Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD: Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake

For this week's Tuesday with Dorie assignment, Amy Ruth of Amy Ruth Bakes chose the Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake from p. 286-287. 

Once again, I contemplated skipping out b/c the cake didn't sound fabulous to me, but I forged ahead and made it very last minute...to the point where I had to stick the cake in the fridge and cut and frost it while it was still pretty warm in order to have it done by 10 pm!

Despite my procrastination, I thought it was a pretty quick and easy cake to throw together.  I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand: I ran out of regular cocoa powder halfway through so I used half regular, and half hershey's special dark.  I also didn't have enough sour cream so I used half sour cream and half vanilla yogurt.  I was kinda worried b/c both my yogurt and sour cream were low fat and I was afraid that it might make the cake less moist, but I was wrong!  (and seriously, how can you be worried about not having enough fat when there are 2 sticks of butter?!?)  I also really think that the dark cocoa  was a change for the better--I ADORE dark chocolate w/raspberry and that's what it tasted like :).  Oh yeah, and I used raspberry rhubarb jam for the filling, but I told my coworkers it was just raspberry...ooops!  I also was using a slightly smaller pan than specified so I only filled it just over halfway full and baked the remainder in my freestanding heartshaped silicon cupcake liners.

Well, I sure am glad that I made this b/c it was amazing!  The cake was extremely moist with an almost velvety texture, and though I had slight reservations about the fruit filling I thought it definitely brightened the taste.  And the frosting!  How amazing is that!?!?  All you had to do was melt some semisweet chocolate and stir in sour cream!  Amazing!  Even though I had to slice and fill the cake while it was still slightly warm, I had no trouble at all cutting the layers and stacking them.

With my cupcakes I sliced each one in half and tried a few different fillings: nutella, chocolate peanut butter, and one with the jam.  As much as I love those chocolate spreads, the jam was definitely my favorite.  I don't know why, but the one I filled with nutella tasted very cinnamonny--and of course there was no cinnamon in the cake...weird.

Sadly, I did not get good pictures.  I waited until right before leaving for work this morning to try and get a good natural light shot, but it is so miserably hot and humid that this is what I got:
 It fogged my lens up! 

The first one up towards the top is somewhat clear, but it did not take any time at all to feel like I was photographing a fog, and by the time I got home from work, this is all that was left:
The cake was a hit at the office, except for sweet Larissa (though she still ate two pieces I think...).  She took a bite before I told her there was a fruit filling and just looked at me weird. Then she asked it it was orange or pineapple!  heehee--silly friend.  Hubs was also intrigued by the cake--he saw it on the counter and said "Cool! It looks like a meatloaf!"  which I don't understand b/c he HATES meatloaf and usually refers to it as gross.  But he didn't try it due to the jam.  Silly boy.

Thanks so much to Amy Ruth for this pick, and be sure to visit the TWD LYL post to see who baked along this week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to my Dearest Daddy!

My dad and I have a very special relationship...it's very "tender" as my mom would say, which means that I cry about any father-daughter things...whether it be the Little Mermaid, or Father of the Bride or right now when I'm sitting down to type this.

As I mentioned before, I was born with a perforated intestine and spent my first few months of life in the hospital going through multiple surgeries.  My parents would take turns staying through the night with me and my dear wonderful daddy would stay up all night long holding me and brushing my little tufts of hair.

Dad had a tough life--with an alcoholic father his family was dirt-poor, but he didn't make excuses and always sought to be better.  He worked hard from his early teens and went on to college where he got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ--and his life changed!  Not only did he meet and fall in love with my gorgeous mom, but he also developed a passion for college ministry & spreading the gospel, which he has now been involved with for over 30 years!
 dad & mom in the early days
snazzy in the 70s!

Dad and I had our hard times--mostly during those ridiculous teenage years when I made bad choices about boys--but I think I finally matured and really came to appreciate the amazing man that he is when I started college and got involved in Crusade at WKU as well.  I got to see my Daddy through the eyes of a young college student looking for purpose and direction.  I saw how my peers respected and admired him.  Realized that for longer than I had been alive, he had been a mentor, a teacher, even sometimes a surrogate father for students who did not have relationships with their real dads.  And above all, he always pointed others to Jesus.  It is crazy to think of the tens of thousands of people--all across the world--that my dad has influenced, whether it be through hearing him speak, being in a Bible study or discipleship with him, or in one of the classes that he teaches.  But guess what?  None of them have the kind of relationship that I have with him--yep, I'm pretty special!  I get to be Thomas Weakley's oldest daughter :).

 giving the graduation red towel to WKU CRU students
in his element--providing for and ministering to a group of international students for their first American Thanksgiving at his house

Both of my parents were very intentional about how they would raise us kids.  They constantly sought to teach us about having a personal relationship with God and did everything possible to model a godly marriage and create special family traditions (even when I--as an obnoxious teenager--would do everything possible to ruin those traditions for everyone else!)  My dad really showed us unconditional love, and it's crazy to me because he did not have a model of what that is supposed to look like.  My heart still breaks over a fight we had when I was in that obnoxious stage--I told him that he was a horrible dad and he had no idea how awful it was to have a dad like him.  He quickly corrected me on that and reminded me of what he had to live with as a child--I would never understand what it was to have to pick up my passed-out drunk father or to have to support my mom & siblings.  I'm so thankful that I have a dad who is a man of character and who truly loves us with all his heart!

Just over four years ago hubs and I got married, and my dear beloved Daddy performed the ceremony on the front porch of my parents' lovely house.  It was so special to me to have our wedding there and to have him not only give me away, but to perform the ceremony and make our wedding one that was glorifying to God.  I only hope that someday if we have children, that we will be even half the parents that my Mom & Daddy are.

Here are some of my favorite memories & things that my dad has taught me:
  • When I first started school he would take me out for breakfast everyone once in a while for "Daddy dates."   We would usually go to Burger King and he would get a bacon egg & cheese croissant and I would get French toast sticks-sometimes we would split them :).
  • He would also take me (and each of us kids) out for a Daddy date on our birthday--he would check us out of school and take us to the restaurant of our choice for a special lunch. 
  • We would go fishing when I was little and sometimes used corn as the bait--my sister (and may me too?) would eat it out of the can before we could use it.  I would also call the fish a la Ernie from Sesame Street: "HEERE FISHY FISHY FISHY!!
  • We spent several childhood summers in Daytona, Florida on the beach while on summer assignments with Campus Crusade.  Dad would always take us out to play in the ocean, and when I was really little he would stick his hand under the sand and make a "sand moh-moh" (i couldn't yet say "monster")
  • When we would take long car trips to Colorado or Florida he would sometimes wrap hot dogs in tin foil, lay them on top of the car engine under the hood, and then after driving for an hour like that we would have yummy car-grilled hot dogs for lunch!
  • Dad would take on on family bike rides down to a donut shop in the neighborhood
  • You know how kids always think that their Dads can do anything?  Well, mine can!  He laid concrete floors in the basement of our childhood home, basically rebuilt and restored their current home (build in 1848), he can fix cars and grill like a champ, as well as illustrate the gospel and having a spirit filled life on a napkin ;) 
 the grilling champ--he can grill burgers and hot dogs for over 100  hungry college students!
teaching hubs the ins and outs of home ownership--on the roof of course!

There are so many other stories and things I am thankful for about my Daddy but I will have to stop myself here for now.  Thank you for being an amazing Godly father--I love you!  Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vidalia Onion Pie

Back when I was a young bride-to-be my dear mommy bought me subscriptions to Cooking with Paula Deen and Taste of the South magazines.  This was before my cookbook collection grew to over 100, when the majority of my magazine subscriptions were fashion magazines such as Glamour & Allure...not home or cooking things.  But I sure adored those two cooking magazines.  I would pull them out and read every single page...marking the recipes that I would love to try when I had a kitchen of my own and was no longer living in a college dorm!  I will still "Miss Hospitality" back then, I just did slice and bake cookies and brownies from a mix ;) 

During those first few issues in the spring and summer of 2006, I kept seeing a recipe--an advertisement, not actually a Paula recipe--for a vidalia onion tart.  I had just started to appreciate onions and really wanted to try making it eventually.

Well, a few weeks ago I pulled out one of my old magazines (of course I still have every one...and bought all the back issues too...), found the recipe and tried it.

Honestly, I wasn't thrilled.  I love the flavor of the sweet onions, but the recipe only called for one egg and one egg yolk and it wasn't enough to really bind the diced onions together.  It probably didn't help that shortly after making it I got a stomach virus, and sadly, half of the tart ended up in the trash :(.  If I make this again, I would definitely increase the amount of eggs to give it more of a quiche consistency, and I think it would be wonderful in tartlettes at a baby or bridal shower or tea or something lovely like that.

Vidalia Onion Tart
Celina Tio f/m the American Resturant, as advertised in Cooking with Paula Deen May/June 2006
 *makes 1 12" tart, 12 servings

 5 cups diced Vidalia onions (small dice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1 tart shell, partially baked (I was lazy and just used a frozen pie shell)

Cook the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until tender.  Keep covered to seal in flavor and prevent onions from browning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the heavey cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Adjust seasoning, if necessary.  Allow to cool slightly.  Whisk the egg and egg yolk together and incorporate into the onion mixture.  Finish with teh chopped parsley and chives.  Pour mixture into the partially baked tart shell and bake at 325 degress for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Since I used a smaller diameter pie shell it took at least 45 minutes for mine to bake)
This morning I needed to get up "early" to make some food for a baby shower brunch for my sis-in-law.  Apparently I was stressed out about it b/c I had a dream that the baby shower kept getting pushed back but we also needed to get together for Father's day and now couldn't figure out times.  Then, I realized that the next day was Christmas day and I hadn't made bread or cookie trays for anyone, and it positively would not be Christmas without bread and cookie trays!!  Needless to say, I woke up stressed, but thankful that all we have is baby shower and Father's day.  :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in!

This week I have been agitated and aggravated and antsy and angry and all kinds of negative "a" emotions. 

Seventeen days ago I posted this about a new change coming up in my life.  After 10 years, I turned in my resignation at the pediatric office where I work.  I gave them a month notice, with my last day set as June 30th.  After over 3 months of deliberating and praying before making/announcing this decision, I've run through the gamut of emotions and am honestly kind of over it.  I know that when the time comes to leave I will be completely and utterly heartbroken over the people that I will no longer be in every-day contact with, but I have honestly loved the moments this month when I have done something I'm not fond of with the knowledge that it would be the "last time."

Well, there is this thing about having four physicians with completely different ideas, schedules...pretty much everything...as the responsible parties for moving forward in this situation.  They take their time.  I thought that 30 days notice was reasonable--generous even!  Apparently not.

Here is how the decision-making timeline has gone thus far:
  • June 1: handed in my resignation letter to the physicians and met w/each one to discuss why, etc..
  • June 2: physicians schedule meeting on June 4 to discuss how to move forward
  • June 3: physicians reschedule meeting to June 7 due to scheduling conflicts (one week gone)
  • June 7: physicians meet to discuss moving forward.  Decide to put ad in next Sunday's paper=another week gone w/no real progress
  • June 13: Advertise opening at our office in paper
  • June 14-16: I review resumes and do phone interviews/screenings
  • June 17-18: 4 interviews scheduled with physicians.
Okay, so as I was doing these phone interviews and scheduling interviews w/the docs I came to a realization.
If we hire someone who currently has a job...the first available date for them to start after giving 2 weeks notice would be July 5...remember that my last day was supposed to be June 30?
Then I walked over to two of the physicians who were discussing how to do interviews and they brought up the fact that one of the docs has been on vacation all this week and unable to do interviews, and another would be gone all next week (21-25).  But they want to have all four meet with the top 2 candidates to make a decision.  This means that a decision would be impossible to make until June 28...plus 2 weeks if the candidate has a job = new hire's start date is somewhere in the week of July 12-16--right smack dab in the middle of the vacation week I had planned in Florida with my parents and sister...you know, because I was supposed to have had my last day two weeks before!  Of course, during this conversation they were discussing me training the new hire so I knew they weren't planning on doing it without me.

After some thinking and grumbling to one of my coworkers and overall frustration I took a calendar over to each of the physicians and told them that we had to discuss "logistics."  I would not cancel my vacation.  If they can make a decision quickly that would be preferable, and I will agree to work 2 days a week--no more--through July to make sure that the new hire gets adequately trained.  Shew.

In reality, it is not a horrible situation.  I mean, I will continue to be paid for a bit more time than I had planned and will still be able to rest and recoup and start some of the therapy things that I was planning on.  It was just frustrating.  My coworkers are happy with this option b/c I will be around longer, and I think the gradual change will be a good thing as well.  The whole situation has just given me a headache!  Craziness!  So I'm in it for a while longer.

I have so many fun posts that I want to write with some Butch stories & friend stories & recipes, but my mind has just been so foggy from this crazy.  I'm ready to go to sleep!  Will post fun things soon :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TWD: Raisin(less) swirl bread

I am one of those bakers who has been afraid of yeast for some reason.  I know why:  early in my marriage to hubs, I had just gotten some cookbooks and decided to make some homemade yeast bread.  I had never done it before, but was not afraid.  I got my ingredients out, mixed everything together...and it didn't really rise.  But I was (as I regularly am) confused...I thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me and that it really did rise and I just didn't realize it...so I went ahead and baked it.  And it was hard as a rock.  Turned out that my yeast had expired. 

I didn't try yeast again (though I regularly bake sourdough bread) until I made this bread earlier in the year.  It was wonderful, so when I saw that Susan of food.baby chose the (yeasted) raisin swirl bread from pp. 59-60 of Baking from My Home to Yours, I was excited to try again. 

I'm a big fan of cinnamon raisin swirl bread, but after scanning the ingredient list I realized that if I left out the raisins, it would be a big hit w/hubs, so I thoughtfully made a raisinless bread and doubled the cinnamon & sugar in the swirl. 

right out of the oven 
It is SO GOOD!!!  As soon as it came out of the oven we were tearing off bits and yumming it up.  There is still some left b/c it has been a whirlwind few days and I spend yesterday in Louisville and he is in Lexington today, but I enjoyed a slice toasted and buttered today and fell in love!

Thanks to Susan for your pick, and check at the LYL post on the TWD site to see who baked along this week!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Happy Friday to you, Happy Friday to you, Happy Fab Five F-RI-DAYYY, Happy Friday to you!!
Once again, joining Emily and the girls to list 5 things that made our lives fab this week!

I think this one is going to become a food edition...let's see!

1.  Bruster's Ice Cream

We have gone out on ice cream dates a couple of times in the past month, and Bruster's is awesome!  Peanut Buttter Puddles is officially my favorite flavor.  My favorite thing about it is that they give a free mini "pup-cone" to your dog if you bring them (even in the car)--it's a little scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a dog biscuit!  (and if you have a human child under a certain height they get a free kids cone too--minus the dog biscuit of course ;) )   We went out last night for our anniversary and it was so fun!  It makes me feel like we're in a really small town b/c everyone hangs out eating ice cream and we met all kinds of people who wanted to pet our pup.  Also, we're always looking for places that we can go as a "family" (aka w/Butch) so it's a nice fun treat for all of us.

2.  Griff's deli
This is one of my favorite lunch places in town.  I am in LOVE with the T-bird panini--like a turkey club but with avacado instead of lettuce.  YUM!  It's kinda expensive, but the sandwiches are big enough for me to make it last for 2 meals.  Plus, it's super close to my office!

3. Strawberry shortcake
For TWD this week we made homemade shortcakes and they were amazing!  Perfect for my favorite summertime dessert--and all fresh this time, no processed cool whip or bisquick shortcakes.  Hubs even liked them!

3.  The Pioneer Woman's Homemade Chicken strips

(image from her site, not mine)
I've been doing more meal cooking this week and decided to branch out a bit and make some homemade chicken strips that I had recently bookmarked from The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  As all food bloggers know, Ree is the queen when it comes to good stick-to-your bones (and belly) food.  I figured that this would be plain enough for even hubs to eat ;).  They took a little longer to cook through than she says on the recipe, but they came out really good.  "Like real chicken strips" per hubs.  And he liked them!! woohoo!  

4.  Fresh cherries
I know most people are going crazy for strawberries right about now, but for eating out of hand, cherries are really my favorite.  I love it when you can get them for a fairly reasonable price!  Honestly, I usually prefer to just eat them plain than to bake with them, but since I got a cherry pitter last year I may branch out and try some real cherry desserts.

5.  Croissonic Bacon Sandwich

"Number 14 please with a bacon sandwich, tots, and a diet Dr. Pepper"
Not a good choice, but  I sure do love it!  My favorite was honestly the breakfast ciabatta sandwich but they got rid of it :(  *sigh*  I only allow myself to get this maybe once a month, but I sure do love it! And I eat it for lunch,  not breakfast.  (I know, I'm weird).  I had one this week and it was all I could have wished for!

Well, cleary I did not make great food choices this week, but there were things to celebrate so we enjoyed some of our favorite treats.  What about you?  What foodie treats will make your week fab?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD: Tender Shortcakes

What could be better than strawberry shortcake on a summer evening?  I mean seriously...it's perfect!

I was super excited when I saw that our pick for this week was Tender Shortcakes from page 423 of BFMHTY.  (Thanks to Cathy of The Tortefeasor for the pick!)  I was contemplating making them on Sunday evening when I was reminded that I had left my camera at my dear sis-in-law's house.  And I realized that I had no strawberries...so no shortcake.  I went to the grocery on Monday after work and got the strawberries, but still no camera.  I contemplated making them and posting w/out pictures, and then thought I would just wait and make them over the weekend when I got the camera back, but it ended up that she needed to bring one of her girls in to see the doctor where I work, so I got it back! 

Thankfully, this is a super easy recipe and comes together quickly enough to make it after making dinner on a work night and still have enough time to get natural light pictures for the post deadline!  woohoo!!

I threw these together while hubs' dinner was cooking, and was about to pour in the cream when I realized that I had forgotten to add sugar to the dough!  In it went with a bit of extra mixing, but I don't think they were any worse for the wear.  I am always afraid that I am handling my dough to much, but--as with the sweet cream biscuits--I got a pretty good rise on these!  I was quite surprised, and even wondered if I had left the full amount of baking powder even though I cut everything else in half (I got a bite from an edge that I don't think the sugar had reached and thought something was off). 

After my first iffy taste test I ate a whole shortcake...just to be sure that they were good you know...and then offered one to hubs with the unassuring comment that "it's okay, they aren't bad"  How are you supposed to distinguish "they aren't bad"=they have not been ruined vs. "they aren't bad"= they're just okay?  He took it as the latter, but after a bit of prodding he finally tried a tiny bit and said...and I'm shocked..."They're good!"  This is my husband who 1. generally refuses to try anything that I make and 2. even when he does like something only ever says "it's fine."  I feel like walking on air!

Well, despite the fact that I had already eaten a whole shortcake for my taste test...and the fact that I had consumed numerous  pecan pie & lemon bars that someone brought to our office from a local bakery and rudely placed on my desk...I had to make some real strawberry shortcake!  I didn't let my berries macerate for as long as I would have liked so they didn't extract quite enough juice for my taste, but it was still so good!  Last year at work everyone went crazy when I brought in strawberry shortcakes made from Bisquick and cool whip--I must say that I feel like I've moved up in the baking world now that I make it all including whipping the cream ;) 

I halved the recipe, and just patted them into a large rectangle and sliced from that so I got 6 square-ish shortcakes.  Thanks so much to Cathy for choosing this delish recipe, and check out the TWD leave your link post to see how everyone else did!

Monday, June 7, 2010

some days i am heartbroken about leaving my job...some days i can't wait till july!  today was one of the latter ;)

in other news..i have one of those itches in the back of my throat/base of my ear that is impossible to scratch.  grrr!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

a change will do you good

I don't do change.  I've said this before, but I have had the same car since I learned to drive, the same guy since I was 17, and the same job since I was 16.  I'm 26 now, and basically my life has been fairly constant since I was in my late teens!  Yeah, there have been the major life things such as getting married and finishing school, but in areas that I actually make a choice, once I make it I tend to stick with it.  I feel like I am a person who adapts well to new circumstances, but I guess I don't just seek change out. 

Well, it's time for a change.  Today, after nearly 10 years, I turned in my resignation at the office where I work.  That is the "big thing" that I have been hinting about for several weeks now.  I'm quitting my job. 

Now I realize, for some people--especially people in their early to mid 20s, changing jobs is basically like changing clothes.  It just happens as you get different kinds of experience and move around before settling on a career choice.  Most of my friends have worked at at least 5 different places which is hard for me to imagine!  I, on the other hand, have only ever worked at Pediatric Associates.  Yeah, there were a few part time church or CRU childcare things thrown in the mix, but those were always in addition to my main job or for just a week or two at a time.

I started working at PA when I was sixteen.  I had been a patient there since I was two years old, and at that time was getting allergy shots 2x a week.  I figured that it couldn't hurt to try to work there since I was already in the office so much!  I remember exactly how I approached it...I was getting my allergy shot, and I asked the nurse who was administering it: "Do you ever hire people who are under 18??"  That's all I said!  lol.  Well, thankfully my doctor and the nurse liked me and a few weeks later I filled out an official application and met with the office manager for an impromptu interview...I was sick that day and there to see my doctor and I was wearing jeans with holes in them!  I remember asking the office manager about the dress code and she looked me up and down and said "Well, not ripped jeans!" 

I went in after school every day except Thursdays since the office manager was off and did menial tasks like filing, copying records, shredding old documents,  pulling insurance documents and sorting mail.  I would work extra time when school was out and it began to be like a little family for me.  And best of all, if I was sick or needed allergy shots, I just had to walk down the hall!  The craziest thing about those first few months was that I was not even driving yet, so my parents would pick me up from school, drop me off at the office, and then pick me back up one hour later!  bless them!

It carried on that way for several years, through my senior year of high school and then through college.  I picked up more responsibilities over time and they liked me and even agreed to let me take 6 weeks off to go on a mission trip to Russia.  Around that same time, there was some sketchy stuff going on with the manager and by the time I was scheduled to leave she was gone and the office was in shambles.  I thought I wouldn't have a job when I came back, and they even talked to me about letting me go, but I persevered and stayed on.  By my senior year of college they had decided to create a new position for me, and during my last semester I was promoted to "Billing & insurance specialist" though I had no experience whatsoever, and only 2 weeks of training!  I ended up training the next manager and eventually was promoted to the position myself.  (A big step up from formerly sitting having to sit sideways at a filing cabinet for my workspace!)

Since graduating college and becoming the manager (or "Office Coordinator" as the position is officially titled) I have caught mono (most likely from the patients) and developed some probably permanent health conditions; dealt with a roof literally being blown off the office and the subsequent move to and from a temporary location; drama of all kinds including some directed at me; major employee turnover; the retirement of a physician and the adding of a new one;  learning and eventually mastering the insurance systems; being cussed over past-due patient accounts; being cussed over divorce/custody drama; being cussed over the on-hold music...maybe I exaggerated that one a tiny bit, but you get the idea...I could go on, but this is already a very lengthy post ;)

And you know what?  This may sound kind of sad, but seeing my coworkers and physicians/bosses truly upset over my decision to leave, I feel like it was all worth it.  I feel truly loved and appreciated.  Instead of being excited that I'm leaving, several of them have actually cried!  All of them have protested (some threatened to kidnap my little Butchy if I didn't change my mind!) and even the doctor that I thought would be jumping for joy to get rid of me offered to let me have a shortened schedule if I would stay. 

So why am I leaving??  Because we have been blessed.  We have had our financial burdens lessened which has made the need for my salary go away.  And after much prayer and crying and wondering and money crunching we felt that this was God's way of providing so that I can try to get healthy.  Getting me out of an environment where I am constantly exposed to sick children can only help my health.  At this point I feel like I have tried every other alternative, but nothing has truly, permanently helped.  How can I go forward without trying every possibility to get better?  I would always wonder "what if" had we not made this decision.  Especially if this allows me to be able to eventually be healthy enough to raise a child.  My doctor had already said that working after having kids was not an option for me, at least not for the first few years, so I am just taking a bit of extra time to prepare for that. 

And what am I going to do now?  I have some plans.  I am not getting another full time job and I will hopefully have some time just to rest, but I feel that I have already "talked your ears off" (in reading/writing form of course) so you'll have to stay tuned to learn the most exciting things that God has provided for my future!

**By the way, in case you haven't guessed, I didn't get to the TWD post for this week, though it looked quite wonderful.  You can still see everyone else's White Chocolate Brownies here.