Thursday, June 28, 2012

absent from the body, present with the Lord

Hello blogworld. I wish I could give some lame excuse of why I haven't written, say how I was just 'too busy,' or simply admit I have none.

Unfortunately, I do.

As I begin this post, I don't know where to start. This is something I never thought I'd write about. Something no one wants to write about.

I lost my Grandmother this week. The only one I had left. The only one I called "Grandma."

She was diagnosed with a very common kind of brain cancer, but in an extremely rare form...if that makes any sense. She stayed so strong, though she suffered much.

I watched my mother grieve.

I watched my father stand beside her as her very practical stronghold. Her emotional escape.

I watched my little sister take care of our family.

I watched. I felt anxious. I wished to help more. I prayed.

Grandma planned out her funeral. So selflessly. Not because she really cared about what happened there, but because she didn't want to burden anyone after she was gone.

She had everything in line.

And 6 weeks later, she was gone.


That's all we had. Even though they told us 9-12 months. 

Selfishly, we want more time.

Selfishly, we need more time.

But praise God for bringing her home to His healing arms. 

I sang this song at her funeral.

She will forever be loved and remembered. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Birthdays!

The beginning of summer brings on another group of birthdays for our family! The first being my Daddy's.

On May 31st we celebrated my Dad's 45th! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be there, and have zero pictures of the event, but he was celebrated :) Two of his babies were shipped off to Ukraine for a couple weeks, and pineapple upside-down cake was eaten, as is tradition, and I hear he had a busy day doing what he loves.

My Dad is the pastor of a new, exciting church plant in Ocala, FL. He is so gifted in teaching, preaching, and shepherding God's people. He loves the Lord with his whole heart and all you have to do is have one conversation with him to find that out. He is a wonderful husband and father! He is a man's man, no doubt, but he is also tender-hearted..and with 7 daughters, it's a good thing!

I miss you, Dad! It's weird how you spend the first 18 years+ with your parents, and before you know it, the time has come and gone, you leave the house, and its no longer easy and convenient to spend time together. It's harder, it takes more effort. I hope this year brings more visits, more time together, getting to know each other better again! I love you, Dad! Thank you for your unconditional love for me, and for your unwavering faith. Thank you for your patience with me! Thank you for supporting me in all my interests and hobbies...from the Nike outlet to the Music store! Thank you for believing in me and the woman you knew I could become. Thank you for praying, unceasingly. I love you.

Four days later, my Mom also celebrated her 45th! I love that their birthdays are so close together...we've had some fun celebrations over the years! Mom enjoyed some shopping with her girls and Cherry cheesecake, also a tradition, was thoroughly enjoyed. Wish I could've been there for both the shopping and the cheesecake ;)

I love our daily phone conversations! I love how I can talk to you about anything. I hope my girl will do the same. You are such an example and inspiration to me of a hard working woman. You serve your husband and your family with joyfulness. You aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, you work hard with your hands, you stay up late making sure the dishes are done and things are ready for the next day. You teach your children at home....what a sacrifice that is. You are an awesome Grammy! My kids love you almost as much as I do :) Can't wait to see you this weekend! Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you.

Just one day after, was Haven's 13th! So glad we were able to spend it with her! Coconut shrimp, crab pasta, and many other tasties were ordered, we sang happy birthday, funny stories were shared and presents were opened. Thanks for inviting us!

Haven, who is my sister in law, is such a sweet girl. Really, people, not just saying that because I don't know what else to say about her! She is tender and kind. She is a loving sister, and a thoughtful aunt. She is an obedient and honoring daughter. She is quiet, but don't let her fool you! She's a nut as well ;) I love laughing with you! You are so talented...I can't wait to see where God takes you over the next few years! I love you, sweet sister. Happy Birthday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly Highlights

As I was going through my pictures from this week, I realized how much of my life revolves around food! I went to pick my favorite recipe of the week, and not only did I have to think about what I ate this week, but I literally have pictures of 5 different meals! As a wife and mother of two, it's really hard to NOT have your days revolve around food. What everyone will eat, when they will eat it, when and where you will go buy it, how you will make it, and now we even blog about it! lol.

Speaking of tip of the week is about cake!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I can't stand a dry piece of cake, or chicken, or anything for that matter. So I've always taken my cake out of the oven at least 5-10 min. before it's really done. It always turns out soooo moist and delicious. Unfortunately, the frosting always looks like a mess! Frosting a super moist cake, cooled completely or not, is not an easy feat. So....

I've heard of freezing cakes before you frost them. I had no doubt it would work, I mean, it makes sense. You freeze it, there aren't any crumbs or moistness to be pushed around by your frosting knife. BUT, will it still be moist after freezing it?? That was my hesitation. Well, turns out, it works like a charm! Just bake your cake, cool, then cover and freeze. I left mine in overnight. Take it out, frost it, then let it warm to room temperature (didn't take long...maybe 45 min.) and Voila! Moist cake that even looks pretty :)

Clairsy also enjoyed the fruit of my "labor"....notice her in the back round of the last pic. haha.

My project this week was this:

I found this table last summer in the ACC campus laundry room with a sign on it saying, "please take." It was just a plain table, natural wood color all over. I had originally painted the legs with a sort of limabean green, but have since changed my mind on that color. I decided to paint this in the same color as the shelf I posted about before. Seeing as how they are living in the same room, I thought they should probably match. I also stained the table top and drawer to a darker oak. Bad picture (I realized I had no picture as I was writing this, so I went and took one), but I love how it turned out!

My Recipe of the week is this:

I tried it this way first. Roasted chicken, red onions, mushrooms, fresh cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and light mayo. It was absolutely mouth watering! I served it over Ruffles Low Fat potato chips....I'm a sucker for crunchy, salty things.

After realizing how much flavor was in this dish, I decided to try it a healthier way. Cut out the mayo and used more lime. Added tomatoes. And served it as a lettuce wrap, instead of the chips. I mean, of course, the first is better tasting, but the lettuce wraps are surprisingly tasty and super low cal and fat.

Photo of the week goes to:

Ryder and his Grandmomma :) There's nothing like laying in your Grandmomma's arms while she rocks you to sleep.  We spent some time in Amelia this weekend, a little golf, a lot of food, and sweet company.

Happy Monday, friends. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Highlights

Wow, the weekend just flew by! Can't believe it's Monday. We enjoyed some time at the pool, the beach, and lots of family time at home this week.

Here's your tip of the week:

coming from a girl who has trouble baking, I am proud to say I made some killer peanut butter cookies this week that my hubby and children devoured! I didn't have any shortening required in the recipe and I heard once that you can replace it with unsweetened apple sauce (which I have lots of) for a healthier option. Hesitantly, I tried it. And they turned out great!! So next time you find yourself in the kitchen baking, give it a try. I mean, who doesn't want less fat with the same taste?!

Recipe of the week was this:

I guess it's a little bit of a cop-out because its not really a recipe...more like something I just put together! BUT, it is awesome, healthy, and super easy.
-Low carb tortillas
-Fat free, Garden vegetable cream cheese
-Fresh spinach
-Sliced tomato
-Low sodium, sliced turkey breast lunchmeat

Layer in that order and roll up. That's it!

Projects of the week were these:

I made two of these throw pillows for our couch! I saw this ribbon piping on a Pinterest pillow. I love the way it looks, but I'm really wishing I had burnt the ends before sewing them between the layers :( Only one has started to tatter, but I'm afraid they will all eventually pull out. Sad. But lesson learned.

And Photo's of the week go to my sweet babies:

I had so much fun taking these pictures this week! I've had both ideas in mind for a few weeks. Glad they both cooperated long enough to get some beautiful shots!

Well, its off to start Monday chores! There always seems to be so much to catch up on after the weekend.

Happy Monday, friends!