Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Cakes

Pancakes, that is.
Friends, these smashed raspberry chocolate chunk pancakes are decadent.
We haven't had them but an hour ago, I had to share them with you.

We've been in a Sunday night run of making pancakes, and these made me feel like I was sitting in a chic cafe... 
in my polka-dot socks and sweatpants.
I can't wait to make them for family and friends!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Proverbial Nightstand

I'm told there are two kinds of people.
The kind that read only one book at a time in its entirety, and the kind that have a stack of books a foot high, each bookmarked in various unfinished states.

No one is more surprised than me to realize that somewhere along the way I became the kind of person with the pile of miscellaneous titles.
In my heap of collected words, phrases, sentences, and chapters (read: in my heap of books on the proverbial nightstand), there's a quote in the book Writing Down the Bones that says, "A writer's job is to make the ordinary come alive, to awaken ourselves to the specialness of simply being."

It's on the proverbial nightstand that I find so much instruction on life.

I suppose it's ordinary that husband and I find ourselves living our story here.
There are 9 million people who live here, all living out stories of their own. 
And I suppose it's ordinary that when he & she have a day off together, which is not often, a walk in the city it is.
But Chicago as my witness, it is anything but.
There is a specialness to meandering the city, this city, him and me.
Goldberg's choice of words "alive" and "awake" are fitting for a winter city walk-through.
Though that could be just the cold, this is Chicago.
If the cold makes you feel awake, breakfast pancakes and coffee make you feel alive.
Tell me you know this is true. 
Tell me we can be friends.
Nobody needs a writer to awaken them to this.
Of the specialness of simply being.
To simply be is oh so very lovely.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I read somewhere on the web the other day, someone say, "January is my favorite month because there is absolutely nothing going on."
You have my attention.

January for me is some odd combination of catching up and moving forward.
One has me coming up from behind, the other has me leading out front.

It's a recover month and a reset month, all in the same 31 days.
Resume and rehabilitate.
Revert? Oh, no, not that one.
Or maybe, but let's not admit anything until February.

In my messy assimilation of "recover" and "reset," I by and large settle into a 31-day niche inside my little city apartment as often as I possibly can.
Chicago, as it were, makes being anywhere else within its city limits a misery of slush, ice, wind, cold, and snow.

Cooking at home gets special attention, which husband and I love, oh so much.
Here are a couple of our new favorites from this week.
Do you have any good new recipes you think we should try?
*Photo credit linked.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Even As I Live Them

"There are moments that I know I will long for, even as I live them."
-Judith Kazir

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Peek Inside

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas Pick

 Visibility from my 18th story window is muffled today, the structured lines of our skyline view deconstructed into faint images.

I've been sorting through my Christmas photos today, and
this one is my pick of the season
People often say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Unwittingly, this has become a misnomer, as the original Chinese proverb says, "A picture is worth ten thousand words."

That's a difference of 9,000 words.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We're Home

We're home.
We've been home just over a week now, though you would never know it.

Husband's 30th birthday came on the heels of the new year,
and there was much hurrah and hooray!
There was a surprise party in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood here, thanks to our families and friends who all but took over the venue with "Surprise!  Happy birthday to you..." and ensuing enjoyment of the highest order.

I'm especially thankful for my sister and sister-in-law and their husbands for bringing their kids to "Uncle Neal's" party, because while Chicago is pretty kid-friendly as far as cities go, it's far from easy, I know!

With 35 party guests, 13 of whom stayed overnight in the city, brunch the next morning, and a week spent covering all my tracks in preparation of the surprise, I really hadn't thought of a day past the party.
Yesterday when "life after the party" did indeed arrive, I took down and packed up all our Christmas decorations, which was like a gift-opening in reverse.

We're home.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

 Hope you had a merry Christmas!

Now that we've rung in 2012, I need to clip tags, put away gifts, vacuum up all the glitter in our carpet, and, yes, return to the work week.

This little blog will make a comeback as well, and with it hopefully some reflections of Christmas 2011 in a post or two of photos.

Even though I haven't made any rules for myself like "no Facebook over Christmas," or "no checking email on my phone at holiday parties" and the like, I find that I just naturally disconnect from those things for a few weeks in favor of the extra special face-time with family and friends that is especially characteristic of Christmas.

In the dead zone of January there will be time enough for blogging and replying to Facebook messages.
For sweeping my email in-box and downloading pictures.
Oh, and Pinterest!  I've all but forgotten about Pinterest.
Maybe January won't be so bad after all...wink.

For now, merry merry Christmas wishes to you and a happy new year!

I don't have a digital copy of our Christmas card this year, and our scanner decided it just couldn't face 2012.  
So here's the photo we sent out, on this template from Tiny Prints.