Five Years and Counting

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Dear Friendly Readers,

Five years ago, I began something new—a blog. I had created the blog’s title and web address several years before, but nothing happened. For a long time, my blog was nothing more than an empty resolution. Warm As Pie was like so many other unfulfilled promises of other good things that I wanted to do but never really did—like exercising, or flossing twice a day, or baking my own bread every week, or finally truly learning to speak French. It’s painful to say, but I’m actually quite used to not following through on my big ideas. I wasn’t too surprised to fail at blogging before I even tried.

On September 22, 2009, I decided to give the whole blog thing one honest effort. I had two primary reasons for wanting to bring Warm As Pie to life. First, I was an adjunct faculty member in the English department at a big, fancy university, and I was feeling like a fraud. I was teaching writing, but I wasn’t doing any writing. In 2004, I had completed an MFA (master of fine arts degree) in creative writing, but once my thesis was approved, I rarely wrote pieces that weren’t related to the teaching of composition or the study of education. I simply wasn’t writing creatively anymore, yet I was teaching others to write and trying to convince them that writing could be a part of life. I wanted to “walk the walk” again—to live the writer’s life again.

Secondly, I wanted a pretty place to record and reflect upon the beautiful things that were happening in my life. I read Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey*, and I was won over by all the “bliss” flowing out of that book. I had two little boys at the time—a 4 year old and a 1 year old—and I already knew the frantic, other-worldly pace at which they were growing and changing. I didn’t want to forget. I wanted to live slowly and purposefully. The commitment to writing about my life felt like a promise to live the life I wanted (and still want). Blogging makes me grateful.

I didn’t fail! I posted once. That was fun. I did it again and again and again. I became acquainted with a few other bloggers, and I loved the sense of community. A small band of readers—mostly real-life friends and family—welcomed my posts. People seemed to like what I was doing. They thanked me. They cheered me. They told me that my blog meant something to them. My readership is tiny, but those friends sure are loyal. Yes, Warm As Pie has slowed considerably after a couple of big moves and two more children and the beginning of our life as home-schoolers, but the pleasant comments and encouragement from readers keep me from putting this blog to its final rest. My two reasons for blogging remain true. I’m still teaching writing, and I want to continue in the practice of writing. I still want to record this abundant, beautiful life that God has given to me.

And so…I embark on my sixth year of Warm As Pie. I’ve decided to zoom in and focus on the kind of blogging that I love most: sharing how we grow together through words and images. I’m simplifying. I’m streamlining. All of the amazing possibilities of blogging has led me a stray more than once, but I’m back to the basics. I will be making some fun changes in the next few weeks. I CANNOT wait to share a special little project that has been brewing for months. Eeeee! I’m excited!

If this is your first time here, welcome. You’ve come at a good time. If you’ve been with me awhile, thank you. Thank you for caring enough about me and my family to stop in from time to time.

Warmly,
Erica G.


*Blogging for Bliss now has many outdated references and resources.  A lot of the blogs featured in the book have moved or closed.  However, it is a gorgeous book with plenty of helpful information.  I picked up an excellent used copy on Amazon for ONE PENNY!  With shipping, I acquired a book that I love for $4.00.  Nice!

Summer Girl

Everything about this girl says summer.  Her pale blonde hair, her sky blue eyes, and her frequently bare feet remind me of a little sunshine elf.  Oh, but she’s a feisty one.  Quick to smile and quick to anger, too, I’m afraid.  I’m always seeking ways to understand her while still simply enjoying the very light of her presence.  She sure does shine.

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Meet Clover

Are you prepared for some puppy cuteness?  Yes, we got a puppy.  Most of my blog readers are “real life” friends and family, so you already know about our newest addition, but my blog wouldn’t be complete without a proper introduction to Clover.

Clover joined our family about a month after the loss of Hannah.  We thought we would wait a bit before finding a new pet, but we missed Hannah’s presence in our home too much to be without a dog for much longer.  We had decided long before Hannah died that our next dog would be a rescue pup.  We browsed Petfinder.com, and this little black lab mix jumped out at us.  She was named “Jill,” but after several in depth rounds of family voting, we decided on “Clover.”  (I was later dismayed to find out that there is a popular cartoon character with a pet named Clover.  We had no idea.)  She was only about nine weeks old when we adopted her, one of nine puppies in an abandoned litter.  Can you imagine!

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These photographs are of Clover with her pal, Bailey.  Bailey isn’t our dog, but  she has been quite the little (big!) mother to Clover.  They have a cute, funny relationship.

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And here is our girl at 4 months old.  She’s growing fast, and we soon won’t have a little puppy anymore!

Menu Tuesday?

Hi, readers.  I did not post menus over the last two weeks because we were staying with family for a few days during each of those weeks.  Meal planning was a little tricky, so I didn’t have actual menus prepared.  Here is how this week is stacking up:

Monday:  Chicken parmesan

Tuesday:  Pizza

Wednesday:  Steak salads

Thursday:  Chicken and broccoli stir-fry

Friday:  Salmon, “hot potato salad,” and spinach salad

Saturday:  Fajitas

Sunday:  Sauerkraut and Sausage Casserole

A note on Sunday’s dinner.  It’s not really my thing.  I don’t love kielbasa or sauerkraut, but my husband and my kids love both.  At least it looks pretty.  You can see it here.  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/make_ahead_casserole_recipes?slide=17#leaderboardad

Happy birthday!

Big things are happening here.  A boy turned six.  And got a bicycle!  Six years ago, we welcomed a second son into our family, and he has brought much love and mischief into our lives.  He is an amazingly practical little guy, always trying to figure things out.  He is sensitive and usually has his emotional antennae poised.  He’s a loyal brother, knowing both the role of little brother and big brother.  Simply, he’s a delight.

We love you, buddy!

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Menu Monday

The day is almost over, but I made it back for Menu Monday!  As person who often struggles with follow-through, I consider this a major success.

Last week was vacation Bible school, so the food schedule didn’t go exactly as I had imagined.  A few meals got bumped up; therefore, Sunday’s steak is tomorrow’s dinner.  Here’s the plan:

Monday — Spaghetti and salad

Tuesday — Steak, roasted cabbage, and baked apples

Wednesday — Chicken and veggie pizza

Thursday — Meatball sandwiches and “Mary Salad” (tomatoes, cucumbers, and Italian dressing)

Friday — Spinach salads with chicken, strawberries, and almonds

Saturday — Someone is turning six!!  Birthday party food!

Sunday — leftovers

Somehow Summer

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Somehow, it’s summer already.  Somehow, spring slipped by, baseball season came to it’s dramatic end (champions!), and our family vacation came & went.  Now, somehow, we are in the midst of July.  Happy summer weeks are behind us, and about six more stand ahead–bursting with the promise of lightning bugs, cook-outs, popsicles, and trips to the pool.  Somehow, time continues to speed faster with each year, daring to beat it’s own impossible pace.  All we can do is snatch moments into our memories for safe keeping, hoarding them like precious stones.

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