Monday, December 31, 2007

I did it.

As many of you know, I love salsa. LOVE it. Chips and salsa is just about the perfect snack. Or meal. Whichever. I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur of salsas, but I am kind of picky. I only like Mexican restaurant salsa. As a matter of fact, good salsa is one way I rate Mexican restaurants (the other is cheese enchiladas, but that's another topic). I do NOT like salsa from a jar. Grossie.

So, I make my own. I've got a good recipe that's easy with few ingredients (some of you may know it). Jon is not a picky salsa eater, but his one complaint was the consistency. He likes salsa that stays on the chip, and my blender was creating a thin puree of the oh-so-lovely salsa.

Enter: the food processor! When I requested a food processor for Christmas, it was for two reasons. One, because I can't seem to chop onions without also chopping myself, and two, because I figured it was a way to get a thicker salsa. And I was right!

Let me segue for a moment and also say I'm in constant pursuit of better salsa. This combined with the fact that the key ingredient of my normal salsa--Trappy's Torrido Peppers--seems to have become persona non grata led me to try out a new recipe.

Here it is:

Put these ingredients into the processor with the chopper blade and chop on high:
1 bunch cilantro, gathered and tops cut off (maybe about 2C loosely packed?)
6 hot chili peppers (mine was Mezzetta brand)
2 green onions
3 Chili Cascabel (they're dried chipotle peppers--mine was Fiesta brand)

Then add these and chop on low:
1 28 oz. can Hunt's whole tomatoes (some of the liquid poured off)
1 10 oz. can Rotel
Garlic, Salt and Cumin to taste

Mmmmm......a perfect salsa.... Look at it! Great color, wonderful taste (I love the cilantro!), and the chunky consistency Jon likes. I was worried that the cilantro wouldn't chop well in such a big processor, but it worked beautifully. And it added such a great flavor! The chipotle peppers add the darker color and a little more depth to the flavor as well.

So now go! Why are you still reading? Go get some cilantro, some yummy peppers, and a food processor! Go!

Oh, and then invite me over! I'll bring the chips!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Post

Posts to look forward to in the coming days:
1. Babysitting Sophie overnight!
2. Christmas fun, Lydia's family
3. Christmas fun, Jon's family
4. Photography update
5. New Year's Resolutions
6. A small tutorial on aperture in photography
7. And, as always, the silliness that is my cat.

Now don't you just wish the coming days were coming faster!

In the meantime, I've put up a photo of a recent photo shoot on my LMN-o-Photo site, and will try to put up more in the coming days. So check it out! The link is in the sidebar.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary

There comes a time in a marriage (especially when the two are opposites) when those traits that we once held dear about our beloved spouses become...well...not so dear. That was this year for us. Jon had just about too many times when I was busy, or double-committed by accident, or taking other people's feelings into account over all else, or making mountains out of molehills. And I was tired of Jon's black and white worldview, his "my way or the highway" attitude. Add a few stresses into our lives, and out comes a big, black knot that's hard to untangle.

That has been the past year for us. We've gotten into that knot. But, by the grace of God and the love He gives us for each other, we've gotten out. I'm sure we'll get into similar knots in the future, but it's good to know that we don't give up. That we remember why we married each other.

I remember that Jon is my rock of stability. When I face things I don't understand or can't conquer on my own, I feel helpless and flail harder against the unconquerable. Jon helps me realize that I can't do things on my own, and some things aren't for me to do at all. I can't wave a wand and make things better in our life or the lives of my friends. Some things (most things) are for God alone to handle.

I remember that Jon is my discernment. When I see an opportunity to try/learn/be involved with something new, I jump at the chance. After exhausting myself and turning my priorities up-side-down, I've realized that Jon has a good sense about whether or not I should involve myself.

I remember that Jon is my home. I flit from friend to friend, enjoying coffee with one, playing guitar with another, dinner with a third. All are good things, but at the end of the day, I come home with nothing left to extend to my husband. I am reminded that Jon is my Best Friend above all.

We've been married 5 years, now. And I'm so thankful for each of those years! God has taught us through each one.

Tomorrow (Friday) is our anniversary, but we celebrated on Tuesday. Jon started the day with a surprise from Edible Arrangements! When he told me to be home by 2:00, I thought sure it was flowers, but he knows I love surprises! And who can resist chocolate covered strawberries?!

Then we got dressed up and ate downtown at the Reata! We even got to use valet parking, and I felt so special when someone came and opened my door for me. We ate pretty quickly (the food was delicious), and then we sat and chatted for a long while, sipping cappuccino and pondering where the next 5 years may lead us. We went up to the rooftop of the building, which is a garden/bar (maybe I should say "bar/garden" since most people were there for the bar) with fountains and flowers and a beautiful view of the city all lit up for Christmas.

All in all, it was a sweet, wonderful memory. I'm thankful for the many wonderful memories we have tucked away from these past 5 years. I love you, Jon!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A case of the hiccups

Jon and I have a tried and true way to get rid of the hiccups. He gives me a huge bear hug, and my hiccups are gone! I'm not sure why this works. In my mind, I imagine that the hug squeezes my lungs and diaphragm back into submission. Or something like that. It works, however it happens.

Except for today.

No amount of bear hugging to make my hiccups stop! So Jon resorted to method #2: the Tickle. Then I just looked like a drunk, laughing and hiccuping. It didn't help.

On to method #3, which is the one Jon likes to use when he gets the hiccups: Yell as loud and as long as you can. I guess it works for the same reason as holding your breath or drinking lots of water. Anyway, Jon suggested that, directed me away from his ears, and began the countdown to the Big Yell.

Let me just interject something that Jon did not know about me. In band, we used to have contests. We'd all play one note, and see how long we could play it. The last one still honking out a note won at the end. I was that person. Jon did not know this.

About halfway through my yell, he started pushing on my diaphragm, I think to make me yell faster. Then he started laughing and asked if I was breathing through my nose somehow. That made laugh and lose all the rest of the air inside me (as well as my hiccups, by the way!).

So now you know. I impressed the band class (yes, I know it's nerdy), and I've still got it! Big lungs! Woohoo!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mostly about the cat.

I just watched my cat yawn three times in a row. Oh wait. Four! It's pretty cute because he stretches out and curls his back toes. Plus he's under the Christmas tree, by all the packages, and it's just a nice picture. It makes me sleepy, too. No fair getting the easiest job in the house: sleeping and being available for petting at all times. My goodness! Five! I think it's because I keep making eye contact with him. Then he yawns, stretches and curls his toes. I think he needs attention...maybe just a little pet....

...There. I rubbed his belly until he ran away. He'll be good for another half hour or so until it's time to be fed. For being a cat, he's excellent at telling time.

Okay, not to continue talking about a cat, but now he's sharing the laptop with me. He's got his paws on the computer, and he's very fascinated with the cursor. He used to do this as a kitten, but it doesn't happen often any more. I mean, I had to drag him up here, but he's staying, and that's what's important! What a great cat.

Anyway, on to other things. I just got back from almost a week of meetings with the Sales & Marketing team of my company. Not too long ago, we had 6 people on the team, and now we have 16! So many new people! But it's due to the great growth our company has had, and I'm excited about how much more it will grow now that we have all these people in place.

I am still the sole graphic designer, and I think that's fine. We probably have to grow a little more before I start needing a team of my own! However, it does look like I may be taking a marketing class in the spring so I can improve my marketing skills. I hope I can find a good class and I'm excited about learning new things.

Holly and I put up lights on the house today. I was reminded that we've been friends for over a year now! I've really loved her friendship. She has taught me a lot about what it is to be a good neighbor and friend. And of course, she has the cutest girl on the block! Though we left Sophie with Jon today for an hour, and he looked a little shell-shocked when we got back inside! I'm used to her constant energy and ability to find the exact things I didn't want her to touch/bite/write on/break, and she still wears me out, so I can't imagine how Jon felt! She's learning to dance to music, and it's really cute to see her wiggle when music comes on. :)

...Hm...what else? Friday's still sitting with me, and I think it's only because of the movement of the cursor on the screen, so I feel compelled to keep writing. I'm afraid we could be in it for the long haul!

Oh, I got a tattoo! It happened at the marketing meeting. A few meetings back (last March), I had mentioned how I'd always wanted a tattoo, but couldn't decide what to get or where to put it. When I decided, though, I would get one. Well, that stuck with some of the people on the team (maybe because I don't seem like the tattoo type), and they mention it every time we get together. So, this time, I decided to go for it. Baby Pluto (from Disney) on my ankle. Why Pluto? Well, Spidey in the black costume and Spidey in the red costume were the first two that came out of the coin machine, but those didn't seem to fit. The third was Pluto, and then I was out of quarters! So Pluto it least until he rubs off.

Well, you're in luck. After leaving quite a few 5s and ts on this post (which I edited out for you), Friday left, so I guess I'll go brush up on my Christmas carols on guitar for tomorrow morning. I should have figured he would leave soon; it's T minus 5 minutes til I feed him! (A coincidence that he was typing 5s and ts???)