Saturday, August 25, 2012

July 29, 2012

So, good news! I start my new job on Tuesday! I couldn’t be more excited to finally be contributing financially to my new family. I will be working in the newborn screening division at the state health department. We take blood samples from all babies born in Texas and screen their blood for 28 different disorders. Pretty cool. Saving babies. I dig it.

Anyway, I promised you all a wedding day post, so here it is! *A little side note, I realized in my wedding weekend post that I said that I was set to wake up at 6:30 am.. I was actually set to wake up at 5:30. Just didn’t want any confusion as you read on.* This is a long post as well. Just to warn you.

So, when we last left off, it was around 2:30 am and I had just fallen asleep thanks to Tylenol PM. At 5:30 am, my alarm went off as scheduled. I had actually planned to wake up and go get the world famous Round Rock donuts for my bridesmaids however, the night before I reassessed a little and realized that few people would actually eat them if I bought them. Also, when I woke up at 5:30 I knew that 3 hours of sleep would not be enough for me to be functional. After making this final decision, I reset my alarm for an hour later. I did finally wake up at 6:30.
Just to recap, at this point I had Ana, Megan and Greg (her husband), and my brother staying at our house. Dani and Aaron had decided to get a hotel for Saturday night. I went into the kitchen as quietly as I could to get breakfast since my brother was sleeping in the living room. Turns out this was completely unnecessary because my brother sleeps like a rock. Anyway, I realized that my stomach was way too excited for breakfast, so I just ate a banana and had some water. I went into my room and got dressed. At this point I heard the shower in the guest bathroom running which was a good sign. Someone other than me was conscious.

For the next half hour or so I pretty much just sat in my room. I started to put everything by the door that I would need. My dress and shoes were already at the hotel, so I mostly just needed my veil and headband. I also had remembered the night before while I was laying there not sleeping that Jason did not have the marriage license with him. I left a bag full of things for him (including the license, ring bearer pillow and a card) next to my unconscious brother to give to Jason (since Jason and his brother were going to swing by the house to get him later). Eventually I saw that Ana was up which was good. We had a hair appointment at 8 am. At 7:30, my parents dropped Haley off and we loaded up in my car to go to the hair appointment. I’m glad we had plenty of time to get there because I had no idea where this place was. Turns out it’s really hard to find a place to do your hair that early on a Sunday morning, so I had to go somewhere I’d never been to and never heard anything about. Anyway, even with three forms of GPS we still managed to get lost. Eventually I turned around and got off of the toll road. I was driving pretty much aimlessly on the feeder trying to find this place. I was freaking out because I was afraid we’d be late. I thought about calling to ask for directions but I had no idea where I was, so I wasn’t sure how much that would help. Finally, I hear Ana ask “Is that it?” The sign was hidden well, but I made the turn just in time. We pulled into the parking lot at 7:58 am. Pretty good timing. The hair place was only supposed to have two ladies doing our hair, which was another stress for me because I knew we’d be cutting it close on time. Thankfully, when we arrived we discovered that they had another lady who had been willing to come in, so we had one for each of us. I sat down in the chair and showed the lady exactly what I wanted (thanks to Pinterest I had a picture!) When the lady saw that I wanted a waterfall braid, she decided to swap me with another one of the stylists who was apparently an expert at these.

I kept a close eye on the clock the whole time. Megan texted me that she was on her way to the hotel which was a relief. She’d still been sleeping when I had left. By 9:15, the three of us had our hair done and Ana had even had her makeup done as well. We left. As we were walking to my car, Haley (thankfully!) realized I had left my veil, so she ran back to get it (see, that’s why she was my MOH!). Around 9:25, my brother texted me and asked when Jason was coming to get him. I had a mini heart attack because Jason and his brother were supposed to pick him up at 9. I called Jason and discovered that they were just leaving his parents’. Apparently his brother had a rough night, so it was a little hard for him to get moving. He assured me that they’d be ready in time. I went ahead and told him that Zach had a bag of things for him. *I later discovered that Jason did not read the card. For some reason he thought he wasn't supposed to, so he never read it until after the wedding. Sigh. Oh well.*

We pulled into the hotel parking lot shortly after 9:30 and headed straight for the dressing room. Danielle and Megan were already there. My mom came in with my dress and shoes. At this point my mind was racing about 300 miles per hour. Jennifer, one of our videographers, arrived shortly afterward and we chatted for a bit (we went to high school together, so lots of catching up!). I asked my mom where the flowers were because I wanted one of my ladies to go deliver the boutonnieres to the boys. She informed me that they had not arrived yet. Insert panic attack #2. The flowers should have been delivered 30 minutes prior. I called in Kristen, the wedding coordinator, and she set out to find the flowers while I called the florist. The florist assured me that the flowers had been delivered. By this point it was 10 am and I still needed my makeup done and to get dressed (I was supposed to be completely ready by 10:45). My mom made me sit down and started working on my makeup.

Finally, the flowers were located (they’d been at the front desk) and distributed. My makeup took about 30 minutes and by this point I was in a state of panic because I thought I’d be late. I sent Danielle to go check on the boys. They were all ready, of course. My mom left quickly to go get dressed which made me nervous, I needed her there! At this point my dad had come by to see me. Sweet sentiment, I know, but I wasn’t dressed yet! I quickly crowded into the bathroom with my 4 bridesmaids and got into the dress. The photographer had arrived and after I had squeezed into the dress she took some photos. Here goes panic attack #3. I realized I had not brought socks (which was important since I was wearing boots). Thankfully, Megan had her entire suitcase and loaned me a pair of neon green-zebra striped socks. It was 10:50 and not everyone was dressed. My dad and step dad were waiting in the room now with us. Finally Kristen came to get us to tell us it was time. Everyone had finished getting ready just in the nick of time. I distributed bouquets and we were on our way to the ballroom.
This literally felt like the longest walk of my entire life. My bridesmaids were holding up my train and sweet little Karys, our flower girl, was holding my hand. Once we got to the backdoor of the ballroom, I had to wait on the other side of the wall with the dads. Turns out the doors we all entered through were broken in some way and couldn’t be closed. I was so nervous and excited. My mind and heart were racing. I’d been planning this wedding for 7 months. I couldn’t wait to marry Jason.

Kristen waved us over. We started walking. Me in the middle of my 2 dads. We got to the door and I looked up from my shoes and saw Jason. I apologize to everyone who was there that day, but I didn’t see any of you while I was walking up the aisle. I didn’t even see the wedding party. I only saw Jason. I didn’t care that my train was dragging or that my poor dads had to watch where they were walking to not step on my dress. I wanted to run up the aisle to that stage. Finally I made it there. I hugged my dads and Jason took my hand to help me up the stairs. I was ready. *As an aside, I actually stepped on my dress and this point and tripped. Did you notice? Jason steadied me and mouthed “are you okay?”* Of course I was.

Aaron, our officiant, started talking. I have known Aaron since I was in middle school and he’s engaged to Danielle, so it was pretty special to me to have him be the one to marry us. He and I had previously written the script for what he was going to say, so I pretty much knew how this would go. However, Aaron decided to throw in some personal touches. This was cry #2 (remember the first had come the night before while I was speaking to everyone at our rehearsal dinner).  I managed to calm down while he went through the rest of the script. Then I cried again (#3) while we were repeating our vows and exchanging rings. I was trying really hard to project my voice. Finally, the kiss! We’d kissed a million times before, but this one felt special somehow.

When I turned around after the kiss, I finally saw everyone. I was so overjoyed that so many people had come to help us celebrate. My sister handed me my bouquet, and we walked back out the door as husband and wife. I was SO happy.

We waited outside the back door for what seemed like forever. In reality I think it was about 10-15 minutes. We hugged and chatted with everyone in the wedding party, as well as our parents and grandparents. Then we were finally ushered back in for pictures. We took a million. You know how this goes. I really wish I had had an opportunity to go to the cocktail hour for even a little bit, but with the set up and pictures we were already running behind schedule.

I ran to the bathroom for a quick break (try peeing in a wedding dress, I dare you!) and to bussle my dress. Afterward I had a quick chat with the DJ on how I wanted everyone introduced and order for all of the announcements. We went back out the back door and waited with the wedding party for what also seemed like forever. We were finally allowed to walk back around to the side doors and everyone walked in. I was excited when Jason and I finally walked through the door. Everyone looked so happy which made me happy.

  Our first dance was a little awkward, I won’t lie. Neither of us can dance to save our lives. We were mostly talking the whole time trying to make each other laugh. At one point I think I said “when will this song end?!?” I hope the videographers didn’t pick that one up! Once our dance ended I still had two more to go. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dads, but I was getting dizzy. It was nice to chat with each of them though. Finally my dances were over and Jason came back on the floor to dance with his mom. It took me a solid 2 minutes to sit down because my dress was so insanely huge. When I sat down, I saw that both Jason and his mom were crying which made me cry yet again (#4!).

Finally it was food time! I was really excited about our food. Because my dress was so tight though, I didn’t actually get to eat as much as I had wanted. I had to stop because I literally felt like I had no more room. Jason’s brother gave a toast and then my sister gave a very special and heartfelt toast. I was so proud that I didn’t cry while she was talking! Then my mom came up. Oh my gosh. I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this you were there and you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, I’m sorry but if I go back too much into her toast I’ll cry again. It was beautiful and special and powerful. I was crying so hard (#5) that my entire body felt like it was convulsing. So many people have told me that they were crying too. Glad I wasn’t alone!
After the toasts, the music started and we started making our rounds to greet everyone. We made it through one table before the photographers and videographers called us out into the lobby for more photos. If you’re wondering why we disappeared for 20 good minutes during the reception, this was why. As we were coming back in, my grandparents were leaving so we shared a good-bye with them. Finally we went back inside and started greeting people again. We did some dancing in between greetings. After we had gone to all of the tables, we took advantage of the photobooth for a bit before more dancing ensued.

At 3:30 it was time to cut the cake. Jason and I had both agreed that we would just feed each other bites. However, after the first bite, his uncles and cousins were all shouting “shove it in his face!” so I obliged. He was sweet enough to return the favor. We sat down and ate our amazing cake. We did more dancing, threw the bouquet and the garter and did the money dance. It was at this point that I realized that the party was almost over and got a little sad. By 4:30 the staff were basically instructing us that it was time to get everyone out. We left in a sea of bubbles.
We went back to our changing rooms so that Jason could drop off his tux and I could get my things. We then retired to the suite we had reserved for us for a few hours. Later, we went back to our house to drop off my car and dress. Magical little elves had also dropped off our wedding gifts, so we went ahead and opened those. Afterward we walked over to Jason’s parents  for leftover BBQ and to watch the Olympics. Eventually his uncles took us back to the Marriott for the night.

Coming up next.. the honeymoon! Stay tuned.

Monday, August 20, 2012

the in-between

Today I was going back through some of my previous posts and realized that I skipped a lot of things that happened between my post in June and the wedding weekend post that I recently did. Oops. I will still do a wedding post later on, but I'll use this opportunity to catch you up on the happenings of the Michaels between early June and now. 

We spent the last few weeks of June packing. I was so nervous that something was going to affect the closing date on the house. We had a little bit of leeway, our apartment lease wasn't up  until July 14, but we REALLY wanted to be in our house. I can't tell you how difficult it was to go visit our house knowing that we had to leave it to go back to the apartment. 

About 3 days before we were set to close, Jason called me from work. Now, throughout this entire summer (and since December really) I have been applying/searching for a job. Ever since my job at school ended, Jason has been paying for everything. It makes me feel terrible and like a huge burden, and I stressed (well, still stress) a lot about money and finances. On this particular day that Jason called me I had just received a few rejection emails from employers and was feeling particularly down. He sounded really upbeat which was unusual because usually when he's at work he sounds stressed, or at very least, neutral. He told me that he had gotten a promotion that came with a pay raise. I immediately started to cry uncontrollably, which had to really confuse Jason because he'd just given me this amazing news. But I was crying because I was happy, because this promotion had come at a time when we could really use the extra money. I also knew that Jason had been working really hard and really and truly deserved this and was glad that someone was finally recognizing his efforts. :-)

We closed on the house as scheduled on June 28 (a Thursday). We had a little bit of drama while we were at the title company because they were trying to rush us in reading our contract. Our appointment had been scheduled for 4pm, but due to another family in front of us being delayed, we were pushed back to 5 pm. As we were reading every page (and yes, we did) I could tell that the woman signing everything for the company was uncomfortable. She kept saying "oh, you don't need to read that, it just says ....blah". We tried to be polite and explained that we were sorry, but that we'd be reading every page. Eventually she left the room and brought in her supervisor who told us that we were welcome to take home all of the paperwork to read and that we could come back tomorrow to turn it in and get all of their necessary signatures. I looked at Jason and could tell that he was anxious. I also knew that they were just trying to get us out of the office because it was closely approaching 6 pm and they probably all wanted to get home. Instead of leaving, I said, "No, we are staying right here until we've read and signed everything. We are getting our keys tonight and not tomorrow. I apologize that it's so late, but you pushed back our appointment one hour, so this really isn't our fault." I could tell that both women were shocked at what I'd said. After again trying to convince us to leave, they eventually gave up and let us stay. I'm really glad I stuck with my gut, because we caught 3 mistakes in the contract, one of which being a mistake in the mortgage payment. 
For anyone buying a home in the near future, don't let anyone pressure you into not reading everything. You have the right to read every word. And once you sign, that's it, so don't let anything go. 
Anyway, we got our keys and moved in that weekend. We love our new home. It's a lot more work, but we don't care. We love it. 

We spent the next few weeks at Home Depot. HA! But seriously, we did a lot of yard work and a lot of "home improvement". Thank goodness for wedding money. We had everything unpacked fairly quickly, but we are still getting everything right where we want it. All we had left to do was wait until the wedding. Which of course, we did. 

Tune in next time for the wedding!


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Wedding Weekend

Okay, so this will probably one of my last posts. I will also write one about the wedding itself and the honeymoon, but didn't want to overload you all at once

Friday, July 27, 2012
By this point, most of our family and friends were already in town, or planning to get in that day. I woke up to a fairly full house. Ana was here and Megan and Greg had come in the night before. Jason got up at his normal time and gone to work as usual. I got up with Jason and took the dogs to the boarders at about 8:30 am. After that, I stopped by my in-laws' house to drop off the dogs' kennels and also to say hello to all of the family that had arrived. Then I went to Men's Warehouse to pick up tuxes. I actually ended up going back to Jason's parents place to drop off one of the tuxes. Eventually, I went back home to find the rest of the lazy bums (ha!) had gotten up as well. We had some breakfast and everyone took their showers. I went to Men's Warehouse (again!) to get another tux that wasn't yet ready the first time I went. By one, Jason was home from work (he worked a half day) and my parents and sister had arrived from Houston. My parents stayed for a bit before leaving to go meet up with my aunt and grandparents at the Marriott. Ana, Megan, Haley and I loaded up in my car and drove to Inner Diva Studios in North Austin while Jason walked over to his parents house to meet up with his family. 
The pole dancing class was a totally new experience for all of us. It's so weird "participating" in this class while watching yourself in the mirror. Needless to say, we had fun despite the awkwardness! We were all sore afterward. We drove back to the house and got dressed and did our makeup for dinner. Megan drove. We stopped by the in-laws house to pick up Jason's cousin's wife, Kalyn and made our way to Buca. Haley decked me out in a crown/vail combo and a "bachlorette" sash. We were eventually met by more of my lady friends: Sandra, Michelle, Diana and Danielle (bridesmaid #4). We had a wonderful dinner chatting and catching up and then loaded back into several different cars headed for the house. Everyone arrived at different times, and we were later joined by Samantha (Jason's brother's gf). We had drinks, music and fun. ;-) Everyone left around 1:30 am and I went to bed. I'm not sure exactly when, but Jason was home within the hour from his bachelor party. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012
I managed to sleep in until about 9 am. Jason and I got up around the same time and managed to have some time to chat before the rest of our house woke up (which now included Dani and her fiance/our officiant, Aaron). Everyone took showers and had breakfast. Dani, Megan, Ana and I got in my car and headed for my bridal shower at about 12:30. Jason had again gone over to his parent's house to see his family. At my shower, I got to catch up with lots of family and friends that I hadn't seen in a while and meet some (from Jason's side) that I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting before. We had sandwiches, fruit, punch and cupcakes. There were two games. I was overwhelmed by the amount of presents I received! It's still amazing to me how many incredible women I am surrounded by in my life! People started filing out around 3 pm. I hung around and (tried) to help clean up but mostly I was just chatting with people some more. My lovely bridesmaids loaded up all of my gifts in my car and we drove back to my house. We had about an hour or so to get ready before the rehearsal.  I was already dressed and had my hair done, so I mostly just touched up my make up. 
Jason and I drove to the rehearsal in my car with our wedding party gifts and a few of the tuxes that we still needed to distribute to groomsmen. We arrived at the Marriott at about 10 till 6 and met up with our family and friends. My brother arrived just in time. 
We completed 2 run throughs of our ceremony and found out where our "getting ready" rooms were. I was starting to get excited jitters at this point. Jason and I loaded in my car with my brother and drove to Salt Lick where we met up with the bridal party and immediate family. We had an entire room reserved at 7, however there were still several people lingering at the tables. Finally, by 7:45, everyone had a seat and we started eating (thankfully!). There were probably 60 people there and I loved being surrounded by so many people that were so important to us. We ate and distributed our party gifts. Jason's dad gave a nice little speech and then I stood up and said a few words. This was cry #1 for me. 
By 9 pm, everyone had eaten their fill and were headed to the parking lot. Jason and I said our "good byes", as we wouldn't see each other again until I walked down the aisle the next morning. I had several family members that wanted to see our house, so I drove lading a caravan to our house. Jason went to his folks' for the night. My parents, grandparents, step siblings, aunt, uncle and cousins, dad and his clan and my sister drove to our house to see the house. It was full and bustling! By 11:30pm, everyone had left and I took a shower. I set my brother up on the air mattress in the living room and tried to get to sleep. No such luck. By 1:30am, I was frantic because I knew I needed to sleep. I took a Tylenol PM because I was still sore from pole dancing and knew it would help me sleep. The last time I glanced at the clock it was 2:30 am, so I fell asleep sometime after that. I was set to wake up at 6:30 am for the wedding.

Coming up next: the wedding day!
Until next time!

-Whitney Michael! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Long Awaited...

Wow, I've been horrible about not updating this thing. My apologies. But hey, it's not like anyone was banging on the door demanding I make another post, so I'll try not to feel so badly. 

A lot has happened since my last post, but then again, not so much.

The wedding is getting so close! We've sent out invitations and now we're just hanging out waiting for RSVPs. I get excited if I open our mailbox and see one! I'm really excited to see all of our family and friends in one place at the same time. 
Please check out our wedding website for all of the details:

Only 41 days to go!

The biggest and most exciting thing happening in our lives is our new home! After weeks of searching and a lot of heartache we finally found a home that was perfect for us. I'm pretty sure you've seen the pictures on Facebook. If you haven't, please go look because our house is completely adorable.
I encourage you all to come visit so I can show it off :-)
We close on June 28th (assuming everything goes according to plan) and should be able to move in that following weekend. 

That's really about it. I still haven't found a job but am VERY actively looking. If you know of anything in the Austin area throw a girl a bone.

Life is good. 



Monday, May 21, 2012

I..I love you like a love song, baby

Okay, so, excuse the lame title for this blog. I am recently on a "pop" kick when it comes to music and that song by Selena Gomez makes me want to stand up from this chair at work and dance. Please don't judge me. Another long post this time. Again, feel free to skip the food portion if that's not your cup of tea. In the wedding updates I include the abridged story of how Jason and I met. Read on!

Life Updates:
I was hoping to save this post for when we had been successful in our house quest. Well, we've now been rejected for three houses we wanted, and we've seen many more. Wait, I thought this was a buyers marker? I am trying to stay positive though. Our lovely realtor (aka Jason's mom) sends us new houses to look at pretty much daily. And she takes us out for "client dinners". Gotta love that. Yesterday we went to see 4 houses. It's actually kind of an exhausting process. We liked 3 of the 4 houses and after much discussion last night decided to put an offer out on one of them. Now, we wait to see how the owners react to our (lower than they'd like) offer. 
I think part of the problem is that I'm really particular. Call me crazy, but I think it's silly to spend a lot of money on something that doesn't meet my expectations. I will keep you all posted, naturally, as to our progress in this endeavor. 
No, I still haven't found a job. 

Food updates:
Okay, so I know I promised to post recipes from the cookbook my mom gave me, but it's at home, and I'm at work and not clever enough to remember those recipes by memory. So, I guess it's more Pinterest recipes this time. 

Ham, Potato and Broccoli Casserole


  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen French fries
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed ham
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cover bottom of dish with layer of French fries. Add a layer of broccoli, then sprinkle ham evenly over broccoli. In a small bowl mix together soup, milk and mayonnaise. Pour mixture evenly over ingredients in baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Okay, Jason LOVED this. I made it last week and he actually asked me to make it again this week. True to my quest to keep our diets ever changing, I said maybe next week instead :-) This is a great idea for nights when you don't really feel like cooking. It's super simple and has all of your food groups in one.  I used tater tots instead of fries and I think it was a good idea. If you do use fries, use chunkier ones, like waffle fries or crinkle cut. It will offer a better "coating" for the bottom layer. I also used low-fat mayo, milk and cream of mushroom. 40 minutes might be a bit much.. I did 30 instead. 

Chili's Skillet Queso
6-ounce box Velveeta Cheese *1 C. milk

2 teaspoons paprika *½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper

15-ounce can Hormel Chili (No Beans) * 4 tsp. chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice *½ tsp. ground cumin

Cut the Velveeta into cubes. Combine the cheese with the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until cheese melts.
I may or may not have mentioned this last time, but I love restaurant copy-cat recipes, and this is a pretty dang good one. It's not even CLOSE to being healthy, but it does taste like the real deal. I made this for us to snack on during the Superbowl. 

Cinnamon Roll Cake
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.
Well, you guessed it, this cake was amazing. I would highly recommend it if you like cinnamon rolls. The leftovers are better if you warm them up :-) Also, make sure you make the cake and topping portions in a separate bowl and swirl together after you've pored the cake batter into the pan. Yum, yum!

Wedding updates:
We ordered the invitations on Saturday, so everything is officially ordered. We still have payments to make, but everything is in order for July. 
69 days to go!
Okay, so a good portion of you who read this are probably aware of the fact that Jason and I met online. For those of you who are not, surprise! Now, trust me, I'm aware of how this sounds. I'm also aware of the look that people give me when I tell them that. This is part of the reason why I stopped telling people. Never mind that 1 in 4 marriages now begin online or that the divorce rate for couples who met online is much lower. But, if you're up for sticking with me here, read on to see WHY I chose to go this particular route. 
So, I was listening to my iPod on the bus last week on the way home from work when the song "Amazed" by Lonestar came on shuffle. I'm pretty sure you know the song. Anyway, this song took me back to 6th grade when I was completely head-over-heels obsessed with a guy who will remain nameless. I spend all of 6th grade pining for him, listening to "Amazed" and pretending that he wanted to sing that song to me when in reality he didn't like me at all. Everyone knew I liked him, including him. Now, the school year ended, summer came around, and I eventually moved on. I actually ended up being fairly good friends with this guy through high school. You may ask why I started the "how I met Jason" tale with this embarrassing tale of a 12 year old girl. This tale of adolescent woe is how the "boy crazy" phase of my life started. From 7th grade until my sophomore year in college, I was never single for more than a few months at a time. Many of those "relationships" were long term, so don't judge me TOO harshly.  Anyway, I spend my sophomore year of college single, which was nice, but come junior year I was back on the bandwagon. I had one fairly quick unsuccessful relationship, followed by another. Now, in this second, Whitney's boy crazy attitude ended and her "I-want-a-long-term-future-seeking-commitment" attitude began. That second relationship which began my junior year of college may have only lasted a short while, but the feelings I had for him remained for nearly 2 years. Nonreciprocating, I might add. Now, anyone else who has been in this position knows exactly how it feels; if you don't, let me just tell you it's pretty much the most emotionally draining thing that's ever happened to me. 
So, let's fast forward to the summer after I graduated from college. One day, I was in my apartment reading in bed when I had what can only be described as an epiphany. I'm talking like an apple-on-Newton's-head kind of moment. I realized this guy didn't like me the way I liked him. He didn't want a long term relationship. He wasn't "the one". I felt so stupid for all of the time I'd wasted, not just with that relationship, but with basically every guy I'd ever been with. For the record, I mean no disrespect to any of those guys, I just realized they weren't for me. In that moment, I moved on, and vowed to never relapse. I decided to make the new motto for my life "tabula rasa" or "clean slate" for those of you who've never taken Latin. Okay, so, clean slate. I erased all of the "boy craziness", next chapter. 
So, after a few months of enjoying singlehood, I realized that I still wanted that long term commitment thing. At the time, I had just started my master's program and was disappointed to discover that 95% of my classmates were female. Of the males that were present, most were older and already married or otherwise committed. I was also working at an all-woman's gym. Between my female dominated school and work, I had "no time" for dating. So, I took the advice of one of my most beloved friends and joined OkCupid, a free dating site. I was completely honest on my profile. I said I was a nerd and that I was seeking a committed relationship. I filled out questionnaires about religion, marriage, raising kids, movies, music, and everything in between. Finally, I launched my page. I started getting messages fairly soon after. I erased the ones that only said "hello" or something and stuck with those that actually asked me questions or generally seemed interested. The second fellow who messaged me went by the screenname "jmichael08" and his initial message was very pleasant and inquisitive. After checking out his page and reading all about him, I decided he sounded like a good fit (I mean we had like 85% compatibility according to our questionnaires) and so I replied. We started messaging back and forth and each time, the conversation remained stimulating. I found out what he did for work and that he had a dog (I love those puppies!). After a few weeks of messaging he asked me if I wanted to meet. Now, he picked the worst time in the world to ask me because I was smack in the middle of my first round of graduate midterms.. a 2 week journey into a nightmare for me because I was determined to keep a 4.0 (which, by the way, I did). When I explained this to him, he was very understanding and said "maybe some other time then :-)". Now, for the next 2 weeks or so I wasn't really online much. Once my finals ended, I logged back on to OkCupid. No messages from jmichael08. Other messages from no one interesting. Could he possibly still want to meet? I took the plunge and messaged him again. "Hey, my midterms are over and I survived! Any chance you still want to meet up? I'm sorry for being AWOL for so long!"
That, my friends, was the smartest single decision I've ever made. 
He responded quickly and we decided to meet up later in the week at SpiderHouse, a local (very busy, hey, I didn't know this guy from Adam) coffeehouse. The night went stupendously; we ended up staying and talking until they kicked us out. We made plans to meet up the very next night. The rest, as they say, is history. :-)

Wow, that was long. 
Did you really just read that?


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Good morning from a gloomy and rain soaked Austin, Texas!

This post may be a little longer than most because I'm going to include some recipes that I've been trying lately! If you aren't interested in reading about food, just skip over that part. 

Wedding updates:
Last week we ordered the flowers and I was finally able to pick up my dress after all of the alterations were made. We're hoping to order the invitations some time in the next week. My wedding band finally came in yesterday and I'm super excited to wear both of my rings together! 
This past weekend, Jason and I traveled to Ohio for his cousin Matthew's wedding. I got to meet (or see again) most of the members of his dad's side of the family. I didn't sleep a wink, but what an awesome bunch of people! I'm very fortunate that I was raised in such a wonderful family; and now my great fortune continues as join another one. Two great families? I must have hit the jackpot or something. Going to a wedding made me even more anxious for my own. I'm trying not to wish the time away because I know that it will be over really fast, but I just can't wait for it to be here! 
81 days :-)

Life updates:
Okay, so good news and bad news. The bad news is we did not get the house that we bid on. The good news? We found an even better one and bid on it. It's difficult for me looking at these HUD houses because there's no guarantee that we'll get it; and even if we do, we have to play the waiting game while bidding is underway. I'm trying not to get too excited, but it's hard not to. I've always wanted my own home, and I can see the light at the end of the apartment living tunnel. 
I graduated last week. We had a nice little ceremony and then my family took me out to dinner. While I apply for jobs pretty much every day, I still have had no luck in that department. I only have one remaining paycheck at my current job. Yikes! Despite this, I'm still trying to stay positive and have hope that this whole job thing will work out eventually.

Food updates:
Okay, so now that I'm done with school I obviously need a new section. Since discovering Pinterest, I've been kind of obsessed with finding new recipes to expand my cook book. When I first started dating Jason, I realized that I needed to be doing more cooking. I survived living on my own in college and early grad school on primarily sandwiches, salads and boxed pasta. While those things can sustain me, it's probably not a great thing to have every night, especially with two people. And it wasn't just me; Jason ate like a bachelor. He cooks a lot now too; we like to trade off. My mom was kind enough last year to give me a cook book with some of my favorite recipes from childhood (I'll talk more about this next time), but I noticed that even making these things, Jason and I had a two week rotation with food. It was getting boring. I was determined to incorporate some new things into our diets, thus my Pinterest quest. 
Feel free to check out my board, but here are some of the things we've tried so far that we've really enjoyed:

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken
4 chicken breasts cut in thirds (12 pieces)
Bacon slices
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
chili powder
brown sugar

Cut each breast into 3 pieces, season all the chicken with the spices, then wrap a bacon slice around each piece, roll in brown sugar and place into an oven proof dish....make sure you have some olive oil in the dish too, like 2 or 3 tablespoons is fine. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is nice and brown and crispy.  Delicious served with mashed potatoes with some of the gravy from the chicken drizzled on top.

 This is one of our new favorites. It's delicious and easy to make.
Some changes and important points we've discovered: we use turkey bacon. It doesn't dry out as fast, it's healthier and actually tastes better (at least we think so). Make sure to completely coat both sides of the chicken pieces with the spices, and try to cover the bacon-wrapped chicken as completely as possible with the brown sugar. I also skip the oil step and just use cooking spray. While we haven't tried it, you can also make this on the grill. 

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits 
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (I just used 2 forks). Don't worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes in preheated oven until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.

Oh my gosh these are delicious. The only thing I'd change is that I would recommend using more cheese; sharp cheddar is the best and has the most flavor. Also, be careful with the baking time, it can vary from oven to oven and also based on preferences. I'd start with 10 minutes and go from there. 

Black Magic Cake


1 3/4 call purpose flour
2 csugar
3/4 ccocoa powder
2 tspbaking soda
1 tspbaking powder
1 tspsalt
1 cstrong black coffee, cooled
1 cbuttermilk
1/2 cvegetable oil
1 tspreal vanilla extract
1/2 cmargarine, softened
2 ozmelted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
3 cpowdered sugar
3 Tbspmilk
2 tspreal vanilla extract


 Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
 Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
 Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.
 Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
 Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer. Spread frosting on cooled cakes.
I made this gem of a cake for Jason's birthday. If you don't like chocolate, it's definitely not for you. It's a little time consuming to make, but well worth it in the end. I did not layer the cake, I chose the 9x13 option, so I'm not sure how laying it makes a difference. Jason LOVED this cake, but it was really rich so I haven't made it again (yet). I will probably just save it for special occasions. You cannot even taste the coffee. I think it's more there to darken the color of the cake and enhance the chocolate flavor. Make sure the cocoa powder you use is semi-sweet. Have milk handy when you eat this!

We've tried more recipes, but I will save them for later. Plus you're probably bored by now. Next time I will post some recipes that I had in my original cookbook. 

Until next time!