photo (62)You, my firstborn, my sweet little baby. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about becoming your mom. For most of the last 33 weeks I thought about being pregnant and how my body was changing and the ways in which you were growing. But now I’ve been thinking less about my pregnancy and more about what it means to take on the title of mommy.

Mom seems like an awfully weighty job description with more responsibility than I know what to do with. I’ll admit that sometimes I’m not entirely sure that I’m up for the task! I think about my own mom, your “mimi” as we already call her, and I realize what a crucial, weighty role it is to be a mom: to be a comforter, cheerleader, challenger, encourager and disciplinarian all at once. I know that there is nothing in the world that feels quite as wonderful as a hug from your mom, especially on days when life doesn’t go quite as planned and leaves you feeling a little worse for wear. I feel so humbled that I get to be the one to give you those hugs and make you feel comforted and cared for in a way that no one else can.

Lately I’ve become keenly aware of the responsibility that comes with being your parent. I’ve grown to understand the impact that your early, formative years will have on the rest of your life and how your dad and I carry the weight of that responsibility on our shoulders. I know that no parent is perfect, that we’re all flawed in one way or another, but to the best of my ability my desire is to mold and shape you into the most complete person you can be. I want you to believe that you can do anything and have the courage to go forth and try, knowing your parents have your back even if you fail along the way. And trust me, you will fail, and that’s okay. Life is less about your failures and more about how you recover, anyway.

I pray that you’re fearless, bold, creative, expressive and kind. And, I’ll admit, your dad and I have spent plenty of time on our knees in prayer, hoping that you also happen to love sleep as much as your parents!ย More than anything, my prayer is that you internalize your deep, profound worth found in being God’s child, independent of all achievements and accolades you may gather up along the way. I know that along the way we will fail you, and when we do I’m thankful that we have a loving, grace-giving and merciful God to guide us and cover our own failures as parents with the grace we don’t deserve.

Little one, I’m so excited to be your mom. I can’t wait to see your face and squeeze those little feet that are constantly causing me to double over in pain when you kick me time and time again. I pray that the next 6-ish weeks go quickly, but for now I’m thankful for each day that I get to take you with me wherever I go.


Ultimate Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies | Espresso and Cream

Many times I sit down to write and blog post without really thinking about what exactly I’m writing about. The words flow easily about the recipe I’m going to share with you, the flavor or texture or usefulness of the recipe at hand. It’s easy to fall into a lull of writing about food without really writing about anything at all. Does anyone really need me to wax poetic for four paragraphs about chocolate chip cookies?

Lately I’ve felt a pull towards different types of blogs than those that I’ve loved in the past. I’m drawn to the writing of women who are ultimately inspiring in the way they share vulnerability and failure without falling down the rabbit hole of negativity and hopelessness.

*I love the way Jess and Rachel write about faith, motherhood and anxiety, depression and the whole of life experiences. The way they bravely share their faith and passion for Jesus pushes me to share my faith more openly.
*My adoration for Shanna’s understated and beautiful way of looking at the world continues to grow with every post. I’m so thankful for her friendship over the years, even if it’s just been of the digital/e-mail variety.
*The way Laken writes about family life, motherhood and personal growth always leaves me feeling inspired and uplifted; her site always feels, to me, like the blog equivalent of Anthropologie for some reason.
*I wish every single day that Heather and I could sit and work together and drink coffee and talk like old friends. Another e-mail blog friend, I feel her warm spirit come across in every post, almost like a virtual hug.

Anyway, I suppose I’ve gotten terribly off course, but what I really mean to say is that I’m so thankful for those who are willing to share their lives online. Sometimes I wonder if having “blog friends” is strange or if I should just spend more time devoted to those friendships that I have in real life. But the beauty of the blog world is that chances are there is someone going through something similar to what you’re going through, whether it be a painful and trying time or a time of extreme joy.

I’m so thankful there are women who have written their stories for the world to read so that I can follow along, a few steps behind, and feel a little more prepared for what’s ahead. I’m thankful for those who are writing out their own crazy stories in the thick of it so that I can read what they’re going through and know that I’m not alone.

If you’ve made it this far down the page, thank you for reading my ramblings! I have nothing to really wrap this post together with except to say that I made cookies. Really, really good cookies, if I do say so myself. They’re perfect in the way that they’re crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center. They’re packed with chocolate chunks and candied pecans and have just the right amount of salt so as not to overwhelm you with sweet. Make them. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ultimate Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies (1) | Espresso and Cream

Ultimate Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 20
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ sticks butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • ½ cup chopped candied pecans (I buy mine at Trader Joe's)
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, corn starch and salt. Stir until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat 2 minutes more or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined, followed by the vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and candied pecans by hand until incorporated.
  5. Spoon dough by heaping tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheet, placing dough balls about 2 inches apart. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and slightly soft looking in the center of the cookies. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Cool completely on wire cooling rack.

Emily Ley Planner
Happy Monday, friends! Today I’m so excited to share a giveaway with you that I have a feeling a lot of you will be excited about. My friend, Emily Ley, is one talented designer and is the creator of the Simplified Planner, also known as one of the best day planners around and my lifeblood to organization and order in the day-to-day.

Emily and I first connected over e-mail while we were both struggling with infertility; Emily and her hubby were trying to get pregnant with their second baby and we were trying to get pregnant with our first. I still remember e-mailing Emily the day we got our positive pregnancy test with Baby H only to receive an e-mail back from her the same day letting me know that they had just found out their IVF cycle was successful and they were pregnant with TWINS! It’s been so fun to follow along with Emily’s journey this past year, and I couldn’t be more excited for her to welcome little Caroline and Tyler into the world in a few short weeks.

As I myself and experiencing a season of change and unknowns I’ve been especially excited to crack open my 2015 Simplified Planner in an effort to set a handful of goals and intentions for the year ahead. If I let it be, the change swirling around me can feel incredibly unsettling, but taking a little time to think about the year ahead (with all of its uncertainty) and putting down a handful of goals and dreams on paper has proven to be very helpful. Will all of those goals and dreams come true this year? Probably not. But that certainly won’t stop me from having the courage to write them down!

2015 Bucket list


So, what’s that about a giveaway I mentioned earlier? Well, I’m giving away a 2015 Simplified Planner to one lucky reader. You can consider yourself extra lucky if you win this planner because Emily’s planners have been sold out since the fall when they were first released! I got my hands on my own when they first came out, and a second for one of you guys because I love them so much.

The giveaway will be open until Friday! See below for ways to enter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Words of the YearAfter last year’s “words of the year” ended up being so prophetic (hello, discipline and patience!) I was a little scared to pick words of the year for 2015. Understandable, right? I took my time praying about my words of the year, chewing on them for a while to see how they sat with my soul before writing them in pen and sharing them with the world.

This year I’ve settled on a couple words to guide my year, since I never think one is enough and two always seems more fitting and all-encompassing. They are:


Picking these two words came fairly easy to me this year. I’ve felt strongly that after the last year that we’ve had, God is leading us into a new season. Perhaps I’m just being hopeful, but I’m looking forward to seeing the ways that God leads our little family in 2015. I’m sure there is going to be a good amount of change involved, like when we add a baby to the mix and as I figure out what I want to do career-wise, but I’m looking forward to embracing those changes with an attitude of joy and gratitude for what God is doing, even when it may confuse or challenge me.

I know that picking a “word of the year” may be a little bit trendy right now, but I just can help myself. I love the idea of picking words to guide your year and keep you focused from month to month.

What about you? Have you picked words for your year? I would love to hear what they are!


Readers are Leaders Print
One of the things I enjoyed doing most when creating our nursery was creating printable art for our little one’s book shelves and walls. I’m certainly not a designer by trade, but I do find a lot of joy in the creative process and have just enough knowledge and experience with InDesign and Photoshop to be dangerous and waste a lot of time!

My little sister Ashley is going to be a teacher when she graduates in May, and one of her favorite things to say is “Readers are leaders!” She has said the phrase so many times that I made a promise that I would put up a little bit of artwork in Baby H’s room to serve as a reminder of Aunt Ashley. In return, Ashley agreed to keep our baby stocked with good books to read! (Side note: After some research, I guess the original phrase is actually Leaders are Readers but I think I like Ashley’s version better!)

I made and printed this little printable and framed it in a 5×7-inch frame for the bookcase in our nursery. (I just used Target Photo for ease and price) In case it would be of any interest to you, I am linking below so you can print it off for your own use!



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