Sunday, January 31, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • this is my 500th post! Giveaway to come... post-the 500th post!
  • having Ashley here all weekend to play.
  • Sudafed and my new Neti Pot to help relieve symptoms of my cold (fourth one this winter!).
  • appetizers for dinner.
  • Nick comes home from Orlando today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random: lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
  • My next post will be my 500th post. Holy camole! Look out for a giveaway (my first!).
  • Ashley arrives in St. Louis tonight!
  • It's SNOWING. Sorry, I'm from Florida. I think this will always be a novelty.
  • Although it isn't nice to say especially because of the children involved, I was glad to hear Brad and Angelina are separated. Vindication for Jennifer, take that!
  • I haven't had a Diet Coke (or any diet soda, for that matter) in 26 days. That's huge.
  • I follow the Big Ben Clock on Twitter. The only Tweets are when it goes "BONG BONG BONG" on the hour (with the correct number for the corresponding hour). Too funny.
  • I made Chicken piccata for the first time last night. I always love ordering it in restaurants but never tried to do it myself. I used Ina Garten's recipe and it was quite delicious with some whole wheat pasta and vegetables, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A man's dying is more the survivors' affair than his own.
Thomas Mann

I'm putting a stamp on my second sympathy card sent out in the last two days. One for Nick's boss's father another for one his friend's father back home in Iowa.

I actually buy sympathy in packs of eight, I send them a lot because I know how nice it is to receive a note during a sad time. Often people just don't know what to say so they don't say anything at all. I think it is totally fine to write something simple, and I do, as well as including this piece that was given to me when my father died. Both my mom and I read it often and pass it along every chance we get.

I just wanted to share it and hope that it either is nice for you to read or print out to have on hand to send to someone when you don't know what to say.

I have only passed on to the other side.
I am me, and you are you.
What we were to each other, we still are.
Call me the name you have always called me.
Speak to me as you always have.
Don’t use a different tone.
Don’t be solemn or sad.
Keep laughing at the things we used to laugh at together…
Pray, smile, think of me, and pray with me.
That my name will be said at home, just as it always has
Without emphasis, without a trace of a shadow.
Life still signifies what it has always signified.
It is what it was always been; the thread has not been cut.
Why should I be out of your thoughts?
Simply because I am out of your sight?
I am not far away, just on the other side of the path…
You see, everything is okay…
You’ll rediscover my heart; you’ll rediscover my pure love.
Dry your tears, and don’t cry if you love me.
St. Augustine

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • Saturday afternoon walks with Nick.
  • Massachusetts!
  • taking a day at home to catch up on cleaning, laundry and organizing.
  • (finally) watching Pulp Fiction.
  • Ashley will be here in two days!

Friday, January 22, 2010

It is not what I see outside that makes my images,
it is what I feel on the inside that comes out.
Carolyn M D'Alessandro

Yay, my wedding photographer has a blog now!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I think that women just have a primeval instinct to make soup, which they will try to foist on anybody who looks like a likely candidate.
Dylan Moran

On these chilly, dark winter nights not much sounds better for dinner than something warm from the Crock Pot. As my mother says, how can it not taste good after cooking for 8 hours?! So true.

So I've never made homemade soup so I thought I'd give it a whirl. This recipe was delicious! Husband tested and approved. Even for leftovers, after the broth soaked up a bit, it sort of turned into yummy, chicken casserole-type thing for lunch.

I highly recommend giving it a try!

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

8 cups water
2 cup carrot, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can use a whole chicken if you like dark meat too)
2 cups frozen peas
3 cups noodles, uncooked (I used whole wheat egg noodles)


1. In 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl, combine water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, poultry seasoning, 4 t salt, 1/2 t pepper.
2. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
3. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.
4. Transfer chicken to bowl. Add noodles and frozen veggies to slow-cooker; cover with lid and cook (on low or high) 20 minutes.
5. While noodles cook, shred chicken
6. Skim fat from soup and discard. Return chicken to soup to serve.

Cooking after adding the noodles

Chicken all shredded up

Finished product - so delish!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Never shall I forget the days I spent with you.
Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.
Ludwig Van Beethoven

I got a phone call from my friend Ashley (referred to here, here, here, here and here) to ask, "so, is St. Charles, Missouri near St. Louis?"

Um, yes. Right next door. Why?

"Great, because I'll be there on Tuesday for five days!"

Hooray - I'm just so excited! She is working for a client most of the week and then will spend the weekend with me. Nick will be out of town for a work convention so it will be a full girls weekend with my wonderful friend.

It is such a delightful and expected treat!

Me and Nick with Ashley and her husband during our trip to Vegas.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello, world, here's a song that we're singin'
C'mon get happy
The Partridge Family

Both Angie and Kathryn nicely passed along this cute award! Since I'm all about lists and things that make me happy, I couldn't resist to join in.

  1. List 10 things that make you happy.
  2. Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
  3. If you are one of the 10 bloggers awarded, link back to my blog and continue brightening people's day!
And now for 10 things that make me happy:
  1. When Bella snuggles with Nick.
  2. Daily phone chats with my mom.
  3. Our backyard feeder full of birds.
  4. Toasted "everything' bagels with cream cheese.
  5. Watching four new Oprah episodes back to back on DVR.
  6. Wearing jeans to work on Friday.
  7. 20% off coupons at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
  8. My hounds tooth scarf.
  9. Scrapbooking again. I love seeing all my fun memories!
  10. Wearing tights with a skirt and heels.
Now for the 10 blogs that brighten my day (also love the two above!):
  1. Fabulous in the STL
  2. My Husband in Watching TV
  3. Good Friends, Good Food, Good Life
  4. More Than Mulberries
  5. First Comes Love
  6. History of the Harveys
  7. 3 Peanuts
  8. Old Southern House
  9. Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life
  10. Perfectly Pleasant

Monday, January 18, 2010

We grow neither better nor worse as we get old,
but more like ourselves.

May Lamberton Becker

Last week, as I wrote, Nick and I went to see Up in The Air. Really loved it, great movie. Go see it if you haven't yet.

Nick was laughing so hard doing a monologue by Natalie, played by Anna Kendrick because it was pretty much me. And sometimes, you just have to laugh at your idiosyncrasies.

When I was sixteen, I thought by twenty three, I would be married, maybe have a kid…corner office by day, entertaining by night. I was supposed to be driving a Grand Cherokee by now.

Now I have my sights set on twenty nine, because thirty is just way too…apocalyptic.

Sometimes it feels like no matter how much success I have, it all won’t matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work. He really just fit the bill.

You know, white collar. College grad. Loves dogs. Likes funny movies. Six foot one. Brown hair. Kind eyes. Works in finance but is outdoorsy, you know, on the weekends. I always imagined he would have a single syllable name like Matt or John…..or Dave. In a perfect world he drives Four Runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his Golden Lab. Oh…and a nice smile.

Except my one syllable love is Nick.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • finally a break in the bitter cold weather, a balmy high of about 45 degrees daily.
  • those little boxes roadside assistance that easily jump my car battery after I leave my lights on.
  • making new friendship connections with women here in St. Louis.
  • when Nick brings me dinner to work.
  • getting plans ready for our first Superbowl party!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Every child born into the world is a new thought of God,
an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.

Kate Douglas Wiggin

You're walking down the street and coming toward you is a woman with a puppy and a baby in a stroller.

Which do you reach for to coo at?

Hands down, I'd pick the puppy.

I'm just not nuts about babies. I'm an only child and I never grew up with lots of baby cousins or anything. I know that I want to have children but at this point in my life, it just isn't something I'm interested in right now.

So now that just about all of the people I know are married, they are now all having children. I can talk about weddings all day, but babies? Not so much. In general it is honestly not exciting for me. (Okay two exceptions, Angie and Heidi, I like talking to you both about Nick and Trey!)

That is, until I found out my dear friend Casey was pregnant. And I was going to be, for the very first time, Auntie Randall. Yippee - I'm so excited!

Casey is due in June and it is a boy. I am going to host a shower with my mom in April for her in Florida but I'm already looking at all the cute stuff, I can't wait! (Even though she is holding out on a name right now so I can't monogram a thing!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is God's finger on man's shoulder.
Charles Morgan

Five years ago today a cute redhead picked me up for dinner at Carrabba's.

Our first picture together. Spring 2005 at a golf tournament.

And then we lived happily ever after.

Wedding Day. November 2008.
He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude.

Nick headed to his parent's home in Iowa for a few days solo (thanks to our schedule never being the same!). I was happy for him though because he spent the whole time snowmobiling with his dad. The man deserves a break for some fun!

I, on the other hand, enjoyed two nights of singledom.

First, when I got home from work I made a batch of homemade pesto (Nick hates pesto). I enjoyed it for dinner on the couch watching DVR'd Oprah.


Then I pulled out one of my birthday money purchases and started organizing.

I purchased a big, sturdy scrapbooking supply case to rescue all of my great supplies from being squished into moving boxes in the basement. It looks great and it is so nice to have it all arranged, including my upcoming projects. Can't wait to catch up and then continue with my albums that I love so much.

Scrapbooking mess.

Glorious savior.

Compartments on the side

Paper and more supplies in the middle.

More removable pouches.

The night was topped off with He's Just Not That Into You on HBO.

Last night I worked on a bunch of Junior League stuff, so it wasn't as eventful. Although I really enjoyed my quiet, neat home these evenings I miss my Nick. I always say that he makes my life fun. Sure, my throw pillows were organized just right on the couch but the house was a little sad. And kind of boring (although it was nice not to have to watch sports!). Bella just howled in the hallway, "What did you do with him?! Where is he?!"

So, my single nights were fun (and delicious) but I am looking forward to a big hug tonight from my guy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.
Anthony Burgess

On the really, really cold and icy Saturday we had here Nick had the day off (hooray!). I wasn't going to just sit around the house so we had a nice St. Louis-day!

We went down to the Moolah Theatre (so cool, it is a beautiful old temple and you watch the movie on big leather couches) and saw Up in the Air. It was filmed mostly here in St. Louis so it was fun to see all the places that we recognized, especially the airport. I also really loved the movie.

Nick has been craving a good hamburger (not exactly grilling weather now) so I looked it up and many lists directed us to the same place, Seamus McDaniel's in Dogtown. So we headed there for dinner. It has great atmosphere and service but, personally, I've had better hamburgers.

Still good though and a fun St. Louis-day with my Nick!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • the can't-wipe-it-off-my-face smile I got while sledding with Nick.
  • out of town client meetings that I get to take the day from work to attend.
  • soft, tailored cashmere sweaters.
  • the combination of missing Nick, but also having time all to myself, while he is visiting his parents in Iowa.
  • my cozy Cuddl Duds.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, filling the sky and earth below,
over the housetops, over the street, over the heads of the
people you meet. Dancing, flirting, skimming along.

J.W. Watson

On Thursday, St. Louis received a "winter blast" which involved the news stations flipping out with live broadcasts from snowy highway overpasses. Really, it just snowed about 4" where we are located. No dangerous, big weather but certainly enough snow to clog the streets (it looks like we don't do this kind of snow often enough to have a perfected plan) and make it hard to get around.

Both of our employers said not to come in so I was able to stay home with Nick and recover from this (third!) cold. Along with resting, I actually did get work done throughout the day and some Junior League stuff too so it all turned out well.

At about 3 p.m. we ventured out, all bundled up to clear the driveway and steps. We have a long driveway so it took us a while but together I think we made a great team! The cold air actually felt good after being in the dry heat all week. I'm already feeling much better.

Then we rewarded ourselves with a little sledding (my first time!). Then Nick's favorite tacos back at home. All in all a superb and highly productive snow day.

View in the morning out the back porch

Starting to shovel - we have snazzy snow outfits, huh?

Still shoveling!

All done - that's a lot of shoveling!

Nick showing me his sledding techniques (on the tiny hill outside our house).

On a real hill at a local park
(Nick is way down there - looks like he is about to hit the tree!).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind,
and all the land will be mantled with snow.
Roy Bean

Dear St. Louis,

Please snow lots and lots tonight so tomorrow we can have a "snow day" off from work. Then I can recover from my third cold of the season on the couch with a quilt, a good book, a cat and a husband.

Thank you,

And in the words of my funny coworker, "Let's hope those aren't locust."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?
Jacques Plante

Last week, I joined Nick to see a St. Louis Blues game from a suite. I'm not a huge hockey fan but the atmosphere is always so great - upbeat and exciting. Either way, it was a treat and certainly makes it hard to watch a game any other way!

Nick enjoying the game and the food (with the standard silly face).

View from our seats.

Let's Go Blues!

Monday, January 4, 2010

How far that little candle throws his beams!
William Shakespeare

I had a special present from St. Louis when I woke up my birthday morning, last Wednesday, with a fresh coating of snow! I had to work that day (first time I've ever worked on my birthday, I'm officially old) but the snow made it feel a bit enchanting.

Snow in the backyard (and the birthday girl)!

Flowers at work from Nick.

After work, Nick took me to a delicious dinner at Cardwell's and a little shopping at Tiffany & Co. (no luck, I'll have to hold on to that gift card for eternity before I make up my mind!). I came home and opened presents: beautiful cashmere sweater from my mom, Barnes & Noble gift card, money from my in-laws and an especially cute monogrammed Tervis Tumbler from Nick!

It was a lovely day!

Drinking my water in style!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Sunday gratitude:
  • bags of stuff ready to go out the door to Goodwill.
  • counting down the seconds to the new year.
  • Charles Glenn singing the national anthem.
  • warm fires at 11 a.m.
  • Zicam lozenges (for Nick, not me thank goodness!).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions.
Joey Adams

I had to work a client event on New Year's Eve so we didn't have big plans. But it was nice to receive invitation to receive from our friends Luke and Mel for a later dinner that evening. We headed to their house when I got off of work, enjoyed a delicious steak dinner and then watched football and of course rang in the new year with the Times Square ball drop!

I may have fallen asleep on the couch for 45 minutes but we'll just call it a power nap. I was exhausted but it was lovely to be with friends to ring in the new decade!

The guys at dinner.

Happy 2010!
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