Two Pretzels

January 25, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Happy birthday, Mom.

A lot has changed in this past year. I've made some changes. I've changed the day-in and day-out schedule of my life because I felt like I needed to. I needed to spend more time with the girls, Mom. For the first time in my life I did something that may "put me behind" the rat race because it felt right. It was the right thing to do for me; for my family. Life is short. Right, Mom?

I wanted so badly to walk through this path with you; ask your opinion then ignore it. [smile] Then ask it again. I wanted to hear, verbally, out loud, in plain English, "Kylee, you're doing the right thing. It sounds like a good idea to me."

Nothing used to settle my heart like hearing that...

I fought it for so much of my life. But the truth is, your approval has always mattered to me. You matter. You still matter.

And, even though you're gone, you're not. You're simply not.

You are in my heart and I am so happy that you were here.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for my sister. Oh, thank you for her.
Thank you for gifting us strength and courage and faith and tenacity.
Thank you for making us brave and strong. And funny. :)

As I get older, my respect for you grows more and more. And even though I can't hug you, my heart holds you close. Even though I can't eat crab legs with you today, I smile as I hear your name on the lips of your granddaughter.

Tonight I went to a paint party, Mom. One of those things where guests sit around painting their version of what the teacher has painted. I painted circles, because I hate hearts. And while we were painting, Danny's song came on. And I remember the years when we'd be driving in the car, windows rolled down, you singing, me rolling my eyes yet still humming along in my head...

"And even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with you honey, 
Everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning when I rise,
Bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me, everything's... gonna be all right."

It's true, Mom.

Everything's alright.

Happy birthday, sweet little Mom of mine.
I love you to the moon and back a bazillion times.

Thanks for being mine. For always.

(I miss you.)

Love,
me.


(The teacher's/template is on the left. Mine on the right. I call it, "Donut Heaven." Shirl did teach me to go my own way...)

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--The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  :: Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  :: Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.
June 1, 2014  ::  Moving "forward"  ::  Post here.
July 6, 2014  ::  Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah  ::  Post here.
August 20, 2014  ::  So, I'm 35  ::  Post here.
September 2, 2014  ::  7 days  ::  Post here.
September 8, 2014  ::  The Day Before a Year  ::  Post here.
September 9, 2014  ::  Hello, one year  ::  Post here.
October 11, 2014  ::  The brain is funny  ::  Post here.
November 6, 2014  ::  Love  ::  Post here.
November 30, 2014 ::  Post here.
December 4, 2014  ::  Another feather. Post here.
December 28, 2014  :: All was calm, all is bright. Post here.
January 18, 2015  ::  They're always with us? They're always with us. Post here.
January 25, 2015  ::  And today I remember. Post here.
March 8, 2015  ::  A year and a half later. Post here.
April 16, 2015  ::  And here I stand. Post here.
April 29, 2015  ::  Joan & Shirley. Post here.
August 26, 2015 :: Perspective. Post here.
September 9, 2015  :: Two Years After. Post here.
November 1, 2015  ::  Watching others go through it. Post here.
::

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January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday, Webslinger.




Last night she was brushing her teeth and as her little mouth was full of strawberry-flavored toothpaste and an Incredible Hulk toothbrush, her eyes welled up with tears and she started to cry.



With a mouth full of toothpaste, she looked at me and said, "I don't want to grow. I don't want to be five."

It was her Birthday Eve and I just stood there; semi-frozen in time. "Oh, I don't want you to be five, either," I thought

January 11, 2016

2016 Golden Globes Fashion Recap



Jewel-tones. Zombie brides. Plunging necklines. Sparkles. And white.

Let's dig in, shall we?

So normally when I start watching these red carpets I immediately spot what I love and what I don't. The first awards season of the year wasn't really an immediate hit with me. Still, you can always trust that I will give you a never-concise, always honest rundown on the fashion. My disclaimer: I am not cutting down the character of any one person. I am merely considering the work of designers and stylists.

So there.

Let's start with the gemstones.

So here's Gina Rodriguez in Zac Posen and I have to tell you... I was <this close> to handing her the coveted title of Best Dressed and I'm still not completely convinced I shouldn't.

This gown is PERFECTION on her. I love the draping. I love the full skirt.

Do I love her hair? No. Do I love navy blue? Also no. BUT this.is.stunning.


Is Felicity Huffman even remotely recognizable? She's a brunette and that's fine, but her body, you guys? I had to IMDB her (because I don't trust Siri.) and she's 53.

While her body is impressive, this dress looks like fancy bacon.

Like maple, beechwood, Harry & David bacon or something.


January 3, 2016

Kids Playroom Makeover: Our little surprise...



So, we have this little room at the top of our house. It's kind of random.


The little room has 9 windows, no air-conditioning and great natural light. It has a nice high ceiling, too. I considered it for my office, but wasn't sure how the internet access would be in our cement house. Weather-wise, it's ideal for about 8 months out of the year, but still - it had up until now held nothing but our collection of about 17 suitcases. (You think I jest. Each time we travel to the States I over-purchase, we under-pack and I have to buy a new Ricardo-brand suitcase from Costco. #Classy.)

So you exit a door on our second floor, walk through a short breezeway into this detached room.



The view isn't too shabby.



January 2, 2016

Hearty Beef Stew: 21 Day Fix Approved


So eating well happens slowly... over time. Making small changes over time adds up! Looking forward to trying this stew. Yum.


Ingredients:
1½ lb. raw lean beef stew meat, boneless
1½ medium onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
½ to 1 cup low-sodium organic beef broth (or vegetable broth)
1 bay leaf
½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
3 cups cooked quinoa, hot

Preparation:
1. Place beef, onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, hot sauce, 1/2 cup broth, and bay leaf in large saucepot.
2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 40 minutes, adding additional broth as needed.
3. Add bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes; cook, covered, for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and beef is fork tender.
4. Serve with quinoa.

1.5 green
1.5 yellow
1 red

Curated from here.

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January 1, 2016

Recommittment.

Re-commiting.



Oh, sweet Two Pretzels blog... how I have missed you.

Many moons ago I started this blog because I needed an outlet. I wanted to be witty and whimsical and light. But this space became so much more than a quick joke or fleeting commentary.

I've gained friendships; true bonds.
I moved to a new country.
I tried to have a baby.
It finally happened.
And then surprise! I had another baby.
And then my Mom died...
...
...
And I wrote and I cried and I wrote more and those friendships, they sustained me. My supporters, my friends, my faceless commenters emailed me; they became as real to me as I was to them.



From start to finish, that period of my life altered me.

In the time since that loss, I've changed. I am no longer who I was before she left this earth in her car that Monday mid-morning on September 9, 2013.

I am Kylee before and I am Kylee now.

The time following her loss my blog became a more somber space. I couldn't non-chalantly write about my favorite mascara or my thoughts on the resurgence of flare jeans. I could only feel the weight of the world on my heart.



And then slowly...

...every so gently...

...the weight began to leave. The rock was rolled away by the strong arms of time, of love, of friendship, of prayers... The sun shined again.

Life went on. I found a rhythm and the "new normal' made it's way in. Still, I'm not the same.
My priorities have shifted... I think this happens to many.



What matters most in my life is and will continue to be my relationships. They're gold. They're more precious than anything. And in the past months, my collection of beloved treasures haven't been as acknowledged as I prefer.

So, with that said, I'm re-committing. Experience has demonstrated in my life, and I bet in yours, that this life is frightfully short. We must spend our time, we must expend our time on that which fulfills us and drives us.

I am looking forward to a 2016 filled with joy, with passion, with time spent being present.
I am looking forward to a 2016 where I grow and stretch and push myyself.
I am looking forward to a 2016 where I sit, relax, read, and just be.
I am looking forward to a 2016 full of rekindled relationships & friendships...
I am looking forward to a 2016 where I can write more. Where this space can be re-born.

We all need a new beginning every now and then.

Here's to renewal.



May 2016 hold for you joy, contentment, peace and dreamed set and attained.

Thank you for being here.

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December 27, 2015

Easy Breakfast - Mini Egg Cupcakes - 21 Day Fix approved!



So, they're not really cupcakes but they're made in a cupcake tin... so there's that.

Not a new idea, but SO easy - you don't even need a recipe.

Breakfast Muffins!

Here's what I did:
 • use leftovers: spinach, bacon, peppers, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausage - the opportunities are endless
• use a pinch of cheddar cheese
• use about 1 egg per cupcake

I used a tin of 12 plus a tin of 6 and used about 16 eggs.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes - until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Freeze or keep in the fridge for an easy snack. Re-heat in the microwave if need be. Such a good eat and run snack!

YAY EGGS!

*I'm clearly not a food blogger.

(This is simple - it's one red (egg) and potentially 1/4 - 1/2 blue (cheese) and veggies (green). Bacon, meats are red - I'd say you'd eat about 1/4 of a red container. Serving size is 1-2)




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