Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

Coffee Date

Share this post:

If you and I were to sit down for a coffee date, I’d definitely order a cucumber lemonade (that’s a thing at our local coffee shop, I hope they have it on the menu at this place, too). I’m all about the cold drinks right now because it is SO HOT OUTSIDE.

Summer showed up on our doorstep last week, kicked in the door, and then punched us in the face with brass knuckles. How did you manage to ride your bike to the coffee shop without getting all sweaty? You’re like a wizard or something.

Speaking of the heat, I’d tell you that we bought a new swimming pool for Juniper’s birthday. Our old pool was getting up in years and was costing more to maintain than it was worth, plus, we really wanted to get something shallower so Juni felt more comfortable (and we did, too) while she was learning to swim. We ended up ordering this pool, and ohmygosh, it is AMAZING. I doubt it’ll last more than a few summers, but it’s just the perfect size for our little nugget.

You stop me and say, “Whoa. Wait. Juni’s birthday?” and I probably start crying while I remind you that my little, tiny, squishy baby turns TWO YEARS OLD on Monday. TWO! I know I’m a big, fat cliche, but how in the hell did that happen? Where did the time go?

2

Because you were such a great friend and came to Juni’s first birthday party last year (and brought an awesome gift—you’re so sweet), you’d ask what we were doing for the big 0-2. I’d tell you that we’re going party-less this year. Juni won’t care—this might be the last year that she won’t mind—and because of how her birthday falls right around Father’s Day, it would be so inconvenient for folks to come, anyway.

You’re sweet and empathetic, so you say, “awwwwww” and look me with pity because you think it’s a bummer that Juni isn’t getting a party. I assure you that it’s totally not sad at all! We actually have a fun weekend trip planned that involves children’s museums and zoos and aquariums and gifts and cake and ice cream. She’ll get to spend three straight days with her two favorite people looking at animals and eating sweets. Don’t worry, Juni will be adequately spoiled—just not in party form.

Because it seems to be the question everyone wants to ask when your kid hits two years old, you’d then ask me if we plan on having any more kids. The answer is a firm “no.” Both Craig and I have been in the one-and-done mindset since I was pregnant, and we haven’t really wavered since.

People keep telling me “you just wait, you’ll totally want more,” but it hasn’t happened yet. The thought of going through another pregnancy or having another baby in the house just doesn’t seem right for us (so much so, when friends announce they are pregnant with a second, third, fourth, etc. kid, my first thought is, “That’s surprising.” And then, “Oh wait, no it isn’t, most people have more than one kid.”).

If a surprise happens, of course we’ll be happy, but I feel like our family unit is complete just the way it is, and I would be thrilled to go through life as a mom of an only. Of course, we reserve the right to change our mind, because—hello, our business—but I really don’t see that happening.

3

You have the memory of an elephant and then ask me what I’m doing for my birthday. I can’t believe you remembered that my birthday is the day before Juni’s! Well, we’re going to be on our road trip, and I asked for exactly one thing for my birthday—to go on an IKEA shopping spree. Weird request? Possibly. But Mama is in desperate need of some affordably-priced storage solutions for her home office.

When you’re turning the ripe ole age of 33 years old, boring things like shopping for Swedish furniture are really a super exciting way to spend your birthday. We don’t have an IKEA nearby, so getting to go to one is like Christmas on my birthday. I’m sure there will also be beer involved in my birthday celebration (although hopefully post-IKEA—I’m on a mission and need a clear head to tackle those four floors of homegoods).

Since I’ve been rambling on for 10 straight minutes about IKEA binges, I’d then change the subject and ask you how your kids are doing. You’d tell me they were great and that one of them just started in a summer baseball league. That’s so fun! We tried Juni in a gymnastics class a few weeks ago, and it just wasn’t a great fit so we pulled her out, but I’m excited to one day see her wearing cute little sports uniforms and getting to cheer my head off on the sidelines like my parents did with me. We’ll try again when the nugget is a little older.

I’d love to come to one of your kid’s games! Maybe I can sneak in a bottle of wine and we can have a “wine date” while we cheer on your kid? Is that frowned upon? Do we care?

5

Okay, enough about our families, amirite? I ask you to tell me about your work. What new, fun projects have you been working on lately? Anything fun you’re doing on the side? Spill!

After you told me all about your amazing career (you’re my hero), you’d then ask me about my work, and I’d tell you that I had to be honest—I’m a bit burnt out right now. I love my job. I literally have my dream job, but that sometimes, running your own show can get pretty heavy. I think I have too many balls in the air businesswise, and it’s starting to wear on me.

I also have a bit of wanderlust going on, and I honestly just want to play hooky and hang out with my awesome family all summer and drive around and see lots of beautiful things. I tend to get this way every summer. Readership plummets on websites in the summer because people are outside having fun, so sometimes it can be really hard to find the motivation to put my heart and soul into content when not a lot of people are tuning in.

But then I remind myself that I do what I do because I love what I do, ya heard? Not because there is an audience or money or notoriety. I love cooking healthy food. I love telling annoyingly verbose stories. I love taking pictures. I love working with brands. I love connecting with readers. I get excited when I “get” to go to work every Monday, and man, that is worth more that I could put into numbers. And beside all of that, this is all just a (literally and figurative) season. By September, folks will be cruising Pinterest for pumpkin recipes while they watch Monday Night Football, and I’ll be back in business again.

I think the fact is that everyone needs a break from time to time (even those of us who adore our gigs). I took a month off last year, and it was the best thing I ever did for my business, my family, and myself. I’ll be repeating that this year. I already have it scheduled in my planner with big, thick washi tape—so I can’t write in any appointments or deadlines. I’m excited (and nervous, because stepping away from a business for a whole month is petrifying).

4

You’d then ask me if I have any new cookbooks coming out soon, and I’d tell you I actually have a few things in the works (see the previous note about balls in the air). Right now, I’m working super hard to finish up a book all about healthy lunch-packing for adults. It’ll be a book with tips, tricks, recipes, printables, and TONS of sample lunches that you can either copy directly or use as inspiration. I’m excited about it!

Other projects that are in various phases: a book with healthy menus that cost less than $100 per week, a vegetarian slow cooker cookbook, and a whole, big, giant scary project that I’m hoping to launch just in time for New Year’s 2017. But first, I need to stop juggling so many damn balls. Doing a bunch of things half-ass is so much less efficient than doing one thing whole-ass. I think I need to cross-stitch that onto a pillow and put it in my desk chair.

Oh gosh, look at the time! We only have a few minutes left. Quick, give me a quick run down of how everything else in your life is going. Go. GO. GO!

Phew. Okay, my turn.

Garden: small but producing well. Chickens: super entertaining and making more eggs than we can eat. Husband: college graduate (with honors!) and as sweet, compassionate, and cute as ever. Dog: old and grumpy (but adorable). Cat: really loves being picked up by the toddler (except not). Current beverage of choice: margaritas, preferably frozen. Dinner tonight: Sesame Soba Noodles. Current state of my office: a complete disaster (follow me on Snapchat while I step you through my office remodel—it gets worse before it gets better, right?).

Alright, I gotta jet. It’s been so great catching up with you. Let’s do this again soon, k? Stay cool!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

37 Responses
  1. Dani

    I love these coffee dates, and desperately wish we actually lived near enough to make one a reality someday. I adore you, pretty lady. Thanks for continuing to plug away, even when the job stress gets to you. We’re glad to have you and your content!

  2. Longtime lurker, but thank you so much for writing about your decision to stop at 1 child. We are in the same boat, and people think we are so strange. We knew when we were pregnant too, and people almost have this reaction of treating you like your parenthood is incomplete unless you have 2 while you are still pregnant with the first. I feel good about our life now, really good, and I couldn’t imagine the thought of starting over again.

  3. My friend is home with her son for the first time in his life – so we’re planning a pretty epic 3 year old birthday party for him… because none of us around here have been able to properly celebrate the little human, and he’s old enough and adorable enough (and humors his honorary Aunts and Uncles and actual family) to enjoy it!

    Also, dude, I <3 your projects. I love that you're involving your readership in helping to develop stuff. And hey, I love you and your little family!

  4. I love catching up with you! Thanks for your discussion on having just one child – we’re still undecided if this one is it for us, but it’s nice to hear a perspective that embraces single child-ness. As an advocate of blogging breaks, did you take a “maternity leave” from blogging when Juni was born? Any tips?

    1. Cassie

      I did! I actually worked when I was pregnant to stash about 15 posts that were all ready to go, I just had to schedule them. Between those, and a few baby updates, it got me through the first few months just fine. 🙂

  5. Megan

    Cassie,
    I completely understand being burnt out and simply wanting family QT and adventure in the summer. This year is my first time taking summer graduate courses and boy has it been a struggle! Yet again, an excellent coffee date post. Can’t wait to see all your projects come to life over the next several months. Cheers!

  6. Mallory Womble

    Yes, thank you for speaking out about your family’s CHOICE to have one child. My husband and I have been together for three years and every year the “when are you having kids” nonsense grows exponentially. Look, we want to have kids, just not when I’m working and going to school full-time and he’s a 60 hour/week PhD student (aside from the “none of your business and wouldn’t you feel terrible if we were TTC and struggling” aspect).

    Any in the same/similar boat, feel free to use the following retorts to “When are you starting your family?”

    “When we got married/committed/got our dog/when I was 10….on Sims.”
    “You know what they say, practice makes perfect.”
    “Oh, are there any positions you might recommend?”
    “Thank you for your concern about what goes on in our bedroom.”

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

Learn More About Me →

Close-up of a woman holding a divided glass container filled with a prepped meal.

No-Stress Meals!
Meal Prep Made Easy

Tips, recipes and time-saving secrets to magical meals

FREE EMAIL GUIDE