Here are a few snippets from what's been on my mind lately...
- Continuing to learn not to churn over my mistakes. The other day friends came over for a playdate and got a kick out of the fact that my son had his pants turned around the wrong way. These were not sweat pants with a barely noticeable front and back pattern. No, it was completely obvious he had his pants on backwards. Mommy got busy during a potty break and neglected to check that his dressing skills were on target. Of course, our guests included a mom with a three year old, 5 month old twins, and a demanding job. Hmmm, you'd think one mom with one child and no position outside the home could manage to get her child dressed with the apparel facing the appropriate direction, correct? Do not stew, do not brew, Kristen. It gave us all a laugh.
- Learning to plant a garden. It's that time and I'm determined to get tomato plants in this year. I simply cannot abide the mealy, tasteless choice of tomatoes available at the grocery stores. Granted, the season of Midwest farmer's markets is nearly upon us which should offer up more appetizing options. I'd like to try some tomatoes and cucumbers, possibly some carrots and another option. Herbs are easy. They grow like wildfire and I can rarely use the amount that I grow. A favorite fresh summer dish of mine...Caprese salad. The robust garden tomatoes, fresh mozzarella from the markets, the bite of the basil, all complemented with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Ah yes. I love straight up sweet corn with dripping melted butter too. That part of my rural upbringing has not left me yet. I still remember stopping with my mom and brother at the roadside stands out by the neighboring farms to buy corn and tomatoes.
- Being 42. This topic could be a post unto itself. I often hear people moaning about their age once they get past their early 30's. The strange part for me is that I don't necessarily feel older. I still feel healthy and strong. It isn't unusual to get carded for drinks. It cracks me up when a young guy will hit on me as I'm out with my son, assuming I'm one of the many au pairs in our area. (Not that this happens every day, mind you). My brain--and the optimistic driver inside of me--seems to think I can still do everything just as I did ten or fifteen years ago. Then it hits me...you're middle aged! You have a family! It's time to think seriously about future financial responsibilities! When a friend recently shared that she wanted to stay home with her children but was concerned that the years off would make her too old to re-enter the workplace, it occurred to me that it could mean me too. I'm glad that I am fortunate enough not to feel slowed down by my age. It just catches me off-guard sometimes.
- Growing our family. Yes? No? Are we past this point? How far do we take it? We're already older parents. In this current society, it it more common to pursue parenthood at an older age. But how long do we think about this before we close the door?
- Trying new recipes. Although this probably will not happen, my husband's company has offices in the UK and we've tossed around the idea of going. In my research, I discovered a food blog called Farmette (of course, reading food blogs provides crucial information for a move!). Imen is a fun writer and shares an engaging story of being a Midwest girl, meeting and marrying an Irish farmer, starting farm life after giving up her career and learning to cook. Her recipes and blog are fun to check out and it's gotten me digging deep into the kitchen again.
- Soaking in the spring-like weather! We're eager to experience the welcome change of warmer temperatures here in the Chicagoland area. After being absolutely soaked with rain and flooding--along with the rest of the Midwest--it's been a treat to enjoy the shift. Cliche as it might sound, I still love to watch the flowers and leaves budding. The annual blossoming signals the coming of summer and new life. It never fails to invigorate and energize my spirit.
Enjoy this spring as May begins!