Friday, February 25, 2011

Just a little Update

Just a little update so you all don’t think I have forgotten my little blog existed! (PS. I really had to fight the urge to type “y’all” in that previous sentence.) Not much has been going on with us, hence the quiet blog. Just the normal every day stuff!

I will say that, though the past few weeks have been slow going, I have lost a total of 15 lbs! The running joke is that those last 2 lbs were all from my hair cut, haha. But, regardless, even though I don’t really feel much change, my clothes are definitely fitting better. My current frustration is jeans. I am “between sizes” so, one size is falling off my hips (so I am constantly pulling them up), while the next size is still a liiiiittle more snug than I like. I have a belt, but then I get the weird bunchy fabric thing around my waist. Not cute. And frustrating…in the best way possible I suppose. Man that turned into a whole paragraph about my weight (loss) when it was only intended to be a sentence or two!

Other than that, I am just getting amped up for a super exciting rest of 2011! I can now officially announce that one of my very best friends, Kim AND my cousin, Katie are BOTH getting married this year!!! And I am SO blessed and honored to be a part of BOTH of their big days!!!! And let me just say…bridesmaids dresses are also GREAT motivation to stick with Weight Watchers. ;)

We are also gearing up for a fun trip in Nashville, TN next week! Spending a few days in one of my favorite cities in the U.S.? YES PLEASE! So, Ryan, Frankie & I will load into the car and make the drive. I am really looking forward to spending some serious quality time (8+ hours in a car) with my two favorite guys. And then of course, equally excited about being IN Tennessee with my family! I'll post more on that after the trip.

That’s all I’ve got for now…Happy Friday!


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Story of Us

WARNING: This post is LONG.

My friend Kara recently blogged their story and it inspired me. How lovely to have it all written out to never miss a detail and for their daughter to read when she is older. And while we don’t have children yet, we will eventually, and like my Maternal Grandmother and his Paternal Grandmother kept journals, this is pretty much mine. And since Valentine’s Day has a lot of significance for us, I decided today was a good day to post this. That was a lot of rambling to get to this…Here is our story!

Ryan & I both grew up in Flower Mound. (I was born in Dallas and moved to FM in time to start 2nd grade. Ryan moved from Wisconsin to FM in 4th grade.) The first time I met Ryan, I was in 7th grade and he was in 6th. His best friend at the time, Matt, had been known to come play flash light tag on Friday nights on my street. I saw Matt in the hallway so I walked over to say hello. Standing next to him was a lanky kid with jet black hair…and half of his head shaved. Yes, you read that right. He had a bowl cut on one side, and a buzz cut on the other. (You don’t forget a hair cut like that.) Matt introduced us, as well as middle schoolers do, and I remember thinking his dimple was cute (he just has one). Matt and I stayed friends but I didn’t really see Ryan much. He played drums, which I thought was cool, but that’s as far as my middle school memories of Ryan go.

Fast forward to my senior year. I was in both choir and drama and because of that, I occasionally had to take my core classes with underclassmen to get them all in. This was the case for World Geo. The first day of class, I walked in and spotted my friend Miranda, so I sat next to her. While unpacking my books, I glanced over and saw Ryan. He had filled out a little, but looked the same. I smiled at him. He looked at his desk. Through the entire semester, I’d try to talk to him and he’d look away. We watched a movie in class one day (Crocodile Dundee to be exact) and I sat next to him on the floor. He actually got up and moved! That afternoon, I tracked Matt down after school and told him I had a crush on Ryan but that he acted like I had leprosy! Matt assured me he was just shy. I didn’t buy it. That Friday, Ryan (very nervously) asked me out on a date. Our first date was April 27, 2002. We went to Chili’s for dinner, and he kept going to the bathroom. He told me later that he was so nervous, he was throwing up! (Which I found strangely sweet.) Things moved pretty quickly from there. We just “clicked”. We talked on the phone non-stop and at all hours, he made me smile until my cheeks hurt. And then, sitting on my parent’s driveway, we had our first kiss and he asked me to be his girlfriend. Things were perfect all summer and into the fall. I had graduated high school, and he was entering his senior year. I went with him to his homecoming dance, got to know his family, met him for breakfast before school. We said “I love you” with ease and spent many, many nights with Sonic $1 sundaes, swinging at Rheudasil Park.

A couple pictures of us then

At the beginning of 2003, things got rocky. Around Valentine’s Day, Ryan showed up at my house with a ring box. Inside was a silver band with “Ryan & Rachel” engraved on the inside. He told me it was a promise ring; that he wanted to marry me. He was moving faster than I was ready for and I freaked out a little a lot. In a panic that I was only 19 and too young to be this serious, I broke up with him. What he didn’t know was though I kept a strong front, I cried for hours. Almost immediately I regretted it, but I couldn’t just take it back. A few weeks later, my best guy friend was killed in an accident. I got the call at around 7pm. I couldn’t tell you the exact time…everything is still a blur to this day. I sat in shock for about an hour, after I called my parents. I was house-sitting at the time, and they offered to come over and stay with me. I said I was fine. (Lie.) I sat on the front steps of the house where I was staying, reeling. I don’t remember picking up the phone, or dialing his number, but I must have called Ryan and told him what had happened because twenty minutes later he was sitting next to me. What a site I must have been (seeing as I barely remember that night). He stayed until my insisting I was okay finally worked. I wanted so badly to call him the next day, tell him that I still loved him, but I was so embarrassed he’d seen me that way that I didn’t.

We tried dating again from late 2003 to early 2004, but it just didn't feel like it had before. We parted ways and didn't talk for awhile. Then, out of the blue, he called me to tell me he’d met someone else. I acted like I didn’t care, after all I’d been dating other guys since we broke up too, but when he hung up, I cried my eyes out. I decided it was time to swallow my pride and get him back. Clearly, I still loved him or my heart wouldn’t hurt like that. He was living in Denton, so when I knew I was meeting some friends at a bar in Denton to watch a band play, I called and invited him. He showed with a friend of his, and we hung out, casually flirting. I even wore the promise ring he’d given me around my neck, in hopes he’d realize what that meant. His friend asked me to dance, so we danced. I kept my eyes on Ryan the entire time. At the end of the night, I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek and said “call me”. In hind sight, I should have just said “I love you” but, at that point I didn’t realize that my sweet husband can be pretty dense. ;) And he never called. A few months later, July of 2004, was my 21st birthday. My parents were throwing me a huge party, so I decided I’d invite Ryan. I didn’t know if he’d show up. I was so excited when I saw his truck pull up…until he walked through my front door, holding the hand of his new girlfriend. It was as if I’d been punched in the stomach. But, I put on my big girl pants and acted unaffected. He only stayed for half an hour, and then he was gone. Really gone. He called me in May 2005 to tell me he was moving to DC with the girl he’d brought to my party and I accepted that I’d let the love of my life get away. (If I’d been smart, I would have realized he called to tell me so that I would try and stop him. Darn you hindsight!) I went through a string of bad “relationships” after that, comparing them all to Ryan. Not long after he moved, I was at home one night, talking to a couple friends on IM when his screen name showed up. And he messaged me. We didn’t do more than small talk but I had butterflies the whole time. A few months passed, and we’d talk online from time to time. (I will now openly admit to spending far too much time on the computer, watching for his screen name to pop up.)

January 2006, Matt called me to let me know Ryan was back. DC and the girl hadn’t worked out and he was home for good and wanted to see me. I was hesitant. And nervous. I told Matt I’d think about it. The next evening, there was a knock on my apartment door. I’d been out late the night before and wasn’t looking my best; sweats, hair up, glasses and no make-up. Without thinking, I opened the door. There was Ryan. I think I stopped breathing for a moment. He said “Hi.” That was it. He pulled me close and we must have hugged for a full minute before Matt cleared his throat. I hadn’t even noticed him standing next to Ryan! We sat outside and the three of us talked for hours. As was the trend with us, things progressed pretty quickly and we pretty much picked up where we’d left off. Matt & I took Ryan out for his 21st birthday on February 7th and after his fair share of “truth serum”, he told me he has never stopped loving me. I blew it off.
On his 21st birthday

We had our “first date” (round two) on Valentine’s Day 2006. A few nights later, we were on the phone and he told me he loved me again. I told him “Don’t say that unless you mean it, Ryan” and he said, “Okay. (Pause) But it’s always been you. (Pause) I love you.” He was staying with his parents, but could only stay there temporarily, so in April, he moved in with me. He slept on the couch every night, and was only going to stay until he was back on his feet and could get his own place. Eventually, he did, but we’d grown accustomed to seeing each other every day, so a few months later, he decided to officially move into the apartment.

Things were awesome and we began to talk about marriage in 2007. I’d known for a LONG time that he was The One, and I was ready to be his wife. He seemed to be on the same page. But, in mid-January 2008, something changed. If I mentioned marriage, he shut down, or changed the subject, or said he wasn’t ready. I didn’t understand what had changed but I tried not to bring it up again. He was acting so different, and I started to get worried. I was NOT going to lose him again. A week before Valentine’s Day 2008, he was being extremely distant, almost mean. I was a mess. I went to my Mom’s house and bawled to her, telling her I just KNEW he was dumping me. She tried to reassure me that she knew he loved me, but I didn’t believe her. The next few days were awful. I walked around on eggshells, just waiting for him to tell me it was over. Two days before V-Day, he told me he had made reservations at Dakota’s Steakhouse in Dallas and to wear something nice. I was more confused than ever. I called my Mom, freaking out again, telling her that he was taking me for a nice dinner to soften the blow of dumping me. She did her “Mom thing” again, just listening and saying nice things to me. Valentine’s Day arrived, and he was really acting odd. He barely smiled or even looked at me while he put on his suit, and I got ready. He hardly said two words on the drive to Dallas. We ordered our food and he picked at it. The waitress asked us if we wanted dessert, and Ryan quickly said “no” even though I’d told him I wanted to split some cheesecake. After our meal, I asked if we could take a picture in front of the waterfalls outside of the restaurant.

His forced smile had me 100% convinced this was it. He was done. We got back into the car and headed back to our apartment. I was fighting tears. Then, he took the wrong exit off the highway. I was confused but didn’t say anything. We were heading into Flower Mound. At this point I asked “Where are we going?” and he told me he was taking me to get dessert. Suddenly, we turned and we were headed toward Rheudasil Park. It was cold and sprinkling as we got out of the car and he led me to the swings. I sat down on one of the swings and Ryan paced in front of me. He starting nervously rambling about how much he loved me and that he wanted to be with me forever. That he’d always wanted to be with me forever. Then he started to cry (yes, I am PROUDLY married to a man who cries) and said “What would you say if I asked you to marry me?” I squealed “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” as he pulled a box out of his jacket pocket and opened it to reveal a 3-stone ring. He said “For our past, our present, and our future. Will you marry me?” He tells me I said “Are you serious” ten times before finally saying YES.

The next day, the planning began. We carefully discussed having the “normal” yearlong engagement, and that I’d always wanted a fall wedding, so that would really be a year and a half. It didn’t take long to decide we just wanted to be married and that it wouldn’t be TOO crazy to get married 9 months later. So, on November 8, 2008, we said our “I Do’s”.

Even though our road was long, and sometimes rocky, our paths just kept leading to each other…and I am grateful every day that they did. I love you, my forever Valentine!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Locks of Love - The Big Chop

I am blogging this morning with almost a foot less hair than I had yesterday...and I'm totally okay with that.

Yesterday afternoon was The Big Chop, so I nervously sat down in my stylists chair, handed her a ponytail holder and measuring tape and took a deep breath. I won't lie, when she handed me the detached ponytail, I had a moment of panic. My hair hadn't been this short since 5th grade...and seeing it now I wondered if I could pull it off. (I'm still not 100% sold that I can...) but then I shook it off remembering that this act wasn't about me. I reminded myself of the whole reason why I was doing this to start with...

Thinking back to my pre-teen and teenage years, I cannot even fathom what it would be like to not have had a full head of hair. My locks have been called my "defining characteristic" and my "reigning glory". (Dramatic, I know.) And there is a child out there who doesn't have that. How could I not use my "gift" of thick, fast growing hair to help them? So, as I stared, still in shock, at that ponytail, I remembered it was so totally worth it.

So, without further ado, I AM going to make this a little about me, and debut my new look...


The Ponytail


Ready for my big "reveal" with my best friends

So, I leave you with this...If you have long hair, or think you have the patience to grow it long enough, I really encourage you to do this. It's so rewarding and worth every inch. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

This blog is going to be pretty short and sweet. American Idol comes on soon, and you all know how that takes over my life. BUT, I did want to share this recipe with you. I adapted it from a recipe I'd seen in Cooking Light. It turned out really good, even though Ryan opted to not eat his in the lettuce. (He's changed...just not THAT much.)

 Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

1 lb ground sirloin (sub for turkey if you’d rather)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup matchstick or julienned carrots

1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
A 1 inch strip of Sriracha, or to taste   

8-10 leaves of Boston lettuce

In a large pan, heat a bit of olive oil, add onions and garlic. Once translucent, add meat. Cook through. Add in red pepper and cucumber. Cook for 5-7 minutes until slightly wilted.

In the meantime, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and Sriracha until sugar is dissolved and set aside.

Add carrots and toss in sauce.

This made about 8 lettuce wraps (or tortilla wraps for Ryan) of filling and calculated out to about 3 Weight Watchers Points per wrap! I will definitely be making this again. 



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snowpocalypse - Part II

Well,  the sun is out this morning and the temps are starting to creep closer and closer to the above freezing mark. It will be nice to be able to get out into the world safetly today!

I know my friends and family up north laugh at us, here in Dallas, as waves of panic sweep the city, but lets be honest here. Texas just isn't prepared for this kind of winter weather! We don't have snow tires, snow blowers or nearly enough sand trucks to handle ourselves when ice and snow clouds take over our skies. So, we lock ourselves inside and wait it out...venturing onto the roads only if completely necessary.

I'm a rare breed here in the Lonestar state. I loathe the heat and count the days for Spring, Fall and, mostly, WINTER! That being said, icy roads don't bode well for me. I panic. I'll admit it. But boy do I love when the ground is covered in white. It's just so pretty!

Monday night we got hit hard with a thick layer of ice coating this fine metropolis. The news stations all sang the same song - STAY HOME. So, both my boss and Ryan's boss closed the offices and we stayed put. Conditions were still icy, but more drivable, Wednesday and Thursday so back to work I went. Then, Thursday night, we got hit by another storm, this time snow. It was so beautiful, but apparently snow on top of unmelted ice equals danger. This time the news stations called it "the worst we've seen" and again, our offices thankfully closed. So, we stayed put. Again. Here are a few pictures I snapped of our conditions:

Day One, while I know it looks like snow, this was SOLID ICE. 

 Day One, another shot of the ice.  

 Day Four, snow covered ice

 The snow was about 4" deep where we were, only a few miles away got as much as 6"

 Ophelia (my Jetta) covered in snow and ice
No way I was going anywhere. My tired were all inches deep in the snow/ice mixture.

A few hours into our fourth day of Snowpocalypse, Brittany decided that since she was only a mile or so down the road, she was going to brave it and head over to Kim's apartment. Lucky for us, Kim & Jason live in the same complex, just one building over. So, when Brittany arrived, Ryan & I just walked over. Soon, Kim & Jason's apartment was brimming over with our friends and we made a whole day of it. (And I do mean a whole day...they hosted us for pushing 12 hours!)
 We spent some time outside enjoying the snow. Kim and Brad thought it would be fun to try and walk on the frozen canal...except it was only frozen on the surface. No one was harmed in the taking of this picture.

So, in summary, Snowpocalypse may have made driving conditions extremely hazardous, but it made friendship conditions improve. :) 


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Whatever Wednesday!

This post needs a subtitle. "Whatever Wednesday" just won't cut it.
Let's call this... "The Saga of the Rogue Tooth, Snowpocalypse and A Weigh In". Settle in, dear readers. This one might be long. ;)

It's been a dramatic week...not just Monday through today. Like LAST Monday through today. And I don't think it's over yet. This whole Tooth Saga really started in 2009. Ryan's wisdom teeth started coming in and they were bugging him. We got the x-rays, met with an oral surgeon, set the surgery date, and then...we both lost our jobs. And our benefits. So, we canceled the surgery. Well, the pain subsided so, we thought maybe they just grew in straight and they'll be fine. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago...Ryan started complaining that his teeth hurt, which quickly turned into one particular tooth. He showed me and I could see half a wisdom tooth, but it looked okay. Boy did that change fast. Within a few days it was red and inflamed. And it only went downhill. He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep and then Monday morning he woke up and the whole left side of his face was SO swollen. He looked like a boxer who'd lost a fight. One of my best friends called her Mom, who works at a dentist, and got Ryan in immediately.  The report? Ryan's bottom, left wisdom tooth was partially exposed, partially impacted and super abscessed/infected. Ew. SO the race was on to find an oral surgeon who could fit Ryan in ASAP.

The problem? Enter part 2 of my crazy title...I give you, Snowpocalypse. Really, it was ice, but Icepocalypse doesn't have quite the same ring to it. So, Monday night we got some serious winter weather. Temps plummeted to well below freezing and DFW was coated with a thick layer of solid ice. The problem? Almost the entire metroplex shut down...including all the oral surgeons. Ryan was getting worse...the tooth infection was starting to make him sick...and I was starting to panic a little lot. So, being the good little wife that I am, I started leaving messages. And just as I was contemplating using the "page the doctor in the case of an emergency" option, one of the doctors called me back. He was SO nice, understanding and accommodating. The best part...Ryan is getting his tooth pulled TOMORROW!!

And for the last part of the title...Since I ended that story with good news, let's keep the trend going! It's also Weigh-in Wednesday...and I lost 3 lbs this week for a total of 13 lbs down!! Woo-hoo! It's so rewarding to see the pay-off on the scale. :)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Locks of Love Update

So, we are in the middle of Ice-apalooza here in Big D (more on that probably tomorrow) and while at home today I decided to snap a picture of my hair growth progress. After doing so I realized that The Big Chop will be here soon. Like, 12 days soon! Well, hopefully. :)  I am so ready. The longer it gets, the more work it takes to care for it. And when I measure, it looks like I clearly have 10 inches to donate without cutting it above my shoulders (which I promised Ryan I wouldn't do).

Here is the picture from today...

Anyway, the appointment is set, and this should be my last post about LoL...until my "The Big Chop" post, of course.