Monday, November 17, 2014

November Goals

So, guys, we're halfway through November! I do have some goals for this month, but I never got around to posting them until now. I even wrote half this post weeks ago but didn't get a chance to finish it. Sharing a few achievable goals on my blog each month has proven to be incredibly beneficial for me. I feel extra accountable to get things done when I know I will report back to my readers in this space. I don't always get everything accomplished on my monthly list, but I'm usually able to knock out the majority of my goals, and I consider that a very good thing.



RECAP OF LAST MONTH:

Have a garage sale {and get rid of all remaining items immediately afterward}... Done! Made a few hundred in the garage sale {which bought me new bar stools and new bedding for the guest bed} and instantly took all remaining items to the Goodwill.

Paint sign... Done! Painted it one night while Micah was at a Suns game and hung it on the wall that same evening.

Start job market documents... I met with my chair to discuss this, but I'm tabling it for now.

Get into a rhythm with dissertation writing... This was so-so. I started off the month well and then fizzled a bit. I got 13 pages written in October, but I need to pick up the pace.

Be intentional with daily nutrition... I don't feel like this went super well, but I've officially cut my afternoon coffee and I bought some non-sugary cereal.

Read two books for fun... Still behind on this! Maybe I can catch up over the holidays? :/

Write one note of encouragement... Done!


GOALS FOR THIS MONTH:

Get Zianne's birth certificate... We never got an official copy of Z's birth certificate. I have a copy of her immunization record printed for when we fly, but it doesn't even have her first name on it. It says "Baby Girl Russum" and the airline attendants checking me in always look at me like I'm crazy. I'm really hoping to have this done before we fly home for Thanksgiving.

Finish Chapter 2 of dissertation... Must get this finished. Ugh.

Write thank yous... It's rather embarrassing to admit that we still haven't written our thank yous for Zianne's birthday that happened almost two months ago. I don't think 1st birthdays get the same grace period that wedding thank yous do. Oops.

Start photography course... I am photographing a friend's wedding next month. I feel a bit overwhelmed about it, so I'm thinking now is the perfect time to take the Photography Concentrate Essential Camera Skills course I bought about a year ago. Hopefully I can learn some new tricks very quickly.

Order Christmas card and write holiday letter...

Read two books...

Write a note of encouragement...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Snippets

trimmed yarn wall art
{via}




A great perspective on stand and greet time at church {it's even a little awkward for extroverts, I promise...}

My favorite article ever about the TCU Horned Frogs, our depressing conference-hopping history, and what GP has done for our program. By the way, we won the big game if you are wondering...

The Pacific Northwest is over gingerbread lattes...

I can only tolerate a few DIY projects per year, but this wall art looks super easy...

If I lived in a climate where coats were necessary, I'd totally buy this one...

Considering leather leggings, but wondering if a mom can pull them off...

Choosing a spouse who will suffer well...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In the Kitchen: Pork Stir-Fry

I didn't plan to blog this recipe. I typically try 1-2 new dishes a week for dinner and most of the meals are so-so. They are fine, but not worth making again. I toss the recipe and we move on with our lives.

I thought this recipe might be one of those one-and-done types. I didn't have particularly high expectations, but it looked good enough to try. That being said, I took no pictures while making it. But when it was done {and I was waiting for Micah to get home from work}, I sampled it and discovered this stir-fry is AMAZING! I quickly found my camera and snapped a few pics of the finished product. This recipe is definitely being added to the Russum dinner rotation. {And for more cooking ideas look up #russumrecipes on Instagram}.


What you need:
  • 2 teaspoons olive OR canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 12-16 ounce pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 4 tsp. sesame oil *divided
  • 1 orange OR yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas OR snow peas {ends cut and sliced down the middle}
  • 1 TBSP minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 broccoli crown {with florets chopped into bite-size pieces}
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 TBSP rice vinegar OR white wine vinegar
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP sugar OR brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce {red sauce in small jar found on Asian food aisle}


What you do:
  1. Sprinkle pork loin with salt, pepper and paprika. Place in crock pot and drizzle with 2 tsp. sesame oil and 3 TBSP soy sauce. Add 1 cup of water to crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. {As an alternative, you can also cut your tenderloin into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with spices and sauces, and cook it over the stove top,  but I like the fall-apart shredded pork that the crock pot provides}.
  2. At any point in the day, you can cut up all your veggies. I added the minced garlic and ginger to my veggies and let them sit the fridge mixed together in a bag all afternoon.
  3. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chili garlic sauces in a bowl, stirring with a whisk or fork.
  4. Heat pan to medium-high and add 2 tsp. sesame oil to pan. Add all veggies, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are slightly tender but not soft.
  5. Meanwhile, remove pork from crock pot and shred.
  6. Remove veggies from heat and add shredded pork. Stir together and then return the whole mix to the crock pot. *There will be extra broth at the bottom of your crock pot that will soak into the whole stir-fry and taste delicious. There were a couple of pieces of fat that had fallen off the tenderloin that I removed from the broth with a fork before adding the meat and veggie mix back in.
  7. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Day in the Life

I documented a day in our life when Zianne was about six months old. Now that she's one, I thought it would be fun to do it again to see all the changes that have taken place over the past half year.













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I usually get up between 6:30 and 7:00am. This is my quiet hour to drink coffee and read the Word as Micah gets ready for work.

Zianne wakes up around 8:00am. I change her diaper and bring her into my room. We are just about to drop her morning feeding and then she will be completely weened. She currently nurses for about 3.5 minutes in the morning and then wants to play, play, play around the room while I clean up and make the bed. 

Next Z and I head to the kitchen for "brekkie." Usually we each eat some cereal and then split a banana and a yogurt. After breakfast, we hurry off to the gym where Z plays in the childcare area, which she loves, while mom works out.

This particular day was rare because it was fall break at school. Usually I have to teach on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but since there was no class this day, I met my mom at our usual location {a coffee shop halfway between our houses}, put Z in her car, and then got a few hours to myself to work out, run some errands, get a pedicure, and grade some papers at Crepe Bar. Usually I would be at school during this time, holding office hours and teaching class.

On days I work or have errands, Zianne takes her morning nap at my mom's and then I pick her up after lunch and before her afternoon nap. On days I'm at home, we get home from the gym, Zianne goes down for a late morning nap, and I hustle through household chores {and sometimes get a chance to take a shower} while she sleeps.

Since Z's afternoon nap is becoming her longer nap {some days at least}, I now work on my dissertation in the afternoon. I try to put her down and then immediately bust out my computer and start writing.

After Z's second nap, she gets a cracker and cup of water for a snack. Sometimes I let her watch one episode of Baby Einstein while I finish up school stuff and get dinner started {And, yes, she still sits in her infant bouncer while she watches her show. She loves the thing!}. Eventually she ends up in the kitchen under my feet as I cook, which is why we had to finally install a safety lock on the cabinet under the sink.

Dad gets home around 5:30! They play for a little while and then we eat dinner as a family. Z sits in her high chair next to dad and stuffs her face for dinner.

From 6:30-8:00pm Zianne and Micah hang out as much as possible. They play around the house and sometimes the whole family will go for a walk around the neighborhood. Usually one of us will give her a bath around 7:00 or 7:30 and then Zianne goes to bed around 8:00. We gave up bedtime nursing about a week ago, so Z drinks a sippy cup of milk as I pray out loud, and then I put her in her crib. She grabs her lovely, turns onto her side, and falls asleep as soon as I turn out the light.

So this is what a typical day looks like {minus the pedicure which is a monthly treat!}. At least once a week we get together with friends for lunch or a play date. And usually we have at least one evening event each week, and Z goes to bed a little bit later. We get out quite a bit these days, but I really strive to have one day a week where we just stay home all day. I feel like "home days" are good for both of us.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saturday Snippets


I think I need to learn how to crochet...

Only English teachers will appreciate this...

Love this alternative to a book club...

When bloggers' kids grow up...

The sweetest post on doing laundry...

The cutest dolls...

Finally a succulent I can't kill...

On praying for people you don't know...

As Christmas approaches, here are some non-toy gifts for toddlers...

The end of gmail?

Loving oval cut cardigans this season...

10 reasons why Zianne and I can't sleep in the same bed...

A fascinating read on pregnant marathoners...

Elf on the Shelf intimidates me, but this might be a good alternative...
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