Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Today is an exciting day!!!!

I'm hosting my first giveaway over at The Orchard House!  I'm featuring a gift from one of my absolute FAVORITE bloggers!  The one-of-a-kind Edie of Life in Grace.

Come over and read all about it and of course enter!  

Monday, January 28, 2013


This year I have embarked on a new venture with two of my dearest friends.  

You see, I am a dreamer.

I could spend hours talking about those passions that God has placed in my heart and that fill me with wild ideas and roads I want to travel.

And you know what, these two friends of mine are the ones that I find myself sharing those wild ideas with.  Most times late into the night and early into the morning.  They fan the flame of my imagination and encourage me to walk boldly with my ideas.

So that is just what we decided to do this year.

Together, we have started a blog called The Orchard House.  It is a place for us to explore our passions and share them with other women.  It is also a place where we desire to promote others who have great passions and wild dreams living in their heart.  It is meant to be an online haven of encouragement, challenge, and belief.  

I would love for you to check it out here.  I am excited to see what the Lord will do with it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pasta Primavera

I have had several friends request that I add some more recipes to the blog so because I love you so much Amanda & Melissa this is just for you! 

This is a recipe I made the other day for a couple in our community group who just had a baby.  I was reminded of how easy and nutritious this dish is.  It's full of fresh veggies so it looks like a garden on your plate!  

Pasta Primavera
Source: Giada de Laurentiis

3 carrots cut into thin strips
1 large zucchini cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all veggies with oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs to coat.  Bake until carrots are tender and veggies begin to brown, stirring after first 10 minutes.  Bake about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water about 8 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Toss pasta with veggies in a large bowl.  Add enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.  Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

~Sometimes I add grilled chicken.


Monday, January 7, 2013


Another year has been closed.  The new calendars have been opened.  It's the first year that I have not made lists of goals for all facets of my life.  There have been no sheets filled with bulleted items of physical, spiritual, relational aspirations.  There have been no revolutions within our home of pursuits toward forming new habits.  That energy that usually infuses my mind and spirit during the month of January has been absent.  But this year I don't feel that push toward making those lists and setting down on paper those goals.  This year I just long for one singular focus.  One thing to keep me on track as the months tick by.

This year instead of those lists I have chosen one word to pursue:  RENEW.

"He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." 
~Titus 3:5

I chose RENEW because for too long I have felt like I was in a holding pattern.  Every day my mind wages war and I enter into battle to find the truth that will sustain me.  Some days I wave a white flag and find myself allowing the enemy to gain ground and other days I have stood firm and fought back.  

"And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." 
~ Colossians 3:10

I need a renewal of my mind, of my heart, of my identity, of my spirit.  2012 gave me a beating and these weary bones need some new life infused into them.  

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." ~2 Corinthians 4:16

How does one go about finding renewal?  

I believe the only source capable to restore me is the One who made me.  It is to Him that I will surrender myself.  

I plan to embark on The Romans Project where I will hide His sacred Word in my heart.  

"What a heart knows by heart is what a heart really knows,"  urges Dennis Lennon.  And what the heart knows by heart is all that can calm the heart.  And direct the heart.  And strengthen the heart. ~ source
God's Word never returns void.  I'm counting on that this year.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Around the House

I thought you all might enjoy a peek of what our home looks like for Christmas.  Most everything around our house this time of year has some sentimental meaning for our family.  I love how unpacking our Christmas decorations leads to a trip down memory lane.  It reminds us of our roots and is hopefully building those same roots in Caroline's heart for years to come.  
These are my childhood Little Golden Book 
Christmas stories

We are hosting Christmas this year so this is where we will be enjoying Christmas dinner
Our Advent tree with ornaments courtesy of 
My grandmother's nativity

Stockings knitted for each of us by David's mom
Christmas dishes given to me by my best friend Ansley the Christmas David and I were engaged

Dickens Village church from my grandmother
And finally a night shot

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Baking

Yesterday we finally finished the last of our Christmas shopping!  I could finally check that off the holiday to do list so today Caroline and I tackled some holiday baking.  Last year we made gingerbread men so this year we decided to try frosted sugar cookies.  

We followed the recipe from Annie's Eats.  They were buttery and delicious!

White Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups sifted flour

Cream butter.  Add powdered sugar.  Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour.  Chill dough until firm.  Roll to 1/4" thickness on well-floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Cookies should not brown.  Frost and decorate when cool.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tutus & Ballet Shoes

Amidst the usual hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we have had some additional festivities this year filling our holiday calendar.  

At the beginning of the school year Caroline started taking a little beginning ballet class for 3 to 5 year olds.  She absolutely LOVES it!  She is a huge fan of the book and show series Angelina Ballerina and this has been her opportunity to live out her dreams.  Every Tuesday when I pick her up from school she barely wants to do anything but change into her leotard, skirt and ballet shoes and head off to ballet class.  
After much practice these past few months, Caroline and the other girls in her His Steps class had their first opportunity to show off all that they've learned at their Happy Birthday Jesus performance.  

It just doesn't get much cuter than a group of little girls with their hair pulled back in buns wearing little pink tutus.  Such sweetness!

The girls did such a great job showing off the techniques they've learned and having fun.  We were so proud!

It was David's first time getting to see her dance.  He couldn't take his eyes off of her.  It was so precious!
Caroline's cheering section also included my mom, Aunt Rosie, and my sister.  She is one loved little girl!
To commemorate her special day Caroline received her first piece of real jewelry from Mommy.
And a musical jewelry box from Nana.