Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Baby Bumps with Friends 

A few months back when my friend Betsy, who I have known since first grade, told me she was pregnant with her second baby, I whooped with joy! Then, a couple months later, I got to tell her that I was pregnant, and she gushed with happiness. Last summer she had moved to Tennessee, so I have seen her a lot less, but last week my husband and I visited her and her family. We got to celebrate being pregnant together! We snapped some “baby bump” pictures together on Wednesday night to celebrate her being 29 weeks and my 20 weeks along: Continue reading


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Picking Maryland Crab

We are visiting friends in Maryland right now, and they treated us is freshly boiled crab with bay spice. Here’s the process:

First cover the table with brown paper, and get the wooden hammers ready to whacking the claws:

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Opening Letters Written Ten Years Ago

The John Hancock Building in the Clouds

What would your “ten years younger self” say to you today? Well, I got to find out. Ten years ago I was finishing college, unmarried, full of dreams, and I had two great friends named Tiffany and Chelsea. We decided to write letters to ourselves and to each other that we would open in ten years—the date we chose was March 24th, 2017.
The letter idea came after a fun night of food at the Loring Pasta Bar in Minneapolis, and then we went to the 9th floor of the Guthrie Theatre to write letters to the person we would be in ten years… A month later we decided to write letters to each other as well to open on March 24th, 2017.


Every year or two over the last ten years, Tiff or Chels would mention “March 24th, 2017!” and we would smile and dream. Time moved faster and faster, and we arrived on the awaited date last month. We had thought we would meet in Minneapolis, but none of us lived there anymore, so we met in Chicago where two of us live, and Chelsea drove over her from Iowa to visit her Dad and us.

 


We moved on from the 9th floor of the Guthrie Theatre (“our” cool spot ten years ago) to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building (that is 87 stories taller!) At the Signature Lounge, we got a table, talked, and then pulled out our ten year old letters! Between us we had moved almost 20 times, but we all protected our letters (by keeping them with important papers). We decided to read each of the letters out loud, and the resulting inspiration, joy, and gratitude surprised me. It felt like we had church up there in that lounge. The words we had written to each other were still true–the encouragement, love, and kindness expressed through those letters was timeless.


Each of us have grown and matured, and many of our dreams that we wrote about in our letters have come to pass. We are not as starry-eyed and idealistic as we were in our twenties, but the faith we expressed in those letters is inspiring and nudges me to continue growing in my faith! We cried, hugged, and ate lots of food while talking about what we had written.

We have written new letters to open on March 24th, 2027, and who knows what will happen in THESE ten years?

~Mary Hope
P. S. The notecards I used to write my new letters are from Trees of Transition Cards:  Photo Greeting Cards
P. S. S. If you want to see more about Chicago Architecture, such as the John Hancock Building check out:

Copyright 2017


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Wedding Reception Sunset Flowers

Sunset colors is my goal for the reception flowers. I had fun yesterday scoping out a wholesale flower place to figure out what flowers to buy. Here’s what I found:

   
    
   
Do they look like a sunset to you?

Peace!

Mary Hope

Copyright 2016


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Thai Basil Chicken and Noodles

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You know those weeks when the grocery budget is tight? That’s when I decide to use what is in the pantry and freezer, and this recipe is what resulted from what was in my kitchen last night. My friend came over for dinner, and she helped me fry up these Pad Thai inspired noodles; what is different from regular Pad Thai is that it has more large vegetables, no onion or ginger (it wasn’t in the fridge!), and has more of citrus notes in the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! Watch out because my friend and I ate over half of the pan ourselves…

Makes 4 large servings

Ingredients:

1/4 c. soy sauce

3/4 lb chicken breast, chopped (raw)

2 Tblsp. coconut oil

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms

1 (6.35 oz.) jar bamboo shoots, sliced

1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced

2 Tblsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

4.5 oz. (half a package) pad thai rice noodles

1/2 c. coconut milk

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

1/2 c. salted peanuts

 

Sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 Tblsp. soy sauce

2 Tblsp. lime juice

3 Tblsp. rice vinegar

2 Tblsp. fish sauce

2 Tblsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

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Mrs. Holverson’s Fresh Strawberry Pie

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Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Mrs. Holverson served this pie at a pool party birthday celebration for her daughter, Amy. I loved the pie, so I asked how she made it. She gave me enough directions to know how to make it; I wrote it down in a little cookbook, and I pulled it out when I had a lot of strawberries yesterday. This pie still is amazing!
One more funny thing about that pool party: Mrs. Holverson let all of us girls know that if we wanted to pick strawberries, we could. So for the second half of the party, instead of playing in the pool, I picked a whole flat of strawberries, and then made pie when I got home!

The Recipe:

1 baked 9″ pie shell
4 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup crushed strawberries
2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
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Preserving Excited Love: Engagement Photos

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I love seeing people in love! Being able to capture photos of the excited love after an engagement happens is an honor. Love has many seasons, and the engagement season contains great joy, so why not take special photos during that time.

Another photography first for me: Last Sunday I snapped engagement photos for my friends. I had a few ideas, and then let them tell me what and where they wanted photos. I clicked away, and some of my favorites are below.

I’ll let the photos show you more of what happened:

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