Under Construction....

Please excuse my interweb-dust! Changes are underway- thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Packing Tips- Clothes Edition: Honeymoon Road Trip!

Okay. Our honeymoon road trip presented several tricky issues when it came to clothes packing. First of all, it's late October. Secondly, we'll be traveling to places with very different climates. Third, it'll be three weeks long, and there isn't any promise of laundry facilities (we'll get to my solution for that later on).

After checking the weather in several of our destinations and learning that for most of our trip it will be under 65 degrees, I decided to go primarily with long-sleeved tops and jeans. I did pack a couple T-shirts in case we get into warmer weather. Here's the list:

-8 long sleeved shirts (all solid colors)
-1 thin flannel shirt
-2 white cami's
-2 t-shirts
-3 pairs jeans
-1 pair knit leggings
-11 pairs panties
-2 bras
-8 pairs socks
-2 scarves
-1 grey jacket-thing
-1 zip-up jacket
-1 quilted flannel jacket
-1 pair gloves
-1 warm hat
-Flannel PJ pants
-Big T-shirt for sleeping

One thing I hate about packing clothes is that I always have to dig through everything to find the smaller stuff like panties and socks. This time, I used gallon-sized zip lock bags, one to hold panties, and one to hold socks. That way, they'll be much easier to find. 

Bag o' Panties

I plan on washing tops after wearing them twice at most. However, because we'll be seeing some relatives and there will be lots of pictures, I don't want to feel like I'm wearing the same thing all the time. Just a couple little accessories (in my case, two scarves and a little jacket thing) can make one basic outfit look like several. And, just three accessories can fit with several different basic outfits, especially if you wear simple clothing.

Basic Outfit
With yellow scarf
With pink scarf
With gray jacket thing

I'm only packing three pairs of shoes. The first are my rubber Birkenstock clogs. I'll be wearing these to the showers, and I'll keep these handy in the car (so I don't have to put on and tie shoes every time we stop.) I'll also bring my tennis shoes for most outings, and a pair of hiking boots for the rugged stuff.

 I love my Birkies. They're waterproof, which makes them perfect for at the pool or the shower...

And they float. Which is just fun.

That's what I'm bringing, clothing wise! I'm hoping that there's enough there to keep me warm enough or cool enough along the way!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Packing Tips- Toiletry Edition: Honeymoon Road Trip

One of the first challenges I considered when we began planning our 3 week honeymoon was all the hygiene and beauty products I would need! Three weeks is a long time. Too long for one of those little travel-sized toiletry products.

Here's my solution. I used two 12 oz pop bottles for my shampoo and conditioner. They hold more, and the twist-off caps will prevent most explosions and leaks.

Secondly, all those little makeup products are tough to keep in one place. I used an old Crystal Lite container, cleaned it out, and I'm using that for the small stuff, like mascara, bobby pins, and... well, makeup stuff.

Here's the rest of the stuff I'm bringing... a small mirror, body spray (sample size), a makeup brush, my razor, cheapened-up lotion, a little thing of body wash, hair de-frizz, moisturizer, my full-sized hairbrush (the travel ones are cool, but they get annoying and very frustrating with long hair for three weeks), my toothbrush, toothpaste, and my face wash bar (which I dropped right before taking this picture, and the case broke, so I need to grab a new one!) . Seems like a lot for a camping road trip? Well... remember, this is my honeymoon, too! I'll need to look at least a little attractive, and smell okay!

So, where do all these products go?

Ta da! So often, at least in my experience, there's no clean dry counter space in campground bathrooms, and that's what we'll be using most of the time. I wanted an organizer that can hang on a hook. I didn't have one, so I used an apron I had lying around. I cut off the sides, and then used the fabric from the sides to make the top section of pockets. I folded up the bottom of the apron and sewed it up to make the bottom pocket.

It all rolls up to look like this. Not very pretty or glamorous, but it will definitely work!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Honeymoon Road Trip!!

Today's the day we head out for our honeymoon! I'm very excited. Very very excited.

Poor Zeke has been super busy at work this week, and I'm sure he's ready for this vacation, too!

Here's the basic plan so far:

-Head out to the Black Hills and visit some friends.
-Drive down to Salt Lake City and do some sightseeing.
-Head north to Washington State.
-Visit some relatives.
-Start down the west coast along the ocean.
-Stop at Redwood and Sequoia National Parks. 
-Visit a friend in Southern California.
-Hit up the Grand Canyon.
-Visit a National Park outside Austin, Texas.
-Start heading home.

And of course, if we find something irresistibly awesome or interesting along the way, we'll have to stop and check that out, too!

We're bringing a computer along, so hopefully I'll get a little time to post some pictures as we go! But, just in case, I'll also have some posts going with road trip tips, what we packed, and so forth!

Pleas pray for a safe and wonderful honeymoon for the two of us! Thank you!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers

The great thing about this recipe is that it's so easy and so quick that you can double it and freeze half! Then when you've got a busy day, just pop it into the crock pot and you're good to go!

Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers

6 Italian sausage (I actually used pre-cooked)
2 green peppers, cut into slices
1 red pepper, cut into slices
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes (I just used regular)
A little olive oil
1 Tbs Italian seasoning

1. Stick everything in the crock pot. 
2. Turn the crock pot on. 
3. Cook on low for 8 hours. 
4. Serve over rice or pasta.  Have your wonderful husband hold his plate up for the picture...       
Yum yum!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Best Wedding Tip Ever

The other day, in honor of our four month "anniversary," and also because our honeymoon is quickly (!) approaching, Zeke and I watched our wedding video.

We hadn't seen it yet. I was actually kind of avoiding it... I feel like there's some kind of awkwardness about seeing myself on camera, for one. That and the fact that I was pretty sure it was going to make me cry.

But after Zeke sweetly suggested watching it, I sucked up my silly reasons, and we did.

It was nice.

But can I be honest with you?

I spent so much time, so many semi-sleepless nights, and worried so much about my wedding day. I put a ton of pressure on that short half-hour. And it was a good day in my life, a very good day.


Yesterday was better. Last Saturday was better. Today has been better.

Yes, our wedding day was a big, important, life-changing day. It was the day when our hearts were united before God and all the people who love us.

If there's one thing I could tell a future bride, busy dreaming and planning, it would be this:

Your wedding will be special. It will be something you remember for always. But it won't be the best day of your life. The best days are still to come.  

The best days will be when your husband rolls over in bed in the morning and holds you while he's still half asleep. When you hear his footsteps on the porch as he comes home from work. When he introduces you as his wife. Those days will be even better than your wedding day.

And if I could send a message to myself five months ago, it would be: Don't put too much pressure on one day. Your sisters may very well forget the words to the congregational song during the ceremony, making the song sound like a confused round of sorts. Maybe no one will dance at the reception. Maybe your grandfather will lead a rousing rendition that inspires all to patriotism but has nothing to do with romance. That's okay. It'll be a good day no matter what- because it will be the day when you marry your best friend. All the rest is just icing on the cake. It's a good day, but it only gets better from here.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

It's been a busy week! Just a couple little detail shots of my home...

 I use a binder clip (a pretty one!) on my shelf to hold up recipes while I'm cooking.

In our little entryway closet, I put up a cheap shoe holder for our gloves, mittens, hats, and so on. Keeps them visible and organized. 

...and... we had an extra space in a picture frame, so I've been using it as a calendar thing... and countdown... and there's only 5 DAYS until our HONEYMOON TRIP! Ah! So excited!!!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Honoring my Husband

I made a mistake today.

HH and I had a bit of an argument yesterday. We got to the bottom of a lot of things that have been bothering us, and came up with solutions. It was wonderful, after feeling crabby with one another for a couple days, that we finally worked through it all.


Have you ever been upset about something, and then talked through issues with the person who's upsetting you, only to realize that you've only scratched the surface? That you had deeper, more complicated things going on underneath?

That's what happened today.

I have had a terrible attitude towards HH for the past couple of days. A lot of it, I think, comes from the fact that I'm not working right now. We're blessed that we live on site, so he can stop home to pick up something, change clothes, have lunch, or let me know that he'll be working late. It's so wonderful to see him during the day. He was getting upset, though, that when he came home, he often found me idly surfing the internet or watching TV. He wants me to be active during the day and relax with him at night and was worried that I might become a little depressed, and I thought he was just being bossy and controlling by telling me not to have time to myself during the day.

We got all this worked out yesterday, for the most part. We saw each other's side. We talked it all out.


There was still that deep, complicated thing lurking in my soul.

And that's how I made the mistake.

Zeke and I have included each other in our everyday lives, the simple decisions and the tough decisions, the purchases and the conversations, since we began dating. The only thing that I've purchased since we've been married that I didn't tell him about was honeymoon undies (and we actually talked over a budget for those, he just hasn't seen them... for obvious reasons... ooh la la!).

But as I was looking through my wardrobe today, planning what I would pack for the honeymoon (besides the undies- got that covered), the deep, complicated thing started rearing its head. Why should I have to tell him what I buy? Why should I wait to buy some new shirts, which is definitely not an unreasonable purchase, until he gets home from work? Aren't I my own person? I don't need his permission.

And so I bought five tops online, with a gift card. I felt guilty right away, but I justified it by telling myself that by using a gift card, I wasn't really spending money... and besides, I could buy things for myself if I wanted- I am an adult, after all.

When Zeke came home for lunch, I told him. Right away. Because I felt guilty still, and because I was confused about why I felt so guilty. Because he wouldn't like the fact that I spent money? What was that deep, complicated thing lurking in my heart?

I've been thinking about it for a couple of hours now, and I've finally got the deep thing figured out, I think. One of the ways that I honor Zeke is by making decisions, even the smaller ones, with him. Of course I can buy things I need without permission. He's not my boss. But somewhere along the line, something evil began to tell me that it's me vs. him. That he has too much power over me and my life. 

And none of that is true. We're a team. It's not about me, it's about us. Not about my life, it's about our life. We make decisions together, bounce things off of each other. Consider each other's thoughts.  He always does this for me, even with things that I have no experience with or things that are completely irrelevant to my life- like whether or not he should look into getting a tool or machine for his work. And I appreciate that. Because he was honoring me. And today, by forgetting that we're on the same side, that he loves and wants what's best for me, I dishonored him.

I'm going to explain all of this to him tonight, and I'll have a nice dinner and a back rub waiting for him when he gets home (one of his love languages is acts of service).

I think this is one of the biggest lessons that I've learned in newly-wed-dom so far-

As husband and wife, we're on the same side. Always. And that honoring one another, even with things that seem insignificant, is so very important.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna

My husband loves squash. Loves loves loves. I, on the other hand, never was much of a squash eater. We never really had it growing up. I was first introduced to this recipe at a friend's house. It was then that squash and I began our beautiful relationship. This recipe is pretty easy and very delicious. It's vegetarian, so it would be great for non-meat eating company, but it satisfies the carnivores as well- even my grew-up-on-a-cattle-farm, 6'5" Hunky Husband doesn't complain about the lack of meat.

Butternut Squash Lasagna A Little Wife
3 lbs butternut squash, halved
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c unsalted butter
2 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 c flour
2 c heavy cream
2 c milk (whole is preferred, but anything would work)
9 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 1/3 c Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush squash with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Roast on greased baking sheet until flesh is soft (about 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Scoop flesh into a bowl and set aside.

Heat butter in sauce pan. Stir in garlic. Stir in flour and cook 3 minutes. It will look pretty lumpy, like this:

Whisk in the milk and cream until smooth.

Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in squash.

Reduce oven temperature to 370 degrees F. Pour 1 cup squash mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.

Layer as follows: 3 noodles, squash, Parmesan cheese, noodles, squash, cheese, noodles, cheese.

Cover with foil, bake 30 minutes.

Once again, I'm a little too slow with taking pictures....

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Case of the Mondays...

My Monday thus far...

1. Wake up. Only hit the snooze button twice.

2. Get ready for the day. Walk back into the bedroom to grab my watch, notice snuggly-looking husband in bed.

3. Wash dirty dishes from last night.

4. Walk back into the bedroom to put dirty dishtowel in the wash machine. Notice that adorable, cuddly husband has burrowed back into the warm, cozy covers.

5. Check phone to make sure no schools are calling me in, even though it's been within earshot all morning. No missed calls.

6. Check e-mail. It's all spam.

7. Put away clean dishes. Think about making breakfast.

8. Check Facebook.

9. Make scrambled eggs. Remember that Hunky Husband likes his with salsa. Set table.

10. Go into bedroom to tell Zeke that I've made eggs and he should get up soon. Notice that not only is he cuddly, but he also smells nice.

11. Scrap the eating at the table idea. Bring breakfast into the bedroom and get under the covers.

12. Zeke wakes up and we share breakfast and cuddles.

14. Realize that I've forgotten the juice. Head back to the kitchen to get the juice, and climb back up onto the bed.

13. Salsa on the comforter.

14. Start a load of laundry while Zeke gets ready for work.

15. Hunky Husband asks if I've seen his keys. Have not seen said keys. Look all over the house.

16. Zeke realizes that he left his keys in his pants pocket last night. It is now time for Zeke to leave for work.

17. Look for pants Zeke was wearing last night. Realize that the pants are currently in rapidly filling washing machine.

18. Search through wash machine for pants. Soak through sleeves of the shirt I'm wearing.

19. Find keys in pocket of soaked and soapy pants. Apologize for not checking the pockets. Again. Even after the wallet washing incidents. Both of them.

20. Zeke is now late for work. Whoops.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Frugal Friday: Lotion Stretching

I must confess... I love fancy lotions.

Don't get me wrong, regular old Jergens does the job, but there's just something about a fancy lotion. That something is the smell.

Ooh man. I love a good smell. Actually, on a sidenote, most of my family loves smells. We're very smell-oriented people. Each and every person has a unique smell, and as kids, we could figure out which of our friends that lost glove belonged to just by sniffing it. We're weirdos, in other words. Glove sniffers.

Okay, back to this.

Anyways, I love fancy, expensive lotion for the fancy, expensive smells that come with them. Unfortunately, I am not a millionaire. Nor am I willing to spend upwards of $10 on a bottle of lotion that will last me... like a month. Tops. Because even though I love fancy lotions from places like Bath and Body Works, I use too darn much of it to justify the cost.

Enter my new best friend, the fancy-lotion stretcher.

I love good old-fashioned Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Body and Hand Lotion. Love it. It costs less than $5 a bottle (at least at the department stores around me), and there are a whopping 32 ounces per bottle. Not only is it cheap, but it works great. And I'm somewhat convinced that it has magical powers. That, or I should just hate my 5'3", 90 pound sister for not getting a single stretch mark during her pregnancy (even though she looked like a bus).

The best part is, the light cocoa butter fragrance in this lotion makes it perfect to add to any other lotion (read: the expensive, great-smelling ones). I've added this lotion to my fancier stuff without losing the quality and while still keeping the yummy fragrances I love.

Because I'm a glove-sniffing cheap-skate.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's Seven in the Morning...

... and I have a confession to make.

Well, maybe not so much of a confession as a moment of transparency.

I suck at getting up on time.


In fact, I started panicking a month before my morning wedding because I thought I just might sleep through it. I had dreams about hitting the snooze button while I was supposed to be saying, "I do." That didn't happen, actually... I didn't really sleep at all the night before my wedding.

Anyways. Not being a morning person has made my life a little more complicated in the past couple weeks. Like, when I get called in to sub in the morning, I'll need to leave in ten minutes to get there on time, and I'm still in my pajamas and my hair looks like a bird's nest. It's actually caused me to miss two sub days, which I still feel guilty about.

I've really been working on getting up on time, but another problem has arisen. Some days, even when I'm up on time, I don't get called in. On those days, the lack of structure typically leads me to fall on my second vice... television.

Oh yeah. Instead of catching up on everything around the house, hemming those pants I've been meaning to hem, coming up with Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews... I spend hours in front of the TV. We don't get actual TV in our house, but we do have Netflix and use Hulu...

What are some of your vices?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Home

My kitchen

Kitchen looking into the living room

Kitchen and living room


Back Bedroom- office side

Back Bedroom, craft side

Front bedroom, spare beds

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blooming Where You're Planted

 "The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom."
Daniel 1:19-20

Sometimes, God puts us in places, in jobs in situations, that make us go, "Wha?" This was one of those situations for Daniel and his three buddies with terribly difficult names. They're in Babylon, their people in captivity to a king who makes gods out of gold and mocks the One True God. Once part of the royal family themselves, they're now being auditioned to be servants for this blasphemous king. 

 To be honest, if I was in Daniel and Company's position, I would be tempted to try and sabotage the king. Give bad advice, get him in trouble with other companies, gossip about his bad breath, you know. That kind of thing. He's a bad guy, right?  Why do a good job?

Daniel and the guys do the exact opposite. They thrive. Even though I think they're probably wondering what God is up to, not understanding why He would put them in this place, they work hard. They are wise advisers, helpful servants to a man who captured and is oppressing their people. 

Right now, I'm not so sure about this place that I'm in. I don't know why I don't have a full-time teaching job. I don't know why my subbing jobs are coming so far apart, leaving me at home for a good chunk of the time. I'm trying to do like Daniel and his buddies, though- thrive in this confusing place. Do the best I can at the tasks He's given me for now. The New Testament echoes that same thing... "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..." Philippians 1:27a. I've got to live my life in alignment with Christ, being the very best person I can. Be the best at-home-wife I can be, be the best substitute teacher I can be. The best neighbor, the best friend.

Daniel probably never thought that he'd be servant to a foreign king, that he'd eventually be tested in his faith, thrown in a lions den, and become a prophet for God. He was part of the royal family, after all- maybe his plan for his life was to be governor of some town, get married, have a little family and rule his town well. Who knows. 

All I know is that God had big plans for Daniel, plans he probably didn't see coming. Maybe that's the way it will be for me. My plans are human plans. God may have a very different path mapped out for my life. That path isn't up to me- my job is just to do my very best in every situation God puts me in, even if my best doesn't feel good enough, even if the situation doesn't make any sense at all.

My life doesn't look the way I thought it would a year ago. I'm not where I thought I would be. But I'm going to bloom in this place, in the life where God planted me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Love List

A few things that I am loving this week:

1. The smell of burning leaves. Our neighborhood allows us to burn leaves, and with so many trees around, at least one close neighbor is burning every day I know some people hate this smell, but man, it just smells like fall to me! Mmm.

2. My new bed! Zeke and I actually made the frame together, then we got a new mattress (thank heaven). With the cooler weather, I couldn't help but put all the fluffy bedding on it, and now it's nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning. I think I should move the fridge and TV in there... then I'd almost never have to leave.

3. The cleaning checklist I've been using. Okay, I have a little confession to make here. The other day, I watched the kids of a friend of mine. She had a "Babysitter Info" sheet... I'm sure many of you have the same thing. Anyways, I didn't need it, but she had mentioned that it had the pediatrician's name on it, and I was curious. So I looked over the sheet, and then saw this checklist underneath it. And, being snoopy as I am, I had to look it all over. I immediately went, "Wow. This could be the best thing ever for me."

I went online and bought the lists. They are awesome. I was really kind of struggling with how to fill my "at home" days when I wasn't subbing- there's just so many things to do that I didn't know where to get started. Thanks a bunch to The Confident Mom at theconfidentmom.com!!

4. The beautiful scenery in my neighborhood. This was taken just across the street. No joke.

5. Knowing what to make for dinner. Now that I've been trying out recipes for a couple of months and gauging Hunky Husband's reactions, I've got a bunch of HH-approved meals, so I've been able to actually plan, rather than just frantically searching for recipes at 3:30.

6. Pandora. I'm sure you've heard of this website before, but if you haven't, it's an online radio that's customized to your preferences. At my house, the radio doesn't pick up very many channels, and doesn't get the local Christian station at all. I've got my Pandora's Hillsong Radio going almost all day, and I love it! I'm not so sure that the neighbors who live below me like it so much... they have to hear me singing all day long...

7. My wonderful husband. He's taking on more hours at work starting this week (the maintenance director is cutting back on his own hours), and it's a busy time to work maintenance at camp with all the winterizing and boat-pulling-outing they're doing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Destiny and Jello

I was opening a package of Jello (I actually don't like Jello, but Zeke does, and I like to keep it around for a little snack for him), not noticing that the silverware drawer was open...

Yes, that is Jello powder all over my silverware drawer. I'm an overly-enthusiastic ripper-opener, apparently.

I guess I was supposed to wash all the silverware and clean out this drawer today...

nRelate Posts Only