Category Archives: grilling

One Year

One year ago today, my heart stopped for 20 minutes. Isn’t that crazy?!? On average the heart stoppage time for having a pulmonary valve implant is 45 minutes. A heart can go 3-4 hours on “pause” for transplants.

I’m very thankful for my less than average stoppage time. I credit it to not having the typical brain fog that often follows open heart surgery. I’m also extremely grateful that the Creator of the universe allowed his creation to understand the human body so well as to be able to have the knowledge and skill to do heart surgery. And I’m grateful I was created at this period in time, where I could live a full, mostly healthy life.

Since One year ago:

My health has been great. After the initial healing time, I’ve had more energy and have been able to bounce back better from full, exhausting days or lots of time spent out in the heat.

Because of such a surprisingly easy and quick recovery, I was bored and started looking at houses. This resulted in us listing our town home to sell. Because of our location and price point, we received 7 offers in 4 days. We found a new home (that we LOVE!) that met our needs and even checked off some hard to find wants (my large kitchen!). Within 4 months of heart surgery, with the help of many family and friends, we moved.

With cardiologist approval, we found out at the beginning of this year we are expecting our third child. We couldn’t be more thrilled to add to our family. And as I suppose is normal, this third pregnancy is flying by. I can’t believe we are already at 18 weeks.

We are very fortunate to not owe on any of the heart surgery medical bills. We have been sticking with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and the only debt we have is on our new house. We’ve been working really hard on not buying items we really would love but just don’t have the funds for right now (like a new grill) and God has surprised us with some fun stories of perfect used items that “fell into our lap” with very minimal expense. (Like our “new to us” grill. Free from a neighbor two streets down. We just had to buy a couple of small replacement parts.)

*A week after moving in, we “crashed” the national night out block party a street over
*We participated in our new city’s Trash Bash, our little family picking up trash on 3 streets and allies near our home.
*I found an amazing facebook group dedicated to women with CHD. It’s the first time I’ve ever “met” anyone born with a similar heart condition
*We participated in the neighborhood spring fling party, winning 2 of the 5 raffle prizes (I finally have a porch swing!). The party also included the ribbon cutting for the new butterfly park so the boys each got to release a butterfly
*We completed a 16 week marriage enrichment class
*Our oldest son had eye surgery to correct his crossed eyes
*I’ve been able to read at least 1 new book each month since we moved. I love reading, but when our oldest was born, I put that hobby on the shelf.

It’s been a busy year. It’s been a fun year. It’s been a surreal year.

We are looking forward to another full, fun year, with many, many more heart healthy years to follow.


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Filed under baby steps, cardiology, family, friends, grilling, health, housing, marriage, moving, reading

ouch… it’s been a while

So. the streak of life being busy, blogging being non-existent continues.

I needed to check in to say “Pennies for Debra” is still going strong. The current count is 7450. So yep, nearly $75 of ‘free money.’

What else is going on beside that… The Mariners are playing horrible. I’m utterly disappointed. Before the year began I really thought that with their pitching they would be winning more games. I’m sad Cliff Lee had to be traded, and to the Rangers of all teams!?!?!

It’s hot here. My car said 111 degrees yesterday.

I’m currently reading a new Dorothy L. Sayers book. (a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery of course)

I’ve been eating a lot of BBQ. though I haven’t been grilling as much as I wish I were. I did make more beef jerky in the dehydrator (oh yeah! and tomatoes.)

I’ve just finished my annual cardiology check up. All good results. Little to no change over the last three years. So my ‘future heart surgery’ (which is expected, just not on the calendar) is still probably years and years away. All very encouraging news from the doctor.

I’ve been spending more time with people, friends, those important to me. Thus the drop off in blogging.

I’ve been to San Antonio twice since May. Went to Sea World both times. In fact, on the 3rd of July, that’s where we watched fireworks. The wind was blowing in our direction, so at first it was the smoke, then bits of cardboard, then bits of gritty sand/gun powder residue. We held our own for a time, while all of the families with little kids made a mass exodus of our area. Then we too, moved on.

I think those are the things to share from the last two months. It’s been a really great couple of months and as far as I can tell, it will be this way (only growing better) for the next many more. Thanks for stopping by!

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Filed under blog, cardiology, food, friends, grilling, literature, mariners, pennies for debra, reading

wow. burnout?

It’s been a while. I don’t know if I have had a longer ‘no post’ time in the last 5 years…

Not too much happening here. Or rather, too much happening here.

Lets see. Here’s a list of what’s been going on:

*Search for the Shake ended for 2010. We’ll pick it up again in 2011

*I’ve been playing lots of games, Settlers, Speed Scrabble, Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico, and just learned a new one today Carcassonne. Oh, and I purchased ‘Bang!’ (a mafia type card game) on ebay.

*Got two new tires for the front wheels of my car.

*Enjoying the final season of LOST.

*My roomie & I planted a garden. Tomatoes, Jalapenos, Snow Peas, Dill, Chives, & Basil. (also strawberries, but no luck with them yet).

*Went to two Dallas Stars Games.  One happened to be an Oilers game, and we were 12 rows up from the glass.

*Started up the grill. Corn, broccoli, chicken, salmon, steak, hot links, brats, potatoes, green beans, kabobs, peppers. Yummy!

*Started a one month trial of Netflix. 2 weeks, four movies watched.

*A friend from Wa State came for a visit. We took a road trip to San Antonio.

*Saw the Alamo. (3/6/1836 – & 10 years later Texas became a state.)

*Said Friend from Wa State, myself, and my roomie went to see the Mariners play on 4/11. They got beat pretty badly, but it was fun to see them play during opening week.

*Also on 4/11 we celebrated “Happy to be Alive” day – the 27th anniversary of my open heart surgery.

*Tried Nutella.

*Accidentally left the sun roof of my car open just a crack all night – while it rained. I was fortunate to not have any water in the car the next morning.

*Learned that people like to talk about PB & J on facebook & twitter

*Learned I’m a “terrible tour guide” which resulted in a driving tour of my neighborhood and surrounding area.

*Stayed up way too late past my bed time on numerous occasions (tonight being a prime example)

*I’m sure there is more but because of the item right above this… I can’t remember. 🙂

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Filed under baseball, car, dallas, friends, grilling, happy to be alive, hockey, lost, mariners, movie, oilers, roomies, settlers of catan, shamrock shake, sleep, travel, twitter


I grilled again today. This time it was some type of beef marinate from the store. AND corn on the cob!!!! (tasty) I purchased, for less than 5 dollars, some proper grilling utensils which were very helpful and I added a couple match-light coals to the pile so it was much easier to get the coals going.

I am almost finished with my Yancey book. It is so challenging/inspiring/encouraging all in one. Makes me want to sit down with paper and pencil and just start writing everything and anything I think about.

He is so relatable, its quite unbelievable. I just googled him and was reading some articles. Here is a quote that I found that made me laugh. Yancey says, “We were living in Wheaton, Illinois, the white-bread heart of evangelicalism before they discovered Colorado Springs…” Tell me about it… Can you believe he needed to get out of suburbia, so he moved downtown. After several years there, he realized he could not hear himself think, so he headed west to Colorado.

At one point in his book he starts talking about how one observes nature in Illinois. (What’s he supposed to do go outside and walk around in corn fields!?!?!) Then he explains how he decided for 30 minutes a day he would walk on the Illinois Prairie Path, the same path that I could look at from my old room. Reading this book feels like observing my life lived by someone just a 30 years ahead of me!

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Filed under food, grilling, reading, theology

Breaking in the New Grill

Guess what I am eating for dinner tonight!?!?! Grilled Chicken! I am also grilling up a Brat for later (perhaps lunch tomorrow). Now I just need to get some real grilling utensils. I left my old ones in Washington, So I ended up using the fireplace poker & shovel.

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High of 79

That’s right, Spring has most definitely sprung. Yesterday I did some reading while sitting out side in shorts and a tank top to soak up some sun.

Its a little humid too, which in combination with my slightly stuffed head, makes for a slightly more difficult time breathing. I took some Flonaze so hopefully, I will be on my way to an unstuffed head.

Right now, It is three in the afternoon, I am sitting on my bed and the sun is streaming in the window. The window is open too so there is a wonderful breeze. The way my room is set up, my bed kind of becomes a window seat. top of the bead is actually a couple of inches higher then the bottom of the windows (which line almost the entire wall that my bed is up against). I have to finish one paper and write another really short one. It kind of feels like writing a paper outside, minus the bugs and the bright sun causing me to squint.

Not much else going on here. Tons of homework. My bracket ended in a terrific crash. (yes, the tournament is still going, but all of my picks are done)

Oh, I am going to a Shane and Shane concert on Friday. Pretty stoked about that. The tickets were only 6 dollars and I just learned today that Shawn McDonald is opening. Should be a good show.

I was hoping to bbq today, but I think I am going to wait to use the bbq grill until we move. Then I can use it on the patio and it will not be all dirty for the moving process.

Ok, I need to go write those papers.

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Filed under baseball, grilling, homework, music, sports, weather

Its Beautiful Out

It is about 50 degrees and sunny right now. It feels like summer. I even walked down to the post office to mail some items that should have been sent a while ago. (so all of you who are expecting things from me, and you know who you are, its on its way). Then I stopped by a coffee shop and got a wild berry smoothie before heading home. Now I am listening to a lovely “summer mix” on itunes. what a great day.

I thought it would be a great day to start up the grill, but I think I need to buy a grill mat first so that It is ok to grill on the roof. (some one told me they make those so that you can grill on your wood porch, should work the same for the roof) So it might just be some brats and kraut on the stove for today.

Other than that, I am looking forward to the mariners game today at 2:00.

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Filed under baseball, grilling, itunes, mariners, weather

A couple of pictures

I have not posted very many pictures recently, so here are a few.

This first one is a picture I took as we drove in downtown Chicago. I thought it looked kind of cool.

This is a photo of the sweet new grill, the Smokey Joe Platinum, that I bought this week. It was on sale, so it cost the same as the smaller version. I used to have a small one when I lived in WA and I have completely missed BBQing. Right Rach? Nothing beats it. I can taste that corn now…

Here is a photo of me hugging my new grill. I am so happy to own it! Broiling has just not been the same.


Filed under chicago, grilling, pictures

Blue Light Special

I just got back from running some errands. I stopped at K-mart and as I went to park I realized that I was pretty sure I had been there before. At the corner of Roosevelt & Finley, I definitely remember shopping there before. We did not go to K-mart very often in Washington, and the one k-mart memories I have is when we were waiting for someone in the “restaurant” and the people in the memory are from the old Chicago days, so that leads me to conclude, it was this K-mart.

Also, as I was shopping, someone came over the intercom “attention k-mart shoppers…” They did not say “blue light special on isle….” but it made me laugh anyway.

Today I also bought a webber grill. It is a bit bigger than my old one, but it was the same price as the smaller one. I’m telling you, it is best to buy grills when it is heading into the winter months of November and December. I got it at a great price.

Finally, while I was driving, I got to the top of this hill (yes, we have hills here) and as I looked out across the horizon (which is easier to do from hills here because there are considerably less trees), I was struck by the view. At home, one looks out to the south west to see Mt. Rainier. Here, I found myself looking off to the east and I could see one of the world’s most recognizable buildings, the Sears Tower off in the distance.

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Filed under chicago, grilling

Dinner on the Grill

Tonight we decided to grill some, well, I am not exactly sure what kind of meat it was other than knowing it was beef. Anyway, we planned yesterday to grill it for dinner, so we marinated the meat today and I swung by the grocery store and bought a couple of corn on the cob. It was so good. I love our little Webber camping grill.

For dessert, I didn’t have any marshmallows, so I decided to try something new. I just put a few pieces of chocolate between 2 graham crackers and stuck them on the grill. I flipped it a few times so the crackers wouldn’t burn and so that the chocolate would get hot enough to melt. It smelled & tasted amazing. Since the crackers had cinnamon & sugar on them, it was fantastic.

This is a nice picture of my brother Tim & I
at Tim’s graduation last week.

There is one period left in the Oilers game and they are down by two. I am currently listening to the game on the radio via the internet. Go Oilers!!!!

WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EDMONTON JUST SCORED!!!!!!!! (power play)

AHHHHH!!!! Unbelievable!!!! They just scored again…I yelled at the top of my lungs. Then I remembered that I was not at my parents home where that kind of behavior is acceptable in regards to sports celebrations.

Rats, Those red guys just got one.

Insanity, Edmonton just scored on the power play, but the goal is under review. Just Shy of 4 minutes left in the game. If it stands, the game is tied again. YES its a Goal!


Incredable!!!!!! Edmonton scored again with about 1 minutes left in the game.

EDMONTON WINS!!!!!!! They are David, beating Goliath. One a sad note, This may have been Steve Yzermans last game. Sorry Tim & Dad (and all the other friends and family who root for Detroit). But I am totally STOKED!!!!!! I am hoping for a battle of Alberta next. Go Calgary!

K. My picture finally posted so I am out of here. Night.


Filed under family, food, grilling, hockey, pictures, sports