Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I've been trying to write about my birthday all week, but every time I try to form feeling into words, they all seem so utterly inadequate.
For all those weeks when my husband asked, "What do you want to do for your birthday?" and all the times I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Ignore it,"which was really what I wanted to do, and for all the hours I spent truly agonizing over turning 50, I have been duly humbled.
Frankly, I'm ashamed.
When it finally dawned on me that what I wanted most was to spend the weekend in my favorite place with my favorite people, I could never have imagined how RIGHT that decision would turn out to be. For once, putting my foot down (about the party) actually paid off.
My people were all I needed.
They spoiled me, folks. Truly spoiled me.
Here, take a look.
From the swankity-swank of the hotel . . .
to the walks along the beach . . .
to a night at the theater . . .
to the amazing food we encountered all weekend . . .
. . . every minute was perfect.
Our three beauties joined us for dinner on Saturday night.
"Well . . . was turning 50 as horrific as you thought? As I approach the next decade marker, I realize that the 50s have been a particularly sweet time of life--marriages of children, grandchildren's arrivals, time to give to others, richness in marriage. All in all, I would say the 50s rock."
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
“I learned to live many years ago. Something really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had had a choice, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, sometimes seems to be the hardest lesson of all.
I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.”
Why would this truth, on this day, make me choke up?
Monday, April 15, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
Brown the sausage in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven until it's almost crispy on the outside. You need some of the brown drippings in the bottom of the pan to give the cassoulet its rich flavor.
Remove the sausage from the pan and add the onion, carrots, and parsnips. Brown these for a few minutes to soften the vegetables and add flavor. (Oh, O.K., I deviated from her recipe here too. Shauna said to add the chicken stock here, but I sauteed the vegetables first. Sorry!)
Bring all of this to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for about one hour. Your cassoulet should be thickened and the vegetables nice and tender.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Today will not be one of those deep-post days.
Today will be more like a here-sit-down-and-have-a-cup-of-coffee day. It's just one of those days that I need to get my thoughts out so I can move on and write other stuff.
I've realized that I don't let you in too much. As in, into my life. And I don't like that. I really want you to know me and to know what's going on in my life. I flatter myself to think that maybe you read here because you're interested. I don't know.
Or maybe you just like my recipes--who knows?
Anyway, maybe this post is a way of letting you know some things about me. It's not like my life is some huge secret or anything. There are, however, people in my life who would prefer that I keep some things to myself. I get that. And I try to.
So here we go. Some things that I want you to know about me.
** You know I teach, right? Thinking about teaching and actually going into work three days a week are probably what consume most of my thoughts these days. It shouldn't feel as busy as it does, and that frustrates me sometimes. Here's what my Monday/Wednesday/Fridays look like:
5:30 a.m. - wake up, stumble to the shower, get ready for my day
7:00 a.m. - take Julia to school, then head into my office
9:15 a.m. - teach my class
10:30-? - read, grade papers, prep for next class
I usually try to finish up around 12:30 when I either head home or meet my friends for lunch (a regular Wednesday thing). Afternoons are my time to run errands, walk the dog, write (oh, the ongoing angst about THAT), make dinner.
Right now I only teach one class, but in the fall I'll have two. Which will make my thoughts even more swirly and discombobulated.
But it's all good because I love my job and get to teach the most amazing group of college students ever. I'm confident that God has called me to it for now, and that makes it all worthwhile.
** One bummer about my job is that my spring break doesn't line up with Julia's, so every year we have to figure out what to do about that. This year we decided to pull her out of school for three days and high tail it out of here. (She's still making up the work she missed!)
But it was so great to be in the Florida sunshine, even for a short while.
Here's my honey and me. Twenty-eight years--totally worth it.
** In other thought-consuming news, B and I purchased a rental home near the college this year. We haven't done much with it yet since we still have renters, but the townhome is in need of, shall we say, a leeettle bit of work. This summer my job will be to completely restore that house, including replacing all of the flooring on the first floor (don't worry, it's not that big) and painting the entire place. And, yes, I plan to do much of the work myself in order to save money.
Call me crazy.
Just do. Because I think I am.
And I'm spending way too many hours thinking about paint colors.
** My sister had a baby! Amazing and delicious all rolled into one. And so sublime because we haven't had a new baby on my side of the family in, oh, 15 years. It's all very exciting.
I'm especially excited because this weekend I'm flying to Dallas to meet my newest niece, Gracie (do you not just LOVE that name?!). I'm not sure you'll be able to pry her out of my arms for the 48 hours I'll be there.
** I spend a lot of time thinking about and praying for my kids. Both of my college girls came home for Easter weekend and we all had a great time together. It gave me a glimpse into what our summer will be like since, for the first time in about four years, everyone will be home. Just a hunch, but it's going to be loud, boisterous, talkative, and full of laughter.
Here's our little Easter brunch right before church.
Easter was a little different for us this year because it was also Kate's 21st birthday.
Happy birthday, lovie!
So we said we'd celebrate Easter in the morning and that after noon it would be all about Kate's birthday. It worked for us.
** Speaking of birthdays, I have the next birthday in our family which is something that consumes way too much of my thought life. I don't have time to write about right now--this birthday is going to take a post of its own because it's a big one and I have thoughts.
** As I write I'm listening to Julia practice piano. Difficult strains of an unfamiliar Debussy piece are floating through our house. She's struggled with one line for weeks now, and last night, after her piano lesson, she cried out in frustration that she didn't think she would EVER get it right. I told her to hang in there, to not give up, and that one day it would just click and she'd get it.
Just now, over the music she shouted, "That's it!"
These are the moments I love being a parent the most.
**Last thing: be sure to come back on Friday because if you're one of those don't-care-about-your-life-but-you-give-me-good-recipes people you are really going to be happy. AND it involves a book review. Bonus!
There. Brain dump is completed. Maybe now I can move on and actually write something.
That's what's on my mind, what's on YOURS?