It’s been hot here. It got up to 102° today and yesterday was 99°. I had hoped we could wait until June to use to air conditioning, but we caved, and I am glad we did. It’s hard to find the motivation to do anything when you are covered in sweat.
For mothers day we drank margaritas (with home made margarita mix, the best!), listened to Herb Alpert (our favorite), and got things done around the house.
Today, realizing early that it would be even hotter than yesterday, I decided to make an enormous pitcher of our margarita mix so we can keep it on hand in the fridge for the next few days. I also pulled together a delicious quinoa, black bean, and avocado salad with cilantro and lime (also with chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeño, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Chop everything, and refrigerate. So, so good, try it!).
One of my favorite things about the country life is the walks. Sure, we enjoy walking around our neighborhood at home, but it isn’t the same. The air is fresher, the sites more beautiful, and I always get a sense of renewal that I don’t achieve from walks through our residential neighborhood.
The school that my brother and sister-in-law teach at is located on 3000 acres of oak tree covered land. There are farm animals and flowers as far as the eye can see. We walked a lot. Every day, multiple times a day. When we would return to their home Lucy would beg to go out walking again. I, though, wanted to put my legs up and read a book. It was that kind of a trip. We didn’t do anything particularly exciting, but what we did do is all I had wanted; long walks and time to read.
Our family grew this past weekend.
This is Rosie, our newest member. She is a 1 1/2 year old Shar Pei mix that we got from the shelter. She is the perfect addition to our home, she has such a mellow temperament, yet is playful and curious. We have been showering her with love and attention, putting all our chores on the back burner to go for many walks and visits to the park. Now that she is with us, I can’t imagine it any other way, she is such a love. I’m smitten. Most importantly, Lucy loves her and she loves Lucy.
Posted in Family
Tagged Animals, Family
I never used to understand my parent’s feelings of relief every year when December 26th rolled around. Christmas was the big day, the biggest day. It was the day that I (and my siblings) counted down to once September hit every year. The thought of copious amounts of toys waiting under my tree was enough to keep a buzz going in our house that would often last for months on end. It was such a high that I would often get giddy every time I thought about what wonderful surprises awaited me. It didn’t end when I quit believing in Santa Claus. No, that feeling went on until my early high school years when I was filled with raging hormones and was an emotional mess that hated my family for not being the family I hoped and thought they would be. I still looked forward to Christmas during that time (partly for the prospect of an envelope full of cash), but hid my sentiment behind a mess of black hair. Shortly after opening gifts I would retreat to my room where I would call my friends to find out what they got and see when they could get out of their Christmas obligations. Anyway, to my very young self, the day after Christmas was the saddest day of the year. The thought of having to wait an entire year for such a joyful day filled with mile high piles of toys was frustrating.
I love Christmas, but boy am I glad it’s over. I really am looking forward to getting back to the normal, easy going every day life we live. There is just so much preparation leading up to that one very big day. Even when we try to keep it simple there is always a long list of things to do with three celebrations. Aside from that, this year we had the added stress of having my father in the law stuck in the hospital (nothing terribly serious, but it was sad not having him to join in the fun).
We did have a wonderful Christmas this year. We relished it all, even with the sadness of having a family member who couldn’t join us, we spent our time enjoying the company of loved ones. We try to keep the toys to a minimum (it never works), but I will never in my life forget the joy in Lucy’s sweet face when she came downstairs and saw her little dolls lined up under the tree. She didn’t fully grasp the concept of Christmas this year, but she was excited nonetheless. I look forward to next year when she can get more involved in the excitement of it all.
I hope you all had a beautiful holiday surrounded by the people you love most.
Posted in Family
Tagged Family, Holidays
Hello dear readers! Sorry for the unannounced break in blogging. I have had a crazy couple weeks emotionally. I don’t really want to say much about it, but the declining mental health of a family member has been weighing quite heavy on my heart.
Aside from that, we have had a busy couple of weeks. I turned 30 this past Saturday. We planned a trip out to Palm Springs with our really good friends/Palm Springs buddies. We went out Thursday night and they were to join us Friday evening. As Friday day went on it became more and more apparent that Lucy’s grumpy mood and runny nose were not due to the change in climate, but she was definitely sick. Our friends, who have a 2 month old baby, decided not to come. The next day Russ was sick and the day following I caught it. We have been working hard to recover since then (loading up on soup and chamomile tea), but we tried to make the most of our little birthday excursion.
We had birthday breakfast at Cheeky’s, where I had one of the most delicious Bloody Marys of my entire life and for dinner we went to King’s Highway. We spent most our time relaxing in the condo, but we did make a few trips to antique stores, including a trip to my favorite shop, Dazzles.
Though things didn’t turn out quite as expected it was a nice weekend with my two favorite people.
I saw my sister today. It was such an amazing day, despite the power going off in 95° weather, leaving us with no fans, AC, or the ability to get into the garage and use the car to go somewhere cooler, for three hours. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
My sister moved to New Mexico some months back, and was out on a surprise visit to pick up some things she had in storage out here. We spent a few hours sweating our buns off, and when the power came back on we cranked the AC, got into the garage and went out (while we waited for the house to cool).
I live so much for these family moments, I just wish they happened more often. My family is quite broken, and more than anything I wish we could all just push our troubles aside and have some Brady Bunch style get-togethers.
Posted in Family
It was a hot one today, and as nice as sitting in our cool air conditioned home sounded, I really wanted to get out and do something. We packed up a picnic (crusty bread, basil infused olive oil, mozzarella, tomatoes, rice salad, kalamata olives, and a bowl of cherries), and hit the road. It was gorgeous in the mountains, just as hot as at home, but the trees provided enough shade to make it comfortable to be outdoors for a few hours.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Posted in Outings
Tagged Family, Outings
For Fathers Day we went to the Bali Hai for brunch. Much champagne was consumed and a few too many cream puffs were eaten. Maybe we overdid it a bit, but I think it is good to go all out every now and then.
I hope you all enjoyed and celebrated the amazing dads in your life!
It occurred to me a few days ago that I never did make a blog post about Lucy’s birthday party, which was well over a month ago now. It was such a fun affair, we invited about 20 of our closest friends and family to help celebrate our sweet girl’s first year of life. Our tiny home was cramped, but it really was perfect.
I am not wild about cake, and to be frank, I really suck at making it. I do however love pie and am great at making that, so that is what we did. We have not yet introduced sugar to Lucy (and I don’t plan to anytime soon) so I made her a completely natural, sugar free apple berry pie (recipe from the Julian Pie Company, published in this book). Instead of using sugar you add unsweetened apple juice and cook it down, letting the natural flavors shine. As you can see from the pictures above, Lucy adored it and devoured every bite. I also made a blueberry pie and a peach cobbler.
Since we were having pie I decided to loosely go with a picnic theme. I had thought about doing some sort of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but decided it would be too much work to try and make a bunch of tiny sandwiches. Instead I settled on egg salad, which I served with sliced bread and crackers. I also made a huge bowl of sun dried tomato hummus, along with pita chips and a vegetable platter. It was a pretty simple fare, which is about all I can do with my busy toddler.
All in all, we had a fun and memorable day, and I am glad it’s over. Birthday number two will be much more low key.
Lucy turned one last Friday. I had been wanting to have a post up about her special day, but quite honestly the words have not come to me yet. Saturday we had a party to celebrate this little lady. There will be a post up about that later in the week. Sunday we were all pooped and needed some simple, yet fun, family time.
We went to one of my favorite places to eat in San Diego, D.Z. Akins. We ordered mimosas, which were served in giant glasses, and lunch (always the matzo ball soup for me). We munched on pickles (which they leave in a jar on every table), and Lucy tried one for the first time (see picture above!). We also got a bag of onion and everything bagels to bring home with us. Is there anything better?
A little trip to the park was in order after lunch. Lucy frolicked in the flowers, stole my purse, and ran around checking out anything and everything that caught her eye.
I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.