Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sleepin' Like a Dog

A lot of women (and some men) complain about their spouse's snoring, and how it keeps them up at night. I'm not one of those women. While my new husband DOES talk/shout/mumble in his sleep, smack me in the face when he rolls over and flops his arm down, knee me in the back when he abruptly draws his legs up into the fetal position, and shoot up to the sitting position in the middle of night and scare me senseless, he DOES NOT snore. But... his dog does.

Yeah, Digger really saws some logs. He doesn't have respiratory problems. It's just that, for some reason, he sleeps with his nose smooshed into his doggie bed -- hence, the snore factor. I've always slept with my pooch in my room -- yes, when I was single I often let him sleep with me in my bed (sorry Mom, I pretty much ignored you when you forbid Happy from sleeping in my bed in Katy). I liked him sleeping in there with me. He kept me company in my lonely apartment, and it just seemed like undeserved punishment to make him sleep out in the living room by himself.

But now, well, one of the dogs is keeping me up some nights with his snozzling. Sometimes, when it's really bad, I get up and reposition his face so he's not suffocating himself. (Like, DUH!) And well, two large dogs and their two large beds is more crowded. And if we were to cruelly banish them to the laundry room or office, they'd at least have each other! There's a part of me that wants them out, but another part that can't stomach it. They're so sweet, and all they want in life is to be near us.

What do y'all do with your dogs when it's time for beddie-bye? Where do they sleep? Will they hate me if I kick them out?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things Boys Do: Boys & Bugs

I'd say it's pretty standard that it's the husband's duty to eradicate the house of bugs -- it's one of the perks of having a guy around (ya know, that and twisting off pickle jar lids). While I'm not particularly terrified of any specific bug, I definitely do not like them, and I definitely call for Tanner to come and deal with them. There is one caveat, I insist on a short, relatively painless death, or catch and release if it's in the house. I don't like to see any creature suffer even if it is a black widow spider. (Yep, I found one of these yesterday, and had Tanner come back and smoosh it with stick after his first attempt, spraying it with wasp spray, left her wriggling and squirming for way too long to be humane.)

Well, Tanner's taken it to a new level with dealing the bugs. We've been having trouble with flies lately. Tanner says they come out after it rains, and it doesn't help that we're surrounded by livestock of all kinds on all sides of our house. (Plus Tanner says I must have been born in a barn because I dawdle around and leave the door open for hours while I go in and out of the house, let the dogs in, etc.) Flies aren't really high up there on the yikes meter, but they are annoying and gross. (I learned in junior high that they regurgitate all over your food while they're eating it.) We don't have a fly swater, so Tanner has developed his own method.

He catches the flies in his bare hand, out of mid-air or by swiping them off the table. And I'm not just talking about big, bumbling, drunk flies, I'm talking about little, darty, speedy guys. And Tanner DOES NOT miss. I think he's failed maybe twice that I've seen in the one month we've been living together. It's incredible. His hands move like lightening. Once he's got them in his fist, he gives them a quick shake to make sure he's got em (and a quick peak to me since I never believe they're really in there), and them BAAM he throws them against the floor, striking them immediately dead. It's bizarre. I mean really bizarre. I have a feeling as this cohabitation journey continues, I'm going to learn a lot more about weird things boys do.

Tanner may be the hunter, but I'm the gatherer.
Here are his victims from the other evening.

Another weird fly-related moment last night. I found one of the little guys had been trapped in the refridgerator, and presumably froze to death. I sat it on the table next to Tanner so he could see how perfectly it had been preserved. And the little bugger came back to life!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moving On? Never!

I've come to find from my own experience and from talking with other newlywed friends that while weeks after your wedding you still think of it as the highlight of the year, the latest greatest thing to happen, the coolest and most exciting thing to talk about, everyone else has MOVED ON.

It's not that your friends weren't touched by the ceremony, you in your dress, and you and your spouses love; didn't have the time of their life at the reception and enjoy celebrating your new marriage till the wee hours of the night; or aren't still incredibly happy and excited for you. They they were, they did, and they are! It's just, life goes on!

Don't get me wrong, I think this is the way it should be. You're wedding was important to everyone there and all those around you who love you, BUT it was exponentially more important and exciting to you. Duh, it was your wedding! There will never be a wedding more magical than your own. I don't care if I were to be invited to Paris Hilton's multimillion $ wedding, I'd still think mine was cooler!

So, am I sad, mad, or otherwise disappointed that there's something new to talk about around the proverbial water cooler? Nope. Perfectly fine with it. Will I move on anytime soon? Nope, sure won't. Self-centered, yep, sorry, just how it is! Don't worry, I won't be blabbering incessantly about my own wedding for years to come, but in the comfort of my new home with my new husband, I will be fondly flipping through pictures, periodically revisiting my journal entries, and always thinking, "Man, that went by too fast. It was the best night of my life. I wish I could do it again!" (Well, and I'll probably reflect periodically on it on my blog, so you might just have to give me that every once and a while.)

For those of you who want to take a couple minutes to join me in a momentary glance back, I've received the video from our photographers of my bridal portraits! It was the first time to put my dress, veil, shoes, jewelry, etc on all together. It was such a fun, special day, and Austin Imagery did an amazing job with the pictures and videos.

View it larger here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cooking for 2

Is definitely not as simple as cooking for one.

Single-girl cooking was great. I could experiment with all kinds of funky, ethnic, vegan recipes and unknown, new ingredients and not have to entertain for a moment the worry "What if this doesn't turn out so well?" If it didn't taste so hot (which sometimes it didn't -- cue memory of tofu stir fry with lima beans -- GROSS), it was a bag of popcorn and a bottle glass of wine.
A standard (eadible) recipe yielded enough food for me to eat several meals and then some. I would freeze extras of my favorite spicy thai peanut curry and enjoy it for up to a month!

Single-girl grocery shopping was a cinch.I knew how much food would last me how long, and usually I only had to go to the grocery store once a month! And how I loved those trips. I knew my local store like the back of my hand, and could quickly pick up all my staples, then wander around looking for deals, extras, and investigating weird Asian fruits. Ahhhh... my food life was so simple.

A week or so ago, Tanner and I made our first grocery outing as a married couple. I had shopped for groceries with Tanner many times before, but this time was different. I wasn't following him around while he picked out frozen pizzas and hot dogs while trying to persuade him to grab a banana or lettuce while he was at it. This time, we were shopping together for our household, and our bounty was supposed to feed the both of us and satisfy us (no lima bean disasters). Suddently, this confident, adventurous foodie was intimdated, big time.

The stores was arranged weird, I didn't know where anything was. Some of the staple items we needed (Santita's corn chips, hello!!) were totally unstocked. In fact, there were many gaping holes on the shelves (I'm guessing this is because we were shopping on a Sunday night?). I didn't come with a shopping list or any recipes in mind, which was no big deal for Super-Shopper-Single-Girl, but was suddenly crippling for Confused-Uncertain-Newlywed. For how many meals-for-two will this bag of frozen broccoli last? Should I get 2? How many protiens should I get? Will Tanner like tofu? Will we have any leftovers for me to take to lunch, or will hungry man eat eat all the extra servings?

Aside from being suddenly befuddled by all these new adjustments and the realization that cooking would never be the same, Tanner was inexplicably hyper that evening, which although very funny, was a little distracting to my yearning-to-figure-it-all-out-in-one-evening brain. I didn't think I'd be this way, but I think at the center of all my worrying, was this huge (unexpected) desire to please Tanner with my cooking and be viewed as a good homemaker in his eyes. I was insecure, "Will he like what I make? Will he be happy? Will I do a good job?"

So, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, instead of harboring my insecurities (I've slowly learned this is not such a great idea), I blurted my fear of marital and culinary failure to my hyper husband dancing down the canned vegetable aisle. In the grocery store and on the way home, Tanner calmed my fears. "This is supposed to be fun! We get to figure all this out by trial and error." Hmmm... I don't mind the trial part, but the error thing, I'm not so good with. I'm a perfectionist, remember! But you know what, Tanner was right (yep, he often is, funny enough). I don't need to figure all this out the first time around. AND, he assured me every meal doesn't have to be a gold-platter meal straight out of The Joy of Cooking. "I enjoy those nights too every once and a while, when you dine on chips and salsa or hot dogs and tortilla. I was a bachelor before I met you, remember???" OK, so I feel the (self-made) burden lightening.

So this perfectionista has been trying to lighten up and find the fun again in the kitchen. Tanner's not judinging me on a scale from 1-30 with 10 pts possible for use of the secret ingredient, 10 pts for plating, and 10 pts for taste. Some meals are gonna be great, and some aren't. Hey, there's always chips and salsa, and my man's OK with that.

As far as our first shopping trip, I think I did OK. I'm not sure I bought enough different vegetables, and I probably should have bought some more ready-made meals (frozen dinners or mac'n cheese) for those nights when I'm too tired to put together a major masterpiece. I should have gotten some smaller portions of different proteins for variety in addition of the bulk bag of chicken breasts. And, I'll just have to resign my self to the idea of follow-up trips in between shopping hauls for items like creamer or chips that we run out of.

If y'all have any tips for cooking for 2, or any grocery shopping strategies, let me know! In the meantime, we'll be figuring it out as we go. OH, and Tanner DOES like tofu :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not Just a Dog Book

I just finished the audio book for A Big Little Life, by well-known author Dean Koontz. I've GOT to recommended this read (or this "listen" in my case), especially (but not just) for dog-lovers. The book is a memoir about Dean's incredibly special Golden Retriever, Trixie, who changed his personal and professional life. Dean writes that Trixie is a dog, but not just a dog. In the same way, this is NOT just another dog book, it's much more. It's heart-warming and laugh-inducing like other dog books such as Marley and Me (although Trixie is NOTHING like Marley), but it also goes further than that; it's is a philosophical look on the wonder and mystery of life, faith, and relationships. It truly inspired me to take a different approach to how I see and explain the things around me. Plus, it's a short read, so enjoy!

A side note from life with our own dogs: A couple days ago Tanner happened to arrive home while I was walking the dogs, running into us (not literally, thankfully )
in his truck as we were walking up the road -- it was a nice surprise and we were all happy to see him. Ever since then, Digger seems to be expecting Tanner to make a guest appearance on all of our walks. Every time he hears an engine running (or exhaust, or whatever it is about vehicles that makes noise when they are going!), even if it's far away on the FM road our street is off of, he gets really excited, wags his tail, and begins looking for Tanner's truck. It's really cute, and I hope someday he's rewarded again.

Nope, sorry Digger, just some random old lady in an SUV. Not EVEN close.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Worst Nightmare

My worst nightmare: nothing is organized, nothing has a "place," I can't find any of my belongings, too much stuff! OK, so I am being a little dramatic, but this picture does not even do justice to the black hole of clutter our house has become since we've unloaded all of my things and all of our new housewares. Every time I walk in the door, I hear that "duh-nuh, duh-nuh" Jaws music!

With me getting used to my lengthy commuting schedule, I haven't quite had the energy to tackle this beast (who's girth has spilled over into every room and hallway in the house) on the weeknights, so it looks we'll be walking through a maze of boxes and banging our shins into coffee table corners at least until this weekend, when Tanner and I will both be home. Since I'm one of the freaks who actually enjoys organizing, I'm really looking forward to this weekend of un-cluttering. It will be interesting to see who gets the bigger closet. Any votes? :)

The only family member who seems not to mind the clutter -- plenty of neat hiding places.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Raining Blessings

On our first weekend back from our own honeymoon, Tanner and I headed back to the Hill Country to attend Tanner's cousin, Michele's, wedding to her long-time love, Brian! It seems that all everyone has been talking about for forever is how badly that area needs rain. I would be the first to agree, BUT, not on Michele's wedding day!!!

It poured all day Saturday while Tanner and I visited with my parents at the Riverhaus. As we drove to McQueeney for the wedding, even as the thunder rolled, I kept praying for a break in the downpour. It didn't seem like my prayers would be answered as we waited inside the Brian's family lake house with the rest of the guests and watched Michele's friends scurring about in the rain outside, wringing out table cloths, and rescuing table arrangements.

Then, shortly after the wedding was scheduled to start, the rain stopped, and the sun began to slowly peak out from the clouds. Seizing the moment, we all quickly filled the seats and the ceremony began! Michele was a beautiful bride, and she was beaming with happiness as she made it down the wet walkway. It was great to see these two lovebirds united, especially with the new found respect and appreciation, and new perspective I have on marriage -- being a beaming newlywed myself now. The celebration afterwards was a blast. Tanner's immediate family (my family now too!) were all there, and I also got to spend time getting to know Bob and Linda, Gene and Alona, and all of Tanner's cousins. It barely sprinkled again the whole night.

They say rain is good luck on a wedding, bringing lots of children to the couple. If it's true, Michele and Brian better get started on their nursery! Whether the luck is true or not, this weekend brought blessings and memories to all involved, as well as to the rain-hungry land! (The river was nearly up to the stair landing by the time we left Sunday.)

Stacy and Tanner before the reception. Tanner has that Meyers loook for sure!

Michele and Brian

Stacy with Mindy, the beautiful bridesmaid and cousin to the bride.

All the tough Haynes and Sellers men.

Michele and Gene, and Stacy and Mike on the dance floor.

The Haynes!


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