Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Years Ago Today.......

The story of how my husband and I met is actually fairly amusing. To me, anyway! LOL

I had been friends with Paulie for about 12 years off and on and he had a best friend that he had known for, gosh, 15 - 20 years. His name was Steven. We had never met because he was living in Ft. Lauderdale and we were in Gainesville. I might have met him years before, briefly, but I didn't remember it if I had. So, we shared a mutual friend but had never met that either of us remembered. When Paulie told me that Steven was moving back to Gainesville I was like "Cool! I will finally get to meet him!".

The night that Steven moved back, he and Paulie headed out to the bar after they had unpacked the Uhaul and Steven's GF at the time had gone to sleep. I met them up at the bar for a few drinks. Steven and I hit it off right away and we flirted and chatted and drank and.... well. Paulie had to give another friend a ride home so I offered to give Steven a ride back to his new apartment. Paulie made me promise to behave myself. Ha! He must not have made Steven promise. Long story short, we ended up hooking up. I felt bad about his GF, yes. It was bad to cheat, etc etc. I know it all.

We ended up not really seeing much of each other as he was trying to make things work out with his GF and I respected that. When she moved out a little bit later we started dating/ sleeping together regularly.

Now, I will not name names but I had a good friend who was also semi involved with him. One day, I called his cell phone and she answered. I was totally jealous that she had spent the night at his house. I am so totally not a jealous person, normally, that this made me stop and think. She asked me. later, if I wanted her to back off and I said yes. So.... clear playing field!

Steven jokes that one day I was just living in his house and then all of a sudden there was a kid there! LOL It was slower than that. I did not even introduce him to my daughter until we had been seeing each other for about a year. Then, about six months after that we moved in. There were a lot of reasons for that that I will not go into right now. BUT, we were happy!

I found out I was pregnant around Thanksgiving of 2004. Steven wanted to get married but I told him not yet. I did not want to get married while I was pregnant.

Braeden was born on August 9, 2005. On Halloween of 2005 we decided to set our wedding date for the next Halloween. We both love Halloween and dressing up and parties so we decided we wanted a costume party wedding! Neither one of us is very traditional. It works for us! LOL

I started planning the wedding and in the meantime, things happened. We ended up moving to Mississippi and lots of weird things interfered in our lives. Read about them here. BUT, our parents were determined that the wedding would go on as planned. I think they just wanted us safely married off! LOL Meanwhile, we found out we were pregnant again in July of 2006. So, I was getting married pregnant whether I wanted to or not! LOL My MIL bought the material for my wedding dress for me for Xmas, my mother paid for the wedding cake, my MIL paid for the grooms cake, my oldest brother paid for (and cooked) all of the meat for the reception, my other brother paid for us to have a night in a bed and breakfast after the wedding (honeymoon cabin!), my family all pitched in and so did Steven's on buying decorations and setting everything up. It was wild.

We traveled to Florida and everything was set for the wedding. My friend, Chelle, bought my wings for a wedding present and helped to set up and decorate. We spent Halloween day getting everything set up. The wedding was fun! I forgot to carry my bouquet down the aisle but otherwise it was great. My ring is made up of the rings from both my grandmother and Steven's grandmother. His aunt paid a jeweler to take the other ring sets and make them into what I wanted as a wedding present. I had made my own wedding invitations and response cards as well as Thank You cards. I made my dress with the help of my MIL (what a fiasco! I hate satin, even crepe satin!). Steven's and Braeden's outfits were made by his mother. hmmm.... my mom and many others brought dishes of food for the reception. The music was a compilation Halloween CD that I had made up for the wedding to give out. We had no photographer, but we had tons of disposable cameras everywhere and everyone took pictures.

The party was a blast. We had soooo much fun! My brothers got Steven pretty tipsy before the ceremony and there was a keg and several bottles floating around. There was sparkling cider for all of the toasts since I was preggers and could not drink. (shhhhhh, I had a beer right before the ceremony!) The food was to die for and the cake was great. Steven's groom's cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting in the shape of his favorite guitar and the wedding cake was chocolate and vanilla with whipped icing.

We partied for hours and then, finally, we headed out to the B&B for our wedding night. It was fabulous. There was a fireplace and a hot tub right in the room. The breakfast left much to be desired but the room was worth it! LOL

So, two years ago tonight, we had a wedding that I will remember forever. And so will all of the people there! LOL Here are some of the pictures from the wedding.... my scanner is not working so these are the ones I already have on the computer. MANY of these are just shots of different friends or relatives that were at the wedding. I did not go through and put captions on most of them. But check out all of the costumes! LOL

I will post pics of this Hween tomorrow hopefully. I hope your night is as frightfully fun as it can possibly be!!!

Happy Anniversary honey, I love you and don't regret a minute of the past two years......

Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans

I love homemade bean soup and white beans with ham. I also love baked beans. But how many ways can you eat beans? Beans and rice, rice and beans.... it gets boring after a while, right? The cheapness of beans makes them very desirable as far as stretching your budget. However, coming up with new ideas has stretched my imagination.

I found this post from Biblical Womanhood that really made me think..... beans are so versatile. You just have to find new ways of utilizing them.

I will be making a huge pot of beans this weekend. Probably more than one. Red beans, black beans and kidney beans. Maybe even black eyed peas. Once they are cooked, I will portion them into zip locks in meal sized amounts and freeze them. Way cheaper and better than buying canned beans. Especially since I get the dried beans from WIC right now.

You can also add lentils or beans to a vegetable soup to add the protein that you need. Or, make bean burritos, add them to a Mexican casserole, make a bean soup, use them in place of almost any meat in a casserole dish and even just have them as a side dish. All of this in addition to the basic rice and beans.

Why not give it a try? Post any ideas for using beans here and I will give them a shot! I want to cut back on my meat by AT LEAST 25% over the next month or so. The cost of meat is making it prohibitively expensive to eat every night... especially as a main course!

I will post recipes or ideas as I try them and let you know how this bean menu is coming along!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Better late????

Thanks to Toiling Ant from Living to the Hilt for the gentle reminder that I had forgotten to post me menu plans for this week! Better late than never say I!

Sunday - Grilled steak with cinnamon chipolte rub (yummy!), mashed potatoes, brocolli with cheese sauce and corn.

Monday - Brown rice Jambalaya with chicken breast and cajon sausage

Tuesday - Homemade hamburger helper (garden veggie rotini with mushrooms, hamburger meat and cheese sauce)

Wednesday - Cowboy Beans with cornbread

Thursday - BBQ chicken, scalloped potatoes and green beans

Friday - Leftovers/ whatever is around

Saturday - Pork Chops, wild rice mix, gravy and peas

Sunday - Country fried steak, au gratin potatoes, green beans

No new recipes this week and no meatless meals. I really need to find some new recipes that appeal to us. I tried a few last month and will be having them again, I think. ANd vegetable soup again soon! I made the best homemade soup the other day.... yummy. I will post the recipe next time I am making it.

Suggestions of good, hearty meatless meals and yummy alternatives to the same ol same ol are always welcome!

Don't forget to check out Menu Plan Monday over at the Organizing Junkie!

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Steven is at work, Jenna is at school and the boys are playing quietly. I have caught up SOME of my housework and now have a moment to myself to post.... what shall I post about?

Steven ended up staying at the restaurant he works at because they gave him an unsolicited raise. He did not even tell them he was interviewing for other jobs. So, he stayed where he is happy working. THEN, his boss hits him with the big question. They want to switch over their second restaurant from a gourmet pizzeria to a full service Italian restaurant. He wanted Steven to go down there full time and take it over. Switch the menu, train all of the kitchen staff and be the Head Chef/ GM. Another small raise and the possibility of a third raise in 90 days. Well, we jumped at it. The 2nd restaurant is only about 3 blocks from the old one so there is no difference in travel time, the challenges are interesting to Steven and he could not pass it up. So, he is now the head of the second restaurant. They are starting small with a simple menu in addition to the pizza because he has to train all of the kitchen staff to cook anything other than pizza. And the front of the house has to be trained on how to do full service for anything other than pizza. Steven has big plans for the future though... I can't wait.

As for Halloween..... Jenna is going to be a zombie and I am going to be Anita Blake from Laurel K Hamilton's series of books. She is a zombie animator and a vampire executioner. She is totally bad ass. The boys are going to be little chefs like their daddy. My MIL made them tiny little black chef coats and hats to match their dad's. Soooooo cute. I will post pics after the day! Promise!

As for me, I have been busy busy busy trying to get rid of the roach infestation in my house, cleaning and cooking and basically being Mom. Jenna has had several fundraisers over the past few days with more to come. She is working her butt off and I am very proud of her.

I plan to try to update at least every day from now on as I have missed the release of actually writing down my thoughts. It has been over a year now since I started blogging and I missed the anniversary! Maybe I will have to have a give away anyway..... stay tuned!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy as a ....... Barracuda?

So, there go my promises of posting more often! Right down the tubes! I am lacking in energy and drive right now. Sickness wiped me across the floor like a limp wash rag and rung me out. I am like a limp noodle. etc etc etc blah blah excuses and ramblings blah blah

OK. Now, onto the meat of the post!

Braeden is "progressing satisfactorily" in speech therapy. I am still not sure how much help the therapy is to him as he only goes twice a week for a half hour.... but, he is speaking more. Could be helping. Or, he could just be ready. Who knows.

Malachai (The Baby) fell out of the van the other day. It was both upsetting and amusing. He leaned against the sliding door that was not there and tumbled right out, ass over band box, and gave himself a nice goose egg right on the forehead. But, he is fine. He then proceeded to fall off of the couch three times in the past two days. He must be growing.

Jenna got straight As her first 9 - weeks of sophomore year! Go girl! I am so proud of her. She is taking advanced English, advanced Geometry and French along with history, tech and art this semester. She rocks. In fact, she rocks so hard that she has been invited to go on the Art trip over spring break this year. The majority of kids who were invited are seniors. They only ask kids who are responsible and doing well in school. They also want kids who will appreciate the trip as it is a pretty big deal. They are going to London and Paris for a total of eight days! Wow. I'm jealous. Can I go, too? Anyone want to rent some little boys so I can go away for a week? LOL

She is presently in full blown fund raising mode as the girls need to raise as much money as possible for the trip. We can't afford much so Jenna is pulling out all of the stops. They had a rummage sale this weekend, they are selling coupon/ certificates to Belks outside of the store on Tuesday and will be starting a Krispy Kreme fundraiser later this week. And Jenna plans on writing a begging letter to all of our friends and relatives asking for donations! LOL She is so excited I think she is about to explode.

I have news about Steven's work situation that is actually fairly exciting, but I will post about that separately. I need to organize my thoughts first!

I hope everyone had a great Monday (mine was busy!) and I PROMISE to post again soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Menu Planning??????

Yeah, right. Ha.

I am planning my menu for this week about a day ahead of myself. BUT, I am working on a master menu plan for the next month. AND a shopping list. I am planning to go shopping Sunday for my major monthly shopping trip.

I think my new plan of attack is to try at least one new recipe per week for the next month to try to expand my regular menus. And one meatless meal per week.

So, look forward to some postings of menu plans, shopping adventures and coupon horrors!


I have been soooooo sick for the past 3 - 4 days that it is not even funny. Just a cold but it knocked me down pretty bad. I am still in recovery but thought I would update!

Steven is not leaving the restaurant that he is at. They offered him more money and are working on fixing the schedule so that he is working less hours so..... he is staying where he has creativity. That's fine. I just need the money to pay my bills!

Jenna (The Girl) is probably bringing home straight As on her first report card. I am so proud of her! I wonder what I should do for her as a reward? hmmm.........

The boys are both doing fine. The Boy has had another speech explosion and is really making progress. He is probably speaking as much as a typical 2 year old now. He is 3. BUT... it's better than it has been! And he is making steady progress. The Baby has a new favorite word.... No! Yes, he has reached that stage. The funny thing is that when he says it he speaks kind of nasally and it sounds like he is saying "doh" like Homer Simpson! LOL

I am presently in the process of finishing up the last of my unpacking and organizing of the house. It has only taken me a year. Ha. But, we have this horrible German roach infestation that I cannot get rid of. So, I decided I had to finish unpacking everything so that a major bug bombing would work. As soon as I am finished, I will be attempting to kill every last one of those damn bugs. They are driving me crazy.

Wish me luck..... more soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Return of the Faerie

I've been gone for several months but am now back and ready to get to it! One of the things that has kept me out of the blogging community for so long is stress about money. With the rising costs of everything from gas to electricity to pasta to canned veggies, we have had very little spare cash. Really, none. My time has been spent trying to make extra money on ebay and struggling to make ends meet. My energy has been lacking and my drive to post has been nil.

However, I am feeling very positive lately and plan to start updating MUCH more often now!

Last night I made a really fabulous vegetable soup using veggies I had in my crisper that were close to going bad. I also made homemade wheat/ garlic rolls and pasta for the boys since they aren't too big on soup. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the soup! And so did my family! I scooped out some of the veggies and added them to the boys' rotini and they loved that too.

So, with the thought that veggie soup (or chicken or beef or....) would be very welcome this winter, I am instituting a new plan!

When I drain canned veggies, they are usually drained into the sink. What a waste of nutrients and taste! I have now placed a container if my freezer for these "leavings" and will use them to help make stock for soups. OR, to cook pasta in to get more flavor and nutrients! Has anyone done this? Any advice? I also plan to freeze all of my leftover veggies in the same manner. That way I have less waste.

I am back to menu planning and will post my weekly plan tomorrow as part of Menu Planning Monday....

See ya then!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back again

I know, I know, I know! Anyone who is still checking in with me regularly is shaling their head and saying "Finally, that ditzy broad posted something new!". All I can say is that my world is spinning in place very rapidly right now.

Steven and the new restaurant have finally come to terms on pay and it looks likely that he will be starting to work there within the next 3 weeks or so. He has an orientation next week and he has to give notice at the old restaurant. The money isn't great but it is the same as he is making now plus 50 cents more an hour to compensate for extra gas usage as the new place is farther away. The positives to this move are that he has the potential to make much more money in the future AND, he will be only working about 40 - 45 hours a week for the same money. Right now he has been working about 60 hours a week for the past year and a half. I will be very happy to see his face a little more often!

I have been struggling with trying to find ways to make extra money and also to keep myself sane. The stress is getting to me!

But, I promise to post more often. My mind seems to be clearer than it has been for a while. And the kids are being funny as hell so I need to update more often! LOL

More soon.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vote for me!

I entered one of my poems into one of those silly contests at If anyone wants to help me win a prize, head over here and vote on my poem! They have daily and monthly winners so you can vote every day. I'd love to win! LOL