Monday, May 30, 2011

A Great Memorial Day Weekend Reunion

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend was a wonderful time with my parents. They came down on Friday night and Josh and I had cookies and coffee ready for their arrival, he is such a great man and was patient as we walked around Wal-mart picking out the PERFECT cookies. (While we were in the store, we checked to see if they had a chair that would fit in our reading nook we want in our bedroom, and we found this wonderful chair!) Josh set it up for us immediately, so we could have it ready for my parents arrival.

Once my parents arrived we talked until midnight, and it was wonderful - I love them!

On Saturday we went to downtown Pittsburgh on our first site seeing trip (as locals). We went on a duck tour (I can't explain it, but I simply love duck tours). And then to the incline, which has much Grove City history - so it was nice to finally go with Josh. The sun was bright (finally) and it was so nice to be outside for once.

On Sunday we took my parents with us to church at Grace Community Church and then out to a Hibachi grill, my first time every. It was pretty cool! I loved the funny little stuff they did with the food - although everything tasted pretty much the exact same, so that was little disappointing to me. (It was also extremely expensive for food I wasn't wild about, so I'm not sure that I'll be doing this again.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whippy Twisty

In the bliss of a little girl finally getting that pony she has been asking for, I tell you this wonderful news.....

Today we found a new Whippy Twisty!!!

Now, to you, this doesn't seem like a big deal - but to me, a soft serve ice cream lover, it means happiness! Not only is their store a tiny little shed (all painted with colorful dots), not only did they teach me the different between Jimmies and Sprinkles (apparently Jimmies are chocolate and Sprinkles are rainbow), not only did they tell a lady with only a credit card that although they only accept cash, they would write her total down on a piece of paper and let her pay later, but ... most wonderful of all, they have 20 flavors of soft serve ice cream, and I plan to try every single one! :) Although, maybe not Banana....

Oh yeah, I forgot the best part - it is right around the corner from our place! YIPPEE HOORAY! :)

2 for 1

This is my blog post from yesterday, but sadly I worked until 11 pm and didn't get the chance to drone on about my life...

I started the week by making some easy recipes to use up some food in my fridge, so I attempted to redeem myself last night. My great redemption included 2 dishes!

The first dish you see on the left, was made of penne pasta, Italian sausage, sun dried tomato, and spinach. I have to admit, I thought taking the skin off the sausage would be the grossest thing to ever happen to me - but it really wasn't all that bad.

The meal was actually easy to make - and I will definitely be making it again.

For whatever reason, I also decided that I should try and tackle making a salad too (and as a side note - I really don't enjoy making salads). The salad was endive, watercress (I never even heard of this), pear, blue cheese (which I adore), and vinaigrette.

The thing about salads is they are so much work to make AND have to stab each and every tiny little piece that you want to eat, and eventually, somehow, you are supposed to get full. I guess I don't mind eating a salad if it is loaded with lots of good stuff and it was made by someone else.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

As the (totally gross) picture implies, today was eventful.

Josh's mom swapped desks with us so that I could have her large desk for working at home. We did the swap between yesterday and today, we drove the desk up yesterday, and she drove up today with the other smaller pieces of the desk...but unfortunately a few other little "things" came along for the drive....

Perched on top of the desk pieces was a tiny fetal creature. We poked, screamed, prodded, and then finally removed it from the car - all while being totally creeped out. We talked through every single possibility of how it ended up in my trunk - and had a little bit a peace about where it came from (boxes in my mother in law's house). We then found yet another creature (shown in picture) only this one was BREATHING! It's little torso was quivering and shaking profusely. We then removed that one from the car as well, search my entire car (removed everything, pulled up the carpet in the trunk, folded down the seats) and found that it had been planted in there by a tarp brought from my aunts house - so thankfully I do NOT have a mouse infestation in my car....

Filled with food and God

First, lets start with our restaurant travels - on Friday we tried our first Cranberry pizza place. We tried "Pizza Roma" (affectionately named the "pizza turd" by Josh's friend) at the praise of our friends Holly and Andy. I had our favorite pizza: peperoni, banana peppers, and black olives - the crust was amazing and the sauce had a very nice spices. Josh ordered a calzone with peperoni, bacon, and obviously lots of cheese. We recommend the pizza over the calzone, if you are interested.

I do however recommend this pizza with great caution. I haven't been in this dirty of a restaurant in a really long time - I'm not exaggerating - an ant crawled across my (paper) place mat. I later tried to kill a fly on the table with my napkin - and my entire napkin stuck to the table... Needless to say - we suggest delivery!

Today, we went back to Grace Community Church for a wonderful service that had me moved to tears on multiple occasions. I love baptisms, but this service was unlike any other baptism. Although numerous people had signed up in advance of the service to be baptized, the pastor gave an "alter call" for baptism and we saw over 40 people get up from their seat, with no plan to make a step for Christ, walk up and have one of the most moving experiences of their lives - and it was beautiful! Most moving was a woman in a motorized wheelchair who asked to be baptized and the pastor brought the water to her.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thanks for the Sacrific

Today, I received the most wonderful blessing, dinner at a biker bar and a grand total of 1.5 hours.

We visited a church on Sunday, Grace Community Church (GCC - ironically) and one couple took us out for dinner this week, and I was so excited, I couldn't stop thinking about it today! Although we simply talked about movies, books, musicals, and life - it was such a wonderful blessing. I know how hard it is to take time out of our busy lives, but their sacrifice meant the world to me!

Thanks Holly and Andy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Wonderful Medley

Today was good on many levels, but it ended with a wonderful medley and a fun dessert.

At work: I led my first ever remote meeting - which let me tell you - it is challenging to be at a meeting when you can't tell who is talking, if people are making faces, and the general vibe in room. So - I had to figure out what everyone was thinking, deciding when to pause for questions, and attempting to make jokes. It actually went ok!

In my real life: For dinner, I made the world's most wonderful medley of quinoa, fresh salsa, bbq and lime chicken, and mango - it tasted better than it sounds. I basically made the whole thing up, but in case you want to try it yourself - let me at least set you in the right direction. Marinate the chicken in BBQ and lime juice, make "salsa" with tomato; onion; cilantro; lime juice; garlic; grilled corn; green, red, and chile peppers; paprika and salt. I'll be honest, I only put mango on the top because Josh loves mango - it was good, but in the future, I will grill the mango.

Josh was literally the only other human I saw today - so I begged him to take me out of the house. We tried to go to the Cranberry Creamery, which closes at 9 - however, at 8:20 there was no one we were forced to go to Dairy Queen, and I had my first ever Blizzard. It was pretty wonderful!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Church "shopping" is by far one of the worst things about moving - so today, we tried to take a big bite out of the daunting task. We visited 2 churches today - although this made for a tiring morning it is definitely time efficient with our weekends! :) Which, as you know, I'm nothing if not always trying to make the most of each second.

We had good experiences at both churches and liked varying things about them. We have learned so much about each other looking for churches. It is a wonderful process and I cherish learning more about my wonderful husband.

For my cooking adventure today I drilled corn on the cob with butter, lime, and southern spices - so amazing! I also did not fully appreciate the wonder of my sweet potato fries until I have frozen curly fries today - they just don't have the full flavor that sweet potatoes have!

We also tried to go and play tennis today but we got rained out this gloomy western PA weather. There is always tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1 week

1 week ago today, we had just unpacked and I was sitting draped on my couch wanting to die. We have made a lot of progress this week - unpacked all of our boxes, hung up some pictures, gone (window) furniture shopping - but sadly, I'm draped in the exact some spot on my couch.

Today was wonderful and draining all at the same time. I made a big step and went forward towards something I've been dreading - and although I didn't totally confront that dread, I made a step which took a surprising amount of courage. Josh and I also saw some old friends and I loved connecting with great people that I admire and respect.

We tried another Cranberry restaurant - Primanti Brothers. Josh had never been, and he loved it. Although I loved my yummy sandwich, it did have some unexpected side affects - homesickness for our VA small group. I miss our dear friends and I'm so grateful God blessed us with them!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Let the (food) games begin!

Not that anyone reads this, but I really did try to blog yesterday, but Blogger was down.

Working at home yesterday..was interesting...I nearly exploded - I couldn't sit still, focus, or accomplish anything. Josh and I went for a speed walk to get out some of my energy. So, to make today go quicker and easier, I went for a run this morning. It is amazing how much of a difference it made to go running - I was thinking of running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have to run everyday, or I'm simply doing to die inside these walls!

I've been slacking in regards to the cooking world of late. Our fridge was absolutely overflowing with food, so we had left over last night for dinner. In VA we would order Pizza Bolis every Friday night (pepperoni, banana peppers, and olives) - but we really want to explore the restuarants in the area so we know what we like before we've been here 2 years! haha.

So, our restaurant journey begins with Blue Water Tavern in Wexford, PA. I had a burger (which they were more than happy to cook medium rare) and Josh had a buffalo chicken burger. They were fine, but "nothing to write home about"...although I am writing a blog post about it...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My definition of "Home Ec"

Today was a great start to a new chapter - my chapter titled "Home Ec." To be honest, I'm not really sure what that class at my tiny Christian high school called "home ec" stood for...but as far as I'm concerned, it now means "home economics" in the terms of working from home and bringing in the dough - but it also has tons of emphasis on the "bare foot in the kitchen" aspect.

I love working from home! This past year I've learned a lot about myself, one of those things being that I really need my personal space, quite time to gather myself, and basic selfishness to get my crabbiness out! (which let me say, Josh definitely appreciates). This morning, I loved getting coffee in silence, I basked in checking off project after project without someone popping in for a quick question, and best of all, I only had 1 minor headache, rather than 1 gigantic headache all day long.

I've also enjoyed my time in the kitchen of late. Today, I made tomato & spinach tortellini. It was simply wonderful, and easy - it was great to make something that Josh loved and couldn't stop raving about - maybe 1 out of 10 times that has happened!