Sunday, January 31, 2010
Instead, they came down this morning and we all went out to breakfast. It was a pretty good time. We tracked down a Wii Fit for her. She was so happy. She also took home a whole cake that I made - lemon with chocolate icing. Everyone always thinks it's gross until they actually try it.
Tonight, since we ate 2/3 of the turkey roast last night, I will be making turkey pot pie again. It is oh-so-delicious.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Due to a traumatic (and I now realize, abusive) prior relationship, I've also had a hard time being emotionally and physically close. He is very patient - probably the most patient guy I've ever met. But I feel so guilty because every time he kisses or snuggles on the couch, I get anxious and I shy away. My inadequacies as a fiancee have taken over my waking thoughts, and now even my dreams. I had a dream last night that he presented me with a list of my short-comings. While he would never do that, I feel horrible. My job is suffering because I only want to go home. When I get home, I can't relax because I keep obsessing over how inadequate I am. It's gotten to the point (and it's never happened with him) that I'm wondering why he's choosing to marry me.
How does one break this vicious cycle? Would one good weekend of being an amazing fiance followed by as many helpful and loving gestures as I can muster make me stop worrying? I do plan on joining in on Momzoo's effort to show love to our men. Is that enough?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I think it has been a good week. Monday was a free day (yay!), Tuesday was a repeat of last week, Wednesday and Thursday we did a lab, and Friday was Right to Life Day. On Thursday, my school had a dress down day for Haiti. We raised (drumroll) $15,800!!! I couldn't believe my ears. People donated way past the $5 minimum to dress down. The money went to the brotherhood who sponsors our school. They have been working in Haiti for some time, so they have some idea of how to best help. It may go to immediate relief, or it could go to rebuilding. Either way, I know it goes to a good cause.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Our school allows (encourages) students to go the the March for Life in DC by taking buses down and having chaperons. More than half our school went. I stayed behind as I did last year. For those of us at school, we watched a gorgeous movie, Bella. It's described as a pro-life movie, but I'd describe it simply as a great movie. I highly recommend it. Afterward, we had mass. After lunch, a man from Ghana came to talk to us about Catholic Relief Services. He was touched personally by their efforts as his parents and two brothers died from starvation, and his older brother ran away. Now, with their help, he has a masters degree and works for them, stressing the importance of education to liberate people from poverty and distress. Finally, we had a concert by Tony Melendez and the Toe Jam Ministry.
He was a thalidomide baby from Nicaragua. He plays the guitar with his feet. He really is amazing. While he wasn't as good as the guest from last year (Jesse Manibusen), I still liked him.
I think I've just about figured out where I stand on the pro-life/pro-choice issue. I don't believe I could ever have an abortion. I think that unbiased education, not slanted arguments like "abortion causes breast cancer," is key to saving lives. I think that crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and yes, even planned parenthood can help reduce the need for abortions. We can't outlaw abortions while ignoring the causes of the pregnancies. Women who are desperate enough will have the procedure done. Beyond my strong belief in unbiased prenatal counseling, I don't want the government having that much control over my body. We should convince people not to do something, not forbid them from doing something.
Today, *B* and I proctored the SATs at my school. I usually do it, but *B* decided to go too and donate his pay to the wedding fund. Such a sweet guy!
I managed to read a book and a half today. The first book I read was Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It was so great. It's split between a young Jewish girl living in 1942 Paris and a 45 year old American expat living in ~2000 Paris. I highly recommend it. The other book I was working on I'm still on the fence about. It's Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I've started it three times now. I'm about half way through, but I'm not entirely sure why it's supposedly such a great book. It definitely doesn't draw me in the way Sarah's Key did. Once I finish, I'll decide whether or not I liked it.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
I think the reason that I don't want to go to work all the time is that there's so much to be done here at home. I still need to put another coat of paint up in the bathroom, rip the border down in the bedroom, paint the bedroom, and organize the office. The office is the hardest because I need to tear apart my desk and donate it. The last time we donated to our local thrift shop, they told us we need to call first because they have too much stuff. I need to figure out what the theme of the office will be before I can really decorate it. We still have the old curtains in each room. In some rooms, they work. In others, they are really out of place. The office is one of those places.
I went to the gym today. I feel so bad, which is out of the ordinary for me. Usually, I feel really, really good after I go. I guess it's because I tried to make up for not going for 6 days in one weekend. I was also kind of bummed when I hopped on the scale today and realized I have not lost one pound since starting at the gym. It seems like I'm really going to need to buckle down on my foods if I want any results.
One thing I really want to do is get pictures for my picture frame that is to go on my desk at school. My therapist said it would be good to have reminders of home at work. I bought the frames, but I have no ink in my printer. I'm going to need to go to Walmart to have them printed. One frame has three different picture spots, so I need to figure out the sizes and orientations with respect to the pictures I have. I'm just hoping that I get it done in time to enjoy it before the end of the school year.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
First, we made lemon butter. It was so easy! We just put the zest of 2 lemons, 4 tbsp of honey, and 1 pint of whipping cream into my kitchen aid. We whipped it way past whipped cream and ended up with the butter and oh-so-delicious flavored buttermilk. The buttermilk, we used in the scone recipe.
For the scones, I mixed 2 cups of flower with 2 tbsp baking powder, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp of salt. I cut in 1/4 cup of butter until crumbly. Then I mixed together 2/3 cup of our buttermilk and 1 egg. I poured that in with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp of poppy seeds. After mixing with a fork, I turned it onto a floured board and made it into a round. This is what it looks like just before baking:
It's got a little bit of turbinado sugar on top, and the wedges are scored. I baked it at 425 degrees for a little more than 15 minutes. Mmmm, so good.
The original recipe came from cooks.com. Doesn't it look good?
The chicken (and especially the gravy) turned out amazing! It was a recipe from Ina Garten on the Food Network. The carrots were roasted under the chicken. I took everything from the bottom of the pan, minus the carrots, and made the most delicious gravy I've ever had.
Oh so good! Yum!
It was so nice to be with friends. I was amazed that they stayed for four hours with no real lull in the conversation. I could see this being a bi-weekly kind of thing. Food really does bring people together.
Friday, January 15, 2010
We also put a deposit down on the restaurant for our reception. We found out the church we booked overlooks the restaurant. It's walking distance! Here's what we still need to do:
- Get my dress
- Pick out bridesmaid dresses
- Pick out men's clothing
- Negotiate pricing with my photographer friend
- Buy wedding bands
- Get flowers
- Find a DJ/ask a friend to MC
- Book honeymoon
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It used to be an old train station, and it sits right next to the tracks and a river. The price is much less than other places, and includes all food - even the cake! It's gotten rave reviews for the past few years for its food. I've been there twice and really liked it. I can't believe I was skeptical that I'd like it as a reception place. And, with 100 people, we get the whole restaurant to ourselves.
I asked a friend from grad school who was a former professional photographer to do our wedding and he said yes! That helps SO much. On top of that, my mom is friends with a woman at work whose son I knew in school who does flowers on the side. My mom said she'll pick up the tab for it, too. All we need is a church (which should be taken care of tomorrow) and a DJ! After that, it's up to us to get clothing and bands and we're pretty much done.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My mom was sitting at my house when I got home. We went to visit one wedding venue, peek at another, and try on wedding dresses.
The first venue we went to was pretty. I loved the upstairs, which was where dinner would be served, but was not a big fan of where most of the party would take place. When we sat down with the woman who gave us the tour, she printed up an itemized bill. Not including flowers, photography, an officiant, a DJ, or a cake, it was $7000! And I wasn't asking for a lot. The rental fee was one of the lowest for this area at $1050, but food and drinks were astronomical. The worst part - the cost of food per person is comparable to other places around here.
The second place we went to was my front runner. It's a gorgeous converted Amish barn at a winery we like a lot. We have an appointment to talk about costs and needs. The biggest difference between the two is that we can bring our own food to the winery. We weren't allowed to do that at the first place. We'll see what happens.
My mom and I decided to go to David's Bridal - a 45 minute drive - to take a look at dresses. We got there an hour and a half before they closed. When we got there, a lady told us we were welcome to go through dresses, but she would just look through the catalog if she were me. We found three dresses I really liked. When I asked about trying them on, they said I couldn't try them on without an appointment! We drove for an hour and a half total just to go there and look for 10 minutes. I had already seen the dresses online. It wasn't like I didn't know what they had there. Ugh, so frustrating.
My mom and I decided that it would be best if I started looking for dresses in the summer. That way, I'd have a chance to see the effects of my workouts a little more. It'd be awful to buy a dress now that doesn't fit me in six months. At least, that's how I'm hoping it will turn out.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
but when I upload it, it goes back to the way it was filmed.
*B* took the video afterward. I can't believe I'm engaged! This is what my engagement ring looks like:
It's funny. Two nights ago, I really prayed for the first time in a while. I was just thankful for what I have and asking God to help me get closer to Him and to be a better girlfriend to *B*. Then all this happens!
*B* said he used an online sizing guide using another one of my rings, and he bought a size 5 the day after Thanksgiving. He wanted to propose before the end of the year. When he got it and saw how small it was, he had to send it back to get resized (I'm roughly a size 9). It just came back yesterday at 1:30, and by 4:30 I was proposed to!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I used to make up for it by filling that role with my ex's family. That worked fairly well, until we broke up. With *B*'s family, he has nice parents, no grandparents, and semi-distant aunts and uncles. His cousins are not people that I would like to associate with because of problems with drugs, baby drama, and the police. I did love his sister, but she and her husband and almost 1 year old son are in Germany.
I think fairly often about getting married and having children. I tried to go to bed about 45 minutes ago and couldn't sleep. I ended up lying there thinking. The only reason I could think of desperately wanting - no, needing - these things so bad is that I want to have a family in a way that I do not right now. I know, however, that this is no reason to rush things, so I restrain myself. I end up reading tons and tons of blogs about people with families, how to raise children, and live vicariously through it. It's like reading food blogs without a kitchen.
Beyond having a flaky family, I have very few friends. We are friends with three couples, and two of the three live about an hour away. I'm not very close with people at work. Some of it is because I live a substantial distance away. The rest of it is that there is no real way to become friends with them besides staying late Friday nights and going to happy hour. At that point, I'm so exhausted, it's all I can do to drive home.
Even Wicket doesn't like me very much. She'll lay all over *B* with no problems, but if I touch her, she gets up and walks away.
And...I'm whining. Sorry.
The problem I have, though, is the feasibility of using the recipes in my everyday life. Upon occasion, I'll go out and find a recipe I like, gather the ingredients at the store, then make it. But when I have a number of ingredients at home already, it's hard to find a top notch recipe that will fit them. There are always unusual ingredients like red wine vinegar or fresh tarragon. Is there some kind of essential pantry list somewhere that I'm missing? I'm a bit afraid of some of the ingredients, too. Between things like lentils, broccoli rabe, and onions, I'm not sure how to expand my palate without going hungry every night. It seems like, with one notable exception, all of the recipes I've tried lately were really nasty. I guess the only option is to try weekly meal planning again and ignoring any cravings that come my way.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
After just about a week of quarantining the cats, I'm currently listening to the pitter-patter of eight little feet. Wicket chases Evie up the stairs, then somehow Evie ends up chasing Wicket down the stairs. While we won't go anywhere without separating them, they seem to be okay together while we're here. We only let them out together for a little while. Wicket's still scared of her and hisses at first, but overall we're doing just fine.
We had a lovely little New Year's party. There were only nine of us, but I enjoyed it immensely. My friend from high school confirmed that *B* will be performing his wedding ceremony! I'm very excited. *B* has only performed one other ceremony, and that was for his sister's wedding a few years ago. It does mean, however, that we have to get up airfare and hotel to get to Indiana for a weekend. It's two months after *B*'s best friend's wedding, too. I guess I'm getting to that age :o) I'm hoping that I'll be able to post news about me in that respect, but I don't know when that'll happen. Right now, I'm just hoping and praying that it'll be soon. As Billy Crystal said in When Harry Met Sally, "...when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
I decided to join a gym a few days ago. It's $30 a month (less than normal because I'm a teacher). I had been putting it off because of the expense, but I realized my health is worth more than $30 a month. This place is open 24-7, is less than a mile away, and has brand new equipment. I went for the first time yesterday. I was so excited to get back into it that I spent almost two hours there. I loved it so much. Now, though, I hurt SO BAD. I'm going back tomorrow for some light cardio. If I don't, I'm not sure if I'll ever go back :o) *B*'s aunt gave me a cute padded journal that looked like a sweatshirt. This is a journal something like it:
My access card fits just in the pocket, and I can keep track of what I'm doing. I like keeping data on my progress. When I first got it, I was thankful but ambivalent, though now it seems like it perfectly fits my needs.
Once I get into the habit of going to the gym, then I'll work on eating better. This year will be a much more relaxed endeavor than the usual "lose a bunch of weight" campaign. I want to be healthy. If that means I end up losing weight, great. If not, at least I'll be fit. Maybe, as if by osmosis, *B* will follow suit. Not that I'd ever critique his physique, his family's history of health problems is cause for concern. And anyway, he's the one that pushes vegetables all the time. Maybe now I'll actually listen to him :o)