beautiful, birthday, confession, depression, entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, marriage, music, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I can’t believe that it is already March!

I  am equally as disappointed as you must be, that I am sounding like every other over-forty year old whose first remarks of the day are always weather or calendar related. I know, I’m sorry. I get it. I post here once a week and I resort to beginning this week’s hello with boring (to the under-forty) nonsense like that. Please love me, despite my flaws…

My birthday is in twenty-six days. This seems like such an awesome and exciting thing, doesn’t it? It’s not. I have a very much wish-to-love/but-hate relationship with my birthday. It’s pretty sad, and despite my already established geriatric age, I never grow up enough to stop internally wishing this year will be the one that changes everything. It’s ok.

This is getting depressing…

Let’s take a moment to redirect our focus by looking at this vibrantly pink photo of fruit, that I can’t eat because Chw and I have decided to embark on a little spring Keto adventure… (errr, happy birthday to me????) What this means for the tradition of birthday cake, the jury is still out. Many factors considered, the birthday prospects are a little gloomy. (Not to mention that the biggest gift I get to give myself, this birthday, is new bi-focals because, well, I’m old.)

Also, I am not going to take any offense to the fact that a song I love just came on and as I began singing, my dog (who was lying content at my feet) immediately stood and left the room. Maybe I should just get to the actual heart of this post…

  • First and foremost… Did you guys watch the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics? I LOVE LOVE LOVE EXO (and K-pop is my go to genre to listen to, if you didn’t already know that) I would absolutely love to link their performance for you, except that after scouring the videos available on YouTube, I couldn’t find one I liked. Oh well. If you didn’t see it, you really missed something grand! The very highlight of this first bullet point is foremost that videos are FINALLY Available from the Olympics! (and since I shared before about this performance, I had to share the link with you.)
  • Ha! This… This video is amazing. (I adore Kalen!) While definitely NEITHER Keto or Birthday celebration friendly, it is hilarious. Seriously, Why ya’ll got to mess with stuff… this will have you on the toilet
  • This White Peach Rose’ & Peony Hempz lotion is my absolute favorite scent EVER! I am not usually attracted to florally scents, but this is perfection! (and I’m sure I’ve already shared that Hempz is my favorite body lotion! (Their Triple Moisture is my winter BFF.)
  • We were able to catch a couple of movies, over the weekend, which was great. Surprisingly we enjoyed them both, but we absolutely LOVED Game Night! It seems like it has been a long time since we’ve had such a great time at a movie! (seriously laughed til we cried!)
  • I love music. We all know this. And while I’ve known (and enjoyed) a few tracks by these guys, it wasn’t until this week that I really took the opportunity to dive deep into their stuff. Lyrically, musically, personally… I have fallen head over heels with Judah and the Lion!


books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday I’m in Love…

I am IN LOVE with these flowers. Every January I find myself wishing February would hurry up and arrive, and then it does… And usually (not always) the weather is worse, I feel more tired (tired of winter, tired of cold, tired of being tired. Ha!) and at some point I am grumbling about stupid February and how much I hate February, etc…

But then I make my way to a super market or shopping center somewhere, clad in winter boots and braving the elements for something entirely necessary like dish soap or brown eggs, and my senses are straight-up attacked by flowers.

FLOWERS EVERYWHERE. And I melt and fall in love.

February is the beginning of fresh, beautiful flowers.

So yeah, I could talk about a hundred topics right now, and they would mostly end in grumbles or grunts, but then… FLOWERS. Flowers win.

Other than the Flowers (which are the obvious gold medalists in my life right now) there are a few things my week has held, which I’m excited to share with you.

Speaking of medalists… How about those Ice Dancers earlier in the week! Amazing…

1.) We ran to Chick Fil A for breakfast the other day, which might seem pretty basic to many of you. I get it, I used to live near one too. In those days it was grabbing Chick Fil A while heading to do something else. During this season though, Chick Fil A has become a coveted destination in which we wrap other errands and stops around. (but seriously, their Chicken Minis are worth every single liter of fuel we burn to get there) Anyway- while this was a tasty highlight to reminisce, it really has nothing to do with CFA at all… (you are SO welcome for this ramble) While we were out that way, I wanted to run into Cost Plus. I am looking for a particularly awesome thing, and figured if it actually existed, this would be the place in which I would discover it. (It may not, because I did not…) As I, belly blissfully happy on Chicken Minis, disappointedly rounded an aisle corner (so incredibly defeated in my search for that which does not exist) I stumbled upon these

Just in case you are reading this, and you knew me between the ages of 14 and 18, I know you are exhaling loudly because you know EXACTLY how much this discovery made my world! (I mean, I knew they “came back”, but I stopped looking for them (in every single convenience store) ages ago.)

2.) Since we are talking about things that we devour because they are delicious… Have you tried this? I mean, SERIOUSLY, you guys. And in a crackable tub… (that tub is probably the closest I will ever come to actual crack, which is ok because it was pretty great.)

3.) My Lent commitment, this year, is a little different from years past. I have vowed to spend 40 hours reading books which are more life helpful than fun. As a full-fledged grown up, reading seems to have become a big struggle for me. (Give me options and I will choose Netflix or Instagram every single time. SMH) But when the challenge is to read those things which will NOT capture my imagination and entertain me? Ugh. Fun fact though, so far I am loving it. I curl up in my awesome chair (see Instagram post) and more days than not (so far…) I am sad when the hour timer long goes off, because I might be contemplating staying there forever. (confession: a couple of times I felt like that hour lasted fourteen years and leapt from the chair as if it were about to swallow me whole.) First I read Uninvited. I genuinely like Lysa. Sometimes reading her feels a bit like a chore, but that could totally be on me and my Twitter sized attention span for reading. This book captivated me heart and soul. There is so much highlighter on these pages now, that I think the book itself doubled in thickness. GOOD STUFF, and this current season of isolation- that I’ve felt stuck in for far too long now- made nearly every page in that book so ridiculously relevant.

After I finished that book, I moved on to Of Mess and Moxie. And seriously, while I adore Jen Hatmaker, I can honestly say I have never read any of her books. (remember my whole adult struggle with reading part from before) I was a little nervous (it’s true, I won’t lie.) But honestly, I LOVE this book. It was the perfect book to follow Uninvited. In amazing fashion, it taps into all of the same raw places and balms them (while challenging me) just a little bit differently. I DEFINITELY recommend it.

4.) Oh so long ago, in a hobbling attempt to pick up a prescription that I did not want, at a pharmacy which I did not prefer to frequent, my eyes fell on a tiny little display of this… This stuff sold itself well, and it knew its target audience (obviously me, in so much pain I wanted to leap into oncoming traffic, except I couldn’t really leap due to the pain) and so naturally I bought it on impulse. The entire drive home (this was September, you guys) I thought about how I could not wait to get home and let it cure me of pretty much everything. By the time I was home, however, and settled in for a spell, I was beyond intimidated by it. Like an obedient little fraidy-cat, I put it on my bathroom shelf where my eyes would notice it whenever I walked into the bathroom.

Oh, they did. EVERY. TIME. And the guilt I felt over impulsively dropping $25 on something I knew the likely hood of me ever actually using was daunting. The longer it sat there, the more it resembled something completely unsafe and dumb to waste my time on. And then, the other day my back was screaming with the agony of someone 3 or 4 times my age (sad, I know) and in an attempt to do pretty much anything to get it to calm down, my eyes caught a glimpse of this brown bottle. I scanned the medicine cabinet before I willingly plucked the brown bottle from its dusty place on the shelf, (though honestly I am unsure what I was hoping to find- as the strongest meds in there are 800 MG Ibuprofen and that hasn’t touched my back pain in pretty much ever) but relented and read the instructions.

Pretty much the nutshell of this insanely long point: Get the Frankincense & Myrrh. (By the gallon, if you find that option, and then tell me about it because I might just like to bathe in it, daily.)

5.) The other day I got all fancy and roasted a chicken. Because the delicious chicken deserved something equally as tasty to accompany it into our bellies, I made this Asparagus recipe. When I grow up more than I am now, (to the be the full-grown, responsible adult who LOVES non-fiction books, that is) I want to be able to afford to eat asparagus every day. THIS asparagus, because it was seriously bright green heaven, in the form of a vegetable.

In fact, it was so vibrant that it was not unlike a beautiful stemmed flower, which brings us full circle and that is a truly lovely thing!

*If you haven’t already subscribed to my super cool, monthly newsletter, PLEASE DO! There’s an annoying little pop up which shows up right when you land on the page! It would be AWESOME if you’d sign up because then you’ll be “in the know” about exciting new projects, happenings, and get news more personalized than what I share here! (your information is completely safe!) *

What have been the best parts of your week? Show and tell, you guys, so show me while you tell me all about it! (Last week I had seven different people tell me Black Panther was theirs and they were sure it would be mine too. I did see it. It isn’t. My theory here is that one can read too many “great” things about a really good thing, thus leading to it being a little ruined. I know (and I’m so sorry!) …


beautiful, books, creative, entertainment, family, food, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in Love…

As you’re reading this, our sweet little Elenor (in case you’re new here… She’s an 8 month old Golden Retriever) is going under the knife today, getting her lady-bits taken care of. It’s sad, I agree. There are times when he coal-black eyes stare up at me and I nearly say wait, let’s think about this! She would make beautiful, snuggly little puppies…

But, the problem arrises when the reality that I would want to keep all of the puppies, exists. Plus, I would deserve to keep them because I would have been the one doing most of the care taking, birth coaching, crying over complications, etc… And then, while so enamored by all of the puppy love I would be LIVING, I would have to face the facts that:

1.) Elenor tests my patience and drives me crazy on a regular basis.

2) this ONE girl is far more puppy than anyone my age needs.

3) we live in a small apartment and logistically this would be an all out nightmare. (NIGHTMARE)

So, today Elenor says goodbye to the puppy-filled future that could have been.

Moving on… Well, Michigan, how about that weather? Well, America, how about that Super Bowl? Well, world,how about those Olympics? Yep, like I said: Pretty big week. Without further ado, here’s my personal top 5:

  • It was a great game, on Sunday. So good! (and I’m not a big football lover, but still. SO GOOD!) Less than cool, for me, what JT’s halftime show. It just wasn’t awesome (in my opinion.) He’s just not my favorite, but hey- the boy can move, and I do really (REALLY) love the bromance he and Jimmy Fallon have. Beyond that- Meh… Anyway, being an 80’s child who loved Prince along with all other 80’s girls, that beautiful city turning purple and bestowing Prince’s symbol was beyond moving. (also, to clarify, I do NOT hold JT responsible for one bit of that.)
  • After the Super Bowl was a pretty significant episode of one of my all time favorite shows, This is Us. (If you think I am going to say that finally knowing what we know was a highlight it wasn’t. In fact, the whole show was gut-wrenchingly miserable.) That being said, this week had two beautiful and moving episodes of this show, which I love so deeply. It, its beautiful development and writing, and it’s stunning multi-layered characters are very dear to my heart. (along with the hearts of millions of others, I know.) Spending two hours with the Pearsons was really good. (Also, if you’re caught up (so NOT my daughter) and feel the need for a good, balming and someone lighthearted approach to this week’s heartache, read this. It was a favorite read, this week.)
  • I devoured this book, like a true literary addict. Is The Wife Between Us the best book I’ve ever read? No. It doesn’t have to be. It was really a great February read. There are many things I could say, but they would only make sense to someone who has read it. (that would be your cue to read the book already, so we can chat!)
  • We have a small countertop and cabinet area, in our little kitchen, that is always dark. No matter what time of day it is, or how many lights are on, this countertop is always in darkness. The real complication here is that this countertop is the most practical work space for food prep. This is where we keep the coffee pot, which we use daily. This is where we prep breakfast and make daily smoothies. This is the place… And it can get super frustrating. (thankfully, no one has lost a finger!) This week we added these and I have to be honest- it was BRILLIANT decision. Since we are leasing and here temporarily, we couldn’t really do anything permanent and this was an inexpensive and awesome decision.
  • My husband LOVES Noodles & Company. It’s so weird, really. I mean, N&C is fine, I guess. To Chw though, that boy LOVES to eat there. On Sunday we somehow ended up grabbing a quick meal at N&C. As we are standing at the counter, ordering and checking out, (just like every other fine dining establishment- ha!) our eyes fell upon the small display of Rice Krispy treats and we unanimously said That sounds so good… And it was. I know this, because we shared one. We decided to stop by the supermarket on the way home and get supplies to make a gigantic pan of them. By the time our afternoon was over however, we both agreed we had been thinking in the moment and did not want to do that after all.

Then, on Monday I asked my love if he would stop by the store and grab some sour cream that I had overlooked in the recipe I was making for dinner. His response (via email) was that sour cream seemed like an odd ingredient for Rice Krispy treats. Of course he was joking, but we both realized they still sounded good, (which isn’t really like us, as neither of us have ever particularly loved RCT) and that must mean we were supposed to make some.

While dinner was in the oven, together we whipped up a pan of these treats (we made a few modifications involving extra butter and vanilla) and these were (truthfully) a high point in both of our week. Yum.

And there you have it… Highlight’s of the week to tickle your senses! What about you, what was a highlight in your corner of the world?


beautiful, books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, family, food, friendship, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, it’s February! How?

Last week I received an email from one of you lovelies, and I loved it! It’s author was having a bit of a rough season and said:

I really enjoy getting in to the office on friday mornings and finding your post in my inbox. I often find new favorite songs, things I have to purchase as soon as humanly possible, a good chuckle or a reason to tear up. There is something so human about your sharing and transparency. Some days though, like today, I just want to sarcastically list the top five things I really don’t like about this week, in reply. That’s pretty transparently human too, don’t you think?

I DO! We had a nice back & forth exchange, over the weekend. The truth us, sometimes I do slip things that I might be disappointed, or am struggling with, into these Friday-Five posts. Life is not perfect. I do not want to give that Fake-Facebook illusion that my life is picture perfect. There are weeks so overwhelming that I really have to grasp to fill these five slots. While I do have a list of five ready to go, for this week, I could probably come up with a list of forty-five “bad things” almost instantly. Like, do you know what I don’t like? When my husband’s business trips get extended. When it feels like I spend less hours/days with him home than not, and all of the side issues that accompany that, and this particular season of ours. Do you know what I really, REALLY don’t like? When it is dark outside, and I’m walking the dog (close to home) and she stops, alarmed, and then follows something (with her eyes) as though there was actually something there, which there isn’t… Creepy dog. I DO NOT like that. And also, nearly crashing my car into the back of someone. (although I do really like that it was a “nearly” and not an actually.) Adding to the terrible list, cucumbers. Gross.

That is kind of the point, I guess. For most of us, it is super easy to find, list out and dwell on the bad. So I (try to) intentionally focus on a handful of things I love a little (or a lot, sometimes) to share with you guys, whom I also love.

1.) Let’s chat about wish lists for a second. I keep a running wish list for a few reasons, but the two biggest would be that A.) my husband will ask, come birthday and Christmastime, and I ALWAYS come up with nothing, when put on the spot. Also there is B.) the fact that my memory is pretty worthless and sometimes I see really great things that I might just want to buy one day… Even so, while I am known to ask a child what they’d like for Christmas or birthday, I try not to make any occasion super materialistic and consumer focussed. It is a pretty fine line, at those times, but what about the asinine Hallmark holidays? I have always prided myself on being the low maintenance Valentine wife, content with a bouquet of Costco flowers and cheap little date. Or not. That’s how easy I am. (Though between us, my heart always hopes I’ll secretly be surprised by a bouquet of peonies, because they are my absolute favorite. I can say that because Chw doesn’t give two hoots about this blog. I also know myself well enough to know that once I saw the amount spent on such an indulgence, I’d kick both of us and then go back to being just fine with Costco roses…) That being said, there is this book releasing which I absolutely want to beg my husband to buy me, and inscribe it with something heartfelt and lovely.

Who am I kidding? I already showed him this book, about a month ago. It sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

2.) Speaking of my husband… The guy is a BIG fan of Emergen-C. (So much so that sometimes it almost seems like the Windex thing from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…) I’m not above taking it, if I am actually sick (or feel strongly that I’m getting sick) but I am not a masochist and so I have to mix it with orange juice. (or, best of all is several juices together so that I can pretend it is a mimosa or cocktail.) When we ran out, this month (GASP!!!! The Horror!!!) my husband managed to find the Army supply size at Costco, to purchase. I only half rolled my eyes though, because let’s face it- the guy is hardly ever sick, so he may really be on to something. To my surprise, on the side of the box there was a smoothie recipe.

Mind blown… Why hadn’t I ever thought of that?

This week I made my normal smoothie recipe, (forget theirs, their product already tastes like dehydrated floor cleaner, I don’t care to try their smoothie recipe) and added a packet of Emergen-C. I can honestly say that it was incredibly tasty, and I would do it again! (also, I’m not sick! which, I wasn’t actually feeling sick, but still, I’m not sick and we can pretend that my magic smoothie is why!)

3.) No link here, sorry. While at Costco, over the weekend, stocking up on our seven trillion packets of Emergen-C, I stumbled upon Cauliflower crust pizza, in the freezer section. What really caught my eye was that the toppings were Roasted Vegetable. There used to be these delicious Lean Cuisine personal pizzas that were Roasted Vegetable and i LOVED them. (Think pre-economy tanking, back when Godiva also sold the most perfect ice cream ever, in the freezer section of all supermarkets. Man, those were the days… Can we spend a second in silence, remembering gas that was well under $2 a gallon?) Even though I love cauliflower, I’ve been a little slow to embrace it taking over the world, but the Roasted Vegetable appealed to me and so I brought it home.

This is the best pizza ever.


Is EVERY Cauliflower pizza like magic, in your mouth? Is it just this one? Honestly, I am a little panicky about the whole thing because things I love at Costco have a habit of being temporarily available, and then I never see them again.

4.) I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone. Do you remember home phone days? When a phone bill would be around $25, and then long distance calls might bring it to a hundred dollars, on a really bad month… In those days I never would have imagined monthly phone bills of the cell phone variety. As I stated, I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone in which I text people and they text me, and I occasionally play Disney emoji. And sometimes I think it is ridiculous that I have this phone, and then an afternoon comes along when one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends and I spend four hours talking. In those four hours, the distance between Michigan and the West Coast shrank a little, and my heart was full. (and now I’m set on actual phone conversations for a good, long while.)

5.) I don’t watch the Grammy’s, they are pretty much not my bag o’ fun. I am sure there isn’t a person around, however, who hasn’t heard about the amazing performance Kesha gave, of her song Praying. Already deeply moved by the song, her performance (as seen absolutely everywhere, all over the internet) moves me to tears. Every. Single. time.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I identify with every ounce of it. Even with the conflicted feelings I have regarding the #metoo sensation of right now, I feel the message of this anthem (I am totally calling it an anthem!) is EXACTLY the one we need to embrace. Empowerment involves many, many things. It is a layered process of several facets, but being a victim and cloaking one’s self in pity is not among them.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name


It is on a somber note that this week’s post is ending, and that’s ok. Sometimes somber can be beautiful too.

beautiful, chronic illness, depression, entertainment, family, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…


I am a little surprised, looking back, that music doesn’t make this list more. I get that I’m picky, but I am constantly falling in love with new music, so it’s a little out of character. This season in my life, especially, has me seeking out new tracks to listen to. I’ve found myself slightly less interested in venturing out to a movie, and more inclined to lose myself (for an hour or two) in my headphones… Perhaps the dreary Michigan winter is responsible. Maybe the premise of many films disinterest me, these days. At any rate, I am sitting here typing away, with a parade of really great songs streaming in my ears. I keep an ever-changing playlist, and if you’d ever like to check it out, here’s the link. I have pretty great taste. (well, to me anyway.)

How has your week been?

I can honestly say the chuckle I had with the Michigan apocalypse jokes has faded a little, this week. Last week, I’m sure you knew we had a “meteor” which followed really bizarre lights. Earlier this week, our water turned the color of dehydrated urine. It wasn’t even gradual. It literally went from slightly cloudy water to the color of Yellow Drink. (that, of course, is an OITNB reference…) It was starting to feel downright plaguish.

The middle of my week was marked by a day spent at the University of Michigan hospital, with my mom. Alzheimer’s is no joke, and there are times (like Wednesday) when my head starts pounding so hard and I think that I could just go home, take a 12 hour-long hot shower, and then fall into bed until june. Draining… (shout out to my husband, who was a ROCKSTAR!)

I’ve intentionally stayed aware this week, trying not to disappear in sadness or an overwhelmed depression. I have laughed more at the frustrating things the puppy does. I have tried to be more tolerant of the grumpy, old lady things our 6-year-old Aussie does. I have tried to hold hands with my husband more, prepare more wholesome, intentional food at home (requesting fewer runs to Chipotle) and be deliberate in all things. I failed a lot, this week. I think I failed more than most months, but that’s ok. I’ll learn, right?

So many small things happened, and I’d think THIS! I want to add THIS to my list… But in reality, I wanted things in the list which I could pass on to you. Small life things aren’t those sorts of things…

But these things have been on my mind this week too…

1.) My word (well, you know what I mean) for the year is Let Go. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but it was in my January newsletter. I  am not a regular journaller, by any stretch. This year though, with the goal of this mantra, I’ve decided to keep a LET GO JOURNAL. Every time I realize I need to let go of something, I write it in the journal. Sometimes this is followed by a quote, sometimes it’s followed by a verse from the Bible, or something prompting someone said, and sometimes it is simply “Let go of…..”  I LOVE this book. I am a little sad that I didn’t do it in the past, but that’s a silly thing to be sad about. I need to just let it go. :)

2.) For a few years now, I have marched into my doctor’s office every month to get a shot of B-12. I can’t tell you why, exactly. I know that I definitely felt better in the two weeks that would follow the shot, and then slowly it would fade. I don’t know the science of it, BUT I do know that I don’t really have time to do that. Sure, the actual visit is just a few minutes, but the drive, the wait and the fact that last time I had to stay for 50 minutes to dispute a charge that occurred because they billed the wrong code to my insurance. At any rate, on a whim I bought these. They taste so good, I really want to sit down with a jar of them and a good book, wasting an afternoon. Of course, I won’t. But they are decadent, as far as vitamins go.

3.) Chris and I are pretty much NEVER looking for new shows to watch. In comparison with the majority, we really don’t watch that much television. I don’t even think it is something either of us we really love doing, (unless it is blustery outside and there’s a cozy fireplace, and popcorn, but anyway…) but we both have  a good appreciation for things like downtime, checking out from time to time, clever entertainment, etc… And so, though we aren’t in the market for new shows, we do occasionally find them. (I shared about 9-1-1 a couple of weeks ago.) Anyway, the show The Resident came on our radar this week. Have you watched it? We really love Matt Czuchry and so we were eager to tune in. We both really liked it! (though I won’t lie… My LEAST favorite type of movie or show involves first responders and hospitals, so both of the shows I’ve mentioned recently are a big stretch for me. I like them a lot, but it’s like I have to psych myself out, and really brace myself for it. Geez, what is wrong with me???)

4.) On Wednesday, Chris and I left the hospital for a quick-lunch. We figured the downtown parking, second valet fee (hospital) and our lunch total would still be significantly less than what a hospital lunch would cost, AND be a lot better. We ended up trying this amazing little vegan place in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor, called the Lunch Room. It’s located in this marketplace that we both instantly fell in love with. (If we could find a sweet little flat, with character, near this market, I would finally feel like Michigan was someplace I’d be find living forever. Of course, this would also be because Ann Arbor is just like Boise, and Portland, and Seattle. It speaks my soul language and gets me, so yeah…) I know it isn’t super fair of me to post local links, since Ann Arbor isn’t really a possibility for the majority of my readers. That being said, it was such a fun little micro-adventure. We plan on going back when we have more than a couple of hours, to escape. (Plus it was Chw’s first dive into Vegan food and, if you missed the post on Instagram, I had nachos and he had macaroni and cheese. They were both amazing and he LOVED it!)

5.) My mom Julie (non-biological) passed away going on 12 years ago. Honestly, I can’t believe it has been 11 years. It feels like maybe, 4 or 5. Then I see photos of my sister Joy’s daughters, who were born the spring after Mom died, and the reality hits me. It is rare that something big, or hard, or sad happens when my first instinct isn’t still to call her. I remember in the first few years, a friend said that it would get easier. She’d lost her mother, and even though Julie wasn’t my birth mom, she was the only real mom I’d ever had, and she had “Mommed” me through every major life moment, until 2006. Now, over a decade later, I realize that the heart to reach out to her probably won’t change, and that’s ok. While I may not like the pain of losing and missing her, and I may cringe at the canyon left in our world because of the absence of Julie Peterson, I do love remembering her. I love the biggest parts of my journey, where she was there. I was so fortunate to know her, to love her and be loved by her. I was so incredibly blessed to be chosen by her, included by her. Her wings, as a mother, were vast and comforting…

This past fall, my friend Angela lost her father. This month she published a book about that journey, and I wanted to share it with you. We have all experienced shattering loss, to one degree or another, and it can be so hard to find any home or sunlight within those dark seasons.


I hope this last little big of January finds you each well and loving the small things, along with the bigger ones. Next week will be February and, hopefully, with February will come a little rodent’s guarantee that a beautiful spring is just around the corner!