How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.--Stephen Covey

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NASCAR


Yes, I said NASCAR. You can't get any more southern than that, right? lol. Did I mention that Jake and I went to our first Nascar race? This blog is totally a day late and a dollar short (or more like a month late...) but I wanted to share the experience with you.

Every now and then Jake gets tickets to various things from work--usually it's a hockey game (seriously, we've had center ice and like 8 rows back seats) or some other sporting event (we haven't gotten football or basketball tickets yet...) but this time it was Nascar. The Atlanta Motor Speedway is about an hour to hour and a half south of where we live (south Atlanta) so it's kind of an all-day thing. Although, if you want the real experience of a Nascar race, you've got to go and spend the day there. There is so much going on before the actual race!! Food, contests, concerts, shopping, drinking (beer), and just, all sorts of things. It's similar to the atmosphere of a sporting event (football, hockey, basketball, etc.) but it's so much different too. It's amazing how many people actually love Nascar and all the left turns that they make (I couldn't resist!). And, I've never seen so many rednecks/southerners congregated in one place. Definitely a culture shock... 


Yes, we were this close to the track...

Anyway, it was awesome. Yes, I said that. Now, don't get the wrong idea and think that we're going to become obsessed and start watching it on TV and stuff... but that definitely won't be our last race. We both loved it!! Although, I think that the next time around Jake will wear earplugs. He didn't and kind of regretted it--his ears rung for 3-days straight and I swear I'm still repeating myself whenever I talk to him because he can't hear me. Or maybe that's just a guy thing?? Either way, he'll wear earplugs next time :P I did and am glad that I did--I could still hear the rumbling engines as they roared past us each time but my ears weren't numb or ringing.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like actually being at a Nascar race. The rumbling engines are so loud that you can't even hear yourself scream ... or think. And the cars are going soooooo fast that you can barely focus on them as they pass by. It's pretty amazing. Anyway, I know we'll be going back. Jake was super excited about it and I can't deny that it was a lot of fun.

Here are more pictures:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just another day

Not too much exciting to post.

I'm driving up to North Carolina tomorrow to pick up my little brother (well, he's not so little anymore, he's 18 now) because he's going to come and stay/live with us for awhile. His life in NC has sort of spiraled out of control and he needs to get out of that environment before something really bad happens. I'm not saying this as a bad thing or that he's getting into trouble or anything along those lines--he's just picked some really unfavorable friends and it's starting to catch up to him. Anyway, I'm making the drive by myself tomorrow and will come back with Jason on Friday morning. I'll feel about 110% better when he is out of NC and with us...

I've started working out again. I'm on Day 3 of working out and logging all my foods at www.sparkpeople.com. I know that Jake loves me just the way I am, but I want to be able to love myself too. And right now, since I've let myself go and gain so much weight, I'm just at a place where I don't like myself. So, I'm not only working at a positive self image but also on being more healthy. It's a good thing and I'm going to stick with it. Now I just need a job... then everything would be 100% great!

Today I bought our first crockpot. Yes, I am excited about this :) This means that I will be able to make stews and soups and all sorts of yummy stuff without too much hassle at dinner time. If you are the cook in your household, you understand my pain. All the cutting and chopping and cooking and preparing all wrapped up into one bowl of goodness. Easy!! Simplicity at it's best. The reason why I bought it was because Jake and I had to switch from the 2-person meals at www.e-mealz.com to the 4-person/family meal plans (because Jason is coming to stay with us) and once a week they do a crockpot dinner. I could have just prepared something myself on those days but we've wanted a crockpot for awhile and this was the perfect excuse ;-) Anyway, it was an exciting purchase and I can't wait to use it for the first time!! Actually, as I was waiting in line I was thinking that Sunday's would be the perfect day for a crockpot dinner since we can start it in the morning and go to church and then let it cook all day and be lazy and still have a yummy dinner with little to no work. Yes! That's a great idea.

Anyway, other than that, I surprised Jake with Chipotle for dinner tonight at work. He let me know he was staying late and so I got us some dinner and called him when I got to the shop and told him to come outside... he was a very happy man!! <3

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping has never been one of my favorite things in the world to do. Trying to pick out food items for things that you are going to cook for the week (or in our case, for 2 weeks) is hard when you don't exactly have a schedule or a plan. I usually make a list to begin with for the things that we have run out of or that I think we'll need for meals, but it's usually more than we need and the meals aren't very exciting or adventurous. Not that I'm a fancy cooker or anything, but I do like flavorful foods and when you are cooking at home and the most flavorful food you make is BBQ chicken, things get old very quickly. A colleague of mine suggested that I try a meal program that gives you the meals for a week and the exact grocery list that you will need. At first I was going to wait until I have a job, but since I don't have a job and am looking to save money in any way possible, it seemed like now was a better time than ever. Soooo, I talked with Jake about it and we decided to give it a try--it's a $1/wk and has various "programs" that you can sign up for. Family of 2, 4, even 6 I think. Of course, Jake and I signed up for the family of 2. And so far, it's saved us money and we have little to no waste (we aren't throwing away foods that we haven't eaten because they go to waste). Oh, and we I signed up for the low-carb option (which I think Jake has yet to catch on to... and if he has, he hasn't said anything/doesn't mind too much.).

I bet you are dying to know what the program is. Well, here it is: www.e-mealz.com. Seriously, it's awesome. Since I'm good at organization and scheduling, but not very good at making up a meal schedule, it's been a life saver. And so far the food has been fantastic. The only thing we didn't like is the broccoli slaw (neither of us really like cole slaw to begin with but thought we would give it a chance anyway--now we know) and when Jake got cabbage instead of a head of lettuce and we didn't realize it until we were grocery shopping this week and I put it all together. ::facepalm:: Only we could do something soooo silly without realizing it until 2 weeks later that we didn't like our lettuce wraps because we were eating raw cabbage. I was wondering why the salad we had earlier that week was so crisp as well. lol. Now we know and won't do it again... and that's what I get for letting Jake pick out the produce :P And that's what I get for not really paying attention.

Anyway, we went grocery shopping today. And it would be easy if we stuck to our Kroger like we normally do. But each time we have gone for our shopping, we have gone to Publix instead. First off, Publix doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me (Kroger flows better to me) and we always have a problem in the darned spice aisle. So far, each time we go grocery shopping for these meal plans, we have had to pick up various spices that we don't have--like sea salt and minced ginger. That darned spice aisle always totally cramps our style... I am telling you we spend at least 5-10 minutes trying to find the spices we need and can never find them. We find the common ones, but it's always that one that we just can't find. Like today, minced ginger. I bet I'll only use it for this one meal and I should probably just use the ginger that I have in my spice cabinet, but I would probably put in too much and it would be a disaster meal. So, what do I have to do?? Go to Kroger tomorrow to find minced ginger--which is where we should have went in the first place. Oh, and buy some salmon because for some reason, Publix doesn't sell salmon. Or we just couldn't find it. We fail at grocery shopping.

So, if you go to the side of our blog, you'll see the "button" to go to the E-mealz website. If you click the button on our blog, we get a commission of people that sign up. I think we have to wait until 10 people sign up to even receive anything, but it's worth a try.

Other than that. It was just another lazy Sunday in the life of Liz and Jake. Jake has spent the day glued to his Kindle reading :) and I've been playing around on Facebook and making a new Sparkpeople account to get myself motivated for working out and losing weight again. I deleted my old account and have started with a fresh slate and am determined to lose this weight. I can do this.

UPDATE: (9/21/10) I never did find the minced ginger!! Anyone have any suggestions on where I could find it?!?!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Adam's Birthday Present to Jake

This totally deserves it's own blog entry. This is the cartoon/comic that Adam and his girlfriend, Kayleigh, made Jake for his birthday:


Jake's Birthday Weekend

It's been awhile since I updated. I'll try to be better (and I should be since I'm not working...) but it's hard to update when there isn't much to update about. I want to try and get Jake involved in updating as well, but that may be like pulling teeth. We'll see.

Anyway, this past weekend was Jake's 24th birthday. I made reservations at a local hotel (the W Hotel) for Friday night which was a surprise for him -- although, I'm pretty sure he figured it out when I told him not to make plans or allow work to schedule him for Saturday. He just didn't know where exactly it was :P And, I made reservations for us to have dinner at Seasons 52. Jake and I have eaten at Season's 52 before--but we ate at the one in Orlando, FL when he was going to BMW school. He surprised me with a romantic night out and we got all dressed up for it when I visited him over Thanksgiving break. It was awesome food and we weren't disappointed this time either. I had my first martini and discovered that I am a cheap date.


 For Jake's birthday present, I got him the new generation Kindle. He's been eye-ing it for awhile now and I know that it would be a perfect gift for him. Soooo, I ordered the Kindle for him. The thing is, I ordered this for him at the beginning of the middle of August and it was backordered. I figured it would be shipped by his birthday, but it wasn't. The nice leather case I bought for it shipped first--like 3-weeks prior to his birthday :-/ and I was waiting anxiously for the Kindle to come. It never came... when I was packing for the hotel and MI, I finally got notification that it was shipping. It shipped out sometime last weekend and got here on the 14th, when we were still in MI. So he had to wait for it :P Anyway, I wrapped up the Kindle case and put the order information in the case and he was so confused when he opened it because the Kindle wasn't in there. I had to then explain it to him... He was ecstatic :)


Anyway, the next morning we woke up and checked out of the hotel at about 10am, picked up Diesel from the vets (he was boarded for the evening) and made our way up to Michigan. The trip was very unplanned and impromptu, but it was a good visit. We spent the entire day on Saturday driving and arrived at my grandparents house at about 11:30pm. We went to bed and got up the next morning, had a nice Sunday brunch with my grandparents and then headed over to Jake's parents house. We hadn't seen them since last Christmas ('09) and it was good to see them. Since Sunday was Jake's birthday, his parents bought him a birthday cake (german chocolate, his favorite) and we had a nice dinner and little birthday celebration. Adam made Jake this awesome cartoon/comic with his girlfriend, Kayleigh and Jake loved it. I am a big believer that homemade/handmade presents are the best!!


While we were up in MI, I got to see my Aunt Kimmy, Aunt Casey and cousin, Jessica. Which was awesome. It's been a few years and too much time. My Aunt Casey took me and Jess out to dinner and it was great catching up. It's amazing how much you don't even realize you miss someone until you see them. Jake was visiting with his family at this time, so he didn't go with me but I'm sure it was nice for him to spend some alone time with his family.

We were in town until we left bright and early Wednesday morning to travel back to GA. I love visiting and the weather was pretty fabulous--a nice change from the 90+ weather we've been having in good 'ole Georgia--but I was glad to be back at home. Out kitties missed us and there is nothing like your own bed. Jake and I shared a twin-sized fold out bed while we were staying with my grandparents--mainly because both of us were too stubborn to blow up the twin-sized air mattress and sleep on the army cot my grandparents put out for us. It wasn't horrible sleeping but I like my space when I sleep and I thoroughly enjoy having the ability to sprawl out. And I think Diesel likes being back home because he's able to sleep with us too. ::rolls eyes:: He's such a spoiled dog!!

It was back to the daily grind on Thursday--Jake went to work and I went back to job hunting. Have I mentioned how bored I am getting with not having a job?? This weekend we don't have anything planned--we were supposed to be going to Boston for a friend's wedding but finances have just been too tight for it. So, I babysit on Saturday during the day and I think Jake is planning to go into work to work on his BMW. Other than that, I think tonight is going to be Little Ceasar's pizza (we have a major soft spot for the $5 pizzas) and movie night.
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