Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Speaking of Red (and pink). . .


[MFD's very own Red Shift]

my favorite is the guy fourth from the left

Barbeque Pork Pasta

Whenever it gets warm. . . I start getting hungry for this. . . totally springtime.

1 box penne or rotini, cooked (preferably whole grain)
2 cups barbecued, shredded pork
2 carrots, grated
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Ro-Tel
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons oil
Saute onion, pepper and garlic in oil.  Add pork, seasonings, and beef broth.  Simmer.  Add the remaining ingredients and serve.

(well, they aren't red.  oh well.  the cupcake liners are)
Symphony Brownies
(How have I missed these all of my life?!)

Apparantly Paula Deen is to be credited with this fabulous idea:

2 9 x 13 brownie mixes, mixed according to package directions
3 Symphony Bars with Toffee and Almonds
Pour half of brownie batter in  greased 9 x 13 pan. Place Symphony bars across the batter.  Pour remaining batter over the chocolate bars and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Cool or chill before cutting.

There is one left, sitting on top of the refrigerator.

Hopefully it stays there until Daniel gets home tomorrow.

[from Daniel and Cambria]
I love them.
(the roses, too.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

love isn't always red tissue

I remember our first Valentine's Day.

We were tentatively doing the long distance dating dance across two thousand miles and we aren't poster children for great communication.

My mom elevates the great pink and red holiday to quite an occasion. . . little tissue wrapped gifts at each place during breakfast and of course everyone must wear the appropriate colors.

I'm not really sure Daniel even knew the significance of February 14.

That first year together (and I use that term very loosely) I was away from home, staying for a week as a live-in nanny with a military family that were (and still are) great friends of mine.

I still remember where I was standing in their house when their phone rang.

"It's for you." Janie hisses at me, with a crazy smile on her face. . . "I totally think it's Daniel!"

I  stand in stocking feet on the hardwood floor in their dining room, looking out the window at the white fields and brittle branches of winter, then down at the phone in my hand.

"Hello, it's Hayley," I say.

Hey. . .  {deep voice} hi. . . yep, it's him.

"Hey! What's going on? Are you at work or at school?"  {This was early enough in our relationship that I had no clue what his schedule was, much less whether or not he loved me.}

So it seems that I have botched Valentine's Day pretty bad. . . he continues and my heart flips. (Hello, heart, he is acknowledging the Great Holiday Of Love.)

. . .and it must be kind of a big deal to you, so I feel really bad that I just totally missed it and I just wanted to call you and tell you that you are really special to me.  I can't talk long cuz I'm at work but I just wanted you to know that.

I try to calmly wrap up our conversation without saying anything too stupid and when we disconnect Janie and I shriek with endless speculation the rest of the day.  I think he loves me.  Do you think so? What are your wedding colors again?

I found out later that my future mother-in-law had just happened to call my mom that day and Mom mentioned what the morning had entailed, probably mentioning the cherries on top of the french toast and the flowers Dad had just sent.  It didn't take my mother in law long to phone her son at the fire department and clue him in to the cultural differences between our two families.

But that was almost ten years ago and we've enjoyed many fun dates and flowers and chocolates since that awkward phonecall.

Love is so not about the flowers this year.

Right now I battle to know what love means to my husband.

I want to love him the way he needs to be loved.

I don't always know what that looks like.

When your world turns upside down, you change.  Your whole outlook changes.  You aren't the same person anymore.

In a marriage that's kind of scary.

Who is she, he wonders and who is he, she cries.

Initially most couples cling so tightly to each other.  They desperately grasp one thing that they know for certain. . . each other.  That frantic clinging lasts for awhile, and in some couples just stays.

Yay for them.

But for us  (just being painfully honest, here) . . . the differences in the way we grieve, in the way we process, in the way we view each other and God. . . gave way to confusion and distance. . . pushing each other away so that we wouldn't hurt any more than we were already hurting.




Physical ache.

Receiving our son's autopsy report.

Oh we aren't madly in love.

Drowning out the pain in work.

Crying in the bathroom at events.



Missing each other.

Oh how not sweet our marriage is!

God intervened in our marriage in a big way by sending us away, far away and pouring out His love on us in such a safe environment.  We realized there, that we needed each other still. . . that neither of us could make it better. But we could hang on and not let go.

I think that's where we are now. . .

We're hanging on and not letting go.

I think of Daniel's tentative phonecall all those years ago. . .

. . . reaching out. . .

. . .showing that little glimmer of kindness and love. . .

. . . and my woman's heart, ever optimistic in matters of love, opens wide to those tentative steps.

What can my tentative step be?

Being a safe place for my man. . .

For once, being strong for him.

Maybe realizing it's not always about me.

What if it's just shutting my mouth?

Maybe telling him that even when life is cold and hard and cruel there's still no one I'd rather walk with than him.

That's a little different than chocolate and hot dates and red tissue wrapped gifts; but it's what love looks like this year.

I'm hanging on, Daniel. . . so glad God gave you to me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

white light love x 4

And the week of white lights continues. 

White lights on top of peanut M & M's = difficulty in grabbing any time you wish.

Being totally snowed in is a great reason to organize my perpetually messy pantry closet / cupboard.  Of course I can't resist a makeover.  What fun would order be if it always looked the same?!

It's not done yet. . . I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

white light love x 3

Subtitle: Blizzard 2011

These are white lights on our back porch. . .

And then , to the left, {follow the white extension cord} you will NOT see my artificial Christmas  winter tree which, buried beneath the snow, ALSO sports white lights. 

I tried for awhile to free the tree and set it upright. 
Then I gave up.
We valiantly made a dent in what I thought was our sidewalk. . . nope, just the yard. 

Finally aligning ourselves with the neighbor's snowblower path, we figured out where our sidewalk was. 

I shoveled and shoveled.

You could shovel all day and maybe clear a couple feet. 

The neighbor kindly had mercy on me and finished the walks for me. 

The kids love this stuff.  They worry constantly that they will run out of snow to shovel and I overheard them today chatting about how now they finally have enough. . . no need to hog it, plenty for everyone!

Plenty like 16.8 inches! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

white light love x 2

I bought these white lights on white string to copy an Ikea white light wire wreath, which I planned to hang on our pseudo-headboard.  But I haven't gotten that far, and I actually like it the way it is. 

I could keep up these white light posts for a verrrrry long time!