There's been a miracle at the Thurner Residence. Our snowman has been brought back to life! This is no lie: The other day Ceej went outside and noticed that (miraculously) his head was back on (you may remember my sadness after it had fallen off a few posts back). I received the following text, "did you put the snowman's head back on?" After a moment of confusion, a ran outside with pure joy and was elated at his slightly shrunken albeit fully attached noggin. When I thought I was losing my mind in school, this reminded me that someday it will be replaced. Sometimes, God sends small miracles to remind us of these things. It was all I needed. In the meantime, Ceej and I have realized that we are not quite ready for parenthood. Our plant (1 of 2, mind you) has died. I hate to even say it, but this was a very hearty plant. For its first few months in our family, it was only watered about 3 times. It was alive and well. Then, the watering increased and it became oddly water-logged (and by water-logged I mean that the top was dry and straight out while the bottom leaves were like seaweed drooped straight down). We actually got compliments on its uniqueness (when it was sickly and half drooping, half spiking). We were proud. Early next Friday morning (AKA garbage day) will be plant's funeral. No RSVP needed, come as you are.
Oh what a great night! I have a couple exams next week, so this weekend is dedicated to finishing up other homework and studying. Therefore, Ceej and I decided to have a little date night on Thursday evening. We went to Cancun for dinner and then visited the new "Winter After Hours" at Boyd park. It was amazing! I was very impressed. There's a skating rink and snowshoe trail with snowshoe and skates available to rent. There's also snow sculptures being built, hot chocolate and fresh coffee, music, and a bonfire. It was a really fun way to enjoy Eau Claire! There were lots of people of all ages there, which just added to the atmosphere. The great part is that it's EVERY Thursday from 6-8pm. We left at 7:45 and there were still a ton of people there, so I'm sure it's hip and happenin' until even after 8. Below is a sculpture that was being built... can you see the little "model" on the table? AMAZING!! Apparently they make a new one every week, so I'm excited for the whole park to be filled with them! How pretty!!
We've started a new hobby! Ceej and I went out snowshoeing today and had a great time. I love it! It's a great way to get some fresh air (and exercise!). We went to Beaver Creek, and if you haven't been I highly, highly recommend it.
I'm proud to announce that Natalie, my (almost) 7 year old sister-in-law, is now sporting some classy earrings! Ceej and I accompanied her to the big event. She was a bit nervous prior to the guns, but there were no tears! What a champ!!
1. SHOCK & DENIAL: "I can't believe I'm starting my second semester in grad school. I'll have anatomy & neuro classes(science in general = not my best subject), I'll have research, I'll have fieldwork. Not to mention baby showers, baby births, Spring running (AKA loving the outside after being cooped up all winter). This can't be happening."
2. PAIN & GUILT: "Oh my gosh, I am going to miss so much. It's my first year of marriage, and I'm studying so much. I feel like I'm missing out on life. I feel guilty because I have to study all the time and leave (poor) Ceej to watching football and spending lots of time playing hockey, playing poker, and spending time with his friends. What kind of wife am I? I can't even spend time with my own friends or family. I suck at life and am missing out on everything."
3. ANGER & BARGAINING: "This is not fair. Everyone else is making money, enjoying free time, able to relax. THEY don't have to think about studying all time. Maybe if I study hard all day I won't have to worry about studying tonight. I hate that I have to be in grad school when everyone else is traveling or having fun."
4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS: "Because I'm in school, Ceej and I can't have our ideal first year of marriage. We can't play games all day on a Sunday, or lay in bed on a rainy day. On some weekend nights, he's going out with all of our friends and I have to stay home and study. No one understands what it's like having to balance this workload and be so isolated."
5. THE UPWARD TURN: "Well, I did choose this path. Although we don't right now, we will have money someday. I do ENJOY what I'm learning and completely believe in it. I do see this as a perfect fit for me. And, after all, the more learning I do, the better therapist I will be. It has gone by pretty quickly so far."
6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH: "Looking at the entire semester/s is really overwhelming. I'm going to look at TODAY and ask myself what I need to do to be successful on this one day. Setting DAILY goals really helps me feel accomplished rather than stressed out and overwhelmed by what is to come. Also, Ceej and I really like being home together all day. It's nice to see one another whenever we want and take random breaks to play games or talk."
7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE: "Okay. I'm going to like my job. I'm going to be successful. I'm working toward a positive goal that is in the near future. Next Christmas I will be walking at graduation. Next summer I will be practicing. This is going to fly by. I really like having both Ceej and I home during the day. It's fun. Not everyone experiences that, and it's probably one of the only times in our young lives that we will. I enjoy learning and the "college experience"... although my home isn't exactly Madison, it's a new experience. I also enjoy challenging things that make me grow as a person. I can do it!"
What a corny way to start the day! But, when I'm feeling optimistic about this ordeal, I need to write it down because there are moments when I feel a wee bit less so. This post is mainly for myself to read whenever I'm feeling especially Debbie-Downer-ish.
Since school has started I've been pretty isolated. I justify not having a life by the fact that 1.) it's only for the next year and a half, and 2.) I will love my job. So, if you think I'm ignoring you, it's just because I'm studying & stressed out. Anyway, Friday night Ceej and I ventured out...sickness and all. We went with my mom to the movie Invictus, which was excellent and very inspiring. Kind of like my life (just kidding). My mom had won a martini kit, so after the movie we came back and made peppermint martini's. I only drank about a fifth of it, but it was fun to dress up and get out of the house (yes, me in jeans is dressing up right now).
Well, no, actually. However, I quit early. After 2 1/2 consecutive days of consuming massive amounts of garlic (3-4 cloves a day crushed on crackers), I decided it was not in the best interest of my marriage to continue the experiment. I decided it was time to stop when Ceej stared at me and said he was in no way attracted to me at that moment. I'm not making this up people. Granted I reeked of garlic and felt like I was surrounded by a thick cloud of it, and I truly looked as sickly as I felt...with pale skin, huge circles under my eyes, consumed by my pink Snuggie, with my hair in a rat's nest. I'm neither condoning nor criticizing his comment, but it did put an end to my garlic consumption. So here I am, a week into the cold and still sounding/feeling BAD. Crap.
My entire house smells like garlic. I smell like garlic. Garlic is overtaking me. I have a cold, and yesterday I remembered an old home remedy that my friend told me a few years ago. That is, take a clove of garlic (crushed) and eat it plain on a cracker in the morning and at night. Last time I did it, I felt HORRIBLE the first morning after taking it at night, and then completely better by the third day. It seemed as though the garlic brought all the sickness to the surface and out of me more quickly. Well, here's to day two. I first took it last night and then again this morning. I must say, I woke up feeling like death. HOPEFULLY tomorrow will be brighter, especially because I have online classes/homework, and therefore I can't justify "staying in" and watching movies (although I so wish I could!).
This is actually two posts in one. I couldn't really separate them, and you'll soon learn why.
My sister, Jamie, is expecting twins, and on Saturday was her babies' shower. I offered to bring baked french toast, a delicious treat one of my professor's had once made for our class. This french toast is a two day process, and I was careful to measure out exactly 1 lb of bread with my new digital cooking scale. I even doubled the recipe because I knew it would be THAT fantastic. In fact, I was so excited to make this dish that I measured/broke up the bread and measured out the liquid early Friday morning, pouring it over that night, so that I knew I would be making it out of joy rather than a last minute obligation. It was special.
Saturday morning rolls around and I am over the moon excited. I boiled the topping-brown sugar and butter- on the stove and then poured it over the bread/liquid mixture. While the 45 minute bake time occurred I showered and got ready. I went down and peeked in the oven-perfection was before my eyes. I pulled the 3 glass pans out and put them on top of the stove. I sampled one... oh, my. It was amazing. Perfectly browned and delicately crisp with that warm sweetness that only butter permits. I then smelled a little burning. Hmm. It doesn't look burnt. I stood puzzled as the scent increased. I sampled each of the corners of the large pan because it started boiling, and I figured it burnt underneath the perfect top layer. Nope. It started smoking from underneath as I finally glanced to the stove dials. I had left the largest burner on high, the one beneath the perfection-filled-pyrex. I quickly turned the dial off and reached for the hot pads to remove it when..... BANG. The dish SHATTERS. I'm talking shoots-across-the-room-like-a-gun-shatters, and then a flame bursts. Ceej was ice fishing, and I had no idea what to do. I ran outside in my slippers and yelled to a neighbor a few doors down, who happened to be outside, whom I had never met. In a panic, I yelled, "do you have a fire extinguisher!?" She must have known it was urgent (I wonder how), and she hurried inside to retrieve one and send her husband over to help. I ran back and blast it out. Ron, the husband of my new friend Cheryl, helped me remove the smoking pile of baked french toast and do the first round of sweeping up glass (more to follow. Believe me.). Had I thought to remove the other 2 pans before hitting the extinguisher, I may have saved some for the babies' shower. But, unfortunately, I was in panic mode. Also, had I thought to use salt or baking soda, Ceej and I may have saved 3 1/2 hours of HEAVY cleaning that night (we're talking wiping out every single cupboard, dishes, food, walls, floors, even living room furniture got hit with powder... the downstairs of our house is now as clean as it ever will be. It's absolutely pristine.) The picture below is of the shatter/destroyed larger dish carried out in the medium-sized dish to save my house from more smoke.
Anyway, back to right after it happened, Ron left and I stared at my poor kitchen and the thick, smokey air and my poor, unfortunate stove top. Burst into tears. I ran upstairs to shower and sobbed my way through it. Calmed down, got out, called my aunt who was hosting the party and cried again. I kept crying. I tried calling my fisherman but didn't get a response, not wanting to have him come home to the state of our home, I left the following note (posted for my aunt and sisters).
I had to hurry to get ready and get out the door... but I kept crying. It was recover of the adrenaline rush more than anything. I couldn't believe what had happened or what COULD have happened. Scary stuff for a brand new bride! On the hour and a half drive to Stillwater I talked to a couple people about it, as practice for the party. I kept crying about it, even though I know it happens to a lot of people throughout their lives. They just kept flowing. For those of you that are wondering, I did end up crying as I talked about it at the party. Oh, well. Live and learn.
After I stopped crying (which is a great way to begin any party), the event was great! We had a yummy breakfast and played games and ate cake. Jamie got some very cute things for two very lucky little girls.
Not that I'm proud of this, but after washing the billion towels and wash clothes used to scrub our downstairs I needed to do laundry and managed to mess that up, too. My coat smelled of smoke, so I threw that in. Took it out of the dryer and it was crinkled down a few sizes. Yep, it melted. Rats. I did that with my coat 3 years ago, too. Needless to say, this weekend was not my most impressive. Blame it on the stress of starting my second semester of grad school tomorrow, blame it on the blue moon. Whatever. I sucked.
Baked French Toast Whisk together: 2 c. milk 1.5 c. half & half 8 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 2 tbsp. cinnamon Take one pound (stale) bread torn into pieces and put in greased 9x13 pan. Pour liquid over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. Day 2: Boil 3/4 c. real butter and 1.5 c. brown sugar on the stove for 5 minutes (then, TURN OFF THE BURNER). Pour on top of bread mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.
We had a great time bringing in the New Year! We started with a late dinner at Fisher's with a group of 20 or so friends, and then we headed to Laura's annual New Year's bash. It was a very fun night! Today, we're thoroughly enjoying the first day of the year. I start school again on Monday, so I'm loving being in my Snuggie, getting random things done around the house, and (most importantly) not having to study. We were supposed to go sledding with the youth group, but it's NEGATIVE SIX degrees with the wind chill, so it was cancelled. Tonight it's enchiladas and a Red Box movie for the Thurners. Perfection.
After being crazy in love for a decade, we officially became a family on May 23, 2009. We are thrilled to be married and enjoying this exciting time in our lives! Ceej worked as a Journeyman plumber and is now bidding jobs for a local plumbing company, and Em graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2008 and is in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota to be completed in the Fall of 2011. Our sweet baby Hazel Leann arrived April 1, 2011 (no foolin'!) and is the biggest joy and blessing we didn't know we needed. Life isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful - We're truly enjoying every new second of God's awesome plan for our lives!
Pictures credit to Forever Photography (family/baby) and McManigal Photography (wedding).