A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.
I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed when my Secret Santa at work gave me a gift card to Starbucks. I felt a little anonymous, a little unimportant. I realized after some reflection, however, that these feelings were my issues bubbling up — she didn’t intend to make me feel small. In light of this realization, I shook off my icky feelings and decided to make the best of this holiday token. On a cold windy afternoon, while Freja and I were on an outing at our local Starbucks store she discovered just exactly what my mopey heart needed.
I always have a cup of tea by my side and she, knowing her mama so well, pointed and exclaimed with glee, “Mama you can make this cup specially for you!” My sweet Baby Lu had discovered the very last Create-Your-Own Mug on the shelf. A smile crept up to the corners of my mouth and I was quickly swept up in her excitement. How perfect, I could make a little something special just for me!
I patiently took my time over the last few weeks re-reading my favorite poems and meditating on my dearest quotations. I wanted to make something uplifting to carry with me throughout my day. I knew when the time was right I’d be sure. Originally, I settled on Invitation by Shel Silverstein — this particular poem opens his book A Light in the Attic and has long been a favorite of mine — but discovered that it was slightly too wordy for the space I had. Then, late last night, I found a poem of his that I had never read before — Underface. I knew immediately that it was exactly right. I quickly collected my materials and minutes later the poem was written, the candle was drawn and my mug was baking in the oven. Now I can have tea with Shel and his beautiful words whenever my sensitive soul needs a little extra loving. What a perfect gift indeed.
Before we even wiped the sleep from our eyes this morning the sun called to us. It rose feeling hot, but still gentle, in the uniquely special way it does time of year. This time of not quite summer, but most decidedly not spring. This between the seasons time. I sliced up a luscious watermelon, juicy and red and ripe, chilled almost ice cold, and lured my family outside to our back deck without a spoken invitation. The the energy of the morning light and the taste of the sweet fruit was invitation enough. As our bodies began to wake, we eased into our day with laughter and slurping and silliness. Such simple pleasures – family and fruit and sunshine.
I hope that you, too, are able to soak in a bit of sun and sweetness during this long holiday weekend.
Much love from us to you!
It’s Easter today, and in our family that means there must be deviled eggs. We traditionally hunt down our colorful little gems while our eyes are still bleary in the wee hours of the morning and, after a strong cup of coffee, I whip them up into a yummy batch of eggy goodness for our mid-morning snack. My version is so simple I don’t even use measurements. Just wholesome organic eggs, some high quality mayo, a hearty dollop of zingy dijon mustard and – here is the secret to the best deviled eggs you will ever eat – pungent fresh dill. From our family to yours, may you have a blessed and joyful day. Enjoy!
Hard boiled eggs – we usually make two dozen for our family of six
Spicy dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
Smoked paprika for garnish
I like to give my hard boiled eggs a serious scrubbin’ after their grand adventure out into the big wide world that is my very, um, lived in home. Then I crack the shells and let them soak in cool water for about 10 minutes (just long enough for that strong cup of coffee). After their spa treatment, they are a cinch to peal. A quick rinse will remove any bits of shell or membrane still attached. Next, it’s time to halve them and remove the yolks into a medium sized glass bowl. With a fork, I gently break up the yolks into a heartily textured crumble. No yolky paste for this family! Now it’s time to add a couple of scoops of mayo and a heafty dollop of dijon mustard. This is where you can easily adjust this recipe to your taste – a little more mayo will result in a wetter mixture, more mustard will spice it up. Finely chop the fresh dill and mix that in with salt and pepper to taste. For the big finish, simply spoon the yolky deliciousness you have just made back into the whites, add a sprinkle of smoked paprika and a few sprigs of fresh dill, then dig in. I’m a little selfish and have learned over the years to stash a few on my plate before I serve them to the rest of my clan because by the time I turn around they will have vanished! Happy Easter!
I was inspired by this image that one of my friends posted on Facebook to make something special for Valentine’s Day. I thought it might be fun to make a few of our own flyers to put up around our neighborhood. The kids thought it was a splendid idea and jumped right in.
My sweet little leftie.
Look at all that love ready to share!
We were quite a sight making our way through the neighborhood.
Freja was singing Sweet Baby James, her favorite lullaby, for all to enjoy.
I wonder if anyone will take one? I can’t wait to find out!
In honor of sharing some love on this most romantic of days, I’ve made our Valentine’s Day flyer available as a free downloadable PDF. It’s my gift to you. Have fun today – be a Valentine’s Day Fairy! Sprinkle some love wherever the day may take you. I can imagine this little flyer being a welcome surprise in so many places – an office bulletin board, a school cafeteria, a light post, a public bathroom, the grocery store, an elevator, the kitchen refrigerator – the possibilities are limitless for love.
Print it. Post it! (Snap a photo and share it here?)
Just remember to pull a tab or two and stash them in your pocket for a little self-love, and to give permission to all who see it to take one for themselves.
Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to you!
A fresh start.
Simple food and time together to ring in the new year.
We luckily had the forethought to make our New Year’s sushi early in the day, anticipating hungry bellies and low energy after our hike at Great Falls National Park this afternoon. We took the scenic route to the Maryland side of the park and enjoyed the awesome power of the water. The kids just about stopped my heart climbing to precarious perches to get the best view of the river, but in the end we all had fun being in the fresh air on the last day of 2011.
The evening was spent eating, reading, snuggling by the fire and folding a few cranes. I’m grateful for all that I learned in 2011 and am eager to continue on this journey of simplification in 2012. This will be a year of big and small changes, I’m sure.
Less stuff, More family.