Wife Lessons – Year 2 Reflections

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I haven’t done one of these in a while. Probably because I needed more lessons than I cared to share.

And I’m learning that you find wisdom in the most unexpected places. At my hair appointment this last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting an older woman who shares the same wedding day as me. While Eric and I are celebrating 2 years today, she will be celebrating 35 years of marriage. Crazy.

Her advice was to always remember that you will have good years, bad years, and okay years. I couldn’t agree more.

As Eric and I have reached our second year anniversary I can honestly say that year two was harder than year one. Maybe it was that year one was filled with so much newness that we didn’t get a chance to really did into the details? Or maybe it was the year two brought more outside struggles that affected our marriage. Either way I’ve learned some lessons many times the hard way.

I’m still learning how to handle my anxiety and learn to be patient in uncomfortable situations. I think this has the biggest affect on our marriage. And yet, I have the most wonderful man as a husband, in the midst of my chaos. He supports me. He uplifts me. And I can only hope that I do the same.

We’ve struggled through my stress and anxiety. We’ve struggled through finding time for each other. Continuing to learn how to balance life priorities. Through everything this year I can honestly say that I am still happily in love. I cannot wait to get home to see my husband every day.

We have good days. We have bad days. We have okay days. But I know in my heart that this is the man that I am supposed to be standing beside through the rest of my life on this earth. And for that, I am truly thankful. Not everyone can say they have found that person yet. So I try and remind myself how lucky I truly am.

So with that, I’m going to enjoy a glass of wine from our Childress Syrah bottle we laid aside from our last year anniversary. A tradition that we will continue to keep. Last year we wrote letters to each other. And this year we let the time slip away. So this is my letter to you Eric. I will love you always.

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Wife Lessons – 1st Edition

(Photo taken by Elizabeth K Photography)

Instead of life lessons, I bring you wife lessons! It’s essentially the same thing but it pertains to my lessons learned as a married woman. I’ve decided to become more reflective on my marriage and constantly look for ways to improve. And lucky for you guys I’ll share one wife lesson a month!

Wife Lesson 1 – Selflessness

This one is a tough one. I struggle with this one every day. This month I truly feel that God is trying to show me the importance of selflessness. It comes with its perks too! I’ll tell you more about that later.

I learned my first lesson on selfless actions when Eric was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2010. We just bought a house, got engaged, and now we are battling with cancer. That’s a lot to take on in literally a month’s time. Eric, who never smoked, went through surgery and was constrained to a hospital bed for five days. That is five nights of me sleeping in a super uncomfortable hospital chair by his side as much as possible.

After being released from the hospital, he spent the next several weeks stuck in our new house and only able to eat liquid foods. He lost 30 pounds through this whole event. Him being home meant nurse Amanda 24/7 while still trying to perform work tasks for my full-time job. It was exhausting to the point of crying at times, but I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. Because of our hard time we became a stronger couple. He was so grateful for my never-ending dedication to his health and I in turn knew that he would do the same for me.

And yet here we are with the same lesson to learn. Sometimes it’s easier to be selfless when life calls you to do so. It’s harder to stay selfless when you don’t have to. Especially in the self-centered world that we live in. I’m learning to be more mindful of Eric’s daily needs and in turn he is becoming more mindful of mine.

I’m learning to cook dinner without complaints (after work it sucks sometimes because you are so tired). In return, Eric took me out to dinner on Friday in thanks for providing meals every night during the week. I love me some Cantina 1511 margaritas! 🙂 I’m more willing to walk Bailey even when it’s cold and raining because Eric is not feeling well (this is a big deal to me as I hate cold weather almost as much as I hate rain). And in turn Eric tells me how thankful he is for the things I do. He does laundry when I don’t even ask him. We both have become more giving and less demanding.

The other night I made breakfast for dinner. We were supposed to have shrimp but he wasn’t feeling well and shrimp did not sound appetizing. He opted for just a grilled cheese sandwich. Instead I decided to make eggs, veggie sausage, and homemade biscuits from scratch. Dinner turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. He thanked me after dinner, said I love you, and gave me a kiss. That for me is the best reward any girl could ask for. 🙂

So long story short: find ways to put your husbands needs before your own and see the difference it can make in your marriage. I know it has already begun to change mine in just a few weeks.

Not So Vegan No Bake Cookies

So this past Sunday I decided to get back to my roots and make some yumminess in the kitchen! I haven’t really baked in a long time. I love to cook/bake and have not really had time until now to do so. Well… I don’t really have time, but it sounded like more fun than getting labels ready for wedding invites going out this week! But alas I still had to print labels Sunday night.

Anyways… I follow this great blogger who is also in the Charlotte area: Designer Wife. I have to admit she is the one who gave me the inspiration to start blogging myself (I haven’t told her yet, :-)). Anyways, I remembered a while back she posted a recipe on some Vegan No Bake Cookies.

I’m all for vegan but at the time I did not have most of the vegan ingredients in my pantry. I also did not have cocoa powder. So instead I used unsweetened chocolate baking squares. Use what you have! Bethenny Frankel would be so proud of me. Haha

Step 1:Bring sugar, earth balance & soymilk to a rolling boil for 1 1/2 minutes.”  

As I mentioned before I had no earth balance in my house, so butter worked as a substitute. No soymilk, but luckily I had almond milk. Finally, I added sugar and the baking squares. I actually only ended up using 5 of them.

I brought all of these items to a boil and then removed them from heat.

Step 2:Decrease heat and quickly mix in oats, cocoa, peanut butter & vanilla.”

I had the oats and vanilla extract but no regular peanut butter. I find that peanut butter has too many calories and I cannot justify it anymore. I have since then found this wonderful product called PB2. It’s a product made up solely of powdered peanuts and salt. You add water till you reach the level of consistency that you like for your peanut butter. I use it for just about everything. It’s only 45 calories for 2 tbsp of peanut butter versus 200 calories for regular peanut butter. Not to mention, it actually tastes good to be so healthy! I think that makes PB2 a no brainer.  But alas, I had no original PB2 in the house, I just finished it off this past week. So Chocolate PB2 came to my rescue.

Step 3:Mix well and drop large spoon fulls on to wax paper or sheets of foil.”

And there you have it folks! Yummy, gooey, delicious no bake cookies. I have to admit that the hardest part of the cookie making process was waiting for them to cool.

It just makes you want to lick the bowl clean. 🙂 And you might be wondering, “where is that handsome fiance of yours during this cookie making event?”

Sleeping sound as a baby. Haha Isn’t he so cute? 😉 But of course I needed a taste tester, so I gently woke him up and let him know that he had cookies to test!

They passed the taste test! But what chocolate dessert does not? If my co-workers are lucky, they might be seeing these yummy treats soon!

Hope that you enjoy the recipe and make it your own. 🙂

DW’s Vegan No Bake Cookie Recipe:

2 cups unbleached raw sugar
1/2 cup earth balance
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
3 tbs. cocoa

1 tbs. natural peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups oats

* Bring sugar, earth balance & soymilk to a rolling boil for 1 1/2 minutes.

* Decrease heat and quickly mix in oats, cocoa, peanut butter & vanilla.

* Mix well and drop large spoon fulls on to wax paper or sheets of foil.

* Immediately enjoy one while warm & gooey… let the rest set until cool.

* Lick the spoon.

PS: I found the pink to be very appropriate. 🙂

Wedding Planning at the Vineyards

Sorry it has taken me so long to add a post. Life is getting the best of me at the moment. So much to do!

I had originally planned to share a Strawberry Cupcake recipe with you guys but… it didn’t turn out as great as I had hoped. It tasted good, but the icing was a mess and ended up being more of a drizzle consistency instead of whipped. I’ll will attempt them again and hope to share a good recipe with you soon.

Eric and I visited Childress Winery this past weekend. This will be the place of our wedding for those of you who don’t already know. I had forgotten how truly gorgeous the whole place is. I cannot wait to share it with all of my friends and family.

Eric and I visited with the Caterer and Chef regarding the menu for our wedding. We got to sample and let me just tell you, it’s going to be delicious. I cannot find one thing that I don’t love about Childress.

After our meeting Eric and I decided to stick around for the live music for a while. During the summer months Childress has live music under the gazebo from 1 PM to 3 Pm for visitors to enjoy. Eric and I bought a bottle of wine from the bar (I originally wanted a wine slushie, but this bottle of wine turned out amazing). We decided on the Cabernet Franc.

Description: “This medium bodied red starts off jammy, with black cherry and clove notes before settling down and developing some interesting chocolate and coffee aromas. It is filled with young berry flavors and the finish isearthy yet elegant.” Aka AMAZING.

We had a wonderful time. I cannot wait to visit this place years from now after we are married. It will be our own special place. 🙂

More pictures for your personal enjoyment, including some of Eric and his “sexy” poses. 😉

P.S. All of these pictures (minus the ones that I am in) were taken on Manual Setting and no touch ups. I’m pretty freaking proud of myself. Haha

Man Cave will be coming soon….. You WONT want to miss that. It’s a guarantee. 😉