“When and where did they meet?
They met at a graduation party when they were in the sixth grade.
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and have talked, or written to each other, nearly every day since.
This past weekend at a very special baby shower, a cute quiz about the mom and dad-to-be. I sat with my pen and paper writing, as well as remembering.
“What is her favorite color?”
“What do his initials stand for?”
James Dean, after his grandfathers. The moment my mother met him, her gaze softened as she quietly said, “He's a JD,” and therefore it's always been
“When is his birthday?”
December 11th, at 5:25 pm; as Alex Trebek announced the answer to Jeopardy's final question (after 30 hours of labor!)
“When is her birthday?”
Valentines Day, no other day would be more fitting
“How much did each of them weigh at birth?”
He: 6 lbs 10 oz .. She: 6 lbs 12 oz.
“How much weight has she gained to date, during her pregnancy?”
And with that, a hushed quiet to fall across a room full of women. Could it be? Was a pregnant woman about to be asked how much she weighed? Some began to shift in their seats as they took swigs of cold lemonade, others decided it was high time to try the cake
The expectant mom blushed and (bravely!) answered
With questions about weight safely behind us now, a collective sigh spread like a wave, the party again came to life, and the afternoon moved along with much safer topics like ..
Tonight I'm enjoying the quiet of the evening, the notecard with my scribbled answers close by.
The puppies snore softly in their beds that are tucked under my desk, and their breath tickles my feet. A kitty keeps watch from his spot on the rug, just outside in the hall
It won't be long until my sweet husband stops by to give me a kiss as he heads off to bed for the night. We both know it'll be the wee hours of the morning before my work is done, and I'll be able to find a place on the pillow beside his
I think back on the weekend and the twists and turns of fate that brought us to the moment. This young couple that I love so very much, engaged in the slow and steady work of building a life. They excitedly wait for a new baby to arrive, while at the same time, are unsure what to expect.
And the other; me, striving (or maybe wishing) to see the world somehow as perfect, while accepting I'm really here to love within it
simply as it is
My notebook is open before me, it lovely white page just waiting to be filled. I begin to write what's on my heart
All of the longings I have to be physically closer to them, to experience the gifts that come with being a small part of someone's every-days. The wishing for proximity to babysit at a moment's notice, or to leave a casserole on their doorstep if they've had a long day
I remember the beautiful community of grandparents that surrounded me when I was young and wished for the opportunity to not only recreate the community but pay forward the kindness they showed to me
How I'd love to take the new little one for a stroller rides around the neighborhood, spend afternoons swinging at the park, or reading books together on the sofa. I'd love to have a standing date for pancakes on Saturday mornings and be able to pass along the art of baking one heck of a good cookie.
I'm wrong, of course. I'm not here to feel sorry for myself, but instead to live
To realize this season is neither good nor bad, but simply life as it is, complex and messy, and precious, and really
It's the first leaves changing color, criticism that stings, someone else's kind words, the miracle of a new life as it enters the world, a quiet dinner with my husband, a hug from a child, the title of Grandma, and an October evening
as it draws to a close
I pause from my notebook long enough to kiss my husband, goodnight. In his arms, he carries our older dog, who's about to claim his spot on the bed, always cuddled in close. It's seeing him that makes me realize my energies are far better applied in another direction.
It's time to begin another list, this time about all of life's beautiful things. Knowing I only need to pay attention to see them all around
I think back again on the weekend. A perfect fall day if there ever was one, with a crisp blue sky, and a gentle breeze. After all of the gifts had made their way from the car to the into the middle of their living room, the three of us sat for a few minutes on the front lawn, over a lingering good-bye.
It was at this moment, that was found the most beautiful of sights. One that was pure, and filled with the most incredible and sincere love there ever could be. At least four years had passed since our dog had been with my son. All it took was one sniff, and
The heartfelt cries that he gives to no one else on earth. With paws on his shoulders, he licked, and licked, and licked his face with sounds of utter joy.
“I'm with you big guy; I love him too.”
Perhaps this is the invisible gift offered to us if we are blessed to accompany another person, or creature through the later years of their journey, an invitation to go deep and to feel everything. The gift of always looking first
with your heart
Because really, there's no filter more beautiful through which to see the world
“All that matters is what you love
and what you love is who you are
and who you are is where you are
and where you are is where you will be
when death takes you across the river
You can't avoid the journey but
you can wake up now
and see where you've been
and where you are going” ~ John Squadra, from the poem “Circle of One” in the book This Ecstasy | [via a pause for beauty]
A really great recipe to start off the week
A warm and comforting stew, filled with fresh veggies, lentils, and herbs that are thrown into a pot and left to simmer. Any combination of veggies will work, and it's a nice way to clean out your fridge.
The soup can be made a little heartier (stew-like) by cutting back on the amount of water or adding a few more lentils. Another option would be to serve it over grains such as brown, black, or red rice. My husband likes to top his with a fried egg, melted goat cheese, and bread for dipping.
Some yogurt on top, along with extra chopped herbs is also wonderful.
~ Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Yoga Pot with Veggies, Lentils, and Herbs
- 1 Tbsp ghee (coconut or olive oil are great as well)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger (or 3 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped)
- 1 ½ tsp turmeric (or 3 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped)
- 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper + more to taste
- 2 (14 oz) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes, heat preference of your choice (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
- ¾ cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed
- 2 ½ cups water + more if needed depending on the soup consistency you'd like and how much the lentils absorb
- 1 ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium-sized fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 large handful green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 large carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cooked butter beans (or giant white Lima beans)
- 1 handful fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or thyme
- For serving
- fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
- plain yogurt
- Heat ghee in a large saucepan and add chopped onion and garlic. Lower the heat and cook for a few minutes, until the onions have softened.
- Add ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and stir, ensuring that they do not burn. When the spices smell fragrant, add tomatoes, lentils, water, and salt.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in all the vegetables & other herbs. Cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- Add the beans toward the end of the cooking time.
- Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt and fresh coriander/cilantro.
- (It's also great served with brown, black or red rice)