Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cookie House

It has come to my attention that since I have moved into my new house (approximately 2.5 months ago) I have made no less than 8 batches of cookies.

... Which equates to almost 1 batch per week.... Which, really, while delicious, is also kind of ridiculous.

I equate this baking frenzy with (a) finally getting out our kitchen aid mixer (which was a wedding present; yes, the wedding was last September. ... and we didn't even manage to get the mixer out for Christmas cookies!) and (b) happiness. I have found unbridled joy in cooking for J in our new kitchen. As I intimated in this post, cooking has been almost spiritual for me recently, and it gives me so much peace and purpose-- so, why stop now?! ‘Cookie House’ it shall remain.

(Furthermore, it has come to my attention that somehow -and oh, my don't ask me how this happened; it's a complete mystery to me - I managed to go through the 2009 holiday season without making my favorite cookies. OH THE HORROR!! Consequently, my next batch of cookies shall be strawberry thumbprints. (Watch for a recipe soon :)

Anyhoo: Happy hump day, bloggies! I hope you have been having a wonderful week so far. As I may or may not have mentioned, J and I both took Monday off of work (to recover from relax after a weekend in PA - more on that in a minute) -- so my week is going fairly quickly. I'm so glad that I am halfway (as of now -- my lunch hour) to another weekend! Hallelujah!

And now, before I move forward... a little recap of last week's happenings. The latter part of last week (Thursday, Friday + weekend) flew by in a delighful mix of old friends, laughter, hard work and, yes, a little play, too. On Thursday I took the day off, but woke at the same time and proceeded to work up a sweat (I wish I was kidding) cleaning the house (I forgot how heartily I dislike scrubbing bath tubs...), running to the store 2x (ugh. don't ask.) and tying up some loose ends before my best friend Saundra (remember, the girl who brought me to and through my 1st half-marathon?) arrived. Saundra and I quickly scooted outside for a run/walk (heavier on the walking part, which was a blessing, as my current fitness levels are somewhat *eh hem* less than stellar ... and Saun is pretty fast!) It was really wonderful being in the sunshine, walking and talking with my friend like we used to when we were roommates (Academic year 2005 – 2006 … aaand, now I feel old…) After a quick shower and some “cute-ing-up”, we headed to the mall for lunch with another friend (and roommate!) and bridesmaid dress shopping.

Shopping was a complete success, for these two reasons:

This: (picture source)

and this:

Fabulous, no?!

Now, can we just pause a minute for me to tell you how excited I am that Yagoot opened at Easton?! I have been drooling over the beautiful yogurt creations that have been popping up all over blogland, and feeling very left out and miffed that C-bus doesn’t seem to have anything like this (hm.. I think we might have some TCBY somewhere … but I’ve never been). And then, on Thursday afternoon, following a minor wardrobe malfunction (mine. strapless bras are not my friend.) and preceeding a blister (inevitably, cute shoes ≠comfortable shoes) – I was introduced to yagoot. And life was good. Creamy, sweet and tangy good, in fact (perfect with the fresh strawberries I got on top!) If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check this place out :) … Yummm … I digress …

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were PA days. J and I woke early on Friday (5-ish a.m. … the goal was to be out of the house at 6, but I kept hitting snooze button) and got into Carlisle around 1:15. We spent the weekend weeding, mulching, trimming, mowing, painting, re-applying sunscreen, catching up, and eating great food. On Saturday evening we found a hole-in-the-wall Italian place for dinner—which served huge portions of hearty comfort food – heavenly! And….AND… to celebrate my Aunt and Uncle’s 39th (!) wedding anniversary, we indulged in ice cream cake for dessert (which I typically don’t like, but this was good, folks. White cake and vanilla ice cream, all frosted with whipped cream. *Drool* …. It kind of reminded me of a certain birthday cake that someone awesome got for me and J this year ;) … Again, I digress.

Perhaps the best part of the weekend, though was just observing J as he interacted with my family. I loved showing him “my second home”. I loved sitting at the picnic table in the back yard, laughing with him and Laurie and the cousins. I loved the way he worked so hard and never admitted he was exhausted. I loved wandering with him through the neighborhood and around campus. I loved him for allowing me to have this weekend, because it was everything I was hoping it would be.

… And, all right… I’m not going to lie… I loved the fact that J almost had a heart attack when I gave him this on Sunday morning. (I think he thought I might 'have a surprise for him' when I handed him the card!)

Heh. I couldn’t resist. (But… why didn’t they have “cat mommy cards” for Mothers Day?!)

And so now we’re caught back up to this week, which so far has been … well, a little bit rough. (Re-immersion in ‘real life’ always is.) I may have a few more thoughts related to this to share with you later this week … but for now, I am still sorting things out in my own head and heart. Don’t worry though – just because I’m not quite feeling myself doesn’t mean I cannot give you the List Day you deserve!


Good List

1. J.He is a constant good in my life, always supporting me, but always pushing me to be my best. His patience astounds me. (So thankful for this… especially this week!)

2. Re-Usable water bottles. I love their sturdiness!

3. Pencils. Because sometimes it is necessary to erase and start over.

4. Hard work. Sometimes, I think that the worth of a day can be measured in the soreness of muscles and the dirt under your fingernails.

5. Daydreams. I had forgotten that one of the things I love most about running is that it allows me ample time to dream. I love nothing more than to allow myself to be carried away by my imagination as my feet (and lungs!) endure the miles.

6. Gracie. Oh, how my little girl blesses me! She seems to have an innate sense for when I am feeling sad—and she always wanders over to be with me, sometimes head-butting me, sometimes squeaking for attention, sometimes giving my finger a good natured nibble. All as if to say, “Don’t be sad, Mama…Hey, life goes on.”

7. Tomato sandwiches. (Acid reflux be damned. I will enjoy this favorite summer treat!)

8. Coffee. A persistent if somewhat evil force in my life. I enjoyed several cups of coffee this weekend, including a couple fabulous cups from a pot brewed by my uncle (I believe it was a mix of DD vanilla and DD cinnamon?)

9. Reality checks.

10. “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap into the dark to our success.” – Henry David Thoreau

Summer Lovin’

I admit that Fall will always hold first place in my heart as my favorite season of the year, but summer has a loveliness all it’s own. Here are just a few things that I delight in during the warmer months:

- tomato sandwiches

- longer daylight hours

- cool morning runs

- The smell of sunscreen and bug spray

- grilling out

- sitting in the twilight with best friends, both old and new –I’ve found that summer nights inspire some of the best & deepest conversations.

- ice cream (and sorbet, and frozen yogurt)

- fireflies

- sleeping with the windows open

- sangria

- sprinklers

- road trips

- thunderstorms

- bonfires

- family gatherings

- fireworks

- church day camp (perhaps more accurately for me this year – night camp. I’ve got the 3rd graders!)

- afternoon naps with a good book (… now, if you know me, you know that I enjoy this on a fairly regular basis anyway… but it seems especially decadent on a muggy summer afternoon

- Homemade pickles (Yes, please!)

- The way the world seems to run on a different schedule. Just a little slower; a little more laid back. Things really start to come alive at 8 pm.

What are your favorite things about summer?