Some major events have happened in my life in the last two days and I feel like I’m walking on clouds, over the moon excited, and filled with more love than my heart can handle.
My sister had a baby!!!! Sweet, angelic, baby girl Marleigh arrived yesterday afternoon and I had no idea how it would feel to become an aunt until I saw her for the first time. I mean, Jenna and her husband Chad live what sometimes feels like a world away, in Montana. And up until last month when they came in for a visit, her being pregnant seemed almost like a myth. It was like this thing that I knew was true, we talked about often, but it seemed like a distant, surreal thing that didn’t have as much weight as I always hoped that it would. We have a super close relationship and I have looked forward to her having kids ever since having my own. So when it took awhile to sink in that she was actually having a baby, I felt a little bit sad inside and concerned that I wouldn’t feel as involved in everything once the baby was here, because of the spatial distance. And then yesterday happened…
My mom has been out in Montana for a couple of weeks now, playing the waiting game and helping Jenna and Chad. Wednesday evening it became obvious that Jenna was going to be having the baby sometime very soon, so every time I’d hear a text tone or ring tone, I was immediately checking for the good news. Yesterday, in Best Buy no less, I saw my mom pop up on my phone and when I opened up her text it was a picture of Chad gazing down at precious baby Marleigh Shea, and I literally shrieked with joy near the Geek Squad counter. And my heart grew 2 sizes…
We got to FaceTime later on in the evening once Jenna was into recovery and I got to see baby Marleigh all snuggled up, sleeping on Jenna. It was the most amazing feeling I’ve had since having my own babies. It was this immediate feeling of unconditional love and attachment, tinged with a little bit of ownership. That little girl is my sister’s baby, my kids’ cousin, and my niece. She became a part of me in that moment that I can’t put into words. I’ll be responsible for helping to teach her how to be a kind and gracious human, how to show love and compassion towards others, and maybe one day far, far away, how to mend a broken heart. I love you so much already Marleigh…your little sleep winces yesterday melted my heart and I hope that time slows down so we can all appreciate both the little and big things that you are about to teach us all, but especially your mom and dad. Because it all goes way too fast as I learned this morning once again…
Today is Ethan’s birthday. He’s turning 6 and I can’t help but have all of those ‘where in the world did the last 6 years go?’ feelings that I’m fairly certain all parents feel pretty much every time their child has a birthday. It’s so hard for me to believe that he’s in school full time already. It just doesn’t seem possible that he’s responsible enough to walk through a school on his own, down to the office, and carry a container of 26 cupcakes back to his classroom all by himself. ‘I got this Mom’ he says. *evoke break my heart and want to cry sensations* My baby…
He wanted colorful cupcakes for school, and a science cake for our home celebration. So I was all excited yesterday about this piping tool for frosting that I found at Michaels. It was basically a box with bags in it that had a separation in between each for 2 colors of frosting, awesome right? My cupcakes were going to look just like the picture on the box too, because I’m awesome too, right? Yea, no. After 3 tries that were epic fails of frosting splurting out everywhere, or not at all, I decided that the colorful part of them was going to be the sprinkles. And done. He was super happy with them and I gave myself a little reminder that I am not a Pinterest worthy mom most of the time. So then today I started working on his cake for tomorrow. A brownie ice cream cake. What kind of a cake did he ask for? A chocolate science cake…’you know mom, with science stuff on it’. Um…ok buddy. I’m not exactly sure what to do here, but I have tonight and tomorrow morning to figure it out. I’m thinking maybe some white chocolate test tubes and stuff? We’ll see what happens but if I nail it I’ll share it next week.
For now, though, this pasta, which I’m not going to say too much about because it’s fresh and springy and speaks for itself (and I rambled enough up there). It’s delicious and full of greens with a simple olive oil drizzle, garlic, and parm shavings. So good, and perfect for a quick weeknight meal…or hospital meal? I’m thinking my sister could use a little home cooking after her last few days (make this Mom!). ENJOY!!!
Spring Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Asparagus, and Fresh Lemon
- 1 pound whole wheat fettuccini noodles
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts rubbed with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus tossed with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and half teaspoon black pepper
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup shredded fresh parmesan
- 5-6 basil leaves, sliced thin
- kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat and place the chicken on one side, and the asparagus on the other. Grill the asparagus for about 10 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside. Grill the chicken for about 8-10 minutes per side, then move it to a plate and tent with foil to rest.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid, set aside but do not rinse.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pasta into the pan and use tongs to toss, slowly adding in the 1/4 cup of water. Toss the spinach leaves and the lemon zest into the pasta, along with salt and pepper to taste. Continue tossing until the spinach leaves are wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips and divide the pasta among 4 plates. Top each serving evenly with the chicken, asparagus, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil. Serve with red pepper flakes if desired.