Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday Night Fun!

Neil and I enjoyed quite an eventful Monday evening, without the little one. 3 words, folks: MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! No, I'm not referring to a big screen tv in a friend's basement. Try in the presence of 75,000 other fans at the one and only Invesco Field at Mile High! It was the Packers at the Broncos, and as many of you know, we Broncos didn't quite live up to what a home team should. Just when it seemed we had a chance and tied up the game with only seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Packers ran it for a touchdown in the first play of overtime. Despite our loss, I wasn't too broken up. After all, I'm a forever Niners girl (don't remind me they've lost their last 5 games this season).

What made this game even better is that my brother, David and cousin, Heather and her husband, Scott all flew out (David from UT, Scott and Heather from CA) to join us (thank you again, S&H for the tickets).

In addition to starting his 264th consecutive game (including the playoffs), Brett Favre threw his 424th and 425th touchdown passes this game. To watch this guy, who is the only 3-time MVP in NFL history work his magic out on the field was pretty incredible stuff! Not that I'm a cheesehead, or ever will be, but you've really gotta give it to Favre! Especially with that last play of the game. Here are some shots I captured of him.

And here are some others...

It's been kind of a depressing week in general for Colorado professional sports. First the Rockies lose their fourth in a row to the Red Sox in the World Series, and now this?! Sheesh! Well Rockies, we're still behind you! And here's a picture to prove it (courtesy of David, taken on our drive home).

Though Chloe didn't get to see the players in person like we did, she did watch the game back at home and cheer the Broncos on! She's a sweet little football fan in the making, and can already say, "Go tigers!" when watching LSU games with Daddy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Recipe of the Week

Okay, so this recipe I did create all by myself! Great comfort food, especially for this time of year.

Chicken and Harvest Rice Casserole (doesn't that sound Fallish?)

Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Goes well with: Vegetables such as glazed carrots, green beans, or even a green salad. Crescent rolls make another great addition.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked Garden Harvest Rice (see picture below)
2 chicken bouillons
1 T. butter
2 eggs
2 T. milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
dash of cayenne pepper and seasoned or garlic salt, if desired
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup french fried onions
2 sheets of wax paper
Canola oil

1) Bring 2 1/4 cups water and 2 chicken bouillons to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup Garden Harvest Rice and 1 T. butter. Cover and turn heat to low. You will want the rice to cook approximately 20 minutes, but you can move on to step 2 once you've turned the heat to low (just keep track of time).
2) Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound with meat tenderizer until chicken breasts are about 1 cm. thick. Slice into 6 even pieces (to the best of your ability).
2) In a pie dish or shallow bowl combine eggs and 2 tbsp. milk. Whisk with fork. In another pie dish or shallow bowl combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings (if desired). Mix until well-blended.
3) An electric skillet makes this next step much easier. If you have one, turn the temperature to 350 degrees (or medium heat). Otherwise a large frying pan will work just fine (turn to medium heat). Pour enough Canola oil into the skillet/pan to coat the bottom. It should take 4-5 minutes for oil to get hot enough.
4) Place individual chicken pieces into egg/mixture until well-coated. Then place into bread crumbs mixture until well-coated. Transfer to skillet. Cook on each side approximately 1 minute, or until slightly browned (it may not even take that long. And don't be concerned if the chicken doesn't seem cooked all the way through. It's gonna bake another 20 minutes in the oven).
5) By the time the chicken is finished, the rice should also be. Transfer the rice to a 9x13 inch casserole dish and spread evenly over bottom. Place chicken on top of rice in an even layer (it should pretty much cover up the rice).
6) In a bowl, combine Cream of Mushroom soup and 1/3 cup milk. Stir until well-blended. Then pour over chicken and rice. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over soup mixture, and sprinkle french fried onions over cheese.
7) Bake at 350, uncovered for 20 minutes.

* Walmart and Costco carry Garden Harvest Rice. If for some reason you can't find it, just use enough traditional long grain rice to make about 2 1/2 cups cooked.
* Also, if the rice is still a little watery after 20 minutes of cooking, transfer it over to the casserole dish anyway. Whatever liquid is left will absorb during those 20 minutes in the oven.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tagged - I'm it!

Dayna tagged me, so here goes!

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago:
* Living life as a high school junior in Vacaville, CA.
* Dating Zach Clapsadle.
* Rehearsing for Vacaville Ballet Academy's annual Christmas performance of 'Clara's Gift' (a rendition of 'Nutcracker').
* Writing a lot of essays for Mr. Jensen's AP English class.
* Listening to Jewel, Paula Cole, Cake, and Rachmaninov (odd combination, I know).

5 Things I was doing 5 years ago:
* Living in a 400 sq. ft. basement apartment in Provo, UT.
* Adjusting to life as a married woman.
* Working as an Intimate Apparel Sales Associate at Meier and Frank.
* Anxiously awaiting Neil's BYU graduation.
* Spending free evenings/weekends with Brandon & Wendy, Brad & Maria, Jed & Wendy, and my parents.

5 Things I was doing 1 year ago:
* Living .5 miles away in a much smaller house.
* Trying to swallow the fact that my daughter was three weeks away from turning 1!
* Working part-time for the Lynn Institute.
* Watching Chloe take her first steps.
* Breastfeeding (hey, I couldn't think of anything else).

5 Snacks I enjoy:
* Chips and salsa, queso, or guacamole
* Cereal
* Grapes
* Edemame
* Oreos and milk, both straight out of the fridge

5 Things I did yesterday:
* Caught Chloe playing in my make-up (see previous posting)
* Changed a very nasty blow-out diaper (which leads me to #3)
* Gave Chloe 2 baths (naturally she'd already had her first bath before the blow-out took place)
* Re-formatted my blog (thanks for your help, Shannon)
* Watched 'The Office' with Neil (ah, one of the things I look forward to most each week)

5 Jobs I've had:
* Ballet Instructor
* Esthetician
* Research Coordinator
* Hostess
* Mommy

5 Things I would do if I had a million dollars:
* Pay off our mortgage
* Contribute to savings and investments
* Furnish my home exactly as I'd like
* Find out what's at the top on my parents' and in-laws' wish lists and fulfill them
* Travel Europe

5 TV shows I like:
* The Office
* House
* Criminal Minds
* So You Think You Can Dance
* Almost anything on Food Network or Discovery Health

5 Things I hate doing:
* Enduring migraines
* Decorating my house
* Debating with my husband about furniture, etc.
* Reprimanding my daughter
* Dealing with bratty kids and inconsolable babies

5 Biggest joys of the moment:
* Observing Chloe, as the wheels turn in her head and she learns yet another new thing every day.
* Hearing her say, "I wuv you, Mommy!"
* My husband, who makes it possible for me to stay home and who never goes a day without asking how mine went.
* This time of year - how I love Fall!
* Long-distance correspondence with my parents, brother, and cousin/best friend, Wendy.

5 People I tag:
* Mika
* Natalie
* Shannon
* Mindy
* Carrie

It was only a matter of time...

It's something every little girl (and many boys, I'm sure) get caught doing at some point, and something every mother isn't sure whether she should laugh at or reprimand her child for.

Yesterday morning I noticed something odd. It's called silence. Chloe was no where to be found and I couldn't hear a sound coming from any direction of the house. This pretty much always means mischief of some kind. And sure enough...

When I caught her, she had a tube of toothpaste in her hands (as pictured). I can only imagine what creative piece of work would have been smeared on the walls had I waited 5 more minutes to walk in the room.

What will it be next? Oh, and any suggestions about how to get eye liner out of a onesie?

Welcome to Colorado!

Today Chloe and I had lunch with a childhood friend of mine, Manya, and her two kiddos, Celestia, 3, and Jack, 16 months. Manya and I grew up together in California, were in the same first grade class at Alamo Elementary, and graduated Vaca High the same year. We both danced for Vacaville Ballet Company, attended the same church, and our moms were and still are good friends. Manya is nearly 9 months pregnant with her third baby (bless her heart) and just as cute as can be! I'm so happy we are once again "neighbors" and hope to see a lot more of her in the upcoming months. Welcome to Colorado, Manya!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Daddy, carve me a pumpkin!

Monday night we went over to the Roberts' to carve pumpkins! Because Neil and Chloe had such a ball doing this together last October, I decided to let them enjoy their Daddy/daughter time once again, while I played camera man. Just to show you how much Chloe has changed in the last year, I'm including both pictures from the other night and last year. Enjoy!

My very own

2 questions:

What's inside?

And, do I dare stick my hand in?

Last year the obsession was attempting to eat it...

...this year it was attempting to stick her face inside.

And voilĂ !

You and me Daddy - we make a great team!

This last one's of Chloe and her 2 buddies, Evan and Sydney, who carved a much larger pumpkin with their Daddy!

Happy Fall everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2007

About Us

What is his name? Neil Scott

How long have you been together? We just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary August 28th. This coming February 9th will be the sixth anniversary of our first date.

How did you meet? We worked at Chevy's in Provo, UT. I was a hostess, he was a server. He swore up and down he'd never date a co-worker. Boy did I prove him wrong!

How long did you date? 6 1/2 months - we didn't waste any time!

How old is he? He'll be 29 in January.

Who eats more? He eats bigger portions less frequently. I on the other hand like to snack. A LOT! Hmm, hard to tell.

Who said I love you first? For how sentimental I am you'd think I'd remember, but I honestly don't. I'd say it was me, but I'm positive he wasn't a day behind.

Who is taller? He is, but not by more than an inch or two. I wore flip flops on our wedding day so I wouldn't be taller in any of the pictures.

Who sings better? Good question. Let's not find out.

Who is smarter? Neil is.

Whose temper is worse? Mine. Although when Neil gets really angry (which is rare), it's wise to keep your distance.

Who does the laundry? Two of Neil's least favorite things are laundry and grocery shopping.

Who does the dishes? I do.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do.

Who pays the bills? I do.

Who mows the lawn? Neil does. The outside of the house is pretty much his terrain, except the weeds. Now how did I get stuck with that job?

Who cooks dinner? I do.

Who drives when you are together? Neil mostly does.

Who is more stubborn? Chloe. She gets it from her mom. There, does that answer your question?

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? We are both fully capable of acting like adults. It's the whole heat of the moment thing that gets us!

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine - they're in Utah. Neil's are in Georgia.

Who kissed who first? Neil kissed me. It was the first thing he did on our third date in fact.. apparently he'd made up his mind that he liked me.

Who asked who out? Neil asked me out after his original date backed out. Romantic, I know. Let's go back to the last question.

Who proposed? Neil did. First he surprised me at the Olive Garden in downtown Salt Lake (arranged a private booth for us) after we'd been apart 2 full months (he'd been in CA doing an Internship with Smuckers). Needless to say, we didn't eat much salad or bread sticks. He then took me on a carriage ride circling Temple Square and that's when he dropped the question. Got down on his knee and everything. I learned later that evening that on his way to the Olive Garden, he stopped at my parents house to ask my father's permission for my hand in marriage. What a smart boy!

What is your favorite memory of this person? One of many: Moments after Chloe was born, when Neil announced, "Congratulations Mom, you have a daughter!" and brought her over to meet me. To #1 - be called "Mom" and know it is a reality, and #2 - be told I have a healthy daughter are the two greatest things I've ever been told in the same sentence!

Who is more sensitive? I am. I have yet to see my husband cry.

Who has more friends? I probably do, but that's just because I make a greater effort to track down old friends and stay in touch with existing ones. I'm also a girl, which I think puts me at a slight advantage.

Who has more siblings? Neil does: 2 younger brothers, 1 younger sister. I have 1 older brother.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Special moments...

This morning Chloe was rummaging through the kitchen drawers (a common occurrence) and found in the bottom drawer a box of these napkins (leftover from our wedding, which I am still trying to find use for), and in the sweetest voice, pointed to the napkin on top and said, "Mommy's temple!"

Happy Birthday David!

Happy 34th to my one and only BIG BRO! Can't wait to see you in a week! I love you!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Recipe of the Week

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. It relaxes, fulfills and brings me great joy. I often experiment, which can sometimes be a scary thing and sometimes a wonderful thing. Regardless, I am lucky enough to have a tolerant husband who is willing to eat whatever's placed in front of him (thank you Mama Susie)! Last night I made this dish for the third or fourth time. My brother made an incredible pasta dish for me a while back, simliar to this, which I've kinda worked from to create this one. So I suppose I can't take complete credit, but enough that I'm going to call this my own. I've decided I'm going to start posting a "Recipe of the Week", and not just any recipe, but one that I've created myself. That's the goal anyway - until I run out of ideas! We'll see how long this lasts.

Chicken and Sausage Tortellini
Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 30 minutes (approx.)
Goes well with: salad and bread

3 hot italian sausage links, sliced or ground (whichever you prefer)
2 chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
1 jar Classico Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo
1 cup milk or half & half
1 T. butter
1 quart-sized ziploc bag
1 16oz. package Cheese Tortellini
3 green onions, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ serrano pepper, coarsely chopped (only if you like spicy)
2 T. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 T. fresh basil (or 1 t. dried basil)
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. cayenne pepper
Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper

1) Cook sausage over medium heat approximately 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Remove sausage from pan and set aside, but do not remove grease from pan.
2) Combine chicken, onion, peppers, parsley, basil, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in ziploc bag and shake until chicken is well-coated. While pan is still hot, add butter to sausage grease. Once melted, add contents of ziploc bag to pan. Heat until chicken is cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes.
3) In a bowl, combine Alfredo sauce and milk. Stir until consistency is smooth. I always pour the sauce in the bowl first, then add some of the milk to the empty jar, tighten the lid, then shake it and pour it into the bowl with the rest of the milk. That way you don’t waste any of the sauce.
4) Pour sauce into pan. Stir, cover, and turn to low heat.
5) Follow instructions according to the back of Tortellini package. Once cooked through, pour into pan of sauce, mix, and that’s it! Garnish (I love that word) with Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.

*Other variations of this dish, which I've tried and liked: shrimp instead of chicken, and angel hair pasta instead of tortellini.

The picture doesn’t quite resemble a Food Network gourmet dish, but it does taste quite good. Chloe devoured it. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm not ready for this

Whether she learned it yesterday or just decided to start using it (to aggravate me), Chloe apparently has a new favorite word and made this crystal clear after about the eighteenth time of repeating it. “No” and “Mine” have been the top 2 words in her vocabulary for months. This all changed yesterday however, when I told her to put her shoes on so we could go to the store. Her response:


And then again, when she asked for Daddy and I explained he had to work late:


Oh, and let’s not forget last night when I reminded her for the fifteenth time that she needed to put her toys away and get ready for bed:

My response: “Because I said so!” Original, I know. Quick, any guesses to her next response?

Not only did she use this word on numerous occasions yesterday and even this morning (I was hoping it would only last a day), but each time it was accompanied with this cute little smirk that only Chloe can pull off, as if to say, “Sure you’re ready to rip your hair out. What’s your point Mommy?”

Aren’t they not supposed to discover this word until they’re like 4?