Valentine’s Surprise

As a family, we’re not very celebratory. With Valentine’s Day being kind of a Hallmark holiday, I just see it as another excuse to buy candy and throw parties at school. This year I totally flaked and didn’t plan anything for my husband or the kids, but thankfully my husband remembered. We woke up this morning to a kitchen table full of candy – he even emptied out my favorite paisley bowl and put my candy and card inside it – and a wonderfully clean kitchen. It took me a minute to catch that the mess I had left the night before was gone, but when I did my heart just melted. Thanks Mike, for being my valentine, always and forever. Wuvver!


Dogs and delivery drivers

Our dog Piper loves loves loves to meet new people. She’s what I call “aggressively friendly”. When anyone comes to the door, she’s right there yapping and jumping like the crazy dog she is.

Today the UPS driver came to pick up a package we were returning to Amazon, so I had to wiggle through the front door to give him the box. The entire time Piper was jumping at the glass door, just begging to join us. The driver was laughing at her antics and when we were done with our exchange he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dog biscuit! I was so surprised, and I told him thank you. I said she’s really harmless and she’s never bitten anyone, but that the FedEx driver was so scared of her he won’t even come up our driveway.

He said nothing, because maybe he didn’t want to bash the competition, but he gave me a smirky smile that told me he thought that was pretty funny.

I tried to get a picture of her with the biscuit but she scarfed it down too quickly.

Slow down, you move too fast…

This new “job” doing bookkeeping for the church has been a really great thing for me. Missing the work these past four years, and wondering if I was even still capable, really wore down my confidence level. But as I do this job, day by day, my confidence is building back up. This time, however, I’m doing the work with a full reliance on God to help me through.

The only problem might be that I’m taking it a little too seriously. As my husband said to me the other night, I’m going at this like it’s my career. True, I was up a little too late straining my eyes on balancing and reconciling. I forced myself to go to bed and get some rest, but it was too late. I had already pushed myself past my limit. The next day I had some serious pain in my left eye (my ‘good’ eye). It figures the right eye was fine, as she is absolutely useless. The sharp, throbbing pain was surprisingly more tolerable than my regular headache. I just put an eye patch over that eye, sat back with a cup of coffee and my Les Mis soundtrack, and rested for awhile. It was much better by the evening, but hopefully I’ve learned my lesson not to overdo it.

Today the kids are home for a snow day so it’s nice to have the company. They are busy playing their video games and I’ve just been putzing around the house, doing some reorganizing. It’s a lazy day, and I’m loving it. I started reading Lord of the Rings this week and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. Humor was not something I expected, but it’s given me a few laughs and I’m only on the third chapter. I’m trying to move away from my normal genre of legal thrillers. I just finished Angela’s Ashes and Cider House Rules and they were both great books. My list of books to read is growing shorter, so if you have any books you would suggest I read, let me know.

I’m struggling to find a smooth transition to a closing, so I’m just going to leave it here. Have a happy Friday everyone!




Dreams come true

I love the theater. I really do, but until recently I have only had a vague realization of this truth. I went to see a professional ballet with a friend and my heart leapt into my throat the moment I stepped into the theater, and that’s when I knew. There’s just something magical about it that I can’t explain. 

Ever since our high school band played a medley of songs from Les Miserables and my instructor sat down and told us the whole tragic story, I’ve dreamt of seeing it on stage. I just really fell in love with the music, mostly. When they turned it into a movie, I went to see it the day after Christmas and I bawled. The movie was great, but the live show has to be better. Because, you know, it’s LIVE.

All of this to say that it’s been a sort of secret dream of mine for over 20 years to see Les Miserables live, and when I saw that it was coming to our area the weekend of my upcoming birthday, that spark of a dream was reunited. I know I’m mixing metaphors, but whatev, it’s my blog lol. When I shared this dream with the ladies in my church group, they squealed. They wanted to go too! We could all go together and it would be magical! Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe I had found other ladies who felt the same I did about the theater and were totally up for going, and sharing my birthday with me. So, it’s settled. We have our tickets and we’re going to see Les Miserables! It’s going to be so epic, I might even wear make-up.

More talk about food

I love most donuts, but if I had to pick the one that never lets me down, it’s the apple fritter. Years ago my kooky family conducted an apple fritter taste-off (if I can find the blog I posted then, I’ll add it here). We each submitted our favorite brands of fritters and then voted based on several criteria. It was very scientific and very fun. I come from a family of food loving nerds. It’s part of why I’m awesome.

Anyhoo, my hubby came home today with a box from Cops & Doughnuts, with two large apple fritters included for me. These things will last me a few days, for sure. They are not as large as the fritters from my personal favorite, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill, but they are right up there with the quality. Cops’ exceeds in the texture – soft and chewy on the inside and crunchy at the edges – but I’m afraid Sweetwater’s has them beat on flavor. I could barely taste the apple, sadly.

I reported these observations to my husband about three bites in, and continued eating. A few more bites of that gooey goodness and I had a startling realization: I think this is better than Sweetwater’s!

I don’t know. It’s been several months since I’ve had a Sweetwater’s fritter so it’s hard to compare from memory. It would be ideal to compare side by side but they are in totally different cities. So unless I can find a fellow fritter enthusiast who would find this cause worthy of driving around the state, I’m just going to call it a tie for first place!

My Friday night fare

It’s Friday night and the boys are off doing wrestling stuff and my girl, the picky eater, is busy with Youtube. Folks, this means I can fix my dinner with no interruptions or annoying distractions. I’m kind of excited about this one, so I’m sharing while it cooks.

Roasted butternut squash soup, made by yours truly, and Brussels sprouts cooked gently in a pan of vegan butter. All to be capped off with a smooth, dark beer.

I’m very much looking forward to sitting down to this feast.

Now, why is it that Brussels sprouts can smell so awful and yet taste so good?

Get in my belly

When you’ve been sick for days and your appetite is coming back, but you just want to lie in bed and snuggle under your cozy comforter, the tummy rumbling is a big nuisance. The super cozy socks you are wearing don’t help. I did manage to get up and fix myself a bagel with peanut butter. I’m still hungry though. I believe that’s a sign of returning health.

My husband says I’m like a fat person living in a little person’s body because all I think about is food. It’s true, that’s pretty much a good portion of my thoughts most days. Food and Jesus, but Jesus first, of course.

I have fresh veggies down in the kitchen just waiting for me to dress them up. A butternut squash to be roasted for soup, Brussels sprouts calling my name, broccoli eager to be dressed up and consumed. Even the carrots are waiting impatiently in line for their appearance on the cutting board. I have been missing you, my friends! Today I will return to you!