Thursday, May 28, 2015


Popsicles! Sloane had her first Popsicle from King of Pops the other day and the precision and joy with which she polished it off was truly impressive. I love knowing that King of Pops Popsicles is made with the good stuff and with that same kind of motivation I decided to start whipping up batches of Popsicles at home so I know exactly what goes in them. I started with what I think is probably the easiest version - yogurt fruit Popsicles! All you do is mix some vanilla yogurt with chunks of fruit and pour it into the mold. I like that these could also double as a breakfast bar because of the yogurt ;) 

The ones pictured here was our first batch and I didn't mix the fruit and yogurt together which is why they look layered, but I think mixing it all up is the way to go. 

Sloane loved these!

The next popsicles I want to try are:
-just plain old pureed fruit bars,
honeydew popsicles reminiscent of Melona bars!
- and popsicle versions of the green juice or green smoothies that we make all the time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Sometimes a slow meandering walk through the park on a beautiful day is exactly what you need. 

I had to work this past weekend but on Monday I cleared my schedule and was intentional about going slow. In the afternoon, Ken, Sloane, Rusty and I took a stroll around the lake at Deep Run Park with no other intention except just to walk together - and sometimes that's the best kind of a walk. I took photos with my camera but I also gathered a store of mental images that I keep coming back to: the lushness of the greens, the variety of leaf shapes, the patterns that the shadow of branches and leaves on the ground made in contrast with the bright sunshine, the glitter on the lake water, and Sloane's feet as they walked as fast as possible to keep up with Ken and Rusty.

We passed a bush of the most glorious smelling honeysuckles and here is Ken trying to remember how to suck the honey out of them.  These remind me so much of my childhood!

Sloane loves helping walk Rusty by holding the end of his leash. They walked like this the entire time!

We stopped by a gazebo for a break and to snack on a few cherries.  

Cherries are soooo good right now!

Monday, May 25, 2015


There is going to be another newborn in our lives soon and I'm trying to wrap my mind around it.  I daydream about the fresh newborn scent, the skin like petals, the weight in my arms, the teeny tiny everythings.  I think about what it was like when we first brought Sloane home, and I've been looking through pictures and old blog posts during that time to remember.  

I've also been thinking about being a mother: what it has meant for me to be a mother these past few years and what it might mean for the coming years. 

Mothering is such an all consuming, boundary pushing, crazy joyful, and also a really difficult thing....all of which is a giant privilege. I'm constantly pinching myself about how lucky I am to have the chance to be a mom, especially to someone like Sloane.  I still look around occasionally, thinking, "Who, me?" 

At the same time, it isn't all that I am. It's important to me that it not take over my other identities. Some of my other goals may be put on hold or shuffled around a bit, but I'm resolved to grow those other parts of myself that I have been cultivating all my life. Which brings me to the question of whether women can 'have it all'. There's been many responses to this quandary, one of them being 'Yes you can, but just not at once' or more recently, a pushback against the expectation of it all in the first place, i.e. Do men ever ask themselves the question of whether or not they can have it all? 

I do want it all. I love getting the most out of life.  That's how my faith has shaped me. I live in pursuit and I live in the moment because that's how my family shaped me. 

But how that fits into my role as a mother - I'm still figuring it out. And it probably will be an entire life time of figuring it out. I've been surprised at how much I've been able to still do - things haven't changed all too much, in fact, it's only made it richer.  But the predicament seems to come back to what it may mean for pursuing a "career".  I do want a career, whatever that my look like. I want interesting work and I want to love my work.  I'm still trying to get there, but in the meanwhile, my fantasies mostly have to do with the flexibility of a job more than what I'll actually be doing. That flexibility has become vastly more important now that I'm a mom.  I'm totally open to the fact that my 'work' might look like a variety of things over the next few years - full-time, part-time, or other changes. 

As a working mom, there is a lot on my plate. Not just because of the working part or the mom part, but because of the cooking part, the house cleaning and managing part, the administrative parts, the relationship part, the self-care part and the parts where I am trying to figure out how to be doing a job I love. On bad days (and a lot of these days are in the dark cold days of winter), I'm overwhelmed. On good days I think, wow I am stuffed to the brink with treasures.

It helps, when I question about whether I'm doing things right, to think about all the other mothers who do the day in and day out: my friends in their various situations, my own amazing mother, my wonderful mother-in-law. I am in the company of some brilliant women and I only have to look around me when I am in want of inspiration and encouragement.  Wisdom from all sides tells me that it's a challenge but it's a kind of challenge that transforms....and redeems.  My little one reminds me that it's the most precious of times, especially when she holds me close in her bed and we whisper stories to each other. 

My first year as a mother, I learned a lot about balancing. My second year as a mother I learned about prioritizing. This third year's lesson seems to be about having the wisdom to take care of the things in my life that I love. I'm coming up to my fourth year now, and it will be as a parent of two. There are things I'm apprehensive about, but I feel heartened by these reminders. Plus, I'm always up for an adventure.  

So far, it's been incredible. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


....or I should say, what I'm listening to. I downloaded an audiobook app the other week and decided to take advantage of all the free audiobooks that are available on that app.  I had never read Edith Wharton before (she is the first woman who won the Pulitzer Prize (1921)) and there was a plethora of her work so I figured it was a good place to start as any. I dived into 'The Age of Innocence' and I got totally hooked! Over the past week, I made my way through 'The Age of Innocence', 'The House of Mirth', 'The Touchstone', and 'Ethan Frome'. My favorite of these was definitely 'The Age of Innocence' and my least favorite was 'The Touchstone'.

The density of words in her novels are delicious because she weaves them together so well and uses them so artfully that it's a constant pleasure to approach each sentence. She draws a rich and vivid world with her words so that I can not only see it in my minds eye but I can feel what it must have been like to be there (I loved fantasizing about New York City in the early 1900s), and it's fascinating to discover the effect of the environment on her characters and their choices. She's funny, too, and in a sharp wit sort of way, and this combination of smart and funny is what kept me engrossed.

I'm eyeballing some more classics by female authors to move on to and I'm deciding between Willa Cather and George Eliot; either way, it should be epic!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Sloane loves hearing and recently, telling, stories. Here is her rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk, one of the stories that Ken has been telling her at bedtime. It is so much fun listening to Ken tell his version of a story and then to hear Sloane's version of his version.  She also has been making up stories of her own and sometimes they make sense and sometimes they are completely nonsensical - here you can see how she transitions from Jack and the Beanstalk to getting silly about words and plot lines that she is making up as she goes. 

You guys, having a little tot tell you stories - it's the best thing.

Monday, May 18, 2015



Guess what? We went strawberry picking again and my fruit picking obsession was duly rewarded- Mt. Olympus Berry Farm had rows and rows of huge, plump, and delicious strawberries last weekend ready for the picking and we picked and ate to our heart's content, evidenced by stained hands and clothes bloodied by ripe strawberries. Our friends the Agabas joined us for the morning romp and the babes were a sweaty sticky mess by the time we left, with just the right amount of exhaustion for a long afternoon nap.

The weekdays are going by slow for me these days, did I mention? And my body always seems to be begging for a midday nap around 2pm, which doesn't happen because I'm sitting at a computer at work, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day (even with all the extra sunlight; but thank goodness for that at least). But there was something so soothing about heading out to a farm that Saturday morning, and loitering about the barn and field next to the lake there, letting the sun stream into every crevice of my body, and getting lost in the physical labor of eyeing and plucking ripe strawberries, which made the work week feel eons away and relaxed me down to a quiet that is so necessary for taking pleasure in the simple things.

Friday, May 15, 2015


This past month, overall, I have felt great. I really look forward to my workouts, probably because I'm addicted to the endorphins, and I'm eating well. Besides a few things, like spilling boiling water on my belly (!!), having to go to the bathroom so much more (no thanks to all the watermelon I've been eating), and pelvis aches and pains (baby is growing!), I feel grateful for this body doing it's thing like it's supposed to. 

This past week though, I haven't gotten as much sleep and that puts me under in a bad way, I end up fighting sleepiness all day and by the end of the work day it feels as though I've run my face into the wall several times. Must.sleep.more.

Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, the things I crave the most these days are watermelon (We've already bought three this week) and coffee. And what I want is really good coffee and really good watermelon. Since I'm laying low on the caffeine I've resorted to decaf, which isn't the same but as long as it's good decaf, I feel satiated.

Sloane has now felt the baby move several times by putting her hand on my belly and it makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world to be sitting there with my little daughter's hand on my belly, feeling her baby sister kicking and moving around, and watching her face light up and her eyes get big. "Mom, I want baby sister to come out now!" she'll often say. 

I'm brainstorming ways that I can incorporate all of Sloane's big sister tendencies into life with a newborn. She has all the characteristics and inclinations of being a wonderful older sister and I can't wait to have them meet each other, but we are also trying to be sensitive and aware to how much change it will bring to Sloane's world to have a new sister. We've been talking to her about what life might be like, what she is to expect and ways in which she can help out - which she is very eager to do. 

Just yesterday I started trying to imagine and remember what it was like to breastfeed and pump around the clock, and what it was like trying to go to the bathroom those few weeks after giving birth, and I realized I may not be as mentally prepared for that shift back to the newborn stage as I think I am. It's a total surrender of faculties and especially now that I have a toddler, I suspect it will feel even more like a surrender and sacrifice than the first time. I am of two minds - one of assuredness that I am more experienced now and know what to expect, but then the other of anxiety about how to adjust to life with a newborn and toddler and suspense about how things may be different this time around. 

Time seems to be moving excruciatingly slow all of a sudden and I suppose that speaks to how eager I am to meet this baby, but maybe it's also exactly what I need to get my mind and soul ready for this change. In the time I have left, I've decided I will try not to hurry time along but that I will enjoy these last two months as a family of three, reminisce and re-read old journal entries from when Sloane was first born, get out Sloane's newborn outfits, do some organizing, and take a deeeeeep breath.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Here are a few lovely things I'm eyeballing as I think about summer and life after the baby:

1. I've been wanting to get an Aeorpress for a while but put it off once I got pregnant. Now that I'm looking at several months of sleepless nights once the baby comes, this is looking more appealing than ever.
2. This book is next my list.
3. We're probably not going to make it to the beach many times this summer, if it all, so this sea melon candle might have to do.

4. I'm on the look out for dresses that are loose and have buttons at the top (for post-baby and nursing purposes) and this one not only fits the bill but is pretty to boot.
5. Am I a little bit obsessed with lipstick? Maybe... But this peach passion color from YSL seems perfect for summer.
6. Sakura baby sling! It's pricey but it's made from Belgian linen and becomes stronger and softer over time.

7. Kabuki brush for perfect bronzer application.
8. Botanivore gin. Self-explanatory.
9. I pretty much love everything he does so it's about time I get Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I slept hard as a rock last night and by that I mean that I might as well have been a rock for how deeply I was in slumber and for how I felt when I woke up. Rocks don't sleep but I imagine they'd be pretty hard (heh) to wake up if they did. 

Oh the cruelty that is Monday morning! 

Whenever we go down to Virginia Beach, which has recently been almost once a month, Sloane gets really excited, "I so excited!" she will say.  We spent Mother's Day weekend with Ken's family this past weekend and I felt all sorts of lucky - for the way I feel supported as a mother by Ken's family, for the mothering that I get from my MIL, and for how much Sloane loves her relatives and how much they love her back.

You guys, the fruit picking seasons is upon us and I am revving up my engines. Strawberry picking is up first, and then we have cherries and peach (neither of which I have picked before), and maybe some blueberries (although last year's experience wasn't the greatest), grapes, and then bringing up the rear in the fall is apples, probably my favorite. All of it makes me happy. 

Sloane, fellow fruit lover, is likewise enthused. We went out to a farm to find us some strawberries on Saturday and although the field had been pretty much picked through by the time we got there, we put in a good hour of work and got what we came for. I shouldn't have been surprised but Sloane took to it right away - the strawberries were easily accessible and once she was informed that only the reddest of berries should be plucked, you should have seen her go. She was a natural, plucking away and plopping them in her bucket with great satisfaction. She didn't try to each all of them like last year, but would work for a while before squatting next to her bucket and asking, "maybe we eat some now?"