Thursday, January 28, 2010

Move over, cheesecake!

I am on a cheesecake making hiatus. I have the most fun whipping them up, especially for other people (nothing good can come from one sitting around this house!), but I had a fiasco in December with a white chocolate peppermint number, and it sort of stole my thunder in the cheesecake department. The timing of this is somewhat crummy, because mini cheesecakes are such lovely treats for Valentine's Day, but .... look at this.
How people come up with such brilliant ideas, I'll never know, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Deliciously Dandy Ding Dongs may become my newest baking obsession. (And this is not my picture. It belongs to clabbergirl, the genius behind the recipe.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Illness abounds

It's been almost one week since the fateful wisdom teeth removal, and my Jan Michael is as sick as I've ever seen him. I'm sad to report that oral surgery and a cold, even the very beginning of one, do not mix. In fact, they collide violently to create the perfect, raging storm of misery and vexation.

His cheeks are yellow and bruised; because of the wreck in his mouth, the details of which are too graphic for the sensitive reader, he has eaten only a few pudding cups and the occasional bowl of mashed potatoes in 7 days; he is weak and tottery; he alternates between being unable to breathe and having to use Kleenex by the dozens; sleep evades him, except for an hour or two in the early morning; when he speaks, he sounds like a croaking toad.

And while I hate to see him in such an awful state, it makes me so thankful that for the most part, we are both very healthy, robust kids who've never had to deal with anything more earth-shattering than a bad stomach flu or sprained ankle. There are so many people in the world who are chronically or terminally ill, who live with suffering and pain for months and years on end. There are people in places like Haiti who are having limbs removed in the middle of the street, and who have no homes in which to heal and recover. My goodness, the amount of inconvenience and hardship we experience is just a minute drop in the bucket, if that, and I'm grateful for the help we're given to put things in perspective.

But you can bet that neither of us will ever have any kind of surgery without an immune system that's in tip-top shape to begin with :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Wisdom Teeth Chronicles

Jan Michael had his wisdom teeth taken out yesterday. Besides the IV which they used at the office to knock him out, they also gave him medicine to take 1 hour before the surgery. It's generally used for people who suffer from insomnia, and am I ever sorry for anyone who has to take this stuff! It's a force to be reckoned with, there's no two ways about it! Anyway, since this would be the closest he would ever come to being under the influence of any alcohol or drugs, we thought it would be fun to document the journey from lucidity to complete oblivion. You can hardly see a thing in the first and last videos because I took them in the dark, but it's the middle ones that are especially laugh-enducing. My poor, poor, precious husband... :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weight busted!

First of all, this picture has nothing in particular to do with what I have to say just now, but it's my latest favorite, and so onto the blog it goes.
Tonight was the last meeting and weigh-in of the Weight Busters program, which we began so many weeks ago at the end of October. It's been such a good, healthy challenge for both of us, and we're so glad we decided to participate. Jan Michael was the winner - and is now the proud owner of a YMCA water bottle and pedometer, wahooo! :) - and I quite happily screeched across the finish line in 2nd place. As far as percentages are concerned, Jan Michael has lost 12.74% of his body weight, and I've whittled away 7.87%. One of the very best things about the whole deal was meeting some very fine people with similar fitness goals; now we have lots of new friends to chat with at the Y. And just to be sure we keep our exercise momentum chugging along, we've signed up for a 5 week cardio challenge, starting in a day or two. Look out, treadmills, here we come!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

We want YOU...

to have a happy New Year :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christmas surprise

Way, waaay back in August, Shannon had the fantastic idea of surprising our parents with a family portrait for Christmas. The last professional shot they have of us was taken in 1994, when Ryan was 10, Shannon was wearing choker necklaces made of ribbon, Adam was shorter than me and had to stand on a box, and Jan Michael and I had only been dating for a few months.

We scheduled the shoot for a Saturday in early October, meticulously chose our outfits (including a tie for Gus) so we could achieve the perfect balance of coordination without looking too matchy-matchy (well, Shannon and I did this; the men could not have cared less, ha!), piled ourselves into one small Honda Civic and converged on the Capitol building for the best family picture session in recorded history.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that Derek Pearson Photography is responsible for what you see below, and while I've said this before, I will say it again: You will not find a better photographer. He had the most fun and creative photo ideas, he welcomed and encouraged our own, he made us smile and laugh and feel completely at ease in front of the camera, and what we have as a result is a group of pictures that respresent who we are as a family, and a day of fun that we'll remember until we're old and gray. All family bias aside, what Derek is able to do every time he picks up his camera is amazing to me and makes me proud to be in his corner.

Poor Gussers was having some trouble with gas that day, which transalted into... POOR US!! Ryan had the good fortune to be able to leap away (and stay away!) until the smoke cleared.

We would pose, Derek would count down from 5...
We would run to another spot and pose again...
And this was the end result :)

Riverdance has nothing on us!

Each time any of us sees this one and witnesses Jan Michael's astounding pike, we fall over in gales of laughter. We've questioned him extensively as to how he managed such a position, and for the life of him, he can't remember :)
Lift off!

This is the one that made the final cut. It's hanging in a beautiful frame over our parents' fireplace. And they love it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

WWU crew Christmas

We're woefully behind in sharing all of our holiday fun, so for the next few days we'll play catch up. In the middle of December our dear college friends converged on Mark and Jessica's house for our annual Christmas party. The guys exchanged gifts (Best Buy gift cards all around!), while we ladies had our own exchange.... and I made out like a bandit! I certainly did not deserve to be showered with a candle, lotion and fancy bar of soap, tea pot, two different kinds of tea, homeade scones (which Jan Michael and I devoured before bed that night, ahem) and a beautiful handmade card, but we have very generous friends :) It's a huge treat to spend an evening enjoying each other's company - it's part of what makes our holiday season such a delight.