We had the best day celebrating our sweet baby and his first trip around the sun. We did all his most favorite things: we woke up early (just the way he likes) and played with some new birthday toys, he ate his morning egg and took a little nap – a rhythm he’s developed that’s dramatically improved the quality of our days, B + I took Roux shopping, swimming, and to lunch while the big kids had a lunch date with their daddy, and we all met up again in the evening for dinner, cake, and a few more presents for the birthday boy. It couldn’t have been a better day.

How far we’ve come in just one year.

With the addition of eggs and dairy into our regular diet, it was the perfect opportunity for me to try out a traditional white cake recipe I’ve been tossing around since I started getting reacquainted with traditional foods. It turned out just the way I’d hoped, better even, and I look forward to making it again for the little party we’re throwing for our precious one year old.

1/2 C cane sugar
1/2 C grass-fed butter
2 pasture raised eggs
2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C organic cream
1 tbsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350° and butter a round cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add each egg individually, beating first in a separate dish. Stir in vanilla extract. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder, adding these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Once combined, add the cream and beat until a smooth batter forms. Add the maple syrup and beat for one more minute, before transferring batter to prepared cake pan.

Place cake in preheated oven and bake 35-40 minutes, until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting, though this makes a delicious naked cake. I served it with freshly whipped cream and a side of blueberries.

The baby is still not sure, but the rest of us loved it! Simple, golden, delicious, everything a birthday cake should be.



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I will be the first to say that 32 started off just about as perfectly as can be, complete with beaucoup des fleurs and a homemade pie. Indeed, last Saturday was all kinds of special, I must’ve said at least a dozen times that I was having the best birthday. I say that every year and every year it is true, but this was the first time in ages that I went and had an actual party, a last minute decision that turned out to be a brilliant idea as it resulted in an unforgettable evening filled with friends and laughter and a whole lot of me feeling like the luckiest gal in all the land.

The week that followed, however, not so much.

Did I tell you about the giant second degree burns I sustained on, of all places, my boobs?! Because oh em gee double you tea effff. My french press erupted on me, drenching my upper body with scalding hot coffee, leaving me with an impressive wound that oddly resembles the silhouette of a pot bellied pig. Breastfeeding has been a bit complicated, especially since my tiny guy likes to touch me when he’s nursing. Oh, and not only is healing from a burn mighty painful, it’s pretty gross too. Super fun stuff.

This was the morning after I got a parking ticket, by the way.

And that baby of mine, he’s plum given up on sleep. Like, maybe he sleeps eight hours a day. Total. And not all at the same time, either. We are going crazy, at least I know I am. The dreams I’m having, if you can even call them dreams, are wild and feverish and terribly, terribly haunting. I’m restless and usually feel more disoriented than refreshed.

BUT I REFUSE TO LET THESE THINGS GET IN THE WAY OF MY BIRTHDAY HIGH, is what I keep telling myself. And you know what? It’s kind of working.

I’ve got big plans for this year, my friends. I can’t think of the last time I have felt simultaneously inspired and motivated, and I have decided to take full advantage of this enthusiasm by setting actual – and attainable – goals for myself. The last few years have been characterized by such instability and uncertainty that it was all I could do to just survive. These days, I’m more settled and focused than ever before, not just surviving, but thriving. I’ve had a few projects and a few secret wishes swirling around in my head for what seems like forever and I’ve decided now’s the time to take action, to stop thinking about doing these things and to just do them already. If not now, when? I don’t remember when I last composed a specific list of things to accomplish, and I’m hopeful that by doing so, I’m able to retain a better sense of where I am and where it is that I’d like to be this time next year.




favorite candid shot from a lunch date with my handsome fiancé a while back

Tomorrow I will celebrate another birthday, and since I always seem to wax nostalgic about these sorts of things, I offer this here assortment of sentiments in honor of my thirtyfirst year.

Oh, 31. You were good to me, but you also kind of kicked my ass. I spent the entirety of these past twelve months not feeling exactly like myself, which is odd. And after all that’s happened, I’m not quite sure what myself is supposed to feel like. Between pregnancy and ongoing postpartum issues, I’ve gotten a little lost in the shuffle of things. But instead of freaking out about this minor identity crisis, I see it as an opportunity to grow, which is how I know I’m not just getting older, but wiser, too. Age is a blessing, thank you very much, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this whole woman-in-her-thirties thing.

I accomplished a few personal goals that I’d been working toward for what seemed like forever, all three of which were finally ticked off my life’s to-do list on three consecutive days, just like that, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit more like a grown-up. Also, this coming September marks the longest tenure I’ve had as a teacher at any one school, and even though my role has shifted a bit – moving from one subject to another – I’m more comfortable and confident in my career than ever. Working in the Waldorf movement inspires every other part of my life, and I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do.

To be brutally honest, nothing has aged me more in all my years than the delivery of one Roux Huckleberry Baker and the subsequent recovery therefrom. I woke up from emergency anesthesia to a body I didn’t recognize, one I’m still learning to claim as mine. I mean, even my broken foot hasn’t fully healed! In short, thirtyone was not kind to my physical self. But if there is one thing I know about bodies, it’s that you get out of a body what you put into a body, and I’m carrying that tidbit very close to my heart as I move into this next year.

Speaking of my heart, thirtyone was a mighty good year for love. The best year. That mister of mine, he’s full of surprises, which is precisely what made his marriage proposal so special. I had absolutely no idea! Seeing a sparkly ring on my finger every day still takes my breath away, I simply could not be any more over the moon madly in love with the man I’m going to marry. He’s one of a kind, and he’s a damn good father to boot. To all three of my kids, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. So, yeah. Our engagement is clearly the highlight of what was, quite simply, a furious and fabulous year of my life.

Any year that brings me a baby is going to be special, that goes without saying. And this baby, well, he’s all kinds of special. His wellbeing has occupied a significant part of my day to day, almost at the expense of my own, and in taking stock of things, it’s clear to me the ways in which I can afford to expand as a person. And if clarity isn’t a sign of maturity, then I give up!

Seriously though, I’m starting to feel like an adult and I like it. Because let’s be honest here, I couldn’t name one song on the radio if you paid me.



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I have no fewer than six essays in various stages of completion cluttering my drafts folder, in case you were wondering. I haven’t had a lot of time to finish things lately, and not just silly things like blog posts. My to-do list is long, and although I’m getting through it much more slowly than I’d like, I have managed to do a pretty commendable job of fattening up a certain tiny guy. I thought about it the other day, and I literally spend between 4-6 hours a day nursing him, which doesn’t exactly leave time for much else, although I did manage to tackle all the laundry, a personal victory.

June really crept up on me, which is fine by me seeing as it’s one of my favorites. I love me a good summer solstice. Also, there are just three school days left before summer vacation officially begins, and thank goodness because I’m pretty sure we’re all already on break. I’m really really looking forward to lots of little adventures with all three of my kiddos — I plan on taking full advantage of the fact that we live in San Diego, one of the loveliest cities on planet Earth, which is finally starting to feel like home.

I started this blog back up last year around this time, well before I knew I was pregnant, when I was just starting to feel like myself again after a couple of really turbulent years, including that one in Oregon that really unsettled me to the core. One year later, and I’ve got a new baby, we live in a lovely new-to-us home, and we’re more settled as a family than we’ve ever been, Jesse included. In other words, a lot has happened over the last twelve months, and somehow I’ve managed to chronicle bits and pieces of it here. And only one recipe! Shame on me, is all I have to say about that, but the rest of it is pretty spot on and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m rather proud of what I’ve published.

This next year is sure to bring lots more exciting things to write about, including wedding shenanigans. I apologize in advance for the many posts to come about all things related to our totally rad future nuptials, but there are just too many thoughts and they have to go somewhere! I also hope to incorporate more recipes and even a few craft projects into the rotation because, let’s face it, those things are helpful! I’ve learned too many things from the internet not to give back at least a little.

Thank you for reading this silly ol’ blog of mine. I really do pour my heart into the things I write, and having you along for the journey is nice company. Your comments and messages are so kind and thoughtful, I appreciate each and every one and feel pretty lucky to have such a gracious audience.

Seriously, though. My precious firstborn is one month away from turning eleven years old. His tenth birthday was a day I’ll never forget, as it was the very last day of my life as a mother of two. Discovering that a new baby would be joining our family the following day, and all that has happened since, has been wild and wonderful. I can’t even begin to imagine what lies in store for us this coming year. I’m sure there will be plenty of good stories to tell.



It seems as though my infant has developed a bit of a co-dependent sleeping habit, stubborn li’l sucker. Literally, sucker, as in the dreaded pacifier. I was never much of a pacifier enthusiast, until my oldest child, at the age of eleven months, decided to cut eight teeth at one time and was sucking on anything he could find. The pacifier, I reasoned, was at least a controlled substance, and these were the days before the now ubiquitous teething necklaces. He held on to that bloody thing until shortly after his third birthday, and at around fourteen months old, dubbed it his dodo, as in the bird, and the name has stuck.


It has a nice ring to it, much more so than binky. I can’t stand the word binky. So. Dodo. Jade would have nothing to do with one and therefore spent much of her infancy as a chubby pink ball of inconsolable screaming, but Roux loves him some dody. I blame the hospital and the fact that he was given a pacifier before he was given any other kind of nipple, but the fact remains that without it, my baby just will not sleep. On some days, he won’t sleep without being held and isn’t that fun? A great way to get things done, holding a baby, and I do believe my house has reached maximum clutter capacity, just in time for spring cleaning. It’s still spring, right? I live in San Diego, I can’t ever tell. Sorry, rest of the country, but what they say is true. This is America’s Finest City.

HIGH: Enough with the crying already, is what my baby is probably thinking, but Roux decided that he really likes it when we play pat-a-cake, like really, really likes it, and his face lights up in the most splendid way and it gets me every time. My heart was already a tender thing, but ever since my sweet little Huckleberry friend came into the world, I’m one giant weepfest. Life is just so beautiful, and I’m so overwhelmingly grateful, that my body literally can’t contain the wonder of it all and so my eyes leak. I can’t help it.

LOW: TAKE A NAP, BABY. That is all.

THANKFUL: After nearly seven years as a non-vehicular adult, I have joined the ranks of The Driving. Turns out, it’s not so bad. I think it’s pretty funny that I’ll be 32 this summer, and getting my license again has given me the same feeling of freedom I had when I got it the first time, sixteen years ago. Hey! Wanna go to the mall?! Kidding. But really, I had no idea that not having my driver’s license was holding me back as much as it was, and even though I’ll always have a soft spot for urban cycling, I’m pretty glad to have the ability to get around town in a car.

Tonight, the mister and I are headed out on our first actual date. We’re leaving all three kids at home with a babysitter (Thanks, Jesse!), and have plans to eat delicious food and see some stand-up comedy. We haven’t gone out like this since Babe’s birthday back in January, which means I will be washing my hair and shaving my legs today, thank you very much.

Wishing all you lovely mamas out there a Happy Mother’s Day! May you be doted on by your loved ones to your heart’s content. And chocolate.



courtesy of my favorite instagram account

Today, we celebrated 35 years of Mister Babe Elliott Baker, the most lovely human of all.

Actually, the celebration started Friday, with a leisurely date night. Just the two of us, we enjoyed an incredible meal, found this great jacket for the birthday boy, and caught a very late showing of Wolf of Wall Street. Even though I slept for more than two of the three hour film, it was our first trip to the movie theatre since 2012 and I loved every second of it. Plus, I’d already seen it (I’d like the thank the Academy for that one) so a nap on the lap of my love was pretty much perfection.

In spite of yesterday’s royal SNAFU, we managed to get ourselves good and ready to have this baby by finally ordering all the supplies for the home birth. The nesting hormones have kicked in at full throttle, and I’d have reorganized my entire house if it weren’t for this foot of mine. Why oh why did I have to break my foot? I’m still searching for the lesson in this one, though I have my theories.

We had intended to go to the museum today, but learned last minute that it is closed this week for installation! Instead, we spent the day having spontaneous adventures that included donuts for brunch, and you just can’t go wrong when your day starts with donuts, am I right? The kids and I made sure the guest of honor felt positively spoiled, and I mean, I couldn’t have had a better time if it were my own birthday. Which is convenient, seeing as today is my half-birthday.

Isn’t that cute?



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So, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather. All the excitement of last month finally caught up with me, and I’ve been in bed since Sunday recovering.

Not all is lost!

For my birthday, my sweet mister gave me the kitchen appliance I have been coveting for the longest time, and many a chocolate milkshake have I eaten as a result. And a few orange creamsicles, too.

Here’s a tip: Topo Chico is the sparkliest of all sparkling waters and oh so refreshing. So yes, I’m starting to feel better, thank you.

Our little family watched this short documentary about one of our favorite bands last night. We were lucky enough to see them at Coachella before they officially started their tour and it was pretty amazing hearing those songs that I’ve loved for years finally played live.

And now it’s August!



Today took my breath away, from beginning to end. The whole week, really. It’s been a pretty special time of celebration and reflection; I’m feeling very doted upon and very, very lucky.

My magical friend Jessica gave me a cake. A cake! I haven’t had a birthday cake with candles since before Jade was born. Jessica brought the cake to a restaurant, and everyone sang and then cheered when I blew out my candles. I will never forget that moment for as long as I live, it was that special.

And she caught it on camera!

It’s enough to make any birthday heart burst, and mine has a million times over.

Today is also special because it marks the conclusion of my thirty day writing challenge. Phew! As such, I have decided to link to a few of my favorite posts from the past month:

The one about Emet’s birth. And mine too, really.

The first LINKS + LESSONS post.

That one time I posted an actual recipe!

My thoughts on Independence Day. Plus a video essay from Bill Moyers!

This one was posted on my lovely friend Kate’s blog, which I wrote about here.

I started this particular project with the specific intention of rediscovering my inherent happiness. I’d say it was a smashing success. The Power of Intention, indeed.



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What a wild ride this thirtieth year of mine has been. I have been blessed in the most unexpected and marvelous ways. I have been challenged, and I have grown.

I am happy.

My wish for this year was to find peace, and boy did it ever come true. Even in my most audacious dreams, I could not have imagined a more fulfilling way to enter into this next decade of my life. I am humbled by the way the Universe has conspired in my favor, simply because I trusted that it would.

I can’t wait for what lies ahead. Bring it on, 31!


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The day Emet was born was the day I came alive.

I recall the details so exactly, so intensely, that it’s hard for me to believe ten years has passed since I first held him in my arms and felt like I had real purpose. More than any other event, nothing has so singularly changed me than bringing my first child into the world.

I’ve kept the story of his birth close to my heart, and have never written it down. As Emet’s tenth birthday began to approach, I became remarkably nostalgic. There’s something about a decade, you know? I decided what better place to share this story than here, where I’ve been collecting the things that make me happy.

Fair warning, though. This is a long one.

Emet was due on a Monday. When that day came and went without even a single contraction, my doctor ordered me to the hospital at 7:30 PM the following day for an induction. I had tried everything I could think of to get things going on my own to no success, and at 7 PM that Tuesday, Jesse – my husband at the time, father of Emet and Jade, and one of my forever best friends – drove us to Tarzana Regional Medical Center.

I had wanted a natural birth, a home birth even, but due to some lady problems I’d had before I became pregnant, I was not an ideal candidate. Then, throughout my pregnancy I had been afflicted with hyperemesis gravidarum, which meant that I didn’t gain much weight. I was small, while the baby was expected to be big. Going past 40 weeks was not an option according to my doctor, and I trusted him.

So we drove to the hospital. And I was prepared. I had read all the books, I had ten copies of a birth plan I’d written tucked away in my hospital bag to be given to attending nurses. I was ready.

Still, I was nervous. What did a contraction feel like? Up until this point, I hadn’t had a one, not even false labor or braxton hicks. I didn’t know what to expect. My instructions were to arrive at the hospital and tell the nurses that I thought I had gone into labor, so that they would hook me up to monitors and call my doctor, who would tell them to induce me. This was my doctor’s clever way around dealing with hospital scheduling.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and the nurses went to call my doctor. Just like he said they would. And that’s when the strangest thing happened.

I had a contraction.

It was small, but I felt it.

The time had come!

I was admitted, and moved to LDR, room 254. I gave my birth plan to the nurses, and tried to relax into the contractions that were starting to come on a little more intensely. Around 11 PM that night, while I was being hastily examined by my least favorite nurse, my water broke. So I called my friend Brianna, who was the girlfriend of Jesse’s brother, and who had become sort of my angel and my coach. She’s the one who insisted that I go to prenatal yoga, which became a central part of not only my pregnancy, but also put me on a path toward becoming a yoga teacher.

Brianna and Corey arrived around 3 AM, and I continued to breathe through contractions while Jesse and Brianna played soft music, turned off all the lights, and took turns keeping wet cloths on my back and forehead. Neither of them had attended to a woman in labor before, and each were so fluid, so calm and caring, that you’d think they’d done it hundreds of times before.

It is because of them that I was able to labor for 20 hours without any pain relief.

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Hour 20 is when my doctor came in, and informed that me that we were entering dangerous territory. That the baby had been without fluid for a long time, and that the hospital had been wanting to give me pitocin for hours which he had expressly forbade according to my wishes. But they weren’t willing to wait any longer.

Years later I would understand the significance of this give birth or get out mentality that is characteristic of the American Hospital System. At that time, though, I was scared and I trusted my doctor.

The epidural was awful, as terrible as I had imagined it would be. Worse.

I started to get a little emotional and the I did the only thing I could think of to keep from losing it. I started to breathe. Deeply. More deeply than I had ever breathed in my life.

For eight solid hours I closed my eyes and focused on my breath opening up my body. I repeated a matra to myself. I am strong. I am opening. I can do this.


The hours between receiving the epidural and from when I began to push took me to a place deep within my soul where I had conversations with myself, and what seemed like other women. Mothers. They were cheering for me. You are strong. You are opening. You can do this.

My favorite nurse of the entire experience, an English woman named Julie, came to check on me. Her gasp is what brought me back to my body.

“Let’s get the Doctor. It’s time to push!”

Immediately I became aware of one startling fact. I couldn’t feel my toes. You could have cut off my leg and I wouldn’t have flinched. How was I supposed to push out a baby if I couldn’t even feel my muscles?

I panicked only a little, but was reassured that the epidural would be shut off and that I would be able to regain control of my muscles in a few minutes, but that the nurses would help me along through the contractions in the meantime.


Basically, the monitor would tell them when I was contracting (because I still couldn’t feel anything) and then they would hold up my legs and I would push. Things went on like this for half an hour, when Julie finally shouted.

“Reach down and feel your baby’s head!”

That moment, the one when the head becomes visible is called crowning. As in the crown of the head. But I like to think of it this way.

For the nine months a woman is pregnant, she stands between two worlds: the world of a singular person and the world of motherhood. Labor is the ceremony ushering her forth to her new role as guardian of a human life, and that final stage is her coronation. Her crowning moment. Because henceforth and forever more, she is a mother.

At least, that’s how it felt for me.

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Feeling Emet leave my body, hearing him cry, receiving him with my arms. These were my first moments as a mother, his mother, and I loved him harder and deeper than I had ever loved anything or anyone before. I was overcome with joy. Yet I couldn’t shake this profound feeling of emptiness.

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It’s hard to explain. But for nine months you body changes to accommodate a growing human, and then in an instant you’re left with a hollow vacancy where there once was a baby. I missed having him so close to me, inside of me, where I could feel his every move. I wasn’t prepared to feel this way.

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I’ve had a long time to reflect upon what it all meant, something I wasn’t really able to at the time. How could I? It takes being a mother to understand the complexity of a mother’s love.

Boundless. Eternal. Transformative. Fierce. I have come to know the essence of these words only through loving my child. And I’ve come to understand those first few moments of motherhood only through experience.

Ten years later, I can say this. That feeling of emptiness? It’s a metaphor. You see, children leave. That is what they do. Slowly at first, and then increasingly as they grow, they leave a little bit more until they are gone. Bravely into the world they must go, it is their job to do so.

Our job is to hold on. To stay. To love them through it all.

So they always have a place to come back to.