Monday, August 30, 2010

Anniversary Two

Two years.  Married TWO, WHOLE years!  I can't really believe its been that long already.

A few days ago, I met a long ago friend from K-Colorado for lunch... we hadn't seen, or really talked to each other in over seven years!  As we recapped our recent lives, she asked, "So how DID you and Jarod get together?"  (She was remembering back to our summer of 2003, when all three of us were on staff together - and rightfully also remembering, that Jarod and I spoke only a handful of words to each other those four months in Colorado)  As I gave her "our story".. she said two things: 1] You're giving me chills!!  I can't believe this!! and 2] This sounds like a movie!

As I think back to the five year span from our first 'hang-out-together', where I broke his truck by running over some large metal object in the street.. (it was a low rider truck (ha!), to my credit) to saying our vows to each other, and all the middle part in between, I am reminded of God's sovereignty and God's timing.  It took a long time for our relationship to grow and bloom to where it is now.  We both had growing up to do and we both had our own adventures we needed to take alone before we were ready to commit to each other.  As much as those five years seemed so scattered... they weren't.  They were five intentional years of maturity and waiting and faith building.

I am so blessed with this wonderful man.  It was worth the wait!  And cheers to two years of successful married life and all the adventures thus far!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taiga & the Raw Diet

When we first got the mutt, (don't worry, she didn't hear me type that derogatory reference) the breeder had been feeding her a "raw diet."  She encouraged us to continue with it for at least Taiga's first year.  German Shepherds are highly susceptible to hip dysplasia and the raw diet, being free of any "filler foods" keeps the dogs trim.  Extra weight on the dogs' bones and joints early on in life, can cause a more severe case of dysplasia later.  So, we did it.  We kept her on the raw diet for her first 13 months.  Then we moved to kamp, where there was no refrigeration, so onto bagged, dry food she went.

Well, Taiga is now 3 years old and we have decided to put her back on the raw diet.  Since moving to California, she seems to have developed allergies.  She itches and scratches and bites and her nose runs... and well, the vet said, it's more than likely the difference in air and soil (climate allergies).  The raw diet is high in amino acids, fatty acids and oils (all which are good for the skin).  So, after bouncing around dog foods for awhile, we're back to square one with her and she loves it.

Also (I get this question a lot) the raw diet costs about the same as dry food.  We spend about $40 a month on her dining.

Her typical daily diet includes:

Breakfast - either raw chicken quarters (we keep em individually frozen in foil) or mackerel (1 large can).
Dinner - "the mix" She gets a couple scoops of this at night:
                -Total cereal
                -wheat germ
                -flax seed
                -olive oil
                -whole oats
                -raw hamburger


This amount will last one week.

I call it, "Doggie Pate."


I'm a happy girl with these meals :)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Bit of Birthday

The best part of my birthday was Jarod planning a  breakfast bike ride to a 'lil-diner' in our neck of the woods.  The owner greeted us outside and let us put our bikes in the back room.  The food was super yummy and the waitresses were on top of topping off our coffee, which were served in some hodge podge mugs - love it.

On the ride home, we stopped at a thrift store and I got these great sparkly votives.  I also totally judged, and bought this book solely on the cover.  

The rest of the day was nice and relaxing.  The festivities came to an end at the Conkle's house with a little birthday celebration with my book club (plus husbands).  Heather baked an AMAZING green velvet cake (! - due to lack of red food coloring and in honor of Scarlet O'Hara's green velvet dress - haha!)  with cream cheese frosting - yum :)  Thanks girls, it was a fun nite!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ONE YEAR in SoCal {08.17.09-08.17.10}

On this day, last year in 2009, we pulled the Uhaul in front of our apartment complex and began unloading and starting life in Southern California.  Life started with a bang that day, as our only friend in the SoCal area, a college staff guy from Kamp, met us and carried boxes and couches and mattresses.... {what a blessing!} and an hour or so later, the last item was set in the middle of the living room.

Our friend suggested we hit up the beach right away {love college guy thinking!} We closed the door on that mess above and headed straight to Malibu.  Jarod and Brian played in the water and Taiga ran around like a wild thing {she had been cooped up in the UHaul for several states/days}.  We then celebrated our move with some fabulous sushi in the Hills.  What a great FIRST day!  

It's funny to compare today's day with last years...  to remember all the feelings of nervousness and excitement of the start of our new chapter and to compare that to the 'old hat' feeling of living here now.  The newness of Los Angeles is wearing off a little bit.  We have found our groove, made friends, started jobs, finished two of the five semesters and enjoy our life in a regular, day to day way.  The year has passed quickly and I'm feeling slightly guilty of not savoring every moment.  I am sure next year on this day, I will think back in wonder at how fast time is still flying and hopefully be guilt free.  

I'm thankful we're here.  Thankful the Lord is providing the way.  Thankful for dear friends and rewarding work.  Thankful for warm, sunny weather.  Thankful for close beaches and close mountains and close deserts.  Thankful for a happy husband who is pursuing his dreams.  Thankful for fresh produce and farmers markets.  Thankful for no food tax.  Thankful for fish tacos.  Thankful for this entire experience of city and urban living.  Thankful for this time of growth and challenge and change..   

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kamp Friends

Three of our friends from Kanakuk Colorado (currently Camp Kivu) with whom we have shared many summers together as co-staffers, spent the past few days with us.  So fun!  Never have I met such sincere, polite and gracious college guys.  They were a total blessing to have in our home!  Don Hogan, Double D & Chase Moore, you guys are family and are welcome anytime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a very quick (start to finish: 20 min) and easy cookie recipe I stumbled across tonite.  They are fairly airy, light chocolatey cookies... but still very sweet and requires a big glass of milk or strong cup of coffee.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1 1/4 cps butter, softened
2 cps sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cps flour
3/4 cps cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cps chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar (I used the food processor - QUICK).  Stir in eggs, then stir in vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and stir into wet mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop large spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 min.  Let cool on sheet 5 minutes before removing.

I also think you could spruce up this recipe with adding some coffee grounds to the dry mixture - yum.

Penzey's Spices

Penzey's Spices.  They are simply the best.  My friend, Hannah Huffman, hooked me instantly, when she opened up a bottle of curry from her kitchen cabinet and had me take a whiff.  Wow, I have never smelled anything so splendidly delicious.  There's a Penzey's Spices shop in Santa Monica and Hannah surprised me with this little gift last nite.  Ahhh, my sniffer is in heaven.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Morning Painting

So I have some new workspace now for painting!  (Much thanks to Tim & Jamie Pickavance) I spent a few hours painting there this morning.  I love the window and the natural light.  Not sure if you can see those oranges on the orange tree, but I LOVE IT.  I am on the prowl for a decent easel, so I'm riggin' up those unpainted canvases for now.  

I stopped at this point on the piece, but Im thinking of adding in some bird silhouettes in the background or possibly the word "birdcage" in Hungarian (madárfütty) or in French (cage a oiseaux).  I am into stenciling and the imagery of words... 

This painting is for my friend, Heather (who lived in Hungary for a couple of years).  We were antique shopping a month or so ago and we saw a painting that she liked with an image of a chandelier... so Im sort of recreating the vintage look, but with a birdcage.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A High Altitude Vacation - Durango & Camp Kivu, Part IV

The last leg of the trip was spent in one of our favorite places nationwide, Durango COLORADO!!  We got to relax amidst the beauty of the San Juans for three days before heading back to the city.  It was great catching up with old staff and seeing friends.  A few highlights from the days in Camp were 1] Taiga running around like crazy, enjoying the outdoors as much as us 2] a play day at the lake (blobbing and surfing) and 3] eating at some of our favorite places.

And finally, the 12 hour drive back to Los Angeles - feeling tired, but satisfied with our time away.  

A High Altitude Vacation - Denver & Boulder, Part III

Next stop: Boulder/Denver area.  We spent a few days in Boulder with Maury, crashing at his place and seeing some old friends.  Jarod climbed a route in Eldo and I had a bit of Boulder's famous chai.  While he was out, I felt a bit of a wild streak and pierced my nose "on the hill".  So far, no regrets. 

Next we went on to Denver and had a nice Mongolian dinner downtown. 

Our friends, Nate & Julie Hoag, invited us to cheap seats in the Rock Pile to watch the Rockies take on the Cubbies right down the road from our restaurant.  

We stayed a few nites with Jack & Megan Fisher who also live in Denver.  It was great to see them!  We tubed down a little river through Golden, CO [the dogs LOVED it].

Then we had a converging of friends barbecue in their backyard!  I really wish I would have taken a picture of everyone who made it up for the barbecue.  It was basically a K-CO reunion.  It was great to catch Mitch & Millie in town and meet their new son, Tegegne.  That was a FANTASTIC evening!  

Our last morning in Denver was spent with the Fisher's eating at a Colorado famous brunch place, 'Lucille's' (think down home cajun - YUM)

Next, a 7 hour drive down to Durango, Colorado...