12.14.2008

Marine Life, Marine Wife

This weekend, Andrew had drill and was dreading it all week. The poor guy has finals and the stress of everything else... the last thing he wanted to do was go to drill. On top of that it was three days long... spent mostly outside, with a snow storm awaiting their arrival. I had lots of errands and tasks planned to keep me occupied, but on Friday night I couldn't help but sit in my own hormone-induced puddle of tears. It was occasional tears throughout the evening, but when he called me at 10pm when he was finally finished for the night, I just broke down. He handled it well, and although I'm sure the last thing he wanted was to sit on the phone with a weeping wife, he transitioned from exhausted Marine to sensitive husband in impeccable timing. I admire him so much for doing his duty even though it is so difficult for him.

The next couple of days weren't as tough. Last night I got together with the Marine wives, which is always such a relief. They know exactly how I feel, and help me to understand our husbands more. They are true veterans, having had babies while our boys were gone and lead their families with such strength in their absence. We were able to just talk. I love these women, and am so lucky to have been welcomed and guided into the life of a Marine wife.


Andrew was supposed to be home an hour ago, but one of the wives just text me and told me that they are finally on their way! Good thing I have his favorite Curry and peas on the stove, so at least he will get one satisfying meal this weekend.

12.13.2008

Whoopsies!

On Thursday, the most interesting occurrence took place. This occurrence was the icing on the cake, that I am- officially "with child." We were at the mall, and while Andrew was making a secret Christmas-related purchase, I was in an accessories store, browsing of course. Then all of a sudden, the instant urge that a sneeze was coming- hit me! And then... it happened. I sneezed. Now this may seem like a normal, everyday incident... but trust me, this was not just any ordinary sneeze. It was a hefty sneeze, followed by an unexpected peeing of the pants! That's right. I said it. I peed my pants in the middle of the store, all brought on by a simple sneeze. It was at that moment that I realized, I am my mother, my sister and every other courageous woman in the world that has given birth in their lifetime. The crazy part is that my bladder wasn't even full... the sensation to yet again, relieve myself had not presented itself. It just happened.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pregnant... and yes, I may pee my pants.
But, I will be a better mother for it.

12.12.2008

Baby Love

Today was a special day. I was at work, and this feeling kept eating at me all day. I needed to see my baby! I haven't seen much, other than a flicker of a heartbeat. So, I asked one of the Drs. in the office if their was anything in this growing belly of mine. He said, "well, let's take a look and see!" The day got busy and far too overwhelming. With all the patients coming in and out of the office today, I was afraid to ask the Dr. if we could still do the ultrasound. Finally, I got the nerve to ask, and he had just a short window of time to do it. I was afraid it would be another void uterus, shown on the screen. But, this time it was very different. After just a few seconds, it appeared! Our baby was right in front of my eyes. I saw hands, legs, a body and a head with the most adorable little nose and mouth! Although, the features weren't fully developed, they were there and they were part of my doing. The baby was kicking and flailing it's arms all over the place, going from side to side and then up on it's head! With that vision, I'm a little concerned at how active and capable this child will be. All in all, it was a short but beautiful moment in my day. The only part that I would take back if I could, would be to have had my Andrew there to catch a glimpse of our creation. Next week I have my first real doctor's visit and hopefully we will do an ultrasound with Daddy present.

12.07.2008

Turkey Time!


For Sunday supper, I took my first stab at a turkey dinner. Since it's just the two of us, I roasted a 4 lb. turkey breast, prepared mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans and rolls. It wasn't what I would call magnificent or the best meal I've ever made, but it was edible. The turkey was very moist and tasty, but I burnt the rolls and accidentally left the burner on when finished mashing the potatoes... which created a lovely brown layer on the bottom of the pot. Other than that, it was pretty tasty. I think I'll use the leftover turkey for a nice warm soup on a cold day this week.

12.06.2008

Weekend of Events

On Friday night, Andrew and I were determined to attend our Ward's Christmas Party. We've been in the ward since August but still only know a handful of people, which for those of you that know me- is quite unusual. When I asked Andrew what time the party started, he said 5:30pm. When we arrived "on time" only a few cars were there for set up. I checked my handy dandy planner and it said 6pm. We went back home (only 2 mins away) and then went back at 6pm. We were both surprised to find out that we were both wrong. It started at 6:30pm! Our Bishop and ward presented a delicious meal and it was a great time, had by the Armitage's.

Saturday morning, Andrew was up and working on his history paper, while I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in until 10am. Sleeping in past 9am until this prego state kicked in, was pretty rare. Now, I am ALWAYS willing to sleep... anytime, anywhere.

The rest of the day, Andrew and I attacked a long list of errands to run, including Christmas shopping, a clarinet instruction book for Andrew so he can start playing again, nursing bras for me because I have unnecessary bulges coming out from all over the place, and of course- a long overdue trip to Costco for polish dogs. The polish dogs were heavenly, by the way.

The rest of our day concluded of a nap for me, more homework for Andrew and watching You've Got Mail together... how appropriate considering how we met.

Tomorrow we have church and I'm making our very own turkey dinner- considering we didn't get any of our own leftovers last week. Then, some of our friends in Andrew's unit are having a birthday party for their 1 year old, Kennedy. Yay!

12.02.2008

Curry-licious!

My first meal in the Armitage home was Brenda's tasty Chicken Curry. I enjoyed it so much that I made sure to get the recipe from my fabulous Mom-in-Law. I tried making it last night but didn't have some of the ingredients. So tonight, I took a shot at it! I knew I suceeded when Andrew said it tasted just like his Mom's! I am a proud wife.
P.S. It's not spicy :) Just rich in flavor! Yummmm-O!!!

Chicken Curry

3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
3 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 cup chicken broth or 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water
1 cup milk
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)

Melt butter over low heat in heavy saucepan (I used a wok). Saute onion and curry in melted butter. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Add chicken and lemon juice. heat.

4 servings.

*I dont use cooked chicken...I defrost chicken breasts, cut them in cubes and throw them in when the sauce is bubbly and let em' cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

'Tis the Season

First wrapped Christmas presents of the year. Bring it on.

My Baby Love


I am 9 almost 10 weeks along now and starting to get a hang of this prego gig. I haven't been sick, just sleepy and hormonal... which if you ask the husband, I'm not sure which one is better. Our baby is growing from a grape at 9 weeks to a lime at 10 weeks. Can you believe it?! A lime! Ladies and Gentlemen, a lime is big news! I can't believe how fast my belly is growing. It amazes me how much my body has changed in just such a short time.


Favorite Foods in Week 9:

- Pineapple/Guava Popsicles

- Fruit Roll Ups

- Orange Juice w/ LOTS of pulp

- Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice


FYI: Don't eat 8 oranges in a 24 hour period. It's not pretty.

LONG Over-due Post

Dad's Zen

Spring Rolls... that were burnt.

Dad, Mom & Andrew

My handsome man in his festive sweater

I have been dreading catching up on our blog, because I am so behind on my posts!
So here it goes!
For Thanksgiving, Andrew and I flew out to Oregon to spend the holiday with family. It was full of many F's, as Dad and Andrew decided. Fun, Family, Friends, Food and Football... oh, and a very FULL belly.
I got to surprise everyone with my growing prego belly, which they didn't believe was real until I could show them in person. I was glad to set the record straight! It was so relaxing to eat, nap and spend time with my favorite people.

On Thanksgiving Eve, the couples went to see Twilight which was mostly a joke for the guys, but a treat for us girls. Unfortunately, the guys were right... can we say, "Cheese, Please?" After the flick, we all went to Rose's Deli & Bakery. While we waited for our food, we analyzed and laughed about the featured film of the evening. It's so fun to be part of the married club in the family now. Not to mention, everyone adores Andy-roo.
The next day, we woke up and had yummy elephant ears that Mom whipped up. Then we were off to check out the Milne/Christensen basketball game. I can't believe how big all my girls are getting, but they are excellent athletes! Of course the Ky-Guy was right in there with the best of em', getting run over a few too many times.

After cheering the family on, we headed home to help get ready for the bird feast. We decorated the tables and helped cook, while dancing and singing to the age old family cd of "The Oakridge Boys Christmas." Those songs are the epitome of the holiday season.

On our last day in Oregon, I had a traditional leftover turkey sandwich for breakfast, finished packing, and we were off to The Saturday Market in downtown Portland. We saw lots of creative people and artists. After finding some fun christmas gifts, we were off to the airport.

The trip was a success and too short in my opinion. I can't wait to return for Christmas!

11.23.2008

Sack Lunches

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight.
"I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap," I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.
I decided to start a conversation. "Where are you headed?" I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. "Chicago - to Great Lakes Base We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq ."
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. "No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago." His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.
I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. "Take a lunch to all those soldiers." She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. "My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him."
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, "Which do you like best - beef or chicken?" "Chicken," I replied, wondering why she asked.
She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. "This is your thanks."
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. "I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this." He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, "I want to shake your hand."
Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, "'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot."
I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word, another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. "'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You."
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.
As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little..."
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America 'for an amount of 'up to and including my life."
That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it."


H. W. (Bill) Scott II
2700 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd #914
Round Rock, TX 78665

11.15.2008

Andrew's Ideal Play Date


Recently, Andrew has been expressing his GREAT desire for a compound bow. Until this week, I had no clue what a compound bow was... and in all honesty, I'm not sure if I do, even now. But, we went to Cabela's today and Andrew got to check out his new love... and unfortunately, he got to shoot one several times. Why, do you ask... is this such an unfortunate event? Well, because now he wants one even more and they are really expensive! Poor guy... all torn up over this fresh wound of rejection. I promised him that SOMEDAY he will get his compound bow and it will be a beautiful reunion of a man and his dream.

11.12.2008

Win FREE Stocking Stuffers!

Join in the holiday cheer, The Paper Bag Christmas is here!!! This is a heart-warming read that I can guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy! I have read it twice and plan to read it again this holiday season. I have to admit, I favor the author of this fabulous piece of literature, since he is my very own talented big brother!
(I am still waiting for that promotion as his PR Manager... it's coming... I can feel it.)
Go to the site below and find out how you can win 5 free books of your own! Use them as gifts and make sure to keep one for yourself! Don't fret if you aren't one of the lucky winners of this fun contest- you can snag a copy at your local bookstore.
Happy Holidays!

11.09.2008

Hubby Tag

1. Were did you meet? Match.com - "It's okay to look"

2. How long did you date before you got married? 3 months

3. How long have you been married? 3 months

4. What is your favorite feature of his? I pretty much adore his smile and strong muscles

5. What is your favorite quality of his? He puts up with me. Isn't that enough? Oh, and his hard work ethic.

6. Does he have a nickname for you? Honey and Babe... pretty typical.

7. What is his favorite color? Blue

8. What is his favorite food? Meat

9. What is his favorite sport? He's not a huge fan of sports. Every woman's dream, right?

10. When and where was your first kiss? In the kitchen of my apartment... about an hour after we met.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Eat out and relax.

12. Do you have any Children? One on the way!

13. Does he have a hidden talent? He's the most amazing packer. He can pack a bazillion bags, boxes and everything else perfectly in any space.

14. How old is he? 23

15. Who Said "I love you" first? Him. We were driving in the car (two days after we met, mind you) and he couldn't hold it in any longer. And he said those three little words. Ahhhh... isn't he romantic?

16. What do you admire most about him? He makes me a better person, and reminds me of what's truly important. His patience is admirable and his kindness towards others is noticed by all.

17. Do you think he will read this? Probably not :) He usually forgets to read our blog unless I remind him.


Tag:

-Bec
-Kayti
-Steph
-Jadie

Marine Corps Birthday Ball

Last night was the Annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. We got all dressed up (which wasn't the easiest... since I had to squeeze my belly into the dress I purchased BEFORE the baby news) and started the long drive up to the Snowbird Lodge. When we arrived it was beautifully white in the mountains. It was a fun night, visiting with old friends and meet lots of new ones! I really enjoyed the ceremony. I was so proud of Andrew and all of the men who have and are currently serving our country.












11.07.2008

THE TRUTH

So... my belly is getting bigger and BIGGER! Believe it or not... that is me! No belly suit... no pushing out... ALLLL me :) I don't know where it came from! AND on top of that, I've actually lost a couple of pounds! I've been eating super healthy, since I can't stand to be full or I'll puke. So I just eat lots of snacks and small meals. I don't know what's happenin' in this belly of mine, but it's definitely doing whatever it wants, when it wants.

UPDATE: I was at work today and just casually chattin' with one of our Docs and he said, "So have you seen the heartbeat yet?" ... "Uhh no. I thought it was too early." "Well, what are we waiting for, let's go!" So Dr. Christiansen did an ultrasound and was able to see THE DOT but couldn't see the heartbeat. It was a little difficult since it's still pretty early. If I had gone over to the hospital in radiology, I would've been able to see it :) He said next week, we'll hear it! I'm so excited. I just wanna hear that dang heartbeat!

11.06.2008

Battle of the Bulge: 6 weeks

Fashion Show of new Baby-Mama attire

Da' Bulge








UPDATE

This week, my boss offered me a full-time position with benefits! I started this part-time job, with the incentive that if the opportunity opened up, I would be able to gain full-time hours. I just didn't realize it would all work out so soon! I start full-time in two weeks and my secondary insurance will kick in as soon as mid-December. When pregnant, double coverage sounds really nice! This is such a blessing in our lives as we have been concerned with how we're going to pay for everything with the baby coming! At least we can save a little more now, and continue to count our blessings. We are truly loved!

11.05.2008

Prego Loves...

I love...
- how every day is a good hair day... shiny and voluminous
- Google-ing baby stuff for hours on end
- my boobs have maximized
- blemish-free skin
- my belly
... my husband.

11.03.2008

HELP!


I am a food fanatic! I love love love anything edible! This whole pregnant gig... is another story. In my 6th week of pregnancy, nothing sounds appetizing except for Ginger Ale, fruit and H2O. My body needs much more than this!
Suggestions?
Advice?!

10.31.2008

WARNING: BUN IN THE OVEN

My mom has always been the Queen of Care Packages... but she most definitely out-did herself this week with fabulous Mommy/Baby items.


The ultimate item in the package was these stunning leopard-print pumps! These are the most adorable new trend in crib shoes. Our baby is bound to be a Fashion Icon within her first 6 months of fabulosity! (and yes, that is a word.)

Also included,an adorable handmade receiving blanket with matching burp cloths, featuring essential items- lipstick, nail polish, compact, mirror and comb. So cute!



I know you're probably all thinking... what if it's a boy?! Of course, we will be thrilled! If not used for this baby, they will be tucked away for a beautiful lil girl someday.


And of course, Mom stocked me up on morning sickness aids.

Preggie Pops and Queasy Drops.
Isn't modern-day-medicine something to be thankful for?


Last but not least... my first super cute maternity ensemble.

Mom's get a bad rap for The Frumpy Look... which is totally unnecessary.

Motherhood is hot!

10.30.2008

The Cat in the Hat

Andrew was more than enthused!

My permanent face all night long!


Two thumbs up!!!


Getting into character.

Thing 1 & Thing 2
The family medicine department at UVRMC had a Halloween party for hospital staff and families of patients in our clinic. Andrew and I decorated a room with fabulous decor from the Dollar Tree, put on our best-dressed... Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes and had a blast. The kids were so adorable and we simply cannot wait until next year, when we can add Thing 3 to the photos!
"And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked."
-- Dr. Seuss



10.29.2008

"Honey, does my butt look big?"


We use dry-erase markers to write each other cheesy little notes on our bathroom mirror.
I found this artistic expression from my dear husband on the mirror a couple of days ago.

Apparently, this is what I will look like in about 8 1/2 months.

Coming Soon to a Uterus Near You: Baby Armitage



6 months after we first met and 3 months after gettin' hitched... we're havin' a baby!

That's right Ladies and Gents, I am in my 5th week of pregnancy!!!

Can you believe it?! I have craved motherhood my whole life and it's finally here! Andrew is so supportive and super excited! On our 3 month anniversary, we discovered the faint, but most definite pink line!!! I was so excited, it was like Christmas morning. I ran into the bedroom, shook Andrew to wake the poor guy up... and blurted out, "Honey! I think there's a line!" Since he is oh-so-familiar with my pregnancy-hypochondria... he was very rational and told me to get a test done at work. So I did! And, boy did I have news for him!

With all the stress and excitement, Andrew has really been a gem. I had to work all day Saturday and he knew I was anxious about leaving with the house such a mess. I came home to laundry folded, floor vacuumed, bed made, dishes done, our important documents were all organized in their identified folders (a project we were both dreading), the bathroom cleaned, light bulbs changed... AND he was finished with all of his homework, and ready to offer me some undeserved attention. Now, while I am professing a gag-worthy brag-a-thon... I also think it's so important to recognize and be proud of husbands. What would we do without them.

He isnt Mr. Perfect... but he's perfect to me!

10.27.2008

Hand-Me-Down Recipes!



Today I was in the mood to test my kitchen skills by following some recipes given to me by fabulous women in my life! This first one is my favorite soup at Olive Garden- which is Zuppa Toscana! So DE-LISH and really simple to make!
I received the recipe from my sis-in-law Stephanie. Thanks Steph!

- ZUPPA TOSCANA -

1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp real bacon bits
2 tsp minced garlic or 2 cloves
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon or 2 cans of chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. sliced russet potatoes - 1/4" thick or about 3 large potatoes
2 cups chopped kale or swiss chard

Begin by sauteing the Italian sausage and the crushed red pepper in a pot. Then drain the excess fat and refrigerate while you prepare other indgredients.
In the same pan, saute bacon, onions, and garlic for approx. 10 min. or until the onions are soft.
Mix the chicken bouillon and water together.
Then, add it to the onions, bacon, and garlic.
Cook until boiling.
Add potatoes and cook about half an hour or until soft.
Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
Stir in the sausage. Add kale just before serving.

Goes great with a garden salad and some fresh bread. Thoroughly ENJOY!!!

*******

The next is from my sis-in-law Bec :) She makes the best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and at this time of year, it's a must! These are so tasty and will be devoured quickly! Thanks sis!

- PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES -

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. It’ll look really funky at this point but have faith.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (17 minutes works about perfectly for me), or until the cookies are browned around the edges.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for two minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool on wire racks.

10.23.2008

The Neverending New-Hire Training

I know that we have all endured the tedious orienting of a new job position... but really, does it have to be so bad? As fortunate as I am to have such a wonderful employer right now, I am just about done in with all the training. Yesterday and today I went up to SLC to certify in the main program that Intermountain Healthcare uses. I was fully prepared to attack the lengthy classes but yesterday they let the class out early, so I was hoping they might do the same today. But OH NO it went from 9am-4pm and it felt like much longer! Sitting in the same chair, in front of the same computer screen, learning the same things that I have been doing for the past three weeks on my own... was not my cup of tea. Now, as much as it sounds like I am complaining... you're right. I am doing just that. Most all of the people that were in my class have not started working in their clinic or department yet, so everything was new for them and repetitive to me. Phew! Thanks for letting me get all that out in the open. Feel free to disregard this whiney post as most of you will understand those occasional moments of just simply needing to vent.

10.21.2008

Oregon Visit!

Andrew and I were off on a flight to Oregon at 6:50pm last Thursday! We had tons of fun and both felt that the trip was far too short. Unfortunately, amidst all the fun- I forgot to snap photos. Sorry!
After a short flight, we were welcomed by my parents with delicious hamburger stew and cornbread muffins. Mmmm!!! And of course, my mom being the fabulous hostess that she is, their were yellow roses for me and a box of chocolates for Andrew waiting on the nightstand of our bedroom. Can you guess where I get my "overdoing" from?
Friday morning we slept in, which was oh so needed and went up to the Milne Farm. We got to see the chickens and meet the goats! They are so adorable and it was fun to watch Kyler and Emma play with the animals. Then, we were off to my absolute favorite teriyaki joint, Bon Teriyaki. Man, I wish we had one of those here in Provo! It is the BEST Japanese teriyaki in this universe! Thoroughly stuffed, we went home to prepare for the evenings events. I was off to Time Out for Women with Mom, Emma, Grandma, Bec and Jenelle. Andrew was gearing up for the family sleepover at G-ma & G-pa Milne's house. This included the Christensen girls, Milne girls, Kyler, Kevin, Todd, Dad, and of course the dogs- Jack and Maggie. I was worried Andrew would not want to have kids after this event! But of course, he was a trooper and enjoyed the gathering! While the girls were gone, Andrew and Dad made a potato gun and took it up to the farm for practice. Those two are trouble together!
I had a blast at Time Out for Women. The speakers really were uplifting and it was nice to listen to other women that go through similar experiences and feelings from day to day. It was especially wonderful to be with the women in my family. I felt like it was somewhat of an initiation to be there with them. They have all gone before a couple times, and I was not able to go- considering I was in Utah. We stayed in a hotel and got to chat, laugh... eat and chat some more! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
When we returned home, Andrew and Dad had transformed into chefs and prepared a yummy birthday dinner for Megan and I. They made salmon, scalloped potatoes, salad, grilled asparagus (Andrew's creation), Broccoli, rolls and shrimp with cocktail sauce. I wouldn't have traded that meal for a restaurant in a million years! So good! And of course, the traditional ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. It was the best birthday finale ever!

10.14.2008

Birthday Eve



In my family, birthdays are always a big ta-do... especially growing up!
The day is all about you and YOU some more!
Your favorite meal prepared for dinner or even going out to the restaurant of choice.
I have always wanted to carry those traditions on with my own family and now I can!
ANYWAY... on the eve of my birthday today, since I won't be in the office tomorrow... I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I arrived and my desk was decorated with streamers and confetti, candy kisses, a small bucket of thoughtful notes from each member of the staff and an adorable photo album for special memories! AND- a huge banner at the front desk decorated with "Happy Birthday!" It is so wonderful to know that even as a new employee, I am appreciated and noticed by the staff! They also had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and brownies made for everyone to share in the celebration. With every patient that I worked with today, each of them made sure to wish me a happy birthday. Even strangers were acknowledging my birth! It was truly a fabulous birthday at work!

10.10.2008

The Brent Brown Saga Continues...

I'm sure that you have all experienced similar frustrations as we have with the car dealership where we adopted Sashimi. We are all familiar with the ever so courteous customer service reps that are dealt with on a regular basis regarding insurance coverage, cell phone plans, misc. unnecessary and overcharged bills... etc. These are all joys of modern day pleasures that tend to, as my dear mother would say, "torment our souls."
Having spoken with multiple "managers" who in my opinion, weren't managing ANYTHING... I found myself repeating our story and many "yes ma'am's," and "I understand, ma'am's," with NO result so I decided to give it a rest for a night with the assurance that I would be contacted the following day with a solution. Of course this wasn't the case. I sat at work, festering over my frustrations and was NOT contacted... let alone, with any solution. So, with Brent Brown on my speed dial by now- I called the Parts Manager to find out the status of our predicament. Luckily for him, he did have a solution and was able to console me with a pleasing report. The Brent Brown Chevrolet, whom we purchased the car from was not the original dealership that received the trade-in from the beginning. This was overlooked on their part when selling the car to us. Brent Brown Dodge originally received the car from a previous owner and ran the emissions test while finding the need to conduct several repairs on the vehicle. A lack of communication was found between the dealerships and we were caught in the middle. Considering the specialty part is $870-some odd dollars, we were pleased to find out that we will not be charged for the part needed or labor to place the part, in order to pass the state emissions test.
This is a relief to us as we can barely afford the gas to run the dang thing! I mean... our dear Chrysler Concorde, Sashimi. This was a happily ever after for us and especially for Brent Brown Chevrolet as the wrath of Kacie is not a pretty sight!

10.08.2008

Define: Customer Service

CUSTOMER SERVICE : "Customer service is an organization's ability to supply their customers' wants and needs" - CustomerServiceManager.com
When Andrew and I got married we were concerned about our daily whereabouts and transportation. We had our Honda CR-V (AKA Origami) and as wonderful as she is, we couldn't exactly split her into two cars... as we needed her in two places at once. So- it was time to invest in a second vehicle. We purchased our Chrysler Concorde and named her Sashimi. Long story short, the check engine light came on- exactly a week after we bought it! We thought it might just be an error... but the dealership has not been very helpful in compensating for this problem. Today I spent an hour giving the "Customer Service Rep" a piece of my mind. As most of you know, I am more than willing to say whatever, whenever I feel the need. This is a fabulous trait at times and gets in the way at others. And as most of you also know, Andrew is the exact opposite. So Brent Brown got stuck with me today! We are crossing our fingers that this will all work itself out or else we are dealing with a large bill that I am not paying. I'm sure you've all faced similar situations. Don't you just love how Customer Service can be just the opposite? Sometimes I think it should be called Customer Dis-Service.
Sorry for the venting and slightly negative post. But I needed to get it all out!

10.05.2008

No-Carb Update


It's been exactly 1 week and I have lost 4 lbs. It doesn't feel like 4 lbs. but I guess that's better than nothing, right?! On the other hand, I have cheated unintentionally! And... intentionally. It's been really hard to figure out what has carbs and what doesn't. Did you know carrots and corn have carbs?! I can't even eat certain HEALTHY foods! What kind of diet is this?!

Well, it's a 4 lbs. in 1-week diet! That's what it is.

So I'm going to stick with it and do my BEST
not to cheat.


Favorite Diet-Friendly Foods: (this week)

- Pepperoni
- Grilled Chicken Strips
- Celery
- Green Cabbage
-Sugar-Free Jell-O
- DIET COKE (Always a favorite)

USMC


Andrew is home :) The weekend flew by as I had hoped! The poor guy was out all day and night on Friday doing "Marine" stuff... (that's the best way to describe it) Then woke up @ 5am on Saturday and hiked a bazillion miles in the pooring rain... and then this morning they woke up @ 5am, ate powdered eggs, sausage, and french toast (all cold), did physical training and other "Marine" stuff haha then made it home by 12:30pm He was and still is pooped...
napping on the sofa, as I am typing.
Friday night I was able to visit with some of the other Marine wives. I was a little nervous, but then so surprised at how much we had in common. Their stories made me feel like counting my blessings ten times over. Two of these women found out they were expecting, the week after our men were called to Iraq. They carried their babies and had them 5 and 6 months before the boys came home. Their sources of survival were webcams, pictures and phone calls when they could. I think my Father in Heaven really had a hand in the outcome of this weekend. He knew that I needed a little humbling and these strong and optimistic women were just the ones to do it. When I asked them about how difficult this must have been for them and their husbands, they were so nonchalant about it. Their view on it was that at least they had the other wives to get them through and when their husbands came home, it was the most amazing reunion to meet the additions to their families. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father loves me and is in my life to teach me these lessons and open my eyes.

10.01.2008

Ugh.

Andrew is off to do drills this weekend, Friday-Sunday. As supportive as I can be, it's still difficult when he leaves. Last month, I was able to fly home and spend the weekend with my fam in Oregon. Way fun! But I was ready to get back to my husband and small basement apartment home. This time, I'll be home by myself for the weekend. I'm not too worried about keeping busy, since I have plenty to do. I work all day Friday, work Saturday, clean the apartment and Sunday I'm babysitting my cute niece Karina and nephew Marcelo for the afternoon session of General Conference. Also, Andrew has the wife of one of the men in his unit in his History class and she invited me to a "Wives Club" this weekend. All the wives get together and hang out when their husbands are off at drills. I hope I fit in!

Chaos.

I started my new job at the hospital this week and have been really enjoying it so far! I am moving quickly through the training and cannot wait to be settled into the swing of things. I now know why it took me so long to find the right job. It wasn't available just yet! And now I have such a wonderful position, fabulous co-workers and management AND most of all I'm happy. Andrew is so supportive and doesn't get disappointed when my meals at night aren't as adventurous after a long day for the both of us. Isn't he dreamy... ? Gotta love him!

9.28.2008

Update: Induction Phase ... 1 day in

So I've made it 24 hours now! The Induction Phase is the initial stage of the diet. Idealistically, you spend the first two weeks keeping your carb intake at 20 grams per day. This is not that difficult! I think it will be much harder when I can add good carbs into the mix. Andrew has suggested that I wait to weigh myself until I've stuck with the diet for an entire week- so that the results will be much more rewarding to see on the scale. (BTW- to kick off this new diet ordeal, we got a scale yesterday that's candle apple red to match our bathroom... LOVE IT!)

Favorite Diet-Friendly Foods: (so far)

- Black Olives
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Cheddar Cheese
- Lean Deli Meats
- Green Veggies

9.27.2008

To Do: Diet

Since getting married (only 2 months ago) I have noticed a few extra LBS. on this Asian body of mine and have decided to start a much needed diet. I have tried many in my time and have noticed that the only one that has really worked for me is the Atkins Diet. Now I know what you're thinking... "that diet is so un-healthy"... "you can only eat meat and cheese"... and "dieting sucks." Well, that last one is OH SO true- but the Atkins diet has come along way and is not just eliminating carbs and refined sugars. I did it the "old-fashioned" way in the past, completely deleting carbs from my grocery list. It worked wonders but I only lasted a few weeks- with great results, but aching for more variety in my diet. The new version, allows for GOOD carbs, lean meats, a limited portion of cheeses and a huge variety of veggies! Sounds do-able to me! I love all of those things and have never NEEDED carbs with the exception of rice (I'm Asian... what do you expect?) But I can do this! I am shooting for two weeks of the Induction period which a limited version of the diet to jump-start your body and then onto slowly adding what are considered to be good carbs in to regimen. Since I know you're all curious- I will blog my progress and keep you "posted" (hahaha P.S. that's bloggers' humor)

Kalai Concert

Last night Andrew and I went to the Kalai concert at Thanksgiving Point. For those of you wondering... who is Kalai? He is the artist that we used for our First Dance at our wedding. We love his stuff and were stoked that he was in concert so close AND the concert location was the same spot that Andrew proposed- right in front of the waterfalls.
CHEESE, please? I know.
video
Hymn: Jesus, My Savior True
(He has a whole album of hymns, this one was amazing)


3 Things We Learned From Kalai:

1- Kalai is LDS.
2- Kalai likes to kill small animals.
3- "Broken families, get un-broken and NOT broken families, don't break" - Kalai





9.26.2008

Photo Contest!


I took this picture of my one and only nephew Kyler on our family's cruise in Mexico and ran into a photo contest online.
I decided to submit this picture for fun!
Go to the site below and vote!

https://www.greatamericanphotocontest.com/voter1/index.aspx?referid=EmailFriends&p=763830&x=.jpg

9.25.2008

I stillll ... got it!

On Tuesday morning I interviewed for a position at Merrill Gappmeyer Family Medical Practice with Intermountain Healthcare's Urban South Region. The position is a Patient Coordinator which is right up my alley. The interview went really well and I felt so great about it! They said I would hear from them by Wednesday. When I didn't hear from them yesterday I was pretty bummed... and went back to the drawing board. Ugh. I was at work today training for my new Saturday job and got a call! I was offered the position! I start orientation on Monday! Aside from the drug screening and shots that I have to go through tomorrow- I'm stoked! Needles aren't my fav- but I'll survive for this kind of opportunity :)

9.24.2008

Chopstick-Ready!







I wanted to have a night of Asian cuisine and considering that’s what attracted Andrew to me in the first place- I played around in the kitchen and came up with this recipe!

Try it and let me know what you think!




PORK FRIED RICE


1 Garlic Clove, crushed
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 teaspoons Soy Sauce
2 Boneless Pork Chops, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
Frozen Peas
Carrots, diced
Green Onions, diced
Yellow Squash, shredded
4 cups Cooked White Rice


Add 1 tablespoon of Vegetable Oil to Wok at medium heat. Then lightly whisk eggs with a teaspoon of Soy Sauce. Throw in crushed garlic and wait until it starts to crackle in the oil. Pour egg mixture into Wok and scramble into tiny pieces. Set aside to cool. Now the fun begins! Add the remaining tablespoon of Vegetable Oil or more if needed, along with carrots and yellow squash. Stir fry vegetables until tender. When vegetables are done- mix in cooked rice, pork, peas, green onions and egg mixture. Toss it all together and cover with lid. For the next few minutes, fold the rice to get that gently fried texture throughout the whole dish. Feel free to toss in the remaining 2 teaspoons of soy sauce or more to your liking. This fried rice has a lovely flavor of garlic and is beautiful with all the color! And remember, everyone has a little Asian in them! So get your chopsticks out and say Konichiwa!

9.20.2008

Can I get some Costco Looove?



Who loves Costco? That's right. Pretty much EVERYONE and their mother. Ever since I went on Costco runs as a little girl with my mom, I have adored flittering around to each station and snagging the tasty little morsels of goodness that they have offered as FREE samples. Ahh... Costco is truly an enjoyable experience. Aside from this tastbud-friendly pasttime, I have a thorough addiction to the "Costco Dogs" at the front of the store. I mean really, a polish dog and a 20 oz. soft drink for $1.50??!! Can you even attempt to beat that?? I think not! Personally, I love mine with a moderate amount of deli mustard, a hint of ketchup and an even layer of onions. Mmmm... I'm craving another, as I type! If you have not experienced this euphoric and tatalizing deal- go now. I mean right now! You will never want another plain old hot dog again.

9.19.2008

Officially Employed!

Considering I'm desperate in the job search department, I finally got a job offer at the University Mall in Orem, and I'm taking it! Usually the mall is a place of solstace and and therapy for me... as most of you know, but I'm getting frantic people! So, in an act of extreme anxiety, I now have a job at one of my most peaceful places... which will now become an environment of chaos. I bet you're all wondering what fabulously fashionable boutique I am employed by... which could be a glamorous position- getting the first look on the worlds newest fashions and styles. Ahhh, that would be the life! BUT... alternatively, I am working at the Mall's Help Desk, which is practically the same thing, right? I'll keep you posted on the number of customer's I get, asking me where the nearest restroom is. I'm sure it will be a number, out of this world!

By the way, I only work this job on Saturdays... so I have yet to end the job hunt. Just keep looking... Just keep looking... looking... looking... looking... looking...

9.16.2008

Mr. Smartie Pants


Andrew started school at the Utah Valley University in Orem, UT on August 31st and despite his nerves, he has been scoring A's! I'm so proud of him coming home every day and doing his homework days before it is even assigned. His biggest concern before starting school was Math as it isn't everyone's favorite subject, and he just got his grade back on his first Math test and received a fabulous A!!! He's on his way to being the best Engineer ever!