Easter food: resurrection rolls and rainbow cake

These rolls were a total blast. I used a quick rise dinner roll recipe and they were light and yeasty. The boys took marshmallows representing Jesus, dipped them in melted butter (oil to prepare His body for burial), then rolled them in cinnamon sugar (the burial clothes). We set these in the middle of a roll and pinched the edges well. Another quick rise and popped them in the oven.

It was so fun to open the rolls and find the empty tomb! The boys couldn’t get over it, the sheer excitement…they sure were tasty too.

resurrection rollsresurrection rollsresurrection rollseating resurrection rollsresurrection rolls cut

And then the rainbow cake. I think we’ll rename it “covenant cake”. I followed the directions exactly and everything came out just as planned. The swiss meringue icing was amazing. Definitely my new go to for frosting, so beautiful and smooth with good structure.  I much prefer the lemon extract to cut down on the cloying nature of frosting.

This cake tasted great, but I found it lacking. I think it was the brightly colored layers tricking you into expecting flavors from those layers. Instead, while vanilla cake is delish, it left my brain to mouth connection confused. I want to do this cake with vanilla/chocolate layers next. It makes a beautifully tall cake!  If I do the rainbow layers again, I’ll be experimenting with veggie based food coloring. Let’s just say nourishing was not top on the list for rainbow cake. Or resurrection rolls for that matter. But the visuals were just perfect!

rainbow cakecutting into rainbow cakerainbow cake cuteating rainbow cakeeating rainbow cakerainbow cake cut


Dear Amanda, it’s been 3 years

Dear Aman,

A loud airplane went by tonight while the boys were just down for bed.  The sound scared Ollie and, 2 hours later, he’s still struggling to get to sleep.  He was begging me to sleep with him, so I laid down and began to sing “when loud airplanes are in the sky and I’m scare, God takes care of me, God takes care of me“.  He then asked if lightning is scary.  So I sang the same song with lightning.  And dogs. And the dryer buzzer that he hates.  In his world, these things are huge.

And tonight I’m stung by the simple words I’m singing to him.  He’s comforted by the truth that God takes care of him.  But how badly I want to sing “God takes the loud noise away, God makes sure the lightening doesn’t strike, God will not let the dog hurt you“.  How much I want to make sense of God to fill all the scary places, to fill all the brokenness.

Today is awful.  Simply, deeply and complicated-ly awful.

Addie isn’t here.  It’s been 3 years of life lived without her.  The lightning did strike.  The dog did bite.  It’s soul deep, and yet the next breath comes. Another breath in the reality of this brokenness.  How can that be?  As if the breaths are flirting at the notion of life moving on without her.  As time has passed, it’s been painful to know life can go on without her here.

Our crazy loud dryer buzzer just went off.  Ollie had passed out minutes before and I flew down the stairs in a race to turn it off.  Tears came.  Tears of gratitude that I can meet his needs, grasp in a way to calm his fears.  To feel moments of that is divine, a gift.  But there is a dark side to the story.  My racing is simply a grasp.  God wants to be my God.  Your God.  He would be less of Himself if my grasps added anything.  And more tears in light of that reality.

The brokenness here was big enough for Jesus to die for.  And as you so beautifully articulated on the phone today, He died for Addie.  And because of His deep love for her, she’s with him today.

Only He can fill this brokenness.  Which makes the grief deeper because He asks us to wait for His voice. Waiting is broken.

We won’t always have to wait.

But in this waiting season, the distance between Atlanta and Orlando has felt farther this week.  And I just want to sit beside you and hug your neck and cry and listen to you talk about her and listen to you sit in silence because of her.

I want to see her through your mama eyes of 3 years.

You’ve always done that well and I can’t wait to meet her.

Love you,


Easter 2012








Day 1 and day 2 of potty training Ollie in pictures

I’m doing what today? No thanks.

day 1 start of day, say what

Tee and Catch step in to show Ollie the ropes.

day 1 show and tell

So does daddy.

day 1 daddy help

“it’s not coming out”

day 1 I pee on that?

He gets worn out early day one.

day 1 super tired

And does a ton of drinking for so little peeing in the potty.

day 1 did a lot of this

But oh that tushy is cute!

day 1 booty

And pulling up that underwear a feat!

day 1 I can do it

Catcher was so sweet with his instructions.

day 1 catchy encourages

But Ollie only thought the potty was a seat.

day 1 cartoons

Catch and Tee had some afternoon art while Ollie and Attie napped.

day 1 arts and crafts

Attie has been a smiley ball of preciousness.

sweet little

And Ollie a complete ham. Cackle.

day 1 effort

Here we are day 2, rocking awesome hair.

day 2day 2

And resting after taking a huge crap on the floor.

day 2

But then, the sun began to glimmer. Hope began to breath. Doves began to call.

day 2 success!

And after watching Tee water a bush.

day 2 proud

I caught the best moment of the last 48 hours. It was GLORIOUS.

day 2 he did it!

Goodnight day 2, you kicked my butt all the way to the end. But undies we are in and in undies we’ll stay. Tomorrow, let’s poop in the potty. Ready, set, GO OLLIE!

I’m really proud of myself, toddler style proud

At 2:45am there was a whimpering, squishy two and  a half-year old shivering at the foot of my bed, “mommy there’s something in my pants“.  I jumped up before my eyes were open, happy to find him only wet and the rest of his accident puddled next to his potty in the hallway.

Lord thank you for hardwood floors and tile throughout our house.

Ollie was insistent that he cuddle with me in my bed.  It didn’t go over so well when I put him back on his pallet.  Gotta be potty trained to make it into this bed bubba.

He was crying and resistant and I was tired and delirious.  And then I remembered, I have a husband!  He’s also your daddy! Best news ever!

Thom, very willingly, laid with Ollie on his pallet until he was back, fast asleep.

Ahh, my bed felt so great.  The morning still seemed far enough away.

The tossing set in.  The turning set it.  Getting cold.  My belly was growling.  No man to cuddle with.  No dry toddler to cuddle with.  And my belly was getting louder.

I finally walked downstairs, realizing my blood sugar was low and let’s go ahead and appease for sleeps sake.

As I’m waiting for the water to boil for some soft-boiled eggs, I grabbed a fistful of Fruit Loops–a box near by bought for the sole purpose of boys pee pee target practice.

Huge hit with the older, already potty trained, children.  Ollie?  Couldn’t care less.

Ugh.  That first bite of sugared food die and corn with more sugar was gag worthy. And I used to love crap cereal.

I grabbed the box and read the ingredients.  Sugar is first?!  Red die #40! Corn crap this and corn crap that.  Some crap soluble fiber. And don’t forget some anonymous crap hydrogenated oil.  Why can’t they decide between cottonseed, soybean or coconut in the hydrogenated form?  They give you options that they used one of the three, but why are they giving me options?  As if any of the three will kill me more slowly than the next.  Just tell me which plastic, artery killing, genetically modified ingredient you used already.

The Fruit Loops were a  massive disappointment.

At this point, I’m watching my water start to boil.  It was a moment in my life.  All bleary eyed and YES(!) I watched a pot and it DID(!) start to boil!

My mouth was so dry from that cereal.  I went to grab my water bottle and stopped.

Wait, I shouldn’t have water at night, I’ll have to pee.


And then, it took a moment, I AM POTTY TRAINED.  What the hell!  Give me that water!

The eggs were the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  And then back to bed with a slight feeling of success at the realization that at least I am potty trained.  And clearly, I was gonna need more sleep.


Pee pee in the potty, cackle.

I’d like to report that I missed it.

The potty training window where Ollie would take me seriously for a second.  I was serious.  And he didn’t buy it.

That boy.  Way too old for two and a half.

So much so that whenever I started talking up potty training, he’d get this grin and twist my words around, then adds a “cackle cackle” to the end of each sentence, completely mocking me.

me: “Ollie, where does pee pee go?”

Ollie: “Pee pee cackle cackle”


me: “Do you know when your pee pee is coming?”

Ollie: “That’s not a word.”


me: “Do you know what pee pee feels like?”

Ollie: “No.  Show me.”


Thom: “Big boys wear underwear!”

Ollie: “Big boys wear cackle!”

or the best conversation I’ve ever had:

me to the family dinner table: “If you’re in the house, where does pee pee go?”

Tee and Catch: “In the potty!!”

Ollie (trailing and echoing): “In the potty!”

me: “If you’re outside, where does pee pee go?”

Catcher: “On a tree!”

Tee: “or a bush!

Catcher: “yeah, a bush!”

Tee: “or something else green and alive!”

me: “if you’re inside, where does poo go?”

boys: “In the potty!”

me: “If you’re outside, where does poo go?”

Tee and Catcher: “NOWHERE!”

Tee: “Poo is only inside, on the potty or not at all.”

long pause…my questions are done.  They’ve passed the test.

Ollie (still cheering on the Qs): Where does diarrhea go?!?!”

I’m too tired to edit pics…all 138 of them from today only.  He’s in undies tonight.  No going back.  I’m committed.  Almost as committed as Ollie is to his cackle.

Nighty cackle cackle!

Atticus at 10 months old

Delightful.  Easygoing.  Eye contact. Snuggler.  Adored.