Saturday, April 28, 2018

Love More

When I met my husband and he asked me to marry him 6 short months after meeting, I didn't think I could love anyone more.

Two months later we walked down the aisle together and said 'I Do' and began our lives together growing together, laughing and loving through the everyday mundane together, and I really didn't think I could love anyone more.

Fast forward to a tiny heartbeat filling a room as our eyes filled with tears, the tiny fluttering on the screen a miracle all on it's own - now I was SURE I couldn't love anyone more.

That tiny heartbeat developed into a rolling, kicking extension of my body and I had never loved my OWN body more - but then it was born, and I held my son in my arms and my heart burst because I had never, ever loved anyone more.

He grew and his mommy and daddy did too. There were good times and there were bad times. There were easy times and there were hard times (really, really hard times, if we are going to be honest). Now I sit and I look at my life, surrounded by my boys, and I understand why we are not given an infinite amount of time to love. Given an eternity my heart would not be able to withstand this extraordinary love that constantly grows.

I see my son develop daily into his very own person with quirks and attitude, likes and dislikes, that are unique only to him and my heart melts. Curled up on the couch with a stuffed cat tucked into his arm, a fuzzy vest that hangs to his knees his favorite piece of clothing, his hat turned inside out, and watching a YouTube video about kid hacks and inventions - I couldn't love a boy more.

I look back at the 10 years that I've spent with my husband and sit in awe at how far we have come. We have seen heartache together. We have seen the worst of each other. We have lost all humility and have fallen vulnerable at one another's feet more than once. And while there were times I wasn't sure I loved him like I did when we met, I realized over time that the love wasn't lost, but more the patience and the understanding of humanity and all that it brings to the table. The fight was worth it because a love like this is worth it. As we grow older together, raising this boy together that we couldn't love more, I realize too that I only love him more. His quirks. His books on tape. His obsession with Tesla and Jeopardy. His cheesy jokes, constant picking, and his desires in life - I couldn't love anyone more.

Everyday, it seems, I only love more.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Bark



I've reflected a lot on my life over the years. Yesterday I ran my fingers over bark, comparing the texture from one tree to the next, and I thought: life is not much different. We all weather it differently, some of us with tough exteriors, rough skin and callouses, while others appear gentle and smooth and less...worn. There's always more than what meets the eye, and what we hold inside is always more precious than what's visible. Always.

I'm sitting sideline, trying my best not to interfere too much, as I watch my son grow and develop into this person all his own. Quirks, humor, motivation, and annoyances that he did not get from me or his father - they are unique to him alone, and I love exploring these parts of him, probing deeper into his individualism. I am broken as a mother that wishes to keep this perfect human to myself for all of my life with the knowledge that he is quickly gaining independence that steps further and further away from his parents.

I will always love him and he will always know that I do. Perhaps this is the one thing he needs to know as he evolves: that he is loved, and cherished, and always has a place to call home. As he stands against the storms of life, his bark will form. I have no control over that texture, it is all his own, but I hope I can influence what he holds precious inside.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Henry's 6 Year Questionnaire



What is your name?

Henry

How old are you?

*holds up six fingers* Six!

What is your favorite color?

Hmm...every color.

Why every color? 

I don't know, it's just too hard to choose one.

What is your favorite food?

*shakes his box of Gobstoppers* These.

But what's your favorite thing to eat, real food, not candy?

Breadsticks. Actually, no, anything that tastes like oranges. But not oranges. Can you ask me what my favorite candy is?

Sure, what is your favorite candy?

*shakes his box of Gobstoppers again* These!

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?

Umm...like we used to go to Stillwater Prairie a lot, so that.

So hiking and exploring?

Yeah, I love that.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?

Do that blanket thing where I put his blanket in his legs and I sit in it.

What is your favorite toy?

Let me go decide. *goes upstairs for ten minutes* Okay, I've decided: ALL of my toys but some. Cause there's some toys up here that I don't really play with a lot. Like this merry-go-round, I don't really play with that because it doesn't have any horses and I don't think a merry-go-round is really a merry-go-round without any horses!
 
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Hmm...hmm...*looks around, thinking for a few minutes* I want to be like the Wild Kratts because did you KNOW that their job is actually what they do on TV? They look around for animals AND discover new ones. Oh, and I want to be a vet. But only a cat vet, so a vet only cats can come to. 

What is your favorite book?

You do not like this book and I'm already potty trained but I really like that Elmo bathroom potty train book. I love that one. If you ask me what my favorite thing in the entire world is, I can tell you that!

Okay, what's your favorite thing in the entire world?

Doggy blankie, and maybe you and daddy. Maybe.

What is your favorite TV show?

I'll have to search around on the TV to figure that out...or I'll just think. Every show, well not every show, just like kid shows.

Who is your best friend?

I already know that but I can probably never play with them and they might never be able to come over but Maddy...and Gabe. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Crayon Snowflake Gift Exchange

One of the exciting things about having a school-aged child is all of the little gifts that we get to put together for his classmates. I know it sounds very Martha-Stewart but I absolutely LOVE creating little things to give away.


When I received the flyer saying that Henry's class was going to have a Christmas gift exchange in order to share in the spirit of the holiday, I was super excited. I immediately started brainstorming and together we came up with this idea: snowflake crayons!


Making snowflake crayons is really quite simple. Find a silicone mold that you really love, obviously in this case we used snowflakes.



Find some old broken crayons or buy some new - unwrap of paper completely and then put them into the mold, being sure not to overfill so it doesn't spill over. This is when you can have the most fun. Henry and I really enjoyed mixing different color combinations and seeing how they turned out. We came to find that adding a little piece of white or cream created our absolute favorite crayons because i stuck out just so much.


Bake at 250 degrees until completely melted and then remove and let them cool completely before removing them. The more intricate designs were a little harder to remove, but most of them came out pretty easily.


Paired with a small coloring page (CG, Henry's favorite of course) and a few other small trinkets and you have the perfect little gift to give away. Making 18 to share was little work at all and we had a ton of fun doing it!

Be sure to share your crayon creations if you decide to make some!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We got our first real snow this past week and Henry and I were more than excited to get the opportunity to play.

In this house we do snow, and we do snow all. day. long.

I'm sad that the temp has been dropping so low that we haven't had any opportunity to get out lately, but I'm sure we'll have more opportunities through out the winter months. In the mean-time, enjoy these photos of my little snow-boy. Tell me, what is your favorite thing to do in the snow? Isn't it so magical and lovely?










Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Easiest (last minute) Cookies Ever

I spent a good portion of my Saturday making the fluffiest sour cream cookies for our work cookie exchange this week. Henry and I mixed and blended and chilled and rolled and cut and baked and iced for hours on end. They were gorgeous and delicious too, you can find the recipe here.

Someone(s), however, has been eating those cookies all week and come Thursday, I found myself looking at a small little plate of maybe eight cookies. I was in a bind with very little time and I really didn't want to be the flop of our cookie exchange.

Now typically I like to share some made-from-the-heart, fresh-baked goodies. Handmade and homemade is 100% my style. But with work and school and everything else in between, I just could not make the time.

Cue the Hershey-drop cookies and the easy-peesy savior of my cookie dilemma. Seriously the easy save-the-day cookie recipes that I could come up with:

1) Purchase your favorite break and bake sugar cookie dough and a bag of Hershey kisses.



2) Bake your cookies according to the package.



3) Unwrap and plop one of those delicious cookies right into the middle of a hot cookie and enjoy.



Couldn't get any easier, right? I plated them with a few extra Hershey kisses and now they're all ready to go. The best part? It took me less than a total of 30 minutes. You really can't beat that in the realm of cookies!!

Do you have any super simple go to cookie recipes when you're in a pinch?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fluffy Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Cookies

If there's one type of cookie that Henry likes for us to roll up our sleeves and make together, it's any kind of cut-out cookie. Real talk though: what kid doesn't like rolling out dough and picking out different fun shapes to cut cookies that they then get to decorate? I mean, what's not to love?


I recently found this recipe on Pinterest for old-fashioned sour cream cookies and we have already made it four times in the last month. It's that good. Plus side is that it's not super complicated and I swear these big, fluffy cookies are a no-fail, we haven't had ONE turn out wrong. They last a good while and they're perfect for fun personalized gifts this holiday season.

Ingredients:

5-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

I'm going to try to simplify the recipe but if you want detailed instructions, check out the link above.



1.) Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another then slowly mix the two together. The dough will be super sticky and will likely have to be mixed by hand towards the end.

2) Separate dough in two parts, flatten and wrap in saran wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.


3) Roll out on a WELL floured surface to about 1/4" thick. If your dough sticks, add more flour. Flour your cutters, flour your rolling pin....just add flour. ;)


4) Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. If you want them to be super fluffy and soft, make sure you don't over bake them. Ours were just barely brown on the bottom and you can bake a few and decide how long you need to bake yours based on your shapes and such by how long the first batch takes.


5) Cool and then top with your favorite icing or glaze. We tend to stick to good old fashioned powdered sugar with a little milk and almond extract. It hardens up and is the perfect amount of sweetness to pair with the big, fluffy cookies.

6) Eat, share, and enjoy!!

I'd love to hear about you and your littles favorite recipe to make together!