Wednesday, July 31, 2013

widening circles.

Tim's brother Hamilton and his wife Mary came to spend a week in Maine last week.

The theme of this post:  photos of all of us looking happy together, and photos of food. I love a family that appreciates food and laughter, yes I do. 

warm popovers at Jordan Pond House.

Hamilton:  also known as Mort, Mortly, Hammy, Muck, Mucky, Muck man, and Muckage.

This family:  funny, smart, thoughtful.  They all have big, loud laughs.  They are cut-throat at Balderdash.

Hillary and Dad with a piece of granite?

Everyone welcomed Reed and Skyler into the fray without a blink, and I watched them open their circles even wider.

Can you find Tim and Reed?

By the end of the week, Skyler and Reed would hardly let go of their hands.

 When Tim meets my brother and sister next week, the dots will all be connected. 

MEANWHILE... I'm on vacation in Montreal and Burlington, VT and I have some photos coming soon. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Printcopia Canvas Giveaway

My new sponsor Printcopia offered to give me a canvas photo print  to review.  Since I'm newly decorating kids' bedrooms, I was happy to oblige.

Reed loves to climb trees, and he loves this photo of himself, so I got him an 11x14 for his new room.  The color came out great, very bright and crisp. 

Printcopia would like to give away an 8 x 10 or an 8 x 8  (a $56 value) to one of you.  I have one that I made for Skyler in 8 x 8 size.  I love the square format and made this print of my kids and my nephews about to jump into Moosehead Lake.  It's an instagram print, so those of you who use and love instagram have a lot of cute square prints all ready to go.

To enter the contest, please be sure you like One Mom in Maine on Facebook.
and then enter some info here to be entered into the giveaway.  Please leave a quick comment so I know who entered.  

The giveaway is open for the next 4 days, until August 1.  The folks at Printcopia will choose the winner and I'll let you know! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Home-made Energy Bars

Because I'm so tired of eating (and paying for) pre-packaged gels or bars when I'm exercising, I wanted to try to make my own.  Inspired by my friend Suzanne and this website that she shared with me, I made my first batch of home-made energy bars.  My motivation was to have them with me on the bike for the Maine Lobster Ride, but they were so good that we have been eating them for snacks. 

I combined a few recipes and came up with my own version.  Here is the concoction we made:

1c rice crispies
1c rolled oats
1c sunflower seeds
1/2 chia seeds
1/2c raisins
1/2c dried cherries
1/2c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c choco chips

Directions:  Mix all above ingredients in a big bowl.  Then warm up in a pan on the stove:  1 cup almond butter or peanut butter, and 1 cup sweetener (I used honey, but the recipe recommends brown rice syrup or barley malt syrup).  Mix the wet ingredients with the dry.  Work quickly before it cools.  Then, wet your hands with cold water and press the whole conglomeration into a baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray).  Press them down really hard so that they will stay together when you cu them.   Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put in the freezer.  After about an hour, pry the frozen sheet of bars out with a butter knife and dump it onto a cutting board.  Then, slice them into bar size and wrap in plastic wrap.  Keep them in the freezer and then grab them as you need them.

These turned out so well. I will make them again and again. The kids love them, and used them for energy at their most recent swim meet. Thumbs up! 

On my bike ride, I just put two of the bars in the back pocket of my bike jersey.  They held up great and tasted so good, especially with the crunch and pop of the chia seeds.  Try 'em!  You'll like 'em!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ride Report: The Maine Lobster Ride and Roll

This weekend I participated in the Maine Lobster Ride and Roll in Rockland with a crew of friends.  We all belong to a biking group called Much Ado about Biking.  They all do the Trek Across Maine together, hence the matching jerseys.  I can never do the Trek because of the school-year calendar, but I think it's time I spring for a team jersey, no? 

This is the nicest group of riders you could ask for.  They are fast and strong and so supportive and encouraging. 

I was so glad to do this ride with my sweet Jess.

 Dave, Paul and Andy are my early-morning masters swimming friends.  In fact, I just got home from swimming with them.  I am so lucky to have a crew of supportive and hilarious people to swim with in the mornings.  In terms of feeling motivated to get out the door, my swims are my easiest workouts of the week.

Back to the ride.  I had at one point talked about doing the century ride but changed my mind and signed up for the 50 mile loop, and I'm glad I did.  It was hilly and challenging.  But look how pretty!  
50 miles of rolling hills all along a peninsula. 
lining up at the start.
 The scenery along the route was unparalleled.  There was never a boring stretch, but instead, ocean views, quaint cedar-shake cottages, and fields of wild flowers in every direction. 

The ride was really well supported and organized.  The very best snack they offered were graham crackers with nutella and banana.  That's a genius idea right there.

with Jess at the half-way point
The whole experience made me feel like this:

By mile 40, I was tired and sore.  When I got off the bike, I drank a big iced-coffee and that made me feel instantly better.  Then I ate the beautiful meal they offered:  lobster or roasted veggie rolls, watermelon, salad, and chocolate chip cookies.  Most races offer bananas and stale bagels, so this was a real treat.

I thought I'd be sore, but I recovered just fine and my legs felt good on an easy 5-mile run last night.  Triathlon training:  so far so good!

Coming up this week:  a canvas-photo print giveaway and an awesome new energy bar recipe.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

and it's going really well.

So yes, dear readers, Tim and I have merged our lives and families into one home.

We have been busy blending our things and recreating several rooms to be ours together, which, because it's an old house with many quirks and charms, has been quite a process.  There have been layers of wallpaper to remove and old plaster walls to repair and repaint.   I could write a book about how it feels to share this home and this life together, and all that it means for both of us, but I will share one detail that seems pretty telling:  we even love scraping wallpaper together.

We love the happy chaos of big family meals and having all these kids around, big ones and little ones, all finding much love for each other.  We love the laughter and the wrestling and the many mouths to feed.

There is room for everyone here after some major reorganizing.  There are a lot of things that are wonderful.  The partnership, the camaraderie, the fact that we have NESN (I didn't have it in my condo) and air conditioning in the bedroom, you know, all the big and important things. I am so freaking lucky.

Hillary and Ellis (the big kids) are off living their lives but come home for short visits.  Skyler and Reed (the little ones) shiver with excitement when the big ones come home.  In fact, if we pull up to the house and Ellis' truck is outside, I have to do some calming breathing exercises with the kids before they go into the house.   Sometimes Reed even falls down when he sees Ellis.  He just can't keep his cool.   Unless, of course, Ellis tells him to sit still while he cuts his hair.

Hillary recently came home for a weekend and then left again for Boston, promising the kids she'd be back in two weeks.  That night in bed, Reed said:  "Is it two weeks tomorrow?"  To tide himself over, he's wearing the Bates hat that Hillary gave him. 
So yes, it's going really well.  I have a sense of peace and homecoming that I truly doubted was possible.   I love sitting around a table set for six.  

Meanwhile, there are many summer days with just my two who are thriving (and jumping off high things). 

 All this heat and water and sunshine has been good for everyone.

Even our crazy Reedo is resting soundly.  

Life is good and full and blessed.  I am so grateful.

Monday, July 8, 2013

we got away

Our friend Craig invited us to spend the 4th on Deer Isle, an island off the coast, about 90 minutes from us.  We took the motorcycle through the heat and sunshine and as we crossed the bridge to the island, the temps dropped and the breeze came over us.  It smelled like ocean and sea breeze and summer and vacation. 

Craig had said:  "Come have a cookout with us and stay and watch the fireworks from the town pier."  And good friends who live near him, said:  "Let them stay in our cabin in the woods!"

And our most-relaxing-and-lovely-24 hours commenced.  We lingered.  We walked.  We laid ourselves out on the rocks of the ocean.  The views in every single direction from Stonington are post-card-Maine.

On one of our walks, we found a house that we'd like to buy.  Someday?  This is the view from the porch.  If you walk down to the water, you have an unlimited view of ocean, islands, granite cliffs and pine trees right up to the water, tidal pools, and lobster buoys.  We think we like it there.  

While walking in front of our maybe-someday-new-house, with the ocean to our backs,  Tim was inspired to imitate some art, so he posed me like this.

Stonington is an authentic fishing and lobstering town, not touristy, and has an islandy-slow pace that we both needed for a break.    Our friends instructed us to come and go as we needed, and that we'd catch up "later" or "whenever you are ready."  No clocks or phones needed. While in Stonington, we just kind of strolled and meandered.  

At dark, we found our way to the town pier.  It was timeless Americana.  After the fireworks, there was a campfire and s'mores, of course. 

The next morning, after lots of coffee and breakfast, Craig delivered us to this beach with two kayaks.

I had planned to get in a swim, and Tim paddled next to me while towing a kayak for me to get back, and I swam one mile out.   We weaved around the lobster buoys, spotted a seal, and every time I looked up to breathe, I either saw an island or Tim.  In other words, it was pleasurable in all ways possible to womankind. 

If I were to be deserted on an island in the middle of the ocean for the day, and I could only bring one thing, it would be Tim. 

We kayaked back to shore, picked up some lobsters from Craig's lobsterman neighbor to take home for dinner, and made our way back home, all the while thinking about living on an island someday.  It somehow seems sort of necessary now.