I am Judy and David’s daughter and Mel and Tillie’s and Fred and Luella’s granddaughter. I am the beaches and coast, lakes and steams and mountains of California. California is in my heart and soul, where I grew up, and it will always feel like home. My family and my oldest, cherished friends are there and dotted around the West. But, I am also downtown Chicago where I walked to work in knee-high snow and the shores of Lake Michigan where my husband and I strolled pulling my son behind us in his red wagon so he could learn to pump a swing and build sandcastles at the playground on our local beach. I was a Midwesterner for eight years and often fondly remember our time there and miss our amazing friends from the Chicago area. Now I will grow old as a southerner. The South is an easy companion for me with its laid-back approach to most everything, its plethora of warm sunny days, and the ability to openly admit that my car radio is usually set on a country music station. The southern life meets and exceeds the cliché of charm and hospitality. The friends we have made in the south are the reason our final leg of moves around the country feels right and now we are proud to be southerners!

I am a Soccer Mom to Vaughn, a devoted caretaker of our big, black dog Zeus and I am the truly-in-love-with-but-often-too-busy wife to Doug. For my boys I am soccer team manager, chauffer, cheerleader, administrative assistant, travel agent, social planner, dog trainer, cook, and all things “homemaker.” I am happy and consider myself fortunate to “work” for my family and be a writer and author “on the side.”

I am Fiji and Africa and the Galapagos. One of my passions in life and the one thing I would gladly do with all my free time, if schedules and money would allow, is TRAVEL! I absolutely love everything about it (except airline delays and cancellations). The research, planning, anticipation, range of experiences, time spent “away” with family and friends or just my husband, and all that we learn and how we change through each and every trip. (Secret quirk: I have entire trips planned down to the daily schedule that I am not truly sure I will ever get to take…but I am hopeful!)

I am Key Lime Pie and Veggie Pizza and guacamole and my husband’s grilled chicken, oh, and most anything spicy! I enjoy cooking, but even more I enjoy food. Due in no small part to my Mom, an amazing cook, I associate cooking and food with love, fun, happiness and satisfaction. Cooking a meal for my family or friends is one way of caring for them and showing them they are important to me. Because we have a very busy son who does not drive himself to activities and practices yet, meals at our house are usually quick and simple. But we highly value the family dinner table and go to great lengths and often eat at crazy times in order (or so that we can) to all sit down together for our evening meal. New recipes I want to try and notes on ones I plan to create or perfect are mainly set to the proverbial side for now. It is a very happy night for me when we are all home with nowhere to go by a decent time and I can leisurely cook for us while listening to music and sipping on a glass of wine.

I am a status “inactive” Land Use attorney and zealous planner and a lover of words. There are many “callings” that I can imagine I would have been happy following but one constant in every make-believe alternate life is that I would write. Whether legal documents (my past life), organizational handbooks, non-profit grants, children’s books (in progress), the illusive novel or a cookbook co-written with my Mom (accomplished!)…I love to write. I am best at communicating in writing and I am a student of the way words convey meaning and can be interpreted. Writing our cookbook was a dream come true. Writing for this blog, because I cannot labor over every word and interpretation, is scary but also exciting. My main reasons for being part of this blog trio are twofold: I love to write and I love my Mom and aunt. Anything we do together, sink or swim, success or failure…I know it will be fun!

Cheers to whatever happens! It will be an experience with two of my best girls. Love you Mom and Shirl. Let’s shoot for the moon!

New Neighbors – Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Friends of ours, who we know through my son’s school, moved in “over the fence” from us late this summer. Back-to-school craziness and generally getting back into the school routine hit me harder than usual this year and so making them a housewarming meal, which I had...

Ode to the Sandwich- Veggie on Wheat Berry Bread

The Oxford Dictionary tells us a sandwich is “[a]n item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with a filling between them, eaten as a light meal.”  As we know, this simple creation has many, many variations. All cultures seem to have their own versions. We find...

Friday – Prep Day

When I was growing up Friday was the day in our house when we cleaned, restocked our cupboards and refrigerator, did all the laundry, and generally made the effort to enter the weekend organized for the following week and ready to relax and enjoy the weekend. I have...

Tucson Festival of Books 2017

Tomorrow is a big day for the Tillie Moon girls!  We will be appearing in the Author Pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books!  We are excited to be a part of this huge book event and look forward to a great day meeting people who love books as much as we do. If you...

Don’t Wait: Perfection is the Death of Invention

There are many pieces of sage advice that I do not heed, even while agreeing that I should. One is “Don’t Wait.” For many, many good creative ideas that I have had I waited and thought. You see, my big ideas need mulling time to be perfected. So, because I am a...

Wonderful Holiday Events

Jen had a blast this Christmas season doing two book signings!  We already posted about the exciting opportunity to be at Arkansas Children’s Hospital on November 30th.  For those who could not join us, here is a photo of our table out front of their amazing...
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