Sunday, November 4, 2012

The last month in review

Like usual my posts come at monthly intervals rather than weekly or daily. That's not to say I haven't tried. I have a lot of drafts and a small notebook with ideas of things I'd like to write about. It's just finding the time in my day to sit down and write. And usually the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is spend anymore time on the computer. Atleast not my work computer. And currently my personal laptop that is going on 6 years old will not charge. Blame it on the puppy chewing on the charger cord. So on top of other things I have to figure out how to get 6 years of documents off my computer....I thankfully have all the photos and music saved already.

In the past month and a week, I've been gone a lot for work it seems. The day of my birthday I had to head to Wichita for a 2 day conference for a grant project. It was an amazing conference, but it made for a very long week. I then did a few other short trips here and there and meetings. It's months like last month and this month that I really wish I had the balls to ask for either a raise or an assistant. I could work 12 hour days all the time if I wanted to, but I also want to be compensated for my work, plus a lot of the things that I put off until the last minute actually involve other people. Needless to say, keeping track and planning for 4 upcoming events, as well as overseeing three projects and working on one grant and consulting entrepreneurs and managing the financials is making me feel like I'm losing my mind. It's also making for one really grouchy Simone. People keep saying that I need to learn to say no or delegate, but a lot of what I'm working on are requirements or things that I would be glad to delegate if I had someone to delegate them to. So just say a little prayer that things finish up and go smoothly without me forgetting important details or have a serious breakdown.

In the past month, I've gotten no where with potty training Miss Charley. Levi and I are trying really hard but it seems near impossible. Especially when we're gone all day long and don't have jobs that we can take her with us. It breaks my heart and makes me feel like a bad puppy mom. It's even worse that Levi's mom got a little puppy who is younger than Charley and she's already got it down pat...but I guess it helps when you have a boss who will let you bring your dog to work. 

To keep from being a completely awful puppy mom I come out to Levi's almost every night to help take care of Charley...and well because frankly I'm pretty fond of being with Levi too. This however leaves my house in town as a turn-around point for me. A place to kick off my shoes and clothes and eat breakfast and shower. But never a place to sit down and relax or clean. On top of the added work stress, this back and forth, which place is my "home", I have a house that's a pig sty is really wearing on me. 

Levi's been my rock, my arm of reason and always there for me with his love and support and I couldn't be more blessed to have a man like him. He's been really busy with work too lately so most evenings we're couch potatoes and have just enough energy to catch either up on our days and cook supper before we veg out with the TV or video games or Pinterest. I can't tell how much I appreciate how hard of a worker he is. He works his arse off to get his job and other jobs around the shop done and done right. And I can't tell you how much more it makes me love him! 

In less whiny news, I went to a Cocktails and Canvas event in Leoti where I painted pumpkins. There were about 18 people there and everyone's pumpkins looked different which I thought was pretty cool! Here's me with the instructor, Pat Norton, who is a legit artist by trade:

I have made a little progress on my birthday list: I've made three new recipes already.

Loaded baked potato dip

Lazy Sunday Casserole
Source: via Simone on Pinterest

I sent someone a little birthday care package as my first random act of wasn't necessarily random in the selection of people, but it wasn't someone I'd normally do that kind of thing for. I knew how much receiving something would mean to this person, and the thank you I received showed that I was right.

I've also booked my flight to go see John in Chicago in January!! I'm so excited! I've never been to Chicago and we're making a list of all the must see/eat/do things! I'm already certain I will put on at least 10 pounds while I'm there. I can't wait to have real Chicago pizza and we've got reservations for The Girl and The Goat. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for things to do in Chicago!

In other news, Levi and I were lumberjacks for Halloween! We help host this community Halloween party with about 10 other couples. My costume was insanely skanky but I guess I missed that phase in college so you have to do it once in your life, right?

Hopefully I'll be back to post again before the end of the month but the next two weeks are booked almost solid with work things and then it's my favorite holiday! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me - The List

My dear friend Abbey at Finding My Forever made a list for her 23rd birthday - 24 things to do before she turned 24. Because I think that is brilliant and I love lists so I need to make sure I'm doing more fun things to keep my sanity and live a little more, I'm making a 25 things before 25 list. Since today is my birthday, it shall start today.

1) Participate in a Color Run - most likely I will walk, not run, but I will do it.

2) Go to Chicago and visit my friend John.

3) Visit 3 of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.

4) Go to the Garden City Zoo.

5) Perform 12 Random Acts of Kindness.

6) Read a book a month = 12 books.

7) Eat at and blog about 4 of the 24 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine Finalists. I've eaten at 2 of the 24 previously and will review them for a total of 6 places.

8) Send "thinking of you" cards or letters to 5 people.

9) Make Margaret's bread from scratch by myself.

10) Make marshmallows from scratch.

11) Try 25 new recipes.

12) Practice Spanish and become fluent enough to have dinner with Myra, Carmina, or Giovanna and speak only Spanish.

13) Go on a spontaneous trip with my parents. To preface, my parents have a tendency to decide the day of that they're going to go somewhere or do something. Because I'm a control freak, planner, I usually don't seize the opportunity because of this reason or that.

14) Go on a spontaneous trip by myself. Whether its a day trip or an overnighter, I need to just go be by myself and explore.

15) Make a craft from Pinterest - either this:

 or this:

16) Donate to help sea turtles. This has been on my list of things to do before I get married forever, thanks to the book The View from Saturday. I think I'll adopt a turtle through the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

17) Meet up with my friend Krystal somewhere...maybe in Orlando, maybe saving sea turtles.

Krystal and Mike and I in Italy
 18) Do the Wichita County Swim Team Tri-Athlon on July 4.

19) Start up Pass the Pyrex in Wichita County. This sort of falls under the 25 RAKs but it's very specific and will hopefully encourage others to perform RAKs.

20) Throw an outrageous themed party - booze, costumes, and music!

21) Finish staining my fence.

22) Go an entire week without saying "I'm sorry" for silly things.

23) Blog twice a week for a month.

24) Ride a jetski by myself.

25) Catch a fish and remove it from the hook by myself.

For my birthday, please leave me a comment. Give me a suggestion for a random act of kindness you've done, advice for learning to love running or your favorite Wonder of Kansas!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Colorado Vacation 2012: A Fishy Tale

So I'm only about 3 months behind on this one, but I want to tell the world of yet another strawberry blonde moment before I move on to other things in my life.

To refresh your memory, on July 4, Levi's lovely sister, got married in a simple, beautiful ceremony in Grand Lake, Colorado. Levi and I stood up as witnesses for them. We stayed in this cute cabin and the parents stayed in one a few miles outside of town. On Thursday, the day after the wedding, we headed out to their cabin for breakfast of mush, sausage, bacon, and coffee! Yum!

After breakfast, Levi and I headed out to the lake to do a little fishing. I cast the pole a few times and then we decided we should go out in the canoe or paddle boat and try fishing! I love canoeing so I was game. I told him I needed to go to the cabin real quick to get some sunscreen and then we could head out. As soon as I came out, he told me to go grab his pole and we'd load up. I walked over to grab the pole but it was gone. He asked if I'd secured it when I went inside and the obvious answer was "no, you didn't tell me." So, there it was, gone in a matter of seconds. A very expensive fishing pole. As we stood looking out over the clear water, trying to spot the pole, we saw the bobber pop to the top and then right back down.

We ran over to the paddle boat, grabbed an oar just in case and paddled out to where we kept seeing the bobber make its way to the surface. For about 10 minutes we moved around the area chasing the bobber until Levi slyly put his oar under the line and flopped a beautiful rainbow trout into the boat. We followed the line until we finally pulled in the pole. And then burst out laughing...we just chased a stupid fish around for 10 minutes to catch him in the most unconventional way. We paddled back to shore and worked on unhooking the fish to keep him for dinner.

In the meantime, Papa, Levi's dad had caught another rainbow trout by fly fishing from the shore. So as Levi rushed to help him and I untangled the fishing line, our poor paddle boat drifted away. I looked up panicked that again I'd forgotten to tie yet something else down. Papa's fish was under control so Levi and I hopped in the canoe and rescued the paddle boat. As we reached shore again with both boats, Levi hopped out to pull the paddle boat to shore and I almost ended up in the lake as the canoe wobbled in the shallow water.
The mess of tangled line and boats.

Thankfully I stayed dry and both boats were safe. Needless to say it was the most exciting 20 minutes of our vacation. And I think Levi decided I wasn't allowed to go fishing anymore. But I did catch a keeper so take a look:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend 2012

I had a great Labor Day weekend! It started off on Friday night with our final Cinema at City Hall for the summer! We showed The Lorax and had an exceptional turnout considering it was the holiday weekend and there was an away high school football game...which I got crap for but haters gonna hate.

After the movie was over and we took down all the equipment, Levi and I headed to his parents house where I was going to meet my new puppy Charley! I'm so thankful that Ashley and Tyler took care of Charley the past few weeks! She's on a good path to potty training. It was really cute to see her playing with Bella and Colby - Ashley's pups!

Let me tell you...she is absolutely adorable! I was so nervous at first because I've never had a dog this small. Usually the puppies my family got were the same size as she will be when she's full grown. Also, I've never had to potty train a puppy before...all our dogs were outside dogs. Whole new experience. I never thought I would be as stressed as I am now. Don't get me wrong...I love her to pieces and I don't mind cleaning up the poop and pee but I try and help her get outside in time and she doesn't do it out there.

Here she is! So Cute! Sorry about the ugly toe.
All day Saturday I bonded with her at Levi's house while he was dove hunting with some buddies. Saturday afternoon I went to my friend Aimee's house. Aimee and I made dog biscuits for our pups...she has two dogs, a cocker spaniel named Bubba Gump and a bulldog named Daisy! Then we just relaxed and drank sangria the rest of the afternoon. I love chill days like that. Charley wasn't as playful that day, but as I soon found out, she had a tummy ache.

On Sunday, Levi and I loaded up and headed up to see my parents. We went to a lake in Nebraska and fished all afternoon! It was a lot of fun! I'd never been out on my dad's new boat so that was pretty neat! Growing up we only had a little bass boat and now he has a big old speed boat. It's always so nice when Levi and I get to spend time with my family! We stayed with my parents and got on the road around noon on Monday! Charley liked to snuggle right in our laps and ride.

Snoozing on Levi's lap!

Levi has got me some amazing gifts in the past year and two months, but Charley is pretty close to being my favorite! The only reason she isn't my down right favorite is mostly because as much as I worry about a puppy and whether I'm a good puppy mom, it really makes me doubt my future abilities to be a mom to a human! What if Levi sees all my faults and lack of patience and decides I'll be a terrible mom? Besides enjoying all the family time and puppy snuggling, I've been really freaking out about my ability to be a mom to future kids. I love her and I love that he got her for me, but what if I fail her and in turn fail him?!

If you have any puppy training tips, please let me know!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

It RAINED and a recipe!

A celebration is in order...last night it rained in Wichita County! Just 10 minutes before the skies broke open and poured beautiful rain on the parched land, I had told my mom on the phone, "Looks like there's a storm brewing south of us, of course it will miss us like always." But as I stood doing dishes at Levi's, getting ready to make sweet corn risotto with spicy shrimp, it started...first with wind and giant drops then it just kept coming. It rained for an hour and a half straight.

The electricity went out so I abandoned the idea of cooking supper and Levi and I just watched it rain. I have never seen him so happy. He was estatic, like a child on Christmas morning. If you're not from a farming community, that may sound silly, but my man was beaming and joyful because of the rain. It could've rained for 30 minutes and he'd have been happy. But it continued to pour basically right on top of us and the surrounding 2 miles for 90 minutes giving us a blessed total of 5.1 inches. The driveway flooded, the roads were flooding. Levi stripped down to his boxers to keep his clothes from getting completely soaked as he darted from the front door to the rain gauge watching it fill inch by inch.

Rain is a funny thing out here. A neighbor 5 miles down the road only got 2.35 inches, which as dry as it is, is still a tremendous blessing. Levi's parents living about 10 miles north got next to nothing but wind and dirt. I consider ourselves, or really the landlord, lucky this time. Though we don't have land of our own, the rain certainly lifts one's spirits. Levi's job has been slow all summer because without rain, farmers don't want to put the extra money in their crops if they are to just be victim to the drought. We now can possibly plant a yard at Levi's. Real grass instead of blow-dirt and weeds. Oh the simple joys in life!

Deep-ish water and it's moving

As a child, I recall my family always loading up in the pickup and riding around after a large rain storm, checking the fields, seeing the water accumulate. It brought me joy as Levi and I did the same thing last night. Seeing the water accumulating in the ditches, pastures and fields. Listening to the water gurgle through the culverts and smelling the clean, rain air. Seeing other pickups cruising around checking out the miraculous amount of precipitation that came from the sky. Watching and listening to the White Woman run. No, not a gringa like myself...though that would be quite the sight, the White Woman is a creek.

That is the thing to do when it rains in Wichita County - especially when it's a good one.  Wichita County has a creek that lies dry for a majority of the year...probably making most who just pass through the county laugh at the signs indicating White Woman Creek. Last night, the White Woman was gushing...running harder than it has in at least the last couple of years. That's what people do in a farming community for the White Woman run. You could tell by the flashers and brake lights on the bridge north of Levi's house there was quite a crowd. It was, in fact, the first time I had seen the White Woman with water in it in real life.  
The White Woman Creek
I did eventually make my sweet corn risotto with spicy shrimp and we delightfully ate it around 9:30 after one of the most exciting evenings we've had in a while. See the recipe below. I sort of flew by the seat of my wasn't real risotto because I used orzo pasta rather than arborio rice, but it was delicious.  
Levi's second helping - I forgot to photograph mine and ate it right up!
  Sweet corn risotto/orzo with spicy shrimp  

For the Shrimp
  • 15-18 medium sized shrimp - cleaned, tails on or off your preference
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons of chipotle pepper seasoning
  • a dash or two of hot sauce - your choice
Marinate in a plastic baggie in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. More is better. :)
Saute or grill. To saute, add a little bit of butter and olive oil to a skillet and heat. Add the shrimp and a dash of garlic salt. Cook until pink.

For the Risotto
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion - I used a sweet onion, but I think a regular yellow onion would do fine
  • 2 cups of sweet corn - fresh or canned
  • 1 cup of orzo pasta or arborio rice
  • 1 cup of white wine - something dry is better - I used Kansas wine from here.
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, optional
In a large pot, over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add olive oil. When heated, add garlic and onions. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onions become slightly translucent.

Add the corn and orzo. Stir and heat for about 6 minutes. Add the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed.

Gradually add the chicken broth, about 1 cup at a time, until it is absorbed. It is done cooking when the orzo is tender.

Stir in the cream and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the basil and shrimp.

Levi enjoyed this a lot! It wasn't quite the same as the sweet corn and shrimp risotto I had at Yia Yia's a few years ago but it still tasted good. The spicy shrimp and creaminess and sweetness with the corn still are the best combo. I might try and brighten up the risotto a little more next time with lemon juice. Bacon would also be a good addition to add a little more saltiness.

Wow! That was long, but it feels so good to post right now! Probably should've saved the recipe for later, but it seemed to be an important ending to last night. Maybe it brought the rain. :) I still have stories about the summer - fishing story...don't let me forget. Happy Friday friends!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Colorado Vacation 2012 - For a wedding

I just got back from Grand Lake, Colorado! I've been there for Levi's sitsters wedding. They got married on July 4 and Levi and I were the witnesses. I wasn't able to get any photos of the wedding, but I have some of our cabin and our adventures the other two days. We stayed in a cute, cute cabin. I wanted to give you a little preview of the cabin...or frankly, the only pictures I took of the cabin, the night we arrived. It was a cute little two bedroom cabin located just off of Portal Road in Grand Lake, but we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of Levi and my bedroom, but as I can tell now, it had stuff all over the bed. There was a nice little front porch where we sat and drank and chatted every night but I forgot to take a picture out front.

Neat carved picture in the corner of the living room.

Living Room - Very Cozy!

The living room was very cozy! On the coffee table you can see a little book. The book was a guest book that had neat little recommendations and favorite moments from previous guests. Two different couples got engaged in that living room there. So precious!

A look at the front door and our bedroom.
Our bed sloped towards the middle which turned out to be kind of hilarious sleeping. We both ended up clinging to the edge of bed so we didn't squish the other.

The newlyweds bedroom...tiny tiny beds!

The kitchen and dining area.

It was such a quaint little cabin! Levi and I've been talking about going back again, possibly with my family. The weather was a beautiful escape at 70-80 degree highs and mid 40 degree lows since we've been dealing with very dry and hot temps, 100+ in Kansas. We left the windows open all day and all night for some of the best sleeping weather ever. It was nice to cuddle up under the covers with the chilled air surrounding us, instead of the hot stickiness from sleeping at home.

The parents had a separate cabin about 20 minutes away that was more rustic but had a private lake. I'll post pictures of that tomorrow...or Monday! We did a lot of relaxing, shopping, eating, fishing and hiking, and celebrating, but it's so nice to be home. We missed Atly! The heat...not so much.

If you're ever looking for a getaway in Colorado, I would recommend Grand Lake. The cabins are all cute and in all shapes and sizes!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Swim Suit - A Silly Saga

We went to lake over Memorial Day weekend and I wore the same swimming suit that I have had for almost 4 years. The bottom band on the top is a little stretched and I didn't feel very comfortable moving too much for fear of a wardrobe malfunction. I finally decided that maybe it was time to buy a new swimsuit. However, I haven't had the time or money to go out of town to go shopping. So last weekend, I hopped on to Victoria's Secret to have a look at their suits, since it is, afterall their Semi-Annual sale. After much deliberation I found a swimsuit that looked like it offered a good amount of coverage for my less than Victoria's Secret model body.

I wasn't expecting it to arrive until this Wednesday, June 27, but to my surprise it arrived either Friday or Saturday of last week. Yesterday I picked up my mail and then went out to Levi's house to hang out. I slipped into the bathroom to try it on...not remembering exactly what the top looked like. I tried it on tying the back and hooking the strap around my neck on the top. It was so uncomfortable...and my boobs were really exposed but it looked cute. It was good until I tried to stand up straight and the girls popped out the bottom. I was so mad...I'm tall but they should make swimsuits for tall people and the distance from my boobs to my neck isn't that much more than anyone else's, I complained to Levi. I took it off and debated about whether I should send it back. I came to the conclusion that someone in the community could re-stitch the top strap so it was longer and I wouldn't have to send it back, then stuffed it back into the bag and sulked the rest of the afternoon.

This morning I pulled the swim suit out of the bag as I was reconsidering my decision to keep it and I noticed what Levi referred to as bra lesson 101...the underwire. Then a light bulb came on as I quickly stripped down to hold the underwire up to my chest and under my boobs...underwire, to lift, what a concept. It was such a great feeling that the girls were sitting in the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, not awkwardly squished apart or peeping out the bottom and overly exposed. I, then pulled it off realizing that the hook...the part that was too short was now around my bust not my neck. Well goodness...I burst out laughing and laughed hyterically out of embarrassment and joy for well over 10 minutes. I apparently need to buy new swimsuits more often than once every 4 years.

I hope this gave you a good laugh to get you through the rest of your Monday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One Year

I thought I posted this. It's almost 8 months overdue but I think it needs to be on the web not in draft form anymore.

One year ago today I was walking down The Hill entering Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. 

Today I am sitting in my office, a former sheriff's office, in far western Kansas. Looking back I certainly didn't accomplish all I thought I would in a year but I'm trying to remind myself change takes time. I need to remember that if I'm going to continue to be happy where I am. You always grow up and learn about something new about yourself but I feel like this first year of being out in the "real world" has been quite a challenge full of lots of growing pains. They all seem like things I should have known before and maybe I did, but my situation and circumstances seemed to really bring them to the forefront. I've learned that I am not the most particular person in the world but I am very right brained. I abide by the rules and read the instructions. I love to sing and dance and dream. I knew all this before but it's become even more evident. I learned I am horrible at saying no, but have become better at it in order to not go completely nuts. I learned who my true friends are. The ones who love me and care about me no matter what and no matter how far. My friends, Abbey, Megan, and John...that make the effort to keep in touch and it's not just a one-sided relationship. Those are the people I miss most and that make me want to travel back to the city to see more often.

I realized that I let everyone start out with a clean slate and even playing field for trust. But if you break my trust or stab me in the back, I hate you. I know hating isn't right, but in the past year there have been two people that have ticked me off so badly they will never have a chance at having my trust again. Clearly I am not as forgiving as I thought, or I'm learning not to let people push me around. I also learned I have a talent and power of listening and understanding. I've learned how important it is to listen and understand both sides of every story. I will always draw my own conclusions and sometimes talk myself out of them, but atleast I know both sides. My pursuit of perfection has driven me to tears and to the edge of giving up more than once, but I have a strong man standing beside me when I feel like falling down. I would be a completely different person if it were not for Levi. There is no doubt he entered my life at the right moment. He has pointed out my strong points and my flaws, but he loves every part of me the same. He knows that I'm a worrier, a messy cook, a klutz, a right brained dancing fool and loves me just the same. While I learned so much about myself on my own, he helped challenge me and guide me over the past 10 months and that's just the man I need for the next 100 years.

A year ago, I never would've thought I'd be working on the projects I'm working on. A year ago, I didn't think I'd still feel in such turmoil about certain things either, but I guess that's life. Sometimes I wonder if I took the best path by coming back to Western Kansas and after thinking for a short moment, I know I did. While I can fit in most anywhere, when I look out over a field and watch the sun rise or set, I know I couldn't take the craziness of a city every day. I need the air and the land.

Most of all, I need Levi. I was meant to find him here, in this small rural town of all places. The things I thought would be toughest were mostly easy and the easy things are the hardest. This was, as usual, another rambling post that I don't really have time to edit.

Words of Wisdom: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost

Friday, April 6, 2012

He kinda loves me

Since the end of February, Levi and I had been working on his new rental house...yes a rental house he's going to rent, not let others rent. That's the way we do in western Kansas especially when it's a guy who likes to work with his hands and it gets him 2 months of free rent. It's 8 miles from town but only 2 miles off the highway and it is wonderful! It's a two bedroom, two bathroom house with gorgeous picture windows in the living room. There's also a space that is going to be the office and a guest bedroom with a futon if needed. It gives him more space and he's in the me we're both happier out there. You can't take country kids and place them in the city that easily. Not that I'm living with him...we're saving that move until we get married, but I do spend a lot of time out there. There's something about an unblocked sunrise and sunset that feeds my soul...and being able to see the stars even more clearly than in town. I'll post pictures soon!

We worked on that house atleast 5 out 7 nights a week in addition to most of the weekend until March 25 and he finally moved in! We painted, laid flooring, cleaned and cleaned until it was livable. There's still the mudroom and back bathroom to do but for now it's working great as a dog room...Atly is a little messy since we have more mud and dirt. I enjoyed helping him because it was a great way for us to spend quality time together and be active. Three months of hibernating and pretty much only watching TV together was not okay with me. I've also never done that much work to a house and was amazed time after time as he would know exactly what to do to change out sink fixtures, fix a leak, fill a hole, or lay trim. Absolutely amazed! Needless to say I really enjoyed helping. But he felt compelled to get me a thank you gift.

My very own shiny red Kitchenaid Stand Mixer! He gave it to me last Friday and we were busy all weekend so I couldn't use it until Monday night when I made my famously delicious chocolate chip cookies. I kind of dislike chocolate chip cookies...except for these.

If you're in need of a good chocolate chip cookie recipe look no further than this one! I've never used parchment paper but this time I used it instead of baking spray...I'm never going back. Parchment paper is my new cookie baking savior! Try it, you'll like it.

I promise I can cook and bake things other than these cookies but for a simple dessert, this is the way to go. I'm actually going to make a lemon meringue pie this afternoon, so I'll document and post the recipe and photos here! :)

Look at my pretty mixer!

Anyway...I think he kinda loves me. He is the best darn gift giver...even when I don't need anything he gets me something. I simple thank you would have sufficed but seriously I am in love with this mixer! And with him! I love you Levi!

I have the afternoon off so I think I'm going to really break in the mixer and bake some goodies! And maybe garden some as well, I need to plant my peas and my herbs! I hope you all have a happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And I saw a bag of potting soil

The weather has been SO nice here this week! It's a little warm for spring, but warm and calm is better than the miserable windy days we've been having the last couple of weeks. The only thing that would make it better is a little rain, but since beggers can't be choosy, I'll take the sun. As I work a desk job...well most days it's a desk job, some days I get to run around town and talk to businesses or meet with people and fun stuff like that. And I haven't been able to do that for the past 3.5 months because of the weather, so I've been trying anything I can to get outside this week for work. This afternoon I made arrangements to have the internet at our business and education center looked at by our internet guy because it was acting up, and I realized it was the perfect excuse to walk in glorious sun! As I was walking down the street, I was approaching our hardware store and started thinking about their Facebook post about all the new spring items like bulbs and flower seeds, pots, planters, wind chimes, and potting soil and I got really excited to pick stuff out and get started planting my garden! Like so excited as I went past their new addition and I saw a bag of potting soil, and the pavers for gardens, I thought man I need to buy some of that! Spring fever bit me square on the cheeks and I headed for the door. As I got ready to step up and enter the hardware store, I awoke from my garden and spring induced trance and realized what I was doing. It was not the time to shop for gardening supplies at the hardware store, it was time to be working and meeting the internet guy at the business and education center! I awkwardly returned to my original route and away from the hardware store door. Five steps later and I was laughing at myself. I'm sure the people in my town think I'm strange because I walk a lot, I dress up a lot, I trip a lot and I laugh to myself a lot!! And then I do crazy things like get so entranced by shopping locally and daydreaming I almost walk into stores at the wrong times or tell the store owners how excited I am about their products. I guess that makes me good at my job, but boy do I have some odd ball moments.

Anyway...I hope you can imagine this spring fever trance and laugh a little!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012!

With all the gushing I do around here about my wonderful boyfriend and how in love I am with him, you're probably thinking I love Valentine's Day. Truth is I think you should show and tell people how much you love them every single day. Valentine's Day is just so commercialized that I find it slightly irritating. I didn't buy a big gift or a card for Levi for Valentine's Day. I made him some coupons for foot massages, boys' nights in or out, house cleaning and a date night! I also did a couple of cheesy things like buy his favorite gum (Winterfresh) and mints (Ice Breakers Frost) and attach notes that said "I chews you to be mine forever and always." and "We are mint to be." Ridiculously cheesy but he loved it. I also asked him to be my valentine this morning and he said yes! :) Yes I did something to celebrate but these are things I do weekly or monthly anyway because I'm that weirdly gushy and loving person. I don't even know if he'll be getting me a present, and if he doesn't it might be kind of disappointing, but in the end I really don't care. I know that he loves me every single day and we don't need to do anything special today. Flowers die, chocolate makes you fat. A handwritten note would be nice but I know that that's not his thing. So if you're single and hate this day, don't feel bad. I felt the same way last year and that I just hated this day because I was alone. But in reality I don't care for it because I truly believe that if Valentine's Day is the only day people in a relationship do something special, you have a problem.

So share the love with your neighbors, your friends and your family instead. Don't worry about the significant other or lack there of on this silly holiday. Love should be given 365 days a year, so love on!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Not Us? Why Not Now?

Our high school boys' basketball team recently got new t-shirts that read: Why Not Us? Why Not Now? Today after having lunch with the high schoolers that are part of my board and some high schoolers that just wanted free pizza - I made them answer questions first - I thought the same thing: why not us? Why does everyone in this community have the mind set that, our two neighboring communities, both 25ish miles away, have movie theaters so we don't need one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's Talk About Sports

I've only been out of high school for 4.5 years but I don't ever remember my days or our entire community being controlled by high school athletics. Never do I schedule any meeting without consulting the school calendar first. I do believe that it is important, especially in a rural community for the community to stand behind and support our youth, but the fact that the only obvious way the community supports our youth is through sports is disappointing.

Happy Birthday Babe!

Happy birthday to the most amazing man I've ever known! Today is Levi's 26th birthday...yeah he's old balls, but I'll keep him. I'm so so thankful he is in my life and part of this world. He gives me strength and we're a perfect team. I'm excited to celebrate many more birthdays with him. Our plans for today are to watch his niece play basketball and then go eat at Charlie's, the local Mexican restaurant! The real celebration with cake and all will be this weekend when his sister comes to town! It will be the first time in quite a few years that she's been able to help him celebrate!

So here's to Levi, the love of my life...happy birthday babe! I love you forever and always!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Finally Friday

My ever so handsome boyfriend has been out of town since Monday for work and I have missed him dearly. Props to long distance folk because this is hard and it was just for a week. Luckily I have had a super busy week at work and with meetings for the ninety million other organizations I'm involved in so keep my mind off of missing him. Okay, ninety million is a far stretch but for such a small town, I think I'm involved with four clubs plus I sing at church plus everyone invites me to their meetings to see if I will write grants for them. I'm such a softie so I of course want to help but then realize where the heck will I find the time and energy to do all this. Sometimes I realize there is a fine line between my job and my fun/social life. For instance, one the of the clubs I absolutely wanted to be a part of was the Arts Alliance. I love art of all sorts and knew that they did a community play, which I REALLY wanted to be part of. Notice I say wanted, because now that they are doing the play (fun) the weekend of a regional tourism event that I'm our local coordinator for (work). So I treated the last Arts Alliance meeting as working late because I had to get them to get specific plans for the event. Which worked against me and now I don't get to act.

Anyway, I'm so excited for this day to be over because Levi will be back home! We're going to be going out of town Saturday night for his work branch's holiday party! Sunday is also our 6 month anniversary and I'm really excited for the little gift I've been working on. And then I have a three day weekend yay (though once again I'll be teetering on the fine line between work and social organization with a meeting and also writing newspaper articles for three different projects)!  But I can do that in my pajamas if I so choose.

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Anything you've been impatiently waiting for today to get here for?