after a test


I tucked our completed reading test, the first of the year, behind my back and handed out sheets of crisp white paper. 

"You did it! I'm so proud of you. First, choose any color. Then, please write your name on your paper. Next, you can draw a picture!"

I rarely give them free range on the crayons and you could feel the buzzing excitement as the two little hands hovered over the 64 crayons, deciding their color as if it was the biggest decision of the day.

Ten minutes later, after watching them pick and layer and scribble and design, I noticed a small teal figure appear on one of the sheets. 

"Ooo! Who is that?" All three of us leaned our heads in to see.

"It's my sister."

"I love the rainbow behind her."

Moments later, after a flurry of carefully chosen colors had come in and out of the box, her arm shot up as she blurted out: "I'm done!"

"It's so lovely!" I pull out my pencil. "What would you like to name your picture?"

"A hug from my sister."

I look back at the little teal figure, skirted with frills, a wash of rainbow hues radiating from her body.  I don't believe I will ever see a more beautiful depiction of a hug.



I never thought that some of my hardest moments as a teacher would be letting them take their art home themselves.

paleo chicken pot pie

No matter how long you "eat clean" or follow a specific diet, no matter how much better you feel on said diet, or how terrible you feel when you break its rules, there are some cravings that just don't go away. You could wave a hundred doughnuts under my nose with no success but one French baguette? I'm done for. 

Another of my all-time favorites? Chicken Pot Pie.


It was hard-core comfort food when I was little. We didn't have it often, but when we did, we knew it was probably the depths of winter...those days in January when it feels as though the sun will never rise again (thank you Northern Hemisphere), and even if it does, you'll never see it because of the impenetrable rain clouds (Thank you Seattle convergence zone).


My mom's was topped with flaky biscuits that we usually only saw during holiday dinners or camping breakfasts making it all the more magical to our as-then young selves. While I can't (as yet) replicate those life-affirming biscuits without the butter and wheat flour, I still wanted that comforting steam, soft doughy crust, and enough vegetables to make the gravy forgivable.


After gathering several recipes, reading through them carefully, and imagining all of the possibilities, I decided I wanted something warm, decadent, and very easy to make. No frozen crust pastries or hours of prep cooking. I wanted to be able to grab this recipe on a whim and (so long as I had the ingredients), make it that night. So, here's the recipe!


1 pound chicken

cook, cube, set aside.

1/4 c coconut oil/butter
1/4 c honey
2 large eggs
1 t fresh lemon juice

whisk smooth

1 c grated cheese

stir in

2 1/2 c almond flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

sift in, combine all, set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
mise en place for the next steps.

1 1/2 T butter
1 large yellow onion, finely diced

saute 10-12 minutes until translucent

1/2 pound diced celeriac
1 c chicken broth

add, bring to a boil, simmer until celeriac is tender.

1/3 c coconut milk

put in blender along with just celeriac. blend until creamy. set aside.

1/2 pound diced celeriac
3 carrots, diced

add to pan broth, simmer 8-10 minutes until starting to soften.

2/3 c frozen peas
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried rosemary

add along with cooked chicken. Stir until heated through. Add blended celeriac.
remove from heat. Pour filling into glass baking dish.
drop biscuit dough onto the top until covered evenly and bake uncovered 1/2 hour or until biscuits are beginning to brown.
let rest 10 minutes.

everything i need to know i learned in special ed


This moment that we're sitting in right now, will not last forever.

A few of my students struggle with the concept of time moving forward. They act on the understanding that whatever moment is filling their lives that second, will be what fills the rest of their days.

I sit with J, listening to their screams and cries, jagged breaths and messy sobs, realizing that I too might have the same reaction if I believed that this little moment of failure, this moment of not being first, of not being rewarded, of "whoops, that's not the right answer..." would last forever. Condemnation, no matter how insignificant if i lasts a second, is crushing if the end is nowhere in sight.

So I sit, and we practice breathing deep "starfish" breaths, filling our brains with oxygen to manually relax our bodies (both of which are shot through and shaking from the screaming) and get ready to take our next tiny steps forward...just like that same starfish. 

The trick is to remember to look back every once in a while to remind yourself that yes, those other forever-moments? They have passed. And these next ones will to. And soon, you'll be over this boulder and on to the next.

thirty before thirty

Upon the writing of this list, I was six months and a quarter of a century old. With so much life happening all at once and rushing by, I took a moment to pause and challenge myself to continued growth and write a thirty before thirty list. And, to throw in an element of accountability, here it is, edited as I dream about, plan, and work to complete the list before my 30th birthday.

thirty before thirty | seekthewelfare

Some of these goals will take a great deal of time and effort such as saving for and buying a house. Some of them are more or less out of my control such as being taken on a date (no judgement please). Some of them I've been putting off for years like reading all of the books I own. Some of them totally freak me out (any kind of performance in front of anyone ever). But each one is possible and that is extremely exciting.

thirty before thirty

begun: june 2017
last updated: january 2018
goal date: december 2021



live in a house -- preferably my own

create a vegetable and flower garden -- i've got all of my tools, now i just need the dirt.

care for a flock of chickens

procure beautiful dinner dishes and napkins -- I've got the napkins! On to the dishes...



start my own business. in 2016 I opened The Sick Box, a little shop filled with handmade and carefully curated goods to nurture and encourage self-care.

earn a teaching certificate

lead-teach for at least one full year

get paid to organize someone's home. the summer of 2017 saw me designing and creating a room for a dear friend. picking the design, cleaning and organizing, and creating a quiet crafting haven for knitting, weaving, tea, and conversations. 2018 saw me working with a client working towards a clean slate after years of grief.

work with a photography client



travel solo outside of the United States

wild camp

drive from one coast of the United States to the other

live in a  foreign country for a month or more. lived in Paris for a month in 2017 with a week in London thrown in the middle for good measure.

skinny dip

take a multi-day cross-country train trip. in june 2017 i took my grandmother on an amtrak train from Seattle, WA to Saint Paul, MN for her birthday. it was magical.

bike from one major city to another -- anyone want to go from Seattle to Portland with me?

return to Scotland

swim in warm ocean water -- Hawaii perhaps? Or Florida? Spain could work too...

go on an overnight boat voyage. june 2017 saw me boating the puget sound from case inlet to everett.



go 30 days with a quart trash jar without filling it up -- because I haven't yet gotten this strict with myself though I have significantly reduced my trash

have my portrait taken or painted

read every book I own -- it's been a goal of mine for about a year now. I've made some progress but it could be much better.



throw pottery -- I'm signed up for a class in March and April 2018!

confidently play and sing at least three tunes on the ukulele with someone to witness them

accomplish a difficult yoga pose -- preferably with a balancing element

try oil painting. summer 2017 I took a five week course for beginning oil painters. My goal now? experiment all on my own and see what happens.



write the life story of at least one relative

be taken out on an official date

buy work from a local artist

fix someone else's flat tire

Do you have a goal list going? What's your favorite one? Comment below or share with us on the facebook page.

decorating with memories

In a small apartment, deliberate decorating is a vital joy.

The chart reader from Portsmouth, a bigger-than-life chunk of my childhood book adventures and even more magical as a living, breathing town. The pin commemorating that time the car broke down in the middle of New York CIty after a two day drive from Georgia.

decorating with memories | seekthewelfare

The mug that brought months of solace in a terrible job. The mug that a dear college roommate created with her own hands. A card collection filled with color stories from our travels.

The drum from Uzbekistan, brought back in a suitcase, intact and fascinating. The concrete pot I carried twelve blocks from the little shop two neighborhoods over.

decorating with memories | seekthewelfare

Decorating with what I already have has always been my favorite. Why fill this intimate space with items that don't call to me? That will be forgotten tomorrow? That don't have a story to tell?