Monday, May 10, 2010

some fun in all that...

Since my posts have been a bit melancholy, I wanted to throw in a little of that trivial, shallow, fleeting, beautiful stuff we all like.  And some things I am looking forward to.  I love May because that means Mommies are loved all across the world.  It means that peonies are in bloom.  It means that I can keep the windows open all of the time.  It means that peaches are forming on the trees.  Here are a months worth of favorites:

Free farm tours at Capay Organic - We took a little tractor ride, picked asparagus and snap peas, picked a lovely bouquet of sweet peas for mother's day, and picnicked on their lawn while listening to a happy country/blue grass band

My own little backyard garden.  I just purchased some seed potatoes to add, both Yukon Gold and Fingerling, and will be planting them probably tonight or tomorrow.  Also picked up some San Marzano tomato seeds and some acorn squash seeds that I am hoping to add next week.

My "Message-in-a-Cookie Cutter" from Williams-Sonoma should arrive any day now.  I am too excited about all of the little messages I will be putting in cookies to celebrate Luciana's first birthday.

I was thinking these would be lovely for her party too

these flowers...

maybe one day, this will be mine

and this

I wonder if I can make this

I love the beauty in her blog... and I am now desperately seeking Sakura

I am looking forward to the beauty of the redwoods and our ladies retreat.

I am going to make this as soon as I can get my hands on some leeks.

I would love to have a portrait of Evelina's Honeybun and Luciana's Lulu like these

I can't believe this was only $109.00

Still loving Anna Maria's fabric...what I would give to have just a couple yards

and that is all I have time for for now... I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

over it

I do not know why certain hurts linger.  I have told myself so many time to "get over it!" but I am still not over it.  Hurts that happened so long ago, hurts by people who I'm sure never think about me, hurts that for some ridiculous reason will not die.  I have given them over to the Lord and prayed through them.  I have blessed the other person from the depth of my heart.  I just can not shake it.

Maybe I am just that pathetic, that co-dependent and need to get a life.  Nope, that can't be it.  I have a great life with great friends.  I do not think any of said friends would describe me as co-dependent.  I just want to be over it... NOW!

I think it comes out of my historical lack of family.  I treasure family and though I do not have a large one nor have I had a very healthy family in my past, it is so important to me.  I now have the most incredible growing little family and I am so blessed to be a part of it. The intimacy and longevity one can expect with a family relationship is amazing.  I have a few friends that either I or God has elevated to the level of family in my life and look forward to our lives together.  And I think the feeling is mutual.  These relationships are not burdensome or filled with expectations that can never be met but rather enjoyment of eachother's company, sharing in life, and loving one another through the good times and bad.  And, on my part at least, these relationships will be nurtured from decade to decade.

I think that these woundings come from making statements about being family in anticipation of a great friendship before that level of intimacy has actually been reached.  I am not going to lay blame on others because I know I have been quick to make relational commitments too.  I have asked myself why these friendships never materialized and where, once being "family", we are estranged.  I guess that is one of the reasons I struggle to move on - there is just no closure.  I must choose to continue to bless.  I must choose to take these thoughts captive even though I may never understand.  I will no longer be vexed by these relationships.  I will say a prayer of love for those people who once were my friends and then quickly shift my thoughts to how I might add to the the friends I do have.
Photo Credit Anna Gutermuth, Flickr

Thursday, April 1, 2010

burdens...

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/people/randysonofrobert/

I have been reading "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver for the bible study group I recently joined.  I joined the group as they were starting chapter 9 so I have been reading to catch up over the past couple weeks.  I read chapter 6, Dying to Live, today and found that while I didn't think I struggled with trusting God, he is revealing to me areas in which I do not completely trust Him.

Joanna shared something in this chapter that encouraged her from Hannah Whitall Smith.  Ms. Smith said in her book, "Christian's Secrets to a Happy Life", "Some Christians are like a man who was carrying a heavy load down a country road.  The driver of a passing wagon offered him a ride, and he joyfully accepted.  Even after climbing aboard, he left his pack on his shoulders.  He rode along still hunched over under his heavy load.  'Why do you not lay down your burden?' the driver asked.  'Oh, I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me', said the man. 'I could not think of letting you carry my burden too!'"  I find that while I joyfully accept Jesus' offer to carry my burdens, I do it on my own terms.

If any of you have spent time with me, you know I am chronic multi-tasker.  If you have only spent time with me a few times or if we have had deep and meaningful conversation, you might not have seen it.  But if you ever come over and just hang for a while, you will see what I mean.  I will take you with me to run errands, chat way with you while I do dishes, laugh and listen while I make dinner or bake something.  I am so happy to just spend time and live life together.  It makes chores so much more fun to have a friend to hang with while I am doing them.  It really makes them seem fun and not like chores at all.  And if you ask to help, I don't let you do anything : )

God revealed to me that this is how I treat His offer to carry my burdens.  I ask Him to come over and hang with me while I carry them.  I am joyful and have a great time with Him.  It really makes the burden not seem like a burden at all and, in fact, I am almost glad for the burden so that I have an opportunity to talk and laugh with Him.  But when I am no longer spending time with Him, the burden is still there.  I do not acknowledge it though because I supposedly gave it to him.  It is as if it does not exist any longer...almost.

It is like taking a walk with my kids... both girls are in the stroller.  We are having a great time.  And then our steady little walk turns sharply into an uphill adventure.  As if 50 pounds of girl is not enough I have the weight of the stroller.  And my purse underneath the stroller.  It is heavy but unusually so.  Why is it so heavy?  I almost can't push it uphill?  Then I notice the tires are flat.  I did not acknowledge the flat tires because they were not so bad on the straightaway.  But when things got steeper, it was almost unmovable.

I think I must be in some real denial... He is so gentle to remind me.  I do realize now that there must be a burden on me because I feel tired, even after resting.  I feel refreshed in worship and renewed in His presence, but once back home and in the daily grind, I feel worn.  After spending time with Him and in His loving affirmation, I still feel the desire to be liked by others.

I am going to spend some time over the next few days to find out what I am carrying around.  I am going to dig through my purse and pull out whatever is weighing me down.  Things I let Him lighten me for a while just by being with Him but not really giving it to Him.  Maybe there is more than half eaten bananas and dirty diapers in there... we'll see...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Weekend...


This week seemed to scream by. I was looking forward to sharing some things I have had on my mind but, alas, the weekend has come and there are new adventures to be had.  There is always next week... good intentions, good intentions, everyone.

Right now I am staring at laundry that needs putting away and dishes that need washing, and then putting away.  But, these blank walls and verily undecorated house of mine is calling out, "Do something".  I have waited to do much with my home because I have very large decor from my old home and also, because my tastes have tweaked a bit.  I still like the rustic, Tuscan decor but I can not escape all of the color that is invading my style.  It makes me feel as if I have deprived myself of color for a very long time and have not been true to my inner designer that wants a lovely blend of colors spread throughout my humble little cottage.  While I have good intentions, People, the house still goes neglected.  I often wonder about those of you who have immaculate homes... and kids... do you ever sleep?  I guess that is my problem... I really like to sleep.  I don't like sleeping in but I do like about 8 hours, no more.  Which brings me to my next topic...

Luciloo!  Why are you not sleeping through the night!?  You are 9 months old and still wanting to nurse 3 and 4 times at night!  Here lies my sleep dilemma.  Maybe if I was getting my 8, I would have a, not immaculate, but lovely enough house.  I would have all of the house work done and finances and catering work all finished and still have lots of time to play with my girls.  We would read lots of stories and build forts.  We would be ballerinas and pirates.  We would have lots of pets because there would be time to care for them.  We would design our own textiles and sew our own line of gorgeous clothing paralleling those of JCrew and Anthro.  We would make and distribute our long awaited line of wool felt hair accessories.  Our garden would be brilliant.  We would have San Marzano tomatoes which we would roast and can for a year of the best sauce ever.  We would have a plot of land and grow the best peaches ever!  Have our own dairy cow so that we could have fresh, organic milk and cheeses. We would begin and finish the BBA Challenge.  We would find some niche for something spectacular and totally corner the market!!!

Oh, the endless possibilities!  While I will follow my heart and pursue the aforementioned delights to the best of my ability, I will most likely still be folding that laundry.  At the very least, the kids did get their weekly baths.  Maybe I make this with the cannellini beans I have been soaking for not one, but 2 days now.  And I might tackle my first of Peter Reinhart's recipes tonight after the girls are in bed.

I did find some lovely fabric for the girls bedrooms.  Anna Maria always impresses me with her lovely designs.  I will be saving for quite some time but I hope to make the girls bedding.  Maybe this idea should be up two paragraphs.

I have been enjoying my girls bible study, learning to have more of a "Mary spirit".  I have always felt good about trusting God and have felt gifted in faith but He is revealing to me areas in which I am not trusting fully.  It feels really good to be back in a bible study. 

I am hoping to hit a few yard sales this weekend.  I am in search of lovely things for mere cents so hopefully I will find some treasures.  Anyone interested in coming along?  I really do not have an agenda.  The plan is to drive around aimlessly while drinking coffee, singing loudly with my girls and looking for signs.  I would be so jazzed if I found some buttery soft fabric with large and small floral print for girls room and for dresses, cake pedestals, demitasse cups with saucers, lamps for my living room, curtains for my 4 tiny kitchen windows, good knives, antique beaded jewelery, and a little tikes play thingy for the girls.  Ya never know... someone could be really excited about selling those very things for really cheap.

On a closing note (wow, I guess I had a lot to say... I am really feeling chatty this afternoon), I hope you have a very lovely and peaceful weekend with your dear ones!

Monday, March 22, 2010

speaking of life

Photo by Matthew Wright

Matthew took me on a very enjoyable date Saturday afternoon.  We went on a 5 mile hike to Lake Clementine and back.  It was lovely out so we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and Matthew took photos as we walked and talked.  I love my children and love having them along but this was nice... I held Matthew's hand as we walked and not Evelina's for fear that she would fall off the cliff.  We talked about everything from parenting to our spiritual lives.  It was peaceful and we were able to connect... enjoyable!

As we talked, I was sharing about how Evelina has some issues with jealousy with Luciana.  I recently discussed it with a few friends and one friend suggested that maybe when I was comparing them in the spirit of discussing parenting, Evelina was listening.  I think this true and maybe, I am unknowingly releasing the spirit of competition between them.  I compare them to discuss parenting with friends but I also discovered that I have been sharing the darker side of Evelina so that my friends will show me some empathy.  I am telling people how she disobeys and how she has such an attitude sometimes so that others will feel pity for me and give me attention of sorts.

How sad!!!  I am exposing my kid so that I can receive a pat on the back!  I am sharing her faults so that my friends and others can tell me how hard it must be or that I am doing well in disciplining her.  All the while she is listening.  She is always listening.  I can not believe I actually have stooped to this level of attention-getting behavior!  I can not imagine the hurt I must cause her every time I share about her weakness and the spirit of which I share them, comparing how Luciana is mostly happy and rarely has such an attitude.  After grieving over this for the past couple days, I must say I am so grateful that it has been revealed to me while she is just three and not thirteen. 

From this point forward, I will share about her many strengths, her beautiful heart, her creative spirit, and the fire that God has blessed her with.  If I sincerely need advice in handing a situation, I need to seek help from a trusted source in confidence.  If I say her name in conversation, let it serve as a reminder that I am to speak life, as her name means "giver of life" and "joy". 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

my bread world is about to change


I just bought this book at the recommendation of a friend (thanks J!) who knew I was cultivating a sour dough starter.  I have read the most of the instructional part and I am so impressed with how much I have learned.  It was like taking a bread making course.  I have always been fascinated with those who can bake well and I have definitely put myself out there.  I have been baking my own (well not my own recipe... I copy hers) whole grain bread for about 6 months now as well as quick breads and muffins.  I have had to practice but I am pleasantly surprised at how well it has been turning out.  I really like bread so that helps but it has been really good.  I think the only bread I have met and not liked is rye.  I pretty much like all breads.  But I also value health so Lindsay's recipe is really good for me.  I get the health quality and great taste and texture. 

I am really excited about trying Peter Reinhart's techniques!  I tend to change up a recipe before even trying it but I am really going to stick to the book here so I can learn as much as I can.  Our favorite little bakery (great spot to take your sweetie or for a girls time out - they have the BEST pastries and, well, pretty much everything I have had has been of the utmost quality!) has a quote from Karen, herself, saying something about how you can't break all of the rules in baking until you learn how to first obey them.  That is going to be my approach as I work through The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Monday, March 8, 2010

fruit loops anyone?

We decided to make Daddy a fruit loop necklace...













but we ate it
instead : )

eat your beets

A couple of nights ago, beets were on the menu.  I thought Evelina would have no problem eating them because she really does like most foods.  She is getting pickier, however, so I thought about it ahead of time and decided I would trump any complaint with, "Don't you want to eat pink food?"  It started to work but alas, no... she wasn't going for it.  Then, quick-thinking Daddy said, "If you eat your beets, your poop will be pink!"  She scarfed them down and spent the rest of the night trying to push out pink poop.  It was not going well for her... no poop.  Her sister pooped right away and if I hadn't thought it through, I would have called 911 because it looked like she was bleeding out in her diaper. The next day, the pink poop prevailed.  The moral of the story is... when in the bathroom, there is always a pot of gold under your rainbow : P

hot... or not

There was this article in the Sac Bee about the pressure many moms feel to be "hot".  I was reading through it and agreeing with some of the points.  It is a lot of pressure to feel "hot" when you are just trying to keep everyone fed and clean, bills paid, housework done, etc.  I pretty much never feel "hot"... I don't know about you but I don't really think I want to be "hot".  It is truly the farthest thing from my mind.  Whereas I once loved fashion and still do (somewhere in there), I like the creative element behind putting together an outfit, not how "hot" other people will think I am. I suppose that is why it is so easy for me to stay in my pajamas all day... I really do not care if other people will like it or not.  The article stated that it is a woman's confidence that makes her most beautiful.  As I got towards the end of the article, I felt somewhat validated for not striving to feel "hot".  I almost felt hopeful that I was going to be let off the hook and allowed to just be me.  Until the end.  The final story shares one gal's struggle and how she got her confidence back... liposuction.  Thanks, SacBee... it appears that I can be confident, once again, if only I could get LIPOSUCTION.  WHAT?!!!  Clearly, this article needs a bit of proofing!  Nothing like changing your mind in the middle of your article!  Try staying true to your thesis!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

ham is pink

Evelina has been really hungry lately.  Really Hungry!  This hunger really comes up when she sees something good to eat.  Things like cookies, chocolate, pastries...  Even if she has just eaten, she will get really hungry when she sees any of the above foods.  I was worried with these "hunger pangs" she wasn't getting enough food and decided that I should definitely give the poor starving thing something to eat. So I offered her some meat - some leftover ham.  She just looked at me with such a funny look as if to say, "Well, that is definitely not what I had in mind".  She just said, instead, "Ham is pink".  As if she was searching for something truly virtuous and exceptional about ham, making it worthy enough to eat.  She took the ham and did in fact eat it.  But I am not sure she will fall for it again next time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's upDATE

I think this year turned out to be my favorite Valentine's Day because of how it turned out so organically.  We had a great time at dinner... Paesano's was great.  I had the mushroom risotto and it was smoky goodness with it's porchini mushrooms and smoked chicken.  Matthew has a Mediterranean pizza and was impressed.  We fumbled our way through the streets of midtown as we looked at the various art venues.  Some of the art was good and some, well, lets just say beauty must be in the eye of the beholder.  I personally don't consider dryer lint and pubic hair on canvas a work of art but there was a whole wall of it so clearly, someone likes it. After we walked for several blocks and had our fill of art (and people : ) watching, we drove to Temple Coffee.  It was getting pretty late but sitting in the cafe to end our evening out was perfect.  I felt like we were hidden away in a cozy little nook away from the busy city night life.

We were planning to go light and spend about $30 on the whole night but we were blessed with an unexpected $50 gift card so we splurged a bit : )  I think we went out of pocket a whopping $4.  All in all it was great night!  I will post pics of us lovers as soon as I get them from Matthew but for now... my funny valentines...

 

On Valentines day, we make pink Ebelskiver with homemade lemon curd for breakfast and exchanged homemade valentines... 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nap Time or Room Time

We decided to give Evelina Roomtime instead of Naptime.  At first, she was soooo excited we thought she was big girl enough not to take a nap.  After a few days the novelty wore off.  From then on she has said that she did not want roomtime but she wanted to take a nap.  If I said room time, she said nap.  So I have been using a little reverse psychology.  The last couple days, I have been telling her to take a nap.  I have even said, "Come here my little baby... time for your nappy nap nap."  This has worked beautifully... she has been playing in her room for 2 hours each day.  I love hearing her play in her room.  She sings, she colors, she plays instruments, she dresses up, she has tea parties, she reads books... so good for her.  Being in her room without tv or me to entertain her, she is forced to work with what she has (which in my opinion is A LOT) and create fun.  I remember being a kid and thinking I was bored, wanting to be entertained.  But when my desires for entertainment did not come to fruition, I had to get creative.  I think that this is something we tend to overlook in today's culture.  Even as an adult, when the tv is off, I have to get creative.  I like it.  And plan to do it a lot more often!

This husband get PROPS for planning such an awesome birthday party!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Valentine's Date

Matthew and I decided to not exchange gifts this year.  Part of it is being practical (we do not have extra funds) and the second reason is that we are going on a date instead.  In this world where diapers and crayons are a daily muse, it is nice to get out and be who we are together.  We have spent many holidays trying to out-do last year's holiday and, frankly, the American consumerism of it is just exhausting.  Let's just strip it down to what these holidays are really about.  Or what our lives should be about and use the holidays as reminders to value each other rather than give ourselves another reason to spend money we don't have. 

We are going to the Second Saturday Art Walk downtown.  First, a gallery in Folsom to meet one of our favorite artists, Cao Yong.  I have a long story about his painting (above) Evening in Venice.  Then, dinner at Paesano's.  So looking forward to it. 

Happy Valentine's Week!!!

 

Monday, February 8, 2010

I am so going to try this!

Love, love, love

Last year I worked secretly to make these cute little pies for Matthew for Valentine's Day from Twig and Thistle.  I made a few boxes so that he could bring them to work and share with friends.  Once the pies were made, I was so excited to slip them into their little boxes and surprise Matthew.  I grabbed a pie and a box and much to my disappointment, my pies were to big for their cute little homes.  I sent the pies on a plate but, how sad... no cute boxes!  Oh, well!

I am not sure what I will do this year but I think it will involve baking again and maybe chocolate.  Matthew is taking me to the Second Saturday art walk and to dinner on Saturday night for our date night.  I did just find a yummy looking brownie recipe on smittenkitchen.

pretty sure any following i had has given up on me...

I know I have not been so faithful when it comes to blogging. Or writing. Or even to my creative other self. Lately, I have been so disconnected to that creative other self, I fear she has fled the camp. I think she may be dancing in the hills of Austria singing "The hills are alive...". Or maybe she is getting ready for the release of her newest book. Or perhaps awaiting the first cut of her very own textile design on the softest, loftiest, buttery soft fabric available. This is not the first time I have lost her. Just when I think she has left me for good and my hopes are dashed, she swept in to make some creamy and tart lemon curd from our new dwarf Meyer lemon tree. And she so sweetly and softly reminded me as we carefully concocted our very own lemon curd that I, not she, am knitting and weaving away at the my most creative, daring, and brilliant venture yet - my girls.