More Murray

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I came on here for a Murray update only to realize that was my last post as well! I guess you can tell what is taking up the most of R and I's time these days. 
Murray is: a pain, the best snuggler, incredibly popular in our building, also popular at the vet, teething HARD, loving on us hard, still peeing on the floor, and still waking up in the middle of the night. 

That sums it up pretty well! Murray is officially 5 months old and has tripled in size. He just had his first visit to the dog park and loves to jump up and bite holes into new clothes!

We love our little (big) guy! 

Meet Murray

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It seems fitting that right when I sat down to type this, Murray went to the bathroom all over the kitchen floor.  That should tell you how puppy life is going for everyone over here!

Last Thursday, we finally got to go pick up Murray, the bernedoodle, from the breeder!  We had some communication issues with the breeder and didn't know when we would get him until we got a text Thursday morning.  We were ecstatic and hustled to grab some food and carpet cleaner (the only two things we still needed).  On Friday, Ryan was able to work from home (I'm not sure how much he was able to actually get done).  It has been exhausting...and amazing.

Puppies are a lot of fun and a lot of snuggles...but a lot of work.  And I realize everyone that has had a puppy says that, but I think until you are outside freezing at 3AM waiting for your dog to go to the bathroom...after he peed on your pajamas as you walked outside...you don't truly understand what that "work" looks like.  Ryan and I love Murray to death but are still figuring out daily life with a very needy puppy that doesn't understand the concept of going to the bathroom outside!

Luckily, Murray is a cuddler extraordinaire who makes us laugh and feels like the missing piece that we didn't know we were missing!  So, it all evens out in the end :)




Skeeball Success

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ryan and I joined a skeeball league in January (who knew that was a thing??) and it has been the best decision yet.  Every Monday we meet our favorite friends at a bar in Chinatown and two unexpected things have happened...we had no idea how much fun it was going to be and we had no idea how good all the other teams were going to be!  So, last week when we won a game for the very first time we were straight up ecstatic! This upcoming week is the championship and let's sure hope we win again...but we aren't very optimistic!

MS

Let's Go Pens!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Two weekends ago, Ryan took me to Pittsburgh for the first time!  It's crazy that we have been together over five years and I was just now making it there.  The city is incredibly important to Ryan, his family, and our pseudo family, the G's.  We were long over due for my first trip to Pittsburgh.  We drove up on Saturday afternoon...it was a successful road trip except for the 30 minutes when we realized we left our tickets to the game at home and didn't know if we could get them electronically.  After that stressful moment (when we were both mentally figuring out that it was both of our faults/nobody's fault/uh oh), we got back on the road and made it just in time to...wait in a really long line.
But really...we checked in to our hotel and hustled over to the fan fest.  I was more than happy to tag along with Ryan on what was about to be, according to him, the second best moment of his life...kissing the cup (if you ask him when I'm not around, he might have a different answer).  We took a ferry across the river to the stadium and stood in line for a little over an hour and a half so that we could touch/kiss/get pictures with the cup.  Ryan was so happy!  And it was a pretty amazing thing to see in person.  Even though I am sure the Pens will when the Stanley Cup MANY times in our lifetime, it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. 
After we kissed the cup, we stood in another line to get in.  At the moment, I told Ryan that if Mindy Kaling ever comes to town he is waiting in a very long line with me to meet her! 
Our seats were pretty amazing and were actually inside at the game.  It wasn't as cold as our last time at the winter classic, but I was still grateful that we weren't sitting outside!  The highlight of the evening was definitely the fact that the Pens won (and that they had actual penguins on the ice)!  And that with the spirit of the game, I agreed to change our puppy name to one of the players, Murray!  (Also, how cute are our matching hats?  I had top priorities when planning our packing list for the trip).
On Sunday, we got up early and headed up the incline (I can't be the only person that is obsessed with the incline and the ferrys we took across the river).  Pittsburgh is such a unique city and I only saw such a small bit of it!
At the top of the incline we had an amazing view of the entire skyline, the bridges, and the spot where the three rivers meet.  It was pretty awesome and the best part was having Ryan point out to me all of his favorite places and family memories from that one spot (have I mentioned lately that I love that guy?).
We sadly didn't have time for any classic Pittsburgh meals, but we did manage to stop by an official Pens store because we obviously needed more Pens apparel...

It was such a great weekend with my main man and I am so excited to go back soon so that I can experience the rest of the city with him and hopefully another Pittsburgh win!

MS

Wedding Planning Breakdown

Sunday, March 5, 2017

On social media lately, I have noticed a lot of stressed out bride-to-be's and it makes me both grateful and reminiscent.  Planning a wedding is a lot of work.  And depending on your personality and your organization skills, I feel like it can go either way.  I am super grateful that while planning a wedding I wasn't teaching or counseling.  I was able to get so many wedding tasks done while the babies napped and throughout the work days.  I am an over planner...it drives many people close to me a little bit crazy.  I like to fill up my calendar months in advance and have daily, weekly, monthly, and long term to do lists all always going at the same time.  It keeps me sane (even though Ryan is convinced it does the opposite).  Rather than becoming more relaxed as a planner over time, I definitely became even more rigid and type A as the wedding planning process went on.  One thing that really saved me was my master to do list. 

Right when we got engaged, I created a to do list in a google doc that my mom and Ryan were attached on.  I broke the wedding planning down month by month and as it got closer, week by week.  I included EVERYTHING on the list.  And it was my ultimate life line throughout the entire process.  I removed or adjusted some of the details that pertained just to Ryan and I's big day but, below is the breakdown!  Please use it or take from it like I did when piecing my list together!  Ultimately, I took every detail from every pinterest list I could find to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  Then I removed things that didn't relate and added as things came up.

The months on the list below coordinate with our October date.  We also planned our wedding that was in Milwaukee from DC...so I had to be extra detailed!  I made three trips to Milwaukee during the planning and had as many appointments as possible, but had to do a lot of the decision making over the phone.

As much as I love planning and loved planning my wedding, I was not one of those brides that is sad the big day is over while flying off to the honeymoon!
 January (12-10 months):
  • Plan for families to meet
  • Go for engagement photo sitting
  • Create website
  • Discuss budget
  • Pinterest page
  • Select a date
  • Choose and ask attendants
  • Put together guest list
  • Book site for ceremony
  • Book site for reception
  • Book officiant
  • Book caterer
  • Hire musicians
  • Hire DJ
  • Order dress and veil
February, March, April (8-6 months):
  • Book photographer
  • Book florist
  • Start online shopping for vendors/dresses
  • Meet with caterer to plan menu and schedule tasting
  • Send ALL save the dates
  • Book room for wedding night
  • Register for gifts
  • Select bridesmaid dresses/accessories
  • Order invitations and wedding stationers
  • Make arrangements with hotel
  • Hire hair people for hair trial
  • Make list of flowers needed
  • Investigate honeymoon destinations
  • Update passports
April, May, June (6-4 months):
  • Look for make up person/book
  • Schedule time for rehearsal
  • Book videographer
  • Buy and tie on ribbon for chair signs
  • Order and frame guest book
  • Print water bottle labels
  • Make honeymoon reservations
  • Plan rehearsal dinner
  • Reserve rentals for groom and groomsmen
  • Meet with florist to discuss arrangements
  • Order wedding cake
  • Purchase bridal shoes and other accessories
  • Have invitations addressed
June, July, August (4-2 months):
  • Vows
  • Add hotel/transportation information to wedding website
  • Research requirements for marriage license
  • Book/arrange for transportation for bride/groom/attendants and immediate family on wedding day
  • Order bubbles
  • Order cocktail napkins
  • Basket for bubbles
  • Buy banner for back of trolley
  • Select readings and songs for ceremony
  • Ask readers
  • Purchase box for wedding cards
  • Select songs for major highlights of reception
  • Purchase appropriate undergarments for under the gown
  • Purchase Ryan’s wedding ring
  • Have wedding rings sized
  • Select thank you gifts for parents
  • Purchase honeymoon clothes
  • Mail invitations
  • Print wedding hashtag signs
  • Buy and frame 2 hashtag signs
  • Hair and make up trial
  • Bridesmaids gifts
  • Groomsman gifts
  • Flower girl gift
  • Ring bearer gifts
  • Usher gifts
  • Personal attendants gifts
  • Table numbers
  • Write shower thank you notes
September (1 month):
  • Submit all required documents to church
  • Create/order ceremony programs (send to church one month before)
  • Basket for bubbles
  • Write welcome letter
  • List of songs to DJ
  • Find babysitter (we provided a babysitter in the hotel for guests with small children)
  • Have final dress fitting
  • Write petitions
  • Start arranging seating plan
  • Purchase hostess gifts for friends
  • Plan honeymoon
  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Contact all vendors (and have them contact event coordinator)
Two weeks:
  • Make nail appointments for friday morning
  • Let wedding party know about any last minute "day of" updates
  • Type up and print petitions
  • Obtain marriage license
  • Figure out something special for birthday guests (our wedding day was also the birthday of multiple wedding guests)
  • Write bridal shower thank you notes
  • Finalize seating plan (write place cards or give material)
  • Make cute bags for groomsmen gifts
  • Frame and wrap mom and dad’s gift
  • Wrap ring bearer and flower girl gifts
  • Make detailed schedule of wedding reception events to give to all applicable service providers
  • Timeline for bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Break in shoes and scuff bottoms :)
  • Get hair highlighted
  • Print copies of welcome letter
  • Groom haircut
  • Print programs
  • Tissue paper for groomsmen gifts (see how detailed I mean?)
One week before:
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations
  • Cash for honeymoon
  • Get crisp bills from bank for gratuities
  • Put tips in labeled and sealed envelopes
  • Organize final payments that need to be delivered on wedding day
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Make list of everything we need to bring to the wedding
  • Confirm final details with all service providers
  • Rent movies on ipad for flight
  • Copy of petitions and readings
  • Compile honeymoon folder (flight itineraries and excursions)
  • Write letters to each other
  • Practice kissing and dancing
Day before/thursday:
  • Write in priest's card
  • Drop off welcome bags
  • Pick up marriage license
  • Get manicure and pedicure
  • Hand out wedding gifts
  • Pick up tuxes
  • Buy champagne for salon/trolley
  • Best man fill cooler for trolley(champagne, beer, water)


Let me know what saved you during your planning! 
MS

7QT: puppies, videos, and hockey, oh my!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Linking up with Kelly today for 7QT!  It's been a while :) A handful of some really fun things have happened lately! 

1. We got the link to our wedding video preview!  We are absolutely in love with it and cannot wait to see the full video!

2. Let's keep the wedding train going!  We also got our missing wedding photos from our photographer that included my favorite photos of our families on the alter after the ceremony.


3. We are gaining an addition to the family...Donut the (berne)doodle will be making his (or her) grand debut to the Session home in about 3 weeks!  We still haven't gotten to pick him (or her) out so we are anxiously awaiting that email!

4. I finally read Nightingale by: Kristin Hannah and...oh my gosh. So many feelings. My friend Ashley had recommended the book to me in the past and after reading the summary online I was convinced I had read it before...whereas I really had just finished All the Light We Cannot See and The Girl You Left Behind.  Which have similar components.  Whether or not you like WWII fiction, I highly recommend it.  As long as you are also prepared to cry.

5.  Speaking of recommendations that make you cry, I know that there are only 2 episodes left of This Is Us season one BUT if you have not started watching...what a perfect time to catch up!  Especially since they were renewed for 2 more seasons so far.

6.  And a not so fun update...that norovirus is no joke.  I tested positive for strep over the weekend and then was hit with the brick (or many bricks) that is the norovirus on Tuesday night.  If I never  see another toilet or trashcan again...I'll be set.

7.  Last but not least, the next big thing coming up is Ryan getting to experience the second most important kiss of his life (according to him)...he gets to kiss the cup in Pittsburgh this weekend!  We are going to the winter classic game in Pittsburgh (if you are unfamiliar with hockey...it's an outdoor game)!  Here's a little throw back to us 3 years ago at my first NHL game (and another Pens winter classic)!

Have a great weekend!  LETS GO PENS!

MS

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I just want to take a second to share my two cents on valentine's day.  I absolutely love the holiday and a huge part of that comes from growing up in a house that always went above and beyond to celebrate holidays.  What I don't love, is the pressure I put on myself and my husband on holidays and birthdays to make the day perfect.  And with that pressure, usually comes some sort of tears. Like a normal, healthy, emotional sound person.


Honesty hour.  Last year, Valentine's Day was incredibly hard.  Ryan and I were struggling to find a healthy balance of school/work/personal time.  I had just moved to Washington DC the month before and Ryan was halfway through his LLM program while completing an externship.  And I was incredibly depressed (but did not realize at the time how bad it was).  For some very unfortunate reason, that came to a head literally on the metro ride on the way to our dinner date to celebrate.  It was a real special one (yup).  And the icing on top of the cake was definitely the fact that while we heatedly talked on the metro platform, a mouse was enjoying a meal right next to us. 

So, this year, I just wanted to spend an evening celebrating our happiness.  In the past year, I have come to love where we live.  We have found the balance between work and home life.  (And neither of us our students...FINALLY).  We spoiled each other with treats during the day and had planned to go to our favorite local pizza place and a movie afterwards.  In true Ryan and Megan fashion, after a few champagne cocktails at dinner we decided to ditch the movie and lay in bed eating the cookie cake Ryan had sent that day and watch TV.  (Side note: while the cookie cake is a great idea in theory as opposed to flowers--if you have no control around food, do not ask your husband to send you one)!

My favorite part of the date was obviously every part because I am a big ball of cheese.  But, if I had to pick one moment, it was definitely when Ryan was reading my card.  A couple of weeks ago I bought him ice cream...and then ate it (see what I meant about self control?) and he was hilariously unhappy.  So in the card, I mentioned that I loved his patience when I did things like eat his ice cream...he then said that I still hadn't gotten him any as he read the card.  WELL total win for me.  The P.S. of the card read "check the freezer" and he couldn't believe it.  That was the moment he then told me that I "won" Valentine's Day.  (That is not what the holiday is about--but I was proud of myself for making him so incredibly happy).

Incredibly long story short, everyday of my life in the past 5 years has been about showing and sharing love with Ryan.  And I will always take advantage of a day to show just a little more love than normal.  And I am slowly working on reducing some of that holiday pressure.


MS

Sunday Recipe: Honey Sriracha Chicken

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hey guys! I thought if I titled this post something that sounded "weekly" I would maybe succeed in theme posts on certain days.  But, I am not hopeful so you shouldn't be either---anyways!  This past week I made Ryan's favorite recipe for dinner and thought it was a perfect opportunity to share the recipe with my readers (or in reality: I wanted to post this and in turn Ryan got to have his favorite dinner after I photographed it).  For some reason, I always tell myself this recipe is really daunting and difficult, but that's definitely only because I messed it up the first time I made it.  It is easy and delicious.  The flavor is amazing and it is such a nice alternative to ordering in chinese food and having an upset stomach for hours.

I found this recipe back when we still lived in Milwaukee somewhere on Pinterest, but can no longer find the link.  Other than this being Ryan's favorite, my favorite thing about this chicken is that once you buy all of the ingredients (and I'm sure you'll have most of them already) the only thing you need to restock to make it again is the chicken.
Honey Sriracha Chicken
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (or a very hungry Meg and Ryan)

3-4 diced chicken breasts
1/3 C cornstarch
1 C water
2-3 T sriracha
5 T soy sauce
1 T minced garlic
1/4 c sugar
2-3 T honey
2 T cornstarch
2 T cold water

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and honey.  Stir.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Whisk together two tablespoons of cornstarch and remaining water until dissolved.  Add to saucepan and stir until thickened.  Reduce heat to low.

Add diced chicken and 1/3 cup of cornstarch to a large plastic bag.  Seal the bag and shake to coat chicken.  Drizzle a large pan with oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and saute until browned and chicken is cooked through.  Add sauce and stir to coat.  Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and serve over warm rice.


Enjoy!

MS
 
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