Tuesday, March 31, 2009

blueberry muffin recipe

I love blueberry muffins! I normally just make the ones that come in the little pack that you mix with 1/2 cup of water. They are reeeeally good. But last week I decided to make some from scratch! I had some frozen blueberries in the freezer that Josh's mom gave me. They have been in there for a while and I had forgotten about them!! I found a recipe off www.allrecipes.com that sounded really good so I gave it a shot (btw, that is a really good website for recipes!). They turned out really good so I though I'd share it with everyone!

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a small bowl, mix milk and lemon juice; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Add egg and oil to milk mixture; mix well. Gently stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees F at 22-24 minutes or until center of muffin springs back when lightly touched.

I did make a couple of changes... I added about 1/2 cup of extra blueberries. Also, instead of 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, I used 1/4 cup of apple sauce to make it a little more healthy! You couldn't even tell a difference at all! Also, it says to bake for 22-24 minutes, but mine were done at 18 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Married! Starring Josh & Rachel Conatser! haha!

Our friend, David Joseph, is VERY talented!! He is a graphic designer and does awesome work! He made this movie poster for us for our wedding gift & you have GOT to check it out!! 2008-2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FOR DMJDESIGNER

How cool is that??!!! Thank you so much, David!! We absolutely LOVE it!! Now we have to get it printed so we can put it up :)

This weekend was pretty good! I had to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday... I worked Sunday after church to make up for leaving early last weekend. It actually wasn't that hard of a weekend. I was very busy but am finally feeling back to normal so it makes things MUCH easier. Josh was supposed to have a game Saturday in Jackson against Lambuth but it got rained out. So he got to come home and go fishing with his dad! It ended up storming really bad so he didn't get to fish for long... But that night we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings! One of our favorites! It was soo good. We stayed the night with my parents that night but he had to leave very early Sunday morning and come back to Pulaski because they were leaving for Jackson at 8am. They did get to play Sunday afternoon and won one game and lost one game. I am glad they got to play!! It seems like there have been so many games to get rained out or canceled here lately.

I can't believe we are moving back to Ashland City in about a month and a half!! We are sooo ready to be back. We are both ready for summer to be here, and I am sure you are too :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

side effects may include.....

.....blah,blah,blah......serious illness.......blah,blah,blah........may even cause DEATH......blah,blah,blah............

Don't you just love all the wonderful side effects that come along with the medication that is "supposed" to make you feel better?? Sometimes it makes you feel even worse than before! Is it even worth it?? I am starting to wonder that.....

After I had that allergic reaction, the doctor prescribed me to Prednisone, which is a steroid. I was to take 3 a day for 5 days. I am also taking a generic for Pepcid for 10 days. Well, the steroid has kept me up ALLL last week. I was a zombie. Some of the other side effects I had while taking it were headaches, having hot flashes all the time, aches in my back, starving to death, stomach pain, heart burn, loss of sleep, mood swings, having a lot of energy but at the same time exhausted....These are just some that I can think of off the top of my head. But the worst side effects were when I QUIT taking the steroid. I noticed Friday that I my head was starting to hurt worse, like a migraine. Then I was feeling sick to my stomach like I was going to throw up. Then my back was KILLING me. Then I started to feel sooo dizzy. Saturday morning was worse. I had to cancel half my day at the salon and my parents had to drive me back to Pulaski Saturday afternoon. I was sooooooooo dizzy and sick. I felt like I was floating or something and not even in my body. I was miserable. It was pretty scary, actually. I have never felt like that before. I googled it (of course, bc I love google) and what I found out it that I have a cortisol deficiency or "prednisone withdrawal". It is caused from just stopping the medication without gradually stopping it. The symptoms are severe fatigue, headaches, light-headedness when standing, low blood pressure, nausea or vomiting, body aches.... I had all of these. I didn't check my blood pressure but I am sure it was low. I really wish the doctor or someone would have told me that I needed to gradually stop taking it because it has really messed me up! Yesterday (Sunday) I still felt pretty dizzy and sick but today I am feeling MUCH better. I am just going to take it easy this week so I will be ready to work next weekend. Thanks for everyone who has kept me in your prayers and sorry for the ones that I had to cancel your hair appointment, I will make it up to you :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a little bit of this & that..

I am SOOOO Lovin this weather!! I hope it continues to stay this way or even get warmer :) Yesterday was a great day. I drove out to Murfreesboro for another embroidery class and it was great. I traded my machine in for a newer machine and it is the coolest thing ever! I can't wait to get things started. For those of you who do not know, I am in the process of starting my own embroidery business!! I plan on have things going within the next couple of months. I will be selling everything at the salon and plan on getting a website going for it also. I can't wait for all of you to see what I have in mind..you are going to looove it!!
After my class yesterday, I met up with Annie and we had lunch at a place in Murfreesboro called Goodness Gracious! It is the cutest little place and they have the best sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts! Afterwards, we went to a few stores. The only thing I bought was a pair of sunglasses from Agaci. They were super cute and were only $5 so I couldn't pass it up! I almost bought a really cute dress from there.....I'm still wishing I would have gotten it....It was only $30 which isn't bad. But for some reason, well ever since we got married, I have been so picky when it comes to buying things! I over think everything and if I have any doubt at all then I don't buy it. For the most part, this has been good and I have saved a lot of money this way. But sometimes, like yesterday, I end up driving all the way home thinking about this cute dress. It is a long dress, which I think are so adorable and have been looking for one for a long time. It had a good flow to it and and it was strapless & could have been dressy or casual....and it was the last one they had.....OK. I have got to STOP thinking about this dress!!!!

Anyway, Josh had 2 games yesterday in Kentucky. I am not sure of the school they played but they won both games!! Yay!! He got to pitch and did really good:) He did get hit on the leg though and it looks so painful :( Poor thing. But I am happy that they won! This weekend they play here in Pulaski and they play Freed Hardeman, Let's hope they win!! His graduation date is coming up!!! Just a little over 6 weeks away, I can't believe how fast this time has gone by! I am sooo proud of him!

I was a little disappointed with American Idol last night. I know this is a tough season because everyone is so good. But I really wasn't ready to see Alexis leave. I know she wasn't the best but I do think she is better than some of the others...Oh well. My favorite is Danny Gokey!!! I am voting for him til the end. When he sang Jesus, Take The Wheel on Tuesday night, it gave me chill bumps!
I took Kobe to the vet last week for a checkup and he is doing good! He didn't just love getting his shots but he loved the treats they game him afterwards. Here we are on the way to the vet. This is where he likes to sit in the car!! I know it is not very safe but oh well.....
Kobe getting his heart checked!

Can you see his chin hairs??!! hahaha!

So I asked the vet what kind of dog she thought Kobe was. I told her was he was "supposed" to be and she didn't really see that either! So we have decided to call him a terrier mix from now on. No more shorkie!! haha. But even though we don't know what kind of dog he really is, we still love him to death!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

work...the lady in the green scarf...and a trip to the ER.

This past weekend was crazy busy! It was a good one but ended on a bad note. Friday morning I left Pulaski around 7:30 like I normally do every Friday morning. I finally got to work at 9:45 and worked until 6:30. It wasn't a very long day at all! I met up with my mom at Opry Mills and we did a little shopping. She had a coupon for Old Navy for 30% off and she wanted to buy me a few springy things so I let her :) I love everything I got! I got a cute springy orange and white scarf, a cute purse with pink flowers, some really really cute flip flops, and a cute pair of pajamas!! Thank you mom!!!

The next morning I was back at the salon at 7:45 am and worked non-stop all day long. I didn't get off until 8pm. This is my typical weekend at work. I was SO exhausted, especially since I have still have not gotten caught up on my sleep since the trip. Don't get me wrong though, I am not complaining at all!! I am very very very thankful for my job and all my clients! They are so good to me. Before the wedding I was worried about how this was going to work out.. me only working 2 days a week and paying all the bills.. But it has been great! Every single week I have made enough money to keep all the bills paid and even have some extra left over ;) It really makes me thankful especially during these times with so many people losing their jobs. It was almost 10pm when I finally got home on Saturday night. Josh is such a sweetheart, he makes sure everything is all clean when I get home from work on the weekends! It is so nice to come home to a clean home!

Sunday morning we got up and went to church. We went to the Church of God that we go to while we are here in Pulaski. It was really good! Afterwards, we went to this Mexican restaurant that has a buffet on Sundays. It was very busy and very good! When we were leaving the restaurant, we drove by his school and saw that Confessions of a Shopaholic was playing at the Martin!! Well, I have been just dying to see this movie and luckily we were driving by just as it was starting!! It was sooo good! Josh even liked it:) It will definitely be one that I will buy and watch over and over again. I bought the book at the airport on my way home from Costa Rica.. I have only read a few pages but what I have read is really good so far!

After the movie we went home for a little while. We only had a couple of hours before Maury Davis was going to be preaching at a church out here and we wanted to go see him. While we were waiting, we decided to go to the driving range to hit some golf balls. We took Kobe along because we knew he would have so much fun! This next picture is kinda funny!! You can tell that Josh is concentrating so hard on taking this pic that he forgot to smile! ha! Love him!!
As we were getting into the car, I noticed that Kobe had stepped into a huge ant hill. I was scared that they were going to bite him so we got a towel and started wiping him off. When we got in the car, I noticed one tiny fire ant was on my hand and it bit me! It hurt so bad! I didn't think much of it.... Well, a couple of minutes later my whole hand started to itch.... then a couple of minutes later my whole body started to itch.... then a couple of minutes later I felt all the blood rush to my head, I got soooo hot and had a pounding headache all of a sudden! I was telling Josh how I was feeling and we were laughing about it because we didn't think it was anything serious. Then my face started to tingle and I looked in the mirror and my face and chest had turned the darkest red color ever! Now I was starting to freak out. I told Josh to call him mom because she is a nurse and I knew she would know what to do. She told us to get some benadryl. We were right by the dollar general so Josh went in to get some. Well, they didn't have the pills. All they had was the cream and that is not what I needed. So Josh called some number that his mom gave him and this man told him to take me to the emergency room. We almost didn't go because I have heard how expensive it can be but I am so glad we did. When we pulled into the parking lot, I felt my lips starting to swell! They felt huge! Then when we got inside I felt my eyes starting to swell. Josh was filling out my paperwork so I went to the bathroom... That's when I saw how I really looked and I noticed I was getting a rash with welps on my whole body!! I was itching like crazy! They got me right in and gave me some medicine and a steroid shot. After about 30 minutes that still was not helping. The rash was getting worse and spreading to my forehead! So they came in and gave me an epi shot and that started helping within just a few minutes. They were trying not to give me that shot because of all the side effects. They said it will make you very nervous and make your heart rate go up. Well, after about a minute after getting the shot, my whole body started to shake and wouldn't stop for over an hour... I felt like I was on crack or something!!! (Not that I know what that is like but if I could imagine!) After a couple of hours at the ER they finally let me leave. I am so thankful that I went to the doctor when I did because I am sure the next thing that would have started to swell would be my throat and I would not have been able to breathe. It was very very scary but Josh took good care of me:) Whats crazy is that I didn't even know I was allergic to anything!! I am going to get an epi pen to carry with me everywhere just in case this ever happens again. Btw Josh INSISTED that he take my picture so he could send it to everyone. Thanks, sweetie! haha!
I am now taking medicine for the next 10 days because they said I could rebound and that the symptoms could come back. The bad thing is that this medicine is not letting me sleep at night! I went to sleep pretty fast last night but woke up at like 3am this morning and never went back to sleep. Not even for 5 minutes. I am starting to wonder if I will ever get caught up on my rest??? OH and we missed Maury's sermon :(

Monday, March 16, 2009

Costa Riccccaaaaa!

I am home from my trip and I must say that I had a GREAT time! It was such a blessing to be there and was a very good experience!! I want to tell you all about it so this will probably be the longest blog in history.. so are you ready? Ok.

We left Thursday, March 5th, and I was very happy that Josh was able to take me to the airport! I was sad to see him leave because I knew I was going to miss him like crazy, and I did. But I was really glad when I found out that me and my dad was going to be able to fly to Atlanta together! Apparently his flight was canceled because it got struck by lightening... sooo they switched him to my flight. When we got to Atlanta, we had a 2 hour layover. It went by pretty fast though. We left Atlanta for San Jose, Costa Rica around 5:30 or so. Both flights were pretty smooth, which was good because I was very nervous. By the time we arrived in San Jose and went through customs and all that good stuff, it was very late! Alex was there to pick us up along with a few other people. They took us to a bed and breakfast where the rest of the group was already there and sleeping. They got there earlier that day because their flight left early that morning.

The next morning (Friday) I woke up and turned on the shower. I waited and waited and waited and there was NO hot water. It was ice cold!! So I decided I was not getting a shower that morning! I found out later that you have to barely turn the fosset to get the hot water. After we ate breakfast, we went to a bible school called Cincel where my dad did a little service. Then we went to a church where we started to get our things together to leave for Jaco Beach. There was a group of people from that church, about 30-40 people, who were coming with us to Jaco Beach. Okay, before I say anything else...I must say that their culture is VERY different than ours. Here in the US we are always busy busy busy and on the go. In Costa Rica, everyone is very very laid back and time is not an issue at all. It was a little hard to get used to because I am so used to the way it is here! So when I say we went somewhere....we probably stayed there for a Loonng time, if you know what I mean! So later on that day, we headed out for Jaco Beach, which is about 3 hours away. We had to drive all the way up this mountain to get there... now this mountain has no guardrails and it seemed like we were right on the edge!! And it was super curvy... pretty much like turns instead of curves!! OH one thing I forgot to mention is that yes, the people there are very laid back BUT their driving is very scary!!!! If there is any room at all to go in front of you then they will!! They will not slow down for anything or anyone!! So here we are on the side of this super curvy mountain with NO guardrails with cars coming at us full speed. I was a little scared to say the least. But the view was just beautiful!!!! I loved it! When we finally got to our hotel in Jaco Beach, I was so surprised to see that we were staying right on the beach!! It was so beautiful. I got out of the van to take a picture by the water and the first thing I saw was this HUUGGGEEEE iguana. I am talking like 3 or 4 feet huge. Of course, I was freaking out bc I hate any type of snaky lizard things. While we were in Jaco Beach, I saw like 4 or 5 of these things! Anyway, after we checked into the hotel and got all our stuff together we went to a service that night. My dad preached and Alex translated. It was really good! There was maybe 20 something people there. I met a girl named Lua.. I think that is how you spell it. She was so sweet!! Afterwards we went out to eat at this restaurant. It was really good. We ate at this restaurant like 5 or 6 times while we were there! Lets just say I will not be eating rice and beans for a long time!! haha.

The next morning (Saturday) we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel. I ordered fresh fruit, which was sooo good!! Then we headed over to this field to get things set up for the day. Basically what we did was this... after we got everything set up there was about 3 or 4 vans that went around to the "ghettos" and told people what we were doing and we invited them to come. Then a couple of hours later, they went back and picked everyone up. We had over 200 people come!! It was so awesome! We had puppets.. skits.. games.. dancing.. music.. clowns.. a service for the kids and a service for the adults.. we gave away clothes, toys, food.. It was so awesome!! There was some of the cutest kids ever there. It was so sad though because these people do not have anything. It really makes you thankful for what you have. We stayed there pretty much all day. We left late that afternoon and got some lunch and went back to the hotel to rest for a while. Then we went back to that same field where they were having a service. It was really good! And the funny thing is that I didn't understand ONE word because it was all in Spanish. But I didn't need to understand the words to know that God was there. It was so awesome! There was people there from all over the world and it was so cool to see how we are all so different but we all serve the same great GOD! It was such a blessing to be there. After the service we stayed there for a while getting to know all the people. I met some of the sweetest people ever! There were some really sweet girls there..they were like "ohh we are sisters for life!" It was so great! We also ate some tamales which were really good:) This was a verry long day but it was soooo worth it!! One thing, though, that was really tough was the language barrier. I do not know hardly any Spanish at all but I figured we would have translators and it would be fine. Well, we did have translators but it wasn't the same... For example, the little kids would come up and try to ask me something and I wouldn't know what they were saying! Some of the people there knew a little English but it was still very difficult to talk to some of them without a translator. So next time I go, I want to learn Spanish before I go!

The next day (Sunday) was more of a relaxing day. We got up and ate breakfast and then had the choice either go play soccer or hang out at the hotel for a couple of hours. I chose to hang out at the hotel that way I could go to the beach and lay out!! It was great! The beach there is so beautiful. You have the ocean and the mountains right there!! I got soo burnt this day... I wish I would have worn more sunscreen because it was NOT fun. After that we left the hotel and headed for the rain forest! It was so beautiful!! We went to this huge waterfall and got to go swimming. Then we left to eat lunch. After we ate lunch, we started to head back to San Jose. On our way to San Jose, we came to a river where we parked on the side of the road. Then we walked across this bridge on a tiny sidewalk with cars flying by without slowing down at all!! It was kinda scary. When we got on top of this bridge and looked down we saw these HUMONGOUS crocodiles!!!!! Probably 20 or 30 of them! They were huge, probably at least 12 feel long! I felt like I was watching the Discovery Channel but it was real life! It was really cool. When we got back to the van, we found out that this lady had hit our van...it wasn't a big dent but we still had to call the police because it was a rental. Well, the way they do it over there is the insurance company has to be there also....well, the insurance company was like 2 1/2 hours away in San Jose....Yea, we were there waiting for like 3hours. It was not fun. at all. By the time we finally left and finally got back to the bed and breakfast in San Jose, we were just exhausted and went straight to bed.

The next morning (Monday) we woke up and ate breakfast. We had planned on going to an active volcano that was 3 hours away and we were going to swim in these hot springs. But after the night before..we decided we didn't want to drive 3 hours so we decided to go to a volcano called Irazu that was only an hour away. This volcano has one of the biggest craters ever. It is dormant or "asleep" whatever you want to call it. The last time it erupted was in the 60's and it destroyed a whole city. When we were almost to the top of the volcano, this man told us that it was so foggy and we probably wouldn't be able to see anything. We almost didn't go because you had to pay $10 each but decided to go anyway since we had drove all this way. Well, when we finally got up to the top it was pretty cold and kinda rainy... But after being there for a few minutes the fog and everything went away and I saw one of the most amazing things I have ever seen!! This volcano was just beautiful!!! There was water in the bottom that was the prettiest blueish, greenish color ever!! We stayed there forever just admiring it and taking a billion pictures. It was great. After we left we went to this cute little gift shop then headed out for lunch. We ate at a really good restaurant!!! Then we were told that we were going to a market to do some shopping, which made me very excited because we all know how I love to shop. Well, when we got to this "market" place it was nothing how I expected it to be. It was pretty scary, actually. There were a few little stores with clothes or shoes or whatever, nothing that I liked...the rest was like people selling fruit and meat hanging from the ceiling!! And there was these people selling chicken FEET, it was so gross and definitely not sanitary if you ask me. Afterwards, we did end up going to this really nice mall and I bought a few things. This was a very long day also and I was soo ready to go to bed when we got back to the bed and breakfast, especially since I had to get up at 4:45 am the next morning to leave for the airport!!

The next day (Tuesday) was a little bitter sweet, I guess you could say. I loved being there in Costa Rica but at the same time I was soooo ready to be home with Josh and Kobe!! I missed them like crazy!! I did get to talk to Josh while I was gone because I bought a calling card but it wasn't much and it just wasn't the same!! After getting stuck in a lot of traffic we finally made it to the airport. Our flight left at 8am and got back to Atlanta around 12 or so. The flight was a little bumpy coming into Atlanta and was scary at times but we made it!! From there, my dad went on to Florida because he had a conference he had to go to. And I flew back to Nashville by myself! This was my 1st time flying by myself and I must say I did pretty good! It felt soo good when I saw that batman building from my airplane and I knew I was home:) My mom picked me up at the airport and I was sooo happy to see her!! She drove me back to Pulaski because Josh had a game that day. I was so glad when I finally got to be home with Josh and Kobe:)

So overall my trip was just AWESOME!! Yea, it is very different over there and there were a few mishaps here and there but it was still great. I would love to go back one day! I met some really really awesome people and God really blessed me while I was there. I thank Him for allowing me to go and I thank everyone for keeping us in your prayers while we were gone:) It really makes a difference!
ps. If you want to see more of my pics then check out my facebook!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well, this time tomorrow I will be on a plane on my way to Costa Rica! I can't believe it is finally here. I have gotten everything packed up and I am ready to go :) I was really nervous yesterday and earlier today but I am starting to not be so nervous. I still get butterflies when I think about it though! But I know God has awesome things in store and I am sooooo excited! Please keep our group in your prayers!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Josh had a baseball game today and he got to pitch. He started out the game and did very good! They didn't win.. but they almost pulled through the last inning. The umpire made some really bad calls that lost them the game. I was planning on taking some pictures and some video of Josh pitching but when I got there, I realized the battery in my camera was dead. I hate it when that happens!! We didn't know they were coming but Josh's parents came to the game! Afterwards, they came over to see our apartment for the first time. I had a roast, potatoes & carrots that had been cooking in the crock pot all day so they stayed for dinner. It was so nice to have them over! Kobe was very excited and hyper that we had company as well:)

Earlier today I was looking through one of the many cookbooks we got as wedding gifts. I love going through and just reading cookbooks even if I never make anything out of it! But I found one recipe that I had to try. So I made it today and it was soo good!! Josh just loved it also so I am sure I will be making it again:)
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

1 quart of vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup of frozen whipped topping, thawed

2/3 cups of crunchy peanut butter

1 graham cracker crust (9 ounce)

Hot fudge topping or chocolate sauce (optional, but makes it really good!)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until blended. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with fudge topping, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

For a "healthier" version, I made it with fat free, sugar free vanilla frozen yogurt. I also used fat free cool whip. It was still very, very good!

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Desire

"All my life I have seen where you've taken me, beyond all I can hope and there's more left unseen. There's not much I can do to repay all you've done so I give my hands to use. This is my desire, this is my return. This is my desire, to be used by you."

If I had to choose one song that would be my life's theme song it would definitely be this one by Jeremy Camp. Well, actually there are several songs but this one describes my life at this very moment. I am so incredibly thankful that God has brought me to this point. He has brought me through so much and I feel like I don't even deserve all he has blessed me with. I feel like I can't say thank you enough or that I am not saying it the right way!! So just like the song says, I will give my hands to use. I will do whatever he wants me to do, go wherever he wants me to go, be who he wants me to be. I am at the point that I don't care what others think of me and if I lose people along the way, then so be it. This is who I am! I am so happy and the only one I want to please is Him. I am so excited about my trip..only 3 more days! I can't wait to share his love with others. I want the whole world to know!!