Well, that break was longer than expected.
I promise, I had the best intentions of wrapping up my forthcoming book on food and faith (creatively titled The Catholic Table: Finding Joy Where Food Meets Faith), getting married, then coming back to blog all my thoughts about the Wedding Industrial Complex (and how much I loved, loved, loved my dress…I could probably write a whole blog series about it.)
When we returned from the honeymoon, however, we found ourselves with houseguests…for four straight weeks (four different sets of them mind you). God love my husband for being to roll with that kind of crazy.
Then, about three days after the last houseguest left, we decided to put our house on the market. Originally, we planned on remaining in Steubenville for at least a year before moving closer to Pittsburgh, where Chris works. But, we quickly grew to resent the time Chris spent commuting back and forth. We happen to like each other an awful lot, and realized we’d rather spend those two hours together rather than apart.
I love my house…
But I love my husband more. I mean, the man took me to Prince Edward Island on our honeymoon. How could I not?
Anyhow, that decision first meant a flurry of work getting the house ready to sell, then, once it sold (which was fast), an even more frantic flurry of work getting it ready for the FHA appraisal. Of course, we had to find a house too, which involved weeks of me driving to and from Pittsburgh to meet up with Chris and our awesome realtor, desperately seeking a house that could meet our very particular demands (okay, mostly my very particular demands).
And through it all, there was that pesky thing called work, which for me is writing— lots and lots and lots of writing. That was good for the bank account (which will be heavily taxed by the upcoming renovation of our new home), but not so good for the blogging. I really do love writing about food and hospitality, but by the time I log 10 plus hours in a day at the computer meeting deadlines for others, the last thing I want to do is write some more, no matter how fun the topic might be. I like writing…but not that much.
Life hasn’t really slowed down since our offer on a home in Crafton, PA, was (finally) accepted. Now, we’re packing to move, meeting with contractors and engineers to plan the massive rehab of the new home, and working like crazy to fund that rehab. Plus, I’ve got an exploratory surgery scheduled for early November (to see if there’s any scar tissue from previous surgeries blocking my fallopian tubes or doing something else to get in the way of us conceiving a baby—all prayers appreciated).
Oh, and then there’s The Catholic Table, which is slated to come out just a few days after the Election from Hell comes to a screeching, blessed end. Here’s the final cover design. Ain’t it gorgeous?
The Catholic Table isn’t a cookbook. It’s a series of essays on the relationship of food to faith, virtue, the Eucharist, the body, and our culture (with my past struggles with eating disorders serving as a kind of narrative framework). But I did include quite a few recipes in the book, and the publishers want me blogging those recipes. The tricky thing is, blogging recipes requires an actual kitchen to cook in…which is something I’m not going to have from approximately November 21 until early March.
That’s right, folks. Chris and I will be living off of takeout and Amy’s frozen burritos all the while I’m promoting a book about the sacramentality of eating. Oh, the irony.
In the meantime (aka “before I pack up all my cookware”), I’ll try to cook and shoot some of those recipes. Add more to the to-do list.
Regardless, I am going to do my darndest to get back into the habit of regular blogging. Not only because I need to make my very kind publishers happy, but because there’s so much to blog about.
…Like my 1001 thoughts on the aforementioned Wedding Industrial Complex and my own semi-successful, semi-disasterous, but still super darned beautiful and blessed wedding day. (A few more shots for you).
….And the process of rehabbing our new home. It was built in 1890 by some wealthy Pittsburgher, who wanted a summer home outside the city. Because it wasn’t meant for year-round living, it had tons of space for guests (which is one of the reasons we’re buying it—see paragraph 2 above), but no space for cooking—just a stove, a sink, and a table in the basement, where the servants could slave away out of sight.
Then, sometime in probably the 1940s, the house was turned into a duplex, which meant all sorts of crazy walls went up (destroying the original floor plan), and two tiny, postage stamp kitchens were put in. Our task now is to make like Joanna Gaines and tear down multiple walls upstairs and down, move kitchens and bathrooms, update all the mechanicals, and restore the character ripped out over the years by landlords who don’t love period details as much as we do. All while living in the attic. Fun!
It is going to be quite the project, but the size, location, and price were right, I’m insane, and my husband humors me, so…
Before I go full speed ahead on either of those topics, though, (or book promotion, food blogging, and other Catholic Table related stuff), I’ve got a few thoughts I want to share on leaving my beloved home here in Steubenville. It’s so full of memories, so beautiful, and so…done.
Next time, though. This update has gotten long enough…and there are those deadlines.
Happy to be back!