Posts filed under ‘Marriage’

Why We Aren’t The Hearsts

When Stephen and I first started dating I had a conversation with my mom. She asked a million questions to learn more about this new boy in my life. What’s his name? Stephen. What’s his last name? Hurst. Where do his parents live? California. HOLD THE PHONE. He is a Hearst and his family lives in California? Is he one of THE Hearsts?? Ha. No. Not so much.

My Stephen wasn’t part of the Hearst empire. I explained that his parents lived in California for a couple years for his dad’s job but had all intentions to come back to Houston. And there was really no chance they were distant relatives because the spelling is different.

As Stephen and I dated and then eventually got married, I saw more and more that we are not like the Hearst family. We are simple, frugal, clip coupons, and drink discount booze. We often have Totino’s for dinner and wait 6 months between haircuts because it kills me to shell out that much money for a trim. We are just not that classy.

We weren’t planning on going out to a nice dinner last night for our anniversary. We’d eaten out enough over the weekend that we felt like it would be okay to skip the actual anniversary night. Plus, we had run out of Stephen’s winnings from the dog track. So it looked like we’d just be eating some breaded chicken and glazed carrots in front of the television. Not that there is anything wrong with that, Stephen and I love our dinners in front of the television… especially when it’s Wheel of Fortune or Wipe Out!

But my mom informed me that she’d purchased a Groupon to a nice restaurant close by and if we wanted to, we could use it. Yes please! So we got home from work and I changed into a cotton dress (I didn’t think that capris and Stephen’s t-shirt were appropriate) and headed over there. For those of you in Houston, the restaurant is Bailey’s American Grille (<– link, check it out). The restaurant is beautiful, the menu is mouth-watering.

We were seated and given the menu and drink menu. Our waiter came over to take our drink orders. I presented him with our Groupon print out which is a basically a big sign that says “We Are Too Cheap To Come Here Regularly, But We’re All About The Discount Food.” I’m sure waiters just love to see that. He asked what we’d like to drink and we just said water. If it weren’t for the fact that I actually knew the waiter from childhood, I’m sure he’d be cursing the restaurant gods for placing us in his section instead of the next batch of wealthy patrons.

The food was fantastic. We started off with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. They were laying on this awesome lemon butter sauce and topped with goat cheese. They were supposed to be topped with crab meat as well but since I really am hoping to have a 4th and even 50th anniversary, we asked them to keep the shellfish away from Stephen. They were delicious. Melted goat cheese on fried tomatoes? My friend, nothing even sounds better than that! 

For dinner we each ordered a steak. If you recall, I’m of the mindset that you should never order a steak more cooked than medium. It’s just not right. But when you’re pregnant, they say you are supposed to have “fully cooked meat.” So I braced myself for the embarrassment of ordering a filet medium well. Thankfully I was leaning back when our waiter came back and he must’ve seen a glimpse of my enormous belly. “What would you like for dinner?” I’d like the filet, (adjust self in seat and scrunch face to hide embarrassment) medium well. “Umm. Are you..?” And he makes this awkward curved shape with his hand. Pregnant? Yes. Very. That’s why I’m ordering my steak that way. “Oh! Well congratulations.” I felt better that he knew that I wasn’t intentionally trying to ruin a perfect steak. Stephen ordered the prime rib which came to our table still mooing.

It was fantastic. Mine came with garlic mashed potatoes that, I swear, were shipped here from the Holy Throne of God. (Which really makes me excited to go to Heaven. Can you even imagine all the good food they’ve got up there?!) Stephen’s came with a potato gratin that made him moan on multiple bites. “This cheese, Chelsea! This cheese!”

We split the Baked Alaska for dessert. We were underwhelmed but I think that’s because we didn’t know what we were ordering. Overall, dinner was fantastic. My belly was full all the way up to my boobs. Know that feeling, preggos? On the way home, Stephen asked if we could rent a movie. It was already a little after 8 and I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of staying up that late. “But it’s a week night!” He was silent for a few seconds and then asked, “Can we please rent a movie and watch it while I rub your feet.” SURE!

So that’s what we did. We watched It’s Complicated while Stephen drank wine and rubbed my feet and while I drank water and paused the movie for multiple potty breaks. It was a great night. We managed to pull off “classy” that evening. We didn’t spill our food on our clothes, Stephen put his pinky out while he was drinking his Guinness from his frosted mug, we said our please and thank yous. I think we could have fooled anyone. We totally could have said we were The Hearsts and they would never have been the wiser.

Until we got into bed, turned out the light, and I let out a belch.

July 29, 2010 at 8:59 am 13 comments

Growth

Today, July 28,2010, is my third anniversary. Three years ago, Stephen and I stood before 230 of our closest friends and family and made a commitment to each other. It was a wonderful day, a wonderful wedding, a wonderful man.

Since then there have been a lot of changes. Good changes. Growth.

They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. For us, that was true. I was in a job that I hated and Stephen wasn’t in a job at all. We bought a house and moved. Several things combined to make it a rough year. But we survived and came out on the other side with a better relationship.

The rest has been smooth sailing. We’ve gotten the hang of marriage and couldn’t be happier. My husband is kind, thoughtful, and downright hilarious. He keeps me on my toes. Every day I love him more. I have a feeling that I’m just figuring out what that even means. When I got pregnant, I had this new surge of love for Stephen. Everytime I see my bump, I love him more. Everytime he puts his hand on my belly or kisses my bump good night, I fall more in love with him. I cannot even imagine how it’s going to be when Jansen is on the outside of my womb! There is absolutely nothing more attractive than your husband growing into a stronger man. (That’s probably why I’ve read on several blogs lately that y’all are very attracted to your man when you see him mowing the lawn. Something about a manly man that makes us melt… Am I right?)

So today we celebrate my husband. Because without him, there would be no wonderful marriage. There is not a doubt in my mind that God picked this crazy man just for me. He is the only one in the world who knows how to pop my toes, or knows the exact spot on my forehead to kiss when I have a headache. And we all know those are the important things in life!

We celebrated our anniversary over the weekend. We took our annual anniversary trip to my parents’ beach house and did nothing but eat, relax, and beach. Pretty much exactly like last year, only without the booze. Oh and if I might remind you… last year I showed you proof of my massive food baby after our big anniversary dinner…

Impressive, no? Well I outdid myself this year. Want to talk about growth??

Thankfully that’s more baby than it is food!

To my husband: I loves you. I love you like a friend, I love you like a spouse, I love your smile and your laugh and the way you accidentally tell jokes when you aren’t meaning to. I love the way you open the car door for me, as well as any other woman who may be with us. I love your milky brown eyes and the scar under your nose. I love the way you eat your meals in sections and the way your hold your fork and knife. It’s all the little things tied up with all the big things that make me love you in so many ways. I LOVES YOU!

(My second anniversary post.)

July 28, 2010 at 8:58 am 22 comments

Handling a Pregnant Wife

Good day everyone.  My name is John and I’m filling in today for Chelsea.  She’s out grabbing some lunch and doing her nails while skydiving.  She told me they dry faster that way.  I write a blog called Fatherhoody.

I wanted to get the word out to all you ladies and to any husbands that might be reading though, there are certain things you must do to handle a pregnant wife.  My wife and I found out we were pregnant way back in 2009.  That’s like… a year ago (2010-2009 = 1).  That also means we’re getting closer and closer each day to her popping out a small human.  (The human will grow to be a larger human and eventually go on to play right field for the St. Louis Cardinals, make millions of dollars, and place me into a very nice retirement home.)  Anyway, as we approach A-Day (arrival day) a husband must care for his pregnant wife in a very different way than one would care for a non-pregnant wife.

You see, the Pregnant Wife (Wifius Pregnasius), is a creature like no other.  She can be emotional.  She will always be tired (and will always use the word exhausted to describe her current state).  She will also always be uncomfortable.  She’ll be uncomfortable standing, sitting, sleeping, driving, walking, running, jogging, especially jump roping and always when mountain climbing.  Therefore, as the helper of Wifius Pregnasius the Husband of Pregnant Wife (Husbandian Wifius Pregnasius) must use the following advice to keep things happy in the household.

  1. Act Excited About Everything. A request to do the dishes for her on a night should be met with the following: “You want me to do the dishes?  I’D LOVE TO DO THE DISHES!”  During statements such as these keep your voice pitch an octave higher than usual to show extra excitement.  Also, be extra excited about doing anything outside the home.  It is very difficult for Wifius Pregnasius to get the energy to leave the nest, so if the opportunity arises make sure you act like she just asked you to be her date to every single game of the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals season and you get to sit right behind home plate and wave to it throughout the whole game while on your cell phone.  “WHAT??  You want to go to Target to look at maternity tops??  Oh my GOSH!!! I was just thinking how I’d love to go to Target and do some shopping!  I’m so glad you thought of it too!” If Husband does not act excited, there could be tears involved.
  2. Strength Training.  As Wifius Pregnasius enters into the third trimester, the Husband must be prepared to help her with every larger scale movement.  This means any movement that is more than one step forward.  Getting up from the chair?  A Husband must have an arm extended.  Getting up from the floor? Husband must have arm at the ready.  In the middle of the night and she needs to turn over?  Husband must have arm raised throughout night for her to grab onto.  (If arm is not raised, she will punch you in the face.  It’s happened to me.)
  3. Help Out a Little More.  Wifius Pregnasius is growing a human.  Husbandian Wifius Pregnasius had no pain in making said human (in fact, he had a pretty good time creating said human).  Therefore, it’s the least Husband can do to take on a couple more chores than usual and maybe even make the bed… even if it is his most hated chore in the world.
  4. Entertain.  Wifius Pregnasius will encounter incredible mood swings.  These will mostly occur when she is “exhausted” and it will usually end with her being quite depressed for no reason.  There is very little Husband can do to prevent this sadness.  (“Hi honey!  I just brought home a million dollars!”  will lead to “That makes me so sad…” which will lead to “Why are you sad?” which will lead to “I don’t know!!!!” and a tear.)  Therefore, it is up to Husband to find someway, anyway, to make Wife happy.  It’s a difficult task, but for my wife, there’s one thing that can put a smile on her face.  Me dancing.  (Now, before you hit play, I should have you know that this was a very big debate in the house about whether this was for the “internet” or just for the “family”.  I sided on the side of “internet”.  Wife sided on the side of “family” fearing she will be forever embarrassed by sharing my incredible talent with the world.  I’m not quite sure one would be embarrassed when they are met with award winning style points.)

John Dancing for Pregnant Wife

And people… I want you to realize that that was pure talent without any music or a beat.  Eat your heart out dancing reality show peoples.

So there you have it folks.  Four suggestions to help both Husband and Wife make it through nine incredible months of amazing joy, amazing trials, and an absolutely amazing journey.  God bless.

See you at the hood… Fatherhoody that is. (That was a dumb way to sign off… sorry.)

January 28, 2010 at 8:15 am 22 comments

What God DIDN’T Mean When He Said We Should Leave Our Familes

So listen y’all, I’m all about Biblical marriage. Love, honesty, communication, submission, respect, sex, husband : wife : : God : church, honor, relationship, etc. etc. etc. I get that. I’m not saying that I’ve perfected it. By no means is that true. I’m just saying that I get it and I support it.

Do you want to know who doesn’t get it??

MY MOM.

And my sister.

Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined with his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Did you get that? Well don’t worry because it’s repeated.

Mark 10: 7-8 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

I’m not going to write a dissertation about what that actually means. If you’re curious, let me know and I’ll tell you my thoughts and feelings on the matter. What I do want to talk about it what that DOES NOT mean.

Last week I went to my parents’ house to pick something up. I was thrilled to walk in and see their house decorated for Christmas. The big tree covered in ornaments, the snow village laid out across the piano, the smaller tree stuffed with UT ornaments… it was great. I felt warm and fuzzy. And then I saw this.

In the Rosenhagen household, the stockings are hung on the kitchen cabinet with care since they don’t actually have a mantel. I never really thought it was weird until I took that picture. But something is wrong there. Before marriages, there were 5 members of my family. (Mom, Dad, Big Brother, Little Sister, Me) Then Big Brother and I got married and added 2 more to the mix… Laura and Stephen. Did you do that math?? We are now a family of 7. Did you see how many stockings were hung by the kitchen cabinet with care?  THREE.

I have one word for how I felt when I saw that: Rejection.

I immediately called my mom out. I told her that was unacceptable and that I am still a member of this family. When I got married she told me I couldn’t have my stocking because she still needed it, so I ordered super cute ones for Stephen and I from Pottery Barn. And now my wonderful childhood stocking isn’t even being hung? Not okay my friend. NOT okay. 

My mom made some excuse about how they don’t fit very well and Lindsay said that since we weren’t in the house, they didn’t need a spot. Plus she couldn’t find the extra stocking hangers. Hey Little Sister, we may not be in the house but we’re still in the FAMILY!!!  And, what? They don’t fit?? They can cuddle. If my mother-in-law can find space for her daughter-in-law and TWO of her daughters’ boyfriends, my mom can fit her own daughter.

The next day I got a text from my mom. It read, “Will this do until I can find the hangers?”

Yes mom. That’ll do. I’ll take your Christmas present out of the trashcan now.

December 10, 2009 at 9:32 am 25 comments

Attacks on Black Friday

(Okay so this is long but I have so many things to tell you! I just can’t help it! Deal with it. I’ll be having a giveaway tomorrow so you can’t stay mad at me for long.)

I love my husband. This is no secret. He makes me happy, he makes me laugh, he makes you laugh. But, you know, we’re married. And when you are married and live in the same house, sometimes you take your spouse for granted. (I very often tell Stephen how lucky he is to have a wife who cooks dinner for him every night. But then I remember that he’s okay with fast food and take out every day, and that just makes me want to kick him in the shins.)

Tuesday night was a night that God practically came into my house and said, “Chelsea, don’t take your husband for granted.”

We got home from work fairly late since we had a couple errands to run. I went to the kitchen to preheat the oven for my “Mexican Chicken Made With Turkey, Therefore Mexican Turkey.” Stephen went to the living room to turn on the television so his wife wouldn’t miss a single second of Biggest Loser. I then went into our spare room where Rookie hangs out while we’re gone.

“Oh my gosh. Oh. my. gosh. OH MY GOSH. Stephen. Oh my gosh.”

A few seconds went by before Stephen could pull himself away from Obama on television. He came in. “Oh my gosh.”

Explosive dog diarrhea all over. We had white carpet and white walls. No longer. We had a house that didn’t smell like crap. No longer. It was awful. Terrible. I gagged. I wanted to hug and comfort my poor dog who had never dumped indoors ever before. But I didn’t touch her… because well, she’d just diarrhea-ed all over and that stuff tends to get on everything. And you want to know what my amazing husband did?? He turned to me and said, “You go finish dinner and get ready for Loser. I’ll clean this up.”

Lord bless him. Like, a lot.

(For the record, you can’t clean 972 liquid crap stains out of white carpet with normal “over the counter” cleaner. Stanley Steemer is at my house at this very moment. I didn’t tell them what they had to look forward to. I thought it would be a nice surprise.)

Now do you all have good feelings in your mind about Stephen? Do you love him just a little bit more? Okay, hold on to that feeling because some of you aren’t going to like the rest of this. It’s about hunting.

Some of you won’t care. Like my friend Lyndsey. If you can drink a glass of wine while watching a deer get gutted, we’re probably on the same page. She and I are on the same page. If I sat her down and showed her these photos and told her these stores, she wouldn’t say, “Oh gross! Blood!” She’d say something cool like, “Sweet. Who shot him? How many points is he?” If you can relate, you’re probably from Texas. Or maybe you should move here. Anyways, if you start reading and don’t like it, skip the pictures. I’m posting the “nicest” of the batch but some people can’t handle it. You’ve been warned.

We spent Wednesday through Saturday last week in a small town south of a small town in south Texas. Also known as: Practically Mexico. My Papa works for a bank in another small town in south Texas and has access to their hunting camp. On holidays when we’ve prayed real hard, we get to use it. It’s fabulous… as far as hunting camps go.

Last year Stephen shot his first deer. And coyote. And quail. And dove. And probably 4 or 5 other species. He was thrilled because he’s a man and that sort of thing makes him puff his chest. I was thrilled because that meant I had venison in my freezer and wouldn’t have to buy ground beef for a long time. And then I ate it and wanted to hurl. It was awful. Stephen loved it, but he loves everything that isn’t soup.

So this year I told him not to kill a deer. I don’t want that funk in my freezer. I just end up making crappy meals that I hate. So his goal was to get a rabbit. One rabbit. That’s all he wanted. Then my parents said they wouldn’t mind having some venison, so if he shot a deer, they’d take it. Then my brother (who wasn’t able to come with us because his wife is 8 months pregnant) said he’d like some sausage, so if he shot a deer and a hog, he’d take it. New mission: kill a rabbit, a hog, and a deer large enough to split between multiple people.

Let me tell you one thing about my studly husband. He doesn’t miss. Seriously. So when he went out to the blind on the first morning he was vewy vewy qwiet as he was hunting wabbits. A rabbit he wanted, a rabbit he got.

Here he is waiting for Papa to pull the truck a bit closer so he doesn’t have to haul this beast too far.

I’m not sure if there’s enough space in the freezer to store all that meat.

I mentally reorganized my freezer and made peace with the fact that there would be a large rodent in there. And I didn’t really care if he killed anything else because it wasn’t coming home with us. He had other ideas.

See that buck spooning that hog? Those are Stephen’s. Here is Texas, our animals comfort each other in their time of need. Either that or they were cuddling and trying to get used to each other since they knew it’s only a matter of time that they’d be put together forever in the form of sausage.

Sometimes I pretend that it’s my deer because it makes me feel tough. Like a modern day Annie Oakley. Then I let Stephen jump in and do the dirty work.

Check out how focused he is. For those of you who don’t know anything about cleaning a deer, one wrong cut and you’ve ruined some good meat. And another wrong cut and you’ve ruin a good finger. Slow and steady wins the race here. So while he focuses on not hurting himself or his dinner, I focus on having a beer and staying a safe distance from blood and stink.

That’s my sister, can you tell? That’s my scarf too, can you tell?

I don’t have many pictures of the hog for you. Most of the ones I have involve a lot of blood, guts, and bones. Something tells me that if I post them you’ll throw a fit. I’ll share this one final one with you. This is after the gutting but before the skinning and especially gory parts.

On Saturday we took the meat to my aunt and uncle’s house to process it. My uncle cooked up some patties and, turns out, I like venison. I think we must’ve had a bad deer last year. The meat is WORLDS apart. I could never understand why people like it. So now I really do have a full freezer.

And that, my friends, is how Texas does Thanksgiving. Jealous? Just wait until tomorrow when you see how we do Christmas.

December 3, 2009 at 9:16 am 25 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.16)

Has this week flown by or what??? Here’s another 7 bits of information that you can probably live without. For more, visit Conversion Diary.

1.
Do you want to know the only thing that sucked about my birthday? I spilled BBQ sauce on my Sperry’s.

Oh, and it was freaking freezing. But other than those two things, it was glorious.

2.
Lauren is out of the hospital. She’ll probably have details on her blog in the next few days. Something about a ginormous appendix or something. She had surgery so she’ll be recovering for a while. But yay!!! I’m glad the doctors finally figured it out.

3.
Whenever you get a spare 2 minutes, watch this video. It is so cool. It appeals to the inner-geek in me.

4.
Quick Take #4 is not suitable for younger audiences… or family members. Skip this one if you are my family. Please. Or don’t… but I warned you.

S- I want this CD for Christmas.
C- Okay.
S- But you have to give it to me while you’re naked.
C- Santa doesn’t bring naked wives.
S- I don’t believe in Santa. I believe in Jesus. Jesus brings naked wives.

(Stephen really wanted me to tell y’all about that.)

5.
So this Ten on Tuesday thing… Let’s talk about it. I had originally planned to do it just one week when I couldn’t come up with something to write about. But then y’all started participating in the comments and on your blogs and I LOVE reading your answers. But here’s my problem: Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with questions… especially because I know I’ll be answering them too. So here’s my idea: You come up with the questions.

You can email me a list of ten questions at any time and I’ll post them on the next available Tuesday. I’ll link to your site and you link to mine- insta traffic! How does that sound?

6.
This may be my last Quick Takes for a while. December and January are going to be exciting times around R&R. We’ll be celebrating Christmas and my Blogiversary (Jan. 5) so each Friday I will announce a new giveaway. It’ll be open for a few days and I’ll announce the winner the following Friday. There are so ridiculously cool things coming your way and I’m sure they’ll help you with Christmas gift ideas. Be excited. Be very excited!

7.
Houstonians going to PW’s book signing… the details have changed. It’s no longer at the Blue Willow Bookshop, it has been moved to Georgia’s Market (<– that’s a link). BUT here is the thing. You have to have a ticket to get in the signing line. Boo hiss, I know. Tickets are available at Blue Willow now and they’ll be available starting at 11:00 at Georgia’s on the day of the signing. I asked if there was a chance they’d run out of tickets. She said, ” I don’t think so.” I don’t know if that means that there are an infinite number of tickets, or if they are severely underestimating the fame of Pioneer Woman. She told me that tickets will be in color groups, so the later colors just have to wait in line longer. If you don’t have the book yet, you can call and reserve it with Blue Willow and they’ll also hold a ticket for you (281-497-8675). Both will be available at will-call at Georgia’s. You cannot call to reserve your ticket, those must be picked up in person.

I think Georgia’s is a restaurant. We should all meet up and eat afterward. Or before. Or during. Or whatever. Who is going?

If you have any questions, ask. If I haven’t already asked I will send you to the correct person.

I hope you all have fantastic weekends ahead of you. We have a few things on our plate this weekend but I’m hoping it’ll still allow time for some reading, writing, and maybe putting up the Christmas tree! I know, I know. I’m a post-Thanksgiving decorator too, but next weekend will be CRAZY so I’m thinking we may try to get a head start. Don’t judge us.

November 20, 2009 at 9:59 am 21 comments

Did You Hear That?

I’m not totally sure where this post is going… so be patient with me. We’ll go somewhere and I think I have a point, just not sure if I’ll find the point along the way.

You know the game Telephone? Where there is a line of people and the first person comes up with a message and whispers it to the person next to them. They whisper it to the person next to them. And so on, until you get to the end and the last person announces the message. Somehow the sentence “Look at those beautiful blue skies by the sea” turns into “The cat throws beautiful poop pies on Chelsea.” If you are like me and grew up going to church camps, you probably played that game and then got a message about how gossip is similar. You may tell someone something but then they could pass it on and somehow it ends up being something totally different that could hurt someone. (Let’s not have the discussion about the true reason gossip is wrong- it really has nothing to do with the fact that your message might be misheard and told improperly. But that’s not my point today.)

I think telephone is a funny game. It’s always entertaining to hear how it’ll turn out. But what’s even more fascinating is when multiple people can listen to the exact same thing, but hear something completely different.

I was at a meeting last week at church. Someone asked me how Stephen was doing so I started giving my update. One of the men in the room hadn’t heard the story so I gave a quick recap. “Well Stephen was in an ATV accident and beat up his face pretty good.” Another man in the room said, “OHHHHHH!! An ATV accident!” I looked at him and said, “Yeah, an ATV accident.” And he laughed a bit and said, “I thought he was in an HEB accident!! I wasn’t sure what happened and I was scared to ask. An unruly cart or something like that? I just couldn’t figure it out.” (For those of you who don’t live in Texas, HEB is a grocery store.) Hilarious.

This weekend I went to the Women of Faith conference at the Toyota Center. I have been to my fair share of conferences throughout my life but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. I was excited nevertheless. I was going with a big group of women from my church. A friend of my mom’s came in town for the weekend so I was going to get to spend time with her. Another bonus – Lauren and her mom met us there. So after work on Friday, I headed downtown to find the hotel. I wasn’t nervous about my drive into “the city” but soon realized that I was arriving a few minutes after 5:00. Not fun. Not fun at all. I only had to do one U-Turn and cut off one person to get to my location though. I think that’s a win.

We walked to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick dinner before the 7:00 session started. It seemed to be a neat place except for the man at the table next to us that didn’t understand that he wasn’t actually part of our conversation. I almost turned into a 3rd grader and said, “This conversation is between A and B, so C your way out of it.” Yes, I know. We should have been Christ to him and loved him. We tried. But when he kept staring at me (like super creepy stare) and smiled and said, “Cat got your tongue?” all of my friendliness vanished.

We headed to the Toyota Center and this is actually the point of my post. I know the quickest route from Point A to Point B is a straight line, but I like to take you on the scenic route. I make no apologies.

Like the ATV/HEB confusion, I think every woman heard something different this weekend. We were all sitting in the same arena listening to the same speakers but we all heard different things. If we are going to be completely honest, this conference wasn’t my cup of tea. I came with my Bible and a journal for note-taking. I didn’t use either. My cup of tea includes the Bible and large quantities of notes. These speakers were funny and had great stories to tell about some rough lessons they’ve learned. I know they reached many women and I definitely see their passion for the Lord in what they are doing. There just weren’t many things that were said that really left a mark on my heart. But there was one thing.

On Friday night, Steven Curtis Chapman took the stage. I love him. LOVE him. His music is beautiful and his heart for God is just amazing. He told a story about when he and his wife were about to go meet their first adopted child, Shaohannah. His wife Mary Beth struggled with a few fears before they met her. What if she didn’t love her the same as she loved her biological children? What if she just couldn’t love this child enough?? But when she took Shaohannah in her arms, she was overcome with love. She instantly loved this child more than she could ever imagine.

They grew to have a new understanding of Christ’s love. He says He’s our Father. What does that mean? How could love us all the time, no matter what? Could he really love me more than my own dad? More than my own mom? There are so many of us, how does he even have enough love to love us all?? I can understand that He loved Jesus, Jesus was His own son. But me? I am half Kurt, half Alice. How could he love me as I’m His own?

Because I am His own. Just as Shaohannah belongs to the Chapmans. Just as my friend Lyndsey belongs to her parents. Wholly and completely. Without condition or exception or an asterisk. Adoption is a beautiful portrait of unconditional parental love.

As a childless married woman, this hit me. I don’t know if that’s God’s plan for my life. I would love to have a half Stephen, half Chelsea child. But it’s possible that God has other plans. And, my gosh, God’s plans are fabulous. So if He chooses adoption for us, we will gladly accept that calling on our life. Maybe He’ll want me to learn a lesson about what love is really all about. I don’t know. I’m sure there are many women who didn’t hear that message. They heard something else, something that God wanted them to hear. All I know is that SCC’s message was something I was supposed to hear.

On Sunday morning, we watched a NOOMA video called Lump. Can you guess what it was about? Love. Specifically a parent’s love for their child. Hi God, I hear you. So I’m going to chew on these things for a while and see what I’m supposed to learn. If you have any morsels of truth, share away.

For now I’m going to focus on the sentence Rob Bell spoke to his son: “There is nothing you could do to make me love you less.”

November 16, 2009 at 9:45 am 18 comments

Slow Cooking is Still Cooking

Just so y’all know, Stephen’s nose is looking excellent but now he’s got himself a big fat fever. I spent the evening wondering how in the world I’m ever going to have kids if I freak out about a 102 fever on a 25 year old man. In fact, this is on auto-post because I’ve spent most of the evening Googling his symptoms and am pretty concerned and I’m not sure what we’ll be doing in the morning. I don’t tell you this so you can be all, “Oh Chelsea, you’ll be a great mom.” No. I tell you this because this is my blog and I can be real with you.

One of the greatest parts of having a blog is that I get to tell you ridiculous things that happen to me and somehow they become less embarrassing. Usually you can relate. You often say, “That’s not so bad. One time I…” and somehow I don’t feel like quite an idiot. We work together, you and me. We complete each other.  

Another great thing about having a blog is that you read it and you often give me feedback. You’ve told me how to cut my hair, where to buy a dress, how to paint my wood paneling, what books to read. You guys are full of good info. So don’t let me down today. No pressure…

I’m back on my crock pot kick. The moods come and go. I find that I fall more in love with my crock pot when winter approaches. It’s cool outside (seriously, it’s in the 70’s today) and it’s dark when I get home from work. There is something so comforting about walking into a warm house that smells like a home cooked meal. Sometimes I feel like saying, “Splendid! The housekeeper must’ve left dinner in the oven for us. She’s such a peach!” And it’s a great feeling until I remember that I don’t have a housekeeper and I don’t say “peach” unless we’re talking about cobbler or Bellini’s. But it’s actually even better that the meal is from my crock pot because I still get credit for making a rocking dinner!

Last week Lauren told me about an easy peasy meal that she and her husband have. She throws a few chicken breasts into a crock pot, seasons them with Lawry’s, and then puts salsa on top. After a day of slow cooking you shred it up with two forks and make yourself some fantastic soft tacos.  I made these last week and they were awesome. Unfortunately I made them on a day when Stephen was still learning how to eat, so I had to make him a taco salad. He said it was good but I could tell he didn’t get the full effect. I decided I’d make them again this week.

Massive failure commenced in my kitchen.

You always hear about young brides who are learning to cook and ruin a ton of food. They either undercook things or they burn them. Or they add salt instead of sugar. Or use a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon. Up until a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t relate. I never make those mistakes. I know how to cook. But recently I’ve been burning food. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, maybe I’m too comfortable in the kitchen so I’ve started experimenting more. I don’t know. But Monday night was the worst of the worst.

Monday morning I threw two seasoned chicken breasts in the crock. I put a bit of salsa on top and plugged it in. As I was doing this I thought, “I wonder if I should put 4 in there. They say you’re supposed to make sure your crock pot is mostly full. Hmmm… it may be fine. But I wonder if it makes a difference that I defrosted them. Last week I didn’t. It may cook faster. Oh well, I’ll give it a shot.”

I may never, ever give anything a shot ever again. We walked into the house on Monday evening and something didn’t smell right. My mouth didn’t water. I didn’t have the desire to scorch my tongue by eating straight from the crock pot.  I opened the lid. Stephen yelled, “NO WAY! Oh my gosh! Cool!” They were charred. They were shriveled up and hard as a rock. The salsa was burnt to the sides of the pot. It was terrible. Horrible. I was sad and embarrassed and royally pissed off.

I got in the kitchen and made us some breakfast tacos. I cursed the crock pot and went to Bible Study to whine about my misfortune and pray for the mental health of my crock pot. Then I came home and began the marinade for my brisket I was going to throw in the pot the next day.

Tuesday was a bit better. The brisket cooked an appropriate amount of time and smelled excellent. Stephen loved it but I was underwhelmed. I mean, I’m a Texas girl so I believe there is really no such thing as bad brisket unless it’s bone dry. That’s just illegal. But I know I can make a better brisket.

That’s where y’all come in. I need some recipes, brisket and other. Now I’m a firm believer that beggars can’t be choosers, but I’ve got some guidelines here. I’d like crock pot recipes. They need to be easy and TRUE crock pot recipes – None of that saute this, bake that, then let it heat in the crock. No, I need something I can throw together in the morning and leave for 9 hours. Also, I only want recipes that you’ve made. I don’t want to know recipe websites, I have plenty of those. Something that you have made and love. Got it? Post  it in the comments or on your blog or give us a link!

Help a girl out before she has a breakdown!

November 12, 2009 at 9:10 am 27 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.13)

It’s FRIDAY! Friday is a beautiful day. It’s almost better than Saturday because there is so much weekend anticipation. Am I the only one that thinks that?? Maybe. This Friday is especially wonderful because tonight it our Houston Blogger meetup. Granted there will be very few of us because some of you are out of town or working or actually living in other cities. But we will celebrate anyways.

I shall start the celebration with my weekly Seven Quick Takes. Head over to Conversion Diary to see more or to add your own!

Seven Quick Takes

The first three will answer some of your questions from this week. The other four have no rhyme or reason. Well actually I think that everything I write has reason, but nothing has rhyme. I am no poet.

1.
My dress from my Monday post is from Old Navy. It was cheap and I love it. The first time I wore it, I wore boots with it. Apparently that turns a lot of heads. Being 6′ tall with boots and a short dress draws attention… who knew? In my defense though, it really isn’t short. It’s a good 3 or 4 inches below my fingertips, but it just looks short since I’m a giant. Also, if you are going to be 6′ tall and wear boots and a (not actually) short dress, but sure that your wedding rings aren’t at the jeweler’s when you go out in public. Just, you know, hypothetically speaking. Trust me on this, I’m here to help.

2.
I’m hesitant to tell you the winning toilet paper. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please visit yesterday’s post. You won’t regret it.) I wish you’d do your own experiment and decide for yourself. But since I love you and I don’t want you to ever EVER use Scott Extra Soft for anything other than exfoliating the bottoms of your feet, I will give you the goods. Let me just first say that Charmin has changed it’s product since the experiment took place. They now have Charmin Extra Soft and Charmin Extra Stong. Back in the good ‘ol days they just had Charmin Ultra and something else like that. With that said, the results may change if the experiment were to take place in the present time.

The winning toilet paper was HEB brand Twice As Soft. It was soft, had a wonderful design that was pleasing to the eye, it didn’t chaff noses, and it didn’t break the bank. Close seconds: Angel Soft Pretty Prints (the flowers were quite charming!) and Ultra Quilted Northern (Stephen said it felt like he was riding on a cloud).

3.
I apologize for the yellow in all the photos yesterday. I used my phone. And even if I had used my camera, the photos would probably still suck because I’m not good at taking pictures. So, no. The wall behind me in the picture yesterday is not yellow. It’s actually the white that you find in old houses. So it’s sort of creamish white.  Ugly white. It’s one of the only rooms in the house I haven’t painted yet and I won’t paint it until we’re pregnant. It is the future baby’s room. I understand that nobody actually asked me about the walls. I just wanted to make sure you knew that I know that the walls are ugly.

4.
I have burned food two nights in a row. I never burn food. Two nights ago I was making a big dish of roasted vegetables. I burned the garlic something awful. Burned garlic is NOT good. Last night I was cooking some onions to add to some steamed green beans and I burned them too. I cook onions ALL THE TIME. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I fear that my husband is going to walk out because this is not the woman he married.

5.
My husband volunteered me to make chocolate pumpkin muffins for him to take to a customer meeting on Tuesday. I don’t mind. I just think it’s funny. “I’ll have my wife make muffins!” That’s funny. I just hope I don’t burn them…

6.
I think I’m addicted to cheesecake. It’s a real problem. I promise.

7.
Yesterday I saw on My Thoughts Exactly that Oprah gave out a Payless coupon. If you go to her website you can download a 50% of coupon that is good toward your entire purchase. The only catch is that it expires today. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go today (remember, Houston blogger meetup…) so I stopped on my way home from work yesterday. Sometimes Payless shoes suck, but sometimes they don’t. I have two pair of flats that I LOVE that I got there a couple years ago. So I thought I’d give it a go. Check out my loot.

Shoes

Ladies and four gentlemen, I bought 7 pairs of shoes. SEVEN. My total (excluding tax and the other items I bought that I can’t tell you about because they may or may not be for someone who reads this blog) was $45.99. No you didn’t hear me wrong. I bought seven pairs of shoes for under $50. I win!

See ya Monday!

October 30, 2009 at 9:15 am 25 comments

I Got My MRS Because I’m Smart

I was 22 years old when I got married. It was fall of senior year when we got engaged and we were right out of college when we got married. I always thought that’s how life worked. I come from a long line of young marryers. It never really occurred to me until freshman year of college that most people didn’t get married right after graduation. Up until that point, I was quite naive. I thought I’d go to school and get a degree that wouldn’t matter because I wouldn’t work for long anyways and meet the man I was going to marry.

I went to school. I got a degree that doesn’t really matter because I’m doing something that isn’t even closely related to my major. And I met my husband. Yep, I got an MRS.

Let me just say this. Marrying young is not for everyone. Marrying isn’t even for everyone. So please don’t think that I think my way is THE way. With that being said, let me add this: Marrying young IS for me. Of this I’m sure.

I forgot what it was like to be single. Stephen and I have been married a little over 2 years. Some days it feels like it has flown by, other times it seems like much, much longer. We’ve shoved a lot into those two years and all of that stuff seems to push away the old memories. What was my life like back then?? I can’t remember what it’s like to live with a girl. I can’t remember life without stacks of bills. What did I do in the evenings before marriage? What did I eat for dinner every night before I had to cook food for a man who required meat in every meal and didn’t think soup was food? I can’t remember.

Now that it’s Thursday, I can tell you that Stephen has been out of town since Monday. I chose not to share these details with you incase you happened to be a hatchet murderer and wanted to break into my house and steal my 30″ television or my collection of DVD’s from the $5 bin at WalMart while I just stood there helplessly yelling for my husband and while Rookie peed all over the floor. But he’s back now, so set your sights on someone else’s copy of Mr. Deeds.

Anyways, I must admit that when I found out he’d be gone I got slightly excited. He left on Monday around noon and got back last night at an hour that I don’t want to speak of. Monday evenings I go to Bible Study so we don’t really spend much time together anyways. Tuesday I watch The Biggest Loser so that means there is a two hour slot in which he’s not allowed to speak to me. So it seemed that Wednesday would be the only time I’d notice he was gone. That and the fact that our bed is colder, I wouldn’t get hit in the face in the middle of the night, and nobody would be there to pop my toes. But sometimes it’s nice to be alone. It’s nice to have total control over the remote. It’s nice to be able to sit and read with the television off! I pumped myself up to have a Chelsea-centered three days.

Monday night I slept like a baby. A full night! That just never happens to me. I woke up on Tuesday morning and thought, “Uh oh! It must be Stephen’s fault that I can’t sleep through the night.” While that may be partially true, it’s not entirely. I slept a total of 3 hours on Tuesday night. I am the only one to blame for that!

I planned to eat dinners that Stephen doesn’t really care for. Salad, grilled cheese with tomato soup, and more salad. I had high hopes for myself and my decision making. But it turns out, when someone isn’t watching me, I don’t make great decisions. Monday night I had a Totino’s pepperoni pizza, Tuesday I had Velveeta Shells & Cheese, and last night I had a cheeseburger and small fries from McDonald’s. I am currently hanging my head in shame. I need accountability!

In the almost two years we’ve lived in that house, I’ve probably seen only 3 roaches. That is a big deal since we live in a neighborhood full of trees and surrounded by water. Roaches like it around here, but for some reason they have stayed away from Hurst Castle. Of course the first night my husband is gone, a roach shows up in my living room. I’ll have you all know that I killed it all by myself! Granted it was the size of a nickel, but it was still crunchy. I considered putting a pot over it like I used to do in college but since our living room floor is made from thin tiles, I figured the little goober could get out through one of the indentions from the grout.

Three days without my husband has made me realize that the single life is just not for me. I can’t handle it. I guess there was a part of my brain that was screaming “This chick needs a man!!” throughout my life. I may be terrible at accounting and world history, but I got a degree in the area I am good at!

October 22, 2009 at 9:52 am 25 comments

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