In the garden

I may or may not have started off my garden with a little too much gusto. There has been a serious heat wave hitting the midwest and unfortunately, that in combination with my work schedule lately, has left my sweet back yard garden in a little mess. I am happy to report though, that the things that I was the most excited about have survived and done well so far! Especially the kale, although, I am still having bunny problems. 

 Rainbow Swiss Chard. 
I have recently discovered the tastiness that is chard. Come next planting season, I will probably be planting more greens like these. 

 Purple Wax Beans. Look at that lovely color! I should probably harvest them now. This will be my first real vegetable harvest, I am very excited about this. 

 Butternut squash blooms. This little thing bloomed just today. My poor squash plants almost didn't make it through the week. I am thankful that I chose to put them in a pot, because I was able to move them to a shady part of the patio, where they have been recovering from the heat. 

These are some stray grapes that are winding their way from our neighbors yard into ours. I will not complain about this..

I understand now why so many people love to garden. Maybe it is because of my inherent nurturing tendencies that loves to water and watch the plants every morning and evening, and admire them growing. I can imagine how a garden can become a little like a child to some people, tending, pruning, weeding and encouraging tiny seeds to grow, and enjoying see them do so. Maybe when we are done having children, and they are off making their own way in the world, I will have enough experience to have a beautiful and delicious garden to enjoy and care for. 

How is your garden coming along? 
If you don't have one, what would you love to grow?


The Home has a Heart

The other day I got a wonderful little early birthday gift from my dear friend, Elise. It was a copy of a book that she had mentioned to me that she was reading, knowing that it would bless my heart just as much as it was blessing hers. So there it was, waiting for me when I got home from a long drive home.

"The Home has a Heart"
by Thyra Ferre Bjorn 
Published in September, 1968 

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book so far. There is so much truth to this little prayer. I love that she gives the everyday tasks of motherhood, of wife hood the heaviness and seriousness it deserves. We do, as home makers, as mothers and wives, as women, as equal bearers of the image of Christ, need to bear the burdens laid upon us bravely, and in my opinion, willingly. I was speaking with a new friend over dinner last week about how the role of "home maker" or "house wife" is almost excused as a set of circumstances. I dare say,  looked down upon. The irony is this, most of the toil and work done outside of the home, is to sustain it, and to enable the raising and tending of children. I wonder why then, is the very thing that all the work is for, so disregarded? Again, this is all the musings and wonderings of my mind, I expect no one else to agree or adopt those feelings as their own, these are the small things being laid upon my heart. 


BeBe's Felt Memory Game

The feeling of natural textiles have always appealed to me. The stiff weight of a denim button down, or the drape of a silk scarf, the smooth twist of merino wool. As a child, playing with my hair is what helped to soothe me to sleep. Learning is easier when I can do, and feel and touch. So naturally, when Julian started showing signs of the same thing, I was not surprised. Come to think of it, my mother is the same way too. I would watch and listen to her talking on the phone in the kitchen, and she would be doodling the whole time. Church was always difficult for me to sit through as well, with out having something to play with, to keep my fingers busy, I couldn't really focus. So, I want to be able to encourage Julian to learn and experience the world in the ways that help him to understand it best. When I found this tutorial for a felt memory game for the babies, I could not pass it up. I want to add that this is my second ever sewing project and it took quite some time, it was very very tedious, but perfect for just learning how to sew! I made ten sets in girly florals for Omi and ten sets in bold graphics for Julian. 



Fun right?! I know that right now they are a little young to be able to actually "play" the game, but I am hoping that they will be able to try and match the patterns and learn the colors. I really enjoyed the process, even though it took a long time to cut out all of the pieces, iron on the interfacing, cut out the frames, and sew all the pieces together. This would be a great gift for a special baby in your life, or even for older children, or you could use them as little baby coasters, since that is what my husband thought they were. My mother suggested embroidering sight words on them so that the children can arrange little sentences and sayings, maybe when they are older I will do that as well. This has definitely inspired me to look into making more little toys and activities for them, here is my pinterest board with some other great ideas. 

In other news, we are back in the city. It never gets old, coming around that bend, seeing the Sears Tower and all the buildings, still makes my heart flutter a bit. By the way, did you know I am doing a give away over on Prairie Hen? Check it out! 

Thanks for reading, 


Beet Cake & New Old Friends

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting up with some lovely new (old) friends. We had all run in the same circles and youth group events as teenagers, but we had never really sat down together over a meal to get to know each other. The night consisted of a few of my favorite things, great conversation, and the excitement of new found friendships and connections. I definitely left with a sense of, "We should have done this long ago."

I shared my favorite curried soup recipe from Heidi Swanson's cookbook, with a few alterations. Some white wine, and a few rye chips for some crunch. It was so wonderful so share such a dear recipe with a new friend, teach her how to make a meal I enjoy making at least once a week, enjoying the process of cooking, and tasting and experiencing the alchemy together. We were too busy talking and laughing, relating and sharing that I totally forgot to snap any photos to share with you. I don't really regret it though, somethings are left special by the lack of documentation, you only have the memories of the tastes and the way you felt to remind you of the moments. What I will share with you though, is the really beet cake I brought for dessert. 

I followed the recipe from Tiger in A Jar, I saw the video for Beet Cake a long time ago and was totally smitten with the whole thing, and wanted to try making it.

I chose one golden beet (a little sweeter varietal) and two chiogga beets (for color and flavor) but in the recipe they used regular red beets, and you can tell by the color. I also used 1 oz of 60% cacoa chocolate instead of semisweet, and 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour, and only 1 cup of light brown sugar instead of 1 1/2 cup dark. Id actually like to try another with just golden beets and no chocolate, just to see how it tastes.

I made a classic buttercream but added a little nutella, because after all, it is a vegetable cake, and you can have a treat if you eat your vegetables. Oh my my, it was delicious. It definitely had an earthy taste, but I personally enjoy that. You know how really good, fresh soil smells? Sweet and warm? It has that taste. Earthy, dark, delicious. The texture was reminiscent of fudge, but it was moist as any cake should be, with a decedent crumb. I think I will have to make this again for my birthday in a few days. You could serve this cake and not mention the fact that it contains vegetables, and no one would know, but that is tricking people, and I think we should be excited about vegetables anyway. This is why when Julian gets older I wont be "sneaking" them into his food, he will know what's in there and that its good for him!

Would you make this?! Tell me how it goes for you if you do! 

thanks for reading 


pleasent views v.2

 "I think I am done knitting for the summer" 
sure...sure Kirstin...sure you are. 
This little guy was for Indiana's welcome to the world party. It's this pattern with this yarn. Also, ready to hear a cute story about my husband? I was sulking about not finding the RIGHT buttons for this little sweater so he went into his closet, grabbed an old button down and cut off the buttons, which were exactly what I had envisioned. He is an ok human sometimes. 



 "Sneaking in the whole grains"

 Its official. I need an ice cream maker. I picked up this super exciting flavor at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods. Ready? Avocado. Seriously. It's great. Im thinking avacado + lime sherbet in the mean time....

This is the last thing I need to be getting myself into, sewing quilts. But I can't help myself....


I hope you had a lovely weekend, loving on the Papas in your life. I am visiting my parents for the week and I hope to get a lot of things done, considering they can not get enough of Julians dancing, shouting, pool hoping into and signs. The newest is "hot". That's right baby, Momma's coffee is hot! 


Juice Glasses & Tying a Tie

   Sometimes the thrill of hearing Julian say a new word, or a new sign, figure out the way the pieces go on the puzzle, are quickly followed by a pang of fear. This is too fast. Just a few days ago he drank out of a full glass of water on his own. Maybe this doesn't seem like a huge deal to you, but for me, it was bittersweet and monumental. I have been trying to teach him to use a little juice glass for a while. It is perfectly sized for his hands, and I want him to feel like everyone else,  with his own glass. Every time he would try, he would just go for it, water would end up all over his food, now mush, and he would cry from the shock of cold running down his tummy. For a while after those few first times, he just wouldn't try, and would just hold the glass out for me to handle for him while he took little sips. He needed my help. Omi has been drinking out of her little juice glass for a while. Julian would always watch her as she gracefully picked up her glass, took her sips and then set it down with out spilling it, letting out a refreshing "Ahh" and a little lip smack. I could tell he wanted to be able to do the same, but he was a little afraid, after all, who wants to have cold water running down their tummy? 

  Then the other day, we came in to have lunch after a long walk in the summer heat. I set the table for lunch, with the little forks, the real plates, the real little juice glasses. He looked at his glass, full of cold water, and he got it. He carefully picked up his glass, looked at it again, looked at me and tilted it just a bit to take a few little sweet baby sips. I just watched him. I didn't want to make a fuss about it just yet, I didn't want to interrupt him. He kept going, and eventually, was full head flung back, getting the last little drops of water. He put the glass down, and his chubby little fingers reached for his beans. And that was it. I congratulated him, claps and "good job!" and of course, Omi followed suit and clapped for him as well. Baby high fives were exchanged (with a little  prompting). Now he drinks out of his glass at meal times. 

  That little step of independence a good thing, even though it is a little unsettling. It is nice to be needed, the knowledge that one day he will not really need me for anything, honestly, is a little sad. His conquest of the juice glass was a preview of this, but it just felt too soon. Some other parents may be able to relate to this when their child first learns to crawl or walk, or start to communicate. This was the first time he had a (somewhat) long term struggle with something, and figured it out on his own, with out my help. Isn't this one of the main goals in raising children? To ensure that our children will be fully independent and capable adults, that they will not need us. What a paradox. A bittersweet paradox. I try to remember this often. Especially in the times when his requirement of assistance is frustrating or tiring, or especially smelly. Like all of the times I have to try and teach him to clean up after himself, instead of just putting his things away myself, which would be faster. Or when he drops his car behind the couch for the 100th time and can't quite reach it. He won't always need or want my help, so I want to be there to help him with the things I can, while I can. 

  For now, I will try and enjoy his dependance on me, but hold on to it with an open hand. It is ok that one day he will not need me, that is healthy, he will eventually be a big strong man who can tie a tie and ask a women out on a date. I will try and treasure the fact that he still needs me to help him get his clothes on, keep his bum clean, go up and down the stairs, and especially when he needs a middle of the night snuggle session, waking me from sweet dreams of living in Paris, eating some cheese with a delicious glass of wine and a cashmere beret. Hopefully that woman he takes out on a date will be thankful that I won't need him to need me. In advance, you are welcome. 


Things To Consider 6/12

Today has been such a lovely day! The weather is nice, about 70, which I can tolerate. Xavier and I had coffee this morning at the cafe ( a rarity during the week...), we shared a pour over of this delicious new Guatemala, and then off to work for the both of us. After the babies morning snooze, S and I packed everyone up to have lunch at a adorable little spot downtown. The children were so well behaved, S and I were crossing our fingers and pinching ourselves...waiting for the first bit of tomato bisque to be thrown across the table. To our relief, no bisque was tossed and in fact, Julian reached right over to S's plate, scooped up a blue cheese covered raw red onion and shoved it greedily in his mouth. S and I looked at each other, "Does he like it?!. His chubby little fingers made their way over to the plate again. Good gracious, he does like it! The rest of the meal was sprinkled with baby signs for "please" and "more" and even, dare I share, several "thank you's". We were beaming. I will admit, Julian did belt out one obnoxious screech, but I was able to cover his mouth quickly, and no one really noticed. It's not every day you go to a nice place to eat and see two women with two toddlers and a new born quietly enjoying a delicious meal. 

So, while the babies are sleeping I wanted to share some really interesting things that I have stumbled upon in the last week or so:

I love this Darling Magazine. 

My friend Melissa just posted the new Tukula prints, they are so lovely. I will also be doing a give away and special post about them next month, so it would be cool to read a little about them before I do the post. 

This Shop is cute, I love that all of the products are from around the world. 

Im so inspired to make my own Yogurt with Roasted Strawberries and Amaranth. I just picked up some amaranth from the bulk section and I am really excited to try it! Amaranth is gluten free, and has protein, calcium and magnesium, as well as the amino acid lysine, which helps if you are a vegetarian or vegan and need to get a little more protein. 

This Rhubarb Custard Pie  looks seriously delicious. 

I want to try this Pie Dough Technique sometime in the next few days too. Have you noticed I love pie? 

Look at these crazy Sheep! I love sheep so much.....

Oh and one last one, my sweet sweet friend Jax just posted this new music video from her band. I sure do love her. 

I hope you enjoy them too! 

Thanks for reading, 


Birthday Wishes

It's funny how your tastes, wants and birthday wishes change with age. I will be 23 this month. 
23. I know that is not very old, but its the oldest Ive ever been. 

Special, hand made and pretty things: 

Im not sure if we will have a party this year. Maybe a few friends out to the Ethiopian place I love, off of the red line, maybe just Xavier and I at a nicer place we have never tried before. Or, maybe a nice dinner at home, with something special, Xavier makes a mean seafood paella. The day will probably include coffee, yarn and maybe some cake. 

cheers for birthdays! 


Summer Season

Summer is here.

Organic Blackberries are on sale at Stanley's for less than a dollar and the farmers market vendors are starting sell their CSA shares. If you are not familiar with a CSA, I will elaborate a little. CSA stands for Community Sustained Agriculture. Essentially, you are paying upfront for a few months worth of local, delicious, in season produce. Some farms offer just veggies, other offer veggies, fruits, even dairy products or honey. (p.s. honey from an area really close to you is great if you have trouble with allergies in the spring, if you use it during the winter it can help you build up a tolerance to the pollen and other allergens) I am really hoping to be able to get involved with one this year. They are pretty expensive up front, around $400 dollars for the season (until fall) but when I think about it, I may be paying about the same for produce at Whole foods and/or Stanley's for the same amount of food, maybe even more money.
It comes down to priorities, and creativity I think. 

Today was about 90 degrees, but the humidity made it feel much hotter. Julian seems to have inherited my distain for being hot, he was pretty fussy and cranky all day. I put some blueberries in the freezer for a little while to get them nice and cold and let him snack on them, that seemed to help a bit. We don't have ac in our cute little over a hundred years old apartment. Well, Julian has a window unit in his room, his closet under the stairs, that we turn on at night, We can't have two window units going at the same time, for one, its a lot of energy to run those suckers and I feel guilty. The second reason is that even if I got over this whole sense of guilt for turing the window unit on, and actually plugged it in, it would trip the circuits and make our power go out. This is the secret trade off you get when you search "vintage" on craigslist while looking for apartments, no one reminds you of that little fact. I think I am turning into my high school best friend's mother, who bakes cookies on the grill in the summer time so she doesn't make the house any hotter. I am totally ok with that, she is an awesome lady.

So, for most of the afternoon I sat in the back yard with my feet in a pot of cold water spraying Julian, (and the plants) with the hose. I was trying to decide which was more wasteful, playing in the hose, or turning on the a.c. Maybe that's a little too analytical  and deep, but I was having crazy flashbacks to little girls in dirty old dresses carrying jerry cans of dirty old water up a mountain barefoot in Uganda. It's just crazy sometimes, having a child has even changed the way I remember things, my perspective on the things that have so deeply impacted me. I told myself It was mostly for the plants, mostly for the kale.


Speaking of plants. The garden is coming along nicely. I regret planting the red lettuce. We don't eat it....so its just sort of taking up space. Im thinking about removing them all together and putting something else there come late summer, most likely more kale, since I have a serious obsession with kale. Did I tell you how much I love kale? Mostly sauteed with garlic and shallots....splash of white wine...oh dear. The bunnies came and ate some of my kale (none of the red lettuce!?)  and I was pretty sad about it, but I figured that maybe the bunnies were really hungry, or maybe the bunnies love kale just as much as I do. I don't blame them. The swiss chard is coming up a bit now too, I thought it wasn't going to make it. I am really excited about the purple wax beans. They all sprouted up big and strong. The butternut squash seem to be doing really well too, they grow really fast, which is rewarding to see. The Thai basil has pretty little dark purple, fragrant flowers budding and the mystery plant has bloomed into gorgeous violet flowers as well. I still have no idea what it is..

Despite that fact that I hate being hot, I am going to try to enjoy the summer. One of my favorite books is called A Severe Mercy, and one of the themes of the book is "the heights and the depths". In the book the author talks about the heights and depths of love mostly, and of faith, but I am going to try and embrace the heights and depths of living with seasonal intentions (haha). Delightfully chilly October wouldn't be so wonderful if June wasn't as miserably hot and humid. So to busy myself I will be attempting to learn to preserve fruits and jams, my mom just got a free pressure canner off of freecycle (whoa wait what?! When did she learn to use the interwebz?! Wait, mom, YOU HAVE A BLOG?! You have had a blog for five years?!? Here is my mom's blog, that I did not know existed...MY MOMS BLOG?!) and Id love to make some tomato sauce to save for the winter.....to use with my winter crop of kale and maybe some home made pasta. What are your summer plans? Do you hate summer as much as I try not too?

Thanks for reading.


L'essayer, à mon petit choux v.1 : Blue Velvet Apricots

"Try it, my little cabbage!"

There is a definite beauty in new things, excitement, a little rush. I love discovering new things to try in the kitchen, new stitches to knit, new parks and places to take the children, new books to read them, the new words that they learn. I especially love giving the little ones new foods to try. This is the start of a little series, on what I am introducing to the babies, and to myself. The special, seasonal, or exotic little things that make the regular things more exciting. The title is inspired by the book "French Kids Eat Everything",  which has really helped me to focus on expanding Julian's palette, encouraging him to try new things (the other day he and Omi had braised leeks and loved them) so that hopefully, he wont be too picky and will have a healthy view of food, and new things in general, they aren't always scary.

 This little confusing stone fruit is a must try. I thought it was a plum, a fuzzy plum. Then I cut it open, an apricot! How exciting! Apricots are in season in the U.S. in late spring and early summer, so I might try to make a jam out of these special fruits as well. It had the mouthfeel of an apricot, but tasted more like a sweet plum. I sat at the table with Julian and we split it, he slurped and sucked the juice happily, ate the yummy fleshy part and then spit the skin out. I just ate my half quietly, enjoying watching him try something new. It was hard to make it last more than a few bites.

I thought about it and other than raw, I think the best way to showcase this pretty thing was to do a simple tart. I read around and saw lots of different apricot tarts on pinterest, but I settled on a mix of this recipe for tart dough and this Apricot Almond filling. I did a few things different. I used one 1/2 cup oat  flour (I just threw the oats in the food processor until they were ground up to a good fine flour) in the dough, and really roughly estimated on my butter (a super no no with baking! Never estimate unless you are a baking genius, or always lucky, this time, I was lucky) because I got a pound of local, amish style butter from the farmers market this weekend. The last one left!

This tart was so fun to make! I've never done a "Par -Baked" home made tart crust. It was pretty simple enough, and I loved the result. I used some black beans in foil instead of pie weights, I don't have the time or money to buy pie weights. Who really has pie weights? Probably professional bakers...

And here it is, Isn't she pretty? I think so. I left purple skin on so that you can tell it is not your ordinary apricot tart, but a blue velvet apricot tart. I love that you can make simple things like this shine just by using something different, a little more out of the ordinary. 

Julian is sleeping right now, but I'm sure he will be happy to sample this for me when he wakes up.  My mother in law, his "Abuelita" is in town for a little visit from Puerto Rico. Hence why I was able to spend an hour in the kitchen uninterrupted to make a tart. It is so sweet to see him spending time with her, and hearing the stories about my husband when he was little, singing little songs in Spanish. I brought her to Cafe Streets today to have some coffee, the barista did a little rosetta in her cappuccino and she was delighted. She told him she couldn't drink it because it was too pretty! We got to stop by Xavier's work and show her the roasters, we all had to wear hair nets. I was not happy about the hair nets, neither was Julian. It is really nice to have her here for a little while, I don't usually get a lot of time to myself, so Im going to try and enjoy it while I can. When the little one wakes up I am heading out sans bebe, sans computer, to sit and knit at a cafe, what a treat! 


State Street Cowl

I love the idea of eating seasonally, the idea of eating strawberries in January makes me uneasy, and those first spring peas make my heart jump through my tastebuds. There is a time and place for all things in life, the proper season. I have been thinking of taking this concept further into my life, into the creative places. I most enjoy knitting in the mornings, while Julian naps, cozied up with some coffee , NPR and the quilt my Momma made me. Chicago summers get seriously spicy, and knitting something cozy seems unnatural, and frankly, sweaty. I know my style, and I know what I enjoy knitting things that insulate and keep the ones I love warm. I have tried knitting "summer" shawls but they seem impractical to me, who wears a shawl in the summertime? Not me, I loathe being hot, adding layers, even layers of pretty knit silk things, sounds terrible. I know I am not the only one, my beloved Jared Flood wrote a guest post on Hanna's Knitbot that I could not agree more with. Summer can be a time for planning, for swatching, for dreaming up woolen things and waiting for that brisk air to send me strait for the needles.

Thankfully, a few days ago the sweltering Chicago heat died down and gave me the chance to cast this pretty thing on to my needles. It got down to 48 degrees so I just had to jump at the chance to snuggle up. I used the yarn I rescued from that thrifted french connection sweater. I have quite a bit left, so I might make another one and gift it, or maybe do a give away!? What do you think? I loved this pattern, it was really easy to memorize and the bulky yarn and needles let me finish this in just a few hours. It will be nice to have around come late fall. 

If I do find myself craving some stitchery from now on, small little linen projects like this lovely, or this, or these adorable little baby toys for the new baby, who's name is Indy.  I might do a few pairs of bebe socks and slippers to keep my muscles moving, but nothing heavier than that. The next few months will be a time for reading with some iced tea, experimenting with recipes and introducing Julian to the childhood joys of summer, sprinklers, watermelon, picnics and staying up past your bedtime because the sun hasn't gone down yet.


Photos & Phones

If you have checked out my other posts, you have noticed the hodgepodge of photography from a few different cameras. A lot of my older posts were taken with D's reallllyyy expensive and awesome Cannon (I have to check which one it exactly is). He welcomed me to use it however much Id like to when I am caring for Omi during the day. I love the photos this camera takes, but its not my camera, so I feel funny about using it all the time to post photos on this blog. The photos on the last post were taken by my dear friend Aiyana, she has a nice camera too, I think that one is a Nikon with a newer lens. I just want to be strait forward, right now, we don't have the extra income to shell out a bunch of money for an amazing camera. I would love that but we just cant do it right now. For a while that is what had stopped me from really pursing blogging, it was a total excuse. "I don't have a nice camera so I cant have a decent blog." I've decide to embrace it, and be thankful.

Most of the photos you will see on this blog will be taken from my Iphone, because that is what I have available to me. I think there is something a little sweet and cool about that, if I can build a nice blog that people can share and enjoy with photos from a device that a lot of people have access too it might encourage other people to start blogging, take part in building the online community. I love instagram for this reason exactly. For the most part it seems that most photos uploaded to instagram are from camera phone, and I have seen some pretty amazing Iphone photos. I have also learned a lot about photography in general from using my Iphone, especially lighting. My other issue with using the nicer cameras is that I have a toddler, (who has a bad history with technology and water) and I am a nanny to another toddler and now a new born, I don't have the time to be fiddling around with a huge and expensive camera that needs to be handled just as gently as new baby G. It is so much easier to just whip out my phone and snap a few photos of the babies, or what ever recipe I am working on, enjoy being in the moment instead of capturing it. So for now, thats what I am going to use, and I am totally ok with that. Maybe one day we can save up the money for an investment camera, but I can't see that happening anytime soon, especially since I am also saving up for a kitchen aid and a really nice set of pots and pans. So here are a few of my favorite photos taken from this weekend with my iphone, and processed through free apps like picasa, or instagram.

 A little Sate Street Cowl knitting with reclaimed yarn

My new baby La Crusette taurine, I got him on sale at Sur La Table for $20!

 Massive Bean

Poppyseed and Almond Corn Bread Muffins.

Coffee at Streets
Beans, you know I love beans. 

So what do you think? Do you ever feel the same way? Or did you invest in a nice camera and have no regrets? Id love to hear what you have to say about it. 

Thanks for reading, 


Sincerly, KALA

So I've been really committed to this blog for about a month, and I've avoided going into to much detail about myself, just for the sake of avoiding making this blog a showcase of "ME". I want this to be a platform to share the things that inspire me, encourage me and spur me onto being a better follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, and person in general, in hopes that they might do the same for you. I do realize though, that I do need to be a little vulnerable, and show a little more of who I am, aren't we all here to relate to each other anyway? To form a sense of community in a culture that has placed more value on the individual than than the whole? So with that said, I'd like to share with you a bit of what my life is like, in the form of these photos my friend Aiyana took for me.

I have a few tattoos. The first one I got when I was 18, the peacock feather across my chest. It says, "Create in me a pure heart" it is from Psalms 51, which is a bit of a home base for me, a source of stability and confidence in God's ultimate supremacy in my life. The second is the word "Acholi" on my inner arm. I got this one after my trip to Uganda, where my life, heart and mind was forever changed. One woman in particular seriously rocked my world, her name is Betty and she is from the Acholi tribe of Northern Uganda. She would sing this little song, a prayer really, about her people and the place that most of them had to leave in fear of their lives, "In Acholi land there will be no war, In Acholi land there will be more peace". When I got back I knew that it would be easy for me to separate the things that I had seen and experienced when I settled back into the culture of North America, so I wanted a constant reminder. The third, is on my foot, and I got it when I met my husband, when I realized he would be my husband. it says "Beauty For Ashes" which is from Isaiah 61.

We are a coffee family. My husband is a coffee roaster, so I am constantly exposed to the "coffee culture", Im almost as obsessed as he is. I am the woman you see at the cafe with her baby, giving him finger tastes of my espresso, I want him to taste it, I want him to know what it is that helps provide our family with sustenance, and appreciate it. Currently, my go to has been from Handsome, the Burundi. 

 When I am home I spend most of my time in the kitchen, if I am not knitting. I think living in such a diverse city has really opened up my mind and palate to appreciate many different kinds of foods and ways of cooking. Having a child has only intensified this, I want him to have the best that I can offer, to experience the joys of eating delicious food together, and the blessings of the ability to eat well, to be healthy. This makes my cooking style a bit jekyll and hyde. It is not uncommon for me to mix bacon with kale, or butter with whole wheat flour. I used to be a vegetarian, but that period of my life ended when I got pregnant with Julian. Since then, I have been on a bit of a journey to discover my ethics when it comes to food, to feeding my family, honoring the creation God has given us as a gift and keeping mindful of the fact that my choice of food has an effect far greater than I realize on most days. Sustainability is important to me. With that said, I want to share my foodie experiments here with you, here is one of my favorite things to make to top pancakes, quick breads, or honestly, just eat out of the fridge late at night. 

Knitting is a huge part of my life. I started a few years ago, after Xavier and I got married. It was my way to spend time with him, to be "alone together" while he read his books, or wrote music. When my pregnancy with Julian got pretty uncomfortable, I sat and taught myself how to really knit, not just a rectangular garter stitch scarf, and I fell in love. It was a new way to constantly push myself, to progress, to have forward motion when life seems to hold me in difficult seasons. I am currently really into lace knitting, the yarn overs and decreases are like a little dance for my fingers. In the summer time it is harder for me to knit, I am a serious woolie, and the other stuff, cotton, silk, linen, just doesn't cut it for me, so come fall you will be seeing much more knitted somethings.

I have been married to my husband for about 3 years now, he is 12 years my senior. I love being married to an older man, he is a refreshing source of stability. a hard worker and committed to our family. Im not going to say marriage is easy and always blissful, because that is a lie, and you shouldn't believe anyone who tells you that. It is hard work, but it is so worth it. I like to look at the collection of books we keep by our bed, the ones we tend to reach for when we need something familiar and comfortable, its a interesting way to see what is going on in each of our hearts and minds. 

If you look at the black and white photo on the lower shelf you can see little baby Julian, in the tummy. Our son is about 18 months old now, and it has been a sweet and salty and sour whirlwind of an experience. I've made some mistakes, I've made some solid decisions that I am proud of, but Im not perfect, I want to share some of those experiences on this blog. Julian is quite the character, he loves his little best friend Omi, who I nanny, and loves to eat beans, greek yogurt and cumin roasted butternut squash. Although, somedays he just asks for cookies, and I don't blame him. He delights and surprises me everyday, and occasionally infuriates me, like the time he flushed my iphone down the toildet because I would not read him "Have You Seen My Cat?. Ok, maybe he just thought it would be fun, but there is a part of me that really thinks he did it on purpose. He has a serious milk addiction and I am taking suggestions as to how to break him of this obsession. (Seriously, he could drink a gallon of milk if I let him.) The evidence of this is in his cubby thighs and fat rolls, which I kiss and pinch at least once or twice (ok more like ten times) everyday.

   So there you have it. These are for the most part, the most important things in my life. Im here to share them with you, to have community, so connect and inspire and be inspired.



Photo credit 
(Recyled Flour Sack, Sweatshop Free )