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Hello…and welcome to Spring!

This small space has been in a hibernation of its own the last month.  Winter is a funny thing for me, as it rolls in I feel the need to draw in, cozy up, and actually enjoy the comfort of our home.  By February, I’m over it, and the heavy funk sets in, despite my best efforts.  I long for color and warmth.  Gray and brown blanket the skies and fields.  March and April become glimmering beacons of hope that Spring is near.

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Now, here we are, past March and already into April, a month that promises color and warmth.  Birds have been singing the praises of Spring in the early mornings, just outside my window, for the past few weeks.  As I awaken, a smile creeps across my face listening to their carefree songs.  It brings back memories of my childhood bedroom, waking to the view of a blue sky out my window, and birds singing from their perches in the cottonwoods just outside.  In my mind, spring not only brings warmth, but an awakening of the senses and the desire to create.  I’ve found myself composing blog posts in my head as I go about my day.  Yes, the creative juices are most definitely flowing again.

spring

So, let’s catch up, shall we?  As March rolled in, followed by daylight savings, and then April, our time outside has grown exponentially.  Soccer is in full swing times three (!) and after a few weeks of muddy thaw, the running trails are ready to go.  The countdown is on for April birthdays, a trip to Chicago, opening day of the farmers market and a spring half marathon.

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Signs of life after winter’s hibernation.  I couldn’t be more excited.

No recipe to share for today, just a few of the things I’ve been enjoying most.  If you care to share what you’ve been up to and loving, of  course I want to hear about that too!

Books

Tales of Another Mother Runner

Gifted Hands–this was a recommendation from my mom.  Inspiring story about one of the top neurosurgeons in the country and his humble beginnings.

Me Before You

 

Running Gear

Fast Track tops from Athleta

Salomon Speedcross

Mizuno Ascend

Tailwind

Recipes

*Spring always has me in full cravings for salad greens.  Shaved brussels sprouts and kale have been the base for many creations.

Sprouted Kitchen is always my favorite place to search for inspired flavor combinations, especially when it comes to greens and vinaigrettes.  I recently picked up their new book, and can’t help feel drawn into their world of beautiful food and photography.

*this one is particularly amazing

I’m not a brownie fan, but these could definitely convert me.

Caramel Almond & Sea Salt KIND Bars?  Yes!

Whole milk vanilla bean and lemon yogurt from this local farm.  Amazing.

I’ll wrap it up with these words from Kristen Armstrong.  She’s one of my favorite writers, and has an essay in the above mentioned Tales from Another Mother Runner (originally posted on their site).

Until next time…hopefully sooner than later…follow our adventures on IG…get outside and enjoy the season!

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It’s hard to believe we are finally here at Christmas Eve.  The last year has been a whirlwind of adventure.  I’m so thankful for this small space and those of you that visit.  While I know it’s been a little quieter here the last month that only proves how much we’ve truly been filling our days.  With each year that passes, I believe more and more, life is fuller away from the screen than in front of it.  Not to worry, I’ll be sharing our stories in pictures here as always.  Everything feels a little more balanced when I can see the world through my lens.

Merry Christmas, and here’s to wrapping up 2014, wishing you many adventures in the new year to come.

Hot Cocoa Stand

 

*images from our 4th Annual Neighborhood Hot Cocoa Stand, by far one of our favorite December traditions

 

There is a big cold front that is supposed to drop into my neck of the woods today.  It appears that our beautiful fall is coming to a chilly end.  As seasons go, fall is usually my favorite, followed closely by summer.  While the colors of autumn have my heart, there is nothing I love quite as much as the warm sun shining on my face.  I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold temperatures.  From today until April I’ll wear no less than 2-3 layers.

Maple Almond Butter Apple Crisp

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Not once, but twice last week, I found myself in a conversation that centered around the art of lingering.

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The first was a conversation with a food writer friend, that shared with me her experience of interviewing a man that told her about how he laid the foundation,  with his children, to linger at the table after dinner.  This intentional act laid the ground work for intimate conversations, laughter and growth that ultimately led to an idea for starting a family business.
Over this past weekend, I visited my parents.  We filled ourselves with family time, shed hunting, shopping and good food.  Over one of our meals, I found myself in a similar conversation with my dad about taking the time to linger, to slow down.  He told me that he had read somewhere recently how the quality of relationships between mothers and daughters fell into decline with the invention of the dishwasher.  Their time in the kitchen became less to do with the casual, intimate conversations that took place as they cleaned, and more to do with efficiency and moving on to the next task.
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My own childhood was effected with the addition of a dishwasher to our household.  Up until that point, my job each evening was to help my mom clear the table and then dry dishes while she washed.  As we went about our tasks this became a time to share, to discuss our days and other topics that came to mind.  The conveinence of the dishwasher changed everything.  The whole process moved much quicker, leaving little time for visiting.  After a couple years, our dishwasher met its demise.  For whatever reason, my parents chose not to replace it.  The absence of the dishwasher brought the return of our evening ritual.  As my brother got older, I shifted to washing, he took up the drying.  Those evenings of what once felt like a chore, are now some of the most treasured and vivid memories of my childhood.  Meaningful conversations, sharing the triviality of our days…along with a few really good soap sud fights.
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Learning the Art of Lingering
While I know that we won’t be giving up our dishwasher anytime soon, for us, these moments are still found in the kitchen, but more in the preparation of the meal, versus the cleanup. It is where I spend much of my time photographing, recipe testing, creating our meals, nourishing body and soul.  My children are easily drawn in, and ask what they might do to help.  As the meal preparation unfolds, so do our conversations, with the same ease and rhythm of a chopping knife.  It’s one of the best arguments I can think of for cooking at home…conversation, learning how to prepare food, togetherness, a well laid foundation.
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