It has been a hilarious week. Well, I’m trying to remember it as hilarious in retrospect.

Last Tuesday, early in the morning, I turned in the full first draft of our cookbook.

Thursday morning, in the middle of a monsoon of a rain, blowing sideways in the wind, we started our move. The two young men we hired to help us didn’t show up for nearly 2 hours and weren’t answering their phones. So Danny and I lugged and heaved and hoisted the couch, the dressers, the tables, the big wooden desks, onto our shoulders and into the truck ourselves.

We didn’t get everything moved, even when the movers did show up with sheepish apologies and gave us a couple of hours of work. So we returned to our old home the next day to pack up the last of the kitchen and clean and clean and clean. We finally closed the door at 10:30 pm.

I swear, the next morning, Danny and I both felt like 80-year-olds who had been in fist fights. Lu called out from her new room in the middle of the night. When my feet hit the floor to go to her, my calves seized up and I couldn’t walk for a moment.

And of course, we still have all this unpacking to do. The dining room table is covered in cookbooks we plan to put into alphabetical order and place on the shelves. I couldn’t find the basket where we packed all our shoes for five days, so I have been wearing knee-high muck boots, covered in mud, everywhere I have gone. Everything feels just a tiny bit daunting at the moment.

But we’re home.

In the midst of all this, Danny and I both kept laughing and talking. “Team Ahern,” we’d say in the worst of the rain storm, hook our pinky fingers together and lift up another heavy box.

Lucy was a rock star. She was at preschool or with friends during most of the upheaval, but she was with us that evening we cleaned and cleaned. Instead of complaining, she bounced on her big mattress, the last piece of furniture in the house, pretending to swim. Or she read Curious George books and told us all about what was happening as we mopped.

The light in this house? Oh, the light.

And we now have enough space, and a fresh start, to make room for another baby in our family. Soon, we hope. Soon.

The other night, we sat down to dinner at our new coffee table. It was about 6 when the three of us sat together. In the old house, I rarely found a patch of light strong enough to take photographs of the food. Most of the photographs on this website the past three years I shot on the porch. But at this little simple dinner Β— red lentils with cumin and curry powder, sweet brown rice, Italian sausages, and some kale from the farmstand Β— I first felt grateful that we have a well-stocked pantry. Even if some of the jars are still on the porch.

Then I felt grateful for this bowl, which I bought in New York City the last year I lived there. I’ve carried it to every new home.

And then I looked down and saw this light, streaming through the dining room window. I didn’t have to do anything to find it.

I think we’re going to be quite happy here.

48 comments on “home.

  1. Dee Powell

    We just moved to a house as well. Congrats on your move, and take your time unpacking. Of course, I need to take my own advice at times. I want to rush through things only to have my back and knees force me to rest. I hope you have many happy times in your new place.

  2. Stella

    Congratulations on the move!! The idea of having my books in disarray gives me heart palpitations, I hope you get them all sorted out soon. Your plates are beautiful too, a little bittersweet.

  3. Missy

    Home sweet home! Wishing you decades of joy, health and happiness in your new space. (And being from NY – I know exactly where you got that dish! I love that shop!) πŸ™‚

  4. Larissa

    Mazel Tov, Darlings. xoxoxoxoxo (can’t wait to hear when you get to add to your family, too)

  5. Susanna

    I, too, have a dish in that design from Fishs Eddy in Manhattan. I, too, bought it before I left The City– two months before the attacks that would forever erase the Twin Towers that still haunt the rim’s design. And I, too, have moved that dish to every home I’ve lived in since. It is home. It reminds me of where I’ve come from and of how grateful I am to be here, all the way on the other side of the continent, where the light is not blocked by grey concrete or filtered through the pollution of millions upon millions of people packed in dense tubes. Welcome to your next chapter!

  6. Erica

    Ah, that bowl. From FisherEddy? You two deserve a vacation. What a week to move in Seattle. Hope you enjoyed the sunshine today. Bless your new home and growing family!

  7. Tara

    So happy for you and your family, Shauna. I love how light your voice sounds in this post, and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful and delicious creations you will come up with in this new space. Congratulations on getting through these tough days, and welcome home. πŸ™‚

  8. Victoria

    Damn. That makes me wish I could find lentils that don’t suffer from cross-contamination (super sensative).

    Congrats on the move!!!!

  9. Cooking Gluten-Free with Anna

    What a sweet post! Wishing you and your family the best in you new home. And many creative and delicious days in the kitchen! Can’t wait to hear what you’ll be cooking up.

    Me and my husband just became 2 instead of 4. With a son in college and a daughter in Sweden, it’s been an adjustment to suddenly be empty nesters. We’re starting to enjoy the free time and getting to know each other again. And for the first time, I’m able to travel back and forth to Sweden, where I was born. I now have two homes! Actually, it’s pretty great!

    Happy cooking!

  10. Marla

    Oh congratulations! I had to laugh at your story, as we moved to the north OR coast in the same conditions with that sideways driving hail you can only appreciate if you live in thenPNW! Light- yes. Enjoy.

  11. Marie

    I know what you mean about the light. I’ve felt a whole shift in how I feel (and what I photograph) since daylight saving’s time changed. I’m now cooking dinner with daylight coming in the windows and it seems to make me want more veggies and less carbs. Enjoy your new house!

  12. Archer

    Shauna – I love how you talk about having new light in your new house. I live in a mother-in-law, just outside Seattle. To take decent pictures, I must take them outside. It’s an even trickier business trying to coordinate the timing of a food picture outside in Seattle — the sun (which likes to hide around here), my kids, getting outside!! So when I go outside to take pictures, I think of you now, about you taking your pictures on your porch. I think that someday soon I’ll have sunlight in my kitchen. Just not now.

    Blessings to you Shauna, with the new light.

  13. christa

    I am so happy for the (hopefully 4 of you!) Isn’t it funny how when God gives you blessings, that he gives them to you all @ once? (Sometimes so much so you don’t even have a sec to take it all in?) Keep on truckin’ dear! All of us hungry fans will be here when you come up for air πŸ™‚

  14. Lorna

    Congratulations, Team Ahern! You’ve moved. It’s a nightmare, I know, but you’ll get there. The house sounds wonderful. I had central heating installed in my freezing old Scottish house at the end of last year. It was supposed to take a fortnight at most, but five months later I still have no floorboards in my baby’s room and the spare bedroom. It’s been pretty horrible (our stuff is mostly all in boxes) but, like you and Danny, we’re a strong team.
    I wanted to thank you for your blog. After a long wait I had my first child last year, at the age of 43. I’ve just had to return to work full time, and it is breaking my heart to send my little Ruby to nursery. I don’t see her from 7.45am until 6pm, so instead I read your blog in my lunch hour – it’s like getting a warm hug from a friend.
    wishing you lots of light, love and happiness in your new home xx

  15. Ava-Jo

    Shauna, you must have an Energizer battery in your make-up to be able to find the time and energy to blog while moving house and doing a cook book! Oh to be young again!! Best wishes to “Team Ahern” in your new digs. I look forward to reading about the next chapter of your cooking (and living) adventures.

  16. divya

    Best wishes to you and your family.Hope your life is filled with laughter,peace and joy always.
    I love the way you write.It’s gift to be able to express so beautifully.
    Keep blogging.Good luck on your cookbook πŸ˜€

  17. gluten free gift

    Nothing like a monsoon to make a torturous job sheer hell. Sounds like you moved through it and came out the other side – I read your post shaking my head with empathy (I’ve moved more about 12 times in the last 20 years… felt your pain).

    It certainly would appear that you are on the cusp of so many wonderful new experiences this year. Congratulations on getting through the move. I’m constantly inspired by your optimism and your honesty.

  18. Shira

    What a fabulous post! Gorgeous looking bowl, both the contents, the actual bowl, and all it represents – I just love the way you write and tell stories (I can relate very much to being grateful to a bowl). Very calming, peaceful, and poised. Just lovely!

  19. molly

    “Everything feels just a little bit daunting at the moment.”

    YOU, my friend, are the Queen of Understatement πŸ™‚ But hooray and three cheers for fresh starts and dried lentils, both as good and energizing as can be. And light. Always good, ever and alwyas. Inch by inch…

  20. kario

    Congratulations! We are getting ready to move, too, and I shall keep your positive outlook in mind when the inevitable mishaps occur. I’m already making mental lists of places in the new neighborhood that are gluten-free and close enough to send my tween girls to on snack runs while my husband and I are schlepping heavy things into the new house.

    Here’s hoping everything gets in its perfect place and you find some time to settle in and enjoy before you have to start editing the cookbook πŸ˜‰

  21. Sheri

    Congratulations on the move AND keeping your sense of humor! When you come out from under all those boxes and you have a spare minute…could you post the lentil recipe. It sounded so delicious, you got my mouth watering.

    Enjoy the light. There is nothing like finding HOME.

  22. Amy

    It’s amazing what you can accomplish with determination, teamwork and the linking of pinkies. GO TEAM AHERN!

  23. Louise @ Kitchen Fiddler

    Congratulations on so many good things: the first draft of your new book, surviving the upheaval of moving, and a new home with lots of beautiful light and space to inspire you! What a difference it makes to have a home flooded with sunlight, and I am genuinely happy for you. Here’s to new directions and a fresh surge of creativity, as well as the energy to finish unpacking!

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