Marriage and Granola

Hey all!

I don’t actually have much of a cute tie-in on how marriage is like granola. This post is just literally a blurb about my new married life and sharing my very own granola recipe with you. Here goes!

Today is day number seventeen of being a wife. I’ll do a wedding post once we get our professional photos back, but in short- the day was a fairy tale. What I love most about being married, is just getting to be with each other every moment outside of our work day. Nothing’s been drastically different or unexpected, since we knew each others habits from living in close proximity for the past year and a half, (which I highly recommend doing if you’re able to).

Ever since I was little, being a housewife was a dream position. I’ve always loved cleaning, baking and organizing, and getting to do that in my very own home is my happy hour. When I came up with this recipe, I was sleeping in one house, and living in the other. I wanted a breakfast/snack food that was easy, delicious, affordable and healthy. After going through a cornflakes cereal, breakfast faze, Justin suggested I make parfaits instead. One of my flaws is usually coming up with at least one objection to someone else’s ideas- so of course I objected that granola was expensive and made me nauseous, (although both very true statements). I settled on yogurt and eventually warmed up to the idea of making my own granola. When I searched the web for a recipe however, all of them included ingredients that were too much for a girl in my position. I wanted a simple cheap granola. I began compiling three different granola recipes, and used them all for their different measurements baking times and ingredients. Evntually, I came up with my very own version of all three and have never looked back since.

This recipe takes just a few minutes to make, and can be customized to your taste buds. Its a sweet, crunchy granola that’s under $2 to make. It pairs great with yogurt, milk or just by the handful. May your marriage be as sweet as the honey in your granola! 😉

Alaskan Grains Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400*F. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl, in the order shown. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, (it’s the easiest to remove once baked). Spread granola evenly on sheet and bake until golden brown, (about 10 minutes). Once baked, using a flat- head spatula, flip granola over so the foil backing is facing upward, (it should be in one piece). Starting at an edge, peel back the foil until removed completely. Using the same spatula (or your hands), break granola into chunks or individual oats. Stores for two weeks, yields two quart jars full.

Friday’s Comment: A Call to Wives

As a soon to be wife, (44 days!) I have been given a lot of opinions, and advice from married individuals. No matter the culture, I have seen a repeated pattern in some of the conversations I’ve had, that I can’t quite keep silent about.

Discouragement.

Now I’m not talking through rose colored glasses. I know marriage can be difficult, and love is a choice you have to actively make. I want to point out that giving advice to young couples is hugely important, and I feel very blessed to receive it. Yet I often hear women putting down their husbands and their marriages in either advice to me, or general conversation.

The amount of complaining I’ve heard from women about their husbands behind their back (or in some cases, right in front of them), is disheartening. Things like, “you’ll hate each other”, “I want to bury him in the backyard most days” or, “This get-together is just to escape our husbands”.

For soon to be wives everywhere- how does it encourage us to love, honor, and submit to our husbands when you’re telling us we’ll hate him soon? I believe so many marriages fail, because of how the individuals were taught. I ask you to think about the things you say, and if it will profit the person you’re speaking to. I ask you, if you’re going to teach- ground us in truth and wisdom. Encourage us to fight for our marriage and to be by our husbands side, not only willingly, but joyfully.

Sincerely,

-Mariah

| Titus 2:4-5 | Proverbs 31:11 |

Our Story

We were at a dinner show in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when Justin first leaned over and introduced himself to me. I was impressed, I knew he was from Alaska and had a good sense of humor, (from when I had heard him tell someone in all seriousness that he owned a pet polar bear haha). We hit it off right away. During that first conversation, the thought actually crossed my mind that I could totally marry this man, but there was no way I would actually give into that idea for a long time. Before the trip, both of us had purposed in our heart that we weren’t going there to look for a relationship, but to just have fun. Turns out God had other things in mind. 🙂 A few days after casually hanging out pretty much constantly, one of our friends took it in to his own hands to find out exactly what we both felt, (something we wouldn’t have talked about if it weren’t for him) and to each other’s surprise, we were both interested. On December 26, 2017, we saw each other again for a few days, and quietly made things official.

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We didn’t see each other from December 2017, until August of 2018, all while dealing with a four hour time difference and very different schedules. I had already planned to go to Ambassador Bible College that year and since I knew it was in his plans to go at some point as well, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know each other in person. We both got accepted and eagerly anticipated the time we would get to be together, often talking on the phone for seven hours at a time! Ten months passed, and at last we were reunited. 🙂 We spent the first week at my house, vacationing in the U.P. and hosting my graduation party and baptism. The night before we left for college, he told me he first loved me as we watched the sunset over the lake, and it was one of the most beautiful things. 🙂
ABC was definitely the best option for our relationship, getting to learn more of God’s way together. We tried to make our circumstances as realistic as possible, to understand each other and learn more whether we were right for each other or not. From laundry, to working at his job together, everything was shared. Though it wasn’t always easy, it worked out in the end, and in December of 2018, Justin asked my dad for his permission to marry me. ❤️

Growing up, I didn’t really dream about my wedding day, it was ALL about the proposal. Justin had told me several weeks before that he wanted to go back to the English Inn, (where we had our first real date, celebrated his 21st birthday, and shared our first kiss), so it wasn’t a surprise we had a date. We had dinner, and then drove to that lake where we first said that we loved each other, and watched the sunset from the car. (It had just rained and we were in dress clothes, so we didn’t get out). The proposal was actually supposed to have happened there originally, but because of the weather, he had to switch locations. Anyways, eventually we went back to the house, he went in first as I stopped downstairs before going up. As I walked back up, the house was quiet, and the lights dimmed. When I got towards the top of the stairs, I noticed a mason jar with fairy lights inside, and roses around it. I walked up more, and there in front of me, was a pathway full of roses and fairy lights, that led to him sitting on a blanket, with pillows around. He asked me to join him, and had me watch a video he had made- 45 reasons why he loves me. He then asked me to stand, and he got down on one knee, using my full name, asked me to marry him. It was the most beautiful moment I’d ever experienced, and its still surreal how perfect it was.

God has truly blessed us, and we couldn’t be happier!


The Act of Love


I think my most common regret before I shut my eyes at the end of the day, is not loving as much as I could have. I’m not talking about the feeling side of love, but showing my love- the act of love itself. I recall the times during the day that I showed my frustration over something ridiculous, or wasn’t as respectful or submissive as I should have been. I recall how they looked, and the hurt that my actions brought upon them. This is when I wonder,

You love them, just show it and drop the pride.

 Whether its between your family, friends, or significant other, I think its something we all can relate to.

I’ve been thinking about this problem quite a bit recently, and today my class received the news that one of our fellow classmates suddenly died.

Its common to have regrets when we lose someone, but important lessons surface through it. My biggest regret, is not reaching out as much as I should have.

I want to make more of an effort, to show my love and appreciation to everyone around me. I’ve been sucking at it since day one, but when something like this comes, its like hitting a brick wall. Because everyday,

We risk the chance of losing someone.

Though meant between a husband and wife, Ecclesiastes 9:9, can include all relationships: “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun.”

At last, may you love more fiercely than ever before, and praise God for giving you another day to do so.

He Is Good; I Am Blessed

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Yesterday started out bad. Actually, most mornings this week have started out bad. I could go on and tell you the dramatic list about everything I thought was wrong with yesterday morning, but I’ll spare you the sorrow and instead start elsewhere.

Justin reminded me to count my blessings. Until last night, I had been feeling as if I’m not truly present in the life I’m living. It all seemed like a dream, and I’d been praying for a slap in the face to realize this is reality.

Well, after I got off a long day of work, something changed and I felt new. I came home after an enriching conversation, to a bed actually made, (versus my couple-month habit of throwing the comforter loosely across the bed), I lit a candle, put on my new shirt, my comfy leggings and fuzzy socks, and read Proverbs 31: with a new eye.

I’ve never felt like life was so good before. For one year and five months, I’ve been living the part of my life, that I figured was only in movies, and yesterday, I was at last slapped.

God. Is. So. Good.

I absolutely hate that I take so long to conform into my new surroundings. I assure you, it is a flaw I wish to overcome. Sometimes I just get so caught up in my new schedule, that I simply get up and show up, but never really wake up and smell the roses.

Today starts something new. Ditching the loose, bed-making habit, and making it the happy, cute way. Living, and not just existing. Seeking out where my blessings are and thanking Him continually for them.

Tomorrow may be my worst day, or my best day yet. But either way, He is good, and I am blessed.

Psalm 63:3-5 “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied…” (NKJV).

Psalm 77:12 “I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.” (NKJV).

Firsts and Lasts

Once I started planning the month of August, it really hit me what I was in for. Scheduling my last work days, having last get-together’s, preparing for my graduation party, mourning over moving, and at last, killing long distance and picking up my Alaskan from the airport to move to Ohio with me for school.  That August, every day was very precious. There was always something to accomplish, even if it was just spending time with loved ones. I was working four jobs, all of which I was passionate about, so it was hard leaving all of them behind. Earlier in the year I was president of my school’s prom committee, so I had experience with event planning, and knew stress was a huge factor in that. Besides sending out invitations, making decorations took up a lot of time, but it was oh so worth it. 😊

Leading up to August, the entire year before (2017) was full of change and experiencing a lot of firsts and lasts. It started out with being promoted to management over the ice cream shoppe (which was an amazing position in so many ways), starting my senior year of high school, and in October meeting my dream man. Justin and I did ten months of dating with a four-hour time difference, which was a beautiful time; and eventually August rolled around, and my world completely and 100% totally changed. I’d been planning on attending Ambassador Bible College for more than a year before I did, so I knew what was ahead of me. It was like something I knew that was coming up, but had no idea what to expect, so I didn’t really think much about it.

August 16, suddenly came, and it was unreal. I got up early, but I don’t really remember what happened before I had to leave for the airport. I pampered myself and prayed a whole bunch, then I left. It was an hour and a half drive, so I had even more time to get nervous which I was thankful for, but also hated at the same time haha. His flight ended up being delayed, so I called Samantha and we talked it out. I was so extremely excited, and that surprised me because I expected to be a whole lot more terrified than anything. I paced around baggage claim, then walked around and saw him. He was on the escalator and he had on a light wash button-up. I had no idea what I was in for, but if you would have told me, I wouldn’t have believed it would be so incredible. Today, life is good. It’s strange living without my family and having the experience of learning to live with someone else. I’d always been ready and eager to put to action all the things I’ve learned about successful relationships, and it’s so fun to be able to at last. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all blueberries and mountains (two of the best things, for your 411), but the whole of it is.

I have five more months of school left, in six to seven, I’ll move to Alaska. I love my life here and am very comfortable; but this is the year of change, and change makes me uncomfortable. Just like right up until I picked up Justin from the airport that day, I have no idea what Alaska will be like. I visited for three weeks this past fall and fell in love with it in many aspects. But completely giving up all I know, and not knowing what it will be like is terrifyingly beautiful. I really could not be an independent, adventure woman who moves to Alaska by herself. But I know I can be a dependent, adventure woman who moves to Alaska for her man. 😉

I just backspaced a whole sentence that said how I never realized that my younger years would basically be my only comfortable years, but it’s not true. Growing up, I remember doing plenty of things I wish I could hide in a hole for, and really, nowadays that doesn’t happen as often. I think everyone’s definition of “comfortable” changes over the years.

 So here I am, trying to make the most of what I have now, and knowing, that tomorrow-

I don’t know much about. But I know that my God is the God who is able. And I know, that no matter what, God will be our side.

I’ll have firsts and lasts up until the day I die. But right now, I’m thankful for the ever-abounding blessings that firsts and lasts give me.

Wednesday’s Comment: Every Morning

Every morning I wake, I have no idea what the day upon me will bring. I am surrounded by an almost surreal peace; I haven’t dealt with the problems of yesterday for hours. I start new. I never really relished in this beautiful blessing until recently, but I have learned to take a few moments during this time, and pray. Gathering my thoughts, rethinking everything going on around me, and analyzing my life, has made facing the day easier. Because right then, my world is fine. But when I rise, I may meet the impossible.