Best. Surprise. Ever.

I don’t nearly use my crock pot as often as I should.  I mean, what’s easier than putting your dinner together before work and then coming home to hardly any prep for dinner?  So yesterday morning I made beef stew, and added a half a head of chopped cauliflower for more veggies.  😀

Breakfast was an oldie but a goodie – Biz’ breakfast sammie!  1 Thomas’ light english muffin  (3), 1/2 cup egg white (2) 1.5 ounce sliced deli ham (1) 1/2 ounce American cheese (1) with a sliced orange on the side.  7 PointsPlus.

At the gym today I decided to do the Stair Machine.  I grabbed a 6 pound balance ball and tossed that back and forth while doing a pace of 30 steps per minute – which was on the slow side, but I wanted more of a strength workout than cardio – my calves and biceps were screaming at the end of 40 minutes!

Let’s face it, there are just some meals that you have to reserve for your lunch because your spouse, significant other, or children would throw up in their mouths at the mere thought of a dish – falafel is one of them in my house!  I give you falafel for one! 😀

Course: main meals
PointsPlus™ Value:    5
Servings:  1 

Preparation Time:  0 min
Cooking Time:  0 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy


4 oz cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup(s) cilantro
1 clove(s) garlic clove(s) (medium)
1 tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Durkee Ground Cumin Seed


Put ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
Form into 4 balls. Heat non-stick skillet with Pam over medium-high heat.
Cook, browning on all sides for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve on pita with cucumber sauce.

I love sriracha!

I put it on half of one of my pitas (2) points, with 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce (2) and 1/3 cup diced cucumber and a sauteed apple on the side.  9 PointsPlus.

I will need to tweak this recipe just a bit, because they balls didn’t stay together very well, so this became a messy knife and fork lunch, but the flavors were all there.  I would also add lemon zest to the mix too next time.

So later in the afternoon I get a call from Tony.  He was like “is that cauliflower in the beef stew?”  And then later I talked to Hannah and she was like “I think Tony wants to go out for pizza tonight.”

Okay, 3 red flags right there – um, my beef stew was already made (and its really good!), Tony knew it was the Biggest Loser finale last night, and we have gone OUT for pizza all of about 3 times in 10 years.

So I get home, say hi to Hannah, go to the living room to give Tony a kiss and he is like welcoming me with open arms.  I was like “wow, he must have missed me today!”  I give him a hug, and then I feel someone standing behind me and I was like “Hannah made it to the living room really fast!”

But I turned around . . . AND IT WAS MY STEP-SON JOE from Texas!  I was in such utter shock I couldn’t speak, and then I just started to cry and I couldn’t stop hugging him.  We haven’t seen him since July and he was a site for sore eyes!

When my Mom went to visit my brother in Austin, she went to the movie theater that Joe works at and confirmed that he and his girlfriend would not be making a trip up for Christmas.  But it turns out that Joe’s drivers license expired when he was down there, and in order to get a Texas one, he had to get his Illinois license renewed.  So they are here for all of three days.

So out to pizza we went!  Apparently they don’t have good pizza in Texas (but I hear the Mexican food is amazing!)

When the kids were little we used to ask “do you want to go to the dead animal place?” because this place has dead animals everywhere.

I don’t go on Facebook that often, but somehow Tony figured out that he was coming, so I was the only one surprised – Tony was so happy to see him!  And it’s the first time since 21 that he was able to order a beer with dinner. 😀

their crust is really good. Tony and I had a bacon, sausage and pepperoni

Since there were leftovers, I was able to weigh what I ate to figure out the points.  I had four slices, each one 1.5 ounces, so my pizza came to 11 points.  My two bottles of Miller lite came to 7 points.  18 PointsPlus.

Tony and Joe even did their first shot together, which they left up to the bartender.  Um, turns out she made them a red headed slut – jagermeister, peach schnapps and cranberry juice!  I had about 1/2 a shot worth – it wasn’t too bad, but then I was a jagermeister shot girl back in my day!

So on the way home, Hannah and I dropped the boys off at a bar near our house and we got to making cookies – that are actually being shipped to Joe!  He loves snickerdoodles which I made two nights ago.  Tony had the best idea though.  Joe loves those oatmeal sandwich cookies that come individually wrapped from the Hostess outlet.  So Hannah and I made oatmeal cookies (without raisins because Joe’s weird that way) and then we made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting in the middle.

When the boys got back from the bar, the first couple batches were done, and let’s just say they were a huge hit!

So one of our favorite family activities to do when the kids were little was play board games – hands down our favorite is Pictionary.  Can I just say that Hannah and I dominated?!  We won all three games, when in the history of board game wins, has never happened.

So because I am in such a happy mood with Joe being home, I’ll give someone a $20 Whole Foods gift card if you can solve all four of these Pictionary clues from last nights game.  Can I just say though, that there is a big difference in playing the game when they were 9 and 11 to 18 and 21, when you get these words:  crank, wad, tea bag?!

The most ironic clue?  To win game three and seal the deal – the word was SNOWMAN!

Stats for Tuesday

  • 39 (+5 after we got home with Asti toasts to Joe!) total 44
  • 42 minutes on Stair Master with 6 pound balance ball
  • average blood sugar:  122
  • having Joe home for one night?  priceless!

And so the old me would have just eaten like a pig after a big point meal like that, but guess what?  I still have 16 flex points left for the week and I’ve earned 18 activity points, so its all good. 😀

I took the morning off of work as Joe’s heading back to his Mom’s house after lunch.  I am off to make one of his favorites – cinnamon rolls!

And if you made it down this far, I’ll leave you with this picture, that makes me laugh my ass off every time I look at it.  Joe got an iPhone from his girlfriend for his birthday.  One of his apps lets you take a picture and make it fat.  I guess this is what I would look like!

Make it a Great Day!

38 thoughts on “Best. Surprise. Ever.

  1. That is such a great surprise!! So happy for you guys that he made it home, even for 3 days! When I had first moved away, I hadn’t been home for 8 months, and I planned a surprise party for my mom from LA and then surprised her with my being at the party. She also cried 🙂

    The “fat” picture made me literally LOL!

  2. That last pic made me laugh! That’s inspiration not to gain weight, right there–ha! Somehow I knew that Joe would be there, I think I even dreamed about it last night. I was thinking about him yesterday. Isn’t that the weirdest thing? Never even met any of you and I was having strange premonitions about Joe. And that is not usual–that never happens to me. I don’t have a Whole Foods in my area so I don’t need the gift card, but I’ll take a guess anyway. The first one is depression/sadness, no idea on the second but it looks like a nail and some pants, 3rd rhinosaurus or horn and last muscle/strong.

  3. What a great surprise Biz! The pictures looks like it was alot of fun! I hope you enjoy your time with him 🙂

  4. I suck at Pictionary so no guesses from me. But, I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS GETTING TO SEE JOE!!!!! Priceless.

  5. How exciting and fun and I love that you all made the most of Joe’s quick visit!!! With all of your descriptions, I feel like I was along for the ride – and wow, what a ride! Although I think Joe is right – we don’t have good pizza here in Texas (at least that I’ve found in my 18 years here), we do have many, many “dead animal” restaurants. LOL

    The father/son shots shot is cute. And Tony looks so pleased to have his boy back. Good times!

    That iPhone app is awful and funny and you look like a character from that Eddie Murphy movie!

    OK, my Pictionary guesses are: Gloom, Inseam, Unicorn and Alligator. Have I told you I’ve never played Pictionary? 😉

    • What? Never played pictionary! You and your family will love it – get it in time for when the boys come home from school! We always play teams, usually boys against girls and then parents against kids – we can get pretty competitive!

  6. What a wonderful surprise!

    The falafel patty looks so good! I bet if you added a tbsp of egg white and maybe a tbsp or 2 of something like almond flour or even soy flour it would help hold those together a little more.

  7. Ok here are my guesses, in order:

    Raindrops keep falling on my head.
    Tacky pants

    Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!

  8. what a nice surprise having Joe home! 🙂 So cool!

    I’ve made falafels that turned into chick pea patties. lol They never hold up real well, but they taste delish! 🙂

  9. Hey, I made beef stew in the crockpot yesterday too.

    What a great surprise! I love that. I wish I could have seen your face. 🙂

    Yes, ma’am we have awesome Mexican food. And some fine pizza too. 😛 LOL

    That picture totally cracked me up!

  10. Keep laughing girl… And a shot girl huh… the things we find out.

    And Biz, this post’s for you…

  11. Sounds like a fabulous time, what a wonderful surprise! I stink at pictionary. Would you post your cinnamon roll recipe? please. BTW, what a crazy fun phone app!

  12. What a wonderful surprise! I love that they kept it a secret 🙂

    Dead animal restaurants – ummmm ewww!

    I think Morgan is right!

  13. It so nice when the kids come home 🙂 And to surprise you-priceless!!

  14. Awwwwwwww……….what a great surprise! We love family game night, too! 🙂
    Raindrops fallin on my head
    Did I get any?? Lol.

  15. I made a crockpot meal yesterday, too – they are the best! I don’t know why I don’t do it more often?

    What a WONDERFUL surprise!!! Oh my gosh, I love surprises….especially when they have to do with PEOPLE. 🙂 And, um….call me a cougar, but – your stepson is cute!

  16. That is so awesome that he surprised you. What a nice thing since he couldn’t come for the holidays. Enjoy your time with him.

  17. FANTASTIC surprise!!! Thats great!!!!
    OK…I’ll give the pictionary a go….no gift certificate required, it’s just fun
    1) Don’t rain on my parade
    2) Tack pants (which may or may not be worn in a parade)
    3) Rhinosaurus Balloon (they have those in the Macy’s parade, no? NO….. 🙂 )
    4) The strong arm of the law

  18. I almost choked on my sandwhich when I saw that photo of you at the end!


    Hi Joe! So glad you got to come home for a few days before the Holidays!!

  19. That’s one good lookin’ stepson, Biz! Isn’t it nice that he came even if it was to renew his license? Now, about your mug shot at the end? You were very brave to post it!! Ha!

  20. What a happy post and a great surprise! Enjoy every moment with Joe and family. Last picture is a hoot.

  21. Awwww so sweet! Yay!

    My dad has come home from Cambodia for the holidays – until a few days ago, I hadn’t seen him since May. So good to see loved ones.

    How do you like the Points Plus program? I’ve kind of been thinking about doing it myself.

  22. this post made me smile, a wonderful surprise indeed!

  23. Awesome surprise!!!!!!!! I had a huge grin on my face the whole time reading it! 🙂

    I have no clue what the pictionary pics are? haha Depression? Tacky pants? Rhino? and Muscles? haha

    Loving your double chins!

  24. Oh, cool!!! So glad Joe was able to make it home for a visit! And your falafels look really tasty.

  25. What a great surprise!

    BTW, I have no use for that app!

  26. That is the best surprise! What a fun night — I love that you and Hannah dropped the boys off at the bar 🙂

    The fat photo app is hilarious…that chin, ahhh! 🙂

  27. aw so much fun! it really shows how much you love your family.

  28. What a great surprise! That Joe is a total dreamboat! Ryan has the Fat Booth app on his phone and it’s so stinking funny! We could sit and take pictures for hours. You have a fabulous family you lucky duck!

  29. Definitely a nice surprise! I have no idea and if I did there’s no Whole Foods here anyways 🙂

  30. Aw, what a great surprise! Glad you had a good fam night!!!

  31. Ohhhhh surrrre! Share all the recipes for healthy dishes but keep the oatmeal cream pies secret!? 🙂

    What an awesome surprise! I’m actually surprised someone didn’t spill the beans!

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