Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HILLSBOROUGH LADIES TRIP - PART 1 (BREAKFAST & LUNCH)



I finally got to start going through my photos from this past weekend and here are the first set! Since all the food we had was so amazing, I thought I would divide up the content according to meals: this one contains our breakfasts and lunch. There were eight of us (nine including Beth, Laura's mother and gracious host of the weekend) and we were paired up to prepare our meals for the group. Laura and I did dinner Friday night, Marla and Megan did breakfast Saturday morning, Greta and Marla were Saturday lunch, and Mignon and Martha did Saturday dinner. Sunday morning, it was a smorgasbord of leftovers, which is my favorite way to eat breakfast.

This past month has been so busy that it felt like this weekend (which we had been anticipating all year) was suddenly upon us with no warning, and it felt like we haphazardly arrived there in a whirlwind, but as soon as we were there I felt this sense of calm descend upon me. This trip was unique in that we left our kids at home with the dads (except little Juni who is still a nursing baby) so that was 15 kids between us who were not there. Besides Laura's parents beautiful home, I think the first thing I noticed was the quiet, and the second thing I noticed was the amount of time we had. We didn't rush meals or conversations, which we luxuriated in, and I even had time to read! It was glorious. 

So this here is a bunch of photos from our time around breakfast and lunch time... a bunch of really fabulous ladies, eating good food, getting to finish our sentences and conversations, and just enjoy being around each other.





































Monday, August 21, 2017

SALAD DRESSING




I went away this weekend with some girlfriends down to Hillsborough, NC to stay at my friend Laura's parents new place and it was so nice and relaxing. We got to spend time with each other, eat amazing food that we took turns cooking for each other, and I even got to read uninterrupted (all the dads stayed back with the kids at home, and ended up all hanging out with each other)!  I will post some photos from the trip soon.

As relaxing as it was, for some reason I'm exhausted this Monday morning, and my eyes have been half-open all morning because I can't seem to muster opening them up all the way. I'm moving slowly,  thinking about how sweet it was to see the girls and Ken when I got back, listening to the new 'This American Life' episode (it's really good), and randomly craving pad thai. 

These days my favorite thing in the world is doing things slowly. As slowly as possible. Especially the mornings and evenings with the girls. It obviously doesn't happen very much during the weekdays (although I'm working on that...waking up earlier?) but  any time I have a chance to do that on the weekends, I'm reveling in it. And even during the weekdays, whenever I'm with the girls, I pretend someone has pushed a slow motion button and move accordingly. This means I can better take full stock of the moment and I am happy to simply look at the girls or listen to them. 




These photos are from last week when I needed a photo to go with my podcast episode where I share my faith story (out as of yesterday!) and I asked Sloane to take my photo.  We then took turns taking photos of each other...it was fun.











Doesn't she look gloriously five! 


The real reason for this post is so that I could share my favorite salad dressing to make at home. My friend Martha sent me this recipe and I've been obsessed with it. I make it in double or triple batches (or that time before our Ohio trip I made a quadruple batch of it and took it with us so that we could eat salad to our hearts delight at our Airbnb). It's delicious, the girls like it and it has resulted in us eating a whole lot of salad. Our oven is broken and we miss it, but not too much because we've pretty much been living on salads during the week and we are still loving it. 







Recipe for the salad dressing:

Blend together: 2 garlic cloves + 1 shallot + 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard + 1 cup of olive oil + 1/2 cup of ACV + 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar + 2 tablespoon of maple syrup + pinch of salt

Enjoy!



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LIFE THESE DAYS




My favorite thing these days is to watch the girls play together. They are at this really sweet spot where they are discovering how to play with one another. Sloane is generous with her things and eager to help Lola do simple things and make her laugh. Lola wants to do most everything Sloane does and is so happy to be included and tries to make Sloane laugh too. They still have moments, especially when they are cranky, when they will argue over toys or poke each other, but for the vast majority they are developing this really amazing friendship and it is such a joy to watch them really enjoy each other. 

Sunday night was one of those moments where, after a few nights of rough bedtimes, it was the sweetest of evenings. This evening felt especially special because I was in the moment and was in absolutely no rush (this is key!) but afterwards immediately wrote it down:

The girls played with bubbles in the bath tub for a good 45 minutes, just delighting in the bubbles and each other and occasionally tickling my toes that were hanging over the tub, and asking me to pet them when they turned into a cat (Lola) and a cheetah (Sloane). After their baths I had promised them cucumbers, so they got into their pajamas (Lola "all by myself") and then clambered up onto the dining table. Sloane was working on some thank you cards and Lola wanted to join in so they sat there, side by side, munching on cucumbers and peeking over at each other's work and giggling. They also got some carrots and milk (because they asked so nicely) and then as they finished up, Sloane went and got her bear mask. It usually scares Lola, but this time Sloane brought it out and kept saying, "it's just me lola it's just me! Don't be scared I'm a nice bear." And Lola relaxed and petted the bear and she even let Sloane put the bear mask on her ("Lola, don't worry, it will only be dark for a quick moment") and then Lola was crawling around as a bear, meowing, and Sloane was squealing with glee ("mom she's not afraid anymore!" ) As they were playing, Sloane would burst into a fit of giggles and roll around on the floor squealing, "She's just so cute! Why is she so cute?!" Talking about Lola of course. Yes, my five year old was overwhelmed by the cuteness of her two year old sister. After they brushed their teeth, and I read them a book, Lola climbed into bed with Sloane so that Sloane could read her some more books in bed together. We recently took the bars off Lola's crib and pushed Sloane's bed right up against Lola's, so that their beds are next to each other.  The first few nights Lola kept getting out of bed - she was gleeful about her freedom - but after a few days, she is getting used to the idea and it helps that her older sister reads to her, soothes her, hands her water when she needs and shows her how to go to bed. It's a new era! 



The first photo and a few of these photos here are from a Sunday afternoon when we drove over to a vineyard about an hour away near Charlottesville to have a picnic. There was plenty of wine and there was plenty of space for the kids to roam free. It was such a beautiful day; one of those days that makes me pledge allegiance to summer all over again.







My parents sent me this photo from the airport on the way back to their airport. I miss them.


I love smoothie bowls with all my heart, and I keep wanting to back to North End Juice Company to get some more. They also have coffee, green juice, tasty empanadas, and avocado toast! This past time I went they even had free basil to give away.





I love exploring with these girls and taking them with me everywhere. It's harder at times, but so much more fun. 



Our friends stopped by on their way through Richmond and that meant Sloane and Lola got to play with their friend, Faye! These three are so cute together.



We went to go see the Potterfield Memorial Bridge. It was a warm and breezy day. It felt good to be near the water.




There was a King of Pops cart on the way to the bridge, so the girls all got a peach popsicle...which was SO good. There was none left, and none of it got dropped!


Sloane even shared the last of her popsicle with Lola. 



There is this very sweet 3 year old we know who had a birthday this past weekend. Isaac is passionate about John Denver, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and singing and playing on stage. All he wanted was for all his friends to wear overalls and attend a performance by Isaac and the Sippy's. You guys. This was the cutest thing ever. I loved seeing that little boy in his element!


And here we all are, in our overalls. Well, technically, Ken and I are in Mignon's overalls. That is one of the benefits of living with an overall aficionado! 


More evidence of Yesterday Sloane fed Lola every last bite of her salad, and Lola let her.  The night before Sloane helped Lola brush her teeth and Lola was so happy about it.


They are the best.