Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Well, that break was longer than expected.

I promise, I had the best intentions of wrapping up my forthcoming book on food and faith (creatively titled The Catholic Table: Finding Joy Where Food Meets Faith), getting married, then coming back to blog all my thoughts about the Wedding Industrial Complex (and how much I loved, loved, loved my dress…I could probably write a whole blog series about it.)


When we returned from the honeymoon, however, we found ourselves with houseguests…for four straight weeks (four different sets of them mind you). God love my husband for being to roll with that kind of crazy.

Then, about three days after the last houseguest left, we decided to put our house on the market. Originally, we planned on remaining in Steubenville for at least a year before moving closer to Pittsburgh, where Chris works. But, we quickly grew to resent the time Chris spent commuting back and forth. We happen to like each other an awful lot, and realized we’d rather spend those two hours together rather than apart.

I love my house…



But I love my husband more. I mean, the man took me to Prince Edward Island on our honeymoon. How could I not?


Anyhow, that decision first meant a flurry of work getting the house ready to sell, then, once it sold (which was fast), an even more frantic flurry of work getting it ready for the FHA appraisal. Of course, we had to find a house too, which involved weeks of me driving to and from Pittsburgh to meet up with Chris and our awesome realtor, desperately seeking a house that could meet our very particular demands (okay, mostly my very particular demands).

And through it all, there was that pesky thing called work, which for me is writing— lots and lots and lots of writing. That was good for the bank account (which will be heavily taxed by the upcoming renovation of our new home), but not so good for the blogging. I really do love writing about food and hospitality, but by the time I log 10 plus hours in a day at the computer meeting deadlines for others, the last thing I want to do is write some more, no matter how fun the topic might be. I like writing…but not that much.

Life hasn’t really slowed down since our offer on a home in Crafton, PA, was (finally) accepted. Now, we’re packing to move, meeting with contractors and engineers to plan the massive rehab of the new home, and working like crazy to fund that rehab. Plus, I’ve got an exploratory surgery scheduled for early November (to see if there’s any scar tissue from previous surgeries blocking my fallopian tubes or doing something else to get in the way of us conceiving a baby—all prayers appreciated).

Oh, and then there’s The Catholic Table, which is slated to come out just a few days after the Election from Hell comes to a screeching, blessed end. Here’s the final cover design. Ain’t it gorgeous?


The Catholic Table isn’t a cookbook. It’s a series of essays on the relationship of food to faith, virtue, the Eucharist, the body, and our culture (with my past struggles with eating disorders serving as a kind of narrative framework). But I did include quite a few recipes in the book, and the publishers want me blogging those recipes. The tricky thing is, blogging recipes requires an actual kitchen to cook in…which is something I’m not going to have from approximately November 21 until early March.

That’s right, folks. Chris and I will be living off of takeout and Amy’s frozen burritos all the while I’m promoting a book about the sacramentality of eating. Oh, the irony.

In the meantime (aka “before I pack up all my cookware”), I’ll try to cook and shoot some of those recipes. Add more to the to-do list.

Regardless, I am going to do my darndest to get back into the habit of regular blogging. Not only because I need to make my very kind publishers happy, but because there’s so much to blog about.

…Like my 1001 thoughts on the aforementioned Wedding Industrial Complex and my own semi-successful, semi-disasterous, but still super darned beautiful and blessed wedding day. (A few more shots for you).


….And the process of rehabbing our new home. It was built in 1890 by some wealthy Pittsburgher, who wanted a summer home outside the city. Because it wasn’t meant for year-round living, it had tons of space for guests (which is one of the reasons we’re buying it—see paragraph 2 above), but no space for cooking—just a stove, a sink, and a table in the basement, where the servants could slave away out of sight.

Then, sometime in probably the 1940s, the house was turned into a duplex, which meant all sorts of crazy walls went up (destroying the original floor plan), and two tiny, postage stamp kitchens were put in. Our task now is to make like Joanna Gaines and tear down multiple walls upstairs and down, move kitchens and bathrooms, update all the mechanicals, and restore the character ripped out over the years by landlords who don’t love period details as much as we do. All while living in the attic. Fun!

It is going to be quite the project, but the size, location, and price were right, I’m insane, and my husband humors me, so…

Before I go full speed ahead on either of those topics, though, (or book promotion, food blogging, and other Catholic Table related stuff), I’ve got a few thoughts I want to share on leaving my beloved home here in Steubenville. It’s so full of memories, so beautiful, and so…done.


Next time, though. This update has gotten long enough…and there are those deadlines.

Happy to be back!

29 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

  1. Kathleen Ready says:

    Many congratulations and best wishes! Thanks for taking the time to update us. Praying for good news from your surgery, and for peace and trust in God no matter the results.

  2. veronicatiminski says:

    Congratulations Emily! You are such a beautiful bride and it was quite a treat to see these photos and get an update. So many wonderful things happening in your life, wow! I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it all. I am looking forward to reading and sharing your book, and reading any other updates you share here. 🙂

  3. Margo, Thrift at Home says:

    oh my word – your DRESS!!!! It’s gorgeous and I really hope you tell more! Is it vintage?? And I’m so glad you’re back – I was hoping you hadn’t given up blogging.

    And congratulations on everything! Someday you will look back on all this and try to tell the story and no one will believe you were that crazy (I say this from experience – we were renovating our 1880s house and living with my parents when our first baby was born early and then we had to take our contractor to court. . . . ).

    Can’t wait to read your book! I’m a fan of your writing and your recipes.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks, Margo. And believe it or not, I got the dress from BHLDN, Anthropologie’s bridal site. I never even went dress shopping. I fell in love with it when I saw it online, ordered it, and it fit almost perfectly—just needed a little taking in around the shoulders and waist. The cost was also fantastic—just under $700.

  4. Sandy Monier says:

    I love your blog….so glad you are back. You remind me that I must get back to my own blog…oh the busy-ness of life. So glad you purchased a house in Crafton. My hubby and I lived there for the first four years of our marriage. I always dreamed of restoring one of the big old houses in that little town but family and work pulled us east of the city. Blessings to you in your journey, prayers for good health and many happily married years!

  5. rlschatze says:

    Oh Emily, I was so excited to see an email about your new blog post this morning in my inbox. And I am so excited about your book as I love reading on your blog. I will be praying for you, your wonderful husband, your surgery, and your new house and move.

  6. Lisette says:

    Congratulations! Delighted for you and great to have an update. Can’t wait for the new book (and more blogging!) in the future. Prayers for you and your husband at the beginning of a new and exciting chapter.

  7. Skye-Christina says:

    Emily!!!! I am so happy for you and Chris and I CANNOT WAIT for the new book!!!

    I feel like I know you! – you’re such a great writer, I read a lot of books and blogs and I’ll skim a lot of stuff too. But I consistently read your blog and Ana Hahn’s blog. I save them for when I’m on the train or relaxing on my couch and I read every word and I contemplate every picture. I love your dress!!! You make a beautiful bride! And Chris looks super handsome!

    Congrats, again! So looking forward to the book. I am in OA so I’m very interested in the sacramentality of food.

    Sincerely, Skye

    Sent from my super-cute iPhone

  8. Christina says:

    dress is GOR-GEOUS! I mean utterly and completely perfectly beautiful. wow.
    also the cover of the book is so, so pretty and inviting! hope to meet you sometime in the near future. we have mutual friends in Crafton! and I love those old, charming homes.


  9. Oriane says:

    Aaaah Emily, I’m so glad you’re back, we missed you! Congratulations for your wedding, I wish you the best, it seems like your plate is pretty full right now and you won’t have the time to get bored anytime soon 😉 Courage for your many projects, my prayers are with you and your husband! Enjoy married life and God bless

  10. Christine says:

    Gorgeous photos – best wishes for a long and happy marriage!

    Welcome to Pittsburgh! My husband and I were looking at some of those huge beautiful Victorians in Crafton a few years ago when we were buying our first house, but ended up moving elsewhere in the city to be a bit closer to my family. It’s a neighborhood, though, that’s very much still on my radar for the future. I hope you are very happy there.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks! And we’re super excited to get into Crafton (and our new home)! We love the location—easy access to 376 and 79, 5 minutes to downtown, simple drive for out Steubenville friends—plus the prices on houses that size are hard to beat in Pittsburgh. If you ever end up moving there, let me know.

  11. Camille Santana says:

    Congratulations and God bless you and your husband, Chris!! I would go and check your blog site every week and for a while now the “pan fried gnocchi” entry would pop up and I think to myself, “Well, what do you expect, it’s no joke planning for a wedding, etc. etc., she’ll be too busy to make entries right now….” but I am so happy to see your beautiful wedding photos– I wish I knew Anthropologie carried wedding dresses. You looked stunning and I drooled over your very one-of-a-kind looking wedding dress!!! So glad you’re back….you know, when I first discovered that you had a blog, and read “……..and my boyfriend Chris” in one of your articles, I was super happy for you. God makes all things beautiful in His time. When I need some respite from the everyday (happy but messy) chaos that my two little kids make, I go and look at your pristine and lovely home and I feel instantly refreshed, hahaha! Anyway, so happy for you for all the blessings that you are enjoying. A hearty congratulations again to you and Chris, on finding your new home and your new book!!

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