Sunday, August 29, 2010


Brad turned 26 on Thursday!!  Finally, I don't feel so old. :-)

Since he had to work on his birthday, we decided that I would take a vacation day on Wednesday & we would head out to Saratoga to see the horse races.

We spent a lot of time walking around the town.  Unfortunately, the walk was unintentional & caused us to waste a lot of time getting into the track.  One of the things I loved most about the town were the street signs (of which, I didn't get any pictures), but these signs lined the roadway & they were equally as neat.
These signs are posted for the winners in those years.  I just love the quircky names they give horses.

Brad and I spent a lot of time walking in circles once we got inside the track, which, again, wasted a lot of our time getting to see a race.... haha.  I'm convinced the employees of the track were playing games with us by steering us in the wrong direction.

But, eventually, we got to our seats and were able to enjoy a few races...

I've always wanted a white horse.

The birthday boy..
I'm pretty smitten over him. :-)

After the races we headed back to Albany just in time for our dinner reservations at our favorite restaraunt...

(Sorry for the sad looking cell phone picture)

We had dinner at The Melting Pot & it was the perfect end to the night!
It just so happened they were hosting a special dinner from a local brewery, so we were able to enjoy a sample of their beers with each course.

Between the great news we were given in the morning, the fun at the races, and the delicious dinner, I would say his birthday was pretty much perfect!  I'm so glad we were able to spend it together (even if it was a day early)!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I think this is Damon's way of telling me I spend too much time on the laptop.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

an all day event

On occassion I go through these little spurts of financial panic (although, I'm not sure it's always necessary).  Everytime I do this, I take drastic measures to fix the little issues.  It usually begins with Brad's lunches because the boy knows how to spend money on food.  It's amazing the food he can eat & never gain a pound.  LUCKY!  However, his coffees and snacks sure do add up financially.  So, this week we made a deal to try harder to eat a little less from the local businesses & a little more home cooked meals.  This is my attempt at making this an easy transition for him. :-)

I woke up this morning, took Damon for a walk & went out to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients.  His options are endless...

Mmmmm... lasagna.  You just can't go wrong with this!  This is sure to keep Brad full all day.  Lasagna is one of the easiest & one of my favorite meals to make.

And, you'll never guess what I did today...

I cooked meat!!!  I've been a vegetarian for about 16 years & haven't done much in the meat cooking department since.  I knew I couldn't go wrong with ground beef.  It didn't go into the lasagna... it went into this dish:

Brad's favorite meal is Shepherd's Pie.  I don't enjoy it the way I used to because there was a period we ate it WAY too much, but it was a special request from Brad, so I happily added it to the menu.  When I used to make it for us, I used the Morninstar Farms Crumbles in place of the beef, but I figured since this was Brad's menu, I would make it the way he would love it best! :-)

And then I had added two chicken dishes to the menu: Chicken Parm & a Spinach & Chicken Casserole.  Well, I totally forgot about the chicken parm & used all of the tomato sauce in the lasagna... oops... so, scratch that off the list.  Then it dawned on me... I have NO IDEA how to cook chicken.  It's nowhere near as easy as ground beef!!  Thank goodness for Facebook & Brad's sargent's wife who walked me through the steps of baking chicken... haha.  It came out great & I made this yummy looking casserole with it:

Unfortunately, I can't tell you how it tastes, since I don't eat chicken... but, I imagine it must be good since the website I got it from said it was "The BEST Spinach & Chicken Casserole" & it got 4.5 out of 5 stars, but we'll let Brad be the judge of it.

So, this is what Brad's lunch looks like for tomorrow:

(the Easy Mac is for him to put in his desk for emergency moments when he forgets his lunch... Not included in his meal for tomorrow)

He's going to love the Arizona Sweet Tea (his favorite) & that's right, I made homemade brownies... I know it looks like a muffin, but I couldn't find my brownie pan.  A few weeks ago I went to a yard sale at my friend Jen's house & she had brownies in muffin wrappers... she's a kindergarten teacher & thinks of it all.  So, I stole her brilliant idea! :-)

And then, there was even a surprise at the end of the day...

Banana Bread!!!

Brad & I bought bananas this week that turned awfully quick, so as I put them in a bag to throw them away, it dawned on me that I just MIGHT have all of the ingredients for banana bread.... and yippy, I did! :-)

So, let's add this up:

  • Lasagna

  • Shepherd's Pie

  • The BEST Spinach & Chicken Casserole

  • Homemade Brownies

  • Banana Bread
All taking up space in the freezer, waiting for Brad to eat.

It really felt like so much more as I was making it, but boy, between cooking, dishes, & cleaning the house, this is how I spent my Saturday & I hope, in the end, Brad walks away full & enjoying his meal so much more than the sandwiches he buys from the Mobile station.  :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Oh my, I feel like I've been gone from blogger for so long, I almost forgot how to put a post together.  Let's see if I still have it in me...

As promised in the beginning of the month, I have reception pictures from Alison & Rob's wedding.
(I hope you like them as much as the ceremony pictures, Alison).

I was thrilled when Alison called me last week after her trip to Walmart to develop a few of the pictures I posted to the last blog post.  Supposedly when she went to the desk to check out, the cashier at the photo desk told Alison that she couldn't let her purchase the pictures because there was most likely a copyright on them, thinking they were professional shots.  I was a bit hubbled when she told me this.  So, I hope these pictures meet her expecations. :-)  She's been so patiently waiting for these & I feel terrible it has been taking me so long to get them to her!  Please forgive me, Alison! <3

(I love the one bead that rolled out of place... it's the little things, really... hehe).

(I want to know what was so funny, Alison). ;-) 
BTW, I love the picture.

Alison chose a song for the Father Daughter dance that her dad used to sing to her and her sister as kids.  It was a song about Christopher Robin & Winnie the Pooh... it was the sweetest thing & they sang it to eachother throughout the dance.  It even brought a tear to my eye!

Daddy's little girl...

Don't worry, Alison.  We were all shedding a tear with you after that dance.

Rob can't keep his eyes off his beautiful bride.

The girls wanted to go play in the pool!

These were the ushers gifts... how creative are they?

Rob's parents were adorable!  They had so much fun on the dance floor.

(Brad took this & I love it)

It was a wonderful night & it was sad to see it come to an end, but we are so happy for the beautiful couple & wish them a lifetime of happiness!  xoxo

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the wedding

Our friends Alison & Rob were married on Saturday. Alison has been out of the office, on her honeymoon, all week. I made a promise to myself that I would have her pictures done by the time she returned. Well, I didn't fully break that promise... I have the ceremony pictures done. :-)

Alison & Rob's wedding was STUNNING!!!  She was such a beautiful bride & Rob is just her perfect match!  We are so happy for them!  I cannot wait to go through the pictures from the reception.

Best wishes for happily ever after!  We love you guys!