Sep 30, 2012

Egg Puff Biscuits

These puffs are a delicious breakfast treat, perfect for a Saturday morning with the fam or as a dish for a shower or brunch. I first made these for my friend's baby shower and they were a HIT. A few women requested a few to take home so their husbands could try them!

*The directions below will make ten puffs, perfect for a family of 3-5. I would double the recipe for a party.

What you need:
1 7.5oz. can of biscuit dough... the regular size {not jumbo}
5 eggs beaten
1/2 cup of cheddar
1/2 cup of cooked bacon or ham {your choice!}

What you do:
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

*Get out a muffin pan and spray lightly with vegetable oil

*Smoosh the dough into the muffin tin, one biscuit per muffin cup... Press the dough flat against the bottom    and push it up the sides a little bit.

*Whip your eggs and pour a little over each biscuit. Try to divide it evenly.

*Add a sprinkle of cheese and dash of ham or bacon. Again, try to add the same amount to each biscuit so they cook evenly. Each muffin cup should be about 3/4 of the way full, since the puffs will indeed PUFF up as they cook!

*Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.


{*Original recipe here}
Linking to StoneGable, Sugar and Dots, and Tatertots and Jello!

Sep 27, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: Near and Far

I often find myself tempted to try to "figure out" God's plan for salvation - to try to discern who in my life will next receive God's grace and become "saved."

I remember a few years ago when I first realized the foolishness of this all. To think that there are always signs to indicate where God's spirit is going to move and whose hearts are going to be changed.

Because people are fickle and deceitful and misleading, and God is not.

How many times have you thought you were making progress with someone spiritually, sharing the Gospel with them, looking for signs that their heart was softening, only for them to almost "lead you on" in a spiritual sense? They visit church a few times or maybe even start attending regularly, they read the Bible, or at least talk about intending to explore the Bible, but eventually you realize they are not really changing. They are still hardened.

And how many people know of someone so hard, so hurt, so angry, so evil, who was changed by God instantly? In a moment, the Holy Spirit entered into their unlikely heart and their ungodly life and transformed them forever in the name of Jesus Christ. Think of Paul on the road to Damascus. Think of the friend you know who was literally saved by Jesus while high on drugs, on the brink of suicide, or at a treatment facility for any number of disorders or addictions. Think about those who are saved while serving a life sentence in prison for horrific crimes.

I personally know people who were saved by Jesus in some of those situations above. They did not appear to be seeking the Lord. They were not searching. They might have even openly admitted a hatred or at least a mistrust or an unbelief in God, and yet He invaded their lives at exactly the right time.

This is not to discount that a slowly softening heart is sometimes an indicator of God's grace in someone's life. Sometimes it really does happen in the pretty, predictable way. You invite a friend to church. They might say no at first and then they accept. They are interested. They have questions. They seek your counsel. You point them to the Bible. You might point them to another Christian leader. They are open to God's Word and over the course of days, weeks, months, or maybe years, they learn and trust that Christ is their Savior.

But there are also people who appear to begin this journey to salvation only to harden their hearts repeatedly or more deeply during the process. They might go to church and mock it. They might read the Bible only to scrutinize it in their unbelief. They might ask questions only in a prideful attempt to baffle or argue with believers. Although at first this interest can look like a spiritual awakening of sorts, it is really only a hardened heart actively attacking the church instead of living in apathy like many other unbelievers.

My point to all this is that I have had to destroy the conceptions in my own mind that I can figure out who God is going to save. Sometimes He saves through an invite to church, sometimes He saves in the midst of a drug overdose. I don't know what God is going to do, because He is so powerful and mysterious in a beautiful way.

All I know is this:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved... -Ephesians 2:1-5

We are all dead before Jesus invades our hearts and lives and makes us alive. I once was dead, and God made me alive in Christ. God can save those who seem near to knowing Him and those who seem far, far away from ever loving Him. There are no limits to God's grace. And, really, whether we seem near or far does not change the fact that we are dead without Christ. You can't be more dead than dead, regardless of whether or not you have ever visited a church or read the Bible. So instead of trying to figure out who God might save next, I want to live a life where I passionately share the Gospel with all, because God, in His great mercy, sometimes saves those who seem near and sometimes saves those who seem far away.

Sep 25, 2012

Washington: A Road Trip

I haven't had a chance to write about this yet, but last month I took a little road trip with my sister, who just moved from Seattle to Austin. Since I was going to be in Seattle anyway for my BIL's wedding, I decided to hang around a few extra days and road trip it back to Arizona with my sis, Katie, who would drop me off on her way to Texas. It was hilariously fun and I got to see lots of friends and family on the way. Here are the pics!

Packing up with dad the night before. Yes, we went cross country in a BUG! // Our first day of driving was LONG. All the way from Snohomish to Salt Lake City!

Leaving mom and dad's house around 5am. Katie wore her boots, obviously. She was headed to Texas and  all. // This was the only spot for my stuff in the bug. Basically, I sat cross-legged for three days straight. Good thing I like to sit cross legged. When I needed a break, I put my feet up on the dash.

Drove through the "Palm Springs of Washington." Didn't know we had one of those... // First state line... Orgeon!

Stopped for breakfast in Oregon // Onward to Idaho

Blue dot making progress // So we stopped for lunch in Mountain Home and the deli we were planning to go to was closed, so we placed a to-go order at the best rated Thai place in town according to Urban Spoon. We showed up to the restaurant and found this trailer. Katie was scared to eat there, but I made her do it anyway. Our pad thai was good! And the sweet owner lady gave us free bottles of water while we sat in our car eating.

This was the BEST part of the trip. We accidentally missed an interchange on the freeway and ended up in River Raft, Idaho. When we tried to turn around {in the middle of nowhere} we noticed a huge gravel parking lot full of cars and behind it a huge grassy yard, filled with people, and 100 yard long slip-n-slides. There were hundreds of teenagers on the property {for some type of group school event} and they were riding down the slides on inner-tubes {hence the name of the city, I'm assuming, since this property was the only thing in sight.} Katie and I decided this detour must have been ordained by God and we were determined to go down the slides too. We tried to act inconspicuous by putting our best high schooler faces before we grabbed a tube and stood in line. The only problem is that we were wearing our clothes {not swim attire} and taking iPhone pics of ourselves the whole way down the slide... but whatever. I think everyone knew we didn't belong there but they were too scared to say anything. Mission accomplished. We put our tube back in the pile and got on the freeway to backtrack 17 miles to the freeway that would take us down to Utah!

We missed the Utah state line, but we really enjoyed this sign... // Made it to Jenna's house where we had a sleepover! The next morning I got to meet Mr. Davis and eat delish french toast for breakfast. Sweet Jenna gave my sister and me these bracelets. If you haven't checked out her shop, you are missing out on the cutest jewelry around!!

So we got super confused on the second day when we crossed into Arizona instead of Nevada... turns out that we didn't notice that you drive through the northwest corner of AZ for about twenty miles before crossing into Nevada... but we figured it out after those twenty miles and all was well.

Got to meet up with my dear friend Jessi in Las Vegas and I was introduced to BJ's pizookies. Double win if you ask me! // We snooped through the garage at Grandma's house and Katie added a hat to her ensemble!

Since I only had dessert the night before, I still desperately wanted to try BJ's pizza. I figured out there are multiple locations around Phoenix and I didn't know it. I thought I had to go to Vegas or San Diego to go there! We stopped for pizza when we got into AZ. Spinach-artichoke. Yum! // Sending Katie off to Austin {with a stop in Tucson} the following day. She added an old hair flower clip to her braid. Hott.

* * * * *

There you have it. Pretty much the road trip of the decade!

Sep 24, 2012

Life goal...

Life goal accomplished.

It's not really a huge goal, but for many years now I've wanted to do a triathlon. I've been running for about ten years now. I've done a bunch of 5Ks, a 12K, and two half marathons. And I've come to realize in recent years I'll probably never do a full marathon. The training schedule just seems too grueling to manage with all the other things {people, activities, goals} in my life. Maybe I'll do another half someday, but probably never a full. And I'm okay with that.

But you can only run so many miles before you are itching to try something new. I am not an adrenaline junkie by any means. That's my husband's role in our family. If you can run it, climb it, jump it, sail it, surf it, skate it... he's your man. I, on the other hand, like routine and regimen and low risk activities. I like to pay a certain price to run a certain race on a certain day and know that I have so many weeks to train for said race. I then follow my training schedule religiously and my discipline {not my inner competitive spirit or natural athleticism} get me to and through race day. Sometimes I question if there is any vanity or pride in my working out, and there might be... sometimes... but mostly I think I try to be a good steward of the body God has given me, so that if I ever lose an appendage or the ability to walk or run I will always know that I didn't waste it while I had it.

But anyway, back to the itch. After running for so many years, I started wondering if I should try my hand {and arms and legs} at swimming or biking just to challenge myself in a new way and work out my body more comprehensively. As my 30th birthday approached I decided the time had come. I joked around that doing a triathlon was my 30th birthday gift to myself. But it was kind of true...

So, yesterday I received my final birthday gift from God, who has given me healthy legs and arms to swim and bike and run, from Micah, who let me spend $130 on a race {triathlons are EXPENSIVE! Beware!}, from my cousin, Leah, who did the race with me and motivated me over the summer when I was thinking about backing out, and my friend, Alison, from who loaned me her road bike, so I wouldn't have to buy or rent one or try to do a 12 mile trek on my beach cruiser! And, in a way, it really was a gift to myself. When I was finishing up the bike ride yesterday, I was so happy I was doing the race. It really has been a goal of mine, it was exhilarating to try something new {swimming in the open water with hundreds of other people!}, and it's something I really wanted to accomplish before having kids...

I was originally going to do the Olympic distance tri, but my training schedule didn't work out as planned over the summer, so I opted to do just the sprint distance instead  {750 meter swim, 12.32 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run}. I'm glad I started with the shorter race, since I am so inexperienced with swimming and biking. Seriously, you guys. I figured out how to change the gears on my borrowed bike two days before the race! And on the very first turn of the bike route on race day, I forgot where the brakes were on my handles and I started shifting gears instead of slowing down! Newbie to the max.

But I did it! I was super slow. I'm pretty sure almost the whole wave behind me passed me in the swim. My bike riding was pitiful and I had to pull over three times to drink water because I was too nervous to grab my water bottle while riding. But I finished it. And I never stopped the whole time, other than that water bottle problem on the bike. I didn't fall, I didn't get a flat tire, and I wasn't nervous in the water at all. Just lower than molasses... slower than a snail... slower than the old person who inevitably gets in front of you on the road when you are late for an appointment.

But that just means I can go faster next time! ;)

Dropping off my bike the afternoon before the race. // EARLY wake up call.

The shorts are really flattering. Let me tell ya. They have this lovely tight band that cuts into the best part of the thigh. Mmmmm... I love my thighs. // Breakfast of champions. The cupcakes were not included in my breakfast... but they were in Micah's... :)

Walking to the race. Feeling kind of nervous. // All marked up and ready to go with my cousin!

Oh, and I had never worn a swim cap...

I can't believe I swam in the lake. So weird. Don't judge my form. It's horrible. I know.

Micah took these awesome pictures from up on one of the bridges. He also got this stellar pic of me exiting the porta-potty. Hilarious!!!

Transitioning to the bike.

These pictures might make it look like I was cruising along. It's a nice illusion... slowest rider ever.

Just finished the race. Wait a second; I'm eating...

Micah made me bite my "medal" like an Olympian. I didn't even know how to do it correctly.

Survived! Hanging out with Micah under a bridge while we watched Leah {who did the Olympic with her husband! Ballers.}

That's it. That's how a triathlon happens. You should TRI it! :)

Sep 23, 2012


So my 30th birthday. It happened. I'm in my 30s. Bam!

For my AZ party {since my trip to Texas was my big celebration!}, we did a fun and laid back wine + cheese + trivia night at our place.

Carbs were consumed and trivia competition ensued. I had a trivia question for each year from 1982 to 2012 and the guests played in teams {pub style}. The winning team got gift cards. Hoorah!

And now I give you twenty pictures of my thirtieth birthday. I would give you thirty pics, but all the photos at the end of the party were taken just of me, looking awkward, by my personal paparazzi, my sister in law. I will spare you...

Kayla {SIL} got me 30 balloons with 30 phrases that describe me written on them. One was "burger snob..." It's true.

I made all the trivia teams make up team names, but I forgot to write them down and now I've forgotten them all in my old age. This team was something about Micah being a +1.

The team that really wanted to win! But didn't... :)

The winning team! They got 25 out of 30 right!!!

This is when I realized how awkward it is to have people sing to you. Oh, the pain I've been inflicting on people for three decades!


And that's enough of the birthday paparazzi pics...
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