July 26, 2010

1.  Dierks Bentley and Tim McGraw with Carrie.  So so much fun.

2.  Coming home from Dierks and Timmy to find my sweet husband with his guitar learning how to play "Come a Little Closer" by Dierks Bentley

3.  Date night:  Italian take-out, a $4 bottle of red, and super mario brothers on the wii.  Wonderful.

4.  A really really productive week at work... feeling like a couple of big projects are going to soon be complete!

5.  Picking our first pepper from seeds we plenty months ago and slicing it open to discover it's a tomato!  And that all of those pepper plants that have shot up in the yard are actually tomato plants!

July 19, 2010

What a lovely week this has been

1. Being much more diligent about morning prayer time with my husband.

2. Spending some time with 10-day old Oliver Sebastian and his sweet sweet new parents.  What an amazing gift he is... with mama's cheeks and daddy's ears.  Aww :)

3.  Getting a quote for the foundation work that needs to be done on the house and (even though it's a lot and we're not excited about it) not freaking out, because we did the work to create an emergency fund for times just like this.

4.  Realizing several times this week what an amazing work environment I am a part of (of which I am a part?  Whichever. Does anyone actually talk like that?  I digress...)  I'm empowered, appreciated, challenged, and respected.

5.  Seeing my parents continue to just "do what it takes" in every facet of life - loving the example they have always set for me.

July 12, 2010

1. Tuesday morning, the person before me in line for coffee at the cafe at work paid for mine for no reason.  He said he was, "Brad, I'm just a safety guy."  That means he works for Jacobs, one of the contractors on site here since half of the site is under construction.  He was just doing a nice thing, and encouraged me to "pay it forward" although he did not use those words.  I felt so excited and happy by this small random act of kindness!  I regret to say I have not yet paid it forward. 

2. Oliver Sebastian Belousov entered this world on July 7th.  Jacquie and Yakov are happy parents to a sweet healthy boy.

3. Matt and I had an unusually positive experience at Hardees.  I was craving a greasy burger (don't judge me) and I couldn't think of a burger better than their thick-burger.  It's $5 and I'm sure it's better than the $10 burgers at Red Robin or Chile's or anywhere else nearby.  Maybe it doesn't beat Five-guys.  Anyway.  The points is, we "dined-in" at Hardees and it was a very enjoyable experience.  First, they gave us a number to put on our table and they brought our food out to us.  We ordered a burger and curly fries, and we also wanted to try their new hand-breaded chicken fingers (with all three sauces, please).  Everything was brought out in black plastic baskets.  No trays!  Nothing was wrapped up like it normally is at a fast-food restaurant, even if you order "for here."  The burger was wrapped in white paper with part of it exposed, for easy handling and eating.  The fries were in the basket with the burger, no typical fry-holder.  The sauces were in plastic sauce cups like you might get at Chile's instead of the packets with the foil-y peel-back lids.  Amazing!  What's gotten into them?  Nevermind the fact that I immediately regretted the decision to eat fast-food when my stomach started to yell at me in the middle of Kroger.  Bah!

4. I didn't set the kitchen on fire this weekend.  Although I almost did.  Poor Matt was in the bathroom shaving when I start hollering, "Matt!  Matt!  Matt!  Matt!"  and continue to holler this even after he is standing right beside me.  I totally froze.  Just stood there watching the flames reach out from the slightly cracked oven door.  What a reality check, I had no clue what to do.  He threw the door closed, turned the broiler off, and ran back into the bedroom to put clothes on (haha).  I didn't think the smoke alarm would ev-er stop going off, and I was sure the neighbors had to wonder what the heck was going on.  No one ever showed up though, and eventually the fire was smothered out.  Wow.  So - maybe we'll get a fire extinguisher in the next couple of days?  Anyway - I'm thankful it was not worse than it was.

5. Meeting the Gordon's at the Recovery Room (a bar in Chapel Hill - not the hospital like my mom thought) for BBQ (yes, she thought we were meeting at the hospital for BBQ - hey, she's cute.  Love you mama, because I know you're reading this!!).  Also - tasting two really amazing drinks made by none other than Mr. Michael Hernandez: some kind of thin-mint creamy goodness, and his best attempt at Jennifer's request for a "blueberry muffin" drink.  Although it did not have the taste of a crumb topping like I would have preferred.  :)

July 5, 2010

Happy Girl

"I've come to know that the world won't change just 'cause I complain.  Let the axis twirl, I'm a happy girl." -Martina

1.  Cashing in 4 hours of vacation time and getting a 4 day weekend!  And seeing Pat Benatar sing and talk about stories behind her songs on Rachael Ray.  What an awesome and beautiful woman she is.

2.  Noticing a difference after a little over the month at the gym - little biceps and calf muscles, oh my! - and being excited that I really missed the gym after having a tough time getting there this past week.

3.  A lecture on gender roles in marriage by Ed Gravely - learning a lot about what God's commands really are for a wife in marriage and feeling blessed for my husband and thankful that God is the giver of perfect gifts.

4.  A fourth of July celebration at Oval Park in Durham - sitting in the shade with two lovely friends (mulch sticking to the sweaty undersides of our legs, haha) watching kids play in the water being sprayed by the fire truck hoses.  My kid-at-heart husband saying, "I wish we could stay here all day."

5.  Currently: laying on my back on the couch, the front door open because it hasn't yet reached the 94 degrees the forecast has called for today, with the laptop propped up on my legs, watching the ladies from Sex and the City on the View, and blogging.  Sighing, because Matt is alone in the office working on a presentation he'll be giving in a few months which totally obligates me to be productive around the house (instead of laying on the couch blogging...) *putting the computer away now :)

Potato Salad

Potato Salad
3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (should just fill a 9x11 pyrex)
tbsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp (not heaping) yellow mustard
1 tsp celery seed (not celery salt!)
3/4 tsp smoked paprika (this is very different than the paprika in your pantry that does not say smoked)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup bacon (bag of bacon bits)
5 scallions chopped

Place the potatoes in a pot of luke warm water.  Bring to a boil and let boil vigorously for 3-4 minutes and drain.  Run cold water over the potatoes to stop the cooking process, spread them out in the pyrex and put them in the fridge for 20 minutes.  Mix the mayo, mustard, celery seed, paprika, lemon juice, and pepper in a bowl and pour over the potatoes.  Toss to cover.  Add the bacon bits and scallions and toss one more time.  Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

I didn't take a pic but it turned out fabulous.  Makes 8 servings.