Where Did the Last Five Years Go?

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5 years clip artThe holidays were a lot of fun and we had a wonderful time with family visiting. Those last two weeks of the year weren’t entirely relaxing as I still had some work leftover and then more came up late last week, and I’ve been going around the clock to meet those deadlines. But that work signals good things to come and as I tested and photographed and wrote, my thoughts wandered over the last five years of working on this blog and how much life has changed in that time. Last year I wrote about our first four years on the blog and how it wove in with our family life, because this blog is truly about our family as much as it is about food and gardening.

Our fifth year on the blog held quite a few surprises for us, both the good and the challenging. Here’s how 2010 went at the Meyers’ house:

After confirming in 2009 that Top Gun had ADHD plus some other suspected problems, we had more tests done last winter and spring which confirmed that he has gross and fine motor deficits as well as vision and speech deficits, and finally confirmed that he also has dyslexia. My heart broke and I’ve lost many nights of sleep and there have been many tears shed. My time to work on this blog was cut in half as we spent hours each week in therapies and working at home trying everything we could to help him. The work continues, but life is smoothing out a little. And today, after 20 months of trying to get the help he needed, we finally received word that he has a spot with a speech therapist and starts next week. That made me tear up again. He’s such a strong, smart little guy, and we hope that all of this work will give him the best chance in life.

All that made for a challenging year, but last spring had some good surprises, too, and there have been a few more since then.

GoodBite.com invited me to join their cast creating video recipes and participating in sponsored videos series. That has been an amazing experience and I have a lot of fun creating the recipes and videos. I also contributed to their upcoming cookbook, Good Bite’s Weeknight Meals: Delicious Made Easy. Stay tuned for updates on that.

At the end of June I went to Boulder for the Food and Light Workshop, which was fantastic. Jen, Helene, and Todd and Diane put on a great workshop and helped me figure out a lot of things I had been struggling with. Thanks again for all your work on Food and Light!

The garden did pretty well in spite of the unbearably hot weather. Our summer water bill was quite a bit higher than usual, which made us consider digging a well for watering purposes or at least starting a few rain barrels. The garden expanded again as we added a little more space on the south side for bell peppers and rosemary and put in some raspberries and muscadine grape vines. We also added figs and a pomegranate tree and finally got two rosemary bushes to take and live in the cold. If they keep going like they are we’ll finally have a rosemary hedge, something I’ve wanted for years.

Andrea Meyers - fig tree

Where Women Cook logoIn July I got an email from my friend Amie who introduced me to Loralee who wanted to talk about doing something with the new magazine Where Women Cook. A few months later we hosted Jo and Ryne in our home for a photo shoot and had a fantastic time. I can’t say enough how much we love them! We had a German 10th anniversary celebration and they took pics for the new magazine and the upcoming book Where Women Cook Celebrations. More on all of that soon!

In September I spent a weekend learning about portrait photography from MeRa Koh and Brian Tausend, two more people I dearly love. I found that making photos of people isn’t as intimidating as I had thought and they inspired me to continue working on that skill. [Note: I forgot to include my favorite shot from that weekend, but have added it now. He was a precious little guy.]

Andrea Meyers - baby at MeRa Koh workshop

One Big Table, by Molly O'NeillThen we heard about One Big Table, the new book from Molly O’Neill that made the New York Times Best Cookbooks for 2010. About 18 months ago one of her researchers contacted me about the pickled green tomatoes recipe. After conversing with my sister and me, she said they’d let us know if the recipe was selected for the book. We never heard anything back and I kind of forgot about it. Then last month an email arrived thanking me for the contribution. So my sister and I had our first collaborative recipe published in One Big Table (p. 71, Two Sisters’ Green Tomato Pickles). How cool is that?

September, October, and November were rather painful for me. An 18-year-old spine injury that I incurred from a riding accident reared its ugly head, which isn’t new because it acts up about every 6 years, but this year the diagnosis was troubling and the pain nearly unbearable. Surgery will be required at some point, but I’m hoping for another 6 to 10 years before I have to go down that path. The thought of spine surgery gives me the willies.

November ended on an upbeat note as we hosted my family’s Thanksgiving meal, with 15 of us crowded in here. It’s never a dull moment with my family and we loved having everyone together again. And December brought the usual cookie and Christmas goodie making marathons, and Michael’s parents spent Christmas with us. My favorite moment that month was when Top Gun’s occupational therapist asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and without even skipping a beat he replied, “I don’t know. I’ll be happy with whatever I get.” That boy sure knows how to make his mother cry.

2011 is starting out busy as ever with some new projects and opportunities already in the works. And of course I’ll still be here cooking, photographing, and writing about our adventures in the kitchen and garden. We hope you’ll grab a spot at the table and join us!

Thank you for everything.

Andrea Meyers - name

And just because I didn’t get this done before New Year’s Eve, here are our favorite recipes and posts from 2010.

Andrea Meyers - Popcorn with Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon

January – Popcorn with Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon

Andrea Meyers - Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella

February – Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Nutella

Andrea Meyers - Toby Train Birthday Cake

March – Toby Train Birthday Cake

Andrea Meyers - Chipotle Chicken with Creamy Spinach

April – Chipotle Chicken with Creamy Spinach

Andrea Meyers - Stuffed Burgers (aka Juicy Lucy/Jucy Lucy)

May – Stuffed Burgers (aka Juicy Lucy/Jucy Lucy)

Andrea Meyers - Lego Star Wars Stormtrooper Birthday Cake

June – Lego Star Wars Storm Trooper Birthday Cake

Andrea Meyers - Cheese Torta with Basil, Olives, and Sundried Tomatoes

July – Cheese Torta with Basil, Olives, and Sundried Tomatoes

Andrea Meyers - Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s Garlic Dill Pickles

August – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s Garlic Dill Pickles

Andrea Meyers - Muscadine Grape Jam

September – Muscadine Grape Jam

Andrea Meyers - Colombian Arepas with Cheese (Arepas con Queso) and Aji

October – Colombian Arepas with Cheese (Arepas con Queso) and Aji

Andrea Meyers - Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Herbs

November – Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Herbs

Andrea Meyers - Vaina Cocktail

December – Vaina Cocktail

Top image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com.

[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]

[Disclosure: This blog earns a few cents on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in posts.]

Comments

  1. says

    Congrats on 5 years and all the best for your future food adventures.

    One of my children has dyslexia. We invested money in having him tutored daily which worked for him.

  2. says

    Congratulations on five years! Our blogs are almost the same age, so I know how hard it is to keep blogging for such a long time. Your posts are always a joy, and I love following the progress of your garden in the summer.

  3. says

    Congratulations on the five years! It sounds like overall you’ve had a very great year. I’m so glad Top Gun is getting the help he needs; early intervention is really the key with those kinds of issues. Wishing you continued success and many more good years.

  4. says

    Dear Andrea, congrats on the five years you have been blogging! I have probably been following you for the last 4 years, and first time I came across your blog was in search of how to can food. Amazingly as I return to that post today and re-read it I see why you grew as a blogger, we feel related to what you write. It was not just one more recipe you had there, what caught my attention is that you had some of your story to go along with it and that made the difference. For example, you telling of how canning runs in your veins reminded me of my own experience as exchange student over 20 years ago as my host mother did the same… and her basement had the same canned foods you mentioned and I still recall the day I opened her basement door for the first time and set eyes on all those jars. So thank you also for being you and letting us know of your life there, even though we are far away you are in my thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo

  5. says

    Happy belated, Andrea! My 4th is coming up in a couple of months and I’ve been thinking as you have, about all that has passed in that time. It’s great to hear glimmers of aspects of lives on FB and twitter, but more fun to be able to check in (which I don’t do as often as I’d like). Congrats on your accomplishments of this past year, and here’s to even bigger and better in 2011.

  6. says

    Cris, thank you. I’m a little choked up now. :-)

    Kelly, thanks! Time flies, doesn’t it? I look at my boys and can’t believe how much they’ve grown and what all we’ve been through in the last five years.

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