November 29, 2009


Have I mentioned that I love food? I love cooking, I love eating, I love reading about food, I love planning meals and menus. I would say that probably 75% of my time is spent thinking about food in some capacity. Cooking has been very therapeutic for me during the last few months (which explains why I look like a jellybean), and I have really enjoyed experimenting with recipes and seeing what I can create.

Tonight I am baking left over lasagna. I love it when I make something delicious, and have so much left over that I can freeze it, and eat it later. It makes me feel smart. And powerful. Other things that I have in my freezer, just waiting for a day when I want to eat something delicious but don't want to work hard include: pulled bbq pork; ravioli with homemade tomato sauce (not homemade ravioli. I am not Martha Stewart for gosh sakes); half of a delectable beef roast, frozen in au jus...just waiting for a crusty roll and some provolone cheese to make french dips; chili. See how smart I am?

I think this week I am going to make vegetable soup. Like, the Weight Watchers zero points kind, except with my own choice of veggies. I love to make giant batches of this and freeze individual portions so when I am feeling fat, I can eat this for a couple days. Not sure that it actually makes me skinnier, but it makes me feel good about myself. Which is all that really matters. Other things I am craving are stir fry, tacos (traditional ground beef ones, on hard shells), and chicken pot pie. Oh, and this. The Pioneer Woman rocks the world, and I have spent countless hours pouring over her blog and trying her recipes. This sundried tomato pasta salad haunts my dreams. I make it, eat it for a week, then crave it again as soon as its done. I don't know what is wrong with me. But just look at it...

For the record, this is the picture from the PW website...I am not this good at taking pictures. But when you make it, it looks just like this. When I make it, I make the following alterations:
- I use the oil from the sudried tomatoes (instead of using regular olive oil). It's more flavorful, and why waste all of that oil?
- I add a roasted red pepper to the dressing. Trust me.
- I use extra red wine vinegar.
- I also add extra basil. Because I love it.
- And finally, I buy a rotisserie chicken, shred it, and add it to this salad. That way I can make it a main dish, rather than just a side. That gives me an excuse to eat more of it.

You should really consider trying this as soon as possible. Or any other recipes on the PW Website. If you need suggestions, let me know. More food blogging to come...

I am thankful.

I realize that this is a little belated, but I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and following weekend)! After much deliberation (and a secret phone call from Steve to Cal, plotting to get my parents to call me and invite Steve and I up to the Falls), we decided to head up north. We went to Georgia and Kirk's for Thanksgiving dinner, and then went up to the shack Friday with my parents (pictures to come later). It was a really nice weekend - Steve got to meet everyone (including my nephew Sam), and we got to spend some time with my parents. I think it went well - everyone behaved themselves accordingly, and made both Steve and I feel very welcome. I am very thankful for that. Here are some other things I am thankful for:
- My family. All of their quirks, flaws, oddities and challenges. I love them very much.
- My friends. The love and support and patience they have shown for me over the last year has been amazing. I will not forget.
- Kempton. Even though he smells like mud, the shack, and the beer/clamato I spilled on him. Even though he farts and hogs the couch. And leaves dog hair everywhere. He is the best snuggler ever. He never ceases to make me smile, even during the most difficult times of my life.
- Brett Favre. How much more fun has it been to watch the Vikings this year? Seriously people, we should be thankful.
- Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Yay.
- Food. Just in general. I am thankful that I have enough and I am thankful that I am gifted enough to make a little magic every once in a while.
- Nice weather in November. I love that mother nature is as big of a procrastinator as me sometimes. Let's put off winter until next November, shall we?
- The golf course near my house. In the fall/winter/spring, it acts as a giant, beautiful dog park for Kempton to run free of his leash. 
- Steve. Because he tolerates me, despite of all of the above. Mmmmmuuuuuaaaaa!

November 23, 2009

Um...Yes Please

DISCLAIMER: If you are a heterosexual male, don't even bother reading this post. Just close the window now.

I was going to post about how delicious our food was when Steve and I went to the Scenic Cafe on Friday night (Fondue and Sea Scallops, yummy!), and about how much fun we had making Christmas cookies at his parents house on Saturday (his family is so sweet). But then I came across this picture...

And it just didn't seem right to post the grainy, shadowy pics I took with my iPhone of the rest of the weekend. Gina and I went and saw New Moon on Saturday  night, and I'm not even kidding you - the first time that Jacob Black took off his shirt, there was a gasp and all of the women in the theater started to giggle. It was ridiculous. And totally awesome.

November 19, 2009

Thank you.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support that you guys have shown me, but I am going to try. This is by far the most difficult time I have ever gone through (or ever dreamed of going through), and I just wanted to let you know that I am very thankful for each of you. You learn a lot about who your friends are and it is interesting to see who sticks by you...even if they may not completely agree with what you are doing. I don't know what I would do without you. Sometimes just a positive or encouraging word from one of you is the difference between making it through the day or not.


"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." Walter Winchell

I know that eventually the rest of the world will come around, and someday everything will be good and happy and normal again. I just wanted to say thank for being there when things are not ok, for holding my hand and taking things on faith.

November 18, 2009

On a Lighter Note...

Here are some pics from our trip to the cabin 2 weekends ago...It was so peaceful and beautiful and very relaxing. THANK YOU very much Mom and Dad for letting us use the cabin. It is my happy place :)

Notice my bare feet - that is how warm it was. We sat in the sun all day!

Night-time with the cabin all lit up
Beautiful sunrise

Tell me that you don't love Kempton's ears. How cute is he???

The moon was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday night.

There are more pictures...dozens more in fact, but Steve is holding them hostage on his Mac and they are super huge files and I don't know yet how to compress them and make them usable. So until I figure that out, I am at his mercy as far as which pictures I can post (which is why most of them are of me...aren't you lucky?)

Chemo Sucks.

About 6 weeks ago, Steve was diagnosed with testicular cancer. A week later, he had a radical orchiectomy (they removed his right testicle). The results showed that it was definitely cancer...Seminoma, which is a slower growing and easier treated form of TC. His surgeon was confident that they removed all of the cancer, but his oncologist suggested that he do 1 -2 rounds of chemotherapy just to be safe. 

Here he is getting his infusion. Yes, I bucked up and went with to hold his hand. Despite the fact that it was in a hospital. With sick people. And doctors. And needles. And blood. I didn't even pass out! I may or may not have hyperventilated a couple of times when the nurse was trying to draw blood and decided it was a good idea to shout out things like, "the blood stopped flowing!", and "Jean, come over here and bring your tourniquet!". Oh, and I almost punched somebody in the face when I found out that the Pharmacist and Steve's doctor were having an argument about whether or not he should have "that big of a dose" of the carboplatin. Seriously - the pharmacist literally did not even want to prepare the meds for Steve, because he felt that it was much too large of a dose. Of poison. Awesome. But aside from all that, we both survived our first chemo experience. It's been almost a week now, and things are going ok. Thankfully, Steve is tough and very optimistic and calm. I am none of those things. So we are a good match, right? Right??? 

Anyway, I just wanted to say that my heart goes out to ANYONE who has ever had to go through chemo before. And to their caretakers. It is a difficult and stressful thing, and I've already found myself praying that he doesn't have to go through another round...please please let his doctor decide that this one mega-round was enough...I can't imagine if he had to do several rounds. Because I'm sure with each round it gets harder and harder for your body to bounce back. But if it means that the cancer doesn't come back, then I guess its worth it. And you would be surprised what people can handle. Without being able to drink away their problems. 

November 17, 2009

What's in a name?

I'm sure everyone (and by everyone, I mean my Mom, who is probably the only person who will take the time to read my silly blog. Thanks Mom!) is wondering why I picked the name Sunshine and Jellybeans. But before I explain, I have to tell you all a little bit about a very important person in my life...Steve. *sigh*

Steve is...wonderful, sweet, thoughtful, generous, smart, funny, fantastic, yummy and pretty much just all around perfect for me. He has been a huge support for me over the last few months and I don't know where I would be without him. Those of you who have met him can attest to that and those of you who haven't - well, you don't know what you are missing and I hope you get the chance to get to know Steve very soon. You'll hear more about him as we continue with this blog thing.
Back to the name thing..."Sunshine" is what I call Steve (a term of endearment, if you will), and "Jellybean" is what he calls me (probably because that is what I am shaped like. Kidding Steve!). Go ahead. Go throw up. Puke, brush your teeth, and then come back. I'll wait.
Are you done? Because now that we have that out of the way, just shut up and be happy for me. Please? I realize that this is not the ideal situation. I wish that things could be perfect and that I could do things in the right order, and that no one ever had to deal with the consequences of my actions except for me. But unfortunately, that isn't always the way it works. So please cut me some slack. Everyone could use a little more Sunshine and Jellybeans in their life. So I'm rollin' with it. And I promise that this blog won't be all about gooey heart pounding soulmate romantic love of my life crap. Ok?

First Things First

Ok, here we go. So - I am blogging now. You can blame The Pioneer Woman. And Gina :)
They made me do it. Forced me. 
Anyway, the bottom line is that I am blogging, so I hope that whoever (if anyone) decides to read my blog will 1) get to know me a little better 2) have a laugh every once in a while (or a cry - tears are good sometimes!) and 3) will get to stay updated on my crazy, dysfunctional life.
And I hope that it will be fun and therapeutic for me too. But remember, you are reading my diary (of sorts), so please don't get offended or frustrated. In fact, those of you who get offended easily should probably just stop reading right now. Close this window. Because I like to swear (it's how I express myself sometimes!). And drink wine. And probably do a lot of other offensive things (like use incorrect grammar and double negatives). But if you have a thick skin and a good sense of humor - by all means, let me be your cheap entertainment! YAY! 
Oh, and bear with  me - I am not super tech savvy, so things might get dicey.