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The Happiness Tag

Thank you so much to Anna of Life Bellissima and Claire of Paintbox Mum! Recently they each tagged me as a blog that makes them happy, in turn that made me so happy! Don’t you just love how that works? So naturally, I had to participate… who doesn’t want to spread some happy?!

The Rules:

-Five things that make you happy

-Five songs that make you happy

-Five bloggers that make you happy

Five things that make me happy:

1. My family. I have a great husband and four beautiful children. Recently I had some painful testing done. I tried to go to my “happy place,” which I found was not a beach; it was the birth of each of my children. They make me so happy!

2. Good food. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, it just has to taste good. Good food  = happy.

3. Holidays. I’m unapologetically into holidays. The decorations, anticipation, gathering, eating and scents. Happiness!

4. Cooking. I think it is important to limit the consumption of processed food and to eat your vitamins through a variety of foods. I think it is fun to connect with people, cultures and history by trying new recipes. I thoroughly enjoy sharing that with my family (especially when they like it). Yay, oh so happy!

5. There are people/things that make me happy, and then there the reason I am deeply content- and truly happy. It’s like the song “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin goes, “There’s a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul, I can say “It is well.”” It is an uncertain time we live in. I am raising children amidst the chaos, but I do have an anchor. Priceless.

Five Songs that make me happy: I am not a dancer, but I will bop around to anything with a good beat. I enjoy French café music and like to play it while entertaining. Island music can instantly take me on a mental vacation. I’m a fan of jazz, big band and bluegrass in general. However, these songs and more like them make me happy.

1. Hosanna by Hillsong: It contains my heart cry.

2. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong: I like to sing it to my babies.

3. Touch the Sky by Hillsong UNITED: Pretty much everything by Hillsong.

4. 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman: Beautiful.

5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole: Everyone has to sing along!

Five Bloggers that make me happy: It’s hard to limit it to 5! So I will share my longest blogging friends, they still make me happy! (Except the first 1 which has 2…)

1. Life Bellissima; Anna and I are so much alike, except she actually has a farm.

And Paintbox Mum; I am always impressed by Claire’s creativity, and love how engaging she is with her children.

2. Lynz Real Cooking; My “big sis” Lynn shares her amazing life stories and has such diverse and extensive knowledge in the kitchen.

3. Chorizo & Thyme; I appreciate Roberta’s kitchen approach, I think we have similar tastes; but even more I appreciate her kindness.

4. The Richmond Avenue; Jasmine is like my big city friend, she inspires me to keep up-to-date.

5. Natascha’s Palace; I think Natascha is fearless, she’ll tackle any recipe.

Have a happy day!

What I Learned During the 21 Day Fix

I took the 21 Day Fix challenge. I fit in my 30 minute workout everyday and I stuck to the meal plan. (With the possible exception of day 20 in which I cannot confirm nor deny that I might have exceeded my “blue” container, a.k.a. healthy fats, in the form of cheese and a possible “unhealthy” white sauce that I did not mean to order on top of my vegetarian style eggs.) Was it fun? I had some creative menu planning moments, but no. Was it easy? There were without doubt better days than others, but no. Was it educational? Absolutely.

Here is a little about what I’ve learned…

  1. I eat too many carbs. Apparently if you have oatmeal for breakfast, you are not supposed to have a wheat pita at lunch if you are going to have rice for dinner. But that’s really the least of my concerns, because I like muffins and pastries. My daily intake of refined sugar (even in the form of organic cane sugar) and all purpose unbleached organic flour is just too high. I’ve got to face the facts.
  2. I don’t eat enough whole grains. Just because I have been buying whole grain organic bread for over a decade doesn’t mean I’m really eating whole grains. I have pasta, pita chip, cereal, cracker and tortilla opportunities just to name a few. Alas, what’s a girl to do?
  3. My portions are out of proportion. So this one is not a shocker. Yes, I have a tendency to get carried away at a breakfast buffet, but that’s not what I’m talking about. There is too much of a good thing, meaning you can even overdo it with healthy meals. For example, some salad dressings are caloric nightmares. It’s a work in progress.
  4. I don’t exercise enough. I can honestly say I feel like I’m on my feet all day. I do dishes, laundry, chase my one year old, make snacks and meals- clean them up, make beds… the list goes on. But getting your heart rate up and sweating for just 20-30 minutes is a different beast. Granted, I am not naturally prone to loving that, but I think know I need more of it.
  5. I need to drink more water. I don’t drink half of my body weight in ounces on a regular basis. (Because you are probably good at math, I won’t tell you what that is; let’s just say it’s over the standard 64 oz.) There are days I can reach that goal, but I really need to push myself. Thankfully this program has no restrictions on coffee, tea (unsweetened and without cream of course), and flavor infused waters- even carbonated. I’m actually fortunate that way, I am completely satisfied with just those options. If I could only drink more water…
  6. My attitude could use an adjustment. I was doing this to better myself, reset my habits so to speak. I started off with excitement and optimism. I made fun and healthy, (and delicious) snacks. I made some separate food for myself, but to be realistic I’d have to create dinners my family would eat also; which I really enjoyed. Knowing I was doing good for them too was heartwarming. I made it through my birthday, Mother’s Day, my brother-in-laws birthday, a weekend getaway- streaming my workouts mind you, a church pizza party… Yet, somewhere along the way I fell out of love. Around day 15-17, I got pretty grumpy. I started having thoughts like “A little pita with this hummus would be nice. I can’t help it if the restaurant doesn’t serve whole grain…” and “If I wanted to workout on vacation in ‘real life’, I would go to the hotel fitness facility, instead of exercising in the dark while my children are sleeping.” It turned into more of fulfilling my commitment than bliss.
  7. I am going to apply more of these principles into my life. I definitely need to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables in my diet. I’ll be honest, if I eat oatmeal for breakfast and a wheat pita for lunch, I’m not going to worry about having a little rice for dinner- but I need to pay attention. I can’t have a daily intake of waffles for breakfast, french fries with lunch and pasta at dinnertime followed by dessert- on a regular basis without knowing it’s going to have an effect. The program suggests the 90/10 rule; if you follow the guidelines 90% of the time you can treat yourself 10% of the time. And I think until I reach my goals I’m going to try hard to follow that.
  8. It works. The results are in the “chia” pudding. I’ve lost over 5 pounds. (Not the most dramatic results in weight, but it’s only been 21 days.) However, in three weeks I have lost over 3 inches in my stomach, and over 2 inches in my waist. That’s amazing! I think some mom’s like myself (and certainly women who are not and men too) start to think “this is just my body type now.” The truth is we CAN do something about it.

I still have some work to do to achieve my goals, but this was a great platform and eye-opener. The knowledge that it can happen is encouraging. I can do this! (And I am really looking forward to this week “off”… I earned it!)

Loving Lately 🎂

Loving Lately: My Birthday!

I am so blessed. I really am. I have such a loving group of family and friends. I have a great husband and four beautiful children. I don’t normally like to get gushy. (Must be softening up as I age.) Something happens to birthdays as you get older. When I was a child it was all about the party, people coming over, presents, cake and ice cream. It’s different now. Now it seems like a time of reflection. Where am I at in life, how far we have come and gratefullness that there is so much to be thankful for. The number 39 seems non-monumental, but thirty-nine years of life, a good life- not unchallenged, not always easy, but good and full of love, that’s special. I think my day was a pretty fair representation of my life.
I woke up to a gift bag full of presents, literally before my feet hit the floor. Owen was leaving for work and wanted to see me open a gift. He surprised me with some new workout clothes, complete with socks and sweatbands- appropriate for my new lifestyle. And he had wrapped a new cookbook and a couple of new kitchen apparatuses that were on the table when I went downstairs. He knows me so well! Isaiah had “Morning with Mom” at his school, so I got to start the day off right and have breakfast with my eldest son. Sometimes it rains, and so it was on the morning of my birthday. It was raining and slippery, so when I walked through the door I slipped and fell. But I’d like to pretend that didn’t happen, because those kind of embarrassing accidents shouldn’t happen on one’s birthday. Right? Onward! Of course I’m on this strict diet so I skipped the donut and stuck to the fruit. Life is full of those difficult choices… and occasional embarrassing moments. We take the ups with the downs… and keeping a sense of humor really helps.


My parents came over to watch the kids so I could go to breakfast. And they visited with me all day. They gifted me some fun decorative accessories to finish off my newly decorated bathroom (towels, soap dispenser, garbage can, etc. to match my well-loved French goose) and a new shirt. Yay! My sister came over in the afternoon joined me for my workout. My parents brought lunch; turkey and cauliflower stuffed cabbage rolls. My mom volunteered to give me a hand and give the kids a bath. I sat down and decided to commandeer the television, a rare treat but after all it was my special day. We watched a cute old Doris Day film and “To Catch a Thief”. Hey, sometimes life hands you those privileges. Take ’em! At some point throughout the moviethon, however, my baby woke up from his nap in real discomfort. He was cramping and scrunching, moaning and crying. I thought it was gas, until he threw up (a peculiarly large amount of lunch, goat milk and bile) all over me. You know, when life hands you sour, um, “lemons”… thankfully I had babysitters on hand and could dash into the shower right away; I try to keep my eye on the silver lining. (Trying to be a little bit Pollyanna never hurt anyone did it?)


Nevertheless, the best metaphor for my life was yet to be. Because at the end of the day I was surrounded by my family and friends. I had hot food and cold drinks (water of course, I’m dieting). Simply everything I want and need (with the exception a few people not there). I was surprised by thoughtful and beautiful gifts, including a baguette making class from a local bakery, a rustic rotating “fromage” (cheese) board, and a “21 Day Fix” approved dessert, that sufficed as my birthday cake- made by my sister- from which I might add all of my friends and family indulged because that’s the kind of awesome they are! (Imagine a sliver of a Clif Bar.) Thanks to everyone who make my day, days, years, life- great. I love you!

A Day in the Life

Owen had left for work. Breakfast had been made, and put away. My oldest son was dressed, groomed and sent to school. Diapers had been changed. The little ones were settled in front of Disney Junior. It was a good time to steal a moment for myself.

“What is that?” I asked myself, staring into the bathroom sink. All I could see against the peach porcelain bowl was little flecks of white and brown. “Is that toilet paper? Oh my gosh, is that poop?” My four year old daughter had been the last one to use the bathroom. “Naomi, come here!” I yelled across the house. “Naomi, did you put your poopy toilet paper in the sink?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I was trying to rinse it off.”

“Why?” I asked again.

“I don’t have an answer for that.” she said. That’s her new go-to line.

“Okay, we don’t put our dirty toilet paper in the sink. It’s very yucky. After we are done, we flush it all down the toilet… Let’s get you cleaned up.” I took her to the kitchen sink to wash her up. After I felt she was sanitized, I headed back to the sanctioned off bathroom. As I was cleaning up the sink (with slight disgust mind you), I found myself in the rare position of thanking God that I actually saw the poop-stained shreds of toilet paper. At least I knew that I needed to disinfect the bathroom, and scrub Naomi. Then I had the terrifying thought of “what happens that I don’t know about?” …which I quickly dismissed… Because there are some things I’m better off not dwelling on.

Not in the too long future, I was attempting to give my three year old a dose of antibiotic medicine. He and my husband had recently taken a week-night trip to urgent care. Mostly because my husband had been miserable with what turned out to be a pretty severe sinus infection. My son, wasn’t in as bad shape so the prescription wasn’t necessary at the time, just a back-up in case his condition worsened. We had been giving him saline solution drops in his nose, and some cough medicine before bed. But now his mucus was darkening. Just to let you know Elijah, my three year old, has an uncanny self-imposed gag reflex. He can actually get himself to puking before he has ever even taken a bite of something he thinks is going to taste gross. The remedy to this usually is to have a drink of water on stand-by and have him well prepped ahead of time.

“It doesn’t taste bad. Stop that. You have water right here. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to make you feel better. Stop doing that. You haven’t even tasted it yet. It might taste good!” Medicine attempt failed. Puke everywhere. After a brief pause of disbelief, I say “That’s it. Everyone upstairs! I’m throwing you all in the tub!”

“Mom, you can’t th-wo kids.” he said.

“You’re right Elijah. I didn’t mean I was going to really throw you. I just mean I’m giving you all a bath.” The baby too, all three of them. Just on principle.

And it wasn’t even lunch time yet.

My Random Thoughts on Social Media

Is Pinterest like the best thing ever? I’m such a late bloomer. I remember my aunt telling me over 3 years ago that I should be on Pinterest, and I had no idea. What did I do 6 months ago, before I could categorize all of my thoughts? How could I have truly appreciated the way I felt about a rainy day until I could display it to myself in 30 pictures? (And as ridiculous as that may sound, that is not sarcasm.) Love it!

I don’t even know where I’ve been. Literally. Everything is a blur, it’s going by so fast. Life. The kids. Thankfully modern media can remind me… where were you when you Pathed that picture? (Is that a word? Like when you tweet on twitter, do you path on Path?) Anyway, you catch my drift. Brilliant.

Does it amaze you the amount of information that scrolls through twitter? It’s overwhelming really. How much of it is actually useful? I have no idea. I might “click” on one thing a day. I must go past hundreds. Most of them I don’t even see I just press the icon that takes me to the top, and I might go down 2 or 3 images. Does everyone do that?

How annoying is Facebook? I mean at it’s best it’s wonderful. You can see family and friends, and their special moments and kids. That’s the good stuff for sure. And then there’s everyone’s opinions. I try so hard to not get political. I really do. Of course I have opinions. But I know not everybody wants to see them in some kitschy cartoon. And then I’ll see something clever, and think that’s cute/funny/fill-in-the-blank… so I’ll read another until I feel like I’ve really wasted too much time or even worse I see one of those really annoying everything against everything I believe in ones, ugh. It’s a love-hate thing.

Is everyone on Instagram? They should be. There are some amazingly talented people out there. And all you have to do is look. Here are a couple of my favorites: @awesome.earth – totes amaze; @puremichigan – I’m partial; @helloemilie – that mysterious girl in a hat, she’s been to some beautiful places.

Award Smorgasbord!

I have recently been awarded three nominations! Thank you so much to My Heart of Mexico and Healthy in All Hues for nominating me for the Starlight Blogger Award and Life Bellissima for nominating me for the Infinity Dreams Award. I am so honored by your support. You all have such unique and inspiring blogs, and I am grateful for your recognition!

Now here’s a lot of information about me.

The Starlight Blogger Award

These are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.
2. Answer the 3 original questions then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.
3. Pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you and add 3 new questions for your nominees.
4. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions and never change the Award rules.
Please don’t delete this note: the design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter. It is a Copyright image. You cannot alter or change it in any way, just pass it to others that deserve this award.
Copyright 2015 YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo

These are the three original questions:

1 If you could describe or picture your inner soul how will you describe it?

Wow, that’s deep. I hope it is bright and pure, and because I am redeemed, it is spotless.

2 What are you working on right now?

Literally, this post. But as for my blog in general I am excited about my first giveaway!

3 What is your creative dream project?

Hmmm. Blogging about my farm life with a roadside cafe!

My questions from My Heart of Mexico:
1 What is your biggest challenge when it comes to blogging?

•I have so many ideas I’d like to make happen, but in reality I have a baby who needs me, a toddler who needs me, and home preschooler who needs me, a fourth grader who needs me, a husband who needs me… And I’d like to be a better photographer.
2 What advice would you give to newbie bloggers?

•I would say if you do this for fun, then you won’t be disappointed. If it stops being fun, don’t do it; life is too short!
3 What motivates you to keep blogging?

•I have this self determination thing that keeps me on my toes. I really want to do better, and share good information.

My questions from Healthy in All Hues

Here my questions for the nominees:
1 What advice would you give for people new to blogging?

•Again, I think it’s important to remember your goals. What do you want to share? What do you want people to know? Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Enjoy what you are doing.
2 What is one creative project you are working on?

•I am really excited about a giveaway I am working on! But trying to get down the logistics, a fair selection process, etc.  has taken some thought.
3 What is one goal you want to achieve by the end of the year?

•I’d like to take a writing and a photography class.

Thank you My Heart of Mexico and Healthy in All Hues!

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Rules for the Infinity Dreams Award
1 Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
2 Post the award badge and rules.
3 Tell 11 facts about yourself.
4 Answer the question that were set for you to answer.
5 Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

Eleven facts about myself:

  1. I am thrilled that Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics series is on Netflix.
  2. Growing up, my back yard was the Great Lake Erie.
  3. I have over 150 cookbooks and counting.
  4. My favorite color is yellow, it’s so cheerful.
  5. I can knit a scarf, but don’t ask me to change colors.
  6. I started as a baker, but learned to love cooking since I couldn’t feed my family cookies and quick breads (in good conscience) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  7. I majored in French.
  8. God is amazing, but outer space kind of freaks me out.
  9. Blogging has put a damper on my laundry. There’s a damper on my hamper. (Oh yes I did)
  10. I can (obviously) be a total goofball.
  11. I want to try glass blowing.

My questions from Life Bellissima:
1. What inspired you to start a blog?
•My overwhelming desire to maintain adult communication.
2. A new recipe you would like to make that you’ve never tried before?
•Recently a friend of mine shared a curry shrimp recipe from Pinterest that I am excited to try!
3. Favorite travel destination(s)?
•You know, I am a huge fan of the state of Michigan, so it’s lucky for me that I live here.
4. A great weekend would include …?
•Coffee. Breakfast out with my kids and husband, then a babysitter. A nap. Trying a new recipe in a quiet kitchen. Time to shower and blow dry my hair. Dinner out with my husband, then pick up the kids. Movie night with popcorn! A good night’s sleep, and exploring a new town/park etc after church with the fam. I mean that’s not too much to ask for right? Sounds pretty great to me!
5. Favorite meal to cook for family and friends?
•Anything as long as I’m with my family and friends!
6. A favorite movie or book?
•Pride & Prejudice, Little Women…
7. Something you enjoy about each season?
•I’m blessed live in an area that really experiences each season to its fullest. I love a snowy white Christmas, snowmen, and hot chocolate in winter. I’m always happy to smell the warmth of spring when the frost starts to melt and the buds and flowers start to bloom. I love swimming, traveling, camping, bonfires, s’mores and cookouts to name a few in summer. And this time of year, autumn, is beautiful with all of the color changes; crisp and exciting. I really enjoy baking and cooking and the coziness of the kitchen.
8. If you had free airline tickets, where would you travel?
•New Zealand!
9. Name a favorite dessert. (I know it’s hard to pick only one!)
•I really enjoy a good chocolate layered cake.
10. Favorite cooking/baking gadget?
•I get a lot of use out of my whisks…

Thank you Life Bellissima!

Cheater alert! Since I have recently nominated every blog I love… I reserve the right to nominate deserving blogs in the future!

Easy Honey Cake from Natascha’s Palace

My blogging friend Natascha from Natascha’s Palace currently resides in Spain. I am envious of her cookbook collection and I enjoy how she incorporates what she is currently reading into her posts. From Julia Child to Monet, she has a fascinating way of bringing their recipes to life; all the while sharing her personal journey as a teacher, traveler, and wife… Thank you Natascha, your blog is a joy!

I love that the recipe called for “de miel” (honey), I feel so cultured! And I love that Natascha used a beautiful flower, (I tried to emulate her pic, but I am not sure my flower is edible). Aside from the beating the egg whites until stiff (because sometimes I can be lazy)… this was such an easy and delicious recipe! The aroma really made me love the smell of my kitchen and being that the mornings and evenings are getting quite chilly, it was lovely to finally have something baking in the oven! The honey drizzled on the top of this cake really kept it moist. And the hint of cinnamon in every bite was just enough to give a little depth. I really enjoyed this cake (as well as my friends and family) and it seemed like such a perfect dessert to add other ingredients. I thought “wouldn’t it be fun to throw in some pieces of chopped apple?” I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Baking season is here!

Thankfully Owen fulfilled my Christmas request a couple years ago and bought me a food scale from Sharper Image, because the measurements are in grams, not cups. Which for whatever reason I couldn’t get a clear translation on, so I got precise and weighed it out. I have included my dry ingredient measurements for you! My liquid measuring cup has ml’s on one side, phew! For the original recipe visit Natascha’s Palace!

As organic as possible (my input)

120 ml honey, plus more for topping

3 large eggs, separated yolks and whites

2 Tbsp sugar

150 ml milk

120 ml olive oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp (rounded) baking powder

Confectioners sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a cake 9″ round cake pan, set aside.

Heat the honey in a small pot until it is liquid-y, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks and sugar into the honey, add the milk, cinnamon and oil, mix well. Sift flour and baking soda in a large bowl, add the wet ingredients and combine. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool about 10 minutes and remove from pan onto a cooling rack. When cooled completely sprinkle with confectioners sugar and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!

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A Tale of Three Dishes Part II

Isaiah and I were again tagging along on one of Owen’s business trips. This time he was visiting one of his company’s plants in the charming town of Bretten, Germany. Many of the his colleagues lived in or near town and coming here was a little like a business reunion. Isaiah and I were accustomed to camping out in our hotel room, frequenting nearby parks and strolling through town. Part of the routine often included Owen participating in business dinners with visiting customers, so we were comfortable fending for ourselves. At times reservations had been made before our trip began and we knew which nights Owen would be away, but lining up our evening wasn’t always easy, as many times there was no set plan of “when and where.” Since I didn’t have an international cell phone, the only way Owen could get in touch with me was to meet back at our hotel or call the room, but if Isaiah and I were out exploring we needed to be flexible with our dinner plans.

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Little park outside of the hotel

One afternoon the baby and I returned to the room for his nap. By the time he woke up I knew Owen would be coming back soon, so I didn’t want to head back out. To pass the time I took out the crayons and paper I had packed. There was a perfect little desk in the corner for coloring shapes and practicing our colors. Isaiah was sitting in a chair and completely content, so I thought it would be a good time to run to the restroom. I left the door open so I could hear him and dart out if he started to move, besides I just going to be a minute. Right as I was walking out, I saw him standing on the chair and losing his balance. I couldn’t get there fast enough and he came crashing down, catching the side of his face on the corner of the desk.

My heart sank as I rushed to comfort him and inspect his injury. All of the sudden I felt home sick and helpless. I had no idea where the nearest medical facility was located, and no car to get me there anyway. Thankfully there was no bleeding, and I was able to get a wash cloth of cold water to sooth his wound and help with the swelling. It didn’t take long to see he was going to have a black eye. By the time Owen called to say we had been invited to his co-worker’s home for the evening, I had calmed down a little. After explaining to him what had happened and expressing my concerns about being good company, Owen and his friend convinced me that going there was the best option since his home had a medicine cabinet and some basic supplies, not to mention he was an asset as a translator if need be.

Picture taken a few days later, sob.

Picture taken a few days later, sob.

When Owen picked us up from the hotel, Isaiah and I were doing better. Owen was quick to put my mind at ease, professing (as I think many dads do) “it’s not that bad.” We arrived at Martin’s home and were greeted by his welcoming family. It was their custom to eat a large lunch and not very much for dinner, but they did put out some homemade bread, cider, and jams, a slaw like salad made from their very own garden vegetables and a few kiwis. The night was very comforting after the upset we had in our hotel room. Martin’s wife practiced her English with me while his daughter played the piano for us and his son brought out a box of building blocks for Isaiah.

His wife and some of the homemade goodies.

His wife and some of the homemade goodies.

Isaiah taking a turn at the piano.

Isaiah taking a turn at the piano.

The night had been just what I needed and the next day I was again feeling relaxed about our stay (as opposed to trying to book the first flight home). I had even decided I would take Isaiah out for the afternoon. Owen had told me about a restaurant I should try at the square around the corner from our hotel. This was my favorite part of town. The brick paved thoroughfare was really for pedestrians only (although occasionally there would be a random car parked in front of a shop). The path was lined with quaint little stores, one sold chocolates, another sold kitchen wares, a couple sold clothing, etc. Owen had explained that a particular restaurant, the second one with outdoor seating on the north side of the road, had a pizza type dish that he thought was pretty good. Trusting his recommendation, I made it our quest of the day.

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What I am about to tell you next is as serious as I can be. I had never tasted anything like this before. One word, flammkuchen. It wasn’t really like a pizza or flat bread I’d eaten. It was amazing! It had a thin crispy crust, there was some sort of beautiful white sauce, the cheese was mild and flavorful, the onions were soft but firm and sweet, and the bacon, oh the bacon; it was perfectly salty, crispy and chewy all at the same time. Together the combination was out of this world. It’s not to say that I had tasted flammkuchen and had a standard to measure it by, but I’m pretty sure I hit the jackpot! Life changing. Honestly it’s worth booking a vacation over.

I posted this picture only because there are remnants of the flammkuchen on the table.

I posted this picture only because there are remnants of the flammkuchen on the table.

A Blur in Review

If time flies when your having fun, then this was the funnest summer ever!

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And don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about Fall; the baking, the color changes, the sweater weather…

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But I’m not ready to put the pool cover on!

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And even though we’ve done the school shopping, I’m not ready to send my baby to fourth grade!

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I am extremely happy to share that my infant’s skin condition has improved immensely. Thank you to all of the eczema supporters out there!

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Weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, horseback riding lessons, vacations, holidays, swimming, BBQ-ing, boating, beaching we did it all! Summer living… see you next year!

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Melancholy

In spite of everything I believe in, I have had to come to terms with the notion that I am pensively displaced. It’s not really pensively depressed or sad so it’s not exactly melancholy. But I like to say melancholy, except I say it like Megamind, pronounced Mi-lon-kah-lee. (Side note: I should do a post called my life as a cartoon character, since most of my references are from cartoons.) A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to get my hair cut short. This was to force me into having to do my hair, because years of being pregnant, nursing and changing diapers, etc. had turned me into the kind of mother who constantly threw my hair back into this pony tail turned half bun thing. I didn’t want to be this person any more. I wanted to represent myself as someone who could handle it all. A mom who also took the time to pull herself together. Clearly it doesn’t come naturally for me, I’d rather wear yoga pants around the clock and never have to put on a stitch of make-up. Which brings me to my next issue. My face. Oh my goodness, when did all of these age spots show up? Grrr. I always thought I was the kind of person that would “grow old gracefully.” And then you see yourself (or I saw myself) in some impromptu family shots and your like (I’m like) is that what I look like? For goodness sake! The next thing I know I’m headed to the Clinique counter to get that age spot remover- the one where they show that spotted egg that turns into the flawless egg. And I’m talking to the lady at the counter who is explaining to me that I have to use this forever or they will come back. To which I’m thinking forever? Using some product (that she assured me is not bleach) to change my face (or rather bring back my face thank you) goes against everything I believe in already! But apparently I’m vain, so I bought it. (However, I am happy to report that has been returned unopened, not that I would judge anyone who has done otherwise, I get it.)
In other inconsistent news I have colored my gray. I had randomly gotten some in the past without so much alarm, but after my fourth child molting (you know that thing that moms go through a few months after delivery where the body goes through crazy fluxes and has a huge loss of hair?), my new growth started coming in solid gray. It was a little ridiculous. I was getting a complete new growth of baby bangs in solid gray. It was undeniable, and for a second I considered just letting it happen. I thought if I go solid gray now, then I’ll be like Steve Martin or Cooper Anderson and never appear to age. Then my younger sister lovingly explained to me that it’s not the same and I had to agree that I wasn’t ready for that yet. So off I went to the salon, and it did make me feel better. Which brings me full circle to my point. 

By the way my hair is currently in a shorter pony tail.