Monday, October 31, 2011


...i feel a bit discouraged...
...i am fighting off stress / anxiousness...
...i have had to preach truth to myself repeatedly...
...i am exhausted...
...i may have had a wee bit too much "fun sized" candy (and now feel funny because of it)...
...i am starting to really feel the uncomfortable effects of lugging two around...
...i am standing on the promises of God...
...if you have a minute to spare, feel free to say a little prayer for me, the kiddos and our growing family in general.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T-minus 10

10 weeks to full term as of yesterday!  i can't believe i'm saying this, but i'm starting to feel ready to face labor and whatever else i have ahead of me - maybe its some kind of motherly instinct kicking in.  or maybe its a mix of late night blogging and being super tired at the moment...who knows - either way, i'm going to cut it short this time around and call it a night!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

in the words of others...

i wanna make you smile, whenever you're sad
carry you around when your arthritis is bad
oh, all i wanna do 
is grow old with you...
{grow old with you - adam sandler}

it's his birthday today but we're not officially celebrating till Friday.  i still wanted to put a little post together on the actual day though.  
 there's way too much to say, so rather than turn to mush and make you all sick, I decided to mix it up with a quote or two + slip in a tiny blurb of my own. 
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend.
—Song of Songs 5:16
"He gives me the best bites of his food; like the cheesy corner of the pizza, the nub of the sandwich that has even proportions of all the goodies inside or let’s me eat half his dessert after I said “I didn’t want any”, yea… I’m a lucky girl because after eating all his best bites, he [still wanted] to marry me."
  [borrowed from here - but it describes him to a T!  its hard not to love someone like that... :) ]

happy birthday, love!  you really are the best and it has been an absolute joy to share your last eight birthdays - it gets better every year and i can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you in the years to come.  you are an amazing husband and friend and i know you will make the best daddy ever to our little ones.  i hope your day is awesome and can't wait to celebrate you!  

*top photo by Hannah Cummins

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


earlier this week, i dreamt the littles had arrived - and all i remember of what they looked like were their teeny tiny little feet!  weird, right?  still, it left me all warm and fuzzy - almost like i really did get to visit with them despite their obvious non-arrival yet...
and since i can't meet them quite yet, i'll settle for writing them a note, since that's all I can do right now.  :)

dear babies

wow, so much has happened since i last wrote you a note - i found out there were not one, but TWO of you in there, we went from just starting to feel you move around to karate-chop-dance-parties all day long, from daddy waiting to see you move to daddy referencing alien movies every time you stretch your little selves or push back when someone pokes at you... and the list goes on!  there's also been lots of reading up on twins, researching what you'll need, picking items to start a registry, learning baby-product and mom lingo...there's so much to know!  

all this time spent on baby-related things and i still never get sick of thinking about, talking to and praying for you two - i love you so much and i haven't even met you yet!  its funny though, because in a sense i feel like i'm already getting to know you - i know which of you is more hyper and which one likes to chill, i know where in my belly each of you likes to curl up for a nap, i know what your schedule is like through the day - just little tidbits here and there have taught me about your personalities. 

daddy and i got to hear your little heartbeats today at our midwife appointment - you sure didn't like being pushed around mid-nap, but it was super cute despite the fuss you put up (sorry).  we've also got an ultrasound later this week so i'll get to see you again - i'm so excited to see how you've grown and changed since last time.  i cherish every one of our appointments - they are such special memories & its so nice to learn more about you with each visit.  hopefully you'll be doing well - i know whatever we see and hear, the Lord is ultimately taking care of you, so there is nothing to worry about.  

it has been such a treat to share this experience with you so far - 25 weeks has come and gone fast (although there are times when it couldn't be fast enough).  before i know it, i'll be done carrying you with me everywhere i go ...that's kind of a strange and bittersweet thought for me right now, but I'm looking forward to seeing the plans the Lord has for your lives and for our little family's life as a whole in the months and years to come.   in the meantime, daddy and i will continue to get things ready for you, filling up our home with little things you'll need and our hearts with prayers for you until we finally get to meet you. 

your mom

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

23, 24 + a milestone(ish)

yesterday, we hit the 24 week mark in this pregnancy, which is kind of a big deal because it means the littles can officially arrive any day from here on out!  although the longer they stay inside, the better likelihood they have of surviving, so we're praying they stick around in there a bit longer.  I've told them they're not allowed to come out for at least another month... but as much as I'd love to control everything in my life so that it is just so, I know we will have to trust the Lord with whatever happens, knowing that He is in control and they are in His care, which is much better than mine, my midwives or any doctors out there.
so for now we're happy with watching my belly grow (by the minute - true story!) and cherishing their little movements as they develop.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I recently organized a going-away party for one of the girls in my office.  We wanted to do something that reflected her fun and girly personality - and what better way to do that than a cupake party?  So I got baking...(we all know the potential for disaster there!)

50ish mini cupcakes and a long, busy couple of nights later, I had some Vanilla Chai cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Buttercream and some Chocolate Coconut cupcakes with a Dark Chocolate and Coconut Ganache all lined up and ready to go.  This was quite an adventure for me - I've never really made cupcakes before and I've definitely never iced them!  But I had an ambitious vision in my head and just went with it.  

...and the office loved them!  I was so thrilled / relieved.  I made a half batch of each of the recipes, plus I made them mini instead of standard sized or an actual cake, so I adjusted the baking time to 12ish minutes a batch.  I also subbed in half whole wheat flour and nobody even noticed.  

A note on the chocolate cupcakes - they are really chocolatey (in a dense, dark chocolate kind of way, not a sweet milk chocolate kind of way) don't make them unless you have a chocolate lover kicking around.  Also, I might add a bit of coconut extract in the icing next time to pump up the coconut flavor.  

Anyway, enough of my rambling - here are the recipes: 

Vanilla-Chai Cupcakes
(borrowed and slightly adapted from Megan)

Chai Spice Mix
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 ts cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Cupcake Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix 
5/8 cups white whole wheat flour
5/8 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Vanilla Chai Buttercream*
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 tbs cold milk, if needed

*the buttercream was super sweet and I didn't love the texture - next time, I might try a cream cheese icing instead of a buttercream...just a thought


For the Chai Spice Mix:
- Mix spices together in a bowl and set aside

For the cupcakes:  
- Preheat oven to 325*F  
- Grease a cupcake tin or line with cupcake wrappers. 
- Cream together the butter and sugar. 
- Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time then stir in half of the chai spice mix. 
- Sift together the flour and salt into a separate bowl then fold in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, stirring until combined. Be careful not to over mix. 
- Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and stir into the batter.
- Spoon into prepared cupcake tin until 3/4 full (I did a hefty tablespoon per cupcake) and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting
For the buttercream
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. 
- On low, mix in the vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. 
- Carefully beat in the icing sugar about ½ cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick add 1-2 tbs of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip.
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
(batter borrowed and slightly adapted from Sheena; ganache borrowed and slightly altered from Real Simple)

Cupcake Batter

2 ounces 72% dark chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup light coconut milk
5/8 cups white whole wheat flour
5/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
toasted unsweetened coconut* (for topping, optional)
*I just bought unsweetened coconut and toasted it on the stovetop till it turned golden and began to smell yummy

Chocolate Coconut Ganache  
1 pound 72% dark chocolate
2 cups light coconut milk 
pinch sea salt


For the cupcakes:  

- Preheat oven to 350*F

- Grease a cupcake tin or line with cupcake wrappers. 

Finely chop chocolate and combine in a bowl with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl
- In another large bowl beat butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer until well combined. 
 - Add eggs (one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). 
- Slowly add coconut milk and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. 
- Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

- Spoon into prepared cupcake tin until 3/4 full (I did a hefty tablespoon per cupcake) and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.

- Cool completely before frosting
For the ganache
- Roughly chop chocolate up and place in a large heatproof bowl
- In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a bare simmer, stirring constantly
- Pour hot coconut milk over the chocolate, add the salt and let stand for 2 minutes 
- Whisk until melted smooth then let cool at room temperature* for 4 - 5 hours, stirring occasionally until thick and spreadable
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip then top with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.  
*if you try to speed up the process but sticking the frosting in your fridge, you'll get lumpy frosting; once it's cooled, though, you can store it in your fridge.

 I made the buttercream & the ganache a couple of days ahead of time and they kept in the fridge just fine so if you don't have an entire day set aside as a bake-a-thon, that might be a good idea for you to do too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Home Alone

I spent the evening home alone.

Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of being home alone, but tonight I actually chose staying in over going out.  The peanuts didn't seem to mind either - they were happy as clams, kicking up a storm in my belly (dance party, anyone?) ...and I know it's dorky, but I just love feeling them move about and being able to actually see them poking here and there - it just never gets old! 

Aside from sitting around watching my belly (weird, I know), I spent some time working on a few little projects around home, like...

 ...looking through photos to fill the empty frames that have been leaning against our walls forever

planning and organizing for the babies,  

and picking favorite photos from a first birthday that I had the honor of shooting recently.

and since {Canadian} Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I'll  wrap this up by saying how very thankful I was for tonight - a quiet, productive(ish) evening at home was just what I needed.  

Now I'm ready for Daniel to get home and hang out a bit before bedtime.  :)

Monday, October 3, 2011


This first time pregnant thing is full of what-ifs.  And I know I've mentioned this on here before, but we went into it trusting that the Lord would provide -for the unexpected (hello, twins!), for the resources to raise a family, for housing, for peace to counter those how-am-I-supposed-to-raise-a-kid jitters, for everything.  I say that with complete confidence, but I still have to say a little prayer --sometimes several times a day, when I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done/organized/bought/prepared etc.  And the Lord has been faithful to calm my anxieties and help me trust Him with my concerns.
It's also really helped to repeat scripture to myself.  A couple that I've turned to often or at least recently:


As if peace that He has provided isn't enough, we were just recently blessed with a double stroller!!  I actually couldn't believe it - that is something I was specifically concerned about, and bam - just like that, God literally provided the item (from a fellow that my office has done a couple of projects with, too - not exactly someone you'd expect to gift you with something so generous!).  So, thank you Jesus and thank you to the family who gifted us the stroller - we are encouraged in our faith and very very thankful!
p.s. we're in our 22nd week along (23rd tomorrow!), and definitely looking it!
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