Friday, September 14, 2012

Juliet: 2 months

This post is pretty late.  It should really read "Juliet: 2 1/2 months."
I seriously don't know where the time goes!  Every single day feels like the longest and shortest day of my life.

So, what is Miss Juliet up to these days?

Smiling and talking.  All the time.  I love it. :)

Enjoying more awake time. 
Every day, mommy and I spend time looking in the mirror.  She is teaching me what all the parts of my face are called.
Every morning, while mommy and daddy get ready for the day, and every night, while mommy makes dinner, I get to talk to my friends in the pack-n-play.
I really like tummy time the best.  My arm, neck, and back muscles are getting super strong!

Juliet enjoys being read to.  We are currently working our way through Little Women.

My girl also loves listening to music.  My Pandora station is always on Disney now.  (Who am I kidding?  It was always on Disney anyway ;)

I am also trying to teach Juliet responsibility.  Every morning, we get dressed for the day and put away our pajamas; and every night when we put our pajamas back on, our dirty clothes go in the hamper.  Every time she finishes a bottle, she comes with me to the kitchen to put it in the sink.  Each time we have a diaper change, she learns that we must throw it away. 

Every morning, Juliet and mommy have devotions together.  Right now, that only consists of singing "This is the Day," reciting I Corinthians 10:31, and praying together.  Each night, Lester and I sing "Jesus Loves Me" and pray with her.  Lester and I want, most of all, to show Juliet our love for God and the importance of our relationship with Him. 

Juliet and I are finally starting to develop a routine to each day, getting to the point where we both know what to expect.  Every once in a while, though, this crazy kid likes to throw mommy for a loop.  

Now, if only we could get this sleeping through the night thing figured out...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happily Ever After

Once Upon a Time, I had

  •  A spotlessly clean house
  •  The opportunity and energy to work out (that 13.1 sticker on my car? yeah, I'm proud of that)
  •  Endless amounts of time to experiment in cooking and baking
  •  Eight uninterrupted hours of sleep each night and Saturday mornings to sleep in
  •  Sufficiently clean clothes whenever I needed them

And life was good.  Very good.


  • The day I can actually wash, fold, iron, and put away all of the laundry in a 24 hour period is red-letter!
  • A two mile walk around the neighborhood pushing the stroller takes about all my extra time and energy.
  • Slow cooker meals have become my best friend.
  • I have an alarm clock that sets itself and has no snooze button ;)
  • I'm trying to convince myself that spit up can become a new fashion accessory.


I have her.

Copyright -

Copyright -

And this is Happily Ever After.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Juliet: 1 month

My baby is 1 month old today!  I can't believe it!

Juliet had her 1 month Dr.'s appointment this morning and passed with flying colors!  The Dr.  is very pleased with her growth and says she is right on track for her age.  Of course, that made me feel better that I am doing something right as a mom. ;)

We love our little girl.  Looking back through pictures, I am amazed at how much Juliet has grown and changed over the past 4 weeks.  Here's what she's up to right now.
  • She rolls over from her tummy to her back.  At first, only when she was angry, but now she does it pretty consistently on her own.
  • She loves "tummy time" and being on her tummy in general.  We can almost always calm her down by placing her on her tummy and patting her back.
  • She loves listening to music.
  • She is very observant; she loves to look at anything and everything around her. 
  • She is starting to discover her voice and smile.  Melts my heart. :)
I'm pretty sure I have a very curious, on-the-go baby on my hands!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meet the Littlest Lippincott!

My husband and I are proud to announce the birth of our daughter, Juliet Alana Lippincott!

She was born on July 1, 2012 at 10:14 AM, weighing 6 lb. 11 oz. and measuring 19 3/4 in.

We are blessed to have experienced the goodness, sovereignty, and love of our God in profound new ways during Juliet's birth and in these first two weeks of her life.

Over the past month (I know!  My baby is almost 1 month old and I am just now posting her birth announcement on here.  Busy, tired mommy over here!), I have been made more and more aware of my sinfulness.  My selfishness, impatience, and lack of self control (just to name a few) have all reared their ugly heads multiple times daily.  I praise the Lord for a Godly husband, who prays for me and with me and who constantly rebukes and encourages me in the Lord. 

We have been studying the book of Philippians in our Sunday School class.  I have heard sermon after sermon and done study after study on this particular book of the Bible.  I could probably give you a pretty good devotional study on it myself.  But, the Lord knows that I have most definitely not learned everything I need to about living a Christ-centered, selfless, joyful life.  In fact, sometimes I wonder if I have learned anything! 

Philippians chapters 2 and 4 have been continually running through my head over the past few weeks.  Especially during those moments when I am tempted to sin.  Aren't you thankful for the Holy Spirit in times like that?  I know I am!

I don't think it's a coincidence that Paul encourages the Philippians to be selfless, servant-minded people while at the same time commanding them to rejoice in the Lord always.

This is what the Lord has been teaching me over and over again.  I must give of myself and serve my little girl, thinking more highly of her than of myself.  Yes, I will always get up multiple times in the middle of the night to feed her.  Yes, I will always rock and shush and sing to her when she's fussy. Yes, I will change that dirty diaper for the 100 millionth time today.  It is my responsibility as her mother.  I do it because I love her.  But, do I always do it with joy?  No.  Do I grumble and complain under my breath?  Goodness, yes.

I am being constantly reminded and rebuked that to truly love my daughter is to serve her.  To serve her with joy.  To show her the love of Christ by having the mind of Christ.  And, I can do all of this through His strength.

Monday, May 21, 2012

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And, when life gives you bananas...

Make banana bread, of course!

I dearly love banana bread.  It is one of my all time favorite go-to quick bread recipes.  Every time I buy bananas I hold out a secret hope that they will get overripe before we can eat them all.  Unfortunately, I also just really love bananas.  I eat one pretty much every day.  We almost never have brown bananas sitting around waiting to be mashed up with flour, sugar, and eggs and baked into delicious bread.

I realize that I could just keep a few now and then for the sole purpose of making banana bread, but I like to think of banana bread as a special treat.  It really isn't very good for you; you shouldn't have it too often.  So, every once in a while it's nice to see those extra brown bananas sitting on the kitchen counter.  They hold the promise of happy breakfasts and sweet snacks.

I also love to experiment with different banana bread recipes. 
Add a few chocolate chips in the mix?  Don't mind if I do. 
Strawberries and bananas make a good combination, don't they?  Let's try it.
How about getting a little crazy and putting peanut butter and oatmeal in?  Why not?

Here are two of my favorite fun banana bread recipes for you to try sometime.
Strawberry Banana Bread by Averie Cooks
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins by The Well Fed Newlyweds

But wait!  There's more!

This week was a good week.  This week I had three bananas that never got eaten.  Three bananas that sat on the counter getting browner, sweeter, and more beautiful.  This week I got to gather my baking supplies and make a loaf of banana bread.  But, did I just make any old loaf?  I should say not!  This week I made Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread.
Yep, you read that correctly.  This recipe from Cookies and Cups contains three of my favorite indulgences, chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas, all in one delicious loaf of bread!

I whipped out my supplies and had this bread baking in no time.  I know my husband will be glad I did.  He loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and there are quite a few mixed into this batter.
Of course, I had to do some quality control testing once it was out.  No worries, friends.  This bread is good!  The peanut butter makes for a more dense bread, not quite as moist as traditional banana bread.  But, the gooey peanut butter cups scattered throughout more than make up for that, in my opinion.  Make sure you eat it warm.  So, either gobble it up all by yourself as soon as it comes out of the oven, or warm up slices in the microwave the next morning for a quick breakfast as your family runs out the door.  They'll love you for it.  (And, probably beg you to buy more bananas ;)

Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread
adapted from Cookies and Cups
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz bag of Reese’s Mini cups*

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease loaf pan.*
    In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
    In a large bowl whisk together your mashed bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars.
    Combine wet and dry ingredients; stir until just combined.  Don't overmix!
    Fold in your peanut butter cups and spread batter into prepared pan.
    Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
    Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

    * I used natural peanut butter, so my bread probably is not as sweet as breads using peanut butter with more sugars in them.
    * I couldn't find the Mini cups, so I just used Reese's Miniatures and chopped them up a bit.
    * If using a dark pan, keep an eye on your bread.  With 20 minutes left to go, I turned the temp down to 325 and covered the pan with foil to prevent overbrowning.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Love. True Love.

    My husband was a super sweetheart last night.  He watched Cinderella with me.  Voluntarily!  He says it was his first time ever watching it.  Personally, I think he was just curious about the movie he knew I would be introducing to our daughter at a very early age.

    Cinderella has always been my absolute favorite Disney princess.  My mom says I would watch it over and over and over again as a little girl.  I must have, because I found I still had every single line of the movie memorized - even though I haven't watched it in years!

    I've always been a hopelessly incurable romantic.  I really think it all starts back with stories of princes and princesses, knights in shining armor, and love at first sight meetings.  You want to know something I've discovered at the old age of 24?  Life isn't a fairy tale.  Yes, I do believe it has it's fairy tale moments; but life, especially love, is not an at first sight-happily ever after feeling. 

    Love is a choice. 
    Happily ever after takes work.
    Isn't that what God's Word teaches us, anyway?

    Think about I Corinthians 13.
    Love is patient.  kind.  doesn't envy or boast.  isn't arrogant or rude.  doesn't insist on it's own way.  is not irritable or resentful.  doesn't rejoice at wrongdoing but with the truth.  bears all things.  believes all things.  hopes all things.  endures all things. 
    Do those qualities come easily for any of you?  They don't for me.  In my sinful heart I am a selfish creature.  I want my own way in my own time.  I want to be served instead of serve.  The list goes on...
    But, this kind of selfless love is expected of Christians, Christ imitators.

    Think about Ephesians 5.
    To wives, Paul says to submit to their husbands.  In other words, they are to "obey," "yield to admonition or advice," "arrange themselves under."  In speaking to husbands, Paul says that they should love their wives as Christ loved the church.  He gave Himself up for the church.  Philippians 2 states that he took upon himself the form of a servant.
    Sacrificial love is commanded of Christians.

    Love is selfless.
    Love is service.

    While I have no problem with sharing my love of princess movies and stories with my little girl, allowing her to pretend and dream about her Prince Charming and happily ever afters,  (Chances are, I will be pretending and playing right along with her.  I did get up at the crack of dawn to watch the Royal Wedding, after all.)  I pray that at a very early age she will also learn what true, Christlike love is.  I pray she will see it lived out in her parents' relationship with each other, with her, and with others.  And, I pray that our desire to faithfully live out this kind of love will point her to Christ, the only One who truly loves her selflessly and sacrificially. 

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Yummy Baked Doughnuts I am getting very bad at blogging consistently.  I would make excuses, but I really don't have any.
    I know it's been a long time though, because Blogger seems to have reworked their whole website and it took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to even write a new post.  That was enough time to make me reconsider posting today at all.  But, lucky for you, I am posting and am posting a delicious recipe for Baked Doughnuts from the blog Krissy's Creations.
    Somewhere around week 30 of this pregnancy my desire for sweets and junk food shot through the roof.  Up until then, I was very consistent about working out daily and making healthy eating choices.  Suddenly all I want to do is sit on the couch, eat ice cream, and completely ignore the fact that I should go for a walk or do my Prenatal Yoga DVD.  I think part of it has to do with the fact that I haven't been sleeping well at nights any more and my energy level is dwindling.  Only 7 more weeks and then...oh wait...I still won't be sleeping through the night.  I really couldn't be happier about that prospect though. :)
    I have really had to fight a mental battle every day about choosing to eat healthy and work out daily.  I've come to the conclusion though that I can have a special treat once in a while and that's ok.  Don't tell me it's not, because it is.  My Tall Light Mocha Coconut Frappuccino told me so.  And, I walked extra today.  It all evens out somewhere.  I think.  Just probably not on the scale.
    Off the rabbit trail and back to the point of this post - doughnuts!  The perfect special treat! I made these yesterday.  I actually only ate 2 small doughnut holes out of the entire batch, but that was enough for me.  There is still something completely satisfying about baking yeasty, sugary deliciousness and sending it out for others to enjoy.  At least, for me there is.  I love sharing baked goods with others.  Which is why I'm sharing the recipe with you today!
    I've been wanting to attempt baked doughnuts for a long time, but they require special equipment depending on the type of doughnuts you make.  For baked cake doughnuts you need a doughnut pan, and for yeast doughnuts you need a doughnut cutter.  (Like a biscuit cutter, but for doughnuts) 
    I finally decided that I wouldn't let my lack of special equipment deter me (although both are now on my birthday wish list!).  I used the rim of a drinking glass for the doughnut and the lid of my nutmeg container for the doughnut holes.  It definitely took more time this way and the doughnuts are slightly misshapen, but I am still pleased with my first attempt at doughnut making.  They tasted good.  That's really all that matters.  The doughnut making process takes quite a bit of time.  It took me 3 hours from start to finish, including rising time.  So, plan accordingly.  Make them on a lazy Saturday morning.  Or spend one of those rare free evenings baking doughnuts for your family to have for breakfast the next morning.  They will love you forever. 

    Here's the original recipe.  Enjoy!
    Baked Doughnuts

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Thoughts on Godly Motherhood

    I Samuel 1:28 
    "Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."

    I recently read in my devotions the account of Hannah in I Samuel.  The brief glimpse into her life has always fascinated me, but this most recent read through particularly held my attention.  It may be because I'm in a different stage of life.  I'm a mother now, with only a few more weeks left before I can meet my little girl.  I can understand and relate to Hannnah's desire for a child like I never could before.  Or, it may be the new desire I have to grow in a different area of my Christian walk - Godly motherhood.  To me, Hannah is a beautiful example of a woman, wife, and mother who loved God fully and completely.
    I have been meditating on the first two chapters of I Samuel quite a bit over the past week.  Disclaimer: I am no theological scholar and am just beginning to study this out for myself, but here are some thoughts that have rebuked and encouraged me in my desire to be a Godly mother to my little girl.

    1.  Hannah's earnest prayers to God for a son reflect a deep devotion to God and not selfish motivation.  Any person looking in on Hannah's family life would consider Hannah completely justified to be angry about being barren.  After all, her husband had taken another wife who had borne many children.  Apparently that was a major source of contention in the household.  Hannah could have easily prayed for a child so that Peninnah would stop taunting her.  In essence she would be saying, "God, give me what I want so that my life will be easier."  We have no evidence of that kind of heart attitude in Scripture though.  What we see in v. 11 is a prayer for a son with a promise to "give him unto the Lord all the days of His life."  From what I understand so far, this promise Hannah makes seems to be saying, "God, I give him over to you, I entrust and designate his life to you."  Without knowing if God would ever answer her request, she made her devotion to the Lord evident by dedicating her son to His plan, His work, and His service. 
    2.  Hannah's life demonstrates her continued faithfulness to God.  By giving her son the name Samuel, Hannah is proclaiming God's work in answering her prayers.  (I Samuel 1:20)  Hannah also fulfilled the promise she made to the Lord before Samuel was ever born.  When he was weaned, she returned with Samuel to the house of the Lord to offer him up to the Lord's service for the rest of his life.  (vv. 24-26)  To me, this is an example of how Hannah's faithfulness to God overshadowed any selfish desires she had to be a mother to this little boy.  It seems that she recognized the gift that had been given her and only knew of one way to respond in thankfulness to God for that gift, by giving it back to Him.  In verses 27-28 Hannah states, "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."
    3.  Hannah's heart radiates her unwavering love for God.  Immediately after giving up her son to the Lord's service, essentially relinquishing any control she had over his life as his mother, Hannah prays a prayer of praise to God.  (I Samuel 2)  In this praise song, she extols many of the Lord's attributes while recognizing the smallness and sinfulness of men in comparison to the greatness of God.  It seems to me that such an outpouring of praise could only come from someone who had an intimate relationship with God, someone who knew and deeply loved Him.

    Application for my life:  This is pure conjecture on my part, but I am sure that Hannah shared this story with Samuel many times in the few short years she had with him.  She may have even reiterated it on every trip they made to the house of the Lord after that.  From what little we see of Hannah's life in Scripture, I do not doubt that Samuel knew his mother loved God with her whole heart.  I'm sure he also knew that it was her earnest desire for him to cultivate that same love and desire to serve God with his life. 
    What about me?  Do I demonstrate these same spiritual characteristics in my life now?  A deep devotion, a steadfast faithfulness, and an unwavering love for God.  Are these qualities evident to my husband now?  Will my daughter see them daily lived out?  Will I faithfully teach them to her?  Will she understand that my earnest prayer for her is that she know the Lord as her Savior and desire to serve and love Him wholeheartedly all the days of her life?
    The Lord has blessed me with a precious gift.  I choose now, in thankfulness, to give her back - to dedicate her life to His plan, His work, and His service.  I choose now to actively pursue a close, personal relationship with God that is consistently demonstrated by my deep devotion, steadfast faithfulness, and unwavering love for God. 

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    Munchkin Update: 28 weeks

    A lot has happened since my last Munchkin update!
    She has been growing.  I have one very active child, and 11:00 PM seems to be her favorite time to work on her karate moves.  Not very conducive to a sleeping mommy!  But, I do love all those bumps and kicks.  It is so awesome to think about the work God is doing in creating our daughter.  I can't wait to meet her: to see what she looks like and what her personality is.  I'm very much in love with this girl already!
    I have been growing.  Here are some baby bump progression pics for your enjoyment!
    20 weeks
    22 weeks
    24 weeks
    27 weeks
    I can't believe I already thought I was huge at 20 weeks!  And, I still have 11 1/2 weeks to go.  How much bigger does a person get?

    We've also started working on Munchkin's Dr. Suess nursery over the past few weeks.  We had a traumatic experience with paint color.  The color we picked for our "Robin's Egg Blue" walls turned out to be more of a "Neon Blue."  Thankfully, Lester called me up to check on the color before he had painted too much.  We both hated it.  Now we have three test samples of blue up on the walls that we have checked multiple times, trying to decide which we like best.  I think we've finally come to a decision!

    Deciding to go with a Dr. Seuss theme made it difficult to find crib bedding and accessories that we liked, fit the design scheme we chose for the room, or could afford.  So, with my mom as my patient teacher and assistant, I am sewing the crib skirt and bumper myself.  Here's a sneek peak of the fabric.  I'm very excited to see how it comes together in the room!

    My favorite part of the room, so far, is the wall art.  I saw a picture on Pinterest of a child's playroom with giant posters of Dr. Suess books hanging on the wall.  I loved the idea and started scouring the internet for something smaller and more affordable that we could incorporate into the nursery.  A week or so later, one of my friends came up to me at church and told me that she had found a teacher's bulletin board set containing cut-outs of Dr. Seuss book covers and wondered if I would be interested.  How neat to see how God provided exactly what I was looking for at a price we could definitely afford!  That was my most recent project - framing the cut-outs to make them into fun artwork for Munchkin.  Here's a pic of one of them.  You'll have to wait and see the rest when the room is done!

    I'm really excited to see how this room comes together.  I hope Munchkin likes it as much as we do!


    Monday, March 12, 2012

    My Love Story

    Warning:  I'm in a very romantic mood today.  So, if you could care less about how much I love my husband or how our story unfolds, you can stop reading now.  Otherwise, enjoy :)

    With all the exciting changes we are experiencing in our lives, I have spent a significant amount of time recently looking back, reflecting, and thanking our sovereign God for how He has orchestrated our lives up to this point.  I am incredibly blessed to be married to the most wonderful man in the world.  He is handsome, hardworking, loving, thoughtful, caring, helpful - the list could go on and on!  I am in awe of God's perfect plan, knowing when and how we would meet and eventually be married and using our dating and marriage relationship to grow us both spiritually, individually and as a couple.  To Him be the Glory!

    It all starts way, way back 2nd semester of my Junior year in college (Approximately February or March of 2008).  During the school year, I worked under the Dean of Women.  About 10 hours every week, you could find me at my desk in the lobby of my dorm assisting girls with passes to go off campus.  This particular semester I had scheduled work hours between 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  (I wasn't supposed to have those hours initially...but that's a whole different story involving me dislocating my knee and having to switch hours for Physical Therapy appointments - It was all part of God's plan!)

    Across the hall from my desk was the Vending Machine/Snack Room.  At least once a week during my shift, this really cute boy would come to stock and refill the vending machines.  I, of course, noticed him and would occasionally smile or say "Hi" as he was coming or going.  That was the extent of our relationship for about a month or so.  One day, he came up to the desk as he was leaving and asked my coworker and I if we would like some candy.  It was crushed and he wasn't allowed to stock it, so instead of throwing it away he offered it to us.  I didn't care.  I'll take Reeses Peanut Butter Cups any way they are offered to me, crushed or whole! :)  Every couple of weeks or so after that, he would stopy by on his way out with more "crushed" candy to give me.  I had to switch shifts with a friend one day and missed seeing "my favorite vending machine boy."  I came by the desk later that night to work and he had left a bag of Doritos for me, even though I wasn't there.  So cute!

    By the end of the semester we were just casual aquaintances, really.  We each knew the other person's name and would acknowledge eachother if we passed on the sidewalks, but that was where it ended.  Right before the semester ended, I found him on Facebook and added him as a friend.  I never knew if he confirmed it and really just forgot about him at all until September. 

    I was checking my Faebook one morning and saw him listed as having a birthday, so I thought I'd write a quick "Happy Birthday!"  Lo and behold, he replied to my post and started a conversation that quickly evolved from wall posts to messages to chats, to texts, and ultimately to "There's a soccer game at school this Saturday night, would you like to go with me?"  I freaked out and really didn't want to go.  I finally agreed when he said his friends and sister would be there, so I dragged my sister along as well.  The beginning of that "date" was awful.  He didn't even talk to me for the first half of the game.  Somehow, after half time everyone else in the group disappeared and we finally started talking.  By the end of that night, I knew I would go out with him again if he asked.  He did, and the rest is history :)

    Timeline of Happily Ever After
    November 1st, 2008 - Our first date. (Technically this is our 2nd date, but I don't have a picture of the first)

    December 5, 2008 - Lester officially asked me to be his girlfriend.

    March 3, 2009 - Lester told me he loved me for the first time and sent me these roses a few days later.

    October 17, 2009 - Lester took me on a day trip to a waterfall in the mountains and there asked me to be his wife.

    May 8, 2010 - I married my best friend :)

    I am so thankful for the man God chose for me to spend my life with.
    I love you, Lester.

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Strawberries 'n Cream Scones

    A couple of weeks ago I tried these amazing Lemon Blueberry Scones.  A friend from church brought them to our Ladies Bible Study, and everyone who ate one simply raved over them.  They were just that good!  Normally I shy away from scones; they tend to be dry, crumbly, and mostly tasteless.  I took one look at these, though, and knew I had to have one.  They looked moist and almost cake-like in texture and they were!  Another friend made the same scones for Sunday School breakfast the following Sunday.  Seriously, these scones were so good, we both agreed we had to have them again and soon!  I haven't been able to get them out of my mind since then.  I needed to try my hand at making them myself.

    The friend who introduced us to these amazing scones shared that by simply using the base recipe, you can create many different flavor combinations with the same delicious results.  I have been on the hunt since then for a scone flavor that struck my fancy. 

    I noticed the other day that I had a bunch of strawberries in my refrigerator that were going to need to be used up pretty soon and I had an idea - Strawberry Scones!  Well, lo and behold, as I was perusing Pinterest later that evening I came across this recipe for Strawberries 'n Cream Scones.  The base recipe here was the same as the base for the Lemon Blueberry Scones, so I knew that these were the scones I was going to make. 

    This morning I got to work baking, and the scones came out of the oven just in time for lunch.  Being the rebel that I am, (and considering the fact that we currently have no food in the house because I am lazy and haven't been to the grocery store) I made myself a cup of hot chocolate and ate one of these delicious scones for lunch. 

    With chunks of strawberries, strawberry preserves, and a sweet lemon glaze, these scones hit the spot!  Who needs to go all the way to Starbucks or Panera when you can make your own pastries and hot chocolate in your own home and have them turn out just as good?!  Ummm...maybe I still do.  I'm kind of a Starbucks addict. 

    Make these sometime for a special breakfast treat or your next coffee break with friends.  They won't disappoint!

    Since there are a few steps to this scone making process, I am just going to refer you to the original recipe.  It really is fast and easy to make, even though it looks time consuming.  Strawberries 'n Cream Scones

    For your enjoyment, here are a few pictures of my kitchen once I put the scones in the oven.  The world's messiest cook lives in my house. 

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

    9:00 PM (last night) - I realized I was hungry.  I wanted something sweet, but all we had was ice cream.  Normally ice cream would satisfy my sweet tooth just fine; I just wasn't really feeling it last night. 
    9:30 PM - Lester arrived home from work. I informed him that I wanted some chocolate chip cookies, but that we were out of chocolate chips (a slightly necessary ingredient). 
    9:35 PM - Being the awesome husband that he is, Lester took me to the grocery store to buy those blessed chocolate chips. 
    10:20 PM  - Cookies come out of the oven and I devour two while watching tv with my man.  He really is a saint.  An hour after getting home from work he finally got to relax.  Secretly, I think he was ok with it.  He wanted those cookies as much as I did.

    Here's the recipe for the Original NESTLE Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These are the cookies my mom always made for us growing up.  I realize that everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe: theirs is the fluffiest, the gooey-est. the chocolatiest.  I'm happy for you.  Keep right on making them!  But, in my mind, no chocolate chip cookie compares with this one.  This recipe brings back fond memories of special family game and movie nights, of working with my mom in the kitchen, and of first learning how to bake.  I can't wait to pass this recipe on and make special memories with my own daughter someday.

    Original NESTLE Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda   

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional (personally, I would never destroy a cookie in such a way)

  • PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

    COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts .  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

    BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.  Devour.  Smile. 

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Munchkin Update: 22 weeks! has been about a month since my last post.  I'm not sure how that happened.  Maybe it was a combination of time moving so quickly and my own general blogging laziness.

    I am incredibly excited to share (for those of you who don't already know) that we are having a girl!

    Lester and I are both over the moon with happiness and anticipation!  The anatomy ultrasound was the most amazing thing we have ever experienced.  We stopped by Starbucks for breakfast on the way to the ultrasound, and I think all the sugar and caffeine I consumed got little Munchkin super hyped up.  She never stopped moving and showing off for us.  Occasionally, I would tear my eyes away from the screen to catch a glimpse of Lester's face.  It thrilled me to see the look of awe and wonder in his eyes as he watched his baby girl.  He is very much in love with Munchkin already and, I know, will be the world's best daddy to her.

    Munchkin seems to be growing by leaps and bounds lately.  I know this because 1) I am growing larger and larger every day, and 2) Her movements are becoming stronger and more noticeable every day.  She is a non-stop mover.  I call her my hyper, crazy baby.  If that is any indication of what she will be like once she arrives, then I know she will fit in to our family quite splendidly!

    I am having a fun time making plans for her nursery.  In just over a month Lester will be done with busy season and we can officially start the decorating process.  I can't wait to share what it looks like with all of you!

    Here are some pictures of growing Munchkin.  Only about 18 more weeks until we can meet her! 

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    My Portion Forever

    Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    Psalm 73:25-26

    Have you ever seen one of these signs in a gift shop?  They make them for any and every season: football, baseball, deer hunting, etc.  They probably typify any person who is particularly passionate about a specific hobby.

    Lester and I have a running joke that companies don't make the sign we need hung in our house from January through March.  Ours would read, "We Interrupt This Marriage for Busy Season."
    Yes, busy season.  Busy season is an approximately 2 1/2 month period of time before the client my husband is working on must issue a deadline.  Busy season means weeks and weeks of 12-13 hour work days, weekend work days, and the occasional all-nighter.  Busy season is rough, on both of us.

    This is the fourth busy season that we have been through together, two while dating and two while married.  You would think after a while it would be easier to deal with the long days, lack of sleep, frustrating menu planning, and little time spent with each other.  But, so far it hasn't been any easier, at all.

    I praise the Lord, though, that each and every busy season is used by Him to show me more of my sin and draw me closer to Himself.  I thought I had been doing pretty well this year.  I made it a personal goal not to complain about the long days, to send encouraging texts and notes, and to make sure I was awake when Lester came home from work each night.  For the most part, I was doing pretty well, at least as far as Lester saw.  But, there were many days when I would throw myself a little pity-party.  At those pity parties you would hear a whole lot of "It's not fair" and "I don't like."  It is during times like those that I was choosing to view truth through my sinful eyes and not through God's.  Essentially, I was choosing to believe lies. 

    I was choosing to believe that...
    1.  My happiness is based on my circumstances.
         Philippians 4:11-12 says, Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
    2.  I just can't take any more.
         I Corinthians 12:9-10 says, But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    3.  It's all about me.
         Colossians 1:16-18 says, For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
    If any of those phrases sound familiar it is because they are borrowed from Nancy DeMoss's book Lies Women Believe.  I had just finished re-reading the book again about a month ago.  This most recent reading I decided to really meditate and study the truths of Scripture that counteract each lie.  It was a tremendous study that truly blessed.  As so often happens though, the day I finished the study was the day I promptly forgot about everything I had learned.  Until last night.

    As I was waiting for sleep to come last night, I started throwing myself another pity-party.  But, last night the Holy Spirit was hard at work in my life, supplying me with the grace and the strength to combat those lies with the Truth of Scripture.  Verses that I had forgotten came flooding back into my mind.  An intense spiritual battle waged as I actively chose to believe the Truth and not the lies.  It was a spiritual victory for me.  I can only praise the Lord for his continued faithfulness in showing me my sin, for the forgiveness He so readily offers, and for the grace He gives daily to help me walk in newness of life.

    There is still 1 1/2 months of busy season left to go.  There will be many more struggles, trials, and tests for both of us.  I have certainly not arrived spiritually; I have so much still to learn and so many areas in which to grow.  The Lord is good.  In His infinite wisdom and faithfulness He knows that busy season is the specific tool He can use in my life to cultivate spiritual fruit.  Dear Lord, May I be willing to grow.

    Picture borrowed from  If anyone would like to purchase this sign for themselves, here is the link.

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    Munchkin Update: 18 weeks

    Munchkin.  That's what we call our sweet baby.  I refuse to say "it"; but, since we don't know if Munchkin is a boy or a girl yet, we agreed Munchkin was a good nickname for our miniature Lippincott.

    I can't believe I am almost at the halfway point of this pregnancy.  Where has the time gone??
    I still have a hard time remembering I'm pregnant sometimes.  I think this is mostly due to:
    1.  I was very blessed never to experience morning sickness
    2.  It's taking a lot longer for me and others to be able to tell that I am pregnant than I thought it would.

    Not that either of those are bad things!  I am very thankful that I was never very sick and that I haven't had to buy any new clothes yet.  It just doesn't seem very real yet.  I'm almost afraid I will wake up and find that it has all been a dream.

    The first glimmer of reality occured recently.  I am almost 100% certain that I felt Munchkin move for the first time this weekend.  Saturday evening we were sitting on the couch watching tv when I first felt those tiny movements.  Then Sunday afternoon at church, while the orchestra was playing "I Sing the Mighty Power of God," I felt them again.  That was an awesome moment for me.  I have been praising God ever since for His wonderful creation!

    Next Tuesday we go in for our second ultrasound and will find out if we are having a boy or a girl.  We are very excited!  We have a few names we like either way, but this will definitely help narrow down the search.  Don't expect to hear the results right away though.  I won't be posting them until after Saturday night.  That will be the first time we are able to get with my family to share the news.  I kinda think they deserve to know before the rest of the world ;)
    Any guesses?  I don't have a gut feeling either way and really don't care!  I just can't wait to see how our baby is doing!

    Munchkin and (a very tired) Mommy at 18 weeks

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Indian Comfort Food: Chicken Tikka Masala

    This week has been a little rough for me.  I've been suffering through a nasty cold.  Let me tell ya...a tiny cold can completely wipe a person out at 16 weeks pregnant.  Who knew?  Praise the Lord, I have a very kind and thoughtful husband who has done a great job of taking care of me.

    Monday night he left work early, did the grocery shopping, and brought home dinner.  I am so spoiled!  I knew he was going to have to work later yesterday to make up for his time on Monday, so I mustered up all the energy I had to make a warm, comforting meal for him to come home to.  Chicken Tikka Masala was on the menu for the week and sounded just perfect for a rainy Tuesday night.

    Amusing anecdote of the day:  This recipe requires broiling chicken in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.  When you make this, please, please, PLEASE make sure your top rack is not too close to the broiler.  Otherwise, you will open the oven door and:
    1.  fill your entire house with smoke
    2.  set off the loudest most annoying smoke alarm in the world
    3.  run around the house waving a dish towel in your hand while ripping smoke alarms off the wall
    4.  almost burn the onions sauteeing on the stove
    5.  find out later the pan you broiled the chicken on is warped
    6. and fall asleep at the counter once everything is done and you are waiting for your husband to get home.
    Not that any of that happened to me ;)
    Let's get back to the Chicken Tikka Masala, shall we?  It is an incredibly flavorful Indian dish.  Indian food is yuuuuuummmy!  And for those of you who are skeptical of trying it, the preparation isn't much different from any other dish.  They just use a lot of spices which creates lots of flavor.  Flavor is good.  It doesn't take too much time to prepare either.  I had it ready to go in just over 45 minutes (and that includes the smoke alarm fiasco).
    Make it on the next cold, rainy night we have this winter.  You'll be glad you did!

    Chicken Tikka Masala
    adapted from The Pioneer Woman
    serves 6

     3 whole Chicken Breasts
    Ground Coriander
    1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
     2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
    1 Large Onion, diced
    4 cloves Garlic, minced
    2 tsp. - 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
    Garam Masala spice  (ESSENTIAL!  If you can't find it anywhere, I have included a spice mixture at the bottom which will give you the same flavor)
    1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
    1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream (Or milk, if you are like me and forgot to put cream on the grocery list)
    2 cups cooked rice

    Optional:  I also included half a jalapeno pepper and a lot of chili powder to make ours a little spicier.  The dish is delicious either way, though.

    Season the chicken breasts with salt, coriander, and cumin and coat with yogurt.  Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. Chicken should be slightly blackenened.  Depending on how thick your chicken is, it may not cook through all the way.  That's ok!  It will finish cooking in the sauce.

    In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat.  Toss in diced onion and sauté until slightly browned.  Add the garlic and ginger and 1 Tbsp. salt to the onions.  Next you are going to add about 3 tablespoons Garam Masala spice.
    Now you are going to add your can of diced tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all the flavor from the spices. Add about 1 tablespoon sugar and let mixture simmer while you start the rice.
    After the Tikka Masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a little bit, add in the 1 ½ cups of heavy cream.
    Note:  If using milk, the sauce will not be as thick, but will be just as tasty.  I've made it both ways and decided I won't be bothered buying heavy cream next time unless I need it for something else. 
    Now, chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the Tikka Masala sauce.  Let simmer until the rice has finished cooking.  Right before serving, I stirred in 2 cups of peas for color and added veggies.
    Garam Masala Spice Mixture
    1 tablespoon coriander; ground
    1 tablespoon cumin; ground
    1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper; ground
    1 tablespoon fennel seeds; ground
    1 tablespoon ginger; ground
    1 tablespoon cardamom; ground
    1 tablespoon nutmeg; ground
    1 TEASPOON cloves; ground

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Mom's Vegetable Soup

    We are pretty healthy eaters at our house.  I almost never buy packaged chips, cookies, etc. but try to buy plenty of fruits and vegetables for us to eat with our meals and as snacks.

    Ever since we found out Munchkin was on the way, eating healthy and sensibly has become even more important to me.  I'm doing my best to take care of this sweet baby already :)

    Christmas made eating healthy a little harder around here, though.  With all the Christmas parties, baking, and other treats, I have eaten more junk food in one month than I care to think about.  But, that is why we have the New Year, right?  Time to start eating healthy again!

    My mom's Vegetable Soup is a great way to fill up, keep warm, and get all those yummy, healthy vegetables into your diet.

    This recipe is so easy!  You basically dump a whole bunch of vegetables and some broth in a slow cooker for a few hours.  By the time the soup is finished cooking, your kitchen smells fabulous and you can't wait to eat dinner!

    Since there is no specific recipe for this soup, I'll just tell you how I made mine.  The best part about this soup is that you can tailor it to your family's tastes and your stock of vegetables.

    This recipe makes a large batch of soup.  We both had two big bowls for dinner last night and for lunch today.  I still have plenty leftover to freeze for a later time!

    Mom's Vegetable Soup
    In a crockpot, I dumped in:
    • 2 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
    • Frozen Corn
    • Frozen Green Beans
    • Chopped Carrots
    • Medium Diced Potatoes
    • Approximately 1 cup each of water and beef broth
    • I also put in a ham bone leftover from some ham I cooked a while back.  This flavors and adds salt to the soup. 
      • Right before serving the soup, I pulled out the ham bone.  All the leftover ham that was stuck to the bone fell off and became a delicious addition to the soup
      • My mom always made her vegetable soup with ham, but she said you could also use ground beef.  You would need to brown it first before adding it to the crockpot.
    I cooked the soup on HIGH for 2 hours and then on LOW for 4 hours more.

    Mom's Extra Thrifty Tip:  Save leftover veggies from meals and freeze in a large container or freezer bag.  Use these to make your soup instead of buying extra.  It's a great way to save money and keep from throwing food out!

    Vegetable Soup tastes great with biscuits or cornbread!

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Out with the Old. In with the New.

    Happy New Year, everyone!  I cannot believe 2012 is already here!  Where did 2011 go?  When I was a kid, I was always told not to wish my life away because it goes by too quickly.  "Yeah, right," I would think to myself.  Time never seemed to go by fast enough.  I think I'm beginning to understand that now.  So much has happened in 2011.  I'm not quite sure how it all got squeezed into one year!

    (By the way, sorry I haven't posted in a while.  My computer died at the end of October, so I was computer-less until my sweet husband remedied that situation for me at Christmas.  He's the best!)

    Here are just a few pics of my favorite memories of 2011.  Hope you enjoy! 
    (I would also like to add, mostly for my mother's benefit...My new year's resolution is to buy a camera.  I think I'd like to take more pictures this year ;)

    In May, I graduated with a Master's Degree in Biblical Counseling.  The past two years of classes were by far my favorite of my entire college career.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to sit under and grow through the daily preaching and teaching of the Word.  But, I am also thankful that school is finished and I can focus on my husband and home.

    The day after graduation, we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.  I am extremely blessed to be the wife of such a God honoring, hard working, fun loving, caring, compassionate man.  I can't wait to spend forever with him!

    In July, we purchased our first home and moved in the beginning of August.  We love our new place!  We are so much closer to our church, which gives us the opportunity to get involved more.  We also live closer to several of our friends from church and have had a wonderful time getting to know them better!

    One of my biggest goals for 2011 was to run a half marathon.  In February, I told my husband that I had signed both of us up for one at the end of October.  Yeah, I'm sneaky.  I didn't want to train by myself.  :P  We had a ton of fun training for and running the race.  (Ok, so it wasn't always fun, but it was definitely worth it!)  I can't wait to do another one!  But, that will have to wait until next October because....

    We are having a baby!  Sweet Baby Lippincott is due July 2nd, and we are over the moon with excitement and anticipation!  I am currently 14 weeks 3 days and go for my ultrasound to find out Munchkin's gender in 5 weeks!  I will definitely keep you updated on our progress.

    As we start 2012, knowing this is going to be a big year of new experiences and changes, our fervent prayer is that God will use every situation to draw us closer to Himself.  We recognize our deep need for His grace and strength to fight the battle against sin and grow in our Christian walk more and more every day.  We pray that we will never lose sight of the goal of Christlikeness and rejoice that, in Him, we can do all things!