Camping, Cooking + Keeping Balanced

Saturday / As we all know, it’s been a week. (Really it’s been a few now.) But we finished packing up our car, and we made it out to Joshua Tree National Park. And most importantly (and thankfully) we got a campsite. Talk about a sigh of relief.

cholla cactus garden

Sunday / After successfully relocating ourselves to a new campsite for the next two nights, we finally felt like we were able to relax, take a deep breath, and just enjoy our surroundings and the joys (depending on how you look at it) of camping. So after (literally) setting up shop, we both excitedly hopped back into the car, and ventured out into the Park. We walked, we explored, we hiked a little, and yes, we looked at a lot of rocks. Somehow it seems that rocks have become a theme in our life. Go figure!

ryan campground

Monday / What was shaping up to be the most relaxing sleep under the most beautiful stars, turned out not to be. Nope, neither one of us slept a wink. And no, not because of our camping neighbors who were chopping their wood for hours in the dark, or not even because of the coyotes howling at 2 a.m. It was the cold. That bitter, bitter 28° cold. Yep, so there’s that. We slept outside, in a tent (completely unprepared might I add), in 28° weather. When we woke up Ryan immediately asked me if his feet were still attached to his body, or if they had frozen and fallen off. And don’t even get me started on the layer of ice that was covering our entire tent and our car. So yeah, you better believe that we packed up as quickly as our frozen hands could manage, cut our trip a night short, and got our tushies home.

coronado island

Tuesday / After the most glorious and wonderful warm slumber back in our very own bed, and enjoying the true blessings of running water and flush toilets, I felt like a new woman today. I was showered, I wasn’t frozen, and I didn’t even have to go in search of somewhere to lay our tent. There is certainly a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but there really is so much to be grateful for. So in the midst of all of this, I went back to my happy place – the beach. Just me, the fresh air and those calming ocean waves.

giada’s tomato sauce + Nonna’s meatballs

Wednesday / Since I work from home, there haven’t been a whole lot of changes that I personally have had to make or adjust to lately. But much like I often do when I’m processing things, I’ve been busying myself in the kitchen. Just like my Momma, the kitchen seems to be my happy place no matter what is going on. So yesterday it was a big ol’ batch of chicken soup, today it was red sauce and meatballs, and tomorrow it will be fresh pasta. Somehow cooking really seems to bring me an inner sense of peace and calm.

almond cake

Thursday / We had my in-laws over for dinner last night, and we all enjoyed the complete delight that this beautiful and glorious Almond Cake is. It is one of the easiest cakes to make, and it is insanely delicious. And thanks be to God that we had some leftovers to drown our sorrows in today, because we had to have a new wall ripped open in our apartment. You can probably guess that I am not amused by this at all. And you would be 100% correct.

dave’s bread + cream cheese + avocado + tomato + lemon + pink salt + fresh cracked pepper

Friday / And finally the week has come to a close. After a few weeks with a lot of ups and downs, and far more intense emotions than I am used to, I am making a point to reset myself today. It seems like it is far too easy to get “caught up” in things right now, and so I am doing what I can to stay balanced. And for me that means expressing gratitude for ALL of the blessings in my life, disconnecting more, meditating, reading, cooking, eating whole foods, getting some fresh air, and connecting more with loved ones. Plus I may or may not have put the Christmas music back on. Life is good.

3 Replies to “Camping, Cooking + Keeping Balanced”

  1. That stinks that it was so cold, but at least you were able to fit Joshua Tree in before they closed it down!

  2. Stephanie P. says:

    Wow, homemade red sauce and meatballs! I just buy the frozen Trader Joe’s meatballs. I’d love to see that recipe!

    1. I’d love to share the recipe, but I’ll need to check with my father-in-law first – the Italians are definitely protective of their family recipes…and I wouldn’t want to accidentally give away any secrets!!

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