Thursday, August 25, 2011

To Know, Know Jeremy

So one of Jeremy's sisters-in-law once said, "Once you know Jeremy, you can't help but love him." Well, I'm going to go ahead and say I concur whole-heartedly. And so I chose to make this a song-title post based on a song to that effect. Because not only do I get to love him, I also got to celebrate him ;). Because it was his birthday :).

But first allow me to re-cap briefly.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending a week and a half at Lea's house. Man oh man did I ever. It was so relaxing, so peaceful. While I enjoyed the solitude, I made my first ever batch of zucchini bread (with Saria's help... she stayed with me Saturday night to Sunday) and it turned out great! I also tried a new crock pot recipe from that lady who made something in her crock pot every day of 2008 (I have the link on my blog on the right-hand side). That was dinner for Jeremy's birthday and it was Chicken Adobo. I was somewhat disappointed. It was okay, but not as good as I had anticipated based on all the reviews. But you never know until you try :). And yeah, overall, mostly my week was the sameold sameold. I worked. I walked with Sue. I spent time with Jeremy :). I grew, I learned, I struggled, I overcame... Yep, just a week in the life ;). Because that's what it's all about :).

And so now I will get back to what I was going to originally tell you anyway. All about Jeremy's birthday. That young whipper-snapper. He hasn't quite hit 30 yet... ;). So I gave Jeremy a couple of food items he has mentioned liking and then did a photo album thing (you know how I love pictures ;)). This is where he's looking at the photo album (isn't he just so cute?...Okay, maybe I shouldn't gush over him on the blog... ;). But seriously, though... Look at that smile!). Oh, and the gag gift was up... He knew it wasn't from me.
Then I talked him into some pictures of us.... And I couldn't decide which one I liked the best. So I added all of them. I'm sure Jeremy will appreciate it ;).
Holy Cow! I know I cut off his head (again), but I love this next picture of Jeremy :)! Absolutely love it!
And this is what happens when you're acting goofy and then aren't ready for the timer to go off:
But still a cute smile :). And there's dinner in the background.

So yep, that was his birthday celebration. Just nice and relaxing. I told him we could go out to eat and I'd tell the server it was his birthday so they'd embarrass him by having all the employees sing to him. You know how I think that is so funny (yeah right). Jeremy didn't think that sounded any more thrilling than I think it would be. So we opted for Chicken Adobo.

I finished up chillin' at Lea's on Wednesday. But tomorrow and Saturday nights I will house-sit for Bob and Melanie. And then I'll do that again starting next Friday (before Labor Day) and going through the following weekend. And then I will house-sit for someone Melanie works with who has 2 cats. At least that's the plan. So I won't be at "my house" for very much of the month of September. And I'm really quite okay with that. And tomorrow I will go with Lea to Seattle to watch Xavier's girlfriend do a dance performance. And Saturday, Jeremy and I will be going blackberry picking. Yep, it's that time again :). And no, my ridiculous tomatoes still haven't ripened. How annoying. And my garden is looking quite neglected. Mostly weedy. It definitely has a lot of goodies out there. And most of them are ready to go. I even have 2 acorn squash I can pick any day now :). I'm just waiting on those darn tomatoes!

In other news... I do believe I'm closing in on my 3-year anniversary of living in Washington State. What a strange trip it's been... Life is funny that way... Looking back, it's amazing to see how far I've come. Life really is a journey. So full of surprises (both the pleasant kind and the not-so-pleasant kind). Oh, but so wonderful :). All of it. I'm so glad I listened to the promptings of the Spirit that led me here. No, not everything is perfect. There are definitely some less-than-stellar circumstances. But I know it's where I belong. And so I'm thankful that, when I was willing to doubt and give up, my Heavenly Father helped me to stay where I needed to be. And I'm thankful that, even when I did want to doubt and give up, my true self retained hope and faith :). And so, here I am. Living the moments of the Nilla Life. Some ups, some downs, some laughter, some tears, some hopes, some fears... And love. Lots and lots of love :).

P.S... Now that my dad knows, I can share a little secret: there's an Alabama trip in my not-so-distant future. Nothing set-in-stone as of yet. But it'll be coming :). And you will find me definitely hitting up 2 places: O'Charleys (for that fantabulous potato soup) and Italian Express. Yep, you know it! I'm starting to drool already.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well, I'm not going to write much. But I wanted to post a picture of some of what I picked out of my garden today :). I picked a few more cucumbers than this and a little bit more romaine lettuce, but I gave that to Sue. Oh and a green bell pepper. Two of the green things are zucchini. I will be trying zucchini bread at some point and also found a recipe for Spicy Mexican Zucchini Casserole or something like that. I have more zucchini growing, so hopefully they will grow as big as the big one :).I'm house-sitting for Lea this week. They are down in Arizona dropping Morgan off at college. I am loving the quietude :).

Monday, August 8, 2011

All The Small Things

Yeah, I still have so many posts I want to write. I’m so behind. But I figure if I’m keeping up in either my blog or my journal, then at least there’s that :). And really, the journaling is more important, because it is a goal I set and it is different than my blog. Anyway… I still want to try to blog at least weekly. Keep the details of my life recorded somewhere. The day-to-day minutiae that make up a life :).

So how is The Nilla Life? Oh it’s grand :). I could totally put a million smileys to convey that grandness, but seriously, who has time for that when they barely have time to blog!?! So how about some categories to focus my grandness :)?

Work. Work is going well. I have been given additional duties, and that helps me to stay busy. And I love to stay busy at work. And I am still loving the 4-day work week. I love having Fridays off to run errands and feel like I have extra time to do the important things.

Garden. Wow! That thing got huge practically overnight! I will admit that I have not tended it quite as much as I did last year. I probably need to dedicate more of my Fridays to this endeavor. The tomatoes are humongous. And probably planted too close together… But they all have tomatoes of various sizes (I have some itty-bitty ones, some grape-type ones, and some larger slicing ones). I have a pumpkin plant which may very well grow across my entire garden diagonally! And it has 2 or 3 pumpkin buds on it :). Which is exciting to me, because I love love love pumpkin pie :). My acorn squash plants are also ginormous and will probably out-grow their allotted space. I have 2 or 3 squash buds on one of the plants at this point, but I anticipate the other two will catch up. I have one zucchini plant that has about 6 zucchini. I am just waiting for them to get a bit bigger. I have picked probably around 50 strawberries this year and the most recent ones have been quite sweet. I have been using the chives out of the garden as well as cilantro that I planted from seed :). In fact, I used both of them in my very hot chicken taco soup last night :). I love that recipe, even if it is spicy. I’m hoping there are still leftovers so that I can have it for lunch tomorrow :). My cucumbers are really spreading and I finally have about 5 cucumbers that are ready to be picked! And my pepper plants all have peppers. I’ve left the jalapeno pepper alone (the big one) and it has turned red. The reason for this is because I am waiting for the tomatoes to ripen so I can make my fresh tomato salsa with everything from the garden. The only thing I will have to buy is the onion and lemon juice (which we already have). Everything else is growing in my backyard :). I LOVE IT!

Church. Still doing the Primary thing. I have found it quite interesting how all the kids seem to be on the same wiggle schedule. Haha… It is amazing to work with children and to see how much they actually learn. Yesterday I taught a lesson on our bodies being temples. I often wonder if the kids pick anything up when they are particularly wiggly. But they do. I asked Benjamin yesterday what he learned in Primary and he told me it was about temples and our body and we have to take care of our body so it is healthy because it’s a temple. Good job Benjamin! I was impressed. But yeah, Primary is going well. It can be hectic and sometimes I lack creativity. But I am enjoying the calling and appreciating the growth that I know is coming from it, whether I am fully aware of what that growth is or not…

Jeremy. Oh yes, my favorite subject ;). We had a blissful week :). We had several bonus days and they were wonderful! Mostly we just relaxed and talked and laughed. Truly amazing that we never run out of things to talk about. Something I told him about this past week: chinchipati. Okay, I’m guessing at the spelling, I won’t lie ;). But it’s a Spanish slang term (possibly only used in Panama, not really sure) that I always forget about until I hear it again. It means “cheap, junky, sub-par” depending on usage. How did this word come to my attention on Friday? My mom said she is chinchipati because she is using her purse until it breaks on the strap (it is currently holding on by one thread). It is fun and wonderful to share life with someone so fun and wonderful :). It is a beautiful thing. And this is actually where I will tie in that song-title post. Jeremy is so thoughtful. So remember me telling you about my allergies that kicked up about a million notches earlier in the summer? (I’m happy to report I have had no return issues in the last month, approximately.) Well part of the horribleness was all the sneezing and the runny nose that was driving me crazy, and the itchy nose that was making me even crazier. And I was going through Kleenex like there was no tomorrow! Which made it particularly fortunate that Jeremy had some in his car, because I sure did use up a lot of it! I commented that I should get some tissue to carry in my purse. And then, the next weekend, Jeremy had bought me some individual packs of Kleenex to keep in my purse. In the past, and this usually happens later in the evening, when I keep my eyes open without blinking for a while, they dry out quite a bit. Which is probably mostly normal, but definitely highly annoying because I have contacts. My contacts proceed to stick to my eyelid and therefore are prone to move and become uncomfortable. So Jeremy had noticed that, and so this past weekend, he gave me a little bottle of contact solution stuff so I can moisturize my eyes when needed. And it occurred to me how wonderful and thoughtful he is. Okay, so I already knew. But… Sometimes… Sometimes I see those small things and realize that they aren’t really small at all. Because they come from something large. They come from his love and his heart. They come from his desire to take care of me and provide for me. And oh… How it warms my heart. Yep, he is wonderful. (But you probably already knew that from previous posts ;)).

So yep. That’s The Nilla Life. Ain’t life grand ;)?