Thursday, January 30, 2014

my very own after school program

i need to sign my children up for some classes.
not swim or gymnastics or ceramics, but some closer to home topics. 
This semester our syllabus should include:
  • how to use less than an entire roll of toilet paper at a time. for. reals. i swear ruby uses half a roll every time she pees. maybe more.
  • sitting at the table to eat isn't the same as climbing on a play structure. sit on your bottom. not on your knees. on the chair. not near the chair or around it, or hanging off of it with your dirty little toes gripping the edge of the table so you don't fall off of your precarious position. 
  • creativity in problem solving and sibling conflict. phrases that i've banned but somehow still hear enough for it to drive me crazy: "you're not my best friend" "you're not my sister anymore!" "you can't come to my birthday party" "mom! she just (fill in the blank action word that probably happened but child yelling is conveniently leaving out her own prompting or retaliatory action) to me!"
  • no. really. when mommy and daddy or your sister are fully asleep? you don't have to wake us up. you can go to the bathroom by yourself. be awake without announcing it to the world. snuggle quietly in your bed or play in your room without waking up the whole house. i promise even if you are playing "quietly" we will get up soon. that means when you walk up to that person and they are in bed, their eyes are closed, they are not talking to you or moving, and that when  you poke them repeatedly they roll over or try to ignore you? they are still asleep. or trying to be.
  • it's ok to put your shoes, jacket, sweatshirt, backpack, etc. on the very first time you're asked to.
  • chapstick is not a food group. neither is candy. so no, you can't have it for breakfast.
anyone want to guest lecture?
or want to add a class of their own?

(meanwhile, on the subject of school, read this great post on momastery.)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

30 seconds of awesome

sometimes you have to kill time with your kids. 
we were waiting for matt to get out of an appointment,
so after an hour of other attempts at passing the time, 
my girls each gave me 15 seconds of video.

oh they melt my heart these two trouble makers!

Monday, January 13, 2014

you're welcome. aka my birthday gift to you.

(image from here)
(happy birthday eve to me, since tomorrow is the day i turn older and wiser once again)

anyyway, i have a little present for you, dear readers! well, if it's my birthday gift to you, i suppose it's a regift thanks to the glories of the internet. 
about a year or so i was on the hunt for a rich, easy, classy, fast, delicious chocolate dessert that i could make with ingredients i had on hand. i found a recipe that not only met all of those requirements, but it was good enough to make again. (and again and again.) hello, four ingredients!
i found this on the fabulous recipe index of david lebovitz- and i've never gone wrong with any of his recipes. 
this cake isn't cakey at all- it's more like a mousse cake or ganache, which is how i like cake. it doesn't require frosting and it's perfect for a crowd because you cut such small pieces. 
i swear you will come back to this cake over and over. in fact, i made it this week for my sister's birthday dinner, and then for my own birthday get together! i'd recommend using good chocolate, but...confession: once i was in a pinch and had to use ghiradelli chocolate chips and no one seemed to notice- myself included! whip up some whipped cream or add a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side to balance it out. it keeps for a few days and sometimes i think it gets even better!
find the recipe here or below:
Chocolate Idiot Cake
One 9-inch (23 cm) cake
Adapted from Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed Press)
  • 10 ounces (290 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 7 ounces (200 g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn’t 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You’ll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature, with creme anglaise, ice cream, or whipped cream.
Storage: This Chocolate Idiot Cake can be wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Monday, January 6, 2014


this past week has been a rough one for me (perhaps you picked that up from my last couple of posts!) i'm still working through some things, and still feeling a bit tender.

then last night m was dreading going back to kindergarten this morning after her two week vacation. she was sobbing in her bed, and it was kind of breaking my heart. i grew up with my mom always saying she hated the end of vacation and i feel the same. i love having both of my girls home, with time to adventure and play and make our own sort of day. (ahem, that said- i will say that this season has been very challenging, especially with my sweet 5 1/2 year old. she has been pushing as many boundaries as she possibly can; and we've been challenged to figure out how to be good parents to her right now. so, i did love vacation with her- but she was also good at losing privileges the past couple weeks!)

so i dreaded waking up this morning, but i woke up to this:

breathtaking sunrise. a reminder to me that it was a new day outside. 

yesterday i spent some time with a friend who is battling best she can to see as many new days as possible. i'm holding out hope that something miraculous will happen in her body to let her live a very, very long life. in the meantime, i am grateful for this new day, which is a gift. for what i have. for life, and breath, and health and the opportunity to see the sky painted outside of my window.

Friday, January 3, 2014

1, 2, 3, 4.

today i am grateful for my little family.

it's been a rough week of wading through some of my expectations about life
and letting some go, while embracing others.
still sitting in a tender place,
and not quite ready to unpack it anywhere but in my heart.

but this morning 
so very thankful for who i get to live life with every single day.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


i am lucky enough that sometimes, out of nowhere,
i will get a text or a note or a call from a dear one who has no idea what is going on in my day and their words are a gift.

yesterday i was sitting on my couch, my cheeks a bit wet, my spirit deflated when one of my dearest friends texted me out of the blue. i texted her back: i was wrestling with how yet again i was feeling pulled in so many directions, feeling the weight of (often self-imposed) obligations and my list of "shoulds" - play dates i should be scheduling, people i should be calling back or meeting up with, laundry i should be folding, corners of the house i should be cleaning, friends or family i should be checking in on, notes i should be writing...
 this week of vacation felt like stress piled upon stress. 

and minutes later she sent me this photo of this poem by mary oliver.
and tears rolled down my cheeks as i read it.
because it is beautiful.
(and so good for me to read again and again.)
because there is something incredible about being known and understood and accepted.
and that is how i felt reading that poem on the screen of my phone.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

hello, 2014

goodbye christmas
hello 2014!
happy new year, my friends.
i usually wait until my birthday 
(that would be january 14th)
to come up with yearly hopes and goals.

but i do think i aspire to spend more time blogging this year.
i really didn't write that much this past year,
and in many ways i regret it.
there is something about writing that helps me process and think through life-
even if it's the routine.

i had a mini breakdown this morning over some of the same junk that i always end up 
worrying about or struggling through.
i texted my friend, "new year, same issues"

here is to a new beginning, however arbitrary.
to evolving and growing and becoming more whole and healthy 
and who we are meant to be at our best. 

love to you and yours today