Wednesday, November 19, 2014

{swallow your dreams}

I had two dreams last night, both of which I think might have been fairly significant, in a This is Going to Happen in Real Life sort of way. I don't normally think that about dreams, but I think that about these dreams. Definitely.

In the first dream, I was standing in my dimly-lit kitchen, dressed in all black. There was a smoky vignette around the picture, which I soon learned was coming from the stove. I looked down at the counter in front of me, and there were plates and plates and plates of french toast.

I opened the fridge and pulled out three eggs and three bricks of cream cheese, which I threw into the stand mixer with a half a cup of sugar and some caramel sundae sauce. Cheesecake. Of course I was making a cheesecake.

But instead of baking the cheesecake, I spooned the batter onto the open-faced french toasts, topped the sandwiches with more french toast, and grilled them in the frying pan in butter. 

I woke up then, and when I fell back asleep the french grilled cheesecakes were gone, and I was standing in front of the stove frying chicken thighs in BBQ sauce and garlic. In my grad dress.

There was a glass baking dish lined with cooked lasagne noodles on the counter, and I emptied the frying pan into it. There was a small saucepan on the oven with melted butter in it, so I added some flour, some Parmesan, some grated cheddar, pepper, salt, and cream to it and poured that all over the meat, adding more lasagne noodles and grated cheese on top of that. 

I baked my BBQ chicken lasagne until it was a beautiful golden brown, but the buzzer on the stove was also Barclay's alarm clock, so I woke up before I could taste it.


I have heard that it's good to document those dreams which feel important though, and now I understand why. These are dreams I don't soon want to forget.

What is it they say? A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep? 

Friday, November 07, 2014

{5 ways that road trips are different for me at 27 than they were at 19}

I'm coming atcha (yes, 'atcha') from a gas station in Swift Current, Saskatchewan tonight. Barclay is fueling up, and I'm making a list of 5 ways that road trips are different for me at 27 than they were at 19, which I will share with

1. At 19, I spent the week before a road trip making mix tapes (CDs, really, but it is cooler, I think, to say 'mix tapes' than it is to say 'mix CDs') for the road trip. Each mix would be so stinking carefully thought out and contain the following: a few of my current favorite songs, a mainstream song that was popular at the moment but which I thought was laughably awful (past the point of hating it right back to the point of listening to it on repeat and actually kind of loving it), some music from "the past" to stir up all kinds of nostalgia and sentimentality, and then a whole bunch of poppy, fluffy, beaty, dance-y songs that could be yell-sung to.  

At 27, I grab my iPhone on the way out the door and play either Slacker Radio or podcasts or just whatever happens to be in my iTunes library. 

2. At 19, my partners-in-road-trip were usually a bunch of really excitable girls, eager to stuff a car to its full capacity, hence saving on gas, and yell-sing along to my carefully-crafted mix tapes. And talk about relationships (ours and each other's and everyone else's. Relationships: The Topic to Delve Into On Roadtrips). 

At 27, my main road-trip partners are Barclay and Sullivan. Barclay does not like to yell-sing; Sullivan only likes to yell. 

3. At 19, a road trip was an excuse to eat everything. I packed snacks, and bought snacks at every gas station stop, and drove through all the drive-throughs (that is what they are for). 

At 27, if I think of it, I pack maybe a couple of healthy snacks (an apple! An orange?) and...yeah that's it. Maybe, maybe I'll buy a mini chocolate bar at a gas station if I'm dying, but nothing more. Because I am now concerned about things like health and money.

4. At 19, road trips had big shiny destinations: music festivals and best friends' weddings and stuff like that. The excitement of where you were going carried you there, and the excitement of what you had done and seen carried you home.

At 27, my road trips have almost always the same destination: home to visit my parents. Which is great, because I like my  parents. (Hi, parents!)

5. At 19, I and my obnoxious car o'girls could only go as far as our limited collective funds will allow. Sometimes we had gas enough to drive to Manitoba, sometimes we had gas enough to drive to Swift Current. Sometimes Calgary! 

At 27, road trips are fewer and more purposeful, not as much dictated by funds as by necessity. Also, if my destination is farther than 10 hours away, I'm flying.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

{halloween 2014}

So Halloween happened, as it does.

Did you know how expensive baby costumes are? I almost slapped someone when they admitted to spending upwards of $70 for a fuzzy glorified sleeper with cat ears.

I think I actually felt my wallet cringe.

And I guess it's never been a holiday that I've been that 'into'. (As a kid, I lived in a small town and even the years that I didn't go out trick-or-treating, the neighbours sent "my candy" home with my little sister. That quickly became one of my favourite traditions.) But this year, Karlie was taking her little girl trick-or-treating at the mall and invited me along, so I figured I'd dress Sullivan up too. I had a hat with antlers lying around (don't we all, though?) so I stuck it on his head, coloured his nose brown (while he tried to eat my eyeliner pencil), and he was a deer. I added a little plaid sweatshirt, like the kind hunters wear. For irony. Like, "Oh, he's a deer and he's a hunter!"

But everyone was like, "Oh, cute! He's a little...lumberjack deer?"

"Yeah. That's what he is. A lumberjack deer."

After the mall, we went trick-or-treating at Barclay's office, where he scored a KitKat bar and a box of Smarties. Both of which I pried out of his hands and ate. Don't worry though, I took him to see the office fish to make him stop crying. He loves the office fish.

Barclay's sister came to town that night, so we went over to the Krause house and partied with the cousins. Man alive, there are a lot of them now (not all pictured here). The little Charlie Brown (whose name in real life is also Charlie) is the newest one - born just a couple weeks ago.

I kind of want him to wear his deer hat every day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{an apple pie/caramel cheesecake hybrid}

I hate the fact that I feel the need to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am not a food blogger. I am not a photographer. I am not good at anything, and I'm on my knees in the dirt asking you to not judge me. 

It used to be that people could blog about whatever they wanted, like, "Look what I did/made/took a picture of/listened to/watched/thought of/wrote..." and it was cool. (Not cool cool. Cool in the sense that you didn't tell a single soul in real life that you had a blog because it was literally the nerdiest ((not in a good way)) thing you could possibly do.) Now you have to have a "niche" and buy a "domain" and write for an "audience" and go to a "conference" to learn about "monetizing" and buy an expensive "camera" and despite all your best efforts you'll probably still end up on "GOMI".


I'm about to blog about food. Using pictures that I took with my broken point and shoot. And this post is not sponsored by anyone other than my husband, who bought the apples.

For Thanksgiving this year, I was on dessert duty. I picked it. Dessert duty, I mean. When given the choice, I always pick dessert duty, because then I can make a cheesecake. When else am I going to make a cheesecake? And I decided to go all out. Because when you make, like, one cheesecake a century, you have to go all out when you do.

By "go all out" though, I don't mean money-wise or effort-wise. I only really mean taste-wise and appearance-wise.

So I decided what I wanted to make (an apple pie/caramel cheesecake hybrid, because I felt a little guilty for not making a traditional apple pie) and did what I always do: I hit up Pinterest. I needed a gluten-free crust, so I searched "easy delicious fast good gluten-free cheesecake crust" and I found THIS crust which uses pecans instead of graham crackers (and really was easy, delicious, fast, and good). Then I searched "best easiest caramel cheesecake ever" and found THIS which I only had to modify slightly for the filling. And last but not least I searched, "really cool apple pie" and found THIS, which looks awesome but is probably the easiest thing ever. (I didn't follow the recipe, just made kind of a quick apple pie filling with crazy amounts of butter and sugar and used the picture for the design.)

There you have it: I am lazy, but resourceful.

But the point is not that.

The point is that I made this, and it was good:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

{crazy kids}

This weekend, to put it eloquently, completely rocked.

There were lots of good things about the weekend as a whole, but the main event was something that has been a long time coming: Barclay and I went on a date without Sullivan. First time in over nine months (his whole little life). 

This is one of those things that I've caught a little bit of flack for from different people over the months, as they've emphasized and re-emphasized the mondo importance of getting a babysitter, going on a child-free date, putting your marriage first...letting go a little.

I happen to agree with them on those points, actually. Good, important things, all. But I also think that everyone lets go differently, of different things at different times, and I don't see what the rush is. This kid goes to bed at 7. Sometimes we pack him up in the car seat or stroller and go out for a coffee while he sleeps. Sometimes we put him to bed at home and watch a movie or paint or whatever. He's been to a baseball game and a football game and quite a few good shows and about 200 different coffee shops and parks and even a few restaurants and has probably covered thousands and thousands of miles in his stroller. I don't feel like our marriage is getting shoved to the back of a dank old basement room. Things just look a wee bit different right now than they did pre-Sullivan. Which, I think, is quite possibly normal.

However. I know that I'm just a taaaaaad more anxious than the average bear. When Sully was born, the thought of letting him out of my sight made my skin crawl. Putting him to sleep in his crib in the room down the hall, handing him off to a near-stranger at a baby shower, having someone who is not me take care of him while I'm across town in a movie theatre...? Too much, too soon. I knew those things had to happen, some sooner than others, but I felt like they didn't all need to happen within the first week of his life. I felt like I would just know when they needed to. When I was ready.

I don't know the exact combination of time and 'bravery' that it takes to overcome separation anxiety, but little by little I've been able to let go one finger at a time. I watched women pass him around at a friend's baby shower without hyperventilating. No one dropped him or shook him or yelled in his ears. We moved him into his own bedroom. He didn't flop out of his crib onto the floor like a fish or get his head stuck in the railings.

The babysitting thing has, admittedly, taken a bit more time. It's hard! I didn't expect it to be! Who am I?!

(And, I mean, there are logistics too. He eats all the time and I'm, like, his food.)

But this week, I realized that I was ready, and that it was time, and that it was going to be okay and even fun. So we dropped Sully off at his grandparents' and hit the town like a piƱata. Minus the candy. Plus cheesecake. And possibly an informative IMAX movie about the South Pacific. (I know, we're crazy kids.)

It was good, and Sullivan was so completely fine, and we'll probably do it again at some point. Now I just have to tackle my fear of letting Barclay take Sullivan sky-diving.

I'm just kidding.

PS: Also this weekend, we finished our painting! And Barclay was immediately like, "What should we paint next?" So I think he didn't hate the process too much. (It was his first attempt at watercolours.)