3 Contest Winners & Oh my gosh, the things I’ve been doing…

grasshopper-writing

For the last two months I’ve been writing (and rewriting) my memoir. I’ve been going into work early. Resuming work after Ava’s bedtime. And I loved it.

I especilly loved the letters L,M, and N.

worn-keyboard

I loved the solitude of deep thought that comes with getting so buried in how to describe something that I cannot hear anything around me.

I loved going through the manuscript and marking things “BORING,” and then coming back to those passages and trying to think of better commentary, fresher description, or new perspective.

recipe-testing

I loved crying through the tough bits, and laughing through the happy bits. Because that is human nature. That is my story. It felt good to embrace it – recognize it. Finally.

the-pheonix-tulsa

I loved drinking too many “1 shot, decaf lattes,” right up until bedtime – and I loved that the bartenders at The Pheonix not only knew my order, they’ve dubbed their coffee shop/bar/restaurant/library my “second and third place” (according the Cheers, everyone needs a home, a place to work, and a third place).

testing-cakes

testing-three-cakes

I also loved recipe testing. Mostly. Except when I made 12 pound cakes before I figured out glass baking dishes will always overcook pound cake. Note to self: don’t  bother with glass loaf pans ever again (except maybe for meatloaf and bread).

failed-pound-cakes

Eating Afghanistan’s national dish, Kabeli Pulau, several times? Happy, happy, happy.

I even made a flag with the dish:

kabeli-pulau-national-flag-afghanistan

Right now more than a dozen people are helping test the 30+ recipes in the book, so that we can get all the kinks out before you get your copy this fall.   While there’s much, much more to be done before it can go to print, we’re getting closer – so close I can almost feel it.

So close, this past weekend I indulged in a white wine spritzer with a slice of orange… (and, apparently, two baby bottles)…

celebrating

Come to think of it, this past weekend was the first weekend I had an honest to goodness break. 

And I don’t just mean from working on the book.

I mean from writing and cooking and the blog and… everything… I just turned it ALL off and embraced calm and freedom from responsibility.

So what did I do with this freedom?

sewing

I moved the couch and coffee table out of the way and sewed. It was a snowy day, after all.

I sewed a king duvet cover from 2 king flat sheets – got that brilliant idea from Pinterest (here are my boards, if you want to follow them).

sewing-a-king-duvet-from-two-flat-sheets

Then I sewed some rice ice packs for Ava and her school. And I sewed her a little dress … which you can see peeking out from under her coat (she insisted on wearing the elephant dress during our snowy walk so we layered it over her jeans):

winter-walk

Throughout all the sewing Ava was my helper – she took turns threading the needle, making the pedal “go”, and feeding the fabric through the machine.

She’s amazing!

ava-sewing

As for myself, I haven’t sewn since she was six months old.

I guess I’m starting to remember who I am – in my entirety. It feels good to bring all of that to the table, to share with my daughter and husband.

Life is amazing.

(If you want to keep up with me, and see  more of these kinds of photos, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I update it almost daily!)

Now, enough about me. Onto you!

What have you been up to? How are you keeping busy during the chilly winter days?

I want to congratulate our three lucky winners from last month’s giveaway: Entry #49 Melissa G.
Entry #209Rebecca L., and Entry #175Carrie B..

They’ll each be getting a copy of Ree Drummond‘s new book, A Year of Holidays.

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

You’re going to LOVE it.

(To claim it, send me an email with your shipping address!)

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Comments

  1. annaclarice says:

    In between sending out healing thoughts for my newest (and ultra-preemie, 4-month early) granddaughter I’ve been sewing up a storm (little girl dresses…because now I have 4 little granddaughters) and learning to cook in my wok.

  2. What about pyrex (glass) baking dishes…square, rectangles….??????

  3. it is wonderful to be absorbed into something like you are – that allows you to laugh and cry and turn emotions into something beautiful to be shared.

    my job is research – it is something that absorbs me to an extent that is hard to describe. I might wake up and think about experiments for a long time before finally falling asleep. I struggle trying to understand something and even more trying to figure out ways to prove or disprove stuff. I imagine that people who study the stars and galaxies go through similar processes, but they don’t have ways to “act” on their subjects, so it might be more frustrating…

    oh, well – I digress… you asked what we are doing in these chilly times, so I decided to dive in… ;-)

    good luck with all your projects, nice to see it all in the making, and of course I will be getting a copy of your book whenever it’s released!

  4. The duvet is gorgeous…

  5. Oh, my…do you have any writing advice? I’m about to sit down and write the manuscript of my life (doctoral dissertation) and I have NO idea how to proceed. You look like you’ve got it all together – any tips?

    • My biggest tip – one that I learned the hard way – is don’t try to say it all – pick one story to tell. In other words: will this be the story of your sexual awakening (ha!) or how motherhood affects you, or your spiritual awakening, or … you get the idea. The stories you choose to tell will vary greatly depending on the bigger story you choose. Once you have that, the rest will fall into place.

  6. Good for you!! How smart to realize when you need to turn off. And kitties in the window make everything better. :)

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