“Your feet will bring you where your heart is.” 

– Irish Proverb

And my feet have brought me home. The Wizard of Oz has been one of my favorite films since childhood, and it is wrapped up forever with my aunts Jenny and Debbie and my Uncle Eric in my heart. I watch it every St. Patrick’s Day weekend now with Katie and Eric. I often ponder: If I could live anywhere, where would I choose? And my answer is always: right here. In this growing city with a small town feel, within seconds of my parents’ house (down the street), within minutes of dear friends, within an hour or two to the rest of my family and friends… Sometimes I do feel my wanderlust kick in. I yearn for road trips and travel and exploration. I think about returning to New York and walking around Rhodes. I have dreams of the canals of Venice. I crave the spontaneous and old roads of the U.S.A., the campy motels and hole-in-the-wall eateries and oh my goodness the beauty of the mountains and the flatness of the prairie. Yet somehow my feet and heart and mind always take me home.

This weekend truly celebrated everything I love about home. My husband, parents, children. Two of my dear friends, tried and true. The burgeoning art and music scene in Old Town Temecula. I am an unapologetic enthusiast when it comes to my hometown—having a hometown and loving that hometown. I love how the familiar places in my hometown become symbols of my past self, how there can be so many layers of meaning to just a single street on the way to Target. How, for example, I can remember exactly a song that was playing in my high school vehicle when I was on a certain street on a certain day. My hometown is a map to my past and a way to connect who I was with who I am right now.

We had one of our busiest weekends in awhile, I must say!

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We started preparing for festivities on Thursday afternoon. I dyed some pasta the colors of the rainbow. Having never tried this before, I discovered how super simple it is. A handful of drops of food coloring (or a combination of colors to make the secondary colors), combined with a slosh or two of vinegar and about a cup of pasta in a baggie. Let it sit for a few minutes, maybe the time it takes to make lunch. Then take it out and dry it for a couple of hours. Why have I never tried this before?

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Katie has been studying the history of St. Patrick’s Day this week (among other things!) and we differentiated Eric’s portion of the science curriculum and had him study rainbows as an easy thematic connection. My mom came over, and we all made rainbow pasta necklaces for St. Patty’s!

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Necklaces!

On Friday after music class, my sister-friend Lauren came over for lunch, playdate, and craft time!

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We made quick Irish soda bread (Joy of Cooking has a decent quick recipe), rainbow fruit, and Dubliner cheese.

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Our crew (plus newborn Lukey napping in the family room)! Love this family…

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We then went outside for a bit and did some reading to the kiddos. Lauren brought a Gail Gibbons (LOVE. HER.) book on the history of St. Patrick’s Day as well as a St. Patrick’s poem. The non-fiction and poetry complemented each other very well. Then we came back inside and made “I am lucky because…” (thank you, Pinterest) collages on construction paper shamrocks using pictures of family, ribbon, glitter, stickers, and hand drawing. Katie had written a journal entry the day before addressing the same “I am lucky because…” prompt.

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Gracie’s and Mads’ shamrocks became a festive part of the decoration at Lauren’s party tonight!

On Friday night, the kiddos and I made broccoli soup (green!) and watched The Wizard of Oz (rainbow! Emerald City!) with Bill as part of our family tradition.

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On Saturday morning after my run, it was off to the bluegrass festival happening in Temecula’s Old Town this weekend. All events were free, and Old Town was hoppin’ with artists, musicians, farmer’s market wares, and people eager to soak up the culture and the vibe. So refreshing and invigorating! We arrived shortly before the first set of concerts at 11 AM and caught the first act in the Community Theater. I love how many memories the kiddos and I are making together there. We wandered around a bit after, saw a couple Old Town landmarks (Eric and Katie find the jail fascinating), watched some musicians on the corner, and stopped for the kiddos to have lunch at Rosa’s Cantina. From there we went to the main stage up by City Hall and sprawled out on the grass with many others to catch the Sligo Rags.

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The Sligo Rags are an Irish-bluegrass band, and Katie danced to one of their jigs under the bright blue Temecula sky.

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Watching a group on the street—we saw the same group when Katie was about two years old. They invited anyone else who had brought an instrument to come jam with them.

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As we listened to the Sligo Rags, Eric managed to fall asleep on my lap while we sat on the grass. Sweet boy.

After the Sligo Rags, it was back home for a pit stop to change and get ready for my friend Shil’s 33rd birthday party in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night!

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Shil and I have been friends since the 6th grade!

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Eric and Katie at the party

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Loop-de-doooooooo! Shil and Nipa held his party at Red Hill Park and all of the kiddos had a great time running around in the afternoon air and playing. Some of Shil’s family played cricket nearby, and Nipa made an enormous and delicious vegetarian Indian dinner for all of us. I seriously wish I could eat her cooking every day! I may have to experiment with some more recipes. The trick for me is to find all of the ingredients, though there is a great Indian market in Temecula. I may have to visit it this week…

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We love Shil and Nipa and it was so good seeing them again! We actually haven’t seen them since their wedding in July (our road trip to PA was to see them married)! So great to celebrate Shil’s birthday with them…

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And of course today, Sunday, was St. Patrick’s Day! We dressed in our green, made some more Irish soda bread for Lauren’s St. Patty’s party, played with Legos as we listened to our St. Patty’s playlist, and Katie drew pictures of leprechauns and fairies.

In the evening, it was off to the Bergons’ house for festivities!

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Lauren cooking before the big crowd arrives

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DELICIOUS! Cornbeef, cabbage, cornbeef hash, mustard, Irish soda bread, salad… and there was bunches more, but this was all I could have as a dinner portion!

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Lauren’s Irish car bomb cake

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Lauren and Sarah

Hope everyone had a festive and happy St. Patrick’s Day and that your feet truly took you where you love to be. I am so grateful for the time with my family and my beautiful friends, and for music, old films, rainbows, and crafty time.

Now to transition into Easter? 😉

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