Spring vegetable ramen

spring vegetable ramen // a thousand threads
So, buying a house is maybe the biggest roller coaster ever… we’ve been so spoiled.

Our first experience, in buying our current home, was probably the dumbest, but also the easiest ever. We didn’t have a realtor, we didn’t look for days or months or get our hopes up only to have them dashed… not at all. In fact, we did nothing more than walk into a really awesome model home, dream about how we could ever afford to live there and then figure out how we could.

We put in a totally improvised offer (because it was just us, no realtor, and I’m sure we were royally screwed… though in looking back I’m pretty glad we bargained at all…) and then there we were — we were on our way to owning a totally customized, brand new first home… it was boring, but at least there weren’t any dirty little surprises waiting for an inspector to find.

… or, at least there were fewer dirty little surprises. Let’s not pretend that nothing went wrong. The sump pump would disagree.

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52 self portraits // 10

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
Okay you guys, it’s been busy. But there are so many updates to share!

First — and I’m so scared to jinx this because so much could still go wrong, but here goes — our house is under contract! We have an inspection and appraisal to get through (Any recommendations for super sly appraisal bribes? just kidding… sort of.) and then we’re out by the end of the month. SO soon…

The good news is (and again, fingers crossed!) we already have a contract on a new house!!

It’s a little bit closer to the city, but still in a rural community we love, and more perfect than I ever thought we’d find. There’s still some work to be done, but that’s just the way we like it, since eventually we’ll be able to personalize all of the details that will make it our home for what we hope will be years to come. I’m just dying to show you around, but I suppose we should probably get through what will now be two appraisals and two inspections…

Let’s just hope my sanity holds out until May.

The big life events all seem to be coming at once.

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Easter salad with avocado, sweet peas, and lemon vinaigrette

easter salad with avocado, sweet peas, and lemon vinaigrette // a thousand threads
April so far…

5:40am: First alarm, groan and dig deeper under the covers. Hope Mark gets up first and makes it stop. He does.

5:50am: Second alarm, sleep right through – bless that man.

6:00am: Mark is up, radio is on… dig deeper under the covers and hope it all goes away.

6:10am: It doesn’t. I’m already running 10 minutes late. Debate whether to wash hair, grease vs. 10 more minutes in bed. Bless that dry shampoo.

6:20am: Turn circles in the shower to distribute warmth.

6:40am: Agonize over what to wear… what’s comfortable is unfortunately not what’s professional…

6:50am: Try to strike a balance somewhere in between, end up looking like I hang out in Spicoli’s van at lunch.

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Hot cross bun bread pudding

hot cross bun bread pudding // a thousand threads
I’m terrible at winning contests. Can a person be terrible at winning contests? Put my name in a hat and 999 times of 1000 you won’t see it again.

Such is my sad story every Easter. I’m a sucker for the White House Easter Egg Roll… it’s just the cutest thing. And especially when Austin was small I just knew it would make his day if I could get us in. At 9, I’m fairly certain he’d kick the First Lady in the shins and challenge one of the poor secret service agents guarding the fence to a karate chop duel… but still I try.

… and every time, I’m unceremoniously rejected, forcing me to speculate that maybe it’s because I live in Maryland, or they just don’t like the letter H. There must be a conspiracy somewhere, right?

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52 self portraits // 9 + Links

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
Over the past couple of weeks, my heart rate has been on permanent high… running from meeting to meeting, fingers crossed, wishing and hoping… so it’s been tough to find the time to devote to a real update. But I do have some news!

This Thursday I accepted a new position in the city and handed in my resignation at the office I’ve been a part of for almost six years. It was bittersweet. I’ve loved my time there, but this new step will bring me closer to the core of what I really want to do, and for that, I’m truly grateful. It’s not often that I talk about my day job here on the blog… but this felt too big not to share.

I’m full of nervous energy with one more big transition to come, but within it… I’m also beginning to eek out a sliver of peace.

I hesitate to say it out loud… but I can almost feel us beginning to turn a corner. One that’s been just out of reach for a very long time.

2014 was a very hard year for us. In some ways, it was the most rewarding year we’ve had, but it was also a struggle.

After a year of what ifs and maybes, I’m so ready for that corner and the wide world ahead that it hurts. Just that sliver of peace on its own is much more than I’ve had in some time.

Did you catch our feature on South of Brooklyn this week?

Betty White’s one regret.

Walnut and bananas foster pancakes.

VOLK 2015.

CNN’s 2016 version of too many cooks.

Monica’s TED talk.

When doing what you love becomes routine.

Favorite food podcasts.

Carrot cake scones.

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Meyer lemon shaker slab pie

meyer lemon shaker slab pie // a thousand threads
Now, I have to admit… I do like tart. You’ll never offend me with a tart apple or a lemony lemonade. So a case might be made that I’m not the one to talk to about tart desserts.

And slicing up a whole lemon and throwing it in a pie might sound a little crazy, but bear with me here, because this unassuming little dessert might surprise you.

When Meyer lemons are used in place of their more lip puckering companions, I find it hard to believe that anyone could turn up their nose at this tasty Shaker pie.

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52 self portraits // 8

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
I feel a little bit like a deer in the headlights in this shot — or maybe that’s how I’ve been feeling in general. Rather than bounce into action, spring has me longing to slow down… to take more time for each other, and for ourselves.

We’ve been busy spring cleaning every day for a month (keeping things perfectly staged…) and the indecision of it all — not knowing where we might live next — has managed to creep its way into the rest of our lives.

It’s a big decision, where we might choose to go next…

Should we move closer? Shorten my commute? Deal with less land and leave the city we love… or should we stay where we are? Is time, or quality of time, at the top of the agenda? I’m still not sure… but I trust we’ll find the way.

For now, I’m trying my best to take it slow.

… despite the crazy look I might not be able to wipe off my face.

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Cinnamon buns with bacon, peanut butter, and banana

cinnamon buns with bacon, peanut butter, and banana // a thousand threads
This week you guys — we can barely keep up! But we do have a fun treat over on Relish Decor’s blog: warm gooey, cinnamon buns with bacon, peanut butter, and banana.

Perfect for those super busy weeks when it snows on your spring. (You know, nbd.)

Head over for the recipe and to check out our good friends at Relish!

And if you find yourself in Frederick — do be sure to stop by. Their shop is the best.

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52 self portraits // 7

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
In Maryland, I get a lot of PNW rain jokes, even legitimate concern – “if you ever moved back, do you think you could take it? Could Mark?

But after a few years on the east coast, I have to be honest; I think you’re all living with Stockholm syndrome.

In Oregon, sure, it rains in the winter. Mostly it’s grey. But I never once owned an umbrella, and looking back I realize that the missive, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” is repeated more often than any complaint.

Here, folks complain all year long, but when it comes down to it, their suffering goes so much deeper than any silly complaint. They’ve grown to love those bastard seasons that hold them captive.

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Hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam

hoecakes with cream cheese and golden plum jam // a thousand threads
My two truths and a lie trump card is that as a junior in high school, I spent a full year traveling to rodeos across Oregon as the Coos County Fair & Rodeo Queen.

… I’ll wait while you compose yourself.

I know it sounds silly now, but it was a huge honor. I grew up a 4-H kid, and had been riding competitively since I was eight. In my small circle of horsey friends, the rodeo queen was practically a goddess. I dreamed of the moment I could compete for that crown, and never thought for a moment I’d win.

The competition includes a speech, an interview, and multiple riding tests… so it’s not easy. And my horse was never exactly a winner. A stout little reining pony built for driving cattle, we’d been together since she was two… and I was so proud of her. But she never quite fit in with the more polished and calm, and more-common-in-4-H, western pleasure winners. She was quick and scrappy… and despite her desperate hatred of parades (I understood) I think she was always meant to carry the queen.

She swept me through the competition with grace, and I managed to do her justice in the only way I knew how, by standing up in front of a whole lot of people and blathering on.

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