Category: Family


February 3, 2012

Lately I have been telling my children that I am going to start feeding them donuts for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and cake for dinner in an effort to make them stop growing up.  Because nothing else seems to be working.

Yesterday, February 2nd, my baby turned five.  If you have a baby, five probably doesn’t sound like a baby, but he will always be my baby.  Five is a big birthday.  Five is the year children start kindergarten.  Five is officially the end of toddler-dom.  Five is a kid.  I could say a million other things but it all boils down to the fact that I can’t believe my baby is five.  Five years ago, we took Graham, then aged 26 months, to a friend’s house so we could go the hospital and have a baby.  I sobbed with guilt in the car on the way.  Spencer was a planned for and wanted baby, but I felt almost that I was betraying my beloved first born by bringing another child into our little family.  I had no idea, of course, that Spencer would complete our family and that he would become an amazing playmate for Graham.

So my (not so) little baby, who are you at five?  You are an incredibly independently minded person who can carry on a full and engaging conversation.  You still, however, need help buttoning your pants.  You have just started to write your name with the “p” backwards and the letters very large.  You are s-m-a-r-t.  So bright and interested in everything.  You ask me what a word means and I see it just sucked right up into your brain.  You have a temper and hate to be embarrassed.  You love school and ask me every day if it is your show and share day.  You still want to do everything the same way Graham does – you idolize him.  You also squabble with him.  A lot.

(This is one of my favorite photos of my Seattle baby.  You are about 14 months here.)

Your hair can really no longer be called blond but I hold out hope that it will lighten again in the summer.  You are still a big guy – people rarely guess your age correctly.  Your cheeks, arms, and legs are still squishy.  Your belly is just big enough that it kind of pushes down your pants so you have a perpetual plumber’s crack going.  It may be time for a belt.  You still allow me to pick out your clothes each morning but if left to your own devices, you would wear “cozy” pants every day.  Your voice is still raspy and high, surprising for such a big boy.  And adorable.

You still like vehicles but no longer carry one in each hand everywhere.  You really like tape and making little projects out of paper and various things you find.  You call it “artzuka” from one of the shows you watch.  You are obsessed with Batman and love this shirt that comes with a “cake” (that would be a cape).  You do not, however, want to put the Batman sheets that Santa brought on your bed because they are too scary.  You continue to be a much pickier eater than your brother – carrots and celery are the only vegetables you will touch.  You are a big snacker and love yogurt.  Treats are a big part of your life and your current favorite is “mommy’s homemade ice cream”.

At night you like me to lie next to you and rub your back.  My own father used to do this for me – I know how lovely it feels.  All animals are banished from your bed but they do sit on a chair nearby.  We talk about what the next day brings.  Some nights, when you are very very tired, your eyes will flutter closed while I lie next to you.  I remember lying in my bed with you during your colicky months, trying to nap along side you, completely exhausted from caring for a baby who cried from 5pm to midnight non-stop every day.  You were tiny, of course, and I would pat your back, silently begging you to sleep.  Your eyes would flutter in that same way and I would hold my breath, willing them to stay closed.  Now you almost never cry (and when you do, it’s a big production), and sleep comes easily to you.  I almost want your eyes to flutter back open so you will say goodnight to me one more time.

I’ve been keeping track of some of the cuter things you say.  You were telling me about the Zamboni at the ice rink and you called it a “tromboni”.  We broke through a spider web and you said, “Looks like we need a web repair”.  Melted frozen yogurt looked like “a yogurt swimming pool”.  People don’t litter, they “glitter” as in “that man is glittering”.  Stupendous is “dependous”.  You think driving school has little mini cars and pretend stop lights.  I was roasting beets one day and when they came out of the oven you asked, “Are those sharks?”  “Sometimes, when I have a headache, I pretend to pull my head off.”  And my favorite – one day we were about to pull into an intersection after our light turned green.  A guy came through, completely running his red light.  I cried out and you asked me why.  “Because that guys was going really fast and he went through a red light – that is not safe!”  To which you said, “Well, maybe he had some ice cream in the back of his car and it was melting.”

I have written so many posts about Graham, one might wonder why there is so little of you here on my blog.  The truth is that my love for you is so uncomplicated.  There is that age old saying that you love your children the same, just differently.  I love you the same amount as Graham but with less frustration, less guilt, more ease, and more humor.  Every year brings new wonders in being your mother.

(Someday) Retirement Plans

December 14, 2011

My parents are living the retirement that we all dream of.  They deserve it.  My dad had a busy oncology practice for over 30 years that had him leaving the house at 7am every morning and coming home at 7pm every night.  There was evening call and weekend call and when you are an oncologist, you get a lot of calls in the middle of the night.  He worked with extremely ill people and their families and had many people he grew to truly care for pass away.  He also had other patients who should have passed away but did not because he is a terrific doctor and an all around smart man.  He is also, as I have said here, kind and compassionate – a doctor that the nurses loved.

My mom also worked very hard.  She spent the first eight years of motherhood staying home with us and then, soon after my youngest brother was born, decided that she was tired of spending the day waiting for Sesame Street to come on (pre-DVR days) and then waiting for my dad to come home, so she went back to school (with three children) and got a nursing degree.  She spent worked full time on a evolving range of shifts (including night shift) for a number of years before settling in to a half time job in the recovery room of our University hospital.

Eight years ago, while still working full time, my dad, the cancer specialist, developed cancer himself.  Bladder cancer.  Randy and I were living in London at the time and we had just returned from a weekend away in Dublin.  Once back in our flat, I picked up a voice mail from my dad asking me to call when I got a chance.  Even though it was the middle of the night in Seattle, I called right away.  If I get a voice mail from my mom saying “call when you get a chance” it usually means she just want to chat.  I had probably never gotten a voice mail from my dad period, let alone one asking for a call back, so I knew something was up.  Calmly, he told me that he had a tumor in his bladder and they were hoping to be able to remove just the tumor and leave his bladder intact.  More tests were imminent and he was thankful that he had had symptoms so that they could catch it early.

A couple of weeks later, the phone call that I didn’t want to receive came across the ocean.  The tumor was invasive and they were going to have to remove his bladder.  His surgeon would make him a new bladder (called a neo-bladder) out of a piece of his own intestine.  Since the intestine is a long tube and the bladder is essentially fist-shaped, many cuts would need to be made to make the new bladder.  It would be hooked up according to the laws of anatomy and we would all hope for the best.  My dad, entering into surgery, contemplated retirement.  He would need to take a couple of months to recuperate from the surgery, he was near retirement age, so why not just retire?  But in the months following the surgery, he realized he needed something to work toward.  He wanted to go back to work.  And so, after a successful surgery and a rocky but successful recovery, he went back to treating patients full time.

Now eight years cancer free, my dad is a success story.  About three years ago, he decided to finally retire.  I worried about him a bit.  He identified very much with his job, with his role as doctor (although he never introduced himself that way), and I had trouble imagining him as a retiree.  Also, the fact that both my parents are very youthful, in shape, and active, did not fit with the picture in my mind of retirement.  I thought they both would be bored.

I was wrong.  They threw themselves headlong into life after work.  They took birding classes, yoga classes, did continuing education classes in art history and aviation history.  They exercise everyday and are traveling nearly constantly.  They are not sitting still for more than a moment.  They had always liked to travel but with my dad’s busy practice, it was hard for them to take consecutive weeks off.  Now their time is their own and they have discovered going on tours and cruises as a way to see parts of the world they have been meaning to visit.  These are not the groups with the blue hairs and senior water aerobics classes.  These are the trips I would go on right this minute if I could.

My parents recently returned from a cruise that left from Istanbul and ended up in Cairo.  They stopped in Israel and Jordan along the way and went through the Suez Canal.  They saw Luxor and the pyramids and Petra in Jordan.  In the past couple of years, they have taken a trip to Paris (with me for my birthday) followed by a week in Budapest and Prague, a cruise throughout Croatia, a group trip to Austria, but they recognize that this Middle Eastern cruise was truly a trip of a lifetime.

My parents don’t really shop when they travel.  It’s just not their thing.  But this time they brought me back something special.  Saffron.

If you aren’t familiar with saffron, it is the world’s most expensive spice.  It is probably one of the priciest food items period if just considering price per pound.  The reason it costs so much is that saffron is actually the stamen of the crocus flower and it is harvested by hand.  I can’t imagine the number of flowers and the number of (wo)man hours it takes to get an ounce of saffron.  Consequently, much of what we can buy in this country is not true saffron, but the stamens of other flowers.  Nothing compares to true saffron, in taste, aroma, and color, so be sure to buy yours from a reputable place.  And if it’s not super expensive for a very small amount, it’s probably not real saffron.

The stuff my parents brought me is Iranian saffron and it is shockingly red and the strands are nice and long.  It is gorgeous.  It is the kind of thing I might be tempted to put away and save for something special, but I believe in using gifts and besides, they brought me three small envelopes of it.  While saffron does have a very distinctive flavor, that flavor is subtle.  The color that it gives to food is truly extraordinary.  When I found this recipe for red lentil soup in a well-loved cookbook and it mentions that saffron rice would be a great accompaniment, I knew I had my first dish with my new spice friend.

So yes, you need three different pots to make this soup.  Do not let that deter you!  One pot makes the soup, one pot separately sautés the onion and spices and then the greens, and one pot makes the rice.  It  may sound like a pain but please believe me when I tell you that this is a very easy dish to make and you get a LOT of soup for your effort.  Red lentils are one of my favorite ingredients on earth and this is a fabulous way to make the most of them.  Red lentils love things like mustard seeds, cumin, and tumeric – all present in this flavorful soup.  I had never used lime juice with them before and was hesitant to add as much as the recipe called for.  But I loved the subtle sour flavor paired with the savory soup.  I made the soup for Randy and I to enjoy, brought leftovers over for dinner with friends, and then made another pot to eat with my parents so they could see how much I’m loving the saffron.

One Year Ago:  Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios (I just made a quadruple batch of this stuff)
Two Years Ago:  Blackberry Rugelach, Frittata with Carmelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Sage

Red Lentil Soup with Lime
Adapted (barely) from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Serves 6-8

You certainly don’t need saffron to make this dish and actually, you don’t need the rice if you want to save that step.  You can make this a super thick soup by adding less water or make it thinner by adding more.  If you make it in advance, know that it will thicken up as it sits but you can always add more water as necessary.  For this rice, I used ½ cup raw basmati rice in 1 cup of water and a pinch of both saffron and salt.  This might be more than you need for the soup, or make more as needed.

2 cups split red lentils, picked over and rinsed several times
1 tbsp. tumeric
3 tbsp. butter
Kosher salt
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1½ tsp. brown mustard seeds
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 3 limes, or to taste
1 bunch kale, or other leafy green, chopped into small pieces (I’ve also used beet greens)
1 cup cooked rice
Plain yogurt

Put the lentils in a soup pot with 2 quarts (8 cups) of water, the tumeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and 1 tablespoon of salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes.  Purée for a smoother texture (an immersion blender is great here).

While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring:  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and throw in 1 tablespoon of butter.  Once it is melted, add the onions and a large pinch of salt.  Cook for another five minutes, until soft, then add the cumin and mustard seeds.  Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the onions to brown slightly, stirring occasionally.  This slight bit of char will add great flavor to the soup.  Add the cilantro and cook just until it wilts.

Add the onions mixture to the soup, then add the juice of two of the limes.  Taste, then add more if needed to bring up the flavor.  The soup should be a tad sour.

Just before serving, add the last tablespoon of butter to the same skillet the onions were cooked in.  Once melted, add the kale and a large pinch of salt, and cook just long enough to wilt.  Add to the soup and let all the flavors blend for a couple of minutes.  Even though you have added salt several times along the way, you will probably need to add more to your taste at this point.  If the rice is warm, place a spoonful in each bowl.  If it’s leftover rice, add it to the soup and let it heat through for a minute.  Serve each portion with a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.


November 29, 2011

Today, November 28th, is Graham’s birthday.  He is seven.  I have written so much about him that I have created his own category here on my blog (scroll down on the right hand side for the categories).  What I haven’t written about is his birth story.  It is a story I have told countless times and have written about in my journal, but not one I have told here.  It’s time.  Don’t worry, no blood and guts, just the story of having Graham.

(Age 3)

My pregnancy with him was easy.  I felt sort of yucky for the first few months but only at night and was never very sick.  I had some food aversions (salad) and some cravings (citrus juice) and I didn’t gain too much weight or retain water or develop hypertension.  Easy all things considered.  My due date was December 3rd and once I passed into my 38th week, I breathed a big sigh of relief – he could come any time and would be fine.

On the morning of November 27th, I woke up at 7:30am to a contraction.  I had had a few before but I knew this was different.  I lifted my head to look at the clock and note the time.  Then I waited.  If another didn’t come – it was just a teaser.  But about ten minutes later, another came, just like the first.  I woke Randy and we called my doctor.  She told me to wait until they were five minutes apart and then call her again, so I spent the morning eating breakfast, taking a shower and packing my bag with a stopwatch in my hand the entire time.  I was scared, I was excited.  I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday and also to tell her that we would not be attending her birthday dinner that night as I would most likely be delivering a baby.

When it came time to leave for the hospital, we had a She’s Having a Baby moment.  I was sitting calmly in the living room, packed bag by my side, and Randy was running all over the house trying to find his wallet and keys.  After a few minutes of male hysteria, we were on our way.  We had done a practice run to the hospital so we knew exactly how to go and this happened to be a Saturday so traffic was light.  We were there in no time.  The night before had been a full moon so there were no rooms immediately available – it turns out that more babies really are born on full moon nights.  They hooked me up to monitors in the triage area and our long day of waiting officially began.  I had some fear of being turned away at the hospital and told to labor more at home, this had happened to people I knew, but I was already 3 centimeters dilated when we arrived.  The nurse told me I would not be leaving without a baby.

(Age 4)

The next few hours went by quickly.  The pain from the contractions was intense but not terrible.  I got moved into my room.  Periodically a nurse would check me and I was still 3 centimeters dilated (you need to get to 10 before you can start pushing).  I got in the tub at one point, just for something else to do and also to help ease the pain in my back.  My brother Michael was living in New York at that time and had been home for a Thanksgiving visit.  My parents brought him by the hospital on the way back to the airport.  He took one look at me and said, “You look like shit.”  I told him, “Maybe that’s because I’m in labor.”  Oh, the sensitive male.

The afternoon progressed.  My doctor, who was fortunately on call that weekend, came in to check me and when I was still stuck at 3 centimeters dilated, she told me it was time to walk.  Randy and I took an hour long stroll in the hospital halls, the pain getting more intense as we went.  At each contraction, we stopped, I held my arms around his neck, and we swayed back and forth.  Almost as though we were dancing.  We had learned this trick in our lamaze class and somehow that swaying and the rhythm of it calmed me.  I started to worry.  If I was feeling this much pain at 3 centimeters, how was I going to make it much further?  Natural childbirth was not something I had considered.  I applaud women who go that route but my feeling is that if there is a safe way to ease the pain of what is known to be one of the most painful things in the human experience, I wanted to take advantage of it.

When we finally made it back to the room they checked me and I was 6 centimeters dilated.  No wonder it hurt so much – I had dilated 3 centimeters in an hour.  Time for the epidural.  A nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was with another patient and could I wait 5 minutes?  Yes,  I could wait 5 but I literally could not wait 6.  Fortunately, he walked in about a minute later and in another few minutes, I was feeling those contractions but without pain.  An extraordinary relief came over me.

(Age 5)

Afternoon moved into evening and I kept dilating.  Around 9pm, my doctor checked me and said that in another half hour, I would start pushing.  The hospital where I delivered has birthing suites which means that the room you start in is the room you end in.  There is no labor and delivery room – it all happens in your room.  They are set up like hotel suites and the overall effect is very pleasant.  As we counted down that last half hour, we turned the lights down to a nice soft low, put on some Miles Davis, and prepared to meet our son.  We had put very little in our birth plan – just that we wanted to avoid a c-section if possible and that we wanted as few people in the room as possible.  No friends, no family, and certainly no interns.  So when the time came, it was just me, Randy, my doctor, and one nurse.

I pushed once.  I pushed twice.  After the third time, my doctor’s eyes jumped to the machine that was monitoring Graham.  I will never forget her voice saying, “Come on little guy.  Come on.”  And then, “We’re out!”  His heart rate had plummeted and not recovered and so, in a matter of seconds, we were in the OR with a bright lights and a flurry of people.  I was crestfallen.  I had just made it through 15 hours of labor, only to have a c-section?  I was also terrified.  Was he all right?  Surgery?  I had never had surgery.  My doctor promised me that, once they got me all hooked back up, if he had recovered and kept his heart rate up, we could resume pushing.  But we had to stay in the OR just in case.

(Age 6)

He did recover and I did resume pushing and slowly, all the extraneous people melted away.  It was once again just me, Randy, my doctor, and a nurse, but now I was in the OR with its antiseptic atmosphere and bright lights.  I was not allowed even an ice chip as surgery was possibly imminent.  Thirst started to make itself known.  But truly I didn’t care.  I kept pushing.  I did not feel the pain of the contractions but I did feel them and I could also feel the toll they were taking on my body.  An hour went by and he still had not descended.  After the second hour went by, my doctor looked at me and said, “I’m sorry Dana, but I think we have to do the c-section.”  I had read or heard somewhere that doctors at this hospital will let you push for three hours before they do a c-section so I begged her for another hour.  She relented and I spent another tortured hour just trying to get him to budge at all.  My doctor said that if I got him to a certain point, she could use forceps to get him out.  But I could not even do that much.

The end of the third hour came and I was beyond exhausted.  I was also very worried.  Why was he not coming out?  Was he all right in there?  At this point, I just needed to see him and I did not argue when she said it was time for the surgery.  A drape was set up, more doctors and nurses came back in.  I begged the anesthesiologist to give me something to prevent nausea (I am more afraid of throwing up than labor contractions), and then a dreadful feeling came over me.  When I say beyond exhausted, I truly mean it.  I felt like I was lying at the bottom of the ocean with the weight of all that water resting on me.  I could barely move and I would have sold my soul for a glass of water.

The actual surgery is blurry for me.  Randy watched (which surprised me) and I just tried to hang on and stay conscious.  They pulled him out and I remember that he did not cry.  That worried me.  A nurse whisked him off to get cleaned up and when they finally did bring him over to me to see him, my little Graham who I had been waiting nine months to meet, I could hardly turn my head to look at him.  My voice just a croak, I asked how much he weighed and was surprised to hear that he was just 6 pounds, 13 ounces.  Not a big baby at all.  I couldn’t push him out?  Randy got to hold him as they stitched me back up, surely the worst part of the surgery.  Of course, I didn’t feel pain, but I could feel them tugging at me and I started to feel really sick.  I begged the anesthesiologist for more nausea medicine – after all this, the last thing I needed was to throw up.  Fortunately, it worked and I started to feel better.

I learned that Graham was born at 12:40am.  This meant that he was not going to share a birthday with my mom after all but have his very own, November 28th.  I also learned that his blood sugar was low and they gave him formula immediately and did not bring him to me that night.  I don’t remember much else except soreness, fear, and complete exhaustion.

The next morning, the pediatrician on call came in to tell me how he was doing.  I had to keep slapping myself in the face to keep from falling asleep.  He had a somewhat rocky start, including jaundice and a few days under the lights, but never had to be in the NICU.  My grandmother’s mother died in childbirth and now I understood how easily that could happen in the days before c-sections.  Graham surely would have died and I might have as well.  It was a sobering thought and one I tried to hang on to whenever I had feelings of failure about the c-section.

My recovery was rough.  I had been through full labor and pushing, followed by major abdominal surgery and it took me a while to come back from that.  But of course I did and I also made it through the first couple of weeks of breast-feeding when I thought I would cry my eyes out before we finally got the hang of it.


Seven years ago.  There have been times that I have looked back to those moments in the OR and wondered if it was my stubbornness that caused Graham to have the issues he has had.  If I had just gone ahead with the c-section right away, would he be typically developing?  I have barely dared voice this question aloud but when I have, I get a resounding “no”.  No one knows, and probably no one will ever know, why Graham is the way he is.  I had some bleeding in my second trimester and it is more likely that something happened then than at birth.  Still, even these many years later and even though I know better, I torture myself with this question.  Guilt is a complicated thing.

It is hard for me to believe but now I have a first-grader.  He is tall and lanky and has none of the baby fat that was once so much a part of his face.  He is pretty darn cute and pretty darn sweet.  We had his teacher conference last week and his lovely teacher told us that he is doing great.  She adores him.  She showed us some of the terrific work he is doing.  She mentioned that although he struggles with some things, he seems to get other things on a deeper level.  The class did a big segment on Veteran’s Day and she encouraged the children to write a note to a soldier.  She had stationary set up for them to use when they wanted.  She saved Graham’s note for us.  It read, “Dear Soldier, Please do not give up.  Love, Graham”.  That made me cry a little.


November 23, 2011

I know most of you come here for the food.  I also know that I have been a little absent here and trust me when I tell you, it’s not for lack of trying.  I try to prioritize my blog and make sure that I post but for the past month or so, that has been difficult.  I should be a little more present going forward and I have lots of recipes waiting in the wings but for now, I just need to write.  (I posted a great soup earlier today if you just need a food fix.)

My blog captures the dishes I make and the stories I have that are associated with food.  It has also become my journal, since I no longer write longhand in one anymore.  This post is the type of thing I would write in my journal.

Today is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  In addition to being the day before Thanksgiving, this day has become The Day We Pick Up Graham’s Birthday Cake.  Graham’s birthday is November 28th and we usually have a party for him sometime over the weekend.  This is a busy time of year in our family – my mom, Graham, one of his best friends, my best friend, and my best friend’s son all have birthdays within three days of each other.  Graham is a very go-with-the-flow kind of guy so he doesn’t care when we celebrate, but he always has very specific ideas about his birthday cake and this year it was Spiderman.

I bake.  I bake cakes.  I bake cakes that taste good and sometimes look pretty.  But I don’t do Spiderman cakes or fire truck cakes or construction vehicle cakes.  Those I leave to the professionals so for years now, we have been getting our birthday cakes at a sweet little old-fashioned bakery in a neighborhood right next to a lake.  This bakery sells parker house rolls and cookies with sprinkles on them and the boys think it is just magical.  They have old dusty fake example cakes set up around the shop and my boys oooh and aaah over them and fantasize about what they want to get next year.  The day before Thanksgiving, the bakery is crammed full of special orders.  Pies and rolls and cakes and breads are all stacked on racks with names in permanent marker.  Each one of those bundles has to be picked up today because the bakery closes for the weekend at 5pm tonight.  Which is why the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become The Day We Pick Up Graham’s Birthday Cake.

Like most Wednesdays before Thanksgiving, it is pouring today.  We got out of our car, all of us in rain jackets and rubber boots, and held hands as we crossed the street to the bakery.  As we did so, I was hit with a giant wallop of nostalgia.  I remembered picking up Graham’s cake the year he was turning four, the fire truck cake you see above.  Spencer was just under two and had just started walking (he was a late walker).  I was frantic.  It was raining.  I had a million things to do.  It was close to naptime.  How was I going to get the cake to the car and carry Spencer at the same time?  And keep track of Graham?  And once we got home, how was I going to cook all the things on my to-do list while my boys napped?  If you ever see a mother with two young children who looks totally sweaty and harried – that was me that day.  As I was getting ready to leave the bakery, a man held the door open for me, took one look at me, and then offered to carry the cake to the car.  Bless that kind man.  I carried Spencer and held Graham’s hand and the nice man carried the cake.

Today we walked in, waited our turn in line, and then got our cake.  (There were some squeals of delight – it is an awesome cake.)  I decided that the boys could wait for me in the bakery while I brought the cake to the car because we were having a mommy lunch date afterward at one of their favorite Mexican food places right next door.  I asked that they sit at the little table crowded into a corner, and out the door I went.  Not harried.  Not sweaty.  Still overwhelmed with all that I have to cook today and tomorrow but taking comfort in the fact that the boys would probably take a little nap (yes – still!) and even if they didn’t, that they will play together more or less nicely while I sauté and bake away in my cozy kitchen.

We had our lunch date where there were no high chairs or diaper changes, just two wiggly boys and chips and bean and cheese burritos and flan for dessert.  Conversations.  Kisses and snuggles.  Reprimands of course.  I looked at the two of them across the table as they colored in their kids menus, both of them with their long eyelashes and their darkening hair, and could hardly breathe for the thankfulness of my life.  My two healthy and kind children, my husband who is so present in their lives and brings parts to them that I don’t posses, the family and dear dear friends that I will cook for tomorrow, and the fact that we get to go to an old-fashioned bakery every Wednesday before Thanksgiving to pick up a special birthday cake.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Catching My Breath

October 21, 2011

Hello Friends.

I’m a little more than halfway through what will, when all is said and done, be the busiest month of this year.  That scares me because November is looming and December… well, we all know how crazy December can be.

I have a friend who hates when people say they are busy.  “Everyone is busy!  Don’t use it as an excuse!”  I hear her voice in my head regularly.  And it’s true.  All my friends are busy, my brothers are busy, my husband is busy, hell – even my kids are busy.  I don’t believe in over-scheduling children but when they are small, even things like after-school care, art classes, soccer, and Cub Scouts can make for a busy week.

I’d love to share some healthy nourishing dish with you but I don’t have one.  I may not have one until next week.  Aside from a salad I threw together from my crisper drawer (which actually turned out to be very tasty), I have made nothing savory except eggs and those were for breakfast.  I hope to cook on Sunday night.  There may be a treat between now and then.  We will see.  I do have a chance for you to win a copy of the new Cook’s Illustrated cookbook (click here).  I will have another cool giveaway next week.  And I have some photos.

The last time we had real family photos taken was soon after Spencer turned one.  He is now four and a half.  In May, Randy and I spent a weekend in Napa and our wonderful babysitter Talitha stayed with the boys.  About every other hour, she would email a photo of one or both of them, taken with her iPhone.  Those snapshots were all better than anything I have taken with my “real” camera, so when she suggested a shoot with us, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

We were lucky to get an incredible day.  I actually don’t like having my picture taken so I mentally fought this a bit.  But I’m so glad that we got some of just Randy and me.  These are just the first few that she sent us but I love them and wanted to share.  Anyway, thanks to all of you for being here and I hope to feed you soon.


« Older Posts Newer Posts »