when I say…

What do you think of when I say mushroom?  Do you think of fresh chanterelles sautéed in garlic herb butter, served warm over toasted brioche?  Maybe you think of Carl, the mushroom man who purveys his gorgeous shitakes at our local farmers markets.  Or, perhaps you aren’t a mushroom lover at all, and you think of having to pick mushrooms out of many dishes.  However, when I say mushroom, I think of one of the greatest culinary influences I have ever known, and am overwhelmed with memories.  Let me explain.

I was fresh out of college and spending my second season in Wyoming working on a dude ranch.  My best friend and other girls my age were cleaning cabins, while the boys were pretending to be cowboys.  I, however, was having the time of my life in my first professional kitchen.  I will pause here and say that this is another blog for another time, but let’s summarize by saying my experience in the Moose Head kitchen taught me as much as any fine culinary school education ever would have.  My mentor, kitchen boss, and friend, was a chef named Steve.  In the off season Steve travelled the culinary extremes of the world, and he loved to share what he had learned.  One day Steve asked if I would like to go out to harvest wild morel mushrooms.  I am the adventurous type (so I’ve been told), and I immediately thought it sounded like fun and literally dug right in.  I can still picture picking that first morel, covered in spongy holes and smelling as musty as the Aspen forest floor growing by the Snake River.  I can remember the thrill of preparing them in a decadent sauce to be served with lamb, just to us first, just in case the nearly identical and toxic twin had been chosen instead.  From harvesting to preparing them it is a special memory, and one I will never forget.

Recently I was reminded of this experience day after day as I grew my own Oyster mushrooms.  I was sent a mushroom farm, the cute kind in a box that you grow in your home, perched in a windowsill for the family to enjoy.  I was thrilled!  I was a little skeptical that it could produce the same gorgeous oyster mushrooms as pictured in just 10 days, but it really did.  Whole Foods sells this kit, made by Back to the Roots, and it was so much fun I wish I had bought them for everyone for Christmas gifts.  Simply sautéed for a salad or omelette, this type of horticulture is made for all!  It would make a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for the foodie in your life, hint hint!

mushroom farm with elf

our cute little elf hanging out on the mushroom farm at my kitchen window…


So here I am now, a mere twenty years later in my Southern kitchen instead of Western kitchens, growing mushrooms in a windowsill, and I couldn’t be happier with the paths my life has taken.  There are days when I close my eyes and imagine I am still out West, more than anyone can imagine.  But when I open my eyes, really open my eyes to all the greatness around me, all is good.  Sometimes the little things, the little memories, can simply mean so much.

Enjoy the best of food and life, and sweet memories.


Listed below are some links to Whole Foods recipes I thought sounded enticing to try using mushrooms….

Pasta with Mushrooms, Spinach and Mt. Tam Cheese

Mushroom, Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos

Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms and Pear

stuff yourself…

The older I get the more Thanksgiving becomes my favorite holiday.  When I was younger, Thanksgiving was all about being out of school, getting the most crisp turkey skin, and watching the Macy’s Day Parade in my pajama’s.  Now that I am no longer in school or quite so young, Thanksgiving fills me with a sense of happiness and gratitude as I celebrate these traditions with my own family.  Contentment, that’s the word I would choose.  Contentment, what a good place to be.

So here’s a Thanksgiving wish to all for a wonderful Holiday week ahead.  I hope your time spent with family and friends is wonderful, and of course accompanied by delicious food.  More importantly, I hope you stuff yourself full of joy, thankfulness, gratitude, contentment, and love.

Enjoy the best of food and life, with thanks for all we have.

knock, knock…

Knock, knock, who’s there?  This sounds like a joke, but I am not kidding when I say today is already October 30th and November is just two days away.

It is hard to believe how quickly Fall comes to our doors.  Didn’t school just start yesterday?  I swear I haven’t even put away our pool bag from the summer yet.  Never the less, Halloween is here tomorrow, which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I adore this time of year and it has been so much fun seeing so many of you at the kitchen the day before Thanksgiving the past two years.  Last year there were snow flurries in the air, and it couldn’t have felt more like a Holiday if I had been plopped down in a Norman Rockwell painting.  As I anticipate the month ahead, I know you are doing the same and making your plans.  So, news flash, my Thanksgiving dishes to help you out for 2014 are now listed on the side link under “For the Holiday Dinner table”, or just click here.

Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Noon, November 19th.  Quantities are limited, so please be sure to get your orders in sooner than later.  Menu items listed under  “For the dinner table” may be prepared in your serving dishes, please inquire.  Pick up for these orders will be Wednesday, November 26th, time to be announced.

As hard as it is to be thankful when that rude person breaks in front of you at Thruway and steals your parking space, remember we are all just human.  As we hurry around with our errands, our  “to do” lists, shopping lists, and so much more, be sure to take time and remember why you are doing all of this.  It is thanks giving, giving thanks for all we have in our lives.  Family, friends, a roof over our heads, and food on our tables.   Enjoy each moment, the best of our lives, savor each day.   


“Look at the world, everything all around us: look at the world, and marvel every day.  Look at the world: so many joys and wonders, so many miracles along our way.” 

Lyrics, timeless and beautiful.  It would be hard to discern if the quote above is from a 2013 One Direction album, a hit from the fifties or sixties, or something else.  I am not sure of the date, but I can tell you it is from a hymn by composer John Rutter.  A few weeks ago my daughter, who is in choir for the first time, sang in the church service with the “big” choir.  This was the hymn they performed.  I probably don’t need to tell you I had tears in my eyes.  Without quoting it all, the song goes on to talk about our world and blessings, a poignant reminder how fortunate we are.

Often, we need this reminder.  Every time I turn on the news it seems full of stories of death, disease, politics, and in one word, despair.  Yes, ISIS and Ebola are certainly very important news of the day.  However, I’m beginning to think having a busy schedule that makes staying up to date on current events a challenge, really isn’t such a bad thing after all.  I mean, if there is really something I need to know, I am certain my phone will start chiming and I will quickly be brought up to speed.  I am so ready for the November election to be here so I can stop listening to Kay Hagan and Tom Tillis bash each other, I might be the first one in the voting line.  Ok, exaggeration right there, but you know what I mean.  Is too much news a bad thing, or a good thing?  When does sensationalism begin, or end?

Call me ignorant if you like, but I prefer sensational days over sensational news.  A nice glass of wine with a good meal, enjoyed with family or good friends, and if it’s really sensational enjoyed with both family and friends.  The simple things, like reading a new Halloween book to the kids at night, decorating with pumpkins, the simple things that make my days bountiful, enriched, meaningful…sensational.  The funny thing is, sensational things are always around us, we just have to look for them, or allow them.  Sometimes we just have to stop, and realize it is in front of our eyes.

Enjoy, the best of food and life, and the sensational moments all around.






pressing issues…taste of fall, in the South, in a glass.

apple season

Let’s get to the core of the matter here, we’re talking about apples.  It’s October and they are plentiful.  Fuji, Staymen, Rome, Winesap, Jonagold, Gala, Red Delicious, Mutsu.  Sounds like  the fruit version of “Fifty Shades of Apples”.

After a beautiful Fall weekend in the NC/Virginia Mountains, I simply have apple on my mind.  We spent a fabulous morning in the orchards, and to rest my feet I sat by the fire in the afternoon and caught up on some of my magazines.  Garden & Gun has become one of my favorites, and while drooling over half the contents I happened upon a recipe for apple cider cinnamon syrup.  Can you say meant to be?  The recipe was given as part of a bigger recipe, one for a cocktail called a Sir Isaac Newton, made with apple brandy.  It sounds really good, but I can’t stop thinking about how the apple cider syrup might taste with one of my local favorites by Piedmont Distilleries, Cat Daddy, a spiced moonshine.  Well, I was so curious that I sampled it.  If you think spiced moonshine, sweet with the syrup and tangy with lemon is an enticing combination, give it a shake.  Sweet enough as an after dinner drink, and a good pre-dinner sipper as well.  For anyone wanting some different non-alcoholic options, I also have some fresh hibiscus flowers, and I think a cinnamon apple hibiscus tea sounds pretty enticing on a chilly morning, too.

Any who…the apple cider cinnamon syrup is a breeze to make, it really is just a matter of reducing the cider and adding cinnamon.  Watch it carefully though, this would be a sticky mess even a brillo pad would shy away from if it started to burn.  The recipe follows, but naturally I had to adjust because I thought it sounded like it made more than I needed…and I am out of cinnamon sticks.  So, I added a dash of ground cinnamon to one cup of cider, and the results yielded a little over 1 ounce of great syrup.  The perfect amount for a drink later on tonight.

Pressing issues, the demands of the daily grind, all the curve balls life can throw our way.  Stop, enjoy, relish the moment of the season, and right now that is apple season, southern comfort in a glass.  Enjoy, the best of food and life!

Apple Cider -Cinnamon Syrup,

courtesy of Garden & Gun Oct/Nov. 2014

To make apple cider-cinnamon syrup, bring 4 cups of good quality apple cider to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, add a cinnamon stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until the cider has reduced to the consistency of syrup.  Bring to room temperature, then refrigerate in a tightly covered container.  This yeidls about 4 ounces.

apple cider syrup

(Pictured above, apple cider cinnamon syrup once reduced, now cooling.)

“The Mac Daddy Apple Sipper”

courtesy of Julia Chandler


1 oz apple cider cinnamon syrup

juice of 2 fresh lemons, or about 1 oz

1 1/2 oz Cat Daddy

2 generous dashes Angostura bitters


Combine the syrup, lemon juice, Cat Daddy and bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously, then pour with ice into a highball glass or mason jar, preferably chilled.

Garnish with lemon twist, or, as I happened to have fresh hibiscus flowers I used that.

The Julia CHandler fixin's

Sir Isaac Newton,

courtesy of Garden & Gun Oct/Nov. 2014


1 oz, apple cider-cinnamon syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 oc apple brandy

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 very thin apple slice for garnishing


Combine the syrup, lemon juice, brandy, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Float the apple slice on the drink for a garnish, and serve.

final product, the julia chandler

a sticky situation…


I am not really a crock pot cookin’ type of gal.  I don’t have anything against crock pots, I just strongly prefer my Le Creuset and that whole process over slow cookers.  I use them occasionally for a chuck roast, a whole pork shoulder for carnitas, or a few other things.  But then came along Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake…in the crock pot.  I even followed the recipe, every ingredient and step as called for.

This cake was y.u.m.m.y.  Similar to pumpkin bread but less dense in texture, and the caramel sauce you drizzle on while warm was the icing on the cake, literally.  So, I just had to share it to help you with your Fall menu planning.  Made from scratch, easy goodness that tasted as moist as if Betty, yes as in Crocker, had made it.  The mistake I made was my crock pot was larger than called for, and since I couldn’t wait for it to cool well, the bottom of the cake stuck to the pan.  Didn’t matter one bit, I just lumped it all on and the kids dug in!  I do think the next time I will try it in a cake pan and in the oven instead of the slow cooker, I will let you know the results.

So here it is, the recipe and probably the only post you will ever see from me with the crock pot involved.  Go for it, spice it up, enjoy the best of sticky caramel pumpkin cake each bite at a time!

Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake- slow cooker style!


2 cups all-purpose flour                                                   1 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder                                           1 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon baking soda                                                   4 eggs, at room temperature

½ teaspoon salt                                                                  1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon

1 jar (16 oz) caramel sauce or ice cream topping



Coat 4½ quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, turn to “high.”

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in mixing bowl.

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until light.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

Add packed pumpkin, blend until well mixed.

Gradually add flour mixture and beat at low speed for a minute or so until smooth.

Spread evenly in slow cooker and cover.

Cook on high setting 2 hours or until center-inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Let cake stand, uncovered 10 minutes.

Invert onto wire rack, invert again onto serving plate.

Drizzle half of caramel sauce over cake. Serve warm with additional sauce.

melting points…

all cheeese!

We all have melting points, children and adults alike.  What is your trigger?  I have to say one of my melting points is not being able to find something that I know isn’t lost, just misplaced.  It can really make me come undone!

The melting point I am talking about today is so much more fun, the kind you actually want.  It’s all about cheese, the melting point of cheese and a fun demonstration last week called “Cheese Meets Heat” at Whole Foods.  Each quarter Whole Foods will host this and I hope you will put off your shopping until one evening to take advantage of yummy samples and creative recipes.  Last week the samples were:

Berliner and Gruyere Mac and Cheese a great “grown up mac”, but don’t be fooled, my daughter devoured it!

French Onion Crostini with Balsamic Cipollini Onions and Melted Gruyerebest described as a deconstructed French Onion Soup appetizer.  Better yet, you can purchase the fancy sounding balsamic cipploini onions already prepared in their olive bar, just make (or buy if you must) the crostini’s and melt some Gruyere cheese on top and serve.  Throw some flour on your shirt and you’ll look like you’ve been slaving all day!

Fried Halloumi with Olive Oil and Black Pepperwho doesn’ t love warm, easy to eat cheese?

Alpine Extra Cheese on Potatoes with Cornichonsa surprising and interesting flavor combination!

Yummy, right?  If you’re hungry now and wishing you could have it for dinner, then please see below for the recipe for mac & cheese and a recipe for the fried halloumi, courtesy of their awesome in house cheese monger in action!

cheese monger

Berliner and Gruyere Mac and Cheese

Kosher salt Vegetable oil 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi 1 quart milk 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (4 cups) 8 ounces Berliner der Kase, grated (2 cups)

6 ounces fresh chevre 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyère, Berliner, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish. Dot the top with goat cheese, poking some down in the noodles. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

berliner cheese

Fried Halloumi

8      ounces (225 – 250g) halloumi

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for frying, plus 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for dressing the fried cheese

a few generous grinds of black pepper

big pinch of red pepper flakes

  1. Drain the halloumi and cut it into cubes; slice the slab in half horizontally, then cut the cheese into batons and slice them into cubes. Pat the cubes very dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the cubes of halloumi and cook for a few minutes without stirring, until the bottoms are well-browned.
  3. Turn the halloumi cubes with a spatula, and brown them on the other sides. They don’t need to be perfectly browned on all sides, but they should be a nice golden brown color for best flavor.
  4. Transfer the fried halloumi cubes to a bowl along with any oil in the pan. Grind black pepper over the cheese, add the red pepper flakes and the remaining 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir well, and serve warm or at room temperature.


Enjoy the best of all the cheesy things life can bring you!   Julia


“ex-hil-a-rate: verb; to make cheerful and excited, to refresh, stimulate”

Fall sweet potatoes & pumpkin

Fresh wet grass.  Late summer produce.  The hum of school buses and the fast pace of schedules.  The glorious days of September that melt into cooler days of October.  Working regularly again.  All, completely exhilarating.  I find these days amazing, something to be so thankful for.  We are all busy bees running around through our days.  It’s amazing we find time for it all.  The truth is, we all have twenty four hours in a day, so prioritize & organize to help fit more in, and call that friend you have been thinking about.

This time of year I can barely keep up with the thoughts running through my mind.  Not in a stressful way, but more of the “kid in a candy store” mentality.  New menu’s, recipes, catering ideas, plans for the holidays, blogs, and more blogs.  I have learned to keep a notepad by my bedside table for the nights I wake up with an idea in my head.  Lucky for me I have my work to help me implement all of the ideas and events I look forward to.  Fall, for many reasons, is simply exhilarating.  So without further “mom-o-logue”, here are my top six favorite things (in no particular order) about Fall in the South, particularly Winston-Salem:

The fair, the Dixie Classic Fair.  This is like a symphony of  the senses, so take your pick and add some to the list!  The aroma of kettle corn and cotton candy; grilled onions and sausage; roasted corn and smoked turkey legs, smoldering fires in Yesterday Village.  The screams from the thrill of the rides, music, the buzzer of the games, the animals in the exhibit halls.  The irony of wanting to wear jeans and a jacket but the reality is that you will be sweating.  One of my favorite things during the last week of September/first week of October, is stepping outside at night to listen to the echo of the sounds of the fair bounce off neighborhood homes.  A taste of Dixie, a classic for sure.

Football & tailgates.  Living on Tobacco road has so many advantages.  Are you a Wolfpack, Tarheel, Deacon, or Blue Devil?  Perhaps you’re running toward other Southern end zones… Clemson Tigers, Game Cocks, Bull Dawgs, Terrier or Wild Cat.  Tailgates with fried chicken and friends, deviled eggs and kids running around, and pimiento cheese  and a cold beverage in hand, how could we ask to live in a place that could offer more?

Fires and fleeces.  Every year I feel like  broken record talking about how happy it makes me to put back on jeans and boots, and my old fleeces.  Key word, old fleeces.  Yes, I have many new fleeces, but my favorites are the old school Patagonias.  Black vest, anyone?  I think mine will make it another season.  Last year I had my boots completely reconditioned, so I am good to go there.  And fires, real fires.  The crackle and pop of wood burning, building a fire in the fireplace or fire pit outside, that can not be replaced.  Fat wood, folded newspaper and good dry wood, it’s the simple things in life, right?

Holidays.   Take your pick!  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, which is technically winter but we start thinking about it now.  Decorating, shopping, , buying tricks & treats, dressing up, planning menu’s and celebrating with family and friends.  Children out of school, excitement, days off, travel.  Can life get any better than this?

Old Salem.  Truly a step back in time and one of my favorite places.  My mom took me here often as a little girl, and I can remember a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven at Winkler Bakery, strolling through the gardens, Candle Teas, Love feasts and more.  Today, the Cobblestone Market on Saturdays lasts well into Fall, and so many amazing activities abound.  Often it is easy to forget to take advantage of the things in our own back yard, but a visit to T. Bagge merchant anytime will make you come back for more soon.  To find out more about upcoming events click here.  In the same category, Reynolda Gardens is bustling with activity at all of the merchants and fun food and beverage joints.  Pane e Vino, owned by the Dioli’s, is one of my favorites.  Just a walk around the property makes me proud to be from NC, and in particular a born and bred ‘Camel City gal’.

Fall Foods.  I’ll end on my strong point, and my passion.  Every change of season represents new foods, new flavors, ingredients of the season.  What’s your favorite?  Apples, kale, pumpkin, okra, sweet potatoes, fresh nuts, figs and persimmons.   And of course the start of oyster season and the end of shrimp season, gifts of the sea.  They sound so good simply listed together, which is no accident, as when we use what we are naturally given it all makes more sense.  Soup season begins, warming the heart and soul.  Comfort foods are back, new recipes making stories that have no end.

So thus the end of my thoughts on Fall, I hope it has brought a smile to all.  The changing of the seasons is a little gift from above, don’t let it go unopened.  Enjoy, the best of food and life, one season at a time.


Sweet Potato Biscuits…

a recipe for you, from me, to welcome Fall!

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 heaping tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter

2 to 4 tablespoons milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate, large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes and butter. Add the flour mixture to the potato mixture and mix to make a soft dough. Then add milk a tablespoon at a time to mixture and continue to cut in. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased pan and coat tops with melted butter. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Watch your oven: If the biscuits are browning too fast, lower the temperature.)  Great served plain, or with honey butter.  I serve these delicious as ham biscuits, too!

putting yourself out there…

Last week I used a service to send hundreds of people a survey about Julia’s Take Away Gourmet and Catering.  I have to admit I was very proud of myself for designing and merging all of this technological stuff all on my own, quite a task for someone like me who is much better in the kitchen than the keyboard.  I also have to admit it was a little daunting to ask people for their honest and anonymous feedback.  I am pleased to say that the results were very positive, with a few “no opinions”, so I was very relieved by the end of the day!

For those of you who are regular customers, occasional customers, or just “holiday” customers, thank you for your thoughts.  Here are the results of the survey questions:

  • 82% of you find Julia’s TAG either extremely or very convenient to use, 15% moderately convenient, 2% slightly convenient (I’m hoping that 2% simply wants to be able to come by every day all day!)
  • combined, 83% of you like Wednesday pick up days.  Some of you want longer hours and I will try to accommodate this at Holidays in particular.  For the 18% of you who want to switch to Thursday, please remember I make everything fresh and you can always have your dinner ready for the next day!
  • Thankfully, 67% of you responded you are extremely satisfied with the meals at Julia’s TAG!  25% are moderately satisfied, so if there is any specific feedback on this please let me know what would make it better.  8% didn’t have an opinion, and luckily no one that answered the survey was dissatisfied.  (phew…)
  • Christmas was the Holiday you said you wanted the most help with, even over Thanksgiving.
  • Fresh meals “ready to bake or serve” at home is the overwhelming favorite, followed by freezer meals and then a handful of you prefer “no orders needed days”.  I will continue to provide a combination of all of these, and don’t forget I am always just a phone call away for any special requests.
  • A majority of respondents showed more interest in healthy meals.  I will continue trying to offer healthy options and will try include a few healthful sides, in combination with offering casseroles and side dishes that was requested by over 40% of you.  I always try to switch it up and make sure there is something for everyone at one point or another!
  • This question is tricky: 56% of you prefer servings for 4, while 43% prefer servings of 2.  Please know if you want to order a menu item but only need it for 2, please ask if that can be accommodated- I try to when possible.
  • 63% of you said you would utilize online ordering service, 25% said maybe, and 11% said no you wouldn’t use this.  I think it would be a good option and especially as business grows, I will be looking into this for the future.  You can always order and pay the old fashioned way…
  • Last but not least, 66% of you who responded follow my blog, 22% do not, and 11% said they were going to start but have not yet.  I would love your encouragement in this area as a lot of my newsletter subscribers do not follow my blog.  I wonder if they think it is the same information?  So, do me a favor and the next time I write a post or share a recipe you think sounds good, share it with your friends or on face book and help me grow.

Putting yourself out there can be scary at times, but hearing your feedback and thoughts were well worth it!  I am very humbled at how pleased you are, and so glad that I can share my love of cooking with so many of you.  It is such a joy to see customers walk into the kitchen with a smile on their face and leave feeling relieved about having dinner ready.  All of you help me to enjoy the best of food and life, one customer at a time.  Thank you.


tis the night before school starts…

Tis the night before school starts and all through the house, backpacks are ready and kids are tucked in.  Nestled with their covers pulled up to their chins.

All the supplies have been bought that cost a mere fortune, I’m just thankful I’m able to provide them for certain.  There are many who can’t and that makes me sad, sad that not all children will go to school in the morning feeling loved and so glad.

And as for me, there’s a wave of nostalgia tonight, just like all parents we want to be sure we are doing this right.  There is no handbook or lessons for life’s biggest job, simply guided by love, blind faith they call it, with help from above.

As they sleep all nestled in their beds, I remember the grades from years before, it seems like kindergarten was just at yesterday’s door.  You always hear it goes by so fast, until one day it is you wanting to make these times last.

Regret not, and remember “growing them up” is part of our job.  They are ours to love while we have them, so love them hard.