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Movie or Swim?

As parents know, a day can either go good or bad depending on your children’s moods.  I was pleasantly surprised by my eager to help oldest today for our last garage sale. Doing solo parenting and trying to do a garage sale can be stressful, to say the least.  The other parent, dad, is busy unpacking our belongings in our new home.

He called me after his torturous drive, which he left for on Thursday evening after 11 pm, and arrived Friday at 9 pm, after waking up Thursday am at 5. You do the math!  The only pit stops were pee stops for he and the dog.  Insane!  He was deservingly lying down, and feasting on freshly picked raspberries, cuddled up with our veteran heeler, and resting for his second wind to unpack the Budget rental amongst the chill and light sprinkle.  I on the other hand, was a tad jealous he was there enjoying those conditions while I was sweating like a summer pig in this sticky California heat.

The garage sale did little.  It was so slow that I discounted everything by 1/2 and gave most of it away for free. At least I earned us some gas money, and was able to chat with old friends and new.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have incredible neighbors. Seriously, I wish we could take them with us. Our neighbor Mike woke at 6:30 am to help me pull things out to set up. Honestly, that was so valuable. Our neighbor Marde made us a platter full of cut fruit; the peaches were perfect.  Then, to top off her already thoughtful ways, she later brought freshly made hummus along with persian cucumbers, red bells, pistachios, and pretzel crisps. I could not have been more delighted!  As I said, parenting alone; my mind was in two spots, and a snack was needed and severely appreciated.

So, I followed up that lackluster garage sale, pleased to have it slow and be able to visit with friends.  The girls and I celebrated the end of the sale with some much needed frozen yogurt, a Goodwill donation, and picking up signs.  It was then I realized why there was no foot traffic; the signs had fallen.  Oh well!

So as I prep to paint for the tenants, I allowed my kiddos a choice to swim or watch a video.  I guess their fatigue is a tell all. They chose to relax.  I don’t blame them in the slightest. I can hardly wait to do the same!

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Tears.

I am a complete mess right now.  Today we picked up the Budget rental truck; all 16 feet of it.  One of our very best friends, Peder Beck and his kind friend Rink assisted in packing the truck in a Tetris style manner, as Kevin and I continued to pack up lingering items.  It was amazing to have their assistance since we didn’t start packing until 5 pm and ended at 9:30 p.m. Amidst the chaos, my children were unattended, and relocated at my neighbors home 2 doors down; who is also their ballet teacher.  We had a couple neighbors filtering in and out to see if we needed anything, and bringing us more boxes.  It made it that much harder having such kindness bestowed upon us. The feeling of gratitude was heavy.

Some of my favorite items did not fit. Though, the receptionist swore that 16 feet would pack a two bedroom home. I had to leave behind my vintage orange armchair with the love tear that is stitched together with blue thread. The children’s Christmas roller coaster did not fit, nor the front porch vintage recliners that I waited 8 years to have stained and find the perfect cushions for.  Many more things that were little just could not fit.  It was both saddening and a realization that they can stay behind and come at a later date.  What we are leaving behind that means much more, are our family, our neighborhood, the kid’s rad school, and our amazing church. Last but not least, friends. Particularly the ones that have become more like family. You know who you are.  We will greatly miss our gatherings, our late night guitar lullabies, potlucks, etc.  You have may this departure incredibly supportive, and we thank you so much for your support.

As I cried in the kitchen,  Kevin and I compared our tight chest and lumps in our throat. I pretty much lost it when my inherited sister called. But, I felt I needed to keep composure for the kids.  So, as I watch them sleep soundly in their sleeping bags on our wood floor, I cannot help but wish I was able to sleep.  I have never, in our almost 13 years of marriage been able to sleep without my hubby.  He departed this evening with our dog in tow.  A boy and his dog.  The girls and their mom.  So strange to be separated in this way.  Much of it felt surreal.  Now, I lay here with phone beside me, typing, and praying for his safe journey.  Praying for his safe return so we can finalize our move and set off together as a family, on this crazy journey.

 

 

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The Garden of Long Beach

This place is so dear to my heart! In the 2 almost 3 years we’ve attended, we have met some truly amazing people. It is a place that lives out what it preaches.  I will truly miss the depth of which I’ve grown in this time due to the solid teachings.  The lyrics below are part of a song that resounds in me.

 

With every breath I breathe
With every song I sing
I want to shout it out
Lord I am listening
To every word You speak
I’ll go where You will lead
To love the least of these
My greatest offering

 

*** The photo is from the annual church dodgeball team.  Best thing to do is sign up with a team of little kids; they come out on top.

 

 

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Red Cabbage, Cranberry and Apple Coleslaw

My dear friend knows how much I love my vegetables.  Having taken the last two seasons off from our own garden, due to our move, her garden fresh cabbage was the perfect gift. Thank you Brianne Wells for knowing the ways to my heart.  You’re a very true friend in all matters, and I will miss the heck out of you.

This simple recipe is perfect for a summer afternoon.  Light and crisp.

COLESLAW

(yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients:

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup agave syrup

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 1/4 cup fuji apples, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Combine cabbage and cranberries into a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine: vinegar, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix throughly.  Cover the cabbage combo and allow to chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

 

 

 

A Little Piece of Joy!

Arrived home today, to take my afternoon dose of frozen chocolate chips as a pick me up before my sun soaked run, and was throughly delighted to see the new camping items arrived.

This will give me more wind in my sail for this jog I’m procrastinating. I love exercise; I hate heat. Maybe that’s why the great northwest appeals to me so much.

Some girls are excited by diamonds. I on the other hand feel my heart beat more rapidly and that inner grin when I’m surrounded by outdoors and camping “toys”.

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Maple Sweetened Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries

I know this is not in season, but I was craving this light fluffy pumpkin bread all day today. So, I threw caution to the wind, and went for it.  For my gluten free visitors, just substitute the barley flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It turns out just as delicious.

PUMPKIN LOAF

(yield: 12)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup barley flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

1 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 heaping Tbsp. of flax seeds

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl combine: barley flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt.  In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, safflower oil, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, flax seeds, and vanilla extract.  Mix wet into dry, and then fold in cranberries, pecans, and coconut flakes (optional)

2. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

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Three Arch Bay

The monument men saved art during the war, and I have a bit of my own history worth saving.

During my process of transcribing my children’s growth chart, that is penned in along the wood trim in their closet to a transportable board, I began to reflect on how stressful the last few months have been.

As weird as it feels to be living amongst boxes upon boxes and our comforting home now echoing, I also feel relief.

Some folks move suddenly and don’t go through as arduous pondering on their decision making. Having made this decision months ago, I’ve had lots of moments of anguish and feelings of doubt. Mainly, this was all due to the things and people I love so dearly that we are leaving behind.

I attribute this wait to strolling down the sandy beach with some of my best buds, with Three Arch Bay as a destination. The rock tunnel leads to scaling rocks to private pools, which then leads to a stretch of ocean you need to time correctly to get to the other side of more rocks you must scale, just to lead you to a rocky platform overlooking a 2 1/2-3 story high drop.

As you gather amongst your friends, some jump quickly and others linger either to enjoy the glorious view or because they’re afraid. The longer you hover there on that edge, glancing below, the harder it gets to make the leap. More doubt creeps into your mind.

But, if you don’t think too long, that jump into the frigid ocean below is rejuvenating and exciting. The brisk swim across the kelp filled lagoon to the shoreline, reminds you the trek was well worth it. This is especially true if this reminds you of how your marriage proposal happened.

The time has exceedingly sped up the last two weeks. That doubt that was stagnant is now obsolete and the anticipation of adventure far out ways the fear.

I know my love affair with California, is not busted. But, I look forward to entangling myself in the beauty of Washington and all it has to offer.

I believe this is a leap of faith; a jump worth the wait.

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Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Strikes the Clock

Minutes turn to hours and hours turn to days.  The days are rapidly slipping by! Gone is our going away party, that seemed so far away.  The packing has begun.  We are cramming in as many things as possible before that last hour, because we want each moment to count.  As I pack, my daughter’s snuggle alongside one another on our bed. I’ve taken so many of photos of them in this same position, but this time marks a certain memory.  This will be one of the last times in our home with them being so little. I want to capture every moment of their innocence.  Tomorrow will be a new memory, and today’s will slowly slip away.  A picture is worth a thousand words!

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Expresso Zombie Bars

It’s all about cardio!  When the zombie’s come to take over, you’ll need the stamina and energy this bar can provide to fight them off. They’ll want some too; they’re so delicious.

ZOMBIE BARS

(yield: 6 bars)

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. chunky salted peanut butter (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s)

6 tsp. filtered water

2 oz. dark chocolate chips, lightly ground

4 tsp. organic cane sugar

2 tsp. safflower oil

1 Tbsp. ground flax meal, heaping

1 pinch sea salt

1 tsp. vanilla powder

1 oz. gluten free oats

1 tsp. arrowroot powder

1 Tbsp. expresso beans, grind well

1 Tbsp. chia seeds, heaping

2 oz. dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need lined parchment and a sheet pan.

1. Two bowls. One wet & one dry. Whisk together pb, water, and oil in one bowl.  In another, mix together remaining ingredients, except for the 2 oz. of chocolate chips.  Combine wet to dry, and mix thoroughly.

2. Place bar mixture onto parchment and with your hands, flatten to 1/2 inch in height and form a rectangle.  I like to use a bread loaf pan, if it’s available.

3. Bake them at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool on the parchment, on a cooling rack.  While they are cooling, melt the 2 oz. of dark chocolate chips.  With a spatula, spread on top of cooled bar.  Allow this to cool for another 15, and then refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.  Once the chocolate has hardened, you can leave them in a covered tupperware and they will last for 5-7 days, unrefrigerated.