Baby Violet

She’s here, she’s here, she’s here!

Introducing my lovely little daughter, Violet. She started out a tiny little squirt, despite arriving nearly two weeks late! You will have to pardon my delay in posting (she is nearly 3 weeks old now!), but life with three kiddos has been beautifully exhausting.

I am still right in the thick of that twilight zone where I can’t remember when I last took a shower…but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t today. Between nursing constantly, homeschooling a kindergartner part-time, and spending the rest of the hours reading to a contrary preschooler, my days have been very full!

Violet is a bright spot of sunshine for us. She smiles constantly in her sleep (and is beginning to smile when awake, be still my heart!), adores staring at our black-and-white striped curtains, and is perfectly willing to let her older siblings hold her hand. We love her dearly and can’t wait to see how her sweet personality develops as she grows!

photo credit: Photography by Karen Brown

We love, you, Violet!

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Books I’ve Read in 2018, Part 1

Hello, friends. It sure has been a while since I’ve written here, but I hope you’ll extend some grace to me! I found out on New Year’s Day that I am expecting a new little one, and wow has she been requiring all of my energy! (And so have my other two tots. All the energy and more patience than I have had to spare. Say a prayer for me, friends!)

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The Thief

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that [you] might have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Sometimes, a thief comes to steal my joy. But he does it reeeeal sneaky-like. It sounds a little bit like this:

“You’re on vacation! Live your life on vacation ‘to the full’! Maybe instead of dessert, you could enjoy another glass of wine.”

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Books I Read in 2017, Part 2

In 2017, I started out the year thinking I should spend more time reading than watching TV, and I cautiously hoped to read 30 books in the course of the year.

At the halfway mark, I had already read 22 books (thanks to the help of Audible, which definitely did some of the heavy lifting for me!). By the end of the year, the count was up to 52 books (woo! kicked it up a notch)! Additionally, I started read-alouds with my kiddos in the second half of 2017, and we read 6 chapter books aloud together as well as 2 books of poems. I will always cherish that time cuddling next to them on the couch and sharing the gift of story.

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Jake’s Birthday Costume Party

How in the world did my son turn 5? It’s not like the days or years have felt short; I honestly can’t even remember (because it seems so long ago) what my life was before this kid made me a mom. It’s just that I remember so clearly thinking he would be small forever. That his little hands and his little feet would always be doll-size. That 2-year-olds seemed as big as monsters.

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Savored Grace

I am pleased to announce that Smells Like Brownies is moving to a new home! (In fact, it has already moved!)

Welcome to Savored Grace.

JOHN1.16

When I concluded that the name Smells Like Brownies had run its course, I almost simultaneously gulped with fear.

Do you know how hard it is to name a blog?

It’s really hard.

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Books I’m Reading in 2017, Part 1

2017 Books Part 1

My mom had so many pearls of wisdom for me when I was a kid. Most of the time, I probably rolled my eyes at her when she would repeat one of her classic phrases, but as an adult, some things resonate more clearly. Like this:

Garbage in, garbage out.

Luke even affirms this for us: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

With this in mind, I set a goal to read more books than I watch TV this year. *gasp!*

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A Little Soul Searching

Snapseed(1991cropped)
photo © Natalie Zhou of Nana Floral

You may have noticed that there have been six months of silence around these parts.

I took a vacation.

I needed a break from self-imposed deadlines, from taking more pictures of plates than of gap-toothed smiles, from the chore of writing about everything I cook and never cooking the same thing more than twice.

The truth is, blogging is quite a lot of work. That’s why most people who do it successfully consider it to be their job! I do not really consider myself “successful” at this “job” because I have another career that is pretty consuming: mom-ing. In order to live up to that calling well, I have long sacrificed large parts of the blogger job description, parts like posting on social media and following friends faithfully in order to grow my audience here.

But last Fall, I realized that I wasn’t doing my mom job particularly well, either. Every time I sat down to do something on my computer, my scope of attention shrank to a small, glowing rectangle 12” from my face, and my patience with children’s shenanigans and demands disappeared entirely.

Around that time, I started asking myself some hard questions. Questions like: why have I been spending so much time thinking about food, trying new dishes, and taking pictures of everything I eat? Why do I like writing about food? What do I hope to offer or gain by doing this? Is writing a food blog the best use of my time as a mother of two preschoolers (and do I even enjoy it)?

The truth is, I found myself longing for the freedom to throw myself into other projects and ignore what’s for dinner.

IMG_7766I needed to simplify. I needed to find a lighter balance. I needed to blink and look away from Pinterest, Facebook, Tastespotting, and everything else. I needed to spend time with my gap-toothed smilers. You know. The ones who absolutely refuse to stand still next to each other for a two-second photo. #alwaysblurry

I spent a lot of time worrying about whether I should take a break from blogging, even though I knew I really needed to reorganize my priorities. But while I was fretting, before I knew it, a month had passed. And then two.

And I have to tell you, what started as a break from having my attention constantly divided turned into so much more.

Spoiler (in case you haven’t figured this out yet…): This is definitely a long-winded, reflective post. And there will not be a recipe at the end. I am so glad to have someplace to collect my thoughts, but I will not be offended if you decide to abandon this post, and just wait to see if it takes me another six months to show up again.

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