Posts Tagged With: cooking

First Annual Champagne Friday

Ok, I know Tuesday nights might be a little late for a weekend recap post, but that’s okay, right?

It’s still worth sharing, I think.

And here’s why. Hubs had a long work week last week. In fact, he had to work late Friday night. (Remember me asking for advice about that?)

Friday night, this happened.

I made homemade pizza for the first time ever and I’m not too modest to say it was awesome.

I even made the sauce and grated the cheese all myself…Not to mention “rolling” out the crust. I usually reserve dough tasks for Hubs because for some reason, he just seems to be better at it.

But…he had to work late on Friday and I was hungry and didn’t want to wait for him to get home to get started so I set off on my own. And it was awesome.

Then, since we were having such a grand Friday night, we dubbed it our first annual Champagne Friday.

We added frozen fruit to our champagne and it was LOVE-LY! Even Hubs said so, and he’s usually a dark craft beer kinda guy. Also, that’s the wooden Sudoku game I got for Hubs 2 years ago that we JUST played for the 1st time.

Think Champagne Friday is not a real holiday?

Well, you’re wrong.

It’s real and you should celebrate it, too.

I realize annual means once a year. I doubt this new holiday will only be celebrated once a year at our household…but…it just sounds better, so I’m sticking with it.

Anyway, so that’s how we spent our lovely Friday date night in.

On Saturday, Hubs made breakfast (I know, what a guy…who says romance stops after the wedding??) and then we cleaned out the garage.

It sounds awful but it was actually awesome. It was soo needed and now it looks a million billion times better in there.

Then we planted 36 tulip bulbs and I told them sweet things to encourage them to grow pretty and strong and not die over the winter and stuff.

And then we went shopping to buy our own nativity set with a 30% off coupon we got in the mail for Hallmark. That was a fun and still slightly too expensive shopping trip. I swear, I could be happy buying about 50% of everything inside a Hallmark store either for myself or as gifts for someone else. It’s the best. I did buy a small Christmas gift for one of our mothers, though, and I refrained from buying the new Peanuts Christmas movie. Yes, there’s a NEW ONE AGAIN THIS YEAR! I’m so excited! I also refrained from buying the Winnie-the-pooh nursery picture…being as that we don’t have a nursery or a baby yet…

Then we went out to dinner and had a fabulous time.

Sunday brought a new church to try (it was just okay) and then a walk in the glorious fall weather before watching the SKC game…which sadly, didn’t go as we’d hoped.

Still, all in all, it was a great weekend…and I’d like to attribute it to the great start we got on Friday with the champagne. Something about that fun, bubbly drink just says “Celebrate!” and that’s exactly what we did all weekend.

What were we celebrating?

Well, nothing really.

Or rather everything.

After all, we have each other. We have our families and friends. We have this home we love so much. And we’re young and in love and happy to celebrate on a random Friday night for no reason. And I hope we never lose that attitude. Even after the babies and the soccer leagues and the PTA meetings wear us down…even when we find we may not remember how young and carefree we once were…even when we’re old and tired…

I think that’s part of why being a newlywed is so special. It’s just that attitude of being free and willing to have champagne for no other reason than that simply having it with each other is reason enough.

What about you? What are you celebrating lately? What’s your favorite way to cheer up after a long work week and start your week off right?

 

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Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Leftover Magic

Well guys, if you’ve noticed that I’ve been posting more recipes after taking a break from doing that, it’s because I have a new-found love for my kitchen.

Maybe because it’s huge compared to my last kitchen.

Maybe because we have a brand new refrigerator that I love to fill up with delicious things. And a new oven that is begging to be used. Every night.

Or maybe it’s because we went a long time while we were moving and packing and getting ready to move when we were eating pretty much only frozen pizza, hamburger helper, and other not so blog-worthy meals.

Well, last night was going to be one of those meals as well.

See, we brought home some leftover cooked meat from the fair. Things like steak that had been sitting too long to served but still tasted fine, burgers and hot dogs that were leftover at the end of the night…you get the idea.

Leftovers…getting old. Taunting me every time I open the fridge.

Well, last night, we were going to use some of those up.

And I have a half-gallon of milk that’s going to go bad in a few days I wanted to use.

And we haven’t had zucchini in awhile.

So I planned out dinner to be pretty easy. I would heat up the steak to make steak sandwiches, make Kraft mac’n’cheese with the milk, and then something more creative zucchini.

Afterall, I cook with zucchini all the time so it’s really not a big deal to whip something up that makes the leftovers and plain, easy macaroni feel more special.

But then I added extra milk to the macaroni because I knew Hubs wouldn’t be home for awhile yet and it would start to tighten up and get too sticky if I didn’t put extra moisture in there early on.

And the milk made it extra extra creamy tasting.

So I added some fresh ground pepper, and some chives, and some parsley. And more milk.

And, oh my goodness, so creamy and delicious.

My mouth is actually watering just thinking about eating the leftovers for lunch.

And then I started to work on the zucchini. I had planned to make some sort of zucchini fries, like I did here. But then I saw this post from The Pioneer Woman (Do you read her blogs? You totally should.) and I wanted to add some lemon to the party.

So this is what I ended up doing.

Lemon-Crumb-Coated-Zucchini-Fries.

(Yes, that’s what I’m calling them.)

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs.

2-3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 packet of ranch seasoning

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 egg

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 average-sized zucchini, sliced into thin strips

Combine all the dry ingredients. I did this in my blender since I used it to make the bread crumbs anyway.

All in there, ready for mixing.

Combine all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in zucchini pieces and toss to coat. 

I didn’t do a great job of cutting our fries in equal sizes…

Add in dry ingredients. Toss again to coat.

Spread the zucchini pieces out on a baking sheet. 

See how many crumbs? Crumbs=yum. In this case.

Then, since I had plenty of leftover “crumbs,” I didn’t want to waste them so I sprinkled them all over the top of the cookie sheet I would recommend you do this, too.

Then bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn them, and bake for 12 more minutes.

By this time, some of your extra crumbs will be brown enough to taste. Do that. Yum. 

Turn again and bake/broil until your desired level of “brown-ness.” (We like things a little extra crispy in this house.)

See what I mean about the yummy crumbies?
(I think of Monica from FRIENDS when I say “crumbies”)

Then you’ll serve them ranch dressing, or just plain, because I didn’t think they needed anything else, but Hubs loves his condiments.

They tasted so fresh and yet creamy at the same because of the lemon and the cheese and the bread crumbs and the egg. Sooooo good. I’m telling you.

In the meantime, Hubs came home from work and asked what we were having. He’d forgotten that we had decided the night before to eat the leftover steak. And that no longer seemed very exciting to him. So he said, “Ok, but I want cheese on mine.”

Then we talked for a little bit about how if we added onions it would be a cheesesteak sandwich.

So we did that.

First, we sauteed the onions in butter.

I think onions and butter may smell a little like heaven.

And he chopped up the steak.

Cold steak looks awfully dry and boring.

And then we added the steak to the onions and butter.

Yup. This is way better than what I’d planned to do for dinner.

And then we melted cheese on top.

Yes, I put some of the leftover crumbies on my macaroni and cheese. No, I did not regret it.

(I went without the top bun because I just didn’t want it. I wold actually recommend some kind of hoagie roll for this, but since we were working with leftovers here, crumbly-sorta-old-hamburger-buns were all we had.)

Anyway, it ended up being a pretty spectacular meal.

And I was reminded once again, why I love spending time with the man I married. Because he’s fun. He’s creative. He’s spontaneous. He’s open to try new things. He will experiment with me. Play with me. Laugh with me. Eat ridiculously better than anticipated leftovers with me.

And then he’ll do the dishes.

Reason #47 husband roommates are the best.

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mini Meatloaves

As you guys may know by now, Hubs loves meatloaf.

I think it’s his favorite thing. Ever.

(We made it to celebrate being home from a long weekend trip to Chicago with a bunch of rowdy Sporting KC fans in this post.)

And last night, because I wanted to bless him in a small way for how hard we’ve been working lately on our house at night, and because I like it too and it sounded good, I made meatloaf.

But this time, I wanted to try out a new way of making said meatloaf.

See, I have this cool meatloaf pan that I got for Christmas that cooks the meatloaf and lets some of the fat drain out underneath as it cooks. And it lets you lift the meatloaf neatly out of the pan for nice, easy slicing. It’s pretty nifty.

But in that pan, or any large pan, meatloaf takes more than an hour to bake.

And sometimes, when I don’t start dinner until Hubs gets ready to leave from work, that’s just too long to wait.

So I had an idea to try it in my mini loaf pan.

Like this.

Yes, I didn’t have quite enough for all of them…Ah well.

And it worked so well!

It came out like this.

Yum, that’s what was supposed to happen.

And then, of course because we can’t eat just one, we had…well..more than one.

This was my plate. I won’t tell you how many Hubs ate. We also had twice baked potatoes. YUM.

Anyway, I would totally make these once we have kids because not only does it help with portion control (if we only eat one…wasn’t that one of our newlywed resolutions…hmmm…) but it’s just so much faster.

They cooked it only about 35 minutes!

That’s totally doable on a weeknight with 2 or 3 kids running around. And just think about serving it when they have friends over! I can see the Friday night slumber parties now where we don’t have to order pizza every time!

(Sorry, getting ahead of myself. Must be that baby fever…)

 

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BBQ Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Twice Baked Potatoes

It’s been awhile since I posted a new recipe for you guys.

Partly because we were out of town and moving and remodeling and stuff so I haven’t been cooking as much…

And partly because I was too lazy (or too hungry?) to stop and take photos while I was cooking and eating.

Either way, when we got home from working at the fair for 2 weeks at a restaurant that only serves beef (called the Beef House, no doubt), Hubs and I were ready for some variety in our diets.

But…we’d brought home a few leftovers from the restaurant to use up.

So I decided to take 2 left-over baked potatoes and put them in the oven to make twice baked potatoes. (Did you know that already baked potatoes work super well for that? Well, you do now.)

And then I went a little crazy and decided to make BBQ Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Twice Baked Potatoes.

Then I went REALLY crazy and ate the whole thing all by myself and didn’t share any with Hubs.

Just kidding.

That would make me a not-so-nice wife, huh?

I shared with him, I promise.

Anyway, here’s how I did it.

First, I heated up the potatoes in the oven for a few minutes. While I was doing this, I boiled the chicken and fried up some bacon. I didn’t take pictures of any of that because I was pretty sure it was all self explanatory.

Plus, who wants to see a photo of boiling chicken?

After the chicken was done, I chopped it up in small pieces and added BBQ sauce.

We used Zarda BBQ sauce, as it’s Hubs’ favorite, which is exciting because we now live so close to one!

Then, I scooped out the middles of the potatoes and added butter, ranch seasoning, and some french onion dip to the inside part and mashed it all up in my mixer.

Pretty simple.

Then I put that part back in the scooped out skins.

If you didn’t need photos of this, I don’t care, it was fun to document.

And then, I patted it all down flat.

Again, how simple.

Then, it’s time to add the chicken.

Starting to look yummier.

And then I added cheese.

All we had was American cheese, but it still worked out ok.

And then I put them back into the oven.

Yum. (And I LOVE my new oven.) Look at how beautiful those potatoes look in there!

And then I put the bacon on top.

Yup. Definitely delicious.

 

Make it. Enjoy. Let me know what you think!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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It’s been 6 months…how are YOU doing on your resolutions?

Well guys, today is the first day of summer.

(insert mini celebration here)

Yes, I know I live nowhere near the beach, but this photo of my happy little toes in the sand on a mission trip to Myrtle beach in 2008 makes me think of Summer. Plus, it make me happy, and Summer=happy, right?

Here’s another photo from that trip, just because.

And another picture from that summer trip to the beach, this time with my lovely sister. Isn’t it clear how much we love each other? And how much we love summer?!

Are you still celebrating summer with me looking at these pictures? I bet you are!

Disclaimer: This is my Hubs. He doesn’t really look like himself here, but it’s him. And that is not a real tattoo. Just FYI.

Hubs and I are going to celebrate tonight by heading out to a gourmet hot dog restaurant. Beacause like happiness, hot dogs also=summer.

It’s a small thing, but a rare treat because we don’t usually eat out during the week. In fact, we don’t usually eat out at all. It’s part of the “we’re-poor-so-we-try-to-save-as-much-money-as-possible” financial plan that we’re on.

Anyway, I also wanted to celebrate today with a long run, but I’ve been slacking on my morning time management a far as working out is concerned and I have now waited entirely too long and it is approximately 130 degrees outside right now and thus, too hot to run.

(Ok, fine. It’s not 130 degrees outside, but when I’m running in the middle of the day, on the hills around our apartment, in the sun, because there’s no shade, then, yes, I sweat the same amount as I would if it was 130 degrees. So, to avoid becoming dehydrated after approximately 4/10 of a mile, I’ll just stay inside and workout in the air conditioning, with the only fan we own pointed directly at me turned all the way up to full blast.)

Anyway, none of this has anything to do with what I wanted to talk to you about: our resolutions. It’s time for a mid-year checkpoint! Ready? Of course not, because reading my mid-year checkpoint will make you think about how you’re doing on your resolutions, and if you are anything like me, you probably still have some work to do, huh?

Well, let me spare you the pain and suffering of a failed resolution pity-party and let you share my pain and suffering at our failed resolutions.

Ok, I’m kidding. We aren’t failing, but there is a little room for improvement.

Here we go.

In case you forgot, our resolutions are discussed here and here. (What? You don’t have our newlywed resolutions memorized? Shame on you.) (Not.)

1. Take a weekly walk together. Every week. Hubs hates to go on walks, so this will be tougher for him than me. UPDATE: We go on walks occasionally, about every 2-3 weeks I’d say. We do try to do at least one physical activity together each week though, sometimes two or three. Soccer, frisbee, playing catch, even tennis this week, so I think we’re doing okay on this one. I’ll keep working on it though.

2. Vacuum more. This should be easier with my new Oreck! UPDATE: I have vacuumed more since I’ve had the Oreck than I did before I had it. Still not like weekly or even every other week, though. I could definitely have cleaner floors. Again, I’ll work on it.

3. Work on portion control at meals, even when eating out and dishing up bowls of ice cream…we both need to work on this, as we both love to eat and can get carried away easily. UPDATE: We are doing MUCH better about this! Still, there’s room for improvement and we sometimes give in and pig out when we really want to, but on a daily basis, our meals are much more manageable. And I cook less “special” meals all the time now that I’m working more, so that helps too.

4. Buy a house. I realize this is a tough one, but it’s top on Hubs’ list. Wish us luck! UPDATE: Big news people. BIG NEWS. This is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for: We bought a house! Wooooohoooo! After looking through more than 300 houses online and touring 20 or more in person, one failed offer, and lots of frustration and driving around checking our potential areas, we have found a home that we love and can’t wait to move into. It’s not finalized yet, but we’re very much hoping to close in a couple weeks if everything goes according to plan. And we are overjoyed at spending the next several years, maybe even the next 10-15 years there, or longer! Yup, we love it that much! Let the painting, scraping, sanding, and celebrating begin!

(Photos to come later!)

5. Write at least five things that are just for me. I can worry about what to use them for later, if anything. UPDATE: I have written zero things so far that were just for me. I mean, lots of things I’ve enjoyed writing, but none without a real purpose. I have lots of ideas but not enough inspiration. I’m trying. But I’ve got a ways to go. Yikes

6. Run more races. I’d love to do another half…maybe a full 26.2? I’m young now, and my knees and ankles and hips will only get worse, right? I only ran 1 or 2 in 2011, and they were fun, so I’m ready for more. UPDATE: I ran another half! And it was awesome! I also did the Warrior Dash with Hubs and we’re doing the Color Run in a few weeks. I plan to sign up for some fall stuff, too, but no plans for sure yet. I’d love to do a full marathon, but I’m thinking I need to be training better before I take that on. Still, this one is a success so far.

After the Warrior Dash. We were mud-dy! Wowza. But it was fun!

7. Finish reading 8 books that I ALREADY own and have squished into our bookshelf. I’m terrible about buying new books instead of reading ones I already own but haven’t read. UPDATE: I’ve read 2 books on my bookshelf, but I have to be honest and say I’d already read one of them before, so technically, only one of those counts toward this goal. I have another two started, but they are slow going right now. I’m finally caught up on the mountain of newspapers, though, and the magazines are becoming more manageable as well, so hopefully, some progress will begin there soon.

8. Use more coupons and take advantage of price matching. I also need to do a better job of keeping track of how much we spend and save. UPDATE: Success! Last night was our best night yet, saving about 25.5% of our total bill at our weekly grocery trip. I know because Hubs records it all in a spreadsheet for us to keep track of everything. The way we do it is to only buy things we would buy anyway, but use coupons and price matching when possible. So far this year, we’ve saved close to $200 just by taking the time to do this each week before we head to the store. Woo hoo!

9. Find a church home where we really feel connected to. I miss the fellowship I’ve been so used to my whole life. We need to be surrounded by people encouraging us in our walk. UPDATE: Well, we began regularly attending a church up north by our apartment, even feeling comfortable enough there to begin tithing, but now that we’re moving south, this process will start all over again I guess, which is sad. I’m not devastated though, because I’m not sure the church up here ever felt like “home” as much as a “temporary home,” kind of like our apartment. So, to be continued here.

10. Go on another road trip. There’s something so special about traveling with the one you love, and we love the sense of exploring that comes with driving around on our own. Our honeymoon was some of the most fun we’ve ever had and we’re committed to doing this together again as often as we can. UPDATE: Unfortunately, and yet happily, buying our house and doing some renovation work on it will take up a large portion of our traveling budget for this year, so there probably won’t be a big roadtrip unless I find a great job soon. We’re making ends meet and have taken some smaller trips on weekends so far, something we plan to continue, but we’re not sure we’ll have the budget for a week-long awesome trip like our honeymoon last year. Still, I think it still counts if we go anywhere on a roadtrip, as the resolution didn’t specify length, and because we’re so happy about our house that it’s hard to consider this a failed resolution.

Roadtrips give you excuses to eat at great restaurants inside giant malls, like the Mall of America, where we were here, and drink giant, fun drinks full of fruit and rum. Yum.

Ok, your turn now. I think we’re doing pretty well, all things considered. What about you? How are you doing so far? Any advice for my resolutions? And what are you doing to celebrate Summer? Hot dogs? The beach? Tell me about it, really. I’d love to hear from you!

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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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The 10 Best Things About Being a Newlywed

I’ve had some time to think about marriage recently, and I’ve compiled a list that I thought was important enough to share with all of you. Ready? Let’s go.

(Note: This list is not at all intended to be taken totally seriously, unless of course, you are a newlywed, or can remember being one, and thus, you can remember the complicated sense of annoyed-joy that goes along with many of these “bests.”)

(Another note. If written sarcasm gives you trouble, and it does for a lot of us, then here’s a hint: most of this is written with the sarcastic undertones of a writer who has had an incredibly frustrating day, and yet is trying desperately to cling to the optimistic, happy bursts of energy that get me through each day.)

1. It’s awesome how poor newlyweds are! I love that the most extravagant splurge we make each week is deciding which low-to-moderately-priced restaurant we want to eat at for the one meal each week that we budget not eating at home for. This makes it incredibly easy to explore all the coolest and hippest places in this great big city that we call home.

2. Hand-me-down furniture matches so well! Luckily, my style is pretty eclectic so I actually like a lot of the pieces we’re slowly starting to collect. However, Hubs isn’t so lucky. He typically likes things more sleek and modern. Not something that’s easy to find at thrift shops, garage sales, and in our parents’ basements.

3. Sharing a bathroom for the first time with a member of the opposite sex isn’t at all awkward! We live in a one bedroom apartment with one bathroom. There’s not a lot of sound-proofing, or smell-proofing, that goes along with a situation like that. Oh, and there’s long hairs on nearly every surface in there, no matter how often I try to clean them up. I’m sure Hubs is wondering how there’s still any hair left on my head after I’ve shed all over everything for the past year.

4. Sleeping in the same bed with someone for the first time after 20+ years of not sharing the covers is such an easy adjustment to make! You guys that have been married for a bunch of years don’t fight over the sheets, talk in your sleep, kick each other in the shins, accidentally put an elbow in someone’s ear or eye in the middle of the night, or blow morning breath in each others’ faces often enough. You should try doing all those things again. It will really help rekindle the romance in your lives, I’m sure of it. It also helps you be super sweet to each other when a fight breaks out after a bad night’s sleep.

5. People expect us to start having kids any day now, which is awesome. I love dreaming about the future, but I also like sleeping through the night and not spending hundreds of dollars on diapers every month. See numbers 1 and 4 if you need clarification on those two things again.

6. We get to experience a whole bunch of new things all the time that make us grumpy. When you’ve only lived together a short time, it’s easy to always find new ways to annoy each other. We’re learning how to avoid these things, but there are bound to be plenty of more new fights before we’ve “had them all.”

7. It’s acceptable to be lovely-dovey in public. Nothing says “I love you,” like a bold pat on the tushie or a big kiss while waiting in line at the grocery store.

8. Almost all of our photos are professionally taken, so they look great. We don’t have any kids so almost all of our photo frames are full of pictures of us. Most of those were taken on our wedding day. They are beautiful, but I wonder how long it’s acceptable to only display photos of our wedding in our home.

9. Almost all recipes require a special trip to the store because we don’t have a built-up pantry. I love finding awesome recipes I want to make that night and then realizing we don’t have like half of the ingredients!

10. None of these other things really matter that much because marriage is a journey that I’m happy to be on with my best friend. Yes, we fight, and yes we have some unfortunate moments. But, overall, I’d say that we’ve learned more than we ever planned to, and love each other more now than we did before. We’re patient, most of the time, and happy, almost all of the time, too, so there’s really nothing to complain about.

And about the other nine items on my list? We’ll get through them. But if you have advice, we’d love to hear it!

Categories: Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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?

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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!

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

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