days of thanks.

I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving many times this weekend. I attended three different meals between both of our families and got to catch up with some friends from back home. Gee, it was some good days of thanks.

On Wednesday, Kaleb and I were able to have two Thanksgiving feasts. One at his Grandma Ollie’s home and another at his Mom’s newly built home.

His Mom always goes above and beyond to make every detail of the dinner to the presentation amazing. She decorated the table with beautiful fresh flowers and hand-picked gourds. Fall time decorations to the max.

I like her style. I can learn a lot from how much time, effort, and love she puts into family meals.

Friday night we were able to have one of the most exciting friend reunions I’ve had in a long time. I LOVE these people! We ate at Tequila’s, of course.

After a good meal of laughing and catching up on life, we went back to Abbie Jean’s home. We played games. Lots of games. Kaleb came up with a lot of improv games that we played. This group of people are the perfect candidates for improv games. It was quite entertaining, to say the least.

This night entailed lots of video taking and laughter.

And of course, lots of acting.

On Saturday night, we had Thanksgiving at my parents house with my Omi from Chicago. This was an interesting day. That morning I got a call from my Dad saying that our two dogs got into a fight, and as my mom was trying to break it up, one of my dogs bit her. My Dad had to take my Mom to the Emergency Room. He asked me if I could cook Thanksgiving dinner. Well……I have never cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal before, but I thought: “Let’s give it a try!”

I went over to their house and my Omi prepared the turkey while I prepared all of the other dishes. Whenever they got home from the E.R., the turkey was ready for me to carve and all of the other dishes were coming out of the oven. Somehow, the timing was just right.

My parents, Omi, Kaleb, and myself sat down and had a Thanksgiving meal. It was quite an unconventional day. My Dad joked that he will never hear the end of how I “saved Thanksgiving dinner.”  It was a great learning experience for me.

In Jordan Sparks words in response to me having to cook Thanksgiving dinner last minute, “What a woman!” That kinda made my day.

Sunday was a day to go to church, catch up on homework, spend times with some girls, and rest.

My weekend consisted of many days of thanks, not just one. I am grateful for the experiences I had this weekend. God is teaching me everyday what that Proverbs 31 woman looks like.

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food brings family together.

“She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household…”  vs. 15

I really enjoying cooking and admire those great women in my life who can cook like nobody’s business. (my mom, Kaleb’s mom, Kaleb’s stepmom, etc..). Being a graduate student, it is very tempting when I come home from class at thelate  hour of 9 o clock  to want to eat raman noodles and go to bed. Some nights, this is totally acceptable for me. However, I have this new goal to cook one new recipe a week. On average, I cook about 3 good meals a week for myself or others. But most of time, it’s the same staple meals that I know are quick, easy, and most importantly healthy for my body. Things are changing. I will now be trying one new thing a week. In my psychology and social work studies, I have learned that novel (new) experiences and activities keep the excitement throughout the longevity of life among couples. I hope to always bring new meals to the table for my family.

So I will be blogging about my new recipes every week. I have been inspired by Ree Drummond, a classy lady whom I would love to have coffee wth someday. Her blog is http://thepioneerwoman.com/. I will be getting a lot of recipes from there.

I’ve realized that one reason I enjoy cooking so much is because I can channel all of my creative energy into a good meal. Traditionally, meals have brought family and friends together and created a close-knit environment. Kaleb sure appreciates when I cook for him, and I hope to always provide our household that feeling of togetherness and love at the dinner table.

So….last night was my first new recipe that I have tried in a long time. It was good homestyle cooking. I made meatloaf (which I have never made before), cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn, texas toast, and fresh garden salad. My sweet fiancé came over to join me. It was a nice feast, and it turned out quite well. During the meal, Kaleb looked at me with those sincere eyes and thanked me for being the wife he wants and needs. Although it made me blush a bit, I definitely realize that I have a lot to learn about being a good wife…and I am excited to learn.

Here were most of the ingredients I used… the meatloaf consisted of wheat bread dipped in milk, ground beef, eggs, grated parmesean cheese, parsley, seasoned salt, salt, pepper,and  bacon wrapped around the entire loaf. The sauce on top was a combination of ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and a hint of hot sauce.

The meatloaf, an hour later, when it came out of the oven…

A happy man with a soon-to-be happy stomach.