It's here.

The days we enthusiastically snub dirty dishes in favor of, oh, anything outside (dishes wait, electric spring does not).


The days my husband scoffs at my dirty feet as I sleepily climb into bed (sheets wash and, man, it feels good to crumble into bed and sleep before I can even....).

Not to worry. I usually do wash my feet...

The days we peel out for a walk to the park even though it is way after bedtime and all the books say a schedule is best (routine is nice but playgrounds and Cherry Garcia ice cream trump Dr. Sears).



So we started this family night on Wednesdays. It's only been two weeks and I am so in love and think everyone should do it. It doesn't matter your age or busy-ness, kids, no kids, whatev. Commit to: a chunk of time with absolutely no obligation, chore, errand or task outside of family; take turns directing the evening from picking the meal to choosing the post-meal activity.

It's such a relief to not be allowed to answer the phone, scoop kitty litter, return an email, sew. I feel like we do a pretty rockin' job remaining present as a family, but completely eliminating every distraction possible for an entire evening makes me realize how much multi-tasking exists in even the simplest scenarios.

This week was Margot's night. For days, she has talked about eating cheesy noodles and bowling. But it was so beautiful outside that, after many conversations debating the merits of biking, hiking, walking, playing (all involving ice cream) we decided to stroll to our neighborhood park with the ice cream in tow.

And, she choose Annie's mac n' cheese over my homemade cheesy noodles. Shaft! Along with "long carrots" (not chopped) and "plain tofu" (straight up, not baked or fried).

with Margot's blessing Andy and I sophisticated our mac n' cheese with tuna, peas, chives and parsley

So I wrote all that when I really wanted to get on here to share this cookie I made on last week's family night. A cookie that is ok for dessert but is more a bready, hearty item that feels healthy and could be eaten by the fistful for breakfast. All in one morning, mostly by a mama. Could be.


Cranberry Pumpkin Breakfast Biscuits
adapted from this recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into mixture until well blended. Place tablespoons of batter on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


Kristine said...

I've been meaning to discuss family nights with my little clan since you mentioned it last week. Sounds perfect!
I love tossing the schedule out the window for pajama nights out in our yard. Keeps things interesting and fun.
So trying those cookies/biscuits. Yum!

Marti said...

Family nights seem dreamy, I hate that everything always feels so rushed in the evenings. But with warm (but not scorching hot) weather we have taken to eating our dinner on the back porch followed by a game of soccer then watching the humming birds eat from our feeder and recently we've had some birds inhabiting our bird houses that we put up.

Jo @ Jo in the Kitchen said...

Family night sounds lovely.
So do those cookies :)

April said...

Yeah, I made those cookies a couple of xmases ago. They're so good and they don't even seem bad for you. If you add a little egg nog powdered sugar frosting they are even better!

Coffee Mama A-J :) said...

We may just have to take your advice on adopting a family night into our home. Also, those cranberry, pumkin, oatmeal biscuits look divine! :)

fricka said...

OOOH those cookies are going to be a hit with the familia. We have been doing Wednesday "Documentary Nights" for a few months now and it's been fantastic. But I use it as an excuse to NOT cook:P We order or favorite curry & tofu noodles instead. With Minnesota finally hitting spring, maybe it's time to ditch "documentary night" and go with family night:)

Michele said...

I love the idea of family night. My girls are a little young though, so if we got to them we might be eating french fries (Jocelyn) and AGHLSRUGH!! (Aja). We may just make adjustments :)

Melina said...

It was here, too, in seattle- that forever sunlight and the pearly glow of happy, vitamin-d fed people.

For one day.

Now it's back to rain and gloom.


I love the idea of family night. being far from my own family, my friends and I do a weekly get together, usually involving a yoga dvd and a potluck.

I understand the joy that comes from not being allowed to do a chore or turn on the phone. There is freedom in commitment to such things.

I love the picture of bug pedaling with evening sun soaking her, and photos of creamy coffee are my all-time faves...

I hope your sunlight stays longer than ours!

CC said...

Ahhhh, dirt covered feet and hearty cookies. Two of my favorite things:)

Cate said...

Upon seeing the pic of Margot on her trike, my son said, "Can she come to my house sometime?" He's 2 1/2 :)

Rhi@FlourChild said...

My 3 year old girl always requests long carrots too ;) And pasta.
I love your family nights, I think we will try something like this too. Even just choosing a meal is a good start. :)

Courtney said...

Spring is here in Bozeman too! How much do you want to roll around in the grass, like a dog does?

Kelly Cach said...

Oooohhh....your mac n' cheese has got me all hungry for it now! Is "Annie's" a name brand, or is she a friend and will she share the recipe? I guess I just need the cheese part :)

Love how your girls stand at the counter on chairs. It's funny how something as seemingly simple as that gets me all choked up & reminiscent. My boys can reach the kitchen faucet now :(

So glad I have my Nora Girl who will someday pull up a chair :)


Fresh Mommy said...

Such a good idea for family night! It really is amazing what accidentally gets in the mix, even with our ever-present mindedness. Great reminder... and those cookies look delish!!


Joseph said...

What no bowling? Nici it runs fast through Andy's blood. Oh well as long as there was ice cream. I love that Dr Sears lost out on family night, as it should be. Miss you all and hope to see you soon. oxo

Dana said...

Love the last picture! Her expression is awesome! happy mothers day

just jen said...

i'm a BIG fan of any soul that offers a cookie recipe fit for breakfast. i ask you, how can any day that starts with a breakfast cookie possibly go wrong?

we're gonna have to roll a family night into our playlist mix...

but what i'd really love? two things. 1. a big bucket of that Montana dirt underneath your soulmama feet. looks so rich i want to eat it. the dirt, of course. 2. a spring runway of winter-cracked sidewalks edged with thick carpets of lawn.

either available on Etsy....? :::sigh::: to dream.

Mrs.T said...

We have Tuesday "no media" days which are family nights with the added twist that it doesn't involve TV, computers, phones, etc. Glorious!

jenny of all trades said...

oooh, love the recipe - maybe i can even use up the last squash of last year to make them!
and i'm loving your feet! it's high time to get dirty! i've been doing spring clean-up and some seed planting without my gloves and it feels so good!

and did i just notice that dear Margot's shoes are on the opposite feet in your banner picture? love that girl!

Becky said...

We have a great breakfast cookie, but we love variety-can't wait to try yours! I don't see oatmeal on the list, but I saw another person comment about it, I think it'd be a great addition! Love new ideas from the interwebby here :)

Nichole said...

Good grief, your children are beautiful.
Also? I'll have a plate of that mac and cheese, please!
And dirty feet are one of the joys of summer. :)

Happiness is... said...

Finally it's starting to consistently be spring here. Unusually cold day and nights, but I spied my first peony opening today (hooray for bringing the blooms and the ants back inside the house!).

Long week. Too long. Dog bite to Alex's face. Days in the hospital. Lots of tears and fears and ultimately sucking it up. Grateful for the women who surrounded us and continue to support us through this experience.

Thanks for the nuggets. Needed them.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

Jill said...

I'm new and am really enjoying your blog. Thanks! I made the breakfast biscuits for a friend who just had a baby and they are delish! I can't wait to make them again for my family.

FinnyKnits said...

I know the dirty feet thing all too well since I live in flip-flops regardless of weather.

Since we don't have a tub, I have a little basket of scrubbing stuff (soap, brush, pumice, etc) under our bathroom sink for my pre-bedtime foot clean up.

Because the only thing nicer than falling into bed exhausted is doing so with clean toes on clean sheets.

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