Monday, January 30, 2012

Be still, my heart.

All day long I was thinking about how much I love my little girl. I kept thinking about how sometimes my love for her is so big that it feels like my heart will explode right out of my chest. And then? This happened after dinner.

19 months.

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19 months is probably my favorite age, yet. It's seriously entertaining. Chris and I laugh out loud daily as she makes expressions, develops language and tries to figure out what we are saying to her. She has specific interests- walking outside with her push car daily at 9:30am and 4:30pm (conveniently timed smack dab in the middle of my favorite shows), reading books, Mickey Mouse (Mouuuuuu!), putting on shoes, loving on her babies and playing in the backyard. She is her own little person. It struck me today as I watched her climb onto our living room chair and make herself comfortable for a little Mickey Mouse watching before nap, just how much she's changed. It's sometimes hard to believe these two pictures capture the same little girl, just 18 months apart.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Chris was away for a long weekend this past weekend. Let's just say I wasn't cut out to be a single mom or a wife whose husband travels. I was absolutely miserable by the time he arrived home. I am so, so happy to have him back.

While it was definitely hard, I do have to admit that the extra one-on-one time with Meredith was really bonding. I feel even closer to her now than I did before. One of her new favorite things to do at the park is swing with me. I love it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Growing up, my mom sewed. I'm not sure how much or how frequently, but I have many vivid memories of watching her thread the machine, press the foot pedal and watch as the needle sped up and down, up and down. When my parents moved to Texas a couple of years ago, I got my mom's old machine. That was two and a half years ago and it's sat collecting dust since then. Last week I finally took it in to get tuned up. The woman at the store obviously thought I should just spend the money on a newfangled computerized machine, but I held out. I wanted to use my mom's machine. So after two days' wait, I went and fetched my shiny old machine and some fabric. I wasn't sure where to start so I picked a pillowcase and used Elizabeth's step-by-step tutorial. I hadn't sewn in so long. I'm pretty sure I hadn't since middle school home ec class. It took me a while to remember all the things like threading the bobbin and threading the machine. I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing, but it wasn't. I had a few issues, but overall, for a first attempt, I felt successful. I love how the pillow turned out, even though it's far from perfect. And now I'm excited for more projects!

Friday, January 20, 2012

oh, this kid.

Oh, this kid, this kid. I just love her so much. It's like my heart has gone and exploded about 12 sizes larger in the last week and i just can't get enough. She's babbling and singing and using words. She's hugging the lambs in her books and squeezing as many stuffed animals as her little arms will hold while squealing with joy. She is building towers with her stacking cups and knocking them down. She is putting things in and out, in and out, in and out of the washing machine. She plays with water as long we'll let her and loves drinking straight from the faucet. She feeds herself yogurt and oatmeal with a spoon and makes the biggest mess you ever did see. She stands on our bed and falls face first onto a pile of pillows, giggling wildly. She puts a bucket on the crook of her elbow, heads for the door and tells us, "Bye!" as she heads off to shop or find Mickey Mouse in real life, or something. She grabs my face between her two little hands and leans forward to give me the sweetest kiss you ever did receive. She hugs my neck so tight my head might pop off.

She is my daughter and some days I just can't quite believe my luck.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Caramelized Onion Foccacia

For our anniversary, I wanted to make some yummy bread to go with the steak and veggies we were planning to grill. I have this great new cookbook, The Mixer Bible, to use with my new stand mixer and I'm loving all the recipes. Foccacia with Caramelized Onions stood out to me, so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. It was so delicious. Other than taking a decent amount of time, like all yeast breads, it wasn't difficult. I did over cook it by a few minutes, but it still tasted great :) The recipe is from the cookbook, but you can also find it here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Walk along the pier.

On Saturday, we ventured into San Francisco. It was another perfect California day. I can't quite believe how many perfect days we've had since moving here two months ago. I think it's been an extra kind winter, but I like to think it will always be this wonderful.

We started at the Ferry Building and made our way up to Ghiradhelli Square with the promise of delicious sundaes keeping us going. We got to see the sea lions at Pier 39, the tackiness of Fisherman's Wharf and beauty of the ocean and grass a little further north. Meredith was a champ while we strolled, soaked up and sun and got our first glimpse of real life nudists (yuck).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Santa Cruz

Yesterday we set off for Santa Cruz with our friends. It was a beautiful sunshine-y day and we were excited for a drive through the mountains that would end at the beach. The day didn't disappoint as we enjoyed sand, sun, saltwater and strolling through the downtown.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Links


My oldest friend, Alicia, and her husband are coming in town this weekend. I am SO excited. While we're off exploring this excellent city of ours, I have some links to share.

This week we enjoyed a couple really tasty meals: Corn & Black Bean Quinoa and Stuffing Stuffed Pork Chops (Thanks, Val!). For the quinoa recipe, I didn't serve it as a cold salad, but instead sauteed and warmed up all the ingredients. It was very tasty and very hearty. And the pork chops? I mostly needed an excuse for stuffing. I can't quite let go of that part of the holidays.

I loved Mandy's post about her bra fitting. She has such a hysterical way of writing. I must admit, I've never had a bra fitting! She makes me think I should get one. I believe it'd be quite depressing with my current, post-breastfeeding situation.

My friend Shannen is starting a book club! The first book is Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Can you believe I have never read it? Well, me neither! I'm so happy to have a reason to finally get to it. You should join in the discussion, too!

Do you read Cupcakes and Cashmere? I love her blog, but her outfits don't typically relate much to my mommy at the park lifestyle. This outfit, while not something I'd be able to wear daily, was just so beautiful.

Did you read Elizabeth's post last Friday? It was so, so good and reading the comments made me think about so much. The thing that has stuck with me all week is that I would like to spend more time engaging with Meredith than checking through blogs and twitter. I've been doing a lot more lap reading and rug playing this week and I have to say, it feels good.