Where Whine Meets Wine

My Wish For You

While we are normally in the land of the cold and the frozen… two days ago we endured a 103 degree day, with lots of wind and humidity. Here I sit today, two days later in my boot slippers, sweatpants, and a sweatshirt. And I’m not hot. Granted, it will assuredly be warmer by the end of the day, but for now… sometimes I think the weather here is something of a joke God’s playing on all of us that have chosen to continue to live here through the cold, cold of the winter to the hot, hot summers.

Today while I’m trying to get things cleaned up before a)out of town company comes;  b) hubby leaves for his trip (let’s face it, life won’t get easier when he’s gone!); and c) I leave for a quick getaway (because there’s nothing worse than coming home to a mess)…oh I was saying, today, while trying to get things cleaned up quickly, I’m being followed. And it’s making really weird noises. Ok, so it’s Littlest E, and it’s kissing noises he’s making. Every time I turn around and look at him, he gives me his big toothy grin, followed by his screech of a laugh!  It’s adorable and oh so distracting. I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to not give him a kiss when he’s chasing me making kissing noises?! He’s also just learned to shake his head (as in like you would do if you were telling me no)… and now likes to do that anytime anyone says anything. I’m thinking his siblings may have given him the “head shake” a time or two… anyways, see what I mean about distracting? Just talking about him is distracting! (*chuckle* he’s so cute) So let me get back to where I was, or at least where I meant to be heading with this all… Littlest E will be 1 year in less than a month! (*sob*) and I cannot get over just how fast it went by!! I think the more children you have, the fast the littlest’s first year goes. I haven’t done any formal research on the subject, it’s just my humble opinion. So as I think about the last year and how fast it went it had me thinking about things I wish for him in the future. Things I wish for all of my children as they learn and grow and (*gasp*) become their own individuals, outside their relationship with me. So here is my quick list of ten things that I hope (and hopefully am doing more to make them reality than just hoping!!) for their lives:

1. I hope they are always willing to learn. Big things and small things alike. Learn. From me, because of me, and probably sometimes in spite of me.

2. I hope they learn the difference in doing something because it feels right and doing something because they know it is right.

3. I hope they always know that the unique, wonderful individuals they are…are exactly the wonderful, unique individuals they were created to be. Hopefully in less time than it took me to figure that out.

4. I hope they learn the value of laughter. It’s healing, it’s bonding, it’s life affirmations. Not just making others laugh (which I know they already know to do), but being able to laugh themselves. In hard times as well as good times.

5. I hope they always remember the adage of “You cannot change others, you can only change yourselves.” Even if they grow to dislike it out of annoyance as they grow, the way I may or may not have felt…before passing it on to my own children.

6. I hope they always know that God is bigger. (I should not ask God if He knows how big my storm is. I should be asking the storm if he knows how big my God is. -paraphrased because I can’t remember it exactly)

7. I hope they always feel beautiful but that they know that’s not where the real beauty and value lies; for themselves or for others.

8. I hope they grow knowing that their ideas are valuable and pertinent. And always worth exploring.

9. I hope they grow knowing and believing the importance of family and community. How to live in one, and be a part of one, successfully.

10. And I can’t help but add this, and mean it whole-heartedly… I hope they always love their mama. I hope that I have raised them in a way where they know that not only can they depend on me, but they want to.

11. Ok, I know I said 10, but I just wanted to add this in- That their dreams stay big and their worries stay small. And that they’ve enough of their father’s type A, can do personality that they can put it into action. With maybe some of my optimism thrown in.

*I also hope I’ll be able to handle it when I’m not their favorite person, when I’m not the one they choose to share their secrets with anymore… because right now, that sounds pretty devastating to me. Maybe at that point we’ll be ready to talk about foster care or adoption. That way I’ll always have at least one person in the house that likes me! Oh, I guess i’ll still have hubbyman… !! (*wink*)


We’re expecting

As I sat out on my deck enjoying the beautiful weather yesterday, I couldn’t help but thinking, I’m going to cry if it snows again. Leave it to my husband to burst my bubble, but… we’re supposed to have snow this weekend (Ok, so he didn’t choose this weather, but because he informed me, that really becomes a moot point.). And I really may cry if we do see snow. We have, after all, had snow since October.

Anyways, this had me thinking about expectations… we expect spring to follow suit and spring into summer, but here that is not always the case.  It likes to dabble it’s way in and out until we’re in full meltdown, and then it’s winter again. Aren’t there many things in life this can relate to? We have expectations about so many things, both realistic and unrealistically. Like the expectation so many have that you’re going to live happily ever after, because you have found the one. My brother is getting married in less than a month and he and his fiancée spent the weekend with us, which also got me thinking about expectations. There was a little squabble about him not being willing enough to continue helping with the projects that are of course leaving this soon-to-be-bride a little frantic. Erik and I laughed and said, You think it’s hard now, just wait. (We’re so encouraging, right?) And we both reiterated that the first year or two or three… are spent learning each other in ways you maybe thought you already knew. And most importantly, you will learn how to fight with each other. I don’t mean you’ll learn how to defeat each other with one fell swoop (although you will learn which button to push to do just that). What I mean is that you will learn the way each other fights (this was a point from our pre-marital counselling that really was so helpful to us). You may learn that he needs to work issues out immediately or that she really needs to be given some space before being able to talk through an issue. Either way, you learn, and you adjust.

What does this have to do with expectations? Well, we expect things to be easy, we expect to continuously feel love, we expect to always feel/work/live/love as we do now. Unfortunately, what people often fail to take into consideration is this simple fact: Life does not just happen. We make choices. I think what it all boils down to, and what much of the last weeks’ Love Dare has been talking about, is that we can choose. We can expect the worst or expect the best, but if we’re not actively choosing the best, we’re not going to get it. Expectations are not the enemy, lack of choosing to pursue them, is. Especially in our relationships. As most newlyweds/new relationships of any kind (whether dating or friendships) you have this rush, this glow that you may feel defines your relationship and surely you will always get butterflies whenever you see them. I’m not saying you can’t have a great relationship throughout the years, what I am saying is that you have to actively pursue that. Because even though I have known my husband for hundreds of years (ok not that long, but 1/2 of my life! That’s gotta count for something!) he cannot read my mind! No matter how badly I want him to. He knows everything about me, all my secrets, all my fears, hopes, and dreams… and yet he cannot read my mind! And your other half can’t either. No matter how many sentences you can finish, no matter how many times you find the thing they were looking for (before they asked for it), no matter how much you can convey through looking at each other… Because he cannot read my mind, and because I often don’t speak what’s on it…we run into problems. And sometimes that leads me to days where I don’t particularly enjoy being his wife. And I think I can say with some authority, that on those days, he’s probably not enjoying being my husband either. But we choose to continue to be. Year five of our marriage was a bit tumultuous for us, as individuals we’ve had hard things emotionally and physically, and as a couple we’ve struggled between how to be a loving couple while working and raising children, very young and close in age children. And on the days that we weren’t really feeling like being active participants in this marriage, we choose to do it anyways. We chose to kiss each other goodnight, good-morning, and goodbye every day, even when we don’t really feel like it. Which is why, as we’re gaining on year 7… we’re not itching (you know, the 7 year itch). In fact, because we CHOSE to push our way through, to love our way through, to pray our way through…we are probably in the best place of our marriage, thus far. We are leaning on each other more, we trying to voice our feelings (especially the good ones) more, and we’re loving more thoroughly. But it is not by accident.

We believe in living with intention, and not just in our food. In our lives too- in our parenting, in our interactions with each other and with those around us, and in the way we love and show love. We don’t just believe in living that way, we practice it. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy, but it is why I have the expectation that we’ll continue living and loving together as a family for as long as God allows.


Better Than Expectations Pizza

I know I mentioned previously doing pizza fridays (and I still really want to do that!) but because it was so good, I’m going to share this recipe with you now, on a plain old Wednesday! Friday I’m going out to buy an adapter for this stupid camera! So maybe Pizza Friday will be pictures! Anyways, the hubs texted me a couple weeks ago saying Buffalo Chicken Pizza sounded good. We’ve never had one before or made one, so I did what I do when something sounds good that I haven’t made before… I google as many recipes as I can. And then I make something completely different! Here is what I made:

Super Yummy Pizza Crust (Makes 2 small pizzas- fed four)

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 3 tbs dried milk powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs olive oil (evoo)
  • 1 tsp cinder vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray sheet for easiest crust removal. Combine flours, dried milk, salt, baking powder, and xantham gum. In a separate bowl, whisk the water, oil, and vinegar. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flours, mixing slowly with a spatula until it is a smooth and soft, that just holds its shape (more than pancake batter but less than cookie dough). Transfer about 1/3 of the dough to a pastry bag, or resealable bag (what I used) with one corner snipped off. Divide remaining dough between the two pans, spreading it thinly with a spatula- about 7inch rounds. Pipe a raised, “rim” around the edge of each one. *Brush all over with egg white (1 egg white, lightly beaten) to help sealing and browning. Bake until puffed and starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Cover with pizza toppings, return to oven for another minutes, or until bubbling hot.

*This crust was SO good! I think next time I make it I will double the recipe to make bigger, and a little thicker crusts.

Flying Buffalo Chicken

  • 3 cups of chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or whatever your favorite hot sauce is)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour (I used tapioca flour)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp buttermilk ranch seasoning
  • Shredded Cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)

While pizza dough/crust is in the oven (you can of course buy or make whatever kind of crust you like best), I do the topping: cook chicken over medium-high heat. When a little over halfway cooked, add in hot sauce. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly.

My husband isn’t a big fan of blue cheese, but you could always do the “sauce” with a blue cheese dressing, or ranch dressing from bottles. You could also use the hot sauce as the pizza sauce if you wanted a stronger taste/flavor and then have something for dipping. I make my own sauce:

Combine butter, flour, milk, ranch seasoning (the only mix I could find that is MSG and food coloring free!) in saucepan over med. heat. Boil two minutes, stirring frequently. If seems too thick add milk (by the tsp) if it’s not thick enough add flour/starch (by pinches).

Spread sauce on crust (as much or as little as you want), spread chicken generously over pizza and cover in as much, or as little, cheese as you like.

Stick back in the oven for about 7 more minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted and bubbling.

Enjoy! I’m not a big “buffalo” flavor lover, but this was really good- we’ll definitely be making it again!

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