Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stromboli: The Savory and the Sweet

It is finally feeling like fall in our little neck of the woods.  I love fall.  I also love baking in the fall.  Today was begging for a little baking.  And Frank and I both answered the call.  He made a B&G breakfast pizza (aka Biscuits and Gravy Pizza) that we had for brunch - it was awesome.  It will be posted later on the Ladies of Fiat blog.  I answered with stromboli.  And I've been a little out of the blogging world so I spaced taking pictures until I pulled out the sweet stromboli and it looked and smelled delicious!

I started out this morning thinking of just making a regular stromboli.  My mom has a great one she's made in the bread machine a few times.  But when I put in her flash drive of recipes, the only one she'd added was not HER recipe - so disappointing!!  Then I turned to pinterest.  Everything seemed to be pizza-ish and that wasn't what I was looking for.  There was one, however that was a Philly Cheese Steak Stromboli.  This one seemed just right for today.

Next, I turned to my favorite recipes on my All Recipes app.  I love All Recipes!

Here's what I did:

I followed the Simple Whole Wheat Bread Recipe pretty exactly (with the exception of which flour to add when - I halved it at the beginning and then in the additions).  It's pretty yummy.

Bread Recipe:
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1 TBS active dry yeast (2 .25 ounce packages)
1/3 cup honey (I used agave syrup)
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey (again, agave)
1 TBS salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast and 1/3 c honey.  Add 5 cups of flour and stir to combine.  Let sit for 30 minutes or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 TBS melted butter, 1/3 c honey and salt.  Stir in 2 cups flour.  Kneed the dough adding flour as needed until just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch (this may take extra 2-4 cups of flour - mine took about 3).
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough.  Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

WHILE the dough is doubling, make your fillings.  We made 2 Philly Cheese Steak fillings and 1 Apple Acorn Squash filling.

Philly Cheese Steak Filling:
3 -4 peppers (I used 2 Cubanelle, 2 Green)
2 small onions (or 1 large)
1 package of mushrooms, peeled and cubed
2 packages of roast beef deli meet ( a little less than one pound)
1/2 cup au jus or beef broth

1. Dice peppers, onions and mushrooms (keep separate).
2. Saute peppers for 5-8 minutes.  Add onions for another 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms until all look tender.
3. Dice up roast beef and add to skillet.  Add a little Au Jus to moisten the mixture - not too much as it'll make your sandwich soggy.
4.  Season with salt and pepper and let chill on low while you wait for the dough to rise.

Apple and Acorn Squash Filling:
(adapted from this All Recipes recipe)
1 acorn squash (preppared)
2 apples, cored and sliced
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Prepare and peel your acorn squash.  Apparently the All Recipe's recipe has a fabulous strategy.  I just poked some holes in it and stuck it in the stove the other night, let it cool a bit.  I cut it in half, took out the seeds and got out the yummy.
2. In a skillet, mix all the ingredients until the butter and sugar have had a chance to melt and goo all yummy like.

BACK to the bread:
3. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 loaves.  Grease 2 cookie sheets for baking.
4. Roll out each loaf into a rectangle.
5.  Fill dough
- For the savory stromboli, I spread the meat mixture all over the dough, leaving about 1 inch all around.
Then I sprinkled cheese over all of it.  I rolled it up, pinching in the ends and middle.  Be careful about the middle one, I didn't get the first one very well and I had some exploding out the side.
put the crease on the bottom of the pan and cut steam vents on the top of the stromboli.
- For the sweet stromboli, I left a middle bottom and cut about 1 inch by 2-3 inch strips on each side of the loaf.  We stuffed the apple mixture in the middle and then braided it all up.  (Again, making sure the ends are tucked in well.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

The Apple Acorn was begging for a little more sweet so I mixed up a powered sugar glaze (about 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla and a little bit of milk - just enough to make it runny.  After I took the apple stromboli out, I drizzled the glaze on the top.  YUMMO!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

An Egg in a Nest

I was a military kid.  One of those weird ones, though. I only moved once growing up.  I've moved many more times than that since college.  I didn't, however, get to escape my father being gone for long periods of time.  Especially in the summers.  And while my dad was off training soldiers, we spent a lot of time with my grandmother and aunts.

Those summers had some magic in them.  For two summers, we rented out a little condo on the shore at Destin, Florida.  We swam every morning and ate fish almost every night.  There's still this one albacore sandwich that has become the stuff of legend.  I remember how it tasted - it was SO good!! The afternoons and evenings were filled with fun and walks on the beach, games of cards and the family time of lore. 
One evening on the shore.  See our little brown selves?

Our lunches where easy ones but yummy ones.  BLT sandwiches.  And Eggs in a Nest.  I made one yesterday.  It took me back to those perfect summer days.  Whenever we left, my grandmother always said that the waves were saying, "Come Back!  Come Back!" And even though I've left that little nest and we are starting one of our own, those days bring back many smiles.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Frank's Stuffed Burgers

Frank is a fabulous grill master.  That's why I named the blog, "Cooking with Love and Gas." (There's ocean front property in Arizona too! ;).  He smokes an amazing Pork Butt, we've made some excellent chicken and his steaks are fabulous.  Our newest favorite, however, is the stuffed burger.

We tried them on a visit to Omaha earlier this summer.  They were awesome (and huge).  Then we found a handy dandy burger stuffer thing (like this one).  This little thing is amazing and mostly easy to use - it wasn't as easy last night when we were cooking for my aunt and uncle and almost didn't have enough beef!

We've tried a few different stuffings - one with jalapenos and bacon!  Our favorite, though, is just some cheese, mushrooms and onions.

Stuffed Burger Directions

- Ground Beef
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Seasonings
- Stuffings (whatever you want - cube them so they aren't too big)
- Bacon
- Toothpicks

Here's what you do:
1) In a bowl, mix ground beef with Worcestershire Sauce (we looked up how to say it and how it's made  on "How It's Made" a few weeks ago - you don't want to know, just know it makes beef yummy).  Also, add some garlic powder and seasonings of your choice.

2) In a pan, saute your stuffing stuff.  For the six burgers last night, I used about 3/4 a container of mushrooms that I cubed and a small red onion from our CSA (yum!).  Use a little bit of oil (or water if you don't want to add fat.

3) Cube up your choice of cheese - we had some smoked swiss that was awesome!  Any cheese would work!

4) Get your patties ready - the "shelled pocket side" and the top.

5) When the stuffing is sauted, add the cheese in there and mix (it'll melt a little, that's ok).

6) Stuff the burgers, pinching the top and sides together.  Then we've been wrapping the sides with bacon.  Cause we like bacon . . . Secure bacon with toothpicks (we break them in half).  NOTE: this is way easier with two people.

7) Cook 'em.  You don't have to worry so much about the insides cooking as they are already cooked!

8) Enjoy!!  Especially yummy with Frank's remade Bush's Baked Beans - they are awesome!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baptism and John Wayne

My best friends and I have a strong devotion to St. Therese.  She says in her memoir that she doesn't want to be an elegant rose or a lily.  She just wants to be a little daisy at God's feet and make him smile.  When we dedicated our little blue house to her in 2004, we became the Daisy Girls.  That means we get to have Daisy Babies too - it's pretty sweet!  I got to meet the newest little Daisy baby on Saturday.  Her name is Margaret Therese . . . Greta.  She is beautiful!!

She came on Friday, came home on Saturday and became Catholic yesterday.  I don't know if her day today is going to live it up.  With the baptism so close, we friends rallied together a little reception feast.  Greta's godfather was SURE he could find this "awesome coffee cake recipe" that they'd made a long time ago.  So we did the protein.  Which was great because I have this "awesome egg casserole recipe!"

I don't know how John Wayne got attributed to this casserole (it's awesome, he's awesome so we're all good?).  I also am not sure why it's called a "cheese casserole" (but I did only put in less than half the cheese it called for).  Whatever it's called, it's yummy.  And gone - no breakfast leftovers (or pictures - use your imagination!).  Having no leftovers makes me a little sad.  We do have Southern Grits Casserole left - I'll blog that recipe later.  Right now, it's the Duke's turn!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A New Family Celebration

A few summers ago, I stumbled across Larkrise to Candleford episodes on YouTube.  I just watched an episode where they were celebrating Michaelmas.  Hmm . . . I thought.  A Celebration of St. Michael the Archangel . . . which I seemed to remember happens in early fall.  The St. Michael whom our son was named after (well, St. Michael and his daddy!).  And our Michael was due in early fall!  I think we need to celebrate this feast day!!

Some initial research:  According to, one of the customs of Michaelmas is the Aster (aka the Michaelmas Daisy - Daisy!!!  It's sounding a little like a God-thing  I'll have to do a post about why daisies are so important.  Or just link to our Daisy House Blog).  Apparently, the custom of pulling petals is a Michaelmas thing to. He loves me, he loves me not ;).  There's lots of other cool customs on there too - cutting apples in half so you can see the seeds representing the 5 wounds of Christ.  They've also got some recipes )

Food customs depend on the country, according to, "In the British Isles, for example, goose was the traditional meal for Michaelmas, eaten for prosperity, France has waffles or Gaufres and the traditional fare in Scotland used to be St. Michael's Bannock (Struan Micheil) — a large, scone-like cake. In Italy, gnocchi is the traditional fare."  Scones, waffles AND gnochhi?  This is awesome. 

Plus, St. Michael is the Patron feast of Sicily where my Italian grandparents are from!

A Little Higher Out of the Hole

I just finished re-reading Anne's House of Dreams (#5 of the Anne of Green Gable's saga).  In college, I found that L.M. Montgomery's books do my heart good - especially when it's hurting.  I remembered vaguely that Anne and Gilbert lost their first child too so I turned to the girl of bosom friends to see what one is to do in this situation.

I cried during the entire chapter.  Then Gilbert got her a housekeeper to do the cooking and cleaning while she recovered.  As if! And she bonded with the girl down the way who had previously thought her life too perfect to truly be friends (I think she missed that whole orphan, terrible life pre-Green Gables part).  And then she moved on.  At least it seems.

Toward the end of the book, Anne is talking with their good friend the lighthouse keeper.  Wouldn't you love to live in a world where you are BFF's with a lighthouse keeper?  He told Anne, who was worrying that her baby wouldn't know her in heaven that, "God would manage better than that my baby would seem a stranger to me when I found her Beyond."

So, my friend that's due the day before our due date?  I've kind of stunk it up in the friend department on that one.  And yet, in a way, her son will be a blessing.  It has hurt, watching her get bigger and bigger.  And yet, seeing her son grow up?  It will give me a little taste of how big our Michael would be.  When Anne talked about her daughter a year or so later, she said, "I've followed her development day by day and week by week--I always shall. I shall know just how she grows from year to year--and when I meet her again I'll know her--she won't be a stranger."

I don't know that I feel our little Michael will be a stranger - we ask him for prayers every night.  But having a little one to see grow up, although hard, will make it a lot easier to have a visual of our little beloved.

On a lighter note (and as if the bacon were not enough celebration) I made the Pioneer Woman's Carrot Cake yesterday for Frank's Birthday.  It's awesome!! It will be my go to recipe from now on!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Say it with Bacon!!

Have you all seen the newest Oscar Meyer bacon commercial?  It is  hilarious.

And my husband LOVES bacon.  My family was never really into the bacon thing.  It never really got cooked to "yummy bacon stage" at our house.  Frank's family, however, is a different story.  His sister Kristy is a huge bacon lover as well.  A few years ago on a canoe trip, Kristy decided to pair her bacon with a roasted homemade marshmallow (which, by the way, are amazing!!).  It was a hit.  I, however, didn't try it.  Sunday morning bacon marshmallow was not appealing.

Maybe when I joined the family, my adventuresomeness (totally not a word but I think it's fun) with bacon seems to be taking off.

In order to celebrate Frank's birthday we had a "Say it with Bacon Birthday Bash" last night.  We had some of the usual bacon snacks - one of his groomsmen made some killer jalapeno poppers.  We had some bacon covered BBQ chicken and little smokies.  Kristy and Lisa cooked up some bacon Rice Krispie treats (I wished there were bigger bacon pieces in there;).  We have a tasted Sonic PB Bacon shake in the freezer.

The icing on the cake had to have been Ray's killer cupcakes.  Chocolate cupcakes with banana pudding filling topped with peanut butter icing, candied bacon bits and chocolate drippings.  Not only were they amazing, they were beautiful too!!  I would love to be the book/coffee shop to her bakery someday!!

And you can't have cake without ice cream, right?

I dreamed up a candied bacon ice cream.  OK, I did dream about it.  Then I woke up and searched Pinterest for recipes. My goodness there are so many bacon recipes out there!!  Who'd a knew?  I wanted to try a few of them but decided it'd be best to stay with one.  The one that caught my eye was the Maple Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied Bacon from Girl Cooks World.  Syrup, Bourbon AND Bacon?  This was screaming my hubby!  I took a look at the recipe.  Then adapted the heck out of it.  Kind of.

I took Kristy V's favorite Ice Cream recipe (it used 2 egg yolks instead of 5) and way less ingredients.  I substituted the sugar in her recipe for maple syrup (the real kind - only way to go!).  Apparently the sub for sugar to syrup is 1 cup for 3/4 cup so I for the 3/4 c sugar I used 1/3 c of syrup.  Then mixed my custard in (without curdling ONE egg!), waited for it to cool a little and added 2 TBS of Bourbon.  We let the whole mix cool and then that evening we froze it in our Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment - quickly becoming one of my favorite gadgets!!

We candied the bacon two different ways.  Way #1 - we set it out on a broiler pan, spread syrup, brown sugar and fresh cracked pepper on it and baked it.  This took a long time, didn't get out a lot of the fat and after we thought it was done we turned it over and it needed MORE time - not what I was looking for on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of July.  Way #2 - Frank chopped up the bacon into 1/4 inch squares, seasoned it with pepper and fried it in a pan.  Then we  he (he was having as much fun with this as a kid in a candy store) drained the fat, blotted the bits a bit and threw them back in the pan with the syrup and brown sugar.  Kristy asked how we got the bacon so candied - evidence that Way #2 was much superior!

The Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied Bacon?  Amazing!!  Frank wanted strawberries on it too.  Then warned us all that the ice cream is a strawberry OR bacon ice cream but not both.  THAT was too much ;)  As if the syrup, bourbon and bacon could need any competition?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Climbing out of the hole

*Note - this post isn't an accusation.  It isn't a call for apology.  It's not even so much a cry for help.  You know that guck that gets stuck inside of you?  This is just me trying to get it out.  A cry for catharsis (which means the release of pity and fear)  May be not catharsis then but definitely that whole cleansing part.

After we miscarried in February I fell into a dark hole.  Then I found out at a party (Frank was at a bachelor party so I was solo) that one of our friends is due the day before we were.  It was somehow worse than finding out that my sil is pregnant the same day we found out we were miscarrying. I finally understood how someone could feel like they'd been punched in the stomach.  I fell deeper.  I ran out of the room, hid to cry and fled the party.  I opened the car windows and told myself to breath on the way home. Only to come home to an empty house and pint of chocolate ice cream (that wasn't even that good).

Frank pulled me out of it around my birthday.  He's pretty wonderful.

But there's something dark and sinister that keeps trying to pull me back in.  A photo with my best friend with all the babies - including ALL the preggos in the group.  And there's a lot of them.  One more rant about how "we cheated" and got pregnant.  One more discussion about how "if I remembered what pregnancy felt like, I wouldn't do this again."  One more facebook post about breast feeding in public or how parenting is so hard.  An unintentional blow off that the fact I hadn't needed to buy a pregnancy test wasn't a big deal.  One more dig that stings so much - and yet is just a normal part of life. 

I wish it didn't matter and that it didn't hurt.  And that all the baby talk and discussions about how "we'll probably get pregnant on our honeymoon" were just fine and dandy.  I know it's normal and I don't wish it away.  I just wish it didn't hurt.

Every month I tell myself to not hope too much.  That we are probably not.  But the hope is still there (as are the symptoms, thanks to progesterone supplements).  And the hope gets crushed.  And then I feel guilty - how do women do this month after month?  It's only been three and I can't even imagine.

I have to be careful what I wear.  Does that make me look pregnant?  The question hurts - I'll avoid it at all costs.  I have to be careful about what I dream and hope for.  In May, I hoped that I'd go back to school with news for my students and teacher friends.  That's not exactly looking as though it may be the case.

It's weird.  I look at the friend who's due at the same time we were.  I can't imagine myself that far along.  I even thought yesterday about how it may be a blessing to be able to see her little grow up - to be able to imagine our little Michael and how it may be comforting to know that they'd be the same age.

Then there's the weird paradigm shift.  I think it was last October when our NFP practitioner told us that we'd get pregnant on our honeymoon.  I'm the girl with the normal, 28 day cycles.  I'd predicted the same back before we'd even started charting in June.  So not only was I mentally prepping myself to get married, I was mentally prepping myself for the baby carriage too.  But now instead of the baby carriage and showers and cute little clothes (those ones I've dreamed of my whole life) there's a little grave and a little saint up in heaven that belongs to us.  That's a bit of a shift in dreams.

I've wondered if we should take a break for emotional sanity.  For one month off of the little ray's of hope and the fall deeper in the pit at the end of hope.  So God wasn't ready for us to have a baby - maybe that we aren't ready.  But six months ago I was willing to trust that he'd do what was best.  Now I have to ask myself if I still trust him.

The quote from my daily calendar is from Thomas Merton says that it is no use praying if we are already planning our own answer to prayer.  THIS is where I don't get NFP.  (And that whole trusting thing).   How do we trust and yet have so high a knowledge of what could happen?  I looked up "taking a break from trying to conceive" this morning.  A bunch of momma's who "took a break" only to wind up pregnant.  So much for that trying not to hope thing.

So.  There's a difference in these virtues of hope and trust.  That's probably where I need to start.  I have to trust that God knows what he's doing.  And that when it's our time, he'll make it our time.  In Hebrews 11:1 it says, "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things unseen."  Help me have enough faith to trust in you - that if I trust, you will bring us hope "and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Father - let me live in your love. Let your love give me faith to hope that your ways will not disappoint and that there is no need for this silly pit.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Family Rules

There's been a huge onslaught in the decorating/etsy/pinterest world of what they call "Subway Art."  I don't really get why they call it that.  I've been on a few subways and I've never seen art quite that pretty.  In Rome, there was definitely more graffiti.  In D.C., there's really just not that much art.

Regardless of what it's called, I like the outcome.   Put it on older wood (say fence posts) and I totally dig it!  The English teacher in me loves quotes and sayings and inspirational tidbits!  I even used a few for our wedding.  (Really, it was a ploy to have some in our house.)  That's the way to decorate for a wedding!  Right now, this baby's hanging in our bedroom.

My Daisy Ladies - All together!!

Well, we decided to make up our own family rules.  Maybe someday (when we get more than three) I will paint them on a board and hang them for display.  For know, I'll just blog them.  A few weeks before we got married, Frank and I decided to go Christmas light looking.  We got some yummy hot chocolate from Riverside Cafe (who seemed to have another set of owners - as long as the place doesn't go out of business).  Sustained with warm beverages, we set out.  Frank stopped at the house in Riverside with synchronized lights - man I love that stuff!!!  After sitting through a few songs, we headed out driving again, looking for the new and prettier.

We ended up driving past a friends house.  A few minutes after we'd passed saying, "There's Justin and Steffanie's house!"  we made up our first family rule.  That's right, we weren't technically family yet and already making rules.  Rule #1: If you pass a friends house while light looking, you must stop and carol.  I'm sure there will be amendments to this rule for lateness of hour.  But if you get visited by Frank and I, now you'll know why!!

Family Rule # 2 came about while on our honeymoon.  My parish did a fantastic job of celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family every year.  (Which, come to think of it, always involved caroling and hot chocolate. Coincidence?  I think not).  This year, we went to Mass and headed out for our nice dinner.  I had some sort of elegant fish dish.  Frank had calf fries.  It was our nice dinner.  Over some mulled wine and in front of the fireplace at the restaurant in Manitou Springs, we wrote down the first and second family rules.  Family Rule #2: Always celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.

Rule #3.  So I posted about Dad's Apple Cake last week?  That's rule #3.  What I'm hoping will be tradition started last year.  Frank and I were supposed to meet my sister at our parents for the 4th of July.  Then Dad came down sick so Teri invited us up to Omaha (otherwise known as the land with the BEST restaurants!).   We had the best time and found the PERFECT spot for not one but two fantastic fireworks shows.  Oh, and I made apple cake and we ate it for breakfast.  Yum . . .

Do you guys have family rules?  Are they all sophisticated like, "always love each other, hug every day" stuff or are they more silly (and therefore way more fun) like ours?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dad's Apple Fritters

My mom was famous when I was in high school.  Well, at least her apple cake was.  We'd have bake sale fundraisers on Fort Leavenworth to raise money for band.  Her apple cake was "To Die For."  I'm pretty sure there were a couple of guys that raided the bake sale and bought up all her apple cake only to ask for more.

The best part of the apple cake?  It's SUPER easy.  The hardest part was cutting the apples.

Fast Forward about 15 years (give or take . . . ).  We attempted to support River Fest this year.  We went out on Wednesday and ate yummy fair food and sat next to one of "The People of Riverfest" at the Montgomery Gentry concert.  And Frank promised to take me to fireworks last night.  Well, we got there to listen to some Red Dirt (gotta love my redneck husband;) and chill before the fireworks.  We'd even saved some food tickets for a funnel cake.

Well, rain is not our friend.  It is important for the farmers but it closed the funnel cake stand (and the rest of the Riverfest) just as we got there.  BUMMER!!  And the Braum's we got as alternative last night just didn't hit the mark.  (But if you get a chance, their new chocolate flavors are pretty yummy!).

This morning I woke up with the sun (and the dog) and was craving some baked good.  Really, something with apples.  So I got online and looked up Chocolate Covered Katie - she always seems to have something to curb the sweet tooth that I don't feel guilty about.  But the Apple Pie Pancakes just didn't look good enough and had ingredients I don't have.  Then I googled.  Nada.  Well, nothing that looked good.

Then, it hit me.  Mom's Apple Cake.  That'd make some pretty fantastic fritters!  So I cut down the recipe and got out my ice cream scoop and cookie sheets and made the cake in fritter form. Perfect breakfast, right here!  Yum!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow days and normal

I officially feel like I don't have a job.  Let me list the full days of work I've worked in the past two weeks.

Monday - regular schedule
Tuesday - 1 hour activity schedule
Wednesday - All School Mass for Ash Wednesday then I left after lunch
Thursday - 1 hour activity schedule AND I left early
Friday - sick day
Monday - no school, presidents day
Tuesday - regular day
Wednesday - regular day with random field trips to the windows for snow checks.
Thursday - snow day for me AND the hubs
Friday - snow day - just for me (where I pretty much did school stuff at home)
Monday - another snow day.

In reality, I have had 3 regular school days in the past 2 weeks and one day . . . and I kind of miss my students.  And school.  And normal.  I'd really like normal.  I don't really know what normal is.  I went from dating (that was pretty normal and nice) to engaged (not normal or calm or low key whatsoever!!). Then I went from married and pregnant to married and not pregnant.

Yeah, those early/sick days?  We found out we had miscarried our little one (pretty sure we conceived on our wedding night) on Ash Wednesday and miscarried him on Valentines day.  Fun memories of our first V  day, huh?

I don't want to go into bitter diatribe on how awful this was or how bummed I am and that I don't understand.  Or go on about how when anyone mentions babies or sonograms I can hold it in for about 30 minutes but then in the comfort of only my husband I'll start crying again.  At least right now, I don't want to go into it.  I may in the future.

I am, however, kind of ready to figure out what our married normal is.  Because I've been craving normal and non-overwhelming.  (Pregnancy came with uncertainty and scary and worry and house shopping because I am TERRIFIED of going up and down our tiny one bedroom condo steps with a baby).  Plus all the after the wedding craziness of thank you notes and sorting and cleaning and such.  All in all, overwhelming stuff.

On our joint snow day, Frank and I got the house sorted.  It was awesome!  Until we went to pick up the rest of his stuff from his former roommate's house and it landed in our collective living room/dining room.

Even though once again we have stuff strewn everywhere, I am happy.  I couldn't have asked for a better, more supportive, prayerful Catholic husband.  While I was at home in pain, he was right there with me hooking us up with Warehouse 13 episodes on his computer.  And when I needed to cry, he was there.  When he needed to cry I got to be there too.  And when it was over and we needed to pray, he prayed just what I would have prayed if it were me.

So even if I don't have normal, I have God and I have Frank.  And that's the perfect beginning of normal.

I wonder if we'll have school tomorrow . . .