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I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom summer passes in a whirlwind, with an afterglow of friendly memories and long evenings and an aftertaste of dust (from weeding) and “oh yes, those projects on my list that haven’t gotten done yet.” Blogging seems to have been relegated to the latter.
May and part of June have vanished amidst kitchen renovations, family vacation, flowerbed work, friends come to visit, and all the usual daily chores that don’t stop when summer arrives (even though they might get neglected at my house). I have about a week before things get busy again, so I’ve been sorting and editing pictures from our travels…and that was the inspiration for this update post. Lots of pictures, and whatever interesting tidbits I happen to think of.
We got to be with my family for Mother’s Day – my first Mother’s Day. Well, I was pregnant for the last one, but this one felt more real, if you know what I mean. Ryan even found the cutest card for me and wrote a note in it from Hadassah’s perspective, what we know of it since she can’t talk yet, and helped her sign her name. She doesn’t have a clue, but someday I can dig it out and show her. (Am I the only one who dates and saves special cards like that?)
A lady from church gave us our matching dress fabric!
Hadassah was getting some teeth so she wasn’t feeling her usual chipper self. She has four now – two top and bottom – and I think she’s working on more because for the last week she’s been clingy off and on and biting anything and everything (and everyONE) any chance she can get.
While in SC we left Hadassah with Mom and had our first date ALONE since becoming parents. We revisited the scene of our very first date – a hike in the mountains. Not gonna lie, it felt WEIRD to not have a baby to look after.
photo credits to my sister Katelyn
Fun fact: these were taken at the same place we took our wedding pictures! Only our wedding was in February, and we took these pictures in May. There was a ROSE GARDEN.
Ryan has been to Alaska before (and loved it), but this was my first time. Thankfully Hadassah is a good little traveler. She got a little antsy after 6 hours of flying, but we never had any all out screaming sessions so I’m counting my blessings.
Alaska is absolutely beautiful! Wild and vast, but also smaller and quieter than I expected (specifically Anchorage). We were there ahead of the main tourist season, so that helped. We only had four days and could have spent so much more time there. I guess that means we’ll have to go back! We didn’t get to see Denali; I would have loved to take one of the glass-topped trains up there for a day trip but they weren’t running yet.
We’ll be here in Ohio for a few years yet, but after that Ryan will finally be done with training and we’ll be able to move wherever we like. We’ve tossed around the idea of doing some short term work (months or years) in various places, Alaska being one of them. I’m curious if any of you are from Alaska! What do you love about it? What’s hard to live with? The 6 hour flight to go anywhere looks a little big to me, but I saw first hand that the scenery is beautiful and the people are friendly!
- a trolley tour of Anchorage
- biking the coastal trail outside of Anchorage (bikes rented from Downtown Bicycle Rental)
- an afternoon glacier boat tour in Whittier
- wildlife conservatory in Girdwood
- seeing friends in Sterling and Wasilla
^^^trying to photograph my lunch
“Mom! Where’s mine?”
We had a few sets of company last week so the fridge is currently full of leftovers + a bunch of lettuce I bought from a produce stand. Naturally that means salads for lunches. This particular one was topped with a leftover burger patty, shredded cheddar, pickled banana peppers, ketchup, and some homemade “Cow Sauce” – my version of Chick-fil-A sauce found on page 478 of Convenient Food.
Below: my breakfast every morning. I used to make this legendary chocolate oatmeal every single day, but then I started nursing a baby and soon found out that any caffeine, even from COCOA POWDER, kept her from napping. Like, newborn awake for 10 hours at a time with only 20 minute cat naps awake. So for the last 10 months it’s been oatmeal with salt, stevia, and a splash of milk, topped with half a sliced banana, some sugar free chocolate chips, and some peanut butter. It’s a THM crossover, because nursing. I sure am enjoying my crossovers!
Other foods I’ve been making:
- Perfected the most amazing THM XO banana bread after 7 tries. (Coincidence? 😉 ) Now I’m working on an E/DF version that is close, but still elusive. (recipes to come eventually)
- Granola. Ryan eats this for breakfast a lot. I’ve perfected a yummy XO recipe that is great for nursing mamas, hungry husbands, and growing children. Easy, cheap ingredients. Recipe to come.
- Just finished photographing some strawberry jam experiments. I have this strawberry jam recipe, but I wanted to test some sugar free jam versions with Ball Freezer Pectin (not really on plan for THM, but easy), liquid pectin (like is used in Trim Healthy Future), and Pomona’s Pectin (which doesn’t need sugar to set). I’m excited about the results! Still not sure if I’ll share them this year or wait until the beginning of strawberry season next year. At the rate I’ve been blogging lately, chances are it’ll be next year.
- And since I had strawberry puree in the fridge, strawberry ice cream! I have this recipe, but I wanted to work on a richer, more scoopable version. It’s really yummy, but I’ll probably tweak it a bit before posting.
- Lots of grilling meat and veggies! I don’t usually follow a recipe for marinades, but there are some in my cookbooks as well as a few here on my website.
Not to get so overwhelmed by what I’m not getting done that I don’t get anything done. Just do the next thing.
Our resident urban doe and her fawn walking past my back patio windows. 🙂 That’s probably who’s been eating my plants/flowers….
- “The Spirit of God” program by Veritas Ensemble (Saw this live and it was amazing! The first choral program I’ve been to in ages, because, well, you know. I didn’t realize how much I had missed live music until the group started to sing. The harmony was soaking rain on thirsty ground. Not sure what the quality of the livestream is but you can check that out HERE.)
- Just finished the book of Leviticus, now working on the book of Numbers (Bible Gateway app, dramatized NIV)
- all the Sherlock Holmes stories (I’ve read them all but it’s been awhile and they’re so masterfully written that they’re worth many rereads…and listening to them while doing chores or editing pictures brings them to life in a new way. I’ve been borrowing audiobooks via my library account.)
Does anyone have economical solutions for printing large format pictures for wall decor? I usually use Mpix for prints, and they have a poster option I thought of trying. I would have to frame that myself. I’ve been seeing ads for Smallwoods (framed prints) – anyone have experience with them? I was also looking into Social Print Studio. Looks like I would frame those myself or buy some of their bamboo hangers. Suggestions for affordable printing and/or framing welcome!
Btw, Unsplash is a great resource for free high quality pictures if you don’t have any of your own to print.
Our little sunshine is now 10 months old, teething more often than not, and turning into an “adolescent baby.” She’s not an infant anymore, but she’s not a toddler because she’s not, well, toddling. She crawls all over the place and often ends up looking at her board books. When she gets tired of that she gives Mom practice in consistent discipline by pulling the big girl books with fascinating tearable pages off the bookshelf. She loves food, any food (except green peas or – horrors – unseasoned food). Going outside on walks, shopping, or social events (anything to do with people) are high priority. Dishwashers and cupboards are highly fascinating.
Peanut Butter and Dragon Wings: A Mother’s Search for Grace – This is currently on preorder, ready for release on July 6. The author is Shari Zook, whom I find to be a rather interesting character with insightful, humorous, and very real words. Her blog is the only one I consistently read. I haven’t read the book yet, but I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. Preorders are very helpful for authors, so if you like real life stories and witty writing, I think you should buy Shari’s book. Here’s her blog.
Edit: I take that back. I also read my sister in law’s blog every time she posts, but that isn’t very often because she has a daughter just six months older than Hadassah. 😛 But she, like Shari, is a very intriguing writer.
Lakanto (a monkfruit sweetener company) is running a Father’s Day sale! The sale ends Sunday, June 20th, at 11:59pm MST.
The following are 20% off (discount automatically applied):
By the way, if you ever want to make a Lakanto order, use my code ICECREAM in checkout for 15% off! (The code doesn’t overlap with sales.) You can CLICK HERE to shop their sweeteners.
Most of the sweeteners are on plan for Trim Healthy Mama. A lot of the other products are personal choice.
What have you been reading, listening to, inspired by, concocting lately? Do share in the comments! I’d love to hear about your summer!
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