A Monday Evening

Tonight was one of those magic evenings when I stopped for a minute and enjoyed living in the here and now.  It's so easy on this path that Jared and I have chosen to get swept along in the mindset of "Okay, we're halfway done with Grenada, which means we're a fourth of the way done with med school, which means we're an eighth of the way to being able to settle down somewhere, which means we're a sixteenth of the way to paying off our student loans and living our lives how we want to." Sometimes it's hard to remember that this is our life. This island right here. Sure it's a stepping stone, but first and foremost, it's our life. And although it's really easy for the weeks and days to blur together (really--every week here feels like Sunday, a big mush of days in-between, Sunday again, repeat), it's refreshing to slow down once in a while and have those moments of, "Hey, this is life, and it's pretty good."

I'm not very good at setting boundaries for each aspect of my life. I used to be awesome at it, but then I graduated from college and had to structure my days around something other than classes and grades. I don't have times set aside for exercising, cleaning, preparing meals, working, relaxing, or anything else. I kind of just rotate between all of those categories from the moment I wake until the moment I sleep. Jared's schedule is different every day, so I can't set my heart on a particular dinner time or date time or bedtime, either. It's great to have lots of flexibility, but I also find that I don't get as much done overall as I did when I had every hour of my day meticulously planned out ahead of time. I also find that I live with a constant feeling of I-should-be-working-on-something, which makes the time I do spend relaxing less, well, relaxing.

Everything I have written up to this point has been a tangent. Oops. Oh well, I'm not going to delete it because the tangents are what I enjoy reading back on most.

Anyway, getting to the actual post. Tonight I made chicken shawarma for dinner. It was really tasty and made our kitchen smell like a dream. After we finished eating and doing the dishes, I had this insatiable desire to bake something pumpkiny. Perhaps it was the smell of nutmeg and cloves and cinnamon lingering in the air from our dinner. In any event, whenever I have an urge to bake, I seize it, because normally I detest baking. I always burn myself, my baked goods rarely turn out right, and I usually feel sick afterward because I have a sensitive stomach that frowns upon gorging itself with fantastic desserts. Such a shame. So although I had plenty of work to do when Jared retired to his study room after dinner, I thought, "What the heck. It's family night, and all the great family nights end with a treat, and I want to bake. I'm making pumpkin bars." Never one to do something halfway, I cranked up the AC, changed into my flannel PJ pants, plugged in our one little string of Christmas light, turned on Michael Buble's holiday album, and set out to bake some pumpkin chocolate chip bars.

It was awesome. I would highly recommend incorporating Christmas into August to anyone. Especially if you live far from home in a place where the seasons go "Summer, Summer, Extra-Hot Summer, Summer" instead of "Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall." Halfway through my baking endeavor it occurred to me that I summoned Christmas in August last year, too, but the circumstances were much less ideal then. We had only been here a week or two, we didn't have Internet so we couldn't talk to our families, no car, no normal oven, limited space, and I was terrified of my kitchen so I never left my bedroom. Those were dark times indeed. This August is awesome. I have plenty to do with my days so it's not quite so hard for me to give my husband up to his schooling, we have Internet and can talk to our families, we have a really cozy apartment, and I'm not afraid to use my own oven. Seriously. This is the life. Wow, this post could just keep going all day. It's always a bad sign when by the time you finish writing your blog post, you can't see the top of where you started writing without scrolling up. I'm leaving now. You're welcome.
Oh, and p.s., do yourself a favor and make these pumpkin chocolate chip bars right now. They are the best. You're double welcome.


  1. Laura, I love this post so much!!! Especially because I maybe did the same thing last month, Buble album and all. And you know that I will most definitely be making those pumpkin bars! Happy Christmas! :)

  2. what's the recipe? Sounds delicious.



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