love light loss and pinterest

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

Tag: Messy

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.

Bitter Sweet

So here we are.

I am writing this on the eve of Mother’s Day 2016.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you…I feel stuck.

Life is good, really not just lifey.

Here’s a list to prove it:

  • amazing husband
  • a lovely home
  • really incredible friends who let me steal their kids from time to time
  • perfect siblings who talk and listen to me
  • wonderful family all around
  • precious dog child
  • smart kind niece and nephews
  • reasons to leave the house
  • new health goals and help achieving them
  • travel plans and the ability to make plans a reality
  • support from marvelous people, some I barely know
  • did I mention an amazing husband?

With all of these blessings I still find myself wishing for things that I can’t have.  I find myself feeling resentment toward people who physically have the things I want.  The things I miss.

I am not that person.  I am not the person who gets jealous of other people’s happiness.  I lift people up.  I celebrate others victories. I really do. This is not me but, lately it has been.  I feel anger towards Mother’s Day ads. I feel jealousy directed at the tributes I see honoring remarkable women.  I feel sadness seeing mothers at the park with their children. Then I get angry with myself for even having those feelings.  What is this anger?  I am not an angry person.  How am allowing this grief to turn me into this person I don’t recognize?

Even happy moments have a way of turning sour in my mind.

This week we finalized a European trip that will start with all of my siblings and myself traveling down the coast of England to the Minack Theatre (just look at this place) to join Gwyn in spreading Mom’s ashes.  Mom loved to travel and England was one her favorite places on Earth.  She made a point to make sure to get us all over there.  But, never all together.  And, now we are going together, without her.  Everything we do from now on is without her.  It is a reality I have been living with for two months now and it still stings like it happened yesterday.  I am beyond thrilled to travel and get to see parts of the world I have only seen in books and on screens.  I understand that it is a privilege and a luxury and it is not one that is lost on me.  I humbled by the opportunity.

I do not feel this sadness and anger all the time.  It comes in like a flash flood and most of the time goes just as quickly but, it is all consuming.  I know that there is a lesson in here somewhere and a growth I must be open to.  I also know Mother’s Day is just a day.  A day when you honor your Mom with an outpouring of love.  Love that honestly we should all show every day. I get that.  I know that and yet here I am in my head making it all about me.  It is not about me. It is about my wonderful mother, her mother before her, the incredible mothers my sisters are to their beautiful children.

So in honor of my Mom on this Mother’s Day I am going to try and squeeze in some of her favorite things. I started tonight with the heart shaped sushi box my darling husband brought home and the new season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix.

Here’s a list:

  • Margaritas/Mexican food
  • A little pampering
  • Thrift stores (charity shops)
  • Spending Time with loved ones
  • Musical Theatre
  • Travel Planning
  • The Beach
  • Reading
  • “Gentle” tv show or movie (Gilmore Girls or some Downton anyone?)

I honor my Mom by continuing traditions and enjoying the small things.  I honor her by continuing to try and keep our connection alive.  I honor her by celebrating our similarities and embracing our differences.  I honor her by allowing myself to miss her.  I honor her by being true to my emotions.  I honor her by working to be the best version of myself I can be.

I am ready to show the universe I can and will get through this. I just have to figure out how to do it without begrudging others happiness, without becoming cynical and bitter, without losing myself.

sushi

A heart full of sushi is a heart full of love.

My heart is currently both full and broken.

The Unimaginable

“There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable”

-It’s Quiet Uptown, Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Following the last post was difficult for me.  I re-read and re-read the amazing words people had written about Mom’s lifetime of incredible work.  It left me in awe.  It left me angry.  It left me heart-broken.  It left me searching.

I finally found some inspiration in, of all places, the grocery store.  A place that I could not even enter a few months ago with out a panic attack (read Grocery Store Dilemma).  As I walked the aisles by myself I thought back on the last few weeks.  What has changed? What will never be the same?  Although, my whole world has been turned upside down it all still continues to spin.

As I was having my grocery store meditation I spotted something that I knew I had to cook and write about.  A beautiful corned beef roast.  Not, something I had ever made before.  But, something that immediately flooded me with memories.  Any time we saw a corned beef hash on a menu Mom and I were both drawn to it.  We had a system.  One of us would order the corned beef hash and one would order something sweeter like pancakes (breakfast dessert is a totally legit thing).   We would share, what a great team we were.

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Everything’s Gravy

So today, 31 years ago, my lovely husband was born.  I could go on and on about what he means to me but, it would embarrass him. So, I will just say he is amazing and I am beyond grateful of his existence.  I will be forever in the debt to his Mom.  Happy Birthday Thomas!

His Mom, like mine, was an amazing home chef.  Their cooking styles were very different but both amazing.  Cissy, Thomas’ Mom, was a true soul food loving, add some sugar, and use that pork fat, South Carolina girl.  Mine was more: start every meal with olive oil, garlic, and mirepoix (celery, onions, carrots). They shared one key foodie thing they could both rock a gravy.  I mean seriously, they both understood the power of a strong roux.   Continue reading

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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