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Sinner saved by grace. Wife to a cute preacher. Momma to 2 precious baby boys. Blessed beyond measure. And I deserve none of it.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Fat Friday

Cinnamon Roll Cake


3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Expo Day

Today is expo day. Allie and I are headed downtown as soon as I get off of work to pick up our race packets and shop the expo. I can not believe I completed my last training run yesterday. 2 days of rest and then its go time on Saturday. I have worked my tail off for 16 weeks and its crazy to think the training is over. No more marking off days or weeks on the training schedule. I am as prepared as I'm going to be. I am so thankful I accepted this challenge 4 months ago. What a rewarding feeling it will be to run into autozone park and cross that finish line. I literally get chills thinking about it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving morning began at Shelby Farms for the 2012 Turkey Trot. It was insane. There were so many people and a narrow path which meant it took forever to even get to the starting line. Allie, Sara, and I had agreed that we'd run this race slow and easy since there'd be so many people and it was the week before our half marathon. Well they said Go, and that plan went out the window. We were darting around people and pushing a much faster pace than we'd ever run in a race before. I thought I was going to die... and based on the pictures that the photographers took it appeared that way too. Allie was in Go mode and challenged Sara and I's steps. Though it was challenging, it was fun.

After the race, I ran home, got ready and then we headed to Mississippi to celebrate with D's side of the family for lunch. Then before we knew it, it was time to head to dinner to celebrate with my side of the family for dinner. I didn't think I had any more room for left until I walked in and smelled everything... you better believe I found room.

I love having both of our families here, but it makes celebrating Thanksgiving a gluttonous day.... with which I'm really ok with.

Here I am with ole chubs and Riley. Crazy to think that chubs won't be chubs for very much longer. Let the Riley countdown begin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

On this Thanksgiving Eve I thought it was only appropriate to answer some questions regarding our Thanksgiving. Thank you Rachel for the idea.

1.What do you look forward to more: the food, football or parades?
Between these 3... no question... the food! I do love watching the parade but my non-parade watching husband just makes weird comments about everything making the parade much less enjoyable. A new tradition started last year where we (myself and another family member I can sucker into it) get up and run in a Turkey day race so there's not much parade left to watch anyway by the time we get home.

2. What is your favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving Day dish?
This is a dumb question. It's thanksgiving so the traditional items are a must! If you don't like them you should not live in America. I am clearly kidding, but who eats weird things like lasagna for Thanksgiving?! I can't imagine it!

My favorite traditional food is dressing/cranberry sauce... I need both... together in fact. I could do without everything else. I am especially looking forward to my sister's dressing. It is delicious!

3. After dinner, is it football or a nap?
Nap! Oh football is on, but all I see are the back of my eye lids... or a Christmas movie if we're in Missouri.

4. What are your Thanksgiving traditions?
We travel every other year to my dad's family in Missouri. We play games, watch Christmas movies, and eat and eat and eat some more. This year because Riley's due date is so close we decided not to risk it and are staying here.

5. Where do you go to celebrate and eat your big meal? Who is there (family, friends)?
Lunch- Daniel's side in Mississippi- grandparents, parents, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins
Dinner- my side in Arlington- grandmother, parents, sister, brother, aunts, uncle, cousin,

6. What is your favorite turkey day dessert?
I'm not much of a pumpkin pie fan so I make a dessert every year. You better believe I'm making peanut butter sheet cake this year. If I'm going to digest thousands of calories, I might as well top it off well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So much to be thankful for

I don't mean to sound like a thanksgiving scrooge, but I get annoyed with the 'list what you're thankful for thing' on facebook. I keep thinking, "Get a blog, or a piece of paper."Is it really necessary to write something down everyday for us to read. True, I know reading it or getting on fb is my choice, but still. How thankful are most of those the rest of the year? And of course they're typing out all the good things they've been given, but what about the tough stuff? Shouldn't we be thankful for those too?  Yet no one writes about that stuff... ok, I'll get off my thanksgiving scrooge soapbox.

I really am a pleasant person. I promise.

As thanksgiving is approaching I am reminded of what God has done in our lives the last year. What an exciting ride we've been on! Seriously the craziest year of our lives which brought me to my list of thankfulness. (and yes it's ok to write this kind of stuff on a blog.)

1. Treasured gift of Jesus- I have never experienced Christ like I have this year. I am blown away by his love, faithfulness, mercy and grace to me. And I deserve none of it.

2. D- God knew what I needed when he gave me Daniel Jerkins.

3. Family- As I spend time with little ones at school and teenagers/adults at church, I am reminded of how diverse family situations are. I am so thankful for the upbringing I had and the family that God has given me.. both biologically and by marriage. What a legacy our children will have.

4. Friends- I am blown away by the friendships that God has brought into my life these 27 years. Some friends have lasted a lifetime where as others have come and gone. All still precious to me though. Its no coincidence that I always have in my life just the right people at the right time.

5. Church- God's goodness never ceases to amaze me. As I walked into Bellevue the other night to see my cousin be baptized, I was overwhelmed to the point of tears as I looked around at the church I grew up in. The sights, the smells, the memories...everywhere. What a precious opportunity I had to be apart of such an amazing church. I am so thankful that we still have friends and family that help keep us feeling apart. Bellevue will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Millington- For whatever reason, God chose to have us at Millington for 4 short months. Doesn't make any sense to us why he'd take us there to bring us right back to where we are, but we know He's in control. We know he used the situation in our lives and many others. Its neat to talk to friends we made there and hear how God was not only working in our lives but using our situation in theirs as well.

Hickory Withe- No doubt one of the sweetest churches around. From the minute we started there 4 years ago, we've had nothing but love and support. Even when we transitioned away, their love was unwavering. We are still loving being back and serving with this church.

6. Tough stuff- though life has been crazy and fun, it has not been perfect. We have had our fair share of ups and downs, heartbreaks and victories and I can honestly say I am thankful for them all. I am thankful for the valleys because I know the mountain top is coming. I am thankful for the wilderness because I know my promised land is just ahead. I am genuinely thankful for the tough stuff because its the tough stuff that reminds me how good my God is. When me situation may not be perfect, he is. When what I'm going through seems hopeless, he is my hope.

This past year God has been so faithful to us...in the good stuff and the tough stuff. And I am so thankful that he is God over both.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fat Friday

I have found maybe one of my favorite recipes...EVER. It's a close 2nd to that peanut butter sheet cake. It takes less ingredients, half the time and is slap your momma good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls
1 1/2 C pretzels
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Crush pretzels into small bits.
  • In mixer, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Mix until all ingredients are completely blended and smooth.
  • Add pretzel bits to peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Add powdered sugar and, again, mix thoroughly. It should look like this:
  • Prepare a chilling tray--a dinner plate covered with waxed paper works well.
  • Take about a teaspoon of the peanut butter pretzel mixture into your fingers and gently pat it into a ball with your fingertips. (The powdered sugar will make the peanut butter less sticky, but it's still too sticky to roll well, hence the patting.)
  • If the peanut butter starts sticking to your fingers, your fingers are too warm. Run your fingers under cold water for a minute to chill them, and begin rolling again.
  • Place the peanut butter balls onto the plate. When you have rolled all the balls, place the entire plate into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • After the peanut butter balls have chilled, prepare your chocolate. Pour the chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Continue until the chips are completely melted, which means they stir easily into smooth, fluid chocolate with no lumps.
  • Place one peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate and gently roll it around with a fork until completely coated. Remove from the bowl with the fork and place back on the waxed paper plate. Repeat for all other balls. (I found the choc chips made it too rich so I just drizzled (dumped if I'm being honest) the choc. on each one.
  • Once all the peanut butter balls are coated in chocolate, return the plate to the refrigerator and chill another 30 minutes.
When they're done, they should look like this:
This recipe makes approximately 22 balls. It is very easy to double, triple, quadruple this recipe.

You will have to muster up some restraint because its hard to only eat one! D is not really a huge fan of peanut butter balls...which is crazy to me. I grew up with my granny fixing them (a ton of them!) at Christmas. They are my favorite. He came home from work curious as to what I was making, tasted it of course, and probably got more excited about this than anything else I've ever made before... in the 6.5 years we've been married. I can't decide if that's an insult to my cooking or compliment for success. Maybe its both, but who cares when you find something this good!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Pretzel Balls

*I got the recipe from this blog. Thank you Marisa!*

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Things Thursday

3 things I'm currently loving are....

1. Frankincense and Myrrh fake scentsy bar. Its the wal-mart brand and it smells so clean, refreshing, and kind of minty. I love the way it takes my classroom from smelling like a zoo to a winter wonderland.

2. Sun in the early mornings! I know most people hate the time change this time of year. I am def. a summer girl who likes the sun staying out later, but when you're getting up in the 5:00a.m. hour to run.... the peak of light at 6:00a.m. is so refreshing! I am loving the brighter, early mornings. So I will gladly take less sun at night for this change.

3. McDonald's Peppermint Mocha- A friend surprised me with one this morning and it is delish! I had never had McDonald's version. I do like Starbucks, but once you make it non-fat, etc. it loses its thrill of deliciousness. McDonald's either has a way tastier non-fat version or they tricked me and gave me a regular one. Either way... 2 thumbs up for this holiday drink!

So how about you guys? Found any favorite things lately that's worth sharing?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shopping, Training, and Basketball

This past weekend was our annual girls shopping trip to Nashville. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time. The week prior was not a very fun week at school. After dealing with several situations that made my blood pressure rise more than once, this getaway of retail therapy was just what I needed. Not only was it successful to ease the stress of my school week, but it was successful in helping my wardrobe.

Between several of us, Old Navy will stay in business.

As I opened my refrigerator the other day, I was reminded that my big race is only 3 weeks away. I can't believe its almost here. We are so ready... come on Dec. 1.

Memphis basketball has begun. Monday night we went to the game. I love going to the games. I love the sounds, smells, people watching opportunities... and let me tell you it is quite entertaining... the people watching. Who actually goes to a basketball game to watch basketball for 2 hours?! Just kidding... well sort of. It was a great night because not only did we confirm they  carry Rendezvous barbeque now, but this chick came with us.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Choc. Chip Brownies

It's no secret that I love peanut butter almost as much as I love Daniel Jerkins.That's clearly an exaggeration but you get my point. I'm willing to try anything where PEANUT BUTTER is in the title. I'm also a huge fan of brownies so when I saw this pin  pop up I knew it was a must try. This is a Bakeralla recipe. She made a frosting to go on top but said she wished she's done without the frosting so that's what I did. I think though next time I will try the frosting. When it comes to food, I'm a Go Big or Go Home kind of girl. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9 X 13 pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt together with a wire whisk and set aside.
  • In a mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugars and mix until combined.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.
  • Stir in the peanut butter until completely combined and set aside.
  • In a mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and mix until combined.
  • Add the chocolate and peanut butter mixture and mix until completely blended.
  • You can add a teaspoon at a time of milk if you would like the frosting creamier.
  • When the brownies are cool, spread the frosting on top.
  • Go ahead and cut the brownies into 16 servings in the pan. On each serving make peanut butter cookie marks with a fork. I placed the brownies in the freezer for a few minutes first to firm so the frosting didn’t get too messed up when I cut them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Lot of Life Lately

Last Sunday we had our fall festival at church. Its the biggest outreach event we do every year and this year was also a hit. We had a great turn out especially visitors with no church home. We even had one salvation that we are aware of. So thankful for opportunities like these! I also found these 2 cuties from my class there.

This past Wednesday, we had grandparents day at school. I love grandparents day! The grandparents get to come in and see our day condensed into one hour. I also love it because my granny also comes on this day and my kids love having Mrs. B there.

Friday night was our Ladies Christmas Tea at church. It was so fun. Not only was it refreshing to be around some of my precious friends but it def got us excited for the holidays.


Saturday was a cram packed day of showering my sister. My mother in law and 2 sister in laws plus 2 of kacie's friends threw her a shower that morning and then my mom's friends had a shower for her that afternoon. It was a busy day. 

In fact, in between showers we took the gifts from the first shower back to kacie and jeremy's place and then fell asleep on the couch. Then it was time for shower #2.

Both showers were sweet reminders of the precious people we have in our lives... those  who threw the showers and those that attended. The food was amazing at both showers! I'm pretty sure I ate up every calorie and more that I burned on my long run that morning, but it was well worth it.

I did a terrible job of taking pictures, but here's what I did manage to get.

 Shower #1

Shower #2

We are so appreciative of all the people who already love Baby Riley. She is already one blessed little girl. Can't believe she's due in just 6 short weeks!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This title is laughable because I am the last person who should be giving organization advice. I have found though that I struggle with it,  I so appreciate the "after"when I do take time to adequately organize. My kitchen for instance, I enjoying being in there more when my cabinets and counter tops are organized opposed to a sloppy mess when you open the doors.

I am lazy.

Plain and simple. I am working on it. I know how important is to keep my home in order and not just what guests see when they come into my home but what my husband sees on the other side of the closet door or in the cabinets as well. As I'm typing this I can think of a million places in my home that need reorganizing because I got lazy and just threw something in there instead of putting it in its correct place.

I have been looking for creative ideas on how to make more room by way of simple solutions. So... on to wal-mart today we shall go.

As I think about how I can better organize my home, I am reminded that the way I treat my home is a reflection of me and even my spiritual walk. It's easy to keep what everyone sees neat and tidy. Its whats behind closed doors that is a little less pretty. I have a closet in our play room that is my gift closet/ decorative pieces I'm not using currently.. kind of closet. I know last Christmas break I spent a good amount of time organizing it. I folded, straightened, rearranged, and even threw out stuff. What happened you might ask... life. I was in a hurry for a gift bag and tissue paper so I grabbed what I needed and threw the rest back in and said I'll fix it later. Rather than taking just a few minutes to straighten everything back, I sacrificed a clean closet for one that 11 months later looks like a tornado went threw it again because I didn't take the time that was necessary to put everything back in its place.

This can ring very true in our lives and relationship with Christ. We can spend a few days, weeks, and even months on track with Christ. We are hungry for him and his word. We can organize, straighten, and even throw out the things that are not necessary, but if we don't continually take the time that is necessary to stay organized we too will end up feeling more like a tornado has hit us. Daily time... quality time... not hurried time.. with the Lord each day will keep us straightened and organized spiritually.

So when you're tackling those messy drawers, cabinets and closets, let it be a self check to you on what other areas of your life need to be cleaned out and organized as well.