Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring has sprung!

Spring is in the air! I'm so glad b/c those winter months are so dreary. Spring really arrived last week with everything blooming and then we had 4 long days of rain which was much needed. We finally saw the sun again yesterday and it's so nice out! We could smell all the flowers tonight on our run. Perfect night. We ate at Flying Fish for dinner and the porch area had all the windows open. Felt so good! We put birdseed all over the back patio and the boys have enjoyed some "bird watching".

We did our first real 5K run! Aside from the freezing cold and rain it went great!!! A little chaotic at the beginning when we were in the center of a giant hoard of runners. There wasn't enough room on the street so we were running on sidewalks, grass, up steps, down steps, and hopping curbs for the first mile or so. Miles 2 and 3 were much smoother as everyone had evened out along the course by then. It was so awesome to cross that finish line! We will be doing many more runs in the future!

I had alot of fun setting our dining room table for our first dinner at it! Everyone loved the food and I got lots of nice compliments. It was a very nice evening! And we have lots of leftover Pasta, Pesto, and Peas to last us all week!

Andrew received his offer letter today and it made it even more real for us! He starts Monday the 23rd! We also found out that his salary at this job will be increased from his last job since he is now hired as project architect!!!! Sunday we listened to a wonderful church service at our church called Power of Prayer. I felt as though it couldn't have applied more to our lives right now. It was the perfect lesson at the perfect time. We ate lunch at Uncle Julio's after and then did a little outlet shopping in Allen. We followed that by renting some movies and having a little movie night. Once he goes back to work we aren't going to get to spend all this time together like we are now! We are going to cherish every minute!

I love these boys!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Answered Prayers!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

Andrew got the job!!!!!! We are so blessed! This was such a scary time the past month and we handed it all over to God, and He has provided for us!!!! I feel like our relationship with God as well as each other has grown so much stronger as a result of this. My mom gave me a pretty purple lamenated card with this bible verse on it before I went to nursing school. I had it up in my dorm room in nursing school and looked at it every day. It always gave me such a sense of security and hope. I brought it to my apartment after nursing school and it has followed me to the new house where I have it in our bathroom. We found out Thursday he got the job and I could just hear this verse in my head! It really applies! God had a plan for Andrew all along!!!

Here's how it all went down...

I was sleeping off a long shift on Thursday when he came in yelling that he had just gotten a call and they had offered him the job! I woke up with a start and yelled and screamed with him and then went back to sleep since I had to work that night too! Once I got up like normal at 4:30 I thought to myself..."Did I dream that? Did he really get the job? Oh no...what if it was a dream!" I ran into the study where he was and found out it was true! He had been offered the job and accepted it in the same phone call! He will get his acceptance letter Monday and start at his new firm probably the next week! I have the next 6 days off so we are excited about spending alot of time together before we both head back to work!

Andrew's Grandma is here from Tennessee so we are cooking tomorrow night for her and Andrew's parents, Houston and Margaret. Andrew's Grandma hasn't seen the house since the week before the wedding back in June and it was still a few months from being completed. I am making a yummy pasta dish Andrew loves called Pasta, Pesto, and Peas and a delicious salad recipe from my mom called Sonoma Salad. I'm excited!!!!

We are going to sleep early b/c of Dash Down Greenville in the morning!!! Not before we watch Americal Idol first. We love Danny and Adam!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Goodbye nights maybe soon?

Busy week of working extra shifts (thanks economy!), eye and teeth appointments, and working more shifts! I don't think I will get to sleep much this week! But there is a little rumor fluttering around the unit that I may be going to days soon!!!!!  I'm trying not to get too excited, because I've already had my hopes dashed once in this situation so I'm not believing anything until I hear it straight from the boss lady's mouth!!! I have to admit I skulked around the unit this morning a little extra trying to "appear available" just in case I ran into her and she had "something" she needed to tell me. But to no avail, as she is not even here this week, but out of town! I am not going to outright ask her though. I have heard through the grapevine that that is not a good idea. So I am just going to bide my time and wait for my opportunity to come find me!

It will happen when it is supposed to happen. It will have been 2 years of straight nights this May. I am so ready for days. I have been really ready for a good 6 months or so. Some nights are just a beating these days. I think that inside God has our next few months all planned out to a T. If I were to go to days now I would get a hefty little pay cut, as I wouldn't be getting the night shift differential anymore which actually does add up pretty nicely. Since our income has been cut in have for a month now we are really starting to feel it. And it hurts! So we really don't need to add a pay cut in my salary to the mix right now do we? God are You just waiting until you open a door for Andrew's job for me to go to days? I think that is what You are doing, and it is fine with us. So until then I am perfectly content working that awful shift b/c it is all part of a Perfect Plan for the Herrell Fam.

The BIG RUN is this Saturday! I am working extra Tues night and then my scheduled shifts Wed and Thurs night. We will pick up our packets at Run On Friday afternoon and hopefully squeeze in a quick 5K that afternoon to prepare for the 5K Saturday morning. I have found in my new running experience that my 2nd run of the week is my best with my 1st being the worst! I do not want that long awaited Saturday run to be that first horrible run of the week! Make sense? Maybe. There was just no time to run earlier this week with all the craziness. We have in previous weeks been fitting in three 5K runs a week!

The prayers continue in our house for the precious interview tomorrow at 1330 in the afternoon!!!!! Please God guide and be with Andrew tomorrow!!!!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Carrot Cranberry Muffins

Another fave around our house! I can barely get these on the cake stand, and then they're gone! I first made these last fall and kind of forgot about them. I will definitely be making these more often!

Carrot Cranberry Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup finely grated carrot (I use the bag of "matchstick" carrots that are pre-grated)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until cinnamon is evenly distributed. In a second mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, and milk. Blend until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring to combing. Stir in the carrot and cranberries. Fill the muffin cups and bake 20 minutes. 

So addicting!

Another impressive iphone picture!

Moroccan Shrimp with Couscous

I made this for us last night and it was very easy and sooooo good!

Moroccan Shrimp 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 lb. medium uncooked shrimp, shell off

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges

a bunch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped

coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1  1/4 cup instant couscous

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

3-4 T. extra virgin olive oil

freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon

To prepare the couscous, put in a large heatproof bowl, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and mix. Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and 1 T. olive oil. Cover and set aside for 5 min. Meanwhile, bring some water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer. Transfer the couscous to the top compartment of the steamer, cover, and steam for 6-7 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and set aside. (FYI- I majorly used a shortcut for this part and just boiled the couscous in a saucepan with water by following the directions on the box. I didn't want to mess with all that steamer nonsense!)

Heat the oil in a saute' pan. Add the cumin, ginger, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, garlic, and a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and add 1 cup water. Stir, then cover and simmer until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 3-5 min. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and extra lemon juice if necessary.

Transfer the couscous to a serving plate. Season with the juice of 1/2 lemon(i used a whole!) and sprinkle with 2-3 T. olive oil. Stir well. Put the shrimp on top, pour over their cooking juices, and serve with the lemon wedges.

The pic was taken with my iphone...not too bad huh!

This was very yummy. We both licked our plates and had NO leftovers!

Andrew has a job interview on Tuesday!!!!!!