Thanks be to God!

I have become a monster. Not the googly one-eyed, slime-slinging sort or the ever-popular Cookie sort (who can’t be all bad because he likes cookies so much), but the Yelling-Mommy sort, which is much worse. My first instinct upon seeing red-zone-bad behavior from my older son is to yell…even though we, as a family, have established our home as a No Yelling Zone. I broke the rules. How can I expect Bigs to effectively work through his emotions without yelling, when he sees me do it? It’s been a rough year, with him turning 3 and existing in that perpetual limbo of listening to us and doing what he wants. It’s hard. Some days I feel like he should be more thankful for the things I do for him. Like yesterday. I took him and Smalls to a local church’s pumpkin patch, at which he threw a tantrum. At a pumpkin patch (one of THE happiest places)…at a CHURCH. For crying out loud (literally…that’s what he did…very loudly). I stuck it out. Ride or die (and die a little inside, I did). But, I need to remind myself that he is 3. I expect too much from him. And, oppositely, he far exceeds my expectations of what a wonderful child should be.

Later, in looking through the pictures I took of my boys at the patch, I ran across one that stood out. It served as a reminder to me that there is a bigger picture. My son will not act like this forever. He will grow out of it. It is his age, and everything that comes with being 3, that is making things difficult. Not directly him. He and Smalls are my blessings. And I am so thankful for them. I need to remember the bigger picture when dealing with the tantrums. Thanks be to God for these little blessings!

ThanksbetoGod

Oh! And also, today I made a Halloween themed lunch for Bigs for school. Ghost themed, to be more specific! OooooOooh! He said it was so fun and that everything was “ghosty” and “looked at him”! Made my day! It was a ghost-shaped PB&J (I used googly eyes and Food Writers), pretzel sticks, seasoned corn, grapes and a teeny marshmallow ghost (Food Writers) for dessert. And the ghost banana was for snack.

Ghostlunch

Have a thankful day and remember the big picture,

Kristin

Feeling Chipper

cupcakeswatermark

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

-Charles M. Schultz

There aren’t quotes galore about chocolate for no reason. Chocolate has a purpose (a big purpose in my life). It adds a lovely sweetness to desserts (and even some savory dishes!) and it is filled (using Italics to show how important this particular fact is) with antioxidants. Obviously, this is why I eat so much of it. It keeps me healthy. I can’t ALWAYS spend my time at the gym, even though it looks like I am there all the time, what with the sweatpants and all.

gym

Chocolate has a long history…I mean, the Mayans perfected drinking chocolate, something I find myself turning into a verb at every fondue party this side of the Mississippi. I digress. People love chocolate. I love chocolate. It makes us happy. It affects a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is known as an anti-depressant. So, we aren’t crazy – chocolate makes us feel GOOD inside!

Friends are like chocolate to me. More like chocolate chips…because they stud my life with wonderful little morsels….of sweetness, of knowledge, of humor. And you know what’s great about chocolate, besides everything? It comes in so many different ways! Dark, milk, bittersweet, semi-sweet…(white chocolate isn’t real chocolate, don’t even get me started on that. Who am I kidding though, I’d eat it!). Although I am likening my life as a whole to a cookie (sounds legit), I think the true joy lies in the richness I’ve gotten out of my friendships, all so different, like the many types of chocolate I enjoy. I still have my best friend since kindergarten (with whom it’s been discussed, this notion of being each others’ chocolate chips…some things start young!). I have wonderful friends from all facets of my life – the first friends I made after becoming a Mommy and doing “Mommy” things, my church and church group friends, my friends from years past still going strong, old friends with whom I’ve been reconnected, new friends from surprising places, the women in my family and who have become my family through marriage. I am so blessed with friends. My Mom is also one of my best friends. Can you imagine our history? I mean, she’s known me since the beginning (lol). I get and cherish something from each of these friendships and am so grateful for them all. They have all pushed me to be a better version of myself and to go out of my comfort zone constantly (and to a gal with a healthy dose of anxiety, this is life changing).

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”

-Linda Grayson

I try to always be the friend with chocolate.

You know what else is life changing? These cupcakes. These Cookie Dough-Stuffed Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. You must do them. As soon as humanly possible. Like yesterday. They were THAT good. And you know what else (I sound like my 3 year old)?? There is enough egg-less cookie dough leftover that you can eat it straight from the Tupperware or dip pretzel sticks in it while you watch Real Housewives dress more cupcakes or freeze for emergency snack attacks. If it even makes it that far.

Here is the recipe I used:

http://www.traceysculinaryadventures.com/2013/04/cookie-dough-stuffed-dark-chocolate.html#.UmRTarPMISk

I hope you try them! They are worth the many steps. Let me know how you enjoy them if you do make them.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Keep me sharp, Friends!

Kristin

Inauguration & Brownies

brownieswatermarkHappy First Blogging Day to me! This is my first post. Like, ever. I’m sure my writing skillz and spelling will get better as time goes on, let’s hope. But lest you think this is only about grammar…brownies.

I made brownies. Twice in one week. The same recipe. Although it isn’t a one-bowl recipe, which is clearly the dishwasher’s dream, it’s still an easy recipe. It seemed to go over well at my church ladies’ group fondue party and I am hoping the friends I just made them for will enjoy them also. I enjoyed licking the bowls. Both times. Here is the recipe if you want to try it (it can also be found on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Cocoa box). I added sprinkles, because…sprinkles.

http://www.food.com/recipe/nestle-chewy-cocoa-brownies-366301

Enjoy!

Kristin