Tribute to My Dad, Steven Thomas “Hammy” Hamline

We celebrated my dad’s full life on April 29th, 2023. I wanted to share his service, eulogy and my portion of the service here as a little tribute to him. Love you, Dad.

The video of the entire service can be found here and is embedded below:

The video of his entire Celebration of Life (including music while people are entering and exiting) can be found here:


Steven Thomas “Hammy” Hamline was born June 14, 1957 in Independence, Missouri.  As a child, Steve was a popular ring leader of his many friends and the future architect was an avid builder of sturdy tree houses and forts.  He always had a love for animals, especially dogs, and was known for dragging dogs home and telling his mother they had followed him.  Around the age of 9, he was baptized at Beaumont Baptist Church where his grandfather was highly involved.  He and his sister Lori, used to sit like angels in the front row while their mom sang in the church services.  He was responsible and seemed to always know what needed to be done around the house while his mom worked as a nurse.  An early entrepreneur, Steve and his friend Denny had a lawn mowing and snow shoveling business that allowed them to buy ice cream with $5 bills all summer when their friends were begging their parents for quarters.  He learned to drive at his dad’s auto salvage business and by age 14 was driving a tow truck in downtown Kansas City where he would negotiate the purchase of non-working cars with adults.  Working at the auto salvage shop helped him develop many of the skills that would serve him later on in his professional life, especially negotiation, work ethic, and grit.  

He attended Blue Springs High School where he managed the boys basketball and football teams.  He was on a racing pit crew at I-70 speedway for a driver his dad sponsored and worked on his and other cars in the evenings after school.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas, home of the National Champion KU Jayhawks, as he would say. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rockhurst University. He worked for JE Dunn Construction Company for 38 years and was President of the Rocky Mountain region before he retired in 2017. He had a passion for giving back and served on many boards including Hope House Domestic Violence Shelter, Junior Achievement, UMB Bank, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and others. He was also awarded a national appointment to the General Services Administration to ensure a high standard of excellence in government construction projects by peer review.

His greatest accomplishment and joy in life was his loving, wonderful marriage to his high school sweetheart, Ramona Hamline. They had two children, Melissa and Mike, who he loved dearly and was very proud of.  Steve had 6 grandchildren he loved to spoil, 2 from Melissa (Noah and Lydia) and 4 from Mike (Hannah, Jonah, Eden, and Delilah).  He loved being called Poppy.  He enjoyed international travel, fishing with his longtime buds, and seeing the country by Airstream. He spoiled his best buddy and constant companion, Rusty the labradoodle, 24/7 and loved to buy him plain double burgers from McDonald’s even though he wasn’t supposed to. 

Steve’s life ended too soon due to a complication a week after having a hip replacement but his legacy will be the lives he touched in love, friendship, and leadership.

My “Speech” at the Celebration of Life

My “speech” only. ~22 minutes.

Today I would like to say a little something about the man I had the honor of calling Dad.  And to truly honor him, I will also be giving this little speech in the manner of the one and only Steve Hamline.  By that, I mean I will call it a speech as he did for any opening remarks, toast, or any other time he was expected to say anything.  It was always a full blown speech.  This will have some of the humor that he loved and graced us all with.  It will be full of too many details, a few awkward pauses that we may need today and might be a little longer than actually necessary.  So get comfy.

I recently had the honor to experience the celebration of life for my friend’s mama where they discussed the “P words” God had placed on her heart prior to her passing:  Peace, People, Positivity and others. Maybe because of that experience as we were going through the week of my dad’s passing there were some words that kept coming up that I noticed all started with L:  Leadership, Loyalty, LIVE!, Love, and Legacy.  So those will be my focus today.


There are lots of L words there but in Steve Hamline fashion you can’t start with anything other than leadership.  Even in his “speech” at our wedding, Dad spoke about our leadership roles and abilities before our love for each other.  Being a leader and growing leaders was very important to him.  Dad was known professionally for his unique and special leadership.  He was never satisfied with status quo was always pushing to go farther, execute better.  People who worked with him described him as passionate, engaging, firm but fair…. And as someone who needed pretty regular IT support.  Sometimes to find a letter on the keyboard or just turn something on.  

But in any setting, he walked in with Command with everyone in the room usually following his lead, sometimes without even realizing that he had convinced them to do something.  I would also call him a maximizer since he could see potential in people and in places, in buildings or land.  He definitely left his mark on the world in the people and places he molded to be their best in his lifetime.  

Dad worked hard and insisted that you always give your best effort, whether you were sweeping the floor or putting together financials for a 100 million dollar project.  It was all the same to him.  You gave 100% effort no matter what the task.  If you worked with him you wanted to succeed, you wanted to make him proud.  And Mike and I would say that if you were his kid, you wanted the same.  Both of our first jobs were really working manual labor on the land we grew up on and we absolutely benefited from learning his work ethic.  That’s why no one can out work a Hamline, right Mike? 

JE Dunn in Denver honored Dad by naming the Training Center after him for all of these reasons and that was something that he truly felt honored by and I’m so glad he got to see that.

Because of Dad’s leadership qualities and sense of command, I would imagine that the good Lord has probably already had to lovingly tell him a few times “Sir, you are not in charge here.”


Now this next L word has to be in all caps, underlined 6 times and with an exclamation point because my dad truly knew how to live and get the absolute most out of life.  I often teased him for speaking in itinerary as it seemed a lot of our conversations were outlines of all the plans he had.  He could never talk about something as a maybe one day type of thing.  If a place to go or something fun was mentioned, he made a plan to make it happen and then he executed it with absolute precision.  

Most of my best life experiences were with my dad.  Deepest conversations, fun trips with the whole family, best bottles of wine, most fun late nights talking around a fire pit.  Best games attended, like the KU vs Texas basketball game when Dick Vitale gave Hennrich and Collison a standing ovation.  Dad and I were there.  He found the best dive bars and greasy spoon breakfast places.  Many of my best meals were enjoyed with my dad (half of which were made my him).  We had long Sunday Dinners growing up.  He’d cook something just a little fancy with us all as his sous chefs and then we’d linger around the table talking sometimes for hours.  As much as he worked and as busy as we all were, those dinners were a must each week and were made special because of the preparation and love he would put into them.

Any ordinary experience was an opportunity to create something fun to my dad.  One good example of this was just before Christmas last year I asked if I could come wrap some presents at their house since we were having Christmas there anyway and it would be easier.  I got a text back saying no problem but a couple days later I received a phone call asking for more details regarding my exact time of arrival and departure and anything I would need to execute my present wrapping.  Dad wanted to make me a special eggs benedict with a recipe he got from chatting with the owner of a restaurant in Hawaii.  I have a tradition of watching Sleepless in Seattle while I wrap presents, a random tradition I started in college, so he made sure to have that ready to stream.  He also had his smoker to the perfect temperature the moment of my arrival since he heard I was co-hosting a party I needed to provide pulled pork for that weekend and my smoker was in storage while we were building our house.  Wrapping presents for Christmas of 2022 was a day I will always remember because he made it so fun and special.   It could have been so ordinary, just a task to get done but not with my dad. 

Mom and Dad would occasionally take our kids for an evening or weekend so Andrew and I could get away.  Dad would often call the week before to get menu requests from the kids and then the day before to give them the whole run down of what they could expect.  And then Andrew and I would be sitting at some fancy restaurant getting pictures of our kids sitting at the head of my mom and dad’s table eating lamb shanks or linguine and clams or something else that looked even better than what we were having.  Again, he made everything special.

Dad didn’t just live fully with family.  He was the type of person who met new friends on vacation.  He would get cell phone numbers and addresses and make future plans with his new friends.  He and my mom traveled quite a bit and the stories they would come back with were never about going somewhere new and seeing a few sites, they always wound up with stories about meeting interesting people, having new experiences with new friends.  They didn’t just eat at restaurants, they met restaurant owners who wound up giving their cell phone number and recipes to my dad. 

One of my favorite examples of ability he had to LIVE big is a story from their recent trip to Europe.  In Barcelona, my dad made sure to book a cool paella cooking class.  And if he was telling you this, he would give you a five minute intro about the walk to the class, the building, how the kitchen was laid out, etc but I will spare you some of those details.  It was semi-private class so there were a few other people there.  In classic Steve Hamline style, Dad didn’t just attend the class with my mom and go back to their room after it was done.  No, he met everyone during the class.  Found out where they were from, who they were traveling with, what they were up to the rest of the evening.  He then coordinated everyone in the group after the class to go to a fancy local bar he had read about being in the top 50 in the world.  For the young women traveling together, he helped them understand the Spanish menu and helped them order drinks they would like, even ordering a second drink for one after it wasn’t exactly what they expected.  And at the end of the night he paid the check for all of his new friends, moving the young women to tears that someone they just met would be so kind to them.  

But that’s what it was like bumping into my dad in the world.  He knew how to connect with people, how to make everything even better. 

Up in Heaven, I imagine he has already coordinated a weekly Sunday dinner. 


It should be no surprise that many of the same people who were led by my dad or bumped into him randomly in life also couldn’t help but call him a loyal, dear friend.  When Mom and I were making the calls to let people know he had passed away, we were both struck by how many men truly wept with us and called Dad their best friend.  And that was genuine.  He had a lot of best friends because he was a great friend.  

Dad made a lot of phone calls on birthdays and stood by people in difficult times.  He’d tell people he’d “wear out the knees in his pajamas praying for them”.  He had friends he’d known for 50 plus years and friends he’d known for 5 months.  I like what Lori said about a friendship with my dad being a lifetime membership.  That is exactly right.  You couldn’t help but want to be friends with him, want to be around him.  

As we were gathering pictures for today, we also commented on how people just seemed to flock around him.  He was at the very center of so many pictures surrounded by good friends or family.  Some of his best times were definitely with his people around a fire pit chatting, and usually offering up some free advice.  He had a gift for hearing people out, encouraging them to bet on themselves, and seeing the bigger picture with the ultimate goal of getting people to their full potential, their calling.  We teased him about giving so much advice but in reality… didn’t we all love it?  Didn’t we often need it?  And gosh darnit, wasn’t he usually right?  

Dad’s loyalty to his friends as great as it was truly was second to his loyalty to our family.  As firm as he was at work, it may be surprising to some that he was not the disciplinarian in our family.  Mom had to do most of that because Dad had a hard time getting on to his “little friends” as he called Mike and me.  He worked hard and often long hours but he would get home when we were little and get right in the floor with us to play.  Suit and all.  He loved taking us places and doing fun things with us.  He acted like everything we did together was the absolute best thing he could possibly be doing in that moment.  

Dad was always in our corner and stuck with us in good times and hard times.  Any mistakes were opportunities to be learned from, not to be shamed for.  He made sure we could pursue whatever passions we had and often said that first horseback riding lesson I had in Kindergarten was the worst financial decision of his life.  But he always said it with a smile.

As Lori said, we teased him about being the original GEICO man.  You know the commercials where the people are becoming their parents and introducing themselves to the waiter and things like that.  He was famous for giving waiters way more backstory than they ever would have wanted.  In his defense, I think this started when I was in my 20s and we would be out to dinner just the two of us.  He wanted to make sure all of the staff knew this was a Father-Daughter Date, not a Date-Date.  He wasn’t that type of guy.  But this slowly morphed into telling waiters, tour guides, or anyone who was doing anything for our family all of our names and how we were related, how long everyone had been married and the latest thing he was excited about for each of the grandkids.  To which waiters would often reply “You have a beautiful family, sir.  And what did you want to drink?”

He was proud of his family and was not bashful about letting anyone and every one know about it.  He knew he wanted his family to be a close knit group of people who enjoyed being with each other and he made it happen.  And we all knew how much he loved and enjoyed his time with each and every one of us.

Mike- He thought everything you made with your hands was an absolute treasure and loved watching you become a Dad and do well in your career.

Brittany- Dad got misty one night pretty recently telling me about how happy he was to see that Mike found love.  It was really important to him and it means a lot to me that he saw that in his lifetime.

Hannah, Jonah, and Eden- He was loving getting to know each of you and he loved being your Poppy.

And Baby Delilah- Someone will have to tell you one day that he was so happy you were born and told almost every person in this room that he shared a birthday with you.

Lori-  He loved to open a bottle of wine with you and cook or draw out plans for something in your house.  Dad didn’t talk about you like you were his little sister.  He talked about you like you were one of his favorite friends in all the world.  

Andrew- He loved how much you love me.  He knew we were the real deal so he didn’t really worry about us at all.  He loved the leader you are at work but he also loved how you figured out how to do everything you do and also make it to almost every game or event for our kids.

Noah and Lydia- You were Poppy’s new “little friends” from the day you were born.  He loved cooking for you and couldn’t tell you no ever, for anything.  I’m sure all of Heaven has already seen the video of you hitting that championship game winning shot, Noah, and heard about how well you’re doing in school.  And Lydia, he loved your personality, and your brains too.  I actually see so much of him in you and I think he did too.  Not just because you’ve been inviting strangers over to our house since you were two years old but also because you bring so much joy to any room you enter.  That always worked out well for him too.

And when I get home I’ll have to tell Rusty, Dad’s beloved labradoodle, that yes, he was in fact Dad’s favorite child as much as it hurts me to say it.


Now, the greatest of these is LOVE.

I have saved the biggest and best of my Dad’s loves for last.  The relationship my dad had with my mom was the greatest example of a loving marriage I have seen in my life and I would be willing to bet that many in this room agree.  <Standing ovation occurred at service.>

May we all be loved in our life the way my dad loved my mom.  From the sticky note he gave her that said “You are the best part of my life” to the way he surprised her after he retired with the super tricked out Airstream she’d always wanted after interviewing her secretly for an entire year about each and every individual detail and feature she could possibly dream to have.  They were the cute couple holding hands and snuggling at all events, from baseball games to church services.  They have been skiing, golfing, traveling, and entertaining together since the beginning of their almost 43 year marriage.  They kissed and danced in the kitchen often.  Every kid should grow up seeing that.  After going through all the family photo albums recently I can tell you they are kissing in a lot of pictures.  It was obvious to all how much they loved each other and enjoyed being around each other.

Mike and I had the absolute blessing to grow up in a home with this example.  No matter what was going on in the world we had the steady rock of our parents’ love and relationship to come home to.  We were constantly shown how to love and support your spouse.  How to be a true partner in life.  We want our loves to look like their love and will gladly put in the work to make sure they do.  Our relationships have benefitted from that example and the legacy of that example will continue with our kids and beyond.

Again, Dad knew the type of relationship he wanted and he made it happen with the love of his life.  Mom, everything Dad had in life was far behind what he had with you.  You made his life complete.  He loved you so incredibly much.

And, Mom, he absolutely knew how loved he was in return.


All of these come together to form my dad’s lasting legacy.  When he retired, he was given a picture he loved with all of the buildings in Kansas City, Denver, and beyond that he had a part in bringing to existence.  

He loved it and loved being able to drive through a city and see his life’s work.  Many of us know how much he loved being able to point out blue cranes as he drove by.  You may have had a hand thrust past your face to have it pointed out to you so you didn’t miss it.  And those buildings are part of his legacy but in reality his greatest legacy are all the people who God put in his life and he touched in some way.  

And his legacy goes on through each person he impacted.  

My dad wasn’t going around beating people over the head with the Bible.  We all know, that doesn’t really work anyway, right?  But my dad was out there living the big life he was blessed with fully and loving on each an every person God had him bump into.  

When I think of my dad and what his life taught me I think it could be summed up in loving my partner with all my heart, to try to treat my kids like my “little friends,” and to treat each and every person God puts in my life like a potential new best friend, like the Lord himself would treat that person.  And to buy the good steaks and take the time and make the effort to cook them to perfection.  And in my life I hope to get half as good at that all as he was.  

And I’ll end with saying to my dad on behalf my family, It was an honor to be your wife, your son, your sister.  It was an honor to call you Poppy.  

It was a honor to be your daughter, Dad.  

And we look forward to being around your table again someday.


Sunday Supper: Extra Everything Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata is a favorite in our house. It has been a longtime favorite meal of mine and Beast made it for me the night we got home after having Ladybug. Our kids started really enjoying it when they were 4 and 5 and it is often requested when I am meal planning. Normally chicken piccata is chicken, noodles, and sauce without much in the way of vegetables. When they started eating it more frequently, I felt the need to try to sneak some additional veggies in. Also, we are a caper-loving family. It has taken me a bit of time to get this recipe ready to share because I kept being told “more capers.” I drew the line at one whole jar but I know Bear would edit this to include two jars if he had his way! So this recipe is just a little bit extra in a variety of ways. You simmer the sauce for quite a while to get it just right but it is well worth the time for this yummy Sunday Supper!


  • 3/4 to 1 whole bag egg noodles (12 to 16 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • Loaf of crusty bread

For the chicken:

  • 1 package chicken breast tenders or chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 Tbsp or 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 3.5 oz jar (or less) capers
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 lemons (for zest and juice) or 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Optional add-ins:

  • Spiralized zucchini as another type of noodle
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Jar of artichoke hearts
  • Handful or two of fresh spinach


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Open bottle of white wine and pour a glass to enjoy while cooking.
  3. Put the Just Good Music mix on Spotify.
  4. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
  5. “Paint” mayo on each side of chicken tenders with silicone brush.
  6. On a plate or shallow dish, mix panko, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  7. Press each mayo-coated chicken tender one at a time into the panko mixture to coat with breading on both sides.
  8. Place breaded chicken tenders on greased cookie sheet and set aside.
  9. If using mushrooms, cook mushrooms in a large saute pan on medium high heat with additional butter in small batches. Then remove from pan. Brown on each side. Flip once browned, do not stir.
  10. If using zucchini, spiralize in your favorite noodle size and place in colander in the sink. Will cook with pasta water later.
  11. Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta (per package instructions).
  12. Heat olive oil in large saute pan on medium heat.
  13. Thinly slice shallot and add to hot pan.
  14. Saute shallot until translucent.
  15. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds (until fragrant).
  16. Add wine and cook until reduced by half (~5 minutes).
  17. While reducing, zest and juice lemons.
  18. Add stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest to saute pan.
  19. Put chicken in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  20. Add capers (and mushrooms and/or artichokes if using) to saute pan and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
  21. While sauce is simmering, cook egg noodles according to package directly.
  22. Pour boiling water with noodles through colander with spiralized zucchini (if using). This lightly cooks the zucchini and makes sure the “zoodles” still have a good texture.
  23. Turn off heat on saute pan.
  24. Stir in spinach, if using.
  25. Stir in butter.
  26. Mix cornstarch with water until well combined.
  27. Stir cornstarch mixture into sauce.
  28. Mix 3/4 of sauce and cooked noodles in large serving dish.
  29. Top noodle/sauce mixture with cooked chicken tenders.
  30. Pour remaining sauce on top.
  31. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
  32. Serve warm with crusty bread for dipping.

This is one of those meals where I find myself watching my children eat in complete awe. How can they possibly have another serving? They have each eaten more than Beast and I combined!

The sign of a good meal. Serving dish scraped clean and the kids asking “When do we get piccata again?”

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine!

Happy cooking!

Mama G’s Apple Pie

Sharing my apple pie recipe again in case anyone is prepping for Thanksgiving tomorrow…

Served With Love (in Colorado)

Fall coming around always makes me excited for several reasons:  Cute layered outfits, boots, Chiefs football, Buffs football, and baking anything and everything.  This year we had another thing to be excited about: apples.IMG_6976

We planted an apple tree a couple of years ago and this was the first year I was supposed to leave a few of the flowers so fruit could actually grow.  The lovely folks at my favorite garden center told me to pick 100% the flowers the first spring, 75% the second spring, 50% the third and so on.  The reason for this is so that the tree can use its energy to put down solid roots instead of growing fruit.  Even after picking 75% of the flowers off this year we had gobs of apples!  This means that I have been able to work on my apple pie recipe…

IMG_3876I like a classic…

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Gift Idea for Kids Age 3-8: Adventures Box and The Adventures of Bubby and Didi!

This year I am trying my hardest to get my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. Ladybug’s costume didn’t get to us on time for Halloween so I learned my lesson there and don’t want it to happen again! I’m sharing this gift idea early in case you have a 3-8 year-old on your list and are trying to get your shopping done early too.

If you’ve followed this blog for a bit you know I published The Adventures of Bubby and Didi in 2020. The book is all about two siblings finding fun ways to play together. They use their “Adventure Box” filled with odds and ends to go on all sorts of adventures with their dog, Charlie, who enjoys the fun too! I wrote this book to use it the way I previously used an episode of “Daniel Tiger”… When my kids were arguing or being picky at the table, I could always find an episode of “Daniel Tiger” with the message they needed to hear. I chose their lesson of the day and the lecture came from someone other than me. So when I hear the “bored” word or when my kids are starting to bicker, I can get this book out, read it to them, and then tell them to go have some fun. It is a story that gives them ideas for how to find a fun way to play. And I always loves seeing what they come up with!

The book makes a great gift for those 3 to 8 years of age. But you can pump the gift up a little more by including a great start to an Adventure Box!

A cardboard box and fun items to go along with the book would make a great gift for a little one in your life!

Some of my kids’ favorite Adventure Box items are below:

Capes and masks that can be decorated. Available on Amazon.
Crayon Twistables so they can decorate other items. The Twistables feel special compared to the crayons they use most of the time at school. Available on Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart or any office store.

Small notebook so they can keep track of their adventure ideas. Available on Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart or any office store.
Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls. In our house, they get turned into telescopes, binoculars, food for stuffed animals, etc, etc.

Inexpensive ball of yarn or twine. You may have to help them cut it but they like having access to their own yarn that they can use when and how they want to.
Animal masks and other dress up items likes old halloween costumes. These masks are available on Amazon.

Over the last year I’ve put together a few of these Adventure Box starters to give away to individuals who helped me with the book and the kiddos always love them!

Let the fun begin!

I hope this idea can help you get your Christmas shopping done a little early! Remember, if you wind up buying a copy of the book, authors receive a higher percentage of the purchase when it is bought through the publisher and not a third party like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you can buy directly from Archway Publishing, I would appreciate it very much! Remember to select “USPS Regular Mail” for free shipping.

Happy shopping!

From the garden: Blackberry Peach Cobbler

After a bit of a summer sabbatical, I am happy to be sharing a recipe that we have loved during this transition from summer to back-to-school and fall.  My blackberry bushes are currently weighed down by more blackberries than I know what to do with.  I love watching people walk down the sidewalk next to my bushes and sample a berry.  That’s my favorite time to eat them too: warm from the sun and fresh off the vine.  It is also Palisade peach season in Colorado which means you see peach stands all over the place.  The dairy that delivers our milk each week (Longmont Dairy) will also deliver a box of fresh Palisade peaches.  I love opening up the milk cooler to a giant box of peaches and my Ladybug will eat a whole peach any time she can get her hands on one.

The finished product. Golden brown on top. Fruit bubbly and cooked through.

We’ve had blackberry-wine sauce over steak, fresh blackberries on yogurt, blackberry compote on ice cream and many other recipes this summer to use up the pound of berries we have been picking each day.  But my favorite way to use blackberries in a recipe will always be cobbler.  I can still remember as a little kid going to a restaurant (I believe it was called Fitz’s in East Cape Girardeau, IL) with my mom, maternal grandmother, maternal great grandmother and other relatives.  We all inhaled the delicious blackberry cobbler and then smiled at each other with purple stained teeth.

I like a cobbler that is heavy on fruit, not on breading and has a crispy top to provide a good texture difference to the cooked through fruit.  Blackberry cobbler is fantastic on its own but my twist of adding peaches I think balances out some of the tart blackberry flavor with the natural sweetness of the peach.  This recipe goes together easily and is great to make ahead and then warm for a crowd.  I love serving it with a little good vanilla ice cream on the side to add some creaminess.



  • 6 cups blackberries
  • 5 peaches, peeled and diced into nickel-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup hot warm

Sprinkle on top:

  • 2 Tablespoons raw sugar
I add raw sugar to the tops of muffins and other baked goods. It gives a nice little crunch to the top that makes a boxed muffin mix taste like made from scratch.


  1. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and put Johnnyswim on Spotify
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  3. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat the fruit evenly with the sugar and other ingredients
  4. Pour filling into a 2 quart baking dish
  5. Bake for 10 minutes
  6. While the filling is baking, combine all of the topping ingredients (except the water) until the butter is smashed in with the other ingredients
About a 50/50 mix of blackberries and peaches is what you are going for.

Most baking recipes will call this “resembling a course meal.”  You can accomplish this with a pastry blender tool, a fork, or even your fingertips.

  1. Stir in the water until combined
  2. Remove the filling from the oven and spoon the topping over them.  You want to have spots with some filling poking through.
  3. Sprinkle the topping with the raw sugar.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes more.  The topping should be golden.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes then spoon cobbler into a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
If you want more breading for your cobbler, just double the topping ingredients.

You can also bake this ahead of time and warm prior to serving in a 200 degree oven.

I hope this warms your soul as much as it does mine!

Happy cooking!

New Page: Favorite Things

You will now see a new section on the header menu of my blog now: Favorite Things. I will be adding different items I find for my kitchen, my kids, or myself that are high quality, work great, and worth sharing. I also put a list of my favorite follows and podcasts in case those are helpful as well. I know I love receiving these recommendations from friends instead of just trying to search for things on my own.

What I am working on for Served With Love in Colorado:

  • Chicken piccata recipe to share
  • Carnitas tacos recipe to share
  • Full tour and information on our Colorado Teardrop trailer (I’ve named her Spark and love her so much!)
  • My 5 favorite recipes for summer
Carnitas tacos recipe coming soon!

What I am excited about:

  • Hopefully being able to do some readings and promotion of The Adventures of Bubby and Didi now that things with COVID are improving
  • All our camping trips this summer, including a big one in June to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
  • Having Bear and Ladybug with me on Fridays this summer. I’m off on Fridays and will only send them to their summer program Monday through Thursday so we can hike and go to the zoo, aquarium and other fun places.
  • My garden. I cannot wait to get more plants in the ground!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!




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Reading and Giveaway

TODAY, Saturday, April 10, 2021, is National Siblings Day! To celebrate the special relationship between brothers and sisters, I will be doing a live reading of The Adventures of Bubby and Didi on Instagram Live today, 4/10 at 6:30 PM MST. AND, I’ll be giving away one copy of the book to a family who joins the event live.

Here’s how to join:

  1. Follow @bubbyanddidi on Instagram
  2. Get the kids in their pajamas
  3. Join the event live on Instagram at 6:30 PM MST/7:30 PM CST

The real life characters from the book (including Charlie) will most likely make an appearance too!

My brother and me in Joshua Tree National Park.

We look forward to celebrating National Siblings Day with anyone who can join us!

Press: The Adventures of Bubby and Didi on the news!

As many of you know, I am a clinical genetic counselor by day, not a trained writer and a definite newbie to the world of publishing. Writing, publishing, and marketing a children’s book have been skills that I have had to develop as I’ve gone through this process. Luckily, I have some friends who have some these skills who I can learn from! One such friend has been extremely helpful with marketing and helping me to get my book out into the world. Creating and sending out “Adventure Boxes” was this friend’s idea.

The kids wrote the “Adventure Box” for me to make it look like the box in the book.

In the fall of 2020, I sent “Adventure Boxes” with my book, masks, capes, a journal, and other fun items to a few individuals. I knew some of these individuals from various connections and some are public figures I hoped to connect with. Along with the items, I sent a note asking the individual if they would be willing to share information about my book with their followers and friends on social media. One of those boxes went to Corey Rose, from 9News in Denver. She has two young children who are close in age just like the characters in the book. She also does a parenting/family segment on 9News called “It Takes A Village” and has a group on facebook with the same name.

Masks, capes, and all sorts of fun goodies to help kids start their adventures.

With her interests and family, I was thinking she might be interested in the book but my box went out to her while she was on maternity leave. After months of not hearing anything from many of the people I sent boxes to, I was a bit discouraged. Then, out of the blue, Corey sends me a message on Instagram and asked if she could mention the book as part of a segment she was doing. She said some very nice things about the book and asked questions so she could share all the details.

Here is the segment that ran on Mile High Mornings on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Corey Rose from 9News on Mile High Mornings

It was definitely an honor to be listed with some other women entrepreneurs!

The other women mentioned in the story are producing some really fantastic products so please check them out.

Lana’s Shop: Packadoo Alphabet Cards for Kids and many other beautiful products.

Compact Play: Dough-on-the-Go and other play dough kits that are super cute.

I saved the Instagram stories that Corey did about the book on the @bubbyanddidi Instagram highlights. It was very fun to see the book talked about in such a public forum and I hope this news story will help it to get in front of (and purchased by) more people!

Fingers crossed!

Someone else’s great idea: Sheet-Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken

I know that all the world is crazed for The Lazy Genius Collective’s Change-Your-Life-Chicken right now, which is absolutely fabulous, but the chicken dish we’ve been making over and over again in our house this winter is Taste of Home’s Sheet-Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken.

This is an easy meal to throw together on a foil-covered pan which makes it perfect for a work-night dinner…

…or on a night when you need to do something else while dinner cooks. Recently I realized that the laundry had gotten completely out of control. As many parents have experienced in 2020, it is just about impossible to do all the things all the time. Adding teacher to my list of different roles meant that laundry just didn’t make the cut one week. Or more specifically, my least favorite part of the laundry: folding it and putting it away.

It was a serious pile of laundry…

So one night, I got this dinner in the oven, poured a glass of wine, put a show on for the kids, and dumped all of the laundry in the middle of the living room for us to all fold together. We paused the show to take “put away” breaks and we all took care of our own laundry. By the time the meal was done cooking, the pile was gone and I was feeling much better. Now, was everything folded and put away exactly the way I would have done? Absolutely not. Were the drawers and closets organized the way I would have loved them to be? Again, absolutely not. But the anxiety-producing pile of laundry was gone and that was what I needed that night.

My kids and husband LOVE this dinner! I usually just throw the pan in the middle of the table and serve it with a loaf of sourdough made previously (or easily bought). We all wind up breaking off bread and dipping it in the lemony sauce on the pan.

Hopefully this recipe can help you put an easy meal on the table sometime soon!

Happy cooking!

Kid Idea: Passion Projects

During the 2020 spring semester, Bear’s kindergarten teacher had him do what she called a “Passion Project” to allow him to go a little deeper with a subject and stretch himself. He took several weeks to research a subject of his choosing and then he presented his project to his teacher and another little boy who had done a project as well. It was great to see him excited about something he was doing for school (the pile of completed worksheets were not doing it for him) and he was very proud of what he had put together. He researched sharks and left his shark poster up in his room for months.

The shark poster was up in Bear’s room for months and gained some stickers and other marks along the way.

Fast forward to the end of the fall semester 2020 and both my kids were needing something more than worksheets to finish the rest of the school year. And let’s be honest, I needed something to take up their time while I was trying to work from home. We decided they could each do a Passion Project of their choosing and present to their grandparents and family via FaceTime and Zoom prior to Christmas. It worked out really well for our family so I thought I would share what we had them do in case anyone else is needing something to keep their kids busy and engaged with school.

First, discuss with each child what subject they would like to learn more about. For younger kids you will want to keep it to something simple: a specific type of animal or specific place. Older kids could choose something more broad: a sport or country. Once the topic is chosen gather the items they will need to do their research and present their project.

Items needed for each child:

1. Notebook

2. Pencils

3. Basket to put their research items in

4. Library books and DVDs, magazines, and your own books on the subject

5. White poster board

My kids chose to research ladybugs and bears and you guessed it, Ladybug researched ladybugs and Bear researched bears. Their nicknames really do fit them.

Once they had their subject chosen, I logged into our library website and requested literally every book and nature DVD on ladybugs and bears. I apologize if you needed a book or DVD on ladybugs or bears from the Douglas County Library system in December 2020. They were all at my house but we were putting them to good use. It took a few days for these holds to be ready so while we were waiting I also gathered the books and magazines we already had on these subjects and put them in the baskets we had ready to go. I then sat down with each child and talked to them about what they wanted to learn about their subject. On each page in their notebook, we wrote one question that they wanted to get answered from their research.

Example questions for an animal/insect subject:

  • Where do they live?
  • What do they eat? What eats them?
  • What is their lifecycle?
  • What do they look like? Can they be different colors? Do males and females look the same?
  • Are they endangered? How can we help?
  • Etc.

What to do:

1. Request every book and DVD can find at your local library.

2. Gather the books and magazines you already have on the subject.

3. Sit down with each child and talk about what they want to learn about the subject.

4. Write one question they want to be able to answer on each page in their notebook.

5. Allow them to watch their DVDs and read their books with their notebooks in hand so they can write answers to their questions.

6. Once they are done with their research, go through their notebook with them and help them with spelling and putting sentences together.

7. Have them create a poster with answers to their questions and a picture that represents their subject. They can first do it in pencil and then in marker once spelling has been checked.

We put their “research baskets” in their tent in our loft. They had a cozy space to read and work and all of their materials were in a set and organized spot. For days, these kids read to themselves and each other totally engrossed in the subjects they chose. And I was able to get SO much done!

Once their research was complete, I sat down with each kid and went through their notebooks with them. They could tell me what they learned and I could help them with spelling and putting sentences together. I then gave them a poster board and pencil and told them to draw a picture of their subject and to write their questions and answers around their board.

And, to all the other Type A parents out there, here is the hard part: Don’t help them put together their board beyond giving them those general guidelines and helping with spelling. Would you do it differently? Absolutely! But they will get more of a sense of accomplishment for doing this project if they actually do this project.

Once you spellcheck their work done in pencil, you can have them go over it with marker and add color. If they wanted, they could cut out pictures from magazines and add them as well. For older kids or for a different challenge, they could put together a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation instead of a poster board.

Bear’s bear project
Ladybug’s ladybug project

Once their projects were done, the kids each took turns presenting what they had learned. We taped their poster boards up and took a video of them telling us all about their projects so we could share it with their teachers and any other family members. We later did Facetime/Zoom sessions with grandparents so they could see their work and ask questions as well.

Here is their finished work! They were incredibly proud of their projects and the boards are still proudly displayed in our stairwell.

Bear insisted on running out after his name was called like he sees his favorite athletes do…
This sweet girl can tell you facts about ladybugs for hours…

We’ll be doing Passion Projects like this for other school breaks and if we have to go back to virtual/remote school again for sure.

I hope this idea can be helpful to you!