Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Dinner Surprise

I drove home from school on Thursday, pondering what to make for dinner. My husband had been out of town all week, so it was just Kara and me. She had worked two nights after school this week already, which meant that I was alone and dinner could have been just about anything I could find in the fridge...or not. 

I was feeling like I needed to make some actual food for dinner, but it took me the whole 30 minute car ride home to think about what that would be and I still came up with nothing. 

Normally, my something-fast, nothing-fancy, go-to dinners would be a frozen pizza or grilled cheese, but I am trying to stay away from carbs so those wouldn't work. Maybe I could give her money to go grab something for herself from McDonalds and I'll just eat a cheese stick and hard boiled egg (again), I thought.

When I walked in the door, Kara was in the kitchen cutting up broccoli. This was an odd sight -- Kara doesn't usually cook. 

(And where did she get that broccoli?) 

Turns out she had planned dinner for the two of us. She even went to the store -- twice -- to get what she needed. That night, we feasted on grilled chicken, grilled pineapple steaks, and steamed broccoli, all prepared by Kara. "It's even low carb, mom," she smiled at me. She was proud of herself for planning and preparing a meal for us. 

So was I.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Celebrating a Visit {Celebrate This Week 10.15.16}

All week, I have been looking forward to Friday...and not for the usual reasons.

Yesterday, our son came home from college for his first visit. While it has only been two months since he's gone, it seems like two years.

Normally, college freshman don't make it home until Thanksgiving. However, Ry is in the UMN Marching Band and -- believe it or not -- they scheduled a concert for the weekend of Thanksgiving. (Seriously???) So he will come home on Thursday for Thanksgiving and then have to fly right back on Friday.

Since his Thanksgiving visit will be so short (and crazy busy, I'm sure) and since flights between Milwaukee and Minneapolis were about $120 round trip, we thought it would be okay for him to come home for the weekend.

And it is so good to have him here! Aside from spending time with him, he is making sure to eat up all the frozen pizzas, french fries, and pizza bagels that have been sitting in the freezer since he left. Ahhh....I'll get some space in my freezer back!

See....everybody wins!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Surprise in the Mirror {SOL 10.11.16}

Last week, it rained practically every day. If it wasn't raining, the sky was heavy and overcast with clouds.

To get to work, I drive west. Usually this is a good thing because it means I don't drive with the sun in my eyes.

But last Wednesday, I wished I was driving east.

As I came to a stop sign at the end of the road, I glanced in my mirror to see if anyone was behind me and this is what I saw:
Such a stark contrast to the sky ahead of me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Washing by Hand {SOL 10.4.16}

We have a dishwasher, but I find myself using it less and less these days.

I have come to enjoy washing dishes by hand.

If I have the time, I will fill the sink with hot, sudsy water and wash away! There's a certain satisfaction that comes from swirling the washcloth around a plate, rinsing it clean, and setting it to drain and dry.

I find it comforting, almost meditative. It gives me time to think about what I just prepared and who I made it for. What will I serve with it? How long do I have to wait to try it?

Plus, there's something soothing that comes from dipping your hands into the hot water, especially on cold days.

You just can't get that from a dishwasher.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Celebrating Strength {Celebrate this Week 10.1.16}

In the midst of struggles and troubles, it is important to remember the celebrations. They are what feeds us and keeps us going.

This week, I celebrate:

* We were in Minneapolis last weekend visiting our son for Band Parents' Weekend. It good to see him, but it was even better to see how settled he's become in this new space. It is comforting and puts my mind to rest.

* The launch of my companion blog, Sweet Teaching Life. I will be posting reflections from my classroom there. I am pushing myself to write more and felt I needed a space devoted just to my teaching thoughts. I hope you will stop by sometime.

* I went down to my garden last night to pull an onion for dinner. Most everything has died back. What was once so lush you could not even walk through it, is now spindly and brown. I celebrate not only the vegetables and flowers that my garden gave me this summer, but the joy it brought me as well.

* Setting long term goals is easy at the beginning. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm that provide the momentum to get started. To be able to keep working on those goals weeks down the road is when it becomes tough.  This week, I had several moments when I considered giving up on a long term goal I am working on -- but I didn't. I celebrate those moments of deliberation because they gave me the opportunity to prove to myself that I am strong and can do this. (I also celebrate the decision to keep going too!) I found this graphic in my email feed this morning and I thought it was appropriate:

Wishing you many celebrations in the days to come!