Monday, July 25, 2011

making dinner special

I love dinner. The ritual of it-planning, shopping, cooking, and finally eating. My routine goes something like this: on Sunday evenings I make a meal plan for the week, see what we already have in the fridge and pantry, and make a list. I shop on Monday morning with the boys. Then, we try to cook at home all week and reserve eating out for Sundays after church (because who wants to cook after working up a sweat chasing preschoolers around ? Not me.)

Sometime after we had Nicky, cooking became really important to me. Having a small grocery budget was what really started it. It was a fun challenge to see if I could make interesting meals with what we had to work with. I found out it's totally possible. We were also trying to lose weight and learning to love eating fresh, simple food. Now, our food budget is a little more flexible and I tend to be led more by what I feel like making, but I'm so grateful for that time, when I learned to love cooking. Here's the tricky thing with dinner these days-it's a rough time of day. We usually eat at about 6 pm. It's getting close to Silas' bedtime, Nicky is wired because Papa just got home, and Ricky and I need a second wind but it's not time to sit just yet. Sometimes this creates a perfect storm of grumpiness (mostly on my part, I have to admit).

I kind of see this as a personal testing time for me-because most of the time what I feel like doing (and often do, sadly) is to start barking orders and feeling sorry for myself. So I'm trying to work on enjoying the whole process. Music helps greatly. A cold drink. Laughter. Silliness. Eating outside and watching the clouds roll in (even if they are just teasing us, day after day....)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share some dinner ideas on here-mostly to inspire myself to enjoy the process and make food that I would want to take pictures of. If you're reading and want to share some ideas yourself, I'd love to hear them.

Here's one from last week:
Frittata with bacon, spinach, roasted red peppers, yellow pear tomatoes and cheddar, simple salad, Corona with lime (a summer staple I say)

Monday, July 18, 2011

kindergarten ahead

So this morning we finally got word that Nicky's been accepted to the kindergarten class we were hoping for. He won't be quite five when school starts, so there was some deliberation involved. This all feels a little last-minute, since school starts August 11th. Wow. So I'm trying to think of what's really important to do before that big day comes. I think a special shopping trip is in order-school clothes, backpack, lunch box, and school supplies (ah, one of the best smells....) and a celebration dinner of some sort. I want him to feel special, and to be as excited as possible!
It's hard to believe we will have a kid in school. He's been to preschool before, but this just feels like a whole new world. I am happy and relieved that he gets to start this year though, because he's so, so ready. Also, it just so happens he'll be in the same class as two friends from church.
And so it begins.

photos by Marisela Lange, October 2010


102. simplicity in things that have been often been complicated for me
103. the extra time it takes to unload little ones from car-seats
104. bedtime
105. children's books that make me yawn....because I get to read to someone
106. kaleidoscopes
107. the smell of a (backyard) campfire

108. common prayer
109. hearing baby cries in the wee hours of the morning
110. cold tile
111. sidewalk chalk
112. lemons

113. a sense of peace and haven in my home
114. new dreams
115. little patients, recovering so much in one twelve hour shift
116. oxygen, technology, medicine
117. recovery of all sorts
118. Jesus, and words-more of that balm, becoming a habit

119. unease, leading me to tell the truth
120. breaking points
121. hard mornings, having to work at it
122. interruptions, my saving grace

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Silas is scooching,

and reaching,

and inching

and struggling

and noticing all kinds of new things

I may have to baby-proof sixteen small drawers soon. 

 Also, I should probably dust.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

welcome home

My brother came home from war. He saw things that most of us will not, and did a great deal of good. He disposes of bombs, usually by blowing them up, so that they don't blow up people. It was hard to hear some of his stories. There are things about the human condition that I don't have to confront very often, that others confront every single day.

Luke has a quiet, dry sense of humor. He's quick and witty. He's still waters. He's twenty-one years old. I'm so, so glad he's home and safe, with his whole life ahead of him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Nicky is spending a week at Grandma's house with his cousins.

VBS in the morning, slip n' slide and sandbox in the afternoon.

He doesn't have much time to talk to us on the phone. He's pretty busy.

It's quiet around here this week.

sink bath

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday afternoon drive

89. scenic routes
90. the smell of rain, even sweeter after months of waiting
91. time to think, sing and pray
92. napping babies
93. sleepy wake-up faces

94. dappled skies
95. cool mountain air

96. words that are a balm
97. salt in my wounds (I have to thank Him for this too, because it brings clarity)

98. laughter

99. unexpected stops

100. a glimpse of the world through a child's eyes

101. a drive over the mountain, a few quiet hours, nourishing rain, and a return to clear blue horizon

Cloudcroft, Mayhill, and Hope, NM

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Saturday morning, coffee, breakfast burritos from the gas station

drive through small town New Mexico, big skies all around

climb up to plateau

to an other-worldly sight

boy runs, free from seatbelt

scanning the skies

a Saturday all together is a special thing,

seeking out treasures together.

the Very Large Array- Magdalena, NM

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