My birthday was several weeks ago, and Rich and Adelle took me out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner (which was excellent). Rich also brought me home a dozen red roses which were beautiful, and Adelle asked to smell them almost every day. Well, we definitely don’t splurge like this every year, but Rich also purchased tickets to the Michael Buble concert here in Denver. Rich and I have seen him once before in concert a few years back (we went with Jen & Scott). The concert here was at the end of March, and it was excellent! Definitely a treat – we only go to concerts about once every three years…
She’s been saying it ever since she knew she was going to have another sibling. She was always convinced she’d have a sister. Well, she was right! According to my doctor appointment just this week, it is definitely a girl. And when I told Adelle that she will have a sister soon, she didn’t seem too impressed. To her it was “mom, I already knew that!”.
I gave Adelle her first haircut a couple weeks ago (Mar 23rd). She was very good and stayed relatively still. I think little girls look really cute with longer hair, and I have been putting this off for a while (obviously – she’s over three!). The bottoms of her hair were starting to get pretty tangled, so I decided it was time. Rich has offered numerous times to cut her hair (starting before she was even a year old), but I would never let him. I’ve seen how he cuts hair, and I didn’t want Adelle to be bald… During the haircut she told me, “don’t cut my hair like daddy’s”.
Hope you all had an enjoyable Easter. We enjoyed watching general conference, and then had a small family dinner.
I’ve never posted a recipe before, but I came up with a pretty tasty asparagus recipe (with some ideas from the internet of course). Here goes:
1 – 2 bunches asparagus (I used 2 bunches)
2 Tbsp olive oil (I use extra virgin cold-pressed)
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
Salt & pepper to taste
1 – Rinse asparagus, snap off & discard tough bottoms, & cut into 1 – 2 inch sections.
2 – Steam asparagus, or boil in saucepan (I chose to steam it). Steam to taste – I like mine a little crunchy, probably about 5 – 7 min. While the asparagus is still hot, toss in serving bowl with olive oil, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Salt & pepper to taste.
I knew this recipe was a keeper when Adelle actually ate the serving we put on her plate. Rich even had seconds!
We also had spiral-sliced ham (8.5-lbs is a LOT of ham) and whole-wheat butterhorns. I also meant to saute some sweet potatoes, but I forgot…
My brother recommended that I visit the Navy Safety Center Photo of the Week website. Most photos show ridiculous and crazy photos similar to the one at the beginning of this post. Throughout their posts, they state, “shoulda used a truck” to describe photos and situations where people are using cars for things they were never meant to be used for. For instance, strapping a king sized mattress on top of a Smart Car. There have been many instances in my life where I have participated in activities where I really should have used a truck. I have fit a king sized memory foam mattress inside my little compact Saturn car (it was tightly rolled and compressed, but did create several very large blind spots…luckily most of the windshield was visible). I did not catalog that experience, but I did photograph the times I fit a “portable” air conditioner, dishwasher tub, and 21 pieces of 2? x 4? x 8.5' lumber into my car.
The lumber was for my latest (and 2nd) wood working project. I have made shelving before, but those were UGLY. Even paint didn’t help much. However, these shelves look good…if I do say so myself…even without painting them. These are similar to those my brother-in-law installed in his home and I have been jealous of him since I first saw them. I learned a few lessons during this project…cutting wood creates a LOT of dust. Also, I need a real dust mask ’cause I inhaled a LOT and my mucous afterward indicated that it isn’t “healthy.” Also, I need a table saw and a router table and a larger garage or maybe even a wood shop and…of course…a truck to haul stuff. Most men probably agree to those statements and most women have probably heard those “needs.”
Speaking of hauling things, I’ve been contemplating purchasing a trailer for some time now. A trailer would be much safer than either of my compact cars when hauling stuff…especially since we need to purchase some furniture (probably used) and I would have no other way of getting it home other than mounting it on top of a car. However, I would need to get a trailer hitch for the Toyota Corolla. Can you imagine a compact car with a trailer attached hauling a love seat or even a large sofa. That would be ridiculous…so ridiculous that I think I should get a truck.
We always read a verse or two from the scriptures as a family each night before Adelle goes to bed, but lately she has been wanting to read a book before bed. A few nights ago I told her I’d read the book she picked out, “Curious George at the Parade”. Well, I apparently forgot, and Rich and I both said good night to her and headed downstairs. Rich also had purposely moved the book out of Adelle’s eyesight to the other side of her dresser. About an hour later, I heard some shrieking and steps down the stairs. “You forgot to read me ‘Curious George at the Parade’”, shouts Adelle. She was adamant (although she didn’t even know where the book was), so Rich went upstairs with her to her room, read her the book, then said good night (again). And she was fine – she slept till morning. Wow – did she just wake up and think about reading the book or was she lying awake in her room for an hour hoping we’d remember to come back up and read her the book…
My first day of work (February 1st) at my new job in Denver, Colorado wasn’t quite as bad as the title may indicate, but definitely wasn’t as cheerful as I would have hoped. During my interviews for the position in November, I asked several times concerning the possible cancellation of Orion (the program that I am working on) and was told that it is very unlikely that program would be canceled.
A tech blog started a rumor on the night before my first day (Sunday, January 31st) that stated the proposed Presidential budget that would be released the following day would not include any funding for Constellation. No funding = cancellation. Constellation consists of the following parts: Aries = rocket, Orion = capsule (where the astronauts live) and cargo, and Gemini = moon lander.
A wise friend of mine once said, “Rumors are usually true in the corporate world.” Low and behold, the rumor was entirely correct. President Obama’s proposed budget does not include any funding for these NASA programs. Instead, his budget redirects NASA in a “bold new direction.”
I strongly disagree with this new direction for many reasons…one major reason is that I will be looking for a job in August if the budget is passed in its current form. However, I think it is unlikely that the president will get his wish completely granted. What will probably happen is that the rocket and moon lander will be canceled, but Orion will be spared…therefore my job would be spared as well. I am hopeful this will happen, but not so much that I haven’t updated my resume.
I completed my last day of work in California on Friday and it was a melancholy experience. In fact, this whole week has been melancholy. I feel like saying “goodbye” to coworkers and even places that I may never see again. For instance, while driving in to work on Friday, I stopped at the local doughnut shop to pick up my last applefritter for my last commute on my last day of work. That shop helped provide life sustaining sugar during my 3 years in graduate school. In fact, that shop has been very instrumental in helping me store extra fat to protect against the long, harsh winters of Colorado. In my mind, I said goodbye to the short Asian baker, as well as his shop, as I walked out.
I spent Friday morning throwing out papers, cleaning up my cubical, and boxing up all the junk I have managed to accumulate during the past 6 years I have worked at Lockheed Martin. I amazingly have 6 boxes of junk…mostly textbooks I collected during school, most of which I haven’t cracked open since I finished 2 years ago.
Saying goodbye to my coworkers, my desk, my building, my friends, my family in the area is a melancholy experience because this has been my home for nearly 6 years (as of February 2). We’ve (or I’ve) contemplated moving since I moved to California, but it’s entirely different to be going through with it. Packing, planning, house hunting, paperwork, more paperwork, uncertainty, excitement, fear, hope.
Last week I had a couple nights in a row of events – one night was a friend’s baby shower, the next night was another friend’s bridal shower. Adelle is really in to going out with us, so while we were talking about our activities for the week, she let me know she wanted to go with me both nights. I told her I would not be able to take her to the bridal shower, but she could come with me to the baby shower. She agreed, and we went to the baby shower together.
She brought her own crayons and coloring book with her, and she ended up being the only toddler there. And she was very quiet, did her own thing, and of course REALLY enjoyed the cupcake I let her have. About halfway through while my friend was opening her presents, Adelle turns to me and says, “Mommy, I want to go to the baby shower.”
Me, “We’re here at the baby shower.” Adelle, “No, I want to go to the bathroom.” Me, “You need to go potty?” Adelle, “No, I want to go the bathroom for the baby shower.”
I realized I should have explained the term baby shower – she was thinking water fun in the bathroom. I explained the concept to her, and I think she now understands that it is a party where you “shower” the mom-to-be with presents.
Rich, Karen, Adelle, and Esther