Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BFF & Fall Baking

This past Sunday my friend Angela and I got together and channeled our inner Martha Stewart and got to baking! This little baking session was long overdue and we were both dying for something pumpkin. We decided on brown butter iced pumpkin cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book. This book is heavenly and also a recent gift Angela gave me! Well we decided that 30 cupcakes just wasn't enough! I had a charity bake sale at work right around the corner and we wanted to bring treats to a mutual friend who had recently moved into her first place. So we went a little crazy and made banana nut muffins and chocolate chip cookies! Here are the results!
{cookies and muffins all wrapped up for the charity bake sale!}

{bites of heaven perfectly dipped in rich buttery icing}

*recipe for cupcakes soon to follow, i can't seem to find it online.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Searching for Inspiration

I am in a blogging funk...maybe a life funk. No words today, I can't seem to find them. Just some images I am pondering.

*images courtesy of the bottom of the ironing basket

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Find

I failed last week at my promised Fall Find, but I am quite excited about this week's find! This little gem was passed onto me by my sweet and cheery friend Hilary! Hilary is one of those amazing people who is always thinking about others. She's the friend who will shoot you an e-mail with a news article about a book you have recently read or some fabulous new restaurant by your house. AMAZING. Knowing I love all things food, Hilary passed on this very cool FALL Recipe Exchange! It is being started by another blogger, and I think it is just the best idea! I am already trying to decide if I should submit my Cheddar Apple Pie Dip or Pumpkin Bars, maybe both! The recipe exchange is scheduled for Monday, October 12th. So get your recipes ready and bask in the glory of all yummy things pumpkin, cinnamon and everything nice!

*Looking for a good book to get cozy with?? Check out Hilay's Blog, Pritt-y Story to Tell, you will be impressed!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blessings Come in All Sizes

My first draft of this posting felt all wrong. I started writing about the story of Ben & Jake, Scott's twin baby nephews. Well, I feel like you can never tell the story of a sick child unless you are the parent. Only a parent can feel their baby's pain and only a parent can tell their child's story. I am not a parent, I am not even technically a family member. And now, as I edit this post, this really isn't about Ben & Jake. It's about what they gave me, a renewed faith.

I have been blessed to be included in S2H's family for the past year. We have made lots of visits to see his brother's family in Hershey, PA during this time. I fell head-over-heals for Jen & Tim's two girls, Hannah (4) & Emma (2). Making sugar cookie lollipops with these two would be the highlight of my week! To add to the excitement this past June, to everyones' surprise and utter happiness, Jen & Tim added twin baby boys, Ben & Jake, to their family! I met these two little bundles when they were five days old. Holding an infant for the first time is always a memorable experience and it always feels different. Holding Ben & Jake gave me an overwhelming, warm feeling and I could not stop staring! I was in pure awe of these two little miracles. S2H and I were both dopey in love.

About four weeks later, S2H called me at work and told me the boys were both in the hospital. We were kind of having an "off" day that Monday but oh man can news like that snap you out of a selfish, moody state. The next two weeks were kind of like a blur of tears. We found out that the boys were extremely sick with what looked like viral meningitis. I was crushed. Anytime someone gets sick I automatically think about the loss of my mom; and all that pain and hurt came rushing back to me. It's a curse to lose someone like I lost my mom, it changes you in ways I can't describe. Since I lost my mom I have continually struggled with my faith and what prayer means to me. My thirteen year old prayers weren't answered, and that is a hard thing to bounce back from. But before I knew it, I was sending an e-mail to my friends and family to pray for Ben & Jake. I felt helpless and this was the only thing I could think to do. I was taken-aback by the response. I am so thankful for everyone who joined the S2H family in prayer and helped give them a happy ending.

S2H and I went to PA to help out for two weekends in a row. The first was to take care of the girls while Tim & Jen stayed with the boys in the hospital. We played games during the day, baked treats and read stories. That night we switched shifts with other family members and went to see the boys in the hospital. I didn't even make it into the hospital room before the tears started; I saw Jen in the lobby and it was all over. First we visited Jake, he looked pretty good and was definitely starting to look like himself after a hard week. We had to go to the PICU area of the hospital to see Ben. Ben was not Ben. I'm not going to go into detail or try and pretend like I know every symptom, ailment, medicine, or pain Ben was experiencing; because I don't. I just know my heart was crushed when I saw him. He was hooked up to so many machines you couldn't even pick him up. So awful to see Jen not be able to hold her baby boy. I was afraid to even touch him, my tears just feel on his little baby blanket. S2H and I left PA in disbelief that the healthy, happy baby we knew could end up so weak. I also left PA in amazement of the S2H family. This family gathered around Tim & Jen and held them up. It left me speechless.

The second weekend in PA was 5,000 times better! That week Ben rallied, fought, and came back from the awful illness that threatened him. Everyone was amazed, doctors, nurses, specialists, and the list goes on. We got the news and all I could think about was all the prayer that surrounded Ben. I am still working through the power of prayer in my little head, I think I'll be working on the whole prayer, faith, God thing for a while. But in some way I understand that Ben's return of health was a result of all the prayers for him. We went to PA that second weekend and saw all four kids at home with mom & dad. Very awesome!

Now you may be asking, Meghan, isn't this post a bit off in the timing?? Well, I didn't have a blog back in August, and more importantly Ben & Jake were baptized this weekend! (see the connection?!) I watched S2H stand behind Ben as his godfather. I watched Tim & Jen hold their boys with their girls huddled between them while the priest blessed Ben & Jake and welcomed them to the church. I sat with the family that prayed for these boys and I'm sure promised anything to have them healthy and back in their arms. It was beyond a special day. Every once in a while God finds you and you actually recognize Him. I'm not what one would call super spiritual, but I do have new faith.

{Jake & Tim, Jen & Ben, Emma & Hannah @ the baptism}

{Ben checking me out, he has already won my heart}