The One with All the Grading

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Well folks, I sprinted so quickly out of the last 31 Days challenge and then let this little space here start gathering dust.  Where to begin?

Let’s start with all of the grading.  It’s just that time in the semester where the papers and exams all begin to pile up.  The necessary evil of teaching, I suppose.  The good news is that my schedule is flexible so I have plenty of gaps in time during which I can be incredibly productive.  The bad news is that I’m working my way through Gilmore Girls on Netflix and it’s pretty much the only thing I feel like paying attention to outside of the office.  I just watched the episode with Rory’s valedictorian speech for Chilton and had myself a big old cry.

Moving on to the impending holiday overload – I got impulsive and bought a ton of Christmas presents online all at once.  It’s my goal to have gifts purchased and maybe even wrapped by the end of this month.  I’m only a few gifts away from being finished with that goal, and I feel like a regular superwoman.  I so very badly want to start decorating for Christmas, but can’t do it just quite yet.

Which brings us to the latest exciting piece – we’re maybe-sort-of-kind-of buying a house.  We found the perfect little home not far from where we live now, and we made an offer!  We’re currently in the throes of inspections and boring mortgage stuff, and there’s still a huge chance that this won’t end up being the right home for us, but we’re kind of just letting God take the lead on this one, and praying that doors will literally be opened or closed for us.  So far though, green lights all the way.  This makes me both excited and a little barfy.  Mostly because of the whole mortgage thing but also living so far from my favorite people.  Actually, pretty most totally because of that last reason.  Let’s not talk about it.

In any event, the weather is finally cooling off and the days are way too short.  We’re snuggling up and enjoying as much semi-stress-free time as we can gather.  I’m working on grading papers more and on grading myself less.  It’s that season where staying inside makes me all introspective, and I wonder if I’m enough or too much or if I’m just reading too much into everything.  But I’m learning to offer myself a little more kindness, and I’m working on letting my relationships be a soft place to land – no judging or pretense, just extra grace and forgiveness with a side of warm-fuzzies.  We’re all just doing the best we can, here.

Kait, the almost-home-buyer, over and out.

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The One with a Recipe Rut

Of all the things I love, feeding people comes in pretty high on my list.  I love the cooking and the baking and the mess-making and every once in a while, I love the dish-cleaning too.  But between shifting schedules, coaching seasons, and four evening classes each week, I’ve quickly found myself in a cooking rut.  I’m bare minimum kitchen lady lately, which just isn’t natural around these parts.  We’re surviving off of like, four recipes.

It’s this veggie lo meinthis roasted broccolithese slow cooker carnitas, Pepe’s pizza from down the street with this salad on the side, and my ability to make popcorn on the stove (but always separate batches because I like mine with sugar and the tall husband does not).  Honorable mention to Trader Joe’s harvest blend grains and cheese tortellini.

So for some food inspiration, I’m charging myself with revisiting some old favorites and branching out and trying a few new recipes over the next month or two.  Hold me accountable, good people.  Ask me how many times I ate roasted broccoli last week.  The struggle is real.

 

Items to revisit –

This buffalo chicken mac & cheese – Joe loved this when I made it the first time around, and for whatever reason I’ve forgotten about it until now.

These strawberry cupcakes – never forgotten, just waiting until summer and the right occasion to whip these up – but who’s to say that a random Thursday isn’t the right occasion for these bad boys?

This crockpot lasagna – crazy simple and reheats so well for lunches the rest of the week… or at least it did that one time I was organized enough to plan for lunches in advance.

 

New player lineup –

This tequila lime shrimp – because I actually have tequila in the house and like zero tolerance for pre-mixed margaritas

This one pot pasta recipe – one. pot.  that’s all.

This kung pao chicken – because the tall husband isn’t the biggest fan of Chinese food, preparing it at home with friendly ingredients makes it much more likely to please his palate and 100% more likely that I’ll get to eat Chinese food.

 

Wish me (and my kitchen) luck!

The One without Home Goods

With my semester starting in February, I have this expansive chunk of time off to fill.  Mostly my days consist of a trip to the gym, errands, plenty of Luna snuggles, reading, and dinner with Joe.  What also fills in some of those gaps in time is the time (and mind) suck that is HGTV.  I’m possessed by Fixer Upper.  I asked Joe last night if we could move to Waco – the homes are just so dang cheap!  His response was something along the lines of, ‘um, no, and you might consider watching something else’.  Point taken.

This afternoon, after watching yet another inspiring complete home makeover, I set out on a trip to Home Goods.  And about a mile down the road, I turned around and drove straight back home.

I had once again convinced myself that I needed another basket, throw pillow, vase, fill-in-the-blank, to feel comfortable and happy in my home.  And that’s just not true.  The trappings of home makeover shows seem harmless (how bad is buying cute stuff, really?), but the problem isn’t the Home Goods or the HGTV, it’s believing that a picture-perfect farmhouse would solve whatever problem or boredom I’m experiencing.

The truth is that I’m in the less than twenty percent of the world that lives on more than ten dollars a day.  I have a warm home and a loving family.  And that home is happy and full not because of any farmhouse-chic decor theme, but because it houses my loved ones.  At the end of every day, what makes my home beautiful is the laughter and memories that take place within its walls.

So, while I might not abstain completely from Home Goods or my beloved home makeover shows, what I will do is a heart check the next time I’m feeling unsettled in my surroundings.  Because rearranging furniture is free, and vacuuming probably wouldn’t hurt, either.

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And really, home is just wherever these two are.

The One with Naps

It’s not often that Joe, Luna, and I get a chill afternoon all to ourselves, but we stumbled into one today, and have thoroughly enjoyed it!  The only hitch being that Luna, my nap champion, was not feeling our group nap time.  And by ‘not feeling it’, I mean she whined and licked our faces for half an hour before I caved and got up to feed her an early dinner.  After she scarfed down her chow, we headed up the hill to play a little (which translates to Joe throwing the ball for Luna while I run around like a maniac trying to photograph her).  Good times, she wrote.

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Now we’re hunkered down for the evening, since football is on and I’m nursing early signs of a sore throat (and willing it away with copious amounts of lemon water).  And since I like to read random assortments of articles on the weekends, some links for your viewing pleasure.

Jurassic Parks and Recreation ((anything Chris Pratt, please and thank you))

A Beautiful Mess Photography Tips ((these guides have been so helpful as I learn to use my camera))

2015 TV Show Premiere Dates ((obviously))

Free 2015 Calendar Printable ((printed this the instant I came across it))

Burn the Candle ((beautifully written post by Shauna Niequist))

How to Nap Like a Pro ((some scientifically proven tips for all of my nap-challenged friends))

Happy weekend!