Our Story

Monday, March 28, 2011


So I think I've moved into the nesting face of being married. As you can see, I've listed some recipes and I'm beginning to cook more. Also, I've begun to get excited over different things. I watch house hunters all the time now and search online for the best places to move in Birmingham. I'm just so excited about my life with Matthew and just trying to be the best wife I can be for him, especially since he's so good to me.
Today, the wonderful ladies at work threw a pantry shower for me and 2 other nurses who are getting married in the next few weeks. They prepared all sorts of great food and we held it in the conference room so everyone could come by. It was just great! You wouldn't believe all the wonderful things they got us! My pantry is now stocked! My excuse that my pantry is not stocked no longer works for not trying some of the more daring recipes. Hopefully, as I get going with these, I'll share my successes and I'm sure mishaps with you. I'm attaching photos of all the wonderful things they gave me to stock me up!

Also, tonight I attended a couponing class. You got it right! She taught us how to use coupons most effectively! It was a great class! The lady who taught it actually attends church in Gordo where Matthew was a youth minister. She recently did a showcase shopping trip for the local newspaper to show how effectively coupons can be used. She got over $500 worth of products for $1.23! While this is the extreme being able to save that much money is quite appealing and I'm excited to get started. I think I'm really going to like seeing how much I can save.
Check out her website for tips, tricks and more information at http://www.southernsavingsanddeals.blogspot.com/

On the flowers post from the other day, I saw bluebonnets in Tuscaloosa! I can hardly believe it. Just a little bit of home. I love it! It's just such a beautiful reminder of Texas.

Matt & Jess

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I've had flowers on my mind today. I saw Caitlin's post about wisteria and I love how everything is beginning to come into bloom! The wisteria, tulips, dogwoods, irises and even the bradford pears are all opening and in color. It's gorgeous.
I love flowers and so Matthew has bought me live flowers in the past so that I could grow my own flowers to enjoy. Unfortunately, I've had a really tough time to keeping them alive and it always made me feel terrible, but luckily he didn't give up hope on me. He bought me this beautiful purple miniature orchid and I gave myself no hope of keeping it alive. This one however came with little directions, and this has helped a lot I think. I keep it in the kitchen window with the blinds cracked, so that it can get sunlight. I periodically check to see how damp the ground is. It's all working! I've kept an orchid alive for over a month now. I'm quite proud, especially considering I'd had such a hard time with seemingly easier plants like a mum and a tulip.
Also this morning Matthew showed me a new game on the Playstation 3 called Flower. It's so wonderfully relaxing! There's no losing or dying or starting over. It starts out with a little wilting flower in a New York apartment and as you get closer it takes you into this meadow, perhaps where the flower came from and a little petal floats off in a burst of wind so starts the adventure. You just float around gathering other petals from the flowers and as you gain more and reach new flowers more of the meadow blooms and the skies clear. It's just peaceful and relaxing. I'm enjoying it! In my past video game experiences, I tend to get really stressed whenever my character dies or the game tells me "you fail", but this is peaceful and happy and there are only good consequences.
So that's me and my flower power connection today. The photos are of my orchid in it's window, and of one of the wreaths from the wedding that we hung on our front door.

Matt & Jess

Friday, March 25, 2011

Family Recipes

Matthew and I were cooking Wednesday and I realized we were each making family recipes from the other's family. I was making Matt's mom's chicken pot pie for dinner and Matthew was making my mom's chili for the chili cook-off at Best Buy. I liked seeing elements from each of our families mixing. Recipes to follow.
Matthew and I over the years have tried to turn every moment into a date, because we feel like we just can't have enough time together, so we like to make the most of the time we have. As a matter of fact, while taking out the trash, Matthew just took me on a walk. We walked around the apartment complex holding hands and just catching up. I had a headache and just walking in the cool, fresh evening air and sharing with Matthew was perfect to ease my headache. It was just a great married moment, so I thought I'd share.
Today was my last day on orientation. I managed my labor and delivered my baby before my shift was over, so that was a good feeling before I begin to go out on my own. Pray for me as I move to evening shift next week. I'm excited about the change, but nervous simply because it is a change. I love the ladies I've met on day shift, but I know that I will make friends on evening shift too. This my baby count up to the 40's. Isn't that amazing? I have the most amazing job in the world. I witness miracles everyday!

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
2 cans of chicken
2 cans mixed vegetables (low-sodium)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 refrigerated regular pie crusts
2 refrigerated deep-dish pie crusts
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Mix chicken, veggies and soup (salt & pepper to taste) together on stove top to warm throughout. Lightly brown deep-dish pie crusts in 350 degree oven. Pull out deep-dish crusts and fill with chicken & veggie mixture. Free the regular pie crusts from their pans and lay over top of pie to form top crust. Cut slits to vent. Bake in oven at 350 until golden brown (35 minutes-1 hour).
*This is great to use with any left-over vegetables as well. Matthew and I have done this before and it works well.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
1 tbs. chili powder (may use more or less to adjust heat-my family uses 1/2 tbs so it's less spicy, but Matt & I use whole tbs)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper sauce (optional)
1 can tomatoes (diced, do not drain)
1 can red kidney or pinto beans

Cook ground beef with onion and garlic on stove top. Add in tomatoes and spices. Allow to simmer for one hour. Add beans and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.
*We usually serve this over rice with cheese and sour cream available as toppings. Fritos or chips also make a great addition.

Enjoy everyone! We sure are!

Matt & Jess

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Matthew and I accidentally discovered cheater's tiramisu and so I thought I'd share! We went through multiple variations including whipped cream rather than actually making the custard with the egg yolks. We've also used ladyfingers as well as shortcake cups.

Here's what you need:
3 Egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbs. Sugar
8 ounces Marscapone Cheese
Shortcake cups (or ladyfinger cookies)
Cocoa powder

Beat 3 egg yolks and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar for at least 5 minutes. The mixture will become pale and thicken. (The original recipe suggested using an electric beater with the whisk attachment but since we don't have one yet, we just got an arm workout and beat by hand with a whisk). Then beat in 8 ounces marscapone cheese. Refrigerate this mixture for at least 2 hours to allow it to solidify and become almost a custard texture. Then we spoon a little coffee over the shortcake to absorb the coffee. Then fill the cup with the custard mixture. Apply a light dusting of cocoa powder and enjoy!
We're planning to jazz it up by trying to add some espresso or perhaps vanilla extract to the custard mixture.


Matthew & Jess

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Officially "The Johnson's"

Hello everyone. It has been an awfully long time since I've gotten to post. Wedding planning and starting a new job pulled me away, but we have been doing great in the meantime!
The wedding was just beautiful! I got to marry my best friend, Matthew with my other best friend, Caitlin at my side supporting me and incredibly excited for me! I was so happy with how everything turned out! I have the best bridesmaids in the world by the way! They through me quite the fun bachelorette party including dinner at Hooters, feather boas, crowns, Krole the Warrior King, karaoke, drinks, laughs, lingerie and a great locations, just name a few. They melded together so well! I was so glad to see that the Texas and Alabama girls all found common ground and were hanging out as if they'd known each other forever. Caitlin was very right when she said this was a testament to the kind of girls I keep around me. You are all amazing!
The other interesting thing about the wedding was Anne, our wedding coordinator through the church. She had been so sweet in our meetings, but the day of the rehearsal and day of the wedding we saw another side of her, that was not quite as pleasant. Again, my amazing husband and terrific bridesmaids kept me calm through this as well.
Day of the wedding it did rain, but that didn't stop anything! The whole team really made everything happen so perfectly I couldn't ask for better! The day was absolutely everything I had dreamed it to be! Special thanks to Cindy for making the beautiful flowers and Afton for her beautiful singing of the Ave Maria. Father Holloway, Ashley and Jeremiah I can't thank you guys enough for being a part of our ceremony. We love all of you! As for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, they were all so amazing and supportive of both of us. We just have the best group of friends and I thank you all for being a part of our day.
The reception was a blast. I loved seeing everyone dance, mingling and having a great time!
Married life has just been great! We're so happy together and blessed to have each other!
Getting back to everyday life, Matthew's job is going great. He is now full-time at Best Buy in the Digital Imaging department (which includes cameras and portable electronics like MP3 players). He also works in gaming and car audio still. Full-time at Best Buy means that he's now part of the leadership team. He's really loving Best Buy and is still planning to move up and stay with the company. He also now wears the hats of Employee Experience Team Leader, EOL captain as well as helping out wherever he can.
This next week will be my last on orientation in the Birth Suites. I can hardly believe I'm almost through this! They're about to let me out on my own as an RN. I'm surprisingly beginning to feel kind of ready for this. It helps though that everyone is so supportive so I know I'm not truly on my own, because I can always ask questions. They've got a really great community there in the Birth Suites. So next week I switch to evening (3-11pm) shift and my 7 on/7 off schedule. Wish me luck! I'm very excited to end the early morning drives, especially now that we've had daylight savings time and it's dark for my whole morning ride.
Yesterday we went driving around Tuscaloosa for the best opportunities to find SUPERMOON! We called Matthew's parents while we were on the hunt. Mr. Marty's response to supermoon was "Is that like when a superhero flips up his cape and drops his tights?" I cracked up hysterically at this, so I thought I'd share. Thank goodness there were no bums to be seen! Our whole evening was just lovely together though. Throughout our relationship, we've always tried to turn as many moments as we can into dates and one of our favorite things to do is just go out and drive, so last night was especially wonderful.
We've also been watching our way through Scrubs. We're in Season 6 now. It's just great!
So that's the update from us! Hope you're doing well!

The Johnson's