motherhood

easter as three

11:15 PM



easter as three looked a little something like this...a basket awaiting holland in the morning, church to celebrate christ's death and resurrection (let's not forget about that part), a sweet afternoon filled with naps and lounging and a little bit of yard work (we've got a lot to do folks), and an easter ham dinner, proceeded by an egg hunt.









now a grandpa, my dad carried on a tradition brought about years ago by my grandparents, filling one gold egg with a little extra cash, sending the adults out on a hunt for eggs as well, and to my astonishment and with a little help from my almost-two-year-old partner in crime, we found it this year. actually, we totally got lucky and stumbled upon it. but hey, we'll take it.















the day was simple. the joy was great. and now as i sit back and look at these photos, i am reminded of the immeasurable amount of joy i am brought each and every day from this gift of a family the lord has given me. and also reminded to watch my patience, hold my tongue, be thankful and give praise for each and every moment with them. reminded to sometimes just sit, and be still and soak it all in, to be in the moment, to put aside my wandering heart and materialistic desires and thank the lord for what i do have, because he has truly given me my hearts deepest desires (as if giving himself wasn't enough, because it totally was) and sometimes i totally take it all for granted. from what he did on the cross for each and every one of us, to the blessings he continues to bestow upon us through celebration and triumph and sometimes even trial.








all that to say, i am really grateful to have had this time to celebrate the lord's death and resurrection with family so close to my heart.















recipe

lemon olive oil cake

8:22 PM



this cake first came about in our kitchen almost a year ago. i actually can't believe it has been that long. it has stuck around ever since. it's latest appearance was at our good friday family meal. it's light, it's lemony, it's simple, and it's beautiful. i love a cake that doesn't need frosting standing beautifully on it's own. there is something about the way the top crusts and cracks that i absolutely love while the inside stays springy yet somehow dense. it is satisfying without being over induldgent it is truly a favorite around here. the way the eggs work together to create something so fabulous totally fascinates me. my favorite dishes come from simple ingredients. perhaps that is why i love this cake so much. 


lemon olive oil cake
yield: 8 servings

5 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T lemon juice
zest of 1 large lemon
1 C cake flour or all-purpose flour

4 egg whites
1/2 t salt
1/4 C sugar

1 1/2 T sugar, for garnish

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  lightly grease a 9" x 2 1/2" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.

beat the yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until thick and pale.  when lifted from the whisk, the batter should cascade in ribbons onto the surface and hold for a couple of seconds.  reduce to medium speed and drizzle in the olive oil.  combine thoroughly and then add the lemon juice and zest.  the mixture may look a bit broken.  take the bowl off the mixer, sift half the flour onto the batter and fold it in gently but thoroughly.  sift in remaining flour and fold until combined, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

beat the egg whites with salt until they are foamy and expanded in volume.  slowly add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until they hold a soft peak.  fold a third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the batter, then fold in remaining whites.

pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently rap the bottom on the work surface once or twice to release large air bubbles.  sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 - 40 minutes.  place on a wire rack to cool.  run a thin-bladed knife or metal spatula about the edge of the cake to release any areas that might be sticking to the pan.  cool 10 minutes and release the metal ring of the springform pan. cool completely.  gently invert the cake and remove the parchment. invert again onto a serving plate.

serve with fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream and sugared plums or blackberries.

MAMASTUFF

things to remember {for holland}

2:06 PM



holland, the days are passing quicker than ever. i look at you and cannot believe how big you have gotten in so little time. i love you more all of the time. here are a few things about you i'd like to remember forever. 
curious george is your favorite. we read it almost every night. you watch it almost everyday. you wear your hat everywhere. still. it's hardly left your head since your first birthday. sometimes it even sleeps with you. it's a good thing it came big. you love babies, or at least one in particular, and you refer to her as the baby as if she is the only baby in the whole world. it is sort of precious. i think you think about her all of the time. we can only hope your brother will be as cool in your eyes. you say tess (grandma and grandpa's dog), unkey, and pops but refuse to say grandma (unkey covers auntie too). you only smile and shake your head. we are convinced with everything in us you could, but you love the reaction you get by not. sometimes you call her bob instead and we have no idea why or where it came from. 
right now, you love donuts and noodles (lots of other things too). luckily we can pass bagels off as donuts, your mistake, not ours, but we've played along. you still have no palate for mango. you pick the edamame, snap and snow peas out of your fried rice and eat them by the fistful. by default we pick through ours too, because we know you will be asking.
each night you lay down on the pillow that dad gave you and remind me it is from him. everynight. like clockwork. we tuck you in with your favorite blue star blanket and you gather both tags in your hand. and then, you ask me to scratch your head after story time just about every night. you are so much like your dad, it is crazy. your collection of critters you sleep with is ever growing and you sleep crammed in the corner of your crib. right now, your fox, sock monkey, yoohoo (from grandpa) and dressing doll have earned their keep, as well as your soldier rattle, which you recently found again, and two small tractors (as of yesterday) and one other pillow with a world map on it. 
you are tractor obsessed and you absolutely love water. you now know how to turn the hose on dad and i. be kind to us. you think you like bugs but are still sort of unsure about them, however you offer up your meal (and water cup) to them at each meal. you love birds and helicopters. i swear you are sweet enough to eat, but there is a streak of wild in there too. 
we can sing you a tune, or a car can pass with the radio blasting and you will dance whether your are sitting or standing (or probably sleeping for that matter). when you eat something you really like, you shimmy back and forth in your seat. it's really cute. 
we moved about two weeks ago from our little house in which you've spent all of your days up until now, you are doing excellent in our new home, though the moving days were long and rough on us all. you have a backyard now and daily baths are no longer an option. we have more dirt than we know what to do with. we laugh more than ever, work harder than ever, and love deeper than ever. you are an absolute blessing and we cannot wait to see you as a brother. but for now we are cherishing these last few months with you.

we love you, always.

 

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