It’s hard to believe I started this blog a year ago this week. At the time, I was feeling exhausted and run down, and it wasn’t for several months later that I figured out the reason for that. I assumed my schedule was to blame, and I wanted something totally separate from my day-to-day that would not only give me a creative outlet, but would force me to continue to learn and to connect with others….
I spent half of this last long weekend coaching at a swim meet in a pool facility that is notorious for its horrible air quality. While you may be thinking, “Wow, that seems like a problem for athletes that cherish the chance to take a breath,” you would be right. Right. But the crux of it all is that the poor air quality hits you hours after you have left the building, leaving you sneezy, stuffy, headachy, and downright no good for a day or two. Swimmers, coaches—this place doesn’t discriminate. The after-effects hit me hard….
I have to be honest. Before this summer, I had never heard of a pavlova before. Then I saw them popping up on the interwebs loaded with beautiful summer berries, and I had to inspect further. Named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, a traditional pavlova is a meringue dessert that is crisp on the outside and light and soft on the inside. Topped with whipped cream and fruit, it is transformed into a perfectly imperfect beauty….
We’ve been having beautiful, just-the-right-kind-of-warm sunny days and chilly autumn nights here in the Midwest. An Indian summer of sorts. Maybe not in the truest sense of the definition, but if I can describe what we’re having as some type of summer, then I’ll go with it. Did anyone ever see that Big Chill-esque early 90’s movie, Indian Summer? Don’t. Or do. Ok, it’s one of those strange guilty pleasure movies of mine….
School is back in session. It’s exciting, really. Although I love the freedom that summer brings, the new academic year always feels like a fresh start. A reboot. A chance to take what we learned in the previous year and better ourselves in the future one. A chance to try new approaches. Listen better. Laugh harder. All the mistakes, successes, and the in-between: a primer for the new year….
Strawberry shortcake has always symbolized summer for me. As a kid, strawberry shortcake was an exciting departure from the more common cookie or ice cream treat. At the thought of it, I am instantly transported to our family dinner table on a hot summer night. My little sister, sitting across from me chattering away, curls balking against her ponytail, shooting off in directions one didn’t think hair could go naturally. Me, quietly trying to hide (unsuccessfully) the day’s sunburn from my mom on my fair, not-made-for-summer skin. The ice cream truck and its jingle approaches, taunting the neighborhood outside. Normally, upon hearing this I would have shot outside with as many quarters as I could scrounge up, but who cares when there’s strawberry shortcake for dessert!…