Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy new year!

Happy new year!

We celebrated by going to bed early, waking up even earlier (awoken at 4:50 am by our early bird toddler), and having brunch with our neighbors and a bunch of babies. 365 days ago the same girls were lying on a blanket unable to roll over. Today they were jumping on an ottoman and playing "kitchen".

I made these banana muffins which are delicious (I subbed butter) and easy enough to make while sleep deprived:

Friday, December 25, 2015

"A Christmas Miracle"

Happy Holidays!

Dave called it a Christmas miracle that I was cooking. We're leaving town for a week and had plans to eat with his family, so the fridge is empty. But Simone has a high fever, we're all under the weather, and Christmas plans were cancelled. And all the stores are closed.

I dredged together a potato soup using scraps and my Grandma Jo's West Virginia recipe (she's turning 90 next week and we're planning on celebrating with her). 

I also made these muffins using baby carrots that would've gone to waste. Simone ate three after initially throwing one on the ground. They taste better than they look.

Here's to resourcefulness, family, health, and a happy new year!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

baby shay

He's not really a baby: a big kid.
His mama and I met on the first day of college .. many years ago! 
Love him! And her!

Monday, August 3, 2015


Sunny, hot August.

First painting since my mom passed. Dusty and shaky at first, but can feel her positive cheerleader voice telling me how happy she is that I'm back at it.

Friday, July 24, 2015

baby luna

Our upstairs neighbors have a little girl a week younger than our daughter. She is super sweet and curious. She just turned one. It is fun to see the girls grow up together.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

baby steps

Grief is a hard process. I will likely never get over the loss of my mom. While I am grateful she is no longer suffering, I think about her endlessly and miss the sound of her voice. I am incredulous that she will not see my daughter grow up or hear about my new job teaching elementary art or be here at Christmas. But I also know that she would want me to thrive. So I have been drawing throughout the day when I can steal time from the toddler whirlwind. Baby steps for me and my daughter, figuratively and literally.

an incomplete tribute

As I read through emails from more than a decade ago, I was struck by how positive and loving my mom was. She was truly my biggest fan, but furthermore an incredible example of resiliency. As she overcame a horrendous violent crime against her by a serial killer, she emailed me this passage from St. Francis:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

Friday, July 17, 2015

happy birthday mom

My mom, my #1 fan, passed away after battling pancreatic cancer (her third separate cancer case - all fought bravely). I can't really believe she's gone, and look to the flowers and sunlight she loved as a sign of her presence. She was a real free spirit and a beloved person. Her funeral was standing-room only in the back of the church and the reception was over capacity with well wishers and her favorite zydeco band, Lagniappe. She would be 62 today. Happy birthday to my beloved mother, Rebecca Gilliam.

Friday, July 3, 2015

baby aquinnah

A good friend gave birth to her daughter three days after mine at the same hospital. It was wonderful to celebrate her first year on earth today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

no sugar / fruit sweetened cupcakes

For our baby girl's 1st birthday (!!), I didn't want to feed her the questionable (& delicious) grocery store cake the rest of us devoured. I'm hoping she can avoid my turbo sweet tooth.

I used this recipe (but subbed butter for coconut oil since that's what I had), and the adults that tried it (since not everyone wants to eat super sugary cake) loved it: