J wore his "nuptial shirt" and I wore the same earrings and shoes that I wore on our wedding day. Neither of us had told the other we were planning to do that, so it was cute when we realized that each of us was donning a "token" from our wedding day.
Mushroom Ragout and Polenta
Domestic and Wild Mushrooms Cooked in Butter, Red Wine and Herbs Served Over Parmesan Polenta with White Truffle Oil
Jumbo Crab Cake and Seared Scallop in Lemon Butter Sauce
Our Own Special Recipe of Premium Crab and Seasonings, Pan Seared To a Golden Brown, Topped with a Scallop and Balsamic Port Reduction
Duck Club Salad
Our Award Winning Classic Presentation with Fresh Garlic, Eggs and Anchovy Expertly Blended Together to Create this Memorable Salad
Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass
Fresh Chilean Sea Bass Breaded with Crushed Pistachios and Roasted Served with Chef’s Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables, Finished with frangelico Cream
Here We Offer Our Famous 8 oz. Blackened Tenderloin Paired with Your Choice of Rotisserie Duck or Salmon. Served With Your Choice of Risotto or Chefs Mashed Potatoes and Chef’s Vegetables
I had an awesome Clos du Bois Pinot Noir and J had a bold Cabernet.
They night finished with a sinfully rich chocolate cake that had Happy Anniversary written in chocolate sauce on the plate.
They always say that the first year of marriage is a challenge. I never thought it would be for us, because we’ve already been together for many years. But, alas, this year was full of challenges! So much so that we can hardly believe that only 12 months have passed since we said “I do” in Hawaii. Some days, it seems more like 12 years! From my car accident in October, to his mother’s near-deadly bout with pneumonia in December…starting my event planning business in February and closing it down, along with my voice studio, to up and move to Tulsa, Oklahoma and start new jobs and a new life. No matter what, we’ve met these challenges head-on, together, as a team. And that is what being married is all about!
We’ve had great joys too…from the daily comforts we give to each other, to getting a new puppy to raise together, buying a new CRV (and feeling good about it!), supporting our friends as they prepared for the birth of their son and exploring our new city of Tulsa together.
As we celebrate our first wedding anniversary we reflect on the love that we share and the vows we spoke to each other, before God, our family and friends:
On this day, I promise to be your best friend and loving partner in marriage. Together, we will share all of the triumphs and challenges that life may bring. I commit to the friendship upon which our love is based, and promise that I will consciously renew this commitment daily, so that our partnership in marriage will always be strengthened.
I promise to communicate with you patiently, expressing myself openly and honestly, while respecting your unique individuality and view of the world. I will not make assumptions; if I do not understand, I will ask.
In a difficult situation, I will look upon my own contribution to it rather than cast judgment upon you and will offer you acceptance, rather than criticism. When I am wrong, I will offer amends and when I have been wronged, I will offer forgiveness. I will continue to seek personal growth as an individual, so that I may always bring the best of myself to our relationship.
As your husband, I promise to encourage your dreams and goals, celebrate your accomplishments and embrace you in all of your endeavors, come what may. I will honor your trust in me and put our marriage above all outside influences. I will build a home with you that will be a peaceful and safe place that provides us comfort and is a refuge from the world. I will make time each day to laugh with you and promise to always greet you with a kiss and a smile. Things will not always be perfect or easy, but with God's help and our commitment to each other, I will love you without condition, support you without reservation, comfort you with compassion and stand by your side through all of our joys and sorrows, today, tomorrow and for all the days of my life.
Please excuse the "self-portrait" I took after work today (on the right). The photo on the left is from earlier this summer. I was just getting tired of putting my hair half-up into a clip (like I have been doing since 7th grade) or pulling it in a ponytail or bun for work. This is SO much easier! And kind of more businesslike and my age (whatever that means).
Another milestone was accomplished today. For the first time ever, I have invested in a 401K. Even though the current climate on Wall Street is near catastrophic, I was advised to take full advantage of my company's 100% match and was assured that since I am just getting in that everything is on sale and it's a great time to buy into the market. Here's hoping! I can make changes, with no penalty, every 30 days and adjust my contribution ever quarter, so if it all goes south, I do have options. But since I just got my 90 day stipend added to my base salary, I figured now would be the time to jump in since, technically, we won't feel it in my take home pay. In fact, I can contribute 8% to my 401k and still have a bit of a raise in my take home pay. Yay for the stipend!
Tomorrow is lunch with my younger brother and then up to my mom's for the night. I will be with the family all weekend and then go to San Francisco on Monday to visit with friends and their baby. Then home on Tuesday. More to come...including pics!
I'll arrive around 11 am tomorrow and I am not sure what I'll do. I have a rental car and can drive wherever I want...most of the folks I want to see will be at work and not available until the evening. So, if you're around tomorrow, let me know.
I look foward to seeing my friends and family. I miss you. And I am looking forward to soaking up some Indian Summer weather we all love so much. Seems we've gone from needing the a/c to needing the heater in less than a week! Ooh! And I am looking forward to shopping at Trader Joe's and bringing some stuff back with me. And eating Morrocan food at the place in San Jose we just started to love right before we moved her. And I get to meet my new godson. And see the ocean and maybe even put my toes in it. And see my family. And my friends. Oh, right, I already listed that.
I will have my cell phone with me, so please call or text and let me know if you'll be around. And I am bringing my laptop, although I am not sure how much internet access I will have while I am there. I'd love to see you and catch up! I'll be in town through next Tuesday, so give me a call or text or email and let's make some plans.
This was awesome!
Today? The weather is GORGEOUS! It's about 68 degrees and low humidity. We have all of the windows open and there's a great cross breeze. So nice. One the otherhand, I am pooped and also watching the news channels for reports from Texas. They certainly have a lot of recovery work ahead of them. I am hoping this is the last hurricane of the season. The people of the Gulf Coast have received enough trauma for one summer.
I am looking forward to experiencing four seasons here. The leaves on the trees are just starting to turn and we've been having lovely weather...cool mornings warming to just under 80 degrees by late afternoon.
The only problem? I have no idea where my warmer clothes are! I just located my boots and closed-toe shoes in a pile of boxes yesterday. Hopefully, sometime this week I can find some of my sweaters because I am pretty sure I will be needing them in the coming weeks.
Pretty soon we'll be breaking out the boots and socks and sweaters and scarves. I can't wait! Fall is my favorite time of year! And here, they have a major color show from the trees, so I am definitely looking forward to that!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar (you could use apple cider or white wine too)
salt and pepper to taste
two slices of whole grain, high fiber bread, toasted
1.5 cups of fresh, shredded parmesean cheese (I actually used a parmesean and mozzarella mix, prepackaged)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
spray olive oilPASTA FLORENTINE:
1 cup of brown rice pasta (or whole wheat) penne or shape of your choice (bowties would work great!)
0.5 cup of halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
3-4 wedges of Laughing Cow spreadable Light Garlic and Herb
0.25 cup of 1% milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Coat non-stick baking pan with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent sticking (I used the spray kind)
Mix mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and marinate the boneless chicken breasts in the mixture (can be done in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours in advance, if desired)
Set a medium sized pot of water to boil (this is for the pasta)
Toast bread slices and then pulse into fine crumbs in the blender or food processor
Add dried pasta to the boiling water
In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, shredded cheese, salt and pepper, and dried parsley. Add melted butter to bind.
Take mustard-vinegar marinated chicken breast and dredge into the bread crumb-parmesean cheese mix until full coated.
Arrange coated chicken in the pre-greased baking pan and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until cooked through and golden brown)
Check pasta for doneness. When done, drain and set aside. In the same pot that the pasta was cooked in (and now empty, but still warm) add the Laughing Cow cheese wedges to melt.
Add drained, cooked pasta back to pot and stir with melting cheese.
Add in milk and turn the heat to low to combine all ingredients until pasta is fully coated in the milk and cheese sauce.
Once coated, add in cut tomatoes and spinach, tossing until spinach is slightly wilted and tomatoes are warmed through.
Check chicken for doneness and remove from oven. Let cool for 2-3 minutes.
Portion out the pasta on each plate, served on the side of each chicken breast. Add a small green salad with italian or balsamic vinegar dressing.
I signed us up today for a walk-a-thon that raises money for Diabetes. Considering we have it on both sides of our families, it seemed like the right thing to do and get involved. I am the captain of the corporate team for our company and will invite staffers and members to join us. If you want to support my efforts, please click here. No amount is too small to make a difference.
Each step I take, each dollar I raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of the more than 20 million Americans who suffer from diabetes and another 54 million people with pre-diabetes, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!
If you're in the Tulsa area, join our team and join the fight to prevent and cure diabetes.
PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."
PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."
THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.
PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."
THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.
Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.
He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.
MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.
THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.
MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.
THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."
THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.
FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."
THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.
Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET
As of this weekend, we have been here for three months. I can hardly believe it. In many ways it seems longer and yet, it also seems like we just got here. Yesterday, we sang for the Mulitfaith Celebration at the newly opened BOK Center. It was a historic first for this city. And we were happy to have been a part of it. There was a community choir made up of over 300 singers (including J & I):
The arena was blessed by eleven co-celebrants:
The Rev. Billy Joe Daugherty, Victory Christian Center Bishop
Edward J. Slattery, Catholic Diocese of Tulsa
James F. Johnson, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Venerable Abbot Thich Duc Tri, Tam Bao Buddhist Temple
The Rev. William Christ, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Rabbi Marc Fitzerman, Jewish Congregation B'nai Emunah
Raghavan Rajagopal, Hindu Temple of Greater Tulsa
Imam Mohamed Alghobashy, Masjid Al-Salam Islamic mosque
The Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, All Souls Unitarian Church
The Rev. Michelle K.T. Moulden, Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church
After the concert, we decided to celebrate with dinner at The Chalkboard, a restaurant J has had on his list since we arrived in Tulsa. It's located at the historic Ambassador Hotel. We were the first patrons to be seated for dinner and basically had the place to ourselves. We started with a Taxi Cab Martini for me (pineapple and lime juice with a vanilla flavored cognac) and a regular three-olive Bombay gin martini for J. For starters we had the blue crab cakes...yummy! Then salads...Caesar for him (with fried capers and roasted garlic) and the House Pecan for me (with goat cheese, dried cherries and pecans).
Main courses were a two bone pork chop with blue cheese gnocchi in an apple reduction for me and the restaurant's famous Beef Wellington (Filet Mignon with Foie Gras Pate and Mushrooms wrapped in a Puff Pastry & baked till golden brown, finished with Marchands de Vin) for J, which came with haricot verts and smashed potatoes.
We each had a glass of Louis Latour 'Valmoissine', an awesome french burgundy wine, with our main courses and for dessert, we shared a slice of their amazing white chocolate drenched bread pudding. Yum, yum and yum! We were stuffed and both agreed that we can only eat like that once or twice a year. But it was good. And a good way to celebrate 90 days in our new town.