The Twins

I met these two when they were starting out their freshman year at Harvard College.  We were at a home Bible study eating dinner together and I'm pretty sure they were holding pinkies while we ate. They're adorable.  And they make me laugh. And smile so hard it hurts. I want to say more about how wonderful they are and how proud I am at the women they have become, but I don't want to cry on my keyboard. So I'll just leave it at this: I'm so glad our lives crossed paths. They're two wonderful young women that anyone would be lucky to know.

So much love,


Half Hearted Cookies

Growing up, my mom only baked once a year (during Christmas) and only two kinds of cookies- these and chocolate chip cookies (which may be why I'm so addicted to them). The recipe came from a Land O Lakes butter cookbook from the 80s or early 90s.  You can find the original-ish recipe HERE, but I changed it up a bit.  I know valentine's day has passed, but it's never too late to say I love you [with cookies] :)



Half Hearted Cookies (slightly modified from Land O Lakes)

1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp peppermint extract
3 Cups all-purpose flour

1 Cup chopped dark chocolate
4 Tbs butter
Finishing salt- like fleur de sel

1. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2. With mixer running, add cubes of cream cheese until incorporated.
3. Stir in egg and peppermint extract until well incorporated.
4. Beat in flour at low speed until the dough comes together.
5. Divide into halves and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, or overnight.
6. Roll out dough into 1/4 in thickness and cut with a heart cookie cutter.
7. Bake for 7-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. The edges will ever-so-slightly brown (as you can see, mine hardly browned at all, but I like a softer cookie). Remove to a cooling rack to completely cool.
8. Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk constantly until melted and remove from heat. 
9. Dip half of each cookie heart in the chocolate and place on waxed paper to dry. Sprinkle dipped side with a pinch of fleur de sel.

*To speed up drying you can place the cookies in the refrigerator.  Store finished cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

36 Weeks

I'll be 36 weeks tomorrow.  I pulled out all of the baby stuff in storage and started washing all of the baby clothes last night {nesting fever officially setting in}. Feeling ready. Kind of.  Eek.  A newborn and a toddler.  Life is about to get crazy(ER). Anyone have tips for a mama preparing for a second child?  Anything you didn't expect that you wish you had prepared for?  How did you get your first ready for the incoming usurper of time? Our little boy seems pretty excited for her arrival, but we'll see how he feels after she's here.  Either way.  We're ready to meet baby girl and to step into this new stage of life.



Sledding in February

Yesterday it snowed non-stop, and my son and I were finally both feeling well enough to go out in such weather. He had fun, but I think my husband had more fun ;) My husband hadn't been sledding since he was in single digits so it was quite thrilling for him.  (I've still never been sledding...just trying to be safe with a baby on board). We all enjoyed frolicking in the snow, throwing snowballs and spending time with friends.  Afterward we indulged in a rich hot chocolate with marshmallows. Hope you're enjoying whatever your winter is looking like.



Rich Hot Chocolate (Slightly Modified from Joanne Chang's Recipe in the Flour Cookbook)
Serves 4 (and 2 little ones)

8 oz dark chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Cup Heavy Cream

4 Cups Whole Milk

Roughly chop dark chocolate into small pieces and add to a heat proof bowl.  In a small saucepan, warm heavy cream over medium- high heat until it is scalded (don't let it boil: you'll see steam and  little bubbles forming around the sides).  Take the heavy cream off of the heat and slowly pour over dark chocolate, whisking as you pour.  Continue to whisk until all of the chocolate is melted.  Pour into a glass storage container in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

Combine chocolate mixture and milk and warm on stove over high heat.  Remove from heat just before the hot chocolate boils, making sure to whisk the ingredients together.

Serve with plenty of marshmallows.

A Happy Place

I have some really wonderful friends who let me into their home and follow them around for the afternoon taking a bunch of pictures.  I'm still not great at making the time feel organic for the family, but I don't think it was too painful of an experience for any of us. Thanks for letting me get in some photography practice, friends!  Also, you're beautiful.