Friday, May 22, 2015

Phone Photo Friday: 5.22.15

Well it is Friday again isn't it? I suppose it is time for my weekly phone drop. Well, truthfully you are getting the Monday-Friday phone drop. I uploaded my phone photos on Monday morning and I am just too lazy to go and retrieve them.

Cordelia had track and field day at her preschool and the weather was too cold for much outside stuff. Can you believe we are still getting snow?! Thankfully the preschool is well prepared to deal with the cold issue. Actually, this was the third track and field day that we have attended and all three have been mostly indoor events.

Here she is at one of the two outdoor elements of track and field day. The kids had a blast just wheeling around on those things. I am not sure if there was an actual race and it didn't really matter.

Elise participated in many of the activities as well. She felt like such a big kid. She sat out the wheelie boards (is that what they are called?) and opted to watch. She told me she just wanted to put her hands in her pockets.

My brother Ben and sister-in-law Sara (formerly Casual Sara) gifted me with a gift card to and here is my loot. Also, Lucy.

Don't ask to borrow my pens. You have been warned.

Cordelia went to the dentist. Did I mention that she is choosing her own clothes now? 

Can we just look at this picture one more time? 

Cordelia is working on her art skills.

Betty Sprinkles and Lucy enjoy the evening sun. I love that they are pals. 

Last night was preschool graduation. This photo is a magnet that the school sent home on her last day. I will report on the graduation tomorrow. I need another day to emotionally heal, kidding(ish).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Without Words

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First and Last

Today is Cordelia's last day of preschool. Don't get me started, don't even get me started. Tomorrow is graduation and I am going to full-on cry. Today though, let's look at her first day of preschool in 2012.

Ahhh! I can't believe we are here. We will actually be jumping right into homeschool as I think she can complete the kindergarten curriculum with ease and be on to first grade by fall. She had an extra year of pre-k because she missed the public school cut-off and Eric and I weren't sure if we wanted to homeschool. 

Anyway, today is the last day with her much loved teacher Amanda. Actually each teacher has been so special to our girl. Thankfully she will get to come back and see former teachers as Elise will soon start preschool. We have exchanged numbers with friends and there are play dates on the horizon. Today just marks the end of a phase of her life and the beginning of a beautiful new phase.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cooking with Cordelia

Yesterday Cordelia ate lunch at preschool after track and field day. When we made it home I made lunch for Elise and myself.  Cordelia then decided that she was still hungry and I told her she could make a snack for herself. She was really into it and asked if she could make dinner for the family all by herself. I agreed and she spent the rest of the afternoon planning. 

I told her that she needed fruit, veggies, grains and protein. She took it from there.

When it was time to prepare dinner I acted as her sous chef, grabbing items as needed. Together we husked corn and she put me to work boiling the corn while she concentrated on the rest of the meal.

I think you can see that it was...interesting. She had a vision for what she wanted to make. I held my
tongue when she squirted mustard out by the tablespoon.

The completed meal included buns with a slice of vegan deli meat, pickles, vegenaise, lots of ketchup and mustard. She also had corn, watermelon, green olives and frozen (frozen was non-negotiable) blueberries.

I am not gonna lie, it was really really a lot of mustard, but we ate it all with smiles on our faces.

Elise was so impressed. Cordelia was very proud of herself! 

Of course it wasn't really about the strange meal; this was about Cordelia's growing independence. She is learning to make choices on her own, with confidence. She is learning that she is capable.

Yesterday at the track and field day I noticed how much she has grown in the last year. One year ago there were a lot of tears when she didn't win. This year she didn't care who won or if she didn't do something perfectly, she just had fun! We have been noticing this growth in so many ways. When she makes a wrong choice or has an episode of emotional meltdown (hurt feelings or not doing something perfectly are her triggers) she is so much more aware of what went wrong. She will apologize and quickly move on to the next thing. 

I am so proud to watch her grow in self-confidence and self-control. These little moments of growth and independence hit me right in the heart. She is doing it. She is growing and maturing. She is kind and loving. What a gift to learn and grow right along with her.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Forced to Mellow

Eric and I have really been burning the candle at both ends lately. Our days have been starting early at or before 6. Eric has had to head into work early a lot lately with things like TV appearances. He has been working on his first photography book, fundraising is insane. Eric has also had four recent photo shoots and a show to install, a score for another film out in CA. All on top of a busy time at his work.

I have been painting and prepping for a huge solo exhibit, mothering, and wrapping up semesters for the two institutions at which I teach art history. This means reading journals, papers, test grading, grade submitting. Not to mention the panicked messages from students who "forgot" certain assignments.

We have been working 12 hour + days since our return from MN (we also both worked in MN). I am not complaining, we are working very hard because we have a  lot of goals and it takes work to get there. Unfortunately we have not been balancing our work with down time. Just relaxing is high on our list. 

Yesterday I hit the ceiling. We had a ballet  performance by Cordelia yesterday morning. So sweet and will definitely require a full post. After that we had an end of Sunday school party at Jump Craze (a trampoline park). After that we grabbed lunch and I took the girls to a birthday party while Eric stayed home to work on a deadline for a score. 

It was at the party that I first noticed. I heard a baby cough and I thought,"Man, I am glad I'm not sick." Then a short while later I started to feel a bit off, but I'd gotten only a few hours of sleep the night before and I tried to convince myself that was all that was happening. *to be clear I don't think the coughing baby made me instantly sick. 

We left the party and it was soon time for dinner and then Eric hung with the girls while I completed the last of my semester work. It was then that I realized I was getting sick. 

Eric and I both sat on the couch like zombies for a bit and then fell into a deep sleep. I am definitely under the weather this morning, a sure sign that my body is forcing a rest. Just a cold, but I am planning on a quiet day with the girls, after the preschool field day. Time to listen to my body telling me to chillax.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Quote: Quiet

Women need real moments of quiet and solitude to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
~ Barbara de Angelis

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Vegan Eating

So I have an Instagram account and I often post food photos. Mostly I do this because I don't think there are enough food photos on Instagram...

No seriously though I do this because I cannot tell you how frequently I am asked what vegans eat. There are people who honestly believe that we only eat salads. The truth is that I do eat a lot of salads because I like them, but we eat a lot of really good food. So I share that food to give new ideas to other vegans or people who are just interested in eating vegan on occasion.

I thought I would share some of those food photos with you, so you can see what vegan eating actually looks like.

Pancakes and fruit.

Sriracha tofu and salad with quinoa, black beans, corn, cucumber and more.

Gnocchi, say a, salad, bread.

Curry and couscous

Scrambled tofu, fruit, whole wheat English muffin.

Vegan Mac and cheese and chili.

A salad!

The girls will eat most of the same stuff we do, they refuse straight up salads and obviously things like Sriracha tofu are not for them. They are normal, picky eaters, but I don't often make special meals for them. So that's how we do it here in our vegan home.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Phone Photo Friday: 5.15.15

Haaaaappy Friday! Phone dump ahoy.

A sweet girl and the laziest, most snugly, hound.

I have been teaching lessons art lessons on Saturdays. I have regular students, but for the past few months I have offered a class for 4-6 range. This week the girls painted Mother's Day bird houses in lieu of a more traditional lesson. 

Mother's Day was snowy!

My crew.

Mother's Day grandma snuggle.

Eric was on the news! Boo yah (yep, still saying booyah after all of these years). He had to get up so early and head to the museum for a couple of hours of live segments.

Lucy! This cat is too cool.

The last part of Eric's birthday gift finally arrived, a skateboard. 

One day there was a foot of snow. The next day this happened.

A screen capture from a text with Eric. I texted him about something and he responded. So I put on business attire and this happened.

Reading before bed with their dad.

Lucy tucked herself in, again.

Cordelia and my father at mall lunch.

Doing Cosmic Kids Yoga.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I have been going through some changes lately. No, I am not turning into a werewolf (kind of a bummer tbh) or anything that is outwardly evident. Yet something is happening. I love times like this in life, they come often enough---if you let them. Exciting and scary to step into a new phase of life. I keep trying to find the words to express how these changes are happening or what that means for me and for our family. 

Mostly I think that Eric and I are looking hard at just what it is that we want from our one life together. What do we want for our family? How do we live this unconventional dream we share and how do we bravely face a future that doesn't have a road map or a stamp of conventional approval?

Ack I just re-read that and it makes it sound like we are going to start a cult or something. We probably won't start a cult. Mostly I am just talking about not giving up on the dreams that we have. Life is so sweet right now that it almost seems ungrateful to ask for more, yet I feel a pull in my heart, urging me to demand more, to follow my dreams as they grow. Following your dreams is such a cliché. It almost makes dreams seem smaller when you refer to them as such. Yet, that is all I have got today.

I have a lot of hopes for my life and I know that each person does. Eric and I want to nurture those dreams for ourselves and for our children. So here is to moving forward and growing and growing.

What are you dreaming about today?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Without Words

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I have recently recommitted myself to a daily yoga practice. I have been practicing yoga off and on for more than a decade and I am always happiest when  I follow a daily practice of growth and meditation. 

I was in a really great groove and I was stronger than ever when I became pregnant with Elise. For the first half of the pregnancy I was tired, but continued to practice. Unfortunately I hit a block and was not comfortable guiding myself as there are special considerations for pregnancy. My regular yoga class was not able to offer accommodations and there was no prenatal class offered in our small community. So I decided to take a break. 

Well, that break was extended by a newborn and post-partum depression. I never totally quit yoga, but my practice was in shambles. I would squeeze in a few sun salutations throughout the week, but never with commitment.

Well, I decided it was time to get back to it and I have returned to a daily practice. While it is definitely sad to have to start from a weaker point I am also in possession of new strengths and patience. More than anything I am happy to have a morning yoga buddy.

Elise is surprisingly engaged for about ten  minutes before she takes a break to play or have a snack while I focus on my practice.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Minnesota Wrap Up

I am going to wrap up our Minnesota with one last photo fest. Let's do this (woo)!

Elise and Cordelia soaking up some snuggles with their great grandma Carol.

On our long drive to MN Elise asked if we were going to the beach. We laughed. Then we crossed the border into Wisconsin and lo and behold, a sandy beach perfect for wading.

The girls were so excited to just enjoy a little sand/sun/water combo.

Later we returned to my aunt and uncle's home where we met up with the bride and groom. They stayed an extra day to spend family time before honeymooning.

Elise and Allison.

Erin gave our aunt Karen a hair cut.

Ben and my uncle Joe did a LOT of karaoke.

The next day we made a quick trip to the Mall of America. There is an amusement park inside and the girls were so excited!

Elise and I on the Ferris wheel.

Here are Cordelia and my mom on a roller coaster.

Ben and Sara.

After the mall we hit up the Conservatory which was much more our speed.

We spent a couple of hours walking around. My parents' friends from their seminary days also met us there. We had a lovely time.

Can you spot my brother?

On our last night there my mother watched the girls so we could sneak out for a few hours. We went to a tiki bar with Ben, Sara, Adam, Erin, and some friends.

We also swung by my cousin Adam's home. He built these motorcycles! He is  brilliant and it was such a treat to see his home. On top of building motorcycles he is also really creative.

On our last morning we met up with Erin for an abbrieviated tour of the Walker museum.

Cordelia clearly feels comfortable in the museum environment.

Erin and Cordelia. 

Finally we said a sad goodbye. Erin is headed back to China. I will miss her a ton.

We left St.Paul straight from the museum and both girls (who do not nap) were sound asleep in minutes. They rested while we drove and drove. The return trip home was rainy and cold. We stayed one night in SD and made it home on Wednesday evening.

And there you have it!

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