Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Currently: February/March 2014

On our way home from church one Sunday morning - we had just listened to a fascinating sermon on Joseph - I popped my Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat broadway recording into the car CD player. The kids' eyes lit up when the narrator and Joseph began singing about his dazzling multi-colored coat, and since that Sunday the only music heard inside my car (and sometimes outside my car) has been all about Joseph, Jacob, Pharaoh, dreams, and every color under the sun.

"It was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and gray and purple and white and pink and orange and blue."

I typed out that list of colors from memory. If I didn't already know every single word to this musical (I did), I certainly do now!

We finished off our Texas Roadhouse rolls midway through February - I felt both despair and relief as I popped that last bite of chewy, buttery goodness in my mouth - which means our carb intake has gone down significantly in recent weeks. Yeah! Boo.

Hallie and I continue to enjoy experimenting with (and devouring the bread made in) our bread machine, but I wish I could figure out how to slightly decrease the machine's overall cooking time. Even when the machine is set on "light", the outsides of the loaves are always crispier than I'd like, and other than watching the machine closely and turning it off early (which defeats the purpose of a bread machine that handles everything while I pay little-to-no attention to it) I haven't come up with a solution. Any ideas?

On my own, I started experimenting with quinoa in my baked goods. ("Weird" ingredients in baked goods freak Hallie out, so if I want her to try what I make, she can't help with these experiments.) Quinoa has all kinds of health benefits I want to take advantage of, but because no one in my family really likes the taste when it's served as a side dish or in a salad, I had to try something different. I started with quinoa banana bread and quinoa banana pancakes, and though I still need to fine tune the recipes (I rarely make recipes exactly as they're written anymore), the early reviews were promising. Hip, hip, hooray!

I fell in love with Spark - specially the fruit punch flavor - last summer, and throughout the winter months this beverage slowly replaced my beloved Coke Zero and Sprite Zero. Well, not completely. I still enjoy a few sodas a week, but have definitely cut back thanks to my pink drink.

Last weekend I wore shorts for the first time in months. I hate shorts. I would wear dresses and skirts all summer long if possible, but there are times when such attire just won't work (running after children, sitting down frequently or on the ground, windy days) and I'm forced to pull the dreaded shorts of the closet. I guess it's time to start stocking up on anti-cellulite, skin-firming, skin-smoothing, tanning lotion at Target...

Despite feeling anxious about a big decision we have to make and frustrated with the "powers-that-be" for withholding information that greatly impacts this decision, I am trying to focus on the positive (#100HappyDays) and avoid dwelling on what I can't control.

Yes, February felt like winter. Like REAL winter. Like I-wish-I-hadn't-given-all-of-my-winter-coats-to-my-sister-when-we-moved-to-Texas winter. But March felt more like spring, and now I'm savoring every single comfortably warm day and soothingly cool night.

Most of all, I want a resolution with regard to the above-mentioned decision. I have accepted each of the potential outcomes, but desperately want to know toward which outcome our path leads.

I apologize for the vagueness scattered throughout this post. As soon as I can share more, I will.

On a lighter note, I'd like a simple console table to sit behind my couch, yellow - to match my newly painted front door - accessories for my living room, and to somehow find both the time and money to update our master bathroom, replace the carpet in our bedrooms, and paint our kitchen cabinets. For someone who hates projects so much, I sure have a lengthy list of them…

Yet again, I need a new patio umbrella. Though my current umbrella was closed and tied up and the pole was screwed into the heavier-than-Hallie base under the table, it couldn't hold its own against Texas' spring winds. No really, the wind untied the umbrella, blew it open, and ripped it off its frame, and then the wind unscrewed the pole from the base and blew it up through the table. Wind - 3, Erin/patio umbrella - 0.

I honestly don't understand why I keep patronizing the new Starbucks in town. Yes, the location is perfect and the atmosphere "feels right" for writing. But with each passing week, the poor service and mediocre coffee (neither of which have improved since the cafe opened a few months ago) push me one step closer to packing up and heading out. If only I could find a conveniently located, reasonably priced, correctly heated and cooled (the temperature in my McOffice is so low/cold that my fingers go numb), mom-and-pop coffee shop that served full cups of hot coffee, along with nonfat iced mochas so that I can occasionally treat myself. Any suggestions?

This spring's new television shows (I already love Crisis and Believe), the end of the NCAA basketball season (on Wisconsin), and the beginning of baseball season (little league and MLB). And right now, I'm off to enjoy a few chapters of my book and a good nights sleep!

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