Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Today marks our second wedding anniversary. It's kind of hard to believe! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Something totally new

I have been going to a new yoga class over the past several weeks which pairs students with mentors. My mentor is a therapeutic touch professional and offered me a free session today. I wasn't sure what to expect. I will say I partially believe and am partially a skeptic if that makes any sense but was definitely open to the experience. Without really touching me at all she used a crystal, and her hands inches away from my body, to assess the energy in my chakras before clearing any blocked energy and redirecting my energy flow. It was definitely interesting and she invited me back again next week...we'll see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New friends

I am so proud of Joe. In the very little spare time he has, Joe has started volunteering by teaching English as a Second Language. Through this opportunity he is teaching ESL once a week for several hours to a refugee student. Tonight we were invited to his student's house to have dinner with him and his family. They were amazingly gracious people from Iraq and so very interesting. They fed us and fed us and fed us until we couldn't eat another thing. And I was even given a hand knitted black and white scarf as a gift. I feel like since I have been living here, I've been opened up to all sorts of new friendships and relationships whether it be like this one through Joe's ESL teaching or through my church. I feel so incredibly blessed by the many people I have met.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A big sigh

Take away the good news of having a healthy niece born yesterday and I have had one of the most stressful weeks (Joe, too) that I can recall in a long while...I will elaborate only by saying it had to do with neighbors and dogs. I was supposed to meet up with some hometown friends tonight but the weather kept me from that so hopefully I can see them tomorrow morning barring any more thunderstorms. In addition, I have a church volunteer meeting, a romantic dinner out with my husband and the movie Salt to look forward to the rest of the weekend. Here's to hoping a bubble bath helps ease some stress, I can get a good night's sleep and my weekend can be as uneventful as possible!


My niece finally has a name - Brylea Jean. Brylea is a combination of Bryon (her dad) and Lea (my late cousin). Jean is my middle name, my mom's middle name and my grandmother's middle name.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet my new niece

I have a brand new niece! As I write this post, she STILL does not have a name but she was born at 1:41 pm today (July 22) and weighed in at 8lbs 2oz and was 20 inches long. Today would have also been the birthday of my great grandmother on my mother's side which is also very neat.  

My sister Cathy and her new baby girl
My brother-in-law Bryon and proud big sister Adyson

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Meet Hurley

Joe and I have been doing some dog-sitting for this guy. He is so adorable!! He is about 25 lbs of pure fluffy cuteness.


Take me out to the ballgame...

While B was here we also went to Wrigley to watch the Cubs play the Phillies. Despite my tshirt - which actually belongs to Joe - I am from Missouri. That means I can't quite let myself root for the Cubs. But I was curious about Wrigley, too, and the game was a lot of fun. Cubs won and we got to experience a truly historical ballpark on a beautiful but hot day.


Breanne came for the weekend to visit so that we could go to Lilith Fair together. The lineup varies from venue to venue but we got to see Kate Nash, The Court Yard Hounds (two of the Dixie Chicks), Heart, Mary J. Blige and Sarah McLachlan. There was a time in the late 90s when I completely wore out my copy of Mirrorball so hearing Sarah McLachlan sing, "I Will Remember You" live was especially gratifying. Lilith also signified an event we'd always wanted to do but never had the opportunity to do until its resurgence this year. So much girl power!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where is Cesar Milan when you need him?

I have posted before about my dog Crumley's high energy level. It also seems that in the process of all his rambunctiousness, he is constantly whacking his head on things and usually just remains completely unfazed. In fact, a few days ago, he knocked his head into my shin as we were both walking up the stairs (well, I was walking and he was running). Anyway, I have an ugly bruise on my leg from that incident. Today, I bent over to pick up his leash and he got so excited about the possibility of going outside that he jumped up at the same time I was bending over and whacked me in the head. I seriously thought for a split second I was going to pass out. I sat down immediately and clutched my head in my hands when I realized I was actually bleeding. A trip to the bathroom confirmed instant swelling and now I am icing and praying for no black eye. Meanwhile, he is napping.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Field Museum

Yesterday Joe and I spent the day at the Field Museum. I am not sure what I was expecting but who knew that so many dead animals could fit inside one museum - wow. Aside from the T. Rex Sue, I especially enjoyed the mummy exhibit and a look at all the many precious gemstones. We had a wonderful time and spent several hours there. You can find more pictures and a video of our experience at Joe's blog.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Today's Friday adventure

Today's Friday adventure took us to Wicker Park to eat at my favorite Chicago pizza establishment. (Confession: I do not like deep dish pizza so living here is not all that it's cracked up to be when it comes to Amy/Pizza.) After the thin crust pizza love, we went to our favorite independent movie theatre which we get to all too rarely because it's a bit of a jaunt for us; today we saw Cyrus. I loved it and especially liked Jonah Hill in this dark comedy. Last night we saw Winter's Bone which is set in Missouri. It might be the best movie I have seen so far of 2010. Toy Story 3, of course, is not far behind.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

So easy, so good

I have been wanting to make this Barefoot Contessa pasta dish for awhile...I'd say maybe a year and a half or more but it has actually taken me that long to find truffle butter - seriously. Our local Whole Foods has now started stocking it and so we had this super simple meal tonight with garlic rolls and salad. Joe proclaimed it to be the best pasta he's had in the last year so I thought it would be blog-worthy.

Kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces white truffle butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8.82-ounce) package Cipriani tagliarelle dried pasta or other egg fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 ounces Parmesan, shaved thin with vegetable peeler

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, exactly. (If you're not using Cipriani pasta, follow the directions on the package.) When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan and toss it with the truffle cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water as necessary to keep the pasta very creamy.

Serve the pasta with chives and shaved Parmesan.

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