Monday, December 7, 2009

A Good Snack Gone Bad

So, if you don't think having kids is an adventure, maybe we should review the meaning of "adventure."'s first meaning for adventure is:

ad⋅ven⋅ture[ad-ven-cher] noun 1. an exciting or very unusual experience

Well, I'm gonna go with the latter part of the meaning - a very unusual experience. Never would I have imagined that I'd be cleaning graham crackers up in my bathroom. The bathroom isn't where you eat - so why on earth would they be in there?! Well, if you have kids, anything is possible. Really.

Carter had to go to the bathroom. He announces and then runs to the bathroom. He is still learning, so I still have to help him get his pants off and on. I discover that he has only one pair of clean underwear so I help him with his pants and tell him to wash his hands. I go to gather the laundry while he is washing his hands. When I get back, I hear the water still running. I go in there to investigate, and he has graham crackers all in the sink, on his step stool, on the floor, on the bath mat, and on the tub. How on earth did he do that? And why did he bring his snack in there? To make matters worse, Katie has followed him in there and is smearing the graham cracker mess all over the floor. It is all over her and the bathroom. How is it that the one that started the mess - Carter - is still clean, but the innocent bystanders get grahamed?

I asked him "What are you doing?!" To which he replies, "I dunno." I tell him, "You're making a mess, that's what!" He just grins back at me. That adorable, mischievous smile.

So, this isn't exactly the adventure I imagined, but it's still an adventure, and I'm on it with my kids and husband.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Salmon with Citrus Vinegar Glaze

I had no idea what to make for supper tonight, as usual. So I started looking up recipes, but nothing jumped out at me. So then I started rummaging in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I found the salmon fillets I had bought, but they were frozen...surely that would take way too long to thaw out?? I asked David if he was hungry now or if he could wait. Luckily, he said he wasn't hungry, yet, so that gave me some time to prepare. I put the fillets in a plastic bag and put the bag in a bowl of warm water with just barely a drizzle of water coming out of the tap to kept the convection going in the bowl. (This helps defrost faster.) I didn't know it would be that fast...they were defrosted in no time.
While the salmon was defrosting, I started thinking of what would be good with it. I had some tomatoes that needed to be used before they went bad, and so I decided on Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes and roasted asparagus.
Of course, since I decided on the stuffed tomatoes, I didn't have any prepared bread crumbs, but that was not to deter me! I found some hotdog buns in the pantry and toasted them in the oven. After browning them a bit, I put them in the food processor to make bread crumbs. It turned out great.
I had the salmon defrosted, and the side dishes working, so now I needed to decide which salmon recipe to use. I have several cookbooks, and most of them have their version of salmon. I found one I hadn't tried before in Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals 2 cookbook. The glaze was so awesome on the fish. It even tasted good with the tomatoes and asparagus!
I thought the meal looked so pretty plated with lots of colors. If you care to try any of the recipes, just let me know!
Salmon with Citrus Vinegar Glaze with Lemon Wedge,
Roasted Asparagus, Mozzarella Stuffed Tomatoes

Picture by Susan Campbell - Nov 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I have a new resolve

Hi everyone. I've been around...just staying busy - changing my life. I have a new resolve to be healthy and sexy and fit and confident. I began last week on this journey, and so far, so good. I've been exercising every day and tracking my food intake on I love this website. It is such a motivation and wealth of knowledge.

The hardest part I've had in the past is staying motivated. I've found that motivation comes in many forms. All sorts of people - strangers, friends, family, fellow sparkers. All sorts of words - spoken or written. All sorts of pictures - pictures of what I used to look like, what I look like now, pictures of people that I want to look like and the most motivating are the before and after pictures of people who have had success.

So far I have had success, and I hope - no, I'm determined to show you in a few months my full results. Get a Free Online Diet

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Dream's Perspective

I watched as she came out to her car and was putting stuff in the trunk. She looked happy, like she was having a good time. She was wearing a flowing skirt that hit right below her could've been a dress...I couldn't really see, and she had a blue wrap around her. It was in the crooks of her arms as she carried the stuff out to her car. She was leaving a fancy event; probably a wedding, but I can't be sure because I never went in. After she got the stuff in her car, she slid the shawl around the tops of her arms and shivered. It had suddenly gotten crisp today. Just yesterday was warm enough to wear shorts, but today warranted a sweater.

She wasn't paying attention to what she was doing; she was in a hurry to get back inside. I could hear the bass of the music thumping and the dull roar of people having conversations over the music. I guess she didn't want to miss any of the party going on or maybe she was hurrying to get warm again. In her haste, she hit the wrong button on her key fob, probably the unlock button again, because the car was still unlocked.

I know that it was still unlocked, because I saw him open the door. He seemed to come out of the shadows. It was as if he was watching for her to leave, because as soon as she walked into the big double doors of the banquet hall, he strode right up to the car as if he owned it. He started putting things in his bag. He took what looked like a camera case out of the trunk, along with a small purse she must have left there instead of carrying it around with her. He rifled around in the glove compartment, but must not have found anything of interest in there. He moved onto taking every CD she had. He didn't even shut the doors when he left.

My feet were frozen. I couldn't move. I couldn't yell. I felt awful for the girl, and there wasn't a thing I could do but watch. I was trapped by some unseen force. Anguish washed over me when the girl came out from the party. Her eyes were wide with shock. She ran over to her car to see the damage done. She looked in the trunk and then let our a scream - more like a growl that he took her purse with her brand new phone. She couldn't even call the cops herself. She sank down into a heap and started sobbing. People came filing out of the banquet hall and a few stopped to stare while a couple ran to her side to console her.

I felt like I was crying, like I was the one who was mad at whoever had done this, and at myself for not being more careful. I felt the comforting hands on my shoulders, and when the girl stood up, I too stood up seeing things at a different perspective now...

Realization sunk in that it was me the whole time, that I was the girl. I had been on the outside looking in at what happened to you do with a dream.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unexpected Moment

Sometimes really unexpected moments just stick with you...some because they're meaningful or funny or scary. I keep thinking of a funny moment that happened at Scott's wedding...and it was totally unexpected. I probably keep thinking of it, because Katie has the picture as her profile picture on Facebook!

So, the story goes: I saw a friend, Katie, at the reception. We mingled with the crowd and said hi as we passed each other going to the next table of delicious food. (Omigosh, that was some fantastic food.) I hadn't taken any pictures with anyone the whole evening (I had been the one behind the camera of course). We were in the room where the bride's cake was being served. David and I had just finished our slices of cake when Katie stopped to say goodbye before she headed home. I thought, this would be a good time to get a picture. So, I set my plate and fork down on the cushy, padded bench where we were sitting to get ready for the picture.

David graciously did the honors while we pretty ladies said, "cheese." He clicked it and asked of our approval, but Katie did not approve. See, Miss Katie had a bit to drink at the reception, and so the eyelids were a little heavy. She said, let's take another and I'll try to hold my eyes open better this time. David got the camera all set to click our photograph, when CLANG! The plates that had been setting on the end of the bench went flying in the air and landed loudly on the concrete floor. See, a lady had sat (more like plopped) down on the opposite end of the bench, which made our plates go a-flying. Katie and my expressions were too good for David to pass up since he already had the camera ready to go. We laughed so hard and I was thankful at the same time that nothing broke! We did get our posed picture, but the unexpected one is my favorite!

Katie & Susan - Oct 2009 - picture by David Campbell

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Best I've Ever Made

Tonight was the night that I made the best pork loin roast that I've ever made. Well, technically, it was today instead of tonight since I started it at 11am. I thought this would be the perfect meal for our recent cool weather arrival and plus, it's super easy when you cook with a Crock Pot. So, I was making lunch and supper in one go.

For those that care:
In the Crock Pot, I seasoned the pork loin with salt, pepper, and Tony's and covered it with a can of Cream of Chicken Soup. I set the temperature to 'low' and let it cook for about 6 1/2 hours. With 2 hours left of cooking time, I added potatoes and carrots. If David liked onions, I would have added one of those as well, but he doesn't, so that particular ingredient gets omitted more often than not. I salted the potatoes when I threw them in the Crock Pot and the stirred everything so it was covered with the soup (gravy).

I'm pretty critical of my cooking, and David laughed at me when tonight I was like, "This is the best roast I have ever cooked!" He sarcastically said, "And you say that so humbly." I pointed out that I was indeed harsher on my cooking than he was, and that he's always like, 'This is so good, you should make it again,' and I'm over there thinking, 'Man, that was crap.' lol

Well, until next time, take care.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A lot goes on behind the scenes

My baby brother is getting married tomorrow. I can't believe how quickly we grew up! We had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner tonight. I think it went really well. The banquet room was decorated beautifully and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. I worked on a slideshow for this all week and especially yesterday trying to match up music to the length of the show. David was like, you're listening to the same songs over and over! I know! I finally got the timings all worked out, though. I was so proud of how it turned out.

So, this big event went off without a hitch, but getting there was an ordeal. I first had to make sure the slideshow was ready to go. CHECK. I then had to pack all of the baby stuff that would be needed at Grandma and Grandpa's house while they were babysitting Katie during said event. Pack N Play, Bumbo, bouncy seat, diapers, wipes, bottles, nursery water, formula, pajamas, pacifiers, baby orajel (she's teething), and baby food. CHECK. Figure out what Carter is going to wear. Ok, find a cute outfit, CHECK, but it needs ironing - put that to the side. Get Carter down for a nap so he's not totally cranky all night. (He did very well tonight, he only got whiney around 9, which is bedtime.) CHECK. Try to straighten my poufy frizzy hair. CHECK. It's still big - pull front up in clip. CHECK. Put makeup on...Katie needs a bottle...feed Katie. CHECK. Finish applying make up. CHECK. Go to iron Carter's outfit...notice the pants are dirty...find new pants...iron the outfit. CHECK.
OH CRAP! I was supposed to leave 15 minutes ago!!! Kick it into high gear. Dress Carter super fast. Find socks and shoes...where's his belt? I know I just saw it...where did it gooooo???? Oh, there it is. Get Carter fully dressed. Adorable! Katie is meanwhile screaming her head off...I can't hold you right now, Katie, I'm trying to get ready. Throw on my dress, shoes, and jewelry. Run to get Katie dressed...check diaper to see if that's why she's so fussy. Oh. Yeah, that was it. Change diaper super fast and dress Katie, put her in her carseat. Gather the computer, camera, the basket my mom requested that I bring, diaper bag and purse. Load up into the car and go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Why do you always get behind the slowest driver ever when you're in a big hurry??? Finally make it there and unload the previously mentioned accoutrement for the baby.
Go to where I'm meeting Mom and Dad to ride up together, and they're not even there, yet! Haha...and I thought I was sooo late. They got there right after me, but then we still had to run by WalMart to pick up something. We ran by the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was being held to hook up the computer to the TV for the slideshow. We have all the right cables, but where it's supposed to plug in on the TV is blocked by the mounting bracket. The GM of the restaurant gets his tools and moves it around and we finally get it plugged in. Well, the screen wouldn't come up on the TV...My older brother fiddles around with the computer that's not it...he fiddles with the plug into the TV...Oh there's the picture! We have no idea what we did, but it worked, and that's all that matters. :) We hurry over to the church, arriving 5 minutes late. Whoops. Well, we made it, and everything else went really smoothly.

*Big sigh* Man, I'm exhausted just thinking about all the stuff I did just to get there! It was good times. I got to see some old classmates and catch up a little. I met some new people, too - my brother has some good friends.

We get to do it for real tomorrow, and it's going to be beautiful. I have lots of running around to look forward to tomorrow, so I better rest up now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I've been walking down memory lane for a couple of days now. My little brother...well, he's not really little, lol, he's quite large actually - tall, broad shoulders...anyway, he's getting married this upcoming weekend, and I have been putting together a photo slideshow of his fiance and him. The pictures range from when they were babies to the present. So, I've been a bit nostalgic as I remember the different occasions that warranted a picture to be taken.

Remember when taking a picture was a lot more selective? You only had so many pictures on a roll, but you wanted to make sure you got the shot, just in case someone had their eyes shut, so you took one more just in case. I was (and still am) the picture taker of the family. I love pictures. I have albums and albums filled with pictures. I just love to look at them from time to time. My pictures have been in storage since we've moved. I just unpacked them today, and of course, I had to look through each one. I couldn't help myself! It's neat to see what we used to look like and what the styles were, and how quickly our little ones grow up. Below is one of my very favorite pictures that I've taken when my son was just hours old.

Carter & David - April 2007 - picture by Susan Campbell

I have all these little picture projects that I want to do now since I have wall space in our house to adorn. I just haven't taken the time to do them, yet. I have this idea of taking black and white pictures of places and things that look like random shots, but are actually memorable for me. Like, the water tower in town, the church steeple, and the arch of trees over the road where my parents live...I really need to do this, I think it'll be really neat looking once I have them matted and framed... I also have this picture I took in Destin (below) that I just love...the graduation of colors from the dry sand to the deeper waters. The guest bath has the water colors and so I thought this picture would look really cool in there.

Destin, FL - July 2009 - picture by Susan Campbell

Well, back to memory lane for just a bit more tonight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Family Fun

It's fun being a kid. No worries. Just fun. I joke that I have 3 kids, my 2 children and my husband. He is so great with our children...well, all children for that matter. We took it easy today with it being the Day of Rest and all. :)

We started our Day of Rest at church, and today was Children's Sabbath. The children of the church led the church service today, and it was so adorable. The whole congregation sang those songs we learned years ago when were also children. Half the congregation stood and sang Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah! and then they sat as the other half stood and sang, Praise ye the Lord! Back and forth we went - up and down - singing as if we were children ourselves. It was fun.

This evening, I wanted to get the family together and check out the new bowling alley that's in town. Well, it's not that new now, I just haven't been there, yet, since I lived out of town when it was built. Anyhoo, we get everyone loaded up and drive over there, and darn it, they're closed on Sundays. Blah. That's one downer of living in a small town. Maybe some other time.

We come home and sit around for a few minutes until Carter has me in the floor playing Superman. I lift him up on my feet and hold his hands while he "flys." This game quickly turns into a wrestling match and David saves me from the wrath of Carter. haha...But then, Carter saves me from David! Good times were had.

We finally broke out Rock Band since we've been at our new house. I sang while David played the guitar and Carter "played" the drums. It was all so cute. Carter's actually pretty good at keeping the beat. So now I have a little bit of a hoarse throat, but that's ok, it was fun. I played the drums on the last song while David sang. He's definitely the singer in this group. Quite attractive, too. :D

Rock Band gear - picture by Susan Campbell 2009

Then it was bedtime for the little kiddies. Where the Wild Things Are, Guess How Much I Love You, and Good Night Moon brought this evening to a close.

I love you to the moon and back. Goodnight.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Susie Q. Homemaker at your service

With this being my first blog, I thought I'd say a little about myself. I'm married with 2 small children and have recently purchased our first home back in my hometown. I have been blessed to be able to stay at home with the kids while Dave gets to watch sporting events everyday. (His job is a lot more in depth and very important, I just like to pick on him.) I liked my previous jobs and learned a lot from them, but I'm also loving my new job of being a full time mom.

I have always loved to cook. I learned at a young age from a wonderful cook - my mom. So, I have been cooking meals for my family since I was in the 4th grade. Hmm...let me think what age that actually is...I tend to remember things based on what grade or job I was in instead of my age... So, I figured I started cooking supper for my family when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I've learned a few tricks along the way, but I'm in no way a chef. I like to keep it simple with lots of flavors.

Tonight's meal was a good southern one. It reminds me of when my Mamaw Ray would make homemade dumplings. I don't even own a rolling pin, so making my own from scratch is out - but that's ok, because I absolutely love this shortcut - flour tortillas. When I first heard of making dumplings from flour tortillas, I was skeptical, but I had them one night at a friend's house, and I would have never known the difference if I wasn't told.
The other main ingredient, chicken, usually is so UNflavorful. I think this is the main reason David was unsure about the meal I had decided to make. I just don't like boiled chicken...the flavors get washed away. So, yes, I dirtied another dish (instead of making this a one dish wonder) by baking the chicken with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Voila, chicken with flavor.

The full pot of chicken and dumplings is now an empty pot. Even my little boy had seconds. :)

Alright, it's Netflix time - Monsters vs Aliens.

If any one out there is reading this, feel free to ask questions and give suggestions on future topics. I usually can get going pretty good once I have an idea of what to talk about!