salt and pepper
Pretty good day!
salt and pepper
Pretty good day!
...I buy things based purely on their packaging.
...I think dessert is the most important meal of the day
...The best place in the whole world is on an air mattress in the the pool.
...I wake up next to this little boy.
...We go on froyo dates.
...I wonder what it looks like from where you are.
...You just need a list.
...I can hardly believe these kinds of things are happening! (6th grade orientation today) Lockers?
I know I've been a lazy iphone photographer. I'll try to get my camera out again soon. Back to enjoying the last week of summer vacation...
Nice weekend. The last few have been busy so it felt nice to chill out a bit.
Saturday morning waffle breakfast. I like the anticipation that the one-by-one system of a waffle maker provides. It's hard to wait, but worth it.
Lunch was on the town with the girls. Just the girls. I forget sometimes how much these ladies need time without their brother tagging along. We had such a nice time doing a little make-up shopping (Emma is getting so big!), and little school supply gathering. We even worked in a little chocolate. Happy.
Dinner was this.
Plus sausage (which is the only thing that the kiddos ate).
I downloaded this one too! Free! Perfect for dancing and laughing at yourself. I really hope this guy makes a record.
Oh! And tried out some diy sea salt hair spray.
Perfect for those lazy "air dry" days when you can't imagine picking up your hair dryer (today). I really like it.
I've been struggling a little bit this week. Relationships, parenting, circumstances, even sleeping... they've all seemed to lose their ease. I've been disappointed, confused, unsure, and fairly sad. It's been a little harder to smile.
Just ask these girls who were less-than-thrilled to be waiting on the paper-covered table this morning for the nurse to come back in the room and give them their vaccines before school starts in 2 weeks. Check-ups for all three girls (took 1.5 hours) + an impatient toddler brother who disliked being stuck in a small/confined exam room (for 1.5 hours) = AHHHH!
We needed a serious pick-me-up. And fast.
So we splurged on cupcakes, cereal with marshmallows in it (unheard of in this house!), donuts, ice cream, and waffle cones. I know, it's not the best example of healthy emotional coping... but we were desperate. Occasionally sugar can be the answer.
Besides, we happily shared the sweetness with our friends on a blanket in the back yard.
It was good timing for one last hurrah before they have to return home to NYC next week.
Sometimes skype just doesn't give you what you need-- some real touch. We definitely worked it in today.
Cheers to some good memories made with them here on our coast this summer!
Also the tomatoes are ripe. Yay. I've been picking them by the bowl-full every day! (Sungolds are my favorite.)
I redeemed our cupcake binge with a salmon dinner. You should definitely make it.
And for dessert (since I had technically already eaten it at least twice before earlier in the day) I ate the best peach that I've ever tasted in my whole life. Fuzzy. Ripe. Juicy.
It made me smile- and for the first time all week, it came easy.
A couple of rough days. I don't really want to talk about it. How about we just keep it light? One of the best forms of therapy? Shopping.
"Picture yourself when you were five. In fact, dig out a photo of little you at that time and tape it to your mirror. How would you treat her, love her, feed her? How would you nurture her if you were the mother of little you? I bet you would protect her fiercely while giving her space to spread her itty-bitty wings. She’d get naps, healthy food, imagination time, and adventures into the wild. If playground bullies hurt her feelings, you’d hug her tears away and give her perspective. When tantrums or meltdowns turned her into a poltergeist, you’d demand a loving time-out in the naughty chair. From this day forward I want you to extend that same compassion to your adult self."
Spent the afternoon at the beach today. We took our annual August picture at the lake. I love watching the kids grow.
See years past here.
...I had a reason to wear them. I'm 88% sure that I could walk in them no problem.
...Money was no object. I would drive this. What? It's practical. It fits my whole family and it has a ginormous rear sunroof.
...The timing was always right.
...Calories didn't count. Banana creme pie milkshake.
...I didn't think that these wouldn't become addicting. (Corona Popsicles)
...We could wake up somewhere on a boat.
...I could just remember not to worry.
Carl has been gone on a golf trip in Montana. I decided to throw the kids in the car and drive over to hang with my family in Olympia. The timing was perfect because it turned out to be the nicest day of the year so far.
The marina was gorgeous.
We walked the boardwalk with my Dad.
And saw some kissing.
The Farmer's Market was buzzing!
We cooled off in the downtown fountain.
Then it was back to the house for a family BBQ.
(my Grandma, me, and my step-mom Sandy)
(My brother and me. Can you tell who lives on the sunnier side of the mountains?)
(My sister-in-law Marsha and the twins Lily and Eva)
Oh Ian. As the only grandson among 6 granddaughters, I guess you do have to be a little goofy.
Dinner is served.
Uncle Alex got a workout.
Ian found his own special way of going in and out. It suits him because he is kind of a puppy.
It's always an adventure traveling with 4 kids by yourself... but as far as spur-of-the-moment road trips go- this little "over and back" was perfect!!
There is a lot floating around in my mind. I am a notorius over-thinker. Sometimes it gets so jumbled that it is hard to separate thought from thought. It's like rapid fire, one after the other. But when I ride (or run, or swim, or hike, or row...you get the picture) it all stops.
The exertion necessitates that my whole self (mind included- there is no division) becomes devoted to:
muscles under flesh, flexing, rising up, pulling away from bone
lungs and breath
sweat and salt on my skin
cadence, rhythm, pace, and time
pedaling, pounding, pulling, pushing
going further, faster
building strength- inside and out
Exercise: it's just so vital to me. It's more like a rest actually. Everything else just fades away.
coffee: french pressed + steamed/foamed whole milk
cantaloupe + plain greek yogurt + chopped pistachios + drizzled honey
crustless quiche: 4 eggs + splash half and half + leftover roasted squash from the garden + jack cheese
potatoes + rosemary + olive oil + salt and pepper
*Hannah had a 12 hour swim meet on Saturday. It was the last of the season. No practice tomorrow. Weird.
*I cut my finger last night. It bled for over an hour. I almost went for stitches. I can feel my heartbeat in it now. Hard to type.
*I did approx 9 loads of laundry yesterday, deep cleaned the kitchen, organized my desk in the office (crazy quantity of papers piled up), folded approx 9 loads of laundry, cleaned out the car, changed the sheets, watered the garden, and put away approx 9 loads of folded laundry. Whew!
*90 + degrees forcasted for all this week. Yay.
*During Ian's nap yesterday I filled out enrollment packets for the girls to go to public school this year. I feel good about it, and I might share some of those feelings with you soon. School starts in 1 month. We'd better "do summer" until then!
*I think I might have to have these.
Welcome to the week Friends.
Admittedly, I don't have a very good memory. I wish I did. I wish I could remember more. My mind is so unreliable- fuzzy. I wish I had catalogs, files, or blog posts that detailed my whole life. I would refer back to them so that I could remember more conversations, more kisses, more seemingly insignificant moments... you never know how meaningful they may become to you later.
So this post is for actually for February. I'm documenting summer, and I'm coming back to read it in the midst of those dark winter days. I'm going to look it up anytime I need to be reminded of all the warmth of late-July.
sun-colored hair and skin
flower pots by the front door
picnics under trees
and late evenings
sunglasses always affixed to my freckle face
wheat: crispy and knee high
Dear Self: I know the winter is dark and frigid, and the novelty of snow has worn off. I know that you are tired of shoveling the driveway, but please believe me when I tell you that summer will be back again. It will arrive at just the right time, and with it will come the tree-ripened fruit, the line-dried towels, the marshmallows, and the campfires. Before you know it the garden will be in full bloom, and you'll be wearing your bathing suit all day long. And Self... just in case you start to forget- please try to remember how happy you were in this season. Remember that it was a particularly lovely time in your life. Hang in there. Winter won't last forever. I promise.
ps. Want some goosebumps? Go watch this. Beautiful!
I know it doesn't exactly seem like soup weather...but this one might surprise you.
Seafood corn chowder with bacon and shrimp. It came together quick too!
So good (hard to have just one small bowl). Make it!
Jen was over last Friday and let's just say it had been a hell of a week. We both needed some comfort food. Pasta isn't something I usually indulge in...but desperate times call for desperate measures. We thought it best to start dinner with a little wine. (read: a little wine)
This is a great recipe for summer because it features zucchini which we all have too much of right now.
And basil, which we can never have too much of (growing heartily in my garden),
and Parmesan cheese... which is good year-round (like every day!)
It's also pretty. That's important.
The kids will eat it too. You can't say that about everything that comes out of my kitchen.
Besides, there are lots of ways to burn off the extra carbs...
1 2/3 cup olive oil (divided)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic sliced
1.5 # chicken breasts (I use 3)
2 red bell peppers
2 portabella mushroom caps
1 red onion
1 16oz pkg of penne pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
** In a bowl whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup of this marinade for basting vegetables. Pour remaining marinade into a ziploc bag with thawed chicken and marinate about an hour or longer. Chop veggies and grill alongside the chicken basting with reserved marinade. (Jen and I didn't have men around so we didn't grill, we baked the chicken and sauteed the veggies. You can totally skip the grill... but sometimes it's nice to get the boys outside and save on the dirty dishes. If you do saute the veggies, just dump the reserved marinade into the pan while they are sizzling away). Boil pasta and drain. Mix in remaining cup of olive oil (I do a little less), Parmesan cheese, grilled/sliced chicken, and veggies into the cooked noodles. Garnish with basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. This makes a lot of pasta. I easily feed 6 adults with this recipe.
I know... I've been a slacker. Some of you have told me so. Sorry. I've just really been enjoying the summer. In fact, I think I could probably just live in this one forever.
We sure have been spending a lot of time at the pool. I think if you poked this girl, she would probably bleed chlorine. I'm so proud of her effort on swim team this year. You should see the little collection of 1st place ribbons she's got going. Hannah is kinda competitive...
I have no idea where she gets it. Sadly, I bailed on the triathlon. I was planning to compete (and dominate) this weekend... but I gave it up to go with Carl to his 20- year class reunion. I'm pretty bummed and feel like I'm totally wimping out, but I did get a new dress out of the deal. Hoping that makes up for it. Pics on Monday.
I'm missing Emma. She's been gone all week at camp. I'm counting the hours until she gets home. I haven't had any contact with her since she's been gone. I know she's having the time of her life...but I sure wish I would've slipped a cell phone in her suitcase. Can't wait to hear all about her adventures.
While she was gone we crashed a wedding. You should see the dance moves these girls have got going. They put me to shame (and crack me up)!
I just love getting dressed up. I need to go to more weddings.
The garden is booming. I've been slightly neglectful this past week. Too much pool time I guess.
We put the radishes to work in our fish tacos. Tasty.
And for dessert: lime sorbet + a tiny shot of tequila. Ooooh, it made me pucker!
We've had thunder and lightening almost every night. I love it, it's pretty. I hate it, we are surrounded by dry land wheat. No fires yet. Thank goodness.
So that's it. We're just busy playing. Yesterday I cleaned out the van and found 2 tennis rackets, 4 golf balls, 6! water bottles, 3 wet beach towels, and flip-flops galore! A messy little reminder of this happy season.
Soak it up!!
sunset on my birthday. on my way home from hannah's swim meet. she won all her races. a sweet gift for mama.
lovely pallette. wish some of these things were hanging in my closet.
the perfume that the girls gave me for my birthday. i've been wearing this one for a couple of years now.
suitcase. for all the escaping that I'd love to do. luggage should be this beautiful.
breakfast the other day. these kids are eating me out of house and home. must be all the tennis and swimming and sunshine.
thanks for all of the birthday wishes yesterday. have a lovely weekend.
"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are."- EE Cummings
I am more me than I have ever been. It feels nice. I guess that comes with age? The older I get the more I seem to like who I am. At this point in my life I feel like I can be honest with myself. I know what I want and what I need. I'm getting better at taking ahold of it and leaving the guilt behind. I'm also more gentle with myself. I'm forgiving past mistakes (hoping others will do the same) and allowing room for failure. So thankful for the grace that has been extended to me.
I have, however, had some trepidation about this particular birthday. Age thirty-four was the last birthday my mother celebrated before she became quite ill with cancer. As my natural model, this is sort of where the blacktop ends with my mom. It's true I have a whole childhood of sweet and tender memories with her, but in terms of future reference-- it is fading each year that I get older. As I inwardly compare the time line of my mother's life to my own, I can see that up until now our lives have been very much the same. As much as I treasure my mother, and will always keep her close in my heart...this seems to be the place where we sort of part ways. Frightening and freeing. I am making my own map from here on out- and mostly as I go along. It's okay you know? I'm doing it (not always well) but I'm doing it.
I am 34 today. I'm moving forward with love, and courage, and a spirit seeking adventure. I am happy, healthy, and alive. Thank you God.
I spent the weekend with this girl...in her new farm stand. What a great combonation.
It is really starting to come together. Yes, there is still A LOT of work to do... and there are many things that we will have to work on slowly, but for now the place is at least operational.
And we were busy!
Even the kids got in on the action and hosted a lemonade table (inside because it was 100+ outside)...
When they weren't riding the 4 wheeler that is.
The website is still in process, we are finalizing a few touches here and there. I'll keep the updates coming, thanks for being excited for us!
We went up to the orchard to bbq.
There was lots of swimming.
Laurel jumped off the diving board (into my arms) without a life vest for the first time.
Ian gave her a thumbs up-- or at least his version of thumbs up.
We ate food.
And of course, there were fireworks! Oooh, Ahhh.
Hope your Independence Day Celebration was happy and safe!
7:53am tee time. Because we're loud, and hit our balls zig-zag accross the course, and because we like to drive the carts a little faster than what is allowed.
Ian was trying REALLY hard to reach the pedals. By hole #8 he realized that he could just push it down with his hands. Thankfully I was standing nearby!
It was a georgous morning!
Laurel's "technique" makes me smile. She doesn't let her head get into her game. She just smiles and laughs when things don't go exactly her way.
Which is more than I can say for some...(ugh).
We just skipped the tee boxes and drove right up to the 150 yard markers. It still took us 2 hours to play nine, and keeping score was pointless. I know a few cheats in that group!
After a few holes Ian was demanding to get in on the action.
Later in the afternoon we enjoyed poolside ice cream.
Whenever we get food or drinks at the country club I have to try so hard not to say "Charge it to the Underhills." Ha!
My dad came for a quick visit the other day. It was nice to have him. He was able to catch Hannah's swim meet, play golf with Carl, and take a little hike with me. Of course he got me off the beaten path, and of course his chosen path down included slightly more danger than I'm used to. It left me with a very sore wrist (yes I fell), nightmares about rattlesnakes, and some of his wisdom.
"I love being outside- to smell the smells, to listen to the sounds, to see things. I think it's as close as you can get to seeing God; except for maybe holding your child in your arms. That's my opinion anyways. There is just so much order." - Jim Hickman (my dad)
Thanks for coming dad. I love you.
Rain, rain, rain?
Two shirts and a down vest?
Jeans, wool socks, and boots?
Huddling under blankets, reading in bed?
Homemade chicken soup for dinner?
This IS June isn't it? You didn't collectively decide to roll it back to March did you? Turn up the heat please!
From the deck.
Parsley, pepper, green beans, and a tomato. (Those nets are working like a charm. Take that quail birds!)
Flowers on the yellow squash.
Radish border, basil and zucchini between 2 tomatoes.
It's just about time to apply some more of my favorite fertilizer. I think these plants really liked it last time. The irrigation system is not finished yet, I'm watering with a hose everyday. Can't wait to get some gravel between the beds!
Basil in the greenhouse,
and morning glories too.
It's been a little cool and windy- thunderstorms even. Thankfully I've managed to keep everything alive. We could really use some warmer weather now though, mostly because I've yet to spend an afternoon floating in the pool. (But I did make good use of the cloudy skies today by finishing my jam. 30 pints!)
First and foremost, put your kids to bed, or send them outside. You won't need them for this process! Next, pull your hair back into a ponytail. This is going to get hot and messy.
Pour yourself something lovely to drink. You're going to be stuck over a hot stove for a while. It's nice to have something cool to sip. I like bubbles a lot so it was mineral water for me.
Queue up some booty shakin' music,
and get everything set up.
Now you're ready to do the easy part. Just puree...
boil, and stir... and dump in pectin... and ungodly amounts sugar... and stir some more...and keep stirring.
Give it a little taste to make sure that it is sweet enough. (Right? Because 7 cups of sugar could leave it tasting a bit blah?!?? Certainly not, but lick your fingers anways...just in case).
Then ladle the sticky red stuff into jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes- during which time you can a.) clean up a little. b.) start your next batch. or c.) stand inhaling strawberries in a foggy sugar daze and think wistfully about taking your own bath:
When the time is up, pull your jars out. Set them on a towel, stand back, and sigh. You should feel all domestic and farmy.
I've got a whole bunch more to make tomorrow and it's all going on the shelves at Tractor Mac's!
1.) Brought home some cherries this morning. They were the first of the season for us. Yum. I have to pace myself.
2.) I harvested tons of Swiss chard, lettuce, and spinach from the garden yesterday. So satisfying.
3.) I made this tea the other day. Pretty, and my kids loved it too. Except for Ian who promptly broke out in huge welts and sent me racing to Walgreen's for allergy medicine. Huh. Guess lemongrass and hibiscus aren't his thing.
No worries, he's back to building bridges and driving trains. It's nice that it is raining today. The cool air feels great after a really hot evening at the swim meet last night. (Hannah did great! First or second in all her races!)
4.) Backyard Teepee. It was so easy. Really it is. I promise it took maybe 30 minutes to put together. I pieced together two old sheets I had.
I didn't use hot glue to secure the fabric as the instructions suggest. I was too lazy and wanted to be able to take it down easily (sprinklers come on at 5:30am). So I just jerry-rigged some binder clips.
It was a hit.
5.) Finally, here's what I'd rather be doing today- followed by a dip in that lake. (Bathing suits optional.)
*Sigh* I'm glad the weekend is here. That was quite a week!