Tomorrow’s Easter and we noticed the Bunny just put the finishing touches on some gifts for the boys. For the last week they have been counting down the days awaiting the arrival of a holiday bearing sweets and gifts, meanwhile we’ve been trying to slow down time since we know Easter Sunday will mark the last day of my near-two-week vacation. It has been a wonderful, glorious two weeks. We blogged about our days at Paleo FX and then our Cabin in the Woods, but as we noted in that post we’ve also been having a bit of a detox from the stressful parts of life, too.
As we pulled back from doing too much, learned to say no and focused on spending time together and not on the growing list of “to-dos” piling up – our family has been able to reconnect in wonderful ways. This time together has been so insanely wonderful for us all! It has provided us a clarity on our plans going forward into the future unlike anything we’ve had for a long time. But, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been productive. We have one HUGE project we need to focus on finishing before we can fully relax into the things we want to do instead of solely worrying about what we need to. So before Stacy runs off and joins the circus as a StrongWoman (kidding) we promise we’ll finish writing the book we’re SO excited to share with the world, Real Life Paleo.
That’s why, even on our Spring Break vacation, Aimee came over on a week day to shoot over 20 recipes for Real Life Paleo in one day! Above she’s making 3 variations of jerky (traditional, heart and liver versions) not look like dried out meat. And then also letting Monster Cookie Dough Dip bask in the lush light of Spring. p.s. Yes, Aimee is an avid cross-fitter #sunsoutgunsout
Later that afternoon I tried to eat the leftover Waldorf Chicken Salad Wraps from the same Real Life Paleo and our white marble Bengal tried to steal it off my plate, literally batting away the greens in an attempt to eat my chicken. Sometimes we regretting feeding them grain-free with lots of meat… like when they steal our food.
Don’t worry, the lady Bengal is much less fiesty.
It was an exhausting day, but at the end we got to snuggle. These are the moments I just cannot get enough of. I know all too well how rare it is I can get my almost-9-year-old to hug and kiss me without rolling his eyes with protest, so I eat up the attention and affection of the in-total-denial-he-is-turning-4 and 6 year olds.
The next day was a slow and lazy start. We declared it “find your own breakfast” morning and the boys came out thrilled with their finds of homemade jerky and date rolls (again all from the Real Life Paleo shoot the day before).
Then they spent hours watching YouTube videos of Michael Jackson. You will also note, Finn slept in his shirt and PJ pants from the day before. Honestly, we’re thrilled when he wears pants so on lazy days at home we let it slide.
His mis-matched look is a result of me asking he and Cole to participate in a photoshoot for Real Life Paleo. He did the classic “business up top and party down south” move of keeping his PJ pants on but giving in to my wishes of a “fancy” shirt. However, when Sam (our fantastic Paleo Sitter) arrived around noon we did make him finally get dressed. And then the boys were off for adventures.
While Matt and I wrote and edited a combined 30,000 words in one day, Sam spoiled the boys rotten. She is the first non-family babysitter we’ve used this way – and certainly been allowed to take the boys places! But they just adore her and we love that she knows and respects how we parent (which includes food, among other things).
I enjoyed snacking on the leftover Garden Tuna Salad from Real Life Paleo while I wrote. These “carrot chips” work perfectly and are are one of my new favorite snacks! We’ve found them at our health-conscious stores like Whole Foods and MOMs but I’ve also seen them at some Food Lions! If your store doesn’t carry them, ask! They are awesome and we highly recommend them over baby carrots (our old staple).
When the boys got home at dinner time I offered to make them the breakfast they’d missed before. OK, maybe I didn’t offer. Maybe the youngest asked for pancakes and bacon and mommy can’t say no to his cuteness. Although, once breakfast-for-dinner was served, he seemed much more interested in the raspberries I put on the table.
After a productive Friday, today was another day to relax and enjoy together before having to head back to reality. The 2 youngest boys went with my mom and I for a “date” (which is really just running errands) down to Eastern Market in DC and then Happy Tart, our favorite gluten-free bakery.
One of our biggest successes to reduce stresses lately is short cuts. Of course we could have spent much of the weekend cooking food from scratch to serve for Easter brunch, but after a huge cookbook shoot the day before we were thrilled for the idea of time out of the kitchen to do other things… like enjoy the sunshine with the children.
yes, that’s my mother. yes, I know she looks amazing. she gained health going gluten-free and focusing on real food years ago
Finding quality vendors like Happy Tart allows us to have special treats without sacrificing our health. Also, our non-gluten-free friends love their stuff so picking it up for parties is always a hit.
Bonus photo missed in our Paleo FX recap
This was taken by Mickey Trescott of AutoImmune Paleo with a film camera in the backyard of the house we rented in Austin, TX. It was after hosting brunch and Mickey asked us to pose. This happens naturally… I never feel more strong or supported when in the arms of the man I love. I’m so grateful to spend everyday working with and loving him. Best partner, dad, husband I could ask for. Thanks for capturing that moment for us, Mickey!