Around Here

Making pesto. Or attempting anyway. I tried on Saturday and I think the pine nuts I used were old - something just tasted off so I'll be trying again. The basil is growing great in my raised beds and I want to master this one.

Vacationing. I spent last week on Martha's Vineyard with a special group of friends (my first time there and I loved it). We switched up our annual get together and headed to the other coast this time (vs. Oregon) and it was a true vacation. I love these people and the absolute joy they bring to my life - especially through laughter. Man I haven't laughed that much in years.

Cuddling with the kids after being apart last week. They spent the week with Chris vacationing in the San Juan islands.

Planning. A camping adventure. Layouts. Fall schedules. Work-related stuff.

Cultivating relationships. With friends, kids, Chris, family and with someone kinda special.

Savoring the beginning.

Listening. To music really loud. And checking out new-to-me music and making playlists and feeling it through my whole body.

Repeating. Finding myself saying the same things over and over again such as "please go get in your bed" and "that behavior is not okay" and "take your plate to the kitchen" and "are you calm?" and "take a deep breath." I'm in one of those places where I hear what I'm saying and wonder if it's the right thing or should I be phrasing it differently, wondering how to get across what I really want to communicate to my kids.

Pruning and puttering out in the yard. My happy place. Cutting flowers and bringing them inside. Waiting on the bigger tomatoes.

Living the length and width. That's what it's all about.

83 thoughts shared

  1. Marilyn

    2012-08-01 01:05:22 +0100

    So happy to hear about all that is happening in your life. I can sense in your post that you are in a happier place. I love to make pesto too and having fresh pine nuts is critical. Our weather here in the Midwest has been awfully hot, and no rain. Last weekend was perfect weather and was the first time I was able to spend time in the yard. And I loved every minute of it. Realionships are important and I am working on them too. I have a fantastic yoga teacher who helps to keep me grounded, living in the moment. That is my mantra.

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  2. Connie Heitner

    2012-08-01 01:13:48 +0100

    Was on the Vineyard for a day trip Sunday and a friend told me you were there. It's so beautiful! Have always wanted to vacation there but not my husband. We always do the Cape which I do love! You sound so much happier in your post! So glad for you.

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  3. Tiffany

    2012-08-01 02:53:25 +0100

    I read your blog regularly and I always love it, but sometimes I am just amazed at how eloquent your writing is. In this post, it was your last statement about living the length and the width. I love it. You sum up life beautifully. Best wishes to you always.

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  4. Kari D

    2012-08-01 03:01:56 +0100

    I love how you reflect on your life, using a phrase to mean so many things. I find your posts thoughtful and helpful to me. Alas, my email blew up a couple of months ago and I have lost all of my weekly AE tasks. Will wander around your site to see if I can find the place to change my email address so I can get back on your distribution list!

    I have a wonderful (it has never failed) pesto recipe that uses pine nuts, walnuts and almonds. LOVELY flavor, freezes great in little logs so I can cut little circles to float in soups all winter long! I'll send to you. You can contrast and compare it to the many other suggestions I see above.

    Can't wait to hear more about a "special someone." Glad to hear you went to Martha's Vineyard. It is one of my special places....a place where I feel happy and energized. Another one is Sedona. Have you been there?

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  5. lovingliferach

    2012-08-01 03:09:21 +0100

    Ali your post inspire me many times to make my own version of where I am at. Never shared before but felt this might show you what an impact you have. Thanks for always being open...it helps me put my own feelings into words.

    Around here 7.31.2012

    Making smoothies. With total freedom and not following any recipes. Sometimes they turn out great and sometimes they bomb. But I’m trying and that’s the important part. Today I discovered that avocados, cucumbers, pineapple, and oranges are awesome together.

    Deciding. How and who to invest my time. What to keep and what to let go of in so many ways. Both with stuff and with emotions.

    Hearing. Myself with the kids telling them the same things over and over. Feeling very emotionally worn out on being a parent right now. Wondering how to get through so that change is real change and not just change for them to get out of trouble in the moment.

    Knowing. That kids are in training and so we are. We will do some things awesome and we will make mistakes, we will have patience and we will lose patience. It is important to stay the course and know that perfection is not the goal but celebrating the victories along the way.

    Being ok. With having the house in “lived-in” stage and knowing what that means day to day. Being ok with stuff around but not so much that we are a disaster. Summer means swimsuits are out drying and art ideas are on the table.

    Savoring new. New dreams, new job, new relationships, new hobbies, new creations, new recipes, new ways of looking at things.

    Wishing. That I could find really great music right now. Need to take the time to invest in this and just do it.

    Stopping. Myself from looking at what others are doing or what they have and thinking what I have isn’t enough. Facebook can be tricky with this, yet we all do this.

    Thinking. About how to carry summer into fall. Or wondering if each season should sit alone. Not sure yet about this.

    Connecting. People together with their stories and helping them build altars of remembrance.

    Remembering. What this summer has been and how blessed we are in the length and the width of life. Just because today was frustrating doesn’t mean that all of it is frustrating. Just because I was tired today doesn’t mean I am tired all the time. Learning that I don’t have to stay in that place of whatever I am feeling at the moment. Remembering that feelings and truth don’t always match but giving myself and others the space to feel. Feeling sad when the fish dies, feeling happy when there is guacamole in the fridge, feeling excited when victories are evident. Feelings are important but they aren’t the whole part. We are composed of so much more than one part. God was way cool that way.

    Giving thanks. Always.

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  6. Jennifer

    2012-08-01 03:19:45 +0100

    Definitely had noticed a change in your outlook - so glad to hear things are looking "up" for you!

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  7. Carolyn HP

    2012-08-01 03:24:51 +0100

    Happy to hear you are feeling good! Love the photo of Anna in front of the sweet peas, your garden is gorgeous! Enjoy Ali, life is so short, hope you are enjoying every moment. I totally have been saying remember to breathe lately in my wedding plans as it's crazy close in mid-August and I'm still figuring out a few last logistics... Love hearing your stories, glad you got to rejuvenate with good friends and lots of love :)

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  8. Lisa W.

    2012-08-01 05:13:34 +0100

    WOW...just a very exciting post...count me in on the "me fives...or me sixes" where ever it left off...lol OH so very happy for you. Just you being "concerned alone" on what you say to dicipline your children says NUMBERS...I have raised three. Meaning that your worrying, on all the "right" stuff to do. You got it, you got it ALL right. Just reading your posts says all! Those kiddo's are pretty darn lucky!

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  9. Pam Abbott

    2012-08-01 06:30:55 +0100

    Yay for you! So happy to see this post from you. Cheers! I'm in the same boat with my kids right now, in fact, I sent a message to the Creative Escape girls letting them know I needed to escape! I know it will pass, but you do feel like a broken record! Take care, nurture yourself & your family and enjoy this time of your life. **smile**

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  10. patsy

    2012-08-01 07:24:37 +0100

    wishing you even more good things to come!

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  11. carolyn.b.

    2012-08-01 09:52:14 +0100

    hi Ali,Anna sure is a cute sweetpea.

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  12. Alida

    2012-08-01 10:35:39 +0100

    Welcome back Ali, So excited to see this new phase for you, together with all the new seasonal life over there. There is just perfection in everything you blog, even the sad times, so can't wait to read more about the happy times.

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  13. Brooke

    2012-08-01 12:15:17 +0100

    I find that the kids listen better when I stop. Sometimes I'm too busy with something else that I'm not really giving them the time the issue needs.

    So, so happy for you = )

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  14. Marjorie Nienhius

    2012-08-01 15:31:48 +0100

    Pesto. The best food invention ever:) You don't even need pine nuts. Basil, fresh garlic, parmesan cheese and in place of 3/4 of the olive oil use chicken or vegetable stock. It will have less fat and a ton more flavor.

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  15. Dana Nichols

    2012-08-01 19:21:45 +0100

    I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks so much for sharing you ideas, thoughts and your life with us!

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  16. tchris

    2012-08-01 20:20:10 +0100

    I agree with Amanda McGregor about the "someone special" ! :-)

    If you perfect your pesto recipe... will you share? ;-)

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  17. Jane Overby

    2012-08-01 22:17:20 +0100

    This is all great news...wishing you the best!

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  18. Nina Chow

    2012-08-02 10:07:00 +0100

    happy for you too Ali

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  19. Jan Connair

    2012-08-02 12:23:49 +0100

    It's wonderful that you have someone kinda special again. Joy of all kinds is what I hear going on in your life when I read your blog lately.

    I have a great pesto recipe that I've been using for years, if you think the recipe might be the problem. But I do keep my pine nuts in the freezer between batches. Nuts tend to go rancid quickly.

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  20. Mary Ellen Harrison

    2012-08-03 20:52:14 +0100

    Try walnuts instead of pine nuts in your pesto...it's great and they are easier to find and less expensive. YUM!! Love your blog and your zest for all things fabulous!

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  21. Erica Hettwer

    2012-08-05 01:03:36 +0100

    Congrats on the someone special! My five year old little man has started up with the attitude as well. He's also started bursting into tears when he doesn't get something he wants right away. I'm having a hard time balancing wanting him to stop and just being glad to have him.

    Ah, the ups and downs of life! :)

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  22. Ali Kutter

    2012-08-05 07:11:26 +0100

    I had the same pine nut issue when making pesto. We did some research and discovered that we should not use any pine nuts from China or Russia as the trees they are harvested from have issues. So we pay more for domestic but no more icky mouth!

    Ali

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  23. Jessica

    2012-08-05 16:25:30 +0100

    I can relate to the whole "am I phrasing this right?" and wanting to "begin as I mean to go continue"; in a word, intentionality.

    I love that you say "are you calm?" and "take a deep breath" - that's good stuff. Teaching self-regulation of emotions is one of the best gifts you can give your children. I wish I had more of that growing up, but as Seneca said, life is long if you know how to live it, so I get a chance to learn alongside my son. :) Two books you might find interesting: "Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child" (John Gottman) and "Parenting From the Inside Out" (Daniel Siegel). Both are heavily rooted in neuroscience and clinical research, but accessible to the layman.

    Take care of you and yours!

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  24. patty

    2012-08-06 14:17:16 +0100

    quiet confidence... SO happy for you! (& the "someone kinda" special)

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
  25. Tinka

    2012-08-12 07:25:28 +0100

    I am way behind on reading your blog, due to packing and moving (I now think it is possible to have too much scrap booking stuff!) so a belated congratulations on the new relationship!

    * edited 08/11/14 12:51PM
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