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Archive for April, 2011

courtesy of truche on Etsy…such a cute shop…go there now!

when i moved to texas three years ago, i was humored by ALL the state pride and rivalries everywhere you go. hook em? sic em? gig em? to me, it’s laughable and i don’t get it…or do i?

after moving here….a certain iowa pride started to bubble up in me. whenever i see someone wearing an iowa hoodie, i feel like i NEED to stop them and exclaim, “are you from iowa?!….i am TOO!” and then that’s about as far as the conversation goes. the same excitement holds true when i see an iowa license plate while driving….i have to hold back the urge to wave at them wildly as i pass (but only cause my car, tony, has a dumb texas plate now…and the wave just wouldn’t make any sense unless i could drive and slowly mouth i’m. from. iowa. too! but that’s just too dangerous in dallas traffic) and you better believe i enforce “purple pride day” at work whenever UNI (my alma mater) makes it into march madness.

and it’s not just me. i’ve been stopped before by strangers, when my car’s plate still read iowa, to exchange excitement over our common iowa bond. we instantly click because we understand each other and are probably tired of having to explain our roots. just cause we’re from iowa….it doesn’t mean we grew up on a farm and played in cornfields all day. it doesn’t mean we drove around town on tractors. and it certainly doesn’t mean we know a thing about potatoes…..cause idaho and iowa are NOT the same thing.

i’m not certain my path will ever lead me back to iowa…but i am certain, that leaving iowa helped me to love it more. the first couple snows (before it gets messy and annoying), the long looong summer days, the way it cools off at night, the beautiful colors in the fall, the smell of burning leaves…the way you can leave your car running at the grocery store while you run in (so you can keep the heater running) and it doesn’t get stolen….or being able to walk right in to your friends home…cause no one locks their doors….oh and sweet corn….mmmm…..that you didn’t even have to buy cause your neighbor brought some over freshly picked.

it’s true….i heart iowa….and i’m probably going to need this necklace. cause i’m from iowa, and i’m proud of it!

oh, and i heart this little guy too….his name is norm. hah!

-L

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who doesn’t love an oatmeal cream pie? when ever i think of them, i can’t help but remember that scene from ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ where the kids are lost in the backyard and spot a GIANT oatmeal cream pie. i always thought that would be the most amazing thing as a kid, a giant sized snack cake. all of that cream filling. sigh. delicious. so, this post is an ode to childhood, when you could eat what ever you wanted without any regret.

ingredients
cookie
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

cream filling
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

first things first. preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

in your mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, then add your egg and the vanilla to the mix and blend together. add all dry ingredients, except for the oats and stir. once mixed together well, add the oats and mix some more. you’re almost there. :)

i used a tablespoon to mold my cookie to make them  consistent in size. however, they didn’t spread out or flatten the slightest bit while in the oven. i was a bit disappointed. i suggest you do the same, but flatten them with a  wooden spoon once you place them on the cookie sheet. unless you want them to look like hamburger buns, but i’ll let you make that call. so, spoon these out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. once baked, let them cool completely on wire racks.

in a very small bowl, dissolve the salt in hot water stirring constantly and until cooled. in your electric mixer’s bowl, combine marshmallow cream, shortening, vanilla and powdered sugar. mix until creamy. once fluffy add salt water and mix.

now for the best part. spread your filling onto the underside of one cookie and smoosh it together with another cookie. and there you have it, your very own mini oatmeal cream pies!

enjoy and have a wonderful week!

b

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it’s a daisy!

i’m not gonna lie…i was really starting to believe that i had grown up a nice little flower pot of only leaves. don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful bunch of leaves and i continued to love them dearly. i watered them and got them in the sun….i saved them from the freak ice and snow storms that hit dallas this winter….

and then one day…something different started to happen. a group of leaves were growing taller….and then another day, a teeny tiny bud developed…..and then another day….i got my very first bloom!

let’s rewind to the beginning. my sister gave me these daisies as a house-warming present last year (see: growing season)…cause daisies are my favorite and i was moving into my own place and losing her as my roommate (sad). in short, quite a few plans i had made had fallen through and living alone was the only option…and not an option i had intended on. but it was a new start and i wanted to make the best of it…so i went to ikea and bought a beautiful bookshelf and beautiful curtains and of course…i planted my soon to be beautiful daisies.

now, i don’t know much about gardening….so i just loved them with water, a spot in the sun and lots of verbal affirmation…but then (dum dum dum) tragedy struck towards the end of the summer. (see: weeding) so, post “weed attack 2010” i just did my best to keep them alive. i had never planted flowers before…so I wasn’t really surprised that the result seemed to be only leaves. i continued to take care of them as best as i saw fit and can’t say i was terribly disappointed…i was quite content with my little leaves. they marked a significant growing season in my life as well as a difficult weeding season and if nothing else my daisy leaves were a reminder that waiting and contentment are also important life lessons.

truth be told, in the past year God has really done some hard work in my life and on my heart. i have been isolated from the comforts i typically run to, challenged to surrender my own agenda and plan and pulled deeper into a desire to let my heart and will be aligned with the Lord’s. and He has been faithful. He has been faithful to sustain me in my isolation, protect me in my surrender and humble me and my stubborn, controlling heart.

it took nearly a year for those little daisy leaves to muster up a bloom….and it has taken all that time (and surely more) to begin to quiet my anxious tendencies. it has been a year of waiting with my daisies. a year of growing and resting and finding contentment in a plan that i certainly didn’t create for myself. it’s been in this change of pace and slowing down that i have learned to start letting go of my own agenda and began praying to be used in the here and now instead of looking forward to what is…or what i hope to be, around the corner. it’s been in solitude (something i hated the most) that i have learned what waiting on the Lords timing looks like, that my aim is to be dependent on Him alone and also what it feels like when “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads be beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” -psalm 23

and then that beautiful little bloom came around. how often have i been blind to the blessings in my life because they came quickly and as expected…or even worse, because i thought i brought them on myself in my own doing? oh, how sweet and special that bloom was to me after a year of waiting…and not necessarily even expecting it.

i am thankful for a God who didn’t turn me over to my anxious tendencies, but instead…a God who patiently sat me down and said…”stay here…i have you here, i want you here and i am with you here. that’s all you need to know. once your heart begins to settle down and you have rooted your identity in me, i can give you something beautiful…and it will be lovely. you can cherish it and love it freely because you won’t feel the need to rely on it…because in this time that i had you wait, you have learned to depend on me instead of the bloom.”

2 Corinthians 3:16-18
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

-L

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