Friday, July 22, 2011

The Future I Hope For

Note: I realize that I recently wrote a post entitled "Thinner Thursday...(or not)".  In that post I talked about a pregnancy woe about feeling negative about my body.  In this post, I will be talking about another pregnancy woe.  Please do not get me wrong, I am very excited to have this baby, I believe that God has blessed Dave and I with him/her.  Despite the excitement, however, there has been some anxiety and I will be talking about more of that in this post.  I already love our child though, and would not give him/her up for anything.

Lately I've been feeling pretty confused.  You see, I had big plans for my life.  Plans that involved having children and having a family, but a little later on.  As much as I would talk about how much I wanted to have a baby, I wanted to get my Masters degree and get into a career before moving onto the family step.  I wanted to be someone first.

I worked hard in University so I could get good grades so that I could (hopefully) get into good post-graduate programs.  I wanted to be employable, I wanted to be wanted, I wanted to be a changemaker, and to be honest - I wanted to be written about in someone's history book.  And I had worked hard in school and with volunteer opportunities to make sure that would happen.

Now, I am pregnant, live in a tiny little basement apartment with a husband who loves his job and has lots of lateral movement opportunities, but for the time being, doesn't make a lot of money.  And I am unemployed.  I feel like a big failure.

And I feel like I won't ever succeed at my dreams of being someone (it doesn't help that I don't really know what I truly am passionate about, or what field I want to be in for the rest of my life).  I know that being a mother is a great calling, and again, I feel I am so blessed to have the opportunity to have this child (I know there are many women who can only dream of having this opportunity), but part of me feels like this is it for me.  I am a 22 year old who feels like life has come to an end (employment wise at least).

I know that I can still get a job despite being a mother, and I could still do something with my life, I just don't know if I could be the mother I want to be, and the employee I would want to be at the same time.

So here's to trusting that the big man upstairs knows what he is doing with me.  I have mentioned it before but this passage has been of great comfort to me recently, and I turn to it again to give me hope that God hasn't called me to be a nobody.

I know what I'm doing.  I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When Life Gave Me Lemons....I Got Pregnant!

How far along?: 14 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss:
 At my doctor weigh-in last Wednesday (12 weeks, 6 days) I was down 10 lb total from before pregnancy.  I am back to wedding weight but definitely don't feel like it!

How big is baby:
 Sammy Nugget is the size of a lemon!  (S)He is now starting to grow hair!  I hope that when (s)he is born (s)he has a full head of hair!  If it is a boy, I hope he has blonde hair, but I want my girls to be dark-haired like me (but hopefully have their daddy's blue eyes).

Maternity clothes?:
 Still none.  Although I am thinking about going to buy some as they are on sale this week!  I think walking into the store might make it too real though.

Stretch Marks:
 Still none!

 The weirdest thing I find about sleep right now is the fact that I don't move naturally in my sleep like I used to.  It is the reason I keep waking up.  My arm or leg or fingers or toes or shoulders wake me up because they are fast asleep from not having moved in hours.  Then I have to deal with the pain and shift my body around until they aren't being disturbed.  

Best moment this week: I had two very productive days this week!  Hoorah!

Movement: Nope.

Food cravings: Still none.  I do find I am craving pancakes sometimes, but that might just be because I am trying to think of something to have for breakfast.

Food aversions: Still cooking meat, and eating a little bit.  I would much rather eat veggies or fruit than meat.

I have to wait another 26 weeks for that!

Labor signs: 

Belly Button in or out? Still Innie.

What I miss: Being able to lose weight.

What I am looking forward to:
 Showing, and our next dr. appointment and ultrasound.  And (off topic) babysitting my nephew this weekend!

Weekly wisdom: More people understand your situation than you think.

None that I can think of this week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thinner Thursday (or not)

For me, one of the hardest parts about being pregnant has been a lack of self-esteem.  You see, this is the time of year that everyone is losing weight.  And if it were a typical year for me, I would probably be losing weight right about now too.

And because I am not losing weight, and because I am feeling bloated, and frumpy, and just 'large' in general, I am having a really hard time seeing myself as physically attractive, despite a 10 lb weight loss since becoming pregnant (brought about solely by morning sickness!).

Not only am I discouraged that I can't be losing weight right now, I also have this nagging feeling that I have no hope of losing weight again.  I feel like I can never have the body I truly want to have, let alone regain the one I had pre-pregnancy.

And I know that I can still be active and workout but I find myself lacking the motivation to do so when I know that results won't be as easy to see as they used to be.

I also know that I should be eating healthy foods right now but I am not even sure what that should look like during pregnancy.  To add to that, I have always aired on the side of pickiness with my food, and especially now - being pregnant - I find myself just thankful that I feel like eating anything (healthy, or not).

To add to all of this, I am most definitely a plan/goal person.  I want to know that by eating this, and working out by doing that, I will see this result.  I need my goals to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely), and I am really not sure how I could measure healthy goals at this point in time in my life/pregnancy.

As a piece of good news though, my sweet tooth and my deep fried tooth both seemed to have gone into hiding since the beginning of this pregnancy.  I am hoping that they don't rear their ugly heads later on!

What did you do to stay healthy during your pregnancy?  Do you have any advice for a newbie pregnant woman like myself?  How can I still try to feel good about myself as I lose my once-precious barely-there-anyways waistline?

This post is linked up to Thinner Thursday over at Mommy Miracles.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet our little Peach

It's been a long time, friends.  And really, my excuses are limited as mostly I have been sitting around home doing a whole lot of nothing (aside from looking for jobs, cleaning, cooking, and laundry).  But I was only really able to do those things sometimes anyways.  But mentally and physically I have been preparing.  And so today, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to someone.

Me, Husingband, and our little peach (13 weeks along)
You see, the little 2-person Pike family is about to grow into the still-little 3-person Pike family.  And we are ecstatic!  Our little peach is still very young (only 13.5 weeks old!), but (s)he is very much a part of our family already.  Lovingly referred to as Sammy Nuggett (by me), Jamal (by Dave), and Bob the Blob (sporadically), there is nary a conversation that goes by that doesn't include him/her in some manner.

We found out about Sammy Nugget the day after mothers day.  It was a big surprise as we had not been planning on having a little one for a number of years, and the first thing I did when I found out was worry.  You see we had just left our jobs in Moncton and moved to Miramichi, a town with a sad economic climate, and it has been 2.5 months and I still have not found a job.  Having no job will mean not having maternity leave which will make things financially very tough on us.  I am going to continue to look for a job though and Dave and I are just trusting that God knows what he is doing, and believing that He will provide.

"I know what I'm doing.  I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for" (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

Financially, we are in the final stages of paying off of our debt (after being set off track slightly because of a large car repair bill).  But we were blessed to have the money in savings to be able to pay that bill (we wouldn't have been able to mere months ago), and despite that setback we should be debt-free by the end of this month (see my post Money$ for more information on our financial plan).  This will allow us to save as much as possible so we can have a good chunk of savings for when the little one comes next January (for which I am sure we will be very thankful).

I have been fairly sick so far in the pregnancy, and that has halted almost all of my food adventures.  The illness seems to be waning slightly, and so I hope (and I am sure Dave does as well) that I will be able to return to cooking and baking a lot, so look for an update on The Rookie Wife Eats soon!

I am also looking for ways to save money around the house (I have started couponing), as well as trying DIY projects, and creating a healthier environment for us and the baby.  So, I should be updating the Rookie Wife at Home sometime soon as well with some of these things!

Before I sign off, I have 'stolen' the format my sister (over at Mommy Miracles) used when she was pregnant as an update to the blogging world.  So, I have attached this week at the bottom.  Sorry it makes this post so long! 

13 weeks - La pêche
Don't worry, we won't throw Sammy Nugget around in real life!

How far along?: 13 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss:
 At my doctor weigh-in last Wednesday (12 weeks, 6 days) I was down 10 lb total from before pregnancy.  I am back to wedding weight but definitely don't feel like it!

How big is baby:
 Sammy Nugget is the size of a peach!  (S)He doubles in size every week!  I am impressed (and I am glad that I can't double in size every week!

Maternity clothes?:
 One day, I wore a pair of maternity jeans that Laura gave me.  They made my life so much better, I was feeling mucho bloated that day.  But since I am down weight, I haven't needed too much in the jean department (although I have been shying away from my skinny, low rise, uber tight American Eagle jeans).  I do find I am in need of some less tight/short tank tops.  They seem to be rising up a lot more!

Stretch Marks:
 Not yet, thank goodness.

 Some nights, I have a pretty good night sleep.  I find myself waking up briefly 5-6 times in the night but that might be due to warmth more than anything else.  I still have to get up and pee in the middle of the night though.  I guess this is preparing me for not sleeping through the night come January!

Best moment this week: Heard Sammy Nugget's hearbeat!  160 bpm! It was so fast!

Movement: Nope, although I could see a heartbeat through my stomach this week and thought it might be baby's.  Apparently it is mine.  (Has anyone else ever seen their heart beating through their stomach?  It is the weirdest thing).

Food cravings: None really.  My cravings come and go so fast.  I want it one minute, and then I eat some of it, and it is never as good as I think it is going to be and then I don't want it anymore!

Food aversions: I haven't had aversions to eating anything, but I have had aversions to cooking all meat.  I am going to try to make taco's tonight for supper, it might be interesting.

I have no sweet clue!  I kind of want a boy so that my names flow with birth order, but I think Dave wants a girl.  We would be overjoyed with either though!

Labor signs: 
No, thank goodness!

Belly Button in or out? Innie

What I miss: Knowing that my stomach fat was actually stomach fat.  Now I can't tell whether it is part fat/part baby or what.

What I am looking forward to:
 Showing!  I just want to show!  Despite having seen Sammy Nugget on the ultrasound and hearing his/her heartbeat I still don't believe this is real!  I think showing will help with that.

Weekly wisdom: Staying active really does make you feel better!

I have hit second trimester.  For sure, I have passed 13 weeks 3 days or whatever the real 2nd trimester mark is.  So that is exciting!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sad Pandas, Moving, Food, Running, and more Blogging!

Over this past weekend, I was honored with a remarkable title by the world blogging federation.  The nomination was a surprise, but I should have seen it coming, considering my blogging successes in the past.

The award?  Worst Blogger of All Time.

Okay, so that is a lie, but if there we a World Blogging Federation, and if there was an award titled "Worst Blogger of All Time", I sure hope you would all nominate me for it, because you and I both know that I deserve it.

And let me take a moment to divulge my slew of typical excuses: got busy, lost internet after April 1st (and actually still don't have it!), moved to a different city, etc.

But with all these changes has come something that I haven't really been accustomed to over the past 22 years of my life (except maybe in the first ten which I don't happen to remember all that clearly) - free time.

As I mentioned, my husband and I just went through a move.  Dave started a new job in Miramichi on April 4, 2011 but I continued my job in Moncton up until April 29th, so I just made the move last Friday.  But now that I have moved, I no longer have a job (anyone in Miramichi hiring?!), and I no longer have school, and despite a few commitments that have me travelling back and forth between the two cities for the next few weeks, I am pretty much finishing all of my volunteer responsibilities as well.

Not my photo - but this is the welcome to Miramichi sign!

And because of all this free time, I have made some goals for myself in Miramichi, and I would appreciate it if you all would help keep me accountable to these goals.

They are as follows:

1) Start Running

Again, not my photo.  I'll take a picture of my shoes when I get my own - promise!  But I won't be running through a waterfall or anything, I also promise you that - I guarantee it would not look good like this ad!

I have tried this before, but I am not the greatest runner in all of history.  My issues stem from the following things:
a) I have an extremely wide foot ('D' width), coupled with a very high instep, and a high arch.  This equals a disaster for trying to find shoes that have fit me.  I have known to wear shoes that are a 9.5 when I am really measured at a 7 because they are the only ones that will fit my foot width. This problem has caused my next running issue:
b) shin splints.  I get them a lot, and boy are they painful, and they definitely do not encourage me to keep running!
c)I am out of shape, and running is hard work!  I don't know if you have ever tried it, or maybe you are someone like my husband who could stop running for 18,000 years and pick it up the next day like nothing ever happened.  This is most definitely not me - if I can run for 1 minute straight when I start again, I will be lucky.

But I want to get in shape, I need to get in shape.  I want to feel good about myself, and I am sick of being outdone athletically by my husband - I'd much rather whip his butt in a race than vis versa.

So, I am buying a new pair of Asics Nimbus 12's (despite the lack of prettyness - but my husingband the shoe expert convinced me).  And as soon as I can get those, I am getting back into it.  I promise.  (Keep me to it, puhlease!).

I wanna be fit, y'all.

2) Get Out of Debt

I've talked about this before.   But we are so close, friends.  Pretty much we have one credit card left - I can't wait!!!

My goal - which I think is very reachable, is to be out of debt, by our one year anniversary (August 21, 2011).  I'll also keep you updated on that.

3) Eat at Home

I am sick of fast food.  And I literally mean that.  Thinking about fast food kind of makes me want to throw up (sorry for that mental image).  So I am going to be trying to make lots more at home - bread, condiments, tomato sauces, dips, etc.  I will be updating you on this on my brand new blog titled: The Rookie Wife Eats.  The Blog will cover food I have tried to make, whether it is successful or not.  It may also cover food I eat elsewhere if I really love it.  Please follow my blog and check it out!  Look for the first post to be posted tomorrow - Friday, May 6th!

This cooking at home plan has a lot to do with trying to be more healthy, I like to know what is in my food, and I tend to feel better about it when I am cooking it myself.

(I also love cooking!)

4) Get to know Miramichi

I was challenged last week (thanks Tara!) to make a blog about my time in Miramichi.  I was asked to find the following things about the Chi:

a) Where can you buy used books?
b) Where can you buy good coffee/tea?
c) Where can you walk/drive to when you need to get away from your own place?
d) Who has the best take-out?
e) What are the locals crazy about?

So I am going to try to figure these things out, and then I am going to blog about them and all sorts of other things I have found in Miramichi.  Check out my The Rookie Wife in Smallville blog - follow, and leave some love!  And if you are from Miramichi give me some good leads of things in the area to check out!   I will be posting my first blogpost on that site tomorrow (Friday, May 6th) as well so keep your eye out for it.

I have some other goals as well, but these are my primary ones, so please help keep me accountable and check out my two new blogs!!! The Rookie Wife Eats, and The Rookie Wife in Smallville!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tired of the Status Quo

Again, I haven't blogged in the while.  I am the worst at continual blogging.  I am trying to get better, but since my last post, I have been really busy with school and work, and then our computer went into the shop to get fixed and was there for about a week and a half and then Dave and I ended up taking a quick trip to Newfoundland last week.

But, here I am - blogging again.  This time, it is not about money - although I plan to write another post about money very soon.  Although I am bad at replying to people's comments please know that I appreciated all the responses I got.  I love learning about other people who are going through the same things I am going through!

Today though, this blog post is about wanting something else.

I know, I shouldn't want things other than what I have.

Although I feel like we are always scraping for money, and we don't have enough - really, we are very blessed (despite the numerous setbacks that have taken place in the last couple of weeks monetarily - but I will talk about those in another blog post).  We are making enough money to survive and even save and pay down some debt.  And we have a roof over our heads, a car that works (most of the time), and family that love us.

We are lucky.

But I am kind of tired of my life.  I know that sounds weird and probably pretty bad, but it is just how I am feeling lately.

For those who don't know me well.  I am kind of a control freak, and I am very competitive.  I like to win, and I like to be in control of winning.  And that goes for everything.  I want to be the very best at what I do, everything I do.  And when someone beats me, I get...well...dejected.  When I don't 'win', I feel like I have let others down.

And lately, I feel like I haven't been winning at very much.  Everyone is in competition for everything and I haven't come out the winner in many areas.  And so I have this desire to adopt a lifestyle where I am not in competition.  I want to stay at home.  I want to cook, clean, bake, do laundry, take care of our finances, and be the best wife I can possibly be.

My ideal life
Because in the scheme of things, my husband only has one wife.  And so my only competition is my own ideals, and I know I can surpass my ideals if I try hard enough.

I am tired of getting home at 6:30 and being too tired and hungry to make anything substantial for supper.  I am tired of having to do dishes after that, and then looking at my disastrous house wishing I had time to really clean everything.  I am tired of leaving laundry to the last minute because of how tedious our washing machine is, and not having the time to sit down and be available to fill it up, wash it, drain it, fill it up, do a rinse, drain it, move the clothes to the spinner, etc.

I am tired of buying store-made cookies and bread, when I could just as easily make them myself.  And I enjoy making them myself.  I love baking and cooking and being able to make something from nothing.  But I am a morning person, and so by the time I get home at 6:30 (or later), I am wiped and don't want to slave over a stove for the next hour only to have to clean my mess up and then go to bed.

I want to stay at home.  I want to find time for daily physical activity again.  I want to be able to volunteer.  I want to be the best at at least one area in my life.

Don't get me wrong - I actually have a great job.  I get to interact with people, and do work, I like my coworkers, and I believe in the institution I work for.  I also like my schoolwork, I am taking a really neat class on Performance Studies.  I enjoy the job of being President of the Student Association, especially the different committees I get to sit on because of that role.  But it's a lot on my plate.  Not only do I have these to contend with, but I have other academic and volunteer roles that I fulfill, and to be honest - I am just tired of it all.

I just want to stop.

I want to stop all the craziness and busyness and be great at one area of my life - being a wife.  I want my husband to come home to a hot meal every night - or at least be able to come home to a cleaner house.  I have no crazy expectations that everything would be perfect - but maybe this one area would improve.

Sadly, for now - I need to keep working and volunteering and schooling.  But I hope that someday, even just for a little bit, I will get to be a wife first and foremost.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I had a request this morning to write a blog about our budgeting process.

I have been wanting to write a blog about this for a while, because this is a pretty major part of my life right now, and is something that Dave and I are really focusing on.  That being said, we haven't really been doing this very long, and so I am worried that if I write this and then majorly screw up, you will all make fun of me.  But I think it is an important topic, so I am going to talk about it anyways.

There are three major components to our money situation, they are:
1) Banks
2) Jars
3) Debt Repayment

This post will revolve around these.  If you are interested in only one area, you can just check out that section - because I know this will be long!


Individually, Dave and I have both had individual accounts with the Bank of Montreal for the majority of our lives.  I first got mine before we took our trip across Canada as a family, which was the summer between grade 4 and 5 for me.  So, I have had mine for a long time.  I am not exactly sure when Dave had gotten his, but he has also had his for a long time.

And individually we had never reached our cap on transaction limits, and being students, we never had to pay fees to have our accounts, so we had had pretty positive relationship with them.

When we got married, we chose to each keep our own individual chequing and savings account, and get a joint chequing and savings account.  We functioned primarily from the joint chequing account.

Which worked great until October or November of last year when we got charged about $40 because we had used too many transactions.  So, of course - we were upset and Dave called BMO, and asked them to take the fee away, or reduce it or whatever, and they refused to.  And then Dave said that we would take our business elsewhere - and they told him to go ahead and do that.

Needless to say, we were not impressed, so started looking for somewhere to move our money where we wouldn't have to pay fees and would get more than a 0.00003 (or something like that) interest rate.

Well, soon after we discovered ING.  I have always enjoyed their commercials, and found out that my sister and brother-in-law had an ING account and so asked them about it, and my brother-in-law told me how much he liked it.  We were pretty cash poor at the time, and didn't have the money to open an account and make it worthwhile (if you put $100 in, they will give you $25 extra! yippee!), so we didn't end up opening one until last month. 

I am really enjoying ING so far.  There are no brick and mortar banks in the area (they have 'cafes' in some larger cities), but there is 24/7 phone access, and you can chat with them online or email them.  We set up our savings account, and have since opened a chequing account.  We are waiting on our bank cards, but are pretty excited to get them soon.  You can use the bank cards for free at any ATM within their network, which is actually quite a few!

This has been a major switch for us.  ING has no fees, and although our savings doesn't have very much interest, it is 1.5% which is a lot more than at BMO.  Once we open other accounts with them, we will be earning a lot more interest as well.


We use jars to budget our money.  You see, we tried to just use our debit cards and track that way.  But it is a lot easier to pull your wallet out and swipe than drive home, grab the money from the jar, and go back out.  You only do it if you really need it.  That helps.  It also helps us save money.

We have a jar for every single thing in our budget.  Now, some are grouped.  Our jars are as follows:
  • Fuel
  • Auto Maintenance
  • Entertainment
  • Gifts
  • House & Personal
  • Food & Dining
  • Pharmacy
  • Rent
  • Health Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Sponsor Child
  • Weight Watchers
  • YMCA
  • Phone
  • Credit Card Payment
  • Tuition Payment
  • Savings (for our emergency fund)
Literally when we get paid, we then take most of the money out of our account in bills and coin and distribute it in the appropriate jars.  Although many people only use this system for their variable accounts, I find using it for all of our accounts makes it so that we never take money that should be used for something else (or if we do it makes us feel bad and we record it).  But it means that almost all of my bedroom shelves are filled with jars.  If we have automatic withdrawal on something we put the money in the appropriate account the day before.  
Don't worry - I have never had a line like this at the bank - but mostly I send Dave anyways.

You need to understand that this system means a lot of trips to the bank, but that I hear that it works really well, and I hope it continues to work for us.

I am scared to death of debt.  I was reading an article today that said that the average Canadian family carries $100,000 of debt.  I feel like debt is very limiting to people.  It makes us slaves to our creditors.  I believe that God frequently addresses the issues with debt in the Bible, and I honestly think that he speaks out against it.  And even if you don't believe in God, I believe that as long as we are in debt, we are working to get ourselves out of it, which really means we aren't working by our own freewill.  So, if you want to be free - don't be in debt.  

I understand that living without debt is hard in today's society.  But I believe it has to happen.

I also understand that Dave and I are lucky - neither of us have student loan debt.  So the debt that we carry right now is not very high.  But it is crucial to me that we pay it off.

I bought Dave Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book for his birthday.  He hasn't read it yet, because if you don't know yet - my husband is a pretty slow reader and so he is still working through Paris 1919.  If you are a history buff like my husband, you might like it.  I wouldn't know.  I wouldn't touch those kind of books with a 50 foot pole.  Gross.  I like fiction books like the ones written by Jodi Piccoult and John Grisham,
If you're crazy and want to know what this book looks like in order to buy it - here it is.
But anyways, since Dave hasn't read the Total Money Makeover yet, I decided that I should.  So I am in the middle of reading it.  I like Dave Ramsey's ideas though.  If you are concerned about your financial future, pick up the book and read it. Even if you don't plan on making changes, he is great at showing you what the reality will be (like if you have a $110,000 mortgage at 7%, it will cost you $280,000 if you choose a 30 year payment plan, and only about $190,000 over a 15 year plan - all for only an extra $250 a month).  He has a lot of insight and a great plan.  He walks you through baby steps (don't be confused into thinking that the baby steps take only a couple days, this is long-term commitment, people!) to help you get out of debt and be rich!!!!! 

This is the good book.

The first step in Dave's plan is to save $1000 buckaroo's.  Which seems like a lot, but this money is gong to act like your buffer when you don't use credit cards anymore.  So you can no longer say "I NEED this credit card in case an emergency comes up".  Now you saw "I have this money in savings I can use in case of emergency!".  This is the step Dave and I are on.  At the same time, we are kind of cheating and paying back some debts just because of when they are due and wanting to pay them.  But this is our primary focus.

Dave Ramsey also has other books, he does a class type thing called Financial Peace University, and he has a radio show.  You can find out more about him here.

You also need to know that I have recreated forms from Dave's book that help us track our money better.  Those, along with the other ones that I made up make up 27 pages of forms we fill out to track our money every month.  If you want to see those, I can send them to you - but they are very beneficial 

Maybe when I reach the next steps I will talk about them too, but I think this post is long enough already.  Have any questions about how we deal with our money?  Ask me!

Also - I need your opinion - whats the best way to go to school without getting into too much debt.  I'm looking at going for my masters next year, and I can't figure out the cheapest way to do it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

McDonald's hotcakes, carnations, and hamburger helper

So I had been asked to explain my husband's facebook status.  If you aren't facebook friends with him, this is what it says:

Botched my first Valentine's Day as a married man! 10 points!
And I know he sounds excited and happy about it, but really he is not.  I need to give a little background to the story though, so bare with me until I get to the part about yesterday.

Dave and I are on this big get out of debt, save money kick.  And really, we have very very little debt - but we are budgeting our money every month, and will hopefully be paying down lots, etc.  And it has been going pretty well actually .  But then this Saturday we found out we needed to replace part of our exhaust system and it was going to cost us $300 to fix.  So that night I told Dave not to get me anything for Valentine's Day because I didn't feel we had the money.  Note: I forgot to clarify that that didn't mean I didn't want anything to happen on Valentine's Day. 

The other thing that happened this weekend was that we went to Saint John on Sunday to drive my sister back and pick my parents up from the airport.  So at 12:30 on Sunday night/Monday morning we were at the airport picking my parents up.  And yet I had to work at 8:30 on Monday morning and so we were on the road to Moncton by 7am.  Dave wanted to stop and get a coffee and some breakfast, which was fine - so he stopped at the McDonald's on the way out of my parents town. He asked if I wanted anything but it was too early and I said I wasn't hungry at the time. 

So then Dave drove to Moncton while I slept in the passenger seat (really I slept when I could, the roads were bad and I kept waking up thining we were going to die).  I was hoping that we would get to Moncton in enough time to stop to get me something to eat (although to be fair, I never vocalized this thought - but Dave knows that I am a breakfast eater and I don't remember the last time I didn't eat breakfast).  But since the car had to go into the shop that day, and Dave had to borrow his sister's car in order to make that happen, Dave texted his sister (for all you safety nuts, I actually texted her saying what he asked me to say) and said he would meet her in 6 minutes.  This definitely did not leave enough time for me to stop and get my McDonald's kids meal hot cakes, hashbrown, and apple juice breakfast.
yumm... except without the coffee.  I hate coffee.  Blech.
But, I didn't want to say anything so I went on my way to work without breakfast.  Shortly after, I texted Dave and said "I am hungry".  And Dave replied a while later with "Do you want me to get you something for breakfast?", and I said "well, you don't have time" (translate: YES - GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE WITH SOMETHING).   But Dave didn't even check my response until he was at work.

So, I started my valentine's day off hungry.

And so went my day.  Dave works everyday until 6:00, and so I couldn't wait to get home and get something to eat.  I patiently waited until 6:00.  And then I continued to patiently wait until 6:20 when I finally heard from him.  He was on Mountain Road.  If you know Moncton, and you know where Dave works, you will understand that when he said he was on Mountain, I assumed he meant on Mountain near to where I work.  Not on the other side of Moncton on Mountain.  But, he was dropping a coworker at his house.  So, I went outside to wait for Dave.  And I waited, and I waited, and nine minutes later I called back and asked him if he had died.

He had not died, luckily.  But he was still on Mountain Road.

And let me tell you a sleepy, tired, hungry, frustrated Amy does not make a happy Amy.  To his credit, when Dave picked me up at the school, he thrust a bouquet of carnations and daisy's at me and said "happy valentine's day".  Well, as much as I appreciated the gesture, let me tell you that my romantic feelings did not spew forth at that moment.  No, all my negative ones did.

I ranted and I babbled and I cried.  And then Dave dropped me off at the shop, I went in and got my car, and then picked him up at residence where my sister-in-law lives, and then I ranted and I babbled and I cried some more.  And then we got home and Dave asked me what we were going to have for supper.  And then I ranted and I babbled and I cried some more.

And then I gave in and made hamburger helper.

After some more ranting, babbling, and crying, we went to bed - at 8:30.  We talked for a little bit, and then I read and he fell directly to sleep.

So there you have it.  My valentine's day consisted of hunger, carnations, waiting around, and hamburger helper.

But see there is this thing that I have had to learn about Dave.  And I still haven't really caught on.  In statistics you have an independent variable and a dependent variable - and you really can't have research without it.  Well I'll tell you something - I am definitely the dependent variable, and Dave is definitely the independent variable.  Which supposedly makes us a good pair.  But it also makes things challenging.

You see Dave grew up in a very loving family.  But almost all of his family members have outgoing personalities, and they are all extremely independent.

I also grew up in a very loving family.  My family could probably be described as introvert/outgoing.  Sure, we can get really loud and hyper around each other, but I think that in some ways, we have smaller personalities.  And we are all very dependent on each other.

For example, birthdays in my household are a BIG deal.  We do a lot for everyone's birthday.  Growing up, our entire extended family would get together for everyone's birthday.  Dave's family didn't do that.  Sure, they celebrate your birthday, but it wasn't as big of a deal as it is in my family.

And so we celebrate differently.  Dave is independent, when he wants something he saves up for it and buys it.  He doesn't care as much about holidays, and he does what he wants when he wants to do it.

I am dependent, and I continually hint at what I want, because generally I am not willing to use my money on what I want.  I care a lot about holidays.  I go all out.  A birthday deserves a special breakfast, special lunch, special supper, gifts, a surprise, a party, and anything else that can be thought of!
I just thought I should break up the text with a picture.  So I chose this birthday comic!

So, this is what happens - Dave gets upset with me for putting too much time and energy into something, and I get upset with Dave for not putting enough time and energy into things.

I guess this comes with newly married territory, but boy does it take a lot of getting used to!

We have designated this Sunday as our make-up Valentine's Day so I will let you know if things improve the second time around!

Note: I understand that this will NEVER be my valentine's day.  I didn't marry a Romeo, or a Mr. Darcy, or a Westley, but I did marry my David, and no matter how anti-romantic or annoying he is, I love him to bits and pieces and wouldn't have chose anyone else.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A blogging slackface...

...that is what I am, a blogging slackface.

You can ask my sister.  She can attest to that.

You see, I keep thinking of things to blog about.  I have had numerous occasions where my husband has put his foot in his mouth: "I love your bum, it's nice and jiggly", or "I can't roll you over, you are too heavy".

And I have had some good cooking experiences and some bad cooking experiences.  But, I have just been putting it off.  I like blogging, though, so I thought I would write a new post today.

First, I shall start with the bad one (I will try to upload photos when I get my camera hooked up to my computer).

#1 - The Pannycake incident

A couple of Sunday nights ago I decided that we should have pancakes for supper.  I was tired and hungry, and didn't feel like cooking a lot.  But I also decided that I should try a new pancake recipe. I perused the web, focusing primarily on my two favourite food blogs: PW and 

And finally, I found one!  PW had a recipe for the Perfect PancakesPerfect Pancakes, I thought, how can I screw these up?  I have cooked much more challenging things, and these will be the best pancakes I have ever tasted! 

Boy, was I ever wrong.

I was so excited to have pancakes, I heated up my griddle, and started pouring things into my mixing bowl.  I thought I did it perfectly.  But instead of looking like Pioneer Woman's batter:
Pioneer Woman's batter - her picture, not mine - please don't sue me.
it kind of looked like this:
Again, not my picture - I don't know whose picture this is - please don't sue me. I had to fix the exhaust in my car, I have zero  monies for you to sue me.
This picture doesn't even do it justice though.  It was just awful and lumpy and expanded and risen, and everything you don't want in pancake batter (I took a picture of how awful it was, I will try to update it later).

But, since I didn't have anything else to have for supper, I plopped that batter/dough stuff onto the griddle and hoped for the best. Well, it was far from Perfect Pancakes, and it was far from the best pancakes.  To be honest, I would have been better using a mix.  My dear husband pretended to like one, but as soon as I said I wasn't going to dare stuffing another one of those gross things in my mouth, I think I heard a sigh of relief from him. 

They turned out kind of like biscuit, pancake, thick, needs 2 cups of maple syrup to taste remotely good type things.  And maple syrup is expensive, y'all.

I will also try to update a picture of those gross pannycakes later.

I think the issue with it was that there should only be 3 tsp of baking powder in the recipe, BUT I might just be deflecting because of my embarassment at failing at making pancakes.

#2 - The Cookies
So this weekend I decided we should make some valentine cookies.  I was also going to make whoopie pies, bread, and all sorts of other delectable treats - but the cookies are the only ones that ended up taking place.  Maybe I will talk about my dissapointed with the other things later, but for now it is COOKIE TIME!

Dave reluctantly helped me make these cookies.  Dave doesn't have a very large sweet tooth.  He complains when things are too rich and he didn't want me to get him any candy or chocolate to put in his stocking at Christmas (I thought this was very selfish, and so I filled his stocking with candy anyways - because we both know that I get to eat half of his candy and if he doesn't get any candy at all I lose out!).  I think the man is ludicrous.  But anyways, he ended up helping me make these cookies.  Surprise, surprise it is another PW recipe.  I chose this one because it looked simple, I had all the ingredients at my parents house (where we were), and I like chocolate AND Valentine's Day.

Again - not the cookies I made.  These are PW's.  I made the same kind of cookies.  Stop threatening to sue me for stealing her pictures!  All credit goes to her!

I don't have any pictures of the ones I made, and I didn't adjust the recipe at all, so I will make this long story short.  They turned out fantastically!  Even hubby likes them.  We decided last night (2 days after making them) that they are not too hard, not too soft, and not too sweet, but not too not sweet.  They were a hit!  I didn't decorate them as nicely as PW did (I actually didn't decorate them at all) but they were great!  If you want a quick, yummy, cookie to make - try these ones!

#3 - Friday night supper

Thanks to my wonderful parents, I got Friday off!  Hubby wasn't scheduled to work Friday (only Saturday), so when he got off work on Thursday night (at 10:00!), we made the trip down to Saint John to my parents house.  We ended up arriving at about midnight.  Friday morning I woke up to help get my sister off to school (although she did a great job doing everything herself), and then I got to sleep in.  But since I had all day to do pretty much nothing, I decided that I would at least make a good supper.  I told my husband that he could choose between taco salad (one of my absolute favourite meals) or a new recipe I had found on Annie's Eats

He chose the new recipe, of course. So, I made a quick trip to the grocery store and then set out to make Crispy Baked Chicken with Teriyaki sauce.  Let me preface with the fact that I don't normally like home crispy baked chicken.  It doesn't seem legit to me.  To be honest, chicken is really only crispy in my mind when it is deep fried (but that kind of makes me feel sick).  But I made it anyways.  Because I am cheap, poor, and I don't drink, I didn't use the alcohol that it called for in the teriyaki sauce.  I substituted the sake for rice vinegar, and the mirin for apple juice, and I added some orange zest to the sauce as well, and then I took a whiff of my concoction and almost threw up.  Literally, it smelled kind of like vomit.  I persisted and finished making the recipe, and outfitted the table with lots of other prepackaged sauces to dip the meat in (plum, sweet and sour, etc).

When we sat down to eat, I forwarned my dinner guests (husband and younger sister) about my worries about what I had done to the sauce, and told them to approach with caution - but my younger sister (who is a picky eater) was courageous and tried it and said "this is actually really good Amy".  And then my husband tried it and agreed, and so finally I built up the courage and tried it myself and they were right!  It was phenomenal.  My husband even took the leftovers to work the next day and told me to keep making it!

(He also told me the crispy part of the chicken tasted like shake and bake, which I think was a compliment).

Anyways - those are my adventures for today.  I plan on cooking something for Valentine's day Supper tonight, so if I work up the energy I will take some photos and post them for you!

Have a great valentine's day - I hope you get lots of loving! (in a completely PG appropriate way of course)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things About Life - and today

This blog post might be a little lame.  But it is three unrelated thoughts that I want to bring up, but I don't think any of them truly deserve their own blog post.

So here goes:

1) Today is a snow day.  That is the great thing about working and going to school at the same place!  When one is closed, the other is always closed too!  Oh, how I love a good snow day.  Although really, I end up driving more because I have to drive my husband to work on the other side of town, and then go pick him up later.  The University is only a 3 minute drive from our house - haha!  But at least I get to lay in bed and have good intentions of doing lots of things and really never end up doing any of them.   It's a blast!

2) I feel like I need to explain that my apartment has very few windows.  This seems like a kind of weird thing to say, but you need to understand that it affects my pictures.  I am going to try to take lots of pictures of the food I will be making, but a lack of windows in my kitchen makes it challenging lighting-wise.  We only have two small windows in our apartment that lead outside, and one that leads to a garage.  It's pretty much night time all the time in here!

3) I am in the process of applying for graduate schools.  I presently have a BBA and a BA in Communications and I just don't know what to do next!  So if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them! I don't care where the University is - I am open to travelling anywhere!

Okay, that's all.  I am telling myself that I will bake things today, but considering my thought #1, that might be unlikely.  If I do though, I will definitely post about it!


P.S. - The other day I made Delicious Cheddar Puffs (from PW of course).  I was in a rush and was making them for my Bible Study, and so they didn't look as great as PW's, but I got a lot of compliments.  They are fairly simple to make and don't take a lot of time.  I also didn't have room in a freezer to freeze them so I just put them in a fridge.  I didn't get a picture since I was in a rush, but you should try them!

P.P.S. - I am also going to shamelessly promote PW's Cinnamon Toast.  Honestly, try it.  It is the best (tasting) snack in the world.  I used to make the toast using Approach #3, but I will never go back.  It tasted phenomenal the way she makes it!  And is definitely worth the wait!

P.P.P.S - This has become way more than three thoughts.  BUT, my marvelous older sister, Laura has entered a picture of the cutest baby in the world (my nephew) in a contest.  You should vote for her!  The picture with the most likes will win a free photoshoot, and I know she would love it!  If you head on over to Pam McCready Photography on Facebook and add her as a friend, you can vote for Laura's picture.  The picture is of Cameron looking very unimpressed with a New Years hat on!  Also, Pam McCready does great photography.  You should hire her.

That is all for realz this time, homeslices (just joking - I am really not a gangster!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


orrrr... Thai Honey Peanut Chicken.  For those of us who aren't fluent in Thai.
Last night's yummy supper!
Eaten January 24th, 2011

That is what we had for supper last night - Thai Honey Peanut Chicken.

I had found the recipe a while ago online, and I pretty much love anything with "Thai", "Honey", "Peanut", or "Chicken" in the title.  So when they all came together in a title, I figured I had struck gold!

There was only one problem.

The recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated for two to three hours before cooking.  And, well, you see, I work 8:30-4:30 everyday, and my dear husband works (usually) 9:30-6:00 everyday - and he gets the car.  So, I don't get home until about 6:30 from work everyday, and by then I don't have time to marinate chicken for two to three hours.  If I tried, I am pretty sure my husband would resort to eating his own arm or something.

So, I took the chicken out to start thawing before I went to bed on Sunday night, and made the marinade.   Yesterday morning before leaving for work, I cut the chicken up, re-mixed the marinade and threw the chicken in with it.  So instead of marinating for 2-3 hours, the chicken marinated for about 11.  This fact is somewhat important, because I think it led to some of my problems a little later on in the recipe.

The good thing about marinating it in the morning was that it made a really quick supper when we got home.  I just threw the chicken (and the marinade) into the skillet and cooked it up.  The only issue is that my chicken didn't come out looking perfectly like the chicken in the recipe picture.  Mine looked much darker, almost burnt.

But - don't worry - it wasn't burnt.  The marinade had just gotten lumpy around the chicken and made the chicken look a lot darker.  It also meant that I didn't have all that good sauce to put on my veggies and rice.  Which was kind of lame.

I think there are most likely two reasons for this faut pas.  The first is that I let it marinade longer than I was supposed to.  Luckily, it didn't break down the meat, but it might have done funky things to the sauce.  My second hypothesis is that when I turn my stove on to a setting higher than the lowest - it gets really hot.  And I imagine the pan was too hot and that did funky things to the sauce too.

I also didn't have sesame seeds or chopped cilantro.  So my chicken looks a lot less appetizing than in the recipe picture.

But, let me tell you - it was some good!  I don't like Curry Powder all that much - so I only used the mild stuff - and I could barely taste it!  I think my poor husband was slightly upset that I hadn't used the hot stuff, but I don't have that kind of balls.  So I didn't.

Even though it looks awful and didn't have yummy sauce to go with it, this is definitely a keeper.  I am pretty sure Dave told me four times while he was eating it that he really liked it and wanted to have it again.

Hopefully next time I can try to get it right.

Edit: For those of you like my sister who didn't know the sweet recipe link I put up top (look for the word 'recipe' in blue).  You can also find it here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blackheads and other imperfections

I love my husband, I really do.  But he is no Mr. Darcy.

Well, maybe I should say he is a Mr. Darcy.  Think back with me to that first dance, when Bingley tells Darcy he should dance with Elizabeth, and Darcy says:

"She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me."

For those who haven't read the book or seen the movie, this comes back to bite Darcy later.  But the quote sums up my husband pretty well.  Dave is always saying things that are somewhat offensive and yet humorous when he says them, because I know he does not mean to be offensive (or at least I hope).  There was the time he rated me on a scale from 1-10 and then proceeded to rate himself higher than me (in real life and on our wedding day).  And then there was the time he told me I looked really good, but he wasn't really sure why.

Last night was no exception to Dave's daring dialogue.  We were lying in bed reading as we normally do, and then Dave decided to point out a flaw on my nose.

D: What are those dots on your nose?
A: What? I have dots on my nose? (Rushes to look in the mirror only to discover he is speaking of my blackheads)
A: Umm, those are my blackheads
D: Eww, they are gross - can you get rid of them?
A: I could try, but I don't have the right stuff for it.  You know, you have blackheads too.
D: I do? That is disgusting.  But yours are just so, so distracting.  I can't keep my eyes off of them.

I guess I shouldn't be complaining.  At least I have a husband who 'can't keep his eyes off of me'. Ha!