We started at The Midoint Food & Drink.
This restaurant is located midway between our home in Happy Valley and the city. Also, it is located between Foster and Powell on 52nd. I am assuming the latter is the reason for the name. (insert laugh) I read about this place online. It had several reviews and was in the category of “local, easy, comforting, and not pretentious in the glossy-magazine and fancy chef way” If, indeed, that is a category.
It is an older spot, and while the name sounds like a pub it is in fact a diner. We were seated immediately and the menu was easy, filled with great options, and ordering was not a test in culinary knowledge. I ordered “The Downtowner” and the better half ordered “The 2 Egg Scramble” which he added tomatoes to. He actually said “would it be weird to add tomatoes?”, to which Violet (who was darling and quick with the coffee to be refilled) made it clear that his idea was brilliant. Other half enjoyed that moment. (mental note to take cues from Violet). The coffee was hot and good, and the food, amazing. Here is what came out of my mouth: “These are the best hashbrowns I think I have ever had”. They were simple, buttery, and if you added the house made green sauce (lovingly made by violet with tomatillos, jalapenos and a host of other items) you could easily clean your plate.
During my meal, Violet treated everyone like family, talked about the butter cookies that were fresh made, and allowed me to bestow her with my new found full education on the history of ketchup.
So, East Siders….get your butts over there and fill that restaurant. Also – expect to meet the amazing sisters who run it soon on The Simple Kitchen.
Midpoint Food & Drink
- 3524 SE 52nd Avenue
- Portland, Oregon
- OPEN: 8am – 10pm
- PRICE: Reasonable
- STYLE American, Family Friendly
What’s for lunch?
It was the hubalubs birthday on Wednesday, so he really got to drive the meals. So, for lunch I asked, at the very least, that he select a place on Division as I was so behind on the new places over there. He did as I requested, and selected Atlas Pizza. He is a pizza fanatic and I follow Atlas on Instagram so this was perfect for me!! So, we find parking a block away, which is awesome. The thing about Division, if you have lived here a couple decades (ahem) like I have is that a lot of the new restaurants and volume of traffic is new. This area was and is still a residential area, now with a long strip of wine, beer, food and other noveltie. If you are traveling to our city and want to enjoy our culinary delights, the odds are stacked in the favor of you landing on SE Division one or two times.
Atlas Pizza was a perfect experience for us. We walked in and I was greeted by a friendly smile, immediate assistance and awesome music. I looked around and saw my 20’s on the walls: show posters everywhere for Satyricon. I loved Satyricon and used to go there, listen to music, dance and drink a lot of cheap beer. After the concerts, there was a souvlaki joint right outside that was always open and we would grab that and eat it on our trek (on foot) back to our apartment in NW Portland. This is “pre The Pearl days” Whoever hung those posters knows exactly what I am talking about.
We ordered a Large Pepperoni and Pineapple. I grabbed an IPA of the tap and we chilled. I enjoyed some serious Hall and Oates music and we both watched the Original version of Willy Wonka on the TV. We were surrounded by working pinball machines, bright cheery windows and I want to point out – this place is CLEAN. I am a clean freak and in that type of lighting I can tell you that it is clean. People came and went picking up slices for here or to go, it was a warm bustling, and overall just a FUN place to be. Especially with an early afternoon buzz. The pizza was HUGE, it was delicious and I managed to eat 2 pieces. The crust was thin (we like that) and the sauce was amazing. So – yes, go here. Eat the pizza. Get a large one and take the rest home – it was AWESOME later that evening after some beer tasting…..
- 35700 SE Division Street
- Portland, Oregon
- Open: 11:30am – 10:00pm
- Price: reasonable
- Food: Pizza, Family Friendly, GREAT service
What is next?
So we decide to keep rolling like food gangsters. Book a room at Edgefield and get an overnight sitter. I mean, it IS the big guy’s birthday, right? So….lets soak in the soaking tub and drink beer.
We love it out there at McMenamins Edgefield. It is the easiest way to get away for 24 hours, still be close to the kids, but let our hair down at a reasonable price. That is how we see Edgefield. We got a room, checked in, hit the soaking tub, then went beer tasting! We enjoyed a cheeseboard, and I was pleased by some SERIOUSLY sticky cheeses!!! Then later, had a simple light dinner and went to bed by 8:30 – we have a lot of calories to consume tomorrow!! Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!
Nothing is more humbling when you are running through your life, thinking “Wow, look at all of this I have to do in a day…how do I get it done?” Then in one swoop a close friend is diagnosed with cancer and your father in law is in and out of consciousness for weeks at the hospital with heart problems you cannot even wrap your MIND around. Then, out of nowhere, a colleague commits suicide.
You get promotions, you accept responsibilities, your kids grow, you do the best you can. I used to focus on being the best nonstop. Now I focus on being “the best ME that I can TODAY.” That means making sure people know you are thinking of them and that they are loved. Communicating with family, work. Always work (don’t worry about next weeks duties and half-ass today…KILL IT today, and then do the same tomorrow).
My boundaries are much more defined. For work, I work hard, I go hard, and I am available when not there, BUT, my time with my family is non negotiable. I am not cheating my employer, I am offering them a happy, well rounded and satisfied individual. I realized that, as a leader of mostly women, I need to show them what grace in power looks like. Humility, love, respect, hard work, embracing errors, and laughing at yourself. At all times growing. Never stop growing. THIS is what balance looks like, but it is a daily internal struggle. All moms feel like being away from their kids for work will harm their kids. It won’t. It just won’t. However you better stay on top of them and their progress and always be there for them. There is NOTHING that I do professionally that is more important than a sick child. Nothing.
How do I respond to all of this craziness? I am losing myself in my kids laughs. I am looking into theloving blue eyes of my husband more, and I am thinking. Thinking about how fleeting it all is. How this time we have is short, and that anything can happen. So, I guess I just do that. I hope. I just hope that it will all turn out for the best.
So slow down friends. Just do today really well.
Everything’s gonna be ok.
Yes, I am busy. I am embarrassed to even talk about the way my life has rolled into a wild ride of motherhood, marriage, career, radio, events and trying to find pockets of rest. The world as arrived at my doorstep and I am absolutely busy.
I wake up at 4am and do a “quick 1-2 hours of work” now. I am terrified of taking time from my kids. I am worried about not keeping up with my commitments to a career that I love and the employees who need me. I am nothing like who I thought I was. This is a good thing.
Do you think back about times in your life where your self worth was low? I do. I never went so far as to damage myself or my health (entirely) but I come from a somewhat lost generation. We never really learned how to love or give love in return. When we grew up, life and families had taken this intense pace. Latchkey kids, both parents working….climbing the ladder. It was the 80s and the 80s were a good time for career minded and educated people! Money was there to be had. Time to connect, not so much. I may have been one of the few kids who sat down to dinner several nights a week but I was on my own for breakfast and lunch since I was in 3rd grade.
So…you get through adolescence. You somehow find your way through your 20s. You fall in love in your 30s and start to make a life. By your 40s you are here. Busy, successful, and busy.
How do I fit 48 hours into 24 hours? I don't. I just don't. I set my own precedences as they arise and stay true to my foundation which is my home. I embrace mornings that I wake up at 4 ready to go, but I crash hard at 8:30 when the kids are down and the house is clean. I don't waste time on movies, and I make sure we gather at the table as much as possible. I laugh, I love. I stop and sit on the sofa and have time with my kids that has no hidden educational agenda. I hold them. I tell them they are awesome. I kiss their soft heads and laugh their toes and let them chew on my pearls. They are just pearls and I will have no need for them when I am gone. When THEY leave me though I will be left with my memories of them. Did I stop? Did I look at them? Did I tell them they have value? Did they see me smile at them with no hidden agenda? No concern?
What really matters? Keeping your love alive in your marriage so you can show your kids how to make it work. Kissing and hugging in front of them. Laughing together as a family. Making your life work for the family you are now. Are you showing and teaching your kids how to love? Showing them to gain strength through holding hands? Through talking and laughing? Complimenting each other and reminding each other of their worth and their value to the family.
So, I finally get a blog post up. It is not about food. There are no photos, but it is where I am in my mind. I am rich in love and successful in career. But really, the career stems from the love that fuels my heart that takes me through my days and helps me make ethical and smart decisions. It all starts here, at home.
I will not forget that.
I have taken my 2 years. My pregnancy, the first 18 months of the twins life. I have gotten in, rolled around, absorbed and loved it. But it is time for me to put myself back into tip top shape. Now, I am not talking 28 year old shape (I am 43) but I AM talking about health. Food, exercise, healthy decisions. More carrot, less cake. OR… maybe some carrot cake? I am only human.
This being said, I am embarking on a year long series of benchmark segments on health on my radio show. Cooking healthy, great places to eat that are good for you and your family, ideas and things that I learn about being a healthy family and individual, I will pass along to you. It is also my goal to write about them along the way as a reference to you. I will talk about recipes for grownups AND kids. My life changed, and because of it, so will this blog. I expect in another 5 years I will go an even different direction…. so don’t get too comfortable. Much like life, this blog changes. With me. This blog, after all, is a work of love for my family.
The goal here, as an older parent, is to stay healthy, young and awesome for my kids. To be able to, to WANT to do all the things they want to do. Play sports, ride bikes, and enjoy their childhood. Do you know what it feels like to have a parent be too tired, or not interested in playing with you? I hope not, and my children will never know either.
So this is the final piece of my puzzle: I found my dream man. I have a career that eclipses anything I ever dreamt for myself, and therefore I keep dreaming bigger. Now, my children are here, safe and sound, and READY TO ROCK. The final piece? Escorting myself and my family into the rest of our lives with health, energy, and lots and LOTS of love.
I read this and it stuck: “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they are not big enough.”. I hope you all dream so big is scares the CRUD out of you.
On to the next bigger, and better year! BRING IT 2015!
I am sorry, but I must decline.
I realized, around mid November that I was running. Not exercise, but running nonstop from one appointment to the next. I was so overextended and under-appreciating my riches. What is the point of a pocket full of cash if you did not gently lay your daughter into her crib at night? What is the point of media success if you haven’t read Brown Bear to your son? None. There is no point.
Where do you place value? Do you place it in financial gain? Perhaps in physical goals, such as weight loss and maintaining youth? Do you attend EVERY event you are invited to? These are questions that I put to myself and it really bothered me when I answered them (silently to myself). The painful truth was that I am not living life correctly. Let me amend that. I am not living my life correctly for me.
So, I decided to stay home. Go to work, but other than that, just be there. Be with my husband, be with my children. Not place ANYthing over the small amount of time that I have to see the holidays through their beautiful eyes. Through eyes that have no worries and are so full of trust. Allow the beauty a child’s realization of new concepts, words, situations to be my celebrations. Drive slowly through our neighborhood looking at holiday lights while singing carols on a Wednesday night. Shopping for one ornament with the whole family and making it an adventure that takes 2 hours, in which time you forget what you are there for because you are all caught up playing with the balls in the toy section.
The world keeps moving. The circle gets smaller and more intimate. Life is cozy, it has thinned out. It is a more honest representation of our tribe. Trust is built in the hard times as well as the good.
This season has been a myriad of joy. Fun runs, turkey dinners, tree hunts, Santa breakfasts, tree trimming, watching daddy coach basketball games, present wrapping and Christmas book reading. How can we only be 7 days until Christmas?
I stop………. I think. I realize that we are now at 2 holidays in, only 16 left until they are no longer children. I now that seems like a lot. But it is not. It took us 5 years to conceive, and that was a blink of an eye.
So, I am sorry, but I must decline. I am not available, but for a very good reason.
Hey man, I am not a content whore.
If you are a blogger you know what that is – when someone has a recipe a day and you are all “holy cow, how do you do that?”. Nope, I am a lil busy these days. Also, I got a new hair color and this gives me all sorts of lenience’s. Just saying.
As far as cooking my life has been in such an upturn of mommy, career and wifey-ness that I don’t even have time to exercise. This is tough and my pants are tight. But, I carry on.
Professionally I am doing great. As a mom I am TRYING to do great. As a wife I am failing but aren’t we all? I wont even pretend that our romance is a flame that only the deepest sea could contain or dampen. We are tired. We are trying our best, and every day as a new parent feels like you have 2 left shoes on and are the new kid in town. It is so hard, and yet the best thing you have going. Jason, if you are reading this I PROMISE I won’t throw out the lingerie…..just give me a beat to feel sexy again….
We did make it to the coast though for a 36 hour twin free love fest. You may think this means we dove sexily into the bed for 36 hours and only came up for wine and to feed each other grapes, but you would be wrong. We slept. Deep long sleep. We walked…long long walk along the shore and talked. We ate. Okay, we may have scared the paint off the hotel walls a few times, but that is nunya biz
So, here we are, December. I am frantically buying gifts, wrapping up another year professionally and my kids are almost 1 1/2 years old. Time is flying, but I guess what the point of this post was, was to tell you that I am still here. I am just in a new phase of my life. A little busier and a little slower all at one time.