Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Part of my 40th birthday celebration included a trip to a very special city for me and my man
It's the city where God called me to take a risk and leave behind my newly purchased home in Southern California, my dream job with college students in Malibu, and a great community of friends.
It's the city where God radically changed my life through the bold words of a
boss who "had my back."
It's the city where God overwhelmed me with His great love and provision for me by gifting me Becky Riggers as a friend and constant source of Mariners' games, information, directions and laughter.
It's the city where God brought beauty from the ashes of a broken heart.
It's the city where God called me to marry Roger Newquist.
And it's the city of the most amazing food on the planet! 
Starting with mini doughnuts!!!

At Pike Place Market there is a little stand called
Daily Dozen
and they crank out mini doughnuts all day long.  When you order them, they literally pull them out of the fryer, coat them with the topping of your choice, and throw them in a brown bag for you.
It really is one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten!
When Roger asked me to marry him, it meant that I'd have to leave Seattle and move to California with my new husband.  He promised that we'd return to Seattle each year.   Well... this was his first time back since our wedding 9 years ago!
There is something profoundly different about this city.
We spent our time up there trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes Seattle so extraordinary and the people so lovely.
There is a genuine happiness up there.  A relaxed, peaceful, focus on what is most important - way of life.  People enjoy God's creation, incredible food, genuine friendships and little pleasures.
It's like pure oxygen up there - you just can't get enough and it makes you feel so alive!
I don't think we fully cracked the code, but we settled on the fact that people focus more on what is most important in a moment, rather than trying to make an impression in a moment.  They value who they are with, more than what that person is thinking of them. 
They aren't distracted with the superficial.
It was a phenomenal trip.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Big Four O

Well, in my absence of blogging, I turned 40!
It's pretty crazy.

 I realize that it's just a number, but when I turned 20, it felt cool.  Like I was now an adult! (at least in my teen aged mind!)  And then turning 30 was really cool because then I felt like a real adult!
But 40 - well, it doesn't feel so cool. 
To be honest, it has scared me.
I wasn't nervous about turning 40 beforehand, but now that I am 40, it scares me.
I find my self doing the math more than ever before, "when my daughters are 20, I'll be 53.  When my son turns 40, I'll be 76!"  And on it goes.
It's like I feel my life slipping away and that feeling could either propel me to be better and stronger, or drive me into depression and sorrow.
My husband asked me several times if I wanted a big party.  I threw a big party for his 40th and I think he felt like he should do the same.
I didn't want the big party.
I like to be on the throwing end a lot more than the receiving end!
I wanted to be at my childhood home with my family, and that's exactly what we did.
After a vacation in Seattle, we came home to my parents' house and celebrated with cake from a bakery (my only request was a cake from a bakery, not homemade!) and fireworks!
Yep, there were fireworks!
I slowed down my shutter speed to capture the sparklers in motion.  The more I slowed it down, the more I captured the beauty of the moment.
Life is flying by.  It's unavoidable.
But I have the choice daily to slow down and capture the beauty of the moment, or move through life hurried and miss out on the dancing lights that creative hands make to brighten up the world.
Yep, I've spent parts of my life focusing on things that don't matter.  I've been busy, preoccupied, distracted and a little too self conscience. 
 I've rushed through many seasons, only to make life even more out of focus.
In this new decade, I'm choosing to slow down and allow what's really important comes into focus as the "me" fades away.
I don't want to worry about getting older and playing the numbers game.  That only puts the focus on me and I miss out on all the life happening around me in the moment.
So here's to 40 and here's to slowing down!
As my husband keeps saying, "40 is the new 30!"
I hope he's right!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Corn Crostini


My favorite thing in the summer is to have a bunch of small appetizers for dinner.  When it's hot, I don't want to cook and I don't want a lot to eat, so these little, light snacks are perfect!
Corn Crostini
1 c. corn
1 c. diced tomato
1 c. diced mozzarella
1/4 c. basil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
toss together and serve on a toasted baguette

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grilled Lemon Lime Shrimp

Super easy, delicious, Summer time favorite!
Grilled Lemon Lime Shrimp
In a large zip lock back squeeze the juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on how big your lemons are), zest of one lime, 1Tbsp. olive oil, 1-2 crushed garlic cloves.  Add 15, large, peeled and deveined prawns.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Skewer, season with sea salt and pepper (don't salt until just before you grill or the shrimp will become too salty) and grill for 2-3 minutes a side.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Watermelon Salsa

The market had buy one get one free watermelons and I didn't know what to do with the extra, so...
I looked up watermelon salsa recipes and this one is great!  I use sweet onion rather than red!
Watermelon Salsa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest (from about 1 lime)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Tortilla or pita chips, for serving

  • Friday, July 12, 2013

    Little Re-Cap

    Here is a little re-cap of what we've been up to!

    Well, this is my last week in my 30's
    The big birthday is coming!
    We're off for vacation but I hope to post some recipes while we're gone.
    Happy Weekend everyone!

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    The Body of Christ + 10 on 10

    I love how God so perfectly, uniquely, individually gifted us to accomplish His purposes.
    We don't all have the same gifts.
    We are not all "feet."
    But together, with our differences, we make up a complete body.
    All parts working together in their individual job to further the Kingdom of God.
    I know most people have the fear of public speaking.
    I can't really wrap my head around that considering I LOVE public speaking.
    If I have an audience who will listen to me, I'm in heaven!
    How doesn't everyone love speaking in public?
    But then Auntie came to visit.
    With squeals of delight coming from the back porch, I ran out to find a tiny creature being passed around.
    "Look what Auntie caught Mommy!"
    I almost threw up!
    "Isn't he cute?"
      "He's a baby Mommy!"
      "Do you want to hold him?"
    There is no way in the universe I would EVER hold that lizard.
    I don't care how tiny he was.
    I know he's jump onto my face and sink his little claws
    into my face so deeply that I couldn't pull him off.
    He might even kill me.
    As she held this lizard I kept saying,
     "not too close to your face honey. 
    Seriously, GET HIM AWAY FROM YOUR FACE!!!"
    Thank God for Aunties!
    Thank God that he has gifted some to be lizard catchers, some to risk their lives holding lizards too close to their face, and some to stand way back and take photos to remember this day!
    Yes, not everyone likes public speaking.
    And not everyone likes tiny, baby lizards!

    10 on 10 July

    1.  early morning
    2. overcast skies
    3.  rain!
    4.  my pager at Bible study
    5.  what the children constructed while I was late picking them up
    6.  crafts
    7.  nachos
    8.  "I just love glasses and I don't know why"
    9.  Trader's run
    10.  off to the birthday party

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Summer Sangria

    We've been entertaining a lot over the past few weeks and more to come!
    I've been trying out some new recipes and will share the hits!
    First up
    Summer Sangria
    1/2 lb. fresh strawberries
    1 apple diced
    handful of fresh basil leaves chiffonade
    1/4 c. sugar
    1 bottle Chardonnay
    1 c. club soda
    1 c. white grape juice
    Place sliced strawberries, apple and basil in a pitcher and sprinkle sugar over top.  Let sit for 1/2 hour until berries macerate.
    Add cold Chardonnay, club soda and grape juice.  Serve over ice!
    For the 4th of July we omitted the basil and added blueberries!

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Blueberry Muffins

    With all of our berry treasures that we picked at the farm a few weeks ago, we've been baking up all sorts of goodies!
    My favorite are the Blueberry Muffins.
    I had a recipe that I've used for years and LOVE, but it calls for 2 cups of sugar!  So I went on a hunt to find a new one with less sugar - I just couldn't wrap my head around 2 cups!
    I ended up combining a few to make up my own and it was a hit.
    Mommy Girl's Blueberry Muffins
    2c. flour
    1 c. oats
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 egg
    2 mashed bananas
    1/2 c. melted butter
    3/4 c. whole milk
    1 c. coconut
    1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
    cinnamon / sugar mixed for topping
    1.  preheat oven to 375
    2.  combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
    3.  in a separate bowl, beat egg, bananas, butter and milk until smooth
    4.  add banana mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
    5.  fold in coconut
    6.  fold in blueberries
    7.  fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkles some cinnamon and sugar on top.
    Bake at 375 for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry in the center.
    Happy Baking!!


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