Friday, February 19, 2010

So Small

One of my all time favorite singers is Carrie Underwood. I just think she is SO talented and SO beautiful! With everything that has been going on in my life, this song keeps me in check when I'm feeling low. Music has always been a source of strength to me, and this song makes me cry almost every time I listen to it. (That's when you know it's a good song) Watch this music video (not my favorite, but it's still pretty good...) and read along with the lyrics I've posted and think about the areas in your life you could let slide because in the long run it really doesn't matter. My favorite part is where I've bolded the text. I think about that a lot when I'm frustrated with "just being a mom" or the place I'm at in my life and it makes me realize that I can't ever get these days back so I need to cherish them. The chorus also makes me realize that my happiness is in my own hands, it's up to me to find it. I'm trying to have a better attitude and make myself a better person so that I can be happier from day to day, because I really don't have anything to not be happy about. I am so blessed. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.

What you got if you ain't got love
The kind that you just wanna give away
It's OK to open up
Go ahead and let the light shine through
I know it's hard on a rainy day
You wanna shut the world out and just be left alone
But don't run out on your faith

Cuz sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand
And what you've been out there searchin' for forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else... seem so small

It's so easy to get lost inside
A problem that seems so big at the time
It's like a river that's so wide
It swallows you whole
While you're sittin' 'round thinkin' 'bout what you can't change
And worryin' about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, movin' so fast
You better make it count cuz you can't get it back

Cuz sometimes that mountain you've been climbin' is just a grain of sand
What you've been out there searchin' for forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else... seem so small

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thai Food

On Monday, Nate and I went out to lunch with some of my oldest friends, Kristin Sanders and Michele Johnson (formerly Sorensen), their husbands, and their dad and his wife. We went to Benja's Thai and Sushi because Nate and I LOVE Thai food. Nate went on his mission to Thailand and since we've been together I've loved trying to cook authentic Thai food. Here are a couple of recipes that I love, you should try them out and see how you like them!

Spicy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry (I stole this from my sis-in-law, Heidi's, blog. Nate said its the most authentic Thai dish I've made yet)

1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. corn starch
2 T. vegetable oil, divided
1 1/4 lb. boneless beef, top sirloin steak, cut into strips
3 C. broccoli florets
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium red pepper, cut into this strips
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 t. peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (more for an increase in the spice)
1/2 c. beef broth
Jasmine Rice*

Whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 oil. Add beef, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to marinate. (I ended up leaving it for the next day, so you can leave it for longer)

Heat 1 t. of remaining oil in skillet over med-high heat until hot. Add HALF each of beef, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, to skillet. Stir fry until surface of meat is no longer pink. Remove from skillet and repeat. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Heat remaining 1 t. oil until hot. Add broccoli, onion, and red pepper. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes until veggies are crisp and tender. Return beef to skillet; add broth. Bring to a boil one minute, stirring gently, until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve with Jasmine Rice.
(I just used frozen broccoli and used red and green peppers. It can get pretty spicy, but it is SO delicious!!)

*Coconut Rice (Recipe given to me by a friend from Rexburg, Krystal Hinkle. The sweetness of the rice evens out the spiciness of the stir fry. Thats why I love Thai food, there are so many flavors!!)

2 c. Jasmine Rice (don't try using any other kind of rice, it just won't work)
1 can coconut milk
A little more than 2 c. water
3/4 c. sugar

I use a rice cooker, but I'm sure you can do it on the stove. Just use the directions on the rice package. Since rice is a 1:2 ratio of rice and liquid, and one can of coconut milk is typically just less than 2 cups, add enough water to make it two cups, then add two MORE cups of water, so four cups of liquid total. Add the sugar. Press cook and let it do its thing. SO delicious! I could eat it every day and not get sick of it.

Delicious Coconut Sauce (my own creation, thank you very much, but it was inspired by the mangoes and sticky rice at the Thai restaurant)

1/2 can cream of coconut (The only place I've ever been able to find this stuff is at Harmon's, so sorry Rexburgians. Be on the look out though! It comes pre-sweetened so people can use it in Pina-Coladas) it is thicker than regular coconut milk, even the cream that comes in a can of the milk. You can add sugar to coconut milk, it just won't have the right consistency or flavor. Just play around if you want, but trust me, this cream of coconut works the BEST

1 cup of unsweetened whipping cream, whipped

Fold together for a delicious topping for the coconut rice or even to just put on top of strawberries. You'll hate me after you make this cuz it is SO scrumptious but SO bad for you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Can't catch a break...

Want to hear a ridiculous story? Yesterday we went out to lunch with some friends at the Thai restaurant here in town, a place Nate has applied to and followed up on. Well the owner of the establishment came out to bring us our food and Nate started to chat with her in Thai, and she remembered him. She asked him if he still wanted the job, he said yes, and she told him to stay for an interview before we left. She basically grabbed him as we were walking out the door, he didn't even have time to say goodbye to our friends. Basically, he got the job. As host. Not the greatest job, but never the less, a job. So he went in yesterday for about three hours. We were thinking, "Finally! An answer to our fasting and prayers!" Well... we got a call today that she decided "she wasn't hiring." Nate asked if he had done anything wrong. They said no, they just don't need the help. Great, we're back at square one. No job, on the search.
I can't believe these companies we've been dealing with!! The first one, telling him he has a job and we'll call in a few days, then after a month and a half, nothing. Sorry, oh, but here is a referral. Great, thanks a heap. The second one, here is a job, a crappy one, but still a job. Oh, never mind. We actually only needed help for the busy President's Day rush (they never said that but I'm assuming...). Peace out.
I am SO SICK of dealing with unprofessional people! I almost wish companies like this didn't make it. Another thing that makes me mad is the first company, the accounting job, the guy Nate was dealing with doesn't even have an accounting degree, his daddy owns the company so that's how he got the job... The Thai woman met her American husband while he was on his mission, came over here and thought, "Why not open a restaurant?" No education (clearly not in business), probably couldn't even speak english. Ridiculous.
Nate has worked unbelievably hard to get the education he has. I thought that was supposed to help him. I am so frustrated right now I cannot even describe it to you.

(I know this whole education thing is the right thing to do, and some day it will pay off big time, this is just hard right now. And I'm sorry if I'm overly harsh and rude, but a blog is a great way to express your feelings, and that is what I've done.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New York thoughts...

I never posted pictures of our apartments. This is our first one. There were so many good memories the few months we were here.
*This may be long...*

So, as most of you may know, we lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan this time last year, and we're planning on moving there after grad school next August. I had mixed feelings about it, but in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I'm 2/3 pro our experience. We lived right down the street from one of my best friends and her husband (who also worked at PwC), the young mothers in our ward had playgroup almost every week, and the delivery services were great (laundry, groceries, and restaurant). Looking back though, I loved bundling Rachael up, zipping her into her "stroller bag" and just wandering for hours. I didn't take the subway too much, but there were some days I would walk a LOT! We lived on 88th street, and there was one day I walked to 63rd, plus a few avenues. I think back on my experience and think how COOL it was that I was walking down 5th avenue, or through Central Park, or it only took me 20 minutes to get to Times Square. Some people would do anything for that experience. I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I could handle it again. Last year was easy-ish compared to how it would have been this year with Rachael all over the place. Then I think about going back to live next August with her and quite possibly another baby. And we'll be there long enough that we'll have one maybe two more kids. That is a LOT of kids for NYC. A doorman and an elevator would be a MUST. I would just need to wrap my mind around the different lifestyle. We wouldn't be buying, we'd be renting (to buy a 2-3 bedroom apartment, you're looking at a couple million dollar morgtage) for those 4-5 years. Then I think about the schools. Private is too expensive, but I only hear negative about public. Home school? I'm not smart enough for that (even kindergarten...). What about safety? Living on the UES, I only felt scared once (long story, but we were in our apartment so we were actually fairly safe) but the UES is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire country. What about my desire for a house? To decorate? To have a yard to let my kids play in? To have a salon? Am I just being selfish? Should I just suck it up for a few years? Or should we just go to New Jersey? Living in NYC is a once in a lifetime experience. Just on my mind...

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I found this idea on my friend, Sam's, idea blog (which is a fantastic idea, and I'll be needing to start one of those...) but I literally am obsessed with this! I've been wanting to get Rachael a play kitchen but I don't want to get a super cheesy, over-priced plastic one that takes 40 hours of assembly. I want one with character, but one that I don't have to pay $400 for at Pottery Barn (they have some pretty cute ones...). I really am going to do this this summer so if anyone knows where I can get an entertainment center like this for cheap PLEASE let me know!! I'm thinking 2nd birthday party present. Man, I wish I was as creative as some people...

Soooooo cute!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


That word describes the last four weeks of our lives. We are all going crazy not having anything to do. Nate is chomping at the bit with not having to go to work or school every day. This guy grew up working every day of his life (one of his best qualities is his work ethic) and he is so bored. As is Rachael. As am I. Its been tough getting into a routine because life is so different than it has ever been. Don't get me wrong, its really nice having Nate around every day to help with Rachael, but I feel like I can't get into a routine with playtime and other things because it is going to end. Its also tough to get out and do anything because the budget is tight. Really tight. We try to go to the park with her or just take her in the backyard to run around, but I'm losing motivation. I'm getting into a rut and I hate it, but I don't know what I can do about it. I know, I know, change my attitude, but that is easier said than done. We're at another one of those crossroads that I HATE. In between two places. I wish it could just be May so we can move to Cedar City, get all of our stuff back, and move on with life. If you know of anyone who is hiring, please let us know, or else I'm going to have to find a job in a salon. I would love/hate that.