Traveling Spouses

Do you know what time of year it is?  

That time when all college officials spouses are secretly thankful college football season is over.  

Yes, yes bowl games are on the horizon but they're a little different in my mind.  The bowl games tend to be more family friendly, over the Christmas break so no other commitments are happening, and knowing it's the very last one makes it a little more special as well.

Now, I know a lot of you might not have football officiating husbands like me but you might have a husband who hunts all deer season long, a husband who works nights, and basically the list goes on and on.  If you have a husband who's out of the house around dinner time quite often-I'm talking to you.  {You could even be a superstar single mom who deserves ALL THE LOVE!  We can't even get into how much I admire you, rockstar mamas!}
Around our house, Tab is the healthier eater of the six of us.  He keeps us in check with our well-balanced meals.  I do my best to eat well but he has way more self-control than I possess.  The hardest times for me to make a healthy food choice are football season nights.  It's so easy to just grab something, have something delivered, or whip some super kid-friendly {which mostly means not healthy for me} food up.


This season I was committed to trying harder and I think we found some things that really worked.

We had lots of our tried and trues...
*Tacos
*Spaghetti
*Burgers-our favorite way during the season is to make them super thin and small on the electric skillet and I add a slice of cheese in between two small, thin patties.  I serve them for the kids on slider buns and I'll eat mine bunless.

A few of our new favorites this year have been...
*Snack Tray Suppers {Thanks to my girl, Erin!}-I lay out all different kinds of snacky options.  We just had this for dinner last week and this was the line-up...turkey sausage, cheese, crackers, honey mustard, pickles, apple slices, peanut butter, and grapes.  My kiddos love this kind of meal and when there's a wide variety we can all make some pretty healthy choices as well.  It reminds me of years ago when I worked at a daycare during my college years.  Periodically, the cook would clean out the cabinets and make some sort of "trail mix" with anything she could find.  That's essentially what happens during my Snack Tray Supper.  
#ssshhh
#donttellmykids
*Soup/Sandwiches-My kiddos love a veggie soup, specifically of the cheese variety and will take that down.  Tab is not a fan of a non-protein rich soup so I make these when he's gone.  They might not be super healthy, but anytime all four kiddos are taking down broccoli, it's a win in my book.
*Anything in tiny form.  For instance, lots of sandwiches on those little Hawaiian rolls or tacos served on the tiny street taco tortillas.

What are your easy go-to meals on these types of nights?  Please help a girl out for next football season!

We're thankful for another great season.  These two wrapped it up in Boise, Idaho, for the Mountain West Championship game.  Nixon got to tag along because he had no commitments this past weekend and the other two big kids had things going on.  Don't worry-he wasn't hating the alone time.  ;)

This kid is a football fanatic and a steak fan too, which is what I'd prefer I whip up every Friday or Saturday night.  #wishfulthinking

Now that bowl season is upon us, who are YOU cheering for?  
Thanks for stopping by today, friends!
XO

22 comments

rachellin said...

Awwwww, thank you for this post :) UPS wife here and I am for sure in this category from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. The kids and I do everything alone :( Every school morning (ugh), every dinner, every bedtime and ALL the events. It’s okay and we are used to it, but of course so happy when we get him back!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

Does your fam like shrimp? I buy a package of the pink Argentinian shrimp from Trader Joe's, and I put it in a baking dish sprinkled with Tony's and covered with Italian Dressing. Serve with 2 sides and voila! Dinner! I also saute it and make shrimp fajitas!

Mary Beth said...

My husband works for an NFL team and let me tell you....I am ready for the season to be over!

Julie said...

We cheer on Mizzou in this house however they dont get to go past the regular season this year so we will watch any and pick at game time, ha! Usually the Razorbacks are a close 2nd.

Lastcoll said...

I love making chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet! Put some vegetable oil in the cast iron, add the thighs in skin down and cook until they’re golden brown. Turn them over for 5 minutes then put in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. Whip up any veggies on the side and I add arugula and shredded Parmesan on top of the chicken with a little lemon squeezed on top after it’s out of the oven! This meal takes maybe 25 minutes to make, is delicious and is great left over!

-Colleen
https://lastcoll.wordpress.com/

Elspeth Mizner said...

I am a huge fan of salads and sandwiches, for mom and kiddos! Have you given meal prepping a try, you can do it during the weekend and the have meals for the week ahead!
www.elspethsdaybyday.com

Rachel Embery said...

I love to make “slop”. Take a crock pot, put in : one bag of shredded potatoes, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 2 packages kielbasa(use turkey for healthier), one bag of shredded cheese(I use Mexican), and one small diced up onion. About a tablespoon of crazy salt, it’s yummy. Mix it all together. Cool on low for 4-6 hours. If your kiddos like peppers I have added red and green peppers diced up. I’ve also added some red pepper flakes to add a bit of spice. Super creamy and yummy on cool nights! And easy to reheat after sports practices.

Karen Ward said...

My Vols are going to the Gator (Taxslayer) Bowl and playing the Hoosiers. Go Big Orange!

Mix and Match Mama said...

Andrew loves it when Tab's home too! He could have written this very same post!! Hahahahaha!

Ellibelle said...

Great pictures and great meal choices! An easy meal we all like is thin cut deli smoked salmon on french bread slices or hard rolls. I top it with a slice of hard boiled egg and a slice of onion. Yum! Hubby leaves the onion off of his.
Ellibelle's Corner

Diane said...

Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology way back in 1987 from Baylor University—-so Sic ‘em Bears 🐻 !

Julie Bradford said...

I can't imagine handling all the things solo during football season then throw in the holidays.. you are a Rockstar!!! But I do think it's soo cool that Tab is an official :) Can't wait to watch the College Football Playoffs.. GO TIGERS.. LSU that is.. :) Tell Bowen I am rooting with him... and of course New Years Day we will be cheering for the Auburn Tigers at the Outback Bowl..

StephC said...

That is so funny that Tab did the Boise State game. I live in the Boise area. What did they think of the area? I think you guys would like it in the winter because of the skiing and cooler mountains for camping trips in the summer! My husband has job responsibilities that have him interacting with colleagues in Asia during the dinner hour frequently. I struggle with meal planning as well because it is just my youngest son (a teenager) & I. We frequently do easy things like breakfast for dinner or frozen taquitos (just add salad). I'm thankful that my hubby didn't have a schedule like this when my kids were small. You're doing great!

DeWeese Fam of Four said...

My husband is a pilot and gone consistently. My favorite fast meal is smoothies loaded with fruit, spinach and greek yogurt, then I make a bag of popcorn to go with it. It's light and fast. Plus I serve it in cups with lids (so they can't see the smoothie is green) and I allow us to sit in front of a movie to eat instead of the table. We've created something fun to look forward to as a "treat" when dad is away. (My other go-to is scrambled eggs for dinner.)

Kelsee said...

My fiance works odd hours so I always to make meals that are good warmed up so I don't have to wait if he gets caught at work late. Check out Half Baked Harvest. Her blog and cookbooks have some really great, easy and simple recipes!

runningsteers said...

So funny, my husband was watching the game and I thought I saw your husband on the screen and apparently I did!My husband rodeo's in the summer months so I relate to how much more simple a meal gets when it is just myself and my daughters, the Traeger is my go to in those months!!

csuhpat1 said...

One thing that is interesting is that Cal is playing in the Redbox Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. It is a local game for the local team.

Mary E said...

My favorite healthyish meals that are quick are: chili, baked potato bars, and definitely snack meals that you mentioned. Also bowl dinners: start with a base (usually a grain like rice, etc.) then add a veggie, protein and sauce. So many combinations and flavor possibilities. Another recipe that our whole family enjoys is the Lazy Genius’ “change your life chicken”. It’s simple to throw together and customizable!

Janet said...

When I was single parenting and working full time, the crock pot was my friend. One of his favorites was putting Italian sausages, sliced onions and peppers in with a jar of marinara sauce. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. I was fortunate to work near home so I could come home on lunch break and get it started. I would serve on sub rolls. Toast mozzarella or provolone cheese in broiler on top of sub. I always look for Tab when I watch football to see if he is working the game. Virginia Tech is my team to root for. Go Hokies.

Cathy said...

Either a sheet pan dinner with salmon on one side, veggie (normally broccoli) on the other. Both drizzled with olive oil and seasoning and roasted for 25 minutes in the oven OR a shakshuka (can find numerous recipes online). One pot and it’s healthy, easy, cheap to make, and very satisfying.

Joanne said...

My husband travels quite a bit and usually at the very last minute (like one day I was out on a field trip and he called to tell me he was on his way home to pack and hop on a plane!)… so I often just have to cobble something together. If I know about a trip ahead of time I try to plan easy meals I know the kids will eat (tacos/ spaghetti/ burger & hot dogs) and often supplement with side salads which my boys will eat. My husband is not at all a fan of breakfast for dinner so we'll typically plan one of those meals for the week too and I make sure to have lots of fresh fruit all cut up and ready to eat to go with it. It was so much harder when my kids were little... I can remember him being gone for two weeks when they were 1, 3 & 4; that was rough! Now that they're older he travels so rarely that it's not really an issue for us anymore and they eat so much more & sleep so much better now.

Linda W. said...

Shay, I totally LOL'd at your comment! Funny!