Monday, October 19, 2015

Marvelous Mondays | f o u r

Drinking: Water and brewing my second cup of tea this morning. Black with a splash of whole milk will do me just fine.

Thinking: how the heck did my 1st baby learn how to go on the potty so fast?! I can't believe we have already reached this milestone. She went THREE times on the potty at church yesterday and I was singing hallelujah for all kinds of reasons.(;

This morning I: cuddled with my hubby, made breakfast, and started today's tasks.

To do: smile at my babies. Pray for babies who don't have a mama's smile to get them through the day.

Reading: Bonhoeffer. Quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read. A combination of spy and theology. Can't go wrong there.

Wearing: what I slept in last night. 

Listening to: today's second load of laundry and Claire Melody washing the breakfast dishes. Also, I have to mention the baby sounds because those are most likely the best noises of the entire day.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

other mothers.

I was going through my drafts and I found this one from last year. It so happens to be about fall and change. A perfect topic for the current season. One thing that I would like to say is that I no longer feel like I want to be the 'other' mother. I have found a content spot in life, and I could not ask for more. My heart is full to the brim. If there is anyone who cannot find a content spot in life, send me a little message. I would love to encourage you with words of wisdom that I have gleaned from my twenty-five years. It hurts my heart to know that some of you may have 'cloud over my head' point of view when it comes to life. Being alive is so much more than that. So much more. Much love.

A good day is not one in which nothing bad happens. A good day is when you find contentment even in the small and mundane task of becoming the person you are.

Fall is here.
We are loving the weather. The rain. The pockets of sunshine. Let's just say I am thankful that I no longer need to break a sweat while watching my daughter draw chalk outside on our front stoop. When I was younger, I dreaded fall. The impending thought of all the schoolwork I would have to do just made my feet itch. Now that I am a grown woman, fall is like a hidden gem. Or some would say it was like a pumpkin spice latte..but that sounds too cliche for me. I can't even explain what happens to my soul when the air gains its crispness back. It feels like a poem.

Speaking of poems and souls, I have had something on my mind. Many things actually, but I will just share this one as to not confuse potting herbs and cleaning bathroom floors and listening to Japanese Ska. The other night, while giving my daughter her bath, I was thinking about who we are as people. To me it is like we have become the trends that we make. We work so hard to look good. I realized that I work so hard to look good. For some reason there is incessant desire in me to be the better person. I see other mothers and I want to be them. Their hair, their baskets, their throws, all of theirs. I hardly ever just want to be all of me. I smiled at my daughter and thought to myself,

'Claire wants all of me. She doesn't know anyone like her very own mother. She loves me because I am her mother. I was just there. I am who she knows.'

A piece of me just cracked. To love who you are is a very hard thing. To except the challenges before you is difficult. There is always work to be done, but we are making ourselves work harder than we ever have to. Trying to transform yourself, not to mention your entire life, into someone else? An endless hard task.

Then I began to think about my husband, and how I love him for who he is. Not who I want him to be, or who he is going to become. I just love him for being him. The person he is now is delightful and I want to enjoy that. We are both ever changing, and that is the beauty of the seasons. There is a time for this and there is a time for that, but right now is the time for this moment. Take hold of it and embrace it for what it is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

a fall playlist

I love to bring in the new season with music. Fall is a wonderful time of year. I'm already feeling the change as I've moved around my kitchen a bit. Diffusing geranium today and digging these grey skies. There is just something about the crispness in the air that makes me crave change. Summer was beautiful and good, but there is just a heavy depth that comes with Autumn that I adore. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Marvelous Mondays | t h r e e

Marvelous Monday on a Tuesday! I know, so confusing......

Drinking: Water and a homemade latte

Thinking: nursing my baby is the most wonderful thing. Also, my baby doesn't look like a baby anymore, he looks like a little boy! I am so going to miss this sweet baby phase.

This morning I: went grocery shopping with the family. Nathan took a work call from Fred Meyer(yes,this is what we call flexible. It's pretty incredible, I'm not going to lie), and the babies and I picked up groceries for the week. Our bill came to $70ish dollars! Not bad for a week of groceries for a family of four. Then we all had breakfast in the Starbucks corner of the store...without ordering Starbucks. I'm always disappointed with their coffee. After that home to make coffee and baby naps!

To do: clean the studio, do a load of laundry, and exercise(Zumba!)

Reading: Curious George Flies a Kite and Be Nice To Spiders

Wearing: Bella's sweater and pants because I miss her.


M E A L. P L A N N I N G : week two

Coming into this week was a little more rushed, so I was only able to scratch out a dinner menu. It is a dinner menu none the less though!

Sunday Dinner:
Boiled potatoes with sausage and homemade sauerkraut

Monday Dinner:
Homegroup potluck dinner...we brought beer(;

Tuesday Dinner:
Pad Thai with tofu and cabbage salad

Wednesday Dinner:
Pizza and salad

Thursday Dinner:
Quinoa cakes and veggie bowls(going to post this recipe!)

Friday Dinner:
Lentil Dahl with homemade naan bread

Saturday Dinner:
Ramen bowls with homemade bone broth

Lunches are usually leftovers. Breakfast is usually pancakes per the little girl's request(; 

Have fun cooking!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Marvelous Mondays | t w o

(don't you just love baby selfies?)

Drinking: Water out of my new ikea mug.

Thinking: canning apples, politics, sleeping babies, and bird noises.

This morning I: feel much better after a weekend of being sick with a cold. Made breakfast, folded laundry, kissed babies, and cleaned up little messes around the house.

To do: relax! Today is all about relaxing and peace.

Reading: My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own by Alice Waters

Wearing: pajamas and a fuzzy robe. 

Welcoming this Monday with open arms! Are you?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

M E A L. P L A N N I N G : week one

I was getting so bored with what I was making for dinner. Always running out of things that I needed or throwing away food that had gone bad, I was determined to become a better cook. I didn't think I would like it, and it sounded so daunting to me, but meal planning has saved me so much time and money it is ridiculous. Every weekend I sit down with a piece of paper and I sketch out my menu for the week. I actually enjoy it! Taking note of everything I have left in the fridge and pantry, I use those things as a guide. The goal is to waste as little as possible, but also eat enjoyably. I like to use a lot of plant proteins, but I don't shy away from meat. I get a lot of joy out of roasting a hunk of meat in the oven, and also it is quite a skill to be able to cook meat well. No one likes their chicken dry and burnt. If that sounds like you, don't be afraid to work on that skill! Learn how to braise, baste, and make a remoulade. Make things that you have never made before. If it doesn't turn out the first time, try again(as I had to do with making my own mayonnaise quite a few times). I recommend buying your food as fresh as possible. Use your local butcher and farmers to get your protein and produce. Get to know the people who grow your food. It is rewarding, and also I cannot lie to you...the eggs in the grocery store taste nothing like the eggs from the hens that my mother raises.

Here is this week's menu:
breakfast- oatmeal pancakes smothered in butter and real maple syrup with red grapes(complements to my husband for helping with this meal-I'm under the weather currently)
lunch- grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade whole wheat bread + apple slices
dinner- couscous cakes with grilled veggies and salad

breakfast- omelette with toast and fruit
lunch- leftovers
dinner- ramen bowls with boiled eggs and peas in homemade bone broth

breakfast- waffles with apple compote and peanut butter 
lunch- egg salad sandwiches and sliced veggies
dinner- pepperoni pizza and salad with balsamic dressing

breakfast- oatmeal and breakfast smoothies
lunch- leftover pizza and veggies
dinner- lentil dahl with homemade naan bread

breakfast- eggs and toast with fruit
lunch- leftover Dahl
dinner- sweet potato hash with sausage and kale

breakfast- toast with peanut butter and banana
lunch- leftover hash topped with fried egg
dinner- quinoa cakes with roasted squash and avocado

breakfast- french toast with yogurt and fruit
lunch-leftover quinoa cakes
dinner- roasted red pepper soup with crusty bread

There you have it! For snacks we do things like, popcorn, homemade banana bread, banana ice cream, homemade granola bars, chia pudding, nuts, and seeds. Next weekend I'll include a few recipes with the post. Let me know if anything sounds delicious and I can write up the recipe. 

Ok. Going to go finish season 5 of Portlandia while I blow my nose a billion times. 
Much love and happy cooking...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cliques and so on.

I wish I wasn't about to write this post. Honestly, I do, but it is weighing too heavy on my heart not to.

Recently, I was hurt very badly by a group of friends. Actually, it was the worst I have ever been hurt by a group of friends. Here is the reason why.

Ever since I was little girl I have had a hard time making friends. I really don't know why, but I do know I grew up befriending dogs and plants much easier than people. The adults would keep me company while the children my age would be out in the field playing soccer or running races. I sat and listened to theology and mothers chatter away about laundry and such. I would help in the kitchen in any way I could. Most of my time I would spend alone...listening to music, reading poetry, or star gazing.  I did have a couple childhood friends, but those ended in heartbreak. As we grew, we began to head different ways, jealousy taking root and causing a rift. Time and time again I was left alone. 

Before I go on, my family have been my closest companions through most of my years. My father, my mother, my sisters, and my brother - they know me. Family though, they love in a different way than friends. By blood they understand who you are. You are close to them in the most beautiful way possible. There is nothing that can erase the ties that you have with your family, but friends? Those ties can be erased in seconds. Friendship can be erased by glances, by ignorance, by a word spoken. 

Back to my story. I am not going to go into much detail, as that would be embarrassing and mean for the party involved. Let's just say there was a big that I was very excited for. One that I had picked out luxurious gifts for. One that I had spent time thinking about and planning for. The morning of I found out about a certain gathering, that I had not been invited to. My heart was crushed a little and a few tears were shed, but I tried my very hardest not to be alarmed by it, and just to continue to prepare for the big event. I dressed in my new dress and curled my hair, readied my babies, and watched as my husband fixed his bow tie in place. As I walked in and sat down next to my husband. I began to look around. My heart sank like a Jane Austen novel. I had not been included in the plan that my friends had made. Sitting there, my eyes welled up with tears. They should have been happy tears, but the opposite was happening. I was not jealous, a little angry, and mostly sad. The entire night proceeded to be against me as I ripped my dress, and continued to be excluded in many ways from the group. I decided I couldn't take it anymore, and as we were leaving one of my favorite songs began to play. It had been one of the worst nights of my life. 

If it had not been for my sweet husband, I don't think anything could have cheered me up. He is my truest friend. He has been bearing this load with me. We are both saddened by the hurting that is happening in my heart. 

I think that having friends is important. I believe that with all my heart, but i also believe it is wrong to exclude people from your friend group. The worst part of it all is I think some of them didn't think of me. Maybe they considered me MIA, buried deep beneath breastmilk and baby diapers. It is quite possible I was forgotten as a women and passed off as a mother. I have a soul though. Mothers need nurturing. I need coffee dates with friends...all friends. I will spend time with you whether you are my mother-in-law or a middle schooler. Everyone needs to be appreciated and listened to. Everyone wants to feel cared about. There isn't a soul out there who wants to be ignored or forgotten. I would like you all to remember that.

And to those who have hurt me badly. I forgive you. I would just ask that you don't string me on, and make me feel like a charity case. 

But I forgive you. I want you to know that.

Sincerely with love,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It all started with Alice.. | pt.1

It all started with a little video of Alice Waters on YouTube. It was a horrible home video, but she was making vinaigrette. She was pounding the garlic into a paste wth a mortar and pestle. Something clicked, my brain went, 'o, this is what that tool is for'. Watching that video, all of the sudden all the dressings on the shelf at the grocery store started to taste bad. If Alice can do it, so can I. And so my experiment began.

As I meandered through the book section in the thrift store, I found a copy of French Women for All Seasons. I decided it was some sort of sign, and I bought the book. The book has weekly menus and other wonderful things, and I started to get inspired to write my own menus. Every Friday night, I sit down after the babies have gone off to dreamland, and I write my menu for the week. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. After finishing the menu, I put together a list of items that I need, from each location I will get them. So, all meats and cheeses? The butchers. Fresh produce? The farmers market and so on. I buy bulk ingredients from the grocery store. I bake all the bread I need during the week. What I didn't realize before I started this experiment, was that I wasting so much money on sub par food and ingredients. Bread is so easy to make, and yet I was paying $5.00 and up a loaf. I was trading convenience for quality. So I bought a 25 lb. bag of flour. This will make at least 50 loaves of good bread. The bag of flour costed me about $7.00. This adds up to about $0.14 a loaf. See? Why are we paying so much money for something that is so easy to make? We've lost the romance of making our own food. We've traded true love for an industry product that boasts itself as more convienent. Food should be slow. Thought out and imperfectly assembled. It's a glass of wine, enjoyed while the meat roasts. It's playing with your children while the bread rises. And it's making love while the mousse sets in the fridge. It most certainly should not be slap some meat(which you don't know where it is from) in a pan, toast a bun that never grows old, and spread some sugar with a bit of tomato in it. I do not want to eat that, do you?

This is the first in a series about food and meal planning that I will be doing on this blog. I plan to share recipes and the menus I have been creating weekly with you so you might have a little spring board to begin your own meal planning. 

Be creative. Try new things. And don't be afraid to get burned.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Marvelous Mondays | o n e

Cheers! It's Monday! 

Drinking: Homemade iced coffee and LOTS of water.

Thinking: about grace, the puritans, the confederate flag, and baby naps..also, what's for dinner.

This morning I: weeded my overgrown herb garden! 

To do: laundry, dishes, and baby kisses.

Reading: Mere Christianity & French Women for All Seasons

Wearing: blue stripes and my morning hair.

I try not to give into the idea that Monday is the hardest day of the week. If we prepare a nice breakfast, usually we can get through the morning quite well. This morning it was homemade quick oat porridge(grind oats in coffee grinder then mix in boiling water) with blueberries(thank you Adkins Family Farm!), clover honey, and hemp seeds. And coffee of course. Then we tromped out into the yard while the rising sun was still sitting behind the trees. E & C played on a blanket while I tackled my herb garden that had been covered by a wrath of weeds. The meticulous weed pulling helped calm my frazzled sleep deprived mind. I kept telling myself that everything is a season. No sleep? It's just a season. These weeds? Just a season. Family struggles? Just a season. I believe that is how God makes things more bearable. And the things we want to continue forever and ever? Like strawberries and tomatoes and love? Well, we need to preserve those things. We need to take care as the season is passing to maintain the goodness that is given to us. We do this so when we find ourselves in the midst of struggle, we have a 'jar' of love or grace on the shelf. We are able to open the jar and use the contents in moment that feels like a dead season to us. Sometimes the fruit we reap from the hard seasons is the most voluptuous crop. Don't let that fruit go to waste.

Anyway, modays. We are going to make it through the week. 
Can I get an amen?

Thursday, June 11, 2015


I have removed my recent post on cliques to be released on a later date.
Thank you all for your loving response.
I hope that many friendships will bud in a healthy way for all of us.
Much love...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Every morning morning Claire has her morning nursing session. Then we make Nathan his lunch, give him kisses, and send him on his way to work. My baby and I enjoy slow breakfasts of sourdough toast and yogurt with peaches or sometimes we have oatmeal or eggs. One thing never changes though. Every morning after our sweet breakfast, Claire brings me my shoes and begs me to put them on. This is her signal that she wants to go outside. So we get dressed as fast as we can to beat the burning sun, slip on some shoes, and head out the door. Claire will not have it any other way. We MUST go outside. I am glad she is such a persistent little dear, because I would just like to sit on the couch with my ever growing belly. Sometimes I do not want to go walking, but she always seems to win with her darling eyes.

This morning I am glad we made it out of the house.

I pushed the stroller down our quiet neighborhood street. I was watching her little feet wiggle and kick, and I began to think about all the jobs I've had. I thought about the one I had to get up at the crack of dawn and clean toilets and mow parks. Some I had to stay up late into the night and put away free weights and vacuum floors. Others I had to get up before sunrise and make breakfast/lunch/dinner for 60+ people. All of these jobs had been hard. An overwhelming rush of thankfulness pushed through my being. Being a mother has been my dream. For me, it truly has been a dream come true. I am so thankful to be able to be with my baby during the day. I am thankful we can go on adventures together. I am thankful that her daddy and I get to teach her about life. Being a mother is so much more than an occupation. Some say I must work so hard, but in reality, the burden is light because there is so much love in the equation. I cannot but help love my daughter more and more.

If you feel stuck in life, and unhappy, know that this too shall pass. Life moves at the most brisk pace. It may feel slow to you, but things are moving on all sides of you. We just may not see quite how things are coming together. Have patience and move forward.

The Master's hand is working on His art.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy Anniversary Love Dove.

It has been a very good two years.
You are always on my mind.


*photo of us about one week after we were married.

Mama bear courage.

Hello there! It's been a while since I gave an update on our little family. Thought you might want to hear how we all are!

This summer has been a joy for us. We are completely busy, but that is alright. Busyness helps me appreciate the still & calm moments. Most of you probably already know this, but we are expecting baby #2. Due in January and kickin' like crazy.  Am I nervous? Yes. Excited? YES! Nathan is very excited for this new little life. Claire? I don't think she has a clue about what's coming. I know she is going to make the most darling big sister though! So this summer has been FULL of midwife visits and pediatrician visits and all the other things that come to you when you start having children.

Claire is such a dear. She has been walking for a couple of weeks now, and it is an adventure! We can barely believe that she just wanders around our house all day on her own two feet! My baby is no longer a babe. She is growing up. I shed quite a few tears because of this, but then I was finished and no more tears thus far. I am very excited for her. I know that she is so proud of herself. You can see it on her face when we walk around the garden looking for strawberries and tomatoes. She is a wonder. I am so thankful that she is mine.

All this new progress for Claire has brought me to grow as a mother as well. You get so comfortable with your child being one way, and then all of the sudden they are on their way to new and better things. I still remember watching her as a newborn just laying on our bed in the afternoon light playing with her little hands. Then there are more moments..and more..and they just don't stop. Being a mother is easy and challenging. It is easy because you look at your child one time and then you want to give them the world. It is challenging because you are continually growing in your mothering. You make new feats every single day.

Today was one of those days. I have been suffering from pregnancy insomnia over the past few weeks. Never in my life have I had trouble sleeping at night, so this is quite a new thing for me. I am tired during the days because of it. Bless my husband for buying me a mattress topper for our anniversary! It has helped me much. Last night I was up a bit though. This morning when I woke I had the horrible, 'today is going to be bad because you are so tired!' mantra going through my head. I had to go grocery shopping. Now, grocery shopping with just Claire and I, is the most intimidating thing in world for me. She is in a stage of being an explosive wild cannon when we are in the middle of a store. Sometimes she stays in the cart, sometimes she wants out, sometimes she cries because you won't let her play with the desks in office max. You get the picture. I said a quiet prayer, and I decided before I stepped out of bed that we would go shopping together. I threw all caution to the wind and made us some oatmeal with plums, then we threw on some clothes and buckled our shoes and we were out the door. Sometimes if I think about it too much, I will stop myself from doing something just because I don't want to deal with a crying toddler. Today was about growth though, and how will we learn to deal if we never face our fears?

The peach was on her best behavior the entire time. I was stunned as we made our way through costco. She sat up front as my co-pilot most of the time, sucking on her fingers and cuddling her silky, pointing when she saw the ginormous teddy bears. Then she graduated to the main part of the cart when she saw we were getting bananas. She spent the rest of the time snacking on bananas and pieces of bread. We completed our entire route without a tear shed from either mama or baby.

Mamas have courage. A lot of it.

We even made it home in time for a nap.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blackberry bush.

The heart. We think we understand it. We have quite a handle on it scientifically. We can fix a heart, or try to. We can pump blood into it and keep it alive if we need to. We cannot fathom the depths of it though. This week has been really challenging for my heart. There have been prickly little blackberry thorns stinging me in certain places that I have not traveled. Overgrown and wild these blackberries have slowed my steps, and I've had to step back and think, 'how shall I prune these crazy things?'. 

Nathan has been working so hard lately. He has a project at work that is due this week, and we can all feel the tension and anticipation. I admit, I have been a needy wife. Why is it whenever someone needs you to be patient and kind, it seems to be during a very hard week? My patience has quit several times, and I regret each one. After having a particularly hard day yesterday, Claire took her first steps before bed. It was special and surreal and fast. My baby can walk on her own now. Her daddy then took her and brushed her teeth, changed her diaper and then got her to fall asleep like a dream. No tears. Just a gentle rock from her dad and she was out like a light. I went to bed feeling rather sad and depressed because my baby is growing up. She didn't even need her mommy cuddles to fall asleep. I am so proud of my little darling, but it is hard for me to move through these special moments so quickly. A year goes by ridiculously fast. I fell into tears feeling badly for the way I had conducted myself, and then to receive such a gift as my daughter's first steps? It was overwhelming. My husband accepted my tea and sympathy, and we drifted off. Not before I could sneak into baby's room to steal one last look at her though.

I am grateful to be a wife.a mother.a daughter.a sister. 

It is all a gift. 
Cherish it.

With my heart. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014


We arrived home from a weekend long camping trip this afternoon. It was nice to be in the midst of nature for a change. We went with a group of dear friends to a small campground on the Oregon coast. It was terribly cold, and I had under packed because I was expecting some 80 degree weather. With a trip to fred meyer our problem was solved. I spent the weekend walking around in long underwear and my husband's jacket. Nathan was such a mountain man the whole time. Playing with knives and chopping wood, I enjoyed watching him flow with nature so gracefully. Claire was a darling on her first camping trip. She slept through the night and played in the dirt. She loved the little creek that was next to our campsite. My little baby loves nature so much. Watching her observe how the trees sway in the wind or how the ocean rolls in is such a gift. She helps me to slow down and appreciate the quiet moments. Our little trip has refreshed my soul. I am so tired, but it was all worth it. I cherish these times that I get to spend with my little family. Each new adventure is just as special as the one previous. 

Above is a picture of my husband whittling as we were getting ready to leave for home. This is one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

happy birthday to my husband.

dearest love and sweetest peace
the support the bricks and foundation of
a friendship a father a lover of love
the brain the bronze the silver and gold
your life is a pretty story being told
to those who watch who wait who listen
this new year of life will be a math equation

my best friend
you have the answer inside of you
you discovered it a long time ago while you were

but twenty-three has dawned its lovely face
and the sidewalk is left with only a trace
of last years days and deviled eggs
and you were only a boy some time ago
but  all young men grow up to be old

embrace the ebb embrace the flow
i will be holding your hand as we go.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

for my daughter.

+this gorgeous print is done by Cy Twombly

For a moment I sit in silence
thinking thoughtful thinkful thoughts
embracing charming swoonful dreams
and all the things that I want to be when I grow up.

You have my eyes
your fathers lips
and the perseverance of a lady bug 
looking for the color green

For a moment I think of you
about what you might be dreaming
if you have flowers or fairies 
invading your mind.

Maybe you have dancing butterflies
or eagles wings
silver spoons or budding spring
whatever it may be 

you will always be a princess to me.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We love.

1. Learning to take photos.
2. Playing with blocks her great-grandfather made her.
3. Always a ballerina.
4. Our new favorite book. 'Rain Makes Applesauce'.
5. A valentine from mine. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

a new home.

This hiatus has gone on long enough.
The long pause has concurred with our moving into a new house. It is divine. The kitchen is three times the size of my old one, baby has her own room, and we have a studio space in the back of the house so we can work on music, art, sewing, and computer science. It was hard and tiring moving everything, but I have since forgotten the pain of it all. Also, we have a yard with a fire pit. We can't wait to throw some magical parties. Our landlords are some of the most lovely people I have ever met. They are part of the family of God, and Nathan and I have already learned so much about love and friendship from them.

Right now:
Baby sleeps

I am cooking:
Spaghetti squash


Inspired by:
This : love her minimalistic style and how she effortlessly displays the beauty of nature & this : such a tangible explanation of homesteading.

Listening to:
The hum of my refrigerator.

Much love.
I will be back soon.