Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hello There March.

Sitting here, watching the Oscars and realizing I haven't seen one of the nominated movies.  It seems like this has been the case the past several years.  Instead of rooting for my favorites while watching the awards show I use it as a guide to what movies I should rent as they come out on DVD.  This is because I only went to two movies this past year...Despicable Me 2 and Frozen, neither of which is up for best film.  I would totally go for Frozen if it was.

This weekend was cold, snowy, windy and then more snow.  Saturday the temperatures never creeped above zero so the girls stayed in pj's and inside all day.  Watching movies and getting lost in Polly Pocket land.  They were happy as could be.  I also was happy to be inside, warm and cozy watching the snow blow around outside.  Today it warmed up enough to get out and play in all this snow that has covered valley...

Lots of hot cocoa, layering up and tucking under blankets.  Staying warm and feeling grateful for our home and being together.

This morning for the first time in many weeks I decided to join the family for church.  Lately I have been choosing to find my spirituality on a yoga mat instead of a church pew on Sunday mornings.  For some reason I knew this weekend I wanted to go to church instead.  Maybe because I was feeling guilty due to the amount of weekends I've missed.  Maybe because I went to a kick ass yoga class Saturday and was still feeling the pain.  Whatever the reason, I am so glad I went.  The sermon was about John, born blind and Jesus returning his sight.  The pastor didn't go with it in a literal sense.  She spoke of being in the dark when it comes to any part of your life it with your faith, health, family, life decisions.  Being blind, so to speak and then finding the light and your way.  Talking of how if you have faith, the light will always find it's way to you.  Having felt somewhat in the dark lately in the faith/spirituality path, it really spoke to me.  Not that I suddenly saw the light and feel everything is clear.  Just knowing it's okay to feel confused and in the dark.  To questions things.  You have to go with it.  Don't judge it.  Keep the faith.  It will work out and you will see.  

No real way to transition from that.  Food is always good, right?  Last week Ava was home sick one day.  Now, I never like seeing the sparkle leave my babies eyes when they don't feel well, but I love a chance to spend a day with them.  And because she wasn't terribly sick it felt more like a bonus Ava-mama day.  Knowing we would be home all day left me compelled to bake.  We browsed cookbooks and settled on pretzel bites.  Yea, they were awesome.

These accompanied our soup that evening, but I know next time they will be with some gooey, warm cheese dip for dunking.  I've never made pretzels before and they were pretty easy...kneading, rising, boiling, baking.  I love the steps and process involved in baking.  Taking such simple ingredients and turning them into something delicious.  This was a first, but certainly not a last.  (I'll put the recipe at the end).

Once Ava got her spark back she was able to return to basketball.  And for a girl who had to be gently encouraged to give basketball a try, she was full of smiles putting on her new jersey for the first time.

Months ago when she started, she could barely dribble a ball.  This week I watched her be part of a play and make a basket.  I was a proud mama.  We haven't done sports much, a couple attempts at soccer.  Basketball has been more of a success.  It is a tiny team with her, her bff,another girl plus Layla and another little sister tag along.  It is totally casual, no big games, all just for fun.  The coach is her friends dad and is laid back while still teaching them the fundamentals of the sport.  The way any sport should be played at the age of 8 in my opinion.  

It is now March.  I smile when I turn the calendar to March.  I put a sunshine on the 21st to mark the first day of spring and a smiley face to mark daylight savings time.  It means the end of winter is in sight and the hope of spring coming.  Ya know the saying 'if March comes in like a lion it'll come out like a lamb'?  Well, March 1st was a blizzard of a day, bitterly cold and very lion like.  I'm holding out hope it will be leaving us like a lamb.  

Happy March.

Pretzel Bites
1 1/4 cups beer at room temp
3 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls milk
2 tbls butter (unsalted and melted)
1 package active dry yeast
3 to 4 cups flout
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup baking soda & water
Coarse sea salt
I used my kitchenAid mixer, but you could do it by hand.  Place beer, brown sugar, milk, butter, 1 cup of flour and yeast in the bowl and mix on low.  Add the dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes while adding the remaining flour.  Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.  
Turn out onto a floured surface, knead for another minutes and cut into 16 pieces and shape each one into a ball.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.  
Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees and grease a second cookie sheet.  Bring water and baking soda to boil in a large pt.  Add the balls to the boiling water in batches and boil until they are puffed, turning once.  Around 3 minutes.  Drain on a kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining balls.  Place on the other cookie sheet and with kitchen scissors snip the top and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 15 minutes.  

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