Friday, December 23, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Most Wonderful Year.

We're on a little White Hot vacation, my friends.

A vacation that involves staying home, knocking out nursery projects like it's our job, checking off pre-baby to do list items, staying in bed until 10am every morning drinking coffee, and staying up late making delicious dinners and talking and planning and imagining this turn our life is going to take in a few short months. 

This is our last official time off together, other than a weekend here and there, before baby girl comes. And while we are focused on the one million things to do and on all that we have to celebrate, I'm focused on soaking it up, too.

As we are past the halfway point now - 22 weeks and counting - I know our days as just Cassie and Hugh are drawing to a close. And while I'm over the moon for the new adventure we are embarking on, I want to make sure I savor the days that are left where it is only us. After all, it has been only us for the last seven years, and they have been the most wonderful times of my life.

So, from our little family to yours, happiest of holidays. I hope you are spending your days with your very favorite person, reveling in everything you have to celebrate.

Our 2012 Christmas card photo. I can't get the actual card to upload, and after the disaster that has been using Tiny Prints this year, I'm just going to let it go. But I will leave you with the fact that it was 45 degrees and windy outside when we took this photo using the tripod and the self-timer. Mad skills, my friends, if I do say so myself.

See you in 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The White Hot Life in Photos (and Words).

Happy Monday, my frinternets. Normally this post is a little weekend update, but seeing as I haven't updated you on our weekends in approximately 3 months, you're getting an update of the latest and greatest from our White Hot life as of late.

Here's what it's looked like:

My favorite husband had a birthday (two months ago). We're now co-members of the twenty-eight club. At that point I was two months into growing this baby and, subsequently, two months into not cooking a damn thing. So, I felt it was only fair to indulge my favorite birthday boy with his favorite meal:

Why yes, yes, I did cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner for Hugh on October 6th. I've told you I love that guy.

Boston Cream Pie birthday cake!

One of my very dearest friends is having a baby (like, any day now). Her husband is a year ahead of Hugh in med school, and we met at the first Wives' Club event three years ago. And I have said about one thousand times since then that I don't know what I would do without her. Suffice to say we have a lot in common. Anyway, I had the honor of co-hosting a little baby shower for her. All of the photos of the people are blurry, but this is a little peak at the details:


The spread.

 Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries, Lemon Curd, and Cream Cheese Icing. And, she's having a baby girl!

Hugh carved a pumpkin that looked like Fletcher. Because he's awesome:

Cooked and ate some really, really good food. Because even though the food-blogging has been nonexistent, the food-eating has been pretty nonstop:

 Meatball Pizza.

 Pizza with Figs, Roasted Garlic, Pancetta, Caramelized Onions, and Blue Cheese. Nirvana.

Chili bowl. Crazy delicious. Crazy heartburn. Oh, pregnancy.

Waffles and Blueberry Compote.

Started decking our halls:

A snazzed-up mantle.

Our pets are still a mess.

We've stayed really busy with work and school, but decided to make it better by working and studying curled up in bed with our very spoiled babies:

I mean, really.

Henry is determined to be the first of the boys to feel baby girl move. He fell asleep waiting.

Henry stuck his face in a bowl of sour cream:

 This is his I'm-in-trouble expression. 

And Fletcher just continued to humor us, patient boy that he is:

Oh, and last but certainly not least, we've made it to the halfway point:

20 weeks. And she's kicking up a storm. Safe to say being pregnant with this baby girl of ours is more than exceeding my expectations. We are just loving life right now. But more on that later this week.

And, with that, you are basically caught up on life at the White Hot house. We missed you around here.

Hope your week feels like the end of the countdown to a two-week Christmas vacation!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's a...

I want to preface this post by saying I had absolutely no preference on a boy or girl going into our appointment. Not because I "just want a healthy baby." I do want a healthy baby, of course, but I don't think the sex and the health are really at all related, and certainly not mutually exclusive. Rather, I didn't have a preference because it took us a long time to get to here, to this pregnant point. And when you're dealing with the waiting game, I think all you really want is a baby. Whether that baby was a boy or a girl didn't really matter at all.

Now, getting to the good part. I was sixteen weeks when we went in for our ultrasound on Friday. I knew that was on the early side to be finding out, so I had worked hard at not getting my hopes up that they'd be able to tell us. Really, I was just excited to get to watch our sweet baby on the screen for an hour.
Since I met Hugh, I've always felt like we would have all boys. I don't know why, but I have always just pictured myself as the Mom of three boys. Maybe because our pets are all boys?

Anyway, when I finally got pregnant, I didn't really have a feeling one way or the other. Until week 7. When I woke up clear as day feeling like this baby was a girl. Try as I might to remain neutral, I could only picture the baby being a girl. When Hugh was stressed about our boy name options, because you know we've been discussing names since 2005, I couldn't even get worked up about it.

So, there we are at the ultrasound. I think girl. Hugh thinks boy. My Mom thinks boy. Every single one of our friends thinks girl. And then two minutes into our ultrasound, the tech proclaimed, it's a...


I thought it was a girl and I was still shocked. I sat straight up on the table and shouted, "Are you serious?!" She was. And then there were lots of happy tears and hugging and hand-squeezing from these elated parents. 

Really, it's so fun just to know. And it doesn't hurt that we think she's just the cutest thing we ever saw:

Sweetest little profile.

I, for one, cannot even handle those little crossed legs.

So, there you have it. A healthy, perfect White Hot baby girl. And if you thought I was counting down to April 26th before...

Post Script: I'm back into my regular life, cooking and working and maintaining this little house and staying awake for more than three hours at a time, so stay tuned for some non-baby related posts. And, let's be honest, probably some more baby-related posts too. Happy Monday, frinternets.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Anniversary of the Day That Changed Everything.

I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of, well, everything, as my energy slowly returns (hip hip hooray!). Especially hard to get back into the swing of cooking and then blogging about it. So today I will tell you a little story. It's one of my favorites. It has nothing to do with food, but it's the very start of how I came to be married to my favorite dinner date.

I've mentioned before that Hugh and I met in class, our last year of undergrad. The class was a Jamaican Slave Literature Honors Seminar. There were nine students - me, Hugh, and seven other English majors who felt compelled to take an 8:30am class that required a number of 20 page papers. 

One of the requirements of this class was a Saturday field trip to a former slave plantation that had been restored and was used for teaching purposes, located two hours away. We were also required to carpool to this event. A few days before the field trip, the travel arrangements were scheduled to come up for discussion at the end of class. 

Here's what I knew about Hugh at the time of this discussion: he rode his bike to school; a few weeks into the semester, he got hit by a car on said bike and broke his wrist; he was quiet in class (a real boon when you are in a room with a bunch of people who love to hear themselves talk), but when he did participate, his comments were either funny or intelligent; he was handsome; during a particularly boring lecture, he once leaned over and asked to borrow my pencil so he could puncture his own ear drums (see: funny).

So, the carpool plans came up for discussion at the end of class, and I had to leave to go to work. On a whim that would change the rest of my life, I leaned over to Hugh as I was running out the door and asked him if he wanted to ride together. He said yes. Very excitedly, I might add.  He must have been taken with my roll out of bed at 8:20am and wear some wrinkled running clothes to class look. Later that day, I got this email from our professor: 

And then I realized I had planned to spend an entire day with someone whom I knew really nothing about.  I decided I would cancel and drive myself. When I told my mom this plan, she said that was rude and I would do no such thing. I told her I hoped he wasn't a serial killer.

Saturday rolled around. Hugh picked me up at 8am, right on time. I was inexplicably nervous when I was getting ready that morning. And he was nervous when I got in the car. We made stilted chit chat for the first two minutes. And then we settled right into a conversation that lasted the rest of the day. It was one of the best, and easiest, conversations I've ever had. The field trip was kind of a disaster, but it didn't matter. 

On the way home, we stopped to get lunch at a kind of disgusting chain barbecue restaurant. I offered to pay since Hugh had driven (He would like me to note here that he objected. I paid anyway.). So I, of course, love to joke that on our first date Hugh took me to a terrible restaurant and then he made me pay. 

I remember feeling genuine disappointment when we pulled up to my apartment at the end of the day; I was sad our day was ending. After we parted ways, I immediately called my Mom to tell her that a. I had not been murdered, and b. I had had the most fun day I could remember. Little did I know, Hugh called his dad as soon as he was out of the parking lot to regale him with tales of my wit and charm and beauty. Really, he called to tell him that I was very funny and laughed at his inappropriate jokes, which was code for the fact that he kind of loved me already. And to tell him that he had not been murdered. 

The story could have ended there, but that night when I was out with my friends, after a little liquid courage, I called Hugh (seriously, so forward, right?) to see if he wanted to come out and meet us. He did. Here's a picture of that night:


At the end of the evening, he drove me (and all my friends) home, and was the perfect gentleman. The next afternoon I was on the phone with my favorite friend, recounting every detail of the day and night to her, discussing whether or not it would be weird to see him in class on Tuesday and if I would hear from him, when he beeped in. He was calling to tell me happy Halloween. We talked for two hours.  

And the rest, as they say, is history. Since October 30, 2004, rarely has a day gone by when I haven't spent hours in conversation with Hugh. Even those first few months when I was assuring him and myself and everyone I knew that we were just friends, we would spend our evenings talking at his apartment or chatting on the phone late into the night. He remains my very favorite person to talk to. And riding in his truck to that field trip 7 years ago remains my very favorite decision I've ever made.

I'm so glad you drove a two-passenger car, h.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What We've Really Been Cooking Lately.

Do you know that I am not a great secret keeper? Especially when the secret is good news. I'm less of the keep-my-mouth-shut type and more of the shout-it-from-the-rooftops type.

And, when I am tasked with keeping quiet about the best news ever, I've found it's easier for me to just not talk to anyone than it is for me to keep it to myself. Hence the fact that I've kind of been ignoring you for the last two and a half months, blog friends.

But it's not just you. I've been ignoring a lot of things in my life. My garden. My kitchen. My meal plans. My exercise. My cleaning. My camera. Even my children (but only a little).

I am, however, extremely well-acquainted with my bed. And my couch.

So, now that I am slowly lifting my head off the pillow, I think it's time to come clean before I just explode with secret-keeping. What makes you so tired you lose the will to do anything but spend your days in the horizontal position and so nauseated you turn green at the thought of cooking one single thing and so grateful you feel like your heart may burst?

You guessed it:

Baby's first photo, taken 6 weeks ago.

I'm pregnant.

With a little White Hot baby. And Hugh and I are already completely and totally smitten.

More details to come, but suffice to say our excitement level is off the charts. We've basically been one big non-stop celebration since August 15th.

Can you even believe it?!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Blogger Formerly Known as Craft Impaired.

So, I've mentioned before that I was in a sorority in undergrad. Say what you want about sorority girls and the coinciding stereotypes, but I will tell you this - the friends I made during those 4 years are some of the very best I have. And those were some of the most fun years of my life.

Plus, if you go to a massive public university with 45,000 of your nearest and dearest, it pays to join an organization that makes the place feel a little more like home.

I will also tell you that sorority girls do a lot of crafts. Like a lot. Projects for your big sister, projects for your little sister, outfits for parties, banners for events - there is a lot of painting and hot gluing and fabric-covering and glittering that occurs under those roofs.

So, you either start out crafty, or you learn quickly. Which brings me to the point of this post, a little confession: I was totally the latter, convinced I was born without a crafty bone in my body.

But you'd never know it now. Just look what I whipped up for our front door a few weeks ago:

I emailed my mom a photo of my wreath project, and this was her response:

"Wow! This is beautiful! It makes me think of when you used to have to do all those crafts at Chi O, and I thought it was hilarious because you were so craft-impaired. Just look at you now!"

Oh, Mom. She knows the truth.

Your Favorite White Hot Crafter

Post Script: I used this tutorial for the ruffles, and went off on my own for the embellishments. A little JoAnn's faux flower and some miniature pine cones, and that sucker was screaming Fall from our front door. Happy crafting, frinternets.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What We're Doing. And Eating.

Well, hello there. I think the length of time since my last post can best be described by saying that it took me a few minutes to actually remember where to go to write a post. And then another five minutes to remember how to insert a photo.

Our life has been simultaneously busy and a kind of boring lately. Busy because work has been intense for both of us and boring because we're busy with work, not awesome adventures.

Here's what's new around these parts:

  • Three years (!) ago today, Hugh got accepted into medical school. At the time it was both very exciting and scary, as most huge life changes tend to be. But once we got here, it was evident that we are headed exactly where we are supposed to be going. For all the less-than-fun times that come with being married to a med student, the fulfillment that comes from getting to watch the person you love do the thing he was meant to do just can't be measured.
  • Got two new lenses for my birthday. I love them both. One is a 50mm. It is especially amazing:

  • The number one reason I married Hugh:

  • Happy Fall. We had one week of fallish weather about three weeks ago. Now it's 80 degrees and muggy as hell outside. Come on, crisp weather that makes you smile as soon as you open the door! In protest against the lack of seasonally appropriate weather, I bought a cinnamon broom at Publix. Hugh thinks it's tacky. I think it's amazing. Amazing in that it's so strong it will bring tears to your eyes if you get too close. What's tacky about that, Hugh?
  • I had lofty goals for a fall garden. Had being the operative word. I believe my gardening motivation ship has sailed until the spring.
  • Cin Cin:

  • Fletcher is still crazy:

  • Henry is crazy, too. Crazy beautiful:

And, what we've been eating:

  • A date night which involved stops at not one, but two delightful restaurants. There was a delicious cheese plate, cioppino, and enough toasting to ensure I needed a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast the next day. I love our perfect little life:

  • Fig, prosciutto, and blue cheese pizza. I would sell one of my children for a piece of this right now:

  • Pumpkin Cupcakes - I like knowing you can go somewhere for a recipe and never be disappointed. Deb is a peach that way. Make these if you want feel like fall. And eat delicious cupcakes.
  • Roasted Banana Pudding - I don't like to go around making bold statements that something is "the best ever" very often. But this pudding is ridiculous. And my resident banana pudding connoisseur says it's the best ever. I believe him, because he's eaten almost all of it in 36 hours.
  • Greek Salad - Eating this like it's my job. And not just because it's pretty:

Alright, I think that's enough blathering on for now. What have you been up to, frinternets (get it? like friends + internets?)? Cooking something delicious? Celebrating life anniversaries? Checking Do tell.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Portrait of a Marriage.

Sorry for the radio silence. But, rest assured Hugh is still making me laugh every single day.

Cassie: Would you go zip lining?

Hugh: What? Right now?

C: Yes, Hugh. Right now. I have a zip line set up in the backyard. Of course not right now. Like if we were on vacation and that was an excursion.

H: We don't take vacations with "excursions." And, no, I would not zip line. That shit is for tourists.

C: So you would never zip line?

H: Well, I wouldn't say never. If a zip line were going to get me from building to building and I was being chased by ninja criminals, then I would partake in zip lining.

C: Oh, good. I'm glad we clarified that.

H: Also, only fit people can zip line.

C: No, I think anyone can zip line. They have weight ratings on the harnesses, I'm sure.

H: Okay, only fit people should zipline. Get a unfit person up there in that harness and you are looking at all kinds of bulging no one wants to see.

So, in conclusion, no, no we are not going zip lining. But please don't feel judged if you love to zip line. I would totally do it.

Also, Hugh is rude.

But funny.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What We're Doing.

Do you want to pretend like 1 week on and 2 weeks off is a legitimate blogging schedule? Can we say something is better than nothing?


Okay. Sorry about that then. Life has been crazy around this White Hot house. Work is insanely busy. Hugh is at the hospital for thirteen hour a day and then studying late into the night. Fletcher and Henry - well, they are still just so cute it hurts you.

Oh, and I had a birthday. As days created in your honor go, it was pretty darn peachy. I was completely spoiled by my family and my sweet friends - cards and messages and phone calls kept pouring in until I thought my heart would burst.

Hugh has fully embraced my over-celebration tendencies - there was homemade cake, approximately one million balloons, sweet and funny cards, and a birthday lunch date. Oh, and a visit from the world's best parents. A few photos of the weekend:

A very mediocre photo of some very lovely balloons.

What's a birthday without a celebratory Bellini? Why, that's no birthday at all.

Celebrating the twenty-eighth anniversary of the day we met.

A husband who bakes you a cake (lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting and candied lemon wheels - I know, he's probably going to try to steal my blog with his skills), lights the perfect number of candles, and then sings happy birthday? Yes, please. Also, it appears from the blazing inferno atop this cake, I am getting old. I'm going to need a bigger cake next year...

With that, I'm off to another crazy work day. And lunch with a favorite friend. And (brace yourselves) house cleaning. And then, since he worked like a dog all week, Hugh has promised to take tonight off. So I am taking us on a little date. Three cheers for date night!

Have a lovely one, sweet friends.

Let's do this, twenty-eight.

Post Script: You will notice this post title did not contain its usual "And Eating." That's because what we've been eating hasn't been much to write home (or recipe posts) about - some crumbly black bean burgers, takeout, so-so pork tacos, and lots of leftovers. I'm back to it this weekend, so let's talk food on Monday, okay? Okay!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Weekend In Photos (and Also, Words).

Happy Monday, friends. How was your weekend?

Ours was a delight. I made sure to remind Hugh every fifteen minutes that it was the weekend before my birthday celebration. He assured me that wasn't a thing, but I just kept right on having a lovely pre-birthday celebration anyway. Here's what it looked like:

A happy little Friday grocery list:

At-home happy hour with my one and only:

See, doctors aren't serious all the time.

I think cheese and crackers is my desert island food.

Do you just love the grey and white striped straws?! I do. They are the perfect accessory to the perfect cocktail.

Played in the yard with the kiddos. We've decided to just act like it's not one hundred and ten degrees outside. So far this strategy has left us sweaty, but I'll keep you posted.

Don't let this photo fool you, Henry loves Fletcher. Ten percent of the time.

Ate mussels for dinner:

This is one of those dinners whose ease of preparation belies its deliciousness.

Said goodbye to our neighbor parents (you know, neighbors who are old enough to be your parents and do things like invite you over for Christmas dinner and make you Easter baskets. We l-o-v-e them.). They are moving to Florida, and we were very sad to see them go. There may or may not have been tears on my part. It's official: no one else I know is allowed to move. Unless you live far away and are moving closer to me. In that case, I will help you pack.

Saturday morning doughnut run:

Saturday afternoon Hugh's Famous Fried Pickles run:

Saturday night we made a last minute decision to go see a 10:45pm movie. The funny part about this is that usually we have been in bed for fifteen minutes at 10:45pm. Also, I may or may not have worn my pajamas. Saw "Crazy, Stupid, Love." It was funny and worth the late bedtime. We were very proud we did not fall asleep in the theater. Not that that has ever happened. During "Sherlock Holmes."

Sunday was sleeping in (see: we do not usually stay up until 1:15), leftover doughnuts, yard work and washing the cars (for Hugh, husband extraordinaire), reading, Words with Friends (why so addictive?!), and laundry. Oh, and a very delicious dinner:

Check back this week for a recipe for the best ribs you ever ate in your life, homemade barbecue sauce and all.

Hugh said our weekend can be summed up with the following photos:

Basically, the food was good, the drinks were cold, and life was sweet.

Lots of fun lined up for you this week on the old blog, so check back soon. I hope on this Monday you are a whirling dervish of productivity.