Monday, August 30, 2010

"I rescue burning babies from trees. with my puppy."

~geoffrey the giraffe

who was our server at Six Plates. Which Jennifer and I looooooooove. It's where we go on our "date nights" and it makes me happy. I took pictures of our delicious meal on Thursday but I am too lazy to upload them.

suffice it to say--their cheese plate NEVER disappoints, we love their lamby joes, and since they're returned to having unusual gelato/ice cream flavors again, we are in heaven! we had plum and and apricot something or other, I think. and I can't recall the third but they were amazing.

AND the dude at the table next to us, named Jay, secretly bought us our first round. I've only had that happen a handful of times in my life (Misha, remember when that dude on the Oklahoma Senate or whatever bought our drinks at Friday's when you took me out on my birthday after studied for the FE?)

so, yeah. pretty awesome. and a welcome surprise for our pocket books!

this weekend though--this weekend was a doozie. as someone at lisa & richard's party put it "man, you really ramp up on the weekend, huh?" and, um, yeah. it was a little insane.

friday was low key. matt and I rejoiced in going to bed before 1130. It was joyous!

Saturday Matt had a 1010 soccer game and I had a 10am newborn shoot. In Carrboro. And then a 1pm baptism in Wake Forest. It was CRAZY! Tulsa people, that's like a drive from Claremore to Mounds. With a photo shoot and a costume change inbetween!

And we followed it up with a fabulous engagement party. And then, when we got home around 545, I took a two hour nap. And it was amazing. :)

Sunday was better, but still pretty ridiculous. We went into the beginning of last week with only two things to do--the baptism and engagement party--but it quickly spiraled. Therefore, next weekend we are trying to be as chill as possible. Whew! I do have a day o' photography on Saturday, but other than that, we want to relaaaaax.

and I am also going to try to make my very own eggs benedict because I love it so much. wish me luck! especially because matt has agreed to "try" it, so if he hates it he'll probably never ever try it again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere

okay, so as I have told y'all many times, I really really like my CSA. reasonable prices, delicious produce and meat and so freaking convenient! but...except...sometimes...

well, sometimes they are out of the things I want. over and over again. they haven't had beef or chicken or eggs for three weeks running. and I don't really eat pork--it's not on principle or anything, I just don't really care for it other than as a breakfast food. I have actually only made porkchops ONCE in my life, by the way. but anyway...

so as my weekly CSA rolls around I find that I keep ordering gobs and gobs of tomatoes because I don't know what else to get. I mean, I have other produce, sure, but tomatoes always round it out.

luckily, my friend Maria posted this link yesterday about what to do with all those tomatoes. and there are a few recipes I'd like to add...

1. I call them mo-bas-tom sticks. It's an awesome appetizer. mozz cheese + fresh basil + cherry tomatoes or chunks of tomatoes all on a toothpick. You want to put the cheese on last and use it to dip in some balsamic vinegar. SO yummy. I have these at parties and by the end of the night they are always ALL gone. :)

2. smothered chicken. mmm mmm mmm. AND you can make it in your microwave! I often substitute the mayo for plain fat free yogurt (which also makes a cameo in my green smoothies). I change this recipe around a little, though. I don't use the tomato paste, I cut up a tomato or too and add them in. Sometimes I put 'em in a blender first to make 'em more paste-like.

3. this is on my top 5 list of meals I make that I LOVE. chicken with paprika sauce--mmmmm! I always add garlic to this dish. next time I make it I'm trying whole wheat egg noodles. this is a great dish for reheating, too. tum!

4. pasta with chicken, tomato and feta. another delightful use for tomatoes. and the abundant basil! yum!

and on that note--if anyone in my neck of the woods needs some basil PLEASE let me know. I have so, so, SO much. I even made homemade pizza (another good use of tomatoes!) this weekend and although I removed 2+ cups worth of basil from my plants it looks like I didn't even touch them!!

what are your favorite tomato-using-up dishes?

Monday, August 23, 2010

"changed for good."


so, I wasn't going to post this. I've left it as a draft since monday. I've been doing that a lot. but I was talking to Lisa and it made me want to share this with y'all...

as recently as a month ago, and as long as four months and nine days ago, I would have emphatically informed you that being married "isn't really all that different." and I meant it.

and it isn't that suddenly it's all THAT different. but the dust has settled. and we have settled in. and our roller coaster has become more like a sunday drive and less like a tumultuous, heart-in-your-throat, weightless then pressed to the seat kind of journey like it was before. a calm has come over us. and I like it.

and now we are able to make PLANS. not plans like what we're doing this friday (by the way the answer is NOTHING and we intend on keeping it that way!) but plans as in how we'd like our life to unfold. I touched on this when I mentioned the dave ramsey book (we are still trudging through, btw).

and for all that we're doing, it still feels like that sunday drive. and I like it. Matt and I argue/disagree less, now (but, still, no one ever wins our fights. per usual), and we say " I love you" more. And it makes me really, really happy.

the end. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

trouble....deep, deep trouble...

I remember when I was a kid and it was terrible that my mom let me watch The Simpsons because of the burping and the crudeness. I distinctly recall thinking that was ridiculous, the show was funny and I really liked Lisa. :)

I know there are lines when it comes to language and behavior and appropriateness--regarding cursing, racial slurs and discussing politics and religion at the dinner table. I sometimes blur, bend or break them, but I also know they're there for a good purpose.

However, this morning *I* was appalled by the story on the BBC world service. As I drove into work, drinking my coffee and eating my breakfast sandwich, they were telling a story about some people somewhere--I could've told you where, but then the following happened....

during my less-than-ten-minutes drive to work, and within three minutes of one another I heard the following phrases "three people were hacked to death..." and "he was drug along by a rope tied around his genitalia."

I heard these phrases on free public radio while I ate my breakfast.

and I was disgusted and kind of lost my appetite.

and I kind of can't believe they are allowed to say those phrases on the radio. I mean I KNOW that's as sterile as you can get for explaining those situations--but did they have to use the word hacked? and more importantly, did they HAVE to specify how he was dragged? I get letting the people know the real severity of the situation, and the horrors of others' actions, but WHAT? You can say that on the radio at 930 in the morning?


Friday, August 13, 2010

okay, dave ramsey...

Matt and I have just started reading a Dave Ramsey book. The Total Money Makeover. His brother George had been URGING us to read it. He actually bought us our very own copy and mailed it from Colorado. He also sent us the Financial Peace University book and the Sink Reflections/FlyLady book about cleaning and organizing and decluttering.

Although some of you might be thinking that those kind of gifts are kind of like when a man gives a woman a new mop for Valentine's Day, for us it was a much-desired tool for improving our lives.

I've been reading the FlyLady book and although we aren't doing all of the things it says (because the book is geared towards stay at home moms), we are already learning some useful tools. Within 10 minutes of reading I had already gained knowledge and could actually DO something. I appreciated that.

Yesterday Matt and I read, together, the full intro to the Total Money Makeover book. We also read the first 10ish pages of the book. We spent 45 minutes reading the dang thing, and when we were done we had learned nothing to help us in any way. Oh, we definitely learned what the book is NOT and how DR came to writing it, his life situations that he's recovered from, that this information is from God and your grandmother and about the people who lost it all in 2008.

We realized that Matt and I are reading this book because people we love and care about have said such good things about it. It occurred to us that most people reading it NEED to be convinced and they need to be shown examples of this book's amazingness. We get it. But we have George and George who are advocates of this system, and Leanne is too. So we didn't need further encouragement, you know? But still. So.

So I decided to just "flip through" to see how long it would take to get "instructions." And I finally found baby step one in Chapter 6, many many pages into the book. And, fortunately, it's something we already have. We are also already working on baby step 2. But DANG. Six chapters in a self-help type book before you get to any meat??? I don't mean to be insensitive, but I'm glad this isn't a book about depression or having ADD, because really??? yikes.

anyway. we will read more tonight, I am sure. but I just had to rant about that. it's like a chemistry textbook waiting 60 pages to tell you what an element is and instead just trying to convince you, up front, that chemistry is scientifically sound. or something. it just kind of boggles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

live a life less ordinary.

~carbon leaf

I previously used the second part of this song lyric as a title. now it's time for the beginning. and I think it's kind of funny that I have to double-check every time I use lyrics for a title unless I found out about a band in the past, like, two months. :)


this is a post about being grateful. and about embracing contradictions. and the like.

but first, a tangent: I am often reminded of my "super-skinny" days. the days where I weighed ~105 pounds. all through college. I am 5 feet 5.5 inches--you do the math, that is not a healthy weight. however, sometimes I look at the number on my clothes or see old pictures and I must remind myself that college Carrie was WAY too little. way.

and that takes my brain down the road of what has happened since college. how I came to north carolina. about the jobs I've had since I came here, and how that stupid job at the gap is actually what brought me to my current job. and the life changes that have taken place in the last seven years. and in hindsight, I realize it was all part of a grander plan.

for me to find matt.
and for me to embrace the gifts I've been given.
and for me to be me.

I guess I've just been thinking a lot about it the past few days because at lunch earlier this week someone asked me how old I was--and I told them I turn 30 in two months and change. My other co-worker corrected me--Carrie, you are 29--TWENTY-NINE. Don't round up.

I told her I am EXCITED about being thirty. I told them both that thirty is not old. I told them that when I am in my thirties I am going to experience some pretty fantastic things. I am going to go to Italy. I will go to Europe for the first time in my life. Hell, it'll be the first time I've been on another continent.

When I am in my thirties I will (hopefully) have babies. Plural. Perhaps a George or Cleona/Claire or Lilah or Nathaniel. Only time will tell.

When I am in my thirties I will celebrate ten years of life with Matt. And he and I will buy our first real house. With a yard that he mows. A yard with space for a garden. And where our children will play.

I will remain a photographer AND an engineer. (which is, to most people, a contradiction. and I have actually been told it isn't FAIR, by the way. I find that humorous. anyway...) And maybe I will go to grad school again. Matt will most definitely go to grad school. with any luck I will finish up my 50 states photography project in my thirties.

And actually, now that I think of it, in my thirties I will meet my new niece Cameron, and hopefully many other nieces and nephews. And also my "nieces" and "nephews"--aka my dearest friends' children.

And as I sat on the couch last night with Matt I just kept thinking about life choices. And how "green" I've become. And how many people tell me about their green accomplishments when I see them. And the roundabout way in which I became a photographer. And an air quality engineer. and how DIFFERENT that is from me 10 years ago. and how different it is from what I used to think my life would be. And I realize that were it not for moving to North Carolina, were it not for the friends I have made here, were it not for my contradictory nature (hello, libra-scorpio combo), were it not for the innate skills I didn't even realize I had...well...for one I don't think this blog post would exist :)

and I am grateful. even in the chaos that's happening right now, I remind myself that I am grateful.

anyway. enough is enough, yes? thank you for reading. I know I will come back to read this when I get frustrated or overwhelmed. and when I turn thirty, just in case anyone tells me they think I'm old. :D

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"together we can take a cake or two"

~maryanna sokol*

*who happens to know my friend renee, btw. and maryanna's music is pretty awesome, methinks.

did you know that I have started, like, four blog posts and saved them as drafts this week?

I started to tell you about the changes I made to my diet, but then decided it wasn't interesting enough. to sum up: green smoothies. with ground flax seed. eating an egg over hard with only 1/3 of the yolk and a light english muffin every morning (sometimes with tomatoes, often with avocado and always with reduced fat cheese--the cabot stuff is amazing AND real, actual non-plastic cheese.)

I started to tell you how this weekend Matt and I had a huge talk about baby names and how I fell in love with a boy's name that I didn't even know I liked. All because I looked up "old fashioned boy's names" on our way to Charleston. we were there to shoot a wedding, by the by.

if you're curious, the name is Nathaniel. more specifically, Nathaniel Jahue. Matt and I are gonna have to have a lot of kids in order to use all the names we've cooked up, ha!

last night matt and I finished the second of the national treasurers. oh, how I love those movies. I also like watching movies I've already seen while I edit--because it takes most of my attention to edit properly :)

um, yeah. that's it. kind of exciting, kind of ho-hum. kind of okay with me. :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

"and this, is my brain. its torturous analytical thoughts make me go insane. and I use mouthwash. sometimes I floss."

I've got a family and I drink cups of tea.

~kate nash.

recent developments:
I have been quite successful in my giving up of soda. I will drink it with liquor, and occasionally splurge on the deliciousness that is Dr Pepper or root beer. But I used to drink one every day. Then it became every other day. And now I think I haven't had more than one a week, often less, since before our honeymoon.

I am also down 7 pounds since early april and have set a goal of losing 5 more by my 30th birthday. and after that, I have zero desire to lose anymore. just for the record.

work is, once again, making me want to cry. and if I hear my project lead say one more time about how our goal should be to make the client happy, I might throw something! it's not that I disagree with her--it's that not charging for her extra time means they will think we can do this again. and we can't.

and, uh...other recent development: the following isn't actually happening. for, like, a long time. we're just TALKING ABOUT IT as though it is happening, oh, tomorrow. I have kind of become my sister's financial permission-giver. Like, I hold the checks. Ish. It's not all totally set up yet, but I will be the "check" before she can get $. I knew this was coming. I thought I would have to worry about this when we were, say, in our sixties. But nope. I don't really feel comfortable sharing all the gory details, but let's just say I had no idea it would happen so soon and I am SO not up for it right now. however, this part still applie....I have a lot of ranting I could do involving my sister and her expectations but suffice it to say: just the thought of thinking about it is leaving me exhausted. gracious.

this weekend is the last time until NOVEMBER that I have formalized plans to go out of town. we might go to the mountains for a weekend or something, but other than that, I don't have out-of-town weddings or friends to visit or anything like that. I need to take a trip to Texas at some point, if I can, to do pictures in Dallas (which makes me want to see if I could perhaps squeeze in a visit to both San Antonio and Houston, but going to all of those places in one visit isn't really possible).

I am really looking forward to being home so we can organize our un-organized spots, order our new couch and convert our guest room into more of a "Carrie-space." I am pretty pleased that we really only need to tackle our garage, guest room closet and bedroom. Which might sound like a lot to you, but since it means we've already been cleaning and purging and organizing in our kitchen, living room, dining area, guest room and bonus room, I think it's a definite positive. AND we can have guests over now without a mad dash, and I really like that too.


Monday, August 02, 2010

post-party damage control

le sigh.

this weekend we had a beer tasting. it was really fun! there were thirteen of us. we were supposed to have eighteen, but people's plans changed last minute. it was probably a bit of a blessing in disguise, however, because our living room was pretty full as it was. if there had been more people it definitely would've been cozy.

that's all of the beer we polished off. we gave people 37 beers--and everyone drank ~ 1 ounce per type in their little Ikea glass with their beer band around it.

but so, about that damage control. well, let's put it this way: we are blessed with many, many friends. we live in a townhome that has plenty of room for us, and adequate room for small parties. groups larger than 20 require segregation into different areas of the house, which is not ideal for a beer tasting. I suppose we could've had, in essence, two beer tastings (one in our living room, one in the basement) but that would've meant I didn't spend the evening with Matt--and I am SO not up for that. we also have inadequate parking availability and, well, it's just how it worked out. we did not get to invite everyone we would have liked. it's how the cookie crumbled.

we invited people we hadn't seen in a long while. we didn't even do courtesy invitations. I didn't even invite some of our friends who I knew were going to be out of town or unable to come--just because I figured the more people we invited, the more likely someone who wasn't invited would find out about our party and have their feelings hurt.

Matt thought I was being paranoid. Um, no. This morning I have already sent out two "I didn't mean to offend you" emails. I am afraid I'm going to have to have a little chat with the "boo-er" as well. It ain't pretty. And it's a little frustrating because none of this would've been a problem if people had just taken a little closer look at the guest list :)

does this ever happen to anyone? whether inviting over a a friend or two, or a couple, or whatever? because I worry about this kind of stuff EVERY time we have people over. It actually made planning our wedding events a huge pain in the ass because any shower or whatever needed to be held at a place that would accommodate 50 people because I didn't want to hurt any feelings. it was out of control, I tell ya. dad-gum libra tendencies :)

In any case, though, the party was fun. I don't think any permanent damage was done. And we had a very relaxing and productive Saturday in our CLEAN home. We need to tackle our bedroom, the guest room closet, the garage and the basement, but over all our house looks quite put together. and that pleases me greatly! maybe, just maybe, we will share pictures soon. maybe.
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