Tuesday, March 27, 2012

high:low number four.

we're a bit late with our most recent high:low, but it's better late than never. and, what's kind of cute is that our high:low entries are more or less identical. how adorable are we?

high: saturday i got to spend some time with my beautiful wife. it felt like it had been forever since we'd had some quality one on one time. we went to tulsa for some shopping, a matinee, and had our first experience at cherry berry. if you haven't been, you need to find one soon and indulge.
low: taxes suck. enough said.

low: we had our taxes done last week and were beyond shocked to find out we owe an obscene amount of money. like, more than our combined monthly income. here's to an obscene amount of ramen in our future.
high: ah, saturday. in and of itself, saturday outshines every other day of the week... always. this saturday, though, was really sweet. my hubby and i saw the hunger games. shane loved the movie -- i was so relieved seeing as i had created a lot of hype after reading the books. we enjoyed some cherry berry frozen yogurt together and then did some shopping. i was on a mission for a few new super cute outfits. i've got to look good for bethany's visit. hehe. shopping was a success, and saturday, overall, was lovely.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

spring break. days three and four.

days three and four of spring break looked eerily similar. a lot of time was spent finishing the hunger games trilogy. and, because of the obscene amount of rain we've gotten this week, there was no better place to read than cuddled up in our bed. 

shane all but demanded that i take a break from reading yesterday in order to meet him for lunch. we met at our favorite chinese restaurant only to be shooed away. apparently, the eatery closes at one. what kind of restaurant stops serving lunch at one pm? we got our wanton fix today, though, when shane picked up chinese takeout for lunch. he's good like that.

hours spent in our bedroom reading this week forced me to face the tough reality that i've killed yet another house plant. what was once a beautiful plant is now nothing more than bare twigs. still, i refuse to give up. maybe i'll add potting a new houseplant to tomorrow's to-do list, a list that thankfully no longer includes the daunting (yet enjoyable) task of finishing the hunger games.

happy spring, friends! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

spring break. day two.

today i gave in and started the second book in the hunger games trilogy. i'm twenty-three chapters in and will, more than likely, finish the book later tonight. in between chapters i did laundry and some other miscellaneous cleaning. but, in between each check on my to-do list, i managed to cram in a few chapters. it was a great day!

my first task of the day was starting dinner. i added a generous amount of salt and pepper to a pork shoulder and put it on a bed of onions in my slow-cooker. i topped the pork with two cans of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce and two cans of dr. pepper. the pork cooked on low for eight hours, filling our little place with the best smell imaginable. once the pork was cooked through and super tender, i shredded it and topped it with jalapeno coleslaw and cilantro. the sandwich was delicious and a nice change from the typical pulled pork sandwich we top with barbecue sauce. the sandwich was inspired by a pioneer woman recipe. if you haven't tried her recipes yet, get after it. you'll thank me.

while we loved dinner, we wanted to marry dessert. we ate monkey bread to our hearts' content while watching the shawshank redemption. when i was elbow deep in cinnamon and sugar and making the gooey concoction, i got a phone call from a close friend telling me that she and her husband are expecting their first baby! baby news always trumps dessert, and i couldn't be happier for our friends.

oh, oh! another great bit of news: there's a very likely chance that we might be seeing the black keys next month when beth and dylan are stateside. eager beavers are we!

Monday, March 19, 2012

high:low number three.

this week we've decided to make bookends of our respective highs. why not start and end with a high?

and, to those of you who've been sharing your highs and lows with us, keep them coming! we love to read your comments in general, and your highs and lows always make us feel a bit more connected.

week of march twelfth
(forgive us, our high:low this week is a bit arbitrary. 
it's spring break, though. we're allowed a bit of silliness now and then.)

high: sunday night, after the ku game, rene and i watched the epic finale of season 2 of the walking dead. some questions were answered about this season and last season, but i was left with many more concerning the season to come. rene and i have been watching this series from the very beginning. she knew i had a soft spot for zombies so we decided to give the show a try. little did we know we would be hooked by the epicity (state of being epic) of this show.

low: my low is also about the walking dead series. rene and i always look forward to sunday nights when we can watch "zombies." unfortunately, we have to wait until the fall to get more of the flesh-chomping goodness.

low: did anyone else feel sickly while watching ku play purdue? that horrible feeling was undoubtedly my low. it was like vcu all over again, and there was nothing i could do about it. shane and i exchanged glances every commercial break, but few words were spoken. then... with three minutes left in the game, everything changed.

high: THIS.

rock chalk jayhawk! loving us some march madness!

spring break. day one.

i love teaching.

if you know me well, you might question this statement. i'll admit, it's been a rough year, but all in all, i really do enjoy teaching. breaks from my profession, spring break and summer break in particular, give me time to reevaluate what i do and how i do it. breaks help me appreciate teaching all the more. and, honestly, who doesn't love a little vacation?

day one:
i downloaded the hunger games to my kindle this weekend and quickly made my way through the first several chapters. today i finished the entire book. what a great read! i can now see what all of the hype is about. maybe shane and i will make the movie a spring break treat.

today i also planned several yummy dinners for the week and did some grocery shopping, too. it's not atypical for me to make dinner during the week, but this week i'm able to make a few elaborate meals, meals that take extra planning and prep.

loving spring break and all of the rain. can hardly wait for day two!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

keurig in the morning.

i love receiving mail. period. i adore the kind of mail you have to open on your walk from the mailbox back to the apartment -- mail so good that you just can't wait to rip into it.

and i love my keurig in the morning.

Monday, March 12, 2012

high:low number two.

week of march fourth
high: my newest obsession... peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. reason being, my wife makes an oh-mazing pb&j. i might be a bit biased, but her sandwiches are the best. the perfect ratio of grape jelly and creamy peanut butter. the best.

low: about a month ago i chipped a tooth on a cookie of all things. thankfully, it wasn't painful, but after a regularly scheduled check-up with my dentist, i was informed that the chip would need some attention. my appointment this week was scheduled for 8 am and after a twenty minute drive to the dentist and a five minute wait after signing in, i was in and out and back in my truck by 8:03. possibly the easiest dentist appointment i've ever had. still, it was the dentist. it's not much of a low, and i love that i was in and out so quickly. my only gripe, i guess, is that the trip there was longer than the appointment itself. some might say that's a good thing.

high:  bethany is coming to america! early this week we got great news from our japan friends. beth and dylan have signed a new contract and will spend another year overseas. but, before their second contract year begins, they get to spend some time in the good ol' u.s of a. the end of april will surely consist of shopping, facials, wining, and dining. i'm ecstatic!

low:  facebook was overrun this week with posts about joseph kony. the film, a sort of call to action, wasn't a low in and of itself. in fact, the film was inspiring and spread like wildfire. the low, i guess, is something i'm still trying to put into words. i hate how unaware my generation is when it comes to issues beyond our borders. seeing facebook react as it did was exciting. i'm a part of a passionate generation. just imagine then if our generation was well-informed and could rally behind each and every issue that needs attention. i'm frustrated because the kony2012 video was plastered all over facebook on wednesday and today i see nothing about kony or the LRA on social networking sites. when you're passionate about something, especially if it's something that has the potential to save a life, don't let that passion wane. do something. please.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

cinnamon pancakes.

saturday mornings in our house typically mean pancakes. today, i decided to try something new. after seeing numerous pancake variations on pinterest within the last few weeks, i gave in to temptation and made a bit of a mess of our kitchen in the process. 

here's what you'll need:

dry ingredients:
one and one half cups of flour
three tablespoons of sugar
half a teaspoon of salt
four teaspoons of baking powder
one tablespoon cinnamon

combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. mix the ingredients together with a whisk.

wet ingredients:
two eggs (room temperature and beaten)
one cup of milk
two tablespoons of syrup
one fourth cup of butter (melted and slightly cooled)
one tablespoon of vanilla

add all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined.

heat griddle or large skillet to medium heat. we used our griddle set to 350 degrees and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray before cooking the pancakes.

brown pancakes -- approximately three minutes on each side.

we topped our cinnamon pancakes with a powdered sugar frosting, like what you'd put on cinnamon rolls, but shane said he might have preferred regular syrup.

one cup powdered sugar
two tablespoons melted butter
two tablespoons milk

stir until smooth and then drizzle lightly over pancakes. a little seemed to go a long way.

these pancakes may not become our typical saturday morning fare, but they were a nice treat. and, they were devoured fast enough that i was unable to get a picture of the final product. that's always a good sign.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

high:low number one.

there's this precious little family we know and love. each time we sit down to dinner with this family, we know that two things will be expected of us.

one: we must clean our plates and eat seconds if our hearts desire.

two: we must participate in their family dinnertime ritual, a ritual that consists of each diner sharing the high and low of their day.

when shane and i first witnessed and participated in high:low (or peaks and valleys, as some families call it), we were amazed to see how abundant and diverse the conversation was. the parents and their three children were having real conversation. not the generic, "what'd you do in school today?" (though there's obviously nothing wrong with this question). the kids were engaged with their parents and us, their guests. after our first experience with high:low, and with every subsequent encounter, shane and i have vowed to do this very thing with our children someday.

until then, we want to document our highs and lows here and share them with you, if you're interested.

we're hoping to make this a weekly thing -- the highs and lows of our respective weeks. fingers crossed that we stick to it.

week of february twenty-sixth
high: in the month of february, i taught a series during youth group entitled "who do you think you are?" i stole the title but that's beside the point. during the last week of the series, i got to combine two of my favorite things, the word of God and zombies. i attempted to show that as a follower of Christ, we're called to have qualities that are strikingly similar to a zombie. it's a stretch, i know, but it was a lot of fun. go ahead. try and connect the dots.

low: last week i started a new class called hermeneutics. the name alone is horrible. i'm learning, though, as i make my way through this new degree, that i have some old habits to break when it comes to studying and school in general. the lowliness of it all is that the obnoxious amounts of reading i've been assigned mean more time away from rene. boo hiss.

high:  discovering and watching the new movie anonymous on dvd. my lovely husband humored me and sat through it (somewhat willingly). what's great is that he enjoyed it. i double, triple enjoyed it. so good! since buying it on monday, i've watched it five times... no exaggeration. see it if you haven't already.

low:  creating a new budget for our little family in the anticipation of one day growing our family. i never liked math and i never liked being told what i can or cannot do (or spend). but, budgeting wasn't all bad. i was reminded, while budgeting, how generous and good my husband is. he wants so much to take good care of me, of us, and i am forever grateful.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

this is my husband.

this is my husband. when we married, he was a clean-shaven 22 year old. this photo, from our honeymoon in mexico, shows a bit of facial hair. he went the entire week of our honeymoon without shaving. we were on vacation, after all. but, for the most part, the majority of his face was silky smooth while we dated and throughout our engagement.

this is my husband today. meet his beard.

according to shane, it's on its way to epic status. in fact, before starting this journey, he researched "how to grow an epic beard." 

i've heard him say, to me and others, things like, "this is a transitional period" or "they said people would try to make me shave." well, shave he didn't and shave he hasn't... not since october.

i still love him dearly, of course, but i sometimes wonder what's hiding under that thing.