Sunday, July 29, 2007


I've never been drunk dialed before. Mostly because most of my friends don't drink. Last night I got my first one.

My phone rang at 3:30 in the morning and the number flashed as "restricted". Since Ben's mom has been traveling overseas I answered it just in case it was her.

Me: ....(yawn).... hello?

Caller: Hey! What are you doing?

Me: (In my head: it's 3:30 in the morning, what to you think I am doing?) You have the wrong number.

Caller: Now baby, don't be playing hard to get.....

Me: Hang Up

If I had thought about it I should have handed the phone to Ben just so he could have messed with him. But I didn't. I went back to sleep.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cooking With Andi - Tomato Basil Pasta Dish

I'd like to blog about the incredibly frustrating meeting I had with the reception hall today, but I won't. I've calmed down from it and it's time to move on. Instead I shall blog about food!

I am trying new healthy vegetarian recipes and I thought I would share them with you all!

So here we go:

Tomato Basil Pasta Dish (I don't know what to call it)

I started with this recipe. Recipes should be viewed as starting points and then you find little shortcuts to make it go faster, because I am a busy woman who supports her husband's addictions and I don't have time to peel tomatoes.

  • 1/2 Cup Fresh basil leaves (shredded by hand) (Note: This takes forever)
  • 2 Cups fresh chopped tomatoes (The original recipe calls for some canned tomatoes, gross!, and I felt like peeling them was unnecessary)
  • 4 Cloves of garlic - chopped (5 would have been better)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of spaghetti (I used linguine because that's what I had. I don't think it matters I was going to use shells until I found the linguine.)
Beginning boiling water.

Shred basil. Try not to get old and die during this process. This was the most time intensive part. It took me like 10 min, but maybe I am a slow shredder.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat

Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 min. Don't brown. This is the fun part because it involves French words and hot oil.

Add the tomato and basil and cook for 10-15 min.

Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While you are stirring occasionally, cook the pasta. Also clean up. This dish is great in that you can clean up while letting things cook. While you are at it, also sew a new outfit. Then you can be a true woman.

Once everything is cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the sauce and EAT!

This dish was good, but it lacked a wow factor. I would recommend using less noodles for the sauce. Or maybe adding more garlic and tomatoes would help too.

The total time it took to make this dish was about 30 min. If you are faster on the chopping and the shredding it could go faster. It was pretty easy and I would probably try it again, but add some more zing to it. Any suggestions? I'm still new at this cooking thing....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hot air, Fire, and Fur

Wow. And I thought last week was busy. So much has happened in the last couple of days! I could write several blog posts about it all! But I won't. I'll sum it up.

Friday night Ben and I went to a balloon festival. Have you ever gone to a balloon glow? If you haven't, you should. It makes you feel like a little kid all over again.

Also, try and go to a balloon glow that also incorporates sky divers. Preferably ones that light themselves on fire while falling through the sky. Yes. This festival had all of that. The sky divers jumped out of a plane and lit fireworks attached to them. As if jumping out of a plane wasn't edgy enough, they had to incorporate explosives as well. I wonder who first tried that and how it worked out for them. The fire divers looked like giant lightening bugs falling toward us. It was pretty cool.

Then we had about a bajjion picnics to go to this weekend.

In the midst of all of this Ben's allergies did not go away. Sudafed? Claritin? Nasal spray? Pansies compared to these allergies. Ben has the Chuck Norris of all allergies. On Sunday I realized that something had to be done with the cats. I couldn't keep letting Ben suffer and I am getting tired of driving him around. So Barnum and Bailey were taken to my parent's mini-farm where they can chase mice and birds and bugs to their hearts content.

Sunday we also shampooed the carpets and I was amazed and grossed out over how much stuff we pulled out of these carpets. It again solidifies hardwood floors as my flooring of choice.

It was sad to give them up. I cried. As much of a pain as they were, they were a lot of fun to have around. I know Ben is totally worth much more than the cats, I just doubt I'll ever catch him doing any of these things:

At least I hope not....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh Hi There!

This week has been something else! Have you ever flung yourself down a flight of stairs, waving your arms over your head as you ran and screamed "ahhhhhhhhh"? No? Me neither. But that's kind of how this week felt.

It started with the fact that we had a proposal due this week. Well actually it started last week when I put off working on the proposal because "I have all next week!" So work was pretty busy what with the customer meetings and the writing and the editing and rewriting. Not that I did much of it, I just made sure it got done.

Then on the day we traveled to Cleveland for work, Ben woke up with really bad vertigo and couldn't walk straight. It got so bad that he threw up at one point. I knew all of this because of the text messages we were sending each other while I was riding in a car trying hard not to think about brain tumors. Thursday we went to the doctor and they laughed and said "Allergies! They are putting fluid on your inner ear!" So now I am trying hard not to think about the fact that my cats may have to go.

All of this has made me tired and grumpy and yet in spite of all of it, I was able to make some pretty yummy lettuce wraps last night with an impressive peanut sauce. Two words for you. Domestic. Goddess. I also vacuum in heels....

But today is Friday so I am neither cooking, nor saying goodbye to my cats. I am simply enjoying this beautiful weather! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Because Open Letters are Fun!

I know my last post was another open letter, but really this needs to get out in the open. Something needs to be done. Someone needs to say something. That someone is me.

To the people who watched Ratatouille with me last Saturday Night:

What is your problem? Does having kids make you oblivious? Or does your generation have a different form of movie etiquette? I can't figure out why you would do this and why ALL of you seemed to be ok with it. Is it the theater? I'd never been to this theater before so maybe you all love each other more here.... but I hate it.

Why don't you observe the one seat rule? Why must you be all up in my business and sit right next me? When your daughter refused to sit next to Ben, you shouldn't have shushed her and sat there, you should have listened to her and observed the one seat rule. When you were looking for 4 seats together you should have taken the ones on the right. The ones that would have left a seat between your family and me. Instead you chose to sit next to me and eat your dinner! In the theater! Near my arm and my glass of water!

I know the oversized theater chairs give the impression of roominess, but really I could use a little more. Like one seat worth.

I am sure you are a nice person and are a joy to spend time with. But I don't know that. I don't know if you wash your hands after using the restroom or if you tap your foot during a movie. These are things I'd rather not know. When I go watch a movie, I'd like to watch the movie, not whisper to my husband questions about the rudeness of moving right after you sat down. I'd like to follow the plot and not worry about you touching me. I'd like some space.

So next time you see me at the theater, smile and sit one space away from me. Please observe the one space rule. Please.

Your cramped neighbor,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Open Letter to My Husband

Dear Ben,

One month ago today we said "I do". In another month we'll get to say "I did" in front of all of our family and friends. You hate wedding planning and dislike it even more that we have to do it after we are married. But you put up with it because I am excited about it and I think you are hoping you might be able to do the worm at the reception.

There were points in our relationship that I wasn't sure we would get to marriage. I got sick and freaked out and you almost died, yet both of those times made me love you even more. Going through the hard stuff with you was what made me understand that we would make it; that walking those hard roads was better while holding your hand.

You've taught me a lot about love the whole time we've been together. You've shown me love by a hug when I need it, stopping work and just listening, changing habits to my preferences, and by encouraging me to try things I enjoy. I've always worried that I would feel so trapped in marriage, but I have never felt freer. Thank you.

We laugh a lot together. Most of the time we aren't very good at serious romantic moods. Normally one of us will make a joke that will change the mood. I like it that way. I'd much rather you tell me a joke that has both of us laughing and begging for breath than have sweet nothings whispered. I hope we get to laugh together the rest of our lives.

Our marriage started out harder than we had planned. We had to postpone school and moving and both stay in jobs that aren't quite what we want to do. We have massive medical bills that need paid and a couch that we both hate. I know these things worry you and sometimes I think you feel like they are your fault. Other times you just shrug them off and state that God will get us through it all. I know that is so true which is why I want to start couch shopping now.

I love spending time with you. It doesn't matter what we are doing - I just enjoy being around you. You are my best friend and I am so happy we got married. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true! I love you!

With All My Love,
Your Wife

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm sick

You know the kind of sick where you ache all over? Where everything feels sharp? Where even light isn't happy, it's all poky and mean? Where breathing, talking and wearing clothes are painful? Where you can feel your hair growing and it hurts?

That's how I feel. Like crap.

I went into work and realized I should probably work from home when I responded to people asking for more time on their projects with, "Ehh... I don't care." So here I am sitting on my couch watching The Office Season Two and trying to "work".

I become a big baby when I am sick. Last night I told Ben that his fingernails were too hard and they were bothering me. That's how much of a joy I am to be around!

I think I am dying....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Everyday Celebrity

A friend of mine used to have a blog titled "Everyday Celebrity". The idea was that every person is just as important as a celebrity and they all had a story to tell. I have stolen that idea somewhat and have begun something that I hope is a regular occurrence on this blog. I hope to regularly highlight an "everyday celebrity" through a couple of random questions.

Our first celebrity is Cassie. She recently married my good friend Chris. It takes a special person to marry someone who looks like Abraham Lincoln and wraps people up like burritos. Cassie is a special person! I've only gotten spend brief amounts of time with her when she's come to Ohio to visit, but I am pretty sure we would be BFFs if we lived closer. So here's Cassie!

1. What is something about yourself that you want the whole Internet world to know?
Well, I think that that only thing that I would shout at the top of my lungs is that I'm married!

2. Do you have any pet peeves, things that people do that you really hate?
I can't stand it when sponges are left in kitchen sinks, or on their edges. The sponge needs to be elevated in order to properly dry. This is something I informed Chris of early in our relationship after it ruined his good deed of doing the dishes at my apartment after dinner simply because he left the little green and yellow sponge in the sink basin.

3. You recently got married. What is one of the most surprising things about being married?
That it feels normal. I thought that my wedding day I would be full of butterflies. I thought the honeymoon would be awkward when it came to sharing daily habits (and unfortunately for us. bodily functions (Note: they got sick on their honeymoon)), but it really wasn't! It feels so normal that it's scary.

4. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
I think that I would be a dolphin. They're intelligent and playful.

5. What store can you not live without and why?
I can't live without Target. It has everything you could ever want and really is one stop quality shopping.

6. How many swimsuits do you own?
Which one is your favorite? 5 1/2. My favorite one is a red and white polka dot tankini.

7. What's your favorite word.
I have a think for palindromes, so I'm going to have to go for kayak.

8. What question would you ask Paris Hilton if you could?
Are you really as stupid as you look (or make yourself look)?

There you have it! Cassie!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Because I have too much free time

My mom has been asking me for a while now what my hobby is. When you participate in a get-to-know-you activity people ask what hobbies you enjoy. My facebook page has been begging for me to list some hobby.

Up until recently I've had one of three responses. Stare blankly and drool a little, mutter "umm...sewing?, or just be honest and say I have none. Now! I have picked a hobby!

It's this little blog. I really enjoy it. I enjoy writing and I enjoy people reading my writing. My writing doesn't have to be spectacular to be fun, and a lot of people don't have to read it for me to enjoy it. So this blog - my new hobby.

Hopefully this will mean better posts and a better blog layout as I learn new things. Ben bought me this book for my birthday. There are a lot of interesting ideas in there. I shall try some out.

So watch out! Hopefully things will get more interesting around here!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Leon's Getting Larger*

I realize that I have written a lot of posts about being newly married. Some of you may be getting bored of them but really that's what's happening in my life. You can either keep reading or visit some other blog.

I've come to realize that it's true! You really do put on weight after you are married. I've seen this happen to my friends and now I am experiencing it. Ben and I have been married for 3 weeks. He has put on 15 pounds and I have put on 5. This is good because we both had been sick and lost a lot of weight. Now we are gaining it all back...

It's been interesting getting used to each other's habits. And by that I mean it's been interesting to watch Ben get used to my strange quirks. Like not using a washcloth for more than 1 day for fear of bacteria growing and sleeping with two covers and socks no matter how hot it is. These are just some of the things that make Ben tip his head to the side and go "what?". But it's kind of cute when he does that so I may just start making up quirks....

A friend who recently got married would ask our newly married friends what their biggest struggle was during their first year of marriage. For one set of friends it was playing board games. They got too competitive and I am sure he finally realized that sleeping on the couch with the cat wasn't really worth winning a game of Risk. So they stopped playing them. Another one of our friends didn't answer the question, they just changed the subject and moved on. This always made me wonder what their struggle was, but after having dinner with them I am guessing it may be the food fights the husband tried to start. But that's just a stab in the dark.

So let's take a poll. For those of you out there who are married, what was your biggest struggle in your first year?

*Quick! What's that from?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sleeping or lack there of

People have asked me what the strangest part about being married is. It's definitely sharing a bed. I've never shared a bed before and apparently I'm not very good at it. Between me sleeping in the middle and Ben doing aerobatics every time he turns over, we haven't been getting very much sleep.

Surprisingly, this is pretty common. Here are some other people's stories:

"My husband used to like to put his hand on my leg while we slept. I couldn't stand it. I didn't want him to touch me while I was trying to sleep. Just let me sleep!........... You aren't supposed to be like that when you are first married....."

"Wait until one of you starts snoring. My wife snores. When I was a kid I used to think that parents who slept in separate beds were fighting. Now I know they were just trying to get some sleep!"

"My husband and I went through that too. We couldn't touch each other while we slept. Had to have our own side of the bed..... and that's for sure why we got married."

Ben and I are getting better. I don't think either one of us has had the urge to smother the other with the pillow in a while.....

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My brain is dead. I've tried and tried to come up with a good post. No luck.

Anyone have any suggestions on making a banner for my blog?

That's all I got for tonight....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Marriage - 1, Budget - 0

On Saturday Ben and I sat down and put together a budget for the next couple of months. We were quite successful at this budgeting business; not only did we establish reasonable guidelines on spending, we also did it without throwing things at each other. Not that we normally throw things at anyone, but if you have ever read a pre-marriage counseling book, you'd know that happily married couples turn into evil ogres bent on destroying their marriage as soon as the words finances and money come around. At least that's what I think they said. Anyway.... Ben and I maintained our sanity and avoided become ogre-like.

Putting together the budget was easy. Living by it is hard. This is now day 2 of our new life of self-control. We've already tried to negotiate around it a couple times and have found one loop hole. We are doing good!

The next time I go grocery shopping will be the first time that I have grocery shopped with a budget. Ever. I don't even really know how much things cost. I know! Crazy! Ben is destined to financial ruin with me at his side!

It's not that I've been all willy nilly with my finances up to this point. I had a rough budget before (don't spend more than I earn), and I have a pretty good idea how much my cart of groceries cost, I just couldn't ever tell you what one individual thing cost. This is because I pretty much bought the same food every week. I knew how much it cost and it wasn't more than my paycheck. Now I have this husband who eats things like cereal and milk and pretzels. I know! He's so extravagant! He seriously needs to cut back on his contribution to the grocery bill. I have no idea how much cereal and milk and pretzels cost. They get added to my cart and I have no concept of what the final bill will be. So now I need to pay attention to how much green leaf lettuce costs verses romaine lettuce. All to feed my husband's cereal habit. My life is hard.

But it's not really hard. God has blessed both Ben and I with good jobs. What is hard is determining what is "enough". When do we have enough? When does what we make become excess funds? My dad has told me that what I spend will grow proportionally to what I make. I'll always find some place for that money to go. I'll never have too much money that I won't know what to do with. And he's been right.

Ben and I have both been accustomed to a middle class standard of living. And middle class in the US is pretty dang comfy. But do we need that? At what point do things go from what we need to extravagant. Everyday I spend time with people who's concept of what they need involves SUVs and new condos and meals out. Not bad things. But then part of my week is also spent time with people who get by on so much less. So where's the balance? How do we live in a spirit of charity, and yet still make sound financial decisions?

Good questions and I am guessing the answers will be hard ones....