Character Comparison: Me vs. Joan

Last night I watched the movie Mona Lisa Smile. I’d seen it before, but only once, and it had been quite a while. It’s a great movie that teaches women that they can be more than just a housewife, they can live for themselves and not just their man. But I think I’m like Joan. Joan is smart and driven and she gets accepted into Yale law school, yet she chooses to instead get married and be a housewife. She doesn’t want to miss out on keeping a home and a husband and children.

I’m definitely Joan. I have several advanced degrees and have always had very career oriented goals. But I like being home. And it just hit me this week.

When I decided to quit my job, a big part of the reason why was because I was never home. Hubs and I were eating dinner as late as 10:00pm some nights. Then I resigned, and a few days later, another full time staff member quit. I offered to stay and help part time. The week and a half where I worked for only 4 hours a day (instead of 10) was wonderful. The house, while far from spotless, was the cleanest it had ever stayed for more than two days. I was making great meals that Hubs and I were eating at normal dinner times. I even had a regular grocery shopping schedule and time to clip and organize coupons!

Then the two remaining full time staff members took back to back vacations, and I was back to “helping” at my full time hours. And the house fell apart SO INCREDIBLY FAST! (That’s also the reason I haven’t been posting on here).

They’re back from their vacations now, and I’m back to part time hours. But it is so much harder to start over again. I don’t want to keep going back and forth between working full time and being a homemaker full time. As Joan said, “I want a home; I want a family, that’s not something I’ll sacrifice.”

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Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

Did you ever watch that show “Just Shoot Me”? There are very few things I remember about it, but I do remember the episode with Elliot’s brother. He walked around throughout most of the show singing “chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!” For some reason, I always sing it like that now.

Chicken pot pie, specifically my mom’s chicken pot pie, is my idea of comfort food. It’s hearty. It’s warm. And I can eat an entire 9 inch pie in one sitting. It’s THAT good.

I’m currently making three of them. Some good friends of mine (who take claim for Hubs and I meeting) just brought their new baby home! Yay!! So I’m doing what my mom taught me, which is make them a chicken pot pie! They get one, one is for Hubs and I for dinner tonight, and the third is to freeze for later. (Someday I’ll post about my latest attempt at freezer meals and how we’ve eaten three baked ziti in the past three weeks).

I did my usual weekly grocery trip yesterday, and it was amazing. I’ve started couponing now that we’re living on one income.* I bought $305 worth of groceries for $205!!! It was amazing! I’m not extreme couponing like you see on tv, where the women buy 148 packages of dried pineapple. But I figure, if I’m at some point going to go through 4 bottles of Tide detergent, and I can buy 4 right now for 50% off, then I might as well. But the benefits of couponing really sunk in this morning when I needed ingredients for my pot pies. It’s the easiest recipe in the world, so I only needed to pick up 4 ingredients (times three to make my three pies). I hadn’t planned on making them before I did my grocery run yesterday, and I hadn’t purchased any of the ingredients (they weren’t on sale and I didn’t have coupons for them), so I ran to the store this morning. $40 later, I can make my pot pies! What an absurd amount of money!?!?!

Maybe I’ll eventually tell you more about my couponing. I’m still new at it, so I feel I need to get my systems down better before I start sharing. But what I can tell you, is that between my $100 savings yesterday, and paying $40 for 4 ingredients this morning, I am 100% convinced that couponing is the way to go!

*I started posting about this the other day, but I couldn’t make the words come out right. So here’s a quick confession until I figure out how to word it. I’m not really jobless. Due to an unforeseen event that happened to the company shortly after I resigned, they were left in an even bigger bind, and I offered to help part-time until my previous position could be filled. So while I’m not without any job, I’m also not working full-time.

Mom’s Veg-all Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced2 cans Cream of Potato soup
1 can Veg-all (mixed vegetables)
1/2 cup milk
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 9-inch pie crusts

Combine first six ingredients. Place in pie crust and cover with other crust. Poke holes in top crust to let steam out. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

DINKs No More

Life never quite goes the way you plan. At least, my life doesn’t go the way I plan. Since I was five, I planned to be a teacher. By my early 20s I would be married, and by 30 I would be finished having kids.

Then life really happened.

I was a teacher. Now I’m not. I got married a few months ago (I’m 29). Hubby and I want kids, but not any time soon. We’ve been enjoying our life as DINKs (Dual Income No Kids). We want to travel the world (we went to Scotland for our honeymoon and we have a trip planned next year for Ireland). We are foodies – kind of. We like to eat out, but not necessarily anywhere fancy (we love microbreweries). And we’re trying very hard to pay off our debts (mostly my student loans). Kids are definitely in the future. But kids would mean some huge lifestyle changes.

And then WHAM! Life hit. After a lot of discussion and months of debate, Hubs and I decided that it was time for me to leave my job. I was one of the directors at a tutoring company. It is a wonderful company that I fully believe in and will 100% send any future kids there. But for various reasons, it was time for me to leave. Making Hubs and I DINKs no more.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I’m actually really excited to clean my house! You don’t know me that well yet, but trust me when I say that I’m not one of those people who thinks cleaning is relaxing, or helps me think more clearly, or generally LIKES cleaning. But I am excited for the time I’m now going to have. Time that I can do whatever I want with.

When I told Hubs I thought I wanted to start a blog, he laughed and asked what I was going to write about. “And then kitty and I took a nap,” he joked. Yes, my cat will probably be mentioned on here, because he’s awesome. But I’m seeing this more as a way for me to keep interacting with other people, since I’m now going to be spending most of my days sitting on my couch. I’ve always joked around that I want to be a mommy-blogger without the blog. They’re super organized (which I love to be). They’re crafty (which I try to be). And they’re usually pretty entertaining. Maybe with this blog, I could be those things. And after all, I was an English major. I do know how to write.