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Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Blanket Boom!

My crocheting hands just can't keep up these days. SO many friends/family are having babies this year. It is unreal. Here's the list (and counting)

1)Sister in law, Katie; gave birth April to a little boy, TJ
2)Friend Leah gave birth early July to a little girl, Lily
3)Co-Worker/Friend Adam and his wife, Susan, had a little boy, Drake, June 20
4)Co-Worker/Friend Tanya gave birth on June 26 to a little girl, Lyla
5)Friend Vanessa is due Mid August w/ a little girl, Mariana
6)Friend Kristina is due early August (basically any day), gender unknown
7)BFF Jessica is due October 4th w/ a little girl, Claire
8)My BFFs Sis in law (and my friend too), Amy is due sometime in december(I think) w/ a little girl
9)Co-Worker, Fia, is due in Mid October, gender unknown
10) Old friend, Heather is due late October w/ a little girl
11)Friend Desiree is Due in December w/ a little boy, Joel
12) Jared's friend, Kelly, is due early next year sometime, they haven't found out the gender yet
13) SIL Jessica's best friend, annalise is due w/ a little boy pretty soon

I am definitely keeping the yarn industry in business. I know there are other people that are having or had a baby sometime this year.  I just can't think of all of them off the top of my head. Where I am not making baby blankets for every person listed, I am making them for the majority. The best part about making the blankets is seeing the little ones cuddled up with their blankie from Auntie Shannon. It gives me warm fuzzies. It is a little bit of a bummer not being pregnant at the same time as all of these friends. *sigh* in due time I guess. In the meantime, I am crocheting my little heart out for these little babes. I love being an auntie. Keep them coming peeps!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


About two an a half weeks ago Jared started a new job. I'd tell you all about it and what the name of the company is and what types of things they do but honestly folks, I just can't remember. I know he works with machines and they make some kind of window tinting for well, windows. I also know they use some kind of chemicals that does something and you should probably wear a mask while using it. Oh and there's some really expensive version that costs some ridiculous amount of money per foot (or yard? or something?) and it's really bad if you mess up that one. I'm a bad girlfriend, I know.

Where I am happy he is working, I am struggling with this new schedule. He works 630am til 3pm Monday Thru Friday and mostly likely every other Saturday. I work Sun thru Tues and every other Saturday. In a perfect world, we would have the same Saturdays off. In reality it doesn't look like that is the case. So that means we don't have one full day off together. One of us will always have to leave for work or will have to wait for the other to get off of work. Sure, 3pm is a great time in the afternoon to get off but when you live an hour away from your significant other and you have to wake up at 430 am, it doesn't leave a whole lot of time to hang out.

I'm sure I sound like a spoiled brat. Most people don't get to spend almost every single day together during the first year they are dating. I know I am blessed and trust me, I savored every moment of that. But this new schedule is kind of kicking my butt. Jared is adjusting better than I am. Thankfully I know this isn't forever.

Regardless of all of that, I know God will give us the strength to get through this season one day at a time. I am so proud of Jared. We all have those "transition" jobs that we don't particularly love but know they are necessary for a time until we can start the career we really want. He has taken it all in stride and has adjusted to waking up at 430 in the morning like a trooper.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summertime Snack

I've learned a few things over the past few weeks. Maybe even months.

1. It is hard to eat all of the fresh produce I buy before it goes bad
2. Food, especially hot food, does not sound appealing when it is 100+ degrees outside
3. It is very hard to eat healthy and keep food costs down
4. Finding low calories, low fat but tasty recipes for meals and treats is a pain in the you know what
5. I don't always have time to cook a meal

The strawberries seem to get mushy before I can eat them all and the bananas are too brown for me to enjoy but not quite banana bread status. So, I decided to give something a try. I bought a decent amount of fresh fruit that was on sale and I decided to divide it up to freeze it. It is really easy. It took me less than 15 minutes.

I simply washed and cut up the fruit then divided it among the freezer bags I have. Because I am trying to be good and watch my calorie intake, I measured out the fruit and labeled the bags so I can track me food/calorie consumption.

This time around I only used banana, strawberries and blueberries. But really, smoothie options are endless. Add a 1/2 cup low fat or fat free yogurt, or add a 1/2 cup of cold milk. Throw in a scoop of "any whey" 100 % whey protein powder (doesnt have a taste, just adds protein). Adding some protein will make it more filling and in essence, it becomes a meal replacement smoothie. Bonus: it is nice and cool for those blasted hot days we seem to be having.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blackberry Oatmeal Bars

Seriously folks... treats and baking doesn't get much easier than this!

Blackberry Oatmeal Bars

1 Yellow Cake mix (or flavor of your choice)
2 1/2 Cups Quick cooking Oats
1 cup Butter/Margarine, melted
1 Cup Seedless Blackberry Jam ( or jam of your choice)
1 Tablespoon Water

1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13x9in pan
    ** I personally Line my pan w/ parchment paper and spray w/ non stick spray. Makes cutting way easier!

2. In a Large bowl, mix together Oats, Cake Mix and Melted Butter. Mix until nice clumps form and there is no dry mix left. I used my hands to mix it. Easier and not quite as messy as a spoon. Plus fun for kids if they are helping!
3. Put approx 1 1/2- 2 cups of the crumb to the side. Press the remaining amount into the bottom of the pan

4. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tbsp water and the jam. Spread over the crust.

5. Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top
6. Bake for 18-23 min or until top is lightly browned.

7. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for aprrox 1 hr. or until completely cool.
8. Once cool, lift parchment paper/treat out of pan. Gently peel off the parchment paper and place treat on a cutting board. cut into bars.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Miracle Baby... Update

Some of you may remember this blog about my friends, Tom and Desiree. Since I asked you for fervent prayers, I thought I would update for anyone who would like to know.

I am happy to report that Desiree is 21 weeks along and they just found out last week they are having a little BOY!

I am so excited for them and I can't wait to start on a blankie for this little miracle. Thank you to all of you who have kept my dear friends in your prayers!

Here's his updated picture:


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Years ago I was given a bible by some friends at church and on the inside cover of the bible they wrote a quick message to me and gave the bible refrence to Jeremiah 29:11. Even then, I knew it would be the scripture that defines my life and the journey God would take me on.

Over the past few months I have watched close friends go through things in their lives that have left them hurt, scarred, sad and questioning their existence. What many of them lack is hope. Hope that someday things will turn around. Hope that someone, somewhere knows what will happen in their life. And hope that they will make it through this trial and be a stronger person for it. Some don't know about the hope God wants to bring all of us. Others simply do not want to hear it.

Although I am a christian, I forget about the hope that God has given me. I sometimes struggle with fear and I occasionally let the past dictate my future. I assumed that because one or two people did me wrong, others would follow in their footsteps.

But I will choose fear no more.

Lately I have been reminded about the hope God has promised me. No matter what has happened in past years, no matter what is happening right now and no matter what could happen in the future; God has promised me hope and a future.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Fire is Bigger than Your Fire

A couple weeks ago Jared and I went to our favorite Chinese Food place downtown then headed to Mission Beach for a little bonfire and smores. It was just the two of us so we didn't bring a truck load of wood. Just enough to hang out for a few hours.

We (and by "we" I mean Jared) got our fire going and we were well on our way to enjoying the gooey goodness of smores. There was a christian group down the beach from us and we could hear the worship music they were playing. The fire pit next to us was empty until about an hour after we got there.

We sat cuddled up next to our little fire and watched the seal playing in the water. We both noticed a group of teenagers making their way towards the empty fire pit closest to us. We watched as they threw their pallet into the pit. Whole. Now, I am not a rocket scientist nor have I ever been a Girl Scout (or Boy Scout for that matter) but even I know you should break up the pallet for optimal burning time.

One of the guys in their group jogged over and we had the follwoing conversation:
Boy: Do you guys have any lighter fluid we can use? We aren't the boy scout type.
Me: Sure, no problem.
He then glanced at our fire and says:
Boy: You guys are welcome to come join us. We have a whole pallet and will probably last longer than your little fire.
Me: no thanks. I think we are good for now.
Boy: alright but you're welcome to come over if you change your mind
Me: OK thank you

Jared and I watched as they doused their (still whole) pallet with flammable liquid and light their fire. The boy returned our lighter fluid and jogged back over to their "raging" fire. We watched as their fire grew for a minute then diminished into flames similar to those you would see on a birthday candle. As we joked about how long it would take for the fire to go out, the same boy jogged back over to us and asked for the lighter fluid again. We watched as they doused the wood, again. Lit it on fire, again. Then he returned the lighter fluid...again. He glanced at our still small (but strong) fire and  headed back to his group.

About 10 minutes later their fire was out. And I mean O-U-T. Not even a whisp of smoke was left. Then we heard the him on the phone:
Boy: hey dude can you pick up some lighter fuid? Oh and we need more wood...

Jared and I couldn't help but laugh. Here we were with two small logs burning in a ginormous fire pit while they struggled with their "whole pallet".

While we sat there enjoying our perfect sized bonfire, I turned to Jared.. "maybe we should invite them over to share our bonfire..."

Monday, July 12, 2010

A New Mr. & Mrs.

I feel like I am constantly playing catch up on this thing :) I didn't want to go another day without noting a special day that Jared and I were part of.

Jared's best friend, Zach, got married!!

I met Zach and Missy a couple months after I started dating Jared. I instantly liked both of them, a lot. The four of us had dinner and the next day met up again for lunch. We endured the "lovely" Island Spice Restaurant (remember that one?) and have enjoyed numerous Corned Beef Tacos at Hooley's together. Their approval of me dating Jared was essential. I breathed a huge sigh of relief we they gave Jared the green light where I was concerned.

I remember Missy and I talking at Island Spice. She told me their wedding was planned for June 26,2010 and I was invited. At this point Jared and I had only been together about 6 weeks. Who knew what the future held.

Well on June 26, 2010 I had the honor of attending this very beautiful wedding on the arm of the best man:
The guys had a couple beers to calm the pre-wedding jitters:
I think it worked. Zach was all smiles!
The guys:
The girls:
The first kiss as Mr & Mrs
Releasing the butterflies:
Jared gave a speech:
And they cried:
We had a great time!

Congratulations Mr.& Mrs. Zach and Melissa Flesher!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Anniversary

July 1, 2010 was probably one of the most wonderful days with Jared. I absolutely cannot pick a favorite day but this one is deifnitely in the top ten!
We wanted to keep it simple. We wanted to keep it inexpensive. We wanted to keep it, well, us.

We decided to make dinner together and my place. We made a Walnut/Feta/Craisin Salad, Balsamic Orange Glazed Salmon, Wild Rice Stuffing, Brie Bread, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Dark Chocolate Creme' Brulee'. I know, I know.. That is A LOT of food for two people. But it was soooooooooo good!
I love cooking with Jared. It brings me more joy than I can even express. Plus, he is a great cook! We make a pretty great team in the kitchen.

I had gone to Michaels and got about a million 50 votive candles and lined the shelves, TV stand, coffee table and dining room table. We have dinner at my place quite a bit so I wanted to do something just a little different. I had soft music playing when he got there and I had found a really cute/comfy dress at Target to wear.

After dinner we danced to a song called "How beautiful" by Ben Utecht. It was romantic. Then we finally echanged gifts. I have been working on a photobook through Shutterfly for months. It captures most of the big events and fun things we did during our first year together. I also got him a new watch that looks great on him.

Jared out-did himself though. First off, he got me a card. He isn't much of a card person so this is basically a big deal. It was so sweet and romantic. I got a little choked up cried when I was reading it.  He ordered personalize M&M's in my favorite colors, pink and red. Plus had some pearl colored ones in there. They read "Shannon /Jared", "True Love" and "July 1 2009". They are so cute! He ordered 2 bags so I could keep one and eat one. Then I opened the little box. In it was a silver charm bracelet. He took it from me and began explaining each charm to me:

A Cake: because the first day we met was when I made the wedding cake for his mom and step dad plus i love to bake
Fire: because i work for the fire dept
A Coffee Mug: our first date was a coffee date
Chinese Symbol for Love: our first dinner date was at the Mandarin house. Plus it is one of our favorite places to eat
A Cat: for my cats, his cats and all the little cats we visit at Petco
A Cross: for church
A Heart that says "True Love"
Koala Bear: because we go to the zoo/wild animal park/sea world a lot
The Number 1 : for our 1 year anniversary
The Canadian Maple Leaf : our inside joke about Canada
As he was explaining each charm I couldn't help but cry. It was a thoughtful, heartfelt, special and deeply moving gift. It never ceases to amaze me how much Jared loves me. I cannot fully comprehend it but I certainly enjoy it.

We ate. We danced. We Kissed. We cuddled. We exchanged gifts. I cried. It was a perfect evening.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One Year

Today is mine and Jared's One Year Anniversary. This year has honestly flown by. I've been counting the days until July 1, 2010 and thinking about all of the things I could possibly write about. Now that the time has come, I am speechless. There's lump in my throat and my eyes keep filling with tears that are threatening to spill out. I am far more blessed than I ever thought I could be or deserved. So much so that when I say "Thank You Lord for Jared", it doesn't seem to be enough. It almost seems too simple.

I used to wonder what it would be like to be in a relationship that lasted more than a few weeks. I honestly never thought I would know. Yet here I am, sitting at work, willing the clock to speed up so I can see the man that swept me off my feet one year ago.

It is amazing what can change in a year. Jared was quiet sometimes and took a while to open up. I wondered if we would ever get there in our relationship. I wondered if I would begin to know all of those "little things" that you know about the people you are close to. Favorite food, favorite restaurants, what they drink at Starbucks, how they dress, knowing what they will say before they say it. I honestly didn't know if I could let the walls come down enough to let someone into my heart again buthe waited it out.

Jared is a patient man. More patient than almost anyone I have ever met. He is generous, sweet, funny, kind, stubborn, loving, chivalrous, smart, strong, has a smile that melts my heart every time I see it, can be a punk, a little dorky, not much of a planner... and I love him. I love him more than words can ever express. I love everything about him. I love him when he gets stupid songs stuck in my head, I love him when we disagree, I love him when he makes me laugh. He is the most precious gift from God. You know what the best part is?He loves me too! Even when I am stubborn (I know, shocking! But I can be on occasion), when I am cranky and when my work schedule is crazy. When I am sad he wipes away my tears and holds me tight. He is the man I have prayed for and asked God for since I was a teenager. It has been a wonderful first year with him and I am looking forward to many more!

Happy One Year Anniversary Jared. I love you!!!