Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why NFP is Good for Girls, Regardless of "Mrs" Status.

This title may be a bit odd to some, who think of NFP as the "Catholic contraception."  It's not, and I have another post on that later. Suffice it to say  that it is nearly impossible to use NFP selfishly. Can't you just hear your husband, "Honey, I need a break from all this sex. Let's just skip half of each month for the next year, okay?  It'll be fun!"  Yeeeaaahhhh not. Anyway - onwards.

(Obligatory picture; otherwise blogspot puts strange and random icons on my posts.  
This is a honeymoon pic; it's the first chapel built on Aruba.)

There are, obviously, a gazillion kinds, but I'm talking about the more detailed kinds here. Billings, Creighton, Sympto-thermal, etc.  Rhythm Method ain't cutting it these days.  We are in the 21st century, ya know.

I learned Creighton, so that's what I'm going to go by here.  However, the others are probably just as good, as are some of the methods aimed directly at teens, such as the TeenSTAR method that Dr. Hanna Klaus is promoting here in the USA.  Creighton just has the most medically advanced aspect at this point, due to Dr Hilgers work in Omaha, and I picked it due to a niggling suspicion I'd be wanting that medical help at some point.  But I digress.

(Warning here!  This may be a bit...mmm...TMI for some folks.  
I"ll keep it technical and what I consider non-graphic, 
warning provided, just in case.)

We women know that our bodies are complicated.  Really complicated.  How else could the majority of men be so well trained to know that "women's issues/girl troubles/that time/etc" were terms of inexplicable and utter respect.  These terms require immediate submission to whatever request proceeds them.  "It's that time honey, I feel awful.  I need to curl up and die for the next hour.  Can you do the groceries?"  What man will answer (will dare to answer!) anything but, "Yes dear, of course."  Smart men!  Don't we love 'em?

Let me preface this by saying that I am not arguing that every woman chart for every day of her fertile life.  That would be a little extreme.  But doing it for a year or so during the mid-teens, and picking up again in engagement, perhaps.  

So, what's the reason for a teen to do it?  One, to learn respect for her body.  It's hard to take for granted something that is so complex, and there's no way to get in tune with it like following and tracking the patterns.  Two, to learn what is normal and what is not.  This is crazy, ladies.  There is so much that happens to us that is considered "normal" because no one talks about it, that isn't!  For example, PMS.  Totally normal, but not when it starts more than a week out from good ol' Aunt Flow.  Whoda thunk it?  Super heavy or super light periods - not normal either!  Never being dry during the cycle - you guessed it.  Not normal either.  And, biggie here girls - extremely painful cramps.  Call-off-work-when-advil-doesn't-cut-it cramps.  Not normal.  Wouldn't it be nice to get these things fixed (or at least know that they may need fixing before marriage/kids)?  A year of charting, or less, and a couple simple doc appointments could fix that.  Lastly, the TeenSTAR abstinence program is quite successful.  Can't beat that!

Okay.  Second scenario.  You want to have kids, millions of them, and you have no desire to ever postpone them.  Your future husband wants the same.  Great.  I applaud you, I really do.  But what happens when you're pregnant, your husband loses his job, and then your other kid gets sick.  Really sick.  Now, you have a newborn, you're living off savings while hubby is away interviewing all the time, and you've got gobs of worries and medical bills for sick child.  I know - it's not a nice thought.  That might be a good time to postpone having #3 since, as we mentioned above, you're Fertile Myrtle and pop 'em out 18 months apart max.  

Stop throwing stones at me!  Let me finish :)  If you want to keep having kids and you truly feel that God is calling you to continue despite outside circumstance, then go for it.  Leaps of faith happen.  I'm no advocate for testing faith, but leaping in faith is a beautiful thing.  

Either way, wouldn't you like already knowing how to postpone, should you need to do that?  Because you realize that the highly successful/highly scientific methods often require a month or so of abstinence while you learn the basics.  Not great for your marriage, in the above situation.  It'd be nice to have the knowledge and skills already, so that, if you ever need them, they are available.   This is why I'm an advocate for learning an NFP method during engagement.  The churches that allow this to be skipped are doing a huge disservice. Because really, what do you have to lose by learning? Nothing. Just like algebra; it's good to learn even if you don't think you'll ever use it again. Abstinence during engagement is healthy, it will help your fiance learn and respect what's going on inside you, and prepare you both for coming together in marriage.

Second scenario point five.  (2.5, if you didn't get that.)  You're married, trying for kids....and.....nothing.  Keep trying, more peeing on sticks......nada.  Guess what you're going to get told when you go to your secular doctor?  "You need to try for at least a year before you're considered infertile."  Just what a wanna-be mom wants to hear.  You can't blame the doctors; this stuff isn't taught in standard medical school and most doctors don't go to the extra training seeking it.  See the end of this post for some resources if you're trying to find an NFP only, ie. no contraceptive prescribing, doctor.   

Let's keep going with scenario 2.5.  What if you'd been charting your whole engagement, and you'd noticed some of those funny signs mentioned earlier.  Your periods were a little funky, kinda spotted brown endlessly, but hey, it's light and ignorable, so who cares.  Plus, they were super painful and you always had to call off work, but again, aren't everyone's?  Then, you started charting and your instructor suggested that you have a trained doctor check you and your chart out.  Lo and Behold - you have minor endometriosis and your progesterone is low enough that you'd be at risk of miscarriage without support. It's a good thing you caught the endometriosis early since it can cause infertility and requires surgery to remove (which may or may not return your fertility), and for the progesterone, now you can take your little progesterone supplement pills and make it all the way through a happy and healthy nine months. 

Because, isn't that how we all want it to go?  First marriage, then two little pink lines and nine months of excitement - repeated as many times as desired - leading to a full house and happy family. 

If we take the time to get our annuals, isn't it worth doing this too?  Life has enough heartache and suffering...there isn't much reason to go looking for more.  And don't tell me it's a tiny minority who has problems because unfortunately, it ain't. Yours truly knows of what she speaks and is part of that not-minority.  

Anyway, enough ranting. I feel like the women's health aspect is a huge element to NFP that gets overlooked, and shouldn't.  I'll do more on this another week, but since I just had my first doc appointment for all this (after being told to do it a year ago...yeah i know. What can I say?  I was busy twirling through the marshmallow fields of upcoming matrimony and not in the medical mindset) it was on my mind. 

Info stuff:

OneMoreSoul.com - website that, among other things, lists doctors who are typically Christian and do not proscribe contraceptives. Some of them are very highly trained in various NFP programs (usually on how to use it to help infertility), others less. But none of them will push you to get a tubal after baby #4.  I have several doctor friends on here; they're all big fans. 

FertilityCare.org - this is the main Creighton website for finding a trained doctor or instructor. The instructors use a sliding scale by the way, so it's always affordable. 

NaproTechnology.org - the website for Creighton NFP as a medical tool for infertility, hormonal issues, endometriosis, PCOS, etc. Kinda interesting. 

2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Girl time!

My sister is in town this weekend so I will be abandoning one and all til after she leaves. Next week, I'm going to do a post on the handiest kitchen gadgets so if you have any good ones I should include give a shout out!
Love y'all

(obligatory pic - this is the Natural Pool on Aruba.  Took this on our honeymoon!)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Letters from littles and morning chocolate...

These evil little things are my worst enemy, especially this morning.  Temptation has arrived, and I have succumbed.  Completely.  There is just something so addictive about eating chocolate, drinking coffee, and wasting time online early in the morning, especially if one's husband is not home to make one feel appropriately guilty for such childish behavior.  Chocolate is best before 8am.  Sad fact.

These little chocolately eggs, which weren't even what I meant to buy (thought I was getting mini malted milk balls, which wouldn't have changed any of this), are terrible.  They sit in their cute little jar looking soooooo innocent and telling me that they're so small, just one won't hurt.  So I eat one.  And if one is small, two isn't much bigger...right?  Tell me I'm right!  

At least this isn't a regular occurrence.  Usually I can bypass them just fine.  Today, I blame early PMS, as carbohydrate cravings (aka I NEED CHOCOLATE) is a medically documented effect of rising progesterone levels.  Don't ya love modern medicine?! Give me two weeks and I'll stare these little devils down without a flinch, Rocky style.  Hopefully there will still be some left at which to stare...

On another note, I love the things that kids say.  

The letter reads (with his own special punctuation and capitalization): This is Isaac I Just wanted to tell you that I miss you  These are some thing that are happening in My life I got a concassion and I'm getting reading glasses.  Call me when ever you have time.  Love  Isaac
 Isn't it great?  The child actually sat down - wearing said reading glasses, I might add - and wrote out a letter to my husband, because he has a ridiculously huge case of hero worship where my husband is concerned.  He was asking me when we were going to have babies three months into dating!  Because, "I want to be an uncle and I really like *Your Husband/boyfriend*"  Had to clarify the order of events there a bit.  So, a few days ago, this letter arrived and I think it is just the sweetest, funniest thing.  Gives me warm fuzzies all over, and it isn't even for me!

As a note, the "concassion" was a rather impressive one, meriting a hospital trip for a thankfully clear MRI after symptoms persisted for several days.  It was the result of a very fun game involving Daniel, Isaac, and a friend.  One got on the swing, and the other two stood in front and "bet" the swinger that he could not hit them.  You can see where this is going, can't you?  And the funniest part?  They were all mortified because it really was a completely innocent game.  Gotta love it.  Needless to say, Isaac's head was walloped back into Daniel, and both got knocked over.  Lesson learned, I suppose; on the bright side, all is well now and no teeth were lost!  Hooray for that!  It also provided much dramatic fodder for conversation. 

("From Isaac to kate
at your convence we can out for breakfast
You pick the restrount")

Just for fun, this is another Isaac letter.  I had one from Daniel too, equally funny/cute, but it got lost in one of the moves.  Sigh.  I still haven't taken him up on the offer yet.  It's a shame that I lost Daniel's version of this letter, because his actually stated, in writing, that he would pay for it.  As opposed to the kind of birthday meal you pay for yourself.  

Time to be an adult now, bid farewell to my chocolate eggs, pray that the caffeine in the coffee spikes my metabolism up enough to counteract it, and get to work.  Adieu adieu for now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Decorating a rental

A well-decorated house is a wonderful thing; however, I don't actually enjoy having to do it.  Nor do I trust myself to do a good job.  I can envision many wonderful decorations and room configurations, but actually making those happen with very little money to spare....that's another thing all together.

It's becoming urgent, however. To remind you, here is a picture of our living room, when it is clean.  I shall spare any and all innocent internet viewers the chance of seeing it while dirty:


Here is a picture of how I would like our living room to look:


Don't squash my dreams.  It'll happen someday (right after I win the lottery I don't play).

Anyway, I'm looking for any and all tips, tricks, suggestions...anything.  Commiseration?  

Obviously it needs window treatments of some sort, and I know to hang them from the ceiling to the floor, not just on the window.  In case you haven't heard that sage bit of advice, check out this pic, from artistry interiors:


Then, all the wise women of decorative-ville say to hit up the consignment stores and/or cheap antique shops to find furniture that can be fixed up and used.  I plan to do this as soon as I have a few hours to spare during the day, and I would loooooooove inspirational before/after pictures, tips, or ideas before going.  

If it's worth the hassle, painting can work wonders on a room, but as we don't plan to stay here even the maximum of our two year lease if we can help it, I'm not painting.  Just not gonna do it.  I did that to my last apartment - top to bottom $300 paint job - and it looked great.  Trouble is, I moved out within the year.  Not jinxing this house.  Pea green and I will simply have to learn to get along.

So, here are all the decorating ideas I have so far, and I would love to hear more ideas:
- Curtains
- Pictures, and frames that actually match
- Switch out furniture
- Attempt to find and apply moulding to our flat wood door (iffy, but it sure would be nice)
- Find a rug.  Husband votes cowhide.  I vote not.  Time will tell.
- Reupholster furniture/bite the bullet and buy new furniture.  

I'm all ears for favorite decorating and/or renovating tips!  Or really anything related to making an ugly rental home feel nice; picky, I am not.

Now, life calls and I must go finish this entire week's worth of Women of Grace homework before my class tomorrow.  Procrastination has been my friend for far too long. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Clothing woes, tips, and tricks

I'm deathly afraid of flashing the entire church and downtown community by having my skirt fly up and expose my very exposed backside as I walk out of Mass.  If I am wearing anything shorter than a maxi, this scenario is going through my head.

So, I bought these:

And ooooh baby do they fly in that Texas breeze! 

What's the cure?  Leggings and shorts underneath work but they don't look great on yours truly without heels which are equally awkward since the husband is my exact height.  He couldn't care less; I do. 

Second silly clothing fix: buy a maxi skirt too big and too lazy to alter it?  Stick a thin belt underneath the fold down wait and fold it over the belt. Voila!

Some other random ones I've heard:
- A pin worn in the bottom of a skirt will keep the static at bay. 
- If you're a thrift shopper, you need to go to the same store on a regular basis so you learn when they get new materials in and figure out the turnover pattern. Supposedly. I'm a thredup fan; that's as close to thrifting as I get. (The skirts above are all courtesy of thredup.)
- Dillard's bra sales are the best place to find inexpensive bras in odd sizes. 
- Dickey's workwear makes pants for grown men that have knee patches and actually look nice. Just in case your husband gets down and dirty like the little kid that's hiding inside us all. Don't deny it. 
- If you spray hairspray along the line of your panties (like swim bottoms or whatever) they won't ride up. Try at your own risk. 


Go Gracie Lou! 

Any tips to add to the list? Any anecdotes from trying said tips?? Any ideas to help me not flash innocent minds at church? Tell all pretty please!

Oh yeah, and how was your Easter? Nice? Any goofy family stories to share? 

P.S. Here's a link to ThredUp for $10 off your first order.  I get $10 credit if you click it but I promise that isn't my only reason for posting. Their clothes really are worth it, and if you order through the app, at least for now, you get free returns. Happy shopping!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter y'all! :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday funnies: Man Talk

Friday funnies time!  Here's a few gems from the Husband, with a couple add-ons from Dan and Isaac, the seats of brotherly wisdom that can only originate from the elementary age mind.  Enter at your own risk.

I made coleslaw from the bag and was trying to make it taste more...authentically homemade and amazing.
Me: Try this coleslaw and tell me what you think.  I put some of my balsamic vinaigrette in and I think it made it a lot better!
Him: You put balsamic in everything...


Me: I made regular pizza just for you! No chili powder, no weird cheeses, just regular pepperoni and onion.
Him: No balsamic? You put balsamic on freaking everything!


Him:  I need a simple answer to my question - that's it.  But women are just all over the place.  Like boom! boom! boom! (Hand holding fork accentuates this.)  Seriously, I don't mean that meanly but I don't know how y'all get anything done.  I just don't understand it.  *shakes head*


Marching into the bedroom stark naked to get dressed for work, he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, looks at me, and says, "I look good, babe!"  *peck flex*


Three months into dating...
Isaac:  When are you and C going to have babies?
Me: We're not married yet so no time soon.  Why?
Isaac: I want to be an uncle.


Daniel: I can't believe I'm going to be an uncle before I'm 12!
Me: Um...it doesn't quite work like that.
Daniel: I'll be the fun Uncle Dan and take them out for ice cream, and play *smiles*
Me: I'm sure you will.  But it won't be before you're 12; we still have to get married and babies take 9 months.
Daniel: *starts counting 9 months from the wedding date*

Me: Isaac, guess what?  Colton and I are going to get married!
Isaac: *smiles*
Me: So we'll have a wedding soon, like a big party.
Isaac: Will there be cake?
Me: Yes, a big one.
Isaac: Yay!! *runs off yelling the good news of cake to Daniel*
It's not the nuptials, it's the food.  Lucky thing we didn't go all modern and skip the cake!

Any funny things your men say?  Care to put a smile on our faces?  It may be Good Friday, but remember that His sacrifice is the best thing that's ever happened to us measly beings down here, so it's good to smile and appreciate it a bit!  Pleasepleaseplease share you know you want to!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Confessions; Why have kids?

What would I be like if I lived my entire life only thinking about me?  Now there, oh readers, is a very frightening thought.  I need children.  Desperately.  And no, I'm not talking about "baby fever" although I do have that particular ailment rather horrifically right now.

(Wednesday's pizza. Recipe later for the wonderful readers (wink wink))

Confession...I have a  "baby things" bookmark hidden under some other random and uninspiring folder to disguise the evidence.  And I'm not even pregnant.

So I think about this all the time.  I loooooove that moment when I fall into bed, roll over, and know that nothing but serious illness or catastrophe will bother me til morning. Really. I'm addicted to it. 

BBQ and onion, a favorite with my favorite carnivore.

Same thing with being able to wake up in the morning, stumble into the bathroom, get dressed, and go to the gym without having to talk or really do anything for anyone else (the Husband's capable of dressing himself, in case you wondered). 

I'm that selfish. And I'm only 25.  This is why I've decided that I need a housefull of children. Usually, that selfish urge can be squashed for someone else's sake. So, my theory is, if i have young children for a long enough time, maybe it will go away! Wishful thinking right. But it might help. It will help. I refuse to be a bad mother. 

This is why I need kids.  If I were to live alone, I'd be 1) fat, because no one else would help me eat the desserts I'd make, 2) poor, because I'd have too many horses, and 3) sad.  Because no little people would scream in my grocery cart, wake me up in the night, or give those hugs that only kids can.

And...there is that little matter of the fact that I just adore children.  Always have.  Always wanted them.  But that's boring - the other reasons are far more interesting, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Please don't look too closely at anything other than the pizzas...please!

Enough baby fever rambling!  To the point, there are a lot of reasons why people have kids, and now you know some of mine.  What made you want to have kids?  If you had/plan to have a lot why?  If only a couple, why?  The husband and I are going back and forth on this, so I throw it out to the webosphere - why should people have children?*

*disclaimer - I'm aware of the religious reasons; I want to know those silly, deep down, reasons why you wanted kids.  This is your chance to be anonymous and spill your secrets for a good cause.  I won't tell.  Pinky promise.

Top: BBQ & Onion; Bottom: White Mozzerella

And the pizza recipe is here!  Who doesn't love pizza?  This kind, which isn't half as heavy or fatty as the store-bought kind is my favorite, and I could happily eat it at least every couple days, to the detriment of my waistline.  Mmmmmmmmm. 

Best pizza ingredients, or really just best ingredients in general!

I wing this, so I don't have measurements perfect, but it's hard to go too wrong on a pizza.

For the crust, which makes two, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman:
  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour.  Throw in a dash or two of garlic powder, if you like that.  Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.  Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and either let rise (about 2 hrs) or store in the fridge until you need it.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stretch pizza out onto a cookie sheet. Don't grease the sheet or you'll never get the dough to stay put.  Once it looks good, brush the edges of the crust with olive oil.  This will make them pretty and crispy.  Prick the crust all over with a fork, except on the edges.
  • Here's where you improvise.  Add any and all toppings that you want.  For BBQ, I use a layer of Stubbs BBQ sauce, garlic chicken pieces, onions, and a layer of mozzerella.  The spices pictured above are mostly for the white pizza.  I use a light brush of olive oil all over the crust, then drizzle the spice mixture on it, shake on some garlic salt, and cover with mozzerella (or whatever cheese I have handy).
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes until everything is bubbly and the crust is lightly browned.  Enjoy your much healthier alternative to "normal" pizza and doubly enjoy getting to eat more than a slice - guilt free!  Yay for that! 
  • Comment below and tell me your favorite pizza toppings; I'm always on the hunt for the perfect pizza recipe, and someday, it will be found and my husband will actually declare mine better than Dominos.  But I won't hold my breath for that.  Silly men!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter menu - from me, to you!

This pic is the last time I made mashed sweet potatoes.  We didn't have marshmallows, so the Husband put peeps on it.  They looked like peep zombies after being in the oven, but they tasted good.  That makes us sound really weird, doesn't it?

We decided on a whim to visit the in-laws for Easter, so I didn't end up needing the menu I was mentally preparing.  So, dear readers, I will be generous and put it out into cyberspace for you!  Enjoy and think of me as you eat it. (I love my in-laws but they don't really celebrate Easter in a very foodie way.)

Morning snack:
Hot Cross Buns - HCBs - check out Leila's amazing-looking recipe!
(optional honey butter - Mix as much as you want in a little bowl of softened butter and honey.  Keep the ratio half and half.)

Baked Brie   - See "recipes" page for details

Honey-baked ham - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/honey-glazed-ham/
Green beans, sauteed w/almonds - recipes page
Sweet mashed taters - recipes page
Stuffing (because I love it) - Okay, I don't have a recipe because I was going to cheat and call my mom.  You caught me.
Baby spinach salad w/mozzerlla, walnuts, berries, homemade balsamic - Balsamic is in the recipes page, the rest you can probably figure out :)
Rolls or freshly baked bread - I'd use the beer bread recipe on my recipes page, but that's just me. Bet you'd like it though!  

Easter sugar cookies, decorated - I assume you have a recipe for this but please, if you don't have a good sugar cookie and basic icing recipe, ASK ME because that's an absolute travesty of the worst order.  Sorry.
Apple pie - I don't have a specific recipe here; I usually ad-lib it and adjust based on my mood...or something like that.
Homemade vanilla bean ice cream  - http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/02/03/classic-vanilla-ice-cream/  This is soooo good!  Just don't be like me and forget the ice for the churner.  It's better churned.

I'd love to hear your recipes and ideas too please pretty please!  I won't get any of this (sorry mother in law - I promise I love you anyway!) and I will likely make it in a few weeks, maybe for Pentecost to ease my desire for a homemade "fancy" dinner.  Don't you sometimes wish you could click your heels, say "there's no place like home," and beam back to being a kid at a holiday dinner again?  Anyways, enough rambling, hope this helps someone somewhere escape from the clutches of restaurant holidays and learn the delightful, wonderful, experience that is a home-cooked holiday with lots of amaaaazzzzzzzing leftovers. Boy I'm hungry now.

Eclipse, and how to make chores fun

Did you watch the eclipse last night?  I'm ashamed to say that I did not, but for what it's worth, I did think about it.  If you have any pictures or want to give a shout out and tell poor sleep-dependent me what it was like, I'd love to hear it!

I sprayed olive oil Pam all over my laptop yesterday.  It is now streakified in a most unfashionable, greasy way, courtesy of my cleaning attempts.  Anyone know how to de-pam a laptop?

The cornbread looks so pretty though, doesn't it?  We actually liked the recipe on the back of the cornmeal container better (with the addition of 1 egg - my idea - and maybe 3/4c of sour cream per my mother's idea).  But this looked so pretty, I might just start cooking all my cornbread in the cast iron.  So classic, despite being heavy enough that my wrists hurt after each use.  Que sera sera.

These are the sorts of things that happen to me all the time.  I love being a housewife, but I get bored doing housewifely things by myself.  Wait til babies come, you said?  Yes, I know.  End of peace and quiet!  But for now, it is peaceful and quiet, and I need entertainment if I am going to confine myself to ironing (gag), folding clothes (ugh), or unloading the dishwasher (bleh).

The pam got on the laptop because I was trying to watch Nashville while spraying my cast-iron skillet at the same time.  Bad idea, for those wanting to try at home.  Next time, hold the skillet and pam in front of you, turn around (back to the computer), and then stare over your shoulder at the screen while pam-ing in the general direction of the skillet.  Of course it will work - stop nay-saying.

So, yes, I have an addiction to Nashville, and am horrified by what's happening to Scarlett.  Juliette better help her or do something soon because that girl is going down the drain as fast as Juliette is coming back up from said drain.  They're just fictional?  Yes, I know haha you're so funny.  I care about them anyway.

Also Downton Abbey, and I actually really liked the last season, although Bates worries me.  24 is coming back soon too, and I'm excited despite knowing exactly what will happen because they're all the same; if I could just watch Chole be her delightful self, the rest of them can sing disney songs for all I care.

What else...there's this new show coming out called Turn.  Anyone seen it?  Worth watching?

My other sneaky way to make doing chores better is my rosary app.  Yep, I have an app for that.  Being me, I think most of my decades are either 9 Hail Marys or 11.  Rarely 10.  With the app, the nice man-voice and lady-voice lead it, accompanied by pleasant background music, and all I need to do is meditate and say the responses (while clanking dishes/spraying starch/folding).  It's great.  I hate things like this, but I love this app.

It's called Rosary Deluxe, and here's the image in case you, like me, search apps by how they look.

I'm pretty sure it comes in Android too, for all y'all in the dark ages of non-iphones (wink).  This ensures that you can say the rosary while doing whatever it is you do, whether it be chores or wrangling ankle-biters, without losing count, forgetting what set of mysteries to do on what day, or any other trouble.  And you'll feel very proud of yourself after. Promise!

Now, if only I could find a good bible app....anyone?  I like the NAB, I think that's the one anyway; too many editions to keep straight.

So, what are your chore-time activities that rescue YOU from the lap of eternal boredom?  Do tell!  We could all use a few more excuses to waste time.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Epic?

While in college, my husband told his mother that he wanted to have an epic life. Not a great life, not a peaceful life, but an epic life. And since getting married, our life has definitely been...epic.

First came marriage....

(Photo from SpieringPhotography.com, our absolutely amazing photographer)

Second, I flew back home from our honeymoon for another surgery. Fun. It was gross; I'll spare you a pic, but when my wonderful husband came up to visit (I was at Hopkins, near my parents') he took my scar and drain in stride like a champ. What a keeper! For the record, I am fine now...cancer details are another story!

A week after surgery, I flew to his New Orleans apartment. All my stuff had been shipped down a month before. Don't judge the mess!

I'll give you an "after" pic of our current house so you don't think deep down in your clean little hearts that we're total slobs. Kidding, kidding..

Then we moved to Texas. With three weeks' notice. During that move, while in the midst of a snowstorm that basically shut down this poor southern city, some poor souls decided that they could not live another day without my laptop, his work laptop, his personal laptop, an awesome Wilson's Leather bag containing said laptop, and an assortment of other rather important odds and ends that were also in said bag. 

 Cue smashed window. For some reason, I blame the truck. Vehicles and I have a tumultuous relationship; also a story for another time. 

We made it through that, and then...but that's a post to be continued another day. Epic enough yet? 

Here's our house now - improved a bit, huh?!

Despite all that in the first three months of our marriage, we're going strong and better than before! What crazy first year marriage epic adventures have you had?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sick toys

Did your mother ever get you a sick toy?  Mine did not, as I was almost never sick, until, at 21, I managed to get thyroid cancer and was looking at a six hour surgery and two day hospital stay.  Typical stomach flus and colds never warrented a sick toy, but that did.

And you know what, I think I enjoyed it even more than I would have if I'd gotten it when I was 10!  She got me a kindle (yes, big toy, I realize.  It counted as my "sick toy" for the following two other surgeries and is still running strong.).  It was a lifesaver, despite the fact that I read maybe, maybe, one sentence while in the hospital.

Oxycodone does strange things to one's attention span.  Let's leave it at that.


But after, during the couple weeks of recovery, boy did I love that kindle.  Simple though it was, that sick toy made being sick a lot less unpleasant.

So now, it's a tradition.  For big sickness, you get a sick toy.  None of my siblings have warrented one yet, thank goodness (my sister's wisdom teeth removal was before the sick toy era), so the next sick toy recipient was my husband.

Because he looks so sweet and innocent sleeping on the couch with his ice pack headband, I am going to bow to his dignity and not take a picture.

But you can imagine just fine, I'm sure!

He got a sick toy.  Sick care package, actually, because my mom adores him.  She gave him a container of homemade brownies - I froze them, as he can't eat them yet, a cute card, and this:

He's not quite channeling enough brain power for it (reference the sleeping from three paragraphs above) but I'm staring at it as I workcoughprocrastinate and will definitely try it out.  I love puzzles, and the puzzlier they are, the better.  But, ready for it or not, it brought a smile to his chipmunky face and that was enough to make the both of us very pleased and keep us as advocates for the sick toy tradition.

Do you have any traditions for when your kids or family are sick?  Do tell - I promise I'll only steal them if they're really good!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cheap wines, and our cap collection

Some people collect wine corks. The husband and I collect caps. Not because we don't like corks - I love wines with corks, don't get me wrong - but because wines with corks are expensive. 

This is a fun choice for when you have $15 to spend. The beauty of this beauty is that you get more bang for your buck than a normal bottle. And it has a very cool cap; it looks like a beer bottle cap. 

But Kate, you say, you can afford to work from home and stalk mom blogs all day! How can you not afford wine?  Well, says I, because I am saving.  Babies, a house, babies, and...babies.  See a theme?  And I will be staying home with said babies, hence the saving. 

Cute...not mine. Image courtesy of someone else. 

So, to combat the issue of my obsessive savings (so that The Husband will be financially comfortable with making BABIES) , we drink wine with caps. And we save them, and look super cool doing it.  See if you can find the beer bottle top in this jar picture...

              We have a few corks...

And now, to end the suspense, our favorite under $10 wine....

Vinho Verde!

It's bubbly, crisp, and refreshing. And it's $6.95.  If you also have champagne tastes on an apple juice budget, this is the fix!

What kinds of wine do you have?  Any personal favorites or company go-to options?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

On the art of frying

I took my life in my hands today and actually fried something!  In hot, spitting, boiling oil!  It was traumatic but it had to be done. One cannot marry a southern man and not know how to fry; just doesn't work like that (so if you have married a southern man and haven't fried anything well...better get cracking! Ha).

Frying, just like Minnie (know the reference?)  Ignore the crooked pics.


 Yes, I realize this is uncropped and unedited and a dirty oven; mea culpa.  
This is a one-time thing, I promise-ish.

One more waffle picture, because waffles are wonderful.

In a post or two, I will introduce myself, but for now, suffice it to say I'm a newlywed wife, working part-time, and enjoying all the adventures in life.  I am also attempting to learn recipes that my very southern husband will not term, "exotic" and actually like!

Aside from overcooking the chicken a bit, it came out remarkably well and the gravy looked totally legit. If y'all want the recipes I used just ask and I'll post them but I'd rather see your amazing tried-and-true recipes!  Commence comments.


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