Category Archives: musings

A New Adventure

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I have been saying no for at least 4 years.  Eric asked.  Matthew pleaded.  Grace begged.  When the Humane Society came to Eric’s work last Monday, with furry friends to be snuggled, I knew the battle was over.  It didn’t help that his coworker sent me this picture of Eric holding a ball of fur with the caption, See you tonight?  

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My reply back was Cute! Just as long as it’s not coming home with him, he can pet it all he wants. :)   A cat and two kids are enough right now.  I have no idea what happened next, because less than 5 hours of seeing that picture, I agreed to adopt an 11-week old puppy. Continue reading

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Reflecting On a Year

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The time between Christmas and New Year’s has always been a time of contemplation for me.  A time to look back on the year and reflect on the highs and lows.  A time to see the mix of laughter and sorrow.  But through the bitterness there is sweetness, no matter how small it is.  In February, on my husband’s birthday of all days, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident which totaled our car.  My son, Matthew, was in the back seat, and even though the driver plowed through the back end of the vehicle, smashing the trunk and shattering the back windshield, there was not a scratch, bruise, or break on my son’s little body.  Miracle.  God was good.  This fall, we had to put one of our cats down, who was about 12.  He suffered from kidney failure and it was painful to watch.  How do you explain death to a 6 and 4 year old?  My husband took it especially hard, but Matthew told him not to worry, as Thomas is in heaven and we will see him someday.  Sweetness in the bitterness.

For many of us, 2016 has been a roller coaster ride, but no matter how hard or easy this year has been, each year offers a fresh start. A clean slate.  And I love fresh starts.  I am one of those obnoxious people who creates lists.  New Year’s Resolutions is no exception.  In fact, I look forward to it.  However, I have to limit myself to 10 goals, otherwise I’ll get carried away.

Two years ago, I had to have my gallbladder removed.  Subsequently, my diet changed too.  Not drastically, as I ate pretty healthy before, but it took a whole year for me to accept the fact that I have to really limit the fats and sugars I eat.  For example, I can’t eat a 4 oz steak without getting a stomach ache, and sweets, which I ABSOLUTELY love, obviously, is down to just a few small bites.  As in, I can eat one cookie, not two.  And it kills me!!  The majority of the desserts I make on this blog are given away to neighbors and coworkers…after my family has had a few bites.  This is how I make friends.  This is also how I keep them.

I have taken up exercising more too.  In October, I completed my first 1/2 marathon and liked it so much that I signed up for another one next year.  (I walked it though.  Not ready to commit to a full-on running race.  That’s too crazy for me.)

Writing goals is a great way to verbalize what you’re thinking.  E.M. Forster’s quote How do I know what I think until I see what I say? is one of my favorites.  And sharing goals is a great way to have someone hold you accountable.  So, I wrote down my 10 goals, but am going to share just 5 of them with you.  They are as follows: Continue reading

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Merry Christmas

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I want to wish you the merriest of Christmases. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little blog.  It truly does mean a lot to me, especially since this is a small hobby of mine.

These past few days I have been baking up a storm for last minute parties and am looking forward to a few days off.  In case you’re wondering though, here’s what I am making Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.  Christmas dinner is at my parents, so wahoo!, I can take a bit of a break.

Christmas Eve Dinner:

lasagna from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Cat Head Biscuits from America’s Test Kitchen

lemony green beans + roasted Brussels sprouts

Cheesecake

Black Bottom Brownies 

Christmas Morning:

Cranberry Streusel Scones

fresh fruit

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For us, Christmas day is about family and reflecting on all the wonderful blessings that God has given us.  It has been an amazing year and I am so thankful and utterly grateful.  Can’t wait to see what the future holds!  I’ll be back next week with something yummy to share.  In the meantime, I hope you have a fantastic time with your family and friends and wish you a Merry Christmas!!!  xoxo

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Gratitude Jar

GJ2Happy New Year! I hope your New Year is off to a great start.  Did you start 2015 with tradition, or begin something new?  My neighbors have a tradition every New Year’s Day to go hiking in the Gorge (which in the Northwest is quite cold!) and it got me thinking about New Year’s traditions that I have, or ones I would like to start with my young family.  The only thing that really came to mind was New Year’s Resolutions.  Normally, each New Year’s Eve, I sit on the couch and contemplate what I want to accomplish in the coming year.  When I was younger, I made 10 lofty goals, but as the years became me, I started to be more intentional about what I wanted to change in my life, and thought beyond that year, to five or ten years down the road.  These contemplations then morphed to a series of 5 resolutions, and the past 5 years or so they have usually revolved around God, my health (as in exercise of come kind), and some career/hobby goal I wanted to accomplish.

However, as I was making breakfast for my kids this morning, I realized that I forgot to write down my New Year’s Resolutions. And this very task-oriented, tradition-held me felt a surge of guilt at not only forgetting, but feeling slightly relieved that I didn’t create one.  As I was reflecting on my previous lists and what I wrote, I  feel like something is missing, as if I’m not getting the whole picture.  Do you ever feel that way? Are your resolutions the same every year, or do they change a bit/change drastically?

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This day, one year ago, I created a Gratitude Jar for myself and a few friends.  My hope was to write down on a sheet of paper something I am thankful or grateful for–and do this throughout the year.  The idea was on New Year’s Eve to look through the jar and realize just how blessed we have been throughout the year.  Unfortunately, after January, like many resolutions, I forgot about it, and only noticed it this afternoon sitting on my desk in the office.  Maybe it shouldn’t be on the corner of my desk, but out where I see it every day.  So, this is my only New Year’s Resolution in 2015.  To write down and chronicle the blessings that occur this year, because there will inevitably be many of them, as there are each and every year, and come December 31st, to look back at all God has blessed me, and my family and friends, with.

I wish you a very wonderful and blessed 2015. And if you have any great New Year traditions, I’d love to hear about it! xoxo

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Matthew’s 1st Birthday

We’ve been anticipating this day for some time, and now it’s gone.  My baby is moving from an infant into a toddler.  And while I’m excited about it, it does make me a little sad.  Pretty soon he’ll be going to school, and before you know it, he’ll be off and gone to college.  And we certainly won’t be able to put him in a dump truck and ride him around the living room.

And he’s going to need his first haircut, as mullets just aren’t in fashion anymore.  I am going to miss that little mohawk though!  As promised, I said I’d show you pictures of his birthday party. Matthew’s nursery is jungle-themed, so I found these really cute printable safari-themed birthday invitations on Etsy.  So adorable!  Everything coordinated.  We had a small gathering of family and friends at a park near our house.  The weather was perfect and the company couldn’t have been better.  Here are the sugar cookies I made for favors that matched the invitations.  The tiger:

The lion:

The giraffe:

All three of them together:

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My First Decorating Class

No, not the first decorating class where I was a student.  The first decorating class where I was the teacher.  I already knew I liked school and teaching, (that’s why I became a teacher for my professional career), but when you combine it with a hobby you love…wow, great things happen!

I hosted my first ever “Come-Learn-To-Decorate-Sugar-Cookies” class at my home this past Saturday.  Four friends came and we had a blast for two and a half hours.  We learned how to decorate the summer bugs cookies that I posted a month back.

Each student decorated eight cookies, and had one circular “practice” cookie to work on some piping.  I made recipe cards for them and a section for notes, as we talked about royal icing consistency, where to buy materials, etc.

Here was each woman’s work station, with her own recipe card and set of cookies. Continue reading

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A Tribute to my Mom

 

My mother is one of the bravest women I know.  Not only did she raise three daughters, each 18 months apart, (and survived), on a meager budget because she chose to stay home, but is currently fighting an incurable cancer with her head held high.  I’m not extremely eloquent with words, but I wanted to share with you some of the things I love about her and that she’s instilled in my life.  Unfortunately, many of these pictures are relatively recent, (the past 4 years), as I haven’t scanned in older pictures.

1.  She taught me to love camping.  However, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I could leave my make-up at home.  (She didn’t teach me that.)

2.  While I used to hate that she made my clothes when I was younger, (I wanted all the “cool” clothes my peers had), I loved that she made me dresses that fit perfectly when I was older.  She even made my bridesmaid dresses.


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