He is my person

I am addicted. Yes, I am absolutely wholeheartedly addicted to my husband. Chris is my person. Today marks 11 years to the day that we decided to begin this crazy adventure together through health challenges, fun trips, job changes, family ups and downs, moves, money woes, dreams come true, and most importantly day-to-day bliss. He is the person I want to call, the one I want to yell at when I am frustrated, the one I want to soothe when his world is turned upside down. While I have only known him for just over 13 years, and it often feels like 25 years, I really cannot imagine a day without hearing his voice.

Call me a sap, call me whooped (he would say the same) but I hate traveling without him, or having days when I cannot feel the comfort of his arms around me whether to celebrate an amazing day or to say we will get through this together. He is my travel companion when I am the crabby one on an airplane (I get so bored and restless), on a road trip, or when I am stuck somewhere and have to pee. He keeps me fed and knows when I am on that tipping point between hungry and ravenous (the difference of great extremes).

Together we decided very early (prior to marriage) that we would only bring good to those around us. That our relationship was not only about each of us as individuals, and what that would mean to be together and be a family, but what our collective and shared world would mean for those that we are around. Meaning that our relationship would uplift and bless those around us, whether through our example of love, our support of others, or in elevating the thought of those around us. Together we take a stand small or large for what we believe in – in hopes that it means that others benefit by the work we do whether professionally, in the community, and in our personal lives.

I never take Chris for granted. Every day I cherish him for what he is, what I learn from him, and how we continue to grow together. I never tire of sharing him with others, lighting up when I talk about him, and spending every day with him. Happy “love you so much every day” – day.

He is my person.

Moments of bliss

Most of you have either headed back to work, or will be starting back at the office today after a holiday break. That might be a bittersweet moment. Maybe you love your job, but you also love time with your family and friends, and maybe also a bit of time with your butt on the couch catching up on movies, football, and a little HGTV. As we start into this new year, where you think, “I am going to live my life just a bit differently this time,” think about the precious time you might have had over the holidays. Maybe you had a day off, or a week, or two weeks. Whatever amount of time you had to do whatever you wanted, cherish it. As you get pulled into your fast paced life where sometimes you feel like the wheels will spin-off, try to take a moment, slow down and remember this quieter time.

I recently found this quote from author Jonathan Carroll. I did not read one of his books, but found it online a few weeks ago. I have always loved the word bliss. That perfect moment when you go ah, this is the life. It does not always have to be when you are on vacation, or have down time. Maybe it is that moment of quiet when you put your feet up after getting your kids to bed, or maybe it is after giving a presentation that you know you nailed, or maybe it is as you slide into a hot bubble bath.

“One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought “this is so nice”. Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss.”

If only we could bottle those moments, and on our toughest days open the bottle for seconds to be reminded of the smell, sound, and taste of that moment. Just to tell us life is good, that it does have moments of bliss. While we cannot bottle them, we can hold on to those rare moments. It is a new year, month, day. Just like we did for 2013, Chris and I are going to keep our jar out for “Good things that happened in 2014.”

Want to join us, so you can look back at your moments of bliss?

Mmm…crispy.

Blueberry Crisp. Yes, I know there are a ton of blueberry crisp recipes out there that are to die for, but I have found one that seems to be as healthy as you can get. The one ingredient that may be the most sinful is maple syrup.

Last week I told you about one of my favorite books of 2013, “Bread & Wine” by Shauna Niequist. Over the weekend I made her Blueberry crisp recipe (which is vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free). It is amazing. Some blueberries, nuts, oats, olive oil, and maple syrup and tada! Bliss. I have to say there is a little bit left, and as I write this I want to quietly creep upstairs and finish it without Chris hearing me. Or, I could take the remaining blueberries (not enough for a full recipe) and divide out what I need to make another small batch tonight.

What I loved when I read the background about this recipe is that she used to make it every Sunday night for her family, no other meal, no veggies, just the Blueberry crisp over homework. Wow. She even mentions on her blog that it is suitable for breakfast, and it really is just like having granola and fruit, warmed. I wanted to share a quote from the beginning of “Bread & Wine” as it made me think about what I might want for my last supper meal, right now that Blueberry crisp would be on the list, with some goat cheese in almost any form, caramel, french fries (freshly made, with a grazing of salt)…oh this could lead to a totally different blog:

“For the record, my last-supper meal looks a bit like this: first, of course, ice-cold champagne, gallons of it, flutes catching the candlelight and dancing. There would be bacon-wrapped dates oozing with goat cheese, and risotto with thick curls of Parmesan and flecks of black pepper. There would be paper-thin pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella and slim ribbons of basil, garlicky pasta and crusty bread and lots of cheeses, a plumy pinot noir and maybe a really dirty martini, because you might as well go big on your last night on earth. There would be dark chocolate sea salted toffee and a bowl of fat blackberries, and we’d stay at the table for hours and hours, laughing and telling stories and reaching for one more bite, one more bite.” Page 12-13

Here is Shauna Niequist’s Blueberry Crisp recipe:

4 cups blueberries (or any fruit, really)

Crisp topping:

1 cup old fashioned oats

½ cup pecans

½ cup almond meal (available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, health food stores, or made by putting almonds in food processor until fine, but before they turn to almond butter)

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup olive oil

½ tsp salt

Instructions

Pour four cups fruit into 8×8 pan. Spread crisp topping over the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes, or longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.

Serves 4