Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's That Green Peeking Through?

While all of my Tennessee friends are covered in snow and still getting more, I spent Thursday afternoon outside working on one of my flower beds. It was in the upper 60s and gorgeous outside, so I took advantage before the cooler weather moved in. I have a bed that has lantana in it. It is a very drought and heat tolerant plant that gets huge in this bed every summer. I had yet to clean it out of the bed since it had died off. I knew the spring flowers would start coming up before too long so I needed to get all of the dead stuff out of the way. I went out and started cutting and clearing and found some little green things peeking through the mass of dead leaves...














That's right people...I already have flowers coming up here in Alabama!!! My tulips, hyacinths, and buttercups are already poking their little heads out of the ground. Soon we will have flowers! Whoo hoo!
In the mean time, here are some pics of some of my spring flowers from last year to hold us over!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pictures!

So I told everyone about a photo session we recently did. Here are some of the pictures. If you want to see more of them, you can go to http://www.collages.net/ The username is January 2010 and the password is 26795, look under the folder "Paschall." For my family members who read this blog, you can also order prints from there. They are so good! I'm having a hard time deciding which ones I want to get big prints of. We are probably going to get a proof book so that we can have them all, but we still want to get a couple of bigger ones for the house. When they're all good, how am I supposed to decide?! Thanks so much to Erin Walker at Imagine Photographi! She did such a good job and is very reasonably priced. I'm so excited to have some professional photos of Reagan and of the three of us together!

Isn't my baby so photogenic?! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reagan's First Playdate...Oh, and We Got a New Car!

Yesterday Reagan had her first playdate. Justin and I needed to take a trip to T-town (that's Tuscaloosa for all you non-Alabamians) and it would be a much easier trip to take without having her with us and needing to tend to her needs. So, we called one of the ladies from church, Linda Huckabee, who is always saying she would love to keep Reagan. Turns out her granddaughter, who is right around Reagan's age, was coming over in the afternoon also. We weren't there to witness the cuteness, but Mrs. Linda said they would just sit there staring and smiling at each other.

Now, as for the reason for the trip to Tuscaloosa...

We got a new car!!!!!

It's a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. Probably not what you were expecting for those of you who knew we were originally looking at the Ford Edge. We went specifically to go to the Ford dealership to look at an Edge Justin had been discussing with a salesman. But, we had also seen how highly rated the Santa Fe was and decided just to go check it out to have something to compare to the Edge. Neither of us expected to come home in one. We checked out a basic model, test drove it, then talked prices. Then we went over to the Ford dealership and did the same with a used Edge. Right away I noticed that I felt much more comfortable with the way the Santa Fe drove. We headed back to the Hyundai dealership to look at a Santa Fe that had comparable features to the Edge we were considering. We ended up buying the Santa Fe Limited. I love it! It has leather seats (heated in front), dual climate control, a sunroof, xm satellite radio for 3 months, a usb port for the ipod or a jump drive full of music, crumple zone in the front and the engine is made to go up under the car instead of into it if we have a front end collision (again...love you, babe :) ), 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, and a 10 year/100,000 powertrain warranty. It's midnight blue, but looks black unless it's in the sun. When it's in the sun you can see the sparkles of the dark blue. Justin wanted black, but they were out.
Isn't it pretty! Justin's already got his St. Louis Cardinals license plate on the front.



The interior is tan and black. As you can see, the seats are tan, but the carpet is black. That's gonna be great. I won't be so worried about dirty little shoes staining it! I love the wood grain in the front. Also, that cup holder in the front actually has a light on it at night. Just thought that was a cool little feature.

The back has plenty of leg room so adults can easily ride in the back as well.

I know this is kind of silly, but this is my favorite little feature. An extra storage compartment under the floor in the back! It's good for hiding things away and a little extra room for when we take long trips home.

I'm so excited! It drives so smoothly. I feel really blessed to have a car like this! Thanks to my hubby and his excellent credit for making it possible! :)










Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where's the Ark?

Last night and this morning it rained.....



(This ditch behind the house is probably 3 feet deep and usually doesn't really have much in it. The run off goes down it and into a canal that runs through the city. Hence our neighborhood's name "Canal Heights." It was literally gushing this morning.)








And rained....



















And rained.




This is what it looked like outside our basement door. Can you guess what it looked like inside?














This is the shallow end.



















Yes, those are bubbles coming up around the post.
And the deep end.

Look! You can see lawn mower island! :)
------------------
In unrelated news, Thursday we had some professional pictures made of Reagan and some of the three of us together. They are going to be so cute! The ones I saw on her camera looked great. I'll let everyone know as soon as she puts them up on the internet so you can all see them!

Blog Award!



I got a blog award! Thank you so much Kristen! If you haven't ever checked out Kristen's blog Bringing Up Benjamin you really should! It's a great blog!


This award come with some rules: I am supposed to answer some questions in one word or less (how can you have less?) and then pick 6 other blogs to give the award to!

1. Where is your cell phone? bedroom

2. Your hair? messy

3. Your mother? Tammi

4. Your father? Bobby

5. Your favorite food? lots

6. Your dream last night? none

7. Your favorite drink? Dew

8. Your dream/goal? Heaven

9. What room are you in? fireplace

10. Your hobby? many

11. Your fear? loss

12. Where do you want to be in six years? faithful

13. Where were you last night? (wedding) rehearsal
14. Something that you aren't? neat

15. Muffins? mmm

16. Wish list item? Edge

17. Where did you grow up? Tennessee

18. Last thing you did? facebook

19. What are you wearing? pjs

20. Your TV? off

21. Your pets? asleep

22. Friends? good

23. Your life? blessed

24. Your mood? tired

25. Missing someone? yes

26. Vehicle? totalled

27. Something you're not wearing? contacts

28. Your favorite store? lots
29. Your favorite color? blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? tonight

31. Last time you cried? friday
32. Your best friend? husband

33. One place that I could go over and over? beach

34. One person who emails you regularly? nobody :( (but i usually talk to everyone on facebook :) )

35. Favorite place to eat? sakura (in Jackson, TN)


Now for my nominations ......
1. Katie, who I went to preschool with and is my cousin's best friend. She has a daughter that was born just after Reagan.
2. Amber, a sorority sister whose blog always makes me laugh.
3. Christy, a friend from the MSOP days and someone I always enjoyed being around.
4. Jennifer, a sorority sister who is about to have her first baby!
5. Ashley, another MSOP friend...our husband's often bond over the St. Louis Cardinals. :)
6. Kristen, I know I'm probably not supposed to give it to you since you gave it to me, but so what! Don't worry, I don't expect you to go through the whole thing again. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Threw It on the Ground!

Well, just dropped it actually. (The title is a shout out to my hubby's favorite Andy Samberg video on YouTube. Hilarious.) Friday night we invited some friends to come over for dinner. I had prepped the hash brown casserole and had it cooking in the oven. I got together all the ingredients for the bacon cheeseburger meatloaf (yum). Now, to properly mix and form a meatloaf you just have to stick you hands right down in it. I got my hands all nasty and mushed everything together. I picked the bowl up with my forearms since my hands were covered in raw meat and took it over to where the loaf pan was waiting. As I tried to set the bowl on the counter, it missed... and fell... upside down... on the floor. I yelled, "You've got to be kidding me!!!!" Hubby said he immediately knew I had dropped it. (I'm a wee bit clumsy, so this kind of thing is not so very out of the ordinary.) He asked what all he needed to go buy so I could make it again, but by this time it was already 7 and the meatloaf takes around an hour to cook, so I told him just to order pizza. Our menu for dinner was left over lobster spinach queso, hash brown casserole, and domino's.

As requested by Kristen, here is the recipe for the Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf (minus the dropping it on the floor step). It is a Paula Deen recipe and you can find it on her web site, http://www.pauladeen.com/, as well.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chuck

10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.
Press meat mixture into a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.


We use the lean ground beef and low sodium bacon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Husband the Chef!

As you know, my birthday was the 13th. This is what I woke up to that morning. My sweet baby and husband brought me this cake in bed! :) Justin always makes this cake for my birthday. It's a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The recipe is the one on the back of a Hershey's cocoa box. It is sooooo good!
The next night he cooked me my birthday dinner. We waited until Thursday night since the 13th was on Wednesday and that's a church night. The house smelled so good while he was cooking! I love smell of onion and garlic cooking...makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

We had steaks, twice baked potatoes, and cheddar bay biscuits (like the ones at Red Lobster).
But the best part was the lobster spinach queso. Well, actually, it was crab spinach queso since our walmart didn't have any lobster meat, but it was delicious!!! We first discovered lobster spinach queso at Firebird's in Memphis. There was one in the mall behind our apartment. We would go there and just get the queso because everything else was too expensive and the queso could fill us up. It is one of my favorite foods, but we never get to have it because we don't have a Firebird's anywhere near us. Justin tried to make it for me on Valentine's a couple of years ago, but it didn't taste quite the same. He looked around for another recipe and found one that tastes exactly like it!!!! I'm so excited because now I can have the queso any time! (Not that I need it. It's not the healthiest thing in the world.)



Firebird's Lobster Spinach Queso Dip

FIREBIRD'S LOBSTER SPINACH QUESO DIP
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 CUP CANOLA OIL
1/4 CUP GARLIC/SHALLOT MIX
3/4 POUND CREAM CHEESE
1/2 BAG SPINACH
1 TABLESPOON SHRIMP BASE
1 CAN TOMATO SOUP
1 1/2 CUP HEAVY CREAM
2 CUPS PEPPER JACK CHEESE
1/2 POUND LOBSTER
DIRECTIONS:CHOP SPINACH AND LOBSTER. SAUTE IN CANOLA OIL GARLIC/SHALLOT MIX UNTIL SOFT. ADD CREAM CHEESE, TOMATO SAUCE, CREAM AND JACK CHEESE AND SHRIMP BASE. MELT CHEESE AND WHISK TOGETHER UNTIL BLENDED. ADD LOBSTER AND SPINACH. SIMMER ABOUT 15 MINUTES UNTIL HEATED THROUGH.

My tips: They didn't have any good looking shallots the day he made it so he just used onion and tasted the same. Also, he couldn't find shrimp base so that was left off. Instead of using 1 1/2 cups of cream he only used 1/2 cup so it wouldn't be as heavy. Even with these changes it tasted exactly like what you get in the restaurant!
Thanks, babe, for such a great birthday dinner!!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

5 Months!

Reagan turned 5 months old today! It has been a very fast 5 months. She is making the b sound now and blowing raspberries all the time. She is also saying something very close to mama... it's not quite there yet, but close! She gets cuter everyday. When we took her to the doctor the other day for her cold they told us she is now 13lbs 5 oz and somewhere around 25 inches (I can't remember the specific measurement). I've been working on getting her to go to sleep on her own when you lay her in her crib and she does most of the time now. As long as I pay attention to her sleepy cues and get her down before she really starts to fuss she will go on her own. If she gets fussy first, we usually have to rock her for a while. At night she's doing really well at going down. We usually read her a couple of stories, then rock her for a minute and she will go to sleep just fine when you put her down. She is also sleeping through the night more again. She did it really well for a couple of months, then woke up and wanted to be rocked back to sleep, but is not doing that much any more. She is rolling over both ways like a pro and we are working on the sitting up thing. She hasn't really tried to crawl, but we bought her some motivation with some of her Christmas money.

It's a ball that sings and make noises and rolls around on it's own. So far she just gets mad and yells when it rolls out of reach, but she just got it yesterday. Tig's not to sure about it...it scares him a little. :)

After church this morning.


With Grammy


Getting strapped in to head to church.


This is all going by so fast! I'm really trying to take it all in. It's kind of like time means more now. Before there weren't really any significant changes in our lives very often, but now there are new things happening every day. She is constantly starting and stopping new things. I'm scared I'm going to miss something! I'm always nervous I'm not teaching her something I should be or forgetting to do something I wanted to do before she gets too big. I don't want it to turn into a check list of things to do though. I just want to enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's My Age Again?

I am officially 27 years old. That just sounds weird to me. I know, I know, in a few years that will sound young, but this is a blog about how I feel now, not how I'll feel in 5 years. :) I'll be 30 in 3 years...really? I remember when I thought that was old...it doesn't really sound old, just weird. I used to say I wanted to be done having children by the time I was 30. I still could be if we decide to only have two. We'll just have to wait and see on that one.
Back on the subject... I will actually be celebrating tomorrow night with Justin. He's going to cook me a big dinner and since tonight is church night there won't really be time. Also as a birthday present we are going to watch the Lady Vols basketball team play Alabama at Tuscaloosa in February. I'm a big Lady Vols fan and very much looking forward to going to the game. We are taking Reagan. Justin is hoping Pat Summit will sign her. :) I told him that's not likely since she never signs autographs at games.
My mom and step dad are coming to visit this weekend, so that will be fun too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What in the world kind of children's book is this?!

While at my grandparents' house on Christmas day Justin and I came across a very old and strange children's book. The title is The Old Woman and Her Pig. I think it was published in the 1930s.






It's a story about an old lady who buys a pig at the market. When she takes him home she can't get him to jump over a fence so she asks a dog to bite the pig to get him over the fence. The dog refuses so she asks something else, I can't remember what, to do something to the dog so he will bite the pig, but that thing refuses so she asks something else to do something to it and so on and so on. That alone is a little strange. But then came these pages...









Justin and I couldn't believe a children's book was talking about getting a butcher to kill an animal because it wouldn't do what someone wanted. This is pretty strange. But then came these pages...

Really!? You just asked a rope to kill someone because he wouldn't kill an ox?





We thought this book could not get any more strange until all of the things started doing what the old lady had asked...











"The rope began to hang the butcher" ?! REALLY?! What in the world kind of children's book is this?! We just had to show it to some of the other family members...they found it equally as strange, disturbing, and hilarious as we did. This is not a children's book we will be reading to Reagan while at Grandmommy's. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Celebrations: McCutchen Edition

Finally, I'm on my last Christmas update. I know every one's probably ready to know what's going on now and not what was going on weeks ago. :) On Christmas day we went to my mom's parents in Medina, TN. Everyone was actually there this time. With Justin, Reagan, and me being in Alabama, my cousin Erin being in NYC, and everyone else leading busy lives it's a feat to get us all in one place at one time. Reagan and Erin finally got to meet. Erin is my cousin who was born 10 days after me. I really miss her. Growing up I always felt like she was a sister that just lived in a different town. :) I really should keep in better touch. I'm horrible about not picking up the phone and calling people. Erin, expect a call sometime in the near future. :) Reagan is sitting in my lap and trying to take over this blog entry so I'd better go put her to bed. Here are a few pictures.
Reagan and Erin kickin' it

The whole fam



Grandaddy, I was actually able to get a picture without him making a face because he didn't know I was taking it. :)



Erin, Billy, and me...a recreation of a picture from when we were little.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Celebrations: Mullins Edition

Since Justin and I first started dating we have gone to the Opryland Hotel at Christmastime each year. That means that this year was the 8th time we've been! We even have a picture from every time except for the first because I forgot my camera in the car. This is one of our Christmas traditions that we want to continue for the rest of our lives pretty much, so of course we took Reagan this year too. We stopped there on the way to my grandparents' (dad's side) house in Smyrna, TN. Here are a few pictures from the hotel and the family gathering.



At the Opryland Hotel


My two favorite people :)




Spending time with the family

Annabell and Reagan

Getting ready to play Dirty Santa

Reagan with my dad

Monday, January 4, 2010

Recipe: Taco Soup

Tonight I made taco soup! It was the not the first time we've had it, but it was the first time I made it. It was sooooo good! And it was a good night for it too since it is so cold! I had put in my facebook status that I was making it and someone asked about the recipe so I thought it would be easier just to put it here. Plus, I haven't posted a recipe in a while. I took a recipe from Flora Hayes and changed out kidney beans for white beans. You can easily play around with the types of beans in it. It's really easy too!

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef 2 (16oz) cans chili beans
3/4 c. chopped onion 2 (10oz) cans rotel
1 (16oz) can kidney beans 1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 (16oz) can pinto beans 1 pkg. ranch mix
1 (16oz) can black beans 1 (16oz) can corn (or hominy)

In a large, heavy pot, brown the ground beef and onion; pour off fat (if you use lean ground beef there isn't really any fat to pour off). Add all remaining ingredients, except corn, to the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook for 15 minutes. You can serve it with corn or tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream (we don't really like sour cream but people who do say it's good with this soup).

Hope you like it!

Christmas Celebrations: Paschall Edition

We spent our Christmas in Tennessee. There were several different gatherings that we went to. The first was Justin's family. We all went to his sister Kelia's house to eat and open presents and spend some time together. This year was special because Reagan was there but also because we got to meet Justin's sister Meeka's new fiance Dustin and his 5 year old son Drake. They are planning on getting married in October. Justin had been anxious to meet him so he could give approval or disapproval. Dustin was approved and Justin agreed to perform the wedding. :) Reagan got all kinds of fun stuff like a sock monkey and her first Barbie, plus lots of clothes and other good stuff. We all got great presents but of course that's not the important thing, spending time with family is. Here are some pictures from that night.
















Justin in his Cardinals gear

Kelia and her husband Wesley


Meeka with her fiance, Dustin, and his son, Drake

Reagan and Gramps

Eating Nana's face



Reagan with her loot

Justin, his mom, Meeka, his Dad, and Kelia