It has already been SIX weeks since we left Cork. With a week on the Queen Mary 2, a week in Providence visiting my in laws, Christmas, unpacking and reconnecting with family, and this week in Boston for work – we’ve been so busy that it’s nearly impossible to believe that that much time has already passed. I really don’t know if I am even fully aware of the fact that this isn’t something temporary yet, but I do know it feels bittersweet. I’m so excited to be here with my family, in our new home (which we officially close on today! Although thankfully we’ve been living here already), and surrounded by the luxuries of Amazon Prime, Meijer, Target, Lululemon… But I also left behind some really, really awesome people who are truly irreplaceable. However, aside from having thousands of miles between me and my Irish tribe, another aspect of this transition that I have not been looking forward to is…. DRIVING (insert #thefaceofagony here). I HATE driving, I’m not good at it, and it’s been a looooong time since I’ve had to sit behind the wheel. Alas, not driving is not really an option where we are now.
So the past two Saturdays were spent car shopping and we finally found “the one.” She was literally built this week, so she’s not technically mine yet, but should be delivered any day now. And given that fact, now comes the time for me to sort out my expired driver’s license. According to the Secretary of State website – it should be *fingers crossed* pretty straightforward. I have to bring a couple forms of ID, that old license, and do a quick eye exam there.
However, I hadn’t realized that in the over 10 years since I had my LASIK eye surgery – things appear to have declined. My formerly better than perfect eyesight isn’t terrible (obviously since I legitimately hadn’t even noticed!) but the other day while shopping with my family, my dad read a sign from quite a distance which could have nearly been a blank white box to me! Needless to say, I decided to get my eyes checked formally and now I am the proud owner of new driving glasses.
This was an experience which reminded me that it’s important to have the right people around you – to give you perspective and help you see, literally and figuratively, where you might be lacking. In a moment, my dad unconsciously made me aware of my blurry vision, a condition I was completely oblivious to, just as he and many others in my life have done metaphorically in the past.
I’ve long been aware and appreciative of the fact that I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the very best of the best. Although over the past decade, I’ve lived in vastly different places, had a few different jobs and have come a long way in terms of my worldview, priorities, and interests, it never ceases to amaze me that every season brings with a select few incredibly special people. And I am beyond grateful for the perspective and insight they provide. Yesterday, while in Boston for work, I had the privilege of meeting up with one of the best things that my current job has brought into my life – my friend Lindsay. As is the case every time I get to see her, I left feeling completely refreshed and reinvigorated. We talked about the big life updates, our new goals and priorities, what we’re learning, and what we want to do next.
It’s hard now that I don’t get to see her often (this was only the second time in the past 3.5 years!) but I find that when it comes to the good ones – we can always pick up right where we left off, on this side of the pond or the other. So although seeing her made me nostalgic about my beloved Boston and I’ve been missing my crew in Cork terribly, I’m flying home thankful for her friendship, the times we’ve had and those still to come. And I feel happier in general because she naturally and perhaps unknowingly helped me to see and be reassured of the fact that the best friendships endure through the many seasons and changes that life brings.
I’m thrilled to be able to reconnect with some of the good people in my life here and looking forward to the opportunity to do the same in Cork – hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m recreating my favorite brunch option of all time – The Spitjack Sweet Potato Toast, served best with an Americano and a good chat – obvs.
Spitjack Sweet Potato Toast
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Large Sweet Potato 1 each
- Melted Coconut Oil 1 TBSP
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
- Eggs 4 each
- Avocado 1 each
- Arugula/Rocket 2 cups (40 g)
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Tomato, diced 1 large
- Garlic Cloves, minced 2 each
- Basil, chiffonade 1 TBSP
- Balsamic Vinegar 1 TBSP
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 TBSP
- Sea Salt .5 TSP
- Black Pepper .25 TSP
- Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and line a baking sheet with foil
- Slice the sweet potato lengthwise in about .25″ thick slices and then brush both sides with the melted coconut oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper. If it is easier or your potato is an odd shape, you can start by slicing off the ends to give you a flatter surface to slice.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked through
- In the meantime, prepare your tomato bruschetta – chop all the ingredients and mix together in a bowl, being careful not to bruise the tomatoes by adding them last.
- Then mash the avocado in a small bowl.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes
- Place in toaster at desired setting to allow to crisp up slightly, repeating as needed to achieve desired crunchiness
- While the toast is toasting, poach the eggs or cook as desired
- Build your Toasts! Place the sweet potato slices (you’ll have a few pieces of “toast” each) on your plates and then spread the mashed avocado over the top, using a fork, then add the arugula/rocket, followed by a generous scoop of the tomato bruschetta, and then top with the poachies and some sea salt and black pepper to taste. And enjoy!