Friday, March 27, 2009


I am now 25 years old! This is, despite popular emotion, a very exciting thing for me. I love birthdays, and I love being one year older. Seriously. I have no qualms about being "one year closer to 30." Birthdays are my New Year's, when I reflect and pray about the last year and look forward to the next one. I am a diligent goal setter, so I always take time to write out a list of things to work on.

Yesterday was a splendid day of fun, and I was ridiculously spoiled! My wonderful parents and littlest-almost 6 foot brother came to visit this week, so I decided to take 2 half days off from work. It was a blast for me to see them play with Ainsley. We went swimming in the indoor pool at their hotel and tried to teach Ainsley to blow bubbles in the water. She enjoyed the water just as much as ever! After swimming, we rested and stopped at Starbucks for a little treat.
They took us out for dinner last night to the restaurant of my choice - that means no cooking for me! I chose Applebee's because I wanted the Maple Butter Blondie for dessert. And it was so good - all of it! Plus, my sweet husband showed up with a bouquet of brilliant sunflowers for me! I adore getting flowers!

Last, but not least, I was in bed and quickly sound asleep at 10:30pm and didn't even wake up until 6 when the alarm went off! (And if my excitement over that doesn't make me sound one year older, I don't know what does!!)

What a great birthday! Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick & a New Tradition

While browsing for new recipes last week on my favorite recipe website (, my attention was arrested by the link for St. Patrick's Day recipes. I decided then and there to start a new tradition in our home - to make new & different foods on holidays. And why not begin with St. Patrick's Day? I began to look through the main dish options and quickly realized that a typical Irish dinner consists of Corned Beef and Cabbage. Having never had such a dish, I opted for the recipe that had the best reviews and added it's ingredients to my grocery list. Soda bread also seems to be an Irish staple, so I grabbed the "Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread" recipe.

After getting home from work yesterday morning, I pulled out my crock pot and gathered the potatoes, meat, carrots, and spices that the recipe called for. Less than 30 minutes later, our main dish was cooking it's way to perfection -
hopefully! About an hour and a half before Heath arrived home, I mixed up the easiest batch of bread I've ever made Seriously, there was hardly any kneading required and no rising time since you use baking soda instead of yeast. (Hence the name "Soda Bread". Cool, right?) It was all ready only minutes after Heath got home, and we were pleasantly surprised at the result. The corned beef had yummy flavor and the suggested dijon mustard dipping sauce added just the right touch of tang. I think we decided that the soda bread tastes most like corn bread, so that was an instant success in this home.

All in all, I enjoyed finding a couple Irish dishes to make, and I can hardly wait for the next holiday to do this again. Plus, all day I was thinking about St. Patrick and the way God used him to turn the hearts of the Irish many centuries ago.