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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Laura Lately: November Edition

Thank you all so much for all your positive and encouraging well wishes and congratulations last week when we shared our big news.  We were so excited to spill the beans!  So from my big heart to yours, thank you.  I'm glad to have you all along for the journey. 

Well another month has gone by.  Did you all have a good thanksgiving?  I finally got to celebrate thanksgiving with my family today and it was delicious and fun and wonderful.  And we were thankful. 

By now you probably know how these Laura Lately posts work.  It's just a time for us to catch up on life together.  So here's what I've been up to lately... feel free to comment back and catch me up on what you've been up to lately. 

Lately I can't get enough of...

Christmas! You all probably know by now, Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Music, parties, baking, decorating.  What's not to like?! Yes, of course there's the stress... but I'm not about that.  I'm about the joy, the hope, the celebration.  You can find stress in any season, but you can also find the good stuff.  Look for it, I know it's there. 

Lately I've been watching...

For the last week and a half, my life has been filled with coughing, congestion, resting and watching Gilmore Girls.  I came down with the nastiest cold of. my. life. so I spent a lot of time resting... which gave me a lot of opportunities to watch lots of Gilmore Girls.  I'm feeling much better - and good thing too... because I just finished the whole series.  :-)

Lately I've been shopping for...

 Well, it is the season for shopping so my shopping list is fairly long.

But the biggest thing we are shopping for?  A new (to us) vehicle.
My little red Honda Accord (Rosie, as I call her) has been my faithful friend since I was 16 but she just isn't going to cut it when the baby gets here...not with only having two doors! So Michael and I spent a lot of time researching family vehicles and decided on a 2012 Toyota Highlander.

We scored a major deal on one by buying it off Craigslist.  I feel your cringes.  But people, if you know my husband, you should know, he's not a risk taker... especially when it comes to making such a big purchase.  So maybe sometime I can coerce him into making up a tutorial on how we buy vehicles from Craigslist and save lots of $$ doing it.

Lately I've been munching on...

Turtle Cake.

In one week, I have made this cake 3 times.  Once for the belated birthday meal for Michael, once for a work carry-in, and another time for Michael's work carry-in.  It's Michael's favorite dessert and it is always a hit.  I thought I'd share the recipe.

Turtle Cake:

1 Chocolate Cake Mix (make sure there is not pudding in the mix)
14 oz bag Carmel (I can only ever find 11oz bags at the grocery store and I use that instead, no problem)
3/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 Cup Chocolate chips
1 Cup Pecans- coarsely chopped (Even though it wouldn't be a turtle cake without the nuts, I say it's optional, I always leave them out because not everyone likes nuts....half with and half without would be a good compromise though)

Mix cake as directed.  Pour half into lightly greased and floured pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 350.  Let cool.  Melt caramel with butter in microwave.  Add evaporated milk stirring until smooth.  Pour over cooled cake.  Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.  Top with chocolate chips and nuts.  Spread rest of cake mix on top.  Bake 30 - 35 minutes.  I never add frosting but I guess you could.  I usually just sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Like I said: always a hit!

Lately I've been looking forward to...

January 5th!! It's the day we will get to find out whether BabyB is a girl or a boy! It seems crazy that it's only about 5 weeks from today.  We are playing with the idea of throwing a gender reveal party and so our question was, do we wait and be surprised with everyone else at the party? or do we find out beforehand?  Although there is obviously time to change our minds, I think Michael and I have decided to find out during the ultrasound.   Finding out together during the ultrasound really sounds perfect to me.  Also, then the gender reveal party could be more of a party for our family and friends... not for us. 


Lately I've been thinking about... 

BabyB of course!

Last month during the Laura Lately, you may or may not have noticed, that I took this category away.  I didn't want you to know that I was thinking about this little person growing inside me... not yet anyway.  But now you know and it's wonderful!

I'm thinking about lots of things... trying to imagine how life will be and change.  I'm thinking about ways we can get ready.  I'm thinking about what it means to be a parent and responsible for the safety, health, spiritual life, education (etc.) of another human being  A human being that is growing inside me. That anything I do can, and just may, have a direct effect on these highly important aspects of human development.

Whoah.  Big thoughts.  Good thing I have a big God that really, ultimately, is the One who is directing, caring for, and growing this little life - and my life.  And He is a good God.  A powerful God.  And a God who knows and loves me and my little one fully.  So thankful for these truths.

Now what about you all?  How are you finding peace in the rush of the holidays?  What's on your Christmas shopping list?  If you have kiddos, how did you cope with the heavy weight of parenthood?