Monthly Archives

September 2013

Marriage

What We’ve been Eating

September 30, 2013

Lately we’ve had some great food around here and I want to pass on some awesome recipes to others because these recipes are perfect for Fall. What’s been on the menu?

1. BLT Sandwiches 

Recipe Link – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blt/

You could try adding avocado and other fixings to dress up this classic meal.

Yes it was as good as it looked. We splurged and went for really high quality bacon and fresh tomatoes. It was a good decision.

Yes it was as good as it looked. We splurged and went for really high quality bacon and fresh tomatoes. It was a good decision.

 

2. Bacon-Tomato Bisque

Apparently we love bacon, since this is two for two here. Below is the recipe and instructions. The red wine is the secret to this soup. AMAZING!!!! We usually triple or quadruple this recipe and put leftovers into freezer bags so we can take a bag out every few weeks, thaw it, and have a couple great meals. We have made grilled cheese as a side dish with this soup and it’s a wonderful addition.

soup

3. Butternut Squash Soup

This is an Emeril recipe – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/butternut-squash-and-italian-sausage-soup-recipe/index.html

It’s slightly tedious and technical but completely worth the effort. Make sure to cool the squash before attempting to handle it. Another recipe we like to make in large batches and freeze. Breadsticks  or crusty bread for dipping are a wonderful addition to this soup.

Here's the soup simmering and getting ready to be pureed into deliciousness.

Here’s the soup simmering and getting ready to be pureed into deliciousness.

4. Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is so easy you can’t mess up. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/flourless-peanut-butter-cookies-recipe/index.html

Sometimes we substitute the Sugar for Truvia Baking Blend. Turns out mostly the same but doesn’t make as many cookies, since the ratio isn’t the same. These cookies are our favorite to make for special occasions, which we turn into shapes that represent the occasion. Example – For Apollo 13 Movie Night last spring we made them into moons and space ships.

5. Angel Food Berry Cake

We can’t claim this one but it was so delicious (actually I didn’t have any since I am not eating gluten right now but I could tell it was good by sight). We thank Mr. Joe Konopa for bringing this one over. I don’t know his exact recipe but this was close – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/angel-food-cake-stuffed-with-whipped-cream-berries-10000001611728/

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This photo doesn’t do it justice. The middle was stuffed with berries and whipped cream.

Date Night, Marriage

Building Forts

September 28, 2013

Jonathan and I have been traveling this past week, which deserves a blog post of its own, so more on that to come. This post will be a catch up post from date night the past 2 Wednesdays. I also hope some of you are stealing these ideas and having some of your own date nights!

Date Night #7 – Kid Night

Not surprisingly, Jonathan picked the theme for this night. We talked about all our favorite memories, toys, trips, movies, TV shows, etc. from our childhood days. It was a lot of fun to reminisce on a great time in our lives. My, how things have changed so quickly in only 15-20 years. Activities included the following:

We built an awesome fort!

We built an awesome fort!

DSC00728

And laid pillows down to make the floor extra comfy to hang out on.

Then we ate hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apple sauce. These were "healthier than our chilhood versions (hot dogs were 100% organic beef, mac n cheese was made of rice flour and real cheese, apple sauce was 100% apples with no added sugar).

Then we ate hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apple sauce. These were “healthier” than our childhood versions (hot dogs were 100% organic beef without bun, mac n cheese was made of rice flour and real cheese, apple sauce was 100% apples with no added sugar).

Then we watched 90's commercials on YouTube, and hopped on Amazon Prime to check out Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Clarissa Explains it All. Great shows!

Then we watched 90’s commercials on YouTube, and hopped on Amazon Prime to check out Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Clarissa Explains it All. Great shows!

You want to watch those commercials too, right?

Click here to check out many of the best ones. Skipit, CrossFire, Gak, Lite-Brite, ahhh the classics!!!!!

 

Date Night #8 – Whole Foods & Despicable Me 2

First we went to Whole Foods to grab some dinner to go…aka dinner we could fit in my purse and bring to the movie. The best thing we picked up was:

love bar

This. Any flavor, doesn’t matter. They are just great. They also have a love poem written inside if that is something you enjoy.

Then we were off the Elvis Cinemas (aka the Cheap-o Theater) for a viewing of Despicable Me 2, which was hilarious, especially this scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPh5MFPOPLY

What I love most about the minions musical debut was the beautiful combo of All 4 One and Boyz 2 Men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFD9lW9PGM4 (The actual tune)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N9opF-PK5k (The all white outfits)

All in all a great night and I highly recommend seeing Despicable Me 2. Hilarious movie!

 

Date Night, Marriage

Introverted Date Night

September 12, 2013

Date night this week was influenced by the misty, foggy, rainy weather here in Denver. Actually it was more like flash-flood weather in many nearby areas so a date night at home won. What were we up to?

Homeade tacos made with carnitas, cilantro, and lime. They were delicious.

Homeade tacos made with carnitas, cilantro, avocado, and lime. They were delicious.

Afterwards we got really nerdy and decided that the most exciting activity would be sitting in bed and reading for 2-3 hours while listening to it rain outside. We are currently reading two different Catholic fiction books by the same author and wanted some extra time to read, since the plots are getting pretty good.

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Here’s what Amanda is reading.

 

Here is what Jonathan is reading.

Here is what Jonathan is reading.

 

Have any book recommendations once we finish these?

Date Night, Infertility, Marriage

Infertility Blues Redeemed by Movie

September 9, 2013

This date night is actually pretty hard for me to document. It’s fun to put up photos of adventurous things we do as a married couple but let’s be real – our lives aren’t perfect and we aren’t constantly having fun or doing cool things. Don’t be deceived at how things can appear from the outside.

This past Wednesday Jonathan and I got home after work and immediately I set my bag down, went to the bedroom, buried my face in a pillow and began crying. Jonathan came in and for the next hour or so we sat there talking, crying, praying, and eventually laughing. How is this a way to spend date night, you may ask?

It’s really not what we planned for date night but you see, we have been battling infertility for nearly 2 years now, and there are days when the weight of it is absolutely crushing. This was one of those days. They are far and few between, since we are used to this by now, but sometimes I get blasted with a wave of sadness, discouragement, and depression. It’s just part of this cross. It’s silent for the most part, hidden, and lonely. There are days I truly despise and hate it, and other days where I experience gratitude for how God’s grown me in total abandonment through it. This was a day of hating it.

I am so grateful for Jonathan though. He hurts too, which was hard for me to see in the beginning. Even though he has pain, I have never met anyone with a more genuine child-like faith, hopeful outlook, patience, and perseverance in prayer. He keeps us laughing through the valleys of infertility and keeping a healthy perspective with it so I don’t despair.

I’m not looking for sympathy or a pep talk. Ultimately this is the way we are being made holy and I know that. We’re in God’s will and it’s only for our good despite how terrible circumstances may look or feel in the moment. As disciples of Christ, we are called to carry this cross, even if we don’t like it. Does anyone like their crosses? On my bad days I like to think other people’s crosses are easier or that they aren’t carrying any “real” crosses according to my definition. Bad. I know. I am grateful for confession.

Thankfully by God’s grace, I snap out of it and he returns an eternal perspective to my heart and soul – He wills my good. I am his beloved. If it’s his will we have children, we will. If not, we won’t, but we he will still fulfill our hearts desires. He won’t leave us hanging. He hasn’t forgotten us. One day, these sufferings will be gone whether here on earth or in heaven. The grass is never greener on the other side.

After we talked through everything and I was able to finally crawl out of bed, it was really too late to go out to do anything for date night. I needed a pick me up movie, so Jonathan suggested an old classic – You’ve Got Mail. How can you not be in a good mood after watching that movie!?

you've got mail

Marriage

Exploring Colorado’s Beauty

September 8, 2013

Last Sunday Jonathan and I headed west into the Rockies to St. Mary’s Glacier area for some hiking. Calling it a glacier is a generous term…since it’s mostly melted now and will likely be gone in a matter of time. Nonetheless, it was beautiful.

Glacier Hike

At the trailhead!

 

Hiking up the trail. Jonathan's turning into a creeper with our zoom lens.

Hiking up the trail. Jonathan’s turning into a creeper with our zoom lens.

 

I snapped this one of Jonathan and think it turned out pretty great! He recently bought that flannel shirt at the Thrift Store and I can't get him to take it off.

Jonathan recently bought that flannel shirt at the Thrift Store and I can’t get him to take it off.

 

The final view from up near the glacier, looking back down the mountain.

The final view from up near the glacier, looking back down the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

Date Night, Marriage

Putt-Putt Challenge

September 7, 2013

Yep, it’s been nearly two weeks since this date night but I have been very busy and kept forgetting to post.

Where did we end up on date night a couple weeks ago? Putter’s Pride of course!

 

putter's pride

We had a Groupon to this quaint little putt-putt place that also provided us with free hot dogs. Random. This date was no ordinary one though, as we were joined by the lovely Ted & Hilary! Thanks for the great double date, guys! And for the record, the ladies smoked the guys in mini-golf.

group shot