Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rachel's Visit

My sister got here on Tuesday night and we went to the $1 movies(a tradition for Allan, me, and some of our friends each Tuesday). We saw Black Swan which is in my Top 5 for Worst Movies I've Ever Seen. Not the best way to spend my night since Rachel didn't like it either. We did get to spend a couple hours with some wonderful friends I've been wanting Rachel to meet so that was nice!

This has not been the week for me and technology. My computer is acting up but thank goodness Matt is coming over tomorrow night to see what's going on with it. It started running slow on Tuesday for no reason and I'm afraid to touch anything for fear of deleting something important. Getting it to behave long enough to type this has taken 2 days!

We have done LOTS of shopping the past two days covering 24 stores and coming home with amazing finds and great deals on groceries on post. Meanwhile Allan has been in CA having a great time and learning a lot.

Pictures and more to come soon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend of Family Fun

On Friday Allan and I made the 90 minute trip south to Hoover to spend the weekend with his mom, two brothers, their wives, and our nieces. A few hours later Austin, Krista, and Brooklyn arrived from North Carolina. Brooklyn was supposed to go back to sleep but decided that wasn't what she wanted to do. Too many fun people to play with and that white thing (the dog) was still here from last time. Allan played with her on the floor for awhile until she got sleepy again and was ready to go to bed.

Allan playing with Brooklyn and the dog

Saturday morning was filled with Mommy Westenhofer (or Mimi as the granddaughters will be calling her) making waffles. Allan even held Brooklyn while Austin was eating and Krista was getting ready.

Allan holding Brooklyn at the table

We had a fun-filled day on Saturday with all nine of us getting to spend a few hours together in the morning and then all evening. I'm so lucky to have three sisters now and two beautiful little nieces!

Jodi holding Brooklyn and Krista holding Ali (Brooklyn is Austin and Krista's daughter and Ali is Adam and Jodi's daughter)

Margie treated all of us to dinner at Iguana Grill where Austin and Allan split this giant stone pot of meat. It had two steaks, two pork chops, cactus, jalapenos, onion, and other stuff. It came with two plates of beans and rice and 8 taco shells. No surprise, Austin and Allan ate all of it. Meanwhile I enjoyed my usual soft tacos.

The stone pot of meat, cactus, onion, and jalapenos (the green triangle looking thing is cactus)

Reference to show how big the stone pot is and how much came with it

Within 30 minutes of arriving home we were in need of chocolate, ice cream, and soft drinks so off we went to Bruno's. A pan of brownies, 3 cartons of ice cream, 3 bags of chocolate, and Hershey's syrup were combined to make some interesting desserts. I felt that surely mixed with the Mexican food would be a disaster for someone but luckily no one got "poopy sick" (a term I came up with years ago as a nicer way of saying diarrhea) and everyone went to bed happy.

On Sunday morning we got ready to go to church for Ali's blessing and while Austin and Krista were getting ready Allan and I were watching Brooklyn and took a few pictures.

Allan and Brooklyn

Suzanne and Brooklyn

After church we said goodbye to Adam, Jodi, and Ali and came home to get ready to leave. We loaded up Austin, Krista, and Brooklyn's stuff and said goodbye to them. Then Allan and I had to get ready to leave so I could drop him off at the airport. He's going to be in CA all week for a conference. Then it was just me headed back home to the dogs who were excited to see me. Lucky was crying as soon as I got out of the car and when I opened the garage to let them out (big thank you to RJ for taking care of them while we were gone) I discovered not everyone made it through the weekend without getting "poopy sick". Poor Lucky!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fantasy Baseball, Great Deals, Bad Keys, and Knife Throwing

Well, we did our fantasy baseball draft tonight and while people we on auto draft Allan and I were not. My only concern was picking Josh Hamilton first. Then I thought about Chipper Jones and had to get him on my team too. From that point on my picking strategy was based on the small picture of their face that I could see and whether or not I thought they were cute. Allan was a lot more serious about his team (Fantasy Fielders) than I was about mine (Moooove Over Boys). This means Allan and all the other guys that picked based on how good everyone is supposed to be will probably beat me.

On a more exciting note, I got a year subscription to Cosmopolitan for crazy cheap. If you want a year subscription for $8 follow the link:

On an unhappy note, I had to drive Allan's car today with the key that is mostly stripped and only works sometimes. When I got ready to come back home it decided not to work and I had to wait for Allan to bring the other key. Meanwhile the seven year old that I keep in the afternoons came outside and wanted an explanation of what was wrong with the key, why it didn't work, if Allan could fix it, how long would it take Allan to get there, did he have Sasha with them, and did I want to play football. That's pretty much one complete thought for him and it all spills out in a series of questions and statements and I can't help but smile. When I got home and went into the backyard to play with the dogs I noticed the loud sounds coming from our neighbors and a few minutes later a knife sails over the fence plunging into the ground. Three teenage boys pop up on top of the fence and ask if I could pass it back to them. This happened again before I took the dogs into the garage safe from flying knives. When I told Allan about it you would think that the worst case scenario (one of the dogs getting stabbed) had actually happened. He couldn't understand why I gave them the knives back and why I didn't yell at them. After dealing with other people's issues for two years at the bank and being yelled at for anything and everything I will not be handling neighbor relations. That's Allan's job.

Long story short, it's been quite a Thursday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of Us

Today I feel like having some fun so I'm going to walk you guys through a typical day for Allan and a typical day for me.

7:30-8:00-wake up and get ready for work
8:15-eat breakfast and watch Sportscenter
8:30-8:45-leave for work
9:00-5:00 or later-at work (15 min lunch is squeezed in there somewhere)
5:15-6:15-workout (they have a gym at work so he works out there 3-4 nights a week)
6:30-6:45-run at the community center
7:00-8:00-wind down, eat dinner, watch tv, play video games
8:00-11:00-shower, watch a movie or tv while looking at other things for work, possibly more video games
11:00 or later (usually later)-go to sleep

7:45-8:30-wake up and check my words with friends, facebook, email, and the database for work
8:30-9:00-hang out with Allan before he leaves, possibly eat breakfast together, start the coffee
9:00-9:30-eat breakfast if I haven't done so already and be sure the dogs have been fed
9:30-2:15-work on audits if there are any to do for the day, laundry, house cleaning, errands, treadmill time, catch up on tv shows online, play outside with the dogs
2:15-leave to take care of the 7-year old I watch in the afternoons
5:00-return home
5:00-6:00-eat dinner and possibly watch family feud (two episodes come on in a row!)
6:00-7:00-play with the dogs, work on audits from the afternoon if I need to
7:00-10:00-some nights I have shows to watch during these hours, other nights we may watch a movie, on Tuesdays I go to the $1 theatre with friends
10:00-10:15-get ready for bed and put the dogs in their night-night room (laundry room)
10:15-10:30-I'm normally in bed by this time or earlier

For the most part we live our own lives with a few hours here and there at nights where we spend time together. We cook dinner together on nights when Allan gets off work early and works out or on the nights where he doesn't feel like working out. Lately Allan's been a little gym rat and he's gone 8-7 which I don't mind at all. It's nice having a husband who likes to stay in shape so I don't have to give him a hard time for running slow during his soccer games!

We only really have one show that we both love to watch and that's Castle. We both highly recommend that you watch it. If you've never seen an episode give it a try, you won't be disappointed. Allan's other show that he looks forward to is Archer on Thursday nights at 9. On Thursdays, I watch Vampire Diaries, Bones or Grey's (normally Grey's and I'll watch Bones online later), and Private Practice. Tuesday nights I love One Tree Hill and Biggest Loser but I'm normally at the movies on Tuesdays so I end up watching Biggest Loser on Wednesday mornings and catching One Tree Hill online later in the week. Sunday nights used to be Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters but fantasy football caused me to miss all the fall episodes so I'm really behind and have only seen one episode this spring. Now that Army Wives has started back on Sunday nights I make time to watch that. It's one that I always look forward to. Allan likes watching Attack of the Show on G4 which comes on every night so don't think I'm the only one watching tv in this house!

I hope a little insight into our typical day and our weekly tv schedule provided you with some laughter. Happy Hump Day everybody!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Things for the House!

Today was not the typical Monday for me at all. After two hours of watching Sports Center while checking emails, eating breakfast, and planning my day I was off to run errands. I ran to Bed, Bath, and Beyond with two 20% coupons in hand and over $90 of store credit burning a hole in my wallet. After two trips I had snagged a pair of Auburn National Champions Tervis Tumblers, a pair of Live, Love, Laugh frames for our bathroom, and a great teal bath mat for one of our guest baths.

Auburn National Champions Tumbler with a lid!

I bought two of these to hang on one of our bathroom walls

The bath mat and frames were on clearance and I used the coupons on the tumblers so I got some great deals. After a few more stops I made my way to Ulta. Back story with Ulta is that about a month ago I attempted to call customer service to see if my reward certificate could be corrected. I sat on hold for two hours and no one ever picked up my call. I sent a very strongly worded email about this inconvenience. Having not gotten a response after a couple of weeks I assumed nothing would be done and I forgot about it. Then a reward certificate appeared in the mail apologizing for the inconvenience, blah, blah, blah. Today I took both certificates to the store and was informed I could combine them thus giving me a Level 9 Reward Certificate. This translated into a free cut and style in the Ulta salon, a new bottle of OPI nail polish, and a bottle of Ulta conditioner. What a great end to my Monday! Allan loves the haircut which is always a plus.

I saw a couple more frames at BBB that I couldn't decide between so I'm going to make Allan chose which one he likes best. Let me know which one you like better!

Holds 4 pictures

Holds 7 pictures

Monday, March 21, 2011

Soccer Season is Here!

Allan's spring soccer season has started again. They had a really close game but lost 3-2. Unfortunately one of Allan's team members got hurt so we were off to the ER after the game. It could be his ACL. We are waiting to hear how he is today. Last year this same team had a guy that scored 5 goals and they kept him from scoring at all yesterday so I would say there's been some great improvements since the fall season.

Allan playing forward in yesterday's game

Allan had just passed the ball

The last time they played each other
Allan showing his foot skills

The Team

I've never played soccer aside from our Team Mad Cow Disease days where we played co-ed intramural soccer so I've learned a lot in the past year since they play February-May and then August-November. I have lots of chances to go to games and learn more about soccer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to our Moms!

Allan and I are fortunate that our mother's birthdays are March 19 and March 20. This year we are celebrating by taking my mom (Annette) to Cracker Barrel in the morning on her birthday and then tomorrow afternoon my sister will drop me off in Birmingham and we will get to celebrate Allan's mom's (Margie) birthday by cooking out with Adam, Jodi, and Ali.

Margie and I-Thanksgiving 2010

Allan and Margie-Wedding Novemeber 2009

All the parents-Allan's Graduation December 2009

Rachel, Annette, Bill, and Ace-Charleston June 2010

Annette before Rachel's wedding-August 2009
This year as we celebrate their birthdays we hope they both know how much we love them. We are grateful for such a positive influence the two of them have had in our lives and for the hand they have in shaping into the people we are today. Neither of us could ever express enough gratitude for the sacrifices they each made for us and if I am half the mother that either of them have been to us our future children will be so lucky.

Happy birthday Mommy Westenhofer and Momma! We love you both!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Blessings

On our wedding day my sister read an Irish Wedding Blessing that I thought only fitting to share with tomorrow being St. Patrick's Day. Part of the blessing hangs on a shamrock that I keep in our room.

Irish Wedding Blessing"May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special, God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you, and fill all your coming days."

On my side of the family we are mostly Scottish and Irish (my sister is a redhead and so were two of my great grandmothers). Allan's family is German on his dad's side. We are always looking for interesting Irish, Scottish, and German traditions to incorporate into our family so if you have any we would love to hear them.

A blessing that we hope will hold true for ourselves and each of you:

"May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends."


Monday, March 14, 2011

Red, White, and Blue

I thought about saving this post for a holiday honoring those in the military but Allan and I believe we should be mindful each and every day of the sacrifices made by our friends and family serving our country. We are blessed to have been raised with a reverence for our armed forces and those who serve.


My best friend enlisted in the Air Force our freshman year of college and from that point forward I make an effort to thank those in uniform or those retired from the military for their service. I admire the willingness they have to often put country before self, family, and friends. My only sister is an Air Force wife and while we are lucky that she and her husband only live 3 hours away, we are all aware that in a few months that could change as he completes pilot training and receives his assignment (fingers are crossed for a fighter). They could be packing up and moving to another base to start over making new friends and preparing themselves for their next chapter in the Air Force. My best friend is on his second deployment with the first one ending just before my wedding and this second one starting just days after his own wedding. I am encouraged by his upbeat, positive attitude toward every situation often finding a silver lining that many would miss. His wife and her unyielding support during what I can only imagine is a rough time for her is an inspiration to me to be a better wife. Allan and I are blessed to have her as a close friend.

My best friend is the one kneeling

There are many other people in our life who have served or are serving our country and please do not mistake our lack of mention of you specifically with a lack of gratitude. I don't know what it's like to send your husband or wife on deployment and I'm sure neither Allan or I will ever experience that moment. To all those serving in the military and their spouses you have our respect and gratitude.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Walking in People's Shoes

"You never truly know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes."

I've heard this quote a hundred times and I thought I could relate to its meaning and the underlying notion of putting ourselves in the position of another person in order to see the situation through their eyes. While in some situations I do feel like I've "walked a mile in their shoes" in others I know I merely put the shoes on, did the walk and turn and look in the mirror, and returned them to their box.

I thought I would relate some of the recent lessons I've learned about putting myself in other people's shoes to a few pairs of my own shoes.

Orange Manolo Blahniks: These shoes caught my eye in Neiman Marcus on our honeymoon and once I put them on I knew the difference between all my beloved Nine West pumps and a pair of designer shoes. To look at them they appear uncomfortable but somehow manage to conform to my foot, high arches and all. It took a year before those shoes made their way into my closet for my anniversary present but they were worth the wait. Waiting so long to get them and finding out their appearance was not indicative of how they really are is how I felt recently when I had been basing my feelings toward someone off speculation of what I thought they were thinking about me. As it turns out when I got closer to that person I found the discomfort in our relationship had nothing to do with us being a bad fit. It was skewed by misunderstandings that created a distance neither of us had tried to breach until now. As with my orange Manolos a good fit is impossible to find if you rely on appearance and quite often we are more grateful for relationships that take a little more time to develop as I was in waiting for these shoes.

Gray New Balance 991's: My favorite pair of tennis shoes give me great support and their neutral color goes with everything. I've had them since my Just for Feet days and they are still going strong. I can relate these shoes to my closest friendships. We have been friends long enough and been through enough that it's easy to get comfortable and lose touch but we don't. I believe we've all walked a few miles in each other's shoes and are better for it. We may not talk every day but when we do it's easy to pick up where we left off. My favorite moment at our wedding was dancing to Shout and seeing our closest friends together laughing and smiling. I hope when I'm 80 we are still making time to catch up and remain close. Recently it's been an adjustment being so far away from all my closest friends. In most of these relationships, it's the first time we have lived in different cities and had to make an effort to stay connected with what's going on in each other's lives. Making the time for phone calls, texts, the occasional facebook message, and visits allows us to continue to support each other regardless of distance.

Rainbows: I have two pairs and I honestly can't remember which pair came from Kinnucan's and which pair I bought at the beach sophomore Spring Break. Regardless I remember being told that they would need to form to my feet and until they did I would get blisters. It took some time for these to become comfortable and for me to enjoy wearing them. This is what it's been like moving to Huntsville where we don't know as many people as we did in Auburn. Instead of most of our friends being a few miles away now they are spread out everywhere with only a few being in driving distance. It's different from anywhere either of us has lived and it's taking me some time to fall in love with living here. Finding what we feel like is the perfect house has helped with the transition but I still miss having close friends down the hall or just a walk away. I'm sure in time I will wonder how we ever lived anywhere but here but for now I think I'm still trying to get comfortable with where God has led us. These things take time you know!

Basketball shoes: These are the shoes I've had longer than any other pair. I got them in 1996 and I haven't worn them since the last game of Senior year. I don't know if I'll wear them again but I won't ever get rid of them. As always these shoes take me back to Hooper and the 13 years I went there. It's hard to believe our 10 year reunion is right around the corner. There's nothing I would trade for all I learned there. When we say we've known someone our whole life we actually mean it. Thinking about the reunion has made me think about how much we have all changed and where life has taken us. I'd be lying if I said I had stayed in touch with everyone as much as I would like. I don't believe the whole "We just drifted apart" bit. It's a choice on both sides not to call or stop by and after awhile it just becomes easier to continue leaving things as they are and by the time I pause and look back it feels impossible to step back into that part of my life again. Regardless I will always be there for them if they decide they need me.

Perhaps comparing relationships in my life with my shoes is juvenile and somewhat trivial but after this I'll probably never look at any of those shoes without being reminded of these relationships and what all these people mean to me. Allan wanted to know what pair of shoes he would be so for his benefit I'm including my Auburn flip flops in the mix. I've had these since freshman year when Allan and I met. I've worn them to almost every football game Allan and I have gone to together. They are a perfect fit just like Allan is for me. He compliments me and as many things as we have in common we probably have just as many differences but that makes us us!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What to Expect from My Blog

First, I should probably explain the title of the blog. Allan works with lasers and I work with cows so I thought it was only fitting to combine the two. Those that know me know I love cows. My library doubles as my cow room with all my cow stuff housed on bookshelves and a buffet table.

I thought it would be great to start out with a little bit of what to expect from my blog. I don't cook exciting meals on a daily basis but if it's something tasty I will be sharing pictures and a recipe. Allan and I don't have kids but we have dogs so expect to hear about the crazy things they do especially when they think we aren't watching. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on various topics so a lot of my personality will be reflected in my posts. I love to read so occasionally I will post reviews on what I've recently finished reading. For example, I have read 4 of the 5 Emily Giffin books in the last week and I love them! That's about all I can think of at the moment but I'll try to post something every day!