Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow Storms, Memories and Chicken-less Noodle Soup.

This morning I woke up with an extra dose of negativity about winter.  The being totally over the snow and cold usually doesn't hit me until March or April, not sure why it decided to come early this year.  Maybe because it's been a particularly cold and snowy one.  Maybe because we aren't packing our swimsuits to head to Florida for Spring Break like we have the last two years.  I have tried to be more positive about the cold since the girls were born.  I try to keep the cursing at the meteorologists warning of another winter storm to myself.  This has been successful because as much as my girls love summer, they seem to equally love piling on snow pants to go sledding or make a snowman.  As they've gotten older I've become more lax about keeping the negative thoughts to myself.  This morning as we woke to another 6 inches of snow I grumbled the whole way to school drop off and then continued on my tirade while talking to the produce guy and checkout clerk at the grocery store.  I kept it up with other moms at school pick up.  

And then, just as I was getting really comfortable with my grumpy attitude, good old Bozeman reminded me of it's winter beauty.  

The snow stopped, the sun came out and our big blue sky opened up.  Longer days meant my first evening run in a very long time.  The air was the cool and fresh and the Bridgers were magnificent.  I smiled and felt grateful for the beauty that surrounded me.  Beauty that came in the form of the glistening snow I was cursing about earlier.  Remembering the silver lining...all this snow means playing in these mountains this summer will be better.  Better because more snow equals less chance of forest fires.  And I remembered what a friend pointed out to me the other day...we are on the downhill slide.  When these snowstorms and cold fronts hit, at least we are coming out of winter, not just begining it.  Gotta remember the little things.  So there Montana winter...you can't bring me down.  (In a month, I may be singing a different tune).

After my last post about the girls and the latest fairy adventures around our house, Matt told me he was really glad we have documentation of things like that.  Stories and memories that may be forgotten.  Of course we would probably remember some version of it, but the details often get lost.  It was a good reminder for me as to why I started this blog in the first place.  For memories of my girls childhood.  I forget that sometimes when I hit a writers block...it's only meant to be tid bits of our lives.  The things I want to remember and the things I want my girls to know.  

Remembering... the cold day we went ice skating with Layla's Girl Scout Troop-

Big fat snowflakes falling down and seven giggling girls slipping down on the ice.  Big sister and I there tagging along and getting to be a part of it.

Remembering... the time we went to the museum's member exhibit with friends so excited kids could see the geckos-

Once there realizing we would be joined with the other hundreds of members in our town and it was not as exclusive as we thought.  Pretty sure all us adults were feeling overwhelmed and claustrophobic with the amount of people crammed around the exhibits.  Carrying all the winter coats and trying to keep track of little ones as they searched for the lizards.  But knowing, these are the moments.  

While there I made the observation that the museum on this evening was full of two types of people.  Families and elderly.  I suppose that would be expected on a Friday night at a museum.  It's times like that I realize...this is my family.  I am a total grown up.  Right in the middle of family life.  It all goes so fast, sometimes you miss this.  As a young woman, I always wanted to get married and have babies.  I had these dreams along with others like wanting to move to a tropical beach or take over the fashion world. Like most things with life, some of them come true and some don't.  Of all the things I dreamed about to come true, I am so very happy it was this.  Family.   

Remembering...the time Sadi ate our snowman-

After the snow, the girls wanted to make a snowman.  However, it was not ideal snowman making snow.  It was light and fluffy, not the crunchy stuff that sticks together well.  It took us quite some time to get this little guy together and I knew the usual rocks we used for eyes and mouth would not hold up.  I suggested Cocoa Puffs, which Layla eagerly went to grab.  The snowman survived a day, but the next day when the girls went out to play and Sadi joined them, she must have realized it was food.  When I peeked out at the girls, I saw the snowman had been smashed.  I asked what happened to him and Layla replied "Sadi ate his eyes and mouth and then knocked it down and started to eat the carrot".  Something about the casual way she said it made me laugh like crazy.  Now that I know Sadi attacks snowpeople I could legitimately put up a Beware of Dog sign for our golden retriever, right?

Remembering... a night away with my guy celebrating a dear friends wedding-
Oh, how I love weddings.  It has been awhile since we've been to one, and oh what fun we had.  Pre-wedding snacks in our hotel room consisting of cheese, crackers and pickled Brussels sprouts.  Probably one of the best snacks ever.  Getting all dressed up.  Seeing people we haven't seen for years.  Dancing until the DJ finally cut it off.  Wishing we could dance more.  Laughing a lot.  Waking up after way too little sleep and too much wine and laughing some more about all the fun we had.  Making it back to Bozeman for a greasy breakfast and mimosa to cure it all.  I'll say it again...oh, how I love weddings.  

Remembering...the comfort food I make when one of my babies is under the weather-

Ava has a cold and has lost the sparkle in her eye.  She tries to tough it out, but a mama can tell.  I promised this morning as she went off to school that I would get some orange juice and make soup for her for dinner.  I believe in the healing power of good ole chicken noodle soup, but in our house we have chicken-less noodle soup.  Personally I think it kicks the Campbell's versions butt.  Especially because it has homemade noodles in it.  I added some spinach mozzarella rolls to go with it because cheese fixes everything.  (Recipes at the end)  After lots of soup, OJ and tea with honey I tucked my sad baby girl in with wishes of sweet dreams and feeling better in the morning.  As a kid, I remember feeling so taken care of when I was sick.  My mom was a pro at sick days.  7-up if your stomach hurt, OJ for a cold and always a bed on the couch and TV while you rested.  

That's enough memories for one evening.  That's the great thing about it...there are always more to come.  

Chicken-less Noodle Soup
In a crock pot combine the following:
-4 1/2 cups veggie broth
-4-5 celery stalks, chopped
-4-5 carrots, chopped
-1 small onion, diced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-3/4 cup frozen corn or peas
-Salt and pepper
-1 tsp thyme
-A bit of fresh or dried basil
-1-2 bay leaves
-Salt and pepper
Cook on low around 6 hours.  I cooked my homemade noodles in water because I have a hard time cooking noodles in the crock pot.  I cooked them al dente and then added to the crock pot to let them finish up for the last 15 minutes or so.  

Spinach Mozzarella Rolls
First, make the dough from the recipe here.  
In a bowl combine some olive oil with minced garlic, sea salt, a touch of dried oregano and some fresh torn basil.  Roll the dough out on a pizza stone and spread the olive oil mix on it.  Spread some fresh spinach leaves over that and then fresh mozzarella.  Roll it up jellyroll style, tucking all the edges in.  Place it seam side down and put a few slices on the top for air to come out.  (With the amount of dough you have, you can make more than one roll)  Bake at 400-degrees around 20-25 minutes.  Be careful...the oil and mozzarella will probably leak out a bit onto the pizza stone.  Cool slightly, slice and serve.


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