Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Remembered one!

Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin.  Grab this book and a box of Kleenex.  It's a heartbreaker of a memoir, but its an inspirational love story.  Worth the day it'll take you to read it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

(Long Overdue) Reading Update

It's been 18 months since I updated.  I will never remember everything I've read since the last one, but I'll try.  And I'll update when I think of more.

Fearless by Eric Blehm.  My friend Chuck made me read this book (Hi, Chuck!), and I'm glad he did.  It's a weighty one, yo.  It's about a fallen Navy SEAL who was so far above extraordinary, there almost aren't words for it.  And his journey is pretty incredible.  I basically cried my way through it...I am in awe of other peoples' journeys.  And it personalized servicepeople a little, which is never a waste.

Seriously, I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres.  Just read it.  You will thank me.  I read it on the plane to LA and my seatmates thought I was crazy.

Bossypants by Tina Fey.  If you love Tina, read it.  I loved it.

Stories I Only Tell my Friends by Rob Lowe.  If you love Rob Lowe, read it.  I thought his was a great read!

Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Young Adult.  It was a book I was excited to get to each night.  But nowhere near as good as The Hunger Games.

The Last Word:  A Spellman Novel by Lisa Lutz.  The latest in one of my favorite series; the Spellman books.

Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin.  Not something I'd typically choose, but I had heard such great things about it.  I read the first two books in the series and loved it.  Then it got kind of heavy, so I'm taking a break.  May resume the series one day.

The Century Trilogy (Fall of Giants and Winter of the World) by Ken Follett.  I'm just starting the second book (the third is not yet released).  I enjoy this series, but they're no Pillars of the Earth or World Without End.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sharing the Love: Pizza Bread

I got this recipe from my friend Jill years ago.  It's so easy!

Frozen bread dough
Mozzarella cheese
Pizza toppings

Thaw and let the bread rise per the instructions on the package.  When it's risen, spread it on a floured surface and roll it into an oval.  Top with cheese and whatever fillings you like (I'm partial to pepperoni, green pepper, mushrooms, and tons of cheese).  Roll from the bottom to the top so it ends looking like a log.  Pinch the seam shut.  Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet (you might need to curve it to make it fit).  Bake for 350 for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Slice and serve with pizza sauce for dipping!

*Use your imagination for other variations.  Jill used to make a ham and cheese one where she's smear some Dijon mustard on the bottom, and then layer ham and cheese, and roll up.  Yum.  I need to make that one again soon.

**The Sandwich King has a variation that he calls Sausage Bread.  I made it, and I used the leftovers for the brunch dish with asparagus and egg.  That recipe here.


Getting it Done

It's not that having four kids is super special or that's it's a ridiculous number of children.  My mom raised eleven for crying out loud.  But here's the thing.  I have a teenager, two school-aged children, and a baby.  Three very types of parenting up in here, and it makes my head spin some days.

The teenager is a breeze logistically.  If I never made him another meal he wouldn't starve to death.  If I didn't do his laundry, he'd find clean clothes to wear.  He could virtually survive on his own if he had to.  But here's the thing:  I'm not done teaching him.  It would be really easy to give him the least amount of attention because of said independence.  But there is a lot of stuff to pay attention to now:  girls.  schoolwork.  college options.  girls.  getting to know his friends.  teaching him lifeskills.  re-teaching him lifeskills.  girls.  I mean, a lot of stuff.  And I cannot tune out right now.  I never want to look back and wish I had said more, wish I had been more involved.  I feel like I have about an arms-reach of talking left to do and he has about a finger-pinch of listening left.  Gonna try to squeeze it in.

Look.  One has his arm around her. The other is holding her hand. Smitten.

Then I have those two adorable school-aged rugrats.  They're easy, man.  I can still put them on my lap and fix most of their problems.  I can reassure them, and they trust me.  They still think I'm right about pretty much everything.  They love to snuggle with me and watch a movie or read books.  I monitor their homework, and make sure they're learning and volunteer at the school when I can.  We go to the library and the pool and they're pretty stinking happy and secure.

And then I have a baby.  And GOOD LORD.  I am thankful for that baby.  She brings more joy here than anything in a long time.  But, if I'm being honest, she's a lot of work.  She's at that stage where she's not mobile but she needs a lot of stimulation, so I'm kind of moving her around all day.  Jumperoo, sit and play, Bumbo, tummy time, feedings, nap, feedings, Jumperoo.  You get the picture.  And she's a super awesome nighttime sleeper (12 - 14 hours most nights) but she's not a great napper -- probably two - three hours a day, so there's not a ton of downtime.

Add in working, managing the household, and all that entails, and trying to find a quiet moment for myself once in awhile...yeah.  That plate is full, dude.  Full of really really great stuff, but full nonetheless.

I'm no supermom.  I'm no different than millions of other moms the world over.  And I have the support of the kindest, most loving man on earth who is the best papa to his kids.  And somehow, it all gets done.  Every night I have this moment where I think, "Huh.  I got it done today."  And I will tomorrow, too.