The Engagement Period
We’re getting closer to setting a date and location and really having an honest-to-goodness wedding. Which means, that truly - I am getting married.
Two months ago, I thought that I could “throw together” a wedding and be done with it, because why not? We are not as young and stupid and poor as we once were - why wait any longer? Get married quick, start our lives, maybe have some babies? :)
But now that we are deeper into this engagement period, I am realizing how much I need this time for myself. I’m still immensely excited to be married to M, but this time of preparing is necessary and good for me. I imagine it’s like a pregnancy, except it is my heart and soul which need to stretch and form to prepare for loving and serving M for the rest of our lives.
The need for this stretching is especially obvious as I find my mood has changed a lot in the past month. There are days when I just have no patience for him, for myself, for my family and even for my coworkers. I feel exhausted and drained and pulled and pushed by the expectations of others. By my own longings. By my own pride. I find myself needing M more than ever these days, then getting angry with myself for needing someone so badly (what happened to the independent girl who could do everything for herself?).
But then I remember that needing is not wrong. And that the times when I feel I have nothing to give is when Christ steps in and gently stretches my capacity to love further than I had ever imagined. (Kind of like my yoga instructor in college who physically, but gently, pushed my body to stretch further than I thought possible. Did I just compare Jesus to a yoga instructor?)
Last night, with my head on my pillow and tucked into my bed, I whispered a repeating prayer to God, "Please help me, please help me, please help me." Not because preparing for marriage is tragic or awful, but because loving another person fully and completely requires supernatural powers. When I’ve reached my own limit, I can either give up or I can submit my weakness to God and have him change me. And when two people can continuously submit to God in order to love each other better… well, I think that’s when you really get to experience the beauty and mystery of marriage.
My heart’s not broken, just not as strong as I want it to be.
(Photo from Neal.)
Me: “I want to register here. They sell pasta bowls and rice bowls.”
Him: “I kinda love that we’ll need both in our family.”
Ok, one of the few redeeming aspects of wedding planning?
Just look at that beautiful Italian serving platter (via Sur la Table).
The Post’s infographics department tested 12 exercises for a week to see which ones real people could incorporate into a workday. These moves were recommended by experts whose jobs involve studying motion, preventing obesity and generally getting people off their duffs.
This is how I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon. Happy Weekend everyone. See you Monday!
Good tips! Although I can’t do some because my cubicle is too small :(
I can’t wait to get married and become the Mrs to my Mr. I want to be his wife and live together and go to sleep together and wake up together and raise children together and do life together in all the fullness that marriage requires.
But wedding planning? Not so much.
This part is not as fun as everyone thinks :(
My miniature rose bush received on Valentine’s Day 2011.
It’s back in bloom and has totally survived my black thumb! :)
Wednesday Date Night Menu
Wednesdays are usually date night for me and M. This is especially true during the Sept-June school year while he is teaching and I am in grad school. Spending quality time with each other can be difficult and/or rushed, so we try to set aside Wednesday as “our night.”
Typically, we stay in and cook dinner together at my apartment. This saves money but also allows us to spend our time leisurely and not be rushed out of a restaurant.
We’re starting up this routine again since September is around the corner, so I thought I’d share some of our recently favorite and successful recipes (for 2). They are fairly simple since we are both tired and rushing home from our respective jobs. If dinner takes too long to make, we both get super cranky and “hunger rage” takes over our otherwise pleasant personalities ;)
Last night’s menu:
Grilled chicken sandwiches + Avocado-cilantro-lime Mayonnaise
- 2 chicken breast tenderloins, pounded to 1/4”
- 2 rolls of any variety
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- your favorite herbs and seasonings (garlic powder, cayenne, italian seasoning, etc.)
- your favorite sandwich fixins (lettuce, tomato, cukes, peppers, etc.
For the mayonnaise:
- 1 avocado
- handful of cilantro
- 1/2 lime
- 1/2c mayonnaise
Prep your sandwich fixins however you’d like and set them aside.
To make the mayo, chop up cilantro. Add the peeled and pitted avocado and mayonnaise and mash it all together w/ the back of a fork. A food processor also works well, but I don’t have one. Squeeze 1/2 a lime in and stir up. Add a pinch of salt to taste if necessary (I didn’t).
Preheat your grill, grill pan, George Foreman, skillet, etc. to medium-high. If you’re not using a non-stick surface, make sure it is well-greased to keep the chicken from sticking. Drizzle olive oil on the chicken breasts on both sides, then season liberally with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs you like. (A marinade would also work well if you have about 15 min to let it marinate.)
Grill up the chicken breasts, 2-3 min on each side. Since you pounded them thin, they shouldn’t take long to cook. In the meantime, toast up your rolls on the grill if there’s room, or the toaster oven if you have one.
When the chicken is done, place them on the rolls, then have the guests do the rest! Everyone fixes their own sandwich with whatever they want.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- fingerling (or other small) potatoes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- rosemary and any other dried herbs you like
Put an ungreased baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Meanwhile, scrub potatoes clean and dry them with paper towels. If necessary, slice the larger potatoes in half to make all of them uniform in size. This will help the potatoes to cook evenly.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl, then add enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle salt, pepper, rosemary and stir potatoes to make sure they’re all seasoned.
Take out the HOT baking sheet from the oven, and coat with a little olive oil. Pour the seasoned potatoes onto the sheet and spread into a single layer. Return the baking sheet to the oven and reduce heat to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how many potatoes). Turn potatoes once halfway through cooking. You’ll know they’re done when they are fork tender and the skin is browned and crispy.
Eat immediately! (They’re pretty good w/ the avocado mayo too!)
Serves 2+ depending on quantity of potatoes.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad
- 1 cucumber
- 2 large tomatoes
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- white or brown sugar
- salt and pepper
Quarter and dice up cucumbers into 1” chunks. Quarter and dice tomatoes similarly. Place them in a bowl.
In a jar, add 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pinch of pepper. Then add sugar, starting with 1tsp and add more to taste. Close the lid on the jar and shake, shake, shake!
When combined, drizzle on cucumbers and tomatoes. Stir together until just coated.
I know, I didn’t take pictures this time, but I was REALLY hungry last night and just wanted to get dinner on the table! But it was delicious and not too heavy-feeling.
To make all 3 dishes, it took about 45 minutes. But I could have shaved some time off by prepping the chicken the night before or making the mayo ahead of time.
Oh, and these recipes were inspired by and modified from:
Finally done wrapping my nephew’s birthday gifts: kraft paper with original illustrations (four in total).
BTW, 8yr-old-boy-friendly doodles are difficult. I totally had to google what Pterodactyls look like. I hope I have at least one daughter someday, so that all my years of doodling dresses, rainbows, and ponytails do not go to waste.