Stories from the lives of Jared, Stephanie, Aubrey, Hannah and Dani Or, Jare-phanie-brey-nah-ni

Friday, January 27, 2012

What I Have Learned

Here is a compilation of things I have learned since being in Marietta Georgia:

  • It only takes 20-25 minutes for me to walk a mile in my pregnant and out-of-shape physical condition
  • Some CVS stores have a food section
  • This CVS food section is expensive and will only be gone to in emergencies
  • The Chattahoochee is just a few minutes walk down a hill from our apartment
  • This hill can be treacherous, even with a path
  • Having a washer and dryer in the apartment is a luxury
  • Ground level apartments have some of the scariest moments with people running around
  • If a loud man sounds like he's trying to break down a door to get to his ex-wife who is hiding the kids from him, lock all 3 deadbolts on the door, run to the bathroom/bedroom with your phone and wait until he leaves before returning to the living room
  • There is only enough hot water to handle a 20 minute shower; anything over 20 minutes leads to freezing cold water
  • Our baby loves the sound of Daddy/Jared's voice
  • Frying chicken in a skillet is a lot easier than I originally thought
  • Pajama pants are more comfortable to wear than jeans
  • Krispy Kreme is so much better than Dunkin Donuts
  • Cookies are one of my weaknesses 
It's been fun figuring things out and finding new things to do! There are more things I have learned since being here, I just can't think of them right now :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Kitchen is Still Standing!

    It's always a risky thing when I decide to try something new for dinner. The first night I tried making chicken parmigiana, I was terrified of burning the outside of the chicken but not cooking the middle. Then another night, I tried making pie, which didn't exactly work, but I recognized my mistakes and am willing to try again. 

    Last night, I decided it would be fun to try something new with the chicken we had defrosted in our fridge. Lately, I like to stay away from raw foods, so the fact I wanted to use it was very strange. Since being pregnant, anything and everything raw grosses me out and I can't stand touching anything slimy.

    But I found a recipe for fried chicken and gravy that seemed simple enough! We have all the ingredients (well, all except one, but I know a good substitute for it) and I decided, why not!

    While reading the directions closer, I realized I had to brown the chicken in hot oil. I've never done that before! Burning myself is a common thing to happen in the kitchen and adding hot oil to the mix did not sound pleasant (or like a safe idea). Oh well! I kept on with my plan to try and fry chicken. 

    Like getting in to a cold pool, I wanted to just dip my toes in first...I was scared of what would happen once I put the chicken in the oil. I had the chicken pieces all dipped and covered in the cracker and seasonings mixture, I was just nervous putting them in the actual oil. 

    My cookbook said the oil was ready when it would dissolve a drop of water. So I put in a drop of water to see what would happen. It started popping and shooting stuff up at me! This made me want to stay away from the oil even more! But I got my apron on, pulled my long sleeves down to my wrists, jumped in to the cold pool head first and I put the chicken in (with tongs as I stood as far away as possible). 

    Who would have thought how easy it is to fry chicken in hot oil! I just turned the pieces over every couple minutes so they would cook evenly and they looked (and smelled) great! 

    The next step was weird. The recipe I have is for Maryland Fried Chicken...apparently they like to have their chicken simmer in milk...So I put the milk in the skillet after draining the oil and let it sit for a little bit to simmer. 

I also had potatoes going for a side dish in case Jared came home starving like a cave man!

    I am very happy with how dinner turned out. Nothing burned, everything was cooked all the way through and I made arrangements for our dinner to be a little more special than usual. Our dining room lights have an option where all 4 bulbs can be lit, or just two, creating a dim and romantic mood :) I also got iTunes going with some Micheal Buble playing softly in the background. 

    The food was great!

Our table!

Jared's plate with the gravy on everything :)

I think he enjoyed the meal!

The plate was pretty clean after dinner.

     I'm sad to say I didn't have anything special for dessert. We had a couple oreos left over from family night, so we had some of those for a little treat. Jared was still very full from dinner so he didn't get to enjoy the cookies too much.

    Trying new things is fun and I appreciate Jared being willing to taste my experiments! He really puts a lot of trust in me while I'm in the kitchen and it helps. 

    I told him before as fair warning that if dinner didn't work out, I would cry and he would have to pick something else up for dinner on his way home from work. We didn't even need the Plan B this time!

    No smoke detector alarms went off, no need for the fire extinguisher and I didn't get a single burn mark on my fingers!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Countdown Chain!

    Here is our countdown chain to when our baby is supposed to come!

    We used lots of pretty paper and hung them up on the wall in her room! The picture doesn't do it justice, it seems like a VERY long chain!

    On each link we wrote her a cute little note and I'll probably end up saving all of them for her little baby book. :)

    It's so exciting expecting a little baby in less than 3 months! We know we have no idea what we're getting in to, but we can't wait! 

    If anyone has any advice, we (mostly I) would love it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starting the Countdown Tonight!

    Everyone knows that I am pregnant and due in a few months. Everyone also knows that I can't keep track of how many weeks I am without cheating and looking at my calendar!

    So tonight as a way to help Jared and I countdown to the glorious day our baby girl comes, we are making a chain-link countdown! We did it for our wedding too and it helped us get excited and remember how many days away we were, without having to count and do any sort of math :)

    Yesterday was the 80 day mark! Which means I am less than 12 weeks, less than 3 months and now less than 80 days away! 

    There are still so many things left to do!! We need to finish the baby's room with cute little things, my Mom has already planned and is getting the online baby shower set up and we need a few more baby items before I'll feel ready. 

    Jared and I have also been writing little letters for when the baby comes. I write about the fun things like having her move and I try to keep track of what foods make her move like a crazy person! We both write about how excited we are for her and we already love her so much!

    I can't believe I am getting this close to having a baby! It seems like just a little bit ago we were just finding out we are having a girl and we told our families! For a long time, I wasn't even showing! Now I have a difficult time just bending over! Putting my socks on is extremely difficult sometimes, especially when this crazy baby feels like moving!

    Jared and I are so excited to have this baby girl in April! We can hardly wait to meet her and play with her! Jared is already planning on getting her lots of toys, whether or not they are girl toys, so he can play with her after work and on the weekends :) I'm getting myself ready for not sleeping well by having restless nights right now. As far as I know, I haven't had any crazy dreams, but I don't seem to sleep well enough to have dreams worth remembering. 

    I will put up a picture of our countdown and I'll try and find something I can put on the blog as a countdown for the few of you who read this blog :)

    I only have 79 days to go!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finding Things To Do

    Well, it's been two weeks since we've moved here and I'm running out of things to do!

    Luckily, there are places close by I can play at and I can get creative around the apartment. 

    Sunday, Jared and I found a safe access way to the Chattahoochee River! It's so close to our apartment and it will be SO PRETTY when the trees are not quite so dead. And it's a work out climbing back up the hill and stairs. My legs will be in great shape if I go down there about once a week. 

 This is my favorite photo of us down by the river

 Jared took a few pictures of just me. Thought I'd put them on here because he's mentioned once or twice I hardly ever put pictures of me on the blog...which may be true :)

 So here's another photo of just me and the river

 And another one of just me and the river

    I interviewed at a Bank of America last week and discovered it's a pretty good walk! Not even a mile to get there and along the way are places to eat, get hot chocolate and there is a CVS. So if ever I am desperate, I can always walk to those places. I don't drink coffee, but it sure smells good when it's made the right way!!

    Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don't make my tummy happy, but peanut butter cookies sure are yummy! So I made peanut butter cookies Tuesday and got to use my new mixer!

    For the past year, whenever I made cookies or anything, I had to use a spoon and mix everything by hand. Oh my goodness, it's so nice being able to use an electric mixer!

    Anyhow, it's just been fun trying to find things to do. Now that our apartment is pretty much done and everything is unpacked (everything that needs to be, that is) I'm left to my own devices!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Weekend in Marietta!

    It was our first long weekend here in our new area of Marietta. We had a normal weekend, but Monday was the special part where my parents came to visit for a little bit! I've wanted to show off our apartment to someone for a while, and it was so fun showing my parents. They also came with great baby stuff! 

    My mom brought over blankets I used and that her grandparents and Mom made. She also brought lots of cute clothes, both new and a little older :) Some of the dresses I wore when I was little, there is a dress she wore as a baby. 

    And the extra fun bit was seeing the dress I got blessed in! What's fun about the blessing dress is that my Mom wore it, I wore it, and our little baby will probably wear it!

    Mom also brought some of those cute socks that look like shoes and some super cute onesies!

    As far as our apartment goes, we've gotten most everything all set up and ready to go! Jared put the curtains in our room up after we found the perfect ones to match our bed and pillows! I played with the second bathroom and it looks all pretty with the rug and shower curtain and little trash pail. We've hung up all the pictures we've cared to and we're still brainstorming of what to do with the huge wall in our living area. Everything we put on it looks too tiny. 

    I figured now would be a good time to post a few pictures of our new home. I wanted to show it off to my parents before putting up pictures :) Pictures don't always look good, and our apartment looks awesome!

 Our dining area

 Our living area with a peek into the sun room

A closer look into the sun room with the blinds kinda open. We have our patio furniture in there to make it look good, as well as a bouncy ball :)

 Our kitchen that leads out to the dining area

 The kitchen showing where the washer and dryer will eventually go when we get one. Also shows off our food storage :)

Our bedroom with awesome matching curtains

The other half of the bedroom showing off the other curtain :)

 Our awesome walk-in closet!

    Our apartment really does look better than this, my camera just can't take good pictures it seems...

    I'm still working on the baby's room. I don't want to show it until it is ready, or at least almost ready. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Jared!

    Today is Jared's birthday and he's a good worker, so he's not taking the day off. 

    Luckily, we have a long weekend coming up, so we'll find time to celebrate then! 

    Jared was making jokes last night about celebrating his Birthday Eve, but that was just silly :) He didn't realize I had cut out letters to hang up in the morning that spell out "Happy Birthday Jared!!"

I put the letters on the glass door to the sun room

    We bought orange rolls back in Nashville thinking we would use them for breakfast Jan 1. Without realizing it though, we packed up the pan we needed to cook them! But it worked out perfectly where we could use them today!

    I'm kinda awful and forgot to get cake stuff to make him something. I'll try and do better next year. I figure I have forever to get it right :)

    Good thing his work is getting him a little treat! He won't feel totally deprived on his birthday...

    This weekend of celebration will include a temple visit, maybe shopping for our apartment and I'll make carrot cake cupcakes. He hasn't had sushi for a while, so if we get a good recommendation, we might go there to eat...I'll have only egg rolls and non-fish stuff and he can eat all he wants :)

    This post was all in honor of my dear husband Jared. I love him tons and tons and I hope he has such a great birthday! He's so great and says he doesn't want anything for his birthday. Because he says that, I want to do everything I can for him! 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Survived the First Week!

    What a week Jared and I just had! Most of our stuff was packed Saturday so we could get in the moving van Monday morning, leave Nashville, move to our new apartment in Marietta that afternoon and unload with Dad and James.

    Jared started work the next day (Tuesday) and I began unpacking and organizing. I got a big chunk of stuff done, even with this extra 20 pounds sticking out in front of me :)

    The next few days were unpacking and doing little things, trying to keep myself busy. Jared found a way to work that only takes about 20 minutes, rather than the half hour people told us to plan for.
    By Friday I had most everything put away, we just had pictures left to hang and the baby's room to finish! We didn't realize how stressful that would be...

    At the end of the week, we know where the huge trash things are, where the mailbox and laundry room are located, how much a load of laundry costs, and we know which entrance leads directly to our apartment (there are 3 entrances to this apartment complex thing).

    Saturday, after some stress of not having the right tool, we put up the baby's crib and the vibrating/musical chair thing! We have the stroller out with the car seat too. I organized the baby clothes the best I could into boxes and bags and separated the bathroom stuff. 

    We also started hanging up pictures Saturday. It's a little bit more difficult than we thought, because we have so much wall space! Our pictures just look lost on the walls, so it was irritating trying to find places for them to look good. After a while we just gave up/decided to take a break. Today I'm going to put up the last few little ones that don't really matter where they go. 

    The sun room is still a work in progress. It looks and feels to empty even though we have our patio furniture in there. We're planning on getting some plants in the Spring, so maybe that will help.

    Church was great too! We already knew where it was and what time, so we just had to plug in the address to our GPS and we got there right on time. Everyone was super friendly and I swapped phone numbers with several women. It also turns out there are about 6 women all due within 6 weeks of each other! I believe I'm now included in that group! 

    Everything seems to be working out great, even though the first week here was hectic with the quick move and trying to figure things out. Our keys to our mailbox don't work, so we're waiting on the office to bring us the right keys. We probably just have junk mail, but checking the mail every other day will give me something to do and a great reason to get outside!

    So anyhow, that was our first week here in Atlanta and we are so excited for this week! Tomorrow is Jared's birthday, but we won't be able to celebrate until the weekend, which will be nice, because it will be a long weekend!

    We miss our friends greatly in Nashville and we hope to make a trip back to see them really soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Big Plans This Year!

    Oh my goodness we have some big things going on this next year!

    First of all, we are moving to Atlanta! Starting off fresh in a new city with a better job for Jared. It's bitter-sweet to leave the friends we've made, but we're excited for something new. 

    Once we move, Jared starts work the next day. I still haven't found somewhere to work, so I get the fun job of unpacking and putting things where I want them :)

    Hopefully we can settle down soon and fall in love with Atlanta! 

    But we can't get too much in a routine because we'll have our baby girl coming sometime in April! It'll be awesome if she can come around Easter! Every year (while I have control over what she wears) I can put her in a cute bunny outfit, like the pajamas in A Christmas Story!

    Other than that, it's just family stuff after the baby comes! My brother James will be graduating and heading out to college. Then my other brother Ben will be fixin to head on a mission. Chris may be lame and have nothing going on, but if he keeps dating this girl, I predict they'll get married!

    I'll put up before and after pictures of our new apartment and we are so excited! With all the craziness the past few weeks, I've been slacking with blogging. But with no job right now for me, I can play online all I want to!