Vegetable Sneak

Oliver and Hazel are usually pretty good about eating vegetables. But as a typical mom, I worry about it. And I worry that they don’t get a lot of variety in their veggies (they usually eat carrots, peas, green beans, and corn that come frozen, because Oliver will only eat cold food). Oh, yeah-they also eat English cucumber, because that is awesome.

So, I get sneaky. Since, like most kids, they eat an unreasonable amount of macaroni and cheese, and some other yellow/orange meals (gnocchi, for example), I started surreptitiously adding vegetables.

How do you add cauliflower or butternut squash to mac & cheese, you ask? Well, let me tell you, so you can trick your kids too!

I steam vegetables of similar color. (So I pair yellow squash with cauliflower, and I do butternut squash and carrots.). Then I purée them and scoop them into ice cube trays. I freeze them, and then I add the cubes to dishes when I am cooking. It has the added benefit of cooling hot food down quickly, which is convenient for me since my kids will only eat cold food.

And I get to smirk with glee when they gobble up macaroni and cheese with cauliflower and squash and never notice the difference.

Support (No Bra Required)

It is still anniversary week, and I thought I would post some more about my amazing, sexy husband.  I hope it winds up making sense, as I am functioning on about ten total hours of sleep since Saturday night.  Anyway, it seems especially relevant right now, this week, with everything that has been going on.

One of the aspects of our relationship that I don’t know that we had (or even knew we wanted) when we first got married was to be supportive of each other.  And I mean supportive financially, spiritually, emotionally, and aspirationally.  But I think we would both say that we have worked really hard on being loving and supportive of each other at various times in the last nine years. Continue reading

Getting Married Was My Biggest Mistake-And I’m So Glad I Made It

I got married for all the wrong reasons.  I was 19, and for the first time in my life I was in a relationship with someone who was brilliantly smart, incredibly handsome, strong, and kind.  I was new to the Mormon church, and he was a newly returned missionary when I met him.  I was in awe of how much he knew about the gospel, and how all that knowledge seemed so effortless.  It was just a part of who he was.

I remember the first time I saw Kullervo—it was at church and I thought he must have been the cutest boy ever.  I said that I’d marry him someday.  It took my first semester of college pining after him before I went home for Christmas break and decided to give up and not waste all of college with a crush on a boy who wasn’t interested.  When I came back to school, though, he asked me out.  And I said yes.

The next few months were a whirlwind.  We spent all of our time together that we could.  His family was so nice to me and made me feel like a part of the family.  He was still so smart and so lovely—total eye and brain candy for me.  Of course I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him!

But… what did I know?  I was just barely out of high school!  I was in a new town, in a new church, in a whole new life.  We got married that summer—as soon as the church would let us marry in the temple—and everything was wonderful.  Then the fighting started.  We were young, neither of us had had a lot of relationships, and we had to sort of figure it all out on our own.  We fought about everything—whether to get butter or margarine at the grocery store, how often we should be having sex (it turns out that five times a day just isn’t sustainable no matter how attracted you are to each other!), what we did in our spare time.  I think some people close to us were certain that we wouldn’t still be married after the first year was up.

Over the years, some of those disagreements we have resolved (we buy butter and margarine), and some still plague us (we always fight about driving directions).  More important than what we fight about is how we fight.  Being married to Conner taught me how to resolve a conflict.  Growing up, when I would fight with my sisters, we would be mad at each other until we made each other laugh… and then we would never talk about what we’d fought about.  I don’t know that I’ve ever resolved a fight with my sisters—we’ve just moved on.  So we probably would still fight about the same issues as we did when we were kids.  (Luckily, I rarely fight with my sisters because we live too far for it to matter too much, and they’re both awesome.  I never fight with my brother because he’s not the fighting kind.)

So we survived the first year, and our marriage was strong.  We moved—first to Tallahassee, and then to New York.  We struggled to get pregnant… and then pregnancy surprised us when we were no longer trying (and at a fairly inconvenient time, I might add).   We were sure that having a baby would change everything, but we really just had no idea.  We had been married for five years, and we were so used to being just us.   Having that change was a really difficult adjustment, and one we had to make again when we had Hazel.  And we weathered those storms and came out on top.

We are almost nine years into this, and I couldn’t be happier.  I think we got married when we were unreasonably young, and for all the wrong reasons, and without a clue of how to do this.  But I also think that we persevered and learned a lot as we went.  We work really hard to communicate when things aren’t okay, and when they are, and to support each other in our crazy dreams and wishes and feelings.  And it works for us.

Anniversary Week

Sunday, July 25 will be the ninth anniversary of the day Kullervo and I got married.  In honor of that, for the next few days I plan on posting all kinds of stuff about why I’m still madly in love with him.  So, it’s corny, and it might be so nauseatingly sweet at times that it would be preferable to look at a Pepto-Bismol bottle than my blog, but I don’t care.

Ten Year Baptiversary

Ten years ago today, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This came about after a whole ton of stuff sort of merged together to create conditions that made it an inevitability, including my very own mini-miracles.

In the church, I found Jesus.  I found home. I found my wonderful husband.  I was able to grow as a person through my work with kids, cub scouts, and the women’s organization of the Church.  I was able to develop faith in Jesus Christ, faith that is dependent on nothing but my relationship with Him–not what my family thinks, not what authority figures tell me, not what I see on TV.

I love the me from ten years ago.  I was innocent–perhaps naive.  There was joy around every corner, not the least of which was felt because of all the corners I had turned before that weren’t so joyful.  It was all simple and beautiful and the colors of the rainbow, slightly faded from all the light.  It was like getting baptized washed all the muddy browns away and everything was right.

Things have changed since then.  I’ve seen ugly, both in and out of the Church.  I’ve left the LDS Church, but not my faith in Christ.  I’ve taken the harder road, again as a direct result of prayerful consideration.  It really is so much easier to be a believing, faithful Mormon than it is to leave the Church (although I do enjoy my cup(s) of coffee in the morning).

My rainbow is still there, but it is sharply colored now; it is full of all the things I want in the world, all the things I want for my children, all the things that the world could and should be.  It’s almost hard to look at because of all the possibility and hope that it contains, along with all of the disappointment in how of it doesn’t exist.

But thinking about that–shouldn’t our relationship with God be difficult to look at?  Shouldn’t it challenge us to become better people, to become better spouses, better parents, better children, better neighbors?  I have grown up in the last ten years.  The world can’t be cotton candy forever, although that period of my life was nice and beautiful and I treasure it.  Everything isn’t ice cream and candy now, but it turns out that the rest of the meal is delicious too, or at least interesting to taste and experience.

If I could go back to the me of ten years ago, I think the only thing that I would tell myself would be to live as fully in the moment as possible, and to write it all down.  And that’s what I hope I remember to do in the next ten years–to fully live my life in the present, in the moment, and to enjoy all of the colors and meals that life hands to me.  Because ten years from now, I will be different, but I will love the me that I am now.

Craft, Again

Growing up, I used to write poetry all the time. A lot of it was probably terrible, but it was how I dealt with whatever was going on in my life. A few years ago, I stopped writing for me. I mean, I guess I blogged, but, for me, that’s fundamentally different from writing poetry to capture an emotion or a situation in an abstract way.

I’ve been wanting to get that back, and this was my first foray into writing again, for me. I like how it turned out–I love alliteration, and I think it’s a fun poem.

Cracking open
crumbling pages
crazy heartbeat
cranky pen
Cramming words on
creamy whiteness
croaking headache
crawling zen
Craggy penstrokes
create illusions
cranial heartstrings
...Craft, again.