Spicy Shrimp Pasta

The heat is officially on. It’s only set at 65 – but, nevertheless, I’ve succumbed and turned it on.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

I’ve had to start my car prior to leaving to have it defrost.

Seth saw flakes and flurries coming home from work the other night.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

I’ve bought decaf coffee and tea to drink late at night to warm up.

It’s chilly.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

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Melba’s Lasagna (& intuition)

Apparently your stomach has more nerve endings than your spinal chord. When people talk about “gut feelings” or “butterflies” or a “sinking feeling” – they’re actually talking about those nerve endings.

Melba's Lasagna

I think a mom’s stomach has even more. And they’re far more sensitive than a regular human’s.

At least, that’s how my mom is. For months before I decided to move back to Wisconsin, she would drop suggestions for my return, consistently and constantly. She knew her child wasn’t happy, she could feel it in her gut.

“You know…you can always move back home…”

“Mom. No. I’m fine.”

Round and round we went. Until my brain finally caught up to her gut, and I came home. Even after my return to Wisconsin I was unsettled, unsure. She could tell. She offered the spare room to me time and time again. Eventually, I conceded. And I’ve been happier at home with her than I would’ve been willing to admit.

My mom is a special lady. Friends in South Carolina thought I was making her up when I would describe her. The penchant for tie-dye, the affection for unicorns, the unhealthy reliance on Mountain Dew. While I didn’t inherit any of those traits, I did get her fierce independence (some would say stubbornness) and sensitive heart. As I get older, and my parents do too, I see them more as people and realize the affect they’ve had on me (for better or for worse).

Melba's Lasagna

My mom is an original – take her or leave her, she’s not going to conform to what other’s think she should be or do or say. This quality is rarified in people, women especially. To be honest, when I was little all I wanted was a mom who looked like all the other moms, who acted like all the other moms. One who didn’t have purple hair or her head half-shaved, one who wore khakis instead of Crocs, one who hired a repairman instead of buying a roll of duct tape. It took me a long time to appreciate who she was, how she was. It took me even longer to realize she was teaching me a very valuable lesson – about being myself, no matter what. About pursuing my happiness, my fulfillment, no matter what. That being comfortable in my own skin was more important than being how others thought I should be.

I’m grateful for that lesson, even if it took me a long time to learn it. My gut gets more attention, its voice is louder. And it sounds a little bit like my momma.Read More »

Baked Ziti

Remember all that good travel karma I was talking about? Well, I guess I spoke too soon. Way too soon.

baked ziti | www.midwestniceblog.com

14-plus hours too soon. That’s how long is took me to get back home after getting through security at the airport. At most, it should’ve taken six, maybe seven, from airport to airport and then driving home.

It started with a delayed flight. No big deal, just a little later than usual. Then, when our flight did finally get in, the baggage didn’t show up for over an hour. Not ideal, but my dad was just circling the airport waiting for me.

When the conveyor belt started to move and bags started coming out, I could’ve jumped for joy. And then my phone rang.

My dad’s car had broken down on one of the laps around the airport. He was stranded. I had to rent a car. On Christmas weekend. At a moment’s notice.

baked ziti | www.midwestniceblog.com

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

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Mini Cannoli

I’m writing this from the airport. It only took me 10 minutes to check my bag and get through security. Guess I’ve got some good travel karma going on. Holla! Even if it had taken longer, I wouldn’t have minded. I’m at the airport irrationally early. I just couldn’t wait anymore – I’m ready to be home!!!

Mini Cannoli | www.midwestniceblog.com

I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M FINALLY GOING HOME!!!!!!

Can you tell I’m excited? If not, allow me to elaborate, I! AM!! GOING!!! HOME!!!!

Mini Cannoli | www.midwestniceblog.com

Home, where there’s family and friends and snow, yadda, yadda…

Sure, I’m excited about that, obviously. I’m not dead inside. But, can I tell you what I’m really excited about?

The food.

Mini Cannoli | www.midwestniceblog.com

Are we surprised at all?

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