Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweet Summertime

So the "official" start date for Summer is still a few weeks away.

But Jett & I decided we'd go ahead & get the party started.

Because splashing in a kiddie pool, playing in the water hose, bare feet, spf 50, sunkissed noses, backyard turned summer oasis, & ice lollies that melt off the stick faster than you can eat them, all mean one thing around here...

Sweet Summertime has arrived.

I don't think I have ever been more excited for summer to arrive. And now that it's here, I am seriously giddy!

Our days are already filling up with swim lessons, playdates at the pool, mini vacays with friends & family, trips to the lake, Fourth of July festivities, & loads of Summer fun just waiting to be had.

Jett is at such a fun age, & Jared & I can't wait to show him what Summer is all about. We plan to squeeze every bit of sunshine out of that sun, to drink in every bit of blue sky, & to take big gulps of the sweet sweet Summertime that is stretched out before us.

Cheers to Summer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chewy Chocolatey Goodness

Remember that adorable little bed & breakfast the hubs & I stayed at last month?  Well, I just so happened to snag the most amazing cookie recipe from the inn keeper.

And tonight while I was baking these babies, it dawned on me that it's been a little while since I've shared a recipe with you all.

And trust me, not sharing this chewy chocolatey goodness would be an absolute crime.

So here ya go!

Chocolate Pixies

1/4 cup margarine or butter
12 T. cocoa
4 T. shortening
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
powdered sugar

In a large saucepan, melt butter, cocoa, & shortening over low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; cool slightly.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off & add to chocolate mixture.  Stir in remaining ingredients except powdered sugar; blend well.  Chill dough 30 min.

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 300 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until edges are set.  Remove from cookie sheets immediately.

**A couple of notes from my kitchen--

1) I had to add a little more flour to the mixture {like 4-6 T.} The dough was a little gooey for rolling into cookie balls {but absolutely perfect for snarfing spoonfuls right out of the bowl.  Ummm...not that I did that or anything}.

2) You must eat the cookies right as they come out of the oven, while they are still piping hot.  You may as well just skip the plate.  Take them directly off the pan & shove em' into your mouth.  Well, that's what we did anyways.

That's it!

Now quit wasting time.  Go make yourself a batch to devour.

As for me?  I gotta run.  There's a dozen just about to come out of the oven & I've gotta get to them before Jared does!

Friday, May 27, 2011

85 & Sunny

That pretty much sums up last weekend.

It's been a pretty heavy week, & reflecting on our "85 & Sunny" has been refreshing.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Disaster Strikes

On Sunday evening, disaster struck.  And it struck really close to home.

A monstrous tornado swept through the heart of of Joplin, Missouri leaving behind it a mass of complete & utter destruction.

Homes destroyed.  Businesses demolished.  Lives lost.

As I sat watching the news that evening, tears streamed down my face, my stomach clenched into tight knots, & my heart felt a heaviness that still hasn't eased.  Joplin is an old stomping ground of mine.  I grew up going there as a child, I've got lots of family who reside there {thank God it was only their homes taken from them & not their lives}, & it was just a 25 minute jump from the town I went to college in.  Joplin is personal to me, & to see the images of what remains of it, is heart wrenching.

Over the past several days, I have been unable to remove my thoughts from the devastation that Joplin is going through.  My eyes have been glued to the television & I continuously check facebook for the steady stream of updates.  And just as the horrific images & stories continue to bring the sting of tears to my eyes, there is something else that moves me to tears...


I honest to God have seen nothing like what I have seen over these past few days.  People coming together.  The multitudes who are so eager to help, to give, to bring some relief.  I felt it too.  That tug that made me want to jump in my car & drive straight into the city of Joplin to offer up anything & everything I had.  Everywhere I turn I see an outpouring of love, compassion, & empathy.  I watch as one person does their own small something & how those small somethings all add up to one gigantic movement that would be humanly impossible without one another.  It has been amazing, to say the least.

I believe with all of my heart that this is the way God shows himself in life's disasters.  He pulls & tugs at our hearts so that we can go out & be his very hands & feet.  I believe that the natural built in reaction we have of wanting to reach out to help those in need is something that was placed inside of us for a specific purpose.  I believe it is the very way God wraps his arms around his people who need it the most.

So I will yield to that tug.  I will give.  I will donate.  I will pray.  I will do my little something that seems so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Because if it were me pulling myself up out of that mountain of rubble, I would want to look around to find God's arms outstretched to me, as well.

I'm asking that if you're reading my blog that you too, will do your little something.  There are numerous ways you can get involved in the relief efforts for Joplin & what you have to offer will make a difference.

This tragedy is huge, no doubt.  The devastation is horrible & this town will need support & prayers for a very long time to come.  The days & months ahead are going to be wearing.

But in the end, I believe that mankind is bigger.  Lives will be slowly be pieced back together.  Homes will be rebuilt.  Businesses will boom again.  And even the broken hearts will one day begin to heal.  Joplin, MO will thrive again.

Because when disaster strikes,  humanity has a beautiful way of striking back.

Friday, May 20, 2011

happy friday

"The sun did not shine.  It was too wet to play.

So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day." --Dr. Seuss

Happy {soggy} Friday!

Crossing fingers for a bright, sun shiney weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Healthy Happenings

Meatball is feelin' better.

Know how I can tell?

He's back to destroying the house.

Tripping over a spatula while trying to prepare dinner has never made me so happy. 

'Cause a happy baby equals a really happy momma.

It makes for a pretty happy daddy too.

Enjoying our healthy happenings.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Momma's Touch

My baby is sick.

We're doing the whole tylenol- every- four -hours thing, racing to the nursery at 3 a.m. when he's let out a shrill cry, wiping away big alligator tears, & spending endless hours shushing & swaying & rocking.

I know all of you mommas out there can feel my pain.  I know I don't have to tell you that one of the worst things about carrying the title of "Momma" is having to watch your little ones suffer right before your eyes.  If you've been a mother for more than a single moment, then you've most likely already experienced this truth for yourself.   Having to look into their sad 'sick' eyes & wipe away the tears that stream from them.  Watching the clock slowly ticking by & praying the stinkin' tylenol would just kick in already.  Holding their hot feverish bodies close to your own, just wishing you could take the pain on your own shoulders & ease theirs.  Yeah, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I also don't have to tell you that one of the best things about carrying the title of "Momma" during these sick moments, is that when your precious baby lets out that cry that sounds just slightly 'off' from their normal, fussy, tired cry, it's you & only you that can race to their side & give them just exactly what they need.

A momma's touch.

I was reminded again last night of just how much my "momma's touch" is needed.  How that when my baby's world is crumbling &  spinning out of control, the only one that can swoop in & save the day, is his momma.

Jared does the bath time routine with Jett every evening.  It's a time that the two of them get to spend some one on one time together & it gives me a chance to get the kitchen picked up after the dinnertime mess.  Jett splashes & plays, the two of them talk "guy stuff", & then Jared gets him all lotioned & jammied up for the night.  Sometimes Jett gets a little fussy at the end of the bath or while he's getting dressed, often times because he's overtired & really ready for bed.  But last night, the cry I overheard coming from the bathroom wasn't a fussy or tired cry.  It was a wail, an all out scream for help, & you'd better believe I made a mad dash sprint to get to him as fast as I could.

I barged in to find Jared holding Jett in a towel, bouncing him in his arms, looking to me with complete desperation in his eyes.  Jett's face was beet red, & he was screaming relentlessly, hot tears flowing down his face.  Without hesitation, I swooped him from Jared & not giving it a single thought, got down to Momma business.  I rushed him to his nursery, where I held his wet slippery body against my chest, swaying, rocking, constantly moving until his crying dwindled to a whimper.  I whispered "shushes" & "It's okay, Mommy's here" repeatedly into his ear until finally he settled down & was calm.  We got him all dressed in his jammies & when I picked him up, he fell limp onto my chest, closed his eyes, & almost immediately drifted off to sleep.  I sat down in the rocking chair with him, resting my cheek against his burning head, & held him there for a long time.  He let out a few little whimpers, followed by a great big sigh, & then it was a steady snore from there on out.

I'm not sure what it is about a "momma's touch" that is so magical.  Is it because we're the ones who carried our babies for nine months?  Is it because we're the ones who have sacrificed our own lives to give new life to them?  Is it because we are the ones who pushed & thrusted them into this world?  Is it because they can feel the rising up of power inside us that we feel when they are in any sort of trouble--the fight or flight kind of response that reassures them we'll take on the whole world if need be, just to protect them from harm?

I honestly haven't got the answer.  All I do know is that when my baby looks into my face with pleading eyes to make everything all better, well, you'd better believe I'm gonna use the "momma's touch" I've been given to do just that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday happenings

We had a whole entire weekend planned out.  It was going to be a no work/all play kind of weekend.  A weekend that would have a revolving door of friends streaming steadily through it.

But if you're a parent, then you know the truth in the saying, "the only thing you can truly plan for, is that nothing will go as planned".  Unfortunately, we came nose to nose with that little truth in the wee hours of the night as our Jett Jett got sick half way through our grand planned weekend.   All of our big ideas for a Sunday Funday fizzled out fast.

But Saturday?  It went exactly as planned.  Perhaps even better.

We took a little jaunt & spent the day up north with some of our great friends.  The Zona Rosa shopping area was having a "Kids Fest", so we jumped right in on all of the fun!

The kids had a ball!  They forewent their naps to slide down slides, jump in bounce houses, & wait in line for face painting.

These two were quite the pair.

They swapped snacks at lunchtime,

were partners in crime at Baby Gap,

kissed & hugged & loved on each other the entire day,

then hit a wall & tuckered out.

The daddies pushed strollers that were loaded down with bundled babies, purses, & shopping bags {what great husbands we have}.

And the mommies did what we do best--  chatted, chatted, & chatted some more!

It was an awesome Saturday, filled with all of the things a Saturday should be full of--great friends, good food, & loads & loads of fun!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Good morning!

We have a winner, folks!

I just have to tell you real quick, that Jared loves when I do giveaways on my blog.  It makes me laugh.  He gets all excited & deems himself the one in charge of pulling the name out of the bucket.  I swear, he's such kid at heart.  

So... you can just imagine his excitement when he pulled his fraternity brother's name out of that shiny silver bucket! 

That's right!  Brandon, you will soon be the proud new owner of a fancy shmancy personalized recipe book {who I am hoping you will be giving to your sweet wife}!  Email me at happeningsofourhome@gmail.com & I'll get you all hooked up.

Out of all the girls who entered the giveaway, many having two entries, the one & only guy with his single entry goes & takes the prize.  That's what makes these giveaways so much fun!  

To all you gals who didn't win this time, go & order a recipe book from Katie.  Trust me, you've got to have one for your kitchen. 

And stay tuned for some more giveaways here on my blog.  I'm brewin' up some fun ideas!  

Happy Thursday, friends!