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a-girl, Page 2

big thoughts from a little mind

Oh the things that go on in the head of a 6 year old… well, at least my 6 year old. :)

I walked into the bedroom, ready to tuck them in and hear my third youngest brother talking quietly trying to comfort my youngest little brother, who I see is snuggled down in the crack of his bunk bed, crying, with all of his little stuffed animal friends in a heaping pile around him.

“Anna, I need you to tell Isaac everything’s O.K.”

I (for a good reason I should add) got super nervous. “What’s wrong?” I said as I snuggled up next to him. “i- i- i just need him to – to – tell you”

I waited as E said nothing; he clearly wanted him to say what he was feeling. ;)

“Well, E told me I wouldn’t love my puppy in heaven! And – and – I asked if he would bury my puppy with me when I die and he said I probably wouldn’t even remember my puppy!” He looked at me for an answer as tears still streamed down his little red puffy face.

After lots of snuggling and listening to the big brothers thoughts and telling me his own

~a-girl with a camera

reading His Word

God is so amazing and works in so many ways in our lives. If you just allow yourself to devote some time to Him, he will open your eyes to see His glory! The Lord has been challenging me to be in His word more often and just constantly been laying on my heart that I really do need to be way more aware of the ways that I am spending my time.

Often I walk into a room thinking I have a purpose, and once I’m in there, I completely forget what I was supposed to be doing! In the midst of being frustrated, I stop to see if I can remember what I was supposed to be doing. My eyes catch the brown leather book titled Jesus Calling lying on the table begging me to open it. As I flip through the pages, trying to find today’s date, I think about how the Lord laid it on someone’s heart to write all these messages to encourage so many people and help bring them through trials in their life. I find my page, and start reading. I am so amazed at how the words I am reading perfectly address the specific thing(s) that I am struggling with in my life and bring me peace and comfort! I just can’t understand how in the world this author managed to put her writings in perfect order to reflect how I need encouragement in my life, every time I open her book! And then, I realize that it is Jesus who allowed her to put it in that order and perfectly directs our lives. He allows us to go through trials only that He may be able to direct us out of it in a way that we can honor him. Now I know the reason I went into that room. To slow me down and remind myself that my life doesn’t have to be in a crazy stressful rush all the time. I need to be able to stop and be comforted by the Holy Spirit.

So, next time you’re feeling stressed, rushed, confused, overwhelmed- stop and let the Lord bring you peace and comfort. And, He will help you to focus and understand why you walked into that room after all. :)

~a-girl with a camera

crazy little brothers and a night at the pool.

Living in Florida, one of my favorite treats is going to the pool! My brothers and I will be in it almost 24/7 pretty soon. It’s so much fun when it starts to get hot and mucky…

pool with boys MAR 2014 a WEB

I love that I am able to treat them to a fun night of swimming and playing around when they don’t expect it!

 

pool with boys MAR 2014 c WEBpool with boys MAR 2014 b WEB

 

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I can’t wait for this summer- some more free time to spend with my crazy awesome little brothers!!

 

~a-girl with a camera

parisian macarons {with strawberry lemonade buttercream}

and the first fresh strawberry recipe is made!

we made Parisian macarons again… do you think I might like them a little bit?

strawberry lemonade macarons 6 WEB

this time we used fresh strawberries and made our own strawberry lemonade buttercream. It was amazing!

strawberry lemonade macarons 4 WEB

first, mash about a 1/4 cup fresh strawberries (preferably just picked :) ) into an almost puree. next, whip 2 sticks of butter in the kitchen aid for about 2 1/2 minutes, until creamy. add strawberries and about 2 cups confectioners sugar and beat for a little bit. then add in 2 teaspoons lemon extract, and 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, beating until desired consistency. if needed, add 2-3 more tablespoons whipping cream to make thicker.

pipe onto macarons and eat!

strawberry lemonade macarons 10 WEB

the sweet strawberry mixed with the tartness of the lemon goes perfectly with the soft, crunchy almond macaron… and they are best enjoyed with a sweet friend!

~a-girl with a camera

strawberry picking {spivey farms}

One of my family’s favorite things to do every year is go strawberry picking! We look forward to it every spring. We even enjoy picking out which farm we’re going to visit!

This year, some good friends introduced us to a new farm and the strawberries were amazing. And there were so many so it wasn’t hard to pick!

girlwithacamera strawberry picking 2

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Isn’t she beautiful???

We also got an awesome cool day (sadly with not much sun) and a good friend visiting from Tennessee!

girlwithacamera strawberry picking 4

 

girlwithacamera strawberry picking 3

and after a long while of working hard with my momma cleaning and cutting tops of the strawberries… there should be many recipes to come!

~a-girl with a camera

parisian macarons with espresso buttercream.

i. love. macarons. and coffee.

so these espresso macarons were dangerous for me. and everyone else! to make everything better, it’s my birthday!

 these are parisian macarons so they are made a little different than french macarons. i also changed the recipe a little by adding espresso powder mixed with vanilla extract. and, i got to share this fun, tricky recipe with my momma this time! see her post on these here!

espresso macarons a

did i mention i love macarons?  because i do. very much.

 

espresso macarons b

happy birthday to me!

 

you can find the parisian macaron recipe at martha stewart’s website (momma uses the french macarons recipe – find her post here). or just come on over and i’ll make you some! ;)

~a-girl with a camera

banana babycakes with salted rum caramel.

I love to bake. This year for Christmas, my nana gave me a mini bundt cake pan!

I decided to make little banana baby-cakes with salted rum caramel to on top. They were amazing and they were gone quick!

banana babycakes recipe

click here to find the banana baby-cakes recipe, and go see my previous post on how I make my salted caramel!

salted caramel.

i remember the first time i ever made caramel- it was scary! i tried to follow the recipe so hard but somehow i still ended up burning it. the next time i dared to try, i decided to tweak it a little bit…

the recipe i started with used only white sugar. instead i used half brown, and half white- it makes the caramel so much richer, and thicker too! you can even change the flavor by adding a little rum or vanilla extract or even cinnamon!

 since then, it’s always been a favorite in my house. even when i burn it, (oops!) there’s always someone (ahem- momma) who will enjoy it anyways!

 

salted caramel christmas gift recipe

 

you can put it on top of lots of things, like these salted caramel dark chocolate cupcakes i made! we also gave some to friends as gifts!salted caramel dark chocolate cupcakes E

 

go find the recipe on my momma’s blog here!  yum.

how to be a best friend.

what does being a best friend look like?

I wasn’t always a fan of having a best friend. to me growing up, it was just a label you put on someone because they were better than another person. I always struggled when I was little (and I still sometimes do) because people weren’t being the “best friend” that I had labeled them.  I found myself more and more often asking, “why would she do that? she was supposed to be my best friend!”

then I started telling myself that I wasn’t going to be able to do the whole “best friend thing” because it was just causing me too much stress and I was always changing people’s “friend status”. and, on top of that, the number one qualification for a best friend is that there’s only one, right?

as I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve met more and more girls, I’ve realized that being a best friend is possible. being a best friend is not a label you stick on someone because they’re “the best”. being a best friend is having qualities that build someone up as a woman of God and encourage them in their Faith and in their walk with the Lord.

there are a several girls in my life that are my best friends, and that is because the Lord has placed them there to help me grow in my walk with Him, and to encourage me to be the best young woman I can be.

I don’t really “keep track” of my best friends, but I know if there was a list, it would start with my momma.

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she is my number one role model, and I could go on and on about all the reasons she is my best friend… her love for Jesus being the first!

jordyn… you are my best friend!

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although you are very far now, you are an amazing role model and a best friend. I’m so happy I was able to build a relationship with you before you left, and I hope we get to see you again soon! I still look up to you, and I so excited for what God is going to do in your life.

hannah, I’m so glad you are my best friend!

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I think we both continue to encourage each other in our Trust in the Lord, and I am so happy the Lord has given me a friend to challenge me, and a friend to challenge!

jordan.

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I am so glad the Lord brought us together and that we are best friends! I am so thankful He gave me you to encourage me in my Faith. I love you!

 

I hope i can encourage these girls and all the many other best friends in my life, just as they have done for me!

brothers, big and little.

These are my crazy-awesome brothers.

Isaac, you rock. Teaching you to read and hearing you read me bed time stories fills me with happiness! I love you. Although getting you to cooperate can be a pain sometimes, I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be a big-sis and encourage you!

 

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Ethan, I love you. You are so gentle, kind patient, sweet, handsome, humble, and Christ-like. Watching you reach out to people is the best treat a big sister could ask for! Your eyes glow when you are truly happy, and it makes me happy! And by the way, yes; your muscles ARE way stronger than mine no matter what you say.

 

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Joshua, this is the laugh I would give my arm to see everyday! You are so encouraging and I love you. Even when you have “grumpy-days” you are always protective and concerned for everyone around you. I especially enjoy your team work when it comes to helping with the littles.

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Brian, you are more confident than all the rest. Still, you ask for confirmation from me. And the Lord! I love that you are always working hard at what He is calling you to do- I still don’t know how you swim, work, run, do homework, and STILL manage to spend quality time with us all! I love you.

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They all have different unique qualities, and I have an entirely different, awesome relationship with each of them! These are my brothers, big and little.

 

this post was featured at the hearts for home blog hop – head on over to see lots of sweet posts!