Come on. How could I ever pick just one? I used great restraint and stuck with two pictures.
Audrey turned 8 and we took advantage of the special day to tell her many of the reasons we love her. Talk about a long list! She requested creme brulee french toast for breakfast, we played Blokus, went to an indoor play area with a few friends in the afternoon, opened gifts once Jim got home, and had to adjust her requested meal of Pea-Nutty Noodles due to a last minute house showing and went to Noodles and Co. instead. She said it is probably her new best day of her life, so I'm calling it a smashing success. This smile. You guys, this smile says it all.
|8 is great! What a fun day of celebration|
|Celebrating their special sister|
|Impromptu get together to climb and giggle|
Admittedly, my running has taken a back seat to the rest of my life these days. I am not training for a race or working toward any goals other than keep moving forward. I am sure to get at least two runs a week in since coaching with Moms on the Run is still a very important part of my life. This quote gets right to the heart of why running is so important to me and why this running program in particular has such a special place in my heart.
Reading has, unfortunately, fallen by the wayside over the past few months. (Do you sense a pattern here?) I'm usually reading at least three books, plus the chapter books I'm sharing with the kiddos. That just isn't happening right now, although I did just finish Looking For Alaska by John Green for my book club and I've started Running Dreams and The Last First Day. I think it's high time I make time for reading again. It does wonders for my mental health.
Still, reading is an important part of my life and our kids are huge readers, too. I am reading Harry Potty and the Goblet of Fire with Isaac right now and I want to stay awake all night with him until we get to the huge, climactic ending. Oh goodness, that book is fantastic. I know you've probably read the whole series and that we're late to the party in reading them, but if you haven't read them, do it now. So good!
Anyway, these pictures make me insanely happy as I think of all the books we'll share together and all the adventures they'll take through the pages of a book.
|reading hour in the fort|
|since Audrey was in the fort, he had reading hour in her bed|
|reading/music hour in my room|
|He is obsessed with the Droon series so he came down from reading hour to read more|
Swirly Milk Chocolate and Caramel Cheesecake found in the Baking Kids Love cookbook.
Isaac said it was so good that it was not just off the hook, but miles off the hook. It was Audrey's requested birthday cake and we all loved her decision. Kudos to you if you can get your kids to bed or your kitchen cleaned up or however you finish your day, and not go at this cheesecake with a fork, no plate necessary. It's that good. I couldn't find a link to the recipe so here I go. It's kind of long, but absolutely worth it.
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1 TBSP sugar
6 TBSP melted butter
9 oz milk or dark chocolate
24 oz cream cheese, at room temp. (ask me if I've ever thought ahead enough to have it at room temp? nope! Still turns out deliciously.)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, again with the room temp. Ha!
2 teaspoons vanilla (forgot that this time)
1/3 cup caramel sauce
combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in bowl and pour melted butter over them. Stir until mixed and pour into the bottom or a springform pan or 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes (or buy a crust at the store. whatever floats your boat)
Melt the chocolate.
Put cream cheese and sugar in large bowl. Milk for 1 minute, or until blended. It takes longer when it's not at room temp. I know this from experience. Scrape sides and beat for one minute longer. Add eggs one at a team, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Remove 1/2 cup of batter and add caramel sauce to it. Scrape melted chocolate into batter remaining in the bowl. Blend well.
Pour 1/2 of chocolate batter into the crust and spread evenly. Spoon 3/4 of caramel mixture on top, spreading evenly. Then top with remaining chocolate batter and smooth the top.
Drizzle remaining caramel batter over the top in thin lines. Drag a toothpick or thin knife through the surface to make pretty swirly designs.
Bake for 1 hour, or until edges are set and puffed, but center looks a bit wiggly. Run a spatula around the edge of pan to loosen the cake. Let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or, even better, overnight.
Eat it. Plates are nice, but really, invite some friends over, hand everyone a fork, and go to it!
We played Jamie Grace's "Beautiful Day" for Audrey on her birthday and then we heard this song and it just stuck with me. It says so much of what I'm feeling right now as I worry about her and muddle through doctor's appointments and confusing information when I just want to take it from her. I can't. So I hold on. And this song helps me remember I'm not alone and that we will get through this.
Now it's your turn. What are your favorites from the week? Share your happy moments!