Adventures in Free – as in dairy, gluten, soy, chocolate, coconut (sigh)

Breastfeeding has made my daily diet a bit wonky…I am currently doing an elimination diet to see what is making poor Oakleigh have tummy troubles. Without our go-to no knead bread (oh how I miss it!) I wanted a cornbread that I could eat with soup. So many recipes are gluten free, some are dairy free but use a dairy substitute. So I decided to give it a go with just water and see what happened.

AMAZING cornbread!!! We may not even go back…

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Perfect Cornbread

  • 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs molasses or honey
  • 4 Tbs bacon fat, coconut oil or butter


Fat for greasing pan

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add the water, molasses and eggs to the dry ingredients, and mix until blended.
  3. Let corn mixture sit for a half hour, stirring occasionally if you remember.
  4. Place a cast iron skillet or cast iron muffin pan in oven, and preheat to 400 (for about 30 minutes while the cornmeal continues to soak, 1 hour total)
  5. When oven is hot, mix in vinegar to the corn mix.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven, and melt 2-3 Tbs butter/oil/fat to coat the pan. (or drop a large pea size chunk of butter or fat/oil in each muffin hole) and immediately pour in the batter. Return the skillet to the oven, and bake at 375 for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center is just cooked through. Check a few minutes early as all ovens vary and add a few extra minutes if needed. Taking care not to over-bake will ensure moist cornbread.

First Holiday Season with a Little & the Goal of Less Stuff

It is mid November. Or in our family calendar, the middle of “cake season”. It kicks off with the State Fair gluttony in September, followed quickly by my birthday then Matt’s (hence the cake…lots of birthday cake to eat!), Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much food! And then we always mange to plan a poorly time beach (ie: swimsuit!) vacation for early in the new year. Good motivation to work out I suppose!

This year is our first embarking on the holidays as a family of three. Having a little along really makes every routine, tradition and timing of it all go up for consideration. Naps! Gifts! Time in the car! With both our families living within two hours of us holidays look quite different from how I grew up. We are adjusting our routine to equitably squeeze everyone in while maintaining a sense of balance…or at least that is the goal!


I have been inspired by some blog posts and stories online about establishing traditions that don’t revolve so much around gifts and a huge Christmas morning. Our little family has been pulling away from acquiring random stuff for some time now. I will admit that I still fall prey to new things (thank you Amazon for making it WAY too easy to get find anything and everything), but I have made a conscious effort in the past two years to a) stop going to stores just to browse and b) getting rid of random stuff in our house.

The first was hard. I drive a lot for work and would have 15 minutes to kill before going to a meeting. Why not pop into Goodwill (I love seeing what “treasures” there are), Marshalls, World Market etc even just to look? The consequence was that I can always find something I like. Even if it is just dish towels. Now with baby clothes the temptation is even greater! And when thrifting etc everything is so cheap and easy to justify. But I came to the realization that this was just an impulse waste of time and money.

So I just have stopped going in. I have even caught myself pulling into the parking lot, and then turning around. If you don’t look, you don’t buy. Period. I spend that extra 15 minutes calling a friend, catching up on my emails, or journaling in the car. And the amount of time, money and stuff I have saved adds up. Which allows me to justify investing in higher quality items of the things that we really do need or want.

Now to purging: this house remodel has been so helpful in helping us really see what we use and what we don’t. All (and by this I mean probably 90%) of our belongings are being stored in the extra bedroom. For two years now. And we have not missed it. We have seriously paired down the random kitchen items, knick knacks, magazines, books, etc that just took up space. We still need to purge our closets and shoe collection, but it really frees up so much physical and metal space to have fewer things in our house. And when we officially move back in, we will be very intentional about what we keep and what gets rehomed.

All that leads me to the holidays. And gifts. We have been thinking hard about how we want to establish traditions with Oakleigh from the start, and expectations around Santa gifts and stockings and all the different Christmases we attend. We have not come to any decisions yet (any suggestions out there? I am all ears!!!) but do like some of the ideas around the 4 gift system from parents, asking for experiences (or specific items rather than random stuff or toys), and this out there idea about a rainy day gift closet. All of these align with our family values of meaningful quality over quantity, and getting back to a life with less stuff. And taking time to pick (both in the making of wish lists and in the giving of) meaningful gifts that will be appreciated for the long haul.

I remember a fun childhood with tons of gifts on Christmas morning, but every year, it is really just one or two gifts that I can still remember. These were the highlight and were something I treasure to recall. My porcelain doll. Tiny tea set. Set of coral encyclopedias. A red hooded pea coat. That single gift from my great-grandmother every year that I knew was super special. And I remember the afternoon outing that we would do as a family. Sailing, or taking a walk. That is the part of Christmas that means the most in my memory, and we would like to focus our time and energy in making that our holiday priority.

This seems to be a common theme. When discussing with a friend the other day, a random woman came up to us and joined our conversation. She was having trouble navigating similar expectations with her daughter and grandkids. She was unsure how to ask what they would want to receive so she would be sure to pick things they wanted and would use. It was fun to have this conversation from multiple generations of perspectives!

Giving gifts and the generosity that comes with it is so touching and appreciated. And I know that everyone loves to spoil a baby! We had a great moment with my grandparents last week when my grandma was inspired to buy Oakleigh some new cloth diaper covers. This offer was SUPER appreciated and she asked some good questions ahead of time to make sure they were “right”. I was able to share with her information about what we used, and what we are needing next. It gave her the ability to help out, and we did not end up with random cloth diapers that we may not have used! Win win!

And with that, we embark on the 2017 holiday season! Wishing you and yours a time of restful, meaningful memories with your loved ones and families!

Our First Week(ish) As Three

We were home from the birth center by 10:00 the evening of our little Oakleigh’s birth, and faced the reality of settling in as a family of three. Since she arrived 12 days early, the house and closet nursery in our room was not really in the status where we anticipated it being when she came home, but oh well…it would just have to work!

Her space was clean and tidy, with a bassinet, changing table, set up ready to go…but we also had piles of laundry to fold, random packages and packaging stuffed into corners, the shower needed to be scrubbed…and that was just our room! Upstairs the kitchen was in full on demo mid-remodel, with no sink or stove. And piles of dirty dishes that we had not yet gotten to (easy to procrastinate on those when the bathtub is how you are washing them…ugh!). But that was home and we were in it as a family of three.

The first night we had the go ahead from our midwife to just let her sleep till she woke up hungry. Thank goodness, because I was totally exhausted. Having only slept for maybe 45 minutes the night prior to her birth I really needed sleep. Matt needed sleep too, but was more alert and kept checking on her throughout the night. Being so new, she was moving a lot of fluid through her system still and he did not want her to choke.

By morning we were slightly more rested and started our first real day of our first week. Waking her up to eat every two hours (midwife’s instructions for the first two weeks), changing diapers, Matt making sure we were fed, and trying to rest as much as possible. Our midwife Shari came by later that afternoon for her first house visit, weighed little Oakleigh (she lost 10oz) and gave us some instructions to get her some sunshine to help with a blush of jaundice. Then we were back on our own.

A rollercoaster of hormones, sleep deprivation, and a learning curve gave us some really high highs and some really low lows, but we slowly figured out a system that worked. We decided that it was pointless for both Matt and I to lose so much sleep, so he would sleep through the night while I tended to Oakleigh. This would give him more energy to take care of us throughout the day while I could rest. By day 5 he was back to the remodel!

By the end of the first week she and I had breastfeeding down. I feel super lucky because I know that is not everyone’s experience. Feeding every two hours during the day (and every three at night) has become our routine…except of course when she decides it is time to cluster feed! A few times there have been 3 hours straight when I am nursing this little piggy! Those get really exhausting.

My dream of being at the lake for the 4th of July, huge belly in a swimsuit, well, that did not happen. Instead we had a picnic dinner in the back yard followed by a night of diapers and boobies…and could not have been more happy.

This little girl is truly an easy baby so far. She sleeps easily and in her bassinet, giving us space to catch up on our sleep. She eats well and has helped my milk come in…and is fattening up and growing! Her sharky jammies are already too small! Pretty sure today is her last day to be in them (12 days old). We also mastered cloth diapers! We went through a package and a half of disposables, and came to the point where we either needed to buy more, or suck it up and try the cloth stash that I had washed and folded a few weeks prior. So we gave it a go and have not looked back!

Daddy loves to sing songs to her, making up lyrics to all sorts of tunes. And a favorite way to calm her down is listing off all the things that she will get to try someday. Flavors of ice cream, fruits, dairy products, Italian dishes…you name it. She is super cuddly and adorable and we are so so in love.

Grandparents have visited, and helped get the house back on track and in order. Dishes are done, the kitchen is making progress, grass is mowed, and we have our new grill finally put together! Friends and family have been delivering us food which is so so appreciated, particularly when we have limited cooking capacity right now!

And now we have made it to her due date! July 11…oh little Oakleigh Elaine, we are so happy that we have had you in our arms these past 12 days already!

Oakleigh Elaine Frugé: A birth day story

Throughout my pregnancy, our wonderful midwife Shari has been predicting that our little Grain would be right on time: due date, July 11. I was measuring on track, and we had an 8 week ultrasound to get the most accurate date possible. On Wednesday, June 28 I had an 2:30 appointment where everything still showed I was on track. Baby was doing great. I had some Braxton hicks contractions while she measured my belly that I could not even feel. This surprised me, so I asked what I should be paying attention for when it came to real contractions. Good thing I asked, because 90 minutes later, on the ferry towards home, I started feeling those first ones roll through.

I thought, nah, I am going to my due date, these must just be nerves. After all, this was my final day commuting to the office. I planned to work from home until the baby showed up, and take some time to decompress and shift modes to maternity leave.

But the contractions kept coming.

So I downloaded a contraction timing app and started to keep track.

(5-7 minutes apart, ~40 seconds long)

When I got home, I walked into our totally wrecked in-the-middle-of-a-remodel house. No functional kitchen, sawdust and debris everywhere. We were close to putting on countertops the upcoming weekend and progress was looking good, but it was a frustrating day for Matt with some projects going awry.

I got in the bathtub to see if the contractions would stall out. Nope. Then laid on the bed. Nope.

We ate dinner, watched an episode of the Sopranos. Contractions still coming.

(5-7 minutes apart, ~40 seconds long)


Matt doing some last minute labor coaching reading before we head to bed

Living on an island with no medical facilities presents a limited array of options when it comes to giving birth. Basically homebirth, or get yourself off the island. The idea of a home birth was what resonated most with Matt and I, but the possibility of needing to transfer off the island in an emergency was not a thought I wanted in my head for delivery. Instead, we opted for our little Grain to be delivered at a freestanding birth center in Tacoma, The Birthing Inn. We liked that it was basically a homebirth at a bed and breakfast type atmosphere, 4 minutes from a hospital. I wanted to have a water birth, and they were perfectly set up to accommodate that with huge comfortable tubs.

So now the question was, when do you leave the island? I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, while managing ferry lines and the nighttime gap in service. We called Shari and let her know what was up. Ho boy was she surprised to hear from me the same day as the appointment!

We decided to keep me at home and check in the next morning, unless something drastically changed. She was super flexible throughout the whole process, ready to come to Vashon for labor, or just meet in Tacoma depending on ferries, timing etc.

Matt was exhausted after his trying day, so my #1 priority for him was sleeping. I knew I would need him to be 100% for the real deal of active labor and getting me safely off the island. So we went to bed and I quietly labored in bed as he slept.

(4-6 minutes apart, ~35-45 seconds long)

Contractions were regular but manageable. Eventually I moved from laying down to standing and swaying as each one came.

(3-5 minutes apart, ~45 seconds long)

Finally, around 4 AM I knew it was time to get Matt involved. The contractions were strong enough that I needed to hang on to him. We tried the yoga ball, hated that. I could not sit or lay through these, I needed to hang on to him and sway.

(2-4 minutes apart, ~60-70 seconds long)

We called Shari again. We check the ferry schedules and decided Matt and I should head to Tacoma and check in when we were off the ferry to decide if we should come to her condo or straight or the birth center. So we loaded up the car and started on the 20 minute drive to the south end of Vashon. Contractions in the car were uncomfortable, and I was glad that we were going when we did because I could work through them. They also slowed down. My body knew I was in transit. We stopped at the grocery store for sandwiches, bagels and chocolate milk. Then headed to Shari’s condo.


Driving to the ferry at the south end of Vashon Island

We were 4th in line for the ferry and loaded easily. Checked in with Shari and decided to head to head to her condo to labor longer. The Birthing Inn was not for until active labor started.

(6-7 minutes apart, ~45 seconds long)

At her condo we took a long walk along the waterfront. Talking and looking at the glass sculptures and pausing for me to hang on Matt and sway through contractions. After an hour of walking I was exhausted and we went back. Ate some sandwiches. Rested. And the contractions were not picking up. They were more intense but still too far apart. Not active labor.

(7-8 minutes apart, ~90 seconds long)

At 12:30, Shari suggested that we check my cervix, and consider a membrane sweep if appropriate. Her approach has been minimal physical checks (which aligns with my approach to childbirth) so when she suggested it I knew it was in my best interest. The check revealed that I was dialated to 2cm…not nearly as far as we had anticipated. However, she also found that my cervix was SUPER soft and elastic…and ready to stretch so she manually moved me to 5cm with her fingers! Baby was in exactly the right place and ready to go when things got moving. She did a membrane sweep (and commented that I must have a high pain tolerance since it did not bother me at all) and let me know that things would likely really start to pick up the pace.

She was right.

Contractions started to get more intense, and Shari had me work through them in positions that encouraged baby to move down and engage. I would lean into each one with on leg bent like a runners stretch. These really made things feel open. And intense. Matt was awesome at talking me through each one. The whole labor, I really could not use the work painful to describe what I was physically feeling. It was more of extreme discomfort, with a purpose. I knew I was working for my baby and he/she was working with me. We had a goal, and to reach it we needed to just keep doing the work. Shari observed that my moans through each one were getting higher in pitch and guided me to lower my tone to a low groan, almost a growl.

(4-6 minutes apart, ~70-90 seconds long)

By 2:30 contractions has picked up pace, and the stretching positions had dramatically increased the pressure I was feeling. Matt and I had been laboring upstairs in her loft by ourselves, and I called down to her that I felt it was time to go to the birth center. We stopped keeping track of contractions, packed up our things, and headed for the parking garage.

I had three intense contractions between leaving her unit and getting in the car. Then three more on the 9 minute drive across town. Contractions in the car took all my mental energy to breathe through because I was on my own, sitting, trying to keep Matt focused on driving. But this labor was MOVING!

When we pulled into the parking space marked for laboring mothers I burst into tears of relief…we had made it. This was the destination. This was where I knew I would be giving birth and my body knew that too. We had the whole place to ourselves, and my favorite birth assistant, Suzie, was on staff that afternoon. I immediately felt comfortable, and they prepped room 1 and turned on the tub while I had another contraction. I had another one moments later as Shari started to take my blood pressure, me leaning against the wall while Matt changed into swim trunks to join me in the tub.

Getting in the water felt amazing. I could relax and settle in. This is what I had mentally prepared for and felt ready to tackle it. However, sitting was not comfortable, so Shari had me kneel like a frog with my arms on the side of the tub. Matt settled in behind me sitting on a step and poured water over my back during each contraction. I focused on keeping my breathing steady and voice a low pitch when I needed to make noise. And so we labored. At some point my dear fried Cassie arrived! It was so good to see her face! We had invited to her witness little Grain’s birth and also take some photos. I was so glad she made it!

I could feel my baby moving down more and more, and then felt something pop…my water broke! Shari told me that I would soon start to feel myself needing to push, and to wait for that feeling to just take over. I settled in and then yep, there it was! My body was pushing my baby down and out.

After a few pushing surges it became super uncomfortable being spread kneed, there was just too much pressure. So Shari had me roll to my side, my top leg propped up on Matt. I honestly don’t remember much of what was happening at this point, I just heard Shari say that baby’s head was crowning, and Matt’s hands were guiding her out. She told me to take my time, and only bear down when a contraction was helping guide the baby out. And roughly 3 pushes later at 4:14 in the afternoon on June 29, my baby was out, safe in Daddy’s hands and he placed her on my chest after 19 minutes of pushing.


Shari asked him to see if it was a boy or girl, and Matt looked and said, boy?, nope, look again, things are a bit swollen down there on newborns…IT’S A GIRL! We were in shock! Yes, her gender was a surprise, but we most have both really been thinking it was a boy…this was a SURPRISE!!!

I started to get a bit distracted with some discomfort from her umbilical cord…it was shorter than average and rubbing uncomfortably since my placenta had not yet been delivered. Matt cut the cord and I delivered the placenta. As my body prepared to expel it Shari could see that I was not ready to push again, and reassured me that this would not hurt…there were no bones in this one.


My favorite photo ever ❤

We got out of the tub and Shari and Suzie got me to the bed while Matt snuggled our little girl to his chest. They took my vitals, monitored baby, and Shari kneaded my very floppy stomach to help my uterus clamp down. She also gave me a shot of Pitocin to help stop extra bleeding. When I was stable, and resting on the bed we gave breastfeeding a shot, and our little Grain took too it right away! Horray! We rested a bit and got me cleaned up, then took inventory of our little lady.


Weight: 7 lbs, 11 oz (her due date! although for days Matt and I incorrectly remembered this at 7 lbs, 13 oz)

Length: 19 ¼” long

Grey/blue eyes

LOTS of dark hair, fuzzy arms and legs, and lots of vernix!

Reflecting on the labor: Active labor 2:30-4:20PM, 19 minutes of pushing, no tearing!

Also, she and I grew the biggest placenta they had ever seen! Which is likely why she came early, it was used up and needed a new source of nutrition.

Our little girl was perfect!

One of the best parts of giving birth in this atmosphere was the amount of freedom we had. Once everyone was squared away we were left alone to just bond and recover. Cassie was a huge help in getting me showered and to the toilet a few times, and the 4 of us just sat around and chatted, and rested. It was a wonderful start.


Shari came back and gave us some instruction for the next 24 hours before she would visit us at home. We were to monitor my and her temperature, keep an eye on bleeding, and a schedule for breastfeeding. Around 7:00 we were given the OK to leave, and decided to hang out and aim for the 9:30 ferry home. Shari went home, and Suzie was around if we had any questions. I laid on the bed with our little girl, and Matt went to install the car seat, and shuttle our stuff back to the car. Cassie snapped a few final pictures as we left, and then went home with our sweet little girl: Oakleigh Elaine.


Exhausted by happy mama and little Oakleigh

34 Weeks Pregnant without a Kitchen

And the remodel journey continues…

Today I hit 34 weeks in my pregnancy with our little Grain. Belly is big and sleeping is not great. This week baby found that he/she gets a few extra inches by stretching feet into my ribcage at night. It is painful!!! As if it were not already hard enough to roll over or get up to pee every hour! Luckily as soon as I am up the pain is gone and I can generally go about my day, with a slight waddle of course.


nearly 34 weeks pregnant, prepping the garden!

For the long Memorial Day weekend we took a break and played!

Ha, just kidding. We do not feel like we have time for a break right now. Although a day at the lake sounded perfect with 80 temps, we remind ourselves how good it will feel to have the house back, but to get there we have to keep plugging along. So we did.

It took a day and a half to empty the kitchen and remove cabinet doors/hinges. Then we paused and took a day to seriously get the garden started for the season. Matt broadforked the areas where we pulled out the overgrown winter garden while I prepped for and planted beans, zucchini, squash and zinnias. We moved some kale starts, and prepped a bed for corn. The garden looks SO much more under control, at least for the house facing half. We will need to get more space cleared for 60ish tomato plants, but that is likely a few weeks out. They are happy on the deck for the moment.


garden prep day

After killing ourselves in the sun and garden (oh boy did an Epsom salt bath feel good on this pregnant body!) we slept like rocks. Good thing, because Monday was full too. Matt bottled hard cider in the morning, I planted corn, and then we started on the kitchen demo.

Demo on the kitchen counters and backsplash have been a looming milestone for months now. The final really messy piece of this remodel…and a time critical one since it means a stretch of living without a kitchen. It is also an unknown of how easy (or hard) the removal of these old materials would be…while preserving the sink, appliances, and cabinets.


kitchen ready for demo!

I am happy to report that the counter tops came off easier than we were expecting, and the backerboard and plywood under the old granite tile is in great shape! That will be a time/cost saver. Taking out the sink was not an easy task. It was a) grouted in place (ugh!!!) and b) the plumbing is soldered copper that is tucked way up behind the sink where we cannot disconnect it. This will require cutting and more rebuilding when we go to put the sink back. Figuring that out took more time that we anticipated, but this week Matt should have a whole lot done! We are anxious to see how the rest of it goes.

So yes, we are living without a kitchen, 6 weeks away from our little Grain’s due date. Luckily the sunny weather has made evenings on the deck a perfect retreat from the chaos of the house, and Matt and I are riding the happy wave of progress, sunshine and excitement of our growing family.

A Family of Three

It felt like a long haul to get here. When we started playing with the idea of starting a family, one of my concerns was how well my body would adjust to being off of birth control. I had been on it for years, primarily to regulate a very irregular and abnormal cycle. Something that seemed mundane was now very impactful on my ability to have children. After months of pill free LONG cycles (we are talking 90+ days here) I started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist to see what was going on. After a long string of tests, frustration, and not many answers, my irregular cycles did not seem to have a cause. My RE was convinced I was not ovulating, and told us it would be really hard for us to conceive naturally.

That was really hard to hear.

But we pressed on, and decided to just see how things went. No doctors, no pressure. We even started talking about kids differently. Using “if” vs “when” took some getting used to, but it helped ease the stress.

We took a fantastic surf road trip all the way to Big Sur. Then gallivanted around Quebec eating more wine, pate and soft cheese than a pregnant woman could even look at.

Then we came home and got back to life. My 30th birthday was bittersweet. I had always imagined having my first kiddo by 30 and clearly that was not in the cards.

The following Friday I was going to a big fancy gala for work. An event that would include lots of drinking, so I figured it would be better safe than sorry to take a pregnancy test. I got up, and first thing in the morning I opened my very last cheapo test, took it and set it on the back of the toilet to read, waited for the second line, reported the negative to Matt, and then hopped in the shower. Oh well, I guess the open bar would at least be an option.

No more than two minutes later, Matt got up. I was showering away and hear, “ummm, so…there’s a second line…!” I was in disbelief. The pregnancy test was POSITIVE!

We decided to wait till the next morning to take a second test, and that one registered immediately. It was clear: we were pregnant, and did it all on our own!


I am thrilled to report that we have made it into the second trimester, and little baby seems to be happily snuggled in and growing. We are expecting to celebrate his or her (it will be a surprise!) arrival in early July!

Till then, the house remodel is full speed ahead, we are focused on eating well and spending quality time as a family of two, before we welcome family member number three!


Fall Vacation Reflection

What is it about vacations that make being home feel so good? We have been on the road more than usual this fall. A September wedding in Big Sur wrapped up the final 12 days of summer with an epic surf road trip. Less than two week later we were flying across the country for a French Canadian dose of fall color in Quebec. Both trips were amazing, and totally different.

Road trip to Big Sur took us along Hwy 101 and 1: the classic West Coast adventure. Our mini cooper was crammed full of camping gear, food, wetsuits, wedding clothes and our two boards strapped to the roof. It was quite a sight and so much fun to pull off. 2600+ miles took us to some amazing views, great surf, with friends and family along the way. Nik and Nora’s wedding was quite the event as well and we felt like honored guests for the intimate, luxury event.

The week we were home felt the total opposite. Rushed and frantic and too much to do. We harvested tomatoes, made and froze sauce, rebuilt the chicken coop roof and added a new outdoor run. The rain was coming so we battened down the hatches and prepared our little farm for another spell away. I did my best to catch up at work while simultaneously preparing projects for more “out of office” responses in my absence. The house projects received zero attention.

But then the magic of travel happened again and all those unfinished project and work worries were 3000 miles away. On free tickets from last year’s bumped flight, we flew into Montreal and made our home in a little bohemian apartment for the next 4 days. We ate bread and cheese and pate for dinner almost every night, and found pastries for breakfast and lunch. We explored the city through all modes of transit: on foot, by bike share, metro and bus. One night we went out for a fancy dinner. We asked for a recommendation at the trendy butcher shop where we had found excellent terrine. Their sister restaurant was just around the corner and exactly what we wanted for a nice night out.

On Sunday we took a bus to Quebec City on the peak day of fall color. It was incredible, and quite a different experience from fall in the Pacific Northwest. The trees were on fire! How did we like Quebec City? That first afternoon of exploring literally brought me to tears. Multiple times. It was that beautiful and special feeling. The clouds and sky and light were perfect to see the city for the first time.

The rest of our 6 day Canadian adventure took us all around and through Quebec City. We rented a car 2 days to seek out fall colors (and more pastries and coffee). We ate and explored and ate and explored, calling another little Airbnb apartment home. We rarely find places we may want to live (we really do love Vashon) but were totally smitten with Ile d’Orleans. If we ever need to move that is on the list.

Now we are home. It took us a few weeks to really settle back in. We came home to a house swimming in tomatoes salvaged from the late season storms. Picking corn and cuddling our kitties that missed us tons. We dug out the rest of the garden and planted cover crops. We are settling back into the routine. Matt is finding his tools and picking up projects. I am figuring out my daily commute to the city. Life is returning to normal just as the days really settle into fall.