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rockstar

I like to think that I am a rock star, on many different levels to be honest, but mostly on the “best wife ever” level. I mean, seriously! When it comes to being a wife, I get it right most of the time…Right honey? (She yells over her shoulder to her husband…he moans) Maybe I’m flattering myself?! All right, fine! I don’t always get it right. In fact just when I think I’m getting the hang of this business, and probably getting a little too cocky, I am reminded that I still have a lot of learning to do!

I’m sure, if you are a frequenter of this blog, you think that I am cooking up a storm in the kitchen every day, feeding my little family the best, home cooked, made from scratch meals that I can find from my stockpile of recipes on Pinterest (follow me) and Foodgawker. Well, you would be right! Okay…some of the time…but definitely not every day…and some weeks, not at all.

I don’t work a full time schedule all of the time and when I do, it is with great resistance.  It is too easy for me to lose my groove and become the “get home from work and sit on my butt the rest of the night because I’m too tired to think let alone cook a meal” kind of wife. Not that I’m proud to admit it but it does happen and this is what happened 2 weeks ago…ALL WEEK!  It was so bad that I am even embarrassed to admit to the kinds of things I “put together” for our meals that week. I think I blocked it out of my memory.

The good news is that I was able to acknowledge my shortcomings and use it as motivation for the next week, where I cooked 3 whole meals in a row! I know, I know, starting to gain some of that rock star status back. I made homemade pizzas one night (I use this recipe for my pizza dough and one of the pizzas was topped with Ricotta cheese and Spinach and was AMAZING!), the next night we had Lasagna Soup (a favorite recipe of mine that appeared in a previous blog post), and the third night I tried a new recipe: Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad (because, let’s face it, those last 2 meals were pretty heavy). Click on the links to find the recipes I used (all courtesy of Foodgawker)!

Quinoa Edamame Corn Salad...pretty, right?

Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad…pretty, right?

This week, I’m on a mission to cook EVERY NIGHT! (And yes, I am still working a full-time schedule…begrudgingly) That’s right, I’ve got a plan and so far I’m 2 for 2. Yesterday, I marinated some chicken in Cuties 100% Tangerine juice, then threw it in the crock pot with some BBQ sauce and a little bit of chicken broth, and then walked away from it for a few hours to watch a movie. My favorite way to cook! (It was delicious, in case you’re wondering.) Tonight I have my mom’s recipe for Mexican Cheese soup cooking up on the stove (you’ll have to ask her if you want the recipe)…yum! And here’s my plan for the rest of the week:

Gringo Tacos (as we affectionately call them in my house)

Spaghetti (it doesn’t matter if it’s easy, at least I’m cooking!)

Quinoa Edamame Corn Salad (because it was soooo good the first time)

And

Baked Fried Chicken (old school style from my Betty Crocker Cookbook)

Bam! That looks like 6 dinners in a row! Look out folks, this quasi homemaker is working on her rock star status! What are you eating for dinner this week?

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions and I find myself nauseated by the onslaught of what seem to be overly dramatic New Year’s related posts as I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. I don’t always enjoy all the “Best of 2012” articles or “My Year in Review” summaries, but maybe I’m just grumpy. However, on this first day of another year ahead, I can’t help but sit and reflect on where I am in my life, the things accomplished, and the dreams for the future. I can’t say that I know what to expect in this coming year but I do know that I am hopeful, optimistic, and excited about where my adventures are headed. This past year hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, things didn’t always turn out as I had hoped, I have had some real lows and a few painful disappointments, but in the words of my father-in-law, “It’s life.” You get the good with the bad, it’s a package deal, and I don’t expect anything less in this coming year.

One thing I know for sure is that I am blessed. And I actually mean it. I’m not trying to be cliché or trite or grossly sentimental. I am a very lucky girl! I have so many things to be thankful for and so many things to rejoice about. My life is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but perfectly imperfect in so many ways and I am grateful. I do not wish to recap my whole year with you today nor do I want to give you a list of my accomplishments. I’m also not all that interested in sharing with you a bunch of resolutions I intend to keep in the new year. Instead, I want to share with you a few moments from the past few weeks that I am looking back on with a grateful heart…

Hard at work

Hard at work!

I spent an entire day in the kitchen, baking Christmas cookies with my mom. I love Christmastime, always have, always will, and nothing else marks the start of Christmas for me like holiday baking. My mom and I have always made Christmas goodies together, as far back as I can remember, and it’s one of my favorite traditions. We don’t always make the same recipes, it’s not always just the two of us, and sometimes scheduling can seem daunting but we always seem to work it out. This year especially, I cherished the quiet calm of just mom and me, baking dozens of cookies, trying to remember old recipes and looking up new ones (sampling as we went along), chatting about all the happenings of our lives, and sharing a moment in time together…then, watching my dad gobble up some of our bounty when he made it home from work!

Sweet Ashlyn Grace

Sweet Ashlyn Grace

I got to crawl around the floor, play in the snow, and chase my beautiful niece, Ashlyn, around my parents’ living room on Christmas day and for two days after! I don’t get to spend as much time with this sweet girl as I would like to and sometimes I get sad to think she doesn’t know her Auntie as well as she should. But for a few days, during my favorite time of year, we played together. She laughed and squealed and giggled, ran around in circles, had moments of total seriousness, played catch with my sweet puppy Nina, let me hug and kiss her, and I was in heaven.  She loved the little wagon we got her for Christmas and I watched her push it around with delight… it doesn’t get much cooler than that!

For New Year’s Eve this year, I spent the day doing some of my favorite things. I went up to Runyon Canyon with Eddie and Nina in the morning for some fresh air, exercise, and quality puppy time. Then, Eddie and I went to the movies and watched “This is 40” which made me literally laugh out loud (embarrassingly) more times than I can count. And instead of going out to some club or party for NYE festivities, we went to my in-laws’ house where we ate a home-cooked Mexican feast and then enjoyed our food coma, snuggled up by the fireplace. We “camped” with our nephews, sang at the top of our lungs, played the “quiet game” and “Simon says”, and laughed until we cried. At midnight, we shared big hugs and sent all the kids running to wish their parents a Happy New Year! Best. New Years. Ever!

NYE

These are the things I am remembering today, with a smile and a heart full or joy, and these are the things that will help me get through some of the harder moments. Like I said, I am a VERY lucky girl.

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