What We Remember: {2011}

We made it. All the way to the last day of 2011. Another one on the books. And it brought us so much joy. Things that we did this year...

{January} We found ourselves in between semesters and once again enjoying our time together. We had some fabulous warmish weather. We went downtown to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial. And Mike started a new job at a law firm!

{February} We celebrated Valentine's Day by Mike surprising me with tickets to William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing downtown. Mike got in a really bad car accident, but luckily, he wasn't hurt. We can't say that much for our Civic. Totaled. But, we purchased a Nissan Rogue, which we love! We had some terrible weather, including a very bad snow storm, but we like snow storms here in Oklahoma because they shut everything down! We got to stay home for two days! No work and no school, which means Abby and Mike togetherness!

{March} I found myself in a gym funk and a junk food craze. Possibly my way of dealing with Spring semesters {I loathe them}. We created a paper chain for Law School graduation. It had 438 links on it. We experienced a piano bar for the first time with some friends, which was awesome! Oh and March Madness....nuff said.

{April} We started our month off in Dallas hanging out with Mike's brother and his family. We attended our first Ranger's game. We went to the Renaissance Fair here in Norman. A friend and I threw an awesome baby shower for another dear friend of ours. We refinished a dresser for our bedroom. And the highlight....the Royal Wedding! Watched 4.5 straight hours of coverage.

{May} We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! We dominated in our Kentucky Derby watching. We went trail running in Oklahoma for the first time. I did a 5k with a friend. We drove to Utah for the summer. Mike started a new internship! And I went out with some friends from high school that I haven't seen in years!

{June} We went to the zoo with Mike's family. Mike got his grades for Spring semester, his best semester so far in law school! And we went hiking in some Utah mountains! {Oh how we miss those Utah mountains!

{July} My niece was baptized and Mike's sister and her family were sealed in the Jordan River temple! I won tickets on the radio to see Brad Paisley at Stadium of Fire, come to find out they were FRONT AND CENTER. Yep, we touched Brad. Yum. I celebrated my quarter-of-a-century birthday. Mike and I spent a weekend camping in Yellowstone! And I had a spa day with the girls!

{August} I found my first, second and third gray hair. We drove back to Oklahoma. I started cooking dinner again {Go me!} The Mission President here in Norman spoke to the LDS law students in the area. He is an attorney from Salt Lake. Amazing.

{September} We went to the first OU football game of the season! We searched for the Dodge Journey...and never found it. We celebrated Mike's 26th birthday. Mike's parents came to town! We drove to the top of the highest mountain in Oklahoma. And I discovered Pinterest.

{October} We went to Dallas for the OU vs. Texas game. We went to the Texas State Fair and ate fried foods. We celebrated Mike being home from the mission for 5 years. Which leads to celebrations of our 5 year first date anniversary and our 5 year first kiss anniversary. Mike competed in Moot Court again and his team took 3rd and he individually took 8th. My sister and her family came to town. We went to the Action Figure Museum and to the casino to watch horse races.

{November} Mike went out of town for another law school competition. I experienced my first longer-than-two-seconds earthquake. While Mike was out of town no less. We went to Houston to spend our last Thanksgiving with Mike's brother and his family. Which included my first {and last} experience with a gravity table. We found another awesome book series to read. Oh and I started this blog!

{December} Mike finished another semester! {One more to go!} I got some new awesome running shoes. We went to Utah for Christmas. And I got the stomach flu. And we celebrated our 5 year engagement anniversary!
Here's to another awesome year! Bring it on, 2012!

{I linked up here:}


What We Got: {Christmas in OK}

Look at some of what we got...

A cowl that Mike picked out and ordered off of Etsy all by himself. I didn't even know that he knew what Etsy was. Oh and my awesome fair isle slipper boots. Once again, 100% picked out by Mike. {And do you like my hair? The two-toned....black on top, my natural on bottom. I'm obsessed.}

I wish I could say Mike picked this out, but either way, yep, I bought that. And yes, he has worn it.

A rose gold Fossil watch. I'm in love.  

A food dehydrator! This kid was so excited, you have no idea. Unfortunately now our house smells like homemade jerky. Mmm. {I fear this smell may become all too common in our home, and I may regret this gift}

What Today Is: {5 Years}

Mark it: 5 years ago tonight, Mike engaged me.

It was beautiful. It was secluded. It was perfect. With roses. And daisies. And candles galore.

And even though I can't remember a thing that he said, I knew that he loved me more than anything ever.
And I knew that we were perfect for each other.
And even though a small part of me was terrified, another huge part of me was overwhelmed with love and joy.
And I said yes.
And I got a gorgeous ring out of the deal.
And an awesome husband.

{Side note: I clearly remember sitting there while Mike was on his knee listening to all the wonderful things that he said and telling myself....Remember that he said that...oh and that...and that... As soon as we left that special spot, I forgot everything that he said, but for the record, he forgot it all too.}


What We Read: {The Scorch Trials}

Over a month ago, we finished book two of The Maze Runner series. It.Was.Awesome. I felt the need to blog about the fact that we finished it, even if the blog came a month late. Can't leave you hanging with just the first book! {We are actually well into book three now.} I think this book was better than the first. It's a tough call. But this book had way more surprises. Things I definitely didn't see coming. If you haven't started reading it based off of my book one recommendation, then I suggest you get your name on the library list now, because its getting long. And as soon as the movie cast is announced {movie to come out in 2013}, this book will explode. And then good luck getting it at the library. Here is the synopsis for The Scorch Trials. {Probably shouldn't read it if you have yet to read book one and plan to.} Once again, pulled off the authors website.

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated-and with it, order-and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder-does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?


What I Caught: {Stomach Flu}

What's the best way to lose those few pounds possibly gained over the holidays?

Catch the stomach flu. Like I did. Three hours before I was supposed to leave for the airport.

Yep, I caught the lucky streak.

So Mike hopped on the plane without me. And 12 hours {and $150} later, I was catching my flight back to OKC.

Pros? Getting to spend 12 extra hours with my mama. Oh, and laying on the couch. All. Day.

Cons? Missing my flight. Travelling alone. Functioning on only a few hours of sleep. And the list goes on...

Either way, I'm back. Back to work. Back to reality. And feeling much, much better.


What We've Been Doing: {Family Time}

Long time, no post. But I made the decision to fully immerse myself into our travels while in Utah. We have enjoyed some memorable moments with family and will continue to do so during our last day here. Then tomorrow, reality will return as we head back home. Back to the mundane. My next few days will include some precious time with the hubby, lots of catching up at work, losing the holiday weight gain, some 2011 reflection and some 2012 planning {it's gonna be a doozy}. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday and the special time with family and friends.


What Little Time Is Left: {Ode to Christmas. Day#4}

I have a Christmas countdown that I made last year. And I love it. It's so fun to countdown the days to all the excitement. But in our house, we don't countdown the days until Christmas {at least not the last few years}, we count down the day that we get to be with our families. And see that number? Yep, one day {tomorrow} until we leave for Utah. And we are so excited! Let's be honest though, my mind has already been on vacation for the past week {my poor coworkers}. And there has been a whole lot of jumping up and down going on at home {all by me, Mike just gives me an odd look and then proceeds to not join in}{he is excited though, I promise, he just can't be excited and be dealing with finals at the same time}. But we're almost there. Let's pray for a little snow so that we can get a true Utah Christmas {but lets be sure to delay that snow until after I get there so as to have a smooth flight and landing}.
I hope everyone has an opportunity to be around those they love this holiday!


What Our's Looks Like: {Ode to Christmas. Day#3}

Do you wanna know what I love? Christmas trees. Do you wanna know what I love even more? Christmas trees with a whole bunch of presents underneath. Now don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts just as much as the next person, but even if all those boxes were empty, I still just love the way a bunch of presents look under the tree. Presents are to tree as frosting is to a cookie. {Maybe that's the ornaments...} Anyway, you know what I'm saying. This is our tree. With our gifts. And our Jesus picture. Because there is no Christmas without our Savior, Jesus Christ. {That picture is there all year round, but how fitting that it happens to be right next to my Christmas tree each year} Anyway, don't be jealous y'all but see all those gifts? Yep, they will be all unwrapped TOMORROW!! Mike has asked me everyday this week if we could unwrap our gifts. "No dear, Thursday." Because when travelling for Christmas, these are your options: 1) Unwrap all the gifts before you go {our pick, for obvious reasons}, 2) Unwrap all the gifts when you get home {yeah, right}, 3) Take all your gifts with you {but then you have to pay the baggage fees for all that extra space, um....no}, 4) Don't give each other gifts {but that would just be sad and boring}. So see, we have definitely picked the best option. Plus we get to have Christmas 10 days earlier than normal! But I did have to tell Mike this year that when we no longer travel for Christmas {which will be sometime in our future}, our gifts will have to go back to being unwrapped on Christmas day. It's a rough life we have. 


What I Listen To: {Ode to Christmas. Day#2}

So last week I asked Mike what his favorite Christmas song was. He didn't have an answer. Ummmm. How can you not know what your favorite Christmas song is? So I gave him the charge to listen to Christmas music all day while he studied. When I got home that night, I asked him again. Not only did he still not know what his favorite Christmas song was, he did not listen to Christmas music at all that day. Punk. I love Christmas music. I start listening usually mid-October. These are some of my favorites this season...

The Canadian Tenors - O Holy Night

Michael Buble - All I Want for Christmas Is You

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Bob Rivers - 12 Pains of Christmas
{Just try not to laugh out loud when you listen to this...betcha can't}


What We Bought: {Ode to Christmas. Day#1}

Read this blog post first.

Happy Monday everyone!
Now look what I found!

I have been wanting to get an OU ornament since this will be our last Christmas here in Oklahoma. {Hooray!} So I have been on the hunt. And then I spied these Mr. and Mrs. Claus OU gnome ornaments and my search was over. I'm addicted. These little guys may even stay out all year.


What We Ate: {Chocolate Crackle Cookies}

A couple weeks ago I made Chocolate Crackle Cookies. If you can plan ahead, the cookies were delicious! The dough has to refrigerate for a little while before they can be baked, so that's why I say this is a plan ahead cookie. I even liked them so much, that I didn't take them to work to pawn them off to my coworkers as usual. Yep, I was selfish. I kept them at home, and kept them all to myself. Okay, I did let Mike have some. And if there were any extra pounds gained, I would like to say, that it was definitely worth it.

The Stuff:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

The Doing:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt bittersweet chocolate over medium heat {don't forget your double boiler, or it'll burn!} Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate. With mixer on low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until just combined. Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
3. On a clean countertop, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 16 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss in powdered sugar, and roll the each piece into a ball shape. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in powdered sugar again to coat completely. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet. Bake until cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to15 minutes.


What We Attempted: {Bench Press}

So anybody else watch The Biggest Loser this week? If you did, then you saw Antone {my favorite!} bench press his children. Which then led to me asking Mike if he could bench press me. Which then led to Mike attempting to bench press me. {Unsuccessful, hand placement was difficult :)} Which then led to me sitting in Mike's hands and him attempting tricep extensions. {Once again, unsuccessful, he was a little fearful of my rear end landing on his face} Which then led to this:

Hooray, success! {Please overlook several things: the attractive angle of the camera, the faces I'm pulling, the black leggings tucked into white socks, the messy house}

Look at Mike working those legs and me engaging that core.

Oh hush, we have fun together, and that's all that really matters.


What to Do: {Hair}

Yep. This is the kind of day that it is. At least that's what my hair tells me. I need a new do. Keep it long? Cut it short? Middle length? More bangs? More layers? Shave it and start over?

I'm just bored with it. And I need low maintenance. Which makes it harder. Early morning hair doing and getting to work on time is a challenge for me. Its one or the other, people. 4 out 5 times my hair ends up in a bun anyway. One of these days things are going to get drastic, and something irreversible might happen.

Figure it out soon. Okay, done with my rant for the day.


What We Ate: {Fancy Grilled Cheese}

Fancy Grilled Cheese. Name coined entirely by Mike. Want to give credit where credit is due.

The Stuff:
Garlic Bread
Mozzarella Cheese
Olive Oil

{Side note: We like to make our own garlic bread. Mix together 1/2 cup softened butter, 2-3 cloves of garlic {boiled for 1.5 minutes and then minced}, and either basil or parsley. Spread on loaf of french bread. Target sells wheat french bread loaves, for those interested.}

The Doing:
Put the garlic bread in the oven @ broil. Take out when about halfway done. And turn down oven temp to 400.
Saute the spinach in a small amount of olive oil.
On one side of the garlic bread, put the sauteed spinach.
On the other side, put the sliced tomatoes and then top with cheese. {It helps to keep the tomatoes in place}
Put back in the oven and keep your eye on it! Take out when the cheese is melted to your liking.
Put loaves together to make a sandwich.

{This would also taste great without sauteing the spinach. Personal preference}


What I Bought: {Running Shoes}

So who really cares if Christmas is only a measley 20 days away. I still bought myself something. And, no I didn't call it a Christmas gift to myself. I bought them because a) they were a good deal, b) because I needed them, c) because, dad gummit, I just wanted them.

Look at my new running shoes.....

Sexy, right?

Who doesn't love an extremely bright colored pair of running shoes? They seem to give me the little push of energy to finish my workout each day.

Which by the way, successfully made it to the gym 5 days last week. {Normally, I can't get past 4}

So pretty sure I deserved a new pair of shoes to show off, after a week like that.


What I Watched: {The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting}

Did anyone else watch this? I had no intentions of doing so, it was merely on as I kept myself preoccupied by other things, only half listening or so. Until...


I need a disclaimer. I'm not trendy. I hate the bandwagon. I just like what I like {which is how it should be}.

So this music video premiered during the Rockefeller tree lighting. And I suddenly went from half listening, to sitting on the floor right in front of my TV. And I have no idea how I got there.

So, Mariah Carey is an absolute dork. But I wasn't really watching her anyway. Um, lets all dig into our 14 year old personas. Okay, you there? I totally have a crush on Justin Bieber. This is a All-I-Want-For-Christmas-Is-You-music-video-crush only. Never before having given him a second thought/glance/listen. No, I will not suddenly be watching every video of his, listening to all his music and calling him "Biebs". But yep. How cute is he? As I sat on the floor in my living room watching this video, I yelled to Mike in the other room, "I totally have a crush on Justin Bieber." And without hesitation he says back, "Yeah, if you like guys that look like girls." Hah.


What We Did: {The Gravity Table}

Ever seen one of these? Its called a gravity table. Its supposed to help with back pain. Separates all the vertebrae in your back. Mike's brother has one so over Thanksgiving break we gave it a go. Its all controlled by your arms. The higher you lift your arms, the farther back you go. Eventually flipping you 180 degrees. Pain. Now when using the gravity table, you are supposed to tip a little bit and then stop, wait for your body to get used to it. Over time, you work your way to going completely upside down. Well we didn't have time for our bodies to get used to it. Mike just went for it. {Mind you, Mike feels no pain. Hercules or something} So when it was my turn, how could I not?  Um. Pain. The whole, blood rushing to your head, suspended by your feet feeling. Pain. As quickly as I was down, I screamed at Mike, "Hurry, take a picture." He quickly snapped one and I was back up. Pain. Funny though, I couldn't even post the picture of me being upside. It looked gross. My face was BRIGHT red, and my feet were like a sickly yellow color. Pain. I had such a headache the rest of the night. Definitely one of those never-do-it-again-and-if-you-do-make-sure-you-follow-the-instructions type things.