{Celebrating Adair}

Sorry I haven't blogged as of late.  I have been fighting the same cold I was fighting in my last two posts.  I have read my fair share of articles about sinus allergies, sinus infections, the common cold and how to treat them, and I have decided to wait it out.   That's right, I decided to stick it to the man, whoever he may be, and wait out this nagging sinus nuisance, let it run it's course naturally, and avoid antibiotics.  I am not going totally hippie on y'all and telling you I'm brewing my own home remedies, though I have had a warm glass of water and honey each morning, but I just didn't want to use antibiotics this time.  They can cause all sorts of problems, and with the anniversary quickly approaching, there's one problem I can think of particularly that I wanted to avoid being an issue. ;)

Luckily, my sweet husband has been patient as I cough promptly every 30 sections.  I've been waking up in the middle of the night pretty consistently as a result of the coughing, and I'll make my way to the couch.  I know some of you are thinking, "What the heck?!  Her husband should go sleep on the couch.  She's not feeling good.  She needs good rest."  Thank you, thank you for your being so supportive of my needs, but I actually have chosen to  making this nightly trip to the couch for 1 of 2 reasons.

First and foremost, while we both need a good night sleep there is no sense in both of us not getting one.  I can sleep just about anywhere thanks to the good ole' days of floor pallets, and figure if I'm going to keep coughing up a storm I don't want to wake Ry up in the process either frustrating him and/or ruining his consecutive hours of sleep.  Not sure why, but it always makes me feel good to think that I'm doing something kind by not waking him up.  Lately, he's said numerous times, "Why do you keep leaving in the middle of the night?  I don't like it.  You're my wife."  I explained my reasoning, but he still didn't care for it.  What a cutie.  Secondly, the couch has actually proved to be a source of aid in helping me sleep.  Propping my head up a bit more has helped me sleep through the annoying cold.

So basically, I've been doing a little of this and a lot of coughing.  #lame

So, that's where I've been lately.  In trying to finish up the 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband post, and wanting to post about the delicious Homemade Chicken and Dumpling Recipe I made, I haven't even gotten to post about my sweet bestie Adair's Dallas Bachelorette Extravaganza!


While I'm certain this has quickly become the picture people instantly see when they hear "Bachelorette Party" or "Bridesmaid", like the movie the weekend was pretty epic, especially because the besties were reunited!  #MAPTinaction <-- is this catching on yet?  Maybe it's like fetch...


I had been looking forward to this weekend for such a long time, and while I won't go into the details, words cannot describe how much these girls mean to me and what a blast I have with them.  It was also a wonderful blessing to catch up with so many Baylor friends and Chi Omega sisters!  Adair's lingerie shower consisted of so many great girls that I have nothing but glowing things to say about.  Baylor girls pretty much rock. ;)  So, instead of going over every gruesome detail, how about a few words, or 50, about the epic weekend fun...

Paige.  Megan.  Running late.  House tour.  Nothpark.  Shopping.  Giggling like school girls.  Raunchy.  Le Duni.  Sangria.  Forgotten party needs.  Airport.  No nonsense Love Field cop.  Adair searching.  Adair finding. Shouting.  Cheering.  Happy dancing.  Losing voice.  Zaza.  Macho Man.  Room for 5.  Party of 7.  Hungry bride.  Sfuzzi.  2 am pizza and drinks.  Back to Naborshood.  Zzzzz.  Alarm.  Snooze.  COFFEE.  Prettifying.  Carpool.  Bridesmaids.  Mecca brunch.  Giant cinnamon rolls.  More coffee.  Baylor - Sic'Em.  Lost voice.  Cake.  Trailer Cakes.  Liquor Store.  Lingerie shower.  Bow Chicka Wow Wow.  Menu Creation.  Champagne and lemonade.  Talking, talking, talking.  Inflating.  Memories.  Laughing.  Phone call with Mama Freeman.  Doddling.  Showers.  Awesome hairdryer.  Hawaiian Nail Bar.  Pushy Asian ladies.  "Get gel."  PiƱa coladas.  Margaritas.  Strawberry Daiquiris.  Beautiful nail.  Zaza.  Girls in black dresses.  Paige's 6 inch heels.  Tiara.  Veil.  Sash.  Dragonfly.  Restaurant week debacle.  Yum.  Ab cake.  Shocked Adair.  Fire.  Sparklers.  Delicious.  Pregame.  Uptown.  Heels ouch.  Black Friar.  Hairy man.  Dip shot.  Pick up Adair 1.  Booth.  Crazy dancing couple.  Shots!  The Den.  Dance.  Dance.  Dance.  Dance.  Pick up Adair 2, 3, 4, 5.  Shots.  Shots.  Shots.  Adelaide leaves for Zaza.  Dance.  Dance.  Glow necklaces.  Neon.  Michelob Ultra.  Malibu and Sprite.  Bathroom attendant.  "Dang girl, you gorgeous!"  Green Grocery man.  Shots.  Old friends.  Discovery Adelaide missing.  Texting.  Located.  Idle Rich Pub.  Shots.  Free Cider.  High school friend.  Attempt to set friend up with Paige.  Fail.  Too short.  Pictures.  Business card.  "We're closing, ladies."  Zaza with extra person.  Deflating.  Laughing.  Giggling.  Secrets.  Fess.  Popcorn.  No voice.  Nighty night. Blackout curtains.  Snoozefest.  10 am wakeup call.  Room cleanup.  Tiiiiired.  Original House of Pancakes.  COFFEE.  Girl talk.  Pecan pancakes.  Crepes.  Tight hugs.  Mentions of 4 weeks.  Joy.  Love.  Departure.  Lost credit card.  Canceled credit card.  Naborshood.  Husband.  Border collie introduction.  Bye.  BEST. WEEKEND. FA. SHO.

A Couple Photos:

Giant cinnamon roll at The Mecca
Mecca cinnamon roll - gigantic!
Lingerie Shower
Ab Cake
Sparklers!
Ridiculousness
Love
My girls!  BESTIES <3
I can't wait to celebrate with Adair and these girls more in just 2 short weeks!  Time has certainly flown.  Adair and Justin, Ryan and I wish you a lifetime of happiness, adventure, and seeking the LORD together.  We cannot wait to watch you grow and partner alongside you in your marriage.  We love you both, and are so thankful for you.  Adair, I love you so much.  Thank you for your constant friendship, your patience and kindness, and for being the most thoughtful person I have ever met.  You are a gem, and one of a kind!  2 weeks y'all!  

NASHVILLE!!!!!

{Homemade Chicken & Dumplings}


Happy Thursday, friends!  For the NewlyNabors that means kickball with our killer team Racks & Sacks. (Don't hate our awesome team name.  We're unstoppable!  Last season we were undefeated and won the Championship!  That's two, count 'em 1-2 baby, Championships the Nabors have helped win (we just won a softball championship two weeks ago)!!  Woot woot!)  Hope you guys have a wonderful Thursday festivus planned!  Thursday's almost Friday, so why not celebrate right?


Hubs and me after our kickball game last Thursday night.
Softball Champions!
Numero Uno 
Ryan has a thing for Chicken & Dumplings.  He's not picky about them, likes the dumplings flat and noodle like, and the big fluffy dumplings, but every time we go to Cracker Barrel, which isn't often, he order Chicken & Dumplings with a side of dumplings.  Yep, you heard me right -- a side of dumplings.  That's my man. ;)

Obviously I've been on the hunt for a Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumpling recipe since I found out. A co-worker had a baby recently and we're taking her family dinner next week and I wanted to make them something homey and delicious.  As I was going through my pins on Pinterest I stumbled across a Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumpling recipe I have yet made and thought it would be perfect!

Since we're taking this sweet family food I didn't want their night to be the first time I had ever made this, so Monday evening I had my Dad and Aunt over for Chicken & Dumplings.  I found the recipe off of the Eat, Live, Run website, and it is a for sure winner!  You can get the recipe here or find it at the end of this post.

So, this recipe is actually pretty easy.  If you're like me, after a long work day, and likely a work out, the last thing you want to do is go home and prepare a gourmet meal.  For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Milk, a bit less than a full cup
  • 2 quarts Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Cooked Chicken
I am a huge fan of Rotisserie Chicken.  They are so tasty!  They are seasoned, hot, and ready to go, so I often pick one up on my way home from work or the gym and pull it apart for dinner.  It's also great for any meals that call for cooked chicken, or if you simply don't have the time to cook chicken.  For this recipe, I picked up a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken from our local grocery store and pulled the meat off the bones.  During this process the chicken naturally shredded a little bit, but since you need your chicken shredded for this recipe anyway, I pulled the pieces apart after I pulled them off the bones.  The recipe only calls for three cups of chicken, and now that I'm thinking about it, I didn't even measure.  I pulled as much chicken off the rotisserie chicken as I could manage and put all of it the pot.  (Too much chicken is never a bad thing, right?  It didn't seem to be!)

In a mixing bowl, I combined the flour, baking powder and salt.  The recipe then tells you to cut the butter into the recipe with a fork or pastry blender, but I softened the butter in the microwave a little before I mixed it in and it seemed to blend just fine.

Shred chicken and set aside. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.  Warm butter for easy blending and add to the dry ingredients.
I then added the milk to the mixture and mixed it with a fork until it became doughy.  I folded the milk in a little at a time and it seemed to form a dough quickly and easily.

Add milk and mix with a fork until the mixture becomes doughy.
While you're preparing your dumplings, put your broth in a large pan and bring to a boil.  The process for making dumplings takes about 10 minutes and should allow your broth to boil during that time.

I brought out the largest cutting board we had registered and received for a wedding gift and added flour to the board.  I skipped over the part of the recipe where it said to heavily flour the space, but quickly adjusted when the dough started sticking to the cutting board, rolling pin, my hands, etc.  Heavily flour, people, heavily flour.

This is my preconceived understanding of a "heavily floured" work space.  Heavily flour your work space, rolling pin, and hands.  About 2x this would be good.
Nearby, set aside a well floured plate to place your finished dumplings on.  My jumbo sized cutting board wasn't enough space for all of the dumpling dough, so I ended up taking chunks of the dough at a time and working with that.  You'll want to roll the dough out thinly, but not so thin that it tears when you pick it up.  after you've rolled your dough out, use a pizza cutter to cut 2"x2" (they don't have to be precise - in fact, I'm fairly certain that my dumplings that were not exactly 2"x2" were tastier. Just kidding, but use the 2"x2" as a guideline).

Take chunks of dough and roll them thin.  Using a pizza cutter, cut 2"x2" squares or whatever you're comfortable with.  (Clearly all of mine were not 2"x2".)
The recipe recommends using a floured spatula to transfer the cut dumplings to your floured plate, but I found picking them up with my fingers was just as effective and perhaps faster.  After each round of adding dumplings to the plate, lightly sprinkle some extra flour on them.  They will help the next layer to keep from sticking to them, and the added flour will help thicken our broth later.

Now aren't those the cutest dumplings you've ever seen?  (Also, yes those are Texas plates.  It's okay to be jealous.)
When your broth is at a boil, which it should be by the time you're done with your dumpling making, drop the dumplings in one at a time stirring while you add.  Towards the end I got fairly tired of stirring, instead dropping in about 5 dumplings individually and then stirring.  It seemed to work just fine!

My little Sous Chef, Oakley Mae.
I then cooked the dumplings for about 15-20 minutes, testing one to make sure it wasn't too doughy.  They were scrumptious!  After your dumplings are done cooking, add in your shredded chicken, some salt and pepper to taste, and serve!


The final product served with ceasar salad.

The recipe was a huge success and we only had enough left over for 1 bowl for Ryan's lunch!  I served 4, and two people had second helpings, so there was definitely plenty.  I've always grown up with my mom adding carrots and celery to our Chicken & Dumplings so I might try adding, after the dumplings have cooked for 15 minutes, a cup and a half each of chopped carrots and celery along with the chicken for some added veggies.  If your family prefers the fluffy dumplings as opposed to the flat noodle-like dumplings, forgo to the rolling pin and cutting board and simply grab small clumps of dough in your hand and throw them individually in to the boiling broth.  This will give you those fluffy doughy dumplings which are always great too.
Have any home cooked favorites you want me to try?  Send me a link in the comments section!


What goes best with Chicken & Dumplings?  Flowers for the chef!  I was spoiled rotten since my husband came home with the gorgeous, sunny bouquet on the left, and my Dad showed up with four beautiful pink roses!  Flowers bring me vast amounts of joy. 

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Milk, a bit less than a full cup
  • 2 quarts Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Cooked Chicken
Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Briefly warm butter and add into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.
2. Stir in the milk, a little at a time, until the mixture becomes doughy.
3. Pour your broth in a large pan and bring to a boil while you make your dumplings.
4. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter.
5. Roll chunks of the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″.
6. Transfer the cut dumplings to your floured plate.Keep flouring between the layers of dumplings (this will keep them from sticking together and the extra flour will help thicken the broth).
7. Once broth is boiling, drop dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and you’re done!

Bon Appetit!

{Collie Class: Things the Border Collies are Teaching Me - Little Sisters are the Best!}

For the past 2 1/2, almost 3, weeks, my sweet little seester has been living with Ry and me.  I will admit that I had reservations about how we would get along given the arguments that used to ensue, but for the past year I've felt like our relationship is exponentially better than it ever was in high school, so I was actually looking forward to her moving in.  I believe that her being in college, my getting married and getting settled into being an adult, and the mutual respect we sort of have for one another has played a big role in where our relationship is today.

[Husband Brag Moment: I just want to take a minute to brag about my sweet husband.  Several months ago, our family went through some rather large changes, and in the midst of that Ryan immediately offered my sister our home as an option for however long and whenever she wanted to stay with us.  That day, my admiration and respect for my husband grew quite a bit, and I understood the compassion for and ownership he took over my sister.  He claimed her as his sister, and that warmed my heart to no end. #cheesywifecomments]

Anyway, I'm sure you're wondering where those goobers of border collies come in to play.  This week, it wasn't so much a lesson that they taught me, but something I noticed in their behavior and some similarities to mine and Twink's.
{Seesters}

Jetta Belle is our older seester, aka me, in this relationship, and obviously Oakley Mae and Twink are the little seesters.  Jetta Belle was an only child for the first 10 months of our marriage, and since we got her immediately after we got married, we've all sort of been on this journey together.  I don't remember much about my younger years, but based on my personality, I can assume that I didn't totally hate being the only child.  Like Jetta, I imagine I felt lonely at times not having any siblings to play with, but I was my parent's first born and it was new for them too.  I will admit, we spoil the heck out of our pups, but we spoiled Jetta Belle sooooo much when it was just her.  She's our first, and we love her with a love I have never known, and can only imagine is not anywhere close to the love I will have for our one day children.

Then came Oakley Mae.  As mentioned here, the girls took to one another immediately.  They look similar, act similar, walk similar, and on and on.  How could they not immediately love each other?  Oakley Mae wants to do everything her big sister does, and wants to learn from her.  While Tori has always had her unique interests, she has followed my footsteps quite a bit, too.  I don't say that to sound egotistical at all, it's just kind of the facts.  My older sister is significantly older than I am, and she lived in a different state when I was younger, so I didn't experience that with her.  I do know though, that it is nice to admire someone and want to do the things they do.

However, being the older sister and having someone or somepup new entered into your life can generate a bit of jealousy, which I definitely experienced.  I generally wanted to be the center of attention at home and would sometimes get annoyed of Tori when my parents would pay more attention to her.  Childish and stupid, I know, but give me a break, I'm only human, and I think I've grown quite a bit since those days.  Jetta Belle does this with Oakley too, obviously in a more animalistic nature.  For example, if I love on Oakley, Jetta comes up and starts nipping at her ears or legs, or whatever.

Despite the little bit of jealousy, I truly believe Jetta loves having Oakley as a constant in her life.  She's always there, which at times may be annoying, and she doesn't have to be alone even when we're gone.  They can go on adventures together, chase squirrels together, play biteface, wrestle, run, etc.  They are the best of friends.  Like Tori and I are now... well, I hope she considers us besties.  I certainly do.

So, sweet seester, thank you for living with us for the past few weeks, for accepting our home as yours, for feeling comfortable in it, for walking with me and the border collies each night, for helping me cook and clean after, for cleaning up several puppy accidents, for loving that puppy well even when she drove you bonkers, for watching Friends with me each night, for sharing your Cheezits, for eating Happy Tracks with me, and for loving me well through laughter, silliness, and good conversation.  I am so proud of the woman you have become, and for continuing to be yourself in a world that tells you to blend in.  Even though you're an Aggie, I couldn't love you any less than with my whole heart.  I love you to the moon and back, and we sincerely hope you'll come to the Naborshood again when you come back to Dallas.


 

#littleseestersarethebest
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