Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Lifelong Love Affair

The start of it all
When I was a kid, I loved to read. I mean LOVED to read. We had a small library at the high school near us and I think I read most of the books in the kids section, literally. When I tell Daniel about the books I read, he is usually surprised. Now days I'm not much for science fiction or historical fiction, but I read my fair share back in the day. He teases me that I am such a nerd for reading all the Star Wars books (but, Star Wars is awesome).  

I remember being SO excited about turning 11 years old because that was when you were allowed to volunteer at the library. It wasn't quite as exciting as I expected because I wasn't really allowed to stand at the checkout counter. Most of my hours consisted of me hauling carts of books around to shelve. Not as fun as you might expect (if you were expecting that to be fun).

At the summer reading program, I won pretty much every year for reading the most hours. One year I thought I hit the jackpot when they gave me TWO WHOLE movie tickets for reading the most. What a prize! (-;

So where to start? I loved them all. 

I devoured historical fiction. I especially loved books by Ann Rinaldi, who writes mostly in the Revolutionary War era. My favorite book of hers was probably The Fifth of March.  Another historical fiction book that I read over and over was Boston Jane by Jennifer L. Holm. There is a crazy twist at the end that got me every time! Let's not forget The Promised Land by Isabelle Holland-- it's a tearjerker. And I can't leave out Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. So many, so good!

As I already mentioned, I also read every Star Wars themed book I could get my hands on. What can I say? The movies got me obsessed and I wanted to know more! Ask me anything about the back story and I know the answer. 

One of my absolute favorite series was The Shadow Children by Margaret Peterson Haddix (also love pretty much every book by her). When I first started reading them, there were only four books in the series, but now the complete series is eight books. A couple years ago I even read all eight books to my younger siblings. They are SO thrilling.

I also adored fairy tales, such as the wonderful book Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. In case you're wondering, the book isn't at all like the movie. I have read Ella Enchanted so many times that the cover is falling off. My other favorite fairy tale was The Two Princess of Bamarre, also by Gail Carson Levine.

Then of course there were the classics like Harry Potter and Little House on the Prairie. Oh, and every Boxcar Children book I could get my hands on. Man, I wanted to be part of their family!

The list is pretty much endless. Every book I think of reminds me of another book I loved, so I have to stop somewhere! I hope that any future children of mine will inherit the reading gene. Reading truly brought me so much joy and entertainment as a kid! 

Can't stop, won't stop. Doesn't matter if my hair is ripped from my head, I won't put down Puppy Says 1, 2, 3
What books did you love as a child? I know I missed a bunch and I'd love to hear your favorites!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Best of 5

One of my favorite Thai dishes is Pad Thai. I have made at LEAST five different Pad Thai recipes, attempting to find one that was similar to the real thing. I have yet to find one... until yesterday. It's not exactly the same, but it was pretty close! So if you love Pad Thai too, you might want to give this recipe a try!

This photo right here is perfect proof of why I will never be a food blogger! Just tell me, how the heck is everyone taking such delicious-looking pictures of their food???
8 oz flat rice noodles, cooked al dente
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 eggs
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced white onion
1/3 cilantro, chopped
** you can also add peanuts, tofu, or bean sprouts!

1/4 cup ketchup
2 TBSP fish sauce
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp peanut butter
juice from one lime
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you don't like spicy, I suggest less!!)
1 tsp soy sauce

Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook in a large pan over medium head until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Whisk together sauce ingredients. Crack eggs over preheated pan and allow to fry for a minute or so. Break them up with a spoon and add onions. Add chicken, sauce and noodles. Toss to coat. Add green onions and cilantro.

Note: We didn't have green onions or cilantro, so we left that out. The noodles weren't very saucy so I think next time I am going to make 1 1/2 of the sauce. The sauce is the best part!

If you make this, let me know how close you think it is!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

From the Mouth of the Husband

Ya'll seemed to enjoy reading my side of the story of meeting my husband for the first time. The idea came to me to ask Daniel to write about his version. I thought for sure he would say NO but he said yes!! What a guy... love him. 

P.S. Isn't it cute how every sentence ends with an exclamation?? (-:

So my first guest post: Our story according to Daniel...

A picture I took of him on his first California visit (:
I met Danielle at Vancouver Island Bible Camp, I hadn't originally planned on going at all I was really busy that week with planning on moving all of my stuff from my apartment in Vancouver over to Victoria, but I decided to show up on Sunday anyway! I met Danielle briefly the day I got there and I thought she was pretty cute! I know almost all the young people from our church in the area so I noticed her right away!

I’m a little shy so I had to work up the courage to really talk to her. I decided to come back on Monday just to make sure that I would get a chance to talk to her. I think it was sometime after lunch that we both ended up hanging out on the dock with a few other people, I struck up a conversation with her being the suave guy that I am (totally not!) We hit it off and I enjoyed spending the next couple hours talking with her and also hanging out with her for most of the rest of the week. We sat together for every meal and class! I would disappear for a bit every now and then to hang out with other people and play games and sports just to make sure that I wouldn't seem too clingy or anything!

I’m not saying that I stayed because I enjoyed being with her or anything but I totally did! I completely neglected moving all of my stuff out which was supposed to be going on the whole week, and instead after Bible School was over, rushed back to Vancouver to pack everything up as quickly as possible, which consisted mostly of shoving things into boxes and throwing them into the back of my brothers truck!

What happened next?

I was a wuss so I had to tell her over facebook that I really liked her. We kept messaging back and forth for a while...by a while I mean like the next couple weeks and then I ended up booking a flight to California to visit! We had an amazing time together and even made a small trip to San Francisco...the rest is history as they say!

Friday, April 17, 2015

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday folks! I am so, so glad for weekends. Here's what happened this week:

1| My brother Dalton and my mom's birthdays were this week! I found this picture of Dalton and I when we were kids that is HIlarious. 

2| Two hard tests down this week. It feels amazing to finish a test that you have been studying for and then be able to go home and forget about studying (for about 5 minutes, ha). If my life sounds like it is boring and filled with tests, well... it is. 

3| Played Settlers of Catan with my brother and a couple friends. We made this new recipe which turned out to be delicious! Cheesy, barbeque-y goodness. It was so easy and you make it ALL in ONE pan. How's that for easy clean-up?!

4| Daniel and I had a little "date" in which we cleaned our room (again, so exciting) and planned our meals for the week. I'm not sure how much he loved this idea but I thought it was fun to do our normal stuff together. That way we both get to pick what we are eating (and I don't have to do the vacuuming). 

5| I finally ran 10 miles! To some of you, this may sound like a lot. To some of you, it may sound like very little. To me, it is a LOT. Next week I am running my third half marathon and I am glad to have completed my 10 mile run (the last long run in my training program). For some reason, I have had an extra hard time with long runs this time around. I have been trying not to get discouraged that my time has significantly slowed since my last half marathon. Oh well! I'm doing my best. 

Yes, my water bottle and shoes match. I didn't do it on purpose but it's kind of awesome.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Festivities Continue

Anyone who has been following along with me for a while knows that Daniel and I were married in a small, private ceremony in August. The rest of our family still wanted to celebrate with us, so we had a ceremony and wedding celebration in January. We were ever so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who came from all over to celebrate with us. 

I can't tell you how much help we received from family and friends. My mom poured so much time and love into it. We had beautiful bouquets made by our friend Carolyn. Our photos were once again taken by Lis Dondero, who always goes above and beyond (even with the horrible lighting and the fading sun). 

Without further ado, some photos to commemorate the day...

The Deets-- Invitations, Flowers, and Food, Oh My!

Italian soda bar... such a great idea from my mom!

Ice cream buffet!

Beautiful wedding arch made by my one and only

The Wedding-- Our Ceremony and the Wedding Party

Maid of honor and little sis

Maid of honor and BFF

Best man and two maid's of honor (because they are both honorable!)

The wonderful guests-- we love them all so much! 

Carolyn and Fred-- Carolyn made our bouquets and our beautiful flower arrangements!

My amazing aunt, uncle and Jerry who helped SO much with food prep

The Ferrie family

The Henley family
Dancing! Such a fun, fun time.