My next evolution…

When I started this blog, it was for a very particular reason – to explore Minnesota bakeries and capture stories of bakers and their towns. A few short months after I birthed that idea, I moved to Missouri and my blog vision was forced to evolve. Ultimately it evolved into a place where I did less exploring of pastries and more exploring of the twists and turns of life. 

Writing is always how I’ve made sense of my world. I have twenty years of journals stacked in my closet. I constantly pull up the notes app on my phone to get swirly thoughts out of my brain and onto the objective black-and-white of the screen.

The past few years have given me lots to ponder. I’ve navigated significant personal life events, we’ve had a major collective upheaval as a society and if you’re like me, you’ve been taking stock of what matters. I’ve been writing but haven’t been great at publishing and posting my observations. 

I’m changing that. Actually, I’m changing a lot.

This past year, … Read the rest

In with the Bold

As part of my winter solstice ceremony, I wrote four pages of things I wanted to release from 2020. Disappointments, bad memories, behaviors that no longer lined up with the person I’m becoming.

After two hours of sun salutations, meditation and writing, I ripped the four pages from my notebook, took them outside and flicked my lighter onto their bottom edges. The flame started small and brightened quickly. I threw the flaming pile onto the ground and watched it disappear. I stared as the embers twinkled and faded. When the very last ember burnt out, my chest deflated in relief. Two seconds later, one of the embers re-lit itself. 

You know that feeling when you’re walking away from someone after a hard goodbye and you turn around to look at them one last time? That’s what my flaming pile did to me. That last ember of 2020 turned its head, gave me a half smile with sincere, regretful eyes and walked away.

The things I gripped too tightly, the closure I never received from … Read the rest

Thing #39 – Conveyor Belt

Sissy and I were at the conveyor-belt sushi place…for the second time in two days. It was convenient and delicious. Plus we knew how to easily navigate getting what we wanted, which was half the battle in Tokyo.

We had two options. The first was to control our sushi destiny by selecting things from the menu – a tablet that made it dangerously easy to add items to our cart before pressing the “order” button. The second, and more fun, option was to grab the little plates that traveled down the conveyor belt. With this option, there was no telling what would come next. They were often things we never considered trying. 

Each spot at the sushi bar had a number so the server knew how to find you. I chuckled to myself when I noticed we were seated at spot 39. I stared at the little plates choo-chooing down the track, passing number 39 on our countertop. The plates kept coming. Some food was recognizable, some wasn’t. Some were happy surprises (fried shrimp!), … Read the rest

Thing #38 – Junk Drawer

Pure joy. I want more of this.

I’m getting ready to pound the final nail in the house of My 39 Things. Is it six months past deadline? Yes. Does anyone other than me really care that I missed this arbitrary deadline? No. Ok, there are a couple of you who are kinda be dicks about it…but I know you’re only trying to keep me motivated. 

I set out on this project as a way to hold myself accountable to a consistent writing practice. As with most creative ventures, my consistency ebbed and flowed.

My inspiration shifted depending on what was happening in my life. Sometimes the ideas would come so fast, I had to split my “thing” into three (Hallmark!) Sometimes I struggled so hard to find something to write about that I wrote about not having anything to write about

This project gave me the gift of helping me process my internal world by making connections in the world around me. It forced me to pay attention on … Read the rest

Thing # 29 – Blue Journal

Blue Journal

If I told you one of my best friends is a journal from 2009, you might think I’m a sad, lonely hermit. I have countless journals that live in a box in the basement, but this one – my blue journal – stays in my bedside drawer. 

While I’ve intermittently kept a journal my whole life, it wasn’t until 15 years ago that I made it a consistent practice. My journal serves different purposes at different times. Sometimes it keeps secrets or helps breed new ideas, but usually it’s a safe space to store the chaos that gunks up my head. Most importantly, my journal is my companion. I’m rarely without it. It keeps me company like an old friend, and when I ask questions, it responds in its own way. 

Ten years ago, I wanted to commemorate my 30th birthday with something bold and memorable, so I traveled to Europe for a couple weeks. I went alone but never felt alone. Between the daily cast of characters that came into my life and the … Read the rest

Thing #15 – Half-Year Birthday

I got an email last week thanking me for the order I placed with Pampered Chef. I hadn’t placed an order. I thought about it for a bit, and with my dad’s recent attendance at a “guys night” Pampered Chef party, this kind of gesture had his name all over it. When I asked, he said, “Yes, it’s a half-year birthday present.”

Half-year birthdays were something we celebrated when I was in elementary school. It gave July babies like me the opportunity to bring birthday treats to school and get the same dose of attention as those spoiled school-year babies.

In your head, you might be thinking my childhood was marked by two elaborate birthday celebrations each year where I was showered with gifts and parties. It’s not like that. “Half-Birthday” was a fake holiday solely reserved for school. However after so many years of celebrating, the date has become lodged in my parents’ heads and they routinely send Facebook posts or surprise kitchen devices.

This year, my half-year birthday marks the halfway point for … Read the rest