Welcome to my site! Here I share tales, tips, and treats about being a modern-day-housewife, something I am constantly working on. I'm a wife of six years and counting, a mother to a crazy toddler and two "fur babies", and a lover of hot tea, long books, cooking, and theatre.
Super easy, healthy, and delicious. I've started making these whenever I can and storing them in the fridge. We usually eat them within a couple of days. I haven't tried freezing them (and not sure how I would go about that, since I'm awful at freezing anything other than soups).
This is an easy way to have breakfast to go or easy to warm up for your family (or just you if you're an on-the-go sort of person)!
- Salt & Pepper
- Veggies of your choosing
- Anything else you may like in your eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Whisk your eggs (or just egg whites). Add cheese, if desired, as well as salt & pepper.
- Pour about 2 tbsp of egg into each mini muffin tin (I have not tried a regular muffin tin yet).
- Mix veggies/meat of your choosing into each tin.
- Cook for 7 to 12 minutes (depending on your oven).
- Remove and serve immediately, or refrigerate until you wish to have them. To reheat, stick in microwave for five to 15 seconds (again, depending on your microwave).
Around Michael's first birthday, he started getting fussy. He wouldn't nap, he wouldn't eat as much, he was just rather... well... fussy.
If you know Michael, that's pretty atypical. He is so laid back and happy 90% of the time. Not to mention, he loves just about anything you put in front of him to eat. We related it to stress, though. We were preparing for family to visit, and then family arrived and it was busy. Everything was all over the place for a little while.
Then he started tugging on his ears. This, however, is not just a sign of an infection or something like that. He had been doing this for a while, after all, because he was teething. Sometimes babies can confuse the pain in their mouths and think it's coming from their ears, so we didn't really pay any mind to it. He had teeth coming in on the bottom, so we related it all to teething.
Then, about two weeks ago now, we had two days that contained absolute fits. I mean, he came home from preschool and he cried, and cried, and cried. The Thursday after his birthday he cried for about twenty minutes straight and nothing would comfort him. I was an absolute wreck. He finally calmed down enough to nurse and go to sleep.
The next day, Friday, was different. He was screaming. He wouldn't nurse, he would go outside and be comforted, nothing. Truly nothing would help. I called the doctor, and the nurse who answered the phone told me the next appointment wasn't until 4pm (this was around one). But then she heard him crying, and told me to bring him in as soon as I could.
As soon as we got to the doctor's office, he stopped crying. He walked around, played, acted like nothing was wrong. Then, when we took him in, he started crying again. When the doctor went for his ear, he started screaming.
When we first arrived at the office I was panicked. I didn't want to be one of those moms.
You know, the ones that everyone dreads becoming. A mom who brings her child into the doctor's office for every little thing. So much that when there is something wrong, the doctor is liable to miss it because that baby has been in so many times. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf, but the mom who cried sickness.
Well, lo and behold there was something wrong. To my horror, he had an ear infection. I kept wondering if he had it for a while and I kept missing it, and then it got to the awful point that he couldn't stand the pain anymore. Of course, there's no way to tell now.
The doctor said that after having a cold, babies are more prone to ear infections (see The First Cold to know that story). He was giving us the signs, we just kept relating them to teething. Michael didn't have a fever, so I kept thinking that there weren't any infections or anything.
I had brought him in a few months earlier thinking he had an infection because he kept pulling on his ears, and all it was was him discovering his ears (and some gum pain, most likely).
This was one of the times where I learned better to be safe than sorry. I have to admit I got a little annoyed at the doctor because he kept checking certain things (like when he saw Michael's nose was running check his lungs and was like, "Well, there's no sign of pneumonia, thank goodness," and using this "tone" that meant he was talking down to me. Perhaps it annoyed me more because he isn't an actual doctor, he's a Physician's Assistant. It also annoyed me because he was the one (when I brought Michael in before thinking he had an ear infection) that was talking down to me then. Oh, and the one who also tells me we need to get Michael in a separate room because we could be stunting his development by co-sleeping.
I should not that we only ever see this guy when we have to get last minute appointments for Michael.
The ear drops were a pain to administer, but Michael loves the antibiotic that was prescribed, so at least that part has been easy. After that first weekend, things definitely started to improve. Michael has been nursing and sleeping more, fighting off the horrible infection. I do seem to love this, though. It means more cuddle time for mama and baby.
This past Friday Michael had his one year check up with his actual pediatrician (who I love). He weighs (or weighed) 22 pounds, six ounces (60th percentile) and is 30.75 inches long (75th percentile). She said his ear is on the mend, thanks to the ear drops and "bubble gum medicine", as I called it as a child.
Lesson of the story:
- Don't worry about being a mama that cries sickness.
- Better to be safe than sorry.
- Pay attention to all the signs your baby is giving you.
(Just to leave you with an adorable picture of him, here he is passed out after one of our recent hikes!)
The air is crisp in the morning. It's cooler at night. Leaves are hinting at color change. The cool breeze is blowing.
Yep. It's autumn!
What does that mean?
Pumpkin and Apple EVERYTHING.
Ok, ok. I promise to give you recipes other than pumpkin and apple cookies, pies, muffins, breads, pancakes, cobblers, cheesecakes.... are you drooling yet? Seriously, though. I promise you'll get other recipes, too, from now until November... but I can't help myself if these take precedence over all.
So, here's the first one! The hubby said they're not too sweet and not too chewy, which he's a fan of in some cases (especially when it involves pumpkin). Perfect with coffee or a cup of tea, in my opinion!
- 1/2 C butter
- 1/2 C unpacked brown sugar
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 C unbleached, all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional: throw in some raisins, chocolate chips, or walnuts to make them extra tasty!
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Beat the sugar and butter together. Next add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.
- Beat in your flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Use a cookie scooper (if you have one) and space them out accordingly. If you don't have a cookie scooper, I suggest making them 1 to 2 tbsp each.
- Bake for 16 to 19 minutes.
- Let cool, and then gobble them up!
Do save some for those that you live with. If you live by yourself... aren't you lucky to have them all to yourself!
When I returned from my beach trip, I was ready to butt heads with the Marine Corps.
I had that whole, long weekend to let everything seep in. The way the man on the other end of the phone had lied to me, talked down to me. The way Clark was saying he had no idea what was going on. How I had to ask his parents for help to pay rent. How they had all lied, portraying this glorious picture and in reality I was being treated like garbage.
I was ready.
So, we got back. I got back into the swing of things with school and my job, and then started on the war path again. I called the same number I had previously called. I told them I needed to speak to Clark's drill instructor, or Clark himself. I explained the situation again. Telling them that I was a full time student, and I did not work enough to meet our financial needs. I told them if they would not give me access to his new bank account, I needed a monthly check for our rent and major bills.
And I remembered to ask for the man's name on the other end of the phone when he said he'd have someone call me back. I told him I'd give him twenty-four hours before calling back again.
In a little under an hour, I got a call from Clark's drill instructor.
He asked a number of questions.
"What do you do?" I told him.
"Are you pregnant?" I wanted to return with something not very nice, but I said no.
"Is this an emergency?" Really, dude? I explained to him the same thing I had explained to everyone else.
"There's not much I can do for you, ma'am. You're going to have to get help from others. His recruiter should have explained that to you."
This is when I first lost it. I told him I was Clark's wife, not some girlfriend out to steal his money. I told him that I had every legal right to Clark's money, and was even going to bend and be fine with receiving a check. I told him that if I didn't get the money, I would be kicked out of our house and then he'd have that on his hands as well. I told him that we were informed that I would be able to receive some of Clark's finances, since I obviously needed them and they were rightfully mine. Then I threw in the fact that they weren't even giving Clark free access to his bank account, and I was pretty sure that was illegal (which was pushing it, but I was furious).
He told me there was really nothing he could do. He asked me how old I was, and then told me "nicely" that I needed to grow up. I told him I wanted to speak to Clark. He said no.
"Are you married, Staff Sergeant?" I asked him.
"Well, wouldn't you want to help if your wife was going through this? Isn't it your job to provide for her? Wouldn't you want to comfort her, and find a solution?"
"I'll call you right back, ma'am."
I waited by the phone. I was trying to calm down. To give them, once again, the benefit of the doubt. My phone rang about thirty minutes later.
"It's me." It took me a while to honestly figure out who "me" was. Once I did, I started crying.
"What's the problem?"
"They won't let me receive any of your money."
"I have finances here." He repeated. At this point I was figuring out that someone was standing there with him, and I was possibly on speaker phone.
"What are you, a robot?"
"No. I have things I have to pay for here."
"Well, you have things you need to pay for at home. Ya know, like our home. Our bills. Food for your wife."
"I know, Emi." First sign of real-Clark and not robot-Clark.
"So, tell your drill instructor and whoever else is standing there that you need to send money home because it doesn't grow on trees, as I'm sure they know, and our parents aren't a limitless bank, either."
"Not sure I can tell them that."
"I'm sure they heard me."
"I have to go. We were in the middle of [insert technical term for him training here]."
"I miss you."
"I know, baby. It will only be a little longer. I love you."
"I love you, too."
The line didn't disconnect. His drill instructor got back on the phone.
"I will call you back after I speak with my supervisor."
"No. I want to speak to your supervisor."
"I don't think...."
"I want to speak to your supervisor, [insert his last name here]. You've been no help, other than putting my husband on the phone, and we came to no solution."
"I'll see what I can do."
The line disconnected. I didn't get a phone call the next day, or the next.
Which, as you may guess, meant I was soon to call back. But not until I enlisted some more help.
We have been doing our best to celebrate "Meatless Mondays" in our house for about the past month. I'd say we've done a pretty good job! So, here's a recipe that we tried and Clark loved (win). Hope you enjoy it!
- 2 to 6 bell peppers (I only used two, but had a lot of the mixture left over. I definitely think it could make up to five or six stuffed peppers.)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 C chicken broth (or water with 1 tsp chicken bouillon, or vegetable bouillon)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1 C brown rice
- 1 can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad
*Note: You can easily substitue this by using black beans, corn, and a can of tomatoes with a little extra seasoning!*
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is tender.
- Add the chicken broth (or substitue) and bring to a boil. Then add the seasonings and rice to the pan. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
- Add the Bean Salad or your substitue about halfway through the process of the rice cooking. Cook the rice until tender, stirring occasionally.
*The liquid in the bean salad will make up for the other cup of water you would initially add to the rice. If you are using a substitute, make sure to make up for that water somehow! I actually put an extra cup of water and learned the hard way the first time, which is what's pictured.*
- Cut the tops off your bell peppers (while the rice is cooking). Cut out the seeds and such inside the pepper. Set in a baking dish.
- Once the rice mix has finished cooking, spoon it into the bell peppers. Place their tops over the mixture.
- Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peppers are crisp but tender.
When putting the care package for my little sister together (previously mentioned in Blogging on a Budget: Seasonal Exceptions), I wanted to include a new recipe (besides the delicious acorns I put together). When trying to subtly ask her what she liked these days (although I'm sure it was pretty obvious), she told me Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins were her favorite thing ever.
I searched my history, and found that just about every banana recipe I ever made involved oatmeal or something else (like carrot), but never just plain banana.
Well, when you're going to throw together a new recipe, you have to go all out. Since I only had one egg left, and that was to be for Michael's breakfast, I decided these muffins were going to be vegan.
And Clark didn't even notice.
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1 C unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 C water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 C unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2/3 C (vegan) chocolate chips *I did just use regular chocolate chips, but I know there are substitues!*
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Whisk together your sugar, applesauce, water, vanilla, and vegetable oil.
- Add your dry ingredients (whether premixed elsewhere or in sections).
- Add your bananas. Stir well.
- Carefully mix in your chocolate chips (I did use mini morsels for these!)
- Fill your muffin tins and bake for around 18 to 22 minutes. *Note: If you're using mini muffin tins, check on them at about 15 minutes and go from there!*
Enjoy with just about anything you have to drink at any point in the day. They. Are. Addicting.
Although I've been beyond focused on sticking to a budget, there come times when you need to just splurge a bit. Live a little. Ya know?
I wanted to put together a care package for my little sister (who is a freshman at the University of Kansas this year!), and I wasn't about to do it half-heartedly. Although buying name brand, specific things can be pricey at the grocery store-- sometimes you do whatcha gotta do.
Since it is Autumn (just about), I thought what better way to celebrate than to make this adorable treat I found on Pinterest (which, actually, my little sister initially pinned-- so I knew it was a keeper/winner for the care package).
It is hard to believe that Clark and I have been married for five years.
We definitely didn't take the easy route. After all, eloping to your local courthouse not even a month after starting school isn't exactly the traditional way of doing things. E-mailing your parents song lyrics (oh, yes we did) and explaining to them that you got married isn't the easiest (or most responsible) way to do things. Confronting all your friends, hurt feelings, nosey and idiotic questions, real-world-responsibilities, judgmental/ non-understanding strangers and family/friends isn't easy to do. Somehow, though, we survived, and continue to do more than just that.
If you read Married in College, then you should know how our story began. I feel so blessed to be at this stage of our life and to be doing what we do best: grow.
If getting married young has taught me anything, it's that in order to thrive, you must grow with your husband/wife. We have done a lot of growing up, and continue to do just that every single day-- mistakes and all.
Happy Anniversary to my best friend and the love of my life. Things may not always be easy, but the important thing is that we keep moving forward hand in hand. I am so blessed to have this life with you. Here's to many more anniversaries.
When the time came for Clark to leave for bootcamp, it was a bit surreal. The recruiter came and picked Clark up from our house, since Clark wasn't allowed to drive and it would have been rather a mess if I tried to take him. I'm sure there was more protocol to it than that, but I really don't remember.
I told Clark to text and call me as much as possible before they took his phone away. I told him to be smart, stay ahead of the game, and remember what was important. I told him not to let them brainwash him.... because that's what worried me the most.
Just like that, with a kiss and a hug, he was gone.
As I watched the car drive away, I burst into tears. I know, I know. It's not like he was deploying, but that's what it felt like to me. This was going to be the first span of time I had been away from him. It wasn't like I was going to Germany to visit my family and would see him in two weeks. He was going away, I was to receive letters, and that was it. I would see him at the end of June (basically July).
I moped around the house. I wasn't sure what to do.
We were told that Clark would get a phone call home when he arrived at Parris Island, South Carolina. I had heard from him very briefly up until he got on the bus and they took away his things. I was anxiously awaiting to hear his voice, no matter the hour.
Around 2am, my phone rang.
I answered. It was splotchy. All I heard was.
"...safely...time...thanks for your support."
Was that my phone call? It couldn't be... could it?
Why, yes, yes it was.
I learned later that Clark got to read from a script that was taped above the pay phone, and there was someone standing there to make sure he didn't say anything except what was on that sheet of paper.
Within a few days I got a sheet of paper from "Clark" with information about what he would be going through. It wasn't until a week or so later that I received my first letter from him.
In my first letter, I made sure to ask him about finances. After all, one of the reasons he honestly went was to make sure we had some sort of solid income, no matter how meager. We hadn't been informed just how much of that I would receive, or how I could have access to it, etc.
Clark informed me in his second or third letter I wouldn't have access to it. He informed me that they set up a bank account that he didn't even have the information to. Therefore, I would have to ask family for help until we could sort things out.
I. Was. LIVID.
I called Clark's recruiter. He said there was a number I could call with concerns and stuff, but he'd doubt I'd get anything out of it. (Yes, he actually said that to me.) So he gave me the number and I called.
The first time I called no one answered. The second time I called there was a button that said to press two if it was an emergency, so I pressed two. It connected me to 9-1-1... I was so embarrassed.
I called back and finally got an answer. I explained a shorter version of my problem to who answered the phone.
"My husband informed me in a letter that I won't be getting any money while he's away, and we didn't prepare for that. I need to speak to him or someone who can help me with this, because while I have a job, it's not enough to cover our expenses."
"Well, ma'am, he has expenses here, too."
"I understand that, but I'm his wife, and therefore I have a right to his money just like he has a right to mine. Could you let him call me, and he could share the information he has?"
"Certainly. We'll have him call you tonight." I should have known that was too easy.
"Thank you. I really appreciate it."
"Is there anything else?"
"Don't you need my information?"
I gave it to him. I should have taken his name. I should have been smarter than to believe they were just going to let Clark call me. I mean, it emphasized in all the information that all we'd get was letters. Still, I wanted to believe the man on the other end of the line was honorable.
I waited, and waited, and waited. I barely did anything that day without having my phone right by me. There was even a sorority function that one of my sister's convinced me to go to, and I was sitting there hugging my phone the entire time.
When Clark didn't call, I was such a mess. I didn't understand. The military I knew wasn't like this.
The next day the same sorority sister and her family were going to the beach for Easter break. They had invited me, and although I had to work that day, I had agreed to go. I got out of work, explaining what was going on and that I was feeling mentally up to it. Thankful for an amazing boss, they understood, and I left for the beach with my sister and hef family. She told me to just let it go until after the beach.
Little did I know it would be getting a lot worse before it got better.
Planning Michael's birthday party was a blast. If you follow me on Pinterest, there was a board dedicated to it up for I don't know how long. Come the end of July, maybe August, I was jumping out of my skin trying to plan the party.
It started off with me planning to make all the food. Homemade pigs-in-a-blanket, red-white-and-blue cupcakes, Captain America cake, mini-chicken-salad-sandwiches, fruits salad, veggies in a cup with ranch, cute bags of popcorn... I wanted to go ALL out.
But as the time drew near, I realized that I could really only pick a couple of projects that were closest to my heart and do them as best I could. If I tried to do everything, not only would Michael's birthday be the price of a small wedding, but I would be killing myself over it all to the point I would lose all fun in my child's first birthday.
So, I bought prepackaged finger foods. I dedicated time to preparing veggies and fruit (or rather, my mom did), and I made the cupcakes and Michael's cake spectacular (or at least as close as I could).
To make an awesome Captain America cake, watch the video below. I watched it twice, practiced the cake twice before I made it for the party. I gave in, in the end, and bought prepackaged Wilton Fondant because making it homemade did not seem worth it to me.
What I learned from this, thanks to my mom, is that there is no way to be a crazy-perfectionist in situations like this. Things will happen how they happen, and all I can do is my best and let God handle the rest. After all, not everyone is going to get along. Not everyone is going to have a good time, but I hope that everyone who was there was happy to celebrate with Michael-- and that's what it was for!
Oh, it's that time of year again. The time when it starts getting cooler, the leaves start to change, and everything just feels so perfect.
Needless to say, this is my favorite time of year.
(Please don't pull a Clark and tell me that every season is my favorite season. I may always want the next season... in spring I want summer, in summer I want fall, in fall I want fall....)
I wanted something that was appropriate for Autumn, but not something that made me feel like I was diving into Thanksgiving. But what could I make...
The great thing about Pinterest is it always seems to have something for me to be interested in. The bad thing about Pinterest is I now longer have to get super creative anymore, I just get on there and I can find ANYTHING. Of course, the internet is like this, anyway, but somehow Pinterest makes it worse.
- Preheat your oven to 275. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. *Aluminum foil also works, just make sure to spray it!*
- Take the cores out of your apples. I don't have a tool that makes this easy, but it wasn't that bad doing without!
- Slice your apples as thin as you would like.
*I couldn't quite get the right thickness with these. Sadly a few turned out burned, and others weren't crispy enough. Please share any tips you have if you've made these before or something you find while making them yourself!*
- Sprinkle your apples with cinnamon on both sides.
- Cook for two hours, flipping them at the one hour mark. *Do check on them once you flip them. They seem to cook quicker on the second side, so I'd say set your time for 30 minutes and go from there!*
Enjoy them! And beware: while they're cooking your whole house smells of apples. I was positively drooling waiting on them!
Thank you for being patient on this one. We had family visiting, friends coming from out of town, and so much going on that there was no way this post would have made it up Friday or Saturday.
In case you didn't know, Michael's birthday was September 7th. I still can't believe it's been an entire year. What happens when we reach five? Ten? Eighteen?
I don't want to think about it.
I can't even remember what I put in my last post about Michael's developments. It seems I turn my head, or blink, or snap... and there he is doing something that's completely new and entirely adorable. I suppose every mom can say that about her child.
Michael's one year check up is on the 21st (thanks to doing his last round of shots two weeks late due to this and that), so I promise to share his weight and length as soon as I know it!
If you hadn't noticed, Michael's growing a little tuff of hair on top. Luna likes to lick it in to the shape of a mohawk now and again. It only stays that way with dog slobber. Water does not work. Clark tries to get Luna to bathe Michael consistently just so he can have a mohawk. Boys.
Michael is exploring foods like there's no tomorrow. "Tu-nana-ish" has taken the back seat to things like grapes, blueberries, spaghetti sauce, and just about anything new he can get his hands on. Oh, did I mention cake?
(I will have another post dedicated to the making of this cake.)
As always, Michael's favorite remedy for anything is to be outdoors. Now it's even better since Mama and Dada got him an awesome swing.
However, bath time has climbed the list as well now that he has some awesome new toys (thanks to Marmee and Papa, and his friend Mackenzie).
We are desperately still waiting for Michael to take those first steps. While he has taken someone three at once, he has yet to repeat that or walk across the room without help via furniture or toys. He definitely cruises on his own, though, when he has a toy or something to hold on to near by.
On his actual birthday, not party day, we went to see Dada at work and Michael got his first real boo-boo. Truly. He was crawling and went right off the edge of the climbing mats, although previously he had been cautious when going over the edge. He fell on his face, and much to my dismay there was blood. It wasn't so bad until he coughed and it went all over the place. Not to mention how much he was crying. After nursing a bit, though, he perked right back up-- but you can definitely see the swollen lip in this pic!
After this, we went and got him his first ice cream (Rainbow Sherbert) to help his lip feel better. He was very appreciative of that.
His two top teeth are officially through, although they still probably have about halfway to travel down still. We also believe his two bottom teeth are starting to make an appearance. This is due to his attitude, clingy-ness, and swollen gums as of late.