Monday, October 25, 2010

Storms and Porkchops

Last night my sister Hannah came over for dinner and to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition Gilmore Girls. Storms were passing and when you don't have cable tv that means only weather is on, so we put in Gilmore Girls dvd. I have enjoyed spending more time with Hannah. She is growing up.

I successfully cooked my first porkchops ever! I was a little nervous as I am with all meats that I cook for the first time. It is funny that I get more nervous about nicely packaged and labeled meats in America than the slabs of different and unlabeled meats in China. Anyways, if you plan on cooking porkchops anytime soon, you should try this recipe...

Basil Porkchops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. basil
dash of salt
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 T veggie oil
4 boneless porkchops

Mix sugar, basil, salt, cajun seasoning and 1 T of veggie oil together in a dish. Rub mixture over both sides of all porkchops. In large skillet, cook porkchops in 1 T of veggie oil over medium heat. (About 8 minutes on each side.)

Hannah and I liked the chops a lot. I even got a "great!" from Justin which is rare. ;) Yea for stormy nights, little sisters, and good food.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sundays and Love of the Letter

I love Sundays! They really are my favorite day of the week.

I have done a fairly good job of not planning anything on Sundays, but rather actually using it as a day of rest. We go to church on Sunday nights. I might go see my parents. Other than those two things, it is quiet. It is peaceful.

This morning, I am listening to my favorite playlist, writing letters, and enjoying a glass of orange juice.

I used to write letters a lot. I love writing. I love getting the mail. I love what a letter can mean to someone. I love what it means to me. My letter writing over the past couple of years has dwindled and as of recent come to a screeching halt. My creativity is not what it used to be. That makes me sad. But this morning, I have returned to my love of letter writing and hope that my creativity lies just around the corner.

May your Sunday be just as heart-warming and hopeful...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Break: Radnor Lake

No fall season is complete without a trip to Radnor Lake.

I was excited to spend my first day of fall break on a little hike. I managed to talk J into going with me after he excessively made fun of me wearing my brown puff vest. Yes, it was in the 70's, but it is also fall. I know many of you understand. ;)

Anyways, our little hike turned into just a walk and sit, but it was oh-so-nice. We saw geese, chipmunks, a turtle, squirrels, dogs and strange people. The park was crowded more than I have ever seen. We walked. We sat and talked. We watched a woman bike down Otter Creek Rd. yelling "left", but then confessing she did not know her right from her left. (I am talking a 40+ year old woman. I wanted to tell her to make a "L" or put her hand over her heart, you know all the things we do when we get confused. That isn't just me, right?!?!) We enjoyed the afternoon together.

Afterwards, we stopped by my grandparents for a quick dinner and made a trip to the children's hospital to see a miracle (more on that later!). All in all, a good day. The kind where you can lay down at night with a smile on your face. The makings of a quiet, simple, and fantastic fall break.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Race for the Cure 2010 (Arkansas)

On Friday afternoon, Justin and I headed west to Little Rock, Arkansas. We were meeting his family for the Arkansas Race for the Cure. This is a six year tradition for them and a second year tradition for me. That race is the 3rd largest in the world. (That means a lot of pink!) And you know you are in Arkansas when women wear pink duck decoys on their heads for breast cancer awareness!

While in Little Rock, we ate at Bosco's, walked in RFTC, napped, went to the Museum of Discovery (super fun!), shopped at Ten Thousand Villages (another tradition!), and visited the Old Mill. Of course, we loved playing with his niece. She is at such a fun age.

On the way back to Nashville, we stopped in Memphis and got to visit with my friends- Marcus, Mandy, MJ and baby bump Emma Paige. It was so nice to see old friends who have meant so much to me. We ate dinner at Westy's (and missed out on their famous Fudge Pie... what were we thinking?!!?). Justin and I also ran into this cute shop call Red Fish Gifts. That might have to become a tradition too. :)

This week is fall break for me so I will be cleaning, cooking, and just relaxing. Can't wait!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hike for the Homeless

If you are looking for something to do this coming Saturday (Oct. 16) in Nashville, might I recommend Hike for the Homeless. The event benefits Safe Haven, a local family shelter. The hike is at Edwin Warner Park at starts at 9am. If you want to support a team, think about donating to the Trailblazers team headed up by the precious Savannah A.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Race for the Cure 2010 (Nashville)

Thanks to all who came out or supported me in Nashville's Race for the Cure!

It was a beautiful day. This year, I was able to cut about 45 minutes off my time just walking. Amazing how much life can change in just one year! I ran into old friends, caught up with people I haven't seen in awhile, collected some nice freebies, and was filled with emotion.

This day was a big deal for me so thanks to all who made it so special.

Also, thanks to those who have walked/run in Race for the Cures in their cities. It is great to see pictures and hear stories of friends who are walking and thinking of me!

Sunday's Agenda and Menu

Slept late, wicked good omelettes made by Justin, Vespa ride, Titans game (way to go #77!), couponing, dinner, a little cleaning, read from Promise Me, and soon bedtime.

On the menu this evening was...
Chicken Spaghetti
3 cups cooked (and shredded) chicken
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lb. of spaghetti
1/2 diced onion
1/2 diced bell pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup (you might want to add more soup because mine was a tad dry)
1 T seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 package of shredded cheese (I use 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 mozzarella... whatever was in fridge!)
First, cook spaghetti as normal in water and broth.Go ahead and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In big mixing bowl, combine chicken, onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and half of the cheese.

Once spaghetti has been drained, add noodles to mix. Mix in soup. Transfer mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pair with salad and sweet tea.
Because I used a smaller casserole dish, I did not use all of my mix. I froze half so I will have enough for another small casserole later in the week. Tonight's mix was enough for two people and a leftover lunch!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This was taken a year ago. My hair had been falling out in clumps, some small and some rather large. I decided to shave my head.

Since then cancer has come and gone. I am "in the clear", but its effects linger. I still don't have the energy that I once did. I cry at least once a week about my physical appearance. I get scared anytime my hand runs across my breast in the shower or during a self exam. I dream about recurrences. Other days, I feel so good. I realize how I have made it through something that has brought down others. I am blessed to be alive. Cancer is something I think about everyday.

October is a big month for me. Almost every weekend I will be walking in breast cancer awareness races. Next Saturday, Oct. 9 is Race for the Cure in Brentwood, TN. October 16 is Race for the Cure in Little Rock, AR where I will be walking with Justin's family. October 30 is the Striders Walk in Nashville. I am wearing pink each day. (Think about doing the same!) I am currently reading Promise Me which is about the founding of the Susan G. Komen foundation. Each day I am praying for a cure.

I know breast cancer is not high on everybody's list of concerns, but it is very real to me. I am asking that all of my friends and family think about donating to the cause of finding a cure. It wasn't just a rough year for me, but for those who were by my side. We can help keep somebody else from going down that same road. We can find a cure. I am deeply rooted in that hope. If you wish to donate, please click on the link that goes to my first walk's page.


Love This!!!

I love Jimmy Fallon. I love Justin Timberlake. I love The Roots. When ther powers combine, you get an awesome history of rap!