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Celebrating Easter 2014

April 21, 2014

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Joe and I returned last night from celebrating Easter with both our families in Iowa and what a weekend it was! Although the forecast for the weekend was cloudy and rainy, the weather decided to cooperate with the most beautiful, warm and sunny Sunday, and a pretty nice Saturday as well. Let me tell you, when winter feels like it might never end, a sunny 80 degree day feels about as good as it gets.

We celebrated with Joe’s side of the family on Saturday night and with my mom on Easter Sunday. We did all sorts of summery things, like take the dogs on a long walk, eat out on the patio my mom had built last year, grill and play our first outdoor game of tennis of the year. Did I mention it was perfect?

The last couple weeks I have deeply felt the need for new life in Jesus. We’ve been working through a variety of emotions, including uncertainty, sadness and pain. But something about the beautiful weather on this Easter Sunday completely overwhelmed me with the joy and peace we have knowing Christ died for our sins and, most importantly, rose again!

Slowly, day-by-day, I’m starting to feel alive again. I think it shows in these pictures. Sure, I can still shed a tear quite easily when asked how we are doing, but I’ve also felt so much peace about where we are at this very moment. Just the two of us (and our pups), no baby on the way, with a lot of uncertainty ahead, but completely at peace knowing that God holds us in His hands every day.

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Easter Weekend in Idaho

April 9, 2012

Last weekend Joe and I hopped a plane and headed off to Idaho to see my family (dad, second mom, little sisters). My dad’s sister, Gwen, flew in from Florida for the weekend, too. I can’t tell you how great it was to be able to spend time with everyone. We did a lot of normal, everyday things, including watching my little sister Taylor run in her first track meet and attending my other little sister Ashley’s sorority philanthropy event. And on Sunday, we got to visit my family’s new church in Idaho for an Easter Sunday service and eat brunch together before heading back to Idaho.

Since we got in late last night, we’re scrambling to get things back in order before the work week begins. There’s grocery shopping to be done, workouts to be done, dogs to be walked and laundry to be done. I’ll see you tomorrow with a No Fat Talk Tuesday post!

Here are a few pictures from our weekend away…

{I love this house. Actually, I love all the houses in Boise. If Joe and I had careers that led us to Idaho, I wouldn’t be upset, since I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this place.}
{Taylor is a 6th grader and was running in her first track meet. She competed in the long jump and ran the 100 m dash, 4×100 m relay and the 200 m. Go Tay!}

{It was a little bit chilly and pretty windy at the track meet. We spent most of the time bundled up and covered in blankets to keep warm.}
{We attended a philanthropy event called Mr. Alpha Chi at my sister’s sorority. It was, essentially, a male beauty and talent pageant. It was hilarious and my sister did such a great job helping to coordinate the event.}
{New Cole Haan shoes purchased in NYC. Is it me, or do they look a little like Easter eggs?}
{Family Cavalier, Jake, taking some time away from all the people by hiding under the desk.}
{Taylor helped out with making Easter brunch. Strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream? I’m certainly not going to say no to that.}
{The table was even set in Easter colors!}
{Sad to be saying goodbye, but already looking forward to having my family come
visit us in Grinnell this summer.}
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! If you partake in Easter festivities, how does your family celebrate?

Rice Krispie Treat Pops

April 22, 2011

First things first, the winner of the cookie giveaway is Jesse who said…

Congrats, Jesse! Please browse Espresso and Cream (or search ‘cookies’ in the Google search box to the top right) and pick out your cookies of choice. Then, e-mail your selection to me ( and I’ll get them in the mail next week! 

You didn’t think I’d let this week slip by without posting a recipe worthy of Easter, did you?

I love this holiday for a lot of reasons, many deeper and more important than food and sweet treats. But, of course, the treats and candy also have a little something to do with how much I love Easter. I could do without most Valentine’s Day candy but Easter candy is a whole different ball of wax.

Cadbury eggs? Sign me up. Starburst Jelly Beans? Dangerous. And don’t even get me started on the peanut butter filled eggs.

So of course when I had some extra baking supplies on hand after a photo shoot at work, I thought of the sweetest, most Easter-worthy dessert I could imagine. Trust me, these little pops are a pure dose of sugar and chocolate mint goodness.

Oh, I forgot to mention that regular Rice Krispies Treats wouldn’t do for these pops. Instead, I jazzed them up with a hit of mint chocolate. Mainly because I had some leftover Andes mint chocolate baking pieces and needed a reason to use them.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Rice Krispie Treat Pops

*1/4 cup butter
*6 cups mini marshmallows
*1/2 cup mint chocolate pieces
*7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
*24 Paper treat sticks 
*1 standard-sized package almond bark
*Rainbow sprinkles

*In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in the marshmallows and continue to cook and stir until marshmallows are melted and combined. Stir in mint chocolate pieces until well combined. Remove from heat.
*Place Rice Krispies in a very large bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture atop Rice Krispies and stir to combine. If needed, use lightly buttered hands to full combine the mixture.
*Form Rice Krispie mixture into24 (2-inch) balls and stick a treat stick into the center of each ball, pressing the treat mixture around the stick.
*Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip treat balls into the almond bark to coat completely. Transfer to waxed paper or aluminum foil to cool. Top with sprinkles before almond bark hardens.

Happy Easter!