|SKETCHBOOK DETAIL BY AMY BLACKWELL
THINKING ABOUT: Imagine yours truly having just turned thirteen. With a fresh wad of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, I splurged on a pair of Dr. Marten's Brogue Oxfords. I hemmed and hawed over the shoes for months, but finally took the plunge. Yes, they were a lot of money, and YES I was at the awkward stage where my feet were still growing, but I was SO proud of my first big purchase. That was, of course, until I wore them for the first time. You see, my grandparents were visiting us in Europe and we made a weekend trip to Paris. I walked all over the city and my feet were killing me, but I didn't tell a soul. A huge case of buyer's remorse set in. Maybe my mom was right? I probably shouldn't have spent so much money on the shoes. And how in the world did my feet grow in such a short period of time? They literally JUST fit yesterday. Later that night after wandering around the City of Lights, we settled back into our hotel. As the family relaxed, my grandpa proceeded to ask about my new shoes. Panic set in and the spotlight was on me. Gulp. I was hesitant to answer honestly—my face said it all— and I think he could tell my dogs were barking. While I mustered up an answer that wouldn't result in an "I told you so!", my grandpa encouraged me to look inside my new shoes. Confused and unamused, I peeked inside my oxfords and found toilet paper stuffed at the tips. Upon my discovery, I looked up to find my grandpa cackling in his typical rotten manner. I really should have seen it coming...
THANKFUL FOR: A day after my grandfather passed, Max and I made our way to Swell Rio to run a few last-minute errands before we departed for Iowa. While I collected travel-sized toiletries and stocked up on food for Flyboy, my mom, grandma, and aunts were making funeral arrangements. The reality of losing my grandpa hit me on the way home that morning. Everything felt so heavy and final. I found myself reliving old memories in my head like a highlight reel and our time together didn't feel quite so distant in those moments. While Max slept in the car and I made my way back to the base, I fought back the tears and then suddenly the shoe memory smacked me in the face. My grandpa LOVED telling that story. He got the biggest kick out of his Parisian prank. Every time we were together, he'd inevitably bring it up. As a result, an absurd idea came over me and I erupted in spontaneous laughter. I shook my head and thought "No, I couldn't possibly do that..." and then I started to giggle cry some more. I immediately tried calling my mom because I knew that this silly notion was something that needed to be discussed over the phone and not via text. I contemplated not even asking. Maybe it was best I couldn't get through to her? Was I reeeeeeally about to ask if I could stuff my deceased grandpa's shoes with tissue for one last paper payback? When I finally got through to my mom, we had a good laugh and I got the green light to pay my respects in a way that only my grandpa might appreciate. Later that week at the visitation and funeral, a few people asked about the shoes and I got the satisfaction of telling the story for my grandfather. He LOVED telling that story.
EATING: I stumbled upon Gimme Some Oven's BBQ Chicken Quinoa Casserole recipe right after we started Whole30, and I've been eager to try the dish ever since. Now that we're in the clear to eat fun stuff like dairy and lentils (HOORAY!), I went ahead and whipped this up last night and it was a fantastic comfort meal to perfectly match Swell Rio's latest bout of stormy weather.
LISTENING TO: The circumstances for our family reuniting in Iowa were far from ideal, but they did result in making a handful of new memories. For instance, the evening after the funeral was spent playing Heads Up and was followed by a round of karaoke/dancing in my grandma's living room. The night's playlist included everything from Adele's Send My Love to Marc Cohn's Walking in Memphis, and Michael Jackson's Beat It to Tina Turner's Proud Mary. The variety is rather quirky, but I can't stop listening to the songs on repeat because they remind me of my tribe and their incredibly lovable vibe.
WATCHING: While queuing up an episode of House of Cards last weekend, my interest was piqued when I saw that the Full House reboot Fuller House is now available on Netflix. Hello, Nostalgiaville! In my younger days, I would have boasted I was just like Stephanie, but these days my spirit animal looks a lot more like Danny Tanner. My how times have changed... Yikes! Sure my sister and I were HUGE fans of the show, but I still don't know what to think about this spinoff. Have any of you watched it? Thoughts?
READING: When I'm not nose deep in one of Max's favorite board books, I've enjoyed the following articles and posts...
LOVING: A few weeks ago, I got my first Glossier order in the mail. Somewhat skeptical, but excited about the pretty packaging, I figured it was worth a shot. I honestly never envisioned that I'd be this obsessed with the two products I've tried. The Milk Jelly Cleanser and Balm Dotcom do NOT mess around. I've been using this Mario Badescu face wash for the past two years and was hesitant to try anything else. I'd heard rave reviews about Glossier's cleanser and its ability to remove makeup without stripping your skin, so I gave it a shot and I'm really glad I did because it works! As for the salve, it's been a life saver. I've used it on Max and myself countless times over the past two weeks. With all of the traveling and fluctuating temperatures, it's been a godsend.