Sunday Supper

Disclaimer: This post is part of Heinen’s¬†#HeinensSundaySupper campaign. I was given a gift card in exchange for a post about what eating together as a family means to me.¬†As always, my thoughts are 100% my own. As a weekly¬†Heinen’s customer, I was happy to be a part of this campaign.¬†

Growing up Sunday breakfast was the most memorable meal of the week. We typically went out to the same restaurant after church (hello chocolate chip pancakes!). If we didn’t head to the restaurant, my parents would make pancakes or waffles and we’d have a big brunch at home. While the Sunday breakfast tradition lives on in our house (these¬†are the best pancakes, BTW), it’s Sunday dinner that I love.

Sundays are all about food, is what I’m saying.

I’m proud of the fact that we eat meals at the table, as a family, most nights of the week. I imagine as the kids get older this might become harder to do, but for now we try to cook at least 4 nights a week (with one night out, and 2 nights of leftovers). As you can imagine, with 2 working parents many of the meals are quick meals… pasta, tacos, soups and crock pot meals are in regular rotation. As someone who loves to cook, that leaves Sunday night as the night I get to really play in the kitchen. And Sunday Supper will always be something I protect as our schedule gets busier.

Madman

Sundays are the days to get a little fancy, try something new, get the kids to help in the kitchen (without Mark or I losing our cool like we sometime do during the weekday scramble to get food on the table). Sunday is the day to introduce our kids to our favorite meals from our childhood and a chance for me to try new cooking techniques.

Magpie

Sunday’s suppers are for¬†slow-cooked oven-BBQ chicken, steaks cooked to a perfect medium rare¬†to go with mashed potatoes, my signature¬†roast chicken¬†with a simple salad made from local greens. Sunday’s are perfect to make those things that take a long time – like¬†braised short ribs¬†or pizzas made on the¬†best homemade crust¬†around. In the summer it’s the night we grill out – the kids helping me shuck corn on the back patio while Mark mans the Weber.

mmm...pizza!

Sunday’s suppers usually mean dessert, too – homemade brownies or cookies made earlier in the day with the kids, or just a scoop of ice cream (Jeni’s or Mitchell’s, please) with my family-secret-recipe hot fudge on top.

Jeni's & Hot fudge

Sunday Suppers mean family time, gathering around the table and breaking bread with the ones I love. It means spending my time and energy creating something delicious to nourish their bodies while¬†creating memories that will last a lifetime. What do Sunday Suppers mean to you? What’s your favorite Sunday recipe?

(Don’t) Ring My Bell

Last night we had to call the police to our house because of a possible intruder.

Let me explain *said in the voice of Indigo Montoya*
I had a hard time falling asleep and it wasn’t until about 12:15 that I finally put my Kindle down and closed my eyes. So I was in kind of that hazy not-asleep-not-awake stage when I thought I heard the doorbell ring. I looked at my clock and it was 1:01 AM. “Hmmm” a foggy thought came to me “I must have dreamed that someone rang the doorbell…Or did I hear the doorbell for real. Why would anyone be at the door at 1 AM?” So I lay there for a moment – I’m not sure for how long since I was still in a hazy state. It may have been 20 seconds or 2 minutes. I finally decided I should just go check it out to satisfy my curiosity. When I got half way down the stairs I heard a buzzing and I started to freak out.

See, we live in an old house and we have a wired doorbell. There is a button at both the front and back doors. But the back button almost always sticks when it gets pushed, and when that happens the doorbell buzzes after it chimes. I knew as soon as I heard the buzz that someone had pushed the button and I knew it was the back door.

I ran upstairs and woke Mark up (he is a deep sleeper and I hadn’t heard the bell or me get out of bed). He woke up and was in a dazed panic. He ran downstairs and started going from window to window to see if he could see anything, I followed. Of course the doorbell was still buzzing but we didn’t want to open the back door to unstick the button because what if someone was out there? The way our yard and windows are, there was an area someone could be lurking and we wouldn’t know.

So I ran back upstairs to get my phone and called the police – they sent 3 squad cars over immediately. (side note: I first went to grab our landline downstairs and realized I had NO IDEA what our city’s no-emergency phone number was but knew it was in my cell phone. So instead of calling 911 I went back upstairs to call and it took forever because I was shaking and kept hitting the wrong thin in my contact list. I need to put emergency numbers by the phone!) This is when living 3 blocks from the police station comes in handy. A police SUV came down our driveway to the back of the house and we had cops at our backdoor by 1:05. They also had a car at the house behind us and the 3rd was cruising on our street looking in side yards.

The officers were really nice. We explained our sticky doorbell and how we know someone had to push it to get it stuck. They circled our house, checked our garage, checked our neighbors yards and spent about 20 minutes circling the surrounding blocks looking for anything suspicious. The one thing that struck me as funny was they asked “Where you expecting anyone tonight?” They actually asked that twice. Yeah, we were expecting guests ¬†at 1 AM on a Monday and when they arrived we called the cops!

Anyway, we were back in bed, with hearts still racing at 1:25. I don’t think I fell asleep again until about 3:00 AM; every creak of the house settling or ping of a radiator had me jumping. I hate the feeling of being scared in your own house.

Today the police called to check on us (so nice!). They never did see anyone or have any reports of other disturbances. However, they did say that this could have been a thief scoping our house to see 1) if anyone was home and/or 2) what we did. I’m so glad we called the police because they arrived swiftly and stayed in the area for awhile. I’m also glad we have a house alarm, and that both our storm doors and inside doors were locked. Oh, and that both kids slept through it all.¬†It also reaffirmed the expense of hiring a house-sitter when we go on vacations.

Have you ever had anything that made you freak out in your house?

(Remind me sometime to tell you about how at our old house the fire department nearly broke down the door while we were on vacation.)

Making Memories

We’ve been vacationing in Hilton Head for at least 15 years now. I’m pretty sure we’ve made at least one trip to the beach in each of those years, sometimes getting there twice. I’ve written before on how relaxing it can be to vacation in the same place year after year, but I do sometimes feel like we need to branch out. There are plans to visit national parks and other countries when the kids are a bit older (the thought of trying to do other trips while working around a nap schedule doesn’t sound like vacation at all). Of course, I wouldn’t be a parent if I didn’t spend some time second-guessing our decisions so I’ve had some pangs of guilt about always using our precious vacation time to visit the same place instead of exploring other areas.

…………

The last two nights Matilda has woken up with nightmares. She won’t share what has her scared and the waking may be a side effect of her new medication, nonetheless being called into your child’s room at night can break your heart. I just want her to sleep peacefully, dreaming about all the fun things a 7 year old should dream about.

When she has a nightmare we encourage her to think of happy things, things she wants to dream about, and sometimes she asks for help. When she does ask for help, she and I will take turns offering up ideas for sweet dreams. The last two nights when I started the “dream ideas” conversation with things like “riding horses” and “ice skating” she objected. Her sleepy voice said “no, mama. I want to dream about Hilton Head.” And so we begin trading memories…

“Jumping in the waves”

“Flying kites with grandma”

“Sunday breakfast at Kenny B’s”

“Digging deep holes with daddy”

“Swimming under the stars”

“Playing Uno in the condo”

“Watching cartoons in bed”

“Grandpa giving me dollars”

“Dinner by the marsh”

“Going to the hot tub with my cousins”

“Bike rides”

“Collecting shells and watching for dolphins”…

…………

The national parks can wait a few more years. I’m perfectly happy to return to the beach for another family vacation in a few weeks.