Thursday, August 25, 2011

Everyone is fighting a harder battle...

I was going to write this long post about how I have a love-hate relationship with the 2011-2012 school year. I was going to tell you that I love (most of) my kids and am actually pretty excited about my classes. I was going to tell you that colleagues are my biggest complaint so far. I was going to tell you that once again I need focus (shocking). 

All of those things are true, of course. And perhaps writing about them would be therapeutic, but the older I get, the more I try to observe the famous quote, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." And recently, I'm overwhelmed by the battles those I love are fighting. 

My brother and sister-in-law are new parents and are bravely navigating the treacherous waters of both of them working outside the home. Loving them as much as we do has made watching them go through these trials heartbreaking. Knowing that when we have children we will most likely endure the same circumstances makes it terrifying. I'm so proud of them both, but also feel so helpless when it comes to the whole situation because there's truly nothing I can do to fix it/make it better. 

So, I was going to tell you about how overwhelmed I was. I was going to write about how the beginning of the school year is exciting, but also sucks the life out of me. I was going to say that I feel like a failure because after six years, you'd think I'd have the answers. I was going to complain. But instead, I'll realize that people I love are truly overwhelmed. Instead, I will understand that my sister-in-law has the life sucked out of her every morning that she leaves my precious nephew at daycare. Instead, I will realize that what I told my brother is true. Often we are our toughest critics and are the only ones who see the failure. 

Becky and Randy are fighting the good fight, and the fact that they are makes it easier for me to do the same. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meal Plan for 8.14-8.20

At the beginning of the year, I started out with grand ideas that I would be able to: teach full time, pour my heart into starting a new business, cook dinner every night, save money, and run two blogs (not to mention be devoted to a strong marriage and maintain meaningful relationships). While many of these things happened (insert shameless plug for Signature, Ink. here), running two blogs, cooking every night, and saving money, haven't done so well. Thus, I'm just doing THIS blog, and to stay committed to cooking every night (or at least planning our meals), I'm updating you with our weekly menu. Hopefully it will save us money along the way!

8.14 Sunday--Jack Daniel's Chicken sandwiches (one of the pre-made dinners I'm okay with because it's seriously awesome!)

8.15 Monday--Italian beef (Thank you, CrockPot! Leftovers frozen for next time we have Italian beef.)

8.16 Tuesday--Shrimp linguine (1st day back to school. Crazy!

8.17 Wednesday--Chicken patties w/ Mac & Cheese (Michael's current favorite. Who needs kids when your husband eats like one?!)

8.18 Thursday--Stuffed peppers

8.19 Leftovers--Fridays will always be leftover night. We cannot eat all this food the night it's 

8.20 Homemade Pizza

Keep me accountable--all three of you who read this on a regular basis! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lazy days.

With government cutbacks impacting so much of the country, it's no surprise that our little family has been touched. For the second year in a row Michael has had to take one mandatory day off--or furlough day--for the first nineteen pay periods of the year. Are we hurting? No. Would the extra money be nice? Yes. But, ironically this is not a complaint of any kind. In fact it has afforded us mini vacations this summer because every other weekend he has three days off. The result? Lazy days.

Today will include LOTS of coffee, blogging, reading blogs, watching DVR episodes of Shark Week, playing with the dogs in the yard, and possibly hanging our new mirror from Ikea.  We'll end the day with dinner with the Hoyle clan. Hope you have a lazy weekend too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two years & counting...

Yesterday Michael and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. It was seriously a wonderful day and evening. There are so many things about the past two years for which I am grateful, but having Michael by my side is truly what I treasure most. I'm amazed and thankful for how much we have grown separately and together in the past years. Conversations we have now wouldn't necessarily have been possible in 2009. It's strange because when I married him, I thought I knew him completely. However, since our wedding, I've been happy to discover that there's a lot that I have to learn about my husband. My guess is that he feels similarly about me. While I realize that we are, by all accounts, still in the "honeymoon" stage of our marriage, the trials and upsets that we've endured in our relationship thus far make me confident in our ability to take future challenges head on. 

One thing I'm coming to love about anniversaries is that they offer us the opportunity to look back as we look ahead. Our wedding day was perfect. I'm sure most brides say that about their day, but I'm serious, it was without fault. 

When I think about that day, I remember the butterflies before walking down the aisle that almost kept me from putting my blusher over my face (thanks for noticing that one, Dad!). 

I remember Michael waiting for me at the front of the church looking dashing and yet, slightly nervous. I remember cursing my English major self for writing vows that seemed to last an eternity, but when I watch them now, I'm grateful that I made those promises. 

I remember not caring that it was sprinkling rain as we rain to our car. 

And I remember our reception, our wonderfully blemish free reception. That party holds many memories, dancing with my daddy, singing "Build Me Up Buttercup" with my sister, priceless pictures with loved ones, dancing until the lights came back on, and so many more.

But I cherish the first dance I had with my husband because "our" song is "Home," and that's just what Michael is for me.

by: Chantal Kreviazuk

Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch
And if you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought that I'd love anyone so much

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way the back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
It feels like I'm all the way back where I belong