Did you have Xanga circa 2004? The daily practice of journaling became a process of processing. Coming back to my dorm between classes, and drafting a post detailing the adventures I had been on, outlining a favorite playlist, or even dreaming about the future.

I miss the internet of 16 years ago.

What was once a sacrosanct journey is now morphed into the microblogging or (yikes) Facebook ranting of 2020.

I miss the corner of the web you could carve out for yourself that was basic enough for everyone to be on an equal playing field. Pick your background color, pick your post style, pick your font, and spice up your post with photos if you want.

The pressure is on these days, and can we just all say a collective AMEN to throwing pressure out the window, because, we’ve made it to month 9 of 2020. And while I wouldn’t say this is my personal worst year on record, for us as a human race it’s not great.

Consider this your dose of sunshine. Direction. Meditation. Grace.

Here’s what I dream this little plot of internet will be used for.

Kitchen Adventures 🥐

First off – I’ll tell you I already have a passion project called Everybody Baking Company.

This page is not that.

But this place – ahh, this place is what is cooking on my stovetop tonight. It’s what I’m pulling out of the oven. It’s what’s in my pantry, waiting to get mixed up into the next great who knows what. These recipes are not my own, recipe development and writing that goes into EBCo is the marathon. These are the sit ups. The daily regiment that helps me build the other muscles to move towards that goal.

The pressure I put on myself (tips hat) to put out completely unique content that isn’t exactly baring witness to the inspiration I get from other places drains my energy and I find myself not wanting to create at all.

So – the first thing I want to share today is I made Pioneer Woman’s Gazpacho for lunch tomorrow. It’s the recipe I forget about every summer until I have a basket of tomatoes and a zucchini the size of a newborn and the idea comes over me – PUREE THESE SUCKERS. Anyways, I want give away any of the juicy stuff…you’ll just have to see that post all on your own.

Michigan Love 🌊

So, some of you who know me personally know that I returned like the prodigal daughter back to the Upper Peninsula after a 16 year hiatus. Well, if you don’t count summers in between college, it was August 2003 that I moved to Chicago for college. I officially and intentionally decided not to return back to the UP summer of 2007 when I move from my on-campus apartment to my very own place (read: with 3 roommates) in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. So sure, I was gone-gone about 12 years.

But here’s the bit of magic in it all.

I needed to move half way across the country to New England to fall in love with the small town lake life I live now.

I needed to walk miles through the streets of New York and Chicago to meet a part of myself I never would have on the shores of Little Bay de Noc.

I needed to leave to come back to myself.

And now I can see all the parts have woven over and over each other into the making of this tapestry that is still just beginning to take shape. The threads of seemingly big mistakes and snags of the past have been made into focal points of the masterpiece.

I’m falling in love with Michigan all over again, and finding gems that remind me of places I’ve been. Bakeries that could be dropped in the middle of Manhattan and be right at home. Hidden beaches that rival the ones we’d pay $20 a day to be at in Connecticut. Sunsets on the water that remind me of sunsets in Rhode Island, and the homesick I felt wishing I could just drive home for the weekend.

I probably have shared more deeply than I intended to – but I want you to know my love of Michigan isn’t just about Apple Blossoms and Great Lakes.

Savor 💛

I’m an external processor. That means I have to talk through things for them to marinate. Digest. Settle. And for a long time, my online writing was an outlet for that.

Unfortunately my privacy was invaded some years ago, and I stopped writing because I got scared of what people thought of me, my family, my church, my life. And so the blogs now live archived on my hard drive.

But I have wandered in the quiet, internal pipeline of my mind now for years, and it has taken those years to get back here. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been a part of my becoming me.

So let me tell you about SAVOR. Because it’s only lived on Instagram stories here and there because of all the garbage that has happened.

In 2018, in what should have been one of the hardest years of transition and change and unknown, I found so much joy in one little word. Savor.

My year of savor started as a platitude, a word of the year challenge that some friends and I would do every January. But it became SO much more. It became a part of me in a way I haven’t been able to put words to. And when I hear people say the things in your life can help people who are where you’ve been, I feel this deep stirring around my year of Savor. So my prayer is that in my sharing, it will be light.

I can’t wait to begin. And maybe every post won’t be as long or as deep as this one, but I can’t wait to have this place become what it needs to be. For me…and for you 🌈

Author: aliciaadmin

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