Monthly Archives: November 2011

Advice from you: Christmas Shopping

Lately, Hubs and I have had a lot of discussions revolving around Christmas shopping. I love to give and get gifts. He doesn’t care that much for either. Still, he respects and enjoys sharing in my joy at this part of the holidays even if he doesn’t understand why I love it so much. But we have lots of unanswered questions…

1. How do we decide how much to spend on gifts for each other? Should we set an amount limit and divide it up into gifts how we each please? What if 1 person uses all the money on one nice gift and the other buys 10 little ones? Is it better to not worry about the cost and get the same amount of presents to unwrap? We’ve decided on a combination of both I think, but are still considering the money limit. After all, we’re newlyweds and trying to save as much money as possible.

Wyatt likes to wrap gifts in newsprint. I appreciate that about him. These are his gifts to me a couple years ago. And one from me.

2. How do we decide how much to spend on gifts for others? Same system? Another way?

3. When do we open our presents for each other since we’ll be traveling for the holidays? We want to start our own family traditions but aren’t sure when is the best time.

4. How do we (I) decorate without spending a lot on Christmas?

5. How do we fit a tree in our tiny apartment?

I love the Christmas season and I love thinking about the idea that we’re our own family now, and we’ll have our own traditions and ways to decorate, celebrate, and make it through this holiday, but there’s bound to be some growing pains as we both adjust.

I don’t think gift giving should be about the money or even about matching giving levels, but it’s hard to find the right balance the first time around. How do we figure out a good system without everything feeling too planned or too fussy?

Help!

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100th Post…

I had to make a little note to say Thanks! for reading. The previous post  was my 100th, and I’m getting close to having 10,000 total views! All since the end of July. Sheesh.

All I can say is WOW!

Thanks so much for reading, subscribing, and of course for the comments. I LOVE hearing from you!

And as a side note, did you notice the new little button on the top right of my screen? I’ve been nominated as a Top Marriage Blog for 2011, and I’d love if readers would go there and vote! Even if you don’t vote for me, there’s a huge list of marriage blogs that are also great reads and good marriage resources. Check it out, and vote!

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turkey 2.0

As it is the week after Thanksgiving and thus, the time for leftover turkey recipes, I wanted to post our turkey adventure from tonight’s dinner for you guys.

Just to brief you:

1. It was delicious.

2. Wyatt and I had some quality kitchen time together.

3. We have plenty of leftovers for another great meal.

4. Giada De Laurentiis is my current foodie crush.

Picture from giadadelaurentiis.com

Even though we didn’t make our own turkey for Thanksgiving dinner (we made it the previous week), we brought home leftovers from the in-laws. It was great that day, and hopefully my mother-in-law won’t take offense, but I think it was even better tonight!

We started with this recipe from Giada, and per me, we mixed it up, as usual.

(of course, part of the reason we had to mix it up is because we didn’t have the bowls it called for)

We ended up making it like this:

First, we cooked up 4 slices of bacon in a skillet, you can chop it before or after. I chopped it before. When it’s done, set it aside to drain.

Why did we use bacon instead of pancetta? Because I don't know where to find pancetta and we already had bacon in our fridge.

Then, I cooked half of an onion, about a cup of chopped carrots, and 2 tbsp of butter for about ten minutes until it’s tender. I added 1/4 tsp dried chopped thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Note: by this time, your kitchen will smell delicious. Try not to eat everything before it’s done cooking.

While that was cooking, Hubs got home from work and asked if he could help. Yes! This was turning out to be a pretty big job and I hadn’t even started on the crust yet.

So, Wyatt followed this part of the directions pretty much exactly, but here’s what we ended up doing.

  • 3/4 cup flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

We don’t have a food processor, so Wyatt mixed this up in our mixer (the beautiful yellow one I love so much). Mix the dry ingredients together first and then add the butter and cheese, stirring it until the mixture is combined and crumbly. With the machine running, he added 1/2 cup buttermilk and the oil, letting it mix until it formed a ball.

I think it worked just fine in our mixer.

He rolled out the dough into a 12-inch diameter circle, about 1/2-inch thick.

It's like a really thick cornbread dough.

In the meantime, I was busy adding 2 tbsp flour and 2 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth to my skillet. Basically, it makes a roux, so you want to cook the flour in the carrot and onion and butter for a minute or two before adding the chicken stock. Then we added the bacon, 1 cup of peas, 1 cup of corn, and 3 cups of turkey (cut in small pieces or shredded) to the filling mixture.

It will look something like this. Yum.

Then I poured the filling into my baking dish.

I only spilled a little. Don't worry though, Wyatt put it back in the dish.

Then he put the crust on top of the baking dish, like this.

He's thrilled I was taking pictures instead of helping.

And it was ready to bake, in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.

Almost ready to eat!

 

By this time, Wyatt was super hungry and didn’t want to wait. But it doesn’t take that long, and it gives you time to clean up, considering this recipe made a huge mess in our kitchen.

Wyatt accused me of being a messy cook, which offended me at first. I’m not that bad. But then I looked around and realized that instead of being upset, I should just admit, agree, and start cleaning. It was a mess, and I might as well give in to it. I’ll chalk avoiding that fight up to simply being realistic and not wanting to make a fight out of an innocent comment. That’s a choice we all have so often. I only wish I had the self control to always choose sanity. I guess that’s something that comes with more marriage experience…

…So we cleaned and Wyatt did dishes. (I didn’t even ask him to, he’s so good about that. I hope that’s not a “newlywed thing” he outgrows some year down the road.)

And pretty soon (after about 20 minutes), this happened:

Golden brown goodness.

And then it was time for this.

As Giada would say, "Buon Appetito!"

(Keep in mind, since we didn’t have individual ramekins, we had to scoop it out and serve it in bowls, which resulted in having to spoon out the filling around the crust layer in our bowl. But it’s still yummy, so don’t worry about that.

And if we make it again, we’re going to add potatoes, which we’d boil first and then add into the filling mixture I’d also use less peas and maybe add other veggies. Be creative, you can do whatever veggies you like best!

Either way, it was a fabulous way to use up our turkey (not all of it, we saved some for sandwiches!) and had fun in the kitchen. There’s nothing like a meal prepared with kisses and flirting in the kitchen. It makes it taste better, trust me.

How great is it to be a newlywed and not only be “allowed” but also “encouraged” to make out while cooking?

I think we’ll be like that forever. I just made an executive decision. I better go tell Hubs.

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Thoughts on bed and bedtime…

This morning I did NOT want to get out of bed.

I suspect these reasons as to why.

1. It was cold in our apartment and warm in the bed. You do the math.

2. It’s Monday morning and I have a mountain of weekend laundry to do.

3. I have 2 suitcases, 1 little bag, 2 big bags, 1 crate, and 1 box of stuff to put away or figure out what to do with that we brought back with us.

4. I have a slight nagging headache right above my eyes.

Or, the real reason I suspect…

5. We’d been away from home for 4 nights, and there’s no place like your own bed to curl up and get a good night’s sleep. Yes, we’re still sometimes having trouble sleeping together. And yes, I always sleep well in my parents’ house because it will always be my first home.

But there’s something so great about your own bed.

This bed frame is borrowed from a family member, and we're very thankful.

True, this was Wyatt’s bed (mattress) before it was mine, and someday we’ll have a different one when it’s time to replace it. But I’m sure that future bed will feel the same way. It’s familiar and comforting, and it’s shared, which makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

I’ll admit I used to roll my eyes at my parents when they’d say how much they missed their bed on vacation. I figured it was because they were older and had aches and pains when they had to sleep in a different bed. Now, I’m sure that’s true, because we’ve experienced some of that, but I think it’s more than that. I think it’s because they’re married.

Sharing a bed with someone is such an intimate thing. And I don’t just mean because of the sexy activities that go on there. I mean the kind of intimacy that comes from being vulnerable, real, raw, and honest with someone.

Think about it. When you’re sleeping, you’re basically defenseless. No one sleeps well with something they don’t trust because you can never fully relax. And when you go to bed, usually you’re wearing some sort of comfortable clothing, and usually, nothing that ads to your physical features in a flattering way. Makeup is washed off, hair is a mess, and there’s no pretending or dressing up. Also, when you’re sleeping, you don’t have total control over your own body. Sometimes noises happen: snoring, sighing, sleep talking…or other noises that might also have accompanying smells.

Some might say that sleeping is the only time we’re really ourselves. And who else can you be yourself with if not your spouse?

Plus, we all have those little patterns and routines we go through when we’re getting ready for bed. Being away from home disrupts those.

And what about the way that absence tends to make the heart grow fonder? If you never leave home, you’ll never know how great you have it with your own bed. Sure, we love the fact that our queen-sized bed has enough room for us to roll around and our feet don’t hang off the end at all, but until we spend 4 nights in a full-sized bed, we forget how great those extra few inches are.

I’m also talking about the sweet little moments that happen before we fall asleep. Whispered “I love you’s,” talking about our day, the next day, telling each other a funny dream we’ve had, putting my freezing cold feet on Wyatt’s legs to warm up my toes, snuggling, cuddling, and even praying together before we roll over to fall asleep.

Can we do all those things in another bed? Sure. Do we? Sometimes. But is it ever the same as being at home?

Of course not.

And for that reason, I think we’ll celebrate being at home tonight by staying in and going to bed early. The crazy holiday season is coming. I recommend you take some time to yourself and rediscover your love for your bed, and for bedtime.

On the shelves in our bedroom. Yes, I've been known to frame product packaging (left) and magazine advertisements (center) that I like. And the gift I made and gave my bridesmaids on the right.

But the message is still the same.

Very insightful, I know. You can take the meaning to mean what you will. I think it has all sorts of applications.

But if nothing else, at least take this suggestion instead.

The mirror we made. Kissing goodnight is better than saying it. Of course.

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And for this, I give thanks…

After a long weekend (4 nights, 5 days) away from home, Hubs and I are back in our little apartment and tucked in away from the cold.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We certainly did. And because so much has happened I’ve decided to do a quick recap of our Thanksgiving weekend, newlywed wife style. (In case you don’t know what that means, I’ll be throwing in my thoughts, insights, questions, ideas, opinions, etc. while sharing the stories of our trip home. Hope you don’t mind my sometimes random, sometimes wandering thoughts!)

1. We spent Thanksgiving day away from my family this year, which is hard. But that means we spent Thanksgiving with Wyatt’s family, which is great. We have so many wonderful family members that we want to spend time and that want to spend time with us. It really is a blessing we don’t take for granted.

(The holidays are both wonderful and hard because sharing our time is so important. More on this later.) However, since we were home for so many days this weekend, we were able to spend time at both parents’ houses. We headed to Sedalia on Wednesday after Hubs got home from work and spend that night and Thursday night at the in-laws. Then, we re-packed our suitcase and moved into my parents’ house for Friday and Saturday nights. It sucks moving around and living out of a suitcase, but it’s great to see both groups of people in one weekend, especially when we have no real plans and can just hang out, talk, and relax…and cook. And bake. Which brings me to my next point…

2. I love holiday baking. This year, Hubs and I made the pies for Thanksgiving dinner. Using our prize-winning recipe from my Grandma Lois. They turned out super yummy.

We're proud of our pies. Who wouldn't be?

We made pumpkin and two pecans. He’s saving one to take to work tomorrow. His coworkers are about to get super lucky. Or at least their taste buds are.

It's goodness and beauty and blessing all in one pie pan. Yum.

Baking or cooking with Wyatt is one of my favorite things to do. He’s great at so many things and I’m thankful he’s willing to spend time with me doing something I love, even if he’d rather do something else. He doesn’t love to bake as much as I do, and honestly, he’d rather eat more meat than dessert any day but he knows I consider dessert an important part of any meal and I love that he appreciates that about me.

I also made this pumpkin beauty the day after Thanksgiving at my parents’ house. It was divine.

Candied pecans, pumpkin, and cheesecake. Yup, I'm serious.

Oh my. I feel the holiday pounds packing on already. And you know what, I don’t care. Not one bit.

In fact, I wish no one did. People are supposed to eat delicious things for the next 2 months. (Not that you aren’t supposed to eat delicious things all year long…) I know that people try to watch their weight and stay healthy. I’m all for that. I try to eat as many healthy things as I can. I run, I do kick-boxing, and pilates as many days a week as I can, usually every day, but I also don’t ever make my mouth suffer for my stomach’s sake. It’s all about moderation, people. Eat the cheesecake if you want. Just not the whole one.

Or in my case, eat both slices of cheesecake, since Hubs decided he didn’t want it.

Yum. (The second slice was yummy, too.)

3. We got a jump start on our holiday spirit by “shopping” in my parents’ basement for old Christmas decorations they no longer use or want. We found this.

It's an old Christmas tree in need of some love!

We also found a bunch of stuff Hubs says we can’t have. I understand. Everything we bring into our apartment is something we’re going to have to carry out when we buy a house. And while I agree with that argument, I still want it to be our home, and feel like a home should feel.

Maybe this is the sentimental side of me, but I don’t want to live only thinking about how inconvenient something will be in the future. I’m all for planning, and thinking ahead to the future, but I’m also for making today the best it can be. It’s a point of discussion and contention for us every time I want to bring stuff home. And it isn’t that he doesn’t want or appreciate the stuff, he just knows how heavy it will be going back down those three flights of stairs…. (But this is a discussion for another whole blog post…)

4. We did a little black Friday shopping for the first time ever. And by little, I mean, we waited until noon, and went to look at what all was left, and what all had been cleared out. It was fun. We got in no fights, saw no cops, and were shoved or pushed or stolen from zero times. We bought 2 little things for Christmas gifts for family members. We stand by our decision to stay in and in bed the morning after Thanksgiving. Kudos to those who enjoy it. We just do not.

5. We made granola. It’s like my Christmas drug addiction. It’s a secret family recipe, and it’s the most addicting thing I’ve ever eaten. I’ll show you.

We sometimes give this stuff as gifts to friends for Christmas. Those people are lucky, let me tell you.

The picture doesn’t do it justice. At all. Wyatt doesn’t like it as much as I do, but that’s because his love affair with pecans hasn’t really begun yet. He’ll come around. Someday.

6. I realized I need to get moving on my gift for Hubs’s birthday. I have less than one week until we celebrate. He doesn’t even want to celebrate. He’s not very festive or excited about birthdays. We’re EXACT opposites there. I love celebrating birthdays.

7. I also realized we need to find a good compromise for Christmas festivities. He doesn’t like decorations as much as me. I love them. He doesn’t love giving or getting presents. I love them. He doesn’t like Christmas music. I love it. He’s not Mr. Scrooge, but I might start calling him that if he doesn’t perk up on the festivities after his birthday. I knew this long before I married him though, so it’s not a surprise. More on this later.

8. We reflected on our blessings. As is appropriate for every day, especially Thanksgiving. And we are truly blessed. Check out this page for my list!

9. I got a whole bunch of new craft supplies and ideas. I also made a couple more trees. I’m taking pictures and notes, and can’t wait to share all my adventures soon! I also went bridesmaid dress shopping for my best friend’s wedding (it will be way better than the movie by that name!). I can’t believe it’s getting so close to time. I can’t wait to celebrate and watch you begin your life with your husband! We have so much planning and showering and bachelorette-ing to do!

10. We’re now home, after this long, fantastic weekend of giving thanks and having fun. And you know what? I think I’m somehow even happier when I’m able to wrap up my weekend doing just this. Having a quick, quiet dinner with just the two of us after a weekend full of family and friends.

At home, eating frozen pizza and snuggling on the couch.

This is us, this is home, and this is our little family. Blessed? I think so.

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To Turkey or Not to Turkey

Hubs loves Thanksgiving food. He’d eat it for every holiday, special occasion, or random meal he could get it. And I’ve been holding off on making anything like it because he has such high expectations and I don’t want to compete with his memories of the perfect turkey.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than hearing, “It’s not like Mom used to make.” Not fun.

Plus, I’ve heard lots of horror stories of what a pain it is to cook a turkey, and just how easy it is to mess it up, dry it out, or get it just plain wrong. I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I certainly wasn’t eager to try it out.

But Friday night was the annual potluck-style Thanksgiving meal for our friends and it was mentioned that a turkey would be missing from the table. I didn’t want to take it on, but after much encouraging from Wyatt, and talk of having ham (which since Wyatt doesn’t like at all, really got him trying to convince me), I gave in and headed to the grocery store.

I came home with this:

It's as big as my head. And do I look scared? Nope!

Since there was going to be so many other dishes there, and probably another meat, whether ham or chicken, or whatever, I just got a turkey breast. It was basically a small turkey with the legs and wings cut off, about 5.5 pounds.

I had no idea what I was doing so I just set out trying to copy and combine several ideas and recipes I’d seen. Here’s what I learned in the process.

I used an apple, carrots, and onion on the inside cavities, and a butter and herb mixture on the outside to help with flavor and getting that great golden brown skin. (In my family, the skin is what most of us fought over before dinner. Yum!)

In the oven, fingers crossed!

I had read that roasting the turkey breast side down (instead of the usual way with that side on the top) keeps the white meat more moist and juicy since all the juices run down. So I tried it, and flipped it over halfway through the cooking process so the skin could get nice and brown as well. And I brushed it with the melted butter mixture (butter, thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and apple juice) every fifteen to thirty minutes.

Mmmm....melted herb butter.

Pretty soon,  (well, not “soon,” so much, considering it took like 2 and a half hours) it looked like this:

Ready to carve!

In the meantime though, I had fun watching these:

(Not homemade, frozen, but I didn't have enough notice for homemade, and they were still delicious)

Turn into this:

Ready to bake!

And by this time, Wyatt was home from work so he could help me carve. He’d never done that before, either, but I told him about Alton Brown’s tips, and he dug in.

He was excited since he got to use a big knife.

(P.S. Notice the wedding ring on the counter…I moved it to the shelf, and told him that, but he still forgot it that night. He blames me. I say, “how can you not notice it’s not on your hand? It drives me crazy when I don’t have mine!”)

And we ended up with this:

It tasted even better than it looks, so we were both pretty happy with our first turkey efforts.

And we got the wishbone!

Success!

And yes, my night didn’t end up so well, considering the way I spent all Saturday morning. (Maybe I should have wished to not get super sick!) But we had a great time Friday night with friends, laughing and hearing old stories, and eating good food, despite whatever got me…

So, even though I’m not sure if I’m ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner again (hopefully tomorrow!) I’m happy to report that the turkey adventure wasn’t so scary. Hubs pretty much only ate that, so I think it’s safe to say he liked it.

In fact, I think I wouldn’t be scared to try it again sometime!

What about you? Are you scared to cook a turkey or are you a pro? Either way, I’d love to hear about it!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

In sickness…

(First of all, I need to offer an apology for my absence lately. You’ll understand after reading this post.)

On Friday night/Saturday morning at approximately 12:30 am, it started. I was sick. Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick.

We both suspect food poisoning. (Don’t worry, our Friday night Thanksgiving meal sharers, we don’t blame anyone!)

But no matter the cause, it was certainly unpleasant. Yikes. Ick. Blech. Blah. I’ll spare you the details, but long story short, neither of us slept much that night. (Well, to be honest, Wyatt started out sleeping just fine on the couch, but I woke him up and begged him to at least be close enough he could hear me if I needed him.) And we made it through the night, sleeping maybe 20 minutes to the hour for me, since I was up sick about every 40 minutes, and 45 minutes to the hour for Wyatt since I could hear him snoring while I was hurling my guts and lungs out in the bathroom. (Sorry for that visual. I’ll try to keep the rest of the unpleasantness to a minimum.)

When we got home from the party, I headed straight for the privacy of the bathroom (we’re newlyweds, I didn’t want him to hear me hurl) and he cleaned the entire kitchen, all the dishes and all the counters (since it was super messy from my turkey adventure…more on that later.) He also folded the laundry that was in the dryer. I didn’t know it at the time since I was a bit preoccupied, but it was a huge blessing when I realized it the next day.

And even though I didn’t want Wyatt to hear or see me when I was so disgusting and sick, there comes a point in every relationship that all that becomes less important. It’s safe to say that we reached that point. Yes, I kindly shut the door behind me every time I got up, and yes, Wyatt says the whole process wasn’t that gross for him because he didn’t have to clean up anything or “hold my hair back” (I’ve never understood that, why not use a pony tail?) I’d never thrown up in his presence before that night. And I certainly decided to break that barrier with a bang. And I wasn’t ashamed to groan with how much pain I was in, or tell him what was wrong with me or ask for him to get up in the middle of the night to bring me some water, or help me not pass out in the shower the next day…(reason #100 that husband roommates are the best)

All I can say is that I’m super thankful our bathroom is so close to our bedroom.

Finally, morning came, and things calmed down a little, though I could barely get out of bed and was so sore and tired (Hurling that often will certainly cause your insides to freak out, let me tell you.) I couldn’t have functioned even if I could have. He ran to Wal-mart and brought home Gatorade, which I don’t like, but he insisted I should drink, and Cheerios, my preferred sick food. And you know what else that sweet man brought home?

Flowers.

Pretty and practical, for raising your sick wife's spirits, that is.

Yup, the man who thinks flowers are a waste of money because they just die and they cost a lot brought me flowers. I didn’t ask for them…how could I, in the midst of my misery? And I didn’t even know they were there because he just put them in a big pitcher on our coffee table and I didn’t see them until about 3 o’clock that afternoon.

I liked them so much I wanted to pack them up and take them with us. I refrained.

But that’s why it was so sweet, he didn’t do it to impress me or show off. He did it because he knew that when I saw them, it would cheer me up.

And you know what?

It did.

How can anyone be uncheered with something like this shining up at them? Still sick, but cheered!

Now, by Saturday afternoon, I was “better.” Meaning I was no longer hurling every half hour but could still barely stand, and I had a pretty severe “mystery pain/pulled muscle” in the left side of my lower abdomen which made it hard to sit or stand…or lay… (man, it hurt. You may be thinking I’m a wuss. I’m not. Ask my mom and dad, ask Wyatt, ask my sister)

And since we had plans in Sedalia, Wyatt helped me pack and we headed out in the Honda. We only had to stop once on the way, and we made it fast. (Thanks for driving fast and safe, Hubs, because that car ride was NOT my favorite part of the weekend.)

Our plans consisted of going to Lyceum Theatre to use our free tickets from Missouri Life magazine. But we almost didn’t go since I was still not feeling well when we got to my parents’ house. Finally, I decided I’d probably feel the same whether at the theatre or in bed, and since I wasn’t contagious, we might as well go. So we did. And yes, I felt sick, and yes, the car ride wasn’t fun (thanks for letting me lay on you, Hubs) and yes, I didn’t laugh nearly as much as I would have if I wasn’t in pain, but it was still fun, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

But we went to bed the second we got back to my parents’ house. It had been an 8 o’clock show, and we were both still exhausted from that long, sleepless morning.

And we spent most of the next day lounging around on my parents’ couch until it was time for their 30th anniversary surprise dinner that night, which I’m thankful I was well enough to enjoy, even if I only had salad and a baked potato.

Yup, 30 years. Congrats to you guys! Thanks for being a great example!

So, that was my weekend, and why my weekend recap is a bit late this week.

All in all, even though I was so super sick and miserable, I wouldn’t say at all that it was a bad weekend. If nothing else (and there was a lot else, celebrating my parents’ 30 years of marriage, for one thing), I was humbled and blessed every few minutes by how awesome Wyatt was.

He was more than caring and more than wonderful. Yes, the flowers were a nice surprise, and I’m still enjoying them, but it was more than that. He took my temperature with the fancy thermometer I didn’t know how to work that he went out to buy to make sure I wasn’t really “sick,” and he kept me in supply of water, Gatorade, and 7up. He packed for me, he carried everything, he made multiple trips to the car when I forgot something or he couldn’t carry everything in one trip. He made me lunch on Sunday when I thought I could eat something. He cleaned, he did laundry, he woke up when I woke up (for the most part), and he rubbed my back and held my hand as I moaned and groaned in pain, even though he was in a sleepy stupor and probably was just trying to get me to be quiet. Most of all, he wasn’t grumpy or unpleasant or unwilling in any of it.

I hadn’t really given much though to the “in sickness” part of our vows. It isn’t something that’s especially pleasant or fun to think about or plan for. I mean, I’ve put a lot of effort into living out the “in health” part, figuring out how to be a wife to my husband, but I’m more thankful than ever for the other end of that as well.  I’m almost excited (almost!) for when I can take my turn at taking care of him!

What about you? Anything great happen this weekend? Anything unpleasant to deal with? What about the “in sickness” thing, how has it come to play in your marriage? 

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

In a Thanksgiving State of Mind

Yesterday I told you that I’d added to my Fall and Thanksgiving decorations.

Before you roll your eyes (which is what Wyatt did), here’s what happened.

I was at the church I am volunteering at and they are redecorating their lobby area. So I took down the Fall decor, and the live pumpkins and little squash things? They were going to throw them out!

But they still looked so good!

Naturally, I couldn’t let that happen, so I offered to give them a new home. In my tiny apartment.

Here’s how my apartment was decorated before:

Nice, and mostly free, except the apples.

Here’s how it looks now.

Overkill? You tell me. I think not.

The little ones are my favorite.

If this doesn't make you want Thanksgiving, I don't know what will.

Perhaps the smell of cooking turkey…but that’s another blog post.

More of my little cuties. They've spread over our living room.

And these?

I bought them at Hobby Lobby for $1 and $2. I think that's cheap enough.

I think it really completed the look.

No matter how many eye rolls I get from Wyatt.

I’m ready for Thanksgiving. Are you?

Our apartment is ready for Thanksgiving too. My poor kitchen should have taken these as a warning...

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10 Things My Kitchen Will Tell You

Here’s some things you can learn about me from my kitchen.

1. I’m fairly messy, though I like things to be neat. Case in point: I don’t want dishes all over the counter, but dislike unloading the dishwasher so I rise them and stack them nicely in the sink. Thus, I have dishes in my sink a lot of the time, or at least until I make myself unload and put away the clean dishes so I can reload.

2. I love to eat. Hence all the dirty dishes.

3. Hubs and I cook a lot. We’re newlyweds trying to save as much money as we can and it’s cheaper to eat in than out. Plus, I like to experiment. Last night when he texted me to say he was going to be home late, I asked him if it was okay to have an “experiment” for dinner. He said sure. So we had bacon-and-blue-cheese-butter-burger-twice-baked-potatoes.  (It was delicious.)

Yum. Yum. Yum. All because we had a little of this and a little of that to use.

Want to learn how to make them? I’ll tell you if you ask.

4. I like to bake. Currently, this is sitting on my counter.

Pear Crisp. Yum.

Except it’s now almost gone, since I made it on Monday.

Wanna know how to make it? I got the idea from here, but changed it, as usual. It’s easy, I’ll tell you.

Peel and slice 4 pears. I used ones that were getting too soft, so I had lots of bad spots to cut out, and I added 1 apple, peeled and sliced as well.

After I was done with that and washing the first peeler I tried to use, I realized why it hadn’t been working.

Apparently, I've never used that one before. Clearly, clear was the wrong color sticker to use, as it was invisible...at least to me. Good thing I had another peeler that worked much better.

Then, add 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbs lemon juice, and 1 Tbs maple syrup. Mix that up so everything’s coated.

For the top, mix 1 stick of melted butter, 2 packets of instant maple flavored oatmeal (uncooked), 11/2 cups brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, and as much cinnamon as you like. I used about a 1/2 Tbs.

It should look something like this.

This is how happiness smells. This bowl of sweet goodness.

Then mix that up and put in on top of the pears. Don’t mush  it down, just crumble it on.

It should look like this. I'm telling you, it's easy, and your taste buds will thank me. Your belly will, too.

6. I love yellow. I have as many yellow kitchen accessories as possible in there, including my mixer, which I love, love, LOVE!

It should be considered art. Art that makes delicious foods.

7. I like organization. I have 2 cork boards, and 2 magnetic dry erase boards to help us remember where we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to pay. Bills have a way of creeping up on us.

8. I like things that are festive. Remember when I showed you how I decorated for Thanksgiving and Fall? (Here) Well, today I got some free “things” from the church I volunteer at and I can’t wait to show you guys tomorrow!

9. I don’t vacuum as much as I should. Probably because I hate my vacuum. It’s so heavy, and it smells so bad. I blame Wyatt’s old roommate who dried to vacuum up smelly carpet cleaner in an attempt to remove the dog smell from their duplex’s carpet. Wyatt promised if I don’t get one for Christmas that we can go buy one. So in the meantime, yes, we have crumbs. Judge me if you want. I don’t care.

10. Hubs and I are crazy about each other and have been for a long time. You’ll see that evidenced by the collection of ridiculously happy-sappy photos on our fridge that dates back several years. I am not a huge fan of cluttered fridges, or clutter in general, but our fridge was kind of dingy and white, so I figured, why not cover it up? You can also tell this by looking in the cabinets. You’ll find the cheezits I make sure we always have on hand for Wyatt’s lunches, and the olives Wyatt put in the cart for me even though they’re expensive. You’ll also see the empty Mountain Dew box from where I surprised Wyatt last Tuesday with his favorite drink we never buy. Oh, and the milk for the cocoa I’m about to make from this night.

Aren't we cute?

There, now that you have a better idea of me and my kitchen. What about you? What rooms in your house give away all your secrets?

P.S. I linked this post up with Newlywed Recipe Linky.

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A night on the town…on my own.

Last night was the first time since being married that I had plans, in Kansas City, without Wyatt.

(Kind of makes me sound like a stay-at-home loser, but I’m okay with that…I think.)

It wasn’t something I’d really thought about, I just haven’t had an opportunity, but as I was getting ready to leave, I realized this was a big step. Not because I felt I didn’t want to get out and have a night with the girls, but because going out without Wyatt means I have to drive there myself.

Uh oh.

If you’ve been following along, you know I tend to dislike driving anywhere that I don’t know where I’m going.

Want some examples? Try reading this onethis one, this one, or this one (my favorite).

Needless to say, I am very much a country girl living in the city. I’m a lot more used to gravel roads and roadkill than interstates and road work.

So when I accepted the invite for a birthday at the Plaza, I admit, I needed a pep talk from Wyatt before I felt ready to leave. He insisted I could make it, and while I doubt his confidence in me, he never wavers (though he does get annoyed),

But I had my cell phone with me, which means I had my GPS. Oh, my trusty GPS.

Except that my phone died when I got there.

Oooh boy.

I headed out of the parking garage…which, as a side note, creep me out, though this one was well lit and had lots of in and out traffic, both on foot and by car.

I walked into the restaurant, hoping I’d see a familiar face. I didn’t know who was coming or how many, and the hostess said, “I don’t think I’ve sat them…” so I commenced to waiting to see if someone I knew walked in. In the meantime, I tried my best to remember how I’d gotten there so I could get back home.

Eventually (only a few minutes, but when you’re alone with no phone, it makes you worry with every minute that the plans got changed and no one was coming) they all got there and we had a great meal at the Cheesecake Factory.

And then it was time to go home. On my own, with no phone.

I borrowed a friend’s cell to call Wyatt to give him a head’s up that if I didn’t show up, he should come looking, and then headed out.

And you know what?

I made it.

(Surprised I’m not writing this from a random computer while still lost somewhere? I thought so, but don’t worry, I’m fine.)

True, I made a wrong turn early on, but I immediately realized it and quickly made my way around the block to get where I needed to go. And true, my cell phone did manage to come back on enough I could have made a very short call if I’d needed to. But I’m still considering this a victory.

Not only did I have a fun night out with some great girls, I made it there and back without much help.

I’d say that’s cause for a celebration.

Any ideas?

I’m thinking a slice of their 30th Anniversary chocolate layered cheesecake sounds like the perfect plan. Too bad I didn’t buy any last night. (I managed to not give in to their 7 dollar slices…)

But the silver lining in not having cheesecake here to enjoy? I know I could get myself there again if the cravings get too overwhelming.

I mean, who wouldn’t face the traffic for a slice of that goodness?

 

 

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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