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Friday, July 11, 2014

Braided Cardamom Bread

Last week for the Fourth of July I was feeling courageous and made Sweet Cardamom Braided bread for my mom. When I was pregnant with Lue, I used to wake up at early in the morning and drive or bike less than a mile away to a local cafe and bake all their morning goods. It was a job I truly enjoyed. Early morning hours alone by myself before sunrise rolling out the bread of the day and baguettes, making scones, croissants, fruit tarts and pain au raisin bread. It was hard work and stretched me in a lot of ways and taught me about the importance of detailed work. Lue came along and my baking became something of a sweet memory. Now I am more of a "I bought these really delicious cinnamon rolls from the co-op! Let's re-heat them in the oven! Score!" I mixed up this bread dough, accidentally left it to rise for far too long, took a million breaks in between to connect with Lue, clean up her cute little messes, read some books, and well, I just got a little distracted. Anyways, finally baked it on the morning of the Fourth of July and wrapped it up for my Mom. She is one sweet Cardamom. (Okay, bad pun, I realize this) 

It was a very fun project and Lue got flour in parts of my kitchen that I didn't even realize existed. She had an absolute blast and hey! who really needs a perfectly clean kitchen anyways? Her face with flour dusted on her cheeks and in her hair made it all worth it and terribly adorable. 

        

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happiest Fourth of July to you!

Happy Fourth of July! We spent our day with family and good food and I don't think I could ask for much more than that. We walked close to Lake Minnetonka and indulged in ice cream, hibiscus lemon ginger soda, and large patches of soft grass for running in. We decided to ditch out on worrying about Lue's nap and go with the flow for the day and she did great. Spent the rest of the day with Max's family in Marine on Saint Croix by their lake. Lue ran in the sprinkler and was completely in her nature element. We all stayed up way too late around the bonfire and it truly was a close to perfect day. Wishing you all the happiest weekend of festivities and enjoyment! Cheers! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lue is Two: let's party in the woods please.

 The night before Lue turned two I was sitting across the table from Max with tears streaming down my face, blowing up balloons in between sniffles and just sort of a wreck. He smiled sweetly and promised that it would be okay. I remember feeling the same feelings when she turned one and wondered if this is my new "normal" in terms of Luie growing older.  Her turning two creeped up on me fast this year. I was particularly procrastinating her party celebrations equal parts because we were so busy with work/life and was also feeling this sadness of her growing up. I think I wanted to avoid planning anything and it made me feel like she would just stay the same age. My dear friend Alanna is a party planner and really talented with visions for parties and offered to help style Lue's celebration. She helped me so much even in the sense of direction and getting my butt in motion to plan out the details. You can find her work by clicking here: We are soo thankful for the items she brought to the party and all her incredible talent and for putting up with my insane idea to party smack dap in the middle of a heavily wooden area. She made the paper items which I don't think I could do as well as her if I had all the time in the world. She is wonderful. 

This place in the woods is Lue and my special place. We drive out here on rainy days and take shelter under the trees, on days where we are both crabby and need to have minimal interaction with others besides each other, and a spot where we adventure and explore the world around us. It seemed fitting to have our close friends and family here as well to celebrate and they were all so accommodating even though it was legit in the woods, up a hill, and through the pine needles. We laid out blankets close to each other, set up a lace teepee and celebrated over cake, berries, lemon bars, and veggies. It was very low key and Lue felt right at home in her recognized environment. Max did the chalk art and so kindly made a sweet photo-booth board which we had so much fun with taking photos and playing with. My ever-generous brother bought Lue flowers, trail mix and sparklers. All details that added ever so sweetly to a two year old party. We literally just relaxed in the woods with no real agenda besides cake and presents and munching on popcorn. It was small and sweet. The cake was from Chilkoot Cafe and topped with pinecones, two natural wax candles and a few sparklers. 

There are no words to describe this second year with Lue. She reset our world. She turned us from an inward focus to an outward focus. She teaches us every single day how to be more patient, more creative, less selfish, less judgmental, and leads by example about truly what this life is about. It's not about where our careers take us or who we do business for. Not about what kind of home we own or car we drive or how many people like us but truly teaches us about genuine joy and love and connection with others. Her fascination with people is intriguing. The joy and humor she spills out is unavoidable. I want to be more like Lue and it has been our biggest joy to watch her grow. 

We ended the party down by the lake with some sparklers lit and as she danced to us all singing "Happy Birthday" I was genuinely overwhelmed with appreciation for our family's support, friends love, and this sweet little Lue who teaches Max and I so much about life. 

Happy Birthday sweet Miss Beane!