Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We've actually been pretty busy in the past couple of weeks with lots of exciting and fun surprises (don't worry...none of which is a pregnancy!).
I will try to post about all of the exciting goodness, but I guess I didn't really realize how difficult it would be to work a 40+ hour a week job, work out occassionally, spend quality time with the husband and friends and find time to blog.
To live, or to blog? hmm.
But I promise to try and blog soon...for serious, though.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I don't have enough time to tell you what he got me, but all I can say is my husband knows me better than anyone on the planet and got me exactly what I wanted but didn't ask for.
Going down to Portland today to celebrate the bro-in-law's birthday with him and his AMAZING wife, but will tell you all about it when I have more time.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And it wasn't even my post.
I wish I had something interesting to report...but life is just chugging along for we Schienbeins.
I promise that the moment something exciting happens, you'll all be the first ones to know!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup superfine sugar (I just put 3/4 cup regular granulated sugar in a food processor for a couple of seconds)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Butter 4 ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter.
Either in a microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter, then set aside to cool a little.
In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour with a hand whisk, and beat in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins. Bake for about 20 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate ooey-gooey underbeath.
Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve. Make sure to warn people that these desserts will be HOT!
I found this recipe to be simple and able to whip up in a snap. So fast, you don't have time to think about all of the butter you're about to ingest!
But seriously...if you love chocolate, you will absolutely fall in love with this recipe!
I hope you try it out...it is SOOO good!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Jacob had completed a triathalon earlier that morning so he wound up catching some zzz's.
Tiffy, Jenn, myself & Bri...all hopped up on garlic fries and Bud Lites
It was such a fun time...I truly love these ladies!
Oh, and the Hawks won too, so that was the icing on the cake!
Oh, except for Erich interacting with them. That's pretty cute, too!
So far, they're 2-1 and playing pretty good. I have my favorites...Matthew, the happa with a heart of gold; Nathan, the other asian kid who practices so hard be throws up in his helmet but keeps playing; and Calvin, the tiny co-captain who has more spirit than the rest of the team combined.
Go Lake City Braves!
First off, Anna's wedding spectacular. I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I'd taken, but here's a small glimpse into the wedding weekend.
First, for Anna's bachelorette party, we had a low-key night with a few close gal pals spent enjoying mexican food and margaritas before going to see a late night showing of Mamma Mia! Anna is a huge ABBA fan and really wanted to see this film together, but up until a couple of days before the festivities we weren't even sure if it would still be in theaters. Luckily for us, it was and we had a blast! Singing along, dancing in our seats, laughing hysterically at how obnoxious we must've appeared to everyone else in the theater...it was perfect.
Me & Abbi
Myself, Anna & Emily
Emily making it happen
Finally the big day arrived and Anna was anything but nervous. Emily and I spent the night on a mattress in Anna's living room and were startled awake when Anna screamed "I'M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!!" She headed off to have coffee with Eric to spend valuable time together and exchange gifts before getting ready for the rest of the day. The gals started arriving to get ready and visit...that's when time started to fly by. Before we knew it, we were all dressed and heading to the Daughter's of the American Revolution mansion to take pictures. In the blink of an eye we were headed to the church to watch this amazing couple take their vows in front of family and friends.
All the while Anna was composed, excited, giddy, and calm. I was amazed. All of the planning she had put into the day and everything went off without a hitch. And she looked beautiful.
The blushing bride
All in all, it was an honor to stand by her side on one of the most important days in her life.
I love you, Anna!!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
And it was harder than I thought it would be...emotionally, that is. In fact, just thinking about her all dolled up in her gorgeous dress and veil makes me a little weepy.
We're both all grown up now. Married ladies with families of our own.
*pictures to come later
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Here are the rules...
1) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
2) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
3) Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1) I've decided to put the seemingly "morbid" one first just to get it out of the way. I have always had a weird sense that I would die young. I don't know where this comes from (perhaps my being supremely clumsy as a young child), and I don't have any real purpose for thinking so, but when I turned 21, I was a little bit surprised that I was still alive. I've never had a specific feeling about how I would die; feelings more so of dying from a freak accident like getting hit by a bus or having a plane's engine fall from the sky and crush me rather than from an illness or act of violence, but there it is. I know I'm weird.
I can say that this lurking feeling has perhaps given me a deeper understanding of the importance of telling and showing my family and friends how supremely important they are to me and loving them completely with no inhibitions. After all, we never really know how long we have on this earth, do we? Might as well use the time we have been granted to make sure the ones we love know it without a shadow of a doubt.
2) Probably one of the quirkiest things about me is the way I eat my food. It may be the only OCD thing about me (you should see my messy and disorganized house), but I eat the various items making up my meal one at a time. Generally, the order is as follows...
a) Salad (fruit, green, or otherwise)
c) Side dish (veggies, starches, etc.)
I finish them completely before I move on to the next. It doesn't always happen in that order, but sometimes (if I've given myself too much of one helping) I don't get through all of the parts of the meal. It's a truly depressing thing to be excited about the potatoes au gratin, but being already too full to eat any of them. The only meal where I can mix n' match my meal components are at Thanksgiving. mmm, pumpkin pie....
image courtesy of Kevin Sanchez / Getty Images file
Sometimes people don't notice this about me until it's been pointed out to them...but they always think it's weird.
3) I've been working out pretty consistently now 4 days a week for 4 months with a personal trainer. I think I may have been watching too much of The Biggest Loser, because I expected the results to be staggering at this point. Granted, I'm not working out 8 hours a day or having my diet regulated as rigorously as the contestants on that show, and I also realize that I don't have as much weight to lose as them either, but all the same, I'm slightly more than surprised that I've only lost a total of 6 pounds and an 1 1/2 inches off of all of my measurements.
I hate being "that" person who is so surprised that it takes an ass-ton of work to lose fat, because I pride myself on generally understanding how the whole process works. I mean, I've pretty radically changed my diet and am keeping track of everything with a food journal, I'm taking vitamins and supplements and hittin the gym pretty hard. I understand, too, that I'm building muscle that will help to burn the fat and that this is the reason that I've not lost "weight"... Blah, blah, blah...
I'm just ready to be in shape and look like this in a bikini, already...
beautiful flowers in blossom at SPU
my good friends Marcus & Tiffany's beautiful new son, Blake
Paris, in Las Vegas, on our honeymoon
Erich likes to sleep with his feet outside of the covers, and I think his feet are adorable!
our little friend Dylan on a particularly crisp and colorful fall day last year
the centerpiece at my dear friend Tiffany's baby shower
5) My parents have announced that they're going to be moving to Africa. Kenya to be exact. For those of you who may not know, my parents have been missionaries for over 30 years who currently work with an organization called International Christian Ministries. For quite some time now they've been managing the administrative side of ICM here in the states (Bakersfield to be precise), but at this point in their lives, they would really like to be in the field so that my dad can fulfill his dream of teaching African students. They're planning on being ready to move by April of next year and are hoping to make a 2 year commitment.
I know, right?
If I'm being really honest, I selfishly don't want them to go. First off, for my entire life my parents have been missionaries, but we've never not lived on the same continent. I'm more than a little concerned about them being so far away, especially considering that Erich and I are hoping to start trying for a baby sometime next spring. Earlier this year there was some very serious political infighting in Kenya that resulted in many people being left without homes, and for a great many of them, without their lives. Things have since settled down, but I am just worried about them living in that region.
But on the other side, I am completely thrilled for them that they're taking advantage of such an amazing and unusual opportunity. I am excited at the thought of Erich and I visiting them in their home in Africa someday, getting to witness firsthand the group of people who have touched their hearts so dearly in the last couple of years.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that when they move back to the States, they'll more than likely move up to the Pacific Northwest which means no more Bakersfield. I'm caught between being ecstatic that they'll be closer to us & our kids and being sad that I won't have them as an excuse to visit good friends. Oh, how life changes...
the folks when they were super young
6) I would like to state for the record that my uber-good friend Melinda and I discovered Ricky Martin before he became huge with the latin invasion back in the '90s. See, I grew up in a house without cable, but one channel we did get was the local spanish channel. During the summer of 1998, Melinda was living with me and my folks and we would watch copious amounts of this channel in particular where we would wait with baited breath for his music video to play. What can I say? We thought he was hot.
7) I am still head-over-heels, super crazy in love with Erich. Can't-see-straight, stay-awake-to-watch-him-sleep, miss-him-terribly-when-we're-apart, every-other-thought-is-of-him, crazy in love. True, we're technically still newlyweds since we got married December 1st, 2007, but we'd been dating for 3 years before that. We're best friends (awe) and do pretty much everything together. Even still, when I'm on my way home from work during the week or he's coming home from work on Saturdays I still get little butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of seeing him. I hope it never goes away...
the hubby & I out recently...notice the new haircut!
So that's it folks. Hope you learned something new (and weren't too bored!).
I now tag...
1) Tiffy-because she's new to blogging and needs to introduce herself!
2) Danielle-because she & I have a lot in common and I want to know more about her!
3) Carlie-because she's crazy and I know whatever she reveals about herself will be entertaining
4) Brenda-because I used to basically live at her house when I was younger and haven't gotten to catch up with her in awhile
5) Karen-because she has a beautiful daughter and a charming life in Chicago that I want to hear all about!
6) Jenn-because she was one of those gals in high school that I wanted to be just like...so cool and sweet...in fact, I STILL want to be like her!
7) Scott-because, well, I miss the guy and would like to know what's up!
Okay folks, get to it!!!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
You Are An ISTJ
The Duty Fulfiller
You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.
In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.
For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.
At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.
You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.
How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable
When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical
Sunday, July 20, 2008
And thank you, Christie, for entertaining me daily with sweet stories of your adorable family!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Monique and Heidi (a bridesmaid) sippin on some cocktails at the bachelorette dinner.
Thomas, the groom (on the right) and Berto, the co-best man (on the left) dancing up a storm.
Jenny & myself surviving the blistering heat, and lookin fine!
Berto & Jenny groovin (aren't they adorable?)
Monique performing a choreographed dance and lip syncing "I Love You, I Do" (from Dreamgirls) for her new husband...SO cute!
These were the table name cards that Monique made. Each table was the name of a location that was meaningful to them as a couple. Our table was Karkeek, which is the name of a local park where Thomas proposed. Aww...
This is their beautiful and delicious cake. It tasted like layers of banana bread with buttercream frosting...SOOO good!
Thomas and Monique are spending their honeymoon in both England and Ireland, how fun is that?
Congratualtions to you, brother & sister. We are so excited for the life you will be sharing and cannot wait to spend many holidays and other life milestones together!
By the way, I realize that there are no pictures of Erich, but I SWEAR he was there. He always manages to sneak out of the shot...sneaky husband!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Here's a few photos from my birthday (June 17th) this year...
Even though I'd only been working in the office for 2 weeks, my co-workers still decorated my cubicle on my birthday and ALL signed a card for me. SO sweet!!!
Melo & Shea who joined me for my birthday celebration at the Crab Shack on the Seattle waterfront later that evening for dinner. Mmm...crab legs, oysters, clams, potatoes & corn cobs...buttery goodness!
It took them over an hour to seat us on a Tuesday night...we were all so hungry by the time we finally got our table, and we all thought Josh was going to break down and actually eat a Crab Shack employee...
Teresa, I'm sorry for this but I think this picture of you is hilarious! In her defense, she had no idea I was taking the picture of her while she was eating her bread...she looks so angry!
The Husband and I gorging ourselves.
All in all, it was a great birthday. And for once, I finally do feel a year older.
Here's to being 28!
I have TONS more pictures to post from Thomas & Monique's wedding, but it won't likely be until Sunday evening after my return from Yakima with Anna for her 1st (of many!) bridal showers!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
I am exhausted.
My days start really early with personal training sessions at 5am, 4 days a week. Then I rush home to shower and change before hitting the road to get to work on time. I spent the majority of this week cramming my (tired) brain with a TON of information. Appears as though my job requires me to have a certain degree of knowledge regarding every aspect of Student Financial Aid/Accounts. That's A LOT of information, people. Then there's the commute home which I forgot can be so incredibly aggrevating.
Fortunately for me, I am in love with my new job. EVERY aspect. From my co-workers, who are all so encouraging, supportive and funny; to the benefit package I'm entitled to as an employee; to my supervisor who couldn't be more patient or sweet; to the actual work itself...including the interaction with students and parents. I feel like I was made for this job (well, once I'm able to wrap my brain around all the info).
PLUS, I'm on campus again with my best friend from college, Anna, for whom I am the matron-of-honor in her upcoming August nuptuals. It's so great to have lunch together and chat about upcoming wedding-related projects, and to have such a major member of my support system just a matter of a couple of buildings away.
If that's not enough, every night this week when I came home from work, Erich already had dinner ready and on the table. He did all our grocery shopping for the quarter on his one weekday off, AND did a number of loads of laundry. Am I the luckiest gal in the world, or what?
All in all, though I'm exhausted from all the running around and getting adapted to my new environment, missing spending precious time with both my husband and my couch, I'm overwhelmed by feeling supremely satisfied and blessed.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The people in my office are all so friendly and welcomed me right away even though I wasn't in the office very long today.
I'm stoked because the training period for this position is a month...a month! The past couple of jobs I've had have been trial-by-fire type situations, so I'm super excited to be trained thoroughly before I'm left to my own devices.
Part of the reason the training is so long is because of the massive sheer volume of information that I have to learn which brings me to the third reason I'm already in love with my job...I'm at home right now, changed into pjs ready to do some hard core reading. AND I get to stay home tomorrow too and keep soaking in all of the info!
Alright, time to get cracking!!!
(Thanks to everyone who thought of me today as I started my first day...I think it's going to be a great fit!)
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
But, I digress.
Awhile ago I was doing some shopping online looking for shoes for my wedding (that's the excuse I use, but truthfully I just love shoes...I think I might actually have a problem) and stumbled quite by chance on an amazing website. They only sell shoes (womens, mens and childrens) and handbags (oh, the handbags!), but it is the most comprehensive, user-friendly, reasonably-priced, magical website EVER!
First of all, they have
FREE OVERNIGHT SHIPPING!
There is even a counter on the webpage that tells you how much time you have left in the day to put in your order to get your purchase the next day.
Secondly, if you're looking for something specific there are many different search options to narrow down your choices including style or category, specific brands, color family, size, width, heel height and price range. And you can select more than one option at a time (example, white pump in a size 8 1/2 or 9, with a heel height of no more than 1-1 3/4", 2A width, and preferrably by Steve Madden or Chinese Laundry and under $100). It couldn't be easier.
Thirdly, let's say you find a pair that you think look cute but want to get a better look at. Click on the picture and you will be whisked away to an area where you can see images of the shoes from every conceivable perspective...you can even scroll your mouse over the picture itself and see a close-up view of whatever area of that shoe (or handbag) your cursor is over. This is also the area of the website where you can select to add the item to your cart, save for later, email a picture (and information) of the item to yourself or others, or even have them email you should your size become available.
Fourth, let's say you get the shoes next day and they're the wrong size...
FREE 365-DAY RETURN SHIPPING!
I believe they only do credit and not cash returns, but still...that's pretty freaking awesome!
So check it out and let me know what you think of the site. But if you're like me, you'll be in shoe and handbag heaven!!!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Whichever of us hosts the day figures out and prepares dinner for everyone. So since they were coming up to our place to check out Wii Fit (which is a total blast...working out was never so fun!), Erich made chicken and cheese-filled tortellini with peas and bacon in a pesto alfredo sauce and I figured out dessert.
I took a trip to the local Thriftway to get some inspiration and found some really lovely, reasonably priced seasonal fruit and a premade Bavarian pound "tart" cake. So, I thought I'd try my hand at a mixed-fruit tart.
I started by taking the cake and adding a thin layer of apricot preserves as a base for the fruit. (In the future, I would probably take some of the reserved juices from the strawberries and saturate the cake since it ended up being a little on the dry side.) I then added a layer of Fat-Free whipped cream (note to self: be sure to take out of freezer at least 30 minutes before trying to assemble). Next was the fun part...arranging the variety of fruits in a pretty fashion. No real rhyme or reason. I used all fresh fruit; strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, plums, seedless green grapes, and raspberries.
To add a nice shine and a little bit of sweetness, I combined 1/4 cup of the apricot preserves with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly, until the preserves are melted. Then I brushed the top of the tart with the sauce giving it a lovely glisten.
All in all, it was the perfect ending to the first of many beautiful summer days.
What kinds of desserts are you all falling in love with?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Incredibly nervous actually...
I haven't worked a really real job since July of last year and feel a bit rusty.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I spend between 30 minutes to an hour each day checking other people's blogs, catching up on what's going on in their lives, melting with each post about their children's recent adorable-ness, and being envious of the enormous photographic talent out there in the world. I get antsy when I see that someone hasn't updated their blog in awhile, and feel (neurotically) left out of their daily comings and goings.
So I thought that the least I could do was update our own page since it's been (gasp!) over a week since the last post.
I spent the majority of last week at our good friends Marcus and Tiffany's house painting their nursery in preparation for little Blake Steven who is due to be born in a scant 4 weeks (ack!). For those of you who might not know this about me, I actually really enjoy painting...the whole process. Imagining an overall change for a space, picking out coordinating colors, the tools, the cutting, the rolling, the touch-ups, and especially the finished product. So when Tiffany asked me if I would consider helping them get the nursery ready for Blake's arrival, I was more than happy to oblige. I didn't get any pictures of the room (none that are good enough to post anyway), but the room turned out really lovely. I think it's going to be a wonderful space for Blake to grow up in and I was so happy to be a part of the whole process!
My future sister-in-law, Monique, had her bridal shower on Saturday at The Painted Plate in Olympia which is an adorable store where you can purchase bisque-fired pottery pieces and glaze them yourself. The party didn't start until 7:30pm so my good friend Jen and I drove down to Centralia to visit with friends of hers from college, Michelle and Neil, who are both teachers there and who have recently brought their own little bundle into the world. His name is Owen, and he just turned 2 months old...and boy, is he adorable!
Their house was custom-built by Neil's stepfather and it is AMAZING! It sits on top of a hill that overlooks the entire Centralia-area. We could actually see the rain move across the town and head right for us...it was beautiful.
They also have a sweet little dachsund name Winnie who is just a hoot. She craves lots of loving (as you can see in the picture below). What she loves best of all is to sit on your chest with her neck in your face so you can give her zerberts. She could just sit there all day long...too funny!
After a really fun time meeting and hanging out with that adorable little family, we headed up to Olympia for the bridal shower. I used to really be into ceramics in high school and then took some additional classes in college, but that was over 5 years ago so I was a little rusty. But the idea for the shower was really cool. In lieu of a gift, each attendee was to come prepared to paint a piece of pottery for Thomas and Monique. Everyone was given a 4-inch square tile that would eventually end up as the frame for the mirror in their guest bathroom. We were given some loose perimeters regarding color (primary blue and green) and theme (frogs), but mostly left to paint whatever we liked. Now, I don't think I'm terribly creative, and I'm really glad that Thomas and Monique have a sense of humor because this is what I came up with...
Jen and I wanted to do something else for them so we decided to paint a plate for them. A very long time ago when Erich and I were first dating we had gone to dinner at Cucina! Cucina! where they give you crayons and encourage you to draw on their paper tablecloths (classy!). I sketched a rough cartoon drawing of Thomas that I thought was so funny that we still have it hanging on our refrigerator today! What better than to eat off that face! So Jen and I painted the rim of the plate red and yellow stripes and I tried to recreate my cartoon rendition of Thomas...what do you think? (Oh, by-the-way, Thomas made an appearance at the bridal shower, but it wasn't co-ed)
All in all, we had a really great time. Erich and I miss Jen & Berto (Jen's boyfriend) terribly since we used to hang out all the time when we lived in Wallingford. So it was a real treat to spend such a fun day with her (the margaritas and wine helped too!).