Archive for the 'Personal' Category

two

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Pickle,

You are two today. Besides purchasing your birthday present, a tiny kitchen the perfect size for you, I’ve been in denial these last few weeks.

There is so much to say about who you’ve become. A kind-hearted, gracious, perceptive little person who loves life and brings joy to many who cross your path. We genuinely enjoy hanging out with you and having you around. Except when you hit us and throw things, but lately you’ve started telling us that you’re frustrated and angry instead. And we can’t help but laugh.

Other than being taller and somewhat more coordinated than last year, the biggest change is how you express yourself and use the little vocabulary you’ve committed to memory. Some of our favorite interactions include elevator conversations with strangers (“Are you going up?” and “Have a good day!” when they get off). If we hurt ourselves or do something klutzy you either ask us, “Are you ok?” or “Why’d you do that?”

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Sadly, you can say pancakes correctly now and we’re mourning the loss of hearing, “Eh-pakes, mama!” from the crib every morning. Now you tell me, “Feet on the floor, mama. In the kitchen.” (Excuse me?!) You eat pretty much everything (even the things Daddy eats that require acquired taste like sauerkraut, seaweed, and plain yogurt), but if it was up to you, you’d have cheeseburgers for every meal. We have to spell out Shake Shack if we’re thinking of going there so you aren’t incredibly cranky the rest of the day if plans fall through. We also have to spell out coffee places otherwise it’s “croissant! croissant! croissant! you wan a croissant?” on repeat. You’re incredibly particular about which dish you eat from, insist you drink from a glass, and if you have more than you can chew on your spoon, you say “too much” and return some to your bowl. It’s really important to you that we start each family meal with prayer. If we start eating on accident, you quickly remind us, “Pway? Pway?” You fold your hands, squeeze your eyes shut, and are usually thankful for specifically what you’re eating, monster trucks, Mommy and Daddy. When we indulge in a glass of wine or beer you nonchalantly acknowledge, “Dats wine… it’s for adults. Not for kids.” But sometimes you confuse what we tell you about the electrical outlets, shoot us an admonishing look and warn, “Dats beer. It’s dangerous.” Just keep thinking that through college.

About two months ago, Daddy innocently got you hooked on The Lion King “dee wee dee”. We’re a little concerned about your fascination with Scar, but Simba is your alter ego and we’re always getting corrected. “Go to sleep, Linky.” “Go to sleep, SIMBA!” You even obey more willingly if we call you Simba. You know almost all the song lyrics and we have the pleasure of hearing them all day, every day. Sometimes you’ll play quietly and softly sing, “Can you feel the yuv tonight…” perfectly on pitch. Or belt the opening African lines of Circle of Life at the top of your lungs while splashing in the tub. And I can’t even handle it. We’ve tried to get you to stop sucking your fingers by comparing you to your lion hero, who of course doesn’t suck his fingers, but no success yet.

When taking a break from Lion King songs, you often serenade us with Jesus Loves Me, You Are My Sunshine, and the alphabet song. Using your imagination more and more, you’re building trains and towers out of blocks and pretending to wash dishes while making a running water noise with your mouth. Some of your favorite books are Iggy Peck, The Grinch (it’s February and I’ve taken it out of Christmas storage multiple times because of how much you insist), I’m a Big Brother Now, Apples Up on Top, Corduroy, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, and the Bible.

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Brushing your teeth is always a challenge, but tucking you in is the best. You are not a fan of your crib, but wouldn’t stay in your toddler bed either, so for now we let you fall asleep in our bed then move you to the crib. You ask us to stay next to you for a few minutes… “Next to mama?” or “Next to daddy?” And sometimes you wrap your arm around our neck or spoon with my belly and say, “Noapte buna (good night in Romanian), baby sister.”

You’re all boy – monster trucks, firetrucks, semi trucks, buses, cars, cement mixers, excavators, bulldozers, crane trucks, dump trucks, even mail trucks, dinosaurs, roaring, destroying, crashing, climbing, throwing, touchdowns, tackling, and slam dunks. But you have the most gentle spirit and an incredible soft spot for babies and animals. But when you go back to being rambunctious or impatient or whiney, sometimes I have to put myself in pausa (timeout) for speaking too harshly at you. And when I ask you to forgive me, the grace you show blows me away every time.

This stage is so perfectly summed up in one of our favorite exchanges, stolen from the last page of your well-loved book Olivia. I say, “Pickle, you wear me out but I love you anyway.” And you say, “I yuv you eh-way too.”

Happy Birthday, sweet boy.

Love,
Mama

posted by christine in Personal and have No Comments

huckle & goose

It’s been many months since I typed in this little space of mine. I’ve really missed it. If there’s anyone still reading out there thanks for sticking around and I’ll be back for a few updates in the next couple weeks.

The biggest news (and what’s been keeping me extra busy) is an exciting new venture that’s my heart and soul. For years, my sister-in-law and I, both passionate about food, have wanted to start a business. There was no shortage of ideas, business plans, or talking about our ideas and business plans, but it was never the right time for any of them.

Then, about 2 years ago our family started eating seasonally, almost exclusively, and it’s completely shifted the way we think about food and I guess you could say, life. It made us more intentional, more patient, more grounded. And we began to notice that our bodies and palates craved the food grown close to home, in its time. I haven’t had a strawberry since June and I’d rather skip the giant tasteless ones at the grocery store and wait until May… for the tiny red ones that burst in your mouth and taste of the earth they grew in and the sunshine and spring all at once.

And then there are kohlrabis and garlic scapes, Romanesco cauliflower and Luobo radishes… but what the heck do you do with those? We had shelves full of cookbooks and Pinterest boards full of recipes, but in the beginning, a lot of our market spoils… spoiled in the fridge. We searched endlessly for a meal planning website that could help bridge this frustrating gap. There wasn’t one, so we started one. Because farm to fork should be simple.

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Huckle & Goose launches this spring, but in the meantime, follow our behind-the-scenes adventures on Instagram and Twitter (@hucklegoose)!

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^ a sneak peek of the shopping list feature designed by the brilliant minds of Cast Iron Design!

posted by christine in Food + Drink,Holidays + Seasons,My Projects,Personal and have Comments (4)

family mission statement

family mission statement

The boys are in Europe visiting family for three weeks, and just two days in, I feel like a new person. I’m soaking up this time of catching up, resting, deep cleaning, and organizing both my surroundings and my thoughts. So thought I’d revisit this little internet space of mine that’s been neglected for a few months and post our recently drafted family mission statement.

Probably every self-help book on the topic of being more successful, effective, organized and disciplined, suggests writing out a life mission statement and I loved 52 Bites’ idea for a family statement. Our struggles revolve mainly around wasting time, buying too many pointless things, and living in our comfort zones. We’re hoping that hanging this on our wall will remind us of who we’re striving to be.

posted by christine in Marriage + Family,Personal and have Comments (4)

snapshots // no. 21






follow along on instagram

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snapshots // no. 20





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random acts of kindness day

News events like last week’s Boston tragedy break my heart a little more than they did before. Maybe it’s because I don’t want Lincoln to grow up in such a broken world or because I’m so helpless to protect him or explain exactly why these things happen.

But I was touched by this Fred Rogers quote and the comforting words of his mother. Even as an adult, I am comforted reading those words. There are always helpers. There still are loving people in this world in the midst of hate, bitterness, and disaster.

So while I can’t protect Lincoln, I can strive to be an example of love and service, and maybe a little bit will rub off on him as he grows up. And maybe he’ll even quote me too and it’ll end up all over the internet one day. ha!

My big goal for this year was to love a little more, so when a friend (who is an amazing and inspirational life coach) suggested picking a day of the week to do random acts of kindness, I started taking notes. She does 3-4 things for others on her day, but I think I’ll start out smaller. Even though extra effort is involved at first, the thought of doing nice things for unsuspecting people is enlivening. I can’t wait until this becomes a normal part of our daily routine.

. . . . . . .

Some of my favorite ideas include leaving a kind note in a library book for the next person to find, making care packages for the homeless, and visiting someone who is sick (and bringing them flowers!). There are tons of ideas on Pinterest and randomactsofkindness.org. We might put 100 or so in a jar and pick two each week. Do you guys already do random acts of kindness? If not, join in on the challenge!

posted by christine in Marriage + Family,Personal and have Comment (1)

airplane

We’re now officially living with a tiny person. Someone eager to converse and experience the world, and in typical new parent fashion, it’s blowing our minds. I’m secretly happy he’s not planning to walk anytime soon so I can still call him baby, but it’s a stage that’s slipping through my fingers like sand. He’s showing off his unassisted standing skills every chance he gets.

And he’s all boy. He wows at fire engines. He rawrs like a dinosaur. And his third word was eh-pay. But he whispers it in the most impossibly sweet voice to make me melt and give in to more sweets at lunch time.

And sometimes when he’s just playing with the contents of our recycling bin contently while I’m washing dishes,

he hears one flying overhead…

and then I have to show my awe and excitement too…

MOM, THAT WAS SO COOL, RIGHT??!

I’ve been wanting to document this reaction for months! If he’s by the big window he’ll point outside, then at his ear and ask, “Auzi?” (Do you hear that? in Romanian)

For the record, I’m totally loving vrooming and wee-oh-wee-oh-ing like police cars. The princess and tea party thing is overrated. :]

posted by christine in Personal and have Comments (2)

the quiet hour + a weekly retreat

Lately I’ve been pretty consistent with sticking to my read-the-Bible-cover-to-cover goal. And by pretty consistent I mean every three days or so during Lincoln’s morning nap. But that’s progress for me. And on those days there is always a noticeable difference in my thoughts, actions, and overall attitude. I brew a cup of tea, block out the sink full of dishes, ignore the extremely strong urge to shower instead, put my phone away, and read, journal, and pray. It’s like a breath of divine fresh air.

Even though I’ve found somewhat of a rhythm in this not so daily ritual, I felt I needed some intentional time spent praying and planning about more long-term things. Then I stumbled across this idea of having a weekly retreat to do just that. So simple, but so genius. I’m considering Saturday morning at the cathedral or Sunday afternoon at the nearby coffee shop where the sun floods through the big windows. Do you guys do something similar? Tell me what you think!

posted by christine in Personal and have Comment (1)

signature letter closing

I’ve tried and have come to the conclusion that I’m not an XOXO kind of girl. So I’m trying these on for size. Do you have a signature letter closing? I’d love to hear what it is and steal it if it’s good.

posted by christine in Personal and have Comments (6)

spring cleaning + yard sale

It’s full-blown OCD purge week at our house – donating, selling, organizing. Ever since that initial nesting instinct kicked in right before Lincoln’s arrival, the need to declutter and simplify practically chases me down at every turn. We now just have a donate bag right by our door and something goes in there almost every week. It doesn’t even seem like we have that much stuff but somehow we do.

Spending way too much time making sure I was scooping black quinoa and not chia seeds prompted me to finally label all the food jars one cold snowy day. Almost a quarter of my cookbook shelf went to friends to make room for a few new ones I have on my wishlist. And my closet is even more bare, but at least everything that’s left fits properly.

If you guys are interested in anything we’re selling, we’re having a yard sale! And by yard sale I mean eBay sale. You can also click here for furniture listings if you live in the DC area. We’re selling a home theater speaker system, photographer’s spotlight lamp, and coffee table to name a few things.

Happy Spring Cleaning from our house to yours!

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