Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little Things

Every day there are a thousand things I want to write about. A thousand tiny moments I want to capture. But somehow the time slips by and I never get around to writing them down. So today, for just a minute, here are some little things I'm happy about right now.

Last night I had some girl friends over for dinner. I made chicken pot pie - for the very first time! - and mashed potatoes. The pot pie turned out delicious (and I'm having the leftovers tonight), but I thought the mashed potatoes were kinda bland. I think that every time I eat mashed potatoes and then I remember why I rarely make them. But I will say, they went really well with the pie.

I bought this limited edition pumpkin-flavored ice cream at the grocery store and I. am. obsessed. It's so delicious with a big squirt of whipped cream. It tastes exactly like pumpkin pie... and I can never have enough whipped cream. I served it to the girls for dessert. Mmm... fall comfort food.

The highlight of my life these days is getting a seat on the metro between Ballston and Metro Center. It almost never happens and that is one looooong ride to stand through. On the other hand, I've noticed that the earlier I travel, the more seats there are on the metro. You'd think that would incentivize me to leave the house earlier in the morning (like, before 8:30 am) but nope. Not so far. Maybe one day.

The one thing that makes the interminable metro ride bearable is the present Frank gave me for my birthday... a Kindle. He also bought a cover for it, made by a book-binding company in England, that makes it look like an old-fashioned book. I used to be opposed to Kindles until I realized that I was choosing my reading material for the metro based on how heavy the book is. Kindle = problem solved. Frank also had the inside front cover engraved with a sweet note: "For my darling Theresa, with all my love on your 23rd birthday. Your Frank." Now every time I read on the metro, I see it and feel happy.

I've been on a big kick of 20th century literature lately - I read The MoviegoerThe Power and the Glory, and now I'm on A Moveable Feast (that's the one I'm reading in the picture above). Next up is The Paris Wife and then Middlemarch. Colleen told me that anyone who is thinking about getting married should read Middlemarch so there ya go.

I'm doing a little project lately where I asked Frank to tell me his favorite foods, and I'm trying to cook them for him, one by one. He gave me his top 7: chicken parmesan, cheddar-potato-broccoli soup, Italian Wedding soup, thin-crust pizza with lots of tomatoes, ribs or anything BBQ, chicken cordon bleu and  chicken marsala. So far I've made Chicken Parm and Chicken Cordon Bleu. When I mentioned this to one of my co-workers she was like "You made Chicken Cordon Bleu from scratch??? Wow!" I didn't realize that was so impressive until she said that! It's been fun so far and we are both enjoying the results. I hope this will be useful preparation for after we're married.

Chicken Parm night... yummm
On that note, we had our second marriage prep meeting on Saturday and it was awesome. We both adore our priest and the sessions are incredibly helpful and enriching. We walked out of there completely on fire to help each other get to Heaven and become saints, like Father Paul and the Catechism said. Of course, not 5 hours later we had a silly fight about something. Go figure. But one day at a time, right?

And on THAT note, Frank and I are both completely amazed at how much we've grown and learned about each other since getting engaged. In just two months our relationship has deepened incredibly. I seriously feel like I'm in a whole new relationship some times. Our communication is getting really strong. We are coming to understand each other much better, the things that push the other person's buttons or that make the other person happy, and we're both trying hard to do more of the latter and less of the former. Except, of course, when we WANT to push each other's buttons. :P

Frank. Oh man. I can't believe how lucky I am to be marrying that guy. I could dedicate this whole blog to him and still not say everything. You know what I mean?  A few little Frank stories lately:

He has hung up every single thing on the walls in my house, from the mirror above the fireplace to my and Colleen's scarf racks to the maps in the dining room.

He has set up our TV, programmed the remote control, helped move and assemble the furniture and this weekend he's going to help me plant flowers out front. And the only reward he's gotten for all his hard work is chocolate. And kisses.

My babysitting career has really taken off lately - I'm getting about two job offers a week - and almost every time I babysit Frank picks me up and drops me off so I don't have to take the metro or ask the child's parents for a ride. He's done this dozens of times and he never, ever complains or asks for anything in return.

I sent Frank a blog post about making your own salted caramel mochas at home and asked if we could try it some time. He reminded me that he was a barista for 3 years and he still knows the exact recipe. I excitedly told Colleen and she asked if he knows how to make the Caramel Apple Spice too. He told us the recipe for that and then began making plans to come over and teach us how to make all our favorite drinks. "Ask Colleen if she's ever had mulled cider," he told me over the phone. She had. "Ok, ask her if she's ever had mulled wine." She had. He said, "Darn, I was hoping I could make it for you guys and impress you!" Colleen and I promised we would still be very impressed if he made either of those drinks for us.

I asked him if he can get breakfast before work on Friday. "I can't," he said, and explained that he's getting up early to drive some of his co-workers to the airport. I never would have known he was doing that if I hadn't asked.

Colleen and I have dubbed our dining room "the Map Room" because we have maps on three of the four walls.

The City of Rome and our World Map

We need just one more to round out our collection and it occurred to us that it would be funny to get a map of Narnia for the last wall. ("I don't know if this house can handle that much nerdiness," said Frank when this idea was first suggested.) We've been on the hunt for a Narnia map ever since. Yesterday Frank had to go to Gainesville for work and when he came back he told me that he passed by a Christian bookstore in Gainesville and he stopped to see if they had any Narnia maps in stock. Sadly they were all out of Narnia maps, but I was really touched that he thought to do that.

Frank and I are having two other couples over for brunch on Sunday. When I expressed trepidation at the thought of cooking for a big crowd, he quickly offered to make his famous quiche so I wouldn't have to cook. He later said that he "had forgotten how many women he gave this recipe to," which kind of cracked me up. Apparently it's a pretty popular dish. I should add that one of these women was my mom. On which note, did I mention that Frank sent my mom flowers today to thank her for all her work in helping us plan our wedding? Seriously... most thoughtful guy ever. All the men in his family are like that. Last night his little brother sent me a Facebook message, completely unsolicited, to tell me how happy he is that I'm joining their family.

Frank is working so hard in school these days... he's had to turn down so many fun social events so he can study or work on his internship. He's sending out emails, networking, and doing everything he can to land a good job after graduation. I'm sure it's often a thankless task for him but he cares so much about getting a good job so he can support our family. I don't think I tell him often enough how grateful I am for that.

One of our new friends is Anglican and considering becoming Catholic. Frank had lunch with her on Monday to answer her questions, tell her his story, and assuage her various fears about entering the Church. He lent her some books to read and offered her a few resources. Most importantly, he's praying for her. Frank is so busy yet he always makes time to help others, in this case by sharing his faith with someone who needed that witness.

I've never in my life met someone who is so thoughtful and generous, so attentive to the little details and so incredibly eager to help anyone. I know, I know... this is so classic "engaged couple" of me. But seriously. Every day I'm more and more happy that I get to marry that man. Not because he's fun to be around (although he is) or because he makes me happy (although he does) but because he is good and strong and righteous down to his core.

And that's just a tiny taste of all the little things that have been crossing my mind lately!


  1. Since I'm constantly checking and rechecking to see if you've posted something new, I can now rest easy ... for today. :)

    Super excited/happy to be seeing your lovely face soon!

  2. Kindles are super awesome. I used to be prejudiced against them - they're not REAL books - but when I realized that I could bring hundreds of my favorite books to college without having to figure out how to transport a gazillion boxes, I was convinced. Currently reading "Freckles" by Gene Stratton-Porter on it in my spare time. *happy smile*

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