Saturday, July 25, 2009


Reasons I love my husband today:

He took me to see Wicked (it was amazing--more on that later)

He brought me my Bayton (baby blanket) while I was crying, watching a movie, feeling sick, and folding my laundry in the extra room. He didn't know what else to do. S0metimes girls just get that way. Bayton helped.

He danced to "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" with me for a little while in the kitchen. We all need a little dancing and silliness in our lives, let me tell you.

He's working so hard on several projects in our yard
to make our house pretty!

He makes love REAL and life AN ADVENTURE

He brings me something sweet when we're watching TV

He always eats my dinners and lets me have nights off from cooking -- A LOT

He smothers me in kisses and showers me with words of love.

He is incredibly handsome

PS: JT requested I clarify on my Thursday Thirteen Item (1) below. The chocolate croissant had a very big bite taken out of it. Maybe half-croissant-sized bite. LB was unavailable for comment and our calls were not immediately returned...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Random Things in LB's Purse:

  1. A Panera bag containing JT's chocolate croissant I bought him while out to a fantastic lunch with Ornery's Wife. It already has a bite out of it. Hopefully he won't mind.
  2. 100-calorie Kettle Corn bag
  3. Target baby registry list
  4. The movie Ghost Town
  5. The book Julie and Julia.
  6. A small, awesome notebook
  7. About 20 pens
  8. Birth control
  9. Burt's Bees pomegranate chapstick
  10. Checkbook
  11. A $5 bill
  12. Toothpaste
  13. Camera
Out of my fabulous list from the other day, all I have accomplished is my bedtime book. You can see where my priorities lie. Realistically, if JT were gone, I would have spent time with my parents last night anyway. One of our favorite pastimes is watching sports, but particularly the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers, and especially the Texas Longhorns. We're just big fans like that. However, my dad has done something I bet he never thought he'd do: watch soccer with JT. Soccer is JT's sport. He played it at OU, in fact. I've just learned we've been invited to watch the US Soccer team in action tonight at their house as they have the channel and we do not. Meanwhile, my list of things to do ever grows:
  • Go to craft store for diaper cake materials (I already have diapers!) (Tonight)
  • Organize tupperware cabinet (Saturday)
  • Obtain new bedtime book (this book)
  • Teach myself how to use our expensive Canon 40D (Possibly on our vacation next week!)
  • New! Target trip for baby shower and wedding gifts (Tonight)
  • New! Haircut (Right before Wicked tomorrow!)
  • New! Deep clean house for below (Saturday)
  • New! Plan, prepare, and cook Sunday afternoon lunch for some friends who are moving
Looks like Saturday's going to be a busy day, but NOT until after I've spent some time with CK and kiddos at the splash park. I'm so excited about that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mushroom Ragout

JT says this is one of his favorite dishes I've ever made! I'm pretty sure it was inspired by the classic Italian sauce starter (onion, garlic, tomatoes), but I absolutely love mushrooms. Even though it has heavy Italian influences, I call it a Mushroom Ragout because French names sound fancy. It's vegetarian, takes less than 20 minutes but JT says serving it with grilled tilapia or chicken would taste delicious, too!


Pasta (I used orecchiette, but penne or linguine would work great, too!)
EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cups spinach leaves
Parmesan cheese
white wine (optional)


Bring a pot of cold water to a boil, add salt to the boiling water, and cook pasta according to package directions.

In the meantime, drizzle EVOO on the bottom of your saute pan, and once heated at medium high heat, add onions and stir frequently until almost transparent. When the onions are pretty much cooked, add garlic and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes later, add the mushrooms, plus a little salt and pepper, and stir until they darken and release their natural juices.

Add spinach leaves (about three handfuls or more: they will wilt down severely) and pour tomatoes over it with about half of their juices. I've added about 1/2 cup white wine at this time before for flavor, but it tasted much better this time without it, we thought. Maybe it's because I was using dry wine, and I am not a huge fan of that flavor. If you choose to add white wine, don't add any of the tomato juices. You may wish to salt and pepper again, or add red pepper flakes for a little kick. With red pepper flakes, it's best to start very small and add to taste, depending on how spicy you like your cuisine.

Stir until spinach has wilted and pan liquids are simmering (and hopefully reducing). Dial heat down to medium or medium low and add parmesan cheese about 1/4th cup at a time until your ragout has thickened. If it becomes too thick and difficult to stir, simply add a little pasta water.

Drain pasta and toss with sauce, but make sure your ragout is proportionate to your noodles. JT likes to have 1.5:1 ratio of noodles to sauce, but I like mine to be about 1:2 with more ragout than noodles.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

numbers, a route, a story, a lesson, and a plan

My day in numbers:

Miles driven: ~100 (Google says 91, but I have no idea where on the map I was when I turned off the highway to replenish my fuel light and several Lost Miles ensued.)

Wake up time: 0535 a.m.

Work arrival time: 0700 a.m.

Goals set for this week: 928329

Miles run today: 0

Miles run this week: 6

Time I realized that today was not, in fact, Monday: 3:00 p.m.

Trips to the airport: 2

My route*:

*Does not include random gas station somewhere off the highway and ensuing miles of lost.

My story:

JT was supposed to leave for his fantastic backpacking trip today. But the rain we enjoyed in the wee hours of this morning made for costly flight delays that made him miss the one flight to the remote town in Colorado into which he was supposed to fly. He couldn't go tomorrow because the train into the mountains that held his friends left today.

So after waking up yea early, working for several hours, I returned to the aeropuerto to pick up a very sad man whose friends had to leave without him. I took him to lunch at Chic-fil-A, where we ran into one friend we'd just spent time with the previous evening, and another person I only know via Andrea Cherie's Facebook pictures, Little Guy!

My lesson:

I'm a very blessed girl today. Isn't it weird how you can miss someone after only a few hours if you have the idea that they're hundreds of miles away? Even though I had plans to get tons accomplished whilst he was gone, when I saw him, it was as if he'd actually been on the trip and I had this renewed sense of something for him. I came home and cooked him a ragout dinner I'd been imagining all day, which he said was one of the best I've ever made him. Score! (I will share the recipe soon: it's easy, super healthy, and delicious!)

As I was driving to the airport for the second time (somewhere between C and D above), I came to the realization that even though all of this spare alone time would have afforded me the chance to catch up with friends, reading, writing, etc -- things that I normally don't do much of when JT is here -- I decided I am going to use this week to discover a balance for the rest of my life. I can still find time to make diaper cakes (I'm attending my first baby shower ever this weekend), write the next Great American Novel, cook dinner, and love on my husband IF and only IF I make the absolute best of my non-working, non-sleeping time.

My plan:

Lists. And lots of them. Even if I have to add things I've already done just so I can cross things off. The first of which is Things to do This Week:
  • Go to craft store for diaper cake materials (I already have diapers!)
  • Organize tupperware cabinet
  • Obtain new bedtime book (this book)
  • Teach myself how to use our expensive Canon 40D
It's not so bad when you don't bite off more than you can chew. But in case you didn't notice my wake up time this morning, it's definitely not non-sleeping time right now!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Monday, I'm working late in anticipation of some time I'm taking off work. I text JT to ask if I should work late at home or in the office. Sometimes it's just better to get work done in front of the TV, I'm not going to lie. Anyway, no answer; his phone is dead. He signs on Google Chat at about 5:15 p.m. and I ask him the same. He informs me that Andrea Cherie's husband is coming over for dinner TONIGHT.

Um, what?

This has to be a horrible joke right? I mean, my kitchen is a mess, my chicken isn't thawed, and I have no quick cook fixes at home unless I want to serve The Our Traditional Home Queen's husband Ramen noodles. Seriously?

So I'm a little peeved, pack up my stuff, and press the elevator button repeatedly as if that will help the 'vator get there faster. You see, I work on the 48th floor and elevator riding has become a necessary evil for me. It finally arrives, except I discover it's going up -- and someone has lit all of the floors. I get off on 49 and press down. After five minutes, the second functional elevator arrives, and I discover the 'Vator Hater has lit all of the floors on the way down, as well. DOUBLE UGH. So I stop on floors 48, 47, 46, 45, 44, 43, 41, 40, 39, 38, and 37. Luckily our elevator bank only services those floors.

I finally get home, do a mad-dash clean and work out this miscommunication with JT. He insists that as Jason was texting his confirmation of Monday night, he showed me his phone. I will give him the benefit of the doubt THIS time. I picked up Papa Murphy's pizza (and JT texts me he wants a DIFFERENT pizza than the one I've picked just as they are finishing the order.) and the first pizza finishes baking just as Jason's arriving. Luckily, I have supplies to make angel food cakes with cool whip and fresh strawberries! He also eats some of the cookie dough I bought from Papa Murphy's! It ended up being lots of fun. I beat them in Triominoes and Jason and JT ended up talking until after I went to bed.

Moving on, Tuesday night I experienced my eighth nerd movie premiere. Yes, I went to see Harry Potter 6 at midnight after long months of waiting. I packed up Darla, LJ, and my brother and onward we marched (after I bought LJ a Harry tee from Hot Topic because I was too ashamed to be seen with her preppy work attire teehee). Last time, Darla and I arrived at the theater four hours ahead of time for HP5, but decided we'd just get there 2 hours ahead of time and settled at the end of a very long line.

At about 11:15, a theater employee informed us they'd opened two more auditoriums, so we got seated before all of the others in line. We found nice seats in the back row with a perfect view -- except we discovered we were seated next to a Barf Chair and laughed until we cried at the people who thought they were finding the coveted two seats together, dry heaved at the chair, and then snubbed it anyway. It was finally taken by a teen who'd saved the seat for his mom, but made the sacrifice so she didn't make him move to the front row.

The movie was great! It strayed from the books quite a bit, but it was my favorite of the lot. Go see it! The best part was taking the morning off from work and spending it with my best friend. We slept in until 10, I went for a run and picked up Subway, and we watched The Little Couple until it was time for me to go to work. SO fun!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

brutally honest

Just to forewarn you, I missed Not Me! Monday this week, but you are about to receive something perhaps even more brutally honest.

Ladies and gentleman, (maybe there's a gentleman out there somewhere?) my name is LB and I have ulcerative colitis. It's kind of like the stepsister of Crohn's Disease, but the less ugly one. Not as bad, but still not desirable. I've had it for eight years, and unfortunately that means eight colonoscopies. You'd think I'd have it down by now. But getting things down: that's the problem.

You see, before these tests can take place, you have to drink this stuff. And my first time, I had an awful experience. To dilute the mixture and the awful, salty-periodic-table taste, we added Mountain Dew. I tried everything to get it all down -- think the amount of a milk jug -- but I would end up throwing it up because of the taste.

Ever since then, it's been a huge mental hurdle for me. Just thinking about the horrid taste and volume of the solution makes me psych myself up, and that makes it taste even worse. I know it's 99% mental because now even the thought of Mountain Dew, Propel, and other drinks I've mixed with it makes my stomach churn.

Well, obviously I survived. And I'm a little ashamed it took me six hours to down the drink when I could have been finished in about two. There's just something about my personality. I don't want to admit I'm a dramatic, but I suppose it's the same reason why in college, I spent many an hour blog-ranting that I was awake writing research papers at o'dark-thirty in the morning, or why it takes me an hour to finally lace up my gym shoes.

In the amount of time I spend analyzing/complaining about it, I could have accomplished it twice. This is something I'd like to change about myself!

The day of the test was a lot of, dare I say, fun. I went in and got to see my old friends at the doctor's office -- which coincidentally, happens to be my dad's office (he's a stomach doctor, too!) -- and the next thing I know, I'm on my couch at home, hyped up on Demerol and Valium, have just slept for about five hours, and get to stay home from work. I have no idea what has transpired between now and then, but there was Sonic waiting for me in the fridge, including my traditional post-procedure OreoBlast. (I'd let JT know the specifics beforehand. I'm old hand at this by now -- I know I don't remember anything that day.) And he'd turned on The Food Network for when I woke up. What a thoughtful husband!

My great friend Darla came to see me, too. She is such an awesome friend and I am super excited about seeing Harry Potter with her in LESS THAN A WEEK!

So the moral of the story is: colonoscopies aren't that bad. Just plug your nose, spray some Clorosceptic in your mouth, flavor it with Gatorade powder, and chug it down. Get some reading material and stay close to the potty that night, and then count on sleeping long increments and not having any short term memory the next day.

And never take going to the bathroom for granted, because some people don't have that luxury. It's always best to be safe than sorry, but unless you have tummy problems, a history of tummy illness in your family, or your doctor says so, then you shouldn't need to worry about this fun little test until you're about 50 (I think).
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