My Wyatt

This week started VBS. Early, right? The schools just finished up last week. I was looking forward to VBS maybe mid-June not the week after school is out. Oh well. My kids love it either way.

So Hayden and Yvette have been gone every afternoon this week from noon-5pm. Which leaves me with a napping Rita and Wyatt all to myself. That boy. Melts.My.Heart.

We were out shopping today and he says to me in the sweetest voice, “Mom, I just love you very VERY much.”

“Oh Wyatt, I love you VERY MUCH too. You want to know a secret? YOU are my favoritest Wyatt in the whole wide world.”

All smiles with kissable dimples. He says very matter of factly, “Mom. That isn’t a secret. I knew that already.”

That boy.

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Coconut Oil

I never thought I’d convert. I loved my olive oil too much. But over the past few months I’ve took some steps in cooking outside my norm and used coconut oil in place of olive oil. And OH.MY.GOODNESS.

I no longer buy olive oil for cooking. I use it strictly for salads only. Coconut oil is my preferred product. Not only is it nutritionally superior (for cooking), it adds this rich slightly nutty toasted flavor to food.

Our most recent obsession is asparagus. Our seasonal obsession. We LIVE for asparagus harvest. We are fortunate to have wild asparagus on our property. And for those of you who have had the absolute pleasure of eating WILD asparagus, you can appreciate our love for it. It doesn’t come close to anything (even the organic version) you’d buy in the store. The flavor is amazing and I’m lucky if the picking actually makes it to my kitchen. Most often it is consumed on the walk back home. The kids LOVE it and prefer it raw.

John and I, however, have fallen for a baked version.

preheat oven to 450
liquify a couple tablespoons of coconut oil
drizzle it over asparagus and roll it around
sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper
bake for 5-7 minutes or until soft but slightly firm

And ENJOY. Seriously, this is heaven. A complete meal.

My brother stopped in tonight. I offered supper (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, baked asparagus) to which he declined. Which was shocking. Apparently he had just eaten. I insisted he grab an asparagus spear to nibble on. He accepted and as soon as he bit into it his eyes got huge…”OH….that is…..(sigh) good….” Needless to say he grabbed another before he left.

Heaven, I tell you. Absolute culinary bliss.

OH….and not all coconut oil is created equal. Just like olive oil, you get what you pay for. This version is both affordable and scrumptious. This is part of a short list of “subscribe and save” groceries for me:

Waffles and Spaghetti

I was talking with my oldest brother not too long ago and we were deep in a conversation about relationships. I’m 32 and have been married nearly 9 years with 4 kids. He’s 36 and never been married but close (I hope). Usually the relationship conversations are directed towards him…loads of questions coming from him. But that particular day it was my turn to vent. My turn to unload. I wasn’t necessarily looking for any answers or solutions. In fact, THAT is exactly what the conversation was about. How men, when faced with a woman with a problem (be it emotional or otherwise) they, by their nature, usually seek to put a solution to it. And women, when presenting themselves and their problem(s) to their men aren’t necessarily looking for a solution but just someone to listen. We laughed at how different we were. My brother was telling me how men often times see fairly clearly when it comes to emotional issues:

Your sad because you’ve let yourself go and can’t fit into the clothes you want?
Workout. Get back in shape.

You find out a girlfriend is gossiping about you and it isn’t kind things she’s spreading?
Stop talking to her. Or in the very least, stop telling her personal things.

You’re tired and overwhelmed by all the work you have to face staying home with 4 young kids all day?
Get to bed earlier. Eat healthier. Workout.

You feel depressed and you don’t know why?
Chances are it’s hormonal. 😉

And on and on and on.
90% of the time we just want them to listen, nod, and say, “Oh honey. I’m so sorry your feeling this way. Is there anything I can do to help?” But men aren’t like that. Not usually anyway. They’ll either spout a solution or they’ll keep their mouth shut until prompted to speak.

“Waffles and spaghetti,” my brother says with a chuckle.
“Huh?” I respond.
“Waffles and spaghetti,” he replies matter of factly. “You see, men are compartmentalized. Like waffles. Everything has a place in our world. Open one door only after closing another. Women are spaghetti. Everything is intertwined and often times messy. Breakfast and dinner. The difference of night and day.”

I LOVE this analogy. Waffles and spaghetti.

Y’all know what I’m talking about?

When I Said "I do"…

Not “our song” but still a favorite

In the wake of yet another young couple’s nuptials, I am a bit nostalgic and am reminded of my own. John and I were married almost 9 years ago after a whirlwind courtship of exactly 9 months. I remember so many details of that day…

morning mimosas
Getting butterflies as my bridesmaids scurry around saying “he’s here he’s here” and the photographer is trying to take my individual pictures
Stolen glances throughout
Aukward moments even
And then the drive to our honeymoon spot – we went directly to a secluded cabin from the reception

It is that drive that I am remembering most right now. I remember thinking that I am no longer my parents’ daughter first. I am first a wife. And we, John and I, were the ones making the decisions for ourselves. I didn’t have to call my mother to let her know I’m okay and I’ll be home at a particular time. It was no longer my father who would be my security…my rock. And it was during that hour long drive that my heart began to shed itself of that child and become cloaked in a woman…a wife. I had no idea what I was doing nor what I was in for. There was certainly a naivety about how I saw our young married life at that particular moment. I smile as I remember. Sometimes I long to be that girl again. Other times I am so happy I’m not her anymore. Well, I am, but we’ve managed to scale those early mountains and have come out the other side with some bumps and bruises but for the better. I’d much rather focus on what’s in front of me instead of behind me. Still, the romantic nostalgia of young married life is sweet.

Do you have a favorite memory from your wedding?

Jealousy Kicks My Ass…

Ever have a case of jealousy that drives you completely bonkers? You know, the kind that makes you want to drink or vomit. I get that way with 2 people. And the thing is, the jealousy isn’t even the kind that makes me want what they have or do what they are doing, it’s just a sort of disgust that they are so EASILY doing what they are doing. HOW can they afford the life they are living? WHERE do they find the time with several home schooled children and house projects and such? It baffles me.

It’s embarrassing, really. This jealousy thing. I went to bed last night with the question on my heart, “What is it I am supposed to do?”
Really the question was directed towards a project idea I’ve been sitting on for quite some time. Years, actually. But the answer came swift and sure and quite to the point.
“Get.Your.Shit.Together. You are better than this. You can do everything…..EVERYTHING you are inspired to do if you just get up off your lazy butt and function. This is not you, Theresa. And you’ve settled for being “not you” for a long time. Long enough to believe that this is the “new you” and to forget trying to revive the old. That’s a bunch of horse shit. YOU are better than what you’ve become. You are capable of so much more. You can achieve all that you dream about and more if you just apply yourself whole heartedly. Show John….remind him of the woman he married. Remind him of why he fell in love with you in the first place. INSPIRE him to happiness, joy, and abundance. Lead him (by example) back to his faith….to Christ. That right there ought to be enough to make you move. Get up off your ass and stop talking about things, stop writing about things, stop making lists, and start DOING.”
And so, there it is. The kick in the butt that came from somewhere last night as I lay in bed. So I will begin. I begin again. I’ll take it one day at a time…one moment at a time and try not to get too discouraged.
The dishes and laundry are calling my name. Screaming it, really. “Theresa! THERESA! Get your butt over here and do something about this nasty mess!”

You’ll hear from me again soon. 

And I’m pretty sure the jealousy thing will surface again. 
Sorry. It’s an ugly ugly thing.

My Parents…38 years!

I have to say something. I have to recognize the greatest example of married love that I have witnessed with my own eyes. My parents. Today they celebrate 38 years. In those 38 years they’ve brought into this world 5 children and have buried 2 of them. They have walked the gamut of love and loss, sorrow and joy, suffering and healing. They have seen and experienced tragedy and miracles – sometimes within days of each other. It is with great gratitude that I say, “Thank you”. Thank you, Mom and Dad for your example. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your commitment to your faith, each other, and to us. It is because of your example, your prayers, and your love that we have weathered the storms of grief, climbed the mountains and persevered through the trials of married life, and embraced the adventure of parenthood with a willing and joyful heart. All with great hope because of you.

Perhaps those are strong statements, but it is absolutely true. By the grace of God. I am so grateful and so proud to be yours. And I pray that after 38 years, John and I might have what you have in each other……love, happiness, friendship, chemistry.

I love you both so much!

Green Again

We have been waiting for these days for oh-so-long. Our winter seemed endless and just when we thought for sure spring would come, we’d be hit again with snow. But finally the sun came, the temp rose, and the ground dried up. Now the fields are full of tractors, the farmers here are happy and busy, the kids are outside most of the day, my clothes line is FULL every day (another post to come “Ode to my clothesline”), and my garden is now (almost) all planted. Life is splendid here.

John, my hero and life saver of many sorts, spent yesterday and today raking, burning, tilling, raking, mounding, and planting the garden. He’s done most of the important work thus far. I get to plant the peas, onions, and beets tomorrow. And on Sunday (hopefully) the tomatoes go in. *sigh* I LOVE this time of year.

Over the past few years we’ve experimented with various ways of planting our tomatoes: groups, rows, hog-panelled, etc. Last year was the most successful. We group 3 plants together (the buckets help keep the grubs and bugs at bay) each with a cage and staked in the middle. It was both fruitful and fairly easy to keep up with. The spaces between are large enough for a tiller to go through if we want. We’ve got 3 mounded rows of potatoes, one mounded row of beets, then the tomatoes, onions, then peas in the back along with my raspberry patch which you can’t really see in this pick. I might throw some peppers in there if there is room in the end.

Believe it or not, this is the smallest garden we’ve done since we’ve been here. And I am super excited about it. I’m not going to be worth a lick come harvest time so this should be manageable (compared to previous years). Plus, keeping the weeds down on this shouldn’t be too hard. (I might be eating my words on this come July).

I always want to try something new and have been wanting to do salad greens or herbs or something. Apparently those are super easy, though I’ve never done them. Maybe we’ll do some pots.

What do YOU plant? Anything exciting? Any awesome tips you’ve learned over the years?