Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Love Bean

Ok. ok. ok ok ok. ooooooo kkkkk!

If you went to Kanakuk Kamps growing up, you will know this diddy. 


We spent the past week in Texas for spring break. What was AMAZING about being in Dallas other than the pure thrill of being home and doing hardly anything at all except sit on the sofa was that unbeknownst to me, Claire and Billy were in town at the same time. 

Translation: I got to meet baby Gwennan! 

14 pounds of cute and a perfect mixture of her padres. She is a love bean and I am so happy to have met this little nugget of joy. 

I am often conflicted about babies these days. I do not want one. Right now. But I do think about it sometimes. They are tempting because they are EVERYWHERE. At the grocery store, at the park, in strollers, all over Facebook, on airplanes. I realize I am talking about babies like they are a just the next hot commodity to be purchased and not the precious lives that they are. I know they are precious, but I don't know it the way parents know it. I am just a passerby, but one day, Lord willing, I'll be a parent too. 

There's that seen in Father of the Bride, Part II where Nina and George are in the car after finding out she is pregnant. Nina looks out her window and sees a mother and daughter laughing and butterflies and love and flowers, while George looks out his window and sees a son screaming at his father. This is more or less how I feel about children. One minute you love them and one minute you really don't have any idea what to do with them. One minute I want one, and then I talk to my friend Sarah who completely and utterly has a knack for changing my mind. "You love your freedom, CB! What are you thinking! You would be miserable!"

Dang, Sarah. You may be right. 

Case in point:

Two summers ago, I was in Michigan with my family. We were riding bikes to the water and had just parked the bikes at the beach when we saw a father holding his son's arms down to keep the son from hitting him. The dad was holding the son's arms right below the elbows. Not hurting him in the least, just holding his arms down. The son was screaming one line over and over: "You're choking me!!"


After observing this for some time, my dad did his friendly wave/smile thing, pointed to Chris and me, and said, "It gets better, I promise." 

Although I am not sure my dad believes it himself....Chris and I proceeded to climb on rocks and refuse to look at the camera for a decent family picture. 

I tell no lies. 

Anyway, my plan is to send any misbehaving children to Michael. He told me once that all he'll have to do is give 'em the 'ole raised eyerbrow trick and they'll behave like angels. I'm counting on it. 

It was amazing to see one of my best friends now be a mom. Claire is totally relaxed and already a pro. She got Gwennan up and out of bed to meet Michael and me last Sunday night. Way cool. I feel like most new moms wouldn't even thinnnnnnk about getting their babies off of their sleep/feed schedule. Not so for Claire. Billy even accidentally knocked Gwennan's head with his elbow, made her cry, and both Claire and Billy acted all 'ain't no thang'-like and just carried on. They are so chill. 

I had no intention at all about writing this much about babies when I don't have one myself nor likely will for several years, but alas, this is what happens when I type and sit on the sofa with my green tea. 

Oh well. 

Oh Lord, before a word is on my tongue (or on paper,) you know it completely, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



you're killing me.

Instead of your typical sun,

you have given me nothing but windy rain!

Common, you should know better.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breakfast habit

I have my habits.

For example:

Reading before bed. I have to "make my eyes tired."
Coffee + Bible + hubby = without fail how I start my morning (plus Jesus Calling, which I love!)
I have eaten almost entirely the exact same thing for lunch since the summer of 2009.
I do 13 push-ups a day. Why 13? Because I was born on the 13th.
I have three routes that I like to run. They all are circular, definitely not out and back because I can't motivate myself to run unless I know that each step is a step towards home.

And as of October 8th, 2011, I have eaten (and Michael has eaten) oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day except Sundays. Sundays are for omelettes.

It all started at Molly White Webb's bridesmaids luncheon while I was chatting with the lovely Sarah Simmons (her name is pronounced Sayrah...if you were to just say Sarah, I wouldn't know who you were talking about. Molly has talked about this Sayrah ever since we were 1st year roomies at UVA.) We were talking about what we like to eat for breakfast. A simple enough topic, but little did I know how much that convo would change my mornings from then on out!

Sarah makes oatmeal (she uses a fancy blueberry kind that I can't find, oh well) and then stirs a bit of flax seed oil into the mix, and then puts a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. Alas, these three things have made my life so much better.

This is truly the breakfast of the gods. It is delicious, the oats are just about the best thing for you, the flax seed oil gives some nice little omega-3s that keep you full until lunchtime, and the Greek yogurt is just heavenly.

So, in layman's terms:

Put 1/2 cup regular oats in your bowl. Pour a little bit more than 3/4 cup water over top and sprinkle a dash of salt into the mix. (I have found that a full cup of water takes an eternity to absorb.) Stir, and microwave for 2 minutes, 45 seconds. Stir in a spoonful of flax seed oil, and top with two generous dollops of Greek Yogurt.

Inhale. Love. Observe with a smile. But don't eat it too quickly otherwise you will burn your tongue. And that is the pits. Finally, relish each bite and be utterly satisfied!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baldy head

Curls be gone! Michael participated in St. Baldrick's at Georgetown and got his head shaved yesterday along with fellow med students and even the dean of the school!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Did you know...

I received this email today from Julius, my "adopted" Ugandan brother, who my family stays in touch with after meeting him in Kampala a few years ago:

Sister, Carey Beth.
      This wish is a belated one according to our Ugandan time. But all the same, I, with great pleasure wish you a very joyous women's day! I know my in-law, Michael, is in for it as there is a rare change of roles for this particular day...did he do the dishes?
   My regards to him.
    Your loving Ugandan brother,
    Julius B. 

What!?? I promptly looked it up and lo and behold, today, March 8th, is International Women's Day! How this is not something we celebrate here in the US of A, I just don't know. Thankfully, I worked from home today and Michael was home studying. Upon my informing him of this international news bulletin, he promptly jumped up and cooked me lunch.

While Michael making lunch is by no means a "will wonders never cease" moment because he is a sweet hubster and has mad skillz in the kitchen, it did give my a chuckle that Julius asked if Michael did the dishes. Michael doing the dishes may just be the one thing I remind him of about 20 times a day. PYBITDW. DLYDINS.

Put Your Bowl In The DishWasher. Ok love!

Don't Leave Your Dishes In The Sink. Weeee!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Blessing is at the end of the road. And that which is at the end of the road influences everything that takes place along the road. The end shapes the means. As Catherine of Siena said, “All the way to heaven is heaven.” A joyful end requires a joyful means. Bless the Lord.

Eugene Patterson

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Southern Living

My first job out of college was in the test kitchens of Southern Living magazine in Birmingham, Alabama. I did a lot of this and that: cooked, baked, proof-read recipes, went to the grocery store (sometimes three times a day,) went to the seafood market, did food design during photo shoots (things like squirting the sides of the glass so that drinks appeared chilled, or placing a cherry to perfectly fall out of a slice of pie,) and taste-tested a LOT of recipes. I remember trying so hard to create the perfect peach pie that we taste-tested two pies a day for four days straight. Oh hello, sugar coma, nice to see you.

This is no lie: while driving out of the parking lot on the last day of my internship, I popped a button off my jeans.  It doesn't get any clearer than that: I was not meant to work in the food industry. No-sir-ee, I learned that it is better for me to partake in, but not to create, food (for a profession.) 

So what do I do? I run off and marry the first Italian I meet and we do nothing but make pizza, stuffed bread, pasta, ravioli.... PERFECT for my soul, but not for my waistline. 

The other thing I did at Southern Living was answer phone calls from readers calling in with questions about a recipe, or advice on how to baste a turkey, or how long do eggs need to boil, or why did this sauce turn out so runny, or (one of my favorites) "I left the green beans on the counter all night.... do you think I can still eat them?" Good grief, throw them out!

What made me think about all of this tonight is three things: 

1) I tried to salvage a thawed chicken breast that had been sitting in the fridge for maaaaybe 5 days. It didn't smell quite right, but Michael and I both thought that we could just "fry" off the smell. Oh my gosh. Plug your nose. Don't even try it. Throw it away! The whole house (which is really just one room) smelled like burnt yeast and curdled milk. Maybe I should call Southern Living next time and ask their opinion about when chicken goes bad. 

2) I am reading Julia Child's My Life in France and absolutely love it because she writes the way she speaks, which I have been told I do too. She uses words like "Woe!" and "What fun!"and "boo!"and "hooray!" and "I would be delighted too!" What's not to love. 

3) Southern Living + My Life in France = the number one thing I learned while at Southern Living is the French term mise en place.  It means to have "everything in place" before you begin cooking. If the recipe calls for adding chopped vegetables after the butter melts, well you sure as heck better have those vegetables all ready to go. If you need to reserve some pasta water to add at the end of a recipe, have a bowl under your strainer to catch the water! Many a kitchen tragedy has been avoided because of mise en place. 

So, with that lesson under well under my belt, I recently learned something new from Mrs. Child: never apologize for your cooking. She writes, "I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as, "Oh, I don't know how to cook..." or "Poor little me..." or "This may taste awful..." it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really is an awful meal!" Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed -- eh bien, tant pis! Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is." 

Oh my stars, I do that!

Raise your hand if you have claimed that your cooking isn't good, even if you think it really may well be. And raise your hand if you have had to assure someone until you are blue in the face that their cooking was really good, no honestly, really, quite exquisite, sooo good! 

We all do it. Lesson learned. No apologies. Cook on!  

Monday, March 5, 2012

News Flash

Two revelations of the mightiest scale occurred tonight:

1) An acquaintance of a dear friend of mine is from Guernsey, the channel island featured in what may easily be my most favorite book I've ever read (twice!) 

Will wonders never cease. 

2) That same beloved story is being made into a movie! Kate Winslet is Juliet, and who will play Dawsey? Oh let's guess. What fun. Jude Law? Matt Damon? Gerard Butler? Tom Hanks? Oh he could be a great Dawsey. Clive Owen? Hugh Grant? And who will play Isola? It's got to be someone spunky like Anne Hathaway or Emily Blunt. 

Amaaaazement. Muggles, I am stoked.