All The Things I’ve Got To Remember.

I was remembering my life a year ago today. A year ago this week.

Back then I blogged three times a week, and only with original content. It was so hard and often I’d stay up so late, missing life left and right, because I was so neurotic about every photo and every word. Every piece of coding had to be just so.

Obviously that way of blogging was not sustainable for me, but I do my best to channel it at least once a week.

Last year at this time, we had just celebrated my niece’s Baptism, and it was our first one. It was peaceful and meaningful and when we heard sirens during the ceremony, Des yelled “FIRETRUCK” in church and I couldn’t stop giggling.

It snowed last year in November, white on red.

I got up early, put on my dress for the Baptism and went outside without a jacket or boots to photograph it all. I was still nervous then, of stifled heat and open conversations. Of enclosed spaces and places in which you should be quiet. All of that went out the window, of course, with a toddler yelling, “FIRETRUCK” and the ability to laugh and breathe.

It snowed again at home, a week later, white on everything. 6-12 inches and a slight wrench in our Thanksgiving plans.

We celebrated Christmas, as much together as possible.

And then we flew away to Florida in late January to see the beaches of St. Augustine for the first time.

Sand on everything.

The good thing about being a full year behind in photos means that I get to relive everything I went through, and be so thankful that I got from there to here. From here to there. It’s not that you haven’t seen current photos, but I mostly pick and choose ones to edit along the way, and the bulk of them slip through the cracks and are sent to the waiting line.

If you had told me a year ago that this year, I would be able to book a Disney resort vacation with my own money, I wouldn’t have believed you. I wouldn’t have known the working machine I was about to become with both blogging and photography. I would never have known how often I’d say “yes”, first to surprise myself, and second to achieve new dreams.

I wouldn’t have known that I’d one day be able to walk into Scarlet’s school with only a slight hint of trepidation, or even excitement, and nothing like the brinks of full-blown panic that I experienced way too many times last year.

I wouldn’t have known about the friends I already had that would grow closer, and the ones I hadn’t yet discovered. I wouldn’t have known how good it would feel to drop everything for a pie bar date or a round of Cards Against Humanity.

I wouldn’t have known just had sick a relationship can get, embedded into the framework of nearly everything you’ve tried and failed to build. I wouldn’t have known that it’s not really the end of the world and never too late to build.

And that the world would get crazier yet, each and every day, but with new opportunities to see the glaring good.

I didn’t know that both of my sisters would become pregnant at the same time with boys..

..or that my cat would run away and I’d actually seek out another. Because I miss the warmth.

If you had told me that I’d survive winter long enough to encounter a new one, I’d be only a little surprised. I’d be more surprised by the money in my pocket and the little sun in my heart. I’m just damn thankful for all of it.

Sometimes, my transitions were probably obvious to you, and sometimes maybe not. Some of you dropped off of blogging and are not even reading this. Some of you dropped off of blogging and might still be reading this. My original intent of blogging was this, and as long as I can still do this. As long as you’re still here. I consider that one of the most thankful things I know.

And that goes for everyone, and not just loved ones who are bloggers. I’m feeling very thankful tonight for everybody I know, and what you add to my life. Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to all. You’re in my heart. Here’s Billy Joel for you.

Olive This Garlic Olive Cheesy Bread!

See what I did there?

It was hopelessly nerdy. But I do! I love this Garlic Olive Cheesy Bread. I love olives and I love garlic bread, so it stands to reason that I’d love this recipe. It’s a bold move for me, because quite frankly, my family of origin still thinks I hate garlic because of the one time I ate a garlic clove and broke out in a flush when I was 16. And when I was pregnant, I couldn’t stand the smell. I’m happy to have gotten over that because this recipe is gooey and delicious and makes the house smell heavenly.

Mezzetta Holiday

holiday recipes

I’m making this the day before Thanksgiving, but planning to make it fresh again tomorrow. The key was to get the right olives. I got Mezzetta Garlic Stuffed Olives, just to take that olive flavor to the brink. I went early in the morning before Thanksgiving, and luckily it wasn’t too crazy yet. This is a great recipe to make for holiday parties. Garlic bread fresh from the oven is a delightful appetizer or meal side and it can be wrapped in foil if you have to drive somewhere for a party.


Mezzetta has been family owned since 1935, and the fourth generation is now continuing the commitment to bringing their customers the highest quality of foods available. They source the finest fresh produce from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain and Greece, and they prepare them according to their Italian family recipes at their state-of-the-art production facility in the Napa Valley. Having lived in northern California, now I just want to go back because these olives make me nostalgic for the quality of produce in the Napa Valley. It was honestly that good. The stuff of dreams.

Mezzetta olives

This dish makes me remember the holiday parties of my youth – I never thought to put olives in my garlic bread until adulthood, but Scarlet and I really enjoyed turning on the oven light and watching the cheese turn all melty and golden brown:


Do you want to make it yourself? It’s easy!

Garlic Olive Cheesy Bread!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Garlic Olive Cheesy Bread!


  • 1 loaf Italian Bread
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic or garlic powder (like I did)
  • 1/2 jar of Mezzetta Garlic-Stuffed Olives, drained and chopped
  • 1½ cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix together the softened butter and garlic powder until well combined.
  3. Slice Italian bread down the center, lengthwise. Spread butter mixture evenly over each half.
  4. Place olives evenly over the bread, and top with mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and golden. For us, it was 22 minutes!

It’s really fun to create your own holiday recipe with Mezzetta olives.

Mezzetta Olives

Mezzetta is giving away are great prize package to a lucky winner! This prize package includes:

• Grand Prize (1) – Instant Print Digital Camera plus a Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.

• Runner Up Prizes (10) – Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.

Click on the Sweepstakes Page to enter

Expires: December 31

Winners Chosen at Random

Winner will be notified and will receive prize within 2 weeks