pesto for lunch

i have a little tin can sitting on my windowsill; pretty little sprouts of green are just peeking through to soak in the sunshine.  while i was washing dishes tonight, i glanced at those little leaves and my mind filled with a summer gone by.

i have a friend who grows an amazing garden (actually i have quite a few friends with fabulous gardens- why isn’t their ability rubbing off on me?)  he can grow anything well; and he is generous (the best gardeners always are).  one summer his abundant garden produced a plethora of basil.  green basil, and purple basil, all kinds of basil in excess.  his wife (one of my besties) came to my house arms laden with bags full of basil, and we made pesto.  we made pesto all summer; we ate pesto on freshly baked crusty white bread.  she sat at my kitchen counter, and we talked life and kids and cooking and preserving and we ate pesto.  it is a memory of summer and friendship and real food, made fresh and made well.  it is a memory of smells and tastes and grit on my hands from basil pulled freshly from the ground.  it is a memory of joy.

so tonight when i peered into that little tin can and spied those green basil sprouts i was full of joy; because food is an essential part of our lives.  it is memory; it is nourishment; it is giving and sharing and enjoying goodness together.

i miss my friends whom now live to far away to partake in pesto making and eating.  but basil in my garden and in my kitchen this summer will make them feel closer.  and i will gather new friends, while i think about my old friends.  we will eat pesto for lunch, and we will make new memories.

jen’s pesto

a few handfuls of basil

bunches of freshly minced garlic

a handful of almonds

a couple good pours of extra virgin olive oil

a few shakes of parmesan cheese

put it all in a food processor and process til its pasty; put a couple spoonfuls on a plate with another pour of olive oil.  dip some warm crusty bread in there and scoop up a good amount— enjoy!




i’ve got big plans

my mind can race a million miles an hour with stories, and menus, and creations, and 5th grade grammar, and planning, and dreaming, and “wishin and hopin and thinkin and prayin” nope that’s a song from hmmm name that movie…

see already i digress because my mind wonders.  that’s how it goes for me all the time.  i’ve got big plans, but so often they fade into oblivion when it’s bath time for the littles or time to walk the dog or make cookies or whatever.  i get side tracked- don’t you get sidetracked?  i mean we live in this buzz of activity, and it’s all i’m sitting down with tea and bible study one minute; and boys yelling that the dog threw up on the floor the next.  it’s all sweet 4 year olds singing “i am the way and the truth and the life…” one minute; then homemade laundry soap boiling over on the stove the next.  what a crazy, awesome life i live.

so i’ve had big plans for writing amazing things on this blog.  God has been teaching me, and rocking my boat a bit.  i’m wrestling through my thoughts and God’s ideas on ministering to the poor; befriending non-believers; orphan care, and bursting the christian bubble i’ve lived in for so long.  but those plans have been thwarted by the real life doing.

today i picked up a crib (maybe that’s not the best way to start a paragraph for the sake of my mom and grandmother who might be reading this and how dare i let out that news on my blog.  mom, no new little one’s in this household.)  last weekend the hubs and i picked up a table and dropped it off at an empty apartment.  an apartment devoid of furniture and decor; no pretty curtains hanging on windows, only a few bags of clothes and some toy trucks scattered across the floor. i’m delivering table and crib to a single mom.  her baby girl has been in the neonatal intensive care unit for several months.  she’s not from my church; she’s not the daughter of a sweet older lady i know from bible study.  she’s just another mom who’s giving baths and telling stories and making cookies (when she can afford the ingredients).  so i’m taking tortilla soup and forging relationships.

this is foreign territory; it’s not scripted in the life i’ve lived; it’s not chit chat with other football mom’s on the sidelines; it’s not meet me at starbucks.  there’s no easy way to put it anymore; i’ve felt a pull for years to step outside- to reach beyond; but it’s scary and unknown.  it’s not just writing a check; or visiting third world poverty for a week; or crying over videos of forsaken children.  there’s no overlooking what waits down the street; i’ve jumped in.  there is no simple.  my heart’s wide open and raw and unsettled.  it’s all more like Jesus and less like Jennifer.  my mind swirls and chokes and strains at possibilities and scenarios as i learn to give and love.

i’ve got big plans, but God keeps changing them.

some moments



some moments are all: woohoo i put on ice skates today and skated around the pond with the boys with no falling, and “mommy we won’t laugh at you if you fall because we love you.”

some moments are: an email from an old friend whose husband is ill; they found a mass on his lungs.

some moments are: i’m meeting new people and reaching out and talking and perchance making new friends.

some moments are: missing a comfortable easy place

some moments are: stretching and pulling and painfully revealing

some moments are: little boys snuggled in to listen to pirate stories

some moments are: leafy greens because i know i should

some moments are: steaming tea with too much homemade super sweet creamer because it is just delicious

just a million little moments i can soak in or miss all on a monday.