clementine cake – dessert’s ready!

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So pretty, so easy, and so good!

Will post step-by-step soon!

ellie m


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sunday dinner prep

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Getting some of the ingredients together to marinade the chicken for dinner tonight!



ellie m


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fall college tour. already?!

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<snif snif >

How did this happen?!

Okay, so it won’t be for another couple of years, but now that my precious miracle-baby boy turned-16 year old son is actually touring colleges, it suddenly seems real.

He’s with his school touring 6 colleges in Southern California this week.  I texted him and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a selfie or having someone take his picture at a college or two for me.  You know what I got as a response to that request?

< crickets chirping >

Yep.  Dead silence.

I was hoping to post those pictures here, but since it appears there’s a slim-to-zilch chance that that will happen, I found this image, which I think adequately describes a day in my near future:


ellie m


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graham’s temporary ‘quiet box’

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My co-worker (previously a middle school special needs teacher) gave me the idea of getting a refrigerator box (cut out one of the sides so it would be 3 sides only) that Graham might be able to be taught to retreat to before he ‘goes over the edge’.

Haven’t found one yet, but he did enjoy settling into this smaller box as soon as he spotted it sitting outside yesterday.  Lots of smiles, squeals, and laughter :)

It reminds me of little children who like the box better than what came in the box — you all know what I mean.

First, he had to make it comfy with his pillow and blanket…


…too much excitement!  How about a nap in it instead?

ellie m


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“by your side”

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We saw Tenth Avenue North in concert together in October, 2012.  I’ll skip through the up and down events leading up to that night, but I will say that it felt like a God-thing that we were there.  To this day, we think of it as a special night.

So when it came time to thinking about wedding songs – in particular, the song that I would walk down the aisle to – we thought we would select one of theirs.  We were very intentional about making decisions surrounding our wedding day based on what was meaningful to the two of us and thought about special things that only we shared together.  It had dawned on us one evening that using one of their songs would be perfect.  We had to find one with the right tempo and the right lyrics.  We both overwhelmingly agreed that it would be “By Your Side”.

The video I am sharing in this post is the same one we used on our wedding day.  I really wanted people to focus on the beautiful words of this song.  So the video played for them and the doors didn’t open for me to walk into the room until the second verse started.

I know that my God will always be by my side, and so will my best friend, who married me on that day.

Do you have a special story about the wedding song you picked?

“By Your Side” Tenth Avenue North (partial lyrics)

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

‘Cause I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

ellie m

waking up at dark-thirty is starting to show

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I get to work early each morning.

Each day at work, a soldier greets me at the gate to check my badge.  Once I’m allowed to drive on, I always feel like I’ve just entered Disneyland because it’s a different world inside – everyone is so nice to each other.

Last week, not once, not twice, but 3 (THREE) days in a row, the army man at the gate greeted me with the words “Are you awake yet ma’am??”.  I’m thinking, even if I looked that horrid, how can you tell?  The sun isn’t up yet – it’s still dark outside man!  So I blew it off, telling myself he just thinks that’s a fun thing to say to me in the morning.

BUT THEN…we were wrapping up a team meeting on Thursday when the facilitator looked at me and said in front of the group…”You’ve been quiet – you look tired – are you sleepy?”.

UGH.  I guess that confirmed it.

I WILL sleep properly this week so kids be warned – you’ll need to plan accordingly!

Happy Monday people!

ellie m


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