Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lesson #18: Making a meal out of nothing

We go by the Dave Ramsey lifestyle when it comes to money.  It's something that deeply changed my parents, and they passed it on to us.  The very basic idea is to have a budget.  You and your spouse sit down at the beginning of the month and figure out where every cent is going.  When that's all figured out, you divvy your money up and put it into the correct envelopes.  This keeps you from overspending or spending money that belongs somewhere else.  It's pretty simple, and it's worked extremely well for us.

Sidenote: Let me know if you're interested in getting a handle on your finances.  I'll help you out.
I digress...

Because Lyndon was going to be gone for two weeks, we thought that we could lessen our amount for groceries.  It seemed to make sense, but we were dead wrong.  This last week of July has been quite a challenge.  We can usually buy a week's worth of groceries for around 45 dollars (I'm proud of my thriftiness).  We only had 26 bucks.  As of two nights ago, I hadn't gone to the grocery store yet because I didn't want to take the time to plan cheap meals.  Because of my inattentiveness, I was forced to make something up.

I'll have you know that I'm pretty dang good at following a recipe, which is really the only reason my husband thinks I can cook.  What I've never really attempted is making something of my own.  I ended up cooking some macaroni noodles with some mushroom red sauce that I added cheese and onions to.  We had that with salad and toasted bread with parmesan cheese on top (thank you Chelsea). The entire meal consisted of ingredients that were laying around with no purpose.  Not the best meal I've ever made, but I was dang proud of myself.  Plus, he didn't gag on his food or anything.  That has to be a good sign.

Also: I'm blog challenged.  Every time I try and put a picture behind the title of the blog, it ends up being ginormous. It goes beyond the border.  Help!
Also also: It's many hours after I posted.  I went back to read it just now and found a your when there should have been a you're.  I'm so ashamed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lesson #17: When the husband's away, the wife bored

Every summer, members of the National Guard go away for two weeks and do some training.  While the extra money will be incredibly helpful, the absent husband is not enjoyable.  We're halfway through these two weeks, and I'm about to go nuts.  You never realize how easy it is to get used to your new spouse being around until that spouse isn't there.

At first, I thought I would be fine.  Here was my chance to watch movies that Lyndon wouldn't want to watch, I didn't have to make actual dinner every night, I didn't have to share a vehicle, things of that sort.  Life was great...for maybe three days.  Once the initial newness wore off, I started missing my husband more than I already was.

Watching so much TV got boring.  I was always snacking instead of eating actual meals.  I stayed up too late and woke up too late.  I didn't leave the apartment because there was no need to (and I was too cheap to use gas).  Cabin fever had set in and it was driving me insane.

Just when I thought all hope was lost (only halfway through the first week of his training), my family and friends saved me.  Some time was spent at my parents' house, and my friend Chelsea stayed with me for a couple days.  I still missed my husband and still do, but they helped me keep my mind off that fact.

Now we're less than a week away from Lyndon's return.  These last few days will be spent back at my parents' house with my Mom, Dad, and younger sisters, Katie and Hannah.  They are my saviors.

From now on, making sure I stay entertained will be key whenever he's gone.
It's either that or a bad case of cabin fever for me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lesson #16: When blame goes flying

Toddlers are temperamental creatures.  They're usually happy, but things can take a wrong turn in a flash.  Just when you think they're having a swell time, something happens out of nowhere that causes the same effect that 12 nuclear bombs would.  Unfortunately for the new Griner family, we liken to toddlers when tired and grumpy.

Last week, we enjoyed a movie with our other married neighbors, Taylor and Bonnie.  After the movie, we walked the two feet back to our apartment, and I got ready for bed.  I thought Lyndon was doing the same thing until I realized he was moving things around in the spare room closet.
He had the sudden urge to find his sunglasses.
He had the sudden urge to find his Army issued, Oakley sunglasses.
He had the sudden urge to find his Army issued, Oakley sunglasses at 12:30 in the morning.
Good grief.

I did my best to ignore the situation because I was too tired and annoyed to deal with it.  Eventually I went and joined the search, mainly because I wanted to sleep.  Well, and because those sunglasses are $300.  If something is lost, it comes out of the soldier's paycheck.

I walked in on a husband who was getting more and more upset by the second.  No matter where we looked, we couldn't find them.  All of a sudden, he started talking about how the sunglasses could be missing because I was the one who moved stuff around.  He didn't come right out and say that it was my fault, but that was how I felt.  That set me off, and I started defending myself and attacking right back.  While it wasn't a full out bloodbath, we were definitely not on our best behaviors.  We both ran out of steam fast, probably because it was past our bedtime.

After a few minutes of silence, he gave in first and apologized.  I apologized once he did, and some incredibly tired newlyweds went to bed. case you were wondering...the sunglasses were in storage at the armory.  He moved them so they wouldn't get lost.  Go figure.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lesson #15: dealing with the working Grumpy Gus

Lyndon works hard for the money he earns.  He always has, and I know he always will.  I'm incredibly grateful to have a husband who is willing to do so much to provide for us.

One thing I'm not incredibly grateful for is the Grumpy Gus version of my husband who comes home from work.  He always seems to be in a bad mood, even when he says work was good.  It's hard for me to understand because all I want to do is cuddle up next to him and make up for time we lost while he was gone.  He's never a fan of that idea.  I have to leave him alone and give him some space.  I think he would request a 10 foot restraining order if he could.

This is kind of making me sound like a creep.  I'm not always all over my husband.  I would get annoyed with myself.  What I ask for when he comes home is the same loving husband that I had before he left for work.  That's something he's usually not capable of.  Not yet, anyway.  I've come to understand that he needs some time to himself even though I want to spend time with him.  It's not that he doesn't want to be around me (who wouldn't want to be around me?).  He needs time to destress-ify and relax after working so hard.

As much as it pains me, I faithfully sit by and let him do whatever he needs to do.  When he's ready to be around me, he will be.  Honestly, that moment of joy and realization that I have my husband back makes it worth it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's a Bloggy World After All

In case you haven't heard, June 5th, 2010 is a day that will forever live in the hearts of all.
Why? Before I tell you, shame on you for not already knowing.

That happens to be the day that I finally got to marry Mr. Lyndon Griner.

The entire day was wonderful, we were surrounded by people we love, and I'll never be able to thank my parents enough.

After all of that, reality hit: I'm officially a Mrs.
Just so you know, it's super weird. I've already had to introduce myself as Natalie Griner. My brain has a major brain fart every time I have to sign my name. I have to cook and clean for myself and a husband now.

There's so much to do, so much to learn. Always. Always and forever, I'm pretty sure. I decided soon after we got married that I wanted to share what I was learning with others. Maybe I could give someone advice or help them in some way. Whatever. I really just wanted to be funny. They started out as Facebook statuses (stati?), and it wasn't until my Dad suggested something today that I thought about taking it any further.
Let me introduce you to Dad:


Earlier today, he mentioned something to me. "You should start a blog, Natalie," he told me. "What on earth would I blog about?" was my question. He then talked about how I could blog about my married life lessons because I'm smart and funny (No joke. He really said that.). At first I thought he was giving me crap because that's the usual, but then I thought he might have a good idea...

...all of that has led me here, the unknown (to me) world of blogging. So here, you'll find recent lessons I've been learning about married life and my witty thoughts to go along with them. I'm up to lesson #14 already. I don't particularly feel like explaining 1-14. Maybe I'll get around to it some day. For now, here's the list:

  1. As much as you love your new spouse, you will miss your parents terribly.
  2. The first time you go grocery shopping, go together. You'll need the moral support.
  3. The first time he has to go to work, you'll be surprised as to how much you miss him while he's gone.
  4. When you need meat in order to make dinner, don't forget to take it out of the freezer in time.
  5. Figure out money things together, no matter what.
  6. If you complain about the garbage smelling enough times, your wonderful husband will take it out for you.
  7. Always check your husband's pockets before washing them. His passport just might be hiding in one of them.
  8. Own a Mix 'n Chop. It'll change your cooking life.
  9. When your husband is stressed out, doesn't want responsibility, and talks about how he wants to be a kid again, make him breakfast in the shape of a face. You'll at least get a smile.
  10. Almond bark can and will burn.
  11. Make sure you don't accidentally put all of the package of noodles in the pot when cooking for two. You might end up making enough noodles for 10+.
  12. Make sure you thank your husband when he's okay with you being a total weirdo and going to the midnight premiere of a movie.
  13. When your husband is walking around the apartment continuously talking about how hungry he is, he might be hinting that he wants you to make dinner.
  14. You'll love it every time your husband tells you he loves your cooking.

When I learn something new, I'll be sure to blog all about it.

There you have it. Time for more laundry.