Monday, February 22, 2010

Cupcakes with the Kiddos

We had some family fun a few weekends ago. Our niece and nephew spent the night and we decorated cupcakes.



They loved the decorating but I think they liked the eating more :). Good times!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Concetta

I'll admit it. I'm a food snob. Well, as much as a food snob as you can be when your husband is in graduate school and the budget is tight. I enjoy a coupon as much as the next girl but it means something special to me when we can go out for a unique and delicious tasting experience such as the one enjoyed last night at Concetta. And thanks to our good friends, the Williams, dinner was super budget friendly (i.e. free!).

Concetta is a tapas-style restaurant. I read online that it is not a true-to-Spain tapas restaurant but since I've never been to Spain I wasn't upset by that fact. Anyhoo - the food was delicious. We ordered a variety of interesting dishes including a roasted red pepper and shrimp pizza, a quesadilla stuffed with a mixture of creamy cheeses, salami, olive tapinade and pepperchinis, BBQ chicken mini-sandwiches, S.W. shrimp with whipped potatoes and cilantro olive oil and salmon with asparagus. Everything is served in small appetizer/bite-size servings for 4 so you can try a bunch of things and not get over stuffed. It was fun and yummy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Weekend

What a wonderful weekend and not just because it was Valentine's Day. I don't know if you know it but Michael hates Valentine's Day. He says it is just a day made up to force people to express themselves when they should be doing it all along. And he is right. I'm so lucky to have a sweet husband who tells me he loves me multiple times a day and shows me he loves me too! I feel blessed that I don't have to wait until Valentine's Day rolls around to find out how he feels about me by how big the gift he gives me is. That being said, I LOVE Valentine's Day. I have fond memories of grade school parties and yummy chocolates. I love the flowers and the beautiful spring-like colors. We have a few traditions that we love and I think we added a new one this year.

I got the chance to make some bouquets for my dad this year (and last year). It was so much fun going to the floral supply and picking out the types of flowers I wanted to use. I loved putting them together and I think they came out nicely. The best part is it was cheap to do!



On Saturday we arose early and went to our Ward Temple Day. The 10 am session was PACKED. It was wonderful! The bay area was sunny and warm. Going to the temple of Valentine's day is a tradition we've held since we were first married. It is the greatest way to show love that I know of.

Michael and I took a few photos a la Julia Child and her husband (but not quite as sophisticated).



The flowers were all blooming and the fountains were flowing. It was a glorious sight!


Ladies - chivalry is not dead! Michael still carries my temple bag for me :)

After the temple we drove to San Leandro to visit Mike's niece and her family. She is Norb. Jr.'s daughter and she and her family are so amazing! They have 7 beautiful and lively children. They love to play World of Warcraft as a family and every Saturday they play Dungeons and Dragons as a family.


The took us to their favorite Sushi restaurant for dinner. Michael and I were brave and tried most everything. The raw fish was surprisingly un-fishy tasting but our favorite was the crispy California roll.
Me trying out the raw white tuna.

Mikey, his niece Ann and her husband Dave.

A new tradition? I hope so! Michael BBQed some FaNTaSTiC ribs on Sunday. He pre-baked them with a dry rub and then slathered them in BBQ sauce and grilled them. I normally don't eat ribs (meat with bones grosses me out) but I couldn't help myself this time.

The fire, the smokey goodness...

The delicious meat! The perfect end to a great weekend.

I was thinking it might be romantic to have ribs on Valentine's Day. You know, because of the scripture in Genesis 2: 21 -24 "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, and he slept and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." It's a stretch, I know but those ribs were so GOOD!



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothin' Much Going On Right Now

There has not been much going on in the last few weeks except for school. Michael is loving his new research in astrophysics and his new research advisor is really on the ball. I'm learning quite a bit of spanish (it is nice to have Michael's help understanding the concepts).

Last Sunday Michael and I spoke at our very first fireside. We were asked a few weeks ago to speak to the young men and young women in another ward about temple marriage. Specifically how we prepared for a temple marriage and what being married in the temple has meant in our lives. Michael spoke first. He introduced us and we talked a little bit about where we were from and how we met and married. Then Mikey did an excellent job talking about how to prepare for a temple marriage. He gave examples of all of the things he learned on his mission that helped him be a better husband. He also talked about some of the fun traditions we have. The kids really liked him, he was funny, charming and gave a lot of good information.

I spoke second. I talked a little bit about some of the experiences we have had since being married (Michael's parents passing away, being poor, not being able to have children) and how they have helped us to rely on the Lord. I also talked about Mark 5:23 and the daughter of Jarius. How Jarius entreated the Lord to come and "lay his hands" upon his daughter that she "may be well and live." President Howard W. Hunter was quoted as saying that these words are not only a "reminder of a father's love for his child" but that they were also a reminder that whatever the "Lord lays his hands on will live. Whether it be Jarius' daughter or your marriage." And being married in the temple is one way we can let the Lord be a part of our marriage.

We brought the camera but forgot to take any pictures. This weekend, for Valentine's Day eve we are going to go to the Oakland Temple and to visit some family. Happy Valentine's Day!