Twenty Six

Today I turned 26.
Today I turned that age. You know, that age. The age you dream about when you are little. The age that you think, "Once I get to ____, then I'm a real adult."
That age, is this age.
I am now officially on the other side of my 20's.
But you know what...
If today was any indication of what my 26 will be like, then I am going to have one hell of a great year. I literally had the best birthday a girl could ask for. Thanks in complete part to my sweet man of a husband.
Yesterday (not even my birthday mind you) The Man took me shopping! Ladies, I know...incredible right!? I timidly picked out two dresses and a pair of shoes, but after much cheering on of my husband, I confidently walked them to the counter where The Man proudly paid. I was in heaven. He then took me out to Mohawk Bend for dinner simply to give me an excuse to show off my new duds.
Then, this morning (my actual birthday) I awoke to The Man bright eyed and bushy tailed
[He couldn't sleep from sheer excitement]
We quickly got dressed so that my husband could give me my birthday present he had been waiting weeks to give me

...wait for it...

J A C K W H I T E  T I C K E T S !!
I cannot contain the excitement this brought me. I literally cannot wait.
Then we headed to none other than Figaro Cafe for a quick bite before church. After church The Man took me to the Huntington Library, a place I have wanted to see ever since I've been in L.A. 
We walked the grounds, checked out Johannes Gutenberg's original Bible, and cat napped under a shady well as watched Tornado videos on Youtube...dont ask...
Then, just as I thought my birthday couldn't get any better, The Man surprised me with a special Happy Birthday dinner at Malo with all of our closest friends. 
How great is he!!??
They showered me with such thoughtful gifts. I am more than grateful.
I do not deserve this life, but thanks be to Jesus, am I right!?
Here are some snaps from our day.

PS: 26, you have been good to me. I look forward to my other 364 days with you.

Daddy Dearest

Father's Day.
I woke up this morning thinking about a memory I had from when I was little. Growing up, for some of my life anyway, we lived in Williamsburg, VA. Yes, Williamsburg- the colonial butter churning capitol of the world. But in so many ways, it was this incredible setting for a beautiful and picturesque childhood. 
Anyway, this memory. 
My dad use to have this old white convertible BMW that he would wash every so often in our driveway. Well, clearly, I wanted to do everything my dad did when I was little, so I would wheel out my red and yellow play-school car (the one you pushed with your feet) and would proceed to wash MY car next to his. I would watch how my dad washed his car, and then I would do the very same to my car.
My dad always did have this great way of leading by example.
As some of you may (or may not) know, I write a column for an online magazine (soon to be print!) called Darling Magazine. Click HERE for a link to an article I wrote about the history of Father's Day
Happy Father's Dad, I love you so very much.

Nearly Nearings

This is Tom and Rebecca
Last night we got to celebrate these crazy kids.
It feels as though I begin each blog this way, but seriously, I am capitol 'B' BLESSED. I have immeasurably incredible friends, and they are all marrying one another! What could get better than that!? 
Last night we gathered to celebrate the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Nearing with good food, good friends, and a great time of prayer over them and their marriage.
I am [shamelessly] proud to say that these two reunited right around my own wedding where Becks was one of my beautiful bridesmaids. Shortly after, Tom 'liked it and put a ring on it' at Christmas to the effect that would make even Beyonce proud.

In all seriousness though, this is a wedding I simply cannot wait for. We've all been chomping at the bit to see these two wed for quite some time now.
Well done Tom, you got yourself one hell of a girl :)
Love you guys and congratulations!
Here are some snaps from the engagement party last night.
PS: The Man even made a special appearance after a LONG day of work.
...and we matched...
(but he LOVED it)

JCtv Videos Are In

Remember a while back when I blogged about The Man guest hosting for TBN's 
"Top 3 on JCtv" 
Well... The videos are in!
 Click HERE to check them out.

The Man's episodes can be found under dates:

Baked Buffalo Style Cauliflower Recipe

I never thought that I would be one to blog about recipes. Certainly not because I am against it, but simply because I never thought that I had something to contribute. Perhaps that has all changed today.
Last night, The Man and I enjoyed the best meal we have had in LA in a LONG while, deeming Mohawk Bend our new favorite dive. Amongst other delectable goodness, was the Baked Buffalo Style Cauliflower.
Since The Man loved it SO much, I shrugged and figured "Hm.. I could probably recreate that..."
[Cue triumphant music]
Thus, I give you the Snugs Baked Buffalo Style Cauliflower!

* 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken up into florets (or a bag of cauliflower from Trader Joes)
* 1/4 cup of Corn Meal
* 1 egg white (sub 1 Tbsp of Vegenaise instead if desired)
* 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce (adapt depending upon desired taste)
* 2 tbsp of light butter
* 1/4 cup of Bleu Cheese (or Ranch) dressing
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp of cracked pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonfat cooking spray
2. In a small bowl melt butter
3. Once butter is melted, combine egg white (or vegenaise), salt, and pepper, and mix well
4. In a plastic bag, scoop in 1/4 cup of cornmeal and add the melted butter combination as well as 1/2 cup of Frank's Hot Sauce. Make sure the cornmeal is entirely engulfed in mixture
5. Add cauliflower florets to the bag. 
6. Seal bag and shake until florets are entirely coated.
7. Removed coated florets and place them on the sprayed baking sheet.
8. Lightly sprinkle a touch more pepper to the tops of the florets
9. Place baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes until florets are tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside.
10. Once baked, remove florets from the oven and plate. LIGHTLY drizzle a bit more Frank's Hot Sauce across the top.
11. Garnish plate with cut up celery and carrot sticks, as well as your Bleu Cheese or Ranch Dressing


Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 20 min

Thoughts & Meditations

"Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. Why do you say O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God?' Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
- Isaiah 40:26-31
The Man sent me these verses this morning, and they couldn't be more appropriate. I suppose that's the beauty of the Bible though. It never tires, it never withholds, it's still relevant. It truly is alive. During this season, I have been/am still being stripped of all that is comfortable; of all that is familiar; in order that I might know HIM more steadfastly. In the midst, sometimes it feels as though I am hidden from the Lord's sight....or He has hidden Himself from mine. but just as I want to settle on the lie, He reminds me of His Truth. 
His understanding is inscrutable.