1.  Hey there, people, and happy Friday to you.

2.  I had a wee moment of panic starting this because I thought oh crap, I didn’t try a new recipe this week.

3.  EXCEPT I DID. Woo hoo!

4.  Both for you and me because it’s a humdinger.

5.  Does anyone even say humdinger anymore? Well, I guess I just said it so at least one person does.

6.  Anyhoo, pasta is a gluten free girl’s downfall.

7.  Some dishes just got tossed by the wayside but mac and cheese has always been comfort food so I wasn’t willing to give up on it.

8.  I’ve tried a recipe my brother gave me but that requires boiling pasta, making a roux, creating the cream sauce, then combining everything. If I did regular and gluten free versions it meant a whole kitchen full of dishes. Ugh.

9.  I also tried a baked mac and cheese. The regular version turned out great but gluten free? Not so much.

10.  But this week I found the pièce de résistance: a recipe rather anticlimactically named Gluten Free Mac and Cheese.

11.  Don’t let the name fool you, though, this dish was The Bomb.

12.  Creamy, yummy deliciousness with a teeny bite courtesy of a dash of cayenne pepper.

13.  The fact that the whole thing is made in a single pan is metaphorical icing on the cake.

14.  So that’s my pasta discovery; now on to my side dish.

15.  Sometimes I’ll have my protein and a veggie but need that perfect side to round it out. I’ve got some solid contenders in regular rotation but last night I found a new favorite.

16.  This Garlic Parmesan Rice is a simple one-skillet dish with a rich creamy goodness that pulled us all in.

17.  We ate it with broccoli and a buttery salmon but it would go equally well with chicken or beef.

18.  Seriously, guys, sooooo good.

19.  All right, I’ll stop raving about rice now.

20.  I’ve noticed this thing lately and I guess there’s no way to say it other than to just, you know, say it.

21.  I think we might be…old. Ish. I think we might be oldish.

22.  I’ll see people on Facebook — I know, that phrase right there is evidence of the old thing — posting photos of their spouses with a big “Happy fifteenth anniversary, honey!”

23.  These people are our age, or I think of them as our age anyway. Basically anyone with kids in middle school or up seems like “our age” to me.

24.  Yeah, I’m fully aware that’s a bizarre way to estimate other people’s ages.

25.  Anyway, that perpetual state of being just a little bit off balance made yesterday even more surreal. What was yesterday, you ask?

26.  BrightSide and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Number twenty-six. TWENTY-SIX.

27.  So you can see the old-ish thing, right? How on earth has it been twenty-six years?! It’s not like we got married at sixteen, for Pete’s sake.

28.  Narrator: They didn’t get married at sixteen.

29.  Then again that does go a long way towards explaining all the gray hair.

30.  Well, that and these kids. Plus a golden retriever who’s eaten everything from Brillo pads to GI Revive powder.

31.  Swear to God, this dog is indestructible.

32.  I can hardly believe we’re at the end of June here.

33.  Summer always does this, rolls in slow then takes off. We’re at the barreling through the week like a freight train stage.

34.  That freight train drove straight through my skull this week. Headaches, man. They’re the pits.

35.  We’re having what one might call a bit of a scheduling issue.

36.  BrightSide and Bear have been going to the gym in the mornings. Early in the morning. Unnaturally early in the morning — AND GOOD FOR THEM, THEY’RE MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES, GO TEAM.

37.  This 5:30 alarm also wakes the dogs, though, and they’ve decided by golly that means it’s time to rise and shine.

38.  You know what happens when these dogs decide it’s time to get up? They whine. And fuss. And paw at my freaking head.

39.  As you can imagine this isn’t going over too well with me. I’m averaging about 5½ hours of sleep a night and that’s WAY unacceptable in my book.

40.  Something’s gotta give but I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that is. Short of sleeping on the couch I don’t see how to avoid this mess in the mornings but too much sleep deprivation and things get hairy for the humans in my house. Aarrggghhh.