Since the beginning of May, I have only eaten dessert, or sweets of any kind, a few times on a few special occasions. This is amazing for me. I feel like I’ve climbed Mt. Self Control for the first time ever.

…and then tonight I had to make dessert for our church picnic and caved. I ate a cookie.

Those cookies get me every time!


One special occasion was last week when we went strawberry picking. All three kids, in the middle of the afternoon, trying to find a place I’d never heard of. Beatrice decided to try out a new facet of her personality and cried her head off, William cut his finger on a blade of grass and joined her, and Jameson sat happily in the middle of strawberry plants declaring how much fun he was having. That kid is a keeper.

We brought home 4 quarts — not much, but enough, given the howling that was our soundtrack.

And Jameson helped me make a strawberry cake to celebrate strawberry season. (Since they’ve been deprived of baked goods since my attempts at cutting out dessert, they were especially excited about this cake!)


That night, I also made Ina Garten’s grilled chicken. It was, as all of her recipes are, fabulous. Full of flavor, and really easy. Mashed potatoes (with plenty of whole milk and butter, of course!), and salad from right outside our door finished off the meal. It really was a wonderful celebration of summer’s beginning.


Another big hit? Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikka Masala — or at least a version of it. I used chicken thighs and cooked it in the oven at 250* for a couple of hours, but otherwise followed the recipe fairly closely. The cilantro lime rice is a must.

Did I mention that cilantro is taking over my little herb plot? It is. And we love it.


I’m so proud of William. He’s not quite as adventurous as his brother, and that’s putting it mildly. Last year, he spent the entire summer watching people swim from the comfort of dry ground. This week, he went from barely being comfortable dipping his feet in, to being happy climbing in and out all by himself, and letting me help him “swim”. Most of all, it’s fun to see his eyes shine and realize how proud he feels to have accomplished so much.


I pulled out a Copland piece today for the first time in…years. Jameson heard me, and quickly assembled an eclectic assortment of household items that he transformed into percussion. I couldn’t believe how quickly he understood the (modern, sounds-like-chaos to most people) music and figured out how to appropriately add strums and cymbals and such.


Meanwhile, Beatrice is busy getting callouses on her feet — on the tops of her feet, that is. Crawling babies get so dirty, too! She has a self-appointed roll as household floor cleaner, and very seriously picks up every speck and fuzz and eats it. She’s also been introduced to some real food (so, really, shouldn’t she realize that dryer lint is just not worth eating anymore?) and has loved it all. Chicken, salmon, snap peas, lettuce from the garden that she picks when I’m not looking… She’s very eager to be included in our meals. And I just think, Really? Really, you weren’t just born?


Long days of sunshine, long days of work for Ryan, long days of pools and walks and watering thirsty plants. Living the best we know how, loving that He upholds us.

He is good.

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