Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Sweet Journey

I first stumbled across some beautiful food blogs about a year ago looking for the perfect carrot cupcake recipe for Isadora's first birthday. I was looking for something sweetened with maple syrup, because at that time Isadora had barely had any refined sugar at all. I found a recipe I liked on buttersugarflour, an Australian food blog dedicated to baking which I find myself going back to often.

I adapted the recipe slightly and used toasted pecan pieces to decorate the tops.

It might have looked a little silly and amateurish, but I loved it. Incidentally, Isadora loved the cupcakes as well.

Food blogs have some qualities I really love. The good ones have really good writing, as well as appealing, simple photographs. Of course, as a great lover of all things food-related, I find the subject matter equally enticing. As I perused the world of food blogs, I began thinking about how much I would enjoy doing something similar, but I questioned my ability to do it. After all, I have a 9-5 job that doesn't involve much in the way of creativity or food, unless you count lunch meetings, and between working full-time, taking care of Dora, keeping my marriage going, and trying to prevent total chaos at home, my time is limited.

What I saw in the world of food blogs made me a little jealous, and a little doubtful of my own ability to do something like that. However, I know I have some skills that lend themselves to this endeavor. For one thing, I have spent a good deal of time blogging about motherhood over on MySpace, back before it became passe and out of style like tapered-leg jeans (oh, wait, those are, unfortunately, coming back). I loved writing those blogs so much, loved the way it was a living tribute to Dora, loved the comments and encouragement I got from friends. I didn't write in Dora's baby book - I admit it - but I did record nearly every milestone on my blog, at least for her first year. I had hoped and still hope to bring all those blogs together into something more, and perhaps will re-publish some of my favorites here.

Beyond that experience with writing, I am always searching for some good creative outlet, which is why I enjoy cooking and baking so much. I have a degree in photography, although I rarely get to use it any more.

After mulling this over for a while, I shared my ideas with Brian, who quickly encouraged me to set it up. I shyly showed him some of the blogs I had discovered, those that I aspire to, a bit embarassed to suggest I was capable of something so lovely. Instead of saying it might be something good to do some day, he said he believed I could do it right now. I had a number of excuses for waiting - I don't have a good digital camera, I don't know that much about web design, I'm not a chef, etc. etc. He shot all my excuses down, I thought of a great name for the blog courtesy of Isadora, and I decided to go with it.

So, here we are. In reality, this is a horrible time for me to start a new project - new responsibilities at work, a 2nd birthday party to plan, an illness in the family, and a vacation coming up. But if we always wait until we're "ready" to do something, it never happens. If I've learned anything in two years of being a parent, its that sometimes the best, most surprising results come when you relax, let go, and dive right in. And although I successfully kept refined sugar out of Dora's diet for the first year, and I aspire to limit it for her as much as possible, I've also learned that parenting is about letting go, relaxing, and trying for a great photo when your child gets hold of some overly sweet, totally not natural or organic, artificially colored cake at a family picnic.

Here's to one sweet journey. Thanks for coming along!

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