Tuesday, May 27


Emerson loves dance. I love that she loves dance. I always secretly wanted to be a dance mom. I hope she keeps loving it. Right now its her thing. She's so graceful and girly and it shined when she was on stage a couple weekends ago. For weeks Emme kept telling us that she "was going to be on STAGE!!!"

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Her dream in life right now is to perform. She wants to dance for people and she wants to sing. We took her to see Mary Poppins at our local theatre a couple months ago and ever since, being on stage has been her life goal. Seeing her do something she adores brings so much joy to my heart. Since we started dance back in September, Emme has really come out of her shell. She has needed this to build her confidence. In a way, I think it has healed pieces in her heart and soul. And for that I am thankful.

Her little class spent weeks and weeks preparing for their recital. They worked so hard. It was lovely seeing their hard work pay off when they began their routine to "I see the light" from the movie Tangeled. Each one of them shined and looked so beautiful and delicate.  I was proud to tears for my girl. I loved every minute of it. And so did she. 

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Monday, May 26

EAT: Vegan Donuts

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We have a tradition of getting donuts every saturday morning. My kids love donuts and if something comes up that keeps us from getting their beloved saturday morning donuts, you better run and hide. All hell breaks loose around here. Seriously.

I personally, have never really loved donuts. I don't hate them and I don't love them. I would probably love them more if I knew they were healthier then they actually are. So I set out to find a "healthier" alternative to the classic donut shop donut.

We love to eat Vegan in our home so I searched on Pinterest for an easy Vegan Donut recipe. I found this one. My friend Alison kindly photographed the recipe and she was even a brave taste tester. I love that she trusts my weird cooking.

Here is what you need to make these delicious donuts:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 shake of cinnamon
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Egg replacer for 1 egg
4 tbsp vegan margarine

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1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2) Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a dry bowl
3) In a small sauce pan mix together all of the wet ingredients. Mix in the margarin over medium low heat until melted. Don't make this too hot. You should be able to touch it without being burned.
4) Add wet to dry and combine just until mixed. It should be soft and spongy.
5) Using a TBSP measuring spoon scoop out dough and place in the donut pan. Smooth the tops of each donut. The batter should be just below the rim of the pan.
6) Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.

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For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp soy milk
a splash of vanilla

1) Whisk all of the ingredients together
2) Add food coloring to tint glaze as desired
3) Spoon glaze over donuts of dip half the donut into the glaze.
4) Top with sprinkles, chopped nuts, dried coconut or whatever topping you desire
5) Let the donuts dry on parchment paper until glaze is hardened. 
6) ENJOY! 

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I hope you try these. If you do I want to hear what your family thought of them! These little guys were so fun to make and they were so delicious that it has inspired me to create more of my own recipes for yummy treats.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, May 14

Why Do I Blog

I have asked myself this a lot lately.
Why do I blog? 
Its been hard lately. Hard to manage my time. Hard to get my exact thoughts out of my head. Hard to feel inspired. Hard to be real, raw and vulnerable. Its just been hard. 
Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to just stop and quit. I tend to be the kind of person that quits things when things get too tough or when I feel overwhelmed by something. Its easier to just pull the plug sometimes. 

But then I remember what I have stored up in this place. I have memories, I have a documentation of my thoughts during our adoption of Emerson, I have friendships with women from all over the country, I have a voice and I have a creative outlet that I love. 

I started my blog in 2007 as a way to document my kids and their milestones.  When I go back to 2008 I find photos like this. 
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Its hard sometimes to remember that my boys were once so tiny.

When I go back to 2009 I find photos like this.
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When I go back to 2010, when our life began to take a pivotal turn, I find posts like these.

End of an Era and Beginning of New Things
Remodeling of a Heart
Open My Eyes
Beautiful Lord
Or how about that time my husband and best friend surprised me for my birthday with a Surprise Party? 

When I back to 2011, my heart stings with the memory of our adoption pains and it swells with emotion when I go back and read how I felt when I first saw her face and how I felt when we traveled to Ethiopia to meet her for the very first time.

Sifted Wheat
Another Day My Heart Stood Still 
Like a Dream

In 2012 we documented bringing Emme home, our adventures with Lice, my journey with trying to fast from all beverages except water,  a stirring heart, a mission trip to Ethiopia, rough moments in parenting and so many more moments.

In 2013 I find moments where we met our daughters mom, and when I bravely said yes to speaking at a conference.

Because I blogged I have these memories. I know how I felt when I was potty training, adopting, making things, combing out lice and celebrating people around me. I will always cherish those written words.

So today, I am again asking myself...
Why do I blog?
Well, this above is why I blog and these three kids are the reasons I will continue to blog and write. So that one day they too can look back and read bits of my story. God writes a story through our lives everyday. I believe we are called to live on purpose and live to glorify him in all that we do and for me sometimes that means writing. I want to be able to look back in 10 years and read what was happening in 2009, 2012 and 2019. I want my kids to be able to go back a read what was happening around them, to them and through them. We all have a story to tell and this is where I try to tell ours.

I just needed to remind myself of this today.

Tuesday, May 13

I Faced My Biggest Fear

I have always had a fear of public speaking. As a student I was the kid who would sit as still as I could with my head down, being sure to not make eye contact with the teacher for fear of being called on to read aloud. I remember many times in English class when we would read aloud and everyone had to do it. The teacher would start with the first kid, in the far left row and instruct the student to read 10 or so pages, once the kid in front finished, the student sitting behind him/her would read the next 10 pages and when that kid was finished with their part, the next kid would take over, and then the next. I would sit there sweating profusely, counting off the students and pages frantically trying to find my part in hopes of perfecting it before I actually read it.  All I could think about was my fear, and what if I stumbled on my words (which I often did and still do) what if I had a hard word in my reading and I couldn't pronounce it. What if my friends giggled because I don't read very fast. Oh...it was traumatizing. I hated it.

As an adult I still carry this fear. I freeze and break out in a cold sweat if I am asked to read aloud scripture during bible study or if I am asked to pray out loud. Its so silly but so real. I am still praying that I will overcome this.  I can't simply live the rest of my life fearful of speaking in a large group or reading aloud or even praying aloud. 

Back in April I did something I thought I would never do. I spoke at a conference, the Missional Women's conference in Denver Co. Granted... it was a break out session. But nonetheless, I stood up in front of people I didn't know and I shared my heart. I shared my adoption story and why international missions is important to me and why I think everyone should try to go serve internationally at least once in their life. I even had a powerpoint. I was scared and sweating like crazy. But I did it. And I am so glad that I did. Through that, I felt a bit of freedom in this area.  And I might have felt a little empowered. 

The Missional Womens conference was amazing. It was small and intimate and perfect. It spoke directly to my weary soul. I have felt for awhile that I have lost my purpose. I have lost my zeal for things and my fire has begun to fizzle. This conference encouraged me. It encouraged me to keep going, keep pressing and fight through the hard and dry seasons because people, people are worth it and people are the reason why we live with purpose and why we live intentionally.  We are to love God and love people. This is my motto. 

My friend Jami went with me. I think she felt just as encouraged. I mean she should, she and her husband run a ministry at there house. She completely missional. I am thankful for a friend who cheers me on and encourages me. I can't imagine life with out my cheerleaders. 

If there is something you are afraid of doing I want to encourage you to step out a face that fear head on. When I was asked last fall "What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" and I answered "Speak" I never thought I would ACTUALLY do it. Like...ever. But I did and it was great. I actually think I might want to do it again. Maybe.

It makes me wonder... Why in the world does the enemy torment me with this? Why am I so afraid to speak? I guess I will never know unless I face it and conquer it. And if by conquering it I can help make Jesus and all of His glory known, then here we go.  I love these two quotes below. I found them on Pinterest a while back and I think of them often. I hope they encourage you to be courageous, be brave, don't be the safe ship that is too afraid to leave the harbor. Set sail and see where the winds and waves take you. 
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Monday, May 12

Mothers Day

 I love Mother's Day. It is such a special holiday to me. I have so many fun Memories of Mothers day from when I was a kid. Every Mothers Day eve when I was a little girl my dad would take my sisters and I to the mall to pick out my mom a special Mother's Day outfit for her to wear to church the next morning. He would also choose a new perfume for her or a new beautiful piece of jewelry. It was fun and magical for me. When we lived in Kermit, I remember we always went to my grandmas house and my mom and aunts made her a lunch while all of us cousins played. I remember how loved and special each mom in my family felt on Mother's Day.  I remember hoping to be a mother someday so that I could too have a magical day.

I have had 8 Mother's Days. This one was the best yet. We didn't do anything big, we went to church, came home and made English Muffins with fried eggs, avocado, cream cheese and tomato, had mimosas and I got to watch 2 episodes of Desperate Housewives on Netflix while Phillip helped me fold laundry. And later that night I made our mothers a special Mother's Day dinner.

Tuscan Pork Tenderloin, Green Beans and Red Potatoes, a Spring Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts and Gorgonzola Cheese with a Balsamic dressing. Vanilla cake with French Butter Cream Icing and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies were for dessert.

It was heavenly.

I thought a lot about Mother's Day yesterday and how when I first became a mom I had some crazy expectations in my head about how the day should look and how everyone should act. It seemed so dreamy as a kid. **Confession moment** Many times I have made my husband feel like a failure for not measuring up to what everyone else was doing. As I have grown and matured and as God has taught me a lot about life, family and my blessings, my expectations and desires have changed.

Being a Mother is a beautiful responsibility. It is a hard one and a precious one. Our life is always busy. There is always something happening. Often the sounds of my home consist of Emme twirling and singing "Let It Go", Beckham chanting "step, point, throw" as a baseball goes soaring through my house, and Parker following me around telling me everything he knows about the human brain, the heart, bearded dragons, other reptiles and animals or how he feels about science or how life is unfair. There is always music on and tears and laughter throughout our days. Some days are hard. Some days are magical. Everyday is special.

Yesterday when I was baking the cookies for our dinner I thought of every past expectation I had for this day and I realized, all I want on this day is for this life to keep happening around me with me right in the middle of it all. I want to be with those that I love the most. I want to snuggle and giggle and kiss booboos and wipe noses and cook food for these people. I want them here. I want them close. Though it may be tough some days, I love what I do and I love what I have. My heart stings a bit when I think about how fast these days with my babies are fleeting. I want the memories of baseball, dance, homeschool, guitar lessons, freaky bearded dragons living in my home and fits and victories and snuggles and bedtime songs and stories to be etched in my memory forever.

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These kids. They give me life. They give me the courage I need to be brave in this world. They keep me going. They challenge me to be the best version of me. They are my gifts. Being their momma, their one and only momma is the best gift I could ever ask for.

Happy Mothers day mommas. I hope your day was special!