back.

by Liz on 10.25

 

I’ve been short of breath lately.

Not literal, actual, breath but at times, it’s sort of felt that way.

I don’t have ideas. I don’t have energy. I don’t have things to write about on this blog, and even when I’m given a prompt on other writing spaces, I struggle to string multiple words together into sentences that make sense (let alone are poignant or insightful). Things that normally come naturally, suddenly feel impossible.

I squashed this project, back-burnered that, and sheepishly requested a week off from another. I took a few days away from work and internet- normally the cure for this sort of creative roadblock. I napped and walked and read. But instead of feeling newly energized, I continued to feel… blank.

And then Josh got a job.

And oddly, a cloud lifted. I wake up in the morning, and have things to say and ideas to paint.

I didn’t actually know that cloud was there til it wasn’t. It’s been awhile since I’ve been consciously worried about our situation- that’s what’s odd about it all. I’ve been content. I know people talk about hard times inspiring the best creation, but, it hasn’t really been a “hard time.” Not in the volatile, emotional, chaotic sense. It’s just been… distracting. It’s like the pressure of making sure the bills get paid was choking any other thoughts, creativity, inspiration. I didn’t even realize it.

And now that pressure isn’t there. And I can wake up in the morning, think about other things, and not feel like I’m irresponsible or unproductive for having a single thought that wasn’t geared toward alleviating that financial burden.

 

ANYWAY. That’s all. Even though I wasn’t aware of that cloud hanging over me at the time, it feels like it’s dissipated. And I’m glad to be back.

 

 

 

all the anniversaries.

by Liz on 10.11

 

Today is a big day.

It’s been four years since I married this guy.

And today is the last day that he’ll work part-time in retail. Monday, he starts a new job, working in his field, making enough money to pay our bills each month.

(I have to keep repeating those last few phrases to myself. They seem too good to be true, right?)

Josh was laid off just before our wedding, and he’s been on a seesaw of unemployment and underemployment since. The four years we’ve been married have felt so short. But that simultaneous four years of not paying bills has seemed contrarily eternal. And now it’s… over.

So, today we’ll get dressed up and have an expensive drink, remember what it was like to be newlyweds and remark on how nothing’s changed, despite baby and business and whatever else. But we’ll also be remembering all too sharply how all four of these years together have been clouded, always, with just a bit of worry. That part of it gets to be over, now, while the good parts continue on.

 

Weird.

 

 

 

Photo by Love Me Do.

summer.

by Liz on 09.18

I’m just thrilled for fall. Thrilled, I said.

I’ve started bustling around, cleaning the house and cozy-ing it already. Strategically placing throw blankets here and pinecone-y autumn wreaths there and pumpkin scented candles over there. I know it’s early, but at the risk of sounding like every other damn blog you’re reading, fall is my favorite.  It’s loaded with cinnamon and smoke scented memories (Josh and I met in the fall, we married in the fall) (a different fall, to clarify). But also the new excitement that comes with fall-with-a-kid. Stitching together misshapen homemade costumes, and squirreling away candy and baking gross cupcakes that look like they’re bleeding.

But there is just one thing about summer that I’m reluctant to give up. And really it’s no surprise- the same thing that I always love about everything ever.

Food.

We’re going to spend these next few weeks relishing juicy red tomatoes (so many tomatoes) and handfuls of fragrant basil and sweet, soft peaches. We’re going to stuff our faces with summer before anyone else has the chance to offer me a pumpkin-spice-anything.

Some of our favorites this summer:

1. Heirloom Tomato Tart. I make it slightly different than this. (We had a tomato tart at a French restaurant four years ago and I’ve been trying to replicate it since.) Skip the pesto stuff and instead spread a thin, thin layer of dijon the bottom and drizzle a teeeny bit of honey on top of everything.

2. Corn Salad. We might maybe possibly eat this once a week. Maybe.

3. Grilled Veggies. I skewer them, no marinade or anything. Then we have a snack dinner of grilled veggies dipped in a dijon yogurt (1 part dijon, 1 part yogurt, maybe a bit of garlic).

4. Summer Succotash Gratin. It makes SO MUCH. Beware.

5. Tomato Corn Pie. And its close cousin:

6. Tomato Corn Galette.

7. Black Bean Salad. Really stinking fresh and cool, and easy to make if you get lazy and skip the tomato-roasting part.

8. Frozen Yogurt.

9. Blueberry Hand Pies. A little too fruit-y and not pie-y enough for me, so I simmer the blueberries in sugar and corn starch for a bit

 

Like 80% of those are some form of tomato pastry. Sorry.

What summery foods will you miss? Though I guess I’m jumping to conclusions here and assuming food is all anyone ever cares about. Is there other stuff (like, yawn, swimming or whatever) that you’ll miss about summer?

Or are you guys all just chugging pumpkin spice lattes as you read this? You are, aren’t you.