The end of summer blues are starting to hit home as we welcome in September. When I think back to June, and pictured what I thought our summer would look like, it turned out different in many ways. From an awful case of strep throat for my son, which led to a botched family vacation, to saying a more permanent goodbye to that same son, for who knows how long. One of those events started our summer and the other ended it. Of course, neither one was planned or foreseen. Talk about emotional!
You know how that is, when you plan things out in your head and they look so perfect and beautiful. But then, life takes over and those dreamy images morph into reality. Sometimes we just can't get around unpredictable circumstances. Believe me, as hard as I try to keep my life in a perfect rhythm, it just doesn't happen. It kind of reminds me of one of my all time favorite movies, Finding Nemo. I know it may seem silly that I love that movie, but I just do. My boys were so little when that movie came out. I loved it so much we saw it twice in the theater which is was a big deal for me as I'm not a movie buff. Of course I cried a lot, laughed a lot, and related to Marlin...A LOT!
One quote that has embedded itself into my head is when Marlin was frantic over losing Nemo (he had many of those moments), and he said to Dory, "I promised I would never let anything happen to him." Dory said, "Hmm, that's a funny thing to promise." Marlin said, "What?" Dory replied, "Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo."
That conversation really speaks to me. One reason being I am a protective mom. Yeah, I will admit it, I'm a bit of a helicopter mom. I'm not proud of that and really have tried to ease up in that department. Another reason I relate to that scene is particularly when things don't go according to plan. Ugh, I'm such a planner! So yeah, it is difficult when things wrinkle my plans. Strep throat put a nasty wrinkle into what was supposed to be a very special family time. The only thing I could do is accept it and move on. So that is what we did.
After my son's college graduation in June, he left for his internship and we had planned on moving him back home over Labor Day weekend. He did awesome! He had many front page stories, met some great people, and learned a ton about life as a journalist. Meanwhile, here at home, things went well. We saw friends and family throughout the summer that we don't get to see often. My husband and I were able to enjoy a couple of getaways, which were amazing experiences. My husband and my younger son both celebrated birthdays. Our family welcomed two new babies. My cousin welcomed his first son and one of my sisters welcomed her first child, a daughter. And, our nephew tied the knot. Very exciting stuff!
As summer was winding down, our oldest son called us and said he received a job offer. The position was for a sports reporter/writer for a newspaper in Eastern Oregon. It was about 45 miles from the city where he was interning. He was very excited about the opportunity as that job would be combining two of his biggest passions. But then we all had to face the fact that it meant he would not be coming home. At least this opportunity would bring him 45 miles closer to home though. He weighed the pros and cons and decided to go for it. He is so young, a recent college grad with no obligations yet. It seemed like the perfect time for him to build his resume and see where this experience takes him. So my husband and I spend last weekend moving him into his new home and getting to know his town, and starting a new chapter in his life. As we said goodbye and drove away, my heart was filled with joy. I'm so proud of him not only for all he has accomplished, but for the brave decisions he has made, particularly over the past few years. He is not choosing the predictable, easy route. He is choosing to take on the challenge of a new job, a new city, and not knowing anyone. So far, everything is going well for him and he is gaining a ton of experience. Now you have somewhat of an idea of how my summer actually turned out. It may have not been smooth and wrinkle free, but it was full of many blessings. How about you? Did your summer go according to plan? I would love to hear all about it.
So since summer is not officially over yet, neither is my love for ice cream. In all honesty, my love for ice cream is 365 days a year!
On a cone or in a bowl?
This blueberry pie ice cream is a flavorful way to enjoy some of summer's finest berries. Combining fresh blueberries with a pie crust texture make a creamy bowl of deliciousness! You will have no trouble pleasing your palate with this homemade purple dessert.
Making the pie crust:
The crust is easy to make. Just combine some almonds, dates, sea salt, coconut, and coconut oil in a food processor. Once combined, put the mixture into a large storage bag and flatten out the crust. Put it in the freezer so it can firm up a bit while you make the ice cream. Towards the end of your ice creams churning cycle, you will break up small pieces of the crust so that it scatters throughout the ice cream. You can also use pecans or walnuts instead of almonds.
Trust me when I say this ice cream is the perfect ending to an eventful summer season. So enjoy those last moments of sun and warmth (unless you live in CA), kick your feet up and dig into a bowl of this ice cream while soaking up the remainder of the rays!
For the ice cream:
2 cans full fat coconut milk
3 cups fresh, organic blueberries (if frozen, thaw and drain excess water)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup raw honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the pie crust:
1 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 raw almonds (pecans or walnuts work too)
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbs coconut oil (solid form)
1. To make the crust, place the dates. almonds, and sea salt into your food processor and pulse until well combined with a medium coarse texture. Add the shredded coconut and pulse to combine. Then add the tablespoon of coconut oil and pulse to combine once again. Put the crust ingredients in a storage bag and press down on the mixture so it sticks together. Place the bag in your freezer to firm up.
2. To make the ice cream, place your ice cream ingredients into your Vitamix and blend well until smooth.
3. Put your ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. It will probably take about 20-25 minutes until it is ready. When it is a couple minutes from being done, break up the crust into chunks and add them to your ice cream a little at a time. If you find you are running out of room in your ice cream maker, you can stir the remaining pie pieces in after your ice cream is done churning.
4. Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container with an airtight lid. Either enjoy right away or freeze until ready to eat.