Oy. Thanksgiving was soooo tasty and we have a ton of leftovers!
Wednesday: sausage and noodles with red sauce
Thursday: salmon and rice with green beans
Monday, November 30, 2009
Oy. Thanksgiving was soooo tasty and we have a ton of leftovers!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Whew! That was such a fun holiday! Our Thanksgiving was a ton of fun: we enjoyed going to my Grandma's house for family festivities and then coming back here for David's family fun. Then yesterday I studied, David organized a bit in the house, and last night we decorated the Christmas tree!
On Wednesday we stayed at home. David worked most of the day and I prepared for our Thanksgiving with his family a bit and then studied a lot. That late afternoon we trekked to my parents' house, where we feasted on tacos, played Monopoly, and watched a movie. That night I went to sleep super early (um, 9:03).
The next morning David and I got up to run. Our plan was simple: run at 6 a.m. in order to get in the shower line first. Our house is in a rural area, so if two people take showers or a bath then the hot water disappears and the others have to take cold showers or simply wait a few hours to take a hot shower. However, we were tricked because when we arrived home from the run my dad was already dressed and showered! Quickly we showered and luckily we had hot water. Poor David usually gets last place in the shower line because he does not know to wake up early to get a hot shower, and he sleeps in later than everybody else.
After the showers, we went to town and attended Thanksgiving mass, which was nice. Then we went to my Grandparents' house, which smelled delicious! My grandma is known as a fabulous cook, so we look forward to her Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts every year (or just going to eat lunch)! We feasted on potato casserole, rolls, turkey, stuffing, corn casserole, fruit salad, green beans from the garden, peach pie, pumpkin pie, and homemade pickles. Yum!
After being thoroughly stuffed, David and my brother weighed themselves. They have a tradition where they weigh themselves before and after every meal at my grandma's house. This year David gained 2 pounds and my brother gained 4 pounds during the course of the meal. After their big weigh-in, they took naps.
Soon we loaded up the car to head back to Columbia! On the way there we saw an eagle in the middle of a field. So did Bethany from the Fabulous Adventures of Mrs. Haid! How weird!
I enjoyed seeing my family over Thanksgiving. I love holidays because I enjoy visiting with everybody.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Finally, for my last Thankful for Thanksgiving post, I am thankful for my family and friends! I am so lucky to have a great husband, great parents, grandparents, in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended relatives! Besides that, I am lucky to have friends who are so wonderful and lend an ear whenever I need them. Everybody is so kind and supportive and I am lucky to have them in my life! I am also thankful for the health and happiness of those close to me.
Enjoy your holiday!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Today I wanted to write about how I am thankful I went to law school. This is my last year and thus my last Thanksgiving break I will be spending studying! I am a little sad but mostly happy. When I graduated from college, I was not ready to enter into the working world and could not imagine wanting to start a career at age 22. However, these last few years have prepared me to enter into the working world and have given me a chance to really reflect on what I want to do with my abilities.
I really enjoy law school. I love being challenged and thinking about the law and its consequences. Besides that, I love how law school has taught me to think differently. Before I went to law school many people said that I would become more confident in my learning, and that I would feel like I could teach myself anything. I find this to be very true. Law school taught me to be a critical thinker, always looking for the holes in arguments and to voice my concerns about them. While it drives my husband crazy when we are arguing, I think that is a good thing.
I know that there are a million jokes about lawyers being greedy, and sure, there are some lawyers who are greedy out there. But the lawyers for whom I've worked have also been some of the most charitable people I know. Lawyers do pro bono work, take a lower-paying job to go into public service, and write off a ton of their time when they think a client can't pay. They spend their evenings volunteering for service organizations that help people in need. I hope I can be that charitable after I graduate.
Finally, I am thankful to have a life that allows me to go to law school. My family always encouraged me to seek a higher education. I saw my parents work hard through graduate school, my two living grandparents both graduated from college, so I never had a second thought about going to college and seeking a graduate degree. Furthermore, I have the unending support of my husband. Many people face more obstacles when they think about getting an education, and I am thankful that I have a wonderful support system from my family and friends. Therefore, I am thankful that I am in law school.
In other news:
Today I am going to make Chex Mix to have for snacks this weekend. Our house is clean and packed with delicious food! We are all so excited for the holiday!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This may be like beating a dead horse, but today I wanted to write about how I am thankful for my pets.
I absolutely love my pets. Everybody jokes that I got married to David at such a young age because I really wanted to get a cat and my mom said that I couldn't get another one until I was paying for my own insurance. She said that about getting a second hole in my ears and about getting a tattoo as well. Well, I got married on a Saturday and had a cat by that next Wednesday. Haha mom! (I still haven't gotten that second hold or the tattoo.)
Don't worry, I didn't get married just so I could have more pets. Okay, maybe it was only about 50% of the reason I got married. Okay, okay, I know, it was about 80% of the reason why I got married. Fine! Wanting pets was about 95% of the reason why I got married, okay?
Of course, I'm kidding. Seriously. Okay, I'm pretty much kidding.
My pets are so fun. I love them because they have to be in the same room as us at all times. When I'm home alone, they follow me around.
Thorina is a great pet because she is so extreme. She goes from being lovey-dovey to mean in a split second. However, she is also very loyal. She only loves me and David. If anybody else tries to pet her, she goes crazy! However, every evening before she goes to sleep, she climbs up in my lap and purrs and purrs, kneading me and wanting pets. I just love her.
Paco is just an all-around good puppy. David and I always say that we will never have a better dog than Paco, and seriously that is true. He is so good, he always wants to please, and he never ever causes any trouble. He would never think a mean thought, he loves to play, and he is so charming. Everybody loves Paco! We are lucky to have him as a doggie.
Finally, we have Arwen. Arwen is the sweetest kitty I've ever had. She is so nice and loving. She is also very playful and still acts like a kitten, playing with bobby pins, hunting play mice, and loving a good belly rub. She likes to sleep right next to me every night.
Pets are great joys. I have always enjoyed having pets and I love coming home every day because they greet me. So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my pets.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Today I wanted to write about how I am thankful for running. I've always been a runner, but I was never really good earlier in life. When I was in junior high and high school I ran on the track team, which was a lot of fun! I have a lot of fond memories of track meets with my friends in high school, freezing or getting sun burns, trying to lift the shot put with Rach, and doing the triple jump.
Now that I'm older I married someone who was a very competitive runner in high school and who has inspired me to continue running! David and I always joke that he would never run if it were not for me, and I would never improve or do races if it weren't for him! We enjoy running together on the weekends.
Besides David, I now have my friend Julie to inspire me. We ran the half marathon together this fall and also ran a Halloween 10K together. It is a lot of fun to have a running buddy who is on your same level. We are planning on running more races in the future and will hopefully eventually run the Nike Women's Half Marathon! I'm so glad Julie started to run!
Here I am with my birthday cake this year after we ran a St. Patrick's Day 5K. I ran it with my mom and David. My mom has also inspired me to run. She's been runner since something like 1984 and used to run on our gravel roads outside of our house. She still runs now and is quite impressive! She's up to running at least 3 miles or so and almost beats me when we run 5Ks together! I'm really proud of her and glad to have a role model to keep running throughout my adult life.
This is hopefully a picture of me after I have children:
Hopefully I will be able to get a double running stroller so I can run in the park! This is really a picture of my niece Emma and our puppy Paco.
I'm so thankful that I run because it is a great stress reliever. My teacher mentioned last week that attorneys are often depressed (I think like 25% of attorneys are diagnosed with depression), and exercise is a great way to relieve stress! Besides that, I am thankful that my good health that allows me to run!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
In preparation for Thanksgiving, I think I am going to write one thing on my blog for which I am thankful each day this week. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I love going home and being with my family (and eating!), but also because I think that it is a good preparation for the Advent season and eventually the Christmas season. It is good to take time and reflect on things for which you are thankful before joining the celebration of the Christmas season.
This morning, I saw this video on That Wife blog, and while I am not Mormon, I loved the message of this video, so I thought that would share it as well:
I love the guy who says that he is thankful for "lunch and breakfast and dinner". It may sound funny at first, but I think that sometimes we lose sight of how lucky we are that we have enough to eat. Another man mentioned that he will be thankful to have a bed when he gets one. While he seemed to be a college student and probably didn't have a bed because he was crashing at a friend's house, we are also all lucky to have a bed and shelter. When you start to really break it down and realize that you are lucky to have your feet with which to walk, your eyes with which to see, or your ears with which to hear, many of life's problems seem much smaller.
This week a lot of people on Facebook have been posting things for which they are thankful. This week, David's cousin posted that she is thankful for her faith, and I am going to make that my first post this week.
I am thankful for my faith and also for my church in general. I am thankful for the fact that since I was an infant, my family made it a priority to attend church every week. Some children do not have that opportunity and wish that they did.
I am thankful that my husband and I let our church be a part of our marriage. I am thankful that I married someone who does not laugh or scoff at me when I discuss faith and religion. I am thankful that I married someone who shares my religious beliefs and who supports me on my faith journey.
I am thankful for my Catholic religion. I love the tradition, the belief system, and going to communion. I love knowing that every Sunday or Saturday evening, thousands of people around the globe are partaking in the exact same tradition in which I am participating. I love that I feel like home no matter where I go to church, no matter if it is in America or in the Czech Republic. I love our beliefs about the Communion of the Saints and how I am participating in a tradition that not only encompasses us in this world, but also those who are in heaven.
Finally, I am thankful for my relationship with God. I am thankful for the peace I receive when I pray, the comfort I receive when I ask, and the love that is given to me unconditionally. God has given me so many blessings, and I am thankful for every day I awaken.
For what are you thankful today?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Paco has a Holiday wish list, so I thought that I would devote a Fun Thing Friday to his wish list to Santa!
1. First off, his little paws get really cold when he goes outside. He really wants some doggie Ugg-style boots from Old Navy. He would totally rock that look with his really warm red vest he already owns.
2. Next, he wants a doggie hoodie from Old Navy. Blue, of course. The hood will keep him warm in the cold and he thinks that it would look pretty awesome under his red vest with his boots on his feet. Paco is pretty sure that his friends Jose and Terry will be pretty jealous.
3. After that, he would like to open a pack of Greenies. What doggie doesn't love the Greenie taste? Also, Paco likes to keep his teeth shiny and clean. Source
4. Finally, Paco really, really wants a Snuggie for dogs. This will be awesome while he lounges around the house in between his many activities, including going to the bathroom and traveling for the holidays.
He's going to write all of these in his list to Santa this year! We'll see if he is good enough to get them!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thanks for all of your comments on my stuffing post! I really enjoyed making it.
Now that I am one week away from turkey day, I need to start thinking about a good menu. It may seem a little anal, but I began developing a list of meals along with what I'm going to cook at each meal. This way I can easily develop a grocery list so that I don't have to make 50 trips to the grocery store in order to pick up the chicken stock that I forgot. That would get annoying.
When considering a Thanksgiving feast, I think that you need to take a few things into account:
- Tradition: Are there certain dishes that your family has grown to love? Is it important to have the standard mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey? Does everybody like the traditional feast?
- Space: Do you have enough space in your oven to cook a turkey and side dishes? If people have offered to bring things, will they need to be reheated? How many hours will it take to cook everything? What is your plan for reheating items?
- Personal likes/dislikes: This one may seem less needed depending on the family, but I think that it is considerate to take into account everybody's personal food quirks. For instance, I really appreciate it when people remember that I do not like cheese and, if they have a dish that includes cheese, either leave cheese off a portion or make me something else to eat. I'm not sure what the etiquette is behind this, but I also know that I just can't eat some things (like lasagna) that people make with cheese included. Nobody questions a vegetarian when they ask for another dish, but when someone (like me) who does not like a common ingredient is always questioned about their food choices. I don't mind because I know that it is weird, but at a family function I always feel special when someone remembers and takes the time to ensure that I like the fare. Therefore, I think that it is nice (especially when it is family) to ask whether someone prefers a portion of the main dish prepared a certain way. Note: of course, don't do this if you are having a huge party and/or are preparing multiple dishes, because the person in question can simply skip out on that dish. I think this is considerate for main dishes.
- Experience: If you have no experience making a turkey, maybe you should give yourself practice or a lot of time to get it finished.
- Most importantly, guest preferences!: Just because you love spaghetti doesn't mean that you should make it for Thanksgiving.
Those are a few things I considered before deciding on a Thanksgiving menu. My mother-in-law graciously offered to bring a turkey already prepared and cut, so I do not have to worry about making that. The turkey seems like the most daunting part of the meal. I do not enjoy mashed potatoes, but luckily my sister-in-law offered to bring those.
So, here is my menu so far:
Green Bean Casserole
I can develop my shopping list from this plan. I have made the casseroles a lot before, and also feel like I have a lot of experience making the hot rolls. The stuffing was delicious when I made it a week ago, so all in all, I think that this menu seems very doable!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
So my leggings wearing has gotten out of control. I've worn them three times in the last four days, and in the one day that I didn't wear them, I didn't leave the house. Oyyyyyy...I'm in love.
Anyway, this weekend we took it easy and stayed really low-key. I wasn't feeling well all weekend and honestly needed to get a lot of homework finished. However, David's sister gave him DVD episodes of Arrested Development.
What is your opinion of that show? I see why it is touted as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but at the same time I don't think it is the funniest show I've ever seen (as a whole). Sure, the technical things (the handheld camera work, the lack of a laugh track, etc.) are cool and groundbreaking, but I think that I laughed harder at the Office. Maybe I need to watch more. We are slowly working our way through the DVD set.
Besides that, David finished cleaning the garage! It looks really nice.
Anyway, between the DVD watching and the homework doing, we did cook a bit, so on we go with Menu Monday:
Monday: I am having pizza with friends tonight!
Tuesday: leftover potato soup
Wednesday: Roasted veggies with brown rice
Thursday: we actually usually have popcorn because our funny shows are on that night!
Friday: spinach salads
Labels: menu monday
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This week I dyed my hair. I usually have light highlights in it, but on Wednesday I had it dyed a dark brown. I really like it!
I walked into the law school on Wednesday night and there were two guys sitting in the front. They said, "Wooooaaaaahhhhhh, you dyed your hair!" and then one proceeded to say, "I like it darker. It looks cleaner."
It looks cleaner? What a compliment! I guess I should ask my friend to let me know when my hair looks dirty so that I can hurry up and dye it darker. I'm hoping he meant sleeker or something.
David and I are cleaning our garage today. This involves cleaning junk that our mothers both kept bringing to our house, calling them "Happy Memories" or something. Our goal is to throw out of pack up at least 80% of the stuff.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Okay. May I please make an announcement? If you have not jumped onto the leggings train, you need to do so. I know, I know. They get annoying when the 50th college girl walks past you in leggings with the Uggs on. Guess what? I tried that very same outfit on today. And it was fabulous.
Why? Because wearing leggings are like wearing the most comfortable pants ever outside. It is awesome. Jazz it up with some cute jewelry and you are good to go.
Here is what I am wearing out of the house tonight:
Or, you know, not like the really high end stuff but you get the basic idea. And I loooove it. Do the fake pearl earrings make the fact that I'm wearing comfy, comfy pants outside the house? I don't care.
So, if you have not done so, go out and buy leggings. You won't regret it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Hmmmm....can you guess what kind of meat will be featured heavily on Menu Monday this week?
Monday: Turkey Enchilada Soup
Tuesday: I have an event...so leftovers of turkey and gravy for David!
Wednesday: Turkey Reubens
Thursday: Okay, okay. I may make salmon
Friday: Most likely more turkey in some form.
The only problem with making a 14-pound bird for two people is that you will be eating it in some form for MANY days. Hopefully we won't get too tired of it! :)
P.S. Look forward to more adventures in hosting Thanksgiving for the first time!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
My last few favorite moments:
- when my living room lamp clicked on, illuminating the entire house to signal that it is dusk
- shaking David's hand after a good game of Mario Kart
- watching the sun sink into the clouds
- when my cat rubbed her forehead hard on my chin because she wanted a pet
- earlier when I sniffed David's head by his ear
When was your last great moment?
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Argh! I just realized (after prepping the turkey) that I had some unmoderated comments left....so Katie I didn't inject it with spices although that sounds amazing! And Roro, I think I did everything you said except I am not stuffing mine with the bread stuffing. Thanks for all of your comments, everybody! This is how to make a turkey!
Here is the beginning of my adventure. The turkey is currently in the oven. I can guarantee you will want to yell at your computers because I kept getting hung up on the "metal thing". You'll just have to see how I solve it!
Friday, November 06, 2009
This year I am hosting David's family for Thanksgiving. This will be my first time hosting anybody for a holiday, and I am tres excited! You see, I like to cook and entertain. I think that it is fun! I have had a great role model for family holidays, my Grandma, who always goes all-out with delicious food and cute decorations for the day.
I have made two turkeys in my life. One was during my summer off after high school and before college, when my mother showed me a turkey in the kitchen and told me to make it because "this is a life lesson that everybody should learn." She told me that I would thank her when I hosted my in-laws for the first time for Thanksgiving. And she is right.
The other time was the first year we were married when I just bought a turkey around Thanksgiving and made it for fun to have the meat. Thus begins Operation Turkey 2009.
For the occasion, I created my first ever video blog. Enjoy! (P.S. There are bloopers at the end of the movie. David was passing through the room at the time I made this and made me laugh.) Just press the little play button in the lower left hand corner to play:
Now, I have this handy dandy cookbook that faithful reader RoRo gave me when we got married:
It is lovingly being modeled by Arwen.
Anyway, the cookbook is geared specifically to newlyweds and has lots of good tips for hosting holiday meals. It is called the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Bridal Edition, 2005, Meredith Corporation, and includes great lines such as "Which way is up?" and "You'd better put the bird in the oven at 7:30 a.m. Ugh, that's early!"
So....what is your advice for cooking a turkey?
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I have been coveting a cat bed from Walgreens for months. It is so cute and shaped like a kitty. How cute is it when a cat lays in a cat bed? TOO cute. So of course I had to buy one. However, I could not justify spending the $10 plus shipping costs on a bed, and I could not find it in my town! I looked for it in 8 Walgreens locations to no avail.
That was until my friend Ashley told me that it was at our local Walgreens! I was so excited. I had to get it right away.
Buying and bringing home the bed was a lot of fun. At the store I saw my friend Danielle who asked if I was getting THE bed because I had been talking about it so often (don't judge...my friends do put up with this talk). On the drive home, I fantasized about all of the fun hours my cats would spend in the new kitty bed. I brought it home, announcing as soon as I walked in the door that I had a treat for the cats, but they ignored me like usual. This was fine: I did not think that they would make a big production about the bed. They would just play it cool for a while and then begin to love it after about two minutes. But then, once they discovered the awesomeness of the new bed, they would go absolutely crazy for its softness and general comfortableness.
Obviously I do not know my cats.
Instead, they tried to eat its tail.
Luckily, I have another animal who seems to be enjoying the new bed:
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
On Halloween eve I went to eat with two friends from college and had a wonderful time catching up. That night I went to bed early because on Halloween morning I ran a 10k with Julie, the girl who ran that half marathon with me!
The race was called the Monster Mash Dash and participants were requested to wear Halloween costumes for the event! The course was not very exciting: it just went though an office park, but we had a fun time catching up and having fun. I dressed as a cat and Julie dressed as an angel. we got a lot of comments on our costumes!
We took it easy for the race, ending in something like 1:10:00. However, Julie had a hip injury a few weeks before the race and wanted to take it easy. It was so fun to get such a long run in before we pigged out on Halloween!
Here is my Halloween costume (again, I was a cat):
We went to one of David's parents' friends' house for early Halloween fun. Here we are with our nephew and niece:
And then later David and I went to Julie and Jeff's house for a Halloween party and bar crawl:
We had such a great time seeing lots of family and friends and dressing up!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
It has been forever since I've done a book review, but I had to write one for Atlas Shrugged if only to tell you that I read a book that is over 1,000 pages while I am in law school. That makes for a LOT of reading.
The book itself was very interesting. I enjoyed the idea behind the book and found it very relevant today. I also found it very interesting to read about how a nation becomes a Communist nation from an author who actually lived through such an ordeal in her lifetime. This was especially fascinating after I studied abroad in a post-Communist country. I felt like the people were so downtrodden compared to the people in the rest of Europe who had not lived in a Communist regime. The difference was truly significant, and after studying abroad I greatly valued the fact that I grew up in the Capitalist nation where the people are definitely more hopeful and want to live the "American dream". No matter what people say, it is definitely possible to pull yourself out of poverty in America. Without that hope, it seemed that people became more introverted. This frustration was definitely expressed in the book. In general, I do think that the book reminded me of how much to value a capitalist market.
Now for the things I didn't like so much:
- I didn't love the writing style. I feel like the book could have been cut down a LOT with the same effect on the reader. It was way too long for the story it told, in my opinion.
- More about the writing: I didn't love the technique. For instance, the story opened with a character who was not really major. I felt like the signals to the reader were not fleshed out very well.
- I also felt like Ayn's ideal world was similar to the world she hated: for instance, Communists discourage any relationship with God or church, and her utopia did as well and the people in the utopia were not allowed to give to others, whereas the people in her "bad world" were not allowed to receive. I just felt like the restrictions on life she hated so much were still part of her ideal world, only in the opposite direction. This was something that I really did not enjoy about the book. How it is better to have an extremely restricting regime replace a different restricting regime, with the only difference being that there are different rules between the two?
- Finally, I really disliked the ending. *Spoiler Alert!* In the end, Dagny and her cohorts used violence to get what they wanted. Dagny had no issues with killing someone who couldn't make up their mind. And again, I ask: how is this different than what the "bad people" were doing in the book, which was using people and getting ride of those who didn't agree with their philosophy? It really baffled me and really brought the entire work down in my mind. I wish that Ayn Rand had written is with less extremes and without the regime feeling that I got from the "good" characters.
So I give it:
The philosophical part was excellent but I did not enjoy how the writer chose to portray her philosophy. I enjoyed thinking about the issues she presented, but did not love the way she made her story go.
One thing I did think about was whether I was missing the point. Do you think that Ayn Rand simply wanted to portray that anybody in power is likely to fall and resort to violence eventually, no matter if they have the "right" philosophical beliefs or not?
Monday, November 02, 2009
We had a great Halloween this weekend. We went to David's hometown and enjoyed spending time with his family and I got to see college friends, which was also fun!! I will post more of a recap later, but for now above is a picture of David (the vampire), me (the cat), our nephew Noah (an elephant), and our niece Emma (a witch).
For now, here is Menu Monday!
Monday: leftover spaghetti and meatballs with spinach side
Tuesday: probably leftovers again or I will make myself a salad
Wednesday: Fish with sweet potatoes
Thursday: cauliflower and gnocchi