A Guy and A Grill — Premiere Post!

Hey Y’all! Tanya here. I have someone I want you to meet. Everyone, meet Nate, aka ‘hubby’. I’m going to be writing a little series following my hubby and his adventures into the wonderful world of grilling. Who’s excited? I know I am! (It may have something to do with all the yummy food I know I’m going to get to eat…that I don’t have to cook! 😉 )

For Father’s Day this year, Nate’s parents got him a charcoal grill. He was very excited about it and was ready to get started. (If the weather had cooperated I’m pretty sure we would have grilled out that night.) Since this was the first time that this guy had been in charge of planning what to grill and then been in charge of grilling it too, he decided to start simple. DSC08421

Nate picked up a 3-pack of chicken breasts from the store. (There were only 3 of us for dinner because Freckles was at a sleepover party.) When we got back from the store, we noticed how very large the chicken breasts were. Nate cut them in half, that way he felt more confident in getting them cooked through.

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Nate divided the chicken in half and placed the breasts in 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags. To one bag he added some Rodeo Barbecue seasoning and olive oil.

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He closed up the bag and smooshed it all around so that the chicken was fairly evenly coated with the oil and seasonings. 

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For the second bag, Nate added in a couple teaspoons of lemon pepper seasoning, a touch of salt, some garlic powder, some onion powder, and olive oil. Again, he closed up the bag and smooshed everything around so that the chicken was fairly evenly coated. 

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The two bags went into the fridge and Nate went out back to get the grill going.

Once the grill was good and hot, I brought out the chicken and he laid it all out on the grill.

Looks good, doesn’t it?

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When the chicken was getting close to being done, about 10 -15 minutes later (there wasn’t as much charcoal in there as there should have been so it took longer to cook, this will be remembered next time 🙂 ), I went in and cut up some peppers to grill. Another lesson to file away for next time: DON’T cut the peppers BEFORE grilling because cut peppers are harder to turn and therefore can fall between the grates. Keep the peppers whole!

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Nate and I thought the lemon pepper chicken was super tasty, but the real test was Ladybug.

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She loved it! We couldn’t believe it! She cleared her plate in no time! We are going to need to remember this one. 🙂

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The Rodeo Barbecue Rub was good…once we added salt. We didn’t think to look at the ingredients list, we just assumed it had salt. It didn’t. It needs it though, so next time we’ll remember that. 🙂      

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Got a Frozen Party in My Future…

Hi everyone! Sorry I left for a bit, do you forgive me? I know I was here once a week (sometimes twice a week) and then I just stopped showing up. I’m really very sorry. I’ve thought about you everyday! I promise I have a good reason.

You forgive me?

Oh! You’re the best!

So last time I dropped in, I was shocked by the fact that both of my kids were in elementary school and no longer at home. (Seriously, that is crazyness!) The Monday that both of my girls were in school full-time was pretty rough. I dropped them off at carpool, up until this point everything was going fine, and as they got out of the van and the teacher was closing the door, I watched them grab each other’s hands and walk into the school. Two sisters holding on to each other ready to face the world. (A touch dramatic, I know, but this is seriously what went through my mind as I watched them walk away…without even looking back.)

Crap. It was a good thing I was in the van alone because I started blubbering. I got home and proceeded to full-on crying. Hey, this was tough! My kids were going in to something new together, and I couldn’t follow! But, like the adult I am, I pulled myself together and went to hang out with my mom, grandmother, and uncle. (My grandmother and uncle were in town to celebrate my mom’s big birthday. 🙂 ) Driving over, I was good. Doing fine. All 25 minutes of that drive. No sweat! I got this!

Then I walked into the house. The dam broke and that was it. Don’t worry, after getting it all out, I got myself together and we hung out all day. (It’s funny, I had the same reaction the first time I ever left Freckles at daycare. I went to my mommy’s house and started crying about how I had just left her there. 🙂 )

The rest of the week I spent keeping myself busy: paid bills, ran errands (in record time I might add!), spent a day doing freezer meals, having lunch with Hubby, did laundry, and some other super fun stuff that I honestly can’t remember. 🙂

Friday, Hubby stayed home so that we could attend a funeral mass for the father of Hubby’s oldest friend. 😦 So tough to see my husband, my rock, sad and hurting. Nothing wrenches the heart more than watching this man quietly deal with this and see the tears silently fall down his cheeks.

Then the weekend passed in a blur, as it always does. And we are starting a new week. This week though, I have also had my plate full. I’ve been trying to get my basement room ready for Ladybug’s birthday party with her friends and classmates this weekend.

Like any other little girl (or heck, even little boys maybe!) at this moment, Ladybug requested a ‘Frozen’ party! (Seriously, who didn’t see that one coming?) So, this week was spent moving some of the boxes out of the main basement room to the smaller basement room that is supposed to be for me and all my crafting hobbies.

Now the main room has most of its space open. And my mom helped me buy supplies for the party (pictures of THAT adventure will have to find their way on here!) and then yesterday helped me make serious steps in turning the basement into a ‘Frozen’ zone. 🙂 It really does look cool.

Today I need to make a list of all the cake supplies I need, head to the grocery to pick them up, then start baking cakes! Tomorrow I’ll decorate, since the party isn’t until 2 o’clock on Sunday. With the way I’ve got everything planned out, I shouldn’t be too stressed out by the time 2 pm rolls around on Sunday……but let’s face it. When does everything ACTUALLY go according to plan? So my back-up plan? Keep Calm and Let It Go. hahaha Or perhaps my plan should be: Keep Calm and Let the Storm Rage On. Or maybe I should just: Keep Calm and Build A Snowman. 🙂 Yep, having fun with this.

And ya know what? Pictures are coming soon!!!! I can’t wait to show you the transformation of the basement! It’s going to be great! And there’s a surprise in store for the party that my little ones don’t know about! Guess you’ll have to come back to find out all about it! muahaha 😉

See ya soon!

It was supposed to take forever

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I never thought I was cut out for this “mom” thing. I honestly never thought I would choose to be home full-time with kids. I really just never thought I would be good at it or enjoy it.

When I had Freckles, I thought the 5 years leading up to her going off to kindergarten would last forever. What in the world was I supposed to do all that time? I mean, geez, I’d never have any time to myself. Those years were going to take forEVER!

Or so I thought.

I was 2 1/2 years in of doing this mom thing, and we decided to add another baby to the family. Hey, I was enjoying this. And time to myself? Didn’t really cross my mind. And if it did, I had some awesome family ready to hang out with my girls. But I was loving my job and never looked back. After all, this is going to last forever…right?

See, I thought I’d be happy when kindergarten rolled around. I’d get my freedom back! Thinking back on it now, it’s astonishing that I ever felt that way.

You know how part of the miracle of having children is that women don’t remember exactly how painful giving birth is? (We forget and think, “hey it wasn’t so bad, I want to do it again”. Then we do it again and remember it all and wonder what in the world we were thinking. 😉 ) I believe that there is another part of the miracle – one that occurs after the first day of kindergarten happens…

Looking back, I don’t remember how torn up I was about Freckles starting school. It probably helped that Ladybug was home with me and I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her. I do remember being sad and shedding some tears, but I don’t remember being ready to fall apart or feeling a heavy sadness in my heart. I do recall thinking that “this was the beginning of the end”. But at that point, Ladybug was still home and a whole year off from preschool. Surely having her home with me was going to last forever.

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I seem to have blinked a touch too long because Tuesday was Ladybug’s first day of kindergarten. Wait, what? That’s it? It’s over? But…but…but it was supposed to take forever. They were going to be home all day everyday forever before they were going to be off to school.

Wasn’t it going to take forever? Wasn’t Abby always going to be in her car seat behind me in the car? I never envisioned a time when I would come home and not need to open the door to let a little person out. She was always going to be there waiting for me to open the door, undo her bottom buckle (because she can undo the top buckle on her own) and hold out my hand to hold her little hand as she climbed out of the van.

Wasn’t she always going to be with me as I headed out of carpool line in the morning? With her sweet little voice already asking for hot chocolate when we got home? Or asking to go to the store because she had stuff to buy?

Having both girls off at school all day 5 days a week was something I rarely thought about. It just seemed like an abstract idea. But, alas, here we are. Two kids in elementary school. How did time go by that fast?

Hubby and I dropped Freckles off at her door and walked Ladybug to her class. Then we headed back down the hall, out the front doors and began the lonely wall back to the car. Without either of our children. I was holding on pretty good until one of the teachers we passed by (who was Freckles’ assistant teacher in 1st grade told me “good luuuuuck” as we passed by. I began to say ‘thank you’ and my voice cracked. The dam had been broken. Luckily I had my trusty sunglasses to keep the tear-filled eyes hidden….though I’m pretty sure the furrowed brow and quivering bottom lip gave me away. But I held on tight to Hubby as we continued walking away from the school that held both of my precious babies.

In the safety of the van, and then the house, I didn’t hold back. There was a heavy sadness within me and all I could do was cry. I was sure Ladybug, like Freckles, was going to be fine. I’d left her for two years at preschool and she was always fine; she always did well. But it wasn’t for her I was crying. Something beautiful had just ended. There wouldn’t be anymore snuggle-filled days with my little buddy. I’m not going to be able to go to the Farmer’s Market with her and pick out fresh fruits and veggies then to get some ice cream. Instead, I’ll have all day to clean the house and keep with laundry and prep a lot of freezer meals. Given what I’m trading in for a clean house…a clean house just doesn’t seem all that important anymore. I thought the messiness and being behind on laundry and always having someone underfoot would last forever. It was supposed to take forever to get to this day.

I know, we will have track-outs and vacations and weekends, but it just won’t ever be the same. We will make the most of this new era of our lives, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the next 10 to 13 years aren’t going to take forever either. In fact, I’d wager they are going to fly right on by.

It really felt like it was supposed to take forever.

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DSC08794 Waiting in carpool at the end of the day. 🙂

 

Summer Vacation! All one week of it!

For the past two Wednesdays, I have been working on a t-shirt quilt. This week, that project has to be put on hold. This week Freckles is home for summer vacation. And since it’s only a week, we’ve got a few things going on and a t-shirt quilt isn’t one of them.

Over the weekend, Ladybug turned 5!!! We had a nice quiet family party on Saturday with most of our family. (Hopefully those that weren’t able to make it out this weekend will be able to make it to the party with Abby’s friends next month!) Days like that remind me how incredibly blessed we are to have such wonderful family and friends (who are really like family to us too).

I was then reminded again on Sunday how wonderful my family and friends-who-are-practically-family are. Our hot water heater was leaking steadily and we needed to turn the water off to the house. The landlord wasn’t coming,or would show up at some point later, so Hubby decided to do it. But wasn’t sure how. So he called up our friends to figure it out. But our friends didn’t just talk him through it, they came over to help! And then Hubby’s parents let us crash there for the night, including our dog! So yea, very thankful to have great friends and to live so close to our family.

Monday, once the hot water heater was replaced, we were happy just relaxing and enjoying not needing to get in the carpool line or do homework. Later in the afternoon, since it was a gorgeous low-humidity day (which is kind of rare in a North Carolina summer) we headed outside. (I love having a yard now!!) The kids enjoyed playing in the hard-plastic kiddie pool and I had fun spraying them with the hose. 🙂

Tuesday I got to sleep in a bit. 🙂 Then the girls and I went to have lunch with Hubby. I admit I was a little let down by Chili’s guacamole burger, but whatcha gonna do? Afterwards we went to hang out with my mom. And I got enlisted to help giver her 4 doggies a bath. 🙂 It was fun washing them outside. 🙂 On the way home, we stopped at Target to pick up school supplies. I have to say, that’s one of the things I’m not liking about year-round school – when it’s time to buy school supplies, they aren’t all out yet. But we were able to scrape together everything we needed for both girls since Ladybug starts kindergarten this year (Ahhh!). And Ladybug picked out her new backpack. 🙂

And that brings us to today! The girls and I headed to my mom’s before lunch. We decided to hit a couple thrift stores to see if we could get the girls back-to-school clothes. (My favorite is a kids’ consignment store called Kid to Kid.) I’m happy to report that Ladybug got a variety of clothes: pants, shirts, and dresses. Freckles had a little more trouble finding pants and skirts. (Why are girls’ skirts so freakin’ short?!?? There needs to be enough material there to cover their bottoms!! They are only 7 and 8 years old for crying out loud!) Then we went to the “Meet the Teacher” at the elementary school to meet Freckles’s teacher. She sure does seem nice. 🙂 And then we got to meet up with Hubby’s parents at their pool for pizza and swimming! Seriously, the water felt awesome!

Sooooo, yeah. Not really any time for the t-shirt quilt. 🙂 Tomorrow we are headed to a pottery painting place!