new friends wanted.

Our family has just said goodbye to some good friends for the 6th consecutive year. After college, Nick and I moved to our current area so that he could attend seminary. If you know anything about seminary life, you know that almost all of the students come from different parts of the world and most people (unlike us) move somewhere away after graduation. So for years we have been making the sweetest of friendships only to know that we would have to say good-bye two to four years later. Nick and I have dealt with these farewells as best as possible (good-byes are never easy), but saying goodbye these days takes on a whole new aspect since our kids are involved.

No parent likes to see their child sad, ever. Calvin and Max love people quickly and dearly, so it breaks my heart to hear them asking me if their friends can come over when they have moved across the country. We are also unable to have a lot of our friends and church family over since the drive and traffic can get pretty brutal at our church, so they get sad over this too. We are even going to give Calvin a Disneyland birthday party this year with just family in order to distract him from the fact that he cannot invite his best friends over for a party; because they don't live close by anymore :/. Poor guy. Loss and pain is inevitably going to hit my kids in life and I do want them to learn how to deal with this inevitability. At the same time though, I also want to be wise and sensitive to their feelings. It's because of this that I am hoping to venture out and make some new friends who will be around for longer than just a few short years.

I'm a person who does not like change and would stay in my own comfortable bubble of friends if I could. By venturing out in search of new friends of different backgrounds and places that we normally wouldn't meet, I hope as a family that we can make some great new friends. Calvin starts preschool this year at a christian school that is in a different denomination than our own (we are in the PCA), so I know that will open many doors to make some new friends. While Calvin is at school, I hope to try out a "mommy and me" class with Max. In addition to this, by going to new date night spots and through being more open with our neighbors and community members we hope that we can make a whole new set of friends; ones that might not move very soon or who have long had roots in our area. I can just see it now though. We make new friends and then watch, we will be the ones to move away. I know that life happens. I'm trying to have realistic expectations, especially to Nick's particular vocational path. Our families desire to have friends over for hospitality and to have a group of people to do life together with has been placed upon our hearts from God. 

So if you are like me and you find yourself in need of some new friends (while still loving on the far away ones), join me in being bold and doing something completely different. Let's friend those whom we would not normally talk to and open our hearts and homes to the possibility of making new lifelong friends. As the children's nursery rhyme goes, "make new friends, but keep the old." 

Our sweet friends from Romania we just said good bye to. 

Our sweet friends from Romania we just said good bye to. 

Some of my best friends also happen to be family. 

Some of my best friends also happen to be family. 

cooking club dreams.

Even before I ever picked up the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist I have always wanted to be apart of a cooking club. The idea of having a whole bunch of friends around, cooking, eating, conversing, and laughing is the heartbeat of my soul. But after reading this book I want to turn this dream into a reality. I love trying to find an excuse to have friends over whether it be for a holiday or just for some wine and cheese or a last minute get together. To light some candles and bust out the table cloths  and fill the champagne glasses. Not every get together in my mind has to be so "formal" but I love when my home can be transformed ever so slightly from a Toys R Us and into an adult oasis of from the scents to the sounds. If your weeks are anything like mine than you too can use a good dose of real conversations, of opening up and sharing your heart. Too often we are in need of encouragement and a hear to listen to us but no where to go. A cooking club combines all the essentials needed to de-stress, be vulnerable, and to be nourished.

With every dream comes some fears and I have some with starting a cooking club. 1. I am extremely OCD. When guests leave my home I clean my toilets right away, I like things to be in their certain places. and my home to be presentable and welcoming. I always have a plan and when they don't go accordingly I get anxious. 2. I fear change. If I start this cooking club I would hate to have it one month and then never again for a few months. I get so excited about seeing people and having time with my friends that when schedules do not allign or people get sick I get sad, like a toddler. 3. I fear I will be the only one who wants to learn to cook and learn more about food. I am not the best chef, ask my husband, but I do enjoy cooking when I don't have little tiny hands all over me. I can follow directions decently well and know all the basics to cooking and well.... I love to eat. 

So, now what? I won't let these fears get in the way because at the end of the day I  still desire my table to be filled with love and conversation. I want to finally start  a cooking club. Do you want to join me? Are you interested in coming over to my house or hosting the club at your house at some point in the future? Do you like food and wine? Do you crave community like I do? Do you have free nights sometimes to get out? Comment and let me know if you want to go on a small food adventure with me and if you live locally. 

Ideally, I would love to have a genre of food for each get together (i.e. italian, brazilian, mexican, appetizers, breakfast, paleo, make all the book recipes, Pioneer Woman night, etc.). Make a menu. Assign ingredients or dishes and then meet at the designated house (I do not mind hosting most of them). You do not have to be a good cook to join and you do not have to cook. Come, let's break bread together (unless if you are primal, paleo, or keto and in that case I will eat your portion ;) If you don't live near by than I would really encourage you to read this book. I loved the heart behind it and how she shed light on an old art nowadays, hospitality. Shauna is excellent with her words and sharing her experiences with her closest friends and family. Theologically we do not see perfectly eye to eye but she clearly loves the Lord and loves his people. Take the plunge, open your doors and eat together.

Shauna Niequist "The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved.  It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.  Part of that, then, is honoring the way God made our bodies, and feeding them in ways they need to be fed.”

"The meal itself wasn't spectacular by any means, but it didn't need to be. It was simple and it was good and it gave us something to gather around. It filled our bellies and let us laugh and connect and settle into our chairs while the kids played under the table. It did what food is supposed to do; it fed us, in all sorts of big and small ways."

La Croix is the best beverage to drink when reading.

La Croix is the best beverage to drink when reading.

Naptime = The best time!

Naptime = The best time!

I love cooking with these two.

I love cooking with these two.

friday close-ups with: Cristal Porter

I am going to be starting a fun series on the blog here on Fridays where I ask moms some questions about their motherhood journey. Each week might have new questions or the same as the week before but I will interview a new mom each time. If you are interested in being featured or have some questions you would like answered be sure to email me at:


Our first Friday close up mom is my friend Cristal Porter:

1. How many kids do you have?  1 child 

2. How many weeks were you when you delivered? 39 weeks when I delivered. About 4 days from due date.

3. Did you have a vaginal birth or c-section? C-section

4. What was your pregnancy food craving? Was obsessed with Mexican food. Beans and rice. 

5. What baby items you could not live without? Can’t live without long sleeve onesies. Put them under her clothes every day for an extra layer of warmth and sun protection. Also socks because they constantly disappear. I should seriously just have a new pair for each day. 

6. Best advice ever given was this, “The baby will be fine. What matters most is that you’re OK.” Really validated how hard it is to be a mom and also how it’s ok to work at taking care of yourself. Such a discipline.  

7. What was the biggest surprise of being a mom? Biggest surprise of being a mom was how difficult it is. No matter how much I was warned. It’s like a slow death of self! And also how much I would enjoy it. On the days where I don’t listen to the temptation to be bitter or covet my old life, I truly enjoy the moments with her. Working on this!

8. What was/is the hardest part of being a mom? The newborn phase. It was SO hard. Perhaps because you never know what on earth is making them cry and because Olivia was particularly big on communicating when something was wrong. Whether it was in the car, protesting of naps, during a tummy ache, when she was cold, etc. Man…that newborn cry was tough! 

9. What is your go to snack?  Right now I’m all about bananas in the AM. If I’m really hungry I’ll eat a piece of leftover protein and a portion of a baked sweet potato. Typically in the late afternoon. 

10. What are your favorite mommy resources? My favorite resources are: Wellness Mama, Weston A Price, Dr. Sears and a few other moms with similar parenting styles. 

11. What is/was your favorite stage? My favorite stage is the one we are in so far. She is 9 months and honestly the most incredible little human. I’m enamored by her personality and I'm enjoying watching her mature. Gah just love her so!