a glimpse of light for the new year

rainbow off the ferry dock

Sometimes, if you’re standing in the right place, with your eyes open, you see something you never expected.

Every day, as we drive in the car, rounding the curve past that row of mailboxes, just before the entire Puget Sound opens up to our right, Danny and I talk about the day’s meals, the merits of almond flour, the memories of dinners we have created together. When we walk through the door of our home, we put down the groceries, put Little Bean up on a chair at the countertops, and start cooking.

Danny and I are more in love than when I first gushed about him. It’s just quiet now. Solid, like breath, and enduring.

This year, we have watched Little Bean grow into herself. She climbs chairs and laughs as they fall backwards. She gobbles up books, sitting in my lap on the end of the couch to hear Cowboy Small one more time. And then again. She’s talking and babbling and cracking us up. The only time she stops moving is when she is asleep. She’s a non-stop whirling dervish of climbing and marching, giggling and tickling, exploring and excitement. She is the most amazing being we have ever met.

When Little Bean stands beside me as I bake, I am at peace.

We are honored, beyond words, that anyone cares what we cook together in our kitchen. Thank you for all your comments, suggestions, questions, and conversations here (and on Twitter, Facebook, and other public places). I’m sorry that I can’t answer all my emails anymore. My glass is always overflowing. But please know that you are part of our family. We love being here with you.

2009 has been one of the most complex, sometimes difficult, and consistently joyful years of our lives together. It has been action-packed: turning in the first draft of our book, moving to the island, enduring Little Bean’s major surgery and slow recovery, making our way through final edits of the book, Danny starting a new job cooking (and he loves it), and a number of Big Adult Things (as my friend Tita likes to call them) that were clarifying and not for this site.

I have to say: I wouldn’t mind if 2010 is a bit more mundane.

It’s in these mundane moments that the light opens up.

Yesterday, I waited on the ferry dock for the next boat. Little Bean was asleep in her car seat. Danny was at work, pan-searing halibut and plating it with chickpea ragu and a curry vinaigrette. For a few moments, I had nothing to do, nowhere to go. I pulled out a book. (This is pretty rare these days, with a toddler who never stops moving.) Burrowing down into the words, I felt content. And then I noticed the light shift on my fingers.

I looked up. And then I grabbed the camera.

That’s all I’m hoping for 2010: to be here, noticing.

Happy New Year, all. May your year be filled with health and happiness, belly laughter, and more good food than you could ever imagine.

Love. And unexpected light.

66 comments on “a glimpse of light for the new year

  1. Swiss

    Happy New Year from your fellow Vashonian in all the connections we seem to make. That food sounds good where is Danny cooking ? I want make sure I eat there.

    I commented on the flicker about the rainbow and tried to on Twitter but don't think you see those.

    Have a super 2010- I mean a very mundane and joyful 2010. ; )

  2. Laura

    I've always considered rainbows God and my private language (I know, I know not terribly original as Noah had first dibs). This communication choice is slightly problematic given the dearth of rainbows in the Midwest from September to May. Your photograph (and accompanying words) brought the light to my snowy Midwest and reminded me that their is love and light everywhere.

    Happy, happy New Year, Shauna, Chef & Little Bean!

  3. Lauren

    Yes, mundane can be one of the most beautiful things out there. I hope you get everything you want in 2010 and nothing you expect. The future is a beautiful thing, and I am sure that yours will be filled with happiness and love! All the best to you, Danny and Lu!

  4. Jodi

    thank you for your wonderful site and lovely post. wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful, joyful and wondrous new year.

  5. Cegoodner

    Here's to a peaceful and content 2010. Thank you for all the inspiration and love of food and family you put into this site.

  6. Ashley

    You are so beautiful. Every time I read your words a rush of joy and peace falls over me. You are such a blessing and I am so glad to call you a friend.
    Here's to more trips to the island in 2010!

  7. Barbara

    A lovely post. Your love of being a mother to your little girl really shows through in your posts and tweets. I wasn't aware she had been through major surgery. I always feel sorry for little ones having to go through that. At least as an adult we can understand. It must be so confusing for a child. Happy New Year to you all.

  8. Cathi

    Happy New Year to you, Danny and Little Bean! It has been such a joy and honor coming to your blog and reading your wonderfully powerful words! I always have chills and a smile when I am done reading your beautiful passages. Good health and love and happiness to all! xxoo

  9. Jo's Quirky Cooking

    We need those times of quietness, don't we – that does seem to be the time when the light breaks through.

    "Strength is not in bluster and noise. Strength is in quietness. The lake must be calm if the heavens are to be reflected on its surface."

    Keep up the good work! Hope your New Year is a beautiful one.

  10. my spatula

    we are on bainbridge, your island neighbor, and that light you speak of – at times, we are lucky enough see it from our window, looking out across the sound and seattle skyline. (sometimes there's even a double rainbow). it takes our breath away. every. single. time. happy new year!

  11. Tessa


    Hope this comment makes it to you – I'm new at this.

    Just wanted to thank you for your generous blog and invite you to visit an online archive of images of rainbows.

    I began Rainbow Sightings (http://rainbowsightings.com/) for many of the same reasons you describe in your post. Enjoy!

    With warmest wishes for the new year,


  12. La Niña

    Happy New Year's Eve, Happy Full Blue Moon… Thanks for bringing so much happiness to so many people.

    You are the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

    Looking forward to a sweet and simple 2010.


  13. Diane-The WHOLE Gang

    Thank you for all you share with us. You bring a rainbow into my house every day I read what you and Danny are cooking, what Little Bean is up to and the fun GF progressive dinners we do. As 2009 blows out of here, I hope 2010 will be like a soft warm breeze that brushes across your cheek. You smile, take a deep breath and go back to mundane. Happy New Year!

  14. Tartelette

    2009 was only made better by your gift of friendship.

    Looking forward to more of you three in my life in 2010 🙂

  15. Cookie Momster

    Oh dear, I think I love you. I have just found your blog tonight. How fitting that it's New Year's Eve. I'll be starting 2010 going in the right direction…. can't wait to try your recipes!

    And a special thanks to you and the Chef for the video's. It's going to be *quite* an adjustment for me to go from eating 75% processed foods to hopefully none. There is so much that I don't know how to do.

    *hugs* And Happy 2010 to you!

  16. Mama EZ

    ah, mundane never sounded so wonderful, but I heartily agree! I dearly hope to get the wild girls together soon, and am wishing for good health to you!

  17. Linda from Wales, UK

    Dear Shauna, Danny and Lucy,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the massive contribution you have made to my life – in coeliac terms I am one year younger than you, and your help and encouragement has been invaluable. I eat better now than I ever did – may this be the lot of coeliacs everywhere.

    We have been aware that things have not been smooth for you this last year, but still you have ploughed on and supported us, your blog family.

    May the next decade bring us all peace and a sense of what truly matters – health, family, friends and love.

    On behalf of your extended family again, thank you.

  18. Heather Pelczar

    I love the pictures of you and Chef cooking together. Soft, family. smiles, laughter. I love that I can relate to that in my home, too. Husbands are wonderful gifts, as are "little beans". 🙂 I read about your and I find myself wishing that she could be friends with mine. They sound so similar. 🙂 Many happy days ahead for you are in my hopes this year.

  19. Meadow

    Thanks for everything you have offered, from the cooking to the stories to the photos, I love it all!! Have a great new year to you and your whole family!!

  20. Christy in Seattle

    One of the most beautiful things about Seattle … that unexpected light. I know just what you mean!

  21. gfe--gluten free easily

    Rainbows are messages and blessings I think. I never fail to be awed by rainbows. So glad you got to see and capture that one. It's just stunning. All the best to you all in 2010, Shauna!

    Love and hugs,

  22. BealcA's Pad

    Thank you Shauna, that is so beautifully written, and the picture is awesome. Beautiful rainbow to start the new year.

    Happy New Year to the 3 of you and God bless.

  23. La Tartine Gourmande

    Lovely post Shauna, full of emotions and right words. Happy New Year to you, Lu and the Chef.

  24. Bernadette

    Thank you for writing what you did. I kept looking for a response to the e-mail I sent you but I do understand how busy you are. Happy New Year!! One of my wishes for my household in 2010 is more belly laughing! Loved the rainbow, especially as I'm looking out at it snowing all day!!

  25. Larissa

    My year was much like yours – so much love and luck, complicated by health challenges for my little boy, financial issues for us, and various other grownup sorts of woes. Not to mention 3 celiac diagnoses (mine, my son's, and my sister's) And sunsets, sour cream pancakes, olallieberry picking, walks on our ocean cliff, farmers market, reading "Snuggle Puppy" 959864 times.

    Life is what life is. Thank you for the *huge* amount that you and yours inspire me and mine. I hope you know how much what you do matters. Because it does. Happy New Year.

  26. DweezelJazz

    Thank you for your lovely blog. I've been reading your posts for a long time and bought your book. I don't need to avoid gluten nor am I a cook, but I love the warmth and beauty you express and thank you very much for sharing that.

    Wishing you and your family a very very good New Year.

  27. Amy O'Kane

    Agreed. I'm ready for a few less challenges for 2010. All the best for you and yours in the New year!

  28. Impromptu Diva

    lovely post as usual… you blog is addicting… i love all things mundane!
    happy new year to you and your family… here's to a great year ahead of us… cheers!

  29. Tracey Mardon

    Thanks for the rainbow Shauna. Your blog was the first I came across last May and it was a wonderful support. I still smile when the RSS is lit up. Happy 2010 to you and your family!

  30. Dia

    Many blessings this year, Shauna n chef n Bean!! May it be, indeed, a gentle & sweet year for all of you!!
    Love the image of the rainbow, & of the light dancing on your fingers!

  31. Johanna B

    Shauna, I'm reading Gluten-free Girl for the second time. The first time I read it was in memory of my mother who lived with Celiac Disease for many years. Now I am reading it because I have been diagnosed with CD too. There is hope for delicious nourishment in your words. Thanks for the inspiration.

  32. mbw

    Thank you for all of your wonderful posts. Your thoughts and insights on life and food are beautiful. I wish you and your family all the best in 2010.

  33. Elizabeth

    Thank you for all the positive energy you put into living, as well as making note of the magic around you. When someone expresses such love for life it can inspire others to see and feel that beauty too.

  34. Keri-Lyn Durant

    Just wanted to let you know that I cannot get the song "Shipoopi" out of my head, thanks to your blog and recipe for Clafouti…brilliant! Anyone who casually throws The Music Man quotes into the cyber air is okay in my books.

    Yours, in wheat/gluten-free devotion,


  35. http://dulcenaturally.wordpress.com

    Warm blessings for another year of life full of love, peace, and learning. Your site has been a tremendous inspiration for me in terms of cooking, writing, and beginning the search for a relationship. Thank you for this gift that you so graciously share with the world.


  36. Georgia Pellegrini

    Aah, what an inspiring way to start the New Year. I'm glad you captured that to share.

  37. mission dining table

    Happy New Year to you and to your family! Sometimes, unexpected things happen in a glimpse and you must treasure it!

  38. molly

    Beauty and truth, words and image both.
    A very happy and utterly banal new year to you all,

  39. trishtator

    I love that you live by the water. Being a landlubber, the water is so new to me. Cheers to a great 2010! Thanks for all your recipes!

  40. Jennifer J

    I hope that you capture many moments such as these, as they are lovely to read about. I also have to share that for Christmas, I bought your book for my mom who has recently started to cook GF recipes. When she opened the gift, she offered a satisfied smile. I’d done right. 😉 Then, we discussed your blog, recipes and the GF snacks she’s discovered. Your book sparked this moment and I thank you for that as well as all of the inspiration and warmth I’ve gathered from your prose. Cheers to you and yours for a happy and mellow New Year.

  41. Brooke

    Happy New Year! Here's to a little more calm, more visits with you, and a lot less worrying about the rent check! Hugs and kisses to all three of you!

  42. Engineer Baker

    Mundane is good, isn't it? Unfortunately, my 2010 won't be so much – quitting job, moving, starting school, and getting married – whoops 🙂 But you deserve an extraordinary and extraordinarily mundane 2010, if that makes any sense at all!

  43. Nutmeg

    I lived my life through the joyful experience of food and sharing it with friends. And then I became gluten-intolerant – and I was sad because I thought those happy times would become rare, calculated events. And then I discovered your site. Thank you and happy new year – filled with the mundane and the awesome!

  44. Doorgirl

    Happy New Decade, I too am ready for a new start. Towards the end of a challenging 2009 I finally realized that wheat made me sick. I'm still in the process of diagnosis, but thanks in part to you I have a wonderful perspective on it.

    When I first read your blog, it seemed like you were saying yes to the world rather than saying no to gluten. That lifted me up. I just finished your book, and I am amazed that I got the message of "yes" so clearly before I realized it was a conscious choice on your part. Thank you.

    I am in the midst of a gluten challenge, and while I could barely make myself eat that first slice of pizza I am looking at it as one last dance with the old friends, because on the 19th we graduate to our new lives. Gluten will always have its place, but not in my life once the challenge is done.

    Thank you so much for helping me to take this as positively as you have.

  45. CJ

    Beautiful post, thank you for the inspiration. A friend sent me a link to this site and I can see why it inspires her.

    oh and thank you for the gluten free cinnamon roll recipe – DROOOOOLLLLLLL!! It's healthy … because it has fruit in it 😉

    Regards from Down Under

  46. Wall Mirror Gal

    Wow, this is the first time I've ever even heard of celiac disease. Thanks for sharing your story and the yummy recipes.

  47. Wall Mirror Gal

    Wow, this is the first time I've ever even heard of celiac disease. Thanks for sharing your story and the yummy recipes.

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