Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Last year, several of my Facebook friends took the opportunity during the month of November to do “30 Days of Thanks.”   I jumped in on it last year and this.  And this year I thought it would be a good idea to compile my list here, as a reminder of these past 30 days.  It’s amazing, taking time each day, to publicly state what I am thankful for.  Some days were harder than others, and sometimes I didn’t get it down until the following day.  Today, I am thankful that I did this.  It has helped me remember to think about what is really important in life.  And so here are the rest of the 30 days of thanks:

I am thankful for our dogs, who love us unconditionally, are always so excited to see us, and take everything the girls throw at them in stride. They add so much joy to our lives! 
I am thankful for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.
I am thankful for the start of the Advent Season. I can now play Christmas music at work without getting strange looks.
I am thankful for family time; a nice day hanging around the house and some time at the zoo and candy store.
I am thankful for Christmas movies! After getting the tree up, we are now watching Elf and next is Christmas Vacation!
I am thankful for Thanksgiving! A wonderful holiday meant to be spend with family & friends. The turkey is in the oven. The potatoes & sweet potato biscuits are ready (will reheat while the turkey rests). Nothing to do right now, but check the sales and wait! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I am thankful for all those who were in my life for only a season. While I miss having you as a larger part of my life, I am glad you were there when you were.
I am thankful for short work weeks! Today is the Thursday of my work week!
I am thankful for both my parents and my parents-in-law!!
I am thankful for my church family!
am thankful for Jessie and her adventurous nature!
I'm thankful for Maggie and her love of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Today, I have been wondering what I should be thankful for. I am so blessed that to narrow it down to a single status today is difficult. Therefore, today, I am thankful for wine. And the wonderful 2008 Kennedy Shah Red Wine I am currently enjoying while waiting for the spaghetti to cook.
I am thankful to live in this technological age. Love having access to family and friends from all over!!
I am thankful for my family, snuggled on the couch watching Phineas & Ferb ending our evening together.‎
I am thankful for good friends who are also Vikings fan so we could watch the game. Even if they lost it was still a good time! Thanks Kreigers!
I am thankful for plenty of food to eat and the ability to make many different foods for my family & friends. Which reminds me I need to start the ribs for MNF!
I am thankful for the magic of Santa Claus! And thank you to Vincent Arts for a wonderful experience with the jolly old elf himself!‎30 days of thanks: thank you to all the men & women of the armed forces, current & veteran. You make me proud to be an American
I am thankful for good health. I'm very thankful that the pediatrician doesn't always remember my girls' names!
I am thankful for a morning routine with time built in I can use to sleep in, drive-thrus and large McCafes.
Today, election day, I am thankful to the women and men who came before me who felt it was important for ALL Americans to have the right to vote.
I am thankful for a fulfilling career that allows me to support my family and is currently allowing my husband to find a fulfilling career of his own.
I was thankful for a husband who is a fabulous Dad!
Hauling out the big guns to ask for prayers to St. Anthony as I search for my wedding rings again tonight (looking for them since Wed morning). 95% sure they are in the house, but slight chance I lost them the night before (darn weight loss). However, today, I am thankful once again for my husband who reminded me that the rings can be replaced, but our marriage cannot. #30daysofthanksgiving
I am thankful for wonderful Godly girlfriends with whom to enjoy lunch and an after work beer. 
I am thankful for my husband who keeps the house clean, food in the house and clean socks on the drawers!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pinotage, The Den

Another selection from the wine club, though I can't remember if it's from October or November and now I cannot find my notes. Next month's selection will be available this weekend and I'm going to,hopefully remember to, blog about the 3 right away.

This is a new grape variety for me. It's a South African grape developed in the early 20th century. The Den is from Painted Wolf [I LOVE the label and wouldn't mind it as a print on my wall], and I'd like to try other varieties from Painted Wolf. The pinotage has a little spice to it and a bit of a berry flavor, slightly dry. I had it after dinner with some chocolate which was a great pairing!

I'm enjoying branching out into some reds. Getting away from the sweet & light whites has been great fun and a bit of an adjustment. Especially as the weather cools. We'll see if this trend continues in the spring!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Psalm 105:1/ Philippians 4:6

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done!

Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.


Another blessed thanksgiving! I made our usual feast, apple cider-brined turkey (recipe here), mashed taters & gravy, sweet potato chips and biscuits. Our friends the Osterlunds came over to feast with us. Kristy brought a pumpkin cheesecake to round out our meal. We watched football and enjoyed the beautiful day.thanksgiving02 Jessie played well with their son, Eli, who is 8 months younger than Jessie. Even the dogs enjoyed the leftovers; they were even too full to lick the gravy boat!!

I had meant to take pictures of the meal, but got caught up in the preparation and forgot. Perhaps I’ll recreate the meal at Christmas.

I do enjoy Thanksgiving. A wonderful day set aside to remind us to be thankful for all we have been given. A day set aside to spend with family and friends, however we see fit. A day set aside to stuff ourselves with comfort foods, sit around & watch football and just Be. Thank you, Lord, for such a wonderful, blessed day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

All I Want for Christmas

Maggie emailed Santa today with her Christmas list:

Hi Santa,
I hope your reindeer are doing fine.  I was making a Christmas list, and I looked in a Target Christmas magazine and I copied the words that were in it and and I drew it on a piece of paper.  And I wrote this:
I want a Dinosaur Train interactive friend
and an Hello Kitty dream house
and a Fiijai friend.
I can't have everything on my list, but I hope you do your best. I've been good.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Something's Lost

About two and a half weeks ago, I lost my wedding & engagement rings. I realized they were gone on a Wednesday morning. I don't really remember putting them on but I do remember thinking about them. I realized they were gone after I got in the car to leave. I did a quick look for them, leaving Jessie in the car. I then decided I didn't care if I was late for work and searched the bedroom, kitchen and living room for about 30 minutes. At that point I knew I needed to get to work and called off the search, temporarily.

The drive to work was interesting, thoughts going my head. What if I couldn't find them? Would we get replacements? Do I even want replacements? Those rings were specially blessed at our wedding. Can you call replacements "wedding" rings? Why are they called wedding rings and not marriage rings? Why had I put off finding a jeweler to resize them? They have been loose for some time but now that I'm about 15 pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant with Jessie and it's a lot colder they seemed to be even looser.

Over the past 2 weeks, I've done some concentrated searches including cleaning out my closet, Jessie's closet, the dresser, the food closet, my car, under the bed, even getting Rocky to move the fridge and stove. So if nothing else at least several areas got a good level 10 cleaning.

It's weird. I still check for them and sometimes stop and wonder for a second, forgetting I do not have them on. I have also heard of many more lost rings since mine have gone missing.

The rings are insured and can be replaced. I keep reminding myself that rings are not important. The rings are not my marriage. And I love that my husband is the voice of reason in this situation.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Red Red Wine

Last week, we had our friend Diane over for dinner as she was a hunting widow.  I had decided to try to make Beef Bourguignon.  A few years ago, I read “Julie & Julia,” [wasn’t a fan of the writer as I thought she came off as pretentious] and later saw the movie [which I did like more, but probably because Meryl Streep was such an awesome Julia Child!].  After reading the book, I kind of wanted to try to make beef bourguignon to see if it really WAS as difficult as Julie made it out to be.  After all, it seemed like it was just a beef stew and anyone with a crockpot should be able to turn out a decent beef stew.  However, at that time, I didn’t take the time to look for a recipe, or actually TRY it and put it out of my mind.

A few weeks ago, I ran across a crockpot version of Julia’s recipe and decided I wanted to try it again.  I got the ingredients for the crockpot version, but soon changed my mind and found a longer version in an online search at Simply Recipes.  I’m proud to say I stuck fairly close to the recipe, though I did not use even half as many pearl onions as the recipe calls for as I know my family (and myself) and we are not fans of pearl onions.  The recipe was a LOT of work, but very very worth the work.  I do think that when I make it again, I’ll utilize the crockpot to cook the beef, especially if it becomes regular fair.  I had a lot of pots & pans going.  Fortunately, I also have a wonderful husband who cleaned up


And now the wine!  I had purchased a bottle of Cupcake Red Velvet, which would have been lovely, but Diane did bring a couple of bottles, and, well, Diane has excellent taste in wine, so I handed her the bottle opened to make the choice.  She chose the A Cote “Next Door” Red Blend.  I’m really starting to like blends, especially in reds.  It seems like a blend offers the option to drink earlier, full bodied and not as much “breathing” required.  Blends are great gateway wines into more reds.   It was smooth and went very very very well with the beef. 

Modeled after some of my favorite blends from the south of France, the components of this wine are 42% Syrah, 42% Pinot Noir, 8% Grenache, and 8% Mourvedre. Not often blended, the red fruit of Pinot Noir is right at home when balanced with the spice and structure of cool climate Syrah. The Grenache, brings a textured, rich fruit component and adds mid-palate weight, while the Mourvedre completes this blend in a seamless experience from the bouquet through the intricately layered finish!

We were good and only had 1 bottle that night.  The La Crema would have to wait for another.  Which was just a few nights later for me!  Diane brought Pinot Noir and later told me this is one of her favorites.  I complete agree with her.  Pinots have long been my favorite red.  I’m not a fan of dry reds.  While I like drinking wine with a meal, for a wine to stand out to me, I have to enjoy it on it’s own.  As such, Pinots, in my experience, aren’t as dry as say a Cabernet – which I’m learning to enjoy after it’s been given time to breathe – which is why they have been my favorite.  I loved that the bottle was clear so I could enjoy the burgundy color even before pouring my first glass.

I know this was just one evening of wine of many with Diane and I look forward to many many more.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

17 Months of Jessica Fae

I've been trying to get some video of Jessie dancing as it seems to be her favorite thing to do! She loves all music and will even start dancing to ring-around-the-rosie: spinning and spinning and spinning until she falls down.

We have officially entered the tantrum stage. Not getting her way leads to Jessica getting into a downward facing dog pose and screaming as loud as she can. We are holding fast, just as we did with Maggie and hoping it will pass quickly.

Jessie's 8th tooth made its appearance this past month. She has more "words": hi, bye, puh-pee, bah-bee (which sometimes means her blanket), mama, dah-dee, sis-tah, mo-me (monkey pacifier). I haven't tried adding more signs lately so may have to pull out my book to see if there are some she might use. Eat, more, please, milk, up & Dad are the ones she uses most.

The end of this month she starts her transition to the toddler room at daycare. I'm looking forward to this move as I think she's gotten bored in the pre-toddler room and I'm not sure they are good about challenging the mobile babies.

Jessie has turned into a very curious baby who definitely keeps me on my toes! She loves to push the limits and is always looking for the line to cross.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October Wine Club

I've been a bit of a slacker on my wine club update. November wine club is waiting for me and I, well Rocky, just opened one of the bottles yesterday. He picked out the Anselmi, an Italian yellow, er, white. It's actually a beautiful golden color and I think it would be a nice deck wine, enjoyed on a early fall evening outside. Unfortunately it's a little too cold to be outside.

Sue, from Simply Wine, called it "citrus, nutty and a bit toasty." I like it.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4