How To Be a Good Wife

I can't lie. I've got the "M" word on my mind a lot lately. And because it's been consuming my thoughts, I've chosen to write about it for a reflection assignment for one of my classes. We were asked to reflect and write about something that our gender often thinks about. So, I obviously chose the "M" word...but more specifically, a woman's personal role in it. I've copied and pasted the paper into this post so you can get a glimpse inside my ridiculously over-analytical brain. It's a little long, but hopefully you'll enjoy it and maybe even relate!

P.S. No, The Boyfriend and I aren't engaged to be married, but I chose to write this as if I were getting married. Just a clarification. =)

What makes a “good wife”?

            As we’re approaching our wedding day, I can’t help but panic. No, I don’t have cold feet. No, I’m not nervous about the wedding being perfect. No, I’m not worried about getting it on on our wedding night. What I’m freaking out about is what happens after the wedding. After it’s all said and done. After we’ve said our “I do’s.” After we’ve thanked all of our guests. After we’ve hopped in bed for our first night as husband and wife in a swanky hotel. Even after we’ve returned from our honeymoon.  What happens then? I know what it takes to be a good bride on her wedding day, but do I know what it takes to be a good wife until the day I die?
            If I’m being honest with myself, I’m not sure I do. Part of me feels like, “If you love him, you’ll be a good wife no matter what,” and another part of me feels like, “Well, love isn’t enough. You’ve got to have other ‘wife-like’ qualities as well.” So what does it take? Does it take having an exquisite dinner on the table every night when he comes home from work? Does it take having mind-blowing sex 365 days a year? Does it take never-ending patience and never nagging? Does it take saying “Yes, Dear” even when I know he’s wrong? According to The Good Wife’s Guide (Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May 1955), this is what it takes to be a “good wife”;

 In some ways, I feel like this was written by a man (but what do I know). And in other ways, I wonder if this is actually feasible in today’s world of dual income homes. Yeah, most women back in the fifties didn’t hold full-time jobs as well as create a welcoming and damn near perfect home for their husbands, but in our world today, that seems to be the reality. Or at least the expectation.
            Don’t get me wrong; I’m no stranger to hard work. But working nine to five and having time to do all of those things listed above just seems insane! How am I supposed to live up to that without becoming a domesticated robot? I know that for me, that exact lifestyle will not work. I can tell you that right now. If I even attempted to live up to that, I’d be cranky and rude and I most definitely would not be in the mood to get it on when my hubby gets home from work. However, I do have my own notions of how I can recreate The Good Wife’s Guide in my own way to suit my lifestyle as a working woman, student, and wife.
            I know that I can keep our home tidy, sanitary, and safe. I know that I can always have the laundry done and put away so that we both have clean clothes to wear. I know that I can put together a delicious and healthy meal in a slow cooker so we’ll have warm dinner when we get home after stressful days.  I know that I can sit through hours and hours of football on the couch with my hubby if it means we’re relaxing together and enjoying each other’s company. I know that I can learn when to speak my mind and when to keep my mouth shut. I know that even if we don’t have sex every single night, we’re still incredibly attracted to one another. And I know that no matter what, as long as I stick to my guns and work hard at strengthening the love we have, I’ll be a “good wife.” Maybe even a great one.
            I know that there will be nights when we just grab take-out. I know that there will be days when I blame my crankiness on PMS just for the hell of it. I know there will be times when we’re so mad at each other that we don’t even bother to kiss each other goodnight. But I also know that commitment and love take hard work and energy. And I’m willing to put in the effort if it means that my husband loves me for the strong, loyal woman that I am rather than resent me for the fifties, Mrs. Cleaver-style, robotic wife that I’m not.

So how do you relate to this? If you're married, did you have these worries before you tied the knot and how have they changed? 

More to come...a look into the mind of man when it comes to being a husband.

Countin' Those Calories (and other things, too!)

I know I haven't posted in a while, but this one will be short and sweet (because I should be writing a paper). More posts to come though within the next few days!

Recently, my favorite thing has been tracking down what I eat. I know. I'm a weirdy. But I honestly do love keeping track of what fuel my body gets! Not only do I get to find out what the nutritional value is on EVERYTHING I'm eating (even restaurant meals), but it's great motivation to keep my portions down and eat food that is good for my body. So how do I do it? Sit back and let me tell you about my little secret (or not-so secret).

Livestrong.com has this AWESOME tool called MyPlate. Have you heard about it? Well, if you haven't, you're about to! MyPlate is so nifty. You create an account (spam mail free), enter your physical information (height, weight, fitness goals), and proceed on to the calorie/fitness counting monster! I absolutely love this part. After entering all of your fitness information, MyPlate calculates your recommended calorie intake according to your current habits to help you reach your new weight goal. It allows you to enter your meals, drinks, and fitness daily so that you can keep track of how many calories you're putting in your body and how many you're burning. Not only that, but MyPlate also calculates other recommended nutritional goals such as sodium, protein, water, etc.

I know that there are TONS of calorie counting tools out there (as I've experimented with many), but so far, I have yet to find one that satisfies my cravings as much as MyPlate. Way to go, Livestrong!


Early Thanksgiving

Today we're having an early Thanksgiving at my parents house with their Bible study group and their families. Why early, you ask? Well, let me explain.

- One of my cousins has joined the Marines and will be heading out to basic just after the "Official Thanksgiving," so my mom's side of the family is having Thanksgiving dinner in Michigan to send him off with a great meal and family celebration.

- I will be in Washington, D.C. with The Boyfriend for his birthday/our 11 month anniversary/the "Official Thanksgiving." So it'll be a week-long celebration out in D.C. with the love of my life. =) Definitely can't wait for that!

- My parents love entertaining (specifically my mother) and having their Bible study group over for an early Turkey Day is the perfect opportunity to show off her awesome cooking and baking skills.

So that's why we're celebrating one of my FAVORITE holidays a few weeks early. In keeping with typical Thanksgiving tradition at our house, I think it's only fitting to list a few of the many things I'm thankful for. So here goes...

1. The opportunity to attend a safe and skilled college.
2. Living in a house with heating and air conditioning.
3. Never having to worry where my next meal will come from.
4. The fact that The Boyfriend is stateside and not deployed.
5. My supportive and loving parents.
6. My incredible boyfriend who knows me better than myself and makes me want to be a better person.
7. Easy communication through technology.
8. Having the resources to travel and experience new places and things.
9. The incredible joy I get from children giggling.
10. Full use of my body.

What are you thankful for?


The Joy of Autumn Weather

Today is one of those "perfect" fall days. It's sunny with blue skies and a few clouds. There's a slight breeze, just enough to hear the leaves rustling outside. It's about 55 degrees and I am loving it.

My favorite things about this time of year?
- The lovely weather
- Oversized hoodies
- Homemade soups and chilis
- Snuggling up under warm covers when its time for bed
- The gorgeous colors of the leaves
- The fact that the holidays are coming up soon

A pile of newly raked leaves on campus between the buildings and the parking lots.
I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, tree-filled campus!


Deliciousness to the Max

So I got home from class today and was SUPER hungry, so I headed to the pantry. There I discovered a can of artichokes and many cans of diced tomatoes. I thought to myself, "Hm...that sounds pretty good!" Until I got to the box of spaghetti noodles and thought, "Mmm. This could be pretty darn tasty together!" So I grabbed all of my exciting ingredients, lined 'em up on the kitchen counter and decided to utilize to my trusty MacBook Pro to search for a tasty recipe.

I started by searching through recipes on EatingWell.com, my recent go-to site for all things delectable, but I didn't find anything to satisfy my cravings. So I hopped on the Google train and, lo and behold, I discovered MY DREAM RECIPE! I was so excited, and all I had seen was the first picture!

Picture by Pioneer Woman

Doesn't that just scream, "Eat me!"??? I love artichokes, tomatoes, onions, and tons of other colorful veggies, so this was definitely my cup of tea  plate of spaghetti. I was so inspired that I even threw in a few fresh mushrooms to add my own little twist.

Now, I'm no Iron Chef, but I gotta say...this meal was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! It's got the perfect balance of cream and tomato. And it's only 410 calories per serving. You get all your veggies (fresh and canned), a small amount of carbs, and one appetizing meal that the whole family will love! My little picky-eater of a brother even said it was good! 

Below are a few of my personal photos cooking along the way, but they're no where near as good as the ones on Pioneer Woman's website. So check 'em out! There are tons of great recipes (and other things) scattered there. 

Onions, garlic, EVOO, artichokes, and mushrooms. (Picture by me)
 Ingredients listed above, plus canned diced tomatoes. (Picture by me)
 Ingredients above with heavy cream. (Picture by me)
 It was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture of the meal all lovely on my 
plate! So here's a picture of the leftovers, enough for lunch tomorrow! 

Needless to say, this is my all time favorite recipe (so far). Mmm. =) It makes me all happy just thinking about how yummy it was. I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!