Christmas Cards

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-11-2010

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Today I worked on our Christmas cards. Holidays, simply put, are surreal. The preparation, meaning, memories, all have the ability to take me out of the present feeling as though I’m floating above the actual events, that I’m not the one actually performing the tasks. Although every holiday brings with it the awareness of time passing, Christmas is the most evident for me because it is the holiday I get most excited for. It is like Thanksgiving, Easter, and my birthday all rolled into one. Christmas has a delicious homemade dinner, family, packed church service, worship, and presents. How could any child not lie awake with anticipation for the coming day? But when the day arrives it brings along a sorrow that, although the day seemingly took FOREVER to come, it managed to come and somehow come quicker than expected. Christmas holds both excitement and sadness; yes it’s here, but it is ever fleeting.

People tell me the older I get the more time will fly, but I’ve always felt time passing too quickly. Sensing that life is short helps me keep things in perspective. A lifelong commitment with someone helps that as well. I try to let the little nuisances pass by with deep breathes and faith in a bigger picture. Life is too precious to be frustrated or held up on things that are out of my control. As my dad so eloquently says, “Don’t pole vault over mouse turds.”

As Christmas day approaches, we will be preparing our feast, our decorations, our gifts, and our hearts, all while listening to the wonderful music that is only appropriate this time of year. Don’t worry, we won’t miss out on Thanksgiving beforehand!

You, Again

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Georgia | Posted on 15-11-2010

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One word: hilarious. While in Georgia, one of my girl’s day outs consisted of Carrabba’s Italian Grill and the film, You, Again. I am a fan of almost everyone in the movie: Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristin Chenoweth, but mostly Kristen Bell. She won me over through the character Veronica Mars: a high school drama following Mars on her espionage escapades. For this girl’s day out there were four women ages spanning forty years yet all of us were erupting in laughter throughout most of the film. Several scenes even caused us to double over in our seats. I cannot wait for this to come out on DVD so I can see it again. Hooray for outrageous chick-flicks to escape reality for a bit.

Banana Nut Muffins

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-11-2010

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I got the desire yesterday afternoon to do something I do quite regularly: make muffins. Assuming I had all the ingredients, I began pouring and stirring, mixing and making only to be abruptly frozen while staring into the fridge: no eggs. Crap, what to do, what to do? … What container did I read that had an egg substitute? Milled flax seed? (Dig through refrigerator and scan the instructions and uses on the side of the box in a worried, hurried fashion.)

“Did you know? Milled Flax Seed may be used as a Fat Substitute in most recipes. Generally, 3 Tbsp. Milled Flax Seed can replace 1 Tbsp. fat or oil. Likewise, 1 Tbsp. Milled Flax Seed plus 3 Tbsp. of water can replace 1 egg.”

Thank you Hodgson Mill, here we go! I continued my old recipe with this new, adapted step and high hopes. The result: a slightly stickier, but still delectable snack. It was thoroughly enjoyed alongside a hot cup of Rooibos Capetown tea from TeaFusion in Peachtree City. Crisis averted!

Jillian Michaels

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Georgia | Posted on 11-11-2010

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I think the woman might be out to kill me. Perhaps I have my goals set too high? Goal: complete the whole exercise DVD with a smile on my face just like her two models. I can’t even get through the warm-up portion without sweat dripping down my face. As I drop to the floor for a verpi, I ponder how I did so many physical activities in high school. If I had to go to a 4 hour track practice followed by a 4 hour volleyball practice, I think I might intentionally injure myself. Nowadays getting out of bed when the alarm clock goes off is enough effort on my part to deserve a pop tart and a pat on the back.

It’s funny though how the vicious cycle works. When you aren’t exercising you eat the pop tart almost without thought. You may think this probably isn’t the healthiest choice for breakfast but beyond that, there’s not much mental activity on the subject. But, when you’ve got Jillian Michaels lurking in your DVD player, everything you put into your mouth now has an evil power: to give you more to work off later. That beautiful pack of S’mores pop tarts in the pantry still calls out my name, but I now look at them with disgust. Because it wasn’t me that got me out of shape, it was them.

Now, don’t tell Jillian, but I’m taking today off. I can’t even sit down without wincing in pain. To say she is a pain in my rear couldn’t be any more factual. For the most part, she does inspire me, but when she laughs as I’m about to pass out on the mat and says “Ha! We aren’t even close to halfway done yet.” she makes me want to turn the TV off and write a blog complaining about how much pain I’m in…

Skydive the Farm

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Georgia | Posted on 10-11-2010

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My sister has wanted to go skydiving since her last birthday. Because Andrew was interested in going, she sweetly waited until we came for a visit in May. Because I knew I’d regret not going along, I went as well…regrettably. The reason why I disliked my skydiving experience so wasn’t solely from my instructor meeting me lacking appropriate nipple ring coverage, nor was it that he called me baby repeatedly; it wasn’t that when the parachute was pulled I felt as though my legs were going to be lacerated by the harness, nor was it that I strained for  oxygen after we jumped from the plane; it wasn’t the freezing weather at the time of our jump, nor was it the suffocating heat that increased as we plummeted; it wasn’t the 2 hour drive, nor the complaints that I didn’t enjoy the dive; but, just as I was sucked out of the smallest plane I’d ever ridden in, these things compiled together sucked the enjoyment right out of me. I don’t think I will ever skydive again, however, the other five people I dove with will.

To have a skydiving experience go here: Skydive the Farm.

July 28th, 2010 – Dhymes Dies

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Kuwait | Posted on 09-11-2010

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As much as I hate to put this in writing – because I still find myself in disbelief and somehow it feels like writing it down will make it actually true – my sweet Dhymes death was an unforgettable part of this summer. So here is my darling kitty’s obituary:

Dhymes passed away the evening of July 28th, 2010 at the International Veterinary Hospital in Kuwait. He was an 8 year old ball of fluff who even in his last moments tried to be his best. While he occasionally had trouble doing ordinary cat things, it all added up to making him a one of a kind cat. He met me at the front door regularly, allowed me to squeeze him tightly while falling asleep, and humored me in dressing him up and trimming him down. He ate through any package of bread or meat that I left in a grocery bag on the floor or on the counter and returned my scolds with classic puppy dog eyes, which are just as effective in a feline.

I have mentioned a woman named Jan in a previous post. She is what I would call one of my mother’s lifelong friends. When I had a game for my Tsunami Volleyball team in Jan’s town, we stayed with her at her home. Her cat, Annie, had just had a litter of 6 kittens a few weeks before. Knyckles and Dhymes were a part of that litter. Dhymes was the only male and the only kitten that featured his mother: white body with orange ears. The rest looked like their father: white bodies with some form of black ears. Annie rough housed Dhymes and cleaned him until we were certain he would bleed. He was treated differently than all the other kittens. At one point during our stay my mother said, “If I had a cat, I’d want one like him. He knows how to play and he knows how to relax!” A few months later when my mother went to visit Jan, two bigger kittens met her at the door as Jan hollered, “It’s time you take your cats home!” She explained to my mother how I needed a cat and if I wasn’t allowed a cat because my brother didn’t have a pet that she had one for him too. She even saved the one my mother had joshed about wanting even though he had been promised to someone else. And that is how they came to me: in a black carrier, in the red Miata on Mom’s way back to Georgia.

Although my brother adored Dhymes, his life got more hectic leaving him unable to care for him. So I was given the gift of Dhymes. The more I think of him, the more I realize what a constant he was in my life; as crushes came and went; as I muddled through high school and then college; as I moved from house to house and apartment to apartment; as I cried myself to sleep; and as I cursed the mundane life I led, he was there steadily purring he reassurance. And I couldn’t have asked for more than that.

He was loved, spoiled, and is terribly missed.

My One Year Wedding Anniversary

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Posted by Juliane | Posted in Travel | Posted on 08-11-2010

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In my absence from my blog many things have happened; I have been many places, celebrated several accomplishments, and, yes, shed some tears. To get up to date, I must take you back and recap some of my summer. This blog was created as an online journal of my life after being married; how then could I not go back far enough to add Andrew and my one year anniversary?

Dinner:

Andrew and I are inevitably separated during important dates. We’ve missed birthdays, holidays, graduations, and even our one year anniversary. Although we were not together on the actual date of our anniversary, June 27th, we did celebrate it together the week before. Our celebration: dinner at Fogo de Chao (Chao pronounced shown) with our wedding cake topper for dessert. My darling father has been talking about Fogo de Chao for years. He has incessantly been the restaurants personal advertisement since he’d happened upon it years before.

The simplest way to explain the dining experience at Fogo de Chao is to have their website do it for you, http://www.fogodechao.com/menu/dining-experience/:

Dining Experience

Step 1: Sit down, relax, and enjoy a drink while we explain the Fogo® dining experience.

Step 2: Visit our gourmet salad and sides bar. Enjoy over 30 items including fresh cut vegetables, imported cheeses, cured meats and Brazilian side dishes.

Step 3: Turn your card green side up, signaling that you are ready for our gaucho chefs to begin tableside service.

Step 4: Choose from the 15 cuts of delectable fire roasted meats that are brought to your table, sliced, and served by our gaucho chefs.

Step 5: When you are satisfied, flip the disc to the red side until you are ready for more offerings.

Step 6: If you wish, end the meal with one of our delicious desserts.

To be honest, this restaurant has the most scrumptious filet mignon I have ever eaten. I now refuse to order steak anywhere else since there is no possible way that it can stand up to the steak served here. To profess how marvelous it truly is I will ashamedly admit that not only did we have our anniversary dinner there, a few days later we had our anniversary lunch there as well. Delish, that’s all the more I’m going to say.

*A tip for those wanting to try Fogo de Chao: go for lunch, it’s much more reasonable.

Dessert:

Our gorgeous wedding cake came from City Café & Bakery in Fayetteville, GA, http://www.citycafeandbakery.com/. With our three layer wedding cake, we also got a one year anniversary cake. Basically an additional topper incase our whole cake got eaten, which it didn’t. Our wedding cake was dessert for a week after the wedding and my birthday cake a month later. So, almost a year later out came our wedding cake topper – not the one year anniversary cake, the topper – from the freezer and we patiently anticipated its thawing. Over the course of four days Andrew and I ate it all. No, we didn’t just eat the obligatory bite; we ate every last crumb, every last drop of icing. And it was just as good as it had been the year before. The true test, however, will be our now two year anniversary cake. Can cake stay good for two whole years in the freezer? You’ll have to check back next year to find out. If you don’t hear from me after June 27th, 2011, you’ll know not.

(Photo by Katie Snyder)

Related post: Wedding Day.