Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent, books, and babies

I'm not Catholic so I don't observe Lent but last year my friend Amy and I took it as a challenge to eat healthier and we nixed sweets from our diets. I was surprised how well we did...until a week before Lent ended and then we both said forget it and had cookies. Well. Lent is upon us and I decided to take the challenge again and I roped encouraged Mark to join me so we could support it each other. He is giving up precious Dr. Pepper and I am giving up cookies, brownies, and my beloved ice cream (and making Mark too since it would cruel and down right rude for him to eat that stuff in front of me!) *moment of mournful silence* Except we're allowed small cheats on Sundays because the dietitian in me realizes that I HAVE to have some cheat days or I'll go mad. MAD. So far it's been good. I haven't been tempted or craving anything, though every time I open the freezer and see Bluebells' "I Love Chocolate," I have a split second cringe moment. 

Anyway, I also have been trying to cook about 3 times a week. This week we had grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, and rice. Mark got to bust out his grilling skills and did most of the heavy work. It was yummy! But seriously, I should have gotten salmon completely skinned or whatever the correct term is because there was skin on the underside that I ripped off before we grilled it and I nearly threw up from the smell. I don't mind fish but that smell was a little too fishy for me. Yuck. 

And I realize this picture is not very appetizing, if at all, but we've also decided (aka I have decided and Mark is being a good sport and going along with it) to try to have a vegetarian meal once a week. I could tell Mark was really skeptical but I was determined to prove to him that I could find some tasty entrees. So, tonight I made black bean and quinoa enchilada bake. It was SO good (despite this bad picture)!! I topped mine with sliced tomatoes, avocados, and green onions. DEE-LISH. Even Mark was impressed. Wahoo! You know it's a successful dish when the red meat lover likes a vegetarian dish (I think it helped that it was a Mexican dish). 

And what do you know just in time for Lent I got this cookbook in the mail (which I had ordered months ago and have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiting for it to finally be released!). April is not that far away. I can do this. I can.

Since we're on the topic of one of my favorite things--books--I have to tell you about a new author that I LOVE: Juliet Marillier. Holy cow. I'm addicted to her books. One of my new friends here recommended one of her books and I can't get enough. So, let me back up. The first book I read was, "Wildwood Dancing." It's based on the fairy tale "Twelve Dancing Princesses," but she also intertwines that story with some of the folklore of Transylvania (NO not vampires but alludes to that). It is SUPERB. Also I should tell you that I am not a science fiction fan but I do have a very soft spot for fairy tales, and well written ones. FABULOUS read. It was one of those books that I thought about all day long and longed for some time to read. Well. There's a second book, but about one of the other main characters, and the library didn't have it so I did what was necessary...bought it off Amazon (and Wildwood Dancing!). If I am willing to purchase a book, it's a big deal; it's got to be good. I've read a lot of good books, but few that I buy to read again and again. While I was waiting for my parcel of books, I did some research on the author and discovered she had several other books. Well, like I said, I love a good fairy tale but get too science fiction on me and I'll lose interest. But desperate for something to hold me over, I picked up a series she wrote called "Shadowfall." It started off slow and I almost stopped reading but WOW, once it took off I was hooked. I finished the first book in a few days and then HAD to have the second one. It's so good. Riveting. Very creative. She's good. I am enjoying it so much I read while I bike in the mornings and yesterday I was truly angry that I had to go to work because I just wanted to read and find out what happens! I thought of the book the entire day. Ok, I admit, I do, at times, get emotionally attached to books I read. But, I think that's a sign of a good book. So, I was looking to borrow the third one from the library only to find that the third book ISN'T EVEN OUT YET!!! I have to wait until SEPTEMBER?!?!?!? CURSES!!!!!! THAT IS SO CRUEL!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to die from curiosity. DIE. Oh my gosh it's going to be torture. I almost considered not finishing the second one (that lasted for about 0.00003 seconds). I'll have to check out some of her other series. You're lucky I am using up some reading time to blog. But I had to share.

I never really understood why my mom referred to her flowers as her children but now I understand why. I am growing grape hyacinths from bulbs, which I have never done before and I'm scared that I will fail. And friends I BABY these flowers. I check the weather, bring the pot outside and bring it in if it's going to be too cold. It's kind of silly but I am determined. So, yesterday I walked outside to head to work and I looked down and saw this:

THEY ARE PEEKING THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I kid you not I dropped everything, knelt by the pot and just stared incredulously. They are growing! WHAT!!!??!!?? Oh happy day!!!!! I was so proud I Instagrammed them and kept talking about it with Mark when we got home. 

Now, this is what they look like today. 
I am SUCH a proud "mom"!!!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Miss Gabe!!! Obviously I am late, but congrats on the wedding! Your pictures were fabulous! I just read your blog post and it makes me want to see you and meet the man! If you are ever up in Chicago, or want to come visit us, PLEASE DO!!! Keep us posted on life. I hope all is well!