Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Recipe Sharing: Easy BBQ Pork

A co-worker shared this super easy way to make BBQ pork in the Crockpot, and we've done it many times. It makes enough for at least two dinners and a couple of lunches too. Simple and easy - enjoy!

Crockpot BBQ Pork

Yield: 6-8 servings

One 3 lb. pork roast (could use pork butt too)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
BBQ seasoning
One bottle BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray's)

1. Rub pork with olive oil, salt and pepper, and BBQ seasoning (optional). Allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. (I don't always allow it to marinate and it turns out a-okay.)
2. Spray Crockpot with PAM. Place pork in Crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Don't overcook!
3. Shred pork with forks or tongs. Add in bottle of BBQ sauce and warm, about 30 more minutes.
4. Serve pulled pork on toasted buns. I add cole slaw!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

50 Things About Me

Tagged and thought I'd give it a try. I'll be seriously impressed if anyone actually reads to the bottom. Play along if you want!

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes
2. Have you ever been to Yellowstone Park? No
3. Do you own a gun? Absolutely not
4. What are your favorite songs? He Leadeth Me; The Luckiest (Ben Folds); We are in Love (Harry Connick Jr.)
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on the doctor
6. What do you think about hot dogs? Not a favorite, but once or twice a summer is okay.
7. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night or Happy Holidays (the Andy Williams version)
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Green tea
9. Can you do push ups? Ha ha ha ha
10. What was the name of your first pet? Shadow
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Engagement ring
12. Favorite hobby? Reading or cooking
13. Favorite trait of spouse? Sense of humor and intelligence
14. Do you have ADD? No
15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? Struggle with self-discipline
16. What's your middle name? George - was Jean before we married
17. Name 3 thoughts you are thinking at this exact moment? (1) Why am I filling this out? (2) What should I buy at Trader Joe's? (3) My blisters hurt.
18. What did you buy yesterday? Blue oxford shirt
19. Favorite vegetable? Corn
20. Current worry right now? Big project at work
21. Current dislike right now? Clutter in my office and house
22. Favorite place to be? Maybe the lake, maybe just at home
23, What did you do to bring in the New Year? Dinner with Rob, night at home
24. Name three people who will complete this? No clue
25. Believe in God? Absolutely
26. Do you have an unusual skill? Fast typer (not very unusual!)
27. What shirt are you wearing? White Ann Taylor cotton shirt
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Not particularly
29. Can you whistle? Yes
30. Favorite color? Red
31. Would you be a pirate? No
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Varies
33. Favorite girl's name? Depends on the day
34. Favorite boy's name? See above
35. What's in your pocket right now? Nothing
36. What made you laugh last? AJ the kitty
38. Worst injury you've ever had? Crazy broken toe
39. Who is your loudest friend? Stacey
40. Do you like where you live? Most of the time
41. How many TVs do you have? Three
42. How many dogs do you own? Zero
43. What would you do if you hit a deer while driving? Scream!
44. What is your favorite book? The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, most recently
45. What is your favorite candy? Reese's Cups or Reese's Peices
46. Favorite Sports Team? Redskins or Maryland Men's Basketball
47. What were you doing at 12 a.m. this morning? Fast asleep
48. What was the first thing that you thought of when you woke up this morning? Blessed alarm clock
49. What song do you want played at your funeral? He's Always Been Faithful (Zoe Group)
50. Does someone have a crush on you? Seriously doubt it

If you've made it to the end, congrats! Hope to see this on your blog too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Anniversary Picture

My goal is to take our picture on every anniversary so we can see how we've changed through the years. Usually this is a product of Rob's long arm reaching out to snap it! We took this tonight before dinner at Texas de Brazil. Rob decided to wear one of his shirts we got in Hawaii - too funny. We had a great dinner and nice time together.

Also, Rob surprised me with beautiful flowers at work today - red roses and white calla lillies. They are on my desk and I'll enjoy them all week. Very thoughtful!

Thanks to friends who e-mailed and sent cards - we appreciate it!

Two Years

Today, Rob and I celebrate two years of marriage! I realize that this is a small amount of time to be married compared to some friends out there (especially those who had an official "ring ceremony"-ha!), but it's a big deal to us. :)

In honor of this celebration, I thought I'd share a few "two years of" memories.

Together, we've had...

  • Two years of good night wishes and long morning talks.
  • Two years of vacations and fun memories of our early married years.
  • Two years of frustration over socks on the floor. :)
  • Two years of making many home improvements, thanks to Rob's handy skills and my decorator wannabe inclinations.
  • Two years of spending time with both families during weekends and holidays.
  • Two years of still trying to get my name changed on everything.
  • Two years of "don't forget to take the trash out" reminders.
  • Two years of walks and bike rides and lake weekends.
  • Two years of Rob frowning at me when the credit card bill comes. :)
  • Two years of happiness and laughs and joy.
Happy anniversary, Rob. I'm blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Babysitters in Action

We are home from our weekend babysitting adventure. My best girlfriend's brother got married, so I volunteered Rob and myself to watch her 2 1/2 year old little girl. We had a blast!

We drove to Roanoke on Saturday morning and had time to catch up with my friend, her husband and parents before they needed to get ready for the wedding and their little girl went down for a nap. When they headed out to the wedding around 2:30 p.m., she was sound asleep. Around 4 p.m., we heard her stirring, so Rob opened up the door to the bedroom (we were in a hotel suite) and said her name. She froze! A strange voice and a strange place were too much. I came in behind Rob and she was a-okay.

We spent the afternoon at a local park and in the playzone in the mall. We read some books in Barnes and Noble, walked the mall and had dinner at Panera Bread. She was perfect and Rob and I decided maybe this kid-thing isn't so bad after all. :)

Back at the hotel, she played for a little bit, and then she had a bath and went to bed around 8:30 p.m., luckily with no fuss at all. We crashed on the couch and watched "No Country for Old Men." Bizarre movie if you haven't seen it.

This morning we went to brunch, grabbed a cherry limeaide at Sonic and headed home. A fun weekend and a new challenge for us, which I'm very happy to say we survived!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lucky Duck

My lucky duck husband is going to see The Lion King at the Kennedy Center tonight, and I'm not invited. Say what?!

His buddy Somu has tickets to the completely sold-out show, and had planned to go tonight with his sister. Now she can't go, so he asked Rob if he'd like a FREE ticket.

I'm glad they are going and it will be fun for the two of them to catch up over dinner and see the show, but I'm (more than) slightly jealous since I wanted to see it. Oh, well. It's shopping and errand running for me tonight... sigh.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Like...

(Received this as a tag on a friend's blog and decided to give it a whirl!)

I like . . .

Football not baseball;
Platinum not gold;
Flats not heels;
Green beans not lima beans;
Heat not humidity;
Gmail not Yahoo;
Sonic not Checkers;
Cats not dogs;
Jazz not rap;
Organization not clutter;
Cooking not cleaning up;
New adventures not static vacations;
Brian Williams not Charlie Gibson;
Bare legs not stockings;
Early mornings not late nights;
Mexican food not Indian food;
People magazine not OK!;
Credit not debit;
Peace not war.

What do you like? (I won't tag you but feel free to do this on your blog!)

Recipe Sharing: Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

I've decided to start sharing some recipes on the blog, rather than e-mailing new finds to friends. I love to cook and bake and do anything in the kitchen. Maybe that's why my waistline is less than ideal?! :)

Anyway, here's a yummy treat I made the other night. Honestly, this isn't cooking or baking. It's just really melting and mixing, but it's easy-peasy and very good.

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Yield: 24

2 tbsp unsalted butter (I used light butter)
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream - or one 10 oz. bag of marshmallows
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispies

1. In a large pan (recommend 4 qt. or larger saucepan), melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. It will scorch easily, so keep an eye on it.
2. Add the marshmallow cream or marshmallows, cocoa and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Add the cereal and stir until well coated. I used a big rubber spatula that I lightly sprayed with PAM so it wouldn't stick.
4. Spread into 13x9 dish, lightly coated with PAM. Use a piece of wax paper to cover the dish and press it all into place. Let cool.
5. Cut into 24 pieces and munch!

Let me know if you like these. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

Taking a few minutes to jot these down while I'm thinking about it! Here are the top 10 things I am thankful for this week:

1. Rob, for working hard to fix a clogged condensation holder on our air conditioner last night. We discovered a puddle in our laundry room, he investigated, hopped over to Lowe's and got a wet/dry vac, and fixed it. Or at least we hope!
2. My Dad, for providing guidance to Rob on what to do and how to do it. Dad always gets extra phone calls when we are in need of home repair assistance.
3. A lazy, warm weekend at the lake. Perfect to recharge my batteries for this busy week at work.
4. Reconnecting with an old friend on Facebook today and catching up on her life. What different roads we've taken, but I'm glad to be in touch.
5. Planning trips to Las Vegas (for work, unfortunately, but Rob's coming out for the weekend), and a trip to Harding for Homecoming. This will be Rob's first visit to Searcy! Everyone has to experience it once, right?? :)
6. Lunch today with two former co-workers. We've all stayed in touch, and they've followed each other (coincidently) from job to job. Now, they are in the office building next to mine! We try to get together often.
7. The launch of a HUGE initiative at work today. I've been planning now for almost a year, and we are finally launching. I'm afraid the real work now begins!
8. An incoming cold front to cool down the days. At least it will be more bearable for walks outside, until the treadmill is fixed.
9. A good talk with my Mom last night, after Dad gave Rob advice and while he was investigating. We could talk all day.
10. Turkey Hill Light Style Vanilla Bean ice cream!

Have a great week!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend in Review

We had a great weekend up at Deep Creek this past weekend, and it was tough to go back to work today. We headed up Friday, ate dinner with my parents and a bunch of their friends (thanks for letting us crash your party!), then spent the rest of the weekend swimming, relaxing and talking long walks. It was so enjoyable that we stayed late and didn't get home until about 9:30 p.m. yesterday.

Saturday night, we got pizza at Ledo's and then saw The Dark Knight. It was creepy, for sure. I'm not a big Batman fan so I didn't really know if there was a back story I was missing out on, but I enjoyed it. Heath Ledger did a maniacal, bizarre Joker. Much different than the Jack Nicholson Joker from a few years ago.

The bad news on the home front is that my treadmill has a stuck key and I need to have the keypad replaced, which means it's out of commission for a week or so until the part arrives. That means I'm huffin' it outside in 99 degree heat and terrible humidity. Ugh. It was so bad I treated myself to a scoop of vanilla ice cream when I got home. :)

Back to my hotel search for a possible long weekend at the beach...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leaping Sharks?

This is my worst nightmare, although I wonder if these photos are really true. Have you seen this story?

Blacktip shark snapped in photo of surfer off New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

Another week has passed and it's time for the weekly top 10. Here are 10 things that I am thankful for this week:

1. A fun weekend - hosting a small dinner party on Saturday and our first Washington Nationals baseball game on Sunday afternoon. It was HOT!
2. Our new appliances that fit and work fabulously, thanks to Rob's handiwork and patience.
3. Knowing that I'll see my best girlfriend next week! She's heading up from Texas and we'll get to catch up.
4. A trip to Target with Rob tonight after work. We picked up the essentials and walked the aisles.
5. A great sermon series "Got Burnout...Get Balance" at our church. It's really hit home.
6. A very decisive meeting at work today where we made some good decisions and moved on. Way better than having to sit in another meeting about the meeting we just had - which unfortunately has happened before.
7. Tons of new friends popping up on Facebook. Are you on there? Everyone you've ever met already is too!
8. Getting my kitchen in order. In addition to the appliances, we've added a new snack/bread box, inside cabinet hooks for potholders and the convection microwave racks, etc. I crave organization.
9. Reading friends' funny blogs and catching up on their days.
10. Saltines and Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese!

Have a good week!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Test

On Saturday night, we had some friends over for dinner. During the course of the conversation, we got into discussing situations that my friend's wife called "God Tests" -- situations where you have the opportunity to take the easy way out or get something for free, even though you know it's not the "right" thing to do.

A good case would be my elusive black cardigan sweater story, which is still up in the air, thanks to an unreturned phone call to the store.

Anywho, I saw this story in the Washington Post and it really made me think. You can read it for yourself, but long story short, a couple found a 3.02 carat diamond ring in a parking garage, and then went on a mission to find its rightful owner. The couple really put a lot of work into it, as did the jeweler who sold the ring (it had the company's name etched in the band). I have a feeling people like this are hard to find.

What's the most unique "God Test" situation you've ever been in?

Friday, July 11, 2008

It All Fits on Paper

Good news: our new appliances all arrived yesterday!

Bad news: nothing fits.

Actually, that's not the complete story and everything is in its place now, but it sure was an adventure getting it all there!

All three items (stove, microwave, fridge) were scheduled for yesterday, but of course they all couldn't come at once! So the microwave installation guy showed up at 8:30 a.m., plopped it right up there, tested it out and headed on his way. Easy-peasy.

The stove and refrigerator were to arrive between 3-5:45 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. - when we'd seen neither hide nor hair of the delivery truck - I called and was informed that they were running late. No problem... we waited and waited and they finally showed up.

Here's where it got fun! The fridge measured right (and trust me, we'd measured it 101 times), but wouldn't fit in the space. Measure the fridge- check. Measure the space- check. It fit on paper, but not in real life. In the end, we figured out that our hardwood floors are a little uneven and that was making it not slide in on one side.

Let's move on to the stove. The delivery guy attempted to slide it into place... nope. There's some sort of power box screwed into the floors that happened to be in the exact 6-inch area where the stove wouldn't go back, so the whole thing stuck out from the wall 4 inches. Bothersome, but fixable in the next few days, we thought, until I realized that the dishwasher wouldn't open all of the way with the stove sticking out.


At 7 p.m., I was tired and hungry and very irritated. The delivery man just shrugged his shoulders, asked me to sign that it all had, in fact, been delivered, and left us with a big refrigerator in the middle of the kitchen and stove that was blocking the dishwasher. Not a happy camper was I.

I informed Rob that I was going to pick up some carry out for dinner, and that I wanted that refrigerator in place when I got back. I have to give him a special shout out - he got out his Dremel tool and sanded the cabinet trim until it finally slid into place. Hallelujiah.

After dinner, he tackled the electric outlet behind the stove (shutting off the power so he didn't zap himself!), unscrewed/un-nailed it, moved it down 6 inches and reattached the whole thing. The stove slid in perfectly!

In the end, it's all where it needs to be and I'm very pleased. It was just a rocky two hours last night.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

Tuesday Top 10 time again - the weeks just fly! Here's a peek at what I'm thankful for this week...

1. Survival of a day full of meetings. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get some work done!
2. A very relaxing long weekend with Rob at the lake, spending time with both of our families, finishing a good book and daily walks in the mountain air. I couldn't ask for more.
3. Rob's new position within his company - he's happy, and so am I!
4. Listening to sermons online. Our church posts our minister's lessons online, and since we travel so much in the summer, I really like to download and listen during the week.
5. A good dinner tonight - peanut cilantro chicken breasts and snap peas - compliments of Let's Dish. Easy and delicious.
6. A job I really enjoy. I complain about an over-abundance of meetings, but I'm fortunate to do what I love.
7. Knocking out 1.5 miles on the treadmill and clearing my head while I walked.
8. Our repaired room ceiling at the lake cottage. May the third time be the charm! (Rob, his dad and brother-in-law put up some extra supports on the tiles.)
9. The extra 20 minutes I'm getting to sleep in the mornings. Rob's new position is about 10 miles closer to home, so he leaves later in the morning. That means I get to snooze a few minutes longer!
10. Trader Joe's low fat strawberry granola!

Have a good week!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Loooooong Weekend

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July! We spent Thursday-Monday at the lake and really had a relaxing time. I slept in every morning! :)

Friday was a total washout, as it rained steadily all day. Rob's mom and I finally were stir crazy and ventured out for a walk, all decked out in our rain gear. It eventually stopped raining late in the evening, just in time for neighbors down the lake to set off a very elaborate fireworks display, complete with booming patriotic music. It was quite a show!

Saturday night, we met my parents for dinner at the Hen House, which is always good.

We arrived home today to find Rob's Xbox entering the red ring of death. I don't really know what that means, but he keeps talking about it. All I know is that he called Microsoft and they are sending him the materials to return it. He'll be Xbox free for two-to-three weeks. Boo hoo.

Tomorrow we head back to work!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

It's Tuesday again - I can't believe how fast the weeks go! Here is my top 10 for the week -

1. A short work week and a long weekend to celebrate July 4. Can't wait for the day off!
2. New appliances! Our refrigerator - specifically, the ice maker - has been an issue, so we decided to take the plunge and replace it. While we are at it, we're going for a new stove and microwave too, and hopefully I'll get a new dishwasher sooner rather than later. Could it be that they'll all finally match?! We opted for the french door refrigerator with the pull-out drawer freezer. Hope we like it all!
3. Lower humidity that allowed for a walk outside tonight, rather than on the treadmill.
4. Clean and ironed clothes, with nothing hanging in the laundry room awaiting my attention. This is rare!
5. Band-aids. More blisters on my feet. I don't know what my problem is.
6. Knowing we'll see both my family and Rob's family this weekend. Always fun!
7. Finding gas for $4.03/gallon - a bargain! Isn't that absurd?
8. Sweet kitty A.J., whose sitting next to me. She always brings me joy!
9. Super progress on a couple of projects at work. I feel like the last few weeks have been super busy, but very productive.
10. Rice crispy treats!

Have a happy fourth of July!