Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whatever Wednesday!

It's Wednesday!
Hi readers!! I am only two days away from a 3-day weekend for Independence Day! Hopefully you all have a 3-day weekend too!

Let's move on, because I am going to devote a lot of this post to MY READERS! :) (I so love saying that!) I try not to stalk Google Analytics, and I do my best to only check it once a week. So, this morning I logged in to check up on who is peeping my humble little blog. Last week (6/23-6/29) I had 171 hits! How exciting! Quick shout out to all the states who visited: TX, CA, CO, MO, WI, NC, KS, UT, AZ, PA, NY, IL, TN & MD! I'm feeling a LOT of love today - bloggy style! I also thought it was interesting some of the google searches that brought people here. This week, people googled "Rachel Naslund", "Newlywed Naslunds", "Emett Bolin", "Andrew Tinker", "Danny Gokey", "American Idol" & "Summer Salad" and stumbled upon this blog.

I want to give a Special Shout-Out to the fansite iheartdannygokey for the love they showed after my post about Danny. I especially want to thank users asics717, Lizzy & Ellen B. for the kind words, and for reppin' my little blog here. Your referral lead to 46 of my hits this week! Thank you!

How about some Random Ramblings from Rachel? I’ve been reading the final draft of a book my friend Kelly Riad wrote, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want to give too much about the story away, because it’s going to be published, and when it is, I want you all to read it for yourselves. What I will tell you is what a beautiful story it is. GLOW, the first book in a series, is a deep, crushing love story (x 2) that finds Emily, a "normal" teen, trying to figure out who she is, getting involved with some new kids in town who are not what they seem. (This is NOT Twilight...don't let the initial feel of the book fool you. There are no vampires or werewolves in this book.) I am enthralled and addicted to this story and these characters and hated it when I found myself coming close to the end of this first book. I slowed my reading, trying to draw the story out,  making it last as long as possible, in fear that Kelly wouldn't grace me with the next book until it’s published as well. Well, she promised to let me read it as soon as it's ready, and I am counting the days!! If YOU want to check out the first few chapters of GLOW (and I know you do!), they are up on Kelly's website.

That's all for today! Have a great Wednesday!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Danny Gokey

THREE posts in one week - what is going on here?! ;)

So, last night my Mom, my Mom's good friend Laura, her daughter (and my friend) Claire & I went to The Glass Cactus in Grapevine to see Danny Gokey in concert. If you don't know who that is, he was on season 8 of American Idol and made it to the top 3. He was 28 when he tried out and had lost his wife to a heart condition only a few months before, but she had always wanted him to try out, so he did and last night talked about how it literally saved his life. Anyway, the show was a lot of fun...despite the fact that he traveled from Nashville and his flight was delayed. He was supposed to go on around 9-9:30 and instead, didn't start until about 10:40!! It was disappointing because I didn't get to stay for the whole thing, since I'm a working stiff, but it was worth it anyway. He also talked a lot about the charity work he has been doing, including the foundation he started in memory of his late wife. He has done a lot in his home town of Milwaukee and in his now home, Nashville. You can learn more about the awesome work he is doing here.

Vocally, he was pristine. He hit every note, right on the money, which is a huge deal to me. Coming from a music background, I often find myself disappointed by an artist's live show. Too many times they are 1/2 of what they seem on their albums. Not Danny Gokey, y'all. (First time I've ever gotten all "Texan" on a post, but seeing as he made a country album, it seemed fitting.) I actually thought he was almost better live. Raw talent. And his stage presence is outstanding. So, if you are a country music fan (mixed with a lot of soul), I highly recommend you pick up his album. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the night!

This is me with Claire, super excited that Danny was taking the stage! I love this girl. I've known her since she was seriously like 5 years old.

Danny Gokey, singing his little heart out! (And by "little heart" I mean giant, loving, unselfish and giving heart, of course.)

This is my favorite of the night. How cute is he?! (Note to self: get Ryan some shirts like this.)

This is one is kind of blurry because he moves and dances around a LOT, but still a good action shot.

Danny, thanks for a great night! See ya next time you're in Dallas...or I'm in Nashville! Whichever comes first! 


Thursday, June 24, 2010

What It's Like To Be...Fat

Roll your eyes if you must, but it's true. Over the past 4 years, Ryan & I (emphasis on the I) have gotten fat. Definitely me, more so than Ryan. Ryan is a big guy by nature. He was a scrawny kid, and then filled out through middle school, got scary skinny at the end of high school, then filled out again, sitting at about the same weight (give or take 5 lbs) for the past few years. Not me, faithful friends and readers. I was a normal kid, thin but not too skinny, until middle school. Then I got scary skinny, then through high school maintained a very healthy weight. I gained the "freshman 15" a year later, then 20 more. I maintained that until Ryan & I moved in together. He love to cook, and he's darn good at it. Delicious creations that I wolfed down without consequence...or so I thought. By the time we got engaged, I realized I'd packed on even more weight, and I worked hard to get as much of it off as possible before the wedding...and I did a pretty good job, dropping almost two sizes. (For the record Ryan also worked hard and dropped almost twice as much weight like it was nothing. Jerk.) After the wedding, we both "relaxed" and lost control again. Aaaand again, Ryan hit his "weight wall" which no matter how much he eats, he never seems to exceed. Jerk. Not me, folks. Nope, I kept expanding. Stopped paying attention. Stopped exercising. In turn, stopped shopping for cute clothes. Stopped being in pictures, if I could help it, or started hiding behind people in the shots.

I feel like "the boy who cried wolf" because I've been here before. I wrote about not wanting to be the fat girl who talks about getting skinny. Yet, here I am. Still fat. Still talking about "getting skinny". I looked in the mirror Tuesday and didn't recognize the person looking back at me. I've completely lost myself in this fat suit. My face doesn't look like my face anymore. My body doesn't look remotely like the body I was used to seeing. I. AM. FAT. When I fell off the wagon, I don't know. Why, I don't know that either. But I did, hard. I've gained every pound back, plus some, which is how it happens for me. So, I am starting over again, again. GAH it pisses me off to just type this. I want to shake myself and scream WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I am NOT happy with myself. I have become this never ending cycle of self-loathing, then eating to fill the whole, then feeling worse, then eating more...its a vicious, never-ending cycle of terrible. Ryan loves me, I know, but I can't tell you last time he told me I looked pretty without being provoked; "Does this look OK?" He used to tell me daily.

This time, I am approaching this differently. I am not going to set crazy goals that seems light years away. When you have as much to lose as I do, the "goal weight" is terrifying and I become easily discouraged because I feel its unattainable. Like I'm setting myself up for failure. And I'm going to start small and work my way up. I will start by eating 1600-1800 calories per day, then cut from there as I lose. For fitness, I am going to start with a walking program called "Walk Away The Pounds". I feel like this will ease me into the world of work-outs and I'll be more likely to stick with it this time...when I throw myself in and find I am not physically capable of what I think I "should" be, I tend to want to quit. From there, I will start the Couch To 5K program. I've never been a runner, but I want to give it a try. It may not be the right program for me, but this time around I won't persecute myself for not being a cookie cutter "exerciser".

At the end of the day, my true goal is to look in the mirror and see the person I FEEL like I am looking back at me. I know I've asked for support before...more than once, and have not succeeded yet, but I will.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whatever Wednesday!

Well, another week has past and I haven't had much to report.

Weekend Wrap-Up!
We had a fun weekend. On Friday, I took my Dad to lunch for Father's Day and had a great time spending time with him, one on one. Then Saturday, we had Ryan's parents over and cooked them lunch to celebrate Father's Day with Richard. Saturday night we met up with some of our good friends, Brittany & Jacob, Jennye & Gavin, Frankie (my brother) and a couple of Gavin's friends to head to Deep Ellum for dinner and some good live music. We ate at Twisted Root burger, always a favorite of ours, then headed over to the bar where our friend Andrew Tinker and his band where playing. Sunday, I was parked on the couch all day with a migraine, so Ryan went to Frankie's apartment for a bit. Here is the Wrap-Up of Saturday in pictures:

Here we are on our way to meet everyone.

On our way to Dallas, Frankie, Brittany and Jacob crammed in the back seat of the Jetta.

At Twisted Root. L-R; Britt, Jacob, Danny, Cody, Gavin & Jennye.
Frankie, and Ryan were on either side of me so, they didn't make it in to the picture.

A friend of Frankie's (and kind of mine) Nate (far left) and his band, The Astronomers

Andrew Tinker (on the piano) and his band! They are so, so awesome.

I don't have any new recipes to share as of this very moment, but hope to be trying lots of new ones soon.

Random Ramblings of Rachel!
Ryan is home sick today. Potentially with the flu. Not good. I hate being sick, I mean who likes it, but I really hate when Ryan is sick. Its hard for me to see my big, strong husband like that and not be able to do anything to make him feel better! And then, of course, as a working person I enter this conundrum of, do I avoid him like the plague so I don't get sick, or do I tend to his every need! Haha. I usually do something between the two. Anyway, I am hoping and praying that a)he gets better fast and that its not the flu and b)that I don't catch it!

Well, that's pretty much all I've got today. So, so boring. Sorry readers. :)


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Um, its Thursday. Oops. I've really slacked on the blog this week, and I have no valid excuses!

Overdue Weekend Wrap-Up!
Even though its almost to the new weekend, I'll give a brief wrap-up of last weekend. On Saturday, Ryan worked and I did house work until mid-afternoon. Then after dinner, our friends Brittany & Jacob came over and we went to my new obsession, Tappy's, for fro-yo. YUM! If you live in my area, I highly recommend it! After, we came back to our place and watched Sherlock Holmes. It was such a good movie! Ryan & I have a list of BluRays we want to buy and this one definitely made the list! The rest of the weekend was low key...just the way I like it!

This is the most boring 'Whatever' post ever!
I seriously have nothing fun to report. This has been a loooong, boring week. But, I will share a super cute picture of Cooper & Chloe!

Alright, sorry I sucked this week. I'll post again soon...


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whatever Wednesday - The Locks of Love Edition

Wow! Blog entries two days in a row! What is going on here?! ;)

I was checking out my google analytics today and noticed that I had a handful of googlers land here when they searched "Locks of Love", so I decided I should update on my progress. I really wish I'd taken a better "before" picture, when I decided to do LoL one last time. But, here is one from the end of February, right before I started growing it out again.

I know it's hard to see in this picture, but my hair brushed my collar bones.

As of yesterday, it's been exactly 3 months. I snapped a pic this morning to track the progress, but my hair is in its "natural state" (aka curly) in this picture, so I don't think it does justice to the length. I'll take another next time I put forth the time/effort to straighten it. In the meantime, here is the curly hair pic.

See, I'm getting there! My mother-in-law, Susan, is also growing her hair for the cause, so its been neat tracking our "growth" together. I'm hoping before the end of the journey, I can convince some of my other long-haired friends to donate with us. :)


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saint Louis Trip

Well, we are back from this year's Naslund Family Reunion in Saint Louis! It went by much too fast, but we had such a great time! I am just crazy about my extended in-laws! Here's a trip summary:

We left Thursday morning, around 7:30am, to make the drive. It only took us about 9 hours to get there. I think we only stopped once to fill up, grab lunch, pee and get back on the road. (We ate lunch in the car.)
 Ryan was pretty excited, as you can see.

Pausing for the obligatory "car picture".

Friday, everyone else who doesn't live in STL began to arrive, then we caravan-ed over to Marissa's graduation party. Scottie (my bro-in-law) and cousin Josh rode with Ryan & I.

Saturday we celebrated Aunt Peggy's "Sensational 60"th birthday. The restaurant where the party was hosted was really neat, and the foot was amazing.
This is Ryan & his Mom.

L-R: Josh, Ryan, Scott

The Naslund's!

Ryan, me and his Mom

The Hubs & me (Saint Louis is pretty humid, so I had to rock the curls.)

After brunch on Sunday, Aunt Peggy opened all her gifts while the rest of us watched from around the pool.

Ryan getting baby Dublin up from his nap. This picture does not help my serious baby fever...he is such a natural with kids!

Ryan with his precious grandparents. (Clearly, he gets his height from the other side of the family!)

We left to drive home on Sunday afternoon. We had to make a quick pit stop at 17th Street BBQ, which we'd seen on Food Network and The Travel Channel. It was SO worth the stop. It was, hands down, the best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had. And I've had a lot...

Bye-Bye Saint Louis! We will miss you!

 It took us a bit longer to get home. We were tired, and we stopped more but we made it home very late Sunday night, or early Monday morning, depending on how you look at it! It was an awesome trip, and we are already ready for next year's! :)

Now, to snap back to the "real world"...


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whatever Wednesday!

Hello again faithful readers! Apparently, there were 119 of you from last Wednesday to today! YAY! Per Google Analytics, a lot of you got here by Googling "Lee DeWyze". See how I roped you in there? ;) I added some new states to my list of visitors this week, too. Welcome N. & S. Carolina, Oregon, Michigan and Vermont!

We are leaving tomorrow morning for the annual Naslund Family Reunion! It's my 3rd, and I am really excited to see everyone. I am crazy about my extended in-laws and its always such a fun weekend. Ryan & I are driving this year, so I am also really looking forward to some good road trip time. Its a crazy concept, but we actually really like being together so, 8+ hours in the car is appealing to me. :) Lucky me, my awesome brother is willing to stay at our place and keep an eye on the kitties (and the movie channels) while we are gone!

I will give a quick Weekend Wrap-up! We had a long weekend for Memorial Day, and I'm going to touch on that before I talk about the fun stuff. On Monday, I did some serious thinking about all the people in my life who have served this country. Both my grandfathers fought in WWII. My Granddaddy lost his leg when his Humvee drove over a landmine and Gramp, the Screaming Eagle, fought in the Battle of the Bulge. My Uncle was in the Air Force, my father-in-law in the Navy. My cousin Travis is in the Marines. I have countless friends in various branches of the military, and am fortunate to only know one brave solider who died in Iraq. I thought this little cartoon said it all. :)

As for the rest of the weekend, Friday night we went to one of my favorite places to eat, Sweet Tomatoes. It was Ryan's first time there and he loved it, just like I knew he would. Then we came home and relaxed. Saturday, we spent some time over at my cousins' Mike & Kim's house. My Aunt Suzie & Uncle Frank where there, and so was my cousin Steve's precious daughter Emma (and of course Mike & Kim's sweet little ones, Steel and Akina). It was so great seeing everyone, though it felt a little heavy knowing that Steve was in the hospital a few hours away, continuing his aggressive cancer treatment. After leaving there, we tried to go to a pool party with our friends...tried being the operative word. After leaving my family, I wasn't much in the "party" mood, so my sweet hubby brought me home. Sunday was the day I'd been waiting for. Gavin DeGraw, probably my favorite singer on the planet, was playing a free show in McKinney to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Ryan & I and our friends Brittany & Jacob headed out to watch the show. Holy cow was it crowded! I expected 1/2 as many people as were actually there. Because of my poor planning, we did end up really far away from the stage. But, I still enjoyed myself. Though, I must say, giant, outdoor venues do not do him justice. I'll hold out for this next appearance in Dallas, which will hopefully be smaller and more intimate so he can let his vocal prowess shine!

Everyone have a GREAT Wednesday! I will try to blog from the road, but if not, see ya next week!