Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Dates - I'm Cool

My blog friend Jill has this series she likes to refer to as "The Single Girl Flies."  Some of her stories are GREAT!  I just thought I would share a couple short stories with her and you guys too, to show just how cool I can be too!  This is for you Jilly :).


Do you remember that first date?  It can be the first one you ever went on, the first one you went on with your spouse, whatever you want... but do you remember that first date?

If you look at some of my first dates ever, you'd wonder how I even got a second date out of the deal.  Maybe they just felt sorry for me.  Maybe they enjoyed the "entertainment".  Who knows!

My first date ever was actually pretty boring.  I didn't really get a second date, but that's because he lived in a completely different state 4 1/2 hours away.  My dad always told me that I couldn't date until I was 30.  Ok so maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but he didn't want me going on a date until I was at least 16, that way if I ever got into a bind, I could drive home, legally because heck I've been driving since I was four.  But I digress...

But before I could get my driver's license I had to know how to check a vehicle for oil, change a tire, pump gas & drive both a standard transmission and an automatic.  See I'd never be stranded :).

So the summer of my 16th birthday I spent every other weekend with my aunt and uncle in Southern Oklahoma.  There was this boy who worked for them who was my age and my aunt thought we'd be perfect for each other.  I guess she never thought about the whole distance thing.  So anyway she basically set up a date for us in a round about way.  I was 1 month shy of 16 and I knew I shouldn't be going, but I did... woops... LOL.  I truthfully think that will go down as the worst date in history.

The town they lived in had a population of 519 people.  There was one convenience store/gas station/diner in town; that's where we went to eat.  He ordered Chicken Fried Steak and so did I.  I didn't know what to say to him so I played with my straw wrapper the entire time.  The CFS was good, but I truthfully think I only ate about 4 bites and I was done, which if you knew me back then was definitely not a characteristic of me!

It was a lunch time thing, so after lunch was over and we were getting ready to head back to the ranch, we ran into my uncle.  He was headed somewhere and asked if I wanted to go.  I said you betcha and jumped in his truck and we headed off down the road.

Hmm... it's no wonder why I never got a second date... but how about the blind date I got set up on in college?  We decided to meet at a local dance club.  I begged one of my dorm friends to go with me, I didn't want to go alone, so she and I got dressed up and went to the club to meet this guy.  Oddly enough I picked him out right away.  He walked up to me and we started talking.  He was thirsty and going to the bar to get water and asked if I wanted some to.  I said sure, so when he brought me back the glass I barely took a sip and got the weirdest look on my face.  He looked at me and asked if everything was ok.  My response:
"Water.  It makes you pee."

I did get a few more dates with him, but we were much better off friends than anything.

So moving on later in life, my {now} husband and I were friends in high school, but like most people drifted our own ways.  When we finally met back up 10 years later and started talking, one of the first things out of my mouth to him was, "I thought you dropped out of school and fell off the face of the earth."  Smooth sailing right?  Oh yeah, I'm cool like that.

So we finally went on our first date about 2-3 weeks after we started talking again.  I volunteered to drive because I knew my way around the town we were going to and he had left his windows down the night before and his car was wet inside.  Now I'm sure you know I love to talk (probably get that through my writing).  Get this, I didn't shut up.  Nope, not once.  Not the whole one hour drive.  And I'm sure I said some pretty classy things.  However, I must have made a good impression then because he went on to marry me.  Don't worry, I think I even told him the water makes you pee story.  That is a classic after all.

I'm so glad though that I'm done with first dates.  They are usually the worst!  I've had my last first date (in fact I had it July 25, 2009)!

And I think this post needs a picture:
At Thanksgiving I was sending his sister text pics of everyone in the house (yes she was there too) and this is one shot I sent her... hahahaha!

Told you I was cool!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 407

Day 1-203 here
Day 204-406 here

Day 407 - We said I Do

Day 408 - We headed off to our Honeymoon in Chicago

Day 412 - First nights sleep in our new house

Day 422 - First weekend together as a family

Day 436 - Our Bear went missing

Day 448 - Audrey came into our family

Day 465 - Celebrated hubby's birthday that was on Day 466

Day 477 - Spent the evening in the hospital to lose my grandpa on day 478

Day 503 - Came the big hair chop

Day 518 - We hosted our first Christmas in our new house

Day 534 - I bought a new Car

Day 536 - I paid off my Mustang that I traded in on day 534

Day 558 & 559 - We got snowed into our house by a Missouri Style Blizzard & 18+ inches of snow.

Day 589 - We hit the 6 month mark for our marriage.

Day 595 - Hubs had knee/leg sugery

Day 611 - Spent the day in the ER by Choice (checking out the whole nursing gig)

Day 625 - Started our Diet (where I lost 26 lbs & he lost 30)

Day 637 - Enrolled back in school for a second bachelor's degree.

Day 652 - Attended the {step}daughter's Mother's Day Luncheon at school

Day 668 - Joplin was hit by the EF-5 Tornado

Day 679 - First time giving blood; only to get sick and have my first pop (err soda for those of you) since April 10.

Day 709 - Hosted the 2nd Annual 4th of July Party

Day 737 - Had to replace the pool liner on my 28th birthday

Day 742 - 1 Month count down to our 1 year anniversary

Day 761 - We both had to start attending classes.

Day 771 - Ate Year old Wedding Cake

Day 772 - We landed in Hawaii for our 2nd Honeymoon/1 year anniversary on Anniversary Eve.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

Do you remember the days when Polaroids were awesome?  When I was 11 I can remember wanting one of those cameras so bad!  And I know this has nothing to do with the post, but that might explain the pictures :).

Our Thanksgiving was so nice and relaxed.  I think the most stressful part was.... um... I can't really think of any time to be honest!  In fact my whole weekend was so laid back and relaxed.  It was very nice!  It was a little sad because I was missing some family but that's neither here nor there.

We woke up first thing Thursday morning and headed to my parents house to get Tbug, then we headed down to my grandma's to see her for a few minutes before heading in to my father in law's house.

After we ate dinner (aka lunch) at my father in law's house, we headed home to start working on Thanksgiving dinner (or supper whatever).

We started our turkey to brining Wednesday morning before work.  It has to brine for 16-24 hours.  I think we had it in for longer than that but still, it turned out nicely!

I had hubby lift the 17lb bird up and out of the brine so it could sit in a sink full of water for 20 minutes.  See it was a day of hurry to wait... LOL :)

After he hung out in his water bath, it was time to get in the pan so he could roast.

While the bird was roasting, I was teaching Tbug how to formally set the table.

Her table turned out quite nice... don't you think?

Then she wanted to help with cooking so I showed her how to use the micro-plane so we could get orange zest for the butter that we rubbed All Over the bird.

Then came time to smear the bird.

My parents & my father in law came to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  My FIL helped hubby carve up the bird.

Here was our dressing... We weren't sure at first about it because of the apples but oh wow!

Now it's time to eat!

I didn't really do anything but plan everything in my head in advance.  I read through the recipes a couple times.  I'm not so sure that I could have timed it all better if I had tried!  When the bird came out to rest, the stuffing & potatoes went in.  The corn casserole cooked away in the toaster oven and was done at the same time.  It was perfect timing.  Maybe I should stop there and not try another one... I'm not sure I could do it again... LOL :)

Friday, November 25, 2011


The Deer

And Squirty.....

Obviously Marlie can't believe I went there....

Happy Weekend y'all! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a safe & happy & yummy! Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for this time of year, a fabulous family, great friends, a roof over my head, a husband who wants to give me the world, a {step}daughter who accepts me fully, and God in my life.  What more is there?

I got this in an email at work the other day and cracked up laughing so of course I'm gonna share it with you!

I know a lot of people have been back and forth on the whole Don't forget Thanksgiving Day.  I don't want it forgotten either, but if you put your Christmas lights up on your house while it's still 70 outside and not snowing and the wind is howling, I think that's just fine and dandy and smart!

Anyway I hope y'all have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and now let the Christmas Holiday begin!

I get to make a turkey this year, how cool is that! :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's begining to look a lot like.....

.... Christmas.

There I said it.

Don't be mad at me.  Seriously, watch the tv ads, the black friday ads, the Christmas movies on Hallmark & Lifetime, the countdown to 25 days of Christmas on ABC Family, Christmas Vacation has been playing on CMT since October.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten Thanksgiving.  Nope, I was up at 5:15 this morning doing my homework, watching a cooking show, reading through my Turkey recipe, my stuffing recipe, getting a game plan in my head about how to get it all baked.  And then we put the turkey in to brining.

We aren't going to my aunts this year so I volunteered to do the turkey since I've been wanting to make one for a while.  I mean, why not!  She's a brinin away in the fridge outside!  Yes I have a fridge outside, it's the pool fridge :).

So anyway we decided, or maybe it was me, I lose count, to make PW's turkey from the Throwdown she did with Bobby Flay last year at Thanksgiving.  So this year I made sure to record that episode again so I could pick up some hints and tricks and tips.  I've never cooked a turkey before in my life.  She told Bobby Flay to brush up on all things Thanksgiving, so he had a professor come and quiz him.  Apparently Thanksgiving hasn't always been the 4th Thursday of November, back during the depression they moved it up to the third week for about 10 years to try and help with Christmas sales.  I found it funny when Bobby Flay said something about this being the first commercialized holiday. haha :)

I heard one time it was called Black Friday because stores don't red line (as in go in the negative) they have increased sales so they go into the black.  I wonder how true that really is....

Anyway I'll quit babbling, come 3-4pm today, check with me to make sure I'm still awake and haven't zonked out from hardly anyone being at work, and the fact that I'm NOT a morning person and I've been up since 5:15am.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

btw, I read a really cool blog post yesterday over on Stef's blog, you should check it out!  Stef, you're awesome!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Weekend

So our company is big in helping the United Way every year.  A couple weeks ago one of our departments was holding a silent auction and one of the items was a trip for 2 on the Showboat Branson Belle.  Oddly enough I had my cell phone on me, so I called hubs and told him.  We decided upon a dollar amount we'd spend and we actually got the tickets for cheaper!    I'd never been and neither had he so we weren't quite sure what to expect....

Oh. My. Gosh. was it awesome!  Definitely want to go back.  This time, since we're close to Christmas this was their Christmas show so I'm curious to see what say spring and/or summer shows are like, but either way it was amazing!

On our way to Branson we stopped in Springfield at a CVS pharmacy to look up Salma Hayak's new line of make-up.  I heard about it so I wanted to try it out.  So far, loving what I bought!

Then we went and used our season pass to go in to Silver Dollar City just to see what the Christmas Celebration was all about.  That and our tickets for the Showboat Branson Belle weren't until 8pm anyway.

You had to be there 1 hour early for loading.

I thought this was just too darn cute!  Yes those are fake geese :)

This is how you exit.

Here is the boat... or what my iPhone would capture of it.  I left my big camera at home and my point and shoot was dead.

It is a paddle wheel boat.  I got a funny video of that too... kind of like Hawaii where I stuck my tongue out...

This was up on the top looking back at the land.

This was after dinner.  Oh goodness dinner was awesome. We had bread with seasoned butter (garlic and spices... oh yum!), then a salad with sweet onion dressing, then Roast Beef with brown gravy (to die for), a Focaccia breaded Chicken, Mashed potatoes with white gravy & green beans... all fabulous.  To top it off we had a Lemon Berry Torte.  It's a wonder I could even fit in my clothes Sunday morning... LOL.  Then you had the option of Tea, Coffee, Lemonade, or water.  All of it was so good!

Here we are out on the upper deck after dinner but before the show started.  Yes it was 40 degrees out and we didn't have coats on, what's your point?

Hubby wouldn't look at me at first... LOL so ha! I showed him!

Hi, my name's Nicole and I'm a dork :)

That's the big wheel that operates the boat.

Back inside waiting for the show to start.

And like most places, they took our picture and then try to sell it to us.

Then Sunday we went to Table Rock Lake Dam.  It's friggin ginormous!

Well hello... my arm got us all in :)

This was the fish hatchery and it looks like they had to put the cages on there so the turkey buzzards would stay out of their crop....

Then we went to lunch.  This was the wall at the restaurant.  I wish I was this talented.  I'd paint my whole house this way.  Ok maybe not my whole house and I'll bet with that comment hubby is glad I'm not this talented :)

We'd actually never eaten here before.  It was excellent!

We love Bread with Olive Oil and seasonings :)

I got Chicken Pesto

Hubby got the Trio Sampler.

No neither of us ate everything either.  In fact I have enough for 2 meals (after I ate some for lunch).

When we were finished and full, the waitress came by and asked if we'd like more to drink.  We both declined.  Then she offered dessert.  Now normally we'd decline that too, but........ she didn't just offer dessert, no she started with the word Tiramisu.  Yeah, we were suckered in.  So then she brought it to us and I asked for more to drink.  Before she could get our drinks back, hubby and I devoured this.  Yes we shared but it was hard to share, it was that good :)

After we left there we went to Stonehill Winery to take a tour.  This was a cute set up out in front.

This was some of the old machinery used when Stonehill was started back in the 1800's.

Then I got to come home and study for an Anatomy & Physiology test.  I so can't wait until I never have to say that again, I'm just sayin! :)

Here are some interesting facts about Branson & the Showboat Branson Belle
Total Population: 10,500ish (a little smaller population wise than my hometown)
Visitors per year: 8 Million
The Wheel: 10'2" tall and weighed in over 600lbs
It took 130 gallons of paint to paint the exterior of the ship
It only took 25 gallons to paint the inside of the ship
The ship displaces 95,062,500 cubic feet of water
The paddle wheels are 25' in diameter
It moves at 12 knots or 8mph
The paddles turn 8 times per minute, 480 times per hour.


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