Sunday, December 28, 2008

So...I got a job!

I seriously have not had a free minute to blog in the last 3 weeks! Two days after my last post I had the opportunity to apply for a job. I immediately jumped at the chance and sent my resume over the next day. I received a call the following day to interview that Friday! Well, as luck would have it, I got the job and started the following Monday, December 8!! So you see, my schedule and lifestyle have been radically changed, for the good of course.

So what's the job you ask? Well, I am a loan processor for a company called Cology. We process student loans. I actually have a bit of experience in this field from an accumulated 7 or 8 months of working at Wachovia during various break in college. I was informed about the job from a previous connection at Wachovia. It just goes to show you how important connections really are!

This may confuse you since I got my degree in Exercise Science and and I was previously teaching group fitness classes. Well, sometimes things don't work out the way you think:) You see, with the way the economy is going, TruFitness unfortunately couldn't afford to add on additional fitness classes as they had hoped. So, through much payer and conversation with the group fitness manager, I decided that I needed to focus on other things, like bearing some of the financial responsibility to our family. Thankfully, we ended on great terms and there is always a possibility of teaching part time later on. The really cool thing is, now that we have doubled our income, I am able to pay for additional certifications and join a great gym to stay in shape! My hope is that by mid to end of next year, I will be teaching pilates and/or yoga.

The bottom line is, I am loving my new job and have been given a renewed sense of confidence. Trust me, Chris never pressured me to find another job or anything like that, but he is constantly reassuring me that I have abundant talents and would be a positive asset wherever I am. That is definitely helpful!!

I must say, the first week of working 8 to 5 with a 45 minute commute each way caused for a little grumpiness on my part, but I quickly came to appreciate carpooling with my husband and taking lunch together:) Maybe I forgot to mention that our offices are across the street from each other! How lucky is that?! Getting to spend that extra time together during the day has made up for not having dinner on the table when he gets home and my grocery/laundry Mondays:( The adjustment has been smooth and I have had to remind myself how incredibly lucky I am to have a great job in this tough economy, plus getting a paycheck before Christmas! May we always remember how great our God is and count the abundant ways He takes care of us!

Now that you are all caught up:

Merry Christmas!! I hope it was amazing and you were in the presence of those you love! Chris and I had the best day! We had such a special morning with each other in our own home:) Waking up next to my new husband made for a wonderful start to our day!! We shared the rest of the day with our families (thankfully, they are so close we didn't have to travel!) And since we both had Friday off, we stayed in our pj's and relaxed all day! Talk about a great weekend!

Wishing you a great year's end!

Love and peace,

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy December!

What a whirlwind! Did we really just have Thanksgiving?

This past week was a thoroughly delightful one. And not because we went on some extravagant trip or because we got to go home for the holiday (so thankful those days are behind us!) but, simply because we spent so much time with our family, friends and each other.

Last Wednesday, Chris and I drove with his dad and step mom to Colfax, a town about 30 minutes north of us, to surprise his grandpa and his wife on their 25th anniversary! It ended up not being a surprise because his grandpa had been golfing in Napa and locked his keys in his car! This caused him to be about 3 hours late to dinner!! Sadly, he knew what was going on by the time he got there, but not to worry, we still enjoyed ourselves and had some great quality time with about 25 members of the family (some of who I have never met). Note my sarcasm when I say that I also enjoyed the family questioning us about kids! Chris dad is the first born and Chris is the first born grand child, so no surprise that he is expected to deliver the first born great grandson. In time my friends:)

Our eventful night was followed by an even more eventful morning were we had to be up at 6:30 for the 5k we participated in on Thanksgiving! Allow me to clarify. My mom and I participated in, Chris was our driver and photographer:) This will definitely become a tradition for us! There were over 30,000 participants, making it the largest Thanksgiving Day run nationwide!! It is such a great way to start off the day! The crisp air gave us the energy to go home and prepare dinner. We officially hosted our first Thanksgiving...Yay! The food was great, the company was amazing and I could not be more thankful to have our family so close. We are truly blessed! We ended our night at Chris' Pop's house for games and dessert. Who could ask for more?

I must tell you that Black Friday shopping is a long time tradition for my mom and me. We have always enjoyed the hustle and bustle, the fantastic deals, the Starbucks run and most of all the thrill of the Christmas season final being upon us! I think this was our best year, mostly because I haven't been home for Thanksgiving since my Freshman year and we have really missed doing it together. We were among the thousands of people (mostly woman) standing in line at Kohl's at 4am!! I should note that it was well worth it since I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping! Don't be jealous:)

Check us out at 4am!

Last but most certainly not least, we spent the weekend relaxing and decorating for Christmas. We put up our first Christmas tree (married that is)! I had a ball putting up all of my new decorations! When I say new I should clarify that they are new since coming from my mom's abundance of Christmas stuff:) She is so gracious and let me rummage through her things and take what I wanted. I guess when you have about 30 bins of decor, you won't miss one or two!

We ended our weekend with couples night with some of our friends. What an awesome way to spend a weekend!

On a somewhat random note, I am so, so, so excited for my dear friend Stacey who got engaged on Thanksgiving! We were freshman roommates and again our junior year. Just for the record, I like to credit myself with Stacey and Darren meeting:) It's true! But anyway, I am truly happy for you guys and am sure you will make each other incredibly happy!! Congrats!

The countdown has begun...25 days 'til Christmas! Happy Monday:)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Holiday Season is Upon Us!

Today I had my first taste of the Holiday season! I was invited by Christopher's step-grandma, Lupe, to the Harvest Festival in Sacramento. I have seriously been looking forward to going for almost two months. It was fantastic, and the best part was, like any sweet and loving grandma would do, she gave me $50 to spend!! Amazing since I really didn't have any extra cash. She told me this is a tradition, I'm all for it:)

We had such a wonderful time! I am definitely someone who LOVES the hustle and bustle of hundreds of woman running around and squishing each other in hopes of finding the perfect gifts and holiday goodies! I purchased some super cute things and I really can't wait to decorate for Christmas next weekend!!!

The best part of my day was spending time with Lupe and Chris' Pop when we finished at the festival. You see, since I moved to California, twelve years ago, I haven't had grandparents nearby. I have grown very grateful to have his twenty minutes from us. As we sat and chatted for about two hours I realized three things that I really love about grandparents:
  1. Stories! I am a big fan of them. Today, we happened to stumble upon a few about Chris as a kid. It is beyond endearing to hear his grandpa tell me about how Chris was his right-hand man when it came to building things:) It makes me especially proud to share stories about what an amazing man and husband he has become!
  2. Home baked treats! As I am sipping hot pomegranate tea and savoring a warm, toasted piece of homemade zucchini bread, I simply cannot deny that grandparents make the best goodies:)
  3. You are never in a rush at their house. It almost feels as if time stands still, just for you! I have decided that the next time I am feeling stressed out, that's where you can find me:)
I am praying that you too, are enjoying the season as much as I am. Take time to look around and count your blessings!

A fun Christmas survey that Jeannine sent to me. Copy and paste it and send it along to your friends and family (and me too!)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper for sure! You can do so much more with it!!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real! I just love everything about picking it out on a chilly evening and the smell!
3. When do you put up the tree? Two days after Thanksgiving. The day after is reserved for shopping, of course:)
4. When do you take the tree down? Right after New Year’s.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not really. It is so rich, but I do love Silk Nog.
6. Favorite gift received? Definitely my pink Kitchen Aid mixer!
7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad because he doesn’t get excited about anything.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom because we have very similar likes and dislikes. If I love it, I can pretty much bet that she will too!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet, but give me a break, this is my first Christmas in my own home.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Definitely mail. I am old fashioned like that!!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't really like this question. I love presents and the thought that people put into them!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s a tie between White Christmas and Elf.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I start getting ideas around October, but don’t usually start buying until day after Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I can remember!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mom’s Crème Brulee French toast!!! I will learn to make it someday!
16. Lights on the tree? Yep! Clear.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Baby it’s Cold Outside, on Christmas with the Rat Pack
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Never spent a Christmas away from home!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? I sure can!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A beautiful bow that cascades down the tree (thanks Mom!)
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve and the rest in the morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Grouchy people!
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My Disney ornaments!
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We do a big crab dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas brunch, so dinner is usually fairly simple.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? New running shoes, the basics: VS undies and cute nighties, Origins Shedonism, a good vacuum, and a bunch of Taste of Home stuff;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicago, Our First Married Trip!

So it's back to the grind for the Hansens. We just got back from what was, a pretty fantastic trip! Last Thursday we left for Chicago to visit my family. The weekend was full of fun with my young siblings, meeting new additions to the family and great evening outings with my dad and step mom, Rebecca! This trip started with a little extra excitement because it was our first trip MARRIED! (with the exception of our honeymoon, of course!) It is so cool to realize the freedom you have as a couple!

Upon arriving Thursday night, we took a cab downtown to meet my dad at an event for a ministry that he supports in Zambia. It was really neat to take part in and meet some new people that my dad works with, but we were exhausted from the flight!

We were awakened Friday morning by my brother, Nathan, and oldest sister, Audrey, standing on the stairs and deciding how they would tickle us. It was so cute to listen to and I am pretty sure they thought that nobody could hear them. I just love the mornings I spend there with the kids. They are so adorable and lively in the morning! We also met my new sister, Madeline for the first time!!! She is the most beautiful thing! She looks like a perfect baby doll!

Once we were all ready, it was off to get the kids hair cut. Talk about an ordeal! Imagine getting four kids ,under 4 years old, ready to go and buckled into the car!! And to top it off it was cold so they all needed coats! Whew! Friday evening, after the kids went to bed, we went to a fabulous Greek restaurant. I forgot how much I love Greek! After we ate, my dad and Chris went to a poker game held by my dad's best friend and Rebecca and I went to Second City, a great comedy show where often, the comedians from SNL come from. It was hilarious! Afterward we sipped hot chocolate at Starbucks and chatted for a few hours. We knew the guys wouldn't be home for a while. We were right about that, they didn't get home from the game until 5:30 AM!! Apparently, the game ended around 2:30, but some of my dad's buddies, who are highly successful men, stuck around and gave Chris a bit of drilling about financial planning and a lot of good advice. To top it off, Chris won second in the poker game! A little extra cash never hurts, right?

Unfortunatly for Chris, I woke him up at 8 am on Saturday so we could get an early start to Wilmington, the town my parents grew up in and where a lot of my family still lives. It is only an hour drive, but we had a lot of people to see! Our first visit was having breakfast with my cousin Brianne, her boyfriend Jerry and their new baby Gavin!! I just love babies! Gavin is such a perfect little baby! Next we went to visit my cousin Josh and his new Great Dane puppy, Ellie. Chris has wanted a Great Dane for years, so when Josh sent us a picture of her, he was a bit jealous! Then we drove to my cousin Brittany's new house and spend a while with her and her husband, Josh. It was so great for us to spend quality time with some of my cousins individually, since most of time we spend together is sparce and in big family gatherings. Throughout the day, we visited with my grandpa and a few of my aunts and uncles. The day was fantastic and suprisingly very relaxing.

Sunday was such a laid back day for us. We hung around the house with the kids and the guys watched football. Who could ask for more? Well, we could. The trip wouldn't have been complete without an outing to a sporting event! The four of us went to the Blackhawks vs. Sharks hockey game! The game was especially good because Chris is a huge Sharks fan. Honestly, I had never been to a hockey game, but I am pretty sure it is my new favorite sport to watch! There was constant action and it didn't hurt that we had really good seats where we could see everything! I will admit that I was a little scared that the Chicago fans may throw beer on us or something because Chris was wearing his Sharks jersey. Thankfully, Chris is not an obnoxious fan, even though the Sharks won 6 to 5!!!

The kids after waking us up on our first morning.

Me and Ava

After hair cuts

Me and Audrey. She is acting shy:)



Beautiful Madeline!! Seriously, doesn't she look like a doll?

Chris and I with my Dad and Rebecca

So we are back home and wishing the weekend hadn't flown by so fast, but incredibly thankful that we could spend such an fantastic weekend with my family! Can't wait to go back, which hopefully will be sooner rather than later!

On a side note, I am seriously considering doing the Chicago marathon with my dad in October. He has done it for years and I kind of feel challenged to do it too. If my dad can run three marathons and do two triathlons this year, surely I can do one, right?!? I have to decide by December. Yikes!

Also, we had such a pleasant welcome home as my dad (step dad) had cleaned our carpets while we were gone! He is so sweet! We had been complaining about them for a few weeks and he took the liberty of taking care of it while we were gone:) Our family is such an awesome blessing!

Lastly, Thanksgiving is in 10 days!!! Can you believe how quickly the year has gone by? I can't wait since this year our families are coming over to our place! Woo hoo!! And, my mom an I are doing a 10/5 K on Thanksgiving morning!

That's it, I promise! If you took the time to read this entire blog, thanks so much and enjoy the season!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Being on a Budget has Taught Me

I hate waste! I especially hate it now that every penny I spend on groceries is accounted for. What's the point of spending money on something and then throwing it away in two weeks because it has gone bad? I am constantly preaching this to my family. I am pretty sure they are tired of hearing it, but it must be said! I didn't always feel so strongly, but since being married, I have especially come to appreciate every last carrot, zucchini and bag of spinach I purchase. In my quest to feed Chris and myself the best and nutritionally sound meals, I have become quite crafty and frugal during my weekly outings to the grocery store. A nice perk that has come along with this endeavor is more eco-friendly ways. I also feel passionate about living more green. I believe that it is the small things that can make a huge difference. Here are some things I have learned.

  • Only buy what you need!! ~ First of all, it cuts back on waste and you can buy the best ingredients while staying within your budget. I never realized how much excess I bought until I really couldn't afford to buy it anymore, and I survived! The biggest question I have heard regarding this is, "How do you know exactly what you will need for a whole week?" This brings me to my next point.
  • Create a meal plan and a grocery list ~ Being a self-pronounced "list-maker", this comes naturally to me, but it is easy enough to pick up. Obviously I understand that things come up, but you can always work around impromptu nights out with friends. A list helps to ensure that you buy what you need and don't stray down the cookie isle and buy those Double-Stuffed Oreos. I love the Menu planner and Grocery list at Anthropologie. They are adorable and made in retro colors!
  • Cook a majority of your meals ~ I cannot stress this enough. It is so much cheaper to eat in. And the added benefit is that you know exactly what is in your food. I always appreciate a healthy meal more when I have labored over it myself. Plus, it's fun!
  • Pack a lunch ~ What happened to the old days when we brought a sack lunch to school and work? Again, it is so much cheaper to pack a lunch and can be much healthier. I love sending Chris to work knowing that he has good, healthy fuel for his day.
  • Re-useable grocery bags and containers ~ My weekly trips to the grocery store are always accompanied by my cloth grocery bags. I love that I don't have to throw away 10 bags each week. Along with grocery bags, how annoying is it to use a plastic baggie for a sandwich, just to throw it away in a few hours? We rarely use them. I have come to love ''Fit and Fresh" re-useable containers. They are great for packing lunches and snacks. You can find them at Target and Linens and Things. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they each have individual ice packs that snap to the lid so your food stays cold.
  • Cloth napkins ~ I came to love the idea of using cloth naking a few years ago when I went to a friends house and saw that her family used them at every meal. They may cost a bit up front, but they can be used over and over and they add so much color and character to a table. I think it is funny that when people come over, they feel like it is "fancy" because we are using "nice" napkins. Haha! I pretty much avoid using paper products at all costs. Except in the bathroom:)
  • Water bottles and coffee cups ~ Stop before you buy that case of water bottles!! Invest in a stainless steel water bottle that can be used over again. Also, if you are planning on stopping at Starbucks on your way to work, bring along one of their reusable tumblers. You save a cup and they give you a little discount. Every little bit counts, right?
  • Make your own goodies!~ So, what I'm about to write may not be what most people think of as "goodies', but trust me, they are! I have started making my own peanut butter, applesauce and hummus. These healthy treats are delicious and made with REAL ingredients, you know, the way they are suppose to be. It is so easy and really does save money. Trust me, try it!
These are just a few practical things we do around the house to save money and help to eliminate waste in our home. I am always looking for new ideas. Let me know if you have any!

My next experiment is homemade surface cleaner. Here's a recipe I am thinking about using:

Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Add a few drops of Lavender essential oil and shake.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Preach it John Piper!

Okay, I found this clip today and totally and completely love it! Just wanted to share it with you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It sucks to be a Sickie!

So this afternoon I have finally come out of my sick coma, to find my house in utter disarray! Let me explain my dilemma. I have been sick since Monday. I hate being sick. You know the kind of sick where you feel like if you get out of bed, you might fall over from being so dizzy and never get back up? Yeah, I was that kind of sick. Yuck!!

I am very lucky to have a husband who is so gracious and nurturing and completely takes care of my every need while I am in this condition. The only thing is, he is not exactly blessed with a former girl scout's keen sense of leaving the kitchen, living room, den, etc. exactly the way he found it! It really doesn't bother me that much since I am clean-freak enough for the both of us. However, this morning I was finally able to get out of bed feeling decent and I walked into the kitchen to find dishes in the sink, a used pan on the stove, garbage overflowing, etc. Haha! Trust me, I don't mind cleaning up when Chris was so amazing to me while I was sick, I just find it very comical that all of the time I spend organizing and cleaning can be destroyed in matter of days! I pray we have lots of girls:)

On to other things. This past week was so jam packed with so much activity, I felt as if I hadn't blogged in 2 weeks, when in fact, it has only been a week! You all know Halloween was last Friday~Happy late Halloween by the way! I hope you all had a fabulous and eventful day/evening! We certainly did. We spent Thursday night doing the typical festivities: carving pumpkins and making caramel apples! It was a great, relaxing night, but the real fun started Friday.

My dad (step dad for all who aren't familiar with my family dynamics) turned 65 on Sunday! He kept saying he didn't want anything and didn't want to celebrate. Well, little did he know, we already had something planned! His daughter and granddaughter, who live in Oklahoma, flew in on Friday to spend the weekend with us! He was definitely surprised! We spent Halloween at my parent's having chili and cornbread...Yum! His party was on Sunday, but Chris and I spent most of the weekend there. It was so fun to be with my family and to top it off, it rained almost the entire weekend! Talk about a perfect Fall treat! The only bummer is my dad had a terrible cold on his birthday:( You can tell in this picture. Sad!
So,we have a new president. I think I will leave it to Chris to blog about this topic. He is far better at discussing these things and I don't know that I have the emotional energy to write about that right now. Though I will say, while Obama was not my choice for president, I will respect him and hope that he ends up doing some good for our country. We all know it needs some help!

Lastly, I am so very happy that it is November. First of all, I can officially start listening to Christmas music without being a total weirdo and secondly, our new Whole Foods opened this morning!! You don't understand, I am so ecstatic to finally have one five minutes from my house! Actually, there is one more reason I am glad it's November. We are leaving for a four day trip to Chicago next Thursday to visit my family! I can't wait to meet my new sister, Madeline!!

Lots to look forward to! Stay warm and check out Diana Krall's Christmas CD! I am also totally hooked on Hot Apple Cider Tea by Republic of Tea!!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Majority Rules!!

Okay, the verdict is in and apparently I am weird to think Billy Ray Cyrus is cute! For the record, "cute" is the word I used for him and I am not into the mullet! I just need to get that out there:) I do, however, still stand by my vote! Thanks for participating!

The final result is: Hot~4, Not~6

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Soft Place to Land

I love to reflect on life. This morning, as I am doing so, I can't help but laugh. Life can throw some real zingers! The awesome thing is, if you are lucky, they are usually padded with some extra good moments.

This being said, I need to brag on my husband for a minute. Those of us who know him are very aware of his blunt nature and logical mind. You may also know that I almost always analyze with my emotions. I have always thought of the logical people as cold in a way. However, I think I have discovered their secret: They are actually just saps in disguise! I have felt down lately. I am just in one of those funks, you know? Being a woman, I have hormones to blame part of it on:) So Chris, in his non emotional way, has really picked me up this week (Always really, but especially lately!) I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for a partner who can see my needs and use the tools he has to love on me. This is why I have titled this blog A soft place to land. I am thankful to have one.

Let me count the ways~
~He brought me home beautiful flowers for our 4 month anniversary. This is so not cliche-I LOVE having fresh flowers!
~When I got all of my music stolen from my car, he started finding all of these new artists he thought I would like and downloading the music for me:)
~When we were 35 minutes out of apple hill and I realized I forgot to pick up the ornament we bought, he turned around like it was not even a big deal. Even though gas is ridiculously overpriced!
~He tells me I am the most wonderful wife for doing simple everyday things so I know he appreciates them.
~He has committed and initiated waking up at 6:15 in the morning to go jogging with me!

Please don't throw up, I will stop the mushy stuff! I just think we should remember to thank our loved ones for doing all the special little things that make us smile!

With that said, We had one of the best weekends we have had in a long time. On Saturday, we went to Apple Hill! We decided to take Abby girl. She needs the socialization and exercise. She was so good, BTW! Apple Hill is a tradition for many people in Northern Cali. Basically, it is hundreds of privately owned apple orchards. You can buy the best apples, eat yummy apple treats and they have a bunch of vendors with crafts and other fun stuff. We really enjoyed not having any time constraints and nowhere to be. On our way home, Chris asked what was for dinner. I told him that I had planned on making halibut with some grilled veggies and couscous, but I didn't really feel like it. Chris and I got crafty and decided to make fish tacos with the halibut. They were so good! Excellent really. Here's the recipe:

Serves 4~
2 halibut steaks
1 packet Simply Organic Fajita seasoning
8 corn tortillas
2 avocados
1 packet guacamole seasoning
reduced fat sharp cheddar

Marinate the halibut in the fajita seasoning for about 30 minutes, turning the fish half way through. Place Halibut in foil and place on grill about 4 minutes on each side. Flake fish and serve with warm tortillas and toppings. Enjoy!

We were so impressed with how yummy these ended up being, not to mention quick and healthy! I just wanted to share our new finding!

The last thought I will leave you with: Why is it that the moment you say, "I Do", the world starts asking about babies? Please hear me out, I CANNOT wait to have babies, but I can. Make sense? If up to us, kids will come in about 3 years. And when that time comes, we will be the most ecstatic, giddy couple. Trust me!! I just think it is really funny that every time I have been the least bit nauseous, someone says, "Are you pregnant?". Yikes, don't scare me like that! It doesn't help that I keep having dreams about being prego.

Okay, last last thing, while writing this blog I have been listening to Colbi Caillat and I just LOVE her!!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Here we are in Apple Hill
Abby was so worn out from such an exciting day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Before and After Saturday.

I find it hard to write about our life and what has been going on without the proverbial, "So on Saturday..." It really is hard. So I will begin with Saturday morning.

I woke up late as I like to sleep in and Kate was doing things around the house while I watched one of the four channels we get. It was Saturday morning Disney shows on ABC. Whatever show has Miley Cyrus is what was on, and I was intrigued by what kids watched these days. No that is a lie, that is what Kate was intrigued by, I was hoping College Football was coming on.

Turns out Billy Ray Cyrus and the sister of Haley Joel Osment is on the show. This might not come as news to many people, but I don't follow this stuff, certainly not pre-teen stars and Billy Ray Cyrus. That isn't the half of what I was about to find out about my wife. Kate proceeds to drop a bomb on me. She thinks Billy Ray Cyrus is hot. Mullet and all. I was shocked and confused, dazed from the news, scared...confused. Billy Ray? Huh? Maybe the girls that read this blog can help me out. Hot or Not?

Please vote in the poll to the right. It will help ease my mind a little. After looking at him, I think there are worse looking guys out there. I know my mom had a crush on him when Achy Breaky Heart came out. So maybe it isn't that strange. Still vote...make me feel better...

On to other news.

Kate's car was broken into Tuesday night. They stole her CDs, my work portfolio, and they tried to remove the stereo, but without the proper tools for a Ford stereo they just broke off the face. They popped the lock, so now Kate's keys don't work, only the clicker. It really sucks. Most of the CDs have been burned onto our computer, but not all of them, so that sucks. The portfolio had all of my original "Atta-boys" in it. Such as awards, certificates, etc that I have received at work and school. I can't replace them. This all happened about thirty feet from our open bedroom window. So it makes Kate feel violated.

It is weird because this is a nice area, but the cops told us it wasn't the only mustang targeted last night in our area. Kate thought she had an alarm like my Explorer does, but we couldn't make it go off after the fact. So it is either broken or she never had one. She seems to think she had set it off in the past. It sucks and we don't know what we will end up getting from insurance, if anything.

On a lighter note, Kate kissed me and asked me if I had been eating Now and Laters (Kate called them Before and Afters as a kid, thus the blog title). I had not. In fact I had been thinking she tasted like Now and Laters. She remembered that she was wearing lip smackers. I instantly went circa 1997 with my thoughts and started cracking up that she forgot about the Lip Smackers and was wearing Lip Smackers in 2008. She thought I was cracking up because of a Friends episode where Joey wears flavored chapstick.

I know it was just chapstick, so perfectly normal for 2008, but it gave us a good chuckle. Makes sense they taste the same, they are both wax and flavoring.

On Sunday, I worked for CBS for the Jets at Raiders game. Raiders win! Awesome. It is funny, because I don't think people have a concept of what happens behind the scenes at an NFL football game. So much more than you know, unless you have been there and seen it. Go Raiders!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall, Love...what could be better?

You may have noticed that we haven't posed in two weeks. We have been crazy busy! So, what have we been up to? We had our first rain of the season on Friday October 3. I was beyond pleased to spend our date night in the comfort of our little home watching movies, sipping tea and snuggling up in our jammies. I love this time of year. It always makes me sentimental and gleeful.
Snuggling. You can see Abby's tongue in this picture:)

That weekend we went to the Eggplant Festival in Loomis. I have been looking forward to going for about 2 months. I just love Fall-ish festivals! We also went to a wedding that weekend. Chris' cousin Luke got married! Yay! I love weddings!! It was the first wedding we have been to since our own and I have to admit, I got a bit teary-eyed:) And finally, we tried out a new church on Sunday. We love our home church, but we just want to make sure it is the best possible place for us and that we don't just stay somewhere because it is comfortable.

So this past week was even more eventful than the one before! Chris' best friend, Brad got married!!! We were both in the wedding, so the days leading up to the wedding were very busy. Friday night were the bachelor/bachelorette parties and boy, did we have a good time! I think I will choose not to disclose the details of the bachelorette bash..somethings are just better left unsaid;) On Saturday, the ladies were pampered with manis and pedis and a delicious breakfast...yum! I again was reminiscent about the fun I had with my amazing bridesmaids the days leading up to my own wedding. What an amazing blessing to have such wonderful friends to celebrate such special times with! I love you, girls!! Anyway, Sunday was the big day and what a beautiful one it turned out to be! I am so happy for our friends. They definetely made me cry! They are so perfect for each other and I look forward to learning the tricks of being a newly married couple with them!

So, there it is, our last few weeks. And, I am not seeing the next few slow down any time soon. We're okay with that though, we like to be a couple on the move:)

Love and blessings,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just trust!

Do you ever pray about something and then completely forget to thank God for answered prayers? I know I do, all the time! In fact, this week is an excellent example.

I am the one who tends to stress way too easily in our marriage. Seriously, everything gives me anxiety! Most of the time, all it takes for me to see the big picture is to talk things over with Chris or my mom. They are both extremely reasonable and grounded people and I am so blessed to have them in my life! Anyway, multiple things happened at the beginning of this week that gave me a sick feeling in my gut and I just didn't know how everything was going to work itself out: money, jobs, timing of big events happening in our lives, my procrastination with putting my Cardio class together...this list could go on for days! So, I send Chris a text at work on Monday and he responds by saying, "I am stressed too, but the Lord will provide even if we don't trust it right now". Simple right? I realized, "DUH!", why have I been trusting in myself and our abilities to provide. So, I gave it to God, realizing that He is ultimately sovereign and moved on. Fortunately, this is not where the story ends. So I am sitting here this morning thinking about the week and realized that SO many things have happened since Monday to really lighten our load and before I left to teach my class this morning I had an amazing calmness...ME?!? The thing that really gets me is how quick I was to see these blessings as a coinsidence. Obviously I realize that prayers are not always answered immediately or in the way we expect, but, the Lord is always taking care of our needs and will provide for them as He ses fit.

Just a little reminder to trust more and worry less. In times of trouble and distress or in happiness and comfort, let us not forget the One who loves us and dwell in His peace.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding. will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philipians 4:6-7

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How time flies!

Wow! I am actually teaching my first class tomorrow! I am nervous and excited all at the same time. I am putting some finishing touches on my choreography and really hoping everything goes perfectly! Of course my mind has been in a whole other place the last few days. This past weekend was my RPM training. I had a blast, despite being extremely tired and a bit sore:) I am really starting to appreciate how much effort goes into teaching group fitness!

I just realized how giddy I am this morning and can only credit it to the wonderful changes that are happening with the coming of real Fall weather! I took last week to completely turn our house into a Fall haven and bake my first pumpkin pie of the season:) Oh yeah, and at the store yesterday, Chris talked me into buying a seasonal coffee creamer. I was a little hesitant because it has more sugar than what I usually buy, but it was worth the splurge! Anyone looking to greet the season with a cup of cheer should try Coffee-Mate's Peppermint Mocha creamer-YUMMY!

That's all for now!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Wal-Mart Masterpiece

Have you ever wondered what perfection looks like? Really. Have you ever thought about perfection? I know as a Christian people we believe Jesus was perfect. I must say, I am enamored with this idea.

That said. I have to tell you about my experience at Wal-Mart.

So Kate and I are doing our weekly Wal-Mart trip. Everything is fine and we get up to the checkout. This is where the story takes flight.

First we give the lady cashier our cloth bags. If you know Kate she is really into them. I like them too, it is an easy way to cut down our use of petroleum, which in turn should also lower our gas prices. Back to topic. She proceeds to ask us if we want the hanger for a shirt we were buying. I replied, "Nah, it would just end up in a landfill." (I sound like freak, but believe me I am not). Then she starts weighing the apples. About a half dozen of by one. Kate and I looked at each other is disbelief, hardly containing our laughter. Then she finishes, and gives us our bags, including a single plastic bag that contained our eggs. Kate and I again look at each other is disbelief. Isn't the point of using cloth to save bags? Yes and she promptly wastes one bag on one item. We stop and remove the eggs at another check stand and leave the bag. When we get home we start unpacking our bags. Produce on bottom, boxes on the top, bread on the side. Really?

I feel bad for her. Some people aren't blessed with a lot of common sense. Those with so little common sense make everyday tasks a little more comical for the rest of us.

In other news:

-Kate received a note on here car. Someone wants to buy it "As-is" Odd, because it is running fine. Still, I guess I'll call the guy and see what he is willing to give us for it.

-Citigroup bought Wachovia. The place that I work. I guess God needed to jump my job search.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Old Couple, Abby & CBS

So we are sitting on the couch discussing going to bed. We are sitting there watching Friends DVDs (Because we don't have TV). We didn't think much of it until we looked at the time...9:00 p.m. The kicker? I was thoroughly dissecting the California Proposition Ballot that we got in the

We both laughed pretty hard. It's not as if this was a typical evening, but it was funny nonetheless.

I guess not having a TV takes a toll on the amount of evening time we devote to entertainment. There is only so much Friends we can take. Even Kate has gets tired of it at times. Admittedly, I get tired much quicker.

I found out some much needed things about the ballot propositions in California and that I was about 90 years-old at the same time.

On another note, Abby got a new toy from Grandma Joan. She loves this thing. So Kate and I start tossing it across the room to each other. Each time Abby follows it. Long story short, she is exhausted. We've learned she is much easier to tire when we tag team her, otherwise she wears us out.

On another note, I was quasi offered to work for CBS at this Sunday's Chargers vs. Raiders game in Oakland. Maybe all you blog readers can help me out...There series of texts are as follows...

Person: "Would you be interested in working this Sunday for CBS, crew of Nantz and Simms, call time will be EARLY!"

Chris: "Absolutely. Early isn't and issue no traffic :)"

Chris: "Do you think I'll be able to make it back in town by 8 p.m." (I have a Softball game)

Person 1: "I'm not sure they're going to need you"

Chris: "Well let me know" (A little irritated, but not willing to burn his best bridge)

I don't think I made a jump assuming that she needed me for the crew. Wouldn't you qualify any communication like this with a, "If they need someone..."

I may or may not be going at this point. The thing is, Lance Barrows is a coordinating producer for CBS and a good buddy with Phil Simms. Barrows is a ACU Alumni, so I was hoping to attempt to make a connection there. That would be the right kind of connection to have.

Hopefully it will still happen. If not, I get to watch the Raiders game from the comfort of my own couch, which is still pretty good, but not as productive or monetarily rewarding.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Senior aerobics anyone?

Well, the long awaited start to my new job at TRU Fitness is finally within reach! At our staff meeting two weeks ago, the group fitness director, Kate, asked me if I was interested in creating and owning a new low-impact aerobics class. I obviously jumped at the opportunity to pick up another class. Well, last Friday, she asked if I could come in and teach HER what I had in mind for the class on Monday morning! I was so nervous all weekend about putting together my own choreography and fitting it with the perfect music. I swear all I did the entire weekend was cardio dance around the house with dance music as loud as it could go! I had the most unrestful sleep Sunday night because I was scared I would over sleep! At 4:15am I finally decided to jut get up and practice a few more times. Did I mention I was meeting her at 6:30? Well, my mom, being the amazing encourager that she is, came over at 5am to be my guinea pig for the routine! (Thanks, Mom!) Needless to say, all of my hard work and anxiety paid off because Kate loved what I put together!! I officially start teaching this class in two weeks, on October 1 and my RPM class will be on Saturdays at 8am!! I am so excited to finally start teaching these classes I can hardly stand it! I will definitely keep you updated on how they go in the upcoming weeks!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Featured in Luxurious Weddings!

The woman who designed our invitations sent me a link today letting us know that our wedding invitations were featured in Luxurious Wedding, an online magazine! We are so excited for her! Chris and I were simple amazed at how she was able to capture the simplicity and flair we were searching for with our invites. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for fabulous invitations, anouncements and any other stationary needs. Her name is Stephanie and her website is Take a look at her stuff, she is brilliant!

Here's the link to the article:

In other wedding news, our pictures came yesterday and we are stunned at how wonderful they are! Our photographer is amazing and so talented! I would also sing his praises to anyone looking for fabulous memories from the happiest day of their lives. I know we will cherish them forever!

His website:

With Love,

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's New?

So, here we are, smack dab in the middle of this brand new chapter of our lives! There is something so spectacular about finally being married. I can't quite put it into words, but we are loving it! It is so hard to believe it has already been three months since we were standing on the beach in Hawaii promising to love each other for the rest of our lives. All I can say is, God is so faithful!

People keep asking us, "What are you doing with your lives?" and "What's new with the newlyweds?". Well, we thought we would take the time to share what we have been up to since the wedding. So, here's the deal. Chris is currently at Wachovia Bank, though he is awaiting an interview with another company where he will dabble a bit in some marketing and PR. We are definitely praying that a door will be opened in this direction! You can pray too:) He is also interning at our local sports radio station. This has presented the chance to go, biweekly, to the Raider and 49er games and be in the pressbox! If you know Chris at all you know that this almost makes him giddy! (It's really cute!)

I am lucky enough to be working with my mother-in-law at her day spa, Geri's Garden. I have been truly blessed to spend this time with her and also to make a little money while I am waiting to start my job at Tru Fitness! I will be teaching RPM beginning in October and Yoga in November! I am really looking forward to being in the fitness environment again! Other than that, I am thoroughly enjoying being a wife! I am only working two days a week right now, so I have a lot of time on my hands to experiment with new recipes and turn our little apartment into a home. Seriously, I don't think I could ask for a better beggining to our lives together.

In other news, Abby is huge, 48 lbs., but we are pretty sure she is done growing! We don't have TV right now (It's a very long story!) so we are keeping ourselves mildly entertained with Friends and Seinfeld-for the tenth time around! Chris' best friend is getting married in October and we are both in the wedding. We also have his cousin's wedding in October! The rest of the year is pretty eventful for us and we look forward to keeping you updated on our happenings!

Love and many blessings,
Chris and Kate
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