Monthly Archives: June 2010

Ironman Inspired: Rediscovering My Running Mojo

Last Thursday night we packed up our subaru with ourselves, kids, dog and corresponding supplies and headed over a few mountain passes to the lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The whole vacation was wonderful. We were surrounded by crazy, excited pre-race-of-your-life energy and beautiful weather. Also, even if I had been in a Detroit alley it would have been fun because I was with my best friend whom I have loved for 20 years. She and her fianc√© came up from San Francisco because right before they get hitched he decided to spend 13 1/2 hours swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 2.2 miles. He is a total badass. getting ready the day before And oh how fortunate I feel to have a Lindsay. She makes me laugh, loves my kids and we seriously pick up where we left off…as in we are initially really excited to see each other for the first time in months but then we move through our days as if we still see each other with the regularity that we did in 7th grade. We walked all over town, babies bedecked in sunscreen and bonnets, finding nooks to stop and watch and cheer. My kids sat on hips and shoulders, slept in backpacks and strollers as we celebrated totally awesome people push themselves in water, on wheels and, finally, as the sun set, on foot. There was a beach break. And, an ice cream break. At one point I walked with Ruby and found the shade of a maple tree. We were the lone spectators on the block and I discovered an endorphin charged desire to encourage these tired, driven spirits. I have empathy because I have run several half marathons and one full. But most of my empathy comes from two drug-free births. I know that point when you are certain you just might die or at least explode from the pain that twists through nerves and muscle and exhaustion so exhausting you could fall asleep in a hot second just about anywhere. That point when you don’t think you can do it, when you are so depleted and only half way there. I stood there holding my seven month-old and clapped until my hands stung and energetically said to every person that passed You are so AWESOME. Many kept their heads down and slightly nodded, a few gave a thumbs up and several busted out a smile through their exhaustion. I had tears in my eyes the whole time. The pulsing energy of the city fired me up. I didn’t bring my running clothes but Lindsay escorted me to a shop and I made a few new purchases. And, whoo dog, it has been years, YEARS since I have bought new running clothes. I went for a run and reconnected with a piece of myself that I have missed. Read all about it in my mama digs column this week, A New Bra and I Run. So, our friend made it (!!!!), crossing the FINISH line at 8:30pm! People are amazing. Read more on Ironman Inspired: Rediscovering My Running Mojo…
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hump day nuggets: summer means full

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week Hello, Solstice. Thank you for faithfully arriving at my party with your big, warm hug and your long, bright limbs. The rain, although her presence is necessary, was making the energy of the room a bit soggy. I am happy both of you came to my potluck but the rain with her chips and salsa. I mean, sure, it’s sustenance but so boring and uncomplex and predictable. You. You outdid yourself with a platter of vegetables balanced on your head, adorned with flowers in yellow, pink, red and orange as you sambaed into the room making everyone smile. So, we had a lot of rain in the last month. The cool season veggies are loving it but they now need a little photosynthesis to set flowers and fruit. And we’ve been loving it but are so ready for a little skin-warmed lounging. nuggets. Ah, we are busy. Our summer schedule is packed and I have to admit I am a bit bummed to have such a full calendar but not at all bummed with what’s on the calendar. Shared meals with friends, celebrating love, camping, grandparents, birthdays. Good stuff indeed. It’s summer. And, summer means full. :: Summer means company. My cousin and her daughter visited last week. Elise is one of my closest friends so to watch our kids make memories like we have, well, it’s something. And, E is pregnant, due in a few months with another girl. Lucky us. Last night, Margot was in bed with us. It was late and she sleepily said, “Mama, Charlotte’s downstairs please?” “No baby, she’s far away in Red Lodge.” “Oh,” she said. “We need to get those guys. We need to catch those guys because Charlotte is my best friend.” “We’ll see them again soon. I love Charlotte and Elise too.” “OK mama. But we need to catch those guys. First, I take a nap.” :: Summer means peeing in tall grass on I-90′s slim shoulder. :: Summer means weddings. Last weekend, we drove east to the appropriately named Paradise Valley to celebrate our friends’ marriage. ^ view looking east ^ ^ view looking west ^ :: Summer means road trips. No matter how many times I drive through, climb up, ski down, walk around, I’ll always be amazed by Montana’s landscape. :: Summer means fearlessly climbing up and down a steep, long hill with a hula hoop. Such beauty in her brave, fun-loving spirit. :: Summer means melting into water, a moon sliver grin above her dimpled chin. :: Summer means jumping on hotel beds in bathing suits. :: Summer means running outside and not having to bundle up first. Bummer my camera was on the wrong setting but I still love Margot and Cooper running together. :: Summer, for me, means sewing, sewing, sewing. I, with some help (thank you Alana and Amy!), have been sewing like crazy to restock stores and to ready for this weekend’s MADE Fair. If you’re able, check it out. It’ll be bursting with great handmades. While my stuff will be there, I won’t as my family will be in Coeur d’Alene hanging with our dear friends, watching one of them swim, bike and run for 12 hours. (!!!!) :: Summer means sun-warmed strawberries picked and placed directly in the mouth. No time to rinse because there’s more to eat. Summer means dirt-crusted chacos by the back door, bare baby feet, runs in the Rattlesnake, food grown in the backyard. Summer means sleeping under sheets only, smelling of sunscreen and salt, getting exhausted in the mountains. Summer means camping, eating dinner at bedtime, crickets and bees, ice cream. Summer means lush green and then dry brown. What does your summer mean? Read more on hump day nuggets: summer means full…
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the papa of my daughters

I’ve known Andy for 20 years, been together for 13, married for five. And of all the changes we’ve experienced and grown through together, getting to see him as a dad is the greatest, sexiest, most profound happening. Andy is an incredible dad. His Father’s Day wasn’t anything glamorous or glossy. (although, I read that while looking at the photo above and think, damn, getting to live among those mountains is pretty glam) It was actually kinda harried and pitted-out. It was a real life day, one where I inserted little extra special touches wherever I could. It was funny and he felt adored. See, we traveled several hundred miles to a wedding last Saturday and traveled home yesterday. And, this mama said, ok, just one more glass of wine a few too many times at the wedding. Come Sunday morning, I felt as though a tiny man with a tiny axe was chopping at the bone behind my eyeballs. Needless to say, I wasn’t much help for the first few early hours at Chico Hot Springs. But, don’t you worry, I recovered pretty darn quick and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast buffet (NO, thank you, I don’t want a mimosa). We passed our daughters back and forth and back and forth while we ate omelets, blueberry bread pudding, sausage and homemade granola. We hung out with our friends and swam in warm waters. And, we drove home, stopping A LOT because Ruby and Margot pretty much wanted to be anywhere in the entire universe besides their car seats. Oh, I swear sometimes I wish it was the 70s and our kids didn’t have car seats. It’d be much easier to nurse Ruby in the front seat instead of on my hip between two car seats in the back, abdominals engaged, hard plastic digging into my side, breast cupped with my hand and elongated to reach Ruby. Thank heavens we have tinted windows… So the drive home was really tiring and also unnerving with Margot singing the abcs for over three hours. OVER THREE HOURS. She sang them fast, she sang them slow, she sang them high, she sang them low. She sang them when she saw a train, she sang them when she saw a plane. She sang them here and there and everywhere. We arrived home to a messy house and I hopped right back in the car with the girls to go fetch father’s day enchilada makings. I made dins while Andy played with the girls rough and fun the way only dads can. He and Margot took a bath together and I heard Margot say, Papa! I’m peeing! to which Andy replied, sweet. Ruby asleep, Margot joined us at the dinner table where she made sculptures out of yogurt and corn tortillas until she dove into Andy’s lap. She insisted her blue flip flops remain on the table and she insisted Andy eat his spinach stems. And she hugged her papa a lot. Through our nutty day, I fell more in love with the man I married. His even temper, his unconditional adoration of our daughters. His ability to find humor instead of frustration. His self-awareness and confidence with expressing his emotions and articulating his needs. His love for good cake. The way he cradles Ruby over his strong forearm. Oh, he’s a good man and a good dad. Happy Father’s Day, love. And, Happy Father’s Day to my dad. I aspire to have as much fun and love as he does when I am 60. For example, he had a day of modified golfing yesterday due to a broken knee cap and he was all smiles when I talked to in yesterday. :: :: :: In this week’s mama digs I talk about the NASA Posse. This is a real group of friends-since-childhood to which my husband belongs. They produce an annual hoodie that tells the world they belong to the elite club of boys-at-heart who love to ski, fish and tell dick jokes. Click here to read NASA Posse and my daughters. :: :: :: And, the b. handmade pinafore winner! Anonymous said…Thirteen years ago was 1997 right? I was one year away from graduating from MSU and interning at an office furniture manufacturer. We lived in Coeur d’Alene that summer and swam in the lake and walked all over town that summer. So, anon, e mail me your contact info. digthischick@gmail.com. Everyone else, check out Becky’s stuff. There are more pinafores and her baby accessories and women’s clutches are killer cute! Read more on the papa of my daughters…
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epic rhubarb pie

I have found the perfect recipe for rhubarb pie filling. Also, I have found the perfect pie crust recipe. And that’s saying something because I thought I already had the perfect pie crust. But then this butter crust knocked the socks off of that shortening crust. Whooo dog, are you ready for this? First let me say that, in my opinion, people shouldn’t muck up rhubarb pie with other fruit. It’s the even consistency of sweet-tart rhubarb tucked into a flaky crust that is simply perfect in its simple perfection. Rhubarb is a delicate fruit that requires a steady hand with the sugar…too much and it’s syrup, too little and it’s eye-watering sour. Other fruits throw it all off. And as I am writing this I think I feel that was about all fruit pie…pick one and rock it out. I did once have a stellar peach blueberry pie but other than that, fruit is its best self when alone in a pie. Rhubarb is always a welcome sight in the Montana spring. It grows up all alien-like, as if the earth is hatching a brain and then the leave unfurl into a gorgeous bouquet with rosey stems. And it just grows and grows for months. It’s so hardy too. When we moved into our house, our yard was dry, compact dirt. Hadn’t been watered in years. There were three things alive: wild roses, a peony and rhubarb. I like a tough-as-nails fruit. OK the pie already. Preheat over to 375 degrees. PERFECT EFFING RHUBARB PIE FILLING 4 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb 1 1/3 cups sugar 1/3 cup flour 1 tablespoon butter Mix sugar and flour. Toss in rhubarb and coat. Butter will be added later. PERFECT EFFING PIE CRUST 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling2 sticks salted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes1 teaspoon sugar4 to 8 tablespoons ice water Cut up the butter and keep it in the freezer while you measure the flour and gather ingredients. Mix flour and sugar thoroughly in a bowl. Add butter and cut into flour with pastry cutter (or other fancy food processing device). Chop and chop until the butter is all floury and pea-sized. Add water, one tablespoon at a time and mix/squeeze (yea, I squeeze my pie dough) until it sticks together. Form it into a ball, divide ball into two. Roll each ball out on a floured surface. I swear, this dough is very well-behaved. In a naughty, coy way. Place one pie crust in bottom of pie pan. Add rhubarb filling (there will be extra sugar/flour in the bottom of the bowl. just toss it in there). Cut up 1 tablespoon of butter and randomly dot the rhubarb. Cover with crust. Admire the perfect pie. Bake for somewhere around 45 minutes to an hour…honestly my oven is so jacked I am not sure how long a normal oven will take. I made this pie over the course of a day because I only had a few minutes here and there. So, it didn’t make it in the oven until like 10:30pm when my house was asleep. I waited for that bad boy, pulled it out of the oven and went straight to bed. And I woke to this: Scored that super cool antique pie server at a garage sale last summer. We ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read more on epic rhubarb pie…
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hump day nuggets: thirteen summers

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last weekThirteen years ago yesterday, I had a first date with a man. He taught me how to rock climb in East Rosebud on a 5.8 pitch. This means this never-before climber was shaking in her pants up on a rock while the hot guy she had a crush on was under her, his only view her ass. I made it up that rock right quick. And then we made out like 19 year-olds. Andy and I have been together ever since. Us at 19. I just grabbed the first photo I could find because you know how it gets when you crack open albums from way back when…oy I could have stayed up all night gawking at my young self. Don’t we look young?! I even feel like we have baby chub on our faces. We actually met when we were 12. Twenty years ago. And, believe it or not, we had crushes on each other at that time. I saw him every summer when my family would make the drive to Red Lodge. With my cousins, we fished, hiked, jumped off bridges into icy mountain creeks, camped in my uncle’s wall tent. We went to movies that had been out for months but were premiering at the Roman Theater. We ate ice cream at the Red Box Car and bought beads at the Rendezvous. And Andy was often there, as my cousin’s best friend. I thought he was the cutest but my cousin assured me he wasn’t my type. Andy thought I was the cutest, but his best friend assured him I wasn’t his type. Finally, at the mature age of 19, we talked to each other instead of through Colin and, sure enough, we were each other’s types. Of course I had no idea when I first saw the thick-haired, super cool snowboarder in Gramicci’s that I’d ditch a full-ride scholarship to follow him across the country, live together all through college, get cats and a dog. Buy a house, get married. That he’d be holding my hands and staring in my eyes as I pushed two daughters into our lives. Build a big beautiful life with him. Oh, my love. Isn’t it something that we grew so well together? Wonder where we’ll be in another 20 years. 13 years of seasons, of growth, of blooms. nuggets. :: Right off the bat, I am so happy to announce this month’s sponsor: b. handmade design. Becky Shreiner is a Helena, Montana artist who designs and makes the most beautiful clothes and accessories for kids and women. You all have seen Margot in her pinafore and headband. I LOVE her stuff. She makes purses, totes, handbags, kid clothing, adult skirts and hair accessories. We love our reversible pinafore…it’s so versatile as it can be worn over a warm long sleeved shirt with jeans or a tank and leggings. And, you, dear reader, have a chance to *WIN* one. Becky is giving away a butterfly pinafore (available in sizes 6 months-4T)! Leave a comment by Sunday, June 20 and I’ll announce the randomly selected winner on Monday. Let’s make it fun…if you are inclined, share where you were 13 years ago. Thanks, b. handmade design! (b. handmade is also on facebook!) :: We lived summer this last week. There was the backyard naked karate kicks. sharing cheesy noodles with friends, taking turns on the swing (see Ruby way back there?), :: There was the front yard with digging and planting and digging and planting as I converted our weedy boulevard into space for food, and taking breaks from all that digging and planting to race the sun at melting a popsicle and draw. One of my favorite photos I have ever taken of Margot. :: In between our front and back yards is our home that looks exactly like it exists between two gardens. In our home we tip toe around and make early morning muffins while papa sleeps in a bit. And we eat them in the back yard of course. :: Where we admire the cutest chickadee family that is living in our birdhouse with three wee babes (I found a dead fourth on the ground yesterday morning. Poor little bird. I buried her under her family). :: Summer also encourages getting out. Meeting friends at the park, or for walks around town, or a just-mama post-bedtime rendezvous at the park :: It’s summer and everything is photogenic. Every year, every 13 years, although there’s so much that can happen, so much unexpected (like marrying your childhood crush), there’s also a loose predictability… a rhythm that keeps us dancing and seeking joy. Read more on hump day nuggets: thirteen summers…
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