Weekend Whirlwind

Hello, bloggy friends! I’m writing my post a bit late today, but better late than never, right? 🙂

This weekend did not go at all as planned, but that was a very good thing! As I was getting ready to leave work on Friday, I noticed a few text messages from my dear friend Emily (who was my college roomie and maid of honor at my wedding), asking if I was going to be around that weekend because she was coming into town. She needed a place to stay for the weekend while she took care of some sorority business (she’s on the advisory board for the sorority she was in during college). Even though I had a jam-packed weekend full of cleaning and grocery shopping, I was willing to let her ruin those plans and stay for the weekend! 🙂 (I’m so thankful that I have a flexible husband who willingly goes along with spur-of-the-moment plans!)

Emily was going to be occupied most of the night on Friday, so Stephen and I were able to do what we had originally planned–go see Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t have terribly high expectations because I never know what to expect with Tim Burton, but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the movie and thought it was really well done, although I don’t really think it is a movie for young children. We didn’t see it in 3-D, but after not really loving the 3-D experience I had with Avatar, I didn’t mind. Emily got to our place later that night, and of course we stayed up late talking and catching up.

Saturday morning we woke up at 8:30, got ready, and then headed out. We made a stop by the bank and then on to IHOP for breakfast. Yum! Then I took Emily on a special trip–grocery shopping at Walmart! Do I know how to treat house guests or what? Even though grocery shopping is not at all thrilling, it had to be done, and Emily was kind enough to keep me company.

The afternoon was spent playing Wii, which was hilarious and fun. Then we cooked a pizza Stephen had bought at Sam’s and watched a movie that Emily had brought and that neither Stephen nor I had heard of–Fracture. It actually was a really good mystery/thriller. I can’t believe I’d never heard of it. Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling were in it, so it’s not as though it was a movie with obscure actors.

Sunday we got up and went to Bible Study and the worship service at church. Then Emily was kind enough to treat us to lunch at Zaxby’s–score! Not long after, Emily had to head out again and it was time for me to face what I had been dreading all weekend–a 10 mile run. It took me 2 hours, and it was HOT (upper 60s is hot to me when I’m running) and uncomfortable at times, but I just stuck to my run/walk intervals. I made it through it, and while the run itself wasn’t amazing, it did feel amazing to know I had completed my first double digit run! I only have 3 miles to go to get to a half marathon distance! Yeah!

The final event of the weekend was dinner at Moe’s with our friend Marya (another college roomie) and her husband and ADORABLE kids. It was like a little reunion, and we had such a good time!

So even though I didn’t get a lot of the things I had planned to get done, I am totally okay with that because time with friends beats time scrubbing the bathroom any day! 🙂

I hope you all had a good weekend and are enjoying the week!

All About Bailey

I know it’s been an eternity since I solicited questions from all of you, but I am going to start answering them in earnest! I was so excited that one of my readers asked about our dog because now I can devote a whole post to our baby! 🙂 Macy asked, “Do you have a dog? I think I remember you posting something about one a while back. I’d like to hear more stories about your dog and see more pictures of it too!”

Readers, meet Bailey Mount, a cocker spaniel/bulldog mix. Her parents were both purebreds who decided to date outside their respective breeds, hehe.

Stephen had no plans to get a dog but in 2004 was simply accompanying his friend Jonathan while he picked one out. But then he saw the little puppies, and the owner was having a 2/$50 special, so he thought, “Why not?” Stephen does love a good deal.

Here she is when she was younger:

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Bailey until 2006, when Stephen and I met for our first date. He came out of his apartment to meet me, Bailey in tow, and I was terrified. Bailey is not much of a people person, and she can sound quite ferocious when she wants to, so initially I was worried that my relationship with Stephen would end before it had even started because of this crazy dog, but I quickly charmed her.

Bailey is adorable and also rather quirky. Let me count the ways:

1. She likes to sleep covered up, so she has her very own blanket that we cover her with while she snoozes on the couch.

2. She loves playing with balloons. I don’t know how she doesn’t pop them (and occasionally she does), but she will grip one in her teeth and shake it around furiously, then parade around the room with it.

3. She hates it when I cough. This is so odd, but whenever I cough, her head jerks to attention and she stares at me. Often she will come over to me and just look at me, like she’s wondering if I’m dying or something. I like to tease Stephen that she loves me more because she couldn’t care less when he coughs.

4. She loves to snuggle. We both have recliners, and if I put mine up, she almost always wants to hop right up and nestle between my legs. If she is in my chair, she likes to face me, but often when she is with Stephen, she faces away from him. Again, she loves me more. 🙂

5. She grabs a toy to greet us whenever we come home, but doesn’t really want to be petted. She just runs around with her toy in her mouth.

6. She likes to run underneath our legs.

7. She keeps all her toys around her bowls. She will even place her toys in her food bowl, then lift it up and put it back a few times before eating something.

8. She jumps in the bathtub when it’s bath time.

9. She cocks her head a lot. She’s a very responsive dog.

10. She learned the words to the song, “Bailey is my buddy” (which I made up and which contains the word “treat,” thereby convincing her that every time we sing it, she needs to get a treat).

11. She wags when she plays dead.

12. Her tail whacks both of her sides when she wags vigorously.

13. She likes to sit on Sadie (Stephen’s aunt’s dog) and dominate her.

14. She can remove the plastic ring from around the top of a plastic soda bottle.

15. She is scared of the vacuum.

How could you not love this dog??

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I stole this from Heather, and it works out well because it answers the first question she had: How did Stephen and I meet?

1. Where/how did you meet: We both went to Union and met there because we had some mutual friends, but we didn’t really hang out or anything. I did drive him and some other people to see Star Wars: Episode 3, and apparently I insulted his singing (with the old “Who sings that song/why don’t we keep it that way?”comment). He remembers this, but I don’t because of course I never say things like that. 🙂

2. How long have you known each other: Um, I’m not exactly sure, but I am going to go with 6 or 7 years.

3. How long after you met did you start dating: A long time. Though we probably met in 2001 or 2002, we did not start dating until 2006, when I was in grad school at UT Knoxville and Stephen was working in Jackson. Stephen found my profile on MySpace, sent me a message, then I replied back. Before I knew it we were messaging several times a day, then we started talking on the phone and the rest is history. 🙂

4. How long did you date before you were engaged: Not very long! We started dating on May 5, 2006 and got engaged on Aug. 4, 2006. I’m sure some people probably thought we were crazy, but we just knew it was right, and we didn’t have any reason to wait. You can read the engagement story (and more about how we started dating) here.

5. How long was your engagement: Too long! I had to finish my second year of grad school, so we didn’t get married until June 2, 2007, 10 months after we got engaged.

6. How long have you been married: 2 years, 5 months, and 17 days. 🙂

7. What is your anniversary: June 2, 2007

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: I think about 150.

9. What kind of cake did you serve: The wedding cake was alternating layers of french vanilla and carrot cake, which is my favorite kind of cake. The groom’s cake was an amazing chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and strawberries on top. It was soooo good.

10. Where was your wedding: Carahills Estate in Eads, TN (aka, The Middle of Nowhere). You can read my post about our wedding here.

11. What did you serve for your meal: Since our wedding was at 1:00 p.m., we served hors d’oeuvres. I didn’t eat much of it so I can’t remember exactly what we had, but I know there was a chocolate fountain. 🙂

12. How many people were there in your bridal party: 4

13. Are you still friends with them all: Yes, though we don’t keep in touch as well as we should.

14. Did you or your spouse cry during the ceremony: I cried a ridiculous amount, through most of the vows.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day: Getting married to Stephen would have to be the highlight. 🙂 I also loved that Stephen’s dad, who is a pastor, performed the ceremony. I might be a little biased, but I think it was one of the most meaningful wedding ceremonies I have ever heard.

16. Any funny moments: You can read about the infamous wedding present I gave Stephen here.

17. Any big disasters: Not at the wedding itself, but we did get ourselves locked out of the car while eating dinner at TGI Friday’s in Jackson. I had a minor meltdown in the parking lot because we were on our way to Nashville, and we couldn’t get in touch with anyone because everyone still had their phones off after the wedding. Finally, Stephen’s coworker Paul came by and took us to our apartment, where I ran inside and found a spare key.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon: Chattanooga, TN. We stayed in Nashville at the Embassy Suites on Saturday night and then drove on to Chattanooga Sunday morning. Chattanooga is one of my favorite cities, and we had so much fun.

19. How long were you gone: 5 days

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change: I would make absolutely certain that we got pictures taken with everyone! We didn’t get pictures of us with our grandparents, and that really breaks my heart.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on: The right side. It’s weird, but in our other apartment, I slept on the left side.

22. What size is your bed: Queen

23. Greatest strength as a couple: Our friendship. Stephen and I are each other’s best friend, and we genuinely love to spend as much time as possible together. We have so much fun together, and we can be completely ourselves. He brings out the best in me.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple: My inability to handle conflict. I tend to shut down if we are disagreeing about something, instead of trying to talk through it.

25. Who literally pays the bills: Stephen

26. What is your song: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

27. What did you dance your first dance to: We didn’t dance at our wedding. We did dance to Michael Buble in Stephen’s kitchen on one of our first dates, though. 🙂

28. Describe your wedding dress: The dress I wore was the first dress I tried on. My mom made me try on others, but I knew it was the one. It was a strapless A-line gown with a thick fuschia band at the waist and a gorgeous train trimmed with the same color fuschia. Here’s a view of the back, which I loved:

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding: I LOVED the flowers at my wedding. My bouquet had roses and stargaze lillies, and the bridesmaids had daisies and roses. Take a look:

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? No, they aren’t.

Feel free to fill this out if you’re married. If you do, link to your post in the comments!

Adventures in Baking

I blame it all on The Food Network.

On Saturday, Hubby and I were watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate (all about pizza), and Aaron Sanchez was talking about this amazing dessert pizza he loved. Then we watched him eating it, and we knew that we too needed to make a dessert pizza. Hubby was all excited about it and had ideas, but I was a little skeptical, since I am the consummate recipe follower. I don’t invent my own culinary creations; I don’t even like to deviate from a recipe, so the thought of attempting something without so much as as an ingredient list was slightly terrifying. However, hubby convinced me to try it, so we went to the kitchen for a little food reconnaissance. Turns out we had everything we needed to make our very own pizza! Here’s what we used:

1 can Pillsbury pizza crust dough (No, I do not make my own dough. Sue me.)
Toll House chocolate chips (any other kind just won’t do, in my opinion)
Peanut butter
Miniature marshmallows
Pecans, slightly chopped

I have no idea what quantities we used because it was definitely more of an eyeballing endeavor, but we started by rolling out the pizza crust. Then we generously sprinkled chocolate chips all over the crust, followed by dollops of peanut butter placed in various places. Then we added the marshmallows and pecans, and we finished it off with a drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Here’s what it looked like before we baked it:

From Blogger Pictures

And after it was finished:

From Blogger Pictures

If we make it again, we’ll wait to do the chocolate drizzle until after we’ve baked the pizza, but overall, it was ten kinds of delicious. The chocolate chips were slightly melted but not too gooey, the marshmallows had a nice toasty flavor, and the peanut butter was a wonderful compliment to the whole pizza. It was our dinner that night, and because it was a holiday weekend, the calories don’t count. Right? 😉

Now, the only thing left to decide is what to call it. I was thinking of calling it Peanut Butter S’mores Pizza, but it doesn’t have graham crackers, so that name is not entirely accurate. I suppose if I’m going for accuracy I should just call it Weight Gain Pizza. 🙂 I also thought of calling it Paradise on a Pizza, but I’m open to other suggestions. Any ideas?

One more thing: thanks to all of you for your thoughts on my running/weight loss dilemma. The consensus seems to be that running makes me hungrier which means I eat more, and I think this is definitely true, so I am going to have be more mindful of how much I eat on running days. While some runners brag that they can eat whatever they want because they run, I am not one of those people, so I don’t need to give myself that excuse to go off the caloric deep end.