Of Peach Pie and a Last Will & Testament

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Yesterday I baked a fresh peach pie.

And Josh wrote up our will.

Our siblings refer to us as Grandpa & Grandma.  They’re not wrong.

For the record we are 26 & 28 respectively.  We fancy ourselves a responsible, organized couple and I’d figured we’d do all the will-related stuff whenever we take our first big trip sans-Little Hugo, but no, the other night Josh was at the kitchen table typing away and was like “Hey babe! I just finished our will, do you want to look this over?”

I was more than a little tickled.  Not only is he cute and funny, he’s smart too.  My natural tendency is always to procrastinate (due to analysis paralysis) but Josh is a “man of action” as he always reminds me.  And maybe a little paranoid, did I ever tell you about how after he proposed and we were walking back to the car, literally the first thing he said to me was “Don’t worry, your ring is insured!”.  I love him.

Anyway, it’s the height of summer and fresh produce and stone fruits and Georgia peaches and I was in the mood to bake a pie.  Since pie should be shared and the will required some witnesses,  we invited the brother and sister-in-law over after dinner.  Then I contemplated wearing a classic black dress for the whole deal, it seemed appropriate.  Just kidding!

Back to the pie…

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I always use the queen, Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee dough.  It requires digging out your food processor, but worth it.  I used Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour and it came out tender and flaky, I was so pleased that I mentioned it over breakfast (I’m sorry I have a problem, I think about food.  A lot.) and Josh was like “What? That was gluten-free?”.  Yes.

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For the filling, I mixed up Martha’s fruit pie chart with a few modifications.  I went with the lighter sugar amount since the peaches were at peak, I’d forgotten lemons at the grocery and found a lime in the fridge, so there ya go (sorry) and I prefer cinnamon to ginger so I added a generous sprinkle of that.  I omitted the extra butter pats since the crust has two sticks and brushed the top with a little half-and half and sugar for texture.  I baked for 10 minutes at 400 and then 50 minutes at 375.

Don’t forget the golden rule of pastry, “Work cold, bake hot!”

Yall, it was so good!

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Now there’s half a pie in my fridge, taunting me.  Darn it, it belongs with my morning coffee, but I’m holding out for later and it’s time for my Friday deep clean of the apartment anyway.  So, back to that responsible and organized adult thing…

GOALS | august 2017

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I’ve always loved being able to share goals on my blog.  It seems to be a clean, organized place to list them and then fun to come back and share the details in a longer post.  Here are a few things on my calendar this month.

  1.  Find two, new, go-to recipes (low-carb preferred).  If you’re anything like me, the last few weeks have been non-inspiring in the meal planning department.  This week I literally made oatmeal for dinner one night.  And ordered in pizza the next.  I’m so sorry.  Couldn’t be sorrier.  I’m know there have been some serious marks against my “homemaker of the year award” application.
  2. Host my sweet friend Amy for a long weekend here in Birmingham!  Amy and I met on a Jane Austen tour in London almost 8 years ago, we were fast friends and although we don’t see each other often, she’s one of those rare people that you can pick back up where you left off.  Plus, she’s a gifted designer and I love talking high-fashion and trend pet-peeves with.  I can’t wait to see her!
  3. Plan the perfect summer picnic for my boys!  Complete with tasty sandwiches, lemonade and ants.
  4. Find and hang art in Hugo’s nursery.  I can’t decide if I want photos, or traditional art or if I should do a gallery (I already have a gallery wall in my living room and don’t want to overdo it…)
  5. See Ellie Holcomb in concert!  I missed an concert of hers earlier this year, and although Josh is not a concert going kinda guy, he was down for this one (I, on the other hand, LOVE live music and would watch almost any band perform).  She is so very talented and her latest, “Red Sea Road”, is really really good.  She’s coming to Birmingham in a few weeks and I’m we have the evening open!

What are your August goals?

| My Final Thoughts on Pregnancy |

I’ve reached that last stage of waiting.

My clothes don’t fit, my shoes don’t fit, my gorgeous engagement ring and wedding band hasn’t fit for weeks, moving around is difficult and I’ve actually turned into a somewhat emotional person.

It’s rough I tell you.

I developed Cholestasis, a pregnancy related liver disease that can turn deadly for unborn babies.  The little guy is doing great, but I’m on a prescription for the first time in my life to manage it and it’s been a week of back and forth from the doctors office

Earlier this week, a blogger, Jessica Quirk (we’re due the same week!), posted the link to this article.  “A Place of In-Between”.  And being the 39 week pregnant weepy moose that I am, I just bawled my eyes out and was grateful that it wasn’t just me.  The essay was beautifully written and a bit profound, I felt it very deeply.

I’ve never been an “in-between” kinda girl.  I’ve said it a million times, I enjoy “having done something” not the doing, not the waiting.  Reminding myself to enjoy something, or take my time, gahh, it just drives me up a wall.  There’s this line from a Ben Rector (I just think he writes the sweetest love songs) that goes “Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between”.  I try to remember that, to embrace it, but its not so easy for me to live out.  I’m pretty sure I’ve written multiple blog posts on this subject already.  Sorry, I’m a slow learner.

It’s been a funny week, I’ve baked cookies, made a swaddling wrap blanket, hemmed an old robe into a shorter more delivery/nursing style, non-stop cleaned our apartment, packed and re-packed the birth bags.  The other night Josh took me to the mall to walk for a while, got me a pedicure and some fancy gummy bears and then fed me delicious food court food for dinner.  I think we’ve had approximately 32 “last suppers” in anticipation of ending up at the hospital later that night.

I thought about including my thoughts on maternity clothing, but as a lady who has never said a swear in her life, I don’t trust myself to start down that road today.  NOT A FAN I TELL YOU, NOT A FAN!

Well, I’m off to count some more sporadic contractions, obsess and re-pack the old birth bags and possibly hand-monogram that blanket I made earlier.  It’ll help to stave off the crazy, I think.

| Sometimes There Really is a Bright Golden Haze on the Meadow |

It’s been 6 weeks since we packed our bags, scoured our little apartment to an obsessive level, hired a carpet cleaner (a fact I’m still feeling SO very smug and adult about) and left Birmingham for our newest endeavor.

OKC y’all!

I married adventure.  He also happens to be a film producer.  And while every film he’s worked on (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out, Coffee Shop, Grace Unplugged & Woodlawn) has been shot in our home state, this new movie required a western Texas/Oklahoma look for location.  So here we are!

Our original plan was to stay through Christmas then go home to have our little boy, but the more we talked about it the more peace we had about giving birth here in Oklahoma.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and besides the struggle that is “getting hospitals to talk to each other”, we’re finally set up with a new doctor and a great hospital here and are confidently looking forward to meeting our baby in a few weeks.  AHHHH!

Oklahoma City has been a great town, I’m learning my way around (Trader Joes & Nordstrom Rack only 8 minutes from my house, thank you!).  They have some great neighborhoods and lots of fun things happening.  Even the restaurant scene is great!  The people are wonderful as well, we’ve met so many sweet people.

The first few weeks here were spent with Josh up to his whiskers in pre-production.  I spent most of that time with him editing emails, marketing our big scenes out to possible extras and meeting with  community leaders.  It’s been really fun for me to see this part of his life, but listen let me tell you, I have slowed down so much in the last 6 weeks due to pregnancy.  I’m close to admitting defeat and my schedule has changed to include sleep, more sleep, daytime television & hallmark movies, hot tea, pregnancy reading, usually a quick visit to set (hey! they have unlimited snacks over there!) to check in with Josh and besides feeling a little guiltily lazy, its a pretty sweet life.  I have no complaints.

You know the old musical “Oklahoma”?  Those crazy backdrops with the orange and pink sunsets?  They really happen here.  Everyday.

| Snacks You Should Know About |

Three things:

1.  Hi Chew
My gummy candy obsession continues on.  These are fantastic!  I recommend the grape flavor.  Available at your local Targets.

2.  Takis Fuego
Like Flaming Hot Cheetos, ONLY BETTER!  Josh and I worked on set for a movie that was being shot in Birmingham the other weekend, okay, so, he worked and I tagged along.  But mostly importantly, my being with him gave me full permission to help myself to the amazing assortment of food over at the Crafty Truck (that’s movie set speak for THE PEOPLE WITH ALL THE SNACKS!).  They’re not gluten free, but they are spicy and lime-y and I could hardly restrain myself from licking the inside of the bag.  Sorry for saying that.

3.  The Bu – Honeydew Kombucha
On a healthier note…  This kombucha is just wonderful!  And by far the prettiest bottle of fermented mushrooms I’ve ever had the privilege of sipping.  The pink and green bottle pairs perfectly with your summer Lilly Pulitzer and a good tan.  I found mine at Sprouts, but I believe it is available wherever else you can find kombucha.

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Last Thursday night we were back at the Alabama Theater for an unforgettable concert.
There may be no way to humble brag my way through this post, because I had just the best time!
Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day were touring together and stopped in Birmingham for a concert at the Alabama.  I kept hearing the ads run on the radio (north to south culture shock: SO MUCH CHRISTIAN RADIO!) and texted Josh to say “does this sound fun?!?”  
Yes!
I ordered tickets for the two of us and then he contacted one of his awesome Birmingham mover and shaker friends who said “Can you be downtown at 5:30 for a backstage meet & greet?” 
Yep, we can do that.
She ushered us though the theater into one of the back rooms where we laughed and joked around with the WDJC radio crew (they are a blast!) until the band came through.  I was closest to the door so Josh and I met Mr. Chapman first.  Josh is always great about remembering to get a photo and keeping the conversation going, I’m like like “hey!”.  
Marrying him has reduced my social anxiety by approximately 972%.
We talked bbq and being introverted with the drummer to Third Day, snapchatted with another band member and just soaked up the gloriousness that is Mac Powell’s vocal cords.
The hilarious morning show hosts, Roxanne and Chris!

 Between the the two of them, Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day have something like 70 number one hits.  That’s pretty incredible.  They sang through a ton of them, I kept expecting them to wrap up, but they played on.  Their own songs, each others songs, through them together.  I loved hearing Mac Powell sing through SCC’s well known songs, their vocal qualities are very different and he brings such a different sound and depth.

The crowd was alive as they kicked off the concert with a stand-and-holler version of “Sweet Home Alabama”!  And then shut it down with “The Great Adventure” and “Soul on Fire” with everyone singing along.

Absolutely memorable.