Two Sides to Every Story

So, yes. We are continuing on with the trying for a baby, and, may I say, we're having a pretty good time trying. Sorry, I know that was probably too much sharing, but it's true.

It's like our little secret since we're not really telling people in "real life". We have this little code we talk in when we're talking about it and there are other people around. We daydream about finding out we're pregnant, about being pregnant, and about having a little one around. We're spending more time together (which I didn't think was physically possible, but apparently, it is), and just having a lot of fun.

It's like the romance that had slid off of our radars a little is back on in full force.

That being said, I'm afraid of two things: not being able to get pregnant, and actually getting pregnant. Again with the TMI, but I had slightly abnormal pap recently that indicated there's either slight problem or possibly no problem at all. It has me freaked out that it's never going to happen, which is I understand is a little premature, but it's there. I'm sure I'm not the only one that freaks out about infertility, and I'm sure all my online reading isn't helping that anxiety.

But then again, I'm sure that when/if it actually does happen, I'm going to have a "what the hell did I do???" moment. Which I'm sure is pretty normal too.

I think we're making the right decision for us, though. Especially if I go by the signals Aaron is sending me. Last night he rolled over as we were falling asleep, kissed me on the forehead, and said, "I'm so in love with you. I think we should try for a baby."

He's nothing if not the class clown.

Embarassing Confession Number Two

Last week I wrote about my inability to dress myself in attractive clothing, and this week I have another, possibly even more embarrassing confession.

I am, just now, learning how to properly shuffle a deck of cards. You know, the thing where you kind of stack and then make the bridge with the cards? Am I making any sense? Well,, if you know what I'm talking about, yeah. I can't do it. Aaron's been trying to teach me for a few weeks now because we're hanging out with some friends of his (that he hasn't seen since high school) this coming weekend, and we're probably going to play euchre (if you don't know how to play, find someone who does to teach you because it's a LOT of fun), and I don't want to embarrass myself in front of strangers.

I don't know why I haven't been able to do it before now. I blame having small hands on making it difficult for me. You know what makes me feel sort of better, though? My 20-year-old sister is also lacking this skill. Maybe it's genetic. Except our mom can do it. Maybe we're just both slightly ridiculous and slow.

Ooh La La

This weekend was much better than last. I really didn't do anything. Well, except to make these:

They may not be the prettiest croissants ever, but they taste amazing.

When I was growing up we would visit my grandparents in Columbus, OH for a few weeks every summer. That was my favorite time of year and my very favorite place to be. My best memories of my grandparents house are of breakfasts on their screened-in porch. I'm a morning person and always have been, so I was usually the first one up after my grandpa got out of bed and headed down to make coffee. If I think hard I can still remember the smells of coffee, his mouthwash when he kissed me on the head, fresh honey dew melon and toast made from white bread. That's what a good morning smells like to me.

The next thing I remember is the sound of mourning doves at the feeder right outside of the porch and an early-morning flight passing overhead. The rest of the time we were there was filled with various activities, but those mornings truly are my favorite memory.

A few of the mornings when we would visit I'd wake up early to find my grandfather and my mom already gone. Soon they'd be back carrying a box of fresh croissants from the local French bakery. The name of the bakery is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't seem to remember it. I don't even remember if they're still open, but I think they closed years ago. What I do remember are their buttery warm croissants, and how they were pure heaven. Some would have a fruity or chocolate filling, but, picky eater that I was, I always preferred the plain variety.

I started the dough for the croissants yesterday morning. I used Julia Child's recipe, and right at the beginning she tells you that it takes 12 hours to make these croissants. I did half the recipe yesterday, and following the tips she adds in along the way, I refrigerated the dough after the second rise so that I could finish them today. I started this morning at 9 and they still weren't ready until 2 this afternoon. Even though the process was tedious, it was fun and well worth it. With the first bite, my mind sailed back to childhood summers and my grandparents' house. I haven't had a croissant that good or fresh in a long, long time.

If you have a spare 12 hours, yeast, and 2 sticks of butter, I strongly recommend giving croissants a try.

My name is Jessie, and...

I have an embarrassing secret to share today. I was inspired by this post by Audrey at Sangria Lover, and the story I left in her comments. Are you ready for this? Here goes:

I am horrible at dressing myself.

OK, not the actual act of dressing myself, but picking out clothes that look good on me. I am absolutely horrible at it. I also tend to pick out what Aaron calls the "suburban mom wardrobe". I do live in the suburbs, but I'm not a mom, nor do I want to dress like a stereotypical mom, but apparently I do.

I regularly get compliments on my outfits. Whenever this happens, I'm wearing something Aaron or my sister picked out for me. Seriously. There's the lilac colored suit that everyone loves (Aaron picked it out), the green shirt I'm wearing today (Aaron again), the blue short-sleeved blouse (my sister), my khaki gauchos (sister again), et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera again.

So, the last time I went shopping I picked out things that I thought Aaron would pick for me. He was with me, and of the 4 things I bought, 3 were things he picked out. That fourth thing though? I picked it out. It's a blue jersey empire-waist knee-length dress with half-sleeves. I love it.

When, when I wore it last week, I got compliments all day. I may finally be getting better at this.

My Weekend Sucked!

Very rarely do I have a sucky weekend, but this one just about took the cake. I was actually happy for it to end and that never happens. Here's the reason for the sucktitude:

  • The worst part first: my back went out yesterday at noon. What was I doing to cause this? Oh, picking up a pile of socks. Seriously. That's all it took, and I've been in pain for going on 36 hours. Even the chiropractor didn't help much this time. I'm drinking to deal with the pain.
  • We tried (and failed) to go garage-saleing this weekend. We had a list of big sales in the area to attend, and couldn't find a damn one of them. One was supposed to be 40-houses big, and was nowhere to be found. The ones we did find were full of baby clothes which is something we don't need. Yet.
  • I was supposed to conduct a focus group this weekend in a town one hour plus away from my home. Saturday night was the scheduled time. Well, for us it was the scheduled time. For the rest of the group the time was next Saturday night. That was three hours cut out of my Saturday night, most of which spent in a car, and I loathe being in the car. Especially on the freeway.
  • I didn't get the post done on a fun new craft that I wanted to finish last week for two reasons. 1)It was too hot and I couldn't stand the heat of the laptop on my lap, and 2)I couldn't lift the laptop onto my lap anyway (see bullet 1, above.)
I hope others out there had a much better weekend than I had. It wouldn't be hard, I'm sure. The only good thing about the weekend? I was so happy it was finally over that I rocked it at work today (except for that part where the executive director caught me wearing flip-flops which is a total no-no).

Project: Green

I'm letting a little bit of the crazy out today. You've been warned.

There's something I am that embarrasses me more than any other thing. I'm a chronic worrier. I have a ton of anxiety about all kinds of things, including most things I can't control. I'm scared of driving on the freeway, heights, and once I even got up in the middle of the night to check on my neighbor's cat (who I was watching) because I was worried I may have killed her by putting an ice cube/choking hazard in her bowl.

One of the things I'm most worried about lately is the environment. The thought of all the things that I do that hurt the environment send me into a worry tailspin. One of the ways I thought I'd try to help the environment is to not use the air conditioning this summer if I can help it.

The past two days (and probably today) I've had to cave in. It's been too hot, and so we've turned it on a couple of hours each night to make it possible to sleep. I feel horribly guilty about this though, and I worry about what I'm doing. I need to stop worrying.

Some good things have come out of this worrying about the environment, so it's not all too over the top. We've started using all natural cleaning products at home. We use brands such as 7th Generation and Method, and they're working great. I just wish these products weren't so hard to find or more expensive than the brands that contain all those environmentally-unfriendly products. In order to save a little bit of energy I also drive Aaron nuts by going behind him and turning things off or unplugging small appliances.

The next thing on our list is to switch over our light bulbs to compact florescent bulbs and to buy some canvas shopping bags. I'm ridiculously excited about these two things. With everything I do the anxiety seems to drop a half of a percentage, and for me that's incredible.

But there's still a lot of worry over what everyone else is doing.

Project Baby: Month One

Well, as of this morning I know that I am not pregnant this month. Not that I was sure it was going to happen this month because I know that it takes some time, but I do have to admit I'm slightly disappointed. I'll survive, I'm sure.

In fact, I'm feeling much better about it right now than I was earlier. The main reason for that? I can go out for a Mojito this weekend. Or a margarita. I'm definitely having Aaron take me out for rooftop margaritas this weekend. Ooh, and I can get nachos too, which I've only been craving for three weeks now. Woohoo!

In other news, I went out for Indian food for the first time yesterday, and I have to say that I love it. Nan, Saag Paneer, Curried Cauliflower, it's all delicious. Geez, can you tell I'm hungry this morning?

Not Just Rabbit Food

It finally feels like summer is here, and I couldn't be happier about it. It's hot outside, the sun stays up until after 9 pm, and everyone is finally settling into the weather instead of worrying that it's going to drop to 30 degrees in a couple day (that's how spring works in Michigan). There are only two downsides to summer: 1) It's too hot to cook inside (we're trying to not use our air conditioning this summer if we can help it), and 2) we're not allowed to have a grill in our apartment complex. This means that I have to come up with a lot of non-cook meals for dinners. Which means a lot of salads.

Friday evening I finally got home after 8 days away, and while I wanted to go out to dinner, Aaron said he missed my home cooking and wanted me to make something. Which, yes, was very sweet, but it was about 90 degrees outside and I didn't want to cook. So, I ended up making a Cobb Salad for dinner, he loved it, and I only had to turn on the stove for a couple of minutes. Here's the recipe I got from my mom:

Cobb Salad

Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Lettuce (romaine) chopped into bite-sized pieces
Deli Turkey, julienned (ask the deli to give you a 1/4 inch slice of turkey, and cut it into strips)
Blue Cheese crumbles (we used feta because Aaron doesn't like blue cheese)
Hard Boiled Egg, cubed
Dressing (recipe below)

Create a bed of the lettuce on a large plate or platter. Place each ingredient in a stripe across the lettuce. Drizzle with the dressing, and enjoy!

1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. olive oil

Mix well.

And there you go! Couldn't be easier. Vegetarians could leave off the meat. I'm thinking about doing an Italian version this week, with salami, provolone, pepperocini, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and marinated artichoke hearts. It's so good.

One other salad that I love, but that is a side dish rather than a main dish salad, is what my family calls "Pickles". Just slice up a large cucumber, chop up a little bit of onion or shallot, add a tablespoon sugar, salt, pepper, and a couple of tablespoons each of cider vinegar and olive oil.

Rotisserie chickens are great this time of year, because you get a lot of cooked chicken without having to deal with the heat of cooking one. A good salad using rotisserie chicken is the Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.

Now I'm hungry, even though I just ate breakfast. I need to find more of these mostly no-cook recipes, because it looks like it's going to be a hot summer, and the very last thing I want to do is stand over the stove. But, like I said, I'm still over-the-moon happy that summer is finally here.

'Cause I Like Pina Coladas...

Sitting outside, drinking a glass of sangria or a big margarita (or a mojito, because YUM!), laughing with friends; these are things that make up my ideal summer evening. I'm a big fan of fruity cocktails and summer is the perfect time to drink them. Everyone's more relaxed, and the drinks are so refreshing.

I stopped drinking a month ago, so I was starting to think this could be a boring summer. The more I kept thinking about it, however, the more I started to decide that I have to come up with other things to drink. Beverages that even those who are still drinking might enjoy.

Instead of a hard cider, this Apple Ginger Sparkler might hit the spot. This Limeaid with Mint might just help me get my mojito fix. And I absolutely love this Mint Tea Punch, which I served to rave reviews at my friend's bridal tea last summer (recipe hint: I used 2 bags Constant Comment tea, and 2 bags Earl Grey tea, and they worked wonderfully).

One of my favorite things to drink is a fruit smoothie, and I thought I'd share my super easy recipe. I drink these for breakfast pretty often, but they're refreshing for a light lunch or a snack as well. Aaron, my husband, is always dissappointed if I don't make a little extra for him. We both love this drink. I use this is as a basic template and change certain ingredients depending on what I'm craving that day. I'm sure mango with peach nectar would be a great variation, too.

Jessie's Fruit Smoothie

(Makes 1 serving, but can be doubled, tripled, etc. as needed.)

1 banana
1/2 c. fresh strawberries, or mixed berries (frozen is fine)
1/4 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 T vanilla whey powder (optional - adds an extra protein kick to keep me full)
1/2 c. orange juice
Ice (if using frozen berries, ice is not needed)

Add all ingredients into a blender, and puree until smooth. Enjoy!

What I've Been Up To

I have been enormously busy lately. That is, at least, until this last week which I've spent taking care of my mom post-a couple surgeries. (She's fine, and doing better than I expected.)

I've also been working on many of my favorite hobbies plus a few new ones. I'm currenty making this (for me):
and this (supposedly for my neice, but I may have to keep it because it's just so darn cute):

(If you want either pattern, email me and I'll send it to you.)

I've also been baking a lot, and my recent favorites are Ree's Chocolate Sheet Cake, and the World Peace Cookies that I found on Deb's site.

I'm having a lot of fun with these and one new "hobby" (*cough* trying to make a baby *cough*) that I'm very excited about.
So, my hobbies, like these, are what I'm planning on talking about on this iterration of my website. I won't be posting every day, but hopefully frequently. I hope you enjoy these things as much as I do.

I Think I'm Back

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