Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

So, I hate cooking.  I hate it with a passion.  I love to eat, but I hate to prepare it and all the time that takes, and I really hate the clean up.  I have decided I am going to attempt to make at least two meals a week.  I am hoping to do three, but hey start small and work my way up.  On Monday, I made Chicken Enchiladas.  I usually get on and pick something random out or I have Michael get on there and pick something he wants me to make.  He would say I can’t cook, but I sure can follow me some directions.  Our neighbors came over to enjoy the enchiladas, because the recipe I used made WAY more than Michael and I could have eaten in a week.  In fact, I sent leftovers home with the neighbors for lunch for probably two days.  They really like the recipe, which I altered, based on Michael’s dislikes, but since it was a hit I thought I would share.  I might try and put on here the meals I do each week. 

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 cups shredded Mexican jack cheese
2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken (I get it at Wal-Mart/Sam’s and use the leftovers for homemade Panini’s too)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (most important ingredient)
¼ cup of salsa  
2 cans of enchilada sauce (maybe 3)
1 can green chilies (I got a 10oz can)
2 tablespoons of chopped onion (I used a little extra)
10 (8inch) tortillas (I ended up using 15)

In a large bowl, mix all the cheddar cheese, 2 cups of Mexican cheese, chicken, soup, chilies, onion.  If you like sour cream add 2 cups of sour cream.  Warmed tortillas are easier to fold and roll.   Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce on both sides.  Spoon mixture into center of each tortilla, the amount depends of the size you want.  Place seam side down in a greased 13x9 glass baking dish.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of Mexican Jack Cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

I served it with Lipton’s Mexican Rice.  It ended up being a very creamy mixture in the middle.  I love sour cream, so I put a little bit on top which added to the flavor.  I also didn’t add salt and pepper, because the rotisserie chicken has a lot in it.  You could very easily boil chicken and shred it, if you don’t want to go buy a rotisserie chicken.  I included a picture.  I meant to take pictures when I pulled it out of the oven, but I forgot.  So, the picture below is the leftovers (the next day).    
A day old, but you get an idea.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This weekend was super fun.  Saturday, Michael and I braved the storms and drove down to Fort Smith to help out at my church down there for Easter.  Since, it was rainy and wet, the Easter egg was being held inside.  When my church does an Easter egg hunt, or really any activity involving children, it isn't just open to the children of our church.  The church opens their doors to the neighborhood kids.  It is really good; all of the kids have a blast.  I was there to try and take pictures of all the kids hunting eggs, and man was I ever tired after it was all over.  I just took pictures, but man watching the kids play was exhausting.  They had a bounce-a-round (inside) and crafts and even the Easter bunny.  The Easter bunny shared a resemblance to the Donnie Darko rabbit.  A little disturbing to some of the kids, but it was all so fun.

I just have to tell the story of my cousin’s little girl, who will be two next month.  She made me almost fall over laughing.  The child, while gathering her Easter eggs, would open each egg she picked up.  She would open it; see if she liked the candy inside, and if she liked what she saw it went into her basket.  Now, if she didn’t like what was inside she would put the egg back together and place it back on the ground.  It was by far the cutest and funniest thing I saw that day, and boy did it make me laugh.  All the kids were fun to watch, but the youngest bunches were my favorites, as they seemed to enjoy it more than the older kids, who really just wanted the candy. 
Ava hunting eggs

Two at a time.

Got to make sure we like what's inside.

So proud of how many eggs he got!!!

Loves the Easter Bunny

Tired from all the hardwork

How scary does that bunny look
Saturday evening my mother made a big Easter dinner.  It was so yummy.  I don’t know why I didn’t inherit my mother’s ability to cook, and I am sure Michael wishes I had even half of her ability.  I can cook, but I follow directions and the results typically are good.  My mother just throws things together sometimes and it ends up good.  After dinner, my father, brother, Michael, and I all played a game of Risk.  It was my father’s idea to play, and I don’t know why he usually loses to my brother or me.  So, we played and it was fun.  I forget sometimes how fun that game really can be.  My brother beat us all, as usual, followed by me in second.  (shhh…Michael got last)  It was all in good fun, and it was probably the fastest game of Risk ever.

Sunday, we went to church and I truly enjoyed our guest singer.  Barbara Tucker.  Wonderful!!  She gives me goosebumps every time I hear her sing, and Sunday was no different.  After church we grilled out and had lunch with my parents before heading back to Fayetteville.  It was a good weekend.       

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Good Friday, almost EASTER!

I am one of the many people working today, on a sunny Good Friday. I am starting to look forward to my weekend. But first I just have to tell everyone how wonderful my husband is (sometimes). HEHE. Last night we had some friends over for pizza, a really healthy meal. Our friends, who I have mentioned before, live down the street from us and have an almost 16 month old precious little girl. We do a lot with these friends during the week, like walks around the block and dinner. I believe we have dinner at least twice a week together at each others houses; it is a lot easier to cook for four people. There precious little girl has an ear infection. So, I helped her Mama clear her ear, which to save you all the details almost made me cry. The boys had to leave they couldn't take the tears, but before they left Michael started Beauty and the Beast for the crying baby. Quickest way to fix tears, Disney movie with singing. Of course, as soon as the music started and the boys were out the door that crying baby became the happiest thing.

When the boys got back they wanted to play NCAA football instead of letting the movie finish. BOO. I was so disappointed, mainly because I haven't watched all of the movie in forever. After our neighbors left, Michael grabbed the movie and put it in the Blu-Ray player in our bedroom. I was excited! He played on the computer while I finished the movie, but really he watched the majority of it with me. I don't think he would admits this, but he likes Disney movies. Not a Disney movie but, The Notebook, is one of Michael's favorite movies ever, and he will admit that to people. I believe it was also his roommates in college favorite, too. I caught three boys watching The Notebook together (no girls) all laying around enjoying their movie.

SO! This weekend is Easter, which means family time. My favorite part of Easter, well since I have a cousin with two little ones, is watching them hunt eggs. Tomorrow, we will be helping out at my Fort Smith church for their annual Easter Egg Hunt. I will be taking pictures to help them out. I am overjoyed to get to watch tons of kids hunt eggs and play. They are going to have a bounce-a-round and craft and the EASTER bunny. I wonder what job Michael will have. Probably playing in the bounce-a-round. My parents will be helping out too, so it should be a good day. Don't worry about the rain, there is already a plan. I am also looking forward to church on Sunday. My favorite singer Barbara Tucker will be singing at my church Sunday. I love her voice. A-MAZING! She almost always gives me goosebumps. Well I hope everyone else has a good Easter weekend! Look for tons of pictures of the kiddos Monday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Weather

So, as most of you know, I live in Arkansas. I love the spring weather, most of the time. The last few weeks have been rainy and stormy. Arkansas is in tornado alley, but where I live, in the Northwest corner, we do not see many tornados. My hometown has seen its fair share in my lifetime. When the weather turns bad I usually am not very concerned. Last week it was going to be the end of the world according to the meteorologists on the news. They acted like this is the worst weather EVER. Of course, nothing happened in Northwest Arkansas or Arkansas really for that matter. My hometown did not have anything either, but the tornado sirens did go off there.

Yesterday, as the end of the world part 2 was coming, Michael was working from home with me. It got really dark outside fast, so I thought let’s turn on the news. I love our weather people, they made Michael and I die laughing. They always say here is a big storm and oh here it is over there. It is all, oh so dramatic. I guess if something did happen, then they could say “We said it first.” I can remember people being really upset after a tornado struck my hometown in 1996 and the people had no warning. So, they now make every storm seem like the worst thing this area has ever seen. The only problem I ever have with the over dramatization is when it interrupts my favorite TV shows.

Where we live we did get a very very nice hailstorm. The weather people said we were getting dime size hail, but they were wrong. We were getting golf ball size hail. See picture below. My brave, crazy husband went into the yard while it was hailing and grabbed some to get a picture. I took a short video of the hail, but you really can’t tell much. After it was over, we didn’t see even a fraction of the storms we were supposed to see. In fact, the sun came out right after. The one person who enjoyed the hail the most was our dog. Gabby, loves ICE. What dog doesn’t love their water flavored popsicles. She was in doggie heaven, cleaning up our yard.
Michael holding hail from our front yard.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend of Fun

Michael and I had a busy fun filled weekend. Saturday morning Michael went fishing with our friend Brad, and I went to coffee and breakfast with Brad’s wife Jodie. The boys went fishing but quickly realized it was too cold and came back to the house to watch Harry Potter. Yes, Harry Potter. Jodie and I had fun with coffee from Starbucks and a breakfast from Panera. We were having a blast. My parents and brother were coming up for the day to watch the Red White Game and the baseball game. So, Michael went with the boys to watch football and my mom and I went shopping. Shopping in terms of Lowe’s and Hobby Lobby. It was a blast to hang out with my mom. I went to Lowe’s to get some more mulch. I have been working on getting the yard looking nice and I wanted to add some mulch around our trees and a few shrubs. My poor trees and shrubs had it a little rough last summer with the heat, so I am adding the mulch as extra protection. It looks good.
My mom made me pose in this chair...Edith Ann

Sunday morning, Michael got up early and went to play homerun derby with the boys. Sunday morning was such a beautiful morning I wasn’t going to wait around for Michael to get home, so I called my friend down the street, whose husband went with Michael, and asked her if she and her daughter would like to go for a walk with me. We walked for an hour, and it was 3.58 miles total. My foot was bugging me at about the 30 minute mark, so by the time I made it back to the house my foot was killing me. Today, it is still killing me. Our plans were to skip the baseball game Sunday afternoon and go hiking at White Rock, but since my foot was hurting I knew I wouldn’t make it hiking. So, we canceled our plans to go hiking and went to the baseball game. Perfect day for a game, but it was not a perfect ending. Michael and I share tickets with my parent, which mean they have tickets and we use them. Our tickets are in the shade, which is fantastic on hot games, but games like this weekend make it hard. So, we moved to the sun, and it was perfect. Michael and I are both sunburned, which sucks. My super fun Sunday is sticking around with my foot and sunburn. After the game we went over to our friend’s house for some grilling and doggie playtime. It was the perfect way to end a long busy weekend.
They are best pupper friends!!!

Played hard

Something Michael found while doing yard work...yuck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have always love music. From the time I can remember my grandfather, used to play a variety of songs and musical styles. I have some of the best memories sitting in his huge office chair, that now wouldn’t be huge, but to a little kid was the biggest chair ever, and him playing me records (45’s) and CDs. He had CDs with music as far back as the 40’s and 50’s along with big band music. I used to love listening to some of the silly songs from one CD in particular; I still to this day know every word to those silly songs. I have played them for Michael, who thinks I am crazy, but I love them. I think music is great for providing a gateway to memories. My grandfather wanted us to understand the history behind music and respect music. I remember him taking my brother and me to a Fort Smith Symphony performance when I was probably 8 years old. It must have stuck with me in life because I still love listening to music, and I especially love discovering new music, or at least new to me.

Some people like pop music, country music, etc. I like a little bit of everything. There are definitely some types of music I love more than others but overall I enjoy all music (as long as it is good music). Good music is completely in the ear of the listener. I will hear a song on the radio and it might have come out when I was in high school and all of the sudden I am thinking of some memory related to that song. Michael loves music as much as I do, which is wonderful. Our first date ever, he picked me up from class and playing in his car was the new Fall Out Boy CD, which was exactly what I had playing in my car. I thought almost nothing about it, but did think it was very coincidental. Later we were talking music, and he said that I had to hear this new band that his roommate had introduced him to…The Fray. I had recently come to know The Fray myself. At this point in time The Fray was a no name band that you could score $10 tickets to see them play, trust me I know. So, of course I was instantly in love with Michael…haha. It didn’t hurt that he was also funny, and very cute. Michael loves all kinds of music, minus country. He will say he hates country, but there are a few he likes.

Music can make you feel like a different person, or take you to a different place. If Michael and I ever have children they will have more music in their life then they will know what to do with. All my grandfather’s old CD’s and 45’s are now mine and I play them with the fondest of memories. I even played one of my favorite songs from my grandfather as my exit at my wedding, The Baby Elephant Walk. It was played on the organ in honor of all the trips to Fin and Feather at Lake Tenkiller where my grandfather would always request the organist to play. So, when I have children I will be playing music from the music of my grandparents era all the way through my era and the future.

I listen to music while I work, and I use to play my music. If you have never heard of grooveshark go and enjoy. You can search for ANY song and make playlists and it is FREE. I love it, because I make a new playlists almost every day, for whatever mood I am in or whatever boost I need to get my day going. I decided today I would let you see what I am listening to…enjoy the randomness.

Set Fire to the Third Bar—Snow Patrol
Amazing—Josh Kelley
Only You—Josh Kellley
On a Night Like This—Dave Barnes
Nothing Fancy—Dave Barnes
She Gimme Love—Collie Buddz
Out Tonight—Rent
Wonderful—Idina Menzel (Wicked)
No Good Deed—Idina Menzel (Wicked)
I’m Not that Girl—Idina Menzel (Wicked)
When the Night Comes—Dan Auerbach
Let the Drummer Kick—Citizen Cope
Jigga What/Faint—Jay-Z & Linkin Park
One Day—Matisyahu

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Club

I joined a monthly book club.  One of my friends wanted to start a book club as a way for girls to get together and hang out, since our husbands have their own weekly get together.  Last night was our first get together and I have to say it was quite fun!  We ate dinner, had some wine and of course dessert.

The book we read this time was "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman.  It is a New York Times Bestseller.  There are almost too many books on the New York Best Seller list, every book I read is on there.  Anyway.  The book was...weird and interesting, but in a, "I don't know if I liked this book or not."  The book club group all agreed on the weirdness.  It felt as though the author just threw a bunch of information together to form chapters, but the relevance of the information was a little off.  I also felt like he took ideas from other books, like Harry Potter, and added it to the book.  There was a lot of original thought, but at first I felt like I was reading an off shoot of Harry Potter.  I was definitely glad to be done with that book and if I wasn’t reading it for a book club I would have probably put the book down within the first half. 

So, what’s next for the book club, “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.  The movie is coming out at the end of the month.  The book club has decided to read the book and in a month we are going to get together at a new sushi place in Fayetteville, talk about the book and then go out and see the movie together.  Should be a fun girls date night.  I am looking forward to the movie.  I thought it looked good from the previews, and I always have to read a book before the movie or I will never read the book.  Knowing the ending of a book ruins the urge to read it. 

 So, I don't recommend "The Magician" so if you were thinking about reading it don't...and if you already read it tell me if you agree or disagree that it was not good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday Bubba!!!

My Bubba and I on my wedding day!
Today is my one and only brother's 30th Birthday!!!  30!!  From the above picture you can tell we are so related...hehe.  Check out the smiles if you doubt we are brother and sister.  I have the best brother in the entire world, minus the few years we did not get along, but hey what siblings don't go through the annoying sibling phase.  I have always looked up to my brother for guidance and of course to help me with my homework (he is a genius).  He is the best listener, which works out well since I usually do most of the talking.  He is always good for a one liner joke that will make you spit your drink or food everywhere (see prior post about horse races from last year) and laugh for an hour.  I love my brother and I can't believe he is turning the big 3-0!!  Hope you have a great day!

And yes he is single :-) HAHA!! He needs a nice highly intelligent woman, in case someone knows of one send them my way.  He will kill me for that one.  :-) 
My brother being silly at a Razorback game!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I love to travel but...

I truly am one of those weird people, who actually likes to travel a lot. I enjoy it for many reasons. When I travel I get to see new places and usually meet new people, which is fun. I love exploring new cities and new restaurants I have never heard of before that day. A huge reason I love to travel for work is that I use the airline miles and hotel points for my own vacations with Michael. Our honeymoon and recent vacation to south Florida were taken with airline miles. My trip last year was also taken on airline miles. So, I definitely take advantage of my time away by taking fun vacations for free.

Now after that note of how much I love traveling and why, let me tell you why I get annoyed with others or in general while traveling. I hate going through security behind those people with the Gallon size ziploc bag of liquids. It has been almost 10 years since they put the 3oz rule into place. The best part of these people, they don't understand what the problem is in taking the liquids and why it will be thrown in the trash unless they would like to check that bag. I am a pretty patient traveler; families with children do not bother me, older people who unload their bags like they have all day do not bother me. Business travelers, who forget to take the metal belt off and then want to argue with the TSA person that the last time that belt did not set off the metal detector, they bother me. Most everything else about security does not bother me, not even the new pat down system, which I have experienced (it really isn't that bad).

Now let’s talk about people on the planes. I recently was flying from Chicago to Northwest Arkansas, thank goodness that it was only 1.5 hour flight. The young man next to me had absolutely no reference for my personal space. He was leaning over the armrest and leaning over half of my body. I pushed him off of me at least three times and almost told him to stay on his side of the armrest. I was reading a book and he was touching the book, which was in the middle of my body. Too close!! Let me just add in this case he was not overweight in anyway. I feel like each time I travel the seat space is smaller. I feel bad for the majority of travelers, because I am small and the seats work perfectly for me. I see many normal size people looking very uncomfortable, especially in the middle seat. So, before anyone complains about the overweight person, think about your own space and just imagine.

First, I have status so I am one of the first to board a flight each time and I also do not pay for bags, so I wanted to say that before my next comments. I sit and watch people board for at least 20 minutes on big planes and some people are just RUDE. I love the people who try to board the flight when they call priority access or first class and their ticket says group 5. I love the AA attendants who tell them to get out of line, but there are plenty of attendants who do not make them get out of line. There is a rhyme and reason for why they board planes to way they do. For those who do not know, group 1 typically is at the very very back of the plane, and they call them first so they cannot block the aisles and others can board. It kills me every time to see a group 1 person placing their carryon bag in the front of the plane and then walking to the back. Here is why people try and board out of group number; since they charge for bags more and more people carryon and the overhead space is limited they want to ensure their bag is on the plane not underneath. So, group 1 people take your stupid suitcase to the back of the plane with you! I also hate the people who put jackets in the overhead space. Every time I fly when it is cold the flight attendants always tell people not to put jackets up until everyone has boarded. Do people listen? NO!!! So disrespectful! By the way, I LOVE the men (or women) who help others lift their heavy bags into the overhead. I hate watching someone struggle with a bag and the people around them, one do not help them and two get annoyed that they are not fast enough. I love the flight attendants who catch people doing any of the above and get on to them. Those people deserve it and the flight attendants that say something rock in my book. Now as I said at the beginning I get free bags, so why do I care…because I sit and watch people do the above and I watch others suffer from the rudeness.

I guess that’s enough of my ranting about traveling. Let me just say that even with all the annoying stuff I still truly enjoy traveling. It is called patience, and thank God I have it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 1st = GOOD DAY

So, I got home late Thursday night and I was exhausted!! Work was good for the second week in a row I was flying in and out of Seattle, which is perfectly fine with me. I am working on a post for all you traveling people or even people who think it would be fun to travel all the time...look for that next week.

Friday, was a busy day at the home office. I had a lot of work to do plus some catching up around the house. I needed to run a few places, but found time in the afternoon. My birthday is tomorrow but I got a ton of stuff in the mail yesterday, which made my slow tired day go 10x better. The mail lady probably thinks I am crazy, but she came to the door yesterday with a few packages. I was actually on the phone with my mom, so I signed and took the packages/mail to the kitchen counter where I proceeded to get VERY VERY excited. First thing I noticed was a package from Bella International. I squealed with delight and told my mom I got diamond earrings from Michael for my birthday. HAHA! Don't have things delivered to your house if you don't want your wife to know. My mom of course told me, I probably wasn't supposed to know, but I told Michael I wanted some awhile back and I knew Bella International on the from was them. Bella International is the guy/company in Chicagoland where we got my wedding ring, and our bands. The guy that owns it is a friend of a friend, but now I won't buy jewelry from anyone else EVER. So, of course knowing all that information means I got jewelry without even opening the package. I called Michael immediately, so he could enjoy my over-excitement and he told me to go ahead and open it. I opened it and it was what I asked for...YAY! I was also super excited to receive in the mail two birthday cards from Michael's grandparents and great-grandparents. All of my grandparents are gone, so I told Michael in my overly gitty voice that it was like I had grandparents again.

I was also very excited to receive a package from a company that I sent two old 5.25 floppy disks that my grandpa Jack had put old family pictures on. I know I am a nerd. I love genealogy, but it runs in my family, both sides. So, I have a family tree on ancestry, which is a constant work in progress. I knew my grandfather had pictures of my GGGgrandparents somewhere and I received the floppy disks from my cousin and proceeded to figure out a way to get the photos off to add to our family tree. The answer came with a quick Google search and a website called I sent these disks off and yesterday received them back along with a CD. I think there were just one too many great items in the mail for me yesterday. Anyway, I added all the new old pictures to the family tree and I love it! Some of the pictures are so old and some of the people actually look kind of scary, but since it took ten years to take a photo back then I would not be very happy at the end either. I added two below just so everyone can see my nerdy joy.
Great Great Grandfather - Michael thinks he looks like me
Picture was most likely taken in the early 1900s

Great Great Great Grandfather
Late 1800s

About Us

My photo
Michael and I have been together since 2006. We met in college at the University of Arkansas and began our life together. We bought a house and moved to Fayetteville from the Chicagoland area in November 2009. We were married in 2010 and had our first child, a boy, in 2013. Our favorite thing to do together is travel and we have gotten the opportunity to go to lots of fun places. We are working, breathing, playful parents. Our fur baby and child are the center of our crazy life, but we wouldn't have it any other way.