how sick you are, there is ALWAYS time for presents :) Did i mention gifts is my love language??
Here's the goods: an adoption book i've been wanting, the sequel of Francine Rivers, running socks, a foam roller, Space Camp, and a bracelet (which i forgot to take a pic of).

Daniel made one of my fave desserts......

Then i went to bed.

I missed work on Thursday and Friday, and am feeling better, but not wonderful yet. I'm hoping soon though.

Friday night, i was feeling better, so we went to our fave Indian restaurant.

Yes, we ate all of this!!!

Then we headed to see one of my all time faves, JJ Heller. If you've never heard her songs, you are totally missing out. They're so honest, simple, deep, and speak right to you. She has a new cd out, and my 3 fave songs are Tell it Again, Control, and No Fight Left. It was probably my fave concert ever. (are we counting how many times i can say 'fave' in this post?) ha.

And because we live in Oklahoma......we ran into someone we knew. ha!

My wonderful friend Carly who actually introduced Daniel and me to JJ when we all lived overseas together. sidenote: Carly was also our chaperone a lot when we were dating overseas. She's one of the few people who knew both me and Daniel before we dated each other.

JJ and her husband. Don't we look like we could be great friends?

This night totally made my birthday. Hanging out with my husband, good food, good friends, and good music. I drank it all in and held on tight. my love tank was filled.

Last night (Saturday), we had birthday dinner with Daniel's fam at BJ's.

And I got........the Nook Color!!!

I played with this a lot today, downloaded a few books, and discovered Pandora. Maybe i've been under a rock for a while, but Pandora is cool!

Next weekend, we're travelling to Texas to celebrate my birthday with my fam. I really am the gift that keeps on giving, haahhahahahaha!!!!


This pretty lady had a birthday on Friday. Yes, our birthdays are 2 days apart.

Happy 31st Birthday Sarah!!!!!!

p.s. It's snowing right now!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday and Running Rewind

Happy Birthday..... to ME!!!!

Today is my 29th birthday. Rather than doing a year in review of things that have happened since my last birthday, i thought i'd doing a running recap. (and there's a few pics thrown in for fun!)

I've been running for one year. December 29th, 2009, I decided to tackle a huge task. What seemed impossible to me at the time.

I emailed Sarah and told her i wanted to run one mile and made it a goal. Little did i know, that running would become such a big part of my life in 2010.

On December 29th, 2009, I ran 3 minutes on the treadmill. That was all i could do.

I tried to increase my time little by little, until i reached 1 mile on January 7th, Sarah's Birthday.

I continued to run on the treadmill, slowly adding to the distance i could run. At that time, i was more concerned about how long i could run, rather than the actual distance.

Here are the stats:

1 Mile-January 7th

2 Miles- February 11th

3 Miles- Feburary 25th

4 Miles- May 12th

5 Miles- July 21st

6 Miles- July 28th

7 Miles- August 14th

8 Miles- August 20th

9 Miles- September 6th

10 Miles- September 25th

11 Miles- October 2nd

12 Miles- October 8th

13 Miles- October 24th


5K- April 25th

15K- September 6th

Half Marathon- October 24th

Full Marathon- ???? Hopefully, one day!!!

Running has completely changed my life. In the year that i've been running, i feel more fit, more active, and love having a sport that is challenging and so rewarding. I've lost over 20lbs in the year, which i contribute to running. I ran over 400 miles last year. That's over 40,000 calories burned which comes to almost 12 lbs of weight loss from just running. I want to say all that, because it seemed so impossible this time last year. It took me 9 full months of running to get to 10 miles, which i thought i would never be able to do. I love seeing results and remembering how excited i was when i hit my first mile. I remember all the txts and phone calls to Sarah to update her on my progress, celebrating each mile. It's been a great year, and i'm so thankful. Def want to give a shout out to TPG, who inspired me to start running in the first place. I honestly don't know if i would've ever even considered it, had it not been for her. All the early long runs on Saturdays, the bad runs where i've felt defeated, the amazing runs where i was left feeling invincible, all have brought me more joy that i can even believe.

Here's hoping next birthday i can say i've run 600 + miles!!

love ya'll!!!!