Tuesday, April 27, 2010

chicken & sausage gumbo

I confess, I used Zatarain's gumbo mix for this one. It tasted delicious! We used an entire link of turkey sausage and boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins. We chopped both into bite-sized pieces and cooked them together in a skillet with chopped onions and green bellpeppers. We drained the chicken and sausage mixture and added the Zatarain's mix. We then cooked it in a pot according to the package directions. Basically, you just add the gumbo mix to the chicken and sausage and simmer on low for 25 minutes. We added salt and pepper, and cooked some extra rice to eat with it.

My husband loved it! It was easy and fulfilling.

Monday, April 26, 2010

a letter to my husband

I love when you ask me for help with your words. I love that you help me when I ask. I love your eyes. I love that you’re Latino. I love that Spanish is your first language. I love that you play the guitar. I love when you try to sing. I love that you’re athletic. I love that you’ll try anything once. I love that you’re handy with anything around the house. I love your love for God.

I love you even when you’re in a bad mood. I still love you when you don’t do the dishes. Even when we argue, I love you. I love that you’re able to see the big picture. I love your self confidence. I love that we sing together. I love spending time with you.

All I could ever ask for is a happy life with you. It doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter the circumstances. As long as we’re together I’ll be happy.

I needed to stop for a second to breathe and take in this moment. I never want to forget this part of our lives…gardening, traveling, barbequeing in the backyard, working, playing, being together. I can’t believe we’ve been together three years; it honestly feels like yesterday that we met. I remember seeing you for the very first time. I remember our first date to the movies ("I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"). I remember our first vacation together in Miami. My first trip to visit you in Costa Rica. The day you proposed. Our wedding. The last three years have flown by so quickly.
I am so proud of how far we’ve come together and I am so excited about the rest of our lives. I want to make a conscious effort to live in the moment and not spend so much time thinking about the future.

We were from two different countries, two completely different worlds, and God found a way to bring us together. To say it was meant to be is a huge understatement.

I will love you forever.

September 2007

Costa Rica - March 2008

Our first apartment - July 2008

July 14, 2008 - The day you proposed

August 2008

Miami (South Beach) - October 2007

October 2007

Costa Rica - March 2008

October 12, 2008 - Our wedding day

"Now join hands, and with your hands, your hearts."

Friday, April 23, 2010

show us your life - how we met

This week on Kelly's Korner the show us your life tour is "how you met your husband". I actually devoted an entire section of my blog to this (see "how we met" and "more about us" ) because our story is so unique. So here goes:

We met during the summer of 2007 while we were both doing college internships at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The first time I saw Danny, I was instantly attracted to him. I still remember my first words I ever spoke to him. I just thought he was so handsome. We both worked at the same attraction (Star Tours) at MGM Studios in Walt Disney World. He literally came straight to the States from Costa Rica five days before I met him, and I thought it was so cool that he was from some place exotic and beautiful. All the girls at work would always hit on him, so I honestly thought I didn't have a chance. I even told one of the girls we worked with that I thought he was cute, and she told me that somebody else liked him too and I shouldn't waste my time! Nevertheless, I was really attracted to him. Eventually I realized the feeling between us was mutual, and he asked me out on a date after hanging out casually with friends for a few weeks. We began to spend all of our free time together. We were inseparable. When we would get off the phone or say goodbye to one another, I would usually say "Bye! I'll miss you!" and I always wanted to say something more. I had such strong feelings for him and I knew I loved him. I had never felt that way before.
Epcot - October 2007

He told me he loved me for the first time in September 2007. And I knew I loved him, too. I knew in my heart that we were meant to be together. I longed for him when we were apart and was so happy when we were together.
  Epcot - August 2007

Falling in love at Disney World was really special. We were able to experience the happiest place on earth together while growing more and more in love. There is an energy there that really makes you feel like a child again. It was like we were living in a dream world.
Magic Kingdom - November 2007

Since we were employed at Disney World we had free admission to all the theme parks. We were an hour away from the beach. We were with all of our friends all the time. It was a great time in our lives.

Our internship ended in January 2008 and I left early to be with my family in Mississippi for Christmas. We never really made plans about our future together when the internship ended - we just knew it would work out somehow. He came to Mississippi to visit me for two weeks in January 2008...when he left to go back to Costa Rica I cried so hard. Our future was so unsure; I didn't know when I would see him again. We talked on the phone every single day. Long distance relationships are hard, and I think communication and talking or emailing every single day is what made it work for us. We were countries apart for months. I went to Costa Rica to visit him and meet his family for 10 days in March 2008. Danny graduated from college in June and moved to Mississippi on July 1st, 2008. He proposed on July 14th and we were married in a beautiful ceremony at a historic mansion on October 12, 2008.

I owe it to Disney World (and the Disney College Program) for introducing me to my husband and changing my life. It really is a place where dreams come true.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

lessons learned

Today we've been married 557 days.

I've learned alot about marriage over the last year and a half. Like most couples we've had our ups and downs while we try to find our way. We were young when we married, so we're growing together and every day I learn something new.

I wanted to share a few things that marriage has taught me.

Always give the benefit of the doubt. Never assume he didn't water the grass and feel the need to remind him over and over. He's a smart guy, and I've learned that most of the time he has everything under control.

Don't nag. (I'm still working on this).

Compromise. On everything. It took us a while to figure this out, but it really makes things so much easier. We both make sacrifices and we try to meet in the middle. Ideally, we would compromise on everything; but we're human and hardheaded. Still working on this.

Take a deep breath and let it go. It's very easy for me to hold a grudge. I will go to sleep mad and pretend I'm still mad the next day (even though I've already forgotten why). I'm learning to choose my battles wisely. Most of the time we get irritated over silly things and it's just not worth it. We both have to take a step back and breathe. And then move on.

Be supportive. No matter what. I think "marriage" is synonomous with "team" (really). I've learned it's so important that we are always on the same team. Most of the time I don't have to try very hard at this because it seems so natural to me. I want my husband to succeed and he wants the same for me. I support his decisions because I know he always has our best interest in mind and vice versa.

I hate doing the dishes. But I learned very quickly to get past this. We both have full time jobs, so we share all the household chores. I always try to find a way out of doing the dishes because it just grosses me out and by the time I get off work and get home from the gym I am exhausted. So it works best for me to do the dishes on the weekend while Danny prefers to get it done during the week. I wash and dry the clothes and he folds them. We're trying to find a happy medium (since he won't let me get a maid).

Vacations are crucial. Even if it's just a weekend trip. Getting out of town and relaxing for a few days really helps me to unwind. It seems that even on the weekends if I'm in Jackson, I have work or the house or something on my mind. We've tried to take several trips throughout the year and I think if we didn't we would go stir crazy.

Being spontaneous is a good thing. Some of my favorite memories are the moments we didn't plan.

Enjoy being a family of two. I want children so bad one day, and so does Danny...but we make a conscious effort to enjoy the next five or so years we will have by ourselves. We're able to do things (leave for New Orleans at midnight, eat dinner at 10pm, sleep late on the weekends) that I know we won't neccesarily be able to do once we have kids and I'm not taking that for granted. I know once we have kids that nothing else will matter, but right now I like being a little selfish.

Cooking meals at home is important. Healthier, cheaper, and with a glass of wine, it's fun.

I literally learn something from husband every day. We make each other laugh. We argue. We make up.

And I'm thankful because my heart is full.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Sarah Denley tagged me for the Preppy Mafia survey.  Here goes:

Favorite Style Icon:
Nicole Richie. I just love the 70s bohemian look she has going on right now. Casual and pretty - low maintenance and chic. I think my style reflects hers in alot of ways.

Favorite Party Theme:
I love casual get togethers with friends. I'm not really into the whole "themed" party thing. I really love backyard BBQs in the summer. Here are some pictures from a BBQ we had at our house recently.

Favorite Socialite Book:
I honestly have not read any "socialite" books. Just not really my thing. I'm more into Harlan Coben, Dan Brown and so on.

Extravagence That You Can't Live Without: Eating out and decorating.

Greatest Fear: Bad weather and heights - combine the two and I will absolutely without a doubt have a full-blown panic attack. I am deathly afraid of heights and tornados, thunder, rain, etc.

Which Talent Would You Most Like to Have: I wish I was a better runner. I work out four days a week and always find myself on the eliptical or stairmaster. I have never excelled at running, and I really wish I was good at it. When Danny and I work out together I always ride the bike while he runs beside me. I would love to run a marathon one day but I just don't see it happening any time soon.

Greatest Achievement: Interning at Disney World for 7 months. This is where I learned how to "work"....I honestly credit all of my selling and customer service skills to Disney. I really learned the meaning of "service" during my time there. And of course, Disney is where I met and fell in love with my husband. It completely changed my life.

So there you have it! Now I would like to nominate:

Lil' Woman

Monday, April 12, 2010

wedding season

This past weekend we went to our friends Ashley and Tyler's wedding. I thought I would share some pics that I stole off facebook (so please excuse the quality). Our camera is dead and even when we replace the batteries it still dies within fifteen minutes. I think it's time for a new camera!

All of our friends from church (Matt and Jessica on the far left are expecting their first child in July, Mike and Jill are getting married in May, Tyler and Ashley the newlyweds, Danny and I, Rebecca, Derek and Sarah)
All of the girls with Derek
Sweet Hubby
Watching the punch bowl
Dancing at Fitzgerald's after the wedding - the band was so fun!
And I thought I'd throw in an updated picture of our house! They have finally finished laying our sod and everything looks great. We are so excited it's Spring!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

our little day trip

Danny and I took a day trip to New Orleans last Monday. I surprised him with tickets to the Hornets/Lakers game and the game was in NO. He is absolutely obsessed with basketball - especially the NBA - and especially the Lakers. I think it is funny that he has such a passion for basketball because he comes from Latin America where soccer (or "futbol") is the way of life. Of course he enjoys soccer too, but he really, really loves basketball. He was super excited when I told him we had tickets to the game because he has never been to an NBA game before and he absolutely loves Kobe Bryant. We were going to go down on Sunday afternoon and spend the night but decided to just leave Monday morning. We go to New Orleans often since it is just a three hour drive from Jackson, and we had a lot of yard work to get done on Sunday. We didn't end up leaving Jackson until around noon on Monday - way later than we planned. We arrived in New Orleans around 2:45pm, but didn't actually get into the city until around 3:15pm due to a slight detour which took us over the bridge...
....and straight passed New Orleans. I admit it was my fault. I am horrible with directions! So we drove back over the bridge and finally got to the city. Our first stop was the world famous Cafe du Monde for some yummy beignets.
We walked around downtown for a little bit before heading uptown via the trolley. After waiting 20 minutes for the trolley and getting stuck back in the French Quarter we decided to ditch the idea and hang around downtown since we needed to be at the game in less than a couple of hours. As we were walking by the river we saw a crowd on the side of the street and lots of camera crews. Of course we stopped to see what was going on and we were told that Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman were filming a movie called "Red" in the street! Here is a picture of all the cameras - we were literally standing 20 feet away!
I know the sun is blinding but you can see the bald Bruce Willis standing in the street. He was dressed as a cop and they kept filming the same gun scene over and over again. He was actually shooting a loaded gun!
Danny standing right in front of where they were filming. Bruce kept making jokes and telling all the onlookers to keep moving. Did we move an inch? Absolutely not! We were definitely not going to miss this.
After watching them film the same scene over and over for thirty minutes, we got bored and decided to start making our way toward the stadium. By this time is was almost 5:30pm and the game started at 7pm. Parking was easy (I thought it would be a nightmare) and we got right to our seats with plenty of time. Of course Bruce Willis showed up to the game late and was sitting on the front row right on the court. Ahh the life of a celebrity. So hard.
It was a good game even though I had trouble paying attention. I kept watching the cheerleaders and Bruce Willis (I think I'm obsessed now). The Hornets won which was kind of a bummer for Danny since he is such a big Lakers fan.
Let me just tell you how big of a nightmare it was to find a gas station in New Orleans at 10:30pm. When we left the parking garage after the game our car was literally on empty. We probably had 5-10 miles before we ran out of gas. We asked one of the security officers where the nearest gas station was and of course he gave us wrong directions. Keep in mind it is pitch black outside and the streets are empty because it is a Monday night. So after following the wrong directions that the officer gave us we ended up in a part of New Orleans that I had never been to before. There was not a single gas station in sight. We see a cop driving by and start honking so he would stop and help us because we were seriously about to completely run out of gas. By this time it is 10:45pm. The cop drives right past us so we try to catch up to him at the stop light. He rolls down his window and tells us that he doesn't know where a gas station is and he has to go meet the judge at the courthouse so he can't help us. I almost started crying. The streets are empty, it is dark outside, our car is about to stop in the middle of the street and we had no idea where we were. The only person on the street was a man walking by himself and he graciously told us there was a gas station 6 blocks away. We finally got to the gas station and we both breathed a huge sigh of relief. Apparently the gas stations in the city of New Orleans are few and far between and they all close around 10 or 11pm. After the gas station fiasco we get lost trying to leave the city because we had no idea where we were. The GPS feature on my phone kept messing up so we had to call my parents at 11:15pm and wake them up to give us directions. We made it home by 2am and I fell asleep immediately because I had to be at work at 8am. Whew - I feel exhausted just thinking about it. It was definitely a trip I'll never forget.