Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Apparently, being married for seven years means that in one day your husband can make fun of how much you wear this one particular bra, and also tell you you're beautiful, and also accuse your of misplacing your daughter's immunization records for school, and also laugh hard with you about something silly that day. It's a marvel! The grooves that we have traveled in this relationship: the arguments, the intimacy, the distance, the bond, the isolation, the mending, the forgiveness, the safety, the trust, the look, the magnetism, the instincts, the frustration, the surprise, the forgetfulness, the remembering, the celebrating, the communion, the giddiness, the partnership, the work, the joy, the annoyance, the knowing, the being known.  I knew, but didn't really know what I was getting into with marriage, especially marriage with Ken, but here I am after seven years and I'm surprised by how VIVID everything is.  There are plenty of middle ground trudging to do, but the highs are still high - maybe even higher - and the lows aren't so dark.  It's still funny to me how I can be so annoyed by my husband one moment and then somehow feel like I am madly in love with him the next. That's sort of the magic of it, yes? The excavation process of understanding my limits and faults while encountering another person doing the same thing, and extending enough grace to each other to do it together. That sort of thing makes me so happy to know him now and to have known what he was like all those years ago. I like that I still feel excited to see him every day and miss him when it's been a long day. I like how it feels like magnets coming together when we reconnect at the end of a day, and how we know how to apologize quickly and sincerely after a fight.

This past weekend, we took a night for ourselves (thanks to my MIL) to wander around restaurants and stores in Virginia Beach, eating, talking, drinking, window shopping and talking some more. We talked about what our last year looked like, and what we hoped our upcoming year would be. We realized we had worked well as partners last year, and reflected on how we had each individually grown as people. We talked about finances, about being strategic with our time and resources, about miscommunications, and held hands a lot. It was really nice.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Here are the last of the photos from our ladies weekend away! On Saturday, in the late afternoon, we left the house to spend time outdoors among the trees and the water at this great river spot in Eno River State Park. We trekked, we lounged, we lingered and talked about whatever we wanted without agenda or hurry. I felt soothed by the sweetness of the summer sun and soaked up as much of this quiet place as I could before we had to leave.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Now here we have the 'dinners' portion of our ladies trip! These photos are from Friday and Saturday night evenings, where we took our time with happy hour, munching on appetizers, drinking drinks, lounging about, casually prepping and putting things together. Both nights we started drinking and munching around 7 PM and sat for dinner close to 9 PM. Since we didn't have kids to feed and put to bed, the pace and agenda was very different; it felt so grown up and European of us. 

On Friday, Laura and I were on dinner duty and we started off with ripe tomato, red onion and sardines on baguette slices toasted with olive oil, a romesco sauce (which is a roasted red pepper, roasted tomato, toasted almonds and baguette, garlic, olive oil, paprika and sherry vinegar, all blended together) on baguette, with cheese and grapes. And wine, so much wine. We started dinner with a green salad with nuts and feta, topped with grilled peaches, and the main course was freshly made pesto tossed into Campanelle pasta, topped with roasted summer vegetables. We made salty honey pie for dessert!

On Saturday, we started happy hour with a cocktail made of elderberry green tea & gin, and Martha and Mignon whipped up fabulous dishes from this cookbook, The Farmhouse Cookbook, by Sarah Mayor, which has some beautiful photos and recipes. They made asparagus soup with poached egg, a lovely green salad, roast pork with cherry sauce on top of mashed potatoes, and lemon possets with grilled peaches for dessert.  


And happy about it. This was a great read, by the way. I'll post more about it in my next "What I'm Reading."

These people here are all so special to me. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


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.