Thursday, February 25, 2010

Benjamin Funnies

Last night I was on the way home from church and as we were driving, we came through an area that had that distinctive smell of skunk. Benjamin from the back seat said "Mommy, I smell toast!" I said "no, that's not toast, that's skunk." To which he replied "Oh, skunk, smells goooood!" To each his own I guess.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life with a Boy

Here is just a glimpse of my life with a two year old boy. I'm pretty sure that cars around here have a life of their own and end up in every corner of every room and even sometimes in a few unexpected places. Like when I was making pizza dough and Benjamin was up helping. I turned away from the mixer to put some things away and suddenly my mixer started making a horrible noise. I panicked because my sister just got me that mixer for Christmas and I thought maybe it was broken. I rushed over and looked inside the bowl only to discover that it was Benjamin's truck clunking around with the dough. And then there is the nativity set that I still haven't put away because Benjamin love playing with it so much. I often find him giving Mary ride to the stable in style and I'm pretty sure Joseph will never be going back to the donkey again after driving this thing. I love being mom to a boy!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I love Valentines Day!!! Not really sure why, but I've always loved it, even before I had my own special someone to share it with. Maybe it's just that I love pink and red, or maybe I am just a girl who loves any excuse to celebrate, but even in college before Matt and I started dating when I was surrounded by girls who hated the day if they didn't have a boyfriend, I still got excited about it and loved all the balloons and flowers and pretty hearts that were left for other girls at the dorm desk. What can I say, I'm a sucker for romance. Nine years ago, Matt and I had been dating for 9 days and I wasn't even sure we were "doing" valentine's day. I made him chocolate chip cookies and a homemade card and wasn't sure if I should sign my name "love, Sharon" or just "Sharon." I don't even remember what I decided on. But I do remember sitting and working at the desk in my dorm lobby and seeing Matt walk in with a vase full of light pink and white roses and being giddy that I was one of the girls getting flowers and that I was totally in love with the boy giving them to me. And here we are 9 years later and I am so blessed with an amazing man who loves me unconditionally (and I don't always make that easy) and who I will love and adore for the rest of my life. OK, yes I'm a bit sappy, but my sweet husband flew to IN today for two interviews coming up tomorrow and Tuesday and I miss him like crazy!

So, being the romantic that I am, I love planning fun things to do for Valentine's Day. We've done different things different years, but this year we had a date night planned and decided to cook dinner together. And it was YUMMMM!!! I love good food, and this was some GOOD food. We began the evening with avocado soup topped with shrimp and homemade salsa. It was fun to try something new, but ended up being a bit rich for my taste. Then we followed the soup with a salad of spinach, red leaf, tomatoes, cucumbers, pecans, dried cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese topped with a homemade honey mustard dressing. Mmmmm. I love Gorgonzola. Since we had several courses to make, we kind of made one course, ate it, and then made the next one. Our dinner ended up being a three and a half hour event, but it was fun to just enjoy working together in the kitchen and taking our time. So, for the main part of our meal, we went all out and had asparagus sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and garlic powder, Angus Blue Cheese burgers topped with Gorgonzola cheese (found these at Costco and they were amazing!), Shrimp Scampi made with fresh lemon juice, butter and fresh parsley (so good!), and our first and probably only attempt at lobster tail. I had lobster at a restaurant a long time ago and at the time I really liked it, but I was not too fond of this one. I think we may have overcooked it slightly, but I also think I just don't like it as well as I remembered. But it was fun to try it. After the main course, we were both pretty full, so we did the dishes and talked for a little bit before having coffee and dessert. We splurged on dessert and got a piece of cheesecake from the cheesecake factory to split and had the best coffee ever (Stewarts Decaf Cinnamon Coffee Cake) to go with it. Delicious! I will certainly be needing my boot camp class tomorrow, but it was SO worth it. :)

Here are the pictures of our fun night:

Matt splurged big time and got me roses, a balloon and chocolate. And he has brought me fully over to the dark side in the chocolate department. When we got married, I was a milk chocolate girl all the way. Now I don't really even like milk chocolate. Kind of feels like just a lot of sweet and not enough real chocolate flavor. I just recently discovered Ghirardelli 86% dark chocolate. It's creamy and delicious and one square has less than two grams of sugar. That makes this girl happy!!!

I love this man so much!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Well our week of chocolate was not supposed to begin until tomorrow or possibly Monday, but today was a crazy day with three showings on our house and Matt having to go in to work at 11:45. Benjamin missed his nap due to the house showings, so he went to bed early and since Matt is still at work, what was I supposed to do but whip up something yummy for him to come home to after what I imagine has been a stressful day. So, let the week (plus a day or so) of chocolate begin!

These little cupcakes are a new recipe I tried a few weeks ago that you can find here. I followed the cupcake recipe, but used 1/4 cup honey instead of 1/2 c agave and also used melted coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil. I love that these are a little lower in sugar than the typical cake and that they still taste yummy and chocolaty.

For the frosting, I melted 1/4 cup 60% cacao chocolate chips and beat them with 3 Tablespoons of butter. Then I added about 1/2 c whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. They weren't chocolaty enough for me, so I also added 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, but I should have added that before the cream because I ended up over beating the cream and got a little more of a grainy look for the frosting than I was hoping for. But the flavor was delicious, so over whipped or not, it went on the cupcakes. Now I just need to wait for Matt to get home so we can eat one up. Mmmmm. Chocolate truly does make life feel happier.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life in Limbo

I sure haven't done a whole lot of blogging lately. It seems like every time I think about it, I can't figure out what to write. So I post a couple of pictures and put off anything else. It feels like we are busy all the time, and yet, we're really not. We're just in limbo. Several months ago, for many reasons, we felt like it was time to look at moving back to Indiana. We scurried around getting our house ready to sell and Matt got his CPA stuff finished up. Then he began the job search. I know that when I look back on this time, it won't seem long, but I have decided that there is nothing that builds faith like waiting. Especially when you don't know exactly what you are waiting for. We don't know from day to day if we are staying or going. I don't know when I wake up each morning if I will have complete strangers walking through my home that day deciding whether or not to buy it, so I clean every day. Our adoption process has been on hold for six months while we've waited to see what was going to happen with Matt's job and our move. And if we do move, we will have to start over on that with a new agency. Nothing feels permanent in our lives right now and some days it feels like we are just wishing this season away. And if I'm not wishing it away, I'm clinging tightly to all the things I'm familiar with here that I love, like our church and friends, our gym, the weather, and even the grocery stores I'm used to shopping at. But like always, my faithful God is using this time to teach me things. I'm learning so much about the Holy Spirit and my total need for His power on a minute by minute basis. This is not something new, but something I have neglected to see for many years as I've tried to "do" life on my own. I've started a Bible Study that has challenged me to have a God Awareness as I go through my day and last Sunday our pastor challenged us to focus on praise each and every day. And this week the Lord has truly given me joy in the midst of our craziness. And I know it's Him because I'm not naturally joyful in the middle of stress. Last week I told Matt that I felt like I was going insane. I had so much going on in my head that I could hardly remember silly little things and I just felt like I couldn't go on with this feeling of limbo. I wanted off the waiting train. This week, the Lord has met my need to be filled with joy in the middle of what in reality is trivial compared to so much of the suffering that is going on around me. And yet, no matter how trivial, He still is faithful. I love that!

We found out two days ago that Matt got a second interview for a job we are really hopeful for in IN in a little over a week and today, he got another interview for another job that will also be during his time up there. Praising the Lord and trusting for His provision of the right job for Matt!

I haven't done well in the picture department lately, but next week I am declaring a week long Valentine's celebration and will be serving something involving chocolate every day. Both my boys are major chocolate fans, so I'll be sure to get some pictures of at least the littlest one enjoying some of his yummies.