Hello. Have we met? Well, you’ve probably met my sweets and treats, but have we actually met? I always enjoy getting to know the people behind things, so I thought I would take a little time today to say hello, without cookies or PEEPS or camera in hand, and let you look behind the blog. Truth be told I’m probably much more outgoing in written word than I am in person, but since I don’t actually live in the kitchen, and there is more to life than just baking, I figure I’ll start by introducing myself.
Hi. I’m Christi. I’m the one doing all the baking, photographing, blogging and taste testing the treats you see here. I do have some help from my baking assistants, otherwise known as my daughters.
My oldest is B. She’s nine. She’s a bit of my mini me in that she’s creative, sarcastic, disorganized and doesn’t always love paying attention to lots of little details. She’s a dancer, a swimmer, a brand new band member (playing the lovely recorder, which I really hope sounds better with practice) and a chorus girl who loves to sing. She loves science and ghost stories, is obsessed with weather (something not terribly interesting in Phoenix, AZ) and has some odd renewed interest in her old Littlest Pet Shop toys.
She’s a super picky eater, so when I tell you she’s approved something, know that her standards are high, as is her ability to sniff out ingredients hidden into recipes for extra nutrition. She helps come up with ideas and recipes for the blog, she taste tests, inspects, gives things the stink eye and gives me her painfully honest opinion on everything I bake.
My youngest is G. She is 2 1/2, sweet and sassy and FULL of energy. She joined our family at birth through the miracle that is open adoption. For all the heart break and horror stories that go along with many of the adoption journies out there, we had one of the most wonderful experiences I could imagine, and are still in touch with her birth family, who we loved from the moment we met them. We have been blessed beyond measure to have her as a part of our family. Well her and Violet, the purple puppy you see in almost every photo.
G has quite a few delays and we spend time each day going to therapy. She has a condition called apraxia, which is a motor planning problem where your mind can think something but the message can’t make it to your mouth to say it (or your hands to sign it in her case). An acquired version of it is sometimes seen in stroke patients. We hope that through intensive therapy that one day she may be able to talk to us and tell us what’s behind her beautiful big brown eyes. She has started communicating with us through augmentative communication devices (aka an iPad) and a picture exchange system. She so badly wants to communicate with those around her, and we are glad we are at least finding some ways to provide that for her.
There are other possible issues that she may one day be diagnosed with, including autism and intellectual disability, but her medical and therapy teams do not feel that they can accurately determine those until she’s a bit older. We certainly hope to one day figure out the “why” behind her issues, to make sure we are helping her the best we can and to find support groups for her and for ourselves. For now we are doing everything we can to help her the best we can to create the brightest future possible for her. We are still adapting to and figuring out this whole special needs parenting thing, one day at a time.
I’m sometimes asked why I am willing to be so open with the issues that G has. Well for one, it’s a huge part of our life right now, with therapy and doctors and augmentative communication devices and extra challenges for all of us to figure out and learn through. I find it’s also something that is not always easy to connect with others about in person (I know of very few people “in real life” who have kids with special needs) so the internet becomes an amazing tool to connect, find support and share resources.
We do have a few boys in the house, my hubby, who I’ve been with since big hair, spiral perms and acid wash jeans were the in things. He works in the tech field, but I never really understand what he does because I don’t have a tech to English translation book, but he helps run the back end of the site and make my visions come to life.
I also have two sweet furry boys. Milo is a six year old giant cocker spaniel who is more obsessed with food than I am (I draw the line at eating out of the trash can) and Jack, a three year old head strong cute as a button shih-tzu.
I have baked all my life but haven’t always been good at it. My first Christmas on my own I tried to make Buckeye Balls, using my grandma’s recipe. Well, my bad, a block of paraffin wax meant a block, not the entire container, and instead I made what we like to refer to as chocolate candles. Thankfully I’ve improved a bit since those days.
Random things about me….
- Before becoming a baking blogger, I ran a jewelry company called Sentimental Silver. I had a great five years or so with it, but when the cost of precious metals went through the roof, and it was clear our little one needed to be in therapy almost daily, it was time to close up shop.
- Prior to designing jewelry I worked as a marriage and family therapist.
- I’m addicted to Diet Coke. I’m almost certain my blood may be carbonated.
- I love a good margarita, yet have them so rarely that I’m a barrel of laughs after one.
- I still love 80′s hairbands. Def Leppard, Poison, Ratt, Whitesnake, yup, those ones.
- I’m am basically phobic of flying, the dentist and wasps. Though I will take part in the first two.
- I over analyze decisions. Like analysis paralysis. Sometimes I have to turn to an expert.
- I really really really love purses. Especially great big giant vintage Marc Jacobs ones.
- I also love Hello Kitty.
- And camera equipment. I was a photojournalism major my first two years of college and have always loved taking pictures and telling stories through them.
- I love decorating for my girls’ birthdays. Not the party type, but the wake up in the morning to type.
- I think Converse are the cutest things ever on little kids.
- One of my best friends turned me on to Breaking Bad this summer. My husband and I watched all four seasons in a few weeks and when season five ended I almost cried. I’m not a big tv watcher but wow, amazing series.
- I love the Elf On The Shelf and can’t wait for him to arrive this year. Our Elf is named Joey.
- I always make homemade Christmas gifts and have for probably my entire life.
- I also love Disneyland, especially the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion, Dairy Queen Caramel Chocolate Chip Blizzards, Bravo’s Real Housewives & Flipping Out, The Melting Pot and portable electronic devices (though my Apple love is fading a bit as I just left my iPhone of four years for Android).
Well, I think that pretty much gives you an idea of who exactly is baking all these treats here at Love From The Oven. I may be sharing a bit more of Behind The Blog type of stuff every now and then. If you want to follow along for more behind the blog stuff, you can catch me on Instagram as well as on my other blog, Away From The Oven. Away From The Oven is my more private blog and is far less sugar coated and more of a journal of sorts. It’s much more nitty gritty, random (in both content and how often I post) and sometimes is me just venting to myself.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!