Thursday, June 25, 2015

Making Dinner Out of Nothing At All

I am guessing that most everybody knows what it is like to be on a tight budget. If you don't, well...I can pretty much guarantee that the rest of us don't want to hear about it. (Also, can I borrow some money?) 

I don't know how many of you also know what it is like to be on a tight budget and then have a wedding to pay for. If you don't know what THAT'S like, I don't recommend it. In fact, if you can find somebody else who is willing to pay for it, definitely take that route. (Maybe ask the person who doesn't know what it's like to be on a tight budget.) 

To put it simply: Weddings? YAY!! Paying for weddings? BOOO!! 

The point? The point is: I'm broke. 

Like if there were a joke that started off: What's broker than broke, the answer would be: Me. 
The saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Well, I am. I am very, very broke. And there's no fixing that. (At least not until my next round of student loans kicks in.)

However, not withstanding my absolute broke-ness, my kids still expect me to make them something for dinner. Every. Single. Night. Well, besides a bag of salad left over from the California wedding reception and a container of bite-size lemon cakes left over from the Utah wedding reception: there is no food. There is also no money for groceries. (But I think I covered that point, right?) 

As it turns out, my kids do not consider bagged salad and lemon cakes appropriate dinner food. What?? I know. They're a bunch of picky ingrates, what can I say? Enter my phenomenal gift for making meals with very little of anything. I have had a lot of practice, that's for sure. I have been poor more years than I have been ... not poor. Which is where this remarkable skill set comes in so handy. So, in addition to my uncanny knack for recalling every word to every song I have ever heard, and my remarkable super-skill for consistently choosing the wrong line at the grocery store, I was also blessed with a natural flair for creating meals out of ... well, nothing at all. 

What's that you say? That reminds you of an Air Supply song? Hey, me too! So I rewrote it. Because when I am not making meals out of thin air, I am revising lyrics for my own personal (and hopefully your) amusement. 

Without further ado, I give you:

Making Dinner Out of Nothing At All

I know just how to sauté
And I know just how to fry
I know just when to add some gravy
When the pork’s a little dry

I know just how to bake it
And I know just how to steam
I know just how to sear a roast
And when to use the heavy cream

And I know the family’s hungry
Because they tell me all the time
But I know that the fridge is empty
And I haven’t got a dime

And I know the night’s approaching
And I know the kids have to eat
But I’m never gonna make them all the things I saw on Pinterest
And I’m pretty sure that we’re out of meat

But I know that we’ve got celery
And I think some old French bread
And we may not have cheese but we have lots of macaroni
And a little bit of margarine spread

And I’ll throw together something
It’s a feat that’s not so small
‘Cause one of my amazing talents

Is making dinner out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all
Making dinner out of nothing at all

Every time I open up the pantry I know 
That I won’t find very much in there
But I can do some pretty creative things 
With only some white rice

Those taco shells from last month will add the perfect crunch
When I sprinkle them on refried beans

I can take that tuna can…I found only one
And turn it to a sandwich on a hamburger bun
Or make a casserole. And if they won’t eat that
Well there’s croutons and a can of beef stew

I can make Hamburger Helper
Even when there’s no ground beef
I can make a grilled cheese sandwich with a biscuit and Velveeta 
And for a garnish I can add a bay leaf

I can make a quesadilla
With tortilla chips and Parmesan cheese
I can make veggie spaghetti with some penne and tomatoes
And zucchini that was in the deep freeze

Maybe tomorrow we’ll have groceries
But the chance is very small
So it’s a good thing I’ve got mad skills 

For making dinner out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)
Out of nothing at all (out of nothing at all)

Monday, June 15, 2015


Sometimes when you don’t expect it, you are given an unbelievably precious gift.

Sometimes you are terrified and you feel horribly inadequate to care for this exquisite blessing.

But sometimes it comes anyway. Even when you feel like you’re not ready.

Sometimes from the moment you lay eyes on this tiny miracle, your life is changed forever.

Sometimes you have no idea what you are doing.

But sometimes you muddle through anyway. Crying. Praying. Hoping that your best effort will somehow be good enough.

Sometimes this gift is a kind and understanding one. And she forgives you for all of your many and constant mistakes.

Sometimes you and she grow up together and teach each other countless lessons.

Sometimes through trial. More often through error.

Sometimes you think that maybe someone else could have done a better job raising her. And you feel like maybe you have done her a great disservice.

But then sometimes she holds your hand and tells you that she loves you. And you know that you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sometimes you feel a little selfish for needing her so much. But you just keep adoring and depending on her anyway.

Sometimes you send this little piece of yourself off into the world to learn vital and powerful lessons.

Sometimes it is almost too much to bear when those lessons are painful ones. And you would do anything to take away her hurt.

But sometimes you can do nothing. Except try your best to be strong for her during the day. And cry the tears of the anguished at night.

Sometimes this gift you were given so many years ago becomes more caring, and loving, and beautiful than you ever imagined was possible.

Sometimes she moves away to start her own life. And you are so happy for her. But you miss her so much.

Sometimes she struggles and she just wants to come back home. And so much of you wants that, too. But you tell her she can do it. Because you know she can.

Sometimes she finds someone who loves her almost as much as you do.

And sometimes you know that he will be the one to cherish and take care of her forever.

But sometimes you hope that she will still need you too.

Sometimes you worry and fear for them both. Because life is hard. And you don’t want them to struggle.

But sometimes you see them look at each other with hearts full of love and commitment and faith. And that gives you hope.

Sometimes you get to watch as she looks into his eyes and promises herself to him for eternity. 

Sometimes you know that you have just given your most precious gift to someone else.

Sometimes you are not quite ready to let go.

And that makes your heart break.

But then sometimes you remember that this is everything you have ever wanted for her.

And that makes your heart soar.

Because sometimes the things that hurt the most, also bring you the most joy.