Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Madly in Love



A sweet friend's son got married this past weekend.  He and his new wife are very young compared to today's average aged bride and groom.  

It seems practically controversial to get married young, and although each couple makes their own choice as to when they get married, I will always be partial to young couples.

Engineer and I got married when we were 20 & 21 years old - barely even adults.
Horrifying really, when I think about it.

I find it amazing that our parents let us make such a life altering decision that young.*   I know that we were {and still are} covered in grace and prayers and I am so very thankful that they didn't refuse to support our choice.

We were not finished with college.
We had no jobs.
We had no sense of reality.

Clearly, we were not the picture of perfect practicality that we are now....right?...
>Insert crickets chirping here.<
Ah hem...moving on...

What we did have going for us was that we were a.  completely in love b.  prepared to do whatever it took and c.  utterly optimistic that everything would work out.

I think our lack of life experience also meant less baggage and less stubbornness brought into the marriage.  (Engineer may respectfully refute that I have ever had less stubbornness.)

Because we were such young and tender twigs when we got married, we have grown together through the years.
Intertwined.
Or maybe grafted is a better word.

Each day we grow closer and I fall in love with Engineer ever more truly, madly, and deeply.

Again, each couple's timing is different, but I am so very grateful that we found each other at a relatively young age.

The grown-up sensible me sees all of the hardships and potential pitfalls of getting married early in life.
But the hopelessly in love me, the me sitting here typing this now, cheers and champions and prays for young couples because I cannot even imagine what my life would have been without Engineer to share it with me.  

We wish the newly formed marriage all the best and encourage them to grow inward and upward.

1-4-3 EM you are my young love hurdling toward middle-aged love.  ;)

*It was not for a lack of trying to bring us a hefty dose of reality.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Menu


Another slow week that culminated in a busy weekend.

We had Diva's first parent teacher conference which went very well.

The format was new to us; it was a round table discussion between us and all of her teachers.  It was a brilliant way to learn about what the teachers see from her in their respective classes.  In the subjects she has an affinity for, her teachers gushed over her work and the ones in which she doesn't have the highest aptitude, the teachers said she makes up for in work ethic.  Needless to say, we were very proud.  Although, I still walked away thinking that the teachers may love her, but she hasn't seemed to endear herself to the students quite the same way.

Over the weekend Diva had a cross country meet in a lovely state park.  What a beautiful setting it was.  We got to watch the meet against the backdrop of a lake and forest.

From there, we headed to Marshall for Engineer to clear out his blind before deer season starts and for me to attend a wreath making party hosted by my sister-in-law...whom I still love even though she invited me to a wreath making party.  ;)

I told her that either of the other members of my household would have been great at it - Engineer's would have been perfectly symmetrical and executed with excellence and Diva's would have been super creative.  Instead, I was the one representing Beloved Bayou, fumbling through the instructions and creating a jacked up wreath-esque mound of burlap.  Sad doesn't even begin to describe what that poor wad of fabric looked like.  Comical.  It was comical.  AND sad.

This two week menu options plan is working out so far.  Even if I don't finish making everything on the list, I have made most of it by the end of the two weeks.  What has been the biggest help though is just making parts of meals and refrigerating them, not freezing them.  Frozen food takes some forethought since it takes longer to cook whereas refrigerated food takes much less planning.   I also know now why generations past have liked congealed salads and other make-ahead type salads.  They are wonderful for having side dishes at the ready.  I do that all the time in the summer but had never really thought about having a selection of salads on hand for the cooler months.

Here's what we will be having in the upcoming weeks:

Sunday - Out to eat
Monday - Bacon Sandwiches, Broiled Tomatoes, Wedge Salad, & Boozy Mushrooms
Tuesday - Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans, Green Salad
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken, Spinach Salad, & Broccoli Casserole
Thursday- Sausage Stuffed Zucchini, Strawberry Salad, & Roasted Onions
Friday - Halloween party
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Roast Turkey, Sweet Potatoes au Rhum, & Cranberry Salad
Monday - Turkey & Broccoli Mac & Cheese and Cabbage
Tuesday - Pizza Rolls, Salad, & Carrot Sticks
Wednesday - Cheddar Turkey Casserole & Salad
Thursday - Corny Dogs, Fries, & Carrots
Friday - Turkey Spaghetti, Salad, & Garlic Bread
Saturday - Leftovers

This is part of MPM.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Madly in Love



Not to be all Debbie Downer, but life at Beloved Bayou is okay.  I wouldn't say that it is better than life at The Little Pink House...yet.

The area is nice, the folks here have lovely Southern accents, I like our new house, Devon's new school is good, having Engineer's office five minutes from home is wonderful, and all in all, life is going well.  It's just not exciting or filled with activity.

There hasn't been much going on other than work or school, which occupies my peeps but leaves me at home piddling around.  There are only so many times you can clean out a drawer or closet, know what I mean?

Looking at it from the bright side, boredom fewer distractions have meant that I can focus on my family more.  Fewer commitments also mean less stress.  There is always a trade off in everything.

Engineer and I have always liked to laugh.  We find the same things funny and make each other laugh.  And even though I was not super excited about and slightly resistant to moving, we still have found lots to laugh about.

In fact, I would say that we laugh a lot more here than we did at The Little Pink House.  And when I say laugh, I mean true belly laughter.

The only reasons I can think that's the case are because there is less to worry about, less to focus on (other than each other) and generally, more time is spent together.   Nothing really is pulling us away from the house or our relationship.

Having few commitments strips away the layers of busyness, tiredness, grumpiness, and excuses and leaves us finding interest, or in many cases, comedy, in the smallest gestures.

How funny, er, um, odd, that we would have to move away from a busy life that I loved and was happy with to find such laughter in a quiet one.

We have yet to find our place, where we fit in here, but we have found much to laugh about with each other.

1-4-3 EM because you laugh with me all the time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Menu


Last week was spent preparing for guests...that ended up cancelling last minute.  Well, at least my floors got super clean.  :)

The week went along as per usual (other than the scrubbing floors on hands and knees thing) until we hit the weekend.

We took Diva & her friend that lives in the neighborhood over to Shreveport for Movies & Moonbeams in a park.  We packed a picnic, our old dog Truffles, the girls, and off we went to watch "Frozen" for the umpteenth time.  The weather was perfect and it is always fun to watch movies outdoors.  We were surrounded by little girls in Elsa costumes who sang and danced to the music.  Our not-so-little girl joined in the singing.

Saturday night we had a totally new experience - we went to a roller derby.  Bossier City has a team called the Twin City Knockers.  If you are looking for something to do that's out of the ordinary, a roller derby definitely fits the bill.

My two week option-filled menu plan worked out pretty well.  Here it is again because I will be continuing on with the plan:

Sunday - Taquitos, Salad, Guacamole, Chips & Hotsauce
Monday - Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Lee's Hot Tuna Buns, Classic Potato Salad, & Creamy Italian Salad
Wednesday - Mushroom Risotto, Garlicky Greens, & Baked Cheese Puffs
Thursday - Dinner w/Friends
Friday - Fish Sticks, Slaw, & Pea Salad
Saturday - Dinner w/Friends
Sunday - Nutty Cream Cheese Chicken, Apricot Salad, & Green Salad
Monday - Chili, Mexican Cornbread, & Salad
Tuesday - Marinated Chicken Greek Salad
Wednesday - Tuna Casserole, Steamed Carrots, & Green Salad
Thursday - Broccoli Rice Casserole & Wedge Salad
Friday - Sausage, Cornmeal Pancakes, Eggs, & Applesauce
Saturday - Enchiladas, Beans, & Rice

I ended up using last Monday as a prep day for some of the dishes.  That way it was even quicker and easier to have dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time.

This is part of MPM.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Menu



Our menu plan lately has been a loose suggestion rather than a tried and true plan.
By the time I get to Baking Day (Thursday) night, I am tired of being in the kitchen and the trend has been that we go out to eat nearly once an day from Thursday through Sunday - especially if Diva isn't home.  Yikes!  
That's neither helpful for the wallet nor the waistline.

The bizarre thing is that I have food in the freezer like casseroles and soups that I have made from scratch but if I don't remember to thaw them, they take forever to reheat.  So we go out.

This is a lazy new and not very good development since moving to Beloved Bayou.

It's funny how logic becomes my logic.
For example, my logic dictates that if I don't bring processed (read:  quick & easy) foods into my home, we will not eat them and therefore, will be smug healthy.
What happens in real life is I don't feel like cooking, or we have a really busy schedule, there is nothing that can be thrown in the oven quickly, so we end up going out to eat - which is somehow better.
Except it's not.

We end up spending more money and consume more calories by going out to eat; but, at least, I didn't feed my family frozen taquitos from a box.  Wait, what?

In my head, it was okay to spend more time and money to go out and eat processed food that someone else bought because I wasn't the one buying and preparing it in my home.
>Sigh.<
I know, totally illogical and impractical.   I am, and will always be, a work in progress.

I had a bit of an epiphany this weekend and decided it was far better for me to have a few go to items on hand so I have portion control and can boost the nutrition factor with fresh sides.

The moral of the story is this:  Mommas, if you need to have a frozen pizza and fish sticks on stand by for peace of mind and more importantly, peace at dinnertime, then own it ladies.  Don't be shamed into not doing what you've got to do for peace in your family.*

Diva said Thursday morning that she was looking forward to pretty much vegging out the duration of her long weekend.  Instead, she had a highly scheduled and coordinated visit to Marshall which included her going to her old school, spending the night with a friend, spending the night with my parents, going to our old church, and going to Six Flags with her old youth group.  She was much happier with how her weekend turned out.

Engineer and I spent the weekend just running errands and hanging out.  By Sunday morning though, he said we may have to adopt since we won't know what to do with ourselves once Diva is out of the house in a few years.  Let's not think about that yet please Engineer.

This week's menu is a little different.  Instead of pinning myself down this week to a few meals, I went ahead and made a 2 week menu using recipes from my Maw-maw's recipe box.  It gives me more flexibility to be able to cross off what we've eaten and see from what I have left to choose.

Sunday - Taquitos, Salad, Guacamole, Chips & Hotsauce
Monday - Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Lee's Hot Tuna Buns, Classic Potato Salad, & Creamy Italian Salad
Wednesday - Enchiladas, Beans, & Rice
Thursday - Mushroom Risotto, Garlicky Greens, & Baked Cheese Puffs
Friday - Fish Sticks, Slaw, & Pea Salad
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Nutty Cream Cheese Chicken, Apricot Salad, & Green Salad
Monday - Tuna Casserole, Steamed Carrots, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Sausage, Cornmeal Pancakes, Eggs, & Applesauce
Wednesday - Chili, Mexican Cornbread, & Salad
Thursday - Broccoli Rice Casserole & Wedge Salad
Friday - Marinated Chicken, Pea & Bean Casserole, & Salad
Saturday - Leftovers

*This whole thing might just be another facet of my logic trying to justify the purchase of funnel cake corny dogs.

This is part of MPM.
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