Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Week's Sunday Dinner

I'd LOVE to start blogging about Sunday dinner every Sunday. But, you know me & my inability to blog on the regular. So.... There's that.

I've promised there would be cooking & recipes... But I know I've only posted a few so far. Sundays are the days when Andrew & I normally go all out with our cooking. Dinner usually includes 3 parts (a meat, a starch & a side) unlike most week nights when we're lucky if we cook at all. Also, Sundays are the days when I'm most likely to make something I found on Pinterest. Often times, this includes dessert. :-)

Here's this week's Sunday Dinner!

Andrew's (delicious) Steak on the Grill!

My husband swears by charcoal. & I don't know if there is REALLY a difference between charcoal & gas grilled food... But what I do know is that his steak is AMAZING every single time. He truly is my little grill master!

Now, he claims there's nothing too special on his steak, just season it with generously with salt, pepper & some olive oil. But I've had many, many steaks in my lifetime & I swear to you that none of them compare.

Our favorite cut is the New York Strip. It's pricy though so we do on occasion get cheaper cuts. But New York Strip always comes out tender & juicy. Plus, it soaks up the flavor beautifully.

The only "trick" I know (which you can most certainly do without) comes after the steak is cooked to your desired degree of "doneness." Once you pull that baby off the grill, put it on a plate, cover it with aluminum foil & let it sit in it's own juices. Then, about 3- minutes before serving, put a small slice of butter on top & return the aluminum foil so it melts over the top. This makes the steak shiny & adds just a little bit more flavor. Not to mention, it keeps the top of the steak moist which can NOT be a bad thing. By the time you get this delicious piece of meat on your plate, your mouth will be watering. Not even kidding. Here's the finished product! -->

Ranch Potatoes  

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest a few days ago & have been dying to try. I'm a pretty big fan of potatoes. (Blame it on the Irish in me.) So, really, anything that included potatoes can never go wrong in my mind. But add cheese & bacon? There's no way I can screw this up. Here's the details.

4-5 Potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
1 Envelope of Ranch Dressing Packet
2 Handfuls of Bacon Bits
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup of Milk
2 Cups of Shredded Cheddar (divided)
Salt & Pepper

1.) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Boil your potatoes for about 10-12 minutes or until ALMOST tender.
3.) Generously grease a medium-sized casserole dish
4.) Arrange your potatoes in the casserole dish
5.) In a bowl, mix ranch packet, cream of mushroom soup, milk, salt & pepper & 1 cup of the cheese.
6.) Pour this wet mixture over the top of your potatoes.
7.) Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese & handfuls of bacon over the top
8.) Bake 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender

This was pretty good. I wish I'd have cubed the potatoes but I just sliced them. Also, the "sauce" was pretty watery. I don't know that I'd make them again. Maybe I'll play around with the recipe & see if it turns out better next time.

(The Original:

Onions & Mushrooms Balsamic

These are delicious. Then again, I'm a HUGE fan of balsamic vinegar, onions & mushrooms. put them together... Yeah. This is super simple, but makes a delicious mate for steak!

1 Small Onion
7-8 Medium-Sized Mushrooms
1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
1/4 of a teaspoon of Garlic Powder
A Pinch of Dried Organo

1.) Slice onion & sautee in pan with olive oil, salt & pepper until tender
2.) Cut mushrooms thickly & add to pan
3.) Add balsamic, garlic powder & oregano, let cook uncovered 3 minutes
4.) Add sugar, combine
5.) Continue cooking 5 minutes or until thin glaze forms

Serve over Steak

"Ooey Gooey" Butter Bars

I found this recipe on Pinterest & OH MAN. They're super easy & super delicious! I used the wrong size pan, but they still turned out okay. Just a bit thicker & needed a bit longer to cook. They're definitely not as pretty as the ones on the website, but they're so good it doesn't matter!

1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
8oz Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2 Cups of Powered Sugar
Powered Sugar (sifted over the top)

1.) Preheat oven to 325
2.) Grease a 9x13 pan 
3.) Blend cake mix, 1 egg, & melted butter until smooth. 
4.) Press mixture into the bottom of greased pan
5.) Blend cream cheese, 2 eggs & powdered sugar until creamy & smooth. 
6.) Spread over 1st mixture in pan
7.) Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until edges golden brown
8.) Sift Powdered Sugar over the top

Since mine turned out awful & look in no way the delicious treat they actually are... The picture I'm posting is from the blog where I found these. I didn't want to turn you off of them with my messy presentation.

(The Original:

& that's everything! Steak dinners are my absolute favorite. Now that our bellies are full & the kitchen is cleaned, it's time to go to sleep. A new work week starts tomorrow! :-)

Catch Up

Hello, there!

This past week has been absolutely crazy. I've been working quite a bit more than usual & it's been really exhausting. But sometimes busy feels good! The past few weeks I've felt a sense of purpose that I haven't felt in a really long time. I couldn't be more excited about the opportunities I've had & continue to have. I look forward to proving my value in the coming weeks.

But, besides that...

I haven't been blogging like I'd hoped to. I'm seriously, SERIOUSLY trying to do this on the regular. When I started this blog, I'd hoped to write entry after entry jam-packed with fun, quirky details & projects. What I've ended up with is a glamorized journal & I'm sorry because that's lame. BUT, I've been through things this past year that I never thought I would. So, onward, eh?

The next new adventure in our lives, HOMEOWNERSHIP!

This will likely be a long, drawn-out process. We're in the very early stages of house hunting but we both feel it's time to start looking elsewhere. We love our duplex, our current location & the amenities we've gotten so used to, but we're ready for our own slice of the world. We've enjoyed making this place "ours" so much over the last year & 1/2 but there's only so much you can do when you don't own the place. We're looking forward to the day when we have our own place where we can make our own changes without having to get permission from a landlord. (Examples: Landscaping, painting, changing light fixtures, bathroom/kitchen remodeling...) There's just so many things we want to DO.

We've spent the last few weeks discussing our options, looking at listings online & considering our finances. We've seen some really beautiful houses on the market, but we've realized that with almost every single house there was SOMETHING we're not crazy about. Andrew & I are both pretty particular about the things we'd like & considering we plan to live in our new house for the rest of our lives... We want this to be everything we want.

So we ended up with one real solution & we're seriously considering that option right now -- Building a house.

We've talked about building a house since we got engaged, but never have we TRULY looked into doing it. At this point we're trying to figure out a location because we plan on having children & want them in a good school district. Plus, we're not "city" people & want something rural enough to be quiet with a fair amount of open space. We want a big yard on a road with little traffic. I'm not a fan of having neighbors right on top of us, so we plan to consider that while shopping for property.

There's just so much to this process & we know that we're just beginning. Likely, we won't be living in our new house any time in the next year. Maybe not even next. We're starting out & making a plan! It's really such a relief to know that we're on our way to finding the place that will someday be our home. <3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Breen's Summer To-Do List

Don't hate me if I repeat this for every single season... But, well, I'm a pretty big fan of summer. The warm weather, the sunshine, the long days, the warm nights... Not to mention, there's ENDLESS amounts of things to do & see-- BBQs, the sunset at the lake, outdoor concerts, bonfires, fireflies, thunderstorms, craft shows, festivals, stargazing, county fairs.... I'm just in love with it all.

It's been a pretty busy summer already! We've had a graduation & a wedding, wedding/baby showers & lots of obligations to attend to on the weekends. The rest of the summer is looking pretty lax so I'm making a "to-do" list so that we don't manage to miss out on a single thing! This also kind of works as a "Summer Date Night" guide. Feel free to take whatever works for you!

-- Watch the sunRISE at the lake
-- Lockport's Craft Show
-- See a concert at Artpark
-- Catch at LEAST one of the shows in Lockport
-- Break out the telescope & do some serious stargazing
-- Have a picnic
-- Go camping
-- Attend at least 1 bonfire
-- Go to the drive-in
-- Spend the day at the county fair
-- Go berry picking
-- Take a boat tour
-- Go "history" seeking a the local Historical Society
-- Lockport Caves
-- Go out for ice cream!
-- Spend a day floating/sunbathing in the pool with a margarita
-- Live bands down by the lake
-- Darien Lake
-- Clifton Hill
-- Stay up all night
-- Make wine slushies & relax on the porch
-- Go to the "Taste of..."
-- Italian Fest!
-- Go to the zoo!
-- Laser Tag
-- Spend a day at the museums in Buffalo

Super excited to start this weekend! :-)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reasons I Consider Myself Blessed

I'm having a rough day today. Rather than focus on the negative, I'm going to focus my energy on being grateful for the ways in which I am blessed.

1) My husband. I'm married to the most amazing man on this planet. When I'm down, for whatever reason, he picks up the slack for me. He is an amazing partner. He inspires me to be better & reminds me of my worth constantly. The ways in which he blesses me each and every moment of the day are immeasurable. I can't begin to describe how much I love this man. I can only say THANK YOU, LORD for blessing me with this incredible marriage. One of my most common prayers is that I be the wife this wonderful man deserves. I'm so blessed to have my husband in my life.

2) My health. Things have been tough lately healthwise. But today, I woke up. I have breath in my lungs & a steady heartbeat. I was able to put my feet on the ground & continue about my day. For this, I am blessed.

3.) It isn't raining! It's been such a rainy, gray week but today there is radiant sunshine in the blue sky! The trees are green & full of life & the birds are singing. Nature is lovely today & I've really enjoyed being a spectator to the natural wonder around me.

4.) My best friend. I mentioned my rough day. I told Jer about this & she's on her way over with wine. The mark of a true, fantastic friend I'd say....

5.) My beautiful home. Yes, I'm too tired to do the dishes tonight, I didn't make the bed this morning & there's a basket of unfolded laundry in my living room. But I LOVE this house. It truly, honestly does feel like home to me. Coming home is such a blessing everyday. Having a roof over my head & a place to call my own is such a blessing. I'm so grateful for every square inch!

Nothing like listing your blessings to remind you how petty your bad day seems! :-)

Friday, July 5, 2013

What Do Your Dreams Mean?

Last night I had a super weird dream. There's absolutely no logic to it what-so-ever. Here's the gist of it:

I'm at my high school because my brother, Nate is graduating. I bring my grandma who has somehow become a gerbil. When we get to the high school, Nate approaches me & tells me that SURPRISE, he's not
graduating, he's getting married! Besides being EXTREMELY caught off guard about this (my brother doesn't currently have a girlfriend) I'm also SO mad because he hasn't invited my dad, any of our other siblings or anyone else, actually. But, I follow him to a room I've never seen before in the school with my poor gerbil grandmother in tow. We get there & this girl who I do recognize from some, far-off past approaches me, hugs me & says "YOU'RE GOING TO BE MY SISTER-IN-LAW. I'M SO EXCITED." to which I smile & nod. I then grab my brother by the arm, drag him to a corner where I proceed to voice my concern about this marriage since, well, they clearly haven't been together long & they're both SO young, & the family isn't here, & she seems a little crazy. He nods & says "I know. I just wanted a wife. Can we find a different one?" Yeah. Weird conversation. So, then we realize that my grandma is missing in the bleachers of the gym. The principal & some students help me look for her. We finally find my non-gerbil grandmother sitting in the locker room. She tells me it's been a long day & she'd like to go back to the nursing home now.

....Weird, eh? But it got me thinking. Is there REALLY any logic or wisdom in dreams like this? Can we take anything from crazy, confusing dreams like this?

I began to search online & found a bunch of "dream experts," but the most comprehensive, easy to search page that I found was It allows you to search alphabetically for the meaning behind your dreams. For example:

Gerbil: To see a gerbil in your dream represents hyperactivity and energy. It may mean that you are seeking for social activity or companionship.

Grandmother: To see your grandmother in your dream represents nurturance, protection, and unconditional love. Consider the qualities and characteristics that exist in your own grandmother. She may also be the archetypal symbol of the wise old woman.

Wedding: To see or attend a wedding in your dream symbolizes a new beginning or transition in your current life. A wedding reflects your issues about commitment and independence. Alternatively, your wedding dream refers to feelings of bitterness, sorrow, or death. Such dreams are often negative and highlight some anxiety or fear. If you dream that the wedding goes wrong or ends in disaster, then it suggests that you need to address some negativity immediately. If you dream that you are attending a wedding, consider how you feel at the wedding. If you are upset or sad, then it means that you are unhappy about the current status of your life. If you are happy, then you are embracing a new change in your life. To dream that you are getting married to your current spouse again represents your wedded bliss and happiness. It highlights your strong commitment to each other. It may also signify a new phase (such as parenthood, new home, etc) that you are entering in your life. To dream that you are planning a wedding to someone you never met is a metaphor symbolizing the union of your masculine and feminine side. It represents a transitional phase where you are seeking some sort of balance between your aggressive side and emotional side. The dream may also indicate that two previously conflicting aspects are merging together as one.If you are getting married and have dreams of your pending wedding, then it highlights the stress of organizing a wedding.  Conflicts over wedding details, tension with family and in-laws, fear of commitment, and loss of independence may all cause wedding anxiety dreams.  Research has shown that up to 40% of brides and grooms have dreams about their ceremony and things going perfectly. To dream that Santa Claus is attending your wedding highlights the jolly occasion.

Hmm. So, what exactly can I take from that? I'm seeking new friends? I guess that's accurate. My best friend recently told me she is moving to NYC which is about 9 hours from me. I'm pretty excited/bummed. She's literally the 1 person I hang out with besides, obviously my husband. So, with her living so far away I've been evaluating a lot of current friendships in my life. Maybe subconsciously I'm opening myself up to meeting new people & expanding my shrinking circle of friends. Who knows? As far as the mention of my grandmother, I don't see how that exactly fits. It represents wisom... Hmm. I guess if I'm taking the advice of Dream Moods & considering my grandmother's personality, it makes a little more sense. My grandma has such a fun sense of humor. She's smart & just a beautiful, loving woman. I don't know how it gels with any of the other components of the dream, but I guess it works. Now the wedding? That throws me. I'm no especially unhappy with my life in any way, but I was CERTAINLY unhappy when I found out my brother was marrying a stranger. I think that speaks less about my unhappiness in my own life & more about my concerns as his sister. Interesting take on it though, eh?

Of course I spent some time checking out a lot of these sites & here's some of the craziest, most interesting or just silliest meanings I found today.

Abraham Lincoln: To see Abraham Lincoln in your dream refers to your solid character and leadership ability. Known as "Honest Abe", the dream may also be telling you to be truthful or to come clean about something.

Can Opener: To see a can opener in your dream indicates your willingness to accept new ideas and new concepts. It may also be a symbol of reassurance and a way to tell yourself that "I can" do something.

Chase: To dream that you are being chased signifies that you are avoiding a situation that you do not think is conquerable. It is a metaphor for some form of insecurity. In particular, to dream that you are chased by an animal represents your own unexpressed and unacknowledged anger which is being projected onto that animal. Alternatively, you may be running away from a primal urge or fear. To dream that you are chasing someone signifies that you are attempting to overcome a difficult goal or task. You may also be expressing some aggressive feelings toward others. To dream that you are being chased and enjoying it implies that you like being the object of desire. You like feeling wanted. The dream may be analogous to a blossoming relationship.

Dead: To see or talk to the dead in your dream forewarns that you are being influenced by negative people and are hanging around the wrong crowd. This dream may also be a way for you to resolve your feelings with those who have passed on. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes material loss. If you dream of a person who has died a long time ago, then it suggests that a current situation or relationship in your life resembles the quality of that deceased person. The dream may depict how you need to let this situation or relationship die and end it. If you dream of someone who has recently passed away, then it means that their death is still freshly in your mind. You are still trying to grasp the notion that he or she is really gone. If the dead is trying to get you to go somewhere with him or her, then it signifies that you are trying to understand their death. You also don't want to be alone. To see and talk with your dead parents in your dreams represent your fears of losing them or your way of coping with the loss. You are using your dream as a last opportunity to say your final good-byes to them.To see your dead sibling, relative, or friend alive in your dream indicates that you miss them and are trying to relive your old experiences you had with them. In trying to keep up with the pace of your daily waking life, you dreams may serve as your only outlet in coping and coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. To dream of your dead child is a way for you to keep your child alive through your dreams. For a parent to lose a child is extremely difficult. Such dreams occur because you still cannot accept or understand how or why your child was taken from you so soon.

Deli: To dream that you are at a deli indicates that you are seeking for emotional nourishment outside of your social support system. You want to know the options that are available to you. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you need to watch your weight.

Facebook: To dream about your Facebook page represents your desires to expand your social circle. You need to reach out to others in a more direct and personal way. It is time to get out there and experience life.

Falling: To dream that you fall and are not frightened signifies that you will overcome your adversities with ease.  To dream that you fall and are frightened indicates a lack of control, insecurity, and/or lack of support in your waking life. You may be experiencing some major struggle and/or overwhelming problem. It may also imply that you have failed to achieve a goal that you have set forth for yourself. To dream that you are free-falling through water indicates that you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions. You may feel that it is easier to give up, then to try to stay afloat or prevent yourself from going under. To dream of the fall season indicates that something is about to come to an end and something new will begin. Alternatively, the dream is symbolic of the cycle of life. It is time to collect the benefits and rewards that you've worked so hard for.

Friends: Dreaming of a person you haven't seen or thought of in years may be a "time and place" message. If a friend from school is in your dream, perhaps a lesson, behaviour or experience from that period in your life has some meaning in the issues you are currently confronting in your waking life. Work out what that friend represents to you. Describe them in three words. If your friend is carefree, a risk taker and fun, ask yourself if these traits have appeared in your life in the past few days or if you could have benefited from incorporating them. Our relationships with our friends help us to learn more about ourselves and this also applies to their presence in our dreams.

Nachos: To make or eat nachos in your dream signifies your need for more leisurely pursuits. You need to take some time out.

Nail Polish: To polish your nails in your dream suggests that you need to put more focus onto what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish. To dream that you are changing your nail polish color represents your creativeness or emotional nature. Look up the color of the nail polish for additional significance. In particular, to see blue, green black, purple or other non-traditional nail polish color in your dream represents your free spirit. You like to express yourself in unique ways. If you see clear nail polish in your dream, then it signifies your objectiveness in a situation.

Pogo Stick: To see or play with a pogo stick in your dream represents life's ups and downs. If you do not have control of your pogo stick, then it indicates that you are all over the place in your emotions and thinking. You need to focus and zero in on one issue at a time. Alternatively, being on a pogo stick may be analogous to sex.

Recurring dreams: Recurring dreams refer to any dream or dream theme that repeats itself. Such dreams are common and tend to take on the form of nightmares, so are highly memorable for the dreamer. In reality, many recurring dreams are not as similar as the dreamer often thinks. What is similar is the theme, and the subsequent feeling attached to the theme. For instance, a repetitive dream about being chased will often involve different pursuers and will happen in different environments.The theme that persists is the experience of being chased, indicating perhaps that the dreamer is repeatedly avoiding something. The dream tends to repeat because the issue in the dreamer's waking life is continuing or unresolved. Once the dreamer approaches this issue in a new way in their waking life, the dream may stop.

Sex: Sigmund Freud believed all dreams were sexual. Freud was a pioneer in the dream field and brought much to dream analysis, however his views on the sexual basis of all dreams were not always widely supported. In contrast, Carl Jung, an equally important contributor to the dream field, felt that sexual dreams represented the dreamer’s desire to balance their masculine and feminine selves. In recent years we have come to see that dreams offer the dreamer a safe place to play out sexual fantasies, express love, feel intimate and have fun. How you feel about the sex in your dream may give you insight into your sexual feelings in your waking life. If you dream about having sex with someone it may mean you desire them in waking life. However, it can also mean you simply admire some of this person’s qualities and you want to connect with these qualities. It is important not to feel guilty or ashamed of sexy dreams. Like all dreams, they are rich in symbolism, so enjoy them!

Trapped: People who have dreams about being trapped may feel stuck in their waking life and can't envisage a way out of the situation. They may be stuck in a job they dislike or they may feel trapped in a relationship that is no longer satisfying. Dreams about traps can also involve the dreamer setting their own elaborate traps. If you find yourself setting a trap in a dream, ask yourself what you are trying to hold on to - is it a job, a boyfriend or maybe a belief?

Waiting Room: To dream that you are in a waiting room symbolizes your patience. You have an ability to remain calm, even during a crisis.

Work: As work plays an important role in our adult lives it frequently features in our dreams. Dreams about work are often about our sense of responsibility and duty. If the photocopier keeps jamming in your dream, it may be you are in a bit of a "jam" at work. If you dream your colleague is sitting behind your desk, maybe you are feeling anxious about your job security. Alternatively, work dreams may not be about work at all, but a message from your dream world that you have something you need to work on in the real world. For instance, if you dream that your wife or husband is at your place of work, perhaps you have some relationship issues that require your attention.

Zoo: To dream that you are at a zoo symbolizes loss of freedom. Alternatively, a zoo suggests that your abilities and talents are going unnoticed. You or an aspect of your life feels caged in. The zoo may also represent chaos and confusion as implied by the common phrase "this place is a zoo!" You may need to tidy up some situation in your life.

Pretty interesting, eh? I never would have thought that dreaming about nail polish could be so "deep." It's pretty cool to look into the meaning of your dreams & I definitely suggest looking at these sites!


I'm pretty sure they have an interpretation for anything your could possibly dream of. Ha. Get it?

Have you had any strange dreams lately? What do you think they mean? Does the "interpretation" have any real relevance to your life?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

First, I'll apologize. I was in such a rush yesterday that I failed to get ANY pictures of the dinner I made for our little "3rd of July" party. & the menu ended up being completely different than expected. My niece spent the day with us & the majority of my afternoon/evening was spent entertaining her so I had little time to prep dinner. I decided to go with my "go-to" meal & just made goulash. I DID make flavored water! No Sangria, but it did have blueberries & strawberries! It was pretty & after a few hours in the fridge, nice and fruity! That's about as far as I went with my patriotics. It was a nice idea! Maybe next year with a bit more prep.

Anyway, today was a wonderful day. The forecast called for gray skies & rain, but there was lots of sunshine & a light breeze. My aunt threw a lovely party & we spent the evening on the deck chatting with my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles & grandparents. The food was great & the company was wonderful. I always enjoy catching up with the family! As the sun began to set. Andrew and I decided to head out so that we could catch the fireworks in Outwater Park. We JUST made it as the first few fireworks made their way into the sky. We laid our blanket down under a tree, snuggled together & "Oooo-ed" & "Ahhh-ed" with the crowd. The night air was comfortable & there was a light breeze, just a perfectly comfortable evening under the stars. The firework display was beautiful & we were REALLY impressed with the variety! It was just a perfect 4th of July!

As we pulled into the garage while discussing our day & evening, I said a little prayer of gratitude for the blessing my husband is to me. It just means the world to me that he's so willing to be a part of my family & that my family loves him as much they do. He's an amazing man & I feel so lucky. Watching him hang out with my cousins & uncles makes me smile. He just fits in like he's been in the family forever.... & really, after 6 years, I guess he almost has. Haha.

It's been a long, wonderful day & it's time to get some sleep. I have a feeling that after all the sun, walking, delicious food & excitement I'll be sleeping REALLY good tonight!

I hope you had an amazing day! Happy 4th of July, everyone! <3

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

V A C A T I O N!

I know I've been all business & no pleasure lately. There's just (obviously) been a bunch going on. But, now that I've updated on the sad stuff & we're all caught up on the general gist of my life, here's a happy piece of news!


It's been a really, really long time since I've had a vacation (the wedding was the last time!) so I'm so relieved to be off of work for the week. The best part is that my husband is ALSO off of work. This past weekend we did some work in our garden outside, hit up the craft show on Main Street & had the in-laws over for dinner. But since then there hasn't been much sunshine or much we need to do. So.... We've spent an embarrassing amount of time camped out on our couch, eating mac & cheese & watching Netflix. But, sometimes brother, sometimes ya just gotta. 

What's up with all this rain anyway? Dude. It's been sunshine since March but as soon as I'm out or work, well. This. But, I promise I will be making the most of this time off. Or, at least I will once I decide to get off the couch. Haha. Tomorrow night a girlfriend of mine will be coming over our house with her hubby for our first ever double dinner/date night followed (hopefully, weather-permitting) by fireworks over Lake Ontario. I'm SO looking forward to it! However, I'm embarrassed to say that I have no menu planned. I have plenty PINNED, but nada planned. I'm extra cheesy & want to have an easy, patriotic-themed dinner & some patriotic drinks and dessert. I just have to buy some supplies & create! So here's a few ideas courtesy of Pinterest!

For Dinner:

All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers (Courtesy of Taste of Home)
--This is partially because it looks freakin' delicious & partially because what's more All-American than a burger for god's sake? Of course burgers are reasonably easy to prepare as well, which won't hurt since we have to eat & head to the lake fairly soon after. Also, bacon.

Pesto Macaroni Salad 
--Mozzarella. Tomatoes. Pesto. There's nothing like a cold pasta salad during the summer. & I think this one is different enough to be refreshing & delicious without being, oh, I don't know... Filled with tuna? Patriotic? Not exactly. A contender? Yes. 

Also:  I'm thinking corn on the cob & of course, a huge selection of junk to throw on those burgers. & by junk, I mean everything from Ketchup to pickles, onions to mayo. You know. 


Fruit Tray/Symbol of Our Great Nation
-- C'mon. It's healthy AND patriotic! Plus, this is something I can throw together relatively quickly & easily. This is probably going to happen. I found this gem via party city but I've seen a bunch of variations elsewhere! 

Red, White & Blue Sangria 
-- This is CUTE! But most importantly, it's Sangria. Plus, I can basically just throw the remaining fruit from my fruit tray into a pitcher & call it done. I think this is a definite winner. I'll just add a stop at the liquor store to my list of errands tomorrow. & by me, I mean my husband. ;-) Haha. 


"Firecracker" Cookies
-- I absoutely think these seem like SO much fun! Those are pop rocks on top of those cookies. It's like the pop & crackle of real fireworks.... Only in your mouth. Who wouldn't want THAT sensation all the while biting into a delicious, chewy sugar cookie? Yes, please! 

So there will definitely be some shopping, cooking & prep tomorrow! But I'm looking forward to a fun summer night with friends, drinks & fireworks! Nothing beats a double date. Especially when it includes sitting at the lake! I'll update with the details of the evening. Hopefully everything goes off without a hitch. Most importantly, hopefully the rain holds off! 

Happy 4th of July! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another Blog I Never Thought I'd Write.

A few hours after I wrote that last blog post, my husband and I went to bed. I'd been feeling kind of sick all day, but I assumed it was a combo of morning sickness + the uncomfortable pregnancy side effect, constipation causing me cramps. I fell asleep & around midnight I was awoken with excruciating cramps. I went to the bathroom where I found I was bleeding. Not a little, no. I woke my husband up & we spent the next few hours looking up my symptoms on Google. We found a few articles that mentioned bleeding & cramping, but then went on to have healthy babies. We clung to that hope as we laid our worried heads down. I fell asleep for what seemed like only minutes, but was in fact another hour, when I woke again to that sharp, insistent cramping. Again, I went to the bathroom. The bleeding was getting worse, heavier. Still in denial, I tried to go back to bed. The cramps started coming every 1/2 an hour. Then every 10 minutes. By morning, the cramps were about 1 minute apart. The heavy bleeding came with blood clots. I was in tears, crying with each stabbing pain. I was terrified & at this point unable to hold onto that hope that this was going to end with a healthy baby. As soon as the morning light was shining through the windows, I called my doctor. He sent me for an ultrasound which revealed our biggest fear... The baby was gone.

I don't know how we made it out of that office. I don't know. It was so overwhelming how quickly our baby bliss turned into devastation. I had pictured our little one in my head so many times by that point -- a perfect, beautiful mix of my husband & I. 10 tiny fingers, 10 tiny toes, lots of brown curly hair... I could hardly wait the 7 months until I could hold him or her. I dreamt of the moment. & it was all taken away. No warning, no good reason. Just "the way nature works sometimes."

This past month has been difficult. Lots of unsurety. Lots of unanswered questions. Lots of angry, heartbroken prayers. I know God has our sweet, sweet baby in his arms. I know someday, I will hold our little one, gaze upon their face. But right now, I feel empty. I feel like a failure. I feel guilty for losing my husband's child, although he's never, ever made me feel this way, it just naturally happened. I've watched his pain, his disappointment & I can't help but feel that I caused this. This is my fault. Rationally, I know this probably isn't the case. I know the doctor may be right & there may have just been a chromosomal abnormality but shaking this feeling is difficult.

I'm scared to start trying again. Scared to deal with this again... Scared to get so attached to the idea of this life inside me, only to watch it die. I just want to bring a healthy baby into this world. I just want to make my husband the father he deserves to be. I just want to be a mother.

My miscarriage is so much a part of me right now. It's always in the back of my mind. In the still of the night it's all I think of. I find it difficult to be around mothers & babies & pregnant women which makes me feel selfish & angry at myself. But I know with time, this pain will ease & I'll find joy in the idea of motherhood.

We will have a healthy baby someday. We will. I have to hold onto this hope.