Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Feeling Thankful For: I'm thankful that it finally feels like spring out there. We've had two of the nicest weather days I can remember, and it's amazing how fast they overshadow the winter that lingered well past its welcome this year. I sat outside and graded on my deck this afternoon, and am typing right now with what feels like a summer breeze wavering through my window. Back are the familiar smells of grass clippings and lawn spray and the sounds of faraway cars on the highway and the occasional passerby on the sidewalk. It's amazing how beautiful weather leads to beautiful moods, and how much more content we feel when we can be outside. Sometimes, it makes me wonder why we don't move to a climate that's warm all year long, but I wonder if it feels the same when you never have to say goodbye...
Laughing at: My night with Cruz. It was our regular Tuesday night just the two of us, and I decided a picnic at Seerley Park is how we'd spend it. With a happy meal for Cruz and a chicken wrap for me, we popped a squat on my favorite quilt and had the playground to ourselves. I'm not kidding - less than five minutes into what seemed like the perfect idea, Cruz spilled most of his chocolate milk onto my patchwork quilt. Then, less than five minutes after that, he 'accidentally' stuck his entire hand in a packet of sweet n' sour sauce, after I had depleted our supply of napkins on the chocolate milk. After teaching Cruz the good ol' 'wipe 'em on the grass' technique, I was slightly relieved when Cruz abandoned the rest of his chicken nuggets and went to play on the playground. And just as I started to forget the chocolate milk stain and enjoy my chicken wrap, I saw it. The poop face. Unmistakeable lately. And while I silently cursed myself the entire way home for not packing a quick bag of diapers and wet wipes, I knew that if I had, we probably wouldn't have had any accidents. The one night I'm not prepared...typical.
Eating: We ate outside on our deck for the first time this season. I made one of our favorite burger renditions - the Maple Yum Burger, courtesy of one of my blog friends, Chelsi. I'm sure she wouldn't mind me sharing with you! All you do is mix a pound of raw hamburger meat with 1/4 cup of real maple syrup, some minced onion flakes, and whatever other seasonings you prefer on your burgers. Then, you make them into patties and grill them like you would a hamburger. Sounds weird, but trust me, they're amazing.
The toppings, though, are what make this burger. Top with an apple slice (I use honeycrisp apples and throw them on the grill a minute or so before serving), a slice of smoked cheddar, and a couple slices of crispy bacon. Toast the hamburger buns (of course), and let the toppings get to know each other on the bun before devouring. I'm telling you, these burgers are incredible, and even my husband, who doesn't like to mess with a good thing, will attest to these. We served them last night with some jalapeno cheddar stuffed mushrooms and a couple of mugs of sun tea straight from our driveway.
Watching: Friday, we have plans to cross off our very first summer bucket list item with a little Leo and Luhrman. Is anyone else as excited as I am for this movie? I love the artistry of Baz Luhrman and the scandalous, starry-eyed storyline of The Great Gatsby. If I could take a time machine to any decade in American history, it might just be the roaring twenties. And I'd probably start my trip on the veranda at Jay Gatsby's mansion.
Listening to: I'm listening to this song by Young the Giant an awful lot lately, and it always puts me in a good mood. And makes me want to dance a little.
Looking forward to: Turning the chapter of my first year as a field experience coordinator here at UNI. I'm reliving my college days again, trudging through finals week only this time as a grader instead of a test-taker. Only a couple days left before this transition year is in the books. There have been ups and downs, but I'm mainly feeling blessed.
Loving: Cool washcloths on dirty knees after a night at the park. Books before bed with the windows open. Cruz's new pair of aqua short pajamas. My new phone. Sipping iced tea and thumbing through my new Anthropologie catalog. Garden plans and Mother's Day plans. The sound of Cruz yelling, "Hi, will you play with me?" to every child at the park. Spring blooms, Elephant and Piggie books, and kisses before bed.