…and a happy new year!

On December 31, 2011, at 11:59 p.m exactly., I kissed my husband and wished him a happy new year.

Tomorrow (or tonight), I will do the exact same thing, but wish him happy anniversary!

Six years together today… two years married on Monday…

I am one lucky lady!

In the past, New Year’s Eve was another night of work. I always had to work because I was a server or bartender. I do not actually remember the last time I celebrated the New Year without also serving someone shots…

I was mixing a Long Island Ice Tea. Sorry about the photo quality. Bar lights do make things look different.

For 2011, I did not have to serve any shots, carry any food, take any order! No! For 2011, I spent New Year’s Eve with my husband eating tacos, going for ice cream and debating whether or not we should find the DUI checkpoints in Wichita and continuously drive through them to wish the officers happy new year and laugh because we didn’t drink a drop.

Well, we did have some hot cocoa, which we made with our NEW TEAPOT.

And we didn’t do that… Although it sounded like LOADS of fun.

Do I feel like an old fuddy-duddy? Yes… of course I do! But we didn’t have any parties planned, and I decided early on in the day that I wanted to spend the night with my Husband for once.

(Last year, I spend New Year’s shivering my butt off because the power went out.)

All in all I had a lovely New Year’s Eve. Today, I am having a lovely New Year’s Day (doing laundry – it is Sunday, after all). Tomorrow, I will have a lovely anniversary – if we can only figure out what we’re going to do!

And, now, 2011 in review!

Husband and I celebrated our first anniversary!

I turned 23 (and my mother got older*).

I started and stopped Insanity, although I am still quite crazy.

I lost 10 pounds. (I am fluctuating unhappily between 130 and 133 every other day or so.)

I made friends.

I did a bit of volunteer work.

I finished another semester of grad school… some how…

I started my career. A big girl job :)

What’s in store for next year?

I know for sure that Husband and I will celebrate another year married. I know for sure that I will turn 24 (sorry mom). I know for sure that I will take a long walk across a well-decorated stage decked out in a pretty black cap and gown with a few great people.

I know for sure 2012 will be just as good or better than 2011 with the same problems and the same blessings.

And then everything’s going to end in December ;)

How was your New Year’s Eve/Day celebration?

Did you make any resolutions? I completely forgot to do that! Coming soon!

What did that * mean? Well, my mother asked me not to turn 23 this summer. I looked at her and said, “Mom. I already turned 23. I’ll be 24 next year.” She sighed.

It was hilarious.

A not-so-skinny Christmas

Happy Christmas!

I hope everyone forgot to sleep in so they could open presents as early as possible! No one sleeps in on Christmas.

I slept until 8; I got up a little after Husband who waited SO patiently to open his presents. It was like he wasn’t even excited!

Well, I was excited so I quickly initiated the present-opening ceremonies. I sat patiently while he opened one of his gifts: Irish Pub Cooking, which won’t do us much good on our new eating plan. I’ll have to figure out how to skinny every meal!

I cannot wait to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I can see the movie. Is that terrible? I’m reading the book first! By the time I finish, it should be out on DVD to rent. Husband also got me A Grammar of Motives by Kenneth Burke and Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development by Richard Boyatzis.

Yes. I am a giant nerd.

Husband opened his second present. He liked his new sweatshirt, pair of sweat pants with fleece inside and wallet. Husband’s old wallet was in the process of falling apart; it’s a good thing I got him a new one.

Mark it: Sunday, December, 25, 2011 – The first time Husband has made a blog appearance. The dog is in the corner.

Note: Husband is an awesome gift-giver. I am a TERRIBLE gift-giver. The next image should now make a lot of sense to you.

For my second gift, my amazing, wonderful, handsome husband gave me the most beautiful necklace.

So now you will believe me when I say I have the best husband on earth.

Because I totally do.

Yesterday, Husband and I joined his parents, sister and her husband and ADORABLE baby boy (who isn’t much of a baby anymore since he wears sweater vests, walks and makes noises that sound like words).

He is playing “stackable buckets” with his mommy and daddy. Husband and I got him building blocks and a boat load of clothes because he’s gigantic.

I remember saying that Father-in-Law’s cooking would win.

It did. It won so hard I forgot to take pictures because I shoved it in my face a little too fast. On the menu: turkey and stuffing like I’ve never tasted, sweet potatoes with apples and raisins and the best green bean casserole ever. Sister-in-Law made her Spice Cake.

The night before Christmas Eve, she sent me a text message asking what I was bringing for dessert because she burnt the first Spice Cake. I am really really happy she made another spice cake.

I even ate a piece for breakfast this morning.

On Christmas Day, it is OK to eat cake for breakfast. I am the Law.

I made Yes, I want Cake’s Vegan Monkey Bread (without the vegan part).

Finding vegan butter at Dillon’s is impossible most of the time but even more impossible when everybody and their mother is at the store.

The first time I mixed the dough, it did not go well, so I had to trash it and start all over. I am glad I did because it was amazing!

Inside of a Cinnamon RollAfter lunch, we opened gifts!

In addition to his blocks and buckets, the little guy got a fun tent, a tree swing and some turtlenecks from his Aunt Shae. Yeah, I’m that Aunt.

Next year he’ll be old enough for violent toys like Nerf guns :) <— ’tis an evil smile

Husband got a set of tools (with a power drill so we’ll stop borrowing his dad’s all the time) and a new holster.

I got more books! Giant nerd, I already told you. Added to my library: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The conflict between word and image.

Sister-in-Law got me a teapot! The gift is really for both of us – Husband and I – because Husband dumps out my coffee to make tea. Not OK. Ergo… teapot!

The teapot is also going to be a source of endless entertainment: When it whistles, the cat freaks out and takes off to hide in the bathroom. Hilarious.

I hope everyone liked their gifts! I am so glad they got here before Christmas Eve.

For Christmas dinner, Husband made Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken and Waffles, and I ate too much again.  New tradition? I think so.

Now, I am going to my mother’s house to play Pitch with good friends. Every year Jared and Mark come to Kansas for Christmas, we get together and play Pitch. Jared and I are Team ShaJa and Mark and my mom are Team MarMa.

We are so going to win.

Happy Christmas again! I hope it was lovely!

Take me OUT tonight!

Husband and I have spent far too much money eating out this week.

I feel justified in the extra cost, though. Because of my jam-packed work week and Husband’s cold, we haven’t much felt like cooking. Plus, we went out for a few friends’ birthdays, and, after a funeral, no one wants to make lunch.

Les’ funeral was at 10 a.m. today (Saturday, Nov. 19). I cried. A lot. Thank goodness someone brought extra tissues.

The service was nice. His son and pastor gave beautiful eulogies. When his son asked how many people in the room had had coffee with his dad, almost every arm in the room rose.

Coffee drinkers unite!

After the service, Husband and I went to Cinnamon’s Deli with friends for brunch. Their half-sandwich is the size of my head. I got a 1/2 BLT with a bread cup of cream of broccoli soup. Husband got a 1/2 BLT, too. We’re so predictable.

At a near-campus restaurant and bar, the Elliott School put together a come-and-go get together for students who worked on the Greensburg Rebirth and Symphony in the Flint Hills projects. I went to Greensburg. I wish I would have done the Flint Hills project.

On Friday night, our friend turned 34. We went to Sumo to celebrate. I would like to recapitulate the awesomeness here.

Chicken BrothSaladGinger SauceOnion Ring VolcanoFried RiceFried Rice Shaped HeartVeggiesMeatFull Grill

Petite Filet Mignon with Veggies

The little angry sumo dude made me smile ridiculously.

Our chef said his name was Kato. I do not believe him. He made an onion ring “volcano” and talked about pro football with the guys.

He made a fried rice heart for our friend’s birthday. Hilarious. (Our friend who cannot catch shrimp bits in his mouth. Psh.)

I ordered the Petite Filet Mignon with steamed rice and veggies. Happiness. Husband got the Spicy Pepper Steak.

Only complaint: Too much saltiness. A little less salt next time folks.

You should know…

You know you were curious…

Randomness abounds! None of this is even marginally important.

Enjoy :)

Husband calls me “Anxiety Girl!” She can jump to the worst conclusion in less than a minute. It’s a healthy amount of paranoia, if you ask me.

And one day my paranoia will save my life, or the lives of others. I’m a future super hero!

I think the semicolon is the best piece of punctuation ever. Ever.

I am a strange, strange little person. I do and say weird things. I am unintentionally awkward in social settings, even when I’m not uncomfortable! (Usually good for a laugh.)

Husband lets me know that I am weird, in general, when I am being especially odd, and that he thinks it’s adorable :)

I bought my wedding dress on Craigslist for $100 because I’m cheap thrifty

…and proud of it!

I am the spitting image of my mother. We look exactly alike. Except for the perm, and the fact that she was RAIL thin in high school, we could have been twins when I was 18. And my mother looks like my grandmother, who looks like her mother, who looks… well, you get the idea.

I got me some strong genes.

My tongue is tied. I was born with a severe disability. The greatest insulting gesture for a seven-year-old is sticking out her tongue. I, however, cannot stick out my tongue more than a centimeter, if that.

I bite the carp outta my fingernails. For a blissful year(ish), I had fingernails, when Husband proposed. After the wedding, they were gone again. Sigh.

My eyes are green. People tell me: “No, your eyes are hazel.” They’re not. They’re green.

My hair color is original. I grew it all by myself :)

Once, I dyed it red, athen I was in a play so I had to dye it brown, and that was in high school so this is all original!

Speaking of plays…

My first college major used to be Theater Performance. Someone wanted to be famous! (Hint: Me.) I was completely prepared to perform at the Melodrama.

However, I did not live the dream long. It’s not that I’m terrible at acting, I just hated the lifestyle so I didn’t try hard. I quit after my first production at WSU.

Although, I did think about switching to costuming. BTW I do not know the person to whom I am affixing a lion head to. (A little weightier back then… FRESHMAN 15!)

When I was little, like 10 or 12, I wanted be an astronomer. Stars, black holes, physics, gravity, dark matter… All of it. It’s spiff! But then I found out in high school how horrible I am at math and science, and I would have to take 9+ years of school. Needless to say, I’m not an astronomer. Space is sill totally cool, though.

And through high school and my undergrad, I was a hostess, server and bartender. Yee-haw! EIGHT YEARS of this…

This is what struggling actors do, I’m sure… Apparently, it’s the same with…

Writers.

Shocking! A communication grad is a writer?! I know, duh, but I used to be a real writer who got paid for writing (not much, but, hey, not complain’).

Now, all I do is blog (and school and work and more school)… Does that count? Well, it should.

What I want more than anything is to write professionally. I am not picky. I just want to get paid to write. Best. Job. Ever. :)

Also, I want to write a book, and I have a stellar idea that I’m not sharing. The interwebz will not be stealin’ my thunder!

In the (far off) future, I want to be a teacher, specifically a professor of rhetorical communication theory at WSU. Yeah, I want to stay here forever, and would if I could!

Hiring in 10 years? Maybe? Yes? :)

After WSU, if I do not go on to KU for my doctorate, I want to work as a writer, blogger, PR-reporter-social-media-whatever-person for a really great organization who won’t mind that I’m a little strange and awkward, or that I have a weird tongue, or that I refer to my husband as “Husband” in normal conversation.

Someone will hire me… I’m really useful!

What else? Nothing seems quite as interesting after that…

I am a wife-lady (one husband, two pets, one rental, scheduled laundry days, and the like)

I have a step-sister, a half-brother, and an innumerable amount of cousins. (Of, course, that’s ridiculous. I’m just too lazy to count them all.)

I have FOUR nephews. Please, oh please, let the next one be a girl! Why? Hair bows. That’s why.

These are my babies…

And I food and fitness and stuff!

Let me tell you… I am waaaaay more fun, and interesting, in-person. I hope only to translate some of that attitude to my blog.

Remember: On Sunday, Oct. 9, I will be refilling water cups with Brandi Koskie at the Diets In Review water station for those running  in the (recently) annual Prairie Fire Marathon!

And, yes, I will be blogging about it. Live Tweets of the race? Sure! :) Follow @skinnyshae! And probably @runpfm (#PrairieFire) for Prairie Fire!

Tell me something random about you! Do it.

Insanity Fit Test… 1… 1.1… Second Insantiy Fit Test 1

Well… what would you call it?

:)

Since I decided to do Insanity Month 1 again before moving on to Month 2, for which I do not feel ready, I have two extra fit test days. Remember?

Why not?

My First Fit Test
Switch-Kicks: 71

Power Jacks: 43

Power Knees: 80

Globe Jumps: 6

Suicide Jumps: 12

Pushup Jacks: 15

Obliques… thingys…: 30

Second Insanity Fit Test
Switch Kicks: 73

Power Jacks: 50

Power Knees: 80

Power Jumps: 20 (I have no idea why these are not on the other days… but, YAY! 20!)

Globe Jumps: 8

Suicide Drills: 16

Pushup Jacks: 20

Low Plank Oblique: 49

I also figured out the correct names. :)

I’ll post measurements later today. I have so much to do! And I cannot reweigh myself until Sunday when I go to my mother’s to do laundry. We really need to buy a new scale.

Things I’ve noticed:
Studying is not fun anymore.

Seeing my friends once a month is NOT kosher.

Memorizing more and more words makes you forget the words you learned first.

Counting calories is impossible.

I should stop eating meat… except fish.

Multivitamins are awesome.

Finding simple recipes for food is hard.

Drinking enough water daily is actually quite easy, if I would actually do it.

I am never eating cookies again, and I am not allowed to carry vending machine-ready money.

I desperately WANT Top Styler but refuse to pay for it if it’ll ruin my hair.

Sandwich for lunch? I believe so.

Ladies’ Wine Night

The ladies of Wichita State University’s Office of University Relations join together randomly during the year to converse and drink wine.

When I was in my undergrad, I worked as a student assistant to the Media Relations Director at WSU. Well, the director happened to be a man so he was not invited to Ladies’ Wine Night.

However, my editors and other female coworkers were, and, though I may no longer work at that office, I am still a part of Ladies’ Wine Night.

So. Much. Fun.

We join together for grown-up conversations, humus, feta fluff (thanks Quinn!) and wine, of course.

Since I’ve been in grad school, I do not often get to see my friends, and it’s nice to catch up -especially when wine is involved.

I love those women! Good friends, food and red, red wine. What a wonderful evening!

Side Note: I was GOING to take pictures, but I am an idiot and forgot my camera. Sorry.

I did mention a surprise in this morning’s post, didn’t I? Well, I had a hair cut today… and by hair cut, I mean a trim… of one inch of hair… so it looks exactly the same as it did.

I didn’t chicken out! I was going to cut it short. I was.

But, I thought about it, and short hair actually seemed like too much work.

Think about it! When your hair is short, air drying doesn’t work well without proper product and later curling or straightening so you will have to use a blow dryer at some point if you’re in hurry.

Well, in my house, summer time means no air circulation and excessively hot rooms, including the bathroom where I do most of my hair styling. Gross.

How did I style my newly trimmed locks today? Simply. Hair gel and air dry. What happened? Beach waves.

(I also may have just chickened out…)

Insanity Update: Plyometric Cardio Circuit is a horrible, horrible thing. :) I hope to provide you with a little more info and a little less me tomorrow.

Hey! Dana! I didn’t cut my hair! (mylittlecelebration)

Blessings, conferences and friends

On Monday, April 11, my laptop was stolen from my car in a shopping center parking lot. While my car and my body came to no harm, I lost several months of graduate research, more than that in notes and more than more than that is electronics.

Plus, it was the laptop Husband got me for Christmas :(

Not to mention all of my personal information. I had fun changing every password I could possibly think of this week. I got ’em all!

But because it was taken, I’m terribly fearful that whoever took it is going to come get me.

I know. I’m paranoid.

Of course, we’ve got a security system and a gigantic noise-maker (i.e., Ivan the German Shepherd), so I’m super safe in my home; I’m still freaked out.

Sigh.

Here is the good news (and it’s really good news):

My sweet husband and his wonderful parents got me a new one. Yes. A new one. After my idiotic head got the first new one stolen.

I am blessed for my family. I am so blessed.

While my last post was suuuuuuper depressing, this post is much more uplifting, don’t you think? :)

My friends, too, helped me so much. My classmates sent me notes, gave me copies of evaluation forms and let me borrow textbooks, which I’ll probably have to borrow again. They can’t replace my research, though, I have to do that. Boo.

And Ashley R. has been so supportive and let me curse and moan about stuff even though I know she hates it when I cuss. She’s so sweet!

So, while I have returned with new hardware, I will be missing AGAIN because I have a conference to go to. Don’t give up on me! I will be free someday!

Until then… please enjoy what I ate for dinner tonight. :)

Mesquite BBQ Pork Loin (Hormel – It was pre-made), Bush’s baked beans AND…

Crunchy Onion Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients

  • 3 cups  prepared hot mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup  sour cream
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (2.8 ounces)  FRENCH’S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions
  • 1 cup  shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
MIX mashed potatoes, sour cream, milk and garlic powder. SPOON half the mixture into 2-qt. casserole. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup French Fried Onions and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining potato mixture. BAKE at 350 degrees F for 30 min. or until hot. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions and 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 5 min. or until onions are golden.

Pretty tasty. Use reduced fat sour cream, skim milk and sharp cheddar cheese to cut down on calories.

Last night I made a whole chicken!

Chicken with Rosemary-Garlic Butter
Ingredients

  • 1 cup  butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons  chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • (5- to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub butter mixture under skin and on outside of chicken. Truss chicken with butcher’s twine. Place chicken, breast-side up, on a rack in roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking, basting occasionally, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in thigh reaches 180 degrees. Remove pan from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. To serve, slice chicken and pour pan juices on top.

I enjoyed this, too, even if Husband was a bigger fan of today’s dinner.

Have I been working out? Not so much. If it’s any consolation, Ashley R. kicked my butt with stadiums on Thursday. I hurt…

(She made me do a weird track exercise, and I stopped early, and she said, “Do two more.” And I looked at her like a 12-year-old looks at her mother when she says, “Eat your broccoli.” Then, we laughed.)