"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HELP (no exclamation point)

I was reviewing my blog headers, and I used way too many exclamation points. I think I use too many exclamation points in general, so I'm trying to quit. Hopefully, I'll be able to do it and you won't have to feel like your reading the long lost blog of Richard Simmons. <-- It took all my effort not to use a ball and bat right there...

Ok, so I been trying unsuccessfully to dress up my blog a little bit, but it hasn't been working very well. I was able to get one template to work, but then the comments didn't work with that template.

So I want to ask you guys? Where do you get your templates and how do you do it?

Monday, April 20, 2009

2 Gadgets Every Girl Needs!

I have a confession to make...

I am an engineer and I hate gadgets. For years it bothered me that I didn't care about fancy computers, iPods, TVs, iPhones, BlueTooth, Voice Over IP, Routers, Modems, Servers, you name it, I was totally indifferent to them. I don't know about how they work, I don't want to know, and I don't care about how to fix them. That's actually why I avoid them, they're expensive, and they seem complicated.
Until I discovered what I like to call "Girlie Gadgets", you know, the kind of things that you get at Williams-Sonoma that make cooking and organizing so much easier. They are so much fun! They made me realize that I am a geek afterall, I'm just the feminine version... a chic geek :). Now, I can't get enough of them! There are two in particular that I just starting using recently, and they are coolness itself.

The first one, a vacuum sealer, has been around for a while. My Uncle Ty bought it for me for my wedding (yes 4 years ago!). I tried to use it several times, and I could never get it to work. I gave it up for broken, and I was a little bit lazy about getting it for repairs before the warranty expired. My mom came to visit a few weeks ago, and she asked why I never used my vacuum sealer. "Uh like beca-use," I replied (for some reason I always channel my inner-baby-of-the-family-valley-girl when talking to my mom, I can't believe she still loves me) "Its broken!" "No, its not, come here and let me show you!" Well sure enough, it was not broken, and I have been using it ever since.
When it comes to cooking, I have this thing that is an opposite of a super power, whatever that is called. Its my kryptonite - I am incapable of cooking for two. I just can't adjust recipes to make fewer servings. I've tried, I've tried; I've checked the sites where you can tell how many servings of something I want. It doesn't matter, I always make waaayyyy more than two people can eat in one, two, three, four, five or even six sittings. So I usually end up making huge meals, and we have to eat it for over a week until it is done. Afterwards, we are so sick of it, that I can't make it for months, and that's rough because I don't have much in my recipe repertoire.

So thanks to my mom, I no longer have this problem. I can now save half of what I make for later! This is the best gadget, especially if you work and don't always have time to cook.

The second gadget... oh I just get chills thinking about it... my Label Maker! I bought it at the Container Store with my mom a few weeks ago, and its a-maz-ing! That's right ladies (and gentlemen), this isn't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, Seinfeld Label Maker. It's just so awesome because, well it just is. I admit that I have been labeling a lot of things that don't need to be labeled just to use it, but it can be very helpful. The best thing that I have been using it for is to label my frozen, vacuum sealed food; that way I don't forget when it was cooked so that I can eat it before it goes bad. I get excited just thinking using it! Chic geek much... or really, maybe just geek :).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Meme about Nick and Me!

I was tagged by my friend Adrienne... I now tag Jessica and Krista! Please fill this out when you get done reading it, ok?

1. What are your middle names?
James and Layne, I decided to drop the Thistlethwaite and keep the Layne. I always thought Thistlethwaite was kind of awesome, but it would just feel weird if my name wasn't Stori Layne anymore...

2. How long have you been together?
Together since April 5, 2003, and married since May 28, 2005. 6 and almost 4 years.

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
One year, we hung out in the same group of friends.

4. Who asked whom out?
Nick definitely made the first move. We were at Chilifest, Gary Allen threw his hat out into the audience, Nick caught it, swooped me up, held me while we listened to Willie Nelson, we had our first kiss 4 days later, our first date 1 week later, and the rest was history...

5. How old are each of you?
I'm 25; Nick is 26.

6. Whose siblings do you see the most?
We actively see his sister and brother-in-law more than my siblings. I say actively because we'll travel to Houston just to see them and them us. I see my siblings a lot but usually through visits to my parents. We've been staying with my sister more though, and its been a lot of fun!

7. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Not quite ready to say yet...

8. Did you go to the same school?
We went to the same college, Texas A&M University (A-WHOOP!!!). I went to three different high schools in Venezuela and Tomball, TX. Nick went to Calallen HS, near Corpus Christi.

9. Are you from the same home town?
I consider Tomball/Magnolia, TX to my hometown area, but I grew up in a lot of places. Nick was born in Bay City, TX and moved to Calallen when he turned 4.

10. Who is smarter?
Nick, he's the only boy I know that's smarter than me :).

11. Who is the most sensitive?
Me, I have never seen Nick cry in 6 years together!

12. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Chic-fil-a, I'm obsessed with it and Nick indulges me. He likes it too though, and at least once I week I see a charge from Chic-fil-a on our card from Nick eating out with his coworkers, and I'm always so mad that he went without me! Real restaurants, I try to get to the Broken Egg whenever I can.

13. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Our honeymoon to St. Lucia. It was wonderful!

14. Who has the craziest exes?
I'd say neither, we really don't talk about it.

15. Who has the worst temper?
Oh me, me! For sure. Nick is really even-keeled, thank the Lord!

16. Who does the cooking?
Me, although I haven't been cooking as much lately. Nick does the grilling.

17. Who is the neat-freak?
I'd say neither, but now that we have a house, I'm care a little bit more about things being picked up.

18. Who is more stubborn?
Nick, definitely. A nicer word might be steadfast.

19. Who hogs the bed?
Me :).

20. Who wakes up earlier?
Arg, ME. At 4:15 AM, but Nick has been getting up early with me for moral support, he's the most precious man.

21. Where was your first date?
The Aquarium in Houston. It was very special because we drove in from College Station. We were supposed to go to a comedy club, but that fell through.

22. Who is more jealous?
Neither, well, ok... ME. Well, maybe neither. Its a tough call. Arg, I'm so afflicted with indecision on some of these answers!

23. How long did it take to get serious?
No time at all, we had already been friends for a while. All of our friends were super excited for us!

24. Who eats more?
Nick, he eats his meal, and whatever I don't want. I always try to make sure I eat less than him though, except when we go to the Broken Egg cafe, then all bets are off!

25. Who does the laundry?
Let me answer this question by telling you a little story. The other day Nick was looking for Frodo's leash, and I told him to look on the dryer. A few minutes later, Nick comes in and tells me its not there. I knew I had left the leash on the dryer, so I made him follow me into the utility room, and sure enough, the leash was right where I said it was. Nick looked at me sheepishly and said,"I thought that was the washing machine..."

He does redeem himself by sorting and putting away our socks though. I can never tell which are his and which are mine, even though I wear a Ladies 4 1/2 and Nick wears a Male 10!

26. Who's better with the computer?
Me, maybe him. He's a bit more tenacious about fixing it when its broken. Nick hates spending money so if he can figure out a way to fix something without paying for a specialist or buying a new part or computer, he will find a way! He's really good actually. Just this past week he fixed our refrigerator and replaced the break lights in my Trailblazer.

27. Who drives when you are together?
Oh my gosh, NICK! He's a little weird about it. One time we took a 12 hour road trip, and I forced him to let me drive like 7 hours into it. He proceeded to sit in the passenger seat and get all cranky and fussy (yes, like a 2 year old!) because he was bored and had nothing to do. I drove for 30 minutes, and then I just gave it back to him because he was getting on my nerves. I'd rather read anyway, and I read out loud to him which he likes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blast from my Past!

Does anyone even remember Xanga? I sure don't, and I was slightly flabbergasted to find this post circa 2004! http://aggiestori05.xanga.com/ I apparently started a Xanga blog and then promptly forgot about it. I found it tonight when I googled myself. Nick and I laughed our bums off reading it.

Its kind of made me miss the days when I shunned carbs, weighed 102 pounds, worked out regularly, had no work ethic and took classes like... microprocessors, what the heck? It's sad how little I remember from my college classes.

Its also from a time before I was "married at the tender age of 21" to quote one of my Pat Green faves. Back then I had no idea what my life would be like!

I had no idea I would still be madly in love with my husband 5 years later, and every day marvel that I actually got him to propose to me!

I had no idea that I would learn to work hard, be successful, and grow to love earning the respect of my coworkers. Working in the real world and finding a job was always kind of fuzzy.

I had no idea that to work hard, I would have to get up before 4:30 every morning, make an hour and a half commute, sit in front of a desk all day, commute back, and get home and have to squeeze food preparation/work outs/housecleaning/quality time with my husband into the 3 hours before bedtime. I always imagined myself effortlessly being the beautiful, model wife that Nick deserved.

I had no idea that purchasing 300 acres in the country before I turned 25 was an unrealistic goal. Even purchasing and paying off early a modest home with two very high oil and gas salaries has been more difficult that I ever imagined.

I had no idea we would move 5 times in the first 2 and a half years of marriage. I always thought we would move to Tyler, TX and stay put in our dream house!

I always assumed that I would live within walking distance of a Bikram yoga studio and get to go every single day. I had no idea that membership is extremely expensive, no working person has 1 and a half hours to devote to BY daily and not let their millions of other responsibilities slide, and that I would move to a state that doesn't have a SINGLE Bikram Yoga studio.

I still love needlepointing, video games, texas country and yoga, but sadly, I don't seem to have time for any of those things.

I'm still a Republican, although now I identify myself more as a Conservative whose a member of the Republican party because its the best option available for Conservatives.

Somone reminded me of this verse this weekend, from Matthew 7:

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Its timely because in spite of the fact that things are not exactly the way I planned or would have wanted, I never forget the good gifts that God has given me.

I have my husband, my home, a good job in a down economy, wonderful friends and family, and I can't wait until the day that God gives us the greatest gift I can imagine. In the meantime, I'll continue to serve him faithfully, with great joy in the tasks he has appointed me, and praise him all the while.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Christ has risen!

Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, "Christ is risen," but "I shall rise." ~Phillips Brooks

Amen.

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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