This weekend, my husband and I will be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary. Yes, I married my high school sweetheart (who makes me laugh every day) 17 years ago. How can it be that 17 years have gone by when we often talk about how we still feel like we’re 17? (Minus the wrinkles, back fat and the fact that we go to bed at 10 p.m., about the time all the “young people” head out.) In celebration of a special occasion, I wanted to share an excerpt from my book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker. This is a mommy whine of my very own and a cheese dip from a talented mom. I hope you enjoy it!

An excerpt from How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker:

VENTING 12: Chopped Broccoli and Vagina Tales

WHINE: Vagina Tales from Jackie

It happens nearly every time we get together with other couples. After dinner and a few glasses of wine, we women gradually end up three rooms away from our husbands and start swapping birth stories. Men will brag about their college drinking days, and the women will go on and on about giving birth. I know my husband is sick of me sharing my vagina tales, but I pushed two human beings into this world, so I believe that entitles me to have bragging rights for the rest of my life. It’s an inevitable topic. Had I done whiskey shots while riding on a roller coaster without puking, maybe I’d brag about that, too. After all, nobody tells you what really happens during childbirth. Sure—there are books, doulas, classes, and birthing coaches. But until you go through it yourself, it’s like trying to learn how to drive a car without getting behind the wheel. It’s not even close. My husband and I went through birthing classes together; we watched the films, practiced breathing, and he placed his hands in a bowl of ice for 10 minutes along with me. It hurt like hell and I whined like a baby, but before I knew it, it was over and we were sitting comfortably in a restaurant in downtown Seattle nibbling on pad Thai. Needless to say, I had a tough time delivering my first child. No one told me it would feel like I had been run over by an eighteen-wheeler and would have to wear maxi pads the size of Texas for six weeks. But after it was over, I was in full-blown honeymoon stage, holding this unbelievable child that looked like ET’s little brother. I was in love. And I thought we were in the clear, until we brought him home.

CHEESE: HOT BROCCOLI DIP from Rebeca at the Average Parent

My top recipe for this year is Hot Broccoli Dip, which is a variation of a recipe I found through Cabot. It’s very similar to spinach dip, with a few differences that can really make it stand out at any party.

Ingredients:

1 (10-ounce) package of frozen chopped broccoli

8 ounces of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, Vintage Choice

Cheddar, or other premium extra sharp cheddar, grated

4 ounces of cream cheese

1 cup of parmesan cheese (add more to taste, if desired)

½–1 teaspoon of garlic powder (to taste)

½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

Place frozen broccoli in microwave-safe bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave until hot and tender, about 9 minutes (do not add any water). Mash broccoli with potato masher until large chunks are gone. Add cheddar, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper to bowl. Cover again and microwave just until cheeses are melted, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Stir until smooth. (If mixture seems thin, it will thicken upon cooling.) Serve with crackers.

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