Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Vacation

I just got home for Christmas; Steve and I are playing with my family. A few weeks ago my parents bought a Wii and I played Wii fit for the first time.


video

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What We're up to

We have been up to a lot lately including

Going to the Rainforest Cafe with our friends Tina and Greg


Making bread*


Refinishing an end table**


Steve also finished his third semester at medical school. Get excited.


* This is a fabulous way to relieve stress at the end of the semester.
** Yes, we are doing this outside in the middle of December.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

You know, when Steve and I decided to move to Texas I was thinking I was leaving the cold weather behind. I was ready to have my Christmas 75 and sunny. Apparently not this year



I know this is bad quality, but can you see the white flecks? That would be snow, coming from the sky, in Texas. Steve noticed it first in the morning when he left for school and although I was already planning on wearing a coat to work I added a scarf and gloves.

Steve and I also decorated our house this week. We even got a Christmas tree

We were excited to graduate from the one we had last year that we put on a stool because it was only three feet tall. Steve did a fabulous job being the husband that night by carrying and setting up the tree

Okay, so our tree isn't that big, but we like it anyways.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Week of Weddings

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, but mostly Steve and I were concerned about weddings. Steve's brother, Glen, and Sam, a friend from medical school, were both married last week.

First, we went to Glen's wedding.

This is them dancing at the reception

The wedding ceremony was so tender and the reception was a lot of fun. I was glad they had dancing and I made Steve dance with me.

It was really exciting because we were able to see Steve's family,

Cindy took the girls out to get our nails done,

And after the wedding Steve and I had dinner with some of my old roommates

Thanks Glen and Nicole for letting us come celebrate with you!

We came home on Friday night and then Saturday went to Abilene for Sam's wedding. The ceremony was also very wonderful and we had a lot of fun, despite the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Camporee

These are Fort Worth 8th wards scouts at the Camporee. Steve went with them a few weeks ago and they had a blast. Besides having incorrect information where is was actually being held and subsequently not arriving until about 10pm everything went great. What the camporee entails is 8 events that the scouts compete in. Our boys placed in 6 of the 8 events. Go Fort Worth 8th Ward!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn

Although you wouldn't be able to tell by the 70 degree weather, it is Autumn; you can tell from the pecans. But, we have had some cold days, and apparently it rained 20 out of 31 day in October. A few weeks ago at TCOM's annual powder puff football game it was freezing, and I was almost confident I could put away the t-shifts, but no go.


But, Halloween was fun. The night before Steve and I went to the Hatch's house and carved pumpkins with them and the Radsdales. Derek and Lee are in Steve's class. I'm mostly not artistic at all, but I had fun anyways. Our pumpkin is the one on the far right. Steve did the awesome eye brows and tongue.


We also decided to add a plant to our home. This is Kathy. We bought her at The Botanical Gardens. Now we do love her, but the person we bought her from was just a little bit on the possessive side. He'd been growing her for years. Whelp, $2 later and she was ours. She lives in Steve's study because it needed some green.

You know Carolyn's gone Crazy When:

As we all know this past Saturday we celebrated Halloween, the official start of the holiday season. At work my department decided to dress up like a zoo. I reluctantly put on some cat ears and called myself a panther, but what I was really excited about was the pumpkin cinnamon rolls I planned to make.

Thursday night I came home from work and went straight to the kitchen. I used home pureed pumpkin for them. They rose, I filled and baked and they smelled delicious, all seventeen of them. But, I wanted to make sure they tasted okay. I took a bite of one and wasn't sure. I was mostly confident there was no way I could let other people eat these, but I wanted to get a second opinion. Enter husband. Now Steve is a frank person, but he also knows how much food means to me, so when I asked his opinion at first he hmmed and haaahed. But then, as he swallowed he started coughing and asked for a cup of water. Nice. "You can't win them all he said." I left his study and sat on the couch trying to resolve the issue.

That's when the little guy on my shoulder started talking. "You could always go to the store and buy canned pumpkin; you know it will be better like that." Turning to the left, "But, it will take all that work and it's already 8:45; you need to go to bed on time." And to the right, "You can't afford to go buy donuts in the morning; if you start now you can have them rising and can bake them in the morning." I'm not sure which voice was wearing the red, but it took me about 30 seconds to put on some shoes and head to Target.

Target is the closest grocery store to my house. Although I should call it Super Target. The food makes it super I suppose. I arrived at 8:50pm and rushed to the baking isle. First I grabbed dark brown sugar (the recipe called for this and on my first attempt used light and I needed all the help I could get). Then I looked around for the pumpkin and probably to nobody's surprise there wasn't any on the shelf. But, no fear, I'll grab a sales associate because surely there must be some in stock room. "I'm looking for canned pumpkin?" "Oh, we're out, he was looking for it too, we've been out for a month now." Now, I can understand being out of canned pumpkin; it is the Autumn season, pumpkin is popular. But, really, did the person doing the ordering not think that the month they ordered 10 times as much candy that maybe one person in the entire city of Fort Worth would want to bake something containing pumpkin. Really?

Like a maniac I headed back to the baking isle, tossed the brown sugar back on the shelf and after questioning my sanity for about 1.5 seconds headed to Tom Thumb, the second closest grocery store from out house. I got there about 9:05 and rushed inside, then realized people were probably looking at me like I was crazy, after all who needs to run to the pumpkin when there's only 5 other people in the store. It's not like there was going to be a stampede for the pumpkin. One miracle and a self check out later and we were in business.

I've never mixed dough so quickly in my life, and let me say that yeast works a lot faster when you're not waiting for it to work. But, at 10:30 I was in bed with pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator waiting to be baked. I don't know what was so important about the bloody rolls, but there's a certain satisfaction knowing that I won

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just some stuff

Steve and I have been having fun lately. It's decided to stop raining for a little bit and it's been gorgeous, mid to high seventies. But, it's been cool enough to start baking, so I've starting my official baking season. I've decided to not buy any bread from the store all winter. You can see what I do in Carolyn's Cooking Corner to the right. I'm basically really excited.

This past weekend Steve and I went to Dallas and walked around Southwestern Medical Center. It's his top choice for residency, so we wanted to see what it looked like. It's huge! We've definitely gotten used to our little school. This is a picture of Steve at the campus.


We had five student couples move into our ward this past summer, and we've had fun getting to know them. Yesterday we played games at the Gibson's house. It was great fun. Also, Steve is substituting for seminary this week. He's teaching the Isaiah chapters and is loving it, except for getting up at 5:30. He now has a little more respect for his mom who has worked with seminary for years.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Little Bit of Heaven

Here in Texas we can't decide if it's actually Autumn. I'm sure my friends living in Pennsylvania in Utah are in the full swing, but we can't get the hang of it. One day it's in the 60's the next, meaning today, is in the 90's. But don't worry, the air conditioning at my work makes up for the differentiation, it runs at about 65 degrees constantly. So, no matter if it's hot an humid or windy and chilly I always need a sweater and blanket. But, we received a little bit of heaven today that I don't think we would have received it the weather acted like the seasons prescribed. I found this flying about our lantanas


It flew around for about 5 minutes. It was amazing. I saw it when I came home from work and watched for a little bit. Then, I ran inside to grab my camera. I was amazed that it was still there. For whatever reason it just hung around for a little bit. It was the most perfect creature I've ever seen. Call me a little sappy, but it was really something.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends, Pizza, and Cake

Friday night we had our new friends Megan, Zach, and their baby girl Andi Gibbons over for dinner and a game. We had a lot of fun with them. For dinner we had some pretty fabulous pizza, pepperoni & sausage and canadian bacon & pineapple. I wish I had taken a picture of them. The best part was that it was cool enough to actually bake pizza. For dessert we had some lemon cake

This cake comes from Molly Wizenburg's new book A Homemade Life. It's a delightful food memoir. Read it with sticky notes so you can mark which recipes you want to make. I marked about 30 by the time I was finished. The funny thing about making this cake was the I realized I don't really like lemon cake. Yes, I definitely enjoyed it, and I am definitely going home and eating the leftovers when I finish posting, but while I sat eating it I thought of all the things that would have been better. Steve loved it; it was the tartness of the glaze. It was moist and easy to make. Although I apparantly don't like lemon, if you do, I would recommend it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A walk and a Picnic

As time wound down for me to go back to work, Texas decided to rain, for seven days straight. This is weird, especially for mid September. It was acting like Autumn. During a short pause I decided to go for a walk. It was fabulous because 1) it was cool enough to walk and not sweat and 2) I saw cool things around my neighborhood.


The rain stopped for the weekend, and Monday evening Steve took me on a picnic at the Botanical Gardens to celebrate my going back to work and the test he took that day. I made chicken salad sandwiches, potato salad, and sliced peaches that were extremely disappointing. On my friend Elise's blog she said the cool summer made the peaches not that great in Pennsylvania. Here in Texas we definitely didn't have that problem, but maybe the heat did something to them :)


After the picnic we went to the duck pond and fed the ducks and geese. I've never seen this many geese in a duck pond before; they were intense. As we walked over the moved in on us, squawking the whole way.

Work has been going well for me this week. It's good to be back. Steve is still enjoying school. The little excitement that we do get, besides feeding wildlife, is the TV show The West Wing. We started it at the beginning of the school year and are into the 3rd season. If you've never seen it we would recommend it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time at Home

So the last few weeks I've been spending time at home.

This is me like three weeks ago at Baylor All Saints Hospital

I went in for surgery on August 19th and have been enjoying my time (well, resting) since then at home. For anyone who is shocked or worried at this don't be. I had my first check up yesterday and the doctor said the incisions looked great. I thought this was a good sign seeing that he was one who made them.

So, now I have four fewer inches of intestines and besides being slightly more tired than usual and not able to bend I'm enjoying not having to go to work. I'm knitting and watching TV and reading. Our ward members have been great support to us as well.

Also, thanks to my mom and mom-in-law for all the time they spent taking care of me, my husband and our home these last few weeks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Love My Family

Last weekend my parents and three little brothers came up for the weekend. It was the one week everyone was out of school. I was excited to see them, and my dad and two little brothers Nathan and Bradley hadn't been to Fort Worth to see me yet. Below, I have pictures from three places we went: Water Gardens, Botanical Gardens and the Stockyards.

Bradley, pictured below on The Mountain section, really liked the Water Gardens. It's a park like area in down town that has four sections: silence, aerated, active and the mountain.

The Botanical Gardens were fun as always.

The rest of the pictures are from the Stockyards. We had a blast. What brought us there was the cattle drive. It happens every day at 11:30 and 4pm. It only lasts for a few minutes, but it's kind of cool having long horn cattle walking down the street. Nathan and Bradley did a maze and then, Peter, Nathan, Bradley and I did the electric bull. First of all, the guy went way easy on us. That being said, I now have a lot of respect for bull riders.

It was way fun to have my family come up and visit. Thanks!











Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travelogue

(Not to be confused with our testimonies) :)

This past week Steve and I traveled to Pennsylvania for a vacation and to visit his brother Brant and sister-in-law Coralee


and our niece Annie


Day 1

We flew out on July 4th and spent the holiday with Coralee's family in Gettysburg. This was great because we were able to see the battlefield


It's pretty much just farm land with a million monuments throughout, but it's important farmland.

I also tried crab for the first time.

Delicious!

Day 2

We went to church and played with Memphis in the park. Coralee also made an amazing pot roast

Day 3

We headed out for Amish country on Monday, and we found it


This picture was taken of the parking lot at an auction that we went to. There was buggy parking and car parking. But, you didn't have to go to a farm to find buggy parking

This was in the parking lot of the antique store where we shopped. We also found this at the antique store

The sign says, "Kissin' in the middle of a covered bridge brings you luck, provided it's your own girl you're kissin'." Coralee said that this a is very popular Pennsylvania thing. You can find covered bridges everywhere.

Day 4

We took our travels to Hershey on Tuesday.


Although they don't have tours of the actual factory, they definitely don't let the tourists go away. Besides a full fledged amusement park, Hershey has a free tour of the process of milk chocolate making at Chocolate world. The tour was informational and put a catchy tune into our heads sung by three cows.


In the afternoon Steve and I went to Three Mile Island, where part of X-Men Origins Wolverine takes place. Although, I don't think it was actually filmed there. The site was actually made famous for the worst civilian nuclear accident in United Stated history. We looked at it from the highway and were still impressed with the size of the smoke stacks.

Day 5

This was the day we began our long walks. First was the Appalachian trail. The entire thing covers 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. We hiked about one one thousandth of it.

This is where we began the trail

And where we ended it

This is a lookout over the Susquehanna River. trail is absolutely gorgeous, probably the nicest hike I've ever been on. The entire trail is covered by trees like this

We kept the walking pace by going to Harrisburg and touring the state capital

Annie was way excited to be there

This is the main rotunda


And the artwork around the rotunda. It represents the religious freedom Pennsylvania was established under

This is the rotunda in the Supreme court office


Then we ventured to the Susquehanna

And walked across the oldest surviving bridge over the Susquehanna

The cool thing about the bridge is part of it has a grated bottom, so you can see the water as you walk across it. It's pretty trippy.

And then we walked back to the car, about a half hour walk.

Day 6

This was Washington DC day. Brant measured our walking distance for the entire day and it was somewhere around 9 miles. After seeing the sites I now truly feel American.

First was the Washington monument

Then was the Jefferson Memorial

We spent most of our time, proportionally, at the Holocaust Museum

We were there for about an 1 1/2 hours and could have easily spent twice as long or more. I definitely learned many things about WWII and the concentration camps. The most moving part to me was the train car. You walk through it and so you could picture being pushed into it.

We saw the National Archives

Yes, this is the Preamble to the constitution, made near and dear to me by my 8th grade social studies teacher :)

We went to the Library of Congress, but it was a bust because it closed 15 minutes before we arrivedWe walked past the Supreme Court building

And, then we saw the White House

Thus concluded our adventures in DC. Although we could barely walk by the end of the day, it was worth every minute. It made me very grateful our nations capital isn't in Texas.

Day 7

This was our down day. Coralee and I went in search of an Amish bakery we drove past on Monday. It's inside a family's house and the food was delicious. We spent the afternoon watching a movie and packing our things so we could go to Philadelphia.

My old roommate Elise and her husband Lowell live right outside Philly. We spent Friday night with them


Day 8

Our last day on vacation took us to Philadelphia. We saw the Rocky statue, and ran up the steps at the art museum


We went to the Love statue, Philadelphia is the city of love

Then, we did all American history sites

First the liberty bell

Then Independence Hall


Third, the second bank of the United States, which has been turned into a museum, housing many original portraits of the founding fathers.

Fourth, Benjamin Franklin's grave site. We also went to the location where his home stood.
I'm fairly curious if his body is still there, or if they've removed it for security reasons. Also, I was curious about the money...it's not a water fountain, but whatever.


Lastly, Eastern State Penitentiary. This is the oldest Penitentiary in US history, built in 1836 in the manner of a castle. Amazingly, it didn't close until 1971. It's left in semi ruin, and, as such, you really get an idea of the awfulness of it. This was probably one of the coolest things we saw.

Some things of note about the penitentiary: Al Capone stayed there for eight months. He received some nice amenities that the other inmates didn't receive. Also, when it first opened all prisoners were in solitary confinement. The founders thought this was the best was to reflect on life and bring about penance.

This is Steve inside one of the cells. The toilet on the left was added later, part of renovations.

Saturday night we flew back home. On the way to the airport we stopped at the coolest convenience store ever, Wawa. They have food that actually looks delicious and it delicious. Plus, they have a full service sandwich bar, where you order on a touch screen. Brilliant. So, if you're ever in Pennsylvania I would recommend as a rest stop.

As I'm finishing this Steve will be starting school tomorrow. His break was good, and we're excited for another good year.

Thank you to Brant and Coralee and Elise and Lowell for opening your homes and being our tour guides. We had an absolutely fantastic time!