Our Weekend and all the Food

Oh my goodness.

Excuse my while I catch my breath.

What a busy, busy weekend I had. But it was such an amazing one. Here, sit down and I’ll talk about it. I’m back on the road, sitting up tall and high on my designated throne on the truck and for the first time I feel like I can relax enough to think. And write. Didn’t have even a second of time to write this weekend. Not even to think about writing.

So we came home from BC on Thursday afternoon. I pushed our dirty laundry bags and huge dirty bedding pile from the truck into the laundry room and closed the door, intent on forgetting about that for a while, while I’d enjoy the weekend. We spent that evening catching up on nothing. Gosh it’s always so good to come home and kick off my shoes and go shower in my own bathroom without needing to get dressed after showering, and I enjoy that to the fullest. When I’m home, I shower two times per day, just because I can. To you “normal” people I’d like to say, never take your daily shower for granted. There are those of us who take one as a luxury. (Well it’s not that bad; a lot of places have gorgeous showers but it’s still not as good as home.)

Friday morning Darren and I slept in. When some people brag about having been able to sleep in, they have slept till 8 am. Ha! We slept till 10:36. And I mean literally sleeping. No phone scrolling or texting in bed or… anything else that people might do when they say they’re sleeping. Ha. Moving on.

We finally dragged ourselves up and I made huevos rancheros for breakfast. Or brunch, if you wanna be technical about it. That’s like my favorite breakfast ever. That and Chilaquiles, of course. (I’m writing so much about food because I’m starving right now and it’s on my mind.) After breakfast we went out on the town. I mean we ran some errands. Did “business” stuff and grocery shopping because our fridge was like totally empty. When we checked our mail we got an ad that our favorite furniture store had all the things on sale so we went there and just kind of had to get that love seat we’ve been eyeing. When we got home we sat around and waited for it to be delivered in the afternoon. With that and the area rug I got from Jessica for Christmas our living room is finally starting to feel more put together.

Darren made supper that night. It was totally amazeballs. How cool is it that my husband drives all week to earn money for food and then comes home and cooks it as well?! After supper I got a sudden burst of energy (thank you amazing carnitas with A.1.) and proceeded to tackle the laundry and vacuum the carpets and dust and wash the dining chairs and wash the floors.

The next morning we met Darren’s uncle and aunt and all their kids and grand daughter for breakfast which took till noon. Then we went shopping for some things needed for supper that night because we were throwing a barbecue burger party. Nah, it wasn’t exactly a party. Darren’s other uncle and aunt and their three kids came over for supper and we barbecued burgers. Yes, you heard that right. We’re the crazy snow Mexicans that grill things in the middle of winter. I bet our neighbors stick their poor little noses out the door and smell the most wonderful smells of smoky barbecue sauce lingering in the air and try to compensate their grumbling stomachs with a cold ham and cheese sandwich.

It does take a bit of planning though, if you’re grilling burgers in -20 weather. I kept my oven bake hot and whenever a batch of burgers was done the men put them in a roaster pan and put it in the oven to keep warm. We didn’t want frozen burgers. Supper turned out amazing though, if I do say so myself. I’m always relieved if we have people over for a meal and the food turns out super well, even if it’s just burgers and chips. I’m still so new to cooking and hosting that I’m always worried something will go wrong.

We had such a fun evening. We sat around and drank coffee and later ate the mouthwatering apple dessert that they brought. I remember all those years before I was married when Saturday evenings meant working your butt off and trying to not be jealous when other people went out to eat and hang out with friends. But now I am one of them. Isn’t that so awesome?

Sunday morning I woke up still feeling tired. Or just… I don’t know, weird. I didn’t feel like going to church at all but being the big girl that I am I didn’t say a word and just went. At church, however, I was so grateful I had made it. I’ve learned that before. Sometimes I don’t feel like going to church because of the no friends situation and stuff, but if I go anyway, I’m so glad I did. I’d have hated to miss the message. (I could always watch it online later but it’s just not the same.)

Being at church and sitting in the auditorium with lots of other people together, all of who came to worship and learn more new things, always makes me feel safe. Whether I have friends there or not, I feel like I belong. And that is one of the greatest feelings a person can have. Everyone wants to feel like they belong.

For lunch we went to the diner on 52. Darren hadn’t been there before so I was really wanting him to try it because I like the place so much. One of the waitresses there remembers me already because I get an English toffee coffee there every time. Isn’t it #lifegoals to be known for the food you like? Haha.

We ate chicken quesadillas and mozza burgers and lots of fries and gravy. It’s such a great place to go to for comfort food.

In the evening we went to church again. There was worship and miracles night, and it was seriously the most wonderful church event I’ve ever attended. We had lots of songs and worship, another message from our pastor, and lots of time for praying. Pastor Leon talked about the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, and focused primarily on the gift of healing. He invited people to come forward and then he prayed with/for them. He seriously has such a caring heart, and takes so much time for his ministry. It’s wonderful to be a part of something so big and powerful.

When we got home we were both starving, so we decided to see if Little Caesar’s had any food yet. We parked in front of the door and noticed they closed at 10. It was 10:03. We could see a few workers inside cleaning up and decided not to bother them. We started backing up and then the guy came running out! He opened the door and so Darren went inside and came back with their last pizza and their last bag of breadsticks. Haha well we had a good night snack! Just that day after lunch I was thinking to myself how we had been so busy that we hadn’t even ordered in Domino’s, which we usually always do, but now we had a pizza after all. It wasn’t as good as dominos but we were starving, so it was perfect.

Before bed I finally did the rest of the laundry and started packing again. Today I got up at 7 to finish packing, and now we’re on the road again. That’s my life. Hope all the food I mentioned made you hungry.

Oh yeah. Today for lunch we had leftover grilled burgers. Nom nom.

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The Next Time You Eat Grapefruit

They just kind of are at the store, aren’t they? You never even see the stockboys restock them; they’re just always there. They’re also often overlooked; people seem to prefer oranges or lemons over grapefruit in the citrus section. But would you eat more grapefruit if you knew what other people have gone through to get them to you? Would you enjoy them more consciously?

What if you knew that the truck driver had traveled south for three days to pick up your grapefruit, but then needed to wash out his trailer so it’d be clean enough for your grapefruit? What if you knew that he had then waited in line at the truck wash for 90 minutes, just so his trailer could be clean for your grapefruit?

What if you knew that the truck driver had waited at the grapefruit warehouse from 2 pm till 10 pm, without any bathrooms nearby, until they finally wanted to start loading your grapefruit? Then the dock workers wanted the driver to slide his trailer axles for loading, and after doing that, the trailer airlines froze shut and the trailer brakes wouldn’t release anymore and the driver had to force shove the trailer till the door so they could drive in with the forklift. What if you knew the driver had then worked in the drizzling rain in 0 degree Celsius temperatures for hours trying to release the brakes so he’d be able to pull out of the loading dock? What if you knew that at 1:30 am the driver had finally been able to pour washer fluid into the airlines to thaw them open and was then able to finally to release the brakes to drive to the truckstop for the night?

What if you knew that early the next morning the driver got up and started driving, on tiny roads through small villages that waste time on the e-log? What if you knew that he braved all kinds of weather on the road, from pouring rain to blinding snowstorms and dense fog in the mountains? What if you knew that for three days straight he traveled on and on, taking little time for breaks, to finally get to your store where you buy your grapefruit?

Would that make any difference to you if you knew all that?

Why I Hate the Wine Mom Culture

Another internet fad that was/is popular is the “wine mom”. And to me, that’s a disturbing trend. To disclaim, I’m not a mother, so many women who do have children might not listen to me because “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and once she will have kids she’ll do the exact thing she claims now she’ll never do”. Well, that might be the case. No matter how much I vow now I’ll always keep a tidy home when I have kids, I know for a fact I won’t because I don’t even do it now. BUT STILL!

This wine mom thing or whatever it is needs to stop. I just saw a video on Facebook of a woman lying in a tub full of bubbles aaaaand – you guessed it – a glass of wine. She was swishing around the suds and basically doing what I’d call complaining about her kids. She was listing all the work that she needed to do, but wasn’t, because “priorities”. Things like washing dishes, cleaning her house, laundry, and basically all the normal house chores. And those things would just have to wait, because “priorities”.

Now, I get that being a mother of little children is an extremely busy job – too busy for me to understand. And so I’m really not entitled to even write about this, but I will anyway, because, you know, “priorities”.

Since when is a mother supposed to have “time off”? Since when do moms “need a break”? Even as I type this, I feel foolish for thinking that because in retrospect mothers deserveall the best things in the world. But this culture that’s been happening with mothers the past few decades is driving me crazy. They think that because they selflessly got up and fried eggs for their kids’ breakfast in the morning, they deserve a Starbucks drink for that. They think that because they got their kids to school on time all week, they have earned a weekend off to sleep in and, well, drink wine. Yikes.

Moms, you’re a mother. You have children. You’re supposed to make them breakfast. You’re supposed to get them to school on time. You’re supposed to do laundry all the time. You’re supposed to clean up after them. Lying in the tub and complaining about the pile of dishes you should be doing (but aren’t, because of priorities) makes you sound incredibly ungrateful. Yes, you may feel tired, your head may feel messy, you may feel like you’re losing your sanity, but who isn’t feeling that way?

The thing is, there was a time in your life when you didn’t have children. Now that was the time for you to be yourself. That was the time for you to do whatever you wanted, instead of doing what your kids needed you to do. That was the time for “unsacrificial” living.

But, wether it was planned or not, you’re a mother now. You have to make sacrifices for your children, every day, maybe every minute, even. Being a mother is your job. And a job doesn’t come with bonuses all the time.

Imagine if a farmer planted one row on his field and then went to take a nap because he planted a whole row and now he deserved a break. Or if he took a vacation in the middle of threshing season because he felt like he was losing his sanity among the busyness of the season.

Imagine if a doctor was doing a heart transplant, and in the middle of the operation flung of her gloves across the room and announced she needed a coffee break. Or if she left out a checkup on her post-op patient because she already saw twelve other post-op patients that day and she couldn’t handle one more.

Women with careers do anything they need to do to get ahead, to win. They don’t just give up all of a sudden because they’re extremely tired, haven’t slept, or are losing their sanity. They keep going. It’s their career, and it’s important to them.

A lot of mothers don’t seem to understand that being a stay at home mom is a full time job as well. It’s their career. It may be so, so hard to deal with crying toddlers all day if they haven’t slept for two years already. But it’s still their job.

Again, I feel very unqualified to write this, since I’m not a mom. But I have watched a lot of mothers throughout the years, and I have been a babysitters for several different women, and I have seen things, and let me picture you a few examples.

First, let me tell you about a woman that I know. She has given birth to nine children. Now, if she was one of these “wine moms”, she’d have more than enough excuses to sit in her tub every night and drink glass after glass. But she doesn’t. You know what she does instead? She teaches her children to help her. She teaches them to clean up after themselves. Her children start to wash their own dishes when they’re like three. Her preschoolers know how to fold laundry. They clean up their own toys. And yes, she still always has a messy house. But I’ve never heard her complain about it. Not once. Her children are her life. She knows it’s her job to take care of them, night and day. And to make it easier on herself, she doesn’t try to escape. She teaches them the values of hard work, and working together.

There’s such a big difference between her and those wine moms. I know this post could very easily be misunderstood. The thing is, I actually get those wine moms. I mean, I often feel like I need a break, and I go lie in the tub for hours, and I don’t even have children who tired me out all day. But to those wine moms, they may think they have their priorities straight when they relax to keep their sanity instead of washing more and more dishes, but there’s help somewhere else than in a glass of wine. If you have a particularly crappy day, your first thought should not be “mommy needs a drink”.

Those mom blogs and pages who do all those jokes about wine have a lot of followers. And it makes sense. It’s exactly what other fatigued moms want to hear. They want to feel justified, not guilty, when they want a break from parenting.

While there’s nothing wrong with wine jokes, enjoying a glass, and doing it while being a mother, there is something very wrong with “mommy needs a drink before she’ll tuck you in.”

Interviewing Myself

Since I’ve been seeing a lot of new people lurking around my blog and Instagram lately, (thanks for that, btw) I decided to up and write a post about myself. (Is anyone rolling their eyes? I can hear you putting me into the “self-absorbed” category. Ding. There I am). But I’ve never done that before, and since I always love reading other bloggers’ About Me post, I decided to do the same. After you’re through with this, beware, there will be virtually nothing about me you don’t know.

It’s kind of easier to explain what you’re not instead of who you are, so I’ll do this in a question/answer format. It makes me feel like I’m interviewing myself.


Q: If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

A: Um, Carrie Bradshaw. We’d munch on our salads and sip on our cosmos and she’d teach me all the things about being an author, about marriage, and about fashion. Also maybe she’d give me her Manolo Blahniks but that’s kind of doubtful considering they were her proposal shoes. Maybe a pair of classy white pumps though. (Did you know that cosmos became increasingly popular after the movie SATC premiered? Talk about Hollywood influence.)


Q: If you could have any superpower at all, what would you choose?

A: To be able to speak any language I wanted at any time.


Q: If you could live in any era, which one would it be?

A: 1960’s and 1970’s. If I’d have been asked that a few years ago I’d have said Victorian but I later realized how much I like indoor plumbing and electricity. So I choose an “era” that has that but also is airing hilarious classic sitcoms. Mostly though I choose that era because of the fashion. I love 60’s fashion.


Q: If you could have any career you wanted, what would it be?

A: Well, wouldn’t it be so cool to be an editor for The New York Times? But I realize since that’s likely shooting for the moon maybe I’ll land among the stars and become a typesetter/coffeemaker for The Carillon. Oh the possibilities.


Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

A: I thought about this, and I realized it’s any pleasure, really. At least any pleasure that I feel like I haven’t earned. (I have non disclosed issues.)


Q: What’s your favorite thing?

A: Drinks. And I realize that that makes me sound like an alcoholic so I’m going to clarify that. I like beverages. Like basically anything you can make me to drink, I’ll like. Although I can be kind of picky, considering I don’t really like red wine, and also not milkshakes. But I do very much enjoy a chilled glass of Chardonnay (I know, how much more girly can one get) and basically any and all hot drinks. Coffee, tea, punch, and what have you. You pour, I’ll drink.


Q: What is your biggest fear?

A: That all my time, hard work, efforts, and good deeds I do to invest in my blog and other people’s lives will one day be for nothing. Also snakes. And knives. I have this irrational fear of accidentally bumping against a knife or sharp edge with my eye.


Q: Name a negative thing about yourself.

A: I don’t know if I’m naive or just immature and ignorant, or what, but I don’t/can’t see the bad in people unless someone literally points it out to me. I’m the kind of girl who believes sales people everything. It’s easy to screw me over.


Q: Name a positive thing about yourself.

A: I’m a light minimalist. Not that’s it’s that positive but I think it’s something cool and something more people should look into.


Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Anna Karenina. There’s nothing more confusing and boring and complicated than a 800+ page Russian novel, and I love it.


Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: SATC. All two of them. Wishing they’d film the third one already.


Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

A: When people complain to me about a situation, or “pour out their hearts”, and the tiny grandma inside me gives them awesome advice but they don’t do anything about it. (I don’t need them to take my advice; I just need them to take action after they complain.)


Anyway. That’s the best I knew of how to write about myself without making it an autobiography. (I was born in-) Like I already said, I love reading other people’s about me’s so if you’re a blogger reading this you should also do this and be sure to tag me or something so I can read it too! I’m also open to answering more questions anyone might have. 🙂

Millennials

This is a post on my view of the millennial generation, and what I’ve noticed and learned throughout time. I’ve not done research about this topic.

First, to those that might not know this, the millennial generation is the one born in the 80’s and 90’s, which definitely makes me a millennial, as I was born in 95. So in retrospect I can’t really argue that I’m not a millennial. But there are ways in which I can argue that I’m not like one.

Millennials are into self expression, and they have the tools to do that. (Scroll through a 22 year old girl’s Instagram and you’ll notice that the majority of her posts are selfies.) Or maybe it’s the “invention” of those tools that causes them to be so expressive; I can’t decide how it happens. This generation is the first one ever to have all the unlimited internet platforms they want. And honestly, I believe that it’s not just millennials who are into self expression so much. If the previous generation had had access to all our technology, they’d have done the same thing we do nowadays. And then they’d have been the ones mistakenly being judged as self-absorbed, just like millennials are today. Personally, I love using social media, but I think I’m less occupied with it than a typical 22 year old would be.

Millennials may be extremely internet-connected, but they’re also a generation who cares very much for personal face and one on one time. I think our parent generation (called the Baby Boomers) are more into larger groups of people and gatherings than millennials are. Millennials are all about “going for coffee” and that typically includes just one friend. This is one thing in which I’m very much a millennial. I’m also an introvert, which definitely helps that I enjoy private settings more than large groups of people.

There’s also an internet fad of millennials going unplugged (or as they often announce – taking a break) for a designated amount of time. While I’ve never done this and I believe that a lot of people do this only for attention, I also think it’s a respectable way of proving to the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation that while we may be connected, we aren’t tethered. A lot of millennial mothers take great care to give their children a #childhoodunplugged.

Talking about coffee dates brings me to my next point. Coffee has become extremely popular with millennials. Just go look at Instagram bios and the majority of millennials, especially the women, include their love of coffee. There’s hardly a millennial who does not drink coffee, and spends hundreds of dollars a year just for Starbucks lattes. I’m definitely a coffee lover, but I’m more into black, strong and frequent and less into milky, frothy lattes. A lot of millennials have to have an espresso machine, but honestly I wouldn’t know what to do with one. Give me my old-school coffeemaker and I’m good. I don’t even need pods, just a huge tin of beans.

Millennials suck at grammar and spelling. There, I said it. It’s obvious in their texting styles, in the memes they make and post so much, and even in their speech. I bet you right now that the majority of this generation couldn’t correctly place they’re, their, and there in a sentence. Same with lay and lie. And don’t even get me started on punctuation. That’s a hopeless case. In this area, I’m not like a millennial at all. I’m a grammar and spelling nazi. (If you’ll excuse the term.)

While we’re on language colloquialism, let me talk about millennials’ internet lingo. I can’t even. Like, they literally ruined the word literally. They literally use literally everywhere, even when something isn’t literal at all. They slay all the things and it’s not even funny rn. They use Netflix and chill as a hint to hook up with someone, and they ship people all the time. Also, wiu with all the acronyms? Tbh, they don’t spare you time at all and it’s confusing. It’s also very hard to keep track of these things, as Netflix and chill has already been retired and you never know what is in and what’s not. Ugh what is my life?

See, if that last paragraph confused you, don’t even bother to try to understand. You’ll be better off without knowing all that, and that’s just a teeny tiny example of what it’s really like. Personally, I like being classy more than whatever ‘that’ is. My husband is still my husband instead of bae.

Millennials watch way less TV than Baby Boomers. When the boomers grew up, all they had was a TV, so that’s what they did. Millennials nowadays would often rather use their computers and phones to catch up with games and news instead of watching television. Which brings me to-

Minimalism. Now that’s one thing I can totally relate to. I’ve realized lately that I’ve always been a minimalist to some degree, but just hadn’t realized that it was actually a thing until a few years ago. If you don’t know what minimalism is, let me quickly explain a little (in my own words, not copied from the dictionary). Minimalism is the practice of living with less and making do with as little material possessions as possible. Minimalists strive for a slower-paced, clutter-free life. Extreme minimalism often involves getting rid of certain pieces of furniture that are not a necessity, and giving up the car, and commuting by foot or bike instead. Or when traveling, often pack one bag and leave the rest. Minimalism is about intention and simplicity. I think it’s probably inspired by modern art, which focuses on light, neutral colors and clean, smooth lines.

Now, while I’m not ready to give up my car just yet, I do enjoy opening my closet and seeing only a couple of staple items. I have my tops, bottoms, underwear, and several pairs of shoes. No large armoire of jewelry, scarves, purses, hats, and other accessories. Same thing with groceries. I only get staple items, even if that means I won’t have all the ingredients for complicated recipes. I prepare my meals with planned and intentional cooking. I love opening my cupboards and seeing only a few necessities instead of large quantities of items I rarely ever use.

A lot of people have to have all the apple products – iMac, MacBook, Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple TV, the whole enchilada. And while I’d love to have a laptop sometimes, especially to organize my cloud, I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with all of that. I’m okay with just my phone. My phone can do just about everything I need, so why would I clutter up my home and my life with all the other gadgets?

And perhaps my favorite form of minimalism is organization, and in the way I decorate my house. I like bare walls. A lot of people like to fill their walls with calendars, cards, and pictures they receive from their family and friends. I like my walls bare. The smoke detectors, alarms, and sprinklers that homes are required to have make it way too cluttered already.

Millennials have also made things like photography and travel very popular. I can’t even begin to mention how many girls are trying to make it in the photography business nowadays.

The millennial generation is the one most misunderstood and falsely judged. They’re often pegged as lazy know-it-alls who can’t keep a job and live with their parents till they’re 30 (or worse). And while I can’t argue against that there are definitely those, I believe that this generation is also the most caring and loyal one ever. Yes, the internet may have screwed us up, but the internet has also enabled us to do more work than any other generation before us. And while it may be increasingly hard to spot a millennial who isn’t wearing earphones or looking at his phone, it’s even harder to find an older generation who isn’t complaining about millennials.

Plans for 2018

•Eat more Chinese (specifically Sesame Chicken)

•Find more awesome new music (suggestions, anyone?)

•Spend less time obsessing over cleanliness (and accept the fact that hair sheds and dust abounds)

•Get my nails done more

•Continue my coffee addiction (tall, dark, and rich)

•Possibly add to my tea addiction (sweet and milky)

•Grow out my hair (fingers crossed I’ll finally be able to do it)

•Buy more books (I’d say shoes but my husband would support the books more)

•Buy more shoes (it’s inevitable anyway so I’m adding it to the list)

Book Review – Braving Sorrow Together

Braving Sorrow Together addresses loss. Loss of control, jobs, homes, relationships, life, and more. It gives advice and thoughtful insight on what to do when you’re experiencing loss, and how to handle tough and painful situations.

This book is thoughtfully written by Ashleigh Slater, a wife and mother of four. She has suffered different losses all throughout her life, and this book is an engaging account of her stories. She has also included true life stories of others who have experienced similar trials, which also makes it an interesting read.

Throughout the book, in each aspect of loss she covers, she keeps mentioning how important it is to allow yourself to grieve. No matter how small or insignificant your loss may seem to you and others, it’s always healthy to grieve. Of course, we all know people grieve when their loved ones die, but often don’t think about that they may also need time to grieve when they experience a job loss or health loss.

One reason that this book was captivating to read is the references to movies, books, and other authors. Several times she mentions the movie Casablanca, and more than once Joni Eareckson Tada comes up. I’m a sucker for classic movie and book mentions, so when someone compares situations to renowned stuff like that, I’m all ears. (Or eyes, as may be the case in reading.)

The author also takes Bible figures like Leah and Judas and looks at the way they handled loss and the way they grieved. She makes interesting points that definitely make this book worthwhile to read – and purchase!

You might think you’re not grieving, haven’t experienced loss, so why would you bother reading this book? Let me give you three reasons why: (my own, not the author’s)

1. Chances are, sooner or later someone in your life will experience loss. Having read this book, you will better understand their loss and what they’re going through, and how to help them.

2. This book will teach you to ask good questions to your grieving friend. The right kind of questions. Questions that will tell your friend you care, instead of questions that might make it sound like you’re judging them.

3. If you haven’t yet, sooner or later you will experience a loss that you’ll need to grieve. It is a sobering and scary thought, but an inevitable part of life. This book will prepare you for that. It’ll prepare you to go through loss and hard times with “grit and grace”, as it explains on the back cover of the book.

About the author:

Ashleigh Slater is also the author of the book Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage. With over twenty years of writing experience and a master’s degree in communication, she loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers. She and her husband, Ted, married in 2002 and have four daughters.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

The link included in this post is not an affiliate link. Go ahead and purchase a book for yourself, and while you’re at it, get a few extra ones to gift to your friends!