Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Pie Filled with Love

As I've previously said, I'm a little obsessed with food blogs.  A few days ago I read a post on my google reader from Brown Eyed Baker and almost cried.  Then I read this post and found myself in tears.  A food blogger lost her young husband (and the father to her 2 young children) suddenly to a heart attack one week ago.  She had been meaning to make his favorite pie but kept putting it off.  She asked that everyone remember her husband by making this peanut butter pie and sharing it with loved ones.  Although she's a complete stranger to me, I was moved by her post and her personal tragedy.  Corey and I have only been married for 3 years, but I can't imagine my life without him.  If he was taken from me tomorrow I don't know what I'd do.  

We had Corey's sister, her husband and their beautiful daughter over for dinner last night and I knew I had to make this pie.  We shared it, marveled over its delicious rich flavor and in my heart I said a prayer for Jennie, her daughters and the rest of their family and friends trying to adjust to a life without Mikey.

Take a minute to tell your loved ones how important they are to you because tomorrow is not a guarantee.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our mountain getaway

A few weeks ago, Corey & I packed up the car and the pup and headed to Taos, NM for a short summer getaway.  I couldn't have asked for a better trip.  Being up at 7500+ ft elevation meant much cooler weather, afternoon thunderstorms and beautiful scenery.  In fact, this trip solidified our dream of one day owning a vacation home in the mountains (likely Colorado).

She loves car trips

The only let down of the trip was our failed attempt at hiking.  We picked an afternoon to take a trail that was supposed to end at a beautiful lake.  Well, turns out because of forest fires near Santa Fe and dry conditions the forestry department shut down the entire national forest.  After some frantic phone calls we learned we could buy a permit to hike on private land, which we did.  We got a map and headed off the direction of the trailhead.  Let's just say the roads were a bit steeper than we expected, the sun a bit hotter than we realized and the altitude affected our energy more than we hoped.  We made it to the trailhead after what felt like forever only to get dumped on by a rather vigorous afternoon storm.  After hiking a little further along we decided it was best for my growing blister, Corey's burning calves and our poor panting dog to turn around and head back.  

Waiting out the rain

She loved getting in the streams

He's quite happy to be heading down hill again

Despite that setback, we had a great time.  The house we rented was cute and very New Mexican (adobe, tile everywhere, etc).  The scenery in Taos and in the surrounding mountains was breathtaking.  And the food was great!  Even Lacey got to sample some local cuisine our last night there.  We ate on the patio of this restaurant that had a special menu for dogs.  It was pretty amusing to see how excited she got about having her very own plate with a grilled chicken breast on it.  Of course, like her dad, she devoured the meat and skipped over the veggies.  

Everyone we came across was in awe of Lacey.  This was the conversation we had at least 10 times in one day.

Stranger: "Wow, your dog is beautiful.  What kind of dog is it?"
Me: "She's a shiba inu, they're a Japanese breed."
Stranger: "She looks like a fox!"
Me: "Yeah we get that a lot."

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

Our cute little casa

We found goats grazing on the side of the highway

And cows too!

Ski slopes sans snow

View driving from our house to downtown Taos

Seen on the Enchanted Circle Drive

The sunsets were amazing - reminded me of AZ sunsets

One of the many amazing restaurants we ate at.  This one was a renovated church and you actually sat on church pews

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I had planned on posting a recap of our recent vacation to Taos, NM, but life's circumstances dictated otherwise.  Last week my grandmother from my dad's side passed away.

Unlike many of my friends, I did not grow up living in close proximity to any of my grandparents.  My mom's parents lived in Washington and my dad's parents lived in Arizona (we lived in California).  I still counted myself lucky, though, because until I was a sophomore in college, all four grandparents were living and pretty healthy.  I have so many memories of visiting them while growing up.  In AZ I experienced my first (and only) white Christmas, I watched my grandpa feed havelinas (wild hogs) from his front doorstep and learned how to play minesweeper.  And my favorite part of visiting?  Raiding the candy drawer and sleeping in the camping trailer.  My memories of WA include playing in the forest behind their house (although I was really terrified of that forest), picking strawberries and huckleberries from the plants in the yard, the smells of my grandmother's cooking, and playing croquet.

The fall of my sophomore year, my grandfather (dad's dad) passed away pretty unexpectedly.  It was really hard on me because it was the first time I had experienced the death of someone close to me.  The winter just before Corey and I got my married by mom's mom lost a short battle with cancer.  With these two I never saw them sick which I consider a blessing and a curse.  My memories of them are happy but it was harder to cope with their deaths.  My grandmother who just passed had been ill with Alzheimer's for many years.  It's a horrible disease that took her mind slowly and cruelly.  I remember the last time I saw her, she didn't remember who I was and I'm pretty sure she didn't recognize my parents either.   It was a heartbreaking realization that the woman I knew was not really there anymore.  While it was tough to lose her, I think I was able to cope easier with her death, knowing what she had been going through.  Does that sound awful?

Corey and I were lucky to be able to travel east for her funeral.  It was a bittersweet weekend.  We got to spend time with my parents, siblings, nieces and my dad's side of the family (many of whom Corey hadn't yet met and who I haven't seen in years).  It was a short, quick, tiring weekend but I am glad we made the trip.