Oh Friend.

She does this to me..did it from day one.

Some people just have a gift.

Thank you for all that you know I want to say.

Thank you for ringing my doorbell… 3 mins… all we needed.

Everything said…words not needed.

A hug and a kiss, a tear or two….done.

Seeing your beautiful face, beautiful basket, my beautiful friend.

Sun is shining inside our home on this rainy day.

Because of you.

You have always inspired me to create.

You are in so much of what surrounds me…

Pink martini on Pandora, Strasburg wine, Alfresco, Parisian chic, yellow shoes, RL, passion for life, worship, words, books…photography, motherhood, ….celebrating the everyday.

Had to blog about your highly creative, immensly meaningful gift.

It’s the details, love is always in the details. Hand written, selected, the colors,thoughtful, beautiful. You.

Thank you J.

IMG_3220

 

IMG_3221

IMG_3222

IMG_3223

The best part was the P.S.

3 “tulips” rising and blooming even when surrounded by “bleeding hearts” and in the middle of it all

One “Lily of the valley”

Blessed.

A small coat

Today I closed my eyes, just for a minute….40 mins later……eyes opened, it was 3:46 and I had missed the bus.

I flew down the stairs…it was a blur

Zack knew what to do….Seeing them together… walking through the door…safe and dry… in the house….long exhale…smile.

Reassuring myself that they are ok, I am ok.

It hits me at times like these, the fact that they depend on me…they need me. Yes we have family and friends and good neighbors and back up plans BUT I am the ONE they need. It reminds me of how much I needed them…and of a time when I didn’t think I would have them, couldn’t have them. It was a long time ago but I can still remember the longing, hoping, questioning, sorrow…the frustration of knowing that the problem was within me and I was powerless against my own body.

I remember reading in I Samuel about Hannah who desperately wanted a child and how she would pray. A priest named Eli saw her praying one day and accused her of being drunk, she told him about her prayers and sorrow and Eli blessed her. He must have been moved by her pain. Later, Hannah conceived a son… scripture says,”and the Lord remembered her.”

In Hebrew the meaning of the name Zachary is, Remembered by God.

There is a detail in the story that moves me as a mother …the little coat….”Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.” I can only imagine the care and love that went into making his little coat, tailored for him as he grew..knit by his mother the way God had knit him inside of her womb (Psalm 139:13) She was faithful to return the blessing back to God. And God graciously blessed her with more children (1 Samuel 2:21). I do not see myself in Hannah at all, I understand her pain and sorrow but I am not as faithful nor prayerful…I do know the same God.

Hannah

This song (see link below)…as cheesy as it may be to some, still moves me. Gave me hope then and reminds me of God’s faithfulness today.

 

Let the rain come down and wash away my tears

Let it fill my soul and drown my fears

Let it shatter the walls for a new sun

A new day has come

Where it was dark now theres light

Where there was pain now there’s joy

Where there was weakness, I found my strength

All in the eyes of a boy

Our Passover Hagadah

 Yesterday our small group(church) shared a Seder meal together, I had the privilege of hosting.

It was my first time learning about and experiencing this beautiful, highly symbolic Jewish meal.

I enjoyed the story/procession of the meal..coming out of Egypt… recounting persecution…entering into freedom.

The symbolism of the four cups of wine (consumed over the duration of the meal) was especially meaningful.

The fact that Jesus did not partake of the 4th cup until his last breath made so much sense (the dots connected for me.)

Great people, great fun, thankful!

IMG_3173 IMG_3178 IMG_3179 IMG_3180

Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.
R.C Sproul Jr.

trooper

 

“Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.”

(Epitaph for Joy Gresham)
― C.S. Lewis, C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy, Volume 1, an Examined Life

Feels like Spring.

DSC_0029

 

Things are growing, stirring, changing…green

Birds are singing (the symphony begins hours before daylight)

Sidewalk chalk

friends come out, neighbors come out

scooter…bandaids….water bottles

Itching to go to Zook’s for flowers

Ritas

Roots

Shorts

park hopping

Duck feeding at the Fulton

Long drives

Strasburg Creamery, Winery, Bakery

First picnic on deck with boys (tacos and Sprite)

Mommy let’s bar be cue!

Note to self: learn how to

Summer dreaming…day dreaming

List making

Spring

 

 

You & Your Wedding feature

 Honored to be one of 8 designers chosen to be interviewed in the 8 Jan/Feb 2014 issue of You & Your Wedding. published in the UK 11/28/13.

I was asked to forecast fashion/wedding trends for 2014..I predicted bold, geometrics and neon brights..had no idea pastels were going to make a come back???

WEDDING

 

img_2740

 

img_2738

Quick post Tuesday:: Macarons with Uncle Michael

IMG_3084 IMG_3085 IMG_3088

Basic French Macarons

(Adapted from Pop sugar)

NOTES

The basic meringue-style French macaron is merely the springboard for your wildest color and flavor combinations. Try adding a teaspoon of Dutch-process cocoa and red gel food coloring for a red velvet macaron, or a 1/4 teaspoon rose extract and pink gel food coloring for rose. Always add the dry flavorings to the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture and the extracts/gel color to the meringue.
INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 280ºF, and position 2 racks in the lower section of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have time, draw 1-inch circles on the back of each sheet, spacing the circles at least 1/2-inch apart.
If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve.
Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue (e.g., the meringue takes on a clumpy texture).
Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not overagitate the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.
When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, “punch” down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and punch again. You will need to repeat this 10-15 times (or more, depending on your arm strength and the beginning texture of your batter) until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula. Think of the consistency of molten lava. For the best results, punch the batter a few times, check the consistency, then punch a few more times, etc. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons won’t rise as they should, and you could end up with oil stains on the surface.
Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. In a pinch, you can also use a gallon-size Ziploc bag: just snip a teeny bit from one of the bottom corners. Twist and clip the top of the bag to avoid overflow. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew (remember to draw the circles on the back side of your parchment to avoid ink or pencil stains on your macarons!).
Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the “pied” or frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust where, if you tap it lightly with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger. If after 15 minutes, the batter is still sticky, let it dry longer. This may take up to an hour on humid days.
Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not underbake (insides will still be mushy) or overbake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. The assembled macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Yield About 4 dozen macaron halves (about 2 dozen complete macarons)

Irresistible Mercy

I’ve not felt motivated to write for some time now…not until today. I’m not a good writer, I know this.

I am, however, stubborn and I do things despite my lack of ability.

This post is for someone who has literally been the hands and feet of God to me in my almost 6months of suffering. Everyday..every single day my eyes have been lifted towards the heavens because of you, I know it! I have a premonition that my season of uncertainty will be ending soon, and the next season of life will begin for us, the boys and me. Not sure which way this will go, God knows my heart’s desire and in that I have hope (does not disappoint, right.)

This trial has brought  moments of excruciating pain, deep sadness, countless tears.  I’m thankful for it though. I’ve felt a peace that truly can’t be described, I’ve seen my children thrive through the storm, I’ve also seen them suffer and hurt…gaps were torn for God to fill, that only God could fill. We’ve come through a dark winter and the hope of spring is on the rise. I understand the value of suffering. I appreciate the gift. I was counted worthy to suffer.

Trials allow for so much good to flow, blessings to pass, joy to surface, it does surface. Suffering is a gateway that God uses in a supernatural way for others, it’s always for others…and it should be. I knew my spiritual limitations before and now I know that God can can work in unlimited ways through hardship. Trials should be welcomed.

Thank you for using your gift. Thank you for praying ceaselessly, thank you for so much more. I hope. I have hope.

Saturday night was especially difficult. Ben was vomiting, Zack was coming down with the stomach bug. After they fell asleep I got a phone call which ignited fear in my bones…more like terror and panic. I felt scared and alone, my mind was slipping into the darkness (the peace and rest I had experienced all the days prior was gone) I got another phone call, it was from my mom…it brought comfort. ..I had rest…when we woke up… the boys and I were well. Thank you for praying when you were prompted.

God is unravelling this mystery in a specific way, in His time and I’m really excited to see where it leads.

tree

“For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.” Job 14:7-9

Thank you for being the scent of water, leading me to the source in this dry desert land.