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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello, 5.

Hello, big five year old!

I can't hardly believe it.

Hello, birthday celebration at school.

And birthday spankings.

Which are illegally awesome.

Hello, strawberry cupcakes with fake pink vanilla frosting.

Because she likes fake frosting better than real frosting.

My hope, by the time she leaves our house, is that she love Jesus and real buttercream.

In that order, obviously.

Hello, little classmates sharing what they love best about her.

Mostly her special party dress.

And her "eye."

Hello, Pre-K is the best age in all the universe.

Hello, birthday dinner at her favorite establishment.

Chicken strip in one hand, ice cream spoon in the other.

Hello, sweet party guests.

And beautiful, 80 degree weather that knew it was her party day.

Hello, hat decorating.

Hello, glitter and glue and stickers and sequins and feathers, still all over my floor.

Hello, creative friend who let me steal her idea.

Hello, more cupcakes with fake frosting.

And lots and lots of sprinkles.

Hello, presents!

Hello, Giants game on in the background.


Hello, gift unwrap assistants.

So eager to see the birthday girl open their thoughtful gifts.

Hello, letting balloons go at dusk.

And then popping some of them on the grass.

Hello, childhood memories being made.

Hello, entertaining older sister.

I love that she inherited her grandpa's strong party presence.

Hello, bedtime bootcamp.

Hello, explaining for weeks beforehand:
"mommies don't sit on the bed and wait an hour for FIVE year olds to fall asleep..."

It probably also helped that I shared it as the thing I love best about her in class.

"What I love best about Ashlyn is that she is going to go to sleep all by herself tonight!"

And then her teacher reinforced it.

While she gave us both the sideways stank eye.

But it's working!!!

Six straight nights of mommy-free bedtime.

With a little help from her lion friends.

Happiest of birthdays, Ashlyn Grace.

We love you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Insta Friday: The Day Mat Kearney Prevented a Nervous Breakdown

In my previous post, I mentioned that Easter was tough this year.

I was vague.

Because I feel I have to be sometimes.

A wise friend told me that whatever I write here, assume that it's going on the church announcement overhead.

And I keep that in mind.


But my heart struggles with accuracy.


When you read, I want you to see our reality.

When I read back, I want to remember the way things truly were.

Not the way I wanted them to be.

I don't want to miss out on God's work in our church.

In my life.

If I'm not honest about the peaks and valleys of this journey.

So when I said Easter was full of yucky feelings.

They were YUCKY.

Dave, sensing my pending meltdown, does what he does best.

Googles nearby concerts.

He's excellent at sensing when I'm about to lose it and we run off together.

And this, my friends, is how we ended up in Sacramento on Tuesday.

And why I write today, still sane.

A 17-year-old that looked like Napoleon Dynamite but sang like Dave Matthews opened.

Weird combo that I think I had a nightmare about last night.

But he was good!

Keep your eyes out for Zack Heckendorf.

But he'll probably change his name.

Keep your eyes out for Zack Heck.

Talented kid.


Super small movie theater like venue.

And we rushed the stage like Zack Heck would.

But a million times worth it.

I could see he has a filling in his back right molar.

That close.

Crisis averted.

Thanks babe.

I love you more than Mat.

And Zack Heck.

[vimeo w=600&h=425]

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hello, Monday: Easter Weekend

Hello Good Friday service.

Hello future Hope worship team.

You guys are cute.

Hello little family at the first of two outreach events on Saturday.

I love you.

Hello 100+ kids hearing the gospel at two separate Good News Clubs.

Thank you Pam, Camilla and Tamara.

Your love for Jesus and heart for the lost challenges me greatly.

Hello sweet little egg hunt turned competitive and ugly.

Guess who won?

Hello Easter morning.

Hello yucky feelings of inadequacy and doubt and insecurity

because I had hoped and prayed more would come to service.


And it makes me cling to this verse.

Hello waking up this morning and being reminded that the only Person who needed to show up, did.

And powerfully.

Hello trampoline without a safety net at my aunt and uncle's.

Hello mom-of-a-kid-with-a-device-in-her-head ANXIETY.

Hello real bunny.

Hello 4,678 requests from Ashlyn for a real bunny on our way home.

Happy Easter, friends.

Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

PinterTest Kitchen 7: Funfetti Face-Off

It's Easter week.

I should be making eggs.

Or some cute spring-y craft.

But I just wanted cake batter.

So consider this a 100% selfish PinterTest Kitchen.

But I will not apologize.

Who apologizes for cake batter?!

Crazy people do.

People who, as children, hid their Easy Bake raw cake mix packets under their beds to eat at night do NOT.

That's for sure.

Not that I would know anything about that.

So.  Well.  Where was I?


Hope Leadership tried four recipes during last night's meeting.

While Hope Leaders of the Future set up a horse ranch in the playroom.

Kobi deserves some treats for his cooperation.


Back to the Funfetti.

So I assumed a step-by-step on each might be a little umm... BORING.

I fell asleep just thinking about it.

So I will give my honest review of each.


Let's do this.

So, no offense, cake batter cookies.

But not our favorite.

SUPER sweet.

Which is probably due to an entire box of cake mix required for the batter.

And super sticky, hard-to-work with.

My scoop is still grumpy.

Next time I would add a few tablespoons of cake batter to a standard sugar cookie recipe.

And add lots of sprinkles.


It's not you, it's us.

We were 50/50 on this one.

A little on the sweet side.

And I think it may have needed more time to set.

Because I just had some for breakfast and it's 100% better.

Still pretty sweet.  But solid, at least.

Thanks for playing, birthday cake fudge.

This was not bad.

The least cake-batterish tasting of all the recipes.

If I made it again, I would add more cake batter mix to the white chocolate.

I did like the contrast between the dark and white chocolates.

I did not like searching all over the Peninsula for vanilla flavored almond bark.

Goodbye, cake batter bark.  It's been real.


I want to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Really, REALLY delicious.

And so easy.

10 mins start to finish.

Out of all the recipes, the one I'm most likely to repeat.

Like now.

For breakfast.

Along with my cake batter fudge.

Your turn!

What have you been making?

Link up below!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Photo A Day.

I have a love/hate relationship with this Instagram photo-a-day challenge.

Like today.

I have to take a picture of my shower.

But at the end of each month, I'm thankful for the little bits of history it forces me to record.

Here are some of my faves.

And some rambling to go along with.

Or women.

My version of the photo challenge is open to slight interpretation.

Here are the girls before church.

Set-up team prays.

We read.

When pastoring a church, it's important to have pastor friends from different churches.

Accountability, Support, Fellowship.

And fun.

The Cybulski's are fun.

And a huge blessing to us.

Dave washing Ashlyn's feet during service.

An illustration of Christ's work on our behalf.

A stretch.

The other option was a self portrait of my coffee pot clean up duty.

This was 1,000 times cuter.

This little circle has changed our lives.

And given us a very chatty daughter.

"I don't hear you."

"You don't hear me."

Her favorite response when I ask her to eat her vegetables.

I wonder if it has a filter.

That needs to be up.

April 19 is the day after Ashlyn's 5th birthday.

And stay in your own bed forever day.

Pray for us.

The Hungry kind.

These are my not-creepy-at-all friends I met over the Internet.

That included a gift exchange at dinner before the movie.

Hi Jules.

Technically, the best gadget ever made.

We're on our third.

We have a strawberry problem.

And that's a wrap on March.

Hello April.

Oh.  One more thing.

This is happening on Thursday.

Just a little friendly reminder.