Monday, February 27, 2012

The Overlook -- A Flashback to Jason's Proposal

This weekend, the praise team at church (which Jason is a member of) was invited to lead worship for a conference at the Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.  The praise band graciously invited Jason's spouse (which would be me), and I wholeheartedly accepted the invitation.  Who wouldn't love an afternoon, evening, and morning surrounded by the gorgeous scenery of the lake, alone time to read, the beauty of nature and wildlife, and a little down time with Jason?

However, this allure of this place runs deeper for me, and for Jason too, I hope.  You see, this park was the location of our first date, nearly 12 years ago.  Our first kiss happened near a trash can on the playground (Kids who are should never kiss on a first date.).  :)

Later still, Jason also chose this spot as the location for his proposal.

Specifically, he chose the overlook, a spot I took him to on that first date so many years ago.  As a Louisville native, he had never seen the beauty of the lake from this angle: the lights from the marina glowing in the night sky and then dancing on the surface of the water, the sway of the boats, and the breathtaking view from the top of that rock.

Being back at the overlook on Saturday brought back a flood of memories from that July night in 2001.  Jason had planned a picnic (I was honestly a little upset because it meant I was missing a new episode of Gilmore Girls.), and although I wasn't sure where we were headed at first, once we made the first turn onto that winding, tree-lined road, my heart beat a bit faster.

He had made a picnic of sandwiches, strawberries (my favorite fruit and a food he didn't like until we got together), and my favorite Jones Soda (Fufu Berry).  We ate and talked, and then we stood up, walked around the rock, talked some more...and then he got down on one knee.  I honestly can't remember exactly what either of us said, but by the end I was crying, looking at a gorgeous, sparkly ring on my finger and a basket he had comissioned for the occasion.

All these memories were stirred on Saturday as I walked around, soaking in the beauty of the lake in this town Jason, Connor, and I call home.

How far we have come since that day nearly 11 years ago, and how much more I pray we share in years to come.

I am thankful for a few relaxing moments during the hectic weekend to be reminded of the love story Jason and I share, and how important it is to keep it alive.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bloglovin' Info

Unfortunately, Google Friend Connect is no longer going to be available after March 1st, which for me has been the easiest way to keep up with my favorite blogs and bloggers.   :( 

Just today I decided I better find some other way to keep up with my favorite blogs.  That's when I checked out Bloglovin'.  It is extremely easy to sign up (Just type in your email and a password.) and then you can subscribe to your favorite blogs.

My blog is certainly not the most exciting, but if you'd like to keep up with our little family, I'd love it if you would click the link below (or the button on the right sidebar) and follow me on Bloglovin'.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge -- Week 3

Here are my photos from this week:

Day 15 -- Phone

Day 16 -- Something New (Carpe Diem Toms from my Valentine...perfect for when I teach poetry and we watch Dead Poets Society)

Day 17 -- Time 

Day 18 -- drink (My vice, Diet Coke, which I since decided to give up for Lent...praying I can do it.)

Day 19 -- Something I Hate to Do (ironing...especially Jason's tedious dress clothes)

Day 20 -- Handwriting (Jason revising student research papers)

Day 21 -- A Fave Photo of Me (Actually, I look quite terrible in this photo -- someone should have at least brushed my hair -- but this was one of the most defining, amazing, and scary moments in my entire life.  So glad it was captured on film.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shrimp and Bacon Stuffed Baby Potatoes

I found this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite 2012 Cookbook.  My friend Carrie-Nell and I were celebrating New Year's Eve together when we saw the recipe, and I knew immediately that with my love of shrimp (and carbs) I'd have to try it.

My only complaint with the final product is that since I used frozen shrimp (really our only option here in RC), the shrimp itself was still a bit flavorless, despite all the flavors in the rest of the dish.  Any advice on that issue would be greatly appreciated.  I also changed the wording of the recipe a bit, because it was confusing at times.

Besides that, it was a delicious meal that we'll definitely have again.

Here goes:

14 small new potatoes
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning (I actually Googled what seafood seasoning was and just mixed up my own batch with spices I already had.)
1 7-to-8-ounce package frozen peeled shrimp (thawed, drained, and chopped)
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cub shredded Gouda cheese
5 slices bacon (cooked, drained, and crumbled)
1/4 cub fresh chives (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
3. Scoop out potato pulp (potatoes have not been cooked), leaving 1/4 inch shells.  Toss the potato pulp.
4. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each potato to make it stand upright. (This really helped.)
5. Place potatoes, cut sides up, in a baking pan.
6. In a bowl combine mustard, oil, and 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning.  Brush insides of potato shells with this mixture.
7. Bake for 30 min.
8. While potatoes are cooking, make filling using shrimp, cream cheese, Gouda cheese, bacon, and the other teaspoon of seafood seasoning.
9. Spoon filling into shells.
10. Bake for 12-15 min., until filling is heated through and cheese is melted.
11. Garnish with chives.

shells, not yet cooked

mustard mixture

shrimp, cream cheese mixture

cooked shells, filled with shrimp mixture

finished product

The magazine called for this to be an appetizer, but it made a delicious meal, along with some veggies, for our little family.  Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge -- Week 2

Here are my photos for the second week of February:

Day 8 -- Sun

Day 9 -- Front Door

Day 10 -- self-portrait (with no makeup...scary)

Day 11 -- Makes me Happy (flowers from my sis)
Day 12 -- Inside my Closet

Day 13 -- Blue (our new small group Bible study book)

Day 14 -- Heart (valentine from my pal Candice)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To My Valentine

The first time I ever heard the poem "[i carry your heart with me (i carry it in]" by e.e. cummings, Jason and I were at a wedding in Florida.  I was just a few weeks pregnant (no one knew but us at the time), which looking back makes it even more memorable.

A friend of the bride got up and read this poem during the ceremony, and I was immediately in tears.  I think it is one of the sweetest, most heartfelt, and beautiful love poems I have ever read, and I'd like to share it with all of you this Valentine's Day.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
photo taken at my senior prom, edited by Candice Robertson
Happy Valentine's Day, Jason Scott.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Early VDay Date

Last Saturday, Jason and I enjoyed a rare all-day date.  Occasionally we get the chance to spare a couple of hours together over dinner, or while Connor is visiting his Mimi, Pops, or Aunt MB, we can sneak some time to catch up on our favorite shows or go to a movie.  Most usually, though, we need babysitters for things like cleaning house, working basketball games, or meetings at school, all of which have to be done, but do not involve any alone time for Jason and me.  It is indeed rare to have an entire day to spend together, especially a romantic day. 

A day at home would have been spent cleaning or doing other necessary chores, so Jason arranged for us to spend a day in the Nashville/Franklin area.

We began the morning at home with Connor.  He slept in (which, if you know our story, our child is an EARLY riser) until 7:30 and was in high spirits.  We ate breakfast and lounged, and Jason took Connor out to play in the miniscule snow we received Friday night.

By 11 we had dropped Connor off with Mimi and Pops, and we were off.

Our first stop was Puckett's, our favorite lunch spot in Franklin. We ended up sharing a table (b/c it was so crowded) with a couple from Washington (state).  They were so kind, and we talked about everything from kids to sports to marriage.  It was a nice treat to meet this sweet couple.

We then walked around downtown Franklin, window-shopped, and went to my favorite store there, Philanthropy (I love this store most because not only do they have adorable,unique wares, they tithe from their profits, and just overall seem to be a very giving business.  The employees are SO kind and the atmosphere is wonderful.)  Jason's mom had gotten me a gift card (which I had already spent half of online) and I was eager to spend the rest.  I settled on an adorable patchwork-style dress, which I can't wait to wear once warmer weather returns.  Thanks, Veronica for the gift card, and Jason for letting me shop on our date.  It was especially fun shopping with someone else's money.  :)

"the" gift card dress  :)

Jason really does know how to plan a fantastic date...he always makes each holiday/anniversary/date special, even if it is just a date at home with takeout.  I remind myself often to remember how blessed I am.

While in Franklin, we went ahead and bought dessert.  We both love cupcakes, so we stopped by Ivey Cake.  We much preferred our cupcakes to the dessert options at the restaurant, so we were glad to save a bit of money and still have a great dessert.

my cupcake -- called "I Do"

Our last stop in Franklin was at Ann Taylor LOFT, where I had to return something bought with a gift card (Thanks, Aunt MB!).  While there, I checked out the sale rack and scored a long-sleeved cream colored shirt ($9) and a belt ($7), and still have $37 left on my gift card for later.  :)

My $9 shirt (photo from
$7 Loft belt

We drove back into Nashville, walked around downtown a bit in the freezing weather, and then headed to Watermark, where Jason had made reservations for us.

I, ever the cheapskate, got cheap appetizers instead of an entree, but I have never been more glad I did. (Another cheapo tip: we both drank water.)  My food was amazing.  I had the scallop appetizer, which was served on a bed of shredded Granny Smith apples and some kind of white asparagus, and it was fruity and light and delicious. 

My other appetizer, which the waiter brought as my entree was a grit souffle with bacon, tomatoes, and goat cheese, and it was even better than I expected.  I must learn how to make a grit is imperative after I devoured every bite of that dish that I know how to make something at least similar myself.  I will be Googling recipes soon.

Jason had the tilefish, which he loved.

After dinner, we headed back home.  We were home by 10, and I curled up in bed while Jason headed downstairs to watch the UK game he had DVRd.  Back to our "regular" lives, but with memories of a fantastic day spent with only each other, with good food, and good deals.  Jason even opened my car door.  [Sigh.]

Thursday, February 9, 2012

On the Tracks

Our little family spent much of last Saturday in Glendale, a tiny town about two hours away, with Jason's family at a late lunch and some walking around town.

I managed to grab a few shots of my favorite boys and some of the surroundings.