Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flat Friday, Just The Beginning

My father's day post was late on the account of exhaustion. Pure, utter exhaustion. Aaron and I had the most eventful weekend of our lives. I wish I could say it was full to the brim of fun, exciting, and positive thing. But, what fun would that be, right? Ha! (This post is mainly to journal the experience Aaron and I shared over the weekend. Some day we'll look back and laugh about it, I'm sure! Just give us some time!)

Friday Morning: My car's display panel states, "Low Tire." Neat. No problem. I'll just call Aaron. Wrong. When I left the house for work, he was on the couch watching ESPN with The Cat. His cell phone was inevitably on silent and in the bedroom. Ring. Ring. Ring. No answer. So, what did I do? Drove to work and decided to just tell him about it later.

Friday Afternoon: Text from Aaron, "You have a nail in your tire. Can I come in and get your keys?" He, sweetly, came to my work and searched the parking deck for my car. Awwww! He comes up to my office, gets my keys, and takes my car in to get the tire fixed. Problem solved. Fantastic.

Friday Evening: We frantically pack like mad people after working late, so we can get down to Central Arkansas at a good time. We load up the car and are on our way. Oops. We forgot one of the father's day gifts. So we drive back home, retrieve the gift, and then start the trip over. This time, we make it to Alma. But, its there that we get a flat tire. Different tire than the one that had the nail in it earlier in the day. Neat. Aaron changes the tire and decides we shouldn't risk driving the other 2.5 hrs to Benton without a spare. Especialy since the tires need replacing pretty bad. The drive back to Fayetteville was at the blistering speed of 55 mph on the interstate, hazaards flashing all the while! The good thing? We averaged 40 mpg on the way back to Fayetteville! (By the way, how goodlookin' is my husband? I just love him! He was so nice to let me take pictures during such a stressful time! Thanks, babe!)

Saturday Morning: We wake up early (6:30) to take care of the tire issue and order some new ones. Nobody opens until 8:30. Bummer. We sit around and wait till the shops open. Once the shops open, it doesn't take us long to realize that NO ONE keeps my size tires in stock. Faaaabulous. So...we decide to use Aaron's Pathfinder for the drive back to Benton. We get 10 miles down the interstate when we realized we forgot the SAME father's day gift that we forgot the DAY before. Dumb. We just couldn't get it together. So, we go back home, pick up the gift, and start the journey over...again!

Saturday Afternoon: Traffic, 6 miles before we get to Morrilton. Not a problem, except Aaron's alternator is having some issues and the A/C doesn't exactly enjoy being ran while the car is idol. What does this mean? It means 45 minutes sitting still in traffic. In the middle of cornfields. At 1:30 pm on a 95 degree weather day. Sweeeeet. Finally arrive in Benton at 2:30 pm. We have a seat on my parents' couch and immediately pass out. For 2 hours! Ha!

Can you seriously believe all of this? It was insane! We had no idea if we would ever, actually make it to Benton. Luckily we did and got to spend Father's Day with our wonderful Dad's. It was all so worth it. The good news? The drive back to NWA was WAY less eventful! And I was SO proud of how Aaron and I handled ourselves through it all. We laughed and joked about everything. Even when we were frustrated beyond imagination. We never let it show and kept the other one's spirit up. Thanks for everything, Babe! I love you.
XOXO

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day!

One of my most favorite people to celebrate is my dad, James "Eddie" Langley. I'm a daddy's girl. Everyone knows this. He is so special to me, its almost too hard to put into words. EVERYTHING about him is admirable and honorable. The man has the patience of Job. Literally, the patience of Job. There is never a point when my dad has had enough. He is funny. Caring. And a great listener. If you ask him what he wants most, it would be for his entire family to have everything that they need and for him to get to spend all of his time enjoying them. He's always positive. Always encouraging. Always puts others before himself. He loves and protects, and guides each of us in the right direction. He is the hardest worker I know. He provides for his family unceasingly and without groaning. He is confident and strong.

Its because of him that I never settled for less than I deserved in a husband. The man that my dad is, is the model image of what I expected and found in a life partner. From his example, I learned what a man should be to his wife, his children, family, friends, and even strangers. For that I am so thankful. Today, I am blessed to be married to someone with qualities like the ones my dad exemplified every day. Thank you, Dad, for all you have done for me. Thank you for each and every lesson. And thank you for all of the qualities, morals, and standards you instilled in me. I love you! And there is no way I can celebrate Father's Day without telling you how much I appreciate my Father-In-Law, Alan Hilborn. Its because of his influence that my husband is the man that he is today. There are so many things that Alan has taught Aaron. The obvious would be about fishing and duck hunting, which they both enjoy doing togther. But, there's so much more. Aaron's dad taught him what it means to be a man, a head of household, and a provider for the family. Alan's work ethic and drive are almost incomparable, and I'm thankful that Aaron inherited that, too. Thank you, Alan, for everything you've done for Aaron over the years. And thank you for all that you continue to do. We appreciate you so much!

We, also, want to celebrate and to say thank you to our grandfathers. All four of them have influenced our parent's, who have in-turn, influenced us. The foundation for each of our families is as strong as it is because of their hardwork, guidance, and love. Thank you for all you have done for each and every one of us. Thank you Jack Ramsey, Harvey Langley, and Stanley Hilborn. And thank you to my grandma for carrying on the memory, strength, and love of my late grandpa, Nyle Fullington.

We are beyond blessed with strong, courageous, honorable men in our families and for that we are so thankful. We love each of you so much! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Patio Friend

Since the beginning of spring, we have had a few permanent friends join us on the back patio. When we moved into our house last summer, their house was already established. We never had the heart to get rid of it. So, what has happend over the last few months? And who are these patio tennants?

A pair of lovely doves! And what did they do??? Had a baby! Its very normal for us to look out the window or step outside and check on Baby Bird. Just to make sure he's okay :) One day we were outside, me on Aaron's shoulders to get a good shot, when our sweet boy Casper made a loud noise with the heavy blinds on our back door. Baby Bird got scared and immediately flew away. To make matters worse, it appeared that this was Baby Bird's first flight! We felt terrible and didn't see him for a couple of days. Then, one day, we saw Momma Bird and Baby Bird in the midst of flying lessons! Baby Bird stood on the patio as Momma Bird went back and forth from our fence, back to the nest. Over and over and over she did this. The next day, guess who was back in the nest? Baby Bird! Love it.
XOXO

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shipwreck Casserole

This casserole requires you to be very open minded :) Honestly. And if you read the ingredients list and then see a picture of what it looks like, you may think, "What in the world is she thinking!" Well, I was there too. I have no idea what spurred me to try this out. Whatever the reason, I tried it and it was pretty good. Good enough to use as a standby for busy nights or nights when your brain can't think of a single new thing to try! Its easy, fast, and the chances of you having the ingredients on hand are very high. The exception may be the tator tots, but if you have frozen hashbrowns, that will work too! Here's the recipe as found at Southern Plate.
SHIPWRECK CASSEROLE

Ingredients:
1-2 lbs. ground beef
2 lbs. frozen tator tots (or frozen hashbrowns)
1 onion, diced (onion flakes or minced onions are great!)
2 cups frozen sliced carrots
1-11 oz. can tomato soup (I will use 2 cans next time)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions:
1. Brown beef and onion until done. Drain off onion.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
3. Place all of the tator tots in one layer in the bottom of the dish.
4. Salt and pepper the tator tots.
5. Add the ground beef on top of the tator tots.
6. Lightly salt and pepper this layer as well.
7. Spread carrots evenly over the top.
8. Sprinkle Italian seasoning mix over the carrots.
9. Mix tomato soup with one can of water and pour over all.
10. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
I definetly recommend adding more tomato soup. The tator tots soaked up most of the sauce, and we like sauce! This dish is, also, great as leftovers which is even better. In fact, Aaron thought it was better the next day, than it was the night it was cooked! Ha! Enjoy!
XOXO

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tomato Pie

I am not what one would call a "lover of tomatoes". Surely you know this by now. But, if they are cooked, I will eat them any day, any way! On pizzas (thanks babe!), with pasta, or on bruschetta. You name it, I'll eat it! They were the perfect addition to our summertime dinner menu last week. Here's our version of delicious Tomato Pie.

TOMATO PIE

Ingredients:
1 refridgerated pie crust
4 tomatoes
12 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (approx.)
fresh basil, chopped
dried oregano
salt
pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
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Directions:
1. Bake pie crust according to instructions on the package in glass pie dish.
2. Drop oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
3. Rinse tomatoes and slice into 1/4 inch thickness.
4. Remove any core that may remain in the slices.
5. Place tomato slices in a strainer over the sink or a bowl.
6. Sprinkle with salt ad allow to drain for about 10 minutes. (Toss occasionally.)
7. Sprinkle cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, about enough to cover the bottom.
8. Lay 1 layer of tomato slices on top of cheese. (Squeeze slices and pat dry with towel to remove excess moisture.)
9. Follow with layers o salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and mozzarella cheese. (Use as much of each as you would prefer.)
10. Repeat layering process until you have slightly mounded over the height of the pie crust.
11. Mix mayonnaise and 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese.
12. Spread evenly over the top layer of the pie.
13. Place dish on a baking sheet to prevent bubbling over during baking.
14. Cover pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the edges of the crust from burning.
15. Bake at 350 degreees for 25 minutes.
16. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until top layer is golden and bubbley.
17. Allow to set for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Look at those yummy layers! Aaron's aunt Amy makes this dish every summer when we go down to visit her in Mississippi and its so good. I'm not sure her exact recipe, but I think it is similar to this. She was my inspiration for making it!
Also, its very important to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes. This will help prevent the crust from getting soggy. We tried eating this as leftovers and it was just fine. The crust wasn't significantly soggy to us and the flavors tasted even better! Enjoy!

XOXO

Monday, June 14, 2010

Better Luck Next Time

Our beloved Razorbacks did not make it to the College World Series. Sad day. Aaron and I are pretty bummed, but so proud of them! They played two 12 inning games aginst the #1 team in the country, Arizona St. Amazing, right? Granted, we didn't win, but it isn't anything to be ashamed of. Good job, Hogs!
Here's a radom picture Aaron took of our regional tickets. Neat, huh?
We had friends over both Saturday and Sunday night to watch the baseball games. I haven't stayed up as late as we did this weekend in a long time. I'm talking 3 a.m one night and 2 a.m. the next. There was lots of eating involved (of course!) and plenty of card playing! Needless to say, Monday morning was not very kind to me! Ha!


Now, off to watch the Bachelorette :)
XOXO

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Razorback's Road to Omaha!

Tomorrow our beloved Razorbacks will be playing against Arizona St. for a spot in Omaha at the College World Series. Unfortunately, the three game series will be played in Arizona and we will have to settle with cheering from our couch at home. We had a great time at the Fayetteville Regional last weekend, cheering them on while they were still within reach.
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We were so lucky to get to spend the weekend with some friends of ours, Ben and Maggie. We have such a great time! Aaron and Ben could talk about sports for DAYS. This works out great for me and Maggie. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure we both love to talk to our husbands about sports for hours. However, its always super nice to talk about girly stuff every so often! I mean, come on, the latest Bachelorette and So You Think You Can Dance episodes are SERIOUS conversation! Am I right?!?!?Ben and Aaron were killing me with their cameras. They kept pointing their cameras at me and saying my name, trying to get dumb pictures of me. Well it worked! I fell for it almost every time! This is me telling Ben to shutup! Ha!
You may recognize the guy who took our group picture....
If not, then you can't be from Arkansas! Ha!
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Aaron and I both love our new camera, but have pretty much decided that we NEED a new lens. Ben has a serious telescope lens that Aaron drooled over pretty much the whole weekend. The lens fever is raging right now, but here are some great pictures Aaron took this weekend.
Best of luck to the Razorbacks this weekend! They play on Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 9 pm, and Monday at 6 if necessary. Its a best out of three game series, so here's to hoping we win the first two nights and don't even need to play on Monday! Woo Pig Sooie!

XOXO

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mexican S'Mores

I told y'all yesterday about those delicious Roasted Corn and Chicken Quesadillas we tried. Well, what I didn't tell y'all was that we also tried out a new dessert with them! You guys, it was delicious and SO easy! You absolutely have to try these. When we cooked our quesadillas, we used 4-10 inch quesadillas. The package had 8 tortillas in there, so it worked out perfectly to use the other 4 for a dessert. Plus I had the other ingredients on hand, which made it even better! Here's how we did it, as adapted from a recipe found at Southern Plate.
MEXICAN S'MORES
(Makes 4)


Ingredients:
4 flour tortillas
Creamy Peanut Butter
Mini-Marshmallows
Mini-Chocolate Chips
Confectioner's Sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread peanut butter on flour tortilla.
3. Make a thin line of marshmallows down the middle of the tortilla.
4. Make a thin line of chocolate chips right next to the marshmallows.
5. Fold over about 1 inch of the top and bottom of the tortilla.
6. Finish rolling the tortilla like you would a burrito.
7. Wrap the S'Mores tightly in aluminum foil and twist the ends to fully seal.
8. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
9. Allow to cool for a few minutes before unwrapping.
10. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Sounds scrumptious, I know! These s'mores are so ooey-gooey and so delicious. Aaron and I could, each, only eat one. They are pretty rich. Word to the wise: I thought I would up the amount of chocolate chips and marshmallows. Not my best idea. A little of each definetly goes a long way. Especially when it comes to marshmallows. I think, you can almost never have too much chocolate. But too much marshmallow can definetly make you feel a little sick. Just use your own judgement and try it out a couple different ways to find out how you like it best. All I know is that these are just to easy NOT to try. Enjoy!
XOXO

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Roasted Corn and Chicken Quesadillas

One of my most recent cooking adventures included goat cheese in the ingredients list. Uh....excuse me? Goat cheese? Let's rethink this please.
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Now the recipe isn't that difficult. I mean its only quesadillas, afterall. But, when you throw roasted corn, yummy salsa, and.....goat cheese into the mix, it livens it up. Plus we cooked these in a skillet on the stove, old school style, and it was fun! I can definetly tell that Aaron and I are becoming more and more open to trying new things and branching out a little bit with our food. I mean, hello.....we ate goat cheese for goodness sakes! Here's how we did it:
ROASTED CORN AND CHICKEN QUESADILLAS

Adapted from a recipe found on the blog "Keeping Up With The Joneses" found under the Food category on the right margin of my blog! Please visit! They have great recipes.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh corn kernels (1 ear)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2/ cup (5 oz) goat cheese, softened
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
10 tbsp salsa verda (or your favorite salsa)
2 chicken breasts, chopped and cooked
flour tortillas (4-10 in. or 8-6 in.)

Directions:

1. Cut the corn off the cobb.
2. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, roast the corn until the kernels start to brown. About 2 minutes.
3. Add the corn to the softened goat cheese and mix thorougly.
4. Spread the cheese and corn mixture on the flour tortilla.
5. Add some chicken.
6. Add the green onions, salsa, and shredded cheese. Use your judgement on how much of each ingredient you want on your quesadilla.
7. Top with another flour tortilla.
8. Coat a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and add the quesadilla.
9. Cook over medium heat until tortilla is browned on both sides and the cheeses are melted.

Sounds delicious, right? That's because they are! However, we will most definetly leave out the goat cheese next time. At least we tried it though, right??? I can see how someone would like the creaminess of the goat cheese inside the quesadilla, but the texture and flavor was just a little too much for us. We still ate every bite though, ha!
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The mozzarella and cheddar cheese mixture would be plenty of cheese for us. Here's the trick: To get the roasted corn to stay inside the quesadilla and not roll all over the place, I think it would be a good idea to lay down some shredded cheese, then the corn, and then some more shredded cheese.
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Next time we will probably leave out the green onions, too. I don't know what it is, but we are just NOT onion people! If the onion is cooked, we do okay. But, if it has a crunch to it at all...forget about it!
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We LOVED the roasted corn and salsa verda additions to these quesadillas. Very tastey! I guess if I had anymore advice to give about these little delites, it would be to watch them very closely as they cook. The flour tortillas brown very quickly, so keep flipping them until they are the pefect golden brown that you are looking for. Enjoy!
XOXO

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Friendliest Cat

I feel like I have been neglecting poor Casper (The Cat) on the blog, lately. And if you've been missing him too, then this is the post for you! Aaron and I talk all the time about how sweet he is to us. We honestly feel like he is our little child. He loves to cuddle in bed....only with me though :) He walks over to my side of the bed, on the edge, and curls up inside my arm with his head resting on my shoulder. Adorable, right? I just love him. He LOVES to lay around with us on the couch and will make sure to let us know when he's ready to! He loves for Aaron to give him fresh filter water with ice every morning. Spoiled, we know. He loves to lay on his side on the bathroom floor early in the morning, waiting for us to run one of our feet down his spine, steadily scooting him across the floor! Ha! Its the funniest thing you've ever seen, I promise! And here he is, in all his spoiled glory!
We love our sweet boy so, so much!
XOXO

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grandpa and Granny's 50th Wedding Anniversary!

My sweet grandparents on my dad's side, Harvey and Lenora Langley, celebrated their Golden Anniversary on June 4th, 2010. They are so sweet to everyone around them and we were all excited to share this landmark day with them! Aaron and I hope that we can look back on as much accomplishment when we reach our 50th Wedding Anniversary, as they do now. Can you even imagine??? 50 years worth of a lifetime of shared experiences with your very best friend. They have 2 sons, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Aren't they sweet? Years ago and still today.


The beautiful table that my mother put together. She did a great job! Everything was perfect.
The neat picture board my mom used to showcase the years my grandparents have spent together.
Aaron and I brought the cake, from Rick's Bakery, down with us.
Lots of familiy were present to share this special day with them.
My Grandpa gave a very sweet speech after dinner in honor of my Granny. He did a great job and you could tell it meant the world to my Granny.
The night turned out perfect. Everyone had a great time helping my grandparents celebrate such an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations, again, Grandpa and Granny! We love you!