Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween!

before i climb into bed, i wanted to share some glimpses of the day.

our halloween celebrations have lasted a good two days here. visiting keith's work after school yesterday for a sort of trick-or-treaty tour, followed by pizza, doughnuts, cider, and pumpkin carving at home last night.

today i went to isaac's school to see "grandpa" come down the hallway with the rest of the school. he says this costume was the best yet. (plans changed at the last minute from his original star wars sand creature idea) every time we'd get in the car, he'd give me these one-liners (in creaky old man voice) of "now, respect your elders." or "oh, dang-nabbit", and "you young whipper snapper, you". totally cracking me up how every minute (even as i watched him walking out to his carpool ride this morning) he stayed in true character; getting the leaning over the cane, shuffled walk down like a pro. he was just so into it. gary and i think being in a play would be right up his alley.

more work-place trick-or-treating this afternoon with jane at her doterra job and then off with friends around the neighborhood. one of the funnest things for me is to see all the creative and fun costumes everyone has on. especially love seeing the grown-ups getting into the fun. (smiling at people driving to and from work. so fun.) also loved having all the kids (all but sam, of course... sniff...) home later for taco soup, laughs, and an alfred hitchcock. a treat in itself to have jane and gary home (and together) for halloween the first time in two years. isaac has his loot organized into piles and spread out over the kitchen counter and table. the plan is to invite a few interested friends to come over tomorrow to participate in"the great candy trade"-- a tradition our kids have carried out every year between themselves. complete with rules, procedures, and lots of negotiations. we'll see how it all pans out this year with friends.

hoping your day was full of smiles, fun, and sweet, too,


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


smiling:: such a wonderful, charming email(s). Coming to know such interesting, gracious, kindred souls in this world.

liking:: attending my niece's baby shower on Saturday (I'll be Great-Aunt Em for the first time!!) and then going out to lunch with my mom and Eliza.

outing:: took Jane to her follow-up gastroenterologist appointment this morning. Overall, she's doing great. A few difficulties to work through and we know it'll just take time. I'll be heading out the door to my podiatrist in a few minutes. I'm trying to feel hopeful while at the same time worried about the pain that I'm wondering is normal or not. We'll see what the ultrasound shows.  Update: thumbs up. Slowly but surely making progress.

eating:: breakfast-- ground some brown rice in the blender for this morning's hot cereal. Added to some frozen mixed berries, freshly made almond milk, a sprinkle of chia seed, and a drizzle of maple syrup, it all made for a delicious way to start the day. Lunch-- made it up as I went. A lot of amazing flavors and textures going on in that bowl: chopped kale, red quinoa, chickpeas, golden raisins, raw cashews, curry, a touch of tamari, maple syrup, and rice wine vinegar. Yum-o.

reading:: The Mastery of Love (Ruiz), Women of Deh Koh: Lives in an Iranian Village (Friedl), Zero Waste Home (Johnson), The Rose Garden (Kearsley).

listening:: lots of Jessie Ware.

noticing:: wandered around the art museum the other day. Of course, lots of noticing going on. What I found interesting, though, was the observation I made about myself. The crystal clear realization coming to the core of me (although I've known this about myself for most of my life, but so much more powerfully that day ) that art profoundly touches, reaches, and speaks to such a deep place within my soul. Evoking something-- maybe just the creation process itself--reverent and holy and still. All forms of artistic expression (and these feelings that come with it) nourish me in a way I can't describe.

creating:: feeling a bit of a writer's block. A lack of inspiration. Stuck. Like I've said it all and have nothing to pull out. I know that these times come and go, ebb and flow, but it's frustrating nonetheless.

wearing:: brown ankle boots, purple pants, wheat colored tee (and a deep red tank peeking out underneath) with my new-ish thrift store jacket on top. (the mornings are starting to feel crisp!) I never would consider wearing mustard yellow, or this combination of colors until this past year, even though I'll acknowledge it's a color I gravitate towards and especially see throughout my house. But recently I'm absolutely loving to wear these rich, vibrant, and dynamic colors, and they just seem to work together on me and for me.

embarrassing:: okay, this is too good to not share. Mortified about the whole fiasco and even in telling the world about it here...but what the heck, all I can do at this point is laugh about it. (And I'm still laughing.) So a couple of Sundays ago, I was feeling all cute (in my dynamic colors), rushing to get out the door to take advantage of the beautiful autumn day and enjoy the five minute walk to church. Isaac came with. We stopped for a quick chat with our neighbor and friend Mike; thanking him for organizing Saturday's neighborhood "October Sky" extravaganza (kids and adults launching off their model rockets, a potluck, and outdoor movie of the same name.)  Isaac and I continued to casually walk on and turned the corner onto a busy road (remember that detail) where the church is. Walked in the filling chapel where Ron and Dewy stopped me to inquire how my foot was doing. The organ prelude was winding down, prompting us to head down the aisle to join the rest of the congregation and quickly find a spot. As I settled on the bench, Beth Anne rushes up to me and quietly, but urgently whispers, "Emily, I hate to tell you this, but the back of your skirt is tucked in..." Yes, TUCKED INTO MY UNDERWEAR. My whole backside exposed...

Blushing beyond belief, violently slapping both of my hands to my lap, blurting out a big belly laugh (I forgot where I was at that moment), immediately jerking around in horror to see one gentleman a couple rows down looking directly at me, he himself blushing as red as a boiled lobster and with a huge smile on his face. Like he himself was dying, bursting to let out his own stifled laugh. 

Oh. My. Gosh. 

I wanted to sink into that floor. Hide, duck, disappear forever. Thinking about everyone-- the folks driving by as I walked to church, my friendly male neighbors, the entire church congregation for crying out loud-- that had a "Sunday view"  they would likely never forget.

(You can laugh if you want to.)

Friday, October 17, 2014


“There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.” 

~L. M. Montgomery

Thursday, October 16, 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...

It's been awhile since I've done this type of post. There's something always happening in my kitchen, but a lot of the time I forget to stop and take photos. Today, I found the inspiration to share! 

The kids are on Fall Break for the rest of the week, (Isaac has Monday off, too.) so with the kids sleeping in this morning, I found myself in a creative, relaxed, and homey kind of mood. And since it's all about pumpkins these days, I decided to have a bit of fun with some new recipes: a Pumpkin Pie Granola and a batch of gluten-free pumpkin muffins. Last week I made a delicious pumpkin-apple soup I sort of adapted from two different recipes.  

For the last month or so, I've pretty much been planning my meals and recipes exclusively from the two cookbooks I recently ordered from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. These have been wonderful resources for our exploration of gluten-free cooking. I love the whole food emphasis and vegetarian elements, especially. 

I love to eat seasonally. Along those lines, how could it be autumn without apples? We've made a couple of apple crisps recently (Keith would be happy if I made one every day), and Isaac keeps begging me to bake an apple pie. Hearty one pot meals have been taking center stage, too. Last night I made a pot of pinto bean-quinoa chili (I think it tasted better today for lunch) and a pan of cornbread. Cozy, warming kind of meals. 

My girls took care of dinner a few nights this week, and I not only welcome the break, but am always so excited to feast on their creative talents. Eliza prepared a nice spaghetti dinner on Sunday and Jane made a delicious pineapple curry the other night. 

And on Monday night, I made a yummy peanut sauce to top over what's known as a "Buddha Bowl"-- a nourishing, beautiful, and simple "meal in a bowl". (My girls, especially, love eating their food from a bowl with their chopsticks.) Think of it more as a concept, really. You start with a base like brown rice, pasta, or quinoa, add a protein (this night was some baked tofu and chickpeas) and top it with cooked and/or raw vegetable or greens. For us it was some steamed asparagus (seasoned with lemon, garlic, and Bragg's) and chopped sweet red pepper. Drizzle on a favorite sauce and there you go. So delicious. We all agreed that night that we should plan a lot of our meals this way. A simple, yet delicious way of eating.

The garden has been so neglected. I still have tomatoes hanging on withering vines, potatoes to dig, and cabbages to salvage. Etc, etc. I try to not feel guilty about it all-- letting go (the lesson of my life this year) and accepting my limitations. It was nice to go out this morning to the garden and return with basket full of beautiful food. Sometime soon I'd like to roast the tomatillos (still on the vine!) with some onions, garlic, and peppers. We all love a good green chili salsa.

P.S. In other news, I'm wearing two shoes now! Even been on a few walks with my doctor's go-ahead. I'm slow and still experiencing some pain (probably related to the surgery and previous stress fracture), but feeling "cautiously optimistic". Keeping fingers (and toes!) crossed...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

morning joys

i'm doing the happy dance
this morning.
really and literally.
so much,
right now
to dance and smile about.

wishing you lots of joy, too, in your neck of the woods...
xo em