Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Christmas Review

C and I had a lovely Christmas at home...just the two of us, quiet, peaceful and full of food. We picked up a virus in Oklahoma and the quantity of snot being produced in this household is amazing. C is feeling a bit better...mine has progressed to a full blown ear infection with a ruptured eardrum. I'm on oral and topical antibiotics so things seem to be getting better slowly. I'm headed into a long run of overnight shifts and will be working on New Year's Eve, always a fun time to work. Inauguration is fast approaching and we need to get the house ready for our guests who will be visiting then.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December updates.

We had a lovely early Christmas in Oklahoma. We got to spend a few days with each half of the family, opened presents and ate way, way too much food. Unfortunately, we left the same day my sister arrived....by a completely different airport and town, so we missed seeing her. Hope she likes the prezzies we left for her! My allergies have flared into a full fledged viral snotfest. Someday, my ears will clear and I will be able to hear again.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Christmas countdown.

Time is speeding past. We have the Christmas tree and wreath up. All the Christmas cards are mailed. Still haven't gotten around to putting up lights....makes me feel like the Scrooge in the neighborhood. Even the older gentleman across the street....who is about have a leg amputated (literally) because of a chronic infection has been up on a ladder stringing lights on his house. Since we have to fly back to OK for an early Christmas, things are piling up fast and I don't seem to be getting much done. A big dent has been placed in the shopping list, but I really need to finish it today or tomorrow so everything can get shipped in time. Thank goodness for the internet. I haven't ventured into a single brick and mortar store to go shopping. Another bonus is Ebates. Sign up, do all your shopping online and you should get a tidy bonus check in a the next quarter.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

My entire day yesterday was taken up with cooking. I'm not sure how...there was only two of us. It was super tasty, however. Here was the menu:

Brined, herb encrusted turkey breast
Cornbread dressing
Creamy mashed potatoes
Gravy
Wilted spinach salad
18 hour bread
Zofia's cranberry salad
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Beaujolais Nouveau

YUM!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

T-day countdown continues.

I just finished putting a pate brisee into a pie plate. I'll freeze it until tomorrow when I will make the pumpkin pie and cranberry salad. I still need to pick up wine and a few last minute perishables as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving is coming!

Cornbread is baking in the oven and the french bread has been cubed for the dressing. A chicken is simmering on the stovetop for stock...so I can make gravy. A turkey breast is brining in the refrigerator. I will make pie crust tomorrow and cranberry salad on Tuesday. What have you done to start getting ready for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Back from Travels


I spent part of the past week in Chicago for a conference. I stayed at the beautifully restored Palmer House.


My best bud from residency and I got to meet up with our friend, mentor and the grandfather of emergency medicine, Dr. Ron Krome.


C met up with me in Chicago and we drove to the wilds of Wisconsin to hang with Mark, Astrid and munchkins.


A cute little bat and kitten went trick or treating with us.


This tree was still in blazing fall foliage dress. Lovely tree and a lovely time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lame-O

Here I am in Chicago, one of the coolest cities to visit I might add, with K, my best bud from residency. We have spent all day being good, going to classes and filling our heads with learning. I have obtained two VIP passes to a private party at House of Blues. After a full day of conferencing, we are excited to get out and have some fun. We head to the hotel to change clothes and promptly lose all steam. We ended up ordering room service and vegging in front of the tv....VIP passes laying on the side table taunting us with our lameness. Bleh.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Heading to Chicago this afternoon for a four day conference. C will be meeting up with me later this week and we will be heading to Bristling Acres in Wisconsin for some fun in the forest. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Zzzzzzz

Just started night shifts. I'm off to bed now. Hopefully, I will sleep most the day away. Then, I'll have dinner with C and head back to work. Fortunately these only come around about once every 2 1/2 months.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

My fantastic partners at work gave us the most amazing wedding gift: Certificates for a bed and breakfast as well as a balloon ride. The weekend of C's birthday was sunny and cool - perfect ballooning weather.

We met super early in the morning and the girls put C right to work setting up the balloon.

That flame was HOT and perfect for warming up a really chilly morning.

Here we are at the beginning of our ascent. You can see one of the other balloons right behind us.

Dawn breaks.

With C's flight experience, he also got put to work flying the balloon. Yay! More piloting time for the logbook!

The other balloon landing. We ended up continuing on and landing in the middle of a road.

Once again, C helped to land the balloon. I think he really enjoyed it. As much as it looks like I had him laboring all through his birthday, we spent a lot of time relaxing, swimming, taking some steam, and eating some really, really good food.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birthday Camping.

As promised, a few photos from my birthday camping trip. We went to the Shenandoah Mountains. Since they are only 2 hours away, we don't take advantage of their proximity nearly enough. We took enough gear for a week and a tent large enough to hold a kindergarten class. Too bad we didn't have sherpas to move it around for us. We stayed at the Lewis Mountain Campgrounds...the smallest and most isolated of the campgrounds in the park.


A family of deer has taken up residence in the campgrounds. They have no fear and would walk within 6 feet of us.

C enjoying our tasty steak dinner on our first night. Unfortunately, it is too dark for anyone to witness our massive castle of a tent in the background.

We started out on a short 2 mile hike on Monday. Butterflies danced about us.

2 miles turned into 8 miles round trip. Our legs were about to fall off. The highlight of our trip was this great waterfall.

They are here!

Our wedding pictures are done. Now, we need to pick out which ones to order. If you feel like looking and/or ordering as well, feel free. The link is here. Please email me for the password. I don't need random internet loonies leering at our happy day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to meeeee!



C made me a great homemade German Chocolate Cake for my birthday. It's deeelicious! We also took a short camping trip to the Shenandoah Mountains. Pictures on that to be up soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yummy!


Thanks to Astrid at The Lopsided House for the recipe for a delicious tomato tart. We loved it. I, however, cannot stop tweaking things and already have plans to carmelize the onions and add garlic the next time we make it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Updated wedding site

Janet, our photographer, has been updating her website. Our preview pictures can be seen at www.jhsweddings.com. Click on portfolio, then Real Weddings 1 and then Amy and Chip. She has added some new ones that are very very pretty!

All the details

In case anyone really wants to know the details of our kitchen renovation:

Cabinets are maple with a hazelnut finish and no glaze.
Paint is Behr's Awning Red.
Granite is called Ivory Fantasy
Flooring is Brazilian Cherry in 3" wide planks.
Tile backsplash is Crema Marfil marble in both polished and brushed finishes.
Droplight is made of white onyx.
Venthood is Arietta, an Italian brand carried by Home Depot
Sliding glass door is by Anderson and the grilles are between the glass. (Yay for easier cleaning)
We have a Bosch dishwasher, apparently the quietest thing on the planet.
The range is a GE 30" Monogram Dual Fuel.
This whole renovation was triggered by the purchase of a Kenmore Elite Trio refrigerator.

We did hire a kitchen designer. He planned the layout of the kitchen, which was a bit limited by the space and the design of the house. After that, we were on our own picking out colors and materials, although he did point us in the direction of a really good granite place and a really good tile place. He also took care of the contractor. I really wanted to someone to do all the picking and choosing for me because: 1) I am lazy, 2) I was planning a wedding at the time, and 3) I was working a lot of extra shifts so I could have that wedding. In the end, I'm really happy with how the place looks so I guess I don't mind having done the legwork in picking out colors and such.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Guilted into updating

Lovely Astrid has finally prodded me into updating here. I had the day off, so I swabbed the kitchen and polished it into prettiness. Here are the results of the prewedding kitchen renovation chaos. Click on any picture for a larger view.



A dark view of the kitchen sink. We put in faux wood blinds, much nicer than the mini blinds that were there before.


Our bar area. I'm still bring liquor bottles upstairs. I love the deep red color of the walls. It brings out the red in the Brazilian cherry flooring.


Our breakfast area.


A pretty good view of most of the kitchen. That is the quietest vent hood I've ever been around.


C's coffee corner that is slowly taking over the entire kitchen.


Zoe helping with the coffee.


A closer view of all the fancy coffee gear. We have no more need for Starbucks.

What you are not seeing is that the ceiling still needs to be repainted. After recently going through all the old paint buckets the previous owners left behind and having to repaint the entire dining room because I couldn't find the correct color, I may just hire this out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thank yous and catch ups

Wedding mania, honeymoon torpor, and the ensuing chaos of fusing two households and getting back to work have made me delay putting any updates here. I need to say big thank yous to several people.

Our parents: Gene, Gail, Eldon, and Marilyn - for all the support and hard work you put into the rehearsal dinner and ceremony.

Leslie for being the best bride's slave in history. We loved what you did to the room.

Kathy for being my chauffeur the morning of and waiting around for me to finish my massage.

Gerald for being my buddy and speaking for me....I've watched the video and caught you choking up...it was hardly noticeable and it means the world to me.

Jon and Carrie for going above and beyond in helping my parents. WOW!

All our college buddies for coming such long distances to support us.

There are so many more, but I just wanted to start getting the love out there.

Here comes the bride!

In case you didn't notice, C and I took some time off. We went back to the homeland and got hitched. We had the best photographer and I've been anxiously awaiting word from her. I worked way late tonight and I just checked her website out of habit. Yay! We have picture up! Her pictures are amazing and I highly recommend her to anyone in the Arkansas/Northern Oklahoma area. J.H. Schroeder photography can be found here. Our photo set can be found here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's beginning to look like a kitchen

The guys have been back the past two days. The project is starting to wind down. The new patio door was installed. The hardwood is finished. The door just needs a bit of trim work done on the interior side.




The appliances are all in place, if not yet turned on.


I have under cabinet lighting!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Garden talk

Between the wedding and the kitchen, I have pretty much neglected the garden this year. I threw down some preemergent and then sprayed the lawn with a weedkiller/fertilizer combo. Other than pulling a few weeds and mowing, I've done nothing else. I made it outside today. It is glorious out there. Warm and sunny without being too hot and humid. My peonies will bloom any day now. The irises are starting to rev up. Some of these were planted last year and are finally blooming.


Cancan Red



Caprice



Champagne Elegance

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More movement

Things have been at a standstill for the past week. The granite guys showed up yesterday and started installing my counter tops. (YAY!) Whoever did their measuring, however, messed up. I have a peninsula/bar part of the counter that was supposed to have an 8 inch overhand. The granite was cut without this overhand and was only the width of the cabinets. Big oops. After a phone call or two, Melissa, my kitchen redo organizer, kicked some but and got them to cut a new piece of granite and install it the same day. The plumber and electrician will be in next week as will the tilers and I will be all done except for a bit of paint.



It reminds me of the beach.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kitchen updates

I was out of town this weekend for a rockin' Hawaiian luau themed wedding shower put on by my lovely sister and mum. Great food, great friends, great time. I'm very grateful to everyone who took time out of their day to spend it with me.



The flooring is done.



The cabinets are in. Randall is here today finishing up the crown molding. The dishwasher and deep freeze should arrive a little later this afternoon and then it is off to a hair appointment and a dance lesson for me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The flooring guys did a fabulous job today. They finished up the living room and kitchen.



I couldn't figure out why they had started using the upstairs bathrooms. These guys had been very polite and wouldn't even venture up there when I've been home and they had a question. Then I figured it out. They've gutted the downstairs half bath and put the flooring in there.

I leave for PC, OK tomorrow morning. I'm trying to pack up and herd the cat into the Rodeo. I'll leave her at C's house and he can kittysit until I get back on Tuesday. I'm off to do the last of the wedding planning and attend the nice shower my mom and sis have put together for me.



They got most of the entry way completed. They've laid out stuff for the dining room. The main floor should be DONE tomorrow and they should be working on the stairs.



The cabinets showed up tonight.



I really like the color of the wood.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brazilian Cherry!

The flooring is going in. Juan and his boys work fast. I imagine the kitchen and living room will be completed tomorrow and there will probably be some pretty generous work done on the entryway and dining room as well.



Here's a sample of the wood next to my pale, pale foot so you can do a color comparison.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Flooring progress, sort of

More flooring was ripped out today. I have a pile of old, used nail filled boards in the garage next to my neatly stacked Brazilian cherry.




Got the duct work for the vent hood in.




Lots of electrical cables in place for my new lights.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No photo updates today, the battery on my camera died and I'm still looking for the charger. The contractor ripped out the flooring in the kitchen and the stairwell in preparation for the Brazilian cherry flooring. There are also a bunch of new walls in the ceiling and walls with electric cable hanging out of them. This is a good thing. A lot of other things were going to be hung up if the electrician didn't get out today and do some wiring. He even got the 220 in for the stove....now I just have to order everything. Except for a new patio door which will take _4_ weeks to get here, everything should be done by the end of the next week....barring any complications. And there are always complications.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I thought the colors on those last pictures seemed a bit dark. Here's one that's color corrected.

More kitchen stuff




Here are samples of what's going into the kitchen. On the left is a sample of the granite and the maple cabinets. On the right is a sample of the tiles that will make up the backsplash. The darker rectangular tiles are just an example of the shape and texture, but will be the same color as the hexagonal tiles.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kitchen renovation

I've mentioned it in a few previous posts, but I've never made direct reference to it. C and I are renovating the kitchen. The impetus for this started a year ago when I bought a new refrigerator and was convinced by the slick saleslady to go up a size. Needless to say, the new fridge was too big by just a smidgen.




I've wanted to redo the kitchen since moving in. The original builder totally cheaped out on everything in here and the colors all looked like they were picked off the discount table at Lowe's. After months of talking and looking at plans, this thing has kicked off into full gear. My contractor called on Tuesday to let me know they could start demolition of the kitchen on Friday. After two days of frantically cleaning out the kitchen and multiple runs down the basement steps, I got it all cleaned out. I went to DC on Friday to have dinner with C. Saturday, I had a dress fitting, took C out to the airport (have a nice trip, sweety!), and attended a nice wedding reception. I finally got home to this:





Guess I can't put it off anymore. Renovation is in full swing. Leave it to me to be doing a full blown renovation 41 days before my wedding.