Eve’s birthday 

Hi sisters,

After the heartache of the past week and a half, here are a few photos from Eve’s birthday party. How thankful I am for my family that helped me learn to love beyond the boundaries around race, religion, gender, and sexuality that some people have been trying to draw in heartbreaking ways since the election.

Sustainance for the party ahead.
Grandpa made a big leaf pile. Eve helped keep it organized.
Miriam felt that there should have been gifts for her to celebrate her anniversary of becoming a big sister. So we made a crown for her.
Pose choices were all hers.


Happy birthday, dear Eve. You are loved abundantly. May you love abundantly.

Your aunt Janna.

Personality Tendencies

Sometimes, I learn concepts that alter how I see the world around me. For better or for worse I’ll come across something that gets the (sometimes-rusted) gears in my head turning and gives me a deeper insight & new perspective on my interactions with the world around me.

The concept of Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies is an example. Read along & it could get your gears turning too!

The Four Tendencies is a framework to understand how people respond to expectations and rules. The expectations and rules a person experiences are broken down into two categories: internal and external. An external rule is something that the world or another person wants from you. That might mean a deadline, a law, a scheduled social event, a “request” from your significant other, etc. An internal expectation is something you personally want or believe is needed: a New Year’s resolution, deciding to exercise, writing a book, etc.

Continue reading “Personality Tendencies”

A day in the life with a 16 month old

Dear sisters,

This week has felt a bit idyllic. Calvin has settled into sleeping past 6am most mornings (praise the lord). He still rouses a few times in the night, but getting past the 5am or 5:30am wake ups has been nice. Something that seems to have helped was transitioning him to one nap a day. It feels like he’s sunnier and sillier every day and while he definitely gets stridently annoyed about things, time with him is so very wonderful. His ability to play by himself is increasing from 30 seconds to maybe a few minutes! I’ll take it!! This past Monday (which is my day with NO WORK), we had such a wonderful time together that I decided to document it for the blog.

Calvin woke up at 6:15am! Woot!! We had to drop off one of the cars for an oil change, so Dad stayed home a bit later in the morning (he usually leaves at 7am). After dropping off the car Calvin and I played at home.

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7:45am Flannel came out to combat the rare early morning chilliness.

Continue reading “A day in the life with a 16 month old”

Speaking Clearly

Hi sisters,

At the end of July I turned 28. That doesn’t sound that old to me, but I most definitely feel much older than I did last July. Maybe old isn’t the right word for it, I feel more…mature. I feel like I’m learning more about my relationships with my husband and child, with my sisters and parents, with my friends and coworkers. At a younger age I wouldn’t have thought much about these relationships beyond: is the other person happy? If no, then how can I make that person happy? Continue reading “Speaking Clearly”

Chasing my summer baby

Dear sisters,

It feels strange and wonderful to be chasing (walking and sometimes running) after my baby. At the library I work at our storytimes for 9-23 month olds is called “Little Movers,” which describes Calvin perfectly.

Black and White

He is still my baby: still wants to be cuddled and nursed back to sleep in the middle of the night. When he wants me, he wants me RIGHT NOW, and has taken to hugging my legs, crying out, then biting my legs when I don’t pick him up fast enough. I’m teaching myself to think of him as my little toddler, not my baby, and encouraging his moments of independence. His happiest times are spent outside, walking/trotting around. People remark on how happy he is all the time; he smiles and chatters and laughs a lot. They’re getting to see him when he’s getting his way, enjoying the outdoors or exploring some place new. When he starts feeling cooped up in the house he becomes a little tyrant, wanting me or Kevin to always play, biting or whining til we cave. It’s not hard to give in to him, though it makes activities like preparing meals, writing emails (or blog posts..cough cough), doing the dishes or packing up for the day difficult.

Continue reading “Chasing my summer baby”

food, glorious food

Hi sisters.

I have felt my creative cooking energy returning with the influx of fresh produce with the start of summer. I thought I’d share with you what’s been happening in our kitchen recently.

My love affair with rhubarb continues. I’m so intrigued by it. It’s used mostly in desserts but it’s sour. I love that! I’ve been playing around with having it as the centerpiece of a dessert rather than always pairing it with something else. Recently I made this galette which turned out great, so I made it again. Caution: use less sugar than what is listed, if you want the nice sour flavor to come through. I used maybe 1/3 a cup the first time I made it and it was great. The second time I followed the recipe more closely (I probably added 1/2 cup, maybe more?) and it was a bit too sweet.

I also like to make rhubarb simple syrup for cocktails. It’s such a pretty light pink color and it adds a unique flavor to drinks. We made this cocktail with the simple syrup and enjoyed it (note: use less sugar for the syrup–you definitely don’t need a full cup!). You’ll notice that the cocktail and the galette both pair rhubarb with ginger–it’s a great combination.

All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.
All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.

Continue reading “food, glorious food”

Life lately

Hi sisters,

I wrote this post 2 weeks ago, so it feels a bit dated. Calvin is changing at such a quick pace, learning more expressions and saying words more clearly. But here is a bit of an update about our lives lately.

In May we enjoyed a visit from Mom and Dad over the week o13227595_10204553149748292_2012715915268047601_of my final Chamber Chorale concert for the season, so it was a wonderful time for them to be here!

I got to wear a “My Fair Lady” costume for our fundraising dinner/silent auction featuring songs from Lerner & Loewe. I got to sing “Without You” from My Fair Lady and it was a blast! Kevin got a lot of alone time with Calvin as Mom, Dad and I went to rehearsals and showed a family friend around town, which was sweet for him. Mom and Dad got to spend one entire afternoon watching Calvin while I went to work and I know they had a great time. It is so wonderful having family around. We’re looking forward to having some more visitors this summer! It makes us melancholy as we realize how far everyone is travelling. Where is the magical device we’ve all been waiting for that can transport us across countries? Continue reading “Life lately”