special thanks to the indigo girls

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it,
I'm crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine


Our little neice was born yesterday! Her name is Brenna, and she weighs 10 pounds and is 21.5 inches long. The really impressive thing was that her mom, Brittany, pushed her out in 30 MINUTES. What a champ. She's a little cutie pie, and she looks like Eva and her cousin Hannah. We're getting pictures of the three girls and their moms when we go to visit Brandon's family next week. I'm looking forward to seeing tiny little babies!

I also just finished writing my last paper. I graduate with my master's degree this Saturday, and I'm so excited to be done with school for ever and ever amen. No more education, I say! At least for now, I suppose. I might have a lapse of sanity and go for a doctorate. I hope that someone pinches me before I commit and pay tuition.

Yesterday I started Weight Watchers in an attempt to loose the vestiges of Eva on my hips and butt. I hope things go well and I can fit into my clothes soon. I told myself that if I haven't made significant progress by Christmas, I'm getting rid of all the stuff I have that doesn't fit me. If you are a 12/14, you might want to get on the waiting list for some super swanky clothes.



I bought these this past weekend as my Mother's Day present. I'm pretty much in love with them.


pasta that will change your life

Jambalaya Pasta

1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound dry penne rigate
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Essence, divided, recipe follows
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1-inch diced
3/4 pound andouille sausage, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup yellow onion, small diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, small diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Fill a large, 1-gallon stock pot with a pasta insert, 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1/4 cup of the salt as it boils. Place the penne in the salted water and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta until nearly al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta cooks, set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, swirl the pan to evenly coat with the oil. Season the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the shrimp in the pan and sear for 1 minute per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil to the saute pan and season the chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of the Essence and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Place the chicken breast in the pan and sear for 3 minutes, turning to ensure even browning. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside with the seared shrimp.

Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the saute pan and add the sausage, onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is lightly caramelized and the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock to the pan and scrape with a spoon to remove any browned bits that have formed in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, the remaining tablespoon of Essence and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the pan and cook an additional 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and chicken to the pan, as well as the nearly al dente pasta and the reserved 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Continue to cook the sauce and pasta, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp and chicken are cooked through, the pasta is al dente and most of the pasta cooking water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the basil and Parmesan. Toss to combine and serve while hot.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William Morrow, 1993.

one bourbon, one scotch, one beer (and other things i should probably avoid)

The other things, you might ask? My mom and aunt came this past weekend, and that always means delicious foods in generous quantities. Namely, my mom brought her rice crispie treats, which she always made for me to take in and share for my birthday in elementary school, complete with little mallowcreme pumpkins on top (which might possibly be the greatest confectionery treat this world has ever seen). The little delights are peanut butter crispie treats with chocolate on top.
Sigh. So good. So yummy.

Needless to say, those combined with the jambalaya pasta and eating out has made all baby weight loss plans go to the wayside this weekend. There's always tomorrow to start being healthier. Unless there are still left over rice crispie treats. Then it'll start the day after tomorrow.

I love it when family comes to visit. However much I like living in Pullman and the friends we have here, I still would rather be closer to our family any day. My brother David and I grew up far away from extended family members, and even then, we were the two youngest grandkids. We didn't get to have a lot of fun with cousins, especially Dave, since he's three years younger than I am, and the next closest cousin age-wise is a year older than me and lived in Minnesota.

I'm glad for Eva's sake that she's going to have cousins her age, and I hope that we live close to everyone that she grows up with a strong sense of family. I also hope that she loves her immediate family as much as I love mine. My dad, mom, and brother are some of the best friends I have, and some of the most entertaining.

My brother has started to play softball for the parks and rec league he's in. He's the youngest on the team by about 6 years, which I think gave him a false sense of athleticism. Don't get me wrong, he's strong and really fast, but he assumes that if you are older you are slower. Those assumptions went out the window this past weekend when his team got smoked in the tournament they played in this weekend. Those old guys are pretty good...and I think he realizes that now.
All this typing make me hungry...rice crispie time.


there's nothing like the sweet smell of lysol in the afternoon

Since I've been home with the baby and the not having to go to work, I've found that many of my pre-baby habits have gone to the wayside.

For one, I actually clean everyday. Before the Eva arrived, I cleaned about once a week when things got bad. And when I say "cleaned" I mean the living room, kitchen and bathroom got a once over. Today, I vacuumed, CLEANED THE STOVE (gasp), and cleaned the kitchen counters. I cleaned and organized Eva's room yesterday, mopped, and swept. Tomorrow, I plan on tackling the bedroom and deep cleaning the bathroom. I'm not really sure what's coming over me, I just hope I can keep it up. I'm not sure what I'll do when the whole house is cleaned...but I'm sure it involves several bags of garbage and a trip to Goodwill.

My friend April read this book about a woman who went through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (not sure if it was both volumes) in one year. I fear I might do that with my The Best Recipe cookbook if I run out of cleaning, organizing, and purging. On the other hand, family and friends will be on the receiving end of delish dishes.

As for the sleeping, I've given up on Babywise. Perhaps I'll start with that when she's older, but for now, she's sleeping through the night already. I'm working on her being able to put herself to sleep during nap time. So far, it's been hit and miss.

The baby is napping, and I believe I will follow suit.


Nap Part Deux

Finally asleep...though she went to sleep while nursing, which the Gurus poo-poo. Frankly, I'm happy no one is crying, present company included.


A friend recommended the book Babywise to help regulate Eva's sleep schedule. We're on day one...currently, there is little success. I put her down for a nap (napping, according to Babywise, is a learned skill), and there has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth as a result. She didn't go down at all for the first nap, and cried for about 35 minutes with a period of sleep lasting 5 minutes during the crying. Round two has had her crying for about 5 minutes so far. The Babywise Gurus say that after 15 minutes of crying, you should go in, pick the baby up, and comfort her. If I was the pissed off baby that is now in her bassinet, I would deck the adult who comes in only to pick me up and put me back down, when clearly I'm having none of this nap nonsense. It's a good thing she's just a baby and can't hit very hard yet.

We also went in for a lactation consult earlier today, to find out that she hasn't been latching on correctly. Sigh. This baby thing is more complicated than I thought. I mean, I knew it wasn't a walk in the park, but the things that I thought would come easy (sleeping, eating) has thus far proved elusive. Personally, I could be described as a sleeping eating machine, and it's obvious that those traits were not inherited.

The thing is, she's crying right now, and she sounds so...mad. I mean, sleep is a great thing. I enjoy it immensely. So why are we having so much sadness over something so great? Coupled with the fact that my husband is a resident hall director (meaning we have an apartment in a college dorm) and our bedroom wall is shared by a poor student next door, there are three frustrated people who are a little tired of the crying.