Monday, October 29, 2007

An Arizona Getaway

We were in Phoenix for the weekend. We took off work Friday and flew out early that morning and got back late last night. The purpose of the trip was to visit friends, Mark and Shannon Krenz, and TJ Fech. Mark was my Youth Pastor in middle school and high school. They were both very influential people in my life and especially had an impact on the way my faith was shaped growing up. They have been married over 8 years now and have two little girls. TJ and Chris have been friends for a long time, and I met TJ when I was at Purdue. We all went to Mexico together in 2004 for a mission trip and that bonded our friendship closer. He's engaged now and it's amazing to see the way God has changed his life for the better by moving to Tucson.

Both friends moved out there for the purpose of planting a church, individually. It was so interesting to see the stark contrasts of each philosophy of ministry and the way they are going about pursuing their callings. It was so helpful for Chris and I to see the major differences because it gave us a better understanding of what God might be calling us to next...whenever that is.

I got to cook for the Krenzes, which they enjoyed. They hadn't had an "adult meal" since the girls were born, so they pulled out the champagne glasses and table linens to celebrate.

Though short, the weekend was a great time for Chris and I to reconnect and get away from house projects and the never-ending "To Do" lists that haunt us when we're at home on the weekends. We got to catch up on sleep, have great conversations, be silly with each other, and laugh a lot. I love my husband.

We really missed our Marlow, but our awesome neighbors and friends took good care of him. What a blessing not having to board him!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He's Here!

Our good friends, Rachel and Randy, had their baby boy today. Jaxson Reese Spinks arrived at 12:45pm, weighing 8 lbs. 8.5 oz. and 21 in. long. What a cutie he is! After being induced, Rachel popped him out in an hour and 15 minutes! We're so excited for them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Engagement Day

Friday and Saturday I worked long hours preparing and working an event for Saturday night. Sunday we worked sun up to sun down on the house. We're making progress slowly but surely. Chris is so smart about remodeling, it amazes me. The master bathroom is almost done. We just need to get the toilet in, the cabinet, and the hardware. And the trim for the window. So close. Chris finished putting up all the insulation in the ceiling and walls for the laundry room, and the drywall is almost all up. This weekend Chris's dad is coming again to help out. He has been such a huge help to us! They have fun working together and it goes a lot faster with at least two people knowing what they are doing, and I just get to help hold things, fetch things, measure things, and feed them.

Today I embark upon a marathon of working 2 weeks straight without a day off. Sometimes it's draining, and I'm sure by the end I will feel exhausted, but for now, I'm feeling optimistic about it. The hardest thing is coming home and not feeling like I have enough time/energy to keep up with the house, cook, and be a good mom to Marlow.

Finally, for today, I just wanted to let ya'll know that 3 years ago today Chris and I got engaged. Here's the proposal story in short:

I was house-sitting for the Lemans in West Lafayette while they were out of town. I'd go to class then stay the night at their house. I was working as Office Manager at the time for Purdue Christian Campus House. Chris surprised me by delivering a dozen red roses to my desk. That was a Wednesday. When I got to work that day, it was such a sweet surprise and it made my day. The next day, Thursday, when I woke up, I came down the stairs from my room in the house I was sharing with two roommates, and found another dozen of the same roses in a vase on the table. That was also a surprise! Two days in a row...something was going on. Low and behold, Friday morning I received another dozen, this time hand-delivered from the boyfriend himself. A note was attached that read, "Join me tonight for dinner and dancing. 7:00. Wear something nice." Ooh la la! Indeed all these flowers and now a date was leading up to something special. So I finished classes and work for the day and went to my house that day to get ready for my date. He picked me up that night and we drove away. I was suspicious once we turned into the addition, street, and then driveway of the Lemans' home. He punched in the garage code (he had called them and asked for permission to "use" their house that night--they were more than happy when they learned why) and we went inside. He had set the table, lit candles, and had more flowers were on the table. The best part was that he had gotten Thai food from our favorite place and it was in the oven keeping warm. So we had our dinner. Then onto the dancing. He had put together a CD of a bunch of songs that we ended up dancing to. In the middle of one of the songs (For some reason, I think I remember it being Sarah McLachlan's "Your Love is Better Than Chocolate.") he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I can't say I was shocked just because of all the events leading up to it, but it was indeed a good question to be asked and I, of course, said yes. I have a wonderful husband and it's been a great journey for the 2 years we've been married so far.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Fun with Marlow

If you're an avid blog-reader of my site, you already know how much I love my puppy. He's 9 months now. Tonight his best friend, Ace, came over to play. They are so cute together. We went on a long walk, then to the park where they can chase each other off-leash. It's the perfect place for them to run off their energy. It cracks me up just watching them interact. Ace can far outrun Marlow even though he's a lot smaller. Marlow is fast for his size (45.3 lbs. at his most recent vet visit), but Ace's little legs know how to tear it up.

Since today is Tuesday, I cooked all day from home. We are in the middle of several home-remodel projects, including the sanding and painting of all interior doors. We have a tarp duct-taped around the doorway to block off the kitchen from the garage to keep the air in. Last weekend Chris worked more on the painting and installation of the pocket-door-to-be that will soon take its place between the kitchen and laundry room. I'm looking forward to having an enclosed laundry room at last, and a new closet for all my catering/personal cheffing equipment. It will feel much more sanitary not storing it all in the garage where moth and dust destroy.

Molecular gastronomy, anyone? I'm currently reading the book all about the science of flavor by the pioneer himself, Dr. Hervé This (pronounced "tees"). He is the only person the the world that currently holds a doctorate in molecular gastronomy. It's really a fascinating subject that combines the worlds of food science, physics, and culinary arts. Here's a snippet from the introduction: "What exactly does molecular gastronomy deal with? And how does it differ from the well-established field of food science? Some historical perspective will be useful in answering these questions, but generally speaking it is correct to say that food science deals with the composition and structure of food, and molecular gastronomy deals with culinary transformations and the sensory phenomena associated with eating." If this kind of science were offered in high school, I think I would have been much more interested in the subject.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tonight's Grub

We had over one of Chris's co-workers tonight for dinner. He requested a classical French menu since that's what I went to school for, and here's what I made:

Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs with Mixed Herb Gremolata
Gorgonzonal Polenta
Shaved Brussels Sprout & Shallot Saute
Apple, Chevre, Honey Tartlets

...with a wonderful Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 to accompany.

Also, we are dog-sitting Ace tonight so that Rachel can get some sleep. She's due in 1 week!!! But it sounds like she'll be ready in more like 2 weeks. I'm so excited to be Aunt Carey!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fun with Family

It was a quick weekend, but good to spend time with family and see people at the reunion in Dixon, Missouri. I got to meet my newest little cousin, Cole Andrew. He's now 4 months. We all went to the St. Louis Zoo yesterday with a ride on the carousel and train to top it off.

Some animals...

My mom and we look alike or what?
Sweet baby Cole. He's so cuddly.
What about us? Do we look alike? My twin brother and I.
My grandma will turn 99 years old in a month!
I love her. She's the best sister-in-law ever.
My whole family, minus Chris and Marlow.