Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening? That’s the sound blaring from Pandora as I once again adorn my home for the holidays. I wish I could tell you that I’m full of bright hope and good cheer this Christmas, but that’s not quite the truth.Read More
A new sign hangs in my kitchen, featuring a line by singer/songwriter Vance Joy. It reads, “Your mess is mine.” I crafted this little sign as my new motto for housekeeping at Casa de Nord. My previous maxim—“He who slops, mops”—is correct in principle but impractical.Read More
I’m lucky to have a like-minded husband. When it comes to music, food, child rearing and politics—you know, the important stuff—Christian and I are on the same page. Sure, we may clash over how hoppy a beer should be or how late you can sleep in before your spouse starts unloading the dishwasher as loudly as possible. But in terms of big, meaningful things, we’re singing from the same hymnal.Read More
Mom, here we are: our first Mother’s Day apart. I don’t like this one bit.
I am still in denial mode, I suppose. I can’t believe that I won’t see you, hear you, hug you anymore. I look at pictures of you, smiling so brightly back at me, and it’s as if we just haven’t caught up in a while. I simply need to call, right? You’ll answer the phone with your joyful, “Hello, my darling!” And all will be right in my world.Read More
When Christian and I bought our house back in 2011, it wasn't what you'd consider a "dream home." That is, unless you aspire to live in a dark and dated split level with an assortment of 70s-fabulous fixtures and a side of shag carpet. Dreamy!Read More
If you know me at all, you’re aware that I’m obsessed with all things British. I have a Jane Austen action figure (with writing desk and quill pen). I own corgis (the Queen’s dogs). I read British classics ad nauseam. And I love, love, love Downton Abbey, the wildly popular English period drama on PBS.Read More
Good God. Christmas is three days away, and I’m a long way from ready. I think most of my shopping is complete. I may know where the wrapping paper is. I vaguely recall an odd roll of scotch tape around here somewhere. Deep breath. Deep breath.Read More
I’m not a huge fan of admitting that I’m wrong. (Ask my husband.) But when it comes to Brussels sprouts, I must acknowledge that I’ve been a complete fool for 30+ years. I have decried Brussels sprouts as bitter, ugly and hardly worth the space they consume on the plate. I have rejected them at holiday dinners. I have mocked and abused them to anyone who would listen.Read More
What do you know about a farmer? Do you know how many vacation days he took last year? Do you know what she worries about when she can’t sleep at night? Do you know how much education he has? Or how many different jobs she juggles in a single workday?Read More
This was a “Bedside Baptist” kind of morning. We didn’t make it to church, but we did thank God for the beautiful weather and put it to use the best way we know how: a tennis match on the driveway, a little lawn care and a quick jaunt around the neighborhood with the corgi-pups. I also carved out time to make a nice breakfast.Read More
It’s 4:30 in the morning, and though it’s dark in Kansas City, I’m wide-awake. Why, you rightly ask? Because it’s dawn in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and I’ve been trained for the last week to crawl out of bed at the first sign of light and watch it spill across the harbor.Read More
If you come over for dinner at Casa de Nord, chances are good that you’ll be served a tasty homemade pizza. I’ve been developing and tweaking my own pizza recipe for probably 20 years at this point, and I think I’m finally on to something. The latest incarnation of my pizza crust is thin, crispy, yummy, good. It also happens to be gluten free.Read More
I have a little problem. And when I say “little,” I mean short. His name is Furgus. He’s a corgi, and he’s terribly naughty.
At 14 months old, Furgus has the brain of a puppy, the teeth of a shark and the body of a full-grown beast. He is both adorable and highly destructive. (The adorable part allows him to remain a member of our household.)Read More
Kiddos are funny creatures. Almost as soon as they learn to speak, they start dishing out the most hilarious one-liners, made even funnier because they have no idea how clever they are.
Graham: “Everyone in my class wants to be a doctor.”
Me: “Oh, yeah? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Graham: “A cheetah. Or a pig.”
We talked about a trip to London for years—my mom, my sister and me. As avid readers of the British literary masters, it was a shame we hadn’t journeyed over the pond to pay homage to the authors we loved so much.
We promised ourselves a decade ago that we’d make a ladies’ trip of it, but as you might imagine, life delivered several detours. Babies. More Babies. Careers.Read More
A few months ago, I took a knife skills class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City with my friend Jeff. We went in thinking we might learn a few helpful tips to improve our skills in the kitchen. We left realizing that our previous knowledge of knife handling was mediocre, and we were lucky to have our digits intact.Read More
In my family, free evenings are an endangered species. Between basketball, karate, piano lessons, committees, homework, school events and day jobs that spill into evening hours, we are always on the go. It’s what my mom would call “burning the candle at both ends.” Where do family meals fit into this mess? Good question.Read More