Where is God when bad things happen?

Some say that if God is real then bad things shouldn't happen.  I say the existence of bad things proves that God is real.

If we lived in a world where everything was perfect, where there was no war or dishonesty, where no one was ever wronged, babies never died before they were born, where marriages stayed strong forever, no one ever lied, cheated or stole...where you could count on one another to pull their own load and help you when you needed it...then what would be the point of God?  If we could pull off perfect on our own, there would be no need for a savior.  A rescuer.  A helper or an intercessor.   

Problems exist to remind us of why we need God in the first place.  If no one was ever sick, why would we need a healer?  If no one ever got lost, why would we need a shepherd?

God's grace is in every bad situation, whispering to us our need to run to Him.  Nothing in this world can sooth our savage hearts like the one who created it in the first place.

Speaking from my own experiences...which are just as dark and deep as the next persons...I have found no easier place to cling to Jesus than in the dark.  There has been no where else I want to run in times of trouble than straight to the one place I know can bring me peace.

If you are alone in the dark, it's by choice.

Since we have moved home, life has been pretty amazing.  Moving home was a lot like that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy steps out of black and white and into color.  Everything seems bright and happy here.  Minor issues remain minor, we spend excessive time with each other and family, Doug has off for every single holiday, vacation days are allowed and he has nearly every weekend off.

Life is about as good as I could ever imagine it to be.  But even here in this place of technicolor wonder there are challenges.  Ways the Lord nudges us to remind us of our need for him.  Even here bad exists.  Even here we are hurt and struggle at times.  All that to say that even if you are exactly where you belong, doing just what you feel you are supposed to, even there in that perfect place, bad will exist.  You can't escape it you can only choose to use it.

Use it to run to Him.  Use it as a tool for sharpening your faith.  Use it as a longing for Heaven and His presence.  Use it as a way to cling to the only person who can and will one day diminish bad forever.   

Bad is not an absence of His presence but the ultimate reminder of our need for a Savior.
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what i made for Monday - pumpkin whoopie pies!

Look at me almost blogging on a regular basis!  You'd never know that I have an order of 175 cupcakes that need to be filled, trying to work on hohos, a huge project that will span all of November, writing jobs, orders, etc.  :) Not to mention that my family wants dinner EVERY night and breakfast EVERY morning.  The nerve!

But I told you I was working on balance, and this blog is an important part of my life.  Since you have to feed the things you love, here I am trying to work on pouring more into here. :)

For now, did you know that you can access all the "What I made for Monday posts" by clicking on the photo over to the right that says WIMFM? :) You can...need some inspiration just click on over!

This week I went with something seasonal and Fallish...pumpkin spice (I could just stop right there right?) whoopie pies.  Delightful and yummy and the cream cheese frosting is to die for!  You could just make that and eat it by the spoonful and I would never judge you for it.

Want to make some?

Pumpkin Pie Whoopie Pies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin (from the can)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in an appropriate sized bowl.  In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together.  Once blended add eggs one at a time.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk/pumpkin to the sugar mixture by altering between the two you are adding.

Spray a whoopie pan with non-stick spray. (You can get one at Michael's for about $5 with a coupon.  Don't waste your money on the seasonal Fall one...it was a pain in the b u t t to use.)  Fill each cavity about half way and bake in a 350 oven for about 7-9 minutes or until pies bounce back when you touch them (or a clean toothpick comes out).

Fill with this amazing filling when cooled:

Cream cheese whoopie pie filling
8oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2tsp of vanilla

This recipe makes about 15 total pies.

Adapted from the recipe via Wilton.


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baby and the holidays - a huggies post


I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

Like it or not, the holidays are upon us. For anyone and everyone, that means extra social events, more family visits, more shopping, more crazy and more chaos. It may seem impossible to keep a schedule intact for your baby over the next couple of months, but I'm here to tell you, where there's a will, there's a way.

All babies aside, it's just not healthy for anyone to go all out during the holidays. Who has ever spent a holiday season over committed and come out stress free on the other side? No one I know. Now that you have that little one, it's the perfect reason to slow down this holiday season. This is a season of JOY and that will be hard to come by if you throw out your baby's schedule to attend every party, bake every cookie and sing every carol.

Can you still have a rich and enjoyable holiday experience? Yes!

Step one is to sit and think NOW about what is important to you during the holidays. Is it time at home baking and watching Christmas movies? Is it your family holiday party? Is it making all of your holiday gifts? Christmas eve dinner or your child's Christmas school program? It's important to think of what your favorite things are NOW so you can have a plan in place to make sure you can enjoy them. With an infant in tow you have to keep in mind what kind of baby you have...if he or she is happy to sleep in the car seat then you will have a little more flexibility than if they will only sleep in the crib. Knowing in advance which holiday events are important to you goes a long way with planning your baby's schedule and knowing when and if you will need a sitter or which events you will have to sit out on.

Step two is to come to terms with the fact that you cannot please everyone. It never fails that someone will be disappointed with what you choose to do or not do and that has to be OK with you. In our house, Doug and I put our family (the four of us) first and make our holiday plans around that. For us, it's important to be in our house Christmas morning so we try to make other plans around the holidays to see family at other times. Chances are, with a new baby, everyone will expect you bright and early at their house Christmas morning or Thanksgiving day. Know what you and your spouse want to do with this time and support each other in keeping that commitment. Don't give in to the pressure to please others and be everywhere at once.

Step three...keep in mind that in a couple of weeks, a little disruption to a schedule won't matter at all. Babies are very resilient and if you are good to keep them on schedule, then they are good to bounce back when that schedule must be a little more flexible. I remember more than once stressing over an event and coming out on the other side wondering why I was so stressed out in the first place.

Above all, enjoy this first Christmas season with your new baby! Be sure to take lots of photos, relax and enjoy the little things!

Be sure you read up on all my other Huggies posts HERE! There's some good stuff in there!
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.
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Moses is six! Virginia Tech party!

Moses is six!  He said that the day of his party was the best day of his life, so I am counting that as a success! :) It's amazing how fast time flies...but if you are a parent, you know this, so I won't rub it in. 
I made cupcakes for him to share with his class...
...super simple to make but a cute and impressive result. 
I also sent along some bagged cookies that went along with our football theme...also super simple to make!

For the cake I used a Wilton football helmet pan...I wasn't sure I loved it at first but in the end the birthday boy was thrilled so that erased any doubt I had.


We kept gifts to the minimum.  Three gifts is our standard number for events and that seems to be just enough. 
We served simple snacks and cake.  He ended up inviting four boys from his class and we just mailed them invites.  We also talked with him about not talking about his party at school and that seemed to work well.  



For the garland I cut tissue paper into 1in by 6-7in strips and bunched and sewed them together...I love the result.  Balloons are just strung together with needle and thread.  
This mix is addicting...pumpkins, bugles, M&M's, peanuts and candy corn.  






We gave out simple favors made up of goodies from the dollar section, minus the lollipops. 



We also enjoyed our new corn hole set...made by yours truly.  
It's sure to get lots of use. 

Moses is such a great kid.  He's happy and sensitive, his teachers love him and trust him with responsibilities.  He is loving and protective with others who are smaller than him (most of the time).  We regularly hear great things about him from others, just enough to encourage us in this crazy trip known as parenthood. We love him and can't wait to see what he does with all of his awesomeness. :)  
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Photo dump. Catch up.

Days are disappearing behind us faster than I can count them.  So many things in my head that I want to do and accomplish that are waiting for another day. This week I'm baking and getting ready for Moses' sixth birthday party.  Don't even ask me how we got to number six so quickly when I can clearly remember bringing that bitty little baby home in his fleece, red, Gap one piece.  Sigh....  We stay busy, so until I can catch my breath...here's a little catch up for you.  Are you ready for a photo dump of the iPhone type?  We have been... 
...bus stop waiting, sometimes with a special guest...
...yarn buying (knitpicks.com is the BEST!)...
...selvedge playing...
...breakfast eating...
...mug sweater making...
...preschooling...
...teacher, coworker, director, music leader, bus driver treat making...
...bird decal adding...
...snail touching...
...nerd making...
...homework doing...
...bright color wearing (including my favorite new shoes from Keen)...
...watercoloring...
...thrift store redoing...
...fun sign buying...
... el hoho-ing...
...hat making...
...mustache growing...
...beard hat making...
...garland making...
...carrot growing...
...mantle overhauling...
...tooth fairy prepping...
...Hokie loving...
...s'more making...
...little boy adoring...
...cuteness creating...
...love finding...
...super heroing...
...garden prepping...
...monkey business...
...niece loving...
...baby photo taking...
...fall decorating...
...mess making...
...cupcake mastering...
...picture day shirt wearing...
...awesome mail getting...
and deluxe board dinnering.  With chopsticks. 

I hope your week is wonderful!  Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate YOU!!
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