“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
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There is music playing in the other room. I can picture what he's doing depending on the station.
Jazz? He's reading in his chair .. or solving a crossword puzzle over dinner.
Something like Sonia Dada? Cooking .. refrigerator door ajar .. hot pads and a glass of wine on the counter. Tonight I can make out some of the words .. and it makes me wonder how much brain capacity I use .. remembering lyrics to songs I used to love .. but have nearly forgotten about
Sometimes I ask myself questions I know I'll never be able to answer. How many pages have I read? What will my grandchildren know that I'll never have the option of learning? How many times have I swept a floor? How many bottles of ketchup have I eaten? How wealthy would my parents be if they'd invested in Heinz the day I was born? How many pounds have I lost and re-lost? How many miles have I walked? How many prayers have I said for my children?
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When I was a young .. naive .. and wide-eyed newlywed .. I was convinced marriage would save me .. fulfill me .. complete me. That I would be the apple of my husband's eye .. and he of mine. That we would fall more deeply and madly in love with each passing day. That this marriage .. a life together .. would certainly end in happily ever after for both of us
So that’s what I prepared for. And it was good .. of course .. until it wasn't
This time around I did it differently. I spent a long time in therapy learning about myself and how to pick a better partner. I went into it with my cookie recipes .. my perfume .. my funny stories. My should's .. my expectations .. my ideals
It's never that easy
He travels a lot .. and it's always better when he's home.
On cold winter days he builds us a fire .. the house smells cozy and feels peaceful. The puppies oscillate between a spot right in front .. to the back yard to cool off. I wish for a snow day .. so we could put on our hats and boots and go for a walk amongst the flakes .. and look for funny snowmen.
Mostly I wish for days that aren't grey
I wonder how many times I've whispered “I love you's” into the crook of his neck. Does he believe me when I say it .. or does he think it's like playing back an answering machine message every day for years? Does he know it's not a prompted knee bounce? A marital reflex test?
He's just a man who walks around in his bathrobe and starts conversations with “How can I help around here today?” I'm just a woman who sends emails with subject lines “Hey .. I was listening to NPR and ..” Who's introverted (probably to a fault) .. and can't fall asleep until my feet are warm and tucked underneath Harry at night. I don't ask him if he knows gratitude tumbles out
when I open my mouth to breathe
I don't want him to know I was teary when he drove Eli around in calculated circles. Letting him yell at the top of his lungs .. for no other reason than they're boys and they could. That my heart fluttered when he told him stories and took us out for pink ice cream. How he always knows when I'm nearing my three-year-old activity limit and am too proud to admit it
I let my eyes drop .. pretending I'm tired. I want him to know that I need him. I'm fiercely independent .. guarded .. and it's hard for me to admit
He asks me what I'm working on and I tell him “Nothing really”
He knows differently but smiles .. gives me a forehead kiss .. and says “I love you”
I've been awful about sleeping as of late. The world feels heavy and chaotic .. I'm doing my best to decipher (or escape from) it all. Let me capture these thoughts .. finish a chapter in the book by my bedside .. putter around in the quiet. I know in the morning he'll sit by the bed and hold my hand to wake me up .. it's this way every day.
As I type .. the puppies are sleeping because it's either very early or very late. I'd love to know what they dream of. Harry barks softly in his sleep and moves his legs like he's chasing a squirrel. Sally's whimpers wake me sometimes as she lays against the comma of my body. I know soon after I'm asleep she'll move to a cooler spot on the floor .. and a kitty will take her place
She presses a warm nose kiss to my cheek before running for her ball. She doesn't worry if she feels too much. I envy her freedom .. her ability to give as she wishes.
My husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary this week
I'm reminded of a friend who long-ago wore boots under her wedding dress.
They were an engagement gift from her father .. an adventure-loving outdoorsman. In the congratulations card .. he wrote of the similarities between breaking in boots and breaking in marriage. That it takes time. That it takes determination. That it gets hard before it gets easy. That you wear them anyway.
That it’s worth it.
That someday .. years down the road .. after many miles walked .. you’ll realize they’re finally a pretty good fit after all
Some of my husband's favorite things to eat? Seafood and pasta
Spurred on by many days of cloudy skies and puh-lenty of grey this winter .. I've spent an unnatural amount of time mulling over ideas for ways to add more seafood into our menus. I wanted to do something a little different from the standard tomato sauce .. chopped seafood pan. I also wanted to keep things a bit lighter than some of the cream-based classics.
I finally got around to giving this one a shot this week and it was great!
Sweet shrimp .. scallops and tomatoes in garlicky wine sauce makes me think of a tapas bar snacks.
Serve over brown rice or pasta. I image it would be incredible eaten out of the pan .. the leftover sauce at the bottom would be ideal sopping-up liquid for good bread
A note about garlic: It might seem like a lot .. but I'd encourage you to give it a go. I de-germed them and cut them in fairly thick slices .. a must in order not to burn them as the shrimp cook
~ Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
- 16 fresh or frozen medium shrimp (8 ounces)
- 8 fresh or frozen sea scallops(8 ounces)
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp finely snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 3 Tbsp snipped fresh chives[br
- For serving
- 2 cups hot cooked brown rice or pasta of your choice
- Peel and de-vein the shrimp, leaving tails intact if desired.
- Halve scallops horizontally.
- Rinse shrimp and scallops; pat dry with paper towels.
- Set aside
- In a large resealable plastic bag combine the flour, paprika, ¼ tsp of the sea salt, the sugar, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Seal bag; shake to combine.
- Add shrimp and scallops to the bag
- Seal bag; shake to coat shrimp and scallops.
- Set aside.
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and the remaining ¼ tsp sea salt; cook and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add shrimp and scallops to the pan in an even layer; cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, broth, vermouth, and lemon juice; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp and scallops are opaque, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the parsley, and chives.
- Serve in shallow bowls with hot cooked brown rice or pasta of your choice