Saturday, November 8, 2014

Saturday Surfing {favorite spots from around the web}


Saturdays are the perfect time for a little aimless web-wandering and here are few of my recent reads I'd like to recommend to you.

The Wild Surrender of Motherhood by Carrie Ann Moss @Annapurna Living
This new website launched this week and is absolutely lovely. Remember Carrie Ann Moss from the Matrix movies? Well she is now the founder and inspiration behind this blog.  Here is an excerpt of her vision for annapurnaliving.com :

FROM CARRIE-ANNE ...
“To see womanhood through eyes of grace.” 
My desire is to live in a world where nourishment is valued. I believe a nourished family will lead to a nourished world. I believe life is beautiful and that our divine purpose in this world is to nurture the earth by respecting it and being grateful for what it provides us.
My wish is to inspire others to create beautiful, honest and satisfying lives.


My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends @A Design So Vast
Unfortunately, over the past few years I have found that the challenges of female friendships continue into adulthood. This article helped me realize I am not alone in these experiences.


Gratitude Week 2014 @michellegd.com
Starts Sunday, November 10. Are you in?


Chapter One free download from The Best Yes book  by Lysa TerKeurst
I just finished reading this book with a book club. It was so good. Even if you know how to make the right decisions for your family and your personal time, reading a book that affirms your right to do-so is so validating.


Creamy Chicken Lasagna Recipe from Runner's World Magazine
I've never made this recipe but it got my wheels turning for an after-Thanksgiving meal idea to use leftover turkey. Thanksgiving is just three weeks away! Time to plan the menu and the fun.


Happy surfing!






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Monday, August 11, 2014

Savoring Summer {Staying in the Season}





The desk full of binders, calendars, sports schedules and dreamy ideas is where I currently find myself, while my mind continues to stray back to the mountains and clouds of our trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

We have been home for a week and I decided in future, I must come home better mentally prepared for the onslaught of emails and to-do items that pile up when we go away for two whole weeks. The fact that school resumes one week from today only intensifies the pressure to get it all done right away.

Usually at this point in August I am eager for cooler, less humid days hinting at the beauty of spicy Autumn flavors. Not this year. I am so invigorated by my return to normal movement following the long recovery from knee surgery that I don't want these summery days to end. At least not until they officially end on September 23, 2014.

This year feels like a do-over, the last one so consumed by injury, pain and slow, slow, slow recovery. My mind is bursting with goals and creative aspirations. I am (surprisingly) eager to resume the familiar round of driving to multiple soccer and now football (ack) practices that completely overtake our evenings and weekends. The reality is clear, my days must be set aside for chores and staying on top of our family life while the nights will be full-on taxi driving and hurry scurry. My husband's already full travel schedule seems to have morphed into superhuman status including several trips abroad for two weeks at a time. We have come to grips with the fact that we will see each other much less while our schedules have simultaneously become much busier.

But this is the way of things I have learned, that all families simply get busier each year and many husbands are gone for longer stretches of time than my own. We can do this and, luckily, I feel up to the task. So until September 23, I plan to savor each moment of this season and continue crossing items off the Summer 2014 Bucket Lists before I finish the Fall 2014 bucket list I may have already started working on.



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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

At the Water's Edge {52 Photos Project}




Sometimes I have to pinch myself that where we live, day after day, is actually a vacation destination for many people who come from far away to spend a weekend on the beach. They may have saved money for months to afford a few days splashing around in the waves and relaxing on the san that makes up our neighborhood.

I feel such gratitude that I can zip down the beach road on a whim, as we did yesterday, with less than two hours to spare; we simply needed to swim in the sea. It was almost 100 degrees outside and the sun gleamed in a brilliant blue sky. So off we went, while Kai was at camp, to the beach.  The older two boys swam gleefully as I read Bread and Wine and dreamed of delicious meals to make my sun-kissed family for dinner.

At one point I looked up and snapped this photo of my view. Then I pinched myself. This really is our home, our daily vacation spot, the place my boys have now lived for longer than anywhere else in their lives. We are living this beachy life, making our family's memories at the water's edge.



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Monday, June 30, 2014

Daybook {June Swoon 2014}

Outside my window

These summer days have been beyond beautiful. Today is the last day of June and I hate to see it go. I had a fun hashtag on IG #juneswoon2014 where I documented all the lusciousness of this month. Time to switch over to July and full-blown summer heat, patriotism and travels. I need a new hashtag...

Reading

One of the best parts of summer is the freedom to read. For fun, whenever and wherever we feel the need. As always I have many books going at once.

My books:

The Little Oratory Still participating in the read-along here but have yet to formally set-up my oratory.
Bread and Wine Almost done. It's good.
What To Wear for the Rest of Your Life I love the section on organizing your wardrobe. So need this.
Poser Can I quit this one yet? I'm bored.
Done : A Cook's Guide to Knowing When Food Is Perfectly Cooked Always have to read at least one cookbook and this one takes me back to basics.


Audio Books
The Secret Life of Violet Grant I am listening to this one and not loving it nearly as much as her other book, A Hundred Summers.
Outlander I am listening to this one again for probably the fifth time. I read it when it first came out in 1992 and have waited anxiously for each additional release over the past 22 years. Now the latest is here and I don't want to crack the cover. The sooner I start, the sooner it will end!

Kai (age 6)
Magic Bone: Be Careful What You Sniff For 
Kenny and The Dragon

Zach (age 11)
The House of Secrets Book 2 
Tangerine
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Soccer IQ : Things That Smart Players Do



Rhys (age 12)
Dr. J : The Autobiography
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Mr. Mornings
The First Phone Call From Heaven


Out and About

We have had a busy summer of camps, and still have three more to go, but somehow it has felt  well balanced this year. Too many days without plans leads to trouble around the house but not enough margin in our days and we feel wrung out and eventually get sick.

The older boys were volunteer helpers while Kai attended as a camper. It was a big hit and they all want to do it again next year.



Vacation Bible School

Rhys is playing on a team put together by some classmates. They have no practices but play every weekend. This has been a fun way to stay in the game.
Field House Basketball Games



We had never attended the annual church picnic before but we did this year and had a wonderful time. The boys spent the afternoon in the water with friends from church while I got terribly sunburned visited and enjoyed the scenery.



 Parish Picnic












 Basketball Camp

















The older two boys went to the same week long, all day basketball camp this year that they loved last summer. Once again, they enjoyed the competition, as well as the freedom and independence this old-fashioned camp offers. Next year all three will participate I think. They really want Kai there with them.
After the Movies


















Right now it's hard to find movies for our whole family to see together. Kai is still too young for the super-hero movies the older boys like so we have to split up to have a movie outing. However, we recently went to How to Train Your Dragon 2 in 3D and all five of us loved it. Plus the 3D glasses are always worth wearing for a photo.


Around the House




When we're not out and about, there is a lot of reading, playing X-box or watching sports on TV. I usually retreat to the kitchen work or slip out to the deck with a book. Sometimes being the only girl, and not a very sporty one at that, in a house of four sports-loving males can be a little isolating. That being said, I am absolutely loving the World Cup this time around. My boys are all such huge soccer fans that they have sucked me right into the game. Having the USA to cheer for is all the better. 


Pursuing

I snapped this shot of my legs while waiting to see the surgeon last Friday. I am officially four months out from ACL/meniscus surgery and finally feeling like myself again. The surgeon had good news : I am ready to start jogging again. Not that I am a real runner, but I do like to jog for exercise and I have missed it and any form of exercise now for seven long months. I am feeling out of shape and quite plump and cannot wait just to get moving again.

The five scars are healing really well  (the one down my shin is from childhood and not this surgery) and my mobility, though painfully slow to return, is nearly normal again. I cannot straighten the leg fully nor can I bend it fully but the average person would never know by my walk that I am still healing. I will continue to go to physical therapy to get back to running and then see the doc one more time in August. Then I should be free and be able to put this year of knee pain behind me. #sograteful


 In the Kitchen

Cedar Planked Salmon
Pine Nut Basil Pesto
Strawberry Jam
Since my knee is so much stronger, I have thrown myself back into my first love - cooking. I am determined to cross off as many of these recipes as I can this summer. To that end I have created a menu plan for each week:
MONDAYS Chicken and a side dish 
TUESDAYS easy
WEDNESDAYS Seafood 
THURSDAYS easy
FRIDAYS Pork or Beef
SATURDAYS eat out
SUNDAYS Sweets

So far it has been amazingly helpful. I just plan the three main dinners for the week and the rest falls easily into place. We are ticking off the bucket list and I am feeling creative at the same time.

Meals This Week
MONDAY Goat Cheese Chicken Breasts, Hassleback grilled potatoes, salad
TUESDAY smoked turkey subs
WEDNESDAY Paella
THURSDAY BLTS
FRIDAY Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, Apple Pie, American Flag Cookie Cake
SATURDAY eat out
SUNDAY Tortilla Española, Gazpacho, Tinto de Verano


Looking forward to


The 4th of July (and USA vs Belgium)
Our epic road trip to South Dakota and North Dakota at the end of the month.




Sharing and getting more inspiration here:




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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Family Fun {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

PRETTY




This year the hydrangeas are big enough that I feel I can cut a few blooms for the house without leaving the entire shrub naked for the neighbors. I think these flowers would be blue if I treated the soil with acidity(?) but I prefer low-maintenance gardening and choose to embrace the natural variations my yard produces. I have planted three varieties of hydrangeas since we moved here five years ago. The other two bloom later in the season but are growing the fullest I have ever seen. My  landscaping goal was to plant a variety of perennial flowering shrubs so that something is always in bloom. Each year I pull out what hasn't worked(such as the dwarf gardenias) and replaced things with something new. The hydrangeas are keepers for sure. 

 HAPPY

We rarely take family photos and this one is blurry but still I love it so. It somehow captures the closeness we have in this season of life.  I recently told my husband that it feels like we are in the "golden hour" of our family right now. This particular combination of pre-teens and little boys is so much fun. They are still firmly "in the nest" but are learning to fly as well. The other day I was asking the boys what they wanted to do that day and my oldest said he didn't care - he just wants to be together as a family. That comment has lingered in my mind and helped me re-focus our summer fun plans. If that's what they want that's what we'll do. How easy to please are these kids? Plus that's all my husband and I want to do too! 


FUNNY




Kai and his best friend have been in school together for three years. This year they graduated from Kindergarten and will move on to first grade together. They are both six years old. I think I have as much fun listening to their conversations as they have playing together. They are full of wisdom and imagination simultaneously. And their smiles melt my heart.

REAL



Last week we had a storm blow up one evening that was like a mini hurricane. It was actually a series of microbursts. It blew the trees sideways, knocked us out of power until midnight and took down some lovely trees in our area, including this one at a nearby softball park. Kai cried when he saw it. Truly cried, real deal tears and we had to stop to pay homage to a tree he had loved. We took pictures and brought some wood home to  help us remember Kai's "buddy tree" and the June 2014 storm. Let's hope that's the only "hurricane" in store for us this year.










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Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Foods Bucket List 2014


We are steadily checking off our 100 Days of Summer Fun list and I cannot believe how motivating and focusing it has been. I am a person who can be a creative jump-starter and quickly fizzle out into a non-finisher. It is something I am consciously trying to change and the publicized summer list has been helping beautifully.

Naturally, I began to imagine all the other lists I could make and decided to share another one for this summer. You see I have recently been getting my kitchen mojo back and have so many recipes earmarked in various cookbooks and magazines that I decided to collect the best ones on a Summer Foods Bucket List.

Some of these are the it-wouldn't-be-summer-without-this recipes that I grew up with and have made for years. Others are brand-new-to-me recipes that sound delicious to the whole family (not counting Kai the picky eater of the family). I've provided links to the ones I could find on the web in case you are interested in making them yourself. As I did with my Summer Fun list, I will create a tab below my header where I will cross off the items as we go. For this list I will also give a rating by each recipe. My family has great fun impersonating the Top Chef judges after every meal so I promise the ratings will be hard-earned!




HOT OFF THE GRILL

Kansas City Pork Ribs
NY Strip Steak with Gorgonzola Butter
Beer Can Chicken
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts
Cedar Planked Salmon
Best Ever Burgers
Fish Tacos
Grecian Chicken Skewers
Pork Tenderloin Sliders with BBQ Ranch
Bacon Wrapped Brats
BBQ Chicken
Salmon Gyros
Chicken Spiedini 
Cider Brined Pork Chops
Marinated Chicken Paillards
Buttermilk Brined Chicken Breasts
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Goat Cheese
Caribbean Rubbed Chicken Breasts
Grilled Potato Slices
Grilled Veggie Packs
Grilled Asparagus
Grilled Hasselback Potatoes









SUMMERY SPECIALS

BLTS
Ensalada Española
Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Corn on the Cob
Summer Squash Casserole
Pecan Chicken Salad
Cold Cucumber Salad
Caprese Salad
Homemade Basil Pesto
Deviled Eggs
Baked Beans
Crab Cakes
Tortilla Española
Shrimp and Cheese Grits
Paella
Steamed Mussels
Gazpacho
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Stuffed Green Peppers
Santa Maria Beans
Vinaigrette
Marinade
Dry Rub
BBQ Sauce
Freezer  Butters
Hot Fudge Sundaes
Root Beer Floats
Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Shortcake
Apple Pie
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry-Peach Jam
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
Triple Berry Jam
Grama Addie's Dill Pickles
American Flag Cookie Cake
Iced Coffee
Tinto De Verano
Chocolate Fondue
Frozen Chocolate Milk






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Thursday, June 5, 2014

100 Days of Summer Fun 2014


Actually we only have 75 days of Summer this year but according to Pinterest there is plenty of time to do 100 fun things with your family between May and September. But I am not the kind of crafty mom with high expectations of making homemade kites and rainbow-colored cakes. I also don't want a list of obligations that make me feel like I failed summer when I don't get them all crossed off.

No, our list is more of a round-up of all the potentially beautiful moments and activities that will be possible for us this summer. One thing I would love to do is photograph each of the items as we do them, share them on IG, and at the end of the summer create a photo book of the images using Printstagram. I think I'll need to create my own hashtag to keep the photos grouped together such as #mm100days. This is my level of doable. Maybe my list will inspire you to add some new ideas to your list. If you have one, please leave a link for me in the comments so I may read yours too!
  1. have a picnic
  2. suntan by the pool
  3. have a cabana pool party
  4. go to an outdoor festival
  5. make ice cream
  6. have a water-balloon fight
  7. stargaze
  8. play in the blow up pool
  9. see the sunrise
  10. take a road trip
  11. sleepover at a friend's house
  12. go to the farmer's market
  13. see an IMAX movie
  14. blow bubbles
  15. sit in the shade of a tree
  16. read by flashlight
  17. water-color painting
  18. call your Grandparents
  19. go to a museum
  20. find a new beach
  21. eat from the ice cream truck
  22. grow basil
  23. go to the water park
  24. plant flowers
  25. do one IG photo a day
  26. go to the library
  27. make cookies
  28. play cards
  29. watch cartoons
  30. send printed pictures
  31. swim in the ocean
  32. roast marshmallows
  33. have a bonfire
  34. make Popsicles
  35. build a fort
  36. run through the sprinkler
  37. read all day
  38. see the sunset
  39. have a friend sleepover
  40. visit Grandma's house
  41. go bowling
  42. see fireworks on the 4th
  43. drink lemonade
  44. read poetry 
  45. make jam
  46. write a letter
  47. find a new park
  48. make a bird feeder
  49. play with sparklers
  50. watch a thunderstorm
  51. play in the rain
  52. go on a bike ride
  53. write thank you notes
  54. go on a scavenger hunt
  55. play charades
  56. build Legos
  57. play board games
  58. read stories aloud
  59. clear out closets
  60. summer reading logs
  61. drink milkshakes
  62. catch fireflies
  63. make a video
  64. drink root beer floats
  65. eat ice cream cones
  66. go for a nature walk
  67. play yard games
  68. visit the bookstore
  69. try a new restaurant
  70. fill out school-year memory book
  71. cook/bake together
  72. Smash-book
  73. botanical garden
  74. go for a hike
  75. see a waterfall
  76. play at the rec center
  77. create a summer photo book
  78. eat outside often
  79. make a puppet show
  80. play flashlight tag
  81. eat popcorn for dinner
  82. do a family puzzle
  83. play with cousins
  84. see a parade
  85. write a story
  86. make art with sidewalk chalk
  87. grill out using a new recipe
  88. buy new school supplies
  89. buy new school uniforms
  90. do a good deed for someone
  91. write in a journal
  92. send a post card
  93. practice drawing
  94. ride a ferris wheel
  95. play in a tent
  96. visit an aquarium
  97. jump in a bounce house
  98. play in an arcade
  99. make special Father's Day cards
  100. take a nap

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer in the Little Oratory : Chapter One


One of the fun things I am doing for myself (and for my family) this summer is the Summer in the Little Oratory book group at Elizabeth's blog. We are reading the book and coming together on Wednesdays to share our thoughts about each chapter. There is also a  free podcast with Leila Lawler, one of the authors, that adds much to the reading. This week was the Introduction and Chapter One "The Christian Life".

While I was busy reading and underlining this section, my youngest son, Kai, was eagerly looking over my shoulder at the illustrations. He even took the book with him for the day and paged reverently throughout, gazing at the simple but beautiful black and white drawings which help illustrate the components of creating a little oratory or prayer corner in your home. Kai is now fully on board and eager to create this nook of our own. This is the power of a book with illustrations and I must say, even as an adult, I adore these added details to this book. It's as though I am reading someone's journal where she has jotted images to enhance her ideas. So fun!


What I loved most about this section was how the authors described the difficulty converts have in transferring their vast amount of book knowledge, gained through their conversion process, into living a Catholic life in their homes. We converts are on fire and eager to feel, look and be more Catholic and yet, when you have not been raised in a Catholic home, it is so confusing and hard to put one's finger on what that really looks like. I remember being in RCIA class and asking our teacher, "So when do we learn how to do all those really Catholic things like pray the Rosary,  celebrate the feast days or ask intercession of the Saints?" My teacher had no specific answers and we never did learn about any of those mysterious practices we newbies had envisioned in our minds that all Catholics just seemed to know. We may have joined the Church at the vigil but felt little more that Protestants attempting to participate in the still quite confusing but most holy Mass.

I thought of my own mother, a new Catholic convert this year, and how she is now set out to sea, attending Mass but having no idea how to bring the Mass into her own home, into her daily life. (Mom you need to get this book!) 

The Christian life is not fully contained in one hour at church each week. That is the highest form of prayer and keeps us united with the body of Christ, but there is also a private side to the Christian life and it encompasses the rest of the week. The book is designed to help us live a "unified life of faith", to bring the liturgy home with us and to connect to the body of Christ throughout the day by following the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office

It's not that we want a set of rote practices to perform to make us appear Catholic, but rather we yearn to use the traditional practices of the Catholic faith to help us express our love for Christ and to stay in tune with Him and His will throughout the day.


I have a sign in our kitchen that says THIS IS MY HAPPY PLACE and that is also the message of this book. The home is our haven and we have the privilege to make it the most inviting, hospitable and safe place for our family and friends to come and find rest. This is my deepest desire for my family, to find our home to be their happy place. This is also the aim of a Christian life.

Chapter One refers to Pope Emeritus Benedict's description of the Via Pulchritudinis, or the Way of Beauty. This is the light of joy that flows from a peaceful Christian and spreads to those around him or her. This joy is the result of the inner life of a Christian, the fruit of one's relationship with God in prayer and practice. This is the beauty that draws people away from the darkness in the world and into  a life of faith. I am excited to read on and find new ways of bringing this peace, joy and light into our home and our daily practices.



Sharing Here


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Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer Planning and Fun for Moms




Once again I am amazed at how much the month of May resembles the frantic pace and pressure of December. There are so many end-of-year parties, graduations, and programs to attend and in one's free time there is urgency to sign-up, register and reserve spots in all sorts of summer camps and classes.

For someone (me) who prefers life at a stop-and-smell-the-roses pace, this time of year can make me feel like I have ADD. I cannot focus. I run errands sure that I have forgotten something when I leave the store. Suddenly all sorts of escapist novels seem appealing and I am pining for slowed-down summer days.

Except that this year we have a pretty jam-packed summer schedule lined up for the boys. First, there is Vacation Bible School. The older boys will be volunteering as helpers and my newly minted 1st grader will attend for the first time.  Then comes a week of all-day basketball camp for Rhys and Zach.  I look forward to having Kai all to myself for an entire week. He is an enthusiastic new reader whose greatest love right now is going to the library. We are set!

July brings a week of summer fun camp just for Kai when I will have the two older boys all to myself. That week will be full of trips to the beach and the water park where they can run (nearly) free and I don't have to keep an eye trained on my little one every second. This spells heaven for me because I can enjoy the sun and the water (from a distance) while I read books and magazines galore.

The following week in July, my middle son will attend a week of all-day soccer camp at a local college. He cannot wait. While he is there, I will be knee-deep in packing for our summer road trip to our home-land, The Dakotas. In honor of my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary we are driving 1900  miles (gulp) to meet up with them and all their children and grandchildren in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We will stay in one huge cabin making daily visits to the local sights which my own children have never seen : Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish Canyon. These are the places I frequented at their ages and now I get to share them as a mom. After touring South Dakota we will head to our hometown of Bismarck, North Dakota for a while before making the return drive home.

And believe it or not, school will be ready to start again shortly thereafter.

So all this planning for the boys got me thinking about how moms should also have some summer plans just for them. I have come across several on-line summer opportunities that seem like fun creative-outlets for me over the summer. 

Read-Along Fun The Little Oratory with Elizabeth Foss and Leila Marie Lawler . Buy the book here. The meet-ups begin Wednesday, May 28th on Elizabeth's site. (Free but for the cost of the book.)

Instagram Fun Phone Photography Project 2 from Big Picture Classes. I did this last summer and loved it. This year looks even better and Ali Edwards has joined the crew. The sharing begins July 17th and ends August 18th. ($59.00)

Cooking Fun I read this post by Lindsey and felt the urge to make this little ritual a part of our summer. Maybe you will too? Family Dinner - A Design So Vast (Free)

Pinterest Fun Pinterest is loaded with fun ideas for your Summer Bucket List. I have a board devoted to saving them and this year I plan to consciously check some of them off the list. This board is much better. The Happy Family has a free challenge you can sign up for here. (Free)


What do you have planned? Please let me know if there is something I should add to my list!


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Fire {52 Photos Gallery 1}



Fire 


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Monday, May 5, 2014

My Word of the Year 2014


I had every intention of publishing this post in early January, 2014. That time of year, so ripe with new beginnings always brings out my inner perfectionist. I manage to keep her down most of the time but come January 1st, I am ready to start fresh, re-examine my routines, my priorities, my life along with most of the rest of the world. This year I even joined Ali in her One Little Word course with the idea that I would document the results of my already yearly practice of choosing one guiding word.

A few years ago I got a bit smarter though, and abandoned the idea of making New Year's Resolutions. They seemed like a list of hard and fast rules that only wind up making me feel defeated by January 15th.

Instead I have slid into the much more comfortable realm of setting intentions. It's the difference between wearing a push-up bra and your t-shirt bra. Both do the job but one allows you to breathe and the other makes you count the minutes until you can take it off.

So it is that I have been breathing deeply of the first four months of 2014, letting my word, intention, settle into the cracks and crevices of my mind, my thoughts, my decisions. My word has served as a touchstone of focus before I act.

Before I respond to an e-mail, I ask myself what are my intentions in my response?  Before I say yes to an opportunity, I ask what is my intention if I choose to do it? Is it to please the asker and avoid a conflict or is it my real  intention to say yes because I want to?  Before I respond to a thoughtful or argumentative question, I silently consider the true intention behind my response. Are my words secretly intended to hurt or are they intended to bring us closer?

This may sound like a lot of extra thinking but it has done the opposite. It creates clarity of thought. It slows me down. It makes me consider carefully and weigh my options before reacting. It keeps me at peace with myself and my choices because they are being made purposefully rather than reflexively or simply to please other people.

It helps me live as my authentic self which, I have realized, is my deepest intention of all. (Isn't it everyone's?)

So, now that I have publicly declared my intentions, I intend to spend more time documenting them here and in my lovely OLW album that is completely empty so far. But I won't be doing it under pressure, I'll be doing it peacefully, authentically, intentionally.



My word for 2013 : TRUST
My word for 2012 : CREATE
My word for 2011 : ENOUGH


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mom's Banana Bread







Few things bring me back to childhood the way certain taste memories do. My mom's banana bread is one of them because it has always been different from every other banana bread I've tried. Mostly I don't care for banana bread because it is so dry. And don't even try to add walnuts! Having a mother who is allergic to all nuts, I grew up never having crunchy nuts added to brownies, cakes or muffins. Now I occasionally like them that way but Mom's banana bread remains nut-free.

The reason this recipe makes such a moist bread is the use of shortening rather than butter and the fact that it is baked in a shallow, square pan rather than a loaf pan. Having a shallow pan allows the bread to bake through the middle before the outer edges get overdone.

There is nothing simpler than this quick recipe. The kids love it and I often make extra and freeze it for a future weekend morning treat. Once you try this recipe you'll never fear those leftover bananas anymore. Happy baking!

Mom's Banana Bread
Ingredients
Wet:
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Dry:
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Process
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Peel bananas. Place in a medium bowl and mash well with a fork. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl beat together shortening and sugar until creamy.
4. Add eggs to sugar mixture and beat only until blended.
5. With mixer on low speed add mashed bananas and beat until well combined.
6. Add flour, soda and salt on top of wet mixture and beat on low until thick batter forms.
7. Spread batter evenly into greased 8x8 square pan.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set.
9. Cool in pan and serve with softened butter.

from mistysmornings.com





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