Thursday, July 30, 2009

C+C, A Love Story

I always get jealous when I hear magical stories of how people met and fell in love. Since Chad and I were good friends for a couple years before we even started dating, it's not like we had this whirlwind romance. I guess it can be better described as a slowly kindling fire. But I think there was a moment when I decided that no other man would be as perfect for me as Chad.

This story involves a pair of cowboy boots.

Get the tissues ready folks. And no, not because you'll cry. But because you're going to laugh - HARD.

The date was September 23, 2006. We had been dating about a year. Chad and I had season tickets for NC State football. We both love sports, and going to a NC State football game is always a good time - GO PACK.

During this time I was living in a cute house right outside of Five Points in downtown Raleigh with my friends Kel and Eliza. The weather this day was not too hot and not too chilly outside, so I chose a cute outfit of a red skirt and white polo button down. I didn't want to wear flip-flops, and I'm not one of those wacko girls that wear high heels to a football game. They deserve to fall down a flight of steps. So I decide to borrow Eliza's cowboy boots. It would look cute, and would be perfect for the whether.

There were several factors that I did not consider in this decision. 1) Eliza is a shoe sizer bigger than me. 2) I've never worn her boots before. 3) We have to walk about 2 miles from our parking spot to the stadium. 3) This is the kicker (I'm an idiot I know): I didn't have any thick socks clean that day so I wore ankle socks.

You see where this is going don't you. You all are so smart.

So we start off tailgating at out at our normal spot with our good friends David and Jamie. We grilled kabobs from Whole Foods - I remember it like it was yesterday. Then we make the walk to the stadium to tailgate with some other friends. About 3/4 mile into it, my heels are starting to feel a little sore. One mile, the feet are hurting pretty bad. One and a half miles - I'm about to die, walking with a limp. Two miles - I've had it. We finally arrived at our destination. My heels felt like they were absolutely raw from the boots rubbing on them as we hiked across the daggum state (at least it felt like). I decided at that moment that I MUST pull off my boots. I would walk barefoot through gravel at that point - I didn't care. I was literally in tears. The boots HAD to come off.

So I take my boots off. And when I do, I see the back of my heels are absolutely horribly, disgustingly RAW (graphic I know, it has to be said though in order for you to understand what happened next). So after this traumatizing sight, I do what I always do (and if you know me, you know what's coming): I throw up. Luckily one of the ladies we went to visit had a trash bag... but still, I threw up. People around probably thought I had too much to drink. Truth is I didn't have a lick of alcohol in me. It was the combination of the heat, my sore feet, and the look of them. It was all I could take. So there I was, tears in my eyes, boots in my hands. And the game hadn't even started yet.

That's when my darling, darling one-day husband - without a second thought - said, "I'm walking to get the car. I'll come and pick you up and we're going home." And you know at the time he was furious, but it didn't show and he didn't say a word. He must have ran to our car - because he was back within 5 minutes driving me through the rows of drunk college students heading into the stadium to take me home.

Things were quiet for most of the ride back. I was sure that he was going to give it to me for making such a poor attire choice. But he didn't. He didn't say a single word until we were about 5 minutes from home. He swung into the Kroger parking lot and ran inside, still in silence. For all I knew - he was calling for a ride and getting the heck out of dodge. A few minutes later, he's walking back to the car - with a bag of bandages for my feet and a tub of sherbet to soothe my soul. I know he understood that I felt horrible about making him miss the game. There was no need to make any snippy comments - he'd save those for payback later. ;)

So we went home, snuggled on my bed, watched the game on TV. Most people will remember this night as the best homegame NC State had that entire season. NC State came from behind to beat Boston College at the last second. The crowd went absolutely crazy at the stadium. But I'll remember it as the night I knew without a doubt that Chad was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

The person that will get me Band-Aids and sherbet after I throw up over a pair of boots.

We're a match made in heaven.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back on the Soapbox

I have been boldly dared by my dear friend Whitney (check her out at Savannah Notions) to give my three cents --- we all know I have more than two --- on a controversial issue that has been in the media spotlight for the past week or so: the arrest of black Harvard scholar, Henry Louis Gates.

If you live under a rock, or otherwise don't read the news, here is the background:

Before climbing onto my soapbox, I must first state the obvious: I am not an African American. I have never been in the position that I have felt racial discrimination, and can only imagine how horrible that must feel. I do not condone racial profiling in any situation.

Whew - got that off my chest. Now, here are my thoughts.

Whether I am white, black, green, pink or polka-dotted, if while I was in the process of trying to break into my own house, a police officer (who was called by an eyewitness to investigate the potential break-in) decided to come question me, I would not have a problem at all providing them with all the information they needed to make sure it was my own house to break into. And not only would I comply with their requests, I would actually thank them, heartily, for ensuring I was not a thief. I would hope that if anyone was forcing their way into my house - it would be investigated.

That said, there are two differing accounts of the story. The police officer claimed that the professor was unreasonable and behaving inappropriatly. The professor insists that he simply could not believe he was arrested for trying to break in to his own home (or more accurately, for behavior after the fact). Both sides seem to agree that the professor was so indignant at the accusation he initially refused to show his identification. I believe that if the professor would have calmly explained the situation and told the officer he was more than happy to show him proof of residency, the situation would have been diffused immediately. However, the immediate response of "Is this because I'm a black man and you're a white cop" escalated the situation to a place where it did not need to go.

The morning after the story broke, I watched the officer on NBC's "The Today Show" defend his actions, and maintain that his actions were not as a response to any sort of racial profiling. He said that treated the professor the same way he would have treated any person -regardless of race- if they were being disorderly. In fact, he mentioned that he followed the law knowing the media circus that would result because of the professor's stature. He would not allow the threat of being called a "racist" change how he did his job. For this, I commend him.

Again, I maintain, I do feel sad for Professor Gates to have felt singled out because of his race- even if the feeling was unwarranted. You cannot help your feelings some times, but you can control your reactions.

I without a doubt believe there is unfortunately still a lot of racism in the world - but I don't think people should jump to the conclusion that racism is what provoked this officer's actions that day. It is unfortunate calmer heads did not prevail.

Gates and the arresting officer, James Crowley, are scheduled to meet over beers with President Obama to discuss the situation tomorrow at the White House. I'll be interested to hear the result of their meeting. Hopefully they all can take something away from the situation and both be better at their respective careers because of it.

I know I need to blog...

I do not need any reminders from you peanuts (since y'all are my peanut gallery, get it) - I'm days behind on my blogging. And it's not without good intentions. Several times this week I thought about something and said - "Oooooh! I need to blog about this!"

Ideas include:
* Return on my Soapbox - issue: racial profiling and the Harvard professor. I just KNOW you want my two cents.
* My love of weather
* Chad's time at jury duty (not that I have much to tell because he's taking the 'sworn to secrecy' thing seriously - even with me)
* Fantasy Football season
* My time with CNN - a PR perspective
* Amy's months ago request of her bloggers to share their love stories

If there is one you're just dying to hear about let me know - I'm needing inspiration. Between a busy work schedule, busy freelance schedule, and busy everything else schedule - my brain is mush.

Hope everyone is doing fabulous!

Friday, July 24, 2009

This Woman's Work

I am a huge, huge fan of the show "So You Think You Can Dance." As a former dancer, I can appreciate the show on certain levels - but certainly any person can watch this show and appreciate this beautiful art form and the entertainment it provides. If you've never watched it, I suggest you start. They only have two more weeks to the finale, but a new season begins in September.

Two of my favorite dancers this season, Melissa and Ade, performed the most beautiful dance this week that made me cry like a baby (all three times I went back and watched it). It was choreographed by Tyce Diorio and inspired by women around the world struggling with breast cancer. It was incredible - and worth sharing.

Update: Dang Dick Clark Productions took the video off YouTube due to copyright issues. But I'm sure you can google it and find it yourself!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Songs to Download

My second installment of songs for you to download.

Ben Kweller - Nothing Happening
Death Cab for Cutie - Summer Skin
Band of Horses - The Funeral
Ryan Adams - Let it Ride
James Morrison - Nothing Ever Hurt Like You



You're welcome...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Verdict

Because I think everything is better in haiku form:

Flying Biscuit Grits
Even better than I hoped
Go try them yourself


... and I added a dash of garlic salt. BECAUSE I'M WILD.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Breastfast for Dinner

Growing up, it was always a "special treat" to have breakfast for dinner. We probably only had it on nights my mom was too tired to cook an elaborate dinner, but the rarity of it made it feel special. That and I just l.o.v.e. breakfast foods. Pancakes, eggs (any style), bacon, sausage, fresh juice, waffles, hash brown casserole, breakfast pizza, fresh fruits, quiche...all of it. But perhaps one of my favorite breakfast treats: GRITS. I absolutely love grits.

During college, I often made grits as my dinner since it was cheap and quick. It was also easy to make individual portions. Overtime I have perfected the way I like
my grits - old fashioned grits (none of the instant nonsense), water/skim milk mixture, tiny bit of butter, kraft cheese single (don't hate... it melts better), salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic salt. Sometimes if I'm feeling fancy and want to make it more dinner-like I sub chicken stock for water/milk. Possibilities are endless!

However, several months ago I tasted what might have been the best-tasting grits of my life at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in Cameron Village (they are a Georgia chain I think so I know they have a few other locations down south). Their creamy dreamy grits were simply out of this world. I decided to google them to see if I could find the recipe and sure enough -voila!


Flying Biscuit Creamy Dreamy White Cheddar Grits
serves 6

Ingredients
* 3 cups water
* 1 cups half-and-half
* 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 cups quick-cooking grits
* 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Directions
1. In a saucepan, combine water, half-and-half, salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly pour grits into boiling water while whisking the entire time. (Watch out for splattering; mixture is very hot.) Reduce to low heat and continue to whisk often, until thick and completely smooth, about 10 minutes.

2. Add cheese and stir gently until cheese melts. Whisk again to combine. Turn heat off and allow grits to rest 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until completely smooth, silky and shiny.

Tonight I'm making breakfast for dinner at home and will try out this recipe. I'll report back tomorrow if it was successful!

Is your stomach growling yet?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Commitment

I've been promising to write a blog on commitment for awhile now, but have had to do it in bits and pieces. I apologize in advance for the length, but it needs to be written. I feel like the topic has been following me around lately - in our church, within our small groups and in our social circles. We've attended weddings, pre-wedding showers, and post-wedding celebrations. There is one thing that everyone can agree on - marriage is tough work!

One of the most challenging (but also one of the most rewarding) parts about becoming a married couple -- as opposed to even being in a serious dating relationship -- is that the "me" becomes "we." We live in a "me" society - what makes me happy, what do I enjoy doing, who is looking out for me, what do I want for my future, etc. When you get married you have to start looking at the "we" and, even more difficult, the "you (spouse)." Priorities shift. I'm not saying you give up who you are - but you put your time and energy into becoming one (Ephesians 5:31).

For many people, it is too hard of a change. A lot of us waved goodbye to our college days - and man if there is ever a time to be all about "me" - it is your late teens, early twenties. That is how it is supposed to be. You're learning about yourself and growing. But to quickly change from self-sufficient to dependent on another is, I think, often too hard for some couples to overcome.

It is so disheartening to hear about young married couples that are on the brink of divorce already. Some people not even making it a year. Or couples that have made it through kids... shared a whole lifetime together... and decided that there is nothing left. It's just so sad. I'm not here to pass judgment on anyone's situation - because certainly hard times can fall on even the most perfectly matched couple. But I think something a couple needs to agree upon before saying "I do" is their level of commitment.

COMMITMENT. It is so, so important.

Our pastor at Hope Community Church once mentioned that he had a couple come to him for counseling and say that they were ready to throw in the towel. Why, the pastor asked? Because they were not in love anymore. The pastor's response, "Oh whew - is that all it is? I can deal with you feeling like you don't love each other right now. But are you still committed?"

That has stuck in my head since. And before Chad and I got married, we agreed that even if we go through months (or heaven forbid years) of not feeling blissfully in love, we will push through. We are committed. And we're not going to rely on our own abilities (or more appropriately, lack thereof) to love each other - our focus will be on the commitment to our marriage, each other and the Lord to get us through. Love comes and goes... commitment is solid.

We celebrated our one year anniversary in April. For those of you who are cool like me and are "into" traditional gifts, you will know that the first anniversary's gift is paper. My present from Chad was something that I will treasure for a lifetime. Jerry Miller is a renowned artist who does paintings and sketches of North Carolina landmarks. Chad bought me a beautiful Jerry Miller sketch of First Baptist Church Cary (where we got married), and had Jerry write one of our favorite Scripture verses at the bottom:

Caroline & Chad, April 12, 2008, Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

It is hung in our bedroom and every time I pass by it I read that verse and take it to heart. It is our daily reminder of the promise we've made and to Whom we made it before.

So here are a few tips from my relatively short time as a wife:

1) Laugh with each other. Have stupid inside jokes, pet names, whatever it takes. Just laugh...and laugh often.
2) Do NOT expect another person to meet all your needs - you're setting yourself up to be let down. It is not your spouse's job to make you happy, keep you feeling fulfilled, etc. That is way too much pressure to put on someone else.
3) Take turns apologizing. Even if you think (or know) you were in the right. Because honestly, don't you always think you're right? Say you're sorry (at least acknowledging your role in the fight), mean it, and then ---->
4) Let things go. Don't rehash the past.
5) Pray together (this should be number one). Pray for your marriage. Pray that you'll be a good wife and pray your husband will be a good spouse.
6) Have a couple (or several couples) that hold you accountable to your marriage and your vows. And do the same for them.
7) Other than God, make your spouse your #1 priority. Don't worry about if your needs are being met - spend that time meeting your spouse's needs. And trust they are doing the same for you. Can you even imagine how much extra energy you have if you stopped worrying about yourself?
8) Love your mama and daddy. Don't rely on your mama and daddy. Push yourself through that very first time of having a horrible flu bug and wanting nothing more than to call your mom to take care of you - and let your spouse do it. You'll grow from it I promise. (I still have to work on this one frequently)
9) Don't be "above" asking for help. If you need it, ask for it. It is never too late or too early to start working on your marriage.
10) Allow yourself to become ridiculously giddy, happy, smiley and deliriously in love when you feel those warm thoughts to your spouse. And allow them to get you through the rest.

...for more on marriage, read an entry from one of my favorite blogs.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You so smart

I think my current job is really good for me. Before working here, I often fooled myself into thinking I was super smart. I mean I did graduate with honors - but let's not kid ourselves... it was in communication (public relations) - not chemical engineering. BUT I will say the only "C" I ever got in college was in Chemistry 101 (which Chad has informed me is actually the weed-out course for chemistry majors... not the easy chemistry (which is chem 100). Glad my adviser clued me in on that -NOT.) But still - whenever I would write a particularly difficult story and realize that I understood what I was writing about - I'd be like "Hey - I'm so smart... I actually know this stuff!"

One time I was convinced that I was incredibly intelligent, like genius level. I went online to the MENSA website and took some practice test questions. I got them all wrong (okay maybe not all... but seriously like 1 out of 20). I've stopped believing I'm a genius since then.

So anyways, in my current job, I get to learn so much about so many different topics. I spend most days talking to researchers and professors about topics they have devoted their lives to studying. While in college, I never really thought about professors doing more than teaching. Now that I work at one, I realize that teaching is the smallest part of what they do. All professors are (or at some point have) spent 90% of their time on their research. Usually something very, very specific.

What I've learned I love about these professors is that even when they have to explain their research to me (most of the time it is very, very scientific and technical - and let's face it, Bill Nye, I am not), they are always so patient and really want to help me understand. They love what they do (heck they've devoted their lives to it) and are often just grateful to talk to someone about it. I used to be worried to ask stupid questions - not stupid to the average person, but definitely stupid to someone who specializes in the stuff.

Take this wonderful professor I interviewed last week. He has received more than $1.3 million to study lithium ion batteries to help power hybrid and electric vehicles. He is working to make a 'better battery' by electrospinning polymer fibers. C'mon y'all it's not that hard - polymer. Just break it down. Poly = many. Mer = the word for "sea" in French?!?! See? Easy Peasy. ;)

So anyways, he's describing this complicated process to me and I'm trying my best to pay attention (especially difficult since English is very obviously not even close to being his native language) - but y'all know me. I can't focus on the big picture until I get some little questions answered. I've been holding it back the whole interview... and finally I can't take it anymore. I interrupt him and timidly ask, "Ummm... it's definitely neat the whole process of putting these fibers into a battery. But, well what exactly is in a battery now." Bless the professor's heart- he didn't look at me like I'm in idiot. No mumbling "stupid American" (at least in my presence). He just explains that current batteries have a powder in them (how many of you knew that... don't lie). I think they just care that I'm interested enough to ask questions - instead of just nodding my head... when obviously they know I have no clue what they're taking about.

So I think that's my favorite thing about my job. I found out batteries have powder in them. And remember - If any of you have any random questions you've always wanted to know the answer to, pass them along. I guarantee I'll find someone at this university that can answer them!

New families

I don't think a lot of people don't spend too much time thinking about when you get married, you really do inherit another family. Most people end up being okay with it, some people hate it, and for a small portion - it works out pretty darn well. Take Chad and I - here is a snapshot into our 'new family.'

For Chad
It recently occurred to me that Chad talks to my dad about 10 times more than I do in any given week. I knew things were going down hill when this happened. Chad is upstairs, his phone is sitting next to me downstairs. It rings (well buzzes since he uses vibrate). I see it's my daddy calling - so I answer.

Me: "Hey daddy."
Dad (silence for a couple seconds): "Why are you answering Chad's phone?"
Me: "Because he's upstairs. How are you?"
Dad: "I was calling to talk to Chad."
Me (giving up): "Fine. I'll go get him."

Chad gets on the phone and they giggle together and discuss plans for breakfast the next morning. And football. And other men things.

WHAT?! First off, how could MY dad call and not even want to chitchat with his own daughter. It's not like me and my dad aren't close - I'm the most like him (scary) in the family and... I mean, hello... I'm his first born baby girl. But alas, this is what my world has turned into. Chad and dad - golfing together, meeting for breakfast, going to lunch/dinner together, discussing fantasy football, etc. They're like bff. Go figure. I've offically been replaced.

For Me
Chad is the beloved only child in his family. His parents (particularly his mother) completely adore him - think he is the most perfect thing on this earth. I love his parents dearly, but wasn't sure if I could ever live up to King Chad. Well over the past few years, some of Chad's solo pictures have come down, and more couple pictures have gone up. As a game, I like to count to see the Carrie v. Chad pictures to see how I'm measuring up. Over time, the numbers are getting more even.

However, this Christmas is when it got good. Since the beginning of time, the coveted "above the TV" spot has held a school picture of Chad. The most visible spot in the room for sure. I decided as a gift for his parents, I would frame a nice portrait of the four of us from the wedding - laughing telling Chad that his coveted picture spot was going to be the picture's new home. Chad's retort, "Yeah right. That picture is never moving." On Christmas morning, his parents open the frame, loved the picture - say they're going to have to find the perfect spot for it - Chad thinking he succeed.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. We walk into their house to visit, and what is in THE spot? Not the picture of little Chaddy, not even the portrait of the four of us. Smack dab in its place is MY BRIDAL PORTRAIT. Muahahahhah! Chad's picture had been moved to another wall - hidden for all intents and purposes. Chad was delivered the crushing blow of defeat - and I could just barely hide my glee. We keep this little picture battle from his parents - but we keep a close eye on it.

I'm enjoying it while it lasts - no doubt all Chad/Carrie pictures will be removed after the arrival of a grandbaby. We know our place.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Girl Jobs, Boy Jobs

If you are one of those "woman power" hear me roar types... you probably don't want to read this post. It discusses stereotypical gender roles - and it does not bother me a bit.

I have long been an advocate of "boy jobs" and "girl jobs." There are certain things that I believe that a man is absolutely in charge of, and things women should do. Here are some examples:

Boy jobs:
- Taking out the trash
- Mowing the yard
- Putting gas in the car (I know this one will get me some grief but it's just how I feel. My husband understands this and will take my car out when it gets low on gas and fill it up for me. And it's not that I don't know how to put gas in my car... I do it when necessary... but in general, boy job).
- All things car-related - oil changes, tune-ups, car washing/waxing, etc.

Girl jobs:
- Cooking
- Washing/drying dishes (though I'm lucky and Chad and I usually tag-team this effort)
- Laundry
- Ironing
- Making grocery lists
- Wrapping presents

Now everyone, don't get your panties in a wad if you don't agree with me. I know some of you men are fantastic cooks, or women that do ALL your yard work. Kudos to you, really. Our "boy" and "girl" job designations work for us. We enjoy when the other asks us to do something and we get to respond with a screaming, "BOY/GIRL JOB!!"

However what spurred this post is a thought of another item to add to my boy job list -parallel parking. On Monday night, Chad had a business meeting in Augusta and rather than staying by my lonesome, I decided to stay with Mike + Molly. They love me and don't mind me crashing their par-tay. Well me, Mol and our good friend Caitlin (actually Mol's best friend, but I'm stealing her for myself too because I love her), went out to dinner at Sushi Blues - Molly drove.

When we got back to their place, Molly parallel parked her car on the road. Errr, well, she attempted to. We could definitely tell we were on the curb as she was parking. Didn't bother Molly in the least. We didn't realize until we got out of the car that BOTH tires were not only on the curb, but half her car was on the street and half was covering the sidewalk. We burst out laughing - with Molly saying "It's fine! Close enough." - and walked back to the house not thinking twice about it.

Flash forward two hours until when Mike gets home from Bible study/basketball - oooooh boy oh boy if I could only have seen his face. Molly's phone rings with Mike screaming, "MOLLY! WHAT DID YOU DO! YOU'RE BLOCKING THE WHOLE EFFING SIDEWALK!" He was not pleased. The girls continued to laugh as Mike storms into the house, grabs Molly's keys, and runs back to move the car. I think he was moritfied having to move that car -lest people are watching. His anger lasted about 3 minutes, but then he came in and settled down. He loves his Molly and doesn't stay angry at her. Besides - the whole thing was daggone funny. Man I wish we took a picture.

So parallel parking - I have now added you to my boy jobs. Not because women can't do it, but I know I can't... and obviously, neither can Molly.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Life Changing Moment

I do a lot of "small snacks" during the day since I have blood sugar issues- and when my blood sugar drops I get queasy, shaky and headaches. I solve this problem by trying to eat a little something about every three hours. Usually this consists of a handful of almonds, a granola bar, a peice of fruit, some raw cut up veggies, etc. Nothing to write home about, but it keeps me feeling good.

Well last weekend, Chad and I dropped by Trader Joe's (having about a half hour to wait before our dinner reservations). I figured I'd pick up a bag of my usual roasted almonds - but then saw "Sesame Honey Almonds" and thought I'd give them a try. I like sesame seeds, honey, almonds - figured why not.

Minutes ago I opened the bag, pulled out a handful and tried one out.

Oh.

My.


Gosh.

They are friggin' incredible. If you have not tried them before, go to your local Trader Joe's pronto. Like leave your desk in such a rush that your coworkers will freak out thinking someone you love was in horrible accident. When you get back to the office and everyone gets angry at you because you left in such a state that it left them worried, you can give everyone one almond (you won't want to share more than that) and you will be forgiven instantly. Maybe even promoted. Okay, so maybe give two or three to your boss.

These almonds have changed my life! I'm going to force myself to take the big bag home tonight and portion them into small snack bags to bring daily to keep myself from eating this whole bag in one sitting.

You're welcome in advance!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not THAT word again...

I've made a list of words that I'd be quite happy if I never heard again (at least for the rest of 2009).
  • Recession
  • Bailout
  • Furlough
  • Main Street/Wall Street
  • Resignation
  • Subpoena
  • Easley
Okay maybe the last few are more recent, but I've heard them enough in the past 3 months to be sick of them already. Sheesh! Well if nothing else, those words have kept me pretty darn busy.

On another note - maybe tomorrow you'll get a blog on some things I really, really adore about my job. But for now, off to ANOTHER press conference.

PS: When a reporter walks into a room, looks at you and says, "I am so SICK of seeing you people every day," you know a story is getting old. ;)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easy Peasy

As I've made clear already on this blog - I love food. I love cooking... and everything to do with it. I mean my favorite TV shows are Chopped, Top Chef and Top Chef Masters for goodness sake. (PS: If you don't watch them, start now.)

While at the beach last week, we came in from outside and turned on Food Network (as we do in my family), and an unamed chef (to protect my trade secrets) was making these amazing looking sticky cinnamon buns. I was like - for sure I can do that.

The day we got back home I went to get the ingredients to bring it as a dessert for July 4th with the Arnolds (or Annabelle's parents as I might now call them). They were incredible - everyone loved them. Chad told me for three days they were one of his favorite things I've ever made. I think he fell in love with me over these suckers.

Fastforward to the next day at his parents:

Chad (to his mom): "Carrie made the most amazing cinnamon rolls the other day."
M-I-L: "Oh really?! Yum. How did you do it (to me)?"
Chad: "They were so easy!"

This is where if I had powers like Zack Morris on Saved By the Bell I would do a TIMEOUT.

Chad did not assist one bit in my cinnamon roll preparation. He watched me for about 3 minutes. And he dried my Kitchenaid dough mixer attachment. That's it. And here he is telling his mom how EASY it was.

Mind you, it was pretty darn easy. Maybe took me 20 minutes to prep - tops? But who did he think he is trying to downplay the process. Maybe it was easy for me because I'm like Betty Flippin' Crocker. Hmph (insert foot stomp).

Now, I think most people would let it cinnamon roll right off their back, but as you all know - I'm not one to keep quiet.

UNTIMEOUT

Me: "CHAD! How can you say it was easy (insert: rehash of my argument above)?! Besides, sometimes it looks better for us women to make it appear it took us hours to make something. We have to keep some secrets don't we?"
Chad: "That doesn't make sense. Why would you care if it was easy or not! They were delicious!"
Me: "I can just see it now. You'll go into work tomorrow and tell everyone about my delicious cinnamon rolls and when someone asks for the recipe you'll go ahead and tell them how EASY they were to make... even though you didn't even make them in the first place!"
Chad: "Well what if someone asks me if they were hard to make - do I LIE!?!?"
(at this point my m-i-l is giggling/sighing in the corner at our antics - she's used to it by now)
Me: "I'm not saying you LIE. I'm saying you tell them 'Well I don't know how hard they were because I DIDN'T MAKE THEM.'"
Chad (frusterated): "FINE. I won't even bring them up."

I think that ended the conversation. Maybe I'll let HIM make them next time and see if he's so quick to throw out "easy." Hah!

To all my male readers (or female readers that aren't the cooks in their duo), it's time for my....

Haiku Moral of the Story
When wife is cooking
Do not use the word 'easy'
No sweet rolls for you

PS: Don't ask me for the recipe you punks. They will be my impressive dessert/thank you gift/housewarming present to you in the future and you can all marvel about what an amazing chef/baker I am. A girl's gotta have secrets.
;)

For Sale!

So a couple weeks ago Chad and I decided to put our townhouse on the market. We bought it almost exactly two years ago with the idea that we'd keep it three-five years, save some money, and then buy our "forever" home.

Well with the housing market in the state it is, we were tempted into buying bigger now. Yes, we might not make much on our townhouse, but the money we'd save buying in this market outweighs the cost of selling now. But let me tell you - buying/selling a house is no joke! When we bought our townhouse, we didn't stress it much. We knew we wanted a new townhouse, preferably in the Apex area, and didn't want to spend a lot of money on it (understanding it would be a temporary move). There weren't too many options, so it was easy to decide on one.

"Forever Homes" are a whole new ballgame.

We want to buy a house that we can grow in to - a house where we can raise our children. Trying to weigh what appeals to us now (mid-twenty somethings) and what will appeal to us when we have rebellious teenagers and perhaps a temperamental (I mean it will be part-me) middle schooler - is no easy feat! We're trying to think about room sizes, yard sizes, layouts, schools, neighborhoods, location, etc. It's a lot to decide on.

Add to that SELLING a house. That is a stress on its own! You often have less than 24 hours notice that someone is coming to view your house - which means it has to be spotless, and you have to be outta there! Every morning when I leave for work I have to make sure it looks perfect, in case someone decides to stop by and see it after work.

We've been searching houses online for months - and driving by a few ones that seem promising. However, this weekend we start our full-on hunt with the realtor. Wish us luck.

And if you know anyone looking to buy a super cute townhouse - walking distance from historic downtown Apex (one of CNN/Money Magazine's Top Small Towns in America) - please let me know! ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yay for Amy!

I'm just getting back into the swing of things at work - so am a little too distracted to blog today.

However, I didn't want another day to go by without a post congratulating one of my dear friends Amy on her recent engagement to her now fiancee, Ray. Amy (who goes by many names to me, including - but not limited to - Amy May, Shelly, Shell Face, Amy Shell, etc.) is a very special person to me - and I love her dearly. We had many a fun time in college laying around at the pool, going to her place at the beach, daydreaming about our future husbands and children - and now here we are all grown up! At my wedding last April, I was blessed to have Amy sing at my wedding. I promised her that for her wedding I would NOT sing at her ceremony. ;)

So lots of love, hugs, kisses, best wishes, and happy planning to Amy/Amy May/Shelly/Amy Shell/Shell Face.