Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Ninth Anniversary!

 It was actually about a month ago now... but you know, I'm still playing catch up.  Michael and I have now been married for nine years.  I can't believe how fast time just flies by.

We celebrated by heading out to Gordon Ramsey Steak.  After watching all the seasons of Hell's Kitchen Michael had decided that he had to try the famous Beef Wellington so we figured this would be the best opportunity to make this happen.

We are fancy.

This is a sculpture that hung from the ceiling of the restaurant that was supposed to represent Ramsey's movements when making his beef wellington.  For reals... this is not a joke.

The menu cover.

Slider appetizer.  My water glass was about 6 inches tall.  They were tiny but delicious.

I ordered a fish plate.  It said seasonal fish.  I'm not even sure what I ate.  There was lobster and mussels but I don't remember what the rest was. I was glad that I tried something different.  I was good.

This was my baked potato on the side.  This thing was huge and covered in thick cuts of bacon and cheese.  It was warm and gooey. It was a perfect potato.

Here is THE BEEF WELLINGTON.  It's kind of a big deal.  Michael gave me a bite and it was probably the best thing ever.  Michael loved every single bite of it.

It was a great night and a different experience.  We are not as fancy of people as you feel like you need to be in places like this.  While the food was fabulous we just felt physically out of place.  We will likely never go back but we were excited for the chance to go.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: Promises to Keep

I had no idea what I was getting in to when I picked up Promises to Keep by Jane Green.

I was walking around the library and grabbed this book off the shelf.  It was on a complete whim.  I've enjoyed novels by Jane Green in the past that I figured I would give it a go.

I opened this book about a week ago.  I love how Green wrote her characters in this story.  They were simple yet complicated.  Their feeling were raw and emotions were real.

In this novel we meet a large cast of characters but the main ones are Callie, Steffi and Lila.

Callie and Steffi are sisters born about a decade apart and Lila is a lifetime friend.  Each one has a big change coming on in her life.  Steffi, a vegan chef, is tired of life in New York City and jumps at the opportunity to live in the small village of Sleepy Hollow and be closer to her sister.

Lila has finally met the man of her dreams and he is everything she ever wanted.

Callie has the perfect life.  A husband that was perfect for her, two children's that she absolutely adores.  But something is not quite right anymore.  She isn't feeling as she normally does.  Something is just off.

Here is a SPOILER ALERT....

Callie is sick.  And it has rocked the world of all the people around her.  She fought and won the battle against breast cancer five years ago and it is back a vengeance.

Callie is getting weaker by the day and each of her friends and family are doing their best to take care of her and each other.

As I read through this I would feel the tears just pour down my face.  I had no idea what this book was about but it really hit home as we said good-bye to grandpa two weeks ago.  It may have been too much too soon.  But it was still beautifully written.

Friday, May 2, 2014

What's for Dinner?- Salmon, Garlic Pasta and Green Beans

 In an attempt to try new things WE ATE SALMON!  Woot!

We don't really consume a lot of fish around here.  I've only had salmon once or twice in my entire life.  So we gave it a shot.

I found a recipe through Pinterest at Running a Ragnar.

I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great!  It was flaky and delicious.  Even Sidda liked it; she is my picky eater.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place salmon skin side down.

Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a cold oven set at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

MJ is checking it out. 

The results were great!  The fish flaked easily and tasted great along with the garlic pasta.

Anya will eat just about anything.

Sidda loved it!

We finished dinner off with Popsicles.  Anya stole mine.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Grandpa Las Vegas

There are no words to express the sadness that is sweeping through the Abell family over the last few weeks.  Michael's grandfather, Mike, went home to be with the Lord on April 23rd.  He went home into the open arms of Jesus.

And while I am incredibly joyous that he is no longer in pain and with God  I am still deeply saddened that I will no longer see him.

It's so easy to take for granted the time you have with the people you love.  You never, ever think that they will no longer be with you, not even if they are 79 years old.  I honestly thought that he would live forever.  Even after he got sick I thought he would live on.

Grandpa Las Vegas... he was called that from when Michael was a little boy.  When he lived in Florida and his grandparent lived in Nevada and they would send him gifts his mom would tell him "It's from your Grandma and Grandpa in Las Vegas."  Which eventually led to the nickname Grandpa Las Vegas.

This name has stuck ever since.  This is what his grandchildren and great grandchildren would call him.  He was even known by some people at our church by this name.  After Sidda and MJ and their cousins would come running to him and yelling his name.

I loved seeing the relationship that my kids had with him.  Each and every Sunday morning before service they would sit together and have a doughnut.  They would chat while they ate.  Every Sunday MJ would ask me if it was doughnut day with Grandma and Grandpa Las Vegas.  They looked forward to it each week.

This year Grandpa came to watch Sidda and MJ's basketball games.  Even though he was sick and getting weak he did not miss a single game for either of them.  Even if the game were two or three hours apart he would watch one and come back again for the second.

He was truly amazing.  And he loved and took care of his family.  He loved his kids, grandkids and great grandkids.

And he is loved by every single on of us.

And we miss him.
This is one of the last pictures we have.  This is MJ with Grandma and Grandpa Las Vegas.