love light loss and pinterest

A journey into my messy life, mind, and kitchen.

Tag: Husband

Void

Recently, some amazing friends told me they were sad I had not written for a while.  I gave what I thought to be an explanation.  Luckily for me they called me on it…it was actually an excuse.   They told me to just get it all out there.  They told me to tell the world (blog world that is) what I had just told them.  Of course that is easier said than done.  I had spoken the words to them in the comfort and safety of my own home.  But, they were right, I have been hiding from my own feelings by not putting them out there.

The truth is I have 4 drafts with titles only just sitting waiting to be molded into something fabulous.  Something that someone would want to read.  Something if not inspirational at least coherent.  But, I just haven’t been able to put words to my feelings.  I know exactly what I want to write but I try and it all just comes out a jumbled mess (metaphor for life much?).  I have tried multiple attack plans: writing snuggled under soft warm blanket, sitting up right focused at a desk, even outside in my rocking chair in the beautiful weather.  Nothing seemed to work.  Even this post was originally hand written at the airport the only inspiration being the void of anything else to do and the music of Waitress Musical.  Seriously, if you haven’t listened just do it…talk about heartstrings.  Just read these lyrics of my new heart song (thank you Sara Bareilles).

A Soft Place to Land

“Sugar, butter, flour
Sometimes I still see her
My mother the dreamer
She’d say, ‘Nothing’s impossible child’

A dream needs believing
To taste like the real thing
Like some stranger you recognize
So pure, so pure, so electric
So sure, so sure, so connected
To those little believers inside
May we all be so lucky

But dreams are elusive
The kind we’ve gotten used to
Is nothing I can feel
Nothing I can hold
Nothing I can have
Nothing that I know
Dreams come and they go

But hold them and keep them
And know that you need them
When your breaking point’s all that you have
A dream is a soft place to land
May we all be so lucky
Sugar, butter, flour”

Slayed. Sobbing. Sitting in a puddle of tears at the airport terminal gate.

How can one song speak so loudly to what I am feeling? How can I use this to explain how I feel? How do I take these feelings and use them to better myself and my world?

I feel like this song perfectly explains everything I am trying to accomplish with this project.  Stay connected to my sweet Mom, keep her dreams alive, work my way through her pins.  Which I have actually been doing, I just get to the writing part and get STUCK.

I have heard writer’s block (seems funny to type because I don’t consider myself a writer) described as a void of ideas, a blank brain if you will.  My experience is the opposite really,  I start to write and everything starts spinning.  I have not one idea but 400 and no direction or guidance (this is when I would normally turn to Mom).  And, there it is.  My void.  It all comes back to me wanting a different reality.  I want what I can never have back. This is the point when I go back and read the list of all the amazing things I do have and, I am thankful.  But, it doesn’t change the way my heart aches.  It does not fill the void.

We travel tomorrow to spread Mom’s ashes “on the sea somewhere fabulous” (her exact words in her will).  It is bound to be a bitter sweet journey.  I am excited to get away, but I know it will not be an escape from my feelings.  I will continue to write even if it is just jumbled mess. I will cool it with the excuses and let you all back in.

I am honored to have all of you on this journey with me.

“May we all be so lucky”

 

Putting Things Together

When Thomas and I got married my lovely friend Mari asked us all these questions about our likes and dislikes for my bachelorette party, it was amazing and pretty hilarious.  My favorite question and answer from my sweet husband went something like this: Question: “What is your favorite food that Blake makes for you?” Answer: “Anything that has to be put together…you know like sandwiches or casseroles.” Bahahaha, too true my darling, too true.  I love putting things together sandwiches, casseroles, salads, tacos,  people, performances, play dates, parties, you name it.  Bringing things and people together makes my heart happy.  Putting things together is a gift I 100% got from my Mom.  She had the real talent.  I have been feeling off of my game lately.  Without her, it is not easy.  None of it is.

I spent last weekend celebrating my sister’s impending marriage (#tiffsmethermatch) with a bachelorette party in my favorite city in the world, Chicago.  Had this just been any bachelorette party I may not have been up for it.  But, thank goodness, it was my amazing sister and she and her lovely friends were on board to really explore the city that I love so much.  And, explore we did we walked (a ton), we saw stunning sights, we visited with animals(ummm free zoo!), we danced with some of the coolest kids around, we bought local art, we ate amazing food (thanks to some beyond generous friends),we had drinks with the cast of the jersey shore (ok not really but it felt like it), we cheered for the local team, we wandered,  and we shared countless laughs.  It was perfect and yet after it was all said and done I found myself feeling a bit down.

Ok, so down isn’t exactly right..just feeling extra feels for this place that I used to call home.

I was not fully prepared for how much I would feel going back to the city that gave me so many amazing moments.  The city that challenged us to live a life we had never known.  The city that gave us friendships that would last a lifetime (and now their precious babies to hug and kiss).  The city that gave us a chance to fall in love with each other all over again. The city that gave us amazing memories with our families especially our Moms.

Don’t get me wrong, the blahs did not overwhelm, it was amazing.  And, I am ok.  I was able to see some of my favorite people ever.  I was able to fall right back into the world, that because of the hardships of the last two years, seemed like a lifetime ago.  I needed that.  And, of course as always Chicago pulled through giving me just want I needed.

I came back home both exhausted and inspired to put some shit together(oops, sorry guys , it just slipped out).

So here is the pin… I changed a lot of things.

Here’s what you will need for my version:

1/2 pound of shrimp (you will see no shrimp in the original but we have fresh North Carolina shrimp right now and I could not resist)

1 tbs butter

1/3 cup white wine

3 cloves garlic

2 large beets cubed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon red onion, minced, divided in half

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

4 cups spinach

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

here is the original recipe.

Here is what I did:

Spread cubed beets and garlic cloves on baking sheet drizzle olive oil sprinkle with salt and pepper cover with aluminum foil bake at 375 for 20mins uncover remove the garlic and bake for another 20mins.

While beets are cooking combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, red onions (1/2), dijon mustard, and whisk together. I sliced some stunning cherry tomatoes into the mixture to let them soak up the yumminess.

In the last 20 mins of beet baking (I like how that sounds…maybe a future kid’s band “Blake and the Baking Beets”) heat up a pan, add butter, the other 1/2 of the onions, garlic (should mash easily since roasted), and white wine.  When sauce is bubbling add shrimp distribute sauce and cover for about 4 mins till all shrimp are pink…be careful not to over cook.

Let the beets and the shrimp rest and then combine all the ingredient in a bowl for a yummy salad.

.beet salad

click the picture for the link

roasted beets

Roasting Beet Business

salad makings

Salad Makings

shrimp sauce

Shrimp Sauce in progress (featuring beet stained garlic)

shrimp

Yummy Local Shrimp (if not available where you live come visit us!)

  salad

Final Product (not at great picture…but soooo yummy)

While in Chicago a friend gave me the best complement in the world…she told me that reading my blog was just like talking to me…that she could hear my voice as she was reading it.  I hope I am able to maintain that feeling.  I hope I am able to continue to write my truth.  I love all of you for being here to listen and support.  Thank you.

None of this is easy but this is my way of putting it all together.

Birthday Hash

Sausage Hash that is.

Thomas and I were both extremely lucky to have mothers that LOVED celebrating birthdays…their children’s birthdays at least.

Thomas’ Mom would fill up baskets and boxes full of little things that reminded her of you. Seriously, the most amazing random finds: books, scarves, hats, silly t-shirts, cooking utensils, perfect smalls, and always something for the dog as well.  I still remember my first birthday with Cissy, and somehow she already had me figured out. She got me: chocolate, craft stuff (including STICKERS!!), a pair of sandals, a Pyrex bowl, and a summer scarf. Honestly, with me it does not get much better. I am not sure how I will ever be able to fill this void for Thomas. Although, thankfully, I did have Cissy teach me some of her shopping tricks.

My Mom would talk about upcoming birthdays for months before it actually happened.  Two months before my birthday she would buy me shoes, or a dress (that “looked just like me”) and then say, “this is for your birthday”.  And, without fail, 2 months later she would completely forget (although I am not sure she ever actually forgot) and buy another gift. They were always so well thought out, personal, and fun.   She somehow managed to get something that was both slightly frivolous and yet still practical.

Birthday food was very important to both of them.  Whether it was cooking your favorite meal or taking you out for delicious yums, they both made sure that you ate well on your birthday. They both believed in celebrating moments.  So, I tried to make that happen for Thomas’ Birthday last week…with this pin.  It totally ROCKED and will for sure be repeated in our house.

Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash

Ingredients

1 (14 ounce) package kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch rounds (the pin calls for turkey I used pork because we are able to get good quality)

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic (not in the original recipe but, I felt it was necessary)

3 small or 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

olive oil (use as needed, I did not need much because I used the grease from the sausage)

salt and pepper

 

Instructions

In a heavy bottomed skillet (I like to use my cast iron) brown the sliced kielbasa for around 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.  Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside (I put on a paper grocery bag to soak up extra grease). Then add the potatoes and onions to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, around 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even browning.

Add the peppers to the skillet and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Add kielbasa to the skillet with the onions and peppers and mix everything together.  Serve nice and hot! We added some hot sauce to send the flavors over the edge.

Your favorite…Picture Time:

peppers

Love the color and flavor peppers add

hash

The official “Birthday Hash”

I followed dinner with my first ever pound cake.  Wasn’t quite “Beth’s Famous Pound Cake” but the birthday boy was into it.

yum yum yum

It was still warm

My goal for now is to let these two incredible women inspire me to make the most of all the time I have.  To live and love with all that I have.  Not just to be in the moment, to CELEBRATE it.

Domestic Camp

Confession time: I have never been much of a cook.  I grew up watching and helping my mom cook so I picked up some basic skills but, my timing has always been off.  I never plan things properly.  I enjoy making things for people but I really lack confidence.  In the eleven years we have been together Thomas can sadly count the number of meals I have made for him on two hands. He cooks ALL of our meals. Tragic, I know.  I am awful.  Thank goodness I am cute . 😉

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The Grocery Store Dilemma

To go in or not to go in.

People have told me that grief has triggers some that are obvious and some that come out of nowhere.  I guess I thought I was prepared for this, in a way I have been grieving for a year, since my Mom’s diagnosis.  In that year I was so focused on day to day task and helping Mom feel the best she possibly could for as long as she possibly could. I just never really thought about what the day to day would be like without her… empty.  The first few days, although I cried a lot, I really felt numb.  We had a beautiful memorial party that Mom would have really loved. Family and friends came from all around.  And, while I genuinely believe she was there, she wasn’t physically there, I could not hear her laugh, or see her enjoy all the lovely people she touched, or most of all just go hug her. I know some people have trouble sleeping, that hasn’t really been my experience.  Every morning for a bit I woke at 5 am thinking I needed to check on her and feeling guilty for sleeping too deeply. After all the family left and things started to go back to normal  I started to feel like I was getting sick… physically sick. I was having all sorts of symptoms; body aches, headaches, nausea, fever (like legit low grade fever), coughing, and pressure in my chest.  Two days of this and just sleeping.  Thomas pointed out that more than likely I was not physically ill but having a physical response to my grief.  I was angry with him for a fleeting second, how could he know what I was feeling?! Then the awakening, of course, he knew what I was feeling. I had sat on the foot of the bed while he slept a day away just four months earlier trying to convince him to eat something and changing out his cup of untouched water.  That and the fact that (especially now) he knows me better than anyone else on this earth.  So I tried to wrap my head around what was going on in my own body, my heart, and my mind.
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