Wednesday, March 16, 2011

name that tune.

I have 3 daughters. 
One is getting ready to start high school. 
Which seems impossible. 
And admittedly I'm a little choked up.
I have some very good & some very harsh memories of that time in my life..
Don't most of us? 
I am so grateful every single day that my kids have different everything than I had. 
And lets face it, the world is harsh. 
Girls are mean. 
Boys live in a crazy mix of ego/image/hormones & culture.
HOWEVER. Some things never change.
like how you aspire for your child to have better than you.....

I'll assume, you've heard the song. 
Just the way you are.

EVERY SINGLE TIME I hear it, all I can do is pray that whomever is the one that catches the eye of my daughters this is exactly how they feel about them. 
To love them just exactly the way they are. They are amazing. Their smiles. Their lips. Their laughs. They are so beautiful. Never ask them to change. 
There are days when I just stare at them in awe. I am so blessed to be their momma. I almost can't even type because they feel so differently about themselves than I did. And it is the most precious thing in the world! 
It starts with God. They know Him & He knows them. 
And then there is their Daddy, who adores, loves on them all the time. Jokes. Hugs. Snuggles. He's an amazing Daddy. 
I am so utterly grateful despite all the trial & ERRORS that for almost 15 years I've stayed home & gotten to raise this crew. There are amazing moms that both work & are fabulous moms, and I admire them so much, but this is my task & I belong home. Partially because, lets face it. 5?! And even still despite that, we weighted the cost & options a long time ago...without any help around (like family or hired in) it would be impossible. And I love it. Everyday. Even on the bad days. 

It is a task above all else. Mothering. Its heartbreaking. Rewarding in nothing you can see at the moment. 
Draining in every way. 
I was pregnant or nursing for a decade. 
let that settle in for sec
I miss those little ones so much! But my home & my heart are full! I love my children beyond anything I can describe, all equally but also somehow differently. 
With my eldest almost looking me in the eyes these days...(which is crazy because I'm tall!)
It has brought so much of how little time I've had with her, to teach, model, cherish, encourage, guide...
But the other day a letter came. 
Not an ordinary letter. 
Her acceptance into a very prestigious & amazing high school. She hasn't made her final decision yet, but...
when I read the letter. It all came flooding in....somehow the things I did teach, model, encourage & hopefully cherish were seen. The school took the time to really get to know my girl. Her strengths & what she would offer their school as well as what they can offer her. The most amazing thing to finally see all those things we've tried to pour into her, are there & someone recognized it. Your an amazing person, beautiful just the way you are.

She's so beautiful
And I'll love you everyday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

historical. hysterical.

Today was historical. 
how could this happen? 
white flurry?

We live in a cozy little town just inland from the coast & still close to sea level despite the surrounding hills. 
Today. It snowed. 
And totally fun!!
it snowed in Carmel too. 
I have never heard this happen in all my life. 

actually saw the flurries start coming down & ran outside-grabbed my red rubber boots on the porch. 
My littles were out delivering girl scout cookies
and OH my gosh they were caught in a snow storm!!
[not a storm but hey]

Ran a couple blocks with my umbrella to scoop them up
and bring em home
to play in the fun. 
Yes, it was cold
[is that obvious? well, I was wearing flip flops and B was in shorts. so obvious or not, we're Californians. clueless.]

 red rubber boots. :) macys additional 75% off sale price=less than $7.
 THIS is totally foreign to us. wow. so glad he grabbed the camera while I ran off. love that. 
 "WHOA!" Little B in shorts. And classic-a mickey shirt. SO Californians.
 more shock & awe.
 proof the snow flakes are sticking. 
 I love this one. And I didn't take it. 

 trying to eat it. 

 see, snow storm. proof. 
 the wet & snowed on girl scouts, they just might be ready to be postwomen. 
Rain, sleet, snow won't keep these girls from delivery!! 
{notice the covered cookies, good}

 turns out snow storms turn us all into kids... wish it'd happen again. 

 letting the snow collect in the umbrella to get a good look
 we all went nuts. love it. 
 or dumped on
 our cottage roof with snow on the eaves. makes me grin.
 our neighbor came out to document too, but came over to our house because the kids are so cute! our neighborhood rocks. 
 even enough to make snowballs. 
its really only lasted a few minutes, but since its NEVER happened before, it will linger a bit longer. 

our fantastically historical snow day.

make friends. make this.

Blackberry Cornmeal Cake

this is such a yummy & perfect change to morning muffins. It's also something I make to share too, wrap a piece in parchment send along with your kiddos to a teacher :)

It uses 2 baskets of blackberries...& I use an old enamelware pan I got long ago secondhand. A cast iron pan also works!

Serves 8
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for skillet
  • 2 containers fresh blackberries (5.6 ounces each)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.

  • In a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron), heat remaining tablespoon butter in the oven until melted and skillet is hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Pour batter into skillet; scatter blackberries on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

  • Bake, with a baking sheet on rack below (to catch any drips), until top is evenly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen; cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Hope you try it. Its delish! 

    Got it from:
    Read more at Blackberry-Cornmeal Cake - Martha Stewart Recipes 

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    sand between our toes

    a break in the weather.
    lovely wonderful much needed rain....BUT
    it keeps us indoors & in our little cottage the 7 of us tend to bump into eachother!!
    And not complaining but last week
     (did you see Pebble Beach Pro -Am on TV? Gorgeous! you know, the one where Bill Murray FINALLY won!)
    We'd had lovely chilly nights and sunshine days....til last Tuesday.
    Anyway, kids are out of school & I'm thrillllllled to have them home & a break from routine. Movies, making dinner, baking, games. Yes, but still.
    SO today after church, we headed to the store to grab things for an impromptu picnic. Funny, kids asked for salad. And 1 asked for salami & bread. T & I had salami, olives, apple, formage di affinois & hummus.

    The lagoon and Carmel Beach is currently flowing out to sea. It only happens after large amounts of rain because so many wells feed off water from Carmel River. BUT today it was racing out! No trickle here....just fierce water rushing to meet a demanding sea. Amazing. And I had to stay right on top of my kids....because my goodness you don't for a second not respect the pacific.
    The fun was looking through all the debris washed out by storm. Lots and lots of huge tree parts. Enough to make forts/lean-to' s galore. The best part was watching the kids, especially Boston totally intrigued by throwing sticks into the rushing water & watching as it sailed out to sea. So often this action is followed by "No, don't throw the stick/rock/whatever. Not here though, it was perfectly wonderfully boy haven to throw & dig & play with all the sticks he could get his hands on! Wonderful.

    I didn't take pictures of it today because I wanted to relax. And honestly, I am on high alert when my kids are that close to very active waves (this is not usually the case), that & sand is the archenemy of cameras. I didn't need the stress. I was there to un-stress.

    Something about the ocean, it has a natural way of soothing my soul...I love it. 2 Sundays ago, we drove by the same beach & it was FULL of seagulls. Thousands.....

    But when we went over to "the quiet water" as Boston called it
    I pulled out the camera & loved the landscape...
    the mouth of a long river driven by storms to flow out to sea
     Looks different on this side, but if you compare the above pictures, this spot is on far left side.
    Kids dragged over "sea snakes": Long kelp that looked like Indiana's whip!
     Charming Red Winged Black Birds nesting in the reeds
     Beyond them is a favorite place in Carmel. Mission Ranch which has sheep grazing & looks out at hills & ocean.
     well, I just had to. Just because.

     Momma & her sweet Abbie
     Kids jumping. Daddy had the camera & doesn't know to change settings ;) blrrrrrrr

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    heart. you.

    this was our valentines love this year....
    a few pink pancakes to send them off to school....although the nagging that followed because homework wasn't finished could have canceled out the love I tried to spread :(

     Boston's NO sugar allowed Valentines that mom made, not him. Oh well. 
    Little felt heart clips for the girls...(earlier post) and bouncy balls for boys 
    (let the record show, I went to Target to find a bunch. They only had little ones. What's so special bout that?! nothing. SO, we took our 3 bucks in quarters and got em out of the machine at Old Navy. Nope, not joking. I almost high-5'd myself at that genius act)
     THEN a talented mom who ignored the NO sugar warning made these too cute to eat CakePop Bears. Love love them...and I let him eat it. 
    Is this the cutest. I {heart}him. Lots.

     This was the row of valentines we made. Whoa the classes are big this year! 28 kids in each class! Yikes. And the sweet love notes in polka dots I grabbed here. Thanks Good Gravy!

    {if possible it's always nice to link back, that's blog lingo for a thank you note}

     Abbie's class. 
     She's on her way to spread the love....
     AND somehow I also got assigned healthy snack in 1st grade as well!! No baking for me this year:(
    But I just couldn't see myself making fruit kabobs again or just serving granola bars. Pink came to mind...
    and pink strawberry applesauce could be much more Valentine-Y when cinnamon hearts are sprinkled on top! There, "healthy" snack it is. :)