Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Birthday Boy

Photo by: Jessica Lewis Photography

It’s Lukie’s 25th birthday on Sunday. We’re going to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate. Hopefully I’ll have something interesting to blog about when we get back! In honor of his birthday, I wrote 25 things that I love about the love of my life. I just want him to know how much I love and appreciate him! (Plus, this is just another trick for you to read another one of my lists!)

1.) Luke has the most positive, optimistic character. He always looks for the good or possible learning experiences in situations. I hope this quality rubs off on me.
2.) He is always patient with me which is a saintly, saintly thing because I tend to run late for everything, have weird neurotic quarks and he more than puts up with me. Instead of getting irritated or rushing me, he simply calls out the time, “It’s 8:03 in the kingdom and all is well!”
3.) He is one of the friendliest, outgoing people I have ever met. Luke could make a lifelong friend in about .03 seconds. I love this about him because he always keeps things interesting. We often have funny encounters with strangers that we meet wherever we go.
4.) Luke is a cinema fanatic! He is my walking imdb.
5.) He loves his family and would do anything for them. This is one of my favorite of his qualities, because family is truly his #1 priority.
6.) He is so funny and makes me laugh on a daily basis!

7.) He’ll try anything once. He even tries sushi, my weird ethnic foods that I love or he’ll even sign up to volunteer at race events with me.
8.) He is a Dr. Pepper aficionado. Need I say more?
9.) He loves kids and is so good with them! He adores his nieces and nephew and it’s so cute to see them play together.
10.) He works hard. Even when its 7pm on a Friday night and there’s a problem at his job, he is always the one to stay behind and make sure the work gets done right.
11.) He is musically talented. He plays the trumpet and I’ll often come home to him singing and playing his guitar. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve heard him get in church on his singing.
12.) I don’t know where I heard the saying, “Real Men Snuggle,” but it’s true. Luke is a real man and a first class snuggler.
13.) He cleans. Oh my word, I could sing his praises all day about this one. Every night after a full day of work, he does the dishes. I think I’ve taken out the trash once in all of our married life and he always helps me with my “Saturday chores.”
14.) He loves to serve. I’ll admit, I’m not the one to sign up for the Saturday morning service projects, but Luke is willing to get up at 6am on a Saturday to give service. What a guy.
15.) He’s a smarty pants. He’ll help me any time with my homework (especially the math!) Now if only he’ll go take that GRE…. J
16.) He loves the Lord and strives to keep the commandments. He’s a great example to me.
17.) He’s got a big, hearty laugh that just warms my soul.
18.) He’s willing to eat what I cook for him without any complaint. I use ground turkey instead of beef and I know that was a change for him. Not to mention some of the culinary disasters I’ve already experienced…burned bacon, runny cream puffs, and other weird experiments gone wrong. He even ate my eggplant parmesan. J
19.) I hope I don’t ruin his masculine reputation by saying he is the sweetest guy. He brings home Hershey’s eggs when he knows I’ve had a bad day or will pull the covers over me in the morning and when I’ve unknowingly kicked my own covers off and gotten cold.
20.) He’s a good kisser.
21.) He’ll watch the entirety of Dawson’s Creek with me. I was informed by a classmate that I was lucky because her boyfriend would NEVER watch “girly” shows with her.
22.) Lukie is my strong man. Which is great if I need any heavy lifting done…but basically its just nice to know that he could probably kill a lot of zombies if they came to attack us in the middle of the night.
23.) He compliments me nearly everyday and makes me feel pretty.
24.) He’s pretty handy. I grew up in a house where we took the car into the shop or called a fix it man. Luke has already fixed a few things on his car and that just wows me!
25.) Luke is a really calm, confident man. This is a really good thing for me, because I tend to worry and he has a way to calm my worries and make me feel at ease.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keeping up with the Ericksons

Does life ever slow down? It seems like the older I get, the busier I become. Between work, school, church, callings, keeping up with Luke’s social life and everything in between I’m pining for spare time to do things I enjoy (or at least I used to.) Man, I don’t even have children yet…I’m in for a rude awakening! But basically this is just an excuse for me to make another list.

Things I’d like to do if I had more time:

-Exercise like a mad woman
-Volunteer at St. John’s Hospital
-Bake something every week and give it away
-Work on a tan (Can I work on it if I don’t have one yet?)
-Try more new healthy recipes and prepare 3 complete balanced meals/day
-Read for pleasure
-Make more friends
-Start new hobbies (I’ve been mentally toying with the idea of cycling for a while)
-Go rollerblading at the beach
-Pluck my eyebrows more than once in a blue moon
-Take an art class
-Be outside
-Entertain more guests
-Maintain a perfectly spotless home (seriously, how does it get so dirty with just 2 people living there? I’m terrified to think what adding kids will do!)
-Visit my grandparents more often
-Garden (this would also require space that we do not have)
-Find an equally dedicated sushi partner as both of mine have moved away

My next month of Saturdays is already booked up and I have finals, spring cleaning, friend’s wedding and out of town guests all to consider. Maybe one day I’ll have an evening free to pick up a good book!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eating habits, "skinny" fat people and end of anemia era!

Warning: This will be a lengthy rant that may or may not make sense. Do yourself a favor and skip it.

I’ve decided that engagement and marriage have destroyed my healthy life routine. A few years ago, I made significant changes to my diet and exercise habits. Like eating balanced meals and snacks based on lean proteins, fruits/veggies and a complex carb every now and again. And basically I learned that exercise was more than just lifting a few weights or comfortably gliding on an elliptical for 20 minutes…did you know that exercise means getting your heart rate up, breathing hard, sweating (ew…I still try to avoid that) for more like 60-90 minutes? Other “rules” that I made up were saying goodbye to fast foods, red meat, drinking any sort of beverage with calories, etc. etc. I went from looking like this:

To this:

I also went through a lot of internal changes. I took a dance class, started running 5/10ks, climbing mountains, feeling [more] comfortable in a swim suit, being more confident and actually liking myself. All great things. Then I met Luke. When we got engaged, my schedule became super hectic. Somehow, my carefully planned snacks and meals all turned to Red Vines and Diet Dr. Pepper. (Is that really a bad way to go?) I’ve heard physical trainers talk about “skinny” fat people. Basically, there are people who spend their daily caloric intake eating foods with no nutritional value (apparently licorice falls into this category)…they aren’t gaining weight, but they don’t have the nutrients to support muscle growth or body functions.

After being on a licorice/caffeine diet for 6 months my body decided to rebel. I knew I felt tired all the time, but I assumed it was from working, being a full-time student, and planning a wedding. Some time after the wedding, I attempted to donate blood, but was rejected. Lots of blood tests, iron supplements and 3 months later, I was referred to a hematologist for iron infusions. Yes, I want to be a nurse, but that does not mean I like to get poked with needles! It just means that I’m ok with poking someone else with a needle! Anyways, iron infusions aren’t the most pleasant thing in the world. A. I don’t like to sit with an IV in my arm for 45 min. and then get an extra B12 shot B. I’d rather spend my $20 co-pay on something better, like shoes! C. One of the side effects that I experience is joint pain. It’s the weirdest thing. After an infusion, I’ll feel like a 90 year old grandma! My knees and elbows get all hurty and I can barely bend down to pick something up off the floor.

ANYWAYS…I’m declaring this to be the end of my anemia era! My levels are starting to pick up. I’m feeling much more like myself, having more energy and am starting to think about exercise (but let’s not push it, really people.) I’m hoping to start back up at the gym and probably start my “Couch to 5k” program again. It’s just very frustrating to have to start ALL over again. I’ve noticed that my lovely toned legs have turned to mush and that the scale is tipping almost 10 lbs heavier post marriage. So I really need to reel myself back in, get back into my healthy habits and be accountable to me. Since marriage, I’ve found our eating habits to have merged…like I’m eating more pizza and cereal at all hours of the day. No one, especially me, needs a bowl of Frosted Flakes at midnight. Anyone have any thoughts on maintaining a healthful diet while living with someone who is less inclined to follow the same routine? Yes, I know that I make the dinners so I can make something healthy, but I like both of us to be satisfied, plus its really fun to spontaneously indulge on naughty food with your significant other.

So goodbye anemia, delicious, but unhealthy foods and hello gym, whole food, energy, self-esteem and the Whitney as you knew her!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lemon Love Affair

I hosted Easter dinner at our apartment and had planned the menu well in advance…I like planning and list making. And planning usually means I get to make more lists, which is just a blissful thing. For dessert I decided to try a new recipe for lemon crème brulee. I picked about 2-3 lemons at my parent’s house, just enough for what I needed.

I should have known better than to leave them unguarded on the counter, but the next thing I know…they’re gone! What should I have expected? I live with a man who adores his citrus and the only thing he wanted when we spent our wedding gift cards was a citrus juicer. He quickly rectified the situation though, by bringing me a grocery bag full of lemons! Considering that I only used about 3 for my Easter meal, we had tons of lemons leftover.

Normally, I don’t use a lot of lemon in my cooking, but I’ve been seeking out lemon recipes to use up our stores. And let me say…I’ve fallen in love with lemons! Not just a little bit, but I’m head over heels, smitten with lemon! It can be such a light, delicate flavor, or it can pack a punch a really zing those taste buds. Basically, it’s heavenly. We’ve tried the lemon crème brulee (probably one of my new favorite non chocolate dessert recipes,) lemonade, lemon pasta, and my latest experiment: lemon cream puffs.

We still have quite the collection of lemons hanging out in our kitchen and I’m still on the hunt for recipes worthy of this divine fruit. So if you have any, please share!

Please note: This blog post and several yummy desserts were made possible by Robert and Vickie Erickson and their backyard lemon tree. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Horrible Blogger

Back in January I was really motivated to start blogging and fill in memorable events from 2009. In fact, I wrote a lengthy account of my Mt. Whitney adventure only to have it mysteriously vanish from my computer screen. In those 2 seconds my motivation for blogging died. Four months later, I'm having the urge to blog again so I'm going to attempt some posts. My expectations are pretty low. Yours should be too.