I’ve been meaning to write this post, but I haven’t been able to find the words. As I sit here, I still don’t have the words, but, then, I wonder if you ever do before you put fingers to keyboard, in an effort to pull sentences from that jumble of thoughts in your head and the pangs in your heart and the uneasiness in your gut. So, I suppose, here goes.
I started this site more than five years ago. Kevin and I were newly married and living in Chicago, where Kevin was working for a small company and I was finishing law school. In the hundreds and hundreds of days since then, so much has changed. We’ve now been married for almost six years, we have a beautiful baby girl, we live in Seattle, Kevin works for a large company, and I’ve been practicing law for nearly five years, though I now work out of our home. And this site has seen us through it all.
When I began writing here, it was because I had time on my hands and I wanted a challenge and a creative outlet. I posted almost daily (!) for a long time, and the happiest parts of my days (while Kevin was at work, at least) were those spent working on this site. After law school, I had less spare time, but for several years, this site still hummed along, in sync with the rhythms of our life. On the weekends, we happily cooked and ate meals, and I shared them here, offering a snapshot into the loveliest of our days, through photos and stories, and skipping right past the mundane, whirlwind week days. At other times, life was hard and messy and exhausting, as it sometimes is, and I wasn’t as thrilled to share those times here, so, for long stretches, this space would fall quiet.
And then Avery was born, and everything turned upside down. My heart felt split wide open, with more joy and love than I could have imagined. It also felt raw and exposed, laid bare to the fatigue and anxiety and emotion that also marked those early days and weeks (and, if I’m honest, months). Avery was the new axis on which our world was turning, and I didn’t feel like I had the bandwith to focus on something like this site. So I announced her arrival, and promptly stopped posting. Every once in a while, I’d make something that was pretty and the camera would be nearby (from Avery’s most recent photoshoot), so I’d pick it up and snap a few photos. A week would go by and I’d cobble together a couple of paragraphs, and hit “publish” on a post. I’d be re-energized by the exercise, and vow to come back again regularly. But, inevitably, days would slide into weeks and that would somehow snowball into months. Sigh.
I suppose I didn’t feel like I had the time (or that I should make the time) for a hobby. Of course, I didn’t let go of all of my hobbies when the baby was born. But those that I made time for all seemed to be serving as a means to an end. I still cooked (we have to eat), jogged and practiced yoga (good health, and all that), walked through the city (fresh air for Avery, in her stroller, too), read (I was in a book club that was one of my favorite social outings), took photos (Avery’s baby book), ate out (date nights, I’d decided, were a must, though we hued to our old standby restaurants so as not to squander the opportunity on a so-so meal), and traveled (since Avery arrived, exclusively to visit family). Everything else—watching sports, trying new restaurants, reading magazines, shopping for bargains, going to the movies—seemed to fall away.
When we moved to Seattle, I cut back on my hours at work and we started to settle into a groove. I felt like I had a little more time, and there was so much good stuff in my life that I really wanted to share here. So I started posting again. And, though it really shouldn’t have shocked me much, I realized that, even though I had returned, most of the readers had not.
And old blog friends had made new circles of friends. I’d been following those old friends on their sites and on Twitter and Instagram, cheering their successes as they launched small businesses or fell in love or published cookbooks or traveled the world or became freelancers or had babies. But I’d been doing it silently, from a distance. Who could blame them for moving on?
And then, after about a month of posting more regularly, my site started having maintenance issues. We had visitors in town, our sitter was about to go on vacation, work had become busy, and Avery was cutting her first tooth, with the crankiness to show for it. Dealing with the maintenance issue was the last thing I wanted to do.
I began to wonder, more and more: What’s the point?
What surprised me, though, was my ability to answer my own rhetorical question. There is a point, and it’s an important one. This site is not “just a hobby”—it’s a space for me to be creative, with words and food and photography. It’s something that challenges and inspires me, to become a better cook and a more adventurous baker, to try new things, and to take risks. It’s connected me to people in all corners of the world and in all stages of life. It’s been a place to document our days, no matter how (in)frequently. And it’s my personal recipe book, if nothing else.
Perhaps it isn’t a means to a well-defined end—a cookbook deal or a new career path, for instance—but it’s still very important to me. And perhaps it doesn’t directly benefit Avery, but it does make her mama happy, which trickles down, I’m sure of it.
All of this is to say that I’ll be back here more often, and I’ve got some ideas for sprucing up the place and breathing some new life into it. I hope you will be here, too. But if you’re not, that’s okay, too.
On the topic of sprucing up, I’ve updated the About
page. The full Recipe Index
is up-to-date, now, too, along with the Spring Recipe
index. In addition, there’s now a page that compiles my Travel
posts. I’ve also got a couple more changes up my sleeve, and a few ideas for some new projects. If there’s anything you’d like to see here, please do speak up!
I’m also having a lot of fun with Instagram (you can find me at thekitchsink
) and I’ll be sure to link to new blog posts on Twitter (@thekitchsink
). I was sad to learn that Google Reader will soon be no longer. So, I’m all ears to other ideas for making sure I don’t miss posts on my favorite sites (and for helping you to make sure you don’t miss posts on this site).
The photos in this post are from a trip to Pike Place Market last week. We bought fresh Dungeness crab, just boiled in sea water. We ate them chilled, with melted butter, on the table out back. After an unfortunate crab-in-my-water-glass incident at Kevin’s (very delicious
) birthday dinner, I vowed to learn to eat crab like a real Pacific Northwesterner, and I figured our backyard was a better training grounds than a lovely restaurant. During round two, it dawned on me that the mess is all part of the fun. Good words, I think, to live by.
There are good tips for buying and eating dungeness crab here
. I’d also recommend that you take an all-in approach (everyone will be covered in a sheen of butter and bits of crab shell, so who’s to judge?), and a bowl of piping hot hand towels is most welcome.