The best part about that first home was definitely the location. We moved there because it was close to my first real job, where I worked second shift and wanted a five-minute commute so I could scurry home for dinner and be in bed not long after my shift ended at midnight or 1 am.
But being mere miles from the husband's family was the true benefit of living in that first home.
I loved going to do laundry and then staying all afternoon at the dining room table chatting with the husband's aunt, watching Gilmore Girls reruns with his cousins and then texting him: "Do you want to meet me here for dinner?"
We'd have stuffed shells or order pizza - or be treated to something really good that the husband, then just a boyfriend, definitely wouldn't have gotten at home because I wasn't nearly as adventurous in the kitchen those days.
And by "something really good" I mean chicken and coconut rice.
Trying to re-create one of those amazing meals, I made the husband a dinner tonight inspired by the Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
It smelled great while it was cooking, and it tasted pretty fabulous, too. The sauce was creamy and a little spicy, and the chicken was perfectly pan-fried alongside crisp-tender vegetables.
Seriously, it was a good dinner. I mixed spices, chopped vegetables and cooked rice while we listened to Pandora; the husband did laundry in the adjacent laundry room. Chance and stella slept in the kitchen while we worked.
It wasn't the same as being at Aunt L's, but it was nice to reminisce for a little while.