sunday

is anyone else up there?

fall is the one time during the year that i always find myself withdrawing and facing inward. i get especially introspective with the changing of this season for some reason. it might be preparing for the cold, or the shedding of the leaves. whatever it is, i do my best thinking in the fall.

yellow tree

on my mind lately has been the concept of faith. i’ve written about faith before here, but it’s not something that comes up as often as it probably should. partly because i’ve never had a moment that shakes my faith to its core. it’s been a constant in my life since i was young, and so it isn’t something i examine very often. now, i’m not complaining about this. i feel so lucky that i have a strong faith. but it’s been on my mind nonetheless.

in church the other day, one of the deacons gave the sermon. he told a story that has not left my mind since that day, and it made me feel like i’m headed in the right direction.

there was once a man who fell off of a cliff. as he was falling he put out his hand and grabbed onto a branch sticking out of the side of the cliff. as he hung there, clinging to the branch for dear life, he yelled out, “is anyone up there?” God answered him and said, “I am here. I will take care of you. do you believe in me?” the man said, “yes, Lord, i believe in You more than anything. i believe You can save me from this!”  God replied, “then let go of the branch and I will save you.” the man was quiet for a long time, and then yelled out again, “is there anyone ELSE up there??”

it’s funny, right?! i think it is, mostly because it hits so close to home. just like that man, i believe. i believe hard. but belief and faith are two different things. you can believe but never really let go of your own plans for things. you can believe but never really put your full faith in Him. i know that i’d have to think long and hard before letting go of that tree branch and trusting that whatever happened was in His hands. i don’t know if i’d have the faith to do it.

but what i’ve been thinking is that i want to be the type of person who could let go of that branch. just close my eyes and unclench my fingers and fall into His plan. i want to have faith like that.

it’s not about how much i have. faith is faith. you can have faith the size of a mustard seed, or the size of a tree, but faith is faith, and the thing that matters the most is that you have it. we don’t all need to be mother teresa or blessed jpII, we just need to strive to find that tiny little spark of faith and grow it. you can do great things with small faith, because faith itself is a great thing.

and the Lord said, “if you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. [luke 17:6]

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don’t forget to enter the giveaway that’s still going on! i think we all need some coffee to help us finish out the week strong…

MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE BIG THINGS.

happy birthday mister man.

it’s my favorite person’s birthday today.

wedding mister man

and i am so thankful that he was born.

he is hardworking, loving, and thoughtful. he cares about God, his family and his friends above anything else. he takes care of and supports me through everything, never asking anything in return, and i could not hope for a better husband and partner in crime than him.

mister man and me waterski(he ages like a fine wine.)

i thank God every day for bringing MM into this world, and for sending him my way.

happy birthday honey. i am so excited to spend every year of the rest of our lives with you. here’s hoping 29 is your best year yet and that they only get better from here!

love&sugar.

snow and cookies.

dang you guys. i think about half the country got just dumped on by snow this weekend! nemo on the east coast, orko here in the midwest. (orko, really? how is that a name for real?) we don’t really react that strongly to snow here in minnesota, no school cancellations, no work closings, although they did close the highway to north dakota. which means that Mister Man has to postpone his work trip there until tuesday. what terrible ridiculously awesome news!! in case you couldn’t tell, i really like having him here, for more than just the fact that he keeps the bed incredibly warm at night.

this weekend, i got to go to an incredibly fun work party, complete with signature company-themed cocktails and karaoke. yea, i have pretty much the best co-workers around. i spent saturday morning cleaning up the house and having a coffee date with myself, which was very therapeutic. then i got to have a long-overdue catch-up with a friend i’ve gone to school with from kindergarten through college. we now live less than a mile from each other and haven’t seen each other since my wedding. yea, i’m a terrible friend to have.

i went grocery shopping for our book club and got home just in time to welcome Mister Man home from his 10 hour drive back from rapid city, south dakota. book club is like fight club, so i can’t talk about it here, but it too was lovely, and we woke up to the grossness that was winter storm orko.

joe is a professional driver, especially in the snow. he drove my car with its broken driver’s side windshield wiper to raising cane’s on sunday morning. four of us made the terrible/wonderful decision to drive through the storm to get us some chicken and cane’s sauce. it’s worth risking life and limb for, trust.

feet

streetlight

when we finally made it home to the warm apartment, we proceeded to transform into the laziest bumps in the world. i finally made the chocolate-covered strawberry cookies i talked about here. holy crap, these were the weirdest/best/most delicious things ever. they are like fudgey brownie cookies that are super chewy, and tasted like strawberries and chocolate chunks. plus, they’re pink, so…obviously that’s awesome. my goal is to have at least one left to eat on valentine’s day. i’m bringing most of them to work so i don’t eat them in my loneliness when the husband is gone.

cookies

cookie

cookie

cookie

make these for valentine’s day. they are pink and delicious and lovely. the recipe is here, i followed it exactly, and i think that this woman is a cookie baking genius. if i lived in baltimore, i would make it my mission to be her friend so i could be the recipient of her leftovers!

hope you all had a fabulous weekend. thank you for all the kind words and support on my post from friday. i never really realized that one of the greatest things about this little blogging adventure is the support you get that you never really even knew you needed. and i had no idea how much i could appreciate people i’ve never met. you are all pretty amazing.

the best coffee cake.

when i was little, i used to think that coffee cake was cake that was made with coffee. which seemed like the grossest thing in the world. why would you ruin a perfectly good cake with coffee flavor? i have changed my ways since then, because i discovered coffee ice cream, and once you taste that nectar, your whole outlook on life changes.

coffeecake

so i eventually found out that coffee cake is actually cake that you normally serve alongside coffee. and that there are about a million ways of making it. with streusel topping or without. with nuts or without. and on and on. but my hands down favorite recipe for it is my mom’s. it is simple, so incredibly easy to make, and i have been making a pretty good reputation for myself when i bring it to gatherings. or make it for my husband.

i decided to whip up a half batch on sunday before church, because i was feeling super productive and happened to have an unopened tub of sour cream that i needed to use up. yep, that’s right. sour cream. some coffee cakes use it, others don’t, but the sour cream in this recipe makes the cake so rich and soft, even when you use fat free.

coffeecake

well, i got a little too big for my britches and decided that i would have enough time to bake the cake before having to leave for church, even after doing a load of laundry. wrong. so wrong! Mister Man and i were running late and the cake still wasn’t baked through, so i threw caution to the wind, turned off the oven but left the cake inside. and you know what? when we got back from church, darn it if that cake wasn’t baked to perfection! my main man said so, so it has to be true.

coffeecake

coffeecake

the perfect coffee cake (i halved this recipe and baked it in a square pan)

  • 1 C. butter
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • topping: 1/4 C. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer. add the eggs. sift, then add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. then add the sour cream and vanilla. you can also add in 1/2 – 1 C. dried fruit or 2 C. fresh, chopped cranberries. pour into an 9×13 pan or 2 large loaf pans and top with the cinnamon sugar. you can also pour half the batter, put the topping on, then pour the rest of the batter and repeat with the rest of the topping. bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (45 for loaf pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

coffeecake

this is why we work #3.

so the superbowl was last night. shame that it had to interrupt beyonce’s amazing performance though, am i right? i lost my phone for the entirety of the performance, but didn’t really care because i was busy having a fangirl moment (moments?) over the fact that destiny’s child was on my screen and it was almost too much to handle.

destinys+child

you should also know that i normally really dislike watching football. but the best part is, the husband could pretty much take it or leave it as well. i mean, he likes that there are games on sundays and mondays, it gives him something to do, but he really doesn’t follow the sport. you can tell from how bad our fantasy football team always is. we both basically use the football season as a way to get more weekend naps in.

there is nothing better than getting home from church, pouring a cup of coffee and snuggling up underneath a warm blanket on the floor for a nap during a football game. yea, we both like to nap on the floor, not sure why. but i guess if we both like it, why think too much into it?

mm and me

it’s best if you don’t question the madness.

we seem to have the same habits for most sports in fact:

  • baseball: prefer to watch it in person, but if it’s on tv, let’s have it on in the background of whatever we’re doing around the house.
  • hockey: prefer to watch it on tv, but in person is awesome too (it was our first date, after all). per Mister Man, important conversations are encouraged to be held while watching a hockey game.
  • basketball: not really fans.

i tell you what, it’s a blessing to not have to fight for my husband’s attention with any given sporting event. and if i can get an extra nap in while it’s happening, i’m pretty happy with it. now excuse me while i put the halftime show on repeat for the rest of my life.

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