life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


Apples, Friends, Crafts, Kittens, and Tissues

This past week was kind of flipped upside-down for us, as the big window installation Dayne and I were planning for (and moved all of our furniture for) didn’t happen, and the coughing-sneezing-runny nose-irritable-tired cold we weren’t planning for did happen. Typically I do my reading and blogging in the stillness of the morning, but Dayne is very different in that he doesn’t feed off of peaceful quiet, but instead he thrives on the 12-hour-a-day hum of the television. Ahhh, marriage. 🙂

Sooo here is my post that has been about five days coming!

I’ve been making LOTS of apple stuff with our 18 lbs of apples from the orchard. In the past couple of weeks, I have made:

1) apple cinnamon muffins – from a recipe on the back of a whole wheat pancake box as shown in this blog post. They didn’t turn out so great since I didn’t have brown sugar and I tried to mix granulated sugar and molasses on my own with a spoon. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. Verdict: Dayne liked them, and they were edible… Storage: countertop for a day or two and then fridge. They were all eaten within a few days since the recipe only yields a dozen. Plus I dropped one on the floor.

2) slow-cooker applesauce using this recipe. Verdict: delicious. Storage: half eaten, half went in the freezer. Perfect.

After making that (and cutting my finger, which bled for 3 days), my mom bought me these fantastic apple accessories from the QVC store:

peeler – so quick & easy!

corer/ejector and corer/slicer – these have saved my precious fingers from future careless slices!

3) toasted oat & apple crumble from my EatingWell on a Budget cookbook. Verdict: yummy, but different (not very sweet, although the oat mixture on top was sweeter and more filling). Storage: fridge for a few days, almost completely eaten by Dayne, me, and my dad. The oats directly on top of the apples get kind of soggy the longer they’re stored.

4) chicken sauteéd with apples from a Real Simple recipe. I’ve made this before, but haven’t made it regularly since. Verdict: Even better than the last time! SCRUMPTIOUS. Storage: Uhhh, what storage? We polished off the whole pan in one sitting.

Worth it.

5) apple cake from my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook. I can’t find a link for my specific edition of the cookbook. Anyways, it’s really a carrot cake recipe adapted for apples, and I didn’t use nuts. It turned out pretty yummy! Plus, my ever-so-generous mom gave me her stand mixer, and I got to use it for this recipe! I’m loving it! Verdict: delicious, but rich (the cream cheese icing is super sweet/heavy). Storage: mostly in the fridge – I’ve also shared with my dad. And four pieces went into the freezer. We still have quite a bit to eat…

Making a mess mixing the icing.

Apple cake fresh out of the oven.

We still have 13 apples left in our fridge… Maybe I can manage another toasted oat & apple crumble or more applesauce, since they both use large quantities of apples.

Anyways, last weekend, while we were still healthy, Dayne and I went on a little last-minute getaway!

Saturday night, we visited Sonja & David & Ingrid in Wilmington for dinner. Sonja’s technically my great-aunt from my great-grandfather’s 3rd marriage… my family tree is a little complicated.

Most of my family from our wedding – Sonja and Ingrid are in the front in the blue dresses; David is in between them 🙂 (Photo credit to Morby Photography)

It was really fun to hang out with them since we don’t normally see each other very often! We had a great time and ended up staying for almost five hours before we drove down to Dover to the Residence Inn. I have been a Marriott rewards member for years, and I finally was able to use my points for a free stay! It was deliciously luxurious and quiet. Here are photos of our suite:

Full kitchen!

Living room.

Bedroom. The bed was so big & comfy!

Dayne being silly. I loved the sink area outside the bathroom!

We wished we could have stayed there longer, but we were kind of in & out quickly because we wanted to make it to Burt & Katie’s church (Solid Ground Community Church) Sunday morning! Even though Sunday morning was a rough morning for me not feeling well, I was determined to visit for the service, and we did. Burt gave a great sermon on the topic of fear, and afterwards we went out with them and their adorable 1-year-old son, Ben, and more of Burt’s family to Panera for lunch. Then we got to hang with Burt & Katie & Ben for the rest of the day, which was wonderful. They are such special people to Dayne and me.

Here’s Burt officiating our wedding. (Photo credit to Morby Photography)

And as for the rest of our week, I’ve been crafting:

in the process of making a wreath for over our fireplace…

Made a sign for our powder room to match the lavender accents already in there.

Finished product – held it up with Command strips.

The kitties have been hunting stink bugs:

And snuggling in a tray, making it a makeshift bed:

And this last picture with a kitty pretty much sums up our week:

Hoping next week will be a healthier, busier, warmer one with NEW windows!

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Faith When Plans Change.

Check out this sexy little number!

^^That’s who I’m going to bed with every night!

Finally went to Target to pick up a new humidifier last night after being asked all winter if I was using one. I had at long last had enough after several days of being sick with this monster cold (thanks to my monster babysitting job a couple of weekends ago – see “What the Heck Just Happened”) and waking up morning after morning with the driest mouth ever and my sinuses & throat cinderblocked with congestion.

My old humidifier is still in my closet — I just couldn’t bear to go through the whole bleach and/or vinegar cleaning and installing a new filter process when there are so many newer, more exciting humidifiers on the market now. I knew I wanted to go with Vicks because of their menthol-releasing VapoPads (the girls I nanny use them) so I just picked the one that didn’t need a filter (although Dayne will tell you the process of picking my humdifier took ten minutes… and then picking out the right cough drops took another five).

Anyways, since this blog isn’t all about humidifiers, OR cough drops — the reason why I’m writing this is because I’ve noticed recently how I react when my plans don’t go according to plan 😛

Last weekend was Dayne’s 26th birthday and our first time celebrating his birthday together, and we ended up staying home and nursing our colds. In fact, we ended up staying home all weekend. I also canceled my dinner plans tonight with a friend I hardly ever get to see. I left Bible study early on Tuesday. I’m probably not even doing the service project in Philadelphia on Saturday that I had signed up for with my dad and brother. I couldn’t even consider going out to New Jersey tonight to see Anthony Bourdain with Erica (even though I love him! And her!). Altogether, it’s a major bummer being sick.

I realized when I was “stuck” at home this past weekend that I get really irritated, sad, anxious, and kind of mean when my plans are changed. I actually found myself irritated at Dayne for being sick, which is ridiculous. And I don’t know why I have such a hard time sitting inside and just relaxing. I am trying to get better at that. Anyway, as soon as I recognized my moodiness, I made a conscious internal effort to change it, and appreciate the time for what it was – a passing setback, a mandatory rest, a pause in life, a time to be thankful for what I have. All from God! I believe that He is working through everything. And I did get to know Him better this week, which made the “life time-out” all the more worthwhile. It’s still difficult when I’m not getting to do what I wanted… and I could probably use this entry as a reminder from time to time… and I would love to just snuggle under some blankets with Dayne right now… but I’ll settle for a quiet, early night with my Vicks humidifier.