Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday - Old School Family Pictures

I'll just let some of these speak for themselves...


Me and my sister getting ready for some trick-or-treating


When Jen and I took ballet when we were kids, she was a ballerina. I was in a different dance for that recital and I was a tiger. I thought I had that picture, but I can't find it.


I kinda look like Cindy Brady don't I?


Fast forward many years...the sisters, Jennifer, Marcie and Lindsey


Me and my aunt DeLane


For my 21st birthday, both of my sisters treated me to dinner and a Prince concert. Such a fun night.


Charlies Angels...this is after a pep rally at Hoover High where I was on the dance team, which explains the outfit ;)


The three sisters with our two step-sisters and our dad and step-mother, Martha...I was going through some hair experimenting years...back off.


The girls with Paw Paw


The sisters again...gosh this was so long ago!


Me and my cousin John. John is DeLane's son and he came to watch me dance at a UA basketball game.


This is the three of us at B&A Warehouse. My step-brother's wedding reception was there, as was mine several years later :)

Hope you enjoyed my flashback friday, I know it's been a while since I've done one. I love doing this because, God forbid, if I lose all these pictures, they're all right here for me to see in 10, 20, 30 years :)

Monday, May 24, 2010



So lets be honest, raise your hand if this applies to you. No, not the panda mating part, but the being disappointed part. Everyone has been a victim of being disappointed by others. We set expectations of our friends and family and when those expectations are not met, we get upset and sometimes even angry and bitter. However, as humans we already know that we're going to fail. We are not perfect and we all make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God and we certainly all fall short of the expectations of others. So what's the point of even having expectations if they're not going to be met? Well, there's not one. Bare with me on this post, it's kind of long, but I promise it's well worth it!


"I've found that if you have a goal, you might not reach it. But if you don't have one, then you're never disappointed. And I gotta tell feels phenomenal". We all laughed when we heard Vince Vaughn say these words in the movie Dodgeball (one of the best movies of ALL TIME by the way), but ol' Peter LaFleur had it right! Can we apply that quote to expectations? Yes, we certainly can!

Shattered expectations usually start off small; a friend canceling on you when they know how much you needed them, a significant other cheating on you, or a family member lying to you. Once these things happen more and more throughout your life, you start to question if anyone out there REALLY loves you. You get angry at that friend, boyfriend or family member and you hold a grudge for what they did and it never goes away. You spend so much time being angry and bitter that it ends up overtaking you and becoming who you are. I've experienced that before, just like all of you have. The real questions is do we deal with it?

One of the best quotes I've ever heard anyone say is "You can't control what others do, you can only control how you react to it". I've been pretty much living by this quote the past couple of years. Anytime someone disappoints me and I want to get angry, I remind myself that I have to control my reactions. This leads me to the reason for this post. My old pastor from high school when I went to First Baptist Church of Hoover, Bo Brown, leads a church in Alabaster that I went to with Ashley Matherson a couple of weeks ago. I've missed Bo so much. He always spells out the scriptures for people with no creativity (aka, ME). I didn't go to church there this past Sunday, but he posted a facebook status about the overall message. The message was this:

"Expectations of others - Give them up
Expectations of God - Lift them up
Expectations of ourselves - Toughen up"

WOW! I don't think anyone could have said it better. First up to discuss is the expectations of others. You know the best way to get rid of the anger and resentment that comes with people disappointing you? To not have expectations. We are all flawed and imperfect. God commands us to love anyone, give everything, and to expect nothing in return.

I gave up on expectations for other people a long time ago, but not for this purpose. I gave up having expectations because I knew people would fail me since it seemed to happen so much. It's human nature. But when I did that, something happened that I wasn't anticipating. I was happy. ALL THE TIME. It was a sort of "freeing" experience. I let go of expectations of others and all of a sudden, my eyes were opened. The by-product of letting go of those expectations was appreciation and gratefulness for the things that they do. I was grateful for people doing and saying things to me and I showed that gratitude in return, which made them happy and making them happy in turn made me happy. I didn't see the acts of kindness of other people before because I expected it.

When you are humble and show gratefulness for the small things in life, you will be so much happier. Don't expect someone to do something for you because they're your friend or because they're you family member. EXPECT NOTHING. If you show the people in your life how grateful you are for them and all they do for you (even if you do kind of expect it from them), they will want to do things for you more often because they know you appreciate it and recognize the fact that they didn't have to do anything at all, but CHOSE TO. Doing that helps remind us that even the closest person to you (best friend, spouse, parent, etc.) will inevitably fail you at some point. The key is to remember all the other places where they excelled. When someone disappoints you, try to remember all the times in the past where they've been there or done something that they didn't have to do and be grateful for that. People can't be perfect at all, but they certainly can't be perfect all the time.

Now onto the expectations of God. We should have expectations of God and we should lift them up to Him. That sounds so bad right? This guy sent his son to die on the cross for us and here we are saying we have expectations of Him?? Doesn't sound right. Well, the reason we do have expectations of God is because unlike us, He NEVER fails. He is always there, even when we don't realize it. God doesn't exaggerate either. If He says He will provide, He will provide. We need to have faith in Him, we need to believe in miracles.

Do you think that something so outlandish and unlikely as parting the Red Sea was something Moses thought God would do? Probably not, but he had faith that God would deliver whatever way He saw fit. It doesn't seem likely that one man could simply touch the hurt and injured and they would instantly be healed, but Jesus did that many times. God doesn't exaggerate. BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! God wants us to have expectations of Him because by having those expectations, it shows you have faith that He will meet them. Be cautious though, just because God doesn't deliver the way you want Him to, doesn't mean He didn't deliver.

And finally, expectations of ourselves. What Bo means when he said we need to toughen up is that we need to be tougher on ourselves and not tough on others. Don't judge someone for their faults, we all have them. They may not be the same faults as the person you're judging, but you have faults in other areas. Everyone is a sinner, even pastors. If you feel the need to judge someone, judge yourself. Be tough on yourself. Get mad at yourself when you catch yourself in sin and pray for forgiveness. It's not about other people. It's about YOU and YOUR relationship with God.

As Christians, we sometimes see our christian friends doing something bad or un-christian and sometimes our gut instinct is to think "Wow, so and so really isn't being very Christian right now". Guess were just un-Christian too in making that judgement. It is not our jobs to fix other people, it is our jobs to fix ourselves and PRAY for other people.

Regardless of how well you know a person, you will never know their heart like God does. Just because you saw, with your own eyes, a person do something bad doesn't mean that that person didn't go home and feel so awful about it and pray for forgiveness and strength not to make that mistake again, which, by the way, you wouldn't see with your own eyes. You don't know someone's heart. Only God does. Let Him be the one to make the judgement, it's His job! Judge yourself first before judging others and be harder on yourself than you are on others.

Bo mentioned saying the following prayer:

Lord, I pray for three things...
A heart of fire for Thee,
A heart of flesh for others,
and a heart of iron towards myself.

I hope this will help some of you the way it has helped me :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Favorite Past Posts

I saw this list on a blog a while ago and decided that today, out of complete boredom, I would do it myself. The point is to put your favorite 5 posts that you've made on your blog and then put your favorite 5 posts by your friends (linking all of them to the exact post of course). I'm a HUGE blog reader (especially on days like today when I am not busy at work and am trying to find something to pass the time) and I love reading my friends blogs. So I'll start with my five favorites:

5. I'm Back...But I Wish I Wasn't - This blog post was in July 2008, after I got back from our trip to Colorado. Justin and I along with our fellow travel buddies Bonnie and Andrew went to Colorado to climb Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in the state of Colorado, as well as visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. To this day, Elbert is the most difficult climb I've ever done (that statement will only hold true until December 2010 when we climb Kilimanjaro in Africa) and it was also my favorite. When you're at 14,000 feet and you have a 360 degree view of the Rockies, well, it's an understatement to say that all your worries drift away. It is by far one of my favorite trips we've ever taken.

4. Soon To Be Mrs. Morris - This one is kind of obvious. This is the post I did when Justin and I got engaged. Because we're travel junkies, Justin wouldn't allow such a huge event to happen in Birmingham, so we traveled to New Orleans. It was such an awesome weekend.

3. Our Wedding - Another kind of obvious one. We got married on July 25, 2009. This post is really just our wedding day in pictures, not so much words. In fact, oh wow...I don't have a blog post of me accounting for the details of our wedding day. Crap!! Might have to do something about that. Anyway, get ready to marvel at how amazing my wedding photographer is. She's based out of Los Angeles now though. Sorry southern ladies!

2. 101 in 1,001 - One would think this would be number one on my list because I blog about it so much, but I like my number one below much better. Like the caption on the right side of my blog says, my list is of 101 things to do in 1,001 days. My wedding photographer had one on her blog and I copied her idea. Ever since then, the 101 list is taking the world by storm. Lots of my friends have started making one and their friends and their friends know the rest. I highly suggest this, especially if you're OCD like me and get some sick feeling of accomplishment when you scratch something off a list :)

1. A Letter To Me - I wrote this a long time ago after hearing the Braid Paisley song "Letter To Me" and was inspired to blog about it. In ten years, it's going to be awesome to look back at this and that's why it's my number one favorite blog post!

So now, onto my favorite blog posts of my friends. This time it's in no particular order because I seriously love all of these!!! And also, there are six instead of five because the Lobdell's and the Willimason's both had more than one posts that I liked.

1. Race Report from Garrett and Lauren - Lauren has been one of my very best friends for 14 years. We were inseparable in high school and she was the one that got me to start blogging. She lives in Seattle now, so I never get to see her. Although, I got to see her this week because she was in town and I'll see her next month because Justin and I are going to visit them for a long weekend. Lauren made a goal to run her very first half-marathon and this is the post she did after she ran it. I've been struggling with running my first half. I tried to train for the Mercedes in Birmingham, but my busy season got in the way, then I was going to do the Music City Marathon in my old home in Nashville, but that very weekend our friends had a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, so we couldn't do it. Lauren is my inspiration to run the half and reading this post gets me more inspired each time I read it.

2. First Post from Life with the Lobdell's - Tiffany is one of my very good friends and I am so glad that I met her. Her husband and I went to high school together and Tiff and I pretty much hit it off as friends from the beginning. This post is her very first post as a blogger where she details her wedding. The reason I love this post is because I loved her wedding. Tiffany's wedding was the ONLY wedding, other than mine, that I cried at....TWICE. She likes to give me a hard time about it still. It was the most emotional and heartfelt ceremony I've ever been to.

3. Labor and Delivery from The Williamson's Wonderful World - I love reading Allison's blog. Her husband, Chase, went to high school with Justin and I and was one of Justin's groomsmen in our wedding. They just had a sweet baby girl, Brantley Rae, in January and this is the post Allison did to document the birth. I love how detailed she is in this post! It is something she won't ever want to forget so documenting it as detailed and quickly as possible was her goal. I'm sure that whenever Justin and I get to that point, I'll have to bring a paper and pen with me to write everything down because I am so scatter brained and forget pretty much everything all the time. Allison also did pregnancy posts weekly about what was going on in her belly which I also think is a great idea for moms so that they don't forget. It's also pretty cool whenever you get preggo with your second child to go back and look at what was going on with you during that particular week during your first pregnancy and compare. Pretty cool!!!

4. Letter to 29 from A Bride In Boots - Lillian is one of my favorite people. She is so fun and giddy and always has a huge smile on her face. I met Lillian while I was living in Nashville and she was also one of my bridesmaids. Lillian was hesitant about becoming 30 and this post was a reminder to herself of all the positive things that she has going for her to remind her that age is just a number. Lillian greatly reminds me of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. She is probably going to fun and fabulous all the way into her fifties :)

5. Singles Cruise 2009 from Life with the Lobdell's - Tiffany and Trevor along with the other Morris', Sam and Shelly (no relation), and Justin and I went on a cruise to Cozumel in October 2009. We called it Singles Cruise...there's an inside joke behind it of course since we're all married to each other. This was such a fun trip!!! You can also see my post on it here.

6. Guess What from The Williamson's Wonderful World - This is the post Allison did when she was ready to announce their pregnancy. She made a little blue shirt that said "Baby" with an arrow pointing down at her belly and that's how they told their parents. Looking back at this post I thought it was funny that her shirt was blue and she had a girl :) You can tell how excited she was when she announced their pregnancy. She put links to those well known websites that try to predict if you're having a boy or girl. One of them was right and one of them wasn't. I'll have to go back and look at those sites whenever Justin and I start a family.

So those are my faves. Please follow these blogs! They are written by some pretty awesome people :) Sorry there were no pics in this post!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Giz

Justin and I have a sweet and adorable dog named Gizmo, though we frequently refer to her simply as "the Giz". The Giz is a German Sheppard mix. When Justin went to the humane society in Auburn to purchase a dog, the vet told him that she would probably max out around 45 pounds. I so want to go find that dude. The Giz weighs in typically anywhere from 80-95 pounds. She does not realize she is a dog. She thinks she is just like all of us, hence, she does things that most humans do (i.e. sleeping in the bed on the pillows, watching TV on the couch, etc.).

The one thing that drives me crazy about the Giz is that she has SO. MUCH. HAIR. She sheds all over the place and I have to vacuum at least once a week because of it. When it gets to be summertime like it is now, we've gotten into the habit of shaving her. She loves it because she's not as hot as she would be if she still had all that hair. And, like most dogs, she is unaware of the phrase "beauty over comfort". Mainly because with her, comfort wins with a landslide. Example of what I'm talking about:

This is the Giz with all her hair:


This is The Giz now:



She doesn't realize that daddy sucks at giving a buzz cut, all she knows is that now she can go sit outside all day long and be comfortable. By the way, this is reason number 326 why my husband will NEVER groom our children. Justin probably just read that and in his mind (or even out loud) is thinking "Sweeeeeeeeeeeet. Dodged a bullet."

So obviously this weekend Justin cut the Giz's hair. After shaving it all off and filling up an entire trash bag of Giz hair, Justin discovered that Do-Dah-Day was this weekend in Birmingham and they were shaving animals and collecting the hair to take to the Gulf to help out with the oil spill. Not only could we have helped the greater good had we known this information earlier, but just maybe, the Giz would have comfort AND beauty.

Friday night, Justin and I had plans to go eat dinner at Stix with the Lobdell's. We got there first so we got us a table for four. While ordering our drinks, Justin saw Rob and Lauren pull in the parking lot. We immediately called Trevor because if we were having six people, we needed a bigger table. Turns out, Trevor hadn't invited Rob and Lauren, it was just a complete coincidence that they were there. So we still got a bigger table and all ate together. Naturally, Justin and I couldn't eat all our food and had to get a to go box....and naturally, we left it on the table when we left. We always do that.

Saturday we ate lunch at Mr. P's with my sister, Lindsey, who was in town for the day. Afterwards, we ran a couple of errands and then came home so he could shave the Giz and I could cut the grass. Yes, I cut the grass. My sweet husband has the worst allergies known to man this time of year and when he cuts the grass it gets them all flared up, so being the awesome wife that I am, I did it for him. When I was done I went to go see this movie with my long time friend Ashley Matherson (also refered to on this blog as "Aflac":



Seriously, Matherson and I laughed the entire time during this movie. It was supposed to be a romantic movie, but it was absolutely horrific. The acting was terrible, the music was terrible, I absolutely wasn't convinced of the "chemistry" of the actors, but most importantly, the script was just complete crap. This is seriously the worst movie I have seen in a very long time, which was not fun for me because I thought it looked really good and I really wanted to see it. Huge letdown. My apologies to Russell Crowe and the cast of Robin Hood.

Sunday we went to church and then I had to go to Tuscaloosa to get my hair some much needed highlighting action. It was an uneventful weekend, but the first weekend in a while we hadn't been super busy or out of town so I got a ton of stuff done. This week is my Friday off at work and Justin and I are trying to decide if we're going to take a roadtrip to do some highpoints. We were originally going to drive for two days to do the Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri highpoints, but we haven't decided for sure yet. I guess we'll see how the week goes. I hope everyone has a blessed week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

99 Balloons

I've started reading my book, Plan B, and after getting through the first chapter, I am already holding back tears. One of the examples that Pete gives in the first chapter is of a young girl named Kelly. At Pete's old church in Kentucky, he became close to a married couple that was very devoted to the church and was there every week. When Pete noticed their absence several weeks in a row he called them.

After a visit with the couple, he was told the reason that they weren't attending the church anymore. Turns out, their twenty year old daughter, Kelly, was un-married and now pregnant. The couple felt that they couldn't come to church anymore because of this. After Pete told them to come back and to bring Kelly with them, the family returned to church and Kelly was welcomed with open arms. The church even threw Kelly a baby shower where she received a white gown with pink flowers on it that Kelly said she would bring her baby girl home in.

Pete was called to the hospital when Kelly was giving birth. While waiting in the hall with Kelly's dad for the baby to be born, Pete learned that Kelly had given birth to a stillborn. They buried baby Grace in that white gown with pink flowers instead of bringing her home in it. Just when Kelly started her relationship with God and finally accepted the fact that her life was going to drastically change at a young age, God brought little Grace home.

This reminds me of a sermon Pete did when I was at church at Cross Point. Lillian may or may not remember this, but it was also the first time she saw me cry. I can't remember the series, but I feel pretty certain that it was the actual Plan B series that the book was written about. We watched a video about baby Eliot. I put the video below. Moms out there beware, you will cry. But I want you to watch it and be thankful that God blessed you with a healthy child and you never had to experience what this family had to go through. Videos and stories like the one you're about to see is what scares me to death even start trying to have children. I can't even begin to imagine what I would do in this situation.

I'm only on the second chapter of Plan B, but can already tell I'm going to be blogging about it quite often, therefore I've made a label for it. There's a study guide that comes with the book. When I was doing disaster relief with my in-laws, I told Debbie, my mother-in-law, that a few girls and I were hunting down a good bible study group. She suggested not even finding a group, but finding a good book with a study guide, and starting one with this group of girls. I've got three other girls interested and we're all going to meet weekly to discuss the topics in the study guide for each chapter. If you're in the area and want to do it too, let me know. We won't start for a while because the other girls have just now ordered the book, so you have time to order it and join us if you want. It will be incredibly informal.

If you and your spouse are trying to get pregnant and it's not happening, this book is for you. If you are going through a divorce, this book is for you. If you are the last of your friends not married and feel left out and alone, this book is for you. But most importantly, if you are currently living Plan A of your life and haven't even thought you would ever need a Plan B, then this book is REALLY for you.

Sidenote: I put a status on twitter saying that I was only on page 8 and holding back tears. Pete sent me a message saying he promised it got easier after chapter one. I hope he's right :) Then again, if he's not...I may lose a TON of water weight from crying! That's the definition of optimistic :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

#35 and #87 - CHECK!

Number 35 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to go back to Cades Cove in Gatlinburg to go camping. Justin and I did that very thing this weekend. We drove down to Cades Cove on Friday morning and checked into our campsite. We LOVE Cades Cove. It's our favorite place! Justin is obsessed with trying to find bears along the 11 mile road that circles the cove. Last time we went there was May of 2009 and you can see that post here. Here's a few pics:


Justin and I saw this guy before anyone on the loop did, which is a very rare thing. We parked the truck and got out to head toward the tree to take a picture. The bear saw me immediately and looked straight at me while I was taking this picture.


Of course that didn't distract him from chomping down on his lunch :)


Once the cars behind Justin and I saw that we had gotten out of the car and were looking at something in the trees, they all started stopping to see if what we were looking at was a bear. This happens frequently and the traffic that comes from it is called a "bear jam". Bear jams happen all the time in the Cades Cove loop. But this was the first time that Justin and I caused one. It was pretty awesome.


We did a hike to Abrams Falls in Cades Cove. This is me in front of the falls.


Taking a break from the hike to enjoy the scenery.

We had heard from the guy working the campstore at the camp grounds say that the cut through in the middle of the cove to Hyatt Lane was where people had been spotting lots of bears. So Justin and I found that road and took it. That's where we saw this:


Want it zoomed in?? Ok...


How stinkin adorable is that??? There are 4 bears in the tree. One is the momma bear and the other are her three cubs.


This one was really tired


Our campsite.

Naturally, I had my handy little heart rate monitor on so I could tell how many calories we were burning. I burned 1,500 on Friday. So I didn't feel bad about eating some doughnuts and M&M cookies for dinner :)

The next morning, we woke up early and knocked number 87 off my list, which was to go bike riding somewhere fun. We brought our bikes and decided to bike a shorter version of the 11 mile loop. We used the Hyatt Lane cut through and it ended up being 8.5 miles total.






The bike ride was awesome. Not as awesome as this bike ride, but still pretty cool. After biking, we got ready to do our hike of Mount LeConte. Like I've said in previous posts, this is a mountain we'd already climbed, but the last time we did it, we actually didn't go all the way to the summit. We made it to the lodges at the top, but the "true summit" was a couple hundred feet higher and we just didn't feel the need to go there. This time, we wanted to see the true summit.


Me at the trailhead ready to start. To answer the question I know you're thinking, yes, it was friggin freezing, hence the long sleeve shirt and vest. It was unusually cold for May in the Smokies on Saturday.


In that cave is a VERY steep staircase we had to go up.


This is the view from Myrtle Point, a little below the summit of LeConte.



This is the official summit of LeConte. Apparently people bring rocks here to try to make the summit higher than Clingman's Dome which is the highest point in the state of TN. Justin and I have already been to that. So even if they happen to one day make LeConte taller than Clingman's Dome, we can say we've been to both.


At a great view on the way back down from the mountain.

The hike was 12 miles roundtrip. I must say, it was MUCH easier this time around. I remember having to stop more last time we did this mountain and being in more pain. Justin says that this is because LeConte was my very first mountain to climb, EVER and also because since I climbed it last time, I've climbed significantly more difficult mountains and am in much better shape now than I was then. P90X may also have something to do with it, particularly Plyometrics. And yes I wore the heart rate monitor that day too. Between the 8.5 mile bike ride and the 12 mile hike of the mountain, I burned 3,680 calories. More doughnuts and M&M cookies were involved...

Awesome trip overall. Justin and I have decided that whenever we are able to buy a second home, our second home will be in Gatlinburg. This trip makes the fourth time we've been there in two years. Obviously it's one of our favorite places to go :)

Oh and here's a video I took of the very first bear we saw. Justin HATES IT when I take videos and he's in them or talking in them. He didn't realize that I was taking a video until about halfway through it and he realizes he was on it the whole time. His reaction was pretty funny :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Rarity

This is the first time I've made a blog post like this and may be the last so enjoy it. I baked some cupcakes last night for a girl I work with. Mindy is turning 30 this weekend and her party is on Saturday. I feel horrible because I am not able to go since Justin and I will be camping in Cades Cove. The reason I feel so horrible is because I even helped her plan her party, I just didn't realize the date was a weekend we had already planned something. Mindy is having her party at the Trussville skating rink where everyone is required to dress in their best 80's attire. It's going to be so much fun and I am so sad I can't go.

In an attempt to make up for it, I have made her about 40 of these bad boys:


Mindy, like myself, is OBSESSED with Reese's Cups. It is her absolute favorite candy. We both are the ones that are usually blamed when all the Reese's in the office are eaten a little too quickly. So I decided to make her cupcakes Reese's flavored. Naturally, I had some assistance from Mel Mel, the baking queen. She came over last night to do my first P90 DVD with me after my 8 day break to heal. We started baking immediately after the workout. It took us about 3 hours total to do these. Basically, it's peanut butter flavored cake mix, with a thin layer of peanut butter, chocolate icing and then chopped up Reese cups on top.


1 box of classic yellow cake mix
1 tub of chocolate icing
1 bag of Reese's peanut butter morsels
1 bag of Miniature Reese's Cups
1 jar of creamy peanut butter
About 1/3 cup of butter
1/3 cup of oil
3 eggs


  • Mix the cake mix like the instructions say to on the box
  • In a separate bowl, put the bag of Reese's morsels with the butter and microwave until melted. Stir the mixture, then add to the cake mix
  • Put into two trays of cupcakes (you could also just make this a cake instead of cupcakes) and put in the oven on 350 for a little less time than what the box says to bake it for. Because you added butter and the Reese's morsels, which is not part of the normal recipe on the box, it's going to cook faster. Also, if you're making cupcakes, don't fill them to 3/4 full in each individual cupcake like the box says for you to do. The addition of the morsels and butter makes it rise more than normal, so only fill it halfway
  • While the mix is baking, start ripping up the actual Reese's cups. These go on top of the cupcakes/cake. Another option, for cupcakes at least, is to just sit the complete Reese cup on top of the cupcake. You're call on that.
  • When the cupcakes are done you'll need to put the peanut butter on them, but you need to melt the peanut butter first. Put about half of the peanut butter into a bowl and microwave until it's melted. When done, spread the peanut butter over each cupcake/cake to make a think layer of peanut butter
  • Let the cupcakes cool a little bit before putting the chocolate icing on. When they've cooled, put chocolate icing on top of the peanut butter layer. NOTE: Icing is sometimes thick and will be hard to spread on a cake that already has one layer of something on it (i.e. the peanut butter), so to make it spread easier, get a cup of water with a knife and wet the knife when spreading the chocolate icing on the cupcakes.
  • Add Reese's cups as the topping on the cupcakes
  • Put in refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating. They're MUCH better when they've cooled.

There you have it :) Happy Baking.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Plan B


I have finally finished my book Caught by Harlan Coben. It was a great book and if you like mystery and thrillers, I suggest reading it. I was originally going to move to House Rules, but I am actually throwing a different book in there first. It's a book called Plan B. The author is Pete Wilson, my old pastor at Cross Point church when I lived in Nashville. I was searching for a church to attend when I was living in the country capital of the world and was suggested Cross Point by one of my managers at my old firm. When Lillian moved to Nashville, I finally had someone to go with me!! We both loved Cross Point and loved Pete. Lillian and her husband Craig still attend Cross Point today.

Let me just say this about Pete. He goes in to preach and EVERY Sunday, I felt like the sermon was directed at me. That's when you know you have a good pastor. He makes you feel like everything relates to you so that you get something out of each lesson. Pete was not that guy that stood up on the stage and told you as a christian you should do this and shouldn't do that. Religion is not rules based to Pete. He is one of the ONLY pastors I've ever seen that talks about his own sins to his congregation. He talks to anyone and everyone about his personal struggles to be Christ-like and because of that, others have hope. That was what attracted me to Pete. He didn't pretend to be perfect. He is just like any of us. He has the same daily struggles and just because he is a pastor doesn't mean that his struggles are fewer in number or less hard.

I was VERY excited when I found out that Pete had written a book. I have been following Pete's blog ever since leaving Nashville (there's a link to his blog on mine under "Religious Readings"). I plan on buying the book today (it came out yesterday) and plan to start reading it either today or tomorrow. I can't wait to see what Pete has in store for me while I'm reading. To summarize what the book is about, see this video:

PlanB Promo from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

Also, please keep Nashville in your prayers. The flooding is still an issue and the more pictures I see the more real it becomes to me. Bellevue was one of the subdivisions that was hit pretty hard and that was where I lived. I know Pete has been leading some teams out to do disaster relief so if you're in the area and want to help, contact Pete. The best way may be through his blog here. But even if you don't live in the area, prayers always work wonders :)

If you want to see one of my favorite sermons by Pete, go here. I did a blog about it because it was a kind of wake up call for me about prayer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

#90 - CHECK!

Number 90 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to purchase some new sunglasses. I typically buy my sunglasses from Target. I have to buy them cheap because I have a slight tendency to lose them frequently. I decided to break down and finally buy some Costas. I chose to purchase the brine series. Justin used to have the brine sunglasses and I borrowed them from him a lot so I already knew I would like them. I was a HUGE fan of the blue mirror lenses for some reason, so I chose those with black frames. I didn't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money, so I went with the 400 series blue mirror lenses. Apparently the 580 is the more expensive lenses so I stayed away from that. This is what I ordered:


And this is what I got:


The obvious difference is the lens color. I was sort of upset when I realized they had shipped the wrong sunglasses....

But then I realized that these lenses are the 580 series. This pair of sunglasses costs over $200. I am so down for keeping these. I like benefiting from someones mistake :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

#24 - CHECK!

Number 24 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to plant flowers in our front yard. My mom came by last weekend and helped me find the right ones and I think it looks pretty good. Here's some pics:


These have bloomed a bit more since I took this picture. They're gorgeous now!


Under the tree in the front yard. I think I like these the best.




Our home :)


These guys popped up in the backyard recently. They're gorgeous! Justin and I still have some work to do in the backyard, but we're saving that for a little later.