Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Ryan & I celebrated our first Thanksgiving as the "Nastase family" cooking our 1st feast! And looking back, I feel safe to say it was a success!

We did take photos of some of the events, but being I purchased a new computer (thank you, Black Friday)...I don't have the energy to upload photos. I'm tired of "uploading" stuff!

But I will recap on the great day!

Let's start with the prep:

Growing up my mom hosted Thanksgiving nearly every year. She has a giant family (8 kids) -- so Thanksgiving was very, very plentiful with lots of family, tons of food, and great memories!

I remember she was always a little.....tense....the days leading to this holiday. I always thought, "Gee, Mom. What's the big deal?! It's just Thanksgiving. You're family will love you no matter what!"

Now I hosted my first thanksgiving, for a much smaller crowd. And let's just say I was also....tense. This week I officially became My Mother's Daughter!

I cleaned, and prepped, and clean more. At one point on Wednesday evening, I found myself yelling at Ryan stating "If you're going to walk on our floors in those slippers you use to walk to the mailbox, you better think AGAIN! Either TAKE. THEM. OFF. or spray them down/wipe them with Chlorox! I just scrubbed the floors!!!!!!" (yikes....Cue the morbid, scary music, please)

He didn't even argue. He just looked at me in utter amazement. I could read his mind. He was thinking, "Who is this crazy woman in my kitchen, and what did she do to my wife?"

I just wanted everything to be perfect. I was entertaining for my Ryan's Dad, step-mom, and 3 kids. They are a family who are professional entertainers/host-extraordinaire s!! I would be mortified to ruin their Thanksgiving. It only comes around once per year!

Now let's move on to the disasters that occurred in the preparation:
The bread:
  • I love to bake home-made bread. It's a great hobby of mine.
  • So I planned to make home-made buns.
  • I mixed the ingredients diligently, kneaded powerfully, let rise, and baked!
  • However, they didn't rise like i realllly wanted.
  • I didn't care. I baked anyways.
  • The buns didn't grow at all. They just looked like lumpy balls of dough after 20 minutes!
  • Ryan, my faithful food-tester, tried one to make sure.
  • Ryan almost vomited. He proclaimed, in a shocked tone, "This tastes like Playdough!!!"
  • Yep. I put 1/2 cup of salt in, instead of 1/2 sugar.
  • I cried.
  • Ryan consoled.
  • I headed up to the grocery store in the Wed-night madness to buy buns from the bakery
  • All worked out in the end!
The Stuffing:
  • The stuffing was not a disaster
  • ....but it could've been
  • I was preparing it early Thursday morning.
  • Browning the sausage, boiling the giblets, sauteeing the vegetables.
  • I had already dried out my bread
  • To be prompt and ready, I poured my bread into the crock pot while I was doing to cooking
  • I kept saying "Hm! Something smells like it's cooking! Yummy!"
  • This progressed to, "That sausage smells funny."
  • Which finally lead to "HOLY SHIT! Something's burning!"
  • We soon realized, I UNKNOWINGLY put the bread in the crock pot which was plugged in and turned on high.
  • Last time I used my crock pot, I forgot to turn it "off".
  • We QUICKLY salvaged the bread, and removed all burnt pieces.
  • After a good lecturing about "Turning off appliances when finished with"
  • All was cool and kosher.
  • This was NOT the first time Abby has received this lecture, by the way....
Now we can move past all disasters, and get talkin about some thanksgiving feast!

We served:

Hors d'oeuvres (wow that's not fun to spell)
  • Hummus & Ranch dip with fresh veggies and Pita Chips
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Deviled Eggs (generously made by Ryan's family)
  • Pickled Herring (also brought by Ryan's family)
The meal
  • Turkey (brine recipe by my Mom, cooked by my wonderful husband, Ryan!)
  • Stuffing (My mom's recipe)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Yams (with toasted pecans and marshmellows)
  • Gravy (make-shift recipe by Team Ryan-Abby...turned out alright!)
  • Green bean casserole (brought by Ryan's family)
  • Cranberries (Thank you, again, Ryan's family!)
  • And my poor, sorry store-bought rolls :(
Dessert
  • Apple pie (brought by Ryan's family)
  • Pumpkin pie (my first ever! It took 2 attempts to do the crust. I tried going *healthy* the first try and found it to be very unsuccessful. My 2nd try was a success, however!)
Overall, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving! Filled with a great abundance of delicious food, a Dallas Cowboys football game, and most importantly wonderful family!!

I have many many reasons to be Thankful! I hope all had a blessed holiday!

Let the Christmas season begin!!!! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

So it seems to be the trend this year to do a post on your choice of social networking to state what you are most thankful about. I thought that was a really night idea -- but never got around to starting to do it!

Besides, I'm more of a "list" person.

So here I am going go list, in NO particular order, my blessings in life that I am ever thankful for!

  1. My husband. He is essential. It's pretty amazing to get to call your best friend your husband, or vice versa.
  2. Coffee. It gets me through extraordinarily long periods of studying & 5 hr lectures!
  3. My health. I am reminded of this blessing every day in every aspect of nursing.
  4. Target. I would say 75% of my wardrobe is Target.
  5. My house. Since I have moved away, I learned that I was kind of sheltered (in a good way). I had never really seen a homeless person before. Now I see them every day, and have even had them has patients. I can't imagine the utter fear of not having a place to go at night.
  6. Education. Although it causes stress in my life from time to time -- it is essential!!!!
  7. My parents. I could write a book about how much of an impact that have had on my life and the person I have become.
  8. Running shoes. Because that's all ya need! Find a trail, road, path, field; lace up your shoes; and you're working your heart, lungs, body, and mind! Running brings me sanity.
  9. My siblings. I have looked up to them my entire life! When I say siblings, I don't just mean immediate family either. I am talking about my in-laws on my side and my husbands' side! I consider them family!! :)
  10. My religion. I am a strong Catholic, and religion has always been extremely important in my life! I honestly don't know who I would be without God!
  11. Music. You could take me on the most stressful day, put me in front of a piano, and I would feel 100%. I love music. I can't wait to make it a part of my life again!
  12. Sweaters. So warm, so cute, so practical. I love sweaters.
  13. My nephews! They are the first children I've ever really been around. They are incredible. Children are incredible.
  14. Mustard. It goes well on practically anything.
  15. Food processors. I don't remember how I functioned before I had one.
  16. Showers. They are so therapeutic! (I'm on a no-medication, holistic kick these days)...and I think nothing soothes the body like a warm shower.
  17. The Midwest. I'm not even going into detail. I could write paragraphs about this.
  18. My high school education. Okay--this might sound as a HUGE joke to many. I always thought I received a shitty education. However, now I see other colleagues, and their lack of math ability, writing ability, and just simple grammar--and I realize, "Wow, maybe small-town ND school wasn't so bad!"
  19. The elderly. Sometimes they drive slow, and get crabby. But really -- they deserve so much respect and honor. I challenge you to take time and really talk with an elderly person. They have so much wisdom and experience that you can learn from.
  20. My car. I hate driving. But man--life would be rough if I had to take public transit.
  21. Wine. It's delicious. And nutritious. And quite interesting to learn about!
  22. Hugs. When you're having a rough day, rough moment, etc--a REAL, honest hug makes a world of difference.
  23. Allergy medications. I wouldn't be fun to hang out with if these didn't exist *sniff*
  24. Candles. The relaxing, warm ambiance they create is perfect.
  25. The gift of LIFE! It's pretty amazing that we are alive. Considering the numerous list of possible birth complications, etc that could occur?! It's a blessing just to be in this world!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

Here's my 10 for the week! Enjoy! Or ignore, b/c you're probably sick of hearing about Abby by now ;)

Hope your week is wonderful!!

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Architect. I floated between architect and nurse. I even had this architect program on the computer where I would design houses -- but found I was more interested in the horticultural aspect of designing houses. The houses eventually had no walls -- just flowers and plants.
2. Name 3 of your irrational fears.
-Vomit. I'm going to be a nurse too. When I have a patient get sick -- I still get reallly jumpy.
-That I am forgetting to clean something in my house. Like there is a corner somewhere that I am consistently missing. And then one day, I'm going to find it and it's going to be infested with germs. However, with how crazy I am about cleaning -- I'm hoping this doesn't happen. But I check diligently every week!!!!
-Having someone break into my house when Ryan's gone. One time Ryan surprised me and came home really early. (Now, this was when we 1st moved to our new home...) Upon hearing the door open -- within seconds I managed to grab the biggest butcher knife possible. He was like "Wow....! I guess I won't surprise you like that anymore!!!"

3. If you had a $200 gift card to any store, what would you want it to be? (Nothing responsible allowed. Can’t be used for groceries or anything)
-A new hair straightener. I've had the same one for 4 years now. It's basically broken from being dropped so many times. But I am too frugal to purchase a new one.

4. What is your most (blog-friendly) embarrassing moment?
-Since it's recent....I will explain my evening last night! WARNING - this is a gross story.
Studied and drank coffee all morning (nice and dehydrating), ate lunch, studied more, and headed out for a 6 mile run and some mild wt training. (more dehydrating) Showered and headed to my 4:30-9:30 pm class -- forgetting to pack a dinner! So I texted Ryan and said "Hey, make sure you save me a plate of food tonight"
-Then on our dinner break, I remembered I hadn't taken my vitamin yet! So downed it.
-Within 40 minutes, I was feeling the utmost nausea. To the point where I finally started packing up my bag to leave class early.
-While storming out of the room, everything went BLACK.
-Yep, I fainted in front of my entire class, and got dragged out into the hall and was completely loopy.
-After class was dismissed, a few of my great classmates stayed with me and my instructor took care of me until Ryan drove into town to the rescue. (Thank god they were all nurses!)
-While waiting for Ryan, I began projectile vomiting in the lobby of my school while my teacher held my hair.
-After eating some bland foods, and rehydrating and NEVER TAKING A VITAMIN AGAIN -- I am feeling better!!
-My teacher must think I'm a complete basketcase.

5. If you were only allowed to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
-This is tough. Because I am trying to think of something that has the most nutritional value that will make my live forever. But part of me just wants to pick something I just really enjoy.
-So I'm going to just go with my favorite all time snack EVER:
Vanilla Yogurt, mixed with fresh or frozen berries, and oats sprinkled on top and mixed together. (Sometimes I get really crazy and put raw almonds on it too!)
-If you have not tried this..you should. It's amazing. And very nutritious. I could definitely eat that forever and ever and ever.

6. What was your favorite toy growing up?
I went through many phases - as al children do. But I remember reallly enjoying legos. I could play them for hours. So strange b/c now I am defintely NOT a "builder".

7. Do you have a “go to” outfit? What is it?
Oh yes. Currently (with the nice weather we are FINALLY getting). My go-to outfit is dark jeans, a nice pair of heals, and a black cardigan with a white cami underneath. I will "go-to" any cardigan to be honest. I love sweaters.

8. Who was the best teacher you ever had?
My Pharmacology, Med-Surg, AND Research teacher that I have had in nursing school. In the accelerated program, I spent about 10-11 hours with her weekly for three 8 week semesters. Since my class has only about 23 girls, we got to know her quite well! On top of that -- she's an incredible teacher and has SO MUCH experience. She is definitely one of those nurses I hope to be like some day!

9. If you could buy any car right now (something at least SORT OF within the realm of reality…so, you know, a Rolls Royce may not qualify), what would it be?
-I understand that these cars are stupid. I understand they have poor gas milage for the size. And I understand they are ugly. But I want a Smart Car. I know, I know. I love the petite-ness.

10. How do you reckon that Chelsea comes up with 10 of these questions every week? It was hard! What’s your theory on how she’s so creative? Are you going to help her?
-I always wonder how Chelsea comes up with these questions! In fact, I was just thinking about that the other day. I love these "Ten on Tuesdays". She is incredibly creative! I would be glad to help come up with new questions!