Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Some days I rise with the ease of a seasoned mother, greet my sweet baby with enthusiasm, nurse my baby, get myself washed up, make-up on, clothes on, change and dress my baby, go downstairs to feed the baby breakfast, make and feed myself breakfast, pack baby’s milk and lunch, pack my own lunch and belongings, and get out the door before 7:30AM. Today was not such a morning. It was one of those mornings where the baby gets up at 5AM instead of 6AM, and is bright-eyed and chipper as can be, while I felt smothered with exhaustion and was bleary-eyed and half asleep even as I finally stumbled out the door. Tough mornings usually aren’t the majority or the norm, but on days like today, when I finally did get into the office clutching my giant cup of coffee as if it is the only thing that will save me and then got to my desk to find TWENTY DEAD FLIES strewn all over the desk, I was like, IS THIS SOME SICK JOKE? Everyone has rough mornings now and then, I don’t’ describe mine for any other reason than to point out the fact that sometimes it is funny in the way that it is only funny if you are reading it like a story, and can decide for yourself it is a comedy or tragedy. And if you were wondering, I have no idea why my desk was chosen to be the dead fly zone, we think a bunch of them fell dead from the ceiling and just happened to land on my desk.

Flies aside, I keep meaning to post photos of the pies that I have been making but I realized the longer I put it off, the less chance I will do it, so this post has a bunch of photos of pies, you’re welcome.

That up there is a fresh strawberry pie that I have made about three times in the past two weeks. And yes, I would eat most of it myself.  That’s what happens with me and this pie. It is just graham cracker crust, fresh strawberries tossed in a sugar, cornstarch, water, sure-jell mixture that turns into a glaze, topped with whipped cream (i made the filling like the one here). The simplicity of the pie somehow justifies into me sometimes eating the whole thing.

Down there below is my venture into lemon pies during my lemon phase that I ate through last month. I made Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie after listening to this NPR news segment. This pie calls for a really simple saltine cracker crust, which I love for its salty contrast to the tart lemon, and so I used that crust to make a lemon meringue, which was way too edible, even without the meringue topping which never peaked albeit my constant whisking.

atlantic beach pie above, meringue-less lemon meringue below

Making simple fruit pies like these is the kind of simple that I can get my mind around even while navigating the busy of the everyday. It also offers a welcome respite, whether it be in the form of enjoying it with friends over tea and coffee, or eating by myself standing over the pie on the kitchen counter with a fork while waiting for Sloane’s baby food to finish steaming.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Memorial Day means the beginning of summer! and with that, swimsuits:
 i love these Lauren Moffat suits that Madewell has on their website right now. 
Out of my price range, yes, but boy are they lovely. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


These photos are from Mother's Day a few weeks ago. My first one! That was a good weekend. And you see that dress I'm wearing there? Ken bought it for me as a Mother's Day present. He picked it out, all of his own accord, can you believe it?  I love it, and you will probably see me in too many times over the summer.

Some other updates: 

My favorite parts of the day these days: seeing Sloane in the morning, picking her up after work. Second favorite: talking to Ken at the end of the work day. Third favorite: my morning cup of coffee. Fourth favorite: Sinking into bed at night. Fifth favorite: Insanity workout?  Yeah, that’s happening.

Currently listening to: Ben Howard’s Every Kingdom album. 

Currently breakfasting on: Sautéed kale or broccoli with a fried egg. My body loves me for this right now. 

Currently snacking on: Strawberries. We have strawberries coming out of our ears and we all love it, especially Sloane. 

Currently busy with: bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, deck building,

Current website obsession: www.humansofnewyork.com

Currently reading: Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timms.

Currently (re)learning: to be aware, soak in and enjoy the moment. Time is flying by at lightening speed and I'm riding the bolt like a cowgirl. 

Monday, May 20, 2013


We threw my sister a party this past weekend. She is lovely, diligent, talented, compassionate, empathetic, funny, competitive, creative (....and she is getting married this summer!!!) She is a wonderful friend, I love having her as my little sister, and I am so glad I got to celebrate with her. 


congratulations eunice & val! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I keep coming back to this song.

It sounds especially wonderful when heard through headphones. 
The space between the notes and words is almost as significant as the song itself.
It sl-o-wly fills you up.

It makes me feel like I'm flying, it reminds me of a dream, it is the soundtrack to my favorite memories. 
It is both epic and terribly intimate.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


The way I feel about lemons is akin to the way that maybe snout to tail enthusiasts feel about their meat. The versatility, the novelty, the functionality! It has vitamin C, a great smell, and fabulous color. You can squeeze it in some water to flavor it and give you an extra boost, you can add it to homemade cleaner made up of vinegar and baking soda to give your cleanser a fresh scent, you can take used lemons to wipe down your counter tops, you can make candied lemon peels with the peel, you can roast it to top your chicken, you can add it to a salad dressing or just simply squeeze some on sautéed kale or mushrooms, you can add some to tonic water and gin, or use the juices to make a simple syrup, and my recent obsession: you can bake with it.  In the past few weeks, I’ve made two different kinds of lemon cake and two different kinds of lemon pie. I’m a little bit in love.  Another huge pro to this little fruit is that it is inexpensive and it only takes a little to get a big effect.

Enter here:  an idea to make even more things out of lemon, friends, and a day that I shall hereby dub “lemon day”.  We got together for this occasion and proceeded to make lemon marmalade, lemon preserves, a lemon lavender cake using spelt flour, and lemon cocktails. I had never made jam or marmalade before, but thankfully Megan and Elizabeth were already experienced in the arts, so it wasn’t as intimidating of a process and something I shall try again soon. The cocktails were refreshing, the cake was full of texture, the preserves are still preserving, and the marmalade is so good – I eat it almost everyday with some brie on a cracker.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Ken and I both agree that this might be our favorite month with her yet.

There is so much to say about how she is growing right now; she learns something new everyday. I couldn't possibly document it all, as much as I try, but here is some semblance of such an attempt.

Everything is something to be discovered and when she is on the move, she has to observe everything in her path, no crumb is too small.  Right now her job is that of an explorer, and I love observing this adventurous spirit. She crawls, pulls up, climbs..she fits perfectly underneath the dining table. I am giddy with the privilege that I am a witness to something kind of miraculous - to watch this baby learn new things - things that I didn't realize until now were things that I once had to learn. I can see the dawn of realization come over her face as she opens and closes a cabinet door, pushes a chair around, takes a large cup in her hand and look it all over - top, bottom, side, inside, and maybe a lick and a bang to check out the feel and consistency of the thing. Her hands wrap around the roundness of a lime in her hands and she smiles with glee, seemingly overjoyed at being able to wrap her small hands around something so round and concrete. But her favorite thing to observe still seems to be people, and she will get especially still watching other children.

What helps in her explorations is being able to pull herself to standing position in order to reach things, and she does this with great expertise now. She has also taken one or two steps on her own, and she have never so much looked like a tiny person... or a baby t-rex! 

Her need to communicate is getting stronger. When she drops something, sees her puffs, is asked if she wants milk, spots papa, or wants to be picked up, her eyes get wide and she lets out a very insistent, "Doh!", "Mah!, "Bah!" or other such utterance, which is accompanied by an expression that says, I'm sure you must understand what I'm saying

She is also doing more imitation. When I make a sound she will sometimes try to imitate me or follow along. When I clap, she claps. When I raise my arms, she will too. Our favorite party trick right now is that when I say, “Hip Hip…”, she will triumphantly raise both her arms in a “Hurray!” 

She is as patient as ever, especially when shopping, but she is increasingly getting bored of sitting in the exersaucer or car seat too long, and is sure to let us know with cries and yelps. Luckily, this coincides with her fascination with just about anything, so handing her something new - anything new – whisk, Tupperware top, plastic card, sunglasses, a lime etc. will usually keep her occupied for a while. I’ve started to grab random things from the house before we leave the house, just in case I need to hand it to her to keep her busy. 

She is also starting to exhibit will by holding on tight to things when we try to take it away, and by insisting that she picks up her own food off of her plate in order to place it in her mouth herself. I still find myself watching with fascination how she is so adamant about doing this herself.  There's also more whining because she really wants to tell us something! but doesn't have the words yet. 

And I marvel at how she is such her very own person. My tiny baby, who once had the faculties of a potato, is becoming an entire person all of her own. It does not stop blowing my mind and I am trying my very best over here to not take any of it for granted. 

She is my bliss.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I arrived at the front door step of Sloane’s daycare at the same time as another mom who was also picking up her wee one. We gave each other big ‘yay we are about to see our babies’ smiles, and I watched her face as she greeted her baby when Cathy brought him out to her. She was beaming so much it was as if the sun lived inside her head. Her voice went up an octave, her shoulders scrunched inwards and her arms reached out to take him into her. The baby’s face came alive when he saw her coming for him and this filled her up, I could see it. Sloane was next, and when she came around the corner in Cathy’s arms, I felt my heart lift, mind buzz, and body shift towards her, involuntarily mirroring what I had just seen happen next to me.

Growing up, my friend Jackie* had never wanted kids.  I remember when she called me to tell me that she was pregnant, her voice sounded bewildered but happy.  I remember her talking about post-partem depression. I remember her telling me stories of how funny and smart her girls were. I remember her telling me that she would watch how other moms interacted with their children and how she felt like she wasn’t a good mom, that she didn’t even know if she knew how to be a good mom, that she didn’t know if she wanted to be one.  I remember hearing my friend talk to her children and thinking that I was seeing a brilliant side of her that I’ve never seen before. I remember how proud she was of how well the girls were adjusting to the change, how grown up they seemed even at 4 and 5 years old, and how heartbroken she was about not being able to see them.  I remember her wondering about what they would think of her as a mom when they were all grown.

Growing up, my friend Lana* had always wanted kids.  Many years later, she doesn’t have one yet, but she is surrounded by them, gaggles of them, and she mothers them like they are her own. She as a lot of love to give and even without a baby, she has a mother’s heart, and I know she already feels like a mom to the child that she will one day have. 

Claire* is pretty much a mom in her own right because even though her boyfriend’s children have their own mom,    Claire wakes up extra early to take them to school, celebrates birthdays, drives them to activities, takes them on trips, talks them through decisions, worries about them, and has brought them into the folds of who she is, seamlessly.

Bridget* is pregnant and it is her first so she is racked with excitement, worries, fears, joys, and nausea. This is the biggest and greatest thing that she has had to wait for in her entire life, and she thinks about how at the same time her baby is born, she is going to be reborn into a new kind of a person, a mother. 

My mother-in-law can clean a kitchen like no one else’s business; it’s a work of art. She has a giant heart, especially for her children and granddaughter, and she is diligent about taking care of her own mother. She raised two children that turned out to be wonderful and compassionate people, and I attribute a lot of my husband’s good qualities to her mothering. I am grateful to her for that, and I am grateful that she loves me like I am part of her family.
One of the many things that they don’t tell you about being a mom is that when your children grow up and leave to go live their own lives, you have to relearn what it means to be a mom in that new context.  You may also have to find yourself again (yes, it seems we are forever losing and finding ourselves), you may have extra time to reflect on your regrets and hopes, and you are also still trying to best mother your three grown children who live too far away.  My mom is a force to be reckoned with and her openness and authenticity in living out her journey inspires her three daughters.  Just like a mom should, I think.   

Happy Mother’s Day.


Thursday, May 9, 2013


K. is finally coming back tomorrow, and it’s a good thing because we miss him so. Because we miss him and because I have these stray and wonderful nuggets in my phone of the two of them, here we go: