Sunday, January 29, 2012

working woman


Yes I know, it's blurry.
But husband isn't a professional photographer,
and my point and shoot isn't a professional camera.


Wednesday I went back to work. (Though I didn't capture Thursday's uniform, it was a pretty teal top with dark skinnies and my very favorite wedding boots.) Same place, Nordstrom. Same department, Point of View. Same beautiful, wonderful women to work with. I thought I'd dread, no, I did dread going back to work, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I missed it. I work with really sweet, fun women, with really pretty clothes, and with super nice customers. My feet have not quite adjusted to standing all day, however. 

Yesterday I got off early, which resulted in date night with husband. 

Thanks, self-timer. Husband took me to Campobello, a little Italian restaurant around the corner. Italian. My favorite. It looked like a little whole in the wall from the outside, but was a quaint little Italian get-a-way inside with a super friendly waiter and incredible food. We spent the rest of the night laying in bed, reading aloud "Catching Fire" (the second book in the Hunger Game serious. I'm already on the third, but I've re-read the first and most of the second out loud to Stephen who has less time to read due to his studying...) eating chocolate covered strawberries. Yum. 

Today we skipped church. I know. Shame on us. I miss our church family. But it was my day off and the opportunity to be incredibly lazy took over me. Stephen woke me up by rubbing my back and kissing my cheek as the smell of pancakes wafting in from the kitchen. Seriously, he's amazing. So pancakes for breakfast and cereal for lunch. Half way through my new book. Our house has not been cleaned. I am not showered. And it's been wonderful. Though the laziness will end before our pizza making date with Stephen's brother and his wife. And even though I have to clean my house, I'm excited for the company :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

riddle me this

Why is Costco always so busy? Why are their carts so large and so hard to push? (Struggle city, Melissa, you shoulda seen me) And why are apples the only fruit in season in Alaska? ...Well? 

I always dread my Costco visits, though I always love the results... A full refrigerator, full cabinets, and a full and happy husband. I made the trip today to stock up before going back to work. Heaven forbid if Stephen had to fend for himself in the next week, he'll have something to eat ;) 

Tonight on the menu was a new recipe, as my New Year's resolution would suggest, "Pepperoni Pizza Puffs". I've tried something similar before and husband loved them! These, thankfully, were much simpler and just as yummy.

You will need...
-3/4 cup flour
-3/4 cup milk
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 cup shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella and Cheddar) (I also used 2 cups. As the Wall family knows, I'm married to "Cheese Man")
-1 large egg
-1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped/diced
-Salt/pepper to taste
-Italian seasoning

You will need to...
-Preheat over to 400 degrees
-Mix all ingredients but Italian seasoning in large bowl (I added corn and onions, about 1/3 cup of both combined. They would be good with peppers, olives, spinach... Just don't add too much, the "batter" should be slightly thinner than pancake batter)
-Grease muffin pan and scoop ingredients in
-Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top (I forgot this part)
-In a mini muffin pan, bake 10-12 minutes, in a large muffin pan bake 15-20 minutes
-Serve warm with a side of marinara or pesto sauce for dipping

And Enjoy! :) 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the week's end.

Compared to the almost daily posts of last week, I've been slacking. We've been spending some quality time with each other and some books...medical and non. To recap our weekend... Friday night was date night, as always. The activities commenced at 8:00, when Stephen got done studying. My choice. Which lead to cookies, counters, and cuddling. I sat on the counter, the two of us decked out in our pj's, while Stephen made our favorite cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip, before we cuddled on the coach watching UP. Very successful evening :)
Yes. I ate all of it. Let's be real. We didn't make cookie dough to make cookies.
Nerding it up.

Saturday brought a lazy, lovely morning. We slept in, read, and snuggled 'til we could no longer avoid medical school studying or grocery shopping. I think I got the better end. We found our way to Barnes and Noble so Stephen could study and I could wander the store and maybe find something to read. Last time we did this I found a baby name book and proceeded to go through the entire thing, A to Z for girls and boys, and write down in my phone each name I liked. No, we're not expecting. No, we're not expecting to be expecting for a long time. But I found it fun :) Stephen just found is scary. This time, though, I stumbled upon "The Hunger Games". I'd seen the movie preview only once, but have heard and seen (via Facebook and Pinterest) all my friends raving about it. They did this for Twilight, too, and that was a trap I did not fall into. Sparkly vampires and desperate little girls are not my thing. The movie preview looked good, though, so I gave it a shot. An hour later and one hundred pages in, I was hooked. It's finished now, reading so diligently that the dishes have been neglected. Which, I guess, is not an extremely rare occurrence in this household. I hate doing dishes. It has left me desperately awaiting the release of the movie, and even more desperately awaiting the release of book two! Twilight had no effect on me but this trap I have fallen into. Head first. 
Handsome husband.

And Sunday. The final day in our weekend before Stephen's crazy learn how to give an ear exam Monday and going back to work Wednesday. We went to church as we do every Sunday. We're beginning to feel more comfortable there and are definitely sure it's where we'll be 'til we move. It's called True North. This week was a little different, and ran a little longer, as he had volunteers get up and introduce themselves sharing a little something about them and their lives. The message today was on moving from proximity to community within a church. It's a smaller church, been around for about three years, and is really interested on getting involved in the community of Anchorage, but we can't do that until we know and trust each other. It was fun to get to meet new people! Lots of gun talk. Welcome to Alaska! After church they were hosting a volleyball game slash time at the local rec center. Once I heard 'volleyball' I knew Stephen was going whether I was with him or not. Now, I do not play volleyball. At all. After one attempt my sophomore year with Stephen and his friends... never again. That boy's got an effect on me, though. Before I knew it I was dressed and we were in the car. Freezing. Again, welcome to Alaska! In about five games I think I only touched the volleyball four times. Once, I caught it. Apparently a big 'no-no' in volleyball. Three times I touched it but not hard enough, or hard enough to hit it out of bounds. But once, just once, it was falling toward my head and not out of instinct to hit the ball but out of instinct to protect my face, I hit the ball... over the net. And then we scored.  It was a big moment for me. The rest of our Sunday has been spent on FaceTime with my family and with my face in that book! It's 8:00 now, though, which means Stephen's study time is coming to a close and I plan on getting in as many snuggles as I can before our busy week approaches.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

three things

Three things I am loving today...
1. Visiting my husband at school. Not for the amazing view from the third floor study room, or for the fact that it reminds me of how happy I am to NOT be in school... But because it makes me all the more proud of him. Seeing him in his, well, "element", reminds me of how hard he's worked to get there and how hard he is continuing to work for this. He's a smart one, that Stephen Wall. And he's all mine. 
2. My new red pants and floppy black hat. Though my outfit did more than stand out in a medical school building... They make me happy.
3. The fact that Stephen remembered something I said. Not that he doesn't do this often. But the little comments I make in the middle of a conversation with no relevance to the current subject at all such as stating, "I want to watch UP", while talking about housing next year in Seattle... They tend to be forgotten and looked over with a furrowed brow and "you're crazy" eyes before continuing talking about the actual subject at hand. Today, however, Stephen remembered the UP comment and it is now on his computer waiting for nightfall. That, I love. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And then there were brownies...

My New Year's resolution of spending more time in the kitchen is starting to kick in. I've had all sorts of free time on my hands before going back to work (hence all the blog posts), so I've spent it with an apron on. Our leftovers aren't getting eaten because there's something new on the stove and I'm pretty sure I've already gained a couple pounds from all the baked goods (not helping with the other New Year's resolution...) 
A blog I've been following for the past year or so (means a little somethin' somethin' to the husband and I) had THIS as it's post last week.... 
1,000 Awesome Things: #73: Foods that no one can eat gracefully. Thus, taco pizza...

Delicious? Yes. Messy? Yes. Though I did not take a picture of the aftermath, my sweatshirt needed to be washed and the floor needed to be swept. I'd been craving taco pizza for weeks. I used a dough recipe a friend gave me, and modeled the rest after Crystal's taco pizza she used to make in the sorority. Husband loved it. 
What a cutie. 

Pizza dough slash breadsticks
1 cup warm water
1 Tbl. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
Mix above ingredients into large bowl in that order. Knead for 7 minutes in KitchenAid mixer, or 10 minutes by hand. Let dough rise on sprayed pan for 20 minutes in warm oven. 
After, spread dough onto sprayed pan, pour 1-2 Tbl. olive oil, add toppings, bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees. 
I used pinto beans for taco pizza, my attempt at being healthy. 1 lb in the crock pot with some garlic powder, salt, and water, on low for 8 hours. Spread the beans on the dough, add grated cheese, then pop 'er in the oven! We use spinach 'round here, but lettuce, tomatoes, olives, corn (yes, corn), carrots (yes, carrots), onions, salsa, sour cream... you name it! Dig in!

Oh. And then there were brownies.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

As a birthday present, Stephen bought tickets to Broadway's Beauty and the Beast way back in November. Whitney also got the tickets as a birthday present from her hubby! And Amanda and Ben didn't want to miss out on the fun, so they went just because :) ...Date night!
As my mother would say, "It was SO fun!" Considering the fact that Stephen lives inside the science building with either a book or cadaver under his nose, we don't get the opportunity to get dressed up and go out much. And oh how I love dressing up! I wore the new fuzzy jacket my mom and dad got me for Christmas. It was a hit :)
The weather was cold, but the play was amazing! We had incredible seats (thanks, husband!) with the perfect view of the stage! Live orchestra, too! The music was beautiful! (Amazing, incredible, perfect... How many different adjectives can Allison use in one post...) (Yes, I just referred to myself in third person) Gaston was my favorite character. Yes, the bad guy. He looked and sounded just like him! Yes, the cartoon. He was hilarious, too! Him and his little comrade, Le Fou, were definitely the hit, cracking the whole audience up. Though they could never take away from Belle and that yellow dress! (If only I could have taken pictures!) Or the "Be Our Guest" scene! Dancing plates and all! I felt like a little kid and a sophisticated adult all in one night! 
Husband did good :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday means...

Sunday means granola. 
Fresh out of the oven, 
yummy and warm granola.

This is Stephen's recipe. 
Stephen's very own recipe.
He's been making it for me since we were dating.  
It's my favorite in a bowl of milk, his favorite with yogurt and fruit.

It's about every Sunday that we need a new batch,but I don't mind making it one bit.
It's super easy and makes our home smell super lovely :)

Yummiest Granola Recipe...
5 cups oats
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup craisins
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325.
Pour oats in 9x13 pan, and "toast" in oven while mixing ingredients.
Mix oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla in large mixing bowl.
Add toasted oats; coat.
Add craisins and almonds; stir.

Bake for 20 minutes,
stirring granola after 10. 
Let cool and enjoy!

Sunday also means church,
and new birthday clothes. 
Well, this Sunday it does.
After my Friday day date
with the girls, I found 
myself at the mall.

I do that often.

Stephen and I were happy to be back at church this morning. We'd missed it last week due to returning from Belize slash starting school on Monday chaos. 
The message today was very humbling, and I enter the week praying I have the eyes and the heart to focus on what really matters; leaving the "little things", all those "objects", alone, and pouring myself into myself and my husband and my God. 

Happy Sunday, all.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Birthday girl!

That's me! 
Well, was me. My birthday is officially over. But I squeezed in as many "because it's my birthday" excuses as I could while it still counted. A happy birthday it was, though! 
Husband brought me breakfast in bed (my favorite cereal with a candle in it) singing 'happy birthday'... What better way to start my day? We made carrot cake together; my all time favorite. From scratch Nana's was delicious! He's been making it for three years now every birthday :) And then we proceeded to the living room floor where we played three rounds of a new card game momma sent me (we love games in the Wall household). There was screaming and slapping (the ground, not each other) and lots of laughter. I won :)
Stephen had school, but he was sweet enough not to look at a book for the rest of the day. I treated myself to a very long, very hot shower and then brought him bagel sandwiches for lunch. We ate them in the third floor study room that has a perfect and beautiful view of the city which was, at the time, under attack by snow. 80 inches and another foot and half on it's way. This is the most snow Anchorage has seen since 1994. Just for my birthday. 
Had myself a Skype date with Erica and Melissa until my computer went kaput. Always love seeing their beautiful faces! It was a birthday treat to sit and talk and swap stories. 
When I picked husband up from school he took me shopping, my birthday surprise! Picked me out two very cute and cozy sweaters :) 
Opened presents from my parents when we got home (thanks momma and daddy!) and spent some time on the phone with them. 
And again with the food... (all my favorites in one day!) Stephen made me dinner... Banana chocolate chips pancakes and smoothies. Per my request :) I didn't clean a single dish all day, either. Husband did good. 
We cuddled and read our nerd book until our friends came over for cake. We got to see sweet baby Natalie and all 'oo' and 'aww' over how stinkin' cute she is. Hadn't seen the Heads or Andersons since we left for Christmas break, so it served as some much needed catch up :) 

I had a wonderful 22nd birthday and am so grateful for the friends and family that made it so. I am looking forward to the next year and all that it may bring!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cheers to a new year!

Happy January 11th!
Our six month-iversary! 

I can't believe it's already been six months!
Though it feels like longer...
In the best way possible :)
2011 has come to an end,
and what a fantastic year it has been!

This time last year...
Stephen moved to Oregon to be with me.
(I know, he seriously is the greatest)
I turned 21,
(Tomorrow's my birthday!)
and I began my last winter term at Oregon State. 
Though we'd taken many road trips together, 
Stephen and I took our first flight together 
during Spring Break when we 
went to Alabama to meet his family. 
Stephen turned 23 in March, 
I started my last term at OSU,
and I got to celebrate Mom's Weekend 
with BOTH my mommas! 
All of a sudden I was graduating
starting my internship,
and entering the real world. 
Exactly a month after graduation
Stephen and I got married. 
The best part of July,
the best part of 2011,
the best part of my life :)
And exactly a month after that, 
we moved to Alaska!
(After a wonderful road trip experience with Erica to Idaho!)
Our first apartment,
our first car,
my first time in Anchorage...
Stephen started medical school 
and I started work...
We became an aunt and uncle 
when our sweet nephew, Triston, was born!
My parents came to Alaska
("So fun!")
and we went to Idaho...
I spent my first Christmas with the Wall family,
and we brought the new year in, in Belize


Now how about 2012...
Watched the first sunrise of the year 
from a pier in Belize over clear blue water,
Stephen started his second term of medical school,
I turn 22 tomorrow,
(Woo hoo!)
and I'm most likely getting my wisdom teeth 
pulled out in the next week or so.
Our niece is due in March
(Can't wait to meet baby Harper!)
and Stephen will celebrate his 24th year of life. 
May brings the end of Stephen's first year of medical school!
We're going to spend the month of June 
living in a Native Alaskan village,
(Crazy, right!?)
hopefully spend the month of July in Alabama,
and move to Seattle in August
where Stephen will start his second year of school!

The rest, and all the in betweens are left up to God...
Which is how it should be :)

So what do I plan to accomplish in the year 2012?
Other than make it through this summer 
with my mind and all our possessions in tact...
1. Strengthen my relationship with God. Something I will always be striving for because I will never be perfect. I aim to pray more; pray constantly. Trust more, share more, love more... I want to improve myself in many ways and He is the only way. Without Him, numbers 2, 3, and 4 are impossible.
2. Be healthy. Mind and body. I want to read more. Books, newspapers, you name it. Stephen's going to be in school for the next hundred years, might as well join in on the 'never stop learning' adventure. I want to be more aware of what I'm putting into my body. Though I will never abandon my love for chocolate and sweets, everything in moderation, right? I want to learn new recipes and spend more time in the kitchen. I also want to spend more time at the gym. I don't want to be skinny, I don't want to be ripped, I just want to be healthy. 
3. Be loving. To my husband, my family, my friends... I want to keep better contact with old friends, and friends out of state. I want to be an amazing aunt to Triston and Harper, be their friends and be there to watch them grow up. I want to be a better sister and a better daughter, always showing my gratefulness to have such incredible people in my life. And I want to be a better wife, loving my husband in any way I can. Medical school isn't easy, and neither is being the wife of a medical student! I want to be supportive of Stephen and his goals and live up to the promises in our vows. I want the loved ones in my life to be proud I am their friend, daughter, sister, aunt, wife...
4. Go on more adventures. Even if just in my own back yard. I want to seize every opportunity and moment to do something new and learn something new. I want to get up every morning, shower and actually get dressed! (Why waste a closet full of cute clothes on a pair of sweatpants!) I want to be motivated and accomplished. I want to face my fears. I want to say yes more than I say no. I want to have FUN.

Happy 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Belize bound, baby!
(I'm always trying to come up with 
intriguing and quirky blog titles. 
I should probably just give up.)

After an amazing Christmas break 
Stephen and I headed to BELIZE with his parents! 
How lucky/blessed/grateful are we?!

It was a long trek getting there,
four planes and 24 hours, 
(did I mention I hate flying?)
but totally worth it! 

We rented a house right on the beach 
just south of San Pedro 
on the island of Ambergris Caye. 
It was around 2:00 pm when we got there, 
We did nothing but walk the beach, 
bask in the sun, 
and watch the sunset from the rooftop. 
Casa Escalante where we stayed!
On the roof!

our second day we ventured out of 
the quirky Casa Escalante 
to explore the town of San Pedro!
Lots of grocery stores!
Neat atmosphere and super nice people!
The streets are busy with vans (taxis) and golf carts
ignoring pedestrians and speed bumps. 
Christmas decorations everywhere, too! 
The city lays alongside the ocean 
so we never lost sight of the shore :)

Many of our days, like this one, 
consisted of volleyball in the front yard,
napping in the hammocks, 
laying out on the pier,
and walking the beach. 

We also ate.
A lot. 
And rated every restaurant we went to. 
If you're ever on the island,
Fido's and Ramon's. 
They won. 

We made some friends, too!
These two local boys wandered past our house while we were outside and tried selling us necklaces and such. We kindly declined but they kept hanging out, finally bringing attention to the volleyball Stephen and Sherri were playing with. Stephen asked them if they wanted to join and they dropped their bags and started right in! After volleyball it was soccer with Stephen and Jeff. Sherri and I each bought something from them when they were done :) We thought it would be nice to have something to remember them by!

That night we had dinner at Ali Baba's! 
Jon nicknamed me that when we 
first met and the nickname stuck. 
(Said with an Indian accent, of course.)
We drove past the restaurant while touring the town 
the previous day and couldn't resist! 
We yelled "Ali Baba's!" out the golf cart 
every time we drove past for the rest of our stay!

Another beautiful morning...

Cannonball contest off the pier...

 Lunch on the beach...

And more friends!
These guys helped Stephen and I build 
sand castles before a game of soccer :)

And before we knew it, 
it was New Year's Eve!
We ventured downtown for drinks, pizza, 
and we were hoping some dancing!
Unfortunately, the clubs in San Pedro didn't open 'til 11:00 pm that night (normally not 'til midnight!) and us old married people just couldn't hack it! Getting up early to watch the sunrise doesn't allow you to stay up late to dance the night away. The town was poppin' though! Still all decked out for Christmas, lots of music and people. 
Stephen and I ended the night in bed 
reading the third book in the Inheritance Cycle :)
Yes, we're nerds.
And yes, I love it :)
I couldn't have pictured 
a better way 
to bring in the new year!
(Snuggled in bed with my sweetie... 
It seriously doesn't get better!)

And the first thing we did in 2012?!
Watch an incredible sunrise from the pier. 
Sitting with your amazing husband,
in Belize
watching a stunning sunrise...
Can't help but feel God's love :)

That day we piled in the golf cart 
and set off to explore the island north of San Pedro!
We found a lot of bumpy dirt roads,
gorgeous resorts, and the Palapa! 
A bar on a pier that is covered in guests' artwork!
We left our mark :)

On our way home we got caught in a rain storm!
With no windshield, doors, 
or windows on the golf cart!
It was the coldest, wettest, funniest part of the trip!

Despite the rain that followed the next few days
(yes, we got caught in more than one rain storm in the golf cart!)
we made plenty of trips into town, 
had many walks on the beach, 
and read numerous chapters in our book :)

And we went fishing!
Something I do not have the patience for!
(I went fishing in Alaska with Stephen and Same once... I fell asleep for the better half of the trip on the floor of the boat. I did catch the only fish, though! ...Poor Herman.)
Instead of fish though, 
we were catching crabs!
Not on purpose, 
but I was sure entertained!
Yes, I look like a turtle.
After fishing reading :)

We did some exploring south of town, too...

It was a super nice day,
so we made sure to get in plenty of sun time...

The next day we got the opportunity 
to go spear fishing
Or sit in the boat, bask in the sun, 
fish, and stare at the waves like I did. 
Three local boys took us out on their boat and let Stephen and Jeff use their spears to hunt fish! Such a cool thing! Takes so much endurance...swimming out, using the spear (It's somewhat of a sling shot, pulling back two rubber cords. They made them themselves!), then diving down to get the spear, and hopefully the fish, too! Sherri and I fished from the boat (I caught the first fish of the day!) when the boys were out. We caught lots of fish, saw a 5 foot barracuda, so many giant sting rays, dolphins!, and the reef! (The second largest great barrier reef!) All in all, successful outing :)

After our spearfishing adventure, 
Stephen took me on a date :)
 What a lucky girl am I to have such a loving husband :)
Every day I find myself falling more and more in love...

And the next day...
(I feel like this might be the longest blog post ever!)
Was another beautiful day...
And our last full one!
Had smoothies in the morning while laying out :)
We took the ferry to Belize City to venture around!
It turned out to not be too impressive, we love the island much more!
But we had fun exploring and enjoying the sunshine :)
Got all ready for my (early) birthday dinner!
Got these beautiful earrings from Jeff and Sherri!
And danced the night away at a bar on the beach!
Can't beat that! :)

And then...
with our tan lines and memories,
we left. 

The trip was incredible.
(I forgot to mention the snorkeling! I didn't get any pictures, but we saw so many beautiful fish! Dory, included! :) Sharks, rays, barracuda, groupers, gorgeous coral... Ahh! It was amazing!)
There truly aren't words.
It was gorgeous and quirky and FUN!
I loved the opportunity to spend 
so much time with Stephen's parents, too! 
Jeff and Sherri are so loving...
we are so lucky! 
for the amazing adventure!
Maybe we can go back sometime 
and get you some snacks, Sherri?! ;)
We love you!