I have woken up every day this week thinking it was Friday. A cruel Groundhog Day of sorts. And while I won’t analyze too deeply why this is so, my disappointment in realizing it is not Friday quickly dissolves as I quietly leave our house in the cold, early hours to head to coach morning practice. There is such a peaceful stillness at that hour. The Christmas lights that outline the houses on my route blink and twinkle silently. Secretly. And while it is not Friday, I am once again excited for the holiday season. Groundhog Day continues….
Cookies & Bars
There’s something so nostalgic about baking cookies. Whether you’ve made a cookie recipe a million times or never, the ritual is a familiar one. Combining the dough, taking a little taste only to make sure its just right, rolling it in your hands, filling the baking sheet with even rows, and waiting anxiously to try the first one out of the oven….
So here we are. The end of summer. We celebrated end-of-summer’s eve last night watching our KC Royals play to a sold out stadium. Heath and I sat sandwiched between a couple families with young kids, and not a single detail of the muggy night under the bright lights escaped them. Wide-eyed with their royal blue capes, those kids were entranced by the megatron, stuffing popcorn and peanuts into their mouths as they cheered, and were endlessly trying to start the wave. I, of course, tried to oblige them each and every time. That is summer. The most American of pastimes, and through a child’s eyes, no less. A perfect way to close it out….
Last summer was what I dubbed the “summer of paint”. We had bought our house about 4 months before summer break and I had big plans to paint many of the rooms while I had the free time. Initially, I was pretty confident about the colors we’d chosen for the living room and the bedrooms, but still took the time to use samples and sit with each color with its messy splotch on the wall for a few days. Foolproof, right?
Let’s just say that I painted the living more times than I’m willing to admit. And while we’re at it, let’s add the master bedroom to that list, too. On a weekly basis it seemed, friends or family would enter the house and say, “You painted the living room again!” I know a few of them thought I was losing it. Warranted, yes. (I’d like to blame it on the paint fumes and not my Type A-ness being in peak form). In my defense, the light in this old house is tricky, and when color doesn’t look right, it just doesn’t look right.
Graduation always seems to be a true mark that summer is finally here. Our school held graduation ceremonies this last week in the very same auditorium in downtown Kansas City that my commencement ceremonies were held (13!) years ago. As I sat there this week watching the seniors cross the stage into adulthood, I couldn’t help but think about my own high school graduation and the horrible migraine I suffered that very day. With my best friend and walking partner by my side, my primary goal that day was to cross the stage without getting sick. When it was over, it felt like an eternity before we arrived back home. I spent the rest of the day in a dark room (or running to the bathroom), missing graduation dinner with my family.
I have countless memories like this – sometimes, it is easier to pinpoint events throughout my life based on the degree of the migraine I had that day. But what struck me the most this week amidst 2014’s newest graduates, was the absence of fear. This weekend will mark a year and a half since I had my last migraine, and I can only attribute this to going gluten-free. For about 15 years I carried around with me an element of fear that a migraine would hit and I would have no choice but to halt what I was doing, take some kind of med as soon as possible, and pray that I didn’t end up having to go to the emergency room 12 hours later to find relief. I feared that things I was so looking forward to would be ruined – graduations, vacations, reunions with friends, my wedding. Fear had a much greater hold on me than I ever really realized. And it wasn’t until this week that it truly hit me that fear has not had that hold for at least a solid year now. Amazing. And so freeing!
Today’s recipe was inspired by an end of the school year gift from my friend and colleague Daniel. He gave me LEON Brownies, Bars & Muffins, a little cookbook focused on naturally fast recipes. Does he know me or what?…