Saturday, February 26, 2011

More February Pictures

Pretty smile:

Gummy grin:

And THIS is why we call her "Fusser":

Moments before, happy on her tummy:

A very skeptical look on her first Valentine's day:

Monday, February 21, 2011


I had a dream a couple of nights ago. I tend to have fairly vivid dreams on a regular basis, about a wide variety of things. I remember dreaming about Amy before I was pregnant. I could see her little face, her bright blue eyes, and her ton of hair. I knew our first baby would be a girl. And Amy looked exactly like the baby from my dream when she was born.

Suffice it to say, I remember a lot of my dreams, and I feel like they usually have a great deal of meaning. Often, of course, they have something to do with what's going on in my life right then, or something I've been thinking about lately.

Well, my dream a couple of nights ago involved my biological mother. I met her in a restaurant somewhere. There were lots of people around who seemed also to be biologically related to me. I remember staring at her, trying to think of what I wanted to say to her.

I have always wondered why she did what she did. The stories I have are so fuzzy, and it's not really clear what exactly happened. I've been thinking about it a lot lately (which is probably why I dreamed about it).

I've forgiven her and those involved as far as I'm able. I don't hate her. I don't wish her any ill. That doesn't mean that I want a relationship with her, but I just don't want to waste the energy it would take for me to have those negative feelings.

In my dream, I started talking to her. I was my dream. I wasn't angry. But I told her that it just didn't matter anymore. And I've decided, in my waking state, that I really do think that.

It doesn't matter why those who abused and injured me did what they did. What matters to me is that the Lord chose to give me those experiences for a reason. He knew that I would be able to cope with it and with all the issues that arose from my abuse. He knew that because of what happened, I would be blessed to live with a family who loves me unconditionally and would teach me what I need to know to return to live with Him. He knew that it would eventually bring me closer to Him.

He knows why, and I know why He gave me these experiences. And that's the only why that matters.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An interesting and funny adventure!

Last night, my friend Dereth and I went to the movies. We've been planning it for a couple of weeks, and we were so excited! We went to see this:

And for some reason, it completely missed us that The Green Lantern doesn't open in theaters until June 17th! I have no clue how we missed that. We looked up times, got to the theater, purchased our tickets, sat through half an hour of the movie, before realizing we'd mixed it up with this instead:

Um...whoops? So instead of getting to watch a really, really good-looking, muscular Ryan Reynolds in spandex (yeah, yeah, I know), we watched about half an hour of a really lame movie with a much less good-looking Seth Rogen.....not so much fun.

But it was such an adventure! When we finally figured it out (and felt incredibly stupid for the mistake), we decided to leave. On our way out, we spoke with a manager. I was totally honest with him and admitted it was our mistake, but asked if maybe we could get a refund. He was super nice and gave us vouchers for a free movie, which was just fine with me!

So we ended up going here instead:
The Oberweis Ice Cream and Dairy store in front of Lowes in Bradley, IL

Yum! It was delicious! I had two scoops of something...I think it was Fudge Brownie Twirl? Whatever it was, it was amazing, and we played several hands of Uno while we laughed at ourselves. (Dereth wiped the floor with me!)

So even though the movie was a complete bust, it was so much fun, and a real adventure!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our special dinner

So, even though we did get to go out for dinner, I wanted to have a special dinner on Valentine's Day. After frantically searching and trying to figure out what in the world to eat, I got the recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu from Kristin.


It turned out really well! Granted, anyone who watched while I was pounding the chicken would've laughed hysterically. I don't have a meat mallet (and couldn't find one at Schnucks, and didn't have time to go anywhere else), so I used my rolling pin! It was pretty amusing to be wielding that big, heavy rolling pin and whacking the chicken to death (all the while hoping the noise wouldn't wake Amy!). But, it worked well enough, and I have now demanded a meat mallet. :D

So, we had chicken cordon bleu, asparagus (yum), and potatoes. And I made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert:

They were surprisingly easy! I thought it would be more difficult/involved than it was. It was really amusing, though, and for anyone who knows Kristin, you'll understand why--Brett came home as I was finishing up with the strawberries, so I had the white chocolate in a little ziploc bag and was drizzling it over the strawberries. He took one look at what I was doing, looked at me, and said, "Oh, hi Kristin!" He's actually started saying that any time I do something that looks fancy. I certainly don't mind the comparison! I'm proud to be following in my sister's footsteps, though I've got a long way to go before I'm THAT good.

There were four strawberries left when I got up this morning (which surprised me). I ate them for breakfast, and thought of Miriam with her apple pie. It's got fruit in it! It be covered in chocolate. But it's still fruit. :D

Going on a date

Brett and I hadn't been on a "nice" (dressy) date in SO LONG. We've gone to a couple of hockey games, but not anything....nice. (Don't get me wrong, I love hockey and have been thrilled to go to those games!)

I went down to help out Mom and Heather on Friday and Mom was kind enough to agree to watch Amy for us so Brett and I could go out for dinner. I stopped by Kohls on the way down and found a dress I've been wanting for MONTHS on clearance for $28--down from $70! I couldn't resist. Mom and Heather helped me pick out my jewelry, and after I was finished helping Heather out, I went upstairs to get ready.

It was so funny, I felt all jittery and excited, just like I used to when we were still dating. I wanted to look PERFECT. And I have to say, I think I turned out looking pretty darn good! Of course, I think Brett is good-looking without really even trying. :D

So we went to our favorite restaurant on The Hill, Cunetto's. It's so delicious! We had a good time, despite the hour-long plus wait. After dinner, we swung by Ted Drewe's for ice cream before picking up Amy. And fortunately for all involved, Miss Amy was so good for Grammy! Hopefully that means we can go on another date soon(ish).

Valentine's Day!

I remember when I was younger (and single) absolutely hating Valentine's Day. I know it's not just about love between couples, but the holiday always emphasized my lack of boyfriend at the time. My friends and I used to call it Singles Awareness Day.

I'm so glad that I have someone to share it with now. In the spirit of the holiday, I'm now going to gush about Brett. Feel free to skip this part if that annoys you. :D

I love Brett. I remember when we first met at a singles' activity at church. I saw him across the room and thought to myself, "Wow, that guy's pretty hot!" At the time I only knew one or two people in the singles ward (congregation), and so I was a bit on the reserved side. (I know, hard for anyone who knows me to imagine. But when I'm in a large group of people I don't know, I tend to be rather withdrawn. I get really nervous.) He came over by me, and after a minute or two asked me why I wasn't talking to him. I told him I wasn't really a very good conversationalist, especially when I try to initiate conversations....and then we proceeded to talk for over half an hour.

As we both got to know more people in the ward, we started hanging out with the same group of people. This is when we really started to get to know each other. I loved his sense of humor. I know some people have a hard time adjusting to it at first, but I have always thought he's hilarious. He makes me laugh so much! He was so intelligent. He's well read, which honestly I wasn't expecting because he seemed so into sports and outdoors-y stuff. But he loves to read and has read many classics. He enjoys talking about literature, philosophy, name it, Brett can carry on a thoughtful and insightful conversation.

It was so easy for us to become best friends, and we did rather quickly. We recognized how much we loved to spend time together. He was just so much fun! Naturally, this is when most people feel we started dating, but we didn't admit it for another couple of months. :) We spent as much time as possible together. I would drive up to the bank he worked at (an almost 45-minute drive one way), have lunch with him during his hour break, and then drive home. Occasionally he would drive down to the hospital I worked at (like, an hour drive for him), hang out with me during my half-hour break, and then drive home. Talk about dedication!

In January of 2007, we (finally!) kissed and admitted we were dating. But, we clearly stated, we were only dating for fun. We were NOT dating with the intention of getting married. Yeah....that worked. Two days after Valentine's day that year, we exchanged the "L" word. (Brett, knowing how much I hate cliches and that if he said it on V-day that I would wonder if it were real or if he were just saying it because of the day, waited so that I would know he was serious.) A week or two after that, we started talking about the possibility of getting married. It just....seemed right. I couldn't think of any way that I could possibly find someone who was a better match for me.

On April 4th, Brett proposed to me. I was so giddy! We went out to dinner that night, and later went to the fountain at Art Hill in Forest Park. (Although I hadn't told him, that was exactly where I had always wanted to be proposed to. I just thought it was such a romantic spot!) It was SO COLD that night, especially since I was wearing a skirt. The poor man let me wear his dress coat OVER my coat, so he was really freezing! He took me down by the fountain with a couple of glasses and a bottle of Martinelli's (apple cider), then proceeded to practically give me a heart attack by telling me what a great girlfriend I'd been, how much fun he'd had with me...cue panic on my part! I seriously started to wonder if it was some twisted way of breaking up with me. And then he went down on one knee.

Obviously I said yes. :D

We were married July 21st, 2007. These past four years have been some of the happiest of my life! Brett is such a wonderful man. He is a great husband, and a fantastic father. He's not perfect, but in my opinion he's pretty darn close! I love him so much, and I am so blessed to be with him not just for this life, but for eternity.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Pictures

Amy's first encounter with a MumMum rice cracker:

Watching the Superbowl while munching a cracker:

Mr. Emett snoozing during the game. He had been sucking his thumb, but I just missed it.

Amy and Mama cheering for the Steelers:

Fun with friends!

I keep losing track of time. It really seems like the days all melt together now. I have to really think about it and try to come up with ways to remember what day it is! Like this morning. I had to think....okay, was last night Zumba, or was that the night before? (My aching muscles answered that question fairly quickly.) It's confusing.

So anyway, I've been super busy the last week or so! I go down to Mom's 2 or 3 times a week to help out with Heather. I'm sure I've written about this before, but I just love it! It's so much fun to spend time with them, even just hanging out. I'm glad that I've grown up so that I can really enjoy being with my family. They're such cool people!

This past Saturday, we had a game night with Heather, Chandra, and David and Karen Walker (and Laura H.). It was so much fun! We ordered Chinese food, and I made an awesome cake. Really, I'm not bragging. It turned out fabulously. I was so glad we got to have the game night, because it had snowed and for a while looked like Heather & Chandra weren't going to be able to make it. But it all turned out all right in the end!

The cake:

Then Sunday, of course, was the Superbowl. We were so excited! Our beloved Steelers played the Greenbay Packers. Alas, the Steelers decided not to show up for half the game, and Greenbay got a well-deserved win. But, the food was great, the company was fabulous (Brett, Amy, and me, Sue, Liz, Dustin, and Emett), and we had a good time! I really wish I'd taken pictures, but I only got a couple. I'll put those in the next post. For some reason Blogger does funny things when I try to post pictures.

I know it's still a few weeks away, but in March we're going down to Mississippi for my niece Kate's baptism. I'm so excited! Not only am I proud of her, but I get to see Sharon and her family and Shellie (who I usually count as part of the family, but just to clarify :D). I haven't actually gone to see them since they lived in Kentucky, and that was a while ago! She always makes such great food. I know, I focus on food a lot, but I love to eat, so I can't help it! I know we're going to have so much fun, and I'm looking forward to it. I feel like a little kid looking forward to vacation!