Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Morning People vs. Not.


I have always been a morning person. Ever since I can remember. I've been told stories of me sitting up in my crib just waiting for my mom to come get me in the morning. I don't know if this is really true or not, but I like the story all the same. It makes me think that I was always starting off the day with a positive attitude-- ready to greet it.

My husband, Clark, on the other hand, is not a morning person. While he does get up earlier than some, I think this is just because he knows what kind of a morning person I am and how I can't stand people sleeping until noon when there are things to be done. I know, I'm awful.

We're staying with Clark's family at the moment, and his family is full of night people, aka not morning people. They all stay up until eleven or so during the week and possibly later on the weekends, depending on how busy the week has been. It's hard for me to function this way. Because, I can stay up until eleven every single night, but I get up around 7am anyway.

While this is eight hours of sleep, it doesn't feel like it. I start waking up around 5am and make myself go back to sleep. Then I usually wake up around six. I may doze off again, but usually I just make myself lay in bed until seven rolls around and Clark won't moan and groan (as much) about me getting up so early. These days I get him up by 8am for work. I know, it's actually a pretty easy schedule right now for us. But, still, if there's not coffee ready-- he will not set one foot out of bed.

I remember my grandpa singing, "Oh, the red, red robin goes bop, bop, boppin along. Sweet Song. Oh, the red, red robin, goes bop, bop, boppin along. Sweet Song. Wake up, wake up you sleepy head. Get up, get up, get out of bed. Oh, the red, red, robin goes bop, bop, boppin along." My mom would do this, too, but I distinctly remember my grandpa doing it.

Then, there's the classic from Singing in the Rain, another favorite of my grandpa's. "Good morning, good morning! It's great to stay up late. Good morning, good morning, to you. Good morning, good morning! We talked the whole night through. Good morning, good morning, to you," (this is my annoying way of getting Clark out of bed on the weekends when he sometimes attempts to sleep past 10am).

So, why are some people made to stay up late and others made to rise and shine in the morning? And does this phenomenon have something to do with Breakfast People vs. Not? Perhaps. I LOVE breakfast... but Clark would just rather have a cup of coffee, maybe a piece of toast or the unhealthy things such as Pop-Tarts or Toaster Strudels. I just don't understand it.

So, it's 9:25am and thus far I have: made breakfast, written in my journal, read/ done my devotional, recorded in my food diary, planned my to-do list for today, read my One Year Bible, fed the pets, got Clark out of bed and fed him/ filled him with coffee, called the vet about appointments, and folded some laundry. And the day is just beginning.

Personally, I love being a morning person. Are you one, or not?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spinach Turkey Burgers


Now that it's warming up, the grill is turning on or the charcoal is being lit or whichever way it works best for you. Visiting family, I always try to do my part and get busy in the kitchen. After all, there isn't much else I can do. Having more energy in the second trimester, I have found that getting back to the basics and cooking is positively wonderful. It started the other night when Clark's little sister and I made this chicken stir-fry, then last night I baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. And now tonight I will be sharing a recipe with you for Spinach Turkey Burgers, which also have the option to be Spinach Turkey Burger Steaks... try saying THAT ten times fast!

So, you can also cook these on a broiler. Being blessed to be visiting people who have a sufficient grill, unlike our $20 one from Walmart, we are cooking them in true summer-style. However, if you don't have a grill, not to worry. These burgers will still taste delicious if you have to cook 'em up on a broiler in the oven.

SUPPLIES:

- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 1/2 C chopped fresh spinach (or you can buy a bag of the ready-to-go-stuff if that's easier on you)
- 1/2 C breadcrumbs
- 2 TBLSP finely chopped bell pepper (I will be using green, but I'm pretty sure any color of bell pepper would taste really good!)
- 3/4 C chopped onion, about 1/2 of a medium sized onion (once again, any color will work just fine for your taste buds)
- 2 TBLSP Dijon mustard
- Cheese, if you wish, to top off the burgers with! Yummm.... and Mozzarella tastes REALLY good with these!

All of this makes about four decent sized burgers, so if you want more than that I would suggest doubling up!

This is easy. All you have to do is use your hands (yes, it gets messy) and mush everything together. So, you go from this:

To this:


Then, you throw them on the grill or broiler.

I did make the mistake of not chopping up the spinach, which I'm assuming holds them together much better than just making them with the whole leaves. Be warned that turkey is much different than hamburger, and you should lightly coat the burgers with Pam or whatever kind of nonstick spray you have. When turning them, be gentle. Our Spinach Turkey Burger Steaks ended up being Spinach Turkey Burger Crumble... but it was still delicious!

*Added 4.03.12*

- Make sure to add 1 EGG to help bind everything. I did this not really thinking about it because I add it to other burgers I make *recipe to come Summer 2012*, and it worked like a charm! Add an egg, chop the spinach, and you should be golden!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The craziness called "Moving".


If you are a normal family or couple, you've moved at least once. Whether this be into your new apartment, your new home, or from one home to the next, you've experienced moving. There are boxes to be packed, suitcases to be secured, valuables to be titled "FRAGILE" and so many details to account for that sometimes it's hard to breathe while you're doing it all.

My husband and I have experienced moving several times. The first was when we moved out of our respective dorm rooms on campus into our first "starter" apartment. This was interesting. The poor thing has fond memories, but the apartment was definitely one that I would not wish on anyone. It had that classic feel of "first poor married couple's apartment" or "first apartment out of college" or whatever label you want to give it. We lived there for about eight or nine months. From there we moved to "nontraditional student housing" on campus. Unfortunately, pets were not allowed, and I was craving a kitten. We were there for eight months. We then proceeded to move to another apartment, which was really a house. There we had some issues because the realtors couldn't find anyone to rent the "unit" below us that was really the basement re-done. So, unless we wanted to pay twice the rent for the whole place, we had to move. We were there a grand total of six months.

Finally, we moved to our most recent place. It was twenty minutes outside of town, in another town, but it was well worth it. We could have our cat, and the added addition of the puppy, and live happily with amazing realtors who were understanding of every little problem we may encounter. I had to do the move on my own, at least without Clark because he was attending MCT (I believe it stands for Marine Combat Training) for the Marine Corps. I had an army of guys from my then-current-work helping me, as well as Clark's two uncles and one aunt. It was amazing. It went so quickly and I didn't feel too much stress at all. I packed in advance so no one else would have to, and I just felt so successful when it came to a close. We lived there for a year and ten months. We are now moving once again.

This time, everything is up in the air. We stored all of our things and are currently bunking at family's houses (Clark's side, that is). It's stressful, but I have to keep reminding myself that things could be a lot worse. Plus, it's great to have family helping us out and to have time to relax. I'm not sure just yet on how to relax, but I'll let you know once I figure it out.

There will be another moving post when we successfully get everything out of storage and move forward with our next stage in life. We're in an "in-between stage" right now. It's one of the worst and best places to be, depending on how you look at it. I'm just choosing to be thankful, stay positive, and "Just keep swimming," as Dory from Finding Nemo would say.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cleaning Frenzy!

So, I'm out of class for good and tomorrow if my graduation from college. I had a night to celebrate with a movie and a personal-sized pizza, and then another night to spend with visiting cousins. Both were wonderful. Now, however, I have to have a cleaning day. The family is arriving sometime this evening (along with the hubby) and I have all day to get the house back in order.

I always tend to let things go when I have the house to myself. It doesn't help that I had exams or that I'm exhausted from carrying around a growing baby that is now the size of a cantaloupe. But, anyway, I'm not a clean freak when I don't have to worry about anyone seeing the house looking like a tornado ran through it. Part of the reason I do this is so I can actually have a cleaning day.

I'm one of those strange individuals that finds cleaning soothing. I set aside a whole day and do the laundry, dust, vacuum, clean the bathrooms thoroughly, organize anything that's been a little out of whack, and so forth. I love it. If Clark's home, it doesn't work as well. He's always in the way or trying to do something to "help"
but it's just frustrating because I was planning to do it. Don't worry. He understands. He can't clean when I'm in the house, either. So, we make it work one way or the other.

Cleaning requires the right supplies. There have been times in our marriage where we had to improvise one thing for another. Like, we didn't have enough Windex so we added water to the bottle and said it would work. We were out of mop-head covers so we sprayed some bathroom cleaner on the floor and went over it with paper towels. It's been interesting. Luckily, I had all the proper supplies today.

I'm still working, of course, but if you're someone who wants to give the house a thorough clean, here are the supplies I suggest you have ready for use!

Bathroom:

- Sponges
- Broom
- Mop (traditional or a swiffer with wet cloth-covers)
- Paper Towels
- Comet
- Windex or a Clorox bathroom-cleaner spray

Bedrooms/Living Room/Den/ etc.:

- Vacuum
- Pledge + dusting supplies
- Windex (to clean windows, TV screen, etc.)
- Carpet powder (if you have pets and want to get rid of any smells that may be lingering, they spell special powder you can sprinkle on the carpet before vacuuming and I LOVE it)

Kitchen:

- The precise same products as you need for the bathroom!

I'm pretty sure you can figure out what to do with all the supplies, but try to make the cleaning relaxing rather than stressful. Play some loud music, have the TV on, or something that keeps you moving and focused on what you're doing rather than why you're doing it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The time has come, the walrus said...


To talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings...

Life often reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Either you're too big or too small, you're upside down when you're supposed to be right side up, you're following a rabbit that's "late for a very important date", you're celebrating a very happy un-birthday, or you're just going with the flow trying desperately to ultimately figure out what's going on.

As a wife and soon to be mother, I sometimes find it hard to do what I need to do. Though the laundry may be piled up on the bed or sofa needing to be folded, or the sink is full of dishes that must be washed by hand, all I want to do is sit a while and enjoy the fact that I'm not doing any of it. I mean, come on, what wife or mother doesn't? If you have a moment where the kids aren't at home, or the baby is sleeping, or the husband is away... you take moments and revel in the fact that you don't have to do anything. Even if you're only carefree for those few moments.

Lately, I've felt like Alice. I've felt like I'm following confusion after confusion and I just want life to make sense for a minute. So, I'm taking a moment to sit, ignore the commotion around me, and ponder.

Graduating college, I am a young wife and mom-to-be. Most of my friends are figuring out graduate school or where they're going to work. Me? I'm looking at baby furniture and making sure everything is in order for us to move so my husband can finish school. It seems so strange to be at the same point in life and yet have completely different values and priorities than my friends.

I haven't been very up-to-date with the blog lately. This is because I've been so boggled when it comes to what I should write about. I haven't had anything on my mind except school, baby, and sleep. Cooking has moved to the back burner, house work has been shoved in the closet, and the lense has been covered.

Life will resume its normal pace soon and when it does I promise to keep you as updated, full of food and advice as I have in the past. Until then, know that I'm constantly thinking about you and hoping that you stay tuned for when I truly return.

For a closing note-- in case you didn't know-- we found out on April 25th that we are expecting a BOY! What an amazing blessing he is going to be.