Tag: travel

Oh, hell yes.

I think, for me, a new year starts at my own new year. That’s St. Patrick’s Day, not New Year’s Day. And, so, it’s time for my word of the year. Let’s go crazy and make it a phrase.

Fresh Scratch, lemon curd

I’ve wrapped up the final days of my third decade. Here’s what I have to say to that: oh, hell yes! I could even go as far as saying I’d really rather prefer to replace that “hell” with another four-letter word, but I lived in the South for a while and I just can’t do that on that outside. Rest assured, I am doing it on the inside.

40 doesn’t scare me. And it’s not a finish line. It’s not a climax. It’s not a pinnacle. It’s kind of like in Ms. Pac-Man when you chomp those big things that give you power or make you invincible to those strangely fast ghosts. Forty years of life has offered lessons that have turned to wisdom. Forty years have finally shown some “adventure lines” on my face in such a way that Clementine wants to now call them what they really are.

Oh, hell yes! Keep it coming, world. Bring it. I was born for all of this. Like Vince Vaughn earnestly said in this podcast, I want to ride all the rides at this carnival. Every sweet carousel, every romantic ferris wheel, the roller coasters that make me scream, and the spinny rides that make me want to throw up. And all of it with probably a little ice cream dripped on my shirt.

Because we are talking about me, here. It’s just inevitable I will spill something.

40 years or not, we each deserve nothing less than hell, yes. A big old no to everything and everyone that doesn’t elicit that twinkle in your eye. We only get to do this whole thing once.

What gets an oh, hell yes! from you?

Here’s what’s been getting a major one from me:

What I’m Cooking: Freutcake’s lemon curd – a shout-out to my homie Pati for the Meyer lemons this winter that were grown on her mama’s tree in California.

What I’m Watching: I saw all nine of the Oscar-nominated films this season! I finished with Moonlight last week {hint: not as hard to watch as I’d braced myself for – such a beautiful ending}, but Hacksaw Ridge surprised me as my favorite.

What I’m Reading: I just had my heart ripped out by Salt to the Sea. I have been on a real World War Two/historical fiction jag for the last year and just cannot seem to get satiated.

Where I’m Going: A winter farewell weekend in the Cascades with Shara and our kids – look out, sledding hill!



into the woods.

Fresh Scratch, Rosemary Meyer Lemon Drop

Finally, a new season. Winter, how the heck are ya?! I’m coming at you from my hiding spot this week in a log cabin in the middle of Idaho, wood stove going, wrapped in a quilt, flannel pajama pants on, surrounded by snow and books and good company. This is my reset button.

In other words, hello – it’s me. I’m back. I’m happy. I’m more than okay. I want to thank you for all of your thoughtful words after my last post an entire season ago. I shouldn’t have been so surprised by all the people who reached out to me – because I am a lucky girl who has all the best people – but I was touched in a way that may sound odd, given the circumstances. Those of you who have had the experience of walking down the aisle to get married may know what I mean: you looked at all the people smiling at you and felt so loved. So supported. I know this wasn’t that, but it felt the same somehow. I still have all that matters.

After sharing the news with you that my family was changing, the sands beneath my feet really shifted in a matter of days; things went from bad to worse, and I truly needed all the nice things you said, all the hugs, all the good vibes. I didn’t think anything would bring me more consuming grief than losing my dad, but these events did. They brought the heat in a not-nice way. But you know what? It’s in those kinds of battles where we become warriors.

I feel stronger than ever. I feel resolute. I feel solid. I feel more kind. My girls are thriving. I got that house I was hoping for – gingerbread and all – and we’ve settled into a new normal over the last six weeks or so. It feels right. And if I can just follow what feels right and never stray from that, I’m golden.

Fresh Scratch, winter field

I was getting tired of just surviving, and I was really starting to miss the things that make me feel twinkly {is that a word? who cares! it is now.}. Then a couple weeks ago, the snow just started dumping on my drive home. I had stuck my big camera up high in my closet upon moving in, but on this day I dragged in the stool, climbed up, and greeted my old buddy. As we walked toward that pretty field up there, I felt something familiar: excitement. It’d been a while. I snapped that shot and just knew my magic was back. Just like you know all the things you just know.

Here’s what happened after:

I thought of this.

I sat in front of the Christmas tree I had cut down by myself {so much harder than it looks! the girls made so much fun of me, especially when I said, “Quit talking! I am trying to cut down this tree!”}, read a book {I just finished this one, and just started that one}, and remembered this.

I recreated my exact cookie party components from last year, then had like 20+ of my ladies over to my house on a school night, where we boozed it up and got so loud I had to shout across the kitchen to Emily. It felt like a christening of laughter for my house. Promptly at 9:30, they all went home. That’s how we moms party.

And now I’m at the cabin. Because in the quiet moments of my storm, I knew that this was the place to wash ashore.

What’s next? Well, checking on the fire, for starters.

The rest is wide open.

Thanks for making my heart grow three times as big.

xoxo, ms. fresh scratch