Saturday, December 03, 2011

for remembering: small, sweet and dimpled

I just clipped 40 tiny nails: 20 fingers and 20 toes, and 2 chubby, dimpled toddlers worth.
As I was clipping I kept thinking "these fingers and toes will never be this small and sweet again, not even tomorrow. Em and Ian are shooting up like weeds and I need to savor them."

So, once we were finished I sat them next to each other on the couch (even though they were ready to dash off and play) and took a few photos of those fingers and toes.

And then they hopped down and got back to their playing.


Friday, November 04, 2011

apple tarte tatin (sort of)

The other night I made one of my favorite simple desserts - an apple tarte tatin - and it was so simple that I didn't use a recipe. I made it once from Williams-Sonoma's Pie and Tart, and have been making a version of it every so often from memory. And they've all been really good. (and really simple to make - always a good thing : D)

To make our version, you start with a few apples (2-4, depending on their size) which you slice thinly. I like to leave the skins on, but I think if you wanted to make an authentic apple tarte tatin you would need to take them off.
Then you sprinkle about 1 cup of sugar evenly on the bottom of an oven-proof skittle/frying pan. Dot that with 4 tablespoons of butter and then arrange the apples on top. The round part (outside) of the apples should be facing the bottom of the pan - you will eventually turn the entire thing upside-down and the bottom will become the top.
Then you top the entire thing with a piece of pie dough (or puff pastry - both are absolutely delicious options) and tuck the edges down.

Bake it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour or until the apples are tender when you poke it with a fork.
Let it rest for about 5 minutes and then place your serving plate on the skillet and (very quickly and carefully) flip the tatin upside-down onto your plate.

The combination of caramelized sugar and butter and apples and flaky dough is amazing! You can serve it with ice cream or whipped cream, but to do so is really gilding the lily. : )

Oh! I also have started growing herbs on our kitchen windowsill and love it! We have a pot of basil that has been so delicious to use and the cilantro is almost ready. I started some rosemary too and am waiting to see if it will sprout. Fresh herbs have been so wonderful!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

just thinking

I've been thinking about a phrase someone I know said a few weeks ago: "God doesn't give you more than you can handle at a time, so that you won't lose faith and turn away from Him."

There was something about that phrase that really bothered me, but I didn't have the quickness of mind at the time to be able to put my finger on it and respond.
A  few weeks later, though (kind of shows how scatter brained I am at the moment) and I think I have.

As I see it, the problem with what she said is that God does give us more than we can handle. It's something that gives us opportunity to grow - grow in both our faith and in our character.
This growth is very important to Him, and even though we may think it's hard, He sees the potential outcome and knows that it will be worth the struggle.

When I am in the midst of struggles, hard or trying situations, frustration, hurt, grief or anger, it can be difficult to remember that God is still there. He is waiting and watching, ready to comfort or give wisdom - whatever we might need at the time - just as I wait and watch my own children figure out things.

I have faith, but it needs to grow in the trials. That growth only comes through God, though, not through anything that I can do. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It comes from turning to Him and crying, "Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief". (Mark 9:24)

I need a faith that believes God is who He is, not who I say or think He is. I need to believe that God is good in all things - even though the current situation may not seem to prove that. I need to believe that He is unchanging, compasstionate, holy, true, loving and forgiving, full of mercy, just.

He knows that even though I know so much about Him in my head, I still have areas of unbelief in my heart that are choking out faith. He and I both want me to walk in faith alone. And so He prunes out the unbelief. (John 15)
It hurts, but as I turn to Him in the midst of the pain and confusion, the unbelief is cast aside.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

almost 3 years

3 years ago today John and I were finally able to be together after not seeing each other for over 4 months. We were finally in the same time zone, same state, same city, same car. It was wonderful.

(photo from the rehearsal dinner - we both needed sleep!)

3 years ago today we were not only finally together, we were finally alone and on our way to our last pre-marital counseling session with our pastor (and the only one that happened in person). The next stop of the day was to get our marriage license. We were sorely tempted to pay the extra $25 and get married then and there - so that we could not only be together but be man and wife just a few days early. But we waited.

It was so good to finally feel each other's touch again, see each other's face ... four and a half months apart just before a wedding is really, really rough. But our God was so faithful.

Our love story is just riddled with bits and pieces of the faithfulness of God, so much so that we asked a friend to sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" (using Fernando Ortega's new score) as part of the music for our wedding.

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou for ever will be

Great is thy faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

Great is thy faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me
Great is thy faithfulness

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is thy faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

And you know what? He hasn't changed, He is still faithful.
We've had a very good three years. Interesting, exciting, sometimes trying and sometimes overflowing with joy - but it has been good.
Right now we are in a place that I truly never expected - or dreamed - to be in, but He is faithful. Would I change our current circumstances? In a heartbeat! But then we wouldn't be in the prime place for us to see the greatness of God's faithfulness.

Darling, I love you. I'm so very glad that I am yours and you are mine. You make every day brighter, hearing your voice lifts my heart, and seeing your face ... is wonderful!
I don't know that I'd recommend any other couple taking the path that God has led us on together, but Darling, it's been so good going down it with you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

O Worship

O worship the King, all glorious above
O gratefully sing His wonderful love
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days  
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace  
Whose robe is the light and canopy space
 His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form  
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm

O measureless might, ineffable love
While angels delight to worship above  
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend

This earth, with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, thy power hath founded of old:
Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?  
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
 And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
 In thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender! How firm to the end!
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

O measureless Might, ineffable Love,
While angels delight to hymn thee above,
Thy humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall sing to thy praise.
-robert grant

How great, how mighty is our God. We can but worship.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Emma Grace & Mommy

Sunday, March 20, 2011

my husband knows :)

John knows me so well, and he loves me. :)
When we were packing up our apartment he knew that I would need my box of shoes nearby, no matter how long we were in limbo, so he labeled them as Very Important.

I love you too, Darling. :D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday, March 04, 2011

(another) precious baby boy

We got a new nephew last night!

 John's twin and his wife birthed an adorable baby boy named Owen Hunter. I've heard that Mommy, Daddy and Baby are all doing well and am so looking forward to hearing his special arrival story!

Thinking about them as they are getting acquainted with each other, seeing their baby son face to face for the first time and just resting after all the hard work of pregnancy and birth brings memories of the few days of being in the hospital with our Emma Grace.

Emma was born late at night and we were so very tired, but also so very happy. The day of and following her birth were two of the best days of our lives. That little recovery room in the maternity wing was our own private sanctuary, a place where we learned to know our baby girl, our firstborn, a place to just be quiet and still together and bask in the joy.

Sweet, sweet memories.

Owen, we can't wait to meet you, to love on you and to kiss your darling baby nose. You have been a much prayed for baby and we are terrible excited to finally see you! Love to you three(!) and hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

you know you're a mother of two under the age of two when:

you find yourself humming the theme for the 1960's version of Winnie the Pooh to yourself in the shower.

Monday, January 10, 2011

a little announcement

We're moving (again)!
John has been transferred to Indianapolis and we are scheduled to be there this Thursday or Friday. It will be our fourth move in three years, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

There are times when I am excited, excited to see how God is working, excited to see what will happen in the next few years, where He will take us and the things that will happen along the way.

But there are times when I am scared, too. I want to be able to trust Him with everything, knowing that He is absolutely sovereign and is directing our days, but it scares me. I want to know where we will end up, where our next baby will be born and what city we will ultimately call home and when we'll get there. I want to know when I can put down roots and have them be permanent.

But I don't.
God does.

I want so badly to be able to trust Him with that, and trust Him gladly.

But for today I have a few tears.
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