Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All in God's Timing

Wow. Life has been moving at the speed of light.  There have been many things that have happened just within the past week. I have first and foremost been reminded of God's fervent love, and that He has a plan and a timing for some of life's most precious gifts.  I want to allow you a glimpse of this love as I share with you a joyful story. 

This story has been about 6 years in the that has been filled with heartache, tears, discouragement, and doubt. My sister and her husband have the most beautiful little girl and have longed to give her a sister or a brother.  They have poured their soul's into trying to make this dream for their family come true only to be told by specialists and doctors that the likelihood of them being able to conceive on their own was bleak.  I have often cried alongside my sister as I knew she had the heart of a mother and it seemed so unfair that she was not given another chance to bring new life into this world.  So we prayed. We cried. We hoped....we lost hope.  We grieved.  And just when it seemed maybe God had other plans, something nagged my heart.

I remember one night several weeks ago, I was having another glorious night of insomnia, and as I was lying in bed I had an immense tugging at my heart to pray.  And not just pray for anything but to pray for my sister and her husband.  I began to plead with God to hear their cries, my cry, my parents cry..... to fulfill their deepest desire to be parents again. I cannot describe what came over my heart in that very moment, but I knew God had placed something deep within that needed intentional prayer.  So I did just that.  And then I fell into a deep sleep. And went on with my busy life.

Then  about a week later I missed a call from my sister. As I called her back, my heart started pleading again with God, "please let her tell me she is pregnant, please let me hear those words from her mouth....."

And guess what I heard?

God is good. No, God is AMAZING! He is truly a God of impeccable timing and I stand firm in the belief that He hears our innermost, heart-wrenching cries and desires.  We realize this precious little life is still in the hands of our Almighty, and that He will need to carry the wee one throughout the next 9 months.  But we still rejoice in the new life God has created within the womb, we rejoice at the hope that this has resonated, and we give glory to the one who created us all in His own image.  Life is a precious, precious gift.  One that our family never takes lightly.  We are thankful....and we are beyond ourselves with joy.  Just goes to show that the world may tell you one thing, but God has the power to surpass all earthly knowledge and expertise....He has His own plans and they will prevail.  For this I am grateful. 

 Listen to your heart, when you feel God tugging..... fall to your knees and PRAY.  He will listen, and in His own timing He will answer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Between the Sweets and Treats

So I have been busy searching, baking, licking, tasting, and sampling some treats that I have been trying out for my little sisters upcoming shower. I'm not sure why all of a sudden I feel like I need to do trial runs, I have NEVER done that before. I usually find some delicious creation online, attempt to replicate it the day of some big event. And then sadly I usually critic, criticize, stomp my feet and threaten to toss it in the garbage before it even has a chance.  My husband usually does an intervention, pries my white knuckled fingers off of the delicacy and calmly tells me that it looks great and everyone will love it.  I need that. Oh goodness how I need that, what would I do without my husband....there would be a million and one sad little treats meeting their final fate way to soon if it wasn't for his constant encouragement. Perfectionism is a crippling, one-eyed stink bomb...whatever that means, but you get the point.  I need to take Julia Child's advice and "serve it without apology". 

Good thing I have these sweet boys to keep that stinkin perfectionism in check, and remind me to breathe and smile.

So to take my mind off whirling cakes, cookies and desserts I turn to something a bit more simple.  Baby food.  People told me I would get tired of making my own baby food, they said the hype of making it would last all of two weeks.  Well, I am here to say that I have passed my two week dooms day, and it is my therapy.  It's simple, and it's beautiful. Beautiful? Yes, baby food is taking the healthiest food in in all it's purity and whipping it into vibrant purees. Two easy steps. One delicious deal. You better believe I serve this without an ounce of apology.  Thanks Julia, I'm learning.

Also, thanks to Cole's pediatrician. The best thing she said to me was that I didn't need to worry and fret about figuring out a whole food regime just yet. (Praise Jesus!) Since he is still mainly breastfeeding the introduction to solids should be fun and exciting treat in addition not in place of his mommy food.  She encouraged me to let this be an enjoyable time for the both of us, allowing him the chance to get a feel for all of the new flavors and textures, and me a moment to relax.  I took that advice and ran with it....or more like cooked with it!

Notice the longingly look in the background? This kid likes to eat!

Who me???

Give me some more!!!!

So I keep a stock pile in our freezer, see how pretty they are?  I was sold the instant I saw the difference between the jarred food and freshly made. See? SOLD on so many levels.  One level being that for about a buck I can have a weeks worth of food versus maybe 2 jars of the store bought.  However, I have to say there is one line of food that I am newly in love with. 

I love what they stand for. I love the simplicity of the line.  And I love that they use all organic natural foods. And if I must feed my baby something other than homemade, this is what I will reach for.  Ok, that's my plug for the day.  I need to go make this mama somewhat presentable for the day....too late, the little mister has awakened.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm no Wimp

Yep. About sums up my life lately.  We have been busy, busy, busy.  I guess that's what happens when you are preparing to pack up your life and move it to another state with a baby in tow.  So we did what any sensible person would do and gutted our closets, cupboards, nooks and crannies and threw everything into a garage sale! What a good feeling to let go of accumulating junk...I mean, treasures.  So between the digging through boxes, pricing and hoping for a good sale I did manage to whip up a batch of these bad boys.

It was also my dad's birthday, I couldn't resist trying out a cookies n' cream frosting especially since I just happened to have a box of my favorite vanilla bean Joe-Joes from Trader Joes on hand. They were quite tasty, but definitely not the star of the show.

To celebrate the whole fam bam got together for some good old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream!  And this my friends always trumps the cake. And you can thank my Grandpa for that!

This has been a summer tradition in our family ever since I was just a wee thing.  It all began with my Grandpa Dale and his love of ice cream.  He was a strong man, he battled cancer off and on throughout his life, overcame many life-altering obstacles but never without a smile and witty remarks.  We used to have a running joke about an electric ice cream maker vs. the hand-cranked.  Thinking back, this may sound a bit cruel and a bit embarrassing on my part....but in my defense I was about 5 years old  and wasn't fully aware of the battle my Grandpa was going through with one of his bouts of cancer.

One afternoon he was going to make ice cream but had opted to go the easier route with the electric maker...most likely due to him not feeling super well.  Well, then I come along seeing him pour the ice cream contents into the wrong mixer.  I turned to him with a grin and said, "what's wrong Grandpa are you a wimp?"  Totally joking in my 5 yr old humor and innocence.  Well, what one man could have seen as defeat my Grandpa saw with great delight.  He could not help but chuckle and slowly turned around to lug out the old and faithful hand-cranked ice cream maker... All along muttering something about the fact that he was no wimp.  Needless to say we never EVER saw that electric ice cream maker again.  As I sit thinking about my Grandpa I realize that this story sort of symbolizes his entire life, he put up a braver fight than most and proved to his granddaughter and the world that he definitely was no wimp. Ever. 

It's hard to not think of my grandpa when we bring out the old churner.  He would have loved to see that the tradition was still being carried on....

 Even Cole got to help. That used to be my job...but I think I will gladly hand it over to my little boy. 

This is what summer is all about, getting the family together. Eating ice cream. Getting a brain freeze.  But it's well worth it for that silky smooth goodness.  Thank you Grandpa for teaching us about life, love and ice cream. I love you and miss you still.  The ice cream will never taste the same without you there to remind us not to stop cranking or the ice cream will go bad.  Or to help us count down the last 100 cranks.  Or to fight over the beater with ( you always won...although there were many times you shared the glory). 

I will happily teach my son how to live life like no wimp. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Showers in July

Ok, so I don't mean the typical showers that you find in Oregon during, well, most of the doggone year... I'm talking about Bridal Showers! A very special Bridal Shower to be exact.  My baby sister is getting married to her highschool sweetheart of 8 years. See, I have good reasons for my absence lately, her sisters and I have begun the process of planning the best bridal shower we can muster up.  I often get way to excited about planning such events that you have to reel me in and make me focus.  Perhaps it's my addiction to beautiful pictures and ideas you can find all over the web.  Seriously, have any of you browsed Style Me Pretty or Ruffled.  Sometimes I just sit and stare... ok, maybe drool just a little....fine, a lot! 

Hey at least with all that drooling I have also found inspiration....and focus.  My sister's must be relieved.

So cute and friendly to my pocket book is this idea......

Hook a sister up! Ok, so probably won't have mimosa's, peach bellinis or any sort of alcohol whatsoever, but this would be such a cute idea for a sparkling juice or lemonade bar....hmmm....the possibilities.

Folks, we have a problem.....I have a drool pool....

And just when I thought it couldn't get any cuter, they just had to go there with this....

Of course. You have to have something sparkly to add to the whimsy of the day.

Sorry Shanny, we probably won't have a chandelier, but you can bet your buns that we will have....

Bunting.  I. Love. Bunting.

Wow. I see busyness in the near future.  But I am thrilled with what we all have come up with. I have some further food inspiration, but will share that with you on a later date....I think a big bowl of popcorn and hot tamales, and my hubby are calling my name. 

(all photos are from Hostess with the Mostess)