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Month: January 2010 (Page 1 of 4)

Goooooal!

The weather was so pretty most of the time I was out in California. There were a couple days of rain but mostly it was sunny and in the mid 50’s. It was perfect spring weather, at least for the Chicago area. Of course I’m completely jealous that that is normal winter weather for them. I’m still trying to figure out why exactly we don’t live there…

One of the nice days we went out to the football field on base so Hunter and Brandon could practice their soccer skills.

Brandon blocking one of Hunter’s shots. I’m pretty sure Hunter got a couple good goals though.

I’m not sure if he meant to wink at me or if the sun (which was directly behind me) was in his eyes.

Brandon ccould kick the ball seriously high and was great at heading the ball too. As you can see, Hunter was not at all thrilled about the idea of a soccer ball flying at his head.

Liz and I enjoyed sitting on the sidelines and soaking in the sun.

Hunter had a great time. He’s going to be a good little soccer player.

Gotcha!

This is apparently not the first time Brandon played this prank on Hunter.

His second reaction, when he’s expecting to get sprayed, is actually funnier than the initial prank. Hope you all enjoyed a little laugh at my nephew’s expense.

We’re not actually Italian

I’ve already written a little bit about my trip to California. Now that I’m home and on my own computer I want to post some of my pictures from my time there.

As I mentioned before my sister cooks a lot. It’s also delicious. The first night I was there we made homemade pizza.  And when I say homemade I mean we seriously made everything from scratch.

We kneaded the dough.

We grated the cheese.

Even the sauce was made from scratch.

It was so good! Try not to drool all over the keyboard. *wink*

Here is the happy family, anxious to dig into that yummy pizza.

Liz liked it so much she got a little too excited and actually broke her fork in half. Look out for her, even she doesn’t know her own strength!

This has given me a serious craving for pizza now. Unfortunately it’ll be hard to find anything quite as yummy. Stay tuned tomorrow for a video of a prank that got played on Hunter.

Don’t be (too) jealous

As promised, here are my Cancun pictures. My friend Kelly and I went down to Cancun with two goals: relax and soak up as much sun as possible. Mission accomplished.

We were welcomed with champagne. Here it is sitting on the ledge of the window of our room.

Here is a better picture of the view from our room. Gorgeous! We enjoyed the view for a minute or two and then got down to the pool as quickly as possible.

These are the chairs down by the hotel’s infinity pool. We spent most of our time on them and…

in the hammocks down by the beach and….

in the pool.

Me soaking up the sun and gorgeous view from the edge of the infinity pool. It was heavenly. (I realize it doesn’t quite fit in my blog format but I love the picture so much I’m posting it anyway.)

We also drank plenty of delicious, frozen, tropical drinks. Here I am with a piña colada. Don’t mind my crazy hair, it was windy.

Kelly reading on the beach. That red flag means no swimming in the ocean because the the wind caused the waves to be really rough.

We still got to walk with our feet in the water and enjoy the views though.

Yay for Cancun!

A bird flying across the beautiful blue sky.

Kelly soaking up the sun.

Here we are enjoying champagne while watching the sun set over the water.

I loved every minute of my trip and left feeling completely refreshed. I can’t wait to go back.

Home!

It’s so good to be home again. I only ended up getting about 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I had to catch a 6:14am flight and the airport was an hour away. Following the get-there-two-hours-before-your-flight rule that meant leaving at 3:00am. I don’t have my crew ID anymore, because of being on furlough, so I always try and give myself plenty of time to get through security. Well, apparently I’ve never flown out of an airport as small as Fresno’s because when I got there at 4:00am security wasn’t even open yet! When it finally opened around 4:30 there were still only about four passengers there. So, I’ve learned my lesson and next time I have to fly out of there early in the morning I can let all of us sleep a little more.

The flights home were uneventful. I slept most of the way from Fresno to Denver, thank goodness. Even in a first class seat it can be hard to sleep because they don’t recline very much more than a regular seat and my head always seems to bob and wake me up. Thanks to only having two hours of sleep I had no trouble sleeping almost the entire flight and woke up feeling fairly refreshed.

The worst part of my trip was lugging my bag through Denver airport with no hook. If any of you have had to walk through the B concourse in Denver you know what I mean. I had to walk from gate B84 – B36. Normally that would be fine but, with my bags stacked on top of each other, all the weight was on my forearms. I am no Popeye no matter how much spinach I eat, it hurt! It didn’t help that I only had about 40 minutes before my next flight departed. I walked as fast as I could though (thank God for moving walkways!) and even had time to stop in the luggage store. They didn’t have any j-hooks but they had a strap that served the same purpose. Too bad the luggage store was right next door to B36. I am so glad I have that stupid strap now though until Liz can ship me my j-hook. Seriously, for those of you who haven’t tried it, it’s the difference of 30 lbs supported all on your arms to all the weight being at the bottom of the luggage so you don’t feel like you’re carrying anything. It’s incredible and I will never take that darn thing for granted again.

The flight out of Denver to home was also smooth. I didn’t sleep that flight but I relaxed, ate my fruit and cheese plate and read a book. I even got in a little early. It’s really great to be home. I’m pretty sure Phoebe missed me. She was so happy to see me that she threw up all over the couch. Such a sweet welcome home gift, don’t you think?

I figured out how to get my pictures to display in order and have therefore started my Cancun post. My photo editor keeps crashing on me though so I’m going to try and work on them some more in the morning. I’ll also set up posts of pictures from my days in California. For now I need to sleeeep!

Knowing I won’t get much sleep makes me grumpy

It’s my last night here in California. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I’m going to really miss my sister and family. On the other hand I cannot wait to see Joel and Phoebe. I also am not looking forward to getting up at a ridiculously early time tomorrow morning. I have to get up at 2am. Two AM, People! Ugh, my eyes hurt just thinking about it. I really hope I can sleep on the plane. I should but you never know. On the way here I got stuck next to Mr. Chatty McWhistles. I’m crossing my fingers for either a quiet seat mate or ideally no seat mate at all. That would be fabulous.

I’m also pretty pissed that I never got my luggage hook (not quite what mine is like but that’s the general idea). Mine was lost in Cancun (thanks taxi driver) so I tried to order one online. The stupid hook was $10.00 and I paid almost $11.00 in shipping so it would get here in 1-4 days. Apparently to the company I ordered from that equals 7 days, grrrrr! I’ll probably live but it’s going to make traveling with my two overstuffed bags so much harder. *whines* Where’s my big strong man when I need him?

Part of the reason my bags are so overstuffed, besides my need to pack everything I possibly think I could ever wear (It’s a sickness I swear.), is I got a spice rack today. It was only $20 and it came with 16 jars of spices. The best part though is it comes with free refills on the spices for five years! Just buying a couple jars of spices can cost $20 let alone getting free refills. My goal is to try and use them as much as possible. Working on number 18 of my 30 by 30 list, in case anyone is keeping track.*grin*

Anyway, I need to sign off because I have to go to bed. If I fell asleep at this moment I would only get five hours of sleep. Wow, tomorrow’s going to be a long day. Like the title said, just knowing I won’t get much sleep makes me grumpy. I’m so glad I’m not working my flights tomorrow. I have a feeling I wouldn’t be making the skies much friendlier. It will be worth it when I’m back home with my love though. Night!

I Love Being an Aunt

I feel like Hunter has enjoyed having me here so much. I mean, I’m pretty sure Brandon and Liz have enjoyed me being here but I think Hunter is really happy that I’m here. He snuggles me every night before he goes to bed and would sleep with me on the couch if I let him. If it wasn’t a couch I would be totally up for snuggling my nephew all night but I need my space so I’m sure I’d end up pushing him off in my sleep or something. This way we both get a good night’s sleep and he comes down as soon as he wakes up in the morning and cuddles me some more. In the morning I think he’s way more interested in playing with my phone than cuddling me for more than a minute or two though. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. Much. Seriously though, I love every minute I get to spend with my little nephew. He’s growing up so fast it’s almost scary. He’s going to be five in a couple months!

He’s already reading really well, especially for his age. He has a really good grasp of phonics but the English language has so many stupid exceptions even I get confused sometimes. It’s funny when he reads or spells something completely phonetically and when corrected gets defensive about it. This morning he was drawing a pictures for Joel and wrote From Hunter. When we were telling him how to write To Joel he got kind of upset because he thought there shouldn’t be an E in the middle of Joel’s name. “No, it’s Jeh Oh Lll!” I don’t blame him really. Who made up English anyway? Spelling would be so much simpler if English just followed it’s own rules all the time. Oh well.

He says all kinds of things that crack me up. Last night while we were snuggling in bed he randomly says “Aunt Abigail, when are you going to have kids?” We weren’t even talking at all at the time so I’m not sure where it came from. I get asked that question quite frequently but he is by far the youngest to ever ask. I said something about someday I’d like to have kids but they’re a lot of work blah, blah, blah. His response was “Ok. Well, when you have kids can you bring them over so they can play with me?” Ah, the mind of a child.

Anyway, he’s at such a fun age. My sister has done such a good job of raising a sweet, polite little boy. He has his moments of being a little stinker but, when I see other kids his age and compare, he’s one of the best behaved kids I know. He’s got the best facial expressions, especially when he’s confused or thinks I’m wrong about something. He crunches up his eyebrows and says “Are you kidding me?” It cracks me up every time. I hate that they live so far away because I feel like I’m missing so much. He has changed even since September when they moved out here. *sigh*

I wish time with this branch of my family didn’t have to be so few and far between. It’s been wonderful though and I’m soaking up every second I get to spend with each of them.

Greek Turkey Burger Recipe and other things

I had a request for the recipe for the Greek turkey burgers and sweet potato fries that I cooked yesterday and was more than happy to share. The original recipe I found on All Recipes.com (love that site!) and I modified it slightly.

Greek Turkey Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-2 cloves fresh pressed garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the grill for medium high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together, and form into patties.
  • Lightly oil the grate. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

I usually serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns with fresh spinach, fresh sliced tomatoes, sliced english cucumber and a sprinkle of any leftover feta cheese. Makes four to six burgers.

The sweet potato fries are the easiest ever! Simply scrub the outside, slice into thin fries and place on a baking sheet. Coat evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Yum!

Anyway, today was a fun day. We drove up into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. I was really excited to see the world’s biggest trees but unfortunately tire chains were required to drive more than 14 miles up into the mountains which is where the biggest sequoias are. *sad face* We drove up as far as they would let up though and then got out and hiked around a little. There were even some young sequoias which were really neat to see. I’ll post pictures when I get home. It was still a really fun day and we saw some beautiful views. I can’t wait until I can go back and see the actual big sequoias. I’m hoping that Joel, Phoebe and I can come back some time when it’s warmer so we can go camping with Liz, Brandon and Hunter. I think that would be a lot of fun.

I Cooked

Since Liz totally shamed me with her awesome cooking skills yesterday I thought I’d try and not seem like a complete slacker by making dinner. There are very few things I actually cook. Most of the time me cooking equals taking something out the freezer and heating it up. There are however a couple things I make that require fresh ingredients and an appliance other than a microwave.

Today I made Greek turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

They’re not too hard to make, they’re healthy and I think they’re really delicious. Luckily for me everyone else thought so too. I’m pretty sure they were telling the truth about liking them and not just being nice since they all took seconds and the boys even had thirds.

Hunter approves.

So, yay! I feel a little bad because poor Joel is at home with his reheated frozen pizza. This is inspiring me to cook more though so in the end all this time away will be a good thing.

Still No Pictures

Not much of an update. Again. I’m thinking I won’t be able to post any pictures until I get back and can get on my own computer. I’m so annoyed with my camera right now. It needs some kind of internal battery and since it doesn’t have one right now it uploads the pictures in completely random order. It’s impossible to try and look through my photos and find the good ones when I can’t compare similar ones to each other. There are 352 pictures so I’m not being ridiculous, ok? Maybe I am. I’m just having such a good a time with Hunter and my sister that I don’t want to spend hours sorting through hundreds of pictures trying to put up half a dozen good ones. If there is a time when everyone else is busy or sleeping or something I may take the time to put something together but I’m going to stop worrying about it until I get back home. If you get to see photos before then consider yourself lucky.

So far I’m having a really fun time here. I woke up to snuggles from my sweet nephew. He just seems so happy to have me here. It makes me feel so loved! He’s so funny and has been showing me all his toys and telling me about his friends here. He keeps asking me if I can stay 100 days instead of just 7. *giggle* Anyway, we had a laid back day today. Well, laid back if you consider cooking broccoli soup, banana bread and pizza completely from scratch laid back. But that was Liz. I on the other hand was busy playing with Hunter or doing whatever on my phone. The pizza was a group effort and it was a lot of fun to make. Everything was delicious even though it made me feel like the biggest slacker wife ever. I mean even when I “cook” it’s usually frozen or out of a box. Worst-wife-ever award right here! Seriously though I am always so impressed by what a good mother my sister is. She has raised a sweet little angel of a boy and I love them both to death.

We have plans for a fun weekend, I’m excited. I’ll update you as we go. *smile*

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