Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mindless Monday (on Tuesday), Blog Linkage, Asparagus Gruyere Tart, Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage

Good Tuesday morning!

I haven't said that in awhile!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Basketball continues to be a major part of our lives in January. Our team won each and every game we played last week, and we start a tournament tonight.

I have no doubt our winning streak will continue.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

Here is your obligatory Mindless Monday (on Tuesday) basketball pic.

It may look like Roxie doesn't know where to throw the ball, but that's all show for the opposing team. She knows exactly what she's doing at all times during the game. She's special that way.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Since we ALL had an extra long weekend because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I decided to take everyone out for a bite to eat to celebrate.

We decided to do the bread bowl thing at Panera Bread. Mikie met us and The Faulkner Five and The Lovely Melia ate all of our carbs for the week.

We love us some good bread bowls.

Fun fact for you... I gave Austin and Melia an "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendar" for Christmas. I just happened to have a beautiful picture for each and every month last year. In fact, I had lots of pictures to choose from during some of the months.

Because they like their "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendars," I decided to give them both one next Christmas, too.

However, I did not have a January picture of the two of them together (yet)... so yesterday was Picture Day for them.

After we ate at Panera Bread, we went across the street to Klingler's Bakery and everyone picked out a sweet from the case. Before anyone had a chance to get powdered sugar ALL over them, I took Austin and Melia's January 2013 picture.

It's a good start, I think.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #3 - When we returned home from our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, I dropped the guys off at the house and told Roxie we were going to go to a special place for a few minutes.

She knew exactly what I meant.

I've been wanting to take Roxie's picture beside a very old light blue pick-up truck on the side of the road near our church.

However, she doesn't want her picture taken with the truck as a background because the road tends to be very busy, and everyone in our fair city would see her posing beside the old blue truck.

I thought perhaps the road would be much less congested on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and although Roxie protested the entire way there, I was determined to prove my point and take some wonderful pictures with the old abandoned light blue truck as the backdrop.

Imagine my disappointment when we drove by the truck and discovered the road was indeed still very busy.

Even on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Even at 2:15 p.m.

It was very discouraging.

Had it not been for a secluded little park I have visited from time to time, it would have been an entirely wasted mini photo shoot.

The blue truck would have been great, but Roxie looks good standing beside a plain ol' tree, too.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #4 - As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow Mike and I will celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

One-quarter of a century.

Two decades plus five years.

Almost (but not quite) half of our lives.

I know I've probably forgotten some really big events, but this is my Top TWENTY-FIVE List of Favorite Moments.

1. Mike became very ill the day we returned from our honeymoon. His illness lasted exactly ten days. No more, no less. Mike and I both discovered I was a horrible, horrible nurse at exactly the same time.

(It bothered him a little more than it bothered me.)

2. During our first year of marriage, Mike and I moved three times. Mike and I both discovered I was a horrible, horrible mover.

3. We moved for the fourth time on our 13-MONTH anniversary.

Yeah. That's right. Four moves in 13 months.

4. Because we lived so close to Mike's work the first five years of our marriage, Mike was able to come home for lunch almost every single day, and that was great. It was especially fun when we added Austin to our little family three years after we married.

Austin doesn't remember our daily lunches, but his Mom and Daddy do.

5. Because Austin's pediatrician's office was directly across the street from Mike's work office, he never missed a check-up and would proudly take The Boy to his office after each and every one so "the girls in the office" could play with him for a few minutes.

In our minds, everyone wanted to play with The Boy for a few minutes. Absolutely everyone.

6. Mike was determined to pass his CPA exam even after Austin came along. His determination and hard work paid off, and The Boy and I were very proud of his accomplishment.

7. Mike and I welcomed Josh and Roxie into our family with as much enthusiasm as we welcomed The Boy. We were thrilled, thankful and excited to have boys AND a girl. We were going to get to experience EVERYTHING!

8. Several of our family vacations could fall into the Top 25 List of Favorite Moments all by themselves, but I'll lump my favorites together for the sake of space.

Our first Disney trip as a family.
Our first Universal trip as a family.
Our Tampa Bay trip.
Our houseboat vacation in Georgia.

We've enjoyed other vacations, but these were the all-time favorites of The Faulkner Five.

9. Fifteen consecutive years of camping as a family definitely gets a mention in the Top 25. It wasn't always easy. It wasn't always fun. But it was ALWAYS, ALWAYS memorable.

10. Our annual Anniversary Celebrations made the list, too. Even though some of the "celebrations" didn't quite work out as planned, since we've been married 25 years, I can honestly say we've had more good than bad.

You know what? I think I'm going to finish this list Friday. This post has become huge, and I have 25 loads of laundry to do.

But you probably already knew that about me, didn't you?

Me and Mikie 25 years ago.

And me and Mikie 25 years later!

Blog Linkage - Are you ready to blog hop? Good!

1. Go to and just scroll through the last two or three days' worth of pictures of this sweet little toddling boy. I love good pictures, and this Mama knows how to take them.

2. Go to and scroll, scroll, scroll. It's a blog written by another Boy Mama who takes great pictures. I especially love the circus post.

3. Go to Six Sisters' Stuff under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "25 DIY Valentine's Day Wreaths." I think even I could make a couple of these.

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

I am not a lover of the asparagus. I never have been.

However, I want to be because it is an especially healthy vegetable.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It came from Martha Stewart. And it was all about the asparagus.

Even with two strikes against it (Martha Stewart and asparagus), I decided to give it a try.

DISCLAIMER - I have nothing against Martha, but some of her recipes are on the HARD end of the spectrum.

This one was not.

You will need the following:

Flour (for work surface)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove pastry shell from oven. Sprinkle with Gruyere.

4. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

It was pretty good.

Did it make me a fan of the asparagus?

Maybe not a fan, but it was definitely edible, and I don't think I've ever said that about the asparagus before today.

This is a slice of the Tart. It looked much better whole, and I don't know why I didn't photograph it before serving.

I know how to "make" the food. I think I'm going to work on "presentation" in 2013.

New Year's Eve Seasonal Tradition

I have a very cute New Year's Eve tradition to share, but I haven't heard back from the girl who actually "did it." I need to make sure she doesn't mind if I post it, so maybe by Friday I'll have permission!

Have a spectacular Tuesday. It is a BEAUTIFUL day in Central Alabama! I'll be back Friday morning with Weekend Happenings, a 25th anniversary story and so much more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you at the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Since I'm a little picture poor today, I'm going to share some of the pics I used for the "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendar."






  1. Belinda, I continue to enjoy your posts. I'm gonna' have to copy that asparagus recipe. I LOVE asparagus just steamed and nothing else. But that looks really good!

    A very happy and blessed anniversary to you two. God bless you with many more!


    1. Thank you, Doris. I've been visiting The Next Chapter, too, and enjoying my time there!

      Have a great day, and we'll get together very soon.

      Love you!


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