A little update on our little life in Omaha

Everything is changing.

It’s very difficult to only have our two friends here. I don’t yet have a job, and while Aslan is at work I’ve been feeling pretty lonely. The time without friends or family or even my husband has really pushed me to evaluate what kind of friends I would like to find, and what kind of friend I want to be. It’s easy to be a little freaked out and discouraged as we interact with different people here. The culture is SO different. A trend that we’ve both noticed is that everyone is so… so… nice? This is especially intimidating for me because, to be honest, I’m so shy. I’m uncomfortable with such friendliness when I don’t know someone. People at the grocery store are talking to me, people at church ask me a thousand questions (and not because they have to, but because they genuinely want to), the woman who works in our apartment complex says hello to me like she knows me and is freakishly excited to see me… it’s very strange. COOL, but strange.

And so, I’ve been gravitating away from people instead of toward people. You know, the opposite of what you’d think a lonely, missing-my-friends kind-of girl would do. I’m working on that. Sidenote: I’ve have never seen anyone demonstrate the way we should be reaching out to new people at church like these girls did this past week. I should’ve wrote an entire blog on it. So freaking cool!

On another note, Aslan and I share a car. Right now, he’s working a job that needs him to be there at 7 am. Since I’ve been job hunting, I need the car. LUCKY ME I get to drive him to work every morning. In the beginning, I had been making his lunches the night before.. but at this point I just wake up a few minutes early. I’ve got to wake up anyway! The challenge I’ve been having: that man eats like NOBODY’S business and wants to be eating somewhat healthy. Every day he comes home and tells me that his lunch was too light.

The past few lunches have been:

  • Β Chicken, broccoli, pasta, string cheese
  • Chicken, broccoli, giant scoop of peanut butter (trying to fill that tummy!), almonds, and string cheese
  • 3 Peanut butter sandwiches (his request) “…but it was still really light”
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken, brocolli
  • And today, we tried a chicken, spinach, tomato, honey mustard sandwich with almonds, pineapple, and peanut butter

Does anyone have suggestions on how to fill my husband up at lunch without feeding him our entire weeks worth of groceries?! Help!

I wondered if feeding him a more filling breakfast would do the trick. Last night I made chocolate-coconut granola bars. I got the idea from here for Mocha-Coconut Bars. I modified them a bit. I wasn’t feeling the “coffee” and added almonds instead. I only had to dirty one bowl and a baking sheet… so both cooking and cleanup was fast and easy…. and my husband approved of the taste! We’ll see if today’s breakfast and lunch fills him up. (recipe below)


Chocolate-Coconut Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
-3/4 cup chocolate chips
-2 tbsp cocoa powder
-1/2 cup chopped almonds
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 whole egg, beaten
-4 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Throw all ingredients into a mixer (or mix by hand). Afterwords, take that ooey gooey mixture and spread it across a baking sheet and push down to flatten. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. When they cool, cut and store in refrigerator. Yum, yum!

6 thoughts on “A little update on our little life in Omaha

  1. Life sounds crazy and exciting for you! I’m so glad to hear that people are so friendly! I know it can be uncomfortable transitioning into a new culture, but at least its such a friendly one and not the other way around. You’ll get there! Try just focusing on building a few relationships at a time.
    As for food, try giving him some snacks to eat throughout the day (assuming he can take a break at work). Nothing crazy but just an extra string cheese, almonds, apple, etc. One before lunch and one after. If he’s snacking he may not feel so hungry at lunch and feel like it’s not enough. (Plus its healthier that way!) More fruits and veggies might be the cheapest and healthiest way to give him more food. Go get him a small thermos (unless he has access to a microwave) and try cooking him some soups too. I love to make a variety of soups and stews in the crockpot and then the next day I can quickly pack my lunch and get a hot meal!! Try allrecipes.com if haven’t already. There are TONS of slow cooker recipes on there.

    Anyways, I hope some of this helps! I’ll try and think of some more ideas for you too. Love and miss you!

    • Yay! My first comment, how exciting!

      It’s tough because he doesn’t have access to a microwave. :/ Snacks are a really good idea though. I’m almost positive that would be okay. The tough thing is finding veggies that are good cold. The veggies that come to mind are the most expensive (like bell peppers, for example). Thanks so much for suggestions! Miss you and love you!

      • You’re welcome! Go find him a small thermos and then you can make him some hot lunches! I know they aren’t that expensive and then it’ll open up options for you. You can even put things like casseroles in there!! It may not look as pretty as it does in the pan but it’ll be just as tasty! See if you can find a co-op near you like bountiful baskets and then just get creative with whatever you get that week. Also, there is a brand called birdseye that sells frozen veggies. They are definitely one of the better brands for frozen veggies and are soooo good with chicken inside the thermos. My mom used to do that for me in high school.

  2. Sounds like you are doing a great job on packing lunch. Your choices are healthy,too. Unfortunately those heathly snacks are also the most expensive: fruits, veggies, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, and the like. One problem is that when doing construction work, he needs calorie dense food. Just plain energy. So don’t be afraid to include something during the day that has a lot of fat and carbs. Wait, don’t shoot me. Those are good foods too. The problem is that most of us don’t need them because we are too sedentary. Aslan is doing physical labor and needs fat and carbs. The rest of us should avoid them, but a Little Debbie won’t hurt a construction worker!

    This is a great calorie rich snack that is also inexpensive. I’m pretty sure Aslan likes them. It travels well and will hold up in the lunch box.

    No Bake Cookies
    2C sugar
    1/3 C cocoa powder
    1/2 C milk
    Stir together sugar and cocoa powder in medium sauce pan until well mixed. Add milk. Stir over medium high heat and bring to a roiling boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t rush the boil. This is the tricky part. If it doesn’t boil long enough, the cookies won’t set up. You can still eat them but they will be sticky. If it boils too long the cookie will be dry and crumble. It depends on the humidity in your kitchen. Try a minute and half to start. If they don’t turn out right the first time, don’t give up. It’s worth it to figure out the right time to boil because, they are super easy to make and people usually love them.

    Remove pan from heat and quickly add:
    1/2C oleo
    1/2C peanut butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    Stir to incorporate oleo and peanut butter.
    3C QUICK cooking oatmeal
    When well mixed, drop by rounded tablespoons onto waxed paper to set up. The size of the cookie won’t change so make them the size you want for a finished product. You can also put them on a cookie sheet but you will need several. Waxed paper is better. Old fashioned but very useful. Plus, no clean up!

    I measure out the oleo, peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal before I start boiling the sugar so it’s ready to add when I need it. Call if you have questions.

    Love, Nana Shawn

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