Friday, February 22, 2013

Quinoa Burgers, Cookies, and Snow

 I have a confession: I am a weather nerd.

There. I said it. I feel much better.

When big storms, winter or severe, are in the forecast and headed our way, you better believe I check, the news, and the radar, about 1,023,895 times before the storm actually arrives. I'm only slightly obsessive about this.

I have realized, through the years of my weather addiction, that winter storms are incredibly difficult to predict and prepare for. For example, earlier this winter they forecast a terrible ice storm and prepped all the roads with salt and brine. When we woke up, not a drop or flurry had fallen. None, nada, zip. A couple weeks after that, they forecast a very slight chance of maybe a flurry during the night. We woke up to 3-4 inches of snow on the ground.

So, when they started forecasting the storm that came yesterday, I didn't take it very seriously. I actually laughed out loud when I saw that schools had canceled class for the 7:00 pm the night before. Since I had been following the weather, I knew the timeline and thought the schools were ridiculous. Especially when my friends in Kansas City were in the heart of the worst part and didn't cancel school until late that night or the morning of.

I was particularly amused when we woke up and found things to be dry as the desert.

However, I ended up being incredibly grateful for the precautions administrators took, because by 9:30 am, things started getting bad. First some snow, then sleet, then ice, then more snow. I haven't seen snow like I saw yesterday in a very long time. When it was all said and done, we got about 5-6 inches of snow with some ice and sleet mixed in. Since the air has been really cold for several days, every single thing stuck to the ground. 

Around 4:30 pm, we watched a poor Domino's delivery guy get completely stuck in our parking lot above. He was going absolutely nowhere. My neighbor and I finally sent our husbands out to help. They couldn't do much since even they couldn't get traction (it hadn't been plowed). Then 2 more men came by to assist. Luckily, one of them had a shovel so they had to shovel a small path, drive as far as possible while pushing the back, shovel again, drive and push, shovel again, and so on until he finally made it out. The whole ordeal from start to finish lasted about 30-40 minutes. 

Reminded me of my dad in his "abominable snowman" days of helping everyone get unstuck in the neighborhood. What a guy. 

Ever had a Quinoa Burger? 
Me either. Until this week.
I have been completely, utterly, disgustingly, bored with everything I know how to cook, and decided to try a new recipe every day this week. It has been really fun and sometimes not delicious. One of my favorites were these Quinoa Burgers. Light, refreshing, and really yummy. 
I know you're intrigued, so pop over to my food blog for the recipe: Karissa's Kitchen. These burgers come out around 125-150 calories per patty, so you can have two of them and still indulge in some amazing  no bake cookies. They taste as good, or better, than they look. 

You can thank me later for being so awesome and sharing such delicious food. ;-)
Happy Friday, everyone! Go enjoy a cookie. You deserve it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mardi Gras and Valentine's

Well I guess it's about time for me to sit down and cozy up with my computer for a few minutes. Why do I feel like February has been dragging on for months? Yet at the same time I feel like it's nearly gone when I look at my calendar! I suppose I'm just tired of being cooped up and cold. I seriously cannot wait for days and weeks of warm weather!!

What will I ever do when we move to Idaho?!?!?

We've done a couple fun things this month. Some of which were serious learning experiences. For example, the St. Louis Mardi Gras Parade.

We'd never been to a Mardi Gras event before. I actually wasn't entirely sure what Mardi Gras was all about. All we knew was there was a parade on Saturday morning and since parade generally equals "family  friendly" we decided to check it out.

We bought a couple bus passes for the day to take the ride into Soulard for the parade. Little did we know that we wouldn't want to be in the heart of Soulard for Mardi Gras. We found that out later. After waiting forever, the parade finally got under way. Since we were there early enough, we had crossed the street where the parade was on and found a spot right on the curb behind the barriers. At the beginning, a police officer stopped his bike and got a strand of beads with rubber duckies on it that he brought over to Bubs and put around his neck. It was super cute!

The first hour of the parade was really fun. Everyone thought Bubs was adorable and they were showering him with beads, a stuffed animal, a t-shirt, and some chips from Qdoba. Then things started getting crazier. We started getting more squished and pushed around. Every single person IN the parade was drinking, and near drunk and every single person WATCHING the parade was also drinking, and many were drunk. The floats and gestures from the paraders started getting more and more crude and we became more uncomfortable. 

Since we couldn't cross the street to get to our bus stop, we had to go around somehow. We had no idea how much longer it would last but we knew we needed to leave asap. So we packed up and turned around to go. Walls. Of. People. Not. Moving. It was quite the task to navigate the stroller through everyone while hearing  jeers and comments of "who brings a baby to Mardi Gras!?" We finally broke through to some open space and contemplated what we should do. There seemed to be no way out and I was seriously worried about our safety. We started walking down the street, parallel to the parade, and I said a few little prayers. We spotted a taxi drive by and I mentioned we should just take one to our car so we could get out of here fast. Luckily, a van taxi had just pulled up so we jumped in and watched the meter rise steadily up. 

Also a blessing for us was that the driver was a nice, older, white man who seemed pretty honest and kind. He didn't let anyone else get in until we got out. Another blessing was a friend of mine suggested that we sell our bus passes back to people waiting in line. As soon as we got to our car, Scott took off to sell the passes and I waited across the street. I suddenly realized my phone was gone. Sitting in the taxi. I said a few more prayers, panicked a little, and searched for Scott since I couldn't cross the street to our car by myself and the loaded stroller. I finally saw him and started yelling. He came running across and we both freaked a little. We loaded in the car as fast as possible to go search for the cab. Just as we pulled up to the first stop light to turn left, the cab was turning right on the same street!! The cab driver came to find us since he heard my phone go off when Scott was calling it. Tender mercy and huge blessing. We waved at each other and got the phone. 

Finally we were out and on our way home. I have never felt so filthy and disgusting in my life. It was such an awful atmosphere to be in and something I hope to never experience again. I completely felt the withdrawal of the Spirit and I felt very panicked, nervous, and scared. I was also in awe at the way some people acted to get attention in all the wrong ways. It very much reminded me of several Book of Mormon scriptures about the people who became prideful and wicked because of the "wearing of costly apparel." 

We got 134 strands of beads, a stuffed turtle, a t-shirt, a bag of un-eaten chips, and a whole lot of conversation for the rest of the day. When we got home I looked at the news and saw that just before 3 pm that day, within blocks of where we were, someone was shot and killed. We left the area around 1:40 pm. A  little too close for comfort. 

Mardi Gras was a once in a lifetime experience that we will probably, hopefully, not experience ever again! How grateful I am for the choices I've made in my life to be clean and worthy of the Spirit of God. I know I have experienced far more happiness and deeper joy with the life I live than if I made the same choices as many people at that parade. Gosh, I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Later that night we went out on our Valentine's date. We enjoyed Texas Roadhouse, a couple rounds of bowling, and some frozen yogurt. All without a kid. It was glorious! I also took a little belly shot. This was about 26 weeks pregnant. 

To celebrate Valentine's day we painted lots of pictures and Valentine's for the Grandparents. Then we went to a super fun Valentine's party that was organized by one of my best friends. She is seriously amazing and I'm always wishing I could be more like her! She planned and organized the whole party and then her kids ended up being really sick the day of, so her hubby stayed home so she could still come! What a saint. 

And of course, a picture with my little mini-Valentine. He is growing up way too fast and getting way too cute. He had a ball playing with all the balloons and kids and eating about a pound of sugar. 

Scott and I had a nice, yummy, steak dinner at home that night followed by an interesting movie. Ya never know with some of those Netflix independent least there was nothing inappropriate, just a going-nowhere story line with some interesting characters. 

So far February has been good and I hope March is even better! (and warmer) I'm still feeling great with this pregnancy, although the bigger and farther along I get the more tired I get. Scott is having a grand time in the clinic treating real patients. He loves it! Board Exams are coming up in a few weeks and before we know it, he'll be graduated! We also have a very positive prospect developing in Idaho that I'm oozing with excitement about, but I don't want to share because it's not official yet. 

And now my little man is awake so I'm out. Thanks for reading to the end, if you did!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Saturday in Pictures...and words, because I'm wordy

Sometimes I think it might be fun to take pictures all day of everything that happened that day and then write a blog post about it.
Usually it doesn't happen.
But on Saturday, I was actually thinking, we had a relatively fun day, and I took lots of pictures. 
Here's how it went down.

"Hey Bubs, do you want waffles, pancakes, or eggs for breakfast?"
"Uhmmm, waffles!!"
So, waffles it was. I decided to try a new recipe. They turned out like this:

Thin, floppy, and meaningless.
So I added more flour, fixed the batter, and they ended up great!

After breakfast, we had a family coloring party.
Please, don't steal my amazing art work, I'm working on a copyright.

Following the coloring party, we conjoined in our "play room" and had a "test Karissa's ability to name the artist and song title" with songs on my ipod. Bubs had a great time dancing and Scott was surprised and impressed with my mad skills until The Beatles came on and I had no idea what we were listening to.

Sorry, I was born in the late 80's and not raised on The Beatles.
I know they're like iconic and everything, and they have a couple neat songs, but I much prefer Michael Jackson. Thanks.

Apparently my lack of knowledge was shocking (and devastating) enough to my husband that for the next hour all we heard was The Beatles. Until I couldn't take it anymore and turned everything off.

Moving on.
Bubs really loves laying in bed watching Curious George.
Funny how this happened, because the day before I was telling Scott that I felt a need to limit Bub's tv time a little more, especially when I'm getting ready in the morning. He agreed and said to think of other options. Then I walked in to this sweet scene...while he was getting ready.
"....waaaait a minute, didn't you tell me yesterday I should not do exactly what you're doing? hmmm...."

Regardless, it's precious.
And easier.

Remember when our dog looked like a mop?
Because someone (me) thought it would be kind to let her hair grow out during the winter so she would stay warmer.
Then someone (me) decided months later that that was a dumb idea and she needed a hair cut. Bad.

An hour later...

1 hour, 30 minutes, and a pound of hair later...

Much better.

Then it was time for a trip to the mall.
This cold weather is making me stir crazy. I just want to play outside! Thankfully, the mall has a play place and Bubs loves it. After playing for awhile, we walked around.
He was mesmerized by the giant trampoline with people bouncing and flipping. 

(psst, see that paper in his hand? I drew some trucks on it. He held onto it the whole time at the mall)

"You are not taking a picture of our son in the Princess car!" 
...even though he was so cute and buckled in and smiling.

Mesmerized by the carousal. 
Lions, tigers, bears, oh my!

Of course we had to ride the escalator. 
Which sounds like "alligator" when coming out of a two year old's mouth.

Our day ended with some delicious pork chops and me watching The Taste while hubby played NBA12 on xbox, before we both watched most of the BYU basketball game.

The end!

P.S. Remember how in Missouri it can be freezing, then hot, then freezing again? We took advantage of a 70 degree day and played outside for hours. It was glorious! Bubs loved throwing rocks into the duck pond. 

He also loved when I dropped bread behind us and got the ducks to follow us around. 

He sure is a cutie no matter how much of a stinker he can be!

p.p.s. It's really hard to take a picture of Bubs' face because he gets so excited, grins real big, juts his chin forward, yells "cheese!", and then moves real quick. All in less time than it takes my phone to snap a picture. Thus, blur.