New Seasons & Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

It has been almost eight months since I last posted.

Eight months.

So much life has happened in the past few seasons. Spring and summer were filled with so many hard things. So many big things. But just as the weather turned a little cooler…this new season has brought some really good things. New things for my little family of three; and I couldn’t be more grateful for fall.

Last Friday Ean, Nora and I went and picked apples at an orchard near by. It didn’t take long to fill up the five gallon bucket, but the kids had a blast, and loved being tall enough to reach the apples. Nora requested to make apple pie at least six times, and I can’t wait to make one with her in the next few days. The first recipe we made with our freshly picked apples was apple crisp, so I thought I would get back to blogging. It is incredibly easy to make and has all of the flavors of fall.

Apple Crisp

7 cups sliced apples

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

For the Topping:

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, chilled

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Core, peel & slice apples. In a large bowl, mix together apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt and spread into an 13×9 pan. In a medium bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Layer on top of apples. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes or until top starts to brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!

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A couple photos from our apple pickin’ adventure. I can not believe how big Miss Nora is!


One Crazy Month And A Half




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It has been one crazy month and a half, friends! I feel like I have spent the last week catching my breath…just before the next round of crazy hits! I also thought I would catch you up…just a little bit.

The last weekend in March I ran my first half marathon. It had been a goal of mine for a while and over the winter I just decided to start training. I loved it, possibly more than a normal person should and I made my goal time! 13.1! Yay!!!

The following weekend there was a shower for some dear friends who were expecting a baby girl, who is already here now…and absolutely adorable. Congrats Matt & Em! Easter (which seems like an eternity ago) was in there along with a solid two weeks of the Campbell family being sick (This is really the only negative part of the craziness).

Nora is now 2 you guys. I’m not sure how that is possible. We had a couple small family parties for her the weekend before her birthday. The girl LOVES Minnie, so a Minnie party is what she got.

The weekend of Nora’s actual birthday I had the opportunity to help throw a couple major events for Springhill because (long story short) we are getting a new pastor and I am getting a new boss. Flowers, decorations, desserts. I loved every minute of it…although it was slightly stressful at times, I had some amazing help! I’m really excited for what is ahead.

The weekend of Mother’s Day was so relaxing because we didn’t have much going on and I got to hang out with my littles.

Bring on the next round of crazy!!!





Hurts Donut Company

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Hurts Donuts 2

I finally made it to Hurts Donut this past weekend. I am going to be honest, I was actually there twice taking pictures, but that is kind of beside the point. For those of you who haven’t heard of Hurts, it is this super cute donut place right off the square. If you live in the Springfield area or if you are visiting the Springfield area…you should stop by Hurts Donut. The donut creations (made with amazing cake donuts) are are so tasty and creative. They also make a really fun unexpected gift…if you can resist them for yourself.

Below is my little buddy Lucas enjoying his donut. He enjoyed all of it…and some of his sister’s too!

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A Very Special 30th!

Today, my cousin and dearest friend turns 30.

It is a fate I will also face in 44 days.

With my cousin Sarah and I being so close in age, it allowed us to cultivate an amazing friendship on top of being family. I love it. Even if it has been a while since a text, call or e-mail, it is like we never have missed a beat. Since Sarah is turning the big 30 today, I thought I would celebrate with my 30 favorite memories with her.

Happy 30th Sarah! Here is to many more memories together, including when we are old and wet our pants together!


4th of July, 1989. We were pretty cute. Sarah & Jen 30(Sorry for the crazy bangs in this picture…it is inevitable after shooting two weddings.)

30. The Zack Attack shirt you bought me for my birthday…probably in 1996. I have fond memories of Zach Morris and you when I think of it.

29. That one time you dressed up like an old lady for Halloween.

28. Trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder with your mom.

27. The Paper Angel tradition.

26. Sharing high school dance dresses.

25. Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. Enough said.

24. Mixed Cd’s.

23. Cheez Its and Neopolitan Ice Cream.

22. Family Hay Rides. Specifically the one where a certain great-aunt peed in the hay,

21. Our love of butter mints.

19. Cratepaper balls. I’m sure you could find those on Pinterest now.

18. Lisa Frank.

17. Pretend Ghosts at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

16. 925,600 Minutes.

15. Our shared love of New Girl.

14. That one time you were Valedictorian and homecoming queen.

13. Grandpa’s 71st Birthday song. Guessing by your career, you probably wrote that entire thing.

12. Soji Tabuchi’s Bathroom.

11. Playing church. Thanks Mike & Dan. You got us every time.

10. Thanksgiving 19 something something. – The year we put water on the front porch in hopes of it freezing as the weather turned bad so you could spend the night. So glad it worked.

9. Offices parties at 2502.

8. Watching you perform at the Skinny! So so proud!

7. Opening your ‘Post Card’ design at Christmas.

6. The excitement I still feel when I know you are going to be at a family thing. I guess that never goes away.

5. Driving past Crazy Horse with Grandma. ‘Oh, I just love horses.’

4. Our awkward middle school stages…they were so so awkward but at least we had each other.

3. Getting to graduate college together! Go Drury!

2. Running the Turkey Trot together. It is a Thanksgiving tradition.

1. Halloween 2011 – ‘Who are you? Willy Nelson?’

Chicago Love









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Here is a glimpse into our trip to Chicago. I’m so thankful for this trip and the people I was able to share it with. On 5 AM on June 8, seven of us loaded up in a van and headed to Chicago, not knowing much more than we were headed to Good Hope Baptist Church to serve however we could. We did a little sight seeing the day we arrived and the day we left Chicago, but the majority of our week was spent loving on a sweet lady named Mrs. Clark and the Englewood community. Mrs. Clark is *so* precious. She had lost her husband and pastor of Good Hope six months ago. We were able to encourage her and love on her and she sure did the same for us. There were lots of laughs and late nights at her home, where she so graciously welcomed us. Eight of us and one bathroom couldn’t have worked out any better.

There were lots of different aspects of our week: gardening, painting, a ladies spa night, a community block party, and putting together basketball goals, but the thing we all looked forward every day was working with teenagers who came to Good Hope for an after school program. Our week was filled with lots of minute to win it games, an insane amount of sugar, tie dye, a photo booth (photographed by my brother in law, the teenagers loved it), water balloons, lots of pantyhose, Andy’s Frozen Custard (that is a crazy story that we give all glory to God for), but mostly lots of love. We fell in love with these teenagers, many who have been through more at the age of 13 than most of us had in our entire lives. For a week we had the amazing opportunity to love on these kids and to share with them the reason for that love.

As I shared in a post about Strawberry Pie and changed plans, Chicago wasn’t exactly our plan for this year, but I thankful it was His.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! – Ephesians 3:20

Strawberry Pie & Life Lessons

Strawberry PieSometimes things, for whatever reason, just don’t work out.

This pie, for instance, is one of those things.

I had made this pie for Mother’s Day. I was so excited about how delicious it was going to be. Homemade crust, a layer of cream cheese and strawberry deliciousness. It should have been amazing…and I guess it did taste that way. The shear chemistry of this pie did not work out, at least not making it 24 hours ahead. I got to my grandparents for lunch, opened it up and…wanted to cry. I had made strawberry soup. The cream cheese and strawberry layer were at odds with one another, breaking down and creating strawberry soup. Should have known.

At least the Peanut Butter Trifle I had made for my brother still looked perfect.

Another thing that just didn’t work out this year: going to Uganda. I say that a little flippantly but I do not mean it in such a way. But honestly, how does one transition between pie and Africa?

A few months ago I had posted that after five years, I was finally going to go back to Uganda. In June, I would be boarding a plane and going to love on some of those sweet, sweet Ugandan babies.

In April, we found out that wouldn’t be the case.

Without going into a lot of detail (about surgeries and other fun things of that nature),  our partners and our dear friends from Uganda are actually still here in the states and will be for most of the summer. Since we had not paid for our airfare yet, we were able to cancel the tickets and hope for next year. There have been so many reasons why this has been good. So so good for our Ugandan friends. So good for lots of other reasons…but somedays I want to be selfish and throw a pity party. Those are the days I have to trust and be thankful for changed plans and the nice reminder that this life isn’t about me.

After exploring lots of different avenues, we will be taking a trip to Chicago with our team. We will have the opportunity to serve at an after school program and encourage a sweet spunky widow who we will be staying with.

Chicago is so different than what any of us had in mind.

Unlike a silly strawberry pie…soup…whatever, I know us not going to Uganda this year isn’t an accident. It is part of a plan.  It’s for His glory.