First, I have a secret.
I have fallen in love.
A delicious, sweet, fabulous love.
Oh dear. I've fallen hard.
I have a need to see my love every day.
To gaze upon its goodness.
To wonder at its amazingness.
To giggle at its perfectness.
Oh, did I fail to mention that it is with a salad?
Chad's mom brought this salad to our Easter Fiesta at my sister's house and ever since I can't get enough.
I've eaten it four days in a row now.
I shall call it "S' Fabulous Wonderful Amazing Salad".
-Orange slices (this is the labor intensive but oh-so-worth-it part)
-Chopped pecans (her's had walnuts but I have a special place in my heart for pecans so I substituted a little)
-Crumbled bleu cheese (freshly crumbled, mind you...its softer and much better tasting than the pre-crumbled stuff in the cold case next to the yogurt)
-Dressing (here comes the catch...you can't make this salad without this particular dressing. It is and oil and vinegar dressing but very specific oil and vinegar. They are both from a little kitchen store across town from where it live - Mia Cucina - and uber expensive but definately worth the price tag. The vinegar is a 25 year old balsamic (?sp) that is laced with illegal drugs - I mean strawberries. The oil is much younger (thankfully!) and is infused (I guess?) with blood oranges.) The combination of the strawberries/oranges/salty bleu cheese is absolute perfection.
Did I mention that I have eaten it every day since Sunday when I drove across town and splurged on half a bottle of each (you buy them by the ounce).
Or even better, come see me and I will make you a salad that will make you want to move in with me and eat it every day like I do.
Second, I have a big head.
A literally enlarged cranium.
I have been trying to find a headband that goes around your head (elastic style) to hold back my growing bangs and I am on about my fifth or sixth style/new headband.
They all just slide off the back of my head.
Slip....slip....slip a little more....shoot off past my pony tail.
They stay a little better when my hair is wet, immediately after my shower but the drier my hair gets, the quicker they make a hasty exit.
Any suggestions for my big head problem?
Oh dear...I'm going to be late for work.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
First, I have a secret.
Posted by PSIrwin at 11:58 AM
Not too much going on right now...mostly just working this week. Chad and Boss B had to go to Knoxville today for a meeting about a project Chad is going to be working on. Gypsy moths are apparently becoming more rare and they are going to track them at the forest and Chad volunteered to work on the project for them. I think he is pretty excited to have something interesting to do while he is hanging out at the office.
I went to the gym this morning with A...I have really been enjoying working out. I had forgotten how good it makes me feel...more energized and those endorphins just put me in a better mood all day. And a small bonus is that since I get up early to go to the gym, I have more time to do stuff during the morning before I go to work and thus sleep better the following night.
Closing at the HL today and tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Chad's grandmother's internment at the National Cemetery here in Chatt so we will be going to that before I go to work.
A little closure will be good.
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:40 AM
Monday, April 27, 2009
It is weird, strange, and gross how your body can absorb smells and then release them later (just for example...when you go into Subway you smell like a sandwich the rest of the day).
Ever since I got home, every time I wash my hair (which has happened a few times!), it smells like campfire smoke.
And it is getting really old.
Posted by PSIrwin at 11:28 AM
It is really hard to get back in the swing of life after having been gone for a week, living technology free in the woods. I can't remember to answer my cell phone, blog a little, or return phone calls. Sorry folks.
We had a nice and relaxing weekend...we both had to work on Saturday. I worked an extra hour because all our cashiers were at prom (by the way...I am so glad that I am past that time in my life!!) and Chad had to go man the radio for a while because we haven't had rain in a while. We were both off Sunday so we just hung out at home all morning catching up on our TV shows. We headed out to the pool that he will be coaching at this summer for sign ups (not particuarlly successful) and then went grocery shopping....spent a ton but we haven't bought groceries in over two weeks. We have stuff for lunches and dinners and grilled out last night so it was super nice. Sat on the back porch in our adirondack chairs and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Gotta work today closing the store so it is back to the real world...ugh.
I love Sundays.
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:30 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009
18 other insect bites.
13 seventh graders.
2 thunder storms.
1 oatmeal breakfast (ew.)
1,478 "how much farther?" 's
5 days with no shower.
22 minutes sitting outside in a downpour.
3 hour drive home that became a
6 hour drive home.
1 hail storm (in Atlanta while driving.)
1 mexican dinner (at my sister's house on the way home)
4 times I had to pull off an interstate exit and dance around the car to stay awake.
1 large coffee and 1 very large Dr. Pepper
9,381 great memories.
(no exaggerations on the list.... seriously!).
I got home about 12:30 last night (or would that be this morning?), absolutely exhausted after having got only about an hour and a half of sleep the night before. I could tell you a thousand stories of hilarious kids, "teachable moments", made up songs, and steps on the trail but it wold take me weeks they won't mean as much to you (no offense!) so I will just leave it with...
Thankful to be home.
A car full of dirty clothes and stuff that needs to be cleaned/washed/burned depending on the length of time it was worn on the trip! Gotta go to the Hobster Lobster today, closing - so I have a bit of time to drag stuff into the house and begin the process of getting ready for the next trip (October!!).
Thrilled to see my sweetie and his stinky little dog.
Never been so happy to climb into bed and just sleep!
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:00 AM
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I am back out of the woods, finally...exhausted, a little smelly, but happy.
Happy to have breathed the fresh air and seen sunshine for so many days.
In Columbus, probably headed home to Chattanooga tonight but working on about 2 hours of sleep so will hopefully try the coffee route to Atlanta and see how it goes.
I miss my Chad and need a big hug.
Details to come.
Thanks for your thoughts....we needed them!
Posted by PSIrwin at 4:14 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I'm headed out pretty soon. Chad just left for work and I have a few more things to get together and pack and take a quick shower (my last civilized one, mind you! the next one will be in the chilly camp shower and the one after that in the same place 5 days later. I know, eww....) and then I will load the car and head south. I get to have lunch with my mom and dad at Ok Sun's (best Korean food on the planet!) and then hang out for a bit before I have to be at camp by 5 tonight.
Please keep us in your prayers...for safety, strength, patience, endurace...all the good stuff.
On an even better note, I got a really nice pay raise at work yesterday thanks to HL management. I won't say much because it would be rude to discuss it but I am thankful and I know I am blessed to be able to work at a company that when it is successful, passes that success along to the employees that make it so. Hurrah HobLob!
See you in a week!
Posted by PSIrwin at 7:33 AM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The want us! They really want us!
Our taxes were submitted and accepted this time around!
Its awesome. Chad was already preparing them to send out on paper and I am thrilled that I don't have to worry about all that now. I do however have to run to the post office to send in my GA taxes that were a but more complicated (and it wasn't free to file those guys online so we just did it on paper).
My gym buddy got sick this morning and I decided that a better use of my time would be to stay home and get organized for my trip (that I leave for tomorrow...have I packed or prepared the first thing? Nope!). I am also thinking about making a batch of cookies and taking them up to Chad at work since I won't see him for a week. A peace offering of sorts.
So my plan for this morning:
1. Eat breakfast.
2. Do another load of laundry (with important things like socks and my favorite underwear!)
3. Make cookies
4. Lay out all my gear on the bed so I know exactly what I need to take
5. Restock my first aid kit (to include plenty of headache meds...I got one of the worst migraines I have ever had while Chad and I were hiking once. We didn't have any thing but apsrin and that didn't do a thing for my headache so we almost hiked out in the middle of the night, it was that bad.)
6. Take a shower.
7. Vaccum in the bedroom (maybe it will stay clean till I come home...doubtful. But a girl can always dream!)
8. Get ready for work.
9. Drive cookies up to the forest (this plan is looking worse and worse...I don't think I will have time for this part but I can try!)
10. Go to the HobLob for the last time until my week of freedom (this is where the dancing comes in!).
Keep saying prayers for us as we lead and guide starting this Saturday when the (freaked out) kids arrive at camp. We are also looking at some rainy weather for our hike so if you could make a special request to the WeatherMan (a.k.a. God) that it rains at night, that would be awesome! :)
Posted by PSIrwin at 8:50 AM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Chad and I have been trying for about a month to submit our taxes. It is always a little more complicated being that it is our first year filing together and I lived in GA part of the year so I am still technically supposed to file GA taxes (FYI: TN does not have income taxes, their sales tax is just higher in most places to make up for it.) All this time, we were either missing a form or missing a W-2 or had strange income to report on weird lines so we finally submitted about two weeks ago online.
E-filing uses your previous years AGI (adjusted gross income) as a submitting/security feature and apparently ours were wrong.
Get correct AGIs.
Discover that they have no record of me having filed federal taxes last year (when I swear I got a return too!) so I have no AGI for 2007 (I hear that I am not the only one who submitted on TurboTax and the IRS has no record of it...hmm....good thing they owed me money or I would be in trouble!).
Enter AGI for 2006 (it says "prior year's AGI" and the woman at the IRS said it would work.)
REsubmit without entering an AGI for me, just Chad's...waiting to see if rejection is to come. Sorta pushing our luck here huh?
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:55 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
We got up this morning for the sunrise service on the pedestrian bridge that goes across the river downtown and I could not be more thrilled that I got out of bed for it...I was about to say...hey, let's just sleep another two hours instead but we got to see the most beautiful sunrise across the river. A beautiful reminder that HE rose and the world gets to rejoice. It looked like the angels were gonna come out of the clouds this morning!
Then we ate some breakfast and headed down to Atlanta for some good food and fellowship with both sides of MY family (yep, it is mine and Chad's now so our two sides came together for lunch and it was awesome.) Fun times.
But why no pictures of these good times you ask?
I packed my camera bag, carefully putting it in the car this morning.
I failed to check and see if my camera was actually in the camera bag.
It was not.
The zoom lens was.
Here it sits, beside my laptop.
I'm a doofus.
Chad and I just got home and bottled a batch of beer. This one is for Megan's graduation party so we wanted to get it just right. We actually ran out of bottles so we are going to have to break down and buy some to be able to bottle the next batch which is not far from needing to be carbonated and bottled.
7AM is gonna come early when I've already promised to meet my workout buddy at the YMCA so I gotta run.
I leave Thursday for my week-long backpacking, hiking, teaching 7th graders to love the earth and each other trip so - please - start saying prayers for me now! I am starting to get a little nervous, as I always do before this sorta stuff. I am not so much worried about the trip itself (the guy that leads them, F, is a fabulous organizer, leader, outdoorsman, and teacher so that's the easy part!) but being gone from Chad a week is gonna sorta suck and I am always a little apprehensive about who my team mates will be and how well we will work together for our trip to be successful. It isn't necessarily a "God based" trip - more a "team building" thing for the 7th graders but for me personally, it is always a spiritual experience to be in His creation for a solid week, sleeping under the stars, learning about myself and teaching these kids to respect each other and the earth. So, say a little prayer for endurance (physical and emotional - we hike about 21 miles in 4 days), patience, strength, wisdom, and humor (sometimes that's the best thing to get through the things we teach them and learn together!).
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:59 PM
Saturday, April 11, 2009
You start with all this (and a little more you can't see!)
Make balls o'cake. Put some sticks in them. And do a little decorating.
And this is what you get! Notice my model in the background holding it to get the light just right! Mmm...he's cuter than the chick.
Admittedly, it was much harder than I thought it was going to be to get smooth cake balls and smooth candy coating.
Here is my flock, ready to travel. I bought a basket and some styrofoam and easter grass (my mom will love that part!) to stick them in to look even cuter. I'll take pictures of the finished basket on Sunday!
I had some extra candy so I made some of these guys to go in the basket with the chickens, just to dress it up a bit!
Fun times. I was pretty proud of myself and she has these cake pop designs for all seasons so expect another gaggle for each holiday!
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:01 AM
Friday, April 10, 2009
While my Chad and his stinky dog are still fast asleep upstairs (we never get to sleep in and I was unable to sleep past 7:30 this morning...too many mornings of getting up and going to the gym to sleep in...darn it. So I am letting him sleep...), I thought I would give a little update here.
Plans for today:
1. Sleep in. (check. or skip - in my case).
2. Go to Y and swim (Chad too. He is pretty excited. No weights for me. I'm so incredibly sore from yesterday...A, you're welcome. Cause if your abs and arms hurt as bad as mine, I know we are doing something good!).
3. Make cooking surprise. I'm pretty sure that this is why I couldn't go back to sleep this morning. I was too excited to try this one.
4.Clean up the kicthen counter (it is embarrasingly covered in randomness)
5. Do a couple loads of laundry and then fold about 5 loads. Mom, where are you when I need you?!?
We were gonna go hang out at the farm a bit today, maybe with Dad B, but we got some serious rain and thunderstorms this morning so things will just be far too wet and muddy for us to go out there. That dog would be stinky, muddy, and gross. Humans too. Maybe another day.
Next weeks schedule at work was posted. Keep in mind that I leave next Thursday to head down to Pine Mountain and spend a week playing in the woods (read:no shower for atleast 5 days straight...yummy.) with a bunch of 7th graders. So I asked for a week off work. The result was that I have to close Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. This sucks for a couple of reasons...first, I hoped to spend a little time with Chad before I leave him for a week. And second, the other front end supervisor only closes two nights per week to my three and no offense, but she doesn't have a husband she would like to be home with at night. I am not sure why it works out like that every week but it is sorta lame. There is a third one of us that works Friday and Saturdays so it does mean that I am theoretically suppposed to get every other Saturday off but it would be nice to be home during the week too!
Lastly, Chad asked me if I thought I could create a blog/website for the swim team he will be working with again this summer. I told him my only experience was this blog and blogspot is pretty much all I know how to use (and that is by trial and error!) but I would give it a try. Maybe I can teach him how to do it (it really is easy!) and then he can just do it himself instead of having to relay information and pictures to me! I'll let you know how it works out and you can check it out to see what he is giving his time to this summer!
I'm done letting them sleep in (its 9am for goodness sake!)...time to go jump on the bed!
Posted by PSIrwin at 8:50 AM
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So I told Chad that we have a cooking project for tomorrow but I failed to mention how complicated it might turn out to be. I have most of the ingredients but I don't know how well it is going to work out. It is a surprise for Sunday but if they either turn out fabulously cute or horrifically deformed, I will post pictures before then. Either way, they will still be edibile and we will see what happens.
A and I went to the YMCA this morning. It was a good workout...my abs are still hating me and we did like 2 seconds of ab work. I feel really good though. It is awesome how using energy makes more energy somehow. Trying to eat a little healthier too...bought carrot sticks and celery at the grocery store and packed an awesome lunch yesterday. I'll probably just have a repeat today...mostly cause it is easier.
I was going to try to show you a picture of the cute linen dress I am going to wear on Easter but Old Navy apparently doesn't sell it online or it is already sold out so I can't find one. I will just have to show you one of me wearing it some other time. It is purple Emily...and now I am thinking about buying purple pants too!
Waiting for cake to come out of the oven then I am jumping in the shower.
Off tomorrow with Chad and I can't wait...we get to sleep in (Gwen willing...) and then hang out all day. I think he is going to go swim with me at the Y for a bit because he is so jealous that I am getting to swim and he isn't.
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:55 AM
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
We are all going down to Atlanta on Sunday to have Easter lunch and ensuing drama at my sister's house. And by all I mean everyone. Chad, Me, Dad B and Mom S, my mom and dad, sister, Frannie (they live there of course!), Megan is driving in from Boone, Jay and E who already live in the Atl, maybe K from here, our cousins A, Sister (that's just what we call her) and another Francie. Fun times! I am supposed to make green bean casserole...easy. I think I can handle that. I might try to make another surprise...a sweet one. Literally. We will see if Chad and I can complete it on Friday....I told him we had a cooking project and he didn't seem too excited. I wonder why?
HL all day today but it means I am home with Chad tonight. Woohoo.
We can watch last nights Fringe episode. Yes!
I'm with A...Joshua Jackson is hot.
In a "I still love my husband more but very cute" kinda way.
Posted by PSIrwin at 7:56 AM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We finally got that snow they have been promising us for three months.
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:49 AM
Monday, April 6, 2009
Will take pictures and let you see.
Somehow I followed the instructions to the letter of the law this time (unlike when I made my clutch and I sorta did it my way towards the end there...) and I decided that my way is easier!
And better actually.
Or maybe the first one was a fluke.
I'd like to believe that I'm just that talented.
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:21 PM
My bff Dani is officially back from Guatemala and has blogged again. We await pictures though but you know she is offically home because she has also updated her facebook status too...all things are official when they happen on facebook (please...read:sarcasim!).
Home with my sweetie tonight. "Chad what should I blog about today?".
He said "tell everyone you are applying for another job."
Yes, work was just THAT bad today.
People can cause migraines.
My theory was proved true today.
Home now, working on Jessica's purse.
Posted by PSIrwin at 7:16 PM
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Fun times yesterday...the trip to Western Carolina was a good one. It takes about three hours but it doesn't seem like a bad trip...goes by really fast. From here, you drive up past the Ocoee River and yes, there were crazy people rafting in their dry suits yesterday. Rafting, kayaking and losing their minds. Nuts! Then you drive up the Nantahala and again, crazies. Actually, that was the craziest part of the trip. Chad and I got behind a guy that was very intoxicated. Swerving off the right hand side of the road nearly hitting the rock wall, driving in the left hand lane, barely missing parked cars, pedestrians, road signs...I finally called and reported them and about 10 minutes later (and lots of gasps and prayers by us!), we got out of the hills and there were three cops at the bottom of the hill. It looked like the truck was going to turn left so we pulled over and I walked up to the cop and told him that we had been following that guy and he was soooo drunk. He said "that's just who I am looking for". I thought I was going to have to tell him that he was going to have to chase him down a little two lane highway but I turned around and the guy had just parked himself in the median, right next to the cops. Thank God that he didn't get the chance to do any real damage...so that is our crazy story for the weekend.
Megan did great (in our opinion...but she didn't think she did that great!). I took a lot of pictures so hopefully she will have something to remember her years of pole vaulting by.
Today we are gonna go to church with Jay this morning and then hang out all day. Grab some lunch, take Gwen on a walk, chill out. I hope to get a craft project done (a purse for someone else) so maybe I will have more hours in my day than I actally do!
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:43 AM
Friday, April 3, 2009
You must go to YouTube and watch this.
I don't know how to put the video on my blog so I will work on that but
especially if you are Jessica...
go watch this video .
I watched it multiple times.
And sat there with my mouth wonderfully open.
I think a fly got in.
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:44 PM
Today was an extremely long and busy day at the HobLob. I was extremely thankful and happy to be leaving when we finally got to about 9:15. Came home to Chad brewing beer in the kitchen, which I could smell all the way in the garage (it has a very strong smell...though admittedly, in the garage, it smelled like chinese food and I got super excited.)
Tomorrow Chad and I are going to Western Carolina University to a track meet to watch his sister M pole vault. It is her senior year and one of the last meets that we think we will be able to get to, even though it is three hours away (and we are driving there and back in one day...ugh). But, I haven't EVER seen her vault and it is far past time that we get to one of her meets so I am glad we will be going. I think I will just pack us a picnic lunch and some snacks and we will make a day of it. I can sleep in the car (Chad already promised!) so we will split the driving and road trip a bit. I need to charge my camera battery so I can get some shots of her vaulting and embarrass her with them 20 years from now (did I just admit that publically?). Kidding though. She's a fabulous athlete and I can't wait to see her do what she loves!
I am glad that we are going to be back on Saturday night because I actually hope to get some crafty stuff done on Sunday. If the weather is nice we will try to take Gwen for a looooong walk (and break in those boots!) outside but I need to get some stuff done at the house too. Lots of plans and not enough hours in the weekend.
Joined the YMCA today! Gonna get on the train next week with A. Stoked. Big time.
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:21 PM
I know it has been a little quiet around here recently and I apologize...but not really. I have been making a seirous effort to just hang out and "be" with Chad when we are both home at the same time, which is getting more and more rare. He will probably be working with a summer swim team for the second summer so it will get even MORE rare and I am trying to stockpile time with him.
Yesterday was fairly uneventful. Other than a pretty crappy afternoon at work (I have decided that is possible that other people can be the cause of migraine headaches), it wasn't too bad. Poor A, she knows exactly what I mean. Chad met me after work and we went a couple places for me to try on some hiking boots (oh so cute...I mean, practical. Right. I was looking for practical, not cute....which is a good thing because cute? Hiking boots are not.) I should have bought them 3 months ago when I agreed to go on this hiking trip that starts in two weeks but never got around. Now I am going to have to wear them every day to break them in before I leave. I will be gone a full week, but only hiking for about 5 days of it so it should be bearable. I will just miss Chad far too much...and not be able to call except in the dark, at night, maybe, if I can sneak away and I get service in the woods. That is a lot of maybes.
We filed our taxes yesterday. Finally. We've been trying to do it for about a month and a half and not been able to get all our information together and brains together at the same time. Hurrah. We will be getting money back. Not a ton but hey, we don't owe any so that is great!
Danielle comes back from Guatemala tomorrow...please say an extra prayer for safety while they are travelling. Good rest. No lost luggage. Fond memories. And happy goodbyes. Can't wait to talk to her and find out about her trip!
Gotta go get some work done in the kitchen and then go join the YMCA!
Posted by PSIrwin at 9:10 AM
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Home from work.
No new info for you folks...
I am going to snuggle with my sweetie.
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:03 PM
I tried to come up with something funny and foolsy to tell you guys...
a pregnancy April fools joke is lame. Everyone does that.
Moving? That's mean.
Getting another dog? That's just plain NOT funny.
So I guess I will leave it to nothing...just a Happy April Fools folks.
Do me a favor and jump on over to my friend Danielle's page. She is still in Guatemala with Living Water International and needs our prayers. Her mom is using her comments on her last blog (a schedule of what they will be doing every day) as sort of a prayer journal for all of us. Please, even though you don't know her, scoot over there and lift up a quick prayer for her health and safety and that of the rest of her team. She sent her family and friends an email yesterday or this morning (I got it this morning) that said she had been pretty sick but was feeling better (ah - the joy of strange bacteria in foreign countries - I have my fair share of THOSE stories) but in more pleasant news, the drillers had hit water! They are putting in a well and the pipes have been laid and fresh water is on its way to a village that desperately needs it!
On a more entertaining note, at work yesterday, we had about 6 items left in the 90% off home accents stuff. Our boss was in a really good mood and about 7:30 last night, let us sell those items for $1. Yes, folks, that is one dollar. A couple of them were custom frames, one even worth over $500 bucks! We were going to trash them anyway so it was fun as well as serving the purpose of getting rid of some stuff. I bought a big black picture frame for a buck and I am going to hang it, empty, on the wall and then hang stuff in it. Maybe more paper fans somewhere else. I will show you when it gets done. Fun!
Posted by PSIrwin at 10:26 AM