Monday, June 28, 2010

Dork update

What I'm watching:

Otaku goodness.

What I'm listening to:

I couldn't resist any longer. I'm a sucker for cheesy dance music, and Lady Gaga's songs are way to catchy.

What I'm playing:

I'm honestly not playing anything really. I pick this up every now and then, but I'm waiting for a new PSP (since the kids broke the old one...) and for Persona 3, PSP version, to come out in July.

What I'm reading:

I just finished reading this one. There were a few parts I didn't care for, but overall, I did enjoy the book. I guess it's asking too much to repeat the absolute genius of the original Kushiel series, but I will say this was quite good.

That's all I have at the moment. I feel like my life is on hold while we wait for all the pieces of buying a home come together. It's quite frustrating.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strawberry season

In the past few years, I've started to really love strawberry season. We've gone strawberry picking the past 3 years. It's the absolute best- freshly picked strawberries are so delicious.

Particularly with kids, strawberry picking is a lot of fun. Burns a few calories, and entertains the kids, all while collecting copious amounts of healthy deliciousness. There's just something fun about watching the little ones pop a fresh strawberry in their mouth, red juice dripping down their chins (and on their hands, nose and somehow forehead...) and then tossing some into the box, delighted to help.

Of course, even more fun is doing stuff with the strawberries.  The easiest is just a wash, and a few spoonfuls of whipped cream.  The place we picked strawberries sells smoothies- I had one that was simply ice and strawberries blended in the blender, and John had one that was milk, strawberries and ice.  Both were delicious, though I though mine was the best.   Of course we had to make strawberry shortcake.  Sliced strawberries, a touch of sugar to draw out the juices, angel food cake and whipped cream.  Perfection!

Strawberry season wouldn't be complete without a pie though.  Strawberry Rhubarb pie is absolutely delicious.  Because we're still living from a suitcase, my food processor is put away.  Hence, I did not make pie crust from scratch.  But it still turned out quite good, even if it was almost a disaster.  The recipe I used gave inaccurate times, and it was very liquidy.  Luckily, I saved it by cooking it an additional 40 minutes (!!) covered in foil.

9” pie crust, plus some extra for top.
4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour

Mix the sugar and flour with the fruit, let sit a few minutes to draw out the juices.  Pour into pic pan, weave top crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees for another 40 minutes.  If your crust looks like it's burning, cover pie with foil.  Let stand 20-30 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!

Next year, I hope that I will be able to harvest some of my rhubarb.  I can't believe how well it's growing right now.  In April, I planted it in a small oatmeal container.  In May, I transplanted it to a bigger container.  There's currently 6 lovely stalks growing.  I can't wait to get it into the ground.  And since I'll also be growing strawberries, I will literally grow and bake a pie next year from scratch.  Am I a huge dork for being excited by that?

Remember kids, don't eat the Rhubarb leaves.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

A few things happened when we had kids that I didn't expect.

Sharing the best man in the world was tougher than I thought. I find myself a tad jealous every now and then, missing the private time we had together before kids. Particularly because my mini-me has him so wrapped around her finger. Of course, it's a thing of beauty, the daddy-daughter relationship. I can't help but smile seeing the two of them interact.

Watching our kids grow also meant watching ourselves grow. While I knew John would be an awesome father, his natural skill as a dad is awe inspiring. I think there's a connection between being an awesome dad and an awesome husband. If I could make a list of all the wonderful things John does with the kids that makes me life easier, I'd start with diaper changes, continue on with taking the kids out when I need a break and end with bedtime routines. Because John does it all.

I feel blessed to have such a companion, and look forward to the journey still ahead of us. I know we're in for good times and bad times, but there's something wonderful in knowing that no matter what, it's something we're in together.

Of course, if you still doubt the awesomeness of John, here's the absolute proof:
A good daddy wears his son, especially when getting dorky pictures with Idols. ;) (I just wish I could've gotten Liam in the picture too.)

Happy Father's Day, My love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pix the home owner?

Life has been so chaotic, but I'm back. Sort of.

I always thought I'd be the type to enjoy house hunting. And now that I've done it, I have to say it. Boy that was a stupid assumption on my part.

When it comes to decisions, I am the most indecisive person ever. Ask me where to go out to eat, and I'll say "you pick..." And John is just as bad. So making an important decision, such as where to invest thousands of dollars for a home...that was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I think we looked at about 15 places. And then we'd pick a place, and something wouldn't go right. The first place we liked already had an offer. The second place the owners weren't taking less than asking. I was beginning to think we'd never find a place we liked.

In the end, I think I shocked myself. I picked a small house with lots of land. I knew I wanted land, or at least enough space for a garden, some chickens, and a place for the kids to run and play...but I also thought I'd want a place much bigger than what I wanted. Instead, the place is 3 bedroom, 2 full bath...about 1100 square feet. The kitchen is small- probably one of the smallest kitchens I've ever had in my life. The "master" bedroom is teeny tiny.

But the most I thought about it, the most I liked it. The potential. With all the land, there's room for everything I want, plus room to add on an addition (or two), a deck and a pool.

The best part, at least to me, is that I liked it the first time we looked at it. John didn't. We took a second look, and I tried my best to convey everything I thought and felt about the place. What we could there, and here. And in the end, he agreed. I don't know if he loves the place like I do, but it made me happy in that sappy romantic way that the place we picked was something I "fell in love with."

Anyways, I'm very excited for this place to close and be ours. It doesn't need much renovation, it does need a lot of redecoration. New carpets, some paint, get rid of some paneling...very psyched to do these things, and make it mine. It's something I've wanted for a very long time, and something I wasn't sure I'd ever get.

*fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong*