I planned for Fridays to be light homeschooling days since in a few short weeks we’ll be attending our local homeschool Co-Op on Friday mornings. So we were pretty excited that we could take it easy today. We woke up slowly, had a big breakfast, and lounged around in our pajamas.

It’s slow mornings like today, however, that make me painfully aware of how different our home is without Brooks in it. Although I blame my pressing nostalgia on the fact that I’m counting down the days until RandR, the truth is that as we approach the midway point of this deployment the days will begin to feel like they are just a bit longer, a bit tougher, a bit harder to get through. My patience will begin to wane over the silliest things and I’ll find myself having to remind myself of why I can make it through another day.

To say we miss Brooks in all we do is truly an understatement. He could be gone for one day and we miss him terribly. But it’s the missing him that makes us appreciate him all the more, that make us experience his absences in such raw ways, that make us relish every second we have with him, whether it be a year at home or a day. The absences have a way of teaching us to overlook the small things, to speak in a kinder tone, to look for ways of making each day special for the one we love. In that way deployments have made me a better wife, partner, mother.

And it’s always the way we choose to let life’s experiences shape us: the good, the bad, the ugly. At the end of the day we have a choice whether our experience will define us or whether we’ll define it.

These days, between Brooks coming home to us and now, will be tough on me. The excitement has been building for some time and that can be overwhelming. I just know I’ll be a mess of nerves and excitement and big ol’ crocodile tears. I can’t wait to welcome him home and spoil the heck out of him!

So back to our morning.

After some homeschooling we headed to the kitchen to make homemade tortillas. I haven’t made tortillas in a few years, and I forget how easy and delicious fresh tortillas are. I forget who had mentioned them recently to me but the thought of making fresh ones just stuck in my mind. I am very regretful that a recipe I had found a few years ago for savory tortillas has been lost to me so I found a simple one on the Pioneer Woman.

Here is the link: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/05/homemade-flour-tortillas/



The recipe itself is super simple, and Ree does an awesome job of detailing the steps. But really, I can’t imagine anyone messing this up. It’s just too simple. You combine all your dry ingredients and then use a pastry blender to disperse the lard throughout the mixture. Lastly, you add hot water to the whole mess and mix it up. I use the dough hook on my stand mixer to mix the dough for a minute or so. The dough comes out beautifully, not sticky, and rather tasty.

True story.

The last step is to grab a chunk of dough, roll it into a ball, flatten it out to desired thickness with a rolling pin, and lay it on a fairly hot griddle. The tortillas cook quickly, so keep an eye on them!

The kiddos had a blast making the dough, eating balls of it, and then rolling it out and placing our shaped tortillas on the hot griddle. The kids couldn’t eat them fast enough! They refused to eat quesadillas and slathered their tortillas with butter.

I did make one quesadilla, and even after eating a few each, Marilyn was able to down it. Too much fun!

I have to note that Dee does mention that you should let the dough rest for 1 hour but we were rather impatient and very, very hungry so the kids wouldn’t have it. As soon as a new tortilla came off the griddle one of the kids would snatch it and begin to eat it with relish. That’s a good recipe in my book!

The day could have ended perfectly after our tortilla making but we were lucky enough to be invited with a good friend to watch Footloose, The Musical at Zilker Park in Austin. You have to love Austin and all it’s unique and amazing opportunities and events. If it were just 3o minutes closer I’d be in heaven!

First of all, Footloose is one of my favorite movies, ever. I love doing the crazy Footloose dancing feet; I just wish I had leg warmers. I’d be one happy girl! My post surgery toe was not working with me this morning when I found out that we would be watching the musical and I decided to youtube the movie. I instantly got up and began to dance with The Boy, but my toe just wasn’t having it. I gimped more than I danced. I fear I won’t be a great dancing partner for Brooks when he returns home.

But I digress.

The ride down was fun enough, but the show was even better. The singing, the dancing, the acting… They were amazing! I love theater, but there is something special about attending an outdoor performance. Local Hoodies should try and attend. They have shows ever weekend until August 13th. It’s a must for this summer.

Here is the link: http://www.zilker.org/showinfo.html The cost is just right (free) with cheapo parking: 3 bucks. You can bring a blanket to sit on, as well as an ice chest full of snacks and beverages, though they do have concessions there. I saw some people who had stopped by and grabbed fast food first while another brought along a whole pie from Pizza Hut.

Tanja mentioned that they said Willie Nelson was in attendance somewhere in the crowd. I would have completely chatted him up had I seen him! I’m not very music savvy but I know who that is 🙂

So a big huge thanks to Tanja for inviting us out for the night, for being a wonderful friend, and for always finding amazing new things to do together. You are making this deployment bearable in so many ways and I am ever grateful to you, my friend!