Thursday, February 28, 2013

farewell to february..

i can hardly believe it's the last day of february. this month really flew by. but that means that spring is really near. i am so excited for the upcoming months, warmer weather and vacations.  i can hardly wait. walking into work this morning i passed a bush full of empty branches, it looked so dark and drab  but there inside the emptiness were a zillion sparrows singing their hearts out.   it reminds me that even in the midst of the dark days of winter in this fallow world there is still song and its here for the taking.  there is beauty in every single day you just have to look for it.  i'm glad i was greeted with that this morning because it made my day so much better. hope you had a bright spot in your day too! on to march!

love sent, xo

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

to be happy...

"you will need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. you will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things."

after sunday nights late arrival home this was the view just before i stepped inside the house. it was magical.

and in the morning it looked like this.  i know everyone is ready for spring and i am too but you can't deny the beauty of this.

love sent, xo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday !!

Happy Birthday Joe!

hope you have a great year ahead.  love you to the moon and back. xo

checking in...

it's already tuesday. wow. as usual  the weekend flew by. my computer crashed again and i am not happy.
looks like i will have to decide whether or not to go with a mac for this next purchase.  soo frustrating.
a wrap up of the weekend.

sadly, we said goodbye to a really special lady.  someone who lived a great long life and had a smile
i  will miss forever.  someone who sent cards to all of us for every special occasion and every
not so special occasion.  a person who was kind and caring and made all of us feel so important.
this was also oscar weekend, a time for our annual oscar party where we roll out the red carpet.
evie would have totally loved this.  so here's to you sweet evie, someone who loved glamour and who always told everyone how beautiful they looked.

sending love.   sleep well.

the oscar party was a huge success.  everyone always has so much fun.  madame president is such a
gracious host.

                                                     posing with madame president

the almost complete line up
                              the rose colored glasses we all look through  -    at least for one day.
                                                                         the amazing food

                                                                          marilyn came

                                                                 taylor swift was there

                                                                           anna nicole
                                                        even osama  -  but we took him out
                                                                     tallying the voting

                                                                         the afterparty.

                                                                          the goody bags

we stayed up waaaay past our bed times but it's the best event of the winter.  can't wait to do it all again.

love sent, xo

Saturday, February 23, 2013

happy saturday.

watch the sun rise at least once a year,
put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate
lie on your back and look at the stars,
never buy a coffee table you can't put your feet on,
never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline,
don't overlook life's small joys while searching for the big one's. 

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

 hot chocolate
yields 3-4 servings
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

whipped cream, garnish or home made marshmallows.
in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring whole milk and half & half to a boil. remove from heat immediately and stir in chocolate until silky smooth. if necessary, place hot chocolate back on low heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
pour into mugs, top with whipped cream, home made marshmallows and garnish with shaved chocolate.

love sent, xo

Friday, February 22, 2013

comfort food for the upcoming snowy weekend.

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups chicken stock
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
large pinch saffron threads
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream
basil or parsley, minced (for garnish)

For the croutons:
4 slices country white bread
2 Tbsp butter, softened
4 slices yellow american cheese
in a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. drain the orzo and add it to the soup. stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
to make the grilled cheese croutons, heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. spread butter over one side of the slices of bread, placing the 2 slices of cheese in between the unbuttered side. cook in skillet for a few minutes on each side until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Remove to a cutting board and let sit 1 minute before cutting into 1-inch cubes.
ladle soup into bowls, top with grilled cheese croutons, and garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley.

got the recipe from    this cookbook

stay warm.

love sent, xo

be awesome like a boss...

love this

have a great day...

love sent, xo

Thursday, February 21, 2013

a few words.

this morning i called my friend who is about to have surgery. i wanted to make sure he knew i would be thinking of him in the coming weeks and sending love and hugs. during the conversation i realized that he knew all about what i had been up to (obviously via my blog) but yet i never knew. some people will never leave blog comments. they just don’t like the idea of it. they cling tightly to their anonymity. i get that. and respect that. but some people don’t leave comments for other reasons, also valid. they don’t leave blog comments because they are busy, pulled in a million directions and leaving a comment seems like some kind of commitment, another thing to do. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve read a blog post, a beautiful or powerful or funny blog post, and clicked away without saying something. i’ve done this because i prefer to leave thoughtful comments, comments with substance. i want to say something interesting and insightful and i don’t always have the time or energy so i just don’t. but i’ve realized something. it’s also good to just say a few words.  to say hey, i’m here. it's really nice to know you are here.

and k.t.  you are already my best friend.  xo

and to my friend having surgery, thanks for reading,  and i'll be thinking of you.    xo

Saturday, February 16, 2013

something for the weekend...

caramelized onion bites...
a simple, delicious,  mini treat.  serve with your favorite wine.

1 lg onion
1 T butter
1 T thyme
saute the onion, in butter and thyme on very low heat until brown, (about 15 min)

phyllo sheets
cut into squares and place several sheets into mini muffin tins.

slices of brie cheese
put a small slice of brie cheese into each phyllo square and top with a spoonful of onion mix.

bake a 350 degrees for 15 min.


love sent, xo

Friday, February 15, 2013

to my sweet friend.

remember it takes darkness to see the stars...

it will be all right in the end, and maybe even in the middle. you will not suffer as long as you think you will. you are not fated to be unhappy. you are not destined for failure. remember who you are. be gentle. practice exquisite acts of self-care. you don't have to be as strong as you think you do. you don't have to be wise and certain about your path. your fragility is beautiful, and your innocence too. getting lost is another exercise in navigation. you can’t fix everything you touch. you won’t break everything you touch. don’t apologize if you’re tired. maintain eye contact with everything, especially yourself. fall to your knees at least once a day. say yes at least twice. believe in magic. befriend your fear. look up. listen. forgive yourself your great sadness. unlock what hurts. make a prayer for loss. you’ll know when you’re ready.  i promise one day you will be ready.

"accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup.  all wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others drink the whole bottle." 
paulo coelho

love sent, xo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

happy valentine's day...

 a love story.

it was the mid eighties, a time of big hair and big dreams. all of mine had just come crashing down. a young mom with two very little boys i wasn't prepared for the sudden end to my "perfect" life. but we all know things can change, some doors close gently others slam shut.
i fumbled around for a year or so not knowing sometimes how i got through my days. it was my first real experience with grief and i was moving through it slowly. i was certainly not looking to start a new life but that is usually when things present themselves.
while at  my nephews christening i chatted wth with a friend of my sisters, i knew of him,  just not very well.  i vividly remember that day,  he made me laugh, laughing wasn't happening that often at that time.  he seemed like a protector,  i guess it went along with his profession. in an effort to find out more about me and not let on to my sister, he ran my license plate to see where i lived. we later joked that he was making sure i wasn't a felon. shortly after that time we ran into each other again, this time with his new found knowledge that i wasn't a felon he asked me out. 
we started to spend time together.  most of the time it always involved kids. but it gave me the chance to see how kind he was. his parental qualities were stellar.  everything told me to run, why get involved again and set yourself up for another chance at loss? i was a train wreck about to derail.
my emotions were all over the place.  but he was patient and reminded me there was no rush. he was willing to wait until i felt like i was on solid ground.  he wrote me love letters from the heart.
 time passed and i was healing.
then one new years eve after nursing two sick kids for a week and trying so hard to stay awake
until midnight, he handed me a ring.  he made a promise and he made me feel braver than i ever thought i could feel again.

      but in my usual madness a short time later i had a melt down - what if this didn't work either? 
      once  again he stepped aside and waited. patiently.

18 months later on a  beautiful june day we were married, all four of us.  the boys even took their own vows. 

marriage turned out to be everything i thought it would be and everything i thought it wouldn't be.. 
                                    good and bad, and easy and hard and amazing and challenging.
                                                                time kept moving forward.

      then three years later on my dad's birthday we brought a beautiful little girl into this world. 
      she shared his birthday and his gorgeous blue eyes.

our story is real. it's a love story that happens over the course of months and years.  it happens over heartbreak and joy.  late night ER visits and ski trips, summer beach houses and disagreements.  new houses and broken down cars. graduations and funerals. it happens over hundreds of dinners at the table and during hundreds of hours of sporting events, late night work shifts and early morning details.  it happens over tears and exhaustion and dishes in the sink. it happens over delivering the newspapers at 3am on christmas so you can get the 5k college fund scholarship. it happens over acceptance and rejection.


it happens when we realize we all have faults, sometimes we disappoint each other but this gift of love is truly a gift, not given with anything expected in return.  we hold hands and we hold on to the dream.  it's a journey we are on together. a work that's always in progress.

i look at my husband and i know how much he loves us.  he has shown us over and over again.
he always gives me his best even when i don't deserve it.  he encourages me to go out with my friends and really wants me to have fun. his family means everything to him.  he leaves clothes all over the place and piles papers a mile high on his night stand, but he makes a mean dinner and has such a quick wit.   he is the most thoughtful gift giver of all time, he loves a bargain and buys them, like i buy shoes, even if we don't need them.  he is always thinking of others.  he has taught me what it really means to love someone.

                                               this is the story that binds us together.

                                                                        happy love month.

love sent, xo

february sunset...

my favorite time of day. 

the intoxicating color of a perfect, fleeting moment.  a beautiful reminder, that
quite often, to find  the best inspiration, all you have to do is look up.

love sent, xo

Monday, February 11, 2013

snow globe...

that's what this weekend felt like.  a good place to live, isulated from the real world.
we headed out early on friday before the snow piled up too high. everything was washed
clear by the white everywhere.  we watched beautiful snowflakes fall from the steel gray
sky not caring about anything other than what was within arms reach.  the last 3 days in maine
were everything i could have hoped they would be.  hope you had a great winter weekend as well.



                                      and sunday mornings sunrise.  the bluest of skies.
love sent, xo