Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Vices:

1) Laziness and procrastination: they go hand-in-hand. The bigger the to-do list, the more interesting things I need "to do" before I start. My goal in life is to make the most out of my time and to pack lots of meaning into every moment.
2) Pride. In some areas of life, it's definitely my way or the highway, and if you cross me by taking the side road, it's hard for me to let it go. Yes, I know it's totally futile to act like this with God, especially. I was watching the movie "Fireproof" last night and this quote captured me: "Before I was a Christian I was so concentrated on what was unfair and what I deserved..." My goal is to be less like this and more mindful of love.
3) Emotional eating and/or eating mindlessly whilst occupied with something else. Nailbiter would fall into this category, too, I think.
4) Cleaning: I have to go over a surface 4-5 times before it's presentable. I complain about cleaning, too.
5) Sometimes it's hard to put myself in others' shoes. I feel for you, I'm just really bad at showing it.
6) Texting while driving
7) Avoiding conflict and confrontation and shutting down in the face of it.
8) My husband has to remind me to send thank you notes. I am not good at showing appreciation sometimes. I feel it, but don't show it well sometimes.
9) Word vomit, gossip, not thinking before I speak = no power over my mouth.
10) My humor often involves "laughing WITH" others, which is basically another way of saying I laugh at their expense. I feel like I'm good at letting people know it's good natured, and I will stop if someone is offended, but I'd rather make someone laugh over something with positive value.
11) Assuming things. You know what they say about people who ass | u | me things! Without realizing it, I fill in the holes of conversations and then sometimes present this new knowledge as fact in later conversation.
12) Curiosity. A healthy amount of curiosity is a good thing, but sometimes, if I can't remember a lyric or something, I cannot rest until I have figured it out by OCD googling it, or asking everyone in my phone book.
13) Ulcerative colitis. I can't help this one, but it's still a flaw and something I'd rather not be associated with.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (New American Standard Bible)

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

on my soapbox

Have you seen this video? You know, the one of the kids singing a praise song to President Obama?

To me, schools and their teachers should stick with the who, what, where, when, why, and how and leave the propaganda and influence to the parents' and guardians' discretion. They do not allow public school teachers to influence religious beliefs, and that's how I think it should be across the board with science, politics, and even history, too.

If you want to glorify the country and promote patriotism, that's fine, but if kids aren't allowed to worship Jesus, they shouldn't be allowed to worship any other person, either.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

blast from the past

April 26, 2006 Xanga entry. I am finishing my junior year of college.

Hi Xang.

My day's not going so hot. I think the Unknown Evil Entity might be winning today... Let's see:

Ruff Ruff

+ This is the POWERWEEK list and everything I've accomplished this week. Yesterday, I was a machine.
+ My Edith Wharton/American Lit semester project got pushed back to Monday, so that was a major relief.
- My Grammar project is stressing me out. I have to diagram a Frost poem and present it in an attractive manner, but some of his sentences are just awful and complex.
- I didn't get the internship with The Oklahoman. In fact, I have no idea what to do for a summer job in Tulsa. Any ideas?
+/- My intramural basketball team lost our last game last night. Still, it was a lot of fun playing.
+/- They were passing out this free lotion-type stuff in the caf and apparently it had sunless tanner in it. My hands are a sight today:
Sunless tanner mishap
This picture doesn't do it justice. We're taking streaks, here. Luckily, my good friend Patrick and my hands are matching. See, he didn't know it had any bronzing agents in it and used it as regular hand lotion. I love him. He can sit next to me.
+ I actually got dressed this morning. I'm wearing a pretty spring floral skirt:
Pretty Spring skirt
+ I walked into American Lit class and jaws dropped. "It's true," I told them. I never wear skirts. Not even to church. I think that warrants another plus. My friend Robyn, who is by far the most fashionable person I know, gave me advice about my tanning predicament.
- The biggest thing that's bothering me today, I guess, is the fact that probably the most well-liked girl in our school doesn't seem to like me very much. My good friend Jessy did a phenomenal job speaking in chapel today and I was trying to catch her eye while standing in line for coffee. I guess this girl, who happens to be one of Jessy's good friends, thought I was staring because she kind of said, "HI LAURIE" like she was annoyed that I was staring. This may or may not be imagined, and it may or may not be because she happens to be dating the brother of the boy that I was "honest" with very recently. (I haven't really talked about that on here, but if you want to know how that went down, just ask me) Oh well. Not everyone's going to like me. I just wish people had good reasons.
Total: Laurie-4, Unknown Evil Entity-3
Yessssss! Close, but I am still winning!

* []_ *

Sunday, September 13, 2009

frisky find


This morning I looked out my bathroom and saw this furry friend sleeping on a bag of mulch on our back porch, keeping dry from the rain. As cute as it was, I immediately thought about the extra work he caused me last Sunday. I tapped on the glass, and he did not stir.

I took a picture of him and then hurried to the glass door and tapped on it, and then made a shocking discovery:


He was actually THEY.

Ultimate optical illusion? I think so.

PS: When I saw them, the colors and patterns of their fur brought me back to a few months ago when JT and I got into the car to go somewhere and we stumbled across a FELINE SCANDAL in our backyard, right in plain sight. Were these beautiful kitty babies the result of this act?

JT was mortified, but I maintain that the shock (and a desire to share with my BFF) compelled me to take a picture of "the act" when it occurred months ago. My original post contained a link to the picture, but I removed it in case anyone doesn't share my humor/fascination with this discovery.

I, for one, am glad I took the picture because curiosity would have killed this cat.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

labor day weekend

Oh, the plans we make.

Our cell group came over to help JT with the fence, which meant the men slaved in the backyard and I got to hang out with the women and children.
My plan was to pick up Papa Murphy's pizza in a flash, and entertain the kids by teaching them how to bake cookies. Then 15 people ended up showing up, including Andrea Cherie's sweet husband, who helped JT in the yard all afternoon. So the womenfolk and kids went to the splash park while the men worked.

On a separate note, you know it's never good when minutes before guests are to arrive, husband says:

"I tracked in some mud from the yard...and some of it is cat poop."

Some of it turned in to most of it, but my floors were cleaned when our friends arrived. And though I had to run to the sink more than once because I was sure I was going to hurl from the smell, I was safe and sound.

We rewarded ourselves with a nice hot plate of homemade waffles

...and it exploded into every crevice of my George Foreman. Yes!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

I got this crust recipe from Nie Nie here, and I was excited because her recipe leaves room for lots of creativity.

Crust Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour is also ok, I learned)
1 envelop active dry yeast***
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (since I was using pesto sauce, I chose basil olive oil)
1/4 teaspoons sugar

***Using yeast was VERY intimidating for me as I prepared for this recipe. I watched Anne Burrell make pizza on her show the other week, and she recommended adding a pinch of sugar to the mixture and making sure the water is just warm enough to cultivate, not too hot. I wasn't sure what to look for to indicate it was ready, but by the time I'd mixed the dry ingredients and added the olive oil in a bowl, I could smell it and it turned out well.

Directions: Add yeast to one cup of warm water (not too hot), let sit. Mix dry ingredients together, then add olive oil. Add yeast mixture (including water) and combine kneading for about 5 minutes. Let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and roll out the dough. I had to do this twice because I didn't flour my rolling pin or my pizza stone well enough. Oh yeah, I cooked mine on a pizza stone, but I'm sure it would turn out just as well in a pizza pan or a rectangular cookie sheet. Make sure the dough is even or else it won't cook evenly. I pressed uneven spots down gently with my fingers. You can either make the crust thin or thick, depending on the circumference of your rolling.

Add your toppings. I spread pesto sauce for a garlicy punch, crumbled feta cheese, pre-cooked chicken and bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. It would be a great thing to make sure toppings aren't piled too high, they're chopped into bite-sized pieces so they cook evenly, and if you are using raw ingredients, make sure they are cooked ahead of time in case 15 minutes isn't enough to do the job!

Bake for 15-18 minutes in a 450-degree oven. Mine baked for 16 minutes. Next time, I might try baking the crust with the sauce for about 6 minutes, adding the toppings, and then baking the rest for 12 minutes. Not sure if that would work. I counted one spot in one slice that wasn't "doughy," but wasn't as crunchy as the rest of the crust.

Now that I've accomplished this, and it's pretty easy to do, I am excited about all of the variations I can do. Here are few of my ideas:
  • To sweeten the dough for fruit or dessert pizza, add a little honey
  • Pineapple, canadian bacon, spinach and mozzarella pizza
  • Cinnamon apple pizza (a little cheddar sounds good, too!)
  • Leftover fruit pizza
  • Taco pizza: cheddar, seasoned ground beef, tomato and avocado
The possibilities are endless!

Parmesan Chicken

Parmesan Chicken
copyright Food Network

Original Recipe

At first glance, this recipe had two strikes. One, I'm a huge traditional Chicken Parmesan fan and was skeptical about a tomato-less dish. Secondly, I don't normally use Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa recipes, but my mom made this one and JT insisted that I reproduce it the next week. He says it tastes a lot like Wiener schnitzel and it's one of his favorites I have made. But I can guarantee you, it's A LOT easier to make, it just uses a lot of dishes! No big deal. Andrea and Jason also said they liked this recipe.

This is fast, easy, and good for hosting guests. Just make it ahead of time, clean your kitchen, and reheat (just the chicken) in the oven while you're preparing the greens just before serving. I serve the chicken atop the greens and lemon vinaigrette. The lemon cuts the hearty, crunchy chicken nicely.


  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Unsalted butter
  • Good olive oil
  • Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry (buy the bag; makes life easier!)
  • 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows


Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. (Make sure they are completely coated with each. Also, use one hand to dip in dry ingredients and the other for the eggs and you won't have breadcrumb paste to peel off your fingers.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. (I did not measure, just combined this to taste. My mom used these measurements and I thought it was too lemony and not thick enough. Just me, though!)

the most wonderful day of the year

Today is the most wonderful day of the year. See above. I do not get to see my team play today because television is an abomination, but I will be thinking of them and wearing my burnt orange all day. I am so excited!

I am marking the occasion by finally making the whole wheat pizza I've been dying to make for nearly a month...and also cleaning before we go watch JT's team (and everyone else in this state's team) play on my parents' TV.

(edit :: it's even better than it looks. find out at Undomestic Kitchen!)

Yesterday, I made friends with a nice gentleman in my office building elevator. I asked him if he was wearing his Cowboy Orange button-down for a special occasion tomorrow. Why yes, he said, and looked at my shirt, but it's not for Texas. Weagreed to cheer for each other's teams. Cowboys and Longhorns are allies except for Halloween this year when they play -- at least in sports, they are rivals.

Last night, I got new clothes: some tank tops, a nice purple fall sweater, pajama boxers JT picked out, and a uber feminine navy top from Gap. I am already getting more confident with my body, which means my bank account will suffer. I am not the type of girl who just goes out and spends money compulsively -- I probably spend $200-$300 a year on clothes typically, which is not so bad, I don't think.

But I am excited about the girl in the mirror who has been doing Pilates and will only keep feeling better about herself for her hard work!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

conversations of late

At 4:00p.m. on my birthday when my boss is leaving for the day:

BOSS: Today is your birthday!? You're joking, right? I am the worst boss ever.
LB: You can't even remember your own birthday.
BOSS: True.
BOSS: So you don't hold it against me, right?

Pillow talk:

LB: Did you know you wanted cuddle time at 4 in the morning during the storm?
JT: That's how I roll (over in bed)

Work email from client (JM) to guy I work with (MB):

"Note: Author’s last name is spelled ABCDE (and pronounced ABCDE, if you’re curious). I’ve already ticked him off once by screwing it up in an email to a niche contact. MB, give yourself 30 lashings with the weapon of your choice. Love, JM"

"JM, I choose a Nerf ball attached to a sock. - MB"

"I’ll let you get by with that this time, MB, but if you ever screw up a difficult-to-spell-and-worse-to-pronounce last name again, I get to choose the weapon! -JM"

On current events:

JT: The Duggars are having number 19
LB: You know, it's never too late to catch up with them.

With EL, a girl I work with:

EL: I am obsessed with Anne of Green Gables right now because some friends are visiting Prince Edward Island this weekend and keep updating their Facebook statuses about it.
LB: I've only been to Western Canada, but I'd imagine it's a lot like Maine, only I've never been to Maine.

On the common misconceptions between man and wife:

JT: Aren't you going to be hot in those jeans? We'll be outside.
LB: No, I rolled them up like capris and I'm wearing a tank top with them.
JT: Just because you're wearing a tank top doesn't mean your legs won't be hot. I must be one of the most confused husbands of all time.
LB: No, all husbands are confused, they just don't have to understand everything like you do.
JT: True.
JT: You're going to blog about this aren't you?

Last night, I returned home after cooking a VERY messy dinner and taking it to my friends who had just moved. I felt guilty to leave JT when the dishes were literally piled in the sink, the counter was splattered with egg and sprinkled with flour, and his plate was getting cold in the microwave. When I got home, most of the dishes were in the dishwasher and the counters were wiped clean, a bottle of Fantastik a tell-tale reminder of what my husband had done.

"I cleaned," he announced. I am still trying to pay him back.

And then, he woke me up with the Boomer Sooner theme song. Sick.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

silly LB

I just clicked "Sign Up" for a 6am Cardio & Strength Reformer/Tower Class Combination tomorrow. What was I thinking? This past week, I have barely been able to pull myself out of bed around 8 for work.

The website description reads:
A class that combines intense, muscle building through Progressive Pilates and non-impact cardio training on the REFORMER machines for 20 minutes and the duration of the class spent on the Tower, a variation of a portion of the Cadillac the Tower/Spring Board utilized in this class provides spring resistance coils for sculpting and resistance training. This class, taught by a trainer, is 45 minutes in length. If you want an intense workout, this class is for you!
Andrea Cherie, if I never make it to your house with dinner, you can tell the cops to look for my body at the foot of this Reformer Machine. I'll be the one in a pile of sweat and jello-y muscles on the floor, only faintly breathing.

Booty, you'd better thank me for this later!

::edit:: I have survived and made it to work by 7:30. Good news: I did not almost throw up this time. Bad news: I chose Starbucks perfect oatmeal over shower time this morning. A "spongebath" just had to do. I have my own office, so I can do that!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Dear Mom,
Thank you that 24 years (and 1 day) ago, you rocked on your side for five hours so I wouldn't be born with a deformed nose. Thank you for your good genes (I'll take the bad ones) and all of the motherly advice and lessons. Thank you for birthday parties and driving me to my friends' houses to spend the night, picking me up and taking me to practices, and everything else that comes with being a mother. I'm glad that our relationship has only grown closer now that I'm a wife myself.

Love, LB

* * *

24 has been a great year so far. The highlights of my birthday? Waking up to breakfast in bed from JT, a cake and sweet card waiting for me from co-workers, lunch (lobster bisque..mmmm) with my parents, surprise flowers when I returned, and a rockin date night featuring gourmet cupcakes, Hibachi, and fun with in-laws.

The birthday songs this year were "You are My Sunshine" and "You are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne. (Click to hear the proper versions.) I got a mix tape and a frame with two pictures of our honeymoon and one picture of us at an FC Dallas game to hang on my bare white office walls.

So basically, I have the best husband, friends, and family a girl could ask for. My theme for Year 24 (and 1/2 of 23, really) is "With Everything," based on the Hillsong United song of the same name. I will explain more later.
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