Avocado Basil Pasta – a rave


Hey friends! It’s been a while since I added a personally-tested Pinterest recipe with my thoughts, so check out this Avocado Basil Pasta recipe. (check out the link here for ingredients/directions —> http://www.recipe.com/avocado-basil-pasta/)

This has everything one could possibly love: pasta, cheese, bacon, garlic, fresh herbs and avocado! I didn’t add lemon juice to my recipe because I didn’t have any, and while I don’t feel it’s necessary for one’s palette, I do think it would keep the avocado looking fresh (it tends to brown once chopped). I only added 2 garlic cloves to my dish because I’m nursing and I was afraid of a strong garlic presence affecting my milk. (4 sounds like a lot, but I promise it won’t be overkill. That is, if you love garlic as much as I do!) The bacon adds a really nice crunch and balanced out the texture of the dish. While I’m not a huge fan of fresh basil (I much prefer cilantro and parsley), the basil worked so well with the flavor profile of this pasta. The only thing I think I would do differently (not because it’s needed, but because I want to) is add grilled chicken. I think it would be a heartier dish if there was an additional protein. It could seem like a side-dish without the chicken, but you can always pair it with a crusty French loaf or a club sandwich (more bacon please!). I give this recipe a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not only yummy, but it’s simple and doesn’t incorporate 392 ingredients. That’s important criteria these days! Enjoy friends!


lincoln log 5 months!

I am 5 months old today everybody!

I roll both ways, and I love being on my tummy! I weigh over 15 pounds, and I wear 6-month clothes! I laugh, squeal and smile, but not for just anyone. Mommy and Daddy have to work really hard because I’m naturally suspicious and curious! And I’m always thinking! I sleep great! I’ve started pulling my knees up to my chest while I’m on my tummy! And I stick my butt in the air too! When Mommy or Daddy says “up”, I hold my arms out to be picked up! I know how to give kisses, but I don’t give them away unless it’s on my terms! Mommy and Daddy are teaching me “eat” in sign language! I’m mesmerized by other people eating and drinking (Mommy says it’s almost time for something other than milk!) I love when Daddy reads to me! I can spot Mommy from a mile away! I love my friend, Sophie, my teething giraffe! I talk when I’m tired! I LOVE my hands! And I love going to see Daddy at work: the girls there spoil me!

I had to add this one because it's just the sweetest pic of my two guys!

I had to add this one because it’s just the sweetest pic of my two guys!

I'm as big as this bear!

I’m as big as this bear!

I'd rather show you my feet!

I’d rather show you my feet!

I guess I'll give you a litle smile!

I guess I’ll give you a litle smile!

march of {lots of} dimes.

imagesRecently, my husband returned from the mailbox with an envelope from the March of Dimes. Curiously, enclosed he found an actual dime. I started thinking. How many people did the March of Dimes send fundraising letters to? And did they enclose a dime in every single one? And who was the poor soul who had to collect all of the said dimes to mail out? Let’s imagine the March of Dimes, whose cause I support, (not financially, just philosophically) sent letters to six million Americans. Forgive me for not providing the math here (I’m sure most of you just did it yourself), but that’s a lot of dollars. Dollars that could be spent on research and education. How ironic is it to ask people to donate to your cause (I’m not knocking it, I’m just trying to provide some logic here), and then send THEM money?! (which, by the way, I’m sure wasn’t cheap to mail!) March of [lots of] Dimes: just keep your dimes. Better yet, keep your dollars. Don’t exchange them for dimes in the first place. Though, I guess you do deserve a thank you. I just put the dime in Lincoln’s piggy bank. I guess all that’s left now is to ask: Did you receive the same envelope from March of Dimes? And did you keep the dime?

P.S. While googling an image of the dime, Google autopopulated “dimebag Darrell”. I have no idea who this is, but maybe my next blog entry will feature him. Don’t count on it, though. (I bet you’re going to Google “dimebag Darrell” now. Go ahead. Get it out of your system.)

trials and tribs

In conversations with others, on television, and in eavesdropping on others, you can almost always hear someone say the phrase “trials and tribulations”. Most people can’t even spell tribulation, much less define it. Not to mention, it’s one of the most cliché phrases a person can add to his or her repertoire. Please, for the love of all things literary and intelligent, please stop saying trials AND tribulations. Just pick one! If you don’t, and you continue to use the two in conjunction with each other, you’ll end up sounding like an R&B singer from the 90s, who most certainly thinks it’s him “against the world.” And we all know we don’t need one more R&B singer from the 90s. 

in the valley

It’s not always easy to admit when you’re in a valley. But there I was. I saw no way out. I wasn’t even trying to find an escape. I had totally resigned to my lowly position. Bitter. Angry. But not motivated to change my attitude. Worst of all, I was mad at God. Have you ever been there? I expected to be mad at God when I wanted a child but the months came and there was no glimmer of hope. I expected to be mad at God when my goals, ideas and desires for my pregnancy were thwarted by weekly doctor appointments, countless hospital stays and eight weeks of bedrest. Those times; however, God came down from heaven and wrapped me up in His embrace. I was at peace. But this. THIS, I didn’t expect. It doesn’t matter what my valley actually encompassed. It doesn’t matter the details. What does matter is how we approach our problems. Problems are mere distractions. The more we focus on them, the less we focus on Jesus. And anything that takes our eyes off of Jesus needs to be removed. But for weeks I didn’t care about removing it. I was perfectly fine with my anger. (Anger is way easier for me to process than confusion. Or disappointment, discouragement, helplessness. Anger’s what I do.) But something happened this morning. The God of the universe, Who undoubtedly has way more important things to worry about, whispered in my ear: “Read Joshua 1-3.” Okay, God. I will. After I feed, change and bathe my son. After I make this chili. After I brown this sausage. After, after, after. And then something happened. And I headed to the bedroom, shut the door and opened Joshua 1. There it stood. God’s promise to me in verse 5: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” But He wasn’t done. I kept reading. Verse 9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Wow. Refreshed. At peace. For the first time in a long time. I opened my devotional that a friend sent to me when I was on bedrest, and guess what? Joshua 1:5 written, typed out, God-breathed. Just for me. Exhale. I craved more, so I opened my Jesus Calling devotional that Husband of the Year got me for Christmas, and here’s what it says: “Come to me with a thankful heart. (Something I’ve been lacking.) This is the day I have made. I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow. I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on me. (Something I lost along the way.) My glorious riches are a more-than-adequate supply. Stay in continual communication with Me so that you can live above your circumstances while you are in the midst of them.” Miracles. In this mundane day. I’d say yes. Thank you, Lord. I needed this today, and everyday. You are the giver of every breath. How often (daily, minute-by-minute) I forget Your goodness to me. How often I fail to thank You. Praise You. Cry out to You. But here I am in this valley. Crying out to the One who knew LONG AGO that I would open my Bible and need a word from You. And You answered. Because You foresaw my need. Forgive me, Lord. And help me to focus on You in the midst of my troubles. Life is just a vapor. And I only have one “today”. I don’t want to spend it in the valley.

the proverbial sunday drive

I’m convinced that the past-time known as “the Sunday drive”, where folks would pile into their vehicles and drive to the outskirts of town, was made popular by moms. Moms who interrupted baby naps to get said babies to church on time. And to keep them up during church because there isn’t anywhere for them to go to sleep. Moms who drove 25 minutes to church when baby’s waketime window is approximately an hour, INCLUDING nursing. It’s no wonder families forewent big Sunday lunches and long, Sunday naps. No. Because when baby isn’t happy, no one’s happy. Whoever said the similar phrase “If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” never had a 4-month old. And he or she probably never had a grammar lesson either.

Anyway, happy Sunday folks. I hope you all enjoyed your Sunday spread followed by a nice, restful snooze. We drove to Roanoke and back. And then to Charlottesville. But no one has to know all that.

the nightly routine.

Most of you clicked on the above title expecting to read a list of things Matt and I do to prepare Lincoln for nighty-night time. However, this post isn’t about his nightly routine. It’s about mine and Matt’s.

Matt and I vowed last January (2013) to read the Bible in its entirety by the end of the year. One of us completed it at the dead last minute. And it wasn’t me. 🙂 Anyway, Matt mentioned something to me before Christmas that he would love a daddy devotional to start 2014. I searched the internet. I even posed it to my facebook friends, asking them to give me recommendations for a good daily devotional for fathers. Not one response. So I thought to myself, my friends’ husbands must not read a devotional. Insert judgment. Okay, not really. But seriously? Not even ONE recommendation? Pitiful.

I went to Amazon and found one that I thought looked good. None of this matters except to say that I totally wasted my time. And maybe it was a sign to me not to pursue this devotional situation when not one of my facebook “friends” responded. Anyway, on Christmas morning, I opened up a package that had his/hers leatherbound “Jesus Calling” devotionals by Sarah Young. Matt’s gift to me: that we would do a daily devotional together. Husband of the year, I tell ya.

So every night we do a daily devotional followed by planking. Yes, you read that right. Planking. The goal for me is just to make it longer than Matt. And I do. Every time. Because when I commit to something, I follow through. Even with something as lame and ridiculous as planking. It doesn’t hurt that it will (hopefully) strengthen my core. And get rid of the post-baby belly I’m sporting.

So, Jesus Calling then planking. And then prayer. Matt prays first, then I do. If he forgets something, I can come along behind him and pick up the slack! So there you have it friends. Our nightly routine. And if you’re lucky, you’re included too! In our prayers 🙂