Monday, August 30, 2010

menu on monday

monday: lasagna rollups with steamed vegetables
prep: thaw ravioli, make olive oil sauce

tuesday: mushroom ravioli in roasted garlic olive oil with spinach

wednesday: grilled cheese with tomato soup
prep: thaw meatloaf, thaw corn

thursday: meatloaf, steamed rice/veggies, sweet corn

friday: beef stir fry with peppers and onion, steamed rice

saturday: dinner at medieval times with family

sunday: hopefully dinner with george and toni, and hatch chili roasting

this week i'm doing a lot of easy meals. the rollups, ravioli, and meatloaf are currently sitting in the freezer from my freezer cooking days. grilled cheese and tomato soup is chris' cooking day, because he makes so much better grilled cheese sandwiches than i do! plus, i'll use that time to work on school work instead of cooking dinner. i'm going to start trying to plan one meal a week that chris is cooking, which keeps him involved and gives me time to focus on other things so i don't stress about keeping house.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

switching gears

i need to realign my priorities. i had a nice discussion with a friend (ok, a few exchanged tweets) and began thinking... what's most important in my life? does a clean kitchen outweigh a happy marriage? does my teaching schedule interfere with newlywed time? what about prayer? where am i? what am i doing? and why?

Here's a list of my current priorities, listed relatively in their order of time and work they consume in my life, from highest priority to lowest priority
  1. work
  2. school
  3. teaching
  4. housework
  5. chris
  6. prayer
now, this doesn't mean that chris one of my bottom priorities, necessarily, only that i don't focus on spending as much time with him, and it's not work so much as teaching is. so this list isn't horrible. it's basically where my time goes. what stresses me out, when it's listed in this manner.

here's the priority list i'd like to display
  1. prayer
  2. chris
  3. work
  4. school
  5. teaching
  6. housework
obviously, prayer should be the first thing i do every morning, the last thing i do every evening, and should be the driving force behind everything i do. it does not need to be an afterthought-- rather, it should be so automatic that everything i do revolves around prayer.

chris needs to be second in my life. he is my new husband, and if that's all i can give him, it's what i'll do. there is absolutely no reason for him to come behind school and my two jobs. he is my second. this means spending time with him, catering to him, making sure our house is a comfortable place for him, etc.

work needs to stay near the top. this means ut southwestern work, as it's my primary job. i've been feeling very overwhelmed the past three weeks, but i really feel i'm getting a hold on things and am finally above water. i don't doubt that it will creep down the list as i don't feel as stressed about things.

school work is next. i still need to devote solid blocks of time with it, but there are more important things. meaning, essentially, that prayer and chris are definitely more important than school when you get down to the nitty gritty.

teaching is below school. luckily, i can calm down a little bit now that the first week is over, and it really won't be much work for me. i need to develop a powerpoint presentation for each week, which will take a few hours, but i can work on that over my lunch breaks at work and not have this cut much into my home time.

housework needs to be the last thing on my list. seriously. as i was told by my friend, the dishes don't always need to be washed immediately. the carpets don't have to be immaculate. i'm a newlywed, and i have other obligations.

so. it's one thing to say that i need these changes to happen. it's another to make them happen. it's not going to be easy, and it's going to take sacrifice on my part. which mainly means doing things that i'm not used to, or in a manner that i'm not accustomed to. here's what i think it'll take
  • better time management. setting aside solid blocks of time to work on things like schoolwork will make me feel good about getting them done, without cutting into time reserved for other things.
  • staying up later. it's not as big of a deal as it sounds. i usually go to bed around 9:30 (i know, i know...), and i need to stay up later in order to get everything done. when things are DONE, i feel much better about myself and my household.
  • work during my lunch break. but not on work, on things like preparation for class, or homework. utilizing that hour a day at work will give me more time at home to be with chris and care for the house.
*Edit* after reading this, it seems like i'm making more sacrifices than i probably really am. staying up late isn't a big deal. neither is working during lunch break. it ends up coming down to better time management, ultimately. rearranging what i do when. and i forgot to include time for me. honestly, i'm just happy if i get a cup of hot tea before bed. i'm happy when chris is happy.
  • exercise. there's a gym at my apartment complex, it's ridiculous that i haven't used it yet. chris gets up at 5:30, and i should get up at that time too, if only to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. i was doing so well, and felt so good about myself, i do not need to hit a rut yet.
  • get into a morning prayer time. i've done things like read a book while i'm on the elliptical or stationary bike, why not have it be the bible? one time i actually prayed the entire time i was on the elliptical. it made the time go fast, and i prayed for so many people and issues that i normally don't, when i whip out a quick 30-second prayer.
i know there's no pictures in this post, and it may not mean much for any of you. but i'll need support. i'll try to post updates of how i'm re-allotting my time, and i would appreciate any encouragement or reminders you care to give.

Friday, August 27, 2010


for a few days now, i've been wondering why my shampoo and conditioner haven't been working right. I use my shampoo first, and it doesn't lather up right. it just feels kind of slimy. no fun. then i must not rinse my hair out right before using the conditioner, because the conditioner foams up too much.

would it have taken you four days of showering to figure this out?
cause that's what it took me.

My shampoo is always on the left. because i use it first. my conditioner is always on the right. cause i use it second.


yeah. took me three days too long to get to the bottom of this issue.
but i wear contacts, so i take them out to shower! don't blame me.
i probably returned them to the shower backwards after i cleaned sometime.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

seared tuna on pasta with vegetables


please don't look at my arms. wait. stop! don't! oh, crap. now that i've mentioned it, you're looking at my arms, aren't you. well, get past that and read the rest of this delicious post.

dinner tonight was awesome. so satisfying. not too heavy, but full of flavor and perfect for the first cool evening in months. chris was hesitant about trying undercooked fish, but he ended up liking it just fine. i cooked his lots longer than mine, probably double the time, and i even overcooked mine, compared to what i normally like it. doesn't matter. it was still delicious.

quick and dirty recipe:
cook pasta. roast cherry tomato halves. microwave a steam-in-bag asian vegetable medley. drain the pasta, then mix all the veggies into it.
sprinkle the tuna steak with a pinch of kosher salt and some italian seasoning. actually, use any seasoning. it's up to you. put it in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil, and sear both sides (my choice) or cook halfway through then flip and cook the rest of the way (chris' choice).

serve as shown:

while eating, say things like "mmmmm", "oh my!", and "wow, this is so good". because, well, it is.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

stuffed pork loin, etc.

This meal was so good, I'm not even going to talk about it. I'm just going to dive right into how delicious it was.
Ok, I lie a little. it was amazing. i cooked up the mushrooms the night before, to make for an easy prep today. they smelled so good, sauteing in the wine. mmmm. then today, i was concerned because it didn't smell quite as good. well, it smelled good, just not as strong. don't know why, it just didn't. maybe my sniffer was broken, because it sure tasted good.

wanna know the best part about this one?

i made it up.

this whole recipe came from inside my noggin.

large container of sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 or 1/2 cup of red wine (i used cabernet sauvignon, my favorite)
italian seasoning
garlic salt
bread crumbs
cheese blend (i used a parmesan/asiago)
sautee the mushrooms over medium high in just a touch of olive oil. add some italian seasoning, a pinch of garlic salt, and the wine. simmer in the wine until it pretty much boils off, stirring occasionally. put in a bowl, adding about a cup of bread crumbs and a generous sprinkling of cheese, and stir.

pork loin:
slice it about 1/2" down the side, straight across until there's about 1/2" meat left to cut. flip it over and do the same thing on the opposite edge. you should now be able to unfold both of those sides and it's a larger rectangle, rather than a long tube.
fill with the stuffing, leaving about 1/2" allowance on the edges.
roll up as tightly as you can, then use kitchen string or twine to tie it up about every inch. at this point, i put mine in the fridge overnight, covered with saran wrap. you don't have to.
put in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.

cut into bite-size pieces, like carrot sticks that have been cut in half. saute in very little olive oil with some kosher salt and italian seasoning. cook this way for a few minutes, then add two spoonfuls of white sugar and continue to cook on medium. cover to steam them, but continue stirring every minute or two. be careful not to burn the sugar.

buy steam in bag brown rice. put it in the microwave for 4 minutes. serve.

Monday, August 23, 2010

menu on monday

monday: mushroom and parmesan stuffed pork loin, served with brown rice and steamed carrots in honey glaze
prep: none

tuesday: leftovers
prep: none

wednesday: seared tuna on whole wheat spaghetti tossed with roasted tomatoes and peppers
prep: none

thursday leftovers
prep: none

friday: taco soup
prep: none

with just two of us, it's really easy to make something every other day. that's especially good since i'm working full time, taking master's classes, and teaching at a local college in the evenings. i plan the leftover days to be ones where i am teaching, so chris doesn't have to worry about dinner those nights.

i'd like to get to more cooking days, and include this menu to include the weekends. but for now, i don't have the time to plan weekends very well, and they usually just end up being "clean out the fridge" days.

i can't wait to see how tonight's meal comes out! so easy, since i prepped most of it last night- i sauteed mushrooms in a red wine reduction, mixed them with breadcrumbs and cheeses, and stuffed the pork loin that i sliced myself. the house smelled amazing just with the mushrooms cooking! i'm definitely looking forward to blogging about this recipe tomorrow!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the search for a church - Reunion Church

In our continued search of the "perfect for us" church, the next stop was Reunion Church in Dallas.

the lead pastor was a featured issue of i am second (and you know how i love i am second):

i'm used to churches that are filled with rich white people. that does not mean that i'm entirely comfortable there. it just means that's what i'm used to.

  • the pastor had a great message. i really liked his style.
  • the singers. one was a black businesswoman, one was a soccer mom, and one was a guy that i expected to give jazz hands at any moment.
  • the songs. you know those songs that bring tears to your eyes, because they're so intense and hit you where it hurts? all of theirs were like that.

  • it was a smaller church. and when i say small, i mean, maybe 75 people there?
  • i didn't know lots of the songs they sang. familiar songs help me in my comfort zone.
  • the church time was 10:40. not 10. not 11. 10:40.
  • service took over an hour and a half.
  • the service appeared to me to be disorganized. not a big deal to most people, but i like organization.
  • the pastor came close to tears 6 times. sure, he's emotional and intense. but it was a bit much for me.
if you remember with FBC Dallas, there were more likes than dislikes, but it was vetoed. well, with this one, there's more dislikes than likes, but i didn't mind it as much as it may seem. of course, chris and i had a little... "intense discussion"... after this service. we didn't see eye to eye.

but there's more to try. next week i think we're going to the village. we're looking forward to that one the most.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

posole with recipe

i got a recipe for posole from gerri after she shared hers with me last week. if i would have died after tasting the delicious yumminess that was this bowl of posole, i would have died happy.
(slight exaggeration. i'm a newlywed. i don't want to die after eating posole.)

posole can be made green. or red. with chicken. or pork. the details are up to you.
i edited gerri's recipe a little, so will share with you my version. i really only changed amounts of the ingredients.

1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups (two containers) chicken stock. or broth. whichever.
2 cans green chili, chopped or diced
2 cups tomatillo sauce
italian seasoning
bay leaf
1 large and 1 small can white hominy
3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, sliced in half longways.

in stock pot, sautee onion and garlic with a little olive oil until soft, about 15 minutes, with a little salt and pepper. add the chicken broth, chili, tomatillo sauce, and seasonings, then simmer for about an hour. or an hour and a half. whatever. take the chicken that has been sliced in half, and season it with cumin, salt, and pepper about 15 minutes before adding to the stock. then add the hominy (drained) and the chicken. poach the chicken in the stock for about 25 minutes. or 35 if you forget about it. take the chicken out and shred it with your fingers or with two forks, then add it back to the pot. warm it all up, and serve.
garnish with chopped cabbage. other garnishes are: chopped turnips, avocado, sour cream, or whatever you want. serve with a flour tortilla.

it is sooo good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am

the news in the morning, and preseason football.

listening to
"the script" pandora radio.

the bible, and sheet music. i need a new nonsense book.

making a monthly menu

lovely. happy. desired. fulfilled.

granny squares. lots and lots of granny squares.

for an amazing husband who draws candlelit baths for me after a stressful day

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

why a married couple needs alone time immediately after the wedding

this post has been deleted due to the drama it might have caused.
but trust me when i say that married couples who chose not to live together before marriage need- and DESERVE- alone time after they get married.

and the only people who know how long is long enough for this alone time?

the newlyweds.
trust them.
love them.
be patient with them.
encourage them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

menu on monday

here's my rough draft of the week's menu. i reserve the right to change this menu at any moment.

Monday: haluski
prep work: slice chicken and peppers

Tuesday: chicken fajitas
prep work: none

Wednesday: leftovers
prep work: thaw ground beef, thaw corn

Thursday: cornbread and beef skillet pie- in my new dutch oven!
prep work: none

Friday: leftovers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the search for a church- first baptist dallas

since chris and i moved about 25 minutes away from my old house, and that house was about 15-20 minutes away from our old church, we decided to find a new church rather than go to one that is up to 45 minutes away. we like to be involved, and that's not really possible when we live so far away.

here, i'll document our journey to finding a new church. hopefully this is a short series...

take one: first baptist dallas. dude. it has a neon sign.

  • it's not a small church. i don't like teeny tiny churches because i feel it's harder to get plugged in.
  • downtown dallas. we both love downtown, and it'd be cool to go to a church right in downtown!
  • it has two types of service: two traditional and one contemporary service. we went to the contemporary service.
  • liked the music.
  • i liked the pastor's message. i liked that we got to hear the lead pastor speak. i did not like his voice (see "dislikes").
  • parking was easy for being downtown, since it's right across from a parking garage.
  • they seemed to have a lot of options for sunday school classes. just about 9 even for newlyweds!
  • people dressed nice. i think i saw only four ladies total that did not have on a skirt or a dress.

  • when we got there, the parking guy misunderstood our question of "is there additional guest parking?" (since they were blocked with cones) and instead, led us to the "regular" parking. ok, it's a small thing, but it bothered me.
  • it's a rich church. you can totally tell. i mean, rich people go there, and they give all their money to the church. so it's got a "rich" attitude.
  • i didn't like the pastor's voice for the first minute he was talking. then i realized his message was good enough that i didn't notice his voice.
  • there were plants on stage (this is one of chris' dislikes)

so, even though there ended up being more "likes" than "dislikes" at this church, i don't think it's our church. neither of us stepped in and had this feel like home at all. i felt like i did when i was at prestonwood. i can't explain it, and i don't know that chris could either. it just wasn't supposed to be our church. but there's more to try, and we're positive we'll find ours.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

first week of marriage, a success.

it's all over.
all the planning, the anxiety, the stress, the get-it-over-with...
it's all over.
now i relax.

the wedding was lovely. i felt "skinny and pretty!"-- haha. chris cried. the food and cupcakes were awesome. my brother wore a Steeler tie with his suit. karaoke and mexican food were great.

we stayed at the hyatt regency, which is on the south side of downtown dallas. so we had a view of the entire city. it was beautiful, especially at night when all the lights of the city were on. we were too exhausted to go to dinner somewhere, so we ate at a wonderful italian restaurant in the hotel. chris had seafood pasta, and i had lamb. it was so good.

i loved the shower head in the hotel shower. it was so strong. really helped in "de-stressing" the day off of me.

we had chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne delivered to the hotel room, then room-service breakfast in the morning. there was still leftover champagne, so we had mimosas. yum!

when we got home, we opened all of our gifts from the wedding. we were blown away at the generosity of people. loved everything. even got gifts from people we don't know! then, we went to target to get our really nice sheets. i know, it's the day after our wedding, but i get antsy if i'm not doing anything. so yes, we went shopping. and it was delightful! we were able to get a cart (not window-shop) for the first time in ages! so nice.

monday morning, i made coffee, pastries, and packed lunch for chris and me. i won't go into details of every day, but here's my favorite things about the first week of marriage:
  • packing chris' lunch.
  • making the bed in the morning.
  • getting home before him and having dinner ready when he gets home.
  • having someone at home who can check on scary noises and kill spiders.
  • reading the bible together in the evenings.
  • having a husband who draws a candlelit bubble bath for me after a stressful day.

i've really changed. when we first met, i was this super independent person. i told chris from the beginning that i needed my "me" time. i couldn't see him every day. so when we started talking marriage, that part scared me. he'd be there, 24/7! when would i get my me-time?
i don't need it. yet.
i love having chris there. i find ways every day that i can serve him, and make him happy. i want this transition into our new place to be easy for him. i don't even like being in the car without him now. i'm sure i'll need my own time again eventually, but for now, i am just really enjoying being married to him.

great ending to the week? last night we went and saw inception. go. see it. now. seriously.

life is beautiful.

plus, i kicked his butt BAD in wii bowling. i rock.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm still here!

Happy Friday the 13th!!

but seriously, i'm still alive. i've been just enjoying married life. but i have a ton of ideas running through my head and am about to draft up a few blogs. so, i'm back. well, i'm on my way back. forgive me. i've been a little... busy... lately.

Monday, August 2, 2010

tonight's convo

*ring, ring*

me: hey babe-- it's about time you call me back
c: sorry, i told you i'd be running errands after work
me: it's okay. how are you?
c: i'm goo...
c: what's wrong?!?
me: there's something crawling!!
c: put a glass over it. i'll be there tomorrow to take care of it

....that's love...

so i'm on the phone with chris, when i see a piece of fuzz on the carpet. since i just vacuumed, i'm concerned, but oh, well. i probably just missed it. so i tried to pick it up, and it RAN AWAY FROM ME. i don't do well with things that skitter away from me. especially when i think it's fuzz. fuzz doesn't run. or skitter. or startle. fuzz sits there and lets you throw it in the trash.

this didn't. and i didn't know if it was a spider, or what. i hate creepy-crawlies. i HATE creepy-crawlies. so bad. but i listened well, and i ran and got a glass, and trapped that sucker. and you know what? he's kinda cute. as long as he's behind glass.

i hope he doesn't die by tomorrow.
well, i kinda hope that. i kinda... nevermind.