Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Indy Bound

In less than 24 hours, my mom, sister, and I will be headed to Indiana to see our dear lifelong friends, the McNeil/Hanley posse. I am excited to get out of town for a few days, spend some quality time with my mom and sister, and hang out with sweet friends that are really more like family. There aren't too many people I can say I've known all my life. These are a few of them. I don't remember not knowing Steve, Jeannine, Melissa and Michael. I just always have. Melissa is married to Patrick and they have 3 of the most fabulous kiddos ever. I'm looking forward to shopping, eating, Rock Band-ing and just being enjoying the company of such sweet friends!

Steve, Jeannine, Melissa and Madison came for Jason and I's wedding this Summer. I am so glad they did! 

Melissa is a photographer in Indiana and she is incredibly talented. She did my bridal portraits the day before my wedding. It was a crazy whirlwind of a day, but such a precious memory for me. The photos below are pics from that day.  (Here is a link to her website and to her blog with my bridal portrait)

The Lord has certainly blessed my family through this family. Looking forward to the time I'll be spending with them over the next few day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow Days!

What a weeks it's been around here! We had quite the snowstorm! I don't mind the snow. As long as there's no ice, I'm good. The snow started late Tuesday night and didn't stop until Wednesday morning-ish. Snow days are still as awesome as they were when I was in school. I enjoyed all 3 of mine! Want to know what I did??

All the fun began! Jason didn't have class or work, so we slept in late. When we got up, I made french toast. One of my favorites! Then the movie/tv watching commenced. I love Netflix, but my appreciation for it truly grew this week. Thousands of movies at your fingertips. It's. So. Awesome. I am one of those people who enjoys being at home. I like my house. I could sit around and watch movies all day. My husband however is not really a sitter. He doesn't do still. He always has to be doing something. So within an hour of waking up he was trying to convince me to go to the Rigdon's. It's not that I didn't want to go to the Rigdon's, I just didn't feel like it was safe to get out. And I knew that chances were, we were going to have another snow day (which we did). I did laundry, baked, did more laundry, didn't clean my house, and watched tv. Jason shoveled snow. Our friend Ray came over and I listened to him and Jason make fun of everything the weather people said. That was enjoyable for about 5 minutes. I made dinner that night and then Jason and I watched The Social Network while laying on a pallet he made us. It was a pretty lazy day, my favorite kind of day.

We woke up to this on Tuesday morning. Apparently all the snow on our roof ended up on Jason's car.

I knew there was no way I was going to get to stay home. Jason had been home all day Tuesday and it was torture for him. So, we got up, got ready, ate breakfast and headed to the Rigdon's to build a snowman with John Mark.  When we pulled up Lindsey, Matt, Lesley, JM, Stephanie, and Micah were all outside. The girls lasted about 15 minutes and then we all went outside. The boys continued to play. We had lunch and played some Rummikub. At some point, Jason shoveled their steps, sidewalk, and driveway too (which he regretted later when he was in pain). Apparently, my husband "lives for this" weather. We watched the best of Will Ferrell on SNL while the boys went on an adventure (or to Starbucks). Jason then built JM this awesome snow fort. Jason thought it was way cooler than JM did. He was focused on snowman building. We finished off the day with a couple games of Settlers and ate some Hideaway pizza.  Definitely a good day with good friends.

I also crafted last week. I have crafty friends and I have to keep up. Look at my creation! I won't lie, I was totally impressed with my non-crafty self.

 Up next: Meeting P-dub again and I'll let you know how all those recipes were. And I might just share some of my favorites!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You may notice that something is different about me. Yes, I did get my wisdom teeth out.

Last week I had my wisdom teeth taken out. It was, to my surprise, no big deal. You see, I had never had any sort of "surgery" before. I know, having your wisdom teeth taken out barely counts as surgery. I was rather nervous. The problem is the internet. All this knowledge and resources right at your finger tips. That's great, until I have to get my wisdom teeth out. I start reading all these terrible things that happen when you get your wisdom teeth out hence the nerves. And on top of being nervous about what kind of state my mouth would be in afterward, I knew I was going to be one of those people that said really weird and mean things because of the anesthesia. I had never been under anesthesia either. I was going to be the one to cuss out a nurse, throw a punch, say something mean to my mom or Jason, act like a total idiot. Also, you're not suppose to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before your surgery.  Well, normally that wouldn't really be a problem for me except for the fact that I had this ridiculous cough. The kind where you just pray that your bag of cough drops is bottomless. The kind that keeps you up at night. It was lovely, really. So, between 10 pm and midnight I probably drank 2 gallons of water and ate 15 cough drops hoping that would last until 10 am then next morning. So midnight comes and I'm still coughing. So, I took maybe 3 or 4 sips of water throughout the night and ate 2 cough drops. I figured it wouldn't be that big of a deal, I had eaten dinner with a nurse friend that night and she told me I could drink a little water and it wouldn't matter. The cough drops dissolve, it's like water, I figured I was good. And then I woke up and started thinking that it was a huge mistake. So, when it was time to go to the doctor's office I just knew I was doomed.

I thought Jason couldn't take me, so I had asked my mom to. She was going to pick me up at 9:45 to head to the doctors. At about 9:30, there's a knock at the door and it's my sister.  Apparently, she's coming too. Fine with me, her and my mom can keep each other company. So, then it's about time to go and I realize Jason is up and ready to go. Apparently he's going to. My mom arrives and the 4 of us roll to the doctors office so I can get 2 teeth removed from my mouth. Yup, still just my wisdom teeth. I am not having a major operation, but my family is tight. We do everything together including getting my wisdom teeth out.  I really thought my dad might be in the waiting room when I came out. He wasn't, but I won't hold that against him.  I wait thirty minutes and they finally come get me. What's the first question the lady asks me? "Did you eat or drink anything after midnight?" Now, this is what I should have said: "No".  What did I say? "I had a cough drop." I think, "surely it's no big deal." So she says, "what time?" What? Really? You need to know what time? I don't remember what time I had a cough drop. I think I said 2. She didn't say anything else. She wasn't too friendly. I get into the room, sit in the chair, and the last thing I remember is the doctor asking, "Who came with you today?" This is when I have to tell him that my husband, my mom, and sister came with me. He laughs. I feel like a child. It's cool though. I can take it. Then he takes my teeth out. I don't remember that part. The next thing I remember is laying down on a bed in a little room. I can hear my mom and Jason' voice, but I was pretty out of it. I didn't say anything mean or throw any punches. I didn't say or do anything at all. My mom said I was pretty boring. They had teased me about you tube videos. Jokes on them. We got home, I slept a few hours, and then I was up. Thus began the 72 hours of sleeping/movie watching/tv watching/reading The Hunger Games series/being waited on hand and foot. It. Was. Awesome. Props to Jason, mom, and Maggie for being awesome and taking good care of me. My mom made me Ramen, jello, and mashed potatoes, my sister brought me Jamba Juices, they all took turns bringing me my head wrap ice pack thingy. It was kind of like a mini vacation, except that my face was swollen and I didn't take a shower for a couple days, and I never left my house. All in all my first experience with anesthesia and surgery was a good one. I'm not saying I want to do it again anytime soon, but I'm hoping I won't be as freaked out next time. Hoping, I think I'll probably be just as freaked out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My name is Mallory and I love food.

Yes, it's true. I love food. All things food. Not just eating it, but creating it. I love planning, purchasing, prepping, cooking, and then finally eating it. And I really don't even mind cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. It's what I love to do. It's my therapy. It comes from my mom and mother (my grandma). Their both phenomenal cooks. I definitely learned from the best. My mother-in-law is also a fabulous cook and she always shares the good recipes she finds with me. For the past 2 hours, I have been sitting on the couch several recipe books next to me, the Pioneer Woman website on my computer, Bachelor on in the background, planning meals for the next 2 weeks. With the craziness of the holidays and my wisdom teeth ordeal (another story for another day), I haven't really planned any meals lately. I pick the things I want to make and then make a grocery list which means I'll have to go to the store, which is always a real bummer to the whole thing but you got to do what you got to do.

It's funny how much food is a part of my life. Probably 50% of the phone calls to my mom and mother-in-law are recipe related. You may think that is a sign of cooking weakness, I just think it shows my commitment to perfection when I cook. I have to call the experts when I need a little coaching. Then there's my homegirls at work, while I'm certain that each of them is a precious gift from my God who blesses me with them everyday, we are totally bound by our common love by P-dub. Pioneer Woman that is. We constantly share recipes and leftovers. And when P-dub comes to town, you'll find me with them in line for 3 hours waiting to get her signature in a cookbook. I also talk food withe my boss quite often. You can sometime find us talking back and forth, her sitting at her desk in her office and me across the hall at my desk, talking recipes. I remember most recently discussing different techniques for a roast. I had never made one before, I needed some extra encouragement. Most of the time you'll find us talking (maybe yelling) back and fourth about Women's Bible Studies, the Gathering of Girlfriends or something else work-related, but occasionally we might also be talking about roast techniques.

I also worked at a bakery for 4 years. I loved my McLaren's years. They were so fun. The perfect job for a senior in HS/college girl. My boss even gave me back my job after a 9 month adventure in Stillwater at OSU (my freshman year of college). That job was a huge blessing to me and only made me love baking/cooking more.

So, you get the idea. I love food. Good food and good restaurants. But I think the best part about food and eating, is that most every meal I eat, I get to share with someone I love. Whether it be my husband, my family, my homegirls at work, old friends, or new friends, breaking bread with the people I love is such a blessing to me. Just tonight, my husband and I had an awesome salad (his request and yes it's weird) for dinner. We ate, we chatted, we talked plans for the week, talked about work, and it was great. Good food brings good conversation and that is such a good thing.

I know all my foodie friends out there are wondering what is on the menu for the next 2 weeks. In no certain order (I always figure that out after the shopping part), here you go:

Tortilla Soup-from PW a couple days ago
Cheesy Chicken-an old recipe from a good friend's mom
Hobo dinners-my mom's recipe (Any recipe I have written down that I don't know where it came from, I give my mom the credit)
Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika-from PW last week (forgive me for the beer, the alcohol cooks out :)
Taco Pie-a new recipe I've been wanting to try from a cook book I was given when I got married. All recipes from my husband's family and recipes from family friends of theirs, such a fun gift!
Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread-also from the recipe book I mentioned above

Don't judge me based on nutrition facts. Notice I didn't post them. I don't know the nutrition facts of any of them, but even if I did I wouldn't post them. You would for sure judge me then. And yes, there are more than 5 dinners in the next 2 weeks and I know Banana Nut Bread is not a meal in itself, I guess.
But cooking 5 meals in 2 weeks is pretty good for me. We are lucky to be home 5 nights in 2 weeks and a couple of those nights (again, don't judge me) we'll probably be eating fast food or if were feeling real fancy, you'll find us at one of our favorite restaurants. I'll let you know how the above recipes turn out. Most of them are new for me, so we'll see. They may not be repeats (I doubt it, but maybe).

In conclusion, in case you've just been skimming: I love food. All things food. I love eating food with people I love, making meals for people I love, and talking food with anybody especially the people I love. Now, I'm going to finish my grocery list.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1

It's the first day of a new year. In fact, this first day of 2011 is almost over. 2010 was a good year for me. I'm almost sad to see it go. A new year is here and I am excited to see what is up ahead.

2010 was the best year yet. When I look back at it, three words come to mind: God is good. There were many moments this past year where I just stepped back, looked at my life and was completely overwhelmed by the grace and goodness of my God.  The first half of the year was full of wedding planning and showers. On May 21st, I got to marry my best friend in front of all our precious friends and family. What an incredible day that was. Thoughts of that day and the events leading up to that day completely overwhelm me. What a blessing. I still can't believe it's been 7 months. Again, God is so good.

Another huge event in my life happened on May 6th. My precious grandma went to be with Jesus after a long battle with Alzheimer's. I've heard people call that disease "the long goodbye". That is certainly the truth. It's an awful thing for a loved one to forget who you are. We had watched her mental health deteriorate, and her physical health followed soon after. What a blessing it is to know she is no longer suffering. I'm certain that she is thoroughly enjoying being with the God she loved so much. And while I miss her and I know my family does too, I think we would all agree that God's timing is perfect. And He is so so good.

There are so many beautiful things that happened this year. To name a few more. . .We got to go on an awesome honeymoon to Kauai and then to Estes Park, CO a couple months later with my family. Jason started his last year of college. Our best friends welcomed their first baby into the world. We love our sweet Patterson. We celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple. Those are just a few of the highlights that I can think of at the moment.

I have a million things to be thankful for: My husband, my family, my friends, my job, our home, my church, too many things to name. I'll say it again, God is good and His goodness and grace is astonishing. This verse has been at the forefront on my mind all year long:

"You are good and do good; Teach me your statutes." Psalm 119:68

The Lord has shown me his goodness to me over the past year. I'm going to focus more on the second part of this verse this year. I am hungry to know more and more about my God whom I love so much. I want to know him deeply. To allow him to teach me. To want to be taught. He is good, why would I not want to know more about Him, more of Him.

We sang the song below at church tonight. I think it's only fitting to end this first post with it's chorus.

"How marvelous, how wonderful
and my song shall ever be
How marvelous, how wonderful
is my Savior's love for me"

He is so, so good.