Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joy in Marriage

I often stop by a blog called The Glamorous Life of a Housewife to read what is on her joyful heart. Whitney is the sister of my husbands best friend from high school. Did you get that? Anyways, I feel like I know her even though I have only met her a couple of times. She is an excellent writer, and exudes her joy and love for family and life through her blog. Last week she did a little series about her love for her husband, and one post was dedicated to their first year of marriage. They had such a fun spontaneous year, always there for each other and always enjoying the good and the hard.


For some the first year of marriage was really hard. For others like Whitney, it was a very joyful time. Eric and I had a fantastic first year of marriage. It was so fun and so bonding. We had one car with no A/C and a 1 1/2 hour daily commute in Southern California. We were living in a tiny apartment, we didn't know a single person in the town we moved to, I couldn't cook, etc etc. All that to say, we were young and in love and having a blast! I want my marriage to always be like that. I want to always enjoy one another no matter what. But as I am realizing, it takes a little more work to make the fun happen later in marriage. We are more exhausted because of young children, we have more responsibility, we have less alone time, etc etc.

So, my question is...Was your first year of marriage fun or a train wreck? And what do you and your husband do to keep things fun now that you have been married for a little while?

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 posts in one week!

Well, Megan and I need to talk about the future of this blog! (Right Megan?) It sounds like we have a few people interested in keeping up with us:) I just thought I would throw a random topic out there for some discussion. Please leave a comment and join in! 

The topic is New Years Resolutions. The realistic kind that you'll actually try your hardest to stick to. All of us have said "I'm going to exercise more this year" or "I'm going to eat better this year" but how many of us actually stick with that past February? Not many. SO, I'm talking about the resolutions that you will stick to. I will start. 

We are in the process of trying to sell our house. We are going to rent for a couple years so as I'm packing up my house, I'm keeping that in mind. I'm reminding myself that in probably 2 years, we will be moving again. So as I'm thinking through that, I'm thinking about what our family of 5 actually NEEDS for the next two years and what can just stay boxed up for a while. Basically, trying to live on less, simplify things. It's been a very nice feeling. Even just opening our kitchen cabinet and finding 6 mugs instead of 20 mugs or packing away a lot of the extra toys that my kids rarely touch and realizing that they can still have fun with a lot less stuff. So, my resolution is to continue to simplify as we move and even when we do get settled to stay more organized and more clutter free. For this OCD type mom, it's a GREAT feeling!! (and makes cleaning at the end of the day a LOT faster:)

So...what's yours??

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anyone out there?

I thought I would see if anyone still checks into this blog! If you do, you are probably shocked to see a post..even you Megan:) It's been a loooong time. Life has been busy with three kids but my youngest is 6 months now so I'm feeling like I can slowly get back into some hobbies that I have missed, including more blogging. Who knows what that means for this blog?!? Megan...any thoughts??

Well, if anyone reads this, I hope this message finds you well. Hope you are BLOOMING!!

Loves

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Choosing to Bloom

I think Megan and I are really choosing to bloom where we are in life right now. No time for blogging I guess! We are both busy holding down our houses and kids while our husbands work hard and I just found out I am pregnant with number 3 so that has me pretty tired these days. Who knows what will come of this blog in the future, I just wanted to check and say hello! Hope all (three of you) are doing great!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By request, I blog :)

I received this email from my sister today, 

"I think we could all use the opportunity to think about our snowy thorns and turn them into roses… I have a couple I could add…"


And since she is one of our most faithful readers, I will oblige :)  

Here in Oregon we are experiencing an "Arctic Freeze".  The weather is much colder than normal, and we are experiencing more snow than we have in a LONG time.  Most of us are well prepared for rain, and for a light snow that melts away with the next day's rain, but this heavy long-lasting snow has been quite a challenge.  Stuck at home, losing electricity, cold blistery wind making it hard to play outside sometimes, etc.  But it is BEAUTIFUL.  Agree?

This is a view out my front door where a snow drift has taken over!  That's about 4 feet of snow!


Here's my rose, thorn, rose, thorn, rose, thorn...
Eric missed a lot of work.  The store he works at has been closing early, opening late, and canceling shifts.  Plus, Eric couldn't even make it out of the garage let alone to work one day (until we borrowed a snow shovel).  This was nice (rose) because we got to spend a lot of time together, playing in the snow, sitting by the fire, reading, playing games.  But it was hard (thorn) because our budget is so tight.  Missing days of work is tough.  Thankfully (another rose) Eric picked up an entire extra 8 hour shift for today and another 2 extra hours so we almost broke even as far as missing work goes.  We will be okay :)  Another thorn has been all the canceled parties!  Faith, I know you can weigh in on this one!  But, the rose is a forced relaxed holiday.  Relaxed because we are STUCK!  Can't run errands, can't go to parties, can't go to events.  Being home so much has also forced me to be more creative and have a better flow to the day for the kids so that I don't go stir crazy!  I could go on and on but I will stop and let all of you share.  

And sister, I am expecting at least three comments from you :)  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow..almost a month and no posts on this blog! I have to admit it has been nice getting a break from so much blogging. This season is just so busy and when you have 7 blogs (only 2 are updated regularly) like I do, it's nice to get some breaks!

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this whole holiday season, especially here in Oregon. The smells, the trees that are red, green and vibrant orange, Christmas music, Christmas lights, candles, fires, hot drinks, Christmas movies, time with family and friends and the list goes on.

Lately I have been asking family members what their favorite food is at Thanksgiving so I thought I would ask you all. I will answer first. I could skip everything but the following..turkey(white meat), a huge serving of my mom's mashed potatoes, a ton of my mom's gravy over both and a side of green bean casserole. Yum. Yum. Yum. Oh, and a glass of my mom's iced tea. Can you tell I like eating at my parent's house??

So, what do you look forward to most?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving day with family and friends. Thank God for all he has blessed you with!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Croutons

This is probably a really obvious thing that you all do but just in case, I thought I would share this quick, yummy tip.

Make your own croutons! It is so easy and so worth it. Homemade croutons are SOOO much better than store bought.

Over a period of weeks I put the ends of my bread loaves (ya know at the end when it gets a little stale?) in the freezer and after I have about 10-15 pieces of bread I take them out of the freezer, cut them into cubes, (whatever size you want) spread them on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them, mixing them around to distribute the oil then sprinkle any herbs or spices that you want. My favorite is simply garlic salt and dried basil. Mix them around and bake them at about 275/285 degrees. It usually takes about 25-30 minutes depending on how many you have made. I just check them every once in a while and bake them until they are chewy to crispy. Put them in an air tight container and store in your fridge. They last forever and they are so yummy!!!!

If you do make croutons, share the things you put on them! Hope you all try this if you haven't already!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blog Update/Rose and Thorn...

Blog Update...  I just wanted to let everyone know that Faith and I will not be posting as much as we used to.  We are still going to update, but not as frequently, at least through the holiday season.  We both feel the need to slow down a little.  Thanks for reading.


Personal Update...  I feel like I have changed a lot in these past months of running this blog.  I didn't realize how easy it was for me to get caught up in the thorns of life and miss out on the roses.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not going to win the Miss Optimistic award any time soon, but I do find it much easier to take each day with a smile.  I feel like God has helped me trust Him in the hard times (he has helped me do this so many times) and really focus on all the great things in life, and to focus more on His promises.  

Okay, enough updates.  Let's do Roses and Thorns...

Thorn:  Eric is still on the job hunt.    
Rose:  Eric has a job, and God is providing all our needs.  Plus we are learning how to live on less and less.  I feel like I have become a better wife and mom, figuring out ways to save money, ways to cook healthy for less, etc.  It has been fun to work hard as a wife/mom for our family in this way.  God has placed me in this time of life and I love doing my best each day to serve Him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yummy Butternut Squash Soup

I tried my hand at making some Butternut Squash soup the other day, and YUM!  It was easy and delicious.  The recipe is from my cousin Jen.  I think I will make some more for the freezer when squash is inexpensive so that I can enjoy it for lunches through the winter.

                         

Yummy Butternut Squash Soup
1 Medium Butternut Squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Nonstick Vegetable spray
1 medium onion (chopped, about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger (optional)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups chicken broth (or stock)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds.  Arrange halves, cut side down, in a roasting pan that has been sprayed with veggie spray.  Bake the squash in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, until very tender.  Set aside to cool.  When the squash has completely cooled, scoop out the flesh from the skin.

While the squash is baking, cook the onion and ginger in the butter (in large sauce pan) for 10 minutes, until the onion is softened.  Add the brother and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, covered.  Add the squash pulp to the sauce pan.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, in batches, and puree until smooth.  (You can add water to gain the desired consistency...I like it thick).    Add salt and pepper to taste.  Return the soup to the sauce pan and cook over moderate heat until it is hot.  Garnish with sour cream and croutons!  

(This soup freezes and reheats wonderfully!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Closet organization

This is a little bit embarrassing.  This is my everything closet, the one that holds a wide variety of things, plus stores the stuff I need a temporary home for.  It is always a disaster.  

So a few weeks ago I tackled it and, well, wow.  It made such a huge difference.  The biggest change was the amount of extra space made to, well let's be honest, store more stuff.

I did some purging, some re-organizing, and some re-homing (if that is a word).

So, here's the before...
AHHHHH!  And to be honest, it was even a little messier than that.  I had already organized the floor before taking the picture.  When we moved in, the previous owners left the extra floorboards from the bathroom remodel right here in the closet on the floor.  For three years I left it there thinking 
1. that it needed to be inside
2. that maybe I would clean that up another day
3. where else can I store it?  

But I found a new home for the flooring, and opened up an entire new space for indoor storage. 

Here's the finished product.  It still isn't perfect, I would love some more storage compartments and such, but for now I am really happy with the results.  I can now store the diaper bag and my purse in there, which is a much better place for it than the kitchen floor where Elsie promptly empties them.  
Sigh, happiness.