Tuesday, April 29, 2014


i wake to the sound of birdsong. 

i kneel in bed, heart pleas and heart drawn to my girl, suffering and so far away from me; hoping that her body and spirit can recover soon from her ordeal with that horrid salmonella.

i stretch and take those first steps to the bathroom, body still sore from saturday's painting job and yesterday's run. 

i am gripped suddenly with pain from another cyst, it seems, and feel myself starting to faint, ears ringing.

i try to keep breathing, and feel relief that i don't go down.

i look into the mirror and see i'm as pale as a ghost.

i peek out of the blinds and am relieved to see clear, blue skies; no sign of another snowfall like we had yesterday morning.

i make my way slowly downstairs, deciding i'm really liking this change from red to green.

i call down to make sure he's awake.

i whistle and clap my hands so she'll come down and then she pulls on her chain all excited and we go out to the morning chill and early springtime sunrise.

i notice the sea of frothy pink blooms and remind myself to capture it later.

i turn on some music to get some get-up-and-go, and while we're at it, check email too; excited to see a reply regarding the condo we are hoping to book for june's california adventure. 

i realize, contentedly, that this long awaited dream  and longing of going to the ocean is really and truly going to happen.

i make lunches and see that i really should go the store today.

i send the older ones off in a mad rush, and (guiltily) sigh when i see keith with a packet of graham crackers in his hand for his make-do breakfast.

i am touched a little while later when this little boy takes a moment at the door to turn around with a smile on his face to look up into my eyes and say, "you have a good day too, okay, mom?"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

this week in my kitchen

Hello, friends! Joining the fun with Heather of Beauty That Moves This Week in My Kitchen blog hop.

Here's a peek...

Lots of creating, sharing, and experimenting here in my kitchen this week with Easter and all. Along with some of our traditional foods, it's been fun to try some new things. A lot of those I had shared in this and this post.

The highlights:

:: Hot Cross Buns (as part of a special, meaningful "tea"for the kids to come home to on Good Friday. My favorite roll recipe-- no traditional currents added-- I tried it one year and my kids turned their noses up. Glazed after baking with melted apricot jam. Oh, and the "cross" was piped on after the rolls had risen and right before baking. A thin paste made out of flour, water and a little oil. )

:: Copycat Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

:: "Not So Dumb" Blond Macaroons (good, but even decreasing the salt to a teaspoon, these ended up a little too salty. I drizzled on some melted chocolate chips and sprinkled the tops with sliced almonds.)

:: peanut butter rice crispy nests

:: Summer Fresh Lemon Cheesecake (from Kristen Suzanne's Easy Raw Vegan Desserts.)

::Southwestern Rice Salad (I came up with this easy, crowd pleasing salad a few years ago.)

:: egg salad sandwiches (of course)

:: "Goldenrod" gravy over biscuits (My mom used to make this for us on Easter morning. I've continued the tradition over the years. It's kind of a once a year thing. Isaac begged for it, although we didn't have it until last night for dinner. Chopped up hard boiled eggs in a white sauce with a little mustard added for the "golden".)

:: Lifting Lemon-Garlic Rice & Lentil Soup  (nice, bright, and zingy. Perfect for springtime.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

easter weekend

For those of you who celebrated Easter, I hope it was a lovely weekend for you.

Here's some glimpses of ours.

I spent most of Friday in the kitchen. The baking bug had bit like it does most holidays. I wanted to try some new things this year, as well as make the traditional treats that we look forward to. Plus, how could I resist Isaac's (not so subtle) hints and reminders. Like most years, I prepared a special after-school hot cross bun "tea" for the children to come home to. Also made some peanut butter chocolate dipped eggs, coconut macaroon cookies, and peanut butter rice crispy nests. I put together a few baskets filled with these to deliver to some friends. That always makes me happy.

I'm glad I got so much done on Friday, because part of Saturday and Sunday I was so sick. Like going- to- bed, sicker- than- a- dog sick. I had gone to my last follow-up appointment for my foot surgery earlier in the week and because of the ongoing pain that hasn't seemed to ease up, the doctor suggested me starting (After mulling it over in my mind, I went ahead and decided to start on Saturday.) an oral steroid for the next 6 days to hopefully put an end to the inflammation. Intense and then gradually decreasing dosages bringing on killer headaches and nausea, heart racing... it's been horrible. You try to treat one thing, and end up with terrible side effects from these types of drugs. Ugh. I'm not sure it's all worth it, but I'm trying to have hope. Looking for light at the end of this long tunnel.

Saturday was prom for Sam. He sure looked dapper in his tux. I wished I could have taken some pictures of him and his date. He took his best friend's little sister. Of course, they had a fun time. After he had gone, the rest of us drove up to Keith's sister's home for dinner, Easter egg dying, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on their big screen. 

The kids woke up to their Easter baskets on Sunday morning. Filled with the usual candy, books, and neckties for the boys and a pair of earrings for Eliza. Searching for the colored eggs that were hidden around the living room. Then off to church while I watched Netflix and later dragged myself into the kitchen to make a (raw) lemon pie. My sister and brother-in-law had my family over for dinner later that afternoon. 

All in all, and even despite my yucks, I would say it was a pretty memorable Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

this week in my kitchen

Hello, friends! Joining the fun with Heather of Beauty That Moves This Week in My Kitchen  blog hop.

Here's a peek...

Time spent in the kitchen is a normal, everyday part of my life. Creating delicious, nourishing, beautiful things to eat is one of my greatest joys and pleasures. It's been good to capture some of that this week.

The highlights...

:: hummus 
:: Summer Reboot Salad: kale + corn + hemp seed + sweet miso tahini dressing
:: banana-berry breakfast bread
:: No Bake Cinnamon Oatmeal Truffles 
:: Addictive Peanut Butter Granola (I think this has got to be the best granola I've ever made. So good.)
:: potato pancakes with apple sauce
:: creamy (cashew) alfredo over pasta (Engine 2 cookbook)
:: roasted sweet and spicy sweet potato rounds (tossed with a bit of coconut oil and seasoned with cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic powder, salt)
:: black bean and mango salsa
:: Thai Coconut Curry Soup (over rice is nice. last's nights dinner and my breakfast this morning.)
:: King Kong milkshakes (blended frozen bananas, cocoa, almond milk, and peanut butter.)
:: Crispy Cajun Chickpea Cakes

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

evening light

I loved the light last night. Looking up at just the perfect moment from across the room. Seeing his look of concentration and stillness. That golden, luminous halo quality of it. Sneaking my camera to capture it. Realizing that this aspect of my photography might become a thing of the past as these children become more and more self conscious in their growing up. I respect that, but it saddens me. 

He went with me on a little drive after dinner. Just as the sun was going down and before picking up Sam from work. Again, it's always the light. The light and the contrast. That's where the magic and the artistry comes, I've found.

Speaking of Sam. It's been a busy time with him. Prom this weekend, plowing and enduring to the end of his senior year, and him getting his mission paperwork (and everything that goes with it) completed and ready to turn in. A big deal. Yes, like his sister and brother, he has decided to serve a mission for our church. He plans to leave in August. Looking forward to the exciting day when he'll find out where he'll be serving. One home next month (Gary returns on May 22nd.) and then we'll be saying goodbye to another child for two more years. These children are leaving my nest.

I'm so proud of Sam. He's always wanted to do this. With the age requirement recently lowered to 18 instead of 19 for young men, his plan is to defer his university freshman year until he gets back. I couldn't be happier for him having this chance to really understand himself, love and serve others, and deepen his understanding and relationship to God. We're so grateful (there just aren't words to express it) for the profound, life-changing experiences Gary has had in Finland, and Jane in Taiwan. 

In other news, the garden is tilled. Talk about a way to a wife's heart. I just have to get out there and clean up the garden beds. So much work to do in the yard. I'm trying not to let it overwhelm me. I'm excited for the garden this year, though. Especially after last year's failure. 

I've been doing more. Baking and cooking many good things in my kitchen. (I'll share more of this on Thursday.). Empty, unscheduled days. Walks in the mornings and grocery shopping and out and about errands. Paying the price later in the day. 

I guess I still need to learn some patience.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

at last

this morning's walk did me so much good,
even though i kind of overdid it.
but boy,
it was so worth it.

Friday, April 4, 2014


making:: my bed for the first time in a week yesterday. an all time record.

drinking:: lemon water in a quart jar.

eating:: handful of raw oats, sprinkling of chia and ground flaxseed, strawberry, mango, and banana slices, almond milk poured over all.

thinking and feeling:: the aftermath of the heart and tear-filled talk between me and my dad last night. three full hours of me sitting on his bed and him in his recliner.

thanking:: a reminder, an epiphany, a discovery... for his listening ears, his council, his understanding, his support, his friendship, his unconditional love.

remembering:: it dawning on me yesterday that was the one year anniversary of jane leaving on her mission. i left the dishwasher partially unloaded and had to read my blog just to make sure my hunch was right. so grateful that i've kept this record. and can i just tell you how my heart aches for her.

wearing: keith's green and blue plaid hand-me-down flannel pajama bottoms, long sleeve navy tee. slippers.

listening:: nora jones, florence and the machine.

liking:: tree blossoms. even if they're covered in
snow. (like yesterday morning.)

hoping:: to be able to walk without pain. i get around slowly, but can't quite bear full weight on my foot/heel. trying to exercise patience. taking one day at a time.

laughing:: "anyone up for a game of connect-the-dots?" when doing a show-and-tell of my foot to the kids. (the bandage is off and everything a-okay.) eliza turning away from my poor, purple frankenstein-y foot with it's grid mark holes covering the bottom half: "now i can't get that image out of my mind, mom!" she shrieks.

pinning:: this, this, and this. (etc, etc, and etcetera..)

reading:: just finished The Well Tempered Heart, sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. such beautiful, lyrical writing in both novels. like a meditation. another on the stack: wayne dyer's Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. i can't get enough of this man.

smelling:: the blue hyacinth sitting on the kitchen table that hillary brought over. intoxicating.

watching:: The Impossible (can't remember the last time i truly cried in a movie), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (eh. higher hopes for this one...)

celebrating:: sam's 18th birthday tomorrow. he wants bacon.

texting:: to keith while lying in bed and him downstairs doing the taxes: me wants cookies.
to sam and eliza every afternoon at 3:35 without fail: i'm here.
(pretty much the extent of me and texting.)

wishing:: with the kid's having the whole week off next week with spring break, wouldn't it be nice to get away somewhere and have fun. sigh. i guess we'll just have to wait for our planned summer vacation to california in june.