February 28, 2014

Nannies, Date Nights and Yard Work: all for 7 Quick Takes

Today is brought to you by the number 7. For 7 Quick Takes and 7 Posts, 7 Days. It's been a long week, though after reading about the ins and outs of other ladies' (and some gents'!) lives, I definitely feel like my busy cannot even hold a candle to theirs. Many thanks to all you strong women out there for being, well, strong.

Now, for a few tidbits from the happenings in my neck of the woods.

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I started new little adventure this week (technically I started last week, but this was my first full week). I care for the kids of two different families. I think this line of work is called "nanny-ing," yes? I don't particularly care for that title. It conjures up images of petticoats, uncomfortably cinched black dresses, and hair secured tightly on top of my head. I am not any of those things. In fact, I am concerned my jeans are going to wear holes in the knees pretty darn quickly based on how much time on the floor I spent with the kiddos this week! I am fully aware the Mary Poppins nanny is no longer (was it ever?) common place, but I just want to make it clear that I don't strut around in a black dress. :) I have truly enjoyed getting to know the kiddos this week, though I may have traumatized one of them already! oh no! Do NOT close the door when she goes down for a nap...got it. Oh boy, lots of work rebuilding that trust going forward.   

A few weeks back, the hubs and I started a new habit: weekly date night. Whaaaaa? We've been married for four years and didn't have date night? Nope, not even once a month. Our dates consisted of going to Costco. Or running down to visit with my parents. Or doing laundry.Yes. I feel sort of guilty for not putting more emphasis on prioritize quality time with David, spending time with just him apart from our daily obligations. Though I need not feel guilty, because we certainly weren't neglecting our relationship. Nevertheless, we finally made setting specific time aside for dates a priority when our grief therapist told us both individually, in separate meetings, that we needed to start dating intentionally. No talk about work. No talk about the house. Just us. Prescription date night--doctor's orders! Since then, we have truly enjoyed our new weekly routine. Whether we grab a burger, beer and a movie, or simply stay in for game night (Rumikub or Cribbage are the go-to's!) our relationship has a built-in reconnect button at the end of every week. I foresee a mellow date this weekend, most likely take-out and some Wii. :)

Best moment this week: SUNSHINE! We have had several glorious days in a row. These are much needed because even on the sunny days our house does not get much light. As I'll show you (eventually) when I finish my House Tour post, we have a ranch style house. We do not have tall ceilings with tall windows. We have regular, 1970's windows. Furthermore, we are in the middle of the woods. And not just any woods. Thick, old, tall trees blocking even the brightest of rays. I shouldn't complain--the evergreens are beautiful. We are very fortunate to live in an area where people value their trees. But this girl needs her light. Guess I'll just savor my walks!

I have read so many great new blogs this week! So fun. I stumbled upon Romancing Reilly yesterday where I was introduced to a YouTube series called My Beautiful Woman. Have a peak.

An incredible example of trust. Of hope. Of unconditional love. My heart ached with such intensity for all the children in the world who are unwanted. Because all I can think about is how much I want my baby with me. Because if only I could rescue all of those babies. My heart swelled with admiration for the women who open their hearts to loving and nurturing children--both their own and others. My heart overflowed, intensely burning with hope. If such a small country like Taiwan can demonstrate unconditional love to the world, then perhaps our world can slowly change. If you have more time, I encourage you to view the other two videos as well. Tissues advised.
Perhaps you have learned just how much I love food. How much I love to cook. My favorite dish this week: more soup. And bread sticks. But not just any soup and bread sticks. Olive Garden copycat Minestrone soup and bread sticks. Mmm. The recipe comes from Cooking Classy, who makes this dish even more enticing (as if one really needed to make this yummy soup more enticing) the soup cooks all day...in the crockpot!

Jaclyn's photos are truly beautiful!
Oh yes. Dump and go. When I got home from my long day with the chillerns Tuesday, I simply finished off the soup with fresh zucchini, garlic, pasta and canned beans. Oh, and I omitted the spinach (because I didn't have any on hand) and added cooked ground turkey to appeal to David's "must-have-meat" requirement. The ground turkey was left over from another meal earlier in the week. I left the crockpot alone to finish cooking the deliciousness while I quickly whipped up some bread sticks--Olive Garden copycat Bread Sticks. While bread sticks are a yeast bread, you can either use a bread machine (you'll need to allow for more time) or--as I did on Tuesday--use your Kitchen Aide hook attachment to quickly pull the dough together. Instead of letting the dough rise on the counter (or on top of the dryer because it's a perfectly warm environment), pop the doughy bread sticks in a warm oven (170° F) for 15 minutes. Bam. Speedy rise. This recipe gave me these little tips for speedy, Olive Garden scrumptious-ness. Brilliant.

The house projects are piling up. How does one not get overwhelmed? I've accepted that the To-Do list will never end, but boy it would be nice to have a sense of "we're making progress." On deck for this weekend: repair short-ed out light switch in kitchen (somehow having light when cooking is well, necessary); remove and replace the worn out rollers and axles in our dryer (the noise has gotten out of control); and install the medicine cabinet in our master bathroom. Wish us luck! Maybe we'll get to the yard next week.....??

Speaking of yards, I'd like to pose a poll. If you were looking at buying a home--would you rather have a waterfall into a pond, or a pondless waterfall? A few facts likely pertinent to your decision/opinion: ponds require a great deal of maintenance (chemicals, filtration, weekly cleaning) but can house fun fish and turtles; pondless waterfalls lack the ability to house any cool pets, but require [practically] zero maintenance while still providing a beautiful, serene feature in one's landscaping.

Our pond at peak performance. In the summer. Note the ugly hose.
What our pond could be. Pondless :)
Your thoughts are valuable as we are currently trying to decide how to proceed with our present waterfall and pond! It's growing things... 

Wishing you the happiest of Fridays! For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

1 comment:

  1. I vote pondless.... less "to do" on your list, raw beauty snd clean lines, and no potential breeding grounds for those nasty 'skeeters!