Everyday Life

What do you want for dinner?

Last week was a busy one.

With trying to pack up our apartment and paint our new house, we’re running out of all the essentials for weeknight dinners.

As in our fridge has ketchup, fresh zucchini, and water inside it. That’s it.

Yikes.

(Ok, there’s more than that in there, but still, it’s pretty empty. So is the pantry.)

On Thursday, I had no idea what to make for dinner. I was tired and hungry and kind of cranky. Plus, we needed to go to the store to get supplies for some house projects. Hubs got home, late because he’d had a work thing, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He didn’t know.

He could tell I was worn out from working all day (I had a busy week freelancing last week) and wasn’t feeling very inspired for coming up with something for dinner.

So he, like the fabulous husband he is, went to the kitchen and started opening cabinets, looking for something to make.

“What do you want for dinner, honey? I’ll make it,” he said.

But he didn’t find much in there to work with either.

And pretty quickly decided…”Let’s grab a bite to eat out somewhere before heading to the store.”

I jumped on that suggestion and out we went.

Now, normally, we don’t eat out…like ever. Especially on a weeknight.

And  normally, I’m fine with that because we’re trying to save as much money as possible, and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for overpriced restaurant food. Plus, I really do enjoy making dinner for the two of us.

But sitting down and ordering an appetizer (free with a coupon) and an entree to share, where someone cooked and brought me my food and then cleaned up after me when I was finished was exactly what I needed to refuel in the middle of an exhausting week.

I thankful for how Hubs saw that I needed help to get out of my funk, and how he’d taken such a simple approach to solving the problem. He’s so quick to offer his services for the benefit of others–myself or someone else, and I love that about him.

I’m thankful I was able to see past the normal boundary of eating out of a weekday to know that this would improve my mood considerably. I’m thankful we live so close to some restaurants that are ready to feed hungry, cranky wives who can get stir crazy after being inside all day while they work from home. I’m thankful for a husband who senses when I need to get out of the house.

And honestly, with our coupon and because we shared everything, it really only ended up being like $15 dollars or something…which fit pretty well into our budget after all.

 

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Being in over my head…

It’s happened more this past year than ever in the previous twenty-one or twenty-two years…combined. At least, it feels like that.

Why?

Well, because until this past year, I guess my life was pretty safe, stable, and some might say…easy.

Ok. I said it.

I had an easy life.

Not that I was spoiled, but I was never in need of anything, or forced to do anything really scary or over my head.

Until I got married.

And moved to a big city.

Where I knew pretty much no one.

And for sure had no idea how to get around up here on my own.

All while trying to find a real job.

And then we decided to try to buy a house.

And finally ended up doing just that.

(insert mini celebration here)

But there are a lot of things that have been, and still are, overwhelming about all these exciting developments. In fact, sometimes I find myself feeling so overwhelmed that I don’t even know what’s overwhelming me…just that I’m in need of some sort of organization and solution to…well everything.

And in times like that, I make lists. Usually in my head, sometimes written down. So here goes:

1. We know pretty much nothing about fixing up a house. It’s frightening when both of us have no real opinion on a matter and yet have to make some sort of major decision anyway.

2. There’s a million and one paint colors out there, for each brand of paint. How will I ever choose which ones to buy and put on our walls?

3. We have very little furniture to fill all these new rooms.

4. We don’t have a big enough budget to buy furniture to fill all these new rooms…not even thrift store furniture. Yikes.

5. I still don’t have a REAL job.

6. Maybe my real job is being a freelancer. Maybe I should work on getting more jobs and more clients and try to really make this work…so many what ifs there.

7. WHY WON’T ANYONE HIRE ME????

8. How are we ever going to get packed up, loaded, and unloaded in this 110 degree heat?

9. Will I ever run again? Why am I too tired in the morning to get up to do this? Why is it too scary for a woman to run by herself at night? Stupid crime and stuff…

10. What will me not having a job mean when it comes time to start paying bills for the house?

11. What it Hubs has to start traveling more for work?

12. My kitchen is so messy. So small, and yet so messy.

13. My dining room is so messy. So totally and completely impossible to be used as a dining room right now.

14. My living room is so messy…you get the idea, right?

15. The new house is in a state of un-wallpapered walls, mostly-painted ceilings, messy floors, piles of tools and supplies, tarps, drop cloths and messes everywhere.

16. My car is still making a funny noise, and we can’t ever find time to take it anywhere to get looked at…

17. Hubs’ car is too hot to drive in this weather.

18. We REALLY don’t want to have to buy a new car right now…

19. We have nothing in our cabinets to make for dinner.

Phew.

Ok, I’m done now.

Thanks.

Now that I’m finished organizing my overwhelmed-ness (?), I can move on to solving some stuff, right?

Or I can just sit back on the couch and wait for Hubs to come home and help me.

Or I can start wondering why he’s almost 30 minutes late getting home from work.

Oops, there I go again.

Note: Please don’t mistake this post as complaining about my life with Hubs. I’m blessed and I know it. I’m just feeling scattered and overwhelmed with all the stuff going on right now in my head. This was just my way of admitting to the world how un-put-together my life is…as I know that sometimes blogging about good stuff, conflict resolution, and happy times can make it seem like I have it all figured out…when in fact, I most certainly do not.

:)

What about you, friends? What’s overwhelming you? What in your life is totally and completely unorganized right now? What messes are you cleaning up or trying to figure out how to hide if company suddenly comes over?

 

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My favorite things about summer

Hey guys. Yesterday was the first day of summer. Did you know that?

Did you celebrate that?

Well, you should have, if you didn’t. Remember how Hubs and I were going to go eat these awesome gourmet hotdogs to celebrate summer?

Oh, you don’t remember that?

Maybe it’s because you should go back and read this post again. And if you missed the hot dog part, you might have missed our big announcement that you guys have all been waiting for so patiently while I kept hinting and hinting, so you should probably read #4 pretty carefully, okay?

Ok. I’ll give you time to go read and come back.

Done?

Remember the hot dogs now?

Good. That’s better.

See how awesome they were?

Anyway, in honor of summer, here’s a list of my favorite (5) things about this glorious season.

1. It’s warm and sunny most of the time. What can I say, I’m a child of the sun, the pool, and sitting on swings. Always have been, always will be.

2. There’s some awesome stuff that happens during the summer. Like my birthday. And our anniversary now. And the 4th of July. Which, by the way, all those things happen in like a 1.5 week span, so that’s one super awesome, celebration-full week! Yippee!

Yup. I just said Yippee. Don’t judge.

3. People don’t think it’s crazy that I’m in the mood for ice cream 24/7. In fact, it’s sort of normal to love ice cream that much during the summer.

4. Summer usually means travel. I like to travel and take roadtrips. Even though we’re not going anywhere far away, we’re still going to have some fun adventures this summer. For sure. You should have some fun adventures, too.

5. People cut grass and mow hay in the summer, and the wildflowers bloom alongside the roads. I know it’s no longer my home, but the country in the summer is the most glorious place in the world to be. I promise.

There ya have it, my favorite 5 things about summer. Actually, it’s just the first and best five that I came up with while writing this silly post, but you get the idea.

Of course, there’s millions more awesome summer things to celebrate, so you should leave a comment and tell me what’s on your summer list! Ready? Go!

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Inside our walls…

There’s a lot that goes on inside our apartment that a lot of people don’t know about. Some of it’s pretty normal newlywed stuff. We bicker about laundry and dishes. We yell at the TV when our cable is sucking. We kiss a lot. We walk around in our skivvies all the time. (Ok, not all the time, but a lot of the time!)

But there’s other stuff that happens, too.

Things like this:

Yup, that’s a tent. In our living room.

On Monday, we had a little camp out in our apartment because we’re taking a camping trip soon and we hadn’t opened any of the awesome gear we got as wedding presents. Me, being the pre-planner I am, didn’t want to wait until we got out to the campsite to open something up and have there be a big hole or missing parts.

Hubs agreed. (Probably because he knows that he’d be SUPER DUPER mad if I suggested we check it first and he refused and then there was something wrong that left us without  a tent. Yikes.)

It took up the ENTIRE room. We had to move all the furniture and everything.

So we spent a few hours just chilling on our new air mattress in our new tent while watching TV and eating this:

Oh my goodness yum! Homemade strawberry shortcake says summer for sure! And strawberry shortcake in a tent while pseudo-camping says summer even more!

The best kind of camping is the kind that happens with air conditioning, right?

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Another thing that has happened twice in our apartment in the last two days? This scene:

*Hubs is sitting on the couch just chilling out. I’m in the kitchen, or the bedroom, just minding my own business…when…

***(loud, dramatic) gasp!***

*Hubs comes running with a spider-killing tool in hand.

Never having to ask someone to kill big, scary bugs for me?

Reason #36 that husband roommates are the best, for sure.

What about you? What happens inside your walls that others might never guess? You can tell me…I an keep a secret! :)

 

 

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Life happens…

Hi all,

Did you miss me?

Have you noticed my absence lately? Have you wondered where I was? Why I wasn’t blogging all about our newlywed life?

(If you didn’t miss me, notice my absence, or wonder why I wasn’t blogging, be a dear and not tell it to my face, okay? Okay.)

Anyway, the reason I wasn’t blogging about our newlywed life was because I was simply too busy being a newlywed wife!

Things have been hectic and wonderfully busy in our little corner of the world lately.

We have housing developments and job developments all in the works. We’ve been to weddings and showers and parties dinners out with friends.

Here’s the gift I made my sister for her graduation party. She now has her doctorate of physical therapy!

We’ve been trying to keep up on cleaning the apartment and stocking the fridge while hunting for bargains at local garage sales.

Heck, we even took home a free kitten from a flea market to live happily ever after with my parents on the farm last weekend.

Our cute little tabby cat we got from the flea market for my parents. He stands out from all the black and gray long-hairs my parents have at their farm!

And we’ve been cooking at home together more than we ever did before.

These veggies and potatoes are Hubs’ new favorite. He can’t get enough! And I think they are pretty good, too. Add in pan-seared chicken and some grilled zucchini and yellow squash? That was a dinner for a king!

We were also healing. From our sunburns. Ouch. And ick. (We’re now both in the peeling stage, and I’m reminded even more often how different girls are from boys in that regard. While I’m disgusted at the way Hubs peels off flakes of skin, he’s excited and amused. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Good thing I love him!)

I guess the main thing we have been doing is settling in.

We’ve been married almost 11 months now and that means we’ve also been living in the city, together, for almost a year. (I can hardly believe that!) And with this, I am learning, comes the slow realization that this is home. This is our new normal. This is where we live.

I guess part of the reason I didn’t feel really “at home” in the city before now is because we just weren’t that busy. We weren’t really making a life for ourselves up here. It always felt as if we were visiting, or playing at living here.

All that’s changing though, and I find myself feeling both excited and sad about it at the same time.

I’m happy that we’re finally settling in. I’m sad that it means I’m settling in away from family and friends that are still so dear to me but that now live 2 or more hours away.

I know things change and can’t stay the same, but I’m finding myself both sad and sometimes homesick as well as overwhelmed with the joy I feel at being married to my best friend and amazed by the blessing it is to live together and make this life for ourselves.

So that’s what I’ve been doing–living and loving. What about you? What’s new with you? Any new developments, realizations, or adjustments in your neck of the woods?

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Time flies…

Lately I’ve been feeling that the past year has totally and completely flown by.

Yes, I know that’s something “adults” say. And that the more I say it, the more I sound like my parents, or my grandparents.

But when I think back to last year at this time, when I was newly graduated and planning a wedding. Now we’ve made it almost a year! Holy cow!

There’s so much we haven’t done yet, so much we haven’t learned or seen.

Still, at the same, I can’t help thinking that the months seem to be slowing down and dragging on a little. I keep thinking, “Oh no! We forgot to pay the rent!” But we didn’t forget, it’s just still May…so we don’t have to pay again until June…

And I also think, “Oh my goodness, this week has gone fast! It’s already Friday! There’s still so much I need to do…like laundry!”

Why does my brain have such a hard time adjusting to the weird schedule we’ve fallen into? Why does it feel like time is both flying by and standing still? Why can’t I figure out how to better manage my time at home with Hubs? IT’s like we get sucked into this newlywed time warp and the few hours after dinner and before bed are gone before they begin, thus, no housework gets done.

And then on my day “off,” I’m scrambling to do dishes, uncover all the table surfaces in our tiny apartment that are buried under mail and coats and cloths and newspapers and…shoes? Oh, Hubs!

So, I’m off to have a productive day. What about you? Big plans? Small plans? No plans? Do you feel like life is dragging on or flying by?

Also, please leave a comment or suggestion on yesterday’s post about how to make better, faster week night meals. We can’t have sandwiches all the time. We need some ideas on what’s fast to make and good to take! (In the car that is.) Or what’s SO fast we can eat before we leave!

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“W”ishes and worries

We’re young and in love.

(It’s all very romantic, sounding, huh?)

And while it’s true that this young love is happy and exciting and sweet and full of hope for the future, it’s also scary and frustrating and a lot of hard work.

Don’t get me wrong, we have big dreams and hopes for our future together.

But we also have bills and big questions and a budget to follow that seems to get smaller every week instead of bigger.

I’ve decided it’s a fine line between wishes and worry.

See, wishes often lead to worry, and the other way around, or at least, they seem to.

For example, when we wish for a house with a big yard, we start to worry about the cost of that yard and paying a bigger mortgage.

It’s not a crippling sense of worry, or a high level of fear. It’s all about a balance.

In fact, the worries help keep me grounded.

Because when I wish for a house with a big yard, I start to yearn for acreage and a pond with a long driveway away from the road and away from neighbors.

And that’s not realistic.

Because yes, it’s free to dream, but no, I shouldn’t focus on things we can’t have because it will make me less likely to be happy with what we find.

But, the wishes are important, because they keep my heart happy when I think about the future. Thinking about the practical things, our needs, usually leads me to dream about the future and how things will be different and better for us as we grow and learn and change and have a family.

So really, it’s all about taking one with the other. I’m a worrier and a wisher, I guess.

Which isn’t such a bad thing if it leads to making better decisions right now for a better future tomorrow. Which will help us get to the future happier, healthier and hopefully with more money in our piggy banks.

You know, the traditional storybook ending.

And living happily ever after, is all we ever really wanted, anyway, right?

What about you? Are you a worrier or a wisher? 

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“P”arsley

Last night while we were making dinner, this happened:

Yup, that's parsley...all over the floor...

I didn’t drop it, I swear.

I did put it on the top shelf of the cabinet and then shut the door.

I really did.

Or at least, I almost shut the door.

Too bad the cabinet’s too full and I knocked over some other spices, sending them spinning and tumbling of the shelf…and sending the glass parsley jar to the floor.

Where the lid popped off and allowed parsley to go pretty much every-which-way all over the floor.

But we didn’t yell, or curse, or cry.

(You knew Hubs didn’t cry, I’m sure, but I wanted to make sure you knew I wasn’t crying either…)

I did stand there silently for a bit just looking at it.

I stood there so long, in fact, that Hubs had to say, “Well, pick it up.”

So I did.

And I kept cooking while Hubs got out the sweeper and cleaned it up.

I was bummed, sure, but proud of us for avoiding an argument. Or in my case, a meltdown.

We know not to cry over spilled…parsley.

Your turn! What’s the most recent thing in your marriage that could have been an opportunity to produce anger or frustration? How did you respond?

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“O”ne thing at a time…

Right now, there’s a lot of unknowns in our life.

Where will we live?

Where will I work?

When will I find a job?

When will we move?

When will we have kids?

When will we get a house?

Will we have the time and money to travel this year?

How much should we spend on a house?

When will we visit home next?

Whose house will we stay at?

You get the idea., right?

Right.

It can be overwhelming.

This causes a couple of kinds of problems.

Sometimes, I get simply get overwhelmed and have mini-meltdowns… you know, tears and anger for no reason…

…much to Hubs’ dismay.

It’s unfair to him to expect him to know how to get me out of my funk, when even I know I don’t have any reason to be acting that way.

The other problem is that I tend to overplan…everything.

As in, I send Hubs an email at 4:30 with our “plan” for the rest of the night. And I need to know weekend plans a few weekends in advance. And I make to-do lists and to-don’t lists and lists of lists…

Ok, maybe not lists of lists, but I did make a “sublist” a few weeks ago because I had so much to do.

Anyway, Hubs gets frustrated at me for making plans of plans for plans of the plan…

And then we sometimes fight.

But I have a theory that all this over-planning for all the little things comes from my inability to plan any of this big stuff in our life right now. It doesn’t excuse my tendencies to want to plan our plans…but it does help explain it, at least a little bit.

Makes sense to me.

And Hubs is learning I don’t always mean to be a drag with our plans.

And he’s learning to go with my plans.

In the same way I’m learning to go…with his flow.

And trying to keep taking it just one thing at a time, one day at a time, knowing that things will work out…because we believe this:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  -Jeremiah 29:11-13

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27

What do you think? Does my plan planning make sense? How can I learn to let the little things go more easily when the big things are so unknown? Do you and your Hubs (or wife) disagree about things like this? 

 

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“N”ine o’clock bedtime…

Last night I was tired.

So, so tired.

I was tired because I’ve been a little sick.

I was tired because I ran a half marathon on Saturday.

I was tired because my body hurt… all over.

So I went to bed at 9:00.

Hubs and his brother stayed up to watch some show on the history channel. I didn’t care at all.

I went to bed.

I think it was the first night since we’ve been married, that we were staying in the same place, that we went to bed separate from each other.

I’ve been dreading that.

And I don’t really know why.

I know it isn’t a big deal if one of us is more tired than the other one. I just don’t want it to become a habit because I want us to learn how to adapt to each other’s sleep schedules and various needs.

But one night apart didn’t seem to hurt.

And you know what?

I’m probably going to go to bed early tonight, too.

I think Hubs is going to come with me tonight, though.

What about you? What makes you head to bed before dark? How tired do you have to be before you suck it up and admit to needing more sleep? Any secrets for feeling less sleepy during the day? What are your thoughts about separate bedtimes? 

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