Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29

The boys are at school; the house still smells of cinnamon buns and fried egg. (I made a double batch the day before Easter and froze most of them at the ready-to-bake stage. Last night I defrosted a few and popped them in the oven this morning.)

It is partly sunny or partly cloudy, depending on how you think about it. Soon, I'll be out running, then, a hair appointment -- guilt-free reading in the middle of the day. I've already tidied up. There's something satisfying about starting the week in a clean house. On another tab on my computer, I'm shopping for new beach towels for the kids. I'm hoping it'll be warm enough this weekend to start planting.

What can you do today to make your world better? I owe someone an apology; that's where I'm going to start.

Happy Friday. xo

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Is it just me, or has this week flown by? I keep thinking today's Wednesday.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the devastation in the South.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


When I first sat down this evening I had something on my mind I wanted to write about, and other pictures I planned to share. But then, there were many, many curtain calls from the boys, and the light outside was just so incredible. So instead, I sat outside my bedroom and took these pictures, and shushed the boys. I'm always glad when they're finally asleep, and I feel the same way when they wake up in the morning.

More tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Violets of March

In a few hours, my friend Sarah Jio (fellow Seattleite and mom)'s debut novel, The Violets of March, will officially be released from Penguin. I got my hands on a copy today -- my neighborhood bookstore put their shipment on the shelf this afternoon -- and I haven't been able to put it down. I'll probably lose sleep over it, reading into the night when I should be sleeping. Target picked the book to be part of their Emerging Author Program, and Costco chose it as a book buyer favorite. Check out the book trailer here; you can purchase it online here. I think this would be a great Mother's Day gift, book to pack in your suitcase for your next vacation, or in your beach bag this summer.

Sarah, congratulations!

(Part of the land seen above and often depicted in my photos, at the other side of the water, is Bainbridge Island, the setting of part of the book.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

these days

I never ceased to be amazed -- thrilled -- by the unabashed joy and wonder the magic of a holiday brings out in my boys. Our Easter bunny delivers baskets and hides eggs while we sleep, and each and every egg found brings forth a squeal of delight. I know I won't ever forget these times.

I can always count on soul-filling music at church on Easter. The sound of the trumpet still lingers in my ear. However you spent the day, I hope your week starts with a sense of possibility.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter weekend

Happy Easter weekend!

Because it's a holiday weekend, the boys don't have baseball games, and our calendar today was gloriously empty. I prepared cinnamon buns for baking tomorrow morning. We dyed eggs -- tie-dyed them this year. Most of the day, the boys worked on their new obsession, monsters (thanks, Kira!). We're reveling in the phenomenal weather.

Best wishes. xoxo

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was so impressed by the ever lingering light this evening, I looked up the amount of daylight we had. Today, 13 hours, 54 minutes; 3 minutes and 14 seconds more than yesterday. We're as close to the summer solstice now as we are in August. Makes me glad we have southern exposure - we soak up every last minute of it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


One hope I've always had for my boys is that they'd grow up surrounded by love. With family nearby, friends who love them, a block full of kids to play with. As luck or fate would have it, we don't have much in the way of family in town (one cousin of Alexi's), but more and more, our friends start to feel like family, assume those loving and nurturing roles. A boy Abbott's age lives across the street, and Abbott and Cal both love him like a cousin. He plays with Cal as much as Abbott; today after school, they played Othello, while Abbott built a Lego ship. Every time he leaves, I say, "thanks for coming over," and he says, "thanks for having me," or, "thanks for letting me stay."

You never know what the future holds, but if you open yourself to it, there's a good chance it will be all that you'd hoped for, and maybe more.

Monday, April 18, 2011

yes, baked

I'm not a morning person. I do, however, like having some time to myself before starting the day, so I get things going in the kitchen before waking the boys. When I make baked oatmeal for our breakfast, all the work is done up front, leaving me free to plant myself at the bedside of the boy who insists he'll get up, 'as soon as I get out,' but never does. Baked oatmeal is full of fiber, protein and fruit, and with our bellies full of it, I don't worry the boys will be hungry by the time they get to school.

Baked Oatmeal
by Heidi Swanson, slightly adapted from  Super Natural Every Day

2 cups/7 oz/ 200 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60g chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup / 2 oz / 60g maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries, fresh or frozen, or the same quantity of thinly sliced, bite sized pieces of peach or pear

Preheat the oven to 375F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8 inch square baking dish.

Mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and half of the walnuts.

In another bowl, whisk together the syrup, milk, beaten egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the fruit over the bananas. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish 'a couple thwacks on the countertop' to ensure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining fruit and walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining butter on top and serve.

Yield: 6 generous portions

Sunday, April 17, 2011

from Sunday night

We spent the weekend in Canada. The skies caught my attention, apparently, as that's about all I have pictures of.

I hope you had a good one.

More tomorrow. xo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We're heading out of town for the next few days. Best wishes for your weekend. xoxo

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

it's that time of year again

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

if something seems too good to be true

I got out of the shower this afternoon and was surprised - and happy - to see that I had fifteen more minutes than I thought I did. I got ready at a leisurely pace, and even did some organizing in my closet. On my way downstairs I thought about the things I might do before leaving the house with those remaining extra minutes. Once I got to the kitchen and in sight of another clock, it was apparent that something had gone terribly wrong with my bathroom clock. Those 'extra minutes' were more like battery failure and I was suddenly in a rush. I guess it just goes to show, it's never a good idea to cut things too close.

I hope your week is going well so far. xo

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11

Jenna once said to me that she finds it interesting to see broader contextual photos, not just those that could be anywhere. Today was a busy one for me; eye exam, Costco, errands. For whatever reason, her comment came to mind as I was out and about, and I snapped a few pictures I wouldn't normally be inspired to take. "What's so interesting about these buildings?" I thought to myself as I took the cityscape picture above. But no other city looks like this one. And, from a personal history perspective, I worked in the building you see on the left -- a hospital -- for years, and Alexi works there now. The sidewalk in the third photo is one I used to walk, twice a day, between my apartment and the hospital many years ago.