Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tired and Uninspired

So, I never promised this blog would be upbeat ALL the time. I did promise it would be REAL. So, if you aren't in the mood for real and probably more than a healthy dose of a little BIG pity party, then click away, my friend.

This morning something 'serious' happened in the Maxman household. Well, 'serious' is all about perspective. I was bummed but really unaffected, the Hubs was devastated. He came out of the bedroom and went straight to the TV (normal daily practice for him) and it wouldn't turn on. {Backstory: It is 8 years old and has outlived its 10k hours of life, I'm sure, and has been temperamental off and on for a few months} So, into tantrum mode he went. {which totally set me off on my own hormone fueled tantrum}

The TV has always been a point of contention between us. I am completely unattached. I could easily live without a big fancy TV. Sure, I like watching movies and cartoons with Adrianne, but I don't NEED a TV. He *NEEDS* a TV. In his perfect world there would be a TV in each room. (Yes, even the loo)  The longer he sat and stewed on how he was going to replace his TV the more irritable he became. {Note: we are a single income family and a $500 plus TV purchase is not in budget} At one point during his silent tirade he stated that he would not be fun to live with if there was no TV in the living room. I turned to him and asked him how it was okay for him to punish Adrianne and I for his TV dying. Of course, that turned into something else entirely with him getting upset and stating that isn't what he was saying.

After a couple hours of this nonsense he had come up with a plan. I put the entire thing on him - taking the path of least resistance. Part of the ensuing discussion was about priorities and establishing a hierarchy of priorities for one's self. I very pointedly stated that I did not want our children to have the same OCD tendencies regarding television or the lack of a TV. I told him that his mother did him a very large injustice when she made the TV his keeper at a very young age. At one point in this conversation he stated he felt guilty about needing to buy a new TV and that he felt that I was judging him and 'giving him the guilt trip' At this juncture I will defend myself - not once did I raise my voice, tell him anything negative or derogatory regarding the TV or himself. I did state that it was time for him to find a hands on hobby and be a better example for our 2 year old. After a bit of silence, he agreed.

This entire thing had gotten me thinking. Having the expectation that you will have the fancy schmancey TV and that it will operate without question boggles my brain. {This is where I get to the tired and uninspired - maybe I should add selfish??} During this entire roller coaster ride this morning all I could think was 'WHAT ABOUT ME!?!??' What about my need to unplug? My need to be creative? My desire to make beautiful things for myself? When do I get to have all that? I can honestly state that I haven't made/sewn something for myself in MONTHS. While I find great joy in creating for others, I am to the point of disgust with myself and the world at the expectation that I will create to give to others with nothing for myself. {I warned you that it was going to be a bit selfish with a pity party}

I sat down today to make a gift for a friend and I have NO inspiration. None. I have shelves full of beautiful fabric but nothing is speaking to me for her. I see things that say 'USE ME' but I want that end product. I don't want to give it away. I like giving to others. I like making things by hand to give them for birthdays, holidays, just becauses. I am just having the feeling of "WHAT ABOUT ME!!!"  Where are my gifts? Where are my just becauses? Where are my nice gifts that have had thought and inspiration and love put into them? {I told you there was selfish in here...}

I will always continue to be happy for others and their accomplishments. I support and brainstorm and give love and inspiration. From those in my 'real' life to those in my 'cyber' life and those brief instances where the two worlds merge and blur. Maybe it is the hormones, maybe it is just a pity party, but I need to be the recipient, I think. The constant no-strings-attached with no judgement and no expectation of reciprocity kind of giving has brought me to the edge of my ledge, figuratively speaking.

I'm tired. Mentally, physically, emotionally. I'm uninspired. This entire thing goes back to the TV {icing on the cake but I don't know that I want to dissect the cake}- You get another new TV and I still don't have a new sewing machine. How ungrateful am I. {I warned you that it was a pity party}


{Note: this does NOT include any of the wonderful swaps I participate in. I know that my creations are cherished and that just as much time and love are put into the things sent to me as the things I send to new homes}

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We All Do It

You know we do.
We stand in line at the grocery store, 
we look through the magazine racks,
we ALWAYS pick up the magazine with the 'quick' dinner ideas
RARELY do we buy them. 

Well, I bought one. 
I broke the rules. 

But this recipe made the entire purchase worth it. 

As most of you know,
I am expecting baby #2 late in February. 
I don't exactly have a ton of energy to be standing at the stove for hours.

In the Spring issue of the Betty Crocker 
115 Super Simple Recipes 
I found this: 
Looks delish, right?!?

Chicken & Pasta with Creamy Basil Sauce
Start to finish time: 30 minutes 

3 Cups uncooked bowtie (obviously I used Penne) pasta
2 Cups fresh broccoli florets (I actually had this in my fridge!)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, 
cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic-pepper blend 
(of course I don't own this! I used garlic powder, garlic salt, and black pepper)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 small red bell pepper, chopped 
3/4 cup Yoplait All Natural Fat Free plain yogurt 
(this is me rolling my eyes because you KNOW this 
is such a staple in my shopping list... I used low fat sour cream)
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
(I used about three teaspoons dried basil)

1. Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli during last 4 minutes of cooking; drain.

2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. 
Sprinkle chicken with garlic-pepper blend (we discussed this!
Cook chicken in oil about 3 minutes stirring occasionally, until no pink in center
 (I cooked much longer giving the chicken a nice caramelized glaze)

3. In small bowl, mix broth, cornstarch and sugar.
 Add broth mixture and bell pepper to skillet. 
Cook about 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened. 
Stir in pasta, broccoli, yogurt (we discussed this!) and basil. 
Heat over low heat until hot - do not boil! 

Seriously this came out amazing. 
Your picky children (my two year old) will eat it. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011



So many different images float through my head when I say this word.

The ranch in the valley where I learned to ride my bike, ride a horse, shoot a gun
The house on the hill where I found arrow heads and jack rabbits
The  apartment in the college town where I started to figure life out
The house I shared with four phenomenal women
The mountain top in Montana where I felt free and alive
The beach where I can feel my soul pulsating with the waves

The smiling face that met me when I got home from Houston
Ft Bragg, CA 2011

Of course she was accompanied by her Daddy
Oct 15, 2011

Wherever these two faces (soon to be three!) are is where Home really is. 

Make sure you click over to A Prairie Sunrise and see who else is sharing stories of Home. 
I bet they will warm your heart.