Friday, July 27, 2012

November 2011

Home-made dumplings

Earlier in the year, one of my best friends in the world, Lin Lei, taught me how to make Chinese dumplings (饺子, "jiaozi" in Chinese; but the shape I made here would technically be called 包子, "baozi..." they're made the same, though).  They are very simple to make, and so delicious.  When I have extra time and the ingredients, I like to make these.  The wrapper is made of just flour and water to make a dough that you roll out into small circles.  The filling is a small amount of just raw, ground meat with minced vegetables and seasoning.  Closing the wrapper is a little tricky, but you wet your fingers with warm water and pinch the top to make it stick and stay closed.  You can either boil or steam them for a few minutes to cook the meat and the wrapper, and voila!  A beautiful, tasty treat.  Dip them in your favorite Asian sauce.

Thanksgiving in Logan, UT

After school got out for Thanksgiving Holiday, we flew to Utah to see Michael's momma Narayne.  This was the first time we saw her since we were married in June.

Louisiana on the left, Utah on the right.  It's really cool seeing the landscape change when you're in an airplane.  Whenever I'm on a plane, I get a small glimpse at really how big, vast, and varied the world is (or at least the United States).

Upon arriving at the Salt Lake City airport, Narayne was there waiting for us, and she drove us back to her house in Logan.  Her dog Jack (and the dog Mike's known since he was little) came along for the ride.  (He recently had surgery to treat his diabetic migraines, which meant taking out his eyeballs...but he was blind anyway, so to make him a happy dog, his eyes were taken out and his eyelids were sewn shut!  He's as cute as ever still.  He looks like a Chinese dachshund now.)  He was SO happy to have Michael around.  As soon as we got in the car, he could smell and hear Mike and got excited, all wagging his tail and sniffing around for Mike.  What a cute little fattie.

Here's Narayne making our Thanksgiving dinner.  She did ALL of the cooking for us, and the food was all so delicious.  We had dressing, cranberries, turkey (of course), pumpkin pie, and much more, I just can't remember it all (that's what I get for posting 8 months late).  Boy, we were STUFFED by the end of it.  Before dinner Narayne was eating some of the turkey liver, and I decided to try some...oh it was gross!!!  I guess liver is an acquired taste.  At least I left more for her!

Among the other things we did were explore the cute and cozy downtown area, shop at the local stores, meet Narayne's neighbors, listened to lots of Christmas music, and saw the Lee's Marketplace where Mike used to work.  Narayne also gave us a "pre-Christmas package," which included silly, fun trinkets like a small felt snowman pillow and some ornaments, and a beautiful Christmas tree skirt.  It's a deep red with a cursive gold "R" on it.  While we didn't have a tree, I imagined how lovely it would look in our future home.  She also gave us a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  It's the perfect size for our little apartment, so we were going to have a Christmas Tree after all.  It's good to have such an great mother-in-law.  She has a very giving and hospitable personality.  We felt very well taken care of while we were there.

(This is a picture I found online.  I'll have a picture of OURS in our apartment in my December post.)

It's hard taking pictures on my phone since there's only a camera on one side...  This is the best shot I was able to get of us on our way to church, hahaha.

The snowy mountains were so beautiful.  I love getting to see them every now and again.  They just seem magical, since I'm used to the Louisiana swamp lands: tons of trees, little to no hills, and rarely ever any snow.

So then it was back to Louisiana, and school...  I was sad to leave Narayne's company and Utah's landscape, but at least the semester was winding up, and it being almost December meant it was almost time to see my family in Houston!  November and December are my favorite months of the year because I get to spend so much time with family.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time to catch-up

Now that it's summer, and I have had plenty of free time, it's time for a blog update.  I don't even know where to begin, since a lot has happened and I've got a good 8 or 9 months of our lives to cover.  My plan is to do a blogpost a day to cover everything.  Now that life is slow, I feel like keeping the blog current is going to be an easy thing to do.

Basically, our summer has been spent mostly working.  We've had a couple of nice vacations visiting family, but otherwise our summer has been very lazy, chill, and relaxing.  Looking back, I could have been more productive, as in I had plenty of opportunities to update the blog/do crafts/read books/exercise/etc, but it just feels so good to lay in bed all day when you have no obligations!  It's almost like I know I won't be able to do nothing when the semester starts, or when I start having kids, so I'm enjoying it while it's here.  Now that I've had my fill of nothingness, I'm ready to get things done.  And so now, a blog!

Here is  list of the happenings in the Rougeau home by month.  Over the next week or so, I'll go more into detail on these things in about a post a day.

November 2011

  • Natalie starts teaching a Sunday School class for chuch
  • Thanksgiving with Narayne in Logan, UT

December 2011

  • December 10 - Fall classes end
  • December 12-23 - Winter Intersession class (Human Physiology) for Natalie
  • Christmas and New Year's with my family in Houston

January 2012

  • January 11 - Back to Houston to welcome Elder Nicholas Egan home from his mission to Phoenix, AZ
  • January 17 - Spring classes start, Natalie starts working on her Dental Hygiene application to the LSU Dental School in New Orleans
  • January 28 - Go to Houston (again) at the end of the month to see Jennifer play as Hedy LaRue in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying


  • Natalie starts playing kinda takes over her life

  • Natalie submits her Dental Hygiene application and is invited to interview


  • April 1 - totally prank Facebook on April Fool's Day by announcing Natalie's pregnant.  (people are STILL mad at us about it)
  • April 2 - Interview for Natalie at the hygiene school
  • April 7 - Crawfish with the Huddlestons in Pineville, LA


  • May 7 - Spring classes end, Natalie's first "C" in college (darn Parasitology)
  • Natalie receives a rejection letter from the Dental Hygiene Program
  • Natalie becomes the Relief Society Visiting Teaching Coordinator for church


  • June 2-4 - see family in Houston for a few days, Natalie starts working on her Raising Cane's T-shirt quilt and pillows
  • June 8 - Narayne comes to Baton Rouge, on June 9 we three drive to Lake Charles to see Grandma and Grandpa Mills
  • June 10 - Our wedding anniversary
  • June 16 - Blue Bayou with Narayne


  • June 30-July 8 - 4th of July celebration in Bartlesville, OK, with every member of Natalie's family present for the first time in two years
  • July 7 - Michael starts his new salaried job at Trendsic Coorporation
  • Natalie is asked to become a manager at Raising Cane's
  • July 13-23 - Steam Summer Sale!!  Michael buys a lot of much wanted PC video games for dirt cheap
  • July 28 (this Saturday) - visit to Pineville to see the Huddlestons and welcome Elder Cory Huddleston home