Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can it really be...

A year and two days ago, (it was a Saturday) we were visiting my parents in Wisconsin. I got a phone call from my dear friend Jessica Hilden. She said "I have a question for you, so give me a call back when you can." Her voice sounded a bit different, and I wondered if everything was okay. I called her back and and we chit-chatted for a bit. Then she said, "So...I have a question for you. We were just wondering when you guys were planning to have another baby because our squirt is going to need someone to play with?!" My jaw dropped and the tears poured down my face - they had had quite the journey (you can read about their story here) and I was beyond excited to hear their amazing news! ... Man, I still get choked up about it - God's provision is so unbelievably miraculous and overwhelming. Fast forward two days (a year ago from today) and on a spur-of-the-moment decision, I decided to take a pregnancy test, expecting the negative sign. But instead, it turned that oh-so-pretty pink plus sign, and put this Momma into tears. Baby number two was on his or her way. Two days later Jess was over for lunch and I said "So, remember when you asked when your baby would have someone to play with?" and she said "Is it NOW?" God's timing is incredible. Incredible!

I was blessed to grow side by side with Jessica and pray for her and with her. Such a blessing to share such a special time. And now, our two boys are here and already four months old. Born exactly 1 week apart, almost to the minute.
Dear Jessica - you were a beautiful Momma long before you held Max in your arms. It is the most fun watching you with your little man. Dear Max, you are an answer to prayer and such a sweet little buddy - I am so loving watching you grow and change. It's so fun to watch you and Judah grow together!

And to my sweet baby Judah - you are my little love. A year ago today I found out you were on your way to us and since that day, I have not stopped praying for you. I prayed everyday that the Lord would expand my heart to love another baby fully and without abandon. What I experienced with you was instant, over-the-moon, warm-my-heart through and through love. To my little Judah Bear - I love you deeply and fiercely, forever and ever.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt S'mores Bars

So about a week ago I picked up ingredients for s'mores. With the insanely beautiful (and warm) weather we've been having, along with the nice fire pit we've acquired, I thought it was a brilliant idea to be ready with s'mores ingredients. I picked up the standard grahams and marshmallows, but I wanted to try something different with the chocolate. I'm sorry to all the standard Hershey's milk chocolate lovers out there, but it just doesn't cut it for me. So I grabbed dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt - yum. Anyway, we ended up not making a bonfire or the s'mores. All week I've been thinking, "what can I do with this stuff?" So I googled. And I found so many recipes for s'mores bars. So many called for marshmallow fluff, which I didn't have. Others called for just using the graham crackers as the crust, but I was hoping for something with more of a "bar-like" taste and feel. So in the end, I combined a few ideas to come up with these: these absolutely delicious dark chocolate and sea salt s'mores bars. YUM.

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt S'mores Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large Dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt bars (I used Lindt), broken into squares
Half a bag of miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Spread dough evenly into pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Turn the oven setting to broil. Place chocolate squares over hot crust and let sit for 3-5 minutes, until nicely melted. Use a spatula to spread it evenly over crust. Dump marshmallows evenly over chocolate layer and place under the broiler for just a minute or so, until the marshmallows are deeply golden brown. Allow to cool for a little while (if you can wait that long), then cut, serve, and EAT!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Little Randomness...

So if you haven't already guessed it, my days are filled with my boys. One of the main reasons I'm able to stay home is because I take care of our nephew, Paul. Paul just turned two. Yep, that's right - I have three boys here with me everyday, under three. Life can get pretty crazy and hectic and also so so wonderful.

We recently moved from Minneapolis out to a suburb, with plenty of space and land for Elijah to run and roam. A couple of weeks ago we finally got some snow and we went outside to play. The kids loved it! Judah even bundled up and joined us outside.

Our little Jude is growing like a weed. He's going to be 4 months old on Saturday! I suppose I should post some of his 3 month pictures before he's not three months anymore!

To my sweet boys- thank you for filling my days with craziness and laughter, I love you all to distraction!