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Coronavirus- Day #53

I’ve been radio silent too long. What is the use of a blog if I don’t use it to share the lows, as well as the highs? I have been trying to come up with easy ways to blog lately. Simple ways . . .

Like sharing a favorite snack I have been enjoying during quarantine, to help gobble up all the extra rice cakes we purchased during our low FODMAP days. (That’s sliced banana on top. I forgot to add a fresh banana to the photo set up. 🤦🏻‍♀️)

Or share a new favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe I have made twice and love . . . Except for the white flour. I look forward to the day I can have access to better flour in the USA. (Recipe after the post. 👇🏻)

Or I could share how my family created and sewed their own Costa Rican Memory Table Runners from the quilt blocks I received last year from the Quilt Block Exchange I was involved in with 19 other amazing ex-patriots who also live(d) in Costa Rica.

And then share how I am striving to record our family history, over the last 5 years, on the back of said table runner. While also encouraging my children to do the same.

Or I could talk about the sketching I am doing, more and more, to help me not hyper focus on all that is being said around me.

Or I could talk about how our family had a beautiful prompting, before the world-wide Pandemic, that it is time for our family to relocate to the United States and possibly will need to combat humidity and mold-prevention in our shipment, with the help of the packets you find in new shoe boxes or appliance boxes.

Or I could tell you how the kids are feeling trapped because we can’t really pack too soon, but we can’t move either, until the borders open up in the USA, as well as Costa Rica.

Nor have I blogged about our oldest son being sent to the USA, on an emergency evacuation from Argentina, and how much a missionary Mom yearns for that moment to see her son come walking out of the airport and straight into her arms for a good hug. . . only to have things completely change because the world has lost the control it thought it had.

I even could have simply blogged about our family participating in an expatriate creative art project via the internet and how the top left (rainbow curved stripes), bottom left (rainbow straight stripes), middle far-left (bright orange), and the purple background with green sails are our family’s squares that we colored and this project was easy to do but very satisfying to see completed! Thanks Katherine for including us!!

But no! Instead I have watched the last 53 days pass by without saying a word. For they have been days filled with shock, surprise emails/phone calls/text messages, disappointments, job loss, 2 cancelled trips confirmed, patience, more patience, peace, joy, relaxation, fasting opportunities, more sleep, skin surgeries, organizational projects, dejunking piles, homeschool projects/classes wrapping up, BIG decisions to be made, people we need to tell we are moving, people not to tell we are moving – just yet, foods to reintroduce to our bodies, foods still needing to limit or moderate, routines to still respect, spiritual talks to still share, sacrament services to enjoy at home, the easiness of life to relish, hopes to continue to foster, expectations to keep in check, and opportunities to still learn new things!

Each day has been full to the brim, even if the last 53 days haven’t shared much about our future lives to come. We have been able to find joy in the moment!!

But today, and yesterday, we got a bit stir crazy! We didn’t take our long drive last week and I think we really need it to ward off cabin fever and sarcasm. We have until May 15th to stick to our “lock down”, but seeing Utah open up again is bringing me some much appreciated hope.

So here’s to trying to be more honest about what our current days are like, the lows and the highs, and to letting go of expectations, while striving to be more open minded at the same time.

Happy May!

One Bowl Soft Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies by Pick Up Limes (with a few changes by me!)

Vegan, nut-free
Yield: 18-20 cookies
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 25 min
1/2 cup (105 g) refined coconut oil, packed, not melted* unless the syrup and plant based milk are cold, then the coconut oil can be liquid.
2/3 cup (140 g) brown sugar, packed 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup
6 Tbsp (90 mL) plant-based milk 
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (4 g) baking powder
3/4 tsp (3 g) baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour 
1 cup (150 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped* or be like me and use what chips you have on hand.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. 

  2. Using a fork, cream together the coconut oil and brown sugar in a large bowl. Then add the maple syrup and mix until well combined. Add the milk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt and again whisk until well combined. If the mixture looks clumpy, it’s okay! Note: if the temperature is warm where you are, you may want to consider chilling this mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up; otherwise the cookies flatten and spread too much when baking in the oven.

  3. Add the flour to the bowl and stir until just-combined (do not over stir). Then gently fold in the chopped chocolate. 

  4. Form little balls out of the dough and evenly distribute, about 5 cm (2 inches) apart, on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Pro tip: I like to reserve a bit of the chopped chocolate to sprinkle on the top for presentation. 

  5. Bake for 12- 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden and the tops look set. Cool 1 minute on cooking sheet before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!


  1. *If your coconut oil is liquid, chill in the fridge for a 15 min for it to solidify. Unless your syrup and milk are already cold.

  2. ** Reserve a small amount of the chopped chocolate to place on top of the cookies before baking for presentation. 

  3. Variations: feel free to add cinnamon or chopped nuts to this recipe if desired. 

  4. Storage: store in an air-tight container for up to four days.

One Comment

  • Allison Owen

    Wow! What a chronicle of the last 53 days!! You have had a lot and have handled it all beautifully! Love you!
    Oh and I’m going to try your cookie recipe!!!

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