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11/26/14

The Worship of Gratitude


On the eve of Thanksgiving, I realize that with each passing year I view life less through the rose-colored glasses and more through the lens that Life is hard, but God is good.

Somehow always, always good.


If we are honest, I think we all have experienced many less-than-thankful-moments this year.

When the bank account screams to us in red.
When the words falling on our ear crush our spirits.
When the pregnancy test comes up negative. . .  again.
When the relationships we cherish crumble before our eyes.
When the doctors say words you never want to hear.
When the heartbreak we cry through leaves us feeling desperately alone.
When the one we love slips ahead of us into glory.
When the days plods along and we wonder if our life really matters.
When God seems far and brokenness larger than life.
These are the moments when gratitude is undesirable.  The last thing we consider.  But these are the moments when my heart desperately needs it the most.  I don't think I fully grasp that.

I believe that God leans in extra close when He sees his precious children humbly, brokenly bowing their hearts in a posture of gratitude.  We when come in quiet, quaking thankfulness believing the promise that He will someday, in His own glorious way, make all things work for good.

Giving thanks in the trenches of life changes us.
Slowly,
surely.


But it remains our choice.  An act of worship really.  Will be humble our hearts and let the glorious grace upon grace of a sovereign Father cradle our hearts as we come before Him in thanks?!  I am praying for each of you that your hearts are filled in an inexplicable, joyful way tomorrow. . . no matter where you find yourself on the journey of life.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
^^ these are some peaceful moments from this summer that I am still so grateful for. ^^

11/25/14

Simple Bow Tie Onesie // Tutorial

For Emmett's first birthday, I made him a little bow tie tee shirt.  To be honest, the bow tie was flat and really quite unimpressive.  But I loved the concept so much, I continued to work at the pattern and now these baby bow tie onesies are my go-to gift when my friends have a little guy join their family!

My favorite part about this project?! Each onesie/tee shirt takes literally 15 minutes to make, start to finish.  You also need zero sewing skills -- it's literally one straight stitch, one zig-zag stitch and several lines of hot glue.  Can you see me with my pom poms at the sidelines, 'You can do it! You can do it!!'

Here's some simple instructions to get you started.
Baby Bow Tie Onesies 

Supplies //
white onesie or tee shirt
fabric scraps
hot glue gun
iron
1// Cut two rectangles out of your fabric of choices.  One rectangle should be 13"x3.5" and the other 2.5"x2".
 2// Sew a straight stitch lengthwise on the larger rectangle, right sides together.
 3// Turn right side out and iron with the seam running down the center of the rectangle.
 4// Iron smaller rectangle into thirds
 5// Fold outer edges of the large rectangle into the center of the fabric.
 6// Fold outer edges once more into the center.
 7// Sew a zig zag stitch on the center seam to hold in place.
 8// Squeeze center of tie together to resemble the bow tie fold.  Place a dot of hot glue on the center fold to hold in place.
 9// With the raw edges facing down, secure the smaller piece on the center of the tie with a dot of hot glue.
 10// Wrap the edge towards the back of the tie and secure with a dot of hot glue.
 11// Secure remaining edge with a dot of hot glue to the back.  You may need to trim the length of the center tie depending on how tight you wrapped it around.
 12// Use dots of hot glue on the center and two outer edges to attach to the tee shirt.
 Notes // 
These bow tie onesies can be washed and dried as normal, though I do air dry ours to help preserve the life of the hot glue.  Also be advised that this will increase your baby's cuteness levels so be sure to hang onto them extra tight. ;)

11/24/14

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am always on the hunt for the perfect recipe for everything.

The perfect loaf of bread.
The perfect pancakes and waffles.
The perfect white cake.
The perfect chocolate chip cookie.

So at the risk of sounding ridiculously haughty, I present the mecca of chocolate chip cookies.  I discovered the original recipe on the back of a margarine box -- gross -- when I was still living at home.  Over the years, I have continued to modify it and this is my favorite version so far.

Without further ado, I present you a Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies
// makes 2 dozen //

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 c. quick oats
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chunks
1 c. white chocolate chips
course sea salt
 ^^ this cookie dough is toddler approved! ^^
Soften butter in microwave until almost melted.  Mix in brown sugar until creamy and smooth.  Add egg, vanilla and baking soda.  Stir in oats and flour until just combined.  Lastly combine with chocolate chips.  // A nice variation is any chocolate candy: M&M's, Reese Peanut Butter Pieces, etc // Drop tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Sprinkle lightly with course sea salt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Do not over bake!!  Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes -- if you can wait that long.

11/23/14

And Then There Were Four

It's hard to believe that Gideon just arrived two weeks ago because I feel like I have loved him forever.

God has been so gracious to us by giving us two boys with the sweetest, most laid back personalities I have ever seen.  Somedays I have to pinch myself because it feels too good to be true. It has also been really incredible to see God answer my prayers for Emmett's transition into the role of big brother.  He seamlessly switches from complete oblivion to total adoration of little Gideon.  Minus that little toy hammer to the forehead action that went down a couple days ago.  Hashtaglittlebrotherproblems. haha

Also having the chance to watch your best friend with these precious souls you have made together is pretty mind blowing.  Every night when we say prayers before dinner, Adam always is thanking God for his little buddies.   My heart melts every time I hear that.  I beg God that we can always treasure these boys as gifts on loan to us.  I desperately want to carefully love and guide them through life and I pray pray pray that we never crush their spirits.  Oh to be able to show them grace like Jesus shows me everyday.

Thank you thank you thank you for all your kind words, the gifts sent in the mail, the meals that keep showing up on at our door, the phone calls, the texts.  It is such a gift to have a community of people around you that rejoice when you rejoice.  We truly love you guys.
- - - 
Photo credits to my sweet sister, Grace, who actually happens to be on an awesome mission trip in Cameroon right now.  We love you, auntie Grace!  Hurry home safe! xo