Not Just Pancakes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My mother loves to tell this story. When it happened she called me right away and was convinced her little grandson was in fact a comedian ...

Dan and I were enjoying a weekend away as parents do. My mom was watching Ryan as grandparents love to do. Saturday morning she took Ryan along for breakfast with her girlfriends. While the waitress was taking orders my mom told Ryan to tell the nice lady what you would like for breakfast. My mom, always an advocate for "Do it yourself". So Ryan perks up and says "PANCAKES." My mom tells him to say please so Ryan orders again this time with "Pancakes Pwese". The waitress then gets down on his level sweetly and asks "Would you like bacon or sausage with that sweetie?" At this point I'm sure the waitress thinks this kid is cute ... She also probably can't decide if this kid is a boy or girl as my son's long red hair fooled many. Then as my mom loves to tell it ...
 Ryan gives the waitress an awkward confused look (aka a dirty look) and says "I want dem wif syrup!" (insert my mom's laughter here...okay I'm laughing now too)
Duh lady! Give the kid (boy or girl) pancakes with SYRUP!


If you knew Ryan personally you would know in detail of his strong sweet tooth. Actually, if you can find a three year old who doesn't have a severe soft spot for sugar congrats! My son is just like me, coat it in sugar and we will eat it. Aside from sweets, Ryan had a continuous love affair with Macaroni and Cheese (shocker). His favorite though was pancakes. Pancakes were his jam and they were mine too when I was little. They are my jam now! The second Ryan was old enough for solids I was so thrilled to mix up pancake batter just like how my grandma does and serve him right! That is right buddy! Breakfast gets way better than mushy baby cereal and bananas! His first pancake day was fun. I had music playing, Ry was squeaking and bubble babbling in his Bumbo chair. Probably thinking "my mom is a fool!" I had read somewhere that you should talk out every little thing you do in front of your baby in hopes of the baby learning words and in turn learning how to talk. So I did and my whole family thought I was nuts. I narrated everything from cleaning, diaper changing to cooking. It was annoying I'm sure. It makes me laugh though thinking of myself  saying "I'm cracking the eggs. I'm mixing! This is called mixing Ryan ..." Terrible, but Ryan did start talking early so there you have it. Coincidence? I think so yea.

From the first pancake morning to the last it was an adventure. Never the same, but always fun. Now, I've just begun making pancakes again. With Ryan looking down at me. I imagine him squeezing in-between my legs. I think back at the times when we would drag his stool into the kitchen and request "I help now ... I can do it mom!" I can see his chubby hands strangle an egg until it cracks and oozes through his fingers. He always looked up at me with a smile and giggle. I'm making pancakes again and it sucks with out him. But making pancakes again, that is progress. It shows I'm growing with Ryan within me. Pancakes for me are not just pancakes. When I make, order, eat pancakes its me thinking of Ryan and all our pancake quests.



It never is "just pancakes" or "just breakfast" ... It is an adventure. 



 Jacqui & Ryan's Go-To Pancakes
What You Need
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon melted butter for batter
- more butter for the pan in between pancakes and more butter ...
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- a few table spoons of water to smooth the batter




What You Do
- mix dry and wet ingredients
- melt the tablespoon of butter in the pan. When it is melted add to the batter.
- add water and whisk your batter till it is smooth (no lumps)
- add a pad of butter into your medium hot pan.
- once the butter melts add about a 1/3 cup of batter.
- let it bubble. Once the bubbles are evenly popping up all over its time to flip!
- once it flips add a little butter to the top
- after a few seconds  and the butter on top has melted the pancake is done.
- serve warm with your favorite toppings. aka syrup!



Pancake Tips

-Make sure the batter is smooth with no lumps. The lumps are flour pockets that won't cook. Use a whisk and your muscles. Also you can add a little water at a time to get to that smooth texture.

-Always add a teaspoon of vanilla. For all you box pancake makers even adding a dash of vanilla will change the taste for the better.

-Remember! The first one is always a throw away. I don't care if you are a professional chef the first pancake is always burnt, not cooked through, whatever just throw it away and start the second. I feel like that applies in life the first attempt at anything is always a throw away. Dust yourself off and start again.

-Butter Butter, give me the butter baby. If you are afraid of butter you can use coconut oil with ease. You have to butter your pan in between each pancake. Once your pancake is finished spread a little butter on top to melt away as you pour the batter for the next one. Honestly butter is where its at.

-Let the littles do it! (with caution) Let them crack the eggs, mix or pour. Trust me you both will love it and you'll all get used to crunchy pancakes. Egg shells add texture and confidence.


---

The goal here is not to steer you from creating pancakes from a box or however you do it. The goal is to just create a fun loving breakfast with your little one. A breakfast that has cake in the name and can be sweet, smothered in more sweet. The goal here is to create memories and get messy while doing so. Enjoy!


Together

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"It's easier to be brave when your not alone." - Amy Poehler

For me I can only be brave when I am surrounded by incredible people who love life and cherish all that it brings. This is not to say I'm never alone or if I'm alone I am crying hot mess ... But to really do good and get through the grit I must be with people who support it all. Plus, it is much more fun when you aren't alone. It is easier to laugh, it is easier to take on the things that scare you, it is easier to learn more about yourself and how your insides work. 

This past week I attended Alt Summit with zero intentions. In the back of my mind I had hope to learn more about blogging ... though that notion was broad and it scared me so I pushed it away. The other scary thing was the fact that I was about to toss my fragile self into a pot of talented strong women. I was about to test myself and how I'd hold up in this hot soup of brilliant bloggers, photographers, mothers and business owners. Would I wilt away and become tasteless or melt right in and prove flavorful?

I arrived clutching my best friend Alissa Circle's arm and made her promise to not let go. I've been to blogging conferences before, but this time I was different. This time I was attending with most everyone knowing every detail of my life and the tragedy I now walked with. It's one thing to be on the Internet talking and letting it all hang out ... It's different talking in person and letting them see it all out. Alissa let go, but only because she knew I could handle it. Though she never ventured far. We were in this together. 

As  I met amazing women and sat through knowledgeable keynote speakers I learned  a whole lot. However, one major theme stood out day in and day out. There is one thing that all this Alt Summit magic has been built upon. Togetherness. We are all great and incredible because we are all doing it together. We are buying from each other, contributing for each other, listening together and laughing together. This community it is special because we are together. 

For me it isn’t about networking so much as its about making friends. I found myself with business cards only to exchange phone numbers instead. It was a truly beautiful experience to meet the people who have been supporting, praying and keeping Ryan on their hearts. I had heart to hearts with strangers and cried with a few who just wanted a hug. I realized this hot soup was indeed flavorful with me in it. This hot soup was damn good with everyone in it. 

What I learned at Alt Summit was pretty simple. In order to do good and get through the hard stuff … You have to surround yourself with amazing people. I learned that spending time knee deep in a conversation about how twisted life is and how we are coping is worth everything. I learned that laughing that real deep laugh about something silly is worth everything. Crying because you finally met the person who drew a beautiful sketch of your son holding a red balloon is worth everything. 

It was overwhelming and by the last day I ditched the last keynote speaker and went back to my room to order a hamburger via room service. I realized I felt whole for a split second. As if all these new friends of mine were stuffed in my wound to stop the bleeding. For a fleeting moment my heart wasn’t broken anymore. 

The thought is simple. Together. We can do it together. We are doing it together. Thank you to all of those who let me hug you. Thank you to my roommates for making me laugh and letting me be myself. Thank you to all my new friends … I look forward to the good we will do together. 









Preschool

Friday, January 16, 2015

One of Ryan's favorite places was his preschool. It was a long road for him to really fall in love with preschool, but once he understood the place and made tiny friends you could literally see his heart expand when he chatted about "kool" (that's how he would say school). At first, quite frankly he hated preschool and would scream and cry at every drop off. His teacher softly explained to me that I should drop him off quick, sign him in and scram. You know ... not drag out the "Good Bye" process. Talk about heart wrenching! As we got ready for preschool I chatted Ryan up totally pro-preschool;

 Me: "Ryan! You ready dude! Today is going to be so fun with all your friends!"
 Ryan: "No. I can stay home wif you."

Once in the car we were fine. All smiles coming from the back seat with quick requests for "Mom, pay my song! .... Pay my song pwease." While Katy Perry and Pharrell crooned  in the background I would still be trying to plug positive about preschool;

 Me: "Aren't you excited to paint and read books with all the other nice kids?"
Ryan: "Yes! I can paint." 
Me: "Alright! Ya! You can totally paint! It is going to be so fun!"

I'm telling you he was all smiles...
As we pulled up to the school and the smiles started to fade...
We get out of the car and the pleading to go back home starts...
At this point I stopped talking up preschool and started talking up myself...Because I needed a little encouragement. I'm not a terrible mom am I? My kid is screaming and I am still making him do something he doesn't want to do! My voice is loud, borderline shrill...
"Mommy loves you Ryan. Everything will be OK, I promise. I love you..." 
In the school lobby Ryan melts down and really lets me have it. Giant crocodile tear drops, fall down his rosy cheeks. His beautiful giant brown eyes (that look similar to mine) narrowing in on me...As if he is trying to tell me "You better not be leaving me here woman!"
His teacher sweetly takes his hand and gives me a nod and a  reassuring smile...
I walk back to my car and cry. That big time wheepy cry where you can feel your heart break in two and the tears and snot fall free all over. I call my mom and ask her if I'm doing the right thing.

The truth is, I was going back to work full time.
The truth is, Ryan needed to go to preschool because both his parents had to work.
The truth is, the crying only lasted a week and three days.

I like to imagine him still running into his class and all his friends scream "HI RYAN!". I sometimes sit really still and think hard about the countless times I dropped him off and picked him up. I can smell the glue and sack lunches, I can hear the kids scream "RYAN YOUR MOM IS HERE!". I like to imagine him running around the playground laughing with his friends all sweaty ... whenever he played he always got a little sweaty. And I can still hear him say "ya! I have fun. I play wif Emawee" He loved a little girl named Emily ... I wish I knew her parents so I could just tell them that their little girl was so loved by my little boy.

I would take a photo every morning before we would get into the car and head to preschool. I can't tell you how many times early morning walkers would look at us funny. But it was just what I did and I'm so happy I did it. I can barely look at the photos now with out crying or feeling all the bad things, but I'm so grateful I have them. I have them all to cherish and look at when I'm good and ready.  Also, I can't post about preschool with out showing you one of my favorites.
His favorite shoes and his favorite monster lunchpail ... Ready to run and have the best day always.



---

When SoulCycle reached out to me about hosting a charity event I felt so honored. Who would we raise money for? Some place, some thing that had to do with children. My dear friend Megan suggested we raise money for Ryan's preschool and I immediately started to get hot with excited and teary eyed. Of course, what an honor to be able to give back to the place that helped shape my little man. A place that was such a vital part of our life. A place the three of us loved.

I'm hosting a SoulCycle ride February 7th at 2pm and we will gather with Ryan and his friends in mind. Dan and I are beyond excited and the support that has been given thus far is just insane. So much so, I can barely wrap my head around it all. Doing good for others is a great thing. Watching people come together and do good for others, do good for strangers ... That is a beautiful thing.

Below is the invite, which I posted on Instagram and the event sold out in less than an hour! I am thrilled that I get to meet some of you and give you all hugs and say 'Thank You' face to face. You can still sign up for the wait list and there is an option on the event page to just donate if you are interested. This community I have, this little space of mine and my many Instagram friends ... It is all so special to me. I have so much love for you all. Thank You now and again over and over.



2014 . . . A Beautiful Year

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I’m sitting in a beautiful Tahoe cabin as I write this. I stayed behind as the rest went snowboarding. I felt the need to get some thoughts out of my head, to really explore my thoughts and what they mean. The past few days I’ve felt so heavy. Physically heavy and quick to cry. I cry everyday, though lately the tears come and flow with out warning. Dan and I made it through Christmas and it was hard. We celebrated us, we celebrated Ryan and we were able to celebrate with family. All the while I felt so anxious. Christmas brought out this terrible streak of jealousy and fierce anger. I was just plain mad that families were able to celebrate as a whole and Dan and I were not. However, on Christmas Eve those feelings kind of absorbed into each other and melted away. I still felt sad (I’m positive I’ll be some version of sad all my life), but I also felt OK. I wasn’t angry anymore. We lit three red candles as we opened gifts and I remember thinking 
“We are celebrating as a family. It just looks different than what you had imagined. And Jacqui that is OK. You are OK. You got this.” 

2014 was a beautiful year. It really was. There were parts of 2014 that were really terrible. Parts of 2014 that ripped my heart out. Parts of 2014 where my head was so foggy, clouded with sorrow and every emotion possible. 2014 brought out severe panic attacks and if I’m being honest with myself…2015 will most likely hold a decent amount hurt, pain and panic attacks. Well if I’m being honest then I’ll say; The mother who lost her three year old boy in a flash hates 2014. She hates the month of May. She hates the 2nd of every month. She hates every Friday around 6pm until she falls asleep. I understand her. Who could blame her. That mother is truthfully me and yet I still can’t bring myself to truly say Good Bye to 2014. I pictured myself up to bat and hitting 2014 so far into the stands that it explodes and is never to be thought of again. But, if i’m still being honest, I don’t want to say to Good Bye. Speaking of things I hate … I hate goodbyes. I truly hate having the time of my life only to say  “Good Bye” to it all. It sucks. 

I don’t want to say Good Bye to the last time I held my son. Or the last time I took him to Disneyland. The last time we walked to get coffee. The last time we made pancakes or rice crispy treats together. I don’t want to say Good Bye to the year where I heard my son’s laugh for the last time or felt his little body climb into our bed in the early morning. 
I don’t want to continue to get farther and farther away from all those moments. 
Do you know what happens as you get farther and farther away? 
You start to forget. 
And that right there, is my worst fear. 

My worst fear used to be death or if my grandparents died (because who would of thought my son would be the one?) Or sometimes my worst fear would be a shark bumping into my paddle board in the harbor (holy crap!) or slamming my finger so hard my nail would turn black and fall off (yikes!). Actually, my sister had that happen to her in 2014 and as I’m writing this out I know I’ve taken a left turn and here I go on a tangent... But that truly is a fear now having seen her go through the trauma. She was in so much pain she nearly blacked out. In a few weeks her nail actually fell off, and no amount of gel polish can fix such a thing. I’m sure she is happy to have that moment in 2014 past her.
Slamming my finger, yes that is a real fear because it isn't fun. 

Anyways, the point is I had / have many worst fears. Don’t we all? Now my number one fear, is to forget. I remember the day after we lost Ryan and the flood of people flowing in to pay their respects and drop of copious amounts of food. I remember thinking in my head these people, all these people knew Ryan or knew of his outgoing, wild personality. I remember saying over and over and over again to anyone who would listen “Please don’t forget my son.” Sometimes it would come out soft like a whisper. Sometimes the words would fall out of my mouth in a desperate scream. A few times I would beg. I remember grabbing Dan’s older sister, begging her to never let her kids forget Ryan. “Please, don’t let them forget him. Please!” I begged her so hard as if I was starving and needed food. Please! Please…

I know I am biased. Because Ryan is my son. But if I’m being honest I feel as if my son is just to damn good to forget. Ryan had so many amazing moments. He was quick witted, hilarious, obnoxious and had such a vibrant way of living. Every tiny moment that made up Ryan’s life was special and I am so afraid to forget it all. I am so afraid of people forgetting those moments. 

It is now a new year. A fresh start right? The time people make lists of resolutions and plans for an abundant year. It is the time for new and with each passing day we fall farther and farther from the last year. I sit here with tears flowing down my face hot and fast. Dan and I kept with tradition and ventured to Tahoe for New Years as we always do. Our friends wanted to celebrate the New Year and I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt angry like why would anyone want to celebrate right now? Can’t we just sit and talk about Ryan? Can’t we just sit and let me cry and feel sad? Can someone just hold me as I let myself have a good hearty cry about my loss? My heart is still so broken even just 8 months out. My heart is so broken there really is no room for any type of true celebration. But, I don’t expect our friends to understand that. I don’t expect anyone to understand that. Holy crap! I don’t even think I understand my grief and wild emotions half the time. 

Now as I sit here in this elaborate Tahoe cabin, the snowboarders are back and I can hear muffled reggae music coming from the deck. My husband is trying his best to have a good time, and I am so proud of his strength. I wish I had some of of his strength. I’m sitting here and I feel less heavy after writing out all that was bouncing around in my head through New Year’s Eve and now into New Years Day. I feel a bit better. The tears are still to quick to brim my eyes, but that is expected right? 

I like to let myself feel all there is to feel while walking this grief. I like to assess my feelings so I can kind of learn from them, grow from them. I’m so desperate to learn the ins and outs of this life with out my son in hopes of understanding it all better. Maybe I can learn how to control it. Or at least learn how to live with my loss better and better each day. 

So, what have I learned from my New Year’s Eve meltdown and sappy New Years morning? I learned that I am not as strong as I say I am. I learned that I am still extremely sensitive. My wound is still gaping open and raw. I learned that in order to feel really good, a deep from the depths of your soul cry is needed to be had. Like a cry so crazy deep you can’t catch your breath and your body shakes with each whimper. A good cry lets me feel relief. 
I learned all that. Just 8 months ago we lost Ryan and I’ve learned that I still need a lot of tender love and care. I’m walking around, living life made of glass and at any moment a memory, a song or a statement can come crashing into me and break me into a thousand pieces. Leaving me strangled with sadness, fear and possibly anger as I slowly try to piece myself back together. 

I’m now understanding that I will always be putting myself back together. Each time with a little more strength. Like that three little pigs story; the first time I put myself back together I was weak and had only the knowledge to do so with hay. the second time I knew a little more of myself and what I am capable of with this grief looming over me, so I built myself again with sticks. The next time I will be stronger. I can’t wait for the day I will have enough power and force to re-build myself with brick. That will be a beautiful day. Maybe I’ll invite everyone in and have a party. 


I lost my son in 2014, but I don’t hate 2014 for that. I don’t love it either, but in order to rebuild myself stronger I need to reflect on all the good that came of 2014. This life of loss is all over the place…as I’m sure my words are (Thank you to those who bare with me on this written journey). 2014 was a wonderful year. I’ve learned that much. It had so many amazing moments intertwined with some terrible ones…and really isn’t that what every year is made of? I will never fully say “Good Bye” to 2014. No way! I can not. I will hold 2014 close to my heart as I do the day I held my baby boy for the first time. I will relive every moment of Ryan’s life and celebrate them till the day I join him. I have to. 

To forget is my fear… but to forget is inevitable. Everyone (including me) will forget some pieces. I just need to remember that as we slowly forget, new incredible moments will fill in the cracks. And with that notion I able to finally say… 
Hello 2015, You better be a good one.

Happy New Year

Thankful Everyday

Friday, December 19, 2014


This holiday season has been all over the place. In the beginning I told you how afraid of them I was. How I just wanted to crumple them all up and toss them away. Having to brave them with out Ryan feels as though we are losing him all over again. The pain is uncomfortable and at times feels so physical. I'm alive, but my heart is literally broken. Who knew that was even possible? The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, over enjoyed really with lots of traditions, delicious food and thoughtful gifts. 
Ryan enjoyed it and continues to enjoy it. I used to enjoy it ... I need to try and continue to enjoy it. 

I've found that in order to enjoy the things around you, you have to be thankful for them. Half of me always asks myself "How can you be thankful? You are walking down a path brightly lit with twinkle lights and garland, people all around buying gifts for their children who will be surprised on Christmas Day. And you are with out your son. You don't get to buy gifts for Ryan, or take him to see the Christmas lights. Or see him sing festive songs. What is there to be thankful for?" I know I've mentioned how extremely easy it is to take the negative path. Sometimes the negative path feels so damn good. Sometimes letting yourself feel the negative and explore those depressed thoughts is needed. But in order to grow and rise from the grief, I have to push through the negative and search for all the beautiful things there are to be thankful for. Ryan is no longer physically with us, but there are still a million and more things to be thankful for. 
Being thankful everyday is hard, but worth it. 

Dan and I are incorporating Ryan in everything possible during each holiday and of course all the days in between. For Thanksgiving we made a table setting for him. He had his own name tag and plate. It was never used, but it was nice to imagine him sitting there. Actually, that is crazy to imagine. Ryan would have never sat there ... he would have been running around with his cousins. All hot and sweaty shrieking with excitement that all the family was together and here to play. Thanksgiving was exactly this; Me trying to catch him, "No running in the house! Make sure you guys share the toys!" When it came to dinner time Ryan only ate the marshmallows off the top of the sweet potatoes and bread rolls with butter. He had a hilarious phobia of mash potatoes (he was literally afraid of them.) and really the day for him was just about having fun with family. He had the right idea it seems. Having fun with family...isn't that what it's truly all about anyways?

This year I covered my table with craft paper and during our dinner we all wrote down what we were thankful for. Once done writing we shared... 
What Are You Thankful For?
Everyone said family. Everyone said memories. Everyone said Ryan. 

I'm thankful for three and half full years with my son. I'm thankful for all the memories we made during that time and all the memories to come with him above. I'm thankful for my husband and our ability to hold on each other. I'm thankful for this life of mine. I'm thankful for the future and I'm curious to see where it will lead me. 

So, we made it through another holiday! I learned a little more about myself and how to handle this grief. I know it will be hard to try and enjoy the biggest holiday just on the horizon. However, if I continue to focus on all the things I have to be thankful for it may be a little easier to enjoy. This is all so hard and frustrating ... but worth it. It is so worth trying your hardest to live a full life in honor of those we have lost. 

Are you going through something difficult right now? Can you try and focus on things you can still be thankful for? It is so hard right? Or is it just hard for me? Let me know, maybe we can help each other as Christmas is approaching...


Photos from our Thanksgiving table ... 









Braving Halloween ...

Monday, December 1, 2014

This is my most favorite time of year. Well, it was my favorite time of year. Hopefully it might become my favorite again some time. Usually, once the air starts blowing crisp and everything turns pumpkin flavored I get giddy with excitement and start thinking of ways we can celebrate and decorate. This time of year started to get really, really good once Ryan was born because I could share my insane enthusiasm with my child. Also, getting to see the holidays through your child's eyes is gift enough really. The first time he understood costumes or gifts under the tree happened when he turned two ...  and I would do anything to do last years holidays over again. I wouldn't change anything, I just want to do the holidays with Ryan again.

My thoughts of this time of year have changed. Violently changed. I'm angry, streaked with jealously. I feel anxious, eager to just get this all over with already! The days leading up to Halloween I couldn't help but think of how excited Ryan would have been. I knew what he wanted to be for Halloween which was a blessing because I was able to purchase a costume for him. Even though his body would never get the chance to wear it. Buying that costume helped me. It made me feel like a mom again. Walking into that Party City with determination, "I'm buying this for my son. Yes, he loved Dash." Walking out of that Party City with tears brimming my eyes, my sister saying "You got this Jacqui, he has his costume now. He is happy." I'm scared for next Halloween, I feel like I will be too far from Ryan at that point. I won't know what he would have wanted to be ... I can only guess. Also, is it crazy to accumulate costumes my child will never wear year after year? I'm getting ahead of myself, I tend to do that. I need not to think of next years battles, just about how I'll get through the current ones.

Halloween. The first major holiday Dan and I have to brave with out our son.
Dan and I planned a trip up to San Fransisco to visit family and our best friends from college. We wanted to get away from the traditions we shared for the last three years. We wanted to escape Halloween and all it reminded us of. We planned to just have a normal weekend in hopes of having more laughs than cries.

We were successful. Minus one detail. We weren't able to escape Halloween. As if our minds wouldn't allow it. The day of Halloween I woke up in tears. Jealous of every single person in our family that was able to trick or treat with their children. I was overwhelmingly sad. I fiercely missed telling Ryan "Not yet dude! We have your parade at school. Then we have to wait for Daddy to get home..." and getting him dressed in his costume. I woke up feeling almost worse than I did the morning after we lost Ryan. Living through these holidays with out Ryan  has made me feel like I've lost him all over again. And that, that is truly painful.

Thank God for family and friends. Thank God for our friends who got down on our level of grief. Who devoted themselves to help us through this first holiday. We remembered Ryan, we celebrated Halloween and we had a great weekend. Despite the pain and all the other feelings that tagged along.
It is so damn easy to get caught up in the feelings of pain and hurt. I seriously could have wallowed within those feelings for the entire weekend. I wanted to. But, I'm positive Ryan wouldn't have wanted me to.

The hardest thing is learning how to pay attention to your grief. You have to let yourself have your sad and angry moments. Then you have to force yourself up off the ground and try to live life with fierce grief hanging above you like a dark cloud. So far it isn't getting easier...I'm just getting used to the dark cloud.


I love this photo. Since Ryan's first Halloween we would always go over to my sister's house to trick-or-treat in her neighborhood. It was our tradition. This year she made this little memorial outside her house and her neighbors even left him candy and notes. It meant the world to Dan and I. 


Happy Halloween To Our Dash. To our Ryan.

a few  favorite photos from our trip ...







"cheers to Ry!"


love the photo below ... I can see Ryan in the sun shining down on us and in Dan's monster face. 










A Weekend Full Of Nothing & A Recipe

Monday, November 17, 2014

You know those weekends full of nothing to do? Those delicious weekends with no plans, no work and in our case no food in the fridge. Weekends were you end up living in lounge wear and maybe rearrange some photo frames or actually have time to clean out your underwear drawer. Long days wrapped up in a movie, and deep hearty laughs with your spouse. Time to actually breath and enjoy the feeling of nothing in particular.

Our weekend, it was awesome. It was awesome because our bodies slept straight till lunch time each morning. It was awesome because we walked to Trader Joe's in our work out pants topped with the shirts we slept in the night before. It was awesome because we camped out in our bed in the afternoons watching football (I watched movies on my computer) and ate nothing but snacks. Anyone else totally in love with Trader Joe's and all their snacks!?

Happily doing nothing with the one you love. Whatever that feeling is ... it is a good one.

We needed this weekend full of nothing more than we knew. Of course I can't help but remember our weekends full of nothing were truly the best with Ryan. But, I can't think of that right now because I'll start to cry. And I don't want to cry...not today. What I'll think about are all the moments from this past weekend with my husband...

The moment of us giving each other high fives after realizing we slept in till 11am! Or when I said "I'm going to take a shower." and Dan said "Why?" My favorite moment was when we were walking home from dinner and decided to stop into this travel bookstore for "just a sec." We stayed for an hour tucked away looking at a million books, dreaming of a million adventures.

Dear Weekend Full Of Nothing, 
Thank you. We needed you badly. We needed happy, lazy and lots relaxation. We needed to ease off the sadness for just a few a days. We needed to just be. 

---

This weekend wasn't totally full of nothing if you count my time in the kitchen Sunday afternoon. I had a can of pumpkin puree burning a hole in my cupboard and a serious craving for sugar...as I typically always do. I love these "donut" muffins which aren't really anything like donuts except for that sugar coating. It reminds me of my favorite kind of donut. You know those round ones coated in white sugar? Those are awesome. These are awesome too...Enjoy!


Pumpkin "Donut" Muffins





What You Need
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp pumpkin spice
 or if you don't have pumpkin spice try...
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice

For the cinnamon and sugar coating
1/2 cup of raw sugar
2 tsp cinnamon



What You Do
-sift all your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and spices together.
-with a whisk mix your eggs and pumpkin.
-add your oil and vanilla to your eggs and pumpkin. Whisk until all incorporated.
-slowly whisk in your dry ingredients.
-mix until there are no lumps.
-scoop batter into a greased muffin pan.
-bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
-while your muffins bake mix your sugar and cinnamon together in a big bowl.
-once your muffins are out of the oven and cooled, use a butter knife to loosen them out of the pan.
-toss your muffins one by one in the cinnamon and sugar coating.

 

Baby Boy Bakery . © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger