Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cake Decorating in August 2009

Better late then never to get these pictures up. I am still obsessed with cupcakes and with cake decorating. I took a class with some friend this past August. With the move across country and all the craziness that has been going on I am just getting these pictures up of the class I took. It was allot of fun and a very entertaining class with my buddies Julie and Britney in the class with me. This is from our very first class together. Our project was to make a round cake and bring to class frosted blue. Then we were to learn how to put the rainbow on the cake. It was pure craziness trying to get the cakes completed in the allotted time. We did it and our results are below. Next year when things settle down, I plan to continue through the rest of the courses.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise!

I have a super husband and wanted to share how great he is. A few weeks ago I sat down with him and expressed my feelings about not working. I love not working, that is not the issue, but the first time in my married life I am not working, which means I am not bringing in any money for me to play with. Let me explain. I work, I pay bills and then I pull some money away and put it into a nest egg is what I like to call it.
Years ago my mother told me that every woman should have money set aside for an emergency a "nest egg". For who knows what life will bring. After that I decided I would have money put away and it would be there for those moments like, tires, a trip or just because I wanted a massage or my hair done. Since the move my little nest egg was exhausted for moving. I am not working so where will the money come to put back into my nest egg?
I expressed my feelings to Adam and he listened and we talked about options. Later that week he shows up one night with a dozen red roses and a card. Oh what a surprise to see him with roses. I read the card and it is very special and probably one of the best cards he has picked out. I open the card and money falls out. Yes he did hear me and there was a little money to put back into my nest egg. I had tears in my eyes as I thanked him and kissed him for listening to my feelings and understanding me. I am so glad that I married my best friend, and so thankful for his kind heart.

Tonight he surprised me with a box of See's chocolates. I was shocked, I asked him what the occasion was? He just smiled and said "I love you." I saw the store and thought of you and knew you would love these. So I just stopped and picked them up.

Thank you sweetheart!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend away - 6 hour drive

So where can you go in six hours from our new house. Well one of the places is to Salisbury, NC where Adam's parents live. We packed up a few weekend bags, loaded the girls and away we went. Only it didn't take us 6 hours to get there. It took us about 1.5 hours just to go 40 miles on the freeway. Yes, we hit the lovely DC traffic that everyone talks about. So leaving at 430pm are arrival time to our destination was midnight. We settled in and got a night's rest. The next morning we were on a mission to grab a quick breakfast and head up to go visit with Adam's grandma. So we got in the car and mashed the peddle and found a Bojangles and picked up some breakfast biscuits. There is nothing like a flaky southern biscuit for breakfast.

After that we went back and picked up Adam's Dad and headed for Mount Airy. Yes to all the Andy Griffith fans out there, this is his home town and also where Grandma lives. She went to school with Andy and she happens to live right across the street from Andy's house that he grew up in. So we did see a few tour buses drive by during the visit. We had about 1.5 hour drive to this tiny town up north in NC.

We arrived and decided that we better get lunch. I had Snappy Lunch on my list of things to do while in town. I had a Snappy Lunch burger about 7 years ago and to this day have never had one like it and I have not stop thinking about their burgers. We walked up through the alley to hit main street. There was allot going on in the little town. We stood in line for about 30 mins waiting to get a table. I could not wait to order. I order a breaded hamburger with all the fixings. Their fixings is slaw, chili, mustard and a slice tomato. Believe me it sounds odd but it is SO GOOD! Adam order a ground steak burger and we order a pork chop sandwich to go. As Adam is half way eating his burger he signal the waitress and orders another one. He forgot how good it was.

This is Andy's house that he grew up in and it is across the street from Grandma's house.

After lunch we drive through the city. Adam shows me his old house, we see places that his dad visited while growing up there. Adam's dad told us a story that when he was in high school he would get up early in the morning and run down main street, he would smell Snappy Lunch as he would run by.

We arrived at Grandma's and found Uncle Money there. This was my first time meeting him. He looks allot like Adam's dad. He greeted us with a warm welcome and gave hugs all around. He was very friendly and happy to see us. We then went into see grandma who was in bed. This was my first time meeting her as well. All around her house we saw pictures of her, her husband and people who where in her life. I saw pictures of her in her younger years and what a beautiful woman she is. Grandma turns 90 next month and has really gone down hill with her health this past year. She is only 75lbs right now. So frail and weak. She still has her wits though and was able to tell us stories and sing songs her mother had sung to her as a child. She was sad that she could not do more as her body just will not let her. Her mind is there and she enjoys reading.

After our visit we took a detour and went to Mount Pilot to take a look at the scenery. It was beautiful.

On our way back we decided to hit Lexington to go to the World's famous Bar-B-qQue festival. We didn't arrive until 6pm and found out that it was over at 6pm. We did walk in and try to see and eat stuff but nothing was open and the whole thing was shutting down. On our way back we saw this awesome sand castle.

We headed back to Salisbury and was able to see Adam's brother Josh for about 10 mins. We had not seen him in seven years. He has gone from this little kid that I remember to a man.

We picked up Adam's mom and the we went to dinner. What did we go to eat. Southern Bar-B-Que of course with slaw and hush puppies on the side.

The next morning we went to church. Adam loved it, he was able to see allot of people that he knew when growing up. After church we packed out things and headed back home. We did however make it back to home in 6 hours. As traffic coming back on a Sunday night was smooth.

I wonder where our next 6 hour trip will take us. HMMMM I am thinking that one will be for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farewell Colorado

I hate to say goodbye to Colorado and to so many good friends that we have made while living there. If the prompting to go to Virginia was not so strong we would never be leaving. We are going to truly miss our family and friends here in the west. Our home in VA will always welcome anyone who wants to venture out our way. Farwell my favorite flower from my garden, the Columbine of course.

There are so many fond memories with people that I love. I seem to meet people in odd situations and we become friends. I had one friend I met years ago who was pounding on my front door enraged because water was leaking in her house. I offered her a chocolate and calmed her down and we because the best of friends following that situation.

Another one is late at night around 11pm we see a Uhaul truck, Adam and I were coming home from getting ice cream. He insisted we stop to see if they needed help. There we found this couple who had unloaded all but the heavy stuff. Adam help with the heavy stuff and we soon found later they to be great friends of ours.

Another person invited Adam to go fishing. I remember Adam calling me up to tell me to come and meet him. So I drove over to his house with Adam giving me directions over the phone as I drove. I find them both in the back yard gutting fish they caught that morning. This was the first of many fun adventures with these friends.

There are so many other stories and memories. Of going out to dinner with friends and baking and cooking dinners together. We found our Christmas list this year to almost be too much as we had so many people make the list. I cooked and cooked to give each of our friends a little piece of us and our love for them.

Life is nothing if you have not got your family and friends around you to share your joys and pain. Thank you and we will not forget you. You will always be in our hearts.

Could this Really Happen Twice?

August 5th was a big day for us. I was so excited for Adam to get home from work. I had news to share with him. To my suprise he got- home from work early that day. He had a big suprise for me as well.

He announced to me that he was laid off from his job and I announced to him that I was pregnant again. What a day. We were going to have a baby and he was jobless. We were excited and nervous.

A few weeks later we got a call that we had been chosen again to adopt a boy who was 2 weeks old at the time. It was on a Friday that I found out. Without thought we accepted and very excited about the possibility of being parents, but not only having one but 2 kids who would be only 8 months apart. That Saturday we went to the temple. While I was in the temple a thought came to me of what this boy should be named. I leaned over to Adam to tell him.

That evening we got an email from the birth father asking us to name the baby and that they wanted the birth certificate issued on Monday. So we emailed him back right away as we had already been prompted as to what his name should be. Everything seems to be going like it should and then on that Wednesday we get a call that it is all on hold and the child is no longer up for adoption. Weeks passed and we prayed and pondered about what had happened. In the process I was receiving treatment for my pregnancy. I was able to see it before she had a heart beat and then I went in again 2 weeks later where we heard her heartbeat. Then following week I went in and that is when I found out I had miscarried again. Not only did we loose the adoption but we miscarried once again. I thought to myself who goes through this kind of stuff? What are the chances of having 2 miscarriages and 2 failed adoptions with in 5 months? I cried and cried for our lost. For the dream that was lost of being a parent. The pain was real and the trial has been never ending. This time I saw hope. Hope that it will happen again, it will just not happen today. I felt alone for quite a while. I felt that the Spirit was gone from me. I could not feel his prompting and I felt dead inside. This time I tried so hard not to let the pain consume me like before.

Adam and I visited the temple often and prayed that the Lord would direct our life. Adam had been looking for work since May as he had know something was going to happen to his employment, we just never thought it would happen this soon. Then an opportunity came from back East. We talked about it and I told him that if it worked out why not? With much prayer we decided to open the job search Nation Wide. Within 3 weeks of this choice. Adam received 4 job offers with in days of each other. One of the job offers that came in was the first job that got us even thinking about moving. We knew this was what we needed to do and went for it.

In this process I started to feel alive again. I could feel the small promptings of the spirit back in my life. I was starting to feel again. Adam and I discussed on what to do about moving our life to Virginia. So within 3 weeks we packed up our lives and moved to Virginaia.

Always More of 2009 Summer Highlights

We had a great garden that produced many vegetables, and the bushes produces berries that we enjoyed this year I took a cake decorating class and here is me with my cool apron and first cake of the class.

We celebrated Birthdays.

We went to a Luau.

And spent the Summer with many friends.

More 2009 Summer Hightlights

2009 Will be my summer of Cupcakes, and more cupcakes. I could not get enough of the cupcakes. I tried to turn our trip to Utah in a a cupcake tour, but with lack of time I was only able to hit 1 of the 3 shops.

One of our last Summer Saturday's in Denver we went to the Farmers Market at Cherry Creek with our good friends. After the market of course we all decided to hit "My Big Fat Cupcake" for a little treat. I already miss our Farmer's Market Saturdays and our Cupcake eating buddies. We like to start them young and got Rachel interested in Cupcakes.

Summer 2009 Highlights Continued

Watching fireworks on the 4th of July with good friends. We met them at Green Valley Ranch park. We found a great spot to sit and we played Crazy 8's until the sun went down. While doing so listening to a live band in the background. It was one of those nights we will remember for a long time. The firework display was amazing.

Adam and I going out on a date night to dinner and a movie on a warm summer eve.

I saw this shirt and almost bought it for my Dad for father's day. But we had already got him a flight lesson gift instead. Maybe next year.

Summer 2009 Hightlights

Friends graduation party. They know how to throw a fun party with really good food. One of the best cooks I know. I had to get a picture of Carolina with her big pot of goodness. They had 5 grills going with meat now that is what I am talking about.

2009 Summer Highlights

It is hard to believe that summer is over and fall is here. I want to take a few moments to highlight some of the things we did this summer and I didn't blog about. Our camping trip with some good friends.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cakes are just bigger versions of a cupcake right?

I have a love of cupcakes, it now time to work towards my love and increase my skills. I have started a cake decorating class that will go for the next four weeks. Cakes are just a really big cupcake right? So let me learn on frosting and decorating a huge surface. Next I will be able to master decorating my cupcakes and petits fours later on. Decorating is just one piece of the master puzzle, while I will need many canvases to work on while taking the class I will be in the process of looking for the best recipes.

Last night was my first night. I was a little frazzled when I arrived as travel to the class was a nightmare. I walked in looking for a seat and then found my wonderful friend on the front row with a huge smile on her face. My nerves were all put to ease as I walked through the class to go sit on the front row with Julie and Britney. Julie hands me a notebook that she made for me, darling notebook that is specifically for my cake class to take notes so that I can become the master cake/cupcake maker. Oh please let this be my calling in life. I want to add this to my love of chocolate making and cooking. As I have found bread making is on the back burner at the moment, the love has passed for now. Maybe when the weather cools off my love will return or it could be the low carb diet that I am on so bread is off limits right now.

Last night we sat there in awe as the instructor shows us skills on how to frost a cake (not frozen) that is smooth as you see in a magazine and with no crumbs in sight. Oh Martha would have been proud. She shows us some skills and technique that makes me think. “I can do this” as she makes it look so easy. She makes it look like a dance, with her grace and skills. I know when it comes my turn it will not be so easy and the crumbs will be flying and the frosting will not be as smooth. The class came to an end. I left excited but nervous as I didn’t realize there would be a homework assignment. I need to make a cake and have it lightly frosted with the base frosting and come to class with all my equipment in hand to learn how to decorate with a few tips. Among those tips we will be starting to learn how to do a rose. I will need to time it right for the baking and frosting before my next class.

My job will be receiving the first of my master pieces next Wednesday at work. So watch out, there are many more classes with many more cakes that will need to be made and you just might be one of those that find a cake on your doorstep.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Camping Cancelled – what shall we do?

Kalie called me to tell me with the Tornados that hit, her hubby is working through the weekend. OT for him and that means shopping for her. So Kalie, Rachel and I make plans to go to the farmers market Saturday morning. It was so much fun to share the experience with her. It was a good day for it. There were samples everywhere. We made sure we tried anything that was being offered. We walked up and down looking at everything before deciding what to get. I found my favorite crepe stand and got my usual. Kalie got a waffle that was to die for. YUM
We picked up some fruit and veggies and headed out.

Licking the batter from the bowl of life.
Our next stop was to hit “My Big Fat Cupcake” We shared a peanut butter/ chocolate cupcake. It was heaven. I am still on the rampage of cupcakes and have not decided who has the best in Colorado yet? Will keep you posted once I have made my decision. My Big Fat Cupcake do however have the best chocolate so far. I really like the strawberry/vanilla.

The last stop, I introduced Kalie to Sunflower market. By the time we were done with that. Rachel let us know she was done and ready to go home. We have plans to go back with the men in a few weeks when we are all in town. Not sure how we missed the BBQ that afternoon, but the day got away from us and we found ourselves picking up dinner and watching movies on the couch that night.

It was just a usual Saturday for us in July with me shopping and Adam working on the lawn.

Friday, July 31, 2009

July continues with more Family and friends in the mix

The very next day Adam and I work a full day and then met at the house at 530pm. Our bags were packed and we just needed to load the car. We bid farewell to “the girls” said a prayer and were off on our trip. We were on the road heading to Grand Junction. It was a nice drive through the mountains. The highway was not too busy, once we passed the tunnel most of traffic cleared up and it was a clear drive to our destination. I drove most of the way. I really enjoy driving through Glenwood canyon. I have always loved driving that part. The way the highway winds its way through the canyon along the Colorado River. It feels like a race track to me. I get so caught up with the drive I forget how fast I am going until I look over and see my hubby with white knuckles holding on to the door. We made it to our hotel where we slept for the night. The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn, but fell back to sleep as one should do when on vacation. We got out of our hotel around 930am and found a McDonalds for breakfast and then back on the road. I did most of the driving again that day, as I was so anxious for our destination, Cupcakes and IKEA.

I know, I know, where are my propriety’s? I am into cupcakes right now. I am on the hunt to the best cupcake, and then I want to be the best cupcake maker. Yes I know I set my goals really high. This is my phase right now so just let me embrace the CUPCAKE. Once we hit Provo, UT. Two things are on my list, Cupcake and Café Rio. Adam pulls the address out and puts it into his GPS and soon we reach the cupcake store. I am like a school girl, just giddy with excitement. I am going to hit 3 cupcakes stores in Utah and decide who has the best one. We enter this charming little store. I am amazed at all the things going on the in store. The decorations, the smell and the counter which hold all the cupcakes. There is this cute blonde girl who greets us. She asks us if we have been here before. I inform her I found her on the internet and that I am from Colorado and doing a cupcake tour and your shop is on my tour. I will be face booking the experience on who has the best cupcakes in Utah. She just laughed and tells me they do.

HMMMMMM….I am serious. I tell her, I will see. Then start looking to make my choice. Too many to choose from, what should I get? I try a few samples that she brings out and think to myself. “This is good.” I make a call to Julie and ask her what they would like and so we buy 6 cupcakes to try. As I pay for my box I hear Adam behind me chatting away with a woman. Of course he is. We are only in Provo for 5 mins and he has already found someone he knows in a cupcake shop off University Ave. It is just not anyone it happens to be my old visiting teachers’ mom. Chrissy’s mom who comes to visit in Denver. Now Chrissy has moved to Oklahoma and her mom, I am not sure where she lives was visiting her other children in Provo. But that is Adam, he recognizes everyone. Watch out or he will recognize you!

Now the next stop is Café Rio. This is our favorite place and every time we are in Utah we have to hit it. We get the usual, which is a chicken burritos enchiladas style. Since we are on a time restriction, I eat a few bites of the messy madness and we are back on the road heading towards IKEA. Lucky me I get to drive in the carpool lane passing up all the traffic, getting closer to my destination. We are coming down the point of the mountain and I see it. My heart skips a beat, I see the big Blue and Yellow sign with my favorite words “IKEA” it is the promise land. I am almost running into the store. We gather a paper and pencil and make our way through the maize of the store. This time we came prepared. I had a good three hours of time allotted, measurements in hand and a list of items I was looking for. But with that, it still was not enough time to shop. We were rushing in the end with our bags of goodies. We were not able to find everything on our list and some of our measurements just didn’t work with what they had. Maybe next time we will try the meatballs.

We hit our destination of West Valley, Utah. Julie is there and the party was beginning. We decided to stay with my old roommate/best friend Julie. Julie and I go way back. Let me tell you about Julie. I hope she will not be embarrassed as she has nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s me who does.

Yet I will still share our story.
Julie and I first met in the MTC. We were companions in there. I thought Julie was an odd duck at first. I just didn’t understand her. She was so full of energy and the spirit it was kind of draining. She had allot appointment and never told me what they were for, but I had to go and sit outside. You know. I don’t think I still know what they were for? Anyway, we had to do service once a week at the MTC, our job was to clean the bathrooms one of those weeks. I was about to burst at this point with her. We were in the bathrooms cleaning and I had a toilet brush in hand. I turned to her and said, “Sister in the real world we would not be friends.” As I am saying this I am shaking the toilet brush and it is spraying toilet water in her face. I turn away and we are silent for days. Julie and I flew out to Switzerland together; we only talked a few times on the phone and saw each other a few times on our missions. We flew home together. I remember our first night in Switzerland and our last night in Switzerland. It was the last night that I remember what a wonderful person she was. About 7 months later I called her up as I had moved to SLC. I remember I made her be my friend. She was so busy working and going to school she didn’t have much time. I would show up at her job at the mall and just talk. I am sure she thought I was annoying. But I made her be my friend. Before you know it, two years later we became roommates. Next she got a job at the same airline I was working for, that is when we became travel buddies and for six years Julie and I had Grande adventures around the world together. Julie’s family became my second family. Julies’ sisters became my sisters. This bond that we have is bigger than us all. And so Julie is just more than my best friend, she is my family.

Now that we have arrived at Julie’s house the party is beginning. Julie arranged a dinner with all the sisters and mom. So there we are, all of us together. I was trying to remember the last time we were all together like this. It must have been at least six years ago. I was dying seeing everyone. Seeing their kids and getting the low down on what is going on. We figured out that Mom has a total of 21 grandkids so far and counting. Dinner was wonderful and seeing everyone was even better. Gradually they left and it was only Christine, Julie and I in the kitchen. I decided it was time to try the cupcakes. So we pulled them out. Sliced them up and tried the different flavors. WOW. These are incredible. Yes that cute little girl in the shop was right.

These are the best cupcakes!

The trip continues with more Family

The next day we get up and ready for whatever. We really didn’t have any plans other than be at Kathy’s at 3pm. I had already spent my fill at IKEA and so going back was not a good idea. Adam spent time with Alan and Julie, Mason and I went shopping. We were shopping for food storage. Julie knew where all the good stuff to get with really good prices. So I spend my monthly fill for food storage and loaded the car once again. We said our goodbye’s after another lunch at Café Rio and heading to Kathy and Dave’s house.
It should not have been so difficult for us to find it. As Kathy gave us really good directions, on the second time around both reading the direction we found the castle they are living in. Yes I say a castle as there are big steps up to the biggest door I have ever seen. It is a beautiful home and a place that I hope they will stay forever as it has beautiful views and the space to grow into. Nathan and Marnie were there and the six of us played a few games before it was time for dinner. Kathy had made a stew that her mother used to make for them when they were growing up. It was really good. About the time we were finished with dinner. Seth and his family arrived. Everyone got a tour of the castle and the kids had a great time playing upstairs. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the reception.
The point of the trip was to go to Adam’s cousin’s reception. Since Adam really wanted to go we decided to turn it into a mini vacation. It was great to see Keith and his brothers and meet their wife’s. It was awesome to finally meet Aunt Deana. I had heard a lot about her over the years. I got to meet extended Hiatt’s and the man who gave Adam’s his PB. One woman, some aunt of something said something that really made me mad. Other than that it was a beautiful reception and good to meet the cousins and extended family.

As we are leaving the reception Adam get’s a call that I left a bag of clothes at Kathy’s. We head back to retrieve the clothes and find ourselves talking into the night with Kathy and Dave. As I talked with them I felt more of a connection with Kathy and realized that she is a kindred spirit and I would like to get to know them better.

We sneak in like high school kids into Julie’s house trying not to make a sound. With all that work we find Alan on the computer in the basement. The next morning we go to one hour of church and head home. It was a fun and relaxing weekend. There was no rushing around to trying and see everyone, get everything in on one weekend. I never made it to the other two cupcake shops. We didn’t spend as much time with Seth’s family as we would have liked. I didn’t spend enough time at IKEA.

But there is always the next time. RIGHT?