the proposal.

May 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve been engaged for 44 days.

I didn’t think there was any way Alex could surprise me.

He said he wasn’t going to do it on any “special” day.

He proposed on our one-year-anniversary. And I was very surprised.

On March 18, Alex and I went out on a date to celebrate our anniversary. The night before, he had told me he wanted recreate our first date together and go out to Carrabbas and a movie. I truly had no idea something was up. (Because I’m a major snoop/eavesdropper, and hadn’t noticed any unusual texts or phone calls.)

After our we imitated our dining experience from date number one, we chose to watch “The Way Back” in the Cheap Seats. (The movie is based on a book called “The Long Way Back”, which would have been a more accurate description of how boring it was.) Naturally, I nodded off to sleep several times throughout the movie. I can only imagine how anxious Alex was those agonizing two and a half hours.

After the movie finally ended, Alex left me in the lobby of the theater for ten minutes while he was in the restroom. (I thought perhaps the entire pizza he ate at Carrabbas wasn’t settling well. You know.) He came out looking ready to leave.

“Can you pick me up in your car?” I asked. “I’m cold.”

“It’s not that cold outside,” he said.

“Let’s run to the car.”

“I’m sore from soccer,” he insisted. “Plus, I got a really good parking spot.”

We made it about three feet out the door, his arm in mine, when he turned to me.

“Okay, I’m going to get a little mushy….” he said.

Right there, in front of the – nearly empty, by now – theater, he began to tell me how amazing the past year had been, and how he knows that the many years ahead of us will be amazing, too. Or something. I actually can’t remember anything he said after the first 30 seconds of the speech, because I had already realized what was going on.

He got down on one knee, and I started shaking; he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

And then, “Can you put this on me?!?”

Eight exciting phone calls to family and friends and a giddy drive back home, and I was still shaking.

Sometimes, when I look at my ring, I still can’t believe we’re engaged. And getting married. In ten weeks.



cinnamon rolls, at long last.

March 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

This week, I finally baked my first batch of cinnamon rolls.  I’ve never successfully baked with yeast before, and frankly, it’s daunting. I tried to make them on Christmas Eve, and lets just say the next morning we feasted on toast and an egg dish.

When I saw Jessica from How Sweet It Is bake The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls (not once, but thrice), I knew I had to face my yeast fears. I owed it to myself and all things delicious to bake them. So, I did, among fraught exclamations of, “Why aren’t these rising?!” and “Where is all of this butter supposed to go?!”

Tears were nearly shed, my baking insecurities ran wild, and I had all but given up. When I finally pulled them out of the oven, after two days in the making, my cinnamon rolls were complete.

And they turned out great. Josh said they were incredible. Alex said they may be the best things I’ve ever made. I made some with a simple cream cheese frosting and others, like the rolls pictured, with Jessica’s Vanilla Cream Glaze.

Maybe all that trouble was worth it.

And maybe I need to escape my baking comfort zone more often.


P.S. I actually only made half of the dough into rolls. The rest of the dough is still complacently waiting in the refrigerator for me. I probably should have cut the recipe in half because I do not need six pans of cinnamon rolls. Or do I?

from my bookshelf.

February 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

I used to read novels every day.

When I was young, I spent much of my time reading. I tended to be withdrawn, had few distractions, and plenty of time. I read for hours on end. Sometimes, if the book was short enough, I read until it was finished.

Being in the middle of a good book is one of the best feelings. Waking up and knowing that you can go back to whatever story your reading is thrilling.

I moved back-and-forth several times in high school. Being able to take my favorite books with me helped me find familiarity in a new place. If I was ever homesick, I’d pick up my worn-out paperback Mara, Daughter of the Nile or Jane Eyre and escape there for awhile. I had a collection of about five favorite books that I re-read countless times.

I don’t read nearly enough these days. I usually tell myself that if I have time to read, I should do the required reading for school. But that’s just an excuse. There are too many distractions. Like the time-sucking internet.

I wish I could get back into the habit of falling asleep to a randomly plucked book from my bookshelf.

Maybe I will.


I may actually like valentine’s day.

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

it is a holiday involving chocolate, after all.

yeah, Hershey’s has my heart.


birthday week.

February 13, 2011 § 3 Comments

It’s not a party without cake and ice cream, obviously.

For Alex’s birthday, I made Funfetti cake and bought his favorite ice cream. I officially love Superman ice cream. Apparently it’s a Midwest/Michigan thing. Which makes me love it more.

Superman ice cream (or SuperScoop, depending on the brand) is a mix of vanilla, blue moon, and black cherry swirls. Alex insists that all the swirls taste the same, but I made him give me a blind-taste test to prove him wrong. He’s still strangely sticking to his opinion.

I don’t think his taste buds have changed since childhood. That’s okay, I love kid-food, too.

For my birthday, Alex bought concert tickets for both Gungor and Cold War Kids. March is going to give February some competition.

[Hang Me Up To Dry by Cold War Kids]


the super bowl is for snacks.

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, the Super Bowl was last night. I don’t think I even watched two minutes of the game, but I did make some snacks!

I decided to go with the Disappearing Marshmallow Blondies that I first saw on Baked Perfection. I’ve made these blondies thrice now. They’re simple to make and I think they taste better than chocolate brownies! Of course, I doubled the butterscotch chips (because I don’t trust myself with leftover butterscotch chips), and um, added more butter. They ended up perfectly rich and chewy with a deliciously crunchy butterscotch crust.

I don’t know if they’re called Disappearing Marshmallow Blondies because you don’t really notice the marshmallows or because they get eaten so quickly. Both are true.

There’s only three bars left…

I also made Buffalo Chicken Dip that I recently saw on Jenna’s blog. I think it’s an ugly dip, so I refrained from even trying to photograph it. However, it tastes pretty delicious. Alex just had it for dinner tonight, as well. But what isn’t delicious with Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce? I seriously put that on everything.

In other news, it’s Birthday Week. Funfetti cake may be in my future.



blizzards & brownies.

February 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Amid the SnowFest 2011 that hit The Midwest this past week, I was able to rearrange my bedroom furniture, vacuum the entire upstairs, do laundry, and bake brownies with whatever scant ingredients I had on hand. My car was surrounded by several feet of stupid snow,  so I couldn’t make it to the store in order to make anything particularly imaginative. Thus, I relied on a trusty brownie recipe and dressed it up with peanut butter filling.

I wasn’t too excited by these brownies, but I think my brother Josh loved them. He probably ate 85% of the pan. The three cups of sugar and one whole cup of cocoa make them extremely rich. I’m not going to lie, I did eat several hundred slivers.

While this wasn’t my favorite thing to make, I’m definitely excited about baking for the Super Bowl tomorrow. I don’t love the sport, and I’m definitely not one of those “Super Bowl Commericals!!!!” kind of people, but I do enjoy baking for the occasion!