Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not Enough Hours...

So to begin this post, I would like to share the story of how I wrote a blog post about how there are not nearly enough hours in the day to do everything Joe and I would like and how very frustrating it is. I very deliberately set 30 minutes aside to do so, and 45 minutes into the post, it was deleted. An unfortunate tragedy, but we must continue on.

I have been through this cycle of life before, i.e. busy days of college, but Joe and I are quickly having to re-familiarize ourselves with the concept of not have enough time in the day.

Things have become a little hectic lately with my long weeks of work and Joe's many hours of studying. The days of Joe taking care of all things domestic are over, and we are learning the joys of shared duties after coming home at the end of the work day, exhausted, but with dinner to cook, house to clean, plenty of personal projects, quality time to spend together, cat to take care of (and yes cats do require time, at least our spoiled one does), oh and a socail life to maintain.

Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking when He created 24 hour days. Doesn't He know that if you try to get any decent amount of sleep, there is simply not enough time to do everything else? I suppose maybe the Creator of the world knows more than we do, and maybe this just means we need to prioritize...

I pray daily for more strength, but I feel like it takes the energy of an Olympian to survive these days. If anyone has any tips on how to balance work and EVERYTHING else, I believe I speak for Joe and I when I say, we are all ears!

We did manage to slip away a few weekends ago to visit some of the local vineyards. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Other than our weekend trip, I can't say it's been completely all work and no play.  We've checked out the c'ville bowling alley and attended a few IL section H events (which would be Joe's 1st year law school group).

This past Friday we went to a section H potluck. Joe signed us up to bring dessert, and I was inspired by this very yummy local grocery's bakery across the street from our apt. to try my hand at coconut macaroons. I found them to be SUPER easy, and very yummy. They're a great party dessert, because they are accessible like cookies and if you melt a little chocolate and drizzle it over the top, people think you really know what you're doing.

Here's the recipe I used (modified from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook):

14 ounces of sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1). Preheat oven to 325ยบ
2). Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper or grease and lightly flour (be aware it can still stick with ungreased waxed paper)
3). In a large mixing bowl stir together all the dry ingredients.
4). With a large spoon (I used a wooden spoon) stir in the egg whites and vanilla.
5). Using a 1/2 tablespoon, drop rounds of the mixture on the cookie sheets 2 in. apart. (I fit about 20 macaroon balls per cookie sheet)
6). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the macaroons are lightly browned on top.
7). Set aside on cooling rack.

If you want to add the extra chocolate drizzle, just heat about 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate (chop if you use a bar) with approx. 1 tsp of shortening.  Stir continually until the chocolate is completely melted.  Immediately remove from the heat and drizzle onto the cool macaroons.

Easy peasy.

One last note. Tomorrow is a big day for the Majors and formerly Majors women.  I will be arriving at my 24th year of life, AND it marks the beginning of the 2 month countdown until Jennifer gets married! Keep my sister and Philip in your prayers; they are getting very close to the big day!

Lots of love,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A little bit of Culture

Finally home!

After almost a week and a half of being on the road and apart from my hubby, I was very happy to spend lots of time with him seeing more of Charlottesville and taking in a few bits of culture.

On Tuesday we had our first home cooked meal together since I left and then took in the most incredible movie I think I've ever seen.

If you have not seen Terrence Malick's newest "Tree of Life" you have not completely lived.
I was a little hesitant about this movie, because I thought someone trying to display The Creation on screen, was taking on a feat too great for any human.  Not to say it ISN'T too great for any human... we're talking about God's creation... but Malik certainly gave us 2 hours and 18 minutes of some of the most beautiful, surreal cinematography ever recorded. Which, God willing, helps to remind us of the incredible beauty and Divineness of the true moments of creation.

The movie incorporates a loose plot based around the dynamics of a 1950's family interspersed with scenes of the creation of the world from the earliest bits of light to the first lungs in existence.  This movie is overwhelming, but it certainly requires patience.  It is not a blockbuster or tear-jerker, yet it is a masterpiece, like a great work of art, that you have to contemplate and discuss in order to gain full appreciation of its sublimity. Joe and I both highly recommend this movie, if nothing else, to experience a great phenomena of film as art.

The next night I was home we took in a little more art, this time in the way of quirky, poetic lyrics backed by fiddles, steel guitars, harmonicas, and unique vocals.  The Decemberists were in town on Wednesday, and being one of our many favorite bands, we of course bought tickets a month ago.
We had such a great time listening to some of our favorite songs from The King is Dead and Picaresque, while bee-bopping to new favorites from The Crane Wife and Hazards of Love.  It was a very fun outdoor concert experience which we immediately followed with a few slices of pizza from our favorite new local joint, Christians Pizza.

These are the only photos I got, and yes we were ridiculously close to the stage... we got there 2 hours early... that's how my husband rolls when it comes to concerts.  I guess in retrospect I certainly can't complain.

Needless to say, I am very happy to be home and am learning to love this new city more and more each day!