Mama Monday: Will you still trust Me even when I don’t answer your prayer?

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This is not an easy post to write. It is not easy to say goodbye to beautiful Hope. And if you knew her, if you prayed for her, if you have had a glimpse of the Koslowski family than you know why.

How do you express your gratitude to a family, to a baby, who has changed your life?

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As I sat in a filled church in Calgary on Saturday, I wept. I wept for Amy and Shawn. I wept for Hope. I wept wishing they had more time as a family. I wept because we will never see Hope run or eat her first ice cream cone. I had moments of complete sadness this week thinking about this incredibly gracious family. Who, through these last thirteen months have fought to keep their little girl alive while worshiping and sharing their faithfulness with others.

I also had the privilege to stand in that church, surrounding the Koslowskis with worship and prayer. It was a time of reflection of celebration and an overall message of salvation. There is a book being complied of stories from many people that Hope touched. Stories of people becoming Christians simply from witnessing Amy and Shawn through all these months with Hope. Wonderful stories of people  turning back to the Lord after an absence of Him. Messages of a newly, prayer-filled life. Parents changing the way they interact with their children because of Amy’s and Shawn profound impact. It was truly incredible.

As Amy highlighted, “Hope was captivating, everyone instantly feel in love with this sweet girl.”

Hope truly was captivating. In meeting her my life will forever be changed. This little girl looked serious but it seemed that it was from her will to fight and continue on. She was engaging and as I would sing to her she would study my face. The books I showed her proved interesting, she took the time to look at the colors and the pictures, occasionally reaching out to touch the hard pages. Her eyes were so blue and bright. She was small and light to carry and I was nervous because of all the lines she was connected to. But she seemed to take me in stride, generally babies know you are nervous and therefore cry and don’t really want to be touched. But Hope was gracious. I am sure she sensed my nervousness but she allowed me to pick up her sweet body and give her cuddles. She was so kind. That may seem premature when talking about a baby, but she had this sense about her, this calmness.

Before leaving for the hospital I been nervous and had been praying for God to walk with me into the ICE room. As I had just lost baby Faith a few months prior I was not sure how it would be to spend time with a baby when I was still in pain. Hope had such a way of comforting me. As I watched her fall asleep and was able to rub her side and she drifted off, I felt such peace. Hope reminded me that not only was I ok but that life is not just for getting things we want but that it is about loving others, comforting them. Just as she did for me. Seeing Hope continue to fight inspired me to continue going, to continue to hope and to put my trust in the Lord. As I continued to read Amy’s blog my focus shifted to intense prayer for this little girl. And for this family. I am not certain if I have ever prayed that faithfully for anyone before. My relationship with Lord deepened and I have Hope, Amy and the Lord to thank for that.

Amy impacted my life in a fierce way. Not only was she welcoming and open to sharing her daughter with perfect strangers for cuddles. But she shared every facet of her feelings on Hope’s blog. Every word written on that blog was truth, raw, honest truth. Amy never pretended something was when it wasn’t. If she had a bad day she shared that and would simply ask for prayer. As she was enduring so much she would share her guilt over people taking care of her and that she could not give back be a better friend as much as she wanted to. I remember sending a package to Sadie for Valentines and Amy still found the time to write a thank you note.

Honestly, she is as incredible as she sounds.

Someone to inspire, to look up to and to strive to be like. I know my life will never be the same because of Amy being in it. Thank so much Amy for sharing Hope with all of us, you are a true light in the dark

As we worshipped on Saturday and we sang the words, “He gives and takes away.” I could barely lift my hands because I was overcome with the powerful nature of those words. They are hard words to sing. Especially when you think of beautiful Hope. Within seconds of the words appearing on the screen, Amy moves up, places a hand on her baby’s casket and the other as high as she could and worshipped and sang those words. I have never seen such an act of faithfulness. With Shawn by her side she worshipped our Lord. I will forever be changed from that moment.

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Thank you Hope, for changing so many lives, for changing my life. For impacting people all over the world. Thank you for the beautiful photos of you smiling and sitting with Sadie. Thank you for being courageous for thirteen months, thank you for filling us when we were suppose to be blessing you. I still look for your updates even though I know they won’t be there. And I am so sad and will always regret that I didn’t get more cuddles with you, beautiful girl. I do look forward to seeing you again without tubes and a brand new heart. Strolling down that beautiful path of gold. “Hope did get her perfect heart, Heaven just had one before us.” -Seig (Hope’s great uncle)

If you want to share in celebrating Hope, if you want to be changed and hear an incredible message on faithfulness. Hope is still impacting lives as I write this there has been over 5500 views of her celebration on the weekend, this girl is unstoppable. Please share and visit this link http://new.livestream.com/FoothillsAllianceChurch/events/2125437 to watch Hope’s celebration of life.

There has also been a fund started to send this wonderful family on vacation. Click here to donate and read all about it http://www.gofundme.com/hopekoslowski.

We so love you baby girl. Until we meet again Miss Hope….

Look at all the angels watching you
They’re singing songs we have never heard
And their voices ring out over the mountains
Oh, if we could only hear their words

God is near, little girl
God is near, little girl

Photo Friday

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This picture was taken the other day, I put a steaming bowl of black bean soup up on our desk so I could go switch out the laundry. Well, dear Dog decided that he could easily get up there and sample the yummy cheese and sour cream topping. He was busy licking his lips when I came back. Yum! He defiantly has a sneaky side. Seriously, love, this boy.

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I don’t think I chat about dear Dog on this blog as much as I probably should, he really is such an awesome part of our family. He will have his sixth birthday this August, one day after our sixth wedding anniversary. I remember the day that I received him, as a gift, from my husband. It was Christmas Eve and we had been married a few months, I was wrapping gifts and getting ready to spend our first Christmas together with our families. I gotta say, I was a little stressed.

I wanted everything to be perfect. That seems so silly now…

I remember calling handsome Hubby and being quite upset because he said he had to run out but would be back soon. Well “soon” turned into hours, I was very frustrated that we could not spend the day together and that I had no help at home. Little did I know, he had been travelling to pick up this sweet guy.

I remember our first meeting, little guy was nervous. I remember his first bath and his first shaving, because apparently I was not up to snuff on how to care for hypoallergenic dog hair.  I remember when Hubby said, “not in our bed” and it only took him working one night shift and that little white fluff soon found his sweet self onto our big, comfy bed. I recall him being very difficult to potty train, oh goodness that was rough! Finally these cute little potty bells hanging on the door helped our communication issue and before we knew it our little guy was house trained.

Dear Dog has been my best bud, he sits on my lap when I eat popcorn (or ribs, or chicken, or spaghetti, or yogurt, ok…you get the idea) and he is extremely sensitive to my emotions. Knowing when I need an extra cuddle or maybe a little space. He is also great with Gray, I was worried. Dear Dog has never been that stellar with kids. But, those two have this perfect little dance. Joking and laughing, chasing and pulling. Sharing snacks and pillows.

I love that.

I love how each one of us have this special relationship with dear Dog. He has truly changed our life, in so many truly wonderful ways. I am so thankful for this hairy, sweet and incredibly cute dog.

What do you think? Did I still eat that soup?

Grateful for:

#156 – justice, well at least the overall goal of it
#157 – facebook and the prayer teams that arise from it
#158 – yummy organic strawberries
#159 – fun times with family at the lake
#160 – a beautiful and kind sister-in-law
#161 – fun summer songs that cause us (in Gray’s words) to “shake it”
#162 – wonderful animal rescue organizations
#163 -growing and changing relationships
#164 – the sweetness of perfect strangers
#165 – an unexpected tax return
#166 – Sharlene Bosma, her incredible strength and faith. Please pray for this family.
#167 – new ideas
#168 – a husband who works incredibly hard, at work and at home.
#169 – new, creative art supplies for little Gray
#170 – uncontrollable giggles, brought on by an overwhelmingly funny toddler

*I have a prayer request* Please pray for my friend Tina, she is having an important surgery today and has been having a lot of scary health complications in the last week+. You may not know her but if you would just send up a quick prayer asking for healing that would be greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a beautiful, love-filled long weekend!

Mama Monday: Strawberries

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We love strawberries in this house. Especially Gray, I wish I could write the word in the way that he says it. Honestly, I have never heard the word “strawberries” sound cuter. What a guy 🙂

We don’t eat them a lot because organic is not always easy to find, and they are pretty high on the dirty dozen. But we have found them a few times (affordably) in the last couple weeks so we have been savoring them! Gray likes to eat them like many of us, sliced alone or on pancakes with maple syrup. We like them that way but we also love them smooshed up with a banana and some flax for a yummy smoothie!

The other day I was planning dinner and feeling rather uninspired, I could not think of anything new to try that I felt like making. It was hot and I just wanted to hang out with my boys outside. Unfortunately the meat we buy is brought here once a month and we have hour to pick it up close to our home. Well, I completely forgot to get it. Just slipped my mind, we did had a glorious sleep in though. Gray let us sleep till 9:30, it was wonderful! But missing it meant that we had to drive to the next stop to meet the truck. So I was forced to get groceries for dinner, especially because I was out already.

I quickly looked at Pinterest and the mound of strawberries I had on the island and decided to go for Strawberry balsamic pizza (with chicken, sweet onion, and applewood bacon). It was a stretch for me, but I thought what the heck, it is worth a try.

Words out of Hubs mouth “This is the most amazing pizza I have ever tasted, this is one of the best meals you have ever made!” IMG_3428EDIT So it was worth it. And yes, it was fabulous. You can find the recipe here: Strawberry Balsamic Pizza. I made my own dough, you can find pizza yeast with all the other yeast. That makes it incredibly easy. I also used maple bacon and marble cheese because that it what I had. It was perfect for a hot night, something really fresh. Please try it! And if you do I would love to hear how it turned out!

Mama Monday: To Pin or not to Pin

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Pinterest.

Most of you know it. For many it is downright, annoyingly addictive. Is there a pinning intervention in your future?

So why oh why did I feel oh so inspired to write about Pinterest? Well, I have been reading some interesting thoughts about the site lately.

The one that stuck out in my head was that a large chunk of people are not happier after they log into Pinterest. In actuality, they are generally sad by the time they log off. The reasoning? Well, Pinterest is overload of “pretty” things. It makes people feel inadequate. Things that make people say “I want that!” I need that!” Or maybe it makes you cringe when you see that picture of the model with the perfectly toned body. She is seemingly unaware of the camera while she looks longingly into the sunset. Complete a caption, something along the lines of, “build a better body in two weeks.” Or you can search for DIY projects; if you are into that sort of thing; and see perfectly constructed living rooms with a gorgeous girl holding her dewalt drill just putting the final touches on her “five minute” wainscoting trick.

I joke. Well sorta.

You know I could see it. I really could. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest. I do and I am not ashamed to admit it. I love that I can organize my ideas into categories. I really enjoy organization. I like that I can get inspired to try something new. Whether it be a recipe or a new tool. And I really like power tools. Like for reals.

But I get how someone who is not feeling like their super awesome self (you are awesome and I hope you know that) could feel a little down when they look at all the seeming “perfection.” You see a picture of a woman, a man and a child you just assume they are a wonderfully happy family. Maybe that is something you really wanted and haven’t achieved yet, so it makes you a little down. I know that for me, since losing Faith, some days it is really hard to see big Mama bellies. Just one of those things I guess…Or perhaps it is something more simplistic, you just finished decorating your new house in yellow and gray. You hop on Pinterest to have a bit of down time. Quickly you notice all the rooms are decorated in a punchy coral shade and all your decorating seems a little drab.

Well, do you wanna know what I think? You don’t?

Ok, well I am going to share anyways…I think you are fantastic. You were fantastic long before Pinterest and will be fantastic long after. I also think if something like pinning makes you sad, you should probably stop. Just delete those silly little boards. And maybe, just maybe it is not Pinterest, maybe it is you? Maybe there is this idea in your head of who you want to be, who you want to look like and what you want to wear. Maybe Pinterest has what you think you need and can’t have?

In my thirty years on this beautiful Earth one thing I can guarantee you is that things are often mostly usually not what they seem. The grass IS NOT greener on the other side. “She” is not doing it all. “They” don’t have the perfect life, or the perfect house, or the perfect car, or the perfect kids. You did not mess up your kids because you didn’t shove pipe cleaners in a light filled sensory bin or make homemade slime.

It sort of reminds me of the saying “keeping up with the Joneses.” Well, guess what. I can’t stand that Jones family, who are they anyway? I think they are whoever you decide is better than you. And why would you think anyone is better than you anyway? Remember I told you that you are awesome!

I will use the idea of decorating a house, cause you know over the past two years that’s what’s been going on over here. Two years plus you say. That’s right, you know why? Because not only do I love the challenge of decorating on a budget, I also like to do it with money we actually have. Have we had to wait for a lot of things? You betcha. But, here is the kicker, when we are finally all saved up and can go out to buy or build (generally the later) what we have been thinking of, we appreciate it SO much more. Have we suffered because we have hanging sheets on our bedroom windows or a beat up, too big, too tall coffee table in our living room. Nope. Those sheets have lovingly blocked out the light for some extremely pleasant sleeps. And Gray has put a whole lot of extra love into that old coffee table. That makes me appreciate that someone gave us that old table for him to imagine and create on. I decorate what I love and I use Pinterest as an inspiration, as a starting point. I really like to try and use what we have in a new way. And I make an effort to not those rude Joneses get in my head.

After all, I am striving to create a home. I don’t want a meticulously designed house, I want you to see us in our house. Our style, not someone else’s idea of who we are. I want people to be comfortable when they visit and I want Gray to be able to eat cheezies on the couch. That sounds pretty perfect to me, maybe not Pinterest “perfect.” But just right for us.

And so I think Pinterest is what you make of it. Think of it as a fun outlet when you have twenty minutes to yourself. Don’t think, “I cant do that, I can’t afford that.” Think about what you can do. You find a $300 skirt you love but cannot afford, maybe you could recreate it? Maybe your child has a new found love for broccoli (does that actually happen in real life) and you could find a new way to prepare it. Or you know what? Just don’t do it at all, Pinterest, just like everything is not all it is cracked up be. So just don’t log in. Whatever you do know that “they” are not smarter, prettier, sexier or more lovable than you.

No one is. In fact, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Suess

And when is Dr. Suess ever wrong? I mean he is nothing like the Joneses, pretty one of a kind if you ask me.

Photo Friday

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It seems I always have really good intentions when it comes to blogging. Yet, I don’t always get around to it somehow….

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I am such a mean Mama!

Reason my son was crying? I clipped his toe nails 🙂 Terrible, I know…

This week I was inspired by this gentlemen’s blog:  http://reasonsmysoniscrying.tumblr.com/archive
It is pretty funny.

Grateful for:

#141 – peanut butter (G’s absolute, hands down favorite food ever!)
#142 – little Hope
#143 – and the way the Lord is working in all our lives because of her
#144 – celebrating a 30th birthday with a very special friend
#145 – my little “sister” who is thriving at her new career (I am SO proud of you)
#146 – sunshine streaming in through our windows
#147 – This song 
#148 – the playful nature of little Gray
#149 – watching my high school boyfriend play hockey
#150 – fun car fabric for G’s room
#151 – friends who surprise you
#152 – friends who I miss
#153 – Montessori
#154 – this Bible verse –
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be  strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them,
for it is the LORD  your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

#155 – YOU! All of you who come here and read, share, encourage and pray.
You are awesome! Thank you 🙂

Mama Monday: Dress A Girl

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I remember being little and loving dresses. I had a favorite neon green dress! It was black on top with neon green stripes on the skirt. It had poufy, short sleeves. I loved that dress.

I also have a friend, J. When we were little, her and her sister always wore the most beautiful bubble dresses, they were so cute! Flowery and poufy.

Every girl should have a pretty dress.

Dress A Girl Around the World is very cool. They also believe every little girl deserves to have their very own pretty dress.

Dress A Girl Around The World

You can sew a dress (or many) and donate them. Your dress will make its way to a beautiful little girl. They have sent 164,000 dresses to 65 countries, amazing! It would be fun to get together with other sewers and make a day of it.

If you do not sew you can still donate to help support this incredible mission.

Click on the above logo to find out more info.

And here is a video to explain who those beautiful girls are 🙂

Photo Friday

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Well sickness hit our house again this week. Without going into too much detail, I gotta say it was messy! But little boy seems to be on the mend.

I hate seeing him sick so I am happy to see glimpses of my little man coming back.

I thought this an appropriate picture for this week. The weather has been brighter and I cannot wait to see more of that coming soon! IMG_1606_EDITPF

I have not been very consistent in keeping up with my gratitude list, but I will forgive myself and continue on. There is always something to be thankful for!

Grateful for:

#126 – extra cuddles with my son
#127 – sunshine
#128 – a long, relaxing afternoon at the dog park
#129 – pretty spring fabrics
#130 – dreaming, creating, designing
#131 – Faith
#132 – Lysol disinfectant wipes
#133 – a large washing machine
#134 – the ability to learn new skills
#135 – DIY projects with Hubby
#136 – games night
#137 – rubber boots
#138 – the crockpot
#139 – stripes
#140 – the daily encouragement of Jesus

Enjoy your Easter, your time spent with friends and family. Try and take time to appreciate what this weekend is really all about.

May the spirit of hope that Easter brings, Help you find contentment in little things, And restore your faith in the Lord above, Who gave His life for the ones He loves.

Mama Monday: Losing Faith

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I was not sure I would ever share this, but writing is therapeutic for me. This was written months ago and I feel led to share. Many reasons. One in particular is that I know there are others who feel alone and are enduring something that others may not understand. I am also sharing this because there seems to be a stigma attached to loss, I am not sure why. But I can be certain that this is not your fault, you did nothing wrong. You need not feel embarrassed or ashamed. This is my story.
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“A person is a person no matter how small” ~ D.S

I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 on September 5, 2012. We could not of been more elated! I just felt so blessed. So unbelievably blessed to have an already incredible little boy and now another little person on the way. Our due date was May 18th, we couldn’t wait!

IMG_4643From the very start I felt different. I did not quite feel like I did with Gray, but I do understand that pregnancies are different. Instead of focusing too much on that I just focused on taking care of myself and enjoying my growing belly. I love being pregnant so I just wanted to enjoy every single second! I show very early, this time earlier then my first pregnancy. At only 4 weeks I was already using hair elastics to close my jeans!

I was so wonderfully convinced we were having a girl. Hubs and I had names picked out very early, for either a girl or a boy. We didn’t care what gender, just wanted a healthy babe. I started dreaming about what I wanted to do in the nursery and therefore what I wanted to do in Grays room because we would have to move him to a big boy bed. We discussed that we would need a bigger car because we go to the cabin so much and with two car seats and a dog kennel our little car would just not work. We were already planning away.

I was 7 weeks and things just seemed off, the little pregnancy symptoms I did have were slightly diminished. I also know that your mind can play tricks on you in such an emotional time. So I did not worry. I had a bit of spotting but my midwife did not think it was too much too worry. By the end of the week my emotions had the best of me, so I turned to prayer. I prayed about this sweet baby and asked the Lord that His will be done in this situation.  Thanksgiving Monday I just knew something had happened. We had a busy day ahead, so after a panicked morning, I continued continuing on and enjoyed the rest of the day.

The next day I really could not handle not knowing what was going on. So I called and requested an emergency ultrasound. My dearest friend came with me and my wonderful Mom stayed with little Gray. Of course I was a mess, but the overwhelming need to pee kept me distracted until we got called into the room. Oh come on you know you’ve been there!!

The tech was kind but business like. She started scanning and pressing buttons and after what seemed like an eternity told me she was going to get the radiologist. It was a long wait in a lonely, cold room. He came back and told me that although I was 8 weeks the baby was only measuring at 6 weeks. He said that my numbers could be off and that maybe the next week we would see a heartbeat.

I credit my gracious Christ Jesus for preparing my heart for this news. I believe He was working on preparing me for such an event the entire week prior and perhaps even sooner. This did not diminish my tears but I did know in my heart that my baby was gone and that we would not be seeing this little one’s heartbeat.

Two days later, just shy of nine weeks, our sweet girl was back in the arms of her powerful creator.

It seemed like she was here for such a short time, but had such an impact on me and my family. I feel I was so blessed to have had the chance to carry her. She was made in love, carried in love and finally held in the strong arms of love. I may have never gotten to rock her to sleep, dry her tears or kiss her soft forehead. But I loved her every moment from when I found out that I was carrying her and I will love her until I reunite with her in heaven.

I have had all kinds of emotions but mostly I have just felt sad and empty. At times it feels surreal. I think a miscarriage is one of those things that you think will never happen to you until it does. It is also something that you can never fully understand until it happens to you. I have friends who have also lost their babies and I never knew what to say. I would simply hug them and say “I am so sorry.” Because of this, I realized that as I am going through this, some people may not know what to say. And that is ok. All that someone needs to know is that they are loved, this was not their fault and that you are there no matter what they need.

I know that God walks with me. Of course this is not the outcome I had hoped or prayed for. As believers, I think we always leave open the potential for a miracle. Because we know He can. So although the ending was sad, my Father never left me.

The week that all this was happening, dear Hubs was away so far north that he did not have cell service. He would try to call once a day but the electricity or phones were often down. Even though he was gone, God surrounded me with a tremendous amount of love, I was never alone. I have the most amazing friends and family.  My Mom and best friend sat by my side all week. They listened to every emotion, dried every tear, they wept with me and just made themselves available. Another blessed friend made it her mission to make sure we were fed and brought meals over, that was so thoughtful and helpful.

Everyone handles grief different. For me, it helped to name my baby. One of the things that made my heart so sad through all of this was the idea that many people would think she did not exist because she never had an earthly body. I am living proof she existed. The impact that she has had on us is real and definite. I will never, ever be the same. The pain I have felt in losing her is consistent, at times debilitating. It is hard because although you lost someone who love the world does not seem to “count” it as a death. There is no furneral, no time given for grieving. Most people assume that it happened and you are back on your feet in no time. That is just not the case, a mother grieves the death of her baby just as she would a sibling or a parent. This is real and if you have someone in your life who has endured this, please don’t ignore it or shrug it off.

We named her Faith. Faith is an English name, ultimately from Latin fidere “to trust”. Moving forward I know our family will have to trust completely in Jesus. She has reminded us to always trust that God will use her life for good. We pray and hope for more children, and we know that the Lord has plans for us. He has always taken wonderful care of us we cannot wait to see what He has in store for us!

We love you little Faith and we will always feel as though our family is incomplete without you. Thank you for always reminding us of what is important, what is true and most importantly the love that Jesus has for all of us. Until we meet in Heaven sweet girl, Mama & Daddy.

Mama Monday: Sickie and Cinnamon

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Well, I am back from my blogging break! I took a little break, not a planned break. It just sort of happened. What kick started it was a very sick little Gray. We had a week of high fevers and a trip to urgent care. Poor guy.

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I hazily crept through the days and spent a few sleepless nights on Grays floor beside his crib. We were both very tired! Little man is back to himself running around with his favorite tractor asking for TB and bacon the moment he wakes up. I am glad to have my boy back!

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We haven’t been up to a whole lot, just taking it easy. Taking walks and hanging out. Gray now walks the whole block, all on his own. No stroller needed. Although, I still ask for his hand. I love watching him trudge along in his heavy winter boots and his cute snowsuit. The best part is that he wears his proudest smile when are walking. He is so happy to be out there able to do it all on his own. It is an incredible stage to watch.

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Last night I made some cinnamon buns, I wanted to have some ready in the morning for a generous friend. Ahhh, just when I was ready to sugar them I realized I was very low on brown sugar – hopefully they were still yummy! I thought I would share the recipe I use. Beware it makes a huge batch! I generally bake some and then I freeze the rest.

The most awesome part is that maybe a year ago I read somewhere, I think here, that you could freeze them before they rise for the second time. So I tried it and it is fantastic. So after I floss the buns I put them on a cookie sheet to freeze them individually. Then once they are hard I put them into a freezer bag. When we feel for cinnamon buns we just pull out however many we would like, place them in the baking pan with a little butter and cinnamon at the bottom. I throw a towel over them and let them slowly rise overnight. In the morning I bake them for 20-30 min at 350* and they are literally freshly baked. I have found these handy for a)cravings! b)rushed mornings and c) company. Try it! I promise you will never go back 🙂

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This recipe is adapted from Amy’s Finer Things

Big Batch Cinnamon Rolls

  1. In a large bowl, mix 3 cups hot water with 3 Tbsp yeast and 3/4 cup sugar.  Let sit a couple minutes to activate yeast.
  2. Add 2 c. flour.  Mix.
  3. Add 3/4 c. oil, 1 tsp salt, 3 eggs.  Mix.
  4. Add 7 cups flour, a couple at a time.  Mix and than knead for 6/7 minutes.
  5. Set dough in a LARGE greased bowl.  Let rise until double.
  6. Divide dough in 1/2.  Roll out one 1/2 into a long rectangle.
  7. Spread rectangle with softened butter.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon.  Roll up. Repeat with other half.
  8. Floss the rolls.
    ***This is when you can put your flossed buns onto a cookie sheet and freeze. If you just want to eat them all up, proceed to step 9!
  9. Let the rolls rise again, about 30 minutes!
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Mama Monday: Digital Project Life

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Happy Monday!

I use to scrapbook a lot. All the evidence is carefully tucked away in the basement. Page upon page, stacked neatly in square tupperwares. Sheets of stickers stuffed in file folders. But, Gray is now 2 and do you think I have anything scrapbooked? Nope, nothing. I have over 20,000 photos from the last couple of years just sitting on my computer, but they never get looked at.

So, I have folded. I feel a little bit guilty that I will not proceed and continue with my beloved, original scrapbooking method, but all in all memories will now be documented. Photos will be shared and I will accept the fact that at least something will be done.

Enter, Project Life.

Lucky for me, scrapbooking has morphed and Becky Higgins rocks! She has taken the idea of scrapbooking and simplified it. Creating a system called Project Life. Making it very easy to document all your memories throughout the year. It is a neat system. You start with page protectors that have segments of various sizes. There are kits that showcase coordinating cards for journaling and make your book look pretty. Everything slips into a classy three ring binder. It is also quite affordable, costing between $150-$200 a year. Not a bad price to document all of your precious memories. The cool thing is that the goal is to do a two page layout every week. If you keep it simple I bet you could do it in about twenty minutes a week.

I love the idea of project life, in fact I was getting ready to make an order. Until I discovered that Project Life is now available digitally. Now, I no longer need to store paper or stickers. I don’t need to sort through my supplies for a half an hour before I can even start to assemble a page. Now it is all at my fingertips in a little file called Digital Scrapbooking.

So, that’s the most exciting part, I am giving up paper completely. I will be using a lot of Project Life products, but the best part is that there are so many products to choose from, so your layouts can truly be your own. At the end of the year I will upload my layouts to Blurb or Shutterfly and I will have a beautiful, finished book. Well, that is my good, well-intentioned plan.

I thought I would share my first couple of layouts with you guys. Maybe inspire you to do your own!

Week OneA2

Week OneB2

Week One BirthdayA

Week One BirthdayB

 Products used:
Becky Higgins – Templates A, B & D
Pebbles – Seen & Noted
Dates – Kaye Winiecki
Cards – Amy Jaz, Paislee Press
Washi Tape – A Vegas Girl At Heart
Scribbles – Allison Pennington
Brush – Splendid Finns