Friday, February 27, 2009


We kind of made a week of it, and I'm glad Matthew feels the same way about birthday week as I do, but to keep things simple, I'll just mention the highlights.

Last Tuesday was my Birthday Eve, so Matthew and I had a scrumptious dinner at Zupa's (another thing I'll really miss about Utah), followed by a delicious homemade birthday cake baked by my sister and a viewing of Back to the Future.

Wednesday was the big day, and it was a most beautiful birthday with a bright blue sky. Matt had the day off, so we went for a morning run, had a delicious breakfast of wheat waffles with strawberries and cream (a tradition in the Crosby family), and went cross-country skiing. Then we hung out with the Webelos at a bridge construction site for a little while before heading to Salt Lake City to have dinner with my family.

I ended up with a large pile of chocolate (especially when you figure in Valentine's Day a few days before and the M&Ms Matthew brought home from work for me earlier in the week -- in two unused urinalysis cups), plenty of flowers, some money with which to buy replacements for the unnatural number of my pants that have developed holes in the past few months, and lots of love and good memories. I wish I could have birthday week all the time!

And I must say that I love birthday cards! I know that store-bought cards were written by a Hallmark employee who knows nothing about me, but they still feel heartfelt to me, and the card my parents gave me made me feel good. In fact, I sometimes get a little teary when I read cards like that. I also received cards from both of Matthew's grandparents and a great homemade card from Dave, Jodi, Johnny, Melina, and the babies. Thanks for the love!


At long last, a couple of Saturdays ago (on Valentine's Day, to be precise), I got a job offer! I will be working as a freelance developmental editor for a publishing company! It's a job I think I'll really like, and it will transfer with us wherever we go!

Then, two days later, I got a tip from a school friend that landed me another job offer! It worked out perfectly as a temporary research gig to keep me busy for a while until the paperwork for the editing job goes though, and the extra money will be just what we need to facilitate our move to Mesa in a few weeks. The project was all about China, and one of its side effects was to give me a really cool spy dream once last week.

It felt really good to be gainfully employed for a week and a half. Now I'm back to unemployment for a while until I'm officially hired on as an editor and my company starts sending me projects, but I am determined to make the most of it. I'm going to read, read, read all those books I've been meaning to get to (I have no idea why I haven't been doing this all along - what's wrong with me?), and I'm going to practice the piano and the guitar, and measure our furniture so we can use our vehicle space efficiently for the move.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bored? Board!

Tuesday was Matthew's day off, and serendipitously, it was also $1o Tuesday at Wolf Mountain. We had been wanting to go snowboarding with Tommy since before Christmas, and we picked a great day to do it. The snow was really good, and Matt and I only paid $33 for the two of us for 8 hours! Wahoo!

This was my first experience with powder, and I could not believe the difference it made. I've been snowboarding a couple of times, but the conditions were icy and rainy. Now I know that powder is preferable. Not only is it a lot of fun to ride on, but it's much more comfortable for beginners (aka: me) when they fall. The one downside of all that fluffy snow, in my limited experience, is it takes a lot more energy to get out of a pile of soft stuff than to simply stand up. It caused a minor problem for me when I fell about 7 times within a minute on a run directly below the lift. After a while I heard a voice from above call down to me, "just stand up and lean back!" Although that is what I had been trying to do for the past 60 seconds, I still appreciated his suggestion, because 1) it was encouraging, in all my exhaustion, to know that somebody was rooting for me, and 2) it gave me the opportunity to imagine what I looked like flopping around from a bird's eye view. Very entertaining.

And three cheers for my husband and my brother for being so patient with me. They did a great job of helping me learn. Tommy in particular was a great snowboarding teacher because he was very meticulous about making his student to the same thing over and over. And I think in spite of my slowness, the boys still got in some good runs and had a fun time. Now I can (sort of) carve, and I still managed to get a great quad workout from riding the heel edge of my board for the first half of the afternoon. Great day!

Friday, February 6, 2009


It's time to share a couple of soup recipes we love. They are both fairly easy to make and scrumptious!

Vegetable Soup
I found this recipe at (the chef's name is Ellie Krieger), but I tried to find it the other day and couldn't. I changed the recipe a little anyway, so here's my version. I love this soup because the ingredients are so inexpensive, and it's hearty and delicious!

1/2 cup onion in
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1/2 cup cup celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots (I like add a little extra)
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Let the vegetables soften a little. Then add:
2 cups broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, rinsed (mash half of the beans, and put the rest in whole).
Let the soup simmer for 10 or 15 minutes, then serve with a little grated cheese on top.

Chicken Noodle Soup
This is our variation of a recipe from Betty Crocker's Sunday Dinner Cookbook (thanks, Teresa!)
We've made it several times, and it may just find its way onto tonight's menu. This chicken noodle soup has a different flavor than any other I have tasted. I think the fresh parsley and the nutmeg deserve thanks for that.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 medium green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots

Cook in a saucepan for about 4 minutes, until the carrots are halfway between crisp and tender.

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups egg noodles

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. YUM!

Matthew always puts some cheese on his soup. I don't think he eats soup any other way. (He loves me more than soup with cheese melted in it though. He told me so while we were dating.) It is delicious, but some people might argue that soup is better uncheesed, so that its intended flavor comes through. This is not the case with the vegetable soup. Cheese sprinkled on top is part of the recipe, and the snobbiest soup connoisseur will not regret including it.