My dear friends, as you read this, I am officially on vacay.
As a complete surprise to me, The Big Lug has taken time off from work to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I am just elated. This break couldn’t have come at a better time.
On Wednesday, October 9th, I had an incredibly down day. Down is sugar-coating it. I was, in fact, an emotional wreck. Just as I ordinarily do, I was going through my feed reading blogs and giving that good ol’ blog love. Suddenly, I found myself reading a food blogger’s post and had no idea where it was going. Let’s just say it hit far too close to home. (My father was an abusive, violent alcoholic. And, that is all I will ever mention here on my food blog.) I completely broke down and couldn’t function. I couldn’t even bring myself to comment despite the draft I completed. (Since I don’t know this food blogger well enough, I just couldn’t comment. The subject matter was just too intimate.) For the remainder of the week, I was a hot mess and unproductive. I am so used to putting on a smiling face and my “big girl panties” when I need to that I just did my best to get through each day for the remainder of that week. The Big Lug knows of this horrific chapter from my childhood and always manages to be there for me in every positive way possible. So, when he told me he was taking time off from work to celebrate our anniversary, it was a total surprise. A gift. A blessing.
As part of the deal, I agreed to not blog during this time. As fellow food bloggers know, it takes an incredible amount of time to write articles, develop recipes, test recipes, make the food, style it and photograph it, select and edit photographs, enter everything into WordPress including adding your recipe to special recipe plugins like ZipList, proofread and ensure everything is formatted correctly as well as engage in all sorts of social media to promote your latest post. As it is, I have been living on 4-hour naps on average which is not a good thing for my overall health and well-being. On top of all the blog stuff, as most of you know by now, I happen to be writing a paleo baking cookbook. My days are jam-packed, people. Whew. I really need this break to celebrate our anniversary!
The good news is that I have several fun Fall recipes (read: apple and pumpkin goodness), as well as other recipes in the hopper, to share once I start blogging again next week. Some recipes still need photo editing, but most are just needing to be entered into WordPress. As I glance at the calendar, I truly thought I would have had a new pumpkin recipe or two posted by now, but I really wanted to get the special diet recipe I had promised, the dairy and grain-free Chocolate Chip Blondies recipe, completed for a very loyal Twitter follower, Dr. H. She had been waiting quite some time for it and I wanted to offer it to her in time for her autumn baking. Also, I wanted to share with you Crystal’s beautiful paleo wedding cake based on my recipe for Paleo Carrot Spice Layer Cake with Cashew-Coconut Buttercream.
Of course, I still have that second part of the “epic recipe roundup” I promised, the savory edition. Since most of the recipe categories have continued into the Fall, and several killer recipes have been shared within those categories in September and October, I thought it would be appropriate to title the roundup, “Epic Recipe Roundup: 200+ Late Summer & Early Fall Savory Eats”. And, there’s the Drop Cookies 101 tutorial series as well which includes a cookbook review. Being off this week, and not yet having everything entered into WordPress, I thought it would be the perfect series to share in early November to kick off the holiday baking season. Honestly, why aren’t there more than 24 hours in a day? A few extra days per week? Seriously. Next week, I certainly have plenty to do in the way of catching up! I am seriously in need of a virtual assistant. I am not kidding!
Meanwhile, I thought I would share some apple photos with you that I have not yet shared. I took them with my new camera and, well, we’ll just call it “An Apple Study” for kicks. They are the very apples we picked at the end of September during our apple picking trip to the orchard. That afternoon, I snapped them upon our return home. Scroll down to view the complete group of images following this post.
Also, one of my favorite food bloggers has been pining for photos of me and The Big Lug. (She thinks my blog is ‘mysterious’ because I only show my hands. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did share a few photos in previous posts. But, I get where she’s coming from.) As I have mentioned previously (numerous times), The Big Lug is very reluctant about me posting photos of him. The very thought of a large image, like a portrait, of him splashed across my food blog makes him feel uneasy. And, I don’t blame him one bit! But, in honor of our wedding anniversary, and the Fall season, my dear sweet hubby agreed to allow me to share a snapshot of him that I took on a gorgeous autumn day. He had snapped one of me that day as well. It was a Saturday and we had traveled up to Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit for the weekend. In fact, we had taken his mother out to breakfast earlier in the day.
Afterwards, we scooted out for an autumn drive to see the colorful Fall foliage and then headed to the nearest cider mill and park. We ended up back in nearby Chelsea and Dexter. Below are the snapshots. (I apologize for my squinty eyes. It was a super-bright sunny day that day!) On that beautiful Saturday, we brought our apple cider and doughnuts to enjoy on one of the many picnic tables. It is part of our Fall tradition each year along with visiting the local pumpkin patch to select our pumpkins to carve for Halloween. Since we were married in the Fall, it is our favorite time of year!
As I have shared before, The Big Lug is very handsome. (I am such a sucker for boyish good looks—hence, my slight crush on the actor Kyle Chandler! Although, I must admit I am partial to blondes.) My hubby is 6’5″ tall and is my tall, blonde, blue-eyed Prince Charming. Or, Knight in Shining Armour depending on my mood. He has a huge heart and is a complete gentleman…that is, when he wants to be! He puts up with me, his temperamental strawberry blonde (read: sassy, fiery redhead!), which automatically grants him Sainthood at some point in the future. I am sure of this. The only thing different about his appearance now is that he’s a little bit older and his gorgeous thick hair is longer. (I asked him to grow it longer and, much to my surprise, he did! I think men would kill to have his thick wavy blonde hair.) The guy does not look his age, at all. In fact, when we were out celebrating our anniversary last year, after dinner we met a musician from a local band. When he asked how many years we were wed, we told him 22 years. He then asked, “Do your parents know?” What a hilarious and kind compliment! It made our evening.
Marriage definitely has its ups and downs. But, when you marry your best friend, and as long as you treat each other with the utmost of kindness, respect and love, whilst expressing your gratitude, you will be blessed throughout your marriage. Truly, I do not know what I would do without him. I wrote about The Big Lug and I, and our marriage, in a post I dedicated to him last June, On Love, Gratitude & Margaritas. In the post, I shared photos from our wedding day. Up to this point, these are probably the only photos he’ll allow me to share. But, I may continue to work on him for others. Ha!
Have a great week, my friends! I hope to have some time to visit your blogs this week or even see you over at Pinterest!
An Apple Study: Cortland Apples
Image Credits for Fall Foliage: Wikimedia Commons