Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Suggestions please!

After very little debate, we finally made our decision. We went with a movie that we don't ever watch. While we love, Love Actually, The Holiday, Elf, etc., we watch them all the time...year round I would say. So this year we're watching Little Women. I L-O-V-E this movie, and Jason is in L-O-V-E with Winona Ryder. Win-win.


Jason and I are planning to rent a Christmas movie to watch over Thanksgiving break. We've brainstormed a few, but we need help. What are your favorite holiday movies?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sweet, Little Poser



Here are the latest ultrasound pictures of baby Lash. During all of the other ultrasounds, she was so active, but during this one she was asleep. We were able to see her face really well, and it was really exciting to see how much she's developed over the last five weeks. Everything is looking really good, and both of us are healthy. I'm so thankful that everything's going well, and I pray that they will continue to do so. It's amazing how much we love her already. Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, and I can't believe that God has given us such a wonderful gift. 
Oh, and she's definitely a girl! The ultrasound tech was able to tell because she wasn't being very modest. But I guess there's not too many wardrobe choices in there...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ya'll ready for this?


It's only November 20th, and yet I've already heard Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "Christmas, Christmas Time is Here." Is it really Chipmunks? Is it here?

According to a local Chicago radio station, it is. This particular station, which began the Christmas celebration on November 10th, plays Christmas music 24-hours a day through New Year's. Is it to early for this? My visceral response is, "YES!" But then I hear the sweet voice of Bing Crosby and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It evokes wonderful feelings of being at home with family. I'm torn.

Inevitably I will get annoyed. It's happened the past couple of years. There's a coworker of mine who will play the Christmas music station all-day, each and every workday. You can only hear "All I Want for Christmas is You" a few times before the annoyance sets in. I always end up feeling burnt out on Christmas music by the time Christmas actually gets here. It's so sad because I love Christmas music!

So the question I pose is this...Is it too early for the Christmas celebration to begin? Should we make it through Thanksgiving first? Am I so jaded by my coworkers 40-hour a week Christmas music marathon to see the beauty of it all? I don't know. But it looks like Christmas, Christmas time is actually here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Week 25: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes


If I could have a theme song with this post it would be David Bowie's "Changes". I feel like over the past couple of weeks I've been entertaining the fact that I might be pregnant. Now I'm convinced. I actually feel pregnant. I huff and puff when I walk up the stairs, I huff and puff when I get up from any sort of comfortable seating, and I huff and puff when I lean or bend over. But the fun part is, I feel the baby move quite a bit. I love her little hiccups and sometimes I swear she's moving furniture around in there. Maybe it's all the reality shows I watch that she has absorbed. I think she's been inspired by Top Design to make her space a little more feng shui, hence, the moving furniture. If she comes out saying "auf wiedersehen, mwah, mwah," we'll know I've been watching too much Project Runway too.

I can't believe that I've been pregnant for six months, and I can't believe that we are going to meet her in a few short months. I go between feeling overjoyed and terrified. That's normal, right? I can't believe they're going to let us bring a baby home. I feel so unprepared, but I know that we'll be able to figure it out. I'm right, right? In spite of the anxiety I feel at times, I'm so thankful. I wouldn't change it for anything. I can't wait to meet the little one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Smoke-lahoma

Jason did some major BBQ-ing yesterday. It's one of his favorite things, which coincides with a day full of football. Yay... Jason woke up really early, got all of his gear and the food prepared, and the grilling bonanza commenced. We invited our neighbors to join in, and they added a delicious brisket into the mix. Ironically enough, the rub they used to flavor the brisket is a recipe called "Smoke-lahoma", so of course it was delicious. Here's the laundry list of grilled foods: brisket, pork loin, ribs, and jalapeno poppers. Since our menu was a little protein heavy, I made mashed potatoes, lemony biscuits, and gooey-chocolate cake. It was quite the feast, and it was very filling. I swore off food forever. Too bad that promise only lasted a few hours...

Jason with his two grills (even though you can only see one).



The guys with the spread of food.



Meat, meat, and more meat.



The crew. Aren't the girls so cute?


I have to say that we love our neighbors. They are always bringing us food, asking us over for dinner, dropping off hand-me-down baby clothes, or stopping by to chat. We also love spending time with their girls. They are the sweetest! Yesterday, they were talking to the baby through my belly. The littlest girl said the she heard the baby talk. Apparently she said, "bah". Our baby is very advanced! Their family has become a big part of our life. We are going to miss them so much when we move.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Thanksgiving Tradition

Jason and I have spent the last two years in Chicago, alone over Thanksgiving. It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not! It's actually given us a chance to start making our own Thanksgiving traditions. Last year, we decided not to attempt a turkey (I'm scared to make turkey for some reason), and we went for the beef tenderloin instead. This is the recipe that we tried, and it is absolutely the best! I cannot tell you how good it is! Okay, I'll calm down. I'm getting annoyed with my use of the exclamation point. 
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to our new cooking tradition, the Thanksgiving Beef Tender. Even if you don't make this for your own Thanksgiving, I would highly suggest giving it a try sometime. Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef tenderloin (the butt end), tied with kitchen string
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
Special equipment: heavy duty aluminum foil

Instructions:
Prepare a heavy baking dish that is as close to the size of the beef tenderloin as possible by making an aluminum foil "basket" for it to sit in. It is very important to use heavy duty aluminum foil. Place 2 or 3 pieces of foil into the dish and put the beef tenderloin on top of it, leaving enough hanging over the edges of the dish to really wrap up the meat.

Rub the garlic over the entire tenderloin and season really, really well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the butter pieces evenly over the beef. Drizzle with Worcestershire and lime juice. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Adjust the oven rack to the highest point and preheat the broiler. (I used to sauce pan to place underneath the baking dish to prop up the beef closer to the broiler). Place the pan right underneath the broiler and broil for about 8-10 minutes. (It will look like the flames are burning or touching the meat, but that is fine). Carefully pull the pan out and turn the meat over. Broil for about another 5-7 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness. (When the meat is done under the flame, it will look like it is burned, but it's not). Wrap it up very tightly in the foil and let it stand to cook inside the foil on the kitchen counter for about another 1.5 hours.

Whisk together the sour cream and horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Slice the meat and serve with sour cream mixture on the side.

Enjoy!

I must give credit where credit is due. This is a recipe from Bobby Flay's wife, Stephanie March. It's name is "Kathy Baker's Beef Tender".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What you can expect

Last night Jason and I made the 50-minute trek to Palatine, IL (aka, "The middle of nowhere") to pick up our newly repaired camera at the UPS place. I'm so excited to have it back!! So in the next few days, expect a blogging/photography explosion. We have a lot to catch up on, people!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'll just hold it next time.

Normally I work out in the mornings, but I've been going through this weird phase lately of forgetting to set my alarm clock. So I've been waking up on my own with plenty of time to get dressed for work, but not enough time to work out. (Can you make Freudian slips through your actions?)

After a couple of days of waking up late and not running, I decided to switch up my routine and hit the gym after work. So last night I headed down to the school gym (where I work) and started my run on a treadmill. About a mile into it, I really had to use the restroom. This is not out of the norm, and I usually have to take at least two bathroom breaks during a 45-minute run. Since I wanted to save my treadmill, I put my iPod and my water bottle on the little magazine-holder-thingy to make it obvious that it was in use. I dart to the bathroom and dart back only to find about four guys hovered around my treadmill. After an explanation I came to understand that a guy (who missed my oh-so-obvious signals) stopped my machine to start his workout, until the others explained to him that it was still in use. No big deal, I explained. Then I said something I shouldn't have to the four of them.

"I'm pregnant so I have to pee a lot." The first guy turned around and walked away. The second guy had a blank stare on his face that began the minute I said "pregnant". The third guy laughed uncomfortably, and the fourth guy looked grossed out. I immediately stuck my headphones in my ears and continued to run in humiliation.

NOW, I didn't ask them to rub my feet, feel my stomach for the baby's movements, or ask them to discuss their pregnancy woes. The only thing I was looking for was a little understanding. AND, on top of that, all of these guys are in MEDICAL SCHOOL. I'm sure they've learned more about the human/female anatomy than I will ever hope (or not) to know in a lifetime. The word "pregnancy" should not freak them out.

As I was leaving, feeling like a total gross and disgusting pregnant dufus, my knight in shining armour arrived. One of Jason's classmates stopped me on my way out, and the conversations went like this:

Him: "Wow, I can't believe you're running. I guess you're trying to stay fit?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm just trying to stay as active as possible."
Him: (smiling) "You really look good up there."
Me: (smiling profusely) "Thank you."

I walked out of there feeling pretty darn good about myself. I'm sure he was referring to the fact that in spite of my bulging belly and swollen ankles, he was impressed that I was still able to lift my legs. But in my eyes, and I will continue to convince myself of this, he was telling me that I looked good. God bless him. There are still some good men out there who know how to make a swollen, and yes, pregnant lady feel good.