King of the hand-me-downs

Tuna: king of the hand-me-downs. In 5T footie PJs given to me by a woman at work who has never met him. Wearing lipstick applied loving by Birdie while Geeks painted his nails with great care. Watching the snow fall for the first this year. A “baby bottle pop” (our children’s preferred special snack) to celebrate the day after Christmas in one sticky hand. Cheering on his sisters who are braving the snow for the moment with nothing but their PJs to protect them from the cold. Half way between baby and boy.

I will cherish this moment forever.

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Geeks Growin’ Up……

As a mother, you hear all too often,  “It goes by so fast-cherish every moment.” And as cliché-and at times even annoying-as it is to hear this repeated to you over and over again, it is SO extremely true.

Don’t get me wrong-there are *many* moments in mothering that I have experienced thus far that did NOT fly by. For Geeks-that first half a year of midnight scream-fests as she dealt with colic come to mind quickly as times I wouldn’t have minded passing by a little faster. The thing is…..when you’re a mother…..you aren’t really given an option to “cherish.” It just happens-without desire, without intention. How else would you love and rock that hot, feverish baby without wrapping them in a towel or changing out of your new work clothes knowing that they had not made it more than 5 minutes without being sick the whole time you were gone? How else would you tolerate pee on the floor, marker on the walls, stickers crammed into the charge-port on your cell phone? We instinctively cherish all of those tiny, unnoticed moments in our hearts. Those things that to any other individual seems to be unimportant or unsubstantial….

The habit of holding that stray strand of hair out of her face with her two front fingers instead of pushing it behind her ear.

The way her nose crinkles and turns to the left only when she’s playing with her Papa.

How she pulls her lips in when she is not telling a whole-truth.

The three red blotches that form under each of her eyes when she’s crying about something really important.

I have no choice but to cherish these moments. I don’t think I would ever need a reminder to do so. However…..today, for the first time, I realize why mothers feel the need to remind each other. They know I’ll cherish the moment. They know the day she has her first baby, I’m going to look at her and still see her chubby, 10 month-old face stuffed full of grapes she had snuck out of the bag while we put groceries up. It’s not the cherishing part mothers have trouble with. It’s the SLOWING TIME DOWN part that we need a reminder of.

We started the process of applying for kindergarten today for Geeks. My curly-haired, crooked-smile, goofy, smart, funny, magnetic baby girl is getting ready to go to school. When did this happen?! I could tell you a hundred adorable things she did in the past 48 hours alone (I won’t…..but I could) but I cannot explain to you where FIVE YEARS went……At the risk of annoying every mother reading this and sounding totally cliché……..

Cherish every moment……It truly does go by too fast!

Geeks Growin' Up*Luke 2:19*

 

I Am….

I am the song on sleepless nights and keeper of the smiles

I wonder how I got so lucky

I hear the thunder of three sets of feet running from a “ready or not-here I come!”

I see my husband’s feigned ignorance as he searches out his victims

I want to live in this moment forever

I am the song on sleepless nights and keeper of the smiles

I pretend to be a one-eyed monster

I feel the sticky kitchen floor beneath my bare feet

I touch my daughter’s bourbon hair and relish in her squeal of laughter

I dream of the veil that will one day hide this hair from me

I try to pull three squiggly bodies into my lap and bury my face in the sounds of their joy

I am the song on sleepless nights and keeper of the smiles

I understand they will not be my babies forever so

I say “I love you” every night

I worry I am not a good enough mother to them but

I cry secretly after every spanking

I hope to never know a day on this earth without them

I……..I am the song on sleepless nights and keeper of the smiles

J. Glass 12/4/12

Zephaniah 3:17

“The LORD your GOD is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

These moments, looking into these sweet, sleepy faces are the moments God was preparing me for. The moments he would quiet me with his love.

Thank you Lord for my many blessings. Please let life never make me forget how loved I am by you.

 

Happy Birthday Tuna!!

Tuna, Tuna, Tuna….

You.are.two! Break my freaking heart! I cannot believe you are no longer my baby boy! You’re growing up…..Uggggggg. Really-you are becoming a CHILD! This past year has probably been full of the biggest changes we will ever see to you in such a short amount of time. You learned to walk, you began talking (although you’re still being a *wee* bit stubborn in that area), your eyes officially changed from blue to green (my Grandpa’s eyes which warms my heart more than you will ever understand!), developed your own independent interests and began expressing who you are as an individual and not just a part of our family as a whole. In June you self-initiated potty-training (earlier than both your sisters who I FORCED out of diapers you should know!) and only use a diaper at nap/bed time now. After 4 years of cloth diapering and 6 months of disposable diapering-I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel!! Thank you for that one baby boy! You are insanely IN LOVE with Lala (ie. Elmo) and superheroes. You are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT boy. You love bats, balls and anything innately violent. There is rarely a day that you don’t somehow injure yourself in some major fashion and you have “blessed” me with some of the most intense, scary experiences I have ever had the “pleasure” of witnessing. You LOVE to play rough with your Papa and imitate him in every way you can. You think Eliot is the funniest thing on four legs. You worship your sisters and will hysterically laugh at even their tiniest jokes and you are still my sweet, cuddly Mama’s boy (although you actually call me “Ma”) and I am hoping that part of you never changes for my sake! You are still only up to 2-3 word sentences, but you get your point across VERY clearly without having to speak and your sense of humor (much like your Papa’s) is amazingly advanced and pushes the limits whenever possible. You will never, ever understand how you completed our family so unexpectedly and perfectly but I will never be more grateful to God than I am for Him leading me to your Papa and in turn you and your sisters. Your laughter, and even your tears, are some of my best life experiences and I will never forget the love and peace I experienced the day I first saw your bruised, chubby face.

You are wonderful baby boy. I count everyday God allows me with you as a blessing. Thank you for all of the laughter and snuggles and squeals and kisses. You will now and forever be my baby Buda man.

Happy birthday sweet Tuna. I love you forever and more,

Your Mama

Happy Birthday Birdie!

Baby Bird,

You turned THREE years old this month. Three.years.old. You are-by far-the sweetest, kindest, most gentle spirit that has ever walked this Earth. You float around our home like a little fairy, singing and dancing your way through most situations with a grace and understanding that far surpasses your age. You have a way of looking at life that makes me want to fall on my knees and praise my Lord for the wonderful blessings he continually bestows on me. You know what should be cherished and you are not shy about showing your love or gratitude for these things. You adore babies, furry friends, exercise and a good night’s sleep. You love your baby brother with a guiding and quiet protection and adore your sister more than any other living soul. Your favorite place is cuddled up on your Papa’s lap and you and I spend way too many nights dancing past your bedtime.

Your current favorites include (but are definitely NOT limited to-as aforementioned-you love to love!):

1. Spiderman

2. Biking

3. Dancing

4. Singing

5. Exercising

 

Birdie-I do not know where our family would be without you. Happy birthday little one! I hope to never know a day without you.

Love you forever and ever,

Your Mama

Tiramisu for The Bude

The Bude’s not much of a dessert man. He would prefer wasting calories on a good selection of bourbon or beer with his meal than save some for a decadent treat after his meal. I know-he’s insane, but what can you do when you love a man but support his crazy habits?! He does…..however….have one exception to the rule: TIRAMISU.

Surprisingly the one dessert he can’t resist is the one dessert I cannot stomach. I detest all things coffee or tea related (with the exception of Chai Tea…..that junk tastes like Christmas…yum!) and if you know anything about tiramisu, it’s got a butt load of espresso in it. But-again-I love this man kind of like an insane amount so this year, I decided to try and make him tiramisu myself.

I found this recipe online by Giada De Laurentiis after a quick google search and after reading reviews decided to mesh this recipe with some advice from a good friend from work about a recipe she has used and loved. I hear from my husband and children that the result was delicious, but I couldn’t take more than a bite so I’ll just have to take their word on it.

Either way, it turned out pretty so I figured I’d share the recipe and hopefully my family’s reviews weren’t skewed by their fear of making me cry. It took all of about 20 minutes prep time (and that was with two little “helpers”) and then the majority of its time is inactive in the fridge. I’ll definitely be making it again…..maybe just with a non-espresso version for me!

What you’ll need:

  • 6 egg yolks (*the eggs will not be cooked-as is the case in the majority of tiramisu recipes-so be aware that there is always the slight risk for salmonella when consuming this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (Giada suggests 2 tablespoons, but that was too bland for me, so you may want to start with 2 tablespoons and sweeten to preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled (Some reviewers felt that this wasn’t enough, but it worked for me.)
  • 1 1/2 pound mascarpone cheese (Again, you may want to experiment with this on your own, after reading the reviews for Giada’s recipe and hearing what my friend used in her’s, I decided to buy an extra 8 oz container just incase the mixture came out soupy and I ended up needing the extra case to thicken it to my liking.)
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (Giada suggests 2 teaspoons……the upping on this was a total preference call!)
  • 24 packaged ladyfingers (This was the perfect amount for me, but many reviewers felt that they needed more, so you may want to buy extra just incase!)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Step One: Make Your Espresso (Or buy it!)

Considering that I have never made coffee from a can, let alone ground up the beans…….this was an experience. I had the pamphlet that comes with the espresso machine out the entire time and still almost suffered some serious steam burns a couple times. Luckily, I did this part without the curious fingers of my girls because I would not have been a good line of defense for them! But-I did it! Tiramisu and espresso making all in one day! There’s a first time for everything! I had to make it twice to get enough espresso to measure up to a cup and a half but again…..I had no idea what I was doing, so those of you who are more experienced would probably have an easier time with this step! When it’s done, let it cool while you work on the next few steps.

Step Two: Work Your Eggs & Sugar

Separate your eggs. Some of the reviewers for the Giada De Laurentiis’s recipe expressed that you should use less eggs, some suggested folding the whites back into the recipe. All of them agreed that the 6 yolks called for lead to a runny cream. I agree. I think if you had a more expensive KitchenMaid mixer, you might be able to get the right consistency with the 6 egg yolks, but I decided to just add the extra cheese I had purchased to thicken the mixture.

Once you have separated your eggs, put the yolks into a large bowl and add your sugar. With the $8 electric mixer I had (and the help of my girls which may have slowed things down some), this took about 8 minutes.

Step Three: Add in Your Mascarpone Cheese

Giada calls for one pound of cheese, I chose to use a pound and a half because the mixture was very runny after the first pound. But, as previously noted, I am not a tiramisu eater, so I may have made the mixture too thick? I don’t know…..this looked more like what I’d seen at restaurants? When you have gotten the mixture to the thickness and consistency you want (you’ll want it to be smooth), add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until combined.

Step Four: Prepare the Lady Fingers

In a shallow dish, combine the remaining espresso and rum together and mix slightly. Make sure you have the dish that you are going to be putting your tiramisu into before you begin this step. Giada suggests using a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, but after reading the reviews and seeing the elements of the recipe come together, I chose to use an 8 by 3 inch pan. You’ll want to dip the lady fingers into the rum/espresso mixture quickly and put them into your dish. Giada recommends dipping them for 5 seconds, I only did it for about 3. Maybe it was the brand of lady fingers I got, but they were so absorbent, they began to fall apart if I left them in that long, so this is another “feel your way through it” step I guess? You’ll want the entire bottom of the pan to be covered with a layer of ladyfingers. Depending on the size of your dish, you may need to break your cookies into pieces, as you can see from my picture below.

Step Five: Layer & Refrigerate

Pour half of your mascarpone cheese mixture on top of your lady fingers. Layer another row of espresso/rum soaked cookies and then layer the second half of your cheese mixture on the top. AND YOU’RE DONE! (For now!) Cover your beautiful masterpiece with some plastic wrap and stick it into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Giada says you can let it marinade for up to 8. We left our’s for about 4 hours and the cream was definitely nice and thick by the time we cut into it.

Step Six: Chocolate Shavings

When you are ready to serve (or beforehand if you are preparing this for a party), use a grater to cover the top layer with chocolate scrapings. If I were to do this again, I would put chocolate shavings in between the layers as well as on the top, but I do think this added a nice finishing touch! (Plus my kiddos loved it!)

Step Seven: Enjoy!

Catching Fairies….

Before I moved to Louisville I had only seen fireflies once before in my life. We had spent countless summers in Maine and I am sure there were many fireflies to be found there, but I did not notice them? The only time I *remember* seeing them was one time when we went to a drive-in with my dad. (Actually-the only drive in I had ever been to before the ONE I’ve been to in KY as well…..maybe that’s why I remember it so vividly??) There were fireflies everywhere. My dad kept catching them and putting them on my shoulders and legs, but-if you know me at all this will NOT be surprising-I lost my mind and couldn’t handle it. Bugs & me=no simpatico.

Well….since I’ve moved to the bluegrass state, I’ve started to learn to appreciate at least SOME buggers that invade our lives each summer (i.e.-half of the year here in Kentucky…..why are our summers SO LONG???????? It’s enough to make a Northern Girl melt!) Fireflies (or lightening bugs as they are known here) are one of those bugs that I have come to appreciate. I can’t help but get that giddy flutter in my tummy when I first start spotting them. Although The Bude always reminds me that the first day of summer is June 21 (June 20th this year), I really feel that summer starts here when the fireflies come out to play. It makes me feel all nostalgic. For what? I have no idea since I actually have no childhood memories save the one to think back on……but that’s the best word I’ve got to describe my appreciation of the things: nostalgic.

Today our schedule got flipped around a bit and I wasn’t able to run until after our midweek service at church, so The Geek and I didn’t hit the road until about 8:40ish. By about 9 (the sun is just setting at nine here! NINE!! I will never get over that!!), fireflies were creeping all around us as we ran. Geeks turned around to ask if she could catch some. I was about ready to die from heat exhaustion and a lack of good health and training so I happily took the break to let her go after a few. What she had actually meant was she wanted ME to catch them and show them to her. Remember what I said before about bugs? Yeah……I don’t catch bugs. I don’t touch bugs. I honestly can’t even really talk about bugs without getting all squirmy. I am currently itchy and keep checking my arm every time a hair hits it just from writing about bugs! Needless to say….I did NOT want to catch a firefly.

But.I.did. Being a mother will make you do crazy things. Some people grab a branch and dive off the edge of a cliff to catch a falling child. Some people lift a car off of an injured babe.

I…

CATCH….

BUGS….

Not the best mothering super power around, but hey-I’ll take what  I can get!

When we finished our run and got home, Geeks was all to eager to show her Papa how “she” could catch fireflies. So Geeks, The Bird, The Bude and I all went outside for some nighttime firefly catching. (Tuna has had a fever for two days and was already knocked out in bed by the time we got back from our run).

The Bird is *certain* fireflies are actually fairies. And who’s to say they’re not? So I told her maybe if she caught some, she could whisper some wishes into their ears to bring back to God. Boy did that girl catch some fireflies! Birdie’s fear of bugs rivals mine in irrationality, but tonight-she was a rock star! Geeks took a bit longer, but eventually caught some too!

It was my first time EVER catching a firefly, but I am certain it will not be my last! Another moment to cherish in my heart forever.

The Return of the Pictures!!

My camera has been very, very busy the past few months…..Sadly-it has not been my own family and loved ones taking up the lens. Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I rarely go a day without taking a picture…..however my children have not been photographed other than with my phone (with the exception of Keats at my sister’s shower) since Easter. EASTER! That is just insanity!! (Actually….Insanity has a lot to do with why the pictures have dwindled too…Shaun T is working us so hard-I can barely push the button on my camera!)

Well….today we put a stop to the “picture break”……possibly much to the dismay of everyone in my household! (I rarely get in front of the camera…usually just torture everyone else!) Hopefully this is the beginning of a new summer era of the return of pictures. 🙂 I am sure adding a new nephew and niece to the mix will help me with this goal! 😉

(A sick Tuna at the Kastle….)

(Some NOT so sick girlies!)

(Ash=one day shy of 39 weeks preggo with Baby Lion!)

(Some how this is the first picture I have taken with MY camera since Ash became pregnant? I have more pics with my sister who lives 2,000 miles away?? How is that possible? I guess you can come out any moment now Lion…..since you’ve gotten your belly bump pic with your Auntie Jae!)

(Noah felt the need to include Geeks in this one as she kept climbing up and jumping off that bench behind us!!)

(It’s a shame my family is so miserable….)

(I got the lens I rented for this weekend’s wedding in the mail moments before we left for the Kastle and so had to take it with me to try out!! My kids were *actually* good sports about it! For once….)

(The Tuna Melt)

(Birdie’s *extra* special smile thanks to her extra front tooth! I love that thing!)


(The day Geeks came into my life, I knew I was a blessed woman. I did NOT deserve such a beautiful little miracle!)

(The following is a series of what happens when you ask these two to take a normal picture! And some how they have both procreated? It must be because they look like movie stars….)

(And ending the night right…..with more sugar filled frozen treats care of the Louisville Church of Christ’s Wacky Wednesdays!!)

Ahhhhhhhh………it feels good to be editing pictures of my own munchkins!! Viva la return of the pictures!!