Monday, January 18, 2021

Sweet Moments and Snowy Days

Thank you all for your sweet comments about my Grandma Jo. She was a remarkable woman of many roles and facets over her one-day-shy of 89 years. We continue to mourn and celebrate her, while my dad and his sister work to transition my sweet Grandpa to a new apartment and I try to focus on drafting documents and answering work emails.
In a rather extraordinary turn of events, on the day we knew would be my grandmother's last, my brother and sister-in-law had their much anticipated first doctor appointment and found out they're expecting twins! TWINS! We've never had twins in our family or hers and it was such a shock and infusion of joy for us all.
They've lost one pregnancy, so double rainbow babies felt like a particular miracle, and their due date is my anniversary, so it all feels very auspicious and we are just overjoyed. Twins! I still can't quite believe it and am pretty sure they can't either, but man are we all happy.
In other highlights of January so far- because even in a sad time, there are always points of light, last Sunday it snowed in DFW for the first time in many years and it was very exciting. For no one so much as Maggie, who ran around in circles for MANY minutes before I finally managed to turn on the video on my phone.

She spent the rest of the day recovering by the fire in her favorite chunky cardigan.
The kids at first resisted the allure of the snow, too caught up in our card games and mildly jaded by the fact we go skiing in literal mountains of snow every year, but I pushed them outside and they got caught up in the magic.
Landon obviously followed my advice regarding the full outfit of ski clothes in his closet and wore completely weather-appropriate clothing.
We tried to slide down the hill across from our house, built a very leaf-filled snowman, and then fulfilled a dream of the kids- swimming while it's snowing.
They didn't last long, and I required a lot of tea while lifeguarding, but it was a highlight for sure.
The day continued with hot chocolate and card games and it was just really nice day.
A day that ended in me attempting stromboli from scratch and you guys it was AMAZING.
Highly recommend this recipe.
Speaking of food, another sweet story: the kids started having sleepovers in the girls’ room every night during the pandemic. Now that school is back, we’ve limited them to weekends, but every Friday and Saturday night, Landon and Moose sleep on Cora’s trundle and our whole crew shares the same 100 square feet of space.
This past Saturday I walked into the room to say goodnight when everyone went silent and Landon hastily shoved something under a pillow. Being a professional investigator, I had questions.

Claire, with a sigh: “Just tell her Landon. She’ll find out eventually.”

Me: [bracing myself]

Landon, slides a cookbook out from under his pillow: “We’re picking out recipes to make you guys dinner for Valentine’s Day.”

Claire: “Like a fancy date! Because you don’t get to have those anymore.”

Cora: “We’re going to MAKE THE FOOD!”

Claire: “And dress up and decorate!”

Landon, ever practical: “And clean up. And the girls will be the waiters, because I’m the only one who can use the stove.”

Me: [melts; gives kisses to all except the teenager who now has a firm hugs-only policy. Immediately go to tell James he’s dressing up for our next date night.]
I’m not sure what they’ve picked out for us, but I can’t wait! James and I are still surprised and often sad to find ourselves in the post-babies and toddlers phase oflife, but teens and tweens and big kids are pretty amazing too. And bulldogs.
On to food!

Menu: Jan. 17 - Jan. 23
Sun: Greek Chicken Pitas, frozen fries, roasted cauliflower (this was GREAT!).
Mon: Gigi's Spaghetti, side salad (that will probably turn into raw crudites on a plate because everyone seems to prefer it that way)
Tues: Ham and Potato Soup, with smoked turkey in lieu of ham, extra carrot, and frozen peas.
Wed: Tamales (from Central Market), Mexican rice, refried black beans, toppings.
Thurs: Ina's Lentil Sausage Soup, steamed green beans, bread.
Fri: Leftover Pasties (something to look forward to! plus I see them everytime I open my freezer and can't stand delaying their deliciousness anymore).
Sat: Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken, served over whoel wheat penne.
Sun: BBQ Salmon with Mango Salsa, served with black beans over brown rice.


  1. I just made that Stromboli last week, too. It was amazing! I want to try it again with cheese and veggies. So good and so easy.

    I also made the Mississippi pot roast and we will never go back. It was so, so good.

    Your kids are great. I love their plans for you on Valentine’s Day.

  2. Congratulations! If your sister in law wants to talk to a real life twin mom (mine are 9) then I'm happy to chat with her!

  3. Congratulations to your fam! Twins are a wonderful adventure! My twins are 5. Happy to give advice or discuss if interested. Highly recommend they connect with a local moms/parents of twins club (

    Love that Valentines plan from your kiddos. The sweetest!

  4. So much sweetness in this post! But I teared up completely with the kids’ secret surprise! 😍

  5. Also a twin mom and boy are they in for a fun ride! My twins (boy/girl) will be 7 next month and they really do have the most special relationship. We didn't find out until 20 weeks (thought we were having a fourth; turns out it was #4 and 5) so it was quite a shock!

    I also want to thank you for the Mississippi pot roast recipe. It is a new staple in our house and I shared it with all of the extended family too!