Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Two-Year Anniversary

We're talking our two-year anniversary as residents of Virginia. (Today also marks our two-year-and-seven-month wedding anniversary) Wow, I cannot believe it's been that long. Two years ago today we were sweating in the southern heat and humidity as we settled into our new apartment, hours away from friends and family. Although I feel as though this place is becoming home, a big part of me still feels like the new kid in school (even though I don't technically know what that feels like).
This Sunday as I was introducing myself to visitors at my church (they had only been in Richmond a month, moving from St. Louis), it struck me that I can no longer play the "I'm-new-in-town" card. It seemed to be a pivotal moment for me, spurring me on to a more take-charge attitude towards my life here. I'm now legitimately able to suggest restaurants, give directions, and recommend things to do around Richmond. I don't have to be at the hands of the natives anymore. I've been taking a backseat to my life these past two years as my body has resided in Virginia, but my heart felt quite at home in Pennsylvania. Of course a big part of me does in fact abide in Pennsylvania, but that's no reason for me to put my life on hold until we one day move our belongings and ourselves back north.
So I'm looking ahead to year three with more optimism. We live in Virginia and it's high time I started acting like it. There are so many great things to love about our little suburb of Midlothian and about Richmond as a whole. Come visit and we'll show you! It's been a great experience for Jeremiah and I to set out on our own in a different place, growing together in newness and adventure and uncertainty. And here's to at least three to five more years in the south...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tropical Doesn't Always Mean Better

Jeremiah is the king of experimenting with food. Not only does he like to create his own cuisine (he has officially started his own recipe book), but he also likes to try exotic fruits that catch his eye in the grocery store. He's brought home a number of tropical items, most recently papaya. Have you ever tried papaya?
Don't. It's pretty terrible. The seeds remind me of dark fish eggs and apparently can be a peppercorn substitute. What?? And the fruit itself is far from refreshing or even tasteful. As with most of these rare fruits, there is hardly any flavor even when doused in sugar.
Hopefully we just saved you a few bucks and some disappointed taste buds.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Treadmill Anyone??

In the market for a treadmill? You've come to the right place! Jeremiah and I need to sells ours to make room for furniture for the new place we're moving into late fall. Although I'd love to keep it, since it has motivated me to get my butt moving, it must go. We just don't have the space anymore!
We bought this bad boy a little less than a year and a half ago. Some months it was used up to 5 times a week, while other months it was only used a few times in the entire month. We've taken good care of it and it still performs like when we bought it brand new. It's not a snazzy number with all the bells and whistles that you might find at your local gym, but it does the trick. Inclines, some programs, a mini fan, and hey, it's not manual! It folds up for sleeker storage, too. Check out the product description here.
$250. What a steal! Unfortunately, we're not able to deliver it because we don't have a truck or a car big enough for it.

And whatever you do, please disregard the "catch-all" room that is the backdrop.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Smoothie Goodness

A summer must! This past Friday while running errands I was in need of a refreshing drink so I checked out my local Panera Bread, only because I had a gift card. Intending to get a frozen mocha drink, my guilty conscience got the best of me as I read the big 570 under the calorie count. Why the heck are they posting calories?? I bet they haven't sold much of those recently.

I reluctantly scanned the list of low-fat smoothies and decided to settle for the black cherry (of course, of the three options, this one had the most calories, ha!). To my surprise it was fabulous!! Have you ever tasted Breyer's black cherry yogurt? It takes exactly like that. I thought the low-fat (only 1.5g) would have this beverage lacking in many areas, but was pleasantly surprised that not only was the flavor spot on, but it was creamy as well. In fact, the next day while I was running more errands, I stopped by to get another. Unfortunately, my gift card had ran out, but it was well worth the few bucks.

Friday, July 16, 2010


This has nothing to do with our life in Virginia, but I just had to share! For passengers like me, who can never seem to get comfortable and fall asleep in the car, this looks like a fabulous invention. I'd have no shame buying one at the age of 25, but as I look at it more I'm thinking I'm a bit too tall for it to actually cure any neckaches or car insomnia.

Flying Squirrels

Last night we went to our very first Richmond Flying Squirrels game. They played the Bowie Baysox, who are affiliated with the Orioles. The Flying Squirrels is Richmond's new AAA baseball team, formerly the Richmond Braves. Although the Braves were affiliated with the Atlanta Braves (barf), the Squirrels are now affiliated with the San Francisco Giants. Figure that one out. And what a name, you say. I agree. Other potential team names included the Hush Puppies, the Rhinos, the Hambones, and a few others that were so bad I've blocked them out of my memory.
Minor league games are hilarious to me. We had Diamond Club seating, best in the house, and tickets were only $10 a piece. Parking right next to the ballpark was a mere $3 and Jeremiah got a vat of kettle corn that could feed a small orphanage for only $4. And it was good kettle corn. Unlike the funnel cake (although still delicious), the sweet and savory corn was authentic.
We also had the great fortune of seeing fireworks afterwards, which at first didn't look promising, but turned out to be fantastic. Minus the heat and humidity, it was a great experience of some good ol' fashioned baseball with our friends the Irbys. Unfortunately, the Squirrels lost, but it was a nail-biter to the finish.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Beach

After a busy half of a week, we finally made it to the beach! This year, we joined with Steuart, Sheila, and Rebekah, some of Jeremiah's extended family who live in North Carolina. We stayed in an oceanfront duplex, which was fantastic! The weather couldn't have been better, and was actually about ten degrees cooler than the 100+ temps Richmond was experience. Phew! For the most part we slept in, spent the day on the beach, and then came in for an evening of gluttony and cards. We each had one night to prepare dinner, giving everyone a break from the kitchen. Jeremiah and I made buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese with watermelon and salad on the side. It was a hit! On the one gloomy day, Jeremiah and I went on a lunch date to a crabhouse overlooking the ocean. Mmmmm sweet tea, crabby shrimp dip, and a steam bucket filled with clams, crab legs, shrimp, corn, and potatoes. We had a great time all week and now I am reaping the benefits of the sun hitting my skin for six days straight!

Braves Country

The beginning of our week-and-a-half-long vacay started with a trip to Jeremiah's grandparents' house in Holden Beach, NC. We hung out for a couple days, but then had one more stop before relaxing on the beach for a week.
I use the term "stop" lightly, since in fact it was more of a journey. We left early Friday morning and traveled seven hours to Atlanta to see an Atlanta Braves game. Jeremiah's brother, Ben, and his grandparents are huge Braves fan. Although, being Phillies fans, we obviously root against the Braves whenever possible, I suppose it was a nice treat to be able to experience a game with them in honor of Pop Pop's 80th birthday. Much of the extended family, and fellow Braves fans, met us there, tallying the Link clan to 15. Turner Field was a beautiful stadium filled to the brim with southern hospitality. We had great seats, too. The Braves finally pulled off the win after 11 innings, so we put a smile on our faces while inside we were extremely irritated. Adding to that irritation was the fact that that night the Phillies lost to the PIRATES. Ugh.
We bunked in a hotel for the night and left the next morning to drop off his grandparents and then drive another hour and a half to our ultimate destination, Surf City, NC. Needless to say, with Saturday beach traffic and fourth of July weekend, we didn't make it back in seven hours. Try about nine.

Do you see this?? Penn State grill cover on a camera in Atlanta. I had to get a picture.

And I have to add this, particularly for the Koehlers.
On our way to the game on Friday, we had to make a stop for lunch. Instead of stopping at your typical McDonald's or Wendy's, we went here. Although only indicated as "Buffet" on the highway exit sign and "Restaurant" to the general passerby's, the few brave enough to park and eat knew it better as Baynum's. I couldn't believe my eyes. And then, I couldn't believe my current reality was actually walking in, sitting down, and eating there. I won't go into detail, but let's just say, had I not married Jeremiah I never would have experienced this one-of-a-kind eatery.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Silver Celebration

Jeremiah's family headed our way on Tuesday, June 29th before we headed down to the beach the next day. Tuesday just so happened to be his parents' 25th wedding anniversary. Although his mom just wanted an afternoon to lounge at his aunt's pool (she also lives in Midlothian), we thought we'd make it a bit more special. We recreated most of their reception food, which also happened to be held in his aunt's backyard (I was pretty proud of my first ever watermelon basket, haha!). We ordered a little cake, which was topped with the same red-tipped roses that were on their wedding cake. It was a great night that I think his parents truly enjoyed and appreciated.