Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Girl

When Grace starts smiling and cooing, the whole world stops. Michael and I drop everything to play with her and talk with her until she's had enough.

Gazing at Daddy's face.

And there's the grin. Look at the way those eyes start to disappear, just like Daddy's.

Her signature tongue out look.

These are the moments in the day that make all the exhausting hours more than worth it. We're both smitten!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chernobyl Strawberries

Why do I garden? Produce tastes better when picked at maturity. I love to watch the process of growth. It's nice to get outside. I can grow food that is expensive or that can't even be purchased in a grocery store. It's satisfying to eat food that I grew myself.

It's also fun to see all of the crazy shapes fruits and vegetables take when they aren't produced commercially. Here are some of our strawberries from our strawberry barrel that look like they've survived nuclear fallout! 

Check out these too.

And speaking of fruits and vegetables that are hard to find in grocery stores, I just got seeds for Romanesco broccoli in the mail! I've been fascinated by this fractal vegetable since college, but have never actually seen it in real life, so we're going to grow it! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It Feels Like Christmas

When you wear spit up on a daily basis and often smell like sour milk, it's nice to wear a super cute pair of shoes. I recently picked these up at Kohl's. And the best part is that between the sale, the 20% off coupon, and my gift card, they only cost $3!

Pre-baby, I read about thirty books a year. I assumed that when Grace came, I would have to severely cut back on my reading. I was totally wrong! Caring for a baby means lots of breastfeeding which means lots of sitting still which means lots of time for reading. Since holding a baby and a book is a little tricky for me and since I've always kind of wanted one, I recently used some stocked up birthday/Christmas money to buy a Kindle Paperwhite. I love it!

What have I been reading? "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan (very interesting), "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein (not so good), and the cookbook "Deep Dark Chocolate" (very hunger pains inducing).

My in-laws also recently splurged and bought us this awesome BOB jogging stroller. I can't wait to get back to my evening runs and I can't wait to do the 5.5 mile hiking trail right by my house again, but this time with Grace!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I tried to grow flowers twice. Both times I failed. Then, Grace came along. We didn't tend to our garden, the weather warmed, and three of the winter leafy greens bolted sending wispy yellow and white flowers high over our garden.

I suppose I have found the most successful flower growing formula for me: plant veggies + don't take care of them = flowers!

The fact that the whole garden was trying to go to seed clued us in to the change in seasons, so we're in the process of transitioning our garden from winter mode to summer mode. We harvested the edible parts of the bok choy, Chinese broccoli, arugula, and snap peas and ripped out the rest of the plants. We harvested lots of carrots and beets too.

By the way, beet greens are edible and delicious. When they are young, throw them in a salad along with other greens. When they are mature, follow these instructions:

  1. Blanch the greens in boiling water for two minutes and then cool them immediately in ice water. To use the stems, chop them up and blanch them for a little longer than the greens.
  2. Lightly brown finely chopped garlic in olive oil, then sauté the greens and stems in oil and garlic.
Any edible greens can be cooked this way!

Michael is outside right now working on the summer garden. It will include two types of squash, several varieties of peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and other yummy plants. Pictures and a post to come!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Baby Cousins

Growing up, I had two girl cousins close in age. During our childhood and teen years, the three of us lived in Portugal, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania... and I may still be forgetting a couple of states. Since we lived so far apart, we didn't see each other often, but when we did, we had a rollicking good time being too noisy and writing and performing plays for the family that we thought were comedic gold but were probably horribly boring!

Back in October, Michael and I learned that our baby on the way was a girl, and two days later, we got a most exciting call from my brother and his wife saying that they were going to adopt a little girl who was only a few days old. Given my close relationship with my cousins growing up, I was so thrilled that Grace was going to have a girl cousin just a few months older than her!

This past week, they finally got to meet.

Grace looks very concerned. I guess she doesn't know yet that Lilianna will be her friend!

I love this series of pictures. Lilianna looks cute as a button, as always. Grace looks, well, interesting. (We love you, baby girl!)

Sleeping cousins.

I am so thrilled to get to watch these two grow up together!

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