Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Cornbread

It's been a rainy and cold week around here so running ovens and making warm meals is still a good way to spend an afternoon. I personally like the flavor and texture that whole wheat flour lends to a dish, so I adapted this recipe awhile ago. Truth is, nobody even knows the wheat flour is in there. I have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of even the most anti-nutrition guys in my life with this recipe; they don't even taste the severe lack of chemicals and fat (the latter of which we make up for in the general consumption because when you live in Wisconsin, you put butter on everything).

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Cornbread

1 cup applesauce
1 1/3 cups brown sugar*
4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk**
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9x13" pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine applesauce and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture. Stir in cornmeal, flour and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. 
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Serve hot with butter and honey. 

Other ways to enjoy it...

  • Plain (seriously, it is so moist it doesn't need anything)
  • As a side to soup or chili
  • In a bowl with milk and possibly a little sugar or honey 

*One of these days I'm going to experiment with raw sugar or honey
**I never have buttermilk on hand so I do about 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in 2 cups of milk

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jimmy & Colton | You've Got a Friend in Me

These boys are the best pair of best friends if there ever was one. They just adore each other. Jimmy is always protective and usually gentle with Colton... I'm pretty sure he gets up every morning with an all encompassing goal for the day: make Colton laugh (much like his father who seems to have a similar goal with me). 

And Colton? Well, he looks up to his big brother like any little brother does. He thinks Jimmy is so funny and smart and loves climbing all over him and happily smacking his face as they giggle. I used to think my second child should be a daughter. I have never been so wrong about something in my life. I'm so lucky to be the mom of this pair of boys. 

Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am.

Bigger and stronger too. Maybe.

But none of them will ever love you the way I do. 
It's me and you, boy.

And as the years go by, our friendship will never die.
You're gonna see it's our destiny. 
You've got a friend in me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tressa | Just The Way You Are

This is my beautiful and talented little sister in-law Tressa. I love this girl. We had so much fun doing an extended photo shoot with a variety of outfits and poses. She is creative and had so many fun ideas (and shoes. Oh my word, would it be okay if we used the same pair of shoes with two different outfits?), but my favorites are the ones with her beloved guitar.

When you smile, 

the whole world stops and stares for awhile.

'Cause girl you're amazing,

Just the way you are.

If perfect's what you're searching for

then just stay the same

'Cause you're amazing

Just the way you are.

Friday, April 11, 2014

On Mud Boots and Grass Stains

 It was a long, loooong, loooooooooong, heavily drifted, violently cold Winter. With the sudden presence of sunshine and the obvious diminishment of snow drifts, it appears that Old Man Winter is finally, begrudgingly melting away to Spring and all of her youthful beauty.

I embrace Spring.

But I'm a mom of two beautiful boys. Energetic, mud-embracing boys.

So embracing Spring means embracing mud boots and grass stains and tree climbing and sun kissed noses and mismatched outfits and happy exhaustion at the end of the day.

And I'm loving it.

Welcome, Spring. We missed you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Two Hands Game

"Two hands, Mom!" He'll say, two fists clasped in front of him; his eyes twinkling irresistably.

It's three year-old for "Guess which hand!" Which is Mom for, "Stop what you're doing and play this game with me and savor this normal and happy moment of my childhood."

And so he gets all of my attention and squeals excitedly as I poke a fist. He giggles when I realize he has the prize hidden in his back pocket. Sometimes the treasure is a tiny toy accessory, sometimes it's a a shred of paper or maybe a candy wrapper. Sometimes, much to his amusement, it's nothing at all. But always it's a moment we share just the two of us, playing a silly little game.

And laughing. Because Jimmy oh! He's so funny!

I ran across a challenge today by a blogger called, Coffee with Two Hands. She explains that when you drink your coffee (or tea, or whatever your beverage is) with two hands, you aren't rushing along. You are holding your cup carefully; you are moving slow... You are savoring the aroma, the taste, the warmth... the moment.

It is not something that comes easily when you're a Mom. I'm likely the guilty-est of them all. I am such a multitasking ninja, I can hardly do one thing with two hands; certainly not my coffee! That's why I need that three year-old's "Two hands, Mom!" to stop me in my tracks.

I need to stop and spend more of these precious, happy moments in slowmo... Every now and then I need to ignore the duties of motherhood and cleanliness and business management, all of which scream relentlessly at me, and just drink my coffee... with my heart wide open, and both my hands clasped around my mug enjoying the giggles of my two favorite little boys...

So here's to drinking at least one mug of coffee a day with two hands. Who's with me?

...But should the three year-old come by with that cute, mirthful twinkle in his eye and mischievous little grin on his face, I might multitask a little bit in that moment and play the two-hands game.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Greatest of Women's Rights

Of all the rights of women,
The greatest is to be a mother.


Thanks to my sister, Tabby, for capturing these special photos with my baby love bug. <3

Friday, April 4, 2014

I am Not What Has Happened to Me

The horrible things that happened to you? The abuse? The illness? The "condition"? The loss? The pain? The suffering? We have a label for everything now days. An excuse and a calling to be drowned by the darkness.

But is that who you are? Is that who you want to be? You don't have to be defined by the bad things that have happened to you.


Accept yourself.

Take a step.

Rise above.

Don't be what has happened to you.


To Become.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Nelson Kids

I love this crazy bunch of kids. They bring so much funny to a photo shoot I have to be cautious of camera shake from laughing so hard.

Landon, 10 years old. 
Basketball player, math whiz, very opinionated on clothing and brands (loves Puma, dislikes Nike, and Under Armour is pretty cool), lover of jokes, laid back... Pretty much just all around awesome in general.

Janae, almost 9. 
Incredible gymnast, passionate, fiery, sweet, fun, energetic. You don't know vibrant until you know this girl. 

Alex, almost 7. 
He's a hard one to sum up because he is so his own person the only way to describe him is by his name. Just so very, very Alex. Every photo he saw of himself he would declare, "Geeeeet riiiiid of iiiiit." Spunky. Goofy. Those eyes, that smile, the crazy cowlicks in his hair... He actually reminds me of a Precious Moments character. Super ridiculously cute and with the personality to match.

Korynne, 3.
 Little Miss Sassafras might be a better name for her, considering she is as sassy as she is cute. But oh, her perfect little girl voice! Sweet as honey. And believe me, those beautiful eyes save her from ever getting in trouble. 

I love these kids, did I mention that?