How has it been so long?

3 Sep

I know it has been a long time -over a month! – since I had a post.  I have been very busy the past couple weeks, so let me give you a recap of what I’ve been up to:

The last week in July I went to St. Louis for the 2011 U. S. Women in Nuclear Conference.

This is an annual gathering of women (and a few men) to support women working in nuclear-related fields.  The topic of 3-day conference was “Creating Paths to Leadership”.  It was a really great networking and learning experience.  They had a lot of very powerful speakers such as a Missouri State Senator and many Vice Presidents, CEO’s, COO’s, etc. of various energy companies nationwide.

This is Louie the Lightning Bug, the local electric utility's mascot

For me, a huge plus of being able to attend the conference was that I also go to take a trip home.  I flew in on Saturday afternoon and got to see a bunch of my family for one cousin’s birthday.  Then my parents came into a couple of Cardinals tickets – and who am I to turn down a trip to a Cards game?

Me and my momma

Me and my daddy

Then on my last night before coming back to Maryland, I got to go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for my 3-year-old cousin’s birthday.  It made me so happy to be there because it was his first birthday that I was actually in town to celebrate with him.  And he was absolutely adorable!  Little kids are just so fun on birthdays because every new toy is the best-ever in their minds.  I think it took over an hour to open everything because he wanted to stop and play with each new toy.  It was so wonderful to be there with all of them for a few days.  But I also missed my hubby quite a bit, so I was really happy to come home to him!

I got back to Maryland on a Thursday night, and Friday night Karl’s parents arrived for a visit.  That weekend we went to DC one day.

Me in front of the Native American Smithsonian Museum

We caught a Nationals game before heading home

And the three of them went to Gettysburg another day while I stayed home to do laundry and get ready for the next week of work.  One night I made them my Mexican quinoa dish and one morning we made them breakfast.

Karl is definitely the breakfast chef!

Then on their last night we made some delicious salmon (recipe coming soon!) with potatoes and corn on the cob.  For dessert I made the best vanilla ice cream we’ve ever eaten with freshly picked blackberries and homemade whipped cream on top.  I will hopefully get that recipe posted soon as well.

So that brings us into mid-august.  I don’t know if it was the heat or just putting in a lot of long hours at work, but we didn’t get much cooking done.  Karl and I will both be in our best friends’ wedding in Wisconsin next weekend,  and that has been keeping me busy too.  One weekend I traveled there for a bridal shower and last weekend we both went for their bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Me with the beautiful bride to be!

We have had a lot of fun with them, but there also has not been a lot of time to cook!

Finally, we had quite a scare in our family about two weeks ago.  My father-in-law was told that he needed to have a triple bypass surgery fairly quickly.  He was very lucky because he had not yet had a heart attack or stroke, but happened to go to the doctor because of some chest pains he was having.  We both hopped on a plane to Missouri to be there as quickly as we could, and the whole experience was a bit of an eye opener for us.  I am happy to report that my father-in-law is a very strong man, and is doing unbelievably well in his recovery!  They told him he would be in the hospital for 5-7 days after surgery, and he was released after barely 4.  It has been less than 2 weeks since his surgery, and he has actually started working some again.  We are so impressed and so thankful that he is having a great recovery, and all of your prayers that his recovery continues to go well are greatly appreciated!

With that being said, going forward, we are really looking to make heart-healthier choices.  Heart disease is unfortunately something that runs in Karl’s family, and we want to make sure that we lower his risk as much as we can.  This means reading labels more thoroughly, keeping with eating beans and veggies, and trying to cut red meat and fried foods from our diet.  This is a good thing because it also means eating out less which means getting more creative in the kitchen and new recipes to blog!  We also know that everything is ok in moderation, so I’m sure there will still be some cookie recipes and other not-as-healthy dishes to share as well.  But most importantly I am (hopefully) back at this blogging thing, and I will have some new and exciting recipes and stories to share with you soon!!

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