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!

    Wow...it 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 Amazon.com  If anyone would like to purchase this sign for themselves, here is the link. http://www.amazon.com/Interrupt-This-Marriage-Football-Season/dp/B0047Z299E/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1328105898&sr=1-3