Sunday, February 28, 2010

#67 Volunteer with an Organization

This weekend Rick and I donated a few hours as part of Disney's Give a Day Get a Day Program. There were tons of volunteer opportunities to choose from and initially I was hoping for something really cool like helping to build homes with habitat for humanity. It is after all in the commercial you see on tv and gives a sort of "glamorous" image to volunteering. But instead we spent our day helping to prepare the grounds for the annual rodeo in April.

The people that normally prepare for the rodeo are all volunteers. They don't get paid for any of the work they do there, which is a lot! Their main goal as a group is to give back to the youth of the community. They use those grounds for various things and all of the money they make goes to picking up the costs for new band supplies, FFA supplies, and sports for the local schools.

It was a rainy, yucky day out so they had to find projects for us to do that were mostly inside or at least sheltered from the rain. Rick and I hosed of and cleaned fluorescent light covers, cleaned out cabinets and scrubbed garbage cans. It was pretty thankless work. But sometimes that honestly is the most important. It's a good feeling to know you're making a difference, no matter how big or small the impact.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

#40 Get Acupuncture

I hate needles. The thought of them really freaks me out. But the thought of ever having to go through what Rick and I went through in January scares me more than anything. So after hearing so many wonderful things about acupuncture, I decided to look into a place that focused on woman's issues and fertility. Using one of my favorite websites ( I found Chang acupuncture. They had some great reviews, and their website was filled with tons of info and encouragement. So after calling our insurance to find out if we had acupuncture benefits I called and booked my consultation appointment. During that initial phone call I spoke to Julie Chang, who is the owner of the office. She was friendly and answered every single one of my questions. I then printed and filled out all 15 pages of the new patient packet! Talk about thorough!

So yesterday was the big day. My new patient appointment was 1.5 hours long. My acupuncturist, Eric, talked with me for a long time about my medical issues, history, and cycles. He also went over diet and suggested some modifications to help increase fertility and to control my endometriosis (cutting back on dairy, and red meat, and avoiding raw "cold" food). He also checked my tongue and pressed on a few spots, then it was time to start the acupuncture session.

I was pretty freaked out. It was weird to lay on table like I would for a facial, but knowing that instead of a massage I would be poked like a pin cushion. With Eric's suggestion I kept my eyes closed ;) It actually didn't hurt that bad. I could barely feel the needles, it sort of felt like a small pinch. There were two times that it did hurt a bit, but it wasn't bad, just uncomfortable. Once the needles were all in place he placed a heat lamp over my tummy and left me to relax for about 20 minutes. I could feel sensations like tingling and heaviness, it was an odd yet relaxing combo.

All in all it was an interesting experience. I'll be going back every other week for a while, and once my insurance kicks in I may try to go weekly. Keeping my fingers crossed that we see some good results from this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

#51 Buy a Couple's Devotional

Buying a couple's devotional has been something that Rick and I have been meaning to do for a while. Our faith is such a huge part of our lives. I know that Rick's faith was something that really attracted me to him. Even though we aren't the same religion we are both Christian and have found a way to embrace each others churches. Our core beliefs and values are very much the same so it makes it pretty easy.

For me as a Catholic Lent is very important and something that I've observed all my life. With Rick being Nazarene it isn't observed in the same way, but his pastor was very encouraging with her church to take part in it. So we made the commitment to each other and to God to buy and read a couple's devotional. We started last night and will continue to read this every night until Easter and hopefully even after that.

There were so many devotionals to choose from in the Christian bookstore. Actually there were so many books in general. I couldn't help but get distracted with my huge love for books. I found so many that caught my eye that we signed up for their coupons so that I can go back and do some serious shopping.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February's Us Photo

Taken Valentine's Day at Downtown Disney. After church Rick surprised me with early dinner reservations at the Rainforest Cafe, then we saw the movie Valentine's Day. It was a beautiful day out and an ideal way to spend time with my very own Valentine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spreading the Valentine's Day Love

I spent yesterday afternoon baking up some sweet treats for Rick to take to work to share with his co-workers. I decided to make some cookies, as well as some chocolate covered pretzels. The best sweet treat (my personal favorite) are my home made thin mint cookies. They taste just like the girl scout cookies. So much so that I was a little worried that they would think they were! I went to a few different stores trying to find Valentine's day sprinkles, just so that there would be no doubt they were home made. Unfortunately I couldn't find any :( So it was Rick's duty to make sure everyone knew that I made them. hehe...

I called him this morning when I woke up at 8:30 to see how they went over. He said they were all gone. I love it. It's the best feeling when people appreciate things like that. I can't wait til the next time I send him off to work with goodies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The awesomeness that is Harry Potter


It's a bittersweet feeling to be done with this amazing series of books. I regret taking so long to finally give into them. I really was afraid that there was so much hype about them that it would never be able to live up to my expectations. I was so wrong.

I loved it all from the very first book. Although as most people said, it did get even better as it went on. I'm actually not sure how to even rate these books on goodreads. The first 5 were great, but not exactly worthy of 5 stars, the last two were though-- and the series as a whole was just awesome. I don't even really have the words to describe it.

I was really happy with how everything played out in Deathly Hallows. There were a lot of moments that really tore at my heart, and if I hadn't had my fill of snottyness from being sick I totally would have been crying like a baby. I've always loved Dumbledore's character and wasn't sure what type of role he'd have in DH, I'm so glad that we really got to know him in this book. And yay for Snape! He might even be my favorite character now. I constantly went back and forth wondering if he was good or bad. I was so worried after HBP that he really was bad, but I had that teeny tiny bit of hope still.

I was very satisfied with the ending, and I did cry when Harry was talking to his son Albus. I *loved* that his middle name was Severus and the story he told him. ....sigh....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo

After nearly 3 weeks and only making 1 real meal for Rick I decided last night I was ready to take a baby step to getting back on track. I decided to cook dinner. I did this as much for Rick as I did for myself, because everyone who knows me knows... I LOVE FOOD.

I made peppered shrimp alfredo from It wasn't necessarily the healthiest meal. But I did make some modifications that probably helped some (I didn't use butter, but sauteed veggies in EVOO, and used half and half instead of cream, also used whole wheat pasta). In addition to those healthy changes I also left out the mushrooms because ours went bad and used frozen shrimp that was already seasoned--just pop those suckers in the oven and add to pasta when everything is done. Lastly DO NOT use the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe! It is waaaaaay too much. Trust me on this. I like spicy food a lot, and I knew going into it that 1 tsp of cayenne pepper was absurd. I used a little less than half and it was still pretty spicy. We enjoyed it like that, but I'd highly suggest erring on the side of caution and using less.


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Nutritional Information (according to actual recipe)

Amount Per Serving Calories: 981 | Total Fat: 68.9g | Cholesterol: 305mg

Monday, February 1, 2010


January just wasn't my month. I had so much going on that just about everything was put on the back burner, including my project. Rick and I experienced the joy of finding out we were pregnant, only to be devastated a week later when our angel baby went back to God. The process was not only hard physically, but emotionally as well. We're still working on healing. Our faith helps a lot (as well as the support of our family and friends) but it's still a very trying process, filled with ups and downs much like a roller coaster. Then last week I caught some sort of bug and was basically out of commission for 5 days. I went to the dr. and was told that this was pretty normal after a miscarriage since my immune system is already weakened. I've been on antibiotics since friday (since I developed an infection) and still don't feel 100% better yet. Sooo yeah, pretty much nothing was accomplished in January :( I don't even have an "us" photo for the month. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

I did finally finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix though. It was probably my least favorite of the series thanks to Dolores Umbridge (who I think is just the worst "bad guy" ever!!! hem...hem)

Keeping my fingers crossed that February (and the rest of 2010) is much better to my hubby and me :)