Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Posted by Emilie at 4:24 PM
Monday, November 2, 2015
|Once a babe, always a babe: Tim as a UMaine Black Bear.|
I now even like to watch an occasional football game on TV, and not just because of the hot wings. Living in New England, I caught the Patriots fever. I love Tom Brady. Let's just smile and pretend he never endorsed Donald Trump, okay?
I look forward to Ellis' games every week. On about half of the plays, I follow the ball because it helps me learn the game, but what I really love to do is follow Ellis and watch him knock people over. One time Ellis popped one of his opponents so hard that the poor guy's helmet went flying right off his head. I stood up and cheered, wanting everyone to see the 47 on my back so they'd know that the giant linebacker is with me, and I thought: Who have I become?
|He looks mean, right? He is not.|
|Ellis, age 4, with Tim looking on.|
Reed told me we would “crush his dreams” (he actually said that) if we didn’t let him play football.
I stayed for most of the practices, watched and learned alongside of the team, and talked with the other parents who, it turns out, are totally my people. All of the moms I talked to were also worried about the concussions and the intensity and the yelling, and we all watched our kids figuring this football thing out together. I made great friends on the sidelines while Reed made great friends on the field. I learned to check my own judgments about football and football moms, which is a good thing, because it turns out I was now a football mom.
If he was told to run a lap because he had forgotten to put his mouth guard in during a drill, he’d do it and say later: “It’s OK, Mom. I deserved it.” How is it that my son was responding so positively to such a rigid, disciplined program? Ellis was right. This was a rite of passage for Reed, and it was truly surprising to see how he seemed to understand that what was hard was also good for him.
|No one is more proud of Reed than Ellis.|
|photo courtesy of Tony Llerena|
|photo courtesy of Tony Llerena|
|Coach Tony was Reed's defensive coach. He pushed Reed pretty hard and got huge results.|
Reed LOVES Coach Tony.
Posted by Emilie at 7:48 PM
Monday, September 21, 2015
I haven't even posted all of our summer photos yet. Case in point: Back-to-school month is crazy busy, and a major adjustment from our relaxed summer pace, but you all know this already. I'll get to the summer post eventually.
We are back in action: The kids started 3rd and 5th grade, and I started my 16th year of teaching.
We are living at our house on Phillips Lake, about 20 minutes outside of town for the month of September. We decided to do this to see how we liked living out here while driving the kids into town every day as a possible trial run for a future move. It's September at the lake, so it's gorgeous, plus, we have had the hottest September on record.
That means, our first school nights at the lake looked like this:
I love it out here. When I come home from work, and the wind off the lake is filling the house, I feel like I'm holding on to some pieces of my summer self.
Once the after-school activity schedule kicked in, we had no time to lounge on the dock. Instead, I was frantically running around and trying to get dinner on the table.
|Reed started playing football, and I definitely have at least a whole blog post of thoughts about that.|
I'm conscious about not over scheduling kids, but somehow, we feel over scheduled. Reed has football 3 nights a week and guitar one night. Skyler has girl-scouts, piano, soccer and Nature club.
We are busy, and it's a challenge to get it all done. So, I came up with this Sunday-cooking-day idea that I want to share.
Disclaimers: Let me be clear about a few things, because I hate it when I accidentally come off as some sort of know-it-all-mama.
1.) I have an awesome husband who does at least half of the work around the house; he cannot cook dinner most nights because he gets off the air at 6:25. But he always jumps right in to help and then cleans up. He takes great care of all of us and I know how lucky we are.
2.) We share custody with the little kids' dad, so there are 2 week days that they aren't with us. This gives me a chance to run errands, clean, workout, grocery shop and go to appointments. I know that gives me an enormous advantage in terms of staying organized, but before you get jealous, remember, I don't get to kiss their heads every night at bedtime. I would trade with you in a hot second.
The first few weeks of this school year, for a bunch of reasons, I was just off my game, and I was in that mode where I was running to the grocery store on most days to grab something easy for dinner. This is a stupid waste of energy and I know it.
This past weekend, I was presented with a rare opportunity: a Sunday all to myself. The kids were with their dad and Tim was in New York with Hillary, and so I set out to cook the whole week's worth of dinners in one massive cooking session. It was super windy and cool out and it felt like fall as the leaves were whipping around outside. I was inspired. I made a plan and turned on NPR and I was HAPPY cooking for 3 straight hours. I promise you, this makes me happy. It felt like giving myself a present, or a life preserver, for the upcoming week.
My goal is to have mass-cooking-sessions once or twice a month. The plan is to spend a few hours on Sunday cooking, and then I will thank myself every other day of the week. Some friends requested the recipes that I did this week. I'll be honest and tell you that I mostly make them up, but I'll try to recreate what I did.
Here is one week's worth of meals (if you eat meat, that is) from my first mass-cooking experiment.
I made 4 dinners and prepped a bunch of stuff for lunch. I'll give you the recipes and then tell you about my approach for tackling them all at once.
Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas, Super-NOT-fancy edition:
I don't even want to insult you with this recipe, because it's as basic as you can get: Chop up two large chicken breasts into cubes. Saute them in a pan until cooked through, then shred/ dice them into even smaller pieces. Stir in one package of taco seasoning. Let the chicken cool, mix it with a couple handfuls of Monterey Jack cheese, divide the mixture between 8 flour tortillas and roll 'em up, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, cover with foil, put it in the fridge or freezer. When it's time to eat it, bake it with foil at 350 for about 30 minutes (assuming it's not frozen). Then serve with salsa, sour cream and shredded lettuce.
Chicken Pot Pie:
I use whatever veggies I have, and this week I had a bunch of good stuff from our farm share. I sort of made up the recipe, but this is the one I used as inspiration. I use one top layer of store-bought puff pastry as the crust instead of a top-and-bottom pie crust as this recipe suggests. I also use less than half the butter that recipe uses.
Pork and Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce:
Mix together in a bowl: 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons sugar or honey, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1-2 garlic cloves, minced.
Chop up pork chops into 1-inch cubes. Put in a zip lock bag with the Peanut Sauce, above.
In a separate zip lock, store all of your pre-chopped veggies. I used broccoli, red onion, and green beans.
When it's time to cook it: Cook the veggies separately from the pork because of different cooking times in two saute pans. Once it's all cooked (make sure that marinade comes to a boil/ simmers hot in the pan for several minutes, otherwise it's not safe to eat), toss it all together. Serve with rice.
|The pork and veggies are pictured in the back here, in two separate zip lock bags.|
Skyler likes these on plain pasta, Reed loves them with spaghetti sauce. It's very easy to customize.
I have no exact recipe for this. I just mix together a pound of ground turkey, one egg, a handful of breadcrumbs, some diced onion, a handful of Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano. Then, mix it up, form meatballs, brown and turn in a frying pan with some spray oil until cooked through.
I combined these with one bottle of Marinara plus two cans of Tomato Sauce and it's all in the freezer. Just boil some pasta, warm the sauce, and done.
Mass-Cooking Strategy: I roasted 4 chicken breasts in the oven at 350. 2 of them went into the pot pie, 2 of them went to Curried Chicken Salad (greek yogurt mixed with curry powder, cubed chicken, celery, and dried cranberries). I saved the last 2 chicken breasts for the Enchiladas. While the chicken was in the oven, I also roasted a cookie sheet of diced sweet potatoes (tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper). I then made the Peanut Sauce and prepped the pork and veggies. Then I assembled the enchiladas and pot pie, then I made the meatballs.
I used most of the sweet potatoes on 3 salads I pre-made for myself for lunches. I saved another serving for a snack or another day's lunch. I NEVER get sick of sweet potatoes. With these salads, I also pack some extra toppings on the side, like cranberries, blue cheese, and sunflower seeds. You can pre-package these in small tupperware for your lunches too.
Once the dinners were made, I took a few minutes to portion out some snacks, cut-up veggies, granola, diced melons, and cheese and crackers that the kids take for lunches.
Posted by Emilie at 10:20 PM
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
BLACK BEAR HALF MARATHON/ MARATHON
Tim ran the full, I ran the half. It was pouring. I tried to love it, but the whole time it rained and rained and I didn't feel the love. This was my 16th half marathon, and while I still love the distance, I just felt a little underwhelmed the whole time.
The next day, I got out my bike because I felt like I needed to take a break from running. It felt good to be back, so I signed up for a triathlon.
Friends and lunch making; the lake makes everyone hungry.
There is more time to lie around and look at the sky. And think.
The Ohio Throckmortons came to visit.
Ellis had a birthday.
Blueberry picking and painting on Sunset Rock.
Have you ever sheetrocked a ceiling? Not so easy on the neck.
On day 9, we finally got to paint.
And then floors, and then furniture, and finally, DONE.
RYDER GOT HIT BY A CAR
And hard. He actually dented the car. We all either heard it or saw it, and it was horrible. Beside the fact that I thought Ryder was dying, I also watched Skyler's heart break in two pieces.
Want to see true love? This is Skyler comforting Ryder at 11:30 at night. Unbelievable, he was extremely sore but sustained no broken bones or any internal injuries.
He looked like this for a few days after, sort of sad that the world could hurt him so badly. And then three days later he was swimming and running again per usual. We feel so lucky to have him with us.
We drove out to Sandi and Suzanne's camp where the last several miles go through the Blueberry Barrens (dirt roads, heads out of the car, blueberries for miles). We were missing our lake, so this was a much needed dose of fresh water and time with our friends.
Tim and I went to Bar Harbor for 2 days to celebrate our one year anniversary. And well, it was like this:
|view from our table at La Bella Vita|
|I'm still thinking about this chicken picatta with HOMEMADE pasta.|