Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Micah


Born on Thursday am to mommy Stephanie & daddy Scott.

I got to Naples just after lunch on Saturday.  Seeing him lying with Stephanie, I forgot just how small new born babies were.  And I wracked my brain for the last time I had been in a hospital to see one…we decided it was for Logan-11 years earlier!

It was a nice weekend, quiet-I was solo as Adam had to work.  Stephanie’s parents watched her middle child and I stayed home with Logan.  Her husband was in Miami for a marathon. (I know! right?!)

So Logan and I went out to Applebee’s for dinner.  He got a milkshake and I let him stay up until he decided to go to bed (11:30!)  He informed me “ That why I love you” ha ha.  Then the next day I bought him a donut. (His first in 6 months he said) Got to do what I got to do to be his favorite Winking smile.

While I loved that I was able to be there for Stephanie and spend time with her and the baby, it was very hard.  Thinking that I too should have been in that spot in just a few months.  With my own small human to take home.  It wasn’t an easy drive back, but Adam was more then loving when I got home and was full of hugs for me.

We realize that it will happen for us again when the time is right.  So for now we can we rejoice in the new life of Micah the tiny little boy that stole my heart this weekend.



Going home in the same outfit his mommy, uncle, cousin and brothers wore.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hunting up North

Adam & I continue to keep the notion of moving up north in our heads and so I occasionally look at houses up there.

Once I found the perfect 1960’s house on a huge lot with tons of room and a lot of work to be done. (we want a home we can make our own-just need good bones )

Well he got an email from a company up in Raleigh regarding a job opening, so before he even called them back I jump on and look at what’s available.

Keep in mind I have some pretty specific likes and dislikes.

1. I do not want a house in a subdivision that was built on the cheap from a cookie press.  I didn’t go to school for 3 years busting my a** to go live in a cardboard box.  I just can’t do it.

2. The older the better. I figure if it’s still standing after 50 years they did something right.

3. Trees. I want trees and a BIG yard; 1/2 acre or more. We will have 3 dogs. something I just recently realized and kind of freaked me out.

4. 3+ bedrooms 2-1/2+ baths. (a 4/3 would be ideal)

5. A separate dining room and even a formal living room or den.

Today I found this:

Look! Trees!!!!

It’s a 4 Bed, 2.5 Bath; 2,721 Sq Ft on 1.04 Acres

I know I know-it looks like my parents house. But a coat of paint and it might have it’s own identity.

Hideous right??? but I’ve ALWAYS wanted a spiral stair Smile all it needs is an update…I swear.


Can you say cupboard space!!  Yes and more updating-but that’s what I want.


ya!!! double ovens!!!!


built-ins….I can fill those up thank you very much.


TWO sinks! I might have to sneak the wallpaper past Adam-but it would all come down and the carpet up!


All for me??? Is that cedar I spy??


Did I mention it has a “basement” BONUS (on and they did a killer job on the vacuuming!)

It also has a HEATED Garage-Ya for Adam! Oh and there’s an office and work shop and a fireplace!  man o man. 

ahhhhh the land of real-estate dreaming is fun…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I’m silly

I have a nice selection of cook books at home; Crockpot cooking; Cooking light; Gourmet Cooking; Dinner on a Dime…. but it seems every time I look for a recipe I hop online and find a recipe, print it out and add it to my box.

Maybe it’s because I sit at a computer all day (I know that’s why) and around 4 o’clock I start wondering what to cook…so google-ing is easiest way I guess.  This website is great:  You just put in what you have and it spits out recipes!

Tonight we’re going to have a venison loin roast.  I’m going to use this recipe as a guide:

Roast saddle of venison with a ragoût of broad beans, peas, and smoked bacon

The recipe is British, so I’m going to have to Americanize it a bit…

I’m also going to do some carrots (we’re out of o.j. so I’ll have to modify my normal preparation) and I’m going to try a red skin recipe I found on another blog.

This technology thing really is changing the way we live!

Wish me luck!


Adam’s new camera takes GREAT photos

They’re clear, crisp, sharp and HUGE Space hogs.

Each picture is 2-3 megabits.  I know we can probably adjust the setting on the camera lower-but then doesn’t that defeat the purpose of taking great shots?

The other night I decided we needed to upload the photos from his camera to my computer-you know for safe keeping. (I also have them on Snap Fish-my backup)  Anyways, I keep all my photos on my backup drive.  When I got this computer I made sure I got a Lot of space- a whole 80 gigs! WOW that was a huge upgrade from my 9 gig laptop from 2001. 

I remember talking with my dad about it and him saying “you’ll never fill up 80 gigs.”  Well guess what.

Yep. Full. And I wasn’t even done putting the picture on the computer yet. 

“Adam!” I yell.  “The hard drive is full, we’re going to need to burn discs or get some other storage” 

The next night Adam is on the computer and tells me for $90 we can get a 2 terabit external hard drive. Tera what???? So we Wikipedia it (seriously never thought that would be a word) and find out that a tera is like 100 million mega or what nots….basically it’s a crap load of memory.  And believe it or not, it’s not the size of volvo!

WD Elements Desktop 2 TB External hard drive - 480 Mbps

This whole situation made me realize that the way we view pictures has completely changed.  For over a 100 years we would get physical photos and put them in a book. I still do this occasionally,  but now the majority of our photos are on our pc and online in “storage banks”. 

This got me thinking, How will my grandchildren flip through my “photo albums”? 

I used to LOVE to look at my grandparents old photos and still pull out my folks’ books when I go home.  There is just something about opening an old book with pictures stuck together that smell a little musty and taking a trip down memory lane or glancing into a page in history.  I really hope that this isn’t lost as technology advances.  I hope that people still print their “best” photos and that our books will be put on a shelf waiting to opened, to be shared and to be cherished.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things that make you go mmmmm!

When we were in Germany for our Honeymoon we got fresh bread EVERY morning.  Adam made the trip in the cold early morning down the 1 million steps to the lobby and back up while I waited under the warm covers.  He would arrive with a paper bag that held our rolls.  
Europe 171
Early on we both realized which the best one was. 

The Pretzel roll.
When we got back to the states we still dreamed about those rolls.  So finally one day I started looking around and I eventually found a recipe.  We tried it with great anticipation and thank the heavens it was pretty darn close.
The recipe is pretty easy to make and you most likely have all the ingredients in your pantry. So I dare you to make these, eat them with some smoked meat and some cheese, then tell me you are not totally hooked.
I have some baking right now. Adam will be so surprised when he finds them waiting for him.  This is the second most requested item from him.  The 1st being Schwarzwald Kirsch Torte, but that is a whole other post entirely.

Recipe from Epicurious

Pretzel Rolls
Yields 8 roll


  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 envelope quick-rising yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
  • Cornmeal
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
  • Coarse salt

Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and celery seeds in food processor and blend. With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough. Process 1 minute to knead. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 8 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly. Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball. Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up).
Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up. Repeat with remaining rolls.
Brush rolls with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Serve rolls warm or room temperature. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Re-warm in 375°F oven 10 minutes.)


Monday, January 24, 2011

Feet Candy

I have been in DIRE need of new shoes.
Adam knows this and has told me repeatedly, go buy some new shoes. 
But I know we have to be frugal and I can get by with what I have which is probably more than most people.
However, I realized yesterday that I really needed new shoes when Adam laughed at me.  I had on black ballet flats (Target, on-sale, 3+ years ago) with black socks (because it was cold out!)  Luckily I had a pair of 9 year old boots (OMG they are really that old?!?!?) that looked much better.
I headed to the mall to get my friend a birthday gift…and decided that it was time to tackle the shoe department in search of black flats.
Well lets just say I didn’t find any black flats that fit my need, but I did find some lovelies that I made the decision to bring home and put to good use.
Meet my new friends:
I am obsessed with the retro 20’s & 30’s styles out there; the Mary Jane’s, the t-straps anything with that vintage feel.  And I’m in LOVE with Gray shoes.
IMG_4703 IMG_4702
The suede was an added bonus…I just forgot how you’re supposed to treat it! I haven’t had suede shoes since 2nd grade.
IMG_4710 IMG_4707
These I found in the clearance section of DSW.  They just make me swoon-if a pair of shoes can do that! Love the satin bows and the herringbone fabric…so très chic. I might have to go to Paris in this pair.
Finally-the deal of the day. Originally $59; DSW price $45, but with a Yellow clearance sticker.  Wait what is yellow? why that would be 80% off! I snagged these cuties for a whopping $9.  And they’re Dr. Schols-so they’re good for me, right?
In my defense-Yes I needed new Black Heels and brown sandals. the other two…well, I was on a roll and they were too cute not to get!
Plus Adam said to. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Love Story

Eight years ago I was living at my parents house in Pentwater patiently awaiting my graduate school applications.
My brothers were 18 & 13; I was 24.  You see we are pretty well spread out.  When I moved away to collage my littlest brother was only 7 years old.  I asked him if he remembered me living there before-and he said yes, but barley.  Joseph, the older of the two, was awkward and gawky when I left for school and we were never, well, close.  He wanted to be, but I saw him as an annoying little brother.

So this year I spent at home I looked at as a make up year.  A make up for all those years I missed them growing up because I was too busy living it up in the Zoo.  This year I became very close with Joe and we actually became friends.

As I was waiting to see where I was moving to, Joseph was gearing up to start his Freshman year at WMU.  He was a senior and ready to leave the small town behind and begin his own story.

You see this isn’t a love story about me.  It’s the love story of my little brother who fell in love with a girl one summer.  A girl my dad told him to talk to.

Now forgive me if I get some of these facts wrong, but again, this isn’t my story.
Joseph had a serial girlfriend.  You know the on again off again girl who we all knew wasn’t good for him, but in his defense, made him happy and they dated for most of high school.  Luckily during one of their “off again” times Joseph was involved in an event for area high school talent; Showcase.  He was in a “band” so they applied and were excepted to perform.  I’m pretty sure I went-but my memory fades me if it was a video I saw or the real deal. 
Anyways, they weren’t that good, but he spent a few days down in Muskegon with other area students performing.  In the program they had other students listed; writers, artists, athletes and there were pictures of these students.
And I recall my dad pointing to a picture and saying “Joe! Check her out! You should go talk to her.”  Her name Jennifer Skodack.   Sometime after that he did talk to her and she, SHE, gave him her number.
I still remember lying on the kitchen floor watching him call her the first time from the corded phone on the wall.  He was nervous, but he asked her out.  I helped him pick out his outfit, fix his mop of rock star hair and gave him a pep talk.

Thus began the Joe & Jen era.  They went to prom together, Joe’s not Jens. (he had tickets to Red Hot Chili Peppers and passed on her invite!)  Spent the summer commuting between Pentwater and Muskegon and basically falling for each other.  I was now living in Florida; so I would hear stories from him about all the fun they were having.

In the fall Joe moved to Kalamazoo and Jen to E. Lansing.  That year they spent weekends together when they could, taking the bus to visit each other.  I asked Joseph what they did, he said “She makes me study! We go to the library so she can do her homework and makes me do mine”  We were really starting to like this girl.

Jen spent that Christmas with us down in Florida.  We were bunked up together on an air mattress in my Aunts den.  (We had met 3 times.) I awoke one time during the night with Jen’s arm mid air ready to cuddle me. She looked at me and quickly turned around and went back to sleep.

The next summer they both got jobs at a restaurant 1/2 way between Pentwater and Muskegon.  From what I heard it was a fun summer and Jen had made the decision to leave MSU for U of M.  This would put them 1.5hrs apart, but this time they both had cars.

The relationship went on this way for 3 years.


Then, Jen moved to London for 6 months.

Joseph visited her once and they were still very much in love.

Then one day (shortly before our grandpa passed) I noticed a change in his Facebook status.  Joseph and Jen were no longer in a relationship.  When we were all together after the funeral, fueled by cheep beer, I asked him what happened.  He started crying and I knew it wasn’t over grandpa.  And he told me the story.  They were going to take some time apart, experience college being single.  Only I knew he wasn’t happy about the decision, he was hurt and confused.  He told me how much he loved her and that he didn’t think he’d ever find anyone else like her.

So that fall they went back to school still friends, but on the market.  I’m not sure how long this lasted as I was occupied in my own new relationship (enter Adam).  All I do know is that by the time they graduated the following spring they were back together and on track to start their careers.  The year was 2008.

That summer Jen got a job working for Target Corp. in Minneapolis.  Shortly after, Joseph got a job for a printing company in Houston.


We kept asking him… “So are you going to get married?”  “Come on Joe, It’s been 5 years.”  No, he said, She’s not ready.  She wants us to focus on our careers right now.  So they moved to their new cities and began their careers.  They visited each other at least every six weeks and luckily we all planned our trips home at the same time, so we would all be together.

September of 2009 Adam & I get married after dating for just over two years.
Jen got a promotion; her dream job and decides to stay in Minneapolis. 
Joseph continues to fly around the country doing, what? I have no idea what he does, but his boss is happy with his work and he enjoys it.  But his goal is to get to Minneapolis in the future....
They continue to live 1,200 miles apart for the 2nd year.

Fast forward to the spring of 2010…Big sister Stephanie (with weddings fresh on the brain) starts pestering her little brother,  sending him pictures of rings.  Finally he says “Yes, I want to marry her.  And I think she’s ready too”  Cut, Clarity, Color, Karats start flying through emails…July we’ll all be home…that’s the time!   He even has ideas of how he wants to do it.

But he buys no ring. July comes and goes. 
September comes and we’re home for a wedding.  My dad produces a box quietly; in it 8 different settings of sparkling, shiny rings.  We ooo and ahh and a setting is selected. 
Anther trip to go see her come and goes…He still has not purchased the ring.

Thanksgiving we’ll all be home again….and I ask him, “Are you going to buy it?!?!” 
Comments fly around the dinner table….but still nothing.

Christmas time. Joseph is spending it with Jen and her parents while we’re all in Florida.  “so???” I say.  Nothing.  “Joseph! Just buy the ring” I yell at him over email.  I’m replied with “I know…” “stop bugging me” “How about when we’re down there?”  Fine I say.
But they come and go…no proposal, still no ring.

Fast forward to Wednesday January 19th.  I get this email:

Finally, he bought the ring! It’s coming from a jeweler in Michigan, only to be overnighted to Houston then to jump on a plane to Minneapolis.  It is Jen’s Birthday on Saturday.  She will be 26.

Friday night, January 21st, Joe and Jen are trudging 4 blocks through through the snow to her apartment carrying his suitcases.  All of a sudden Joseph stops and says "Hey Jen, turn around.  I want to ask you something."  And when she does there is Joe down on his knee proposing.  Her glove flies off her hand and she exclaims "Of course I'll marry you!" 

So, you may ask what is so special about this love story?  Well if you haven’t noticed this love story has been a long distance love story.  For 8 years Joe & Jen never lived in the same town or even the same county.  The relationship had to be founded on trust. Their love had to survive the distance and now after 8 long years there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.  They will finally get to live not only in the same town, but in the same house with each other.

Over the last 8 years I have watched them interact and watched them grow up.  And I know deep down that they are meant to be together, forever.  I am so happy that Jen will join our family and even more so that my brother has found a women that makes him happy and that brings the best out of him.
Congratulations Joseph & Jennifer!

And yes...this was the BIG Secret. :)