this is lindsay's birthday cake. i had a box cake mix in the pantry just tempting me last night, so i did something with it. i've been craving a cake with jam and light icing, so this is my own version. i even used the mint from our herb collection in the windowsill as the garnish.
i decided this cake reminded me of lindsay after i got started making it. it's something i think i would find in a southern dessert cookbook. i baked up a box cake (the one that uses real butter) and added a little cinnamon and nutmeg for some kick. linds and i learned that secret to making pancakes in port hope this last summer. i mixed blackberry jam and real raspberries for the filling in between the two layers. then i made a buttercream frosting, but used buttermilk instead of regular milk (i don't know why i NEEDED to make something with buttermilk). i ended up straying far from the original frosting recipe, but it was delicious. i wanted the frosting a little more gooey than the recipe makes, so i added more buttermilk. and more. it makes the cake look a little sloppy, though. not sloppy, homemade.
so there you have it. a lindsay cake. classy & sweet. raspberry gooey, fluffy, creamy buttermilk frosting-y and all around delicious. i'm enjoying it right now with my coffee. happy birthday, linds. i'll send ya a piece:)
i'm planning a few meals this week to make at home, other than trying to eat as much salad as possible to keep up with our CSA stock of spring greens. most of these recipes are compliments of my foodie friend Katrina. she has much more time to cook these days, so i take her word for it when it comes to veggie-loving, healthy, slightly different meals.
monday - pasta & pesto, salad tuesday - barley casserole (finally hunted down barley & tahini so i WILL make this, gosh darn it!) wednesday - something quick since tim has church...more salad? thursday - tofu manicotti friday - who knows.
that's as far as i've gotten. now, if i stick to it is another story. we do have full time jobs, church activities, and a teething baby.
since going back to work to finish the school year, i haven't had much time (or energy) for blogging and creating. unfortunately, going back to work made me realize how much of my energy goes into work and not doing things at home. i cook less, i am less ambitious, and i let things slide like the laundry, cleaning out the car, etc. i've never been one to be completely consumed in my job, whether it's because i'm not cut out to be all about a career or because i've never found a job worth being consumed by.
aaaanywho...i will try and keep up with my new ambitions, but right now i'm just looking forward to the next six weeks going quickly!
as i'm learning more and more about the world of DIY'ers and crafting, my wish list keeps growing. i love the internet for 2 reasons. one, it's an endless abyss of information and inspiration to keep my appetite. one link leads to another; one person references where they got their ideas and son on. two, it's free. well, at least reading the blogs and websites that showcase their recipes and patterns. we really have no idea how big the internet is. what a cool thing we have.
so here's a running list of books i'm looking to acquire one day, whether i find them at Half Price Books, on amazon.com for cheaper, or at the library. i really would rather own them, though.
so i started back at work this week (more on that later). i only worked 3 1/2 days, and then i decided to call a sub and make it an early weekend. plus, isaac had a dr. appointment that i really wanted to be there for. he's four months tomorrow and is doing great! he is in the 50th percentile in both height and weight, an average joe i guess. i was surprised to see he weighed 15 lbs. exactly and is now 25 1/4 inches long. wow. has he really grown 6 inches since he was born? he flirted and laughed at Dr. R the whole time she was talking with me and even showed her how he can roll over. good boy *wink. he had a few shots, screamed profanities at everyone within earshot, snuggled his blanket and just glared at the nurses (and me) from his car seat until we left. the doctor said he was advanced in how much head control he has - nice job, bud. i don't know what that means other than he's not as wobbly as other kids. she said to go ahead and start him on stage 1 foods if we want, but i think since he's doing okay weight/health wise we may wait until the school year's over and he's closer to 6 months. since i had allergy/asthma problems as a kid and my sister is now fatally allergic to nuts, we're going to try and hold off as long as possible. we may try something light here and there just for kicks and giggles but deep inside something's already screaming at me saying, "no, if he starts eating solids that means he's growing up!" and we wouldn't want that. i wanted to share this picture because it's probably the funniest thing i've ever seen. i guess it could be just my sense of humor or my growing love for my tiny tim, but every time the shirt gets stuck on his head, i just crack up. i mean, belly laughing, tears running down my face, by myself in a room and tim has no idea what i'm laughing at kind of funny. what made it better was the delight isaac had on his face for making me laugh so. he kept just turning his head back and forth like a curious little bird and was so proud of himself. tim ran to get the camera once he came in and found out what i was hee-hawing at. gosh, i hope he has my sense of humor. i see us both running around with our shirts stuck on our heads someday together and tim having NO idea what's so funny.
i first saw this video at a Rob Bell conference in Grand Rapids, MI and it's still one of my favorites. i love the song by itself, but i think the message speaks louder. today in my world, it means that joy can be found in the mundane because God is everywhere and in everything. so enjoy your Mondays.
tim and i(okay just tim) put together this toy chest for isaac. his little playthings are collecting in our living room so it was time to corral them all. it's so boring, just plain white, so i think i want to paint it. something with elephants on it. maybe not his name, so we can use it for the next little ones, too. it's a wood laminate, so i may have to sand before i paint it...?
this other piece was what tim used as a nightstand for 2 plus years. it's god-awful ugly right now, but i was thinking about painting it white and then putting wallpaper in a cool print on the top. kinda chic or no?
so i stumbled upon my old xanga site...remember, the blogs before blogspot? i kept it up during college, and i love this particular post. it's fun going back to read about my life and what i was thinking and feeling a few years ago. i'm actually pretty proud of myself in this post...and every bit of it still stands true.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
marrying Joel Osteen i love the ladies i work with at my internship at Seymour Primary. they have made my internship an absolute blast, always encouraging me and making me laugh. we share in each others' lives (as women can't help but do) and they are the best at giving me the "inside" information about where to apply, who to talk to, what connections they have, etc. i cannot imagine a better placement with a group of women who have been more real to me about their lives, marriages, and children. to them, i'm not an intern - i'm one of them, the one they need to help get "in". we talk about the ways God is moving in our lives through disappointments, emotional rollercoasters, family struggles, job concerns, etc. it's quite amazing how God has placed me in the midst of such a steady group of mentors.
until today, however, when i finally realized how different i was from them.
one of the ladies has just recently finalized her divorce with her husband of 18 years in January, and is going through the emotional roller coaster of where the boundaries now exist in her life and the lives of her children. she has struggled through a marriage of neglect, emotional abuse, and unrequited love and is finally on the edge of finding happiness in her life again. she has made some questionable choices about dating again and has been hit with some recent choices of her ex as well. i have listened and been there to hear the good, the bad, and the "should i know this??". she holds nothing back, and still has the purest heart i've seen in a long time.
another lady, as much as i love her and her advice and protection she's given me, has still to say something positive about her husband. she has a house of 4 teenagers and is just trying to get through the "they all hate me" stage of raising children. her bold and spitfire personality makes for some great laughs in tough situations and a great attitude for dealing with crazy teens, but i just can't sit well on her attitude towards her marriage. we all make jokes about the roles of men and women, especially in marriage, but these are far more deep-rooted than your average 'Everybody Loves Raymond' laughs.
this morning, as i was getting ready for the day and still sipping my coffee, she asked me, "Have you read anything by Joel Osteen? I just love him. He's not all fire and brimstone. And I like that."
i held my tongue to not give her my true opinion on the man and his beat-around-the-bush half truths, so i replied with a vague chuckle and said, "Yeah, he's pretty popular." i was completely taken aback to hear her continue about the reasons she agreed with his philosophies.
for the rest of the day, i couldn't help but think that while i have gained so much in my time with these women, that i feel like they've got it all wrong sometimes.
i'm getting married in less than 5 months, to a man who has given up all security in his life in order to follow after the passions God has set on fire in his heart. he's not only followed his heart, but his mind and is having to deal with some pretty expensive challenges in order to give it a shot. in the last 6 months, he and i have overcome some great hurdles in our relationship, broken down strong walls, and become more raw and real to each other than i ever thought was possible with another person. sure, we joke all the time about "guy stuff" and "girl stuff" and the usual pokes at each other, but i can't imagine the rest of our marriage being "typical" or "wasted". we believe in each other and we know that sometimes, we're all we've got.
by no means, am i claiming to have gotten ANYwhere close to having it all right, but i know what Truth is. and i know that Satan can't steal it from me, even if he tries to sneak into the words and opinions of the people i admire.
i sit there at my desk sometimes, surrounded by all this negativity about marriage...some of it unavoidable, but some of it just plain ignorance. none of it affecting me.
i finished my first "gift" project...a nursing cover for a friend i taught with last year who's having a baby boy in june. i am so excited to give my projects as gifts. i look through pattern books and people instantly come to mind when i see different ones. "ooh, so and so would love this!" it makes me excited to create things for other people. i already have a lot of gift ideas i want to try out! sorry, everyone, you're my guinea pigs!
here's the nursing cover i did. pretty simple for a beginning sewing project. i did make some changes to it, like cut the strap about half of what the tutorial said and make the straps thinner to fit the D-rings i had. these nursing covers are so handy and a fun thing to have in cute patterns! maybe i need one for each day of the week...
p.s. sorry the picture's sideways. i couldn't figure out how to turn it for some reason.
i'm a person who has to have quick projects and see instant results, so for right now i'm doing super easy projects i can whip out in no time. plus, it gives me a chance to really get comfortable with my machine. i'm always looking for ways to slowly change our house into a more "earth-friendly" place by reducing the amount of trash we have (diapers being the biggest!)and so i decided that after we finish the bag of paper napkins in the cupboard..it's all cloth. we have a very efficient washer/dryer and since there are only two of us eating meals here during the week, cloth would be perfect. plus, they're super easy to make and so cute! i made the best decision to go with all porcelain white dishes when we got married, so i can mix and match any pattern or color napkins i want to, depending on my mood. my sister is getting married in a few months, and i want to make her an entire set of matching napkins and placemats. seriously, the possibilities are endless.
on my way back from visiting a dear friend in the hospital and her gorgeous new baby girl (seriously beautiful), i stopped at a local sewing shop in downtown noblesville. oh, it was awesome. the whole front of the store is sewing and quilting, and the back is knitting and crocheting. i tried the crocheting thing...eh. they had so many cute fabrics that you can't find at your local JoAnn fabrics, and tons of modern patterns and notions. they also do one-on-one sewing classes and contests and all sorts of things. while i was browsing (i had to buy something), they were doing an easter egg hunt around the store for the holiday. i found a pink egg hiding in the buttons and won...get ready...a spool of thread. haha. now, being a new sewer i was like..um, cool? but apparently it was really good thread. hey, it's free..i'm all for it. i got two yards of fabric, one to make a crib sheet for isaac and one for another nursing cover for me. i was selfish. the fabric was too cute to give away. i also found an easy pattern for really cute overalls for baby boys with giant pockets and bulky cuffs around the ankles as well as boning and D-rings for the nursing covers i was making. i plan on maybe stopping in for some of their classes and really trying to start this quilting thing. my mom has made all of us girls quilts for college, and they are the most special things ever.
speaking of my mother, i can't help but think of her every time i sit down at my sewing machine.or every time i hang the tape measure over my shoulders. or every time i cut thread. it's incredible how much i really am like her. i remember how she looked and moved at her sewing machine, and i do the same things. it's pretty cool. love you, mom:) your creative abilities will live on one way or another!
so here are some more pictures of my "first" crafty projects. i wanted to get to know my sewing machine, so i needed a practice project. i just wanted to see what kind of stitches i liked best and whatnot, so i took a small piece of fabric and sewed a bandana for marley to wear. we usually don't put her in anything at all, but she wore a bandana that our groomer put on her for awhile, so i figured she (or tim) wouldn't mind.
confession: i have an odd fascination with squirrels, so it was a must for isaac to have a onesie to represent this slight obsession. i love how it turned out really cute and springy, especially since this is the time of year i seem to see squirrels everywhere.
i thought i should post a picture of one of the appliqued onesies i did. this one is my favorite, not just for the design but because the color makes isaac's eyes stand out. since the fair traits (dark hair, skin & eyes) are so dominant we were all surprised when he had some gorgeous baby blues. tim says isaac got his favorite physical trait of mine. aw, shucks. *blush*
*disclaimer: remember, i take pictures with my cell phone for uploading convenience. i really did search around the house to see if tim left his camera so i could take better ones. next time?
i wanted to write down a list of things i want to try and make on my new adventure of being "creative" again. maybe if i share them with you, i'll be more accountable to finishing them. let's be honest- starting them. i have a well-known tendency to get all excited and do nothing about it.
by, let's say, june i want to:
-make dog treats -make a skirt (from the pattern i can't find right now) -research cloth diapers -make isaac's baby food (in a few months) -grow basil & cherry tomatoes
the list will probably get bigger if i keep going, but i'm a big talker and not so much a doer of those things.