Monday, May 30, 2011

penny for my thoughts?

I really, really, really love to help people. Don't you? 
It's like.....such a blessing to be a blessing.

There are times when I've been able to be there for people in their worst of times.
And that is so very, very difficult.
(You know.....I'm sure you've been there before)

I'd like to think that Jesus uses me
to share His love in those vulnerable moments....

One thing I've learned by listening to people
(something I'm ....not always good at)
Is that when people are hurting what they want
most of the time
Is just a good, listening ear.
No words.  Just listening.
It feels awkward for the comforter,
but for the comfortee... it can be the best medicine.

One thing I'm incredibly moved by, incredibly burdened by--
Is a mom who has lost a child
Or lost the dream of having one (biologically) in the first place.

I've sought counsel from friends and people oh-so-much wiser than me
On how to love on people who are going through these pains
I've prayed.  I've read stuff.  I've cried over this. 

If you've been reading my blog for anytime now, you know I L-O-V-E a sweet blog
named Joy's Hope and she has done a post about this very topic
having lost a precious baby, her first one, at full-term.

She shares her story somewhere on her blog but I really want you to read this post HERE
And the comments, too (or some of them....there's over 100!) if you've got time.
What insight.  Understanding.  Compassion.
Do you have something to add?  Leave a comment over there.

I hope my words (when I feel I should speak) are words always filled with comfort and hope.

I've had friends share with me the hurtful words people have spoken to them in times of grief.
I'm telling you, we can really do some damage with our tongues....

Anyways, I was thinking with it being Memorial Day and all
And focusing on all the sacrificial men and women who serve this country
And have served this country
And have given their lives for this country
That maybe, just maybe a post like this would get us all thinking about our words.
Maybe you've got some sweet words of comfort for a military family who is missing someone today?
Maybe it's not actually your words they are looking for
Maybe it's a sweet gesture
(can you believe what blessing a plate of food can bring?)

Okay.  That last part was unrehearsed and my finger just kept typing.....
Now I've challenged myself.
I've got something in mind involving strawberries, white chocolate, and blue sprinkles (see here)

Happy Memorial Day to all! 

a pic of my big brother
on the jumbo tron at Miller Park
when he threw out the first pitch
at last Sunday's game
(it was a fun, fun day for the fam including a limo ride to the park for Jon!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

how fun is that strawberry?
it's putting a smile on my face this Memorial Day weekend!

have a super weekend celebrating our
SUPER people who serve our country so we can have freedom
thank you, thank you, thank you to you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

this would so be me....

I feel her pain. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

things i can't stop thinking about

this soup (recipe HERE)
 which put "hominy"on my grocery list for the first time ever
----yummyness supreme----

this mexican restaurant
and my wonderful company when I dined there 
during my Dallas (GIRLS!) weekend

this verse.
LOVE it.

have a super wednesday
being your wonderfully-created self!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

rock the crock and some cuteness

am I the only blogger who sometimes adds a pic to a post
just because she feels the world needs to see it?
come on now, you all
is this incredibly cute or what?!
thanks ahead of time for agreeing with me
you all are so agreeable like that
--my silent blog readers--
 (I really love you for that)

I love you so much
I'm going to share my Vidalia Beef Sandwich recipe
if you like beef, you'll like this
if you don't like beef (holla) you'll like this
I think.
I's worth a try, don't you think?

grab a bottle of Ken's Steakhouse Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing
pour on top of a 3ish pound roast
I use a rump roast
(Jon finds that part humorous)

Low for 8 hrs
shred meat easily with a fork

this picture CRACKS me up
because I know my hubby is holding up a dish towel
to give the pic a nice background
and the funny thing is when I asked him to do it
he didn't even give me a strange look
I'm beginning to wonder
what my blogging has done to our lives....
it's kinda scary at times, I'm not gonna lie.

so serve up this yummyness on some buns
with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese
and, if you are awesome, some horseradish sauce
oh, my

well, sweet blogreaders.....I'm thinking about
another giveaway
what do you think?
I'm coming up on a bloggerversary
200 posts
I kinda feel like celebrating

have a SUPER tuesday!

Monday, May 23, 2011

bye bye jon

the school year is coming to a close
and I just know how much I'm going to miss this scene
I'm probably going to have to force re-enactments from the kiddos from time to time
you know mid-July ask Jon to don a backpack and head out the front door
so his little sister will sweetly tap on the window 
as she exuberantly waves good-bye to him
and he'll, of course, have to play along and come up to the window
and smile and wave back
like he always does, the good big brother that he is
oh, I just absolutely love these moments

have a super monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

making eggs better and such

When I returned from Dallas
I immediately added two things to my grocery list:
sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil
they were key ingredients in Leah's yummy goods
and I was determined to step it up a notch in my kitchen fare
When I added them to yesterday mornings eggs
(along with some mozzarella cheese)
I was in awe of their goodness
It makes me almost want to eat eggs on a regular basis

Matthias grabbed these flowers at the Aldi check out and said,
"Mommy, I buy you flowers?"
I had but a moment's hesitation when the lady in front of me in line overheard
and was like
"well, of COURSE you're going to buy them, right?!"
of course. 
I smile everytime I see them

My sister-in-law asked to borrow a pie plate yesterday afternoon
and returned a couple hours later with a pecan pie.  just for us.
she's sweet like that, especially with her mad baking skillz
thanks, mindy
 it doesn't look as pretty now, all missing pieces and stuff

Remember this post?
yeah.....i'm totally changing the way I do my laundry
well, because a centipede came crawling on out of a load last week
pure. freaking.out.
and do you think Justin was home during this incident?!
murphy's law, people, murphy's law
please excuse the ugly garbage can in this pic

I love the (slowly but surely) nicer spring weather
--watching Jonathan sink baskets outside--
--listening to the sound of the boys playing on the back patio--
and feeling the cool spring breeze through the open windows
and screened doors
I love that the countdown to summer break has begun.

what's going on in your life?
have a SUPER weekend celebrating the everyday gifts
and randomness that makes our lives so very dear

Thursday, May 19, 2011

did you, by chance, ask me how my weekend was?!

"So, are you looking forward to going to Dallas?"
I got asked that a lot before this past weekend.
It was totally the wrong question and caught me off guard the first time it was asked.
Because (I actually forgot where I was going and...)
It wasn't about Dallas, Texas.
It was about My Girls 
You could've put me anywhere in the world this weekend and I would've been just as happy.
Just because I was with them.
my sweeter than sweet roomie from college was the hostess
of the Girls Weekend
and I knew we were in for a wonderful few days
when we arrived and she had made
salted caramel chocolate cupcakes
and the sweet smell of her nutmeg scented candle filled the air
if anyone knows how to make someone feel right at home
it's definitely Leah
we gathered around this table quite a few times
to eat a delicious meal that Leah had prepared ahead of time
--she makes some amazing food--
we took turns praying before each meal
I love listening to the prayers of these Jesus-loving friends and
I love being around the table with them
we were quite the crowd gallavanting around Dallas
fitting just perfectly in our candy apple red Ford Flex
driven by Katy who can navigate anywhere
(which is a blessing because I would've taken us in circles)
I hope she can laugh now about the airport exit incident
where we crossed over 4 lanes of traffic in under 1/4 mile
and I may have grabbed my seat belt unknowingly to keep from screaming
(I love you, Kates)
our time together was really about sharing moments
and we stayed up late both nights chatting
about everything
everything from getting babies to sleep later in the AM
to how to avoid the crazyness that seems to accompany menopause?!
(which seems to be right around the corner...)
we had absolutely no answers for that.  hmph
we also covered what God has been teaching us
through life, ministry, and the people He's placed in our lives
our love for Jesus is what ultimately makes us so close
and so sharing what's on our hearts comes so naturally when we're together
---did I mention I just love these girls?!---
I can't even begin to tell you how fun it was to watch
Katy's little girl, Nya, and Charity together
---they became fast friends---
Nya would crawl around to hang with Char at her level
and she taught her how to stand on her head
(something Charity hasn't stopped doing since)

Leah's hubby escaped to Chicago for the weekend (can you blame him?)
so her little guy, Knox, was completely outnumbered
surrounded by 4 women and 2 little girls
in a cozy 2 bedroom apartment
I love him already and fully embrace
the idea of an arranged marriage for my daughter
is it too early to begin gathering my 2 cows and 4 chickens for a dowry?
Knox was quite the hot stuff in his little walker--
he was able to navigate this thing over carpeting
and through small spaces
(even backing up and turning when needed)
and just look at those bluer than blue eyes
it was fun to watch my friends in their roles as mommys
Katy had been rocking single mommyhood since the tuesday before travel
(cause her hubby's a track coach and spring is his season to be gone...)
so I was in amazement as she took it all in stride
traveling with her sweetie pie, Nya,
and her little guy baking in her tummy (with aprox 112 days left!)
we tried to help her think of some names for him...
but I can't wait to hear the news of his birth
and what creative name the Wiens fam comes up with

and how do I even begin to describe our precious B
who has a heart for India
and the kiddos there who are orphans in one way or another
and specifically struggle with HIV
she has touched so many lives there
and it was so exciting to see her passion for her new project
when she goes back in mid-July
---I can't quite put into words her heart---
I used to describe it as one of platinum and that may well-fitting
but the depths to which her heart can love and wrestle with the injustices she's seen
and still pour out for the lives of the little ones she cares for
I know the other girls and I just thank God for the jewel she is in our lives

we ended the weekend gathered in the living room
eating just one last salted caramel cupcake
ok.  well, I'm not sure if we all indulged but I know I did!
we said something along the lines of
"Not everyone has the blessing of friendship like this"
what a fun weekend that I'd like to carbon copy
or put on repeat
if there was a possibility of DVRing it, I would....
but I'm so glad I can store up the memories forever

so, even though it's thursday I keep asking people,
"how was your weekend?"
hoping that maybe they'll ask me in return and I can brag on mine.
just a bit!
(p.s. Leah's version of the story is here, so beautifully written)

have a beautiful thursday.
(how was your weekend?)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

someone should've had a camera

last night at 10:36 PM Charity and I arrived back home in seat 21D on an airplane with a picture of an otter on the tail. 
someone really should've pulled out a camera and taken a pic of our excited but exhausted selves.  we were quite the sight with dissheveled hair, stained clothes, and tired eyes.

I would've happily snapped a pic of my 4 handsome guys awaiting our arrival....but I was wheeling a heavy bag I refused to check into baggage and pay a fee for, carrying an over-stuffed purse filled with approx. 5 pounds of graham crackers, a random assortment of items a one year old would find entertaining, and as much anti-bacterial gel as I could get away with through security.....oh. and also a half asleep little girl!

ahhh, this weekend.  what bliss.  my college roomie has blogged a teaser post about our fabulous Dallas weekend HERE.

today I plan on catching up on all the hugs and cuddles and conversations with my little guys.....
and yeah.  nap when they nap.  mercy will I nap when they nap. 

have a super tuesday!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

my dearest J

my dearest J,
today is your birthday and a perfect time to tell you
how incredibly much I love you
--thank you for loving me, too--
for being my soulmate and absolute best friend
I love that we get to live life together
on this great adventure that God has set before us
I thank Him everyday for the gift of you
but especially today

happy 31st birthday, Love!

to everyone else:  have a wonderful may 14th!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

embrace it: chocolate shake edition

every weekday at approximately 12:28PM I take Caleb to 4K.
one thing I can count on--
(even more than the school bus that will cut me off at the end of Linden St)

as soon as I pull away from the curbside drop off spot,
Matthias' big brown eyes will be staring back at me in the rearview mirror
requesting in the sweetest possible way....

and due ONLY to limited chocolate shake funds
and the sugar-free juju that (of course!) goes with it for me,
I've pre-determined to fulfill this request but once a week.
but it's really hard.
like 'squeeze the steering wheel
make myself turn right to go home and not left toward McD's on 59'
kinda hard.

but yesterday
yesterday was a chocolate shake kinda day
and boy, did we embrace it

                                                      Matthias and I sipping away midday 

Here's to weekly chocolate shake dates with my littlest man
and embracing the everyday memories that go with them.  
And a big, shout-it-out thank You to God for that precious gift.

have a SUPER thursday, my sweet blog readers

embrace the camera

rock the crock....comfy food for a rainy day

I love spending time with my kiddos.
I love dropping what I'm doing
(especially if it's an icky job like dealing with dirty dishes)
and playing a board game.
but IS. IT. JUST. ME.
or has the game Chutes & Ladders
increased it's ratio of chutes
since my childhood 80's version?!
seriously.  Caleb won after like 12 minutes
but Matthias and I duked it out for another 20ish minutes
for second place
both of us sliding down chute after chute after chute
til....well, til I just declared him
silver medalist
---he was pretty stoked--
rockin the crock today....
it's been awhile, hasn't it, blogger b's?
if your skies look anything like mine have been lookin
(except for yesterday afternoon.  pure sunshine.  sigh)
you will want to curl up by a window
watch the stormclouds come rolling in
and enjoy a cup of this easy-to-make soup
hubby Justin doesn't even use a spoon with this yummyness
he just grabs a handful of tortilla chips and calls it a meal

so here's what you need:

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
16 oz velveeta, cut up (i know, i's comfort food, people!)
2 cans diced tomatoes including liquid
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 bag frozen corn (or 2 cans corn, rinsed)
1 packet taco seasoning powder

put all ingredients in the crock
rock it for 3 hours
stir, stir, stir
serve with tortilla chips
and maybe breakout a pinata

create a new celebratory day for mexican fare
happy once de mayo to all!

inspired by this soup here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All I Have Is Christ

this is the hubs current fav worship song.
we hear it a lot around here.
and in the car.
and accapella when someone's in the shower.
now we all know it by heart.
have a SUPER tuesday, all!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

frozen waffles and dandelions

my Mothers Day 2011 began at 12:01AM
Charity had a fever and we spent
ALL. NIGHT. on the couch
cuddling, praying, rocking, kissing
and then I crashed into bed at 6:00 and let Justin take over
I slept until 9:30 and woke up to 3 little guys
bringing me waffles, plenty of syrup, and hot coffee with Almond Joy creamer
oh, bliss

some precious bouquets found in our backyard
is there anything more quintessentially mommyhood
than putting dandelions in dixie cups?!
I was so proud.
and these were just the icing on the cake
I love daisies
and in my fav colors?!
sign me up mommyhood
(good job, Justin!)
we enjoyed a delish lunch at the Chocolate Factory
(how can you not love a place with such a great name?)
and I know
 my kiddos loved me even more for picking it

such a beautiful day called for a beautiful walk in the park
which is exactly what we did.

I'm so blessed.

A big happy mothers day to all who are in this journey with me
and to those who long to be a mommy,
my heart goes out to you, especially on a day like today.
 And I pray for you.