Archives for May 2013

Thursday Ten: That Ain’t Chump Change edition

1. Yesterday, I walked out of a meeting to find a text on my phone from one of my Avon Walk teammates that our team has raised (to date) over $20,000. That is a mind boggling figure to wrap my head around – but I’m so tremendously proud of our group, and I cannot wait to see everyone tomorrow and kick off another 39.3 on Saturday morning. (I have no idea who that is in the picture below, but we saw her in Boston last year and her shirt made me giggle)


2. And The Princess is now eleven years old. She was magnificently spoiled on her birthday and I am officially (though temporarily) tired of baking. Two cakes and 30+ cupcakes later, I think I went through all of my baking supplies at least once over the past weekend. Also? I hate frosting cupcakes.
may all your wishes come true

3. With the upcoming weekend – with 40 miles of walking – HOURS of exercise ahead of me, you’d think I could just chill about missing last night’s work out. But – the night got away from me. Between picking up kids and hockey and dinner and vacuuming and un-birthdaying the house… not even remotely sure where the time went… only that I had no time to work out. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but “break a sweat daily” is so ingrained in my way of being that it felt really strange to park my fanny on the couch and do nothing.

4. Speaking of hockey…Good season, Red Wings. It was a bummer to see them lose last night, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

5. The weather has been bizarre lately. Hot and then cool and then… tornado type weather and storms. Pumpkin decided to camp out with me the other night because of storms. Yeah. That wasn’t a whole ton of fun (or sleep).

6. Allergies. Do you have them? How miserable are you right now? I can’t believe how awful my allergies are, and I know I’m not the only one.

7. I back up all the kids’ CDs in my itunes (I have to back up The Princess’s latest Taylor Swift – but I keep “forgetting”), so occasionally when I’m listening to things on shuffle, one of their songs will pop up. I guess that’s why I’ve had Miley Cyrus’s “When I Look At You” stuck in my head for two days.

8. Just one more week of school for the girls and while the pace of summer slows life down a little bit, I still recall last summer and JUST HOW MESSY a house gets when two kids are home all day. Though I’m fortunate to have amazing family childcare and a LOT of help because of it, coming home to a destroyed kitchen always sets my teeth a bit on edge. Guess it’s time to lay some groundrules for the next three months.

9. I want a shelf lined with jars of sand from different beaches. I want to sit on a beach and watch the sun rise. I have very distinct moments of wanting to escape and I am equally called to the sounds of city and to the sounds of water. I guess it’s fitting that I’ll be in Chicago soon.

10. My kids’ school sells yearbooks. Like it’s become this money making enterprise now – Um, why does a second grader need a yearbook (she doesn’t) and who gets to listen when you don’t buy said yearbook because COME ON, middle school and up, but no one needs a year book for every year of elementary school. Um, sorry. I’ve just heard for the past two days, “Why didn’t I get a yearbook?” from Pumpkin. I feel very “get off my lawn” about it all – but… ridiculous.

Kitchen Through the Lens: Chipotle Stout Beer Braised Tacos

I think this was the moment where I first felt truly like a success in the kitchen – this dish. This dish made me feel like, Whoa Sarah, you are not just a baker. YOU. CAN. COOK.

It’s silly actually because all I did was follow the directions, and the recipe wasn’t that complicated, but it tastes complicated – and impressive. I made these tacos for someone who is an amazing cook, and when he enjoyed them, I was so pleased with myself. Ridiculously pleased with myself.

Maybe a little bit too much so.


When I was originally looking to make a list of things to cook, I got to item 40 or so on my list and got stumped. Joe from The Hungry Dudes suggested this recipe to me, the Chipotle Stout Beer Braised Beef Tacos. Immediately, I was intrigued.

And since Grand Rapids, Michigan is BEER CITY USA 2013, I surely had enough craft beers at my disposal to use for this recipe.


Originally, I thought I’d use Founders Breakfast Stout.

Only… I waited too long and KBS was bye-bye.


The recipe had suggested a stout with coffee notes… and well, that would have been pretty darn perfect.

I’m fairly beer dumb. I don’t really know a stout from a porter from an IPA. So, I enlisted some of my favorite people – who happen to be VERY beer savvy to recommend a few options.

Ended up with The Poet Oatmeal Stout from New Holland Brewing Company.


Have you cooked with chipotles in adobo sauce before? Yuuuum.

Granted, you only use TWO large peppers from this can, and so… I guess I better come up with other recipes to use ’em, rather than waste the leftovers.

ew, raw meat. tri tip.

Raw meat. That’s… not pretty.

This recipe calls for a tri tip roast — a cut of meat I have never seen in a grocery store. Now granted, I’ve only started looking in the past few months, but when I decided I was really serious about making this recipe and making it soon, I started researching where I could buy a roast in Grand Rapids. Lucked out and found a local store on the first try — while I was there I also picked up some flank steak which I used for The Princess’s birthday dinner yesterday and DANG – amazing. I can’t say I’ll buy ALL my meat there, but for those times it really counts, I surely will. It’s leaner and waaaaaay easier to cook (and eat. I get grossed out with fatty pieces of meat. YUCK).

braised beef

So, you’ve got all the ingredients and you sear that (expensive but lovely) tri tip and then you add beer and beef broth, like up there. While you’re doing that, you’ll want to chop up your onion. Your garlic (the recipe called for six cloves, so… I used nine).

chipotles in adobo

Cut those chipotles in adobo.

Yeah. Those look gross too.

meat is unattractive

Then? Basically, your work with these tacos is DONE. Simmer for about three hours, flipping your roast over each thirty minutes. After the first hour, my house smelled like I’d been cooking with red wine, though I had used stout.

A beery-er person than I could probably tell you why, but all I know is WOW. For the hours this simmered in the cast iron enamel pot on my stove, my house smelled heavenly.

pico de gallo

And then I threw together the pico. I was supposed to have red onion but I bought a white one by mistake. No matter. It was still good. Also? You can double this recipe. You should. Because you’ll probably wish you had more pico. It’s crazy easy. Except the chopping cilantro part. Chopping cilantro is a pain in the ass.

Yeah. I said it.

I need kitchen scissors, I think. Herb cutting scissors.

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This was a total WIN all around.

I cannot think of anything I’d do differently (well, except have more flour tortillas on hand – even when I steam them, I can’t get corn tortillas to cooperate and not fall apart).

Well, scratch that. I’d have gotten it together enough to make margaritas or sangria with these tacos. NOTE: Most sangrias require overnight refrigeration. There will be no spontaneous making of sangria for you. Or anyone. Sheesh, sangria. Why so high maintenance?

Anyway – yeah, you’ll want a nice cold festive beverage to knock the edge off the heat of the tacos. Plan ahead for it. You won’t be sorry.

Make these. Make these. Make these.

(They were good, can’t you tell?)

To my daughter on her 11th birthday

Dear Princess,

Last week, your sister woke me up and the first words out of her mouth were, “Eight days until Princess’s birthday.” She was so excited about your birthday that it was her first thought upon waking that day. I don’t blame her; I’m pretty excited too.

I know that this has been a big weird crazy year, and I hope that we’re able to move past the chaos and the changes and the transition and settle into some new kind of normal. I kind of dig our house full of girls (well, and the dog), and I’ve been working really hard to do what I can to limit the disruption in your life.

It’s been hard, the times I’ve had to say, “No we can’t buy this” or “We can’t do this” — and I hate it as much as you do, however, in a way it’s been a blessing because I see you appreciating the small things more. I’m the mom, and it’s my job to make sure you have shoes that fit you – but it wasn’t until this year that you thanked me when I bought them for you. I’m doing my best to keep your head free of cares while I get back on my feet, but I know you can tell that it’s not always easy.

You’ve grown up a lot this year – and yeah, part of that is because of life and circumstance and part of it is because, well, it’s time. Just last week they had “the talk” at school. Also, I recently attended the orientation for middle school. And frankly? Nothing says “growing older” like a crush on a boy band where the members have ridiculous hair (someday you’ll laugh about this One Direction thing. Maybe. I laugh about liking New Kids on the Block when I was younger. Google them. You’ll laugh too).

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Last week we baked biscuits for strawberry shortcake and I made you laugh by dancing around the kitchen to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (“You’re so proud of yourself that you know all the words to this old song, aren’t you?” you said to me). I love to make you laugh. And I love that we bake together. You’re pretty good at it, and soon I won’t even have to bother. You’ll take my Queen of Cookies crown (there’s not actually a crown, but if there were, we’d have it).

You are both extremely serious and extraordinarily silly and I like when silly trumps serious sometimes. You’re a kid. Life is silly. Please keep finding the fun.

We survived another season of gymnastics – you have a whole slew of medals now – and I’m fantastically proud of you. I don’t know where you go from here with it – you have an opportunity to go to a bigger and better gym — and I don’t think you want to. That’s okay, Princess. While I want you to have the opportunity to try a different place with a different style, it’s more important to me that you are able to hang on for your love of the sport. I don’t want this to be un-fun for you. I will follow your lead.

You’re extraordinarily smart. You…well, you always have been. I could sugar coat it or put on that “aw shucks” attitude about it – but, you were just born this way. Wish I could take credit for it, but dang, girl. You’re kind of just amazing by nature. It’s fun to watch your brain work.

I have no idea what this upcoming year holds for you – but I know that I will sit back and try to enjoy this ride. I imagine this is a year where you will start demanding more independence and thus it will be the year where I will have to learn a little bit how to let go and when to let go and when I still get to hold on. You are amazingly grounded with a level-head on your shoulders, and I’ve been blessed to have you in my world.

Eleven years ago today I first looked at your face and my world was changed, and daily you keep changing my world in all kinds of spectacular ways. Eleven years ago I officially became a mom, and though I’m not one to define myself solely by the fact that I am a mother, being a mother – being your mother – has shaped who I am more than anything else in my world ever has.

Sheesh. Where did all that time go?

Happy birthday to you, Princess. I love you with my whole heart and I am oh so very lucky to be your mom.

I love you,


Thursday Ten: Just Thinking Of Chicago Makes My Feet Hurt edition

1. Just over a week until I venture to Chicago for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’m breaking in some new shoes and I’ve stocked up on blister bandaids and I’m just about ready! This will be my fifth walk but I still get nervous before each one, and the blisters I got at last year’s walk in Boston were so awful, I actually got them checked by medical mid-walk… and I’ve never done that! Fingers crossed this year goes better.

2. I have really tried to avoid watching coverage of the devastation in Moore, OK. I know it seems ignorant to bury my head in the sand about so much of what is going on in the world, but sometimes it just hurts to watch stuff because I can’t begin to fathom the devastation they are experiencing.

3. Memorial Day weekend is coming up. Raise your hand if you are thrilled about a three day weekend.

4. There are certain internet words that I can’t stand. These words are predominantly used on the internet (though I’ve occasionally heard them offline) and include: ermagherd, stahp (or staaaahp or staaaaaaaaaaaahp), bestie, amazeballs, and meatspace. I’m sure there’s more. But they’re like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Especially ermagherd. Ick. Just S-T-O-P.

5. Had the opportunity to photograph a cocktail party the other day. In a midst of trying to avoid photographing people as they’re putting food in their mouth, or having animated conversation with excessive arm movements, sometimes I take pictures just for me.

Empty plate perched on a windowsill overlooking the park. Or, people will leave their dishes ANYWHERE.

6. After weeks of listening to her cough, I finally took Pumpkin in to the doctor’s where she left with a prescription for an inhaler and recommendation to take allergy meds. The inhaler actually seems to be helping already. Still coughing but not as much, so I hope she’s on the mend.

7. Watching my dog try to kill mosquitoes is pretty damn funny.

8. For a coworker’s birthday yesterday, I brought homemade strawberry shortcakes to the office. It was a nice change of pace but I made the mistake of bringing the leftovers home. STOP EATING THE HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM, SARAH.

9. What is it about people and granite countertops on these homebuying shows? Am I the only one who thinks granite counter tops are ugly (I actually typed that as “ughly” first – which is also appropriate)? On the other hand, butcher block counters? Sign me up.

10. Do you have a favorite candy? I love sweets but really try to limit what I let myself have because once I get a taste for something, I just want them a lot. Case in point: Gummy bears. I could probably eat gummy bears every day and not get tired of them. This is an old picture but I spent a lot of time last night thinking of gummy bears – despite the strawberry shortcakes – so…
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Kitchen Through The Lens: Key Lime Cheesecake

graham cracker crust

When I originally put key lime cheesecake on my list, I selected a recipe I was sent for a vegan key lime cheesecake but the funniest thing happened.

I remembered I wasn’t vegan.

Also? I like the cream cheese part of cheesecake.

Also? I decided to make this cheesecake as a thank you for the folks who work in my mom’s office for their support – monetary and just general enthusiasm – for my participation in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

So, I made a non vegan recipe.

a graham cracker crumb crust

The kids saw key limes in the store the other day. A one pound bag of key limes? Not too pricey. Cream cheese, on the other hand, kind of is. FYI, I almost always use neufchatel instead of regular cream cheese. I’ve never detected a difference in the quality of cheesecake and because of that, I kinda figure, why not reduce some of the unhealthy where you can?

key limes, i'm not sure what makes you so special?

Dear key limes (and graham cracker crumbs on my counter. Oy).

Not gonna lie, I feel a bit punk’d by the idea of key limes. They’re tiny little lime wannabes that produced very little juice and a whole lotta seeds. And one pound of key limes barely produced the 2/3 cup of key lime juice I needed.

(Later, I found this was okay – I think using the full amount would have made them TOO tart – this was just the right sour)

To juice the key limes with greater ease, I rolled them on the counter first, pressing hard against the lime with the palm of my hand, hoping to kinda squash all that juice out of the pulp.

It sort of worked.


key lime cheesecake

Apparently the difference is that key lime juice is more aromatic and it’s more intense in flavor.

Um. Okay.

The end result (and I only had one bite – I told y’all I was sending this cheesecake elsewhere!) was tasty. It was a nice warm weather kinda cheesecake.

But I’m guessing using regular limes, though far less fancy sounding, woulda been WAY. EASIER.

Thursday Ten: If You Want Sunshine You Have to Put Up With Soul Sucking Mosquitoes

1. No, I’m not really complaining about the weather today because it was gorgeous, sunny and not too hot and not too cold. What I am complaining about are those freaking mosquitoes. I stood in my driveway for five minutes last night and was swarmed by a plethora of mosquitoes that like to chomp on feet. Gah. Gonna be a long summer.

2. And the mosquitoes remind me that my dog is late for his heartworm test and probably should start taking his heartworm medication soon. Crap. I hope the vet is open late some evening during the week.

3. The end of the school year brings all of this stuff that has to get done and it seems like it’s never ending (Didn’t I mention this last week?). Today it’s money due for a field trip, yesterday was Special Person’s day at The Princess’s gym. I wish I had all the time in the world to attend every little thing and the available brain space to remember every little thing. I suspect part of the problem is that I’m not getting all of the school papers (those pesky backpacks are like black holes)…

4. Seems like I spend a lot of time grumping about what’s wrong that I figured I would try to be a little bit more positive – and focus on what’s good rather than what sucks. I decided that yesterday after I was trying to open my garage door and the door raised a quarter of the way and then the motor stopped working and the door just slammed down into the pavement. Ugggggh. One more thang. At least it’s not snowy. Parking in my driveway instead of in the garage, it’s not a huge deal. But yeah, I need to get better about choosing what I let get to me and what I let roll off my back. (If I were to make a wish though, I’d wish for some calm)
make a wish

5. The girls and I spent last weekend in Wisconsin – do you know how excited they were to realize the days we were traveling, they’d been in FOUR states (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin). The drive there was smooth as can be. On the way back? I was grouchy, the kids were grouchy, and the toll roads were annoying the hell out of me. It didn’t help that Pumpkin asked, less than an hour into our five hour drive, “HOW MUCH LONGER?” Oh kid. We’ve got HOURS. But, I’m clearly home. We survived. It was fun to get away and spend time with friends and find some peace for a few days.

6. While we were in Wisconsin, my friends taught the girls the “Makin’ Bacon Pancakes” song – I think it’s from Adventure Time. I’m sure that didn’t help the five hour drive back to Michigan either. But, it makes the kids happy. I don’t love bacon OR pancakes so, sounds gross to me.

7. Round two of the playoffs, game 1. Annnd the RedWings lost. What a bummer. On the plus side? At least the game was over before 11 p.m. Here’s to a victory in Game Two. *fingers crossed* (Let’s go RedWings, clap clap clap clap clap…)

8. Remember that blog cooking project I have? Don’t worry, I remember it too. I found a recipe for a sourdough starter, so I’ll get that going and while that starter is…starting… I’ll finally give making hummus a whirl! The girls and I have a low key weekend in front of us. That’s SUCH a rarity these days. There will be hummus. And pita chips. Lots and lots of pita chips.

9. With less than 2 weeks until her birthday, The Princess has now given me a very very specific birthday list. She wants a yoga mat. I think I may get her one. Life is chaos, and if she can find peace that way, then that would be a super good thing.

10. Someday I’ll write my memoir and I’ll name it “Eating CheezIts At Midnight.” That’s what I’m doing now. Eating crackers, finishing up this post and getting ready for bed. I’ll wake up in a few hours, nice and extra specially bloated from all the salt. Hmmm yeah. Can’t wait. (I really love CheezIts. It’s almost worth it.)

On A Monday With A Morning That Was Coated With Frost

Playoff games that start at ten p.m. should be against some cosmic life rule. With just under five hours of sleep, I woke this morning groggy, but managed to drag myself out of bed without playing my usual game of just how long can I stay buried under the covers before getting up. I’ve turned my heat back on, a disappointment after the warmth of last week, and getting out of the shower is dismal, cold, and like winter has landed again.

I hate winter.

Frozen waffles in the toaster, lunches packed. It’s Monday and I tell the kids, “I’m off to the salt mines…” when my stepfather arrives to get them on the bus.

There was a gray day in seventh grade – surely more than one – but there was a day that was gray and it sticks in my head that day. I was walking from the band room to my next class, PE. Down a small cement hill. From behind a hand grabbed a hank of my hair and pulled. And then she reached around and hit me, smacking my cheek with her hand.

She thought I was someone else.

Have you ever accidentally been hit in the face? Because someone thought you were someone else that they were pissed off with?

Freaking sucks.

I was thinking of it today, that accidental assault. I’ve forgotten the girl’s name. I held on to it for so long, her name, that the fact that I no longer remember the girl who was so angry at someone that she swung without confirmation, her name is gone. Wiped free from my brain. It’s a relief to me that I may one day forget cruelty and unkindness and bullying in its nonsensical, lacking-in-reason ways.

I hope it doesn’t take me twenty years to forget every unkindness.

There are two basic rules to life.

Rule #1: Don’t be a jerk.
Rule #2: See rule #1.

This afternoon I was crazed, trying to get from work to the gas station. From the gas station to the house. From the house to the gymnastics studio. From the gymnastics studio to the school for an orientation. I didn’t leave enough time for myself and it seemed like little obstacles kept inserting them in my path. The slowed, then stopped, line of vehicles on the highway. The call from The Princess that she forgot a snack, was feeling light headed. The meltdown from Pumpkin, how she wished she had a snack. How The Princess was then too ill to stay at the gym, how I ended up taking her with me. An orientation, an hour spent in uncomfortable plastic chairs listening to what to expect when my child moves on to sixth grade – a presentation tailored for our fifth graders and not their parents. Me, clicking my phone to check the time. I’m watching the clock a lot these days.

A quick dash to the grocery store – a frozen pizza, a half gallon of skim milk, children’s ibuprofen and peanut butter because peanut butter makes my world go round.

Home to a child too ill to eat pizza, tears, bona fide tears over a pizza.

A bowl filled with oranges on the back deck.
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I am not used to those who do not wish well for others and those who wish so desperately for someone to fail, hoping to catch their blunder and then flaunt the imperfection, or worse, to see imperfection where there is not. It shakes my confidence, this feeling of being examined under a magnifying glass, because always if you are looking for flaws you’ll see them whether they exist or not. The reflection of my thighs in a mirror and I can attest to that.

A child wrapped in fleece on the couch, eyes heavy, HGTV blaring in the background, the room dim. The other waiting for me to tuck her in for the third time. Good night, sweet children. Mom loves you.

A video on YouTube that made me cry. And cry. And cry. And cry until I didn’t know if I was crying about the video or the day. My head finding its calm with the distance from the chaos, with its distance from the hate and the negativity – with distance my brain hears reason. This is what you must do… And so I do. I look for solutions, and I wipe tears with the sleeve of my sweatshirt.


Thursday Ten: Hockey Games On The West Coast Start Too Late edition

1. Hockey playoffs. RedWings had a game last night. It started as ten. I was half asleep before the game even started. UNACCEPTABLE NHL. You should plan everything around the Eastern Time Zone because…that’s where I am.

2. Last year, I made a dish called chicken chilequiles for Cinco de Mayo. I’m pretty sure neither of the girls would touch it. I actually don’t recall being very impressed with it, and I never made it again. This year, Cinco de Mayo was carnitas – an amazing recipe from Food Network mag that was both easy to make (heh. I say that, but, uh, I didn’t make them) and not at all spicy – you add all the spicy stuff, toppings, etc., later in the game – so you could control the spice factor of your tacos. (Oh, and there were margaritas)
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3. Leftover carnitas –> nachos? Yes.
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4. As we get closer to the end of the school year, we get closer to the increase in the number of activities taking place at the girls’ schools. Some during work hours, some not (that orientation for my soon-to-be middle schooler is coming up next week!). It’s hard to balance which ones I need to attend, which ones I can miss – where my kids most want my attendance. I can’t be everywhere at once – which is a bummer – but it mostly works out.

5. Mother’s Day is this weekend and I will be spending the weekend with my fabulous little people. My mother, on the other hand, is underwhelmed that the girls and I will be out of town on Mother’s Day, and has kinda started in with a bit of a guilt trip. I get it, I do. Some of us want to be celebrated by our children on Mother’s Day. This year, however, there is really no one making sure my kids make me cards – or even remember to utter the words. So I’m doing my best to celebrate the little family unit we have – and my mom will be celebrated (I’m waiting for USPS Priority Mail to deliver something she will oh-so-truly love). But I kinda want to focus under my roof first on the day, celebrating with my children because I am their mother.

6. Iron Man 3 – the good news is, you didn’t have to see 1 or 2 for it to make sense. Also? It was funnier than I expected. It was slow to get started, and it took me awhile to get into it, but it got better.

7. Last weekend was so tremendously wonderful that this whole week has seemed like a giant pile of suck in comparison. The good times just make me want good more often. The weeks are full of school chaos and work uncertainty that the weekends, especially the good ones — have been a sanity saver. It’s a reminder of what is good in my life amidst the stress.

8. My efforts to get the dog to let me balance food on his nose have been largely unsuccessful.

9. The Avon Walk is in just a few weeks. Gah. I have barely prepared. I didn’t even buy new shoes this year. I feel like it’s been sneaking up on me so quickly. Not sure how I’ll ever be ready. Guess I’ll get ready while I’m walking.

10. I have been drawn to the story of the three kidnapped girls in Ohio who have been found even though I REALLY hate the news cycle. I hate reporters blathering for hours on end when they don’t have anything to say. While I’m interested in the story, I still end up mostly avoiding it because I need to limit my exposure to negativity if I can help it.

Thursday Ten: But I Don’t Wanna Turn The AC On Yet edition

1. From winter right to summer. No thank you. Eighty degrees yesterday though and… not a fan. And I shouldn’t complain because it’s better than snow, but I am complaining anyway. (It’s such a small margin of time, that time I enjoy the weather in Michigan. I’m so sorry.)
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2. With the close of gymnastics competition season, I never have to hear “Pumped Up Kicks” again. HOWEVER, The Princess wanted to use the instrumental version of “Thrift Shop” and the coaches said no go. Soooo, it’s looking like they’ve selected Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” for her for the next year. I’ve made her promise that there would be no hip or butt waggling in her routine (Because frankly, those girls do a little too much booty shaking AND THEY ARE TEN YEARS OLD).

3. She’ll be eleven this month. Whoa.

4. Filling out paperwork for estate planning is necessary and yet… awful. I know it’s the responsible thing to do. I also know that I really hate thinking about it. No, I don’t have a cemetery plot. (And no, I apparently don’t know how to spell “cemetery” right on the first try.)

5. Lately I take more pictures of Pumpkin than The Princess. It’s not a favoritism thing, not at all. I love both of my daughters tremendously. However, The Princess doesn’t mind having her picture taken and Pumpkin hates it. It’s the dislike of the experience that I love in the pictures. Pumpkin doesn’t smile or pose for me, and sometimes it’s that genuine look on her face – even if it’s an unhappy one – that makes me love the shot. My kids are both amazing subjects, though. I’m pretty lucky.

6. So, one of the guys from Kriss Kross died. He was 34. THERE GOES MY CHILD HOOD. Rest in peace, Mac Dad. A generation of boys wore their too big clothes backwards because of you. And a whole lot of people jump-jump’d.

7. Cinco de Mayo this weekend, or as I like to call it, JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE FOR TACOS. Do y’all have a favorite taco recipe? Carnitas are on the menu for Sunday.

8. Yaaaaay! I found someone to repair my 24-70 lens! Boooooo! It’ll cost about $250. If you’re googling the 24-70mm/2.8 Canon lens before buying it and you land here (HI! WELCOME!), just know that one of the first versions of that lens is known for this weird focusing thing. It’s a pricey piece of glass. Too pricey for consistent probs like this. Do your research. (When it works? It’s amazing. Right now? I might as well be using my kit lens.)

9. With the warm weather comes people wearing less clothes. This is not always a good thing.

10. I wear my hair alternatingly curly and straight – mostly curly because that’s how it is naturally and I AM LAZY. The other day, however, I asked Instagram how to wear my hair and someone answered – curly, to look super creative and straight to look professional. And it’s funny because I have that perception too – when I want to be taken seriously, I almost always straighten my hair. But…why? Why is curly hair creative? Hippy dippy? Not professional? It wasn’t just the person who commented – I clearly have a bit of that bias too… but… I have no idea why. So… why?