These last three weeks (by the numbers)

Four: Cakes and special desserts made to celebrate Céline's birthday. Only one of those was made by me, which makes this a "treat" for me also. Our friends made this beauty as a gift for her birthday party, along with another pear almond dessert. Friends that love to bake, sweet.

Too many: Days of rain and grey skies. (I've been working really hard to not complain about it.)

Two: Days in a row, yesterday and today, of sun. Hope returns.

One: Doll project started from poupées chic et choc. This is a French doll making book. Fully illustrated for those of us not able to completely understand the French. Beautiful book, beautiful dolls.

Two: Favorite drawing "mediums" right now, 2-D marker and 3-D Blender.

Daily: Walking or running, rain or shine.

One: Neck "crick" caused by poor typing posture. This is not a mistake I'm eager to make again. So thankful it healed in time for race weekend.

Two: Ibuprofen taken for said neck crick. The only prescription or over-the-counter medicine I've taken in at least two years. The bottle was long expired but it still worked beautifully! 

Sixty One: Total kilometres our family ran at this past weekend's race. It was a rainy, chilly morning on the Bay but we had so much fun. The kids want to train for another race. (I ran a 5 K, that's Damien's bib number below.)

First: My mom, the amazing, came in first in her age and sex class at this weekend's race. At 59, she's the oldest in her class, and the fastest. That's my mom.

Eight: Out of forty nine female runners under 20, Brienne placed eighth in the 5K run. She's 10. That's my girl.

Sixteen: Hours my parents drove, here and back, to run with us on Sunday. A dream come true for them, racing with their kids and grandkids.

Thousands: Mushrooms growing in our backyard after all the rain.

Flocks: Birds visiting the feeder, finding dry seed in the rain.

One: Squirrel running straight up our cedar siding on the outside of the house.

Two: Hummingbirds spotted. Buying a feeder for them today.

Daily: Hot drinks prepared in our kitchen. Frothed soymilk is a favorite for Brienne and Laurent. Damien's choice is an afternoon cappuccino, and green tea for Celine and me. I'm missing my loose leaf Jasmine, the tea bags are just not the same. Gotta get more of those.

One: Metamorphosis - the fuzzy caterpillar becoming a dull brown cocoon (it always look so dead during this stage), and emerging one afternoon as an iridescent blue moth. Transformation. It happens everywhere. Even on grey, rainy days.

Twenty four: Muffins made by Brienne (2 batches), recipe testing for a kids cookbook she is writing.

Seven: Months of a teen girls (& their moms) virtual book club, ending last weekend for the summer season. What a wonderful group of girls and interesting books we read.

I'm ready to take a break this weekend and next from any major plans - no parties, no races, no meetings, no hosting friends or family for the weekend. A little calm before eighteen days of traveling and visiting friends in the northeastern US.

Summer's coming. Now, if only the weather would cooperate.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Jill Foley

    Jill Foley on June 6, 2013, 4:41 p.m.

    What a fun post idea! (Mind if I borrow it someday?)

    I love the picture of you and your mom - beautiful!!


    • renee

      renee on June 6, 2013, 4:46 p.m.

      Of course you can use the idea. I'm certain I'm not the first to write this way. And thank you. My mom is one of the most beautiful people I know - inside and out. I'm so honored to be her daughter and I love talking about and blessing her.


  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on June 6, 2013, 5:05 p.m.

    Love all of this--minus the crick in the neck, of course. Brienne writing a cookbook and placing during a race is so cool! Way to go Brienne. I love that you have 3 generations of runners racing together! Sarah M


  • Leanne

    Leanne on June 6, 2013, 11:02 p.m.

    This is great that your family does so much together! I have to ask, where did you get the muffin maker looks like silicon? Any thoughts on it?  Thanks!


    • renee

      renee on June 7, 2013, 2:45 a.m.

      That's a silicon muffin pan. I bought it at least 3 or 4 years ago. No thoughts other than I like it (smile).


  • Rana

    Rana on June 7, 2013, 2:17 a.m.

    You all have been busy! Congrats to your mom and all of you for that matter with your races.  I am loving the idea of a kids cookbook, can't wait to see how it turns out. I hear you on the keeping the weekends free. We are doing a bit of " breathing in" ourselves. Enjoy your weekend!


  • Dianna

    Dianna on June 7, 2013, 1:31 p.m.

    I love the virtual book club idea. I'd love some more info on that! My soon-to-be twelve year old is a voracious reader but finding age appropriate books that challenge and stretch her mind is a challenge all it's own. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    The pic of you and your mom is wonderful! Your joy in each other & the moment shines!


    • renee

      renee on June 7, 2013, 2:07 p.m.

      Brienne took that photo. I love it to. I will try to get back to you on the book ideas. I gets hard when kids are in that "in-between" place, in between childhood and young adult reading and they've read all the kids books and their reading level can accommodate more challenging stuff but you want to protect them from all the potential trash in young adult books! I hear you. 


      • Sarah

        Sarah on June 8, 2013, 4:35 a.m.

        I hear you, too! I remember that time well, because although my parents let me read what I wanted (at least, I don't remember them "sensoring" in any way) I HATED young adult books (I can hear my 12 yo self thinking "12 year old girls don't only care about boys, developing body parts and popularity!!!"). I don't know your child (and their maturity level), but I'd say... just make the jump to adult books! Of course, some may not be appropriate, but many are. Most high school required reading is made up of "adult" books that are appropriate (in my opinion) for 12 year olds. Book clubs are a wonderful way to be exposed to new ideas, too! Good luck!


  • danielle lyndon

    danielle lyndon on June 7, 2013, 7:31 p.m.

    Very cool pictures and article Rene!  How do you froth the soymilk and do you put any flavoring ?. And I'm wondering how you  make the capuccino? I ask because if you guys make it I know its healthy and I'm trying to eat healthy.

    Thanks, Danielle.


    • renee

      renee on June 8, 2013, 8:53 p.m.


      We make frothed milk with a hand powered milk frother. The kids make it with storebought, unsweetened soymilk (vs. my homemade which is thinner). They add a spoon of maple syrup for sweetness and a dash of cinnamon.

      Damien uses this stovetop espresso maker. He also uses the storebought unsweetened soymilk (and the frother above) because it doesn't separate the way homemake soymilk does. I personally don't like boxed soymilk. 

      I don't know how "healthy" all this is (smile). Damien and I both have a one cup a day coffee habit. I have a cup of black coffee in the morning and Damien has an afternoon cappucino. 


  • Lee

    Lee on June 9, 2013, 5:07 p.m.

    Oh, the weather!  We have had the coldest, longest, greyest winter in recent history here in the Black Forest.  I told my friend the other day that Spring had finally arrived - just in time for Summer!  It's amazing how quickly it all becomes a distant memory when you feel that warm sunshine on your face.


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