This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

deep creek lake photo

Hi! I’m currently taking time off from regular posting after having a baby this summer, but want to check in with a little update.

Sweet readers, I’m having a tough time right now.

Whether you’re (1) evacuating your home or have family/friends on the west coast during these devastating wildfires, (2) trying to find normalcy in a very not normal world, and/or (3) adjusting to children learning at home or back in school during this pandemic, this season of life feels very different. It certainly feels different for me. We welcomed our beautiful baby girl this past summer and are absolutely in love with her. From her big curious eyes down to her tiny little toes, she is honestly the sweetest. She’s such an easy baby, but maybe that’s because we have the experience under our belts. Our older daughter just loves her and wants to be around her all the time. We’re so blessed to have our health, home, and happy daughters.

My heart is just so full.

However, at the very same time, a piece of my heart feels like it’s missing.

jude the dog

Our beloved dog, Jude, passed away last month. Jude was diagnosed with cancer in August 2019 and fought it for a year. As pet owners know, pets are a very big part of the family. And Jude? He was my shadow. My sidekick. A true companion in every sense of the word. An irreplaceable part of this family. Wherever I was, he was. If dogs have souls, Jude has one of the biggest. Not only because he was enormous at 120 lbs, he just had a very big heart. He was the kind of dog who could sense how you were feeling. Laid with you while you were sick, sat with you while you cried, smiled at you (seriously!) when you were happy. For 12 beautiful years, Jude was our constant through it all: new homes, new jobs, cookbooks, our wedding, birthdays, book tour, miscarriage, pregnancies, babies, and all the other moments in between.

For anyone who thrives on routine, the loss of such a prominent part of your life feels impossible. Additionally, the transition from 1 to 2 children certainly has its difficulties. Pair all of this with postpartum recovery, postpartum emotions, sleepless newborn nights, and the isolation felt during this world pandemic and your emotional and mental stress feel like a mountain weighing on top of you. My husband, always looking on the bright side, reminds me of the silver linings we have. We’re so thankful our daughter got to meet Jude and that we even have a few pictures of him sitting beside her bassinet. And having activities and gatherings cancelled this summer has encouraged us to slow down. Maybe it’s the same for you too? We’re enjoying more time outdoors and savoring the present. And one last silver lining: While Franklin, our other dog, misses his big buddy, he’s certainly loving all the extra attention. He deserves it.

I mentioned this on social media and want to repeat it here. I know it might seem unseemly to grieve the loss of a dog when so many are losing their lives in the chaos of our world right now. But loss is loss and I’m feeling this one really hard. I recently experienced one of my best days and one of my worst. It’s been an absolute roller coaster of emotions and I’m still trying to work through it all.

sally and jude

black and white photo of jude

I miss him so much. Jude was the happiest dog until those final few days.

I planned to post more recipes during my postpartum time off, but haven’t had the chance to clear my head and publish them all. I promise I’m trying my best to bring you fresh new recipes that I prepped while I was pregnant. Thank you for your patience with me and understanding that I need this time to be with my family.

On a brighter note, it’s Noelle’s 3rd birthday next week! I can’t believe my little girl is turning 3. No big parties this year, but we’re going to make the day as special as we can. She loves the Trolls World Tour movie and I plan to make her a special Queen Poppy cake. I’m terrible with fondant, so I’m thinking vanilla cake, rainbow frosting decoration, and a Trolls cake topper. Have you ever made a Trolls themed birthday cake before? I’m open to ideas!

We took a little vacation to Deep Creek Lake last week. It was a quiet and relaxing family getaway in one of our favorite spots. We just needed a change of scenery. If I’m being honest, sitting on the back deck with coffee and a view was all the medicine we needed. It was after Labor Day, so the lake wasn’t crowded. We lucked out with weather.

picture of deep creek lake beach

‘Tis the season for quick bread. We brought a loaf of the September Sally’s Baking Challenge recipe to the lake with us: cinnamon swirl quick bread. (There have been hundreds of participants so far this month!) This time I mixed 1 cup of chopped and peeled apples into the cinnamon sugar swirl mixture before layering it in. Same bake time. It tasted unbelievable– sort of like last week’s apple cinnamon babka but without a yeasted dough. I highly recommend it.

apple cinnamon swirl quick bread

I was going to wait until the official start of fall, but couldn’t resist. Here’s my first loaf of pumpkin bread this season. I actually prefer it plain without the chocolate chips. I used whole wheat flour in this loaf and topped it with coarse sugar before baking. Same bake time. Always so moist and flavorful.

pumpkin bread in loaf pan

sliced pumpkin bread

I want to lead by example not only for my daughters, but for my readers and followers too. In my last coffee break post, I shared my commitment to help break the unjust cycle of racism in our world and country. I hope we each yearn for a more loving and inclusive world and sometimes it’s hard to understand that in order for that to happen, we have to be the change… right now. Over the past couple months, I’ve thought a lot about the privilege I have simply because of the color of my skin. I found this article on and while the entire piece is a great resource, the section titled “Reflect on all the ways you benefit from privilege” has been enlightening. (It links to a few more pieces and essays too.) I shared this on my Instagram account, but I joined Rachel Cargle’s eye-opening Do The Work course. It’s a free email course that provides comprehensive and concrete ways for being anti-racist. The emails also include links to articles, other resources, and videos. There is also The Conscious Kid organization. By joining, you have access to many resources for how to teach children (of any age) about anti-racism.

I’m still learning and growing in my own advocacy, but I hope to keep the momentum going that was seen earlier this summer. Racism has deep roots and as we continue to see it in the news every single day, it will not go away without the work.

Have you joined the sourdough bandwagon?

I just picked up a copy of New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford. I’m excited to finally learn more about from-scratch sourdough. I’ve always been intimidated by the entire process because the wealth of information online is overwhelming. However his book and comprehensive guide to sourdough (with FAQs) breaks things down into understandable steps. Super helpful if you’re a beginner like I am.

I also got Whole Grain Sourdough at Home. I haven’t had the chance to dive into it yet, but this book covers how to tackle sourdough using whole wheat flour and ancient grains. Recipes seem very easy to follow too.

two sourdough cookbooks

I think that’s about it for now. Let’s end this post on a positive note though. No matter what we’re facing in this moment: loss, heartache, exhaustion, injustice, natural disaster, anxiety, change, and anything in between, I know that food can be healing. Baking has always lifted my spirits whether that’s receiving something homemade from a loved one, baking to ease my mind, or baking for someone who needs cheering up. It’s so much more than something sweet, it’s comforting for the mind and soul. Need proof? Last year I wrote a post called What Baking Means to You. The comments are beautiful.

Thank you for being here. xo

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Oh my goodness! I’m really sorry to hear about Jude. 🙁
    Please be strong and I wish you all the best!

    Lots of love from Barbados!

    1. Sally, you are one in a million. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

      It is never easy to lose a precious pet. I wish you much comfort during this time.

      Baking is medicine! Thank you for reminding us of this.

      Baking you a virtual loaf and sending you warm wishes,
      Jen Meier

  2. So sorry to hear about Jude. Our pets become family members and it’s difficult to lose one. Be kind to yourself and take whatever time you need. We will be here when you are ready to come back full force.

  3. I am so sorry about your loss of Jude. I know what its like to lose a cherished pet. I have another one now that I kiss her black nose every day. They are family. Congrats on the newest little girl. Much fun in your future. Wonderful pics of Deep Creek Lake. I was there for my honeymoon many years ago. Thank you so much for your recipes and baking tips. I’m glad I found you!! Rest up and we shall see you when you’ve had time to regroup.

    1. So sorry for your loss.Those are beautiful pictures you sent of the lake.Happy 3rd birthday to your beautiful daughter and thank you for all your wonderful recipes you continue to share with us.

  4. Hi Sally! My daughter loved trolls the first time around….years ago…I made a cake and used pink cotton candy as hair( sadly, we had an extremely humid day in May and the hair melted prior to the party….haha…) but my daughter loved it!! So sorry about Jude….I have two goldens that have my heart! I totally understand!

  5. I am so sorry to read that you lost your beloved dog. I too love my dogs like they are family because they are. Cherish those memories. I believe your Jude is still close, but in a different way that we can’t experience.

    Thank you for writing your blog. I have enjoyed reading about your baking and trying some recipes from time to time, which has brought me happiness. You will find your footing again. Thank you for giving Jude such a loving home.

  6. My heart goes out to you for the loss of Jude. Pets are family and it’s so painful to say goodbye. Don’t feel guilty for feeling sad. I hope the endless wonderful memories you have of him help soften the pain of his absence over time.

  7. All your readers mourn with you and totally understand, not to mention love, that your sweet puppy was a member of your family. We will be praying for the hurt to transition to the happy memories he left on your heart. Congrats on your growing family too!

  8. Hang in there! Each day will get easier. It is so important in these crazy days to take the time to feel our emotions – all of them! – and to take care of ourselves. Feed your soul every day and the way before you will open. Big hugs to you.

  9. I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of Jude. The love of a dog is a precious thing, and when they are gone, it’s totally natural to miss them terribly. This book helped me when I was grieving the loss of my first bff dog Opal. (I got it for free and thought it was going to be wierd or preachy or something but it isn’t; it’s just really comforting.) The book is God’s Creatures by Susan Bulanda; it’s on Amazon. I’m praying for you and your family! You’ll hit your stride with the new little one soon but don’t rush yourself – you’ve left us plenty of recipes to try whole you take care of your family and yourself! <3

    1. Oh congratulations on your new baby, you have a beautiful family.
      I’m so sorry to hear about Jude. I also lost my Mitzi recently because of cancer. She was a velcro girl also. I was lost because of not having her besides or in my lap. As each day comes to a close I remember the good times and know she is not suffering and she is in a good place. I believe as each day comes to an end for you, you too will be able to talk, think and share memories without the sadness.

  10. Sincere condolences on the loss of Jude. Thank you for sharing this with us. Pets are family members, and there’s no need to apologize for grieving over them as you would any other family member.
    Congratulations on the birth of Elise! You have a beautiful family!

  11. So sorry about the loss of Jude. I know how hard it is to lose a part of your family and sounds like Jude was one of those very special dogs that we are lucky enough to have in our lives.

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about Jude. We lost our own sweet pup to cancer this past May, and it has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. We don’t have human children, and our little baby girl filled that role for us. Every day she is not here is painful, and I so know how you feel.

    A friend shared this poem with me on a particularly bad day:

    Your absence has gone through me
    Like thread through a needle.
    Everything I do is stitched with its color.

    ~W.S. Merwin

    It illustrates exactly how I feel as I try to navigate a world without her. I’m sorry for your loss. I wish you peace.

  13. Oh Sally I am so sorry to hear about Jude. Our pets are truly family members and a piece of them stays in our hearts forever. I’m glad you could get away for a bit. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time.


  14. Dogs can be SUCH good people. Jude was lucky to have you.
    When you are ready, please make your our sourdough starter, name it “Jude”. Dry it and share it. Then Jude can be spread around the world.

    I make memorial beads in glass. If you are interested, contact me. I would love to make a Jude heart for you.

    And thank you for taking a stand against racism. The solution begins with US.

    Best to you and your family, Heidi

  15. I am soo sorry of your loss of your beloved Jude. He was a soul worth everything to you and was as much a part of your family as anyone else and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!. My beloved Romeo has been gone quite some time and that hole is still there but hurts less. The memories help you get through and it must have been truly fantastic to get pictures of your Jude by the bassinet.
    I am relatively new to your group but have already learned some great recipes and hope to some time partake in one of your challenges because they sound like fun.

  16. So sorry to hear about the loss of your Jude. Pets are very much a part of our family and it is so painful to have them cross the rainbow bridge. We have been there and know how you feel. He is no longer in pain and that is a wonderful thing.

    Your daughters are so beautiful. Enjoy them as they grow.

  17. Oh, I am so sorry and I know the heartbreak you feel. Your description of Jude made me think of our dear, sweet Finnigan- a chocolate lab who was my shadow. She, too, had a keen sense of how I was feeling and such a huge piece of our hearts. It’s been four years since cancer took her from us. It still hurts. There will never be another girl like our Finni. We also lost our kitty, Huckleberry, last February after 15 1/2 years of love. A long time, yes, but never quite long enough. He was my sweet boy and I feel his loss every day. So know you’re not alone. Though it doesn’t lessen the pain of your loss, know that your sweet Jude is always with you. ❤️ He sounded like the best boy!

  18. Life is full of ups and downs. Congratulations for your ups and condolences for your downs.
    I just wanted to thank you for all you do. During lockdown I have baked many of your recipes and they have brought us comfort (and kilos ) you touch lives in ways you don’t realise.
    Sending love and support from Australia

  19. My heart is with you for your loss of Jude. Ours dogs and cats are always family. My family has gone thru many sduch loses but I have at times felt my bed divot at night after, telling me that they are still and always will be with us.
    You and your family are beautiful and your sharing has always been heartfelt. Thank you. for even at this time of chaos for you, you still give us get info on an important issue this year- the BLM movement. Thank you again.
    Relay on nature and your family at this time. It will end and sunny times will be back

  20. Oh, so very sorry about your Jude. We lost our Rascal to cancer. Our fur babies are family, too. Your girls are precious! So sweet! I love your blog. My daughter asked me to make one of your cakes for her graduation this summer. And I attended a tailgate party Saturday where a neighbor brought the Margarita cupcakes. I asked for the recipe and she sent me the link. I told her I should have known the were from Sally’s Baking Addiction, they were so good!

  21. I am so sorry for your loss of Jude. Four years after the loss of my dog, Frisbee, I still miss him and wish he was here. He was also my shadow and buddy. The pain you are going through is still worth the wonderful years he shared with you, although that doesn’t make it any easier…

  22. My prayers are with you Sally. We lost a beloved dog a few years ago. She died at age 16 and she is terribly missed to this day. I know you will cherish all the good memories and time will certainly help heal. You have a beautiful family that will keep you busy through all of the loss and change that is going on now. Take all the time you need. Thank you for all of your recipes and posts.

  23. My dear Sally, sadly I am just catching up and reading your post about Jude. I am so sorry but he no longer suffers. But we are left behind and that hurts so much. Most times I love dogs more than people, especially right now. You gave him his best life and he rewarded you with 12 wonderful years! I, too, struggle with the hatred around us and have been staying home to protect myself and it can be so isolating. But I do talk with, Skype, get pics from our daughter and grandkids. That helps so much to keep me uplifted during these crazy times. I hear you, I support you and I love you and your sweet family.
    Take good care ❤

  24. Dear Sally, I am so sorry about Jude, they are our hairy babies and it hurts when we lose them. We too lost our Great Dane Chico last year, 150 pounds of pure love…it’s been very hard and we miss him so much. Know that whenever you’re sad, Jude is right there sending you love from puppy heaven, I’m sure he’s met Chico already and they’ve become friends.
    Sending you lots of comforting hugs from Spain. And thank you for always having so many recipes where I can get my baking therapy fix.
    P.S. Your babies are so beautiful <3

  25. I have followed you for a while and I’m Thankful for you sharing your life, your ups and downs, your babies and fur babies. I remember when you got your second dog. Love your recipes. Hugs and prayers for you and your family

  26. Dear Sally, I’m so sorry you are having a tough time right now and again I wanted to say sorry for the passing of beautiful Jude. It’s lovely to hear that Elise is coming alone well (you give hope and strength that after a loss of baby that life can go) thank you! I would like to wish Noelle a Happy 3rd birthday time has flew by fast a Queen Poppy cake sound perfect I can’t believe you’re terrible with fondant but your vanilla cake as us lucky reader know is delicious so she will enjoy it. It’s lovely to hear that you’ll all able to get away and had a change of scenery which was needed 🙂 Your cinnamon swirl quick bread the addition of apples sounds so Yummy I can’t wait to try it. Your pumpkin recipes are delicious I’m seriously considering making something (I don’t like pumpkin but I love your recipes it silly not to try) lol It’s great to see that you’re excited to learn more about sourdough get into it you sound so exited about it it could be a perfect distraction for you at the moment even though you have enough going on dive into it as you said baking always lifted your spirits it’s comforting for the mind and soul. Thank you for your coffee break and your beautiful pictures, I hope things start to feel that they are getting better for and you and family stay well, happy and safe x

  27. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Jude. I don’t know what I’d do without my furry sidekicks. They are so much a part of my daily routine and of my heart. I hope that you will find peace. I know you have a lot of blessings too, but that doesn’t take away the sorrow of losing Jude.

Leave a Review!

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.