Happy February! Current soundtrack: the dishwasher whirring and HAIL hitting the windows. It’s chilly and stormy and I’m grateful to be home with a cozy blanket. Here’s a few moments I didn’t get a chance to write about earlier, that I hope to remember from January:
1) Snow at the beach:
I wrote about our recent Tahoe trip, but I want to remember what a bizarre thrill it was to walk along the beach with the bitter cold and snow in the background.
2) Parks and puddles.
Rain, rain, rain. Thankfully, Diego loves his rain-boots and I try not to get too grossed out by all the mud puddles.
3) Tiny sous chef!
I’m trying to re-frame how I think about our tiny kitchen. Part of that just means spending more time in it, reminding myself that I actually do enjoy cooking, and the pleasure of cooking doesn’t require a large, perfect kitchen. (But let’s be clear, I definitely miss our old kitchen). Anyway, Diego wants in on this kitchen time fun, so I’ve figured out an easy corner for him to hang out and play with soap and water when I cook. It’s a total mess, but he loves it, and I love the company.
4) Catherine’s Calistoga Bachelorette weekend!
Catherine’s wedding is less than a month away! Her friends threw her a beautiful bridal shower at Farmstead and her sister planned an incredible weekend at the prettiest AirBnB in Calistoga.
I still remember meeting Catherine, over 15 years ago. It was our first few days of college, and we were sitting in Moore 100, eager and nervous freshmen. Since then, she’s introduced me to SO much: dry shampoo (meaning she’s literally saved me days of my life in hair washes), the magnificent J Crew (many trips to the Century City store in college), Coral Tree and Literati cafe, the chocolate cake at Kramerbooks, the meatballs at ShopHouse (RIP), and an incredibly fascinating and memorable weekend at Norman Mailer’s house in Cape Cod.
What I could not get over, as we sat around the fireplace, listening to friends from preschool and DC grown-up life share Catherine stories, was how much they all felt like Catherine’s friendship shaped how they grew up. Catherine delights in her friends. When you’re 5 or 25, knowing you have a friend who is there for you, remembering incredible details about your past that you likely forgot, but she remembers-it’s rare. It really means something. It was a special weekend seeing friends and family who love Catherine and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in March!
5) This cheeseboard.
We left the winery in Napa and it was pouring and cold and definitely time for yoga pants and snacks. We pulled up to the cozy house walked in to a wonderful scene. Liz and Laura prepped this incredible cheeseboard and there was a fire, friends, and no responsibilities. It was decadent and lovely.
6) These two :)
While I was in Calistoga, these two had quite the weekend adventure! They explored the science center in Berkeley, had giant deli sandwhiches, took the MUNI to a park in SF and even joined a march! I can’t help but feel guilty before leaving Diego for any kind of trip, but he and David always seem to have a great time.
7) Donut delight
Much to Diego’s delight, Terry and Julie hosted a coffee and donuts party at their beautiful house. It was so nice to see so many Bruins babies all together and such a treat to see Diego live his best life: scooting around in this Batmobile, devouring a chocolate donut. So much joy.
8) All the winter things: Winter cooking
For Christmas this year, David’s family did a book exchange, and thanks to Alina, I got the book I’ve been wanting for years: Dinner: A Love Story. David’s go-to dish is DALS Pork Ragu, and while I constantly check the book out from the library, it’s a rare one that I wanted in my possession (it sparks joy :)). Anyway, all to say, between the cookbook and my personal Kitchen Appreciation campaign, I’ve been cooking a lot more. In particular, I’ve been making this bread once a week, and it has contributed to some delicious dinners.
9) Winter sunsets:
All the rain means a very clear sky and incredible evening sunsets. Love that afternoon walks around the neighborhood can go later, as the days get a tiny bit longer.
10) Winter reading:
I ended 2018 reading two incredible memoirs-Becoming [have you heard of it? :)] and Educated-and decided to stick with the genre for January. I absolutley loved Glynnis MacNicol’s No One Tells You This. Of all the motherhood books I’ve read recently (and I’ve read a lot!) interestingly, this book, full of observations of other mothers, provided the most interesting insight. She is candid about her joy and sadness, and her reflections really stuck with me. Like this one, where she writes about a week caring for her sister’s children:
“Parents, especially women, have a habit of talking about motherhood as though it were an exotic mystical land where everything is dazzling; as if they’d walked through a closet and the world has suddenly gone Technicolor. Or at least that’s how it often felt, listening to them from the shores of childless land. With each breakfast rush and school run and nighttime snuggle, I was traveling further and further into that land, if only as a tourist. It did not feel mystical, unless you count the hallucinatory effect of having no sleep. But it was electrifying. There was a deep charge in this, a sense of propulsion and deep, absolute necessity.”
I love that-not mystical, but an electrifying charge of necessity. I also read and really liked Curtis Sittenfeld’s new book of short stories, You Think It, I’ll Say It. I’m not generally interested in short stories, but these were all compelling, and it was a fun read.
That’s it for January!