Hobbit Day and Tomato, Bacon & Onion Pie

Yesterday is known, in some circles, as Hobbit Day. Why? Because it is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins shared birthday. Yeah, we celebrate fictional characters birthdays. So, how did we celebrate? In the Lundin house, celebration means food.

I went looking for an appropriately hobbit-like dish, and found a recipe for Tomato, Bacon and Onion Pie. A savory pie? What could be more hobbit-like!

Tomato, Bacon & Onion Pie

Tomato, Bacon & Onion Pie

The original recipe is from Rod Dreher (whose current blog you should be reading if you love food, culture and Jesus), and I made some modifications to suit our palates better. That means I added goat cheese and took Rod’s advice on the herbs.

TOMATO, BACON AND ONION PIE
1 pre-baked pie crust (cooled)
2 fresh sliced tomatoes (medium size)
1/2-1 fresh sliced onion
1 1/2 cups monterey  jack cheese
crumbled goat cheese to taste
1 pkg. cooked bacon, crumbled (you can do with less, if you want. This will put a lot of bacon on top)
salt, pepper, rosemary & thyme to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Slice tomatoes, arrange in layer on pie crust, then season with salt, pepper, rosemary & thyme
  3. Top with layer of thin-sliced onions
  4. Grate a thin layer of monterey jack over the onions
  5. Repeat
  6. Grate a good layer of monterey jack on top
  7. Sprinkle on goat cheese to taste
  8. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before serving

If you are skeptical, don’t be. It’s fantastic. Try it and I bet you will love it.

Update

After blogging every day of our marriage for the first year, we took a break for a few Enlightenmentmonths. We don’t have a full plan yet for how we will continue this blog, but we are continuing it.

Thank you to all of our followers and subscribers. We really appreciate the support. We will be back very soon with new posts on a sure to be irregular schedule. :)

Thanks!

Our first year is over

One year ago today I posted in anticipation of our wedding, and in part I wrote this to my soon-to-be-wife:

Lindsey, you have changed my life in so many ways. There was a time not too long ago when I thought I would never meet a woman that I could marry, much less a woman like you. You are a living, breathing demonstration of God’s love and grace to me. We love so many of the same things, yet are so different. I am constantly learning new things about you, and my love for you is ever-deepening.

A day like today is one of possibilities, hopes, dreams, and plans. We do not know what life holds in store for us. We could have our world changed forever by a phone call. We could experience joy and happiness for the rest of our lives, or could struggle with things we cannot imagine now. No matter what Providence brings my vows today mean the world to me. I will be with you and beside you for the rest of my days. As we have to each other many times over the last few months, there is no way out but the grave– and nothing could excite me more.

Today we now know what the first year held for us, and I echo what I said then. We do not know what God has in store for the rest of our lives, and the last year firmly confirmed that. From Lindsey’s first ever visit to the hospital, an almost fight on the high seas, and many date nights we saw what married life was really like– and we love it.

Lindsey has truly been the mark of God’s grace that I called her on that day. In fact I told my mom just the other day that Lindsey was really helping me become a better man. Honestly, I don’t mean that in the way that sit-coms joke about wives manipulating and beating their husbands into submission, I mean that she is actively helping me with the tough work of growing and maturing. That work is not done in large cuts as if by a chainsaw, but with the subtle efforts of the chisel, blade and sandpaper. She has been there every step of the way– shaping, girding and polishing.

We have turned out to be a pretty good pair. Just last night we had a conversation with friends about how well we balance each other out in different ways, and how good it has been to learn from each other. Don’t mistake me, we still have a long, LONG way to go. We have not figured this out by any stretch yet, and I don’t mean to sound like we have, but we have also come a very long way from that first day of our marriage.

I’ve also learned how hard it is to do what I vowed to do everyday. I admire men like my father and grandfathers whose marriages stood the test of time, because I now see how tough it can be. When I look at the words I wrote in anticipation of this commitment I can see now that I had a good view of what was ahead, even if it wasn’t fully understood:

I have a tough standard to live up to as a husband, I am called to love you as Christ loves His church. I will not be perfect, I will fail. I pray that our marriage will be one filled with grace and love. I pray that our relationship will strengthen even as we are weak. I pray that we overflow will love and grace for all of those around us.

I was right. It is a tough standard, and the call to love Lindsey to this degree is a tall order without the help of my God. He has shown up in many ways, both big and small. He has certainly blessed us this year, even in times of struggle and suffering. I am confident that he will continue to do so, just as he has promised.

Which brings me back to a verse in Proverbs that gives me great comfort as we look to the rest of our years together:

“The heart of man plans his way, but the  Lord establishes his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

No matter what I seek and no matter what I want in my heart (which like all of our hearts does not always want what is good for me), I know that my Lord is is watching over me, loves, and that he will accomplish his will. That is a great, great comfort.

Happy anniversary Lindsey, I love you!!

365

“Hey babe, how are you doing?”

“Tired. Just want to go to bed.”

“Well,” I said to Lindsey, “I can do the blog then.”

She just looked at me. It’s late, she’s tired from a drive and then a flight, and we’re finally standing in the elevator heading up to our hotel room. She doesn’t want to think about it, and I’m pretty tired myself.

I looked at her and smiled, “It’s the last time we’ll have this conversation.” She looked at me, then broke into a huge smile and her adorable laugh.

This is post number 365. Counting our wedding day, this is the 365th straight post chronicling our first year of marriage. It’s been wonderful, fun, and yes, even tough.

But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. We have two posts planned for tomorrow, our actual anniversary, so I just want to take care of one thing. I want to say thank you.

I don’t remember exactly what I thought a year of blogging would be like, or what I thought we’d experience. But we have loved it. It has been a wear at times, especially late nights when we we’re both wiped out, but we wouldn’t change a thing. It kept us connected to family, it helped us communicate with each other, and it opened our first year up to others. We hope it did some good for our readers, but we’re not kidding ourselves, we’re not experts. In the end, I think this was great for us, and for that I want to thank our readers.

We’re no internet sensation, but we’ve had steady readership month after month. We’ve seen hundreds of people visit every day from all around the US and the world read about our silly little dates and our not so silly fights. We thank you all for the platform and the chance to share in our story. You’ve made it a special year.

THANK YOU!!

#365. Out.

One year ago…

IMG_0136One year ago tonight Lindsey and I went to see Radiohead at the Frank Erwin Center. It was a great show for me, and a band I had wanted to see since I was 16.

It was just a few days before our wedding, and we had much more important things to be doing, yet my soon-to-be-wife loved me enough to go to a show that she had, literally, less than zero interest in attending. It was a good sign.

To see just how much she loved, check out a video from that night below:

The four ways my wife has improved my life

We’ve been married 360 days, and I have a better life, and I am a better man, than on our wedding day. Here’s a look at the four ways my wife has helped that come to pass.

She helps me grow in faith: I know this is a bit cliche, but it really is at the top of the list. By encouraging me in my efforts to grow, walking alongside me in our programs at church, and supporting me all the time. We share the same goals, and she picks me up and encourages me when I fall short. She’s really been more than I could ask for in this regard.

Our home is awesome: I know she feels like it has a long way to go, but in terms of how I lived as a bachelor… well, let’s just say I feel spoiled all the time. The best part is I know she’ll keep on making it better and better, far more than I ever could.

I have more confidence because she loves me: This may be a bit more esoteric, but let me give it a shot. I no longer fear many of the things that I did before. I know that I have Lindsey’s support and love no matter what happens, so I feel more free to stretch myself, take risks, and try new things. Her love is a motivator and a liberator.

I’m more joyful:  It’s simple and straightforward, but it’s true. I love my life and my wife. I am truly blessed and I know it.

Finding our rhythm

In six days we will celebrate our one year anniversary. Obviously writing this blog forces us to be more conscious about our marriage is going, which is a good thing. In the course of thinking about our upcoming milestone I’ve been contemplating the normal things in our marriage.

By normal things I simply mean the rhythms of life. Today was a really great example of how we are simply learning to work out the simple things. An easy change in after work errands just because it was easier for us both, a division of labor cooking dinner and other house stuff that actually made us more efficient and saved time. Then finally after dinner the dishes were done by one of us while the other spent some time working. It was a good, quiet, productive night.

These nights are becoming more common, and that is great. It’s the sign that we are starting to settle into a rhythm. Lindsey is not fitting into my day, and I am not fitting into hers, rather we are establishing what our days look like.

Verge, day two

It’s late, and we’re beat. We had a great weekend with our community, exploring new ideas on discipleship and hearing from great teachers. Even better was our chance to work and serve together for The Story Team, which has been such a good thing for us. I love my wife desperately, and serving alongside of her is awesome.

Here’s a few pictures to sum up our day, Lindsey’s already asleep and I am too tired for a full post. :)

Sharp Iron

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

I wrote a few weeks ago about the time I get to spend with the guys from my Men’s Development Program community and how valuable it is to me. Time and time again these guys have proven to me the truth contained in the verse above. They make me a better man by holding me to a high standard, confronting me in love when I fail, struggling through the tough times with me, and encouraging me in my success. They are a critical part of my life, and I’m starting to learn that they are a critical part of my marriage.

Tonight I spent several hours after class with my group of guys, and it was such an encouragement. Laughing and joking around is fun and a great way to unwind, but these guys also pose tough questions. They push and probe about what I think and say. They don’t let me off easy. They hold me to account, and want the best things for me. Nights like tonight are like water to a thirsty man for me. They are not negotiable.

I think every married man needs to have a community of men around them like this. I can truly say that my marriage is in better shape because of the counsel and correction that these men have given me over the last seven months. Their help and love for Lindsey and I is invaluable.

So, married men this is my piece of advice for the day, if you don’t have men like this in your life, find them. Wives, if your husband does not have this, lovingly encourage him to seek it out. We are not prompted to change on our own, its too comfortable. We need to be challenged, and that is what a strong community of men can do for each other.

Fine china

The older I get the more I learn that context is everything, and that sometimes you cannot understand a truth unless you are in the position to. There are situations in which no amount of intellectual work can take the place of experience. In my life, marriage may fit that description better than anything.

A few days ago I came across a verse in my daily reading that struck me with great force. Not because it is new to me, but because it is so timely and so true:

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

I have heard it said that a better way to think of the “weaker vessel” phrase is to think of fine china. China is certainly more fragile than your run of the day dish ware, but it is also more beautiful, more impressive, more precious.  You could take the Fiesta ware in our kitchen and bang it around in the sink, run it through the dishwasher, and stack it roughly in the cabinet with no damage whatsoever. The same cannot be said of our wedding china. We take care of it, we treat it delicately, we hand wash it and have special padded containers for it. That is how we are called to treat our wives.

So, for me this week I am working on seeing my wife as fine china. I am praying for insight into how to honor her and treat her. I am asking the Holy Spirit to change my heart and my tongue. I am asking him for humility in my approach to my wife.

After all, she is beautiful, sensitive and precious, just like fine china.