Archives for February 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Official birthday dinners have become a tradition in our family. We always find a time when we can get together to celebrate each birthday as a family. (We missed Ash, who was unable to travel across the country to come for dinner. 🙁 ) When I was a kid, the best part about birthday dinner was getting to choose what Mom would make for dinner that night. I know there was more than one year that I chose homemade mac ‘n cheese as my birthday dinner. That’s kinda funny now that I think about it. With the freedom to choose anything I wanted, I picked a $4 meal that was something we had often. Sometimes when Mom made mac ‘n cheese for dinner, she would make us have broccoli with it. As birthday girl, I wanted just mac ‘n cheese… all by itself.

Dad’s choice has always been a nicer meal. I think he almost always picks pork roast. So that’s what Mom made him on Saturday night… pork roast with potato wedges and veggies. I had intended to take a picture of us sitting down for birthday dinner, but we were really hungry and the food was sooo yummy!


For dessert we had apple crisp. This has always been one of my favorites. Now, with my allergy issues, it is one of the few desserts that I am still able to enjoy. Mom dished out generous portions of crisp while Andrew offered ice cream to go with it.

Apple crispAndrew offering ice creamDad

Happy birthday Dad!! We love you and look forward to celebrating many more birthday dinners with you.

Home, At Last

Work at homeTwo weeks ago, I left my job to work at home with Jesse. We are happy to say that we have survived the first two weeks of being together constantly. We both agree that it is going great. However it did take a bit of getting used to. It is kinda weird to get up in the morning and not have somewhere to go. For the first week or so I felt like I was actually missing that part of my life. As stressful as my work environment had been, it had become such a standard part of me. I think it was either Tuesday or Wednesday of week two that I was really starting to get used to my new normal. We are loving the freedom of being able to set our own schedules. We love the happy and more relaxed vibes in our home.

This past weekend we attended The Art of Marriage seminar given by our church. It was a great weekend. I was a little unsure about how much I would like a seminar that was all on videos, but I think it was done very well. They videos were entertaining while being jam-packed with tons of information. It’s going to take a while to digest all of what we learned. Plus the workbook came with extra reading and exercises for us to work on over the next couple weeks.

I think that our new life schedules will help us tremendously as we continue to build on what we learned this weekend. Not only am I now bringing a happier attitude to our relationship, but I fell like we are truly working as a team. I am relying on him to be our sole incomer, and he is relying on me to play the supporting role that allows him to better accomplish what he needs to get done. It’s a completely different team setup than we had when we were both incomers, and think it is the best setup to help us to reach our full potential together.

Yummy Paleo Pork Chops

When I first started on the paleo diet it was very difficult to find many recipes that would work for me.  This was one I came across early on and has become one of our favorites because it is super easy and super yummy.

Start by juicing one lemon, about 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  I like to zap it in the microwave to soften it up a little.  I read that it makes it easier to get the all the juice out that way.  I’m not sure how much of a difference it really makes, but I do it every time now.

Fresh lemon juice

Then add about 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Next, add 3 garlic cloves, minced.  I cheat here and use a jar of minced garlic, the conversion on my jar says to use 1 1/2 tsp.


Finally, add the remaining spices:
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Blend all ingredients together and pour into a shallow dish.  Add pork chops to marinade.  Allow to chill for about 12 hours or overnight.  Grill, basting with marinade while grilling.

Pork chops

I like to make this marinade first thing in the morning so that it marinates all day to have for dinner.  I add an extra step and flip them around lunch time so that both sides soak up the marinade.  This helps them caramelize better while grilling too.

Flipped chops

Recommended final step: invite friends/family to share the meal with.  Last night we had my brother, Andrew, and his girlfriend, Nicole, over for dinner.  I was nice to catch up with everything they have going on with all of their schoolwork.  It feels so long ago that I was at that stage of life.  As we were talking about some of the classes they are taking that I also took, I could barely remember learning that stuff… especially my Math classes.  Andrew is a Math NUT!  He had to keep guessing what I was trying to remember as those classes are now so far in the back of my brain.  However, we were lucky enough to sneak in a couple of review lessons after dinner.  I am really glad that he is enjoying his equations, but I’m even more glad that I am no longer worried about what X equals! Notice how fascinated Nicole is about finding what X equals.


We ended the night by laughing at the last of the American Idol hopefuls try out, followed by being freaked out about the the Strange Addictions guy who couldn’t stop eating champagne glasses and light bulbs.  Both are shows that we would kinda like to say we have better things to do than waste time watching, but we also can’t help but watch.