September Coffee Date

Woman sitting on steps with pumpkin. Woman has ripped jeans.

Big sigh.

Hi! Hi. I’ve missed this.

I have been here, there, and everywhere on POY lately – in recipe mode, planning, scheduling, development, etc.

But it’s been so long since I wrote one of these coffee date posts. Do I say that every time? Does it get a little longer between every time? I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m very tired. But I’m really glad to be here and to (finally) be giving a little update on our personal lives.

What I’m drinking – well, at this very actual moment I’m drinking the very last strawberry lemonade Spindrift that was in our office fridge. But in the coffee department, over the last few months I’ve become very habitual with my decaf oatmilk shaken espresso order from Starbucks. I don’t even know how to describe it other than a barely sweet, espresso-based creamy iced drink, but it’s delicious.

Pumpkin spice? Yes or no? I am pretty medium on it this year. Maybe this means I’m growing up or something? If you love pumpkin spice, get after it. We need all the little joys we can get!

Grab your coffee or your Spindrift – there’s a lot to catch up on. ♡

Our Hard Thing

Photo in a medical office of doctor's doing surgery.

Alright, this is the big one.

Like so many others, our family is currently facing a hard thing.

A few weeks ago, through a random series of events, we learned that Solvi’s heart isn’t working normally.

We went for what we thought would be a reassuring appointment with cardiology where they say, “thanks for coming to get this checked out, but everything is fine!”, but instead we came out with an out-of-the-blue serious diagnosis and instructions for scheduling a minimally invasive heart surgery to implant a small metal device that would correct her heart.

This week at her pre-op, we got some more unexpected news: our surgeon estimated that, for her heart issue specifically, there may be only a 60-75% chance that this minimally invasive procedure will correct the issue. And if it does not correct the issue, she’ll need to have open heart surgery.

I feel so connected to the community here, and I know so many of you who read Pinch of Yum and leave comments and stop us at the bagel store to say hi – you are wonderful, deep, real people. You allow us – Bjork, me, Pinch of Yum – into your lives and your kitchens and that is such a huge, incredible honor. And that is why in the work we do, I feel best when I can be a whole person, not just a recipe person. A whole person who has good times, and a whole person who has scary heart surgery times.

And, frankly, this week is scary heart surgery time.

I make breakfast, I show up at work, I talk about normal things, I put the girls to bed… but also, I am constantly aware of what is just days ahead on the calendar and the lifelong ramifications it will have one way or the other.

Thank you so much for your support, love, and especially your prayers this impending procedure and for our little girl’s heart. These are some really anxious times for us.

The Soup Series

Sopa tarasca in a bowl with cilantro and cheese.

On a so much lighter note, the soup series is coming up and I’ve been ready for it since the day I was born.

Half of my camera roll is photos of soup like this – this showstopper is a tomato-based Mexican-style soup with some corn fritters and excessive cheese and crema toppings and let me just say, it is worth watching for.

More info about the soup series here!

The Summer Of CSA

White child's hand grabbing vegetables from CSA box.

Overall, this was really not a great summer for us.

But one of the ways this summer was FUN and HAPPY and FRESH was that we did a CSA for the first time! You pay at the beginning of the summer for a whole summer’s worth of fresh, locally grown produce boxed up straight from the farm. We have a weekly pickup point that we drive to (it’s a standing Bjork-Solvi date) and then we bring the box home and have just the best time unboxing it and seeing “what we got from the farm” this week.

The most unplanned, unexpected benefit has been seeing Solvi get so excited about vegetables. It’s like unwrapping a giant present of vegetables every week, and she now knows most of the names of the veggies, and knows which ones she likes (the tiny tomatoes, the pea pods, the cucumbers, the green beans), and gets excited to make recipes with the produce (zucchini muffins x100). Next year we’ll try to actually take her to the farm for a field trip so she can see where everything is grown.

Have you done a CSA? Heard of it? This was only our first year but I would highly recommend looking into it if you love vegetables, have little kids who might enjoy the process, or want to buy more locally grown produce!

On Parenting

Happy baby with tongue out holding her feet.

While there are so many joys about being a parent to two littles (exhibit A in the photo above! omg!!), I wouldn’t say this is a season of thriving for us, that’s for sure.

In this chapter of my life, most days feel like a blur of toddler baby work home baby toddler repeat.

Most nights, after the girls FINALLY go to sleep and the kitchen finally gets cleaned up and I settle in for my 30 minutes of free time, the general mood in the house is this:

Woman with head against kitchen cabinet looking at phone.

(Thanks, Bjork, for always capturing me at my best!)

It’s hard to explain how much I love and struggle with this season all at the same time, but I know I don’t really need to explain it because a lot of you just understand.

I’m just drinking deep from the experiences and joys of having a three year old and an almost one year old. Every single day I’m laughing at their antics and nibbling their cheeks and loving their little selves so much it hurts. Lena gave me a floppy wave on the way out the door this morning, and Solvi kissed me three times and insisted that I bring her toy dustpan to work so I could “give dad a reminder to clean up at the office.” I mean, this is it. This is the good stuff. I just want time to stand still so they can be this squishy forever.

And at the same time, I’m feeling stretched very, very thin. I’m tired. I’m struggling to find the right work-life balance (always). And I’m looking forward to a day – maybe? someday? – when I can get a full night of sleep.

Woman and kids at an apple orchard.

(A pause to talk about sleep which seems to be always a thing! Yes, we did do sleep training for Solvi and she has always been a great sleeper until this summer. We are full blown toddler sleep struggle bus these days. And we did sleep training for Lena as well – we even worked with a sleep consultant, lol – and she just has never quite gotten it, maybe due to reflux issues or maybe just because BABIES ARE BABIES. I don’t know. She’s slept through the night maybe 10 times in her whole life. If you’re looking for a good way to be humbled and aged at the same time, might I recommend kids!)

Bjork and I always come back to this mantra or idea that this season is definitely hard, but it’s simple hard. There’s no lack of love. There’s cuteness and goodness and pure joy everywhere… it just comes with a price tag of never having a clean house, always feeling behind, and all-around total exhaustion.

Anyone out there feeling this? Maybe you stepped away for a second coffee?

We Now Own A Double Jogger

Two girls in a double stroller on a walk.

And it is life changing.

We have built up a fleet of several strollers in the last few years:

  • Uppababy
  • BOB Jogger (single)
  • And most recently, a Thule jogger (double)

And I have to tell you – if I could only pick one of all these three, it would be the new Thule double jogger. It’s super smooth, light, and comfortable for both of them. We are LOVING it.

I found this one on Facebook Marketplace, and even with a little bit of wear and tear on it, it is just such a dream. It’s the only way I can stand a chance at exercising right now because I can make it into a whole activity for the girls. And by exercises I mean a 20 minute walk/run maybe twice per week! Starting small!

And Then There’s Bjork

Man holding a beer and smiling.

Bjork is, even in a sleep deprived state, just generally funny, clever, and kind. Why are some people just good?

Here is a photo of him drinking an NA beer on a date with me because he stopped drinking alcohol and eating sugar? I don’t know. We now have boxes of keto cereal in our pantry and carrot juice and Diet 7UP in our fridge. I obviously don’t support this but he can’t be stopped.

I think he is just as tired as I am because he is Lena’s Night Parent and is often the one to get up with her in the middle of the night (she doesn’t usually nurse at night, just wakes for a paci or a snuggle or who really knows why). I take Solvi’s wake ups, he takes Lena’s wake ups, and in the midst of all that is crazy and hard right now, I am so thankful for such a true partner.

We’ve been able to go on a few dates over the summer which usually feels like an entire vacation packed into 4 hours. It’s usually enough time for us to talk about work and kids, get into a little fight, recover from a little fight, and enjoy dinner, dessert, and a walk. It’s great. God bless date night.

Thank you so much for checking in. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for Solvi. Thank you for sharing this space with us in ways that are real and genuine.

Sending all the love in the world through my computer screen to you! May you find a moment of peace in whatever good or hard things you’re facing today. ♡ xo

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