Bread & Wine

Almost a year ago, my friend Colleen sent me a gift in the mail, a book called Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.  Found within its pages are stories about food & friendship, parenting & longing, and ultimately, nourishing your soul around the table.  It’s about a little of everything & anchors around the idea that, “food is a language of care…It’s the thing that connects us.”  

I particularly resonated with this:photo-7

Yes. This.

 But also, nerves.  It took me almost a year to gather up my people.  I kept MEANING to organize and invite and plan but I also kept forgetting/second guessing myself/figured everyone was too busy or too tired or too whatever.  But finally I texted everyone – a group of woman who didn’t all know each other but had enough threads of connection to make it seem like a perfect web of YES.  So I texted.  Like 7 or 8 long, wordy, ramble-y texts. Each one said yes and last night we gathered around my table.

All week, I couldn’t stop making details for our dinner party. Place settings, name cards, chalkboard menu, hand written quotes from the book, cactus and succulents to go with our Mexican food theme – I literally couldn’t stop.  For me, part of the divine is found in these types of details.  It is a whole other way I can communicate care and comfort.  It fills me to overflowing. 

So, obviously, arrows. 

photo 2-2photo 5photo 5-2

photo 4-2photo 4But the best part wasn’t the place settings or the cute name cards.  The best part happened at 6:30pm when there was a rush of friends.  One walking in the front door, carrying food, the same moment another opening my back door after traipsing through her yard.  In seconds, we were chopping, adjusting oven temperatures, hearing kid stories from the day, CONNECTING. One friend has a dairy allergy so separate versions of enchiladas and jalepano poppers, were made with care and marked for good measure.  Sangria and guacamole and amaretto mousse.  Friends familiarizing themselves with my kitchen, feeding each other in more way than one.  We sat to eat around 7:30pm or so and didn’t leave until near midnight.  We were full in every sense of the word.  

I’m so glad I made space at my table and in my soul for this kind of gathering.  

Funny thing, too – I wrote about tables maybe 4 years ago on this blog.  You can check out that post here.



Hey people of the Internet,

I wanted to jump on here to tell you about the ULTIMATE solution to the growing collection of completed LEGO ships taking over your kid’s room. If you’re like me and your kiddo spends HOURS constructing ship after ship, MASTERPEICES, if you will, that MUST remain in high places away from little brothers, you are left with the question: WHAT IS ONE TO DO WHEN WE RUN OUT OF HIGH PLACES? I have a really good solution. And you guys, I feel like we could break Pinterest with this idea.

I can’t take all the credit though because Step One was my husband’s idea:

STEP 1: Do a photo shoot of all the ships so that your kiddo can have a directory of all his/or her creations. This makes the dismantling a little more bearable. And it shows them how much you value their hard work.

We did this a few weeks ago and it was really fun – Miles told lots of friends/grandparents about his photo shoot. We rode that wave for a day or or two, but then we were all, “so what do we do with these pictures?”

And that’s when genius struck. It was Miles’ birthday at the beginning of August and Joe and I were planning what to get him. We had a few gifts already picked out but a few days before his party, Miles was so eager to see and count the days, he asked if we could get him a calendar. {LIGHT BULB!} School would be starting in a few weeks and I knew that counting days to various holidays and school events would be a big deal this year since Miles is now five and the calendar is something he is very familiar with after pre-school. So…

STEP 2: Turn your pictures of the LEGO creations into a CALENDAR!

It’s so easy to do! We did ours through Walgreens and it was available the next day. Joe came up with sayings to go with each ship and it really added to the project. Miles loved it and my heart basically burst with this creative, intentional way we could honor his creativity.

Here’s a few picture of the calendar.



Family Pictures

It’s not lost on me that this blog needs to be resurrected LIKE WHOA.  It has been collecting dust for months while I’ve been tending other pastures, a la my little Etsy shop, The State of Cate and also, you know, CHILDREN.  Several of my friends have been posting more on their little corners of the Internet and I’ve been reading and LOVING their blogs.  I’ve realized the blogs I love the most are the people I know and can’t see every day.  Reading their thoughts online keep them close as my people, keeps our hearts tethered in some way.

To kick off my Writing on the Internet Again Campaign, I figured I would share some recent family pictures taken by my LOVELY friends at Stella & Calypso. (They are currently running a special, making a photo shoot way, way, way affordable so contact them asap!)  I’ve shared some of these on Facebook, but I will post more here.

Let me just say, we’ve never done professional family pictures with just the four of us.  It’s always seemed like it would be too much money, too much hassle, and we just never really made it happen.  Let me tell you: IT IS WORTH IT.  I will have these moments FOREVER.  The night before Miles graduates, I will BAWL looking at these.  Owen’s wedding?  These pictures will be etched in my heart with ALL THE NOSTALGIA IN THE WHOLE WORLD.  Sure, I’ll have massive iPhone dumped pictures everywhere, probably on several social medias (Will Instagram still be around?) but these have a folder on my hard drive.  These have a folder and a date and I will never forget them. I highly recommend getting some family pictures taken.  You will thank me in 20 years.

These children don't lack spunk and personality.

Throwing Miles in air Bike Kiss Cutie Patootie Owen Family Train Miles & Mom Bike Train Miles & Mom Same BikeMiles & MommyMiles Hanging w Dad bent arms mommy lauging with Miles Owen & Mommy Owen bubbles Owen laughing Turny Bike Kiss Upsidedown Silly Face Miles Owen Mama hug Miles on the trike Miles & Mom folded hands Fire Truck kiss