Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This weekend, my brothers graduated high school.
(James, me, Kevin)

Did you know me before a year ago? If so, you know that I used to only have one brother.

My biological brother, Kevin, is 5 years younger than me. He's a pita most of the time, and a smart ass all of the time. To be honest, we've never been really close (that happens when there's 5 years in between you). He was diagnosed with severe ADHD a few months ago, and we've become closer in those few months of him having meds than in 17 years. Crazy how that can change a person.

James is my new brother. He's a friend of Kevin's, and was kicked out of his house when he found out his mom stole his identity (great lady, huh?). He had been couch hopping his entire senior year, and consequently, failed. As he prepared to start senior year for the second time, Kevin asked my mom if he could stay at our place for a few weeks while he saved for an apartment of his own. The situation when great, and he ended up staying. I think he goes to more family events than Kevin does now, but I completely see him as a sibling. He's a great kid.
 (The whole family)

The two of them are part of the first class to graduate from FZE after 4 full years. They represent Lion Pride. They've both struggled through school, but they've made it through. They've beaten the odds, and proven that hard work will get you through, as long as you fight for what you want. Next year, Kevin will be headed towards UCM, and James will go on to Le Cordon Bleu.

And I wish both of my brothers the best of luck in their futures.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Question Friday.

So I'm posting this from the floor of my bedroom. Why? Because it's the only place in the apartment not covered by stuff or wet. That's right, our apartment flooded AGAIN. This time, the culprit was a rusted pipe from the wall to the toilet (and of course the emergency shut off wouldn't work). So my place is yet again a heaping mess, and since I have 3 fabulous friends coming into town, it looks like we'll be renting a hotel room. Because clearly, they can't stay here. At least I don't have to clean before they get here? Still. Erg.

1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
Yes. It's actually a "rule" at our house - we always get into bed at the same time at night. Clearly, that's if we're both home - we don't wait up on each other. But, if one of us isn't tired, the other reads, plays on the computer, whatevs for a awhile.

2. What kind of facial hair do you like on men?
None. Except in the case of Sean. I hate Sean without facial hair (he looks like he's 12) - he sports a goatee that I love. Generally, I prefer clean shaven though, or just soul-patch. Except with Sean.

3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken?
The last vacation with my parents. Sean and I went to Tan-Tar-A with my family one spring break. Now my siblings are all really far apart (we're 23, 18, and 9), so it's really hard to cater to all of our tastes at once. But we were expecting to be able to do something that we enjoyed... However, we spent the entire trip at the indoor water park. Four FULL days in a steamy, kid-riddled, sauna room. With pirate ships. It was cool the first day, but after that, we were done (but my sister was not). Yet we stayed, and continued. And the moral is? We will never go on a trip with my family again.

4. What's the first-ever blog you followed?
Road to the Aisle (and now I follow the after-married blog, Heather Drive). I found it when I was just in the beginning stages of wedding planning, and this blog was seriously my wedding model. I looked up to it SO much, even though Heather was married 2 years before me. It was SO incredibly helpful. And I love her new blog, and new baby!

5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
Yep. I LOVE roller coasters, and the greatest thing in the world to me is ballpark monstrous hot dogs and ice cream in waffle cones. I'm not a full day at the park person though (my mom would go from open to close!) - I'm done after about 6-8 hours.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Donuts.

I love cake donuts. Love them. I would eat a cake donuts every day if I could. While I can appreciate fresh baked, warm glazed donuts, nothing is as good as a fresh cake donut.

One of things we registered for was a deep fryer. Sean was really skeptical about it, but my nagging persistence paid off. We actually got two, but in any case, it's one of my favorite appliances. We make french fries, potato chips, and now, donuts.

People. These donuts are heavenly. Especially still warm. They've got a cinnamon spice thing going on, and the sugar coating on the outside makes them one of the best things ever. They take time though. Since my deep fryer is uber tiny (space saving in an apartment y'all!), I could only fry one at a time. Next time, I'll probably break out my 5 qt pan and just fry them on the stove. As a prewarning - this recipe makes 20-24 donuts, plus holes (!!!). I had no idea when I started making them, and now I'll probably be sending half with Sean to school tomorrow.

3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar topping
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy.
Add in eggs, one at a time. Blend throughly.
Alternating adding in flour mix and milk, until a sticky dough forms.
Roll out dough to 3/8" thick. Using biscuit cutters (I used a glass and a shot glass ^_^) cut out donuts and holes. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.
While dough is cooling, heat up oil in deep fryer or pan to 350 degrees (if you put a drop of water in it, it should pop and sizzle). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Take dough, and drop into oil. The dough rings/holes will sink to the bottom, then rise to the surface. When bottom is golden brown, flip over and cook the other side. Using tongs or a heat-proof spoon, remove from oil and set on paper towels to absorb the oil.
While still warm, toss in cinnamon sugar.

Of course, cinnamon sugar could be replaced with any sort of preferred spice, jelly, or even chocolate frosting. Sounds fabulous, right?! Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five. Five Question. Five Question Fridaaaay

As a conclusion to a fantastic week (I did, after all, start a new amazing job), I will yet again do 5QF! I'm so proud of myself! Also, as a special note, in one week some of my best friends ever will be coming to visit. I'm super excited to have them here (and plan on sending Sean back to StL, or out with the boys often at least). I'm in a very good mood, to say the least. 

1. Tube socks, calf socks, crew, ankle, none?
Ideally, non. I hate socks. Hate them. But if I have to wear them, I will only wear ankle socks or knee highs. I blame years of uniform wearing that only let us wear high-than-our-ankles socks. Gross.

2. Was your childs (children's) name a mutual decision or was it a debate? If you don't have children, do you plan on giving your spouse a say, or do you have a name you MUST have, regardless if your other half likes it or not?!
We don't have kids yet, but we have come to an agreement on this one. I won't name a kid without Sean's approval (and not begrudging make-the-wife-happy approval, real liking of the name). It's half his, right? Luckily, there's only one girl name that I have my heart set on, and he whole-heartedly likes it. After all, there's no sense fighting over that stuff before babies are even thought of.

3. What is your favorite type of weather?
Sunny, breezy, and hot. Honestly, 85-90 degrees is my favorite temperature. It's warm enough for shorts and capris, but also cool enough that I can wear pants if I'm not going to be outside all day. Breezy to keep the humidity down. And sun because I love it so much. I'm always happier when it's sunny out. 

4. If left to your own devices, what time would you wake up every day?
Around 8 am. Maybe 9 at the latest. I'm definitely an early bird. With work though, I wake up between 5:30 and 6:15 each day, depending on when I need to be in. 

5. Have you bought your cemetery plots yet?
Nope. And frankly, I'm kinda weirded out by the thought. I know we're gonna need them eventually, but we don't know where we're going to end up yet. We'll probably be more likely to buy them in our 40s or 50s. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My New Job!

So if you couldn't tell from my last post, I got a new job.

I'm so excited. It's a management trainee position, which will open sooo many doors for me (both within the company and outside of it). I've only been there 3 days, but so far, I'm loving every second. It pays so much better (like $6 an hour better - which translates to FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR), and it's much more rewarding.

As always, I won't share my company name, but I'm working with trucks (big trucks - semis and rentals), so it's way out of my area of expertise, but I'm loving learning about it all. I love that I'm moving around, checking them in, and figuring out what's going on with each one. I'm one of very few females, and I love that I get to joke around with the guys and there's no drama (or very little). Most of the people I work with are in their 20-30s, so it's a young crowd. And everyone has their degree! One of the things that really frustrated me with my old job was that I was working with people who never went to school (and it showed in professionalism, learning style, and communication style) yet getting paid that same thing. At my new job, a Bach is required, so everyone is on the same level as me. It's so refreshing! Everyone is upbeat and positive, and it's clearly not a dead-end job. And I still get to work with people. I love it. Seriously.

Though, I do need to go buy better shoes. We have to dress business casual, but the only suitable shoes I have are heels. I need either wedges or better fitting heels, as climbing in and out of semi cabs all day is not easy with heels. I feel like I'm making a mockery of myself! Thankfully Famous Footwear is having a sale, so I think we're gonna head over there tonight. My feet will love me so much after I get new kicks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doing the Debt Shuffle.

Rich people shuffle money to make more of it. Poor people shuffle money to pay less.

With my new job, we'll have a lot more money coming into our lives. Enough money to actually start paying down our debts - not just paying the minimums. It's really exciting for us, because we're both determined to have most of my debt paid off before we start a family, and if my debt is gone, my credit will be good enough to purchase a house (which is also a personal requirement before kiddos).

Sean gets plenty of extra money to shuffle debt around - we're paying off his student loan and my loans with it. The idea is to get all of the student loans compounded together. His law loans don't accrue interest while he's in school, so we're actually saving money. By paying off my loans, we're eliminating all of our interest until he's out of school. My new income will go towards my car payment. Sean's car is paid off (and only has 70,000 miles on it - it will definitely last a good 6+ years longer), and we'll be able to pay my car off hopefully by the end of next summer (and it'll only be 3 years old!). Plus, of course, we'll be able to eat better and I'll be able to join a gym.

We're staying in our crappy apartment for now though. We're going to save all the money we can here, so we'll be able to buy a house right away in 2 years (um, have I mentioned that I'm married to a 2L now?!).

Guys, my paychecks are almost going to double. Double. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Question Friday.

What's this? I'm doing something two weeks in a row?! Crazy talk. It's been a busy few days, and I'm so glad it's Friday, but here's my 5QF!

1. Have you ever had a roommate?
Oh yes. In my life, I've lived with Tanya, Lyndsey, Maddi, Jayme, and Allie (in that order). And now Sean, but since he's a husband, I guess he's not a roommate. Tanya was my dorm roommate freshman year of college. We were randomly assigned together, and actually worked perfectly. We both had boyfriends (who were long distance in the second semester), we were slightly messy but mostly clean, and we had our own lives outside of our room - there was no drama. It was easy for one of us to say "Hey boy is coming in this weekend, can you make yourself scarce?", and there was no offense taken. Lyndsey, Jayme, and Allie are my best friends. We lived together off and on (though I lived with L for three straight years) all through college, and I can say they were the best years of my life. I really miss living with my best friends. Seriously. (Oh, and Maddi was just a nut job)

2. How many names do you/your children have?
We don't have kids yet, but Sean and I both have 4 names. As Catholics, we're given a self-chosen name at our Confirmation - we were both 14 and in 8th grade. Mine is Anne, after Mary's mother and my own grandmother (the one whose ring I wear today). It's also the name of my aunt, who was my sponsor. Sean's is Michael, after the archangel. We have pretty traditional names, but there were people in our class who chose things like Gemma and Ada. My brother has Gregory. The only rule was that it had to be after a saint.

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
Nope. I didn't care to be awake earlier than I needed to be. I did picture stalk though ;)

4. What is the messiest room in your house?
Our office. It's the catch-all room, which houses the things that a basement would (if we had one). It has boxes, wedding stuff, books we can't fit on shelves - SO much. Hopefully I'll get through it one day.

5. What is your ideal Mother's Day?
I'm not a mother, so I can't really answer that from that perspective. But from a child's - one that was without guilt. I feel like I'm always being guilted by our mother's because we don't see them enough, or that we spend too much time with one and not the other. I feel like I need to keep a time card with them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Religious Intolerance

Ah good old religion. It's something that's affected our world for thousands of years, and it is religious intolerance that brought along many the world's greatest events - both bad and good. Slavery in Egypt, destruction of paganism, crucifixion of Jesus (though, depending on your tolerance, it can be debated), burning nations due to the plaque, the Crusades, witch hunts, WWII - the list goes on. It happens at every level of society, in every religion, and it's something that seems to be unavoidable. 

It's not surprising though. The very premise of religion insists that one must believe that their religion is the best. After all, if it's not the best, why would practice it? Why would you believe in the rituals, which to an outsider look absurd? The world order is based on becoming moderate - if you stick out too much, you can expect to be eaten (um, or persecuted, jailed, etc). Religion is a method for an outsider to feel included, and to be protected within his or her realm. Don't feel comfortable with something? Join a group of others like you. Then try to convince others to join. 

I'm Catholic. I can nail you to any point as to "why my religion is better than yours" - but so can you. My religion, for all honesty, is no better than yours. It's simply different. I can also name a million different ways as to how our religions are parallel, and how they contrast. And that's okay. It's why I practice mine, and why you practice yours (or don't practice any at all). To me, religion is not so much about the belief system - it's about the community that surrounds it. Every religion has different people, and different communities - Catholics act differently than Wiccans, Baptists, and Mormons. We're all raised differently, we find different things acceptable, and we entertain ourselves in different ways. It's a culture. 

My family went to a wedding this weekend. The B family is incredibly involved in our church. They sing in the choirs, they head up at least 2 of our annual volunteer committees, they're liaisons with the archdiocese, and all of the kids went to Catholic school. Their oldest daughter, A, went away to college, met, and got engaged to a man. But not a Catholic. A practicing member of the Mormon church. She converted, and they were married in the temple in St. Louis. In my opinion, it's a lovely way to incorporate two cultures. Maybe it's partially the fault of the bride and groom - they made no effort to let Mr. and Mrs. B know that they were welcome to come to the temple for pictures, and that they could wait outside or in a vestibule. Mr. and Mrs. B felt unwelcome, and as so, didn't go to their own daughter's wedding. There are no photos with them and the couple. My parents did nothing but talk terribly about the reception - but considering that the Bs came to my (big Catholic) reception, they felt like they had been shorted. It was mess - and no one was happy in the end. There was absolutely no compromise on either end - even though the guests were split half and half. 

Weddings are supposed to be happy. If someone's belief is different from yours, suck it up and at least pretend to be happy. And if you're converting or marrying someone from a different faith, be respectful of ALL of the cultures and religions involved. Don't just stick your nose in the air. 

::Steps off soapbox::