Posted in Happy Little Photos, Mom Life, Photo Inspiration

Cake Decorating Saturday

via Daily Prompt: Frigid

Last Saturday morning, I woke up and went straight to the coffee maker to make a fresh pot of coffee.  As I waited on my French Roast to finish brewing, I stood against the kitchen counter in a stupor, looking over at the heart-shaped cake I had wrapped in tinfoil. I was planning to make my daughter’s Easter themed birthday cake all in one night but as usual I started too late and ran out of stamina.  I waited for the cake to completely cool, wrapped it up and set it aside to do in the morning.

Morning came and I was ready to try my hand at making this cool cake I saw online that was designed to look like an Easter basket. I ignored the fact that it looked beautiful outside and that I normally reserved baking for frigid weather, not days like that one.  More great, hiking-worthy days would come but that Saturday I had a lot to do in preparation for Easter and my daughter’s 11th birthday. And, truth be told, I was more in the mood to sip some coffee and decorate a cake while slowly–slothfully–waking up.

So, the first step I took in decorating Makayla’s cake was applying the double chocolate frosting she picked at Target.

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And as you can see, the second step involved cutting the individual KitKats to the correct size & placing them around the cake, generously adding more frosting to the candy to serve as “edible glue”.  It turned out to be a little more work than I expected because as I’d cut the individual KitKats, they’d sometimes break, making the KitKat way too short to match up with the length of the others.  It took a little trial and error before getting everything evened out. The scraps made a great snack for later so no complaints there.

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Next, I added the grass which was made out of shredded coconut mixed with green food coloring.

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I used these chocolate covered almonds with pastel Easter colors to represent Easter eggs.

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And here is my finished Easter themed birthday cake! Makayla loved it! The look on her face blessed me more than words can say.

It’s funny how doing something as simple as making an Easter/birthday cake lead me to sit and read Matthew 28: 1-10. I read it over and over, meditating on the day Jesus rose from the grave, imagining myself in the shoes of the women who found the tomb empty and later ran to the disciples with a message to go to Galilee to meet with Jesus. What an exciting day it was for them to see their Savior alive again and to share their joy with each other! This simple cake turned into my alone time with God, worshipping and thanking Him for who He is. I love days like this particular Saturday, where love for my daughter lead me back to the love my Savior has for me.

 

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Miss Sassypants, Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Ponderings, Uncategorized

Is She Eleven Already?

 

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“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” -Psalm 127:3-4

My daughter’s birthday was last week.  Every year, we celebrate for three days.  We celebrate on the day of her birthday at home & at school by bringing in cupcakes or buying “birthday cookies”, she has a friends party and a family birthday party.

This year we celebrated a little differently.  For the day of her actual birthday, we went shopping for a fun outfit she could wear for the celebration with friends and then I ended up buying her a new purse, trendy sunglasses with blue tinted lens and a charcoal mask to try out together. When we got home, I made her tacos because it’s one of her favorite dinners while she made some cool cupcakes that were completely her own invention to bring to a church potluck.  While everything cooked, we took 20 minutes to lay on the living room floor, allowing our masks to dry and taking some time to meditate on the beauty of being still. Ahhh, why don’t we do that more often?

On birthday celebration #2, my boyfriend & I took her to the city with 2 of her close friends.  We knew every step of the way these animated–loud– kids would be bouncing all over the place, unable to contain their excitement. We were so right! We started out the day by taking them to our favorite deli to pick up breakfast for eating on the train.  As we predicted, just going to the deli was super fun for them–they were so silly, I couldn’t get one picture without contorted faces.  It was not possible for them to calm down and pose pretty.  I really couldn’t blame them.  I’d been looking forward to all of our fun plans all long week, too.

Once we made it to the train station, the girls linked arms and practically skipped to the ticket machines. The train ride was fun but we could have done without the foul-mouthed teenagers sitting in front of the kids.  On the flip side, we also ran into Makayla’s friend from school and her grandmother who I’m friends with.  Something about running into great people I know on the train just makes me happy.

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So, while we were in NYC, we walked out to The Highline that runs from Chelsea, Manhattan to the Meatpacking District. The walk was only 34 minutes from Grand Central and we enjoyed the walk, checking out cool stuff along the way, taking pictures, making videos and the gorgeous weather we were blessed with.  Makayla’s favorite part about the Highline was the fun playground they have on the Chelsea side.  It’s made out of recycled beams from the former freight train trestle and covered in some sort of people-friendly rubber that looks and feels pretty cool under your feet. The playground also had some cool tunnels that led to this contraption below.

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After we walked and played for awhile, the five of us were pretty hungry so Drew googled some restaurants that were nearby and we ended up eating at New York Burger Co.  The food was REALLY good. We will definitely go there again.  I had this really delicious grilled chicken sandwich the came with some kind of vegan sauce–tasted really good and it was nice to not have to worry about getting sick from any sort of dairy products, corn syrup or rice anything.  And their Idaho Fries where also pretty darn good!

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Just thinking about our time in the city makes me want to go back again very soon!  The Highline is now one of my favorite places to go in the city.  When I go back, I think I want to try the food at either Sugar Factory or The Green Room which is nestled in the heart of the Chelsea Market. I have a feeling I will probably go with The Green Room. The food is organic.

Anyhow, I’m going off topic..it’s getting late and I’m still here at my kitchen table typing to you all as if I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow morning.  I will end with saying that on the third day of my daughter’s birthday celebration, we celebrated Easter & had a small family party for her. My favorite parts of that day where seeing her and my nephews run around my parent’s back yard looking for colorful, plastic Easter eggs and drinking my father’s first bottle of homemade wine with all of the “big people”.  Who knew my father could make such amazing wine?! There was a lot of laughter and great memories made last Sunday.  I feel blessed to have so many great people in my life to celebrate my daughter with.  Children really are a heritage from the Lord and a wonderful reward from Him!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Word Wonder

Affection & Wonder

20180112_072541via Daily Prompt: Wonder

This little girl of mine fills me with so much adoration and wonder. As I watch her off and on throughout the day, I’m in awe of who she has become. I think back to her quirky days as a toddler and the funny things she used to say as she was first developing language.

“Mama, I can feel my heart beeping!!”

Or how she would recognize the appropriate time to show appreciation and joyfully exclaim, “Thankum!” (Which meant “Thank you!”)

And I remember her at around 2 years old when she would speak so quickly I’d have to interpret for my friends because they had no idea what she just said.

One afternoon in the spring there was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years older than my daughter, who started playing with Makayla in our yard. They tried to strike up a conversation and after a few minutes the little girl looked at me strangely and asked, “Is she speaking Chinese??” It was funny because Makayla wasn’t quite 2 at that time and whatever she said to the neighbor girl really did sound like Chinese to me, too.

Now, she’s going to be 11 in less than a month and she’s so articulate. Since she was 4, people have noticed what a great memory she has for things and a vocabulary that you wouldn’t expect from someone so small. At almost 11, people don’t notice these things as much because she’s older now and it sort of goes along with her age.

She’s more independent than ever and knows exactly who she is. There is no shy bone in her body. She can definitely hold her own. And she is a bright, radiant light. I look at her full of love and wonder. It’s still hard to believe she’s mine.

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Lessons He Taught Me, Mom Life

In My Shoes

If my daughter was in my shoes right now, this is what I would tell her,

IMG_1337“Everyone needs some time to themselves. It’s perfectly normal. People push our buttons sometimes and a little break to do your own thing is healthy. Most likely, it will improve the relationship you are feeling frustrated with. There’s no reason to feel guilty when you just don’t feel like talking. Or maybe you want to talk to someone else that you haven’t talked to in ages. Also, normal. We’re all so different from each other. There are things we like about people in our lives that draws us to them just as there are things about the same people we’re not crazy about. We just need to have grace for each other but also be honest with ourselves when we need to pull back. If we don’t do it, you’ll have to do damage repair later. Some people don’t take honesty well. They just want you to not feel how you feel and get over it immediately. Most people need time so you take the time you need and remember to give others time to themselves too when they feel hurt by you. If you don’t or if you do, it can make or break a relationship.

Limiting the time you spend with one person can also help. You have more to talk about later when you come back together. The energy you get from being with a variety of other people can breathe life into that relationship that sometimes gets a little strained. It also fosters more positive feelings and conversation.

What’s most important is being restored by God and having enough opportunities to be restored by Him! Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. If there’s not enough time with Him for your personality type (and I need a lot of time with Him), it will affect your relationships with people because your patience for people will start to diminish. You might start saying the first thing on your mind. You might just throw the towel in out of frustration and miss them later. And, then, you’ll also remember God’s command to encourage one another and build them up, realizing that you didn’t do that because you leaned back on your own wisdom.

Take some time to yourself, Makayla, when you know you need to be restored. Try your best to tell whoever that person in your life is, that you need time to yourself and time with God. Pray beforehand that this person will understand it will benefit them, too. That they will love you enough to give you what you need and that they’ll be confident enough in the Lord to trust Him. You serve God first and foremost. This is what you need to focus on. God’s plans will still prevail.”

We need to talk to ourselves with the same love and compassion we would have for our children when they are overwhelmed.

Posted in Happy Little Photos, Miss Sassypants, Photo Inspiration, Ponderings

What Does Freedom Look Like?

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This morning, I was thinking about what freedom looks like to a believer and how we live out our freedom in Christ. I think we get stuck sometimes, thinking about the meaning of this from only one perspective. When we become believers, we learn that we are new creations in Christ, that our sins have been washed away and we have a clean slate with God. The chains have been broken and we are no longer tied to the “old man” that dictated how we live our everyday lives and we now experience freedom in the presence of the Lord, to follow Him and in essence, get a do-over. We have freedom to love and serve others sincerely as God guides us. We have freedom to be who God made us be without our past mistakes bogging us down. We have freedom to choose a godly lifestyle which really frees our spirit.

Then, I was thinking about the Mercy Me song, Happy Dance. Have you heard it? I just heard it for the first time a couple weeks ago. It’s such a great song! The message of the song is that sometimes as Christians, we get so caught up in doing the right things & perhaps coming across as always having it together, that we forget that freedom we also have to dance, to be goofballs & joke around, laugh and enjoy life like a kid! I love this song because it reminds me to not always take everything so seriously that I’m afraid to come across as anything less than perfect.  God is perfect. Human beings are not. While I strive to be more Christ-like, that doesn’t mean that I should never let my guard down or constantly look like a go-getter who’s never short on wisdom.

So, did you notice my wacky picture at the top of this post? This is me, mostly when I’m at home or working with my giggly deaf student at work. This is me being free to be funny, believing that I can be a true servant of the Lord AND let my quirks and sense of humor show.  I don’t want to live in fear that someone may notice my weaknesses or shortcomings.  God knows the real me and He knows who you really are. And He doesn’t grow weary of us. He loves us and is aware of how much we seriously need Him.

This is what freedom in Christ looks like!