There are Days...
There are days when I am just too tired from running after:


"The Stud"
(You see that face of his? That is spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
Just start running!)




and "Miss Thing"

to make dinner. So, I don't. And we have sandwiches instead.


How about you?

No post from 1 year ago
February 28th post written by Daniel: "Too Old Glory"
The Commissary: Tipping and Being Proactive
The Commissary (base grocery store) here is the smallest one I have ever seen. It is difficult to turn around in this store it's so small. But, are the people who work there are incredibly friendly!

When we moved from Elemendorf AFB to Grand Forks AFB I went into shock, from a lot of different things, but mainly from the size of the Commissary. The difference was immense.
When we were living in Vermont, once in awhile we would drive down to Hanscom AFB to grocery shop and enjoy Boston. The Commissary at Hanscom is huge. I loved it! Here, not so much. But size isn't a big deal for me - it's the availability of products that really matters.

I found that the Commissary here had a fair amount of healthy and organic products, for the size. But, I wanted more. I'm a 'Gimme Jimmy' when it comes to grocery stores. I saw that my store, and I'm quite sure all Commissaries, had these little cards that you could fill out requesting them to carry a certain product. Right away I grabbed one and filled that baby out. I requested that they carry the Rudi's brand whole grain tortillas. I had seen and tried them them while we were visiting Holloman AFB. They were delicious and a product I couldn't find anywhere in my town. I knew asking my Commissary to start carrying these tortillas would be a safe bet - if DECA has already approved Rudi's brand of bread products to be sold, adding another product in the brand line would be simple. And sure enough, it was. My Commissary now carries the tortillas!

Now, let's talk about organic produce. There was a sprinkling - a light sprinkling - in my Commissary. It was rather depressing for a girl coming from Vermont, where everything is organic, to New Mexico where they say: Huh, what's organic?!

So, what did I do? I started asking to talk to the produce manager. I found her and we talked about organic produce and how it all worked. She said she would e-mail me the list of organic produce that would be coming into the store each week.
This was a major score! Now I know ahead of time what organic produce to expect - even how much it will be costing me! She also told me to let her know if I wanted her to look into buying and carrying anything else. So, I did. I asked her about organic potatoes. She looked into it and now.... my Commissary sells organic potatoes on a regular basis. And bananas. That was another thing I asked about.

Proactive is my method. It doesn't always solve the problem all at once, but I strongly believe by the time we leave this base, the Commissary will be geared more towards the healthy eater.
And as we all know, the grocery prices at the Commissary are low, low, low. And the prices they put organic food at follows that same rule. It is cheap to buy organic at the Commissary.

Now, I have a question for you. I want to know how much you tip the bagger. Do you have a method? Or, do you fly by the seat of your pants?

Personally, I go through the self-checkout. This is a sticky point between Daniel and I. He loathes the self-checkout lane while I love it. Not only do I get to bag my groceries just the way I like them, and no one else's germy hands are touching my produce or slamming my tomatoes on the belt, I don't have to tip anyone to bag. This opinion may not sit well with some of you. I just don't like having to tip someone for a job I'd rather do myself, or is free at any other store I shop at.

If I, for some reason, have to go through the checkout lane and a bagger takes care of my groceries, I will tip 2 dollars. Across the board. I'm stingy like that.

Talk to me - what do you do?

*Post from 1 year ago today: "Safety First, People"
Rockin' Eliza and... some other stuff
Mama, I'm hungry! Can I eat some of these tasty looking rocks? No?


How about some grass? No?


Okay, Mama. But how about my fist?



Mmmmm... this is good. But when am I going to get some real food?


By the way, Mama... have you seen the sky we're playing under? It's stunning tonight!
I know, I know. I have a very big vocabulary for being seven months old.




*No post from 1 year ago today
Post from May 30, 2007: Thoughts on Homebirth
Grilled Pizza

Last night I made grilled pizza for dinner. And it was good. I have been intrigued by the idea of putting an actual pizza on the grill for awhile now but haven't had the nerve to give it a whirl.
Sundays are a pretty relaxed day for meals here so I decided why not! I made sure I had back-up food in case it was a disaster.
I used ingredients that I had on hand except for the fresh mozzarella. Daniel was going shopping so I had him pick some up. I made sauce, sausage, and cheese for him and the kids and a tomato, pesto, and mozzarella for me. Incredibly delicious!

Can I just take a little detour in this food-themed post to talk abut my husband shopping? Okay... As a woman, when I shop, I come home with what's on the list.... and some other stuff. It's an experience. You know?
When Daniel goes shopping... he comes home with what's on his list. Nothing else. Period. I find that rather intriguing. And hard to grasp. It must be that one track mind thing men have. Or at least my man has.

Anyways, back to the pizza.

It was amazingly easy to make. I make a dough that doesn't need to rise, which is a huge time saver. The actual cooking on the grill was so simple and clean! No extra dishes. And you guys, I tried to burn the pizza. I really did. I got so distracted by children, and my husband, and cleaning up my mess that I forgot about the pizza. But it just wouldn't burn! That is a major bonus in my book.

So, grilled pizza is fast, delicious, and won't burn. Perfect!

*Post from 1 year ago today: Baby Belly Picture at Four and One-Half Months

Eliza and Her Cut-Offs

Have you ever seen anything so cute as a chubby baby girl in cut-offs? I thought not.

Weddings and such...
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and redo your wedding? Are there things you wish you could have chosen to do differently, whether it be as huge as inviting - or not inviting - someone, or perhaps it's as simple as the colors you chose. I look back on that time of my life and I feel as though I have much clearer vision now. I can see the things that are truly important and wish I had concentrated more on them. Though, I do believe Daniel and I did a superb job.

I loved, loved, loved the church but wished we hadn't chosen a Sunday to get married on. I adored my colors (red, yellow, and orange!) but wish I had had my friends stand up with me instead of just family. I am glad we had two receptions - a big one outside at the church for friends and such, another intimate, family-only one at a gorgeous bed and breakfast - but wish there had been more structure at the church reception.

You know how it goes. Hind sight is twenty-twenty.

One major thing is I wish I had chosen a different dress. One more suited to who I am. Something simple, elegant, and much easier to wear. Such as this one from J.Crew:

This one is "me" also:

No fuss, just simple beauty. The first dress... 295 dollars. That would have been an amazing deal. I would have put the extra money towards a more creative photographer.

It's funny to me that I still catch myself thinking, every once in awhile, about how I wish I could do a few parts of our wedding differently. It seems kind of silly to have those thoughts seven years later. Daniel and I had a beautiful wedding. It was very "us." The people we loved best, and who love us best, were there. It wasn't stiff, formal, or hectic. It was lovely. I am so thankful for that special day made just for us. And I am really glad it was Daniel waiting at the end of that gorgeous aisle for me.

Just 'cause I'm curious - what would you do differently? Anything?

*Post from 1 year ago today: Can You Feel the Love?
He's Two. So Very, Very Two.
Judah is all sweetness, except when he's not.


Truly, he is our loving, thoughtful, sensitive, snuggle bug, but all boy... boy. It's tough to keep the manliness when surrounded by girls, but he's learning.

Got his car? Check.


Hate to be scrubbed? Check.

Growl like a lion to make your sister scream? Check.

Throw every toy onto the ground just to hear it make a loud noise? Check.

Tackle your sister and slam her onto the ground? Check.

Love pink cake, waffles, bikes? Check. Oops.

It's a work in progress, but he's doing pretty good, I'd say.


It's so fun to watch Judah's personality develop. He's not strong-willed but he is stubborn (um, not like anyone else I know.) and he really loves to see if the boundaries we have laid down are firm. They are. But he sure does like running into the wall that is Mama and Daddy.


Today Judah had the option to obey or to receive a discipline. His answer was "No thanks! No dis-pline, Mama." Such good manners! The choices, well, those are not always so good. But boy! do we celebrate when good choices are made!

I am looking forward to seeing who Judah is in a couple of years. "Two" has been tough; between the communication barrier, figuring out that he isn't the baby anymore, and discovering that he is his very own person who can have opinions and lots of them... it's been a little bumpy. But, I'd go on this ride with him any day. Judah is love, love, love. And he is one cherished little boy.

Dessert for Dinner: Pink Cake

Judah requested white cake with frosting - specifically, pink. Perfect with my beautiful roses.

Post from 1 year ago: "An Eve-ism"

(Having issues with my pictures fitting in my blog posts. Pretend as though you don't notice...)

(Previous post idea adapted from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom)
7 Months Old


Seven months! How the time has flown. I have loved every minute of this baby girl being in our family. Eliza is a joy. Pure joy. She is adored by everyone who comes in contact with her. We are regularly accosted in the grocery store, the library, church, basically anytime we're in public. And she usually rewards her admirers with a dimpled smile. And when she smiles it is like a ray of sunshine beaming on you. What more could one ask for?

Eliza is just now starting to sit up. She did good for the pictures today but in the past has fussed at me to let her lay down already! And so I do. I'm in no rush for the milestones to pass. I've learned how quickly the time flies and I'd rather drag babyhood out for as long as I can.


One of Eliza's favorite things to do is eat. Which is entirely surprising, isn't it?

Oh, no it isn't?

The rolls... it was the rolls that gave it away, wasn't it?

Eliza is still nursing like there's no tomorrow and now she has added table food into the mix. None of that nasty baby food for her. She wants the real stuff and lots of it. If I take too long to get something yummy in her mouth she becomes downright indignant. Which is pretty funny. To me.

She hates anything with maple syrup on it but loves eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and chicken. No sweet tooth for this girl. Actually, there's no teeth at all. Which is fine by me, I rather like the gummy look.

I am so thankful for every day we have with Eliza. Each is precious and a gift.

Here's to the best month yet my beautiful, sweet Lu-Lu!



I've been a little off lately, could you tell? This has been a hard week for me.

Emotions. Blech.

The kids have been great; we've had fun, had our neighbor's over last night for a barbecue, watched movies... it's been a pretty relaxed week, but my heart has been so sad.

Daniel and I made some incredible friends when we lived in Vermont. Tarrah, from Blue-eyed Babies, and her husband, Sam. True blue, in the nitty-gritty with you, friends. And I miss them, we miss them. It was amazing to watch my husband - a life-long Air Force brat accustom to many, frequent moves - allow himself to make a real friend... a best friend. And it completely broke my heart to watch him say good-bye to Sam. It broke my heart to say good-bye to Tarrah.

And I know, it's not like our friendship with Sam and Tarrah is over - because it's not! But, the living out daily life together part is and that's tough to face. I miss the spontaneous dinners, watching the guys throw the football, hearing the kids play together. It's hard to not have a friend I can really rely on here. If I need someone to watch the kids at the last second, I am stuck up a river! But, most of all I miss the camaraderie. In just a few short years we went through a lot of life together.

Sam and Tarrah moved this week. They moved from Vermont to North Carolina - it's been their dream and I am so, so happy for them. They will live close to the ocean, Sam will work at a busy fire station, they will buy a house and live in it for a long, long time. All that wonderful, dream fulfilling stuff and here I am sad. Sad because I want to live in the same town with them, watch our kids grow up together, grow old, or in Sam's case - older (ha!), with them.

But, we can't do any of that. Daniel and I have chosen this military life... and it's a good life! We love it. The moving, the patriotism, the new experiences, and the opportunities it affords us. It's just, I can't figure out which I would rather have. The military life or the settled down life.

So, here I am sad and missing my friends all over again. These feelings make me want to rush back to when Daniel and I were 17; I want to know all I know now, then. I want to sit with Daniel and talk - to hash things out. To figure out what would be better for us in the long run but also in the in-between years.

Except I don't have that luxury. Nor do any of us. But, we do have the luxury of airplanes being available to us to fly in, and a car to drive, a computer to e-mail with, and a phone to call with. So, there will be lots of phone calls, and e-mails. Lots of visiting the lovely beaches of North Carolina. And I will enjoy knowing there is a place I can go where my friends will always be. That will do this "constantly moving around" heart good.

I'm still sad, though. I think a visit may be in order. There will soon be a new baby to hold!
Riding on Daddy's Shoulders

Daniel is such an excellent father. And he enjoys his little girls. He gets right down on their level - one level is just a little lower than the other right now- and he talks and plays. He loves his daughters. And they love him right back, with their whole being.

Judah... He's Daddy's buddy. Those two are rough and tumble together; playing cars and "fixin' stuff. I find myself looking forward to the years that are coming so quickly - time passes fast, doesn't it - when Daniel and Judah can camp together, times when they can go fishing, play basketball, and you know - do manly things.

I appreciate seeing the boy interactions, but it's not new to me. I had two brothers, I saw all kinds of manly stuff going on. It's the little girl interactions that happen between Daniel, Eve, and Eliza. The soft smiles, and the hugs. The special - just me and Daddy - moments that take place. It all warms my heart. I am amazed how Daniel, who is such a manly man, can be so good with little girls. He knows just what to say to get a smile, just what to do to mend a heart, and the perfect baby hold.

Of course, I shouldn't be too surprised... He's awful good with me too. He loves me just right.
A Base Bake-Off

Daniel sent an e-mail home yesterday detailing a base bake-off that is taking place this weekend. He's been after me to enter my cookies in a fair, or some sort of judged event for a long time. And I have always sidestepped. It makes me nervous! I love making my cookies for others - I love seeing people enjoy the food I make, but allowing my cookies to be thoroughly critiqued and picked apart. Well, it makes me feel vulnerable.

I am sure there are some deep psychological issues coming to the surface here...

The deal is this: I make four dozen cookies - two for the bake-off and two get sent to our deployed members. How can I say no to that? Yet, I want to because I am afraid! Oh, the guilt...

Indecisiveness currently reigns. But guilt will win, I'm sure.
Tuesday Recipe: Cream Puffs
I know, you want the Boston Cream Pie recipe. I'll write it up, I just want to make it first so I can include pictures.

Today, today we are talking about Cream Puffs.

This dessert is incredibly simple. But it sure does present beautifully! And serving Cream Puffs feels quite special. So, if you are in the mood for a non-fruit, amazing tasting dessert, need it to be something fairly fast but want it to look as though you slaved over the dessert for hours upon hours... I've got your back.

Actually, could we switch backs? Mine is so tight right now... The Crossfit workout Daniel and I did tonight kicked my butt.

Moving on... Cream Puffs. Here we go!

First you need to make the Pastry Cream because this needs to chill.

Coincidentally, this is the same cream you'll be making for the Boston Cream pie. It is so, so good.

In your mixing bowl beat on high speed until thick and pale yellow (about 2 minutes):

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

4 large egg yolks

While your eggs etc. are getting a good whipping combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer (you'll be adding the egg mixture into this pan so make sure it's big enough):

1 1/3 cups milk

1 vanilla bean ( I skip the v. bean)

Gradually pour one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook until custard is thick. Stir constantly!! Cook until for 45-60 seconds after the mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add in:

1 teaspoon vanilla ( I always add 1 teaspoon more cause I'm a rebel and I love vanilla)

I stir the pastry cream for a few minutes to cool it down a bit. Once it isn't piping hot anymore, lay a piece of saran wrap over the top to prevent that nasty skin from forming. Chill.

Okay, now you need to work on the Choux Paste (choux sounds like shoe and means cabbage which is so not the look or taste we are going for here. So, please forget I ever enlightened you on the finer points of Choux)

Put into a medium sized saucepan:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

8 tablespoons butter , cut into 8 pieces

1 Tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Bring this mixture to a full boil, stir frequently. As soon as the butter is melted, pour in:

1 1/2 cups flour

Stir vigorously until the flour is completely incorporated. Keep stirring for another 30 - 45 seconds until the dough forms a ball and the bottom of your pan has a light crust. Remove from the pan and place in your mixing bowl.

Immediately add in, one at a time, 5 eggs . Mix on low speed until incorporated and then add the next one. When you are finished you should have a shiny, smooth dough.

Place this dough in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip - or if you are normal like me and don't have one - use a ziploc bag that you cut the corner off to make a half inch hole. Shape your dough into puffs on an ungreased baking sheet. They should look like this:

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 10-20 minutes more - the puffs should be golden and very firm to the touch.

Remove and cool on a cooling rack.

Alright! Now we are onto the chocolate sauce. This sauce absolutely makes the Cream Puffs. You can not eat a Cream Puff without chocolate sauce - it's just not done!

In a double broiler (or a metal bowl atop a pan with a couple inches of boiling water in it) combine:

6 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate (Use something good - you won't regret it!)

6 Tablespoons water, milk, or fresh coffee

Remove from the heat once this is melted and smooth. Stir in:

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (Don't use the salted kind. Blech!)

1/4 cup powdered sugar - or until it's sweet enough for you

Continue to stir until perfectly smooth. It will be a thing of beauty. I can assure you of this.

Okay... the putting together of your Cream Puffs. Since I'm normal and I don't have a pastry bag (though, admittedly I would love to have one!) I cut my puffs in half, fill with cream, and then put the puff back together. If you had a pastry bag you could pipe the cream into the puff.

Once you've filled the puffs and placed them on your serving platter, drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top. Absolute deliciousness!

Enjoy! And, please, let everyone think you slaved over these Cream Puffs. It's more fun that way.


Sunday Barbecue

It's becoming a trend for us... weekend barbecues with people we don't really know but would like to. Last night was no exception. We grilled bratwurst; hot ones for the brave, mild for the not so brave (read: ME), with sauted red bell peppers and onions. For the kids - hotdogs. I made sweet tea, a tossed salad, grilled potatoes and onions, and fresh veggies with dip. We topped off the night with Blueberry Surprise ( You WANT that recipe!!) It was the perfect, unassuming meal.

Our company was wonderful - relaxed, easy to talk to people. They have kids that got along great with our kids... it was fun. Lots of talking and laughing, realizing we were fairly compatible friends, and promises of getting together again soon.

I know this is going to shock some of you.. but I am naturally shy. I am not super comfortable with people I don't know well and it isn't the easiest thing for me to have strangers in my home. But, I am getting so much better at it. Daniel would be the first to tell you that. I just keep putting myself out there - keep putting myself in situations where I really have to extend beyond my comfort zone. I can't afford to be shy! I need friends - friends who will be my family where ever we are currently stationed.
I find that my best offense, in this ongoing battle with myself, is to pretend. I pretend I am super comfortable, super relaxed, super outgoing... And guess what! Suddenly I am! I am finding I have to pretend less and less often. I am becoming the extrovert I've always wished I could be.

About those beautiful flowers... I needed a centerpiece to go with a white table cloth. I had the beautiful green bowl and I had a few roses from my rose bushes, but I needed more. So, I visited the unoccupied house next door whose rose bushes I trim. I clipped a few from there. I needed just a few more so I visited another unoccupied home. I clipped three more... Perfection.
A beautiful, free centerpiece. And let me just tell you - it smelled a hundred times more beautiful than it looked.

Military Life Questions... Again.
Photo by Eve

Because I am just so dang curious...

I want to know one thing you absolutely love about the military.

Is it the free medical care? The quality of life? The free housing? The knowledge that you are involved in something bigger than yourself? The sense of patriotism that comes from serving your country? The Commissary? The travel - billeting? The annual pay raise?

For me, personally, one of the best and most loved parts of being in the military - as a spouse - is being able to experience life in different parts of the country... and hopefully world! I love meeting new people, discovering a new city and uncovering it's quirks, meeting new people - Oops! Did I already say that?
And I guess I just love never being bored - there is always something new to discover, a surprise TDY, a deployment, a PCS... Life is never boring when lived as a military spouse.

There are somethings I don't love about the military.

No, that's not true. I pretty much love it all. Except paying to use the base pool... I don't like that.

There are other more serious things I don't like, but honestly, I strive to not settle my mind on the hard stuff, but instead choose to view this life as one big adventure. (Will someone please remind me of this when Daniel deploys!!)

Alright, next question...

If you could change one thing about your military life what would that be?

No answer is wrong. I can't wait to see your unique perspective.

Oh, one more thing... I'm starting a ladies night, for military wives ( and others too - as I meet them!), at my house on the first Friday of the month. Everyone brings a dessert and I am providing the wine along with other beverages (since I won't be drinking). What do you think? Will people come? Do you have any suggestions for me on how I can make it more fun, or run smoothly? How to make this something the women would love to come back to again the next time?

I'm all ears!
Sweet Cheeks and a Candid Photo

I kiss her chubby cheeks all day long. I can't help myself, nor do I want to. She is just so kissable! The perfect amount of squish is in those cheeks... completely perfect.

So, if I ever look back on this time in my life and wonder why on earth I didn't get more done, I'll remember... It was the squish.

Is there anything better than a candid photo? I think not. Case in point. This is my life, friends. Loud, crazy, hilarious, and most times wonderful.

Oh, and don't go hatin' on my chair. That chair has rocked all my babies and also has the perfect amount of squish.

Dessert for Dinner: Take 5 - Cream Puffs
Dessert for Dinner time once again. And this week... Cream Puffs. You know I've been craving Cream Puffs for almost two weeks now.

My original plan was to tackle and be victorious over Boston Cream Pie. But, I had only half the eggs I needed.
The thought of taking three kids to the store was not a pleasant one, besides my hands were aching at the thought of typing the recipe(s) out for you. Which I totally will, by the way. Everyone, everyone should eat homemade, made from scratch, Boston Cream Pie before they die. Otherwise, I am pretty sure your taste buds will hate you forever (but will that matter if you're dead??) and, more importantly, your life really wasn't lived.

I stood at my counter for a little while trying to decide what to make. I sought counsel from Julia Child's Baking with Julia, and The Joy of Cooking but came up empty. I remembered that I have a ton of nectarines. I thought perhaps I could make something with those. But nah, totally not in the mood for a fruity dessert.

It was then I realized I was still craving Cream Puffs. A quick glance over the recipe and I determined I was good to go.

Cream Puffs for the neighbors
(Who had never had any before. What??!!)

Such a good idea. They were absolutely fantastic. Daniel said the best yet. Eve inhaled six all on her own. She informed me they were delicious! And I "followed the recipe!"

Why, yes child, I did. Kind of... I have issues with leaving well enough alone when it comes to food preparation.

Judah ended dinner with pastry cream in his eyebrows. I guess that's compliment enough for me.

Cream Puffs for us

It was an excellent Dessert for Dinner night. Who's coming over next Thursday?
Let's Talk Army Wives, Military Life, and Fraternization...
I've got a few questions that are swirling around in my mind... And I know, Army Wives is a fictional show. But, still... the questions need answers.

First off - Is the Army really that close knit?

The wives seemed to become friends instantly. I've lived in the Air Force for nearly ten years now - on base and off - and it is not like that. Or at least for me it's not. There is a certain amount of instant camaraderie that occurs but not to the degree that is shown between these Army wives.

And another thing- I am wondering about the fraternization. Is it not as defined in the Army? Because it - as far as I have seen on this base - is pretty defined between wives in the Air Force. I just can't see myself, no matter how cute and sassy I may be, hob knobin' it with the base commander's wife. Ya know?

And the houses on the Army post in the show - I love how they are close and the kids all play in the yard together. But is that normal? We have some of that here, between the kids, but the houses aren't that close. And the wives don't sit out and chat together. Though I am all for that. My neighbors barely come out of their houses!

So, my fellow Air Force wives, and Army wives, and Navy Wives, and Marine Wives, and Coast Guard wives... you know I love you all... Tell me how it really is.

Oh, and I just started the second season so don't go spoiling anything for me... okay!

A gratuitous picture of our littlest Air Force "brat"
Wordless Wednesday With A Twist: Summertime

It's WWWAT time again! And the theme for this week is "Summertime." I've never had summer like I am having it this year - it is fantastic.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the New Mexico summer, that I have found, are the storms. They are intense and vibrant, they sneak up on you and strike with such intensity! Which is pretty exciting and fun unless you happen to be riding your motorcycle home from work...
Poor Daniel

We all know that summer storms, once they are over, often times give us a rainbow.
Tonight was no exception!

I wish I could show you the whole sky. It was beautiful.

My roses are loving the rain! I am seeing less of the "bloom and fry" going on. Our walkway smells lovely!

But we all know the very best part of the after storm is the puddles. Especially when you're five and two. It is the definition of fun!

Happy Summertime!

To see more visit Rachel at The Adventures of an American Mum.
How Much Do You Spend?
Yesterday's delicious breakfast.
A whole wheat english muffin, watermelon, and bacon along side scrambled eggs made with ham, tomato, and fresh basil.

I was talking to my friend Sarah from Smack Dab in the Middle of Life yesterday about everything under the sun, but mainly about budgets and grocery shopping.

Scintillating - no. Practical, helpful, normal - yes.

Sarah and I go way back. And I mean way back. This means we can talk about anything and everything and not have to preface what we say with a story or explanation. It's comfortable and nice to talk with her because in my world everyone is "new." Everything needs an explanation and I wonder if I am being judged by what I say or don't say.

Anyone else in that place? Holla!

Sarah and I were discussing, in great detail, grocery shopping - the best places to buy this or that, the value - or not - of Costco, and how much Trader Joe's rocks.
Sarah asked me if I would tell her how much we spend a month on groceries - you know, if that was alright and I didn't mind....
It was no problem because like I said to her: It's you - it's me we've know each other forever. We're good!

The problem came in being able to pin point exactly how much we spend. I gave Sarah an estimate of about 400 dollars give or take - being what I normally spend each month. But I am not the woman who takes the calculator to the grocery store.

(It's definitely my personality to do this, and I use to, but my brain is on overload at this point in life. A calculator at the grocery store may just be what pushes me over the edge.)

In our house Daniel does the money ( Yay!!) and his take on the "grocery budget" when I asked was this: "I like to eat so you buy whatever you need to buy." Knowing how much we make I do not buy "whatever." But we do like to eat and we like to eat good. This translates into groceries being where the largest amount of our money goes to each month.

So, I am asking you - even though we don't go way back - what is an estimate of the normal amount you spend a month of groceries? And why? Does family size have a large effect on the amount, or perhaps it is the quality of food? The city you live in?

Do you shop only at one store or do you go to a few following the sales?

I will also pose to you the question Sarah posed to me:

How does one reduce the amount of money spent each month on groceries? Any great tips?
The Best of Life

Life just doesn't get much better than that, now does it? Being tossed, squealing into the air as if you're light as a feather, always caught by strong loving arms, laughing until your sides ache...

This is the best stuff of life.
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