Monday, September 26, 2011

Personal Chef

The other great thing about Michigan with the girls was that we didn't eat out once.
My friends are fantastic cooks.
They planned every meal and brought the food with them.

Gretchen was the official chef in charge.

She told me that if she wants me to cook like this for me for every meal, every day
I'd just need to pay her $50,000.
It was tempting.
But, I turned her down.
I was nervous she would wear those sweatpants in my kitchen.
And I'd have to see them everyday.


Fresh fruit salad

Homemade cinnamon rolls

And homemade granola with yogurt.  Must have missed that.  Must have been stuffing my face.

White bean chili

Harvest Salad

Chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce and sticky rice

Roasted asparagus with fresh goat cheese.


3 kinds of egg casseroles- made my Mindy

Crab and Parmesan Casserole

Sausage and Brie



Tortellini Sada

Salmon tacos

Santa Fe Salad

Movie Snack:
Spinach Artichoke dip with fresh pretzel bread

$50,000 is tempting.
And especially now that I am home and realized that it is way more fun when someone cooks for you.
For every. single. meal.

(Oh, and for Rach- I almost forgot to add these nuggets of goodness.)


“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

~Toni Morrison

I spent the weekends with my girls.
My lady friends.
My besties.
And, they are still amaze-balls amazing.
And more.
In fact, there is no word in the English language that can describe how much
I love them
and love being with them
and how much I laugh when I am with them
and how much I value our time
and how much I value their friendship.
Some linguist needs to jump on that.

Anyways.  Back to the ladies.
We went up to Michigan for the weekend.
(If someone asked me to show them where we went on a map
I wouldn't be able to.
I really have no idea where we were.
And I don't really care.)

I'll try to not babble on and on about them and our time.
Because I'm pretty sure what we thought was cackle-your-brains-out-funny, is not that funny to anyone else.
So, I will try to keep this short and sweet.  

Lots of hugs and delicious food and drinks.  And comfy clothes.

We picked Jill up at the train station.  Please don't ask about the wig.  We thought it was funny at the time.

Unfortunately, Gretchen would not return these sweatpants to the 1980's. 

Jill challenged Gretchen to open a beer bottle using another bottle.
Gretchen does not turn down a challenge.
She may have bled and shook violently, but she finally got it.

Little Rachel did yoga.
I think this was after she ate some seaweed or something.

Youtube watching.
Seriously. the. grossest. video. I've. ever. seen.
I could barely watch it. It was disgusting.
And things like this usually don't gross me out.
But this was disgusting.
I'm warning you.
You'll want to turn away but you'll keep watching.

Beach time.

Last night together.

I haven't laughed for 3 days straight in a long time.
And, we realized that when you turn 30, 
going to bed at 3 am and getting up at 7 
isn't the best idea.
You body doesn't quite recover as quickly.

But, all that laughter and fantastic food and coffee?
That helps with the recovery for sure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

6 months.

Six months ago today, Maggie Ann was born.

It's hard to believe that it has already been six months.
It sometimes doesn't even feel real.
Like all of this never really happened.

But then.
I see our guest room closet hanging full of baby clothes.
Unworn and covered in plastic.
And the door to the would-be nursery is now just constantly shut.
And all that I have to show for her life is a dresser drawer full of
sympathy cards
memory boxes
pictures of her
pictures of her
not living.

Life has gone back to, what I would call, normal.
But, don't get me wrong.
I still think of Maggie daily.
Hourly, probably.
I don't talk about her anymore.
I hardly ever mention her.
Or my pregnancy.
I don't want to be that person.  
The Debbie Downer.
But, just know
that just because I don't mention my daughter
my Maggie-
or her sweet toes
or her sweet lips
or her precious little belly-
doesn't mean
that I have moved on.
And I don't think about her.

Because I do.
More than anyone knows.

I think of her every time I see
a baby
or a pregnant woman
or a mother
or a carseat
or the baby aisle in a store.
And I think of her
when I'm driving
and reading
and teaching

And all of you who told me that I'll never stop missing her?
And loving her?
And it doesn't ever really get easier?
And you just learn to live with it?
You were right.
I've never stopped.
I think I've just learned how to live with that
hole inside my heart.

6 months.
With my baby.
And without.

Happy 6 month birthday, Maggie.
I love you and
wish you were here with
your mommy and daddy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A "behind"-the-scenes look at the state fair.

Many of you know that D's job as a vet requires me to participate in some activities that 1.) I never imagined I would have to 2.) I never knew existed.

This past Friday night, we got a two-fer-one.

One of the benefits of his job is that we get free entrance and rock-star parking in the state fair.  We are frequent fair-goers.  Like at least 3-4 times a season (The people watching is fantastic.  The probability of seeing another wardrobe malfunction such as this is high and likely and fantastic.)

We spent our evening browsing, figuring out a path of greasy deliciousness.  We got our Gator-Taters.  Didn't get a picture, but don't worry.  We will go back and I will get them again. They are that good.  We also got a funnel cake.  By the time I was done, it looked like I had a bad incident while snorting crack.  The sugar was ev-er-y-where.  And it was amazing.

We were just about to leave when a sobbing girl came up and told Dave that there was something wrong with her sheep.  I am going to bypass the beginning of the story to get to the good stuff.  But, there was some awkward lifting and moving of the sheep, some squeezing that resulted in some nasty smells, and some crying after the dad of the girl just kept saying, "Let's just slaughter it.  Slaughter.  Slaughter.  Slaughter."

I can't quite figure out the necessity of these outfits.  I think these are the sheep that perform acrobatics.  Not intended for use on humans.

Now, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of growing up on a farm or living with a vet,  there are some things about sheep you should know.  When a wether (a castrated male sheep) gets stones in its little guy, it is a bad deal.  It means surgery or death (unless the stone is in a place where the vet can massage it out.  Side eye to D--was not aware that that type of massage was part of the job description.  Ultimately, the family decided on surgery (since the girl was bawling.her.eyes.out).

We drove down to the clinic and Dave began the surgery.  The name of the surgery is something to the effect of "penial reconstruction."  Dave calls it a "weiner-ectomy."  Pretty sure that's not the scientific name. So, Dave spent the next hour or so reconstructing the poor sheep's junk.  He had to cut down his guy (trying not to use that word because that will change the "family-friendly" rating of this blog).  Now, instead of peeing like a normal male sheep, it pees out between his buttcheeks.

Seriously, can anyone top that for a weekend story?  Unfortunately, I cannot use this as a story to model writing on Monday.  It would be a great story though.

And, after this, I am reminded of the importance of people washing their hands.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ways to improve your summer.

Remember when I promised you I'd show you some ways to save yourselves from the heat?  Well, I finally am getting around to posting them.

First, of all, I'm sorry that many of you don't have the blessing of knowing Vilma and J.D.  

I have known they since I lived in Lithuania.  
If you haven't been there, go.
It is amazingly beautiful.
With even more beautiful people.
And really strong people, too.
Zydrunas Savickas could totally kick our uz pakelis. Right, V? 5 time winner of the Strong Man Competition.
Anyways, Vilma and JD visited Kansas with their sons for 2 months.  It was fantastic.

Before they left, my parents had all of us over for dinner.
I have mentioned before that my parents are so good at making good food.
And, my dad is especially good at making Chinese food.
I also have mentioned how sweaty hot it was here, right?

Well, my parents managed to wrap heaven up into one perfect meal .

First, there was the great company.

Isn't she beautiful? I know, sickening I tell you.

Then there was the food.
Dumplings and spring rolls were devoured. No pictures were taken. We were too busy stuffing our faces.

My mom and I are trying to convince my dad to start his own cooking blog.  With therapy in between.  Wouldn't that be great? A dude blog about food and not being crazy?  Yes, please.
Then, right when the night couldn't get any better, my mom and dad whipped this little babies up.

Mango Margaritas.
Hi. There.
I love regular margaritas.  But, these were even better.
They were amazing.
Made with real chunkies of mango.


And then?

Dave thought he was being Mr. Funny by being Mr. Creeper McCreeperson.  And, of course, JD thought that was a brilliant idea. And I machine-gun-laughed because that's what I do.

Please tell me you think this is as funny as I think it is.  
Maggie is just rolling her eyes right now and saying, "Mom!  That's so stupid!" Right?

And, to just give you the wrong impression of the evening...

Don't worry.  This is actually a flower vase.
My parents were good hosts and offered J.D. more to drink.
He refused.  :)

And, if you want that recipe, I don't have it.
It would be dangerous if I did.
(My parents have it though).

Aciu, Vilmute and JD for a wonderful evening. And summer.  And friendship.
(And, once again, for the wonderful pictures. Vilma is the best photographer I know.)


I should be getting ready for a wedding.  Instead, I'm procrastinating. Because I really don't want to change out of my comfy clothes and into a stupid dress.

And, I realized today that I am that person who blogs constantly at first and then life goes on and the blogging slows down.

I don't want to be that person.  Because I so badly want to continue this and be able to share good, wonderful news with you at some point.

I am holding off on sharing any more about us trying to conceive.  For me, that's private.  I will share about Maggie until I'm blue in the face.  But, when it comes to the "other stuff," I do need some privacy.  If you are curious, please ask. But I am not going to write about our trips to the doctor and <ahem> other things we are doing in that area.  I know that my life is not that captivating and interesting that you need, nor want, to read about that.

So, no news does not necessarily mean good or bad news.  It just means I have my limits on what I need published all over the internets.  And, when/if there is news to share, you will be the first fifth people to know.

Therefore, it may be a little slower on here.   I will keep writing about the mundane parts of life with my  eyes toward a bright future.  And, really, after all that has happened in the last six months, I will take mundane over eventful anytime.  My life outside of work feels calm and peaceful and normal and routine.  And I. love. that.  (Work? That's another story.  If I don't have to go to another meeting or get another sub again or email so and so about this and that and then fill out this form for this meeting and then the other form about this kid then go to this training after school, I'd be good.)
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