marriage

Does It Feel Different?

Before we got married I had a lot of friends tell me their experiences of the whole wedding thing (because the wedding is very different than the marriage and I feel like in this day and age with the wedding business and pinterest we sometimes forget that). I would say that it was about 60-40 on people who told me that they felt different after tying the knot. I was surprised by the friends who said it didn’t feel any different, but yet at the same time I wondered if I would fall into that category. I mean, let’s be real — Michael and I have been together for 6.5 years, we’ve lived together for over 5 of those years. We had a honeymoon phase, we had a rocky phase, we had the “we’ve been together for a long time now” phase. Then it was the wedding phase.

The wedding phase was the planning part (which was 14 months after we got engaged) and the wedding instead. I would have liked a shorter engagement but C’est la Vie….This was a strange time because it was all very new, it was VERY stressful, there was a lot of anticipation and just a lot of unknowns.

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The wedding day itself was very surreal and mostly a blur of chaos and a roller coaster of emotions (which also surprised me – again, we’ve been together for so long already!). Did I feel any different after we said “I Do”? Nope, not really. I guess I felt calmer and more relaxed. I could stop PLANNING everything. That was a huge relief.

Then we went on our honeymoon. It still didn’t really feel “real.” Basically it was like we were on a really nice, long vacation. A dream vacation, really. But we were so busy splashing in the ocean, laying on the beach, and exploring Maui (and eating A LOT) that I don’t think either of us really put much thought into the fact that we were now married or that anything should feel any differently.

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(He slept on the beach a lot. I read and swam.:) )

Maui was great, don’t get me wrong. But I started to get a little homesick for my fur-babies. We both missed Bella terribly! She was staying with her foster mom and having a great time, especially with her dog Kona, Bella’s BFF. Bella was on a puppy vacation!

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Now that we are home I’ve been kind of taking it easy and trying not to plan or do too much (trying to hold onto that Maui bliss as long as possible). I am starting to ruminate on what I want to do, though. Now that I don’t have to do ANY wedding planning anymore (YAY) I can get a hobby! It was astounding just how much time the wedding planning took. Between meeting vendors and just all the details, any free evening or weekend was booked with that stuff. It really does take over your whole life, even if you try to avoid it.

I’d like to get back to Bella’s training. Sadly we didn’t have tons of extra time to work on tricks and training for her. Now that we have more time I want to get back at that. I especially want to get her to the dog park at least once a week to get more socialized. She’s doing so much better than when we first got her but she still gets skittish and nervous with a lot of other dogs.

I’d like to get into gardening. Specifically I think I want to try growing succulents. I saw so many amazing succulents in Hawaii and that’s something that we CAN actually grow here in Oregon (wish I could grow some plumeria and palm trees but I guess I’ll settle for this…).

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A friend has actually started growing succulents and offered to give me some of her cuttings and I really want to try it. I hope I can make it work. I’m okay with growing vegetables but not really flowers…time will tell!

Another goal for this winter: Michael has agreed to take a dance class! I am super excited about it and will be looking for classes soon. I took a ballroom dancing class ages ago and learned all the basics! I definitely need to re-learn it. I’m more interested in learning maybe salsa dancing or something along those lines.

Yoga. I need to get back into the groove of that and I’d like check out some local studios. I take yoga at my gym and it’s not quite the same experience as doing it at a yoga studio where that’s the only thing they do. I never really get that blissful, enlightened feeling while people are dropping weights and grunting and talking loudly right outside the yoga room at the gym…

Volunteering. I miss it! I used to do it a lot. Before I met Michael, in fact, I volunteered at a cat shelter every weekend. Michael and I volunteered together at The Pixie Project and it was a lot of fun. Now that I have some free time I’m going to start up again.

After being back for a bit I went out with my cousin Anna for a beer. We saw a band at an Irish pub here in Portland and then met up with some of her friends. This was the first time it kind of felt DIFFERENT. I was talking to someone that didn’t know me or Michael and I had a moment of pause when I almost said “my boyfriend Michael” then corrected myself and said “my husband”. And it felt WEIRD. Very weird. I am not used to it yet. 🙂

Okay married folks, did you feel any different?

1 Month Anniversary & Dinner

A few weeks after our wedding the certificate finally arrived. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t an actual certificate and just an official form that had been certified. Kinda lame, but whatever. I took a half day off from work to go to the Social Security Office and DMV to get that done first.

I have to say, the SS office is hell on earth. The DMV was actually fine. That took like 30 minutes, start to finish, and they had like 9 or 10 people working the counter so the line moved very quickly. Social Security? Not so much. I got there about a half hour after they had opened and the place was full.

There were people standing, there were a few empty seats but they were so scrunched together I felt claustrophobic. The waiting room sucked. Why did they have to make it so awful? The chairs were all in a line (similar to the photo below) in four rows. Who creates a waiting room like this?

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The chairs were all facing the same direction, looking at basically a wall and the screen updating the numbers. Hell on earth. Seriously. The numbers moved at a snail’s pace and seemed to have no rhyme or reason. People were coughing, sneezing, there were kids fussing, there were angry people arguing with the workers. Ugh. Just awful. I was there for nearly an hour and a half and 5 minutes of that was the ACTUAL process of changing my name and getting a new card. 5 minutes. The rest was waiting; feeling like your number is never going to be called.

But, the good news is that it’s done and I am now officially Mrs. W!

For our 1 month anniversary (I know, I know, eye roll) I cooked us dinner at home and I also made Michael his favorite drink–an Old Fashioned. I’ve never made it before so I did my research and I bought some fancy bitters to make it official! Here is the recipe I used:

Old Fashioned
Prep time:
Total time:
From: http://liquor.com/recipes/bourbon-old-fashioned/#.
Ingredients
  • 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 tsp Sugar (or 2 sugar cubes)
  • 1 Orange wheel
  • 1 Maraschino cherry
  • 1 splash Club soda
  • 2 oz Bourbon
Instructions
  1. In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, cherry and a splash of soda. Remove the orange rind, add the bourbon and fill with ice.
  2. Garnish with a fresh orange wheel and cherry.
  3. Old Fashioned drinkers are divided on the question of muddling the fruit. To prepare the traditional version, muddle only the sugar, bitters and splash of soda but keep the fruit as garnishes.

I didn’t quite get the muddling down, I need to give it another try. Other than that, it was pretty easy to make and Michael loved it! I’m so glad.

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For dinner I made us a baked gnocchi dish and used our new French Onion Soup LeCreuset bowls that we got as a wedding gift. They were perfect for this recipe. No, I did not make the gnocchi from scratch. I’ve never done that before and while sometimes I think I want to give it a try, I also kind just want to use the easy stuff from Trader Joe’s…

Baked Gnocchi with bacon, tomato and mozzarella

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Category: alcohol, Anniversary, calories, Dinner, food, Food update, Memories, Michael, recipes, Recommendations, Relationships, Review, Wedding

Servings: 3-4 servings

From: http://simply-delicious-food.com/2013/07/16/baked-gnocchi-with-bacon-tomato-and-mozzarella/

Ingredients

  • 500g store-bought gnocchi
  • 250g bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons cream/yoghurt
  • large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 100g mozzarella, sliced

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  3. In the meantime, make the sauce.
  4. In a large, hot frying pan, fry the bacon until starting to crisp with most of the fat rendered.
  5. Pour off most of the fat then add the garlic and smoked paprika and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add all of the tomatoes and the sugar and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream/yoghurt, parsley and seasoning.
  8. Cook the gnocchi in the salted water until it starts floating to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.
  9. Transfer the gnocchi and sauce to an oven-proof dish and top with the sliced mozzarella.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the mozzarella is melted and golden.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Baked Gnocchi with bacon, tomato and mozzarella

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 820 for 3 servings
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=44673

The recipe was pretty easy to make. I cooked the bacon and when it was time to add the tomatoes I used canned tomatoes from my garden! It was so cool to be able to finally use them for something and they worked great. I am so glad I spent the time the summer to can all of those romas.

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The recipe called for either cream or yogurt. I thought I had some plain Greek yogurt (because I almost always have some on hand) but I was out! I panicked for a second and then googled what alternatives I could use. I found a website that gave some other options and one of them was sour cream–which I did have on hand. So I used about 2 tablespoons of that and it added such a rich, tangy flavor pretty similar to what plain Greek yogurt would have done. It was amazing.

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The recipe claimed to be 2-3 servings. When I was measuring everything out I thought it was more like 4 servings. But when I spooned everything into the Le Creuset bowls it turned out to be three generous servings. I love our new bowls! They worked perfectly for this. I baked them for about 15 minutes (using the broiler for the last 5 of those) to brown the cheese on top.

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It smelled so good. But then, doesn’t bacon always smell good?? So whenever I do a new recipe I always check the calorie count online first. Sometimes I disregard certain recipes if the calories are too high. This is the ONE TIME I didn’t do that first and of course, the calories were a lot higher than I’d normally like. Oh well, it was fantastic….so worth it! Look at this dinner:

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It was so amazing and an easy enough recipe to make for a dinner party and impress everyone. Michael loved it. I loved it. I wanted to keep eating it. This recipe was a winner! Michael mentioned that adding some fresh basil would be nice and I agree. Next time I’ll add some fresh rosemary and basil to the recipe.

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We sat at our bar in the kitchen and ate our delicious dinner, listening to some jazz music. Michael enjoyed is Old Fashioned and I broke out the mini bottle of champagne that we got on our wedding night from the hotel manager that we never actually drank. To one month! Cheers!

I will most definitely be making this recipe again. When I do, I will portion it out into 4 servings instead of 3 and I’ll serve a spinach salad with it or something. That will reduce the calories in the dish dramatically. It’s a heavy dish, so reducing it a little and making a salad would make sense. Make this recipe! You won’t be disappointed.