July 27, 2010

A Cloudy Day...

I've been withholding, Groupies.

PS - from now on (or until I forget, or get tired of it), you who read this blog will be termed "Groupies".

It makes me feel popular and famous (even though there are only like 5 of you).

Blame Steve - he got me thinking about having cute little nicknames because he decided that he wanted a code name like what The Pioneer Woman has for her husband, Marlboro Man.

I was like...what the hell?! Has he ever even read my blog? Obviously not or he would know that he already has a code name. Sunshine. It's the title of the blog, yo. I am the Jellybean and he is the Sunshine...

So from now on (or until I forget, or get tired of it), Steven will be referred to as Mr. Sunshine. 

Which is totally fitting because he is my sunshine, on many a cloudy day. Which leads me into what this post is actually about...

...a cloudy day (or two).

I almost didn't write this post, Groupies, but then decided that I owed it to myself.

I almost didn't write it, because somewhere along the line, this turned into a cooking blog. And as I continued to use it as a cooking blog, and I "met" dozens of other cooking bloggers, I started getting away from the actual reason that I started this blog:  


I didn't really want my new blog friends to judge me or stop reading my blog, and I didn't want my "real" (for lack of a better term) friends and family to worry about me. 

And also because I am a technological failure and I have no idea how to make separate tabs, so that people that come her for a recipe can click on a "cooking" or "recipes" tab, and people that come here because they like to listen to me ramble, vent, bitch or cry, can click on a "ramble and vent, you crying bitch" tab (now would be the time that my geeky computer friends would step in and do it for me show me how, please?). So I just started to eliminate the journaling all together, except to share happy news or to tell you how awesome I was.

Well...right now, Groupies...I am not feeling particularly happy or awesome. And even though I don't want any of you to judge me, or worry about me, or stop reading my blog - I have to do what is best for me.

So now you get to listen to a very sad story. Feel free to stop reading now if you want to.

Once upon a time, when I was pretty young, I fell in love with a man. I spent all of my time with this man, moved away to college with him, then to a different state, got engaged, moved back to our home state and eventually got married. We bought a home together, supported eachother through personal crisis, family deaths, failures, disappointments, victories and happy times.

But somehow, somewhere along the line, the thread that was our marriage began to unravel.

It happens in every marriage - you put too much stress on your rope, and it starts to break down. If you tend to this troubled spot, and work at it and fix it and care for it...then the thread doesn't break. It gets stronger. If you ignore it, and pretend like it isn't happening, it eventually becomes a weakness in your rope. And as more trials, tribulations, miscommunications, stresses and problems rub bare spots in your marriage...if you don't fix those fragilities...eventually, your thread will break.

We let our thread break.

And after making a series of the hardest decisions I have ever made in my life, we made a permanent separation, and I set to the task of trying to repair what was left of my life. And what a task that was. I had no idea where to start. We had been together since I was 17 years old, and for over a decade...more than a third of my short life. Where do you even begin?

Day by day, with the help of my family and friends, I learned to put one foot in front of the other when I felt like it was impossible to do anything else.

And then I met Steve (aka Mr. Sunshine). Steve is a caregiver by nature, and he provided me with exactly what I needed: patience, support, love, and lots and lots of attention.

Not long after we started seeing eachother, he was diagnosed with cancer.

I attempted to give all of those things back to him that he had given me (love, support, patience, attention).

The thing about Steve is, though, that he is always more concerned with everyone else, instead of himself.

When I sat through chemo with him, he held my hand, and said comforting things to me. When I would feel scared or overwhelmed, he would tell me that everything was going to be ok. And we got through it.

He became my rock. My security blanket. My platform from which I could go out and find myself and heal.

And I did. With the continuing help of him, my family, some fantastic friends, yoga, self help books, cooking, a therapist, several cases of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, blogging, and hours of snuggle time with my dog Kempton, I started to feel more like myself than I had in years.

But then, after a very long separation that included several hours of discussions, fights, negotiations, and bargaining; my estranged husband and I finally filed the divorce papers. I signed the final document yesterday.

I thought I would feel relieved. Happy. Free.

Instead I got out of my attorney's office as fast as I could, and had a giant meltdown the second I got into my car.

Years of sadness, guilt, doubts, fear, anger and frustration hit me like a freight train.

All of the feelings that I had thought that I had worked through and dealt with came back to the surface. Wounds that I had nursed and licked clean and let heal felt like they were reopened.

For whatever reason, I felt like I needed to have some communication with him. To apologize. To say a few things that I needed to get off of my chest. And then, to say goodbye. So I did. And I doubt he could understand a word of it, I was crying so hard.

Then I came home to Steve's open arms, always patient and understanding (even when I know, if the situations were reversed, I wouldn't be able to be nearly that calm or rational), and I cried it out.

Then my soul friend Stephanie called me and I cried it out again.

Then Steve took me out for sushi and for a walk on the beach, and I cried it out again.

Then I woke up today, feeling exhausted and like I was beat with a metal pipe, and put one foot in front of the other. I went to work, I showed Steve how much I love and appreciate him, I went to yoga, I made a homemade chicken pot pie (don't worry - I already had the filling ready, I just had to thaw it, assemble it and bake it) because comfort food always helps, and I sat down to tell my story here.

I understand that some of the people that read this might think worse of me. Maybe you don't believe in divorce, or don't believe in starting another relationship before the divorce is complete. Maybe you think I should buck up like a big girl. Maybe you think I went about it all wrong, made mistakes from the very beginning. Maybe you think I took the easy road.

Maybe you love me anyway.

Either way, I just wanted to share with you how I was feeling today, and why. Because this blog is more than just a cooking blog to me. And I owe it to myself to be honest about my mistakes, and learn from them.

Because some day, this might be a distant memory...one that doesn't carry any weight, or pain, or sadness.

Or maybe in a couple of weeks when the judge signs the papers, and my divorce is official...maybe I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and know that without a doubt, I am going to be just fine.


But for now, I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

In the meantime, thanks for listening to me. And thanks to all of you who have put your judgments aside and shown me support and love over the past couple of years. I appreciate it more than you know.

"fail spectacularly forward"  ~ Swami Rama

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Have I kept you in suspense long enough?

Or did you already eat all of your leftover Spicy Shredded Chicken anyway?

I don't blame you if you did...but now you have to make more!

Sorry it took me so long to get you this recipe...part 3 in the delicious series of spicy chicken posts. The problem was (and still is) that I haven't got the pictures for this recipe off of Steve's camera yet.

I finally just decided to post the recipe, and update it with pictures later. Don't get too excited...Steve wasn't there to shoot them for me, so even though I used his fancy camera they probably didn't turn out as good. But don't worry, I am going to bribe him into taking more food pics for me soon.

This recipe is super fast, easy and really delicious. I realize that it is summer and you don't necessarily want to eat soup, but this one was totally worth it. It is one of my new favorites. I didn't have to add any seasonings to it at all, because the chicken, lime and tomatoes are so flavorful. If you substitute something else other than my Spicy Shredded Chicken recipe, I will kill you  you may have to add salt, pepper, or Mexican seasonings (such as chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, etc), as needed. 

I am trying the recipe for Spicy Shredded Chicken again this week, except with pork, and in the crockpot. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup (this recipe is enough for 2 - 3 people, but could easily be doubled)

  • 1/2 pound leftover Spicy Shredded Chicken
  • 1 - 2 cans Rotel tomatoes (I used one and a half...they are 10 oz cans), undrained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 (7 oz) can of diced green chiles, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno (I used the kind in a jar)
  • 3 - 4 cups of fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large handful of chopped cilantro 
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Avocado, for garnish
Throw the chicken, tomatoes, beans, lime juice, chiles, broth and cilantro in a large pot or dutch oven, heat over medium high heat until simmering, turn down to low. I only used one lime in the soup, and then served the bowl with individual lime wedges because I love lime and Steve doesn't...and this way I can control the amount of lime for each serving. If everyone eating is a lime fan, I would definitely juice two into the soup. Serve with garnishes, and don't leave out the sour cream! That with the lime really makes this dish. ENJOY!

Printable Recipe

July 22, 2010

Spicy Chicken Tostadas!

Layer upon layer of deliciousness.

And I have more good news: for the first time ever, Steve agreed to take food pictures for me! With his fancy Nikon DSLR (which means: Digital...um...Slimming, yup...Lindsey...Rachel! Or maybe it has something to do with the camera...either way, I just know it takes way better pictures than my point and shoot). So I will not be apologizing for crappy pictures today. I am happy to share with you some real food photography here! Give Steve a hand - it was his very first time shooting food, and it was late in the evening...he did a wonderful job. Thanks Sunshine! Please shoot my food pictures all of the time. Please?

Back to the Tostadas.

Although it could be considered a crime to use something other than my delicious Spicy Shredded Chicken in this recipe...I suppose, if you must, you could substitute ground beef, steak, pork or chicken that has been simply seasoned with taco seasonings. Or lime and cilantro. Or both. It wouldn't be the same, but I suppose it would suffice.

You could also switch up the ingredients in the other layers...use re-fried beans instead of black beans, add a layer of spanish rice or guacamole, or sauteed peppers and onions...go ahead and modify it to suite your taste. But the original version is spicy, tasty, filling, and wonderful beyond compare. Just so you know.

I'll let the pictures do the talking...recipe at the end.

Layer 1: Spicy Chicken with shredded pepper-jack cheese.

Layer 2: Black beans.

(sorry - this pictures was blurry because I was moving) Layer 3: Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilies

Top Layer: Sour cream, lettuce, red peppers, avocado, shredded pepper-jack cheese.

And the finished product.......................can I get a drum roll please.....................................

TA-DA!!! This one was Steve's, because he is a salsa man. This particular salsa is my mom's homemade variety...the special jars that she makes for me without corn in it, because I don't really like corn in my salsa. I mean, I love corn. And I love salsa. I just don't really like them together in the same jar. And call me crazy, but I love taco sauce. So that is what I dumped all of the top of my tostada. But I digress...what I wanted to say was: Try these. Soon.

Spicy Chicken Tostadas (makes 2, but can easily be doubled)
  • 1/2 pound* of Lindsey's infamous Spicy Shredded Chicken
  • 8 tostadas (or fry your own corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • 1/2 can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup of shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced (I squeezed some lime juice on it so it didn't turn brown)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup of lettuce, shredded
  • salsa or taco sauce (optional)
Make sure your chicken, black beans, tomatoes, and tostadas are very warm. I spread my tostadas on a cookie sheet and let then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes, and I kept the grill warm to keep the chicken, beans and tomatoes hot. I would recommend having all of your fixings out and ready to go, because you are going to want to work fast so that everything doesn't get cold and/or soggy.
Start with one tostada, layer on half the chicken and 1/4 of the cheese. Top with another tostada and half of the black beans. Add another tostada and half of the tomatoes. Finally, add the 4th and final tostada, topped with half of the lettuce, avocado, red pepper, and 1/4 of the cheese. Repeat the entire process on the 2nd plate. Top with salsa or taco sauce if you desire. Enjoy!
* Notice that this recipe only uses half of a pound of chicken, but the spicy shredded chicken recipe makes a full pound...this is because the remaining half pound will be used in the last recipe of this feature, Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup. If you are cooking for more than 2 people, double (or triple) the chicken recipe to ensure that you will have enough meat for both the tostadas and the soup...they use a lot of similar ingredients and are both very delicious!

Printable Recipe

July 21, 2010

Spicy Shredded Chicken

Holy crap.

This chicken was to. die. for.

This post is the first of three posts that involve this chicken (this is the basic recipe).

The other two recipes are for Spicy Chicken Tostadas and Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

I would recommend doubling the recipe, firing up the grill, and making this as soon as possible.

Yummy in my tummy.

Spicy Shredded Chicken
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup of beer (I used Steve's open Budweiser)
  • 1/2 cup Zing Zang bloody mary mix*
  • 1 teaspoon good quality cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon good quality chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of oregano
 Preheat your grill to 350 - 400 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish.

Place on grill (in baking dish), uncovered, and cook until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally (It took about 20 minutes).

Shred cooked chicken with two forks, tossing it in the juices.

Place chicken (in baking dish still) back on the grill to keep warm and moist until you need it (or so that you don't just eat it right out of the pan).

Printable Recipe

Stay tuned for Spicy Chicken Tostadas, coming soon to a computer near you!

*If you like bloody mary's, this is a great mix (thank you Chad for introducing us to it!). No, I am NOT getting paid to advertise for them, I just love me some bloodies! PS - they have more recipes using Zing Zang on their website.

Wednesday = Hump Day

Happy Wednesday everyone! Wednesdays are my Thursdays, because Thursdays are my Fridays, so I like Wednesdays.

I got up early this morning and went for a jog, did crunches, pushups, and then a couple rounds of sun salutation (which is a yoga asana)...what is wrong with me?

I am wearing a new outfit today.

Steve's youngest, Andy, told him last night that I would be a good step mom (you know - if he had to have a step mom). How funny is that? I mean, don't get ahead of yourselves, but that is a pretty nice compliment, wouldn't you say?

PS - evidently the reason I would make a good step mom is because 1. I am nice, and 2. I like to do fun stuff. Did you know that those were the only prerequisites? I giggled.

I ate a delicious bowl of the tortilla soup I made last night...the recipe for which I will give to you, but only after I torture you with 2 other food posts leading up to this brothy deliciousness. And possibly a couple more posts of me rambling.

So - all in all, it has been a pretty good day.

And shortly I get to go hang out with my sweetie.

Today I feel grateful for all of the good things in my life.

July 19, 2010

Margherita Pizza

This could possibly be all that I need in life. Mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. The end.

Remember how I told you that Steve's mom gave me a bunch of fresh basil out of her garden?

I couldn't resist.

The above three ingredients were made to be either:

1. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar


2. Put on a pizza

Either way, they needed to get in my belly. On this particular day, I decided that a pizza was the way to go.

*Insert evil cackle here*

I had leftover tomato basil sauce from when I made The World's Most Difficult Spaghetti and Meatballs (kidding), but you could make this easier by using a store bought crust (or pita bread, french bread, english muffins) and a jar of pizza sauce or just some tomato paste.

Either way, when the cheese gets all melty and gooey, and the cherry tomatoes burst forth in your mouth...you'll....you will...um...well, you'll be really, really happy.

Margherita Pizza

  • Your favorite pizza dough (or whatever vehicle you want to use as the base of the pizza),
  • 1/2 to 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 tablespoon or less olive oil
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin rounds (buffalo mozzarella, if you have it available)
  • Handful of fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough out until it is very thin. Place on a pizza stone and brush with a small amount of olive oil. Pre-bake crust* for 5 min or until the edges start to get golden (keep a close eye on the crust in the oven - you don't want to over cook). Remove from oven and add sauce, basil, cheese and cherry tomatoes. Use the sauce sparingly...fresh mozzarella cheese has a lot of moisture in it, and you don't want it to get soggy. It also helps to use thicker sauce (closer to the consistency of tomato paste if you can). Return to oven and cook until mozzarella is melted and tomatoes are getting wrinkled. Delizioso!
* If you are using pita bread or something already cooked, you can omit this step.

Printable Recipe

Garden Update 3.5


In my garden.

Chewed right through the mesh deer fence.

My peas. Oh - my poor peas.

And my corn.

And some pepper plants.

Lindsey not happy.

Steve stepped in with chicken wire.

Lindsey ok now.

Can stop talking in third person.


I'd like to see the little buggers chew through metal.

If by chance they do, the next step will be to make the fence electric.

No, I am not at all dramatic about my vegetable garden.


Pictures and garden update IV to come later...

...when things have calmed down.

July 15, 2010

Garden Update, III

I am just a blogging fool this week, aren't I? This one will be short and sweet, and then I will leave you alone...probably until Monday or Tuesday. I just wanted to give you an update on how the gardening is going...without posting too many terrible iPhone pics. Once again, my apologies on the grainy pics!

This is the Italian Grilling Pepper plant that my dad gave me...it has one pepper on it, yay! None of my other pepper plants have peppers yet.

My "Early Girl" tomato plant...it is huge! Like 3 feet high. No tomatoes on any of my plants yet, just flowers.

Oh - my poor little basil. Will it ever get big? I hope so...

Corn! It seems to be growing pretty well...however, something is eating some of the leaves off of certain plants. Bug? Squirrel? I have a fence, but there is a gap between the bottom of the fencing and the landscaping logs...little bugga!

In other garden news...my green beans are doing very well. They are thick and tall and climbing on everything. My peas seem to be doing good, but they are much fewer than the beans (unfortunate, because I prefer peas). My carrots are growing and one tiny little romaine heart poked through the soil. Steve's mom gave me more lettuce seeds to plant, but I haven't planted them yet. I guess I am afraid to fail. Again. My onions are going crazy. Hopefully I will get some better pictures soon! Stay tuned!!!

July 14, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs...from scratch

My camera is broken. It must of have got sand in it while we were at the beach last weekend...the lens won't even open. I think Steve brought it in to get looked at, but in the meantime......

Instead of my terrible point and shoot pictures, you are going to be subjected to my terrible iPhone pictures!!! Hooray!!! Sorry. Anyway...

I wanted to make something special for the kids (by special, I mean delicious and healthy) for dinner on Tuesday night because: 1. I kinda like them, 2. I love to cook, and 3. I know Steve doesn't love to cook - especially on weeknights when he has the kids because time is so limited. I have been probing them about food lately (Do you like this? Do you like that? Have you ever tried this?), and found that they ALL like spaghetti...Katy and Chris with meatballs, Andy without (but he said he would be willing to pick them out).

Then, Steve's mom gave me a pile of fresh basil from her garden (as you will see in a future post, my basil is still limping along), and I promised Katy that I would make her something with it.

*Lightbulb!* I could make spaghetti and meatballs with fresh tomato basil sauce!!! Plus, I have large quantities of Steve's family's homemade Italian sausage in the freezer which would be perfect mixed with beef for the meatballs! It just seemed meant to be.

So, Monday after work I went to the grocery store, armed with my list.

I got home around 5:15pm and went to work.

Steve and the kids were out of town for soccer, so it was perfect. I could make the meal, put it in the fridge overnight, and then on Tuesday night while I was at yoga, Steve would have a delicious home-cooked meal to serve the kids.

Holy labor intensive, batman.

I have never made meatballs before...I usually prefer bulk hamburger, venison or sausage mixed in with my spaghetti.

And evidently I usually make real tomato sauce on weekends when I have plenty of time to cook. Or I just make it from canned tomatoes. Or something.

It was 9:30pm before I was done. And that didn't include cleaning up or letting the sauce cool enough to put it in tupperware.

Can you say "Meal of Love"???

All I could think was that they better really enjoy this dinner. Which, according to Steve - they did. Although, after finding out how much effort went in to it, I think he would be afraid to tell me anything different.

But I thought it was delicious! So I am going to share the recipe with you. Just be forewarned that this probably isn't a good weeknight meal...unless you don't have a job, or can start early afternoon. Enjoy!

Meatball! (Again - sorry for the terrible pics)

Yum! I used whole wheat fettuccine noodles because that was all I had. I told Steve to pick up some thinner pasta for the kids though.

My table for one, outside on the deck with a much needed glass of wine (I had to sample it before I fed it to the kids, right? I mean, what if it was disgusting?).

Spaghetti and Meatballs (serves 6 - 8)

  • 5 lbs fresh or frozen tomatoes, cored (And peeled if you desire. I didn't.)
  • 4 - 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 4 whole carrots, chopped (I was sneaking veggies in! hee hee hee)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (don't worry - the sauce cooked for about 4 hours, so the alcohol was gone)
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes, you can adjust this)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons of beef bouillon
  • dried or fresh oregano and thyme
  • 2 pinches of crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your tastes)
 Melt butter in large sauce pan or soup pot (I use my enamel coated cast-iron dutch oven), saute onion, carrot and garlic until tender. Add wine, let simmer for 3 - 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and let cook for 1 - 2 hours, or until tomatoes are broken down (while this is cooking, you could assemble the meatballs...if you were smart...and didn't want to create a new playlist for your ipod to listen to while you were running). Reduce heat to low. Add basil and if desired, blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached (you could also use a blender or food processor, or just chop tomatoes and basil into small pieces). Season with sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and crushed red pepper.Continue cooking on low until you are ready to add the meatballs (see below).

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or you could use regular bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (grate extra for topping pasta)
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until combined. Roll meatballs into golf ball sized pieces (I got almost 20), and set aside. Heat oil in a skillet over medium - medium high heat. Fry the meatballs in batches (don't crowd them) until they are browned on each size. This took me about 10 minutes per batch and I did it in 2 batches. When they are good and brown, place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. After all meatballs are browned, increase sauce heat to simmering. Place meatballs in sauce, cover and let cook for 30 minutes.

While meatballs are cooking, cook spaghetti noodles until al dente, heat up some garlic cheese bread, and make a salad. Check the seasonings in the sauce one more time and add salt, sugar or spices if necessary. Serve spaghetti and meatballs with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!!

Printable Recipe

July 13, 2010


Here are some pictures of the kids at the beach last weekend. As soon as the camera came out, Katy (Katie - but right now she wants her name spelt K-a-t-y) was all over it. She was making us all pose for her and do funny things for the camera. The good news is that we actually got some really cute pictures...they are beautiful children. Andy is the only one who got Steve's green eyes, but they all have his super long dark eyelashes and olive skin. Enjoy:

Andy. 7 years old and already a total smart ass, just like his dad (hee hee hee). He is lucky he is so damn cute!

Katy. 9 years old and an excellent helper (and planner!). She is hauling firewood for our fire.

Chris. 12 years old and funny, laid back and sensitive. He told Steve last week that I was "way out of his league". It cracked me up.

I wanted to get a nice photo of Steve and the kids, but we just had my point and shoot, so this was as good as a totally un-gifted amateur photographer can do. Pretty cute though, aren't they all?

And me...as Katy was posing me. This was a series of shots were Andy was also posing with me, but he got bored of it and left to go tend the fire before we got a good one.

Me and Katy. She asked Steve on the way home if I could come and sleep over. The next night at Steve's parent's house she asked me stay over again. I think she wants a slumber party...not sure how the boys feel about that yet though...although Chris was making up songs about "Steve and Lindsey kissin' in a tree..." and then it went on to say something about Lindsey suddenly having three children that don't look like her...what a clown! I told you he was funny - some of the things that come out of those kids' mouths...highly entertaining.

Chris dancing and showing off his Justin Bieber hair.

Andy, all snuggled up in some towels.

Katy and Tick.

And after a long photoshoot of Steve and I posing for Katy in funny (and unflattering) positions, one of Steve, Andy and I. Then Steve made her put the camera away so we could all relax and enjoy the rest of our evening.

I have to say that with the kids it's been so far, so good. They seem to genuinely like me and I really like them too. Andy seems a little confused and he gets really clingy to his dad when Steve and I are close to each other. I think part of that may be that he just doesn't get to see his dad as much as he would like. But when Steve asks them how they feel about me, they all say good things. So really, I couldn't expect things to go any better than they have. Fingers crossed that we will continue to make progress!

July 12, 2010

4th of July Weekend

It just wouldn't be a holiday weekend without a wonderful, loving, dysfunctional family...would it? This 4th of July I got tons of family time (and Steve got a big dose too...hee hee hee...lucky guy), and we have the pictures to prove it. Steve and I spent an hour yesterday going through and deleting the pictures we didn't want to keep, and there are still 261 pictures left. TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE. And that was just Saturday through Monday. We didn't even break out the camera Thursday or Friday. Because I care about you (and your sanity), I will not be posting all of the pictures here. In fact, I won't be posting anywhere near all of the pictures. Instead, I will post a handful here and then I will upload the rest to a photo sharing website for those of you who I know would like to see them all (and possibly order prints). 

My mom and a couple of her other sisters (she has 6) decided to plan a family reunion over the 4th to get everyone together. It was a very good weekend and it was really fun to see everyone. I had tons of family in town from Alaska to Texas, and I got to spend some time with some of my aunts, uncles and cousins that I hadn't seen in a very long time. Saturday afternoon was the main reunion, and we hung out at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. Some of my mom's cousin's and other extended family made it as well. Here are some pics:

My mom and two of her sisters

Grandkids and great grandkids on the slip-n-slide (did I mention that it was like 90 degrees?)

The group (with the exception of a few people - who had either went in to take a nap, or escaped to go to the lake to cool off)

My cousin TJ...I couldn't help it. I can't remember why he was crying but he is just so adorable I had to capture it (sorry TJ!)

My mom, dad, brother and I

Cal taking pictures with my Grandpa's old film camera. Remember when cameras had actual film??? Notice Cal's hair, ok? Remember how long it is for future reference.

Grandma, Grandpa, my mom, her sisters, and their cousins

My mom, grandma and myself

My uncle Tom and Avery

Sunday afternoon my brother, Steve and I went fishing. Remember how long Cal's hair was on Saturday? Check it out after I took Steve's clippers after him...

Now isn't that just so much better??? And the picture (using the fish eye lens) is pretty cool too.

Sunday night we went over to my aunt Georgia and uncle Kirk's cabin (which is just on the next island from my parent's cabin) to have dinner with them and some of their friends:

Dad and Mark

Hanging on the dock, watching the sunset.

Karen and Cal

Marva and Bob

Mom, Karen and Georgia

 Steve and Gale

Beautiful Rainy Lake sunset

On Monday, some of my mom's family came out to the cabin to do some swimming and tubing...it was another gorgeous day! Before anyone arrived, however, Steve and Cal went knee-boarding. Yes, I am aware that knee-boarding went out in the 90's...but we don't have a wake board, or whatever it is that young people do now for water sports...all we had was the old O'Brien board that Cal and I used when we were kids. I just had to show you some pictures...mostly because I like the way Steve's biceps look when he is holding on to a ski rope, but also because it is humorous watching grown men knee-board. Check it out:

For the record, Steve made it look easy - whipping 360's and even at one point taking the knee strap off, sitting on the knee-board and trying to barefoot ski...Cal was in pain after a little while and needed to take a rest. Not that I should talk...I probably wouldn't have been able to even get myself up.

And on that note, I will leave you with a picture of my cousins tubing on Monday afternoon...I realize that I ended up putting in more than a handful of pictures, but it was such a fun and eventful weekend, I just couldn't help it!