Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to NOT Stand by Your Man

my view Sunday from the 2nd row
I had the distinct pleasure of sitting in a service on Sunday morning and listening to my husband preach.
I haven't done that in years.
Four to be exact.

You might be interested to know that when we were dating & things got serious I told him I thought we should break it off soon. I explained I was completely and utterly uninterested in marrying a pastor.
I clarified that I specifically did not want to sit in any front row and be his personal cheerleader.

That was a mold I knew I could never and would never fit.

He asked me to "pray about it" and we were married within a year.
That was 21 years ago.

Due to recent shift he is no longer in traditional ministry and has returned to school. On occasion, however, he is still asked to do pulpit fills. That is how I found myself, last Sunday morning, sitting in the second-to-front row of a strange church, smiling as my husband delivered an inspirational message.

Never say never. Just saying.

Friday, July 12, 2013

10 Ways to Stay Married 20 years

Does "TRUE LOVE" exist? 
Is there really only ONE person in the universe for each of us?
I don't know.

Yesterday was my 21st wedding anniversary and I am so grateful that hubs and I are still very much in love after all these years. 

And I want my children (especially our oldest who is about to leave the nest) to know that our happiness isn't magical - it's not because the universe sprinkled fairy dust and we found each other - we have put some effort into this marriage. 

And that work has gotten us to where we are today. So here are 10 basic things we regularly practice in our marriage. It has gotten us 21 years of happy marriage! 

Leave His Mom Out of It - Whether you love her or hate her, MIL bashing will not make Christmas any more festive or family reunions any more tolerable. I've been blessed with a great MIL. As newlyweds, my hubs was navigating weaning one woman out (mom) and another in (me). For even the most skilled individual this can be tricky. Remember two things about MIL: a.) you're not in competition with her and b.) you both want the very best for the same guy.

Play Nice - We have never fought dirty. No name calling. No hitting. No passive-aggressive game playing. We get mad, yes! We disagree, often! But through it all we fight fair. Like grown-ups, not like spoiled children. It's amazing how quickly fuses can be extinguished with a little maturity.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Restaurant Overload

What happens when you get small town folk like us out in the big city?
And we're hungry?

Restaurant overload, that's what! If I lived in civilization I'd be fat. Or fatter.

We live 60 miles from suburbia.
60 miles from Starbucks.
60 miles from a mall.
60 miles from traffic jams.
Most days I like that. - not gunna lie!
Some days I crave art and food and anonymity.
You see, in a small town twenty people will notice your car in the happy meal drive thru and will tell you as much the next time they see you.
I'm so sick of happy meals.

Yet budgeting and time constraints often keep us close to home. However this week we had the pleasure of meeting family in civilization.

Ah! Sweet relief.
It was hard - very hard - to choose where we should go but we in the end Chick-fil-a won us over for lunch. SMALL KNOWN FACT: Chick-fil-a was my first job. It was also the first job from which I was fired. (What?! I couldn't help it! Errol Manning was too cute to NOT give FREE fries to!)

We took pictures as if we were walking into a vacation! ha! it sorta was!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Menu Monday

The summer challenge for a family our size is keeping everyone fed and satisfied. It's a near impossibility. Seriously! I hide food. I plan meals. Leave sticky notes on leftovers in the fridge begging to be eaten. Cook. It is a never ending cycle - but I'm not complaining. I have extra time in the summer for hunting down or trying new recipes and once, maybe twice a week, we will cook on the grill! Love it! Love it all!

If you need new recipe ideas feel free to copy these. If you hate planning what's for dinner - take my menu. If you have a recipe you want me to try ... let me know! I'll give it a shot!

No matter what, I hope you gather your family around the table, share a meal, share a story, be together. It's worth the work!

Sunday - Brunch: Breakfast Enchiladas, Cinnamon Bread & Sausage Links
               Lunch/Dinner: BLT Chicken Salad & macaroni and cheese

Monday - Tailgate: Sub Sandwiches, Chips, Carrot Chips, Dip and Brownies

Tuesday - Taco Salad (taco meat combined with lettuce, cheese, tomato, Doritos & French -or my kids prefer Ranch- dressing)

Wednesday - Creamy Chicken in the Crockpot & white rice, green beans & rolls

Thursday - Cook out! Ribeyes, potatoes & carrots on the grill with corn on the cob, Peanut Butter Cup Rice KrispieTreats for dessert

Friday - Campbell's Chicken Enchiladas with tortilla chips, lettuce and tomato

Saturday - Chicken Patty Sandwiches (add ham & swiss cheese and call it a Cordon Blue - who's fancy now?) with french fries

By the way:
Someone should just intravenously hook my teenage boys up to peanut butter and milk because I can't seem to keep enough of it at home.

Are your kids eating you out of house and home? What item can't you keep stocked?

p.s. for more awesome recipes and menu ideas visit She has a link up every Monday!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Progress

I never thought my first book would be someone else's story. But then again, I never imagined someone would call me on the phone and commission my services either.

I believe in story. In fact, I believe every story can be a good story ... it just depends on the storyteller.

That's why I am nervous. Someone is entrusting me with their story. Trusting that I will tell it, and enrapture you, the reader, with it.

I will do my best.
I am honored to be working on this project with an amazing fella.
He has named it (who is he? I'm not ready to say just yet) Wads 1.

This photo is the origin and inspiration for my part in Wads 1.

After a meeting this week and one scheduled for next Wednesday I am happy, oh so very happy, to report that the project is moving along.

Ladies and gentlemen ... Wads 1

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

(My name is Stephanie and writing is what I love. I write weekly pro bono for our town paper (my little kids think I'm famous) and I love this blog. It's title To Write a Better Story is the anthem for my life. My life, the characters, the setting, conflict is all here and real. And while much of it I can't change I have learned that me, the main character, can set out to make it a better story. Some days are terrible. Some days are mundane. Some are even great. But I want to live a page-turner. I want my life story - with all it's ups and downs - to be a great read. A great life. Sharing my writing has always been a dream of mine. Wads1 fell into my lap about six months or so ago. It is exactly the push I needed to believe I am a writer and I have a story to contribute to the world. I am honored. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!)

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