Tuesday
Aug302016

Controlling Time

The second that's passing by as you read this was the tiniest bit shorter than the one before it, but that second was long if you stand it side-by-side with the ones that came before it. That's how it goes, each second is the tiniest bit shorter than the last, and as the days and years add up, you suddenly find yourself knocking on the door to September while June slips through your fingers.

That's how it came to be that the summer was over before I realized it had started. While Alexis will tell you that it was about freakin' time school started, I was still looking for a good few days that we could go do summer up right.

Fortunately, missed opportunities are a myth. They're just opportunities that needed to wait for another day, so we moved some plans around and found our way to Cedar Point over the weekend. Summer bucket list item, check!

As the seconds slip by, the way we do amusement parks changes. While last year it was all about the Big Kid and letting her find the Big Thrills, this year there is a Tiny Human who very much so would like to board that giant roller coaster, please and thank you. She takes it well when I tell her she has to stick to kiddie rides, which is good because she is officially too big for me to slip into my pocket. I can't sneak her on to The Gatekeeper, but I can help her climb up to a new horsie.

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A little give, a little take. That's how to balance the thrills for the bigger one while keeping the chills going for the smaller one. One rides a big ride and then watches as the other gets her day full of awesome.

Even as we spent our day at Cedar Point following a Divide and Conquer plan, there was one thing that the girls could agree on. When a very heavy rainstorm passed through and left very big rain puddles in its wake, the girls both found a new way to be thrilled.

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It's in these moments, the seconds filled with shared joy, that time pauses. And it's the best.

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Monday
Aug292016

Cheesy Salsa Mac

I like to keep expectations nice and low around here, which is how it came to be that both girls decided mac-n-cheese that did not come out of the blue box is ZOMG SO AMAZING AND SPECIAL. The whole thing is funny for a zillion reasons, but high on that list is that I don't make the boxed stuff because it's easier; I make it because I seriously like it.

Sorry, it's true. I love me some dehydrated fake cheese.

But every once in a while I make the from scratch stuff. AND THE GIRLS GO WILD. And then I make it a little differently than most of the time and THE GIRLS GO WILDER.

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Salsa, man. It makes everything better.

Cheesy Salsa Mac

1 pound penne, macaroni, or whatever pasta makes you happy
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 15 oz jar salsa (I prefer a black bean and corn type salsa for cooking)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound precooked shredded chicken or vegetarian substitute (optional)

1. Follow the directions on the box to prepare the pasta.

2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and then whisk in the milk.

3. Slowly add the shredded cheese, whisking continuously so that it all blends together perfectly. Keep whisking, making sure you're keeping cheese from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until you're happy with how thick the cheese sauce is.

4. Dump in the salsa and whisk it into the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Toss in the cooked pasta and (optional) precooked chicken (I used Morningstar Chik'n Strips that I had already heated in separate skillet with olive oil).

6. You're welcome.

Sunday
Aug282016

Splish Splash

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