Wednesday, December 19, 2007

mediocre movies

so we are crazy about netflix. it is so nice to go online and pick out movies you want--then they just show up! last night we watched "i now pronounce you chuck & larry" which didn't turn out to be worth it.

the movie is an adam sandler flick, but was a disappointment to this sandler fan. (i can't justify what i like about him, i just DO!) anyhow, it was about these two friends pretending to be in a domestic partnership so one of them could have secure pension benefits for his children. at the end of the movie i told brandon i thought it was kind of lame and he said, "yeah, but it was funny." the thing is, i don't recall laughing.

i feel like i have been more critical of comedies lately--i need my stomach and face to hurt from laughing to feel like it was worth my attention.

also, i spilled a tupperware full of quinoa all over the computer desk. i don't think there is anything else in the world that is more difficult to clean up: it is tiny, a little bit sticky, breaks apart when you touch it, and matches our carpet. i dumped the carton on accident about 0.2 seconds before brandon walked in the door: welcome home honey! he was wonderful and helped me clean it up, although i am sure we are going to continue to find it until we move out. new overstreet house rule: no eating quinoa at the computer!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

sealed envelopes

i submitted my online grad applications for UWashington, UOregon, and UArizona last night. today i have to drop a few remaining pieces in the mail and seal my graduate school fate. :)

UW and UO are the two most prestigious psych schools, so i have some anxiety about sending those off. however, there is a huge sense of relief that it is now out of my hands. we shall see how the fates align.

i have a couple more due at the beginning of january, but having these "scary" ones done takes a heavy burden off my shoulders.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

downer week

i haven't posted in a while because life has felt pretty down this past week and i don't want this to be a place full of complaints. then again, sadness is part of life so here goes...

we took the GRE and neither of us did exceptionally well overall. brandon did well on math and i did decent on verbal, but certainly not the scores we had hoped to achieve.

i walked out of the testing center and my thoughts were as follows: 1) oh my gosh, how did do that bad? 2) there is no way i did that bad! 3) what does this mean? 4) i'm not getting into UO or UW. 5) i'm not getting in anywhere. 6) crying.

since then it has been hard to shake the sadness and feelings of worthlessness. how emotionally unstable must i be right now? one bad score on one irritating test sends me over the edge?

it has also been an emotional week with papa overstreet being in and out of the hospital, some friend stress, and a major work-related crisis. needless to say, i am glad it is friday night and we are still in one piece.

i took these photos on my retreat last week. the one on the right is a healthy reminder.

just tonight we put up some white lights in our downstairs windows. it hasn't felt much like christmas to me lately, but these lights put me in the spirit. oh how i love the simplicity of white lights!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

yoga bliss to snowy stress

i just got back from a weekend yoga retreat, which we had to cut 3 hours short due to inclement weather (cold, blowing, crazy snow!). the owner of the lodge came to my yoga instructor half-way through one of our sessions today and said that we needed to leave or that we wouldn't make it back home. hmm... leave it is!
so in the middle of warrior two pose we had to pack up our bags and skedaddle out before the snow took over. no shavasan or anything! then we drove through the nasty weather on nasty roads to get home. needless to say, all the relaxing i did over the weekend may have been undone by our stressful drive.
we are home safe now, which is nice. and still, i am grateful for weekend of stretching and mindfullness.
tomorrow brandon and i have date with destiny: we take the GRE! on the practice exams i have been scoring well on the verbal, but not so well on the math and brandon vice versa. too bad we can't just combine our scores! :)
so please pray, wish, hope, root (whatever it is you would like) for our success on this exam. it will play a role in if/where we get in and how much funding we receive so it feels like a lot is on the line.
oh how i can't wait for lunch tomorrow when we have this behind us...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

return from the south

our trip to austin was loads of fun and chock full of activities. we spent LOTS of time with the overstreet family, hiked to the top of enchantment rock, partook of deepfried pickles (which are gluten-full if you were wondering), biked, drank purple margaritas, kayaked, took pictures, shopped, and...ATE. oh did we eat! food is such a splendid thing that brings families together.

we spent the first few days there in austin, eating turkey with the family. then on friday we took off for port aransas/corpus christi. it was very cold and spit rain for most of the time, but we still had a great time on our "vacation within a vacation"! rob, justin, court, brandon, and i spent friday night bait fishing off the pier. it was raining so hard that within 5 minutes each of us were thoroughly soaked.

we are exhausted now and happy to be home, although our systems had to do a rapid adjustment from the warm sun we enjoyed yesterday to the fluffy snow we found on the ground today. here are just a few photos...the rest are on our flickr site

Saturday, November 17, 2007

travels and tales to come

i've spent the day doing the wash and trying to narrow down my list of items to take to austin. i am horrible at packing, truly awful. to top it off i always end up wearing the same thing over and over so i could just bring one outfit and be golden. anyhow, the progress is slow, but measurable.

we take off tomorrow to spend some time with erik and kayla, which i am thrilled we can fit in. i am also grateful for their willingness to cart us out to the airport.

our flight takes off monday for the lone star state and we are very much looking forward to being warm(er). it should be an interesting adventure trying to eat gluten free in the airports, but i am coming prepared with backup items if needed. sadly however, one cannot live on larabars alone.

hopefully we can get some GRE studying in during our flights and layovers, but we shall see how well our attention span holds out. i so want to do well and know that studying will help but pulling that huge book open feels like an insurmountable task!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

meeting rowan

we think he is just the best!

we took off a couple days of work and school to hang out with our godson, rowan. he is incredible and perfect, and looks just like his daddy. we are pretty stoked on him!

here he is with his daddy, being chill.

he is thinking who the heck is this lady? yep, that would be his godmum!

logan and alyssa have one great little dude: he takes being mellow seriously and only cries when he needs a diaper change or to eat. what a way to be! it was hard to say goodbye, but we are looking forward to holding him again soon.

here's The Godfather

we also went to seattle to hang out with kemi & sara, which was loads of fun. they drove us around and put up with getting our city fixes (REI, asian food, freemont market, etc.). all i could think the whole time was how lucky i am to have such awesome girlfriends! sadly, we didn't get any photos.

then i met with a couple of my professors and asked them to write letters of recommendation for graduate school. both of them said they would have no trouble writing me positive letters, so that was a huge burden lifted. now the onus is just on me to get my statement of purpose put together....

Monday, November 5, 2007

our friend, the little guy

this is our newest friend, rowan. although brandon and i have not yet met the little guy, we are already enamored by him. we are quite possibly the most proud godparents in the world. what an honor! thank you logan and alyssa for choosing us!

we get the joy of meeting our godson this friday. we are going to awake early and head west so we can see him firsthand.

i must confess, i "stole" this photo from his momma's page, but i promise to have some original photos after our visit this weekend.

we can't wait to meet you rowan!

(doesn't he look just like logan?)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

fall favorites

i think that my favorite fall day has always been daylight savings.
it is wonderful to be able to sleep in late and then to be able to shake off those feelings of guilt for your laziness--because really you aren't sleeping in that late. i, being the lover of sleep that i am, revel in that bonus hour of shuteye.
as the day goes on you keep thinking that surely it is later, then you look at the clock and remember "oh yeah, we set our clocks back." sweet, more bonus time!
because it gets darker earlier you begin to prepare to get into bed, with your body telling you that the time to sleep is drawing near. then suddenly you realize that you are in bed at 9:30!
daylight savings seems like the one day of the year when you aren't racing against the clock and i like that feeling.
to top off the beauty of daylight savings we had delightful, warm fall weather . although this photo is one i took a couple of weeks ago, it captures the feel of our day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

a night to dismember

friends of ours hosted a murder-mystery party on saturday night. each of us were assigned roles and then as the night progressed we found out more about ourselves and our "involvement in the murder". it turned out to be heaps of fun.

i was assigned the role of madame garlic, a flamboyant clairvoyant and brandon was the mummy of king aldrinktodat.
(click on the photo of brandon and i--it will take to the the other photos from the night.)

sadly (or perhaps not!), all i had to buy to transform myself into a gypsy was a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a ring--apparently i am not that far from being a gypsy in my day-to-day attire. hmmm...

fun with quinoa

tonight's dinner included gluten-free lasagna and a side dish of quinoa with sun-dried tomatoes! (don't worry mom, we had broccoli too!)

the quinoa was incredible--i would even recommend it to those not living a GF lifestyle. so delish! (p.s. quinoa is pronounced: keen-wa)

here is the recipe:

1 cup quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
8 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), diced
8 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
pinch of chili powder

1. Place quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse under warm running water for 1 min. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add minced tomatoes and garlic and saute for 3-5 mins.
4. Add broth and bring to a boil.
5. Stir quinoa, diced tomatoes, and chili powder, return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 30 mins, or until liquid is absorbed.
6. Let sit for 5 mins, and fluff grains with a fork to separate.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

seeking through the doubt

there are few things that brandon and i disagree over, but my love for sara groves music is one of the constant sore spots in our marriage. our iTunes is of course full of sara groves music and when put on shuffle, he gets the opportunity to enjoy her also. iTunes seemed to have payed off, as he admitted to me yesterday that he liked one of her songs! of course he couldn't recall the title, but said it had to do with doubting god--a constant point of agreement between the two of us. i quickly identified the song as "maybe there is a loving god". here is our favorite part:

maybe i was made this way
to think and to reason and to question and to pray
and i have never prayed a lot
but maybe there is a loving god
maybe there is...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

the tea enemy: secret ingredients

yesterday i bought some tea from the local co-op. when a small [very small] amount of gluten gets in my diet, i have a bit of stomach discomfort, so i thought this would be a good natural cure.

well i came across this yogi tea that is called something like "stomach ease". sounded like the perfect cure to my occassional wheat invasion so i bought some. i came home and had two cups in the afternoon and one before bed--don't mock me, it tasted so good!

i awoke in the middle of the night due to a certain feeling of stabbing coming from within my stomach. ouch. hard to sleep. quite uncomfortable. so i laid flat until the alarm had been "snoozed" too many times to count. i was utterly confused about where this pain was coming from, as it was exactly like the pain i often had back when i was a gluten-lush. i knew i didn't eat anything with gluten in it so what was the probelm?

the problem was not in the eating, but rather in the drinking: it was that damn yogi tea! the ingredients listed all sounded so nice and soothing, until i read "malt barley". what? who puts gluten in tea?

so the irony is that i bought the tea to ease the pain that the gluten causes only to ingest the cause of the pain. grr. here's to more reading material in my life as tea is no longer "safe".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

family time at gluten-R-us

not only did we get the chance to celebrate grandma this weekend, we also got to meet ross' girly friend: jordan. what a great, down-to-earth, beautiful girl! hopefully ross realizes what a great gal he has in his life and treats her right.

alex enjoyed watching the ducks beat the cougs on the big screen. he was a big help when the party was over--he always has been willing to help out.

the family joined together after grandma's party at olive garden. mom and i found little on the menu that we could eat, although i salivated while reading the description for the ravioli. why must cheese and wheat go together so perfectly in taste and so horrendously in my body? it was nice to take a breath and eat with the people that we love!

is it just me or does ross look exactly as he did at eight? :)

a real reason to celebrate

we had a wonderful weekend, celebrating a lady we love and who has impacted all of those around her. these are a few pictures i took at grandma's 90th party...unfortunately none of her! how did i miss that?

Friday, October 12, 2007

happy 90th to our favorite lady!

october 13 marks the 90th year of my grandma's wonderful life. she is an amazing woman, full of strength and love. i am always inspired by her ceaseless love for our family and the gracious way she lives.

brandon and i both love her very dearly. luckly for brandon, she also loves him dearly!

happy 90th year grandma!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

wallowa lala

brandon joined his folks in NE oregon for the weekend. he is now convinced this is where we should live, forgoing graduate school to buy property there. i am game for living there...eventually. we shall see!

(i had to be on-call for work, otherwise i would have lived it up this weekend also.)(more photos on our flickr sight--you can just click on the rob & becky photo to go there.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

(mis)adventures in gluten-free baking

last night was my first (and perhaps last) attempt at gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. i wanted some from the co-op last week but they were $6 for 6 cookies--outrageous! so i figured my GF flour would function in the same way that normal flour does. wrong. outstandingly incorrect.

1) the best part of the cooking making process (eating the dough) was not as anticipated: the dough tasted like i had mixed in some sort of root vegetable. i couldn't identify the exact flavor, but it tasted the way an unwashed carrot or potato would taste: like dirt. blagh!
2) the cute little balls of dough i plopped out on the cookie sheet spread out so much they created one massive, paper-thin blob. hold your form!
3) the cookies i created out of the blob (with help from a small knife and a spatula) refused to come off of the cookie sheet without leaving behind a greater portion of their innards.
4) on a positive note, the GF cookies edges and chunks tasted much like real cookies.

here are photos from my untheraputic night of baking:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

frisbees over spokane

on saturday we drove up to riverside state park, just outside of spokane to spend time with erik and kayla (and the pilkingtons). being in the company of good friends is always wonderful, but being in the company of good friends while surrounded by the beauty of the spokane river takes the cake! we had a blast and ate like kings and queens thanks to kayla's folks. somehow cold spaghetti just won't cut it for camping food for us now!

we also experienced the underground world of disc golf. (although we weren't up to par as we had frisbees--way lame in the disc golf world!) here are a couple of action shots...
my killer athletic instincts at their best
looking a bit more graceful

one of my favorite things to do while camping is to pull out the camera and catch the world as it wakes up. these two photos are from the bridge over bowl and pitcher rapid. (the rest of the photos are on our flickr website--see sidebar)
we went into the city this morning and hit target, rei and another outdoor store. then we went to p.f. changs and ate until our bellies were full. what a treat! mmm.

after our much appreciated lunch we headed out to the river to do a bit of kayaking. at the put in we met a great couple who we spent the afternoon with. despite the intimidation/compitition factor in kayaking, there are some chill boaters out there and these two were awesome. it was fun to make new friends on the river! then we drove home in the rain and are looking forward to a good sleep!

this was our beautiful view on the drive homea very happy weekend indeed!

Friday, September 21, 2007

our recent harvest

this is our friend bam-boozle, he is a crooked sort, but we love him all the same

here we have our delicious peppers, which often grace our dinner table in
some way, shape, or form

the beginnings of beautiful, fragrant lavender

a bag full of tommy's hard work

the line up

who knew growing things this past spring and summer would nurture my soul? i love having something to take care of, to watch grow, and EAT! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

pomp and circumstance for brandon

just a notice for those interested: brandon is planning to participate in the UI commencement ceremony on december 8th. if there is any hint that you might want to be here to celebrate him, i would recommend reserving a hotel now as you can always cancel. we are familiar with la quinta and the university inn. beyond those, things can get scary, but good luck!

he is so eager to finish up and graduation is just around the corner! yea!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

happy 17 years rossco!

today is the day that marks my brother ross' 17th year of life! he is one great guy and we are so proud of him. he is a fisherman extraordinaire who loves the excitement of chasing after the next big catch.
when ross came home from the hospital my only-child-life was forever lost. but he was so darn cute with his mess of dark hair and long limbs, that it was okay to have to share the limelight. i liked him most of the time then and i love him all of the time now.
sadly, i cannot scrounge up any recent photos of him--probably because we don't get to see him too often.
ultimately this post is to say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER! we love you.

Friday, September 14, 2007

a night at the county fair

after work tonight a bunch of us got together for a rendezvous at the county fair. despite our long-running relationship, this was the first fair brandon and i attended together. mostly we hung out with my pal amber, who is amazing and so fun!
i had big plans to get an elephant ear before we left and then to go home and deal with the stomach pains and headaches it would surely cause. in the end, reason won: i opted instead for the caramel coated apple, a gluten-free option.
there was much fun to be had in looking at the "natural anomalies" of the fruits and veggies and the "mr. potato head decorating contest" to gleeful cheers inspired by the lionhead rabbit (i so want one!)
the other critter i was introduced to was a shetland sheep--can you imagine how much cuter miniature lambs would be. i told brandon that someday one of those is going to be in our family.

the other thing that i realized about fairs is why my parents always dreaded taking us: they cost a fortune! this one was free to get into, but the games and rides were upwards of $5 each! the food was a bit spendy, but the activities were overboard so we enjoyed tasty treats, people watched, and saw silly veggies and cute animals. sounds like a good night to me!